Breaking out of the Matrix with Michael and Audree Sahota

Michael Sahota is a thought leader, author, and speaker in the Agile industry. He’s also the co-founder and CEO of SHIFT314. and he’s joined by Audree Sahota. Chief Metaphysics Officer, and also co-founder of SHIFT314, together they wrote the book Leading Beyond Change. In this amazing show we discover:

  • The story behind SHIFT314
  • What is emotional science and that could that help me as a leader
  • Why leaders find it so hard to unlock the right energy in our lives
  • The SHIFT314 Evolutionary Leadership Framework (SELF)

Transcript: Thanks to Jermaine Pinto at JRP Transcribing for being our Partner. Contact Jermaine via LinkedIn or via his site JRP Transcribing Services

The Leadership Hacker News

Steve Rush: It turns out in times of crisis, that’s a perfect opportunity for us to do some self-reflection and think about what’s really important to us. According to some recent research completed by Microsoft, workers’ sense of worth grew during the pandemic and during 2020 during terms to crisis, so did their expectations. For almost a year of publishing the first study, Microsoft shared results of another iteration of the Microsoft world index. And it’s a study run across 31 countries, 31,000 people along with analysis of trillions of productivity signals in Microsoft, 365 trends on LinkedIn and labor trends.

Some findings found that flexible working is here to stay. And leaders seemed out of touch with employees while workers were highly productive, yet also exhausted. Gen Zed or Gen Zers if you’re in the U.S. needed, re-energizing due to a lack of networking opportunities. And finally, talent availability grew with the hybrid work, but the word hybrid work means so much to so many. Organizations still grapple to get an understanding of what hybrid work really means to them. What comes out in research from Microsoft is that COVID changed our relationship with work forever. 53% of employees are more like to prioritize health and wellbeing over their work compared to that pre pandemic. And in addition, 47% of responders said that they’re most likely to put family and personal life first ahead of any work commitments. Employers must be ready to accommodate the needs and trends that are playing out or risk losing their talent to competitors who might offer exactly what they’re looking for.

The study shows that many hybrid employees, in fact, 51% say they’ll consider a switch to remote working over the next 12 months. And even more remote employees, 57% said they would consider a switch to more hybrid. And while the two data points could be confusing, they clearly speak to the role of hybrid working is here to stay, providing the flexibility needed to lead a more blended life while offering opportunities to stay connected with coworkers. And it clearly shows that deciding what’s best for your talent will not be a one size fits all affair either.

Needs will be different based on the seniority within the company, the type of job, how long somebody’s been with the organization, their home circumstances. It’s also critically to fully understand and embrace hybrid work so that it requires more than just offering working from home. It really does mean making sure the employees feel part of their work at home and are also being seen and communicated as if they were in the office. And the final data point I wanted to share with you is that 54% of leaders felt that productivity had been negatively affected since going to a more of a remote and hybrid working environment. Although 80% of the same employees said that there had been an improvement in their productivity since that shift.

Getting people back into the office must be driven by the employees and those who want to have a real desire to build connections. But particularly for those who were joining during the pandemic and may have not yet had the opportunity to form strong relationships. And the leadership hack here is, it’s not just about flexible work location, flexible environment, but most importantly, flexible mindset and a flexible mindset from business leaders who understand their talent, know that it’s not the same as it was two years ago. And they also know that their needs have changed. Understanding intrinsically what’s driving each individual on your team could be the one thing that really unlocks true high performance. That’s been The Leadership Hacker News. Looking forward as always to hearing your tweets and information about what you’d like to hear and see on the show.

Start of Podcast

Steve Rush: I’m joined on the show today by our first ever husband and wife duo, who are also business partners, Michael Sahota is a thought leader, author, and speaker in the Agile Industry. He’s also the co-founder and CEO of SHIFT314. He’s developed unique IP to unlock success with agile, digital, and lean, in other new ways of working. And he’s joined by Audree Sahota. Chief Metaphysics Officer, and also co-founder of SHIFT314, and Audree has a mastery over many practices and techniques for rapidly shifting consciousness, which I can’t wait to Welcome both, to The Leadership Hacker Podcast.

Audree Sahota: Thank you.

Michael Sahota: Yeah, pleasure to be here.

Steve Rush: So, first husband and wife duo, first question. Who made the first move?

Michael Sahota: That would probably be me.

Audree Sahota: Well, yeah. Considering I didn’t really like Michael, when I first met him,

Steve Rush: Which is often the case, isn’t it with relationships?

Audree Sahota: Right, yeah. He was kind of a thorn on my side. We actually met in India in a really incredible personal growth and transformation course that we had both been involved in for many years. And they put our classes, no, you skipped, did you skip a grade?

