Addicted To Being Right, 7 Deadly Sins of Leadership, How to Fix Them with Conversational Intelligence, With Jen Thornton, Talent Strategy and Leadership Expert.
0:00:00.6 S1: Welcome my friends to a very special episode of the Thrive Factor Podcast episode 20. I have been truly blessed with the guests that I’ve been able to interview on this podcast. I hope to continue serving you in a great manner so that you can learn from people who inspire people, and we definitely thrive in life. Today, my guest is Jen Thornton. We focus on the area of leadership and sometimes how leadership can be destructive. The specific topic we’re talking about today is addicted to being right, the seven deadly sins of leadership no one is talking about, and how to fix them with conversational intelligence. Good day. Welcome to our effective podcast. My guest today is Jennifer Thornton. Jennifer is a talent strategy and leader professional, and she’s also the founder of her own coaching company, 304 Coaching. Jennifer has worked with companies that are facing accelerated growth and hiring patterns, and she’s also an HR professional with 20 years of experience and a very accomplished business strategist. Jennifer, welcome to the Thrive Factor Podcast. Thank you for joining us today.
0:02:09.6 S2: Thank you for having me.
0:02:12.6 S1: Jennifer, tell me a little bit about your background and where you grew up and… Yeah, just tell us a little bit about that.
0:02:19.5 S2: Yeah, so I grew up in a small town, Oklahoma, very small town. I graduated, I think, with only 100 and some people, but I always had this sense that I was meant to be more in a bigger city and a small town wasn’t for me, and so very young, I moved off and I started my college and career years and what I thought was a big city, but you have to ladder to those bigger cities over time, but I started out a small-town girl, really wanting to see what the world had in store and kinda went out there and started living life and fell into retail. I’ve always loved the fashion industry, and I love helping customers feel great about themselves, and so early on, I ended up in retail, and I did a lot of different jobs in that industry, I did a lot of different jobs on the operations side, and then I moved into the human resources side. So my approach to talent strategy is, is very blended approach of operations and how do we achieve the business results and how does the business come alive for the clients or customers, and how do we do that in a way that feels really good for the teams and so, you know, my approach is unique, and in my life, I’ve been able to live all over the world, Hong Kong, in London and Mexico City, and it always feels strange looking back to this little tiny small town that I grew up in, knowing that I’ve lived into the biggest countries in the world.
0:03:50.9 S1: That’s fantastic. So how were you mainly involved with HR when you were working for those companies, or did you do evolve from HR into business strategy and then obviously into, I suppose working with the culture of companies and leadership teams, how did that come all to fruition?
0:04:13.3 S2: Yeah, so early on my career was very operational focused or execution focused, and what I realized early on is I didn’t get my results like my peers did, my peers were very competitive, they are just obsessed with being number one, and that wasn’t me, and that’s not how I got my results often I was a top performer, but I really, I sum that I did it different and I did it through teams and through people, and so I… Early on, I thought, Hey, that’s kind of a thing. And did more research and really started to help educate myself on how to be a leader of leaders and working through that, and then about 50% into my traditional corporate career, I took a hard right turn and left operations and went into human resources and did a lot of different works in a lot of different departments, everything from recruiting to associate relations to learning and development, and then you know, those times in your life or just that instance of a moment changes everything. I had one of those, and I tell the story, but it’s just so funny ’cause it’s how it rolled out, I was actually getting my hair done and my cell phone remand, it’s our chief HR officer, and I’m like, Oh, oh, there’s obviously a problem like that heart pounding.
0:05:33.4 S2: And he said to me, Hey, I moved to Hong Kong, do some work, and I’m like, Well, what do you want me to do when you get that? When I get there and he’s like, You know what, I really don’t know. We’re buying some stores back from a franchise partner, we don’t know what we’re walking into, so just go over there and figure it out, and I didn’t even… I just said, Okay, I’ll do it. And then I hung up the phone and go, Oh my gosh, I just agreed about the… And so that started this amazing part of my career where I moved to international landscape, and basically everything I’d ever done kinda came into full circle, which led me to what I do today is
0:06:15.5 S1: Fantastic. So it must have been a little bit of a culture shock moving to Hong Kong and then moving into bigger environments and… Yeah, what was… How did you cope with the change in culture in coming from a small town in a relatively small place and in the States to a big city like Hong Kong, what was your mindset when you went into… I know you said you kind of throw it deep in, but yeah, what was… What is the first thing that you did when you got there, how did you assess them in working environment and how did you… What was your methodology there?
