Rebel Human Resources Podcast

Episode 85: Success From Anywhere with Karen Mangia

February 15, 2022 Kyle Roed, The HR Guy Season 2 Episode 85
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 85: Success From Anywhere with Karen Mangia
Show Notes Transcript

Karen Mangia is an internationally-recognized thought leader whose TEDx appearance, keynotes, blogs and books reach hundreds of thousands of business leaders each year.  She is the author of Working from Home: Making the New Normal Work for You (Wiley), Listen UP! How to Tune Into Customers and Turn Down the Noise (Wiley) and also Success With Less  (Marie Street Press). A prolific blogger and sought-after media interview, she has been featured in Forbes and regularly contributes to Thrive Global and ZDNet.

As Vice President of Customer and Market Insights at Salesforce, she engages current and future customers around the world to discover new ways of creating success and growth together. She serves on the company’s Work from Home Taskforce, where she is helping the company’s 50,000+ worldwide employees to better adapt to a work-from-home environment. Passionate about diversity and inclusion, she also serves on the company’s Racial Equality and Justice Taskforce. Prior to Salesforce, she spearheaded Customer Satisfaction and Experience at Cisco Systems.

Recognized with the Centurion Award, Hall of Fame Honoree and a Graduate of Distinction from Ball State University; part of the 40 under 40 in the Indianapolis Business Journal; and Ivy Tech Distinguished Alumni Award. She is a trained chef, and is active in numerous community organizations, including serving on the board of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Ball State University.

https://www.readsuccessfromanywhere.com/

Karen’s Profile

linkedin.com/in/karenmangia

Websites

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Karen Mangia:

If we could do the deep listening, you were just talking about to understand what matters to our employees and the choices they would view as favorable. So that as HR leaders and leaders in the business, we could assess which of those choices are we willing to offer, that our employees will view us favorable? What might that change?

Kyle Roed:

This is the rebel HR Podcast, the podcast where we talk to HR innovators about all things people leadership. If you're looking for places to find about new ways to think about the world of work, this is the podcast for you. Please subscribe, favorite podcast listening platform today, and leave us a review. Rebel on HR rebels. All right, rebel HR listeners. I'm extremely excited for our guest today. Karen mangia is an internationally recognized thought leader whose TEDx appearance keynotes, blogs and books reach hundreds of 1000s of business leaders. Each year, she is the author of working from home, making the new normal work for you. Listen up how to tune into customers and turn down the noise, success with less. And her new book that we're going to be discussing today success from anywhere, create your own future of work from the inside out. Karen is also an executive at a company you may recognize named Salesforce. Karen, thank you so much for joining us today.

Karen Mangia:

Thank you. And thanks for really putting your full heart and passion into that Mangia. I mean, I can feel your Italian language skills growing as we speak.

Kyle Roed:

I have absolutely no Italian ancestry whatsoever. So that was hard for me. But I I sincerely appreciate that. That recognition. Thank you.

Karen Mangia:

Franco, that means you're welcome in Italian now you got to to work. Okay,

Kyle Roed:

perfect. I am I am growing and evolving as an HR professional, as as you listen to us right now. So Karen, thank you so much for joining us. When I when I got the request to talk to you. It was an immediate response. Like, yes, I need to talk to Karen because I think that the topic we're going to be talking about today, which is is kind of the new normal in the world of work. And some of the challenges that HR is facing is something that's so top of mind and so critical for us to work through. And and you have established yourself as an expert in that space. And so really appreciate you spend some time with us. Today. We also have Patrick Moran, who I am thrilled actually had time in the midst of open enrollment and every other crazy year end HR thing that he has to work through. So thanks for joining Patrick. Happy

Patrick Moran:

to be here, Kyle, and thanks for stacking our calendars with all these during open enrollment. We love it. Love it. It's all good.

Kyle Roed:

Hey, that's that's just how I work, my team would tell you the same thing. So. So Karen, I think, you know, one of my first questions is, obviously you have an affinity for for the written word and you know, best selling author. You know what, what got you interested in writing a book on this topic?

