This week’s guest, HBR Consulting‘s Axelle Flemming, stresses that “Intentional Leadership” creates leaders who “own their purpose.” And a purpose is separate from a business “goal.” Axelle’s experience showed her that when a leader truly knew what their purpose was, the purpose they were trying to achieve, they went to that level of execution. In addition to being an Intentional Leader, that must be balanced with the wellness of the organization and its people. In today’s work environment, we are in 24/7 fight or flight mode and intentional leaders understands that challenge. Leaders also see beyond their own goals and purpose and see other people’s goals and purpose as well.
On Thursday, September 15th, Axelle Flemming is presenting a Keynote presentation at HBR’s Legal Information + Knowledge Services (LINKS) Conference, on this very issue. She “sprinkles” in some of the spice of her talk her on the podcast, but will bring the “secret sauce” to the LINKS Conference.
Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert, along with John DiGilio will wrap up the conference through a discussion of Axelle Flemming’s and the other presentations of the day.
Registration for the LINKS event is open all the way through the day of the conference.

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AALL Crystal Ball Answer
Our good friend, Mark Gediman of Alston & Bird, answers our Crystal Ball question by predicting how Law Schools and Law Firms will collaborate on business and competitive intelligence processes to help law students better prepare for the practice of law once they enter the profession.
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Jerry David DeCicca

Marlene Gebauer 0:04
Welcome to The Geek in Review, the podcast focused on innovative and creative ideas in the legal industry. I’m Marlene Gebauer,

Greg Lambert 0:10
And I’m Greg Lambert.

Marlene Gebauer 0:12
This Thursday, September 15, Greg and I are going to be the final act at the Legal Information and Knowledge Services conference or LINKS, sponsored by HBR Consulting, along with Don DiGilio, will give an overview of the day’s previous sessions. One of those sessions is a keynote presentation from today’s guest, Axelle Flemming.

Greg Lambert 0:30
So we asked Axelle Flemming to come on the show and give us a sprinkling of the secret sauce that she promises to discuss at Thursday’s event. We had a great discussion with her about what she describes as intentional leadership, as well as how that intentional leadership combines with wellness to create a more balanced approach to not only accepting and embracing change, but actually embodying change. So I really enjoy talking with Axelle and appreciate her actually letting me tell one of my dad jokes during this discussion as well.

Marlene Gebauer 1:05

Greg Lambert 1:07
But first up, we have another crystal ball answer from one of Marlene and my good friends Mark Gediman of Alston & Bird. So let’s take a listen to what Mr. Gediman sees in the next two to five years for the industry. And then we’ll jump right into our discussion with Axelle Flemming.

Mark Gediman 1:27
My name is Mark Gediman, and I’m with Alston & Bird, pulling out my well used crystal ball, I see a few things going on. I see a greater emphasis on support of business development activities within law firms on the part of the library. It’s simply because of the skill set that librarians bring, you don’t find those skills, often in marketing and business development groups. In addition to that, I’m seeing an increased interest from academic librarians who want to incorporate business development and competitive intelligence concepts in they’re prepared to practice business of law courses, and curriculum. Which I think is is is an interesting development, because I know a lot of the law school people we see fresh out of law school, are not conversant with what’s going to be expected of them when they hit the law firm. In terms of librarianship, I see that pipeline is problematic.

Greg Lambert 2:40
Of people coming into the industry?

Mark Gediman 2:42
Of people coming into the industry, whether it’s from library schools or law schools, neither one of them is promoting librarianship as an option. You know, in every industry, you have a group that ages out, and you need to have that new, fresh talent coming in to replace them. And if you don’t have that, there’s a huge gap. But I’m seeing that librarians even though over over the past, maybe about five years ago, they weren’t all that respected, well respected in law firms, they were the first to get cut during 2009, the ranks were decimated. Now I’m seeing that trend reversing, I’m seeing that there’s that librarians and firms are being held in high respect as a cost effective resource, and that those positions in those jobs are becoming more secure. And if that happens when people are retiring, we’re going to need people to fill those slots, because they will exist.

