Changemakers and innovators can’t stop taking in information, connecting dots, and changing the world. Even when the world hasn’t asked for it, and even when the changemaker desperately needs a break. Maybe this sounds like you a little bit? If so, know you aren’t broken, difficult, or an incurable workaholic. You’re a Catalyst, and authors Tracey Lovejoy and Shannon Lucas believe that means you’re a rock star.
You just need to have the language to understand your process and key tools to help you survive it. In their new book, Move Fast, Break Shit, Burn Out, instead of a how-to, they’ve created a personal operations manual that will help you move fast without losing people, break shit with intentionality, and lessen the intensity of the burnout cycle.
Drew Applebaum: Hey listeners, my name is Drew Applebaum and I’m excited to be here today with Tracey Lovejoy and Shannon Lucas, authors of Move Fast, Break Shit, Burnout. Shannon, Tracey, I’m excited you’re here, welcome to the Author Hour podcast.
Shannon Lucas: Thanks so much for having us, Drew.
Drew Applebaum: Can you tell us a little bit about your professional background, respectively?
Shannon Lucas: Well, this is Shannon and I’ve spent the last decade-plus in the corporate world, trying to create positive change. I have a personal mission statement, which is to make the world’s largest organizations more sustainable in every sense of the word for people, for the planet, and for profit. My background, going all the way back, started in art history, and ended up becoming a network engineer.
I’ve been using technology as a way to create that positive change.
Tracey Lovejoy: I am a research geek at heart, it’s kind of how I was wired from the youngest age and so my jobs after college, I was both teaching, I love to teach, and doing research. I thought I would become a professor and I went and started in a master’s program and had my first midlife crisis because I realized I actually don’t like the academic world.
That turned me to find corporate anthropology, I studied anthropology and ethnographic methods at the University of Chicago. I ended up spending 12 years–I didn’t think I’d be there that long–but 12 years at Microsoft and I was conducting research as well as eventually leading teams and researchers within innovation and product development.
While I was there, I realized that my passion was always about the people, more than the technology. Becoming a manager was a really pivotal part of my professional development because what I had been doing, as a researcher there, was going out around the globe, studying the people that Microsoft would be interested in, and translating that into their products, but I wasn’t really impacting the lives of those people.
Once I became a manager and I actually could deeply listen to them and turn those skills and empathy and active listening into supporting them, I really began to stumble into what became my professional path. I ended up in a class on coaching by accident and it was very clear that this was a calling, and had been kind of the thing I had been moving towards my whole life.
In 2010, I began that switch away from corporate life moving toward this work in coaching. I left Microsoft in 2013, and have been consulting and coaching ever since. My research came back in because, with my own practice, I realized I wanted to really figure out who I was going to serve. I started really focusing on this group of people that Shannon and I talk about as Catalysts in late 2015, and launched some pretty deep research, one-on-one interviews, across 2016 that became the basis of the book that we’re just about to launch.
What Makes a Catalyst?
Drew Applebaum: Now, how did you two meet?
Shannon Lucas: Well, as I was trying to create change at Vodafone, I was fortunate enough to be able to join, and this was part of my midlife crisis, I went and worked on my sustainable MBA. I was fortunate enough to join the enterprise innovation team from its earliest days. I was trying to build this global innovation program, which was definitely aligned with my sense of purpose, but I was also really struggling with the challenges that a normal change agent faces when they’re trying to create that kind of massive change, and also just struggling to find balance in my life.
I was a single mom at the time, I was traveling all over the world, running innovation workshops with the world’s largest corporations. Actually, a friend of mine from Paris when I was studying art history, happened to be part of this financial advisor group that also happened to be meeting at the hotel next to my office every quarter, and she suggested that I get a coach. I was like, “Oh, I’ve never really considered that before.” I went through the process of finding a coach and I found Tracey, and she’s changed my life.
Tracey Lovejoy: That makes me feel so warm and fuzzy. The next part of that amazing story is, of course, Shannon and I had been working together and I had included her in the research I was doing in 2016. At the beginning of the interview, before we even started in the depth, she said, “I’ve been wanting to gather a group of Catalysts I meet with. Do you think you could help me do that?” That became the birth of our company, at that moment.