Karen Mangia:

Well, people are often at the heart of the story, right. And in my case, I wasn't walking around in life with a big aspiration of writing a book, even though I love to read books. And what happened was, I was asked to deliver a motivational speech to close out a conference, you know, of people who were coming together to look in the direction of some new discoveries. And I promptly said no to the invitation, because I thought it sounded horrible. I mean, we're gonna be worse than then being tasked with motivating a bunch of people who the you're the last thing standing between them and happy hour. And the only reason I said yes is because the woman hosting and arranging the conference, and I got our master's degrees together. And she's one of the nicest humans on planet Earth, which makes her my kryptonite, they get can't say no to her. And so I stand up. And I tell the story of what I was discovering at the time about the power of pauses, and learning to pause. And this discovery that the pauses we choose are so empowering, whereas the ones that are forced on us, you know, pandemic or otherwise, can be really unsettling, right? They put us at this crossroads moment of wondering if we've been making great choices, not they day, there was a woman sitting in the audience. And she approached me afterwards and said, I want to talk to you about your speech. And I just thought she wanted me to tell the stories again, perhaps to another group, and I'll never forget what she said. She said, you have a story worth sharing that we all need to hear about success and the toll it can take. And I don't want to jump to the answer for you. But you need to write a book. And I think about you know, the folks that are listening today, I mean, one of the most important things functions, I think of our friends in human resources and employee success is to help remind all of us in to have the tools to highlight people's potential. mean, doesn't that feel so great when someone says, I see something in you, and it's a very human moment. And the power of that belief really fueled me into a writing journey, she became a mentor and a guide, actually on the path forward. And as a result, I've had the opportunity to really listen to what's on people's minds and try to be thoughtful in responding with blogs and books about some new tools to help people discover and unlock their own success.

Kyle Roed:

I love that. And I think, you know, it's one of those areas that I think for me is so powerful is hearing some of those individual stories and kind of taking that journey and understanding the narrative and the context that somebody comes from, is in. So you know, one of the areas as I was preparing for this, that I thought would be really interesting to understand your perspective on is some of the things that you've talked about in your blogs, which is, which is redefining success. So So So walk us through your, your perspective and your approach on on how to even define success.

Karen Mangia:

I used to think that success was something reserved for other people, it was kind of this elite and elusive club, right. And maybe you needed to learn like a secret handshake or know the right people to be able to get into this club. And because of that, and I find this happen, so often, we look at someone else, or a group of other people that we in our minds have decided are successful, for whatever reason, and we think to ourselves, if only I could do what they're doing, then I could be successful too. Like this is the invitation, this is how you get sponsored into the Success Club of which I very much wanted to be a member. And I think we all do in large and small ways. And so my plan for that was to do what I thought I saw successful people doing, which is basically do more, to have more to be more. And that would sum up to success. And so I tried that, you know, I said, Yes, I made things look easy, pleasing, and agreeable. And I had an impossible to ignore moment, called major medical. I mean, all of that saying, yes, and toiling and living someone else's definition of success in life, brought into crystal clear focus, that success is not something out on the horizon, we have to define that on our own terms in any given moment in time. And so for me, when I went chronically misdiagnosed for three and a half years and had all kinds of health struggles, I mean, success to me was being healthy enough to enjoy my life. Now, I'm fortunate this many years later, I got a correct diagnosis and treatments and feel great. And so now my definition of success has shifted, and I thought isn't so interesting that there's as many definitions and ways to be successful as there are humans on planet Earth. And yet, we all start to get this very myopic view that, you know, success is, you know, something that will make us happy, or we need other people to validate it, or suddenly everything will open up for us. And we hit this mystical, magical point where we've made this appointment with success on our calendar. And so what I've really been focusing on doing is blogging and sharing stories of people from all over the world in all kinds of professions, with all kinds of lives, who are redefining success to highlights that we all have permission to begin again, we all have permission to redefine success on our own terms. And I think the pandemic gave us a pause, that we're seeing more people making that investment to redefine success. And so I want to provide a platform for that and highlight that, to hopefully inspire people to feel that they have permission to to be successful now and to change that definition from time to time.

Patrick Moran:

That's really interesting. When I look at that, you know, a lot of times people will look at success, and they'll automatically, you know, equate it to money. If I don't have money, I'm not successful. When you're talking to HR professionals, and you're in a role where you're a support function to every other person in the organization. And it's hard to say I have measurables I matter what are some ways where we could tell our listeners, here's some things that you can look at, where you could say to yourself, I'm successful outside of money, what are some of those things I think our listeners would want to hear?

