Rebel Human Resources Podcast

Episode 25: Get Better with Todd Davis, Chief People Officer, FranklinCovey

January 05, 2021 Kyle Roed, The HR Guy / Todd Davis Season 1 Episode 25
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 25: Get Better with Todd Davis, Chief People Officer, FranklinCovey
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Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 25: Get Better with Todd Davis, Chief People Officer, FranklinCovey
Jan 05, 2021 Season 1 Episode 25
Kyle Roed, The HR Guy / Todd Davis

Join Kyle Roed as he speaks with Todd Davis, Chief People Officer for FranklinCovey.  

Todd Davis has over 30 years of experience in human resources, training and training development, executive recruiting, sales, and marketing. He has been with FranklinCovey for the past 25 years and is currently a member of the Executive Team where he serves as the Chief People Officer.

Prior to this role, Todd was a Director for FranklinCovey's Innovation Group where he led the development of core offerings including The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People™ Signature Program and The 4 Disciplines of Execution. He also worked for several years as FranklinCovey's Director of Recruitment—attracting, hiring, and retaining top talent for the organization.

Prior to FranklinCovey, Todd worked in the medical industry for 9 years where he recruited physicians and medical executives along with marketing physician services to hospitals and clinics throughout the country.

Todd is extremely passionate about teaching and living the principles and concepts contained in FranklinCovey content. He believes strongly that to become a true leader you must first "be the change". He diligently strives to be a model of what he teaches. 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/todddavisfc/
https://www.franklincovey.com/
https://getbetterbook.com/

Rebel HR is a podcast for HR professionals and leaders of people 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 Todd Davis, Chief People Officer for FranklinCovey.  

Todd Davis has over 30 years of experience in human resources, training and training development, executive recruiting, sales, and marketing. He has been with FranklinCovey for the past 25 years and is currently a member of the Executive Team where he serves as the Chief People Officer.

Prior to this role, Todd was a Director for FranklinCovey's Innovation Group where he led the development of core offerings including The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People™ Signature Program and The 4 Disciplines of Execution. He also worked for several years as FranklinCovey's Director of Recruitment—attracting, hiring, and retaining top talent for the organization.

Prior to FranklinCovey, Todd worked in the medical industry for 9 years where he recruited physicians and medical executives along with marketing physician services to hospitals and clinics throughout the country.

Todd is extremely passionate about teaching and living the principles and concepts contained in FranklinCovey content. He believes strongly that to become a true leader you must first "be the change". He diligently strives to be a model of what he teaches. 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/todddavisfc/
https://www.franklincovey.com/
https://getbetterbook.com/

Rebel HR is a podcast for HR professionals and leaders of people 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)

Todd Davis:

