Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders with Scott Allen

Sharna Fabiano - Lead & Follow

October 07, 2021 Season 1 Episode 90
Sharna Fabiano - Lead & Follow
Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders with Scott Allen
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Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders with Scott Allen
Sharna Fabiano - Lead & Follow
Oct 07, 2021 Season 1 Episode 90

Sharna Fabiano is an internationally recognized tango artist. Over the course of her twenty-year dance career, she toured over a dozen countries, designed partner-based movement courses for undergraduates, and founded a nonprofit tango school in Washington, DC. She is an outspoken advocate for the study of both leading and following roles independent of gender, a training practice that builds empathy, inclusion, and creativity. Sharna brings her deep understanding of the leader/follower dynamic in social dance into the professional sphere with original coaching programs that help professionals and teams collaborate more successfully. Sharna earned her MFA in dance from UCLA and lives in Los Angeles.

Our First Conversation

Sharna's Latest Book

Sharna's Podcast

Quotes From This Episode

  • "My life as a social dancer showed me that superior work, not to mention the most satisfying work comes not from everyone leading all of the time, but from leaders and followers working together." 
  • Leaders and Followers - "On either side, there needs to be that healthy commitment and engagement."
  • "Power can be organized in a way that's more harmful/violent, or more supportive, protective, and nurturing...I think we're maybe always going to be on that spectrum somehow, as a human family."

Resources Mentioned in This Episode

About The International Leadership Association (ILA)

  • The ILA was created in 1999 to bring together professionals with a keen interest in the study, practice, and teaching of leadership. 

Connect with Scott Allen

Show Notes Transcript

Sharna Fabiano is an internationally recognized tango artist. Over the course of her twenty-year dance career, she toured over a dozen countries, designed partner-based movement courses for undergraduates, and founded a nonprofit tango school in Washington, DC. She is an outspoken advocate for the study of both leading and following roles independent of gender, a training practice that builds empathy, inclusion, and creativity. Sharna brings her deep understanding of the leader/follower dynamic in social dance into the professional sphere with original coaching programs that help professionals and teams collaborate more successfully. Sharna earned her MFA in dance from UCLA and lives in Los Angeles.

Our First Conversation

Sharna's Latest Book

Sharna's Podcast

Quotes From This Episode

  • "My life as a social dancer showed me that superior work, not to mention the most satisfying work comes not from everyone leading all of the time, but from leaders and followers working together." 
  • Leaders and Followers - "On either side, there needs to be that healthy commitment and engagement."
  • "Power can be organized in a way that's more harmful/violent, or more supportive, protective, and nurturing...I think we're maybe always going to be on that spectrum somehow, as a human family."

Resources Mentioned in This Episode

About The International Leadership Association (ILA)

  • The ILA was created in 1999 to bring together professionals with a keen interest in the study, practice, and teaching of leadership. 

Connect with Scott Allen

Note: Voice-to-text transcriptions are about 90% accurate 

Scott Allen  0:01  
Okay, everybody, Good afternoon. Good evening. Good morning, wherever you are in the world, I have a returning guest. And I'm so excited to Sharna for this conversation because your episode is one of the most popular episodes of Phronesis it and I've sent you even, even as I've used it in class a little bit at times, I think I've sent you some clips of observations and reflections from students about our conversation that we had probably I think it was probably last summer if I'm not mistaken. I'm excited to kind of continue the conversation. And you've been on an adventure you've, you've published the book you mentioned in our first episode, and that's where we are going to take things today. But maybe if you would start us off, reintroduce yourself to listeners, and then we'll jump in.

Sharna Fabiano  0:48  
Okay. Yeah, I'm, I just want to say I'm so honored to be back for a second time on Phronesis, I am a big fan of Phronesis. I really, really appreciate it. I'm honored to be back. The book that was published in February is called lead and follow. And I think what may be most interesting for this listenership is that it's, it's maybe the only book that I know of that talks about leadership and followership as a set of skills, or one of the few there's, there's definitely a few more out there. So that's what I was after at my I'm a dancer by training. And I found my way into coaching more recently. And so I'm kind of coming into the exploration of leadership from the dance world, from my experience, particularly a partner dance of which is, of course, a dance of leading and following. And so I've translated a bit of that embodied knowledge into a framework that can be used in the workplace. And so that's what I've been working with.

