Key Takeaways

  • Jacobs introduces the concept of leverage in the context of change, which is about identifying main challenges and applying specific strategies to overcome them. He also addresses the issue of ‘change fatigue’ and proposes a focus on continuity – acknowledging past achievements and constants to provide balance.
  • Jake highlights two strategies from his book: “Think and Act as If the Future Were Now” and “Find Opportunities for People to Make a Meaningful Difference.” These strategies encourage anticipating future scenarios in the present and engaging employees in changes, respectively.
  • Lou introduces the concept of ‘catalytic learning’ that promotes immediate action upon learning something new. Jacobs supports this idea, stating that shifting one’s paradigm of possibilities can lead to personal realization and long-term benefits.
  • The discussion highlights the importance of truth-telling and personal accountability in organizational change. Jacobs concludes with, “If it is to be, it’s up to me,” emphasizing the role of individual action in the success of an organization.
  • Jake’s book, ‘Leverage Change,’ is available on various platforms - . , including Amazon, Indie Publishing, and Jake’s own website, . He also shares an ebook, ’27 Ways to Achieve Faster, Easier, Better Results Immediately’, that provides practical methods for leveraging change.

Executive Summary

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another exciting edition of The Leader Show with Lou Carter. Today, we are joined by Jake Jacobs, who discusses his book, ‘Leverage Change.’ 

The conversation centers around organizational transformation, discussing various processes involved. The speakers explore the requirements of leadership in the modern world, with particular attention to the Generation Z and Millennial demographics, humorously termed as ‘ZEOs or Zillennials.’ 

The discussion also includes the need for deep social change within organizations. So, without further ado, let’s jump right in!

Exploring Transformation Principles and Strategic Levers

Firstly, Lou and Jake delve into the principles of transformation and change. The latter being the author of ‘Leverage Change,’ emphasizes the importance of beginning with the end in mind. He discusses his concept of eight strategic levers that facilitate faster, easier, and better results. 

Additionally, he warns that focusing solely on efficiency could lead to achieving the wrong results, hence the importance of defining the vision, metrics for success, and expected results from all stakeholders’ perspectives.

Lou agrees, likening it to setting sail on a ship without knowing the destination. They both underscore the importance of a clear vision for successful results. Jacobs further adds that the end goals should be aspirational and advantageous for the organization, as successful change can become a great recruitment and retention strategy.

Leveraging Change and Battling Change Fatigue

Next, the speakers progress from defining results to addressing the concept of leverage in the context of change. Jacobs highlights the ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes and his concept of leverage – the idea of getting more done with less. In the context of change, Jacobs suggests this is about identifying the main challenges in a change effort and applying specific ‘levers’ or strategies to overcome them.

They then dive into the issue of change fatigue; the overwhelm that people and organizations can experience due to continuous change. Instead of recommending less change, which could affect organizational effectiveness, Jacobs advocates for a focus on continuity – acknowledging what has been done well in the past and what will remain constant. 

This approach, he explains, brings a balance to the notion of change, reinstates confidence in people, and allows a fuller, more realistic understanding of the process of change. Jake suggests that paying attention to both change and continuity will lead to smarter decisions for individuals and organizations.

Understanding Transactional vs. Transformational Change

Moving on, Lou and Jake delve into the distinction between transactional change and transformational change. They argue that change shouldn’t be seen as a mere sequence of events but rather as a holistic, three-dimensional transformation. They mention the Johari Window concept as a framework for understanding this.

Jacobs introduces his chapter “Change Your Paradigms Transform Your Organization” from a book named Transformulation. He asserts the power of shifting paradigms for organizational change, emphasizing the need for a focus on continuity. 

On that note, he shares an example of a European retail CEO who integrated the concept of continuity into every aspect of the company’s change process, resulting in smarter decision-making and successful implementation of change.

Lou then refers to the Change Champions Field Guide, which includes Jacobs’ work, and highlights a process that begins with identifying collective dissatisfactions and progresses to vision and first actions to overcome resistance. 

The Crucial Role of Internal Teams in Change and the Power of Future Thinking

Subsequently, Lou discusses the critical role of knowledge transfer to internal human resources (HR), organizational development (OD), and learning development and talent management (LDTM) teams, which he believes strengthens trust within the organization. 

He voices concern over a growing trend of new leaders bringing in external change consultants, potentially sidelining internal teams and neglecting the importance of continuous transformation within the organization.

