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Global warming is a problem that needs to be addressed both from the systemic change and the individual lifestyle transformation perspectives. The climate crisis cannot be expected to solve itself, and politicians can never be trusted to make the first step. This is why climate activists need to push stakeholders, including themselves, into action. And all of that starts with recognizing the problem and committing to a drastic lifestyle change. That’s how Matt Schlegel strongly feels about the climate change issue. Best known for creating the Enneagram tool and authoring Teamwork 9.0, Matt believes that people can weaponize their different interests, skills and talents in the fight against climate change. Tune in as he explains how the Enneagram can be used as a problem-solving tool in this fight, how initiatives like #FridaysForFuture can help push change locally and globally, and how we can all do our part in so many different ways.
About Matt Schlegel
Bestselling author Matt Schlegel is committed to developing highly effective, style-diverse teams and giving them the tools and strategies to tackle challenges that are seemingly impossible. As the Principal of Schlegel Consulting (www.evolutionaryteams.com), Matt discovered a powerful system called the Enneagram and used it to develop a novel set of tools, strategies, and applications for team effectiveness that he uses in his consulting practice. He shares these in his book Teamwork 9.0. Matt is passionate about applying the principles in Teamwork 9.0 to motivating teams to address the climate crisis.
Schlegel Consulting/Evolutionary Teams Website: www.evolutionaryteams.com
Schlegel Consulting/Evolutionary Teams LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/evolutionaryteams/
Teamwork 9.0: https://www.amazon.com/Teamwork-9-0-Successful-Workgroup-Enneagram/dp/1733478809
04:38 Matt’s journey to becoming a climate activist
06:40 How individual effort and societal change can work together to make an impact
12:58 How to motivate communities and governments to change
15:19 The Enneagram and problem-solving
17:57 Getting people to connect emotionally with the problem and the vision for the future.
20:34 The normalcy bias and the grieving process of lifestyle transformation
27:45 The bigger problem and owning our responsibility for it
30:05 The power of local community organizing in effecting change
35:26 #FridaysForFuture and other initiatives
41:33 The value of neurodiversity and different perspectives in problem-solving
44:55 Matt’s advice
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Reversing Global Warming: How The Enneagram Tool And #FridaysForFuture Can Join Forces To Address The Climate Crisis With Matt Schlegel Of Evolutionary Teams
Every week, I invite you to care more so that together we can learn, grow, and create a better world together. As part of this effort with this show, I introduced the idea of championing the hashtag started by Greta Thunberg, #FridaysForFuture. I plan to start attending events in Palo Alto, California, a spot not too far from where I live, to connect with other like-minded activists. I might learn along with them and even begin being that advocate here in my own backyard in Santa Cruz County.
Sadly, I’ve yet to be able to make those in-person events happen. Life has gotten in the way. My kids have been sick. I injured myself in Taekwondo class. You might relate to this as we all face similar challenges on our days. Things get in the way. I bring you the next best thing, this show, which I faithfully bring forward each and every week for almost two years.
With this show, we have connected you with incredible thought leaders that similarly don’t give up. They stay the course with their passionate pursuits each week. They keep showing up to get their messages into the world. They fight for what they believe in. They push for positive change. Even when I stumble, when I don’t make it to an in-person event or connect with the people that I want to in my everyday life, I show up.
In this episode, we’re going to meet that person that inspired me to join him on Fridays and begin championing #FridaysForFuture, that hashtag campaign. His name is Matt Schlegel. He runs those #FridaysForFuture meetings each and every Friday in Palo Alto. He attends city council meetings each Monday, too. He is nothing, if not, vigilant.
Beyond that, Matt is also a problem solver. He uses his skills to assist in the development of highly effective style-diverse teams and gives them some tools and strategies to tackle challenges that might seem impossible. His company is called Evolutionary Teams. We’re going to connect with Matt about how he has adapted the powerful system called the Enneagram to everything from teamwork to activism.
Matt, welcome to the show.
It is so great to be here with you. Thank you for that lovely introduction.
You are showing up in ways that I presently am having trouble showing up. Life is complicated. Having kids at home is different in this COVID age.
We all get wrapped up in our lives as did I when I had young kids as well. You get to a point where you have a little bit more time and you realize how important it is to address the climate crisis. That’s where I am. I am digging in.
I wanted to talk to you a bit about that before we perhaps dig into your understanding of the Enneagram work. In our initial conversation, you made me feel like I was seen in a way that was almost uncomfortable, but that’s okay. We can be uncomfortable. Sometimes, pushing that envelope is exactly what we need to identify where we might be going a little wrong. I’d like you to first talk about your journey to becoming a climate activist.
I became aware of the climate crisis when I was in college in the ‘80s. I studied Science and Math. I was aware of our extraordinary emissions, the burning of fossil fuels back then, and how we were already on a trajectory that was unsustainable. I became aware of it. I became concerned. I started researching more, but then, life gets in the way. You end up marrying somebody, getting a job, having kids, and going through that whole process.
As I’m watching how things are unfolding with the climate crisis, I realized that much like there was misinformation when we were dealing with the tobacco health crisis, it wasn’t getting solved. I became more concerned as time passed. I was always in the back of my mind thinking, “I need to get involved more. I need to dedicate myself to helping do what I can to solve the crisis.”
You’re speaking to my heart. I was a smoker for a long time. I wrote a piece for AGEIST.com in which I talked about my journey to quit smoking in a transparent way. It was uncomfortable to write about. You don’t like to admit the impact that you’ve had perhaps in a negative way, not only on your own health but on the environment.
I’m thinking about all of those disposed cigarette butts that, in many cases, especially in my late teens and early twenties, I squished under my foot and let go into the storm drain. A turtle might have eaten it. It could be sitting in our oceans for however long. It’s acknowledging the problem, acknowledging your part, and then ultimately seeking to be a part of the change that you want to see. It has to start with you in a way, too. What is your take on that?
There are a lot of great lessons to learn from the tobacco health crisis. I’ve thought a lot about this because we got to a point societally where we decided we don’t want to have as many smokers. When I was growing up, I smelled smoke all the time. Many of my family members smoked. It was around you all the time. Slowly but surely, all of my family members stopped smoking. You get to a point where it’s unusual to smell smoke. What a difference and what a transformative change we made in society by coming to that realization that, “This isn’t good for us. We should do something about it, not only at a personal level but at a societal level.”
It took everything. It took individuals and effort that they had to go through as you did. Plus, it took a societal level change, too, with laws and policies that helped transform our public spaces. What can we learn from that? One of the things that occurred to me is that there’s an immediacy to giving up smoking and enduring the hardship and pain of giving up a nicotine addiction. When I was in high school, I used to chew tobacco, so I know how it feels. I know how addictive it is. I remember deciding to give it up, but I would still get cravings for years afterward.
It’s the associative addictions. You’re playing pool with a friend and you’re like, “Where’s my cigarette?” For many people in the baseball world, playing baseball went with it. You had these two things together always. Those things are hard patterns to break.
The thing about tobacco, though, is that when you give it up, as hard as it is, there are a lot of positive benefits that you accrue almost immediately. You wake up in the morning and you feel better. If you like to go for a jog, you’re finding you can run further and faster. Slowly but surely, you get all of this positive, beneficial feedback from giving up that addiction.
We can look at fossil fuels as an addiction to a high-energy fossil-fueled lifestyle. That is exhilarating. It’s the fact that we can jump in an airplane and hurt ourselves through the sky in this cylinder of metal at hundreds of miles an hour. It’s mind-boggling how much energy is in that substance that we have managed to transform into these wonderful, exhilarating lifestyles. There’s an addiction to that exhilaration that we are still struggling to overcome.Politicians will only start to do stuff when we push them. They're not going to do it on their own. It's much easier to stick with the status quo than to make transformative change. Click To Tweet
I’ve eliminated fossil fuels from my home and my transportation. I am trying to live a fossil fuel-free lifestyle. I realized that there are a lot of inconveniences to doing this and not a lot of direct benefit to me as there is giving up tobacco. While there are a lot of benefits that will accrue to society, even that is not immediate. My stopping of burning fossil fuels is going to benefit future generations. They’re people who may not even be born yet.
You have to put yourself into a different mindset of, “Do I want to give up this now so that I can benefit all the species on the planet?” I do. I’ve decided that is what I want to do. I want to see if I can get enough other people to share that vision, care about preserving the planet for future generations of people and species, and carry on life.
Critics of that lifestyle choice would say your personal impact is akin to a rounding error. It’s even been mathematically looked at as something like if you were to do everything right and live almost off the grid, your contribution to reducing that impact is something akin to 0.0000000003%. That can feel discouraging because ultimately when you learn the statistics end of it, it’s like, “What impact is that going to have truly on the future?”
You then realize we need to push for more systemic change. In order to amplify this, doing it 1 person by 1 person is far too slow. I’m curious about how you are utilizing the skills that you’ve gained over your years leading teams, things like any Enneagram, to help to motivate a broader set of our communities and even governments to change.
With the systemic change, I want to get back to that point. I often see when people are talking about climate change that our leaders aren’t doing enough. They’re talking about politicians.
I appreciate the distinction you’re making.
I struggle with that because politicians aren’t leaders. They are followers. They follow us. They get elected by saying they’re going to do something that we want to be done. Usually, politicians will only start to do stuff. Even if we elect them, we still have to push them. They’re not going to do it on their own. It’s much easier to stick with the status quo than to make transformative change. Not only do we have to elect people who say they’re going to do it, but we also have to push them to do it when they’re in office. They need to know that we have their backs and that they’re going to fight that fight against the status quo.
They have to know we still care and our needs haven’t changed. It’s as important or more important than other issues that they might push forward because they also have limited resources of time, energy, people, and everything else.
Why are they going to do that? They’re going to do it if we push them. Another thing that occurs to me is if they look out and say, “We need to solve this problem. We need to stop burning fossil fuels. Who’s up with that? Who’s given up burning fossil fuels?” who’s going to raise their hand? Nobody. Few people will raise their hand. When we see things like energy prices going up and fossil fuel prices going up, what’s the reaction from the public? It’s like, “This is the worst thing. We need to have fossil fuel prices lower so that we can continue to burn.”
That is what puts fracking out there. That’s the solution to that problem. That was our last solution.
We need to build coalitions of people who do think generationally and who do value the beauty of having this planet full of life and bring other people into that vision. I’m going to get back to your question about the Enneagram. The Enneagram is an amazing system. Most people know it as a personality system, but it is more than that.
I discovered this by asking the question, “Why do the Enneagram types numbers? Why aren’t they letters, colors, animals, or stars?” It turns out that the Enneagram is more than a personality system. Those types are in the order in which each of the dynamics associated with that personality type appears in problem-solving. The Enneagram is a human problem-solving system.
For those people who are already familiar with the Enneagram types, they’ll know that Enneagram Type 1 is sometimes called The Perfectionist. One of the operating words with the perfectionist is, “It shouldn’t be like that. It should be like this.” Should is an operating word there. What is the first step in problem-solving? It’s, “There’s a problem there. It shouldn’t be like that. It should be like this.” It’s identifying that there’s something not right with the world the way that you intuit it. That’s that first step.
There’s a key point in here. It’s should and shouldn’t. There are two sides to the same coin. One is, “It shouldn’t be like that. We shouldn’t be burning down the planet. We should stop burning fossil fuels.” That should part of what we should do is creating a shared vision of the future. It’s a vision of how the world will look once the problem is solved.Fossil fuels have infiltrated every aspect of our life. You can almost take anything that you are passionate about and move to decarbonize it. Click To Tweet
Once you have that encapsulated, you’re like, “Do you think there’s a problem here?” People will nod and say, “Yes.” They’re like, “How do you see us stopping that problem? What will the world look like?” Share that vision with them. If they care about creating that vision, then you move into step two. It is emotionally connected with wanting to eliminate the problem and wanting to create that shared vision of the future. This is where we are in solving the climate crisis.
Increasingly, more people are realizing, “There is a problem. We have a problem. We have floods, fires, and heat waves. The supply chains are breaking down. Pandemics are breaking up.” People are starting to connect the dots there. The next thing is, “What is the world going to look like when and if we decide to solve that problem?”
Societally, we are starting to formulate what that vision for the future will look like. We are starting to formulate how we’re going to live our lives in a fossil fuel-free way that allows us to start bringing down atmospheric concentrations of CO2, methane, and all the bad things. That’s the part that we’re still working on in terms of getting people to care about engaging. That’s what fascinates me.
It’s getting them to move from problem identification to emotionally connecting with it and then ultimately acting.
Once you connect emotionally, that’s your fuel to move into the next step, which is, “How am I going to engage? What ideas do I have?” Step three, as I call it, is the ideation step. It’s like, “What ideas do I have to stop burning fossil fuels? What can I do?” You then start to move through the different steps of problem-solving. You’re not going to get people to engage with the problem until they get into step two, which is connecting emotionally with it, both the problem and a vision for the future.
Ultimately, it sounds like you’re talking about how we get people to care. Why don’t they care? This is the bigger question I’m continually asking. Why don’t enough of us care?
This goes right back to how we started the conversation. I’m doing this. I’ve done it with myself and I’m doing it with people close to me who trust me. I’m working with them to start to realize what we need to do to change our lifestyles. It is like going through a grieving process. What is the first step in the grieving process? It’s denial.
Grieving is an experience of a loss. It’s how you process loss. It’s how I processed giving up tobacco or my high-energy fossil-fueled lifestyle. You’re going into that, but it’s painful. It’s much easier to not even go into it. If you can and you can avoid it, you don’t even want to go into it because it’s too painful. That’s what I sense is going on fundamentally. It’s the pain of acknowledging our consumption of fossil fuels and our high-energy lifestyles, especially as people who live in America. We use a lot of energy per capita here. Realizing that we have to give that up is painful. It’s painful for me.
When I was coming to grips with what I was going to be doing and giving up fossil fuels, I broke down and started weeping. I started weeping because I realized, “This is going to change everything. It’s going to change my life. It’s going to change my relationships with my friends and family. It’s going to change my work relationships.” I went through that process where I broke down and wept. I knew at that point that I was emotionally connected. I was completely and emotionally connected, not only with the problem but what the vision of the future was that I needed to realize in order to make the transformational changes that we need to make.
You’re doing this in a world where Palo Alto is not necessarily one of those fifteen-minute cities. I’m a San Francisco Bay Area child. I grew up here from thirteen to the present. I moved to Santa Cruz because I like the climate, the environment, and the people. I, too, am not in one of those cities where you can walk to everything that you need. I live on a steep hill, which is part of my workout. Every day, I go out, walk my dog, and get into nature. I can be walking in the woods at one moment, but to get my kids, I have to get in the car to take them to school or to soccer practice. There’s that reality.
Even though I don’t drive for work and I work to build my errands in a circular pattern so I’m not driving back and forth all the time, it’s a definite difficulty to get away from at least 100% to no fossil fuels. I had an electric car for a while. I gave it up when the lease expired. It’s the choices that you make along the way. My backup vehicle was a gas-powered vehicle. It’s still relatively new.
I’m thinking about what will come next. I don’t necessarily think that for every person out there, a draconian stopping that fuel drip all at once or entirely is realistic at a moment’s notice. There will be many people who are doing their best in the day-to-day but aren’t going to change away from their gas-fueled car until it either gets forced upon them in some way.
They will insist that our politicians do that.
They’ll say something like, “I need to have a truck because I want to be able to go offroading and do X, Y, Z.” That’s going to be the last thing to fall. The last chip to fall will be the big Ford F-150s, F-250, or F-350. They have an F-450. They get bigger and bigger.In spite of how hard the challenge of living a fossil fuel free lifestyle is, if anybody can do it, we can do it. Click To Tweet
I don’t know what the last chip to fall will be. It’s too hard to predict at this point as we go through this transformation. We’re in for interesting times as we go through this. There is a human bias called normalcy bias. There is a meme that’s going around where there’s a dog sitting at a kitchen table with a cup of coffee. The house is burning around him and there’s smoke on the ceiling, but he’s like, “Everything’s fine.”
That is making fun of our normalcy bias and our unwillingness to accept that things are collapsing around us. We are so wedded to our status quo, high-energy fossil-fueled lifestyles that we’re going to say, “Everything’s fine.” We’ll keep going. At some point, the house will burn down. Everything will change unless we get up, get the fire extinguisher, and start putting out the fire.
It’s also about being proactive. That’s ultimately what you’re talking about. It’s taking these proactive steps to have the change happen at an accelerated pace so that we’re part of a solution as opposed to just accepting, “This is the way it is. We’re going to be a part of the problem, so what gives?”
Maybe people who are reading this are thinking, “Maybe there are some things I can do. Maybe there are some steps I can take to transform my lifestyle and start to be aware of how I’m contributing to the problem.” They’re realizing, “As long as I continue to buy fossil fuels, the fossil fuel companies are going to continue to sell them to me, so I have to choose not to buy them. I have to boycott the fossil fuels if we want to shut down fossil fuel companies.”
The part that becomes harder is that there are so many things that are petrochemical-based products, including the clothing we buy, the plastics we use, and the panels in the vehicle that we drive. Everything is plastic.
One of the things I’m less worried about, honestly, is the plastic industry. Plastic sequesters carbon.
I honestly had never heard that before. I understand it because we’re carbon-based. Everything that we utilize, in a way, is carbon-based. It’s not in the atmosphere.
It’s not the best. The bigger problem is our burning of fossil fuels. There is a smaller amount that is used for plastics, roads, and all that stuff. I imagine that we will continue to use fossil fuels for materials, hopefully, in a way that is less harmful to the environment. I did read an article once. It was sharing what a shame it is that we have this material that is this hydrocarbon-based material that can be used for so many things other than just burning it. I’m less worried about that than pulling it out and burning it.
I want to get back to a comment you made about Palo Alto. Sometimes, you might ask somebody about the climate crisis and they’ll say, “What about India and China? They’re using so much fossil fuel now.” You might talk to somebody in California or Palo Alto and they’ll say, “What about Texas? They’re using so many fossil fuels right now.” To me, it’s the exact same thing. To me, it’s a way of denying your own responsibility for the problem.
Here’s the thing. When I look at Palo Alto, in terms of the number of emissions on a per capita basis, people who live in the Bay Area are pretty high on the list. I would say to somebody who lives in Palo Alto, “If we don’t do something here in Palo Alto and don’t transform our city into a fossil fuel-free city, how can we expect anybody else on the planet to do it?” We should be able to do it here.
This is a resource-rich area. It’s one of the richest areas.
If you want to talk about leadership, we can do it at a community level. We can be a leader. Let’s say it’s Palo Alto or the Bay Area in general. If Palo Alto does it and it goes out to the other communities in our region, and then we make San Francisco Bay Area fossil fuel-free, we’ve created a model for a whole region. Maybe that can be replicated throughout California, and then we’ve done it for a whole state. Maybe then, that can be replicated in other states. Maybe it could move out like that. That’s what motivates me. In spite of how hard this challenge is, if anybody can do it, we can do it. If it can be done, we can do it. We should try.
Let’s assume the people that are reading cared enough to read to this point in the conversation. What should they do if they want to push for this change? They want to help that flywheel spin so that we can be in a space where we get to this fossil fuel-dependent less or completely independent cities, states, and regions.
The first thing I would suggest that people do is to find people in your local community that feel the same way that you do. Create a support group of people who do want to make a change in your community. We all need to do everything at the end of the day. Once you have figured out your local support group and other people who are doing things, then you can ask yourself, “What do I love to do? How can I contribute?” It may be in your local community. It’s important to start in your local community because you can have such a big influence on your local community.There is really a lot of value in having everybody at the table. Click To Tweet
Maybe that’s not your thing. Maybe your thing is advocating for state-level policy, national-level policy, or the law. You mentioned the fashion industry. Maybe that’s your passion. What can you do in that area? We need to do everything. Fossil fuels have infiltrated every aspect of our life. You can almost take anything that you are passionate about and look and move to decarbonize it. You put your energy into that. You have your local group. Maybe they’ll want to join you in that. You can develop a community of people that are working together on that.
It becomes invigorating. You feel like you are working toward something that is that amazing future that is going to sustain life on the planet. You’re doing it with people who feel the same way that you do and who love what they’re doing, and will support each other through the ups and downs of this huge challenge that we’re undergoing.
Two people coming together is almost as if a third entity is created because your ideas shared create something else. I’m a full proponent. I agree with finding your community and preferably people you can get together with in person to push forward these initiatives. There’s something to that real, in-person connection that adds value and ultimately makes you feel more fulfilled in the doing. It makes it a more worthwhile effort.
You mentioned that I started organizing #FridaysForFuture in Palo Alto. This is one of the reasons why I did it. I recognized that having a local community that is focused on this is important. #FridaysForFuture is an organization. It was started by Greta Thunberg, a Swedish student climate activist. She took off school every Friday and went in front of the Swedish parliament, demanding that they do something.
We’ve taken that same theme. Every Friday, we go out in front of Palo Alto City Hall with our signs and demand that this city pass its sustainability and climate action plan and roll out programs that will help us to decarbonize the community. The energy that has come out of that and also how much engagement we’ve got with the city is amazing. For instance, we’re meeting with the city sustainability manager. We meet with her about once a month to get her take on where the city is. We then say, “What can we do to support you in moving the ball forward?”
It comes down to that political push that then we can take that information, go to the city council, and say, “Why are you dragging your feet on this? Let’s move forward. Why aren’t you considering some aspects of the community that needs to have some extra attention? Push forward on that.” We’re having conversations with the city about what they’re doing, but then, we’re going to city council meetings and we’re pushing the city council in the right direction.
Importantly, you’re a concerned citizen. You’re not a lobby group. It’s not like you have a special interest that is funding your effort. You’re the people that elected them, so let’s push for that change.
I want to add one thing. For whatever reason, my Enneagram type seems to think that this activity is fine. I enjoy it. I enjoy digging in, getting into the details, figuring out what is not working right, and then going in front of the city council and saying, “Why aren’t you working on this?” For whatever reason, I enjoy that. It’s invigorating. Not everybody’s like that.
I found since I started this group that there are at least half a dozen other climate groups in Palo Alto. They’re doing different things that are more aligned with the interests of that group. I don’t expect them to come over to #FridaysForFuture, but #FridaysForFuture supports them and they support us as we’re all working towards this bigger vision of the future. We can collaborate on certain things that we’re doing and support each other. That’s another part of that community-building process that I’m finding fascinating.
What’s interesting is that you’re tying into a conversation I had with David Johnson who happens to be a Professor of Design Thinking and Law at Stanford. He is in the midst of writing his book specifically on applying elements of Design Thinking to climate action. We interviewed him on this show. He talked about it from the perspective of getting groups of people to collaborate across continents, across cities, and similar groups and all doing what you’re describing. There’s an element of this that can work, amplify our messages, and ultimately work to mobilize the billion climate activists that we may need to push forward the change that we need to see. That’s all incredible. I know that there’s a big day coming up, but I’m not sure if this episode will be out before that.
#FridaysForFuture is initiating a global climate strike on September 23rd, 2022. There was one in the spring of 2022 as well. Generally, #FridaysForFuture does organize about two climate strikes a year. This is the fall one that we’re organizing. We’ve already reached out to Sunrise Movement, which is another youth-led climate group. They’re mostly US based.
There is a climate group right here in Palo Alto called Palo Alto Student Climate Coalition. It’s our three organizations that are organizing this climate strike. Other of these climate groups are coming in and joining us. We have the Raging Grannies and 350.org. Different groups are interested in what we’re doing and want to participate. It’s growing momentum.
That’s fantastic. I will invite you back to do a quick live stream with me, whether it be on September 23rd, 2022, or before. It would be nice to do so. If nothing else, I hope to join you there on that day.
I hope to see you there, too. Bring your kids.Just bring up the climate crisis in conversation. If you don't bring it up, nobody will. Click To Tweet
They can go on a school strike.
It’s interesting. This has been something that I’ve thought about quite a bit. When I’ve organized with students, students have a hard time missing school. They’re under a lot of pressure to do well in school. They don’t want to miss school. I get that and I support that. We find ways for them to participate so that they don’t have to miss school. Our climate strike on September 23rd, 2022 is going to be from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, after-school hours so that they can come and join and participate.
That’s nice to see. I know the pressure is real even for my second grader who is perhaps having a little bit of a struggle learning to read. Each of us has our own challenges. He has a few reversal issues. When he first learned to write his name, he wrote it in a perfect mirror. If you held it up to a glass mirror, you could see it correctly. It has taken him a little longer. Even when I’m reading with him, he’ll start reading from the center of the word or the finish of the word often, and then have to go, “I’m supposed to start here.” That part is maybe a learning disability. It’s not dramatic, but it means it’s a little tougher for him. Each of our brains is wired a little bit differently.
That’s the nice thing. You talked about it a little bit in the intro. There’s so much value, for lack of a better word, in neurodiversity including the different perspectives that different people bring. The Enneagram talks about these nine distinct styles. That is an aspect of neurodiversity right there. Each one of us is bringing these distinct perspectives and motivations to the team. The more styles that are represented on your team, the better you will be at problem-solving. That also goes for perspectives on life, what experiences you’ve had, and what you can bring to the team with the perspectives that those experiences have given you.
We call them disabilities. It’s sometimes ADHD or being on the spectrum, but there is a lot of value in having everybody at the table. For instance, Greta Thunberg herself is on the spectrum. She talks about this. 1) It gives her a focus. 2) It gives her a little bit of emotional distance from the problem. I’m starting to recognize the value of having people who can separate themselves emotionally. Because this is an emotionally fraught challenge, having that distance allows you to stay engaged more persistently than somebody who starts to feel overwhelmed when they deal with it. We need everybody.
You’ve given me a lot to think about. I’m sure we could continue on this train of thought for some time. We’ve come close to the end of our hour. I would love to ask you as we prepare to wrap if there’s a question that I haven’t asked that perhaps you wish I had. If you have, you could ask and answer it. If not, you could leave us with your closing thoughts. What would you have people walk away from this session thinking about?
Thanks for asking that. The one piece of advice I give people that we can all do, and I encourage everybody to do, is to bring up the climate crisis in conversation. If you don’t bring it up, nobody will.
It’s the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about.
It’s a form of denial. You’re saying, “This is fine.” Bring it up and make it as personal as possible. You can be like, “It was smoky the other day. We all know it’s from the wildfires. We know the wildfires are exacerbated by climate change.” Bring that up. We need to normalize the conversation about climate and not let it be the elephant in the room that we’re not talking about. That would be my one piece of advice. Thanks so much for having me and for hearing me out on this.
Thank you for joining me.
To connect with Matt Schlegel and his important work, you can visit EvolutionaryTeams.com. If you enjoyed this conversation, please subscribe and write essay reviews so more people will discover the show. I encourage you to visit our page, CareMoreBeBetter.com. There, you’ll find connections to past episodes that would be important for you to listen to, including that interview with David Johnson. There is also an interview with Paul Hawken on his work with Regeneration and Regeneration.org. That book is almost a textbook on helping you become more informed in the specific area around climate change that you might work to champion.
You can also sign up for our email newsletter on the page. I encourage you to do so. When you do, you get a welcome gift right away. It’s simply a guide that includes five steps to help unleash your inner activist. There are resources included in this guide that connect to specific charities that we encourage you to champion in the climate space as well. It can operate as a start. It’s something for you to help educate yourself, and it’s completely free. I only send one email a week, so your inbox will not be bombarded. I do not share your email addresses with anybody either. That’s my personal commitment to you.
If you have feedback or questions for me or for Matt, you can always leave me a voicemail on CareMoreBeBetter.com or send me an email note directly to Hello@CareMoreBeBetter.com. I encourage you to connect with me in social spaces. I’m on all the platforms. I want to thank all of you now and always for being a part of this show and this community. Together, we can do so much more. We can care more and we can be better. We can even reverse global warming and regenerate this planet, our lovely earth. Thank you. Thank you, Matt. Let’s go out there for #FridaysForFuture and be active. Thank you.
- Evolutionary Teams
- David Johnson – past episode
- Paul Hawken – past episode
- https://www.YouTube.com/channel/UCLkUMHuG4HVa831s9yeoZ5Q – Matt Schlegel