Shareable listeners Season 2 is finally here! This is the first episode of our Deep Dives series, where we’re exploring several aspects of business with experts leading the way. And to kick us off, we have Patty Azzarello on the show!
Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker, CEO/Business Advisor, and founder of Azzarello Group. With over twenty five years of experience working in high tech and business, she’s held leadership roles in management, marketing, software product development, and sales. She’s a rockstar.
We were really excited to have her on the show; especially, Caroline after hearing her TED Talk about Reclaiming Humanity in the Workplace at TEDxAsburyPark.
On this episode, Jeff, Caroline, and Patty get into similar territory: humanity, the workplace, narcissistic assholes and bad bosses, and how to motivate your employees.
If you’re someone who wants to learn how to be a better leader at any stage in your career, we definitely recommend listing to this one. You might even want to take notes or check out the ones below!
- Running time: 1:02:42
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(12:00) – Where do you think this whole winning by being an asshole-thing came from?
A lack of help and support for new managers.
(15:41) – With all of the data out there to show that people who are happier at work are more productive, why do these leaders still get this wrong? What is the big thing that we’re missing?
In technology companies, it’s a particularly pervasive issue because people get promoted for being good at technology. We don’t show them the importance of managerial skills, but as technology companies, we don’t value it enough either. You see people in very high positions in technology companies, who still think their job is to be the smartest person in the room; they never value that there are other important things to do as a manager.
The job of a manager should be to make all of your people feel like superheros; otherwise you’re going to end up competing with them, making them feel small, make them feel like they shouldn’t bother to be better. Make sure you are creating an environment where your people can feel brilliant and grow and thrive.
(20:40) – What do you mean when you say you want to bring humanity to business?
When we are at work, we need to acknowledge and respect that everyone in the office has a life outside of work. We all need to claim and hold onto our own humanity; knowing what is okay and not okay for us, who we truly are, and being able to bring our true selves to work.
(23:02) – How can organizations today go about creating a space where people feel that freedom to be their human selves?
In the first two weeks of her new job, she scheduled 150 one-on-one interviews. After those 150 interviews I knew what to do, and I had 150 people who were now motivated to help me do it, because I had respected their humanity.
I focused on communication, process, resources, and support for our team from other organizations; these are things that a manager needs to do.
(30:35) – Do you think that having that beginner’s mind set gave you some humility and empathy for people who might be in your organization but in a lower position?
I think when you set that kind of an example it really pays off. When you are stuck in an environment where your humanity isn’t valued, you have a choice to make. Often times earlier in our career, we make a choice to make an investment and stick things out to gain experience and to advance.
(34:24) – How’d you keep the momentum going? How’d you keep these people engaged? Were there forces in your business that wanted to force you to leave your humanity?
The ongoing way that you interact with your organization helps with maintaining it. I read an article once that said “people are more productive when they laugh”…so when I had staff meetings, I would always start with humanity and ask everyone if anyone had something funny happen to them recently or a joke to tell. The goal was laughter. If I could get everyone laughing, then we could lock in, and be very productive after that.
The more that we can feel comfortable laughing together, the better we’re going to work together. It’s proven to be true.
I took some time to create a plan, even when I thought I knew what the answer was. I would let people know when the new strategy would be announced, and allow people to give input and feedback.
Getting people to tap into a human measure or goal, requires people from every organization to get together. When you pick a goal that has something human at the core, you start having an organization where real conversations happen, that really motivate people.
(52:43) – What is the process that happens behind your mindset of humanity? How are you able to assess a situation and think “I can solve this by appealing to people’s humanity,” what does that process look like?
I wrote a book about this, Move; all of the letters stand for part of that framework. Each one incorporates the idea of humanity.
M – iddle; every program and strategy shares the same excitement in the beginning, the goals at the end are really well defined and more excitement, but there is a middle which is often entirely undefined. There tends to be a stall at some point, humans aren’t good at staying focused at one thing for a long period of time. In the book, I explain how it is that people can stay focused in the middle and not feel so lost, and keep working towards getting it done.
O – rganization. There is no antidote for the wrong team; I use the analogy of dog sledding. Imagine you’re on a dog sledding team and one of the dogs decides to sit down, or one that decides to run in the opposite direction. One of the things I think so many leaders miss is that they think they have to make do with the team they have instead of build the team they need. Theres alot of humanity that comes into doing that the right way.
V – alor, because it’s scary. In my positions of leadership I was always scared of doing new things; we need to help these new leaders to not feel scared to do the things they need to do.
E – veryone. You can’t do a transformation from the top, you can lead from the top, but to make change happen, you need people to do the work. We must respect the power of humanity; it’s a real super power of a leader. A Lot of leaders make the mistake of announcing a strategy and then just hoping the team will do it.
The podcast we mentioned: Nice Guys on Business
CONNECT WITH PATTY
CONNECT WITH JEFF
CONNECT WITH CAROLINE
SPECIAL THANKS TO
Caroline, our Producer.
Thanks for everything you do to make this show happen.
Ray, our Audio Engineer.
Thanks for cleaning up our voices and adding all that sexy production value.
Without a Rick and Morty break, this episode would not be possible. Thank you.