136: Leaders with Heart Embrace Their Own Leadership Style

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In this episode, Heather speaks with Gavriella Schuster, Corporate Vice President, Commercial Partner at Microsoft about her leadership style, her drive to lead, a time when she was not the most empowering leader, and much more.

Top Takeaways:

  • As leaders, we have our own brand of leading.
  • We must be true to our own leadership style if we are to uplift those around us.
  • We must take time for ourselves.
  • We can see adversity as a gift by reframing and helping our team do the same.
Hope you don’t miss this gem of an episode. Listen and learn!

As a C-Level Microsoft Executive and Thought Leader, Gavriella has grown a P&L of $6.5B and currently lead a global portfolio of channel partners that has influenced over $1 trillion in ecosystem revenues. She brings over 20 years of leadership in digital and cloud transformation roles, driving strategy and execution spanning all aspects of business model and product development, launch, marketing, sales and partner development. She leads global recruitment, enablement and engagement of Microsoft’s fast-growing partner ecosystem.

As a builder and change agent, she builds and turns around businesses by inspiring a vision for future customer relevance and engaging teams in developing the roadmap. She is qualified to assist a board in developing their vision to transform the organization through new technologies including cloud and artificial intelligence (AI). Notable achievements include:

  • Doubled P&L in 3 years, increasing by double digits consistently YOY for 5 years for Microsoft’s global Windows Commercial Business and then the U.S. Cloud and Datacenter business to a growth of over 35% CAGR.
  • She leads the global recruiting, enablement and engagement of Microsoft’s fast-growing partner ecosystem influencing over $1 Trillion in ecosystem revenues –adding 30% more partners YOY and 7K+ net new partners to Microsoft every month.
  • She defined a global portfolio of partner investments to achieve a 10-20X return.
  • Led the launch of 15+ product releases including Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) and Windows Intune with engineering, from product, acquisition strategy, business development, licensing, pricing, business model and packaging.

Be an Experience ‘Collector’

We spend so much time in our working lives, helping that build your equity, helping that make you a better person and fulfill your own curiosity, and helping you become an experience collector. I think that’s really what it’s all about.

It is oftentimes the adversity, it’s oftentimes the failures, that you learn the most from, get the most introspection. You learn how to pick yourself back up, you learn what you’re good at, what you’re not good at, and it pushes you towards the things that you love as opposed to things you feel like you have to do.

It is not so much that happens to you but what you do with what happens to you and your attitude towards it. #mindset #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Adversity as a Gift

I live by that. I have just found that to be so true. Even take this pandemic – how are people interpreting that themselves? Do you feel like a victim or you feel like maybe the world’s coming to an end, because there’s just so much terrible stuff going on.

But you could also look at it and say, “I am living through a turning point in history. I am living through an opportunity for us to really come face to face with all the challenges with our society – challenges in our healthcare system, with the challenges in our government, and I am living through this, and I can take on a purpose, and I can take on a purpose to change it. And I happen to be at the right place at the right time – that’s a great opportunity.

What can you take away? What can you learn? How does it help you? How does it help you become a more resilient person? @gavriels1 on reframing adversity #leadershipwithheart Click To TweetYou are a leader when you are connecting with people and you are helping them to shape a vision and they are willing to follow you. – @gavriels1 #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Connecting with your remote team at a deeper level

It’s about making time, being intentional, because it’s so easy to go a whole day and not do that, especially when you don’t see them at all.

We have open teams channels where we just go back and forth all day. We have these daily stand ups where we just see each other face-to-face once a day, we know we’re just going to connect and share whatever is top-of-mind and whatever is going on.

I do a ton of – I just IM somebody and I’d be like, “Hey, do you have a minute? Can we just jump on a call?” All throughout the day I just have a lot of those “interstitials”, I call them, because they’re between meetings. I’ll just grab that minute and we’ll have a quick connect.

Think about what gives you energy and make sure that you are creating the opportunity in every day to do that. In this very chaotic time, create a routine for yourself. – @gavriels1 #leadershipwithheart Click To TweetKeep yourself from getting overworked, because it’s very easy to move from “I’m doing work from home” to “I live where I work.” – @gavriels1 #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

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135: Leaders with Heart Lead with Humility

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In this episode, Heather speaks with Dustin Yowell, Director of Operations for Mercy Health Systems about his leadership style on humility and admitting mistakes, his time when he was not the best version of himself and his perspective on resilience in leadership.