See how I just made it very safe or at least much more safe for Cindy, to tell me the truth versus showing up at her cubicle her doors and what to think of how I found the meeting. This is what proactive, Highly Effective People, not just leaders, but individual contributors. This is what they do. 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. All right, Rebel HR listeners. I am extremely excited for you to join us today we have Todd Davis, the chief people officer and executive vice president of a organization that I'm sure all of you have heard of in that is Franklin Covey. Todd Davis is the author of Franklin Covey's book get better 15 proven practices to build effective relationships at work, which debuted at number four on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list. Davis has over 30 years of experience in human resources, talent development, executive recruiting, sales and marketing. He's been with Franklin Covey for over 20 years, currently serves as the chief people officer and executive vice president responsible for global talent development in over 40 offices reaching 160 countries. Welcome to the show, Todd. Thank you, Kyle, I appreciate the opportunity to be here. Well, I am so pumped and we were talking a little bit earlier but I'm a huge nerd and Franklin Covey content has been something that has really resonated with me and helped shape my career. So, so excited that our listeners are going to have an opportunity to to hear directly from you. And talk a little bit about your your book as well as your your journey in HR. Well, if that makes you a nerd, it makes me the king of the Nerds because I've been you mentioned over 20 years I've actually been with Franklin Covey for 25 years now going on my 25th year and and I'm extremely passionate about our organization and what we do so So join me in the nerd club, long shoe. And nerds unite a you know, it's I'm at the point in my life now where I just own it. And that's me. being cool is not a thing that, that I really strive for it. And my kids will tell you, I'll never get there. So I might as well just give up. Good advice. Yeah, yeah. Well, I, again, I'm just so excited to be here today. For our listeners. Why don't you just kind of tell us a little bit about your journey through HR? How did you get where you are today? You bet. So I never, I never had, quite frankly an interest or a goal of even being an HR I was I worked for I worked in the medical industry for several years. And I worked in their training division where I would do internal training. And, and one day a the woman who is in charge of what they call professional staffing, it was actually a separate department from HR, where they hired, recruited and hired all the physicians and the physician assistants and all that she had gone through in my training since she said I think you'd be a great recruiter. And I'm embarrassed to tell you, Kyle I, I of course do what recruiting was. I didn't know that that's how people made a living. I just there was a role as a recruiter, that's how naive I was. She said I think you'd be a great recruiter for our company. And so I went down and met with her and her professional staffing team and long story short, became a recruiter, a physician recruiter for a number of years, 10 years to be exact. And again, we still weren't part of the HR department physician recruitment was separate was kind of a sales job more than anything because you were selling physicians and their and their spouses or partners to to relocate out here out west Ryan Wright live. And so I did that for 10 years. And then I came across the covey Leadership Center I was I read the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People shortly after it was published. And some friends asked me to join their small human resource outsourcing firm. And again, I said, Well, I don't know much about HR, but I've recruited for 10 years, and that's what they wanted. So we had an outsourcing firm. We had an attorney that handled you know, legal issues, employee relations, we had a benefits specialist. I was the recruiter and so we did contract work for organizations all up and down what's called the Wasatch Front an area a geography that I live in, and covey Leadership Center, which was now Franklin Covey was one of our clients. And so I did recruiting for cubby Leadership Center. And I'm going to put you to sleep here but I'm almost finished. recruiting for them finding their what we call client partners, their account executives and their delivery consultants that deliver a training. And one day they approached me I was with this, you know, firm that I'd started with my friends and they said, Hey, we'd like to bring recruiting in house, would you be interested? So I came in and was their recruiter, and, and then spent several years of my career in different departments, I went back to training and help develop some of their flagship programs as the project leader for seven habits and for the four Disciplines of Execution and other of their training. And about 16 years ago, the CEO, and our president came to me and said, We'd like you to consider being the, the head of people, the chief people officer. I said, Well, that's great. I don't have any HR experience. Know that we think you have the people experience. And so anyway, like I say that with all humility, but long story short, for the last 1516 years, I've been in this role, as you said, up front as chief people officer and Executive Vice President and fortunately have an excellent team who do have tons of HR experience and know the nuts and bolts and so they, they do all the work and I get all the credit. There you go. That's it. That's a true HR practitioner, right there. Is all the work. Sorry, that was a little longer than I'd anticipated. That's awesome. No, I love the HR origin story. And it's almost it's it's always one or two things. It's either that I never wanted to be in HR. It just it found me or it's the people who are like, I love it. I love people. I just always wanted to be an HR and yeah, I'm in your camp. I'm I. I didn't even know what HR was until I got offered the HR job. And then I'm like, Oh, I get it. I grew up with your grandfather probably. You know, HR was the was the policy wonks were the policy wonks, HR was the, you know, necessary, evil or not evil, necessarily, but just just the necessary division that companies had to have. And I had always been in a sales role or a marketing role or a deliverable. I didn't really have any interest in doing that. And but as I became more familiar with Franklin Covey, and what partnership, the HR department, we don't even call it HR, we call it people services. What what a partnership they can have with helping move the organization forward. That's when I got interested in and understanding that really, it's, it's less about, well, well, certainly you have to oversee the benefits and the no market analysis of compensation, all that it's more about serving as the quarterback, if you will, for the culture. So that's when it gets really interesting, at least for me. I'm with you. 100%. And, you know, I was very fortunate to I joined an organization that that was the, that was the premise, HR was I kind of call it HR was the cheerleader, they were the ones that carried the brand and kept people engaged and got people excited about work. And then I've been in those organizations where it certainly was not the cheerleader, and it was the policy police and I prefer the cheerleader over the over the policy, please. 100%. And it's funny to us that you use the term evil. But I do think I mean, there are that is some people's perception of HR. I mean, that that is that is the reality in some organizations, unfortunately, that you know, HR is the, the principal's office or the or the bad guy now, which I think just makes your, your book and your message and the work that your organization does all that more important in order to have an effective HR function. Well, thank you, I would agree. Yeah, so I want to I want to kind of dive into it a little bit. And for anybody who, who hasn't checked it out, check out the book, it's get better by Todd Davis, if you Google it, you'll be able to find it. But there is so much good stuff in here. And I think the thing that speaks to me the most about the book is the stories that are included, and one of them that really spoke to me. It is something that came out of the speed of trust, which is another book that that once that's in my office, and I grab it every once in a while, because there's there's stuff in there to keep me focused. But I remember distinctly The first time I read the term character and competence. And, you know, I read it once and I thought, Oh, that's good. And then I read it like 60 more times like so I could get it right. And then and then I just, it's been foundational as I've gone through change management and all sorts of, you know, different challenges. 