Jake echoes these sentiments, adding that his book presents immediately applicable strategies that don’t require formal qualifications in organizational development or change management. 

As an example, he introduces a lever from the book called “Think and Act as If the Future Were Now,” borrowed from Stan Davis’s “Future Perfect.” This lever encourages leaders to anticipate and act upon their vision for the future in the present, thereby accelerating change and transforming relationships within the organization.

Through the lens of this strategy, Jake recounts the story of a CEO who managed to improve the performance of a new C-suite member by treating them as valuable team players. This helped change the dynamics of the relationship and resulted in a significant shift in the new hire’s confidence and performance. The example highlights how acting ‘as if the future were now’ can drive transformation in an organization.

Leveraging Meaningful Opportunities and Fostering a Bias for Action in Organizational Transformation

Next, Jake introduces another lever called “Find Opportunities for People to Make a Meaningful Difference.” He suggests that large-scale changes present unique opportunities to engage as many people as possible. This engagement can call forth their greatness and invites them to be accountable and responsible for the change. 

Lou agrees with this approach, emphasizing that people in companies can lead change, and encourages listeners to live the change they want to see in their company, starting with one small action.

After that, Jake shares an example of a client in the virtual reality space who used the “Think and Act As If The Future Were Now” lever. The Chief Technical Officer of the company was inspired to act immediately on several tasks that he felt were crucial to the company’s future. This immediate action is an example of what Jacobs refers to as a “bias for action,” which can pull people along in a positive and productive way.

Engaging Employees in Change and Catalyzing Action

Moving on, Lou mentions the importance of telling the truth, emphasizing how crucial it is for individuals to feel safe enough to share their truth, even if it’s uncomfortable or leads to conflict. He suggests that it’s necessary to let go of the fear of being ourselves and to be genuine.

Jacobs agrees and highlights the importance of addressing reality, even when it’s uncomfortable. He believes that people have a responsibility to share what they know and to seek out knowledge when they don’t understand something. 

Additionally, he argues that this type of personal accountability can contribute to the success of an organization and make it a formidable force in the marketplace. Jacobs concludes by saying, “If it is to be, it’s up to me,” emphasizing the importance of personal accountability.

Lou relates the principle of “if it is to be, it’s up to me” to a personal anecdote about missing an opportunity to play drums for the Allman Brothers because he didn’t speak up. He regrets this missed opportunity and shares it as a lesson about taking action and seizing the day.

Jake affirms Carter’s sentiment and encourages him that it’s never too late to seize an opportunity. He supports the idea of seizing the day, which wraps up their conversation on the importance of personal accountability and truth-telling in organizational change.

Availability of ‘Leverage Change’ and the Complementary Ebook for Immediate Transformation Results

Finally, the speakers discuss the availability of Jake’s book, Leverage Change, on various platforms, including Amazon, Indie Publishing, and Jake’s own website,

Lou and Jake go into much greater detail throughout this conversation.

Thank you for listening!


Lou Carter : Everybody, welcome to LinkedIn Live, Lead With Lou today with my friend Jake Jacobs, and we're going to have a great show today. Talk about his book, ‘Leverage Change’, talk a little bit, organization Transformation, all the different processes. We'll go into our own processes and learn really just a lot about what it takes to lead in today's world. We'll touch a little bit on the Z generation and millennial, kind of well called ‘ZEOs, zillennials,’ [laughs].

And, this is going to be kind of cool. And you know, what really is needed today to change in an organization that requires a lot of deep social change as well. So let's jump into it. Jake, what do you say?

Jake Jacobs : Sounds great to me, Lou. Happy to be with you.

LC : It's great to have you as well. And so this is good. So let's talk about like, principles of change, right? And of transformation, like the most important elements, you know, you know, the start of it where it all emanates. It's so important to talk about the emanation, the where everything starts from. Where do you see where change starts from, where it emanates from?

Smart Strategies For Successful Change: Achieving The Right Results (01:53)

JJ : So Lou, when I wrote the book, there's eight levers and they’re strategies. I call 'em smart strategic actions that get you faster, easier, better results. And what's interesting is, as I was writing the book, I had a colleague say to me, well, what if you get faster, easier, better results, but they're the wrong results, so you're sinking the ship sooner.

And what I said to them is, I actually have already thought about that. So there is an entire chapter of the book devoted to results. What is it you're trying to accomplish? Because if you take these levers, if you take any change approach and you do it better and faster and easier, and you're going the wrong place, then you know, why bother?

