Engineer, Consultant, and CEO Sabrina Moon: The Mistake of Using Shame as a Leadership Tool

Engineer, Consultant, and CEO Sabrina Moon: The Mistake of Using Shame as a Leadership Tool

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Joining me for Episode #35 of “the My Favorite Mistake” podcast is Sabrina Moon, founder & CEO of the Problem Solving Institute. She's an engineer and a certified Dare to Lead™ facilitator.

Today, we talk about her favorite mistake of using shame as a leadership tool, and we discuss what we were exposed to in our early days at General Motors — the “command and control” leadership style (as Jamie V. Parker brought up in Episode #8). How did Sabrina learn to become more self aware about her leadership style and the impact it had? What was the transformation process that she went through? Sabrina also shares what she has learned from Brené Brown about leading.

You can listen to or watch the episode below. A transcript also follows lower on this page. You can also hear more from Sabrina on my friend Paul Critchley's “New England Lean Podcast.”

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Her Favorite Mistake? "Using shame as a tool in my leadership roles in corporate America, in the midst of business transformation."

"We're learning a lot of new information now about emotions — and shame is an emotion. And, but we're learning a lot about that and how it shows up in our workplaces — and how it impacts our leadership skills."

"We use shame and the fear of shame to motivate, but I think in an unhealthy way. I would utilize shame because it was the last tool in my toolbox and I was desperate. Like I needed results. I didn't want to wait."

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Automated Transcript (May Contain Mistakes)

Mark Graban (0s):

Episode 35, Sabrina Moon, CEO of the Problem Solving Institute.

Sabrina Moon (7s):

I would show up in the places that I was leading, was like a hammer. In fact, I earned that nickname.

Mark Graban (17s):

I'm Mark Graban. This is My Favorite Mistake. In this podcast you'll hear business leaders and other really interesting people talking about their favorite mistakes because we all make mistakes, but what matters is learning from our mistakes instead of repeating them over and over again. So this is the place for honest reflection and conversation, personal growth and professional success. Visit our website at and now on with the show. Hi, welcome to My Favorite Mistake. I'm Mark Graban. We're joined today by Sabrina Moon. She is the founder and CEO of the Problem Solving Institute like me.

Mark Graban (1m 0s):

She's an engineer. Unlike me, and I think this is really cool. She's a certified Dare to Lead Facilitator and that's based off of the work of Brené Brown. Is that right?

Sabrina Moon (1m 10s):

Yes. It is glad to be here.

Mark Graban (1m 12s):

Yeah. Well thank you for being here and really looking forward to your story and the conversation that we're going to have afterwards Sabrina. So I guess we'll, we'll jump right in. What would you say is your favorite mistake?

Sabrina Moon (1m 27s):

So when I thought about this question, the list was long, but the shortest answer is using shame, using shame as a tool in my leadership roles in corporate America, in the midst of business transformation or, you know, and then some so using shame as a tool.

Mark Graban (1m 50s):

So is there a particular story that comes to mind that kind of helps illustrate the situation where let's say maybe something went wrong? How did you react as a leader where shame was part of it?

Sabrina Moon (2m 2s):

You know, this is there's lots of stories and lots of instances and I'm, and I'm going to share that before we came into this space, I listened to Jamie Parker's interview with you, which was, which was awesome. I need to take her for virtual coffee. She's my people. So listening to her, talk about a recovering command and control leader, like immediately. I was like, yeah, aren't we all in some ways, especially if, you know, we've been leading in lean spaces or in manufacturing spaces, for sure. Right. So when I think about command and control, that's definitely how I was taught to lead.

Sabrina Moon (2m 42s):

And when I think about that, I was taught by leaders and mentors who absolutely were passing on the baton to me and doing the best that they can. So as I tell these stories and this story in particular, it'll be hard for, but the only way that we can really understand what I mean by using shame is to just go there. Yeah. So oftentimes when I think about command and control, it was for me, usually a, an intolerance for connecting with people and an intolerance for vulnerability or vulnerability in general. So the way that I would show up in the places that I was leading was like a hammer.

