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Ep30: Don’t be an A**hole: Rule #1 of leadership

We’ve all had THAT boss. But according to the data, 60% of us might be one of them…

How do we know if we’re an asshole? How behaviours are we adopting that make us destructive leaders? And how could values be the key to us transforming from assholes to A+ leaders?

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We answer these questions and more with the help of our expert guests. In this episode, we discuss:

  • What behaviours create an asshole boss?
  • Are asshole bosses easy to spot?
  • What impact do asshole bosses have on our health and performance?
  • How can values cure being an asshole boss?
  • What other practical tools and activities can we engage with to be an A+ leader?

Let’s meet our expert guests (scroll down for links):

Susan Hobson

Susan is Founder & CEO of Elite High Performance Inc and Co-Host of The Leadership Launchpad Project Podcast, Canada’s #3 podcast for leaders. 

She is a Forbes Coaches Council Member and expert in Mindset Strategy Architecture. After winning a National Championship and the NWHL Cup playing Professional Women’s Hockey she graduated from Princeton University and has since dedicated her career to helping others be high performers, both personally and professionally.

Rob Kalwarowsky

Rob is a High Performance Leadership Coach, International Keynote Speaker & Co-Host Leadership Launchpad Project podcast.

He specializes in building high-impact leaders who turn their teams into happy high performers that achieve their goals. Also a former professional athlete, Rob blends neuroscience, mindset coaching and high-performance leadership strategies with cutting-edge technology & data to provide a clear path to building a high-performing team.

PJ Brady

PJ is Founder of the Brave Smart Kind Company. Describing himself as an ‘Accidental Author and Speaker’, PJ believes in helping others. A proponent of living (and leading) with purpose, PJ coaches leaders, teachers, parents and organisations to work towards their goals with greater purpose. 

He is also a sought-after thought leader, with keynote credits including TEDx Brussels and TEDx Ghent, Ernst & Young and the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO).

Duncan So

Duncan is Founder of the Burnout Recovery Accelerator and Transcend the Hustle. He helps leaders and teams face challenges such as a lack of motivation, anxiety, and trauma from past experiences. 

A seasoned consultant, Duncan has helped hundreds of companies transform their employees’ situations, allowing them to rediscover joy, passion, and balance.


All the links mentioned in the show.

Susan Hobson:

Rob Kalwarowsky:

Susan & Rob:

PJ Brady:

Duncan So:

Neuroscience Research on Trust:

Research linking leadership and heart health:

V.I.T.A.L.S Exercise and Self-Coaching Questions:

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The Transcript

⚠️ NOTE: This is an automated transcript, so it might not always be 100% accurate!

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Leanne Elliott  0:00  
Yeah, um, you know, I have definitely had had our soul days as a boss as a manager. Without doubt none of us are perfect. We’re all human

Al Elliott  0:12  
Hello and welcome to the truth lies and workplace culture podcast brought to you by HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals. My name is Alan, I’m a business owner.

Leanne Elliott  0:22  
My name is Leanne. I’m a Business psychologist that specialises in building high performing culture.

Al Elliott  0:27  
I’m feeling that I should have a specialist specialism I need to go back and rerecord that so i My name is Alan I’m amazing. No, that’s not really a specialist and

Leanne Elliott  0:35  
you are amazing the read and before we said that we’re here to help you simplify the science of people. The reason for that is that we have we’ve had some misunderstanding as to what I do the last couple of weeks people thinking that it is some kind of consumer psychology and that is not it. I am all about building businesses through people.

Al Elliott  0:51  
Yeah, yeah. So that’s why we had a big long chat over a gin and tonic the other night and we’re like okay, this is your new tagline on the on the on the pod

Leanne Elliott  0:58  
Yeah. Recruitment engagement culture. That’s me. Yeah, Rem that’s taking

Al Elliott  1:06  
be taken out of time. So today we’re talking about how not to be an asshole boss. Now there is some already some contention around this because we are Brits so we say asshole, whereas I think all of our guests are either North American, so they’re either American or Canadian. And they say asshole,

Leanne Elliott  1:23  
asshole versus awesome. Get in touch. Listen and tell us which one you prefer. Maybe you’re from North America and you just fancy thing, asshole.

Al Elliott  1:31  
Yeah, maybe maybe you see your sprites, we have bad food, bad to teeth. But we are good at saying words, asshole. Can you imagine just someone taking that completely out of context and just playing me going, asshole? Anyway, I think we My concern was we’re gonna say too much this this episode. And I’ve already said it a time. So we’ll just

Leanne Elliott  1:52  
be listening last week and you are playing that responsible drinking game. Good luck to you friends.

Al Elliott  1:56  
So our first guest is Susan Hobson. From elite upper high performance. She runs a network of elite coaches from around the world who help leaders to unleash their highest passion.

Susan  2:05  
Hi, everyone. I’m David Hodgson. I am the CEO and founder of elite high performance coaching. We are a science based coaching practice here in Canada, we actually now in the last year have coaches from every part of the globe. So but I’ve been doing this whole high performance mindset coaching thing for about 15 years, I was a high performance athlete, it’s sort of where I first got exposed to this whole concept of mindset. And it was such a game changer. I had to come out of those gates on my mission to bring this to high achievers everywhere.

Leanne Elliott  2:42  
Our second guest is Rob Calvert ski who works with Susan and also hosts a leadership Launchpad podcast. While his background is mining and engineering, and not only has he had his fair share of Arsal bosses, but he’s caught himself being bit of an asshole himself from time to time,

Rob  2:59  
and Rob Calvin Brosky and Mr. Highperformance leadership coach, and similar to Susan, I was a Canadian Junior National Team waterfall player. I am a graduate of MIT and mechanical engineering. I spent 10 years in heavy industry. And through working in heavy industry, I met a lot of asshole bosses. And I worked for a few. And it led to a lot of mental health challenges that I struggled with. And as I started pivoting into leadership coaching, I started learning about what leadership could be and how people could feel. And some of the gaps that a lot of leaders have, that it’s not their fault. They just have these behaviours that they’ve learned over their life.

Al Elliott  3:47  
Our third guest is the world renowned PJ Brady, who describes himself as an accidental author and speaker, but he created this brave smart kind framework is an accompanying book for it. And it helps businesses from 10 employees to 10,000 to uncover both company and individual values.

PJ Brady  4:02  
Is it ready father of three little girls who dabbles in leadership, speaking and coaching. And yeah, I’m the owner of the brave, smart kind company, which I started several years ago when I started to notice that there was a significant need for values based leadership, especially with entrepreneurs, especially with business owners to say, if you can get a lot of your own stuff, right. You know who you are, you know how you succeed. You know how you fail. A lot of the rest of the parts of your business go find a place to stay.

Leanne Elliott  4:29  
And finally we have Duncan sorrow, a thought leader from Canada. He is also an engineer, turn clinician, and famous for his advanced thinking around how technology and leadership can improve companies and prevent disengagement

Duncan  4:42  
from Duncan sorrow and I run with a burnout recovery accelerator was once used to be called the burnout clinic. And I focus on helping executives and workplaces recover from burnout.

Al Elliott  4:55  
So before we hear more from our full guest, let’s get my my favourite time of the week. It is the News RoundUp week with the amazing Leann Elliot business psychologist. Hello, Lian.

Leanne Elliott  5:04  
Chu the jingle. I love to

Al Elliott  5:09  
change it this weekend.

