The Friction Project with Bob Sutton
Professional Development

The Friction Project with Bob Sutton

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Is it better to prioritize making tasks quick and easy, or should you consider making them slower and more difficult? Bob Sutton suggests smart leaders can make the right things easier and the wrong things harder. Sutton joins Kevin to discuss the challenges faced by organizations as they grow, emphasizing the importance of recognizing both good and bad friction within teams and processes. He highlights the need to balance speed and thoroughness in decision-making, using examples like Google's hiring process evolution and the impact of inefficient workflows on employee morale and productivity. He also touches on leadership approaches like "management walking out of the room" to foster collaboration and decision-making and common traps organizations fall into, such as "addition sickness," where the default solution to problems is adding complexity instead of subtracting unnecessary elements.

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00:00:08:22 - 00:00:36:08
Kevin Eikenberry
Friction. We experience it at work and typically we don't think of it as a good thing. Our guest today calls that destructive friction, the things that happen, and maybe we unknowingly create that suck the life and productivity out of our work. Today we're talking about his friction project, understanding and eliminating the disruptive or destructive friction and maybe finding some good kinds of friction as well.

00:00:36:09 - 00:01:01:16
Kevin Eikenberry
Welcome to another episode of the Remarkable Leadership podcast, where we are helping leaders grow personally and professionally to lead more effectively and make a bigger positive difference for their teams, organizations and the world. If you are listening to this podcast in the future, you could be with us live. If you want to know when we're doing live Simulcasts and how you can join us on your favorite social channel.

00:01:01:18 - 00:01:31:14
Kevin Eikenberry
And you can join our Facebook or LinkedIn groups where we make announcements about those things. So you can just go to remarkable podcast icon slash Facebook or remarkable podcast icon slash LinkedIn to get all the scoop and join us in the future. Hope you'll do that. Now, today's episode is brought to you by our remarkable master classes pick from 13 important leadership in Life skills to help you become more effective, productive and confident while overcoming some of the leader's toughest challenges.

00:01:31:15 - 00:01:51:09
Kevin Eikenberry
Learn more and sign up at remarkable. Matt Excuse me remarkable masterclass dot com. Our guest today. I'm going to bring him in right now. For those of you that are live or watching the video, you can see him. His name is Bob Sutton. Rob, let me tell you about him and we'll dive in. And I'm guessing you already know him.

00:01:51:11 - 00:02:16:02
Kevin Eikenberry
Robert, I Sutton is an organizational psychologist and professor of management, science and engineering in the Stanford Engineering School. He has given keynote speeches to more than 200 groups in 20 countries and served on numerous, numerous scholarly editorial boards. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Businessweek, The Atlantic, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair and The Washington Post.

00:02:16:04 - 00:02:41:10
Kevin Eikenberry
He is a frequent guest on various television and radio programs, has written seven books and edited two volumes, including the bestsellers The No Asshole Rule, Good Boss, Bad Boss, and Scaling Up Excellence. His newest book, coauthored with Huggy Rao is The Friction Project. How Smart Leaders Make Things, make the Right things Easier and the Wrong things Harder. And that is our focus today.

00:02:41:15 - 00:02:51:10
Kevin Eikenberry
Bob, welcome. I have had you on my list of people I've wanted to have to meet or slash be on this show for a long time. So I'm glad to have you here. Welcome.

00:02:51:12 - 00:02:54:21
Bob Sutton
It's great to meet you. And I'm excited to talk to your audience.

00:02:54:23 - 00:03:12:19
Kevin Eikenberry
All right. So I'm going to start here. You talk early in the book. I always ask this question. Bob was asked the question like, tell us a little bit about your journey. How did you end up doing this kind of work? But because people know a little bit about you, from what I've already said, I'm going to actually say how.

00:03:12:22 - 00:03:19:14
Kevin Eikenberry
How is it that you decided like seven years ago to to do this thing called the Friction Project?

00:03:19:16 - 00:03:50:01
Bob Sutton
boy, I don't want to do that. So that. So it was kind of a two pronged set. I love I love the prompt. It was it was sort of a two pronged set of forces. The first one, the one that I would say, like the official explanation was the book that we did before. Since we're alive, the scale scaling up science with how we worked with a lot of organizations that had the goal to get big because that's scale.

00:03:50:01 - 00:04:26:13
Bob Sutton
We want to scale, baby scale. I mean, I was around Facebook a little bit when they had two or 300 people, Salesforce sort of early pre IPO, Google pretty early. And what happened was in those cases, in so many other cases, in the process of their dreams becoming true, the leaders of those organizations in much smaller organizations to even even idea as it grew from 40 or 50 people to 200 would be another example because I was a fellow there that things will get harder and harder to get done.

00:04:26:15 - 00:04:53:01
Bob Sutton
And and and so that was one. And then then when we teach executives, as you do you teach executives all the time, they would talk about things like working in a frustration factory. I work in a frustration factory. I remember that or I remember one woman, a middle manager from HP. I don't mean to call it HP, but she said something like, How do they expect me to show any initiative when I when I'm sort of like struggling to walk through this shit every day?

00:04:53:03 - 00:05:18:10
Bob Sutton
So so that was that was sort of like the professional part that we were hearing the message. Then the other part, since I have been at Stanford for more than 40 years and the percentage of students or the number of students and faculty has not actually grown that much, maybe 25%, that the number of administrators has grown just exponentially.

00:05:18:12 - 00:05:20:02
Bob Sutton
And so more than.

00:05:20:02 - 00:05:22:06
Kevin Eikenberry
25%. Are you saying, Bob?

00:05:22:08 - 00:05:42:02
Bob Sutton
Well, it depends on how you calculate it. And there's some controversy about that. But the question is, literally in the press, there's some controversy about whether we have more students or more administrators. It depends how you count them. And I could go on and on, but but there were a lot of things that used to be easier to do at Stanford.

00:05:42:02 - 00:06:10:15
Bob Sutton
And some of them should be should be hard to do. It should be hard to steal and cheat and stuff like that. I'm all for that. But but other things have gotten more and more difficult at and and then on top of that, it's the email revolution. So the book starts with with a 166 word email with a 7500 word attachment from a senior administrator who invited all 20 faculty members to spend a Saturday brainstorming together literally like a giant, like gang brainstorm.

00:06:10:17 - 00:06:35:16
Bob Sutton
And I thought that was sort of, to use the term almost an abuse of power because of the amount of time that she was taking away from us. So anyway, so, so to end there and that was sort of the bad news. Maybe we get to the good news, but it was both, you know, dealing with other people and our own personal frustration with with Stanford and also with other places where we were consumers about how difficult it was to get things done.

00:06:35:16 - 00:06:53:16
Bob Sutton
And you and I were talking off air about health care, boy. Health care is a real it's really a big problem in the U.S. health care system. But those are the two. It's usually that way for me. I have to have both. I have to have some intellectual argument and I have to have something has to get me in the gut if I don't feel it here.

00:06:53:18 - 00:07:04:02
Bob Sutton
Since you write books, too. Otherwise, I don't have the what he called the energy in me and the wherewithal to keep writing sentence after sentence. And it has to be something that stirs me up a little bit.

00:07:04:04 - 00:07:27:10
Kevin Eikenberry
Well, I think that, you know, I opened the intro by saying using that word friction. Right. And I think we all sort of know what that means or what that feels like. And I describe what you call destructive friction. And and then one of the things you talk about in the book, I'm going to read a phrase and then I want to comment because you talk about early in the book and I told you there would be no there'd be no, I'm not going to say, hey, tell me what's on page 23.

00:07:27:10 - 00:07:29:06
Kevin Eikenberry
I'm just going to read you what's on page 23.

00:07:29:09 - 00:07:31:20
Bob Sutton
Well, you can I'll make it up.

00:07:31:22 - 00:07:55:20
Kevin Eikenberry
It's about being a friction fixer. And you said our seven year project taught us that. Taught us that a bedrock belief of friction fixers is this, that if we focus on what to make easier and faster and what to make harder and slower, life will be better for workers and the people they serve. So when I framed the opening here, and you've been talking about sort of one kind of friction, which is what we'll call bad friction.

00:07:55:20 - 00:08:06:11
Kevin Eikenberry
Right, Right. Friction. But what you're saying here is there's really two kinds here. What do you mean by that? And then maybe talk a little bit about good friction for a second.

00:08:06:13 - 00:08:30:16
Bob Sutton
Sure. So, I mean, so what we mean by that is that is that there are a whole bunch of things that organizations let's just say the process of hiring people that when I get back to that in a second, the process of of of I don't know, setting up meetings, of getting our expense reports reimbursed, all these sort of things that should be relatively easy.

00:08:30:18 - 00:08:50:02
Bob Sutton
And then there are some things that should be harder or impossible. So it should be difficult to cheat. That should be impossible or very difficult. And then and I'll go through this in some detail later. There's a whole bunch of things that should be slow and difficult and where people just need to pause or not do it at all.

00:08:50:03 - 00:09:06:05
Bob Sutton
We can get into the unethical stuff, but there's one story I like to tell because in some ways it shows to me the interplay between good and bad friction. It's almost the best summary of the book. So I got the book right here. I used Laszlo Bock, who is essentially great book work rules that maybe had him on your show.

00:09:06:07 - 00:09:33:04
Bob Sutton
Anyhow, so laszlo is head of essentially h.r. People operations at google for about eight years when it was more functional than it was. Now google has some struggles right now and there was a tradition that google which made a lot of sense in the early days when larry and Sergey, the founders, they would interview job candidates eight 1015 according to Laszlo, as many as 25 times before they would make a hiring decision.

00:09:33:04 - 00:09:52:14
Bob Sutton
And Jeff Pfeiffer and I actually interviewed Laszlo Laszlo, Larry Page in 2002, and I got the transcript. I was just looking at it recently and he was talking about how everybody Sanford was mad at him because they were interviewing people so many times before they hired him, but he wanted to have people who were both technically skilled and had and had the management skills to build.

00:09:52:14 - 00:10:11:00
Bob Sutton
The company had very clear vision, which was smart for scaling, really. But this becomes ingrained in the company and it becomes a tradition. Just think about if you got to interview somebody 15 or 20 times before you hire them. Think about logistics and scheduling. And by the way, you also piss off the best candidates who in those days will go to Facebook.

00:10:11:02 - 00:10:34:10
Bob Sutton
I'll go somewhere else. Yeah, I'll go so much. So Laszlo did books called Work Rules. He put in a simple rule, which is if you're going to do more than four job interviews, you need personal approval from me. So that's a speed bump. That's the way I would summarize. It's good friction to reduce bad friction. And he said he couldn't believe how well it worked.

00:10:34:12 - 00:10:48:13
Bob Sutton
And and there's a lot of messages in there that that what is a top down authority can be benevolent for everybody's good It's not always bad. And I like that story because because it shows the interplay between good and bad friction.

00:10:48:15 - 00:11:14:15
Kevin Eikenberry
Yeah. And in fact, you have it. You have a section where you actually use that example to walk us through what you call the friction forensics. And listen, it's not it's not going to be a great podcast for you to walk through all eight of those things. But but just talk about that idea of like, how do we start to parse out when the points that I made earlier, when we should speed up and when we should slow down?

00:11:14:17 - 00:11:20:15
Bob Sutton
Well, if I would pick one and you're right, there's like 13 of them. So I'm an academic or something.

00:11:20:20 - 00:11:22:14
Kevin Eikenberry
I think there's only eight, but there's plenty.

00:11:22:18 - 00:11:42:16
Bob Sutton
Yeah, well, I actually since I have a slide deck that has 13 of them on and I'm actually looking at it right now. So, you know, professors so I talk about addition sickness, I'm suffering from it. So, so, so if I were to pick one at the very top, the Nobel Prize winner, Daniel Kahneman, he talks about moving fast and slow.

00:11:42:18 - 00:12:11:15
Bob Sutton
The basic argument is that in his terms, when you're in a cognitive minefield, when you don't know what to do, when things are all messed up, when people are confused, that's when you just pull over and figure out what is going on and there's lots of examples that we use in the book. Maybe one of the simplest one is Waze, the navigation software, which probably many folks in the audience use.

00:12:11:17 - 00:12:30:13
Bob Sutton
Waze is an example where Noam Bardin, the CEO, and when they got $30 million in venture capital, this is way back in 2011 or 2012, the venture capitalist wanted him to hire people to do a bunch of product development. But there was a problem where when people downloaded Waze, if they if you waited 30 days, none of them were using it.

00:12:30:15 - 00:12:51:18
Bob Sutton
So he just put the brakes on for six weeks and everybody in the team figured out what was wrong, including not hiring people, by the way. Because when you add more people to a confused project, it makes things even worse. And then you quickly. Yeah, there's a great book called The Mythical Man Won that makes that argument quite elegantly.

00:12:51:20 - 00:13:12:02
Bob Sutton
So anyway, so, so, so to us, that's if I would pick one. That's it. And the analogy that I've been using lately that I kind of like is, is in some ways, if you think of yourself as a race car driver, Formula One or NASCAR, whatever you like or is that the people win the races, do not put the pedal to the metal the entire time.

00:13:12:07 - 00:13:34:07
Bob Sutton
They slow down for the curve so they don't wipe out. They do pit stops, they don't run out of gas. And so so there's also that there's also that sort of analogy. And that also gets us to something that I know you know a lot about, which is burnout or keeping people going emotionally that, you know, you're kind of doing a marathon, you're doing lemons, you're not doing a drag race.

00:13:34:09 - 00:13:36:20
Bob Sutton
Use the analogy.

00:13:36:22 - 00:13:38:12
Kevin Eikenberry
I live in Indianapolis, for heaven's sake.

00:13:38:12 - 00:14:05:18
Bob Sutton
That's right. You live in Indianapolis, 500. Yeah. Yeah. So? So anyway, so and we could I could go on and on and on with with examples of times when slowing down works. The second one that I would pick and then now we can discuss some other stuff is that all the evidence on creative work is that if you rush it too much and if you add too much efficiency to it, you are going to mess it up.

00:14:05:18 - 00:14:28:16
Bob Sutton
And you can look at my my friend and colleague Teresa Marble spent 50 years studying creativity, and that's one of her number one things. If you put if you put the gun to your head, rush ahead, go faster. Everything stops. Ed Catmull, one of the stars of the book who led Pixar for 32 years. He makes the argument that we almost never thought about speed and efficiency.

00:14:28:22 - 00:14:51:16
Bob Sutton
We just thought about iterating over and over again till it was right. And yes, there might be ways to make things less inefficient. But but, but when it comes to creative work, people think they can make it more efficient and speeded up. There's there's a pretty bad history there. I'm even thinking I spent a fair amount of time at one point working with the auto industry, especially General Motors.

00:14:51:18 - 00:15:20:16
Bob Sutton
And they were always trying to help the product development process. And and I remember one guy telling me from General Motors, there's one way we've always been able to figure out how to speed up the product development process, and that is to claim that we started later than we actually did because because there's this phase they call phase zero, that's phase zero since we're authors, Phase zero is when we're trying to figure out which book to write and to outline the that that's what we created.

00:15:20:19 - 00:15:39:05
Bob Sutton
But Phase zero is where they sort of muck around and sort of figure out the general general characteristics and market for the car. And so I remember him saying, So I've been involved in multiple, multiple projects where we sped up the project about one process by simply removing phase zero from the timeline.

00:15:39:06 - 00:15:41:17
Kevin Eikenberry
That we saw happen. But we didn't talk about that. We did.

00:15:41:18 - 00:16:07:15
Bob Sutton
Right, right, right, right. That point where you're just you just sort of you just sort of sitting around confused. And I remember an old software executive who led a company that made computer games. And I remember him saying it's a lot cheaper to to pay for designers to sit around and drink coffee for a year to figure out what game to develop than to take a bad game and put 300 people on it and develop it really fast.

00:16:07:17 - 00:16:13:19
Bob Sutton
He said that it was sort of like the main lesson that that he learned, you know, being a gaming executive.

00:16:13:21 - 00:16:33:12
Kevin Eikenberry
Well, and we've all and here's the thing, even those of us that mess this up have all heard this phrase go slow to go fast. Right? Right. That's fundamentally the idea that you're describing right there. And all of us will politely not at that. Or I mean, I've written it and people say, well, we already know that. yeah, but you're not doing it.

00:16:33:15 - 00:16:58:05
Kevin Eikenberry
Like there's two different things here, right? Between what we there's a difference in what we know. The the knowing and doing gap as we might, we might talk about it. So one of the things that comes to me as I read the book, and it's in part because I am working on my next book, where we're one of the big ideas is that the answer is seldom at the ends of the spectrum, but it's somewhere in the middle.

00:16:58:05 - 00:17:19:07
Kevin Eikenberry
And like what we're talking about is like too fast is too fast, too slow is too slow. The right answer is somewhere in the middle. It all depends on what the exact situation or context is, of course, And and so like any other thoughts about how to figure out that balance, if we're going to call it a balance.

00:17:19:10 - 00:17:58:07
Bob Sutton
Well, so I guess I have I have two thoughts. One thought is it depends on how deep a relationship that you need and want to do the work. And, you know, to steal a line from the Supremes. You can't hurry, love. And that's in the book somewhere. And and I and and if you look at situations, there's very good evidence that teams that start new organizations that actually put on Broadway plays that do surgery, that fly airplanes, that the more experience they have together, the better they tend to perform.

00:17:58:09 - 00:18:19:19
Bob Sutton
And Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett would be sort of exhibit one. They they were together for 60 years. But but and yes, there are many things in life you can do efficiently if you have strangers, including people who fly on airplanes and do surgery. They know what the procedures are. But it turns out even people who fly airplanes that do surgery, the more they work together, the better they do.

