"It's Not About the Dresser" - Navigating Transitions with Tina Morris

Welcome to today's episode of Uncover the Human! Our guest is Tina Morris, a 20-year veteran of the financial services industry and a leader who excels in planning and organization. Tina brings a rational and analytical approach to both her personal and professional life. However, her biggest challenges in learning have been related to the emotional and psychological aspects of transition. With her unique perspective, Tina shares valuable insights on how to approach and navigate personal, career, and inter-company changes and transitions. Tune in to gain valuable advice on overcoming the emotional challenges of change.

Credits: Raechel Sherwood for Original Score Composition.

YouTube Channel: Uncover The Human

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/wearesiamo

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wearesiamo/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WeAreSiamo

Website: https://www.wearesiamo.com/



Alex Cullimore: Hello, Cristina. 

Cristina Amigoni: Hello. Hello. It's Friday as usual. No, it's not. Actually, it's Thursday. Never mind. I don't know what day it is. 

Alex Cullimore: Well, that brings us to our topic, transitions.

Cristina Amigoni: Exactly. I am transitioning from – 

Alex Cullimore: Where the expectations in reality are different. 

Cristina Amigoni: Yes. I am transitioning from being off last week into figuring out what day of the week it is this week. There you go. 

Alex Cullimore: And if you're listening to this when it's first released, it's Wednesday. We've now confused you utterly to go start this. It's time to practice ambiguity and change. 

Cristina Amigoni: Yes. Yes, we did have a wonderful conversation with Tina about transitions, personal, professionals, family, parent, leader, child, dog, dressers. All sorts of transitioning pieces of life around us. 

Alex Cullimore: Yeah. Our new tagline, which I think we should probably just title this episode. It's not about the dresser. You have to figure out what that means.

Cristina Amigoni: It's not about the dresser. Exactly. When there's frustration, and resistance and the world seems to be falling apart, it's not about the dresser. Remember that.

Alex Cullimore: Yeah. Good advice. You'll have to see how it applies in this conversation with Tina Morris. It's all kinds of great little gems here about how to approach, think about change and go through transitions, personal, career, inter-company. All important. All happening all the time. And Tina has some great perspective on it. And she came by to share this with us. 

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, she does. Yes. And we can tell you, it's not about the dresser. And yes, it is about, shockingly enough, human relationships. 

Alex Cullimore: That's got to be a shock to anybody who's listened to this before. 

Cristina Amigoni: Yes. We're going to clearly have to change the topic of our podcast because that was a whole new thing that we found out that human relationships are really what matters in transition, change and ambiguity. 

Alex Cullimore: Oh, no. Our approach. What will we do? 

Cristina Amigoni: Enjoy. We clearly did. 

Alex Cullimore: With that being said, please enjoy. Welcome to Uncover the Human where every conversation revolves around enhancing all the connections in our lives. 

Cristina Amigoni: Whether that's with our families, co-workers or even ourselves. 

Alex Cullimore: When we can be our authentic selves, magic happens.

Cristina Amigoni: This is Cristina Amigoni. 

Alex Cullimore: And this is Alex Cullimore. Let’s dive in.

Cristina Amigoni: Let’s dive in. 

Authenticity means freedom.”

“Authenticity means going with your gut.”

“Authenticity is bringing 100% of yourself not just the parts you think people want to see, but all of you.”

“Being authentic means that you have integrity to yourself.”

“It's the way our intuition is whispering something deep-rooted and true.”

“Authenticity is when you truly know yourself. You remember and connect to who you were before others told you who you should be.”

“It's transparency, relatability. No frills. No makeup. Just being.”

Alex Cullimore: Welcome back to this episode of Uncover the Human. Today we are joined with our guest, Tina Morris. Welcome to the podcast, Tina.

Tina Morris: Thanks, Alex and Cristina. I'm so happy to be here today.

Cristina Amigoni: So excited to have you. 

Alex Cullimore: Let's give the audience a little context. What is your story? What brought you here? 

Tina Morris: Sure. Well, I'll start by just saying that I'm a recent transplant to the Denver metro area. And it's lovely to be part of this community. And I'm so happy to be part of your community. Thanks for inviting me. But I am a 20-year veteran of financial services. I live in New York, on the East Coast, for most of my life. And took a non-traditional path into financial services where I started at West Point and the military. And then just had a tremendous time leading teams, credit analytics, businesses, transformations of data and operations organizations throughout my 20 years on the East Coast and in financial services. And my proudest moments are in fact taking on bold transformation goals and building and working with great teams. I'm happy to be here to talk a little bit about all that today. 

Cristina Amigoni: That's wonderful. We love to have you. It's kind of funny when you were talking about being a transplant and joining the Denver metro community. And then ours, I had this like vision of us being like Ellis Island of Colorado where it's like you come in and you stop by Uncover the Human. And then you go off and have your life.

Tina Morris: Yeah. It feels like there's a lot of transplants in the Denver area. 

