• Jason Griffing

Impact Index: The Knowledge Project, Ep. 60—Jim Dethmer: Leading Above the Line

Below are a series of impactful ideas from The Knowledge Project, episode 60, featuring Jim Dethmer, founder of The Conscious Leadership Group. This interview featured many powerful ideas we can leverage to become better leaders, parents, and spouses.


11:01 - "Too much sound, too much fury in most conversations. Pause. I'm just talking about one breath, and ask the question, 'In this moment, am I genuinely open to creating a win-for-all outcome? Or have I literally constricted such that the most important thing right now for me is defending my ego?"

17:58 - "What's driving [so many leaders] is down deep, way down deep, there is a belief that says, 'It's not OK just the way it is. I'm not OK just the way I am...Something needs to be different... in order for me to get the approval I want from fill in the blank...' That would be one form of this. Another would be, '...I've got to even the score. Something was done to me. Something happened. And there's a fuel in my belly that says I've got to overcome this. And if I pause for a moment and take a break, I'll lose that fire in my belly that is driving me to overcome.' And we could just keep exploring, keep exploring and finding these core beliefs that I believe were developed before we were six years old... Whenever we've been driven primarily by the belief in the experience that something at the core is missing, that belief leaves a toxic residue. "

20:35 - "The very thing that has created the consciousness, that has made this great contribution to themselves, to the world, is the very thing that keeps them from saying, 'could I give myself a moment of acceptance?'"

21:43 - "Many of us have motivated our children with fear, guilt, and shame. 'I would have thought better of you.' Or, 'You want something to be scared of? I'll give you something to be scared of.' 'I'm disappointed in you.' As a parent, you pause and say, 'does it work?' Well yeah, sure... you'll get a short-term return. But eventually, that's going to leave a toxic residue which is going to look like broken trust between you and your child."

25:34 - "You watch great professional sports teams... There seems to be a deep, profound alignment of purpose. That's intrinsic. A commitment to have everybody on the team play in their zone of genius. What are they best at? We're going to figure that out and release and empower you to do that. Then, we're having fun. This is fun... They love the thing itself."

28:20 - "Underneath these incredibly driven, successful people... is a scared little 5-year old kid... who is terrified. After awareness, can you give acceptance? The antidote to fear is not courage. The antidote to fear is acceptance."

30:35 - "So until I can give a little bit of lovingkindness, a little bit of acceptance, to the scared, terrified parts of me, then it's not going to stop. Because my mind is going to believe that the only way to succeed is to keep scaring the shit out of myself, unconsciously, this is mostly unconscious, [I] keep believing that I don't have enough approval yet... I'm still not safe and secure enough. So until that little one, whose driving the show, can experience some acceptance, they won't calm down."

49:15 - "All drama in relationships, personal and professional, is caused by unaligned commitments... or unclear and unkept agreements."

59:09 - "[Victim consciousness] is living from the belief, it's not always a conscious belief, that life is happening to me. So I'm at the effect of people, circumstances, and conditions."

1:00:17 - "So now, in psychological terms, we've moved the locus of control outside of ourselves... and we're living in victim consciousness. By the way, we say that this is where the vast majority of people live the vast majority of the time... Because when I'm living in victim consciousness it doesn't necessarily mean that I'm having a bad day. In other words, imagine that it's eighty degrees in sunny in Chicago in late March. Now you walk around town and people go, 'I am having a fantastic day! It's gorgeous and sunny. And I played 18 holes of golf and shot two-over-par!' They're happy. But causation is still outside of them."

1:06:31 - "We would ask you to create a recipe. If I wanted to have the exact same relationship with my intimate partner that you do with yours, where you're underappreciated, undervalued, not respected, how would I need to show up to create that? What would I need to do? What would I need to not do? What would I need to say and not say? What would I need to believe and not believe? How would I have to see them? How would I have to see me? And in a matter of moments, if you're willing to start taking responsibility and seeing that you're the creator of your experience, you would be able to write out the recipe for me on how to create that experience."

1:09:35 - "You're still committed to thinking that you're valuable if your partner likes you. I want you to move the locus of control inside yourself and generate your own sense of value from the inside... So now you start to change and I guarantee you as you start to change you create a totally different context in your intimate relationship, with a much greater possibility of having appreciation and respect be a cornerstone of your relationships because you chose to shift from victim consciousness to creator consciousness."

1:13:42 - "Feelings are actually energy. That's all they are. They're a set of sensations that are occurring on and in the body. I first read this from Jill Bolte Taylor in Stroke of Insight, that great Ted Talk and then the follow-on book, the Harvard brain researcher, who said that feelings last less than 90-seconds. In my experience, they actually often last far less than that. If I don't feed the feeling with more thoughts, if I just tune into the body, the energy will go out of the body in less than 90-seconds."

1:15:59 - "If the feeling gets stuck, which is what happens with most people, it ultimately calcifies and turns into a mood. So anger that isn't felt and released in less than 90 seconds, that calcifies in the body and turns into bitterness, and resentment, and hatred."

Recent Posts

See All

"Limits are an artist's best friend." —Frank Lloyd Wright In his book, "A Whack on the Side of the Head", author and creativity expert Roger Von Oech reminds us that constraints can be a powerful st

In describing how he wrote the book, "Mind Wide Open", author Steven Johnson discusses a challenge we're all familiar with—deciding what ideas to focus on and which ones to ignore. He calls the method

In their book, "The Courage to be Disliked" authors Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga introduce the reader to Adlerian Psychology. This school of thought, named after its founder Alfred Adler, is less