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Mastering Responsibility & Leading with Heart

Episode #1087: In this episode of the Arete Coach Podcast, Christopher Avery, PhD, CEO, Author, Mentor, Speaker, and Founder of The Responsibility Company, shares his journey from IT management consulting to executive coaching and responsibility mentoring. During the episode, we discuss the meaning of responsibility, the difference between being a responsible person and taking 100% responsibility, the Responsibility Process, and harmful states that can prevent individuals from being truly accountable.

About Christopher Avery, PhD

Christopher Avery, PhD is a CEO, Author, Mentor, Speaker, and Founder of The Responsibility Company. Christopher supports evolving leaders, coaches, and leadership teams who seek to be wiser faster, intend to lead themselves and others to results that matter, know there is more light available to them, and are open to the idea that their outer world changes when their inner world changes.

Christopher has been innovating the front lines of leadership with the first how-to approach for understanding, taking, and teaching personal responsibility through what he calls The Responsibility Process. The Responsibility Process taps into 25 years of applied research to help show leaders how to access their innate leadership and then cascades that to their teams and company culture.

Christopher defines himself as “a reformed management consultant” and has moved from helping leaders cope with their challenges to helping leaders apply their innate leadership ability to face and overcome any challenge. He has published two books, Teamwork is an Individual Skill and The Responsibility Process, and hosts Responsibility Mastery, a worldwide community of individuals mastering responsibility and producing results that matter.

Christopher has earned his doctorate in organizational science and has been helping business leaders operate with freedom, power, and choice for over 30 years.

Key highlights

“Coping is overrated”

Timestamp 17:14

Before starting his company, The Responsibility Company, Christopher Avery was a management consultant. Today, he identifies as a “reformed management consultant.” He explains that as he was “perfecting [his] presentation skills and workshop leadership skills while working” with Technology Futures, he found that his workshop feedback evaluations were indicating that his teaching weren’t going to extend to the everyday workplace. When faced with these evaluations, he shares that “it just struck [him one day” that he was “entertaining people at work… helping them cope with shitty lives at work.” From this point, it didn’t take long for Christopher to realize he wanted to “do more than that.” Today, Christopher believes that “coping is overrated” and instead seeks to “help people grow” which begins with “personal responsibility.”

Mentoring vs. coaching

Timestamp 23:18

When asked how he sees mentoring as different from coaching, Christopher explains that “mentoring is helping somebody think the way I think, and coaching has a whole lot of tools that can help people become better, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the coach has the ability that they’re helping someone to grow or change.” Mentoring requires that the client pursue the skill set of the mentor. Coaching uses tools to help people build skill sets and goals regardless of a coach's own experience or field of expertise.

To your own reality

Timestamp 31:25

A powerful quote Christopher uses in his practice comes from Bill McCarley, the father of the Responsibility Process, “the mental state of responsibility is owning your ability and power to create, choose, and attract.” Christopher explains that this definition of responsibility points out “that we’re always creating, choosing, and attracting our reality. We’re just not always owning it.” He uses this quote and definition to remind others that “if we start owning the crap that we don’t like in our lives, that’s when we will start making changes.”

Leadership: “the pursuit of something larger”

Timestamp 42:22

When asked how he continues to grow and develop as a leader, Christopher shares that he sees leaders as “a byproduct of being in pursuit of something larger than myself”. Because of this, he acknowledges that he will “require assistance” and that he “must attract people” to his mission and cause. For Christopher, his larger purpose or practice of leadership is “forever and always trying to figure out how to get the understanding of responsibility to more people across the world faster.”

Leading with heart

Timestamp 44:37

A lesson in life that Christopher wishes he would have learned earlier on, is the importance of leading with the heart. He explains that previously he used his “brain to brute force” his “way through life and overpower” others. However, he has learned to “use much more” of his “heart to get things done.” Today, Christopher prefers leading with heart.

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Arete Coach Podcast_Christopher Avery_Podcast #1087
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