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Bridging Business and Humanity – A Fresh Perspective - EP 1

Emily: [00:00:00] We’re going to talk about the things that we’re all struggling with. We’re struggling with well being, overwhelm, mental health, relationship dynamics, power dynamics, things that we need to set boundaries around in terms of relationships and chemistry and the word love.

Hi, welcome to Let’s Talk People. We are going to talk about this episode and you’re going to get used to meeting my cat princess. She has made some appearances. I don’t have a co host, but I do have a fur friend who likes to make guest appearances. She’s quite quiet, soft and fuzzy, and will squeak every so often.

So what’s Let’s Talk People even about? What are we going to do here together? What’s this conversation all about? [00:01:00] So let’s start with what it originated from. It originated from me being a human being, hopefully like all of you listening. No robots out there. It originates from an entire career so far of being in the work of people and human development. And it originated from us being at a time in history that I believe is like no other when it comes to the world of work.

So until now, we have operated in organizations. under a basic premise of two things. One is industrial error practices. So the goal is that you can control for the deviants out there who are human beings who do bad things, a desire for profitability, efficiency, and productivity, which is a necessity in running a business or an organization.

And we’ve also been [00:02:00] under a belief that high control is a necessity in running an organization and leading people. And we’re being challenged in that thinking, and it’s good. It may make us a little uncomfortable, especially those of us who did not grow up in organizations fully being able to have a voice.

However, it’s things that we’ve really wanted. So we’re at a moment in time where people are getting noisier about their wants and needs, and those wants and needs are what we call human. So after doing work within organizations Morgan Stanley, IBM, Avon, Scholastic, and building my career, developing leaders, helping to shape cultures, successors, high potentials, and providing learning and development to all, I started to notice some things.

So the things that I noticed [00:03:00] were that most people are kind, good and like to achieve. They like to make a difference. They like to make an impact. They like to know that what they’re working on matters and what outcomes it drives to. They like each other. We like people. We’re social creatures, so we like to be together.

And third, we have not liked separating ourselves as much as we’ve had to. Meaning only part of us was welcomed at work and part of us had to stay at home. We like to be a whole person. We like to be known and welcomed in, in community, with purpose. And I noticed that even with all the work that my team and I would do in partnership with leadership, it was hard to make changes to how we ran organizations and how people led, that unlocked [00:04:00]people’s ability to shine, to create, to do things in different ways, to come up with new ideas, to make improvements, because they didn’t feel permissioned.

And so the goal is how do we create permission and freedom, and a word that we’re talking about a lot, especially in a post pandemic world ---- flexibility, where we can still feel safe, that it drives high performance. And that’s the dilemma we’re facing, and not we’re here to talk about. But we’re not going to talk about it in an academic way or theoretical way. We’re going to talk about it in terms of what are the actual things that happen in reality that are getting in our way, that are hard to navigate.

We’re going to talk about all the things that are awkward to talk about, that we usually talk about only with people we feel safe for behind closed doors. We’re going to talk about the things that we’re all struggling with. We’re struggling with wellbeing, overwhelm, mental [00:05:00] health, relationship dynamics, power dynamics, things that we need to set boundaries around in terms of relationships and chemistry, and the word love, and how much of our own stuff from our childhoods, our lives, our careers, our work is welcomed and not welcomed.

What are managers responsible for and not responsible for? Microaggressions and micro-stress. What’s that about? Where does it stem from? How do we deal with it? Are you concerned about it? Does it make you nervous? Has it caused issues with employees and your ability to manage and lead?

We’re going to talk about leadership. How much of leadership is you, and just who you are, and your natural way of being in the world? And how much is it a skill? How much is it specific to an organizational context? How much is it specific to the people that you lead, [00:06:00] and their wants and needs and hopes and dreams?

How much is it specific to specific circumstance of what your organization is dealing with, or what’s happening in the external world around you? So how much do we need to adapt and pivot to everything else? And how do we also stay true to who we are as leaders?

We’re going to talk about well being. And not well being in a generic sense, but how do we have well being when our lives and our work are very busy, and that doesn’t seem to be getting any easier?

What is being a parent teach us or have to do with working? What is dating teach us about work, and work relationships and finding a job? What is nature teach us about how we work and how we lead? So even though the crux of Let’s Talk People is about the world of work, it’s really about [00:07:00] how so much shapes us ----- experiences, the environment, our lives outside of work ---- all of it shapes work.

So there’s not a lot of boundaries here, but we’ll talk about how to set boundaries and what are appropriate boundaries. But for our conversation and this community that we’re building together, we’re going to talk about all the things.

Sometimes I’m going to have guests. I’m going to bring people on who have stories and wisdom and perspective, and can provoke us, make us think, challenge our thinking, give us new ideas and practical actions. That is going to be a key theme.

I chose to not get a Ph.D. even though it was alluring for a reason. I am meant to do in this world and help people to do versus to pontificate. And I thank God that others do the researching, and the thinking and the theorizing that we all benefit from. I’m going to bring on people who give us [00:08:00] new images and visions of what leadership and role models are, because there’s not enough diversity of people to look up to and they come from everywhere.

And then third, I’m going to be here to answer your questions. So as you bring dilemmas to me, frustrations, the things that you don’t know who else to go to, to talk about, because they’re personal, they’re sensitive. I am going to anonymize them in a way that you feel completely safe. And I’m going to give you and all the rest of us advice and perspective on how do we navigate them.

And then I welcome you as a community to share your thoughts. And we’ll enter into a dialogue, a dialogue that will happen in this podcast, and hopefully outside of it. Because this podcast is not about me. It’s about us.

It’s a movement. [00:09:00] It’s a movement of change so that we can create a way of working and living together in the world that is more aligned to our human needs, our desires, and dare I say it, pure and utter joy and fulfillment.

One of my personal beliefs that will relate to this is I think life is hard, and we all have hard moments, and we… that’s part of the human experience. But I think we make it harder for ourselves and for each other unnecessarily. And I think we feel that at work, and we feel that in lots of our other relationships in our lives.

And so one of the opportunities is for us to explore how do we strip away and simplify how we lead, work, and live, so that it’s not so darn hard for us, and for the other people who then have to deal with us. So that’s what we’re here to do. I’m [00:10:00] excited to do it with you, and with the people who are going to come on as guests and teach us.

And from the questions and challenges that you’re going to bring forward, that are going to permission us to talk about things that don’t get talked about, publicly or elsewhere. Because this is a forum where we’re going to really talk to people. Get ready.

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