Greg Lambert 3:51
I wanted to go back to your comment on business development and being integrated into the law school curriculum. And people reaching out to you. What can law firm librarians be doing to maybe even be proactive and find out if at their local schools, something’s going on or maybe at their alma mater? And they could they could help or put that idea, maybe in someone’s head at the law school that this is this is a skill set that’s lacking from people coming in to be to be practice ready?

Mark Gediman 4:27
Well, you know, at the local level, you’ve got your local law librarian chapters, and those include law firm and academic and government librarians all in the single group. So when you go to those business meetings, when you’re having those conversations with people, bring it up, ask them what they have, and if they if you can help them with that task with that need. That’s been my process. In fact, today, I will was in a program and the person next to me, didn’t know she was. But that turns out she was a law librarian at a law school in Utah. And she had heard about the support that the Competitive Intelligence Group in AALL is offering to academic librarians and ask for more information more detail. If a local librarian would like to do that at the local level, they are more than welcome to reach out to the to the AALL CI Caucus, and we can support that we can provide them with materials and give them some advice on how to craft that program. And it’s not a big program, you’re you’re basically offering to come in and do an hour presentation, right?

Greg Lambert 5:52
Well, Mark Gediman, thank you very much for coming in.

Mark Gediman 5:54
Well, and thank you for having me. Mr. Lambert.

Greg Lambert 5:56
Absolutely. My pleasure.

Marlene Gebauer 6:00
We’d like to welcome Axelle Flemming director, organizational development and training for HBr. Axel, welcome to The Geek in Review.

Axelle Flemming 6:07
Thank you so much. I’m excited to be with the both of you today.

Marlene Gebauer 6:11
We are excited to have you.

Greg Lambert 6:12
We are we are. So Marlene and I are going to be speaking at the second annual HBR legal information and knowledge services or LINKS conference. So we wanted to bring you on and cover some of the topics that are going to be covered at links and Axelle, if you don’t mind. Tell us a little bit about your involvement in the LINKS conference and what you’re going to be covering in your keynote speech?

Axelle Flemming 6:38
Absolutely. Well, it really is an honor to be on both links in this podcast. So I am very, very honored. So my involvement in LINKS, I have been in the legal consulting world for all of my professional career. And so my sweet spot has always been or the calling I like to call it because I am not a legal law librarian. I am not an attorney. But as a as a business consultant, I had been called into the legal space from the get go right out of business school. And through that journey over the last decade, plus, I worked within large law, both in the United States as well as globally and internationally around strategic change management. And so any sort of large, complex strategic change that a law firm wanted to do. That was my sweet spot. And why was it? Because I actually love the challenge of real sustainable change. And I also love to challenge and be alongside leaders that are embracing that change as intentional leaders. For Thursday at LINKS, I’ve been asked to talk about that shift that we’re in right now as not only in the legal industry, but the world at large from embracing change, where we accept change. Know change is supposed to happen. Know that we have to do it to embracing change, which is this element of real, we’re even now we are in we have to embody the change, not just embrace it. So we will unpack that together on Thursday. And I will engage the group on our own little change challenge, which will be exciting, at least for me.

Greg Lambert 8:24
Yeah, change, challenge, and law firms just go hand in hand.

Axelle Flemming 8:29
Maybe that’s where am I calling came from? Right?

Greg Lambert 8:33
That’s it. Any industry needed your help?

Axelle Flemming 8:38
And I’ve learned so much because of that, Greg, I think, you know, in reflection of when asked to speak, and really my purpose in what I do, not only HBR but for our clients is to a platform to develop to partner to coach leaders to be intentional leaders. Because with intention, change can happen. But change doesn’t just happen on its own. And so it is an intentional journey, which is a part of the ecosystem of how change actually happens.

Marlene Gebauer 9:15
So we’re going to talk a little bit more about intentional leadership later in the podcast, but right now, Axelle, I want to talk about you. So, you’ve described yourself as someone who was a hard charging business leader in your career, however, you found that the lifestyle has its downsides both mentally and physically. So can you give us a little bit of background on your career and what changes that you needed to make to make sure that you protected your well being in business and in your personal life as well?

Axelle Flemming 9:49
We’re going all in right all in.

Greg Lambert 9:52
There’s a lot to unpack there.