Shannon Lucas: In typical Catalyst style, Tracey leaned in and said yes right away without really knowing what I was talking about. Hopefully, she’s not regretting it.
Tracey Lovejoy: Not a second.
Drew Applebaum: Now, you guys keep using this word, “Catalyst.” You begin the book, right in the intro, introducing a subset of people who are Catalysts. Can you tell us what are the personal attributes that define a Catalyst?
Tracey Lovejoy: When I first started the research, Drew, I had been doing a backward analysis of people that I realized I had a kindred association with in coaching. I’d been coaching for five years at that point and I had this frenzied seven-page document and I didn’t know how to string it together. I saw that there was a really deep pattern, but in the coaching world, when you look at coaching and consulting businesses, there wasn’t a single umbrella, right?
It wasn’t a group of small business owners or female tech entrepreneurs, it was a set of people that span the demographics and sometimes even some psychographics. It flew in the face of what my peers were doing and what conventional wisdom told me I should do in building a practice, but I couldn’t ignore that there were these things, these people that set insane goals in their personal and their professional lives, and they were really scared when they would say them in coaching sessions. But by the next time we meet, they had blown past it and they had forgotten that they had that fear. Shannon is a perfect example. As she set up, vulnerably, I was nervous about these things.
Today, she has a life partner–Shannon can tell that part of the story. Doing the research helped us distill down to very specific attributes, that weren’t just what I felt that we can point to in the research. We talk about six defining attributes in the book.
The first, being people that take in lots of information, very, very quickly, and that are able to turn that into a vision of how the world could be better.
I walk into the market and I see how it could be better organized, or I sit within my organizational context and I can see how we should organize the whole system differently, for how our workflow should work differently. We do it at all levels big and small around us. We don’t stop at being visionaries, this is what Shannon was mentioning a moment ago. We have this drive that we have to move into action.
A lot of different assessments out there put us into buckets of either visionaries or doers– Catalysts are that unicorn that are the visionary and the doer.
Shannon Lucas: Learning about Catalysts from Tracey when we had that conversation, it was like the penny dropped for me. The group that she mentioned that I wanted to pull together, I had hand-selected a group of likeminded individuals and called it The Global Entrepreneur Salon.
I had collected them because of the challenges that I was having driving organizational change. In particular, as I was building out a thing called the Innovation Champion Program, I was struck by the fact that it was the same sort of 10% of the population, of even self-nominated people who identified as entrepreneurs or innovation, that were showing up to every call, that were moving faster than we could remove barriers for. I had been internalizing it as a personal failure. Like, “Well, maybe our gamification hasn’t worked, maybe the CEO sponsored awards aren’t enough, maybe the training’s not good enough.”
I was constantly trying to troubleshoot, to understand what I could do to activate the rest of the innovation champion team, the way that 10% of the doer/thinkers had done. When Tracey told me about Catalysts, it was like, that explains so much. Those are the people that I love working with and those are the people that I want to help support and create change with.
Catalysts are Everywhere
Drew Applebaum: Now, you mentioned a few of the attributes, are there any questions that you could ask yourself to see if you are a part of this group?
Shannon Lucas: I mean, one of the challenges and part of the reason that we’re writing the book is that Catalysts are everywhere. It’s from your economic background, gender, and race. From that sort of surface-level perspective, it’s hard to say, “You’re a Catalyst,” but once you start to see the attributes and once you meet a Catalyst and you know what a Catalyst is, it’s so easy to identify.
Drew Applebaum: Do you find them in all walks of life in all industries?
Shannon Lucas: Well, one of the definitional attributes of a Catalyst is that many Catalysts will move from large organizations to startups, to solopreneurs, or starting their own company, and back again. We find them everywhere across all industries. They’ll be in legal departments, they’ll be in HR, they’ll be in product management.
We do see probably a higher percentage of Catalyst that wear titles like innovation-something, there’s a lot of user researchers, design researchers, things like that. Essentially, Catalysts are born using methods like the scientific method, or design thinking, and so when they bump it up against some of those already predefined things that talk about what Tracey talked about, I do the sensing, it helps me develop a hypothesis, I go out and I start testing, that’s the action.
