#40 Improve Your Leadership Skills| Roxi Hewerston Interview

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Roxi Hewerston, expert in organizational development, organizational effectiveness and HR management, author and motivational speaker, sits down to talk with Ryan about the importance of good leadership in the success of a business. 

Roxi talks about her experiences working with multiple companies and what she has witnessed to be effective leaders in the organization’s growth and development of its employees.

Roxi emphasizes that any kind of organization’s success or failure can be traced back to its leaders.

Listen to Roxi as she shares with Ryan how emotional intelligence is the key to being a good leader and what small business owners can do to become, develop and retain good employees. 

Show Links:

Find more There to Here Podcast Episodes with Ryan Dye

Key points:

01:18 — Background & empowering people in multiple industries
02:52 — overlooking the importance of leadership in starting a business
05:50 — Hiring success rates in the US
07:12 — Training HR to be more effective
08:25 — Common mistakes leaders make
10:23 — About performance reviews
11:15 — Managerial Adversarial company culture 
13:21 — Leadership amidst COVID
15:00 — Emotional Intelligence in leadership
16:46 — What key qualities to look for when hiring a leader
18:08 — Timing used to recruit leaders
19:50 — switching leadership roles between industries
21:24 — How to hire employees as a startup company 
23:56 — Shift in leadership culture
27:30 —Why Emotional Intelligence matters most to employees
29:14 — Good leadership develops other leaders
30:34 — Advice for young entrepreneurs 
33:05 — Connecting with Roxi

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Episode Transcript

Ryan Dye (00:00):
From CoLab INC, it’s There to Here, a show about entrepreneurs, innovators and mentors, and the impact they seek to make on the world. I’m Ryan Dye, executive director of CoLab. On today’s show, we talk with Roxana Hewertson. Roxi is an organizational consultant, executive coach, motivational speaker, and author of Hire Right, Fire Right: A Leader’s Guide to Finding and Keeping your Best People, and the acclaimed book, Lead Like it Matters… Because it Does. Providing leaders with a step-by-step roadmap and practical tools to achieve great results. She is the CEO of Highland Consulting Group, Inc. and AskRoxi.com.

Ryan Dye (00:37):
Based in Brevard, North Carolina, Roxi is an expert in organizational development, organizational effectiveness and human resources management. She has taught at Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, where she received her master’s degree. She also served as director of administration, facilities and finance at Cornell. Today, she works with an array of leaders, including executives and C-suite women and men, who have a deep desire to make a difference in their communities and in the world. Roxi, thanks so much for joining us today.

Roxi Hewertson (01:07):
Thanks Ryan. I’m really happy to be here and I really appreciate you having me on your show.

Ryan Dye (01:12):
I’d like to begin by having you share a little more about your background and interest, and how you’ve used this experience to empower folks across a wide range of industries.

Roxi Hewertson (01:23):
I thought you would probably ask me that question, so harking back to when I was 23 years old, I’ve held leadership roles, whether I should have or not, was prepared or not. I’ve certainly learned from my mistakes, plenty of them. I’ve learned from the worst and the best leaders. You learn a lot from bad leaders, and all of that during my career. It’s become really clear to me that the quality of leadership, in any workplace, is the epicenter, Ryan, of success or failure. Really for any enterprise, whether it’s a for-profit or not-for-profit.

Roxi Hewertson (01:59):
I’ve said this for years, and I’ll just keep saying it, it starts at the top. It always starts at the top, of any leader’s locus of control. They set the tone. They create the culture, and they either inspire or de-incentivize, demotivate those who are around them. My passion for over 25 years has been to do everything I can to stay laser-focused on this work, helping leaders create healthy workplaces and bottom line success for themselves, their people, their organizations.

Ryan Dye (02:32):
Yeah. That’s great. I was thinking about this and this conversation is really important because it covers a key area for creating a successful business or organization. That is in understanding what it means to be a good leader and investing in the right people, because that can really make or break an organization. Would you agree that this is often overlooked or misunderstood?

Roxi Hewertson (02:54):
Ryan, that’s why I have a call to action right at the front of my book. I talk about in Hire Right, Fire Right, I wish I had a megaphone and could stand on the top of the highest mountain and everybody could hear me. You can’t afford a bad hire, and you can’t afford a bad fire. Everything in between makes a huge difference. The HR professionals and leaders at the top of wherever they are, at the top of their team or the top of their organization need to pay attention. It really doesn’t matter whether it’s one person, an entrepreneur hiring a front desk person, or a VA even, or 100,000 people.

