Get Reworked Podcast: Why Emotion Is a Critical Leadership Data Point
Work is a marathon and not a sprint. That's worth remembering as we take a look at the state of things following a tumultuous year.
While the last year may have been hard on many organizations and individuals, it’s important to take the long view. We may feel stressed, overworked and burnt out, but the crisis we're living through is actually an opportunity to re-imagine what work can be, says Mary Slaughter, managing director of people advisory services at EY.
The sense of isolation that we've all been through is giving us an opportunity to reconnect with one another and be more purposeful in our relationships at home and at work. And for leaders, it's a chance to step back and think about how to be better.
"They've been equipped to have briefings with investors and analysts and the board of directors and to come in with PowerPoint decks that are filled with charts and spreadsheets and numbers," Mary says. "And just this understanding that emotion is a data point the same way that ROI is — it tells you something about the health and well being of your organization."
In this episode, Mary breaks down the state of our psychology at work. Highlights of the conversation include:
- What the last year of isolation and remote work has done to our emotional well being.
- Why the experience of working through the pandemic has the chance to create lasting change.
- How leadership is being redefined in a more humanistic and realistic way.
- How organizations can better support employees in the long term.
Plus co-hosts Mike Prokopeak and Siobhan Fagan alternate being glass half full and half empty when it comes to the future of work, and break down their takeaways for leadership during this great transformation. Listen in to find out more.
Have a suggestion, comment or topic for a future episode? Drop us a line at [email protected].
Note: This transcript has been edited for space and clarity.
Mike Prokopeak: Hello, and welcome to Get Reworked, your guide to the revolution of work. My name is Mike Prokopeak, and I'm editor in chief at Reworked.co.
Siobhan Fagan: And I'm Siobhan Fagan, managing editor for Reworked. At Reworked.co, we're dedicated to covering the people, the culture, the technology, and the infrastructure that makes up our quickly evolving workplaces.
Mike: Get Reworked is our podcast where you're going to hear from industry pioneers leading the way into the future of work, reshaping not just how we work, but also why we're excited to bring you conversations about best practices, workplace trends, and key technologies that support the modern distributed workforce.
Siobhan: Mike, it's good to be here again.
Mike: Once again, we are here together. We've been talking a lot in the early episodes of this podcast, probably naturally because of the way that this year has played out, about technology, that, you know, technology has become kind of a central part of how we operate at work.
But we're maybe ignoring or not paying quite as much attention to more of the human side of it — the cost that is there and how we approach work and some of the costs of the pandemic on us at work in stress and in our productivity. We've got a guest who has a good idea about how we can address those things in a little bit more productive of a fashion.
Do you feel like, Siobhan, that we've missed perhaps in the in the rush of this year, a little bit more of that human side?
Siobhan: It's a tough one. I think that the human side was definitely forced front and center throughout all of this. But I do think that in the push to, as you mentioned, increase productivity or at least not lose productivity and to maintain business continuity, certain conversations didn't happen that probably could have happened.
Mike: Our guest today has a great perspective on this, as I mentioned. So Mary Slaughter is the managing director of people advisory services at Ernst and Young. She's had a pretty rich and diverse set of experiences that have led her into the position that she's in. She's been a chief learning officer, a chief talent officer, a chief human resource officer, as well as a chief inclusion officer at a number of companies, Sun Trust Banks as well as Deloitte. But I think what is most interesting, and what is going to be the center point of our conversation is the role of psychology at work. It's something that she writes about for us at Reworked and has brought more into the conversation. But I think there's a lot for us to unpack here. So, are you ready, Siobhan?
Siobhan: I am, Mike.
Mike: Alright, let's Get Reworked.
Welcome to the podcast, Mary.
Mary Slaughter: Thank you, Mike, I'm very glad to be with you and Siobhan.
Mike: I've known you, I was trying to think this through, I want to say probably a dozen years. You were the chief learning officer at SunTrust at the time, and I believe you were kind enough to come and speak at a couple of events that I was a part of and share your perspective.
