Rebel Human Resources Podcast

Episode 18: Leaders and Lagers with Kevin Dawson - Leadership, Human Resources, and Beer

November 17, 2020 Kyle Roed, The HR Guy / Kevin Dawson, Leaders and Lagers Season 1 Episode 18
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 18: Leaders and Lagers with Kevin Dawson - Leadership, Human Resources, and Beer
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Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 18: Leaders and Lagers with Kevin Dawson - Leadership, Human Resources, and Beer
Nov 17, 2020 Season 1 Episode 18
Kyle Roed, The HR Guy / Kevin Dawson, Leaders and Lagers

Join Kyle Roed  as he speaks with Kevin Dawson, Host of the Leaders and Lagers Podcast. 

About Kevin: Helping organizations develop leaders, teams and organizational culture to become better workplaces is what drives me. When I can help an organization solve the challenges of becoming a great place to work; help managers and leaders learn the skills to best engage, equip and elevate their teams; and inspire organizations to craft great culture, that makes me feel like I have been successful. 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevincdawson/

Leaders and Lagers:  

A Podcast about Leadership Development, Organizational Culture, Business and Technology, and of course beer. 

New episodes release Friday mornings at 8:00am CT. 


https://www.leadersandlagers.com/

Rebel HR is a podcast for HR professionals who are ready to make some disruption in the world of work.

We'll be discussing topics that are disruptive to the world of work and talk about new and different ways to approach solving those problems.

Follow Rebel HR Podcast at:

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

Rebel ON, HR Rebels!  

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/rebelhumanresources)

Show Notes Transcript

Join Kyle Roed  as he speaks with Kevin Dawson, Host of the Leaders and Lagers Podcast. 

About Kevin: Helping organizations develop leaders, teams and organizational culture to become better workplaces is what drives me. When I can help an organization solve the challenges of becoming a great place to work; help managers and leaders learn the skills to best engage, equip and elevate their teams; and inspire organizations to craft great culture, that makes me feel like I have been successful. 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevincdawson/

Leaders and Lagers:  

A Podcast about Leadership Development, Organizational Culture, Business and Technology, and of course beer. 

New episodes release Friday mornings at 8:00am CT. 


https://www.leadersandlagers.com/

Rebel HR is a podcast for HR professionals who are ready to make some disruption in the world of work.

We'll be discussing topics that are disruptive to the world of work and talk about new and different ways to approach solving those problems.

Follow Rebel HR Podcast at:

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

Rebel ON, HR Rebels!  

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/rebelhumanresources)

Kevin Dawson:

been a big push over the last couple years about the importance of emotional intelligence, your EQ, or even your relational intelligence or IQ. But I really think as a leader, it's your adaptability, intelligence you aq. great leaders learn to adapt and change.

Kyle Roed:

This is the rebel HR podcast. If you're a professional looking for innovative, thought provoking information in the world of human resources, this is the right podcast for you. Welcome, Rebel Human Resources listeners. I'm extremely excited to have Kevin Dawson on the show today. Kevin is a brother in Sherm CP credentials. So you know, we got that in common. The other thing we have in common is we are both hosts of podcasts. So Kevin hosts, the leaders and loggers podcast, check it out. It's a great podcast, I've listened to a few episodes. And the only regret that I have having Kevin here is the fact that we cannot drink a lager because it's like noon. So thanks, Kevin, for joining us.

Kevin Dawson:

Well, I don't I mean, you may not be drinking, but it's, um, I mean, I've got a glass sitting next to me just you know, just in case.

Kyle Roed:

Well, yeah, I have, I have my w two job that I do still need to execute some workload for today. So doing this over my lunch break, so I am probably going to pass but hey, if you want to get full on snack, or, you know, go for it, man.

Kevin Dawson:

I appreciate the call. I really do.

Kyle Roed:

So I'd love to just just, you know, learn a little bit more about you and about the podcast. And that's not the only thing you do. You're also a leadership and a culture consultant, keynote speaker, author, have a lot of really great accomplishments. So why don't we start off once you just tell us a little bit about yourself?

Kevin Dawson:

