E138 - If your culture is toxic, look in the mirror - with Colin Ellis
Zoe route them. Welcome to these wrath leadership podcast where we talk about all things people stuff especially when it comes to leadership one of the things I love to think and read and write about is culture. Have you ever been in a toxic culture at work? It's horrible. I have to say that in every job when I had a job in an I have loved and I've worked at places for a long time during those times at each one. There was a time where the culture went a little bit skew if it went a bit haywire and turned toxic. They all recovered. But I remember going through those times going. Why is it so why can such a great organization with great people have a culture that devolves into something hellish well? I've been studying this and learning heaps about it and today's guest has also done the same and I'm looking forward to sharing interview with you? I recorded before Christmas He's an awesome speaker and he's going to tell us about how to turn a toxic culture around amongst a whole bunch of other subtleties when it comes to culture interactions at work now before I get onto introducing him. I want to share a couple of updates. I'm back from Italy in Japan. I had an amazing odyssey of five week break. Oh my goodness I think it's been ages since I had such a wonderful relaxing holiday and so I took a dose of my own medicine and actually tuned out and tuned in to where I was at the time and I'll be sharing some of my insights around the traps independently in a separate episode. In fact this is. My next announcement is that we're going to be doing the occasional solo sewed and. I think I'm going to call this thought nuggets. It'll be brief. So you'll still get the weekly amazing interviews with experts and people who do leadership in the trenches so people who have leading organizations and inbetween. I'll do these occasional thought nuggets ozone and I think what all focus on there is what I'm reading because I'm a reader and I'd like to do book reviews stuff that works and stuff that doesn't just to give you recommendations and what I'm thinking so what. I'm learning from this so stay tuned for that will probably get our first solo. Sold out next week. Depends on this. Goes you know being first week back at work after such a long holiday and the next thing I've got to announce is the book my next book. People stuff the power of perspective for better leadership. That's the working title at the moment. Just working with my editor. It looks like the editing schedule and there's a lot of stuff that happens behind the scenes with book writing. It looks like it'll be out in June so I'm GonNa be sharing some insights and research as I go through writing the damn thing. I'm about halfway through. I wrote a whole bunch of chapters on various trains going through Italy. So I'll be writing this thing and sharing. Listen insights on the PODCAST as we go. And you'll get all the latest news here on the podcast and also on the blog have signed up to the blog yet. Go Zone DOT com. You should see prompts there in a pop up to get the people stuff. Toolkit love to have you reading as well as listening. We're almost done these huge announcements amplifiers. That's my wonderful community of leaders from various different sectors who come together quarterly to get our deep work. Done one of the struggles. I find with leaders in their work is they don't have time or can't find the time to do the big picture thinking that makes a big difference to their business and their work so this program allows them to do that once a quarter to reflect on what worked and to plan for what's coming and we focus each quarter on a different theme. The theme for this quarter is culture. And we've got a masterclass this Friday in camera. I'll be starting amplifier groups in Brisbane and Waga. That's our intention for this year. So if you're in either Brisbane or Waga Waga and you want to get on board shoot me an email zoey at inner compass dot com dot a you and I will give you all the details last announcement and then we'll get onto the guest the review. If you like this podcast you love this podcast. And even if you don't love your feedback and you can go to rate this podcast dot com slash zoe rate this podcast dot com slash zoe. Zoe Spelled Z. E. and will give you all the instructions and links to rate this podcast. The leadership podcast all right few now onto our wonderful guest. His name is Colin D Ellis. And he is one of the most fabulous people. I know I absolutely adore him. I've known him for six years. I think now he is from Liverpool so he has the most amazing accent so fun to listen to him. He's funny as hell. He's written a number of books and his latest is called culture. Fix How to create a great place to work. He's amazing I hope you enjoy it. Let's do it call Ellis. I am so thrilled to have you on the podcast. You're such a good mate. I've known you for a couple years and you're doing some amazing stuff and you have a brand spanking new book out so welcome thank you. So it's great to be here. It is good to be here and we were just talking about your socks because you are known for you. Beautiful Sauce. So what if he got on today? So I've got Andy Warhol socks on today. I'm sure Andy Warhol delighted. That is all work now. Appears on socks before you go. We're going to take a picture though. Saux GONNA put those in the show so that we can. You know style socks. I'll of Andy Warhol on-call analysis feet. That's awesome maybe. We could do a Saux podcast anyway. So glow global globetrotter and a brand new book on culture. Now you and I both love people stuff and we love culture stuff. What's going on in this book? So what's the premise behind it? The premise behind it. I you know as a you know Zoe. Hausa permanent employable. The People's cultures thirty years. Some great coaches some not so great coaches every organization that I worked with wanted to do teamwork better. We never really used to call it culture. We called it teamwork. They always wanted to do better. And as a kind of as a team member that is a manager and then as a senior EXAC I wanted to find a book. That could tell me how to do this thing called culture as you and I both know there's lots of I don't know if it's like a hidden truths about about cultural people who don't disclose what it is in order to make this mystique about it. We talk about culture. Change is hard but it just doesn't seem to be a book and I thought that I would write it. I thought that you know even though project management was my life twenty years while I was great at Paul of that was was building. Great teams building great coaches and so I was thought right well so much to write the book about how to do this thing called culturally. Well they just pick up and do themselves so. That's the premise. Behind very good handbook. Great Cultures Every leader wants that thinning and they wanted especially when they realized that the culture isn't going so well that's when they really wanted so you say they. Culture change isn't hard. Tell me about that. Yes no and I can say that because I've done you know I don't want to people out the say things like oh it's hard. Oh why didn't you you know I read something recently. Like all of you don't like your job just give it open like yeah. You can't really do that. I've been in a position where I needed the money to your job and I think people say colds changes because they'd never actually put the time and effort into learning how to do it. Well they don't say it's hard the analogy. I use is when we're teaching kids to ride bikes. We explain the process. What's involved and putting one foot forward? And how the mechanics of it work. Then we set them on their way then they fall off and we pick them up. They fall but eventually they learn how to do it. And then the good for life but we don't ever teach people to change culture. We don't teach them the mechanics of culture. We don't teach them if you all of these bits together. This is what great looks like on. If you fall off this is what you have to do to get back home. We don't teach people up and you know a big part of what I do now is to do exactly that you do something similar. As well as we teach people how to be great together we teach them how to create safe environments where they can do their best work and so. I think once organizations get into the pattern of. Let's teach people out to do it? Becomes so much easier. Most surprising thing that people learn when they when they learned to culture. The most surprising thing usually is just funny. The workshop is because they're not really expect expecting some dry boring topic on culture and so we do dry and boring. I can't do that but also actually when you break it down. Just how simple it feels. That's not to say that it is easy like immediately to do a lot of hard work as a as a team or as an organization to get to know each other to hold each other to the behaviors to on learn some of the things to challenge some of the biases that you happen to make time for innovation but just how quickly you can make the change. I always say it takes between nine and eighteen months to change a culture. That's been born out certainly in the work that I've been doing the teams that really want to change do change. That's pretty fast. Like most of the other literature Fred says three to five years for big do you think is it your system that makes it faster or is it the size of the organization that makes a difference or both. I think it's the commitment and the courage of the individuals. Now sure I give them a system. Of course I do and certainly for the logical programs that I do I go back and hold them accountable every month but really it's about how much do people actually want to change to three to five year thing so. I did a lot of digging into that as Paul Research for the book. It's like most things like the whole seventy percent exchange programs fail. It's a myth right. There's there's no proof that the three to five years that's just what consultants out in the research. Based on how long the ten year lasts within an organization slightly cynical. That's right. Yeah we're after. Spend at least three million dollars this thing. Yeah it's not an often what you'll see in that three to five years. Is this continual chain so coaches. Just get built destroyed. Built up destroyed built up destroyed whereas all the time. And so it's really down to the courage and the discipline. The people have to want to make the changes necessary to see it stick and do you help people self identify with that. Like for example. You say if we're going to do this work you need to have courage or do you invite people who have the courage already to come to the table like. Is there an imitation piece? Or is there a dictation piece? It's it's all an invitation. Because as soon as dictation you've created a command and control environment that's probably what they've already gone. Kinda most organizations at some stage with regards to cool chill up to senior management telling them that they need to collaborate more telling them that we need more innovation telling them that they need to be more agile and Corsi in child and just push back against psychos yet. No thanks. We don't want to do that so it has to be an invitation but for the bigger culture change programs that. I do want to hear that. I'm doing camera the CEO's really got to make a statement and then they got a role model. Kind of what good looks like. They've got to say. Listen what we're looking for is evolution of the business to go from here to here. This is why we need to do it. You know. Generally it's about long term sustainability. But we want you to. Whether we're going to give you this opportunity now to define what you need to do. Your best works. Which took we can hit the results that we need. So it's very much of our language changes fan which about behavior change and then the way that I set the programs is I'm GonNa give you all the information. You need to be able to do this thing yourself whether it succeeds is down to you and the decisions that you make. And I'll do these two programs where people say okay. Well we feel that. We've got the courage and determination so we don't need you told US accountable. And I'm like great. I do these quarterly. Things were the thing we just need to check in every now and again. And then these. The monthly sessions are really for people that want to make change a need the help to do so but ultimately though it's about giving them the information that they need because when I'm not the culture stellar it's not like I take it away with a suitcase and it's gorgeous and vibrant than I bring vibrant back so they have to want to it themselves and they got up the courage to manage out Lewis people get in the way and that's one of the tough ones right so I interviewed another gentleman. Craig his interview becoming came up earlier this year and he talked about that. So when you go into making a cultural change program and sometimes people just don't fit you give them the best and what he means by. That is not fit culturally. It's more support. The Valley's agreed to the behaviors is that were you mean to having the courage to help somebody transition out yet. Yeah that's right but you've got to do is you've got to reset expectations. You've got to give everybody the opportunity to be part of something that's being created. What you can't have is kind of call inside over over the throwing stones. We say listen. We're running this culture workshop. Which is for us to define how we want to work. You need to be part of it. If they don't WanNA bothered there immediately signal in that they don't want to be off the culture and you can have the compensation straightaway going okay. Well we're going to have to have a conversation but ultimately is about living the values and live in the behaviors that the group then sets because as a group that say. Hang on a minute Colin. We agreed in the workshop that these would be our values. This would be our emotional compass. We agreed that these would be all behaviors. You're not doing that and you know for me. As a as a former manager I knew when I had to culture right because all of those things happen Kerr themselves without ever finding out and then something would happen. I would go okay. So what's going on? There were like always have a word with Josh. Because this we have to do that about two months ago we think it's relevant that you step in now it's worthy culture manages itself but yet it is about adherence to values and babies. Yeah I love that. There's so many challenges with doing this and I'm thinking about some of the task oriented businesses that I work with where looking at the people stuff seems very unnatural to them. Seems like a waste of time to them do you work with any cer- task oriented left brain kind of organizations who are systems oriented or. Do you just shy away from no. I would say seventy percent of my work is with task. Orientated left brained organizations. So I'm not quite sure. How is it's not like I set out? Drew the brain and roll a bunch of names in the left side. And go right going after those guys. I find that the the majority of approaches come from organizations have traditionally seen the people stove as Fluffy. They do recognize that it's only through culture that they can have achieve as a business. What they're looking for but they need help with doing that. And I think I appeal to them because firstly I've worked in a lot of those left brain environments and secondly. I'll go to down-to-earth approach and I think Paul of the problem that we've had with culture and culture development programs or people which is why I love the way that you brandon your things is we make it hard for people to understand what I'm working with a kind of electrical engineers or any engineers working with rail engineers as well is if I go in and talk about engagement and capability development. You know just not going to work you know. I've got to talk about how much of a damn you give about your job and I've got to talk about how we develop you so that you can be the best of you so that you've got the skills and you've got the knowledge so you can be great at your job. You know all of a sudden. There's a connection that you make and I think that's been missing for too long because we've always looked consultants and I did. The same myself to kind of guy does with regards to any kind of cultural evolution but I think there's a recognition now that not only culture important but it belongs to us and it's about well how do we make it easy for people to understand out with consultants off their heads in power to the people speak. Revolution is absolutely. It's not. It's not that I've got anything against consultant. I happen and often. I feel for them because the Delta really bad hand or asked to fix something that they have no control over the willingly take the word. That's the problem. I do of the willingly. Take the word. I'm looking at consultancies. Who who recognize that were they can add? Most value is by working with the client to co create. Something at the start so that they both can succeed in discussing here. You go down the report off you go off you go by the way we've justified another two million dollars worth of work in if you don't do this screwed which is not of course so. I'm interested in a lot of my clients are too is how to measure culture particularly if you want to. Culture Change Program. You need to know where he's starting obviously and where you WANNA get to. What's your approach to measuring culture outcome? Well I think the traditional route of course of course is the engagement survey. The engagement survey really gives you a sense of okay. How do we feel right now? The problem I have with the engagement survey there's a couple of things firstly where it's mandated as soon as you force people into they're going to tell you what they think you want to hear and secondly it's often skewed by the way that they feel at that particular moment and isn't representative over over a period of time the ultimate measure of cultures. How Happy People? So you've got all these other measures engagement profitability. Fewer safety incidents is a good one more innovation faster time to market. All of these things are great measures of culture. The ultimate measure is how happy are people you know. And that's the thing so I encourage all of the people that I work within culture to measure culture every month on the questions I ask on a scale of zero to ten take the NPS approach. How happy do you feel right now? What made you give that school? What's one thing we could do to make you happier and it might not be about work? You might love your job. You might hate the fact that the fridges twelve feet away from the Senate or the cattle to know what I mean. It's you my eight the fact that the toilet door swings in woods when you come in and my hate the fact that senior people get a parking spot new. You know the things that really often affect culture that we don't try measure and people exit report on that Cross. They do they love it boy in on that stuff so they do so one organization up fridge one is an actual thing that happened so we did as part of my two days the second half. I do a bit of a hacker thon innovation workshop. But I talk about kind of fixing some of the dumb stuff and one of the things that came up with something like the Fred. Druce was eight fifty or eight and a half measure of course left brain environment so more as it was eight feet away from the cattle or something like an chipita command. Make a cabinet for the fray. Jenny cost them three hundred dollars and people were delighted. You know they talked about it as Paul. The culture works your life. Paul came up with the idea. But you could have done that outside of the work. Well yeah they love that stuff. It's so funny. How these little hype like I call? My gene stuff makes such a big difference and it is less about. Do we believe in the organizational purpose sometimes? Is that little crappy stuff and often as you know. I had the great pleasure of interviewing Don Price. Lassen for the Bawku very kindly wrote the preface and we were talking about the kind of day long cons that they have and one of the winning nine days which changing light bulbs and this Humphries Cisco Office because they got really really hot and he said it's really as simple as that people think that we're trying to create the kind of new chair or the new bill. The new is sometimes. It's as simple as changing light bulbs. And that's what makes people happy little bit different patterns of clothing entire. I mean do people complain about that that they have to wear a suit or they have to wear this or anything. Does that come up and culture stuff. It all comes up. Yeah it comes quite regularly. But I think only where it's mandated about what you need to were. I need some of the best coaches that I work with. What they do is they have a they have a code and they expect people to adhere to the code book quite often policies are really ambiguous like smart casual classic so for me. I'm small casual right now right so I've got a white shirt on. I've got a blue tie. I've got my Andy Warhol socks. I've got a pair of jeans but then Nice. Yeah I know yeah run a different kind of worked. Well I'm dressing for my client and for me. It's important that I do that. But smart this module to me we're smart casual for one of my peers was shorts. Yeah and he was told by boss at the time is like yeah. That's not smart casual but it did not say no shorts you know. And it's one of those things is as teams and Brian Chess. Coups Berbie talks about this all the time said the better the CO chair the less processed. You require because actually what you've got is you've got mature people who say this is what it means in this context. This is what it means in this context means in this context and so the best cultures do that. It's not about having everything written down in kind of ISO type folders. It's about well. This is what this means right now and you know if I'm going to work with my clients I have to think about what's the style of dress that suitable for them with some engineers three weeks ago. I did a workshop with sixty engineers. They've dress down Friday and that the the personal brought me in Collin. Just let you know. It's dress down. Friday people being t shirt and jeans. Now I don't really have word t shirt and jeans for anything right. You know. Sometimes when I'm doing the housework I would not shouldn't jeans Michael. Yeah I know because that's the clients if I'd aborted. Why would normally were? They'd be like look at that corporate presenting in jeans and a t-shirt it's so liberating bought mainly I felt like I was being taken seriously. Because I you know I think it's one of the things culturally that we forget is that everybody's different. My we talked about it but we don't really recognize that so everyone requires a different type of communication based on what they're doing kind of the environment they're in at that time but not only does people will view you differently based on how you dress how you are how. Utah words that you use and so I think you know it's something. I spend a lot of time thinking about something that I teach is. Part of coach workshops and some they used to teach my project managers when I was had a project department. Is You're supposed to be the role models for communication. This is how you do because you told by opponents. Mostly they're just coming back to the dressing something. He by little case study where the experience I had in this workplace. We weren't working on culture or working on other pieces and there was one of the senior staff. She loved dressed to the nines like she looked amazing time in corporate gear so she had really fantastic dresses and heels and everything and it was a very informal business like it was. It was not a corporate business at all and did a lot of recreational type of work everybody else's just differently and she'd been given feedback that the way that she dressed made other people feel uncomfortable and yet. She wanted to dress the way that she did. Because she's like that's who I am. I want to be authentic. And she was the boss. So how would you approach that? What kind of conversation would you have with her? And the team around that so I was like enough to my own home. Because that's exactly what I did. I remember emigrants in New Zealand. Two thousand seven and went to work for transmission company so electrical engineering essentially. So it's all engineers and I would just turn opened my suit and I remember that we we implemented the organization implements corporate dress. But they didn't mandate I remember the CEO. Stop me in the corridor wants. These like Colin is like conform into the corporate dress. It's not really my thing. 'cause like this is being. This is how I feel comfortable. It might seem alien to you but this is how I feel comfortable and so when I talk about this stuff in the end the workshops and I took on in the book. It's important to recognize different people's personality preferences because my personality. I'm quiet out there extra which means I take style and fashion very seriously. So that's just my thing right and so you have to accept that that's my thing. I don't do it to make you feel uncomfortable. I don't do it to be corporate. I want jokes. If you meet Richard Branson Kutai off on like really. I don't think he will really have a fight about our Richard. If you're listening it's important we recognize everyone's personality preference for what they are and just clothing is just kind of warm poff how we display office and now let's see. Were you leadership position okay? Yeah and what I found was my pays starts address like man like you don't have to do that. I'm not doing it to try and be corporate. But that's where I brought. Even though I looked very cooperative very matter of you know like to humor law I have very down to earth way of talking about things and so it kind of what you see. I remember one guy I got on a train and this this guy was made like look at that guy. Money makes you sick at the time I fifty grand to the bank. When he said I'd not we had nothing absolutely nothing. And I think there's this perception often when you kinda dress. I Dunno bit smaller that you're trying to make a point and it's not but again we don't teach people stuff you you do a lot of personality work in your people stuff and we don't teach people that it's just part of your personality. It's funny how it pushes people's buttons so the way that you're describing it obviously how you showed up people's choice scrub up more should i. You Know My commune cross. Because obviously complex tastic and I suspect it was also the case for the senior lady is that she was gorgeous and she looked stunning in her work. And I think oppressed peoples buttons. Like do I screw up is nice. You know am is polished. Her and I think it can play on people's insecurities but you're right. I think regardless the most important thing is actually to talk about it and to bring up awareness of it and to create the environment where you can actually talk about that so then it becomes no big deal if somebody wants to dress up or dress down. And there's a discussion about the unsaid. Stuff that creeps in and gets a little bit wild and that's the thing so we would always talk by my in my other roles. We would always talk about whenever we build teams. I would talk about the difference between people's personalities and just because I dress like this it doesn't necessarily mean high and mighty over everybody else. It's just a way that we present ourselves. The things that matter to us the other thing is well those. Zoe is always take the opportunity to dress down from that so so I would always look to go out into the field so same thing with my client. Here is I went out in the field. I put all of the safety gear on to show their precious about it and so when we are dressed down Fridays. This would still be my dress down gear and I'm still small but I'm still address down. I'm not wearing the stuff all of the time that would make people really uncomfortable. Not only that you kind of say I'll I'm I'm above. That's right yeah so toxic cultures. I saw recently had an article. I saw put Lincoln of how to recover from toxic culture but toxic cultures are not very fun place to be and I'm curious about how you would describe a toxic culture and what your tips are for people to turn that around. Yeah toxic culture by them. Nothing joke all the time and nothing. Good is toxic except whiskey with nothing like toxic coaches. Kill people so there hangs. It High Stress. You have high attrition. Lots of people leave good stat leave. There's a sign of a toxic culture. You got people telling each other are busy. They are all of the time like no one else is busy telling you how hard they were. Love all of that stuff people using people's names to beat we with like I was always said it didn't get that report by Friday or in trouble. I love all of that stuff. And so they're they're really bad. You know what people forget is it's not easy to change toxic coaches because what you're talking about. Fundamentally as the behavior of a small number of individuals and those people pull us down and where it becomes widespread is were people choose to conform to the toxicity that they see then all of a sudden it becomes a cancer that everybody's got all of the sudden. Nothing's happening and were fighting. The language that we're using is really bad and we've got real low emotionally intelligent behavior. That's not who we want to be and so often we haven't given people insights on how to be the best version of themselves but mostly it's because we haven't addressed the poor behavioral performance people walk past poor behavior all the time and it's I would say it's the foundation. Every TOXIC CULTURE IS POOR. Behavior isn't dealt with yeah. You spoke earlier about accountability around that so in the culture design pieces. How do we create our values and behaviors? That we wanted to be accountable. For how you help people determine accountability like what does it actually mean because I hear that a lot like we need to hold each other to account and the question is how do you do that. So how do you explain how you talk about delivering on your promises? Accountability is a very corporate word as I talk about. You know kind of delivering on the promises that we've made to each other and so when I run the workshops that's very personal so we come up with a set of behaviors and exercise. But then excuse me. We talked practically about what it means to about behavior into practice because too often these kinds of exercises like all. We've got five core behaviors like in their always liked integrity innovation. Collaboration all stuff should be doing anyway. Go these five behaviors like okay. So what does innovation mean for my team in this context right now because only when you take down to that level can you then say okay well? Which of these are you going to do which you good at? Because we're all good at some stuff in its pulled. Technologists are good. But what you going to change about year because in order to kind of move from toxic cogitate vibrant jet. You've got to look at yourself in the mirror and say I've got to change. Because when you go to Tacoma everyone is part of the problem now. Some people are bigger problems than the rest. I get it but you know not addressing the behavior. You're part of the problem. That's a really powerful statement actually even toxic culture. Everyone's part of the problem because I think there's times when I've been a toxic culture and I haven't felt like I was part of the problem and I think as soon as he owned that and then there's a chance for changing it. Yeah that's right not suggesting for woman at WanNa make it absolutely clear that you're you're being harassed or if you're being bullied your to blame for that that's not what I'm talking about. And talking about to get to the point where culture becomes toxic. Somebody Hasn held someone to account or someone hasn't reported something that they need to or else we have created an environment where it makes it okay to do that kind of thing on. I've worked in talks that causes myself and I've been bullied myself and it's only one actually chose to do something about it that I did. I felt that I was Paul. The solution not the problem for too long excused it before I went over. My managers had reported it and did it. Formerly cat notes. And all the stuff that you don't want to do but you've really got to do but ultimately in toxic coaches managers have got to look at themselves in the mirror you know. I had a meeting with with one group not so long ago and they said we've got a toxic culture we had. You're the guy to help us change and I'm like no if you've got a toxic culture your the people that will change it. All I can do is get you to a point where you've redefine what vibrant looks like. But when I'm not here your behavioral go back to the way it was right