Rebel Podcast: Life and Work on Your Terms

The Story of Your Leadership With Christine Miners and Rick Lash

September 20, 2023 Kyle Roed, The HR Guy Season 4 Episode 170
Rebel Podcast: Life and Work on Your Terms
The Story of Your Leadership With Christine Miners and Rick Lash
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Show Notes Transcript

Are you ready to re-engineer your leadership narrative? This engaging episode with Christine Miner and Rick Lash, authors of 'Once Upon a Leader', promises to challenge your usual approach to leadership and empower you to author your own story. We delve into the essence of one's leadership narrative, the stories leaders tell themselves, and the extensive work involved in shifting these narratives. The conversation focuses on the challenging process of initiating substantive change at the enterprise level - a journey many listeners will resonate with.

As we navigate the realm of permacrisis, we underscore the importance of focusing on narrative to create clarity and resilience. Christine and Rick inspire us to reclaim authorship of our narratives, particularly in the HR context. We discuss the significance of understanding the value and impact of the HR function on the organization. The conversation with our guests is enriched as we explore how HR professionals can leverage their past experiences to understand the context of their work better.

The episode explores the development of your narrative in HR, and the tools that can help construct it. We share exercises that can help you uncover the fundamental components of your narrative and recognize the experiences that have influenced your values. We discuss how to acquire feedback from others and the process of forming and activating a narrative. Finally, we address the significance of a prescriptive approach. So tune in, and get ready to take your leadership journey to the next level!

About the Guests:

Christine Miner: With over two decades of senior leadership experience across diverse industries, including technology, healthcare, and telecommunications, Christine brings a practical and authentic approach to leadership. She is a sought-after advisor, facilitator, and speaker known for her expertise and depth of knowledge.

Rick Lash, PhD: As a psychologist and management consultant, Rick has spent over three decades advising Fortune 500 executives and their teams. Renowned for his creative and thoughtful approach, he has contributed to prestigious publications such as Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Chief Executive magazine. Rick holds a PhD in psychology from the University of Toronto.


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Kyle Roed:

This is the rebel HR Podcast, the podcast about all things innovation in the people space. I'm Kyle ROED. Let's start the show. Welcome back rebel HR community, so excited to have you with us. And I am even more excited to have our two guests here with us today. They are the author of the new book once upon a leader finding the story at the heart of your leadership with us today we have Christine Meiners. Christine has over two decades of experience only senior leadership roles across multiple industries, as well as a sought after, after advisor, facilitator and speaker. And we also have Rick lash Rick is a psychologist and management consultant working for over three decades as a trusted adviser and executive coach to multiple fortune 500 executives and their teams. Thank you both for joining us to talk about the book today.

Rick Lash:

We're delighted to be here.

Kyle Roed:

Well, I feel like I say this every week. But I always like wish I would have hit record a couple minutes earlier because that like we started talking and I was like, Okay, wait, we got, we got to save this for the podcast. So I'm really excited for the conversation. I'm really, really excited for the content of this book, because I think it is a really, really powerful topic that we we don't necessarily talk about very much as we talk about leadership development. So the first question I want to ask both of you is what prompted you to write a book about leadership development and finding that that story?

Rick Lash:

Christine, do you want to start? And then we'll jump in? Yeah, of course. I

Christine Miner:

mean, you sort of actually said that you said, you know, the book, the content of the book is about stuff we don't often talk about, I think Rick and I both come from a background and leadership development, obviously, a number of years I worked in industry, he's spent most of his career in management consulting. But I mean, it's true, we wanted to write a book that was going to be meaningful, and about, you know, just stuff that we don't often talk about, or we don't often focus on, I'm somewhat of a cynic. In some ways, I mean, I left industry a number of years ago, but I spent a good 16 or 17 years running leadership and talent management functions. And, you know, I've always felt like there was something missing in how we approach the development of emerging leaders, transitioning executive leaders, and that we just haven't fully hit the mark. And so Rick and I have worked together for a number of years. I mean, Rick, I don't want to steal your thunder. But this is a book, I think Rick was trying to write for a really long time. And, you know, he can probably speak to that. But one day, he just said, Hey, we should write this together. And I went, Sure. Sounds fun. So, so we just, you know, we sort of collaborated and tried to figure out how do we tackle leadership development in a way that perhaps, hasn't been done before? So Greg, I don't know, if you want to talk a little bit to your jury? Because because I think you were really the start of it.

