Artwork for podcast Spirit of EQ
Courageous Creativity with Lee Ann Lander
Episode 9025th January 2023 • Spirit of EQ • Jeff East and Eric Pennington
00:00:00 01:09:45

Share Episode


We welcome back again Lee Ann Lander. Can creativity and the corporate world live in harmony? We think so, and so does our guest, Lee Ann Lander.

She is the owner of Lee Ann Lander Art and Creative Consulting.

We all have "gifts." But how and when did we get to the place where each of us recognizes those "gifts"?

But then as adults, we state we aren't creative. Why do we continue these myths about ourselves?

And then we feel creativity is squashed when we enter the corporate world. But creativity does show up - create problem-solving, as an example.

In each episode, Jeff and Eric will talk about what emotional intelligence, or understanding your emotions, can do for you in your daily and work life. For more information, contact Eric or Jeff at, or go to their website, Spirit of EQ.

You can follow The Spirit of EQ Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, or on your favorite podcast player.

New episodes are available on the 2nd and 4th Mondays every month!

Please review our podcast on iTunes. Click on the link for an easy, step-by-step tutorial.

Music from Uppbeat

License code: LB1BTATHVF4VIFGQ

Spirit of EQ

Mentioned in this episode:

Thanks for listening to Spirit of EQ

This podcast was created to be a tool to primarily help you to discover and grow your EQ. Science and our own lived experiences confirm that the better we are at managing our emotions, the better we're going to be at making decisions. Which leads to a better life. And that's something we all want. We're glad that you've taken the time today to listen. We hope that something you hear will lead to a breakthrough. We'd really appreciate a review on your podcast platform. Please leave some comments about what you heard today, as well as follow and subscribe to the podcast. That way, you won't miss a single episode as we continue this journey.


Eric: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Spirit of EQ podcast. I'm Eric Pennington. With me, as always, is Jeff East. Hey, Jeff. How are you?

Jeff: I'm doing great, Eric.

Eric: Everyone, we have a special guest today who's really not a guest in the Singular, as if we, like first time visit it's. Lee Ann Lander is back with us for another episode. Lee Ann, it's great to see you. Thanks for joining us.

Lee Ann: Thanks for having me again. It's good to be back.

Eric: Well, you were so gracious because I sent you an email, and I know we've kind of had some communication mostly on social media, I know. But, um, I just thought, oh, my gosh, we're getting close to the end of the year, quite frankly, and hopefully this will not embarrass you too much. Your episodes are probably some of the most listened to ones that we have. So for our audience, this is awesome so that we can get you in before the end of the year. I don't know when we'll release this one, but for everyone out there, I know you're going to get a lot out of it. And we've talked a little bit prior to coming on about the idea of creativity. And typically when Jeff and I are doing a show, when we think about creativity, it's kind of those moments where we go, you know, Leanne, that kind of thing. Right. And having you back today, Leanne, um, for me, and obviously, I want to give you an opportunity to talk about what give us an update on what you're doing. But I want to focus in, if it's okay with you, on, uh, this idea of creativity and how maybe it's not just for the artist, the musician, the singer, the poet, on and on. And I know maybe in the previous episodes we touched on that, but maybe if we could kind of go down the road of not allowing any of us to get around that creativity is there as a tool for us, regardless of what our role may be in life. Um, because I'm kind of of the mind, Lean, that creativity was a gift given from above. Right. This thing that is not just to say, oh, my gosh, that song is so wonderful, or that artwork is just but it's this thing that helps us make sense of a world that sometimes, if not oftentimes, seems to not make sense.

Lee Ann: Absolutely. Survival is creativity.

Eric: Yeah. So let's start there. That's a great statement. All right, so how do you think we got to this place where it was relegated to the different kids or the nerdy kids, or the kids that played an instrument and kind of was kind of isolated? Do you think there's something around that?

Lee Ann: Oh, yeah, absolutely. I think what I've noticed is right around middle school, okay. Um, the kids start kind of defining themselves, and I'm an athlete or I'm a band kid or something like that. And then a lot of the other kids kind of fall, well, what am I? And that's when kids are really starting to discover or try to discover, well, who they are. What's my thing? Um, and then that just sticks with you as you get older and you get through high school, college, and as a career. I have walked into so many corporate offices and they're like, oh, I'm not creative. Because we do some creative team building with people and they're like, oh, so and so can do stuff, and you're so talented, or whatever, and just I cringe. Because I'm like, oh, I cringe. But I'm also here's a great opportunity right in front of me, because the person saying that, I'm just like, you have no idea. You've forgotten how creative you are, and you've fallen into the trap that, hey, since you're not an artist or a musician, you're not creative. And it's so false.

Eric: Yeah. Lee Ann and Jeff, I want to come to you next. Um, we did a show, um, it might have been a couple of episodes ago. We started talking a little bit about core beliefs. Mhm, and I'm fascinated by that from the perspective of how those get formed. Right. So when we're younger, when we're in that middle school and before, we're not fully developed, our brain isn't we haven't developed a critical, um, filter. And critical as in, wait a minute, I know you said left, but it's truly white or right. Excuse me? You, um, said that it was tomorrow, but it's actually next week. Typically when we're younger, we're like sponges, right? And I'm stealing some of this from the clinicians, um, that we've been looking at. But I find that interesting because if you absorb it and take it on, the tendency is that we take what was absorbed and we carry it on into adulthood. So I could see someone at 35, 40, whatever, years old saying to you, well, I'm not creative. Because then I'd want to go and say, well, how do you know that? Well, I don't play an instrument, I can't paint, and I don't do sculpture, I don't write poetry. Well, who told you you can't? Mhm, and where did that come from? Where's that core? Because sometimes, Leanne, I think it's not just in creativity, but so many things. It's like we walk around with all of these myths in our head, myths.

Lee Ann: And busyness and distractions. Um, first of all, I would say creativity shows up all over the corporate world. I mean, anytime you're solving a problem in a new way, this is how we have always done it, and this is the way you need to do it. But a creative person will come in and want to problem solve it, and they see right away, well, here's the inefficiencies. Here's how we could actually raise our productivity. That's creativity right there. That's kind of like doing it a.

Eric: Little can we do that on autopilot? And not acknowledge it as creativity, or is it more powerful if we do like you just described?

Lee Ann: That's a good question. And I think for a lot of people, it probably just happens on autopilot. I think it's just how they operate. That's what they do.

