Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 10 months ago

128) #ExponentialInsights: Modern Leadership in a Hyperconnected World


The world has changed — which means leadership has changed.

Modern leadership requires empathy and coaching, not decrees from on high.

This new rapidly-changing, hyper-connected, purpose-driven world demands new leaders who can keep up.

And today’s guest, Laurie Maddalena , CEO/Chief Leadership Consultant at Envision Excellence, has some amazing recommendations for how you can cultivate these skills and develop these kinds of leaders.

In this episode, we discuss:

- The value of disconnecting in a hyperconnected world

- Why we need to let potential future leaders peek behind the curtain of leadership 

- Why great leaders understand their value no longer lies in their technical expertise

You can find this interview and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts , on Spotify , or here .

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Banking on Digital Growth in your favorite podcast player.

...if you grew up in I. T. Or you grew up in HR or finance you think that your technical skills in those areas is the value you bring. And this is where I see a lot of leaders struggle getting to that next level of being effective. Is it's no longer the value you bring now. It's is it helpful? Is it important if you're a CFO to have the background of a controller or understand the finances? Of course it is. Yet your job really now is to manage and leave that team. Yeah. Yeah mm. Yeah. You're listening to banking on digital growth. With James Robert lay a podcast that empowers financial brand marketing sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential by generating 10 times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the exponential insight series where James robert interviews the industry's top marketing sales and fintech leaders sharing practical wisdom to exponentially elevate you and your team. Let's get into the show greetings and hello I am James robert ley and welcome to the 128th episode of the Banking on digital Growth podcast. Today's episode is part of the exponential insight series and I'm excited to welcome Lori Madalina to the show. Laurie is the Ceo of Envision Excellence, a certified executive coach and leadership development consultant as well as a published author who have gotten to know well over the past few months and I appreciate both her thinking as well as her writing and I'm looking forward to. Today's conversation with her welcome to the show laureate is so good to have you for today's conversation is going to be a good one. It's one that I've been looking for two for a while now. Well I always love talking with you James robert. So thanks for having me before we get into the discussion. What's good for you right now, personally, professionally, what's what's positive in your world? That's a great question. Um there's a lot of positive things right now. I say, well one is, I've just gotten off almost a month sabbatical in august, I did come to work for one day I think, or a week in a day, but I took three weeks off of vacation, which was really good. I really believe that's helpful for the mind and body and soul and to disconnect and think differently and then come back. So that's probably the most positive thing that's happened in the past month for me. It's interesting that you say that because I'm gonna connect the dots because well I didn't take a sabbatical, I took a week off in july and we went down to the beach house in Galveston and I vividly remember on a run thinking because I come from an M. S background, did a lot of programming in the early years of the business. And I've been thinking a lot about The mind, the subconscious mind, it's like a computer and if we can program computers, we can obviously program the mind. More importantly the subconscious mind, 95% of all of our, you know, actions and behaviors are subconscious so you make a great point. We need to create that space. We need to create that time as leaders to break free from doing, to review, to reflect, to learn through those experiences and then think about what we can do next, do it even better. Why do you and from your experience, why do people get stuck doing? And they don't create that space, They don't create that time. You know, I think a big piece of it is that we have so much coming at us in our world today of there's such overwhelmed, I mean even from our emails and the books we can even, I were talking about books just before getting on the podcast and you recommended what I have and I'm like it's in my book of 100 books right, There's so many resources, there's so many things going on and I think his organizations as we've evolved and we've gotten busier in many ways, technology connects us, but it also gives us this opportunity to stay connected constantly to not disconnect as much as maybe 30 40 years ago and I think we've gotten into this place where there's so many goals and so many things going on that people have a really hard time focusing and so we get in this busy mood. I think for a lot of leaders, we feel accomplished when we're checking things off our list. So we often get into this busy accomplishment mode checking things off that feel easy just letting the day kind of take us along with these emergencies and fires and interruptions. And you have to deliberately create the space for thinking in today's environment, particularly in in the workplace and so it's so easy and I've had so many clients say this to me where they say I blocked my time, but then I let it, you know, something else come in and take that over. It really...