So I think that all of this work around change has to start the coin, term from Steven Covey, with the end in mind. So let's be really clear about what that vision is. Let's be really clear about the metrics for success. Let's be clear about what the results are, and not just from one person's perspective, but from all of the stakeholders, which makes it a little bit more challenging. But I think if you don't start with results, then you could be careful what you ask for. And, my book will help you sink your ship much sooner than you'd believe possible

LC : Leverage change. very cool. That's kind of the first step, right? Isn't it? Starting with results.So important, and you know, I show this a little bit here that in my model, if you don't start with when people start with results and they don't vision what that result is, the problem is that people don't know where to go and where they're going. It's like getting on a ship, right? And saying, I don't know where the destination is. When you start with that vision and know the results that you wish to achieve, it's much easier to start and go somewhere that is truly inspirational and a place you want to go. Right? Jake, wouldn't you say?

JJ : Absolutely. And I think the other thing, Lou, that can't be underestimated is, it's gotta be a good place. So it's gotta be a place that you're competitive. One of the things I talk about in the book is that, you know, doing change well is a great recruiting and retention strategy because it's the kind of place that people want to belong, they want to join and they want to be part of. So not only do you have to be clear about those results, but they've also gotta be good ones for your organization to be successful.

LC : Yep. No doubt about that. The good ones. And, I see a lot of companies that don't focus on what they're great at, right? We've let go of, and there's too many things. They're not on the one thing I see that, especially with entrepreneurs, and when they're starting out, they have a million ideas, right? A million ideas. And their change isn't specific, correct? They're, I'm not on that one thing, the one thing. So, again, first step, the one thing, right? The results that we need to go. So we all know where we're going, so great, let's go to the second one now. Ready? Ready to go.

Smart Solutions For Change Fatigue: Embracing Continuity And Transformation (4:57)

JJ : Alright, so you're talking, Lou, about the second key thing to focus on

LC : In leverage change. Yes.

JJ : Yeah. So in leverage change, what we do now that we've got these results clear, is that we go to this story about leverage. And leverage is about, how do you get more done with less? And in my case, I talk about fewer headaches, hassles, and problems. And this picture behind me, you can see this blue picture I commissioned 25 years ago. And I'm not in the habit of commissioning a lot of art, I have to admit. But 25 years ago, I knew this was important. This is a picture of a guy named Archimedes, and Archimedes was a third century BC Greek mathematician.

Well, why am I talking about this guy? Well, he had a way of describing leverage. He said, give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and single-handed I shall move the world. And so he's talking about getting a bigger bang for the buck. How is he going to lift a large stone? Back in the times when he lived and they had competitions about this. He’s not a strong guy, but he was smart.

And if you put that fulcrum on, the lever is going to give you superhuman powers, just like these levers will in an organization, give you superhuman power. So really what it's about is finding the right problem that you have with your change effort. And then for each problem, I've designed a particular lever that you can put in place in order to remedy the situation. It's almost an antidote to the problem. So once you get your results clear, then you need to get really smart about what's your situation and what are the issues that you are uniquely wrestling with in your change work. And then based on that, we go to the levers one by one and start applying 'em.

LC : That's interesting. So we go one by one with the levers, right? Let's talk about that for a sec. You know, we're looking at the situation and what you're wrestling with, right? So, that's what brings people together. And then go to the one-on-one with the levers. Let's talk about a lever. Let's talk about one.

JJ : Great. So one of the things we had chatted about before this is an issue. Every organization that I've ever worked in has faced and I would be willing to bet all of your listeners here today, half, which is change fatigue, right? Being overwhelmed by the amount of change. And you know, it's like almost every 10 years we hear somebody, a futurist telling us that there's going to be more change in the next 10 years than in the previous hundred.

And so there's just an onslaught of change and it exhausts people. I mean, they get anxious about it. They don't have confidence in themselves or the organization to do a good job. They've got a mixed track record at best. I mean, there's all these numbers, but 70% of change efforts falling short is the most common number that I've seen in HBR and other places.

So, what do we do with this change fatigue. Now, most people would tell you, change less. But that's a bad answer for the organization. I mean, it might be that, yeah, I have less fatigue, but you also have a less effective organization. So what I say in the book is I take what I call a paradoxical approach. And I give a nod to my friend and colleague Barry Johnson, who's done this work around polarities. But what we do is, rather than talking less about change, I talk about what not to change. And I call it continuity. So by paying attention to what we've done well in the past and need to continue doing, you find that that confidence returns.