Eric: Um, for our audience. This is not a call to you to say that if it doesn't feel as powerful to you, uh, as it does for Lee Ann and Jeff and I, that somehow you need to come over to our side and get energized. I sometimes wonder, um, if we maybe would allow ourselves to see some of it from the lens of, wow, this is creativity. Look what creativity did for us. Look where it took us. That kind of thing.

Lee Ann: Yeah. And there's so many of us walking around and we just take for granted some of these giftings. Okay, so creativity will show up to your point on what appears to be autopilot. And, um, it's because the creativity finds a way creativity sorry, uh, creativity will find a way into your life and come out in different ways.

Eric: Is that kind of like water?

Lee Ann: Absolutely.

Eric: See, Jeff right here is probably thinking, okay, now we're heading in a direction I want to go.

Lee Ann: Yes, in the flow, when you get in the flow. But you know what? It has a lot to do with a corporation or a company, because, uh, when there's a lot of, uh, resistance to newness, because there's some corporations, this is how we do it. This is how we have always done it. You can't do it this way.

Eric: Right.

Lee Ann: And that's what squelches these people who see, hey, we could be doing this so much better. So, uh, that has to come from the top down. The creativity has to be allowed. Or those creative people and those problem solvers, they will find a different way around a different rock. They'll go somewhere else.

Eric: Yeah.

Jeff: I want to go back to something you said more towards the beginning about that. People look at creativity as only being in the realm of art, music, writing, whatever those things are that we look at as creative. How do we help people understand? As an example, if you're waiting for a, uh, train to go by and that locomotive goes by, I see creativity. And whoever designed that locomotive, how do we get the idea across? That person that designed that was being creative. He took something we didn't have before, and either did it the first time or took what was already been used and made it better in anything. How do we get that idea of creativity beyond the art world?

Lee Ann: That's a good question. I mean, it's helping people, um, I think just realize what ever they're doing that they're taking for granted, if they are doing these things a little differently or solving problems differently. Um, I think the biggest sadness or the bummer that is happening is that people miss um, their talent, they take it for granted, or they overlook it completely because it may come really easily for them. So, for you, you look at this trade and you see so much admiration for the art, the lines, the beauty of it, the genius of it. Someone else may be looking at that, and they're just frustrated with life. They're not seeing anything that you're seeing that's perspective. That's the difference in how you're looking at life. But people like you who are already embracing that and seeing that creativity all around them all the time, um, I think a lot of times they just assume everyone sees that.

Jeff: Yeah. I was surprised when I found out that everybody doesn't see things that way.

Lee Ann: That's right. And so that's a good question. I don't know. I mean, there's a lot of ways to answer your question. I'm curious to see what you would think about it, because I think, um, one thing I try to do is just validate them and say, did you realize, hey, what you're doing is pretty different? And that right there in itself, is creativity. And to applaud them for it, first of all, recognize it.

Jeff: Right.

Eric: Well, certainly, Jeff. Isn't it kind of what we run into from time to time about, um, spiritual? We've taken that label and we've held onto it to identify it as code for religion.

Jeff: Right.

Eric: And what happens, I realize, yes, it can have connection to religion. Uh huh. It can have connection to God, which, by the way, I, um, don't equate God and religion as one and the same, thankfully. But that's just me. Um, the thing I'm going is with is that when people hear us talk about, well, we're actually talking about what makes you one of one.

Jeff: Right. And that spiritual part is all the connections we've talked about in it. And I think people that are embracing the idea of this kind of spirituality or whatever it is, they're being creative within themselves. Mhm, once again, it's another way to look at it. Creativity doesn't have to be designing something. Creativity can be recreating recreativity I don't.

Lee Ann: Know what the word would be, just acknowledging it or seeing what you're saying. Um, I came into a place in life where I was so miserable, I really just couldn't stand Ohio, I couldn't stand my life, anything. And, um, I had to reinvent myself in the way I saw the world. And so I started challenging myself. It was like this little scavenger hunt. It was a game I created just to see the beauty right where I was. I think I've talked about that a little bit before, but that's kind of similar to what you're saying. It's like, rather than be bored waiting for the train, how many cool things can I find right here where I'm at? And that changes everything. Changes how? Your whole outlook.

Eric: It's interesting when you say that, um, and I've been doing, um, a lot of thinking about the power of connection. Um, and, um, I'm stealing a little bit of this from Danny Silk, um, his ideas around this idea that in every relationship we have to be striving to continually build connection. True. And he also gives the warning, as won't surprise you to that. If we're not building connection, we're tearing it. There is no net neutral. And I'm going to give you a story, Leanne, of where I think it might answer some of Jeff's question, and it has to do with this idea in our relationships. And all of us will be in different places in this regard because I don't want to give you or the audience the impression that you've got to have perfect relationships. And then because it's ongoing. Um, my son and, uh, we had a very difficult set of conversations the last couple of days, and it was tearing a connection. And we had to, you know, what are we going to do here? Now? He's not in a place yet where he sees it as vital as I do. But as I'm talking to him, I'm thinking, okay, remember, Eric, you build a connection. What do you need to say that builds connection? Right. So as we evaluate our relationships and the level of connectivity that we have with those relationships, whether they're the closest ones, the next closest ones, or whatever, I think that creates environments where courage can appear. Um, right. So this is the story of Paul Guillo. Um, I don't think virtually anyone out there knows Paul, but Paul is a great guy. He's got wonderful comic timing, which for me is like everything. If somebody's got like Jeff, I'm going to embarrass Jeff. Jeff has good he has good comic timing. He knows how to place you know what I'm saying? Right? Yeah. Okay. And he told me, um, that he decided and Paul is, um, I don't know, he's got to be close to 60, maybe 61. He says to me, I decided to take up playing socks. And I go, wow. I said, have you? I mean, I didn't know. Did you play when you were younger? Blah. You know, all those kind of questions. Yeah. No, but I've always wanted to. And I said, wow, that's great. It was that conversation. Boom. Um, another conversation three months later. How's it going? Oh, I really love it. I really love it. I can't play, but I'm learning. And he's got this gentleman who's a very established saxophone player who is giving him private lessons. And you know what's interesting? We may never hear Paul play the sacks, M, but I can see transformation in him because we got to talking mhm about the value of a note. And I was telling him this story around, uh, a musician who, when he first learned to play the teacher, just started him with just, I want you to play B flat, played again, played again, played again. And then he says, okay, we're done for the day. And the guy was like, Wait a minute, all I did was play B flat. The motivation there is, I want you to know B flat. I want you to know its tone, I want you to know it's, feel. What does it do, M? And I relayed that to Paul and he was, yeah, that's how the sax player, he was telling me, don't focus on playing scales or just one note, mhm just one note. And like I said, I don't think Paul has aspirations of recording or touring or joining a band or whatever. Maybe he will, but what did it do to his life? Mhm that was what was profound.

