Dia Bondi 00:19
Hey, this is Lead With Who You Are. I'm Dia Bondi, and on this show, we're exploring and discovering and unpacking and playing with the idea of what it means to lead with who you are. And we're doing it with folks who do that themselves. And folks who help us do that, too. Today we have with us, Joanna Bloor, who helps folks literally lead with who they are. She's all about getting clarity on what it is you want to offer to the world and making sure that those who are buying what you're selling are doing it with intention. Joanna says, make sure that what you're wanting for is what you want to be wanted for. And when you do that, you are in fact leading with who you are. Let's go. You can ask for more and get it if you ask like an auctioneer, the book, Ask Like An Auctioneer: How To Ask For More and Get It is coming soon. So go to asklikeanauctioneer.com and get on the list for pre orders now. In the book, you'll learn the power of asking big the one idea that holds us back from asking for more and getting it and the nine ideas I learned from the auctioneering stage that you can use as strategies to help you step into every ask with courage and conviction. Get on the preorder list now for preorder bonuses, again, go to asklikeanauctioneer.com now. Hey, just a quick reminder, you can subscribe to this show on your podcast platform of choice. We're live nearly everywhere and you can always listen to the show at diabondi.com. If there's a leader or innovator in your life, who was it their shiniest when they lead with who they truly are, Please share the show with them. And rate subscribe and leave us a review makes a huge difference in the reach that the show has when you let everyone else know what you love about the show. Thanks so much. Joanna Bloor is a potential guest who has transformed 1000s of lives worldwide, a former Silicon Valley executive TED speaker and trusted advisor to leaders. She's been described as a glittering buzzsaw that cuts right through the workplace bullshit. Her work is all around future focused leadership, and building experiences that bring teams into the future. Joanna's upcoming book, Tales of Potential: The Cinderella Story You Haven't Heard, flips the script on a famous and underestimated fairy tale ingenue to reveal real life success lessons hidden in plain sight. Joanna, so nice to have you. Joana you say when you pitch a project or go on an interview, when you hire onboard a team, you position yourself to sell or buy a person's potential, and to make the ideas their idea, their ideas real. So I'm having you on the show, because actually, a few years ago, I saw you inaction. And when you were giving a session at 3% movement conference, and we finally had a chance to meet, I saw you lead that session where you asked for a volunteer in the room, which I know is something that you're well known for doing and helping them craft a way of speaking about themselves so that they literally lead with who they are. And not just what they're about from like a lowercase A but from what they're really about with an uppercase big capital A. And you've worked with folks in my network as well to help them clarify what they really want and the kind of impact they really want to have, so that they can accelerate a very aligned career and have more success doing it. And I wanted to talk to you about how we can do that, how we can all do that. And we can all lead with who we are. So I'm so happy to have you today on the show.
Joanna Bloor 04:15
I am well I can't believe you knew me way back then. And we have mutual friends. And it's taken this long to get together. Finally and Hurray. I'm very excited.
Dia Bondi 04:25
I know now it's so wonderful. So I want to start with inviting you describe a little bit about what you do, including basic like the format you work privately with folks, you teach your groups law, and what is it when you're doing that work? What are you listening for, and wanting to move with people that you work with.
In the workplace today, We are in essence buying and selling each other's future time. Like literally every single one of us is the CEO and founder of us incorporated and our product is our future time. That's the thing that we all buy and sell from each other. Now, whether there is actually a financial transaction or not, is a whole different story. But literally, that's the only thing. The only time we don't do it, most of the time is if we make another human being, like, if you are a parent to a child, you decided to create a thing that you're going to buy the time forever, and there wasn't really a choice in the matter. Absolutely every single other relationship is somebody going, do I want to hang out with you in the future or not? And I see here with that simple, simple, simple idea of do I want to play with you in the future. And I sit here and I go, well hang on a second, how we today, according to the rules of how you're supposed to do that, how we do that today is an up polling process. Like it blows my mind, how badly we actually offer up the coolest product on the planet, like literally the coolest product. But we do a better job selling toilet paper than we do selling ourselves. Now. There's a whole bunch of stuff to unpack there as to why. And I'm, I have no doubt like half of the people listening are all like, Sal. So I am not a commodity. And I sit here and I go, Oh, come on, come on, come on. Think about the last person that you met, you were like, Oh, my God, I want to be in their orbit immediately. You bought a tale of potential about that person. All by yourself. I'm like, we are all doing it. And what makes all of the magic happen in the world is when you buy an essence and tailor potential about somebody else. And they buy yours. Like you and I are here today. Because over time, you'll be like, Oh, Joanna, kind of talking about crazy stuff at 3% confidence, doing her thing? Oh, we've now have a mutual friend Christina, who was like, I've seen Joanna do her magic, I experience doing her magic with her, which is brought us today and future shenanigans are happening. So I start there because the How does it work? And what do I do? Starts with the very simple concept of, if you whatever it is you do can make it easier for other people to choose you for who you are and what you're all about. Magic stuff happens. And how we have been taught how to do that. How would we have like what what have we defined success as like all of the framework around it? Is this very us against them? Winner takes all combative framework. Oh, by the way, created by the Industrial Revolution. And actually, when it works, when it's fantastic, where everybody is happy with the product is when it is generous, and collaborative, and optional. And all of the words that do not ....
Joanna Bloor 05:43
and even has maybe has both energy and ease at the same time.
All of the things. So then I sit here and so now you're like okay, so I you are either on Team JoJo on this idea or you are not on Team joda. If you're not on team, Joe, Olga, totally get it you do what you want it you do you. But if you're like, who hang on a second, I want to get better at buying and selling because both sides of the equation matter. That's when I start working with people and I either work with people who are sitting here going either How do I sell myself better? In a generous, collaborative, etcetera, etcetera way, either as an individual or how do you how do I get my team to sell each themselves better? Like this is actually like I do love working with individuals. But gosh, when I get a team of people where I'm like, Oh, we could change you all magic starts starts to happen. Or somebody comes to me and goes, I understand I need to buy better. And I'm actually doing a doing a working session with a company right now. Where literally the head of department was like I don't think I know what I'm buying. Because most people especially if you're a couple of layers away from your team, or like why just I buy them to an air quote, get shit done.
Dia Bondi 09:30
I what I wonder is what you mentioned before when you come across a person who hits you in such a way that says there's so much potential in this human and I want to be part of I want to put a stake in the ground for future time with them near them. They get to have my attention, my heart, my ear. That sometimes hits us not intentionally right like you're sitting in a room and or across a dinner table read our networking event or you come across someone you know But through a mutual friend or whatever, and it's like, Whoa, that really hit me and I want that. But what you're pointing to around how do I be a better buyer is like a more intentional how do I actually architect making the kinds of purchases of people's future time and potential in a way that is very intentional, I'm not waiting for it to hit me, I'm going to pursue it. That's a little different.
Like, how do you intentionally offer up the most fabulous version of your future self to the rest of the world, like the unpacking of that is absolutely massive, which is why while I say like the end game is, by the time you have hung out with me, for as long as you need to hang out with me, you are clear about what it is you want to offer, you are clear about who you want to offer it to. And you are clear about why they are going to care and say yes, and how to get in front of those people. Like you literally have almost a go to market strategy for you. Like, that's the end result. But I come back and say like the very first step in the process for me, and I literally just hung up with a young woman who is going through the experience with me right now, like the first question is, what what do you want? And? Absolutely, it doesn't matter if they are seven or 70. Absolutely. Everybody comes to me first because they're like, oh, no, no, I don't know. I don't know. What am I supposed to want? Tell me tell me what the things are? I'm supposed to well,
Dia Bondi 11:31
how can we, how can we expect other people to, to say yes to something we don't even know what we're offering, or where we at, we sort of outsource that and let other people choose for us what they want from us. And then no one in our lives, careers feel maybe out of control, right? Or controls, maybe not the right world, but adrift or misaligned or right not satisfying lack of fulfillment, blah, blah, blah.