Karen Mangia:

mow the grass? Now that might sound like a funny answer. I'll never forget working for an executive. He was amazing. I mean, he was one of these leaders we all want to be he made everyone feel like he had nothing else to do, but talk to you and take the deep interest in hanging on your every word, right? It's like a superpower. And, you know, he's busy, right? It's not because he isn't. How does he do that? And I decided to ask him one day. And I remember saying, Mike, how do you do this, I mean, you have a never ending job as a senior vice president, you know, in a big company. And you always make me feel like you've all the time in the world for me, and you've got a job that never ends. And he said, I mow the grass. And he went on to explain what he meant by that, which was, when you're thinking about developing people, there's no finish line, and every day doesn't have some some check marks, or some tally marks that you can look at and say, well, there's my impact for today, I really did something that mattered. And he said, so I look for that feeling in other places and ways. And it doesn't always have to be the grand gesture that you run a, you know, or complete a triathlon. He said, For me, it's mowing the grass, because when I got there, I see the before state, and then I see the after state. And I think to myself, I succeeded today. And I thought, isn't that interesting, because if we are able to look for that feeling of I can count something or measure something, if that's what's important to you. Sometimes it's okay to look for that in a place outside your job, you'll still get that feeling. And then I think it leaves us open in our day to day world to be more present with people and realize people and development and you know, don't get put on a timeline that goes perfectly according to plan that's linear.

Patrick Moran:

I agree. 100%. And I say this to my team all all the time, and have just reflected on this so much in the last 19 months, the most important thing that we can give to my organization, and our employees is our time, the tasky stuff will always be there, give them your time and attention. And the rest will fall into place later. I agree 100%.

Karen Mangia:

And I was just having this conversation today with leaders and talking about how to make space for that. And I was amazed at how many leaders who want to be fully present with people use the pandemic as a time to reprioritize their calendars. So that they have buffer time for the purpose of being fresh and having the, you know, making it easier to be fully present when they're in conversations with people and, and I had a leader just say to me this morning, she said, you know, what I realized was, I wanted to be available to my colleagues and to my team, because everyone's been going through so much. And what I realized was frantically showing up and half paying attention was outside of alignment with how I wanted to be as a leader. And I needed to choose differently, I needed to have some breathing room and space, so that I had energy available for that. But also so there was room for that kind of pop up conversation to be available when people need you most or want to connect most.

Kyle Roed:

But that resonates with me, I had almost the exact same feeling. And it I wish I could say I kind of discovered it on my own or it was some like, oh, wow, you know, I really, really just looked inwardly and found my true, you know, self. Now it was my wife who who, you know, turned to me one day and she's like, where are you? What are you doing? Like, like you are you are so disconnected. You're not paying any attention to anything that that's going on? And you know, it was that it was that kind of that that lightbulb moment where I'm like, oh, you know, I'm really kind of mediocre at all relationships in my life right now. I should probably find a way to like you said like, mow the grass, right? Like, like, take care of the things that allow me to actually be present and listen. And you did mention triathlon, so So I'm a I'm a triathlete. I just finished my first half Ironman this year. But I will tell you, it was not crossing Well, crossing the finish line felt pretty good because I was cramping. It was terrible. I went to the bed tent, it was it was ugly. But it was all of those like 5am wake ups every single day and and scheduling and prioritizing the time to be in enough shape to actually cross that finish line. That's really what mattered, you know, no different than what we're talking about here where it's it's, it's the investment it's the it's the intentional investment in in whatever it takes to be what you define a successful so I love that mow the grass. I'm going to remember that.

Karen Mangia:

Well then congratulations. I mean, doing a triathlon and finishing even if you ended up in the medical tent for the finish line is a remarkable accomplishment. And there's so much genius in what you said, really. That's about the message behind the great resignation right now. Right because what's happening is, I think for the first time, you know, employees are sending employers An urgent signal in maths that says, the more that's being offered, right, even if that's more pay more PTO, and more perks isn't summing up to success for them. And that kind of got me thinking about, well, if it isn't more of that than more of what? And the answer that comes back to me is really what you said, it's more of what matters? Hmm,

Kyle Roed:

absolutely. Boy, you're hitting so many important points. And I will change, you know, I won't share organization or names, but I was having a conversation with a leader in an organization the other day, and we were talking about the great resignation, and we were talking about, you know, wage inflation and PTO benefits and sign on bonuses, and all these things. And this person's perspective was, I'm going to have to pay everybody 20% more just to keep them. And, and then the next conversation, or the next comment out of their mouth was, you know, but if I pay him more, I should expect more from them. You know, so if I pay him more, you know, maybe they'll work harder and and get more hours out of them. And then you know, and then we can, you know, still be profitable. And I'm like, what, timeout? Do you think that these people want more money, and then they want to work harder and have less flexibility and free time. Like, like your thesis is, this isn't what people are telling us. They're not saying yes, give me more work more money, so that I can burn out quicker. You know, you've got to listen to what they actually want, which is probably, hey, hire five more people, so I can actually take a day off.