0:06:56.4 S2: Yeah, I went in knowing that I knew nothing, and I knew how the business were in in the US, but I didn’t know how it would run internationally, and fortunately, I was a big traveler and had traveled through parts of Greater China, so there were some things at least I had some familiarity with. And one of the things that I decided on that 19-hour plane ride there was, I’m just gonna go and recognize about whatever I learn is what I’m supposed to learn, whatever… Whatever their culture is, whatever there and what’s important to them will be important to me, and just really kept an open mind to learning from new people, and you know, I can’t say I did a 100%… Ride a 100% of the time, but I got better and better, and I was really fortunate that I had some amazing co-workers who were honest with me, and when I stepped on the culture and did something that felt normal to me, but not to someone else, they told me and I was able to learn and get better and better over time. And that skill set of being completely open to someone else’s viewpoint and someone else’s experiences, I value it so much, it’s one of the things that has really changed me as a human experiencing that moment of learning a new culture from Texas to Hong Kong.
0:08:21.9 S1: That’s quite a culture change for sure. I’m intrigued about your different sort of methods that you use to influence people, can you tell us a little about that, how you do that, and what’s unconventional about how you do it?
0:08:37.7 S2: Yeah, so where I start with people as I start to help them understand the neuroscience of how our brains work, how our brains take in communication and how those conversations start to create stories in our minds and influence our emotions, and it’s really all chemical responses, and I think so often in relationships. We get very emotional towards other people’s reactions, our reactions, but we have to stop and remember that our brains are in Oregon, and how do we start to understand how that piece of our body work so that we can work with it and not against it, and so often we talk about mindset and we talk about this and changing our thoughts and doing this and changing… Be a great leader. But what does that actually mean? From a neurological standpoint, because you can do whatever you think is right, but if it’s not creating a neurological response that create psychological safety, then we haven’t done anything to be a better leader, we haven’t done anything to lead better. And so I start there, and I think that is eye-opening to a lot of leaders and how they look at their business…
0:09:48.9 S1: Yeah, that’s very interesting, ’cause the brain tends to distort a lot of information and kind of just filter what it wants to see, so from a neuroscience approach, how do you change people’s thoughts or how do you change people’s ideas about certain concepts or leadership or influence, how do you do that here? Now, you say you have to start somewhere. But where do you start?
0:10:18.6 S2: Yeah, so you start with really recognizing your own language and how that language is influencing others, and so one thing that we know about the brain is it has one job and that’s to keep us alive, and that’s all it does, it’s all it needs to do, and when we were going through our evolution or primitive mind, it kept us in the cave because the cave was safe, if we left the cave, there was a lot of danger out there, and so our mind and brain didn’t want us to leave the cave, and we did it had to be in our tribe, and if we got voted off the try, we would likely die ’cause we could not provide housing and food and water and shelter, all that stuff, we couldn’t do it on our own, and… So in today’s work environment, same thing happens if we lose our job, we may not be able to provide housing and food for our family, and so we have to recognize that. And so as leaders, we have to start to understand that every word we say either triggers fear and our primitive brain takes over, or it triggers trust, and our pre-frontal cortex is like, Hey, let’s get creative.
0:11:24.0 S2: Let’s have trust. Let’s collaborate. Let’s do something together. And so one of the places we start is really starting to be students of our own voices and starting to listen to the words that we’re using and the response that we get when we use those specific words or phrases.
0:11:41.7 S1: Yeah, I think that’s so important. You often hear, but I suppose people talking about the lizard brain, which is the sort of primitive brain then going to fight or flight mode when, as you say, the brain, the brain is made for survival and it goes into that sort of fight or flight mode and then it puts you into a scarcity mindset where you don’t actually… Where your creative thinking gets shut down, so from your point of view in terms of… There’s this concept of conversational intelligence, can you tell us a little bit about what exactly that means, and how do you use that to influence people and work with teams of… Change a culture in an organization. What is conversational intelligence mean to you?
0:12:38.5 S2: Yeah, so conversation intelligence is the output of a woman named Judah clash, or Judah spent over 40 years studying behaviors in the workplace and the neuroscience behind that and changing language, and so Judah was quite a pioneer when it comes to psychological safety, and something that we hear now, for her, it was always conversation intelligence, and it was not necessarily emotional intelligence, we have to be emotionally intelligent, but it’s really understanding the mind in the conversation, and so when you think about IQ and bringing that into a team, it’s about first really getting honest with our own fight or fly, our own thoughts around people that we work with, and then understanding how do we start to change that language, and so just this morning, I was having a conversation with a client and a new individual had been put underneath her… It was a reporting relationship. And she was very frustrated with him, and he was kind of bullying his way into some meetings she didn’t think he needed to be in, and I was using some older view points and she felt like he needed to be more progressive, and I shot some real views on him.
0:13:54.8 S2: And so we paused and I said, Well, let’s think about him, let’s think about where he’s at, he has a brand new leader or anything, where could his mind be? And we really quickly realized that he was in fear, and because he was in fear of this new boss not approving of his work, his permanent brain had taken over and he was doing some wacky stuff because he was in fear. It was fight or flight, and so he’s kind of fighting for his life, and so we thought, How do we make him feel that he’s valued and so that his best qualities can come through in this wacky-ness is the… Where we were using these behaviors that weren’t good in the workplace, started start to defuse, and so we were able to come up with that plan, but so easy as leaders to say, You know what, that person… They’re doing this and they’re doing that. But with conversation intelligence and understanding the mind and then understanding how to use that, our words to transform someone, our hopes are after our conversation today, the leader can take this person to a new place.
