THRIVERS is taking a short break during the summer and we're looking forward to releasing more episodes soon!

EP 50: Appreciation in Action

June 13, 2024

Show Notes

What does it take to create a space where meaningful conversations foster deep personal and professional growth, all while paving the way for impactful change?

In our milestone 50th episode of THRIVERS, Tucker and Sarah embark on a heartfelt dialogue, marking Sarah’s final episode as co-host. This episode is a tapestry of reflections, learnings, and forward-looking insights as they reminisce on their three-year journey together.

Throughout this special episode, Tucker and Sarah:

  • Reflect on the significance of creating impact while avoiding burnout, emphasizing the need for sustainable leadership practices.
  • Discuss the importance of clear communication and simplicity in making complex concepts accessible to all.
  • Talk about the power of visual communication as a tool to enhance conversations and learning, making information more engaging and easier to grasp.
  • Explore the challenges women face in leadership roles and the importance of showing up authentically in the workplace.
  • Share personal experiences and the value of gratitude and reflection in professional growth.
  • Encourage listeners to be impatient for change and to actively pursue practical solutions that drive meaningful impact.

Sarah’s contributions have been instrumental in shaping the podcast’s approach to facilitating impactful conversations and fostering a culture of appreciation and continuous learning. As she moves on to new ventures in global activism and research, this episode serves as a testament to the profound impact of their collaborative work.

Tune in to gain insights on redefining workplace leadership, leveraging the power of clear and visual communication, and embracing authentic leadership. This episode is not just a farewell but a call to action to continue striving for positive change, both within and beyond organizational environments.

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Tucker: Welcome to the 50th episode of Thrivers Impact Driven Leadership for the Next Normal podcast. I am your host, Tucker Wanamaker, the CEO of Thrivers Impact. And if you’re listening to this, you are probably someone who doesn’t just want to do nice things in the world, but you actually want to create positive change in people’s lives and not burn out while doing it. Well, how do you do that? Our mission is to redefine what normal is for workplace leadership, to be about cocreating impact from the inside out.

We believe that burnout is the enemy of creating positive change. And so we wanna connect you with impact driven leaders and ideas so that you can learn to thrive in today’s landscape. And today is a a very special episode, not only it being our 50th, but also being the final one with my wonderful cohost, Sarah. Sarah, it is wonderful to be here. Sad also to be here with you on this final episode of our podcast together.

The podcast will keep going, but this is our final one with us hosting together. But wonderful to be here with you anyway.

Sarah: Yeah. Same. Bittersweet for sure.

Tucker: And, Sarah, would you like to share whatever you are able to share about why is this your final episode? What what’s going on here?

Sarah: Sure. Absolutely. Well, I am, at the end of this month in June, moving on from THRIVE, to a few different things. 1, I can’t fully say yet. It’s going through legal and, you know, you can’t say anything.

But really exciting kind of global work focused on activism. And so there’s that. And then also, some deeper research and evaluation work as, all you listeners probably know if you’ve been with us a while. That is really my passion, and I’m going to be both starting my own consultancy business around that as well as partnering and engaging with other researchers and evaluators on a range of different issues. And and one of them right now is around, for example, the efficacy of cash transfers versus section 8 vouchers when it comes to reducing homelessness.

So, really, you know, turning my attention to some of those problems that our country is facing and using evaluation and research as a lens to try to create some solutions.

Tucker: Yeah. Well and as soon as we know, we will pop that up in the show notes for you all to to to share, so that way you can see a little bit more about Sarah and where she’s going. Sarah, super excited for you, of course, and for you going deeper into the work that you love and and deep into nitty gritty. I mean, like what you just talked about, real deep in the trenches of a community, very specific issue based problem, and also growing in your, I know you’re still in your master’s program and maybe even going on beyond that too and from a schooling perspective. So really excited for you and staying connected with you as you go on that.

Well and for today, what we thought would be helpful, we didn’t wanna just have an announcement podcast because that while that’s important, it’s kinda womp womp.

Sarah: Yeah.

Tucker: Is we wanted to provide some value to all of you who are listening, who have been listening throughout the throughout the year or years, however long we’ve had this podcast, of really what have we been learning from working with each other. Sarah and I are very different personalities. We bring a lot of different things to the to the table, and so part of it’s gonna you know, we wanna just bring forward what are the learnings and the key pieces that that we’re we’re bringing forward almost into our own lives moving forward around working in Thryv, working in this work. As I said a minute ago, Thryv is, of course, still moving forward. I’m still here as the CEO.

