Rebel Human Resources Podcast

Episode 30: Leading with Heart with Dr. Johanna Pagonis - Don't be an A**hole

February 09, 2021 Kyle Roed / Dr. Johanna Pagonis Season 1 Episode 30
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 30: Leading with Heart with Dr. Johanna Pagonis - Don't be an A**hole
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Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 30: Leading with Heart with Dr. Johanna Pagonis - Don't be an A**hole
Feb 09, 2021 Season 1 Episode 30
Kyle Roed / Dr. Johanna Pagonis

Join Kyle Roed, as he discusses "heart" in the workplace with Dr. Johanna Pagonis, owner of Sinogap Solutions, and Author of Choose to be a leader Others Would Want To Follow.  A book that grew out of her desire to support managers in learning how to become emotionally intelligent leaders that can achieve organizational success while inspiring and motivating others.

About Johanna: My goal is to transform workplaces that have a climate of command and control to one of possibility. We spend most of our lives at work, so why can't we actually enjoy and find fulfillment in what we do. It still surprises me how many people tell me..."it's just a job"..."it is a means to an end"..."its a paycheque".

In today's global market it is not enough to accept the status quo, especially if we want our companies to thrive!

The key is to invest in your people, especially your emerging leaders, and give them the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be emotionally intelligent, resilient, agile, and lead others in an engaging and empowering way.

If you have made the commitment to create a culture where your managers and employees can grow, take risks and embrace innovation, but you do not have the internal expertise and resources to take on this immense initiative, contact me. My company, Sinogap Solutions, offers online courses, virtually led workshops, coaching, and organizational consulting that will support your managers in getting the skills they need to achieve organizational success.

What’s next: To learn more about Sinogap Solutions, and our capabilities, check out our website, podcast, YouTube channel, and blog. Feel free to contact and add me to your social media networks.

Johanna just launched a new program:  Leading with the Heart – Ignite your Inner Purpose 

Dr. Johanna Pagonis | Owner
Contact me: jpagonis@sinogapsolutions.com 
https://learn.sinogapsolutions.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.

Subscribe today on your favorite podcast player!  

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/

We love to hear from our listeners!  Send us questions or comments at kyleroed@gmail.com

Rebel ON, HR Rebels!  



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

Show Notes Transcript

Join Kyle Roed, as he discusses "heart" in the workplace with Dr. Johanna Pagonis, owner of Sinogap Solutions, and Author of Choose to be a leader Others Would Want To Follow.  A book that grew out of her desire to support managers in learning how to become emotionally intelligent leaders that can achieve organizational success while inspiring and motivating others.

About Johanna: My goal is to transform workplaces that have a climate of command and control to one of possibility. We spend most of our lives at work, so why can't we actually enjoy and find fulfillment in what we do. It still surprises me how many people tell me..."it's just a job"..."it is a means to an end"..."its a paycheque".

In today's global market it is not enough to accept the status quo, especially if we want our companies to thrive!

The key is to invest in your people, especially your emerging leaders, and give them the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be emotionally intelligent, resilient, agile, and lead others in an engaging and empowering way.

If you have made the commitment to create a culture where your managers and employees can grow, take risks and embrace innovation, but you do not have the internal expertise and resources to take on this immense initiative, contact me. My company, Sinogap Solutions, offers online courses, virtually led workshops, coaching, and organizational consulting that will support your managers in getting the skills they need to achieve organizational success.

What’s next: To learn more about Sinogap Solutions, and our capabilities, check out our website, podcast, YouTube channel, and blog. Feel free to contact and add me to your social media networks.

Johanna just launched a new program:  Leading with the Heart – Ignite your Inner Purpose 

Dr. Johanna Pagonis | Owner
Contact me: jpagonis@sinogapsolutions.com 
https://learn.sinogapsolutions.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.

Subscribe today on your favorite podcast player!  

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/

We love to hear from our listeners!  Send us questions or comments at kyleroed@gmail.com

Rebel ON, HR Rebels!  



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

Johanna Pagonis:

All of us are human, we make mistakes and our emotions get the better of us. But are we able to say, yeah, that wasn't the best way to approach it. Can you go to your employees or your colleagues and say, I messed up there? I apologize. I want to do better next time. What can I do better next time? Are you able to do that?

