Episode 198 – Unstoppable Polarity Intelligence Experts with Dr. Tracy Christopherson and Michelle Troseth
And what, may you ask, is “polarity intelligence”? That is one of the topics we get to discuss this episode with the co-founders of the company, Missing Logic, Dr. Tracy Christopherson and Michelle Troseth. Their company was formed to help leaders overcome leadership norms that cause suffering and take them out of good work-life balance.
Tracy and Michelle come from healthcare backgrounds. Even though they formed their company only in 2017 they have been using the tools they develop more than 20 years ago to train leaders to better understand and balance polarities. The most common example of a polarity we all experience is inhaling and exhaling. You need to do both to survive.
As Tracy and Michelle explain, there are many polarities leaders in business face. The more leaders understand how to manage the various polarities in their environment the better their own lives and the lives of those around them will be. The balance between work and non-work is a polarity faced often by leaders especially throughout the business world. Recognizing this polarity and learning to adjust to accommodate both sides of it can greatly improve any leader’s outlook and it will greatly reduce stress.
Our discussion this time ranges far and wide concerning the concepts of leadership and how people can become better leaders by understanding and using polarity intelligence. I leave it to Michelle and Tracy to explain all of this to us. All I can say is that I found this discussion extremely thought provoking and relevant to our world today. I hope you feel the same.
About the Guest:
Dr. Tracy Christopherson and Michelle Troseth are co-founders of MissingLogic®. The core of their work is to help leaders to overcome leadership norms that cause suffering, achieve work life balance, create healthy work cultures and environments by leveraging Polarity Intelligence™.
Tracy and Michelle are co-authors of the book Polarity Intelligence: The Missing Logic in Leadership and co-hosts of The TRU Leader Podcast (previously known as Healthcare’s MissingLogic Podcast). The dynamic duo is known for helping leaders balance leading and living so they can be TRU leaders—thriving, resilient, and unstoppable.
Tracy and Michelle are the creators of the Dynamic Balance Effect® Framework. They use this framework to support leaders in leveraging Polarity Intelligence to create a dynamic balance between their professional and personal lives. Tracy and Michelle frequently speak at national and international leadership conferences on the topics of Polarity Intelligence, Work–Life Balance, and Healthy Work Environments.
Ways to connect with Dr. Tracy and Michelle:
COMPANY WEBSITE LINK:
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
About the Host:
Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog.
Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.
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**Michael Hingson ** 00:00
Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I’m Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that’s a c c e s s i capital B e. Visit
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**Michael Hingson ** 01:21
Welcome to another episode of unstoppable mindset. And today, we get to talk with two people who I’ve gotten to know a little bit and enjoy very much. We have Michelle Troseth. And Tracy Christopherson, who my screen reader says Christopherson, which I think is kind of funny. And I’ve really learned the King’s English, but what can I or where at least Swedish, but you know, we we cope. But they have, I think an interesting story to tell they are co founders of a company. And I’m sure they’re going to tell us about that along with all sorts of other stuff. So we’re really glad that you’re here listening. And we’re glad that Tracy and Michelle are here to talk with us. I want to welcome both of you to unstoppable mindset.
**Michelle Troseth ** 02:10
Well, thank you, Michael, thank you so much. We’re excited to be here.
**Tracy Christopherson ** 02:14
Yes, we are. Well,
**Michael Hingson ** 02:16
cool. I’m excited to have you. So that’s as good as it gets. And we can all have fun. As always, one of the rules of doing this podcast I tell people is we do have to have fun. So that is important. Well tell me about your lives a little bit growing up sort of early years of Tracy and Michelle are Michelle and Tracy, whichever one of you wants to talk first.
**Michelle Troseth ** 02:38
This is Michelle, I’ll go first. Oh, there we go. Yes, I’ll go first. And we did grow up together and many ways. We were still growing Michael. So our background is is we’re both from the state of Michigan. And we started out our careers in health care. And I’m a nurse. And and actually Tracy and I we we met early in our careers, we cared for patients together. And then we became leaders, we went into leadership roles. And we kind of grew up as leaders learned our leadership skills. And we started working with a phenomenal mentor, who was changing practice environments and hospitals. And we joined that journey with her and did a lot of transformation work in hospitals across North America. We ended up in corporations as executives. And then in 2018, after many, many years of doing a lot of hard work. We we decided to start our own company. And so we did that in 2018. But the other thing I want you to know about Tracy and I is we are also very good friends. We’re BFFs and our husbands are best friends as well. And we love to travel together and play cards and golf. And so we have a whole playful side twist as well. There
**Michael Hingson ** 03:54
you go. Yes, my my mother in law was loved to play cards and we would all play cards with her. We always said she cheats because she always won. I mean, always won. So we like to say that she cheated, but you know, she didn’t but it was so much fun.
**Tracy Christopherson ** 04:17
We’d like to think she was cheating anyway. Right? Yeah, it’s
**Michael Hingson ** 04:20
kind of more fun. You know, it’s an excuse anyway, to, you know, to to say that. But she she she loved to play Liverpool rummy and just all sorts of things and, and had a lot of fun. And we all did when was fun to play with her. Occasionally. She led us when that’s, that’s our line anyway. Yeah,
**Tracy Christopherson ** 04:38
for sure. Wow, were we like Euchre and it’s always the girls against the guys. And so, you know, sometimes we think they’re cheating and sometimes they think we are too.