Key takeaways: 

  • Humility in leadership is essential.
  • Setting goals and being clear about expectations is not the opposite of leading with heart—it is leading that way.
  • Focus on enduring past the pandemic.
This episode will surely empower your leadership with heart. Listen and learn!

Dustin Yowell currently serves as the Director of Operations for Mercy Hospital Kingfisher and Mercy Hospital in Logan County.

Dustin has over 20 years of experience in managing healthcare organizations and he is adept at sales management, staff training, customer relations, presentation development, corporate budgeting, financial analysis and forecasting, contract negotiations, and strategic planning.

Dustin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and a Masters degree in Business Administration at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Always Learning

I am growing as a leader. I have learned over the course of the last 20 years that you can never stop growing. You can never stop learning. That is true in multiple facets of leadership and even personal growth. I would like to think I am in a growing stage and I don’t know if I will ever get out of it. 

There are always something to learn. There are always things to improve on, particularly when you have other people’s lives to affect as a leader or supervisor.

If you're not humble, it's hard to be a good leader. – Dustin Yowell #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Respectful Accountability

As leaders, our job is to hold people accountable. But you can hold people accountable and be a good human being in the process. That’s important for young leaders to understand.

At times, when people make mistakes, leaders think they have to just hammer someone to hold them accountable. That’s not the truth. There are ways to hold people accountable in ways that make sure they are growing and completing their job in the way they need to. It’s not one or the other.

If you aren’t working side by side with your people to set goals and to give them a path for the things to chase, how can you hold them accountable if you’re not part of that process with them?

My philosophy is more of: “It’s our job to get a, b, and c done. So, let’s figure out how we can do that together.” We all have roles. We all have ways to to spend our time, but let’s do this together. Let’s figure this out together and then we’ll chase it together, too. Things work better and your employees certainly would feel stronger about you if you’re side by side with them, caring about them and how successful they will be.

Always be reading. Always be learning. – Dustin Yowell #leadershipwithheart Click To TweetThere are ways to hold people accountable in a respectful way. – Dustin Yowell #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Collective Success

We have a responsibility when we have folks that work with us. These co-workers work with me and depend on me for good leadership and good support. So, it’s really my job to grow and get better.

I am supportive. When you have leadership responsibility, there are a number of things that come with that, and one is to support your employees in their professional growth and also in personal, like needing to balance their life and their responsibilities.

There’s nobody more important than the next person down the hall. That includes me, my bosses and everybody else. Within a hospital setting, if your environmental services staff aren’t keeping things clean, it doesn’t matter how good your administration is or how good your nurses are.

In my opinion, if you’re not humble, it’s hard to be a good leader. If you don’t have that ability, and the love and care in your heart, it’s really hard to be a good leader. Over time, humility taught me that it’s okay not to know everything.

The people that work for us, for me—they’re not employees. They're my co-workers. – Dustin Yowell #leadershipwithheart Click To TweetIt takes everyone to be successful. – Dustin Yowell #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

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134: Leaders with Heart Embrace Change and Rise from It

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In this episode, Heather speaks directly to listeners about some recent changes she has made, and how she has learned to embrace change even during this pandemic. Heather also shares some key decisions she has made to create a metamorphosis in her life.

Key takeaways:

  • Now is the time to see change as a positive despite what is front of us.
  • Starting anew right now might be exactly what you need to help you see the situation differently.
  • How aligned are you with your personal and professional mission?
  • There are powerful ways to overcome your challenges and it all starts in the mind.
Prepare your ears for this wonderful episode. Listen and learn!

Embracing Change

I have reached quite a few milestones in my business these last couple of months during the coronavirus. My second book has been completed, and it’s a pretty big deal to write a book during a pandemic. I recognize it, and feel blessed to have done it.  

During this time, I know what I should have done. But I wasn’t doing it. I decided to do something that seems so obvious to me but I kept on fighting it—doing a name change for my business.