Jeff: Now, creating that B flat, that B flat was a catalyst to what?

Eric: Mhm if I had to, and I didn't ask him, I think it was the catalyst to understanding that I could go over into this field and see what's there. It's not so scary. It's not something I need to talk myself out of.

Lee Ann: Right. And I think what you said, um, earlier is maybe even more important. Sometimes creating just for the sake of creating with no outcome and no, uh, result. Like his goal isn't to play with a band.

Eric: Maybe.

Lee Ann: I mean, maybe it is, but, um, I think some of the most joy that I get when I'm creating is when I'm not thinking of the end goal. I'm not thinking of what galleries is going to, or what show is this? Or the commission, or anything like that. Creating just to enjoy the muse. Basically, that's upon you. Because when you get into that zone of creativity, um, whether this is art or music or honestly spreadsheets, it doesn't really matter. You get into the zone and you lose track of time. It's like this fun thing that you're just having a communion with. The art or the creative process with.

Eric: No goal is great.

Jeff: I think you just said something that reinforces the value of it. You lose the time, mhm which means you're not thinking about, I got to go to the grocery store later, and I got to make the car payment. All those things are put aside for that time. So that you're focusing on you not.

Lee Ann: Even you, you almost lose yourself. You're focusing more on what better way to say it, what your hands are doing, or what is happening. And it's beautiful when you lose all of that awareness, kind of in a way, because you get yourself out of the way in that.

Eric: There's a great quote from Vinny Kaluda, um, one of the greatest drummers alive. I just want to tell you two music references, we're doing well. Jeff, the quote goes, thought is the enemy of flow. Oh, yeah, right. Um, and I would say, uh, any of our listeners, uh, if you have a chance to just even if you Google Vinny Kaluda and look at some of the artists that he's played with and just take a listen. Um, I almost would call him a human metronome. Uh, it's just unbelievable. Um, so I really wanted to say it that way about courage, because obviously maybe not so obviously, I think kids are much more open and are much more curious and willing to go places. But when we have enough time, when we have so much time on the road, careers, families, retirements, all the other stuff that we're told we're supposed to be focusing on, it can take courage. And that's one of the things that I don't even think Paul maybe realized when he was telling me, was that, wow, Paul, you just gave me some inspiration. Yes. And that's powerful because it's not the case of where it saved my life, but it did inject into me a spirit of, oh, my gosh, this is.

Lee Ann: You know, he's just doing it. Oh, my gosh, so brave.

Eric: Yeah.

Lee Ann: I'm telling you, I'm in a song circle. Um, like, I'm in a couple of songwriting groups and there's some wildly talented musicians. I mean, I feel like I've just attended a free concert. And how lucky am I just to be in the room with some of these people, right. And then there's others who are just coming to the table and they don't really have an instrument, and they are just bringing lyrics and they're trying to sing it. They're not really gifted and singing. And you know what? That person, I feel more like, oh, my gosh, how wildly brave are they? And I love what they bring to the table because they are doing it anyway. And that is amazing.

Eric: And I think some of what you're saying yeah, I hope they'll become the worst kept secrets of life. This is where the real gold is found. And not because the three of us are talking about it today, but because it is. And I would dare say that the people who, again, have that courage to say, I'm going to bring my song that I wrote bear my soul. And this is just something I need to get out. This is something I need to share. Um, there's so much gold there and just that right. Um, okay, so I wanted to pivot to this idea about the thing that we all have. Drumroll, please. Somewhere. Talent. Again, a very misunderstood and mischaracterized word. Because when we talk about talent, people can say, I'm not filling the blank. I don't know how to again, these damn core beliefs. Right. Or, I'll never be as good as comparison beliefs. Exactly. I'm of the mind that we all have different talents. And this analogy, uh, of the talents, um, really comes from, um, a, uh, podcast, um, that I saw a gentleman by the name of David Goggins, uh, on he was with, uh, Joe Rogan. And, um, David Goggins has a very fascinating life story many people know, um, because he's very popular. Um, but one of the things I thought was very interesting in this little segment that I saw listen to, um, was about the idea about the limits of talent and what it can do, and that the next sort of level is truly where we're developing mental strength. Um, because for me, selfishly, personally, it got me thinking how much of my life, how many of the things that I do that I do well, that I can say that I have a talent in. Have I maybe pushed cruise control on any of those, saying that it's good enough, it's delivering applause. I can utter the words at a cocktail party, whatever the case may be, and, you know the answer is absolutely, um, no, you haven't reached there's more. And it got me curious about that idea, Leanne, of what do we do with this talent that we have? Um, I firmly believe the person you were alluding to in the songwriting group, maybe they're struggling with their vocals and getting the right tone. Maybe the structure of the song isn't quite what it is now, but it wouldn't be hard for me to imagine it. With some work and some practice, those things can be sort of built out for it to be good.

Jeff: You just made my wife and I watched I don't know if it was the farewell concert, but one of the farewell concerts from Melton John. Uh, do you think Elton John and Bernie Tobin's first effort was Yellow Brick Road.

Eric: Right. Well, uh, I want to make sure I stay on track here. Um, but there is also something to be said, the misunderstanding about, um, when you are creating something. Um, I think people associate, uh, by Yellow Brick Road as being this magical thing that happened on a Saturday morning where they all came together and this heavens opened. But if anybody's been in that place, whether you're playing music or whether you're, um, I would imagine, Leanne, when you're creating a piece of art, are there not those times where you go, no, Jeff, I'm sorry. I thought we were indeed. Let me play that line one more time. Eric, can you turn down the trouble there a little bit? Because that's interviewing okay, hold on. Oh, my gosh. Hold on. My wife's calling. Let me get back. And maybe after three, four, 5 hours, we get something. And here's what's interesting to me, and you can read in these interviews, right, you'll have someone that will say, I didn't think it was that great, but after they hear, oh, my gosh, it was wonderful. Yeah. But people I think that what's happening when it's being made is so I used to cringe at it because I thought it was so much more of a statement of how good I was at what I was doing. But I started realizing, coming back to what you were said earlier, when you are in that place, it's magical. Even though it can be frustrating. So let me pivot. Do you have that feeling when you're doing art? Have you had this contractual? Yeah, I wanted this. No, it's got to start over. I got to know. Take that out. Take that out.

