Rebel Podcast: Life and Work on Your Terms

RHR 137: Unstoppable Leadership with Alden Mills

January 31, 2023 Kyle Roed, The HR Guy Season 3 Episode 137
RHR 137: Unstoppable Leadership with Alden Mills
Rebel Podcast: Life and Work on Your Terms
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Rebel Podcast: Life and Work on Your Terms
RHR 137: Unstoppable Leadership with Alden Mills
Jan 31, 2023 Season 3 Episode 137
Kyle Roed, The HR Guy

About Alden

Hi, I’m Alden Mills

I’m going to be your swim buddy—Navy SEAL speak for your teammate. I’m here to help you succeed. There is no greater pleasure that I get than from helping others, their teams, and organizations go beyond what they originally thought was possible.

With over 40 years of success in different environments—sports, military, business, nonprofits, and community action groups—I know the rules for success are universal.

It starts with how you lead yourself and ends with how you serve others.

Principles of Success

These principles of success are what I call the three levels of Unstoppable Leadership. Think of them like ripples radiating from a pebble dropped into a pond’s still waters.

The techniques I share are ones I’ve used throughout my life—from leading Navy SEALs to creating an Inc. 500 company to leading communities to, and most importantly, raising my four boys.

https://www.alden-mills.com/

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Show Notes Transcript

About Alden

Hi, I’m Alden Mills

I’m going to be your swim buddy—Navy SEAL speak for your teammate. I’m here to help you succeed. There is no greater pleasure that I get than from helping others, their teams, and organizations go beyond what they originally thought was possible.

With over 40 years of success in different environments—sports, military, business, nonprofits, and community action groups—I know the rules for success are universal.

It starts with how you lead yourself and ends with how you serve others.

Principles of Success

These principles of success are what I call the three levels of Unstoppable Leadership. Think of them like ripples radiating from a pebble dropped into a pond’s still waters.

The techniques I share are ones I’ve used throughout my life—from leading Navy SEALs to creating an Inc. 500 company to leading communities to, and most importantly, raising my four boys.

https://www.alden-mills.com/

Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched!
Start for FREE

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Support the Show.

Rebel HR is a podcast for HR professionals and leaders of people who are ready to make some disruption in the world of work. Please connect to continue the conversation!

https://twitter.com/rebelhrguy
https://www.facebook.com/rebelhrpodcast
http://www.kyleroed.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kyle-roed/

Alden Mills:

So I want to really encourage listeners today not to overcomplicate leadership. But remember about the focus of treating others with the care and support they need. And the more you think about how to help them succeed, the more you'll succeed.

Kyle Roed:

This is the rebel HR Podcast, the podcast where we talk to HR innovators about all things people leadership. If you're looking for places to find about new ways to think about the world of work, this is the podcast for you. Please subscribe, favorite podcast listening platform today. And leave us a review revelon Hrm rebels Welcome back, rebel HR listeners extremely excited for our guest today with us. We have Alden mills. He is a CEO, entrepreneur, Best Selling Author and highly sought after speaker. He's written a couple of books, he is sharing the key controllables to our mindset, and how to use them to our advantage to become a better leader and transform our business. Thanks for joining us on.

Alden Mills:

What's up rebel HR. Great to be here. Kyle, I gotta tell you, I really love the name of your podcast. Thank you, thank me and I love it. And I hope people embrace rebel inside themselves to be a disrupter.

Kyle Roed:

But I love it. You know, it's it's a little bit of an oxymoron. But you know that so am I and so are many HR professionals. So I appreciate the the shout out. Before we get into this i You've got a really fascinating background. So can you tell our listeners a little bit about your background and ultimately how you got into the, the kind of the leadership world

Alden Mills:

you should know I can't stand talking about myself and my background. give. I give everybody 60 seconds. And I have to really tell you, I'm gonna say how did I get into leadership I really got into leadership because of my mom. I was 12 years old diagnosed with asthma told the leader less active lifestyle and she until the day she passed about 18 months ago would just say, no one defines what you can or can't do. But you that took me to try different sports which I failed that a lot of them found a sport of rowing. It took me to the Naval Academy, graduated from there took me to Seal Team Lead three platoons and SEAL team then founded a series of companies, one of which became the fastest growing company in the country. Have father of four boys, my greatest Leadership Challenge three feral cats, a dog, two rabbits, and written a couple of books. And I am very passionate about helping people be unstoppable, and going after their dreams.