To be honest, my heart was really more in the place of employees. – @HeatherRYounger #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Noble Beginnings

For the last four or five years, the business name has been Customer Fanatix, and I decided to change it to Employee Fanatix. It was obvious because all of my work has been focused on employee listening, leadership development, and everything related to the employee experience, engagement, and retention.

The reason why I fought was because my heart was with customers and employees early on in my career. When I started Customer Fanatix, the idea was I would help organizations understand the connection between how leaders can impact both the customer and employee experience, and how we can look at it as a continuum or a journey. That’s looking at both stakeholders at the same time.

Over time, people were more confused if I was more on the customer side or on the employee side. My efforts and messaging on social media became more singular, focused and it was more about leaders and their impact on employees. I just made a choice not to include all of the customers.

I started my company in 2015. People were reaching out to me because of my writings on LinkedIn. They wanted me to help them on both the customer and employee experience. The focus changed, but in the end my heart didn’t change.

My end goal is to help employees and leaders be better and stronger. – @HeatherRYounger #leadershipwithheart Click To TweetEverything I do is about how we impact in their (employee) experience, whether they are working with leaders, executive, facilitating groups, or speaking on stage. – @HeatherRYounger #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

The Metamorphosis

It was always about the underdog. When I was a child, I felt like an underdog. So, I have always been an advocate for people.

We are in very unsettling times. But I am thinking of what’s happening right now as a metamorphosis. It’s all about change and being comfortable with it. To be honest, I haven’t always been comfortable with change.

But what has worked for me in the past is I try to focus on a mission that is bigger than myself. I try to focus on something exciting, powerful, and way beyond me that it helps me move forward past any adversity put in front of me. It helps me build my resilience.

Recently, I have just hired my very first employee, Monica. I just brought in a marketing team to really help me take the business on and take things off my lap so I can be the leader I talk to you about all the time— the one who focuses on caring for myself and my family first.

Aligning what I was already doing and using this time to start anew and afresh help me focus on shedding some of the skin of the past and the pain of the current. – @HeatherRYounger #leadershipwithheart Click To TweetMy desire is to uplift people by my words and my actions, and to bring people together in collaborative settings of safety. – @HeatherRYounger #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

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133: Leaders with Heart Provide Hope and Possibility for Those They Lead

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In this episode, Heather joins the show without a guest to talk about the status of her next book, The Art of Caring Leadership, which is based upon this podcast. She also tells her perspective on the death of Chadwick Boseman, a former Marvel star and king of Wakanda, the fictitious country in the Black Panther movie.

Key takeaways:

  • All employees are looking for hope, and they need leaders to help them discover it.
  • There is power in seeing someone who looks like you in the highest positions of leadership.
  • Be flexible in your recruitment and promotion practices to be more inclusive, and to provide the symbols of hope.

Updates on the Book

I did finish writing the Art of Caring Leadership: How Leading with Heart Uplifts Teams and Organizations. 

They’ve sent out my book to three reviewers, which could be very scary. It was really nerve-wrecking. But once I got the first one, I felt that it’s not going to be too bad. They gave some really good feedback that made the book richer, more synced, and easier to read. I hope that you will be proud of how I was able to encapsulate some of the most important voices that you’ve heard here. I am super excited about that.

We have to learn to celebrate our little successes, our big successes—all the same. – @HeatherRYounger #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Lessons from Chadwick

Just recently, Chadwick Boseman passed away at 43 years old. He died of cancer. If you’d recall, he played the king of Wakanda for Black Panther. He was the first black superhero.  When I saw the news, I felt like I was punched in the chest and the air left out of me.

I didn’t quite think about why until I reflected on some work I’ve been doing on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Looking through survey feedback, we would just keep seeing over and over again their desire to see more people of color in executive leadership roles.

I realized that the reason why people are having such as response about Chadwick’s death is because we saw him as a hero. He was a beacon of light for people who has overcame much and at the same time has represented us.

He got some assistance and good mentorship from other people, and he made it where he was. He did it with grace, even when he was battling with cancer for the last few years.

Inside of organizations, those who are different or considered a minority often don’t feel like they belong. They don’t always feel like they’re part of a purpose that’s bigger than themselves.

When they are able to see people in the highest parts of the organization, they see that there’s so much possibility to become those persons in the role. It’s the possibilities that keeps them having hope and makes them want to stay because they want to see how far they can go as well.