Cristina Amigoni: There are. 

Alex Cullimore: There you are, a city of transplants now. Now going around in Ubers and stuff. If I tell people I'm from Colorado originally, everybody's like, "Really? That's so rare." 

Tina Morris: Yes. 

Alex Cullimore: We're excited to have you and talk a little bit about transformations and talk a little bit about just personal and large transformations. What's the recent transformation in your life that you feel like is maybe moving is the transformation? What's so prescient? 

Tina Morris: It's interesting because – well, I'll start by saying I am a very rational, analytical person. As a leader, as a mom, as a wife. You name it. And in my life, as a daughter, that's sort of my thinking style. Whether it'd be in personal life transformation. I can always use my move from New York to Denver as my most recent transition and transformation in my personal life. But also, in professional life. I can make a plan. I am an expert planner. And Cristina, I think in one of your previous podcasts, and Alex, you talked about sort of the science part of change. And so, as the science part of transformation change, I am an A+. On planning and strategy. I love to do all that. But I think for my biggest learning both personally and professionally around transitions has been more of the emotional psychological journey around that. And as a rational logical thinker, that takes a little bit of reflection time and hands-on learning around it. I have recently sort of built an awareness for myself while I've experienced a lot of change engine transformation and I've always leaned into it. I'm now at the point in life where I like to deconstruct it a bit and think about that transition changes a situation. Like move to Colorado. That's a change moment. But the transition is a psychological journey. And that's what I would maybe love to deep dive into a little bit is sort of these phases of that psychological journey for employees, for your kids, for yourself as you break down how you really go about unlocking what you want the value of that change at the end of the day. Because if you don't do the transition well, the change likely may not happen the way you want it to. Or you might not realize what you're really trying to get out of the change. 

Cristina Amigoni: That's very, very well said. The transition part is very often forgotten/purposely forgotten almost. We all know it happens. But we don't like to talk about it because it's hard. And we don't know how to do it. And it never really gets easier. It just has to happen. It's a very easy piece. Especially when looking at organizations, everything is changed all the time. Change is not an event that only happens when you have some big project name attached to it. There's change on a daily basis. And so, if we get used to the transition piece and not worry about the change event declaration as much, then we can get more agile.

Tina Morris: Yeah. Cristina, with that, like I said, I've done a lot of reflection on this as I've had my good, bad and ugly experiences around changing. Again, both personally and professionally. And I think for me, one of the big learning moments is – and there's a lot of ways to say it. But I call it sort of change readiness. Or it's sort of letting go of the old ways. I know I've shared with you both sort of a cartoon that I really love that sort of captures it. And it's got like a person with like all these huge bags. You know when you over-pack for a vacation and you're kind of dragging everything with you as you get out of the car to get into the airport? Sort of that's like the past or the old state. And you got too much. And then you're trying to move toward a simpler, new change moment. Whatever that might be. Again, personally or professionally. And the cartoon has the person at the next point, the next milestone, with only one or two bags and been able to shed the baggage. And that is like this first step of the transition process is letting go. And I think as a leader, I've learned like how important empathy, and understanding and connection and building trust, all of that is part of that change readiness with your teams. As a mom, as like – I have two young kids. And as we move to Denver and we were talking about leaving New York, they had to feel supported and trusted. And they needed that empathy and support of what they feared about letting go of the old before they could even step into the next stage. And I will say I don't think that these are – it's linear. Because you're constantly psychologically dealing with letting go of the old for a while. It's like almost circular. Not linear. But that sort of connection, trust, empathy. And I know on your podcast you talk a lot about this and how important it is. And so, for somebody, again, who's a science rational logical person, I think I've underestimated how critical that first phase is. I don't know what your experiences have been around that. 

Alex Cullimore: I would definitely agree. There's just a huge kind of psychological turmoil that I like your circle metaphor as well because it just goes in repeats and then people find some angle that they – we have a slide we like to show people what we call like the many faces of change resistances. Every version of like surprised, angry, upset, worried, happy. And people go through all of these all the time and just kind of have that continual reaction. And it's hard until you can build some of that trust to be able to say the things that you're afraid of out loud. It can feel like something of like I don't think I have a choice here. But there's still so much fear packed into it that, until you let that go, it's very hard to move on to, "Okay, how do we want to really make this happen?" Instead of just dreading the things we feel like we might lose, or feel like we might wish we still had, or wish we weren't changing? 

Tina Morris: Right. That to your point, Alex, sort of that understanding those fears. And then I think, again, in the professional environment. And Cristina, I know this toggles back to the science part. In one of your earlier podcasts, you talked about it. How do you bring into your plan then or adapt your plan so that you've heard the voices? You understand what the team absolutely feels. Like if you let go of something, you're really going to lose some texture or value of the business. And sort of listening to that in this early readiness phase. That is so important. Because then you – especially if you're a new leader. Because you may not know that you might be throwing out the baby with the bath water if you just sort of get rid of everything. So that listening – and I think that's part of building the trust early on in change efforts and transitions. And then knowing what you – what's the continuity moment? Because especially when there's ambiguity and how you get to the next change – into that change state, anchoring in some continuity can be really important. I know even just in the personal side of change too, sometimes the ambiguity gets too large and you're like, "Okay, what can my kids feel isn't changing? Well, the dogs are with us." You know? They have all their same bedroom furniture. So they won't have to worry about new furniture. It's little things that might really speak to them on the continuity side. 