0:14:59.0 S1: Do you think toxic work environments can always be changed with conversational intelligence, is there a point where it just can’t be and you have to kind of catch a losses.
0:15:11.9 S2: Yeah, I think that environments can only change when the leader is willing to change, and I’d like to be idealistic and say that, Oh yes, every culture can turn around and you can make cultures better, but if the leader isn’t willing to change how they lead and hold all of their leadership accountable, those toxic environments won’t change, and if leaders are not willing to remove toxic behavior and say They won’t stand for toxic behavior than the culture won’t change, but… So when people are willing to do the changes and to do the hard work and have the hard conversation, I’ve seen some incredible cultures just flip on their head and people just… Getting up every day and being excited to go to work again. And there’s nothing better than feeling proud about the work that you do, but… Yeah, toxic behavior. It has to be cut off from the top. And the leader has to say, no longer will I stand for… And no longer will I do it.
0:16:15.1 S1: I read once from a book by Jack Welsh, he talks about Canada in a work space, how can they can play session important role in to solve changing the culture organization. Is that something that you advocate a lot as well, just obviously, open communication with leaders or with people who are under leaders in an organization.
0:16:43.5 S2: Candor is really important, but how we do the candor is the most important piece of it, and that’s how that conversation intelligence starts to come in, so I can be honest with my co-workers say, we work in a marketing agency, and my co-worker is super excited about this project that… This idea that they’re going to pitch. And I think it’s the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever heard I can have… And I can say, that’s the most ridiculous idea I ever heard. Or I could say, I don’t… My mind isn’t seeing what your mind is seeing, so walk me through your thoughts so that I can help you make sure we deliver the right thing to the client, you’re saying the same thing, you’re saying it two different ways.
0:17:27.8 S1: What if an organization is… When you’re a leader and obviously you have to give strategy to your team to execute that strategy, but they buy into that strategy, what can you do as a leader to either change in mines or do you kind of succumb to their opinions and then perhaps you see this week, how can you… What would you do in this situation? Like that. Oh.
0:18:00.8 S2: I love that question. So when you think about strategy, if they’re done in silos, they’re missing a lot of you points, and I think that’s what happens, the executives go to the these mystical off sites and they’re gonna do a strategy meeting and they make… Have a consultant to come in to the strategy meeting, and the entire team is like, I don’t know why they hired a consultant, I have the answers right here just past me, and so part of strategy is really coming in and dumping out any of your preconceived ideas or thoughts, and being completely open to new ways and new ways of looking things, looking at things and collecting information, you can’t be a great strategist if you’re not collecting data points and information, and so if you want your team to buy into it, they have to participate somewhere in the process, and that can be as small as a round table discussion with the CEO, so the CEO is curious about why a product isn’t selling, you go and have a round table with a cross-functional group of people and just say, you know, Tell me how it is, I wanna hear what you’re hearing, if you rise, what decisions would you make about this product, but we don’t do that, we go to these mystical closed or strategy meetings, and then we come back and tell the team what they’re supposed to think, and when people are told what they’re supposed to think, there are chances of getting on board were pretty small, but if some executives did the work, ask the questions, really spent time learning from his strategy, then they went off to their Magic Places and cleaned it all up and made decisions and came back, and they said something like, we heard your feedback.
0:19:39.7 S2: We also went outside for feedback, the each of the four things that we did to make this strategy well-rounded, and we appreciate everyone’s help and here’s where we’ve landed, now tell us, how do you wanna make this come to life? Feels very different than the secretive. Here’s what we’re gonna do now. Do it. And don’t ask questions. No.
0:20:00.6 S1: That’s a pretty good… Right, in one of the books that I have let about leadership, it’s about the Navy SEAL jacking called Extreme on it, but let’s get to take ownership of everything that you do as a leader. Do you think that if your team doesn’t take ownership that the leader of the organization would still take extreme ownership of that because they have failed to convey that to their team or to the organization?
0:20:36.6 S2: Yeah, I do. As leaders, we make all the decisions, we make decisions on what work is gonna be done, we make decisions either unconsciously or consciously how that work is gonna be done, we make hiring decisions, we onboard people, we communicate all the things that we do lead up to that end result, and I get calls all the time from people, from executives, they’re like, my team is an accountable… They don’t get anything done on time and they have all these complaints, and my first question is, Okay, that’s a fact, but that’s an output of decisions, let’s back up, let’s see what decision cause your disappointment because you either hire the wrong people or you gave them the wrong work, or you was convoluted, there was something that led up to your disappointment, and so let’s not work on the disappointment, let’s work on the behaviors that created the disappointment, and I
0:21:35.0 S1: Always think that people when they pass the back… They give up their power if you… Obviously, if you take responsibility for everything that happens in your life, it puts you much… It puts you in an empowering position, it doesn’t do empower you, and I think that we’re so easily get caught up in day-to-day working activities where we just blame others for passing the back and not owning up to your own experiences. I’m kind of interested to find out from you, you wrote a blog article about the seven day stands on leadership addicted to being right. Can you tell us a little bit about the seventies on leadership and how to fix… That sounds extremely fascinating.
0:22:22.1 S2: Yeah, it’s when you think about the seven deadly sins, they’re pride and greed, and envy, and lust, gluttony and sloth, and I think about leaders and they display these qualities often, and some do more than others, but all of us who have led have fallen into one of these or once or twice, at least. No one’s perfect. And so when you think about these seven deadly sins, let’s think about sloth, if you think about that leader who isn’t willing to do the work, they don’t want to get their hands dirty, but yet they’re willing to set around and judge people and how they do it. The person that they’re judging, the person that they’re trying to get to do a better job is gonna be like, You’ve never done this, you don’t even know how to do it, so why are you telling me how to do it? And it’s because that person doesn’t have the energy or the desire to learn something. You think about wrath, there’s so much wrath that goes on in the workplace, the leader has made poor decisions, therefore the team has disappointed to him or her, and so instead of them turning it back and saying, Okay, what actions led to my disappointment…
0:23:29.3 S2: They go on a tirade, they yell, they judge, they blame, they talk poorly about people, and that’s a sin that really tears down a team, and you’re going to get more disappointed over time because of that, and when you think of those kind of seven deadly sins that we talk about often time, those actions are coming from our addiction to the dopamine hit, we get one more right, and so if we go back to that chemical chemical reaction in our mind, every time we’re right, every time we do a good job, we get a dopamine hit. And who doesn’t love that? I mean, that’s what makes it happy, put the smile on our year, and we know that if you’re addicted to sugar or alcohol or any addiction, that’s what you’re getting is a dopamine hit, and over time, as we know, you need more and more to get that same hit, and that’s how the addiction to write starts, is that need for that dopamine habit.
0:24:32.4 S1: So then how do you change… How do you change that when you get that dopamine hits, obviously when you need more vets, and I suppose in terms of a leadership style or a leader, how do you change that, how do you… What’s the first step to go about changing your behavior or changing your interaction of people or your communication of people… How do you do that?
0:24:58.8 S2: Yeah, so there’s a couple of things. I think First, Those with that addiction, oftentimes, like any of our addictions, we don’t realize how harmful it is on others, and until there’s a crisis, or until someone really puts that mirror and us sometimes we’re not willing to come to acknowledge our addiction, and that’s kind of the first piece with any addiction is acknowledgement that, Hey, there might be a problem and I’m hurting people or my business because of it, and those people who have that high addiction, chances are they have issues with relationships outside of the work too, because they go home and tell their spouse or their children exactly what they should be doing because they’re so… Right, they’re right, everywhere. And those relationships are difficult, so those that are having some difficulty with relationships and people aren’t doing what you tell them to do, every time you tell them to do it, it’s your first sign that maybe there’s really a problem with your addiction, and then we have to start working on that. Addiction me a little bit more about, obviously, you had this fantastic corporate career and then you evolved into a coach and you started your own coaching practice, talk me a little bit about your coaching methodology and who you work with mainly, and what’s your plans for the future with your coaching practice, is this something that you want to do…
0:26:28.2 S2: Obviously, you do this full-time now. Is that correct? Yep, and
0:26:33.3 S1: Yeah. Where do you wanna take this? What is the next level for you with that…
0:26:39.1 S2: Yeah, so when I go back and think about how I got here, I always knew, being a middle management, I’d look up at those executive groups, I’m like, Why are they so dysfunctional, like What is going on with these people? Like, I totally know the answer to all these questions that they just ask, and so as I progressed in my career and set at those tables, it was very eye-opening that… Yeah, it’s very dysfunction-ing. Executives have this really strange desire to play the Hunger Games and go after each other instead of protecting the teams and protecting the company, and I don’t know why, but it starts to happen, and their fear of getting voted out of the executive group, their fear of not looking as smart or not being as powerful, all those fears start to play into that experience, and so when I work domestically, I really started to witness it, but then when I went international and I set… Or set at a table with executives that had all of those things going on, but then we threw in language differences, we threw in cultural differences, time zone differences. It was really messy.