But despite that dozen years or so of experience together, I am still learning new things about you. For example, I just learned that you're a choral singer as well, as a pilot. I had no idea you had "the right stuff," Mary. What keeps you motivated and learning new things?
Mary: I wonder if I'm an undiagnosed case of ADD might just might be part of the problem for sure. I sort of thrive on freshness and change. Not necessarily living on the edge. I don't mean it that way but I do like variety and I like challenging and pushing myself. So I've never been the kind of person that ever wanted a job that was business as usual or maintenance mode. So I think just that sense of what's now referred to as growth mindset - always be trying new things, always be focused on your own progress, not necessarily a destination but the progress that you make over time. So it's also probably a form of distraction as well too. Business can be pretty intense so it's nice to have some other interests outside of the work-a-day world.
Mike: So what do you fly? Bear in mind I have no reference points for anything that you're gonna say. But just for curiosity sake and for somebody who may be listening who who does know planes, what do you fly?
Mary: Yeah, I'm a single engine kinda gal and it's referred to as VFR, visual flight kind of rules. So think of me as the ultimate fair weather pilot, you know, when the skies are blue, and there's no sign of storms or choppy weather. It means all the flying that you do you do by visual reference. So being able to look at the ground and having maps that you're comparing things to, as opposed to being an instrument-rated pilot, which is, like most of the commercial pilots, or all the commercial pilots, I should say, you fly by the instruments because you don't have any outside references at 35,000 feet in the air. So I'm a fair weather single engine pilot that just enjoys being up, soaring above the earth. But I'll tell you, what's kind of funny is that I'm terribly afraid of heights, in any other circumstance, but not on a plane. I don't know why that's the case. But any other time, you could put me on the edge of a ladder, or a building or a roof, and I would come pretty close to a panic attack. But somehow or other, I managed to get away with it in an airplane.
Siobhan: Did you know that in advance, the fear. It's just fascinating.
Mary: I didn't. I got interested in college. My dad became a pilot later in life. It was not as somebody who was former military, which is often you know, the case, but he was a pilot for enjoyment. And I went up with him one day and said, this is pretty cool. I think I might want to do this. So while I was doing undergraduate school, I did my pilot's license as well.
Siobhan: Mary, you said something in your first response about how you did not like business as usual. And I was thinking that that actually is a perfect description of the year that we've just been ... we're about to draw to a close.
And while I expect that you probably don't like the volatility and the uncertainty in business as unusual that really very much could be describing this year that we've had. And I'm wondering, what have we learned about ourselves in this year that we've just gotten through?
Mary: You know, there is that phrase of never waste a good crisis. And I will answer your question, but it triggered something for me as well, Siobhan, thinking about the range of people in the workforce today, the number of generations that are in the workforce.
So I've been working for a while. And I've had the opportunity to make my way through multiple crises, the global recession is an example of one. 9/11 and all of the impact that that had. The internet bubble burst in the early 2000s, the multiple oil sector crises as those things have gone up and down. So for those of us that have been working a while, we have a sense that this thing is a marathon, that it's not a sprint. So that's sort of my first, I guess, point of reflection is that for those that haven't been through something like this before, this too shall pass. But it's a really challenging set of circumstances that we've found ourselves in.
So I was thinking about this last night, like, what are the what are the things that we take away from a moment like this, and a little bit of a nerd when it comes to social science and neuroscience and trying to figure out how to connect the dots of what we know about how the brain works with how we behave in the workplace. So first thing that comes to mind is how much we crave certainty.
You know, we are just wired to want that in our lives. Our brains, if you could give a happy day to a brain, it's the status quo where not much changes. And as little cognitive effort is needed as possible and utilizing as few resources as possible. That's a happy brain day, if our brains could speak for us. But nonetheless, we all really crave predictable patterns. We want to know what's next. And we've been in a situation now where we really haven't been afforded that opportunity. Matter of fact, it's been ripped away from us.
So I've observed that we've been doing things to try to mimic what the past was. So leaning into scheduling and trying to stay on task and trying to mirror things that we had before, you know so virtual happy hours or virtual coffees with someone. But unfortunately I think it's not exactly gone that way.
