Getting to Yes, And



Frances Frei

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Kelly has a spirited conversation with Harvard professor Frances Frei about her new book co-written with Anne Morriss, Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader’s Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You.

This is a very unusual leadership book and it reminded me of the improv concept of learning to be others focused.

“Yeah, and having been able to experience the awesome programs that you put on, it just felt like we were born of the same sentiment. It's being other focused and in that focus, it's how to help people achieve greatness. Our job is to be an accelerant of other people.”

I can’t help but see the parallels between what is happening on the streets today and what you present in your book about the need to take radical responsibility for each other.

“You know sometimes we hire people and then it's sink or swim. Like, let's just see who makes it and I'm 180 degrees opposite of that if we bring someone in. Imagine if we took radical responsibility for their success so that it endured in our absence. How much more greatness would occur? And so I do agree with you: we're taking responsibility as a society in ways that are super heartening to me.  Even though they're about devastating things. And I do think radical responsibility is what is what is needed in society and in business.”

I know one of the things that resonated with you about Second City’s work in this area is the idea of making mistakes work for you.

“If you're encountering new things and you're not failing, you're probably not pushing the frontier enough. And we also want to wring out all the learning we can from failure - and Amy Edmundson has done wonderful work on actually whether we should call it failure or not, because it's learning from experience. And what I found going through the improv exercises you did, is that you really operationalize it in a way.”

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