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. All right, Rebel HR listeners. I'm extremely excited for today's guest, Dr. Joanna conus, the published author, international speaker and podcaster, with over 20 years experience in leadership roles, organizational effectiveness strategies that she's gained through professional and academic career, she's got a number of different areas of expertise. Today, we're going to be talking about how organizations can lead through the heart to drive commitment versus compliance. Welcome to the show. Joanne,

Johanna Pagonis:

thank you. So glad to be on Kyle.

Kyle Roed:

So I was really excited to make the connection and a previous podcast guest, Jeff Harry was on and we had a great conversation, a ton of fun. And he said, Hey, you got you got to connect with Joanna. So I'm really looking forward to today's conversation and, and looking forward to continuing to learn from you. So thank you so much for being here today.

Johanna Pagonis:

How are you? Welcome.

Kyle Roed:

Alright, so so let's go ahead and get get right into it. So I love your focus. And it really resonates with me, and I'm sure, a number of our listeners who feel that our jobs at times can be heartless, and challenging and trying to kind of walk the line between empathy and execution. It's one of those unique things in HR, that it's just really, really tough, especially over the last 13 months now, so. So why don't we start off? Why don't you just tell me a little bit about, about yourself, your organization and how you found this to be an area of your focus? Yeah,

Johanna Pagonis:

thank you. Um, so where I'll begin is kind of like when I started to, you know, when I was a teenage I'll, I'll make it brief, I promise. But when I was thinking about what I wanted to do, for the rest of my life, I wanted to you heard that that same from Confucius, if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. And, and, and that really stuck with me. And I wanted to make sure that whatever career I chose would be meaningful, and purposeful. And through a lot of soul searching and, and getting kicked out of university, because I was going through the motions at that point in my life, you go to university, after you graduate from high school, you just, you follow this path that's been laid out for you, for your parent, from your parents, and you don't question it. And that didn't obviously work. For me, I'm like, I got to rethink my strategy in terms of what I'm gonna do for the rest of my life. And, and I realized I want to help people, I want to give people the skills that they need to deal with life's challenges, to increase their well being and to, to support and help other people to write to contribute to the well being of other people. And so I pursued a career in psychology, I thought I was going to become a marriage family counselor. And the reason why I wanted to focus on families was because I was fascinated by systems. And I thought, well, you can work with an individual, but if the system they live in doesn't change, how likely will that person you know, achieve success. And I was working with a lot of at risk youth, children, and I could see that the system that they were functioning and living within was part of the problem. And so that's why I wanted to become a marriage family counselor. But, you know, I moved I ended up moving as an in May, in my early 30s, I moved to a different province, which was about four hour plane ride away from where I lived, and, and working in the nonprofit world was becoming a little precarious, because I didn't have that stability and consistency in terms of a paycheck. And so under point to the corporate world, and you know, I thought well, there you know, I decided to take a bit of a spin on what I was doing and actually start to do a little bit more on learning and development, because it was so grounded in human psychology, behavior, motivation, how looking at how adults learn and creating a learning environment that would support their their employee performance and development. And then from there went over to organizational effectiveness. So looking at organizations as a system, and how instead of rather empowering an individual in a system and giving them the development they need to increase their performance, how do you impact and influence change, positive change across an organization, and I realized that my purpose in life to help people didn't change, you know, instead of doing it with families as a system, I was now looking at improving people's lives within a organizational system. And I did that for my employer for many, many years. And I worked in all sectors from obviously, I mentioned nonprofit, I worked a little bit in the in the for profit sector, and then ended my career working in government organizations. And I found after doing that, for a while I wanted, I really wanted to do that for myself for my own business, and work with a broad range of companies, not just with government organizations, but actually work with people like in all different industries and sectors. And that's when I started cynnal gap solutions, I loved so much what I did, then I just want to do it full time, I really, I realized that this has been my purpose for my whole life. And I just need to, you know, pull the trigger and take my part time consulting business and just invest the time and make it full time. And so that's what I've been doing. And and and I get to impact and influence change across the organization, with so many different companies. And really my goal and my purpose is, you know, work with individuals, but I also work with organizational leaders to see how we can impact and influence and transform their organizations. And ultimately, what I do is I get, if I'm working at an organizational level, I get the leaders within that organization to really discover and articulate what their purposes and then by maximizing the human potential within their company, help them not only achieve their purpose, But sir, and their potential, but to surpass it as well. And I do that by like I said, by maximizing the human potential, and really focusing on the role that leaders play, and how to give them the skills that they need to truly be able to engage and empower their employees, and not through mechanisms of compliance, which most of the time when a company brings me in, or manager will bring me in to help them empower and engage their team, I really see that they're functioning with this mindset, and belief system of compliance, I try to get them to shift that thinking, and ask them to critically think about, well, what do you need to get people to commit? You know, people, you know, create an environment where people are committed to themselves, they're teammates, to the organization, they understand what they do, they understand why they do it. And they actually want to be there every day. They're not there, because they have to, because they're collecting a paycheck. But they're there because they're intrinsically motivated to bring their best every day. And, and although a lot of this is common sense to me, the truth is, most workplaces function within a mindset of compliance. And the majority of employees are either actively disengaged, or an icy majority, like we're looking at 50 60%, especially when you look at the Gallup, you know, stats on employee engagement, the right kind of hovered around 60 ish, you know, sometimes it may go up a little, and sometimes they may go down, but they're, you know, we're basically doing a C, we're in a C, you know, c c plus at best, sometimes, we've been like that for decades. So and and employees that are not actively engaged, they're actively sabotaging the organization. So we need to shift the way we do our business, and we can only be focused on profits, we also have to be focused on the well being of our people. And if we can do that, you'll naturally make money you will and customers want to buy from companies that actually care not only about their community, they care about the people that that work for that company too. And so I try to work with organizations, why not try do work with organizations to try and get them to see that, that new mindset and and give them the tools that they need to achieve it.