It's actually to me turned more into a bit of a pressure cooker on some levels because I hear from colleagues all the time that they're consistently working 10, 11, 12 hour days, because we're just staying on task all the time. And I don't know if it's our desire to just continue to try and create certainty in our day, to have some measure of normalcy to hang on to. But it's not necessarily a recipe for greater productivity. It's probably more of a recipe for just pure exhaustion.
So I've observed, there's a lot of overworking going on. And then you factor in all the family demands that are happening, it's very tough. So that kind of leads me to my second aha of sorts, which is how really important self care is.
I think the sense of our humanity is front and center, and how our mental health and our well-being is so important. You know, I think most people know that when you're under prolonged stress, it's not good for you. It's OK to have some cortisol, a stress hormone, floating around in your body. It does, in some ways, some good things for you. It really activates you and sharpens and focuses your attention. But prolonged levels, sustained levels of your body producing cortisol is just the opposite. It actually negatively impacts our emotions. It makes it harder for us to self regulate. It impacts our sleep, our digestion, our blood pressure. It's just not a good thing. And so if we're not paying close attention to self care, that quiet sense of stress that just keeps going on in this world today is going to take its toll.
And then I think maybe the last thing is just how important meaning is, even in work looking to make sure that you're aligned to work into an organization that fulfills you in some way, that sort of feels like it feeds your soul, that you think there's a purpose to what you're doing. So when we're all left alone, my home office is in my basement, you know, and you're down there all day long working away on a variety of video platforms. In those quiet moments, you're sort of asking yourself, "Is this how I'm supposed to be spending my time?" So it's just this really distilled set of circumstances that not only are we trying to make our way through work, but we're thinking about ourselves and are we living the life that we're supposed to be living.
Mike: Mary, I'm trying to put this into perspective, from a business point of view. And perhaps this is a pessimistic view but we have seen some positive progress in a number of things that you just mentioned. This idea of self care, we've seen that become much more of a conversation amongst the workforce. The message comes through from leaders. We're seeing the leaders of organizations much more transparently, we're seeing their pets, their kids come into meetings and seeing that they have lives outside as well. And of course, purpose has been a big conversation as well.
But as we look ahead to the future, and quote, unquote, we get back to normal. Do you see some of these things lasting? And if not, what do we do to make sure that those are things that we continue to have be a part of the way we approach work — that it continues beyond this moment, to make sure people realize that you've got to take that time for yourself. You've got to re-center yourself around a purpose quite often.
Mary: I tend to be a glass half full kind of gal in general. But I do think this time around feels different to me, that it is much more palpable in a variety of ways. So we've gone through, I'll give you two examples. We've gone through moments where we were struck by circumstances in the world and the influence on work.
So 9/11 is an interesting example to me, you know how it for a period of time it changed business travel and how we engaged in business travel, how we treated one another in business travel. It became a kinder, gentler kind of business travel in terms of the interpersonal relationships. We were all pulling out Ziploc bags and taking off our shoes and all that kind of, you know, security sorts of things. But in terms of the lasting effect, it started to just become normative and attenuate. You know, over time when we sort of slipped back to the hustle and bustle of business travel.
You know, I thought the #MeToo movement would have lasted a bit longer. There's certainly dialogue about gender pay equity that still exists today. But there was this really strong push now probably about four or so years ago but then it started to attenuate a bit.
I find this time around, this set of circumstances with the pandemic, to be remarkably different in that so many things are happening all at once. And I don't know if it's the universe's way of leaning in and tapping us on the shoulder and saying, how you're choosing to exist as a species is not working out really well. And you might want to rethink what you're doing.
And think of all the things that are concurrently happening. We have social unrest, we have climate change, we have all the inequities that we're seeing surface around racial inequities, gender inequities, healthcare inequities, food insecurity, the digital divide that keeps people from accessing new ways of work and new ways of learning. There's just such a profound intersection of so many things.
