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Listen To The Whispers – How to Be, Do, and Have More Without Giving Up The Success That Got You Here

Dr. Wayne Pernell

Dr. Wayne Pernell

You know about The Whispers, but are you really listening or are you still putting them off for “someday,” a day that isn’t on the calendar? Pursuing what you’re feeling pulled to do puts you in your purpose. Then, when you live aligned in that, you become a leader people can trust because they know what you stand for. From there, listening to those you’re supporting, those following you, that’s the start of Creating a Culture of Caring.

Dr. Wayne Pernell, the President of DynamicLeader, Inc. and recognized as the Exponential Success Coach, holds a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and specializes in executive coaching and leadership development across diverse organizations. He is an esteemed international speaker, a number-one best-selling author, and a highly sought elite mindstate coach. 

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The Interview Transcript

0:01 – Hugh Ballou Greetings, this is Hugh Ballou, founder and president of SynerVision. It’s the synergy of a common vision. Center Vision Leadership Foundation, where we empower leaders who are transforming themselves, their organizations, And people’s lives, and we’re nearing 400 episodes. We have a great guest today. Not like anyone we’ve had before similar topics, but, you know, he’s got some precious stuff to share. Dr Wayne Pernell, welcome to the nonprofit exchange and please spend a couple of minutes and help people a little bit about yourself, your background and why you do the work you’re doing.

0:38 – Dr. Wayne Pernell Hugh, thank you. I think it’s so important that the work you’re doing actually to empower leaders, and that can happen in so many ways. The Dr. Wayne Pernell, the doctory part of Dr. Wayne Pernell is in clinical psychology. And rolling back the clock about 40 years, four decades, I earned my doctorate. And in doing some couples work, a gentleman reached out to me and he said, hey, you know, that thing you did with me and my wife, Can you do that thing you did? Can you do it with me and my vice president?

1:17 – Dr. Wayne Pernell And during the time, I mean, rolling back the clock, if you think about it, I was kind of a kid, just got my PhD, and he’s asking me to do that thing I did in a high levels at the C-suite level in a corporation. And being ambitious and slightly naive, I said, sure, you know, let’s do this thing. And the thing I did that he really wanted was communication. And that is a theme that rolls throughout leadership and leadership empowerment. And It really was. I spent time on teaching them how to communicate together.

1:55 – Dr. Wayne Pernell I spent time on doing working agreements. People disagree, and it’s fine. You’re supposed to. If you had people around you that agreed with you all the time, it would kind of be boring. People disagree. Well, what are the working agreements around disagreement? What are the values? And I started with values with them as well. Do they have similar values? And it’s okay to have some similar values and some that aren’t identical. As long as they match with what the organizational values were.

2:28 – Dr. Wayne Pernell And so I helped them identify communication styles. I helped them have working agreements that allowed them to agree or disagree in a very particular way that was uplifting to both, empowering to both. And I helped them really define their values personally and professionally, so that in living into those values, they created a vision. From that vision, they created a strategy. And I helped with all of that, kind of doing organization development, even before OD was a thing.

3:05 – Dr. Wayne Pernell And along the way, I mean, I began doing focus groups with line staff and middle management, creating communication bridges. Along the way, I ended up working with, it was like, I ended up with, I reached out to and connected with as a path would have it, as a journey would have it, connecting with some major organizations, Schwab, and 3Com, and Whole Foods Market, and AAA, and the list goes on. And so for I’ve 40 been doing leadership development, and management development, and organization development.

3:45 – Dr. Wayne Pernell And really, the bottom line is about Coming back to and we’ll talk about this in a little bit I’m hoping that we’ll come back to who you are and what you value as an individual because when you When you look at what you value People actually end up trusting you more when you’re able to share that and and that’s how you get engagement and that’s how you get loyalty and that’s how you build productivity and profitability, so Wow, that was a that was a broad way of getting to who I am and what I’ve been doing.

4:25 – Multiple Speakers That’s a big deal.

4:26 – Hugh Ballou And you’ve covered a lot of stuff that we would have asked later anyway. Um, it’s, it’s, it’s really, you’re anchored in the same stuff that we teach, duh, you know, relationship, leadership space to relationship, communication space to relationship. And if you’re a nonprofit, people are going to find you in business. They’re going to buy from you. If you have a trusted relationship, And so promoting this, this exchange of ideas is part of relationship and, you know, we don’t, we don’t have to agree with each other, but we can learn from each other.

4:57 – Hugh Ballou So I see people listening to the podcast, those people watching the video. But if you listen to the podcast behind Wayne’s head, or some book covers now. I understand that you have five books and two more on the way. So you have a lot of presence on Amazon and other places with those books. So one of your books, I believe, is called Dynamic Transitions. Now, it seems like there’s a lot of transition going on with all of us. And you just talked about your life as a transition. So talk a little bit more about what’s in that book and why it’s relevant to your topic today, by the way.