Sure. So. So I'm a leadership and culture consultant. So a lot of people ask me, Well, what does that mean? So I go, and I help organizations develop better leaders, better teams, better cultures, to help them attract, retain and engage their talent, everybody's, you know, trying to figure out what does that look like. And we're always, you know, being an HR, we're trying to help our organizations succeed. And we want to make sure we have the right people. And sometimes we promote people into positions that that are really good at what they do, but they're not really good at, at leading people. And so I've taken that on as as an area that I love to focus on and building up teams that's been a part of my career for the last 15 years is doing that same very thing, but just in very different ways. I started out my career as the education technology coordinator for a world war two Aviation Museum. And one of my most favorite jobs doing that was we had a whole bunch of youth volunteers. And so we created an organization within the organization to develop these these high school students into young leaders into the Volunteer Corps and different things that we did. A lot of those kids had aspirations of going into the military or pursuing degrees or careers in aviation. And so we would help prepare them for what that looked like. And then I worked for another nonprofit, where I taught how to make good decisions and healthy living habits for students within 200 miles of my hometown out here in West Texas. And so we talked to 10,000 students a year through various programs. And then I moved into sales and marketing and safety role for an oil and gas company and work that worked in the oil fields of West Texas for for three years, which was driving a lot. You know, I'm not sure if if people are familiar with how big Texas is. But, yeah, you know, we use we tell distance, it's going to take you a couple of hours, you know, how far is it to from where I am to Dallas, it's a five hour drive, or 300 miles. So I would I covered a territory about half that distance. And I would have to drive that two or three times a week, but teaching all guests operators, service providers, how to develop safety cultures, how to develop safety leaders, and then working as a consultant with Arthur J. Gallagher for a number of years, helping organizations develop programs to attract retain talent, doing some leadership consulting, leadership training, and that eventually led to the creation of the leaders and loggers podcast which launched almost a year ago. Now and As extended conversation I had been speaking at Sherm events across Texas and New Mexico and Oklahoma, in started to, you know, pick up where I was being invited to larger industry events, speaking out in Orlando, or Chicago or San Francisco, about leadership and culture issues or talent management. And so a good friend of mine, Bruce Waller, who is the former president for Dallas HR. He's got a blog, and now has a podcast, but his his blog, he would write on some of those things like how you should start a blog or something. And as I hate writing, so I'm not going to do that. And so the idea was he to launch a podcast. And so the podcast launched with the the intention of, hey, let's have conversations with leaders about leadership development, organizational culture development, business issues. And we want to do it in a way that makes it feel like it's, you and I sitting down at a bar, sharing a drink. And just having it just a regular conversation trying to solve these issues. And each week's a different different craft beer. And so I've had now 51 different beers. So 51 different different episodes so far. And it's been a lot of fun doing that, and getting to continue to speak this year, it's been very different, because all of my presentations have been virtual, with the exception of three, the beginning of the year, when, you know, we could still travel and do things like normally. And so it's been a lot of fun. And I've really enjoyed the last year doing that, in the process of finishing up my very first book, which is called crafting culture. So taking a lot of the same conversations and putting it into a fiction based book that will take the analogy of the brewing process is a way to show here's how you craft great culture. But using that analogy of here's how you brew good beer.

Kyle Roed:

I love that. I love that analogy. And I'm just kicking myself because I didn't think about a way to intertwine beer into my podcast. So I'm going to have to figure out a way to do that. The other thing that's near and dear to my heart is actually brewing started amateur brewing probably about five years ago now. And I think it's a great analogy, because brewing in and of itself is extremely precise. And you have to control the right things. But also, inevitably, you completely lose control of something during the brewing process, something is going to go wrong. So it's all about figuring out your process and figuring out how to do it, but then being able to flex and, and be nimble. That's a great, great analogy for for what you have to do as a leader, especially in 2020.

Kevin Dawson:

Absolutely. So yeah, so leadership just like like brewing beer, there's, there's parts of that are very scientific. But there's also parts of it that are bit art to it, you know, you can have the same set of ingredients, or you can add things to it to create something very different, but the process is still very much the same. So you have this ability to follow a process. And at the same time, put your own spin on how you want it to come out, which is you know, what great leaders do, you know, they follow a process, but they also put their own spin on it to, you know, make it their own.

Kyle Roed:

I love it. You know, I'm just sitting here, so if there's any dermatologists out there, which is the science of beer, they'll know that the German purity law, right height squat is that there's only four ingredients that go into beer, which is water, yeast, hops, and in barley. Of course, there's you know, beer is a lot more varied than that now, but that's the original purity law. But there's a whole lot more than one type of beer, right? I mean, the outcome of of of brewing so so drastically different depending upon how you build the the beer and how you produce it. So yeah, I'm all in I could probably talk about this for another three hours right now. I'm just like, totally nerding out.

Kevin Dawson:

Well, you know, it's funny, like people are like, Oh, this is such a great idea. Why is anybody else thought about this? I'm like, I have no idea I just capitalized on on something that we were doing it in my previous company where we would do it do happy hours with our clients. We call it benefits and brews. And it was just Hey, let's get together. Let's talk about, you know what's going on in your organization. Let's talk about what's going on. on in your life as a leader in you, and let's do it in a fun environment. Come join us for a drink.

Kyle Roed:

I love it. So really hard hitting question. So you have your pilot's license.

