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Jan Byars

Jan Byars

Jan Byars is the founder and president of LeadSync, LLC. After years of study and research, she believes an organization leader’s internal state is critical to leadership ability and ultimately affects the organization’s success. The philosophy that Leadership is Being and then Doing drives LeadSync’s unique approach to leadership development which can be applied across all levels, organizations and industries.

Learn more here.

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Professional Development

Friday, 22 July 2016 19:11 Published in Services

LeadSync's Conscious Leadership Development Program

Dr. Jan Byars offers a fully customizable 6-step "Holographic Leadership" program to lead your organization through diagnostics to effective management and proactive, conscious leadership while reducing the physical and mental stresses your staff encounters -- creating the "space" for positive, a sustainable culture change. 

Discovery - Assessing the Opportunities & Obstacles
Resiliency - Reducing Stress Levels
Boundaries - Taking the Easy Wins
Emergence - Expanding Perspectives
Practice - Aligning to new outcomes
Coalescence - Creating a Conscious Environment

Keynotes and Training Presentations Available on Specific Topics.
Conscious Leadership                                    Creativity and Innovation
Values-Based Leadership                              Emotional Intelligence
Leadership and Complexity                            Resiliency and Professional Boundaries
Developing Culture                                         Developing New Leaders
Ethical Decision Making                                 Succession Planning

Internal Shifts – the active step of change.

Monday, 18 July 2016 15:21 Published in The Blog

Thanks for following this process with me over the last few weeks.

We have been practicing relaxing our tense stance and allowing and we’ve explored the value of accepting what is now, (not resisting) so we have the capacity to change.  If you have been really practicing, you have already seen a shift in your thoughts and behavior because awareness is the first step in change.  Sometimes it is enough all by itself.

We tend to think change has to be big and hard, like quitting smoking.  But actually, change is more sustainable with smaller steps that get locked into our daily lives.

Here’s an example:  Let’s say you want to be healthier.  (Some of us have even had the experience where you go to the doctor and you are told to change your diet, exercise more and be less stressed.  Like that works!  It only makes you more stressed!!!!)

How would you begin with a project that seems so overwhelming?

With one tiny step!  For me, when I decided I want to be more organic, I switched my lipsticks.  It sounds a bit crazy, but I wear lipstick every day.  To make the change to organic lipstick only took one trip to the health food store and keeping the new lipsticks in my purse.  First step to change: done!  From there I built upon many more tiny steps, each with a very small amount of time and attention.

Let’s extrapolate this to a leadership situation. For example, to increase the level of engagement and creativity within your employees, appreciate (focus attention) on your employees as you walk down the hall.  Say, hello.  Comment in some positive way, and get out of your own head.  Build relationships.  Do this for two weeks and take note of the changes you observe.  What is the new level of engagement?  Have you seen a difference in the level of self-initiation?  What about creativity?  The single biggest criteria for these to emerge is a safe, relational environment.

Now it’s better if these steps aren’t ad hoc, but rather, part of a clear vision and an integrated plan, but you have to start somewhere.  This is how change works. It’s your internal state that has a LOT to do with what you see out there.

There are many, many small changes you can make.  Do one thing toward your goal every couple of weeks, and do it till it feels like it fits. Then, pick another one to build on.  If life takes over and you slip back, start again with the basic changes you’ve already accomplished and then add more layers.  (Life and change are both up and down processes.)

So let’s begin together.  

-  Jan

Find #LeadSync on Facebook, and #drjanbyars on Twitter and Instagram. 


People don’t change. (Especially when they are told that they can’t.)

Monday, 27 June 2016 14:40 Published in The Blog

We have all heard it before: people don’t change.  In fact, until about 20 years ago, we were told by authorities in the field that we couldn’t change. Scientists believed that the brain did not generate new cells after adolescence, and like our personalities, we were "locked in."   

However, we know now that the brain can create new connections -- it continues to generate new cells until the day we die.  The term for this is called: brain plasticity.

This new knowledge has been around less than a generation, and it's been in public awareness for maybe 10 years. The old thoughts about change are still ingrained, even if they're not true -- much like our patterns of thought.  

It's up to each of us to update our knowledge to be good leaders.

We now know that patterns of thought, habits if you will, are held in place by neuronets in our brains.  These are networks and connections between our brain cells -- like superhighways.  And just like our drive to work, we follow these pathways automatically, without thinking. Sometimes we even get there without any memory of actually driving.

Here is a visual example: Think of the biggest highway in your area.  How long could you drive on it, if all maintenance stopped?  Thinking the thought maintains the neuronet. Not thinking that way, stops the maintenance. These thought habits hold the key to changing behavior.  Change occurs first in our thoughts. All sustainable change reflects a change in our thinking.