We actually have the ability to achieve. We can do more than what we think we can. – @HeatherRYounger #leadershipwithheart Click To TweetThere are very few limits in front of us. We can place our own limits in front of ourselves with our own mindset. – @HeatherRYounger #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Celebrating Self-care

We have to learn to celebrate our little and big successes all the same, or else, our life becomes one big blur of tasks. It’s interesting because in the book, I talked a lot about self-care and self -compassion. We need to make sure that we’re doing that more often. I did that for myself during and at the end of this process to celebrate.

If you are someone who leads organization where you have the ability to think outside the box regarding recruitment and your promotion practices, and to diversify the top ranks in your organization, do it.

We’re making sure that people of color and those who are different than the mainstream are going to be at the top roots, because you want to give everybody hope, a desire, a bigger purpose, and to know that they can do and be more.

It's the possibilities that keep your people hope and make them want to stay because they want to see how far they can go as well. – @HeatherRYounger #leadershipwithheart Click To TweetIf you have the power, use the power. Let's not just talk, but let's actually walk on this journey together. – @HeatherRYounger #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

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132: Leaders with Heart Listen to the Lessons of Imperfection

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In this episode, Heather speaks with Greg Brenner, Assistant Vice President for Talent & Organizational Development (HR) about his leadership style, his great example of when he was not the best version of himself, and some great pearls of wisdom.

Key takeaways:

  • Figure out how you want to engage with those you lead by being more intentional.
  • Put people at the center.
  • Be the grown up in the interactions with your people; take control of your emotions.
  • Choose whether you cast a shadow or not on those you lead.
  • Leadership is not a perfection game.
This episode will surely improve your leadership skills. Enjoy!

Greg Brenner is the author of the “Smack Dab in the Middle of Life” series. His passions are with all things people. In collaboration with his incredible wife, he has two wonderful kids, a sixteen-year-old son and a thirteen-year-old daughter who make him distinctly qualified to be “the Dad”.

At work, Greg supports a wonderful tribe who has taught him to learn, inspire and grow as the Assistant Vice President of Talent and Organizational Development at the fantastic University of Miami and Health System – UHealth.

Greg cherishes the time to write about HR, leadership, and daily life. Thanks to his tribe, colleagues, network, and family, Greg always has plenty of material. Hence, writer’s block is never a problem. Some say he can be very funny, sometimes serious, but always authentic.

Greg’s specialties include executive coaching, organizational development, listening, strategic planning and thinking, employee experience, culture transformation, human resources, recruiting, hiring, compensation negotiations, employee relations, conflict resolution & interventions, operations, leadership training, and team building.

Getting Better

I have learned a lot of things. I have grown a lot more in the senior level. Now, I’m in a space where you can get some more things done. It’s a good place to be. At the same time, it’s surrounded with challenges.

Leadership is not for the faint of heart. It is hard. It takes time. You cannot rely on your laurels. You cannot rely on what you did three months ago. It’s totally different. You have to shake it up, spit it out, do it all over again, then try to do something new. You have to continually get better, learn and grow as a leader.

Not everybody is a people-person, and that is perfectly okay. – Greg Brenner #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Loving the Work

Loyalty, Leadership, and Love. You have to love the work of leadership. You have to love the people. You can say that you don’t really love the people you’re working with a lot. But you have to love them if you’re going to be the difference between someone who is really strong at leadership and one who is just an off-the-chart leader. 

The latter walk in regardless of the fancy shoes they are wearing. You know they’re the leader and they’ve got it all over them. That’s because they love the people that are part of the organization and the mission they have.

I am very much a people-oriented person. I am a big picture thinker and I do things with heart. But my style is not for everybody. I allow people to do the job they’ve been hired to do, and that can rub some people in the wrong way. 

I would rather get ten root canals than work for a micromanager. I am centered at respecting people at their core. But I understand that not everybody is a people person.

Leadership has always been something that is inherent in me. Both my parents, although having different personalities, were so much focused on us being leaders. It was ingrained in our heads. My dad’s strength was showing up everyday for his patients. My mom, who worked just as hard as my dad at home, was all about caring for people.