Kevin Dawson:

I do so. So yeah, my my dream growing up was to be a fighter pilot. I want it to be my dream job to this day still is I want to be the commander and leader of the Air Force. Thunderbirds, is that going to happen? No. But that was my dream growing up. And so ever since I was a little kid, I was fascinated with aviation, and would go to air shows all the time with my parents. And still to this day, like I take my take my son to different air shows around the country. And I've been involved with working air shows, and but as I want to, I want to fly. And so I got my first degree as a professional pilot, where I got my commercial pilot's license, getting ready to go fly for the airlines. When I graduated with that degree. And through that program, though, Congress had just changed the law. With for minimum flight hours for the airlines, which is now 1500 hours minimum flight time to even be accepted by an airline to fly. At the time I graduated, I had, you know, 450 hours so as a little ways off, were you a maverick fan? Are you more like ice ice man? Maverick is? Yeah. Maverick is still my my favorite. And if you have not hit far, in fact, I'm in another room in my house. And this is the Top Gun room. I do have like the movie poster. I have the logo. I was very disappointed the fact that that Top Gun too has been pushed back all the way till next summer. Yeah, I mean, I'm this like, I was already ready for it. My best friend and roommate in college. Because he was in the in the program with me, we win. The 25th anniversary of Top Gun was rereleased in IMAX 3d. We drove to the theater in our flight suits to watch the movie.

Kyle Roed:

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Now we're getting we're going deep here. I'm like, yeah, this is a good This is good. You know, one of my one of my vices, or, you know, depending on your point of view, things that's endearing about me is that I love 80s action movies. So and, and yeah, so I saw on I think it was on Hulu. The other day, I just the kids are in bed. It's like 930 I stayed up and watched all of top down just by myself. Yeah, it was beautiful. I love this

Kevin Dawson:

such such a great movie. And I had an opportunity to go go out to San Diego. A couple years ago, my cousin was getting married and in preparation because I knew a lot of the movie was filmed in and around the San Diego area. So I was like, Alright, I'm gonna check out all the Top Gun sights. In the one place It was like on the top of my list because there's gonna be just down the street from where we're staying is a restaurant called Kansas City barbecue. And Kansas City barbecue is where they filmed the scene in the bar where they play the piano and it's the very end of the movie. And so I would get so excited. And and this is what I was working at at the museum. One of my volunteers who went by the nickname goose walks in my office and goes hey, Jr, the Top Gun bar burned down today. What Wow. Yeah, I was like I like pulled up Google and like, it had caught fire. The kitchen caught fire and so the restaurant was was shut down so I did not get my opportunity to go and do that and and I was I was kind of bummed because I was getting I was going to go to the Sherm conference this year being it was going to be in San Diego and yeah, and so that was on my my list of Okay, I'm going to Kansas City barbecue. This time, we're going to, I don't care what they have on the menu, but I'm going to at least drink and take my picture in front of the jukebox and the piano and still has not happened

Kyle Roed:

well, I'm sorry I you know, I really did not mean to bring up raw wounds here Gavin I apologize. It's

Kevin Dawson:

okay.

Kyle Roed:

You know, as I think about that movie, I don't know that I would consider Maverick, a great leader. He had good results. So I'm curious to understand a little bit about your your theory of leadership, I think in the world of HR. Leadership is just it's it's almost like a word that can become relatively meaningless or become a buzzword and my my opinion is that people who claim to know, good leadership are usually using the halo effect to think about people that are like them. And and not necessarily reflective on the, you know, what, what, what leadership skills may be effective in different scenarios or, you know, kind of the diversity of leadership. So, why don't you just kind of give me a perspective on how you approach the question of what is good leadership and what really makes a leader.

Kevin Dawson:

So I always start with, you know, what is the true impure definition of a leader, and it's just somebody who has followers and kind of start from there. And so as a leader, and if you think you're a leader, number one, do I have followers? And not necessarily, do I have social media followers? Because that's, that's a totally different thing? Because I mean, you can you can, I mean, you go on social media and social media influencers, and you know, millions of people follow these, but are they true leaders? Maybe Maybe not. So, so in your organization, as a leader is, is there people? Are there people who are going to follow you, as a leader? And if you do, well, why are they following you? Is it because you're their supervisors? So they kind of have to? Or do they feel inspired by you to want to work there. And for a lot of organizations, it's the former, versus the ladder with their leaders. They promote people who they mean really good at their job, they're super producers, thinking, Well, you know, this person, you know, excelled at their quotas, or they did really good job, you know, doing these projects. So we should promote them into a role. That's, you know, has people under them to lead them to do those same things? And they do so, and all of a sudden, there's a lot of issues. And organizations are like, Well, you know, we'll put money into management training. But management training is not Management Development. Same with leadership, training is not leadership development. There's a lot of things that leaders can already have, you know, built in traits, I would say, there's no such thing as a born leader. But there are born traits of leaders. And if you have someone who, at the end of the day is invested in people, that's the number one responsibility of a leader is, are you invested in your people? Are you invested in developing your people, some of the best leaders surround themselves with people who are smarter than them better than them? You come across in so many different ways. But the one thing that they do well is bringing people together and investing in people to say we're going to work towards a common goal, and go accomplish it. And so when I come to an organization to talk about who their leaders are, I want to know, what their goals are, I want to know what their people's goals are. As a leader, you should know like, the people who follow you, if you manage a team of people, you should know at least one thing about each individual person about something that they want to accomplish, both inside the organization and outside the organization. Because the more invested you are into the to your people, the more willing they are to follow you to wherever it is, you're taking them.

