‘Personal Accountability’ With Author, Speaker, & Consultant Linda Galindo
The Destiny Awakening Interviews is a podcast with Andrew Wayfinder and his guests.
Every week we have a short focused interview with an expert, author, speaker designed to bring you powerful insights, inspiration and ways to break free, live life by your vision and values, and make a difference in our changing world.
Listen to the podcast at: https://www.andrewwayfinder.com/blog/DA0036
So hello everyone and a very warm welcome to another edition of the Destiny Awakening Interviews.
I’m Andrew Wayfinder Hryniewicz and I’m joined today by Linda Galindo, Keynote Speaker, Author, Consultant, and Executive Coach.
And a very warm welcome to you, Linda. And where are you hanging out today.
Thank you for the warm welcome. And I’m in Half Moon Bay, California, which is about 40 minutes outside of San Francisco on highway one.
And it’s a very beautiful spot, I used to live there.
So, a former journalist fed up with a lack of accountability in government and business, Linda Galindo is the voice of accountability, and her brand is the “Straight Truth”.
Linda is a fierce advocate for personal accountability. She works by referral only following a rigorous screening process to work directly with leaders and their teams to create accountable organizations.
Her mission is to help others find the courage to see, hear and speak their own truth so they can live fully accountable lives.
Linda is the author of three books: “The 85% Solution”, “Way to Grow” and “Where Winners Live”, and the host of “The No Wiggle Room Podcast.”
Thank you, Linda, for your time today. And the title we’re working with is “Personal Accountability”. And Linda’s going to unpack that idea for us in six questions.
So Linda, the time starts now. The first question is, who is your ideal client, and what’s the transformation you help them achieve?
My ideal client is a CEO who is looking for, (more) than a program or training when they’re experiencing accountability issues in their organization.
My ideal client is open to a transformation in their mindset about accountability.
The transformation of mindset is accomplished with a personal exploration of the inside out of their thinking. Completely overhauling their beliefs and attitudes about accountability
It’s moving that CEO from accountability defined as “consequential and scary with fault, blame and guilt after the fact”, to accountability being “upfront ownership for results good or bad”.
So the transformation is in the mindset.
From accountability as scary and punitive and blame... To… It is upfront ownership, and we’re going to answer for our results good or bad without fear, blame or guilt.
Okay, great. So question number two, what’s the biggest challenge they’re facing? What’s been triggering or catalyzing this drive for a different form of accountability?
Lack of results primarily, and what happens when those results are not there. So the finger pointing, and blaming, and excuses.
It’s not understanding how to get accountability as a positive, proactive idea in the organization. One that plays out different than rescue, fixing and saving underperformance.
It’s talking about, rather than to. Having meetings after the meeting that spin us out and away from what we agree to when we were together.
There’s all these unconscious, unintentional behaviors that erode a foundation of accountability that was intended… and everyone thinks it’s everyone else.
And then we reward not being accountable, more than being accountable.
And so those things have to fundamentally change but they do not change without awareness.
Okay, so what’s the number one insight you would share with the audience if they’re in a similar situation?
The number one insight I would share, to help a CEO with accountability issues right now, is be willing to go looking for your “Accountability Blind Spot” where it makes you easy to manipulate.
So often, a CEO faces his big challenge. And the challenge is what they see in the mirror. And so they eliminate mirrors!
They often don’t get an accurate reflection of the straight truth about themselves, as the cause of the accountability issues they’re experiencing.
Everyone else can see it. They are not accountable, and they reward not being accountable more than being accountable. So, who’s going to tell their leader that?
“Leader, you’re the problem, quit looking for trainings and programs to get everyone else to be accountable”. You, the CEO, are not being accountable, more than being accountable. Everyone can see it, but you can’t because you’re in it.
So go looking for the blind spot that you have, that makes you easy to manipulate.
You’re easy to manipulate if you want to be liked more than you want to be effective… if you want to be right more than you want to be effective. If “I want to keep my job more than I want to do my job”.
So I tell the board what it wants to hear. I rescue, fix, and save under performance to meet the numbers. I’m not holding top producers accountable to requirements. As if there are exceptions in a tradeoff that says, “Hey, create hostile work environment, lack or attention”.
But it is an exchange for the short term bottom line. And I’ll hide the wreckage of the long term lack of accountability in the culture and let it be “someone else’s problem”.
So that insights got to be personal and transformational.
That’s really striking because a lot of the people I work with, I think, report to the people you work with.
And I hear the other side of what they have to put up with in the daily grind and hustle.
And you know, they’re doing their best to keep the company going and the projects thriving. And the language is one thing, but the behavior and the support is completely different.
Yes. That’s so exactingly true. And so I walk into a situation like that and say, “Okay, big timeout. CEO, you are the problem. This 100% is emanating from you”.
And what I’ve learned in the many years I’ve been doing this is it’s always the leader. It’s always the leader and people just trying to bubblegum, and scotch tape and behave...
The stated-unstated culture at the same time. It’s crazy making. It’s why people leave corporations in droves.
They’d rather take the risk of being an entrepreneur, and completely and utterly failing than spending my energy in this. Because no amount of money anymore is appealing to people to stay in that kind of thing.
Yeah. That’s the thing that was most striking when I first started working with corporate clients is, how much like the court of Louis the 14th it is.
Right, I agree with you completely.
Okay, so question number four. In your own development, what was a standout concept, book, program, talk, experience that made the biggest difference?
The concept, the book, the program, the kind of the concept that made the biggest difference and continues to, it’s a continuing practice for me. It is “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle.
It’s been the most impactful to me personally. I made it a practice to listen to that book. All my airplane rides, like I just put it on. And the first time I heard it is like, “I didn’t even get a 1% of that… What was that?”