And we've seen it, for example, in The Business Roundtable, where executives are now declaring the shift from being focused on shareholders to stakeholders. That there's more to business than generating a profit if you're a commercial enterprise, certainly a worthy thing, but not the only thing.
So I have to tell you, I think it's going to stick. I'm pretty optimistic about it. Because I think in part the intensity of the moment and the emotional impact of it is so strong, that it's going to be hard to step away from it. Secondly, it is a shared experience. No one is exempt from what we're all experiencing around the pandemic. And I think those factors are ones that are going to be lasting.
Might we slip back some? Yes, you probably see this in commentary at least from your readership with Reworked, there's also a profound shift in the workforce as well too. This sense to hold business accountable for doing business and being an enterprise that is not only different, but worthy of people to commit their time and energy to. So I'm pretty optimistic that the future will pivot towards something remarkably different.
Siobhan: So Mary, this is when I out myself as a half glass empty kind of gal. I really, really, really want to believe that all of these things will stick. I really wish that that was the push for the future. But I'm thinking of even The Business Roundtable, it raised a big stink, you know, it's the stakeholders that matter. It's the stakeholders that matter. And then this week, we have an article from The Washington Post. And they're looking at all of the businesses who fired and laid off people even though they made incredible profits and gave that money to their shareholders.
And it just seems that we constantly get these reminders. And then you brought up that the employees are going to keep these businesses liable. And that, to me, strikes me not as problematic, because I think that's always been the case. You know, if you look at unions, the history of unions, etc., but if it's always on the employees to keep the employers on the right track what needs to change?
Mary: So I also think we're probably in a moment where leadership is getting redefined. And in fairness to leaders who have been at this for 30-some odd years and are in positions of pretty intense amounts of power, the likelihood that they're going to personally change overnight is a big ask of anyone. But I think we're going to see a migration toward leadership that, if it doesn't have a humanistic quality to it in addition to the quantitative side of things, it's not sustainable.
Part of my definition of great leaders is to turn around and look and see if anyone is following you. And I think there's much more of an activist mindset in the employees of the world today than certainly when I started work, and maybe even five to 10 years ago. So I think part of this shift is going to be leaders that are going to be required to behave differently and be held accountable. And this just like the work that you are in, which is transparency and open debate of these questions, and putting out the facts for people to see and to challenge — all of those things will create a level of pressure that I don't think has been there before.
We'll see. I mean, as they say the proof is in the pudding. I hope we land on the upside of the glass being half full.
Mike: You brought up in a couple of your remarks earlier about growth mindset, fixed mindset. And you know, that is a psychological principle. There are, I don't want to call it innate, but there are definitely tendencies in people's personalities to see that, hey, I can change, things can change. And there are people who don't necessarily see that possibility — this is just the way it is and we just got to manage within it. How do you go about changing leader behavior if they are sort of in that idea of I've been doing this so long, I'm kind of fixed in this way. It's going to be this way. And maybe I'm just in here for another 10 years or so beyond that, I really don't care.
Mary: I'm not sure I have an answer to the motivation component. Certainly, all of us do what we get measured and inspected by and what we're held accountable for. So clearly, some of that will be how, be it boards or peers or industries, hold leaders accountable for what they do.
I thought about leadership development that the other day, and if I were in a situation where that were part of my purview, part of my domain of how do I help create, build better leaders for an organization. I think one of the places I would start is helping people understand the effects of power on cognition. And for the longest time, I mean, it's been most of my career that leaders have been treated as this sort of superhuman differentiated beast. Like somehow or other they've magically become something that transcends being human as they make their way up an organization, when honestly nothing could be further from the truth. The further up you go, the more power you have, the greater the responsibility you have, the more you rely on other people or should rely on other people to create success
Mike: So power doesn't equal leadership.
Mary: No, it does not. Matter of fact, the way your brain processes power, you don't even have to have structural power. You can just have influence in an organization and know that, and that alone is enough to trigger differences in how your brain perceives what you should do.