0:27:53.9 S2: Yeah, and so I just would sit there and think, there’s gotta be a better way. And I just started in such a curious learner and researcher, and so I started researching the mind and why we act the way we do. So that led me to what I do today. And today, what we do is we help organizations really think about talent strategy, because all of these pieces are a talent strategy, and without a talent strategy to support the business strategy. Businesses fail time and time again. And so we really help people understand what work needs to be done, because that’s always one of the most difficult conversations, ’cause what work needs to be done and what we think needs to be done is always two different things, and then we talk about hiring decisions and how are we hiring and are re-hiring not only to skill but also to work behavior traits, and then how are we building culture around honesty and trust that the best thing can happen? And so it’s really a life cycle journey that we go on with our clients, because we really do… You can’t just fix one little thing in the cycle, the entire cycle has to work together.
0:29:07.8 S1: So when it comes to talent strategy, in a sea of talents of annealed, how do you filter that? You see so many people who apply for jobs or are trying to get a job or are over-qualified for a job, but then they might get the job, but then they don’t fit in with… Maybe with the culture of the company, how do you filter the best candidates say for the culture of the company?
0:29:43.3 S2: Yeah, and so there’s a few things that come into play in that scenario, one, you have to make sure that you understand the work and understand how you want that work done, and so for example, some companies are very traditional and they’re in way of work, and so if you hire someone to do the job that’s really progressive and highly creative, and I was gonna want to come in and shake things up, but you don’t need shaking up or you don’t want shaking up, then that’s a problem, you could have hired the perfect skill set but you didn’t hire the right trait of how someone is gonna work, and that is a huge piece of success is How is this person gonna work in the flip side, if you’re a really progressive company and you want someone to come in and disrupt your industry, but you hired someone who loves to do things is the way they’ve always done it, they may know all the answers, but they’re just gonna repeat what they did at some other company, they’re not gonna disrupt anything. And you have to stop and pause. How is the work going to get done and how do you start to think about that? So the way the work gets done is a match, not only to the skill set, and that’s I think where most companies fall…
0:30:53.1 S1: Yeah, I think a lot of companies sometimes end up hiring the wrong people and then it affects the whole culture of the company, or a department of the company, and that’s kind of, as you say, where the eruption occurs in terms of business strategy. What do companies look for these days in terms of business strategy when they’re hiring people, ’cause you hear so many people who send in their CV or the resume to a company and they never hear that from them. What do companies look for these days in terms of business strategy and candidates when they’re hiring people?
0:31:37.9 S2: Yeah, I think you have to think about the type of company apply to… If you’re a traditional, if you’re applying to a big machine traditional organization, they’re probably looking for someone who’s going to do a specific job for a specific reason, and it’s part of the machine and you have to be a part, because without each part, the machine doesn’t work together, and so you have to think about, Do you like to work that way? Do you like to be in a place where you have really clear boundaries, really clear decisions, and not only do companies have to hire people that want that as Canada, you have to know what you prefer, then there are people who prefer being more generalists and prefer kind of This is my job, but it’s pretty gray, and I’m gonna go over here and try this out, I’m gonna do that, and I’m gonna pitch in and help with this person… I have no idea how to do it, but I’ll figure it out. And there’s people who enjoy that, and if that’s the way you enjoy work and you have to think about what kind of companies you’re applying to, you have to apply to companies that from at least our viewpoints of the outside would do that.
0:32:44.6 S2: And as a company, you have to hire people that are a little bit more into the maguey or trying new things, maybe looking for someone who’s had four different careers on their resume instead of saying, Oh well, they don’t know what they want, ’cause they have four different things on their resume, you could look at it as like, Wow, this person learns all kinds of stuff and gives it a try, and I need a Swiss army knife and let’s hire this person because chances are they can figure different things out. And so companies have to be really thoughtful in how they hire and how they do the work, do they need kind of that Swiss army knife, it has all the little pieces, or do they need a piece of that to fit into the machine? And I think that’s where they start to falter.
0:33:32.7 S1: Do you think people who have a connected network or advantage when it comes to looking for a job, because you often see… It’s always not about you, it’s always about your network, do you think that plays a big role in finding your joint dream job or your ideal job, because you often see on LinkedIn these days, it’s all about connecting with people and maybe connecting with the right sort of people, sometimes you may think that you’ve found the right sort of person, but it’s not, do you think that networking with the right sort of people can give you an advantage in the work space?
0:34:17.2 S2: Absolutely, I think that one of my biggest… When I look back and say, I was Okay, how did I get here? How was I able to do what I’ve been able to do? My network is a huge reason why why I was able to start my own business and be successful, and for it to carry on for years, and I can’t say enough about building your network, but if we’re building our network, we have to, again, go back to conversation intelligence in the mind, if you’re building your network just to get something, then chances are you’re not gonna get anything if you’re building your network to really give back to the industry or community or whatever it is that you want in the network around, and you start with Hey, I noticed we were both part of this community, we haven’t had a chance to meet, I’d love to connect with you, get to know what’s going on with you and some of your goals and love to see how I can support you in your career aspirations. That person’s probably more likely gonna respond then, Hey, I see you work at company ABC and I just applied for a job.