Cristina Amigoni: That's a great point about the combination of ambiguity within the change. Because change does create a whole new level of ambiguity, you know? Knowing how to navigate ambiguity, it's crucial to actually being able to go through those transitions and change. And I like what you said on what are the anchors? So, figure out. In the ambiguity, what anchors do you need to be able to face the unknown? And it doesn't have to be big. It could be the dogs are still with us. Your furniture is still the same. It's just those little things. And it's like what can we attach to so that the rest can be dealt with as unknown and it's okay? We can face that. That's a big thing. And having those conversations and making those connections and establishing that trust, it's crucial. That's why I change – and I'm sure we talk about it in our podcasts about leading change and how the change itself, the announcement itself, it's like the ceremony of the wedding day. There's like 95% of the work to get there, it's done beforehand. And so – especially in organizations, that's when sometimes it's forgotten. It's forgotten that's like the work doesn't start when you announce the change. If you wanted to be successful, the transition work starts way before that.

Tina Morris: Yeah, absolutely. One of the transformations I was working on when I was sort of back in financial services was interesting, again, because I expressed that I'm a really good planner and also like results. I can tend to sort of drive pretty quickly and be like, "Oh, yeah, we need to get that result and we need to make sure that this is the plan. This is a way to do it." I think it goes back to my army days. You had to have a plan that you started with. You can always adjust. But you need a plan. But what I quickly realized especially with – and I always think this is so important sort of your – and I know you've talked about this as well, like your different layers of leaders, is sort of – and we talked about before. Like how ready are they? Are they bought in to ultimately where you're going? And I literally had somebody say, "On the Tina bus, where is it going?" You know? Where is the bus going? Because I'm on the bus with you. Where is it going? And just slowing down to spend that time with your leaders at all different layers of the organization to sort of co-create. And from what you've learned about the business, the customers, the team, where are you all going together? And then like we talked about, your plan, you don't want to be too clinical. You want to make sure you're bringing in the best of the old while you're integrating the new pieces. And that gets me to sort of another big aha moment that I've had. And again, both personally and professionally, I could talk about examples, which is really like as you kind of get into the second phase of the transition, it's sort of the no man's land. It's like, "Okay, we're starting to execute the plan. You haven't kind of gotten the change yet." In my moving example, you put the house on the market and you've started to look at schools. And you talked to moving companies. But you haven't done the move yet or whatever the example is in the work transformation or change. And that's such a scary time. And sort of like how do you keep the team motivated? The word that keeps coming up for me is courage. For leaders, courage. For parents, courage is the word. Because you have to keep that strength of conviction and grit. And then also structure to help people kind of keep coming along. And the third thing I'd say would be, again, learning the hard way, is just how do you keep adapting and learning? Because you want people to be creative and Innovative as they're learning and going through the change. How do you keep that culture? So that, again, people are owning where they're going to land in the final state, the end state, the future state. I'd be interested in your experiences and sort of the in-between stage before you achieve the transition, the full transition and change. 

Alex Cullimore: You hit the nail on the head on that one. There's a lot of making sure people understand where they're going to land. And then there's that point. To your point, Cristina, building like the whole plan is kind of before the weddings. Then you hit the place where everybody hits that. And now the change is becoming real. It's becoming the actual – it's starting to take shape. And I think that co-creation portion is important too because you have to do a lot of planning. Try and figure out how many gaps you have in your initial plan. Try and bring in enough people that will help you fill those gaps. And know that, even then, even when you have enough and you think you're thinking of it set, it's going to be a process of co-creation in that no man's land. You're going to have to go back and revisit and be like, “Oh, wow. We forgot that. We missed this part. And we didn't realize that was happening. That just hasn't been on our radar." Or nobody knew that that was a part of the current workflow. And so, you end up like going back and figuring out, "Okay. So then, how do we adjust the home plan?" And the more you can get people on board with what the overall goal is, the better decisions they can make towards that end, which requires them backing up even further to be bought into that being the right end goal. Or enough so that they will commit to it. 

Tina Morris: I would find it so interesting to sort of – again, being a numbers person. I wonder what percentage of plans really change from like the first phase and the transition starting and like when the change actually goes in? How much really does the plan have to evolve and adapt? I would think it's pretty high.

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. I would say from overall of number of plans that change, 100%. I would say 100% of plans change. I would be shocked if there's any plan, personal or professional, where everything that's on paper happens exactly like it was on paper. 

Alex Cullimore: We really planned that one perfectly. 

