The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast

70 Resilience, Diversity and Authenticity - Dynamic Leadership in action *TURABIFY TAKEOVER*

July 01, 2024 Dr Nia D Thomas Episode 70
70 Resilience, Diversity and Authenticity - Dynamic Leadership in action *TURABIFY TAKEOVER*
The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast
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The Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast
70 Resilience, Diversity and Authenticity - Dynamic Leadership in action *TURABIFY TAKEOVER*
Jul 01, 2024 Episode 70
Dr Nia D Thomas

Welcome to the Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast!

This episode is a little different. Our host, Dr Nia Thomas, recently connected with Turab whose videos on Instagram and YouTube aim to generate more thoughtful leaders and better workplaces. As part of the Turabify movement, Turab interviewed Nia and they talked about leadership, management, self awareness, recruitment, and more. It was such a great conversation. We're bringing it to you today as a Turabify takeover.

Their conversation revolves around the crucial importance of authentic leadership, self-awareness, and the challenges of leading and managing diverse teams in today's global landscape. Turab emphasizes the significance of actions based on data to sustainably gain belief in oneself and others, while Nia Thomas shares her wisdom on resilience and inclusive decision making. Get ready to be inspired by their insights and gain valuable perspectives on leadership and management in the modern workplace.

Connect with Turab on Instagram or watch this episode on YouTube

Support the Show.

Find Out More
Thanks for joining me on my learning journey! Until next time...

Rate and Review
Once you've taken a listen please leave a rate and review on your favourite podcast player. A little word from you means a big deal to me!

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Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to the Knowing Self Knowing Others Podcast!

This episode is a little different. Our host, Dr Nia Thomas, recently connected with Turab whose videos on Instagram and YouTube aim to generate more thoughtful leaders and better workplaces. As part of the Turabify movement, Turab interviewed Nia and they talked about leadership, management, self awareness, recruitment, and more. It was such a great conversation. We're bringing it to you today as a Turabify takeover.

Their conversation revolves around the crucial importance of authentic leadership, self-awareness, and the challenges of leading and managing diverse teams in today's global landscape. Turab emphasizes the significance of actions based on data to sustainably gain belief in oneself and others, while Nia Thomas shares her wisdom on resilience and inclusive decision making. Get ready to be inspired by their insights and gain valuable perspectives on leadership and management in the modern workplace.

Connect with Turab on Instagram or watch this episode on YouTube

Support the Show.

Find Out More
Thanks for joining me on my learning journey! Until next time...

Rate and Review
Once you've taken a listen please leave a rate and review on your favourite podcast player. A little word from you means a big deal to me!

Francesca [00:00:02]:
Hello, and welcome to the knowing self, knowing others podcast, where we discuss self aware leadership with thinkers from around the globe. I'm Francesca, your AI presenter. This episode is a little different. Our host, doctor Nia Thomas, recently connected with Turab whose videos on Instagram and YouTube aim to generate more thoughtful leaders and better workplaces. As part of the Turabify movement, Turab interviewed Nia and they talked about leadership, management, self awareness, recruitment, and more. It was such a great conversation. We're bringing it to you today as a Turabify takeover. Looking forward to having you on our learning journey.

Turab [00:00:44]:
I think as humans, we're basically looking for novelty. It's it it, like, helps us to rationalize existing probably because we're like, okay, yes, we're alive and we we have new things that are coming up in our life all the time. But in order to create experiences that are new or to give ourselves the opportunity to do those things, we have to be okay with being let down. A lot of these people that I've worked with in my life in organization and in clubs, you know, they're like, oh, yeah. We have we have leadership experience and we do all this stuff. And then they show up and I'm like, okay. Well, where is all this stuff? Right? Like, your communication isn't great. You know, you don't end up texting back in the right time.

Turab [00:01:22]:
You don't email back properly. You don't show up necessarily on time. And then I guess the hardest thing, besides those 2 kind of teachable things, the hardest thing is actually that vision. Right? Saying saying, okay, this is where we need to go.

Nia Thomas [00:01:39]:
Yeah. Interesting. I was having a I had a conversation with somebody this week who, I sort of sprung a podcast interview on hers. We ended up having a having a really good conversation, unexpected as sometimes these conversations end up being really excellent. And she talked a lot about people coming out of universities that weren't really ready for the world of work. So she had a young team. And one of the things that she does is really nurture them in in all of those things that wrap around the academic stuff that you learn in university, you know. You you you know all the theory, etcetera.

Nia Thomas [00:02:14]:
But but how do you live that? How do you go home? How do you manage a, house that maybe you've never lived on your own before? How do you manage your finances? And she was saying that financing was was a big issue for lots of new people coming out of university. So, I was I was very impressed that she was actually considering those things. And I suppose 20, 30 years ago, organisations would have said, sorry, this is pastoral care. This is not for us. That that belongs with mum and dad.

Turab [00:02:44]:

Nia Thomas [00:02:44]:
But she was saying, actually, this isn't about that. This is about how you bring all of those things into the world of work. So it was a really interesting conversation. It'll be going live in a couple of weeks if you wanna hear the rest of it.

Turab [00:02:55]:
Yeah. I can't wait to watch it. No. Your your podcasts are awesome. Absolutely incredible. Thank you.

Nia Thomas [00:03:00]:
Thank you.

