The Future of Work Podcast With Jacob Morgan

There are many things that make up a great manager or leader. But I have identified one key characteristic that all truly great leaders and managers should have. It is something that employees all over the world consistently ask for and want. It is the ability to think in terms of a coach or mentor.

I have been inside a wide variety of organizations all across the world and have found that a lot of organizations say that they encourage and train their leaders to be mentors and coaches, but the truth is the coaching and mentoring only goes up to a certain point.

A leader who actually believes in being a mentor or coach to their employees doesn’t stop once the employees get to a certain level of success. The leaders goal is help others be more successful, even if it means the employees become more successful than the leader.

But what I often see is that leaders mentor/coach employees up until they reach a certain level of success and then the leader holds the employees back or pushes them down, so as not to be outdone by their mentees. But that is not a true coach/mentor.

A true coach/mentor guides, encourages and helps their mentees and when the mentees reach a level of greater success than the actual coach/mentor the coach/mentor is filled with pride, accomplishment and happiness knowing that they helped the mentees get there.

So, if you want to be the best leader/manager for your employees you must ask yourself, “Do I wake up everyday wanting to make other people more successful than I am?”

Direct download: what_makes_a_great_manager.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 1:02am PDT

Dr. Marc Brackett is the Founding Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Professor in the Child Study Center at Yale University and Dr. Robin Stern is the Associate Director of Partnerships for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, a licensed psychoanalyst, educator, and author. Dr. Stern is a licensed psychoanalyst, with over twenty-five years of experience treating individuals, couples, and groups, holding a doctorate in applied psychology from New York University. She is on the faculty of Teacher’s College, Columbia University.

Dr. Brackett  is the lead developer of RULER (an acronym for the five key emotion skills) which is an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning that has been adopted by over 1,500 public, charter, and private pre-school to high schools across the United States and in other countries. Dr. Brackett has published 125 scholarly articles and has received numerous awards for his research on social and emotional learning.

What is emotional intelligence?

It is a mental ability - a set of skills that have to do with how we as human beings reason with and about our emotion states.

To understand the underlying skills that people use when they are emotionally intelligent we can look to Dr. Brackett’s RULER acronym.

RULER is an acronym that stands for the five skills of emotional intelligence:

  • The first R is recognizing- essentially what we're trying to do is help people read people, read themselves accurately, whether it be through facial expression, body language, vocal tone, etc...
  • Next is understand why they're having those feelings,
  • The L stands for language or labeling those feeling with the best words
  • The fourth skill is about expressing emotions, knowing how and when to do that with different people, in different situations
  • The final is regulating emotions - so having the strategies to both manage your own emotions and to help other people to manage theirs as well

Why is emotional intelligence important in the workplace? Human relationships matter in the workplace, and emotional intelligence is critical in managing workplace relationships. Being emotionally intelligent helps us communicate, collaborate, and relate with others in our organizations. How we relate with others in the workplace greatly impacts engagement, happiness, mental health, physical health, and so much more.

This skill is important for all employees, but it is especially critical for leaders. Dr. Stern says, “Leaders are very big in the minds of the people who work with them. They're just huge and the hierarchy, the power and balance gives the way the leader treats people who work for him or her a tremendous amount of power to lift the person, make them feel great or send them off with a pleasant feeling or squash them and send them off with a feeling that they can't do anything right.Those are everyday interactions and you don't realize as a leader necessarily that when you're short with somebody that may set their whole afternoon off”.

So how can we start practicing emotional intelligence today? Dr. Brackett suggests starting by being transparent about how you feel. If you are a leader open up conversations with your employees to understand how they are feeling and why. If you are an employee speak up and give feedback when asked and don’t be shy about being open and honest.

He also suggests that everyone take advantage of apps, courses, and training that focus on being emotionally intelligent. You don’t become emotionally intelligent overnight. It takes constant practice, awareness, and growth. So keep working at it.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • What emotional intelligence is and whether it is a hard skill or a soft skill
  • How emotional intelligence impacts engagement, happiness, and productivity
  • The impact social media has had on emotional intelligence
  • The negative impacts of not having emotional intelligence in the workplace
  • How to develop emotional intelligence as a leader

Links from the episode:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/marc-brackett-10a563/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/robin-stern-220b403a/

ei.yale.edu

www.moodmeterapp.com

Direct download: Marc20and20Robin_podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 9:06am PDT

In this new world of work skills are vitally important. One of the most crucial skills that we can possess is one that could help provide job security even as AI and automation continue replacing jobs.