Rick Lash:

Yeah, I mean, I, I think that's all correct. You know, from my perspective, having worked with executives, like you, Christine, over many, many years, I mean, the one thing that, you know, that I've noticed, or that I came to notice is that, you know, I've worked with some very competent, capable leaders who have, you know, decades and decades of experience in kind of doing their leadership. And yet, there seemed to be something that was often missing, especially, you know, when working with executives who are being promoted into enterprise roles. And what they struggled with was, wasn't the fact that they were, you know, you have such a great focus on competencies. For example, you can go to a bookstore and pick up, you know, a dozen books about, you know, hearing, you know, the 10 key competencies that you need to be an effective leader. There's, there's, there's no lack of those kinds of books. The problem is, is that most of the executives, at least that I've worked with, they knew all of that stuff. And it's not that they were lacking in competencies, what they were lacking in was something that was much harder to put your finger on. And when you dug a little bit deeper, what you realize that a lot of what these leaders struggled with, was to put in simple terms, the stories that they were telling themselves about who they were, where they came from, why they chose to lead, and their overall sense of purpose. And, you know, if you didn't address, you know, sometimes the poorly formed or fragmented stories that, you know, many of these leaders kind of were telling themselves, it was very, very difficult to make substantive change, especially as you were trying to shift them into broader, more impactful roles in their organizations or in their lives. And so, you know, this idea around the importance of, you know, what we generally call narrative or the story that you tell yourself has a huge impact. The problem is that we haven't clearly defined you know, first of all, what actually is narrative How Does it develop, and the extreme hard work and effort that has to go into actually shifting it? And so that was really, I think, the Kyle, the genesis of you know, what we wanted to achieve in this in this book.

Kyle Roed:

I, I love that there's so much to unpack there that I think is, you know, it's reminiscent of my experience as a corporate, you know, HR professional in the Fortune 500. World. And, you know, you mentioned, you know, a lot of the things that like the, like leadership development, Greatest Hits, right, it's like, Okay, we got, we've got the competency model you got, you've got people that have climbed the career ladder that know what the right thing to do is. And then, and I think you described maybe one of the, one of the biggest problem statements that that we talked about on this podcast, which is the ability to make substantive change at the enterprise level, and the fact that so many people struggle with that. And so I'm curious, you know, that really leads me there's, I've got two questions there. So as you mentioned, competencies, I turned around, and I looked at the number of leadership books on my bookshelf behind me that you can probably can't see it as you're listening, but you can see it in, in our conversation. And I think there's probably seven or eight competency books in there dating all the way back to like, one was like, 1974, like, you know, like, we've been doing this for a long time. Right. And this has been, you know, inundated through through, certainly through fortune 500. culture. So, so I'm curious, as you've been working with organizations and researching and writing this book, what, what do you find is missing in that competency model of leadership development?

Unknown:

I, who you are, I mean, you know, if you could kind of boil it down, I mean, competency models, it's so funny, I think I go up and down with whether I love them or hate them. But I think I think competency models serve a purpose. And they can be helpful to organizations in terms of defining, you know, something concrete around what it means to lead effectively here and helping to support and drive sort of strategy around how you develop leadership capability broadly as an organization. But they also become an incredibly cognitive academic exercise for many leaders. And depending on how complicated the competency model is, they're almost inaccessible to leaders in their every day. As they're they're wordy. They're they're on, they're on paper, they're leveled, they're, you know, it's like, nobody really knows it, you know, off by heart. And so if I have to pull out the guidebook to figure out how to use it, and I'm busy, and I'm in a chaotic environment, I'm less likely to do so. So to me, what's missing from those competency models is, is really and truly just who you are at your core? Who are you? What is authentically you? What do you stand for? What's your purpose? What drives you? What's the guidepost that you can draw on as you navigate complexity and ambiguity and just tensions and paradox in the environment in which you lead?