Turab [00:03:00]:
I'm I'm so glad that there's there's people in the world that are trying to spread these messages about leadership. Because I think, like, out of we need it. We need it as a species. Like, where where we're going, where globalization and stuff, and how how political, you know, the political makeup of of the world right now. We really need, you know, good, strong hearted people with good vision to kinda stand up and be like, you know, I'm I'm willing to take this responsibility. So I think I think things like conversation like this really really can help the next generation or even people around us, you

Nia Thomas [00:03:34]:
know? Yeah. Definitely. And polarization is really concerning me because I think over the my 25 years in in the world of work, I think we were probably slightly to the left of centre, slightly to the right of centre. But now organisations, as well as the individuals that work in them, are really becoming polarized. You're either this or you're that. And I think that does worry me. I've got this utopian view of what government should look like. And I think I've watched it on a film somewhere and I've thought, oh, that's a really good idea for government, is that actually we have lots of different parties putting forward their different manifestos for education or social care or health or roads or whatever it might be.

Nia Thomas [00:04:20]:
And the public is allowed to vote on it so that you don't make a choice about a party, you make a choice about a policy. And I think that's democratisation. And it'll move us away from this polarisation of I'm either red or I'm blue because actually the world is far more complex than it was. It's far more connected than it was and therefore I've got this idea that let's just pick the best policy. I don't care what colour you are, which, you know, whether you're red or blue or green, it doesn't matter because it's the policy that I'm interested in, what it delivers. So that's my utopian view of of democracy for the next, you know, 50 years.

Turab [00:04:56]:
There there was a professor in high school when I was in in junior year, I went to Louisiana and she was teaching civics. And she said and I was I was like starting this Model UN club and I was doing all this stuff and and we had a conversation and she said, when you're young and you're not liberal, you're you're not a kind person or some or you're you're not compassionate or you're not you're not really paying attention, right, compared to your cohort. When you're older and you're not conservative, she said you're an idiot. So it's like, there's like, like I'm beginning at least to realize in my research of what's going on in the world and a lot of my assumptions about how governments work and a lot of this stuff, like, yeah, the reality is you you need a really broad view in order to really understand what's going on, and like what's what's actually good for the future of of the the people that you serve or the or the things that you stand for. Because I think I at least have this tendency that when I respect someone, that I'll basically follow their judgments about every particular issue. And I think that's the beauty of being a leader, and the beauty of being the influencer because you actually have a lot more span than I think we assume that we do. But that also makes it so that if if we don't do the research and we don't have multiple of those people that we're looking up to and having perspectives, you know, that we can get really pigeonholed into believing something that might not be true at all.

Nia Thomas [00:06:28]:
Yeah. Definitely. And I'm interested. You mentioned different generations there. I'm hearing far more people talking about this phenomenon that we're moving into, that we're gonna have around 5 generations in the work place at the same time, which has never happened before. So we've we've got the twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, and sixties, all working together and possibly into the early 70 year olds where we haven't had that need before. But what we're finding with the cost of living crisis is that people are having to come back into the workplace where they would have retired and moved on to do other things. So I think that all of those generations coming together, interesting that you're saying there's this view that if you're younger, you're more liberal, and if you're older, you're more conservative.

Nia Thomas [00:07:16]:
I think that generalisation of different generations concerns me because I think that's, is that the tip of the iceberg of ageism? And how then do we move to this humanisation of the workplace, the individualisation of our working practices? Because what I don't want is for organisations to say, well, we will do this for Gen zed, we'll do this for Gen alpha, and, you know, all the x's, we'll do that for them. But what if that isn't the case? What if you've got somebody who may have a date of birth that fits in in one generation, but actually they like the views and they follow the examples of a different generation. So I'm concerned about pigeonholing people to their age groups. I would rather us work out where people's strengths and areas of interest lie and focus on that. Again, I suppose it comes back to the conversation about polarisation because what we're doing by talking about all these generations as separate entities is we are creating polarisation. So I'm I'm I'm this, this is me on my soapbox and I keep talking about this. Let's not talk about somebody as their generation. Let's talk about them as an individual who's really good at accountancy.

Nia Thomas [00:08:35]:
They're really good at maths, and actually they're the person that you need to help you doing the detail. Whereas you may have somebody else who's the customer services expert. They have that kindness, they have that warmth, and they're able to do your customer service function exceptionally well. I their age and their generation is of no consequence.

Turab [00:08:53]:
Right. And and being a leader, like, you you kinda have to you have to separate that in in your head, right? Like at at the end of like even even me when I hire people at the dental practice sometimes I'm like oh, you know, is is this person teachable? Right, but that's a quality for every, that's an individual quality, that's not necessarily an age quality, right?

Nia Thomas [00:09:15]:

Turab [00:09:17]:
So the thing that I wanted to say, there's there's 2 main points. The concept of generational housing, right, in certain cultures, for instance, from my culture and Pakistani culture, a lot of people spend their lives with their families. So the grandparents, the parents, the grandchildren, like everyone's in the same kind of household, right? And through that you get tremendous amounts of perspective. And even even if even if we are driven to make our own mistakes, which I think I think we have to learn from our own mistakes at some capacity always, At least we'll have the context to be know to know what we're looking for along the way. Right? Like, if if there's something that comes up that we're like, this kinda signals what my grandparent was talking about or my what my parent talks about. You know, there's there's a caution, there's there's a wisdom that goes along with that. So along with Yeah. You know, trying to make sure that we we look at everyone kind of as human beings, I think it's also really important to realize that that difference perhaps in ages actually can be really beneficial.

