We all want to reach higher when it comes to attaining our potential. Those attending the Performing Arts sector keynote session led by Jonathan Fries at VenueConnect will be able to do just that after hearing a presentation on “Focus and Flow: Keys to Achieving Your Highest Potential.”
Fries, a professional consultant with Flowcess, specializing in leadership and executive development in the areas of business, education, and athletics, comes from a research and technology company that specializes in facilitating organizations beyond engagement towards generative culture communities.
Fries is an accomplished musician, writer, and composer having toured throughout the U.S. and Canada noting highlights such as playing for the X-Games in Aspen, CO, and opening for five-time Grammy award-winning Green Day before joining the Just Thinking team.
Between thinking and his music, Fries took a few minutes to share some about the upcoming session and what attendees can expect.
We understand you specialize in leadership and executive development in the areas of business, education, and athletics. That is quite an interesting mix! Are there similarities there in those professions when it comes to leadership and development?
In all three areas, leadership ability is judged by the performance of others and this can only be intentionally achieved through development. The ultimate performance is Flow. There are three conditions required for Flow. For example, one of these: Focus. You can’t Flow if you have no thoughts and you can’t Flow if you have two or more thoughts. The reality is the leader needs to first be in Flow before they are able to help others get in Flow.
You have a very impressive musical background as well. This might be a stretch, but same as above can we derive ways in which music soothes the soul and can help leaders and top executives perform better?
Music is the perfect universal illustration of Flow! It is difficult for music to soothe the soul if someone is distracting you with additional thoughts. Last year, numerous universities shared research proving humans physiologically sync up their thought processes. I love to ask athletic coaches, “What is momentum?” Even though they feel it and talk about its importance, none of them can define it. Momentum is when a group of people sync up their thought processes. Music is one of the easiest ways for a group of people to physiologically sync into Flow. It is one of the things that makes us human! Robots are unable to experience this.
What are some of those keys to leaders achieving their highest potential?
A lot of my executive coaching is focused on helping the individual understand their uniqueness including their unique process for Flow. Once this is understood, we look at their work context. The key to achieving your highest potential depends on your ability to find or modify your context to match your uniqueness. When it comes to leading others, two-thirds of their ability to Flow is in your control. Is it any wonder research shows 70% of an employee’s engagement can be directly attributed to their boss? Leaders unwittingly take the people they lead out of Flow by altering the context of these employees.
Do leadership styles have to evolve to stay relevant with newer generations?
The only challenge unique to the younger generation is their attention span, but the same was said about the current generation. Everyone does everything through a thought process. If a leader is in Flow and they approach a member of the younger generation in their uniqueness, the response will be beyond engagement. Remember, people want to sync up their thought process to yours. Where is your thought process?
What challenges do most work places face today when it comes to the communication between leaders who aspire to accomplish organization objectives and the people who carry out many of those objectives?
Again, the key is to use your words to reach the uniqueness of the individual. I help teachers communicate with pre-teens and teenagers suffering from emotional and behavioral disorders with diagnosed mental issues. When the teacher speaks according to their uniqueness, the student becomes upset if they aren’t allowed to complete the task. If the teacher speaks the opposite of the student’s uniqueness, they have ended up leaving in handcuffs. If the teacher speaks any other way, the student loses energy and doesn’t do the task. The same results, in a less extreme fashion, happen with everyone you lead.
What lasting takeaway would you like IAVM attendees to your session carry back to their venues?
My goal is for people to experience Flow and its transformative nature. Once these leaders understand their goal is providing Flow experiences to groups of people, I would hope they will be more energized to return to work knowing they are in a business that truly has the ability to heal our world.