We’re gonna continue to do this podcast. In fact, we’re launching a whole campaign soon about creating impact from the inside out and leadership for the next normal and really focusing our attention on that. And so excited to for that to come out. But for this podcast and this closing, we wanted to do it as a space of learning and appreciation, really, because that’s a big part of our model. It’s I mean, this is really a a way I believe, and, Sarah, I’m curious your perspective on that, a way of continuing to live into our own work around appreciative based approaches, positive psychology.

And how do you do that when people are leaving? Like, that’s a fascinating topic that, you know, one day we’ll probably hit on, but, we’re hoping to have this as a space of reflection and learning that you can learn from what we’ve been learning in working with each other.

Sarah: Yeah. I’m excited to dig in.

Tucker: Well, who should start, Sarah? I don’t know.

Sarah: No. I don’t know.

Tucker: Well, here, I’ll start. Okay. So I’ll start a little bit. And I asked members of our team some things, like, what are the Sarah isms? What are the what are the not only the things they appreciate about you, but what are things that they are applying to their life because of you?

The thing is really important because when we talk about creating impact, like, positive change means that people are changing. And so it’s one thing to appreciate. It’s another thing to say, oh, you know what? I’m actually totally approaching my work and life and whatever differently. And so I just wanna share a few, from some of the team.

I didn’t get everybody, but I did get a few.

Sarah: Nice.

Tucker: One thing that, Megan brought up actually was really fascinating. She said the first thing she talked about was your ability to to to theme and to synthesize and, and theming data. But what was really fascinating, the nuance of it, was how the way that you theme and is it creates such a humanity for people that people see that they’re not alone. Like, they’re because there’s these commonalities across, like, the way that you use data, and she’s like, I’m really looking at that because she’s really, gonna be doing some more of our data work

Sarah: Yeah.

Tucker: Is how do I maintain and keep building that, not just like static numbers or things on a page, but the humanity of it so that people not only see an understanding of themselves, but they also see that they’re not alone.

Sarah: Yeah.

Tucker: And and I just thought that was a really powerful nuance of the power of how you have themed and synthesized data in a way that helped it to be not only understandable, but help people to not feel isolated and alone anymore. Yeah. And Yeah. That was a really powerful piece that I thought, wanted to bring forward of something that she has learned, and I have 2, actually. I didn’t I didn’t even realize it.

I was like, yeah. You’re exactly right, Megan. Like so that was one thing.

Sarah: Well, and I will say, you know, that is not my made, like, I didn’t make up that approach. It really those roots are in participatory and empowerment related evaluation. Right? And if y’all haven’t read this book, which I’m holding up to the screen, you should, empowerment, evaluation, and social justice. But the idea here is that, we’re flipping the script on its head.

Right? Usually, experts come in and say, here’s the deal, and here is the data, and here’s what to do. And, these approaches, participatory and empowerment, are are both about doing something completely different, which is saying, what do you see? And what do you think we should do? And the point is that if folks are gonna go out and do the thing, it needs to be theirs to do.

And so that approach is not just when it comes to kind of creating a program, which some people do, but also looking at the data. And so those are, you know, well known tools and techniques that a lot of folks are bringing now into evaluation and research spaces to to make them more humane to exactly make it the point.

Tucker: Yeah. That’s great. A couple other things, certainly, clear as kind came up a couple times with both Megan and Alan and Julie. And, you know, she Megan, for example, was talking about how, you know, she’s from West Virginia. They tend to talk around things a lot.

And and with Sarah, it’s like you just know where she stands because she’s clear. And Julie was even sharing, how she’s embodying this, that when she has communication, she’s working on asking her herself the question, is this clear? So you’re like, you’ve you’ve given people a reflective question, and and frankly, even for me too, of, like, what is, you know, what do I know that I can share that that is clear for me so I can at least share whatever that is even if I don’t know that? And but asking that question, like, is this clear because I want to be kind? Is this clear in in at least sharing where I’m at or what, you know, what is needing to be communicated?

And also in a space of reflecting back too. So obviously you’ve taken that that that’s, of course, a Brene Brown quote clear is kind.

Sarah: I was gonna say that’s not mine either.

