Wendy Hanson 0:24
Greetings, everyone, I am so delighted to be here with you, Wendy Hanson, one of the co founders of BetterManager. And we love to give you pragmatic information that's going to help you and things that make you think. And we know that in 2021, it's been a critical time for people rethinking their work. We're going through a period of questioning and reassessing what we want out of life. I've heard this from so many people from our coaches and from people that I've coached, and resignations at all levels, and companies are at an all time high. additional money may be a carrot for some to go to other companies. And I'm hearing that, but there is a strong need to be connected to the values of the company where you work. And I've seen that happen that that will actually keep people there. I had the experience of an engineer, very senior engineer, went to another company thought the grass might be greener, and stayed there a month and a half and knew that the values and culture of that company were not a good fit for him and came back. So we need to make sure that we're focused on that. Today, we're going to be talking about values and integrity, and how to create a work environment where people can do their best. And I think that's more important right now than ever. So I'm very excited to be able to introduce my guest, Mike horn. Let me tell you a little bit about Mike. My corn PhD is a seasoned HR executive and coach helping leaders be their best and do their best. Mike has built a successful career in human resources, guiding businesses and teams at Gilead Sciences Genentech, a member of the Roche group, notre networks, Marriott International, and Will's Towers Watson as a consultant. Mike's clients included Darden Restaurants, Exxon, Mobil, HP, McKesson Office Depot. In addition, Mike has served in an on an advisory board and capacity to the American Foundation for the Blind, the American National Red Cross, the Dave Thomas Foundation, the Organization Development Network, and the organization development review. Mike has recently published integrity by design, working and living authentically. So Mike, welcome. I'm so happy to have you on this podcast.
Mike Horne, Ph.D. 2:56
And I'm delighted to be with you, Wendy and your guests. Thank you for the lovely introduction. And I am looking forward to our discussion today in our conversation.
Wendy Hanson 3:07
Yes, oh, I've gone through your book. And I've read an article that you recently wrote on five ways to create environments where people do their best and it just got me all ready to talk to you because there are so many things, I think we share many of the same values. And that's what we say is important at work. That's important all the time.
Mike Horne, Ph.D. 3:28
Absolutely. Right values are bedrock, they're really at the foundation of what drives I believe our, the ways we think the ways that we act, the ways that we engage with others.
Wendy Hanson 3:43
Yes. When we do our coaching at BetterManager, one of the exercises that we do early on is helping people identify their values, and then giving them tools to identify it with their team. And they're like, Wow, we never thought about this before, that this was such an important piece,
Mike Horne, Ph.D. 4:00
right? And then how do we get to the next step where people begin to invest in those values, and they see the outcomes and the results of those in their work and in their life? It's, it's a great journey to be on maybe as Carl Jung observed, you know, the journey of becoming who we are is the greatest privilege in life. And that starts with a core foundation of values.
Wendy Hanson 4:24
Yeah, well said, yes. Well, that was you. Give him credit for it. Good that you could bring it to the conversation.
Mike Horne, Ph.D. 4:37
I think, you know, there's a corollary statement with his observation about this privilege of a lifetime of becoming who we are, and that is that we are what we do, not what we say we'll do. So it's really this alignment that enables us to, I think, understand who we are And from there, take it in some directions that might encourage growth.
Wendy Hanson 5:05
We often are hearing the words authenticity and integrity, you know, they're going around. And we're going to use those words today a little bit. So let's, let's, let's all get grounded in the same place. What is authenticity and integrity? What did they mean? And why are they relevant to our conversation today, Mike?
