HR Superstars
HR Superstars

Episode 12 · 5 months ago

Leading With Love: Why Strong Leadership Starts w/ Compassion


The old models of leadership no longer serve organizations well.

Those models expected leaders to be superhuman. But that kind of strength entirely misses the mark; it doesn’t serve the needs of those we lead.

Today, we need a leadership model that embraces vulnerability, along with service, humility, kindness, and love.

We talked with Laila Tarraf, Chief People Officer at Allbirds, about her new book on leading with love in business and in life.

We also talked about:

-The old view of HR vs the new view of HR.

-The difference between enabling and protecting your people.

-How to help leaders find a deeper level of empathy.

-Why love is a strength, not a weakness.

For the entire interview, subscribe to HR Superstars on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher. Or tune in on our website.

Get Laila’s book, Strong Like Water.

I could not have led, through this lastyear of tremendous loss with the pandemic and the social unrest in thepolitical devisiveness. I would never have been able to do that. Had I notbeen where I was in my journey, Youre listening to HR superstars, apodcast from thonfinhudren five, the highlight stories from the front linesof HR and peapleops. Each episode will showcase fascinating conversations withleaders offering their unique experiences and advice for building anextraordinary company and helture. Let's get into the show, welcome back to another episode of HRSuperstars, I'm shamed ATCALF and I'm here with my cofounder and Co DavidHasell, and we are absolutely thrilled to welcome Layla tariff to the showtoday and I'm personally just thrilled about this conversation, because whenwe did the preinterview one of the main themes that we were talking about waslove at work and bringing love back into the workplace or maybe into theworkplace for the first time really. So let me just tell you a little bit aboutLala Layla is a talent, management and leadership development executive withover twenty five years of experience, building teams and advising companiesacross many industries and stages of growth. She was a founding member ofwalmartcom at the height of the first Internet bubble and the chief peopleofficer at Pete's, coffee and tea, as it was redefining its values as anational brand. She then spent seven years working in private equity as hedirector of human capital, Tha Gi partners in a human capital advisorwith altamont capital. Currently, as chief people officer for all birds, sheis focused on building a high performance, human centeredorganization capable of driving for results while at the same timenurturing a culture of connection and belonging as it grows into a global,sustainable consumer brand. Over the years through professional achievementsand personal accomplishments, alongside professional setbacks and personaltragedies, malhahs evolved her leadership and life philosophy into onethat embraces the inherent quality of life, balance, ing courage withcompassion, integrating head with heart, infusing power with tenderness, herjourney and hard one insights or what she shares in her debut book. Stronglike water layl, is a graduate of Berkeley. Hoss School of business isalso a guest lecturer at Berkeley Law School. She is Levanese and American,an avid traveler and world explorer and a proud mom to her teenage daughter,Nadia and er eight pound Yorki Max, and we just learned that her teenagedaughter is going to be spending an immersion and surfing and SpanishCostarica, and you know don't we all need surfing an Spanish imersion thesedays, so they olla welcome to the show really great to have you thankes. Somuch so happy to be here. You guys yeah. This is so great I'd like to start withjust understanding a little bit more about your journey like how did you getinto this this realm of people? Leadership of you know what I think.Some people used to call Ar somewere now pcalling people in culture.Obviously you know you're moving forward and more of this human centricphilosophy. So what was your journey to this? To this place? Yeah HR continues to rebrand itselfmore than any other function. I know we'll get well we'll get there and Ithink it's because the the industry continues and the function continues toevolve. I mean HR wasn't even anywhere on my radar screen, for you know mywhole life until I got out of out of business school when I was young,I wanted to be a pet neatrician and then somebody said to me at seventeenand one you know that's like ten years of school and neither one of my parentswent to college and to a seventeen year old, ten years of school, that's morethan Aa Av your life. So I dcret that idea. How long have I been in highschool? Oh, Oh God. I don't think I could do that, and so I you know I went to college. Iended up majoring in computer information systems because this wasthe late s and computers were starting to be a thing, and that was you know,good student and then I really fell into recruiting and because of mytechnical Undergrad, I started to recruit engineers and because I couldspeak their language, but I could also sort of walk and talk and had sort ofoutgoing into people person. And then I went to business school at Berkeley andwas lucky enough to land a role at Walmartcom when it was just a startupwalmart ink in early twohousand realized this Internet thing wasn'tgoing away and they have to get serious about it and they weren't going to getthe talent. They need an invent built, Orkansan, one thousand nine hundred andninety nine. So they started Walmartcom out here in the San Francisco Bay area,and I was hired to be employee number seven. As the director of recruitingand I worked for a female CEO, her name was Jean Jackson. She was super toughand amazing, and I was so inspired and...