**Michael Hingson ** 04:51
I won’t tell ya. Okay. Well, Tracy, what do you want to add to you? Oh, yeah,
**Tracy Christopherson ** 04:57
yeah, well, I was just gonna say so I’m a respiratory therapists by profession. And, and actually, you know, I had, you know, this experience that Michelle and I had working with healthcare organizations all across the country really was my learning ground for leadership. And, but I’m a learner. And that’s one of my strengths. And so I reached a point where, you know, their real life experience just wasn’t quite enough. And I wanted to have, I knew I was missing something in my education. So I went back to school to get my bachelor’s and then I was egged on to get my masters. And then, lo and behold, I found myself getting a PhD. So I was on like, a 13 year journey, just going back to school to get a degree, but I got multiple ones. And it was really driven by my passion for interprofessional collaboration, really bringing teams together with diverse experiences to work together and, and deliver services. And, and a lot of that was, you know, kind of Michelle and I in the journey together, right, we were doing interprofessional work and healthcare organizations for it was cool. For anybody really knew what it was. And, and we partnered on so many projects together. And so it really, you know, led to my passion to get a PhD in interprofessional health care studies, but we actually met in high end hospital orientation. So it was, you know, kind of the stand up and shake the hand of the person behind you. And that was me, and we like to say we’ve been shaking hands ever since. And, and you know, in our course of our journey as leaders and working with many leaders across North America, we really saw the challenges that they face, and everybody thinks their challenges are unique, right to us. Yeah, but they’re not. And we saw the pattern across multiple leaders, multiple organizations, they were facing the same challenges over and over and over and unable to resolve them. They were unsolvable problems. And we had been had the great fortune to be exposed to polarity thinking, or Barry Johnson, and had leverage that in our work. And so we knew when we left corporate America in 2017, that we were destined to do something really important. And we decided what was really important was to bring this missing logic or this competency to health care leaders and to leaders in general, all across the world. So that’s what we’re doing now.
**Michael Hingson ** 07:30
Wow. So Michelle Tracy was respiratory therapist. What were you?
**Michelle Troseth ** 07:36
I was a nurse. Ah,
**Michael Hingson ** 07:40
I still am. So you guys met at hospital orientation? So you didn’t know each other growing up in school? No,
**Tracy Christopherson ** 07:46
no, no, no, we didn’t grow up on the same side of the state. I grew up on the east side. She grew up on the west side. So we didn’t meet till we were adults, orienting to a new healthcare system.
**Michael Hingson ** 07:59
Now, where do you guys live now?
**Michelle Troseth ** 08:02
But I live just outside of Grand Rapids, in a community called Hudsonville, Michigan, so still in West Michigan.
**Tracy Christopherson ** 08:10
And I live three hours north, and a small resort town called going city near Lake Michigan. And then I’m here in the spring in the summer, early fall, and then I go to California in the winter. I don’t like snow. I leave her here and I come to visit though. Why
**Michael Hingson ** 08:30
don’t you come to California to Yeah, one of these days. So we’re in California. We’re in California. Do you go?
**Tracy Christopherson ** 08:37
I go to Ukiah. Okay. Northern California. Napa. Yeah, right.
**Michael Hingson ** 08:44
I lived in Novato for 12 years. And so we loved to go to Napa up into Ukiah but we we love Napa. We were 45 minutes, maybe an hour away from from Napa. went up there and join the Gloria Ferrara wine club, which was great because if you go there as a member, you get for free glasses of I call them champagne. They say sparkling wine because they don’t want to tick off the French but you know, say what you want. So I’m still a member even though my wife has passed. The problem is I’m not drinking it as fast as it comes in because I’m just not that much of a wine drinker. So I’m gonna have to find a way to start dealing with that. I may have to call on healthcare this or what saved me if I do too much of that. Yeah. But still, well, so what? So Trey? So Michelle, you didn’t say you went to college? Yes, I
**Michelle Troseth ** 09:39
did. I got my bachelor’s at Grand Valley State University here in West Michigan and my master’s in nursing there as well.
**Michael Hingson ** 09:46
But you haven’t haven’t been persuaded to go off and get a PhD to have equal billing or something like that.
**Michelle Troseth ** 09:53
No, I was told by my husband and my best friend Tracy. I was not allowed to do that.
**Tracy Christopherson ** 10:00
He definitely it.
**Michael Hingson ** 10:03
I have a master’s degree and I’m fine with that. Yeah.
**Michelle Troseth ** 10:09
I have to, I have to. And after watching Tracy and her journey, I’m just, I’m a good cheerleader.
**Tracy Christopherson ** 10:16
A whole nother podcast, Michael.
**Michael Hingson ** 10:20
There’s always student loan debt. Right. So
**Tracy Christopherson ** 10:23
I didn’t have any of that I just had some challenging a challenging journey. But it was all done for me. Yeah, made me who I am today. I’m grateful for valuable thing.
**Michael Hingson ** 10:33
Oh, yeah. And I understand, we all are a product of our choices, which is pretty cool. When you talk about this new competency that you’re teaching leaders. And I’ll, before I ask you specifically about that, why did you decide specifically to start a company to deal with addressing issues for leaders and so on?
**Michelle Troseth ** 10:55
Why Well, we because no one was talking about this really, or maybe just small pockets of people. And we knew what a game changer it was. And we had applied it into our own lives both personally. And we had helped organizations and I can tell you, Tracy and I do a lot of speaking. And whenever we would introduce this polarity concept, or having a polarity mindset to an audience, people always got excited, they would say things like, oh my gosh, this makes so much sense. Or I always knew these things were connected, but I never knew how. And it has such implications because we waste so much time, money and resources trying to fix the same problems, when they’re not really problems, they really are polarities. And so we just knew this was something that was very needed. And we knew it starts with the leadership, if the leadership doesn’t understand it, the staff don’t have a chance and the organization’s will never be able to sustain a lot of the hard work they put into fixing problems. So that’s, that was our thing. We’re like, we’re gonna go out there and we’re gonna bring this to the world and we named it missing logic, because it’s missing.
**Michael Hingson ** 12:06
Yeah, I hear you, what do you mean by polarities?