Kyle Roed:

Now that sounds you're speaking my language I, I consider HR kind of like the psychologist of the business. And I think one of the things that keeps me motivated and is just a fascination with human behavior. And, and why somebody makes the choices that they do. It's like a, so every day I come to work, it's like a it's like a case study in psychology, but, you know, I think the work that you do, first of all, I agree 100% that that is that is where organizations need to go. I think that's where I have seen, you know, my employees expect my organization to be there already. And I just I see this as the next trend within business. As it as I look at business survival, you know, if you can figure out the culture question and truly fix the engagement issue. I just think you're gonna win in the marketplace is that what you have have experienced in your role?

Johanna Pagonis:

Absolutely. One of the things that I did well, that I became known for in my past and previous organization I worked for was, people are top organizational leaders, you know, when they had a team that was struggling, for whatever reason, and sometimes we label individuals with within teams, and then we labeled the whole team as dysfunctional or high maintenance, or whatever they would bring me in to say, let's, let's actually kind of examine what's going on in this team. And let's see what we can do to turn this team around so that they perform better. And what I discovered over time, was that these people felt like that they were led by individuals that didn't care about them, and didn't set them to succeed. And it's hard to set somebody up to succeed, when you don't make the effort to get to know who they are, what they need to do their jobs better. What are the obstacles that you as a leader need to be aware of so that you can help remove them like they were led by individuals who locked themselves in their office and tried to do the job that their direct reports were supposed to be doing? And I found that when I went in and just did simple, simple things, like, what do you need for me to do your job better, increased engagement, like 10%. And I might say engagement, like somebody walked out of my office feeling a little later, they felt like they had a leader that I used the analogy that they were functioning within with a leader that had one foot on their chest and one foot on their back and made it impossible for them to breathe. And, and that's why they were not succeeding. And when I came in, I asked a simple question, what do you need for me to do your job better? They felt like one foot had been removed. And a simple question like that, or even saying, hey, I want to get to know you better. Can we have a one on one was revolutionary for them? You actually want to speak to me? Yeah, I want to speak to you. I want to know what you do. Really? Yeah, I was like, it was amazing. I'm like, okay, we can only go up from here. So when you actually cared, and caring doesn't mean you don't hold people accountable. Because there is a thing called Karen candor, but when you care. It's amazing how people will show up to work every day, because they feel like they have somebody that has their back. And when you don't have to hold them accountable, they respect it a little bit more, because you've demonstrated that you care about them, and you want them to succeed, and sometimes to make people succeed, you have to hold them or others and sometimes yourself accountable.