Nia Thomas [00:10:23]:
Oh, definitely. Cognitive diversity is where it's at. So I would far rather us talk about cognitive diversity than age diversity because actually it's the cognitive diversity. Again, I was talking to somebody earlier this week, about this idea that it doesn't matter who you are, where you're from, what your background is culturally, religious background, that actually, if you all came out at the same university, you were probably taught by the same professors in the same syllabus. And it's quite likely that you're gonna come out with the same idea. So are we recruiting people from a place where you've got groupthink? So, yeah, you know, where if you're recruiting somebody who has a a broad spectrum of family who can be giving them different ideas and different perspectives, that's what we're looking for. Cognitive diversity.

Turab [00:11:13]:
Mhmm. Mhmm. No. It's I've come to a point where I'm I'm sure I'm sure you've reached this with with being as busy as you are and as as involved in different things. As leaders, one of the one of the main thing that we have to watch out for is recruitment, right? Like hiring and firing and all, like, and positioning people in the right place. So, me being a young leader, I'm obviously getting disillusioned about certain things, right? Like where you may have faith that a person can do this task or that they can grow into this role, but that perhaps with enough time they can, but perhaps it's not worth the allocation of resources to get them to that level. You know what I mean?

Nia Thomas [00:12:01]:
And it's it's It's nurturing and mentoring. And I think you have to have an organization that that buys into that. I think that has to be one of their values. If if you don't if you're not into that and you're implying for an organisation where that isn't one of their values or learning or nurturing or mentoring, then it's probably just not the right organisation for you. So, yeah, but going back to your point about recruitment, I often say recruitment's got a lot to answer for. And what I'm not hearing is that people are stepping out of the very traditional form of recruitment. It's, you put your advert out, somebody applies, they come for an interview for 45 minutes, they leave a sparkle or shine, you might call them back for a second time and it's a yes or a no. And that really is, as much as we would want to diversify that method a little, that's pretty much what we're doing.

Nia Thomas [00:12:59]:
But I I spoke to, Tessa Clark and she's the chief executive of Oleo, and it's a very popular global, food sharing app. And she was talking about they, they recruit for mission obsession. And I thought, that's really interesting. And she talked about having the conversation interview and then allowing people to present, but not necessarily a traditional PowerPoint kind of way, giving people an opportunity to present on one of those missions. And they can do that any way they like. And she used the word, audition. And I've heard the word audition used by other people who've said, how do we diversify our recruitment method? When I spoke to Matt Dunsmore, he talked about where would we recruiting from? So that, again, this is the, the cognitive diversity conversation. And he was saying he recruits from various places so that you don't get this, groupthink.

Nia Thomas [00:13:58]:
But again, you have to recruit from a place, You have to have a process. And then you have to have a very clear support policy for learning and development, what you get once you get the people in the organisation. So I think recruitment is just part of a a long pathway that should go from the minute you're you put that advert out to the minute that somebody leaves the organisation so that you should think of it as a long continuum because it is. It's the career pathway. So from that minute that somebody first hears about your organisation, whether it's an advert in a in magazine or a newspaper or a website, or they hear somebody who already works in the organisation talking about it, what they say and what is written down is really important because you don't get a second chance to make a first impression.

Turab [00:14:48]:
Yeah. This yeah. The recruitment method, obviously, is exactly what you're talking about. Is is Yeah. Yeah. You you go and, you know, the traditional thing. I'm I'm getting to the point where I'm thinking very seriously about the presentation part that you were talking about.

Nia Thomas [00:15:02]:

Turab [00:15:03]:
Because to a degree, though I want to get and and when you're starting on a business, you know, you have limited funds, you you only have so much time and energy that you can motivate or draw to actually inspire someone, let alone, teach them the skills that they may need, right? And I think I think I've made the mistake as a young leader, someone that hires people, to assume that if someone has if someone can talk about doing a task, that they can do the task, right?

Nia Thomas [00:15:34]:
Or talking the talk and walking the walk.

Turab [00:15:36]:
And those are completely different things. At the end of the day you have and what I'm gonna try to do from now on is very much that project thing where it's like, okay, you're signing up for this role, and you're claiming that you have the skills to do this role properly. Show me. Show me show me that you can do this role and and give give some sort of assignment or some sort of, diagnostic to be like, okay, this is the data that you have and this is the thing that you need to get And if you can't get there, or you're you require too much help to get there, then perhaps you should work for an organization or give give yourself the opportunity to learn that skill better. Now the issue that that I come across is that a lot of people that are looking for jobs these days, and a lot of people that are, applying for this kind of secure position, they don't want to put in the work upfront. Right? So they so you say to them, okay. Alright. I need you to do I need you to format 6 emails that you would send to someone, in a CRM, which is, your basically a software that allows you to communicate with a variety of different customers.

Turab [00:16:49]:
And they'll say to me that, okay, yeah, if you put me on your payroll, then I'll do that. And I say to them, well, I'm only gonna put you on your payroll if you're capable of doing this, right? And then a lot of people get into this kind of philosophy that, oh, you know, my hours are worth an X amount of time, and that, that, oh, you know, because you're giving me this assignment, you don't trust me, and and they get all emotional about it. And I think I think as leaders, we need to understand that we really only have so much time. Like at the end of the day, if if you want to go and just bleeding heart, put all of your time and energy into raising people up and investing in their time and their ability to do a skill that they should be able to do when they first start the job, then you're really shooting yourself in the foot. You have to be very, very certain that the person that you're hiring can indeed, at the very minimum, do the job without support.