**Tracy Christopherson ** 12:11
So polarities are interdependent pairs of values or points of view, or perspectives. And they are, they appear to be contradictory, at or opposing to each other. But they are interdependent, and they need each other over time to reach a greater purpose that neither value would alone. So you know, we have problems, problems, we use either or thinking we get more, you know, a couple different solutions, we pick the one we want to apply, and we’re done. But polarities are ongoing, they never ends. And that’s why these challenges that leaders were facing, and trying to apply either or thinking to wasn’t working, right, because you can’t treat a polarity that way, you have to use what we call a both and mindset, because these values are interdependent and need each other. Yeah.
**Michael Hingson ** 13:09
Well, you’ve, you’ve written a book about, about all of this with polarities, too, haven’t you? When did you write that?
**Michelle Troseth ** 13:16
During COVID time to do it.
**Tracy Christopherson ** 13:22
There, you know, whatever you’re gonna do, right? Yeah.
**Michelle Troseth ** 13:24
We were locked up. And we said, Okay, this and and the other thing too, Michael, that was really great is we worked with leaders during COVID. We did virtual coaching sessions, virtual mentorship programs. So we were learning a ton. And then we thought, this is the perfect time to write this book. So the name of the book is clarity, intelligence, the missing logic in leadership. And what we’re so proud of is we were able to take all the concepts we’ve been working with having a polarity or both and mindset, the need to have healthy relationships to engage your workforce and your colleagues and your family in a way that you come together with intention and you have a shared purpose with why you are together and meaningful dialogue. And when you’re dealing with polarities and a cause tension, it’s really important to have the communication skills, the dialogue skills to invite conversation to understand those different perspectives as well. So we put all of those together and call it now polarity intelligence. And it’s it’s we have the first book coming out with it, so it’s pretty exciting.
**Michael Hingson ** 14:33
So it’s polarity intelligence out.
**Michelle Troseth ** 14:37
It is available for pre order right now. So you can go to your favorite bookstore and buy and preorder it’s going to be released on January 16 2024. And hot off the press. We just found out today we already hit the best seller list on Barnes and Noble Wow. Get on the bubbles get up
**Michael Hingson ** 15:00
I’m gonna go get one of those bottles of champagne here. Yeah. But I don’t want to drink in front of you. So that is exciting. Yeah, sorry, that that’s happening. Well, so. So tell me, I guess a little bit more about this whole concept of polarity intelligence? And how do you how do you teach it to people? And well, and how is it received? I guess from a book standpoint, it’s received well, but in general, when you’re dealing with people, how do they how do they receive it or deal with it?
**Tracy Christopherson ** 15:33
Well, that’s a great question, you know, so let’s start with a little bit more about it. So people that so your listeners kind of have some context to what we’re talking about. And a really easy way to understand a polarity is inhaling and exhaling. Because that is a polarity our body manages for us all day, every day. And we have to inhale to receive oxygen and exhale to remove carbon dioxide. And the greater purpose of that is to sustain life, and it’s the only polarity that’s leveraged or managed for us. And our body just takes care of that. And, and so we kind of really start there with helping people to understand what a polarity is in and of itself. And then our overall objective is to help them to understand how polarities work because there’s some various principles that they operate on. And as an example, you know, when you have a polarity, you have two poles, they’re interdependent, and they need each other. So one is not more important than the other. So inhaling is not more important than exhaling, I have to have both if I want to sustain life, and if I don’t have both, I’m going to die, right? That’s a negative consequence. The another principle that we teach people is that when you over emphasize one pole and you neglect the other, there’s always a negative consequence, you’re always going to lose the positive benefits of the pole that you neglect. So there’s always a consequence to that. And and then I think the other thing too, is really what we want to do is leverage these healthy relationships and the meaningful dialogue, when we sit in conversation with the if you think about the tensions we’ve experienced, as people in our countries internationally, you know, people are walking away from conversations because they don’t want to engage, right? It’s some very high values, people hold dearly, and it can create significant tension. And so to sit in that tension, and to sit in that those contradictory, or opposing perspectives, you really have to have a strong relationship, and you have to know how to have conversation. So we teach them the principles around healthy relationships. And we teach them the principles of dialogue, so that they can really transcend their own personal biases and open up to hear the perspectives of others because both perspectives are right. One is not more right than the other, it’s just really understanding how the two work together. So those are a few ways that we kind of set some context for them, and then teach them the principles of how polarities operate. So they can understand it is a universal principle. So it applies to everybody. You can’t ignore it, it’s like gravity, we like to say, it’s always there. They’re always working on you, there’s 1000s of them. And you really have to be able to recognize them to leverage them. So that’s our initial steps is to help them understand them, recognize them, begin to leverage them, and develop the skills of healthy relationships, and meaningful dialogue. So they can do that as easily as possible.
**Michael Hingson ** 18:55
If you would give me an example of polarities in business or leadership, to do some sort of concrete example, if you can. Sure.
**Michelle Troseth ** 19:05
So again, they’re everywhere, but in businesses doesn’t matter if it’s a small business like ours are a really large business, they all deal with the same polarities, and probably a very common one is margin and mission, right? You have to always be balancing the margin coming into the organization so you can grow and thrive. And you have to be focused on mission of why you exist in order to create a sustainable business. So that’s a major one. Another one for businesses that we run into all the time and we leverage these in our business, Michael is individual and team. So every person in a business or a company has a role has a purpose. They need to they need to practice or deliver their services, the best they can individually and they’re part of a team. So how the team works together is equal be important. And you need to get that polarity, right size and well balance. So that’s another common one. Also process and progress, right? You have to have infrastructures processes to run a business. And you need to be marking progress as you grow as well. And so that’s another polarity that we use in our business. And there’s, there’s a lot more now leadership. I’m glad you said leadership too, because there’s also polarities, that you have to leverage as a leader, such as candor, and diplomacy, your communication, again, is really important. In even leading and managing as a polarity, they have different attributes, they’re to have different skills. And so we work with leaders on that one as well.