0:35:20.4 S2: Well, you put a good word in for me. But I get those, I get those emails and I’m like, I don’t even know you. To network, to have a givers gain mindset and always be giving and then the gains come back…
0:35:35.8 S1: Yeah, I totally agree with you in terms of the conversation intelligence there, where you bughra relationship with somebody and not just try and use them for getting to where you wanna be. Having said that though, where do you start… Say, you wanna go from point A to point B in your career, and you wanna bolognese, how do you go about it? ’cause a lot of people are hearing this and they say, Yeah, that’s all great, but where do I start? So he… Do you start to build that network that can eventually perhaps give you the career that you want or the opportunities that you want… Where do you start?
0:36:22.7 S2: Yeah, so there’s a couple of places you can start, if you’re currently at an organization, you can start internal networking, invite someone to launch at least once a week that from a different department that you don’t know and get curious, ask them, What does that department do? What are the struggles of your department, how can my department support your department? I had no idea that this decision, we may connect with the decision down the line that affects your department. So internally, there’s so many networking opportunities and you never know where those relationships are gonna go, and then if you think about expanding outside of your organization to find who people who do what you do at your competitors or a complementary businesses, and invite them to launch, say, we’re both social media, social media community managers, I’d love to have lunch and just see what you feel like is going on in the world, I’ll share some stuff I’ve discovered recently, and I just love to talk to you and meet him for lunch or meeting for a Zoom meeting in the world of social distancing and… Or not evolved enough of those, but just go out to be exploratory and curious, and your network will build…
0:37:37.4 S2: I think one of my best examples is… Gosh, it’s been 16, 17 years ago, a recruiter called me and was trying to get me to go to the company they were a recruiter for, and I was happy where I was, and I was like, I will stay in touch, and so this recruiter was amazing, she would send me Christmas car, it’s like she just was really good at her job and… So over time, if I needed a contact or a lead, I’d call her and vice versa. Then fast forward to about five years later, my first HR job was in recruiting, and I had no idea what to do. So what did I do? I called her and I was like, You’re a really good recruiter. Tell me what you do. And so she was so gracious and said, Sure, and then we wrote in the same industry for complementary businesses, not direct competitors, but both in the same industry, and we are seeing opportunity for networking events, so her and I decided to host networking events together, and there were true networking events. They weren’t recruiting events. We made that clear, and that was 10 years ago, and today, our little networking group that we started has almost 17000 members on LinkedIn, I know, and we just really…
0:38:51.8 S2: It really was by accident, and it was really just networking to help others and grew from there.
0:39:01.7 S1: Oh, that’s fantastic. Wow. If you are a person who is say, maybe you’re in a career that you’re not enjoying so much and you wanna over into another career, but you don’t quite know how to do it, what do you as a recruiter… I’m talking from your recruitment background now, what’s one of the best ways that you can go about to create the pivot or start that… Perfect. Where would you start?
0:39:31.7 S2: Yeah, I would start with getting to know ourselves and what we do best, so oftentimes, we look at a career and we’re like, Oh, I could totally do that, I really wanna go do that, but we don’t get honest with who we are, and if we’ll actually like it, the grass is always kinda greener when we go over and then we’re like, Oh, it doesn’t take a great… So I think the first thing is really discovering who you are and why you feel like you would be successful about position, then start finding ways to do things towards that it can be like… So say you are in cells and you want to become a writer, something totally different and go from talking to writing, then start taking classes around that, there’s great low cost and free resources out there to learn anything these days, and start finding clubs that do that and go to their meetings, volunteer and do that work as a volunteer so that you can get practice, and so if you really wanna change the industry you’re in, you have to get creative and find ways to start to do little things, and then all those connections you make will lead to that job if I wanted to be a writer, I started going to writing groups, I started going to classes that taught writing, I started volunteering to write copy for my local chamber, all of that stuff, and starts to lead towards where you wanna go, but most people are just like, I wanna do that, so I’m just gonna apply for it.
0:40:52.3 S2: And I’m mad ’cause they didn’t hire me, and I’m like, No, you gotta work your way there.
0:40:57.5 S1: Yeah, I think that’s where people get Carter with the instantaneous gratification in terms of changing, and as far as one of the best ways to prevent is to get results as well, so if you’re in a suppose maybe I’m talking about social media marketing, ’cause I feel that I mean, at this point is getting results for customers or clients, even though my background is originally in healthcare as well, so it’s interesting how one can profit and get results and get to the right point where you are comfortable and people trust you enough to hire you, to consult with you, I’m curious, what is your definition of a great leader? I know that you’ve talked a little bit about that conversation intelligence, but what… There’s so many different leadership styles as well. What would you say, in your opinion, is the best leadership style?