Rick Lash:

Yeah, and I think building on that it makes me think of, you know, the sort of the the common model that we're all quite familiar with around the iceberg. You know, the iceberg model of, you know, performance and, you know, so like, what lies above the waterline? Well, what lies above the waterline are competencies or behaviors. But, you know, but, but that actually only shows you what's visible, and it doesn't answer the question, what's actually driving those competencies in the first place? And, you know, I think, you know, in our conversation called the we were having beforehand, you said that, you know, one of the most meaningful experiences you had was what a leader asked you, you know, what do you stand for, you know, ultimately, as a leader, you know, especially when you are thrusted, into, you know, a chaotic, rapidly changing, difficult to understand complexity of being an enterprise leader, you know, the first thing that you grab for is not your competency model, the first thing that you grab for is your sense of like, what's my purpose? Why am I doing this? What do I need to achieve what's important? And those things like you can't teach by, you know, by teaching a competency model. And I think that, you know, we often miss, I think that in HR in particular, you know, we often find comfort in being able to focus on the concrete competency models feel concrete, that we can, you know, refer to it, we can be explicit around what behavior is expected. And somehow that gives us a sense of control that we're making a change. But the reality is, is that actually creating that change in the first place doesn't come from focusing on the competencies. It actually comes from focusing on what's below the waterline

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, I mean, that that, that resonates is as I mean, so true. because, you know, think about, I'm just thinking about personal experiences, you know, I didn't go grab, you know, my 38 behavioral competencies. And then look at my individual development plan where I had four strengths, the ones that were easiest to develop, but maybe most impactful depending upon where I was at in the organization, like, you know, to go back to your comment, it is extremely cognitive, right? Like, you have to think about it, it's not necessarily inherent, when you get in when you're in it, and you got somebody in your office, or you've got a decision that you're trying to make, or you're working through a really, really big hairy problem, you fall back to your yourself, right, you fall back to who you are. And that makes so much sense. So, you know, going back to, to what you mentioned, Rick, you know, you talked about this narrative? What makes having this this leadership narrative, so powerful for a development tool?

Rick Lash:

Wow, what a great question. I think what makes it so powerful is that, you know, a narrative ultimately, you know, what it does is, it connects the dots between, you know, those significant experiences that shaped you, typically, within the first couple of decades of your life. And how those significant experiences informed how you came to see the world, your core beliefs around the world, your core beliefs around who you are, and answering the fundamental question of, you know, who am I and why do I choose to lead? And most importantly, what is the impact that I seek to have in the world through my leadership? And you know, we often say that your narrative is not your resume. Your narrative is not, you know, what you've accomplished in your career, which is typically where people start. Your narrative is, is, is really about what shaped you and shaped your values and your worldview? And answers that fundamental questioning and psychology, we talk about this idea of, you know, your motives and what drives you. And ultimately, all great narratives or great leadership narratives are grounded in what we call socialized power. Because it goes back to that question is what is ultimately the impact that you seek to achieve in the world? What is the positive difference that you desire to make? And if you can't answer that question, it becomes far more difficult for you to be able to know how to lead especially when you're at the enterprise level. Christina?