Michael Sahota: Yeah, I did. I did two courses back-to-back.

Steve Rush: You, only just found out now, right Audree?

Audree Sahota: Normally you’re supposed to wait six months and then join the next course. And I was in the course ahead of him. I think I was in the pilot program, and he was there, and we had some mutual friends and so eventually as I got to know, Michael, I was like, oh, this guy is kind of different on the inside than what he’s projecting on the outside. So, you know, it’s a longer story. But what I found was that when I needed help and I was working through a really, really deep block, that was probably the biggest block that I had that was blocking all of my success in my life. We were sitting around the dinner table with a bunch of people, and I was expressing what was going on with me.

And it was like 10 o’clock at night. We had all been processing and doing these like crazy, very intense, deep, personal growth and transformation processes that included a lot of breathing and dark spaces and stuff like that. So, we were all pretty crispy and everybody one by one just kind of left the table. And it’s just Michael and I sitting there and Michael’s like, well, do you want to work through this issue? And I said, yeah, I want to remove this block. And he said, well, I’ll only work with you if you go all the way through, like, I don’t want you to stop, I want you to opt in fully into this process. And I said, yes, I’m totally ready. And so, as he was working with me and kind of holding a space and facilitating my process, which was touching into some really, really deep, deep issues, I was like crying. And it was just like really intense. And at the same time, every time he would say something as a facilitator, I would be like, oh, that’s what I would say. That’s exactly how I would work. And at the end of the whole entire process, which was incredibly liberating for me, I went back to my room with my roommate, and I said, hey, you know, that Michael Sahota guy just helped me with a really deep issue that I had. And he works exactly how I work, how I facilitate. And I’ve never met anybody like that. And she’s like, oh, he’s your other half. And I was like, no, not Michael Sahota, there’s no way, he’s not my type. And she kept saying it. And I think that, that was the moment that I knew that there was something else deeper going on, and then it went from there. Then we started discussing like our kind of, like our dreams and our hopes and our life purpose and stuff. And turns out we had the same life purpose, which is, take it away Michael.

Michael Sahota: Yeah. So, it’s really about helping people evolve from their current limitations. Like this deeper level of work that gets ignored, that isn’t fully addressed by traditional means to allow us to show up as the partner we want, the parent we want to be, the leader we want to be, which ultimately is what we need to create, create high performance environment. So, it’s really about creating a better world, a better workplace, starting with ourselves.

Steve Rush: In my experience, having spoke to hundreds of very successful business leaders and coached many, it often starts with ourselves.

Michael Sahota: Well, yeah, there’s this funny saying, everybody’s heard this, and everyone knows this true. You can’t change anyone else. You can only change yourself. Everyone knows this, but 98% of leadership behavior acts as if this statement doesn’t exist.

Steve Rush: What do you think the reason is for that?

Michael Sahota: Oh, there’s a really simple reason. It’s the ego, our default egoic conditioning causes to look outwards for the problems rather than look inwards.

Steve Rush: Hmm.

Audree Sahota: Right.

Michael Sahota: Basically, we’re all tricked by the ego.

Audree Sahota: And we always say, you know, we’re the problem and we’re the solution. But I think that we don’t really know where to go with all of that as well. So, part of it is the ego blocking and the other part is, if you don’t have the tools, the techniques, mostly the knowledge or the education about what’s actually really going on, it’s very difficult to start to explore your inner world. And so, I mean, we found ways to do it through our own, I think our own evolutionary process and our own journey.

Michael Sahota: Our basic view is that everyone is innocent.

Audree Sahota: Yeah.

Michael Sahota: Like, so if someone is listening to this call and they, well, geez, I’m not doing that. I’m mostly focused on outward. And how do we make changes around me, blah, blah, blah. You’re innocent, and the reason is because, you don’t have the tools. You don’t have the knowledge and awareness and understanding. Even if you discovered that there’s some sort of inner block inside of yourself, actually work through it. And that’s really what our work is about is, giving leaders, the evolutionary capabilities for not only the self-evolution, which is one part of it, but it’s also how to put that into practice, right. There are lots of people who go to yoga classes, they go to a, you know, 10-day meditation retreat and they go back and it’s the same thing all over again, like nothing’s changed in their regular world, right. They have a little bit of stillness and then it fades off.

Steve Rush: Right.

Michael Sahota: As they go through their day. And so, it’s really about how do we integrate that into our regular work? How do we do that in every single thing that we do at every single interaction as a leader, as collaborator, as a parent?