Kyle Roed:

I love it. And I appreciate you humoring me and given that background, but I think it's important to set the context that, you know, that really led you into your focus on leadership. And we were talking about this before hit record that, you know, there's really, there's really kind of three main areas that you focus on, the first one being leading yourself. And so as you were going through your personal leadership journey, as you were, you know, kind of working through some of the challenges that you did in your life, what led you to discover the value or the or the requirement to lead yourself

Alden Mills:

growth? First thing I'll tell you is that going through my leadership journey is not a past tense. I believe that we are constantly on that leadership journey, we're constantly looking at ways to improve if you're not, then you're going backwards. Because everyone else in this world is changing and moving. But what, what really drove me to, to go down this path and figure out, you know, how does it come about to work on yourself is that I want you to start taking responsibility for your own actions, you start to realize, like, oh, I don't need to overcomplicate this, this is really first and foremost about me and how I approach things. If I keep thinking of myself as the victim, or the villain or the hero, right, playing in one of those three dynamics, we're going to be playing below a line and playing in fear all the time. What you really want to move from is a fear base to a heart based and a heart based of what you love, who you want to be surrounded by and showing him what you care about a everyone else. And when you look at that, the first place you've got to really get comfortable with it. is loving yourself, we are so unbelievably cruel to ourselves, you we allow, we would never allow people to talk to us the way we talk to ourselves about putting ourselves down so much. And if you start thinking of that dynamic, it really becomes like a pebble dropped into a calm, dead, calm pond. And if you think about that, there are these three rings that radiate out. In the beginning, they become more, but that Pebble is your action. And that first action radiates out to your first ring of you and your influence as a leader, the second ring, a larger influence is the team you lead. And then the third ring, the largest influence is the culture in which your team's impact. So I want to really encourage listeners today, not to overcomplicate leadership, but remember about the focus of treating others with the care and support they need. And the more you think about how to help them succeed, the more you'll succeed. That's a long winded answer of what you were asking me to do. I'm sorry, yeah,

Kyle Roed:

no, that's great. No, I think it's really powerful. And, you know, the, the, the image that it evoked in my mind was the, the, you know, thing that they tell you the airplane, you know, put your oxygen mask on before you you put somebody else's on and, and it is so easy, especially if you're wired to be kind of that servant leader, to forget about that. And to just try to help everybody else, but you can continue to be cruel to yourself if you're not careful. So. So that's really easy for us to say, on a podcast. Where but in practice, it's really, really hard. So, so as you think about that kind of that mindset, and really the, you know, leading yourself, how do we control that natural tendency for us to to be mean, or cruel to ourselves?

Alden Mills:

We had this character in first phase of steel trading. And he spoke to us right before we had to take this final fitness test, there was a simple fitness test push ups, pull ups, setups, a swim and run. And by the way, we had already taken it four times before, right. And now we're taking it one last time before we did this, but right before we take this test, there's 122 of us. We're all lined up. He walks out of his office, and we're all in these neat little cornrows of military rank. And I'm one of the officers in the classroom up front. And he walks with his lamp because his left butt cheek had been blown off by a rocket propelled grenade Vietnam. And he talked like this. And he said, You all want to know the secret. They're making it through Navy SEAL training. We're all you know, nodding their heads like, yeah, we want the secret like, what is it? He goes? Well, it ain't complicated. is hard. But an uncomplicated. You see, you just have to decide what you're going to focus on. Are you going to focus on the pain of training? Or are you going to focus on the pleasure that training can provide you? Now he goes on for a while and talks about how we all want to be seals on sunny days. You know, our country doesn't need them on sunny, sunny days. And Dan, he says, You know what my job is? My job is create a conversation. And he points to his head. He goes in here, that's going to drive you to make that decision. Now, break the first chapter in my second book, unstoppable teams, is titled leading the conversation. And when we talk about leading ourselves, I break it down in the three main buckets. The first one is this conversation that we have that I name the whiner in the whisper the whiner we all have the whiner right I tell the Navy SEAL training story because it's it's a character that really had a dramatic impact on my life because I think about him all the time. But you don't have to go through Navy SEAL training to get that message. And the whiner in the Whisper we all have the whiner we know how it talks to us. You know our this is going to be why do you think you can make it Who do you think you are? What are you trying to do disrupt your your HR department that's not the way it's done. Now we have to do it always. That's why That's too hard to do you know what I mean? Right. So You know what I mean? Kyle, because it's one of the reasons I wanted to come on your show is that I love the idea about being a rebel, we need more of those rebels because the rebels, they're not listening to the whiner. They're listening to the Whisper. The Whisper is much quieter, softer at first until we start to give it focus. And it says things like, get up. Try again. You got this. You can tell it. Keep going. Right? It's really hard. At first to hear that whisper. And HR professionals, you must be that whisper of for you to be that whisper means that you're listening to your whisper. It means you're listening to that rebel inside you to say, Yeah, I know, I know what they're saying out there. But we're not going to do it that way. We're gonna do it this way, because we're different. And we're going to try new things. And the first part of learning the lead yourself, always comes down to dealing with the whiner in the Whisper. By the way, the whiner in the Whisper. The whiner can come from external places to write, we have to pay attention to who we surround ourselves with, we have to pay attention to what news we listen to, and how much negativity we want to allow into our lives. There's a whole bunch of whiners out there. And they prey on our negativity bias. So you have to be aware of that and really sensitive to it. So you can let that whisper come inside and be like, Hey, what is it that I really want to do? And what's worth fighting for?

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely, I think I think really powerful. And, as I think about it, in the context of human resources, you know, we hear we got a lot of whiners. I mean, I'm just gonna say it, you know, I mean, part of our job is, is dealing with, with the frustration of others, right, and it's easy to fall into that trap of like, you know, well, this, this person feels this way, and this person feels that way. And I should feel this way, because this is the best practice. And so we're just going to do this without thinking through, you know, what's the ramification here, right. But I truly believe that that does a disservice to, to the organization and to the organizational culture, and to the profession in general. You know, I think there are times where sometimes you need to be the you need to be the whisper in the room and, and listen to that, and cut out all the noise of the whiners sometimes, and I think that's one of the one of the most exciting things about our role is we naturally kind of have the ability to do that, or not. And that can be a pretty darn big impact on an organization.

Alden Mills:

Without question, another way to think of your role in HR. And I've spent a lot of time with HR professionals. And I encourage them to think of themselves as a jujitsu or a judo fighter. And what I mean by that is, first of all, let a person move that negative energy, right? All emotion is, is energy in motion, let's be that place where they have a safe place to get frustration off their chest and come to you then be the martial arts expert of taking that negative emotion, flipping it on them, empowering them for a better solution. Right? That's what that's what jujitsu and Judo are known for taking your enemy's emotion, or energy and flipping it, to use it against them. Now, in this case, they're not enemies, right? But you want to be able to do that. And I think when you get really frustrated, and I've watched really good doctors do the same thing, which is why they're able to say so positive, the ones that absorb that energy, and don't redirect it. They're the ones that get burned out. They're the ones that just have a nasty taste in their mouth about life and about medicine. HRS exact same way. Yeah.

Kyle Roed:

I do like that though. I'm gonna call myself a judo HR practitioner. That's, that's pretty cool.

Alden Mills:

I'm gonna rebel. To go with that.

Kyle Roed:

No, know, it's so right. And it's so it's so easy to fall into the trap of kind of that pit of despair, where it's like, Oh, I've got all this negativity and I you know what I do with all this negativity and then but you know, and I mean, I, I'm guilty of this, especially earlier in my career, you can get, you know, jaded to and then people don't want to talk to you at all, and then it's, you know, and then you're ineffective. You know, because you're cranky, because you're dealing with all this negative energy and you're not You know, you're not constructively you know, helping your, your team and and, you know, in helping yourself so