Roxi Hewertson (03:31):
It has to be a top business strategy to hire the right people into the right jobs, and retain those right people and help the wrong people either get better or move out. You used the word investment. It’s really true. It takes an investment to hire right. Of time, of money, of other resources, internal resources, people, but guess what? It takes a huge investment if you hire the wrong person and have to fire someone. My attitude is, doing it wrong is also an investment of time and money. What do you want to be? A winner or a loser?

Ryan Dye (04:08):
Absolutely.

Roxi Hewertson (04:09):
Would you invest in something you know is going to … Or, you have a 50% or better chance of losing? I think about how big a cost this is. It’s as much as 15 times the cost, a bad hire, way more expensive than the cost of a great hire. It can ruin the business.

Ryan Dye (04:26):
I remember a personal experience. I worked for a company in Downtown Seattle for a little while, not too long after graduating from college. I wasn’t there very long until I saw something that was very alarming to me, and that was that their turnover rate was exceptionally high. I had been hired at a … I would consider it a lower level position, but only having been there less than a year, they were talking to me about, “Oh, we’d like to promote you to being the director of training or something.” It was some much higher position.

Ryan Dye (05:00):
I mean, the initial feeling is, “Oh, great. Well, I mean, it’s nice to be noticed and they want to move me to a bigger position.” What I was realizing was they were moving people around so fast and in the wrong way that, I mean, it was not something I would have excelled at because I wasn’t ready to move into that role anyway. That was a big red flag for me as an employee.

Roxi Hewertson (05:21):
Yes.

Ryan Dye (05:22):
Where I said, “This is chaos here, and it’s not a successful endeavor to move around like this in a company.”

Roxi Hewertson (05:27):
Right. They were setting people up to fail.

Ryan Dye (05:29):
Correct. Correct.

Roxi Hewertson (05:30):
Of course, that’s going to create more turnover and then you’re going to feel bad about yourself because you were set up to fail, but you weren’t given what you needed in order to succeed. One of the things I wanted to mention about this is, it makes zero business sense, of course, to be not investing in the right people in the first place. The hiring success rate across the country, at best, is 50% failure rate and success rate. I mean, nobody, no entrepreneur, no leader, no frontline supervisor would accept a 50% failure rate any part of their business other than this.

Roxi Hewertson (06:09):
People just accept it. “Oh, well, that’s the way it is.” I worked with a guy … Well, I didn’t actually work with him because he didn’t get it. It was in the senior living industry where they have as much as 100% turnover. I knew that I could reduce that if he would listen to me. Guess what he was investing as a budget line item? Well, you don’t have to guess. I’ll tell you. $25 million a year.

Ryan Dye (06:33):
Wow.

Roxi Hewertson (06:33):
Well, that’s just the way it is in this industry. This was a very large company and it was just staggering. I mean, I was nauseous when I left that meeting. I couldn’t believe.

Ryan Dye (06:45):
For sure.

Roxi Hewertson (06:45):
I couldn’t believe it. People do just accept it, “Oh, well, that’s just part of doing business.” No, it’s not. No, it’s not.

Ryan Dye (06:50):
No. [crosstalk 00:06:51].

Roxi Hewertson (06:51):
It does not have to be. The return on investment for hiring the right people and doing the right things to retain them is huge. It’s mind blowing.

Ryan Dye (07:02):
Absolutely. If you could become an HR director, for example, is there a lot of training out there in that, as far as academia is concerned? Because I don’t recall seeing a lot of that when I was in business school or anything like that.

Roxi Hewertson (07:14):
It needs to change. It needs to change.

Ryan Dye (07:16):
I would imagine that’s part of the problem, is that we’re not training people well, to be that, I guess for lack of a better term, gatekeeper, to help companies.

Roxi Hewertson (07:29):
The heads of HR, it really needs to be much more organizational effectiveness and behavior focus than a ‘personnel focus’ that’s all about paperwork and making sure they fill out the right forms and they get the right orientation day. It’s very antiquated. It is changing, but too slowly. If I had my druthers, Ryan, I would create a course just on this ARC of the employees, acquisition, retention and closure, that I talk about in my book. Every HR person on the planet would need to be certified in that, because, I mean, they can always nuance it.