...takes deliberate practice and a little bit of discipline to make sure you're creating that space in your work and whether it's a vacation taking it to go away or it's speaking strategically. I think there's another element if, if I may level up, there's also some accountability that comes into play because this is so habitual, this idea of just checking stuff off the list, we get a dopamine hit from it and then we crave and we seek more. But then you and I were talking before we hit record too environment, right? Environment plays so strong into that space and that time element you mentioned, you have a little bit of a, of a hack like like I did before and I was traveling with this. Um, but just a different place, different environment transform your, you're thinking boats. And this is a practice. I started about four years ago where about three times a year I actually go away for a few nights, somewhere completely different, not far from my house, but enough where I can get away and get out of my environment and give myself the space to think differently. I just think that when you're in your regular environment every day, whether it's your office and now for a lot of us, a lot of, you know, banking and credit union professionals who are working from home or a majority of the time, I bet a lot of them have experienced what a lot of us who are entrepreneurs do if you have an office in your house is, there's other things right? There's your dishes, there's laundry, there's other things pulling at you and whether you're doing it or not, I'm pretty disciplined about not doing those things during the my work day, but it's on my mind, I can see it and that influences how I feel and how I can focus. One of the interesting observations that I've experienced is I have multiple places for quote unquote work, different environments for different types of work. I've got the home office for just kind of the routine, getting through the quote unquote list. I have the office office with the studio, we do a lot of the podcast and so it's a completely different environment and then I have a couple of, you know, like coffee shops for in different, different coffee shops out actually for different types of thinking, Some of it is on that strategic planning that deep level, some of it is more from a creative writing and just just outlets. So I think that is it's an interesting point to make as you think about the future of work and remote if we get trapped in one environment, it's easy to get trapped in one type of operational mode and not create that space and time to review, to learn to think to do even better. You wrote an article to that I think is an important to touch on about sleep and how sleep impacts leadership. I think about Arianna Huffington and how she always just sleep your way to the top, but it's not what you think, it's really about getting your eight hours here and what's your take on sleep. And because I think this is you know it really ties nicely to the previous points we've been discussing, it's easy to get trapped doing to where we sleep becomes a liability at that point. Yeah, I think that's a lot of people's mindset these days because we have so much going on. And I think I think a lot of women in the workplace now too are trying to balance everything right trying to balance your Children and maybe in the past year home schooling and all these things that we were kind of in this society in this culture where there's not enough time for everything and so you skimp on sleep and I love sleep. That's all I can say. I love sleep 8.5 to 9 hours. I have to have a night to feel my best. And I know for me I can feel the difference if one hour if I get one hour less, I feel tired, exhausted. Not mentally sharp. Those important things like the strategic thinking and the projects that are important and need to get done. Go to like way down to the bottom of the list and I start getting an activity mode. They don't feel like doing those things because they feel harder. And so obviously there's a lot of research out there about how most americans are sleep deprived. And I really think this is something that leaders have to think about of how can you be at your best, What does it take for you and not everyone, maybe it's nine hours of sleep. Probably most people, it's more than they think. But what are those things that you have to do that you know, will help you? And for some people you might have to experiment. So an example of a habit, a bad habit. I started during Covid was bringing my phone to bed. So previous to that I always charged my phone downstairs. I never brought it upstairs with me but then, you know, everything is going on just looking at things...

