Unknown Speaker 0:08
Welcome to The Inclusive Leader Podcast. The practice of inclusive leadership enables us to tackle the complex challenges of our times. This is the space for conversations about inclusive leadership. I am your host, your Schmitz, and I welcome you to this episode.
Unknown Speaker 0:27
inclusive leadership is about cultural change, the type of cultural change that turns traditional environments into ones that inspire everyone to self actualize. To develop their fullest potential in and through an inclusive community. This is no easy feat. And it also makes Jake her ways experience and expertise so important. As a strong proponent of leadership, clarity, he impressed me with his own clarity about what it takes to transform an organizational culture, particularly his strategic focus on purpose, purpose from work, purpose at work, and purpose with work is most helpful and useful distinction that he will explain in the following conversation.
Unknown Speaker 1:23
So Jake, thank you for for joining this podcast conversation today. I'll ask you the same question I asked everyone. Namely, what do you do? Thanks. First of all, your for having me on? What do I do depends on the context.
Unknown Speaker 1:39
Yes, with you asking its culture change. What I'm trying to do in life in general is help people self actualize live their fullest potential false than what I've learned is we spend most of our lives at work.
Unknown Speaker 1:55
And the influence of weather, the influence of work on the rest of our lives is massive. And Gallup research where I spent over a decade as a partner there, we actually found that your career wellbeing has the most influence on the rest of your overall well being compared to anything else, even your health. We always say health first.
Unknown Speaker 2:17
That amazing, it's important, but not as important as what you do every day, to influence your overall well being. So I'm in the business of culture change, because I'm trying to create workplaces that are rewarding. And that was important. I want you rewarded financially and emotionally. Because your emotional fulfillment or reward is not complete without you winning. Yeah. So this, I know that I'm winning, when people are waking up, inspired and going to bed fulfilled. And I'm trying to create that culture and work experience. So that inspiration, inspiring start and fulfilling finish happen. And it's so important, right? Because many organizations, I don't know, I mean, I mean, you've worked in multiple places I have I see this in clients all the time. Many people do not experience their organization, the cultures of the organizations as anything like what you're describing. Most don't. Again, I'll go back to the research anywhere from 87 to 70%. So 70 87% of the world is not experiencing that inspiring, starting fulfilling finish. And there's a couple of things going on. So I went out on my own recently to consult independently for a handful of reasons. But one of the reasons is I found that of all the important and necessary investment that we put into leadership and management, there is still an individual choice on the other end, that's all based on. Sure I care about this enough to engage. If you think about as a parent, I have a couple of teenagers, I can do everything for them, everything for their happiness, and they can still choose to put the headphones in and just not care. They don't care. It's not their fault. They don't have the life experience to care about half the things I'm telling them to do. Because they don't know the consequences of the long term effects of some of their choices that I'm trying to make them or influence. So as a leader and as a manager as I'm trying to engage my team members. Sometimes the people there just don't have the life experience that makes them care about what we're even talking about. Half of them took a job because it was available in their geography or because they were introduced to it or because it's what mom and dad did. Right more because it was the whatever the the I'll call it superficial reason that there was for taking a job they took it
Unknown Speaker 5:00
But then, but they didn't have the opportunity, and in some cases is viewed as a luxury. I'll debate that if you give me the opportunity, but I'll call it that for sake of resonating with people. We don't feel like we have the luxury of choosing jobs that matter to us. When we're doing something we care about, and why would we care about it, because we've had some experience in our life that makes it relevant and important to us. And we understand the gravity of getting that problem solved. So the opportunity that I have from culture change is to continue doing the leadership development. I call it leadership clarity that I'm solving for, and leadership team alignment. And the organizational change, which is only simply two parts. It's the human capital talent strategies along the employee lifecycle, our employer brand, what we hire on what we do in onboarding, what we're rewarding, and what we're teaching and developing, and manager training.