Sabrina Moon (3m 26s):

In fact, I earned that nickname hammer. Yeah. But you know, you and I share General Motors in common. I don't know if you knew that. Okay.

Mark Graban (3m 35s):

Yeah. That, so when you, when you say you were taught that that resonates with me, because if I wasn't careful, that's what I was going to be taught. And I rebelled against that and, you know, kind of from the beginning, but you know, there's no shame in following what examples being set for you in an organization.

Sabrina Moon (3m 54s):

Exactly. So, and that's the thing, like what, what we're being taught as leaders that was leadership at the time. And we're learning a lot of new information now about emotions and shame is an emotion. And, but we're learning a lot about that now and how it shows up in our workplaces and how it impacts our leadership skills. And we're also learning, this is new, like self-awareness skills. They are lacking in our leadership, in our organizations. And we're, we just don't know what we don't know. So, you know, reflecting back a little bit on Jamie's story and what I really appreciated in her story was the self-awareness piece. So she, she talks through how a mentor had.

Sabrina Moon (4m 37s):

She had said to her, how's that working for you? And she was like, Oh my gosh, you know, I have to reflect back on how this is working for me. I applaud that skill and being able to be curious. So when I think when I think about my missteps and using shame specifically, I think about a business transformation that I was leading in a small community. And it was really to save this organization from bankruptcy. The plant was facing bankruptcy. And I remember working 16 hours a day. I remember when I first walked into this plant, there were no, there were no stripes on the aisleway. I didn't know where you could walk or not be.

Sabrina Moon (5m 20s):

So like when you walked in, you didn't know if you were going to get nailed by a Ford truck or not. So in the midst of that transformation, there was a lot of stress, a lot of pressure, a lot of fear about people losing their jobs. And there were about three of us who had the skills, some that we, that we learned from General Motors that some elsewhere to be able to transform this plant. And I would stand frequently out of the final line. And I would have my, I think I used my cell phone at the time to capture cycle time. And we just could not get the rate we needed. We couldn't get finished goods out the door and the time that we needed and I would use shame and the fear shame to keep those people in line.

Sabrina Moon (6m 7s):

And what I mean by that is I would say things like, what is wrong with you? You suck, you're an idiot or things like, suck it up. Here's what you need to be producing at the end of the line. And you're not, this has to be your fault because every time I'd take some times on the line, this has nothing to do with the equipment. It has everything to do with you. When I reflect back about those statements, those are not problem it's. Those are moments of me using shame in a way that was motivating that team temporarily. But it was also corroding trust and creating an environment where people felt the need to, you know, come out, swinging toward me.

Sabrina Moon (6m 53s):

So, yeah. And in that specific example, I didn't know what, I didn't know though, Mark, like I thought that that was leadership because I was taught to use that type of language.

Mark Graban (7m 3s):

Right. And that's why, you know, you, you might feel bad about it, but I won't shame you individually again, for, for having modeled what was being taught to you explicitly. And through example, I'm sure in that environment.

Sabrina Moon (7m 18s):

Right. For sure. So even when we reflect back on your career and if we were to think of those moments, when shame was being used in the industries that you were leading, it was standardized and, and normal. So yeah. And it was a reflection of leadership at the time. Okay. So now that, when we think about that story and it took me some time to look back and do my own type of self continuous improvement, if you will, and my own leadership transformation, I had no idea though, that the reason I was behaving in that way yes. I thought it was because of how I was taught.

Sabrina Moon (7m 60s):

But honestly, I didn't understand that I was in shame. Hence the reason I was using shame. So let me unpack that a little bit. Yeah. So when we, when we say the word shame, it is considered the primitive master emotion that we all experienced, but none of us want to talk about it. And when we think about Brené Brown and her research, she's really been the go-to person regarding emotions and emotional literacy for leaders. And she really helps us understand vulnerability and shame and shame is that emotion essentially, that we feel when we feel something about us as inherently flawed, broken, or unworthy of belonging.