Lee Ann: Your, uh, process all ah the time. There's an ugly stage of any of it. And, um, I'm reminded of a quote from Neil Pert. I think I referenced him every time.

Jeff: Good reference. We can handle that.

Lee Ann: Persistence, uh, drags the dream into existence.

Eric: Right? Where's the mic? And can we drop it? Oh, my gosh. Okay, say that once more, please.

Lee Ann: Persistence. Drags the dream into existence.

Eric: Wow, what a powerful quote.

Lee Ann: I think of that quote a lot when I'm doing whatever it is I'm doing. Um, songwriting or art or whatever. Because there's a point where you meet resistance and you get uncomfortable and you're like, this is as far as I can go, or maybe I'm willing to go, or It's as far as I can go easily. And all kinds of things will come into your head that I'm not good enough. Um, you're comparing, and it's garbage. And if you give into that, that's where you stop.

Jeff: Is that persistence required to keep moving ahead?

Lee Ann: In my opinion, yes, absolutely. It's persistence. It's courage. It is just this tenacity that I'm just going to blow through that ceiling. I'm going to blow through this wall or this obstacle, I'm going to flow around it, whatever you want to call it, um, because I think that really separates the accomplished goal versus the dreamed goal. Okay, so, I mean, I myself, I've been saying, I'm going to write a book. I'm going to write a book. I got sick of hearing myself say it. Now, guess what?

Eric: I wrote a book, and we are going to talk about that. Lean.

Lee Ann: Um, but to get there, though, right? There's this point where, oh, my gosh. The writing is the easiest part, right? And the doing the art is the easiest part. Here's the hardest part. Finishing the art, putting the hardware on the art, maybe sanding it, all the things that are not in my skill set. I have to acquire those things, and I have to power through it, because the fun part that everyone sees, the beautiful part, that's about 40% of what I do. The other 60% is all the hard stuff that no one sees. You do it in the quiet labors of the night. And same thing with writing the book. I found the easiest part was writing it. The hardest part was finding the author. Like, how do you, um, oh, my gosh, get an ISBN number, for instance. I mean, there's so many little obstacles that are scary things the first time you go through it, and it's easy enough to just shut you down and say, this is not for me. Guess what? I thought it was going to be fun, but it's not. And then you're like, uh, but persistence. I'm going to just choose intentionally to power through those obstacles and set apart the dreamers from the doers. And that's, for me, what I've found is the key.

Eric: So Leanne, when we think about, uh, the diamond, and you know, they talk about the different facets of a diamond, right? What were some of the facets you discovered, for example, in the book writing process of Leanne? Did you meet Lee Ann you hadn't met before?

Lee Ann: Oh my gosh. You know, so many cool things happened along the way. We've talked about connections. You mentioned connections. Okay, so the art exhibit I have going on right now is called interconnectivity. And it's almost so weird how many connections have happened through this process. So here's the great thing. The scary part is, like, not knowing how to do these things and, um, not knowing even who to ask or what to start. But guess what? You never do it alone. You can choose to try to do it alone, and you're not really going to get any far. But you have connections. You have lifelines. Guess what? You ask people. You ask your connections. You ask people who maybe have done something like this before, or do you know someone who does? And the great assets or whatever you're talking about that opened up my life is the end goal was a team effort. And that was so awesome because how much sweeter it was to be at that end goal with the whole team. We were all high five in each other. It was me and my illustrator and the people in the group that kind of helped me get there. So it wasn't just like, hi, I'm, um, an author. Leonard Lone, sole artist. Um, and even in my art exhibits, I mean, this cool thing, the facets I'm learning, the beautiful part is that, okay, I can't curate worth a darn. I don't know what I'm doing or how to put the art up on the wall. But when I got to this place and, um, these art galleries and stuff, they are wonderful curators. That's an art in itself.

Jeff: They know how to do. They're being creative.

Lee Ann: Absolutely. And way better than I could have done it. I'm in awe of seeing it all up in the walls and everything. So that is, I think, one of the most important parts of the interconnectivity of you and your materials that you're doing, that you're working with. There's this connection there. There's a connection with you in the creative process and the flow. Then there's this connection with the audience and you as an artist, but then there's a connection of the audience and the material and the product of what they are viewing that almost becomes their own. Now, the wild part that I'm realizing now, Sunny the Firefly is name of this book, and Sunny is now, we've talked about the birth process, and I've had this.

Eric: Baby.

Lee Ann: And now Sonny is a toddler and we're learning how to walk and going out into the world. But it just hit me the other days, sonny is now creating his own friends, just like my own kids. And he is going to go into people's homes and be spending intimate time with these little ones and their faces over and over, their little hands will be getting to know Sonny, and he'll be getting to know them. He's going to go into places I will never get to go into. And what a cool connection that is, right? I mean, so I would never have got to experience these feelings and these beautiful facets that you're talking about without persistence and powering through the hard part. And I didn't get there alone. I did it by asking and, you know, getting help where I needed it.

Eric: Because, um, to, to stay on that talent and mental strength thing. I guess one of the challenges that at least I see in our culture is that we're not developing people to be mentally strong. And what I mean, with the mentally strong thing, I don't want it to connotate as in, I'm strong, you're weak, I'm better. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about mental strength. To be able to take things on, to try new things, to allow the messages that keep telling you what you should be, to be turned down, and to be open to the things of what you were meant to be. Right? And as someone who has given in to the voices of what you should be, um, there's nothing quite like that kind of cul de sac. Because for me, you think of the vision. And when I use the term cul de sac for those who are in the United States, will get that right away. But you drive in, it's a wonderful entry point. You look around and maybe there's some great scenery, but pretty soon you start to realize there's this curve. And the curve is bringing you back to where you came in, right. And time goes by as you're doing it. And mental m strength for me in that regard is hold on. Before I take another step into this cul de sac, let me look around. Let me ask Jeff, is this a cul de sac? Can you help me understand what happens.