Audree Sahota: We even think about coaching and leadership. And we always say that it’s a transmission, like transformation is a transmission. You’re very being, who you are and what you’ve been through, and all of your experience is what is going to shift and change another person or another organization. And we find the clarity in that statement, you are the transmission, a very powerful perception to have when we’re looking at organizational change, or we’re looking at working with our clients who, you know, want to show up as better leaders or create high performance, or we, you know, for our own selves personally, in our relationships with our family and our friends and in our partnership as


Steve Rush: And the whole evolutionary framing that you have, and you talk about. How did that come together from your different work experiences to create what you do now? Because you both have very different backgrounds that have now come together as SHIFT314.

Audree Sahota: Right. So, I have a little weirder background. I’m a professionally trained energetic healer. So, what that means is I didn’t take a weekend workshop and I became a healer. I actually went to eight years of formal training. I worked on a medical team for five years. I worked with very, very ill people. But what that really means is I’ve studied the psychology of disease. So, I learned in my profession, thoughts, belief systems, behaviors, lifestyle, all these things contribute to a healthy body or an unhealthy body. And so, I believe that looking at the psychology of disease, you start to look at, what’s going on in your mind? What’s going on in your consciousness? What’s going on in your perceptions? And so, that’s where I take this weird thing of energy, kind of mixed with psychological background. And then I start to work with my clients in a way, not only to heal, but also then to transform their lives. But in order for me to do that, my training has always been you first.

Steve Rush: Right.

Audree Sahota: Always, I’m the transmission of the work. If I’m clear and clean in my perceptions, my glee systems, my psychological makeup, and my body, I’m able to transmit a very high vibrational frequency that will aid in the healing of somebody else. So that’s kind of where my background is from. It’s like the weird stuff.

Michael Sahota: Yeah, my background is the exact opposite. It’s an engineering. I worked in research. I’ve published papers and artificial intelligence, robotics. I went professionally, started working as a software developer and had management roles and got involved with a thing called agile, bringing organizations to like a more people-centric way of working, a more evolved way of working. And that eventually led me to this realization. Well, wait a second. It’s really hard to help companies make this shift because the leaders don’t get it. The leaders are stuck in these traditional mindsets, these traditional patterns that are totally incompatible with these new ways of working, what they call agile, digital and so on. And then I looked at it, I said. Well, how do I help these leaders like transform? How do they help them show up as leaders that we can create these amazing work environments, we can actually get high performance? I said, well, the only way to help them to solve this is to help them grow. And I thought, well, am I equipped to do that? And the answer I got back was well, no Michael, you’re a well-intentioned hassle. You can see everything that’s going on, but you are not showing up in a revolved way. So that’s what kicked off this realization that I’m the problem and I am the solution. That I am the limit for everything that I want to create around me. And so, kicked off this you know, really broad scoped search for, how do I grow myself? How do I evolve? And I had no idea. So, I just started doing random things. And eventually this is one path took me to India, right, and that’s where I met Audree.

But really, I think this is true for me still today is, that I am the limit of everything that I want to create in the world. And I continue to invest in my own personal evolution. That’s why I got a lot of humility around this. It’s not like, well, oh, I’m better and blah, blah, blah. It’s like, hey, we’re all on our journey of evolution. All of us, every single one of us, the only question is, how much energy are we putting into our own evolution? Number one, and number two, what are the rate of progress we’re making? And what we’ve seen here is a lot of leaders are at zero rate of progress and zero investment in their evolution. And as a result, they’re continue to be the same leaders that they’ve always been

Audree Sahota: Because it’s so hard.

Steve Rush: Yeah.

Audree Sahota: The pressure to succeed, the pressure to get things done actually takes you backwards. So, you have to be very, very careful because that’s where you get tripped up. It’s like when something’s happening and the organizations in a crisis or your teenager just, you know, crashed the car, it’s either one.

Michael Sahota: And It’s kind of weird, right? Because I started as an engineer, right. And scientifically running experiments of like, what can we do to a system to improve performance? And I followed root cause, eventually it said, wait a second. The only way to do this is through inner evolution, integrated with, you know, external models, tools and so on. And that’s what we’ve created is this technology, this co-creation of Audree and I, we didn’t like wake up one day and say, here it is. It’s been this evolution over like the last decade of both of our work.

Steve Rush: Yeah.

Michael Sahota: It’s called the self-framework.

Audree Sahota: Right.

Michael Sahota: And it’s just really this beautiful tool kit,

Audree Sahota: And we didn’t even know that we had a framework, we had no idea. We were just trying to explain to people what we did. And it was through writing the book. It was through that process of writing the book that it actually really homed in

Michael Sahota: What it is we’re doing.

Audree Sahota: Yeah, what it is. First the intention that we had no idea what we were doing.

Steve Rush: Yeah.

Audree Sahota: We were just doing it.

Michael Sahota: Be very successful.

Audree Sahota: Very successful.

Michael Sahota: Training thousands of leaders around the globe and giving them transformational experiences and like, this is the thing, is like, you know, on the outside, okay. It looks like we’re leadership trainers, looks like we’re organizational consultants. So, we help companies with agile. That’s the external, right. That profile fits lots of organizations around the world, but there’s some something special and deeper about what we do. That’s very human where it’s not just about the workplace. People who go through our trainings realize, oh, wait a second. This is actually more important to me with my family.

Steve Rush: And the reality, I guess, of what you’ve just described is that evolutionary journey that people take. But if you went to an organization and started with those energetic, emotional science-based conversations, most organizations would go, whoa, hang on a second. That’s a bit too deep, but they could probably understand and contextualize the broader conversations around leadership development and organizational consultancy, right?

Audree Sahota: Right, and high performance.

Steve Rush: Yeah.

Audree Sahota: Because everybody wants results. Everybody wants to do well. Even people sitting in a yoga class, why are they there? It’s because they want to make their lives better. So, I think it’s a natural occurrence in nature. Nature is always perfecting itself. And it’s really, really beautiful, you know? We think of like having a disease or birth defect and transitioning or not living as something that’s really, really terrible. And we look at the way nature functions. It is always trying to perfect itself and we’re doing it everywhere. It’s not just in nature, but we are nature, we’re animals. It’s the natural progression in the life cycles of an organization that we’re looking at where things have to get destroyed in order to create something new and something better. So, we tend to forget the natural cycles that occur in life.

Steve Rush: Yeah.

Audree Sahota: And when we start to look at, we’re just wanting to create high performance and that’s okay. It’s okay. Michael said all the time, in our courses, he goes, I don’t care if you’re here because of financial success and you’re worried about the bottom line or you’re here because you want to make workplaces a better environment for people. We don’t have any judgment of why you’re here, but what is that there’s this merging together of, oh yeah. I want both. And why can’t we have both?

Steve Rush: Right.

Audree Sahota: Yeah, and it makes sense that if your workplace is healthy and people are happy and engaged and love what they do and they’re supported, there’s a benefit to the organization and it’s a financial benefit.

Steve Rush: And there’s loads of science about.

Audree Sahota: Yes.

Steve Rush: That happy workplaces create better productivity, better productivity creates better and happier environments and therefore more purposeful business. And it becomes self-fulfilling, doesn’t it?

Audree Sahota: Yeah. But it’s an old way of thinking in the traditional work environment, it’s oppressive, it’s slave like mentality and it’s this old way of how humans existed in society. That is beginning to change because we realize, oh, oppressing people doesn’t actually work. You know, having poverty and lack doesn’t work.

Michael Sahota: I mean, no manager goes into work and thinks, oh, I’m going oppress people today, right. Nobody thinks that, but everyone is caught up and this is why I see people as very innocent. We’re caught up in this industrial machinery, this structure’s is a business as unusual and we’re just like hamsters running around the hamster wheel. And so, it’s about helping people wake up to say, wait a second, do you see what’s going on? You’re just following in this traditional pattern, traditional management path and these are the consequences. That’s where we start. We don’t talk about any of the personal shift, any of that stuff. Because like, hey, let’s just have a conversation about what’s going on in your organization and how’s it working for you? And it’s never working out well for organizations. Everybody is struggling out there.

Steve Rush: Yeah. Audree, you spend quite a lot of time with metaphysics, energy, you know, the root of kind of what drives people’s behaviors. I’m keen to just understand a little bit about why it is that organizations and often individuals who lead those organizations and teams find it really difficult to peel the layers right back to where they need to be effective and explore some of that?

Audree Sahota: That’s a great question. And I actually don’t know the answer.

Michael Sahota: I know the answer. So, the answer is, we don’t ever try to get anyone to do anything.

Audree Sahota: But he’s saying like a general, like.

Michael Sahota: Why is it happening?

Audree Sahota: Why is it happening?

Steve Rush: Why is it so difficult?

Audree Sahota: It’s a really deep conversation that I’m not going to go into right now. And a lot of it is that, oh, it’s way too deep to go into. But I can’t tell you that. We’re raised from birth in a way that we’re just in this command-and-control habit, we’re in a habit of fear and anxiety. We’re in a habit of thinking and believing. We’re duped into believing that we deserve eternal punishment.