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. And then the percentage of how much of the plan changes. Yeah, that probably – my guess is that it's pretty high. And it's okay. It's not bad planning. It's just the reality is always different. We call the movers. And we put the house on the market. And then we look at the house and we plan on how to put the furniture. And then you move in and you're like, "Oh, I can't fit the dresser through the door. That wasn't on the plan. Now I have to take apart the dresser to actually fit it through the door." 

Tina Morris: So true. Well, what's interesting, as you're talking, it reminded me of something I learned in my military days. Because obviously, as you might imagine, in the army, you always have to start – you always start with a plan. And what was always interesting about it is you didn't always have enough information always to sort of feel really confident about your plan. But it was always important to get a plan out there so the rest of the team could start moving forward and getting out there with what they needed to do. They had something called commander's intent. And so, at the beginning of every – they called them operations orders in the army, you had commander's intent. So that if the plan totally fell apart because of enemy situation or weather, you name it, that the subordinate leadership would have that commander's intent and could adapt easily because they understood ultimately where they were supposed to be going. And if they had to rewrite the whole plan, they could. I always thought that was interesting. And sometimes I would test that. I mean, I know corporate life was very different than the military missions we had. But I always like to use that at different times because I thought it was a great way to just think about things differently. The other thing they used to do in the military that I always loved, and I obviously kind of adjusted it to corporate world, was when we were out on big mission, training missions, where we would get evaluated, they would fake kill off the leader and see how the team operated when the leader was not available. So that, as the leader, you were really accountable for how well you trained the rest of your teams to execute when you weren't there. That goes back to the commander's intent. And I'll never forget one exercise we had. It was at a big training center. And we used to wear like laser – it's like laser tags is how they would do it. And you'd light up if you were dead. If you did laser tag. You know how that goes. And I'm sitting on the side of the road with my lasers going on just watching my company sort of continue the mission without me. And a lot of good learnings there as a leader. 

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah.

Alex Cullimore: I think that's a great metaphor. That should be used a lot more in the carbon space about getting the next round of people ready. For one, as leaders, it would then become easier to let go and do things like maybe go on a vacation or something now and then re-trust that everything will go. Might be less high stakes than being killed off in an exercise. But it's still something that has to happen. I like that idea of the commander's intent. And I think it's definitely an important one. It's one we like to start with in the stuff that we do. It's a lot of like, "Okay, what's the main why here?" So everybody knows what we're really aiming for. What are we really going for when you're making random decisions on the ground? Or that dresser doesn't fit through the door? I'm curious from both of you, what your experiences are for – just to extend the moving metaphor. The goal is to move. The goal is to get everything in the house and be settled and be ready to just like live a life in this new place, new house. What happens when you have, let's just say, a kid who ends up not fitting the dresser in and they get entirely stopped? How do you help remind and go back to that intent? And how do you find those moments of resistance and help give it to people who aren't ready to get over the first couple roadblocks? 

Cristina Amigoni: I'll let Tina answer first.

Tina Morris: Well, I go back to – the first thing I'll go back to, and we can stay with the moving analogy, but I think it works well with kind of resistance in a corporate world as well. If there's foundational trust and sort of connection, then it's always an easier moment to have than if there's no trust. In that moment of resistance, so your kid has a tantrum because their dresser didn't fit through the door and they don't know how they're going to put their room together. They have that love and support from you. And I know in the corporate world, not necessary there's love. But there's trust, and connection and support. A feeling of support and empowerment that is like the foundation you need to have. But then I would say – and again, this is rational logical, Tina, who's learned a lot of lessons. It's sort of listening understanding. What is driving their fear moment? What are they telling me? Because it might be that they're actually really upset because they didn't make any friends at school. And that the dresser is just a projected moment because they're dealing with some other hard part of the change. I think that listening moment to really understand why are they having resistant moment at this point. And then I think the third thing is – and I'm always a problem solver. And sometimes that's why I emphasize listening first. Because I sometimes jump right to problem solving. And I always have to really reflect on that and make sure I listen first and then I try to problem solve with them around what do we need to change or do differently? 

