Insights At The Edge Podcast: Your Immunity to Change and How to Overcome It with Lisa Lahey

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Lisa Lahey Insights At The Edge Podcast

Have you ever tried to make an important change in your life, only to discover that you had one foot on the accelerator and one foot on the brake?

I have certainly experienced that in my own life, and I bet it is fairly common.

The question is, What is that one foot doing on the brake? What unconscious investments might we have in not following through on an important change we say we want to make?

Dr. Lisa Lahey is on the faculty of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Along with fellow developmental psychologist and researcher Dr. Robert Kegan, she is the author of the groundbreaking book Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization.

Lisa Lahey is also one of the featured business trainers in Sounds True’s new Inner MBA program, a nine-month immersion being produced in partnership with LinkedIn, Wisdom 2.0, and MindfulNYU to train business professionals on how to release their own highest potential and the highest potential of their organizations.

I am utterly delighted that Lisa is part of the inaugural faculty for the Inner MBA program because I believe her work in discovering and overcoming our “immunity to change” is a critical insight into the process of personal and organizational transformation.

Unraveling Our Self-Protective Commitments

Have you ever worked with someone who got the same feedback from coworkers year after year about an area in which they needed to improve, and although the person might have acknowledged a commitment to change, the level of improvement year after year might seem so slow as to be glacial?

I have had that experience—with people I work with and most importantly with myself. As Lisa Lahey points out in this podcast, until we identify the unconscious self-protective commitments that are holding us back, we are unable to follow through on some of the most important changes we say we want to make.

In this podcast, Lisa and I talk about how our immunity to change is at the deepest level an anxiety management system, and how we can begin to loosen and dismantle its hold on us through becoming aware of our unconscious assumptions and testing out some new behaviors. We also discuss:
  • An example of applying the immunity-to-change process in the workplace by addressing the common issue of people saying they want to delegate more (and then not doing it)
  • The difference between making an “adaptive” change and a “technical” change
  • The courage it takes to explore our self-protective patterns
  • Why the ideal environment for growth is one where we are both supported and challenged


Click Here to Listen to Podcast


In the introduction to Immunity to Change, Lisa Lahey and Robert Kegan write about a medical study that showed that if heart doctors tell their seriously at-risk heart patients they will literally die if they do not make changes to their personal lives—diet, exercise, smoking—still only one in seven is actually able to make the changes. This is astounding to me! Obviously, if we are serious about the path of growth and transformation, we need to deeply appreciate and understand our immunity to change and how to overcome it. You can listen to the podcast here.

With love on the journey,

Tami Simon
Founder and Publisher, Sounds True

P.S. To learn more about the Inner MBA program, in which Lisa Lahey is a featured presenter, please click here. Our early admissions deadline for the program is March 26, 2020, and we would love to have you join us.

Tami Simon Sounds True Founder

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