Leanne Elliott  5:09  
I think you should I like the kind of jaunty one from week one. It’s a little bit anyway. Anyway, new word. Rage applying. Oh, H applying what do you think?

Al Elliott  5:24  
I think he’s good. And I think also what was the first word of the week that actually, I am? I think I understand what it is, please. Well, I would imagine that you that you have a bad day and you go, right? They shit. I’m gonna go and apply for another job because he went in a rage you go and apply for five different jobs?

Leanne Elliott  5:41  
Pretty much yeah. And it’ll usually be be triggered by by something that your boss says, or your co workers or something just pushes you over the edge. So you get on your laptop and you start applying furiously rage applying. It’s kind of considered a bit of an extension from quiet quitting. And I think we talked about this in our quiet quitting episode that, you know, quiet quitting is not going to people like the like the backlash was that oh, that’s not sustainable for your career, and you’re gonna suffer? Yeah, of course, but people are gonna stay in that state forever. So yeah, arguably the next state is rage applying where people will respond to all sorts of jobs in a very short bit of time, and a bit of a scattergun approach. But yes, a word of warning around again the scattergun application and this is from somebody who has been in in the recruitment world or recruitment Jason for 15 years. Talent Acquisition is a fancy word l quite widely used. I guess a couple of things. If you’re that person one, remember that six month rule, a lot of organisations won’t allow you to apply for other roles. And until that six month time periods optional last and successful application. So if you’ve not put a lot of effort into the application, it doesn’t go through that might then cut off your chances for that company for a while. And also bear in mind, a lot of organisations use recruiters and if you’re applying to different organisations, but it’s kind of going to the same recruitment consultancy. They’re going to really question what your intention is, in terms of applying for roles because you’re applying with different roles with different salaries, a different expertise, may could really potentially, kind of have a really negative impact on your own professional brand. So just be careful. Secondly, this week, did you hear about the Gary Lineker scandal?

Al Elliott  7:15  
I did? I did now it may be those may be across the pond they have no because Gary Lineker is British and it all happened in the British Broadcasting Corporation, the BBC,

Leanne Elliott  7:23  
it really did. It’s a Yeah, it’s an interesting one. So Gary Lineker, English, former professional footballer, played for the Premier League club, Leicester, Everton, and Tottenham Hotspurs, also played for England and Barcelona. He’s currently sports broadcaster of match the day, which is the main football soccer programme on the BBC. And he has been the house since the late 1990s. So a long time he was suspended from his job with the BBC, because he tweeted about the government’s new immigration policy being akin to something out of 1930s Nazi Germany. Now, we’re not here for the politics. But the point is, and you might be wondering, why would somebody who is suspended from a job for having quite liberal left views? Well, the point is the BBC is meant to be neutral. And the BBC said that that had broken editorial guidelines on impartiality. Now, staff at the BBC lost their shit over this, including big names, big TV personalities, nobody would host the show. Nobody would step in for Gary. And it’s the first time since 1964, the show went on out with no hosts and no country. So people people kick back. So you might be wondering, LeAnn, why is this a people and culture issue? Well, the thing is, the reason this all got completely blown out of proportion, are a few issues that stemmed back to people in culture. So first, a psychological contract arguably has been broken between members staff at the BBC, including Gary Lineker, and BBC leadership. Very briefly, BBC values include trust, respect, accountability, we are one BBC, they actually see on the website, more than just words on a page of value set out what we stand for and inform everything we do. Marvellous yet, bear in mind that the current BBC Chairman Richard sharp, is currently facing growing calls to resign following allegations that he helped secure an 800,000 pound loan for Boris Johnson, former Prime Minister of the conservative UK Government and

Al Elliott  9:27  
fairly famous Right, right of centre politician.

Leanne Elliott  9:31  
Indeed, and this was before he took up the role in June 2021. Having been recommended by the then pm Mr. Johnson for his appointment approval by a committee of MPs

Al Elliott  9:42  
Hold on one second so what you’re saying is that this dude here, Richard Sharpe helped Boris Johnson get an 800,000 pound loan. And then Boris Johnson went Oh, Joe. Oh, we’ve got a job going in the BBC, which is the head of BBC would you like it? Oh, that I didn’t know that.

Leanne Elliott  9:55  
Yeah, cheeky. So there’s whole one BBC and then you also have to ask that, you know, if it’s impartiality would Gary Lineker have been suspended for backing the immigration policy by the UK government because that would have been the same argument impartiality? I doubt it personally. So I think that’s the thing it’s calling into question is lack of integrity and accountability, around leadership. And again, this incongruence drives us mad. Equally, staff in the BBC came forward with stories of being disciplined for their views expressing their views on social media, where other kinds of big stars like Gary Lineker have been let off in the past. And this points to huge inequities in organisational justice. That’s how organisations are made around around people in terms of promotion, tonnes of pain, terms of treatment, that is essential to psychological safety. And then in turn, innovation, and creativity and creativity is another BBC value. This whole thing has been blown out of proportion. Because there are deeper rooted issues here in terms of organisational culture. And this might sound familiar to any business owners or leaders who feel like they’re constantly firefighting or they make one small policy change and everyone goes up in arms. It’s probably not that change. It’s probably not that thing that’s just happened. It’s probably just a sign of so much more deep rooted issues in your culture that you really need to need to start to deal with. But yeah, Gary Lineker has since been reinstated at the BBC, and he’s also called our social media users for the the abuse they gave him and his son George Linacre in reaction to the matter. And he’s also publicly reported that to Elon Musk at Twitter, speaking of Elon Musk and asshole buses. Oh, you must know what I didn’t know what he’s done. He’s landeck

Al Elliott  11:41  
My slender guy.

Leanne Elliott  11:42  
Yeah. So Holly, Thor Lifson. I think that’s how you say it, Holly, I apologise if you are, by chance listening, and I said that incorrectly. But he joined Twitter, when the company was acquired. His startup company was acquired by Twitter in 2021. And that was then under under co founder and CEO Jack Dorsey what a guy can comparison. So yeah, he was celebrated massively in the media and Iceland, where he lives, and he actually chose to receive the purchase price as salary rather than a lump sum. So he could pay higher taxes in his country to support public services. Yes, this is the kind of guy Holly is. So amid the mass layoffs at Twitter. Second round of them, he went nine days without knowing if he had a job or not, he’d been locked out of his system, but had no idea. So in the end, he tweeted Musk himself, Elon must then decide to publicly troll this person who will just simply want to know if they still had a job. He told the employee to justify their work posted laughing emojis to his responses, and also means then that when so that some of the answers that Hallie gave so yeah, proper asshole move.

Al Elliott  12:54  
I did say this. It did feel that that Hallie came off as the bigger guy as the person who would just like go, Look, this is what I’m doing. And Elon just has like a child, doesn’t that mean? I don’t think that children child shouldn’t child. Yes, I don’t think he I think he remembers when he doesn’t drink, but I never spoke. So maybe it had a little, little recreational cigarette before he before he tweeted,

Leanne Elliott  13:14  
maybe but that conversation took a turn for the worse, when most concluded that Holly did no actual work at Twitter, and they had used an excuse that he had a disability that prevented him from typing. Yes, he does have a disability. But that is and it’s called muscular dystrophy, which is a degenerative disease, but he’s also in a team that rarely requires typing. And has actually you know, been doing his job more than more than Well, for a number of years. Is it illegal? Sadly no, it’s not but another asshole move Absolutely. Very bad for business.