Tucker: Unclear is unkind. Well, but the thing is is that you’ve embodied it. Like, you’ve you’ve taken there’s it’s one thing to have quotes and even the book you just shared. Right? It’s one thing to have theory, but you apply those things.

Like, they’re not just theories. They’re they’re applied, including the data that you were just talking about. You’ve applied it into the work, and we’ve seen the impact of that. You’ve applied clear as

Sarah: kind, unclear

Tucker: as unkind. Yeah. And now it’s given people space to, like Alan, for example, said pursuing a pursual of clarity. He said, especially in communications and expectations. He talked about setting expectations and then respecting and reminding of boundaries and just helping people to notice that that’s just what is and this is clear.

And so that’s that was clearly a piece that I would say even for me too has been helpful in getting to clarity for with people of, like, having that relentless pursuit of clarity. Because clarity is a tough thing. Like, clarity is this word that people all the time say they want, but don’t really know what that means in the like, even the word clarity is actually not all that clear in some ways, but the way that you pursue it of of almost through reflection and asking that question, and for me has been really helpful of thinking about, how do I get to some clarity? Is this clear? Which ultimately is client kind.

You know?

Sarah: Yeah. Yeah. I love that.

Tucker: Another thing I wanted to share too that, is really your the space that you hold as as a professional, as a woman. There was a clear piece from that came from both Megan and Julie around. In fact, Megan said, I wanna borrow her quiet, calm, steady way of being. She said, I see her go to work not trying to perform. And and Megan said to her she said to me that, whenever I feel like I’m in the space of trying to perform or prove something, just slow down and just get to work.

And and and I thought that was a really beautiful thing that Meghan shared and similarly with Julie that she tries to channel some of that, that you were such a good example of that that confidence and that steadiness, as a woman, she specifically was speaking to, as a woman in a professional space with a lot of people that we interact with on a regular basis of the example that you provided in that of and I love that’s why I loved how Meaghan shared it is Yeah. It’s not about

Sarah: performing. Yeah.

Tucker: It’s not about proving. It’s like, let’s get to work. Yeah. And let’s have impact.

Sarah: Right on, Megan.

Tucker: Yeah.

Sarah: I know. Yeah.

Tucker: And and I think to me, that spoke to me as well of, like, your your, relentless pursuit of creating impact, of, like, tying it back to the mission. We’re here for something bigger than ourselves. And, and so, you know and I’ve I’ve dealt with a lot of performance things, and I don’t know if that’s probably because of me growing up in the culture I grew up in as a male, honestly. And you’ve helped me to slough off some of that performance orientation and just get to work, you know, just get the stuff done as well. And so I really saw a lot of what they were sharing also and what I’ve learned from you too.

Just get her done. Stay focused on the impact. This is why we’re here. Let’s let the data slip to it. Yeah.

Just get her done. I love the I have this little thing that says nothing will make you feel better except doing the work. Like, I feel like that’s a statement that you would have said to me once upon a time.

Sarah: It’s it’s really I’m hearing my dad too. Too. You know? My father would always say my dad’s a business owner. Right?

And, and he would always tell us, just give him a call. Right? Just give him a call. Like, just because you know what? The answer to every question you don’t ask is no.

And so, you know, just that example of just, like, just go to the work. Go ask the question. Go see what happens. Right? It’s a powerful one that I learned from my dad Yeah.

Tucker: For sure. That’s great. Yeah. And don’t worry about the outcome yet. If don’t don’t, like, project forward an outcome you think it’s gonna be.

Just I love that. Just make the phone call. Just call it and then find out. Then you’ll get outcomes on the back end. Right?

Like, don’t protect the outcome.

Sarah: We spend we waste so much time, though, like, getting caught in what could happen, and it’s like, that doesn’t matter. That’s a waste of time. Like, just pick up the phone and have take the first step.

Tucker: Yeah.

Sarah: You know? Yeah. That’s funny.

Tucker: And then the last thing I’ll share is, this came from Megan, is you have great hair.

Sarah: Oh,

Tucker: You do. Well, it’s it is. It’s it’s it’s beautiful hair, Sarah. You have great hair, and, I was like, I’m definitely sharing that one with me. Cratchit.

She’s gonna love it.

Sarah: We need to give Megan on this podcast because Megan is a riot and amazing and all the things.