Sabrina Moon (8m 45s):

And it shows up in our workplaces, something fierce because people are there. So when we think about that emotion and what it means for us, we have to understand how we behave when we're in that emotion. And this is where like self-awareness skills come in. So when I think about shame, there are three pattern ways that we behave when we're hooked by something like shame or really any tough emotion, we either use shame against people. So we become defensive or we like come out emotionally swinging, or we go into people-pleasing behavior. So when we're in shame, then we seek to make sure everybody's taken care of. And lastly, we withdraw and hide out from people when we're in shame, we disappear.

Sabrina Moon (9m 30s):

Right. So when I said, like I was using shame against this team, it was because I was a chain. That was absolutely true. That was a point in my life where I was struggling with the amount hours I was working and also struggling to take care of it, a sick mom with cancer. And when I would come into work, I would come in so ticked off because we still hadn't made any progress. We were still losing money. People's jobs are still going to have disappeared. And I didn't know how to do that differently. Sorry. My doorbell is ringing. That's like the worst time,

Mark Graban (10m 11s):

Generally mistakes that just happen.

Sabrina Moon (10m 14s):

But the doorbell. Yeah. Like it was here COVID times nobody's come. So yeah, I, I would frequently come into that plant frustrated because we hadn't made any progress and the changes we had committed to implementing the day before weren't implemented. So I was deeply feeling shame and I would offload my shame and my crap on to other people. So it became really easy for me to tell people that they were idiots and that no matter what they did it wasn't going to be right. So yeah, it was using shame to fight. Shane was my common go-to in the workplace.

Sabrina Moon (10m 56s):

So yeah.

Mark Graban (10m 58s):

Well, I mean, that totally reminds me of, you know, back when I was at General Motors. So I worked there right out of college, it was '95 to '97, very traditional command and control leadership. There are a couple of them that I would really, the, the word bully comes to mind very quickly. And you know, the number two leader at our plant, you know, it was notorious every single day we would do this production review meeting between first shift and second shift. And we, and we have these kind of internal consultants that have been hired from Toyota suppliers and one was from Nissan and they said, well, you need to track your hourly production and we'll do this daily review.

Mark Graban (11m 43s):

Well, you know, you know, you, and I would not realize Sabrina the intent of a meeting like that is to just give visibility to where the issues are and to direct resources and to do problem solving a constructive way. Well, that meeting became, you know, that data told this guy, Bob basically, who he needed to yell and scream at the most, which was not the intent of what any of this data or this review was supposed to be. And there's a couple of us, we would have like these old side wagering pools for a dollar, like, which word is Bob going to say first? And I think this is shaming language. There would be, you know, he was bullying and there would be cursing. It would be calling people out in front of others.

Mark Graban (12m 23s):

But the, the ways you would always be, which word is Bob going to use first urgency or intensity, because those were the two things in Bob's mind that was lacking, like clearly that department or the plan as a whole was struggling only because people didn't care enough or they didn't try hard enough. And that was just predicting.

Sabrina Moon (12m 43s):

Yeah, it is ridiculous because, you know, do we honestly think for a minute? So when we think back about our careers and you've talked to a lot of leaders, you've seen a lot of things. When we think back about our careers, do we honestly think that people got up that morning saying, you know what, I'm going to completely screw everything up that I can today. And I want to make sure that I let Mark and Sabrina down as much as I can because I suck. I mean, no, like people are not wired like that. So, you know, the, the lacking self-awareness that we bump into sometimes, you know, somewhat a lot of our really yucky, ineffective leadership is absolutely happening outside of our self-awareness.

Sabrina Moon (13m 30s):

So, you know, it is up to us to dig in and get curious. And that's the hard part. That's the part that requires vulnerability to look within, to be able to say, okay, what do I own in this so that I can understand how I show up differently. Right. So with that said, I, I remember, I remember getting to that point of having to ask for feedback about how I was showing up. And that was tough.