Al Elliott  13:50  
Yep, so there’s there’s the lesson don’t token tweet if you’re if you’re Mr. Musk because you’re going to end up being sued for an awful lot of money. Okay, so shall we get stuck in? Yes. Okay, so I think everyone has had an asshole boss. Does that mean with the guy who’s saying I’m going to have to get you to stay over the weekend? You know he’s got braces you know the guy from office space I think it is the movie who’s just basically in our sole boss then there’s like on TV there’s there’s the boss from Fight Club who’s an absolute are so then there’s Bob Kelso from scrubs universally disliked but the main questions we were interested in is how do they get like that and do they even know they’re an asshole? Is it like being stupid is a dead like you don’t know you’re dead?

Leanne Elliott  14:29  
Why are you the way your

Al Elliott  14:32  
favourite things from from the office funnily enough

Leanne Elliott  14:35  
who tried another example of it of a questionable boss?

Al Elliott  14:39  
Exactly. Exactly. So yeah, so So we ask them how do they get like that and do they even know they’re an asshole boss? Are all asshole bosses even that easy to spot. So we spoke to rob first and Rob doesn’t think so.

Rob  14:51  
When we think of an asshole boss. Typically what we’re thinking of is these arrogant and violent bosses. These Folks who they’re going to make demands, they think that they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread, you know, they’re going to verbally or physically abused their employees to get what they want. And actually, the data shows that that’s not as, as common as we think it’s are only around 5.5% of the workforce actually experiences those bosses. Now, if we expand it to just what, what bosses are destructive to their folks or to their workplace, it’s around 65.1% of leaders. And so destructive leadership is actually experienced by basically two thirds of the workforce. And what that can be, can be anything from a boss who’s messy, doesn’t really understand what they’re supposed to do, doesn’t really set clear expectations, or deadlines or goals, anywhere to someone who’s like an abusive narcissist who’s, you know, basically claiming credit for everything. And, you know, denying that they’ve ever done anything wrong. And anywhere in between.

Unknown Speaker  16:13  
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that about two thirds of managers are destructive in their behaviours, and about two thirds of our workforce is disengaged. I’m not sure this is a coincidence. And I think we should learn more about that. But I think what’s really interesting about what Rob said there is it’s not necessarily about you know, being an asshole boss isn’t just about being abusive, or your verbally or being a narcissist, it’s actually you know, really districted to be a very laissez faire leader in terms of you know, you crack on you do it. I know you do you hon. Also isn’t isn’t what employers want. It’s not what we want in work, we need those expectations. We need those boundaries. We need that support.

Al Elliott  16:52  
Yeah. And I think you got to ask yourself that does this disease narcissism all this kind of thing? Does it come from insecurity? Or do they have this massive impostor syndrome? Maybe they’re scared, maybe they don’t know what they’re doing. Susan’s got a thought on this.

Susan  17:04  
I feel like the asshole boss falls more on the 1.0 side of that fence. What whereas we talk about leadership 1.0 as being the old school management, not leadership style that was born in the industrial era. So this is the leader who has power over rather than awakening the power within the leader that leads with fear, their commanding control, and we know that that is what creates the toxicity in those cultures.

Unknown Speaker  17:35  
I think the interesting thing about about narcissistic people narcissistic bosses, is it’s a very, it’s a very defined personality and way of thinking. So things like insecurity, imposter imposter syndrome, aren’t even going to be in their vocabulary. I think it’s more the people that are maybe looking up at CES instead of these. There’s more, you know, leaders that were maybe maybe more Boomer, maybe more older Gen X, but only simply because we tend to learn our leadership styles from the people who have led us or what is kind of the social norm within the work environment. And that has shifted massively in the past kind of 15 years or so. And certainly more accelerated over the past few years. I think we’re seeing in our it, I think it insecurity, yes, and rolling with it is is an ineffective leadership style. But also being more passive is an ineffective leadership style. You know, so I think it’s, it’s, it’s whether you are leading people for this time, or leading people not really had that support around your own development as a leader, as a manager. There might just be some misunderstanding here in terms of the actual leadership behaviours that are effective.

Al Elliott  18:44  
Yeah. And I think as BJ explains, like, this is down to the values of the individual leader, like if your values if you borrowed your values from Gordon Gekko, probably not a great example, but borrowed from someone from the 80s, like Jack Welch, perhaps, who wrote who did lead with fear, then, you know, potentially those are the sort of values that make you become the leader you are. So PJ explains a bit more about this, and how it comes back to childhood. Sometimes

PJ Brady  19:07  
when I go into businesses, and we talk values, it’s with 3040 50 year olds, who haven’t had this conversation before. And every time I talk to them, we trace the roots of their values back to childhood, we trace it back to their childhood. And if we know that values are established at a young age, why aren’t we teaching values, like the goal of a lot of schools is we need to get good grades. So that point of standardised testing, we show up at this level at this whatever. Alright, well, if that’s what you’re getting measured on, that’s where people are going to put their efforts. That’s true in business too, right? If anything that you measure gets accomplished.

Leanne Elliott  19:43  
Yeah, values values are essentially a social construct in any social construct is formed in our child. It’s like we were talking about gender roles, you know, that might be a value of yours in terms of how men and women operate in the world. You know, I’m thinking of what your man is now in jail. Sad. All right, Andrew Tate, some of his values, I’m sure are rooted in his isn’t in his chart as as as all of us are. So yeah, it makes complete sense to me that if we’re looking for these shifts, then we need to be, you know, looking at that systemic change at a much younger age. And in terms of how we’re educated, I think as well, you know, with those, those values bearing in mind then that if we’re reassessing our values as we get older, and we’re starting to find that our values that we want to hold personally are very different from the external world or environment that we’re in, there is going to be this clash, and that is going to be this resistance. And we don’t like confrontation, and as a leader, that can be very difficult to manage that like confrontation and that change effectively, and it can, you know, lead to then some of these more destructive leadership behaviours being used. So let’s hear a bit more from Rob, as he explains a bit more about two types of destructive leadership,

Rob  20:53  
destructive leadership, basically gets divided into two forms, one is active, and one is passive. It’s not that you are actively going out there going, Hey, I want to be an asshole today. And I’m going to punish my people. Right? Often. And this statistic from Dr. Tasha Urich, says that 95% of people think they’re self aware, when only 12% actually are. And so if we think about it this way, there’s around 80% of folks who literally have no self awareness, and we’re just flying blind in the world. Because it’s not that you want to be a bad person, no one ever sat their career and was like, you know, hey, where do you want to be in five years? I want to be the greatest asshole. Well, as a child, you know, the teacher sits at the front of room and tells you what to do. And then you go into sports, and your coach says, Do this, right. And so it’s not your fault. And so, on the passive side, often the behaviours, or the categories that we would call destructive leaders, in a passive sense, are messy bosses. They’re cowardly bosses, and their passive aggressive or passive, egocentric bosses.

Al Elliott  22:12  
I think we’ve all been a bit of an asshole sometimes. And we, I know, when I had my first business, it was beer delivery company. If you want to hear the full story, then spin back about 10 episodes around Christmas time. And there’s my story that is ridiculous. And I was so stressed, and we’re working through the night and then the printer stop working. This is a laser printer, this is going 20 years ago, this laser printer stopped working. So I genuinely took it out to the carpark and kicked it around the backyard. With all my staff looking through the window and going What the heck is he doing? So yes, I think that like, like Rob says there’s no one sets out to be an asshole. But he’s just down to those either the external factors or just being too passive or too aggressive, or perhaps this brave, smart kind idea that PJ brought up?