Kyle Roed:

100% 100% Yeah, it's you know, it's it's almost sad. I mean, the engagement, it's, it's depressing to read the engagement statistics that how disengaged people are. But to your comment, you know, we talked about this actually, last week's episode, but, you know, it's kind of like, you're out running a bear in the woods, you don't necessarily have to be the fastest, you just have to be faster than the slowest person out running the bear. Right? Like, that's, that's kind of where I see engagement. In, in our organization, sometimes it's, you know, you just have to be a little bit better. Yeah, and, and focus on it a little bit. So, I'd like to explore that. And I'm gonna, I'm gonna be honest here that I agree 100% with what you're saying? 100%. And, and I think all of the listeners listening to this, anybody that listens to this probably agrees or they probably wouldn't be listening to this podcast. Right? I think we're like minded people, right? But it's, it's common sense. But it's really hard sometimes to, to take a step back and get our heads out of checking the box and being compliant, and forcing things to be black and white. Like, I think at least that's how my that's how my brain works. That's how I get stuff done. That's how I'm efficient. So what, what steps can we take to hold ourselves accountable? to having heart? Yeah, that's

Johanna Pagonis:

wonderful question. And I was just talking to somebody recently about that. And I said, You know, I believe that the key to unlocking somebody's leadership potential, whether you are a formal leader, meaning that you occupy a formal supervisory role or position like you had that designated title, or whether you're an informal leader, meaning that you don't necessarily have a group of people reporting to you, but you do have influence in an organization, even if you're an individual contributor, right? So the key to unlocking your leadership potential, whether informal a formal leader is through emotional intelligence. And I discovered that through my research, so I have been in leadership positions for nearly two decades to from frontline supervisor to executive positions. And over time, like when I started to do my PhD, I just I wanted I wanted to figure out how to managers learn to manage people because the truth is many organizations and this will answer your question is we don't do a good job. We don't have a system of leadership development in our companies, from small to large companies, we promote you, because you did what you did really well. And you have a heartbeat, and we need somebody to occupy the position. So I, you know, you know, I, as your senior leader, I've been doing your job and my job, and it's just too much work for me. So please just take this temporary acting position as a manager and just do your job. And that's how we promote people. And we set them up to fail. And when a leader fails, a formal leader, everybody that everybody that reports to them, we're setting them up to fail, too. And so when I just want to figure out how do we support managerial development through everyday work, not just to formal training, but through everyday work. And I got challenged by my supervisory committee, they said, you're conflating the terms management leadership? I'm like, Yeah, they're the same, aren't they? Really, they're the same? And they're like, No, no, they're very different. We challenge you to look at the literature. And it didn't really have to look at the literature, although I did, but through the feedback and input I got from my participants, so I did interviews, but I followed them in the field, too. And you know, what I did I, I wanted to, I didn't, I actually went into some pretty volatile, dangerous workplaces, because I wanted to see if I'm a leader, and I'm working in a volatile, dangerous environment, where there is a lot of risk safety issues to me and my staff, just by the very nature of my job. And if I could see how they learned to be leaders, then no one has an excuse to say, I'm overworked. I, I can't engage people, I can't I can't be the leader you want me to be because I'm overwhelmed? Well, these leaders in dangerous workplace environments, it's just by the nature of their job, it was in law enforcement. So you know, if they could do it, there's no excuse for other people to do it. And the things that they shared with me, you know, I was able to categorize under four main competencies. And when I looked at these competencies, I realized that these were, these were the four domains of emotional intelligence. And it all starts with self awareness. That's the first domain of emotional intelligence, when you ask the question, like, how do I move away from a compliance mindset? Because I'm so busy, and I'm overwhelmed. And I do many of my tasks superficially, so I just want to tell people to do what they need to do and leave me alone. How do I move from that to being a more engaging leader start, it starts with self awareness. So first, you need to, you have to make yourself open to getting feedback from others. So first, you have to engage in some self reflective questions around why am I a leader in the first place? Did I do it for the prestige? Do I do it for the paycheck? Did I do it for the the corner office, although not many of us are actually working physical work places anymore, right? But did I? Did I do it for that? Or did I do it for another intrinsic motivation? Because I believe in this organization, I, I want to improve people's working conditions, I want to make a difference. Is that why I became a leader? So