Patrick Moran:

You know, this is one thing I preach to managers and leaders all the time, and Kyle's heard me say it a million times is when it gets down to it to all those leaders we have, if you're if you have a person under you, then you're a manager or leader, whatever you want to call yourself. You need to figure out and really establish what matters to them, what motivates them, if you can take that time to do that, and show them that you care and you're in you're interested, you'll go a lot further than just giving all these raises and perks and all, you know, lunches and whatever people you know, business leaders think people want, because that's not it. Well,

Karen Mangia:

and hearing you say that reminds me of a great example, from General Mills of all places and, and their HR leaders were hearing a message we've all heard over the course of the past 18 to 24 months, which is the story of burnout. And, you know, let's face it, everyone was patronizing General Mills, because last year, we were eating cereal and deciding to compete on the Great British baking show. So all that flour had to come from somewhere, right? So of course their 10,000 employees are burnt out. I think that stands to reason. So they it's our leaders do the well intentioned thing. They roll out more PTO days, and fewer than 8% of General Mills, 10,000 employees opted in and actually took that PTO. And they were perplexed. Right? The leaders were perplexed. And I give the HR team at General Mills huge credit because they stepped away. And they thought to themselves, what else could this be? So roll forward, they came out here in 2021, back to the 10,000 employees and said, You're burnout, we hear you that's why we'd like to offer you the Gift of Choice Program. And within the Gift of Choice program, you'll have three choices. One more PTO. Second, more pay, I mean, literal cold, hard cash, third, donation to a not for profit of your choosing. And within 24 hours, 85% of their employees had opted into the Gift of Choice program and I'm going to put it to you What do you think because you two are the experts? What was the number one choice of those employees more PTO? Pay donation to a not for profit? What was number one?

Kyle Roed:

I'm gonna say charity,

Karen Mangia:

you're gonna say charity. All right.

Patrick Moran:

I have a question on

Kyle Roed:

what are the subtitles here? Like Patrick? That's so Patrick. Yeah,

Patrick Moran:

is it? Is it hey to a nonprofit, or is you can have four hours to donate time at a nonprofit,

Karen Mangia:

no cash, an actual check to your nonprofit, like, if you love Habitat for Humanity, they're getting X amount of dollars. Now we got you, I'm gonna say pay, you're gonna say pay the number one choice was PTO. And here's the power of that story. General Mills got to the exact outcome they offered and wanted employees to opt into Originally, the only thing that changed was choice. And I think about what could happen in our organizations. If we could do the deep listening, you were just talking about to understand what matters to our employees and the choices they would view as favorable so that as HR leaders and leaders in the business, we could assess which of those choices are we willing to offer that our employees will view as favorable what might that change?

Kyle Roed:

I'm just I'm just pumped that we were both wrong.

Karen Mangia:

paradox in this story, people instantly think, well, the PTO failed. So people must have picked something else. It was like, No, the only thing that changed was choice. People want choice. That's what matters.

Kyle Roed:

Right. But I think that's such a critical point. And it's, it's, it's at the root of what we're hearing and all the headlines about the great resignation, and people that want to work from home or want the high risk schedule. And a lot of times it's in the context of, how do we deal with this and, and, but but if you really peel it back, the root of the issue is people want flexibility, they want choice, they want to have some ownership of the decisions that they have to make as it relates to where they work, who they work for, what that organization stands for, what their schedule looks like, what benefits they select, you know that that's really what it boils down to. And so I think, yeah, the choice, the choice, that's a great, great example. When Molly Patrick, and I had to figure out how to start our own podcast, we didn't know where to start. Thankfully, we found Buzzsprout plus pro makes it super easy for us to upload our episodes, track our listeners, and get listed on all the major podcast networks. Today's a great day to start your own podcast. I know that you're one of our listeners. So you've definitely got something to say. Whether you're looking for a new marketing channel, have a message you want to share with the world. Or just think it would be fun to have your own talk show. podcast is easy, inexpensive and fun way to expand your reach online. Buzzsprout is hands down the easiest and best way to launch, promote and track your podcast. Your show can be online and listed in all the major podcast directories within minutes of finishing your recording. Podcasting isn't that hard when you have the right partners, and then team at Buzzsprout is passionate about helping you succeed. Join over 100,000 podcasters already using Buzzsprout to get their message out to the world. And now for listeners of rebel HR, you can get a $20 amazon gift card sent to you from Buzzsprout by clicking in the link in the show notes. Thanks for listening. So I want to shift a little bit I want to understand you know some of your perspective. I know you you've you've got a book about working from home. You know your your latest book is about being successful from anywhere. So how do these types of success principles shift into that sort of working environment?

