John Lenhart is a teacher trainer and a synthesis modeler who has various models to address any kind of problem.
John Lenhart runs the highly impactful training program for teachers, called Instant Impact. The program was originally intended to provide mental wellness for educators. However, it has been proven to help anyone who wants to make a positive impact on the people they interact with on a daily basis. Instant Impact provides the best professional coaching to give an integrated look at the mind and brain’s role in all behaviour. In this episode, John talks at length about some of the most common as well as distinctive problems that teachers face all over the world. He provides deep insights from his experience of creating models as well as training many educators.
Following are the edited excerpts from the exclusive conversation Wonderpublish recently had with Mr John Lenhart:
Q. 1: Please tell us about your journey and specifically how you ended up with Flowcess.
Ans. I graduated from college with a degree in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. I worked for consumer products companies creating new products and formulating new and improved versions of existing products. I used “designed experiments” to achieve all of this under budget and on time. This ability to model became my focus.
Twenty-six years ago, my fourth consumer products company asked me to explain why people couldn’t smell their electric air freshener after 21 days when we could document the product worked for 45 days.
It took eleven models, but when I was able to answer the question the information was declared a trade secret. I was the only person in the world who had a model for how the human nose and brain are connected. I wasn’t allowed to speak to experts in the field.
When I looked closely at the data, I realized that everyone’s model for the human brain was backwards! I continued working on a model for the mind and the brain in my spare time. After ten years, I had a model that looked like a wiring diagram. The parts of the brain were labelled and there were about a hundred arrows.
I was working with three college students studying psychology from three different universities. One wanted to share my model at their symposium, so the professor wanted to meet with me.
When we met, I handed him the sheet of paper with the model for the mind and brain. He studied it for five minutes and then said, “I have two things to say. First, there is nothing on this page that we don’t know, however, I’ve never seen this on one page. Second, What you are doing is wrong. Stop working on this!”
The professor said science works from the outside-in: our environment is the cause that damages a discrete part of the brain and the effect is our behaviour. He said, “You are claiming the cause of the behaviour is the wiring in the brain.” I was working inside-out.
The professor and everyone else work by Analysis. I model through Synthesis. I believe I’m the only Synthesis System Thinker in the world.
I ignored the professor and continued to use my model to help people get off of antidepressants, bi-polar medication, break various addictions, and embrace happiness to the point they could help others who were suicidal. That was when I began focusing on Flowcess.
Even though the trade secrets had expired, I stayed under the radar for ten more years because my wife was afraid I would get labelled as “insane”: I was doing the OPPOSITE of medical science’s approach! Who was I to disagree with “experts”?
Then, a magazine highlighting the biggest discoveries in brain research for 2015 was published. The editor wrote the following in her introduction of the entire magazine as the key discovery for that year:
“Today we understand that the focus should be on neural connections – how the specific circuits in the brain, rather than discrete brain regions, influence behaviour.”
Medical science just now realized they had been looking at all of this backwards!
We weren’t insane. We were pioneers. It was at this point that we went public with our information.
Q. 2: You are pretty big on ‘models’. Tell us what purpose models serve when it comes to problem-solving?
Ans. Models are a representation of the relationship between causes.
Problem-solving focuses on determining the tangible cause, so a model allows you to intentionally solve any problem!
However, I would like to expand your horizons when it comes to problem-solving.
Systems Thinking giant Dr Russell Ackoff said there are four possible responses to a problem.
-Absolve: Ignore it, maybe it will go away. (It won’t.)
-Resolve: Treat the effects. Punish and Reward.
-Solve: Focus on the tangible causes.
Solve works perfectly for machines. However, whenever you solve a person’s problem, you create three more problems for them (the law of unintended consequences) and the overall stress from your solution is worse than from the original problem. This is why the world isn’t getting better for humans despite our superior ability to solve problems.
Dr Ackoff said the only way to address a problem is to Dissolve it. However, Dr Ackoff couldn’t intentionally Dissolve problems because he didn’t have a model for it. I do!
-Dissolve: Focus on the intangible causes
Are people inanimate objects? Absolve their problems.
Are people animals? Resolve their problems.
Are people robots? Solve their problems.
If you think people are human, then the only humane response is to Dissolve their problems.
I teach people how to intentionally Dissolve problems.
Q. 3: Please talk about your program for educators, ‘Instant Impact’.
Ans. For over twenty years, I executive coached people. It resulted in people getting promoted ahead of their peers or being recruited away for bigger jobs while achieving high self-esteem and fulfilment. I have a passion for education, so it occurred to me, “Why don’t I offer this executive coaching program to our next generation and their teachers?” This happened when we went public with the information.
Instant Impact is meant to take care of the educators. We aren’t focused on the students. The teachers are the best at caring for the students. Also, we don’t tell the educators how to teach. We teach the educators how their mind and brain works and it results in them continually growing in energy over the school year, to the point educators don’t want to stop working, not even for vacations or when school is out of session.
Think about it. These people aren’t teaching to become rich. They do it because they like it. They want to do this job! Why would anyone lose energy if they were doing the job they wanted to do?
Humans physiologically sync their thought process to their surroundings. If you surround an educator with twenty students who have a poor thought process, the teacher has two choices. They can sync into the students’ thought process (which usually happens after about one month and results in the teachers having burnout issues) or they can hold their thought process by taking out their stress on the students.