Marlene Gebauer 9:53
Yes, sir. So take your time.

Axelle Flemming 9:58
Deep breaths. So that hard charging business leader, like I already skimmed the surface in order for us to be an impact in the world in any sort of change. It does start with ourselves. And so my journey out of business school, into the consulting world, about 16 years now, was one that was very focused on end goals, results, hitting the mark and continuing to climb. And again, like I mentioned earlier, my passion around solving problems, complex ones, and working with people has never changed. That has always been why I entered consulting and why I continued to do what I do today. But through that journey, as I’m sure you both as well as all your listeners know, that’s called a about a 70, 80, 90 hour work week, that’s when we don’t sleep, we don’t take care of ourselves. On top of that, we may throw in some children, for some of us, right me, there’s three. We then throw in a ton of soccer practices, and a lot of school motherhood stuff, which is a ton of different titles, alongside the fact that we’re traveling because pre COVID That was the world we lived in, which was on a plane or in an airport, and constantly on the move. About six years now along my journey, and I’m going to cover the secret sauce of a lot of this on Thursday. I’m just gonna throw in that little teaser, because I don’t want to give it all here. But on Thursday to

Greg Lambert 11:35
Just sprinkle in a little spice.

Axelle Flemming 11:38
Yeah, about six ish years ago, I hit a wall both personally, emotionally, mentally, physically. And professionally, I hit that wall that told me that my trajectory was no longer sustainable. And oftentimes change happens when you do hit a wall either personally, or organizationally, when you no longer can move forward as a department because it’s just not working, right. And you can continue to try to ie we all continue to hit the wall a few times, if not 100 plus times before we say okay, something deeper has to happen here. And so I always like to the analogy of a headache, right? Because that’s, that’s a common thing. And so the first level of changes, let me pop a Tylenol, right, so let me pop a Tylenol. That hits the skin of the surface, the symptoms of something deeply rooted. And so maybe you get you know, yours in and that Tylenol is actually no longer working. So you start to investigate, okay, maybe it’s my water intake, right? Maybe it’s that water intake? Let me get it up to eight cups. 10 cups, oh, wait, no, no, it’s my weight. And my Oh, my goodness, I need to get out for a walk more. And oh, that helps a little bit. And so we continue to move down that change and reflection path. And again, that’s a personal one. It happens within organizations and teams as well. But six years ago, I did hit the wall. And and in that moment, as a true consultant, I said to myself, I can sit here and skim the surface, or I can go deep, because at that point, it did hit a point of critical life situation. And so I had to sit back in that and say, as a true consultant that I am, am I going to skim the surface and just simply cut costs, let’s say? Or am I going to get deeper to find where the inefficiencies are, where the true healing needs to happen, where the true clog in the whole system is, and I went deep, and I went deep, and that’s where wellness came apart of Axelle’s mantra. And where I do believe, as an intentional leader, that wellness not only plays an integral part of being a leader, but it is now more than ever before an essential foundation of how we show up as leaders. And so that’s my journey. That’s my journey. And here I am six years in it. through that journey, I became a certified leadership coach, I became a yoga mindfulness teacher. I then became I then got a ton of other certifications because of this desire to learn first about the root causes of where I was headed down an unsustainable path, and how I can recreate or realign my own life and that is why I do what I do today in the world of ODT, organizational development and training.

Marlene Gebauer 14:50
I want to just say thank you so much for sharing that story. Because as someone who who has hit that wall, I can really understand how hard it is to do that digging deep that you’re talking about. And I really looking forward to hearing your story at the conference.

Greg Lambert 15:06
Yeah, yeah. And I like how you took your experience consulting others to kind of consult yourself to really look at and understand there are some band aids we can put on this or we can start looking at what’s the core issue that we need to look at. So I want to go back to you, you started talking about intentional leadership, and want to dive a little deeper into that. So how do you advise professionals? And I imagine you do mostly with legal professionals now, when it comes to intentional leadership? And can you kind of describe exactly what you mean, when you say intentional leadership?