Leanne Elliott  22:51  
Yeah, and you know, I have definitely had had our soul days as a boss as a manager. Without doubt, none of us are perfect. We’re all human. And I think mine is maybe mine came from kind of like a new member of staff on, I was really excited about, you know, the skills that we could leverage from them. And I was, but it was kind of mid month, lots of things going on target drum roll just needs to get this done, this person’s coming in that doing this or doing that. It’s going to help you in this way, marvellous, Let’s all celebrate and go about our day. Whereas because I’ve made so many assumptions and decisions already in my head, and push this solution on to my team, I got pushback, I got reaction. And we ended up chatting about it for about an hour and a half to come all full circle background to the solution. I was trying to implement the first place. But we had to go through that process of discussion to get them fully on board with that fundamental change in their ways of working. I understand it can feel like you don’t have the time. But you’re safe. You’ll save more time in the long run. If you if you just have that conversation. That’s what I learned anyway.

Al Elliott  23:52  
So it’s about being aware that you’re an asshole. It’s probably one of the best things that you can do as an as a boss. And it’s and you don’t have to say I’m an asshole boss. You can have asshole moments like Rob explains here.

Rob  24:03  
Actually, one time when I was the Polo coach, I was putting the guys through a really hard workout. And one of the guys on my team got up and got out of the pool during the swim set and went over to his back. And I was walking down the pool deck and I was thinking of all the things I was gonna yell at him for. And then he pulled a diabetes needle out of his bag. He was going to he was diabetic and he needed an insulin shot. And that was like a screeching moment for me going you know what? I’m an asshole. Even though I’m not trying to be and those moments we’ve all have them right but does that mean that I’m doomed this Rob’s an asshole forever and I cannot change and I cannot be no

Leanne Elliott  24:57  
Am I an asshole? or am I trying really hard not to be an asshole? And I think the second one is where this kind of self awareness comes from because remember, the more I’m not an asshole, and if I am not doing it intentionally, below, then are you intense enough or aware enough in your behaviour as a leader to stop these destructive or maladaptive behaviours from from coming out in the first place, I don’t think it’s enough to go a while I’m not an asshole, it’s going Am I Am I actively trying not to be an asshole in this moment, and so many others. I think that the difficulty that leaders have with this, as we learn from you know, our conversations that we’ve had, in the past few episodes are around kind of stress and burnout is that when we’re under pressure, our brain chemistry changes in our behaviours that are strengths in the majority of situations, but can become weaknesses, if they’re over there, over enacted, it’s hard for us, it’s harder for us to moderate those behaviours during times of stress, or fear, or pain. And that’s not just in the work environment. Now, if we’re if we’re things have been going on our social life in terms of, you know, health issues or our family, then then it’s very hard for that not to impact our personal stress levels, and in turn our own behaviours and moderate our own behaviours. Duncan explains this a little bit more,

Duncan  26:16  
if you want to connect the systemic and the emotional sides of values is the glue, because values at a deep level is how we operate, how we evaluate our time to be meaningful, just by definition, but it’s not some values that you have on the wall or projective, hallucinate I mean, the values in which you were imprinted as a child, but that, you know, neurologically is how you want to spend your time and what’s important to you. And so when you align to your values, it can nerd out a little bit is what we call neurological arousal or rouse right, when we’re aligned and turned in and tapped on unactivated. Right and excited were turned on. And when we violate our values, which are called moral injury, we feel tremendous amounts of pain as well. And so the challenge for the modern workplace about our leaders is, you know, we have to come from a place now for generations, Ed, and all generations, to be honest, is let’s have an honest conversation.

Al Elliott  27:08  
Even one of our other guests, PJ, who is the most laid back and self aware man in the world, he found himself being an asshole. I saw

PJ Brady  27:16  
the lack of kindness in so many people, I treated other people unkindly, too. And so when I started realising what some of my superpowers were, in the way that I could do it, and the say, No, PJ, you’re smart, dude. Just quick, manipulating people with it. You’re You’re a brave guy. But what you need to do is to not take don’t bet it all on one hand, TJ, maybe diversify your blackjack belts, just to say, risking things that you’re that you want, you don’t want to lose. And as soon as I said, Look, yeah, stop getting walked over, man. So I looked at my values. And then when I understood that, when I started understand that I failed from those values, because I was just living them in the wrong way. It was such a quick switch, to turn it on, to turn it in that positivity. And because I define them so well, I know when my values tip negative, and they do, you get stressed, stuff goes wrong in the day someone triggers you with the wrong word at the wrong time. With a childhood trauma, whatever it is, there’s reasons why we get mad, I know why I get mad, I know why I fail, which still means I still get mad, I still fail, I just get to recover from it so much quicker.

Al Elliott  28:27  
So we’ve mentioned before that this feeling of pain or fear is the major way of becoming and hassle boss. But there’s an idea that Leann came up with that leaders should be a filter for information, leaders should be deciding how little or how much info to share. And Susan explains a bit more,

Susan  28:41  
I really have an appreciation for now how I coach leaders on this whole transparency piece and like how vulnerable to be, you know, because on the one hand, you definitely you want to be transparent to people understand your decision making process. But on the other hand, you also don’t want to destabilise them by giving them too much of that information, which I sometimes can be guilty of. So I feel like that is something that I really connect with when I was watching Rob’s keynote there in Australia, right as like, oh my gosh, yeah, there’s definitely an aspect of where I’m being a little bit toxic as a leader, right, where I’m either not giving enough information or I’m giving too much. So that’s something that I’m knee deep in right now, as a leader of our team and trying to calibrate and navigate

Leanne Elliott  29:32  
what Susan’s kind of explained perfectly there is that, you know, even the behaviours that we would associate with effective leadership being transparent, if that behaviour is over enacted, or enacted in a context that isn’t very productive, then that becomes an ineffective leadership behaviour, it becomes a destructive leadership behaviour. There is a difference between being transparent with your team and saying, Look, these are the shifty expectations from senior leaders or this is the economic climate we’re operating in. And, and this is why some of these things are changing in it and might, you know, feel difficult. The difference between that adult to adult conversation, then kind of screeching into the office throwing your bike down and go, Oh my God, what a shit body, I’ve had this happen, and this happened. And John from bla bla, you won’t believe what he said what we have to do now, you’re like, Whoa, I’ve worked with many people that have done that. And that was what my manager, my manager, John, and if you’re interested in in my amazing manager, mentor, Jerome, I go back to my episode, just before Christmas, where he talked about hiding the wires. And this is exactly what it is. It’s not, it’s not kind of hiding everything from your teams. It’s hiding the mess, it’s hiding the noise. And it’s just kind of being that filter, that you’re giving them the information that they need to empower them to do their job to understand the context that they’re working in and to learn. But they don’t need, they don’t need the information that’s just going to put your added stress on to them.