In this rapidly changing world of work and life we live in, one of the most crucial skills we as individuals can possess, is motivation. We have to have the motivation to learn how to learn new things, the motivation to speak up at work and the motivation to experiment.

It is such an important skill that the CEO at AT&T told his employees that if they don’t have the motivation to take matters into their own hands--to learn how to learn and to be responsible for their own professional development--then they don’t belong at the company.

If we want to succeed, grow and thrive in this new world of work and life we have to take things into our own hands. Are you motivated enough?

Direct download: One_Crucial_Skill.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:04pm PDT

DeLisa Alexander is the Chief People Officer at Red Hat, a role she has held since March 2011. She is responsible for leading Red Hat’s global Human Capital team, including Red Hat University College of Leadership and Management.

She joined Red Hat in 2001 and served in the office of General Counsel until 2006. In that role, DeLisa was responsible for equity and executive compensation and employment matters. Prior to Red Hat, she was associated with the law firm Kilpatrick Stockton where she focused on mergers, acquisitions, venture capital and licensing. DeLisa graduated with a BBA from James Madison University, holds an MBA from University of Baltimore, and earned her Juris Doctor from George Mason University.

Red Hat is a leading software company in the business of assembling open source components for the Linux operating system and related programs into a distribution package that can be ordered and implemented.  They currently employ about 13,000 associates, with about 25% of the population working remotely. They have over 95 offices in 35 countries around the world.

Red Hat has been studying, implementing, and experimenting with a concept called open leadership and it has drastically changed how the company operates. They found that  traditional, top down, hierarchical leadership did not work for their company and they knew they had to try something different.

What is open leadership? DeLisa says first of all, “They tend to have a growth mindset where they think everyone has something special to contribute. Everyone has something unique they can offer. And that a leader's role, whether it's a manager or a team lead or a technical lead their role is to act in an inclusive way. And a way that really brings out that individual's strengths and help them to contribute their unique talents.”

Open leaders will also see untapped potential in all of their employees. They believe that everyone is capable of learning and growing, they understand that it is their role as a leader to create an atmosphere where employees can learn, grow, and stretch themselves.

Red Hat also believes that leaders don’t necessarily have to be be managers of people. Anyone can be a leader. A leader is not defined by a title or position within the company, a leader is defined by their ability to influence others.

For organizations looking to implement the concept of open leadership DeLisa advises, “It's not a one size fits all. Open, is a continuum. So if you start from where you are and think about where you'd like to move, what I recommend always is understand the strengths of your organization, understand your organization's purpose, and really lean into the areas that are strengths for you that can help you to support that purpose more effectively by making some shifts. I always find that when you're trying to close a gap, it's much more difficult than leading into something that's your strength already.”

What you will learn In This Episode:

  • How DeLisa went from the legal field to the HR space
  • Big trends DeLisa is paying attention to
  • DeLisa’s view on Millennials
  • A look at the culture at Red Hat
  • How Red Hat used stories from their own employees to create their company’s mission statement
  • What open leadership is

Links from the episode:

Direct download: DeLissa20Alexander_podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:03am PDT

We all have moments in our lives that stand out from the rest, moments that matter. For me personally some of the moments that matter are the day I got married, the day my daughter was born, and the day I bought my first house. But there are also moments that matter that relate to work, such as the 1st day at a new job, the day you get a promotion or even the day you leave a job.

Quite often organizations miss out on celebrating these moments that matter for their employees. Instead of thinking of employees as individuals they think of them simply as workers. In this new world of work where we have such an integration between work and life it is so important to acknowledge these moments that matter and make them special. These moments are what allow us to create amazing experiences for our employees.