...quickly and had it next to my bed in my nightstand. So this is something I'm trying to pull myself away from now putting my phone to bed in a different place before I go to bed. So I'm not tempted Even if I'm reading and I look up, I'm like let me just look that up really quickly. And then before you know it, 2030 minutes goes by I'm cutting into sleep time. It's interesting you say that because one of the things that I did probably going back two years ago is I have a dump smartphone meaning I uninstalled. It started with social media. So all social media came off. Then my email came off my phone and then the last thing to go was my internet browser. So I literally have the only capability I have on my phone is SmS Youtube, which I use for running Spotify and podcast and then obviously GPS and pictures but I don't have that access to the rest of the world and people don't have access to me because yes, it really is. Because I found that once I took access away to me ie social media and email then I found the big danger was getting access to the rest of the world through a google search and it was I'd be in a conversation and I just I love learning, I love knowledge. And so I just look up something in a conversation and I'm like and my wife was the one who called me out on it. But it's interesting that you talk about like for example women and women in leadership. There was an article that I recently read on scary Mommy called Revenge Yes, it's called Revenge Bedtime procrastination and why you might be doing it. And as I was reading through this, I thought about my wife, she knows she needs to go to sleep philosophically, she knows that but she'll stay up an extra 30 minutes hour, two hours up until 12 1 o'clock in the morning for control because it's what she feels like she can control. This was a fascinating read and I think it is one that I do see probably impacts women more so than men, even those women in leadership roles that are, you know, multiple areas in their life that they're just juggling and now covid you add all of these other elements into this. And so yeah, sleep, sleep I think is just something just to tag on to what you said about women in leadership. And I think this is something as we rethink the workplace, you know, this whole covid rethinking of things and how we, how we develop or create the best workplace for for not only women but our workforce going forward, it's such an important piece because women do have so many things on their plate of course, you know, we're generalizing men do too, but I can speak from the woman's perspective of most women research shows take care of the household duties in addition to now, many of them being in professional leadership roles and the pressure and stress. I can tell you from this past year, a lot of my colleagues and my clients are exhausted of trying to be everything to everyone and just that what you describe, I love that because we can all take a page from your book of uninstalling. A lot of these things. I could really do that, I should do that. But I'm really big about email and cutting off email at a certain time and I think every leader, whether it's a ceo executive or mid level manager should do that. There's obviously a way someone can get you if it's an emergency, they can find you right, it's possible. But we're even the anxiety looking at your phone at nine or 10 at night and seeing an email that may not be very important. But I know for me the anxiety of, because I'm an achiever, I like to get things done. It's ruminating in my mind, Oh, I don't want to forget that. So you can't really truly disconnect. So I think an important piece for us as we go forward is creating boundaries of how do we create boundaries for ourselves to keep, to be able to control our environment as much as possible in an environment of of abundance of everything. You're right. It is an abundance of everything and that that abundance creates a tremendous amount of opportunity to create something new to capture something that is already existing. But we're not fully maximizing or to capitalize on a strength that we have to do even more with that. But on the flip side it's it's really a double edged sword because that abundance of information just alone and I want to dive into that idea of, of knowledge of information, particularly here in the banking space and the credit new space...

...because things Have transformed so much over the last 12-18 months and there were a lot of financial brands who are already dabbling in digital. They were already on a path of quote unquote digital transformation or digital growth, but covid accelerated all of this when you look at this acceleration and I hear this with leadership teams a lot. It's, we just don't know what we don't know yeah, how important now, probably more so than ever before is training is education at a leadership level to just simply be aware of what the opportunities are to begin with because if we don't even know those opportunities exist, we might be missing out and not able to capture that. Yeah, well I'm just like you work with banks and carnations on the digital, both piece of helping them see how things are changing, right? Things are evolving. It's not the same as it was probably five years ago or maybe even two years ago. We have to be constantly looking at to the future of how these things are involving, how members and customers want to engage with their financial institutions. It's the same for leadership so much has evolved and the leadership practices of 2030, even 10 years ago, aren't they don't work anymore. And unfortunately I think they're the root issue many times is that we put people in leadership roles who either aren't prepared. So they haven't been trained or developed to understand how to truly influence people in a positive way to bring out their best performance or they just shouldn't be in a leadership role. And we don't like all this giving people to peak behind the curtain. I really believe that we should help people see what it takes to be a leader, What are the competencies, what what we're daily life look like as a leader? What are the expectations before they get there so that they can opt out. It's harder to opt out right later. And what I find is many times people get into those roles and then they realize, wow, this isn't a good match for me, I don't want to have to coach people on a regular basis. I have a hard time giving feedback that's constructive or having those hard conversations and so, you know, that's the route I think is starting from who are we putting in these roles, How are we preparing them? And as you said, development and training is more important now than ever. There's five generations in the workplace for the first time in history and I know we're seeing this with the digital banking right? Of gen z and their expectations and how they want to engage with members and uh engaged with credit unions and banks. It's the same for our workforce. Now we have the great resignation where a record number of people are resigning their positions over the past few months. This is disrupting faster now. What has to evolve for people to be effective in leadership roles? You know, you, you make an interesting point that leadership has transformed The last 10 years, even what have been some of those transformations you make a great .5 generations in the workforce, and and I want to touch on that and then come back to the question because I've heard, for example, from Ceos and even boards of directors, they are typically at this point baby boomers in their minds. I they think that gen x will begin to take on the attributes of the boomers gen y. Well then graduate into exercise jin's ears into, you know, millennials, but that's not how it works. Each generation has its own cultural perspective. And so we had some really good conversations about this in a board session, but I'm curious to come back to the point of leadership, what have been these transformations that we must be aware of as banks and there's credit units. Yeah, so as you were talking made me think about the generations. I remember my dad would listen to my music and say like your music is garbage, right? Our music of the fifties and sixties is the best music. And of course being an eighties kid, I think the eighties are the best ever. So we always think for most of us we think our generation is the best because that's what we're accustomed to. That's what we've lived. You know, how we grew up, whether it was as a child or in our organizations is what we're familiar with and so we tend to adopt that style. And so the what I call this traditional leadership and I think we can certainly have traditional leaders in every generation. It's almost at this point leadership by default, which is the command and control telling, you know, I'm the boss,...

I know the answers, I'm more experienced. You know, you're the worker bee, I tell you what to do very little focus on development, feedback coaching and more of a, you know, you're you're here to get a paycheck, do your job, come in and you know, work to earn your money and that's it doesn't work. Now different generations value different things and and we know from the gen y the millennials that they they started to come in and and have choices right? And and want different things in their workplace. So the traditional style wasn't engaging to them and they have choices to go to different places. So they won't stay for that. And we're hearing from them already about flexibility and I think this past year and a half, we're certainly hearing that not even just for millennials anymore gen z, but other generations as well. I'm a gen Xer and I know a lot of gen Xers who are looking for flexibility and so You know, leaders today, I call it modern leaders because modern is always changing. What's modern today is going to be modern, not different than 10 years from now and being people want meeting in their work, they want to feel connection to their company purpose. They want to have quality of life. And I, I really believe this is what people are talking about this past year and a half. When they say flexibility, they want to be able to go to their kid's soccer game, they want to be able to have dinner with their family. And I believe that a lot of ceos are thinking, oh, everyone just wants to work from home now. And that's not necessarily the case. I think every organization has to analyze and figure out what kind of culture you want to have and what positions can be, you know, maybe partially remote, but it's not an all or nothing. I think there's a hybrid approach, their great point you make before about command and control. I tell you what to do. You do it. I mean it's very it's very like military, operational, operationally based in back to this point of I want balance in my life because I'm more than just the person that I bring to work. You know, I'm a father, I'm a spouse, I'm a friend and I really believe if you can bring your true self to work and then all of these other areas and not try to compartmentalize and I think we start compartmentalizing, that's where some conflict starts to like, like Route and I've experienced this myself. I mean in 2012, 10 years in the business, the business was fantastic. But I was on the border of a divorce because I was not being true to myself in all areas of my life and it was a lot of pain but it was also a major growing experience as well as you've talked through this comparing leadership of the past to the modern leader if you will today and what it would be tomorrow. You've mentioned coaching a couple of times and I want to dig into that because there's a great book that I highly recommend to. The dear listener called the coaching habit uh say less ask more as a subtitle and one of the points in the book and it's kind of in the opening pages, everyone now knows that managers and leaders need to coach their people, what does that mean to coach? Because you think coaching and once again, if you're moving from a command and control model military to coaching now I'm thinking team sports and athletics, what does that mean? Yeah and that's a great book, I love that book, I used it a lot in my leadership programs and coaching is a different approach to leadership in the sense that you're creating more of an interactive relationship. So rather it being you as the manager, the leader know the answers are the all know er and you know, experience and knowledge person, you have conversations and interactions with your employees as professionals knowing that they bring a lot to the table and so coaching can be used in many different ways. You can use it with your high performers, it's really the root of it is asking questions, it's being more inquisitive and curious rather than telling and so you know at a fundamental level I would say for leaders shifting out of that telling, I know all the answers and more curious, inquisitive of helping your employee discover those answers or helping them figure out the path, work through a problem instead of telling them how to fix the problem because you know how to do it, I know it's I know it's a very like esoteric idea but the answers come from within and I think when the answers come from within that is where the real transformation of growth happens because I can tell you what to... all day long and I'll probably get but I even see this just with how we've transformed our organization moving from, I would say more of consultant advisor to coach. It's all about asking the questions to then get the other side to self actualize of what the answers are and then providing some objective feedback into what that answer. It's a dialogue, it's a conversation and we don't always have the answers as the coach. But through that dialogue discussion discourse, that's where the learning I think really happens and you can build people's critical thinking skills. I think piece that I hear a lot of leaders complain about is they say, you know, younger generations don't know how to think for themselves. And again, I feel like everything is generalized. You could say that about gen Xers or baby wars some of them as well. However, it's a great way to help people think through processes and think critically about how they might solve a problem. And sometimes it's simple of an employee. I call this upward delegating where they come to you and they say, I don't know what to do, how should I handle this? And you just shift that ownership to them and you might ask a question like what are your thoughts on that? How much you approach it or what do you think and you're getting them engaged in that to help them think through the problem and as you said, create a dialogue rather than diagnose and and tell people how to fix things. You're creating a dialogue to help lead them through that process? Technology has transformed our world and digital has changed the way consumers shop for and buy financial services forever. Now consumers make purchase decisions long before they walk into a branch. If they walk into a branch at all, but your financial brand still wants to grow loans and deposits, we get it, digital growth can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming for any financial brand, marketing and sales leader, but it doesn't have to because James robert wrote the book that guides you every step of the way along your digital growth journey, visit www dot digital growth dot com to get a preview of his best selling book banking on digital growth or order a copy right now for you and your team from amazon Inside, you'll find a strategic marketing manifesto that was written to transform financial brands and it is packed full of practical and proven insights you can start using today to confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits. Now back to the show Consider the and you can look at this from a marketing standpoint, like a marketing campaign review. You can look at this as like an employee review quarterly, biannually annually. I think there's an opportunity to allow someone to review their own journey what has worked well, like take a couple of experiences that they've had their choice, what has worked well, what do they feel could eat be even better. What were the key lessons that they've learned through those experiences and then what are some next best steps to apply that thinking going forward? And then that becomes part of the dialogue versus saying, Let's just review your performance, like, like, and then I'm just gonna give you that and there's not that dialogue, there's not even the like I think a marketing campaigns. Um they always talked about doing a post mortem. Uh well that's what you do to dead people. I don't even like the word words have power. And so there's an opportunity to we call it. It's a digital growth maximize er so you maximize the experience that you've just had because if you're doing a postmortem, it's not a very positive context on that, right? And, you know, coaching, I really believe can make the leader in manager's job so much easier. Because how you're approaching the dialogue is now less of I'm gonna sit you down and tell you what you're not doing well or how you need to improve. It's again, that interact interactive process where you're asking questions and just as you described of having, whether it's a quarterly or semiannually semiannual review of having that person think through, you know, what have I learned? What could I do better, what do I want to focus on and creating a dialogue around that? It just makes it so much more conversational and actionable rather than, you know I'm going to assess you. Let's have a dialogue and and talk through this and then learn and grow. And then on the flip side as a leader I want that feedback of what can I do and this is a key word. Like this is a small little things, what can I do to do even better To guide you over the next 90 days? And it's that even better, that's the key word. Because if I say what can I do better? That was like...

...either in my mind or or or my team members mind it means I didn't do very good. But what can I do to do even better adding even in front of better means that we're already doing really good. We want to grow from good to great with that. And I want to flip this here to the opposite end of the spectrum of roadblocks, right roadblocks that leaders the modern leader today must be aware of to consider things standing in their way, things that could trip them up as a leader to really become that coach who can guide their teams forward with confidence reports. What I would say is thinking that the value you bring to the organization is your technical ability. And so if you grew up in I. T. Or you grew up in HR or finance you think that your technical skills in those areas is the value you bring. And this is where I see a lot of leaders struggle getting to that next level of being effective is it's no longer the value you bring. Now. It's is it helpful? Is it important if you're a CFO to have the background of a controller or understand the finances? Of course it is. Yet your job really now is to manage and leave that team. And so a roadblock is staying stuck in the technical and not shifting even mentally that and I think organisations don't always do a good job of helping people understand this is your job. Now, your job now is to lead other people and to help them solve those problems and answer those questions and and do that work. And a main part of your job is going to be coaching and feedback and these I call them essential skills. People call them soft skills, I don't like that, they're not soft, they're essential, their essential skills because leadership is action. So I'd say another roadblock is thinking that leadership is a title or hat you wear and that's traditional leadership, right? Oh, I'm the manager, I'm the all know where I know the answer is, whereas modern leadership is a privilege and a responsibility to your people and it involves action. So you can't just say you're a leader, you have to show it through your actions and that's where the coaching, feedback, interacting, even engaging in building relationships, that piece of the people side of business and that's a great point, leadership is action and you don't have to know everything. The world coming back to this idea of abundance, the world is full of subject matter experts that you can tap into to do a quick download. I mean that was you know, that's why I wrote a book, writing a second book, you're, you've got a book out, you're writing a second book as well and it's because we want to transfer knowledge to expedite the learning and really educate Empower and elevate others so that they can do the same thing. I think back to the 1st 10 years of my business, it was all the doing of the work, right? And and and then I'm like no, we can create expeditiously more value by removing the doing, taking that decade worth of knowledge in really educating and empowering others to do even better to do even more and there's a multiplying effect, but I want to come back to this idea as a leader. I don't know everything, I'm far behind comparing myself to other financial brands, other banks, credit unions, maybe it's locally, maybe it's nationally, maybe it's against the neo banks, you've written a fantastic article about beware of compare how to tame your inner critic and that that comparison mindset is killer. What's the opportunity here to first and foremost become aware that you are comparing yourself to others and then how to break free from that, that cycle about get rid of your facebook and all that, right? I know that's not the answer. Just as you said, try not to go on on those things as much or really be in the frame of mind of what you're looking at. Um I think this is the human condition that we tend to, I believe probably every person does this where we compare ourselves and you and I are in a program where they talk about the gap in the game, we tend to focus on where we want to be and how we're not there yet instead of where we've come from. And so I think, you know, one thing to think about is it's great to have goals and it's important to have goals in a vision for whether it's your leadership, your life, your credit union, your bank and also celebrating and looking at where you've come from. So what's the gain, what are the games that you've had? So that's one piece the beware can compare. I think even just in the moment when you notice yourself getting into that mode... to just take that pause and think to yourself, you know, we've probably all gone on facebook and we look at someone else's vacation pictures, right? And think like, oh, that person is such an amazing life realizing that people are only showing their front stage, they're not showing their backstage and how does this tie into leadership? Well, it's confidence, right? And they can crush our confidence. I have many people ask me and my leadership programs, how do you build confidence? You know, I feel like some people just have it and I don't have it and confidence is absolutely something we can build and it's built by taking action. So the way to build confidence is to build your confidence. So and the only way you can do that is by stepping into the discomfort none of us and I believe in our lifetime, reach our potential and it will always be uncomfortable as we're consistently getting out there and try new things and doing new things. But if we don't do that, we won't get to those, those goals that we want. So I think the big pieces is stepping into that discomfort of action. That's a great point. And you talk about comparing and you're on facebook or instagram and I mean that's instant. Perfect. Right? You see you see those vacation photo, it's highly curated, but I've actually got into a practice, probably more so linked in than on facebook or on insta but reaching out to someone and just to give them a word of gratitude. Like saw your pictures in Greece, hope you had a fantastic what was what was the most memorable part of the experience and that's a private direct message and I do a lot of this now behind the scenes, even even from a marketing a cell's perspective, but even I think from a leadership, you can play what I call the game of tag with your team members internally and the game of tag, is this everything in in digital growth? Topia has an acronym so that a D. D. James robert can actually remember what he's talking about. So the game of tag is this, you can go out on linkedin and build your network this way or you can just do this with your internal team members probably once a quarter or once a month. Even number one, thank them, get very, very specific into why you're thanking them. Number two. Ask them. So t A ask ask them what's a question that they might have, What's something that's keeping them up at night, where might they be struggling? And then finally the G is guide them, give them some perspective and a lot of this Can be done a synchronously. I'm a big advocate for platforms like like loom or video bomb bomb, to where I can record, takes literally takes me 2-3 minutes to go through the whole process right there and it's just a way to build a human connection digitally. Typically from a marketing itself perspective, but I think you can apply this internally to from a leadership leadership context, right? Well, and this is one of the top reasons why people leave organizations, They don't feel appreciated, they don't feel valued where they work. So I love that framework and you can absolutely use that with your employees as well of just thanking them even and as you said, be specific because saying to someone, you're doing a great job, may feel great, but it's not really telling them, it doesn't feel as genuine and so when you can share with someone some true feedback that is, you know, purposeful that you thought about, that helps them feel appreciated and the value they bring to the organization, it's the simple things, it doesn't have to be major and in fact on surveys, it often comes up that the handwritten thank you know, is something employees appreciate the most. And so, but how many times do we take that extra effort? I think it was a former Ceo of Home Depot who said he spent hours every week writing handwritten, thank you notes to staff members across the country and he thought that was so important in a really valuable piece of his role. And that's a big a big key result area, an important key result area for leaders, is to make sure that you're showing that appreciation. You know, um you take the handwritten note which I think will never ever go out of style because you're taking a thought that's in your mind, you're transmitting it through your hand onto paper, you're putting it in the physical world, it's getting documented, that's then being received by someone to take that and put a little bit of a modern spin on it, do that in conjunction or alongside of this video communication and now you have a very powerful like one to approach. I mean I had to pull up an email here, It was to someone, it was their birthday. I sent them a video...