Axelle Flemming 15:52
Intentional leadership is a leader who owns their purpose, period. So when I say that, an intentional leader actually can be a college kid who owns the belief that creating community within their college is their purpose. So they’re going to create a club and initiatives and be that owner of that purpose. An intentional leader can be a mother, who owns that my first role is to provide a safe and loving home for my children, that’s my purpose. Or it can be a business executive that says My purpose is to ensure that this law firm is healthy and profitable, all at the same time. Right. And so the purpose is actually one level deeper than a goal. Because a goal can be profit, revenue clients, a goal is tactical. But when you get one level deeper to one, a leaders purpose, that purpose defines how they will get to that goal. And so an intentional leader is very clear on their purpose, not just for themselves as a leader, but for their organization for the team, they lead. For the department they manage. Because they own it. And a part of this definition for me, too, is throughout my career as a consultant. And working alongside some incredible leaders in the legal space on strategic change. What I noticed was that when a leader truly knew what the purpose was they were trying to achieve, they went to that level of execution. And so what do I mean by that? If a law firm wants to save money, and that’s their goal, and their purpose is profits, all the action, and their decisions revolve around that purpose. There is no right or wrong with purpose, it’s about being clear about it. And because when you’re clear about it, then your actions and your ownership over what you do day to day is not only consistent, it’s rooted in something deeper than that day to day pull of this world’s a million emails, fires to put out, children screaming, dogs barking, right? Because these are all things that pull our attention to other things that are grabbing our attention. And let me just drop in wellness for a moment here. Because in the state of well being how this ties together for me, and what I witnessed is when a leader or let me just step back for a moment when a human being, by the way, it’s our greatest asset in professional services, right? So our greatest asset is not the machine in the factory where we we oil up and keep well, it’s actually our people. And if that’s the case, then their well being is a part of their productivity, efficiency. The best way to have the best outcomes is through ensuring your people, or our people’s well being. So well being is is four prong it’s mind, body, heart and soul. So when a person’s mind, body, heart and soul is at its optimal and potential level, that means we got enough sleep, we ate and drank healthy foods. Our mind is clear and we can manage or at least minimize stress and anxiety which in this today’s world we are in 24 hour, seven days a week fight or flight mode, and in its simplest form, the parasympathetic nervous system is untapped when we’re in the fight or flight mode and in that state, we are unable to be creative, to be collaborative, to have conversation, and to be present because we got a fire to put out. And so this is how it ties into intentional leadership because without a leader being fully aware of their well being, it hinders or it empowers them in this area of a well being. That’s the tie there for what I’ve noticed at least.

Greg Lambert 20:26
So I want to take you back to where you were talking about the difference between setting your goals and knowing your purpose. One of the things that we talk a lot about in the business world and when we talk about goal setting, is to measure what matters is when you’re setting the goals that you have to set goals that you can keep numbers on you can measure your success, or how well or unwell you’re achieving those goals. do you advise your clients when it comes to purpose? Is that something that can be measured as well? Or is that something that’s a little more personal more something that you’re that you’re striving for, rather than then you want to measure?

Axelle Flemming 21:15
So in the business world, it’s about the purpose is very aligned with a mission statement, let’s call it for a second, right? And a mission statement, it is measured so and you hit it hit on goals as the SMART goals write specific, measurable, achievable, time bound, right. So goals, and mission or purpose, the critical thing here is the alignment of both, because you may have goals, you and so neither are, oh, let’s chalk goals, and let’s just have a mission or purpose, not so much. Because with just a purpose, you’re a visionary, with goals, you actually execute against your purpose, right and against your vision. And so those two coming together is what makes us leaders in what we do, because we do have to execute on that purpose or mission statement. So in terms of the legal world, it is about aligning those two, because with alignment, then you clearly know the path on how one and how you want your organization to get to that goal, that is very specific, that is time bound. That right that is measurable. And when you can measure your goal, you can always then tie it back to measuring your purpose because the purpose may be be the top five in the am law. 200. Right. The goals are over in the next five years, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, right. And then now those two align. That’s the differentiation of the two.

Marlene Gebauer 23:04
Axl, you know, you’re talking about intentional leadership as being purpose. And if you’re clear in your purpose, what you’re doing your goals and your actions are aligning with that purpose. But what happens in a situation where you’re looking at strategic change in a broader perspective, so you may be very clear with your purpose and your goals. But that is going to impact others who may or may not be clear and their purpose or their goals or may have different ideas about their purpose and their goals that maybe counteract what you’re trying to do. How do you say how do you talk about that in terms of strategic global change and empowerment, you know, how can that work?