The first steps of action are often just the validating of the hypothesis, and then iterating, and then moving back to refine the vision. That can become a way to, say, within an organization, people are drawn to roles that support that, have a high propensity to be Catalysts, but we really do find them in all industries and up and down the organizations.
Tracey Lovejoy: Well said. Absolutely Drew, there are questions that you can ask yourself to really think about if Catalyst as a group fits for you. Number one, do you frequently see how things could be improved and feel compelled to make that vision a reality? Do you sometimes feel crazy, because a solution or a path seems incredibly obvious to you, but the people around you may not see it? We hear a pretty common story of, “I was in a meeting, we all heard the same information, it seemed completely clear to me. I left the meeting, started walking toward this new vision, and other people didn’t, and I didn’t understand it.”
The third question, do you sometimes have so many ideas that you can overwhelm people around you? And then a correlated question, do you often have so many ideas that you can overwhelm yourself? Then, do you challenge the status-quo so that you end up being described as a disruptor or a troublemaker? This is a big one because this becomes a form of identification for people.
Next, when you’re tackling a challenge, do you try lots of different approaches and figure out which is most effective as you go? That relates directly to what Shannon was talking about, that scientific method, that growth mindset. Do you feel driven to do things that make the world around you better?
And then finally, a question that we ask is, does that word Catalyst, or the word changemaker just feel like it fits? Is it actually a descriptor of how you are in the world?
Drew Applebaum: Now, you’ve asked yourselves these questions, and let’s say you say, “Yes, this is me, hallelujah, I found it!” But maybe you don’t think, “Well, I don’t, this term doesn’t define me, I don’t think I’m good enough,” you suffer from imposter syndrome. What would you say to these people that say, “I’ve said yes to everything, but I can’t possibly fit into this group?”
Shannon Lucas: It’s so funny because this happens all the time and it’s been part of our journey as we try and help Catalysts self-identify because I think what happens, and this is part of the reason that we wrote the book, is that they think that Catalysts need to be manifesting this big, global change. The Catalysts that we would hold up as prime examples of Catalysts get that reputation because they’ve made so much change, but there are Catalysts everywhere, at all levels, doing all sorts of change, and so we talk about where you are on your journey and bringing the self-awareness so that you can create the change more effectively where you are.
The imposter syndrome that you’re talking about is true no matter what level you’re at. I was just interviewing someone who is a double CEO, he has two companies, he’s creating all this massive space technology, and he’s like, “Yeah, I feel like an imposter.”
I mean, by definition, Catalysts are out in front doing things that no one has done before. If you’re just starting on your Catalyst journey, or you’ve already had multiple successful exits and you’re on to your next thing, that imposter piece is sort of part of the journey.
Tracey Lovejoy: Agreed. I love the question Drew, and I appreciate how you are seeing to the heart of who we area and maybe where we struggle to get some of this message out. I am freshly off a coaching call and I’ve worked with this person for years, and he just heard a podcast about the book. He doesn’t know much about the book, and he was like, “How do I stack up? How is it that I get to work with you? I don’t think I’m worthy.” He runs a multi-million-dollar company and, just like Shannon’s talking about, he has this incredible vision about how the world should be better and how what he’s building is going to factor into that.
However, we see when we teach classes, and this happens every time we do introductions at the beginning of our essentials for Catalysts class, and every time you hear about people making change in areas that you know need change and you haven’t tackled that. You sit there and you judge yourself that you haven’t done that thing yet too.
Even though each person we get to work with is, in their own right, changing the world in a positive way, we always feel that lack of all the things that we’re not doing. It is definitional, there’s a little bit of a catch 22 that Shannon and I find ourselves in, of how do we help Catalysts recognize themselves? Because we can opt-out, because we think, “Wow, my change isn’t big enough because I didn’t, you know, get to the moon this week.”
“I didn’t do all the things that all the other Catalysts are doing,” and that’s a great irony, is we are all thinking exactly the same thing.