Unknown Speaker 6:06
So there are these three parts the second, or sorry, the, the leadership, clarity, one, the leadership team alignment, two, and then the organizational consistency three, but in that third is broken into two parts, the employee lifecycle consistency, and the manager and the experience that I have with managers and the consistency in that experience. But then there's another piece that I'm bringing into my work now. And that is at the individual level, and I can do it at scale through managers, is helping people care.
Unknown Speaker 6:40
That's simple. It's as simple as that very difficult because to care about something, you have to really search your heart, and who you are, is founded in self awareness. And sometimes I care about something because I'm good at it. Sometimes I care about it, because I've had life experience where I've experienced pain or pleasure in it. There's but there's lots of ways to go after that. Or sometimes you care for something because it person you care for or about cares about this thing by it's there's a lot of reasons sometimes that connection. Anyway, that's a long, long answer to what I do. But the the short, I'll say it again, rewarding work is what I'm trying to create. And that's through culture change. And it's I mean, and that change actually mirrors a an incredible transformation around what work is right. Even. I mean, when I think about, like, I mean, it was great to hear you talk about why people work where they work. Right, right. I mean, and that's a great question. Everybody who's listening right now can ask themselves, why do you do what you do? I remember, I saw my parents essentially working in jobs that they didn't really like, and choosing it for that same reason. And I was I remember sitting somewhere, I don't know, in my room, probably thinking about work, okay, I'll have to work that when I count the hours, right, that's a lot of time, it's a big chunk of my life that I need to somehow this I mean, allocate to some activity. And I basically came to the conclusion, it's better something that I care about. And it's interesting. That's what made me become an anthropologist, because I cared about the pursuit of anthropology. I loved it. And I loved what anthropology was all about. And then of course, everybody would ask, what do you do with it? Can you get find a job with it or so and I didn't, I didn't care about whether there was a premade job for me out there. I actually say if I care, if I like what I do, and I care for what I do, then something will materialize, I'll find I will never be bored, something will materialize, there will always be an activity. And somehow, I can turn that into work. But then work doesn't feel like work. Work everyday for me feels like I'm fulfilling a sense of mission or so that I have in my life. I love the way that you describe that you're going another way to look at it is what problem am I solving in the world. And then that's bigger than a job. There's a there's a lot of ways that I can solve a problem. Just take cancer, for example. I mean, there are a lot of people I know of passionate about curing cancer, think about all the different jobs, everything from fundraising, to the actual science and chemistry, to the machines that need to be manufactured for the manufacturing of the machines, to the leadership of those organizations to the financing of those organizations. There's just so many different ways to get involved in curing cancer. Because there are so many problems in the world. There's something in my life that I care, that's a problem that I want to care about that there's a lot of ways to get involved. And so when I say when I questioned that
Unknown Speaker 10:00
term luxury of doing something we care about. We all care about something, something, that's what life does, it makes us care about things. If it's family health, if it's faith, if it's country, if it's the way people treat each other, there can be very everyone cares about something. And within those things that we care about, there are problems that keep what you care about from working. And if you can define that problem, I shouldn't say if you can, I should say when you do, because it's, it's easily done with just a little bit of reflection and homework conversation, that working, you can find a problem within that thing that you care about, that you can start solving anywhere, independent of the job description, I think your what you're doing is absolutely fabulous. And now I'd have to ask you, when you when you basically you said I want to be about care, right? I want to make people care, in a sense or discover their care. Yeah, help them care about work, right. And, and I do this in an organizational context, with a focus on cultural change that I get the connection that to me makes perfect sense. But, you know, just to so that we can illustrate that a little bit, what are the kinds of problems that you work on them, in order to ignite that virtuous chain reaction that makes people care and turn what may seem like a luxury into? Well, they're there every day? Or they're normal? Yeah. And everyday opportunity? It's, it's, it's our, it's the human opportunity, I'm going to answer a couple questions that weren't asked as well, because even I feel a bit unjustified in saying this, I'm gonna say it anyway, even the person who lives in poverty, who is working to make money to put food on the table. That is what they care about, what you care about, and the purpose that you're serving doesn't have to be world changing and romantic apps, right. And so I want to make that clear. That's why I don't call the luxury, I call it the human opportunity, in your circumstances, given your experiences, and what you're facing, what is it that you care about most deeply? And how can you find a way to spend your day on that thing that you care about most deeply. And I have seen people find great purpose at work, without having to have a grandiose mission. But their purpose instead is to be kind and lift up. Absolutely. Just those that they work with every day, that's my purpose, doesn't matter what I'm doing. What I'm doing for those that I work with is my purpose. And they are driven by that. And it is fulfilling, and I can and I've felt a little bit of that. Also, in my own experience, I often say you're there's three levels of purpose. And it's not like you have to hit all three, but I've found the most fulfilled, have all three, it's purpose from work, meaning I can take what I've earned and go do something meaningful to me. So there's purpose I can take from my work into my life, there's purpose at work, which is what I just described, lifting others are finding ways to do good while at work, no matter what you're actually doing. And then there's purpose with work. And that's the one we think of first of what am I accomplishing? What problem am I solving through my work? Through my job that is of purpose, and doing good? When we talked about purpose, it just means I'm doing good for someone. I love breaking down purpose, because I think many people are struggling with that my purpose is to be some lofty goal or so. Which is also you know, like you said, almost a sign of privilege a little bit and the sign of privilege might actually be not really knowing what your purpose is to know. Because what you care about is not so defined, and maybe you lost your connection to what you care or caring in some deeper sense, right. And I love this unfolding of purpose, purpose from work of purpose at work and purpose with work. I, I love that the differentiation. Yeah, and each level there is purpose. Purpose is if you take it out out of context of work and everything else. And you just think purpose, it means I have a reason for doing something. That's all. So why do I go to work? Oh, I'm going there to make money so I can donate to a charity so I can live life, my family. That's purpose from work. And then the other two I think we've already talked about. So the question you asked was, I think what I heard you ask was, how do I scale that individual discovery of what they care about in my organizational culture change? Yes. And the reason I started where I started was because that's my that's my initial framework is first an education of what purpose is and what it
Unknown Speaker 15:00
doesn't have to be an essence, I find a lot of angst, guilt, regret, uncertainty, resentment, even when people feel like my company wants me to be this Crusader on some kind of high horse, solving the world's problem, and I don't really feel that. And by the way, just as a side comment, we this is a real dilemma that I discovered around diversity, equity and inclusiveness work. Because there is sometimes organizations are setting up this narrative that all of a sudden want everybody to be, you know, that crusader for you and I and and they may not feel that, and they may feel more pressure to perform their commitment rather than actual caring. You know why this is so important. It's not just for the individual fulfillment and inspiration. But the reason why this is important is because if it's coming from the heart, meaning you care about it, you are going to perform better, but you are also going to be trustworthy. And this is true for the individual as it is for the team as it is for the organization. So that's what I'm doing is I'm taking this, what do I care about as a leader getting clear on what I care about as a leader? Why am I here? What problem am I solving as the CEO? And how do I do what I do best to make a difference and what I care about most, as a CEO, that clarity means that she doesn't have to put on that executive brain Every time she's making a decision. But her limbic system can run free, and she can go because she has that clarity of what she cares about what she's best at, and why she's there. Absolutely. And then you don't make those decisions as a as a leader. And then when you're aligned as a team, which is part two, you're not making those decisions as a leadership team, that contradict what you stated, you stand for who you are, because it's because coming from the heart is coming from who you are, not what you think you need to be to satiate investors or customers or, or top talent, but that is piercing through and I'll come back to this theme of culture that is piercing through some really embedded ways of behaving, you know, on thinking what we ought to be doing, who we ought to be and feel and projecting that out there and not being losing touch with our own heart and our own essence, if, if you like that, or Yeah, no, absolutely. So I'm not here necessarily, to I told you rewarding work. I'm not here just to make people inspired and fulfilled. Although I said, That's what evidence is that I'm fulfilling my purpose. But that's not the end goal. The end goal is the reward. And so when I talk about being true to our essence, or true to our identity, from the leader, being clear, that leadership team being aligned in the organization, adjusting their talent, strategies to reinforce that clarity of identity from top throughout, when you are have created a consistent and clear identity from top throughout, you've created an organization of trust. And trust is the only way anything works in this life. People don't realize that our whole economy works on trust. Absolutely. The shirt I'm wearing got to me because of trust the house, that's the computer, we're using everything, everything but money where money is the most. I mean, it's the one of the most abstract things we've created that runs on trial runs on trust, because there's no value in that paper. You're right. The whole money system is trust. And you think well, yeah, trust. But what about someone getting arrested? Well, there's trust in the system, and the rule of law, there's trust in the justice system that that someone well, I can just contract it in and then I don't have to trust because it's in a contract, you have to trust the contract.