Jeff: If I stay here or I've been in that cul de sac? And Eric, you don't want to go there.

Eric: Exactly. Right. Then there's a stark warning. Right. That's kind of where I'm going with the mental strength part. And I don't expect if you've never had that, because my goodness, I'm looking at this FTX, uh, the crypto trading, uh, platform that went bankrupt, right. Um, and this kid, as I may call him, he's 26. The, the CEO or the former CEO, the one that's in the news. Um, and I'm reading an article about his parents and what was really fascinating to me, and it was really insignificant. I don't think the person who wrote the article or the periodical was trying to highlight this, but she had written one of the parents had written an essay about how was it put? Um, that personal responsibility was kind of an outdated norm. And I'm thinking to myself, $32 billion? How many billions of dollars are lost that no one can say where they went? Customers who have put in, investors who have put in. And I'm going, not that I know this, right, because I don't, but how much of the influence could there have been in that regard if it was, um, pivoted around to, okay, you can do all these great things, but you got to remember you're responsible to do the right thing. And if you're going to have customers, you're going to have clients, and it's fiduciary in nature. You cannot dodge that. You're responsible. My concern about where we're at is that we're moving into this. Well, you might need personal responsibility, but I have chosen not to. And, um, Jeff is going to do something somewhat in the middle, and it all will just work out, and maybe we're already there, but I would like to see more of that mental strength relating to what we're talking about today, to where, you know what? I can pick up the sacks. I can try it. Mhm you know what? And yeah, it is going to be hard. That's okay. Hard is not bad. Persistence is not ugly. It's tough, but it'll move me somewhere, versus saying, well, you know, I'm good enough. I'm good where I'm at. I've achieved what I need to. I just think there's so much beyond what we know we can do and achieve, and developing that mental strength piece, I think is essential.

Lee Ann: Um, yeah, it's growth. That's where growth occurs.

Eric: Right.

Lee Ann: It's uncomfortable, but yeah, it's a good point you're bringing up.

Eric: You just said something there. Um, growth. Everybody wants to grow. Right?

Lee Ann: Doesn't don't I mean, a lot of circles of the people that we know, probably yeah, but I don't know if everyone really wants to grow. I mean, now you're asking really hard at philosophical, but that right there, you just said, is like if you're not having any kind of, uh, feeling a sense of responsibility in my mind, maybe they don't want to maybe they don't want to accept the reality or the hard growth factor.

Eric: I don't know.

Jeff: Do we have a definition of growth.

Eric: I think that's unique to each to some level.

Lee Ann: Oh, man, we're getting really sorry. Is this microphone really even.

Jeff: Here? Our producer over there is just a figment of our.

Lee Ann: Imagination.

Eric: Are you here? We're in the metaverse.

Jeff: I think that's one of the problems, again, is we tend to imprint ourselves on everything.

Eric: Else.

Lee Ann: Assume, um, everyone wants to grow. Well, I mean, I don't know or.

Jeff: Assume that everybody is growing. I am learning all this stuff. So why aren't you two learning it? I'm growing. You're not.

Eric: Right. But that's interesting, Jeff, as you mentioned, that, uh, because it is an individual choice. Right. Um, and this, uh, counselor he was talking about, it was a couple that came in for counseling, and, uh, he asked them, what's a goal for your marriage? And the husband, he he could not answer. He he stumbled with it, and he said, you know, okay, well, you know something? I mean, what would you like? He was really trying to draw it out of him, trying to get and then I got I guess I got he got so frustrated that he said, I don't see how this is important. We're here to work on our problems, basically. And I'm paraphrasing, is that ultimately he said, you know what? Um, in order to do that, you got to have a goal. If you don't want to have a goal, then you need to find a new counselor. I think, m especially when I look at, for example, land the work that we do. Our deal is we're offering a process, a proven one, to move you from hanging out only in your intellectual part of your brain to blending that with your emotional. And the only people that don't succeed in our process are the ones that are not willing to work at it. Right. So if you say, hey, it's not my deal, I'm not into it, we don't take offense, mhm, but we are not going to sign a contract, take your money, and watch you just flail at it, and then we walk away going, well, that was a great sell. Exactly. Because I know for me personally, I can't speak for Jeff or other partners that my clock is ticking, mhm. And I don't want to spend my life just doing a faux engagement to do a faux process of work and growth. I get it for you, Leanne. There could be certain elements that you take off like a rocket. And just soar for Jeff and I, we may just struggle, just trying to walk one step after the other, but the key common denominator needs to be that all three of us want it.

Jeff: Right. And I think the idea of what is growth? Somebody that is in the situation that they're in survival, learning, mhm, to live in survival is growth.

Eric: Absolutely, yeah. Um, and in fairness to my friends out there that have been diagnosed with ADHD, um, and I learned this somewhat the hard way, their, um, approach to getting to knowing what they want is a lot harder than it is for me. And I say that with empathy, and I also say it with there's still the possibility of getting there. You just have to do it in a different way so that the way that their brain and with what they're challenged with is not a permanent block. Mhm just have to say that. And maybe there's others out there too, that have other challenges that make it difficult to be able to say, well, I'm not sure if I want it or not. There's something that's blocking it. So I don't want to make it sound like, hey, this is everybody.

Lee Ann: Well, it's just your question posed was, uh, an interesting one, because I look back, my own children have even said, I don't want to grow up. They've recognized it's, uh, not all that it's cracked up to.

Eric: Be. Can I get an amen I'm looking.

Jeff: Forward to my second childhood?

Lee Ann: And so, yeah, I mean, there's that point of empathy where like, oh, we just want to cry a little bit over that. Yeah. And I wish you didn't have to grow up in some ways, but it's this moving needle and we keep moving forward.

Eric: You know what? For some people, it's not the right time.

Lee Ann: I get it. It.

Eric: Is truly, truly, truly I would not want anyone to feel like the guns to the head. And you must, or else right, right. My hope for every person is that they will discover, like what we said at the beginning, that creativity is something for everyone. Mhm. And that if we open our minds up to kind of see it through different lenses, we'll understand that it's not just, again, confined to those who we consider to be artists. Um, so Leanne, since our last visit, your last visit with us, you mentioned the book, you mentioned the, um, showing at a gallery. Um, how about updating us on that and what it means to you?

