The Ghosts in Your Machine – Find What’s Haunting Your Business To Regain Control and Grow!

The Ghosts in Your Machine – Find What’s Haunting Your Business To Regain Control and Grow!

Ghosts in the Machine is not just an idea. The term "ghost" describes the insecurities, fears, memories, and attachments that haunt us. Our past experiences can impact how we approach present-day situations. These ghosts that we live with may create false assumptions about how other people see us and judge our actions.

Apple Podcasts podcast player badge
Spotify podcast player badge
Google Podcasts podcast player badge
Amazon Music podcast player badge
iHeartRadio podcast player badge
Stitcher podcast player badge
RadioPublic podcast player badge
RSS Feed podcast player badge

Ghosts in the Machine is not just an idea. The term "ghost" describes the insecurities, fears, memories, and attachments that haunt us. Our past experiences can impact how we approach present-day situations. These ghosts that we live with may create false assumptions about how other people see us and judge our actions. 

Have you ever felt resistance to change yourself? Have you ever experienced someone else’s apprehension to do something you’ve asked of them? Many ghosts could be creating these hurdles to executing a plan or process.  

⁃ projecting fears from a past failure 

⁃ carrying distrust or insecurity from a past relationship into a new one 

⁃ allowing assumptions to guide decisions

In this episode, we will dive into all of this…in the only way we know how…with fun and laughter! So join us as we explore why these ghosts exist, how to identify them in ourselves and others, and finally, how to remove them to conquer your fears and grow.

As a bonus, Joe shares a ghost story of his own!


Welcome to morning coffee and mimosas. I'm Christina, and I'm Joe. We are a father-daughter duo. We come here Sunday mornings, but you can come here anytime you, please. We banter about life, about business, and we do it over coffee and mimosas.

Good morning. Good morning, dad. I jumped at that time, dad. Sorry, it's the coffee? It's the coffee. The coffee makes 

me, you know, where you are having coffee before I got here 

this morning. So it was extra coffee. You seem a little jumpy. Yeah, just wait. You're 

A tiny, over-caffeinated dead. Maybe your caffeine level looks like my mimosa level after I get to the bottom of the bottle, 

but we'll see, I'll be better.

I'll take a deep breath. 

Well, good morning, listeners. Yes. Thanks for joining us today. We are going to get a little spooky. 

Today a little bit, by the way. I love ghosts. 

Have we shared that with the 

Listeners. I think we did an earlier episode; I maybe I didn't; I don't know. I don't remember, but I do love ghost stories.

I love all that kind of spooky stuff, cemeteries. 

He does so much so that I believe your wedding pictures. Right. If I'm not mistaken, 

I had a burst out laughing because it's true.   When we took our wedding pictures, Cooper's pond in Bergenfield, New Jersey, is beautiful there, but it was a little overcast and the photographer. I was getting these pictures. And when we got the proofs behind, this was the cemetery of the old south church.

These. 250-year-old things, mom freaked out, and he was like, take it easy. I can take them out. I can take them out. She's like, does it does gravestones? 

And what Nobody knew was that dad set up this; he loved it. You're like, how good is this till death? Do we part 


Isn't that funny, though? You guys have. A pretty pond and little park took your pictures, and you ended up having to put just like shading. 

It wasn't all of it, but it was like, you know, on the sides or whatever there, the photographer took care of all that. So they went away, but the proofs have them very cute.

  But I do; I do love ghosts. I do love spooky things and horror movies and stuff like that. But this.  is ghosts in the Machine. I gave it that name. And if you're listening, you're probably saying, was that an album by David Bowie or hasn't that been around? And sure, it has the phrase ghost in the Machine,  but let me tell you where I'm going with this.

Tell us,  okay. 

That'd be spooky,  spooky. 

music to play.  📍 Maybe this episode. You should just listen to it at night in the dark.

All right. Related to business, think of this we've all used the computer, cell phone, whatever. And did you ever like use. and then it does something completely out of character for it as if it's a person. 


It has a mind of its own. This thing has a mind of its own.

So basically, the ghost in the Machine is that it's operating differently than you would think it would be programmed. Right. We had that in software. In, in your phones and computers, even your car, you know, it doesn't have to be a computer thing, but you ever drive your car, and it does ordinary things.

And then one day it's just,  no. Yeah. 

Suddenly, the glitch happens, and you're like, I didn't touch anything. I didn't do anything. 