One example of a missed opportunity is the first day at a new job. If we could set up our employees for a great first experience this could be a moment they truly remember, even 10 or 15 years down the road. But oftentimes the first day on a job can be a moment of terror, anxiety or even regret for people. They show up and it takes them 15 minutes to locate someone who can show them where to go, when they get to their desk the computer and phone aren’t set up, no one says hi or welcomes them, they sit alone at lunch, etc…

What if instead we chose to make that moment extraordinary by having a designated person ready and waiting for the new employee with a smile and an information packet, all of the equipment was set up, turned on and ready to go, we made it a point for other employees to stop by and say hi, and we provided a free lunch for that first day. Wouldn’t that make a difference.

So, stop and ask yourself, what are the moments that matter to your employees and how can you celebrate those moments?

Direct download: Ditch_the_employee_lifecycle_and_focus_on_moments_that_matter.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:14am PDT

Cal Newport is a computer science professor at Georgetown University and the author of a brand new book called Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World. He earned his PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, specializing in the theory of distributed systems.  He has two other books, entitled Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World and So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love.

What is Digital Minimalism?

Cal says It's a movement. And it's a like a rebellion. It's a rebellion against this idea that these small number of companies in Northern California (Twitter, Facebook, Google) should really dictate how we spend our time, and how we feel, and how we think. In recent years people have come to realize it is a problem to be so wrapped up and addicted to social media and technology in general. And people say, "I wanna create my own life, and I'll use technology on my own damn terms."

When asked why  he wrote his latest book, Cal says it is because in the last two years or so, there has been this shift where people stopped making self-deprecating jokes about how often they check their phone and started to actually get really concerned. People got past this notion of like, "Oh, this is all fun, and maybe I use it too much," and really began to get worried that there were serious impacts on the quality of their life being caused by the digital tools in their personal life.

And they were getting fed up. They wanted more than just tips. There seemed to be a need in the marketplace for a strong response. He came up with a strong aggressive response if you want to take back your personal life from a lot of those digital distractions. And it was out of that, that Digital Minimalism was born.

And it’s not just our personal lives that are affected by technology. In the workplace we are just constantly communicating all day long. It's essentially an ongoing, ad hoc, unstructured conversation. Messages and chats and texts just bouncing back and forth. We're all a part of this sort of big organizational conversation. We sort of just try to figure things out on the fly.

Cal says the problem is that it turns out to be exactly the wrong way to work, if what you need to do is actually use your brain to produce new value. And this is the huge conflict that's driving people crazy in the workplace today, is that knowledge work requires people to use their brains, process information, concentrate on the information, and produce new valuable information. But it is impossible to do that when we have our concentration divided among hundreds of emails, constant IMs from coworkers, text messages, Skype messages, etc…

So we're living, essentially, a contradiction. We're working in a way that makes us really bad at working. And this is a really reason why Cal thinks so many people are getting so frustrated and feeling so burnt out about what it means to work in the digital age.

 

Three reasons why digital minimalism works:

  1.  Clutter is costly – too many apps or services
  2.  Optimization is important
  3.  Intentionality trumps convenience

Cal doesn’t believe that technology in and of itself is a bad thing, but we have to find ways to step away from it to really let our minds work they way they were meant to, to really be able to connect one on one with other human beings, and to be able to rest and recharge.

 

Things you will learn:

  • Why Cal doesn’t engage in social media like Facebook or Twitter
  • Why he chose to write the book
  • How to do a 30-day digital declutter, in which you wipe the slate clean, not of work stuff, but of optional personal technology
  • Whether or not Cal is worried about the future
  • The three principles of digital minimalism
  • How you can start implementing digital minimalism today
  • Strategies Jacob is using to manage his technology use

 

Contacts:

CalNewport.com.

Direct download: Cal20Newport_podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 8:05am PDT

The pace of technology in our world today is faster than it has ever been. We go out and buy the newest phone out on the market with all of the bells and whistles and the newest innovations and then a few months later it is obsolete as there’s a newer, better phone available. We always hear about how technology is benefiting our society. It boosts productivity and innovation, it provides greater accessibility to products and services and it allows for greater opportunities.

Technology provides great benefits, but are we using it in the right way? According to a chart created by Our World in Data showing the price changes in consumer goods and services over the last 20 years, we may not be using technology in the best way.