Al Elliott  30:55  
Exactly. That’s why being a leader is hard. It’s really hard. It’s not a question of just being promoted into the at something, you’re good at the actual technical side of it, you’ve got to be good at the actual empathy. You got to be good at managing people, you’ve got to understand how much to tell people and how much you have to kind of absorb yourself. So we’ve learned about the signs of an asshole boss. How do we I said as we learn about the signs being an asshole Boss, how do we stop being an asshole? Now PJ’s got this really simple framework, but he calls brave, smart kind,

PJ Brady  31:23  
and in any business owner knows that your company starts to live your values. And what people don’t know is that you live and die by your values very frequently, people fail because there’s a lack of values. Typically, people fail because there’s an excess of value. So think about yourself being too kind. Well, if you’re too kind, you’re gonna get walked over. Think about yourself being too smart. If you think you know everything in the room, are you going to listen to others? Are you going to open your mind to other perspectives? Think about being too brave? Are you taking too many risks without enough thought without enough, considering the people. So it’s really this trifecta of Do you understand how you overcome how you critically think, and how you treat others in yourself. And if you live in that balanced space, knowing your values, there’s so many parts of your business that start to fall into place anyway, if you see it as three buckets of the brave, smart and kind, the beautiful part is it encapsulates every single value that’s on the planet. There’s not a value and I’ve done this exercise a billion times, there’s not a single value value that doesn’t fit into how we overcome how we critically think, or how we treat others in ourselves. And so because of that, we just take the time to define it, because we understand

Leanne Elliott  32:32  
Gary Lineker, and the BBC. Do you see what I mean there and, and again, Pete has explained it so beautifully, is that if you’re if you’re go one way too far or the other, if you’re too much of something, or not something of something else, or you’re not authentically reflecting your values in your own behaviours and decisions, then it is not there’s going to be Alan Kay in your organisation that isn’t gonna, isn’t gonna flow anymore, those those days of that type of control, command leadership or are gone. And I love what, what PJ says there is it often comes down to this again, it’s just having that balance. Yeah, so

Al Elliott  33:09  
obviously, your key is to be to have good values, but also be aware of those values, as Rob explains.

Rob  33:13  
So just to keep going a little bit deeper, there’s two types of self awareness. There’s internal self awareness, I am aware of my values, my mindset, my goals, and how the things I do align with that. There’s external self awareness, which is, how aware Am I about how the three of you are experiencing me in this moment? They’re not correlated, right? So you can have very high internal self awareness and be completely, you know, like, you can be walking around like Mr. Magoo, right, like, have no idea what’s going on. The opposite is also true. Like, I can be absolutely aware of how the three of you experienced me, and I can have no idea what my values are. And so just for folks out there, it’s like, really digging into and self awareness has proven is like one of the top leadership skills, the top skills for success along with emotional intelligence, which they’re kind of correlated. But for folks out there, if you want to start doing this work, self awareness and emotional intelligence are really the foundation starting

Susan  34:25  

Leanne Elliott  34:26  
Clearly a value shared betrayed between ourselves and Robin, Susan, self awareness is is you know, a really incredible place to start improving your leadership capability and effectiveness and not be an asshole. The interesting thing is well about self awareness it Rob brought up there is that one, we’re not always very good at being self aware, we think we are but we’re not always very good at it. And to my my understanding of me, is going to be very different to Al’s understanding of me or Rob’s understanding of me or students understanding of me. And one thing that we always recommend to our clients when The countries and they want to explore you the leadership behaviours or team strengths in terms of using a psychometric to help them is to look at something called a 360. And that’s where we’re going to gather information from what the line manager thinks of that member of staff, what their senior leader thinks of that member of staff, what their customer thinks, what the stakeholders think what their teams think. Because often there are, there are discrepancies, as Rob says, between what we think we’re good and what we think our strengths are and what other people see them as. And that’s similar. If you’re, you know, you’re a leader, you can do your own self awareness and reflection, introspection, in terms of various psychometrics. But if you really, really want to know if you’re an asshole boss or not, you’re gonna have to ask somebody else. So not only do you need to be self aware, but you need to have confidence in what you’re doing. And if you don’t feel you’re doing a good job, when you aren’t confident, then your team can pick up on this here, Susan.

Susan  35:51  
Yeah, like I think that that can leave a leader in a chronic and constant state of insecurity, right? Because they’re always feeling like they’re not enough. And therefore, they’re always going to be destabilised in their energy, right. So they could be saying the exact same things. But depending on whether or not they’re getting their needs met in a adaptive ways, or maladaptive ways, that’s what’s going to carry the most weight in terms of how that messaging lands with their people. So where as we work with our leaders to make sure that they have intrinsically based strategies where they know where to go inside of themselves, at all times, no matter the conditions externally, so that they actually can be on strong stable ground in their nervous system, right, which then opens them up to more of a growth mindset, right, where it’s like, of course, this is the whole purpose of this leadership thing, it’s to grow and to evolve, and to realise max potential, which is not a motivation that’s not coming from a deficit, right? It’s not coming from, oh, my God, I brought it up, I have to get there. So I can be enough. It’s like, I got all this value intrinsically, that I know, I validated that I feel in my confidence in my nervous system, that starts to set that leader up, to be able to go and grow sustainably and realise max potential and impact.

Al Elliott  37:19  
So this idea of lack of confidence, lack of self awareness, and then the lack of actually core values that PJ talks about means you kind of have to fall back on who you think you should be, which is not only really bad, because it’s incongruent. But also, having to play that part every single day can have a dramatic impact on your mental health. As Rob explains, when I got into

Rob  37:41  
work, I was like, Hey, I gotta be this high performing engineer, because this is who I am. My self concept was, I’m reliable Rob, this is who I am the guy who delivers, I got into work, I save him a bunch of money. And my boss was like, Hey, I don’t want this because it makes me look bad. If you’re doing something that I should have done before. This was catastrophic to my self concept. If I couldn’t deliver, who am I? This is where you get into these deep pockets where I went, which was like, Well, if I don’t know who I am, does my life have purpose is there meaning into the world, and then ultimately, almost led me to taking my own life. As we can construct our way out of this, that’s when we can start changing the narrative. Like, literally, I would have kicked my grandma down the stairs to win a game. Right? I say, this is a joke. But like, it’s serious, like I would have done anything to win. Doesn’t matter what I would I just, I would do anything to win. And now it’s, it’s changed. It’s not about like doing anything to win our store. I still love winning. But it’s about the way that that win lands, in your experience. I don’t need it like a breath of fresh air. I know who I am. I know that I’m not like I My identity is not just this fact that I deliver. I know who I am. And that’s the transition point. And Buddhists talk about life as suffering. And really, what they mean is, it’s like this thirst. And once they talked about but as they work about transcendence, it’s like, once you can let go of desire. You don’t you no longer need that next drink. And for us, it’s not that we don’t want you to perform well at all actually, the data is correlated that you will perform better, but it’s about once we can realise our self concept is not tied to our performance. then it’s not about like, pushing you down so I can look better. Or, or, you know, taking credit for your work, or, you know, having to be the smartest person in the room and telling everyone what to do instead of just allowing folks to become better. And that’s the transition from asshole boss to great leader.

Al Elliott  40:27  
Yeah, I think what Rob said there and he was, he is quite open he’s got there’s a great talk he did in Australia, which I think Susan referenced earlier, around the the point where he did try to take his own life. And that was just this incongruence of like, if I can’t be the person who I want it to be, then who am I and you just have this loss. And I think that there are so many leaders out there who go, I want to be this type of leader, because that’s how I believe I should be rather than actually just saying, hang on a minute, what are my strengths? Going back to PJ? Brave, smart kind? What are my strengths are my good? That’s how I lead not by having some not by being this amazing, you know, like, really famous person who fires the bottom 10%. Regardless, regardless of how well they’ve done.