Lee Ann: Uh, it's relief, I think, is the best word I've been able to come up with to describe is the relief. To be on the other side of I'm going to is, hey, I have this thing that you can see and feel and touch and working, uh, through those barriers and fear. So much fear. You guys, leading up to the exhibit, it's a huge amount of work. Um, it hit me the other day, uh, there's some kids coming through the gallery and some different patrons, and they're like, well, which piece is yours? And I'm like all of it. And it hits me when I see it in their eyes. They're like, what, um, leading up to it? It was really exhausting and it wore on me. But it was good work and it was good, important work. So I think the biggest thing, what it means to me is I accomplished it. Now, guess what? Now I know I have confidence in myself that I didn't have before. So now when I say I'm going to write another book, it's not just a serial error or something like fantasy, it's like, you, uh, better believe that I'm going to do it now it's just a matter of time. And pushing through again and making it happen. So that is a relief. I'm just so thankful to have that experience out there.

Eric: Wow. Um, so if there's somebody in the audience that says, okay, I get it. You've been on the show a few times. Jeff and Eric are talking about this kind of stuff from time to time. All right. I'm willing to agree that creativity is important, but I'm not so sure I'm ready to dive in. Totally. What would you give them as maybe three. Two or three? Where do you start with it? And assuming that this person maybe is not, quote, unquote, they haven't played music before. They've not painted. Ah, they haven't painted before, but they're getting what we're saying about that. Creativity is for everyone. So what would you say is a good place to start? Or maybe two examples? Three? Whatever is good for you.

Lee Ann: Yeah. Um, I would say we're all wired differently and we all have this, like, we're drawn to something and it's something different for everyone. Like, there's this little nag in the back of your mind, like, man, I've always wanted to knit. Or I don't know, it can be so, ah, different for other people. Um, hiking, believe me or not, that's creative. It's just doing something that is not normal for you.

Eric: Lee Ann uh, I'm interrupting you, but you just said something. That little nag thing mhm it's that little voice nag that says, hey, you should you look over there. Is that kind of what you're talking about?

Lee Ann: Yeah, it's this thing in the back of your mind. It keeps circling back. It just keeps thinking, hey, you know what? One day I would like to try that. I hear so many people saying, oh, one day I would like to try such and such. Right. What would happen if you just went ahead and did that? Such and such.

Eric: All right, so I'm setting up a flow here. So maybe the first thing to do is to stop and listen a little bit more to that nag that may be in the back of your mind.

Lee Ann: That'd be a good place to start, whatever it is.

Eric: Yeah. Okay.

Lee Ann: All right. And then, um, if you feel intimidated by any of that, like, where do you even.

Eric: Start?

Lee Ann: Find, uh, someone else who's done that on the Internet now. There's no reason that you can say, hey, I don't know anyone who's doing something because you just got there and I didn't go to school for art. And people are kind of, like, surprised to see that. They're like, where did you learn all these different techniques? Because I do a bunch of different techniques. I pour resin, alcohol inks, and modeling, um, paste. And I do a lot of different things. I've gotten into sculpture lately too. And it's like I've learned it all by kind of seeing other people do something similar and just kind of making it my own. So get courage from other sources or whatever to just figure out how to put your toe in the water and start small and do not feel like you have to like, get all of the things. Like, don't spend a lot of money on any of this in the beginning. Uh, use what you have at your disposable. A lot of things. Anyway, you can start really small and do that. Just start really small. There's a good entry way to just and I think it's actually even more important to start small because, um, there's something about like going out and buying all the really high end stuff and everything like that. Um, there's pressure there to create something really important. You put pressure on yourself. And two, it just doesn't feel really like you ramp up. I like even now using some of my homemade things or whatever things I find around the house for stuff because that in itself bears creativity. I'll, uh, use an example of, um, what the American Girl doll store thing. Uh, my kids it was kind of a blessing. I was a little bit broke. I was a single mom there for a while. And, uh, we would go to the American Girl I can never say it Americans. You know what I'm talking about? Yeah, we did. And it was everything I could do to save up, to get them a doll. Uh, I certainly did not have money to get all the things around. It this bazillion dollar industry of accessories, lifestyle stuff. So the nice thing is I couldn't afford it. So they had to build their own they had to make their cardboard beds and things out of cardboard and all the stuff. And uh, they loved their stuff, their cardboard beds. And then I went to a friend's house who had better means and could buy all the things. And I noticed all accessories were kind of like trashed up in the corner and they didn't care about them so much. And it was really interesting, right? What happened there.

Eric: Yeah.

Lee Ann: Um, wow. Something about your own hands, your own efforts, empowerment, all that kind of stuff. Rather than going out and buying the most high end stuff that may feel so aesthetic almost or something.

Eric: So do you think, Leanne, in regards to this? Um, because we've talked a lot on this show about, um, how our brain works. Um, and so many people, when they venture into starting something new, um, those first few weeks of the start is really hard. And I don't know of the scientific data, but my gut tells me there's something out there that says that if somebody's going to quit, it's probably early on. Mhm true. Well, I think one of the reasons that that happens, real confident that this is one of the reasons why it happens is the brain's resistance to change. Now, it's not that our brain doesn't know how to handle change. It's not that our brain thinks that change is an enemy per se. M but as we've mentioned many times, primary function, responsibility, role of our brain protection, efficiency and ease. If Eric and Lee Ann and Jeff say, we're going to start playing soccer, our brain is going to say, hold on, uh, hold up a minute. You don't have time to do that. Leanne.

Jeff: Jeff, I've got a bad hip.

Eric: You got a bad hip. Eric, you got other responsibilities. Lean out for other people.

Lee Ann: What are the rules?

Eric: Okay, so our brain begins on the front side. It's like our opposition shoot you down already, resistance. But my belief here is that as you are starting something small, that's going to benefit you as well. So that friction is not going to be as great as if you went out and said, yeah, I just spent $1,000 on X, Y, and Z, and I'm going to go to do this. And then I've got this big thing, I'm going to pitch this guy in New York City. And then all of a sudden, it's.

Lee Ann: Like, what are you doing?