So for example, the more power you perceive that you have, there's research over and over and over again, that bears this out, the more you believe you're right, the less attentive you are to, for example, risk. So literally your ability to attend to and notice and recognize risk is diminished the more power you have. Your interest in other people's points of view, the literature refers to it as perspective taking, the more power you have the less interested you are in other people's points of view.
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And so power sort of sets you up naturally — and I'm not saying this is a choice — these are natural things that happen in your brain. So if I were doing earlier career leadership development and wanting to explain to people who look like they're making their way into a portion of their life where they're going to have influence over other people, I would want them to understand how power affects your brain because you can then choose to do things to mitigate that.
And as an example, just the perspective taking that I talked about, you have to purposefully go seek other peoples; points of view or else you will end up believing everything that your brain whispers to you. And it's not just the reasoning and the logic, it's the emotional response to things or your interest in something or your ability to attend to or notice details about something. You really do have to pull other people's points of view and ideas closer to you to make sure that you are not reaching inaccurate or false conclusions. So I think that's part of it.
I also think if you went into most business schools, either that of 20 years ago, people getting MBAs or probably even today if you look at what's being formally taught to people as they're accelerating their careers or attempting to accelerate their careers, a lot of it's quite quantitative in nature. And there's this avoidance almost that emotion is data — that if you're not someone who's paying attention to the sentiment and the emotion that exists in your organization, you're actually missing out on some really important data points.
Because at the end of the day, emotional appeal is much stronger than any other kinds of appeal. And as much as we would like to say, we're all fact based and that's what we pursue. If you're leading a group of people who have a strongly held emotional point of view about something and you're not in tune with that, the likelihood that you're going to create followership from them is greatly diminished.
Siobhan: So how do we put this into practice, Mary? You're bringing up all of these characteristics that come with power that sound as if they would potentially get in the way of this emotional intelligence. You're bringing up the way that the leaders of tomorrow are currently being taught in schools. So how do we make this sea change to where people handle power in a different way and see it as a shared construct as opposed to an individual upbringing? And how do we get them to recognize the power of emotion and diversity of thought in the conversation?
Mike: And to add to that, Siobhan, do it remotely at this point?
Mary: Oh, just for grins, right, just to make things even more ...
Siobhan: Just a little extra, a little extra hurdle to jump through.
Mary: Just one more data point to toss in there as well, too. And we should talk about the remote thing as well, too, we can come back to that because it is it does add another layer of complexity.
So I use this phrase, it's not particularly scientific, it all begins with the head of the snake. As the head of the snake goes, so goes the rest of the body of that snake with it. So to your question about how. So we know that leaders are the single greatest influence on what's referred to as normative social behavior. So being able to put it in layperson's terms, look across an organization, describe the culture and say, "What are the acceptable behaviors around here? What does good look like in our organization?"
And you can talk about that all day long but if there's a gap between what an organization says it wants, Siobhan, this is to your point around Business Roundtable, and being caught in the moment for not doing what you said you were going to do. But you can say what you want all day long but it's the behavioral component that people observe and notice. And our brains are particularly good at error detection. It's part of what keeps us alive.
So without asking, too, our brains are constantly scanning in a nonconscious way, sort of detecting everything that's going on around us. And one of the things we notice quickly is when a leader says one thing and does something else. So for me, if I were back in an organizational context today, where I was in charge of culture or perhaps even diversity, equity, inclusion, talent, leadership, development, all those things, it begins with a conversation in the C Suite and an understanding of what's at stake.
Because it's not fair to senior executives to just assume they know. Because oftentimes this has not been brought forward in a way to them that allows them to reflect on their own behavior. So I find it's really useful to talk about behavior change from a standpoint of what your biology is, what's going on how bias happens in the brain, how empathy is created for other people, how you foster trust with others. But to have those conversations with the executive team and then to some extent, you're co-creating with them. What do they want in the organization? What do they want it to be and have them understand that insulating themselves in the C Suite is not helping them, that they're going to have to move ... and I'm painting with a very broad brush here which is entirely unfair as well so I want you know, it's that's okay.
Mike: You can, you can paint the brush as widely as you want. You can Bob Ross it.
