Positivity Strategist Podcast guest Stephan Thieringer is truly a global citizen. From his experiences as an executive and entrepreneur in hospitality, venture capital, tech startups, mergers and acquisitions, he now focuses on leadership and executive development, with a strong emphasis on radical self awareness and values development. His business tag line is “Because Building a better You is Good for Business.”
Radical Self-Awareness and the process of how to arrive there is the focus of my conversation with Stephan Thieringer. It’s a personal innovation story. Stephan talks about the importance of acting versus reacting and the level of awareness that’s required around the decisions we make every day. We are required to make choices, both personal and professional, constantly in all contexts: communications, relationships, finances, priority management etc. Another piece of Stephan’s story is, in fact, the power of “our story” and how we construct it. Does our story support us or does it lead to self sabotage, fueled by limiting or false beliefs?
My guest, Stephan Thieringer’s professional journey includes starts and stops in hospitality, venture capital, tech startups, mergers and acquisitions, and in global education in Australian, South East Asian and North American markets. All these experiences have shaped him. He has been featured in business and education publications such as EduTech, Business Week, the Financial Express, the Hindu Times, NYT, Boston Globe, Times of India, the Wall Street Journal and the Boston Business Journal. He’s also an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty Management & Entrepreneurship, Suffolk University – Sawyer School of Business in Boston.
Stephan has a strong and public voice for innovative thinking about the nexus of business, strategy and education, with a proven track record of making a difference. He received the World Education Award for “visionary leadership in impacting economic development” in 2012.
Stephan’s website is The Human Innovation Garage with a tag line “Because Building a better You is Good for business.” The featured image on his website is the bulldog. Why? For Stephan, the bulldog stands for
“A direct, no bull, and blatantly honest approach”
Stephan: Bulldogs are friendly and warm, and they have and intensity – all of which is needed in our world today.
Stephan practices what he preaches. His own story reveals that one thing had become front and center to own “detriment”. He values transparency and honesty. His personal story is one of self awareness and values development: there came a fork in the road for him. He had to confront who he was in the world: his own values and what he stood for Vs the direction in which the company (Board) was heading. His own integrity and values had him take a big career move.
Self-Awareness and Values Development
Stephan came to a radical self awareness about himself, his gifts, his passions, his value to the world and now makes a living out of what he loves to do.
From his own experience and learnings, he makes it his business now to help leaders (and he has a very clear definition of leadership, as distinct from management. We have a lively conversation about that, perhaps colored by our respective European and Anglo-saxon cultural imprints).
Listen in to our conversation to find out how Stephan helps leaders and teams find what drives their businesses, focus on their own values development, and acknowledge ways they can better manage themselves and communicate more effectively, and also be able to support and inspire each other.
POSITIVITY LENS for this Episode
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Stephan talks about the need to move beyond lip service, especially when it comes to investors talking about “social impact” and the motives of investing in projects and initiatives in the developing world. He fully appreciates the need for follow-though to make a true, sustainable difference in the world.
Stories We Tell Ourselves
As a generalization, we all believe our own bull – we get very serious and intense in defending our own worldview. We become the “unlovable” side of the bulldog! We react or respond to situations from our habits, some of which serve and some don’t.
“Don’t you know who you think I am?” is a question Stephan bamboozles his friends with.
Humility and vulnerability are qualities which great leaders demonstrate with grace and ease. The task of leadership is to be of service and support.
Trust, Fear and Self-Sabotage
“I can’t trust other people” scores high among the inhibitors that impede growth and values development. Micro-managing is a detriment to good performance and developing strong relationships.
Listen to Stephan provide some tips about how you can make some positive changes that will help not only your own performance, but will ripple through relationships and business outcomes.
Truth, Clarity, Honesty
Our conversation around getting people engaged so there are few surprises provides valuable insights. When employees have awareness about their organization’s strategic direction, meaning people are valued as part of the fabric of a business, they become far more accepting of any hard decisions that have to be made – such as changes in areas that impact their own lives.
Hope for a Positive Future
People are our hope for a brighter future. It’s encouraging to hear Stephan’s optimism about the future of business and the world. He celebrates that we are increasingly more open and more accepting of difference. Crowd and cloud intelligence are holding people collectively accountable.