start there, ask yourself some questions like, why did I want to be a leader? Where do I struggle? Where are my strengths? What do I do well, and get feedback, like create your own 360? What do ask people that are close to you and and your direct reports? What do I do? Well, what could I do better? What do you need for me to do a better job. And if you're not humble enough, or open enough, or feel comfortable enough to embrace that vulnerability, to develop self awareness, then really rethink the fact that you're in a leadership position. Because if you're not willing to go there, you will never be that leader, who knows how to get people to be committed to the organization and their teammates versus just compliance. So it starts with self awareness. And through self awareness, you'll get a better understanding of how your emotions can either enable you and support you to achieve positive outcomes or control you and get you to do things that you shouldn't do. Like, all of us are human, we make mistakes, and our emotions get the better of us. But are we able to say, yeah, that wasn't the best way to approach it. Can you go to your employees or your colleagues and say, I messed up there, I apologize. I want to do better next time. What can I do better next time? Are you able to do that? Right? And, and if I were to ask you, you know, do you know what the purpose of your organization is? And, and how what you do contributes to successful successful achievement of that mission? If you're if you were, if you look at me like a deer in the headlights and have no clue how to answer that question. Then once again, like you will not be able to get people to be committed to the organization. No, you're functioning definitely within a compliant mindset. You just show up to work and look at your to do list and your success, your achievement or your your method of measuring achievement is checking the boxes. You don't understand the vision or the purpose of the organization because if you did, you'd be able to see beyond the checklist and understand how what you do How you empower your team can achieve that vision or purpose. And last but not least, do you make an effort? And I should mention that that's what social awareness is about. And last but not least, do you make an effort to get to know people? Do you know how many kids your direct reports have? Or no kids at all? Like, do you? Do you know what they need to do to show up and do their best at work? Do? Like, you know, do you meet with them or touch base with them regularly? So when you are in a meeting with other managers, and somebody is about to make a decision that could impact your team? Most definitely. Well, can you speak up and see how either that will empower your team or disempower them? And I see a lot of managers not advocating for their team, because they don't even know what it is that their team needs. So they just throw the Yes, person in the meeting. Yep. Yeah, that sounds good. That sounds good. And then you go and you dictate to your team, this is the direction we're moving in, you better comply, or there'll be consequences. You know, I know, it's hard sometimes to get out of the checkbox mindset. But when you behave in these ways, where you're not really empowering your team, you're going to work that much harder on the checklist, you're going to work that much harder and getting them to comply, it is a lot easier when they're committed, you have less work to do, you don't have to check the boxes on that list anymore. They're checking them for you, they're coming to you to tell you what they've done before you even have to ask them what they did what they did, right. So if you are able to be patient, able to let go of the reins a little bit, admit you don't know everything and ask people to help you. Slowly, you will transform your team to be more committed to self others in the organization that you will find you'll have more time to actually do the work that you're supposed to do as a manager, if that makes sense.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. No, you're speaking to speaking to my heart here talking about heart. I mean, I, I think one of the things that drives me crazy about HR is it it's so easy to be compliance focused. And I've seen this, I've seen the dichotomy of what it's like to be in an organization where people are truly empowered in an organization where empowered is true is just a buzzword. Right? And the drastic difference in my workload, as an HR professional is night and day. Yes. You know, the organization where people were not empowered. It was like being a, it was like nitpicking every little thing and having to be involved in every decision and having like this command and control requirement within my job, and it just really sucked. It wasn't very fun. It was frustrating. And then it was it, what it turned into is it I truly believe it eroded trust, because I was checking up and double checking. And inevitably, I'd always find something that wasn't done the way it was supposed to be done. And it was just, it was a very contentious environment, versus what I have now. I work in a great company, I have a blast at work. And I have a team who is empowered and does exactly what you just said, they come to me and tell me what they did. And then typically, it's done the way I would have recommended it. But if it's not, you know, there's an there's an openness and a conversation about why not and you know what, a lot of times, it's better than I would have recommended it anyways. You know, but yeah, speaking of my heart there,