00:18:19:23 - 00:18:43:10
Bob Sutton
So. So to me, that's one thing is, is whether you're just having like a quick we're just going to get it done sort of thing or you want a long term relationship and you really want to want to do it. Then the other thing and since we're both leadership people and this is the leadership podcast and show is there's some really interesting research, you do talk about it in the book and I did a little bit of that with her.

00:18:43:15 - 00:19:06:11
Bob Sutton
It's by a woman named Lindy Greer. She's now at University of Michigan. She's at Stanford for a while. And her argument is in this again, gets sort of like fast or slow. It's sort of when you as a leader interject versus get out of the way. So so what her research shows and she's done everything from experiments to to following CEOs of startups here in Silicon Valley.

00:19:06:13 - 00:19:27:08
Bob Sutton
And what her research shows is that the best leaders know when to switch gears between, if you will, activating the hierarchy, kind of going man and control mode. So that's when they make a decision. They tell people to shut up and to go to work, because when there's an emergency, sometimes you have to do that it or they just say, okay, I've heard enough.

00:19:27:13 - 00:19:52:15
Bob Sutton
Here's my decision. We've got to move forward versus flattening the hierarchy and saying, let's brainstorm, or they might pass around the talking stick. Or is my my friend they reduce that. My my friend and and mentor David Kelly who started idea of the that famous unfortunately fading design firm and also the Stanford design school that I'm a co-founder of.

00:19:52:15 - 00:20:14:23
Bob Sutton
But he was really the main leader David has this remarkable ability to bring together a bunch of smart people, walk to the back of the room and then walk out of the room. I even wrote an article about him, actually him and President Kennedy use the method of getting together a bunch of people and realizing that their authority might stifle conversation and walking out of the room.

00:20:15:01 - 00:20:18:15
Bob Sutton
So. So I cut their magic by walking out of the room. So let me just say.

00:20:18:15 - 00:20:53:01
Kevin Eikenberry
Something about that. Can I say something that I didn't know that David Kelly did that. So I'm starting to feel smart all of a sudden. I do that with my team all the time. Like I feel like there's a like a team is a team is working on something or there's a topic that that, that I feel like I can add some context or I can add some value, but not by staying so relatively frequently because it's valuable for me to be there for a bit and it's more but then my value goes away because you can't forget that he's the boss.

00:20:53:01 - 00:21:14:12
Kevin Eikenberry
I mean, right. Mike does. He writes the paycheck, His name is on the company. That makes it like, you know, I'm not the president United States, but they get a paycheck that I sign, right? So so I think that's a really important thing. And the reason I the reason I'm adding myself into that, everybody is not because not for an ego stroke.

00:21:14:12 - 00:21:31:11
Kevin Eikenberry
I'm really doing that because you can do that as a leader at any place in the organization. Like you don't have to be the founder of the company, the president, United States. That strategy. You can do that as a front line leader. Everybody, I don't care where you sit, that approach that we just describe is something you can absolutely do.

00:21:31:11 - 00:21:37:01
Kevin Eikenberry
And once you understand that that's even possible, it can be of great value to you.

00:21:37:06 - 00:21:58:02
Bob Sutton
What saves you time in it? And it helps your people brainstorm the other the other part that that I would add is that and David Kelly does this too. David Kelly knows when to get back in the room, too, because I was the ideal fellow for 19 years and I've been involved and I'm still involved in the Stanford School with him to some degree.

00:21:58:04 - 00:22:17:01
Bob Sutton
And when things are messed up, I he will interject. He will call us all together. I mean, the classic thing that happens and we've all seen this is you've got sort of like a middle manager type person who's really messing things up. So we all have to get together with David and say, what do we do about it?

00:22:17:07 - 00:22:32:22
Bob Sutton
Do we give him feedback? Do we fire him? What do? And that's where you sort of activate the hierarchy, and then it's David or other skilled leaders who make who make the decision. So so I think that's really important.

00:22:32:23 - 00:22:56:19
Kevin Eikenberry
So even though everybody I had never met Bob until like 8 minutes before we went live, I already knew that we would have way more to talk about than we could possibly talk about. As we're talking about his latest book, The Friction Project How Smart Leaders Make Things Make the Right Things Easier and the Wrong things Harder. We're not going to get through all of it, so just go buy your copy already.

00:22:56:19 - 00:23:24:16
Kevin Eikenberry
We'll get to that in a second and we'll give you a chance to figure out how to do that. But you have this whole piece about a help pyramid and how we do all that. I'm going to skip that because what I want to do is you end with five traps. The traps that we might fall into on unknowingly and the traps that all of us would recognize in others, but might not recognize in ourselves.

00:23:24:18 - 00:23:41:22
Kevin Eikenberry
And so I got all five of them here that I can drop on the screen. I'm going to ask you to say which ones your favorite. And by my favorite, I don't mean the one you like the most, but maybe the one that you think shows up most, or that just you feel like talking about today.

00:23:41:23 - 00:24:07:04
Bob Sutton
Well, I think the one the one I would pick is called addition sickness. And the reason I would pick addition sickness is it says such a fundamental challenge for us as humans in our brains and also in our organizations, the incentive systems we have. So so at the human level and I'll have yes, I'll plug my friend lady class writing class.

00:24:07:06 - 00:24:33:16
Bob Sutton
You wrote this book, Subtract rodents. Look, I've got a coffee stain right in the middle of this book. And and so. So lighting is colleagues at University of Virginia showed that the standard human solution, the default human solution to solving any problem is just to add more complexity, whether it's fixing a Lego model, fixing a university, improving a recipe our to fall problem solving approach is addition.

00:24:33:18 - 00:24:37:21
Bob Sutton
So that's one problem that's just and if you think about it, I say since you're.

00:24:38:02 - 00:24:45:13
Kevin Eikenberry
Talking about books, yeah, that's a major problem with people that like like you and I that write books.

00:24:45:15 - 00:24:51:23
Bob Sutton
When you're surrounded with these things, don't ask me what percentage I read. So it's up, it goes.

00:24:52:02 - 00:24:56:04
Kevin Eikenberry
It's not what happens. Like they get longer, they don't get shorter.

00:24:56:06 - 00:25:27:01
Bob Sutton
they don't. And in fact, at least when this book Scaling Up Excellence, when it got reviewed in the Financial Times very positively, you know how the English are, Andrew Hill said For a book that talks about cognitive load, it puts too much cognitive load on the readers. So yeah, yes, I have that challenge too. But the the other problem is, is that in addition to this human tendency, many organizations have a tendency to reward people who add stuff rather than subtract stuff.

00:25:27:01 - 00:25:46:02
Bob Sutton
So it could be a new initiative of one of my favorite or least favorite, depending on how you describe it. Incentives is that is that most organizations, the more people who report to you, the more you get paid. So you end up with a fiefdom. And this is a problem at Google right now. It's a problem at Stanford.

00:25:46:02 - 00:26:21:07
Bob Sutton
Where I work is is that you create this incentive and then and then when you hire a bunch of administrators, what do they do? They add load on each other and on people in the front lines. So, so, so so there's this addition sickness. So that's the bad news. The good news and this comes from Lady Klotz at our research and from our more informal research is that when you trigger this mindset and give people tools to do subtraction, we call it treating them thinking like an editor in chief is is that which we saw from our friend Michael Deering, a venture capitalist.

00:26:21:09 - 00:26:50:14
Bob Sutton
And then lots of good things can happen. And then and then we have lots of examples of how you would do a good riddance review or sludge review to figure out what's getting in the way, and then also some tools for subtraction. And and so so to me, if I was going to pick one of the most interesting and important one is just making aware of this bias towards addition and then giving people both the mindset and the tools to begin subtracting.

00:26:50:14 - 00:26:56:01
Bob Sutton
That's that's and I'm not talking about laying off people, by the way. I'm talking about getting rid of burdens.

00:26:56:03 - 00:27:18:16
Kevin Eikenberry
100%. I agree with you on that. I'm just going to we are not going to talk about any more of them, but I'm just going to tell all of you. I mean, if at this point in listening to this conversation, you don't get and if you've never read any of Bob's work, if you don't get the fact that this this isn't isn't not only thought provoking, but fun to read, let me give you the other four traps just so you have a clue.

00:27:18:20 - 00:27:44:03
Kevin Eikenberry
They are oblivious leaders, broken connections, jargon, monoxide. That's my personal favorite. And fast and frenzied. So it's it's good stuff. And like, you don't even have to read them to know what he means by most of those, like carbon monoxide. We know what that means. So I'm going to shift gears, Bob. I'm going actually will actually ask you one more question.

00:27:44:04 - 00:28:10:05
Kevin Eikenberry
Sure. Before we going to go into the final part of the conversation. So one of the things that's been happening a lot in what will, let's call it post pandemic is all of the discussion about bringing people back to the office. What's your take about all that as it relates to friction? Like there's all sorts of things we could say about whether that's right, whether that's wrong, why it's good, whether it's bad and all of that.

00:28:10:07 - 00:28:17:19
Kevin Eikenberry
But I'm just curious what connection you would make to all of those efforts about where and when people are working and how it relates to friction.

00:28:17:19 - 00:28:35:09
Bob Sutton
Well, so so when it comes to the return to work stuff, my first my perspective is I'm trying to be nonideological because everybody from Jamie Dimon to the people who say that we should never go back to the office again, I think there are two ideological. And so I would I'm lucky to have a colleague.

00:28:35:11 - 00:28:37:06
Kevin Eikenberry
Long spectrum, one spectrum.

00:28:37:12 - 00:29:00:00
Bob Sutton
Yeah. And people did not listen to Jamie Dimon. They didn't come in anyways. Is is that so? I have a cognate Nick Blum, who's in the economics department. He has a huge data set. He's been setting this problem forever and hundreds of thousands of people in his data set. And what it looks like is about half the population have jobs where they it's possible for them to work from home.

00:29:00:02 - 00:29:11:18
Bob Sutton
I mean, so people who work at McDonald's or are surgeons, they they can't do it remotely very well. So so although even in McDonald's, they figured out how to make some of the jobs remote.

00:29:11:20 - 00:29:15:03
Kevin Eikenberry
So but working in a warehouse, driving a truck, we can go right on down the.

00:29:15:03 - 00:29:42:21
Bob Sutton
Line, right? Yeah. Yeah. We yeah. So there's all sorts of things that have to. So for the other 50%, what it looks like is that is that if you just force everybody to go to work five days a week or you just go completely remote, those are liar solutions, although it's kind of cool in there are fully remote organizations that don't have a headquarters that work quite well.

00:29:43:03 - 00:29:57:23
Bob Sutton
On average, it looks like sort of Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday is probably about right and people will be less productive on those days because people are less productive in the office. But then that takes care of the social glue. So, so so.

00:29:58:01 - 00:30:01:10
Kevin Eikenberry
We can have a whole other show on what productive means in that context.

00:30:01:10 - 00:30:03:18
Bob Sutton
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Because there's more.

00:30:03:18 - 00:30:04:22
Kevin Eikenberry
To it than just that.

00:30:04:22 - 00:30:30:08
Bob Sutton
But for non they're more productive for non interdependent work, let's just say, or non creative non-emotional bonding work. So, so so so that's sort of where I'm at. But but forcing people to go to work five days a week, it looks like that ship has sailed for many occupations. And one of the reasons is that you won't be able to recruit or keep the best people.

00:30:30:08 - 00:30:52:07
Bob Sutton
In fact, there's a company that I'm working right now with that has a world class arrow, and the reason that she is looking for another job and has a more lucrative got a more lucrative job offer. But she got pissed because she's a CEO of a public company. They were forced to come into the office five days a week and she thought it was completely pointless.

00:30:52:07 - 00:31:10:08
Bob Sutton
So she started looking for a job. So. So you got it. So you got to sort of be careful with this. And yes, of course, there's all the friction of traveling of of, you know, get taking a shower and get all the stuff that we know that you have to do to get ready to go into keeping gas in your car and all that sort of stuff.

00:31:10:10 - 00:31:34:09
Bob Sutton
So so those are all sort of sorts of friction. And just one comment I also would make, which is evidence based, but something that really annoys me is that is that one of the reasons that many people are in the kind of jobs where they work in the office figured out how bad it was, was there was this thing called the open office movement that occurred in the years running up to the pandemic.

00:31:34:11 - 00:31:50:10
Bob Sutton
And and I just remember talking to architects, even at Stanford, you got to be like Google and Facebook. And I said, I have friends who work at Google and Facebook. If they need to get something done, they either find a conference room or stay at home and work if they're if they're writing code or having a sensitive meeting, they're always fighting for the conference rooms.

00:31:50:11 - 00:32:11:07
Bob Sutton
So so in all the evidence is that the open office is less productive, less collaborative, more likely to spread diseases because you don't have walls, all these sort of problems. And then people are upset because their employees aren't going back to an open office, which which sucks for the kind of work they do. So which which is another source of another source of friction.

00:32:11:12 - 00:32:39:14
Bob Sutton
So you can't get your work done because of the burdens that openoffice places on you. So so that's kind of with the return to work. I'm trying to stay in the middle of the spectrum and, and, and one thing it is interesting for people to know that that there are some organizations that are completely virtual. So there's an organization I'm an advisor to called camaraderie that there was it was there's no headquarters there's about 30 people who work all over the world.

00:32:39:18 - 00:32:43:06
Bob Sutton
And there are organizations like that, and they do function.

00:32:43:08 - 00:33:06:04
Kevin Eikenberry
We are we are nearly that and have been for a long time, not set, but very close to that. And so, yeah, so but I think the right answer is what's the work rather than what does someone what that's the question like what you know there's the tension between getting the right work done and meeting the needs of the people that are doing the work.

00:33:06:04 - 00:33:18:04
Kevin Eikenberry
And if we can figure that out, rather than getting on either end of that spectrum that you and I were talking about earlier, we had a better shot of success and that ends up looking like two or three days one way or the other, right? Whatever that ends up being for you.

00:33:18:06 - 00:33:45:01
Bob Sutton
I love that. The work, the other thing, dear bosses, and I think that Jamie Dimon won't admit it, but I think he learned this is that is that when you order people to do something and they don't do it. In the words of my late colleague Jim March, resistance to change often protects you from folly as an executive, that there's a lot of information in this idea of resistance to change being, the stupid people won't do what we're telling them to do.

00:33:45:03 - 00:33:51:22
Bob Sutton
Very often it's just information that, maybe what you're doing or how you're doing, it needs to be changed. As a senior leader.

00:33:51:23 - 00:34:06:20
Kevin Eikenberry
There is wisdom in the crowd, so. So I have a couple of final questions for you, Bob, before we finish. And one of them is this Outside of all the stuff we've been talking about, although it's pretty clear that you enjoy your work, what do you do for fun?

00:34:06:22 - 00:34:26:16
Bob Sutton
Well, so go for bike rides. Go for hikes in the Sierras with my wife. My my wife is she was a CEO of the Girl Scouts of Northern California for 15 years. She's a lawyer before that. And and so she really knows all the great places to hike. So she drags me up the mountains in the Sierras. I can almost keep up with her.

00:34:26:18 - 00:34:38:18
Bob Sutton
And I ride my bike a lot. And then lately we've been going now with the pandemic's over there's a we've been going to a lot of live music and comedy shows because we kind of miss that. So that's some of the stuff that we do also.

00:34:38:23 - 00:34:57:15
Kevin Eikenberry
And like me, you got books all around you. I actually that's one of the ways I feel like I'm blessed is when they're little better, when there are books around me. So and you've mentioned as many books during this conversation as any any guest has ever done. And by the way, we'll have all those everybody in the show for you.

00:34:57:17 - 00:35:00:15
Kevin Eikenberry
But what are you reading right now, Bob?

00:35:00:17 - 00:35:27:21
Bob Sutton
Well, so the book I keep going back to is I got the book Hack Your Bureaucracy. Okay, So this is this is by Maureen and it's a Nick Sinai. Now, they're really interesting because both of them were senior government officials in the Obama administration and they both of them, and they're still working on this. They did all this stuff to get rid of destructive friction in large bureaucracies.

00:35:27:23 - 00:36:03:04
Bob Sutton
And and it's so technique, it's so tangible in terms of specific things that you can do no matter where you are in an organization, to to make bureaucracies work better. And one thing that one song they sing I really like is that this idea that bureaucracy is terrible. It maybe it is it is a pejorative word. But the way I was taught as an organizational theorist, what bureaucracy means is it means you have a hierarchy, it means you have specialized roles in and functions and you have rules.

00:36:03:10 - 00:36:27:03
Bob Sutton
And I have no idea how to run an organization, even an organization with 15 people without having those characteristics. And the question is, is it a good bureaucracy or a bad bureaucracy? And then they talk about all these things that that they have done in their leadership roles and now as consultants to help organizations get rid of destruction, friction, destructive friction.

00:36:27:03 - 00:36:27:21
Bob Sutton
So hack your.

00:36:27:23 - 00:36:46:02
Kevin Eikenberry
Bureaucracy that that book has been featured on the show. We'll have that in the show. Yeah. All right. Well, I was already thinking that when I thought about related podcasts, which we try to do, that would definitely be one related here. Hack your bureaucracy. And we're and so, Bob, here's the chance. What do we need to know? Like, where do you want to point people?

00:36:46:03 - 00:36:52:01
Kevin Eikenberry
What what do you need people to know? How can they learn more about you and your work and this great The Friction project? Where do you employ people?

00:36:52:06 - 00:37:13:02
Bob Sutton
Well, probably the best place is either Bob Sutton dot net, which is my website, or just on LinkedIn. I'm pretty active on LinkedIn. I still do some stuff on Twitter, but Twitter is getting less fun, or I guess we're supposed to call it X now. And so, so LinkedIn is another good place. But Bob Sutton Dot Net is probably the best place to go.