Mark Graban (14m 4s):

Who are you asking for feedback your employees or…

Sabrina Moon (14m 7s):

No. Well, yes, eventually it got to the point, but I was asking a leader that I respected, like, feel like I keep bumping into this thing that I don't know what it is and I want to do this differently. I'm not really sure how, and I remember his feedback at the time was, you know, what, Sabrina, you come at people assuming that they are doing their worst, assuming that they are trying to intentionally screw some things up. And it was like, I don't want to come at people at all. That's not who I am. So, you know, how do I do this differently? And that started the, really the transformation of five-year transformation process of unpacking, shame, how it showed up for me, how I could learn to do things differently.

Sabrina Moon (14m 57s):

How could I approach anyone regardless if it was a business transformation from a place of, I believe they're doing the best that they can and hold them accountable at the same time. Right. So that's where understanding shame and shame, resilience skills really kind of saved my professional career. Do, do I still screw things up? I mean, yes, sure. Yeah.

Mark Graban (15m 24s):

Well, if something's become a habit that can be really hard to break

Sabrina Moon (15m 30s):

For sure. For sure. Because you know what, we, we have seen results when we use shame

Mark Graban (15m 37s):

Or at least in the short term, for sure. I was going to ask earlier, like when you said, well, you know, it was, it was motivating. Like, what was it, motive? I mean, was it wasn't really motivating or if it was, is it just not sustainable?

Sabrina Moon (15m 52s):

Yeah, it's definitely. So we use shame and the fear of shame to motivate, but I think in a, in an unhealthy way, it's, for me, I would utilize shame because it was the last tool in my toolbox and I was desperate. Like I needed results. I didn't want to wait. And I knew if I would talk to people using shaming language, they would move physically move and get things done. So in my mind, I made the decision that it was motivating at what cost though, when I started seeing that team members did not trust me.

Sabrina Moon (16m 38s):

And there was a lot of what we call back-channeling happening as a result, which was, you know, talking about each other and not to each other. So we couldn't really do any effective problem solving because there wasn't any trust. And then, then you started seeing apathy set in and exhaustion and all the other things that come as a result. So somebody has to go first to change that. And it's not them. Yeah.

Mark Graban (17m 4s):

Well, I was going to ask, you know, you mentioned earlier saying a lot of times, or too often leaders are not self-aware I was going to ask him, what was the moment where you realized like, something clicked and like, okay, this is not effective. Was it that you, I think you already alluded to it, was it, that was it that feedback? And if so, maybe to elaborate on that, I mean, there there's risks that that movement didn't happen. Like how would your career have progressed differently without that?

Sabrina Moon (17m 34s):

You know, a great question. When I think about the one X, I was promoted often and quickly in the roles that I was in and, you know, there's a chance I could have been promoted more, but there definitely I can guarantee that I would have not, you know, promoted from within, I wouldn't have felt good about me because there was often that feeling of something isn't right. And I feel like I'm the common denominator. So I was feeling worse and worse and worse as I was earning more and more and more and getting bigger titles and responsibilities. So with that said, I think, I think had I not learned that things would have been drastically different probably with, you know, some walking papers along the way.

Sabrina Moon (18m 29s):

And I'm grateful that I had that moment of help me understand, you know, what is it within me that's not working well. And then once I got the courage and the practice to step into those types of conversations and get more and more feedback, I started getting better at it. And that I really started looking with it.

Mark Graban (18m 50s):

What I hear you saying is that there was a, in different words, like sort of just th this, this, this discomfort of like, well, like, and trying to unpack and figure out what was causing the discomfort, which I guess led to the request for feedback and then realizing, correct me if I'm wrong. You know, what I hear you saying is, you know, recognizing a gap between how I'm acting or who am I, who I'm being at work versus who I am, or who I want to be, that, that, that, that built up and led to you asking for that feedback, I guess it wasn't just a chance occurrence.

Sabrina Moon (19m 27s):

Yeah. I absolutely felt there was a huge gap between who I was and how I was leading and some of the messages and expectations around who I needed to be as a leader. I often struggled with how, how kind and how much I should care about the people I was leaving meeting. Like, should I actually care how well they're doing? Should I, should I understand what's happening in their lives? Or should I just drop the hammer on them? You know, that was a constant struggle between the two and I was misfiring and misaligned on a regular basis that I would go home and you could just, I could just feel it.