Nia Thomas [00:17:53]:
Yeah. I think you're right. I think employees and organizations is a two way street, isn't it? You know, you've you've gotta meet your employer halfway, but they've gotta come and support you to do that. Interesting that you're talking about recruitment particularly there. Those kind of exercises, I would expect it to be part of the interview. So, you know, you you've applied, you've filled out the paperwork, you now have 45 minutes to format these 6. Let's see how you do. And actually, if that at that point, then you have a candidate who says, no, I don't want to do this.

Nia Thomas [00:18:27]:
This this isn't for me. You've already got a shortlisting process. You've got a sifting process that's sort of taking care of itself. But I I think that's maybe it's a conversation about what is written in the advertisement so to so that people understand what it's gonna look like when they get to the interview stage. So it'll be a conversation. It'll be an exercise that might look something like this, or it might look something like that so that people know what they're getting. Because what we don't want is to is to have people who start the process and get halfway through and then suddenly have a surprise because nobody told them what the recruitment process was gonna be. And if that happens, what you're gonna have is those individuals taking it right back into the community to say to all of their friends, hey, don't apply for that organization because they're gonna throw a grenade into the middle of the process and you're gonna end up having to do something that you really weren't expecting.

Nia Thomas [00:19:20]:
And I think it's, I often talk to people about introverts and extroverts and the recruitment process when you have to you don't give people much time to reflect. That is far more difficult for introverts. So I wonder if when you're if you have a recruitment process that does throw a grenade in and say, surprise. You need to do this as part of your recruitment process. You're suddenly taking out a lot of the introverts from that potential cognitive diversity that you want in the organization. So maybe that preparing people and saying, it's a 3 stage process. You'll be with us for an hour and a half, and these are all the things that you're going to be doing as part of your recruitment.' And the third part is, the stage is yours. Do whatever you want to do to demonstrate to us that you can meet our mission, that you are obsessed with our mission, just like we are.

Nia Thomas [00:20:14]:
So there's a, I think when you're thinking about different neurodiversity, if you want diversity, you have to be the one that's being demonstrating diversity right from the beginning.

Turab [00:20:28]:
What what I've come across recently is I I I do have a bleeding heart, and I and I love I love love love seeing the most out of people. Like, Terrabify, the whole brand is about, you know, helping catalysts in society who are defined as people that want to become the most authentic selves, to serve them, to to make sure that they have the tools and the resources. And and I think when we start out in our leadership role, we really want to help everyone. We really, like, we really, really, the best of us, I I believe the service driven ones of us like really just have a desire to help people.

Nia Thomas [00:21:08]:

Turab [00:21:08]:
And with that deep empathy comes a tremendous amount of learning that needs to happen about the capabilities of the people, a, and also our level, our threshold for what we're willing to invest, our time and resources. And so though I want to provide every single person with the education that will allow them to actualize their potential and become the most authentic selves, right, the people that are actually not necessarily dedicated to that will take for granted, And the people that are not necessarily dedicated to that will take for granted the things that you are providing them with in terms of their growth opportunities. For instance, I have hired multiple people, in the last couple of months and I've offered master classes to them, my username and password, Right? Master classes that they'll have access to. And they have gone out of their way to say, yes, us watching these master classes, we should get paid for. Now, to me, I'm like, I'm like, okay, first of all, you would have never had this opportunity of getting this master class probably anywhere else. Right? On top of that, you're saying that the money that I spent, the energy that I spent to get this thing, that you spending your time and money and energy means that I have to pay you for that. Right? So as an employer, it it it becomes a situation where you're thinking to yourself like, these people probably have not offered particular opportunities to others, to to know what it feels like to be on that end and to know what it feels like to invest the time and energy to build someone up. And I think it's very important as a as a leader to kinda get get your hands dirty.

Turab [00:22:56]:
Do do the entire gamut of what you believe should be done well in leadership. Learn from that. Try to stay optimistic in the process because business is not easy. But to realize that really, like, you know, peep people can only really meet you where they're at, you know? Even even even down the line when you when you invest these hours and this money, like, you have to be able to read people's souls to a degree in order to know what you're dealing with.

Nia Thomas [00:23:26]:
Okay. So I'm gonna challenge you on part of that. So my experience, I've certainly had that experience of individuals who have grasped any opportunity and they run with it within, in their own time, weekends, evenings, etcetera. The flip side of that is that I've also worked with lots of people who work in the childcare sector and the childcare sector is minimum wage in most roles. And they are expected to work from 6 AM to 6 PM, 5 days a week. And they are then expected to do the training that is part of their role outside of that time unpaid. That I I don't agree with. So maybe it's the it's if I can consider your example.

Nia Thomas [00:24:18]:
So if as a a dental practitioner, you wanted one of your hygienists to upscale in a particular course because, your, your patients were demanding a new new technique that had just been developed, I think your expectation would be that you paid for the course and you allowed them time to do it. However, if you have one of your dental nurses who is also interested in maybe retraining as an accountant, and you say, oh, I I heard about this really interesting course, you probably wouldn't say, and I'll pay for you to be an accountant unless, of course, you want that nurse to stay in your organisation. You would say it's outside of the parameters of your role. Absolutely support you to do it. If you need to take some of your holiday to be able to finish off some of your assignments, just book your time off as you would ordinarily, and you will support them. But you may not decide to pay for that course. So I think, for me, it's about your expectation. Is it part of the role, in which case the organisation should be paying you? Or are you providing the information as a, hey, if you wanna go out and learn about things in your own time, that's fine by me, and I will provide you this information, but I'm I'm not able to pay you or that's not something that's part of your contract.