Karen Mangia:

The way that I summarize it is the future of work is less about how we reconfigure cubicles, and more about how we redesign our relationship with work. mean, we are all carrying these beliefs about work that we think are totally true about what work is and where it happens and who needs to do it and when it needs to happen. And the the leaders and organizations that are stepping into success right now are asking themselves a very critical question, which is is that true? I mean, is it true that an employee has to be in an office to get work done? Is it true that work has to happen between a fixed set of hours? Now I understand if you know if you're a nurse? Yes, it does. And the answers are different. But But is this true? And then sort of the the next question that goes along with that? Who would we be without that story or belief, because so many times those long held held beliefs. And those myths and misconceptions that we have about success and about work are what's holding us back from creating the choices that are so appealing that we were just talking about a moment ago.

Patrick Moran:

I think in that scenario that a lot of corporations or companies get hung up on one size fits all people are don't think it's okay, or they're afraid to piece it out based on departmental location or function. And I think you have to do that in order to stay competitive in today's environment.

Karen Mangia:

Right. And it's really what you're looking in the direction of is, you know, how do we take a mindset of discovery and then experimentation, you know, I talk in success from anywhere about something I call the five minute fix. And and here's the thought process behind that, in a way, it's my version of the Think Big act small. So imagine you're going to try out with your workforce, a new set of benefits offerings, maybe that includes personal concierge hours. I don't know I'm making that up. You're the experts here. But imagine if you try that out a little bit, you know, let's try this with five people. You know, $5 You know, for five weeks and see what happens, you know, and then we'll make some adjustments. You know, when we think about things in terms of plan years, fiscal years, you know, we lock ourselves into a plan that may not be adaptable may not serve us and the beauty of thinking about what can I try in five minute increments, or sometimes I think about it, as you know, five people $5.05 minutes, is you don't over invest, right? I mean, you don't get in this mode of like, Oh, I've put so much into this, we have to keep it even if it's completely failing. The flip side is when you start to find little bits that work, little pieces that resonate, you build momentum, right, I mean, just a few minutes at a time. And, you know, I something that's very powerful. I mean, even if you make a 1% improvement, you would more than double your results in 72 days. So think about that. I mean, any challenge that you're facing anything you want to try five minutes at a time, you could double your impact in 72 days. That's doing the doable.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, the, the way that you asked, you know, the, the question, I think is really profound, you know, is, are our assumptions true about work? You know, and I think you could ask the same question about, you know, your team, you know, does your team really feel the way you think they feel? Or are you just projecting your assumption of feelings onto the team, and a lot of times, like, especially in Patrick, in my role, we, we get stuck in that paradigm, where we think we know, how the team feels, or we think we know how a leader is leading or not leading. And then and then we derive, you know, solutions based upon these, these gut feelings or these assumptions. When in all actuality, if we could just take the time to understand and connect and, and really reflect on the question of, you know, is this true? Boy that could that could really shift, you know, your workplace, pretty, pretty quiet.

Patrick Moran:

I think some people are afraid to uncover that reality at times.