Alden Mills:

yeah, so you know, let's, let's talk about that for a moment because this is, this is an important topic I, I spent an inordinate amount of time speaking to HR organizations and ironically doctors and medicals areas. So I see these parallels all the time. And what I encourage HR professionals to embrace in, not just embrace, but rejoice is someone who is coming to vent to you. They trust you. They they're sharing some vital piece of information. Yeah, okay, you don't like the rapper, I got that. Look through the rapper. Because inside of that, that's the seed of a rebel opportunity for you. And if you can start to look at the obstacles that are being presented to you in a different kind of wrapper, they become the opportunities. The key is don't absorb the negativity. You know, I mentioned earlier about negativity bias, neuroscientists today will say you need on average, three positives, this is just for yourself, three positives to offset one negative thought. If you want to be above the line, in positive column, you're going to need somewhere between four and five positives to offset the negative, right. And so now you need to know somebody has come to you with a whole bunch of negativity, they have been beating themselves up for a while on this. And know that negativity spreads so much faster than positivity. So what a gift it is that this person has come to you giving you this opportunity to vent, and it's your opportunity to plant something positive in that person, which in fact, could be someone that could go out and, quote unquote, infect the rest of the organization in a positive way?

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely, you know, it's, it's, I think that's a really powerful point. And it's really easy to fall into the trap of, you know, somebody comes in, and it's just like, I want to register a complaint with HR, and you're like, yeah, they wouldn't do it, if they if they didn't think that you can help them. Right. You know, and you might be the only person that they know, to go to, you know, they might be in a point in their life where they're at a point of despair, right. And at that time, you do have an opportunity to step up. And and there's a lot of power in that. And I think it's it's easy to lose sight of that because of the frustrations and the noise that we have in our day. But I think that's a really, really powerful point well made. So I appreciate that.

Alden Mills:

Yeah. And you know, it isn't, you can be the last line in advance, you could be the wiki go through all kinds of metaphors, it could be calling out for the Special Operations SEAL team, like I got nobody else. Right. All right, in case of HR, I need help, right. So it is all about flipping the narrative, to where you can get something positively accomplished out of it.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. So you mentioned something that I want to dig into, because I know you've done a ton of work on on culture. And you know, you talked about kind of like infecting others with that positivity. And so I want to, I want to dig into that a little bit, you know, and as we think about culture, a lot of times HR kind of gets the rap as the people that quote, like, own the culture, or like, you know, you're the you're the you own the employee experience, you know, and it's, which for me is always kind of, kind of interesting, but I want to start with, you know, as you think about people in human resources, where do we really have the highest level of impact on culture? And how can we, how can we really be focused, and not make it too complicated as how we can build a great culture in our organizations?

Alden Mills:

Look, first and foremost, this is really important to understand. You, HR professional, by yourself, are one small component of the culture, culture, by definition, and the way I think of it is a promise. And the promise is only as good as the people that I consider Promise Keepers and the process that are the promise process keepers. It's the three pillars of culture, promise people and process and if they aren't all intertwined, to support each other Let me give you an example. We've come up with some great core values. And we've, and we've carved them in the special Italian marble in there, put right up front, everybody must see it, these are their very special core values, right? They say things like integrity, communication, respect. Those are aspirational. The job of the HR professional, and the HR leader is to get both top of the pyramid and the bottom of the pyramid or the hierarchy of the organization to close the gap between aspirational and actual, the more you can be that gap closer, and you have to help people and most of the time, it's going to the top of the organization, grabbing them, preferably by their, metaphorically by their ear love and saying no, no, no, we have, we have respect down here and in being on guard, to help the leaders make sure they're consistent, while encouraging those that might be more in the rank and file to empower them to say, you can be as important at the culture as the senior. Now who's got the most influence, it's obviously the senior members, right. But you can have positive virus infections of culture throughout all elements of the organization, in as the HR leader, you want to empower people, to be the ones to set the standard for the culture. And so to reiterate, I think about actual versus aspirational, how we close that gap, and think of your culture as a promise in are we doing what, this day the next day living up to and reinforcing the promises that we've made, whether it's the mission, the vision, the manifesto, however you guys talk about in defining the culture, it is a promise. And it's only as good as those who reinforce it on a consistent basis.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely, I, I love that. That analogy, and I think about it in the exact same way, where you've got the there's, there's always this like, this, this tension, it's like the top down versus the bottom up. And and you know, if you think about the organization, like a pyramid, you've got like these, these two forces pulling pulling against each other. And a lot of times I think about us as like the glue in the middle, that's trying to make sure that that, that those forces aren't too far apart. Right. And, and, you know, and I think about, you know, I think about that, and I think you're so right, that one of the biggest jobs is for us to make sure that both sides of that organizational pyramid, understand the other, right, like,