Sabrina Moon (20m 8s):

Yeah. And then I would never stop talking about work and how frustrating it was and how people wouldn't work with me in ways that I had hoped. So it was a golden opportunity for self-discovery and there was a lot of golden that failure,

Mark Graban (20m 27s):

But it's good. You took advantage of that opportunity for self discovery. And, and it sounds like you were getting that feedback. You weren't in denial about it, but you, you, it, you realized, yeah, that's that's happening and that can change.

Sabrina Moon (20m 44s):

Yeah. And I'm appreciative of the person who gave me because they didn't come at me from a place of you suck, you're an idiot. So they didn't use shame on me. They were able to step into, you know, a place of compassion and empathy and say, Hey, we might want to look at this. And I'll, I'll support you along the way for you to look at it. And then, you know, at that point it really started to unfold. And then I was able to get dive deeper into my own self-awareness skills and how I was showing up and asking people often, like, how was that for you? Where can I improve? Right. Yeah. It's the crux of what we do now, right?

Sabrina Moon (21m 26s):


Mark Graban (21m 28s):

What we do now. And, you know, it's interesting to look back and think about our own mistakes and growth and development. I just want to come back, you talked earlier, offloading the shame and kind of quick story back at you. Again, I'm thinking, I'm thinking of old Bob and was this kind of, kind of Chicago Saturday Night Live kind of accent that he, that he had kind of like one of the, of the super fans. And I remember when I was getting ready to get out of there and go to grad school, I felt a little bit more brave, basically like another engineer and I were in Bob's office and he was putting on a show.

Mark Graban (22m 8s):

He intentionally turned around, dialed the phone on the credenza, behind them, got it on speaker phone and just cursed and yelled and screamed at one of the production area managers that I supported as an engineer. And it was just one direction yelling and poor Todd was just well about, but just stamp, you know, Bob was just laying into him. So Bob got off the phone and I asked him some form of that helped me understand question, like, help me understand what was going on there. Well, how was that helpful? I don't remember the exact words, but I kind of challenged them, like, so w what's going on here? And then he basically went on to explain what you described as offloading the shame.

Mark Graban (22m 49s):

He said, basically, well, I yell at Todd because my boss called and yelled at me and his boss called and yelled at him. He basically traced it up and blamed the, the General Motors board of directors. I kid you not, I think he was basically saying like, that's just the culture here and okay, fair enough. I don't know how much tension he felt. Cause I almost heard him saying, well, this is what I'm expected to do, which is different than just saying, Oh yeah. I mean, he probably, wasn't going to say I love being a bleep hole, but I I'd be curious, you know, if I could go back in time and ask him, well, how comfortable does that behavior make you feel that might've been pushing it a bit too far?

Mark Graban (23m 30s):

I've gotten thrown out.

Sabrina Moon (23m 32s):

Yes. You know, and I think back about that too, Mark, I think, I think back about the moments, even when my boss or someone had approached me with shaming language, because you know, it, it happened a lot and you know, I didn't have the skills then to not only walk myself through really, I didn't have resilience skills to be able to understand what I was up against because I was not paid to feel at work. I was not paid to talk about emotions. I was paid, get, get it done at all costs. I was paid to think and do not to feel well, this was, this was the hard lesson.

Sabrina Moon (24m 13s):

Like I needed to learn how emotions were impacting my work. So did my bosses, but it wasn't up to me to carry my bosses stuff or to deal with their emotions. It was up to me though, to take care of me and then lean into the hard conversation if, and when it warranted itself, which I usually never did it not with senior leaders. Like if something was offloaded my way, it was my job to be the people pleaser at all costs. Like how can I make sure you're okay. And then I would drop the hammer and offload my shame, you know, under the teams I was leading, right. And even in class one, railroading, you know, that eight years of that work, that was pretty commonplace too.

Sabrina Moon (24m 56s):

And it, again, it got resolved, but the offloading, as I've learned is really what we do when we blame and shame when we are feeling uncomfortable and we're feeling pain. And when we don't have kind of an emotional language, then it's just easy behaviourally to cause pain for other people versus feeling our own and dealing with it. But you know, if I were to reverse time, I would love to be able to say exactly to your point to my bosses and to my leaders, Hey, you know, what's happening for you right now? Like, are you all right?