5:32 – Hugh Ballou Uh, let me make sure that people understand a topic of this today and you can maybe cover both of these is yes. Listen to the whispers how to be do and have more without giving up the success that got you here.

5:46 – Multiple Speakers Come on.

5:48 – Dr. Wayne Pernell Well, I want to jump back to something you said about relationships, and that actually goes to my first book, which I have props in front of me. I’m holding up Choosing Your Power is my first book. In Choosing Your Power, I talk about certain words to use or not use, both for yourself as well as in the corporate setting. Um as you lift others there’s a key piece in there about relationships and relationship and I I want to bring this back to you because if you break down that word to its latin roots re is again elation is the way things interact and ship is the state of And we often think of relationship as being a very static thing.

6:34 – Dr. Wayne Pernell Oh, I know who that is. That person’s showing up at work again. That person always does this, always does that. If you look at yourself, you go, wow, I’ve grown. Look at me over the past five years or two weeks even. I’ve grown. And I think if you look at relationship, the state of coming together again, then you can acknowledge that the other person might have grown as well. And your job then as a leader is to actually look at where that happened. So, and honor that, and that’s super important.

7:08 – Dr. Wayne Pernell The other book you’ve got, right, you described the three books on a poster behind me. The other book, The Significance Factor, talks about how do we redefine success so that we’re actually living into significance. And then the one you just called out, which I appreciate, is called Dynamic Transitions. This went to Amazon number one on four continents, which I’m super proud of And it ties to listen to the whispers, right? How to be, do and have more without giving up the success that got you here.

7:43 – Dr. Wayne Pernell Now, look, we dynamic transitions, I’ve been in large and small groups and from four to 4,000. And in asking this question, the question is how many of you are in a state of transition? And that is, it could be emotionally, it could be financially, it could be career-wise, it could be relationship-wise, it could be just even in your interests. How many of you are in some form of transition? And it’s really 100% of us, because you’re growing. You are not who you were 20 ago, you’re not who you were five years ago, you’re not who you were yesterday.

8:31 – Dr. Wayne Pernell So really, we are growing and so dynamic transitions is about, look, who have we been? Who are we now? And who do we need to become? And if you think about it, I wanna define this as in our 20s, it’s very often that we’re like, hey, look at me, look what I can do. You know, that’s the twenties. It’s like, I’m, I’m good. I’m strong. I’m potent. I’m out there. It’s like, look at me. And in our thirties, we step into, uh, you know, stability is a really good thing. I want to have something that I’m good at.

9:09 – Dr. Wayne Pernell I want to have something that other people recognize. And I would like to create a, some form of stability. And I’m talking typically, you know, there are those that are like still out there Not wanting that most people in their 30s want some form of stability and that might include a family. It might include homeownership. It is a something that’s consistent and can be counted on. In our forties, right? So twenties, look at me, thirties stability. In our forties, we start to look at, I wonder how to build legacy.

9:44 – Dr. Wayne Pernell And that could be through children. It could be through a business. We are starting to look ahead to the future. And in our fifties, we’re like, well, you know what? I’ve earned adventure and I would like some health. And so things change. And in our 60s, we start to look at combining all of that. Where’s my vitality? What is my stability? What legacy can I build and leave for others? And oh, my gosh, let’s focus on health. Let’s focus on adventure, travel, that kind of thing. So dynamic transitions incorporates all of that.

10:25 – Dr. Wayne Pernell Now, how do you do be and have more. And it’s actually be, do, and have more. And the order is really important. Because if you look at your values over the decades, then what you will see is that your values have changed. Now in the book I talk about having core and peripheral values. And the core values are Things like, well, integrity, honesty, love, family, those are the important things. The peripheral values are, well, look at me, or stability, or, right, those change over time.

11:13 – Dr. Wayne Pernell Like, I really like this car. No, this year I really like this car. And it’s what catches your eye for a different reason. So we know who we’ve been, and we know kind of who we are now, and I think it’s really important to assess that. It’s also important, and most of us don’t do this, we don’t look really far ahead and go, you know what, five years down the road, 10 years down the road, this is what I would like to have in my life. And so who am I now? And if this is what I would like to have in my life, not how do I get it, because that’s second.

11:59 – Dr. Wayne Pernell You make the decision, this is what I would like in my life, and then you go back to, who do I need to become in order to have that in my life? And you start molding from there. So it’s really about how do I carry myself? What decisions, and how would I make decisions if I were at this point in my life? I want to say one more thing and I’ll throw it back to you. And that is, look, very often we set targets for ourselves. Here’s this mountain and I’m going to climb this mountain and when I get there, it’s all going to be great.