2020 is a great example that your character and competence is tested in many different aspects. So can we dive into that a little Bit? Absolutely, yeah, this set the book that you're afraid to get better 15 proven practices to build effective relationships at work. These are Simon and Schuster, who's the publisher who also published the seven habits, they they, along with us had this idea that I should be pretty cool to have the chief people officer of the people company, so to speak, you know, write a book about, about their experiences using Franklin Covey's principles and practices and paradigms that we teach. So each one of these practices, these aren't new principles that I, you know, discovered or came up with, but it's using our content that which many readers are familiar with from seven habits or speed of trust, that using them through the lens of the person or people who are in charge of their relationships at work, where the you know, what really makes all the difference. And so, to your reference, you know, practice number three of the 15 practices is called behavior, weigh the credibility, behavior, weight to credibility. And as you cited, Kyle, credibility, when you think of the most credible person, you know, if I ask all of the listeners right now, think about someone who's extremely credible in your mind. Okay, so you've got somebody in your mind, think about all of the reasons why her name or his name popped into your mind. And every one of those reasons, I promise, you fall into one of two buckets, that's either their character, or their competence. And to be truly credible, you got to have both. And I've met people, and maybe I've been guilty of this myself, where I think, oh, a whole bunch of, of one bucket will make up for a lack of the other. But to be truly credible, you've got to have a significant amount of both character. And competence, and character are things like, you know, these people you're thinking of, certainly they're honest, they're trustworthy, they do what they say they're going to do. But they also are collaborative, they also are engaging, they also are mindful of everyone on the team, those are those are things that are both now you could argue those are both competencies and character, but they tend to fall in love with the character bucket. And then the competency bucket is, you know, if I'm a salesperson, I know how to sell I'm skilled at the sales process. Or if I'm a developer in our innovations department, I know how to create content, I know how to understand how participants learn. And so you got to have both, and here's the big thing, behave your way to credibility is the title of the practice, because you and I, we don't get to decide when someone should see us as credible, unfortunately, that you say, Hey, I'm credible, and you need to see that way. But what we can do is behave our way over and over again, until we in fact, become trustworthy or seen as trustworthy and seen as credible. And so it's, it's a, it's a practice of patience. Because we may know we're credible, we may know I've got everything it takes to do this. But again, it's through my actions and through time, that that I am seen by others as credible, by the way I behave. Yeah. And you mentioned, you know, if you think about somebody who you think is credible, you know, I'm sure everybody has has somebody that pops into their head, or have somebody that pops into their head that isn't credible. Mm hmm. And and if you really deep dive it, it's because one of those two things isn't there. You're exactly right, I was we were talking about and I'll be I'll be confidential here, but we're talking about an employee that I work with here at Franklin Covey. And this person is incredibly gifted talent gifted and talented person, incredibly talented. And they are there, they're, I think I can say this, because we have a lot of them. They're a graphic designer. And they're, they're wildly talented. And they are so difficult to work with. That we you feel like you're walking on eggshells, anytime you need help from them or need to work with him on a project. And, and this person is probably the most talented, graphic designer, I've worked with him in many years of my experience. But yet, the pain of the dance you have to do with this person is really holding them back. And it makes me sad, because I think the places they could go and the contributions they could make, and they're making some contributions, but it would be magnified, you know, 100 times if they they could improve in this other area of and really this kind of a character issue. So it's Yeah, you're right, along with thinking about people who are extremely credible. Think about those who are and what is it that holding them back? Absolutely. And I'll reflect on I mean, I remember early in my career, that you know, I just always kind of I at one point, I had the attitude fake it till you make it. Right. You know, just just be gregarious and charming and be nice and you know, you'll, you'll figure out the rest Rest of this stuff along the way that that was, you know, early in my career kind of how I had to stumble through figuring out how to do HR when I didn't even know what it was before. That's kind of what I had to do. But it was, it didn't take long to figure out, wow, I better go back. And to borrow another phrase sharpen my saw in the in the aspect of the job that I need to do so that I can understand the technical aspects of this job, or my winning personality won't get me very far. Mm hmm. Good point, you got to pay the price. Yeah, yeah. And sometimes I think that's, that can be a challenge that I've had with employees is explaining that, you know, just just because you're the nicest person in the room doesn't mean that you don't have to put in, you know, the the effort to become the subject matter expert or, or, you know, the best at what you need to do. You know, smiling and laughing it off doesn't necessarily work every time you're in the boardroom. Exactly. And like I mentioned earlier with this talented person, you can be the expert in the room, you can be the one that has shear, he has paid the price, they know it inside and out. And you're a jerk to work with. And that's equally as you know, hindering to your career. Absolutely, yeah. And I just think I, I just reflect on my years in employee relations and and in my, my sector is manufacturing. And the the challenge, when one of those two things is not there is I can trace a lot of the employee relations issues back to one of those two things. No, it's a great point, you know, a question that I have when I've been coaching others and coaching myself, is that I that I that has really uncovered and helped a lot of people, is to have them actually go through an exercise by themselves and just write down answer the question, what is it like to work with me? What would people you know, pick a couple of different people on your team, and just write out to yourself, you don't even have to share it with anybody? What would Susan or what would Cindy what would Aaron say it's like to work with me, and go ahead and write it out and really think you know, force yourself to put yourself in their, in their shoes in their mindset. And that's really been helpful for some people I know who are good people, but they're just not very self aware, as far as the the lack of collaboration they sometimes have. So it's a that's a recommendation I would share with with your listeners is just think about that. And more than Think about it, write it out, what what would people say it's like to work with you. I love that. And I'm a little bit nervous to ask my team that. I definitely need to do that. Because I think it might be maybe you'll want to revert it and say, just tell me why do you love working with me? So that's kind of leading the witness there. Yeah, I don't think that yeah, that probably wouldn't, wouldn't pass the smell test my team but and knowing my team, I think they would they would be brutally honest. Either way. Well, if they care about you, they would that's that's what I remind people is that those who are transparent with you, they really they want to see you get better and so and so don't mistake the transparency for for meanness or not caring, in fact, they care enough to go out on a limb and be a little courageous there. Yeah, I love that. Yeah, it. It's like the old. The old adage, if you ever played team sports, and your coach says, you know, if I'm yelling at you, I care. When I stop yelling, then that means that it's over. Anyone who knows me would laugh right now if they were listening to this because I am the most non athletic person you've ever met. So when my coach was yelling at me, it was because he was thinking, why are you even playing this not talented in this field.