Unknown:

Yeah, I you know, the thing I would add, and I suspect we're gonna go in this direction, because this is what the book is all about is it's it's the narrative itself is important. What's even more important is that you're authoring it. And we talk I mean, that is what the book is about, right is being an active agent in developing an authoring your own age, your own narrative, as opposed to allowing your context to drive your narrative. And I think one of the challenges that many leaders have, particularly now and it's funny, I have to be thankful to a client we work with who introduced us to this term, we didn't come up with it on our own. And I think it's the Collins dictionary word of the year in 2022. But it's just the word permit crisis idea, which resonates for most people that we're operating in this like constant state of, of crisis. And I think that word was developed to speak more at a global level, but you can kind of take it into an organization and say, you know, what works with organizations and most leaders and organizations probably feel like they're operating in a stage of perma crisis and narrative, having a strong, cohesive narrative, but being an active agent in developing that narrative, and having the tools to kind of be the author of that narrative is critical to supporting leaders in navigating perfect crisis, both from a standpoint of resiliency, but also from a standpoint of, of coming through it with clarity and being able to kind of create that clarity for other people who are who are working with them.

Kyle Roed:

So the perma crisis, I'm sure everybody listening to this was like, Yo, and that I mean, that's, that's kind of what it's felt like, but you know, I also think that it's easy to get caught in that narrative, right, that everything's a crisis and then you can get like, it's almost like this this spiral where you just kind of feel like you continually in this flywheel have a crisis and, and don't necessarily know how to get out sometimes. You know, so, so I'm curious, you know, as, as we've gone through this over the last few years, and as we're trying to figure out, you know, how to how to kind of get out of this, you know, how has that really changed the need for us to focus on narratives and, and has that actually changed people's narratives or do we? Do we just need to make sure that we we find that static narrative and continue, you know, continue reinforcing that I guess I'm kind of curious to see what, what you've observed there.

Rick Lash:

I mean, I think maybe Christina be building on, you know, your your point that the book is really about taking back authorship. And I think that when we, you know, I think there's two, two things, two important elements to distinguish here. One is, is that narrative is critical, and becomes especially critical when you're, you know, leading in permit crisis, and not just permit crisis. But as you know, you have to be able to lead at the enterprise level. But more importantly, is how you develop that narrative in the first place. And what the book is really about is recognizing that, you know, most most of us and most executives are kind of lousy authors of their own narrative. It's just, it's like, it's like, we use the analogy of, it's an underused muscle. When we're young, in the first couple of decades of our lives, you know, our internal narrator, you know, the mechanism, the mental mechanism that actually creates those stories in the first place is, is kind of online all the time, because we're actively trying to figure out, you know, who are we and what do we want to be? And, you know, how do we want to make a difference in this world? So our inner narrator is being fed, you know, during our first couple of decades by people around us, like teachers and mentors, who are saying, What do you want to be when you grow up? And, you know, what are you going to study? And what do you like to study? What are you passionate about, we got all kinds of, you know, people in our lives that are strengthening that those internal narrative processes. But what happens as we get older, and especially as we join organizations, is, we allow other forces to take over that authorship. And organizations in particular are extremely well positioned to become our own narrator, you know, you think about it, you know, join an organization is already made purpose of, you know, like, you know, which hopefully will resonate with you, that becomes, you know, the crafting of our narrative, you know, when we're surrounded by people who believe in the same things that we do, because we've got a ready made team around us, it's just all too easy to give up authorship to to our organization, and to other bigger forces. And pretty soon by the time you reach, you know, mid career, that muscle that internal Narrator muscle, you know, has kind of it's been weakened. And the analogy that we use is that, you know, Christina, I think you came up with this was that it needs to go back to the gym.