**Michael Hingson ** 20:47
Too many bosses think they’re leaders. I, you’re with me, you’re you’re right there with me. Too many leaders, too many bosses think they’re leaders and they may or night, they may not be leaders at all. And you’re right, they’re totally different things. I know that. And I’ve talked about it here before, that, when I hire salespeople, one of the things I’ve always told them was, look, I hired you, I’m not here to boss you around. And my job, I believe, is to find ways to add value to you to help you be more successful. And you and I have to figure that out together. And that’s a lot different than so many bosses would do. They missed the whole point of what would really make them a much more effective leader of the people they work with.
**Michelle Troseth ** 21:38
**Tracy Christopherson ** 21:39
Yeah. And at the same time, you need some of those strengths of the manager, right, the one that’s gonna make sure everything gets done and has all the processes and the infrastructures and manages that. So that’s why you have to have both, but it’s, it’s balancing that knowing when the manager needs to step up, and knowing when the leader needs to step up in you, right, and you apply those, you know, you’re looking for those outcomes simultaneously. But at different times, you’re gonna need to be more of a manager at different times, you need to be more of a of a leader. And so it’s really understanding that,
**Michael Hingson ** 22:14
but I think the real issue is that people that work for you need to understand when you’re a manager, why you’re a manager, in other words, you you do have to set the boundaries, you do have to set the rules. Yeah. And people who understand that and internalize it will be a lot happier and a lot more successful in the workforce. Right? Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. Which is, which is kind of really important to be able to do, but it really is a fascinating concept, to you know, to do this. How do you. So you’ve been doing this now, since you said, What 2017 2018? Is
**Tracy Christopherson ** 22:56
that business that we’ve been managing your piece for over 20 years? Right,
**Michael Hingson ** 22:59
right. But now you have your own business? You’re doing it? How do you teach it?
**Michelle Troseth ** 23:07
Well, we teach it in various ways, our most common way these days is virtually. And actually we like to tell the story that Tracy and I got zoom before anyone knew what it was, it seems like. So we do we do virtual education, virtual coaching, we have virtual mentorship programs. And it’s amazing how much teaching and application and connection you can do over the internet. But we also teach it and keynote speeches, just the concept to leaders. And we teach it in workshops. We have a group of leaders that there are out they love this so much. They’re in a mastermind group. We work with them over the year, and they just deepen their understanding they achieve incredible outcomes, we get together face to face twice a year at our retreat. Location. And we do a lot with the whole polarity intelligence with him through those different experiences, and we teach it on our podcast. Yeah,
**Tracy Christopherson ** 24:11
yeah. Well, go ahead. No, go ahead. Well, I was just gonna say, you know, from a kind of a concrete perspective, you can map a polarity. So we really use blueprints and maps so that people can make the polarity that they are trying to leverage concrete and actionable. So in these in these in person settings, we actually put a big polarity map on the floor and we walk this polarity map with them and, and help them to really dive deep and understand what the polarity really is, which is the outcomes that they want the consequences. They’ll experience right the actions they need to take, and the early warning signs that will keep them on track and keep them from over focusing or emphasizing one or the other. So that’s really a fun Exercise and leaders love to kind of really step into it and they are in that real in person way.
**Michael Hingson ** 25:07
Makes a lot of sense. Have you found people who resist it?
**Tracy Christopherson ** 25:12
I have not found anybody who resisted it. Yeah, that’s
**Michael Hingson ** 25:14
**Michelle Troseth ** 25:15
I haven’t either,
**Tracy Christopherson ** 25:16
I think because they have an experience of it, but they didn’t know what it was. So we often have people come up to us say, oh, my gosh, I finally know what it is I’ve been experiencing, I finally have words to describe it. And that’s the benefit. Well, you know, what we’re teaching it to say like, they have experienced it, like we experienced gravity. But they didn’t have a common language to explain what it was and how it felt. And now they do. So when they read the book, or when we teach it, they’ll have that common language and way to describe what it is that they’re experiencing, and others will understand it as well.
**Michael Hingson ** 25:54
That is pretty cool. And I was gonna say earlier, I forgot you do have a podcast. Tell us about your podcast.
**Michelle Troseth ** 26:03
Well, our podcast is in transition right now.
**Michael Hingson ** 26:08
But from one hole to the other, I couldn’t resist.
**Michelle Troseth ** 26:15
That was really great. That was really like that.
**Michael Hingson ** 26:16
It’s yours. You can have it.
**Michelle Troseth ** 26:20
Yeah, well, we started a podcast in 2019. The name of it is healthcare is missing logic podcast course our audience at that time was primarily healthcare leaders. But as we grew, and as more people listened to us, we got asked, Do you work with other leaders? Do you work with educators? Can you go work with Congress?
**Michael Hingson ** 26:41
I mean, we’ve had some Well, there’s another story there. Yeah.
**Tracy Christopherson ** 26:44
That’s another podcast episode that Yeah, another whole podcast.