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, I would definitely a thousand percent agree with everything Tina said. The listening piece, the picking up the energy. And so, realizing like it's not about the dresser. How do we actually get to a space where we understand where the real frustration is coming from? And that takes patience. Because that takes then reprioritizing time based on whatever our planned script in our head for the day was going to be and realize like I'm going to have to let go of at least a couple of things to actually dig deeper into this. And so, having that intent. I love the commander's intent. Because if you have the intent and the intent is not based on tangible things, but it's based on values and it's based on what's the experience we want to have, then it's easier to like go of, "Well, okay. The dresser doesn't fit. That's all right." What's the intent here? The intent is to set up the room and make you feel comfortable. What's the first thing we can do to do that? Should we put posters up? Do we go out and buy a new alarm clock? What's the intent here? Because the intent is not really about the dresser. The intent is to set up a room that somebody can feel comfortable in. and so, kind of getting to that. And for another metaphor, we just went to New York City with the kids for spring break. One of the biggest ambiguous thing you can do is weather, you know? Especially the weather in New York City, it's a little bit like weather in Colorado. You can look at the forecast the week before and it's sunny for four days. And then the day off, it's like, "Oh, it's going to be snowing for the next three." And so, what happened to the sun? But the adaptability to that is what's the intent of us being here? The intent is for us as a family to do fun things. It's not to go to Central Park on Monday at 10 AM. It's okay if we go to Central Park on Wednesday at 2 PM when the forecast for now it's sunny. And so, what actually happened with my kids is they really wanted to go ice skating. And so, we waited for the sunny day to go ice skating. And we literally got to the Central Park ice skating rink 10 minutes before it closed for the season. Not for the day. Not for the week. For the season. Until next November. And it had been like one of my youngest son had really talked about wanting to ice skate all week. And because of the weather, we couldn't do it until Wednesday. And then we had lunch planned. And so, we're like, "Oh, let's go to lunch." And didn't look at the schedule to see when it was shut down for the season. Poor planning. And so, what do we do? Well, the intent is ice skating. Let's find another ice-skating spot in New York City. 

Tina Morris: Very smart. 

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah. And we found it. And we checked the times. And we checked the openings. And we went and had a blast. Best part of the vacation. And so, I really like the intent. 

Alex Cullimore: Intent really gives you a better idea of fallback plans. If things don't go – right? Well. Okay. But what are we doing that's closest to the intent then? What do we have available to us? How do we move towards that? And I've been doing that a lot. Even this week, we've been going through this leadership development program and we've had this kind of assessment we've been giving people. And there's a script. Script to brief that you go through. But it's not really what we're following at this point. Occasionally you go through us to a certain point and they seem like they get parts of that and they really want to talk about something else. So you can either hold on to a vice grip of getting through the agenda you had or you can let that go and be like, "Hey, it really feels like we need to talk about this. Let's unpack that one. Let's venture into that." Because that's going with the whole intent is personal development and reflection time. If that's what we're going into the intention with, not just burning through the exact script, you have a better chance of adjusting for, "Hey, this seems more important to go jump to now." 

Tina Morris: I think this is such an important point. And Cristina, I love how you brought it back to sort of the dresser and the bedroom analogy. Because it brings it to life in a very powerful way. And I think about something similarly in the sort of business world about – like let's say you're doing product development on a new enhancement for something your customer is going to be using. And I've had this experience, everyone works so hard on it. And you're really excited because you hit the date, and you're in budget, and you roll it out and the customer doesn't like it. And so, it goes back to sort of like you met all these internal milestones. You hit the date. It's sort of in budget. But the customer doesn't like it. And that's the real intent there, is the customer experience around this aspect of the product. And so, you have to dial it back. You got to pull it back and rework it. And you can't let the team get down about that. Because the first feeling people are going to have is like the moment with the dresser and the door jammed. And be like, "Why won't it go in? We've worked so hard." And sort of to keep their motivation, you'd be like, "No, the intent is out here." And we didn't need that intent yet. So let's go back. Let's figure it out. And so, that's why it is such a powerful thought and part of how you can frame it. 

Cristina Amigoni: When you think of personal transitions, like moving to a new state and finding new careers. And career transitions are a whole other podcast topic for sure. But yeah, how have you experienced finding that intent? Because again, with career transitions, for example, we have the dream job or the dream company. And then we either – they don't have an opening. We interview. We don't get it. Like something does not go as planned for career transitions. Or we have a promotion and we don't get it. Or we're about to get it, we were promised, and then the organization restructures and you're like, "And there it goes." 

Tina Morris: Right. 

Cristina Amigoni: How can we use some of these to figure out what is the intent in personal transitions that we can anchor to? 

Tina Morris: And as you said, I've had a lot of experience with this recently. And I will start by just saying it's hard. It's hard. And having courage and grit around it and knowing – and it goes back to I think some of the similar principles. Knowing yourself and what you're looking for kind of down the road is really important. I had a friend who was – and I we're talking about sort of career transitions. And he said to me, "If we have lunch together 10 years from now, what will you be doing?" And I thought that was such an excellent way to frame it. Because it made it real. And I honestly could see myself today having lunch with him and what was I going to say to him? What was I doing? What were my kids doing? What was my life? What was I spending my time professionally? Personally? And so, I think that goes right back to, in your mind, do you have that sort of general path? And I call it a path. I don't call it like a specific road. It's not necessarily Highway 86 or 25. It's a path that you generally know the flow of and where you want to be. But then I would say the second piece would be the learning agility and the curiosity to be exploring so that you give yourself some room to learn, and grow and challenge maybe some of your notions that you might be coming into the process with to see if you really can land where you want to be. I guess I would pair it and just say it's sort of that combination of having a good direction on the path. But then being really open and flexible to learning and exploring and really enjoying the process of that learning and exploring moment and taking in all that's changing around the world to see what's the best fit? Where do you fit at this point? And that's what's so interesting right now about careers I think, is everything is changing so quickly with the technology disruption, and people, and what they expect in the workplace and how that workplace is changing. You could go on. Macro conditions are putting different pressures on the businesses globally. Where you fit in all of that can be stressful and anxiety-provoking. But I think I try to come at it with a learning orientation and a curious orientation. But that's hard. And I will tell you, I think in career and personal side, and I know it comes into the professional side as well. But you can manage a little bit more. The ambiguity of not knowing can be really tough. I don't know tools and tactics to work on managing ambiguity. Some people love it and they're like, "Oh, white space. No one's telling me what to do." But different thinkers struggle differently with ambiguity, I think. 