Ryan Dye (08:10):
Of course.

Roxi Hewertson (08:10):
It doesn’t have to be just my way, but it has to at least be this philosophy of paying attention to a lot of very key things.

Ryan Dye (08:17):
Yeah. Absolutely.

Roxi Hewertson (08:17):
Yeah.

Ryan Dye (08:19):
Given your expertise in leadership development, what are common mistakes that you often see with those at the top of an organization? You’ve touched on this a little bit.

Roxi Hewertson (08:29):
I focused in on hiring, onboarding and developing and letting people go. I have a fairly short answer. I give you one for each one, okay?

Ryan Dye (08:37):
Okay.

Roxi Hewertson (08:38):
That all right?

Ryan Dye (08:38):
Sure. Absolutely.

Roxi Hewertson (08:39):
Okay. There’s quite a laundry list and I would say it keeps focusing in on old dysfunctional policies, processes, attitudes that still prevail. Now, let’s focus on hiring. I’m just going to give you one. In hiring too little depth in vetting candidates is one, way too little and not doing it well and not having a good search team or not having others involved and not doing that well. People still ask illegal questions, all kinds of things like that. In onboarding, not having enough or real depth in getting that person integrated into the system and into their job.

Roxi Hewertson (09:19):
I recommend a minimum of six months up to a year. Some companies do it for two years and that includes a professional development process. I have to tell you, with onboarding, very few organizations do it at all. I mean, other than paperwork and an orientation session, and most do it poorly. I mean, these are data. This isn’t my opinion because there’s been a lot of research done on this and it’s not good. [crosstalk 00:09:45]

Ryan Dye (09:44):
That’s a lot of employees being thrown into a situation of, “Hey, it’s sink or swim. Good luck.”

Roxi Hewertson (09:49):
Yeah. Two jobs I had. I had to build my own office. I didn’t even have a chair to come into.

Ryan Dye (09:56):
Wow.

Roxi Hewertson (09:56):
I mean, I wasn’t an entry-level employee. These were management positions. It was incredible. It really needs to be a thought-out program and it’s not expensive. Why people don’t do it, I have no idea. Most organizations still use … So here’s just one example, performance reviews or performance evaluations once a year. Here you go check the boxes. Being able to fill it out and talk to me about it but that’s pretty much as far as it goes, and guess what? Managers hate them, employees hate them. Here’s another newsflash, they’re incredibly ineffective.

Roxi Hewertson (10:31):
In fact, turnover rates go up in organizations can be measured to go up in organizations after performance review time. Best employees leave. It’s just a terrible system and I proposed a very different system, and a very different system is being used in large companies like Netflix and Zappos. Let’s see. The last one would be firing. Of course that’s a very painful and awkward process. Most people do it very badly. It’s costly. It’s risky and they do it so badly across the board that it can actually ruin their business. We talk a lot about that in the book too.

Ryan Dye (11:09):
I’m sure that there are numerous examples of companies with a culture or structure that takes an adversarial approach between management and employees, which is unfortunate. Does this still persist with a lot of organizations that you see or is it becoming more of a relic of the past?

Roxi Hewertson (11:25):
Oh, were that true, it’s a relic. I think as long as there are top-down my way or the highway Cesar rules, we haven’t seen any of those lately, have we? Or any management role, that toxic atmosphere is going to persist. There are a lot of them, Ryan. It’s very sad and very frustrating that they just don’t get it. What’s really incredible to me is they don’t get how much that’s sucking off the bottom of their profits or their fundraising or whatever it is they’re doing profit or non-profit. They just don’t get it.

Roxi Hewertson (11:56):
Lots of times these are unrecoverable damages that people are doing to their business every day. I was thinking about unions. The only reason unions exist is because of bad management. Toxic leadership leads to unionization. I’m not saying unions are bad. I’m saying … or good, because they can be both. I’m not saying management is good or bad because it can be both, but when management is bad, you get unions and it’s protective survival mechanism. Toxic management causes people to organize and fight back. I can tell you, you asked about adversarial.