...also terrified of her and after a yearof W building the company to two hundred D, fifty people we kept onlooking for head of ACHR, we couldn't find anyone. We like she just said tome when they look you're doing the job. Why don't you take it and my firstreaction was? Oh? No, no! No! I not any par person this this person, because you know,like probably most people twenty years ago, I really didn't see hr as abusiness function. I don't know, I thought it was more downstream, moremore administrative and you know what I love the benchnd shes like. Well, look,I don't care, take it or not, but you know I got bigger fish to fry and I waslike okay, okay, I'll, try it and WHA Classic Power Move Right there. YouKnow Asick exactly she av beg. Mei said no, and you know again. I wish I could sayit was all by design. I've really got lucky and I'm fortunate that there wasa leader of a woman who saw something in me that I didn't yet see in myselfand so for the next seven years. I really grew into being an HR leader andreally a for Lind, VP player coach and that's how it started. That's a I som.I actually think one of the one of the best qualities of a leader is to beable to see things in people that they don't yet see in themselves. I thinkit's very true and because I've never seen myself as an HR person, I don'tknow if people say this anymore, but they used to say I usued to hear thisall the time. Do you have the seat at the table like what are you talkingabout? It's my table like Ishat that whole statement around you know itimplies that you'rthat there's something going on and you're notinvited to it, and I just think that whole orientation get just sets you offon the wrong foot in the first place right. It's our table we're heretogether, we're all in this together. So I think, because I never felt like Iwasn't part of the business or the business. Quite frankly, I never showedup in that way, and- and you know you have to put some points on the board,and so I think I became very integrated in the business very quickly, butthat's great, if you think about you, know the the old view of r and what youkind of perceived it to be about being more about administrative, maybecompliance and those types of things which is, I think, more from aprotective reactive state that we've now moved into something a differentmodel that is emerging, that's Clovy, merging across the board in the mostprogressive companies. What would you say it's moved to like? How would youdescribe that? You know I don't want to put down the compliance wor, theadministrative cided, a char, because it's real and it's important soimportant. I yeah. I should say it's not it's not that it's not that it'sthat and like wats GROWNU. Yes, that's right! I that's Whar. It starts. Youknow that sort of people operations, but there are different disciplineswithin a char just like there are marketing and finance the difference. Isee in Har Leaders. is you either think of a char as a function to protect theorganization or to enable it mof course? The reality is that that's a falseparadox. You want to do both right. You want to protect, and you want to enable.I try to think about both my naturalorientation is to enable not to protect. So I know I have to hire people thatare wired that way, and I have to make the space for us to be able to have theconversation, but it's not in my nature, to protect it's in my nature to justmove forward and- and I think I think that's the difference as HR has movedfrom being a downtream administrative after the fact function to moreupstream, more strategic more enabling than you need to have a balance ofthose people. I love the distinction of enabling andprotecting and that it's you know both are required, but that you know hrreally has evolved. You know we've kind of transcended, just protecting anorganization and and yet we're including the protection, but it reallyis enabling- and it's such a such I haven't, heard that distinction beforeand it really clarifies it. I really LANC ME to. I would love to hear alittle bit about what do you love about the culture at Alberts? You know whatis what is something that you think makes all birds very distinct I shouldhave. I should have put on my albirds one of one of my two parends. I thinkthe first person I saw wearing olbirds. Actually, Oh yeah, Nice Yeah Yeah. Ithink I think David was making fun of me one time because we were flyingtogether out of SBO and I was like I had my all birds on and I had my awayroller bag youare such a silican valley, Pliche, Arnglasses and you are goodwr. ThePADAGOTA vestandy would ha what Coan I say: Theyr Great Products Yeah theculture that all birds is amazing. It's you know where a BECORP and it's thefirst time I've worked for a BCORP. I...