0:41:58.9 S2: I think the best leadership qualities are individuals who are incredibly crystal clear on who they are and who they want to be as a leader, because if they’re very clear on their values and who they are, they’re gonna bring consistency to their leadership style, and inconsistency is what causes leaders to fall, and so to get consistent, we have to know who we are so that we can repeat that over and over and over again, so I think great leaders are highly consistent, which allows their team to make fantastic decisions because they know how you want them to make a decision if you aren’t consistent and then your Mac as your team doesn’t make decisions when you’re gone, well, that’s ’cause they have no idea how you might make that decision because every day is a new day, so great leaders are incredibly consistent. They know who they are, they can articulate who they are and how they want the work done, and then they allow people to be experts in their roles, they hire experts, they allow those experts to be experts, they’re constantly learning and they’re constantly opening their minds to new ways of thinking and new ways of progressing leaders who say, Well, I’ve done it this way for five years, and it’s always worked for me, or This is how I did it when I was in that position.
0:43:11.7 S2: Well, the world’s changed, it changed five minutes ago, and then it changed another five minutes ago, you can’t go on who you used to be and push that down on to your team, you have to be progressive and let experts push the envelope so that your company results are there…
0:43:28.5 S1: Do you think very can be a leader, and you think that leadership is something that you can learn, or do you think that it’s natural and learned, or do you think that some people are just not meant to be leaders?
0:43:43.8 S2: Yeah, I think that everyone is leading in some way, even if you’re an individual contributor and have been your whole life, you’re still leading projects and conversation, so everyone is leading in some way or another, when I think of like an executive role, those are individuals in those roles typically are highly adaptable, they have a ten of stamina, they usually have the ability to have a lot of self-insurance because they’re having to make a lot of different decision-difficult decisions, and they can’t get caught up on what people will think, so is everyone built for that mental stress, that probably not, but there is 1000 million levels in between start to finish and that ladder and people can find the place that fits them and be successful. And I think that’s the piece of it that is important is, where do you do your best work and stay at that place as a leader, and the leadership is a practice, it is not something that you learn overnight, it’s not something that you check the box and this is who I am, it’s continuous practice and being willing to grow every day and to say yesterday was yesterday score and today’s a new score, and I think people who look at that leadership as a practice are the ones you see that are constantly getting results and that people really enjoy working for them, I…
0:45:11.6 S2: Nearshore.
0:45:16.1 S1: Say for example, you’re not that leader yet, but you start imagining that you are that leader every day, you start maybe acting in that way, of talking that way, or doing things that the sort of people do. Do you think you can foster that process in your neuroscience thinking… Yeah.
0:45:38.1 S2: Absolutely, you can. And so your brain believes what you tell it, and you can tell it anything and it will believe it, and that’s so fascinating to me that your brain… You can lie to your brain, your brain and go, Okay, I should believe that, and so if you start to talk to your brain about how… Here’s who I am as a leader and I am leading and I am going to show up as a leader. Then your brain will believe it and you will start very much with Grace leading that way, and then what happens is other people see you that way, but other people can’t see you as a leader until you see yourself as a leader, until your mind and you have reconciled that and come to terms with the facts and created the facts in our minds, and so when we are acting confident in leading wherever we are, but always kind of going up a notch, then leadership is often earned. It’s not passed out. And so those old days of, Well, this person’s been in this role for 24 months, and at 24 months you go from a coordinator to a mid-coordinator and into a senior coordinator that’s not leading people, that’s just checking boxes, but if you show up and you are really putting your effort into leading people and being a good citizen and being consistent in your views and your opinions and your honesty, your trust, then you’ll start to move up, but you have to talk to your brain first and you and your brain have to get on board with it.
0:47:03.2 S1: Yeah, I think that’s what I find attractive in people in terms of leadership style is those people who don’t have to brag about it or have to talk about how a great leader I am, it’s not as people who just get on with a July, I do it so maybe sometimes they do it behind the scenes, sometimes they do it through the demonstrating. I think that those leadership styles, I tend to buy into more than, it’s my way or the highway, or leadership style. I think that, to me, that doesn’t seem very effective, maybe in some organizations that maybe that does work, but in general, I think that we tend to follow people who are more in tune with more of a quiet approach and also maybe demonstrating the ease… Not bragging about it. All the time. Yeah, I’ve watched leaders who come into really difficult situations and all of a sudden six months later you go, Wait a minute, what just happened? Someone just moved to Mountain and I didn’t even hear a crack, and those types of leaders are so powerful because they do it with their actual actions and their words, and those leaders are just so amazing.
0:48:28.0 S1: And in the southern part of the US, we have this saying that if you’re a lady, you don’t have to tell anyone you’re a lady, they just know… And
0:48:36.6 S2: So I think back to what you just said, if you’re a leader, you don’t have to tell people you’re a leader, they just…
0:48:43.2 S1: Do yeah, that’s a true… No, that’s true. I think that people just in terms of leadership always, they have this misconception about what a great leader is or what a good leader can be for somebody who’s maybe extremely introverted in their personality and not liking, perhaps being in front of people or talking in front of people… Do you think that introverted people struggle more leaders… Or is that not the case?