You have a name, and you have to have respect that goes with the name. – Greg Brenner #leadershipwithheart Click To TweetBe a good person. – Greg Brenner #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Listening to the Lessons

I needed to lead better. People can lead when it’s a normal day, every day. The reason why a pilot gets paid so well is not when the plane is flying naturally since it is easy to do. When something does not go right, that’s when they earn money. Hence, I have to be a better leader moving forward.

It is about learning from your failing moments. If I would have gone through that moment and allowed that to be okay, I would have been a whole different leader today than I should have or could have been gone down that road—being another disastrous leader just because I didn’t listen to the lesson.

You’ve got to listen to the lessons. Thankfully, I learned my lessons early in my career. I am far from perfect and there’s still a lot of not-so-great things that I do. But when you put people at the center of it, it gives a lot of sense.

You cast a shadow on the people you are leading. It’s your choice to cast a good shadow or a dark cloud that is going to hang over like an albatross. – Greg Brenner #leadershipwithheart Click To TweetLeadership is difficult. It's not a perfection game. – Greg Brenner #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

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131: Leaders with Heart Know the Power of Appreciation

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In this episode, Heather speaks with Danny Langloss, City Manager at City of Dixon in Illinois about his leadership style, the importance of showing appreciation for those we lead, a time when he was not the best version of himself, and much more.

Key takeaways:

  • There is a delicate balance, for the leader, on being self-aware and managing emotions.
  • There is a big difference between being very aware of who we are and how we are feeling, than how others are feeling or responding to who we are.
  • We should have robust personal and organizational or team mission to hold on to when things get tough. That is our north star
  • The leadership journey is not simple or easy.
  • We’ve got to show the right amount of care first, before we can focus on productivity and timelines.
Prepare your ears for this insightful episode. Listen and learn!

Danny Langloss currently serves as the City Manager at Dixon, Illinois.

Danny is a leadership speaker and coach specializing in leadership mindset, employee engagement, creating high performing teams, cultures of leadership, organizational excellence, change leadership, and crisis leadership. He is driven to inspire, motivate, and help individuals and organizations reach their full potential.

Danny believes the best way to predict the future is to create it. He is a lifelong student of leadership with more than 13 years of executive leadership experience. Danny is fueled by the value of being committed to excellence and is constantly looking for new, progressive strategies that drive employee engagement, ownership, and excellence.

Over the past 5 years, Danny has served as the keynote speaker for national and state conferences on leadership, substance use disorder, brain health, and protecting children from child predators. 

Great Profession

Honestly, it bothers me not to be in law enforcement. There’s so much change that needs to happen in that great profession.

Before becoming the City Manager, I was getting ready to run for the International Chiefs of Police on four premises: first was leadership, developing leaders, and forefronting meaningful, progressive change. Second was to build meaningful strong relationships with communities of color. The third was substance use disorder and addiction. The fourth was mental illness. I wish I could’ve stayed but I love Dixon. We’re doing great things at Dixon.

There's no destination in our leadership journey. – @DannyLangloss #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Great Commitment

We really try to create a culture that is really consistent with the feeling of getting a family where we hold each other accountable. I talk a lot about a relaxed environment, where the expectations are high and we’re going to perform to a certain level. But in a relaxed and caring environment, it’s all about inclusion, empowerment, growth, opportunity, and innovation.

It’s funny that you get different feedback the farther you move up in an organization. I just had my evaluation a couple weeks ago. I was blown away by a lot of the words and the things that our top team members have said. I would hope that my commitment to doing the things I just talked about would be reflected there.

My team is so amazing. They always rise to the occasion and that has never been more evident than during this whole COVID- 19 situation. When the state of Illinois came out with the downstate small business stabilization grant, the city had to be an applicant and every business had to be a separate application between 80-100 pages.

But our team rose to the occasion and we submitted 54 grants on behalf of our community. That is true dedication, living one’s purpose, and ownership. That is commitment. It was inspiring to be part of that, to see us deliver, and come through for our businesses.

The more you give back, in the end, the more you receive. – @DannyLangloss #leadershipwithheart Click To TweetWe're not perfect. When we think we are, we're done. – @DannyLangloss #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Great Passion

I’ve always wanted to be in the position that gives me the ability to make the biggest difference with my current skill set. When I was a police officer, I never said I want to be the police chief. I just always wanted to be in the position that would give me the chance to make the biggest impact. Early on, that was as a patrol officer. Then it was as a detective.