Kyle Roed:

Get out of the way of the players.

Todd Davis:

Right. In fact, we get to one of the chapters later on in the book, I tell her pretty funny but true story about my lack of athletic ability. So well, we really are aligned. I am like, you can't see how tall I am. You know, that's one really positive thing will take us a little tangent here. You know, nobody can see how short I am on these video calls in as far as they know. I'm like six foot five and you know, but I'm like, five, six on a good day and I certainly wasn't in line for basketball, Basketball Player of the Year anything. So I'm with you, man. I'm with you. Now Now I just do the extreme sport of extreme HR,

Kyle Roed:

where you go.

Todd Davis:

So I got to ask so you have a big job chief people officer for one of the premier People, organizations around the world, it that's a lot of pressure. It is, but it's a lot of a lot of reward to if we work with great people, but it is a lot of pressure. And again, it's not a one person. Job. It's like I said earlier, I view this role as more or less the quarterback of the culture, but but it takes everybody on the team, look at me throw these sports analogies around. It must take every other team to form that culture. And it really is when you're passionate about culture. And when you're passionate about relationships, which is why I wrote the book on it, then it's the real grit, I would say, and reading Angela Duckworth book right now on grit. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. And it's it's certainly about work ethic and dogged determination and you know, hanging in there. But But it's not just about persevering for persevering sake. It's persevering because of your passion and, and knowing what the results could be, if you keep at it. And so and so yes, it's a it's a challenging job. But it's also a very rewarding job when you see the contributions that that you and others can make when you focus on this. Absolutely. And I think, you know, I think what's so fascinating about about your path is the fact that, you know, you came, you came from outside of HR and went into HR. But it was a it was a transferable skill that you brought in that was the ability to connect and understand people. So for anybody who's anybody who's considering getting into HR, or is maybe new into HR, how did you approach that coming into a profession that you were relatively unfamiliar with? full of people who were very familiar with it? Yeah, thanks for asking. It's a great question. I think it's been a long time. So I have to really think that but I, you know, for those of you who are familiar with Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, habit number two is to begin with the end in mind. And, and I think that is, and I've kind of referred to that already, as far as what is the, what is the result of doing this? Right. And I think when I, when I finally was able to get out of my head that, that HR isn't about or shouldn't be about, you know, well, these things have to be included. It's not the focus isn't on having the right benefits plan or making sure that somebody doesn't violate this policy, or what are the policies or things like that, but it's really about helping the business grow. And when people services or HR is done, right. It's all about the nature of the relationships between the people, you know, Jim Collins, best selling author of Good to Great and several other great books, talks about having the right people on the bus. And and while I understand and agree that you've got to have the right people on the bus, it's actually the nature of the relationships between those people, that creates an unstoppable culture and therefore an unstoppable organization. And so and it's, and it's, when I say relationships between people. Certainly, it's about being nice and professional, unpleasant. But it's more about respecting each other's strengths, helping each other with their gaps, and focusing on in a in a proactive, transparent, yet helpful way of helping us all to get better. And so I think my approach was, was certainly didn't happen overnight. And my mindset shift didn't happen overnight. But it was when seeing what this function can really do to contribute to the growth and the and the strength of the organization. That's when I was able to start to make the shift. And also to realize, gosh, I don't, I don't need to be north, nor can anybody be an expert at everything. And we've got to have an expert in benefits, we've got to have an expert in recruiting and now I did have a lot of experience in recruiting. But I'm kind of burned out on that too. And they got to have an expert in you know, 401k plans or whatever it is. And so I surrounded myself, and thank heavens are still here with extraordinarily talented people. That's a big lesson. Many of you have heard the adage or might have heard the adage as higher a pluses and B's higher seas. mean, as if you're a talented person. Don't shy away from hiring people more talented than you are. In fact, that's what really a players do. They hire a plusses and V's who are, you know, okay, but they're insecure. And so they hire C's or DS to surround them because they they need to be the smartest person in the room. And I think, thankfully to some great leaders and mentors that I had earlier on in my career, I knew that very well I knew that I had to I my goal. Not to be the smartest person in the room, but to make sure I gathered together the smartest people in the room because they could and I joke about them making me look good, but they do, but they may. And my strength is to gather the right talent. My strength isn't to know everything, but it's to gather the right talent, and then to trust them, to let them run with their strengths. And I'm here to support and help and learn. So that's that's a long way to answer to how I kind of worked into the the chief people officer role that I'm in today. Not so good. And I think it's so right. I mean, the, the, the role of HR in general, I truly believe that the most effective HR people are the connectors, the ones that can connect the right person