**Michael Hingson ** 26:47
**Michelle Troseth ** 26:49
And so and now we have really developed a really robust, thriving, resilient, unstoppable, we call it true leader mentorship program, and we attract leaders that want to have thriving, resilient, unstoppable, which is why we like being on your podcast lives. And so we just, we’re going to change it to be more, it’s going to be the true leader podcast. And it’s really focused on balancing, leading and living to represent both personal and professional poles as a leader. And,
**Michael Hingson ** 27:23
and that brings up a very important point, you got to have that life balance between living and working and living and leading on the job and all that. And I’m sure that that must be one of the big issues that all too many people are victims of, if you will, that you find right. Oh, yes. Oh, yes. How do you how do you get them to deal with that, but I got to spend this time at my company, I can’t not do that. Well,
**Tracy Christopherson ** 27:55
the AI really comes in our true leader mentorship program, because it starts with understanding polarities, and that your professional life and your personal life is a polarity that work life balance isn’t a problem to solve. It’s not an either or, and that you actually have to give attention to both your personal life and professional life to get that highest quality life that you want to really thrive both at work and at home. And so we’ve developed a framework that’s called the dynamic balance effect framework. And it has, has combination of strategies that when you put them together, enables leaders to create a dynamic, balanced lifestyle, and it becomes a part of who they are. So they leveraged polarities, they learn about that, that polarity, they create a blueprint, their own unique blueprint for how they’re going to manage the tension between the two, you know, both the professional life and the personal life. And that’s one aspect of it. And then we also help them to understand, one of the other pillars that we have is mindful choices. And we’re always making choices, Michael, sometimes we’re aware of the choices we’re making, sometimes we make them unconsciously. But we’re always making choices are living with the results of those choices. And what we want is make choices that are based on our highest values that are aligned with who we are that would help us to be in integrity. So you know, we want to make sure we’re aligned to the values, we’re clear on the values and we live by our principles. And so we really help them to get that clarity identify who it is they need to be in this new life that they’re designing. And then another pillar really is personal alignment. And this is about harnessing tools and processes and infrastructures that help them to really kind of, you know, experience the peace and joy and the life that they want because they’re aligning their actions to the essence of who they really are. They know what their purpose is, they know their strengths, everything becomes a little bit more easy and effortless when you have that clarity. And so we kind of use these three pillars, combined together to help them get that dynamic balance effect. And it’s a lot of reflection and looking at the beliefs that we hold the norms that we operate under, and letting go of some things that don’t really just don’t serve us. And sometimes those are blind spots. And so we shine a light on the blind spots, help the reveal them, and then work through your processes to overcome them. What
**Michael Hingson ** 30:33
kind of a process do you go through to analyze any given an individual or leader in terms of determining how best to apply the dynamic balance effect framework to them? Or to, to bring them into it? I mean, because obviously, you have to take while you have similarities, each case is different.
**Michelle Troseth ** 30:54
Yeah, yeah. So there’s a couple different things we do we do. We can do polarity assessments. So we actually have a methodology where we can actually assess how well you’re managing different polarities, you know, how well are you managing your personal life and your professional life, your activity and rest, caring for yourself and caring for others, and we can show them, and then help them create more effective action steps and coach them around that. And then when it comes to personal alignment, we do spend a lot of time just getting to know their strengths. So we have various assessments that we do for that to really determine how are they wired, really what makes them tick, because everybody is different. And then they are able to apply those results to their blueprints, and their other tools that we provide them so they actually can accelerate and meet the goals that they’re going after. And so those are, those are just some ways where we do measurement, and we do we also track progress with their goals over time as well. And they’ve had an amazing transformation results, it’s been so much fun.
**Tracy Christopherson ** 32:03
Well, they do a life inventory as well. So they look at their life, from a lot of different perspectives, all the components of their life, and they have others also look at their life, and others do the polarity assessment to get a perspective outside of themselves. So we invite them, to have people closest to them, give them some real, you know, candid perspectives about what they see in their life. And, and that’s also very helpful for them. When it comes down to it, it’s up to them to decide what’s the most the highest priority polarity for me, what’s the highest priority skill or habit I need to develop? And we just can provide them with a guidance and, and coach them along the way to remove any barriers just kept, keep getting the barriers out of the way, because that’s, that’s really 90% of it. Just getting the barriers out of the way we know we need to do we just don’t do it. Right?
**Michael Hingson ** 32:57
Well, you’re right. And also, all too often, people are so resistive to to change their resistive to really analyzing themselves, because we don’t teach people how to do that. I’m a great fan of introspection, spending time with the end of the day, what went well, what didn’t go well, even what went well, could I have done it better. And I have grown to not like liking to use the term failure, other than it’s an opportunity to look at what I did, and figure out how to do it better. But we become so defeated so often. And like I hear all the time, people are afraid of public speaking, and it’s one of people’s greatest fears. And it shouldn’t be if we would learn what public speaking is really all about, which is talking with an audience, not to an audience. And again, it’s just the kind of thing that people are so resistive to so many of the kinds of concepts I think that you’re talking about. And leaders, hopefully are, in general a little bit different because they are leaders and they’re open to it or you are able to work with him to get them to that point. But it must be a challenge.
**Tracy Christopherson ** 34:16
Well, yeah, the truth is, aren’t we’re wired to stay in our comfort zones, right? Our brains are wired to keep us safe. And so we have, you know, we react physically, when we don’t when we’re uncertain about the future or what experience we’re going to have. So any uncertainty can unleash a sense of anxiety and us or we can hear that little that little you know, chatter in our brain on you don’t need to do that you just stay right where you’re at. It’s really nice and comfortable here. You know, it’s not easy, but you know what you’re dealing with. So this is a lot better than going out there and trying something different. What if you fail in our brains, our subconscious feeds us all this so it’s really really just increasing awareness of what we’re saying to ourselves and how our brain is trying to keep us safe. It’s what it’s designed to do. But that’s only because it doesn’t know that it’s okay to step out of the comfort zone. And so we really do a lot of coaching around that aspect. Because those are the things mostly that hold us back, is that we just resist, because it’s ingrained in us to resist it’s a part of our brain. So we have to train our brain. No, you know what, sometimes you just have to say, You know what, I appreciate what you’re trying to do. But it’s really okay for me to make this chance. It’s really okay for me to take this chance to step out and do this. And you have to just kind of work with yourself around that.