Axelle Flemming 23:53
Well, going in for it, here we go. A part of being an intentional leader is having a clarity and ownership over the goal. Now, the other piece to balance this all out is also that level of constant self awareness as well as awareness of others, the organization, the other goals and other stakeholders in play. And how does this play into our ever evolving ever changing world because an intention and a purpose, that purpose may be consistent for for a time period. But how you evoke that purpose has its ebbs and flows, the levels of communication, the levels of collaboration, the awareness that other people have a different perspective, and how that plays into achieving the goals is a part of intentional leadership because as an intentional leader, there are some key criterias or competencies, which include the element of collaboration, growth mindset, awareness. So I’m gonna remove self because awareness is one of self and others. So that is being aware that my goal, my purpose is this, but what are the other people’s goals and purpose? And how do this align, so the alignment is collaboration, growth mindset is that openness to learn more that this idea that we don’t know it all today, although I know what my purpose is, tomorrow, I may get a different fact database information knowledge that helps me craft out how I’m gonna get there that I didn’t know yesterday. And so that growth mindset as an intentional leader is also critical and creates this wholeness of an intentional leader, because, and I love the call out here, because the call out is if we only focus on our purpose, but my purpose contradicts with the organization’s purpose, or the team’s purpose, or the business purpose. How does that even work as an organization, the holistic part of that is, as a leader, these foundational skills of I’m gonna throw in communication, collaboration, growth mindset. And that last one that just just just dropped out of my mind. awareness, awareness, there it is, that that that magic button of awareness enables a leader to own their purpose in this ever changing world, and this million different perspective and stakeholder world where you’ve got to shuttle yourself through with intention, and awareness. So that’s making that concept hold.

Marlene Gebauer 26:53
And okay, so I want to go back to the wellness discussion that we had a little bit earlier sort of wellness and intentional leadership. And it’s I guess, it’s similar to the last question in that, how do we know that we’re promoting the wellness that people need number one, and you know, what happens in these situations where we could be promoting an environment that recognizes wellness and embraces wellness, but maybe our people don’t know how to do that, you know, maybe that, you know, they’re coping mechanisms or ways that aren’t promoting wellness? So you have people that are working, working, working, working, working, I guess it’s kind of a change management question again, like how do we get people to focus on their wellness, if that’s not something that they naturally do?

Axelle Flemming 27:48
Through my journey? As a teacher? I learned that we are the greatest teacher. And so when I say that every change initiative begins with that leader saying to themselves, how am I showing up? How can I be better Am I Well, in my levels of stress, anxiety, and being pulled in a million direction, balanced because as a leader, and I am a student in this as well, because as

Marlene Gebauer 28:21
we are all students

Axelle Flemming 28:24
forever, until, until that very last breath, because as a type personalities who wants to conquer it all yesterday, we will always balance this battle of wellness ourselves first before we can actually be any beacon of hope for anybody else. And so that was my moment of realization as well, Marlene, in terms of six years ago, when I had been advocating for my team and take some time off and don’t work so hard. But who is actually the one that actually sent out emails at 10pm. Right? And who’s still up thinking about what’s what’s on tap for tomorrow. So our ability to evoke change in the world. And I you know, many years ago, I may have looked at this quote and had a little chuckle, but it means so much to me now than ever before, which is be the change we want to see in the world. Be The Change the first question to you know, when I am asked those questions, Marlene is first. How is your well being? How was your stress level? It’s that look in the mirror that I actually do to myself starting six years ago on a daily basis because it is a daily balance. And it is a daily challenge. It never becomes old just because oh axils a mindfulness guru and her mental health is editable Potential every day. I know I am challenged more now, every day because I’m aware of how imbalanced I am right? And so the ability to look ourselves in the mirror daily to say, what do I want to see in the world? Do I see it in this mirror first? And if not, what can I do about it, empowering the self to say, Okay, I want my team to be high performing, to be able to be efficient to collaborate, how am I creating that for myself? For others, for the community, for the team that I work in? And that’s really that magic question that we, as leaders really have to ask ourselves if we want to create the change in the world we want to see.