Kyle Roed:

I love the comment that training does not equal development, because a lot of times I feel like we just we lump those two things together. But, you know, my experience is most of the development actually comes on the job,

Kevin Dawson:

right? Like you can go you could send a lot you have a training program for you know, managers, hey, we're going to train you to be a good manager, good leader. And you learn a lot of things about here it takes to manage people. But it's it's more theory than it is practical, in you don't get the practical aspect of it until you are actually doing it on a day to day basis. And the great thing about the practicality of leadership is you can fail as long as you own up to your failures, right.

Kyle Roed:

But if you don't own up to it,

Kevin Dawson:

if you don't own up to it, then you're just going to create a little bit of resentment you're going to create distrust. As a leader, you need to have the ability to be authentic to your team. It's okay to be more you have to be perfect. There's no such thing as a perfect leader. And if you think you know a perfect leader, trust me, there are plenty of flaws that that person has. Because people are messy and we mess up. And it's okay to mess up. It's okay to say you know what, I? I was wrong here. Help me you know, be better. These things, I remember working for my very first my first boss, and he would, whenever something would go wrong, instead of deflecting blame to the team, he would be the one that said, Hey, this is on me, because I didn't prepare the team, or this is the situation. And so he allowed the, the blame to fall on him. But if we succeeded, it was a team effort.

Kyle Roed:

Right.

Kevin Dawson:

And it's one of those things that is like this very different, you don't, I haven't seen that style of, of leadership, I had just kind of been like, either you, you succeed, or you fail on That's it, and it's all on you.

Kyle Roed:

It reminds me of the first, you know, true, quote, leadership role that I had, you know, 20 something year old, truly kid, you know, just graduated out of college. And I was just fortunate that the people that I was leading, let me learn, as I was, as I was, you know, working into the role, and I had some really great mentors, but they weren't, they weren't my leaders, they were actually my, you know, what you would consider a subordinate. But they took care of me, you know, they were just, they were just wonderful people. And I made a lot of mistakes. And they called me on it, and knocked my ego down quite a bit, which was good. That's what I needed. And, but ultimately, that made me a better leader long term. And, you know, I, I look back on my career, and it's, it's been kind of an interesting career path. But, you know, I attribute a lot of my leadership skills to those wonderful employees that worked quote for me. And I think that the thing that I took away from that is that a leader can't do anything without a good team underneath him, and quite frankly, leaders probably not doing as much. Yeah. Right. I mean, it's, it's more about making sure people are going the right direction, but you're not the one getting it done. And I think that's where a lot of people, a lot of people can falter.

Kevin Dawson:

Yes. So I mean, I think anybody could could list like examples of bad leaders, but great leaders, you know, they kind of move out of the way they give their team space to operate. It helps sure that it makes sure everything's moving in the same direction. One of the things that I asked organizations is, how often do you as leaders or managers, check in with your team on a on a one on one basis? And if they say, Well, we know we maybe check in once a month, once a quarter, we only do that at our annual reviews. I know right there that there's a lot of issues. Because communication is key to leading well. But if you allow so much time in between conversations to develop, your team may think that they're moving in the right direction, or the direction that you want them to move into, and come to find out that they're not there, they're going in a direction that while they think is the right direction is not the direction you need them to go in. And when you have that conversation, you've allowed so much time to develop, that people get frustrated, like, Well, why didn't you say something sooner? So if as a leader, if you're not least having a one on one conversation on a weekly basis, with your team, and it doesn't have to be anything big, it can just be three questions. What are you working on this week? How can I support you? Is there anything else that I need to know about? Just those three questions, doesn't have to be anything big. But at least have that conversation, one on one with each person or team, because you may find out well, while they think they're going in this in this direction. To accomplish a project or task, you may need them to shift priorities to accomplish something else this week versus that one, because that's more the priority for you to finish. So your ability to lead really beleives impacts how often and how effective those conversations can be.

Kyle Roed:

It's so important to understand that, you know, a performance review, an annual performance review is not enough feedback to consider yourself a great leader.

Kevin Dawson:

No, it's not. And in fact, so so I've talked a lot about re engineering, performance management, in getting back to a more constructive feedback culture with organizations. So the Gallup organization, did some research that showed that 70 34% of organizations do a annual review at minimum of one year or greater. And because that means that there's that big of a gap, the engagement level for employees is significantly low. They said in that study that only 14% of employees said they were highly engaged in their work. Hmm. And but they also showed the correlation, the more often you have a culture of feedback, so the more often you meet, whether it's weekly, monthly, the more engaged an employee feels goes up. So it's important as, as a leader as a manager to, to have those conversations. It doesn't have to be a true performance review. It just, you just need to know what they're what's going on in their lives. And, and have an interest in your, in your team's lives beyond just what they're doing for you. One of my favorite stories comes from my friend, Patrick, who was my 50th episode guests. He's currently the mayor of Midland, Texas, but before he ran for mayor, he was the executive pastor for one of the largest churches in West Texas. And he would always ask his employees, like, what do you want to do? Like, what what are some goals that you want to set for yourself outside the organization. And he tells the story of Jeff, who was the youth pastor at the time, and Jeff had this dream of being a competition barbecue pitmaster, which in Texas, like, that's almost religion on its own.

Kyle Roed:

Right, you know, and that's a goal that's lofty,

Kevin Dawson:

it was a lofty goal. So Jeff would like save money and go out and buy briskets because brisket is kind of the king of meats and Texas barbecue and, and so he would try different rubs different, you know, use different wood to smoke and test out different things and bring those up to the office and share and get feedback from people. Patrick saw that there's gonna be a barbecue competition out here, and went to his senior, his senior staff and said, hey, there's this competition coming up. We're going to enter Jeff into this. Because he needs to know where he stands on this. Plus, he wasn't that he was a great, you know, at what he did. It was just that, like, he's not going to stop bringing this stuff up here until we start doing this. And they were kind of getting tired of the office smelling like barbecue. What No, like, is like, I guess, I mean, you don't want to church normally barbecue, but it's also a great way to bring people in. So they they collected between the two senior staff $700 in went to Jeff and said, hey, there's a competition coming up in two weeks, we want you to enter and compete, here's the money, here's the form, all you got to do is go, you know, pay it and go get what you need. And we want to see you do this. And he said Jeff was just so shocked that, you know, his bosses would take the time to see in him something beyond what his job was. And that his whole attitude. And Jeff's already, I mean, was super great guy. But his just intensified his his performance intensified the attitude that he brought to the team. And so Jeff, when competed he came in last place, because I mean, it never done it before. So it wasn't going to be like, I mean, it's Texas is Texas, like, it's not like, you know, if he had won the thing, it should be a movie by now. But, but he did, but but he said, but he was just that, that simple, you know, understanding and asking questions, who are you? What do you want to be beyond just your title, what your job is? What are the things that, you know, you're interested in? You know, what, what about your family? And, you know, asking those questions. It's important. And so as, as a leader, if you don't have just that personal investment in your team, it's going to be really hard for them to see in you that you have their best interests in mind.

Kyle Roed:

And I think, you know, I think the other thing intertwined in that story is, you know, people on a more personal level, it's, it's not as transactional, as here, do x so that we can achieve y. Thank you. Here's your paycheck. Goodbye.

Kevin Dawson:

Yeah. I mean, if, if that's all it was, and that's it. So I was talking with a friend of mine, we were talking about the word human resources.

Kyle Roed:

And he can go on this topic for a while.

Kevin Dawson:

Yeah. And he's like, and he's the chief people officer at one of the largest tax consulting firms in the country. And he said, When I came on board, the first thing I told our bosses, we're getting rid of the HR department, and we're, we're changing it to the people and culture department. We're about people, and seeing people as people, not just a tool. And I think for a lot of leaders, they just look at their people as well, they're just a tool to accomplish a job in for my friend, you know, he comes on board in, in the five years that he's been there, they've been four years in a row named, you know, one of the best places to work in Dallas.

Kyle Roed:

But I think it's, you know, there's, there's been a lot of debate about, you know, people operations, you know, talent, managers, you know, these these kinds of, you know, differences within human resources. I tell people, you know, the truth about the phrase HR, or the job title, HR, is whether you like it or not, it's got a bad rap. I mean, I'll never forget, I got a job in human resources. And I told my, my mother, who was in higher ed, and, you know, I was, I was telling her that I got this job, and I was excited. I was like, I think it's gonna be a good fit for me. And she said, Oh, human resources, taking the H out of HR. You know, that's my mother, my sweet, my sweet, you know, innocent mother. But, I mean, that is, in a lot of organizations, that's the brand of HR and, you know, if that's your goal, in HR to try to systematize everything and, and treat people as as tools and not you know, they're the unique individuals that they are, you're gonna, you're gonna struggle, and people aren't gonna like you. I mean, I guess that's kind of the other thing. Yeah. Like, a lot of people hate HR.

Kevin Dawson:

Well, they view HR kind of like it's the hall monitor in school.

Kyle Roed:

You know, good analogy. Yeah.

Kevin Dawson:

It's your your HR is there to serve the organization, not the people in and there's been a lot of that conversation I've witnessed over the course of the summer with you all of the the racial issues and talking through, you know, through things that I know, several people on LinkedIn who like they said, we're canceling our Sherm membership because it feels like Sherm is not representing the people it's representing the organization's because there was they were slow to talk about these issues. Yeah. And call them out for what it is. And I think for a lot of organizations, a lot of business owners, business leaders, when they look at HR, it's still viewed as well, you're you're the payroll benefits and in compliance, you know, your your to hire and fire people. And HR professionals, HR leaders need to take back their role as you are probably the most strategic partner to the, to the C suite than anybody else. You can't if you're the CEO of an organization, you cannot accomplish the goals that you have without people. And, and so as an HR professional, as an HR leader, learning to be that advocate for people and saying, hey, you need to do these things in order to get where you're going. Let's go require some people. So let's make sure we're working with the right people. And as HR professionals, we also need to learn how to understand the rest of the business. Because I mean, think about the number of times that you've been handed a job posting, you know, from a department and say, these are the requirements that we we want an individual? Well, you can go out and find somebody who fits those exact requirements and hire them. But are they going to really be the right fit for the team? Are they gonna meld mesh well with the environment? You know, it's one it's one thing to bring someone in from, you know, has a little bit of an outside mindset, which is great for organization because it pushes people it inspires innovation. But if they can't get along with, you know, leaders where that leader can't get along with the person that they bring in, it's not going to work and even if you hire the you know, the pert the perfect person with all those different things that you know, you put on a, the the requirements at the end of day, you still got to work well with them. And if you can't work well with them, what's the point?

Kyle Roed:

Right, exactly. And that, you know, I think that's part of the struggle. I think a lot of people view HR as is Very transferable job, which it can be, you know, there's a lot of transferable skills don't necessarily need to be a, you know, a product expert within your industry in order to understand how HR should work. But if you don't take the time to understand your internal customer, you know, your business leader and the product that your organization produces and truly understand how you impact the bottom line, I just don't feel like you're going to be effective.

Kevin Dawson:

No, you're not. I mean, that's why I think, you know, looking back on in the changes within HR development in the last 20 years, you see the rise in the HR business partner role. It's someone who can say, you know, I understand a little bit more the business. So let me help this part of the business develop the people side. And I think organizations should should look at that model a little bit more than just your traditional HR role. Because Because, you know, it changes things. And what's interesting. When it comes to you, developing higher up in the organization, if whether you're a Chief Human Resource Officer, or chief people officer, majority of the people in those roles did not start out in HR. They started out in sales, or marketing, or finance, and learned the people business along the way, and found that they were really good at the people side, but because they have that business background, they understand how to be strategic.

Kyle Roed:

Right. And I think, you know, one of my arguments for anybody that thinks that HR is the right move for them is I always ask, have you ever been a leader before? You know, because you're going to be advising leaders. And if you're just sitting here and saying, well, this is I should handle the situation, but you've never been in that seat? it, you don't have any street cred. I mean, you kind of have to pay your dues a little bit before you can start to advise a 20 year plus leader on how to handle an employee situation.

Kevin Dawson:

Right? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you know, there's Baptism by fire in HR is not usually the greatest thing in the world.

Kyle Roed:

Although that's how I learned, so you know, hey, it is sometimes you just get thrown in and try not to get burnt too bad.

Kevin Dawson:

And, I mean, yeah, it works. Well. In fact, that's kind of how my, my very first job at the museum started was. I get hired into it, because I volunteered in high school. And they said, hey, we've got this summer program that starts tomorrow, we need someone to teach desert survival skills. And since you have a background and your boy, you know, as an Eagle Scout, you should come and teach this. I'm like, Do what? I was making up the class as we went, like, here's the materials that you're going to use when like, oh, okay, great. That's a

Kyle Roed:

great. So you're so you're Maverick and you're Bear Grylls, I didn't know. That's awesome.

Kevin Dawson:

Yeah, it's better to be a little bit of a generalist and a specialist sometimes.

Kyle Roed:

That's good. That's good. Yeah. So I mean, but honestly, isn't that kind of, that's a great example of what being a leader is like, sometimes, you know, there's a lot of times you're flying by the totally flying by the seat of your pants, you have no idea. You know what the right decision is, but sometimes you just have to make a decision, and then rally people around it.

Kevin Dawson:

So you're absolutely right, like, great leaders. One are very good with people, too. They understand their purpose. And three, they don't hesitate. They make decisions. And even if it's the wrong decision, though, they're going to they're going to make that decision. And if they need to change it, they'll adapt. I was talking with someone the other day, it's been a big push over the last couple years about the importance of emotional intelligence, your EQ, or even your relational intelligence or IQ, but I I really think as a leader, it's your adaptability, intelligence you aq. great leaders learn to adapt and change. I remember a friend of mine who we we got introduced each other about 10 years ago, and I was serving on a youth camp board and he was the head of all of the counselors, and he was meeting with everybody and said, I need you to be fluid. Because if you're flexible, you're still too rigid. And so I've always thought about that statement since we since I heard him say like I need you to be fluid, I need you to be ready to move. And he said now when you think about fluidity, you can be fluid like water and you can Go anywhere, but sometimes that can be dangerous, you know, following that path. So sometimes you need to have a little bit of viscosity to your fluidity in that, that is it relates to leadership, being able to be adaptable and change. But also having a that the streets, you know, that make a great leader, whether it's empathy, whether it's honesty, or you know, great communication skills, trust all of those different things kind of build up. So, if you do need to move, you're not going to flow through it real fast. But, you know, change can happen, you know, as necessary and as needed.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, I think what a great, what a great example of how important the aq is it just take a look at 2020.

Kevin Dawson:

Yeah.

Kyle Roed:

And honestly, I mean, it's, I feel like, let's see this, we're recording this in mid October, this is probably gonna go live sometime in early November. I mean, at that point, who knows where we'll be made probably another lockdown, you know, the way the trajectory of this thing's going, and and, you know, the organizations that have succeeded are the ones that were nimble and fluid and, you know, adapted quickly changed the way they worked, communicated well, and the ones that didn't struggle. Yeah,

Kevin Dawson:

I mean, I remember watching organizations say, Hey, you know, what, we're going to move to remote workforces, even before things were starting to shut down. So we're gonna move to remote workforces, and we're going to start doing remote teams, and here's how we're going to adapt and survive, and the best organizations in that environment. You know, communication was a huge piece of that they checked in with their teams, that gave them that flexibility and freedom to do what they're supposed to do. But also, you know, if you're working from home, I can still be just as productive as if I was working from the office. So you know, what, I made it easy to take up, you know, a break and need to walk the dog around the neighborhood for a little bit to come back and clear my mind and get back to being productive again, in organizations saw that there was a rise in productivity when they were able to have good investment into their people and good, and their people felt like there was good information and feedback, and they were in the loop of what was going on organizations that didn't have that. They struggled and they still struggle. Yeah.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, I mean, my, you know, something I like to share with people, my organizations were International, a large part of my job before the pandemic was traveling, you know, upwards a 40 50% of the time I was on the road. And, and I love to travel, it was it was great. But you know, you can only do so much when you have 27 different locations to travel to, you're going to be disconnected from some of your locations, with a strategy like that now. I mean, we started doing video conferencing, we have a great IT department that made sure that we had the appropriate tools in place, started doing a lot more collaboration outside of email, did some, some, you know, some of the like text, software and that sort of thing. And I mean, everybody just started to connect more, even though we were going through this extremely disruptive period, and it was almost kind of like a silver lining for us in my organization, then realize, Oh, we can do things a little bit differently. And we can actually be a little bit more nimble, because we can we can communicate better.

Kevin Dawson:

Have you noticed in doing so that your engagement has gone up?

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, I think so. I'll tell you in about a week, because we're going to wrap our employee survey, or we're doing a an employee opinion survey. So I'll let you know, take a rain check on that. I I would tell you, though, that the I don't know if I would call it engagement, I would call it connectedness has increased, gotcha. The people who are comfortable reaching out to me or shooting me a note or, or questioning a process of it's increased exponentially. Whereas before, I think it was, you know, maybe a little bit of a hesitancy to actively outreach and ask questions and things like that. So, you know, I think we're getting better at communicating. In general, I think probably the, probably my favorite thing is the fact that there's, there's less silos. You know, there there are people who are more apt to pick up the phone and call somebody in a different country or a different business unit to ask for help and advice because they don't have the watercooler to go, you know, have an accidental discussion to help them solve their problems. So it's, it's been interesting, but on the on the flip side, I think there's also There is a higher burden on a leader to make sure that the people who aren't connected get get kind of forced to a little bit to write. It's like that connection that the touch base for the people that might be struggling, it's not as a parent who is struggling. And our work is our work is professional, scientific, and, you know, design work and very, very technical in nature. So we don't necessarily have like really clear productivity measurements to look at to understand if somebody's struggling in their work. So it's, it's been interesting. So if you're asking me, you know, future state, what, what's going to happen after this is all done? I think we'll probably have, we'll probably have a hybrid work situation where there'll be a little bit more flexibility, but we still have some of the office people working.