**Michael Hingson ** 35:44
I, I agree, I hear what you’re saying. It’s the other side of it, though, is that we don’t teach people to deal with fear. I know that for me, having been in the World Trade Center and escaping. People always say, Well, you weren’t afraid because you couldn’t see what was going on. And it’s so difficult to get people to understand. Keep in mind that the airplane in our building hit on if I were to average it between 93 and 99. Floor, the 96th floor on the north side of the building, and I was on the south side of the building on the 78th floor. How was I supposed to know what happened the last time I checked X ray vision, and Superman are fiction, right. And the reality is going down the stairs, no one knew no one knew that we had been attacked by terrorists, we figured out that an aeroplane hit the building, because we were spilling the fumes from burning jet fuel. And I identified that odor, but four floors down from when we entered the stairwell. So it was probably about the 74th floor that I figured out that’s the fumes from burning jet fuel when we figured that out. But I wasn’t afraid going down the stairs. For I think a couple of reasons. One is, I always liked the concept. Don’t worry about what you can control, focus on what you can and leave the rest alone because you can’t do anything about it anyway, I didn’t articulate that for the longest period of time. But I think that is something that’s been in my makeup for a long time. The other part about it is, however, that I think that fear is something that is all too often taught and that if you have knowledge, and essentially what you’re talking about, with knowledge, you can learn not to be blinded by fear, as I call it, or paralyzed by fear or overwhelmed, whatever you want to call it. But that fear can in fact, become a powerful tool for you, not against you. And so I’m actually working on on a book about that we actually, with a colleague, we’ve written a book about that. And the idea is that you can learn to control fear. And yeah, you may have some reactions when something doesn’t go just the way you think. But you can learn to control your fears, and allow yourself to be able to move forward in a much more organized way that you don’t have to let fear overwhelm you. Right,
**Tracy Christopherson ** 38:13
right. Yeah. And I think it’s important to know, where’s the fear coming from? Right? What is it that we’re afraid of? Right. And I think working through those processes, sometimes, just getting that deeper understanding can help you release that fear and realize, Well, really, there isn’t anything, nothing terrible is going to happen, right? In many instances. So it’s just kind of really getting to know you’re self aware your fears come from, I think is a very healthy way to look at fear.
**Michael Hingson ** 38:41
And that’s a lot of it. And the reality is that we we don’t, we’re not encouraged to do that kind of self reflecting and self analysis and internalizing of what’s going on. So the result is we react rather than thinking more about it, which is, in a sense, maybe another kind of missing logic. Yeah.
**Tracy Christopherson ** 39:02
Wow. Right. Right. But and it comes from our past. Yeah, to your point, because we haven’t been educated or trained or haven’t learned for that self reflection and, and right to do all that from the time we were children. We just respond based on our past programming based on the things that we’ve experienced in the past. That’s what how our brain gets wired. So we don’t have that to draw from so you have to build that skill to your right.
**Michael Hingson ** 39:31
Yeah, right. And I know for me, having been blind my whole life, I’ve been in a lot of situations where there have been unpredictable kinds of circumstances. I mean, heck, I lived. Well, anytime I cross the street. There’s the potential of a car coming down the street that I missed, or that isn’t stopping and I always have to be alert. What am I going to do about that or when I lived in in mass such UCITS for three years, I lived in the state that had the reputation of having had the I the highest accident rate per capita in the country. And I’m sitting there crossing the street with all these crazy cars coming down the street. So, for me, I learned that I have to be observant and not be afraid. Otherwise, why go out at all? And so it that doesn’t mean that you just go put yourself in danger. But it does mean that you can deal with different things that go on. Right? Yeah. Yep. Great point. So it becomes one of the the issues to deal with well, so we wrote a book about it called Live like a guide dog. And the end. And the point is that I’ve had a number of Guide Dogs and other dogs in my life. And the idea is that dogs can fear. But more often than not, fear is learned like my fifth guide dog, Roselle was not afraid of thunder at all. Until we moved to New Jersey and live there for almost a year before she started exhibiting fear reactions and shaking and shivering whenever there was a thunderstorm coming. What we also learned is that a lot of that had to do with the fact that as the storm would approach, the static build up on her, gave her this Prickly, uncomfortable feeling. And then you get the thunder that goes with it. It caused kind of a fear reaction. And again, now we know more about dealing with that. And there are ways to teach dogs that they don’t need to be afraid of thunder treats always help. But you know, that’s a part of it. But but the reality is, again, I think it’s as true for for humans, we need to learn that we can analyze what’s going on, as you said earlier, and use that to better analyze ourselves and go Well, why are we reacting to this? Right? So you, you spend a lot of time obviously working with the people who you have the opportunity to, to work with to get to get them to to analyze all that. How long do you end up after on average working with clients? Or is it kind of almost a lifelong kind of thing? Well,
**Michelle Troseth ** 42:24
sometimes they might be with us just for a 12 month program. And sometimes we’ve had leaders with this going on for years. So I just really depends on what their needs are, what their you know, what their goals are. But we do have some that, you know, they just love working with.
**Tracy Christopherson ** 42:46
All right, well, unity, right. Yeah.
**Michelle Troseth ** 42:49
It’s a community to communities. Yeah. Yeah. They like being a
**Tracy Christopherson ** 42:53
part of that community. Yeah, putting each other and learning from each other. And so that’s, that’s another aspect of the work that we do, we really are strong believers in the community and the supportive community. And we know leaders are longing for that right now. And especially leaders that find themselves in, in environments that don’t feel psychologically safe. They’re really looking to connect with others that are experienced some of the same things they’re experiencing. And so we do have an ongoing community that people engage in as well. Yeah.
**Michael Hingson ** 43:27
immunity is a very strong tool that can help a lot too. Yeah. Yeah. Which is really, which is really pretty cool. Well, you know, leaders are people. Well, how come leaders often suffer from burnout? How come that happens?