I've had leadership teams sit with a flip chart pages and hand them write down all the things they need to change in their organization. And as the list gets longer and longer, you physically see it show up in people, they start to slump down in their chair a little bit, the voices get a little softer. And then I say, now let's make a list of all those things that are going to stay the same, except this time make the list twice as long as the other one.

And as they start to identify all these things that are going to stay the same, and it's an honest list and it's a long one, they sit up more in their chairs, you hear the confidence return to their voices. They look and say, oh, well these things we've done well, we need to continue. And the change is less overwhelming.

I liken it to a metaphor of having a firm ground to stand on, to take a leap into the unknown future filled with change. And that notion of pay attention to continuity. I have used that in all kinds of organizations, large and small, with teams, with individuals. And what it does is, I believe it just gives you a fuller picture of reality. All of this changes one side of the coin, and it's a critical side. I'm not arguing against that, but it's just half the story. The other half is around continuity. And if we pay attention to it, we're going to make smarter decisions for ourselves and our organizations.

LC : Absolutely. And then one of the important things about change that I've seen as well in transformation is that, you know, you get this fuller picture of reality, right? And, then you think, well, we just have to change. It's going to have to change to this. And it's transactional. We just have to do this, this, and this. Let's start and do it. It's actually not about that transactional at all. It's sort of the window pane, the Johari Window. We changed the window pain from being very much of a sort of unidimensional two-dimensional to a three-dimensional transformational window, right? And it's so much different when we shift our mindset to this growth mindset.

Paradigm Shift: Unleashing the Power of Change in Organizations (10:46)

JJ : Totally agree. Totally agree. I've just written a chapter, a book is called Transformulation, and the title of the chapter is ‘Change Your Paradigms Transform Your Organization’. And so the power of the paradigm, I mean, it's enormous. So why do you get leverage out of these things? Well, they don't have to cost a lot. They don't have to take a long period of time to pay attention to continuity is not going to break the bank. It's a way of being in the world. I had a CEO of a retail organization in Europe, and he got this insight about pay attention to continuity and what he did in every meeting and every conversation and every memo, report, every piece of work they did around change. They also talked about continuity.

So even when they were redesigning roles between the marketing and sales organizations, what they did is they said, what about this role do we need to keep on doing? And what about this role? Do we need to change? Now, it didn't cost them anything to ask the question, but the difference that it made was profound in terms of how smart they were about making the change and how successful they were in actually pulling it off.

LC : That really speaks to that issue, right? Of what is it that we're dissatisfied about, that we collectively are dissatisfied about, that we can bring up this consciousness and say, this is it, and show it in that way. As you had described it, is this happening in everything that we do? Now, what are we collectively dissatisfied? You're in my book called Change Champions Field Guide, right?

JJ : Yes I am. Yes I am.

LC : And one of the things in the Change Champions field guide that I'd like to drive everybody's attention to today is this. This is what Jake we're all talking about here, is we first discover what is best or the actual dissatisfactions, right? And then we have the vision and first actions. And that always overcomes resistance. That's kept by Kathleen Deni Miller. You know her well, remember.

JJ : I know her well, I've worked with her for 10 years, actually, Lou, I lived in her home for a year and I like to say anybody who's anybody, right? It's like a calling card in the field of OD, if you haven't slept under Kathy's roof, God bless her soul. And I acknowledge her in the book and she's quoted throughout the book, but if you haven't spent a night in her home, then you know, it's like a ticket to punch along the way in getting smart about organization.

So yeah, I worked with Kathy for 10 years and I was quite blessed. I fell into this work early and I fell into a relationship with Kathy early. So I know that formula well, and I know it to be quite effective.

LC : I love Kathy and I remember seeing her at some of her large scale or whole scale magic events, and toward the end, she'd sit in her chair and yeah, she proved to all of us that change is about others. Because you can sit within and help the change agents to take over the change. It's not about us, right? And the beauty of guy got her definitely. I hope, Kathy, can you hear us? I hope she can.

JJ : I'm sure she can. I'm sure she can.

LC : Kathy lives in every generation.

Knowledge Transfer And Trust: Empowering Internal Change Agents (14:12)

JJ : And, you know, the other thing, Louis, she totally lives through me. So the number of times that I'm talking with clients and quoting Kathy around things every day, once or twice she shows up. So yeah, I'm sure she's listening now and she's wanting to make sure that we get this right. So let's pay attention and make sure we do her proud.