Leanne Elliott  41:05  
Yeah, and I wonder if that is also where, you know, we, you know, a big source of the great resignation was people suddenly find themselves in a, you know, in a world where their, you know, their physical health and their, you know, their mortality was being seriously brought into, into question at that point, you know, thinking on my own personal values out of sync with the way that I’m expected to behave or have to behave in, in this environment. And yet, when it took an extreme, extreme route to doing that, and quitting their job, I say extreme route, you know, Rob said, an environment that and he almost killed him. So yeah, there’s lots of pressure that we can put on ourselves to act and think and feel a particular way. That’s also a phenomenon called Moral burnout or an environment where our values are misaligned with the world around us. And we’ve talked at length about burnout and the physical and mental health challenges that it can bring.

Al Elliott  42:00  
So PJ explains that is not just having no values or not knowing what your values are, that can make you fail as a leader is also having an extreme value in some kind is PJ,

PJ Brady  42:11  
I don’t believe that people fail from a lack of values, I feel that people fail from an extreme value. If you get walked over, it’s because you’re valuing that kind of value too much. If what you do if you’re an over thinker analysis paralysis, while your smart value has gone too far, if you take too many risks, and you don’t, aren’t able to hold back or don’t have balance or something like that your break value has been taken too far. Ambitious, stubborn. Intention can be manipulative, all of the things that are in extremes, dial him in to the extreme of the other direction, you find out what you truly stand for.

Leanne Elliott  42:48  
This might sound a bit familiar what Pj is talking about here from how not to be a psychopath episode, which talked about Darkside personality traits, and again, how they are absolute fundamental strengths, until they’re taken to the extreme and can be hugely maladaptive and destructive not only to ourselves, but to those around us.

Al Elliott  43:06  
So as it comes back to these values, if you use PJ’s idea of brave, smart kind, then you can easily see what’s out of kilter. So perhaps if you’re not hitting targets, you’re not being brave enough. If your team is working all hours to get everything done, you’re maybe not being smart enough. It sounds easy, but a lot of companies have already established their values. So PJ suggests that going back to the basics can be really helpful

PJ Brady  43:28  
for a lot of existing companies, they already have their values in place. So then from that, we say, Alright, you’ve got your values. Have you defined them? Like, yeah, it’s on our poster. I’m like now getting the lowdown on a poster, have you spoken to your people about this? And when they say, No, we haven’t done the exercise goes, we go around to all the sites. And we sit down, and we talk to the people and say, All right, one of your values, and this is one of my successes, is take care of people. It’s easy enough. It’s not rocket science, lots of these businesses, they take care of people, what does that mean to your teams. And then when they started to walk through that, then they started to see that across their sites, they’ve got sites, 18 sites all over the world, about I think, 1800 staff, then they start to see the patterns in which they lead, they start to see the patterns in which well, if someone’s in Korea, or someone’s in France, or someone’s in the US, these are the state ways in which we want to take care of our people. For the companies that haven’t done that local culture can take over the issues that they start to see from site to site differ. That can be a problem, because then you’re trying to put out so many different fires. So from there, it’s it’s like, Alright, you’ve got that. You have the definition. Now, what are the actions you want to take? And then we map out an action plan. From that value framework. They need to know that if the people align with their values, they’re going to be very loyal. They’re going to want to show up for work. They’re going to want to create their actions for that. If they don’t align with your values, you might have to let them go. And that might suck. And at the same time, if you want your team showing up for you, if you don’t live by those values, the people who don’t agree with them or don’t care, they stay. And the people who do care about them and you’re not living up to them, they leave, which is a strange dynamic that you don’t want all the crappy people say, the ones who live up values, the base existence, the leave

Leanne Elliott  45:26  
search, fantastic advice from from PJ who and I think this is a thing where sometimes the science and practice of of people and culture of business psychology can sometimes get lost in translation, we don’t have values because we put them on a poster or write them on our wall and, and that gives people that’s what’s gonna give people that sense of purpose and reason in their world is knowing what our values are. Know, what those values is, PJ, rightly said, needs to be translated into behaviours. And then these be consensus around this behaviour is what what are the things that look great that define this value in terms of how we think, feel and behave at work? What are the things that are completely unacceptable, and one of my favourites psychologist John Ameche, actually defines workplace culture as the the worst behaviours tolerated within a company. And I think that that kind of just summed up everything PJ’s is said there that, you know, having the values isn’t enough, you have to live and breathe him. And again, as well, that ties into when people want to recruit for culture fit. We’ve talked about this before, it’s a bad idea, unless you have the sophistication of values that Pj is talking about, I will leave a link to episode in the show notes, if you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.

Al Elliott  46:34  
So this idea of being self aware, is something which Rob thinks is really, really important. But start

Rob  46:38  
if you’re thinking that you’re an asshole, it’s a good sign. I mean, not that I’m not saying because you’re an asshole. But it’s like, literally, a lot of the folks who are thinking this, for the folks that we’re most worried about are not thinking this, they don’t have the self awareness to even see that it could potentially be them. And if they do actually think they are, they’re shutting it down with their protection, right, I cannot allow myself to feel like an asshole, because I have these gaps in my mindset. Now, in terms of how to start, I mean, we have a coaching programme, the leadership Launchpad, to help folks get there. But it’s very much this, and we talk about this on our podcast is very much the difference between horizontal and vertical work, thanks to David Irvine, for sharing that verbiage with us. But horizontal work is, hey, I’m watching the new TED Talk. I’m listening to a new podcast, I’m reading a new book, I’m reading another article, these things are good. There is value to doing this, you can get new perspectives, you can learn a bunch of stuff. But there’s also benefit to doing the deeper political work, which is starting to excavate your mindset, your psychology understanding? If like, what is driving you? Are you trying to be like reliable raw? Are you trying to show up in this specific way to signal to other people that you’re good enough for you? They should like you? Or that they’ll accept you or that they’ll love you? Or that you’re powerful? Or what are these things that you’re doing, that are being driven and these ones sustainable ways for maybe sustainable? It’s funny because

Al Elliott  48:25  
all of our guests talk about the reasons behind wanting to be a leader, both independently brought up Donald Trump, let’s say what Rob says about him.

Rob  48:33  
And all Trump. You know, like, these folks are that way now? Is it necessarily? They’re bad people? Probably not. They’re probably just very highly traumatised folks that rose to the position that they have, or they could be sociopaths. But those are basically a lot of what I look at. Right? And it could be even coaches on TV, like, you know, like you often you see coaches and sports yelling at their players yelling, referee, or, like, these are very much, you know, abusive narcissists for a lot of the park, right. So that’s where I mean, we see it in TV now the opposite is starting to become more true. Like we’re seeing, you know, like, I think Ted lassoo I’ve never watched it, but I hear from everyone, that he’s a very interesting character as a leader. We’re seeing stuff like from Brene Brown and Simon Sinek. Around, you know, bringing this, you know, courageous leadership to the workplace and vulnerability and love.