Mary: Thank you. I appreciate that. To understand that the ripple effect that they have, and oftentimes I actually don't think leaders really appreciate that. Over time, the more insightful ones learn that about themselves that all they have to do is drop a pebble in the pond and the ripple effect is enormous. But it starts with them. You cannot ask an organization or a culture to be something if they don't see it enacted in the leaders in the firm. And it's not sufficient enough to just sort of pound it out with mid-level management. It has to be at the top of the house. Even if they don't believe it all the way down into their bones, into their DNA, they still can appreciate the impact of their behavior on others.
And I like to believe, Siobhan, sorry about this one, I like to believe that people's intentions for the most part are positive.
Siobhan: No need to apologize for that, Mary, I actually believe that as well.
Mary: And I think that's true of senior executives. I think they're trying to balance just a huge number of competing demands. And it's not the norm for them to have conversations about the sentiment of an organization, and how people feel and wanting people to feel connected from a purpose standpoint, having meaning in their lives and their well being.
It's just not what they've been equipped to talk about for the most part. They've been equipped to have briefings with investors and analysts and the board of directors and to come in with PowerPoint decks that are filled with charts and spreadsheets and numbers. And just this understanding that emotion is a data point, the same way that ROI is, it tells you something about the health and well being of your organization.
Siobhan: Mary, I have to say that we open up the forum to our audience for questions whenever we're having one of these podcasts. And I have never seen a response like I saw in just the last, I don't know, it was under 24 hours to my saying I was going to be interviewing you and discussing workplace psychology. We got so many questions and I would love to be able to ask you one or two of them.
So I'm going to start with this one that came in from Kristina Podnar, and she said, "Many organizations are talking about mental health in this time of a pandemic but the effects will linger much longer. What should organizations do next year and beyond to support employees, but also as a means of having a more engaged and productive workforce?"
Mary: Part of us dealing with our humanity — a word I started using maybe about two months after the pandemic, I thought here was this tiny little organism that has managed to stop the world. And we're going to have to come face to face with who we are as a species, how we're going to choose to exist and move ahead.
And I particularly love — Carol Dweck was probably the pre-eminent researcher on this space of growth mindset — but I love the importance of that in this moment. And it's particularly around failure. And so everyone is struggling at the moment trying to figure out how to cope, how to move forward, and what I love about growth mindset as a topic. It's not a panacea for everything but it's a mental construct, a frame, almost like a set of filters that you use and how you perceive and deal with the world. And so what it says is that, over the long haul, we are all healthier and more successful, and I don't mean monetarily more accomplished, but our lives are more fulfilling. If we look at the arc of time and progression as opposed to deciding if it's sort of black and white, you're successful or not, you're good at something or not, you have a skill or you don't.
We know from the research on neuroplasticity that we are capable of developing and growing and changing. Our brains are malleable throughout our lives. And that includes learning from failure. And so in this moment, we've all come up against moments where it just didn't work out the way we hoped that it would. And so the ability to reflect what you have learned and for organizations to also reflect on what they have learned, we see this a lot right now in consulting work where organizations are not only asking for help to reimagine what the future is but to also slow down long enough to say what have we learned about ourselves? What are we good at? What are we not so great at? What did we surprise ourselves with?
So the sense of being able to test, to experiment, to try things, even if you don't know that they'll be 100% successful. But from an organizational context, that that is not only tolerated but encouraged, encouraging people to try and test out new things. The last six months, you know, last eight months, if we've not learned anything else, it's the importance of trial and error and iteration and adaptation. And if we can hold on to that as we move forward into the world of work. And remember, it wasn't that long ago that we might not have had answers to something but we figured it out. And we got better really fast. And to be able to share that openly with others, like what worked and what didn't.
Organizations that are good at being able to self disclose where you have tried something and it hasn't worked out. And to be able to talk about the experimentation or the failure or the calculated risk, even when it didn't work out are much better at innovation. Because if you don't take risks, if you don't try things, if you don't make the space to pursue something even when you don't exactly know what the outcome will be, your ability to innovate dramatically goes down. So if you say you're going to love innovation, you also have to love the ability to talk about trying things and not always being successful.
But back to the original question. I think growth mindset is just so important in how we look forward to what the world of work will continue to be.
Siobhan: I'm going to ask you one final question and and it's basically going to ask you to distill everything that you just said into one concise piece of advice. So if you were only to share one piece of advice with busy managers, busy leaders, what would it be?
Mary: I think we are entering a really healthy space, that it's about the whole person. So there's not a "work you" and a "home you," there's just you. And that's true for all of us. So it's another one of those aspects that I think could and should carry forward out of the pandemic — that it's the whole person we're dealing with and all the goodness that comes from that.
So we are wired to connect to and relate to one another. It is a profound part of our human biology. And so this sense of isolation that we have all been through, and continue to make our way through, is such a tremendous opportunity to rethink how we treat ourselves and how we treat others. So my takeaway advice is we all have to be purposeful about our relationships, our relationships with our family, our relationships with our coworkers, our relationship with ourselves, with the people that we lead. If you can be purposeful in how you engage with others, because it fuels your own well being and when you're that person, your ability to contribute to others and to lift other people up is really enhanced.
So I think it's integration, looking across the scope of our lives and not forcing people to choose to be one thing in one context, and something else in another, but the recognition that we are all human and we share that common humanity.
Mike: Alright, Mary, where would you suggest people go to find out more about you or follow you?
Mary: I'm a pretty active LinkedIn user. I tend to choose outlets sort of like yours. So with Reworked looking for places where ideas can be put forward, that people can reflect on and think about how to apply those things to themselves. So I try to be public about those things and make a real effort about it and commit to continue to do that, obviously, with your outlet. But as well, I try to keep current thoughts posted in my LinkedIn profile as well, too.
Mike: Alright, so please go ahead and find Mary on LinkedIn. Thank you so much for joining us today, Mary.
Mary: You are absolutely welcome. It's always a pleasure to spend time with you and Siobhan. Thank you so much.
Siobhan: I really enjoyed that conversation, Mike. What stood out for you?
Mike: There's a lot in there and I think that's one of the reasons why we're working with somebody like Mary and sharing some of her thinking. But the one point that stood out to me from this conversation is the idea that emotion and the emotional health of your organization should be a data point just alongside and equal to ROI and many of the financial measures. It's, I think, a point that is a not talked about enough. But if we have data around how people are feeling at work, I think we would be able to manage a lot more successfully and productivity would be a lot easier to manage as well. What about you?
Siobhan: I agree that was really compelling. I also loved Mary's thinking on leadership and how leadership has such an outsized impact on the behavior within the workplace, which sounds like, duh, of course, but at the same time it's just the way that leaders adapt to power, the way that leaders are being brought up in MBA programs and the fact that all of these things, not only are bad leadership at the end of the day in that they don't necessarily provide the agility and the willingness to take risks and the openness to new ideas that businesses need, but that it also is just bad, human-wise and interrelationship-wise, so as you said a lot to unpack but that really stood out for me.
Mike: With that, I think that wraps our conversation, Siobhan?
Siobhan: It does. I can't wait for our next guest. These conversations have really been giving me so much to think about in between.
Mike: Alright, we'll see you next time, Siobhan, thanks.
Siobhan: Bye, Mike.
Mike: We encourage you to drop us a line at [email protected]. If you have a suggestion or a topic for a future conversation, we are all ears. Additionally, if you'd like what you hear, please post a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you may be listening. And be sure to share Get Reworked with anyone that you think might benefit from these types of conversations. And then finally, be sure to follow us at GetReworked on Twitter as well.
Thank you again for exploring the revolution of work with us and we'll see you next time.
About the Authors
Siobhan is the editor in chief of Reworked, the premier publication covering the r/evolution of work published by Simpler Media Group, Inc. Siobhan leads the site's content strategy, with a focus on the transformation of the workplace.
Mike Prokopeak is editor in chief at Reworked, the premier publication covering the r/evolution of work, where he leads content development focused on the transformation of the workplace.