And it would do things like, relax me and put me to sleep and engage me. And over and over and over again, I was just intrigued by this idea that I wanted to internalize.
And it was a concept that had a lot of layers, of being in the moment, detached, and have intention, all at the same time. So what I then began to see is that “A real leader is a good listener in the present, in the now, not the past, not the future. Now.”
So an effective leader speaks to what they ‘hear’, not what people ‘Say’, and acts accordingly.
And so, just over and over and over again, internalizing that, and then I would be able to address pain.
“Let’s talk about what’s going on. So, you know, we’re not hitting our numbers, people are finger pointing and blaming. Well, we need a leader right now.”
And maybe you’re saying, “Well, that’s just a facilitator of the interpersonal aspects, the soft skills of leadership.”
It’s a little more than that to me, watching a really good leader. And I have several that I work with now who become very present and start paying attention to what they’re hearing, not what people are saying, and addressing it.
So “The Power of Now” really internalized that for me, and I experienced the outcomes of it as a personal practice and way of being all the time.
I can cut to the chase. I can reveal the straight truth. I can surface the problem and solve pretty much anything with personal accountability.
When “Personal Accountability” is defined as a mindset of ownership for the result, we’re looking for good or bad — without fear, blame or guilt.
You can just get there.
In the present, without all that drama and stuff going on. And it has this whole sense of valuing humans, and being empathetic to the pain, or the frustration, or whatever they’re experiencing at the same time.
Great. I agree. I remember the first time I read it… on the one hand, he wasn’t saying anything new. I’d read a lot of spiritual texts and the classics. But it was coming from a place where it was a lived experience. So the writing was alive.
Yeah, and, interestingly, I didn’t find it the most well written book I ever read. But for some reason, it just grabbed me from a challenge standpoint… What would it be like?
And people often attribute what I come up with… Like I can just come out with it, and say, “I think of the little boy and the emperor’s new clothes”. And I’ll say “You’re naked”.
So what’s the problem? I don’t understand why everybody’s running around telling you, you have beautiful clothes on.
I was so detached from not being mean, and even the word “direct”, it was more…
If you just say what it is, and tell the truth and your intention is right. Everything starts to free up. It’s really a remarkable practice.
And I think people, many, many people have this skill. And they just figured out a way, a context, a tool to get there with it.
And CEOs who trust me, because when you’re going to be that straight with the truth, you’re naked. They have to be vulnerable. They have to not feel judged. They have to feel safe, all those things.
And so, I truly, all I want for anybody that works with me is for them to be successful. That’s all I want. But they have to be clear what that is.
And sometimes they’re lying to themselves quite deeply. And until they expose that truth, they can’t get there.
Okay, so question number five is, what free resource would you like to share with the audience to help them?
And I think what we have is, if we go to your website, lindagalindo.com. There’s a lot of things there, right?
Yes, and the two most powerful tools that I would invite people to use are “Clear Agreement” and “Defining Success”.
And they are in my web site, lindagalindo.com/blog. With clarity and accountability using the clear agreement.
It’s almost magical, how many people over the 25 years I’ve been doing this work, tell me, “That was a game changer, get clear”.
“I’ve been blaming my Boss, my Leader, my CEO, for not being clear, why can’t I just walk in with this and say, let’s get clear?”
But it absolute puts you on the dime for accountability.
So clarity is directly related to being accountable. And if you put it up front, you’re going to be… you’ll win every time… less stress… productive… job satisfied. So that’s the first.
And the second is my mantra that: “You’re fooling yourself, if you think you are going to be successful, and totally accountable for your success at work, if you don’t define success for yourself.”
So the biggest misstep I see, over and over and over, is a lack of definition of success to be accountable to, for the person individually.
So goals, yes, but that’s different. Lots of people hit the goals, but they don’t feel successful. So defining success transforms that.
But it requires courage and support from someone committed to your definition of success doesn’t hurt either. And this whole vulnerability about being very clear and truthful about what success is guarantees you will be successful.
Okay, great. And so those will be in the show notes.
So question number six. What should I have asked you that I didn’t?
How did we get in this model with accountability as a white hot topic in today’s world?
And my answer to that, because when I tell people what I do, they’re constantly saying “I know someone who really needs this…” I know, you know someone like this. Well, at the end of the day, all of us are complicit.
Have you ever thought to yourself, “I need to go hold that person accountable, but it’s just easier to do it myself?”
We do it with our kids… we do it with our managers… we do with employees that are difficult. But what that does is it rewards not being accountable, more than being accountable.
And we treat people like they’re not capable and able. So, you know, how do we get in this model?
Treat people like they’re capable and able. They can be accountable, we might have to take more time, be more clear.
We do some things because we weren’t clear. But we listen to excuses and stories, rather than expect reasons and learning.
So people can learn what I did, what I learned, what I’ll do differently in the future, how I’m accountable. All the cheaters, and liars, and fraudsters have figured it out. It’s unethical, it’s immoral, it’s awful, but it’s not illegal.
So if you don’t have consequences in the small stuff, personal integrity, a moral standard, ethics, then you have to get caught. Accountability where you’re in legal trouble.
And even then, years can go by and with more of the same, because no laws change and the cheaters get rich. So this is outside that context completely… hundred percent.
Anybody say Bernie Madoff? And the clue was in the name
So true, and you know, we can point to those things.
But I tell people all the time, “Tell me your experience. If you have 100% personal accountability available to you, to be successful, have you defined success? And do you define accountability as ownership for results, good or bad, without fault, blame or guilt.”
That single transformational way of looking at things at the leadership level changes everything. And I have the privilege of working with some really amazing leaders who have done the introspection and move their culture there.
That’s great. Linda, thanks so much for your time today.
My privilege. Thank you.