Tucker: She was so fun. So those are a few, just from the team. And I I had one too that, you know I mean, Sarah, you’ve been, an incredible partner with me and for me, in in helping my divergence come into convergence and and being a yin to my yang and vice versa. And, one of the things I think really practically I think that I loved learning from you was the space of convergence in a facilitated experience and and really helping people to go through, like, key sequence steps of convergence. You know, there are a lot of people right now in our space, and I remember talking to a foundation person once who said, I’m really tired of having generative conversations.

You know? And it’s like and you’re like, I mean, yeah, generative conversations are super helpful, but that’s, like, half true. Like, that’s half the process. You’re like, you’re missing so much more. That’s really if you don’t keep going in the convergence of theming, which kind of what what Megan was sharing earlier and some of what that book was you were just talking about with that book, that if you’re missing the convergence side, you’re actually doing a disservice to people.

You’re treating them like a box of obligation. You’re checking off to, like, help them to feel heard. But, really, the reality is is how do we get that task cohesion that that and that converging on what are our voices, what do you understand our voices are saying, and how are we moving forward together. And I’ve seen that come forward in a lot of our different workshops around how you’ve helped to in a facilitated way, we are we’ve been able to create alignment. In fact, we literally have a workshop called the alignment workshop

Sarah: that we

Tucker: do that helps to open the aperture and close it both. Right? All in 1 2 hour experience on a variety of different pieces. And I think that, to me, is such an honoring of humans of both sides of the the divergence and the convergence.

Sarah: For sure.

Tucker: And and so for me, I keep thinking about don’t ever ask for data that you’re not actually gonna use. Don’t do a generative conversation that ultimately doesn’t actually do anything or mean anything. Don’t ask the question if you’re not actually going to do something about it. Otherwise, you’re stealing from their humanity, you’re stealing from trust. And the way that we’ve been able to facilitate these experiences where the voices hear the voices and see their own alignment, has been really magical, to experience and to and to apply and to facilitate workshops.

Sarah: Yeah. 100%. 100%. Well, I love that. Thank you for gathering that and sharing it.

It’s super meaningful for me to to hear all of that. And, you know, I think from my side, you know, even just as we were talking, you know, when I came into Thrive and part personally, you know, I think from day 1, it was clear that you do a great job, and Thrive in general does a great job of putting frames to concepts that people hold to make it easier for them to access. And, you know, I think that that’s been a and then simplifying. Right? Asking that question of what is the simplest way and the easiest way we can help people understand this complex material, and that has been, you know, a huge source of learning for me.

You know, that last podcast, you know, I walked through some of that research, and you said, oh, wow. You’ve really broken this down in a way that makes it easy for folks to understand. And I really think these past few years, I’ve really learned a lot of that technique from you, of just, 1, making it visual, 2. Right? And then 2, stripping it down.

And so that’s definitely one of the big pieces. I mean, even yesterday, I was on a coalition meeting about this about this work around housing, and we put together a deck, right, in Canva. And, you know, it’s it’s a the research design is a quasi experimental, you know, non equivalent group, concurrent mixed methods design. Design. Does anyone know what that means?

Right? And so right. So so, anyway, we, like, broke it down with errors and and all you know, I really think and you you often talk about visuals as a discipline, and I 100% agree. And, you know, I think you have a lot of that strength in part because you are such a visual learner. And so you bring that discipline necessarily because that is something you need to learn.

Most people, actually. Yeah. And even if they don’t need it to learn, it’s going to speed up their learning and their digestion of it and all those things. So I think, you know, that for me is a huge piece that I’m really taking away with me and that I’m super grateful to have

Tucker: dragging the iPad.

Sarah: I was recording the camera. Yeah.

Tucker: I was like, yes. I was so excited

Sarah: about that. Yeah. It matters. That engagement matters. You know?

And, I mean, even and a lot of the tools, again, yeah, like yesterday, we used easy retro to gather voices. You know? So some of these tools and these approaches that we have used together here are just gonna now be part of my like, it’s gonna be part of my toolbox in a way that I just didn’t have before. You know? So that is hugely valuable.

And then, of course, also, you know, you’re I’ve just really learned about choreo choreographing conversations and spaces and what that looks like and how to do it well. And, again, I think, you know, one of the key principles that I’m coming to just in life is that, the simpler it is, the better it is. Right? And I just think that that is again, I’m gonna pull up this book. If y’all don’t know David Fetterman, he is a giant in the evaluation world, and I am lucky enough to be, like, one of 4 people in a class with him this summer.