Scott Allen  1:42  
And so I'm going to say a quote, that very beautifully kind of sums up what you just said, from the book. "My life as a social dancer showed me that superior work, not to mention the most satisfying work comes not from everyone leading all of the time, but from leaders and followers working together." And I think that kind of captures the spirit of you and your work. Would you agree?

Sharna Fabiano  2:08  
Yes. It's always funny to hear your words read back to you.

Scott Allen  2:12  
Who was that? That sounds good!

Sharna Fabiano  2:14  
Who wrote that?! I'm just endlessly fascinated with that. Coming together, right. And I know leading and following is not always, not always the words people love to use, but there's some sort of coming together of complementary ways of being, you know, even if you just say, speaking and listening, you know, or organizing and performing. That creates some magic. And I'm just endlessly fascinated with that, either, you know, between two people or, you know, in a group that's much larger.

Scott Allen  2:50  
Yeah. And I love that phrasing of magic. I read the blog post that you placed on LinkedIn today. And I really enjoyed that because you were kind of getting into your experiences of late, where even people have been pushing back on some of those terms that in your experience of leadership and followership, would you talk a little bit about that?

Sharna Fabiano  3:11  
Yeah, that's, you know, that's also maybe something that I've been paying attention to since the book was published, and I've been immersing myself in these discussions more is, for a long time. Now, I think those of us who are interested in followership has been defending followership, you know, as a word, right? Like, "no, no, it exists. It's a thing, it's valuable." And there are all sorts of stereotypes, right? That we know that go along with that, like, oh, followers are passive and survival and who wants to be a follower? Nobody. But now, there's also this little bit of similar thing about leadership even and I understand why, you know, like, oh, leadership, that's too much about domination and authoritarianism. And we don't want that. Let's get rid of leadership too. So I understand where it's coming from. But like, because the argument is so familiar to me from the fellowship. world, it really made me question it. So that's what led me to write that article. I thought, "well, wait a minute, we can't have no leading and no following at all, like what happens then?" So yeah, I became concerned about that. And that sort of brought me to write it out, you know, as I often do, to kind of clarify my own thoughts. I

Scott Allen  4:12  
think you're exactly right. I mean, I don't know. I tend not to get too caught up in some of the semantics of this conversation of leadership or followership. I have been reflecting through, lately. And this stemmed from I'm involved in what's called the Collegiate Leadership Competition. And so we have, we have a curriculum for the CLC. And there is a group of us this summer really revising and kind of tweaking and really taking a closer look at the curriculum. And it's really interesting because we're there's one, this is a curriculum that has some acronyms, so TEAMS has an acronym "trust matters," "accountability matters," "emotions matter." Something we were talking about was this kind of notion of teaming and thinking about that almost as a verb. Because I had an episode with Ron ratio where he said something to be effective, you know, leaders don't do leadership, they co-created with followers, right? They co-create whatever it is that exists with followers. And so then I kind of just started going to the Starbucks to experiment of "well, what does it mean to Team effectively?", because like you said, when we have that there's this magic, right? When and I love obviously the metaphor of Tango and coming together and creating new. And again, getting to that place of magic. And we talked a lot about some of that of your thinking there and their first episode, but teaming is that a word? I don't know. You know, but at least then it's a "we," and it's collectively regardless of our roles, we need to figure out how we move forward how we create how we get to that magic?

Sharna Fabiano  5:50  
I feel like I've heard that term somewhere. I'm not sure if I'm, was it Amy Edmondson who started? For some reason, her name is popping into my head in relation to that word. So I might be wrong. But thankfully, you know, the utility of the words, for me is in the experience of what happens there. Right? So in environments where the assertion has been made, that there's no leader or in everyone's just here, and we're doing something, those experiences tend to be less productive to me. Whereas if I'm in an environment where even if it's shared leadership, right, I've been in lots of consensus-based groups or groups where facilitation rotates. And there's if there's at least an acknowledgment that, you know, someone is gathering the group says, you know, for a purpose, like that has to happen. And then there's, you know, there's understanding that everyone will speak and participate, right, that sort of, in my mind, like a leadership function like expressing, and then there's like this other function of listening or receiving or collecting information. So but in some way, I feel like these things need to be coordinated, right. And so again, the utility of using words like leading following or like facilitating participating, if there's parity with those two functions, I find that the experience is more satisfying and productive. 

Scott Allen  7:11  
Well, there's clarity, there's, there are norms that are established, there's organizing principles, at least. And I think, to your point, I think, as human beings, we need some of that. Otherwise, you just have a T group. And you're kind of sitting there.

Sharna Fabiano  7:25  
Right? That kind of reminds me, I mean, I'm sort of jumping ahead here. But just as you're saying, We need that it's reminded me of a lot of the comments I've gotten since the book has come out. I've tried out for dominantly work with individuals right now. So a lot of my clients are, they're individuals, not teams. And so a lot of them will say, Oh, this is great, because now I can actually figure out what I need to lead and when I need to follow, I think it is a wonderful thing to do with a group, right? This sort of curriculum or something similar, where you're, you know, working on both sets of skills, but even on the individual level, I've been pleasantly surprised to hear people say, Oh, you know, I can use this just with myself and shifting what mode I'm in any given conversation. So that's been like a wonderful discovery and something I find gratifying.

Scott Allen  8:14  
I still very much appreciate and I think you just said as I was mentioning to you before we got on air sometimes I blackout during these conversations. If I'm not if this isn't what you just said, please, please let me know. But I think you had mentioned and what I love about you know, you have skills on both sides. For me, it was in our conversation last summer, where it really transformed my perspective that "Oh wow, there are skills on both sides and are we able and in that conversation, we talked about look, sometimes you serve in the role of leader as a dancer sometimes you use to serve as in the role of the follower as a dancer?" And are we skilled at both and so those skills on both sides of the equation and that mindset of people who are in quote-unquote follower roles, that's a that's an active role that's not a passive if you're doing it well it's an activity it's active just as active as leadership would you agree?

Sharna Fabiano  9:14  
Absolutely. And you know, I would say I mean if you're doing it well it is right and we tend to think oh, leading is always good and following is always bad but you know, leading is also not so good at if it's passive and checked out. So on either side, there needs to be that healthy commitment and engagement from the person I was just flashing to an example maybe this would be useful to mention, one of my individual clients who found this interesting for that very reason like when just kind of switch from one to the other, noticed, right, just taking inventory of herself like "oh, I would go to my supervisor, but I would be kind of speaking in a leading sort of manner." And I think that often happens because there's more emphasis on leadership and more training, but they would frequently have conflict. So I thought, Okay, well what if we did? You know, what if we look at that, is there a way you could just speak differently? Or approach that from more of a, like follower direction? And would that make a difference in the outcome? And, you know, we tweaked a couple of things. And of course, all this is very individual. But that was a really good observation that without even knowing it, we might go in and, you know, to a person who, where we want to be in a follower role, you know, and just automatically say something like, Well, I think here's, here's what should be done? Or would you do this and that comes off, you know, it can come off unintentionally, as the leader energy, where the appropriate energy is more of support energy. So you just change how you say something, it can have a really different result. I thought that was a fascinating, very subtle, but very useful discovery.

Scott Allen  10:47  
Yes. And then as a follower, you're running little experiments, and am I getting new results, because this is how I'm approaching it. And is couching it this way, or communicating in this manner? work with this individual? And again, it's very active, it's not some passive, everything's happening to me type role. What else have you been hearing or thinking about since the book was published? And I know you just started a podcast, we're gonna have all of that in the show notes. So people can connect with you in that way, as well. What are some other observations that you've had since publishing the book, or even just some thoughts that are on your mind? As of late as you kind of think about this? As you know, it's a beautiful space that keeps at least my mind, energized and active? Always.

Sharna Fabiano  11:35  
Absolutely. I really want to thank you, again, for encouraging me to start the podcast. And that happened definitely around the last time we did this the first interview. So here we are, and now I have my own podcast, but a warning to all of your future guests on Phronesis for the end up with your own podcasts! Yeah, I mean, I think in addition to a lot of these sort of small subtle things that people tried and had success with the podcast, that lead and follow podcast that I started, has expanded my own mind to what lead and follow could mean like on a grander scale. So, you know, for example, on a political level, like if we leave work, you know, what does that mean, if we start thinking of leaving and following in, you know, in a democracy or, you know, on an even like a, like a school board on a small scale of something like that? And is there a way to use a framework like that leading and following to diagnose in a way, the balance of power? Is that a useful way to think about it? And of course, we have, you know, elections and, you know, the whole idea of, of representation, but beyond that, there's more, there's a lot more we could delve into there. And like what is support from like a civic perspective? You know, what is leadership that, you know, if you're there to kind of serve the public will what happens when that isn't happening. And there's a wonderful, Alain,  give a little shout out to Alain de Salas, who did a wonderful episode on social movements, courageous followership, and social movements over long periods of time, like over years and years and generations. And what does that look like? And how to kind of get your mind around that on such a big scale?

Scott Allen  13:13  
I had a guest on and The episode was released a couple of weeks ago, Beth Zemsky. And, you know, I think since 1977, in New York, she had been involved in LGBTQ plus initiatives since '77. And so to have her perspective, and her reflections and that conversation of Anthony Fauci was the enemy in the beginning and wasn't convinced that it was a problem. And yeah, just to have someone with that perspective, that long-term perspective, and then the wisdom that she brought to the conversation. It really is. It's fascinating to think about it in that period of decades, long periods of time, right?

Sharna Fabiano  14:00  
And maybe similarly, this is something that came up but I'll just go through my podcast guests because they're all brilliant. But the Yeah, the idea here was like, what do we learn about followership from the social justice movement? No, and I loved this is a Ryan Moody episode on followership as consent. And what is your thinking about being an ally, especially as a white person, right? I'm a white woman, thinking of being an ally to the movement for Black Lives, for example, or the LGBT movement putting like, and I think some of us like good progressive, liberals want to be like, "oh, I'll jump in there and start a start an organization or something" that's actually not very useful, right? The useful thing is to say, "How can I support How can I follow?" that is the most appropriate and powerful thing so I love thinking about allyship as being a really great follower. And that seems really useful to me in a practical way, like, what can I do you know, is find something to follow and throw your support behind it?

Scott Allen  14:59  
What else? What is on your radar? Or are you reflecting on that? that comes to mind?

Sharna Fabiano  15:04  
Well, I, I'll be honest with you. I mean, I've been thinking a lot about the etiology of supremacy.  And I know that sounds kind of big, but you know, and I don't pretend to really have my head around this yet, but the more I sank my awareness into like, lead and follow as, as an opportunity to change a very hierarchical relationship, right into, like a less hierarchical one or a more equitable one, it kind of led me to this idea of alright, well, there's this, you know, we're wrestling right now, as a nation, maybe as a world with a lot of these sort of deeply embedded assumptions about supremacy. And like what, you know, some groups are better than other groups, and some groups are more entitled to be in charge than others, the extremity of the harm that's come from that the extremity of the destruction and violence that's come from that. And that may seem like a stretch to kind of leap out of the dance floor, into the workplace, and then into this huge, you know, area of human ranking. But another way, it's still kind of all about the same thing. It's for me, it's like organizing power, and power can be organized in a way that's more harmful and violent, or more supportive, protective, nurturing, you know, I think we're maybe always going to be on that spectrum somehow, as, as a human family. So that's what I've been sinking my mind in right now. And is there any way that I can connect? Right, that idea of leading following speaking listening with projects that are concerned with equity on whatever level whatever scale, community-scale or business scale or, for me, there is some kind of thread there and whenever you talk about hierarchy, there's an idea of where that comes from? Is it functional? Or is it just arbitrary?

Scott Allen  16:56  
Have you read the book Sapiens? Have you heard of it?

Sharna Fabiano  16:59  
I have heard of that is definitely on my list. 

Scott Allen  17:04  
There's, it's really interesting. It's a really interesting perspective. It's kind of like the history of humans. It's fascinating to look at this topic on that horizon, through that lens, so to speak, it even starts with a look at Sapiens, we're just one of many Homo erectus. And yeah, calls and for some reason, Homo sapiens is the only one left and they don't know if that's because the homosapiens killed all the others, or if it's because they mated their way into supremacy. We don't know that hierarchy. Yes, it seems to be embedded deeply in us, and how do we evolve to a place and I think some countries in some societies for sure, have that mindset are further along than others? But how do we evolve into a place where at least baseline levels are met, people have access to whatever it is, they're supposed to be in the world. And those inequities are minimized. Because, as I read the work of the gentleman who wrote sapiens, it's deeply embedded. It's deeply embedded. And it is in the animal kingdom as well. You know, Jane Goodall, some of her work, or there's a gentleman at Stanford who studies primates and stress, and that's really, really interesting. There are some documentaries that he's done, but just the hierarchy of the system, and who's in charge and how they maintain authority and power and wow, how do we, how do we move as a species to a space that's beyond some of those primal ways of being?

Sharna Fabiano  18:48  
I don't know, that suggests I mean, I'm certainly not an expert in this area, but I don't know that I would suggest trying to get rid of it. You know, I mean, it's, as you're saying, baked in, it's part of our wiring, but you know, a lot of things are part of our wiring, you know, we also have, you know, cognitive ability, and we also have a prefrontal cortex, you know, with which we can self reflect, right? And so I feel like, the answer is not just like, "Oh, well, it's baked in, you know, let's just kill each other.: You know, that's like not the answer.

Scott Allen  19:20  
That wasn't what I was suggesting! How do we evolve right?

Sharna Fabiano  19:24  
Like we're aware of this. How do we work with it? Like I mean, even I even feel like that's similar to like my coach training, which is okay. Don't deny anything about yourself. You know, we all have shadows, we all have parts of ourselves that we might not love. Can we learn to accept those and as we do that process, generally they get softer, they get less harmful, and so on a collective level. Can we do something like that? That's what I guess the question I've started to answer is like, okay, let's not reject this about ourselves, there's certainly something about ranking that has a fun Right to our survival. And I can think of lots of examples in my own life where I've been like, "yeah, takeover, you'd be in charge." I'm glad you're taking care of that, you know, and then other times where it feels appropriate to have more of a dialogue and sit down and back and forth, you know, and so I think there is room for a really wide spectrum of this. Yeah, you know, without having to reject any, any of it. But thinking, Okay, if I'm gonna be in a position where I'm more in charge, like more in a hierarchical role as a leader, like, "Okay, how am I doing that in a way that is serving everyone is like, not harming people," just like, the basic non harming principle is similar, like if I'm in a follower role in that the same scenario, like how do I approach that in a way that is serving the whole serving the group? And this is puzzling over that. And I feel like intuitively, I feel like the answer is to accept this about ourselves. And then, you know, just learn how to make it functional and not, you know, functional in the sense of, what is it for why are we having this hierarchical organization? If we have it? Or why do we have an equitable, like a more flat organization? If we have it? Like, there should be a reason for that, that everyone agrees on?

Scott Allen  21:13  
Yeah. And it's conscious. And it's intentional, and it's, we're aware of the benefits and drawbacks of each. But in a general sense, are we hopefully kind of heading towards at least you know, the UN goals of we have some baseline expectations that people have clean water and access to education? And is that and by many accounts, whether you look at the work of Steven Pinker, or Peter Diamandis, I mean, as a globe, we've made some progress in some of those areas, for sure. But there's work to do for sure, anything that you wrote in the book that you're like, now, it's like, you wrote the album, and you're like, oh, "why did I include track 6?" Or your thinking is kind of evolved? Or you're still just kind of questioning that even being there? Is there anything that comes up for you? As an example?

Sharna Fabiano  22:02  
You know, I'm not sure I, I feel like that day will come, but I'm not sure I have tested it thoroughly enough to know what needs to change. I'm sure it will. Because you know, if I think of all my previous creative projects, you know, and dance or painting or writing, you know, it, there's always a moment where like, "Oh, yeah, that's not relevant anymore. Or I know how to do that better now." Here's what I would say, based on the feedback I've gotten the past six months is that there's a lot more desire and interest in working with leading and following in, I wouldn't say non-hierarchical, but much less hierarchical teams to environments than in what we might consider as a more conventional org chart type of leader-follower, were the people who are responding to this book. Anyway, fours are showing interest in it, they are working in environments that are not very rigid in their hierarchy. And so I think if I were to rewrite this or write another one in the future, it would be probably more targeted towards that sort of environment. Whereas this book, I think, because I was so invested in articulating, like, what are those pairs of skills? Yeah, I think it does come off a little bit more like you have a role. And this is it and, you know, work within it, which is fine. I mean, a lot of people are still in those environments. But it was a good note for me to realize that the people attracted to this are not really in those rigid, hierarchical organizations anymore. Or maybe they never were, but at any rate, right now they're not. And so they're using the material, as I mentioned before, more as like a self-development, like I've simultaneous development of two skill sets, and a single person.

Scott Allen  23:39  
For me, it's just so intuitive, though, Sharna that, and push back on this if you disagree, but each one of us have roles, and each one of us have skills that we should have mastery over, we should probably have mastery over all of them. So depending on the context, I can bring that to the table, what's appropriate in the moment? Because it's going to be a little bit of a dance, and I may go to one meeting, and I'm in charge and the next meeting, I'm not, but can I play both positions well, and team in a way that's going to get that get to that magic? Like you said, right?

Sharna Fabiano  24:15  
I think so. I mean, I guess I'm biased right? I wrote the book! I do believe that I do believe that. I wonder this is not what anyone's told me. But I wonder if there is more resistance in those environments to this model than there might be in an environment that is more fluid, and perhaps that's where the feedback is coming from. I'm just speculating. But no, I completely agree with you and I think you know, I've talked to a few people who work in pretty dysfunctional environments, you know, that are very rigid and they will say to me, you know, they're interested but they would say, you know, "no one they're not ready for this." I can't bring this book into my manager and be like, everyone should read this. You know, they're just not ready. You know, culturally or educationally or for whatever reason, you know. So that could be a factor. But you know, when I do talk with them, I mean, I this is more like for my edification, I guess, you know, they'll describe situations. I'm like, "Oh, you know, that's chapter five." And, look, it's happening, you know, like, Yeah, I know, it's really frustrating. But, you know, this may speak to the limits, right of a single person that you can, I would never say you can't make the change on your own. And people have, and sometimes in very remarkable ways, just by shifting their own perspective, but there's definitely a limit there, and I don't want to pretend there isn't when you're an individual in an environment of, you know, sometimes hundreds, where no one else is like wanting to make a shift right now, that's just a kind of reality. In fact, I had a, you know, my aunt who decided to get a different job sorted for that reason. I mean, it wasn't a big conflict. But, you know, by reflecting on, you know, what was going on, he just realized, "Oh, you know, my priorities here are just, they're just not the priorities of this team, and that's good for me to know. No harm no foul."

Scott Allen  26:09  
Maybe in a context where the leader is not interested in followers being skilled, they need a pair of hands, go do it. And, and in some, we just saw the fall as we're recording this of the government in Afghanistan. In that context, right now, I don't have any sense of what's happening. But that's a completely different context where you may be killed. If you view yourself as a partner in this right now. 

Sharna Fabiano

As an individual having a voice or expressing voice. It's so complex, it really is, in normal circumstances, in healthy organizations, I just think the world of how you're thinking about this and Sharna This has been a theme across a number of podcasts from some of the best scholars in the world who are really putting this kind of front and center as a topic that's just so important for exploration. So in that way, you're very much on the cutting edge of "Okay, this is important, this is the top we have to pay attention to and again to Ron's quote you already said, you know, leaders don't do leadership, they co-create it, with others with followers." I think that realization of the industry if you're Barbara Kellerman or area of research, if you're a scholar, for so long, has been focused, focused on that individual. And you know, Kellerman calls it the leadership system, the leader, the followers, and the contexts and what's happening in all three of those that kind of creates, whatever the good, bad, and the ugly. I mean, I just have I have so much respect for the work that you do and how you're thinking about this and pushing the conversation forward.

Sharna Fabiano  28:02  
Stumbling...stumbling the conversation forward, feels like often. Thank you for that. Thank you so much.

Scott Allen  28:06  
So what have you been listening to you? What have you been watching? What have you been reading? What have you what's been on your radar?