12:33 – Dr. Wayne Pernell And then truly when we get there, we go. Why isn’t it as great as I thought it would be? I climbed this mountain and it’s not as great as I thought it would be, why? And it’s because the climb changed you and the journey is supposed to change you. And so that’s why when you look at the values that you have and what you want in your life, what are you going to, how are you going to be? And embody those values, what are you going to do in order to get the things that you will have? And so that’s the encapsulation of dynamic transitions.

13:13 – Dr. Wayne Pernell I usually tell people it’s a really thin book. I usually tell people read it, you know, maybe three to six pages at a time. I have some exercises in there. Do the exercises. Don’t try and get through it all at once. You can. It’s a great airplane read, like you could probably read it in an hour, hour and a half, but don’t like, just take it three to six pages at a time and let it, let it sink in.

13:39 – Hugh Ballou You’re watching the amazing and listening to the way the amazing Dr. Wayne Parnell on the nonprofit exchange. This is Hugh Ballou, host or co-host is a SynerVision board chair and, co-host for this show. I see David is formulating the next question for you, Wayne.

13:58 – David Dunworth Well, Wayne, yeah. The information that you’re sharing is priceless, really. And although I haven’t read Dynamic Transitions, I’m certainly going to. Now, you’re an author. You’ve got five out there, three you’re working on. I’m assuming that you’re a coach and you’re an international speaker, I would imagine. Tell us a little bit about the topics specifically that you speak on.

14:27 – Dr. Wayne Pernell Thank you. That’s great. I am out there as a speaker. Spoken internationally as well. One of my favorites was at Oxford, and that was quite an honor to be walking the halls that Einstein walked as he went there as well, and so many others. My main topics are listen to the whispers, And I want to dive into that more deeply. And the other is creating a culture of caring. And if there’s time, I would love to dive into that, because I think right now, I’ll just give a preview of that. The pandemic gave us a gift of helping to identify our values.

15:15 – Dr. Wayne Pernell What matters to us. And what we found is that the workforce, they’ve pushed back a little bit. I don’t want to show up every day to do the same thing. And what do we want? As team members versus staff or employees, as team members, What do we want in the workforce? So as leaders we need to be looking at The the two f-words is what I call it freedom and flexibility and I call it that because it gets people’s attention. So How do you give more freedom to do their jobs? How do you give more flexibility for them to?

15:57 – Dr. Wayne Pernell For each team member to get what they need in order to do their job. So that’s the culture of caring the the other the other one that I Just I truly love as well and I actually wrote a song called listen listen to the whispers It goes along with the book in process and it is a speaking topic and that is this that We do work so hard to get to where we think we’re supposed to go. We got on a track and maybe went to school because that was part of the track and I We then got into a job, a J-O-B job that was part of the track, and we did what was needed to be done, and along the way we put things aside that mattered to us.

16:46 – Dr. Wayne Pernell And Listen to the Whispers is about how do we, rather than now being shoved or guided by some external supposed-to force, How do we now listen to that thing that’s tugging at our heart and actually pulling? Because that is the true voice, right? That’s the voice that’s so different than all the other voices that we’ve taken on as rules that guide us. You should do this. You need to do that. You’re supposed to do this. Those are other people’s voices that guided us, kept us safe when we were younger.

17:21 – Dr. Wayne Pernell We incorporated all of that as rules in our life. And we’ve lived into that and maybe sacrificed who we are in the process. And so the goal of Listen to the Whispers is recognize that there are things that you could actually do, that your success that got you here, it can be leveraged to get to that. What did you set aside? What is it you really want to be doing? I’ve had clients that I’ve worked with, one of them was, it was as simple as, you know what, I just, I want to be able to spend my weekends the way I want to spend them, and I’d love to have a barbecue.

18:05 – Dr. Wayne Pernell That’s your big wish, is I want to have a barbecue, and it really was. Like, he was on the go so much that he never took time out just for that. And I had another that was, she ran a, still does actually, and this is where you can have what you want without giving up the success. She ran a very profitable and There’s a word that’s escaping me. Professional dental practice. And she was amazing at it. And her whole thing, her goal was, it’s time to get into yoga. And it’s like, how do you get a dentist?

18:53 – Dr. Wayne Pernell She wanted to be certified. She and I worked together. The certification process was 12 weeks. How do you tell a dentist to take three months off of their entrepreneurial journey? And explore that. We worked out a timeline where she could actually take a little bit off. She became a certified yoga instructor and in fact has started a second business doing Ayurvedic health because it became something that was her passion in addition to helping people in her dental practice. So it’s possible.