0:49:26.0 S2: It’s not the case at all. In fact, there is research around it that shows that more introverted leaders actually get better financial results over the long period of time, it’s a fantastic book called Quiet by Susan Cain, and she does a lot of research around introverted leaders and extroverted leaders. And why does the extrovert… A leader move up because they’re loud in this… And how do we define qualities of leaders, but typically, the introverted leader is more open to listening because they’re not necessarily thinking about their next response, in fact, I think about the person who comes to mind and I talk about move mountains and you didn’t even hear their ground crack. She’s incredibly introverted, very introverted. She says very little in a meeting, but man, when she says it, it is gold, and people listen because she’s so focused in because she doesn’t have to be on the stage and the stage is never a place that she ever wants to be, but she leads huge groups of people with just grace and ease every day.
0:50:33.3 S1: Yeah, that’s fantastic. I was listening to a training the other day with Galina Russell Brunson, who found a company called Click Funnels, and when you look at him on stage and presenting, you would say that he’s been presenting for years and he’s a leader that’s evolved his company, but when you actually speak to him. He says he’s actually very introverted. He’s very… When it comes to interactions with people, he’s very introverted, and I found that fascinating, going from that switch from being introverted maybe in person to person, then being able to convey your message over, communicate in a way which is very clear, coming across as extroverted, that to me, was a fascinating piece of insight. You know.
0:51:28.9 S2: Yeah, the thing about the art introverts is oftentimes, their communication is incredibly efficient because it is detailed, that’s to the point, there’s not a lot of fluff because all that extra words, ’cause I’m a complete introvert myself, all those extra words wear me out, ’cause I’m like, this are the facts. And so that’s all I’m gonna talk about. And so I think that when you look at introverted leaders, they have a very efficient communication style, so sometimes it can be incredibly clear and people in the clear communication ’cause there’s nothing extra to it, and then you also think about him and think about him on stage and think about like, Wow, he seemed so dynamic and an extrovert, but he’s talking about what’s important to him, and so that likes him up. Extroverts, a lot of times you can just throw out a topic then I envy it, I wish I had more of that in me, you can just stand on a stage and you can give him any topic and they just go with it. I’d be like, I don’t know anything about that topic, therefore, I pass, but… But I ask me something I’m passionate about, I’ll sit and talk to you all day about it.
0:52:39.1 S1: Yeah, no, I think that’s a skill set as well about extroverted people, as you say, being able to talk about a range of different things, but I do find leadership styles and being interviewed or extroverted, fascinating in terms of cultures of organizations and leadership styles and just taking organizations forward, I’m gonna ask you a little bit of a different question here, this is kind of not related to HR on coaching. It’s the end of your life. And you have… You’ve everything that you’ve wanted to accomplish, and you have all your friends and your family around you, what is one piece of advice you would like to leave them and what’s the legacy that you would like to meet behind?
0:53:39.5 S2: The piece of advice I’d likely behind is Live your life, don’t get caught up and the stuff, wake up every day and live your life to full us, do what makes you happy and stop doing what you don’t like. And it can be anything that you don’t like, just don’t do it because there’s someone else that likes it and you just can hire them and they’ll do it, so just do what makes you happy and live your life every single day. And the legacy that I hope to leave is that I made the world a better place by creating better work environments. Because when we come home from work and we’ve been productive and we feel good about ourselves, we treat our family better, and therefore all of those people are happier, and so being a great leader is… And just about the business results, it’s about sending all those workers home at the end of the day to families, and hoping that those families are influenced in a positive way and really enjoy their evening with that person and they’re for treating the community in a better way. And so that’s what I hope to do is just bring a little humanity into humans…
0:54:48.0 S1: That’s fantastic. Jennifer way, can people reach you and social media and web sites, we can be preaches.
0:55:09.2 S1: That’s fantastic. Jennifer, thank you so much for joining us in the five factor podcast. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing many more articles and books on leadership and… Yeah, thank you for your insights. Do I appreciate it very much.
0:55:24.2 S2: Thank you for having me, it was a pleasure.
0:55:26.9 S1: Thank you. My thanks to Jennifer Thornton. My friends, I hope, enjoyed this episode and learn something about leadership styles, what it takes to become a good leader, how to land a great job, how to build your network. If you enjoyed this episode, please go and leave a review on Apple podcast, iHeartRadio, Spotify, via Google podcasts. If you are a business or a small business or a brand in need of Social Media Marketing Services, I have a agency by the name of high impact that I can help you grow your business and your brand. You can also connect with me on social media, on Instagram at kiruna ruan or on LinkedIn at Ron Edwin Kruger. Again, is be my privilege to be with you again. And I thank you for listening to this podcast. This was Episode 20. And speak to your game or soon by for nowe.