Alex Cullimore: I think it's good. Absolutely true. There's definitely people who are like totally fine with ambiguity and people who are totally not. It can help to give some amount of plans. Because both can be dangerous, right? Being too rigid at that point can threaten the plan a little bit. Being too ambiguous or being too like, "Well, this is white space. I'll do whatever I want." It's like, 'Okay, have you also checked in with the intent? Do you know that this is the right thing to do?" Both of those can go up the rails in slightly different ways. There's not a better way to approach it. But it is good to know going into it kind of what people might be. Or what they might be experiencing? And continuing to check in on that. Because there are times when the people who are very comfortable with ambiguity suddenly are like, "Oh, no. This is too much. I have to shut down. Try and grab onto some kind of control." It can switch just within one person. 

Tina Morris: But I think, Cristina, to your – it's such a great question. I think, at the end of the day, you have to believe in yourself and be courageous in whether it'd be having a hard conversation because you want to change jobs internally and you didn't get the promotion. Or you want to make a big move. Just having the courage to put yourself out there. And it's hard because it's a rejection full process. 

Cristina Amigoni: Yes. 

Tina Morris: Whether it'd be around promotion or getting a new job. And it's not easy emotionally to go through that. And sometimes you fear there's a lot of fear around not wanting to get rejected. And I think that can sometimes cause people to not put themselves out there. And I would just say go for it. Because you'll learn something. What I've learned also especially with internal job moves is if you go for a job, even if you think it's the remotest possible job for whatever reason, people knowing you're interested in moving around, and learning new skills and working for different parts of the business, that in and of itself will help you for the next time. Demonstrating that interest in elevating yourself within the company is a good thing. 

Alex Cullimore: That's a great example too. Because if you go in that job interview for something that's remote, you then learn a lot about what they're asking for. What they're asking about? How do you fit into that? How do you not? What might you want to do to transition towards that? It's a great learning experience. And it just takes that courage to be like it might not go well this time. And I know I need to learn some things. 

Tina Morris: Yes. 

Cristina Amigoni: Well, and I like what you said, the idea that now others know that you want to do something different and what you're drawn to. And they'll keep an eye out. Or they'll find opportunities to maybe give some of the responsibilities or the learning opportunities without the title. But if we don't speak up and say that, nobody actually knows. And also, we can picture ourselves in that. I mean, I'm sure that we've all had those positions, or titles, or roles where, when we didn't have them, we're like, "Oh, I really would love to be that." I remember at some point, a few years ago, somebody asked me. And they did at happy hour at some point, like, "If you could have any role in a company, what would it be?" And my answer was like, "I want to be the COO." Now I'm like, "Nope. Nope. Not the role." Now that it's one of the hats that I'm wearing with our own small company, I'm like, "Nope. Can we hire a COO sometime soon? Because I'm kind of done with the operation stuff." 

Tina Morris: That's funny. Yeah. No, absolutely. I think the other quick point I would just make about career transitions is just it's all about relationships and don't wait for a moment when you want to make a transition. Have great relationships all the time in your professional life because they enrich it. That's how you learn. That's how you just – it's the flow of career. And so, I would say you're not going to necessarily be – you're never going to be in the room when someone makes a hiring decision around you. It's always going to be somebody who knows you, or is an advocate for you, or a sponsor for you, or a champion. Have a lot of those. 

Alex Cullimore: Yeah. I believe you said that too. Because it does make like the actual just work in general more meaningful when you do have those relationships. I mean, just doing that makes it more meaningful. It allows you to – to your point of stating the intent of what you want to do and having people understand that you want to do something different, it's much easier when people are already on your side and you have people that just are interested in what you want to do and you return the favor. It's a much more fulfilling way to work and a lot more natural to our just general human tendencies. 

Tina Morris: Absolutely. And I use the word flow very specifically because it is a flow. And flow is ongoing. It doesn't stop. And it shouldn't stop and start. It should be like a constant flow for you in how you curate and manage your relationships throughout your career.

Cristina Amigoni: Well, and those relationships, I like how you use them for like career transitions. Because if we go back to transitions in general and even like a change or anything like that, if we have spent all this – 90% of the time building their relationship even before there was a transition, then when the transition planning and executing starts to happen, it's so much easier. That's probably the most crucial piece that I would say it's hard to translate. It's hard to transfer as a skill if somebody is not used to doing that. Because it's not about the communication that goes out. It's not about the slides that you're going to present. It's about the four months of conversations of building trust with the people that are involved. So that then when there is an idea for the change, those conversations keep going. And then when the change has to actually happen, all you have to do is send a message and they're like, "Hey, we're kind of like doing this and we're thinking you would be good. Are you on board?" And the answer is like, "Oh, yeah. Sign me up. Let me know how I can support." But it's because you now have spent five months building that relationship.

Tina Morris: Yes, absolutely. 

Alex Cullimore: It makes the change a lot easier on both fronts, right? Because first of all, you get to know people. You know who might be able to be interested or help. You already have like a plan starting to be in motion. You know what might be possible given the team because you know them better. And then the second portion of that is exactly what you're saying, Cristina. now you have something to announce. You can have those conversations much more easily of like, "Hey, I'd love to have your help on this. It seems like something you might be interested in." Bam. Now you're moving a lot faster. Building those just continues to build the muscle to move in a more agile way as you go. 

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, incredible. Yeah, we just experienced something similar in one of the many changes we managed every single day with our clients. We're signing people out for the leadership development program. And one of the changes is people moving around where they're signed up. And so, we got to this point. This week, I was like, "Okay, I've got two cohorts starting." One is starting on Tuesday. We've gotten like a four-day lead time for that. That has an open slot. And I had given up. I was like, "You know what? We're just not going to get anybody." We tried. Not going to get it. That's just going to be a smaller class." And then we've got a couple of others in the rest of the year. And as soon as I kind of leveraged the relationship piece and I sent a message to a group of people that we had been building relationships with for a year saying like, "Hey, there's a couple of slots open. If you or any of your direct reports are open." I had two people actually take those slots within 10 minutes. One was like, "Oh yeah, my direct report, he's going to confirm in five minutes if it's yes." And then somebody else is like, "Yep, I can take the Chicago spot." And that was after weeks and weeks of like requesting who's going to be in here? Or to like the larger group. And we don't have confirmation. And please confirm. And then when we went directly to the people, to the relationship, it was like, "Yeah, I'm on it. I can do that." 

Tina Morris: Excellent? 

Cristina Amigoni: What else on transitions? Now that we've saw the transition problems of the world?
 Tina Morris: I guess I go back. And there's so much you could reflect on and make complex about transitions. But I think two words that really stick with me are empathy, especially in the early stages of transitions for, again, whoever. Your children, your husband, your dogs, you know? Don't know where they are. It's just really the empathy, that listening, that understanding. That's sort of the first big takeaway. And then the second is courage. And I find the word resilience is overused a lot. I like the word courage more. And I think, again, as a parent, as a pet owner, as a leader, just others are looking to you for your strength, and conviction and structure that you could put in to help everyone get from A to B. And to me, for leaders, it takes a lot of courage. Because some days you're feeling fears and you're feeling anxiety. It's sort of how you – and this gets back to a whole host of other conversations about mental health and how do leaders stay healthy. Because everyone – you know people are looking to you to role model. And again, it's not just as a leader, but as a parent during these big change times in life. And sort of how do you keep that courage? And when do you need to show the vulnerability is the other question. And how do you show that vulnerability so that people trust but you're also moving forward? 

Cristina Amigoni: I love this too. 

Tina Morris: That's tough. That's really hard to do. I don't think we've solved transitions. But I think we put a lot on the table of how we've negotiated them and learned with them. 

Alex Cullimore: I like that two-word summary. The idea of courage and empathy. And I think that – the empathy piece reminds me of the phrase that you used too, Cristina, where you're like it's not about the dresser. That's the best thing to kind of keep in mind when you're hitting that resistance. It's about something else. It's taking that time, to your point, Tina, of listening. Of making sure you can unpack what is the real block here? What's the frustration? What is the feeling? Is it they didn't make friends at school that day? Is that the thing? And that empathy piece comes in super handy at that point. And the courage to sit in that space even though you feel the time pressure. Even though you feel the worry and you feel like the, "Man, I can't have one more person have a resistance to this." Even when you're feeling that, having the courage to sit in that and acknowledge when you need a break and just say like, "Yeah, okay. We're going to take a minute. It wasn't what we planned. And we need the break." And so, I love that combination of courage and empathy. I think that's a great way of describing it. 

Cristina Amigoni: I would agree. Yeah, I think we solved transitions. 

Alex Cullimore: Yeah, we're done. 

Cristina Amigoni: But I'll just declare it. We're done. We are immune to Transitions. 

Alex Cullimore: You're welcome, everybody. 