Karen Mangia:

Yeah. Well, then then, you know, then you'd be compelled to do something with that discovery, right. It's, it's uncomfortable, sometimes when, when things change. And you know, what I love about what you were saying there is, it's easy to make assumptions and our human nature is to fill in the blanks of a story, right to make it make sense to us. And something I like to use a phrase I like to use, and I borrow it from Brene. Brown, and it resonates with me, but I find it more often than not works, which is the story I'm telling myself is so in the context of our conversation here, like the story I'm telling myself is that employees want to go back to the office because they miss the camaraderie and the water cooler conversations and the free coffee, then it's easier to ask, is that true? Right. And it's also easier to test it out with other people when we fill in the blanks, right? The story I'm telling myself when you didn't respond on the team chat within an hour is that you were at home and not really working? Is that true? What might I be missing? What might I be missing? Because usually, we're missing something. Right? Often, it's context.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, I, I think that is such a critical point I and I think it's that all of us in the HR profession would do well, to think in those terms, as it relates to how we feel about, you know, the workplace, you know, I think about, you know, our journey. So our organization, we're manufacturing makes stuff, and we make stuff in person. So you know, that question of, you know, does somebody have to be physically present to execute their task? The answer in a lot of cases in my organization is yes. But the, not every position has that same answer. And so part of the challenge that we we went through as this is alluding to kind of Patrick's comment is, we had to do the work to understand okay, who is that true for? What departments may that be different for? And then how and then and then the problem statement is, how do I manage the differences between departments? And how do I do this in a way that doesn't just make everybody angry and doesn't create animosity and doesn't create division? And, you know, that was that was really the problem statement that we worked through. And I think for the most part, we were able to work through that by allowing for flexibility. But it wasn't some big like HR program, it was allowing our managers to make some of those decisions for their teams within kind of the kind of the guidelines of what our recommendations were. But the other catalyst was like when we had open positions, we couldn't hire anybody if we didn't have we didn't have some sort of flexibility within those types of roles that could work from home and so it's a You know, it's been a challenge. But it's been one of those that, you know, we had, we just had to solve it, we had to work through it. But it did start with shifting that shifting that context or that paradigm of how we approached that question. Because if you would have asked me four years ago, are we gonna have anybody work from home? My answer would be like, No, never. Right? So my what how things can change in a few years?

Karen Mangia:

Absolutely. Well, and along those lines, what I found is getting more curious helps, you know, sometimes we jump to we want to solve something or roll something out that we think will help, you know, the situation. And what I found is taking a pause, and using two words, I wonder, can really help people tap into their curiosity? I mean, as an example, with what you were just sharing, you know, I wonder what would happen if we had the employees who had to come in and those who didn't trade places for a week, I'm making this up. But the idea is, you know, I wonder how do we tap into getting a little bit more curious? I mean, oftentimes, I think we, we lead ourselves to believe there's like, one right choice or one best policy, and you were saying earlier, I think Patrick one size doesn't fit all, but it's how could we tap into our power of curiosity, for the purpose of coming up with more ideas we could test or that might lead us to a next discovery?

Kyle Roed:

So I know, I'm just sitting here thinking, and it's like, you know, so we, we love all of our HR people, you know, we're one big family, but I know there's some compliance, people out there who are sitting here thinking, no, no, no, no, no, no, we got to treat everybody the same. I can't have this discriminatory, you know, lawsuit risk out there. So they're, you know, just absolutely no, we got to have we got to have it structured and define and black and white. And that's, you know, some of us are just wired that way, and God bless you all, if you are fitting into that camp, so So how do you how do you approach that with individuals who maybe have that context or that mindset where, like, if we get loosey goosey, then the, you know, the everything's completely out of control? You know, how do you approach that type of mindset,

Karen Mangia:

we all feel greater ownership of what we help to create. And I know one of the biggest mistakes I see organizations make is they take whoever it is, I mean, fill in the blank group that's sort of outside of the point of view, or where you want to do business, right or be and when you go, well, we'll just let them know at the end, after we've made a decision, right, then you get into the you didn't check this box. And what's what people are really saying is, everyone wants to feel seen and heard. And we all will be more participative. And in owning and creating a plan we can live with when we have a voice in the moment to help with that creation. And so I always think about, you know, your most unlikely allies typically tend to be the people that in your mind, do you perceive as being the most against you, or against your point of view? And the earlier you can invite those people into the conversation and use some of those tools we've been talking about, I wonder, what else could this be? What am I missing? The story I'm telling myself is you hate all of us. And all you want us to do is follow these rules, no matter what, until we all fall off the edge of a cliff and everybody quits. What might I be missing? I mean, J, how could the conversation change? Right? And I find oftentimes, they're seeing choices that that we're not seeing or potentially have some ideas about a way forward, or what might be possible. We just oftentimes don't don't create a space to hear that until it's a little too late. And I mean, you know, we're saying we feel a greater ownership of what we help to create. I mean, nobody likes to be mandated to even if your job is to do quality and compliance and making sure people are following the rules, you still want choices yourself. I mean, just because you have that job doesn't mean we want anybody else to impose anything on you any more than any of us want something imposed on us.