Leanne Elliott  49:42  
TJ also agrees that Donald Trump makes an interesting case study in the world of leadership. You can

PJ Brady  49:47  
look at a load of leaders throughout history, who have been ambitious, and I can throw it to you and say, was Nelson Mandela ambitious? Damn, or it was Donald Trump and measures, right? Yes. How do you go about how do you live that value? And that’s why we say some people succeed by it and some people fail by it is can you stay in the positive space? So if ambition is one of your, your values Great, well, how do you act from that ambition. And from Nelson Mandela’s he put a point of, I’m going to respect people, no matter where they come from, what their background is, right? If it’s someone that like Donald Trump, Donald Trump, he doesn’t respect people. So it’s kind of like where he lives, those values and the actions that you come from them. So if someone is building a company say, I want to sell this to Google, well guess what Google is also interested in? Is their office interested in hiring teams that get along together? So if you have a bunch of a holes who are working for the company, just to sell it, and they don’t give a f about the rest of the world, let it burn? Well, that might not come with a very good publicity. Maybe Google doesn’t want them. Maybe they look at that leadership team, because I know that something investors look at, and say, Tell me about your investor team or your leadership team. And if it’s backstabbing to make a buck, people don’t want to buy that company.

Leanne Elliott  51:04  
We learned a few weeks ago, what investors are what VC investors are looking for in 2023, all comes down to investing in people not investing in businesses so brilliant there to hear PJ echo that sentiment.

Al Elliott  51:17  
Absolutely, absolutely. Susan agrees, as well as down to the reason the motivation behind wanting to be seen as a leader

Susan  51:22  
leaders who rise to positions of power, you often think like, what was that motive? You know, there’s a difference between the leader that has been very passionate about something and then that took them places in their credibility and their expertise, right. But you know, the leaders who wanted wanted that position of power, like that’s a very different motivation, oftentimes that comes from the deficits, right, of like, needing that sense of safety outside of them in the form of the validation. So the more power the more validation,

Leanne Elliott  51:56  
Susan’s point out, probably one of the most frequent routes to leadership there is actually progressing well, in your own, your own the realms of your own job, and rolling, getting promoted into a management position. That’s how I got promoted into my first management position. But it does mean that, you know, we’re, if we’re promoted in position because of we’re passionate about the job, it might not necessarily be that we’re passionate about people leadership. And on that level, it really, isn’t it we need to consider going back to that neurosensory I mentioned earlier, and kind of the traits that they found an effective leader that fosters this this trust, this kind of I mean, there’s a whole list now, I’ll leave the link to the article in the show notes. But the main ones they talked about when he was kind of giving people translating these values and purpose, altering and translating purpose into values, they probably work both ways. You know, what is the mission of the organisation? How does it fit in with our values, how has it enabled us to live and breathe our values, and what’s a wider impact that we have on our customers on our community, and potentially, you know, on on the world as well. And with that reason, making sure it’s tangible for people within the roles that that they have, and within those roles, that they have some form of discretion in terms of how they go about that work, they have some form of control, because you trust them to have that autonomy in their role. Secondly, is really being very intentional about developing great relationships, and developing empathy. And I think intent is the key there. Some of the kind of the backlash we saw with Harvard working remote working during the pandemic, and even now is that leaders are finding it harder to communicate with their teams and build these authentic relationships, because it feels for these interactions feel forced. And that for me just kind of stems from I think, leaders who the majority of leader has been lazy in how they structure these interactions, that they’re passive that they happen whenever they’re around the watercooler around the kettle. The point is that great leaders are intentional about developing great relationships. And that’s why often these great leaders don’t seem to struggle with remote work as much as others. And finally, and actually the one that was came up number one, in terms of what you can do as a leader to build this trust, which then translates into high levels of performance is recognition, celebrating success, selling and people’s celebrating people’s achievements. But importantly, helping them understand why you were particularly impressed with the behaviours, those values driven behaviours that they enacted to achieve the result they did. And it’s that positive reinforcement that is really going to embed those values in your leadership and help you reap all the performance benefits.

Susan  54:25  
I just think it really does depend on how strong the leader is in terms of being able to engage their people. And that to me is where all the leadership to point out soft skills. That’s where that lies, right. Like in terms of seeing your people, hearing your people, celebrating your people, give your people feedback, like if you’re showing up like that already. As the leader. You’ve got that strong baseline of trust and psychological safety. Your people are going to work with you especially if your people want to work from home. home and have the capability to work from home excellently?

Rob  55:05  
Oh, totally. I mean, Gallup has for the top five drivers for employee engagement. One is giving your people purpose. Two is developing your people three is being a caring manager or them feeling like you’re caring manager, having ongoing conversations about the person and their development and purpose and all these things. And then finally, is the focus on strength. None of these needs should be next to the person or across the table from the person.

Leanne Elliott  55:37  
And just to connect those dots, though, what Rob was saying about gab as meta analysis, and it is an interesting data set to look at. But in terms of the benefits for the individual, much, much higher levels of fulfilment in our work, and that translates directly into our, our well being and our physical health outcomes as well. And for business or awards include higher productivity, better quality products, and increased profitability, to name a few. The list is very long on the commercial benefits of high employee engagement.

Al Elliott  56:05  
So this idea of not knowing yourself, not knowing your value, not being very self aware, you know, it can lead to you being an asshole boss. But it can also lead to actually something a bit worse. As Rob explains,

Rob  56:17  
the World Health Organisation has a paper from 2016 that says that work killed 1.8 million people. That’s not from just suicide, it’s it’s overwork, it’s stress, it’s complications from all these things. And often what it is, is one, it’s the workplaces that were in the 60s 5.1% of bosses who are destructive to our health, and then also just our own beliefs about who we need to be in these workplaces. Like you can have a great boss, but if you don’t know how to shut yourself off, you have to be the guy that delivers are reliable. Rob, you’re gonna go all the time.

Leanne Elliott  57:02  
It’s quite unbelievable. Is it as a psychologist, I think that people still, some people still question the relationship between our work environment and our working experiences and our physical and mental health. There is so much data and research and literature going back decades and decades of, of these relationships, and one that actually read recently, which is a study published this year in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, as a first establish a clear link between management style and employee heart health. So employees who said their managers were passive, inconsiderate, and in communicative, were more likely to suffer from heart attacks, according to this Swedish study looked at more than 3000 people. So yeah, having a an asshole boss can literally give us a heart attack.

Al Elliott  57:51  
So that’s what can happen when get it wrong. But when you get it right when everyone is feels like they’re playing for the same team of everyone feels like they’re, there’s energy in the room, we’re all trying to do the same thing, then it just works. Peter use this analogy of playing blackjack, which is very good to explain the whole idea of everyone being on board. And so

PJ Brady  58:09  
when I would go and play those tables, where everybody’s rooting for each other, and everyone’s playing in the same way, fighting the same cause we know we’re all against the dealer, in blackjack, you’re against the dealer, not against each other, you can all win all the time, play by the rules, and you come together and you win. The sales teams that I’ve worked for when they’ve got the right culture when they pump each other up in the morning when they high five for good sales, when they give someone else a lead. Because they know they’re having a hard day. How are you kinda while we pick each other up? Great, how are you smart? We go through the research, we take the time to learn. How are you brave? Well, the one of the ways that we’re brave is we’re persistent, we keep going at it. And because that bounces with the kind value of when we’re a team is someone else’s gets down or picking them up too, then they do better. They have motivation to show up for your work in it. You know this either, if you’re a good salesperson, you’re either a great actor, or you’ve got a team that picks you up and you’re just in doozy, asterik person, you know, find ways to, to establish how you treat each other, how you want to think and how you’re going to overcome your challenges. Do that as a team, and those are the ones that succeed. I’m not

Leanne Elliott  59:21  
sure there is any better feeling as a leader, as a manager as an employee, when everything just seems to be working, everything’s in sync and you just feel like you’re in vincible it’s such an empowering, feeling. And it’s brought me so much joy and fulfilment both as an employee, you experienced it as an employee, and as a leader. It is the most I’m feeling I can feel my heart rate accelerate now just just remembering it. Because it’s such an incredible high to be in that environment while you’ve, you’ve got each other’s back. You’re working towards something incredible. And performance wise, you’re absolutely smashing it.