to the right role. And then if, you know, yeah, if somebody needs something, you don't have to know it. But if you if you've built the team around you that you can grab that information and connect the right person to the right information at the right time. That's it, that's the secret sauce. And then it's I view HR as an enabler. It's, you know, if it's, if it's done well, it will help you. If it's done bad, it will limit you. Absolutely, I completely agree with you. You know, I think one of the challenges, as well, in HR, especially in 2020, is, a lot of times, one of the things we're not so great at is connecting with other HR professionals, or unloading some of the stress of our of our day, or of our jobs, it can be relatively isolating at times. So do you struggle with that at all in your role? Or what what ways have you worked through some of those challenges as being a senior HR leader within your organization? Yeah, it's a great question. I think it's so important that you acknowledge that because it is dependent on how you approach your HR role. And in the responsibility that you feel for that which again, any job done, right, you should feel a huge sense of responsibility. But there is the the people sign up, which is 90% of it. And while you're helping people work through challenges and change, and maybe issues between, you know, colleagues or leaders in that it is it it is and can be an emotional drain on you. And and there have been times my wife, I've joked and sometimes like joke saying, and this is probably unfair, and she'd kill me Sure here right now, but at the end of my day, or on the weekend, when I'm probably not the best listener, or the best empathizer. And I had said on more than one occasion, like, I spent 60 hours last week, just listening to people, I just, I just need somebody to listen to me. And, and so I don't have a, I don't have the magic answer for that other than own it and acknowledge it, and realize that whatever, and everybody's different. But whatever your sense, your outlet is, because I don't at least I know, I don't realize, you know, right now with zoom calls one after another because of the way we work during this pandemic, but I don't realize the emotional drain that it can take on you to, to, to just be a sounding board for people. And And certainly, hopefully more than a sounding board, you're giving them some feedback and some ideas, but really listening, truly listening and listening to understand not just to reply, truly listening takes a lot more energy than speaking. And so it can, it can be pretty draining. And if you're going to continue to be effective at it, you need to acknowledge it and then recharge at night on the weekends or when you have time to do so. I I am 100% with you the the by the time I get home and and my wife or my kids want to tell me all about their day it is it is a challenge. It is tough and I think anybody in HR unless you're like an extreme extrovert it can be challenging. When you're in HR at least I think most people are drawn Twitter or and that there because you care about people and well I think we all care about people you care about people at a deeper level you realize that everyone has something to offer that everyone is we say at Franklin Covey has some form of greatness in them. And so because you care about them at this deeper level, you really you really put more into that listening and understanding and again, what a great thing, but also what a taxing thing if you're not careful. Absolutely. And that's that's where you know, I think HR people I encourage everybody you know, join a network finds find people that that deal with the same challenges and and, you know, preferably not your spouse, because I don't know about I don't know about Utah but eventually my wife Long enough into my career said, I don't want to hear about HR anymore. And then I'm like, geez, I don't think I have anything else to talk. I'm gonna get a hobby. And I have a little bit of opposite problem, because my wife would love to hear I have been working out of my home for the last eight months, nine months. And so when she'll walk past where she's home, and here's that she'll say, hey, what was that about? And honestly, after the day is over, it's the last thing I want to talk about. Can we talk about anything else? Oh, but but the points the same? You make? Yeah, yeah. Well, I think it's, it's, I think the challenge and, you know, part of the great aspect of the, the opportunity to work from home is the, the connection with family and, you know, being able to kind of, you know, work from wherever, whenever, but, you know, the flip side of that is trying to disconnect and, and, and actually take a break is also a challenge, because you know, your laptops right there. Right? they'll pop in good point. Absolutely. Good, good, great, great feedback. And great topic, I, one of the things that you talked about earlier that I want to I want to dive into a little bit it was revolved around feedback. And I, I grew up in the, in the era when you know, you, you kind of named things in a positive manner. So you didn't actually say what they were so like, you know, problems were called opportunities. And, and one of those things, one of those terms was feedback, you know, and feedback was, was essentially used in my organization to chew people out. That was, that was the positive buzzword to go, you know, go give it to somebody and tell them how much they so So, you've got a topic in the book, called make it safe to tell the truth? Can you expand upon that a little bit? And how does it How does feedback truly become safe? Yeah, great question. So let me ask you, Kyle, somebody says to you, hey, Kyle, you have a few minutes, I got some feedback for you. What do you immediately think or feel? Well, an expletive probably pops in my head, and then I immediately, and then I immediately tense up for whatever. negative statement. Exactly, yeah. And while there may be some exceptions, I think 99% of people listening right now we're thinking the same thing like, Oh, crap, what did I do now? or feedback? Oh, my gosh, it's