...message maybe 60 90 seconds, just you know, wishing them a happy birthday and hoping that the next years they have or even better than the first this, this set here, I'm not gonna mention age because there's a lot of experience side of this and they replied back thank you so much. This seriously, seriously means a lot, especially knowing how busy you are, Thank you. And I sincerely mean this like it's not just in it, but it becomes habit, it becomes part of the internal operating system and if you can build this in culturally across the organization, I mean, imagine, you know, looking back 12 months from where you're at today going forward and what you're talking about is created connection, right? So whether it's in digital banking and marketing, your financial institution or its internally with your team creating connection piece and there's so many ways to do that. Like you just described that video, which I think is so such a great modern way to do that. But just think about the handwritten, thank you note for a moment, how many of us still get birthday cards in the mail. I have one friend who sends me a birthday card a physical card every year. And every time I get that I messaged her because I you know of course my mom and dad do too but they don't count right? But outside of the obligatory birthday cards when someone takes the time to actually put a stamp and write your address and write a note it feels so meaningful. And so I would encourage leaders to think about how do you create those connections with people? Because the employees today want to not feel like a number, they don't want to feel disposable. They want to feel like they have a connection to their company into their leaders. And so whether that's making sure you're connecting with them through notes or showing that appreciation or understanding their situation, I really believe helping leaders should ask what are people's stories? You know there's a story behind everybody. Everyone has been going on in their lives. I know people right now in organizations that are struggling with things personally that maybe their leaders don't know about. And it's not about having to know everything going on in your employee's life but it's having that empathy and flexibility and that way of supporting them in their overall life. Not just as a as a worker or an employee. Yes and I think you know when you're talking about this idea of empathy, there's a formulaic approach here that we can apply E. Q. Plus a. Q. Will in this digital world be far greater than I. Q. Alone. It's back to your point about just intelligence and that that that that knowledge but then adding the essential skills not the soft skills but the essential skills of the human condition that is uh an element for transformative growth. And and I missed the mark. Like when I wrote banking on digital growth and it wasn't through until I you know we went through this covid experience that I looked at growth as Dx plus H. X. Equals growth meaning the digital experience plus the human experience equals growth and like yeah that's great and we got a lot of positive feedback but I'm like Now 18 months and I'm like no that needs to get updated meaning E. X. Plus Hx plus Dx equals growth meaning the employee experience plus the human experience that can come from that that is delivered through the digital experience because a positive employee experience well then create a positive human experience that can be delivered digitally. Because if you think about all of the conflict and the stress and the chaos that employees have experienced that's gonna get articulated out. We can do so much to try to keep that in check. But eventually we got to address some of these situations. Your employee experience is going to bleed over into your customer remember experience right? And so how we treat our employees and how they feel at work if they're feeling stressed and burnt out, overworked or they have lack of clarity? They don't know what they should be focusing on? Like a lot of leaders struggle with now, right? It's just this cognitive overload that people have. They come in in the morning and they look at their to do this and there's choice paralysis. I don't even know where to spend my time. So I spin my wheels just to get through the day and we're not getting the best from people. And so how we need to really think about. And I'm so passionate about the employee experience and this is a definite evolution from the traditional management style, which is, here's our handbook that was written by our lawyer and I'm not saying, I mean those things are important to have some legal terms in there. I'm not as a former HR VP. I know that the importance of that yet. Are we really like we map the member customer...

...experience. Are we mapping the employee experience every time they have. I had someone in one of my programs tell me once they showed up for their first day for work, new new employer and went up to the receptionist that I'm here for my first day of work and it turned out their manager was on vacation and no one knew what to do with this person. So they spent about an hour in the lobby waiting for everyone to kind of scramble behind the scenes now, Do you think you'd feel welcomed by that, right? Yeah. So what are the ways, what are the and it can be simple things. I have a client that sends an edible arrangement the week before the employee starts to welcome to the team. We can't wait to to see you. We can't wait to have you join the team. What is your language look like? What are things that could be driving your employees away? These old school policies where we just want to cover our basis and not treat people like adults and professionals. So starting to re look at those things because it absolutely impacts the experience your customers and your members have. Yes, no, I agree. 100%. I want to get really, really practical here at the end lawyer. This has been a fantastic conversation, fantastic discussion and dialogue with you today. But for the dear listener, what is one thing that they can apply something small to begin some of these new habits that if they're not already doing them? What's one thing that they can do just to make progress on their own personal journey of growth here, what would be your recommendation? Well, if if it's OK, I want to give you two because one is more personal and one I'd say is more for teams. So one I would say is just find some time this week today to reach out to let's see your best employee and just connect with them and share with them what you appreciate about them. So again, leadership is action, it's the actions that make a difference. It's not the intentions the other would be as a leader to, to start to elevate your leadership is finding ways to block sometime whether for strategic thinking or planning, we're just so starred for that time and you know, and I know as an entrepreneur to consistently grow your business, you have to be thinking forward or you can't louise all the time. And this is why a few years ago I started going off site for my own retreats, quote unquote too. Really think about my business. I think leaders can do this even in the office or as you said, go to a coffee shop or a computer room or somewhere else. Schedule half a day to think strategically about your department and we're your leadership and to put some actions into place that you can be thinking about the future and elevating your team and your own personal leadership. I'm going to build on that side. If if I may and You make a commitment to do that every 90 days And then get an accountability partner and that accountability partner can be someone like you. It could be someone like me, it could be someone at another financial brand, but someone who is going to be checking in on you and I've already written a note down lori just to let you know, I'm going to be checking in on you in 30 days to see how your bedtime phone use is coming along. That I need that accountability because that would be embarrassed if you email me and I'm still myself by my bed. I'm giving you a heads up that there's always his accountability. I think accountability is one of the key elements for continuous transformation for continuous growth because when left to our own devices, it's so easy to fall back on old patterns and old behaviors that feel safe that feel comfortable and to your point of it takes courage to act and act once again in digital growth. Topia act as an acronym, it's awareness, awareness plus courage and commitment. That's what leads to transformative growth right there. So Lori, this has been great, great conversation. If someone wants to continue the conversation discussion with you, what's the best way for them to connect and say hello, they can connect on linkedin or through my website which is envisioned. Excellence dot net envision excellence dot net And I think that's what we are all working towards. We are working towards excellence to be the best version of ourselves so that we can empower and elevate others to be the best version of their selves and as a result we're all growing from good to great and getting even better together. So thank you Lord for so much for joining me. This has been a good, good conversation until next time. Be well. Do good and make your bed. Thank you for listening to another episode of banking on digital growth with James robert. Ley. Like what you hear, tell a friend about the podcast and leave us a review on apple podcasts, google podcasts or Spotify and subscribe while you're there. To get even more practical improvement insights, visit www dot... growth dot com to grab a preview of James roberts, best selling book banking on digital growth or order a copy right now for you and your team from amazon Inside you'll find a strategic marketing and sales blueprint framed around 12 key areas of focus that empower you to confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits. Until next time. Be well and do good.

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