Mike Horne, Ph.D. 5:24
Well, integrity is relevant. Because in every work situation, if I don't believe you have integrity, I won't trust you. And the corollary is also true. I won't trust you if I don't think you have integrity. Right. And, you know, what I know is, you know, sometimes managers ask me, Well, is it okay to tell a lie? I say, Why are you asking me that question? I mean, what I have observed though, is that, you know, once the truth gets bended, or bent in a certain way, or in any way, then trust erodes, and it becomes difficult to create alignment. So what is integrity? What is what does it mean to be authentic? Integrity is of the whole cloth. It's the middle of the cloth, you can't see the Bolton's you can't see the rough edges. It is when we are in alignment, Wendy, when our words and actions match. And even better, when our thoughts words and actions match, right? That's integrity. It's the whole cloth. It is the genuine article. And when we think about then authenticity, we think about alignment, we think about congruency that, that that's what comes to mind. And when I am in my Integris state, where my attitudes, behaviors and cognitions, all match my ABCs match, I'm congruent. And then I generally feel happy. And I don't mean the kind of happy that comes with, Oh, I've got a new boyfriend or a new girlfriend or, but I mean, the kind of sustained happiness, Wendy. And what we know is that, you know, from social science research is that people enjoy working for happy people, and being around happy people. So that's how it all comes into some sort of practical play, right? Integrity, being this whole cloth, a structural engineer mindset all hangs together well, and authenticity being congruency, you know that our words are that at all. That we that we find we're in alignment and therefore more effective. Yeah,
Wendy Hanson 7:47
I think you can also feel authenticity, because you'll hear people say, wow, it's such an authentic person. Like I really they're true to themselves, like you say that. It's like that grounding piece. Article. Yeah, the genuine article, like, I can believe it, like there's integrity there. And then I, for me, when I look at Integrity, when I think of my values, that's one of my high values is integrity. So when it's being breached, oh, I can feel it. And then I'm really careful that you know, when I think oh, I would not do that, because that would be out of integrity. So those words are just so powerful.
Mike Horne, Ph.D. 8:27
And what causes us to think, I don't believe a word he she or they are saying, what, what, what in our sort of core makes us react in that way. And again, I think it goes back to this fundamental concept of trust, right? If I don't trust you, I won't think you have integrity. I don't think you have integrity, I won't trust you. And it, you know, in light of, I think all of what's we've experienced over the last 18 months. We we've known we've always known that trust is really at the foundation now. You know, having been a at the foundation of progress. Having been an organizational executive, I used to think, oh, you know, who youngest trust opera. I mean, we have tasks in front of us, we have goals in front of us, we have shareholders that we need to keep happy, just as you know, we have customers and clients today. But we know that the real possibility, I think, for growth comes because we can find meaning in what we're doing. And trust is at the core of that. So I used to say, well, you don't have to trust everyone about everything because that's a probably not going to happen. But what you can do is you can get people to align on a mission or a vision or values, right? And if we can all trust that we're doing the same, you know that we're aligned on vision and values, then it really enriches our inclusiveness because there are many ways that you could do things. But we're aligned to mission and values. And it's so powerful.
Wendy Hanson 10:08
So we kind of were, we're looking at the authenticity and the integrity. And now we bring in the values. And in your book, you talk a lot about the importance, you know, of regularly talking about your values. They're not just sitting out on the website, why is it so important for us to keep the communication up about our values?
Mike Horne, Ph.D. 10:30
Again, values, shape, the actions that we take, they inform our decisions are behaviors. Let's think about it. Even in an organization. One startup that I consulted to a successful startup, they chose a core value was important to the CEO and other members of the leadership team of frugality, it really drove a certain kind of behavior in that organization. You know, with with the value of frugality and another organization, we adopted a value around Straight Talk, that had its upsides and downsides, because sometimes people could express their authentic jerkiness. And, you know, this brings us to, again, you know, what kind of values and I think for me, the work that I do the advances i I'd like to see in authentic leadership stem from a set of humanistic values. It's about respect for the individual finding dignity in the moment. It's about growing inclusion by attracting diverse people and diverse ideas around you. It says humanistic values that drive and shape the actions that I take.
Wendy Hanson 11:47
Yeah, well said. And, and I love this is in the article that you wrote to like, can you speak to us about kind of the three to five actions that advance develop and support integrity at work? Like how would we know that that's happening? What do we know what that looks like? in work and in life, but right now, we're, we're really trying to get managers to understand, you know, the essence of this. So what are some of the actions that have to take place to be able to have that integrity and build a positive work environment?
Mike Horne, Ph.D. 12:20
Yeah, well, the first is tell the truth. If it can be found out, it will be found out. My earliest mentor, one of my earliest mentors, Warren Bennis said that, me later, later in his career in life, he wrote a book on transparency. And you have to tell the truth. Again, you know, it goes back to our example that once truth erodes, it's difficult to recapture that. And if you want me to bring my best, I want to give you my trust. And I want you to give me your trust. And you know, trust falls in a couple of camps, right? I mean, most commonly we think about it, that which is freely given, or that which has to be earned. And in today's environment, I think every manager needs to have that equation with him or herself for themselves relative to that, but the first thing is tell the truth.