Kyle Roed:

So I, I think this is this is fascinating. And as I think about it, in the context of, of what human resources professionals have been dealing with over the last few years, you know, that we have been, you know, we have been forced to rewrite that narrative, again, as we've gone through some of these crises, right, and what is hrs role? Who, who are we, in our organizations? How are we supporting our employees, and, you know, where I would argue that we had kind of been lulled into this false sense of security up until, you know, we started to see some of these, you know, obviously, the pandemic was a catalyst, but there's been, you know, societal pressures and, and, you know, Tei be the, you know, challenges or multiple challenges there, you know, we've got, we've got generational clashes at work, and individuals that are really kind of fighting against return to the office, you know, all these sorts of things where this is all HR stuff, and we're like, we're trying to figure it out. But we've had, you know, we've we've been corporatized, to a certain extent, we've given up that authorship and and right now, that story, that narrative of what an HR professional is just just hasn't really worked. And so I think some of us are having a little bit of an identity crisis within our jobs. And so I'm curious, you know, at as we are kind of waking up to this and trying to discover our true internal narrative and take back that that authorship, what are what are some things that we need to do to make sure that we are the ones that are authoring our own

Unknown:

narrative? Yeah, I mean, I think there's almost two questions in there. It's sort of like what do we need to do functionally, to author our own narrative as an HR function? And what do we need to do individually to author a narrative? And? Yeah, I think it's complex. But I think one of the questions we don't ask ourselves enough as an HR function, like if we kind of start there for a second, one of the questions we don't ask enough as an HR function is, is, you know, what's the what's the value we create for the organization and for the leaders in our organization, and what's the impact we seek to create for the business and I think instead as an HR function, we've sort of fallen into this habit of setting activity based objectives. Every year, right, so this year, we're going to revamp these three policies will renegotiate this collective bargaining agreement in this union will, will implement four new leadership development programs, we have this budget, this is how we're going to spend it. And so it's a very, it's almost a very activity based function, right? How many new things? Can I revamp, reintroduce or execute for the organization this year, but we don't spend enough time asking ourselves, have we created value for the organization? What value are all of those programs expected to create for the organization? And, you know, and so what happens is, as an HR function, our narrative, and actually the narrative the whole organization has around us is that we just create work for people, right? Like, I work for HR, I work for the HR function, I execute all the people practices, and our function becomes very compliance based, I've introduced this, and now I'm going to measure whether or not you as a leader have complied with the process that I've implemented. And I think it's the wrong approach. And so I think, you know, kind of functionally and as an organization, we end up with this very unhealthy narrative around who HR is and what they serve. And HR has a really unhealthy narrative around who we are, what our purpose is, and the infamous question, why don't I have a seat at the table? So, you know, I think around narrative, when I think about as the function and I think about the organization, we just have to do a better job as an HR function. I think you said it earlier. Right? It's not about you know, demanding a seat at the table, it's about being asked, right to join the table. And I think we're asked to join the table, when we're creating impact. We're listening to leaders, we're talking to leaders, we're having meaningful conversation, we're dialing back the amount of activity we push out, but we're increasing the transformational aspects of what we're pushing out to the organization and the ability of those to help transform and impact the business in a in a positive way. Rick, I'm sure you have stuff to add, and probably more from an individual level. So

Rick Lash:

yeah, well, I mean, I, I mean, I completely agree with, you know, with, you know, with everything you said, Christine, and what I guess I would add is, is that, you know, helping people to become better authors of their own narrative. I mean, first of all, there's direct value. I mean, it has significant impact on the the effectiveness that your leaders can demonstrate in their roles. So I mean, it's not just an academic question. But the second is that you have to be deliberate, I mean, developing, you know, authorship capacities, and developing your narrative as a leader, you know, our experience of working with dozens and dozens of leaders is that it's incredibly valuable. But it also takes a lot of hard work. And you can't just sort of tell people to go out and, you know, think about their narrative and expect that they're going to be able to do it in any meaningful and effective way. So as HR professionals, you have to create the space time and structure to allow leaders to, to work on their narrative. Because it's, it's not just good for them. But it also makes a significant difference in their performance as a senior leader. So you have to be deliberate in how you're going to structure it and how you're going to do it, create the space and time to enable your, you know, your, your most impactful leaders to be able to do this very important work.