I’m very passionate. One of the things I’m very passionate about is giving a face and a voice to victims of child sexual abuse. I specialized in that for ten years. I worked on these cases, and I was sent to incredible trainings. Also, I helped create our first child advocacy center.

I was very frustrated with the way victims were treated when they came forward. When I became police chief, that wasn’t a destination. That was the beginning. I used my badge as doors to create major community awareness and prevention campaigns, to raise money for our local center, and to help Erin Merryn create Erin’s law, which is the first law in the country that required age appropriate child sexual abuse prevention education in grades Pre-K through 12.

While my passion is one of my greatest strengths, it is also my greatest weakness.  – @DannyLangloss #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet Proactive communication is one of the greatest tools of leaders during these times. – @DannyLangloss #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

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130: Leaders with Heart Create a Space for Others to Follow

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In this rich episode, Heather speaks with LaToya Lyn about her drive to lead (which you will love), her short time spent with the late John Lewis, civil rights advocate who was very close with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and some brilliant pearls of wisdom for every leader to think about.

Key takeaways:

  • As a leader, it is not what you do, but how you do it.
  • Leaders don’t lead; they create a space for others to follow.
  • Do your people feel like they need an invitation to participate, or are they free to join?
  • Lead in and bring your people into your circle.
Don’t miss this insightful ride! Listen and learn!
 

LaToya Lyn is an HR leader with a deep passion for people within the workplace. 

LaToya has a dual masters in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior from Brooklyn College. Her professional experience spans from executive coaching to driving organizational changes and culture transformations for technology companies globally. She has contributed to the world of cognitive neuroscience, including adult learning theories, and animal research. 

LaToya is also a four-time National DisruptHR presenter, GoCoach, and ThinkHuman reoccurring contributor. She is also a recent Harvard University and MIT executive coaching and artificial intelligence professional. 

Bringing People

I have had various leadership opportunities. I have been blessed with a gift to bring people together, as well as bring out their best selves and their fullest potential in a very authentic way. Also, I have also been blessed to be a student and to learn from them. It’s been just a great journey and I’m really looking forward to my next chapter.

I think I was placed in leadership roles, because people listen to me and not because I had a smart thing to say. If I am asked how did I choose to lead, I think I just don’t know any better.

 

I am in a position to move forward knowing that John Lewis is over all of us. – LaToya Lyn #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Not Alone

John Lewis was an amazing figure in everybody’s life from a political and civil rights standpoint. He was best known as Martin Luther King’s right-hand partner, his steady hand, who kind of kept his heart to the ground, and really fought against the adversities among people in the South.

He protested for people of color, Black people especially, who were being oppressed and segregated in the height of the Jim Crow era. He had been a congressman and a part of our American constitution for many years. He had written lots of legislation and fought for everyone’s rights. He was a divine human being.

I had a chance to meet him. A few years ago, I was asked to do a keynote at a private college in New Jersey. Part of it was to have the opportunity to meet Congressman John Lewis, and he was supposed to give us some encouragement to get us juiced up.

Then something told me to just go up to him, so I went up to him. I just said to him, “Why is it so hard?” I am the only black woman in an executive leadership space, and I’m always there to help and guide people through. But no one is helping me.

He looked me in the eye, grabbed by hand very firmly, and told me, “Don’t worry. You’re not alone.” I didn’t explain much but he immediately knew what I was talking about. He also told me, “The ancestors are guiding you. Don’t worry.” Hearing such encouragement was one of the most pivotal moments in my life.

I call the people that report to me my colleagues intentionally. My role as their leader is to inspire them and move things out of the way. – LaToya Lyn #leadershipwithheart Click To TweetBeing a leader is a privilege. – LaToya Lyn #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Align and Respect

People ask me, “What makes you a good leader?” Or, “What makes anyone a good leader?” That is a billion-dollar industry. But I always advise people to get aligned with their own values.