LC : So the one thing that I remember about Kathy and I also believe and do practice very carefully, is that it's a transfer of knowledge. So the transfer of knowledge is to the internal HR, OD, LDTM, whoever they, whomever they be, change agents. So that increases trust, right? So it's not about us coming in and doing the work. It's the last thing that CHROs need these days is another consultant to eat their lunch.

Okay? So, the CHROs job is to align all of their departments so they can do the work. And what's happening is typically in organizations today, that is eroding. So it's eroding because new people come in constantly over two, three years, they bring their old change consultants saying, come on in, take care of thing, try out your new leadership development model off the shelf model, right?

And change and transformation is ignored. That had created the central focus of that organization. Think about those places that Kathy went to and she transformed back in the nineties and think about how they've changed. And CEOs who come and go.

JJ : Totally, was what I was going to say is that leaders, you know, one of the things that I'm proud about the book is that it's immediately applicable by anyone in an organization. So you don't have to have a degree in change or, an OD or change management. I mean, none of this is needed. These levers are what I call uncommon wisdom. And so here's an example of one of 'em, and I discovered this back when I was working with Kathy, actually, guy Stan Davis wrote a book called ‘Future Perfect’.

And he talked about leading in the future, perfect tense of the verb. So what is that? You know, why are we getting into grammar here? Well hang in there. He said the future perfect tense of the verb is as if something had already happened. So the lever deals with this problem of change being too slow. And I've had clients say, you know, by the time we get this done, it's not even going to be relevant anymore, right?

Because it just takes organizations so long. Well, there's a lever called ‘Think and Act As If The Future Were Now’, which borrows from this Stan Davis. And it says, alright, if we're going to think and act as if the future were now there's a flawed paradigm.

Now this is another one of these. It's free, right? It doesn't cost anything to change your paradigm. So Think And Act As If The Future Were Now says the future, normally we think of something that's going to occur at a later point in time. It's out there. We're separate from it. It's out there and we are living in the present. And so what, think and act is if the future where now says is now reach out, grab some piece of that future and live it today. And a very simple example of a leader in an organization had a new member of their team and they were having trouble getting this person on board. They'd done an exhaustive search, it was a C-suite position, and this person wasn't working out. And the team was coming to the CEO and saying, you know, this person's not working out.

We gotta cut our losses and go out and look again. Now the CEO looked at this, we had a conversation about it and I said, look, there's this lever that we can use called Think and Act as if the future were now, I want you to call this person in and have a conversation as if they were a valuable team member and start to behave with this person and give them assignments and interact with them as if they were a key player. And they brought him in. Of course, this new hire was nervous, right? I mean, getting called on the carpet like this, they knew things weren't working, but they changed the relationship radically in that one conversation. And this person's confidence increased what they were good at, came to the forefront.

And they changed the relationship with not only the CEO but with that entire C-suite team. And by thinking and acting as if the future were out, they started to transform that relationship, which just became an opportunity to start to transform the organization.

So, rather than the future being something that you hope to achieve out there, make it happen today and live that future and start to behave as if that future were now. And that accelerates the pace of change. It also as people start to behave differently and you look around to your colleagues left and right, they're starting to behave differently too.

So you get a whole organization thinking and acting as if the future were now you get radical acceleration of any change effort, no matter how complex. So this is another one of those examples. You talked about the paradigm, you talked about the mindset changing. I am absolutely on board with that. And that's what these levers are all about.

LC : I love that lever. And especially when you think about the old OD principle self as an instrument of change, right? And you say to yourself, when you, when you do treat others at their highest standards of being the values of the company, and you invite in their best selves and you live that future. And that's what polarity is about as well, right? Polarity theory with you, Barry, is that you can live the now and future, right? At the same time. And that it just elevates people.

Catalytic Learning: Igniting Change Through Action And Accountability (20:13)

JJ : You know Lou, Kathy used to say, call forth people's greatness. And that we are all looking for that opportunity. There Is a lever that's called, find opportunities for people to make a meaningful difference. So when you're changing their unique opportunities to create a collective future. So look at this and engage as many people as you can in this change effort because it calls forth their greatness. It's an invitation for them to step up and be accountable and responsible for it. But also, you look to me as a valuable contributor, I'm going to tend to contribute in valuable ways.