Nia Thomas [00:25:40]:
But, hey, if you want to go and do it, you're very welcome and I'll support you. So I think there are 2 very different kinds of workplace learning or one that's going to support you directly to to to do your role and one that's going to provide that, as I said before, the the wrap around element that we talked about for those new people coming out of university and to the world of work. So bit of a challenge to you there.

Turab [00:26:05]:
Yeah. I think I think it's, it's very important to and thank you for that. That really helps. I think it's very, very important to separate what type of work that that we're going to do. So if it if it's a 9 to 5 job where you're expected to be, like, in the office for x amount of time, and that's how you get paid, that's a very different scenario than being an independent contractor that has has a contract with a very small company, and you're kind of expected to keep track of your own hours outside.

Nia Thomas [00:26:32]:
Oh, yeah.

Turab [00:26:35]:
That and and I guess what I was talking about is in particular pertaining to that situation where where people are are at home doing the work, that it's very hard to keep track of, you know, how much can some like, when you first hire someone, how much can someone feasibly do in x amount of time? Right? And are they being honest with with what they're actually doing? Let alone, do you have the the evidence essentially to determine whether or not they're doing what they're saying they're doing. And all the infrastructure is very, very important, especially for those leaders that have that bleeding heart that believe in the best in people and all that. I really encourage if you're gonna have any sort of auxiliary people that are doing work for you to have a common drive, like a Google Drive or something where they're uploading their work where you can see all of it to make sure that there is tangible evidence for the things that they're actually doing, just to be on the same page as everyone else, you know?

Nia Thomas [00:27:40]:
Okay. So, right. So what you're talking about is that out of sight, out of mind, are you able to produce something tangible so that I can see what you've done? My world of work is a bit different because often my colleagues are knowledge workers and they, they will not be producing one report a day for the next 30 days. That that's not how we work. So productivity looks different for us. And I guess, I was thinking about this idea that sometimes leaders have to go first and I think leaders have to demonstrate the trust first. If you do have somebody external that you've never worked with before or maybe you haven't developed that relationship or trust with them, Maybe you start with a small contract, but you make sure that the schedule of that contract is very, very clear about both your outputs and your outcomes. Because I think what you've talked about really is outputs.

Nia Thomas [00:28:38]:
I want to see 20 documents, and I want to see those Excel spreadsheets completed, and I want to see the the whatever they are that that they're very tangible. And I think that starts from that contract because then you have an opportunity to have monitoring conversations. So I think that's the difference when you have somebody external working with you versus somebody internal. So if you have somebody internal, you'll be having regular supervision, you'll be able to have both performance conversations about outputs, about outcomes, whether it is 20 documents or whether it is having meetings with external colleagues or developing relationships, which are really difficult to measure, versus external, you almost have to develop that same kind of relationship so that you build up that trust. But I think as a leader, you've got to go first, and you've got to demonstrate that trust. And that isn't in that isn't in the way that I think you're worried about that. Is it fluffy? Is it soft? Is it, some that, you know, you're gonna let let people just get away with things so that if they're not delivering, it's, oh, it's okay. Yeah.

Nia Thomas [00:29:44]:
It'll be fine. No. I have high expectations and I have high standards. That's why we've got a very short contract. We have regular monitoring, and I've got clear outputs and outcomes for your role. If you're not meeting them, that'll be the end of the relationship with a very small contract that we will have to start with. And I think that's a good way, and it clearly sets out your stall from the very beginning. But sometimes I think you've got to work with individuals, particularly in our new hybrid way of working.

Nia Thomas [00:30:12]:
I think you have to go through that a few times to, sometimes it doesn't go so well. And the next time it'll be better, and the time after that it'll be better. But we don't always get along with people.

Turab [00:30:23]:
And that's that's part of the risk of of trying to build anything. Right?

Nia Thomas [00:30:27]:
It's just

Turab [00:30:28]:
a it's a people game. I mean, all of all of this stuff is just it's you have to understand human nature and you have to understand the randomness of the universe to a degree. Right? Like how unique individuals can be.

Nia Thomas [00:30:41]:
Yeah. John Rennie, he John Rennie actually says leadership is the people business and he's spot on.

Turab [00:30:48]:
It's I mean, yeah. It's hard because of that. Right? We have we have to be very in tune with our emotions. We have to be very in tune with, how we deal essentially with our emotional states as leaders. Because I wrote something down think as humans we're basically looking for novelty, I think I think as humans, we're basically looking for novelty. It's it it like helps us to, rationalize existing, probably because we're like, okay, yes, we're alive, and we have new things that are coming up in our life all the time. But in order to create experiences that are new, or to give ourselves the opportunity to do those things, we have to be okay with being let down. We have to be very, very okay with being let down.

Nia Thomas [00:31:40]:

Turab [00:31:41]:
that that is something I'm learning as a young leader to, to go head first and hit and you know, and be the one that's that's performing and then you know, just look behind you and realize that perhaps some some of the people fell fell behind that you that you thought would be able to keep up. You know, it's it's a it's a constant and and hiring and firing people, particularly firing people. Hiring people is quite easy.

Nia Thomas [00:32:05]:
Yeah. But

Turab [00:32:05]:
getting rid of people, right? Yeah. Because you have you have to then think to yourself, okay, well what the hell were they even doing? Okay. How do I how do I now occupy this thing that they were doing? Do I have to find the right skill set or do I have to find the right personality or do I have to find both? Yeah. You know, so it's

Nia Thomas [00:32:23]:
Mission expression.

Turab [00:32:25]:
Yeah. And and it it like I I had to fire someone on Friday from from my team, which sucked. But at the end of the day like, you have to know what you stand for. You really, because this world isn't very fair. Like fairness has never existed in nature. And it sure as hell doesn't exist with humanity. So it's, you have to know how much pain you're willing to put up with. And the idea in my opinion should always be to increase that threshold over time as a leader because you're gonna have to get uncomfortable.

Turab [00:33:03]:
You're in order to grow, in order to expand, but please, what do you think?

Nia Thomas [00:33:07]:
Yeah. So my thought was resilience, and I think that's what the word that I would use to describe what you were talking about from the perspective of the leader. As you said, I think that where you get used to it or you become hardened to it, I would definitely guard against that because what you don't ever want to lose is is that that human side that you don't want to become hardened to it. That actually every time you fire somebody, you should always come away and think, 'That wasn't an easy thing to do. I've got better at it as time, at over time, and I've become more resilient at bouncing back from doing it. But actually, if you can walk away without feeling anything, that's the point at which you're gonna go, oh, I I need to stop for a moment and I need to rethink. And I think in terms of resilience, we're not necessarily talking about that in terms of all of those different factors that make us more resilient. Because going to a course today on on resilience is not gonna make me resilient tomorrow because resilience is something that I built up when I was 2 or I was 7, and I fell off my bike.

Nia Thomas [00:34:25]:
And I and I worked out what to do because there was nobody around. Or when I was

Turab [00:34:29]:
Resilience is earned.

Nia Thomas [00:34:31]:
Yeah. Yes. And I suppose it's very like trust. It trust is something you can't just do. It's something that you have to develop and you have to grow and you have to work at it and lots of different factors. Resilience is the same, that that you have to develop that from within, but never get to the point where things bounce off you. You know, you should always have that heart. You should have there has to be a bit of a soft center there because then I would worry about your leadership.

Turab [00:35:00]:
And and being someone that that knows that has the intention of changing every 5 years and and, you know, making sure that I'm upgrading my philosophies and my skills and what not its very tempting to be closed off to to lack the the emotions because it's it's so much easier.

Nia Thomas [00:35:22]:
Yeah. It certainly is.

Turab [00:35:23]:
But by comparison, it makes life so much less satisfying.

Nia Thomas [00:35:28]:
Yeah. And we did that. That's the industrial revolution. That's the industrial paradigm that we lived through where people could get fired and it just bounced off the bosses. We've moved on from then.

Turab [00:35:40]:
I would say partially. Prob I mean, you you you probably know. I think I think the larger an organization gets, the more difficult it is for the leaders to be, like the higher up leaders at least to be connected to the people that are joining up.

Nia Thomas [00:35:55]:

Turab [00:35:56]:
And really from from my initial assessment of it, it just comes down to consistent communication with the leaders and and all the way down, just trickle down to, like, check-in at least a couple times a week with how people are feeling and what things are changing, whether or not people are meeting their their expectations. You know? The hard part is getting that together.

Nia Thomas [00:36:20]:
Oh, definitely. Yeah. That that doesn't happen overnight and it doesn't happen by osmosis. And something that, became very evident in my research was strategic level disconnect. That's the name I've given it. And it is, especially within organizations that have lots of hierarchical levels or tiers of of within the organization. That strategic level disconnect from the individuals in the c suite right at the very top of organisation to the people who are working, at grassroots and are actually seeing the customer, seeing the patients. What I found in my research that that strategic level disconnect meant that often strategies and policies that were determined at the very top, by the time they got to the people who were actually doing the work, at the frontline, it wasn't achievable or it was unrealistic.

Nia Thomas [00:37:11]:
So inclusive decision making was a mitigator to that, which is exactly what you were talking about. It's that inclusion. But again, it doesn't just happen. You have to have people at the executive level, the C suite, who are being very purposeful about having conversations, going to different parts of the organisation, being seen having conversations. So yes, communication, relationships, listening, visibility, humility, vulnerability, all of those things. If you want to if you're still working in an organization that's quite hierarchical, and and you're right, we are still we are still moving from that industrial paradigm into the the the knowledge area era. But I think that you really have to work on that to be able to squash those levels down so that actually your communication with people in the frontline of your organization is very quick. It's very responsive, and you are visible as a leader.

Nia Thomas [00:38:08]:
I once worked with a chief exec who was called the invisible man. And, and I guess I was okay with that. What I wasn't okay with was that I heard that he knew that he was called the invisible man, and he still let that happen. That's what I had a problem with. So let's squash those. Even if we can't squash the layers, let's get that communication squashed so that it can happen far far quicker.

Turab [00:38:35]:
I think I think it's very important to when when there are larger organizations coming on, that it's very important to designate the person who's going to be at least the face. Because because when we're talking about introverts and experts, at the at the end of the day, like, that that exists at at all different levels.

Nia Thomas [00:38:52]:

Turab [00:38:52]:
And, really, I mean, from from everything that you said and my initial assessment and based on, Natalie Dawson who works with Grant Cardone, who is who is kind of part of the systems creation of a very large corporation. She says that having daily meetings, quite literally daily meetings that are mandatory, that people have to come to and check-in and make sure that they're consistently updating what they've done. But also as a leader, being there showing up in the morning when people are looking tired and don't wanna be there, and then being like, yes, you will give me your energy and and your time. Right? It sets a very different expectation because it's like, okay, every day or every week that goes by, we don't just wash over this. Right? Like, whatever whatever discomfort or things that came up this week or yesterday are addressed. So that we we don't have a system a system that breaks over time. You know, the the the we're kind of upkeeping the system and making sure that all of the the little parts of it are being augmented with time instead of having to come back 6 months later and being like, holy shit. Like, how do we how do we solve this massive problem that people aren't getting x thing that they've needed for 6 months? At that point, you might not be able to.