Shannon Lucas: Can I just say one more piece about that? Because I think another frame that Tracey had mentioned in the questions is like, “I see the possibility for change all around me.” Catalysts also bring that home and into their personal lives. It’s another great checkpoint of are you constantly at home or with your other relationships trying to find ways to improve things?
Drew Applebaum: Now, what’s interesting is that with all this vision and all the drive, you guys actually list in the book that Catalysts have these superpowers of sorts. But you also note that there are many burnout periods for this type of person. Can you talk about the burnout in the cycles that Catalysts go through?
Tracey Lovejoy: Shannon, you want to take this?
Shannon Lucas: It’s an interesting question because it actually was the seed of how Tracey and I started Catalyst Constellations together. I didn’t have the word or the framework for Catalyst yet but, as I mentioned, I had created this Global Entrepreneur Salon and what I asked Tracey to do in that conversation, I said, “These people need to recharge.” I said, “Let’s go rent two houses on the coast of northern California.”
“Let’s get some good food, some good wine, a hot tub, and let’s have an unconference where we can both just recharge, partly by being in nature, partly by being surrounded by people who just get us.” But also bringing some of our thinking and we were thinking about having an unconference, how do we do this change thing better?
For me, it is one of the most important definitional traits about Catalysts is that burnout, we believe, has a higher frequency in the Catalysts community, for a number of reasons that we can talk about.
We’re constantly creating change in all parts of our lives. Particularly if you’re creating change in large organizations, the resistance that you get can actually lead to trauma, which can accelerate burnout. It’s something that we think about deeply with the Catalyst community because it’s a very real lived experience, and something that I have personally lived over and over again.
Tracey Lovejoy: From a research perspective, this was a loud one because, in my first few interviews, the frequency and depth of burnout was mentioned. It ties to this kind of purpose-led feeling of, “I have to engage in this thing that I’ve seen that can make the world better,” that sense of must, “I can’t not do this.”
As Catalysts, we charge really hard at the things that we want to create change, and we face the resistance that Shannon’s talking about. Then, inevitably, we end up charging so hard and not recharging, that we can get into the trough of burnout, which is impacted by other things that Shannon’s talking about, like trauma.
Then, I had my first interview with someone who is highlighted in the book, who talked about, “Well, my burnout isn’t that bad. Certainly, I have periods of it but I’m really mindful of my schedule, and even though I travel to another state several times a month, I have a yoga studio in both places that I’m really committed to visiting. I always try to be home when the girls get together, and we have a night where we just belly laugh and drink wine together.”
What she talked about becomes the foundation of what Shannon and I talked about, of having routines and having rejuvenation and having community, so that you can ensure that you’re really thinking about your energy level and, for us, it is a reframe. In the United States at least we have this term self-care that gets relegated to a sense of selfishness, that gets relegated to a weekend away once a year, and that’s not what Shannon and I are talking about.
We are talking about if you expend a lot of energy out there, and Catalysts do, you have to mindfully fill up that energy tank with equal measure, or you are going to get burned out, and if you’re burnt out, you’re not making any change. That tends to be the place that Catalysts can hear us because they are so drawn to making that change that, and they realize they’re no longer going to be really excellent leaders, they’re no longer going to be able to bring people along with them where they want to get unless they take that recharge time. They begin to see how integral it is into this purpose-led way of being.
Drew Applebaum: Are there other blind spots of Catalysts that you could talk about?
Shannon Lucas: That is such a painful question. Yes, Drew, there are. There are many blind spots that we have. I mean we think about Catalysts as superheroes. We really do. They’re doing herculean work to make the world a better place, to make everything around them better, and we have our kryptonite. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. Our speed, I mean if we think about the name of the book, our speed is a superpower, but it is also one of our biggest challenges because we get frustrated really quickly when people aren’t keeping up with us.
In that process, we forget to slow down and bring them along and make sure that they understand the vision that they are creating and their role in it. That speed itself can lead to burnout. I mean the speed also implies you are working 10 to 16-hour days because you are in the mania and in the thrill of solving this big wicked problem.