LC : There's no doubt that's right. [laugh]. You know, you find these opportunities for people to live it and you lead it too. People within companies can lead it right now. So I invite everybody right now, let's choose this from right now. What is one thing you can do today to live a change? You know, your company must live. Whether it's a way that you interact with a customer patient, the front office, whatever it may be that you know needs to happen, go ahead and do it and then treat someone as if they're that person. What would, you know, what would you all want to do for that today? Just one thing today. What's the one thing we could change the world just with that one thing today, aren't you?

JJ : Absolutely. And Lou, I had a client of mine, they're in the virtual reality space, so you know, some cutting edge technology. And this woman said to me, she went into a senior executive team meeting and she introduced this concept. She just explained what it was. And the next day, the chief technical officer came up to her and had a whole list of things that he needed to get on right away because he said, you know, if I'm serious about this future being today, I can't wait to make these things happen. I gotta make 'em happen right here and right now. And so that like bias for action, people talk about it. Well, what this does is it pulls people along with you in a really positive and productive way.

It's exciting to be part of creating the future. And like you said, the listeners can pick one thing and it starts a virtuous cycle. All of a sudden you start doing that, it becomes easier to do the next thing. And it's contagious. It's the kind, I shouldn't say this with the pandemic, but it's the kind of disease you want to catch, right? It's the kind of disease you want to catch.

LC : It is. It's contagious in good ways. Ideas are contagious in good ways. And he can do so much in that moment, right? And when it's, when it's designed, it's heard, it's seen, it's practiced. There's something, my friend Jay Conger, I don't know if you know Jay. Jay from Claremont. And he said to me, Lou, I want you to today cause we were in a session together.

I want you to today invite people to do catalytic learning. So I said, what is that catalytic learning sounds interesting to me. So he said, well, let's take one thing and make sure they do it within three hours of leaving the session [laugh] three hours. And we did. So several left with a new marketing plan, several left with a new sales plan, have different ways of treating customers. All these things that they know they need to do on their list. They start checking it off. I did this, I did this. And the people who don't do catalytic learning lose out. They lose out.

JJ : Yeah. No, it's totally available. And again, I just, I go back to these levers and I say, you can make your future happen faster and more sustainably by pulling these things out. And so if you want to think and act as if the future were now, nobody is in your way. The only thing that's in your way is your paradigm about what's possible. And like said in this, in this chapter, it's like, change your paradigm, transform your organization. It just takes a moment to make a different decision like Jay was talking about with those people. And, you shock yourself with what's possible because well, you haven't seen things that way before. So as soon as you change that paradigm, the other thing is, once you see things through that lens, you can never not see 'em that way again, which is a gift that keeps on giving. It's like those people didn't just benefit that afternoon when they were with you. That paid dividends long into the future, I'm sure.

LC : And that's why it's important to keep checking up, checking in and checking up. Because without that checkup, right? You run the risk of saying, well, we're just going to let it go. We're going to let it go into the sunset, we're going to sunset it, we're going to parking lot it, you know, it's not going to happen. And, we're going to slow roll or think, well maybe we can do that in the future. There's too many obstacles to that. And so, you know, obstacles, barriers, slow rolling, enemies of change.

The Power of Rapid Prototyping: Sailing Towards Success (25:07)

JJ : No, absolutely. And I mean, what you remind me of, one of the things I talked about in the book was rapid prototyping. And I learned about this a lot of years ago. I don't want to tell you how many, but a lot of years ago when I was working with Kathleen, we were working at Ford and rapid prototyping is like a sailboat that's tacking very quickly. So you never get too far off course. And as you rapid prototype, you know, one of the things that Barry said is, you know, if you can make mistakes faster than your competition and use those as learning opportunities, that and is really important, use those as learning opportunities.

What you can do is you leave your competition in the dust because you become a learning organization, but you become a rapid prototyping learning organization. And so this notion, like you're saying, it's like if you're slogging through mud on the way to the finish line, you know, you don't get credit for finishing the race when you're in last place. So I totally agree with you. And this simple notion of packing the sailboat back and forth ensures that you get the shortest distance between two points.

LC : You never come in last that way, right? You keep moving, you keep moving. And attacking is great, I think attacking is a perfect metaphor because you know, it enables you to say, I am. It allows you to say I'm moving forward, right? And you know, we're not coming about completely at 180. We're attacking, you know, we're going to the site, it increases speed, right? And it increases our focus, our desire for that end destination. And we see it, we, maybe we can't see it completely now. Maybe the horizon is in the way and that's okay, right? It's out there because we see it on the map and we're able to say, we know where we're going, we know where we're going and these are the steps we need to take to get there. And let's take 'em, let's stop this. This whole part of staying in the Galleys, so much you can do by staying in the Galley [laugh].

