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Monday Motivation: Overcoming Biases with Lisa Tromba

  1. Monday Motivation: Overcoming Biases with Lisa Tromba Michael D. Levitt 28:57

Quick recap
Michael and Lisa discussed the importance of training and development within organizations, the evolving nature of leadership, and the role of cognitive biases in decision-making. They emphasized the need to create opportunities, manage expectations, and find the right fit when hiring. Lisa shared her motivations for writing her book on understanding and managing leadership biases, and they both stressed the importance of pausing, reflecting, and thinking things through to mitigate potential risks.
Training, Leadership, and Adaptability
Michael expressed his desire to train and develop individuals within his organization, highlighting instances where he had given recommendations that led to improved roles and opportunities. He also emphasized the importance of leadership and ongoing challenges. Lisa, an executive recruiter, joined the conversation, and they discussed the evolving nature of leadership, the importance of adaptability, and the need to utilize available resources. Michael also mentioned the importance of reaching out for help in achieving a common goal.
Leadership Biases in Writing and Decision-Making
Lisa shared her motivations for writing her book, which focused on understanding and managing leadership biases. She highlighted the challenges leaders face, particularly in remote work and the pandemic context, and emphasized the importance of being aware of biases. Lisa and Michael discussed the role of cognitive biases in decision-making, particularly in leadership, and how they can hinder the ability to adapt and process information. They stressed the importance of finding the right fit and managing expectations and highlighted the role of biases in the hiring process.
Creating Opportunities: Healthcare Receptionist’s Journey
Michael shared a story about his experience as a healthcare executive, where he hired a medical receptionist without any healthcare experience. He emphasized that the candidate’s experience in handling difficult situations in a retail setting was seen as a positive. Despite initial concerns from the board and other doctors, the receptionist proved to be highly effective. Later, when a similar opportunity arose at a clinic closer to her home, she was hired and eventually rose through the ranks to run the clinic. Michael emphasized the importance of creating opportunities and the individual’s responsibility to take advantage of them.
Leadership, Bias, and Perspective
Michael and Lisa engaged in a conversation about leadership and overcoming biases. Michael shared an experience where he identified a talent in someone and provided an opportunity for them to thrive, irrespective of traditional checks and biases. Lisa emphasized the importance of first principles in evaluating candidates and stressed the need to step outside of personal biases to help individuals and organizations grow. She recommended the book ‘Range’ by David Epstein, which discusses the importance of having a broader perspective. In the end, Michael asked Lisa about her favorite chapters in her book, to which Lisa responded that specific chapters resonate more because she identifies with some of the biases discussed.
Balancing Intuition and Logic in Leadership
Lisa and Michael discussed the role of intuition and logic in leadership, highlighting the need to balance these biases. Lisa emphasized the potential risks associated with relying solely on intuition without applying logic, suggesting the need for countermeasures such as data analysis and perspective gathering to mitigate these risks. Additionally, Michael shared an anecdote of a successful staff member who was initially doubted but ended up being an asset to the team, underscoring the importance of giving opportunities and considering new ideas.
Bias Recognition and Leadership
Lisa and Michael engaged in a conversation about the importance of recognizing and managing biases, particularly in leadership roles. They emphasized the value of pausing, reflecting, and thinking things through. Lisa also mentioned that her book, which focuses on this topic, is available on Amazon and her business website, which is currently under rebranding. Michael agreed to include these details in the show notes and promised to share the links once the show goes live.


Book:  Mind Knots

“Where did we go wrong?”

This question plagues boardrooms worldwide when leadership fails. Ego, false optimism, overconfidence, risk aversion, and other psychological anchors can hinder a leader’s effectiveness, threatening careers and organizations.

In Mind Knots, executive search expert Lisa Tromba explores the complex cognitive and emotional biases that can cloud even the most experienced executives’ judgment and hinder logical leadership. While these cognitive undercurrents cannot be removed, they can be managed and reframed as transformative strategic advantages. 

Using real-life case studies, Mind Knots offers a novel viewpoint on overcoming biases by embracing them. Tromba offers a practical paradigm for fostering a culture of bias-aware leadership. Learn about processes, finances, mission-based initiatives, and capabilities to help leaders overcome prejudices and blind spots. Develop strategies and organizational models that use cognitive biases to benefit your organization.
Learn to use your past knots to propel you ahead.

Please be sure to guide yourself with Mind Knots.

Author Biography:

Managing partner Lisa Tromba leads Lisa Tromba Associates (LTA) – Executive Search (formerly Luisi Tromba Advisors, of which she was co-founder) and is the founder of Leadership Intelligence Services, LLC. For more than 25 years, Tromba has guided companies from mid-market enterprises to Fortune 100 powerhouses in searching for and selecting their executive leadership.

Today, she caters to lower—to mid-market companies seeking executive leadership. Her high-touch, high-impact, solution-oriented approach includes assessing the impact of psychological bias on leadership.

Tromba is a best-selling author who has spoken on leadership topics to corporate, trade, and academic audiences, including Executive MBA participants and “rising leaders” whom she also coached for a Fortune 50 company. Publications featuring her work include Chief Executive Magazine and the AMA Quarterly, and she is referenced in the book From Cinderella to CEO.

Michael Levitt Chief Burnout Officer

Michael D. Levitt is the founder & Chief Burnout Officer of The Breakfast Leadership Network, a San Diego and Toronto-based burnout consulting firm. He is a Keynote speaker on The Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting and Burnout. He is the host of the Breakfast Leadership show, a Certified NLP and CBT Therapist, a Fortune 500 consultant, and author of his latest book BURNOUT PROOF.

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