00:37:13:04 - 00:37:33:00
Kevin Eikenberry
Bob Sutton Dot net where you can learn about this book and all of the others. So Bob, before we wrap up, I've got a question that I ask everybody every week. If you've been with me before, you know, I'm going to ask you now what what are you going to do? Maybe you're going to think about the idea of of addition sickness.

00:37:33:00 - 00:37:56:20
Kevin Eikenberry
Maybe you're going to think a little bit about what role you can play regardless of where you sit in the organization. Maybe you're going to try to do what you can to reduce the frustration factory in your organizing. Maybe you're recognizing that friction isn't all bad, just like bureaucracy doesn't necessarily have to be bad. And you need and you need to think a little bit more about what should we make harder and what should we make easier.

00:37:56:22 - 00:38:13:16
Kevin Eikenberry
I don't know what the right answer is for all of you, but I do know that if you don't if you just take this in and say that was interesting, and even if you just decided to go by the book, that this time would have been better spent for you in the long term, if you take some action on what you have learned, I hope you'll do that.

00:38:13:16 - 00:38:15:06
Kevin Eikenberry
And Bob, thanks so much for being here.

00:38:15:06 - 00:38:23:03
Bob Sutton
It was very much I was so fun to talk to you. Gather somebody said that they love our energy and I love your energy. It's fabulous.

00:38:23:05 - 00:38:39:17
Kevin Eikenberry
Well, thank you. And everybody, if you like this one, you need to come back next week because we're going to be back again next week. Not live. I'm not going to be live for a while as I'm finishing the man's manuscript for my next book. But every week the podcast will come out and so come back next week for another episode of The Remarkable Leadership Podcast.

00:38:39:18 - 00:38:40:08
Kevin Eikenberry
Thanks, everybody.

Meet Robert

Robert's Story: Robert I. Sutton is the co-author of The Friction Project How Smart Leaders Make the Right Things Easier and the Wrong Things Harder with Huggy Rao. He is an organizational psychologist and professor of Management Science and Engineering in the Stanford Engineering School. He has given keynote speeches to more than 200 groups in 20 countries and served on numerous scholarly editorial boards. Sutton’s work has been featured in the New York Times, BusinessWeek, The Atlantic, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, and Washington Post. He is a frequent guest on various television and radio programs, and has written seven books and two edited volumes, including the bestsellers The No Asshole Rule; Good Boss, Bad Boss; and Scaling Up Excellence.

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The Long-Distance Team. Remote leadership experts, Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel, help leaders navigate the new world of remote and hybrid teams to design the culture they desire for their teams and organizations in their new book!

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Personal Leadership Development

The Skills You Need to Lead in Business Today with Nathan Kracklauer

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Traditional MBA programs boast valuable curricula, accreditation, and networking - but at what cost? Kevin is joined by Nathan Kracklauer, the co-creator of the disruptive 12-week MBA program. They discuss the promises and pitfalls of conventional MBA degrees. Nathan provides an insider's perspective on the core skills every modern leader needs to cultivate - a blend of the numbers and the people. Further, he shares the often-overlooked key to effective decision-making: alignment trumps agreement.

Meet Nathan

Nathan's Story: Nathan Kracklauer is the co-author of The 12-Week MBA: Learn the Skills You Need to Lead in Business Today with Bjorn Billhardt. He leads Abilitie’s research and development efforts as Chief Research Officer. He joined Billhardt’s first start-up company, Enspire Learning, in 2002 and was the principal author of courses for organizations such as Harvard Business School and the World Bank. Nathan has facilitated leadership seminars at major global corporations and at executive education programs at IMD Business School, London Business School, and the MIT Sloan School of Management. Nathan holds a BA in Liberal Arts Honors and a BS in Mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. Born in Falls Church, VA, Nathan now lives in Karlsruhe, Germany, with his wife and two daughters.

Follow The Remarkable Leadership Podcast

This Episode is brought to you by...

The Long-Distance Team. Remote leadership experts, Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel, help leaders navigate the new world of remote and hybrid teams to design the culture they desire for their teams and organizations in their new book!

Book Recommendations

Like this?

Join Our Community

If you want to view our live podcast episodes, hear about new releases, or chat with others who enjoy this podcast join one of our communities below.

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If you liked this conversation, we’d be thrilled if you’d let others know by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Here’s a quick guide for posting a review.

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How to Inspire By Being Inspired with Yosi Amram
Professional Development

How to Inspire By Being Inspired with Yosi Amram

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We’ve heard emotional intelligence is important for relationships. What about spiritual intelligence? Yosi Amram explains that spiritual intelligence isn't about religious beliefs but the embodiment of virtues like purpose, gratitude, joy, and integrity, which lead to a more fulfilling life. Spiritual intelligence involves embodying timeless virtues like purpose, service, gratitude, integrity, and intuition. Yosi also discusses the 7 dimensions that make up spiritual intelligence. These include meaning, grace, inner-directed, community, presence, truth, and wisdom. Spiritual intelligence isn't just about personal growth but also enables leaders to create more cohesive teams, authentic interactions, and a deep sense of purpose. Research shows humble, listening leaders are the most effective because they take a holistic perspective by integrating input from all stakeholders

Listen For

00:00 Introduction
02:06 Dr. Amram's Background in Spiritual Intelligence
07:05 Spiritual Awakening and its Impact
12:13 Differences Between Managers and Leaders
17:33 Discussion of Each Dimension of Spiritual Intelligence
30:07 Leadership in Remote Teams

View Full Transcript

00:00:08:06 - 00:00:41:22
Kevin Eikenberry
Intelligence matters. And in the context of leadership, we often think about that intelligence in terms of emotional intelligence or interpersonal intelligence, perhaps. Today, though, we're talking about spiritual intelligence. Now, we're not talking about religious belief or fervor and or the opposite of those things, but we're talking about behaviors, behaviors that transcend those things and set us apart from those leaders who and set apart those leaders who can inspire themselves and others, inspire ourselves and others.

00:00:42:01 - 00:01:13:05
Kevin Eikenberry
Welcome to another episode of the Remarkable Leadership podcast, where we are helping leaders grow personally and professionally to lead more effectively and make a bigger difference for their teams, organizations and the world. If you are listening to this podcast, you could be joining us in the future for live episodes on your favorite social channel. You can do that and get access to when we're doing those live streams and therefore interact with us and even get this valuable information sooner by joining our Facebook or LinkedIn groups.

00:01:13:05 - 00:01:38:10
Kevin Eikenberry
Just go to Remarkable podcast dot com slash Facebook or remarkable podcast dot com slash linked in today's episode is brought to you by our remarkable masterclasses pick from 13 important life and leadership skills to help you become more effective, productive and confident while overcoming some of the leader's toughest challenges. Learn more and sign up at remarkable master class dot com.

00:01:38:12 - 00:02:06:18
Kevin Eikenberry
And at this juncture, I will bring in our guest. You can now see him. His name is Dr. Yossi Amram. Let me introduce him to you. He is a distinguished psychologist and executive coach catering to CEOs, entrepreneurs and other influential leaders and a pioneering researcher in the field of spiritual intelligence. He holds both an MBA from Harvard and a Ph.D. from Sophia University in Clinical Transpersonal Psychology.

00:02:06:20 - 00:02:46:05
Kevin Eikenberry
Prior to psychology and executive coaching, during a 13 year period, he founded and served as CEO for two highly successful tech companies that he led through successful IPOs, valve search and individual ink. Prior excuse me, Beyond executive coaching, he serves as a psychologist, working with individuals, couples and groups. He is the author of the book Spiritually Intelligent Leadership How to Inspire by Being Inspired, which offers a compelling roadmap that equips us with the means to connect with the true source of our power and presence within ourselves.

00:02:46:11 - 00:02:51:01
Kevin Eikenberry
Yossi, thank you so much for joining me. I'm so glad that you're here.

00:02:51:03 - 00:02:57:06
Yosi Amram
Thank you, Karen. I'm excited and psyched to be here. Yeah.

00:02:57:07 - 00:03:17:07
Kevin Eikenberry
So now I can quit reading something and I can look at you. And so we can. We can dive in. And I'm so glad that you're here. When I got your book and took a look, I said, Yeah, this is a is an important topic. And so I was excited that you said yes to join us. And so here's where I want to start.

00:03:17:07 - 00:03:37:07
Kevin Eikenberry
I mean, I read a bit of a bio. There's a lot more to any of us than a short bio, really, though. Tell us a little bit about your journey specifically as it relates to how you end up doing this work and how you end up sort of pioneering this idea of spiritual intelligence.

00:03:37:08 - 00:03:40:21
Yosi Amram
Okay. Well, hopefully I won't take the whole time to cover that.

00:03:40:22 - 00:03:41:23
Kevin Eikenberry
Yeah, don't do that.

00:03:42:01 - 00:04:07:08
Yosi Amram
Okay. So you'll keep me honest if I'm going on and on, right? But yeah, I was born and raised in Israel, and like all Israeli good Israeli men, I was drafted into the military and despite being shy and introverted and so on, I found myself excelling in leadership. And somehow I got all these awards and had the fastest promotion and track record in the history of my regiment.

00:04:07:08 - 00:04:29:08
Yosi Amram
Luckily, it was a peaceful time and I didn't have to engage in combat. And the way our crazy world right now is. It was a peaceful time. But still, you know, the military is a command and control model. What you're trained and and that's effective and powerful and needed when you're in battle, you don't have time to building consensus and so on.

00:04:29:10 - 00:05:04:23
Yosi Amram
So it's effective in the military. But fundamentally it chafed that my soul there's something in me that didn't really like that. And so I resolved and got interested, Can you build organizations and make effective teams and groups function in a way that supports the individual, that raises our spirit and in more humane way? So that became sort of my lifelong pursuit, and that led me to the desire to become an entrepreneur and build some companies and see what kind of cultures and environments and leadership paradigms I could do.

00:05:05:01 - 00:05:25:14
Yosi Amram
So I studied engineering. I went to M.I.T., I went to Harvard to get business. But ultimately that led me to start these two companies you mentioned. The first one was called Individual Inc, and individual was a concept. It was the first company to do two personal newspapers. You would get on your fax machines. Kevin Morning News.

00:05:25:20 - 00:05:29:15
Kevin Eikenberry
Okay. Some people, some people got to Google fax machine. Just say it.

00:05:29:16 - 00:06:04:19
Yosi Amram
Yeah, yeah. No, it's great. This is in the late eighties, early nineties, but you would have your personal newspaper news page on your fax machine and you would tell our software which articles were relevant or not. It would learn. And it's using machine learning already, you know, we weren't calling it exactly then that. But anyway, the point was individuals stood for the individualization and personalization of the content, but it also was an organizational philosophy that supported the growth of each individual in a team context.

00:06:04:21 - 00:06:33:04
Yosi Amram
So I was very passionate about it. The company grew and went public and so on, and I was healthy and I made millions of dollars. But somehow, somewhere inside of me something wasn't fulfilled. And I had worked 60, 80 hours a week. I was burning myself out. And even though I attained all the success I dreamed of, something inside didn't quite feel satisfied.

00:06:33:04 - 00:07:05:20
Yosi Amram
And I entered what's called the Estate of Dark Knight of the Soul and the spiritual Emergency. That woke me up to our interconnectedness and shifted my perception from being an independent, separate individual to being part of this interconnected wholeness. And that led me. It was a crisis. I got pushed out of the company because I was really in this expansive state and I had all these visions of the future, all of which came true.

00:07:05:20 - 00:07:28:08
Yosi Amram
But I wasn't grounded. That spiritual emergency turned actually into a manic episode, and so my board was kind of freaked out and put me on a leave of absence and so on. So that changed the direction of my life. But it woke me up to the reality of our interconnectedness and got me interested in what these spiritual states were.

00:07:28:10 - 00:07:53:10
Yosi Amram
So ultimately, then I made enough money. I became an angel investor. I was coaching other entrepreneurs and CEOs, and I could give them the best advice. But unless they did the inner work, they couldn't really accepted because their egos were in the way and so on. So that led me to decide to become a clinical psychologist so I can work with people at a deeper level and haven't been involved in leadership.

00:07:53:10 - 00:08:16:23
Yosi Amram
Like you mentioned, I knew a lot about emotional intelligence and all the work that's been done with Daniel Goleman and prior to him some academicians that developed the concept that showed that emotional intelligence contributes to leadership and well-being in life. Right. And I was interested in in spirituality and how to inspire and then I heard the term spiritual intelligence.

00:08:17:00 - 00:08:25:05
Yosi Amram
I was like, wow, that would be a beautiful parallel to emotional intelligence. But what is spiritual in terms great? You put it in the.

00:08:25:10 - 00:08:28:05
Kevin Eikenberry
Head, I put it up there. So so yeah, so.

00:08:28:07 - 00:08:55:05
Yosi Amram
So then got me on to this journey of what is it? So I had to do all the academic research to define it and find a way to measure it. Because if you want to show that it contributes to leadership effectiveness, you have to find a way to define and measure it and operationalize it. So that was my research that now has received over a thousand academic citations defining what spiritual intelligence is and how to measure.

00:08:55:05 - 00:08:59:11
Yosi Amram
It was the first academically validated measure. You might.

00:08:59:11 - 00:09:20:08
Kevin Eikenberry
Start there. Yeah, sorry, I could stop you. So I'm going to do that. So let's start there. Give in the intro. I said, We're going to talk about spiritual intelligence and it's not about religious belief necessarily. So what is it? So that everyone's grounded as we move forward and talk about the dimensions of it here in just a second.

00:09:20:14 - 00:09:47:05
Yosi Amram
Awesome. Awesome. Thank you for that question. And pausing me. So spiritual intelligence is very analogous to emotional intelligence, but it's different. What is emotional intelligence is the ability to draw on emotional resources and information to help regulate and manage our own and others emotions. So that's kind of broadly the definition. So what by analogy, what are what is spiritual intelligence?

00:09:47:05 - 00:10:19:18
Yosi Amram
The ability to draw on spiritual resources and embody qualities that have been held by all the world's wisdom traditions and use that to enhance our functioning and well-being in daily life. So what are these qualities? These are qualities like purpose and service and gratitude and joy and beauty and integrity and higher self and intuition. Forgiveness. These are qualities that throughout the ages have been looked at as virtues that lead to better life.

00:10:19:20 - 00:10:55:14
Yosi Amram
And so exactly as you said, spiritual does not belief in God or higher power or any belief. It's not an experience. People talk about an awakening experience that can lead to an enlightenment. It's not a momentary experience. It's the embodiment of these qualities. And so regardless of your religious and spiritual orientation, and my clients have ranged the full range from people that have been devout practitioners of a particular religion to spiritual but not religious, as many of us like to define ourselves or atheist.

00:10:55:16 - 00:11:23:21
Yosi Amram
But whether you're an atheist or a devout religious person, you know that practicing gratitude is a positive quality. Practicing compassion is a good quality. Having a sense of purpose is a good quality. Integrity is a good quality. Having intuition, tuning in to guidance higher self through your intuition is a high. So you know you can be an atheist and have quite high qualities of spiritual intelligence.

00:11:23:21 - 00:11:37:15
Yosi Amram
On these dimensions, you can bring joy and beauty to your life. You can express appreciation, all of which ties right back to leadership. Now I want to say one more thing. Okay. I'll pause there. You want to say something?

00:11:37:15 - 00:11:46:02
Kevin Eikenberry
No, because I was going ahead right where I think you're going to go. So we talked about spiritual intelligence. But how does that tied to leadership? I believe that's exactly where you about.

00:11:46:04 - 00:11:49:10
Yosi Amram
Okay, awesome. You're reading my mind. So I'm still.

00:11:49:15 - 00:11:52:04
Kevin Eikenberry
Going to be present. I'm trying to be present.

00:11:52:06 - 00:12:13:12
Yosi Amram
You are breath and then you are curious. I love it. You asked me what will make this a meaningful, valuable interaction as a deep present. Be curious. You're doing it. I'm having a ton of fun. I don't know if you can notice that I'm enjoying myself. I'm. I'm enlivened by our interaction, which is a joy. So anyway, I'll tell a bit of a story.

00:12:13:14 - 00:12:44:20
Yosi Amram
You know, when one of my first business school classes in 1982, believe it or not, was this case study at Harvard about managers and leaders, are they the same or different? What's the difference between management and leadership? Well, this was a case written by this legendary professor, Abraham Zelazny, and his point was managers make decisions, they control resources and they manage things leaders inspire.

00:12:44:20 - 00:13:16:06
Yosi Amram
That's the difference between a manager and a leader. So leaders, in their essence, inspire. So you think about what is the root of the word inspire. It's spirit. What is spirit? Spirit is the breath of life, the life animating force. So how do leaders inspire? Basically, they breathe life into and cohesion into their organization by mobilizing, meaning by having a sense of vision of where we're going, what are the values.

00:13:16:08 - 00:13:51:17
Yosi Amram
So all of that enlivens the organizations and the team around them and motivates. And and that's the life force of the team, the organization, its purpose, its goal, its cohesion. So, so spiritual intelligence is tightly related to that, because all of these qualities of spiritual intelligence that I talked about, like purpose and service and gratitude and integrity and vision, those are those are the dimensions of spiritual intelligence that directly relate to what leadership is about.

00:13:51:19 - 00:13:53:15
Yosi Amram
So I hope I'm beginning.

00:13:53:21 - 00:14:29:03
Kevin Eikenberry
So that's exactly right. So, you know, the the title of this podcast or of this livestream, if you if you tuned in, there was How to Inspire by Being inspired. So hopefully now everybody you see the connection between that promise and what we're talking about so far. So so the the big idea of your work and of the book we've just talked about now the the framework or the dimensions of this are there are seven of them in the book.