And a lot of people will answer that, well, what do you want? They're like, Oh, follow your passion, or what do you really great at doing? And nobody has any answers to those questions either. And so what I have in my toolkit of toolkits is rubrics and frameworks that help people navigate through that this is why I call myself both a potential list because what I have learned about myself in doing this now for years is I can often see not only the who you could be but the language to describe it really fast. This is why I pull people out of the audience and it's the magic part of it. This is the part of me that everyone goes oh my god, Joanna, you're like the fairy godmother, you come in and you go, tada transform. That's why I call myself that. But I also call I'm like your CRO like, I have been my entire career up until I started doing this for a living because I was like, this is a cool product. And I won't work but my entire career has been selling products and services to people who had no idea what this thing was like my one of my very first jobs was with a small company called CitySearch way back in the day, and literally was selling websites on the internet in 1995. And the entire customer set. couldn't even imagine what the internet was like. today. It's easy. Like today, everybody understands what a website is, in 1995 People like I don't like I don't even understand what you're talking about. Similarly, what is that? Similar to? You know, there's a lot of people out there who were like, I still don't get blockchain, like, please explain polish it like their heads can't actually imagine what it is. I've been doing that for decades. And so the similarly the product of the human time, is a thing that people can't see is a thing that people put frameworks and narrative and language around. Which is why people make weird decisions, really weird decisions about view on the buying side or side, well, on both actually. I look at the whole thing and go the whole both sides of the equation, we are buying and selling literally like with toothpicks, just the most, we are the most boring product ever. And I just go let's not only do we take this amazing product through an appalling process, but we miss the magic in it too. And so I come in with with all sorts of tools to say like, how do you help them think through that? And do us like we have a future design calculator where we use mathematics to help us predict the future.
Dia Bondi 14:44
Predict or define?
Well in, in, in the using of it you start to actually create what you think is your definition. And then using predictive mathematics we're able to go well okay, if all of this is true And here's your guesses about the future. This is your this is your future score against where it is you want to go and what it is you want to do. And then somebody goes, often people go, Oh, that's not actually what I want, I go, Well, then let's go backwards and really redefine what you want for your path. And so it's this kind of product iteration process that we go through.
Dia Bondi 15:22
do you find that people do find at all that, folks, when they start to really get serious about what they want, not from a big, dreamy, lofty horizon, follow my passion, nonspecific, but very, you know, adrenaline oriented type of desires. Like when they start to get really practical about it, do you find that they have like, I'm gonna call them like, gold shame? Do they? Do they like, realize that they wanted something different than they thought? Or do they have a hard time accepting what they want? Because it's different than they thought they were supposed to want?
I'm unpacking all of the questions. The answer to that is I've had reactions across the board. For me, this is the fun part for me, because I'm never quite sure, at the beginning of an adventure with somebody how they are going to react to the experience, even though like and I say this, because literally, I just hung up the phone from somebody. So I have a, somebody who has actually picked three people from their company to go through this experience. And literally, the first call is a conversation about how I'm going to make them do things that feel weird. And helping them understand that they have chosen to step into a place of uncomfortable. Now, I know that throughout this experience, her this person, and I call it the itty bitty shitty committee is gonna do a number on their head, because I'm asking them to completely ignore, not ignore, but reframe rules that they believed were true. And to a whole new frame set. So I have some people who take the frameworks and the conversations and the transformation experience. And, and we give them here's an experiment, you can run, here's how to test this out, adapt, etc. Like we give them lots of we're almost baby, step them into the experience, because for a lot of people, it's kind of terrifying. And I can tell pretty early on whether they're going to be like where they're going to get. And so at the beginning of the experience, we've run a lot of experiments with them to say, like, let's AB test the product, right. And some people jump in the deep end, and they go for it. And they do all sorts of things. And the transformation is fast, and it's amazing. And other people who will barely put their toe in the water. But the truth is, is if I find that they are somebody who aren't ready to jump in the deep end, so to speak, we go down a different path with them. Because well, everybody comes to me, for the transformation experience, comes to the team, whatever everybody comes because they're like, hang on a second, we want to change the current paradigm. How they do that is, and we're like, what is the destination always ends up being really unique to the person. And this is, again, a lot of the things that I believe, I don't think any program or experience should be one size fit all.