Wendy Hanson 13:20
Tell the truth. people on your team so that they don't go leave and go somewhere else? If I know I can depend on you and your word.
Mike Horne, Ph.D. 13:28
Yeah, absolutely. Right. In here, we go back to alignment, and congruency and happiness. And the second thing that I would say is, don't skimp Don't Don't be stingy with your resources, even if you don't have any resources. Open up the possibility of saying yes to someone open up the possibility of affirming the individual. Even though you may disagree on facts, values, task processes method. We have this moment when a an associate a colleague is in front of us to acknowledge them as a unique individual. I don't know what happened five minutes ago, I don't know what's gonna happen 10 minutes ago, but what I can do is I can be in that moment, I can't, you know, so I don't want to skimp or, you know, foul up the scarce resources that I might have. So I would offer that as a second piece of advice. And a third piece of advice that I would offer is to really get clear on your agency and who you are. And understanding that to be self aware requires feedback. It's not just an inside game. Wendy right that we have to Parker Palmer called it the divide itself, right? We have to see our ourselves and who we are and accept that. And that requires us to get feedback from others. So, so important. I mean, those would be three actions that I think about, about telling the truth about using your resources, however scarce they are to affirm individuals. And then thirdly, working on self awareness. Yeah,
Wendy Hanson 15:23
great. One of the other things that you mentioned too, is about culture, and community. You know, and we know that companies always talk about culture, we need to have the right culture. But I happen to personally love to take you up on community, because I think community is what binds us together. Tell me a little bit more about that. How is that because I don't always see those connected or I don't hear people talk about community. So that intrigued me.
Mike Horne, Ph.D. 15:52
Well, it stems from a earlier experiences I had as a designer of best workplaces. At one point in my career, I led the Great Place to Work campaigns at Genentech for about six years company that's been on the fortune great places to work lists for 20 years, I think, at this point are 25 years, however, nearly the length of the contest, but what we were really focused on it in that period was creating these great places to work and they were amenity full. And we really use them. Not so much for retention purposes, but for attraction purposes, right? How could we attract people to a growing thriving company and with a with a sense of mission and attract those mission oriented folks. But things shifted, you know, I mean, that could be replicated quite easily. The this, you know, let's create a great place to work, particularly, you know, in the environment that in which I operate, I think you're familiar with it in, in Silicon Valley, and the birth take place of biotechnology and technology, it was easy to replicate those things that made a great place to work. So what I started to shift my thinking towards is, how do we create places where people do their best work? And that requires, you know, rethinking our management rethinking our system. So it's the same as, as I spent so much of my time focused on culture, I think what's more relevant today is community. And how does a successful leader How does a successful team member choose community? Because we are members of multiple communities, in organizations, but I think it's this sense of belonging, inclusion, that we can create for people that it will be the antidote to the big quit and the great resignation that are currently underway.
Wendy Hanson 17:54
Yeah, this best place to work, you know, we used to talk about Silicon Valley, well, you can get your dry cleaning picked up and the food is good. And you know, the foosball machines, but you know, now we know the best place to work really is where people have their values. There's integrity, there's connection. And in your book, you, you mentioned Gallup organizations, 12. Questions that survey about teams and, and, and do you have a best friend at work, something that people always like, is that really important? But when you think about community, that is important, isn't it?