Nia Thomas [00:40:17]:
Yeah. It might be too too far down the line. I wonder about those kind of of meetings. I think if you're in a traditional type of organization and you're telling everybody they have to come to a meeting once a day, every day and expect to see you there, for me, that's bordering on micromanagement. However, if what you're doing is moving towards an agile approach, which says we will review what we did yesterday to decide what we do today to decide what we do tomorrow. That is a part of inclusive decision making. So I think the the tone, the expectation takes it from micromanagement to inclusive decision making. And I think the values of the organization, the behavior of of the leaders sets the tone of which side that it's gonna be.

Turab [00:41:03]:
Yeah. It just it takes a lot of I mean, leadership really just is is a is a mission of of individual growth and then anything else that that comes from that will be felt. You know, it's it's that that's the hardest pill to swallow is is why is this not working? It might just not be working because you're not there yet. Right?

Nia Thomas [00:41:26]:
It could be. Yes.

Turab [00:41:27]:
Like, very, very possibly.

Nia Thomas [00:41:29]:
Yeah. And I think as leaders, we cast very long shadows and we forget about that. So it's something that I'm I'm constantly reminding myself that if I walk into a room, it's cause I wanted to grab a pen, but if I'm walking into a room and 6 people are there and they're not expecting to see me, have I now just created a, you know, our, you know, directors walked into the room. What does that mean? Have I walked in and not said hello to anybody? So so I think, yeah, it's a constant learning journey. And as much as we talk about different models, we talk about different theories. None of it is a playbook because you can have different personalities in a different organization and something happens in their life and it completely changes tomorrow and you as a leader have to adapt to it. So I think what, what I would recommend is people read my book, read other people's books, read 20 books, read a 100 books, take the learning, take the skills from those, adapt them to your authentic leadership self and use them when you need to and adapt them and change them when you need to. Because all of the humans you're coming into contact with all of the time are not going to be from a mould.

Nia Thomas [00:42:48]:
They are not going to fit what the textbook said. They're individuals. Reflection of your hard and relational skills, recognition of your impact and regulation of your behavior. You do that in the moment. You do that throughout the day. You do that at the end of the week, at the end of the year. And that's that constant journey. Because if we wanna be in relation with others, that's what it's gonna take.

Turab [00:43:16]:
Every time. Every time. And I think I think some of the best advice that I got and also anyone watching, please, please, please go to, knowing self, knowing others, and pick up madame's book called Super Highway, about leadership. It's gonna benefit your life tremendously in terms of really all the stuff that we're talking about, I'm sure. I think the the reality of setting on a path to to actually be a leader tends to be something that we kind of pick up the bug, like, earlier on in our life when we realize that we have the ability to communicate with people. And it becomes there's, like, this chunk of time that it becomes very fun to manipulate those conversations and and, just interact. I I remember my childhood and just just like, you know, things that I said in classes that perhaps made people laugh or things that I did in little groups that brought people together. You know, all of these, like, little interactions, they they were fun.

Turab [00:44:30]:
They're genuinely enjoyable moments for me because I was like, wait a second. What I do actually affects the world around me. You know, it's there's a there's a process of learning that about self, and then and then it ends up turning into, well, crap. Now now I know that I'm capable of doing this. Okay. How do I balance wanting to do this and my own my personal life? Right? Like and and I think the best comment that I got from my practice management professor in dental school was that if you are a different person at your business than you are at home, there's probably something wrong. And and the reality of that, I think, just comes up with authenticity. Really, it's like, if we if we experience being misaligned at work and at home, then we experience a lot of stress as leaders.

Turab [00:45:30]:
And a lot of kind of unnecessary stress. Because sometimes the sometimes the best things to do in life it seems like are very intuitive. The most efficient things to do do in life are very intuitive. And when we learn all these different systems and equations to apply to our life, sometimes it it breaks that alignment. And then we have to recalibrate and be like, wait a second. What what part of the system broke that alignment? You know? Am I sure I'm changing as an individual. Right? I want to grow as an individual, but am I leaving this part of myself behind as I'm growing, you know, or is is is it off kilter? And and you'll feel this when when you fail especially, you'll feel this because that recuperation is gonna take longer if if it's not in alignment. Yeah.

Turab [00:46:23]:
You know, the, the analysis is gonna be all funky if it's not in alignment. You'll realize there's parts of your life that just don't make sense, you know, with with where you wanna go. So I don't know. What your thoughts on that?

Nia Thomas [00:46:36]:
Authenticity is we're talking a lot about it, but what we often don't do when when you see when you see posts on LinkedIn or you see, articles in Substack or Facebook or wherever you may find them. We're often not given the definition of authenticity to go with it because I think we've gone from authenticity to authenticity, which, which seems to have really lost that central core meaning. So I think there's authenticity at our periphery, which is very superficial. And maybe those are the things that you don't want to bring to work on a Monday morning from what you did on a Saturday night because actually that being authentic in those different contexts on that periphery really isn't going to help you move forward in your career or, you know, one's going to be out of alignment with the other. I think when we talk about authenticity, we need to restate the definition is about what your values and your beliefs and your principles are. I think those are the things that you need to be able to ensure that you're working towards, whether that's at home, whether that's in in the world of work. Those core things that are fundamental to you, they're the things that you don't think about, they're the intuition, they're the gut feeling, that you just know. And sometimes it's quite difficult to articulate if you if you haven't worked through a process that allows you to articulate what the authentic you is.