Michael Sahota: Yeah, and everyone listening to this. Well, that’s not me. And it’s like, well, if you don’t know that’s going on with you, you just don’t know what’s going on with you, but it’s going on with everyone until you’re actually enlightened. So, it’s there and most people aren’t aware, but we don’t even start there. I just want to back up, this is not a good starting place. The starting place is what we actually do in our trainings, which is saying, well, okay, great. We’re here to talk about how do you create business agility? How do you be high performance leaders? Right? So, the egos invested. People want the result. People want the outcome. And this is what our whole book Leading Beyond Change goes through. This is the anti-pattern of what you’re doing in your traditional business. And this is the pattern for what is happening in healthy organizations that get really extraordinary performance. And we just take people through a series of patterns where they realize, wait a second. What I am choosing to do every day creates low performance.

Audree Sahota: Nobody wants to understand the fundamental fabric of why humans are in suffering.

Steve Rush: That’s right, yeah.

Michael Sahota: Yeah.

Audree Sahota: Except for me.

Michael Sahota: So, what we get people to do is realize, wait a second. When I try to drive a change program, I’m actually create a lot of resistance. When I mandate things as a boss and use my power without listening to other people first, I’m creating damage.

Audree Sahota: And inner more advanced courses what we do is, once you can see that behavior, that I’m creating damage, then when you have the tools and the techniques and the understanding, then it’s easier to look inside. And we always ask, what does it feel like in your body when you’re trying to drive change?

Steve Rush: Because your body’s a good barometer to tell you exactly what’s going on, right.

Audree Sahota: It is the thing, that is the radio receiver. So, the body will tell you, it’s like, oh, I feel tight. Oh, it’s hard to breathe. Oh, there’s a knot in my stomach. And then we have the tools to help to dissolve that because those are patterns from the subconscious part of the egoic system that are actually, it’s like the root cause of why you’re trying to drive change to begin with. It doesn’t mean that you’re not going to create change.

Steve Rush: Yeah.

Audree Sahota: But an impact change, but it’s going to come from a very different place where there’s a release within your system and you’re letting go. You’re not attached to the outcome, which is very, very hard to do. But when not attached to the outcome anymore, you’re no longer pressing onto the system and creating that resistance. And there’s an opening that happens.

Steve Rush: Yeah.

Audree Sahota: We always call it the secret to the universe.

Steve Rush: Wow. If only we could all tap into that, it sounds incredibly.

Audree Sahota: We all can, and we all deserve it.

Steve Rush: Yeah.

Audree Sahota: Like every single one of us deserves to be successful and happy and productive

Michael Sahota: And having an amazing day at work every single day,

Audree Sahota: Every single day.

Steve Rush: And the reason why some do, and some don’t is completely about how we are showing up, thinking about or how our mindset is driving, how we’re thinking and showing up at work.

Audree Sahota: Oh yeah, and that’s a choice.

Michael Sahota: Well, actually there’s two factors. One is internal. What is our internal composition? And how are we choosing to perceive the reality that we’re in. The other one is the external system because a really beautiful organization can help people uplift, to help people heal and help people grow. Whereas their traditional organizations are taking people down.

Steve Rush: Yeah. So, you both talk about a series of patterns, which are the series of patterns that you explored and bumped into as you started to write the book Leading Beyond Change, and you talked about this self-evolutionary framework. I’d love to get into a little bit about that and explore some of the elements of what that is and how I might use it?

Audree Sahota: Well, let’s start off with the name. SHIFT134 Evolutionary Leadership Framework.

Michael Sahota: The abbreviation is the S E L F or the SELF.

Audree Sahota: And then we went, oh my God, about the self, it is the self.

Michael Sahota: Think about it?

Audree Sahota: But it was an accident.

Michael Sahota: Yeah.

Audree Sahota: I just want to say that’s how miraculous it is. It was an accident.

Steve Rush: So where does SHIFT314 come from?

Michael Sahota: Ah, okay. So, everyone has heard of this number 3.1415, and you go, oh my gosh, it’s Pi.

Steve Rush: Pi.

Michael Sahota: A Pi symbolizes the universal timeless principles of the universe through mathematics. With SHIFT314we give the universal principles, the timeless principles of human dynamics and organization dynamics. We’re talking about how do things actually work. Not some, you know, popular, made-up theory, do these three things and you’ll have success and blah, blah, blah, blah. It’s actually worth the laws of cause and effects of human beings. And when human beings working together and creating change in organizations

Audree Sahota: And how to mitigate the damage.

Michael Sahota: Hey, so here are the patterns. Hey, do you notice when you do this, when you oppress people, here’s how you’re oppressing people. It actually disengages them, demotivates them so on. And when you create a space for people to contribute, they can, and they’re happier and they perform better, like very simple, simple ideas. And we go through, I think about 40 patterns in the book to give people like a really clear sense of wait, when I’m stuck in this matrix, this mindset, trap of traditional business, or even slightly, some of these progressive things are actually, very weak sauce countermeasures, you know, oh, wait a second. I’m not getting high performance. What I’m doing today is not high performance, it’s the opposite.