Unknown Speaker 19:01
We know very well how much a contract is worth about the cost of that paper that it's on it anyway, what I'm what I'm trying to build is not the shiny, happy people holding hands. What I'm trying to build is a place where we are self actualizing where we are delivering our purpose to the world and the way that we do the best that we can. So So now maybe we can we can use a particular example because I don't know. I mean, this is now my inner cynic may be thinking and sounds fantastic. But have you Where does it exist? Yeah. So one of the public organizations they've also talked about their story publicly and allowed me to speak about it is Hologic h o l. O GIC Hologic it's an it's a fairly unknown brand to the public because it's a business to business. They're selling diagnostic machines at the hospital system.
Unknown Speaker 20:00
and labs. There's there's other businesses within it. That's their primary business. I showed up there, it's almost been a decade now. And they were so purpose driven. They had built this great technology is founded by scientists. And they had built this great technology, where they were identifying the disease's earlier, and more accurately, fewer false positives was their thing, fewer false positives. They were very passionate, and they were losing money. And they couldn't figure it out. Yeah, this great product, everyone loved it, they were passionate, they were saving the world. And yet, they're about to go out of business, and not be able to do anything. And so when we came in there, it was about marrying up the business acumen and expertise with that purpose and drive. So I'm giving you, in this case, I guess, a scenario where we started with people caring. And we actually came in and had to say, you are failing the people that you are here to serve, because of your inability to execute with discipline, even your inability to charge a price that allows you to continue enough margin that allows you to continue to build your products again, and service those products with your customers. So there was this whole business education, an emphasis on sales, the better we do, the better the world does. That's the mantra when you're truly purpose driven. And you're truly building something that makes the world a better place. Well, you better get darn good at it, or you're letting the world down. And you're not realizing your fullest potential and what you can do to the world for the world. So over it took, like I said, it's been about a decade. But I'd say it took us about three years before we started to really see an inflection in that culture change where we, we balanced the culture, if you would, from one of pure nonprofit, and a for profit, right? So what we are we can we can actually deliver our purpose further and better. And with greater reach in our markets than we could in the past, we were saving more lives, because we actually got disciplined. This is a interesting story. Because I mean, first of all, it illustrates how tactical This is write something that seems, perhaps to some lofty and abstract, can become extremely tactical and tangible in the end, and I see you do that work, masterfully, of translating that and staying the course, but also translating it into very specific prescriptions. Three years in a cultural change. We know in both of us that three years when it comes to moving developing culture is not a long time. But it is it can feel very long for businesses that are in that quarterly cycle of earnings reporting and stock prices and analysts and whatnot. How do you do it? How do you get to the essence of it? discussion guides, managers need 90 minute webinar with a discussion guide that sets up a conversation with each of their individual team members around purpose, from work at work with work, and the understanding that what they're looking for, is things that elicit an emotional response in their people. Because that is the language of the heart. That is the language of caring. That's the language of this matters to me, you know, something really matters to them independent of what words they say, on their body language, and their in their energy, and the consistent, real emotional response to that topic. So as a manager, like I said, a 90 minute webinar on a well crafted discussion guide of what you're listening for looking for and watching out for, that may not be said or may not be presented in your conversations. And then working with a good HR partner, if you need it, or a coach, or a third party, whoever it is having a partner there that can help you make sense of what you're learning about your team members, and how to help them feel confident, clear and confident on their reason for being there. That matters to them. Whatever the level is, what I love about what you're saying is also the simplicity of it in the end, right? It's not and I think what is hard about it is that if you want everybody or every manager to have these conversations in an organization, are we getting enough focus of our organization and our managers because everybody is distracted in all kinds of directions.