It’s like

Tucker: amazing. Oh my gosh.

Sarah: So like I know, I know. And he walked me through, he walked us through kind of the way that they do it and it is so simple. And it’s so simple because he has taken the time to take look at all these approaches, look at all of these materials, and, like, bring it here for folks. Right? And he works with people who can’t read or write in, you know, South Africa.

He works with, like, you know, indigenous tribes. Right? And the discipline of simplicity, I think, is just some that, you know, you really believe in and have brought to Thryv. And I think that that is partially why the approach is so powerful because it’s simple. And simple doesn’t mean that it’s not complex.

Right? It’s just not outwardly complex, and there’s a difference.

Tucker: Yeah. Mhmm.

Sarah: Oh, that’s great. I appreciate that. Well, I have to give

Tucker: a lot of kudos to the Exchange approach and to John Berghof and Derek Cates and Steve Bouchard and a lot of those those team members over at Exchange because they’ve helped helped me to, give me the tools to dive into it and make it my own. And, but I really appreciate you sharing that, and, and that you’ve got your own iPad and are, like, visualizing things and, like, you’re looking like, how do I get this to a visual as fast as possible? You know?

Sarah: To a visual. Yeah. Straight up. Yeah. It’s a discipline.

I really think that people thinking and just that phrase, like, it’s that it’s a discipline, I think, is a really helpful, just mental phrase

Tucker: for

Sarah: folks to remember, because it is a discipline. Mhmm. And it’s, it’s super important. No. And then

Tucker: To I wanna say say one thing to that point. I think the other thing that I to that learning that I’ve realized is that the faster we get to something that people are looking at together

Sarah: Yeah.

Tucker: It makes it more objective. Like, it goes back to that subjective versus objective. I literally practiced this with Julie on our team and who is also my wife. We were having a really tense conversation. It was a couple weeks ago.

And I literally pulled out my iPad and started drawing things and said, is this what you’re talking about? And literally just by getting it out of this just one on one verbal dialogue to a visual that both of us are looking at, it changed the whole nature of our conversation for the better. It was really fascinating to see that. And, of course, we’re like, we use this all the time in, you know, experiences and learning processes. And why do we do that?

Well, because people learn quicker, because they’re looking at the same thing together. It makes it more objective. It’s like, wow. Let me apply this to my own married life. Like, it it actually worked really well.

It was really fascinating. So I just wanna throw that out there. Totally. How much I’ve seen this really helped me too in in my own life and in all things is, like, visualize as fast as possible.

Sarah: Yeah. Well, I mean, even, you know, when I was at Points of Light, I went to the American Express Leadership Academy, the the which was it’s run by the Center For Creative Leadership, and afterwards, we each got a coach. And the coach said to me, you know, the same thing, but it was that if you are in a disagreement with someone, sit on the same side of the table with them and look at and put up your thoughts and ideas on a wall. Because if they’re looking at you, they’re gonna put the problems on Right. It’s gonna be about you and them.

Right? And so I I I’ve always remembered that because I’m like, oh, god. That is such practical and simple advice. Sit on the same side of the table

Tucker: Yeah.

Sarah: And look at the problem instead of looking at each other and making each other the problem, which I think is just so good.

Tucker: Yes. On Zoom, then you do that by, you know, having a little iPad or sharing your screen or something like that. Right? Yeah.

Sarah: For sure. For sure. Well, I think the other big thing, you know, for me is, you know, when I came to Thrive, it was from an organization that was, you know, in some ways struggling. There were a lot of changes happening, still a lot of changes happening. And, this question of just what does leadership look like now was a big one for me.

And I think as I’ve talked about before, you know, I had been engaging my team in cocreation without knowing that it was called cocreation, doing a lot of the stuff we had talked about, but without knowing the tools and the frames. And I think it’s been, you know, really fascinating for me to, learn more about conscious leadership to, and also, I think, to, to recognize the parts of my leadership that are authentic to me. Mhmm. Because I think that’s you know, there’s a lot of research and, on transformational and authentic leadership, and authentic leadership has a number of key pieces around transparency, ethical behavior, trust, reflection that really resonate with me. One of the things that is really important to me is a sense of integrity.