Audree Sahota: And a lot of it is common sense. It’s just that we don’t set our intention to really think about it. And I believe we don’t do that, and I’ll go back to it is, we don’t have the tools and the techniques to move through these patterns. So, like for one of them is, we talk about leaders speaking last. So, when you go into a meeting, you allow everybody else to speak first, before you give your opinion, give an answer to the problem, you know, give a solution.

Michael Sahota: Yeah. I show you the anti-pattern, hey everyone, you know, here’s my idea for this. What do you guys think? Yeah right. Versus like, hey, you know we need to solve this problem. I’ve got some ideas, but we’re all smarter together. Why doesn’t everyone share their ideas and then we’ll have a conversation.

Audree Sahota: And everybody goes around the table, gives 30 seconds or a minute. Shares their perspective, shares their opinion.

Michael Sahota: Then we get the deeper truth of well, okay, but this is not a trick. It’s not a tactic. For a leader to do that they have to get their ego under control. They have to stop trying to be the smartest person in the room and create a space for others to be leaders and to want to build other people, to be leaders. That’s the inner journey. That’s why people need tools to make it.

Steve Rush: Is there a particular pattern that you’ve recognized through these different of patents? Is the stickiest, like people get stuck the most.

Michael Sahota: Command and control habit. Command and control habit. We don’t understand that we’re addictive.

Audree Sahota: Very different and we’re exactly the same.

Michael Sahota: We don’t understand. We’re addict. Gender is the commanding control habits, is actually two different words to the same thing. We don’t understand. Like right now, everyone listening to this probably said, I’m not addicted to command and control habit. That’s what everyone’s going to listen to, is going to say to themselves, I’m not addicted to it.

Audree Sahota: I give people their freedom, let them explore. I give them autonomy.

Michael Sahota: Guess what? Get into one of our trainees. And you’ll see that you actually don’t, and you’ll see the damage you are causing. And it’s going to wake you up to an extraordinary journey. That’s going to change, not just your workplace, but all of your relationships with your partner, with your kids, everything. That’s what happens because we’re stuck trying to use the same words that everyone else uses, you know, leadership and culture.

Audree Sahota: Mindset.

Michael Sahota: And blah, blah, blah. But we’re doing something at a very different, very deeper, much more personal level, touching the core of our being.

Steve Rush: Which is where energy plays that vital role because you’re dealing with then raw emotions, much of the time, aren’t you?

Audree Sahota: Yes, my philosophy on healing has changed quite a lot. I mean, and I’ve been doing this since probably 1994. So, what I can say is that I no longer believe there’s has to be a story. I no longer believe there has to be something that takes a very long time. I do believe in instantaneous healing, I believe up and out, up and out.

Michael Sahota: Not just believe, we live that with our own work on ourselves and the work we do with our partners, clients and those in our training programs is like the, you know, we tell people, if you get stuck, don’t stay stuck, just reach out to us and we’ll get you unstuck. We’ve got a lot of tools.

Steve Rush: Mm.

Audree Sahota: Right, and I think the biggest thing here is that it’s a choice for everyone, no matter what you’re doing, whether it’s like our work or somebody else’s work or your own work or whatever you are doing in your life. But we really believe that if you’re having an issue or a problem that you don’t have to, you have a choice. And when you understand that you have the choice, that becomes a very different perspective to live by. And when you make the choice not to have the issue or the problem, the solutions come, it just makes it easier if you have the tools and the techniques ahead of time, on purpose, you know, striving towards creating more success.

Steve Rush: That’s the essence of metaphysics as well, isn’t it? You know, it’s the kind of the whole energy. Allowing the energy to feed your direction, so to speak.

Audree Sahota: Yes, and energy is moved by thoughts.

Michael Sahota: Yeah. So, this is where it all ties together. Like, you know, our oppressive behaviors, our anti patterns of traditional business, our low vibrational frequency, like it’s actually like stuck trapped energy in our bodies. And we’re walking around basically emitting all this like sort of toxic radiation. That’s most traditional leaders right now are walking around emitting toxic radiation, acting as a beacon of a very destructive, oppressive culture, which is why so many people are disengaged. Now really effect leaders aren’t doing that. They haven’t evolved consciousness. They’re pure in their being, they’re operating in from a higher vibrational frequency. They’re emitting positive energy around them, and people just feel good around them, right. It’s not just what they’re doing. So, what we’re saying, it’s a transmission. And, you know, taking it back to the energetic layer, they’re actually admitting, you know, good vibes, right?

Steve Rush: Yeah.

Audree Sahota: But Michael, what if you’re not the leader and you’re just in an organization with those toxic leaders, then what do you do?