Why learn new things? Because new knowledge creates new connections and new opportunities!  It creates the possibility to shift thoughts and behaviors to increase success.  

There are simple ways to change the physiology that hold these old patterns in place. For example, EFT (Tapping) and HeartMath.  HeartMath can actually be done while you walk down the hall.  These practices even have "side effects" that IMPROVE your health!

Wait, there is more! It takes only a few weeks to affect real change.  A business leader's dream – low cost, clear ROI – all in 6 months!  So why are we not practicing these techniques?

Oh, that’s right. We still believe we can’t change.

- Jan

Find LeadSync on Facebook, and drjanbyars on Twitter and Instagram.

Be the Change (Or Grow Up to Show Up)

Monday, 02 May 2016 14:11 Published in The Blog

Harvard Business Review recently posted an article about how you can’t change culture. And, from a "command and control leadership" perspective, this is true.  You can’t command a change -- any change really -- and have it be sustainable.  “Do as I say and not as I do” just doesn’t work. 

Even before the canon of leadership literature made a shift to values-based leadership, Gandhi demonstrated how to change culture.  In his case, it was the culture of India.  He summed it up beautifully:  Be the Change you wish to see in the world.

With command and control leadership, the leader acts as though he is not part of the organizational system s/he leads -- acting disembodied from the system they wish to change. 

Why doesn't that approach work? The science on how it is impossible to be outside a system has been around for more than a century, beginning with Einstein.  We are all part of the systems we lead.  Cultural change begins with internal change of its leaders’ (whether they hold formal or informal positions).

Ken Wilber talks about Waking Up, Growing Up and Showing Up -- doing the work necessary to lead a conscious business or any organization beyond the constrictive boundaries of traditional command and control.  "Waking up," is the consciousness piece -- becoming more aware of, and understanding our interconnection.  "Growing Up" is the psychological development, the essential maturity, which is critical for all leaders.  It is impossible to "Show Up" without these two processes in place. An organization’s culture aligns itself from the psycho-spiritual development of its leadership. 

Choosing and shaping the culture of your organization begins with knowing your own capacity for leadership, not your skill level, but your psycho-spiritual capacity. 

- Jan

Find LeadSync on Facebook, and drjanbyars on Twitter and Instagram.

Lisa Meece

Monday, 02 May 2016 13:53 Published in About Us

Lisa Meece has spent the last 20 years working to improve organizational performance. She’s been effective in a wide range of industries from food and customer service to rocket science and brain surgery. She has worked as a consultant both inside and outside of organizations, and in 2010 she founded the Learning Architect Group, focused on designing learning interventions for organizations.

As a learning designer, Meece focuses on shortening learning curves for her clients. Sometimes it's about interpersonal interaction, sometimes it's about simulating experiences in a safe environment, sometimes it's simply about providing performance support to improve outcomes. It's always about working with the stakeholders and making sure the approach meets the needs of the organization.

Karen Friss

Monday, 02 May 2016 13:42 Published in About Us

Before she retired, Karen devoted her 30 year career at Eli Lilly and Company (pharmaceuticals) to helping get better medicines to patients faster through assignments of increasing responsibility in finance, information technology, human resources, corporate strategy and public affairs. Her last 14 years at Lilly included leading the company’s global public policy function, providing staff support for the Lilly Board of Directors Public Policy and Compliance Committee, developing the corporate affairs strategy for Lilly Research Labs, and serving on the company’s Bioethics Committee. Karen’s non-profit Board experience includes six years on the Board of the David A. Winston Health Policy Fellowship based in Washington D.C. 

Karen has a BS in Economics, and MBA from UCLA, and a Certificate in Non-Profit Executive Leadership, Indiana University, Center on Philanthropy. She has two college age children and enjoys traveling and mentoring.

Relax and Allow

Wednesday, 20 April 2016 17:18 Published in The Blog

Stress and Conflict can shut you down. They overwhelm your nervous system and make you more reactive.  Yet, these dynamics are considered so normal at work that they’re almost considered a natural condition -- as if there’s no choice.  This stress is actually part of The Crazy that most of us live in. 

The Crazy is the onslaught of information and activity surrounding us.

But if stress and conflict are not the Truth, but only a choice that has been habitually made, how do we choose again?  How do we step out of The Crazy? 

Step one: allow and accept.  This appears counterintuitive, but you can’t step out of something that you’re resisting.  Stress and conflict are often conditions of your life, but they are not the only option.  When you stop resisting these conditions, you automatically reduce your stress.  As you continue to allow, and observe, you’ll reduce your participation in the conflict.  Both of these choices allow you to reset your autonomic nervous system and transition to a more calm state.  As you become calmer, you begin to see alternative solutions and actions that are in line with a more balanced workplace.  And in the process, the positive feedback loop continues to emerge.