Instant Impact shows educators how to not only maintain the only healthy thought process (flow), it shows them how to help the students achieve flow. Flow dissolves behavioural issues and the students learn quicker!
People who have the wrong model for the brain believe having a focused thought process through effort is the only healthy thought process. Actually, Harvard Business Review magazine had an article showing that this results in people blowing out the focus circuits in their brain and losing energy, only to eventually lose self-control. The only healthy thought process is flow, which is toggling between your conscious and unconscious brain. It results in unlimited energy.
While Instant Impact was designed for educators, we had people from all walks of life take the course and over a hundred people said it led to them having their best year ever in 2020…during a pandemic! We can do this because we can intentionally help each person determine their unique process for flow…their Flowcess.
Q. 4: What are some of the top problems that educators face? And how do you address them?
Ans. Since I’m a problem dissolver, I will tell you ALL of the problems educators face come from this one root cause: they don’t know HOW to think. People know WHAT to think. People know WHY to think. However, people cannot explain to you HOW to think because they don’t have a model for the mind and brain. Would you pay a mechanic to fix a car if he couldn’t explain to you HOW a car works?
Birds teach their young to fly. What should humans teach their young?
The word “man” comes from Sanskrit manu which means “to think”. Parents ought to teach their kids HOW to think, but they don’t know HOW to think. So, they send the child to school and tell the school to teach them HOW to think.
The educators not only don’t know HOW to think, this was not the job they wanted to do! They wanted to help the student learn specific information. So, teachers are put in the position to do a job they didn’t sign up for and the stress from not being able to do it takes its toll mentally and emotionally.
However, if they know HOW to think, then they can Dissolve every issue and not just with the students. I’m talking about parents, coworkers, bosses, etc. Obviously, the most dramatic stories are how a teacher is able to instantly change a student’s behavior when it used to take minutes, hours, days, weeks, etc.
Q. 5: Also what are the most common misconceptions people have regarding your work?
Ans. They think that we are operating in the Solve or Resolve arena with the rest of the consultants.
I try to explain it this way: Your experience is valid. If dealing with an issue is ten steps, you have steps 3 through 10. I’m going to give you Step 1 and Step 2.
Your experience is like tools and they are in piles. Whenever you have an issue, you go to a pile, pick a tool, and apply it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
I’m going to build you a wall storage unit and organize all your tools. Then when an issue occurs, you will know which section of the wall storage unit to go to. When you do, you will find a group of your tools. Pick ANY of your tools in that section and it will work every time.
If I had to teach you something you’ve never done, this might take eighteen months. However, I’m not going to teach you something you’ve never done. I’m going to teach you how the mind (Step 1) and brain (Step 2) work and you are going to realize the right response.
Q. 6: How do you plan to make an impact in countries like India?
Ans. We are offering Instant Impact through an online course, so anyone can take it.
When it comes to India, I had intended on working with Swarup Roy. Two years ago, he saw the benefit of Dissolving problems and wanted to introduce this to India. We even began a newsletter, but he passed early this year.
India’s approach to education is better than other countries because it allows preteens the opportunity to find their uniqueness. This speaks to my real passion: synaptic pruning.
The biggest brain event in everyone’s life occurs around thirteen years old. Prior to thirteen, we have access to all the dendrites (Greek word for trees) in our brain. That’s why preteens are so smart!
However, around thirteen years old, our brains lose all the connections we don’t use most often. It’s as if our brain is a forest of trees that we wear paths in prior to thirteen years old. After synaptic pruning, we are only allowed to walk along the paths we created. Worse, puberty turns these paths into superhighways.
People think the issue is puberty. It’s not. Its synaptic pruning and puberty make it worse. Focusing on puberty is another example of using Solve or Resolve and making the problem worse.
My model for the mind and brain is called “Driver and Car”. You are an intangible mind which is the intangible driver of your car. Your brain is the car. Prior to thirteen years old, everyone is able to drive every car. However, after synaptic pruning, everyone ends up with one car and if it doesn’t match their driver, they panic…and puberty makes it worse. They try to steer right and the radio gets louder.
Children in India are more likely to have a car that matches their driver. In other countries, the act of trying to make every child do things the same rigid way prior to synaptic pruning sets them up to be mismatched to their car at a much greater rate.
Swarup and I were helping adults drive their mismatched car safely so we could get them the right car back. When he saw how this all could be avoided by helping preteens, he was excited to put me in touch with the right people. Swarup wanted India to lead the world.
More than one hundred years ago, the world was changed by teenagers: Alexander the Great, Joan of Arc, Mozart, etc. This doesn’t happen today because we sink kids in an emotional hole prior to becoming teenagers. I believe if synaptic pruning was done for a generation, after ten years, their creativity would make that nation the world’s leader.
Every problem in the world can be traced to a person and their issues from synaptic pruning. Preparing people for synaptic pruning would Dissolve the world’s problems!
Q. 7: What’s next for John Lenhart?
Ans. As I stated, my passion is synaptic pruning, so I’m always looking to help those parents who want to help their children become geniuses.
Other than supporting Flowcess’ work in schools, I’m on Instagram in 2022 with a FREE Generative Coaching program, the same program I’ve used for over twenty years. I’m using it to build a community of Elite coaches in 2022.
Finally, I’m looking to issue the 52 editions of the newsletter Swarup Roy and I worked on.
Listen to the entire conversation with Mr John Lenhart on The Wonderpublish Podcast or watch here: