Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 3 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 upin HR or finance you think that your technical skills in those areas is thevalue you bring. And this is where I see a lot of leaders struggle gettingto that next level of being effective. Is it's no longer the value you bringnow. It's is it helpful? Is it important if you're a CFO to have thebackground of a controller or understand the finances? Of course itis. Yet your job really now is to manage and leave that team. Yeah. Yeah mm. Yeah. You're listening to bankingon digital growth. With James Robert lay a podcast that empowers financialbrand marketing sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growthpotential by generating 10 times more loans and deposits. Today's episode ispart of the exponential insight series where James robert interviews theindustry's top marketing sales and fintech leaders sharing practicalwisdom to exponentially elevate you and your team. Let's get into the showgreetings and hello I am James robert ley and welcome to the 128th episode ofthe Banking on digital Growth podcast. Today's episode is part of theexponential insight series and I'm excited to welcome Lori Madalina to theshow. Laurie is the Ceo of Envision Excellence, a certified executive coachand leadership development consultant as well as a published author who havegotten to know well over the past few months and I appreciate both herthinking as well as her writing and I'm looking forward to. Today'sconversation with her welcome to the show laureate is so good to have youfor today's conversation is going to be a good one. It's one that I've beenlooking for two for a while now. Well I always love talking with you Jamesrobert. So thanks for having me before we get into the discussion. What's goodfor you right now, personally, professionally, what's what's positivein your world? That's a great question. Um there's a lot of positive thingsright now. I say, well one is, I've just gotten off almost a monthsabbatical in august, I did come to work for one day I think, or a week ina day, but I took three weeks off of vacation, which was really good. Ireally believe that's helpful for the mind and body and soul and todisconnect and think differently and then come back. So that's probably themost positive thing that's happened in the past month for me. It's interestingthat you say that because I'm gonna connect the dots because well I didn'ttake a sabbatical, I took a week off in july and we went down to the beachhouse in Galveston and I vividly remember on a run thinking because Icome from an M. S background, did a lot of programming in the early years ofthe business. And I've been thinking a lot about The mind, the subconsciousmind, it's like a computer and if we can program computers, we can obviouslyprogram 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 breakfree from doing, to review, to reflect, to learn through those experiences andthen think about what we can do next, do it even better. Why do you and fromyour experience, why do people get stuck doing? And they don't create thatspace, They don't create that time. You know, I think a big piece of it is thatwe 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 aboutbooks just before getting on the podcast and you recommended what I haveand 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'veevolved and we've gotten busier in many ways, technology connects us, but italso gives us this opportunity to stay connected constantly to not disconnectas much as maybe 30 40 years ago and I think we've gotten into this placewhere there's so many goals and so many things going on that people have areally hard time focusing and so we get in this busy mood. I think for a lot ofleaders, we feel accomplished when we're checking things off our list. Sowe often get into this busy accomplishment mode checking things offthat feel easy just letting the day kind of take us along with theseemergencies and fires and interruptions. And you have to deliberately create thespace for thinking in today's environment, particularly in in theworkplace and so it's so easy and I've had so many clients say this to mewhere they say I blocked my time, but then I let it, you know, something elsecome in and take that over. It really...

...takes deliberate practice and a littlebit of discipline to make sure you're creating that space in your work andwhether it's a vacation taking it to go away or it's speaking strategically. Ithink there's another element if, if I may level up, there's also someaccountability that comes into play because this is so habitual, this ideaof just checking stuff off the list, we get a dopamine hit from it and then wecrave and we seek more. But then you and I were talking before we hit recordtoo environment, right? Environment plays so strong into that space andthat time element you mentioned, you have a little bit of a, of a hack likelike I did before and I was traveling with this. Um, but just a differentplace, different environment transform your, you're thinking boats. And thisis a practice. I started about four years ago where about three times ayear 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 myenvironment and give myself the space to think differently. I just think thatwhen you're in your regular environment every day, whether it's your office andnow for a lot of us, a lot of, you know, banking and credit union professionalswho are working from home or a majority of the time, I bet a lot of them haveexperienced what a lot of us who are entrepreneurs do if you have an officein your house is, there's other things right? There's your dishes, there'slaundry, there's other things pulling at you and whether you're doing it ornot, I'm pretty disciplined about not doing those things during the my workday, but it's on my mind, I can see it and that influences how I feel and howI can focus. One of the interesting observations that I've experienced is Ihave multiple places for quote unquote work, different environments fordifferent types of work. I've got the home office for just kind of theroutine, getting through the quote unquote list. I have the office officewith the studio, we do a lot of the podcast and so it's a completelydifferent environment and then I have a couple of, you know, like coffee shopsfor in different, different coffee shops out actually for different typesof 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 Ithink that is it's an interesting point to make as you think about the futureof work and remote if we get trapped in one environment, it's easy to gettrapped in one type of operational mode and not create that space and time toreview, to learn to think to do even better. You wrote an article to that Ithink 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 tothe top, but it's not what you think, it's really about getting your eighthours here and what's your take on sleep. And because I think this is youknow 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 thatpoint. Yeah, I think that's a lot of people's mindset these days because wehave so much going on. And I think I think a lot of women in the workplacenow too are trying to balance everything right trying to balance yourChildren and maybe in the past year home schooling and all these thingsthat we were kind of in this society in this culture where there's not enoughtime for everything and so you skimp on sleep and I love sleep. That's all Ican 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 onehour less, I feel tired, exhausted. Not mentally sharp. Those important thingslike the strategic thinking and the projects that are important and need toget done. Go to like way down to the bottom of the list and I start gettingan activity mode. They don't feel like doing those things because they feelharder. And so obviously there's a lot of research out there about how mostamericans are sleep deprived. And I really think this is something thatleaders have to think about of how can you be at your best, What does it takefor you and not everyone, maybe it's nine hours of sleep. Probably mostpeople, it's more than they think. But what are those things that you have todo that you know, will help you? And for some people you might have toexperiment. So an example of a habit, a bad habit. I started during Covid wasbringing my phone to bed. So previous to that I always charged my phonedownstairs. I never brought it upstairs with me but then, you know, everythingis going on just looking at things...

...quickly and had it next to my bed in mynightstand. So this is something I'm trying to pull myself away from nowputting my phone to bed in a different place before I go to bed. So I'm nottempted Even if I'm reading and I look up, I'm like let me just look that upreally quickly. And then before you know it, 2030 minutes goes by I'mcutting into sleep time. It's interesting you say that because one ofthe things that I did probably going back two years ago is I have a dumpsmartphone meaning I uninstalled. It started with social media. So allsocial media came off. Then my email came off my phone andthen the last thing to go was my internet browser. So I literally havethe only capability I have on my phone is SmS Youtube, which I use for runningSpotify and podcast and then obviously GPS and pictures but I don't have thataccess to the rest of the world and people don't have access to me becauseyes, it really is. Because I found that once I took access away to me ie socialmedia and email then I found the big danger was getting access to the restof the world through a google search and it was I'd be in a conversation andI just I love learning, I love knowledge. And so I just look upsomething in a conversation and I'm like and my wife was the one who calledme out on it. But it's interesting that you talk about like for example womenand women in leadership. There was an article that I recently read on scaryMommy called Revenge Yes, it's called Revenge Bedtime procrastination and whyyou might be doing it. And as I was reading through this, I thought aboutmy wife, she knows she needs to go to sleep philosophically, she knows thatbut she'll stay up an extra 30 minutes hour, two hours up until 12 1 o'clockin 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 probablyimpacts women more so than men, even those women in leadership roles thatare, you know, multiple areas in their life that they're just juggling and nowcovid 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 inleadership. 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 orcreate the best workplace for for not only women but our workforce goingforward, it's such an important piece because women do have so many things ontheir plate of course, you know, we're generalizing men do too, but I canspeak from the woman's perspective of most women research shows take care ofthe household duties in addition to now, many of them being in professionalleadership roles and the pressure and stress. I can tell you from this pastyear, a lot of my colleagues and my clients are exhausted of trying to beeverything to everyone and just that what you describe, I love that becausewe 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 emailand cutting off email at a certain time and I think every leader, whether it'sa ceo executive or mid level manager should do that. There's obviously a waysomeone 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 nineor 10 at night and seeing an email that may not be very important. But I knowfor 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'treally truly disconnect. So I think an important piece for us as we go forwardis 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 environmentof of abundance of everything. You're right. It is an abundance of everythingand that that abundance creates a tremendous amount of opportunity tocreate something new to capture something that is already existing. Butwe're not fully maximizing or to capitalize on a strength that we haveto do even more with that. But on the flip side it's it's really a doubleedged sword because that abundance of information just alone and I want todive into that idea of, of knowledge of information, particularly here in thebanking space and the credit new space...

...because things Have transformed so muchover the last 12-18 months and there were a lot of financial brands who arealready dabbling in digital. They were already on a path of quote unquotedigital transformation or digital growth, but covid accelerated all ofthis when you look at this acceleration and I hear this with leadership teams alot. 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 leadershiplevel to just simply be aware of what the opportunities are to begin withbecause if we don't even know those opportunities exist, we might bemissing out and not able to capture that. Yeah, well I'm just like you workwith banks and carnations on the digital, both piece of helping them seehow things are changing, right? Things are evolving. It's not the same as itwas probably five years ago or maybe even two years ago. We have to beconstantly looking at to the future of how these things are involving, howmembers and customers want to engage with their financial institutions. It'sthe same for leadership so much has evolved and the leadership practices of2030, even 10 years ago, aren't they don't work anymore. And unfortunately Ithink they're the root issue many times is that we put people in leadershiproles who either aren't prepared. So they haven't been trained or developedto understand how to truly influence people in a positive way to bring outtheir best performance or they just shouldn't be in a leadership role. Andwe don't like all this giving people to peak behind the curtain. I reallybelieve that we should help people see what it takes to be a leader, What arethe competencies, what what we're daily life look like as a leader? What arethe expectations before they get there so that they can opt out. It's harderto opt out right later. And what I find is many times people get into thoseroles and then they realize, wow, this isn't a good match for me, I don't wantto have to coach people on a regular basis. I have a hard time givingfeedback that's constructive or having those hard conversations and so, youknow, that's the route I think is starting from who are we putting inthese roles, How are we preparing them? And as you said, development andtraining is more important now than ever. There's five generations in theworkplace for the first time in history and I know we're seeing this with thedigital banking right? Of gen z and their expectations and how they want toengage with members and uh engaged with credit unions and banks. It's the samefor our workforce. Now we have the great resignation where a record numberof people are resigning their positions over the past few months. This isdisrupting faster now. What has to evolve for people to be effective inleadership roles? You know, you, you make an interesting point thatleadership has transformed The last 10 years, even what have been some ofthose transformations you make a great .5 generations in the workforce, andand I want to touch on that and then come back to the question because I'veheard, for example, from Ceos and even boards of directors, they are typicallyat this point baby boomers in their minds. I they think that gen x willbegin to take on the attributes of the boomers gen y. Well then graduate intoexercise jin's ears into, you know, millennials, but that's not how itworks. Each generation has its own cultural perspective. And so we hadsome really good conversations about this in a board session, but I'mcurious to come back to the point of leadership, what have been thesetransformations 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 remembermy dad would listen to my music and say like your music is garbage, right? Ourmusic of the fifties and sixties is the best music. And of course being aneighties kid, I think the eighties are the best ever. So we always think formost of us we think our generation is the best because that's what we'reaccustomed to. That's what we've lived. You know, how we grew up, whether itwas as a child or in our organizations is what we're familiar with and so wetend to adopt that style. And so the what I call this traditional leadershipand I think we can certainly have traditional leaders in every generation.It's almost at this point leadership by default, which is the command andcontrol telling, you know, I'm the boss,...

I know the answers, I'm moreexperienced. You know, you're the worker bee, I tell you what to do verylittle 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, workto earn your money and that's it doesn't work. Now different generationsvalue different things and and we know from the gen y the millennials thatthey they started to come in and and have choices right? And and wantdifferent things in their workplace. So the traditional style wasn't engagingto them and they have choices to go to different places. So they won't stayfor that. And we're hearing from them already about flexibility and I thinkthis past year and a half, we're certainly hearing that not even justfor millennials anymore gen z, but other generations as well. I'm a genXer and I know a lot of gen Xers who are looking for flexibility and so Youknow, leaders today, I call it modern leaders because modern is alwayschanging. What's modern today is going to be modern, not different than 10years from now and being people want meeting in their work, they want tofeel connection to their company purpose. They want to have quality oflife. And I, I really believe this is what people are talking about this pastyear and a half. When they say flexibility, they want to be able to goto their kid's soccer game, they want to be able to have dinner with theirfamily. And I believe that a lot of ceos are thinking, oh, everyone justwants to work from home now. And that's not necessarily the case. I think everyorganization has to analyze and figure out what kind of culture you want tohave and what positions can be, you know, maybe partially remote, but it'snot an all or nothing. I think there's a hybrid approach, their great pointyou make before about command and control. I tell you what to do. You doit. I mean it's very it's very like military, operational, operationallybased in back to this point of I want balance in my life because I'm morethan just the person that I bring to work. You know, I'm a father, I'm aspouse, I'm a friend and I really believe if you can bring your true selfto work and then all of these other areas and not try to compartmentalizeand I think we start compartmentalizing, that's where some conflict starts tolike, like Route and I've experienced this myself. I mean in 2012, 10 yearsin the business, the business was fantastic. But I was on the border of adivorce because I was not being true to myself in all areas of my life and itwas a lot of pain but it was also a major growing experience as well asyou've talked through this comparing leadership of the past to the modernleader if you will today and what it would be tomorrow. You've mentionedcoaching a couple of times and I want to dig into that because there's agreat book that I highly recommend to. The dear listener called the coachinghabit uh say less ask more as a subtitle and one of the points in thebook and it's kind of in the opening pages, everyone now knows that managersand leaders need to coach their people, what does that mean to coach? Becauseyou think coaching and once again, if you're moving from a command andcontrol 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 ita lot in my leadership programs and coaching is a different approach toleadership in the sense that you're creating more of an interactiverelationship. So rather it being you as the manager, the leader know theanswers are the all know er and you know, experience and knowledge person,you have conversations and interactions with your employees as professionalsknowing that they bring a lot to the table and so coaching can be used inmany different ways. You can use it with your high performers, it's reallythe root of it is asking questions, it's being more inquisitive and curiousrather than telling and so you know at a fundamental level I would say forleaders shifting out of that telling, I know all the answers and more curious,inquisitive of helping your employee discover those answers or helping themfigure out the path, work through a problem instead of telling them how tofix the problem because you know how to do it, I know it's I know it's a verylike esoteric idea but the answers come from within and I think when theanswers come from within that is where the real transformation of growthhappens because I can tell you what to... all day long and I'll probably getbut I even see this just with how we've transformed our organization movingfrom, I would say more of consultant advisor to coach. It's all about askingthe questions to then get the other side to self actualize of what theanswers are and then providing some objective feedback into what thatanswer. It's a dialogue, it's a conversation and we don't always havethe answers as the coach. But through that dialogue discussion discourse,that's where the learning I think really happens and you can buildpeople's critical thinking skills. I think piece that I hear a lot ofleaders complain about is they say, you know, younger generations don't knowhow 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 criticallyabout how they might solve a problem. And sometimes it's simple of anemployee. I call this upward delegating where they come to you and they say, Idon't know what to do, how should I handle this? And you just shift thatownership to them and you might ask a question like what are your thoughts onthat? How much you approach it or what do you think and you're getting themengaged 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? Technologyhas transformed our world and digital has changed the way consumers shop forand buy financial services forever. Now consumers make purchase decisions longbefore they walk into a branch. If they walk into a branch at all, but yourfinancial brand still wants to grow loans and deposits, we get it, digitalgrowth can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming for any financialbrand, marketing and sales leader, but it doesn't have to because James robertwrote the book that guides you every step of the way along your digitalgrowth journey, visit www dot digital growth dot com to get a preview of hisbest selling book banking on digital growth or order a copy right now foryou and your team from amazon Inside, you'll find a strategic marketingmanifesto that was written to transform financial brands and it is packed fullof practical and proven insights you can start using today to confidentlygenerate 10 times more loans and deposits. Now back to the show Considerthe and you can look at this from a marketing standpoint, like a marketingcampaign review. You can look at this as like an employee review quarterly,biannually annually. I think there's an opportunity to allow someone to reviewtheir own journey what has worked well, like take a couple of experiences thatthey've had their choice, what has worked well, what do they feel couldeat be even better. What were the key lessons that they've learned throughthose experiences and then what are some next best steps to apply thatthinking going forward? And then that becomes part of the dialogue versussaying, Let's just review your performance, like, like, and then I'mjust gonna give you that and there's not that dialogue, there's not even thelike I think a marketing campaigns. Um they always talked about doing a postmortem. Uh well that's what you do to dead people. I don't even like the wordwords have power. And so there's an opportunity to we call it. It's adigital growth maximize er so you maximize the experience that you'vejust had because if you're doing a postmortem, it's not a very positivecontext on that, right? And, you know, coaching, I really believe can make theleader in manager's job so much easier. Because how you're approaching thedialogue is now less of I'm gonna sit you down and tell you what you're notdoing well or how you need to improve. It's again, that interact interactiveprocess where you're asking questions and just as you described of having,whether it's a quarterly or semiannually semiannual review ofhaving that person think through, you know, what have I learned? What could Ido better, what do I want to focus on and creating a dialogue around that? Itjust makes it so much more conversational and actionable ratherthan, you know I'm going to assess you. Let's have a dialogue and and talkthrough this and then learn and grow. And then on the flip side as a leader Iwant that feedback of what can I do and this is a key word. Like this is asmall little things, what can I do to do even better To guide you over thenext 90 days? And it's that even better, that's the key word. Because if I saywhat can I do better? That was like...

...either in my mind or or or my teammembers mind it means I didn't do very good. But what can I do to do evenbetter adding even in front of better means that we're already doing reallygood. We want to grow from good to great with that. And I want to flipthis here to the opposite end of the spectrum of roadblocks, rightroadblocks that leaders the modern leader today must be aware of toconsider things standing in their way, things that could trip them up as aleader to really become that coach who can guide their teams forward withconfidence reports. What I would say is thinking that the value you bring tothe 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 inthose areas is the value you bring. And this is where I see a lot of leadersstruggle getting to that next level of being effective is it's no longer thevalue you bring. Now. It's is it helpful? Is it important if you're aCFO 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 evenmentally that and I think organisations don't always do a good job of helpingpeople understand this is your job. Now, your job now is to lead other peopleand to help them solve those problems and answer those questions and and dothat work. And a main part of your job is going to be coaching and feedbackand these I call them essential skills. People call them soft skills, I don'tlike that, they're not soft, they're essential, their essential skillsbecause leadership is action. So I'd say another roadblock is thinking thatleadership 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 yourpeople and it involves action. So you can't just say you're a leader, youhave to show it through your actions and that's where the coaching, feedback,interacting, even engaging in building relationships, that piece of the peopleside of business and that's a great point, leadership is action and youdon't have to know everything. The world coming back to this idea ofabundance, the world is full of subject matter experts that you can tap into todo 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 secondbook as well and it's because we want to transfer knowledge to expedite thelearning and really educate Empower and elevate others so that they can do thesame thing. I think back to the 1st 10 years of my business, it was all thedoing of the work, right? And and and then I'm like no, we can createexpeditiously more value by removing the doing, taking that decade worth ofknowledge in really educating and empowering others to do even better todo even more and there's a multiplying effect, but I want to come back to thisidea as a leader. I don't know everything, I'm far behind comparingmyself to other financial brands, other banks, credit unions, maybe it'slocally, maybe it's nationally, maybe it's against the neo banks, you'vewritten a fantastic article about beware of compare how to tame yourinner critic and that that comparison mindset is killer. What's theopportunity here to first and foremost become aware that you are comparingyourself to others and then how to break free from that, that cycle aboutget 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 inthe frame of mind of what you're looking at. Um I think this is thehuman condition that we tend to, I believe probably every person does thiswhere we compare ourselves and you and I are in a program where they talkabout the gap in the game, we tend to focus on where we want to be and howwe're not there yet instead of where we've come from. And so I think, youknow, one thing to think about is it's great to have goals and it's importantto have goals in a vision for whether it's your leadership, your life, yourcredit union, your bank and also celebrating and looking at where you'vecome from. So what's the gain, what are the games that you've had? So that'sone piece the beware can compare. I think even just in the moment when younotice yourself getting into that mode... to just take that pause and think toyourself, you know, we've probably all gone on facebook and we look at someoneelse's vacation pictures, right? And think like, oh, that person is such anamazing life realizing that people are only showing their front stage, they'renot showing their backstage and how does this tie into leadership? Well,it's confidence, right? And they can crush our confidence. I have manypeople 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 andconfidence is absolutely something we can build and it's built by takingaction. So the way to build confidence is to build your confidence. So and theonly way you can do that is by stepping into the discomfort none of us and Ibelieve in our lifetime, reach our potential and it will always beuncomfortable as we're consistently getting out there and try new thingsand doing new things. But if we don't do that, we won't get to those, thosegoals that we want. So I think the big pieces is stepping into that discomfortof action. That's a great point. And you talk about comparing and you're onfacebook or instagram and I mean that's instant. Perfect. Right? You see yousee those vacation photo, it's highly curated, but I've actually got into apractice, probably more so linked in than on facebook or on insta butreaching out to someone and just to give them a word of gratitude. Like sawyour pictures in Greece, hope you had a fantastic what was what was the mostmemorable part of the experience and that's a private direct message and Ido a lot of this now behind the scenes, even even from a marketing a cell'sperspective, but even I think from a leadership, you can play what I callthe game of tag with your team members internally and the game of tag, is thiseverything in in digital growth? Topia has an acronym so that a D. D. Jamesrobert can actually remember what he's talking about. So the game of tag isthis, you can go out on linkedin and build your network this way or you canjust do this with your internal team members probably once a quarter or oncea month. Even number one, thank them, get very, very specific into why you'rethanking them. Number two. Ask them. So t A ask ask them what's a question thatthey might have, What's something that's keeping them up at night, wheremight they be struggling? And then finally the G is guide them, give themsome perspective and a lot of this Can be done a synchronously. I'm a bigadvocate for platforms like like loom or video bomb bomb, to where I canrecord, takes literally takes me 2-3 minutes to go through the whole processright there and it's just a way to build a human connection digitally.Typically from a marketing itself perspective, but I think you can applythis internally to from a leadership leadership context, right? Well, andthis is one of the top reasons why people leave organizations, They don'tfeel appreciated, they don't feel valued where they work. So I love thatframework and you can absolutely use that with your employees as well ofjust 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 truefeedback that is, you know, purposeful that you thought about, that helps themfeel appreciated and the value they bring to the organization, it's thesimple things, it doesn't have to be major and in fact on surveys, it oftencomes up that the handwritten thank you know, is something employees appreciatethe most. And so, but how many times do we take that extra effort? I think itwas a former Ceo of Home Depot who said he spent hours every week writinghandwritten, thank you notes to staff members across the country and hethought that was so important in a really valuable piece of his role. Andthat'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 youtake the handwritten note which I think will never ever go out of style becauseyou're taking a thought that's in your mind, you're transmitting it throughyour hand onto paper, you're putting it in the physical world, it's gettingdocumented, that's then being received by someone to take that and put alittle bit of a modern spin on it, do that in conjunction or alongside ofthis video communication and now you have a very powerful like one toapproach. I mean I had to pull up an email here, It was to someone, it wastheir birthday. I sent them a video...

...message maybe 60 90 seconds, just youknow, wishing them a happy birthday and hoping that the next years they have oreven better than the first this, this set here, I'm not gonna mention agebecause there's a lot of experience side of this and they replied backthank you so much. This seriously, seriously means a lot, especiallyknowing how busy you are, Thank you. And I sincerely mean this like it's notjust in it, but it becomes habit, it becomes part of the internal operatingsystem and if you can build this in culturally across the organization, Imean, imagine, you know, looking back 12 months from where you're at todaygoing forward and what you're talking about is created connection, right? Sowhether it's in digital banking and marketing, your financial institutionor its internally with your team creating connection piece and there'sso many ways to do that. Like you just described that video, which I think isso 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 themail. I have one friend who sends me a birthday card a physical card everyyear. And every time I get that I messaged her because I you know ofcourse my mom and dad do too but they don't count right? But outside of theobligatory birthday cards when someone takes the time to actually put a stampand write your address and write a note it feels so meaningful. And so I wouldencourage leaders to think about how do you create those connections withpeople? Because the employees today want to not feel like a number, theydon't want to feel disposable. They want to feel like they have aconnection to their company into their leaders. And so whether that's makingsure you're connecting with them through notes or showing thatappreciation or understanding their situation, I really believe helpingleaders should ask what are people's stories? You know there's a storybehind everybody. Everyone has been going on in their lives. I know peopleright now in organizations that are struggling with things personally thatmaybe their leaders don't know about. And it's not about having to knoweverything going on in your employee's life but it's having that empathy andflexibility and that way of supporting them in their overall life. Not just asa as a worker or an employee. Yes and I think you know when you're talkingabout this idea of empathy, there's a formulaic approach here that we canapply 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 thatthat knowledge but then adding the essential skills not the soft skillsbut the essential skills of the human condition that is uh an element fortransformative growth. And and I missed the mark. Like when I wrote banking ondigital growth and it wasn't through until I you know we went through thiscovid experience that I looked at growth as Dx plus H. X. Equals growthmeaning the digital experience plus the human experience equals growth and likeyeah that's great and we got a lot of positive feedback but I'm like Now 18months and I'm like no that needs to get updated meaning E. X. Plus Hx plusDx equals growth meaning the employee experience plus the human experiencethat can come from that that is delivered through the digitalexperience because a positive employee experience well then create a positivehuman experience that can be delivered digitally. Because if you think aboutall of the conflict and the stress and the chaos that employees haveexperienced that's gonna get articulated out. We can do so much totry to keep that in check. But eventually we got to address some ofthese situations. Your employee experience is going to bleed over intoyour customer remember experience right? And so how we treat our employees andhow 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 befocusing on? Like a lot of leaders struggle with now, right? It's justthis cognitive overload that people have. They come in in the morning andthey look at their to do this and there's choice paralysis. I don't evenknow where to spend my time. So I spin my wheels just to get through the dayand we're not getting the best from people. And so how we need to reallythink about. And I'm so passionate about the employee experience and thisis 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 meanthose things are important to have some legal terms in there. I'm not as aformer HR VP. I know that the importance of that yet. Are we reallylike we map the member customer...

...experience. Are we mapping the employeeexperience every time they have. I had someone in one of my programs tell meonce they showed up for their first day for work, new new employer and went upto the receptionist that I'm here for my first day of work and it turned outtheir 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 ofscramble 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. Ihave a client that sends an edible arrangement the week before theemployee starts to welcome to the team. We can't wait to to see you. We can'twait to have you join the team. What is your language look like? What arethings that could be driving your employees away? These old schoolpolicies where we just want to cover our basis and not treat people likeadults and professionals. So starting to re look at those things because itabsolutely 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 withyou today. But for the dear listener, what is one thing that they can applysomething small to begin some of these new habits that if they're not alreadydoing them? What's one thing that they can do just to make progress on theirown 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 oneI'd say is more for teams. So one I would say is just find some time thisweek today to reach out to let's see your best employee and just connectwith 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 theintentions the other would be as a leader to, to start to elevate yourleadership is finding ways to block sometime whether for strategic thinkingor planning, we're just so starred for that time and you know, and I know asan entrepreneur to consistently grow your business, you have to be thinkingforward or you can't louise all the time. And this is why a few years ago Istarted going off site for my own retreats, quote unquote too. Reallythink about my business. I think leaders can do this even in the officeor 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 andwe're your leadership and to put some actions into place that you can bethinking about the future and elevating your team and your own personalleadership. I'm going to build on that side. If if I may and You make a commitment to do that every90 days And then get an accountability partner and that accountability partnercan be someone like you. It could be someone like me, it could be someone atanother financial brand, but someone who is going to be checking in on youand I've already written a note down lori just to let you know, I'm going tobe checking in on you in 30 days to see how your bedtime phone use is comingalong. That I need that accountability because that would be embarrassed ifyou email me and I'm still myself by my bed. I'm giving you a heads up thatthere's always his accountability. I think accountability is one of the keyelements for continuous transformation for continuous growth because when leftto our own devices, it's so easy to fall back on old patterns and oldbehaviors that feel safe that feel comfortable and to your point of ittakes courage to act and act once again in digital growth. Topia act as anacronym, it's awareness, awareness plus courage and commitment. That's whatleads to transformative growth right there. So Lori, this has been great,great conversation. If someone wants to continue the conversation discussionwith you, what's the best way for them to connect and say hello, they canconnect on linkedin or through my website which is envisioned. Excellencedot net envision excellence dot net And I think that's what we are all workingtowards. We are working towards excellence to be the best version ofourselves so that we can empower and elevate others to be the best versionof their selves and as a result we're all growing from good to great andgetting 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 andmake your bed. Thank you for listening to another episode of banking ondigital growth with James robert. Ley. Like what you hear, tell a friend aboutthe podcast and leave us a review on apple podcasts, google podcasts orSpotify and subscribe while you're there. To get even more practicalimprovement insights, visit www dot... growth dot com to grab apreview of James roberts, best selling book banking on digital growth or ordera copy right now for you and your team from amazon Inside you'll find astrategic marketing and sales blueprint framed around 12 key areas of focusthat empower you to confidently generate 10 times more loans anddeposits. Until next time. Be well and do good.

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