00:14:29:03 - 00:14:31:16
Kevin Eikenberry
And what I what I'd like to do is, is just have.

00:14:31:18 - 00:14:52:04
Yosi Amram
Before we dive there. Can I make a couple other points? I'm sorry to interrupt you. go ahead. I want to highlight because it was implicit in what you were saying, but I want to just kind of explicate it because I think it's crucial. So first, how to inspire by being inspired. So what's the premise here? You know, my clients come to me and people want to be inspiring leaders.

00:14:52:04 - 00:15:13:04
Yosi Amram
And I said, what would you rather be inspiring or would you rather be inspired? And and when you realize it's like most people, we want to be inspiring, but when we focus on being inspiring, it's like we're putting the cart before the horse. We're giving away our power. Other people decide whether we're inspiring or not. It's not within our power.

00:15:13:06 - 00:15:33:02
Yosi Amram
So we have to be inspired. We're inspired. We're we're lit up by a vision and a sense of purpose. That energy then draws other to us, so we cannot inspire others until then, when we are inspired. So first thing is, we get we've got to get inspired. And and so just that's.

00:15:33:05 - 00:15:51:11
Kevin Eikenberry
I think that's right. Because at the end of the day, no, we as you said, we don't inspire anyone. They choose based on how they interact with us, what they see in us, what they experience with us. Right. Yeah, as you said. So where you knew where I was headed, which was to talk about the seven dimensions that you had in mind.

00:15:51:13 - 00:16:22:18
Yosi Amram
And so I'm going to go right there, but I'll just say one one more thing, which is that there's abundant research that started with my work that showed that leaders that have higher spiritual intelligence lead things with greater morale, higher morale, greater commitment, lower intention to quit and lower turnover. Since then, other research has shown that leaders then have higher spiritual intelligence, even when controlling for emotional intelligence, produce better financial results for their organization.

00:16:22:21 - 00:16:48:20
Yosi Amram
So now there's an ever growing body of research that shows that spiritual intelligence contributes to quality of life satisfaction, of life, even marital and relationship success and well-being, group productivity, individual productivity. So there's a growing body of research in science that that shows the benefit of this. Okay, Those were the two points I wanted to make sure we cover.

00:16:48:21 - 00:16:52:23
Yosi Amram
Now we can look at the seven dimensions that you're.

00:16:53:01 - 00:17:13:02
Kevin Eikenberry
Yeah. So what I would really like you to do and we didn't have a chance to talk about this at a time is I just want you to basically list them, give us a couple sentences about each because there's no way that we can do all of them justice in our time. And so I'm already going to say that everyone, if you've been enjoying this at all, how you wouldn't you're still listening or watching.

00:17:13:02 - 00:17:27:15
Kevin Eikenberry
So you ought to get a copy of Spiritually Intelligent Leadership. I hope you do that. So I'm just going to ask you to give us sort of a a sentence or two on each. And then I've got a couple I want to dive into and I got some specific questions I want to ask across a few of them.

00:17:27:15 - 00:17:28:10
Kevin Eikenberry
Fair enough.

00:17:28:12 - 00:17:29:05
Yosi Amram
Fair enough.

00:17:29:05 - 00:17:33:02
Kevin Eikenberry
Sure. All right. So the seven dimensions you start talking, I'll put them in the lower third.

00:17:33:04 - 00:17:59:00
Yosi Amram
Okay, Awesome. So the first one is meaning mobilizing meaning. And so that that leaders create the meaning. Why are we here? What's our purpose as an organization and what are we trying to serve? And and, you know, how do we turn difficulties into opportunities? Because every organization faces crisis and we can find meaning in our difficulty that motivates us and energize us.

00:17:59:06 - 00:18:22:22
Yosi Amram
So mobilizing meaning it's the first dimension. The second one is around grace interacting with grace. And so that would be bringing a sense of trust in the future. Now, you can't lead anybody if you don't have faith and trust and optimism that what we're doing is going to be successful. You have to express appreciation and gratitude, a sense of joy.

00:18:22:22 - 00:18:49:18
Yosi Amram
If we bring fun and joy to our activities, you know, there's more energy, there's more creativity, and we find and uncover the beauty and the creativity in our work. So all these qualities support sort of what I'm calling interacting with, with grace. Then the other dimensions are inner directed. Yeah. So the key there is we got to follow our own inner compass and, and that's how we lead.

00:18:49:18 - 00:19:18:17
Yosi Amram
We got to be rooted in ourself and our faith in ourselves and our confidence in ourselves. We're not politicians trying to appeal toward others. That's not leadership. That's followership. So leaders have to be rooted, grounded, and have faith and confidence followed their own inner wisdom. And in North Star. So that's inner directed. The next dimension is community. Yeah, great.

00:19:18:18 - 00:20:01:09
Yosi Amram
So it's the it's the yin and the yang. So you have to be inner directed, but you also want to cultivate a sense of community and that we're in this together. So you want move away from, you know, the animosity or the competition that exists between marketing and sales or sales and engineering, which gets polarized in organizations. So you want to synthesize these diverse points of view, enabled the healthy tension between the people that want to build the best product and most reliable product engineering and those that are want to get to market quickly and and capture the market window.

00:20:01:09 - 00:20:30:18
Yosi Amram
So it's a we're in this together, this community. We care about each other and that's the fabric that holds us together are a related and in these days there's a loneliness epidemic and for people work is their primary community. We work 40 however many hours we have more human interactions at work than anywhere else, and more single adult households than ever were.

00:20:31:00 - 00:20:54:23
Yosi Amram
So giving people a sense of belonging is super important for their motivation. Health and well-being enhance productivity. So we're in this together and that sense of community is super important. Next is presence. So, you know, the greatest thing is like if I'm interacting with you right now, I'm trying to lead you or I'm trying to sell you on something or whatever.

00:20:55:04 - 00:21:04:01
Yosi Amram
If I'm not present, I'm looking out, I'm looking at my phone, I'm thinking about, my meeting, how did I do in the last meeting? What am I going to do tomorrow?

00:21:04:03 - 00:21:12:05
Kevin Eikenberry
So wait a minute. You're saying that multitasking isn't one of the behaviors of being a spiritually intelligent leader? Is that what you're telling me?

00:21:12:07 - 00:21:39:23
Yosi Amram
Exactly what I'm telling you is that not only is it not productive, but it also increases our stress. And we do. We don't we don't do well. And, you know, we've all been in relationships where our partner, you know, we're sitting at the dinner table, you watch people at a restaurant and they're not there. And it's like, why am I here if you're not paying attention to me and I'm not interacting with you?

00:21:39:23 - 00:22:02:09
Yosi Amram
So So we have to be present and we have to be mindful of ourselves, track ourselves, how we feel and what's happening to us, track the other person, but also be clear of our intention. What is our intention in the moment? Because that that is sort of keeps us on track. So we have to hold a lot. What is my experience?

00:22:02:09 - 00:22:29:08
Yosi Amram
What is this other person, What is my agenda, what is my intention? And all of that is playing into the moment so I could be most effective. And and this is my life. I mean, my life is happening moment by moment. And there's the Las Vegas casino sign says you have to be present to win. So life passes best by if yeah and we're somewhere else and our life is gone.

00:22:29:09 - 00:22:48:17
Yosi Amram
We're not living it if we're not present. So this is a personal thing, but as a leader, you're not going to influence someone if they don't feel you care about them and you're not present with them. You're doing their review, you're good in getting feedback, you're doing your one on ones. You have to be present, otherwise you're disrespecting people.

00:22:48:18 - 00:22:52:00
Yosi Amram
They they don't care. You don't care. They don't care. Back.

00:22:52:02 - 00:22:53:07
Kevin Eikenberry
There are two more.

00:22:53:09 - 00:23:24:13
Yosi Amram
Yeah, two more. So truth. Yeah. Truth is like we have to be motivated by truth and and as opposed to our ego. So when I'm motivated by ego, I want to be right. I want my ideas to be right. When we're motivated by truth, we're open. We want to get the best ideas forward. And so if the market is telling us that the product's not working, we're not going to be, I don't care what our customers say, it's what I say.

00:23:24:13 - 00:23:51:01
Yosi Amram
This is the best. Or, you know, so we want to be open to. And that creates an environment where people want to speak their thing and the best ideas get synthesize them and come together. And then there's this intelligence that happens at the team level, and we have to put our ego aside. And all the research shows that humble leaders, good listening leaders, are the most effective leaders these days.

00:23:51:01 - 00:24:00:06
Yosi Amram
So so truth is, is is where what we're after, not our egos, grandiosity.

00:24:00:08 - 00:24:01:09
Kevin Eikenberry
The last one.

00:24:01:11 - 00:24:02:03
Yosi Amram
Is when.

00:24:02:03 - 00:24:06:23
Kevin Eikenberry
Because I'm older now, this is one of my favorites.

00:24:07:01 - 00:24:42:10
Yosi Amram
Yeah. Wisdom. So wisdom we have to tap into wisdom. So what is wisdom is listening to our intuition. We do all all the calculus actions and the decision analysis, and we run the spreadsheets and the models and the charts and the KPIs and the Oscars and whatever. But the end of the day, critical decisions. We have to listen to our gut and we have to trust our gut as leaders, and we have to connect to our higher self that can give us guidance and we connect to our future self.

00:24:42:10 - 00:25:06:02
Yosi Amram
Oftentimes, one of the easiest access points is like when we're facing a problem, it's like thinking, okay, ten, 15 years from now that I've been successful and achieved everything I dreamed of, and I look back at that situation, what advice would that future self give me that enables me to tap into wisdom that's available right here, right now?

00:25:06:04 - 00:25:32:01
Yosi Amram
So the wisdom is, is the ability to tune into intuition, to have our higher self, to find time for rejuvenation and practices like meditation or exercise and all of those qualities that because our productivity is not tied to just how many hours we work, it's what's the quality and the energy and the vibration and the frequency that we're bringing.

00:25:32:06 - 00:25:48:06
Yosi Amram
So we have to invest in ourself so that those are all the things that support our being able to be at the top of our game where we have access to all of these resources, like our intuition, our future self for higher self. I hope I'm making sense.

00:25:48:06 - 00:26:16:06
Kevin Eikenberry
Yeah. So there's so Yossi, there's so many questions I could ask, so many things I thought about as I was reading the book. And yet, as I said, we have, we have a limited amount of time. So I've got a couple of things that I think I'm trying to think about. What what listeners might be thinking. And so one of them is you talk about about being inner directed and you talked passionately as you did about all of them about being inner directed.

00:26:16:08 - 00:26:38:14
Kevin Eikenberry
And yet many people, many wise people would say, listen, leaders must be having outward mindset. They must be focused on others and not on themselves. And I know that you agree with that, but help help people see that tension or that decay of me in a in a helpful and healthy way.

00:26:38:16 - 00:27:03:20
Yosi Amram
Yeah. No, that's a that's a great call out. So so inner directed is the ability to listen to your your higher wisdom but when you're tuned into truth and that's why you have these yin and yang qualities your inner directed, but you're also focused on an ego looseness and humility, as I mentioned, where you're motivated by by truth.

00:27:03:20 - 00:27:54:05
Yosi Amram
So all of these things go together and you are driven by by your calling, by your purpose, by service. So meaning comes from purpose and service. So it's not about your ego, it's about your purpose, your service, but you are following your inner inner guidance in North Star in service of something that's greater than you. So I hope that so and and then explains that it's you're open and you're listening to customers, you're listening to your employees, you're listening to your stakeholders, and you're taking a holistic perspective on it and you're integrating and synthesizing all of it.

00:27:54:05 - 00:28:01:16
Yosi Amram
And sometimes you have to make a call or decision, and that's where you can listen to your higher guidance. Am I making sense?

00:28:01:16 - 00:28:46:20
Kevin Eikenberry
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So I'm guessing that some people who are listening and saw the title how know how to Inspire by being inspired expected that a word would have been used before. Now we're 25 minutes in and and I don't believe we've said this word and so tell me tell me the connection between everything we've said and this phrase that or this word that people might people might be thinking about attitude, like, how is all of this stuff, all of the dimensions of spiritual intelligence connected to the idea of attitude?

00:28:46:22 - 00:29:18:07
Yosi Amram
Well, I think it's implicit in everything that we're talking about. It's the attitude of passion. It's the attitude of service, the attitude of of purpose. It's the attitude of vision of a better future that we're working towards that inspires us and and everything else. So it's an attitude of engagement and in care, then in passionate care. So, you know, it's not an attitude of indifference.

00:29:18:07 - 00:29:38:21
Yosi Amram
I'm cool, I don't care, you know, And it's like engagement. It's it's presence, it's care, It's it's devotion. You know, there's a vision to our purpose, devotion to our calling to serve. It's devotion to the truth. You know, that's those are deep attitudes.

00:29:38:23 - 00:30:07:03
Kevin Eikenberry
Okay. So one of the things you said earlier, which to which I agree 100%. In fact, I've said it many, many times, is that we are experiencing significant issues, an epidemic, if you will, of loneliness. And so my question to you is, in all the work that you're doing here and all the stuff that you've outlined for us, some of those who are listening or watching are leading teams at a distance.

00:30:07:06 - 00:30:35:07
Kevin Eikenberry
Some or all of their folks are at a distance from them, some or all of the time. Are there any are obviously everything we've talked about can connect to to wherever people are physically located. But how does give us a couple of examples of how what we've talked about specifically applies where if you're leading a team like me that doesn't see their team every day.

00:30:35:09 - 00:31:00:04
Yosi Amram
Well, I think it makes all these things that we talked about of, of connection, interconnectedness, community caring about each other that much more important. So, you know, I know companies that are doing this, they do check in times where people support each other, what's happening in their private lives and so on. Right now, you and I are at a distance the first time we're meeting live.

00:31:00:06 - 00:31:28:05
Yosi Amram
But I don't know about you. I feel connected to you. I mean, you're you're tracking to me through our body language. I feel like there's eye contact through the camera. You're nodding right now. You're smiling. Your smile makes me smile. So we're constantly influencing each other. There are these things called mirror neurons. And amazingly, that still works across our zoom or our our video.

00:31:28:07 - 00:31:51:18
Yosi Amram
So I think, you know, if we get to some agreement around why we're here, what's our purpose, what's our values, that that weaves the fabric of our connection and community, even where across the world. And and you know and if we once in a while, once a year we can gather in person doing offsite, whatever that that's all the more.

00:31:51:20 - 00:32:16:21
Kevin Eikenberry
That is exactly our team once a year. So I want to shift gears before a couple of, a couple of other things before we finish. And and here's one. What do you do? Like, it's very clear from what from the last 30 minutes that you are passionate about and care about your work. But beyond your work, what do you do for fun?

00:32:16:23 - 00:32:47:05
Yosi Amram
What I do for fun, I go dancing. I love to dance, move my body to music. It's creative expression, it's energizing. It's it's joyful. I dance with other people or whatever. I also love nature. I walk this morning it at 630 before the sun rise, I was down at the beach, near my house, walking, watching the birds, watching the sunrise, doing doing my exercises of qigong or getting my heart rate up.

00:32:47:05 - 00:33:02:13
Yosi Amram
It's just it's just beautiful. Connecting to nature. The beauty inspires me. I love to cook and I dance While I cook, I put on music and I'm dancing while I'm cooking. And. And so just.

00:33:02:13 - 00:33:07:21
Kevin Eikenberry
Don't burn yourself. Like don't have something like fly off the spoon and hurt yourself while you're doing that. And I.

00:33:08:03 - 00:33:09:02
Yosi Amram
Think.

00:33:09:04 - 00:33:20:17
Kevin Eikenberry
The only thing you knew I was going to ask you was this. And that is So tell us something. You'll see that you're reading or that you've read recently and just share something with us. If you would.

00:33:20:19 - 00:33:44:16
Yosi Amram
Okay. Well, one book I'm reading right now is kind of just for fun. It's called Shakti Leadership, and it's about sort of the feminine side or the inside of leadership. Normally we think of leadership as is the those that get in front. We have the vision and we see the future and follow me. And that's kind of a Yang quality and that's powerful and crucial.

00:33:44:22 - 00:34:11:23
Yosi Amram
But there's the other side of leadership which is leading from behind where you drop behind your team and you facilitate and support them to find their way. And so, you know, you might call that Shakti leadership. That's just the feminine energy in Hinduism. So that's one one book I was reading because I'm working on an essay about the yin and yang of leadership, which I touch on in the book, but I want to bring it together.

00:34:12:01 - 00:34:44:12
Yosi Amram
The other book I'm reading is called Giving, and it's written by one of the prominent Jewish mystic novelist. And it's the very premise is that, you know, our greatest well-being, our greatest pleasure and reward comes when we are not so preoccupied by our what we get, but by the desire to serve and give and, you know, the Hindu mystic Robinson Tagore says that beautifully in this poem.

00:34:44:14 - 00:35:12:22
Yosi Amram
I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I woke and saw that life was service I served. And behold, life was joy. So we're we're in a sleep. We're seeking joy. And then when we wake up sort of this interconnectedness that we have, then we realize that the greatest joy comes from from being of service and and removing our own egoic needs from the center of our life.

00:35:12:22 - 00:35:32:11
Yosi Amram
We're going through a Copernican revolution. You know, prior to Copernicus, as we thought that the Earth was at the center of the heat of the world, the universe. And this if you look at the sky, you see during the day, the sun is moving across, right? And you think that the earth is in the center and the sun moves around.