Unknown Speaker 25:00
And we have to do it together, culture is built together. It's not something we individually, it's not an individual pattern project, right culture, it's a, it's something we do together. And that's why I find culture to be such an interesting phenomenon to work with. Yeah, by definition. So the other reason why I'm on my own is because I have the freedom to take very small steps to building very big culture change. And these are necessary small steps that if they're skipped, which often they are in big projects, everything else fails. And I've said it already, but I'm gonna be very, very clear leadership, clarity, who they are, what they stand for, why they're here, they have to experience that conversation that I just described, the manager is having with their teams themselves. Yes. That's the conversation I have with leaders when I begin my coaching relationship with them. That's the clarity on going after, what is your purpose at work? How are your behaviors going to fulfill that purpose? What is that going to make you known for? And famous for? And do you want that legacy? That's the basic story, purpose, behavior, brand. And then the organization's the same thing. Its purpose, collective behavior, and brand, ie, purpose, culture, yeah, brand. And what's happening is if your behavior is aligned to a clear and authentic purpose, that brand is going to start to attract and retain and grow talent, and customers, your leadership team, when they're aligned, from a purpose, perspective, and authentic to why they're there. They're gonna become attracted team, that's what creates your brand. I hear what you're doing, not what you're saying, right. And so that same conversation, the same discussion guide is, in essence, my coaching guide that I do with the CEO, right. And it has to cascade and permeate every level of an organization, right. And so when, when I've tapped into what that leader really cares about, you start to get energy. And when you ask the question, why I'm so busy, I got so much to do as a manager, I guarantee you're gonna start paying attention to this, if your CEO is talking about it, and your team, the senior leadership team and the VPS below them, by the way, the minus one is critical. And that when I talk about leadership, team alignment, I'm not just talking executive, I'm talking VP and exec. Yeah, that you're going to find time it's going to happen, because they're going to be asking you have you had this conversation, have your people been able to tap into what they care about? Have you seen a performance change? Because we're measuring it by the way, if you're my client, you're measuring it. And we're gonna, we're gonna be able to determine whether you have or haven't. And then we have building culture, right? I always say in my definitely my short definition of culture is always what gets role models expected, reinforced and rewarded. And that's what you just outlined, right? If that happens at the top, and that's the cascade that then needs to happen. I mean, we could talk about this, this forever, but one thing that really intrigues me is why you do what you do, because I mean, the why for all of us is different, right? And what what is it about this question, you know, that you framed, so having so well I think around helping people self actualize? unlock their full potential, right? The, the sound alarm, and it'd be really quick. 1942 my grandfather's in Indianola, Iowa, the US is brought into World War Two, he joins the military as a fighter pilot shows up in Europe, and stays in Europe, raises my father there. And then my father falls in his father's footsteps and joins NATO, and raises me in Europe in Brussels. That's where it all happened. I was and it's called Brussels American school,
Unknown Speaker 29:00
and stare big Belgium. And it was, for me, a very formative experience because you had State Department kids, you had kids from the EU. You had kids from, of course from the military, all branches of the military. You have this diverse experience. I was just looking at my fifth grade class picture the other day because I reconnected with a friend. And I just looked at that and I said there there are as many nationalities as there are Americans at this American school. And within those Americans, you had kids from just all ranges of socio economic and ethnic backgrounds, because of what the military is. Absolutely. So anyway, what happened was for whatever providential reason, I was the only one that stayed through all 12 grades. And every two years the State Department kids are leaving every three
Unknown Speaker 30:00
years of military kids leaving every five years, right? It's a two, three or five year depending on which department you're in. I'm constantly getting new nationalities, new people, new ideas new like, and I know what they would do. Go talk to Jake, he'll he'll get you settled?