Embracing Trouble: Unleashing the Power of Contrarian Thinking (27:12)

JJ : Well, and, here's the story for me on this. Attacking is a lot of times who tells you, right, that it's time to attack. And often it's what get called troublemakers in organizations.

These are the people who see the world differently. And if you ignore them, I think you do it in your peril. Because my version of troublemaker, and we wrote this in this other book behind me called ‘You Don't Have To Do It Alone’, is we said, troublemaking is in the eye of the beholder. And so one of the things I talk about are four magic words in this book. And the four magic words are, ‘could you say more’? And what they do is they're an invitation to people in the organization to step up and contribute.

And you know, one story about this, but there's a group, two roles in a very large, this was a food manufacturer. But in the morning, these two roles, we thought they would had a great conversation and the leaders agreed on this. We had a design team, right? One of these planning teams that maps out the agenda and helps us think through things. One of the things I learned from Kathy. So at lunch we were there, everybody thought that we were right on schedule except one person. And she's like, I don't believe people are being honest with each other. Now it would've been easy to just dismiss her. I mean, everybody was feeling good except for her. And you know, what's wrong with her? Why isn't she with the program? Obviously she caused trouble the whole time we were trying to plan this thing. But we said, could you say more? And she started to go through examples at her table that led her to this conclusion.

We came back after lunch and we said to the group, we said, all right, we want to make sure that we are being the smartest we can about how to accelerate change in this relationship. So we didn't talk about her issue, but we said, what is one thing that you can do that's going to make a difference this afternoon? Like you were saying with J Congress, immediately, what can we do differently this afternoon that's going to accelerate change in this relationship? Two thirds of these table groups of eight came back with the exact same answer. We could tell each other the truth. I mean, she nailed it right on the head and people were BS-ing each other. And so we said to him, he said, well, what do you want to do about that in the afternoon? Again, like you said, you know, it's gotta be their choice, not me.

I can't force them to do anything. And they said, we'll speak the truth, we'll have the difficult conversations we'll take each other on. So the afternoon was in a way, a lot dicier. I mean the volume went up, the conflict went up, the issues came out on the table. But what they did is they told the truth and they made a lot more progress. They got done in one afternoon what would've taken them, you know, months if they were BS-ing each other. And it all came back to this one person saying, I see the world differently. And us not getting carried away with our success, saying, okay, tell us more.

LC : To tell us more. Issue, it's so important, isn't it? Tell us more. It's tell us more truth. Tell us more truth. Truth telling, our own truth. Others truths. Share with us the truth. Truth hurts sometimes truth causes conflict. Sometimes conflict causes even more hurt. That's okay, as long as we get the truth and we hear a lot about psychological safety, how do we feel safe telling truth? Well, part of it is within ourselves. Do I feel safe telling my truth or do I feel like, I don't quite want to be myself, you know, I'm not ready for it Maybe too this, I'm too that we need to let that go as much as we need to let go of the need to be less genuine or disingenuous.

Creating A Truth-Telling Organization: A Formidable Force In The Marketplace (31:27)

JJ : Right. And, sometimes I think we do it for ourselves because we're protecting ourselves. And sometimes people do it for the other guy, right? Or the other woman to be able to say, no, I'm going to protect them. You know, I joke with clients, I say, it all depends on your childhood, whether you're protecting yourself or whether you're protecting the other person.

But in both cases what you're doing is you're saying we're not going to pay attention to reality. Like, I have a piece of a jigsaw puzzle that can help this situation, but I'm going to hold it back. I'm going to keep a secret from everybody else. And I do these videos on LinkedIn, these two minute Jake & Change videos. And one of 'em is, if you have a secret, share it.

And how, like, you know, when we were small children, we usually didn't get affirmed by our parents for keeping secrets. And so the thing is, if you know something, then it's your responsibility to tell somebody. And if you don't know something, it's your responsibility to go ask. Because at the end of the day, and this was one of the things that Kathy used to talk about too, is if it is to be, it's up to me.

And so that personal accountability that you're talking about to be authentic, that's a choice that I get to make every day in every situation. And then either opt in or opt out and you know, here's an ask of everybody to step up because like said, it may be difficult, it may be challenging, may be uncomfortable at the beginning. And yet, boy do you get a better answer at the end. And that starts to feed itself in a virtuous cycle too. And you create a truth telling organization that's a formidable opponent for your competition to deal with out in the marketplace.