So relax and allow.  Soften you position to the stress and conflict. Remember to breathe as you walk down the hall, drop your shoulders and consciously relax your muscles.

It changes your mental status, your physiology, and your capacity to lead.  So, as you find yourself walking down the hall, full of tension and stress… simply soften and allow.  This does not mean roll over. It means relax, take in a bigger picture, and allow yourself to respond from a calmer place.

It’s these tiny micropractices, small changes in your thoughts and behavior, that change your life right where you are.

- Jan

Find LeadSync on Facebook, and drjanbyars on Twitter and Instagram.

Holding the post – ‘Doing Good’ right where you are.

Monday, 29 February 2016 22:46 Published in The Blog

One of the tenets of yoga is do what you can do - show up and do your best, each day.  It is not about competition. It’s one of the few places that actively recognizes how much performance varies from day to day. I have done it long enough to see a big difference, especially in a morning class.  I am not a morning person.  But what I do know is that overall, showing up makes me stronger. When I get lost in my head about whether this is a good day or a bad day, I waste attention on something I have no control over. 

This is similar to the concept of Holding Steady discussed by Ron Heifetz. A leader has to show up, and present in the clearest manner possible.  Some days are good, some not so much.  But showing up, changes the outcome, and makes your team stronger, makes the outcome more likely. 

One of my spiritual thought leaders, Cynthia Bourgeault refers to this as Holding the Post.  Show up as clear and strong as you can each day.  Hold your intention and your attention, don’t get lost in judging each and every thing that occurs.  This changes your physiology and it strengthens habits in the direction of your intention.  It’s done quietly; it is not about making a show. 

My favorite coach, Bill Self, says it a bit differently, play fast, but don’t rush. Bring your conscious attention to your activities, be present, and act with clarity.

Conscious, mindful leadership starts right where you are. How do you bring meaning to your work? How often do you show up?

- Jan

Find LeadSync on Facebook, and drjanbyars on Twitter and Instagram.

How to stop war, Peace Is

Friday, 29 January 2016 17:10 Published in The Blog

How to stop war, Peace Is.

It's been fun to watch the growth of Benefit Corporation states and B-Certification companies --  a 20% increase in 2015. This is definitely, a clear and growing trend in business today.

Benefit Corporations/B-Certified companies place an emphasis on societal change: parity with profit. They make a commitment to do no harm to the earth and to support their communities.  One of the main intents of B-Corps is to effectively reduce greed.  More and more people are asking of their work, “Is this doing good? Is it adding value?”  Benefit Corps are on the fast track to attract and to keep the best and brightest talent.

Assessing an organization's impact is the kind of self-reflection that I am always talking about in this blog.  Aligning what you are doing with who you choose to be.

There is, however, an even deeper way to look at benefiting society -- a benefit that may not even meet the criteria for a B-Certification and it is actually more important.  It is about adding peace.  How do we do that?  By not participating in the war within your own organization -- passive-aggressive behavior, the nasty gossip and thoughtlessness. These too, are part of the greed cycle. The greed of power.

Our thoughts and behavior actually affect those around us. Think about the resources, the energy, and the attention, that could be focused on productivity if the infighting didn't exist... if the workplace was a mindful, collaborative place where we realize we are interconnected.

After all, what IS the net effect of feeding the children, when we're stabbing our co-workers in the back?

- Jan

Find LeadSync on Facebook, and drjanbyars on Twitter and Instagram.

Winter’s call: No strong branches without deep roots

Monday, 25 January 2016 19:51 Published in The Blog

Recently, I was hiking in the woods and came upon a large fallen tree.  The roots were exposed and I took a minute to really look at what it took to support such a large tree.  The roots were massive; they were at least as big as any of the branches.

It struck me, how deep and sustaining the roots really are.  How necessary for a strong tree.

In business, we tend to evaluate our success by the length of our branches and the fruit that they bear. We look for quick business cycles and fail to look at our roots. Of course, there's nothing wrong with finding the "perfect opportunity" that allows for fast growth and good profit.  However, focusing solely on this "quick fix" impairs our judgment.

Winter is historically a time to look within, to hibernate and move deeper -- to get to the "root" of things in order to strengthen your foundation and prepare for sustained growth. 

Remember: no one gets to start with the harvest. An orchard's crop begins with immense preparation: soil, seed, roots. 

What is the state of your organizations’ roots? There is an implied interconnection in our roots, a network of support. 

- Jan

Find LeadSync on Facebook, and drjanbyars on Twitter and Instagram.

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