The chart shows that the price of TVs, clothes, software, toys and cars have either stayed the same or plummeted. At the same time the cost of things that everyone really, truly needs-- such as healthcare, tuition, and childcare-- has skyrocketed.

Are we taking all of the benefits from technology and putting them into the wrong things? My question is, if technology can create better productivity, innovation and opportunity, why aren’t we seeing that chart flipped?

Direct download: Is_Technology_Really_Improving_Our_Lives.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 1:00am PDT

Aaron Levie is the Co-Founder and CEO of Box, a company that specializes in helping companies securely share and manage their information. The company was started back in 2005 while Aaron was in college. Back then it was him and one other person, but now 14 years later they have over 2,000 employees who serve 90,000 customers around the world.

But the road to success wasn’t easy. Aaron dealt with a lot of rejection along the way. When they were initially trying to start Box they received around a dozen rejections, but instead of giving up Aaron kept a positive attitude. He claims, “that was a good week for us, what are you talking about? That was like wow! The fact that people responded saying no was actually a good thing. We were like, “All right, we finally got a rejection””. This is what makes him a great entrepreneur, he held to his convictions and never gave up.   

When it comes to leading Box, Aaron works hard to create a culture of openness and transparency. He explains that because the company began with four friends who were used to calling each other out on bad ideas, they were able to have transparency and candor built into the fabric of the founding team. Now they carry on those values even with 2,000 employees. They want an organization where employees can tell the CEO “you’re wrong”.

When asked how his leadership style has changed over the years, Aaron says it has been an evolution that has taken time. He is so passionate about everything that Box does, in the beginning he found it hard to not get involved with every little detail, but he has learned what to delegate, what to hire someone else for, and what areas he is still willing to “pull the CEO card to kind of push on”.

In today’s constantly changing world, it is difficult for businesses to stay relevant. Aaron explains that one of the biggest challenges companies face is having to not only be the best digital experience in their own industry, but having to be the best in any industry. With this digital age where everyone is so connected people have more choices than ever before and they are going to compare your company against all the rest.

Aaron says, “Never before did I compare my banking experience to my retail experience. And yet today, if my online bank isn’t as good as Amazon, then I don’t think that you’re a modern bank.”. In order to stay relevant Aaron believes as individuals we need to be flexible and adaptable in order to stay relevant and as organizations we need to stay focused on our customers. We need to help them solve a problem. Otherwise you will not exist in the future.

“It's all about customers and if you are not building an organization that is helping your customers solve a problem and succeed in solving that problem, you will not exist in the future. Maybe 50 years ago we were in an era where all you had to do is get really good at distribution and then any product you sold could kind of work, we're not in that time period right now. Distribution is infinite, customers have infinite access to anything they want. And so we are in a product driven, service driven era where if you don't have the relevant product or service for your customer, you won't exist.”

What you will learn:

  • How Box got started
  • How Aaron deals with rejection
  • How to create a culture of openness and transparency
  • Trends Aaron is paying attention to
  • What it’s like to work at Box
  • How to stay relevant in the fast pace of change
  • How Aaron’s leadership style has changed over the years

Aaron Levie on LinkedIn

Direct download: Aaron20Levie_podcast_done.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 6:37am PDT

In my newest book, The Employee Experience Advantage, Airbnb was ranked one of the best organizations for employee experience and there is a rather odd practice they implement that may be helping them create such a successful corporate culture.

During every one of their regular company-wide meetings they bring up elephants, dead fish and vomit. Elephants are the big things inside of most organizations that no one dares to bring up, dead fish are the things that are in the past but the employees just can’t seem to forget about them and let them go, and the vomit is the things we need to just get out into the open, the things we want to vent about.

Most companies shy away from these topics, but Airbnb is not just addressing them, they are throwing them into the front and center of their company wide meetings. What are your organization’s elephants, dead fish and vomit? Perhaps you aren’t a huge fan of the labels given, but in the end it is all about creating a culture of transparency and trust. So what can your company do to help create a better culture and a better employee experience?

Direct download: elephants_vomit_deadfish_airbnb.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 7:59pm PDT

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