Johanna Pagonis:

you know, I feel for my HR colleagues, like I am not like, as I mentioned, my background is in human behavior and psychology. I did not I was not born and raised and reared in HR world, if you will, or I don't come from that academic side of the world. And most of my career has not been in HR. There was a small stint where my team, you know, learning and development odd was sucked into the HR department. And within a year they spit us out, they realized that we didn't and, and I gotta tell you, my I remember my first day walking into the HR department, I thought I was in a funeral home. I was like, where the film directors everyone was. And it was labor relations. area.

Kyle Roed:

knifes. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. That talk about Yeah, I get it. I know exactly what you're talking about. Right?

Johanna Pagonis:

And then I was like, you know if so? No, I love your tie, like disruptive. Let's disrupt HR, right, the principles behind what does it really mean to disrupt HR? And I feel like, we have to take a look at what do we teach our HR practitioners? are we teaching them things like, are we teaching them mostly about legislation, policy? things around compliance around what employees need to do our organizations need to do to ensure that their people are safe and they show up and they do what they're supposed to do? Or do we infuse some of that with some good old fashioned human behavior and psychology, how you motivate human beings to show up and do their best every day. And then you know, not only start there and look at look at how we what we teach Or HR practitioners, but then what happens when they enter into the field. And my HR colleagues have always been overburdened. So one HR consultant, and I love how I see a shift in HR. They're changing, they want to transform HR. And they do so by starting to change the titles, or the name of the HR department. And I know the language we use really impacts our perspective. But if all you're going to do is change the title of your HR department, from HR department to Employee Services, or people office or department like but not change anything else, or just you know, you're dressing a wolf in sheep's clothes, like you're not doing anything different. And what I see is, let's change the name of our department. Let's give everybody a new job title. And maybe we'll even tinker with their job description. But you will still be responsible for many people, one HR consultant, or business transformation strategist to 90 people, three departments, and you're like, how have you set that HR person up to succeed? All they can do is function with a compliance mindset, because they, nobody goes to HR when things are going well, people go to, like, like you said, caught when things aren't good. And how can I do my job as an HR person, if you want me to be that one stop shop for you, everything relating to human resources and human behavior and human potential? I'm going to be all of that for you, then you can have 90 people, I can't have a 90 person caseload like I can't have a 90 caseload. Because I always say it's one HR person to 90 people, it's actually not 90 people, it's like 90 departments, if you will, right. It's it's 90 work areas, it's too much. So I feel if we're going to disrupt HR, then I challenge HR leaders to take a look at what are we teaching in our HR universe universities and diplomas or certificates? And then what do you do to set your people up for success? So they can really transform the organizations you work for, or work for away from compliance towards commitments. So just a shout out to my HR colleagues who I mean, I have so much empathy for them, and feel for them. Because I'm like, you know, people used to say to me, maybe you should go work in HR. And I'm like, No, that's where souls go to die. No, I'm not going to work there. I'm definitely not going to work that and it's not it's not to throw them under the bus, it's to acknowledge that you are given unrealistic working, you know, not the best working conditions, I'll say that and, and somehow you show up every day with a smile on your face. It's it's very commendable.

Kyle Roed:

So I want to I want to, I want to explore that a little bit. And I'm curious to get your perspective, because I'm with you. And I remember especially early in my career, so I didn't go to school for human resources. It wasn't even an option when I was in college. But, you know, so I, it the career found me if you will, yes. But it is one of those things where you, a little part of you kind of does have to die, because you might have to terminate somebody, yes. Or you might, you might have to go, you know, take an action against somebody or investigate something that was horrific. And you I mean, you truly have to compartmentalize some of those activities that don't necessarily reflect the person that you are outside of the workplace. Yeah. Or, you know, your perspective on the world of work outside of the workplace in it. It's a challenge. So I know, one of the areas that you focus on is, is making something more than just a job, you know, having people work towards something they're passionate. So when we have to deal with things like that, or, or we have really, really challenging aspects that we have to deal with within our jobs. How how, what is the healthy way to compartmentalize that? So that, because there's still aspects of my job, I love I, there's so much of my job I love and there's stuff I hate. So, so how do we reconcile that? How, and then how do we help our employees reconcile that?

Johanna Pagonis:

That's a very powerful question. And I would say, you know, ultimately, the goal is that the things that we hate to do or the mechanistic, routine, administrative things that we have to do, but when it comes to dealing with people, let's hope that's the stuff that we love to do. And more often than not, when I speak to managers, they say the easy stuff is the administrative routine stuff that, you know, no one loves doing that. But it's easy stuff, the stuff that they hate doing is the interpersonal issues that they have to deal with. And what I say is, take let's let's take a few steps back and actually stop defining what we love and what we hate to do. Stop even looking at what fits into those two categories and kind of redefine what your role is and how you show up to work every day. And if you redefine your role to be a leader of people and not a leader of administrative processes, you're going to start to approach your work very differently. And so it's a lot easier to hold people accountable. When you have a relationship with them, and I learned this concept, Karen kandra, through another wonderful leader, and she said, you know, if you're all care, and no candor, and I another way to define candor is holding people accountable and being honest with them, which isn't always pleasant and easy to do. But if you're all care, no candor, you're just a pushover, everybody likes you, but you don't hold anybody accountable, which can also lead to a very toxic work environment. But if you're all candor, and no care, you're the person that walks around with the hammer, you know, here's a good example, you purse, you see a situation you see employees interacting, or you see them doing something you perceive it to not be in the best interest of the team or the organization, what do you do? a? Do you go and speak to them to seek to understand, to find out what's going on, because you've developed a relationship with these people and you, and you know that this is unlike them, they wouldn't willfully do something to sabotage us in the team, let me seek to understand, let me let me just set up a meeting with them and create a space where they can where I can just say, Hey, I noticed this, can you tell me more about that? A, do you do that? Or B? Do you go? Do you retreat to your office, write up an email that is jam packed with policy, and processes and rules and send it to them and see seeing the executive director, the CEO and saying you better comply, is that you approach that's that's candor, no care. And we also call that, and I don't, you may have to edit this out. But we also call that being an asshole. And you know what, like, you know, it is hard holding people accountable. But it's a lot easier when you have a relationship with them. And, and I felt like I got a lot better at holding people accountable. And I was less fearful of doing so. Because when I called somebody into my office, and I said, I got to be honest, I need to share something with you that I've observed. But I need to seek to understand because what I observed may not be accurate, let's talk about this, people will listen to me, they respect me. And they know, I know they're credible. So if I pull them into my office to have a conversation like that, they take it seriously. And they know that I'm not just jerking their chain. And so we start off automatically on this on this platform of care. So I know they will be honest with me. And there have been moments where I've had to put people and letters of expectation. These are people had known for nearly a decade, who have have worked with me as one of my direct reports who have followed me from different teams, because they wanted to work with me, and they've seen their performance regressed and decreased, and and all the care in the world, they were not able to move forward, you know, there were things going on in their lives that prevented them from performing at the level that they needed to perform. And so they were unwilling to take the actions that they needed to take to change the circumstances, regardless of the assistance, and that I wanted to provide to them and eventually led to a letter of expectations, and would have led to this progressive discipline if it hadn't changed. And then at that point, usually what happens is somebody willfully chooses to leave the organization, because they realize we've given them every potential opportunity to succeed, and they weren't able to follow through, I fired people, but you can still do that with compassion, you don't have to be a jerk about it, it's and I believe that if you approach a situation with care, they can, it becomes that much more easier. And when you are a true leader, that you are there to improve people's lives, it is your responsibility to hold people candidate accountable. Because if you don't, everybody off else on the team will not be able to perform, because they have to pick up every that one person slack. And it will create a negative environment. And so I see that as an honor to step up and to do that. Whereas I know other people can't, then you shouldn't be a leader. If you can't do that this job is tough, it isn't easy. So you better understand why you've chosen to be a leader before you go for that promotion. Because that is what will sustain you over a really, really, really tough times. Because you understand why you're there. You understand that not everybody can do what you do. But you have the courage to do it every day. And if you can think about your career in that way, you will always succeed and people will respect you, and they will follow you. And I think that is the message of choose to be a leader others would want to follow the book isn't called choose to be a leader everybody likes and thinks is your buddy and can go have beer and wings with you afterwards. It's not bad. Sometimes you have to do things that aren't pleasant. But you know what, every day I drive home from work after having to have an unpleasant conversation with somebody. I have to process. It doesn't always sit well with me. But I do walk away with a sense of accomplishment because I was able to do something that I know a lot of people wouldn't have been able to do.

Kyle Roed:

100% and I just I'm hearing that and I'm contextualizing that in my career. I just, I remember so vividly, you know, much earlier in my career when I had to play somebody on to a final warning for misconduct, you know, events, and it was they, they certainly earned it. But approaching that in a very combative way, and you know, to the point of like being physically tense when delivering the message and having the conversation and, and it was coming from a point of compliance, it was, you screwed up, therefore, thou shalt take this final warning, or else, you know, and deal with it. And there was no caring or compassion there. Right. And I learned a really, really good lesson early in my career from that individual. And they called me on it. And they, they didn't use this, the language is a little more colorful, but basically said, You're being a jerk. And I was, and, you know, it took that that moment, early in my career, to wake me up and realize I shouldn't just flip a switch and become another person when I do this. Yeah, I have to do this in the context of me, as an individual, and from a point of the words you use, I think, is appropriate caring about someone else. And that individual who was honest with me, was not a leader, but indirectly led me to the right approach. And ultimately, we became very good colleagues. And, and the behavioral issues went away. And and when I ultimately left that employer, you know, tears were shed, because I was going to miss working with this individual, but it but that candor was what I needed. In my career. Yeah. So yeah, and I agree, don't be an asshole. That's, that's an easier way to say it. So I want to talk a little bit. Before we get into the the flash round here. You mentioned that, that you have a book. So I just like to give you an opportunity to, to tell us a little bit about the book that you wrote. And, and ultimately, what what are our listeners would get out of reading the book?