You know? If I am I gonna say it? I’m gonna do it. And, like, that is a really kind of really important piece for me. And so kind of coming in here, learning some of the leadership tech tools and techniques, techniques, and then also thinking, like, what what does my leadership look like, and what do I wanna take from other approaches, and what do I want to keep, as my own?

And then also this idea that, we all perform leadership differently, and there’s not a right necessarily or a wrong to the performance of leadership, if it has kind of those pieces underneath it that I think research tells us are so important. And so that’s also been, I think, important for me to be on that journey of learning around leadership and then, saying, here’s here’s here’s who I am as a leader, and that’s how I’m gonna to show up. So that’s another thing I really appreciated diving into here.

Tucker: I I I love that you’re sharing that of which it goes kind of that authentic, like, self reflective, wait. Who am I? And, you know, I think about I was just in exchange training last night or yesterday about enrollment in psychological safety and, you know, they were really, of course, drawing from Amy Edmondson’s work and that big question of psychological safety around, can I be me and still show up here as myself, as a leader, as somebody who is has influence, can I still be me, not not be bad or good? I mean, it it’s it’s tricky, but can I still can I just honestly show up and be me and who I am?

Sarah: Yeah.

Tucker: And, I love that you felt like you were able to explore that and learn that here because that’s

Sarah: For sure.

Tucker: Yeah. That’s, that’s, like, so core to our work. It’s like, oh, that’s such a great learning.

Sarah: Yeah. Yeah. Well, and I think, you know, the thing especially with women, and this kind of goes back to Megan and and Julie’s comment is that, you know, there’s still so many gender stereotypes in the world and in the workplace about how women are gonna act and what they’re gonna show up like and, you know, softly, softly. And that’s just like that’s not who I am. Right?

And I’m gonna and so, you know, one thing that a lot of my team at Multiplying Good, you know, kind of shared with me before I left is that what I was able to do was kind of both push and pull them, which is to say, what is your best and how can I help you get there? And then how can I support you? Right? And and, you know, also kind of getting some new tools. But but, yeah, I think at the end of the day, especially for women, like, show up as you.

Right? Like, don’t let people tell you how to show up. Like, I often think about I don’t know if you’ve seen those videos of, like, men asking women to smile on the streets of New York. But, like, you know, don’t don’t let somebody else tell you how to show up. Right?

Like, show up how you’re gonna show up. Embody the things that you’re great at and that you’re good at and that people respect you for, and, like, let the rest melt away. You know? I just think for women, it’s such a

Tucker: Yeah.

Sarah: It’s it’s a hard spot because people expect us to show up like this a lot of the time. And if we don’t, then we’re aggressive, and we’re mean, and we’re whatever. And, you know Yeah.

Tucker: All these words that are associated with, like yeah. She’s bitchy or she’s pissy or she’s yeah.

Sarah: Right. And it’s not cool. Yeah. So I I really appreciated, you know, with you diving into some of those leadership tools and techniques. And also seeing how, you know, you show up as a leader, which is is where you show up differently as fact that there’s not a right or a wrong as long as we’re a set of fact that there’s not a right or a wrong as long as they’re a set of principles that you’re embodying

Tucker: Yeah.

Sarah: For other folks.

Tucker: Yeah. Yeah. I appreciate that a lot. I think you’ve helped me to partly in your own juxtaposition to me, helped me to notice myself more as well of, you know, even little ways like how I I love sharing the story of communication styles, like how video is really helpful for me. So you put a video up in Slack for things versus for you, you’re like, I’m never gonna watch a video.

I’ll read the transcript. Right? And that and neither of them are right or wrong, and I think that part of it is stripping away the judgment, right, what’s right or wrong. That’s not even the right question is what is my learning style? What is your learning style?

And I thought, like, okay. How do I get and I haven’t always been great at this and that you know? But I like how do I write things down? Because that’s how Sarah learns. And that’s helpful for her to engage in something quicker is by getting something down on a piece of paper or Slack message or whatever.

And you’ve also helped to, you know, have empathy on me in a sense of saying, yeah. I’ll do a short video for you up in Slack going through because for whatever reason, if you send me a document, it’ll take me, like, 5 times as long for me to digest it and learn it versus if you send me the document with you walking through it in a video. I feel like I’m engaged in a more collaborative space for whatever reason. And I also get some of your nuances, and I like, the learning, it’s Totally. Amplifies so fast.