**Michelle Troseth ** 43:47
Well, what happens with when in leadership roles. Sometimes what happens is you’re with other leaders, and there’s an expectation of behavior and thoughts that are based on shared beliefs of how you should act as a leader, how things that’s just the way things are here. And, and then you become even maybe unaware that you are doing those behaviors or having those thoughts. And so what happens is leaders just develop a tracing I called Leadership norms. And those norms can actually be harmful over time. So an example of one is servant leadership. You know, servant leadership is a good thing. And it reinforces everybody before me, the leader eats last and over time, that has a negative impact on the leader and they do suffer from exhaustion and burnout. And you know, we have learned a lot from the airline industry, that there’s a reason why they have you put your oxygen mask on first so that you can help others. And it’s not an it’s not a norm for leaders to do that they always think about even during cold I thought more about their teams than they did about themselves. And you know, just how hard you have to work as a leader, there’s a whole norm around that. Long hours work hard climbing the ladder. And another metaphor that Tracy and I like to use is, you know, marathon runners know, they have to pace themselves. And you don’t become a marathon runner, you know, by running 26 miles the day of the race, you have to, you have to practice the polarity of activity, and rest. And, and that’s a lot like leadership, we’re in it for the long haul, we have to learn how to care for ourselves and care for others. And what leaders are developing is what Tracy and I call the imbalanced leader syndrome. And we we see it all the time, we have leaders every week that say, Yep, I have that, you know, because they got overflowing to do lists of competing priorities, their financial and people resources are limited, which causes stress. They lack balance between their work and home, and they’re basically just exhausted and unfulfilled. And they know, I think the key thing right now is they’re really wondering if they can continue. And so they, they don’t have a strategy for work life balance, that’s the other thing that we really help them with. But that’s some of the reasons we see leaders get burned out.
**Michael Hingson ** 46:24
Yeah, and you know, it, I liked the concept. And I’ve always liked the concept of servant leadership, but I do understand that it can be carried too far. And we need to understand that the best servants are the ones who really are prepared to do it. And it’s okay to be and I think is appropriate to be if you’re a leader, a servant, because your job is to help but at the same time, you can’t do that if you’re not properly prepared either.
**Tracy Christopherson ** 46:51
Right? Well, when it’s, it’s good until the point where you start to neglect yourself. And what happens is they prioritize everybody before themselves, and then they start to neglect their needs. Neglect, what you know, what’s important to them. And they start to make mistakes, which cause burnout, right, like making themselves available and accessible 24/7 And saying yes, when they reach a request, when they really want to say no, and bringing work home and staying late working on vacation, and sacrificing time with family and friends to work and all of those things add up and build up over time. And that’s what you know, can also lead to that imbalance leader syndrome or to burnout and exhaustion because they don’t give themselves the rest and the things that they need to thrive and survive. And, and we’re not saying don’t serve to your point to write, but take care of yourself so that you can be that incredible leader you want to be because the stronger your personal life is, the more you know resilience you’re going to have, the more mental clarity you’re going to have, the more stamina you’re going to have, the more ability you’re going to have to serve the way that you want to serve.
**Michael Hingson ** 48:04
My most graphic example of that actually relates to one of my guide dogs, my six guide dog Meryl got Meryl in 2007. Roselle had to retire. She had guided for eight years, but she also contracted an immune disease immune mediated thrombocytopenia. So her body was going after her her immune system was going after platelets and so on. Anyway, so marrow came along, and it looked well for a little while. But then we started noticing that Meryl wouldn’t play with the other dogs. We had two other dogs in the house Rosella retired guide dog. And we also were what were called breeder keepers for Guide Dogs for the Blind. The breeding stock would not stay in kennels all the time, but would live in people’s homes except when they were doing their puppy things. So Meryl wouldn’t play with the other dogs. And it got worse and worse. And as I eventually described it, she had a type A personality, she could not leave work at the office, she wouldn’t play with them. She followed me everywhere. And if they tried to play she actually curled her lip a few times. And eventually after about 18 months of what wasn’t even that was about 14 months of guiding. She started becoming very fearful of even guiding and wearing a guide dog harness. And eventually, the people like Eye Dogs for the Blind, observed her and agreed. And we had to retire her because she was just afraid to guide anymore. She just couldn’t handle the stress of guiding on top of the stress that she was putting on herself. Oh, yeah. And the result is that, you know, she did she did retire. And then we got Africa who was my seventh guide dog, whose mother was the breeder dog that we were caring for which was just sort of a coincidence but Africa was the total opposite of Maryland, Africa did fine around people. Now we have Alamo and he does well. But it is interesting because to talk about Meryl, she just got to the point where she could not take the stress. And it was more self imposed, although she never realized that, of course, but it was. Well,
**Tracy Christopherson ** 50:21
and that’s true for people to write. Some of these norms are self imposed, and we follow them. And we don’t have to, but people need permission to let it go. They need to know it’s okay to do something different to behave differently. So no,
**Michael Hingson ** 50:37
yeah, absolutely. That’s, that’s really the whole issue is that, you got to learn that and that was something that we could never teach Merrill, no matter what we tried. And so it just didn’t work out that way. But it’s just one of those things. But for me, so really graphic example of what you’re talking about. And the other you know, if I were to also ask this, I just thought about it. We’ve been talking about leaders, what is the leader? How’s that for a general question?
**Michelle Troseth ** 51:10
Well, sometimes we say everybody’s a leader. You know, I think there’s leader roles in pretty much everywhere in organizations and churches and schools and businesses. Certainly, in families, there’s leaders, you know, and so it everyone can step into a leadership role, and I think have leadership qualities, you know, I think there’s the title, but there’s also attributes of leadership that anybody can really exhibit.