Unknown Speaker 30:18
Who do I talk to all my friends? How do I navigate the system talk to Jay Cole get you settled. So you were the guide, I was always the guide. I grew up that way. And there was a lot of reflection in my early years of my career that helped me. There it is, like I had these experiences as a guide with such diverse values and opinions and ideologies and backgrounds, and helping find the value
Unknown Speaker 30:44
and the human connections between all of us. I mean, you should look at the end good and true European language, the football team, the soccer team that I played on. And, you know, as captain of that soccer team, the Turk and the Tunisian, and the Japanese and the South African.
Unknown Speaker 31:04
It was just like, so why do I do it? Because I've learned and I believe, and I'm passionate about the truth, that each of us have value, and share a common need that we want to do good. We want to contribute. And I'm here to make sure that you can, I am now inspired by how you how you answer that question that that to me is such a such a role model of what we can be for each other. And the power we can help each other unlock. And that we oftentimes aren't enough tuned into. We just miss it. And we have opportunities every day to do that for each other. I agree. Yeah, no matter who we are, where we are, what we come from whatever our stage of life, we, we all have value, we all have something to contribute. Because we're all unique, biologically, this, like there's no you can't debate that we are all different. And so there's something unique about us that no one else has. And I've just seen that past over so many times, to the detriment of that individual, but also to the detriment of those that could have benefited from that person bringing their best to the table. Yeah. So I know we're coming to the end of our conversation. And I'll just ask you, and it's amazing how quickly time flies, flies, but out of all of your experiences, working with leaders, working with people working in different types of organizations, what's an actionable insights, something that anybody who's listening here can, should take in either as a as a key learning or maybe something they can actually do this afternoon, tomorrow morning, something like that. So the simple framework that I use, as my foundation is a fulfill and inspiring a fulfilled life is one where people are able to do what they do best to make a difference in what they care about most. So there are three things that we need to solve for. And this, I'm convinced this is the truth for all of us, I don't care where you are, who you are, where you come from, if you can solve this problem, do what you do best one to make a difference to, and what you care about most three, that is self actualization. So I, you can start with any of those three, whatever comes most natural, or what you know the most about. And I would say the one thing that I continue to do, and I recommend anyone to continue to do this is it is to learn how others that share the same strengths you do, make a difference. And learn how others that share the same thing that you care about, work on it and make a difference in it. So defining something something like for me, I talked about the what I what I care about is rewarding work. And I use cultural change to create it. Well, that's why you and I are talking. When you were here in the US. I forget who reached out to whom, but I think I reached out to you off of an HBR article saying an anthropologist walks in the room and I and I'm like, I want you to walk in my room.
Unknown Speaker 34:18
That's right. But that's an example of Gosh, my life is more rich. Gosh, my you know, I we're better together. You and I, because I knew what I cared about. And I made an intentional effort to connect with those that cared about the same thing to learn how I can make a bigger difference. And so that would be my advice is find some clarity, and then just meet people who do who don't are good at what you're good at or and or care about what you care about. And take those steps to spending more time doing what you do best to make a difference in what you care about most. Jay, thank you. This is phenomenal advice. I know that
Unknown Speaker 35:00
I am just grateful to have you part of our what we do at this institute.
Unknown Speaker 35:05
I and I'm looking forward to more things to come. Me too. I appreciate you inviting me into the Institute and letting me be a part of it. There is so much good that humanity can do and what you're doing at the institute helps unlock and direct that good. I'm excited about the continued impact that you'll have. Thanks straight. Yeah, have a good one.
Unknown Speaker 35:35
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