Unknown:

I you know, though, the other thing I would think of Kyle, it just sort of struck me, but in the time that I worked within an HR function inside organizations, I never wanted to be the HR person where business leaders came to me seeking permission to do something. Right. So I never wanted that to be the conversation. You know, Christine, I'd like to do this, am I allowed? Because I don't think that that's really our role. I mean, I think our role is to provide expertise and guidance and some structure and some parameters. But I always kind of said, as an HR professional, you know, the mark of me being effective or ineffective is if my leaders were actually coming to me and leveraging Moby more as a as a sounding board. And as a coach, right? You know, Christine, I'm, I'm grappling with this, like, I'm coming up against, you know, some kind of tension between what I personally value and sort of how this is playing out organizationally. And I just love to talk it through with you. Those kinds of conversations, to me are the ones we should be having as an HR function. I think it's what leaders need is where we can create value, and it's where we actually have the potential to nurture, support and help leaders develop their narrative in a very active and healthy sort of a way.

Rick Lash:

Sorry, can I just add one thing to Christine that just like as you said it right to me and was, you know, but I also think what it says is that for HR professionals, they themselves have To do the hard work. So there is great value in HR professionals doing work on their own narrative, because it will give them powerful insights into what they now need to do for others. Yes,

Kyle Roed:

absolutely. And I, you know, I so I'm just sitting here like nodding my head, you know, I love having guests like the two of you because I don't even have to ask questions. Great. This is awesome. So thanks for making the podcast a lot easier. But, but, but I'm all kidding aside, you know, I think, first of all, I couldn't agree more, Christine, on what what you mentioned there, you know, I, as I think about, you know, what's my, what's my individual KPI? You know, how do I measure if I'm winning or losing day in and day out? It's whether somebody asks me something that's not directly related to something that I like, own. Right? Like, it's somebody that's like, hey, I want your advice or guidance, or, Hey, I'm thinking about this, what do you think? You know, I, you know, hey, I'm struggling with this, can you? Can you give me your perspective? You know, those are the things where I'm like, Yes, I'm winning, right? You know, the biggest, the biggest compliment I think I ever got was when my CEO said, Oh, he's a lot more than just HR. I'm like, Yes, that's the point. Right? Like, like, broad impact influence, like, that's, that's my narrative that I want, you know, want out there. But I also think, you know, really critical to your point, Rick, like, we do have to take some accountability and ownership of our own self leadership. And I truly think the best HR professionals are the ones that have actually been leaders before, and, you know, not necessarily in human resources, right, like, like people that understand the context that others are coming to them in and can then, you know, take that into the, you know, the work that they're helping individuals with today, you know, those are the ones that I that I think are successful. And, and, and get asked to have the seat at the table as opposed to, you know, demand and then and then pout when they don't have. So I think that's really powerful point.

Unknown:

I couldn't agree with you more, Kyle, I mean, I often say and if I was mentoring, sort of, you know, HR professionals at the start of their career, I often say like, go take an operational role, do it now. You're gonna live there and brief there, but get it under your belt Learn, learn what it's like to work in an operational function inside your organization try and rise into a leadership job, because there's fewer opportunities in the human resources function, in general to take or assume a leadership role kind of early in your career, right just has to be a smaller function, it has to be built in a little bit of a different way. And I can tell you, I started my career in sales, in in the tech sector, you know, not because it was part of my plan. But to be honest, it's because I graduated from university and decided I wasn't I didn't want to take the career trajectory that I had originally thought, and didn't know what to do. And my dad said, You can't live here for free. So you know, that was that. So I went on a job, but I worked in sales. I did it for a number of years. You know, I loved aspects of it. I didn't love other aspects of it. But I certainly learned what it was like to work in a frontline role and operations, what it was like to have colleagues what it was like to be measured by the minute, you know, in terms of how many clients I spoke to, how long did it take me to speak to each one of them? How many, you know, pieces of hardware was I able to sell and what was the margin on each one. And we don't measure ourselves that way, in Human Resources is very, very different. It certainly created appreciation, I even had a chance to manage a sales team. So I did that early in my career, I've managed a team of 27 salespeople and experienced the pressures of what that looks and feels like. And I can see Rick is scratching his nose, because he thinks has probably torture was a credible experience. It was a formative experience. And I think it was an important experience, and better equipped me to walk into that HR function. I can tell you though, it's very funny. But the I, you know, on Tuesday, you know, I was part of the sales team, because I was I was I was actually in a sales training role. At that time, I was the training manager, but I was still part of the sales management team. And somehow globally, our organization decided Tuesday night that all all people in training should actually report into human resources. So you know, Tuesday, I was invited to lunch Wednesday, the announcement went out that I was part of the Human Resources team. And and I lost my invite to lunch with my peers who had been my peers, you know, the very, very day before and it took, it took some time for me to kind of make sure that those relationships didn't go away that I wasn't painted with that HR narrative. I'm using air quotation marks, but that HR narrative, and to kind of show people you know who I am at my core, what's the value I seek to create and get invited back into that conversation? Back to that table, it was kind of upsetting.

Kyle Roed:

So, Christina, if you don't mind me asking a personal question, how did you author your narrative? After that occurred? How did you how did you approach now having this label that has nothing to do with with you personally?

Unknown:

Yeah, so Well, I did try the approach of, of, Hey, everyone, I still put my pants on, you know, in the morning, one leg at a time, just like I did yesterday. That didn't quite work. But I think, you know, getting getting clarity on on my own value set my own guiding principles of, of what guide me what guide my interactions with others, what guides, you know, what I believe in, and how I want to show up in my organization, you know, being able to have clarity for myself on on which hat I'm wearing in which conversations so, and being clear with others, on which hat I need to wear in which conversation was really, really important. And I think just created boundaries for people and help them to understand that I'm one person, I'm authentically me, I have a core set of values, but they also knew how I was going to show up in that conversation and what they could expect for the AI, that was a big part of it. And then it just investing in those relationships not shying away from them. But you know, continuing to invest in in the same way that I did when when those people were my direct colleagues and really seeing them as my colleagues.

Kyle Roed:

I think that's powerful. I think that you know, and I think that's a common story in our field, where it's like, you know, like, in my situation, I did not go to school for HR, I was in an operations role started in it, but like hardware, not sales. So I was like, updating computers, right, I was that guy that told you, Hey, turn it off and on again. Then went into an ops role after college and, and just fell into HR. And it was just like, you're figuring this out, you know, and suddenly, I went from overnight where I was, like, I was the fun operations person into the like, the the police, you know, and I was like, Oh, this is weird. But but you know, I let at that point in my career, I let that narrative write itself for me, and I didn't, I didn't really have agency over, over what what people's perceptions were, unless they like, got to know me. And it turned into this weird like, like, I got this feedback, where it was almost like you flipped a switch. Like, there was like, HR, Kyle, and there was Kyle. And depending upon which hat I put on, at the moment, it was like you didn't know who you were gonna get. So it confused people, including myself. And it took me a number of years to kind of unpack that and figure out, you know, now I'm more comfortable with with that narrative. But you know, it took some unpacking, and in some work. So when one last question, I know that, you know, we're coming to the end of our time together. But, you know, I'm curious, what tools do you have in this book for those individuals that are looking for tools to share with their team? Or tools to look at their own? You know, self reflectively?