Kevin Dawson:

Yeah, I think you're probably not gonna be alone in that. And I think a lot of organizations that said, you know, if we can operate this way, and still be productive, and be engaged, have open communication silos are broken down. I think you'll see, you'll see a lot more move in that direction.

Kyle Roed:

Great, great topic here. Kevin, I want to make sure that we, we get through our flash round here. So this is a series of really hard hitting questions. You know, I'll try to take it easy on you. But you know, we're gonna jump right in. So brace yourself.

Kevin Dawson:

Gotcha.

Kyle Roed:

All right, flash round. Question number one. What are you reading right now?

Kevin Dawson:

So I just finished the heart of leadership, and which is a phenomenal book. But I am reading the purpose factor by Brian and Gabrielle O'Shea. There are some friends of mine that I've been working with, for the last couple of months. Their program, the purpose mastery is a real intensive program to help organizations or leaders kind of really refine what their purpose is, what's their story and how to really use that to influence people. And so they've written a book about it called the purpose factor. So I'm reading through it's phenomenal book, they've gotten some amazing endorsements, from people like the rock, Tim Tebow. Brian Tracy Lewis, Howes Simone Biles, Coach Tony Dungy, so I'm super, super proud of the work that they've done, but it's a phenomenal book.

Kyle Roed:

Good for them. Yeah. I mean, if the rock likes it, then, you know, there you go. Yeah. I today, I still have not had a rock comment or thumbs up yet. So you know, I can't say that. That's on my that's on my list of accomplishments yet.

Kevin Dawson:

Yeah. Well, you know, maybe one of these days, these days.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah. If you ever get to get to burning passion for human resources, best practices, you know, we'd be happy to have him on the show. So, Dwayne, if you're listening right now, you know, yeah, check it out. All right. Next question. Who should we be listening to?

Kevin Dawson:

Well, I would say the leaders loggers podcast is a great resource for learning about leadership but but that might be a little self serving. But I'm gonna, but actually one of my one of my favorites to listen to is called breakfast with CES, which is Tony Bridwell and his daughter, Allie Koch. Tony is the chief people officer at Ryan and his daughter, Allie is a muralist an artist in so they actually bring in different people in their, in their respective worlds, to talk about business and culture. And it's just it's just a really great show, Tony himself is a is an author of several different books on leadership. His most recent is called Saturday morning tea, the power of story to change everything. And, and their conversations on their podcasts are absolutely great to listen to.

Kyle Roed:

I love it, you know, and I think just a just a pitch. I know people that are listening to this, obviously listen to podcasts. But you know, I really wasn't the podcast listener until just this year. And honestly, it was because, you know, I didn't have time, or I didn't make time rather. But you know, quarantine happened. And I started to listen and learn and connect. And there's so much out there. And I think especially in the world of HR and the world of leadership, it times it can be really isolating. And you just have to connect with somebody that's having similar challenges at times. And so yeah, great. Call it on the podcast. I do recommend the leaders and loggers podcasts. So I'll give you the plug there. I think, you know, that's, that's how we got connected and I really appreciate you sharing And you're inside as well as your guests inside on your podcast every week. It's great.

Kevin Dawson:

Great. Appreciate that.

Kyle Roed:

All right, final question the toughest one, how can our listeners connect with you?

Kevin Dawson:

Sure. So LinkedIn is probably my go to right now for for social network. So you can find me at Kevin C. Dawson on LinkedIn. You can also find the podcast on social media. We just search for leaders and loggers la g Rs, not the log. You know, like the folks in the timber industry,

Kyle Roed:

people, although that would be an intriguing podcast, it

Kevin Dawson:

would be and and maybe I need to reach out to somebody in the in the timber industry to come on the show, because that would be a great and humorous plug there. But yeah, you can you can find me on social media. So I'm on on on LinkedIn, you can find me on Twitter at Kevin C. Dawson, Instagram, Kevin C. Dawson. You can follow the podcast on on social media. We're on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. If you're a beer drinker, you can even follow us on the untapped app. You can see what we're drinking and drink along with us.

Kyle Roed:

All right, Kevin. Well, I really appreciate the time today. I know that you are a busy guy with a book podcast, trying a lot of different beers. I'm sure you have to do a lot of quality control. So really appreciate it. Yeah, great insights. I think, you know, one of the challenges of HR is, is while you might not have direct reports, you're still a leader. And you still have to, you have to influence others in an appropriate manner. So great, great topics for our listeners, and really appreciate your expertise and time on the show.

Kevin Dawson:

Oh, Kyle, I really appreciate it. Thank you.

Kyle Roed:

Thanks, Kevin. 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. Use it opinions expressed by podcast not necessarily policy or position

Jude Roed:

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