Roxi Hewertson (12:33):
I can tell you that I’ve negotiated a lot of union contracts and I’ve never had an adversarial relationship. I’m not saying it was easy. I’m not saying we didn’t have issues. It wasn’t adversarial because I came from a values-based place and they knew what my values were. I was very explicit about that. I was respectful, expected them to be respectful, and by the way, we were both caring about the employees that we both represented in one way or another. I think the bottom line in all of that, Ryan, is trust.

Ryan Dye (13:01):
Yeah. That’s key for sure. It could be an organization as large as Boeing or as small as five employees.

Roxi Hewertson (13:08):
You know what? It’s the leaders that want to change the dynamic in their culture that I love to coach the most.

Ryan Dye (13:13):
Yeah. That would be rewarding. Right now, especially with COVID, there’s a considerable stress on the shoulders of leadership with many issues that are obviously beyond their control. How can a good leader show stability in the midst of uncertainty? Maybe some in some strategies they might put into place.

Roxi Hewertson (13:31):
I wrote an article recently that was in hr.com. It was a case study of a company that did what I would call compassionate furloughs. I was looking back on it. What did they do right? Because the employees felt really good about the company, even on furlough. I don’t think it’s just about furlough. It’s about how you handle the crisis. Consistent and transparent communication and messaging to everyone was absolutely there from day one all the way through to today. I mean, we’re only talking a few months ago and this is still going on.

Roxi Hewertson (14:07):
Oh, by the way, this is an accounting firm. You wouldn’t necessarily think a bunch of CPAs would have figured this out, but they did. Another one was ongoing authenticity and really truth telling from the leadership. They didn’t BS anybody. What they knew, they shared. Humility and empathy was absolutely clear. The CEO was talking from his heart. He loves his people and he has 2000 employees.

Ryan Dye (14:34):
Well, and your employees, they’ll go the extra mile for you they feel like, “Hey, we’re all in this together.”

Roxi Hewertson (14:40):
They did. They told the truth and they told it often. They told it with heart. They were generous, had as much empathy and showed as much care as possible. They were human, so none of these are about skill set.

Ryan Dye (14:53):
That leads to this question, which is, a good deal of what you teach relates to understanding of psychology, human nature, helping leaders have self-awareness and empathy. We often see strong leaders with type A personalities that are outgoing, ambitious, motivated, and impatient at times, or rigid. That can come with that territory. Can type B personalities, those that are described as easygoing, relaxed, highly flexible, can they be good leaders as well?

Roxi Hewertson (15:20):
I’d like to think about this a little differently.

Ryan Dye (15:22):
Sure.

Roxi Hewertson (15:23):
If that’s okay with you?

Ryan Dye (15:23):
Absolutely.

Roxi Hewertson (15:24):
I am going to say, the best leaders balance the best of both sets of these attributes very well and minimize the worst, because it’s not an either or. I mean, I’m thinking … Which means they have high emotional intelligence. You mentioned self-awareness and empathy. Those are two things of 12 competencies that are inside emotional intelligence. Ryan, this is the differentiator and really, the research is so pervasive and so clear. It’s hands down the differentiator between highly effective leaders and everybody else.

Roxi Hewertson (16:00):
I caution people not to stereotype or label anyone too narrowly. I really believe there are far more than type A and type B personality.

Ryan Dye (16:11):
Sure. That’s a rather cookie-cutter. It’s-

Roxi Hewertson (16:12):
Yeah. It’s an outdated construct.

Ryan Dye (16:15):
Sure.

Roxi Hewertson (16:16):
[crosstalk 00:16:16] push back a little bit on that.

Ryan Dye (16:18):
Sure. Sure.

Roxi Hewertson (16:18):
It ignores the wide spectrum of people and personalities that I see certainly. It can over simplify what motivates people because motivation comes from inside all of us. It might underestimate the incredible diversity of talents within all the nuances and challenges, I think, that everybody brings to the table.

Ryan Dye (16:39):
Absolutely. What are some key things that an organization should look for when they’re hiring a leader?

Roxi Hewertson (16:45):
I do have an answer for that. I invite people to look at their candidates through eight lenses Ryan. I call them the A through H factors. Attitude, brains, includes brains and experience, character, D drive, E emotional intelligence, F fit, G gut, and that’s really on the interviewer’s side and H heart. I spell these all out and I have lots of questions you can use to test each one of those factors.