Alden Mills:

it's critical connection between you are there maxing gear, the transmission, I mean, the metaphors abound on this. Right, the transparency, the mirror, like, it is all about that. And I think all of us in HR can lose sight of the real mission of what HR is about. And that's really about people development on both sides of the equation above and below and empowering each and every one of them and engaging with them of what they can do for the for the organization and for themselves.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. So you know, I want to talk about this program because I'm just fascinated to learn about it. And now we're talking a little bit about people development. So what is the swim buddy program?

Alden Mills:

In SEAL team. The smallest team is just one buddy. It's two people. When you first get your swim, buddy in SEAL training, you essentially get assigned a swim, buddy after Hell Week. Now you've had some before but there's been too much movement going afoot at that point before how we can Hell Week is this big weed out period. It's a week long takes you Sunday to Friday, and they give you a total of about three and a half hours asleep for the whole week. And you get about 80% attrition rate at that point. After you get assigned to swim buddy have about a 95% success rate. And, you know, in the world of HRM is that oh, that's a mentor program. You know, a mentor is more of a senior to a junior. Let me show you something. And let me show you how it's done this way. The swim buddy is much more, I'd like you to think of it as you've perhaps have somebody that's more experienced, but are in the same level or within the same genre of their rank and file. And I'll give you this example, when I went over to Seal Team Two, after two platoons driving these classified mini subs. I didn't know much about conventional seal missions, I knew a lot about underwater stuff. And they assigned me my swim buddy, who was junior to me in rank, but way senior to me and experience the chief of the Putin. He ran sniper school before and he'd done multiple deployments in traditional SEAL Team platoons. And he was a godsend to me. Because he would share things with me, they'd be like, hey, hold 10 mils, you know, be thinking about this, these are a couple of things you should know about doing a, b, and c on this term mission. The same thing can happen as an HR, you know, I worked with a chicken processing company, massive company, right? They did like 20 40% of all Chick fil A chicken and stuff. And they're having a really hard time. With the first 90 days, if somebody's working on the line, they leave. It doesn't cost you much of anything to say, Hey, Sally, welcome to the chicken processing line, for the next 90 days, this is your swim buddy don't have to use that term. That's just the way I think of it. And for this next night is somebody's going to be with it, make sure you check in on it, make sure you understand where the locker is, make sure if you have an injury or where you get lunch, or whatever, it's just general friends know that got your back, and you can talk to them. And then the next night is when to switch to someone else. Because the key was you got to keep them there for 90 days and Kevin there for nine days, their attrition was much, much lower. If you keep him there for 180 days. Well, now you've got even a better opportunity. So then you switch out and you bring in another swim buddy and you rotate them around. When I do my executive coaching in large, larger groups, it's either one on one or like a one on many, I'll split the group into different swim buddies. Typically this one buddy set up will be people who are not in the same office. They could be very similar in position, but one office is in one timezone in New York and the other ones in Salt Lake City. And they rarely would either interface with each other, and I forced them to interface. That's part one. Part two is I give them a menu to follow when they first start to get to know each other because learning to connect with people can be awkward and really cool, right? When we're going full, you know, always the unstoppable methodology. And it's very simple. Like, I want you guys talking about how you're doing physically, I want you to ask, I'm like, how am I sleeping? Hey, what are you eating? And what are you exercising, they call that how you see, hear about their family, hard to personal, what's going on, outside of work, what's occupying your brain, a lot of times people will spend an inordinate amount of time because they don't have a chance to compare notes with you, I got to do caregiving for grandparents got long COVID, or I'm dealing with someone with dementia or I've got a child who has special needs program, right? They don't have that opportunity. And just those two pieces alone, it was such strong bonds. And by the time you get to the third piece, now you can get into the professional work on top of that piece a lot. So put it in 10 Three and one year goals and make them go through goal setting process so they can keep their updates alive with Hey, these are the goals I'm working on. And by the way, two sets of goals Personal and professional. And I want the personal first and I want you to start at 10 and work your way down. Why? Because most people don't think that far over the horizon and it gives you a window inside their mindset and imagination. How far out is their horizon? What typically will happen when you go through that drill is you'll find out that most people's 10 year is really a three year their three years one year and their one year is like a quarterly SMART goal. So there's a whole bunch About swim buddies.

Kyle Roed:

You know, what I think is really powerful. And I have a theory that one of the keys that we don't talk about enough as it relates to employee retention, is having friends at work without question people that actually care. Right, right. And I feel like that's, this is a, it's a formula to foster some of that, right? Like, if you told this person that, that, you know, personal information about your child that has special needs, right? And they showed care for that, and like, empathy, and maybe they shared something personal about themselves. Like, that's some stickiness right there, right that like, oh, I have a friend now. Like that matters.

Alden Mills:

It really it is, it is so invaluable. And, you know, I think people have kind of created inadvertently, this Chinese firewall of Oh, can't talk about anything personal or work. You know, it's just work, work, work, work, work work all the time. As far as I know, there is no one that can create a complete Chinese firewall between oh, gee, my son's in a coma right now. But I gotta go to work. So I'll be at work and I'll be fine. I'm gonna take about my son for eight hours. Don't be ridiculous. I mean, we're human. We're imperfect, we're flawed, we need each other. And more importantly, we need to be felt cared for, which, incidentally, is the whole basis of my second book, unstoppable teams. And it's, you know, I took care and turned it into the acronym to show how much you care is the leading driver, for anybody in HR. You know, Teddy Roosevelt has this quotation, my favorite old time quotation, I think it could be representative, every HR department, or it should be no one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care. Love it. So take that. And think about every day when I walk in to my office, how am I going to show how I care today. And maybe a lot of how you show you care is when somebody comes in and hits that HR button, because they want to vent. There's your opportunity right there at golden opportunity to show how much you care. Get them comfortable and let it rip, let it get it off their chest, and then start thinking of ways that you don't have to have that conversation again and make it right.

Kyle Roed:

There you go. thoughtful advice. We're gonna leave it right there. And we're gonna shift gears, we're gonna go into the rebel HR flash round. Are you ready?

Alden Mills:

I'm ready.

Kyle Roed:

I think this might be fun. Okay, question number one, where does HR need to rebel?

Alden Mills:

They need to rebel on structure and break it with more ways to connect with people's heart and show how much they care. Just because they did something in the past doesn't mean it's worth doing in the future. Challenge, everything.

Kyle Roed:

I couldn't agree more. You know, the thing that drives me crazy about the whole, like, the whole best practice culture, or like, you know, follow the process map that corporate sent your way is like, you're dealing with human beings. Right? Like, no, there's no process map for some of the wild things that occur in our workplaces, or how somebody's feeling like you have to be open minded. And, and if you're literally just like following best practices in a binder. What are you there for? Right? You

Alden Mills:

know, I gotta share this note, like, I had sold my company. And then I became the president of this division. And they were in North Carolina, and I'm in Sausalito. And my chief marketing officers husband got diagnosed with a extraordinarily rare form of brain cancer and died within four months. And she has two little girls, two little girls that will come to our office all the time. And you pull out the employee handbook of this large company, and they're like, Oh, well, you get one month. If anybody has gone through the grieving process of somebody they know it's at minimum, a year, a year of every first without their loved one. You got to throw that handbook out the window and think about how am I going to do it for this person because trust me, how you handle those special scenarios is a huge opportunity to show everybody else in the company. How much this company cares about everybody. We had pot we did. Meal trains and potluck meals for months and special pickups for the kids, I mean, it was and she's stayed and we got her through it together. Powerful. Yeah. You know, and you got to challenge all of that. Yeah.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, powerful, powerful story. And I think, you know, advice that we should all be thinking about as we as we have these these situations pop up. Okay, question number two, who should we be listening to?

Alden Mills:

Well, it's pretty obvious, right? Right after what I just said, first and foremost, you got two listeners that you really need to be listening to your first one, the whisper, you need to be listening to your heart. And your gut. You know, they often say we have three intelligence centers, and the intelligence centers are defined by the same neurons that we have in the brain, there are fewer, but they're in our heart, and also in our gut, our brain logic, thought, heart, emotion, feeling, gut desire. Follow your gut, listen to your heart. Part Two, you can't listen to other people in your organization, especially those in the rank and file enough. Get out of your office, go out there and listen, and listen to understand, don't listen to when or listen to fix, listen to understand

Kyle Roed:

that absolutely, I'll tell a story on that, you know, number of years ago, manufacturing facility really struggling. I mean, we're talking like 40% turnover. Ross stuff, you know, not, and the jobs were dirty, and not glamorous, I mean, you know, hard labor stuff. And I went out there, and I was out there with one of my operational leaders. And, and it was, you know, it was, it was a walkabout kind of a thing, right. And so you're just walking in. And the whole point of that whole point is to get employee feedback, right. And I walk up to this guy who looks like he might be having the worst day of his life. Come to find out that's every day for him. But you know, that the operational leaders like, Man, this guy is this, this guy's not a company, man, you know, he's he, he's cranky, he's always complaining. And I'm like, oh, I want to talk to this guy. And I and I, I literally, I think I might have said, I might have said, Five words, that entire conversation, it was just him talking about me, and, you know, sharing grievances. And, you know, literally just sat there and listened at the end of the conversation. Some of the problems that he had, he had kind of talked through himself and kind of solved himself. But some of the some of the feedback that he gave, honestly, it was just real, unfiltered feedback that everybody else was too afraid to tell me, because they were being too polite. Right? And what we uncovered in that, you know, that conversation was, Wow, we got some systemic things, we got to go fix here. But once you know, once you kind of power through that now you can actually figure out okay, where do we start? How do we fix it? Right. And, and that was one of the most valuable conversations of the entire business trip. Just because I wouldn't talk to one cranky guy. Right, but I mean, that's we fixed them to the best that we could. Not everything now. Not everything could be fixed. But we we took we took action. Right? You know, it was it and

Alden Mills:

taking the action.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And I think the other thing I would say is if we couldn't fix it, we were honest, like, yeah, we can't do that. And that, was he still cranky? Yeah, a little bit, but, but not at the level, right. But it's that those kinds of interactions that I think matter the most, so I can

Alden Mills:

force multiplying effect with what you just did. First, you know, and you, you go to them and meet them where they are. Understand and listen to understand not listen to me. Yeah, but yeah, by, right. Oh, no, I'm gonna tell you why you're wrong. And I'm right. That's listening to when that's not helpful. But once you can do that, and then he or she sees you taking that action that totally builds a bridge of trust to like, wow, they listened to me and they're actually taking action. I am. I'm valued. And when they feel valued, they get confident to come up with other ideas. Some will be about fixing something something could be about improving or new ideas, but until they feel valued very hard to get people to come up with the innovation cycle of new ideas.

Kyle Roed:

Right, right. Absolutely awesome.

Alden Mills:

Thanks for sharing that QA.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, that's part of what I liked about my job. All right, last question. How can our listeners connect with you and learn more?

Alden Mills:

That's really hard. All then dash minerals.com Yoda al D en dash mills.com. I put out weekly blog posts and articles on LinkedIn and sign up for the newsletter. And you can see the latest stuff we're doing. Very

Kyle Roed:

proud. I just love it. It's just it's absolutely great content. It's been a wonder wonderful having you here. We will have that information in the show notes. And just really appreciate you spending some time with us. And you know, I certainly took away a ton from our conversation I guarantee our listeners did as well. So thank you so much for spending some time with us. All

Alden Mills:

right, I hope so. And I hope they understand they are a rebel with a cause if you're an agent, are you gonna cause to rebel? Well, yeah, buddy.

Kyle Roed:

I love it. Thanks. Take care. All right, that does it for the rebel HR podcast. Big thank you to our guests. Follow us on Facebook at rebel HR podcast, Twitter, at rebel HR guy, or see our website at rebel human resources.com. The views and opinions expressed by rebel HR podcast are those the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any of the organizations that we represent. No animals were harmed during the filming of this podcast. Maybe