Eric: What are you doing? Because you're brains going, oh, no. And talk about resistance. So I'm saying that for people so that they can just acknowledge that in the beginning, you're going to get that. So Dr. Andrew Huberman, um, he coined the phrase, uh, limbic friction. And it's that idea that your brain is resisting making this movement to a new change, a new habit, a new what have you. Um, so those of you out there who maybe say, okay, step one is great, want to do that, step two, I agree. Leanne, that's great advice. Just want to prepare everyone that as you go down this process, your brain is going to resist. The super positive thing is that and everybody's different. Two to three weeks, whatever the case may be, your brain will start to support what you've decided to do. And that's really powerful. Um, anything else that you would add or you think those two will get you going down this path of exploring the creativity?

Lee Ann: I think what you mentioned is really important. Um, that resistance, uh, what do you call it?

Eric: Limbic. He calls it limbic friction.

Lee Ann: That's so cool. That's way more important than the word I was going to use, which is just control freak. This is what happens a lot of time. We get really set in our ways. And as much as we want to that nagging in our brain, we want to give it any of that tension. There's a sense of control freak that we have to overcome as well. And I think it's the same thing you're talking about. But, um, allow yourself to fail and a lot. And that's why it's good to start with something small and not expensive. Um, and again, we're kind of like veering back into the art world or whatever. It's a great analogy for me because it's natural for me to use that. Um, but you're going to fail a lot in whatever you're doing, and don't look at the people that are so far ahead of you in your path. Look at other people that are kind of like just starting up whatever it is too.

Eric: I almost would say leanne. If you encounter someone that says they haven't failed a lot, go the other.

Lee Ann: Way, then they haven't tried a lot or they're lying.

Eric: Yeah, just, uh, my experience and I know in the age of social media where every post says that I'm awesome and I do unbelievable things.

Jeff: Yeah, look at the Wright brothers. They failed and failed and failed. And then when they succeeded, nobody believed them. It took years after they did their first flight before people believed that they could fly.

Eric: And you know, I heard, uh, another reference to David Goggins. He has reframed the fail word or failure into attempts.

Lee Ann: Uh, yeah, and that's really a better.

Eric: Word because even don't get me wrongly. Ah, Jeff, it's not that I'm saying the word failure is a bad word and you shouldn't use it. Uh, whatever works for you. But I liked how he reframes it as well. This is my first attempt. This is my second attempt.

Jeff: I think there's something different between saying I failed or this attempt didn't work.

Lee Ann: Yeah, that is really powerful and I love that so much because that is really true. Uh, I would say a lot of the things that I would consider, let's say attempts, attempts that didn't meet my intended goal or whatever are still actually people want to buy those things. And so never be so harsh to judge yourself in your own work, opinions.

Eric: And things like that. The reality around what you just said, um, is so on. Mark, uh, Jeff and I remember this story. I think you will. Um, we, uh, were part of a day long event and I think we were maybe the last one. And it was like at a wellness conference. Um, um, it was like maybe we were getting to second person had just completed and I think I remember I leaned over to Jeff and I said, jeff, I think they're basically going to talk about the same things we were and we had before the conference. Kind of the organized as you know, we had kind of laid out what we were going to do. M, and we thought it was going to be like, well, you guys are going to do this kind of thing, they're going to do this kind of thing and this person this kind of thing. But it was this overlap and I remember going, we can't get up there and just be in a, uh, regurgitation because we're going to be on we were the last speakers. So I ripped up and I started right out of the gate and here's what we got to do. Okay, different. I remember getting on break on Jeff instead of this. And then I remember you saying, well, we could use the cocktail process, uh, in there so we'll insert that. And this is the conference is going on. I mean, it's like lunchtime. And I never said this to you, Jeff. I never felt so alive. Uh, it was fun and it came off tremendously. But for me, it was that, okay, we're going to go.

Jeff: We were still making it up while we were doing it, right?

Eric: But here's the thing. Jeff calls it making it up. He knows where I'm going next with modal jazz. It's called improvisation.

Lee Ann: Yes.

Eric: It's newness, it's fresh. Reading where things are at. And as long as I let Jeff know, move into KIAC. Let's go. Mhm jeff knows to follow. Right. I think, Leanne, when we do this podcast, there's these certain rhythms and flows that we just for the life of me and I know not everyone's going to embrace it, but, uh, I think this power of when you put together talented, creative, open, willing people, magic happens.

Jeff: And the space yes.

Lee Ann: And it's not over scripted or over rehearsed. The magic dies when you're over rehearsed.

Jeff: I think we've learned that as we've progressed from our first few podcasts.

Eric: Yeah, they were they were very structured. Very structured. Um, and what's kind of funny and you wouldn't know this, uh, I remember we first, uh, started sending out interview questions where they were specific interview questions designed for them to answer.

Lee Ann: Yeah, sounds like a good idea at the time.

Eric: Oh, my gosh. You want to talk about complete nose dive, right? Sure. And before I give away too many of our secrets, jeff here at the podcast University, uh, I just have to say again, Leanne, that at least, you know, speaking for me, that pool of creativity, um, was not designed for greatness or landing another engagement or it was about what do you do in that moment? Mhm what do you do when what you thought was going to go left is now turning right? And I think whether you're in a meeting in a company where the market turned on you and you got to figure out, what do we do differently.

Lee Ann: Right then on the screen?

Eric: And I will forewarn any of those decision maker leaders out there the time to make creativity this, quote, powerful tool is to do the prep before the crisis hits. Mhm because I believe organizations, people who have made it a part of their practice to be creative, will know how to draw on that when what you thought was going to happen doesn't happen.

Lee Ann: You, uh, see it time and time again in these companies that rested in the laurels of their successes in the previous years.

Eric: Right.

Lee Ann: And kind of what we're talking about, and it's similar to what you're talking about, too. With your talent, you just get comfortable, and this is what I'm good at. This is my thing. I'm not going to push and do anything above and beyond that because it's so easy. But then you see companies who folded because they just didn't pivot or they couldn't allow themselves because they're like, this is our thing. This is what we're always like the.

Jeff: Video stores of the past or Kodak.

Lee Ann: Yeah, there's, um, so many different good examples. There was a timepiece company, I can't remember, um, they couldn't pivot to, I don't know, CSX Railroad didn't want to fly. They were like, that's never going to work.

ase ask me about that time at:

Lee Ann: Yeah, the process of it. That's my favorite part. And the ugly part of the process, because I think that's the more important story, to be quite honest with you. Yeah. Anyone aspiring to do any of these things, they need to know how hard.