Mike Horne, Ph.D. 18:28
Oh, my goodness, you know, the Gallup or the Q 12? That's been I mean, that that survey and research conducted in 1000s of companies for a very long time. Now, one of the questions is, do you have a best friend at work? And I don't believe that question changes around the world except in one country. I think that's Germany, where they reword the question slightly differently. But what we know is that about 70%, of an employee's engagement is within managerial control. So you know, going back when you do are great places to work, conversation, all that stuff, dry cleaning grade food, well, we're finding that buildings matter less for certain people and for certain workers, you know, for a slice of the pie. So those kinds of things maybe don't matter so much. And we also know that, you know, people are leaving in record droves, from organizations. And if 70% of that is with a manager or control. I mean, what do we have to do we have to follow up and janitors that we have? I don't think so. Right. But for decades now, as you know, I'm in the great psychologist Warner Burke pointed out, I mean, we've had a selection problem. I mean, we've known for a long, long time, that technical competence does not make for great leadership,
Wendy Hanson 19:55
right, which was Google project oxygen, you know, they assumed it was technical competence was the was the big skill is that hey,
Mike Horne, Ph.D. 20:04
yeah, interesting how that study was updated, you know, later. I mean, how I mean, how Aristotle migrated to oxygen and what it you know, what got added. And most of the people that with whom I work and have the privilege to work scientists, engineers, financial folks are highly technically competent people who have succeeded, you know, in their careers, more often than not, because they had some interpersonal skills that differentiated them from other highly technically competent people. And it is about keeping that at the forefront. Because, you know, I think a lot of people would love to say, Wendy that, well, if we could figure out a way to make money without people, we would do it. But the reality is, people are at the heart of human enterprise, and the bright folks, scientists, engineers, financial wizards, to some, you know, how do we keep people at the heart of that enterprise so that they can leave from their hearts as well?
Wendy Hanson 21:19
Yeah, yeah. No. And I love I love that you brought out that 70%, the study that Gallup did is, you know, 70% of people's, how they're engaged has to do with their manager, and we've coached 1000s of managers at BetterManager. And I really believe like, some people, they don't know what they don't know, you know, because we learn how to be a manager from our manager. If you've come in, and you've been around for a while, right? Well, they could have been a really bad manager. And that's, that's what you learn.
Mike Horne, Ph.D. 21:52
Oh, my gosh, I've written confessions of my early experiences. One of my painful confessions, that's public is around micromanaging others. I mean, it was my go to mode I wanted to be perfect. Yeah.
Wendy Hanson 22:08
Yes, yes, that is so true. And so we're finding that when people can find another way to support their people, then and they are coming from their values, and they have let's go back to Integrity and Authenticity. But some people that are, you know, very smart about, you know, how they do their job, don't have that emotional intelligence to understand, don't read people, and now we're giving it we're making it so much harder, because you're reading people on zoom all day. And you've got to figure out how people are feeling how you support them, and really take care of your people so that they say, Why would I go somewhere else? Because this is where people get me, they support me and I can make a difference.
Mike Horne, Ph.D. 22:52
Wendy is such a great, great point, I was recently speculating with my dear friend and colleague Beverly Kay, you know, love him losing fame, 700,000 books sold. And we were we were thinking about engagement and electronically mediated conferences in meetings and wondering, you know, when people when the call is over, when the leave Meeting button has been pressed? How do people react now? I mean, it's like, do they just check out? What happens that hallway banter that I'll stick around for two or three minutes and talk with someone, I'll learn from someone? What are we, you know, how, what's the responsibility now of manager and employee and organization to make those moments happen? Or what will be replaced in those moments?
Wendy Hanson 23:46
Right. And we do need to look at that I love that we knew we need to replace, what did we used to do when we weren't standing around the water cooler? You know, I have some companies that are doing happy hours. And in the beginning of COVID, there were companies that were doing, like big golf contests, like they were really bringing it to like God, we have to bring our people together and then show things but what are we going to do that's going to engage and have people feel part of the team,
Mike Horne, Ph.D. 24:12
one of my clients just described, again, sort of the loneliness and isolation that also comes with this period because they have decided to go back into the office twice a week. And what she described was, you know, going into the office, being completely masked unless she was in her office, meeting with her EVP and being masked and distanced ordering online from the canteen and running to pick it up. And so the question about what did I gain by traveling and commuting? You know, what's figural? And how will this impact our you know, talent and organizations abilities to innovate if we don't retain great talent.