Christmas. Next week, what are you doing? Well, so whatever, we hear this word feedback, and we do most of us freeze up and think this is going to be bad feedback, I like to start with just the origin of the word. You know, feedback feed means to to nourish, or to sustain or to foster and back means to support. So I just want to remind everyone, leaders, managers, colleagues, anyone giving feedback, we're receiving it, that the intent of feedback is to help now, but it's the way we give feedback. And it is what our intent is that makes all the difference. So in chapter 13, which is called make it safe to tell the truth. I'm asking you the question. It's like I asked earlier, you know, to think about what is it like to work with me? I asked the question, when was the last time you asked for feedback, you know, one of us haven't received feedback. But when was the last time you proactively asked for feedback. Because this is how we make it safe to tell the truth, anyone with a leadership hat on through no fault of your own, you've already made it pretty unsafe for people to tell you the truth. And you didn't do that. It's just your title alone, nobody is going to feel comfortable telling their boss or their leader, the person who's in charge of their career path, or any increase in pay or whatever, you know that they are really bad at something, or whatever. And so, but not just leaders, every one of us, if we really want to get better, if we really want to be on this continuous journey of getting better, well, then we need to work on those things. We're not aware of those blind spots, which is why they're called blind spots because we can't see them. So like the friend I was talking about earlier, who is extremely talented, but really difficult to work with. And probably doesn't realize or maybe doesn't realize just how that is playing itself out of work and how much is not getting done or getting done great because of this. And so in so anyone who's listening, you all have blind spots. I have blind spots, and I and I again, I laugh when somebody told me a couple of weeks ago, well no, I know what my blind spots are. Oh, really? Well, then they wouldn't be called blind spots would be we none of us knows what our true blind spots are. Now we might know where we need to get better and work on some things. But those people who are most effective and therefore contribute most of their organizations, they proactively ask for feedback. And quite frankly, it's the way we ask for feedback that makes all the difference. For example, Kyle, if I refinish this podcast today, and I call you right after I say, hey, Kyle, what did you think of the podcast? What? What are you going to say? Probably? That's great. Yeah. Okay. And so think about that when you in your when you're working relationships, when you show up at a colleagues door, and you just ran the team meeting and you say, hey, Cindy, what did you think of the way we're in the meeting? Well put on the spotlight that Cindy's going to say, oh, Todd, it was great. Or just like Kyle, podcast was great. But if I really want to get better, I might say to Kyle, before we take the podcast, or I might say to Cindy, before I leave the meeting, he Cindy, I'm really trying to get better at the effectiveness and the way I leave these meetings, would you I mean, in addition to of course, participating, like you always, would you mind taking a few notes, during the meeting of ways you think, as the meeting facilitator or leader that I could do a better job. And then in the in the coming days, when you have a few minutes, we could get together and you could share with me what some of your insights were, would you mind doing that? You see how I just made it very safe, or at least much more safe for Cindy, to tell me the truth, versus showing up at her cubicle or her doors and what to think of how I found the meeting. This is what proactive, Highly Effective People, not just leaders, but individual contributors, this is what they do. This is how they make it safe to tell the truth. And their intent comes through loud and clear. Because somebody says that to me, like I just the example I just share with you, that tells me Wow, he's serious about getting better at this. And when we do that on a team, whether we're the leader or not, it starts to become contagious. And we create this culture of giving and receiving feedback that helps the team and ultimately the entire organization improve. Yeah, that's an interesting point. And I'm reflecting on experiences there, especially on the cultural piece, because I've been a part of culture where, you know, quote, feedback was part of the culture. And it was like, it was like forced feedback. Mm hmm. Like it at the end of every meeting, you have to, you know, write down one thing and, and, you know, you have to do X number of coachings, and document them every, you know, week, that kind of thing. And then it honestly became kind of toxic. But the way that you just described it sounds much more healthy. Well, yeah, that would be that if they're really intended to help over to get better than Yeah, you want it to be, like you said, not not positive, just only say nice things, but a healthy form. One other thing I would just suggest and working with certain leaders, if you're in a team or organization that hasn't been used to giving feedback, or it's been forced feedback, like the situation you were describing, it's helpful to kind of announce the change as the leader and say, Hey, I just want everybody to know, I'm going to I would really like we have a great team, you're all very talented. And I certainly have ways I can get better. I think we all do. So I'm going to initiate a more regular cadence of feedback on our team. So I want you to know that when I have some feedback for you, it's a great thing. It's a it's a thing that says, hey, I want you to know, you do a lot of really things. Well, a lot of things really well. And here are some things that I think are maybe holding you back that you could even do better. And here, this is important. I would like you to do the same with me. You know, I know I'm a