now because if you been hey babe role models for this finkel vibrant culture you would never talks a culture now of course went down like a lead balloon. The best way to start any engagement is through honesty as like you guys got something wrong mainly guys which is also problem as you guys go something. Bro Does Not much in the way of cognitive diversity. There's not much in the way of new thinking new ideas from the outside. And you do the same thing you've been doing for a long time. Not only that. You've got some brilliant jerks. Are you scared to let go of? Because you think your business will crumble. If you lose them it won't yeah. I love that trap as well. I've heard that too where you have. Somebody who's WHO's brilliant producing results and is such a well let's use IMPR- appropriate exploitive around other people and people hang onto them far too long and tolerate their pettiness and their petulance and their peacocking. Or whatever it is. They're got going on so when you people to account and you've got specific behavior so let's talk about collaboration. So Cala Aberration. He actually needs to articulate what that means. It means that for example. If I'M GONNA clever with Yuko and that means that on Tuesday I'm GonNa come to you with my work on this project X and I'm going to ask you for input and incorporate your ideas is that the kind of granularity gets with people most clever because we don't agree. We don't agree expectations when often good at setting expectations. So we're not very good at working together because if you don't say expectations you don't know what you're working towards you don't agree on communication so we don't we don't say right Zoe. What's your communication preferences for face to face okay cool? I'll check your matthew wants as we go this week or sex from check in with you once if you're all good about being delivered by Friday or we don't say right if you face to face with a workshop. So what have you been to different? Communication preferences prefer face to face and I prefer text. What do you do with that? We depend on the receiving end of if you're if you're working for me. I'm going to do it the way that you want to always have. You're working for me. I'll do it the way you want it. Yeah so if you prefer text then I'm going to chat with you. Then I'm gonNA confirmed by text. So the leader the leader of dairies there behavior to sport there all the time. Because you're in service to all the people because if you're not in service or the people in our lady your manager doing things the way that you want to do them not the way that the other person wants them to be done and so this is you know. It's it's a massive problem that we've got an organization's as managers don't know up to very communication style. I mean everyone's got the same problem but manages especially so this kind of various states that we go to Brian. Be Good at all of the communication so if you prefer text I'm going to go. Hey Zoe distracting. You'RE ON TRACK. If so no need to respond. Did you like your job Iraq? But I've got other people who wanted to sit down Evan informal coffee. They wanted to chat about the weekend cool on happy to do that. I've got detail people. Send bullet pointed email lots of way for my information and so the sinkhole collaboration. We just assume that everything is a meeting. And we've got ourselves ince's nonsense scenario where we are back to back all the time and make no time for work so you like me. Love people defined any of the people stuff hard. I did the hardest part about my job question I got asked. The law is reading research and learning organizations that I work with everything I do is tailored so I learned everything about the organized dot. It's the hardest thing because I have to sit down and kind of go through detail. I have to sit down and kind of understand abstract views and kind of deal with some of the I'm big. Us nature the way the information is presented and make sense for. That's easily the hardest part of my job if you said to me. I didn't tell you there's a truck door here on a stage and you have to speak to ten thousand people. I'll be like press. The button pressed the button principle. I want to go now go now kind of all of that. Details still five. Always always fine because my personality doesn't want to do that and so I've got good air you know. I bought some systems now that I can use to help me gather the detail. But that's the hardest bit for me definitely. Have you ever come across an individual or a group that you've found extremely difficult to deal with them? There have been groups that have been tough for the first half day of a two day workshop would say particularly encore too. Because sometimes they just don't want to be there they can tacitly recognized the importance of Zoe book. Usually their bosses said this wants only activity. You need to be poverty Blah Blah Blah Blah. And so they naturally push back from a book then they find not what they thought it was going to be and generally they play ball. We had one guy who was just a disruptive influence and so we had to dismiss him from the workshop and they performance managed him out because he was a problem and they knew going into the workshop they wanted to PA event and all those kinds of things and the culture lifted as a result of that which is incredible. And it's not an outcome. I ever want. I never wanted to see people leave the business. I never wanted to see people's livelihoods threatened. There's a boss. I had it all of that stuff. Hated it but ultimately everyone's got a role to play and so I made that clear from you know it's about the same. Aubrey body not just the individual. So you do get them from time to time. But I'd like to think that I've got a few tactics to get through them like humor. Humor is a big one. I it's something that I grew what we're very fortunate to be apart from. Uk Liverpool which thinks. It's funny and study a lot of stand up comedian. Someone asked me recently on what research you doing right now. 