**Tracy Christopherson ** 51:45
So, and I think that’s holding the vision, right? Yes, whether it’s a family or an organization, it’s really, you know, somebody that holds the vision for who we are, where we’re headed. They, you know, to your point earlier, right, they’re nurturing the people that are doing the work or taking the actions to move closer to the vision. And they’re just that, you know, they’re kind of that, you know, they’re they’re just that nurturing, they create a nurturing environment, and a healthy environment that enables people to bring their gifts, they lean into the strengths of others, and they bring people together, they connect people, to move the, you know, the efforts forward to move and strive towards the goals or the vision of who and who you who you are, and what you’re trying to achieve. And they kind of hold that container for people to really step into all they can be and, and guide that, you know, guide those individuals in groups and teams, I think. Yeah, so think
**Michael Hingson ** 52:55
that, from a leader standpoint, one of the things that I have found is that true people who lead also know when it’s time to let someone else take the lead on some given thing, because they have some gift or tool that will serve the team better than the so called leader. And I think that’s again, one of the differences going back to near the beginning of today, between a leader and a boss, because I don’t think bosses necessarily know that unless they truly understand leadership.
**Michelle Troseth ** 53:32
Yeah, well, there’s a there’s a polarity and leading and following to sometimes you have to know when to follow, right? And sometimes you need to know when to lead. So yeah.
**Michael Hingson ** 53:43
For me, again, going back to guide dogs, people mostly don’t understand what a guide dog does. The purpose of a guide dog is to make sure that we walk safely, the dog doesn’t know where I want to go or how to get there. And very frankly, I don’t want the dog to know where to go and how to get there. Because that’s, that’s not their job, and how are they going to know. And too many people think, oh, it’s amazing how your dog just knows everything. Well, it’s not quite the way it works. But it’s also true that we in every sense of the word form a team dog has a job to do, I have a job to do. And we need to build up on an extremely high level of trust. And understanding that we both know what our jobs are, and we know what the other individuals jobs is, so that we can be the most successful as we’re walking somewhere or going from place to place that we can. And again, it works really well when the dog knows that it can respect me and that I’m going to respect the job of the dog and give the dog the support it needs. Because the dog in turn will do the same for me. Dogs want somebody To be a Cesar Mallanna would say, a pack leader. But at the same time, in the case of a guide, dog and person, there are times when the dog will be able to take the initiative. And should.
**Michelle Troseth ** 55:14
Yeah, that makes so much sense.
**Michael Hingson ** 55:18
Yeah, it’s, it’s pretty cool to see it and really understand it when it happens. Well, if people want to reach out to you guys, and make contact, and so on, and maybe explore working with you, how do they do that?
**Tracy Christopherson ** 55:36
Well, the best thing to do is to go to our website, which is missing logic.com. And both of our emails are on the website. So that’s really great. And we also have a large LinkedIn following in there. And our handle for LinkedIn is Missing Logic LLC. So that’s another great place to find us and kind of follow what we’re doing. And then we’re also in the process of starting a polarity intelligence website for our book. So there will be information about the book, information about us as authors. And so that’s another place where listeners can go
**Michael Hingson ** 56:13
when the book comes out. Are you looking to make it an audio book as well? One would hope? Yes, yeah. Intent?
**Tracy Christopherson ** 56:22
Oh, yeah, it takes a little bit. It takes a little bit of time after the book has to be out for a little bit before we can start that process. So but yes, definitely.
**Michael Hingson ** 56:31
Are you self publishing? Or do you have a publisher?
**Tracy Christopherson ** 56:34
We have a publisher, Morgan, James Publishing?
**Michael Hingson ** 56:37
I’m sorry, what company?
**Tracy Christopherson ** 56:39
Morgan, James Morgan, James.
**Michael Hingson ** 56:40
Okay. Well, it’s exciting that it’s coming out and the name of the book again,
**Michelle Troseth ** 56:45
polarity, intelligence, the missing logic in leadership. There
**Michael Hingson ** 56:50
you go. Well, I hope people will seek out the book, and they will seek out you I think it’s important to do that. And I think that you offer a lot. I certainly have appreciated you being here. Are there any kind of last things that you want to offer to people before we wrap this up?
**Michelle Troseth ** 57:09
Well, I just want to thank you again, Michael. It’s been just a joy to get to know you, and the unstoppable podcasts and the great work that you’re doing in the world. And so and just, you know, I knew it was gonna be a great conversation. It was so just leaving full of gratitude.
**Tracy Christopherson ** 57:25
Yes, thank you so much, Michael. It’s really been a pleasure. Well, appreciate the opportunity.
**Michael Hingson ** 57:31
Hi, as well, this has been absolutely enjoyable. And we should do it again. Sometime after the book comes out. I’m sure you’ll have lots more stories to tell. Oh, yes. Yes, yes, we well. Well, thank you. Thank you both again, and I want to thank you for listening. We hope you’ve enjoyed it. And Tracy and Michelle have a lot to offer. So please go seek them out. And I am sure if you are dealing with any kind of leadership issues or whatever, they will help you deal with the polarities and fix it. And they’re absolutely right. Both sides of a pole or both polarities in anything, have to be there or it doesn’t work. I love to talk about magnets, you know, you need a north pole and a south pole. And the reality is that one doesn’t really make the process work very well. You do have to have both. So thanks again for listening to us. If you’d like to reach out to me, I’d love to hear from you. Please email me at Michaelhi at accessibe.com accessibe is spelled A C C E S S I B E. And it’s Michael M I C H A E L H I at accessibe.com or go to our podcast page, WW dot, www dot Michael m i c h e a l Hingson. H i n g s o n.com/podcast. And wherever you’re listening, please give us a five star rating. We love those and really appreciate that and your reviews. We value your input and your thoughts very highly. And for both of you, as well as all of you listening, if you know anyone else who want to be a guest on unstoppable mindset, please let us know. We’re always looking for more people to bring on and have on his guests and have more fun conversation. So please don’t hesitate to make any recommendations that you have. And so, one last time, Tracy and Michelle, I want to thank you both for being here very much. Thank you.
**Michael Hingson ** 59:29
You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you’ll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you’re on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you’re there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit
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