Sabrina Moon (25m 37s):

Like, it doesn't seem like you're right. And I'm not sure that this is going to be effective. Like what can I do right now? As opposed to, you know, taking the lash and you just need a break. Yeah. Yeah. But I didn't have those fields then, but yeah, we have them now, let me, we're getting better.

Mark Graban (25m 55s):

Yeah. And one other thing, just a, an aside, the thought that came to mind, you were talking about these manufacturing environments and this was more of, you know, somehow human dynamics and, and maybe this was what you learned through, you know, your study of Bernays Brown's work, which I only have the most superficial knowledge of myself. So, but in healthcare, this, this, this human behavior, it's so common, this shaming tendency, like people all throughout healthcare, they say, Oh right, yeah. Naming, blaming, and shaming that that's the norm it's and it it's, it's so dysfunctional and so harmful in so many ways, ends up being harmful to patients.

Mark Graban (26m 39s):

It harms the careers of, of people working in, in that, in that environment. That's pre COVID.

Sabrina Moon (26m 45s):

Right. And it's, I mean, I would ask, has it gotten worse since COVID? I mean, have you seen it didn't even

Mark Graban (26m 54s):

Well, because I'm not because I'm not, I haven't traveled for work in eight months. I don't have quite the insights firsthand that I had when I was traveling. But I mean, there's no shortage of news reports within industry news and even general news publications about how bad the burnout is in healthcare and how at their last, you know, they're, they're, they're, they've been overwhelmed and exhausted and you hear stories of people not being able to take a day off, you know, for how many weeks or months and pulling double shifts because colleagues are quarantined. I can't imagine it. I mean, I can't imagine it's gotten better, but I think there are positive examples where the culture has been positive to begin with and people are engaged and it's, it's less of that.

Mark Graban (27m 44s):

Top-down command and control style. I, you know, I imagine the, the, the health systems that have had that more participatory culture are doing better and I've heard reports of that, which is,

Sabrina Moon (27m 56s):

Yeah, for sure. Well, you know, I've been following your work for four years maybe now, and I'll, I'll never forget a conversation. You and I have had, I think on, on LinkedIn at some point, that's just really given me a lot of respect for what you do and how you're leading, and I'm gonna paraphrase this. You may or may not remember it, but I remember, I remember thinking we were talking about a lean transformation or something along the lines. And I remember you making a statement publicly that people are complex that, you know, it's not just so simple that we can apply a label on people.

Sabrina Moon (28m 39s):

Like, and I think your words were, I'm a chatty engineer, I'm a chatty engineer, or I'm a chatty introvert and like a, a social, I don't know, you gave me some dichotomies about, you know, people. And I dunno, I gave me a lot of respect for you because it helped me really start practicing, you know, a behavior where, where I'm committed to being a learner and getting it right. Versus being a knower and being right. And, you know, when we're under a lot of stress, including a pandemic or potentially on our worst behaviors. So, you know, sometimes we just, we just don't know about people.

Sabrina Moon (29m 21s):

We have to be willing to extend them some grace and then recognize when we need our own breaks. And you've been an example of that in our social media community, just so you know that.

Mark Graban (29m 33s):

Okay. Well, thank you. And I, maybe you use that word, grace, that's something I've tried to be better at during the pandemic, small example, Starbucks gets your drink, wrong stuff like that. Or I, you know, I'm not going to yell, it's not me to yell and curse and scream, but I, I mean, I, you know, it might be a matter of tone or look on my face where I let it be known that I'm upset. I try not to let stuff like that bother me. Cause back to that point of like, Oh, it's just a simple mistake. They can fix it. Yeah. What's the big deal. So I'm, I'm, I'm trying to be more gracious about situations like that.

Sabrina Moon (30m 15s):

Yeah, for sure. And I do think we're all doing the best we can. Yeah. Yeah.

Mark Graban (30m 20s):

Well, Sabrina, can you tell us a little bit more about, about the company that you founded, Problem Solving Institute, and it was spend a couple of minutes talking about the type of work you do, how people can contact you, but, but first off, how would you describe the Institute and the work that you do?

Sabrina Moon (30m 40s):

So, yeah, I started my business with the intent of really centering on process improvement and business transformation. So the consulting it's a, it's a consulting business. And the consulting work that I was primarily focused on was that, so there's this efficiency, operational excellence. And what I kept finding was that people were contacting me for leadership help. So help my team, my frontline workers, aren't talking to each other, there's no trust. So I kept being asked for that. And then I recognized that that was part of my niche, but then I also recognized that's really the core of what problem solving is.

Sabrina Moon (31m 23s):

Cause we, we can't do any of the transformation work until we have some level of trust and willingness to communicate. Right? So the crux of what I do now is a lot of leadership development work, a lot of dare to lead work. Part of Beneé Brown's work, obviously. So I help leaders and organizations develop self-awareness skills and have hard conversations. I skilled transformation work in the background. Yeah.

Mark Graban (31m 50s):

So that self-awareness can be developed. That's a good thing to hear.

Sabrina Moon (31m 53s):

It's a skill, it's a teachable skill.

Mark Graban (31m 57s):

I mean, imagine some of those difficult conversations might involve somebody being told they need to be more self-aware or, or how often is it someone coming to you saying, I individually need help versus an organization saying, Oh, these people need help.

Sabrina Moon (32m 13s):

You know, occasionally I will have a leader of an organization, you know, kind of point the finger and be like, it's my team, but not a lot. Usually leaders that reach out are often willing to discover things about themselves too. So they want to be a part of the process. So, and one of the really big things I'm proud of right now is doing work with law enforcement. So I work heavily with law leaders and they're very similar to operations leaders. Maybe that's a podcast for later, but you know, there's a lot in common

Mark Graban (32m 50s):

Of shaming or command and control. I mean, there is quite literally a rank command structure.

Sabrina Moon (32m 57s):

Yup. Yup. And they're in that 24/7 environment where, you know, they're on, so a lot of hypervigilance, same with oscillators. So, you know, there's a, there's a lot of similarities between those environments and what they do in public service. So there's opportunity for growth for them too, but it's, it's great work. Yeah.

Mark Graban (33m 21s):

That's very interesting. Well, great. Let's our guest again has been Sabrina moon. I want to mention first we're getting URLs and contact info is gonna mention the episode with Jamie Parker that Sabrina mentioned was episode eight. If you want to go back and find that you can find it in the podcast feed, or you can go to I also want to mention, to give a shout out because I really enjoyed the conversation. You had Sabrina with our mutual friend, Paul Critchley on the New England Lean Podcast. So I would encourage you if you want to hear, you know, a different conversation touches on some of the same points. But actually I heard that conversation and reached out to Sabrina and said, let's take a deeper dive into basically the, the, my favorite mistake you had brought up in Paul's podcast.

Mark Graban (34m 9s):

So thank you for doing that Sabrina and thank you for being open to coming on here and exploring that.

Sabrina Moon (34m 15s):

Thanks for the invite and for your leadership Mark. We appreciate you.

Mark Graban (34m 18s):

Well, thanks. And before we go, Sabrina, what's your website. How can people find you online?

Sabrina Moon (34m 24s):

You can find me the website is problem S I like problem solving Institute, but I'm on LinkedIn pretty heavily Facebook as another place to reach out and connect. Yeah,

Mark Graban (34m 41s): And again, thank you so much to Sabrina Moon, founder, and CEO of the Problem Solving Institute.

Sabrina Moon (34m 49s):

Really appreciate it.

Mark Graban (34m 51s):

Thanks for listening. I hope this podcast inspires you to pause and think about your own favorite mistake and how learning from mistakes shapes you personally and professionally. If you're a leader, what can you do to create a culture where it's safe for colleagues to talk openly about mistakes in the spirit of learning, please subscribe, rate, and review the podcast. Our website is See you next time.

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.