128: Leaders with Heart Take Time to Recognize Those they Lead

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In this episode,  Heather talks to Adam Hermanson, Founder of Integration Design Group about his drive to lead, the importance of passing on “praise notes” to employees, a time when he was not the best leader he could be, and much more.

Key takeaways:

  • Always go out of the way to praise those you lead and pass those from customers, too.
  • Our economy is built on an exchange of trust, not just dollars and cents.
  • Don’t be afraid to step out of the boat. This helps build more resilience in the long haul even if things don’t go well.
  • Working from home opened a window into the lives of our employees. Take a look in.
  • Working from home also awakens us to the graces of imperfection and humanity.

Tune in to this episode and enrich your mind with life-changing insights!
Adam Hermanson's Full Bio

Adam Hermanson founded Integration Design Group in 2006 to specifically address the design needs of religious, educational, and institutional clients in the non/not-for-profit sectors. IDG offers specific knowledge and uncommon expertise in the design of buildings for worship and liturgy, particularly within the Catholic tradition.

Adam has worked in the field of Architecture since 1995 – serving clients previously in New England, and throughout the Rocky Mountain region.  With a home base in Denver, Adam serves clients as a registered Architect in Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Wyoming, Missouri, Texas, and North Dakota.  Establishing vision and building consensus within client organizations, he leads projects toward successful completion.

From 2004 – 2007 Adam taught graduate-level design studio courses at The University of Colorado School of Architecture. He specializes in sacred architecture, traditional design, liturgical environments, corporate interiors, educational facilities, and master planning.

Adam graduated from the Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning in Washington, DC, and from Harvard University – Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, MA. A native of Billings, Montana, Adam is happily married for 20 years and a father of six.

Growing A Ton

I'm growing a ton right now. I'm realizing many areas that I need to get better at in order to bring a team of people forward. Most of us would say it's pretty easy to lead a team when things are successful, like when businesses are coming in or when there's enough cash to go around. Leadership in times of crisis or difficulty calls forth different skills and demands.

I'm growing a lot right now and I'm being challenged in a lot of new ways. It's exciting because I love to go through challenges, but it's not easy.

Let's understand how to go forward in the best, most fruitful way. - Adam Hermanson #leadershipwithheart Share on X

Working, A Blessing

From the outside looking in, as you're coming up in an organization or developing as a professional, you think the leaders are the ones who get to make the decisions. But, as you sit in that chair, you realize the leaders are the ones who have to make the decision whether they want to or not.

The challenge is really putting everybody's best interest on the table—understanding what's best for the team, taking risks by stepping out of the boat, and being able to shoulder the burden of leadership. Sometimes it's a light burden. Sometimes, it’s a little bit heavier and that's an interesting thing. It's an interesting reality that looks different in various angles.

My primary concern is if my people are being blessed by the work that we're called to do. That’s the beginning and the end of our conversations, like when we do annual performance reviews, check ins, or others. Is the work that we're doing a blessing to you? Is it blessing your family? It should be, if we're leading well.

There's a lot of mundane things within our built environment. Other things are playing ugly and inhumane that challenge being a good person in the world. Our built environment doesn't always lend itself to encouraging virtue and compassion.

My style is less about being out front as a visionary and more about being with our team in doing the work, and being a guide. - Adam Hermanson #leadershipwithheart Share on X

There's a desperate need for beauty in the world. - Adam Hermanson #leadershipwithheart Share on X

Knowing and Caring

You've probably heard it a million times, but it just hits home in so many ways to me that people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. 

In office dynamics people don't care how much I know about the cash flow and the future success of our firm, if they don't know that I care about them and their family.

Our clients don't care how much of an expert we are at the work that we do until they know how much we care about them, the work that they do and their particular mission.

I just think that sometimes in the professional environment we get trapped into sharing how much we know. People are interested in that, but it's a low bar. A lot of people know what we know but do they combine that with caring as much as we care?

I make sure that praise gets back to our team because it is bettering the world and it is a blessing to people out there. - Adam Hermanson #leadershipwithheart Share on X

Is the work we're doing, the risks we're taking, and the goals we have in place centered on turning the work into a blessing for our people? - Adam Hermanson #leadershipwithheart Share on X


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Leadership With Heart With Heather R Younger

“Heather’s courage and vulnerability to share her authentic self are truly inspiring. She shares the most cutting-edge leadership strategies on topics like emotional intelligence and employee experience. If you’re looking to sharpen your leadership skills, this podcast is for you.”

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