leader. And I know that, you know, that could be a little intimidating. But I am serious about me continue to get better in my leadership role. So I will ask you for specific things and specific behaviors that I can do better. And I hope you'll allow me the freedom to do that with you. And let's all start to feel comfortable giving that feedback, knowing that we're all here for the long haul. We want to help each other get better. That's the kind of language I would use and have used as a leader to help this be a healthy, healthy behavior in our organization instead of when it's forced or we're not so healthy. Yeah. And I just reflect back to you know, our earlier conversation. I think so much of that comes down to trust, too, right? Absolutely. What's your real intent? Do I trust your intent? You're right, right. Right. Yeah, I'm taking notes right now because I, you know, similar situation, my, my organization is global. There's a lot of cultural differences as well. But ultimately, we still, we still want the same level of feedback and trust, regardless of what country somebody sits in. But yeah, it's it's easier said than done. It's really easy to map this out on a white piece of paper, it's really hard to actually do it. Couldn't agree more. I'm really good at putting together Hey, this program is going to be perfect. Or if you could hand the other person this script and you say, Okay, I'll say this, then you say this then and a law workout. Yeah. That way. Oh, man that Yeah, yeah. If only we could modify human behavior. Exactly. We, we would have the easiest jobs in the world. So when it comes to you touched on the intent, is there or have you experienced the the the person that's going about gathering the feedback with the wrong intent? And how do you how do you spot that? And how do you address that when you see somebody doing that? Yes. Well, it's a great question. Not often, which, you know, maybe I just hang out with cool people, but, but not often, but on occasion, I'll have a manager who she or he is well intended, I think, but they're willing tended, and they're a little bit short sighted, you know, one of the one of the practices that I talked about to get better book, practice number five is see the tree, not just the seedling, it's all about seeing potential in others. And again, sometimes we do have the wrong person on the bus. And the most the kindest, and the most helpful thing we can do for that person is help them see that and then get them off the bus and into another bus, you know, another organization where they can really contribute. But more often than not, more often than not, I've seen managers and leaders be too quick to write somebody off. And so when you get back to your question about gathering feedback, they're looking for evidence to support their belief already, that this person isn't the right fit. And so that's all the evidence they look for. And they try and gather enough evidence. But their intent, again, is to have a high performing team. So their intent isn't bad. But I think their intent can be broadly to say, wait a minute, this person, there was a reason we hired this person. Now, maybe they're the wrong person on the best. Before we jump to that conclusion. Let's look for evidence of what do they do well, and then what are the gaps, and I will often talk to a manager when she or he comes to me and says, Hey, so and so's got to go, this is not working out. And they'll tell me all the problems. And boy, it does sound like so and so has to go. But then I will always pause or try to pause and say, so tell me, what does Marla do? Well? Well, I don't know. I can't see anything. She goes well, because this and this, and this is so screwed up. Okay, but pause that for a minute. If you hadn't hit what is it that she does? Well, well, okay, she's pretty good at this. And if you can get people to start thinking about the positives are not trying to make it just this happy rose colored glasses place. Let's think about what they do. Well, Could she or he be coached? Is this an area? Has anybody brought this to their attention? Has anybody had the difficult but transparent conversation? And those questions? Sometimes the answers are yes to all those, but sometimes many times they're not. And so I have yet to meet someone who's just mean spirited and lets everybody out and, and doesn't have any really good reason for it. Fortunately, but but I have, that I have worked with many people who just want to get the team more productive. And in their minds, the easiest way is to swap this person out and get somebody better, that they believe is better. And, and more often than not, there's some gold right there sitting in front of them, they just need to mine a little bit coaching a little bit, help that person invest in that person. And as I say, in the practice, see the tree and not just the ceiling. Yeah, and I think you used a term that's so important, and I think, potentially concerning and that's fit. Because when what somebody defines is fit, may not be the best fit for the organization. But but I do think that, you know, that's something especially now as we look at some of our diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives that have been Top of Mind, especially in 2020, that fit could actually be a negative way to focus on an employee. Absolutely. Are they not a fit? Because they don't look like me sound like me think like me, easy to get along with because they agree with all my ideas that that's a wrong way to look at. Now, if they're not a fit, because I'm making this up. You know, Franklin Covey is an organization that helps companies achieve results when when the achievement of those results require changing human behavior. And we tend to attract people who are passionate because they see the potential in others and they know that behavior with the right tools and processes can be changed. Now, if we've got someone who says, Well, yeah, I don't really care about that. I just want to make a whole bunch of money selling. And you know, I made a million dollars last year selling kitchen, kitchen appliances. So how much money