I didn't do anything different, you know, and all that stuff. So, the reason for that phrase, I love the ghost in the Machine, is because that's what you almost think it is.

It's like, I've checked every. And something in here is not correct. It's got a mind of its own. That's the ghost. So think of this in business,  you tell your employees or something to do something or some business operation that's running. How many times have you seen or,observed.

 That is contrary to either the instructions you gave or the processes in place or something that either the people do contrary or the process for whatever reason this week or this month or last year or whatever does. Repeat itself the way it always did or doesn't come out. Right. Does that make 


 And I would imagine it could just be a process you put in place that all of a sudden you expect to work a certain way, and it doesn't 

 Right. Could be, 

I would imagine that could also relate to. You picture something working a certain way that you would do yourself and finding 

she's blaming me, 

I'm looking at, you know,  But I would think if you weren't somebody who had employees, right. And you're somebody thinking about the ghosts in your own Machine, I see where you're going. You see where I'm going with this? Because I think about our listeners. We have people listening that are from all different walks of life and all different stages of their careers.

And if you were thinking about in your own  day to day,  I think there are times you picture something going perfectly. And then all of a sudden something goes haywire, right. And it's trying to figure out, well, what just happened? Why did, would I say trigger something that I didn't expect, or I don't know, maybe I'm taking this summer.

Your Machine doesn't want to go, but maybe I'm putting a ghost in this podcast 

that hasn't happened before, but it's 

okay. We might rename the pocket, the ghost in the pot. 

Yeah. Actually the Machine is flying. It's the podcast,  but  I see where you're going. It does. And you're right. all of us and this, this is where it actually is going to dovetail to that.

 what are the ghosts? So the ghosts  are the mind, the thought, the behaviors and so on,  and what's behind it. So for example, you give instructions to a person, say a staff member  and you give them clear instructions  You find that they're doing that, but they're also doing something else  and you don't understand why that statement.

I just made,  you have to find out the why  and really drill down into the why of why things are not happening the way you expect them to happen. When you thought you either gave good instructions, or if you thought that the process did that. You know before. And let me give you an example about questions and ask you quick.

Cause how do you find out why  you want to say something? See, I could see that you, you listened as you can't see this, but she's staring at me like. Let me say something 

it's hard for me. I'm working on active listening and waiting before I speak. And I'm finding now people are like, I see you came off mute.

So there's all kinds of waves for me to, uh, to interrupt without interrupting. So 

now you can interrupt. 

No, my thought, as you were saying that I was just thinking about,  The concept of these ghosts, right. And you're, going to start digging into how do you identify them and how do you figure out what that, why is,  but I'm, I'm thinking about these ghosts or things, listeners that you can't see and you wouldn't be able to identify to the naked eye, let's call it right.

It's things like. I would imagine, if you think about egos, right? Or you think about, ulterior motives, . and other things that might be festering in your business that aren't necessarily apparent. So it may not be something as clear as  I gave a direction and my direction wasn't clear. It might be, I gave a direction  and my direction may have been clear.

The person that was receiving it had some other motive or agenda that caused a ghost in the Machine. That's it? 

Correct? You hit the nail on the head. Very good. You get a star? I have another mimosa. I will not have another corporate, but. You hit the nail on the head and, and and it doesn't have to be a bad thing.

So, you know, yes. It ulterior motive is absolutely, you know, one, but a person's fear are they afraid of something? So when we delegate, for example, if a person has not performed that task or has done things or whatever, there's a fear inside that. And it's like, You know, a lens, like if you shine light through a lens and move the light, the light refracts, and it goes in different than reflects and it goes in different directions and you can't predict  always  how it's going to go right now, an optometrist can predict it.

That's how they give you glasses. But if you just take a broken piece of glass and put light through it, the light can go in different directions. And we have to deal with that  with our employees. With our business processes  and ourselves as you, so rightly pointed out. Yeah. So these are the ghosts that, you know, that's a nice title, but I love referring to it.

These are the ghosts in the Machine. This is where you have to say, okay, we have something that isn't optimal or some glitch or some operational. We need to find out why now you can do that in a number of ways. You can just ask the person who's this is happening to, or the department again, or yourself, if you're running your own business, but talk to 

myself frequently, this could be easy enough.


Well, you never know what the answer is because we lie to ourselves also, but. These, and I like what you said about ulterior motives, um, maybe a person's goals and, and I know you listen to it as you're saying, well, what about personal problems at home and worries and things like that.