A big epiphany as we do these classes with people is that we think of ourselves and the data is there that we have a high emotional intelligence, and we can apply that intuitively, but we then sometimes forget to bring empathy into our relationships–what it must be like for other people in our lives, whether at work or at home, to have to become constantly exposed to the speed at which we move, the whiplash of iteration, and that can be really frustrating. If we don’t take the time to bring empathy, we can then create even more unnecessary resistance for ourselves, because we forgot to bring them along in the process.
It’s hard because we feel like, “Well, can’t everyone see this?” Tracey was saying this earlier, “Can’t everyone see this, this is so self-evident?” But what can happen is we’ll articulate a vision on Monday to our team. We’ll set them off in motion, and by Friday, we have gotten through three other iterations and we’ve forgotten that that first version ever existed. When they come back to us with what they were expected to deliver on Friday, we get frustrated because they’re like, “Well that’s not where I am. That is not where the vision is now.” So, I have a lot of empathy for people who are working with Catalysts right now.
Tracey Lovejoy: Well said.
A Whole Person
Drew Applebaum: So we have defined some of the superpowers. We’ve found the blind spots. What can a Catalyst do to support this newfound information that they find about themselves?
Shannon Lucas: Tracey, you want to take that one?
Tracey Lovejoy: Yeah, but I want to think–if you have a readymade answer, go. I am going to think about it for a second.
Shannon Lucas: I’ll start by saying we think and we do get feedback that the content that we have in places such as, we have an online community called The Galaxy, and the classes that we teach, is eliminating and helpful for Catalysts, but the feedback that we get universally is that Catalysts being in community together is one of the best ways that they can get support and thrive while working well.
We have people who come back repeatedly to the courses–and this happened to me too. Even when you know the information, these traits of being a Catalysts are so ingrained in us that, when you get back into the changed process, even though you know you’re supposed to slow down, even though you know you’re supposed to repeat the vision 20 million times, even though you know you’re supposed to bring empathy, we get wrapped up in the whirl of the mania of the beauty of solving big wicked problems.
I think, one, the community can be a recharge, but two, just continuing to come back to the content and the processes no matter where you are in the change process can be hugely helpful. It is something that I wish I had done over and over again.
Tracey Lovejoy: That was awesome. So, Drew, I think that there are lots of things that Catalysts can do to support themselves as they self-identify and begin to see their life with a new 20-20 vision. One of them I mentioned when you were asking about burnout, which is this notion of beginning to pay attention to energy exchange, that if you are expending a lot of energy, making sure that you are thinking about the way you are going to replace that energy.
Because once you move toward that dip of burnout, it takes us offline. It stops us from doing the thing that we feel driven to do. You know, I know Catalysts who end up with really serious health issues. I mean it is not just burnout. Burnout is such an easy word to make people feel tired, and really see how serious people get impacted when they are driving so hard, and they’re not paying attention to refilling that tank. Once you see it as an equation, it is much easier to begin to lean into.
So that’s number one. Number two, and I know Shannon is going to have great thoughts on this one, is we see the notion of mindfulness as being incredibly helpful for Catalysts. Not because we’re suggesting that you have to gain a sense of spirituality. Mindfulness can sometimes be relegated into this world that is outside of the business. For us what we are talking about with mindfulness is finding ways that you can calm your mind and be present in the moment, because our minds, as Catalysts, are always running, are always considering, are always iterating.
This is that inherent process that’s running inside of us, and when we do that and we are showing up to checkbox like, “Oh, I need to show the vision to this person, and I need to get the iteration to my team,” we aren’t stopping and paying attention to the cues that Shannon was talking about earlier. Did this person really get what I said? Am I noticing resistance that might be coming forward from them? Because if I can really be present in that moment, I might be able to turn someone who is uncertain, who is a fence sitter, into an absolute endorser in that moment, rather than finding out three months later that I haven’t really taken the time to help them understand.
The practices that we can embed to really help us be present in the moment support us to actually being much more effective in creating change, in shorter timeframes, even though it feels like we’re slowing down.
Shannon, anything to add on mindfulness?
Shannon Lucas: That was beautiful. I think the thing that I would build on that is that mindfulness, the constant practice of mindfulness, starts to give us the tools of self-awareness. It is being able to sense, starting on a physiological level, how we’re responding to a situation and listening to the deep intuition about what is going on in that exchange that Tracey was talking about.
The self-awareness becomes the platform for how I deal with other people. How I sense into the thing that I am trying to create change around. It gives us better sensing skills in general and obviously tracking our energy tank.
I think there is another importing thing here, which is also getting Catalysts to consider their whole life. So, when we think about those energy buckets and mindfulness, it is not just about how I do this one piece of change. In fact, Catalysts often have a day job and one or two side hustles.
So, it is having a really holistic view of, “Is my family relationship bucket full? Is my exercise bucket full? Is my volunteer bucket full?” All of the things that make us a whole person. That is one of the biggest shifts for Catalysts, because we can get so sucked into the thing that we are trying to create change around that we’ve become myopic and forget that we are a whole person, and if we don’t maintain the energy and mindfulness around all the aspect of our lives that’s what ends up leading to burnout.
Drew Applebaum: Now are there personality traits in others that will help to balance out the energy that Catalysts bring? If you have ten Catalysts in a boardroom, is that nine too many?
Shannon Lucas: Probably, maybe not nine too many but too many. Listen, what I’ve learned over the years, and I think this is true for everyone, when you do a strengths assessment and you’re building out a team or you are trying to find a team to work with, everyone should find a team that complements their skillset and the way that they show up in the world. There is a lot that we talk about the power of cognitive diversity right now.
It is interesting actually because, in my last role, I was so committed to this. I had this massive spreadsheet of all of the different types of attributes. I wanted extroverts and introverts, I wanted people who had design thinking skills and people who were technology makers. I really thought deeply about all of the different types of diversity that I want. It was funny because, on one team offsite, we had actually brought in a different personality assessment.
We realized there is a type called, “the finishers completers,” and we realized on my executive team I had no finishers completers. So, there is a danger in having too many Catalysts there, and I think, for me personally, and we can talk about this, there is also a range of catalyticness. I am on the hyper-catalytic side. Tracey with her research background is a little bit more considered, which is a great balance for me, but I am so hyper-catalytic that I often need three people around me to keep the wheels on the bus.
I need an admin, I need a VP of operations, I need a chief of staff to put the frameworks around to make sure that that translation is happening back to my team and the rest of the organization.
Drew Applebaum: Now at the end of the book and on your website, you actually have really helpful resources for readers. Can you tell us what’s included there?
Shannon Lucas: We created this list for people to think about and some prompts for people to think about either how to engage their current boss or, as they are looking for new roles, how to find a role where they will be successful. I thought that they had this figured out in times past but there are things that I now know are super important. First of all, anyone who is self-identifying as a Catalyst now has a framework from which they can articulate what their superpowers are and where they will need support.
So, that is a great starting place. I mean anyone with that level of awareness, regardless of what personality type you show up as, that can be super helpful. One of the big things though that we found out, people are like, “How do I find the best place to be my true Catalyst self? What are the conditions that will help me thrive?” And one of the biggest things that we have seen that organizations can help Catalysts with is by providing psychological safety.
Google wanted to look at how high performing teams and what are the attributes of high performing teams? Number one on their list, not accidentally, is psychological safety. As Catalysts, you are almost always bringing in divergent thinking, and it is often controversial the more catalytic you are, the bigger the problem is. While organizations may think that that’s what they want, is there really a safe place to bring the new insights? Is it going to cannibalize existing revenue?
Is it going to piss off customers? Because those are the things that start to turn on the corporate immune response system, that’s what turns on the resistance, and that’s okay. That’s going to happen, but does your boss or your team or the CEO recognize that that is part of the process, and are they going to create a safe environment for you to bring those ideas, to have a healthy discussion about how the organization is going to respond?
So, that is part of what we are getting at in that checklists with the bosses, “Look, I might burnout because I am going to work hard. I am going to be provocative. I am going to move fast and are you going to have my back when things start to get really hard.”
Tracey Lovejoy: What she said.