Dia Bondi 18:26
So if I've got my I know what I want, I've defined for myself, give me an example of something that feels like clear to you that somebody has arrived at a place that like, yeah, that's a good articulation of a thing to want.
Joanna Bloor 18:41
So when I say what do you want, what do you want to offer? So I'll use somebody that we both nerves. So when one of the folks that came to me early on and said, Well, she actually came to me and said, I want to move she was in LA at the time, I want to move to the Bay Area, because this is where my future husband lives. And I see an opportunity in the technology space to help them tell better stories. She's a really brilliant marketer. And I said, Great, understand, like what success looks like, now let's actually have a conversation at your offer. And I said why? Like, why are we actually here? And she goes, Well, the company I'm with right now doesn't get me a miserable like a board. All there was a bunch, she gets the politics, all the things, you look at a kick and I said, Well, let's actually sit down and have a talk about like, what is your offer? Let's really get clear about the product first, and what it does and why it's awesome and all of that sort of stuff before we start putting together a strategy plan. And so we probably spent that first and again, this depends on the individual but we spent probably three hours talking about the product and having a really deep dive on. What made it unique. What made it valuable. Why that was that way and some of her unique background as into why all of that happened. And, and her current situation?
Dia Bondi 20:07
Is it that you start with a product. So we should all know what we're offering before we define what we want as an outcome of what we offer? Or do we start with what we want?
Joanna Bloor 20:17
The What do you want? And what do you have to offer? And what other people want? And what do they want from you is actually a multi dimensional question, I have yet to see anybody come to me with a clear like, this is what I want, and walk out the other end with like, and I'm on this path, it never, it never happens. Because and I, I'm gonna use the example of the person we were just talking about. At the end of the conversation, I was like, Well, hang on a second. I said, based on everything you're you're talking to me about I said, it is abundantly clear to me that the product you've been trying to sell to your current company, and the thing that they are buying from you are two different things. And no wonder you are miserable.
Dia Bondi 21:03
See your look, you're looking and listening for gaps there. It sounds like yeah,
both it's it's it's sales one on one, like, does what the customer need, and what the selling entity has to offer actually match and in the human world. It's, sadly, if somebody is bored, stuck or scared, it's because it's not matching. And this is why like when you hear like 72% of employees are not happy in their work. That is why like, their narrative around future. Shenanigans is not aligned with what your narrative of their future shenanigans is. And so I sat down and I said to this person, I was like, Look, I said, before you stop selling your product to your current customer, do we want to make sure that they don't want to buy it just as it is. Because if you go out and try to market yourself to a new customer set, who want you for a whole different situation, I said, you currently do not believe in the product, like there was a whole, like, her confidence in actually selling the product of her was completely shocked by this terrible experience that she had. And I said, let's fix that first, before you start marketing to anybody else. Because if you go out and try to sell yourself to people, and you're like, Oh, I hate myself did it and it as I said, No one's gonna believe you. Nobody is gonna believe you.
Joanna Bloor 21:08
It sounds like what you're saying, as soon as it's easy for us to trash the product before testing whether it's actually, because because it didn't work one place or it's not working in one way, it doesn't mean that it needs to be reinvented whole hog, we have to do some experimenting ahead of time to see like, if there's just a mismatch. And if there's a reset, that can happen.