Sharna Fabiano  28:12  
I recently finished is Isabel Wilkerson's new book Caste? Oh, yes. Yeah. Which blew my mind. I mean, her first book, The warmth, Warmth of Other suns also blew my mind, a beautiful, elegant writer, she, she does something I've never seen before, which compares what she calls the American caste system, right, which is right on top, black on the bottom. And then the middle, you have sort of Asian, LatinX, mixed, and she describes it as a caste system and compares that to the Indian caste system, and the caste system under Nazi Germany. And draws just, you know, brilliant and terrifying parallels, you know, between those in a way that just made me see it in a way I've never seen it before. And so yeah, as I'm reflecting on power ranking, you know, the structure in a kind of big, abstract way, I found that very, very informative. And then I also listened to a podcast, another podcast called Gaslit Nation, published by journalists, Andrea Chalupa and Sarah Kendzior, or who's the author of a couple of really great books as well. But their specialty is authoritarianism and corruption. And so every week they go through the news and trace what's happening in our nation also in connected to Ukraine and Russia and he sort of what they call the transnational crime syndicate, masquerading as a government, but it's very, it's sometimes hard to listen to, but it's, you know, they're very good. They're their scholars as well as journalists. Again, it's like this window into a world I didn't really, I mean, I know existed. It's a little hard to look at, but you're a concerned citizen. I think in the United States, it's good to have a little Have this information and it's not typically covered by the major networks. So I appreciate their work, their journalism, and their research. Those are the things that I'm sitting with the past month or so...

Scott Allen  30:11  
Well I have two or three recommendations for you so great? Have you do you have HBO max by chance?

Sharna Fabiano  30:17  
I think I kind of turned it on and off. So I have one of these, like, I'll turn it on and watch a bunch of stuff and then turn it off.

Scott Allen  30:25  
We rotate. Yeah. And like Hulu has an incredible WeWork documentary right now. HBOMax has and these are all kind of really interesting from a follower standpoint, quote, unquote, and the dance so LFG it's called, it's called LFG there's a swear word in there so I can't say the official title. But it's about the women's soccer team and their quest for the US women's soccer team and their quest for equal pay.

Sharna Fabiano  30:54  

Scott Allen  30:55  
Very interesting from afar, you know, quote-unquote, their followers in the system and they are very, very active. And so that was a really really interesting program to watch. It's a film documentary. And another one that kind of came on my radar recently was this. There's another one about Theranos the company that was in the bay area where really they raised billions of dollars but it was all built on shoddy technology and it's called Out for Blood and the whistleblowers so the two individuals who really kind of started saying no this is not right and I'll put that in the show notes as well okay

Sharna Fabiano  31:37  
Yeah sounds great...

Scott Allen  31:39  
If you get a chance, those are both on HBOMax but then the WeWork one on Hulu is very interesting as well

Sharna Fabiano  31:45  
I heard about that one Yeah, I heard about it.

Scott Allen  31:49  
It's a wild kind of look into and oftentimes it's a charismatic who presents a wonderful vision and sometimes that vision intact and sometimes there's no one behind the curtain.

Sharna Fabiano  32:05  
Getting back to this idea of you know, leading and following in a kind of on a grander scale I mean, I think we have to think about some of these companies operate not very democratically I think this year has so many people have said to me you know friends clients like I'm really really thinking my job you know, "What am I doing here?" and I think that's healthy in many ways so we think okay, you're working for this company for money What would you do if What if this company were were run by its members? Yeah, you know, how would that change? Maybe you would do something totally different maybe you wouldn't make these gadgets maybe you do something else? I think there is something there to this sort of we assumption we make about work where it's just always run by some extremely wealthy CEO and we're just there for whatever crumbs drip down. I think we can re-think that and maybe the leading following framework is you know is helpful for that.

Scott Allen  33:07  
For listeners, the homework is to purchase lead and follow and answer that question. And ISON Sharna and notes with your thoughts. Shana, it's so good to catch up with you. Good to see you. Again. I hope we do this again in another year. And we'll reflect again on this topic and thanks for the good work that you do again, for listeners, everything is in the show notes. So take a look. And you can order the book you can listen to the podcast I'll put up a couple of links to directly to some episodes. Sharna! Be well and take care!

Sharna Fabiano  33:38  
Thank you so much that is always a pleasure. Thank you for all you do as well. 

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