Transformative Power of Liminal Spaces with Rick Simmons

Struggles and change are constant in our lives, no matter how much we try to avoid them. We may not welcome them because of the pain and stress they bring. But, changing our mindsets and harnessing the power of liminal spaces can lead to significant change and tremendous success.

In this episode, we talk to Rick Simmons, the CEO of the telos institute, about liminal spaces and leadership. Our struggles can act as liminal spaces, allowing us to be more open to change. Learning to leverage liminal spaces will enable us to become better and attract the things that serve us, from life-changing events to small daily habits.

If you want to learn more about liminal spaces and how to harness their power to achieve transformation and success, listen to this episode!


Listen to Rick Simmons:

  1. Learn about liminal spaces and how to harness their power, leading to success.
  2. Find out how to leverage periods of discontinuity so you can transform and thrive.
  3. Discover the mindset of great leaders in balancing confidence and humility.

About Rick Simmons

Rick Simmons is the co-founder and CEO of the telos institute, a leading global organizational consulting firm. He's a seasoned coach and consultant who's spent more than a decade working with leaders at the top of organizations in optimizing their business and lives. 

Before founding the telos institute, Rick spent ten years in various senior strategy and sales leadership roles within the financial services industry. He's a sought-after speaker on achievement, resilience, and personal and organizational performance. He has also written a book with his wife, Amy, called Unleashed: Harnessing the Power of Liminal Space.

If you'd like to reach out to Rick Simmons, you can contact him on his website. You can also check out his podcast, unleashed.

Episode Highlights: Rick Simmons

[02:32] Rick Simmons' Calling

  • Rick is a trusted coach to some of the foremost leaders worldwide.
  • Many of his clients asked where they could learn more about what they were taught, so Rick Simmons wrote Unleashed.
  • Before writing the book, he felt that people needed a reference piece to find out how to manage and leverage disruptive periods.

[11:20] Leadership Ventures

  • Curated moments of disruption are known as a continuum of liminal intensives.
  • A leadership venture is one of the most immersive experiences on that continuum where they take leadership teams to different places.
  • These experiences are meant to be distinctive to test a person's edge.
  • People can access their inner wisdom and gain clarity through leadership ventures.

[15:00] The Liminal Space

  • The liminal space is a period of discontinuity that creates openness to change. 
  • Internal or external change can occur explicitly or implicitly. 
  • Listen to the full episode to learn how Rick set out on a quest to discover himself and the liminal space!
“At telos, we define liminal space as a period of discontinuity that creates an openness to change. Periods of discontinuity, a pattern breaking moment that disproportionately opens us up to other changes that may be possible.” - Click Heclickre to Tweet This

[24:23] The Spark of Course Correction

  • The spark of course correction doesn't have to come from significant, life-changing events.
  • There is a steady, predictable stream of renewable resources in our professional and personal journeys that we can leverage.
  • Parents shouldn't rob their children of the opportunity to face challenges.
“Our lives are filled with stories of overcoming those challenges, and I think that’s often the way that we learn: overcoming and confronting those challenges.” - Click Here to Tweet This

[30:52] Breaking Habits

  • Learn to acknowledge and honor your habits and patterns of behavior because they serve you on some level.
  • Make a list of the things that will be enduring to sort it from what can be changed.
  • If time and completeness aren't constraints, you can design your transformation path.

[37:09] How to Deal with Discontinuity

  • Liminal agility allows you to leverage disruptive moments.
  • Be creative about the small things you can do to see how minor changes can yield significant shifts in perspective.
  • Even if some experiences are difficult and painful, you can focus on the lessons learned instead.
“Be creative about small things they can do, precisely to your question, that can open their eyes to how small changes can yield big shifts in perspective and understanding.” - Click Here to Tweet This

[43:00] Learnings from Writing Unleashed

  • Rick and Amy were reminded that the telos institute was made possible by their vastly different yet complementary perspectives and skillsets.
  • Rick usually is the one asking questions, so being interviewed is a period of discontinuity.

[47:06] The Essence of Liminal Spaces

  • We're all the best versions of ourselves we can be at every moment.
  • It's unclear whether doing things differently in the past would have resulted in better outcomes; what matters is that you did your best.
  • When we're in the process of pursuing something, that's the essence of liminal spaces.
“When we’re too far into something to stop but yet not far enough into know how it’s fully going to play out, we learn a lot about ourselves there. For me, that’s the essence of liminal space.” - Click Here to Tweet This

[53:38] The Mindset of Great Leaders

  • Great leaders are confident in their own and their team's abilities.
  • Along with this assurance, they are also aware that they and their team cannot do it alone.
  • The belief in greatness within and needing others to succeed makes a great leader.
“It seems to me that the intersection of those two things—an enduring belief that greatness is within and it’s available to us and not shy about declaring that, and equally resolute that we cannot do it alone so we’ve got to go arming on—that seems to be the mindset that gets leaders in the right slot and gives followers what they want.” - Click Here to Tweet This

[56:12] the lowercase approach

  • The telos institute emphasizes a lowercase approach, as evidenced by its marketing.
  • It is a reminder that you are the source of the drive, creativity, and effort required to achieve your goals.

Wrap Up

Instead of allowing a period of discontinuity in your life to drag you down, harness its power. Have faith in yourself and your team; you won't be able to overcome obstacles independently. Use liminal spaces to achieve your objectives!

Enjoy the Podcast of Rick Simmons?

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About the Podcast

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Seek Go Create
Redefine Success in Leadership, Business & Ministry

About your host

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Tim Winders

Tim Winders is a strategic coach, author, and host of SeekGoCreate, a podcast, and YouTube interview show. He has worked in the areas of leadership, business, and ministry for almost 40 years. Tim was the guy that looked like he had it all: the big house in a Country Club resort, two businesses valued at over a million dollars each, plus over $15 million in real estate. But, in 2008, the real estate markets crashed. After a slow and painful erosion of his companies, he and his wife were bankrupt and homeless living out of their Honda van by 2013.

Fast forward to today. Tim and his wife are still homeless, but they consider themselves essential nomads. They live, travel, and work in their 39-foot motorhome while enjoying the best locations North America has to offer. Through this journey, he is convinced that we must redefine success in order to live our best life. This topic is what he has explored with his guests on the SeekGoCreate podcast since 2019.