Roxi Hewertson (17:15):
I’m not being specific to leaders because, and I’ll tell you why, if you’re an entrepreneur and you have one employee and that employee is the face of your organization, whether it’s on the telephone, whether it’s in person, whatever, virtual, that high touch customer contact person needs to be the kind of person that represents you and your organization, company, business. You might not have to go as deeply into that, but you should touch on them and see what you see.

Roxi Hewertson (17:46):
You’re certainly going to take a deeper dive if it’s a vice president for sales, for instance, or a CEO. I’m going to say that whether it’s a frontline person or a leader, if you don’t pay attention to these eight factors, it’ll come back to haunt you big time, unless you’re really lucky.

Ryan Dye (18:02):
What do you think is probably a reasonable timeframe as they’re vetting someone? Just out of curiosity, what would be a recommendation you might give for a company in that situation?

Roxi Hewertson (18:13):
Yeah. Well, it kind of depends on whether they’re using a recruiting service of some kind, a firm of some kind, or whether they’re doing it on their own, because sometimes it can be speeded up if you use a recruiter, sometimes not. I talk about that a lot in the book as well. There’s a lot you can do to set yourself up so it doesn’t take as long.

Ryan Dye (18:33):
Sure.

Roxi Hewertson (18:33):
You can set up your search team. You can do a whole bunch of pre-work, and I have all that listed. Saves a lot of time and oh, by the way, that can be repeated, just plug in different holes, but that process can be repeated. That can be the front end when you know you want to post a position or advertise a position or recruit for a position. I don’t want to give you a specific set of times because it really depends on the market and it depends on what the pool looks like for that kind of a position, so-

Ryan Dye (19:05):
Or whatever skill set you’re looking for.

Roxi Hewertson (19:06):
Yeah. What skill set you’re looking for. If you’re looking to hire a short-order cook, there might be a lot or a little, depending on the market. You’re looking to hire a CEO, there might be a lot or a little depending on the market and which business you’re in. I think it’s fair … So I don’t want to skirt your question like political candidates do. I think it’s fair to say 60 to 90 days is a reasonable amount of time to do the kind of vetting.

Roxi Hewertson (19:33):
Now, if you are in a bigger hurry than that, you’re going to have to do a whole bunch of pre-work beforehand and make sure that you’ve got your ducks in a row and boom, boom, boom. Preparation can cut the time down by a lot.

Ryan Dye (19:46):
Another thing that came to mind was, there are a lot of examples of companies out there. They have a new CEO that has often moved from one area or industry to another. I would imagine that part of what a company’s looking for is what skill sets that person brings to the table. I think for example someone that may have been the head of Boeing moves to Ford, who then maybe runs a major university or whatever. There’s a similarity, but yet they’re very different entities. Have you seen that to be successful approach in some cases, or is that kind of, well, you’re taking chances?

Roxi Hewertson (20:21):
Yeah. I think that could go both ways because really excellent leaders can lead anywhere.

Ryan Dye (20:27):
That’s a good point. Yeah.

Roxi Hewertson (20:29):
Really crappy leaders can fail anywhere. It’s the quality of their leadership that is the number one issue, because you can always learn about an industry depending on where that leadership role is. Like if you want an engineer from Boeing to become an engineer for Ford, that may or may not be a fit. If you’re hiring a leader of engineers from Boeing going to Ford, you’re looking for different things.

Ryan Dye (20:54):
True.

Roxi Hewertson (20:54):
May not be a factor that they don’t know how to engineer a car, but they know how to engineer an airplane. I think it’s really dependent how deep that knowledge has to be in the industry that they’re in. I don’t think you’d hire somebody who is the CEO of a corporation to be a university president. That’s not going to happen anytime soon.

Ryan Dye (21:15):
In the same way, let’s say you’re looking to hire employees for your company, how can someone who really doesn’t have a lot of experience, be able to go, “Okay. We got to think about this carefully and do the proper research.” I mean, you’ve talked about a lot of these things already, but maybe what would you recommend to a startup company?

Roxi Hewertson (21:34):
You mean besides reading my first two books?

Ryan Dye (21:37):
Besides that, yes.

Roxi Hewertson (21:38):
Okay. Besides that, I have a couple pieces of advice and then we can take it further if you’d like. My number one piece of advice is to take leadership as seriously as your business. You don’t just fall off a rock knowing how to lead people. If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re running an online business and you have no employees, you’re the CEO of your own life and your own business, but you’re not effecting other people other than your customers. Once you are hiring people, you need to take that as seriously as you do your bottom line and you need to learn how to lead.