What’s important to me is that I am high-integrity. I have gone through so much in my life like oppression and traumas. But I act with a sense of urgency, naturally, because time is limited. When I think about integrity, it’s about the intention and not the mistakes

We work in a model where direct reports know more than you. Direct reports have expertise that I don’t have. With that, then what I need to do is to work on my character and how I approach things to get the most out of people. Hence, leaders need to check in with themselves how they can lead their teams effectively.

Another thing that’s really important is respect for my life. Because I have respect for my life, I will automatically have respect for yours.

Our tendency as human beings is either to fight or flight. But to fight when you’re leading someone is very difficult. – LaToya Lyn #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet Working with kids had groomed me to be the leader I am today because I had to really listen with my heart. – LaToya Lyn #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

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129: Leaders with Heart Use Employee Feedback to Improve Themselves

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In this episode, Heather speaks with Scott Miller, EVP of Thought Leadership at Franklin Covey about his leadership style, his drive to lead, and his unique view on leadership and self-awareness.

Key takeaways:

  • As leaders, we must be aware of our shortcomings to truly meet our people where they are.
  • Do your people feel safe to tell the truth about you to your face?
  • Great leaders are more concerned with the right thing than being right.
  • Be the leader who is comfortable with your people eclipsing your leadership.
Listen in and take as much wisdom as you can from this leader with heart!

Scott Miller is a 25-year associate of FranklinCovey and serves as the Executive Vice President of Thought Leadership. 

Scott hosts the world’s largest and fastest growing podcast/newsletter devoted to leadership development, On Leadership. Also, Scott is the author of the multi-week Amazon #1 New Release, Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow, and the Wall Street Journal best-seller, Everyone Deserves a Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team

Previously, Scott worked for the Disney Development Company, and grew up in Central Florida. Scott served under the tutelage of Dr. Stephen R. Covey for close to two decades as a sales producer and sales leader.

He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife and three sons.

Cycling Back

I think I am transitioning out of leading people. It’s been a wonderful journey.

[Leadership] can be unrelenting. It can be unrewarding and it’s not for everyone. Not everyone should be a leader and I’m not sure if I should have been a leader early on. I’ve grown and matured a lot. At this stage of my life, I’m very comfortable saying my leadership journey is coming to completion.

I’m going to cycle back into becoming an individual producer. Right now, I’m leading three boys that my wife and I have brought into this world.

Just because you're in the C-suite does not mean you perfected all of the leadership management strategies. – @scottmillerj1 #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Blind Spots

Sometimes, I have extreme courage. I’m too courageous when it comes to calling up people’s blind spots. I don’t let issues linger.  Also, I could use some growth on balancing my courage with my diplomacy or consideration.

It’s your job as a leader to constantly become more self-aware, whether it be through seeking feedback and making it safe for others to tell you their truth about you. I say their truth because sometimes it’s about their ex-boss who sounds like you, or their ex-husband who looks like you. You have to make it safe for others.

What I often do in a conversation is I just ask people what’s it like to work for me, to be in a zoom call with me, to work a trade show booth with me, to go to lunch with me, or to work on a product launch with me. I would  make sure they know that I’m not going to refute, deny, or explain it away. I’m just going to listen and write it down.

Then I would take it a step further. I would show extraordinary levels of vulnerability, and ask them what they think is going on with me when I’m showing those. I’ll ask if I seemed jealous, insecure, unprepared, or threatened. I would roll out some adjectives so that they can share with me what they haven’t felt safe saying before. Occasionally, someone will tell how I react and I become more aware of why I act that way in front of a meeting. It’s insightful.

No one is as self-aware as they think they are. – @scottmillerj1 #leadershipwithheart Click To TweetScott’s best talents are two things: taking nothing and turning it into something, and giving my people feedback on their blind spots. – @scottmillerj1 #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Leading People

I don’t believe that everyone should be a leader of people. Sometimes it gets confusing that everyone has leadership skills in them. Of course, you lead yourself, or your legacy, or a project. But I don’t think that everyone should be a leader of people. I think, too often, people are lured into being leaders of people.

A study said that the average age when someone is promoted into their first management role is at age 30. But the average age they receive their first leadership development training is at age 42.

Now there’s a whole lot of people wrecking carnage across cultures and organizations because they were not trained to be great leaders. Either they weren’t vetted properly or they weren’t told that this is what leadership looks like.