These are all. Contributors to a ghost in the Machine. Well, and I 

think that brings up a couple of the, you know, I said ulterior motives. I said ego, things like that, that sound very negative. And it can also be things that you don't realize, like, insecurities. It could be, you know, paranoia at times.

It could be assumptions. Sometimes we create preconceived notions for one reason or another, that cause us to maybe create a ghost that isn't there or, create a fear that doesn't need to be there. That then creates a reaction that's not necessary. 

That's right. So what I'm going to propose here is that, when we deal with people, We have to understand that people are not chemical reactions or mathematical formulas. People don't respond. This action causes this reaction, you know, and we're going to do further episodes on management styles and, all of that stuff. But. We have to ask to find out what that person's ghost is, or your department's ghost or your processes ghost.

And for purposes of starting this process, how do we do that? And it's through, first of all, the people have to trust you as a leader. If, if you are dictatorial, nasty and sob, And they don't care. No, one's going to share any of that with you because they're just that  number two, we also don't want to become psychologists and psychiatrists and all that in our business, but you have to ask probing questions.

 And, one technique about asking questions is that you will never get the correct answer on the first, like, one question does not yield the correct answer. It yields an answer. You have to kind of figure a way to ask the same question multiple times,  probably over a period of time, building trust, to find out that, to get the person, to share with you potentially what they're afraid of, or maybe what you're asking them to do, doesn't fit with what they thought the job was or the goal or, or whatever what's causing them to do other than.

Once you've asked, does that make sense? It's 

us. And I think it's important, you know, you, you said you need to be trusted. And I think part of that is actually caring about people. And you're asking these questions just like you think about trying to dig into your own, the ghosts in your own Machine, within yourself.

Right. You know, you're trying to kind of get to the root of the challenge so that you can help the person to. Improve their process or to see things clearly or differently, or to adapt the Machine. Right. 


sometimes, you might find that there's a better way to be thinking about something.

If your mind is opened to somebody else's perspective, that's a little different than your 

own. And that, gets to the questions. You know, if you ask the questions regarding what you perceive to be the ghost. Again, back to that trust the person may tell you, you know, Joe,  if you don't mind, I think I have a better way to do this.

I think there's a better way. And, and the reason that I keep  turning this direction is because. It's a more natural way to do it, or, you know, or this or that. And so you hit the nail on the head again. You're pretty good today. This is good. I think too much coffee. It wasn't good for me, but that's the idea is that, you have that relationship that trust that open dialogue with people.

 And, you find out that  just kind of like with a ghost, like sometimes the ghost is. Helping you kind of like a guardian angel movie or whatever. Well, and I 

think I'm in a business, a ghost can be culture of the past. I think about that with, you know, in, in business times, change cultures, change, processes change, but sometimes there's people that have been conditioned that have been with an organization for a long time and have experienced a whole.

Set of different leaders styles. And, I would think, you know, if people are thinking about their own business or thinking about the business that they work for, could a ghost be maybe. a process or an experience you had in the past that you're carrying with you into a future. That's not the same.

And that's what that is a ghost, right? Totally. The ghost did not move on to whatever the new dimension they were supposed to be in. 

Yeah. Sometimes the haunting isn't there anymore. So who are you going to call dad? 

Clusters? Of course. Was that a copyright violation? I don't know. I don't think so, but that's.

That's exactly it, you know, and we deal with that all the time. And so  take that one level deeper. However many employees you have,  now take the length of time. They've been there, the potential  for these historical remnants to be running around. 

And I think that's why it comes to it's so important.

That,  communication, I guess, right. Communication is so important and, uh, making sure people feel safe to talk about the challenges they have, but also to communicate when things change, if things have changed, are we communicating regularly enough so that people remember and understand that things are done?

And are we showing that positive change? 

Very good. You know, it's, great. It's not enough to just say, okay, we're doing things this way now obviously that works 

But until they see that the lights are out and all of a sudden they didn't get spooked, then they're not sure about that.

And so as leaders, excuse me, but as leaders we have. you know, repetition. We, we've got to remind our teams  and sometimes ourselves, this is the new way of doing it all the time. This is how it is now. This is how we're doing things now. and remind people because  change can be hard, but it's not just changed.