Patrick Moran:

Yeah, and I see in organizations far too many times the people making the choices for the other people are always the same people, it's always the same group. How do we get our listeners to this is kind of like HR in general, have that seat at the table? This is the question I always love to ask is, you know, from your perspective, HR, the world of HR has been shifting so much in the last five to seven years. It's all about having the seat at the table being the business leader being the strategic partner. But you have that group that Kyle was referring to the compliance personnel based, how do you get them? If they're sitting here thinking how do I get by see that? How do I raise my hand? What are some things they could do?

Karen Mangia:

You know, I think a powerful question is, you know, what does the successful outcome as a have a seat at the table look like? I mean, you know, I've had times in my career where I thought I want to see that the table and then I wasn't ready with anything meaningful to contribute when I got there. So I didn't stay there very long, or I got there and I thought, this is really stressful. You know, I mean, beware of the spotlight. before you're ready, I guess I would say it is very warm, close to the sun. And I think all of our, you know, human resources leaders are sitting in a spot where we have put almost an unrealistic burden of expectations where like everyone's burnt out self that people are quitting, so that, you know, people are terrified that they might die from COVID cell for that, too, because it's, you know, they're, they're not doing their best work. Well, I think that's kind of unrealistic, right? And so when I think about is, to what end, what do you want to do with the seat at that table, so that you can structure those engagements in a meaningful way? Right. And and the other piece too, is sometimes we have to share with people around us the value that we're in a position to offer, right? I mean, I experienced this so many times, doing customer experience and customer feedback. And it's sort of the same with employee experience. I mean, the default perception is, of course, we would want to hear from our employees, of course, we would want to hear from our customers, of course, we would want representation, no one's gonna say no to that. What happens though, is people sometimes don't know what to do with that information. They're unaware of the value chain that could be set in motion, and we have to educate them. That doesn't always feel great. I mean, we're like we want to be seen, we want you to know what we're doing. I think the reality is, and both of you tell me, the role, and the expectations of HR leaders have shifted substantially in the last 20 months. And it might be really illuminating for the folks sitting around the rest of that proverbial table to understand the value you can offer now, and and have a current view of that.

Kyle Roed:

That's, I mean, that's my answer to that question, Patrick, not that you're asking is always Yeah, add enough value. So they ask you to sit, you know, like, like, you better be able to contribute something, not just not just, you know, literally sit there and stare at everybody. And they're like, Well, what are you doing here again?

Patrick Moran:

But I know, I know, I honestly, now's the time for HR to be doing that. Because when they were being looked at to help lead and advise through the pandemic, and if you're not being asked to do that anymore, granted, we're not out of it, then that's where you have a problem within your organization. And you need to do some self reflection, or ask ask the question, Why aren't you coming to me anymore?

Karen Mangia:

And this takes me to the stress free experiment. I don't know if either of you are familiar with this. No, I love this. And I write about in the book, but very simple to conduct activity, because I think what you're highlighting is, in a sense, a loss of loss of purpose, right? There's a purpose to leading people through a crisis, that gives you a clarity of focus, it can be very fulfilling, and then when that shifts, it's like, well, what's my purpose now, or what's the value that I'm adding? I love this stress free experiment. It was created by researchers at Stanford, originally conducted with university students, and now repeated 1000s and 1000s of times. And the basis of it is this. They took students who were saying they were burnt out over the holiday break, they gave them a writing assignment, they said, you're all going to spend 10 minutes a day writing in your journal, sentence structure doesn't matter, put down whatever you're feeling. But these were all students saying they were very overwhelmed, very burnt out. And then they took a control group and said for you, what we want you to do is for 10 minutes each day, we want you to select one of your top values and write how that value is showing up in your everyday life. Those students came back and significantly outperformed reported much lower levels of stress and burnout, even if they only conducted the stress free experiment one time. And when I think about what you're saying there with a sense of purpose, I think about what would happen if HR leaders who are listening conducted their own stress free experiment, and said, Let me think about as an HR leader in this role, or in this organization right now, what's my top value and then spend 10 minutes writing about how that is showing up in your role or not? Because usually that feeling of a lack of purpose, or burnout comes from living outside of our values for an extended period of time. Right, because we all have examples where when we're living with purpose, I mean, you were just talking Kyle about training for a triathlon. It's not because that wasn't difficult and time consuming. You felt a sense of purpose about it. It was aligned with a value that you held.