Roxi Hewertson (22:13):
If you haven’t been taught how to lead, it’s a discipline. I wouldn’t ask somebody who’s put a Band-Aid on my knee to do brain surgery. This is a discipline and it’s a serious discipline that too many people have not taken seriously when they go into business and they fail because of this. It’s not an accident why such a high percentage of small businesses fail in the first five years. A big reason … Although, there are a number of reasons, but one of the number one reasons is poor management. The second piece of advice would be, I would say, ask more than you tell and listen a lot.

Ryan Dye (22:47):
We need to listen more, I think that’s really important. In that regard, do you think that a good leader needs to be the smartest person in the room?

Roxi Hewertson (22:58):
You know what I’m going to say to that, don’t you?

Ryan Dye (23:01):
I would say probably not, but-

Roxi Hewertson (23:04):
What I would say is just a little bit different. I believe that a good leader has to be smart enough to hire the smartest people in the room for their roles. When I say smartest, I really mean diverse thinkers with diverse experience, diverse personalities, diverse backgrounds. I am going to say they should have high EI if they’re leaders in the room with the leader. Definitely people who will speak their truth to the leader and to their colleagues, and also people who will play well with others.

Ryan Dye (23:36):
I think a sign of bad leadership is someone who isn’t willing to listen to concerns or criticisms.

Roxi Hewertson (23:42):
Absolutely.

Ryan Dye (23:42):
Yeah. By their staff.

Roxi Hewertson (23:44):
Because I know it all.

Ryan Dye (23:44):
Yeah. You don’t.

Roxi Hewertson (23:45):
Well, you don’t know it all. Nobody knows it all.

Ryan Dye (23:48):
In your TEDx Talk a few years ago, you talked about a very interesting point where too many leaders are failing their followers and that we need to think differently about leadership. At least one in three employees in the United States today are looking for other jobs because they are not happy at work. Eight out of 10 give the reason why being due to bad leadership. Are you seeing any change in that? I mean, I know you’re trumpeting the cause.

Ryan Dye (24:15):
Are we seeing a shift in culture in how a lot of companies, especially newer companies, are being more proactive and not letting that be the case in their organization?

Roxi Hewertson (24:25):
Really progressive companies who got it, have changed the landscape. It’s billions and billions and billions of lost talent, lost money, lost resources issue in our country. I mean, it still is. Actually, I think it’s gotten even worse. In some studies it’s two out of three people are unhappy in their jobs and looking for other jobs or more. I believe that it’s still true. It’s not the only reason people leave their jobs, but you got to remember that the leader impacts a whole bunch of things.

Roxi Hewertson (25:00):
If it’s a toxic work environment because of neglect or because of something else, then if they don’t like their coworkers, they’re going to leave. I talk a lot about engagement when I do talks and when I’m coaching folks. Leaders care a lot about employee engagement, but they don’t do much about it if they’re having a problem and it’s not getting better. It’s still true that good people don’t stay because they don’t have to.

Ryan Dye (25:22):
That’s interesting.

Roxi Hewertson (25:23):
Even in this environment and certainly in a low unemployment environment. I mean, it’s a showstopper.

Ryan Dye (25:30):
It’s interesting to look at things even from a sociology and generational lens because if I look back at say my parents’ generation or earlier, our grandparents’ generation, oftentimes, they were in a job, they’re in this career 20/30/40 years. Then, “Hey, here’s your gold watch. Congratulations on retiring.” That is not the world we live in.

Roxi Hewertson (25:55):
No.

Ryan Dye (25:55):
At all. People might shift jobs two or three times in two to three years. That’s not totally unusual. I mean, it’s nice that we might have that luxury if we want to be able to shift positions or look for other jobs, but I think a company that is able to help engage their employees with an appreciation and understanding for, “Hey, life happens but we’re part of that experience.” I had another position where they really valued their employees and when my wife had both of our children, I received three months paternity leave for both kids.

Ryan Dye (26:36):
That’s highly unusual, but I’ll tell you what, I loved my job there and I would have done anything for this company because they valued my contribution enough to say, “This is important. We want you to be able to spend time with your family.”

Roxi Hewertson (26:50):
That’s a wonderful example of how it should be.