00:35:32:11 - 00:35:54:10
Yosi Amram
But then we discover, no, we're not at the center, the sun is at the center we're going around and the Earth is an offshoot of the sun which sustains it and gives it energy and life. Now we live our lives. Most of us, including me, think that our ego, our separate self, is at the center of our universe.

00:35:54:12 - 00:36:21:07
Yosi Amram
And but then we wake up, we realize no, that we're just a part of this bigger organism. And the more we line ourselves in serving, the greater whole, the more fulfilled we are. It's like the heart saying, I'm the heart. I'm going to keep the best blood, the most oxygenated for myself. And that might be nice For the first 5 minutes of the heart will be invigorated.

00:36:21:09 - 00:36:44:06
Yosi Amram
But after a while, you know, the lungs are going to start atrophying and all the others systems, the brain won't work so well. So and then the heart will start diminishing and can't survive because it needs the totality. So when we're focused on our egoic needs, we're kind of disconnecting ourselves from the broader wholeness that we're embedded that we're a part of.

00:36:44:06 - 00:37:02:15
Yosi Amram
And when we on the the wellness of the whole, then we find our deepest fulfillment, and that is that's our service and our purpose. And where we use our gifts and service. So that's kind of the theme of this book about giving perfect.

00:37:02:17 - 00:37:21:21
Kevin Eikenberry
So we've been talking with Dr. Yossi Amorim, the author of the book Spiritually Intelligent Leadership. I will hold it up for those who are watching. And why don't you tell us where we can more? Where do you want to point people? Where can they get the book? Here's the chance to tell people how to connect with you.

00:37:21:23 - 00:38:10:23
Yosi Amram
Well, there's a website Yossi Amram Dot net, and that's kind of my umbrella website. It points to my coaching website for those interested in coaching that points to my psychotherapy website where I do also couples counseling. It points to a website that does has free assessments for people interested in getting a profile of their spiritual intelligence qualities. It's called intelligence, See, and so it has kind of I'm involved with multiple projects and then it's kind of the umbrella and in there there's my contact information, including my email, and I welcome people reaching out.

00:38:10:23 - 00:38:30:11
Yosi Amram
If any of this touches you or you've read the book, you have questions. I'm happy to engage. And we're part of this humanity, this human community. And I love to be in connection with with people that are passionate about leadership and making a positive impact in the world.

00:38:30:12 - 00:38:56:16
Kevin Eikenberry
So now, everyone, before we finish, I have a question for you. Everyone else, the question I ask you every single episode at the close and it is simply this. Now, what what will you take from this experience that you can go apply? Like, it's one thing to say, okay, I learned some stuff or I literally took some notes or mentally took some notes while was jogging or what driving or whatever you're doing as you're listening to our conversation.

00:38:56:16 - 00:39:18:03
Kevin Eikenberry
But that won't really change anything for you. It will change something for you if you take some action on what you learn. Maybe it's getting a copy of the book. Maybe it's one of the seven dimensions, something that Yossi said leads you to do something, to try something, to ask someone a question. To do something. That's the question.

00:39:18:06 - 00:39:43:11
Kevin Eikenberry
What will you do as a result of our time? And if you answer, if you think about an answer to that question, then this will have been of great value to you. Yossi, thank you so much for being here. It was such a pleasure to have you. I appreciate our time and your passion as well as the research based approach to this soft and squishy topic.

00:39:43:13 - 00:39:49:19
Yosi Amram
Thank you, Kevin. It's been a delightful joy and a privilege to be here with you.

00:39:49:21 - 00:40:12:06
Kevin Eikenberry
So everybody, that means we're at the close of today's episode. And so if you're watching, you can see that you can go find all of our past episodes at Remarkable podcast dot com. But if you're listening and you already are someplace where you're listening to this, which means keep listening, subscribe, tell somebody else, give us a give us a rating or go back and dip in to something in the past.

00:40:12:06 - 00:40:34:07
Kevin Eikenberry
Go check out the show notes from this episode where I will point you to some other episodes that might be of great value or interest to you based on today, as well as to get access to the books and the resources that we've shared during the course of today's episode. And just like every week, we'll be back next week with another episode of the Remarkable Leadership Podcast.

00:40:34:07 - 00:40:35:03
Kevin Eikenberry
We'll see everybody that.

Meet Yosi

Yosi's Story: Dr. Yosi Amram, Ph.D., is the author of Spiritually Intelligent Leadership: How to Inspire by Being Inspired. He is a distinguished psychologist, an executive coach catering to CEOs, entrepreneurs, and other influential leaders, and a pioneer researcher in the field of spiritual intelligence. Holding an MBA from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from Sofia University in Clinical Transpersonal Psychology, Dr. Amram is committed to enabling individuals to unlock their potential through spiritual intelligence, which is a profound connection to the core of one’s existence – their spirit, where inspiration and their deepest interconnectedness reside – that enriches their overall functioning, improves their effectiveness, and enhances their wellbeing. Dr. Amram has worked with more than 100 CEOs, serving as a trusted advisor and mentor for these leaders who work for a broad spectrum of businesses. Additionally, Dr. Amram serves as a psychologist, working with individuals, couples, and groups.

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Improve Your Relationships One Conversation at a Time with Jeremie Kubicek
Leadership Communication, Professional Development

Improve Your Relationships One Conversation at a Time with Jeremie Kubicek

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Help me help you. Jeremie Kubicek shares that if we want better relationships, we need to be better communicators. Kevin talks to Jeremie about how using simple “code words” can transform communication expectations and build trust in relationships, both personally and professionally. They explore the five code words, celebrate, care, clarify, collaborate, and critique. Jeremy explains how these words can help set clear conversation expectations that lead to more effective communication and stronger relationships. He emphasizes that this shared vocabulary builds alignment, avoids drama loops, and unlocks trust.

Listen For

00:00 Introduction
01:49 Jeremie Kubicek: Communicator, Entrepreneur, Author
03:53 Unveiling 'The Communication Code'
08:00 Exploring Relational Trust
09:45 Dynamics of Critique and Care in Relationships
12:15 The Role of Expectations in Communication
15:07 Leadership and Communication Dynamics
16:50 Decoding the Five Communication Code Words
23:11 Applying the Code in Personal and Professional Relationships 
32:16 Closing

View Full Transcript

00:00:08:03 - 00:00:37:19
Kevin Eikenberry
If you want better relationships and who doesn't? We need to be better communicators. This is a profound truth and it is the focus of our conversation today. And while we have been in relationships and communicating our entire lives, we can all get better at it, at work, at home. And as leaders join us today, as we help you understand and unlock the communication code.

00:00:37:21 - 00:01:04:19
Kevin Eikenberry
Welcome to another episode of the Remarkable Leadership Remarkable Leadership Podcast, where we are helping leaders grow personally and professionally to lead more effectively and make a bigger difference for their teams, organizations and the world. If you are listening to this podcast, you could be live for a future episodes on your favorite social channel. You can find out how to do that and when to join us by going to our Facebook or LinkedIn groups.

00:01:04:21 - 00:01:31:16
Kevin Eikenberry
Just go to remarkable podcast icon slash Facebook or remarkable podcast dot com slash LinkedIn or subscribe to our YouTube channel. Today's episode was brought to you by our remarkable master classes pick from 13 important life and leadership skills to help you become more effective, productive and confident while overcoming some of the leader's toughest challenges. Learn more and sign up at Remarkable Masterclass.

00:01:31:22 - 00:01:49:19
Kevin Eikenberry
Dot com. And with that, we bring in my guest. His name is Jeremy Cuba Jack. He's been here with me before long ago, and he's back. I don't remember when it was I was going to look it up and then I didn't get around that. We'll have it in the show notes for everybody. Let me introduce Jeremy to you and then we'll dive in.

00:01:49:19 - 00:02:13:16
Kevin Eikenberry
And he's a powerful communicator, a serial entrepreneur and a content builder. He creates content used by some of the largest companies around the globe found in the six books he has authored, including his latest, The Communication Code, coauthored with his business partner, Steve Cockrum. Jeremy is the co-founder of Giant, a company that certifies coaches and consultants that serve companies and their employees.

00:02:13:18 - 00:02:27:12
Kevin Eikenberry
He started he has started over 25 companies while living in Oklahoma City, Moscow, Atlanta and London. And welcome back to the show, Jeremy. Glad to have you. Thanks for joining us.

00:02:27:14 - 00:02:32:16
Jeremie Kubicek
Kevin, always good to be with you. I love what you do and I'm just grateful to be with you.

00:02:32:18 - 00:02:58:23
Kevin Eikenberry
And probably more grateful if my phone hadn't gone off. But that's another story, everybody. I was telling him before we started 424 episodes, you'd think I'd remember to turn off my phone before we start. So, listen, we have been together, but it's been a while, and many people who are with us have not don't know you well. So tell us a little bit about the journey that led you, Jeremy, to this point.

00:02:59:01 - 00:03:22:21
Jeremie Kubicek
Yeah. So my the whole journey, what I'm after is I want people to become more relationally intelligent because I keep watching what happens when they're not. And I've spent my career in leadership. You know, I used to run the leader cast event and built that and built the Catalyst conferences and ran John Maxwell's worlds for a number of years, started companies in lots of places and then have written my own books.

00:03:22:21 - 00:03:53:07
Jeremie Kubicek
And every time what I keep finding is that we have this pandemic of cynical know it alls who don't know what it's like to be on the other side of themselves. And I've been that myself. So it's really the goal of my life. And what I'm trying to accomplish is help people see what it's like to be on the other side of themselves, but then give them actual practical tools to not only solve it for themselves, but change the dynamics of the relationships in their life.

00:03:53:09 - 00:04:16:17
Kevin Eikenberry
So I mentioned in the introduction six books. This is the sixth book. It's called The Communication Code. So you really I think, answered already sort of why this book? But I'm curious as to the title. Why do you think of it or why should we think of communication as having a code?

00:04:16:19 - 00:04:44:03
Jeremie Kubicek
Yeah. So here's here's what I want you to think about. If you're listening to this and a podcast, our life here, the communication code. Think about communication, and communication is a transmission. I'm transmitting something. So when I transmit something, transmission has an expectation. Every transmission has an expectation. It's like I'm communicating something to you. It means, Hey, Kevin, I'd love to get together soon and talk about a few things.

00:04:44:05 - 00:05:14:22
Jeremie Kubicek
Okay. What's the agenda? What's the what's the expectation attached to that? What are you wanting? So when you understand that most people miss communicate, which means we mess up the expectation transfer. We don't. We're not aware, We don't know or we haven't solved the expectation of the person. That means we we won't meet their needs and then we further disappoint people.

00:05:15:00 - 00:05:36:03
Jeremie Kubicek
Like I did it again. Yep. And so there's a we. What Steve and I realized was this happened kept happening with he and I, and we had an infamous session. This is eight years ago. We've been using this tool for about eight years. We were sitting in this restaurant called Jack and Alice in London. Seems British. And I used I used to live in London.

00:05:36:03 - 00:05:59:04
Jeremie Kubicek
And so we're setting this restaurant. I just gotten back from the States. I just closed a pretty large deal and I was pretty excited about it. And so I came to Steve. I'm like, Dude, let's go, man. I want to talk. So my expectation was to celebrate. I started sharing my what happened? And Steve starts to go, Ha!

00:05:59:06 - 00:06:17:19
Jeremie Kubicek
Well, that's not how we talked about it. Why did why did you do it that way? I thought we were going to do X, Y and Z. He starts critiquing the very deal that I closed when what I closed was bigger than what we had talked about. But it didn't happen the way that we had talked, that we thought it would happen.

00:06:17:19 - 00:06:38:15
Jeremie Kubicek
It happened in a different way. But his critique caused me to turn beet red and I started to literally build up. And what I realized was every time this was happening, every time with Steve, every time I'd have a celebration, there'd be a critique attached to it. In his mind, he thought he was collaborating, but it was coming out.

00:06:38:15 - 00:06:48:23
Kevin Eikenberry
This didn't feel like that to you. And it's never happened to anyone who's listening, right? Ever where someone felt like they were collaborating. But do you have felt like a critique? Right.

00:06:49:01 - 00:07:08:17
Jeremie Kubicek
And and therefore, I was like, That's not what I'm looking for right now. There's a time and place. So I said it. Why do you always critique? It's like putting water on my fire. I've got this cake with candles I'm trying to celebrate. And you just doused it with water. And he goes, Well, why didn't you tell me you wanted to celebrate?

00:07:08:19 - 00:07:41:14
Jeremie Kubicek
I'm like, Well, why didn't you know? I wanted to celebrate? And it took us about 2 hours and we figured out we just actually committed to stay and solve the issue that kept happening. And then we started figuring out what was happening with our spouse and other people. And we figured out there's code words and everyone's if they could actually send the code word, then there's a better chance the expectations will get me, which means that communications will get better, which means that relationships will be unlocked.

00:07:41:16 - 00:08:00:04
Kevin Eikenberry
I want to get to the all the code words, people. If you're paying close attention, you might know that we've already mentioned three of them, but we'll get to that in a minute. But there's two there's like three other things I think we need to talk about before we dive in to the words themselves. And and we'll do that in a minute.

00:08:00:05 - 00:08:19:17
Kevin Eikenberry
In both, the first two of these ideas have already come up in our conversation. But I think it's important for us to talk about you talk about the idea of relational trust. Most people would just use the word trust. What do you mean when you say relational trust and how does it relate to this conversation?

00:08:19:19 - 00:08:49:19
Jeremie Kubicek
So I'll take it a step further. Again, we we focus at Giant on relational intelligence, so an unintelligent person will have relational issues. So relational, unintended, urgent person is someone who's not built relational trust. So relational trust is the idea that when we're talking, when we're communicating, we're doing it in the framework of a relationship, not in the framework of a transaction.

00:08:49:21 - 00:09:22:22
Jeremie Kubicek
And a transaction is very different than than a relationship. So the transaction is just, yeah, commodity right back and forth. So if you're inside a relationship, there's this relational trust or a relational distrust. There's relational intelligence or relational unintelligent. What tends to take place is people have the same tendencies and we're not aware of what we do. And so take the take the spouse, the husband, typically the female.

00:09:22:22 - 00:09:45:01
Jeremie Kubicek
I'm just generalizing here, but the female, the spouse will say, Hey, I really need to talk. And this the woman starts going into detail. The man's tries to solve it. And all of a sudden the wife because never mind, never mind. And then they pull back and then she begins to talk to other friends who will listen because her husband never listens.

00:09:45:01 - 00:10:04:15
Jeremie Kubicek
And then she says, you know, Dale never listens. He'll never change. He's always the same meaning he he has a tendency to critique. But he's not doesn't show care, so he doesn't know how to care for me. So I have to get my needs met in other places. Well, there's an emotional distress.

00:10:04:17 - 00:10:24:23
Kevin Eikenberry
Yeah. So going back to your earlier. Sorry, I didn't mean interrupt. Going back to your earlier point that once we have these code words and we're going to talk about this more, but the idea is that it doesn't necessarily mean that Dale isn't capable of care. It's just that's not what he's thinking. Like, I'll take an example, a similar very similar example.

00:10:25:01 - 00:10:43:16
Kevin Eikenberry
You know, Jeremy, you know, the kind of work that I do. We do very similar work. And so all day long people are asking me for my advice. And when I go home and hear about my wife's day at work, that is not what she wants from me. So we could use the code word as a way to talk about that.

00:10:43:21 - 00:11:11:00
Kevin Eikenberry
But what I learned a long time ago is that she may want advice about some work issue at some point, but not first. And until I realize that that's not what she needs first and I have to be the one to make the adjustment. And I'm not saying I'm perfect, and I'm way better. Way better at it than I used to be, then that that has the chance to make a huge impact, including building relational trust.

00:11:11:02 - 00:11:44:18
Jeremie Kubicek
We then what we've done is we've created common language so that people can use the common language because common language builds object, objective relation or communication is not subjective. So a subjective subjectivity is where all drama comes from. You know, Kevin, you never you always. Why do you. Why can't you like subjective thoughts versus common language is like, hey, I really need you to care.

00:11:44:20 - 00:11:58:10
Jeremie Kubicek
I just need care today. I don't really need critique. I just need you to listen. You got it. You sent the code word. I've heard it. Now I have to respond to it.

00:11:58:12 - 00:12:15:01
Kevin Eikenberry
You said two things. Made me think of my father, who used to say Kevin always and never are a very long time. And the other problem with those two words are. As long as I can think of one time when it wasn't true, then I didn't get everything that you just said. And there we go to Drama. I love that.

00:12:15:01 - 00:12:45:03
Kevin Eikenberry
Well, I don't love drama, but except on the screen. But yeah, I love that. So the other thing that you guys talk about early in the book and that we mentioned briefly and it relates to what we've just been talking about is the idea of expectations. And and I think the older and hopefully wiser that I get, the more I realize how very important and underappreciated expectations are not just for us as leaders, certainly for us as well.

00:12:45:03 - 00:12:56:02
Kevin Eikenberry
You're setting clearer expectations. People can't read our minds, right, but in all areas of our lives as well. So anything beyond what we've already said that you want to comment on here.

00:12:56:03 - 00:13:23:02
Jeremie Kubicek
Yeah. So expectations they have they have long memories because you you think about when you've your expectations have not been met historically. So if you want if you're listening to this and you want to significantly change the relationships that you have, then you've got to do a little bit of work to go back and first recognize it. Second, apologize.

00:13:23:04 - 00:13:44:22
Jeremie Kubicek
And then third, create a new standard, which is going to take weeks, months for people to see that it's legit and it's real that you actually have changed. Most people are just unaware that they tend to critique or they're killjoys to other people. There's no note. So therefore and so when they don't know it, then they think it's the other person.