Nia Thomas [00:48:14]:
So I think we need to be taking authenticity back to that core of us and doing that reflection work to understand who am I, what is the authentic me. Those are the things that I want to take into my world of work because actually, there might be a particular behavior that I do on a Wednesday night that actually isn't appropriate for for work on a Friday morning. But actually, that doesn't mean that your beliefs, values, and principles change. It's just the things that you do. So let's not confuse them with with activities. So let's think values, beliefs, principles, and not activities. Activities do not necessarily make us the authentic us and sometimes they can really hamper our reputation within the world of work. When we want to be having good relationships with people, but they've hurt our reputation first, that's not gonna help us.

Nia Thomas [00:49:09]:
So be very clear about who the authentic you is and what your choices are in your behavior in terms of the activities that you that you do that demonstrate that.

Turab [00:49:22]:
It's, it reminds me of the Jim Rohn quote. The classic, if you work hard on your career, you will make a living, which is fine. If you work hard on yourself, you will make a fortune, which is super fine. And, at the end of the day, if if any of us is trying to find that authentic self, I think I think, yeah. We we really do need to sit down and write out some of those qualities that that we really value in ourselves and and those identifying characteristics like, am I an artist? Am I a speaker? Am I a strategist? Any of these things, writing them down is the first step in my opinion to saying, okay, this is something that I want to be at the very least. Something that I aspire for in my life. But I will I will say that action is very very important. I will say that, it's not enough to to write these things down and to believe that we will grow in them.

Turab [00:50:41]:
It's very very important in my opinion to say to ourselves, okay, what are the actions that I need to take in order to become more of this?

Nia Thomas [00:50:49]:

Turab [00:50:51]:
And and really it's just it's just data. Right? Like at the end of the day, we're we're going to how we think about ourselves is based on how we act. And if if we don't have the data that supports that you're an artist or or you're a speaker or you're someone that is healthy or any anything. Right? If we don't have the actions of literally just going to the gym, eating the right food, sitting down and spending time to create that artwork. Right? We can't believe that about ourselves and there is no way in hell that we can sustainably get anyone else to believe that about us.

Nia Thomas [00:51:31]:

Turab [00:51:32]:

Nia Thomas [00:51:32]:

Turab [00:51:33]:
So it's

Nia Thomas [00:51:34]:

Turab [00:51:35]:
Like, you'll you'll find out who someone is based on the way that they act anywhere in life.

Nia Thomas [00:51:42]:
Yeah. Definitely. And life, whether we are thinking about our workplaces, our leadership, our careers, our life outside of work. It's all a journey and you don't journey anywhere if you stand still. So you have to move or you'll be taken along with the crowd and that may not be the direction you want to go. So I think probably comes back to where we started this conversation saying you have to have tenacity and perseverance and a bit of resilience too, But you need to have done that work to understand what are your values to be able to demonstrate those through your activities. So maybe reflection, maybe creativity are your values, and you do that through your artwork. Or maybe creativity because you want to be a graphic designer or whatever that might be.

Nia Thomas [00:52:33]:
So, yeah, it's a journey. It's all a journey, and we are learning every day. But you've gotta be on that journey. Otherwise, somebody's gonna take you along.

Turab [00:52:43]:
I I honestly could not have said it better myself. It's, it's a real pleasure to to have a chat with someone that's clearly clearly having having the real conversations about leadership and social interaction. It's just just talking to you, just, you know, we we we've talked on and off, you know, over over text and stuff. And it's it's amazing the work that you're doing. Seriously.

Nia Thomas [00:53:09]:
Thank you.

Turab [00:53:10]:
Because any anyone that has the ability to go and check out, Doctor. Nia Thomas' podcast or any of her book, Super Highway. I would I would strongly suggest trying to get get all these bandwagons, get all these movements of of leaders trying to help each other because the best leaders hire leaders, you know, because we don't wanna do all the damn work. It makes it makes more sense to hire people that are motivated to take the actions, to do the things without being told. And networks like this are gonna make all the difference in terms of building ourselves and also getting to those people that we want in our corporations and our companies. So thank you so much, doctor Thomas. I really appreciate it. Do you do you wanna continue? Do you have do you have other things you wanna talk talk about or do we wanna talk

Nia Thomas [00:54:10]:
about here? I think we've got a great conversation. I think it's been really, really good. I've loved it.

Turab [00:54:14]:
It's been great. Thank you so much for your time. Really appreciate it.

Francesca [00:54:20]:
Thank you for joining us today on the knowing self, knowing others podcast. Remember that you can follow this podcast on your favorite podcast player and watch it on YouTube. If you wanna know more about self aware leadership, you can buy doctor Nia Thomas's book, The Self Awareness Superhighway, charting your leadership journey on Amazon as a Kindle book, hardback, or paperback. You can also order it through high street bookstores like Waterstones, Foyles, Blackwells, and Barnes and Noble. You can also buy the accompanying reflections journal on Amazon. If you want to access the free self awareness compass quiz to assess your self aware leadership with the help of constructive feedback from your friends and colleagues, go to www.ksko and check out the resources. Looking forward to having you on our learning journey on the next episode of the knowing self, knowing Others podcast. I've been Francesca, your AI presenter and it's been a pleasure to be with you today.

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