Ryan Dye (26:52):
I thought that was great.

Roxi Hewertson (26:53):
Your loyalty is going to go up. Your productivity is going to go up.

Ryan Dye (26:56):
Absolutely.

Roxi Hewertson (26:57):
That’s a company that’s looking at you long-term. They’re not looking at you for three months or six months. Once again, if you’re going to make that huge investment, it makes no sense. That’s like buying a cashmere sweater and never wearing it. I have asked thousands of people what they really want about leaving because of a leader, thousands, Ryan. Like 5,000. This is a pretty good test. These are people from bus drivers to CEOs. That’s the range.

Roxi Hewertson (27:29):
When I said, “Put up a list. Tell me the qualities and attributes of a good leader and the qualities and attributes of worst leader,” at least 95% of the answers are all going to fall under one of the emotional intelligence competencies. They’ll come up with, “Oh, has the skills to do the job, is knowledgeable, is helpful in sharing their knowledge.” Even that has emotional intelligence. They share their knowledge. They’re open, right? There’s not a list of can do X, Y, Z technical skills. Almost never even say is smart enough, never.

Roxi Hewertson (28:04):
I mean, those are entry-level. Things that people just take for granted, that they’re smart enough. They have enough intelligence to do the job and they have the skills to do the job. Okay. Those are just throwaways because you shouldn’t be in the job if you don’t have … That’s your ticket in.

Ryan Dye (28:18):
Exactly.

Roxi Hewertson (28:19):
Everything else is what matters. Teddy Roosevelt, I think was credited with saying, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Ryan Dye (28:27):
It’s a great quote.

Roxi Hewertson (28:28):
My answer is, yeah, leadership still has a huge impact on whether people are happy in their jobs or not, for a whole lot of reasons. Not just the person, but how that person carries out their job.

Ryan Dye (28:40):
Well, and I think as long as there are human beings roaming the earth, we’re going to have people who’ve got serious personality challenges and get in positions of leadership and just wreak havoc everywhere they go. The lesson here is that, as you say, there are things that can be learned and disciplines developed to model what good leadership looks like. Because when you’re a good leader, you create good leaders in your organization.

Roxi Hewertson (29:09):
Absolutely. One of the number one jobs of a leader is to develop other people. It’s about we not about me. That’s different than when you’re an individual contributor, because when you’re an individual contributor, it’s about my work, what I did, my results, boom, boom, boom. When you’re the leader, it’s about our work, our results, how can I help you do the best you can? That’ll make me look good by the way as a leader.

Ryan Dye (29:32):
Whether it’s bad leaders around the world, in different countries or of companies that tend to run their organizations or their country with an iron fist or everything’s out of fear, I just thought this is a losing battle all the time, because you’re constantly looking over your shoulder. All it really does is make you a weak leader.

Roxi Hewertson (29:53):
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could learn from our mistakes?

Ryan Dye (29:55):
It would be.

Roxi Hewertson (29:56):
Human mistakes, but there’s 3000 years of at least us making the same mistakes over and over again and-

Ryan Dye (30:04):
We haven’t gotten it right yet.

Roxi Hewertson (30:05):
I was reading about the fall of the Roman Empire and I got to tell you it sent chills up my spine.

Ryan Dye (30:09):
True. The more we change, the more things stay the same I guess.

Roxi Hewertson (30:12):
Yeah. It’s just different faces and different places.

Ryan Dye (30:15):
For sure.

Roxi Hewertson (30:15):
Hopefully though we, as a species, are evolving in our awareness and consciousness.

Ryan Dye (30:21):
True.

Roxi Hewertson (30:21):
In ways that we have not before, or at least have remembered what we knew before. I still have hope.

Ryan Dye (30:29):
Yeah. Well that’s where the self-awareness and empathy come in. That’s important.

Roxi Hewertson (30:33):
Sure. Absolutely.

Ryan Dye (30:35):
One of the last questions here is, what piece of advice would you share with a young entrepreneur who undoubtedly is, or will be, in a position of leadership during their journey?

Roxi Hewertson (30:44):
Pay attention to your emotional intelligence, because that will make you or break you. That means reading about it, learning about it, taking a course in it, practicing, getting a coach, doing whatever you need to do to raise your awareness about what’s working for you and where your shadow is. I do a lot of work with leaders around their shadow because it’s important to work on strengths. It’s also important to manage your shadow and not have it manage you.