'cause I was talking about the book well researched and I was actually doing research around. Stand UP COMEDY BECAUSE STAND UP. Comedians of some of the best deliver a message. And it's so well crafted but also does that sense of foreign way in for the message and so you know. I kind of attended my first year of bore and workshops permanent employees and never ever wanted to do that myself so I think humor can be delivered in the right way. The right time stanton comedian after all this extensive research goes so many so my favorite one growing up Steve Martin because I came across him in my late teens. Watch the jerk. The movie the jerk and then I rented a VHS short philmont before they're called the absent minded waiter and then we went. Mainframes went looking for all of his stand up and what I loved about him was his just stupidity in a world. That was becoming evermore series. Here was a kind of thirty year old guy with her. Just been stupid and I. I kind of love the simplicity of his message in the way that he can make you laugh but I love in so many great comedians out. The male and female kristen wake it shouldn't be on Saturday. Night live fabulous. She does some great impression. Some great characters. I Love Ricky Jubilee Office Smart. Yeah he is very Jerry Seinfeld. You Know Again. No the smart median and the way that they deliver their lines so very different. Jerry Seinfeld put so much effort and emphasis into his whereas we could do. Vase will generally joke about the same six things to Carey's time we're diverse portfolio material. Yeah Chris Rock is another guy who throws away his act and then we'll writes it from scratch. Gamblers Jerry Seinfeld will be wall jokes and bring the back in. The office is waiting for them. So I kinda take inspiration from that so I've got a few old older gags. I would say my workshops that I will bring back because they always work but then a constantly right in new material the IP is going to be good though. Remember because if if you don't get you want what you want. From the culture workshop people will be like our. That was really funny. Yeah yeah there's a point. Yeah what was the point? It just felt like a standup comedy routine. Never wanted to be that one till the is so favorite. Comedians to final question. Because I'm a bookworm favorite book that you're reading right now they would recommend As well so we're coming up to appear holidays. Hey what I'm taking. A bunch of books away warned that I've just finished I've just read read turns ship around by L. Dave Mackay and the reason that I read that is it because I'm going to be working with a let's say a military organization and so I really wanted to get a sense of some of the rituals that they have within the coaches and what I love about mark as writing style is General Stanley McChrystal Roku team of teams which. I really enjoyed that. Quite how can I put this quite direct and I often read them and thinking? There's no way I could apply that it's very direct very military book. Marquis style is warm. Were look the way writes. It makes it accessible. It makes it easy to digest. I read it and thought I could introduce them to some of the work that I do obviously giving attribution but just some of the things that he talks about. I thought it was just such an easy to digest. Leadership Book in what is quite a challenging environment. You're the second person to recommend. Oh really exciting. Quarter that read my kindle. At the moment I must be signed. GotTa read this book. I'll put a link to that in the show. It's along with pictures of your socks. And where can people find you? Link ten is probably the best place. I do a lot of unlinked in like to share a lot of information again is a former manager myself. I WANNA share as much as I can so that other people can take inspiration from that we set up a community so finally caught your fixed community dot com. That's the place or website stocks wise. It really is. Xyz that ever the contrarian been slightly. Different I love it. Cole has been fantastic. Thank you so much. You're a wealth of information great stories and it's always a pleasure. Thank you so it's great thank. You wasn't a cool interview. He's so much fun. I just love calling and I feel very privileged to call him a friend and colleague so I think there's some awesome things that we can take away from that particular interview. I guess for me. A couple of things that are staying with me is how to measure manage culture measuring culture. I think in particular and I'm GonNa do a little bit more digging on this really. Lean into this because I think this is a maker break thing for a lot of organizations is how to measure culture properly and I keep points that call made that I think are useful to remind ourselves at that if you have a toxic culture new leader look in the mirror I that was pretty potent to survive thing saying out for me and the other one is that if you're a leader on service to the people you're not a leader loved it anyway lead. Well live well have a good one.