Greg Lambert 30:47
Yeah, I think that leads into my next question pretty well. And that I noticed on one of the blog posts that you did that you ended the post with a phrase that said, See you in the wellness gym, and I really liked that really kind of stood out to me how you equate wellness with an activity, rather than just wellness is kind of a thought process. Let’s talk about what you are working toward when, with wellness as an active process. What do you what do you mean as wellness as an activity,

Axelle Flemming 31:20
I love it, Greg, because the brain is a muscle and like every muscle in the body, we do have to work it out to get it to its peak position, state and all of that. And so when I say the wellness gym, I do mean the whole wellness being so very quickly, the mind goes into Oh, the 24 Hour Fitness, right like let let let’s go in and make sure we’re on the treadmill that is absolutely one pillar of wellness. And there is no disputing that, that if our bodies cannot physically get us up in the morning, get us to work allow us to sit for eight to 10 to 12 hours in a chair without our back hurting, we cannot perform at our highest potential. Now let’s go to the next level, which is our mind. So our brain is a muscle. And oftentimes we are not we in this world of Go Go Go and the human doing versus the human being, we are actually not working this mind muscle in its balanced state, we are working on one side of the brain, which is the fight or flight side, which is the side that says I need to do, I need to get this done, I need to hit this deadline. And what happens in that fight or flight state is a focus. And again, there is no good or bad in this it is about balanced when it comes to the mental well being. But the state of our you know legal industry is at critical levels of mental distress, mental distress, and illnesses. The critical level is unsustainable, and we use that word so lightly in our day, because we think we’re just going to keep pushing through, we’re going to keep hitting that wall and getting up. But the word unsustainable is that five to 10 years and I know we’ve got the crystal ball later, but five to 10 years from now, if something doesn’t change, it is unsustainable. And so the reality is that this mental workout this CEU in the wellness gym is about working both sides of the brain. Now we’ve got to rebalance the fact that we are 24/7 in the fight or flight mode, the brain was created for balance because the fight or flight was to protect us from a bear that was running after us so that we can run it shuts down our digestive system. It creates a tunnel vision which is away from the bear and creates an adrenaline rush so that your muscles can move as fast as possible. It numbs pain, all those things to provide safety and security. But let’s just tap into brain science for a second and say that element though in our brain was created to be turned on, let’s say, every month, once a month, we need to run from a bear. However, in today’s culture, we have created the bear as getting the kids to school. Getting on this meeting, managing a calendar that has way too many meetings, initiatives that are fires, and every single initiative we actually work on is a fire. And so now we have created the bear as everything in our day to day life. Have style. And so the mental the mental gym is to rebalance that and to work that side of the brain to work that muscle because when we don’t lift the weights, Greg, right when we don’t, when we don’t do the crunches, we aren’t going to have a six pack. If we don’t work that side of the brain that is that is very untapped in our society today. It gets weak. And now we’re imbalanced. And so we touched on the purpose side, which is the heart and soul of it, which is what makes us tick. And that also needs a workout. And we’ve touched on that on the intentional leadership side. But that’s the wellness gym that I’m talking about.

Marlene Gebauer 35:46
Well, now, of course, I’m thinking about how I get a six pack.

Greg Lambert 35:53
I was just thinking about how when you said all of the list of the of what the bear is today, I’m like, yeah, that yeah, check, check, check. I gotta look.

Marlene Gebauer 36:06
Now we have to decide whether they’re like Kodiak bears or grizzly bears, black bears, or teddy bears, you know, it’s like, what, what, what level? Is it? So I love

Axelle Flemming 36:15
that, right? How do we make our bears teddy bears so they’re nice and squishy, and we can hug them when we want to and we don’t have to fight them when we don’t want to that then becomes intention. So this is where wellness ties into intention. Because once we’re aware, we can intentionally choose it is always a choice. It is always our choice. And that part is that only part of the intentional leadership that we own what we believe to be the bear we want to fight today.