Johanna Pagonis:

Yeah, thank you for that opportunity. Yeah, so the book, initially, when I started writing it, it was grounded from my comes from my PhD research. And I wanted to write a book that is, like, don't let that stop you from reading it. It is a quick read, it's 100 pages. And it's it's written for the very, very, very busy leader who wants to get to the gist of what they need to do differently to to empower, engage their teams. So I initially I was writing it for organizational leaders to say, hey, you need to you are responsible for creating a system of leadership development across the organization. These are some ways you can do it. But But as I was writing it, I realized that an emerging leader like so this is some new thinking about becoming a former leader, or even somebody who's a manager, current manager can get get something out of it. And like I said, the first place that you need to start if you want to develop your emotional intelligence, which to me are the competencies of being a leader, it all starts with self awareness, which happens through moments of self reflection. So at the end of every chapter, there are self reflective questions. And there's actually space in the book, if you get the hardcopy to capture your thoughts, or you can even just capture them in your mind. But it's get it's meant to create some cognitive dissonance around when you only always have thought to be true, and to get to challenge your own thinking. And then I mean, when I talk a lot about how, although I have training online courses for leaders, they are designed in a very different way than what you usually see. Because they're grounded in self reflection, and there's 360s built in, but I do, I do explore why late leadership training fails, and why we need to leverage systems and processes within the work environment to support leadership development, and then give some strategies around how to do that. And so if you work for unfortunately, one of those companies that has completely deleted the training line, budget, you know, line in your budget, and there is no money for professional development. Don't let that stop you from developing your employees. There are ways to develop people and your leadership skills to everyday work and I actually list strategies on how to do that in a quick and tangible way.

Kyle Roed:

Love it and the title is choose to be a leader others would want to follow. So perfect. Alright, with that being said, we are rounding out our time together here. So we are going to get into the rebel HR flash round. All right, so prepare yourself it's gonna be it's gonna be a tough one. All right, first question. What are you reading right now?

Johanna Pagonis:

So I'm actually reading because a lot of what I do is grounded in like I said, self awareness and starting off with What's your purpose? And I focus a lot on that I just somebody switched me on and it could have been Jeff Harry, I can't I think it was but Ken Roberts Robinson's book, finding your elements, how to discover your talents and passions and trends. For your life. So I'm reading his book right now, and I really am loving it.

Kyle Roed:

Alright, question number two, Who should we be listening to? You know,

Johanna Pagonis:

I would say, actually staying on the theme of self awareness, start listening to yourself, create, you know, reach out and connect to people who can give you feedback around where you're at what you're strong at, what you're great at, but also where you can improve so you can uncover your blind spots. So yeah, listen, to reach out to people for feedback and listen to them in an in a non subjective way, and non judgmental way and try to get to the heart of what it is that they're saying. So you can really start to kind of improve the way you do things, right. We don't improve as a human being unless we are willing to hear from others what our blind spots are. So I would say that, you know, if you want to start listening to somebody, listen to yourself through moments of self reflection, but seek out that feedback from others.

Kyle Roed:

Love it. Great advice. All right. Last question. How can our listeners connect with you?

Johanna Pagonis:

Yeah, so I'm on LinkedIn, all you have to do is just punch in my name in the search box, Joanna bonus. But I also have a website cynnal gap solutions.com. And I do have, like I mentioned online courses there. So if you want to take a look at what I offer in terms of products and services, and how I work with organizations to create employee engagement strategies, that information is on my website, there's a Contact Us page. But I also offer a lot of free resources. And if you're wanting to stay kind of up to date with what I'm doing what I'm working on my blog, my micro learning videos, subscribe to my newsletter, and you can subscribe to that through my website, you just scroll down and you'll see the field there where you can enter your name. And that way you can stay up to date. And my book too is it's on Amazon. So if you wanted to purchase the book, you can an E book or a hardcopy, you can definitely do so on Amazon. Awesome. Well, thank

Kyle Roed:

you again, Joanna. so wonderful to have you on the show. I wish we had more time to to cover some of these topics. Really great stuff. We will have all that information in our show notes. Have a great rest of your day. Thanks, everybody. All right. That does it for the rebel HR podcast. 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 is the opposite you don't necessarily

Jude Roed:

maybe