00:13:45:00 - 00:14:02:17
Jeremie Kubicek
Now, she woke up on the other strong side of the bed this morning, or what's up with him? Well, you know, it could be you. It could be that every single time that you're with someone, you find fault and they see it as critical. They don't see it as you trying to help them.

00:14:02:22 - 00:14:04:04
Kevin Eikenberry
Exactly.

00:14:04:06 - 00:14:23:16
Jeremie Kubicek
So then that creates a dynamic, which then means that my expectations become limited and maybe even resigned because I'm going to put a wall up to protect myself from you. And every time we have a communication, it is exactly the same as the last one. And the last one. And the last one and the last one. The wall goes higher and higher and higher and higher.

00:14:23:21 - 00:14:29:04
Jeremie Kubicek
And my expectations for us to have a good relationship go lower and lower and lower.

00:14:29:06 - 00:14:35:16
Kevin Eikenberry
And all that wall does is make sure that not like any wall. Nothing's getting through it.

00:14:35:18 - 00:14:35:22
Jeremie Kubicek
Right.

00:14:36:04 - 00:15:07:09
Kevin Eikenberry
Now. All right. So we've been talking about examples, Jeremy, that are both personal and professional. And there's if if we're on a podcast called the Remarkable Leadership Podcast, when you talk a little bit about that leadership role piece, which means there are power dynamics at play. Right. So talk a little bit about that, about what that looks like and what that how that matters in this conversation.

00:15:07:11 - 00:15:32:03
Jeremie Kubicek
Yeah. So, you know, you think back to history. You go, okay, if I have a if I'm thinking of a relationship in my life, the power dynamics are, well, who is that person to me? Are they older than me? Are are they a father figure? Are they a teacher? A principal? There's power at play with AIDS, with title.

00:15:32:05 - 00:15:55:20
Jeremie Kubicek
Are they a CEO in their world? And so therefore, they're kind of a bigger thing in their world. So those are all power moves. And then you put in personality, then you might have a more Type A personality. So all of those together could could make it feel like I'm subservient to you because of age, stage, title, personality.

00:15:55:22 - 00:16:19:18
Jeremie Kubicek
So being aware then that your power dynamics can actually shut people down and you may not be aware of what it's like to be on the other side of you and how and why people distrust you. Because all they've experienced is your power and your critique so they don't feel, you know, engage the feel that you're fighting for them.

00:16:20:00 - 00:16:24:17
Jeremie Kubicek
They might feel like you're fighting against them.

00:16:24:19 - 00:16:50:05
Kevin Eikenberry
Okay, we keep talking about the code words, but I haven't asked you or allowed you, if you will, to sort of outline them all. By my count, we've actually you've actually mentioned four of the five. So they all start with C, which I immediately love because I like alliteration and it helps us remember them, of course. So why don't you just very quickly describe each of the five.

00:16:50:05 - 00:16:54:14
Kevin Eikenberry
I'll pop them on the screen for those watching as you do that. Go ahead.

00:16:54:16 - 00:17:12:22
Jeremie Kubicek
First one is celebrate. So what we're seeing is that people have an expectation. They have a code word. So a celebration is when someone wants to talk about something that excited about and just want to celebrate. I'm not saying a parade. I'm just saying I want to be able to to celebrate. And so celebrations, one care is another.

00:17:13:00 - 00:17:35:04
Jeremie Kubicek
So care is when someone is looking for you to listen or just to just just to be with them or care about the things they care about. And so cares going to be different for different personalities, but that's ultimately what care is. Third is clarifying, clarify. So an expectation is, Hey, I need you to clarify what you're saying.

00:17:35:06 - 00:17:54:23
Jeremie Kubicek
So I know that you know what I'm talking about. So if we're going to collaborate on it, I just need to know that you get what I'm saying. If not, then we're going to have issues. Then there's collaboration. And then the collaboration is different. The collaboration is like, Hey, we're working on this together. This isn't hey, this is my idea.

00:17:55:00 - 00:18:21:05
Jeremie Kubicek
Make it better. This is Listen, I've got something. Let's build something together. So we're truly building together. Whereas critique is allies, critique would be the last one. So an expectation of critique is basically, Hey, make this better. Some people take an idea out here and they go, Hey, Kevin, would you take my idea? And thinkers will do this well, and you shoot a hole in it and I go and take it away.

00:18:21:05 - 00:18:33:05
Jeremie Kubicek
I'm like, Hey, good job. Thank you. I just made it better. Appreciate that. Well, that's ideal. Critique. A lot of feelers will be their idea. Yeah. Hey, Kevin, what do you think of it? And then put their idea right?

00:18:33:05 - 00:18:36:18
Kevin Eikenberry
Right over my heart. Right. Total ownership of this puppy.

00:18:36:18 - 00:18:58:03
Jeremie Kubicek
Right. And so then you shoot at it, and then all of a sudden you see blood and you're like, Why did you put it over your heart? you're taking this personal. No, this isn't personal. And yet, because we're so passionate, everything is personal, especially to viewers. So that's where critique versus being critical are different.

00:18:58:05 - 00:19:33:17
Kevin Eikenberry
So it crosses my mind. You're talking about collaboration for those who are listening to the podcast. Two weeks ago we had an episode who put this in the show notes where I talked with Chris Dever and Ian Clawson about their new book, which talks about co-creation and how it requires us to be brave to do that. And I think it requires us to be brave, have to know and understand what we need in this communication, in this relationship, and and to be brave enough to say, hey, I right now what I need is care, not clarification, even, for example.

00:19:33:18 - 00:19:42:10
Kevin Eikenberry
Right. So any you would say about that, about sort of the bravery that comes or maybe how the words help us be braver perhaps?

00:19:42:11 - 00:20:11:00
Jeremie Kubicek
Yeah, Well, I mean, we have expectations. Wouldn't it be nice if we could share what those expectations are? So all it is is it's a transmission. Transmission has an expectation. Expectation has a code word attached to it. So by me coming to you and going, Hey, Kevin, man, I've got some things I want to share. I need you to clarify them first, because I really need you to help pull out what I'm trying to say.

00:20:11:02 - 00:20:33:21
Jeremie Kubicek
But I want your full collaboration. But not until I know you're completely on the same page with me. That should. It's almost like a transmission you're aligning. You're being aligned to actually work together. So by doing this really, really well, it's it's me actually giving you the chance to help me.

00:20:33:23 - 00:21:00:03
Kevin Eikenberry
See, that's the part I love about this. It's giving you the chance to help me. Right. So it puts us in this space of we're in this together, which, of course, if we're in a relationship, we are in it together. One of the things I wanted to do was read something from the book that basically you've already said, but I'm going to I'm going to read it again, read it here and let you comment on it.

00:21:00:05 - 00:21:16:18
Kevin Eikenberry
You haven't said it quite this way In the book. You said honor others by asking what code word they want from you. You've talked about telling people what code word you want, but this is saying honor them by asking. So say a little bit more about that.

00:21:16:18 - 00:21:29:02
Jeremie Kubicek
Yeah. So it's two ways, right? So here's the reality. Let's say, Kevin, let's say you and I are really close friends, okay? And we've spent a lot of time and we would be if we've got more time together. But let's just say you have it's.

00:21:29:02 - 00:21:31:15
Kevin Eikenberry
Too cold in Oklahoma City. Sorry.

00:21:31:17 - 00:21:47:18
Jeremie Kubicek
You say one or two things that you'd want, okay. And I have one or two things I'd want. So when I'm meeting with you before we start, you go, Hey, man, I want to meet with you. I'm so excited. I want to talk to you about some things. I couldn't miss it if I. If I don't stop and go.

00:21:47:18 - 00:22:08:11
Jeremie Kubicek
Okay. Before you do. What? What are you hoping we accomplish? What do you need from me? Now, if you know the language, you go, that's right. Yeah. I want. I want your collaboration. But I want you to clarify first. Perfect. Thank you. You've helped me be able to help you. So that's. That's the idea. I have the same expectations as well.

00:22:08:13 - 00:22:36:04
Jeremie Kubicek
So what we're doing is we're just meeting and matching expectations. That's the entire game that we're playing here. And so honor is really doing that to others as they would want dance to Platinum Rule. So it's actually providing what you would want because in you may not even know that's what you want. But for me to stop you before we go and help you align it, it's going to it's the chance for me to increase.

00:22:36:04 - 00:22:40:00
Jeremie Kubicek
My influence goes up dramatically.

00:22:40:02 - 00:23:11:06
Kevin Eikenberry
So sometimes we read a book and we can get tremendous value from it for ourselves. That's true. That is true with this book. But I think that the thing that is really been reinforced for me, Jeremy, in our conversation beyond when I read it, is that this book, the communication Code, is of greater value when both people in a in a relationship or everyone on a team all reads it because of the.

00:23:11:08 - 00:23:11:15
Jeremie Kubicek
Common.

00:23:11:16 - 00:23:33:09
Kevin Eikenberry
Common language. Back to this idea of common language where we started. And so I think that that's, I think is worth you thinking about as you're listening to us. Watching us and, and, and I would strongly encourage you to think about getting copies of this book, not just for yourself, but for those that you work with. I'm sure you agree with that.

00:23:33:09 - 00:23:35:23
Kevin Eikenberry
But anything you want to you want to add to that.

00:23:36:01 - 00:24:02:21
Jeremie Kubicek
It's true. We've been seeing it. We've been seeing it. It's it's just it's really healthy and it's almost like oil in an engine. No one thinks about oil. They think about the engine. But it's the oil that makes the engine run, Right? It's the oil. So it removes friction. The communication code is like oil for a team or a marriage or for being a dad or a parent.

00:24:02:23 - 00:24:26:00
Jeremie Kubicek
It actually gives you the language so that we don't get into those drama loops into the and pride doesn't enter and walls don't go up. And so to unlock a relationship if you just if you learn the few words and the system and the way to do this, it literally changes the entire future of of a relationship.

00:24:26:02 - 00:24:58:01
Kevin Eikenberry
Yeah I think that's right. And and we have we have long said these ideas about the code words notwithstanding that workplace conflict conflict but certainly workplace conflict is caused by unmet or unclear expectations. And so drama is created when there are unmet or unclear expectations. And so the five code words help create a shared expectations that not all we need for clear expectations, but it's certainly a piece of that.

00:24:58:03 - 00:25:17:17
Jeremie Kubicek
Absolutely. And you don't have to stay them. A lot of people go, it feels weird. You say them every single time. I'm like, No, you get so good at it that I can pick up on what you want, even if you don't tell me by asking a few questions. I can know. So, Kevin, before we start, you've got some great ideas here.

00:25:17:17 - 00:25:19:11
Jeremie Kubicek
How can I be most helpful?

00:25:19:13 - 00:25:39:12
Kevin Eikenberry
Exactly. So it doesn't have to. It doesn't have to be formulaic. However, like a lot of things like this, a little bit of that in your head to start with. I mean, if you're doing with this with someone else, using those words more at the start will help you to ingrain it and make it more, more real for you.

00:25:39:14 - 00:26:05:16
Jeremie Kubicek
And the the other thing I just say is we've even gone deeper. Indigo. There's actually even a customer communication code. So now in the top three, four relationships that you have in your life, my wife and I, for an example, here's exactly what I'm looking for. It's not just I need I want celebration and I want your clarification, but here's exactly how I want them.

00:26:05:18 - 00:26:21:01
Jeremie Kubicek
I want clarification to look like this. And then she'll she'll say, care. Here's exactly what I want. I want you to listen and I want you to be interested in the things I'm interested in, okay? So that's not just.

00:26:21:01 - 00:26:23:09
Kevin Eikenberry
Hearing my words, but actually listening. Right?

00:26:23:11 - 00:26:50:02
Jeremie Kubicek
But yeah, so interested in anything. So then when when she's talking about a friend's daughter and where I might go. Yeah, okay. That's my tendency. But then to go, okay, stop. We're in a hot tub, We're talking, we're having just conversation. She wants to go deeper and talk about this other person so she cares. What is it she cares about?

00:26:50:04 - 00:27:09:20
Jeremie Kubicek
Let me. Let me. So now I'm trying to know because she gave me the code word. I'm trying to learn and ask questions about what is it that she's concerned about or really cares about with that person. And by asking a little bit and helping now she feels that I care about the things she cares about.

00:27:09:22 - 00:27:36:03
Kevin Eikenberry
Yeah, I think that's really, really great. And again, the stuff we've been talking about, everybody today applies to all parts of our lives, of course, but I do want to ask this question. But as people put their leadership hat on, Jeremy, sort of the last question before. So we start to roll into the end of our conversation, What where should we as leaders start here?

00:27:36:09 - 00:27:48:11
Kevin Eikenberry
And maybe is there are there somewhat common mistakes you see leaders make in relationship to these code words? Is there anything that maybe would be a good place for people to start?

00:27:48:13 - 00:28:12:16
Jeremie Kubicek
Yeah. So actually in the book, the communication good. The first two chapters go back and it's could be very painful because you actually take one relationship in your life or maybe two, and you start looking at you go, What's my my historical power dynamic been with this person? Have I brought challenge in? No support, I've been dominating that person.

00:28:12:18 - 00:28:34:11
Jeremie Kubicek
I've had a negative power play with them, so I've got to make that right. Right. And then if I go, well, let me figure out who they are and how they're wired. Now. The Communication Code. Chapter three. That gives you a chance to know the words, but then you just go have a conversation with them. If it's a team, do it together.

00:28:34:16 - 00:28:56:02
Jeremie Kubicek
We've had teams actually do this. Kevin We've had teams go, Let's use a communication code as a system for our team meetings. We're going to start with celebration. What are what do we need to celebrate that happened in the last week. Little things, high fives. Good job. Okay, now care. Everyone doing okay? Is there anything we need to know in the company or on the team?

00:28:56:04 - 00:29:21:14
Jeremie Kubicek
Well, you know, Susan's grandfather died. thank you. Let's send some flowers. Yeah. Thanks for sharing. Right. Care. Then we get to into clarity. Clarification? Here's what we're working on today. Is everyone clear on kind of what we're doing now? Collaboration. Let's work on it. By the time you do that, you probably don't even need critique. There's nothing to critique because you've got an alignment.

00:29:21:16 - 00:29:31:15
Jeremie Kubicek
So it's a great way for organizations to use it for organization behavior, but it's also a 1 to 1 tool in the same, right?

00:29:31:17 - 00:29:48:01
Kevin Eikenberry
I love that. So couple more questions, Jeremy, before we finish. And I'm really I'm going to shift gears on us now. So if the expectation is we're going to keep talking about the book, that would be incorrect. So my question is, so Jeremy, what do you do for fun?

00:29:48:03 - 00:30:12:05
Jeremie Kubicek
Yeah, so that's I create, I create I like I actually I like to travel. I like to go. I like ambiance. I like friends and travel and go to places and I meet people around the world and I like to create. So my not just for business, but I like to build concepts and content and that's what I do for fun.

00:30:12:09 - 00:30:28:09
Jeremie Kubicek
It sounds kind of nerdy, so I'll read a lot. I'll think a lot. Right now I'm working on fear based leadership and fear based performance, and I'm learning so much that it's just fun for me.

00:30:28:11 - 00:30:33:00
Kevin Eikenberry
I love that. And you mentioned reading, so what are you reading these days?

00:30:33:02 - 00:31:06:09
Jeremie Kubicek
So right now I'm reading an old book. It's called A More Excellent Way. And it's this this old kind of doctor type guy who went around to these communities. And it's actually he saw how fear, worry, insecure city affects health and he ties he ties certain issues like arthritis, bitterness. It's not saying that anyone who has arthritis is better.

00:31:06:14 - 00:31:33:09
Jeremie Kubicek
That's not it at all. But he's saying that if you do forgiveness exercises, it actually affects your health. So I'm just interested in how certain relational issues can actually show up in physical manifestations. And it's just kind of an interesting reading right now. There's no purpose for it other than I'm learning right now what we're.

00:31:33:13 - 00:31:55:19
Kevin Eikenberry
Well, that's a plenty good reason to read. Everybody is to learn. And I think that sometimes we need and I need I'll say it for me, I need to read with a little less purpose sometimes, you know, although I think you clearly described that there is a purpose there. But I think sometimes we all just need to find something to read that is maybe not in our norm.

00:31:55:21 - 00:32:11:21
Kevin Eikenberry
You never know what what connections we will draw, which Jeremy is actually one of the reasons why I always ask this question of smart people that I meet and why I always ask it on the show. The question you've most wanted me to ask from the very, very beginning. Jeremy, is this Where can we learn more? Where do you want to point people?

00:32:11:23 - 00:32:16:13
Kevin Eikenberry
Where can people learn more about you, the work, the book, etc.? Well.

00:32:16:15 - 00:32:37:14
Jeremie Kubicek
So my speaking site and all that is Jeremy Cuban, Kayak.com, which is hard to spell. There you go. Thank you. And then Amazon has all our books and Giant Worldwide is our actual business. And so if you want to find out more about what we do and how we change the world, then that's what we're to go.

00:32:37:16 - 00:33:00:16
Kevin Eikenberry
Giant worldwide dot com is where you can go to get that learn about the content that they've created and the way that they share it and and how it might help you or those around you. So. Jeremy thanks so much for being here so super glad to have you back on the show. But before we say our goodbyes, I've got a question for everyone else and that question for all of you.

00:33:00:19 - 00:33:27:15
Kevin Eikenberry
If you've been here before, you know the question now. What what are you going to do with this? Maybe you have already identified a relationship that you feel like these ideas could help you with. Maybe you want to think differently about the expectations that you're setting with someone or someone. Maybe there's a specific idea that you heard today that can help you be more effective, whatever that might be.

00:33:27:19 - 00:33:44:03
Kevin Eikenberry
I'm not going to presume what that is for you, but what I am going to assume is that if you take action on what you learned, rather than just saying, well, this was good, it will be far more valuable for you. I hope that you will do that. And Jeremy, thanks again for being here. Such a pleasure to have you.

00:33:44:04 - 00:33:53:09
Kevin Eikenberry
It's a great book. Thanks, Steve. For me and everybody, I hope that you will go out and get your copy of the communication code. Thanks again, Jeremy.

00:33:53:11 - 00:33:55:07
Jeremie Kubicek
Thanks, Kevin. Cheers.

00:33:55:09 - 00:34:15:14
Kevin Eikenberry
And with that, everybody, you know that. We'll be back. So make sure you come back. So if you haven't subscribe to the podcast, make sure you do that. If you just happened to run into me on whatever social channel you're on, make sure that you follow us there so you get future episodes because we'll be back next week with another episode of the Remarkable Leadership podcast.

Meet Jeremie

Jeremie's Story: Jeremie Kubicek is the author of The 100X Leader, 5 Voices, 5 Gears, the National Bestseller, Making Your Leadership Come Alive, The Peace Index, and his latest book, The Communication Code, co-authored with his business partner Steve Cockram. He is a powerful communicator, serial entrepreneur, and content builder. Jeremie is the Co-Founder of GiANT, a company that certifies coaches and consultants that serve companies and their employees. Jeremie has started over 25 companies while living in Oklahoma City, Moscow, Atlanta, and London.

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10 Truths for Winning in the People Age with Ilya Bonic
Personal Leadership Development, Professional Development

10 Truths for Winning in the People Age with Ilya Bonic

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There was the industrial age, the digital age, and now the “people age”. Ilay Bonic says the “people age” is characterized by the recognition that work cannot be done without people, and organizations must prioritize their workforce to succeed. The pandemic accelerated workforce trends and Kevin and Ilya explore topics such as the importance of empathy in leadership, the role of HR in the “people age”, and the amplification of intelligence through AI. Ilya shares stories and insights that highlight the need for organizations to adapt and embrace new ways of working to stay competitive in the evolving business landscape.

Listen For

00:00 Introduction
01:37 Guest Introduction: Ilya Bonic
06:01 Talent Retention Challenges
09:21 The 'People Age' Concept
15:00 Importance of Work-Life Balance
18:24 Empathy in Leadership
22:35 Skills as Work Currency
26:39 AI in Workforce Development
31:42 Personal Insights from Ilya Bonic
35:46 Closing Remarks

View Full Transcript

00:00:08:05 - 00:00:32:02
Kevin Eikenberry
The world is different, the workplace is different. So it holds that work must be different. Yet as we all work and live through these differences, we need to see a bigger picture to help us get better results. Today we're talking about truths and principles that will help us see that bigger picture step back and they will help us work different and win bigger.

00:00:32:04 - 00:00:52:07
Kevin Eikenberry
Welcome to another episode of the Remarkable Leadership podcast, where we are helping leaders grow personally and professionally to lead more effectively and make a bigger difference for their teams, organizations and the world. If you're listening to this podcast, you could join us in the future for live episodes and get the information sooner. We'd love to have you do that.

00:00:52:12 - 00:01:12:15
Kevin Eikenberry
And if you want to know when they're happening and where to join us, you can go to our Facebook and join our Facebook or LinkedIn groups. And here's how you can find those. You can just go to remarkable podcast dot com slash Facebook or remarkable podcast dot com slash LinkedIn to get in on all the fun and join us live in the future.

00:01:12:15 - 00:01:37:14
Kevin Eikenberry
Hope you'll do that. Today's episode is brought to you by our remarkable masterclasses pick from 13 important life and leadership skills to help you become more effective, productive and confident while overcoming some of the leader's toughest challenges. Learn more and sign up at Remarkable Masterclass dot com. And with that, I'm going to bring in our guest if I can get my screens moved around here.

00:01:37:16 - 00:02:12:18
Kevin Eikenberry
His name is Ilya Banach. He is our guest. Let me introduce him and then we will dive in. Ilya Bionic is an Aussie native who is based in New York. He brings a global executives view to his work as Mercer's head of strategy. He worked with the leadership team to secure Mercer's business continuity response to the pandemic. He is similarly focused on Mercer's business evolution as we adopt various generative A.I. tools to augment our own workforce, enhance our business competitiveness, and continue to make an ever increasing positive impact for clients.

00:02:12:20 - 00:02:29:22
Kevin Eikenberry
He told me a few minutes ago he's been at Mercer for 30 excuse me, 26 years, and he is the coauthor with two of his colleagues of the new book Work Differently. Ten Truths for Winning the People Age. Welcome. I'm glad you're here.

00:02:30:00 - 00:02:37:20
Ilya Bonic
Thank you, Kevin. What a fabulous introduction and what I like most about it was how you said Aussie. Well.

00:02:37:22 - 00:02:40:02
Kevin Eikenberry
I don't know if I Did I say it right? I don't know.

00:02:40:04 - 00:02:41:19
Ilya Bonic
I would say all.

00:02:41:21 - 00:02:50:12
Kevin Eikenberry
you see? There you go. We're already off on a bad start yelling at me if you're on the.

00:02:50:14 - 00:02:51:04
Ilya Bonic
With.

00:02:51:06 - 00:03:12:01
Kevin Eikenberry
The good so that we've I've shared the bio. Right. We sort of generally know that you've been at Mercer a long time working in the organization, work with clients, and yet that's really only part of the story. And so as I know that, you know, because you've listened to other episodes, I often ask this question like, tell us about your journey.

00:03:12:06 - 00:03:26:14
Kevin Eikenberry
And I guess really what I'm saying is sort of how do you end up doing this kind of work? Because when you were ten, you weren't thinking you'd be doing this. You didn't know this kind of work even existed. Right. So like, how do you sort of end up where you're at?

00:03:26:16 - 00:03:54:07
Ilya Bonic
I had ten I didn't know. I did not know what to do. This my my dad was a steel fabricator. He ran his own business. And we never really misbehaved as a as a teenager, he used to take me to work with him and have me clean steel just to discourage me from from following his footsteps. I studied psychology in university or college, as he called it here, and I wanted to do drug and alcohol counseling.

00:03:54:09 - 00:04:16:04
Ilya Bonic
I did an internship, then quickly worked out. It was super interesting work. But why are the same people coming back week after week after week and they don't seem to be any better? And so very quickly, I worked out I like this work. I could see the impact that I'm I could have, but I think I'd be burnt out after a couple of years of not seeing as much progress that I like.

00:04:16:06 - 00:04:47:06
Ilya Bonic
So I shifted my study to organizational psych and then moved into a career there in a space that was in Australia. We see remuneration, consulting. Yep. I didn't even know how to pronounce the word. I walked out to my first interview and I said, I'm here for the renumeration consultants interview. Anyway, I got there, joined the small business, became a partner very quickly.

00:04:47:08 - 00:05:03:05
Ilya Bonic
I have a kind of creative bias to my work. That business is acquired by both the members, has given me terrific opportunities to work in Australia, in Asia, in Europe, and now here and here in the US. It's just been an incredible ride. Awesome. Yeah.

00:05:03:06 - 00:05:15:00
Kevin Eikenberry
Glad that you're here. And the book is called Work Different, so I thought we'd start there. What do you mean by work? Different?

00:05:15:02 - 00:05:43:02
Ilya Bonic
Yeah, I could say a typical boring response to that and say something like would have works changed forever. People issues are more complicated. Businesses can't succeed without people. And that's all. That's all true. Yeah, but what took us down the path of of writing this book was the experience we had with our clients, but also with this consultants running around own business.

00:05:43:04 - 00:06:01:10
Ilya Bonic
I'm one of the executives at Mercer and the same kind of people pressures that everyone has experienced over the last few years. I mean, I've been dealing with on a day to day basis, but maybe I'll just share a story to give you an insight into some of the things that we've been seeing and the starts of an airport.

00:06:01:11 - 00:06:04:20
Ilya Bonic
And have you ever been delayed at an airport?

00:06:04:22 - 00:06:09:17
Kevin Eikenberry
Well, if you've flown more than three times in your life, you have been delayed. Yes, I have been delayed.

00:06:09:19 - 00:06:15:06
Ilya Bonic
If you ever overheard a conversation that you shouldn't have when you're waiting at an airport.

00:06:15:08 - 00:06:19:11
Kevin Eikenberry
I'm sure that I have I'm not thinking of anything in the moment. But yes, I'm confident that I have.

00:06:19:13 - 00:06:45:06
Ilya Bonic
So he's his runway. Kyle and I, my colleagues who write the book or to the airport, taking a flight together, flight's delayed. And we're here, which had to be a very senior executive, super frustrated on the phone to one of their one of their colleagues. And the conversation goes something like this right here they are because we could hear it, but we couldn't help but listen, because it's in our space.

00:06:45:09 - 00:07:11:07
Ilya Bonic
It's like so it was just this frustration, like we're losing all of this talent. It's like we bring the best people into our business. We train them up. That's what attracts people to our business. That's what they like. But then two or three years later, they offer to our biggest competitors. And at this stage, at this stage, the executive names these companies as well.

00:07:11:07 - 00:07:32:12
Ilya Bonic
Again, a little too loudly. They go into it in a bit more detail. They go kind of get it. It's like we bring them in on this with this promise of training and development on this client base salary. But the benefits are terrible or average. We don't give them any incentive pay, we don't give them any long term incentive.

00:07:32:14 - 00:07:56:00
Ilya Bonic
We got rid of the retirement plans years ago. There's nothing really to keep them. So 2 to 3 years in, we've got some of the best talent in the industry. We've trained them and they leap and they go into bigger jobs, higher paid with all of the things that that we see. And the thing that really caught our attention was like they said, I don't blame them for leaving.

00:07:56:02 - 00:08:14:02
Ilya Bonic
I totally get it. What really frustrates me is the people that don't go, the people that stay behind, either they're not confident enough to pursue that other opportunity or they're not good enough to get that other opportunity right.

00:08:14:07 - 00:08:16:12
Kevin Eikenberry
The market's not not saying they're ready.

00:08:16:13 - 00:08:38:14
Ilya Bonic
Right. Snap. So how are we going to win if we don't have the best talent in the business and right. That was I know this has always been an issue, but in that period from 2022 to now, it's just been been magnified. And the way organizations look at this, the way employees look at this, the mindset, the way competitors look at it, it's all changed.

00:08:38:16 - 00:08:39:22
Kevin Eikenberry
It's all that.

00:08:39:22 - 00:08:57:01
Ilya Bonic
Kind of scenario that's prompted this kind of looking for these issues in a bit more detail and start to think about work must have changed. It has changed. Here are some different ways that we can think about work as we go forward to be able to make better decisions.

00:08:57:02 - 00:09:20:22
Kevin Eikenberry
You know, in my work, much like yours, and also in doing this podcast, I clearly read a lot. And and so, you know, most of us would say, well, we've lived through or in our history, there is the industrial age, and most have said, well then we had the information age. Yeah, and in the last year I've read a whole bunch of people with different next ages, right?

00:09:21:03 - 00:09:50:01
Kevin Eikenberry
I've heard the wisdom age, I've heard the context age. You guys call it the people age. And I want to talk about that in a second. But the reason that I preface it with all of that is that it's all about the same point that you've just made is that there is so much too much tumult and there's so much going on and there's so much uncertainty and there's so much complexity that we're all trying to to lift our eyes up enough to say, well, yeah, it's really changed.

00:09:50:01 - 00:10:01:13
Kevin Eikenberry
And it's not just the individual things that have changed, but the whole paradigm has changed. You guys call it the people age. Why the people age?

00:10:01:15 - 00:10:27:20
Ilya Bonic
We call it the people age because I think we discovered through COVID in particular that work just can't get done without the people. Be it before we went digital, we went digital and we couldn't come to the office. We had to rely on our people to do the work without missing a lot of guidance. In fact, I think the guidance was often coming from the people to the to the managers in.

00:10:27:20 - 00:10:30:08
Kevin Eikenberry
The best organizations. It definitely was.

00:10:30:10 - 00:10:47:19
Ilya Bonic
And then now with the emergence of I mean, you could argue and say, hey, this is the age of air, but it's not going to work. It's not going to have an impact unless the people are making decisions using that technology and applying it for productive ends to get whatever outcomes required. And so that's why we're calling it the people ages.

00:10:47:19 - 00:11:09:15
Ilya Bonic
I think there's been a greater realization that the heart of success in business is the people. And also if we are going to be successful through our people, we need to get the balance right because their expectations of what they want from work, what they want for their careers, that's changed as well.

00:11:09:17 - 00:11:32:18
Kevin Eikenberry
It's changed because they've seen a picture of possible cases and their deal and they're dealing and struggling with all of this change as well. On a personal and individual level as well as in as an organizational and and career level. So you mentioned I will get there, I think, probably before we're done a little bit. But the book is really organized around these what you call the ten truths.

00:11:32:18 - 00:12:01:04
Kevin Eikenberry
And I don't want us to just sort of list off the ten person everybody. You need to go by the book. Then you can get all ten. So we're going to I'm going to pick a couple. We're going to talk about a couple of them along the way. But before we do that, I want to say one more thing about this idea of the people that everything that you just said is sort of profoundly true, and yet all of those things that you just said about the people, except perhaps the last thing about expectations has always been true, Right?

00:12:01:08 - 00:12:11:18
Kevin Eikenberry
So why are we or why is it so important that we finally actually act on those profound truths?

00:12:11:20 - 00:12:35:10
Ilya Bonic
Yeah, You know, before coming on, I mentioned to you that I downloaded listen to some of your books, right? And the one year right before COVID was about being a long distance manager. And in your 2023 book about leading teams, I think you made a comment along the lines of COVID didn't make this happen. It just accelerated things.

00:12:35:12 - 00:12:37:07
Kevin Eikenberry
You guys said the same thing in your book.

00:12:37:11 - 00:13:05:20
Ilya Bonic
I think we're on the same page here is like these truths, I guess they're always there. They're just magnified through clothing and they become so much more important now. And to your other point is like once you've seen the other side, there's this there's no going back. So there's no choice but to deal with. I mean, take like, like the conversation that seems to be going on forever is flexible working and return to office.

00:13:05:22 - 00:13:24:03
Ilya Bonic
I mean, there's no five day week anymore. And if we've compromised on 2 to 3 days, that's still a lot different than we were before. And we cannot go back. And in fact, there were so many organizations, and I think the banks in particular during, you know, just after like, yes, we're going to get everyone back. Yes, we're going to do this.

00:13:24:05 - 00:13:44:23
Ilya Bonic
But they'd always backtrack because whenever the employees or people are, we call them contributors in this book have more power or more say, you couldn't do what the talent didn't really want to do. You had to follow this discipline, the laws of supply and demand. You can't go against the grain that way.

00:13:45:04 - 00:14:14:23
Kevin Eikenberry
Well, you said something that we've been talking about internally, and Wayne, my coauthor in The Long Distance Leader and the long distance team and long as a teammate, all those have been talking about and that word that uses compromise that I think that many organizations, leaders and contributors all feel like they're compromising. And so we're we may end up at something in a year or two that doesn't look that different from where many organizations are now.

00:14:15:01 - 00:14:27:12
Kevin Eikenberry
But hopefully it's going to feel different because as long as everybody feels like they're compromising, there's not there's going to continue to be this unrest. I want to react to that thoughts and comments about that.

00:14:27:14 - 00:14:35:04
Ilya Bonic
Maybe with my business leader hat on is compromise does not lead to outstanding performance. Right?

00:14:35:08 - 00:14:37:18
Kevin Eikenberry
Right. But isn't that how a lot of people can be.

00:14:37:19 - 00:15:00:07
Ilya Bonic
Trusted leads the ordinary. And so there's another thing about the book is like, yes, there's these ten truths. I'm glad we're not going through each of them, because the way I like to think of it is have it as a reference to your side and you come across on the issue. You just flick through. Is there a chapter that might inform something different or if you've got an issue, for example, like that airport scene that we shared, use it to diagnose the issue in a different way.

00:15:00:09 - 00:15:23:02
Ilya Bonic
And then and then maybe, maybe, maybe respond and then it's the same thing with this is compromise. All right, work with it. Understand the issue. But at some stage, an organization needs to make a decision around the direction it's going to go, the values it's going to have, what its strategy is going to be. And the government just needs to be more informed to make the right to make the right decision.

00:15:23:02 - 00:15:45:17
Kevin Eikenberry
But I'm probably it needs to be more holistic. Yeah, many have. You know, we said early and during and post-pandemic, we said stop writing policy and start doing pilots or try and stuff, right? Pilot. Not pilot, not policy. And I think that many organizations really still need to be thinking that way. And if they will, they'll be doing some of the things that you're talking about in this book.

00:15:45:17 - 00:16:05:08
Kevin Eikenberry
There's nothing that you said earlier you were talking about as as as contributors. And again, one of the truths everybody and Julia mentioned, it is this idea of we're not employees, we're contributors now and thinking about it differently. But as contributors have seen a different way of working and have seen even a different way of are there leaders leading that?

00:16:05:08 - 00:16:21:22
Kevin Eikenberry
It's hard to go back. And I think one of those areas, it's actually one of the truths about empathy, the idea that I believe that one of the good things that came from the pandemic is that many, many leaders figured out that they needed to lean into empathy, and many did.

00:16:22:00 - 00:16:22:23
Ilya Bonic
Yes, right.

00:16:23:01 - 00:16:45:08
Kevin Eikenberry
The challenge now is it's not like a switch we should be flipping off, but rather a skill set and a habit set and a mindset that we continue. You want to comment? I mean, I really wasn't planning for us to talk about that truth, but since you showed up, you want to say anything I like? I don't have a lower third to put up about empathy and accountability.

00:16:45:12 - 00:16:48:16
Kevin Eikenberry
But do you want to say anything about that is right.

00:16:48:17 - 00:17:15:15
Ilya Bonic
If we if we went into the the the COVID crisis as employees, you know, the moment the world stopped turning, we went digital to continue work. Leadership lost control of the business. Right. How do you control a remote workforce that you've never had remote before? Some have worked and it didn't work because we had brilliant leaders are still the same leaders going into that crisis as the one before.

00:17:15:17 - 00:17:58:03
Ilya Bonic
But I get work because there was a common purpose, which was essentially for all of us to survive. And behind that common purpose, I think the majority, the links in to work in a different, more constructive way than before would create a tolerance for error and to be able to work out new ways of operating, new ways of working ways that hadn't been hadn't been done before, and that the whole situation demanded more empathy on all sides.

00:17:58:03 - 00:18:23:20
Ilya Bonic
And of course, it helps that it's a health crisis, not necessarily an economic crisis, but the people just by nature of focus and I'm interested in how others are gave that opportunity for this characteristic to come to the fore. I don't think it's ever been more valuable. It doesn't also it doesn't look good on the leadership development consultant, but it doesn't come naturally to all leaders as well.

00:18:23:21 - 00:18:24:15
Ilya Bonic
And it's full.

00:18:24:17 - 00:18:49:01
Kevin Eikenberry
And that's why everyone is here listening to us, right? I mean, we are you and I are talking, whether it's live or later, to people who care about this enough to invest their time to listen. Right. So, yeah, yeah, that's for sure. One of the truths that I think I want you to talk about again from the perspective of we might always have said, Well, skills matter.

00:18:49:03 - 00:19:03:09
Kevin Eikenberry
Yeah. So one of the truths is skills are the real currency of work. So I guess what I'll say is like, how is this different now than it used to be? Like, Tell us what this means. Put the put the put the the lens of the future on this point for us.

00:19:03:11 - 00:19:29:15
Ilya Bonic
So let me share 2 to 2 stories. First, to set the scene and then we can. The first one is in the book, we talk about the time when pretty much everyone was out of work or you had a lot of furloughs and you had this situation or dichotomy in the economy, right? One where there are organizations struggling to find talent to do the work.

00:19:29:15 - 00:20:00:16
Ilya Bonic
And I'd be like, stop shell stock bottle shops, the liquor, whatever. And then you had a bunch of other employers hospitality and transport and just had no work at all. Somehow your colleagues in the executive suite across different competitors and in particular found a way to cooperate and start to move talent en masse from areas of low demand in economy to high demand.

00:20:00:18 - 00:20:30:22
Ilya Bonic
We would not necessarily move the workers from Marriott overnight to work at Walmart, but we did in this time of need and I think it started to open up people's eyes as to what the possibilities of what the transferability of skills and knowledge actually were. An example for Mercer is a professional services firm, particularly in the line of business that I'm responsible for, for that first three or four months of COVID.

00:20:31:03 - 00:20:34:14
Ilya Bonic
Yeah, business tanked. I can't think of one.

00:20:34:14 - 00:20:40:11
Kevin Eikenberry
I guess that's about the best word to use. I know exactly how you feel.

00:20:40:13 - 00:21:01:14
Ilya Bonic
But another part of our business is focused on health. And so we had other parts of our business that actually had high demand in this situation. So picture like one one third of nurse with very little to do and two thirds of nursing with a lot to do in Canada. I remember this example because it speaks to me both.

00:21:01:19 - 00:21:28:15
Ilya Bonic
I'm happy about it and sad about it. In Canada, our investment business, which was helping, helps pension funds manage to get the returns for their employees for the long run. Because of the volatility in the markets, more work than we knew what to do with. Instead of hiring from the outside, we transferred people from my business, the career business, the human capital consulting business into our investment business.

00:21:28:17 - 00:21:59:21
Ilya Bonic
It never would have been done before, right? It's been considered no, exactly. An investment. Colleagues could could not believe how talented and how capable these people from another line of business were. And these people from the other line of business had never thought about it. Career investments before. I was super excited and when demand picked back up and you've seen this as well, it's like we had this shallow, we had this deep, deep.

00:21:59:21 - 00:22:35:01
Ilya Bonic
But then demand for our services have never been so they didn't want to come back. Yeah, so we had to hide from the outside while our investment business was all good. And so I think the so it's a it's a, it's a, it's a long way to start to answer this question. But one of the things about combing in crisis is opened up our eyes as to how much we had existing bias and stereotypes about people skills and what kind of work they could do as we move forward.

00:22:35:01 - 00:23:15:08
Ilya Bonic
And another thing that happening in kind of it is you saw unemployment dropped to record low levels, greatest level of job vacancies in US history, and not for one month or two, but literally for two years. So there's not enough people to do the work. And so organization and so not only that, but the cost of buying talent into an organization also skyrocketed to see even if you could find the talent, you couldn't actually afford to get the talent, which means that you need to turn internally to your build strategy and at the same time and so probably carrying on, maybe moving too fast, you got an emergence of a bunch of technologies that allow

00:23:15:08 - 00:23:45:14
Ilya Bonic
you to artificial intelligence to identify or approximate someone's skills and capability profile based on experience. You can do the same with jobs, so you can start to get more granular with the well, think about jobs and all of a sudden you have a possibility to unlock or remove the friction in career movement. When you start to think about skills and you can get much greater outcomes and productivity and high levels of satisfaction among employees by increasing mobility.

00:23:45:16 - 00:23:51:20
Ilya Bonic
Even you think with a skills lens or what will say a skills based globalization.

00:23:51:22 - 00:24:25:15
Kevin Eikenberry
So you hinted at and I want to go there just for a second, the that the last truth that I want us to talk about is one that gets into the idea of I you just hinted at it. I mentioned it in your in in the opening. And the truth in the book is intelligence is being amplified. And I'm confident, having read the book and I'm talking with Ilya Bartok, one of the coauthors of work Different Ten Truths for Winning the People Age In the People Age, I'm confident you and I can have a long conversation longer than this podcast.

00:24:25:17 - 00:24:41:19
Kevin Eikenberry
Just about. Yeah, I that's not really my point here, but I do want you to share this idea of intelligence being amplified to help people get past some of the worry excuse me, in anxiety.

00:24:41:21 - 00:25:08:20
Ilya Bonic
Yeah. Yeah. So you can see that there's a play on AI there. So intelligence and amplified. We have a view as many as the many others is that the combination of human plus the generative AI or the artificial intelligence that will come in the past will lead to a better outcome than either is seen as stand alone. So this is this is what we talk about in the book.

00:25:08:23 - 00:25:17:22
Ilya Bonic
We also talk about the fact that some will view I as a friend, others as a foe. If you just.

00:25:17:22 - 00:25:39:05
Kevin Eikenberry
Like everybody, I'd say just like people have viewed every big technological change. Yeah, we could go back and say that not just about the ones in our lifetime. We could say that about television. We could say that about railroads. Like we could keep going back and saying, Is it friend or is it foe? There is fear and there's opportunity.

00:25:39:11 - 00:25:41:11
Kevin Eikenberry
You're seeing it again in real time.

00:25:41:13 - 00:26:16:20
Ilya Bonic
Yeah. Yeah. And so here's one of the one of the reasons that I like doing what I do. I think there's never been as important a time for leaders, for the organization to step up and be proactive in addressing both the opportunity and the challenges that will come with AI, I think with our own employees is we need and encourage everyone to use AI every day, because if we fall behind in use of this technology, someone else is going to get it get ahead.

00:26:16:20 - 00:26:25:23
Ilya Bonic
The skills that I need for my career to be sustainable in the future, they're going to fade and I'm going to be left behind.

00:26:26:01 - 00:26:28:03
Kevin Eikenberry
That is a combination of irritations.

00:26:28:04 - 00:26:28:17
Ilya Bonic
Quite a.

00:26:28:17 - 00:26:37:08
Kevin Eikenberry
Mystery. Exactly the conversation yesterday, I think, you know. So please go ahead.

00:26:37:10 - 00:26:39:10
Ilya Bonic
You go.

00:26:39:12 - 00:27:13:15
Kevin Eikenberry
Now, you hinted at H.R. and you talk about this in the book. And I'm curious sort of what you see. You know, the role of H.R. was different and elevated for most during the pandemic, but now we are post-pandemic. And so what do you see as so if if you've written a book about the people age, if you're positing that we're we're living in and working at a people age, then how do you see the role of H.R. or as senior leaders or executives that might be listening or h.r.

00:27:13:16 - 00:27:21:13
Kevin Eikenberry
Professionals that might be listening? What advice do you have for that for them as they think about the role of H.R. now and in the future?

00:27:21:15 - 00:27:45:23
Ilya Bonic
You know, and I would say that it's really important to keep a focus on ensuring that the skills of the workforce are going to keep pace with developments in work so that we can do our best to keep the careers of our colleagues sustainable. There's not enough people to do the work today. That alone will be required in the future.

00:27:45:23 - 00:28:04:12
Ilya Bonic
So that's an important responsibility. The other is I think it's really important to have a business lens on everything you do, and that means balance. So one of the things about the book is it's easy to go through and say, Hey, these truths, yes, they might be obvious. It's a nice way to talk about them. And is the thesis that if you follow all the truth, he'll be in a good place?

00:28:04:14 - 00:28:41:00
Ilya Bonic
Not necessarily because it needs to be a business lens. We also talk about the sustainability, right? You can't deliver on the people agenda and opportunity and delivering on the business outcomes. So you can't deliver on the business outcomes unless you're delivering on the people place. And for me personally, if I was in the organization, I would dive deep into AI and do anything I could to ensure that my organization and my people are getting access to not only the best tools, but also that I'm building a culture of AI.

00:28:41:02 - 00:29:10:10
Ilya Bonic
And by that I mean on one hand you've got access to tools, but the tools won't give anything unless they're being used. So how do I maximize the adoption of the tools that I make available to colleagues? The theory is that there'll be a 5 to 20% increase in productivity for anyone who's using generative AI. And then there's a whole, you know, leapfrogging you can do if you want to be disruptive in your application of AI.

00:29:10:12 - 00:29:43:12
Ilya Bonic
But think about that 5 to 20%. If my workforce falls behind and doesn't use those tools, my organization becomes 5 to 20% less competitive. Yep, I very quickly start to decline relative to the competitors who are moving in this direction. And they will. So there's no time to be to be wasted. So I would just really, really encourage to jump on the AI agenda and get proactive to ensure that our workforce is sustainable for the future.

00:29:43:14 - 00:30:03:15
Kevin Eikenberry
Yeah, I love that. And I think the only thing that I would add to that is it's we have to get people have access to tools and using tools, encourage use of tools and all of that. And then I think we have to help them think about it more than just, I can do it to do this thing today, but help them think about that leap.

00:30:03:18 - 00:30:19:15
Kevin Eikenberry
Maybe not the full Libra leapfrog of a strategic in the organization, but like starting to think about, okay, like, how could I? How could we really fundamental shift the work in a way that serves the business and me as an individual as well?

00:30:19:20 - 00:30:46:16
Ilya Bonic
Right? Right. And there's a cultural shift for organizations. What we found is when employees talk about AI and and their views on it, actually the majority are open to using the technology. They're not so scared. But one common question is, if I use this and increase productivity, who gets the productivity gain? What happens with that extra time? And I think what we should be doing is just sharing the gain.

00:30:46:18 - 00:31:01:17
Ilya Bonic
Part of it goes to the organization. Part of it should go back into a reinvestment in skills development or creating the time for people to be curious, to experiment, to do more than they could before. And we'll all end up in a better spot right?

00:31:01:19 - 00:31:28:01
Kevin Eikenberry
That is absolutely. I think we're where part of the Leapfrog becomes is if if if I as an individual have now figured out how to do my work 10% faster, if you think about it that way, then it's like, how do we think about how do we now maximize results, not just not just systematize and and and, and speed up the execution of but how do we start to maximize augment is that word that you guys used earlier.

00:31:28:01 - 00:31:42:01
Kevin Eikenberry
So we need to move on. And I've got a couple more things I like to always ask our guests. I'm going to shift gears on you and I'm going to ask you what you do for fun. What do you do for fun?

00:31:42:03 - 00:32:05:14
Ilya Bonic
What I do for fun. I like to play tennis. I'm struggling a little because I have sciatica from all the travel I've been doing this year. And I have I'm married. I have a daughter who's 20, son who's 16, going on 17. So I like to hang out with them as much as I can. They are both away from from home.

00:32:05:16 - 00:32:12:10
Ilya Bonic
It's Christmas. They've come home. So I'm looking forward to spending good time with good time with family.

00:32:12:12 - 00:32:27:08
Kevin Eikenberry
I am right with you on that. And so I don't have to ask you the tennis or pickleball question. You're in the tennis camp, correct? Yeah. Okay. So what is it? And you knew I was going to ask you this. Like, what are you reading?

00:32:27:10 - 00:32:56:18
Ilya Bonic
Yeah. So there's two books. One leads to the other and your theme of have I or intelligence amplified prompts this. I'm reading a book called I Human by Thomas Tomorrow premiers. It's and Kevin just like you. He wrote this book before he was exposed to the world in November. You wrote your book about long distance management before. Perfect timing.

00:32:56:18 - 00:33:22:06
Ilya Bonic
No, he's a psychology is to the take. He looks at everything through a psychological lens. So the thesis of the book is that I has the potential to change lives, even for the better or the worse. It's got the potential to amplify the worst parts of humans, you know, like selfishness, distraction, massive season predictability, impatience and the like.

00:33:22:08 - 00:33:43:19
Ilya Bonic
But then there's the other side of me curiosity, adaptability, empathy, humility that we need to to balance. And that reflects my interest in A.I. as much as they are for the purpose of building business and careers and the like. How do you get it right? It's a super complicated one. And that took me to another book. So it is this name I human.

00:33:43:19 - 00:34:16:19
Ilya Bonic
It sounds familiar. iRobot Isaac Asimov written in the 1950s I downloaded to listen to. It's an incredible book. First Asimov book I've ever read. It's got incredible insights about man and machine and the complications that go with it, and so many lessons to be learned as we go into. I guess this next iteration of work in the next iteration of life with artificial intelligence being a key component of it.

00:34:16:20 - 00:34:46:08
Kevin Eikenberry
You know, I love that I have not read it, but I bet I will now. And here's why. Because I think that so often people want to find it. And both of us as authors love it when people want to find the newest book. And oftentimes, if we go back 30 years, 40 years, 50 or 60 years, we will get insights that are every bit that will still ring true and may help us see things in a way that we haven't thought of or in the moment we're not seeing or able to see.

00:34:46:08 - 00:35:05:08
Kevin Eikenberry
Even the even the wisest authors of today might not quite see. So I love that I Human and iRobot are the books. We'll have those in the show notes for you. Everybody, here's the question that you most want me to ask, however, though, is where can people learn more about what you're doing? Where can they find you? Where can they get the book?

00:35:05:08 - 00:35:14:03
Kevin Eikenberry
I'll hold it up while you talk about it again. Work Different entries for winning in the People age. Where do you want to point people? What do they need to know?

00:35:14:04 - 00:35:19:21
Ilya Bonic
Wherever you buy your favorite business books and the Satcom.

00:35:19:23 - 00:35:46:01
Kevin Eikenberry
And Mercer dot com, that's for sure. So I appreciate that. Before we go, everybody, I have a question for all of you. It's the question of application. And so we spent the last 30 plus minutes talking some ideas about work differently, about the people age, about how we need to adapt and adjust as leaders and as organizations to be more effective.

00:35:46:03 - 00:36:05:03
Kevin Eikenberry
And so the real the only real question that matters here is now what what will you do as a result of what you've learned? Whatever items that you took from this, And rather than sharing what mine are and I've got notes that I wrote as we were chatting, the question is, what are you going to do with what you learned?

00:36:05:08 - 00:36:25:08
Kevin Eikenberry
There's something that you heard that leads you to a next step. If you just let that go past, like when this podcast ends, then you won't have gotten nearly as much from this. Then if you decide now to take that action, I hope that you will do that. Yeah. Thank you so much for being here. It was such a pleasure to have you.

00:36:25:09 - 00:36:32:02
Kevin Eikenberry
I enjoyed the book. Please tell Kate and Kai that I appreciate their work as well. And thanks so much for being here.

00:36:32:04 - 00:36:33:15
Ilya Bonic
I will.

00:36:33:17 - 00:36:55:03
Kevin Eikenberry
And so everybody, if you are here for the first time, welcome, you need to come back. And if you've been here before, you already know that back means next week. So wherever you're listening or consuming this podcast, podcast, hope that you will like it and share it and all those things. You know what to do. And then you'll be back next week for another episode of the Remarkable Leadership Podcast.

00:36:55:04 - 00:36:55:20
Kevin Eikenberry
We'll see you then.

Meet Ilya

Ilya's Story: Ilya Bonicis the co-author of Work Different: 10 Truths for Winning in the People Age with Kate Bravery and Kai Anderson. He is an Aussie native who’s based in New York. As Mercer’s Head of Strategy, he worked with the leadership team to secure Mercer’s business continuity response to the pandemic. He is similarly focused on Mercer’s business evolution as we adopt various generative AI tools to augment our own workforce, enhance our business competitiveness and continue to make an ever-increasing positive impact for clients.

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The Long-Distance Team. Remote leadership experts, Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel, help leaders navigate the new world of remote and hybrid teams to design the culture they desire for their teams and organizations in their new book!

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