...used to work for the most conservativecompany Walmart and then I went to the most liberal company pace out ofBerkeley Yeah and now I'm I'm at a BCORP, and I am clearly ten to twentyyears older than everybody. So it's really interesting experience to be atallbirds. Now Walmart was my albirds because I was you know the same age.They are all all. Are We built the company? It is it's a very youngcompany. The average age is two thosand Yn, nine or thirty. So ninety percentof the people are in their first O second job out of school, so just kindof wrap your head around that for a minute and one of the things that I'velearned in my first year there is, you know when you feel a resistance tochange which and everybody resists change on some level and when I've,when I felt it at all birds, what I realized pretty quickly was it wasn'treally deeply embedded in these sort of longstanding beliefs. It was just thatthey didn't know any other way because they're still so new in their careers.So it's exciting for me. Right because I'm on the other side of my career, Ireally get to be a Menatour and an educator and someone who can hold thespace for all these people who are really kicking off their career, and Ijust find that so exciting they're hungry to learn they're excited aboutthe opportunity, their millennials. Everybody wants to save the world andthat's super exciting, because I really think what we're doing can have a majormajor impact and everyone is so serious about lowering the carbon flitprint onthis planet. It is you know, companies have a cord DNA based on how they arefounded and companies get disrupted when things change around them and theycan't shift. You know they can't be attall enough to shift, but I personally believe you can change andyou can shift, but your Cordina is always going to be your court DNA andfor us it is imbedded in sustainability and product innovation. So we're luckyright now to be a point in time where we, where we're really anchoring onthat DNA and everything that we do so it doesn't feel like we're, we'retrying to shift or change or move or try to become something. That's notreally who we are, and that feels amazing. That's amazinging! It's almostlike the you know again: Ou ow the. Why doesn't change, but you might have tochange the how right, depending on the circumstances or in Ssimon, cennixs,later work of playing an infinite game in business. You know like that. It'slike, if all birds was like we're going to make sustainable sneakers, and thatwas the that was the only game it wous be like, oh well, then you can't evolveand you can't make killer puffer jackets also rank sustainably. You knowlike with fifteen five like OOUR infinite game. We're playing is unhow.Do we unlock the potential of every member of the global workforce and youknow so that started out as a Checkin, but now it's evolving into performance,reviews and engagement, surveys and strengths, radical strength, alignmentand positive psychology, and all these things- and so I lo I love you know- Ithink it's really interesting of to contemplate when a company gets foundedis the founder playing an infinite game from the beginning and it forms thatDNA or is it? Oh, I sem on opportunity to build a product and flip a companyand make some money. That's a great point. So we have two co founders right.Tim Brown is the New Zealand soccer player and this was he went to designschool, and this was his idea from the very beginning and he comes from acountry where there's more cheep than people right, EU Zealland and Joey asWellanjer is more of a. He was than industrial engineer, ing school and ismore than operatioions finance guys. So you really have the left brain right,brain together and both of them are incredibly visionary. We do thesehotpen exercises all the time. You know where you sit down and you have aprompt and you just write for twenty minutes, so they did that at the verybeginning and said it's two thousand an twenty six there Wa two thousand andsixteen. What does it look like? What have we done? What have we accomplishedand- and we do this all the time, so they did that and we're still workingtowards that two thousand and twenty six vision sort of halfway through bashmore than halfway through we did one for last summer when things got reallybad. With with the SOCIATL UNRESTAND DLM movement, we brought togetheracross section of our employees, and we did three sections on diversity that ahotpen exercise five years out. What does Alberts look like with respectedthe EIB? We did want around product innovation, so those guys more than anyother leader I've seen, are really oriented towards the future. There isnothing about them. That's about flipping, a profit short term okay, sothis is really cool, because I do a ton of stream of consciousness, writing andfuture visioning. On my for myself- and I do a lot for fifteen five but you'resaying that you actually do this as company exercises as like get theleadership team and Okay Right, twenty minutes that that is so cool yeah andthen we just do share he like take like...

...tibits from them. We do we writeeverything down and then we go around and we highligfe the high points ofwhat came out of our writing. And then we have everybody, make a comment. Soit's not like. Okay thanks lay Le Nex. It's like! Oh. I really like how yousaid this tell me more about that, and so it's a build and at the very endsomebody then takes it and pulls all the nuggets, and then we create amanifesto out of it and we do it for lots of o different things. This, like brings me back to likecreative writing class and somatic sycratic seminars in high school. Ilove it. I'm totally opting this because, because I know that for me youknow, writing and streaming consciousness, writing and envisioning.The future is one of the things that has continually transformed my life.You know I mean I randomly found Shakd galwins createdvisualization when I was fourteen, which is a great book about you, knowimagining the future and to bring it into being, and so I started just doingso much writing about the future. A lot of like hotpin exercises when I wasfourteen and I look at the crazy life- I've lived over the last twenty twoyears now and it's like wow. I credit so much of it to writing the futurebefore it happens, and I've never really known how to bring this into thebusiness setting quite like you've just described, and I'm just thrilled toplay with this. So thank you love. We Love Pros at so I'm in a good companybeing a a newly published author, it's goot! It's owe love words and they're.Powerful right words are powerful. We have all hands, we had them every weekduring covid and now we've gone to every other week, but it's important,especially when the company is young and right now, there's so manycompeting narratives out there that you need to be very, very intentional insortof forging your path and what's true and what's important for you as acompany- that's great. I do want to get into the book and talk about that. Butbefore one more question is like how do you what's your dynamic andrelationship with the cofounders and how do you? How do you partner withthem to kind of bring their cultural vision to life through the people? Gehave good questions. