Bryan Kramer on Impostor Syndrome, Fear, & Co-Leadership

In this 15-Minute Strategy Podcast episode, we talk with Bryan Kramer from about leadership, fear, imposter syndrome, and climbing your mountain of success and or significance.

Bryan takes us on a journey into changing perspectives, understanding where you are on the mountain, as well as how to deal with fear, regret, and imposter syndrome along the way.

If you want to be a leader or are in leadership, this is the episode for you! 

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About the Expert

Bryan Kramer

Bryan Kramer is a renowned social business strategist, global keynote speaker, executive coach, and bestselling author. He’s one of the world’s foremost leaders in the art and science of sharing, and has been credited with instigating the #H2H human business movement in marketing and social.

With more than 350,000 social fans and followers, and an intimate understanding of the intricacies and inter-working of both social technologies and social behaviors, Bryan is both a practitioner and authority on the subject.


Full Transcript

Dan Moyle 0:08
Ready to spend 15 minutes with the experts you admire need strategy sessions from thought leaders brought directly to your ears. Welcome to the sprocket talk 15 minute strategy podcast where every week George B Thomas uncovers the challenges that sales, marketing and service professionals face and of course, the strategies to help them overcome their biggest hurdles. So sit back and set your sights on growth with these bite sized conversations filled with your strategy goals. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 15 minute strategy podcast.

George Thomas 0:37
All right. Rocketeers, it's your boy George B. Thomas. We're back for another episode of the 15 minute strategy podcast where we try to give you well some strategy and well 15 minutes and sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't. Today, I'm super excited. Like always I know it's the running joke, but I'm here with Brian and he is amazing. We've met at events. I've watched him speak I've listened to him talk in detail. jewel spaces of the social webs. And this brain is amazing that this guy has. That's why I'm excited. And I'm also excited because we're going to talk about a topic leadership that we really haven't talked about before. But Brian, before we dive into the deep end of the pool, what are some places? Who are you? What do you do? So the sprocket tears can actually get up to speed with who you are.

Bryan Kramer 1:23
Oh, wonderful. Thank you, first of all for having me here. And I'm super, super honored as well. I'm focused, I'm focused on actually I made a pivot. Three years ago, I was an agency owner for 17 years. We did really fun, incredible campaigns with with great clients, Netflix, MasterCard, and Cisco like all kinds of really good, good. A lot of goodness and and I was speaking and writing books at the same time and really felt like that was my my true passion and, and so I made a pivot And I went into leadership and found myself into becoming an executive coach. I fired myself from that job and became an executive coach. And so that's what I do. Now I speak, and I coach people to perform and in all areas of their lives, a lot of times it affects their bottom line numbers, but, but it really touches every facet of as every facet of being a human being, what that what it means to perform to each of us is entirely different. And so we work to find that out and then, and then we move from there. So that's, that's what I'm doing. And that's who I am.

George Thomas 2:34
I love that in sprocket tears, I hope that you heard what I heard and that is, I was doing these really cool things, but I wanted to do something deeper in the life. And I think it's interesting because as we decide that we want to be leaders or we're forced into leadership positions, we kind of have to find this deeper, us this deeper Why? But there are a couple of hurdles that get in the way and Brian so that we can have the foundation Have the conversation that needs to happen today in this 15 minute strategy podcast. What are a couple hurdles that you think leaders tend to face that we can maybe help them get over today?

Bryan Kramer 3:12
But yeah, well, there's there's a couple. There's lots actually. But the couple main ones that come up most of the time, you know, is imposter syndrome. It hits just about everybody that I, I come into contact with people you and I both know, together and and, and it's something that really is, it really constraints people from taking that first step into doing what it is that you're talking about, which is going deeper doing doing what truly fills us up with joy. There's a lot of times in life where we're not doing what fills us up with joy because we have to pay the bills or we have to do what we're doing because that's what we have to do to support our family. And I'm I I really strongly Believe that you can have both, that you can live a joy filled life and a Purpose Driven Life and do what you love to do and pay the bills. So that's that's what I'm gonna stand for. So that imposter syndrome is one and then the second one is fear. It's fear of just taking a leap, fear of what looks to be a big cliff and and not jumping off and trusting that you're going to land on two feet. So so those are the two biggest things that I think just about every human on Earth is is facing at some point in their life. And, and what we need to get over is how to, how to see what that first step is. What is the first step that we can all take to to accomplish this Kilimanjaro this big mountain that we need to climb?

George Thomas 4:53
I love that because we are trying to climb we're trying to get somewhere and to be honest with you, I deal with Empire. syndrome a lot in my career. And I'm sure everybody has it's like Who am I? Why am I should I? Those questions we asked ourselves and I want to start there, which by the way, both of these topics I'm super passionate about, I love to geek out and kind of figure out why we deal with these. But Brian, in your perspective, why do you think people have this thing that is imposter syndrome? And if they find themselves having it, what are some tips, tricks hacks that you have for yourself or for others, figured out a way to easily step out of that and move in the direction that you need to go into?

Bryan Kramer 5:39
Not a great question. And so the the answer Well, well, it's an easy answer. It's it's hard to overcome. The first thing is to identify the fact that it's your inner voice, your Sabbath tour that actually is telling you that you are not enough that you are not deserving of this thing that you are Why would you do that? You're you haven't you're not qualified yet you haven't taken courses you're not you're not you're not you're not you're not and it's the loudest voice in your head. It is not the positive team members that actually come forward it's the saboteur that comes forward. And so my my goal My suggestion is name it name it some silly name that comes to you in like some kind of like you know just whether you believe in the universe or God or whatever just like when however it comes to you with this this name that my mind is low l o l i don't know why it came to me but lol speaks up all the time. And he tells me what I'm what I shouldn't need to hear and he's he's right there against everything that I do when when I've learned to. I've learned to say the law. It's cool, man. I got this. You don't want Want to tell the boys go take a hike. You don't want to tell them go away. You don't want to get mad or upset or angry because they win and they get louder. What you want to do is you want to, you want to ask them to take a seat and gently I'm okay right now. You take a deep breath and then you call upon a different team member a different voice. And I'm not talking about being schizophrenia. Karen, please don't talk on the streets. While you're walking down the street. Please don't talk to your voices. That will be awkward. But But what I am talking about is knowing that your voice what you tell yourself, is how you're going to take this leap into the mountain that you want to climb. That's the voice you need. You need the voice that's going to get behind you and say we got this.

George Thomas 7:44
Yeah, I love that because there's there's so much going on there. First of all, I think I officially named that voice. I'm gonna I'm a little bit of a Marvel geek. So I'm gonna name that voice famous and that's gonna be my evil guy. Right and so then I can have My hero for me, which is the Hulk, I really relate to the Hulk. So that's gonna be my good guy. But what I really found interesting in that piece, Brian is the fact that you said you don't argue with them. What you do is you put them at ease. The fact that you said I got this, like, it blew my mind because I was thinking in everyday life,

Unknown Speaker 8:23
the the

George Thomas 8:24
time waster, the thing that just escalates you into the bowels of like, nothing good, is when you start to argue with others, right? And so arguing with yourself is going to get you to that same place. I love it's like nah, Bro, I got this like, we're good. Which leads me into the fact that in that statement, the reason they nose are low is there. Seems to me because of fear. Right? And you're setting that fear to the side. So here's where I want to go next. I want to pick your brain. I'm super curious on that. A how you think most human beings most leaders, think about fear and deal with fear. And then how you actually look at what fear is and how you deal with that on a daily basis.

Bryan Kramer 9:14
Yeah, yeah, that's that's a great question. You're filled with great questions here. So I'm loving it. I think that that fear is all based on one word, and that's perspective. Our perspective of what how we see a situation and how we enter into that situation is is already pre pre determining the outcome. So, so yes, I come across people who have a perspective that's holding them back. Your your perspective on something, when you think about something that's sitting in that room that you're in right now, and I'm speaking to everybody who's listening it, look at something that is in your room, just pick anything out. And look at that thing. And and think about, maybe it has meaning maybe it's it, you picked it for a certain reason. And and I want you to think about your perspective on that item, your perspective of how you see that thing. And you may, what's yours. But what did you pick out?

George Thomas 10:19
Yeah, it's funny. I'm literally looking in front of me at three posters. And it's it's three. Well, it's two superheroes and a poster of villains. And I pick those out because and they're in my room because it's a constant reminder for me visually to be somebody hero.

Bryan Kramer 10:38
Ah, cool. So So there's your perspective. Now if I were to look at those same things, I might see something different, right? Because I'm, I'm I don't have that connection that you have with it. And I'm, I'm I'm betting that everyone who's listening to pick something out in their room has a different perspective on that item that they picked. As well, then, then if I were to walk in and look at that item, as you know, at the same time, we all have a different perspective, we also can change our perspective. And if we can change our perspective on that item and see it maybe, maybe maybe the meaning behind it goes even deeper. Maybe the meaning behind it is that superheroes are needed every day and in everything that we do, I'm making that up it could be anything and how we see the perspective of what you what you what you identified on your wall. If we can change our perspective, we can change our outcome and and we no longer have the fear. So perspective is what gives us the ability to see through it see past it and make the changes that are necessary. We just have to find the right perspective that fits us.

George Thomas 11:51
That is dope and, and there again, so much going around in my mind because I picked another item and I was like a camera. Somebody's perspective. On a camera is it's just a camera. Somebody else's perspective could be it's a way to communicate with the world, right? That's right. And so so it's so amazing. Now here's what's interesting though, is in the back of my mind, I'm listening to you talk about we're trying to climb this mountain, you're then talking about perspective and in the fact that fear is rooted in kind of this thing of being able to change the perspective in your at like, are you halfway up the mountain and oh, my God, I'm not gonna make it or are you halfway up the mountain and Whoo, we're almost there. Right? Here's the thing. When you're on this climb to leadership, Brian, and you're dealing with imposter syndrome, and you're fighting fear, and you've named the hero and the villain and you're trying to manage them. How the heck does a leader truly understand where they are in their journey to the top of that mountain?

Bryan Kramer 12:54
You know, it's first, first and foremost, the what is the mountain top is what I would ask. What is the thing that you're trying to achieve? A lot of times we pick something that's, again, not, not the joyful thing. It's the How am I going to how am I going to support my family? How am I going to overcome debt? How am I going to overcome different areas of our lives that we're not at choice at making? And so I would reframe that question to say, How are you defining your mountain top? And what is it that we're Where are we heading? Are we choosing the right mountain top? Is that the right thing for you? Is it really, and once we can get through there, it becomes a lot easier to move towards that goal, because now it becomes a lot more fun. It's you have more clarity, and you know exactly what the steps are going to be because you've identified something that really makes a difference in your world or in other people's worlds. Now, how do you know? Well, you it's hard for ourselves, just like in marketing. I know you hosted As the market you're in marketing, right? So as a marketer, for those marketers, listening is the hardest thing in the world is to market yourself. You can market others really, really, really well. But marketing yourself is a whole different ballgame. The same thing applies to leadership. And the same thing applies to that mountain top that you want to climb. So my suggestion is get a buddy, get a friend, hire a coach, grab somebody that will help you see the blind spots that you can't see for yourself. I would hire a mentor, I owned an agency and yet I would hire external people to help us market ourselves because we can market everyone else but we didn't have time where the cobblers kids, we'd have time to market ourselves. The same thing happens for your own leadership and that, that that mountain you want to climb, you can't do it alone. You can't climb a mountain alone, asking for help and getting support. That's what this world is all about. And that's usually it Everyone's biggest challenge asking for help. Yeah, that's

George Thomas 15:03
a biggie right there. And I love the idea of having a climbing body when you're on this journey to what it is for you to be a leader, whether it's in your space or something new that you're trying to get into. Brian, we're getting close to the 15 minute cut off for the 15 minutes strategy podcast. But I do want to ask a couple more questions. The next one that I want to ask you is, in your mind, are there any myths that circle around this leadership or idea of being a leader that need to be debunked right now on this episode, so it'll help people move forward faster in accepting their ability to be a leader?

Bryan Kramer 15:43
Sure, let me start by saying you are exactly where you need to be right now. I'll say that again, you are exactly where you need to be right now. Wherever you are, that you're listening to this. You are right where you need to be Everything you're going through is all going to unfold in the way that is beautiful for you. And each and every individual deserves to have a joyful life. So how do you combine the two? How do you know that you're right? where you need to be knowing that this is going to unfold into a beautiful place and you're going to have joy in life is going to be full of balance? Well, it's not. It's going to be hard. It's going to be challenging. And the fact that you know that you are right where you need to be is all you need to know. Because if we just are okay with where we're at, and not worried about what we can't control, which are two things, we cannot control the past and we cannot control the future. What we can do is we can control right now, this moment is I am present with you, you are present with me. And we are we're sharing a great conversation. Hopefully, we're having lots of aha moments and people are really taking something away from knowing that they are right where they need to be listening to this. If you can live be released that way, you're going to live a much better life.

George Thomas 17:05
sprocket tears, I hope you rewind that part because that right there is probably the nugget to life in general. And the fact that we're talking about fear and if you really think about it, fear is always a forward thinking, mindset. You never fear what you're in the moment of because you're just going through it, you're present. And regret is historical thinking. And if you cannot have regret and not have fear, and do what Brian just said, and be where you're supposed to be in that moment in the present, and make the best out of that. It leads into the word that he is used multiple times, which is joy, and a joy filled life, man Oh, man, I want to cut it off here, but I'm gonna ask one more question because I got to see what is in that beautiful brand of yours, Brian, and that is, as they get ready to hit the stop button or listen to another episode or some other podcast or maybe binge listened to this one. Here's the thing. What are the one or two major mistakes that you have seen leaders make in the past that will absolutely kill, send them back to the very beginning of the mountain and just annihilate anything that they're trying to achieve?

Bryan Kramer 18:15
Yeah, you know, I'll stick with the theme of sharing, sharing through through vocabulary through a word. It's trust. Trust is is easy, easy to, to, to have taken away, to not earn. And it's harder than ever to earn it. gaining trust from others means that you're you're co leading. So here's the thing. You don't have to lead alone. The mountain top is not lonely. You your saboteur is telling you that it's it needs to be that way but it does not need to be that way. You do not need to live a lonely life. You can co lead with other people, you can ask people to take that journey with you. That's why I said take a buddy up to the top of the mountain with you. That's why I think leaders in general should pick people that are that they're going to co lead with on different things. It can be a task, it could be a project, it can be a, your health, it could be anything you want in life, to co lead on. If you're going to lead alone, then you're not going to have the trust that you need, that you desire of others to have that in you co lead with them. Change that perspective. Remember, change the perspective of how you see others see them as leaders to that you are We are all leading this together. And I and I think that that would change everything for, for how to how to how to survive as a CEO, as a C level person, as a director as a as a as a boss as anybody who wants to achieve co lead. co lead with more trust.

George Thomas 20:00
Brian, if people need help if they need a coach if if they just want to connect with you and thank you for all the knowledge bombs you've dropped on this episode, where do you want to send them?

Bryan Kramer 20:11
Wow, um, well first of all, you know, I'm the human human guy, right so I love connecting with people as I wrote my book. So I would love to connect with anybody per one to one for sure. So just email me Brian dry and at Brian Kramer comm I'll hit reply, don't worry, and we will we will have and then you'll reply back and then I'll reply back and then before you know it will actually be having a conversation, human to human it's, it's really cool the way that works. The second thing I would say is I do a coaching live coaching call with with a brave soul every Wednesday inside of my facebook group. And if you want to be on that list and be coached or you just want to watch and just sit behind the scenes and see how it's going, you can do either of those things and just go to h two h pub So HU be calm and and that'll take you into the Facebook group and you'll get to get a chance to taste some of the stuff that we talked about

George Thomas 21:11
sprocket tears. Remember, it's all about trust. It's all about figuring out how to manage fear knowing that you're enough. That's what I want to leave this episode with you, you are enough. And until next time, we'll see you on the next episode.

Dan Moyle 21:26
Did you enjoy this episode of the 15 minute strategy podcast, we'd love to know. leave a rating and written review wherever you listen to your favorite shows and keep that learning going by visiting sprocket sign up for your free membership and in that membership area, you can find bundled episodes where we combine like strategies to help you grow better make the world better and share this episode with your friends and co workers who may be battling this same obstacle. You can always reach out to George B. Thomas on Twitter with questions or guest suggestions or just talk about your favorite Marvel superhero. I go out into the world and leverage this strategy for your success. And we'll see On the next episode of the 15 minute strategy podcast