How Gerardo Segat Thinks About Setting Emotional Goals for Effective Leadership

Gerardo Segat [00:00:00]:
My objective as a leader is to find inner meaning, set yourself emotional goals that say, I want to get out of that meeting with a contract sign. This is how we say it, you know, what do you want from that meeting? But how about, how do you want to feel after that meeting? Once you start doing this, you start checking in yourself.

Kenny Lange [00:00:24]:
Welcome to the how leaders think podcast, the show that transforms you by renewing your mind and giving you new ways to think. I am your host, Kenny Lang. And with me today is Gerardo Sagat. I'll try again maybe later with a really cool accent at the end of the show, and we'll decide to edit it out or not. We'll see. But he is the founder and CEO of Out as Humans, which is probably one of the coolest company names I've ever come across. After several experiences as a CEO and an entrepreneur, Gerardo is now an international leadership coach. He is the founder and CEO of Out as humans, like I said.

Kenny Lange [00:00:59]:
And it is a company producing and distributing the performing art show he created to humanize leaders of corporations and organizations worldwide, which something I believe is desperately needed. Over the last decade, he has been a member of YPO, which is young president's organization, the world's largest community of CEO's. And he has founded and shared chapters in Switzerland, Italy, and globally. Welcome to the show, Gerardo.

Gerardo Segat [00:01:27]:
Hi, Kenny. Thanks for having me. And thanks for the. Thanks for the pronunciation of the name. It was perfect.

Kenny Lange [00:01:34]:
I'm giving it a shot. We'll. We'll stack it up. I'm gonna go find your other guest episodes and see how I did compared to other hosts, and maybe I'll make the top three. But I'm so glad to have you here. I know we've. We've talked, you know, off the recording and previously before, so I'm really impressed with all the work that you have done and are doing. But as we start every show, we'd like to know what is on your mind.

Gerardo Segat [00:02:05]:
What is on my mind, like, every day, is the purpose, why I do what I do. So the purpose of my activity, which is humanizing, so unleashing the humanity of leaders.

Kenny Lange [00:02:21]:
Right? Which, when you hear it and actually on my shirt, if you're watching the video, if you're on audio, you have no idea what I'm talking about, but it says dignity or creating dignity for all. And my coach, who created the system, talks about, we want to humanize and elevate human dignity in the workplace. So I'm curious, when you think about your work and when you are talking about your work and humanizing leaders and organizations. How are you defining that? And then how did you come about this work? Like, how did you find this purpose in this path?

Gerardo Segat [00:03:08]:
You know, I guess it is humanizing for me means showing up, you know, for who you truly are, for who you are and helping others, empowering others to show up for who they truly are.

Kenny Lange [00:03:31]:
So, which, again, like there's a, one of the things that lets me know when someone's on to a great idea is when there's, I had a trainer call it the blinding flash of the obvious, right? Like when you hear it, it just has an intuitive, like a truth, that ping of clarity. You're like, well, of course. But the thing is, it's not happening because if it was, if it was happening all over the place, you'd be out of work or you'd have to find something else to do or a different topic. So I'm curious if there is a need to show up as you truly are with your whole self in leadership and in business, what is the current thinking or the prevailing wisdom that you've seen that has taken people away from being their true self, their whole self, or, or fully human in the workplace?

Gerardo Segat [00:04:41]:
Well, I think some of them have to do with ourselves individually, some have to do with outside, the outside world. So as far as individuals, we have to deal with our mind. Whenever it comes to dealing with our mind, you have to think that our mind, the instinctive approach is to protect ourselves. So to protect us. And therefore, whenever there is something, discomfort, threats, even the most stupid one, the mind throws protective thoughts at us. And you know, the most stupid one, I always make this example, you know, tickling when people tickle. Okay? So tickling. It's funny because when you get somebody to approach you and like tickle or try to tickle, then your reaction is I get away or start laughing or whatever.

Gerardo Segat [00:05:50]:
Yeah. These are protections behavior, okay? There is a threat and therefore unprotected. If you do it yourself, nothing happens. You know, there is nothing, you know, actually, you know, if you touch wherever you feel tickled, if you touch yourself, nothing happens. So why is that? And so that to me is an example of what I mean, you know, the mind is built to protect ourselves. It means that, you know, if there is a threat, something, you know, difficult, something, discomfort, mind doesn't like it. So it will do anything to impede to, you know, it will throw any thoughts at you so that you don't do it, okay? And that means in relation to, you know, being human, open up, vulnerability, et cetera, showing from who you truly are. It means that, for example, say to you, well, look, you know, I can get to what I want even without being deeply authentic.

Gerardo Segat [00:07:03]:
Or this is not for me, or I'm too old for that. Or, you know, these thoughts, or it's difficult. You know, it is very hard. These thoughts are invention of the mind, because the reality in the truth and what is actually happening is something completely different than that.

Kenny Lange [00:07:26]:
Interesting. But because it's coming from inside our mind, we're like, oh, yeah, well, that's logical. That's the right thought to think. We're not questioning our own thoughts. And some of what you said reminds me of when I was in. In college, or if you're my international friends, when I was at university, um, that in one of the psychology classes, we covered something called cognitive dissonance. And it's like, when I'm afraid, or. Or there.

Kenny Lange [00:08:02]:
There needs to be a protection. Like, I can either say, oh, well, this is not. Like you said, this is, oh, this is the wrong thing. This is not for me. I shouldn't be doing this for. For these reasons and justify my fear, or I need to change my perspective of the thing I'm doing the protective thoughts. I need to confront those in a way so that I can regain that alignment. So what I hear you saying is we might need to be interrogating our own thoughts and justifications that we're telling ourselves.

Kenny Lange [00:08:38]:
Is that fair to say?

Gerardo Segat [00:08:41]:
Yes. Even more than that, I'd say that we simply have to know that we have a mind. We are not our mind.

Kenny Lange [00:08:51]:
Can you say more about that?

Gerardo Segat [00:08:55]:
Well, we have a mind as much as we have an arma, as much as we have p. And instead, we don't separate from our thoughts. We think we are our thoughts. You know, we think we are. We are attached to those, and there is no distance, there is no separation in our mind. But that's because of that. The reality is, we have a mind done in different ways. You can train the mind, you can change the mind, and you can get your mind to go wherever you want it to go.

Gerardo Segat [00:09:34]:
Okay? Even with regards to authenticity and opening up and showing yourself vulnerable and connecting with people and etcetera, etcetera.

Kenny Lange [00:09:48]:
Wow. Which what's so interesting to me personally about this is I've heard a lot of those statements said about emotions. Like, you are not your emotions, or, you know, feelings should be like a red flag, but you shouldn't live from your feelings. Right? Like, don't. Don't make a decision just out of a feeling. Right. And your feelings can also be really deceptive, which is somewhat of what I hear you saying is like, well, I should be afraid of this thing. Well, maybe you shouldn't be, but I've never heard it those same sort of sentiments or that same type of advice applied to our thoughts.

Kenny Lange [00:10:34]:
So how are you coaching, training, teaching people about why letting our mind sort of run the show is unproductive or impeding our progress towards the outcomes we want, the goals that we may have or the purposes we have. How is it impeding that? And then how should we start thinking about our mind beyond just we are not our mind?

Gerardo Segat [00:11:12]:
Well, I guess it's not really that, but it is the fact that what you can get when you actually have this separation from your thoughts if you want, because the reality is everyone likes to be more in control. If you like, if you ask anyone, say, would you like to be more in control of your thoughts, of your mind and more, would you like them to go more towards where you want them to go? Anyone could say yes. So it's very simple. Now, let me add, there is something very. Something very easy to understand and practical here. Think about mindfulness. This is what it is. Mindfulness is take a moment and to become aware, you know.

Gerardo Segat [00:12:14]:
So awareness is very much important, you know, awareness of your thoughts, awareness of your emotions, awareness. And if you think about mindfulness, which is very trendy, obviously it would be more and more and more and more trendy. You know, everything starts from there, you know, because mindfulness makes you separate. Take a distance, observe. Don't react immediately. Don't jump into immediate action. Just observe, you know, so before, think about like a road with traffic, with cars. Those cars are thoughts, you know, instead of going there and trying to push and make this several, you know, just step away, look at, you know, there are these thoughts where they call and then choose.

Kenny Lange [00:13:05]:
Gotcha. It's. I've heard the phrase, like, pay attention to what you're paying attention to, right? Like that. There's something to be learned from that. So, being that you, obviously, this is a podcast for leaders, but you're working with very well accomplished, high achieving, high drive leaders, entrepreneurs. I would think some of that may be more difficult because we get so focused on the outcome and driving this and just driving hard, and you see statistics all over the place that were a lot of high level leaders and entrepreneurs were driving ourselves into the ground, right? Like we're sacrificing our mind, our emotions, our bodies, our relationships, in the pursuit of enterprise, growth, competition, what have you, what are some of the things that you're seeing now? Because I think the, obviously the world and information moves faster than it ever has at any time in human history. And there are a lot of benefits to it, but there are some downsides that I don't, that it sounds like you're paying attention to, that some people are giving lip service to or maybe not giving it the right weight and value that it should. What are you seeing in the people that you're interacting with in terms of how they're combating that or what it's costing them?

Gerardo Segat [00:14:55]:
It's like if you are holding on to something that is influenced by external factors. You know, when you were saying, as we look outside, that's the main issue, you know, leadership has always been outside. You know, when you, I went to school, you learned that success is money, that success is how many offices you have, how many people are, you know, there is no, there's never been any attention on inner inside, you know, now the more the word goes into the direction that it goes, you know, uncertainty, change this, that wars, Covid things like AI. AI, okay? And I add AI onto this, the more it is essential to be able to hold on to yourself, not to something else, not some other, because those things will get away. And so you find yourself, you know, at risk that you don't have balance, you don't have. So the reality is the world is going more and more. And think about AI. AI will definitely put his, and will definitely put even more focus on humanity, on humanity, the human skills of the individual.

Gerardo Segat [00:16:41]:
On inner, okay, think about who is setting themselves inner objectives. So let's say, let's take as an example inner meaning. I want to, you know, my objective as a leader is to find inner meaning. So once you start setting yourself inner objectives, this is what is actually needed. More inner work, more inner objective, more. I'd say even for example, another way is set yourself emotional goals. Let's say, okay, I want to get out of that meeting with a contract. Sign, this is how we say it, you know, what do you want from that meeting? I want sign the contract, but how about, how do you want to feel after that meeting? How do you want to feel after the meeting? Okay, once you start doing this, you start checking in yourself and this is what is needed.

Gerardo Segat [00:17:53]:
And leadership now is already an inside out job. And with AI, with everything, you know, it will become more and more and more and more.

Kenny Lange [00:18:07]:
There's so much that resonates and you know, I know people, podcast hosts joke all the time. Like, you know, we have guests on and we're getting like, free coaching and therapy. So that that may be why guiding some of my questions right now. I love what you just said about leadership being an inside out job. For the. For the longest time, I've had thoughts around, like, frameworks and things and concentric circles. And in the work that I do, I think that way, like, the outermost circle is the whole of the organization, right. And then you move a little closer in and you got some teams, and then at the very center is the leader.

Kenny Lange [00:18:56]:
And what I find, and I'd be curious what you're finding is a lot of times I'm having to start at the very outside to start the work, because to affect the innermost part of an organization, the leader, or to affect someone on the inside, one requires a lot of trust on the other person. Right. To let themselves be affected. But it feels like it takes some work of going from the outside to where there's a moment that you decide, I want to work from the inside out as opposed to just working on all these tactical strategies around me. How are you helping leaders or what's an approach? You're finding that successful, and obviously it may change person to person. Every person is unique, but to encounter these high performers where they're at and then getting them to the place where they really can have that inside out transformation instead of just, well, I got to learn another thing. I want to get another coach. I want to learn to, like, it's a new leadership strategy sort of thing, right? Like, I want the contract sign, like, instead of, well, how do I want to feel after this meeting, after I, you know, hire, fire, recognize, reward this employee? What's been your approach to sort of get people to the place where they're ready for that? Because I don't think in my experience, everybody is ready for an inside out transformation.

Gerardo Segat [00:20:33]:
Well, my experience was mentioning before, you know, inner objectives, the emotional goals. This is the way that people start. Even mindfulness. Mindfulness is a way of getting used to have a relationship with yourself. Let's put it this way, to look at yourself, to build awareness, to then build acceptance, and then open the way to change, because this is how we do it. Decide the direction and open the way to change. I think that tell you this thing where my experience with. With unleashing humanity is that everyone is craving.

Gerardo Segat [00:21:23]:
Everyone is craving to find themselves in scenarios where they can be who they truly are. Everyone. Okay. So here the issue is just to create that space where people can be who they truly are. And when you create that space, that thing becomes so simple. So simple. And what looks like something extremely difficult in reality becomes very simple. I will give you an example of that.

Gerardo Segat [00:22:01]:
One of the things that I do, I do a, like a workshop, 1 hour workshop at the board level of companies, banks, etcetera. So recently I was at a the offices of a bank in London, a big bank in London, and invited. So I get into the room and the key guy, hi, how are you? Very nice, very nice. And then at 04:00 the board starts. So people start coming in. They don't even come to say hello to me. They talk to each other. They didn't even know why they were there.

Gerardo Segat [00:22:52]:
So they sit down. Then two other boards of different locations are connected via Zoom and we start. So half an hour we talk about the positive effects of vulnerability, etcetera. And the other half an hour, it's like a practical exercise where I share my deepest fragility and I ask the people to share theirs in a certain way. They write it, post it, note, they give it to me. Then I read them aloud and share it with the people. In 1 hour, people end up crying, you know, things that are coming out, like, you know, sexual violence, you know, mental disorders. Okay, people, those people see people who half an hour before didn't even read.

Gerardo Segat [00:23:46]:
After half an hour, they cry, they yag each other. They come to me, say, yeah, the CEO writes me an email two days after to say, we're going to change things in the organization. So I think it is very crucial to lead by example. And this is, to me, that's the easiest way. So how do you do it with your client? You ask me. The way I do it is by being vulnerable, by being authentic, by being with them. And in 1 second, it is incredibly contagious because everyone wants to find and to be in a space like that. So as soon as you create, people will jump into that space and be it.

Kenny Lange [00:24:38]:
Wow, that's phenomenal. I've been fortunate, um, to facilitate some sessions where, um, that is, that has happened right as everybody's just like, ah, it's just another meeting, you know, by the end, you know, there's, there's, there's tears or there's, there's heartfelt expressions of sort of the corporate armor, if you will, is set down. Um, so that's extremely powerful. So I'm, I'm grateful that, that, you know, there are people like you who are doing this kind of work in the world, because, again, I wholeheartedly believe in it. And at this point, I personally am dedicating my life to that. Something. Early on, when I was getting started, I had a coach helped me and asked me some great questions on, like, what is my purpose in doing? Why do you want to do this? You know, is it to get rich? And I was like, no, but I got a lot of kids. I got to send a university and college, so I need to make some money.

Kenny Lange [00:25:42]:
But ultimately, it was creating that psychologically safe space for leaders to grow, because so often I don't think, or so often I think it is, people do not feel it is safe to get to that place that you just mentioned, and it may take some time, and that's okay. But if they did feel like it was safe prior to your arrival, they probably wouldn't need you. Maybe they probably would have already engaged in this sort of vulnerability and humanizing type activity. Is that fair to say?

Gerardo Segat [00:26:20]:
Yes. I mean, I don't call it safe because I don't think that it exists. Okay. I don't call it safe space. You know, I don't think there is a safety there. You know, it's all probably more a matter of bravery. It is more, you know, yourself feeling comfortable. Okay.

Gerardo Segat [00:26:44]:
So probably more comfort than being safe, because it's not. I don't think you can actually offer safety. But, you know, having said that, I think, you know, just, you know, bungee jumping. Okay. So I, you know, I. To me, it would be, I do helicopter skiing, but I can't do punch jump. Now, if you go up there with a friend, your girlfriend, your husband, whatever, and you see this one doing it, is it more probable or less probable that you're going to do it? You know, so the example is what counts, really. It is the example that the example really drives.

Gerardo Segat [00:27:39]:
You know, if I desperately want to throw myself out, but I cannot do it, if there's somebody next to me, 1234 people doing it, I feel, okay, let's do it.

Kenny Lange [00:27:57]:
So then, are you of the opinion that there is a certain level of responsibility or onus on, in particular, senior leaders. Right. Could be bored. Could be the executive c suite to go first to lead by example, in order to see that. You talked about leadership being an inside out job. Right. For an individual. Let's extend that into an organization.

Kenny Lange [00:28:30]:
Is it on them to take some of those steps of vulnerability, of being more fully human and their truest self, if they hope to see that sort of behavior or that sort of transformation inside of their organization?

Gerardo Segat [00:28:48]:
Yes, I believe so. Because, you know, if the essence of a leader today is unleashing the potential of people, then, you know, the best way to do that is to allow them to be who they truly are. And this is how you unleash their potential. So how do you do that? If you lead by example, then they will do it. The issue is, I believe that nowadays there isn't so much attention to the leaders. We often ask them to do that, but we don't create spaces where they learn, where they change. And instead we focus. We put the spotlight on them saying, oh, well, you know, you have to be authentic, create the spaces, be vulnerable.

Gerardo Segat [00:29:48]:
Let the people do. Let the people show the best, you know, ask, ask. I mean, these guys, you know, bombarded with ask, and there is no moment where they can actually say, look, the reality is maybe before going there and asking, I'm going to have to do a little work myself so that I am like that and I understand and I know how it. And then I can lead by example. And as soon as people will see me later behaving in a certain way, everybody will do it automatically.

Kenny Lange [00:30:32]:
So then is it on that leader to seek out that space or seek out a coach or a therapist or where then if we're walking it earlier in the process, as you were describing, they need to pay attention to their own inner world so that they can show up and do those things. Where should these leaders be looking to? Or is it on people like, like you and me, or coaches or facilitators? Or is it HR? Like where, where do they find those spaces? And who's looking for whom in this case? Because it could be, it could become another ask for them to go do this work so that they can go and be vulnerable and make good on all the other asks.

Gerardo Segat [00:31:23]:
I feel the easiest way is through coaching. I mean, coaching is somehow whatever is the objective that you have or the objectives that you have. Coaching will take you inside yourself. Okay? Now, I think what is more important is to actually decide. Take a decision to say, okay, I want to be my true self. That's the key. I think then the ways are there. Okay.

Gerardo Segat [00:32:09]:
Different approaches, different cultures. Group this in my. In YPO, the world's largest community of CEO, the number one reason for membership is what they call a forum. Forum is a format of regular meeting, like mafia meeting where 910 CEO's meet and they update each other on personal and professional matters, you know, in an open, vulnerable focus on emotions, etcetera. That also is a way, you know, it is a way to open up, to experience human connection, authenticity, etc. And see what it brings. So there are many ways. The key is taking a decision.

Gerardo Segat [00:33:02]:
And the biggest obstacle is that you will be bombarded by your mind, you know, don't do this. It's not applicable, it's irrelevant. You can get to money, success, even if you haven't or you're not deeply authentic, you know. And so you need to really overcome that and say, okay, you know, the reality is of taking this decision. Sometimes you're lucky that something happens in your life, something, you know, bad or important or big happens that somehow pushes you in that direction. Or you get ill or, you know, something bad happens in your life and you are lucky enough. Or you take major decisions like, you know, transitioning into a new career, for example. Some other times it's more difficult.

Gerardo Segat [00:34:04]:

Kenny Lange [00:34:10]:
What would you advise a leader listening to this? Maybe they've, maybe they've never engaged in one on one coaching or forum or a peer advisory group. You mentioned YPO, there's vistage Eo, there's several of these organizations that will help facilitate those type of forums. What would you advise a leader to look for in good coaching? Because technically speaking, you can just wake up tomorrow and declare yourself a coach and build a website and say, I offer coaching. Right. And it may not be your skillset, you may not have been trained well. Right. Like I think bad coaching can do damage, in my opinion. What would you say to the, to the listener, the leader who says, okay, this makes a lot of sense.

Kenny Lange [00:35:06]:
I think I would like to take a step in investigating coaching. But how, if I've never experienced it, how do I know what good coaching looks like? What are some, some great signals that they should pay attention to?

Gerardo Segat [00:35:20]:
From my point of view, I'd say three things. One is the CV. Okay, now, CV means, yeah, obviously that's CV qualifications, the background, etcetera. So that's one. The second one is chemistry. Chemistry. Chemistry with the coach. That's very important because, because I wouldn't worry too much about your objectives.

Gerardo Segat [00:35:54]:
Because whatever your objectives, at the end of the day the coach will take you inside of you. Okay? So it doesn't matter. You don't need to approach your coach and say, okay, my goal is inner meaning. Say my goal is performing well, or clarify this situation, take this decision. Okay. Now in any case, all this comes back to inner, you know, the person.

Kenny Lange [00:36:26]:

Gerardo Segat [00:36:26]:
So it will go inside. So civic chemistry. And the other one, the last one I would say is recommendation. I mean people recommendations or personal recommendation, you know, people who have maybe already experienced, you know, coaching with. Yeah, I'd say probably these are the main three.

Kenny Lange [00:36:54]:
No, that, that's. That's really good. I think you can. You can weed out quite a lot if you use those three as healthy, healthy filters. If somebody did want to maybe take those first steps towards being who they truly are, that they hear this, it resonates. They say, well, I take my first step, and maybe their step is coaching, but it could be something else. But what's something that would cost them little to no money, that they could take action on in the next 24 hours towards being their truest, most authentic selves?

Gerardo Segat [00:37:41]:
I think I found from my experience that you need to start creating yourself some opportunities to check in. Okay. So mindfulness is a way. There are thousands of apps, but again, you are starting to say, you know, it's relevant. You're starting to look at yourself. Okay. I said before even setting emotional goals, you know, so I start, well, you have an important meeting, you have a situation, you have just add emotional goals. I would like.

Gerardo Segat [00:38:20]:
How would I like to feel? And again, you know, something that they can, everyone can do is setting in your inner objectives. So that might be feeling more. Now I'm feeling this, or I'd like to move. I'm feeling in a different way. It can be, I want to get something that is relevant to you. Inner meaning, for example, meaning of what I do. Start setting yourself in your objectives.

Kenny Lange [00:39:00]:
I love that those are all great things and might sound difficult. They're deceptively simple things. But I think some of the best things that we do in life are deceptively simple. Thank you so much for spending time with me, with our listeners today. If somebody wanted to know more about you and your work without as humans or the show or anything else, where would you send them?

Gerardo Segat [00:39:29]:
I just visit my website, there you find contact information, information about the show, everything.

Kenny Lange [00:39:40]:
Excellent. We'll link that up. Link to the show. Also a link to your LinkedIn if people would like to follow your content there as well. But again, I just appreciate you sharing your wisdom and taking some time out of your, your day, your afternoon, because you're living in the future compared to where I am right now. But thank you so much. I really enjoyed this and would love to have you back sometime in the future to talk a little bit more. If this helped you as a listener, make progress in your leadership journey, it would mean a lot if you would like, subscribe, rate, review, any of those things can help increase the visibility of this show, of this episode so that other people can find help.

Kenny Lange [00:40:28]:
It's a great way to pay it forward, and it costs you no money. But until next time, change the way you think. You'll change the way you lead.

Gerardo Segat [00:40:38]:
We'll see you.

Creators and Guests

Kenny Lange
Kenny Lange
Jesus follower, husband, bio-dad to 3, adopted-dad to 2, foster-dad to 18+. @SystemandSoul Certified Coach. Dir. Ops @NCCTylerTX. Go @ChelseaFC
Gerardo Segat
Gerardo Segat
After several experiences as a CEO and entrepreneur, Gerardo is now an international leadership coach. He is the founder and CEO of Out As Humans SA, a company producing and distributing the performing arts show he created to humanize leaders of corporates and organizations worldwide. Over the last decade he has been a member of YPO, the world’s largest community of CEOs, and he has founded and chaired chapters in Switzerland, Italy and globally.
How Gerardo Segat Thinks About Setting Emotional Goals for Effective Leadership
Broadcast by