Steve Rush: That’s a great question.

Audree Sahota: I will interview Michael.

Michael Sahota: Well, first of all, the first thing you need to see is that how those toxic leaders are taking you out and you are now part of the problem.

Audree Sahota: Exactly.

Michael Sahota: And so, what we see is that anyone and everyone can be a leader. Our approach or framework is about leaders at all levels that anyone at any place in the organization can create change starting with ourselves, because we can’t control everyone else, but we can control ourselves. So, change, therefore, is 100% possible if we choose to do it.

Audree Sahota: And it’s a moment-to-moment choice. You can, you either choose to be in resistance and negative, in anger, in frustration and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Or you can choose to be in peace in harmony and calm in not getting taken out by the drama and the chaos that’s going on. So, you can actually just show up and function with your full intelligence.

Michael Sahota: Yeah, we’re calling it almost like radical responsibility, like just taking full 100% responsibility for one’s interstate of being, thoughts, actions, energetic stake, and taking responsibility in stewardship and taking action and looking after it, the way you look after, you know, a child that was in your care. So, we need to look after our interstate of functioning.

Audree Sahota: Yeah. I think as a society on a whole, we’re generally in a low vibrational state, we’re always in the state of fear, anxiety, worry, anger, blame, all these different aspects of who we are. And it becomes an addictive pattern. There’s actually an addiction going on in your body. So, if you start to really slow down and feel like, just watch the news, that’s a really great example. While you’re watching the news, what’s going on in your body? Oh, I’m feeling this searing burning sensation and this, you know, tightness in my chest, sit with that searing burning sensation in your chest for a while. You’ll start to feel like, oh, that feels really good. And then start to notice how many times a day do you actually instigate that sense and that feeling in your body, there’s a chemical release going on in your body. There’s a biological reaction to whatever emotional state is happening. You know, that’s caused by the environment and what happens is our bodies become addicted to those chemicals, the cortisol and all that stuff that’s going on in the body. So, you really have to almost like take back control of this addictive patterns. That are not only, you know, psychological patterns, you know, with emotions, but it’s also.

Michael Sahota: It’s like energetic, it’s physiological, its neuro chemical, it’s societal, it’s in our environments and the conditioning. So that’s what we’re talking about, breaking out this matrix, we’re trapped in, right. And that’s where, you know, our work is very, very different because we’re looking at, you know.

Audree Sahota: Everything.

Michael Sahota: Universal principles, what is really going on here? Oh, I’m in fear. So therefore, I’m not getting blood supply in my frontal cortex, therefore my brain can’t operate. Ah, okay, no wonder, now I know what’s going on, right.

Audree Sahota: And just taking it back to something really simple because you shouldn’t believe anything that we’re saying at all, it should be an actual personal experience to validate your own belief system. And so, this is what I always offer people. Find somebody that you can’t stand, that you have a huge problem with. And let’s just say, it’s your boss okay. You could pick a lot of other people, but let’s just say, it’s your boss, because this is an easy one to work with. There’s somebody in your organization that you have such a hard time with and spend a bunch of time, maybe 30 minutes just sitting and feeling positive about this person. Like what if everything I thought about this person was wrong? What if, and just start to calm the nervous system down, calm your body down, calm your mind down, open your heart and change your perception of this person. Just do it, make the choice and just do it. No matter what the external circumstances are. I guarantee everybody, if you do this, that relationship will automatically shift.

Steve Rush: Like it.

Michael Sahota: That’s the advanced step. Most people aren’t ready for. The first step.

Steve Rush: Yeah.

Michael Sahota: The first step for that is just see how you don’t want to do that. Just see how you not want to do what Audree just described. That’s how you are the problem right now. You’re not ready to let go of that anger.

Audree Sahota: Oh yeah. Because you’re addicted to it.

Michael Sahota: Yeah.

Audree Sahota: It’s an addiction.

Michael Sahota: It’s not your fault. You just need to be aware of it. Step one.

Audree Sahota: It’s like drinking, smoking, doing drugs. It’s the same thing, right. We love it. Oh, we love getting angry, oh my God.

Michael Sahota: At that person. We tell other people about it, yeah anyway.

Audree Sahota: Right, sometimes our identities are wrapped around, you know, certain situations that we’re having. For me personally, when I started to look at, why do I want that? Why do I want the negativity? And then I was like, oh, wait a minute, I don’t. Why do I want too not be successful? Well, wait a minute. I want to be successful. Why would I create something that’s you know where I’m going to fail?

Steve Rush: Addiction.

Audree Sahota: Why would I do that to myself?