Drew Applebaum: Shannon, hitting it out of the park today, Tracey too. Now, what are some of the best ways to create connections for Catalysts with other Catalysts?
Shannon Lucas: Tracey?
Tracey Lovejoy: If people sit in organizational contexts, we do find that Catalysts, once they understand that this is a thing and they begin to self-identify, they can see the other Catalysts around them. I would suggest, if you are in an organization and you can spot them, go and talk to them. Introduce this concept to them, have a fun coffee break talking about the ways that you like to create change, or maybe stories of when you have been called the disruptor.
Those can be both painful but also really fun. You know, those terms, disruptor and troublemaker, we wear as a badge of honor, and sometimes they come with some shame or some difficult memory. Being able to connect with other people just at that level, once you have spotted them, is great. If you don’t have them if you are a solopreneur, an entrepreneur and you are not seeing these people around you, they are not in your family unit, this is a great reason to come connect with Catalyst Constellations.
We see, as a primary need, this is a thing that brought Shannon and me together, to get that group of people together that Shannon and I to gather and so we have started this online community, The Galaxy, The Catalyst Galaxy, specifically for Catalysts to be able to come together in community, and meet one another, and be in the conversation.
We make it really easy to engage because we have all kinds of different ways you can engage. You can come to a speed networking to meet people. You can come to an event like learning how to write so that you don’t have to directly sit and network if that is not for you. You can post or you can read the posts and it is just this way of feeling seen and connected that we find that has been literally life-changing for several people. What am I missing Shannon?
Shannon Lucas: I would just build on that last spot, if you think you are a Catalyst, come in and join. The thing that is almost the most rewarding for me in all of the work that we do is, almost on a weekly basis, we have someone who just breaks down in tears of relief because, as a Catalyst, you spend so much time being isolated. You spend so much time running up against the resistance within the organization. When people see and understand you, it is this massive relief and people develop really deep connections really quickly because of it.
Drew Applebaum: I have one more question and it has to do with the title of your book, Move Fast, Break Shit, Burnout. Why did you choose this title?
Tracey Lovejoy: Thank you for that question Drew, one of my favorites. So, the notion of Move Fast, Break Things, Break Shit comes from the tech sector, right? Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook made this famous back in 2009, I think, this notion of in the technology world, if you aren’t moving fast and kind of throwing things out there and breaking shit so that you can make it better, you are not doing it right.
For us, for Shannon and I, and a lot of the folks that we are working with are in service of innovation, are in service of making everything to date, ready for the uncertain future.
So that same ethos comes from being able to build the future alliance, but we are not a fan of breaking the shit as you do it, and this has become a topic. We’re not the first to say that, but what the book is trying to help people see, those of us that naturally lean in as Catalysts, to making the world better, is that you can still move fast but mindfully. So, you are not breaking the relationships around you, so you are doing it in a way that is far more sustainable for you and for others.
That creates a change that really can last, and you can do it in a way that you don’t suffer those burnouts cycles. You don’t have to sacrifice yourself in the process of moving fast.
Shannon Lucas: I would just add that those are all the deep and very true reasons why we did it. We also just like to have fun and not take ourselves too seriously, and we think of ourselves as kind of corporate punk rockers as you will. So, you know, it fits our personality.
Drew Applebaum: Amazing, thank you. Now writing a book is no small task, so congratulations to you two.
Tracey Lovejoy: Thank you.
Drew Applebaum: Yeah, this has been such a pleasure. I am excited for people to check out the book. Everyone, the book is called Move Fast, Break Shit, Burnout and you can find it on Amazon. Now, besides checking out the book, where can people find you?
Shannon Lucas: The best place to drop in and connect with us is The Catalyst Galaxy, which is the online community. So galaxy.Catalystconstellations.com and we’d love to meet you and see you there.
Tracey Lovejoy: Shannon and I are pretty active ourselves, so it is an easy way to connect with us directly.
Drew Applebaum: Well Tracey, Shannon, thank you guys for coming on the podcast today.
Shannon Lucas: Thank you, Drew.
Tracey Lovejoy: Thank you, Drew, it’s so fun.