Wendy Hanson 25:01
Yeah. Yeah, very much. So, practically speaking, because I always like to be practical because I want people to leave and say, I know what I'm going to do next, how does someone lead his or her or their team? From their heart? You know, what actions do people take to either start or continue this growth journey? That, you know, I may not know what I don't know, but I'm gonna learn what are some actions that they could take like,
Mike Horne, Ph.D. 25:29
I think there are about five actions that people could take if they want to keep on this integrity attorney. And I'm going to harp on a topic that's familiar to both of us at this point. But it is around self concept, self awareness, and getting a good sense of that by involving others. So that's, that's the first thing if you believe it about yourself, check it out. And get some feedback relative to that and see how well it aligns with your values. The second the second piece of guidance that I would offer after self awareness, is to discuss with your team or with a colleague with whom you work closely what your shared vision and values and mission are, just to make sure that there is that alignment, right, right back to the softer equation that we talked about, in terms of how do we create authentic leadership is that alignment. So it begins with a conversation with another person about values, vision, values, vision and mission. A third way that we managers begin to grab hold of that is to try on something new. Just make a tiny experiment, to reflect and to engage. Because I think what it does is it places the manager in the context of learner and it reminds us that, you know, a lot of learning isn't fun and great and wonderful, but rather it's anxiety producing, it has some guilt. So it's to remember that life in organizations isn't a science experiment to but to be experimental, in your approaches, right, I need to figure out that maybe there's another way that I can be better at this and help another person. So there is this third point of experimentation. But none of that happens without this additional belief in inclusion. And what I encourage everyone to do is just to say, hello, say hello more often. It is our oldest and greatest and best technology. It slows the conversation down maybe for 10 seconds, maybe for a minute, maybe for two minutes. It creates a connection. And it's a it's a way to open up inclusion, we're so focused, I think on you know, give me the report, I need this, I need that from you. We forget about Hello. So it's a great inclusion builder. And the last, you know, the fifth piece of guidance that I would offer is that we really need a to figure out who who is our best friend at work, or who that best friend is to find a supporter, a champion, someone who you have their back, and they can tell you, you've got this. So it's very sort of long form, you know, this self awareness, this ability to take some experiments, to get some team discussion, to say hello, and to figure out who you have as a best friend and who is your best friend.
Wendy Hanson 29:04
I love that. Yes. I'm so fortunate I have I have a number of best friends at work and that sustains me. You know, it's part of Yeah, it's part of what makes when things get tough, you know, you have people you can lean into. Well, I think it's
Mike Horne, Ph.D. 29:19
ultimately what retains you right what keeps you engaged, what keeps you happy? You know, you know think about experiences of those who really love their company but or you know, love their job and maybe aren't as attached to their company as they would like to be. They go and go and go they they never get any development and then they decide to leave and somebody comes with more money. It doesn't work usually. Yeah, yeah.
Wendy Hanson 29:47
And they'll they'll leave for the wrong reasons. I don't want to leave something because my team depends on me. I depend on my team. I know these relationships. Can I add one more to your list? Please put together They, and it fits in with so many of the things that you said, tell people, how grateful you are for them and that you appreciate them and call it out, not just like I was a great job. But what I really liked about what you did there was this, you know, what a difference you make to the team. Because those are things that are going to develop these relationships. And sometimes, you know, if you're a really good engineer, you may not think to do that how much that really grows somebody because that my oxytocin and dopamine will go wild, and my, how I work together with my team that I know that I did something really well. And that is free, doesn't cost anything, if you have to have it become a habit. So you put that into all those others that you talked about Mike, and I think you've got a winning package,
Mike Horne, Ph.D. 30:49
I think yeah, and I'm so grateful that Wendy that you and your colleagues at BetterManager are doing just those things and helping individuals to succeed and helping their teams thrive as well as their organizations. It's great.
Wendy Hanson 31:05
Thank you. And I'm sure that people are gonna want to know more about you Mike and and also your the book integrity by design, working and living authentically. How's the best place? Where is the best place for them to reach out to you?
Mike Horne, Ph.D. 31:21
The best place to reach out to me? Is it mic dash horn, h o r n e.com. That will direct you to all of the resources that we offer. So it's Mike dash, horn calm. And if you want a daily dash of my corn, you'll usually find me on LinkedIn as well.
Wendy Hanson 31:41
I think a daily desk Mike would be very nice. Yes, it'd be very nice. And in our show notes today will will include some of the other contact places so that people can reach out to you. Well, this was a real pleasure. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us today and giving us really good important things to think about because we don't want this great resignation to just keep going on the way it is. We want people to be thinking on both sides if you're leaving or if you're trying to retain people, one of the things we need to do, and who do we need to be as individuals as leaders and our company to be able to encourage people staying so thank you for sharing. Yeah,
Mike Horne, Ph.D. 32:23
thank you so much, Wendy. I've had it's been delightful. Great.