19:30 – Dr. Wayne Pernell You just have to start to listen and you have to lean in. And the more you do that, the opportunities start to show up for you.

19:38 – Hugh Ballou A very underutilized leadership skill is listening. So, we got a couple of good questions left and I’m going to do they 1 don’t have 1. So. In studying the work of Murray Bowen, psychiatrist, it about differentiate knowing yourself. You know, there’s some themes that are coming here. How do we manage self? That’s a big part of that. But you’re the exponential success coach. So you talk about mind state instead of mindset. Well, you want to give us just a quick overview of what that differentiation is?

20:13 – Dr. Wayne Pernell Yeah, I love Carol Dweck’s work, and I think that the work on mindset is really important. For me, words are exceptionally important, and so what we say to ourselves and how we conceptualize things makes all the difference, because for me, mind state is very fluid. And so to step into a state of I want to operate here, at a higher level, I wish to, I desire to, you choose then to step in and you choose to sustain it. So your mind state is very fluid, which means sometimes we get depleted, sometimes we wind down.

20:55 – Dr. Wayne Pernell Sometimes we just, you know, we burn too much. And it’s like, okay, so what do I need to do to bring my mind state back up? And I think one thing is gratitude. One thing, right? Gratitude. I’m grateful. I start my day with, with thank you. I do. I start my day with those two words every day. Thank you. I get this day, how, and then I start with a question. And I think that’s powerful too. So how do I get to, how do I get to not have something, but how do I get to serve greatly today? And I will tell you that those two things shift my mind state.

21:37 – Dr. Wayne Pernell It doesn’t matter how I’ve slept. It doesn’t matter how I’ve awakened. Those two things make me super perky in the morning. Annoyingly perky actually. And you get to then step into your day the way you want to. And so mind state is very fluid and you just need little prompts along the way to remind yourself you’re in control. You’re in control of how you feel. Not the other way around. You get to choose.

22:06 – David Dunworth Wow, that’s pretty dynamic there, Dr. Wayne. Now, you’re a coach, you’re an author, you’re an international speaker. You’ve done TEDx talks, two of those, and I understand you have over 2 million views. That’s an awful lot of notoriety. I think it’s great. Now, we looked at your website and you’ve got a free weekly blog that you post and a master class that you can offer that’s free.

22:33 – Hugh Ballou Thank you.

22:37 – Multiple Speakers I forget now the name of it.

22:39 – Dr. Wayne Pernell It’s called the Powerful Presence.

22:41 – Multiple Speakers Powerful Presence. That’s right. Yes.

22:44 – Dr. Wayne Pernell Thank you. So Hugh is sliding. If you just slide up just a little bit. So go to Yes. And right under the header where you see my great little picture and a reel that looks like it’s loading. There is a place where you can register for the free, powerful presence. It’s an on-demand masterclass. Runs about 42 minutes. What I do is I take you from declaring your desire. What is it you truly want? And most people don’t ever actually say it out loud. So, define your desire.

23:23 – Dr. Wayne Pernell What is it you want? And then declare it, which is a very bold move. And guess what? When you do that, everything seems to align. And so I take you from desire to destination in this powerful presence masterclass. You can also find my blog, and you can sign up for Wednesdays with Wayne, which is kind of fun. So I’m a fan of alliteration, and you’ll be able to access that as well.

23:53 – David Dunworth Well, that’s great.

23:53 – Multiple Speakers Thank you.

23:54 – Unidentified Speaker Yeah. Super.

23:56 – Hugh Ballou It’s Wayne Pernell, So, Wayne, you’ve covered a lot of stuff in this short interview. So, what do you want to leave people with? A thought, a challenge, an inspiration?

24:12 – Multiple Speakers How do you want to leave this?

24:14 – Dr. Wayne Pernell I think if you recognize that you are in charge of you, you’ve made choices and that your choices actually are in this moment. You can choose what’s on your calendar. You don’t have to wake up and go, oh, no, another day. You’re in charge. And so your choice, your ability, it’s why choosing your power was my first book that I wrote. You get to choose where you stand in the world. And every day, your choice leads you to a different future. And so just to recognize what you’re doing right now, listening to this podcast, Is sharpening your mind so that you can take yourself to the next level and that’s really powerful.

25:02 – Dr. Wayne Pernell That’s really powerful.

25:05 – Hugh Ballou Right now, you’ve been outstanding today. I am I learn every week, but I’ve learned more in the short period of time today than in most weeks. So, David, and I’ve enjoyed interviewing you and thank you so much for being our guest today on the nonprofit exchange.

25:24 – Dr. Wayne Pernell It is such a pleasure. We need to be lifting leadership by being that beacon every single day.

25:29 – Multiple Speakers Thanks for having me here.

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