Right. And then you have the other end of the spectrum, like she was miserable. You have the other end of the spectrum, which is actually I would say the majority of the people that I work with, who literally have no idea what it is they have to offer, the thing that they are weirdly and uniquely fantastic at doing is either a so simple for them that it's like breathing, and they're like, but everybody can do this. And I'm like, maybe no, because we all build our own kind of operating system based on our experiences, both personal and professional that actually create the framework about how you think and how you have conversations, and what is your offer and all of that sort of thing. Most people have no idea. How do we even describe it, let alone learn how to learn how to sell it,
Dia Bondi 23:44
the it is the product that you're offering.
Right. And then you then sit here and go, Okay, so now you have let's assume for a second, we've had that kind of initial phase of like, what is the awesome product of you like, what is it you want to buy? Then I sit here and say, like sales, what I want is you have a sales funnel, you have consideration, set, intrigue, desire action, right? That's a very simple sales funnel. In the sales funnel of human beings, we go from consideration set to close, almost immediately. Like let's use hiring as a framework as an example. Like we we sit here and go I'm gonna spend all day all time focusing on my resume and I just sit here and I go, Oh my god, please stop because all that does is get you in the consideration set. And then this interview thing is supposed to be the close and there's no consideration set around. How do you think? How do you think about how your customer takes you through the sales funnel and you know, as an example, like if you're working with a recruiter, their job is to not let is a little bit to make sure you're qualified but their job is actually to pitch you to the hiring manager. This is why they have selected you. Are you giving them language that pitches you? And what I see so consistently is, well, like if I said to anybody, like why are you really good at what you do? The most common answers I get is I'm strategic, I'm creative. I'm really good at connecting the dots and solving problems and fantastic at getting shit done. And I go Boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, because everybody says that. Everybody says that.
Dia Bondi 25:29
So is the is the point to be not boring.
The point is to, no because not every bit like Well, everybody's got a everybody is unique in themselves. And it's not about just having jazzy language. So somebody goes, Oh, you're not boring. It's actually to think through your sales process. Because how your customers buy you, is going to be different based on who they are. How do you intentionally think about how to make it easy for people to choose you using things like product constructs and sales constructs, and even, dare I say, pricing constructs, so that you are bringing the most fabulous version of future you to the table for people to choose. When you do that well, everybody wins.
Dia Bondi 26:22
So if I am bored, stuck and scared, where's the place? I mean, you said that we don't always start with what do you want? There's different plates, sort of different entry points. But if I'm bored, stuck and stuck and scared, what are maybe the two or three questions, I can ask myself to kind of what are the first questions I might ask myself,
I would actually say don't ask yourself any questions is the first thing I would do. Because if you are bored, stuck or scared, the inner critic, the conversation you're having with yourself is already pretty awful. And if it had the answers, you would have already started doing that, because people are also not stupid. If you are bored, stuck and scared, the first thing I always recommend to people is go out and do some product analysis. And yes, can you do it with us totally. And we actually help you facilitate with this, this, but go find people who have bought you in the past. Now, this is probably not your boss, because if you're bored stuff and scared, what they want to buy from you, and what you have to offer are out of sync. That is the fundamental issue. But there are other people, either past bosses, mentors, coaches, I'd actually challenge people to not just do colleagues, because you don't need somebody just to tell you yes, you actually want to talk to people who have shown that they have been ambitious for you. Mm hmm. Right. And it's a nuanced choice. You know, I, who are the people who you think, are the people who are going to fight for you in a room that you're not in? Those people.
Dia Bondi 28:08
So once you found those folks, what am I what am I maybe I'm not asking myself questions, but what am I asking of them?
