Relationships at Work - Your Honest Guide to Building Workplace Connections and Avoiding Leadership Blind Spots.

Leadership Lessons from Workhuman LIVE

April 25, 2024 Russel Lolacher - leadership and workplace relationship advocate Episode 153
Leadership Lessons from Workhuman LIVE
Relationships at Work - Your Honest Guide to Building Workplace Connections and Avoiding Leadership Blind Spots.
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Relationships at Work - Your Honest Guide to Building Workplace Connections and Avoiding Leadership Blind Spots.
Leadership Lessons from Workhuman LIVE
Apr 25, 2024 Episode 153
Russel Lolacher - leadership and workplace relationship advocate

In this episode of Relationships at Work, communications and leadership nerd (and host) Russel Lolacher provides a recap of attending Workhuman LIVE in Austin and his favourite takeaways.

Russel shares the future of work leadership from Brene Brown, the lessons Baratunde Thurston learned when he discovered his mom wasn't perfect, the importance of intention and impact with considering A.I.,  how Issa Rae embraces fit for herself and her colleagues, and the frustration of having insight you can't use. 

If you enjoy the podcast, please subscribe and share with others.

For more, go to relationshipsatwork.ca 

And connect with me for more great content!

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of Relationships at Work, communications and leadership nerd (and host) Russel Lolacher provides a recap of attending Workhuman LIVE in Austin and his favourite takeaways.

Russel shares the future of work leadership from Brene Brown, the lessons Baratunde Thurston learned when he discovered his mom wasn't perfect, the importance of intention and impact with considering A.I.,  how Issa Rae embraces fit for herself and her colleagues, and the frustration of having insight you can't use. 

If you enjoy the podcast, please subscribe and share with others.

For more, go to relationshipsatwork.ca 

And connect with me for more great content!

Last week, I had a bit of fun. I was invited to attend Workhuman LIVE, a huge leadership and HR conference in Austin, Texas representing Relationships at Work. It included some amazing attendees; big name keynotes like Brene Brown, Issa Rae and Baratunde Thurston; some familiar faces to our show Hamza Kahn and Jeff Harry; and some great takeaways on how leadership and workplace culture. 

Here were a few notables for me:

  1. Future of Work Leadership - Brene Brown spoke to the vital need to prioritize humanity as we adopt A.I. into our work. Though this technology will help us, it will take humans to prevent us from getting it wrong and losing connection. And as much as humanity is important, we will be left behind if we don't learn this new way of working. Leaders lead, and that comes from learning... even if it's uncomfortable. She specifically highlighted the need for organization to focus on leadership that is curious, offers grounded confidence and embraces anticipatory thinking.
     
  2. Commonalities - Baratunde Thurston told an amazing story of his relationship with his mom and how she fostered curiosity and forward thinking in him, even at a young age. He also came to terms that his mom wasn't as perfect as he had believed her to be, as he grew in knowledge and experience, but that she did the best she could. His keynote really hit home that we're all human, and that even if we make mistakes, there is far more that connects us than divides us. Lean into that when foster a healthy culture in the workplace. It should never be us vs them, but rather us vs the challenges and opportunities before us. 
     
  3. Intention vs Impact - this came up a few times, both in discussions around A.I. and in how much DEI has been talk to intention vs impact for years. What do we want to do? What does success look like? And then understand what we're actually doing - good and bad, to our organization, our culture, our employees, our customers with our actions and inactions. We need to value and understand both, making adjustments along the way.
     
  4. "Create what you want to see." - Issa Rae spoke of the importance of fit as a leader. For herself, she made assumptions about what she wanted to do (act, write) vs what she thought she wanted to do (direct), only to see those that truly loved directing and see that that wasn't her. For her organization, she talked of hiring slowly and firing fast (though the fast was something she was still working on) but also knowing her team members well enough to find better opportunities and fits for them that they themselves might not even recognize. And if fit wasn't working, to ourselves create what we want to see in the world. To create the fit that works for ourselves. For her it was stories and content that she wanted to see. For us, it could be the culture and work environment we have influence over. 
     
     
  5. "What do I do with this?" - This was probably one of the most impactful things I took away from the event. When sitting in the hallway, away from the hustle and bustle of the conference floor, I was catching up on some work when an attendee was starting talking on her phone right beside me. I'm assuming she was talking to a work colleague as she was going into how amazing the conference was, how much she aligned with everything, how inspired she was, and these were "her people." And then she said the one thing that many of us struggle with... "But what am I going to do with this?" This was all great information, but my leadership won't buy in. Unfortunately these amazing events are check box exercises for some organizational leaders. They get to say they are progressive and open-minded by sending their HR representative but then do little to listen or to change when those same HR reps come back with what they've learned. It broke my heart to see that passion be balance by frustration and exasperation. 

Thank you so much to Workhuman for having me. It was an amazing experience and I look forward to learning so much more about your work and your focus on recognition. I'll be sharing some of the amazing conversations I had at the conference over the next month or so.

But I also what to add one additional recommendation from me, after reviewing these take aways. Control what you can control, influence what you can influence. Instead of being frustrated trying to address difficult cultures or changing the minds of challenging leadership... focus on your immediate environment, your team, your self. That's where real change needs to start.