If your people know that you're willing to grow and learn, they can share insights about your own blind spots with you. – @scottmillerj1 #leadershipwithheart Click To TweetEffective leadership is not acquainted with charisma or vocabulary. It's confidence, humility, vulnerability, and listening. – @scottmillerj1 #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

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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 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 Click To Tweet

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 Click To Tweet There's a desperate need for beauty in the world. – Adam Hermanson #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

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 Click To TweetIs 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 Click To Tweet

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127: Leaders with Heart Don’t Give Away Their Influence

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In this episode, Heather speaks to Michele Nevarez, CEO of Goleman EI about her drive to lead, her leadership style, a time when she was not the best version of herself and her interesting take on discovering what we can influence and impact.

Key Takeaways:

  • Don’t give away your influence.
  • Realize that we have a choice to focus our thinking on what we can influence.
  • Are your current thought patterns helping you or hurting you?
  • What are your thinking habits?
  • Keep building evidence for who you want to be.
  • We are often stuck in our own mindsets.
Listen to this episode and strengthen your leadership with heart!

Michelle Nevarez serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Goleman EI. 

Founder and creator of the Goleman EI suite of Coaching and Training programs, Michele’s vision is to democratize EI as a means of igniting personal and global agency. This driving force for Michele is at the core of how Goleman EI’s programs translate emotional intelligence from theory to a powerful and practical vehicle for meaningful transformation and lasting habit change. 

Michele brings 25+ years of executive leadership experience working for industry leaders in healthcare, investment management, management consulting, and manufacturing. A founding member of Rangjung Yeshe Institute based in Kathmandu, Nepal, Michele has practiced mindfulness-based training for 27+ years.

Michele received a B. A. in Religion from Bryn Mawr College and a Master of Science degree in Positive Organizational Development and Change from the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. 

Twist and Turns

I think I might have been too hard and a little too critical on the CEO’s that I have reported to in the past. My leadership journey has been marked with being the head of a startup, and having zero startup capital. That required a lot of creativity, hard work, and it’s taken a lot of twists and turns along the way.

Being a good leader, in general and as a CEO of a particularly small company, has a lot to do with how you interact with your people and how much time you spend interfacing with your team.

I have always been fascinated by what causes people to behave the way they do and how their beliefs factor in. – Michele Nevarez #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Innovation and Kindness

My people tell me that I tend to have kind of an innovative streak, and I am definitely the kind of leader that leads with vision and innovation in mind. I have no shortage of ideas—that’s never the issue. It’s the ability to execute on them.

I am a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of person, in my natural style. But anything to an extreme is also not great. There are potential negative behavioral implications to that.

I’m pretty hands off if I think the person has it covered, but I’m more inclined to be present to someone new, or a person doing initial setup. But I struggle with carving out enough time for all the important things. It’s actually a real challenge, to be honest.

My drive to lead is linked to my desire to do good in the world and to be of benefit to the maximum of my potential in this life. I want to do so in a way that amounts to playing big.

I come from a long line of really hard workers, migrant laborers during an era that was not so kind. That’s where my work ethic, the idea of fighting for the underprivileged, fighting for people who really need some ground cover, and believing that I have the ability to somehow provide something to that equation of benefit, come from.

The things that keep us stuck are causally linked to ultimately our thinking, mindset, and beliefs. – Michele Nevarez #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet Everybody's situations are very different. – Michele Nevarez #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

Influence and Control

As humans, we’re inclined to spend a lot of time worrying, persevering, or being focused on things that we don’t actually have that much control or any control over. So, it becomes a waste of our time and energy.

I always encourage my clients and the people who go through our program to think about influence more critically. Where do they actually have influence and control over, where do they have none? Going through that analysis and realization that they would do well; we would focus on where we have the ability to impact.

We don’t always have the ability to control what comes up, but in that moment of becoming aware of what’s there, we have at least the possibility of choice of how we will relate to whatever we find—an emotion, or a thought. Also, we have agency to work with our thinking and relating to our thoughts that is more productive.

When we turn our capacity for awareness to a productive point of observation or focus that can actually move us forward, there’s a lot of possibility in that. – Michele Nevarez #leadershipwithheart Click To TweetThere's no power in victim mentality. – Michele Nevarez #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet

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