You then say to them, Look, I'm trying to figure out how to start thinking about the value of my time. you've purchased it in the past, Why was it valuable to you? Now, I will also tell you, the number one answer you will get back is well you were really just really good at getting shit done. Which are all awesome. Because you still need to get your shit done. Because you don't get your shit done. You get fired, right? They will probably come out with first and then you go Thank you. I appreciate that. Because all they are messaging is that they trust you. If somebody says you're really good at getting shit done, they're basically saying, I would keep buying because however you make your magic happen, I want to buy that all day. So awesome. Then you say thank you. That is amazing. But what I'm trying to figure out is like almost what is my operating model for getting shit done? When I was in like when I was being my best self? What questions did you see me asking? How was it I made collaboration easier? What sort of strategic ideas did I bring to the table? And start asking those questions, what you'll find is they will start to give you the language. One of my other favorite questions which will put absolutely everybody back on their heels and give them time to figure out how they want to answer this is you know, I'm known for saying every decision made about you and your opportunities is made in a room that you're not in to kind of freaks everybody out initially. I sit here and I go like the number one question you need to ask that is, well, what did they say? What did they say? Hang on. So you can say to somebody, look, I understand you have been a champion for me in a room that you're not in understanding what you say to other people about the value that I bring to organization would be helpful for me to know.
Dia Bondi 30:14
So we've got we've do this unearthing, we collect all this data, we grabbed the language, and what are we doing with it now? Are we looking for patterns? Are we looking for themes?
Yeah, you're looking for patterns, you're also looking at that information and saying is that what I want to be wanted for.
Dia Bondi 30:34
That's great. Is what people want me for, What I want to be wanted for?
Joanna Bloor 30:39
Dia Bondi 30:40
And then you start to create that good marketplace of alignment between what your offer is and what people want or shopping for, from you.
Joanna Bloor 30:51
Exactly. Beautiful. And that like this is where is what you want to be wanted for what you are wanted for, which sounds like a completely met a sentence is actually the question to get answered, and helping people unpack that, and explore that in a place that safe and curious. And encouraging is is part of the magic that we bring to the entire transformation process.
Dia Bondi 31:18
This is such a beautiful theme, like across the board. And I can imagine there's lots of different ways that we can sort of get more and more clarity. And that was a beautiful destination to be able to even articulate for ourselves what we want to be wanted for right. So as we think about to wrap up, as we're getting to the end of our time, have you think about leading with who we are? What does that phrase, you know, what does it mean for you to lead with who you are in one sentence.
Oh, the clearer you are about who you are and what you have to offer, the easier it is for people to choose you.
Dia Bondi 31:53
Beautiful, beautiful you could put that on a t shirt. Do you wanna if folks want to learn more work with you discover or experience what it is that you offer in the world? Where do they find you?
They can find me at JoannaBloor.com I am probably also most active on LinkedIn because it is the world of work I do. I have an opinion almost every day. So if you are interested in doing that, you can follow me and or sign up for the newsletter there. I also just to shake shit up a little bit just wrote a book called Tales of Potentia: The Cinderella Story You Didn't Hear. And yes, I just said Cinderella because I am the fairy godmother, you will find out all the more things. But if you're like oh my God, I am a little bit bored, stuck and scared, the book is a great place to start. Because I unpack all of the frameworks that we have been taught to be true that are basically nonsense. So it's a bit of a guidebook into how to start thinking about the future you and create your own happily ever after.
Dia Bondi 33:01
Beautiful, I love this. And I can't wait to see a world in which the marketplace of buyers and sellers of time is operating at its absolute peak. Awesome
Joanna Bloor 33:12
Dia Bondi 33:14
Joanna it was so nice to have you with us today.
Joanna Bloor 33:16
Thank you so much for the invitation and I look forward to hearing future episodes of your show.
Dia Bondi 33:22
Lead With Who You Are is a production of Dia Bondi Communications and is scored mixed and produced by Arthur Leon Adams the third. Have a question or an inquiry? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can like share rate and subscribe at Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your favorite shows. Go to diabondi.com for the show notes to find our tools, frameworks, content and programs to help you and your team speak powerfully and lead with who you are.