Kyle Roed:

It was yeah, it was it was bad, you know, basically, but

Karen Mangia:

Well, being rights can be a value. I mean,

Kyle Roed:

that's probably speaking more to my ego drive than anything else. But I think it's you know, that's that's so interesting, but I do think, you know, I think about you know, this podcast, for instance. So you know, this, we started this podcast, just just because we wanted to learn and grow and adapt with the world of work and bring others along for the ride, right in every time I log in, and I have a conversation with the wonderful guests like yourself, I just I feel alive. You know, it's it's like, it's, it's, it is success for me it's it's human connection and it's building an audience and it's, it's, it's content that's helpful. And that's, you know, that's how I would define success. And so, and that's actually one of the outlets that I use within, you know, within my day job, my w two job to continue to energize me and stay fresh and nimble within the confines of my of my, my job as a VP of HR. And so, I think, you know, I've unintentionally done that kind of accidentally, but, you know, yeah, I'm not stressed it because I feel like I'm working on something that matters. Exactly. All right. Well, we are, we are close to our, the end of our time together. And Karen, you are super busy. You've got like, you know, a really, really big job and, you know, probably starting your other book, and so I want to make sure that we're respectful of your time. So we're gonna shift gears, we're gonna go into the rebel HR flash round. Are you ready?

Karen Mangia:

I'm ready. All right. Coming at you hot here,

Kyle Roed:

what is your favorite people book,

Karen Mangia:

extreme humanism by Tom Peters.

Kyle Roed:

Extreme human, I have not heard of that. Give me a little communism.

Karen Mangia:

You know, people know Tom Peters, or many people know, Tom Peters for his book, In Search of Excellence, you know, and he's kind of the excellence guru. His latest book, extreme humanism is all about reconnecting with our humanity and bringing that into our organizations. And so I think particularly relevant for your audience, everything from you know, how to build better boards in the organization to, you know, what's your, what's your relationship? Capital Strategy? Right? How much? What's your return on relationships, I think he calls it so much goodness, they're about connecting into our humanity, which I think is the story and theme of our time.

Kyle Roed:

Our Oh, our I love that. I love that. I'm gonna take that to my finance director and see if we can come up.

Karen Mangia:

If you get budget from that, everyone on how to do that.

Kyle Roed:

He's gonna roll his eyes. I just tell you that right now. But But no, I love that. All right, question number two, who should we be listening to?

Karen Mangia:

Chris shame. Bruh wrote a fantastic book. And he has a wonderful podcast. His book is called gratitude and pasta. And his podcast is called the 747. Club. And what I love about him and the people he featured on his show, is how he starts his opening question, and his work is all about creating true belonging, and community. And how much even though we're connected, we don't feel a sense of community. And so his opening question has every guests and he has all of these events, you know, corporate events, and the like, that are themed around this question, who is one person you feel grateful for who you've never or don't take enough time to think. And that becomes the jumping off point for his understanding of who you are, what you value. And, I mean, again, people from all kinds of businesses and people have left corporate America and become entrepreneurs and the reverse. At what I like about it is that thought of beginning with gratitude and the reminder that we're on this journey together. And just like a turtle on a fence post probably didn't get here by yourself.

Kyle Roed:

I love that, you know, and it's so fascinating and I've kind of been focused on a deep dive here on gratitude in general and like the, you know, the the mental construct that allows you to be grateful also allows for such opportunity in humanity and the things that you do and you know, in gratitude, if you rooted in gratitude, you know, you will be more successful, so, definitely gonna check that one out. Thanks for sharing that. All right, last question. How can our listeners connect with you?

Karen Mangia:

listeners can connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter where I regularly share stories of how people are redefining success? And you know what I'm discovering from the fantastic people I have the opportunity to meet and work with every day.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely, and and you know, it's just been a joy to, to get to know you here, Karen and and we will have a link to all that in the in the show notes as well as a link to the book success from anywhere. Really appreciate, appreciate your contribution and some of your comments. There's so much great content here. And one more time for good measure. I just like to say thank you Karen, mangia for joining ha

Karen Mangia:

nailed it.

Kyle Roed:

Thank you so much. Have a great rest your day.

Patrick Moran:

You too. Thank you.

Kyle Roed:

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