Cristina Amigoni: No. But yeah, having to actually understanding our own resistance. That's one of the things that I have – I give the empathy and the courage to myself when I am finding myself resisting to kind of step back and be like, "Okay, I am really resisting the dresser right now. It's not about the dresser. What is it that's actually going on with me?" Because it has nothing to do with that. And with my family, actually, I don't have the time to show as much empathy as I should. I will just straight out ask them. I'll tell them I'm like this is not about that. Let's figure out what it's about. Not the dresser.

Tina Morris: Yeah. And like you said, and, Alex, you said it as well. I mean, a key moment when you're in the parent role or the leader role is that you are managing that tension with pace of change. Because you might – again, if it's personal and you're like, "Oh, but the movers are only staying for two hours. So we have to figure this out." And professional, you have a boss who wants results. I think that is one of the biggest tension points with how you stay in that empathy listening. How do you really help people be ready for the change? Staying in that space can be really challenging for that leader or that parent. And I think at different times I've learned now that going slow will allow you to go faster in the long run. Because the more time you spend in that space, then everyone can run faster later. 

Cristina Amigoni: That's so key. 

Alex Cullimore: It's a great investment in the long term, right? You pull that space. People will feel a little easier and they will move faster next time they hit the dresser and they're upset about it. They might have some more awareness of it. The more that we are aware of that in ourselves, the better we can empathize with people about what they might be going through because we've now experienced 50 different versions of change resistance in ourselves. That if we've documented and if we've reflected, we might be able to recognize a lot easier. When we label it, it's easier for us. Easier for us to see it in ourselves and easier to maybe recognize it when it starts to come out for other people. And that's a great long-term investment. And we're going to make everybody a lot more comfortable and a lot more agile when inevitable roadblocks of life and change come up.

Tina Morris: Yes. 

Cristina Amigoni: For sure. So now that we have resolved transitions for everybody, the last couple of questions for you, Tina, are what's your definition of authenticity? 

Tina Morris: Oh, I love this. And I have to start by saying last night I watched two hours of Ted Lasso. I don't know if you guys like him. And I know that a lot of people do like Ted Lasso. 

Cristina Amigoni: Yes.

Alex Cullimore: I have a Ted Lasso jacket over there.

Cristina Amigoni: He's our unofficial sponsor.

Tina Morris: I wouldn't have brought him up expect I just watched it last. And I really think the power of his authenticity is just the storyline of that show. And I don't want to ruin it for anybody. But when she asked him to like go out and fight during that press conference and he chose to be himself, I was like, "I love you, Ted Lasso." This is the power of authenticity. I'm going to just use that. And maybe you can show that in one of your facilitations because I just thought that was brilliant. 

Cristina Amigoni: Yes. 

Tina Morris: For me it's three simple words. Just be yourself. 

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, I love that. Yeah. And we're going to spoil our alerts. People had a week to figure it out. But let Ted be Ted. And that's it. Just be yourself. Let yourself be yourself. 

Tina Morris: It unlocks your creativity, your energy on a different level than when you're trying to try to be something you want people to be. And in the long run, you're not going to be as successful and you're not going to be as happy. 

Cristina Amigoni: Yeah, so true. Truly love that. Yes. Maybe Ted Lasso can become the official sponsor of our – 

Alex Cullimore: I will reach out. 

Cristina Amigoni: Last question is where can people find you? If you want to be found? 

Tina Morris: Absolutely. I am a pretty avid LinkedIn user. And my email and contact information are in my LinkedIn. I would say that's the best way to get in touch with me. 

Cristina Amigoni: Awesome. Sounds great. Yeah. You will actually love my LinkedIn post for today. I will tag you on it.

Tina Morris: Oh, that'd be awesome. 

Cristina Amigoni: It's Ted Lasso related. 

Tina Morris: We only meant to watch one episode last night because we hadn't watched the new season yet. And then all of a sudden, we're like, "Oh, he's so good." 

Cristina Amigoni: He's so good. I haven't watched last night's episode yet. I almost did but was like, "I'm not in the right space. I'm really tired. I need more focus for this." 

Tina Morris: It's going to be a good season. 

Cristina Amigoni: Well, thank you so much, Tina. We appreciate your time and insights. 

Alex Cullimore: Yeah, thank you, Tina. 

Tina Morris: Oh, thank you, Cristina, Alex. I loved being here. 

Cristina Amigoni: Thank you, everybody. 

Alex Cullimore: Thank you, everybody, for listening. 

Tina Morris: Take care.

Cristina Amigoni: Thank you for listening to Uncover the Human, a Siamo podcast. 

Alex Cullimore: Special thanks to our podcast operations wizard, Jake Lara; and our score creator, Rachel Sherwood. 

Cristina Amigoni: If you have enjoyed this episode, please share, review and subscribe. You can find our episodes wherever you listen to podcasts. 

Alex Cullimore: We would love to hear from you with feedback, topic ideas or questions. You can reach us at podcast wearesiamo.com, or at our website, wearesiamo.com, LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook. We Are Siamo is spelled W-E A-R-E S-I-A-M-O.

Cristina Amigoni: Until next time, listen to yourself, listen to others and always uncover the human.