Greg Lambert 36:47
Yeah, okay. Okay. Now Now it’s time for my dad joke. Marlene. Sorry, sorry. Hey, go ahead. Go ahead. Because you know, because you because you mentioned what, what types of bears? So my one of my favorite dad jokes is, how do you tell the difference between a grizzly bear and a black bear? You climb a tree, if the bear comes up to the tree knocks it down and kills you. It’s a grizzly bear. If the bear climbs the tree and kills you, it’s a black bear.

So when you were saying what types of bears? I’m like, the Oak Hill Yeah.

Axelle Flemming 37:25
Yeah, that’s right. They’ll all kill you. Unless it’s a teddy bear, right?

Greg Lambert 37:31
Let’s make them teddy bears. Yeah, teddy bears hug them,

Marlene Gebauer 37:35
you know, it would be really interesting to sort of have either a session as a consultant and you know, in a firm, or, you know, sort of doing it as a workshop at a conference or something where people could voice you know, some of the challenges that they have, as well as some of the ways that they make their bears, teddy bears, because, and we don’t have enough time to do that here. But I always think about that, like, you know, we think we were doing things. But are there other things we could be doing? Are there other ideas that we might have? And you know, are we touching all of the wellness points? I may be working out every day. But you know, maybe I’m not taking time to sit back and reflect as much as I need to, and sort of being able to go through an exercise where you can kind of assess that in terms of like, where are my gaps? So anyway, that would be fun.

Greg Lambert 38:24
I’m betting X XL has some of that for the Lynx conference.

Marlene Gebauer 38:29
Maybe she

Axelle Flemming 38:32
does magic sauce like Yeah, yeah, because it is all about a visceral experience, that reflection that, that ability to do it as an exercise that creates the one the awareness, but also the shift in mindset. Because to your point, Marlene and Greg, you touched upon it as the bears as Check, check, check. Without that awareness that actually the bears that are triggering our anxiety, overwhelm, and stress levels is all those checked boxes, okay? Now, our awareness, it’s like those antennas went up. And that’s how powerful awareness I always say, in my coaching sessions, when those aha moments come in, like, you’re 50% there, because the minute the antennas go up, and you’re you’ve checked all the boxes to say, Holy crap, I’m, I’m, something’s running after me. And I gotta stop this right? Once you say that now your awareness is up and now you can act with intention. And so awareness gets us 50% there when it comes to change management. Yeah, yeah. And

Marlene Gebauer 39:45
I think I think that awareness because is necessary in order to facilitate the change moving forward, because yes, you’re checking all the boxes. And like, Okay, I’m checking the boxes, my, my stress level is down. I’m getting through it, but the Problem is, it’s the same thing over and over and over and over again, it’s a cycle and it doesn’t change unless you are mindful about making that change.

Axelle Flemming 40:10
Yeah, I see a hamster wheel when you said that, right? Because unless we get off the hamster wheel, it keeps going. And it actually goes quicker. And I’m going to cover a bit of that on Thursday as well of how the brain works in the same way as that hamster wheel. And that’s the cognitive cycle. Once we get on that hamster wheel, unless we intentionally take ourselves off, it will keep rolling down the hill pretty darn quickly, until again, we choose to get off or stay on until it hits rock bottom,

Marlene Gebauer 40:45
AXA, we ask all of our guests to pull out their crystal ball and peer into the future for us. What do you see as some of the changes and challenges for the legal industry and for knowledge workers specifically in the next three to five years?

Axelle Flemming 40:58
All right, well, the pressure is on over here, really Marlene?

Marlene Gebauer 41:04
Now, you knew this was coming?