Roxi Hewertson (31:11):
We all have habits. Some of them work for us, some of them don’t. One of the wonderful things about entrepreneurs, I’ve been an entrepreneur practically all my life in one way or another, is that energy and that creativity and that passion. You can’t eat energy, creativity, and passion for dinner. You got to bring money to the table, and the way that’s going to happen, if you have other people around you, is that they’re helping you.

Roxi Hewertson (31:38):
You need to leverage other people in really positive ways and without growing, and you can grow your emotional intelligence by leaps and bounds actually. By growing your emotional intelligence, your chances of success are hugely increased, but it really does matter. I mean, it just does.

Ryan Dye (32:00):
Yeah. That’s excellent advice and I mentioned at the beginning, I just think that these are areas that do not get thought about enough-

Roxi Hewertson (32:07):
I know.

Ryan Dye (32:08):
… by organizations, again, whether it’s a school, non-profit, for-profit, it doesn’t matter. Organizational structure is important and having good leadership, as you say, can make or break the success of not only the company, but all the people involved. Definitely something to think about.

Roxi Hewertson (32:25):
Absolutely. People do ask me about that. Sort of like the question you asked me about, if you’re a good leader, can you lead anywhere? The principles are all the same. The things that work are the same, no matter what you’re leading, who you’re leading, where you’re leading. They’re the same for when you do it well and when you do it badly. All-inclusive message.

Ryan Dye (32:48):
For sure. Well, Roxi, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today. I really appreciate your insight and look forward to keeping in touch, and using your books as a reference for further developing my own leadership abilities.

Roxi Hewertson (33:03):
Oh, well, thank you.

Ryan Dye (33:03):
I’m looking forward to really getting into the meat of the books. I’d like to encourage our listeners as well, to visit your website, which is AskRoxi.com where you can learn more about Roxi’s coaching courses and books. There’s a great deal of highly valuable information there. Please take a moment, connect and add some important assets to your managerial toolbox. With that, Roxi, I really appreciate your time and we will definitely keep in touch for sure.

Roxi Hewertson (33:32):
Well, I hope so because this has been a lot of fun. You ask great questions.

Ryan Dye (33:35):
Oh, I appreciate-

Roxi Hewertson (33:37):
Really good meaty juicy questions.

Ryan Dye (33:39):
I appreciate that.

Roxi Hewertson (33:40):
That was as much fun for me as it was for you and I hope everybody enjoyed it.

Ryan Dye (33:43):
Absolutely. Well, when we finally or hopefully get back to doing more live events and things like that, we would love to have you be one of our presenters and impart your knowledge to our attendees. That would be wonderful.

Roxi Hewertson (33:56):
That’d be a thrill for me too.

Ryan Dye (33:58):
I want to take a moment to tell our listeners about our exciting new series this fall called CoLab Webinar Wednesdays. Similar to our podcast, this one-hour free webinar will feature some great personalities across our various areas of focus, such as nonprofit development, technology, film and media, lifestyle, real estate development, and general entrepreneurship. We encourage you to attend these events as it will give you a chance to ask our guests questions on how they got from there to here.

Ryan Dye (34:24):
October is Women in Small Business Month, and we are featuring two great business owners, Lia Griffith of liagriffith.com, a DIY site that has been featured in The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Good Housekeeping and on the TODAY Show. We recently talked with Lia and you can listen to that webinar under podcasts on the colabinc.org website. Later this month, we will talk with Kennedy Haffner of thehealthyhaff.com. Kennedy is a 23-year-old health and wellness blogger who will share some thoughts on developing a business as a blogger and finding balance in your life.

Ryan Dye (34:57):
The webinars will take place between 12:00 and 1:00 PM Pacific Time on Wednesdays throughout the fall. To find out more on how to register, visit our website, colabinc.org. In the meantime, follow, like and subscribe to CoLab INC on all the various social media platforms and visit our website, colabinc.org to see the various ways we help promote the spirit of entrepreneurship. If you have comments on today’s episode or know someone who would be a great guest on our show, send your suggestions to Ryan@colabinc.org. We would love to hear from you.

Ryan Dye (35:28):
Special thanks to our producer, Michael Webberley, editing by Tanya Musgrave, Joel Norris, and all the CoLab staff. Until next time, be well and God bless.