Steve Rush: Yeah. So, this is where we turn the tables because I could spend all day talking to you by the way. You are in incredibly fascinating and I’m getting juiced up listening to you. But this is a show that we have thousands of people listening to all over the world and it’ll be rude for me to not exploit the opportunity to hack into your years of experience and wonderful learnings. So, I’m going to now ask you to tap into your top leadership hacks. So, if you consider the things that you’ve experienced, things that you’ve done, and of course we know leadership’s not hack, you’ve got to work at it, but what would it be if you were to distill top tips, ideas or tools?

Michael Sahota: Listen to other people’s ideas before sharing your own.

Audree Sahota: I think for me, it would be. Asking what if I’m the problem? Just what if I’m the problem.

Steve Rush: That’s a fabulous reframe, isn’t it? To think of a different perspective.

Audree Sahota: And then the other one for me, this is my favorite question. How can I help you be successful? Turn the tables instead of it being about you, how can I help you be successful? And that might mean that you’re on a team and the whole team is like, how can I help another team be successful?

Steve Rush: Really, really like that last one. So, the next of show, we affectionally called it Hack to Attack. So, this is typically where something in your lives or work has gone, particularly not well. It’s been more catastrophic. It might have been a complete failure, but as a result of that experience, you now have that tool that is useful in your life and work. What would be your Hack to Attack?

Michael Sahota: You know, it’s really interesting, it’s really a great concept and our answer is, everything. That’s one of our teachings is, everything that’s going on around you is a gateway to learning.

Steve Rush: I like that.

Michael Sahota: And most of our lies, we ignore everything, all these gateways to learning and evolution, but it’s every single moment, every single frustration, every single you know, thing we perceive as failure, everything we’re resisting and we’re not flowing with life is the gateway to evolution.

Steve Rush: Yeah.

Audree Sahota: Oh, I would say my marriage, my first marriage.

Steve Rush: Well, without that serendipitous moment that you had in India, of course you wouldn’t be where you are today either.

Audree Sahota: No.

Steve Rush: So, the last part of the show, we get to give you an opportunity to do some time travel, bump into yourselves at 21 and give yourselves some advice. Audree, you go first.

Audree Sahota: Oh my God. I would say stop partying so much. And, you know, I don’t really know. I think for me it would be things are going to get better and you stop sabotaging your own self, yeah.

Steve Rush: Great.

Michael Sahota: Yeah, for me it would be Michael, you’re not going to believe me because one of your problems is you think you have it all figured out and you don’t need to listen to anyone. So, I’m not going to ask you to believe anything I’m saying now, but just keep in your back pocket when things are going to go wrong, because they’re going to go wrong. And when they go wrong, I just want you to think about this.

Steve Rush: That’s super.

Michael Sahota: You can’t help anyone else until you stabilize yourself and your own healing and growth is the most important thing you can do. And I know it will not make any sense to you now. I understand that, but when things are going wrong, it’s not about what’s happening around you. It’s what’s happening inside you.

Audree Sahota: I think you told yourself at 21, you’re going to go to India and meet some hot girl and to pay attention.

Steve Rush: Yeah, absolutely. If only we could have a crystal ball, right? So, I’m pretty certain that you’ve inspired people to want to learn more about what you’re doing and maybe get a copy of Leading Beyond Change, diving into some of the communities that you work with and run, where is the best place for us to send them?

Michael Sahota: The best place is our website

Audree Sahota: Yeah, we also have another book, Emotional Science, and I think you can get through to both of those books, Leading Beyond Change and Emotional Science from

Steve Rush: And we’ll make sure that links to the website and how people can get hold of the copies of the books are all in our show notes as well.

Audree Sahota: Thank you so much.

Steve Rush: I’ve really enjoyed this conversation. I hope it’s not our last. I’m pretty certain it won’t be, and I’m really delighted that we have you both on the show to share some experiences and get us to think differently about a few things that you’ve really poised today. So, thanks for being part of our community on The Leadership Hacker Podcast.

Audree Sahota: Thank you so much for having us here. We really appreciate it.

Michael Sahota: Yeah, our pleasure.

Audree Sahota: Yeah.

Steve Rush: Thank you both.


Steve Rush: I want to sign off by saying thank you to you for joining us on the show too. We recognize without you, there is no show. So please continue to share, subscribe, and like, and continue to get in touch with us with the great new stories that we share every week. And so that we can continue to bring you great stories. Please make sure you give us a five-star review where you can and share this podcast with your friends, your teams, and communities. You want to find us on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter @leadershiphacker, Leadership Hacker on YouTube and on Instagram, the_leadership_hacker and if that wasn’t enough, you can also find us on our website leadership-hacker.comTune into next episode to find out what great hacks and stories are coming your way. That’s me signing off. I’m Steve rush, and I’ve been your Leadership Hacker.

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