Axelle Flemming 41:07
You guys that you were intentional about placing that into my consciousness. I’m going to be a true consultant. But I’m going to explain why. I’m going to say it depends. It depends because we are at a crucible moment here that it’s going to take a collective effort to shift the ship at this point, it’s going to take you i All the leaders that are listening in including all the leaders that aren’t listening in to decide whether it’s time to get off that hamster wheel or not. And collectively, we will have to decide, well, individually, we will have to decide which will affect the collective movement of this ship. Because it does take a village. And the fact of the matter is we are all interconnected and interdependent. Any leader that says they have done it all themselves. And they they they have made it to the top because of because of themselves alone is truly not a leader. And so as a leader, we know that it is a collective effort. So the answer of this crystal ball from this perspective of intentional leader and wellness, is that it’s going to depend. And the challenge is that we all question and ask ourselves, is this hamster wheel the wheel I want to be in for the next five years, 10 years? Or is it time to get off and reevaluate, to change some things to face some things that are difficult, because I cannot believe I didn’t call this out before change is not know of risk and discomfort. And until we’re willing for some sort of discomfort to get to the other side, which the one thing I know for sure, is that on the other side have some very dark days, the sun does rise again. And it rises much brighter, when you can see better breathe better here better. And that’s what I know for sure. And so five to 10 years from now. It rests on every single person listening in to this podcast. Are we going to change? Are we going to evolve and grow? Are we going to take the lessons in front of us right now and learn from them? Reflect on them, shift and change them for the better of ourselves and every single person around us whoever that might be? So that’s my answer.

Marlene Gebauer 44:09
Well, well, you heard it here, folks. It’s basically up to all of us to sort of shift our mindset and embrace change. So thank you, Axl, for the for the insights. And thank you so much for coming on the podcast. We’re looking forward to seeing you and the others at the links conference on September 15. Yeah, this Thursday.

Axelle Flemming 44:27
Yep. Can’t wait to see you guys. And thank you so much for inviting me and engaging on this challenge.

Greg Lambert 44:39
It was great having Axl on here and it kind of reminded me of a of a couple of previous episodes that we had when we were talking about mindfulness and being able to make sure you’re taking care of yourself so that you can take care of others and and I’m in as recently as last week show with Olga talk. about how she looks in the mirror every morning, and sets her intentions for the day to be your authentic self. We kind of paralleled that. And then it also made me think about when when Axelle was talking about the health of, you know, your personal health that you’ve got to kind of take care of yourself first, so that you can take care of others reminded me of our discussion with Jeff MA in Frank Danna, a few weeks back with the leading with love book. And so I think a lot of these stories that in that we’re being told by our guest over the past few months, kind of parallel each other, it’s kind of kind of fun to listen to all of these.

Marlene Gebauer 45:43
Yeah, it’s, it reminds me I’ll give you an example of this actually, at work. So are one of our former guests saying, Lee, she and I were talking and she recommended a book to me called the artists way. And it’s an old book. And it’s basically about releasing creativity. One of the exercises in the book is that you basically write three pages, right when you get up in the morning. And it can be anything you could write bla bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, for three pages, it doesn’t matter. And it really just kind of opens your mind and just sort of, I don’t know how to explain it, but it just relaxes you. And you’re just much more open to you know, whatever is going to come to you during the day. And I mean, I’ve recommended this to other people already, to like several people already. So that’s the type of thing I think we’re talking about here. It’s like, you know, what do you need to do to kind of prepare yourself for the day ahead?

Greg Lambert 46:36
Yeah, yeah. So I’m really looking forward to Thursday for the HBr Lynx conference. I know some of our listeners will be joining us for that. You and I and John de Giulio are going to be doing a recap toward the end of the day. So but I know we’ve got a couple of keynotes and some some specific topics that we’re talking about. I’ll have links on there. I think it’s not too late to sign up if anyone is looking to continue this conversation. And I know Axelle has a keynote. I think it’s at 130, Eastern or 230. Eastern one of those. So I’m looking forward to learning that secret sauce that she kept mentioning in in the interview.

Marlene Gebauer 47:23
Exactly right. And I just want to say thank you to all of you for taking the time to listen to The Geek in Review podcast. If you enjoyed the show, share it with a colleague. We’d love to hear from you. So reach out to us on social media. I can be found at @gebauerm on Twitter,

Greg Lambert 47:39
And I can be reached @glambert on Twitter.

Marlene Gebauer 47:42
Or you can leave us a voicemail on The Geek in Review Hotline at 713-487-7270. And as always, the music you hear is from Jerry David DeCicca Thanks, Jerry.

Greg Lambert 47:53
Thanks, Jerry. All right, Marlene, I will see you on Thursday.

Marlene Gebauer 47:56
All right, bye bye.