I that's why I love this concept of ghost. It's not just change. It's so far in the back of people's. That you don't even realize.

that it's influencing their currently 

and these things happen everywhere. And I mean, we're certainly, we're not, uh, trying to be psychologists here or having anyone take a seat on our therapy couch, like you said before, But this isn't just a business thing. Right? you think of so many situations that impersonal life where, think about somebody that you just, you just don't like, right.

 and you don't like them because of an experience you had one time and it could be 30 years. not for me because I wouldn't remember an experience 30 years ago. I know I'm so young. I was too young to remember a really bad experience 30 years ago. but if, but you might have an experience with somebody, right.

That. You just don't like the person and now the person has evolved, the person has changed, but you're carrying that ghost of kind of who that person was with you. Right. Or you're carrying an experience that you had in a previous relationship into a new relationship. an experience with a previous employer in to a new employer.

Right. so I think it's important, whatever stage of life you're in. And however you are interpreting this message, be open and communicate about the things that you may be afraid of, or the assumptions that you have. And maybe some of the insecurities that you are bringing, because until you start talking about these things, Nobody, whether it's a leader at work, whether it's a coworker, whether it's a friend, a significant other, a child, you name it, Nobody can do anything with it until you start to be open and honest about the ghosts that might be living.

Isn't that beautiful because that's what a leader is, right? you, you don't have to be as a leader. This perfect. Shining example of something you can be flooded, you can say, yeah, I'm scared too. Or,  you know, I'm working through this also, but we can do it type of thing, 

right? Yeah. We can't all be as shiny as you daddy.


that's just because, I mean, bald that's 

sign it's coming from it.

I'll pay you extra for that. Okay. That was. 

Yeah,  this is a little thought provoking. So listeners go and clear the ghosts from your Machine, identify them. you can call Ghostbusters or you can call morning coffee and mimosa is for 

more. It will be w w that morning coffee.

And my I was out of the shameless. 

That might've been, that might've been okay. Well, I think, that's spooky enough for one morning, dad, we still have the whole day ahead of us. So now maybe, maybe onto some care bears or watching some cartoons 

No, I'm going to watch a horror movie tonight, though.

What was that? So where, where was that? We used to, when I was little, we used to drive. There was that story you used to tell us about the woman walking on the side of the road. He used to scare the shit out of us as kids on a regular basis. 

 I would, I would take, drives. Remember when we would go to Wildwood to go down by the beach where we didn't know the areas, but I would take the kids for a ride.

And then I would make up a story that did I tell you about this road? Let me tell you what happened on this road, this road back in 1922. 

Yeah. So it went on like that for a while. And then there was usually, there was usually a woman walking and it was a rainy day and she was, let 

me tell you a story.

Okay. I'll tell you these stories. I told. 

You ready to get real spooky? This was a creepy 

one. Yes. So  📍 it was a ramp up valley road driving up through Oakland, New Jersey. And Tamatoa, it's a very windy road in the woods. And these boys, it was in the 1930s and they were driving up the road. It was pouring  📍 rain and there was a young girl on the side of the road, walking in a white dress, soaking wet, and the.

Pulled over and offered her a ride. She got in the  📍 car and her house, she said was up a couple miles up. So they drive her up to her house. They let her out and she goes in the house and a couple of days later, they wanted to find this girl. So it's not raining anymore. And it's daylight and they go up the road.

But where the house was, there's no house completely yet. But there's another house like neighbors. And so they, knock on the  📍 door and they just said, this is really weird. We brought this young girls who was wet and rainy, you know, in a white dress. And can you help us? Cause we wanted to know if she was okay and the woman who answered the door said, oh my goodness.

 Family there. The house was torn down a while ago, but I think you might be talking about Susan and I forgot her last name. It was 1927 and she was killed on this road. She was hit by a car 📍  and she's buried in the cemetery. And so there's a cemetery near there. So they drive over to the cemetery and they're looking through and they see a gravestone that has a white dress.

And that was a girl goosebumps. 

Gets me every time. Love it. Anyway. Oh man. Well, we could do a whole episode on that. So now that we've left everyone feeling super spooky. Thank you for listening with us this morning. Hopefully you're not too scared to go tackle your day and your week ahead. We promise you can get those ghosts out of your Machine.

If you liked what you heard this morning, give us a like subscribe, share with a friend. Leave us a review. Let us know what episodes do you want us to talk about? If you never want to hear spooky shit like this ever again, let us know too. We take all comments. Well, 

those comments we take, but I'll probably tell another story.


thanks for listening 

wherever you are, whatever your story. Thanks for spending time with us this morning. Now go and make a difference in your work.

I feel like creep as creeped out is I used to

stay spooky everybody. 

Thanks for listening.