Rick Lash:

I mean, yeah, maybe I'll jump in. And, you know, we'll, in a shop that I, you know, I think that there, the book is sort of designed, you know, in two parts. The first part is, you know, some of the theory behind and the psychology behind narrative and why narrative is important, and how the brain creates, creates your internal narrative. And, you know, the second half of the book, and we were, this wasn't exactly the direction we think we originally had with the book, but it became quite apparent, based on, you know, feedback from early draft, that we really need to be quite prescriptive in providing people with the toolkit. And so the second half of the book does focus on on a toolkit of, you know, if you're prepared to do the hard work, that there are, there are a number of tools in there, you know, the first of which, you know, is series of exercises that helps you to unpack, you know, we kind of use the analogy of building a house. That's kind of what the narrative developing a narrative is like. And that, you know, the first phase of building your house is you have to collect all the materials. And a narrative consists of a number of core building blocks, one of which is those critical shaping early life experiences. So there are exercises in there that help you to delve fairly deeply into, you know, at least the first few decades of your life to identify those experiences that shaped your values and your perception of the world. There are other exercises that look at some of the deeper drives and motives that that influence your narrative. So you know, there are some exercises that help people to look at some of the primary motives that are we know from research are critical from a leadership perspective. There are tools in there that help you to gather data from others, but it's a different kind of data gathering, which focuses on your, on what people most value in you, which is the kind of feedback that most executives are not used to, to getting. And then there's a series of exercises around how you put all those building blocks together in shape. Getting a narrative. And so we don't just kind of say, you know, go off and paint a masterpiece, we actually give specific structure and direction and support around helping people to actually develop and then to activate their narrative.

Kyle Roed:

I do love a good HR checklist and so many of my listeners. So I appreciate. I appreciate the prescriptive. You know, all kidding aside, we've been trained to do this, like there's a process for everything. So having a process to help us, you know, derive this authentic narrative. I think, from my standpoint, you know, I find a high level of value there. And I would encourage anybody who's interested to learn more to pick up the book, we will have a link in the show notes, of course. So open up your podcast player, you can click right in. And I encourage you to check it out. With that being said, we are going to shift into the rebel HR flash round. Are You Ready? Ready? All right, here we go. Where does HR need to rebel?

Unknown:

Measurement, stop measuring activity, throw away your police badge, you're not the gatekeeper. And measure and value creation.

Kyle Roed:

I talked about this a few weeks ago, but one of one of my organizations used to make people do a smiley face or a frowny face every shift like how they're feeling and then they use that to measure morale. I was like, if somebody asked me to do that, I would just do a frowny face because it's the most ridiculous exercise anybody's ever asked me to do. So we did not implement that. And I actually got my hand slapped around implementing it. But uh, well. I with you. All right. Question number two, who should we be listening to?

Rick Lash:

I would, my first reaction is you should be listening to your CEO. You know, that would be the first place where I would start.

Unknown:

Yeah, my thought would have been my first reaction, I would have gone a bit more broadly and said, your business leader. So the business leaders that you that you most support are most accountable to?

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. And I think tying that together, yeah, I couldn't agree more that it's about your role is about driving value, in some way, shape, or form. That doesn't mean your role is about driving HR programs or compliance. Is that valuable, right? And that's the, that's where the relationship, the authenticity, having your own, you know, sense of self becomes so critical, because that's what people will gravitate towards. That's how you will gain trust. And that's how you'll get the real answer to that question. So couldn't agree more. All right, last question. You know, we've talked about some great things, but there's no way we're, we're really digging into everything that you have to offer here in 37 minutes. So so how can our listeners reach out and connect with both of you and and learn more?

Unknown:

Probably the easiest way would be LinkedIn. I mean, we love to hear from people so I do hope people will reach out love conversations, love meeting your HR leaders in the field and just talking about where you can rebel. But yeah, I think for both of us, I mean, our names are reasonably easy to find lash and minors, but on LinkedIn is is is probably the best way.

Kyle Roed:

Perfect, and we'll have that in the in the show notes as well as a link to the book. Christine. Rick, wonderful conversation. Amazing content. Thank you for putting this out in the world and for for sharing this with our audience today. Thanks for having us. Thank you. 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. Baby