Sarah: Yeah. Well and I think the the discipline of doing that, with you, we’ve also now, of course, translated to our clients, and I and it’s huge for folks there as well. I mean, we’ve heard a number of times. Like, I’ve watched that video over and over again. Yeah.

Like, we’ve literally heard that because like you, other people can’t intuit everything from a a page of of writing. Yeah. Right? It’s some of those old ways of knowing that in some ways are rooted in white supremacy in some ways. Right?

The Yeah. The supremacy of the written work? Written work. Right? And and it’s such an interesting to think thing to think about.

Right? And how we incorporate more oral traditions and now that we have video Yeah. Video traditions of of knowing and sharing.

Tucker: Yeah. Yeah. We use that tool. It’s called BombBomb.

Sarah: So brilliant.

Tucker: Great tool. Actually, it was a friend of mine who owns it down in Colorado Springs, but it’s a wonderful video email tool that people can use. And we yeah. We literally use it all the time when we’re walking through proposals, when we’re walking through data decks, when we’re walking through agendas, when we’re when we’re just needing to share some important news. Sarah, you and I would hop on to BombBomb, or you’d shoot a quick video, and we’d pop it up put it up there and pop it into a bit into an email.

And it just helps that learning get amplified quickly, and it also humanizes it too. Like, they’re hearing our word our voices and seeing our facial expressions, which just makes it more human. Yeah. I love that you’re bringing that up. Yeah.

That’s a good one.

Sarah: Otherwise, it would be 16 bullet points in the email. Right?

Tucker: Trying to

Sarah: give the instead of, like, a 5 minute video where you can hear and see it. Yeah. Yeah. That has been huge. And I I think is also part of, you know, this question of how do I support and scaffold in a way that is, you know, I think that’s one of my questions.

One of the things I’m still learning into is, you know, what does it look like to support and scaffold a team that has different needs and abilities? Because what one person needs to your point, the other person doesn’t need or doesn’t even like. And then what does it look like to build a team where learning is bigger teams and Yeah. Yeah. And I don’t I don’t think I have the answer for that yet, except doing a bit of everything like we do on live Zooms where Mhmm.

You have written options, you have verbal options. But in the doing the work together, I still think that’s something that’s an interesting puzzle to figure out.

Tucker: Yeah. That’s a great question. I’m I think I have 1 probably one final question. Curious if you have any questions too that you wanna bring in. You may or may not.

I don’t know, but I just wanted to open that up. But what are you most gonna miss?

Sarah: What are

Tucker: you most gonna miss about working here, being a part of the work that we’re do we’ve done together?

Sarah: Yeah. I mean, I’ll I’ll do 2, probably one kind of internally and one more externally. I think starting externally, you know, it’s just a privilege to be part of the journey of organizations that we’ve partnered with. I mean Yeah. And in particular, I’ve been reflecting on this a little bit.

Like, I I love the small scrappy nonprofits, but I think my heart is with the bigger nonprofit to have the infrastructure to, like, this is where I like to really go get it done because that’s where my energy lies. Right? Like, I I think about Greater Nashua and, like, they could take that big strategic plan and put the resources against really kind of shifting some significant things. And, like, that’s really exciting to see a huge organization like that, you know, go through that and be part of that journey. Same with resolve.

You know? Like, they they’re not a huge team like Greater National, but they’re an organization with some resources and some infrastructure who could, you know, take the the learning and the training and really put it into action in a way that I think has really demonstrable impact, not only inside, but outside of their walls. And so that for me, I think, was a really exciting piece and certainly something I will miss. And then internally, I mean, and you know, it’s been almost 3 years. It would have been 3 years in September.

So a good chunk of time of really kind of learning. I think you you kinda had just taken over as CEO or, like, actually took over CEO just after I started. And so, you know, it’s been a Thrive Impact has been on its own organizational journey, right, and continues on that journey. Yeah. We think, and it’s been interesting to be in and, you know, I think really great to be in a small team, really looking at how it goes down in a small team and what that looks like.

And and, and then certainly, you know, with you, just that I think, you know, we’ve learned a lot from each other for sure. Mhmm. You know? I I think we’ve learned a lot from each other, and that’s always I love to learn. So

Tucker: Yeah. Yeah. It’s a lot of what we just shared. We what we’ve been learning from each other. Yeah.