Al Elliott  59:55  
I totally agree. I used to be in a sales environment where we used to sell advertising over the phone And there was this one girl in the corner, one lady in the corner, who would always kill her targets very quietly by about Thursday and then spent all of Friday just getting us deals. And then she’d put them on the board and brand name. And then we’d all have to work out Monday morning, we’d have to ring up and try and get those deals back to pay her back. But yeah, it was just that feeling of she could have gone home, but she didn’t. She stayed there. We all work together. We’re all in it together.

Leanne Elliott  1:00:22  
So yes, I love that. And I think I think one of the things you know, as a leader, you can get very reminiscent for times like this, I am myself a very reminisce and, and look back at those as being great times I think maybe there can be a danger, but we try and recreate those of it if it’s lost, either because we’ve had some people have laughed or natural attrition or growth and because sometimes feel that we need to get back to where we work, because that’s when it was working. But you know, it’s an evolution of what’s going to work now, you know, as of as of today, as of March 2023, what does it what does it look like to be brave, smart, and kind of I’m sure PJ would agree that what that looks like today is probably very different to what it looked like five years ago. We’ve talked a lot about values. We’ve talked a lot about incongruence, we’ve talked a lot about how our values and behaviours affect others. And we’ve also talked about how, as leaders, this, this incongruence and values or not knowing how to apply these values in a way that is sustainable in the environments that we’re in, can have significant impacts on our mental health. So is Duncan, what can leaders do better to invest in themselves and in their own well being?

Duncan  1:01:27  
Yeah, so I’ll start off with and this comes from literature or the working systems change leadership, right? So if you look at people who are profoundly third, they change the world in profound ways. There’s a really famous Lucy paraphrase, saying that Gandhi would say, right, be the change you want to see in the world Be the change you want to see in the world. So change starts from within all change, Satya Murthy, we have fancy change management processes that we want to control that change on the outside. But the reality is, we want to change us first. And there is a concept that we call congruence. Right? So maybe the flip side of it is true. And people will be familiar with this. There’s a notion of impostor syndrome. And that’s it’s a really popular buzzword right now. But the idea of imposter syndrome is we have these different parts. And as these different identities a part of me as a mom, part of me, wants to be a director, an executive or professional, a part of me wants to be an athlete apart must be super healthy. And all these different parts have different values. And they all have different beliefs. And they conflict with each other. Right. And so when it comes to well being is we have to solve that. Right. And so in order for us for we to solve that, what I say is you got to solve that within yourself. So if you’re a leader, you want to be a successful leader, then you have to go through life with congruence and from a more of a metaphysical lens or a spiritual lens, you always hear the notion of beingness right? Being present, there were human beings, right. But language has its language is practical, right language has a natural expression to it. And so we’re learning how to be and so part of beingness by the way as well being so the world’s in there, it’s not wellness, there’s a wellness activities, right, let’s do a yoga classes, some breathing exercises, it’s gentle, it’s walk, it’s let’s, you know, that’s wellness, it’s like an activity outside of us. well being. Right, leveraging the word being is a self encompassing notion taken straight from the language, I didn’t invent it, right, it’s straight from the language of what it means is it takes a well, and puts being together. And so leaders will have to learn what it takes. So what burnouts a little bit extreme, obviously, not everyone’s gonna be burning out. But burnout does offer some really useful lessons, right? So if you ask anybody that’s gone through burnout successfully other side, they go through not just the transformation, but what I like to call it very transcendental moments over life, right? Because, you know, when we learn about consciousness patterns, like you’ll learn, like there’s, you know, there are groups of people at the beginning that like, Ah, I want to break the status quo be very disruptive, and you’ll introduce things like agility and one things now, I don’t want to go watch now, I think that we’ve both experienced, right? And then one of the the sort of offshoots of other lessons in sort of that paradigm of Go, go go everything now. fast and agile and lean and flat and all those words, right, is what’s the point? I don’t? What is I think the key word that came came out for Gen X that’s popular today on leadership is what if I feel unsuccessful, even though I’m successful,

Leanne Elliott  1:04:22  
then convention that how we can have different identities and a different sense of self depending on on the environment that we’re in. And that’s absolutely true. And it’s not to say that for positive well being, we need to completely amalgamate all these identities into one we are different people with our friends and our family, and then we may be with our, our work colleagues or our kids. But the thread the thread that runs through those identities are our values. And as Duncan says, when we’re not living our values, or when we think we’re living our values, and then that that success comes and we don’t feel the joy from it or fulfilment from it. That’s because our values are misaligned. There’s a really great X So called vitals, which helps you to explore what your values are your interest, your, your personality and your temperament. So you can have something on paper so when you’re experiencing some kind of emotional or cognitive dissonance or, or some kind of psychological discomfort, you can reflect back on it and think what environments Am I currently in, that may be one up forcing me but I am in a place where I need to compromise what my values are, and there will be times where we do. But if we do that for too long, that’s where it’s really gonna start to impact our, our well being. So I will leave that exercise in the shownotes for you to view to try and use it and reflect them. We’ve talked a lot in this episode about reflection, introspection, understanding our own behaviours. There are various different ways to go about that we’ve mentioned a few in this episode, including the the emotional intelligence psychometric you can do, the Hogan assessments you can do and also the 360. So if you’re looking for a practical tool, we will leave all of those in the show notes are a big thank you to our guests today. First of all, Duncan sorrow, the founder of transcend the hustle. If you want to hear more from Duncan, you can check him out over unlinked in and you can go to his website transcend the For more information on Susan, the founder and CEO of elite high performance. And Rob, who is a leadership coach at the same company, do again check them out on LinkedIn and connect with them. We will leave the links to both of their profiles in the show notes. You can also check out the website elite high And of course their podcast leadership Launchpad project, which Alan I have been on actually really good. Yeah, really, really great forecasting and really great resource for leaders. So do check that out. And finally, thank you to PJ Brady from Brave, smart kind company. I think he gave us so many practical tips and really brought to life what it means to live and work our values. For more information on PJ again, we will leave a link to his LinkedIn profile in the show notes. You can also check out brave smart

Al Elliott  1:07:05  
So hopefully now you know what an asshole boss looks like whether you’re going to be an asshole boss and what you can do about it. If you do find yourself being an asshole boss, chances

Leanne Elliott  1:07:13  
are you are an asshole boss from time to time. I think we all are. I think we all think that is Rob said the fact that you’re going Oh God am I means that you’re not a narcissist because I wouldn’t even crossed your mind if you were you’re in a position where you can absolutely reflect and learn and adopt the behaviours that are going to make you more effective. So get in touch for more advice on how you can you can approach that I will be back next week with another episode where we’re talking about teams how to build high performing teams, and the the funny the funny and interesting phenomenon that is called the superstar effect.

Al Elliott  1:07:46  
Looking forward to it. See you next week. Bye

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