Eric: And this is coming from a guy that used to believe, when I'd hear someone say it's the journey, not the destination, Eric, I would just go, oh, bullshit. No, right. But you know what? It is the journey. But that is where the goal is.

Lee Ann: That is the human condition though, right? So, um, I think there's some research out there. I've heard that people are more attracted to, uh, the imperfect than the completely polished, perfect. It's what we're talking about, the scripted, the unscripted or whatever. But I think we're at a place now where people want that authenticity.

Jeff: I think in music. I would much rather hear live music because there is, uh I know that they've practiced and they've done everything they possibly could to do it. Right. But there's still imperfections not the right word. It's.

Lee Ann: Alive. There's energy there. There's a little fat finger here and there. There's something there's noise there's.

Jeff: And there are some bands that sound horrible in person because they can't do that. They can do it in a studio.

Eric: Yeah, mhm.

Jeff: But they can't do it live.

Lee Ann: Sometimes something is just lost. Um, I've noticed, like bluegrass, for instance. Not something I can listen to on a CD or tape. I am not going to there's no soul there for some reason. And I can't say I'm a huge bluegrass fan. However, if you've ever been to a bluegrass festival and you've seen the little lady doing the clogging, and they are killing their instruments, they are pouring everything.

Jeff: Into it, playing the washboard.

Lee Ann: I can't get enough of that at that moment, because it's about what they are giving. It's the connection and life energy of what they are giving to their instruments, what the instrument is giving to the audience. And everybody is all this amazing stuff.

Jeff: The audience is giving back. And creativity, I think, is two ways.

Eric: It absolutely is. Leanne, we can't thank you enough for joining us again today. And as always, uh, we look forward to the next time that you can join us, which will be soon. We were talking off air about some other things that we had in our head, and then our producer reminded me, you're at our number. And I'm going, well, we can't get into two parts, okay? So please come back again.

Lee Ann: Thank you so much for having me. I always love hanging out with you guys. The, um, conversation flows just so organic.

Eric: It's a lot of fun. It's a blast. It's a blast. And for those of you, uh, out there listening, we do appreciate you tuning in, and we look forward to the next time we're together. Take care.


More Episodes
90. Courageous Creativity with Lee Ann Lander
89. What We Discovered That Will Make 2023 a Great Year
88. 2022 Retrospect, The Best of Spirit of EQ (so far)
87. Help Through The Holidays
86. The Journey of Grief with Jess Laughlin
85. Spiritual and Emotional Awareness
84. Laughter is The Best Medicine
83. Mental Health and EQ In The Workplace
82. The Curated Life with Timmy McCarthy, Cocoon Investments
81. Let Your EQ Flow
80. The Idea Of Stories
79. Belonging and EQ at Work with Tina Schweiger and Michelle Stinson Ross of Mindful Appy
78. The Waters of Change with Luke Cavanagh of IKEA
77. The Importance Of Optimism
76. Giving Up Stuff
75. Fear And Anger
74. Keeping It Simply Simple
73. Everything You Wanted To Know About EQ (But Were Afraid To Ask) - Pt. 2
72. Relentless Leadership with Perry Maughmer
71. EQ And Personality
70. Living Your Noble Goal In Trying Times
69. The Authentic Version of You
68. Harnessing Your EQ Horsepower
67. Corporate Wellness and Music with Quincy Williams
66. Creativity and the Noble Goal with Lee Ann Lander
65. EQ Conversations with Dr. Ajené Wilcoxson
64. 2021 Retrospect, The Best of Spirit of EQ (so far)
63. Supporting Those Dealing With Stress and Anxiety
62. The Connection Between Physical Exercise and Emotional Health with Quincy Williams
61. EQ Conversations with Kelli Schweitzer
60. Spiritual Emotional Intelligence
59. EQ Conversations with Artist, Singer and Songwriter Hannah Bowers
58. Dealing With The Unknown
57. Anxiety and Emotional Intelligence
56. I'm Emotionally Intelligent. Why Isn't Everyone Else?
55. Special Guest Bill O'Herron
54. Special Guest John O’Hagan and his Journey From Musician to Entrepreneur
53. Everything You Wanted To Know About EQ (But Were Afraid To Ask)
52. Revisiting Emotional Intelligence
51. Building Resources
50. EQ and Parenting Through a Child’s Chronic Health Condition with Special Guest Aleasa Word
49. DEI, Emotional Intelligence and the Road Ahead with Special Guest Toya Spencer
48. EQ, Exercise and Nutrition
47. Forgiveness
46. Kevin Dwinnell, VP Product Strategy and Commercialization at Taivara
45. Circumstances
44. The Art of Active Listening
43. Too Quick To Judgement
42. Lee Ann Lander, Owner, Lee Ann Lander Art and Creative Consulting
41. Candice Thomas-Maddox, PhD, Professor of Communication Studies, Ohio University
40. Helping Others Find Value In Themselves
39. Special Guest Kevin Saunders, Founder, KS4Inspiration
38. Special Guest Andy Frank
37. Outside Looking In
36. Under Pressure Pt 2
35. Under Pressure Pt 1
34. Working on You
33. The Future of Work with Special Guest Holly Custard, PhD
32. The Problem and Opportunity of Bias
31. D-1 College Athlete, Life Lessons and EQ with Special Guest Dan DeLucia
30. Jeremy Jensen, Dubuque Police Department
29. Focus On Your EQ
28. Motorcycles, Neil Peart and Emotional Intelligence
27. How EQ Can Change Your Life
26. What’s Wrong With Leadership Development
25. What Women Entrepreneurs Want You To Know
24. Leadership and The Art of Leading a Motorcycle Group Ride
23. Generational EQ
22. Success and Emotional Intelligence
21. Refining Your Noble Goal
20. Managing Relationships
19. The Myth Of Winning
18. Fear
17. Being Self-Aware
16. The Myth Of Perfection
15. Better Decision Making
14. Spiritual Emotional Intelligence
13. Learning Philosophies
12. How To Cope With Feelings Of Failure
11. How Well Do You Know Yourself
10. The Noble Goal
9. A Business Case Study in EQ
8. Pursuing Noble Goals
7. Increasing Empathy
6. Engaging Intrinsic Motivation
5. Exercising Optimism
4. Navigating Emotions
3. Applying Consequential Thinking
2. Recognizing Patterns
1. Enhancing Emotional Literacy
trailer Welcome To The Spirit of EQ Podcast