LC : If it is to be, it's up to me. I love that that sings so true, right? Because, you know, we can talk all we want, right? People could talk all they want about change and what they think it is important. But if it is to be, it's up to me. You can create that reality like you do in all polarity theory. I'll quote it one more time, right, is that you can create that reality and look back at yourself too, if you kind of look at this polarity in a metaphysical way, right? So I look 20 years ahead and I say, Lou, that's okay, you did that or Lou change that because you could have made that up to be, there's an interesting story I want to tell you. We could, this is kind of over a beer story. I'll say it anyway, it's kind of interesting. Okay? To me, if it's meant to be, it's up to me.

On deck, on drums for the Allman Brothers, 18 years old Hartford Civic Center. The nephew is next to me. I have my drumsticks in my hands ready to go. Last song, guess who went up in that stage? The nephew of the Allman Brothers. Guess who had to go home Me. Now here's the interesting part. It's up to me if it's meant to be. So back then when I was 18, I didn't use these enough.

If we have to fight our way to make our reality a good reality, positive reality of the future, and we're going to give the world something great, cause I would've given the world something great with drumming, probably.

JJ : I'm sure you would've. Absolutely. It's never too late, Lou. It's never too late. These guys are still touring, right? You can, you can get there. Alright, sorry, I'm interrupting now.

LC : Kathy's probably jamming with some of them.

JJ : I'm sure. I'm sure.

LC : So that's what it reminds me of though. It reminds you of looking back to my 18 year old self, and thinking about that opportunity and how things may have changed dramatically for me and knowing that what the 18 year old self was like, right? And, you know, forgiving yourself, letting it go and remembering that, hey look, next time you're up with the Allman Brothers, don't let that nephew get on stage [laughs].

JJ : No, absolutely. Carpe Diem, Seize the day.

LC : Absolutely. Well, Jake Jacobs, it's so good to see you again, author of ‘Leverage Change’. How can we get your book, Jake?

Creating Lasting Impact: Leverage Change for Long-Term Success (35:28)

JJ : Sure. So, you know, any book seller, whether you go to Amazon or you go to Indie Publishing, you can go to my website, you can get it at One of the other things, Lou, that I offer up to folks who are out there listening is if you go to that website,, one of the things that I've got is an ebook that I wrote. It's called, 27 Ways to Achieve Faster, Easier, Better Results Immediately.

So, what I did is I took each of these levers, there's eight of them in the book, and I gave three or four ideas for each lever that are immediate things that you can go do that are going to get you faster, easier, better results.

So for example, one of the things you can do is if you want things to happen faster, then go out and find somebody who's resisting the change and say to 'em, could you tell me more. right? So just find we know who these people are and rather than them having to get hot under the collar and nervous that you know, they're getting put on the spot, you go with an invitation and you say, I really want to understand what it is that is an issue for you about this because I want to care for it. And together with that person, figure out how to care for it. Don't leave it up to that person and don't take full responsibility yourself, but it's a self and other polarity. It's like, as a team, figure out what to do. So that's one example. There are 26 other ones in that booklet that people can go and test it and say, you know, is this stuff for real?

Well, I invite you to go find that ebook and put it into practice. And if you're interested after that, then the book, you can get it at the bookstores, you can get it online. And whether you go to the big behemoth at Amazon or you go to a local indie publisher, it doesn't matter because they'll both have it.

LC : This is great. These are, these are practical. Here he is, That's on the screen. Practical methods of leveraging change that you can use, you can actually use, you could try today. And you know, how important is that? I've got some here too, just put up. I've got some tools and methods and models about how to create your leadership philosophy, leadership styles, and your culture as well with Most Loved Workplace. And for today though, it's about Jake Jacobs consulting and Leverage Change.

So important, so important and, you know, cool things I'm going to check out now in addition to reading your book, I'm going to go check them out because I know that these are really powerful and even one drop of these little, it's like a elixir, a beautiful elixir that you create for companies. Because we can do them now. We can do them now.

JJ : Yeah. And a little bit of leverage because of this concept of leverage and going back to the guy on the wall, a little bit of leverage takes you a long way, which is at the end of the day what the book is about is taking these smart strategic actions that are going to have big payoffs for a long time to come.

LC : Thank you, Jake Jacobs, you said it all. You did great stuff and look out for Jake Jacobs ‘Leverage Change’ and you have Jake, we'll see you soon.

JJ : Thanks so much Lou, appreciate the opportunity.