Yeah. Well, I’m gonna miss your, your partnership. I’m gonna miss your your ability to to be that juxtaposition for me, you know, in workshops. Your voice of the data, you know, has been really meaningful. That’s been a piece that I’ve learned too of, like, continuing to combine the the head and the heart together, and the data helps to speak to the head, which is so needed, and also getting to the heart through it as well, and, the combo of the 2.

And, like, you’ve been such a great resource and and learning partner in that and crafting the sequencing of different workshops and, like, okay, we have these outcomes. How the heck are we gonna get them done? You know? And, like, how do we sequence and choreograph these conversations to to allow it to build in a way that helps people to really, you know, achieve that healing or impact or whatever it is we’re trying to do. Mhmm.

So I’m definitely gonna miss your design partnership. Yeah.

Sarah: That was fun. Yeah.

Tucker: But maybe we’ll have maybe maybe we could have you back on the podcast, after your summer course as an example. They’re like, maybe we need to do a quarterly Sarah podcast. Like, alright, Sarah. What’s going on out there or something like that?

Sarah: Totally. Yeah. Yeah.

Tucker: Well, I’m sure I I’m sure we’ll our paths will continue to cross and, you know, you’re you know, you’re gonna be, like, working on some some research project. You’re like, we need a facilitator to come in here, and I know it’s gonna you’re like, who can yeah. I know this guy. I know this organization.

Sarah: Absolutely. For sure. Yeah. It’s been great. It’s been a pleasure to be part of this team.


Tucker: Yes.

Sarah: You know? Yeah.

Tucker: Yeah. I think we’ve built something that obviously has still more work to do but as every organization does, but I feel really proud of the culture that you and I have helped to build. And yeah, any final remarks, questions before we go?

Sarah: No. I mean, I think the the only thing I would say to folks, and this is partially, wait. I gotta find something so I can read it. It’s not a poem now, so don’t worry. It is

Tucker: was like

Sarah: was like, wait. What are you saying? And I was like, never mind. No. Never mind.

Okay. I I so I I just wanna encourage people to go, you know, to to think about the things that are at the center of your energy and just keep finding it. One thing, and it’s not where I’m going to work, but, that I saw recently, I don’t know if you know Pivotal, it’s the organization now founded by Melinda French Gates. And they have some really I have to I have to read this thing if I can find it, but it was basically saying, like, we’re yeah. Americans are no longer willing to accept the glacial pace of change.

It’s about being impatient with, the rate of progress and just being like, no. We need to move further, faster. And I’ve actually heard this echoed in a few places recently also in Claremont Graduate University they’re creating, which is the thing I might go on to get. They’re creating practical doctorates. Like, not a PhD.

It’s practical doctorate in applied research and evaluation. Why? Because PhDs are irrelevant now almost. Right? Like, people can’t get jobs.

They can’t, but practical doctorates that help people go out and change the world, like, that’s what we need. And so, like, it is kind of this impatience at, you know, the the slow rate of change in the world around us that is, like, driving my energy in these new directions. And I just wanna encourage other people who are in feeling that impatience to, like, to go do it. Like, to go to those places that are going to help you harness that impatience Yeah. Toward the greater bid.

And practical is where it’s at these days. So Yep. Go be impatient. Go be impatient. The world needs impatient.

Tucker: Get to work.

Sarah: The world needs

Tucker: Get to work out there. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I love that.

That’s great. Well, my friend, we sign off on our final podcast to get well, not really. Final podcast is

Sarah: good news.

Tucker: Yeah. You’ll be back because there’s you have too much learning that is so applicable to this podcast. But thanks for thanks for 50 episodes of the podcast, Sarah.

Sarah: You too.

Tucker: Thanks for the the 3 years you’ve been with with us. And and, yeah, I’m excited about what’s next for both Thryv and for you and for how those paths eventually cross again.

Sarah: 100%.

Tucker: Awesome. Alright. Well, everybody, we’re we’ll put stuff in the show notes as usual. And, eventually, once Sarah lets us know where she’s going, it goes through legal, we’ll put it in the show notes to let you know. Probably see it on LinkedIn eventually too, but but, otherwise, thanks for listening to our 50th episode, and we’ll see you in our next episode, which kicks off our Impact from the Inside Out leadership process and campaign with this podcast.

So bye, everybody. Thanks for listening in.

Sarah: Thanks, y’all.