can I make? That person is probably not a fit for Franklin Covey, not because they don't look like me or sound like me, but because their passion, their interest, which is fine, is all about making money but not about changing human behavior. Those are the kind of fits you want to really focus on. Are they a fit for what we're trying To accomplish in the organization, but are they a fit for our culture? Well, maybe the very thing we need is someone who's not a quote unquote, fit for our culture. So we can get some different new, better, diverse thinking in our team or our group. So it's, it's You're so smart. Kyle, it's a very cautionary word, this word fit and what we really mean by it. Yeah, it's been it's, it's been fascinating. And, you know, I, I've been blessed to work at wonderful organizations. But I can't tell you how many times I have to remind people that just because they don't like the same football team as you, doesn't mean they're a bad person. Oh, it's something something as silly as that, you know, it's it's just, it's just a big red flag for me. But But I think a great, great point well made, they still have to fit the fit the the organizational objectives, it would that track back to intent in your mind. That's right. That's exactly right. I think you said that very well. It's just that they need to, they need to fit, what our mission and our vision and our values are all about. That's where you look for fit, but but you want to do that, depending on what your mission is. You want people who bring a completely different perspective than, than you have, and to push against things that have been enormous for so long, and things like that, so that you can truly start thinking differently. Well, Todd, I am so so excited to talk to you today. I can't believe we've already almost come up on our time together here. But I want to be respectful of your time. So we're going to shift gears and we're going to go into the the HR rebel flash round. And so hold on your seats. Here come some scissors. All right. Question number one, what are you reading right now? right this minute? Well, let's see right now. Well, I mentioned it earlier, I'm reading the Angela Duckworth book called grit. And like I said, it's about it's really I say it's about work ethic. It's about your passion, your drive around something meaningful, and not giving up just because something gets hard. And again, it's not just about emotions, and and you know, your your tenacity, all those are parts of it. But it's about seeing seeing the end in mind. It's about seeing what what can be done, if you hang in there and do this. Right. So, so great read, that's a book I highly recommend out to check that out. And she has an amazing story. Yes. Oh, yeah, I'm putting that one on the list for sure. All right, question number two, Who should we be listening to? We should be listening to facts. Again, I'm not trying to get political here. We should. So I think about science, we should be listening sites, we should be listening to facts, we should be careful, regardless of the topic, whether it's politics, or the virus, or whatever. To do our research, to, to not get to try to not get caught up in the in the emotions, and the feelings of a topic without first doing our research. So I know I'm kind of answering this in a roundabout way. But I'm, I'm thinking, listening, and we talked earlier about credibility, behavior, way to credibility. And so listen to people with credibility, meaning people have a track record for whatever your your, you know, belief system and what you value is, listen to people who have credibility in that arena and a long history of that not nobody's perfect by any means. But, but that's what I would. That's what I would say, as a few, you know, you're talking about what I'm reading another book I've read? Well, several of his books is Seth Godin. And linchpin is a book that comes to mind. Seeing if I still have it on my bookshelf, are you indispensable? So Seth Godin, I get a daily blog, if you're not, this is free. If you're not subscribed to it, I would highly recommend it. He sends out just the most provoking thoughts every day are amazing. And so he's someone I'm, it's a great question. You ask them thinking, I listened to him a lot through his, through his daily thoughts and advice that comes out. Perfect, perfect. And well said and I don't think there's, I don't think there's anything controversial about challenging people to confront something that might not be true, and ensure that the source that they're listening to is factual and steeped in expert opinion. I'm with you. Alright, last question here. How can our listeners connect with you? Well, that's easy. So if you just go to the Franklin covey.com that's our website, WWE www dot Franklin covey.com. And just there's a search a search bar there and you can look me up and I'm listed there with our executive team. And then I think I have a thought leader page because I do some keynotes around the world from based on these books that I've been privileged to write and, and that's the the best way to connect. Connect with me. Absolutely. Todd, thank you so much been a fantastic conversation and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I just My only regret is I wish we had more time because I just love to kick back and continue to learn more from him. But I guarantee that our listeners are walking away with some some great nuggets. And I encourage all of our listeners to check out get better by Todd Davis. I promise this isn't an infomercial, but I'm just telling you, it's a good book. And I've learned a lot from you, Kyle, and I appreciate the The very thought provoking questions and insights that you've added. So thank you for this opportunity. Thanks, Todd.

Kyle Roed:

Have a great rest of your day.

Todd Davis:

Thank you.

Kyle Roed:

All right. That does it for the rebel HR podcast. Our guests, follow us on Facebook at rebel HR podcast, Twitter, at rebel HR guy, or see our website at rebel human resources.com. Using opinions expressed by revelry podcast is the author's policy or position

Jude Roed:

maybe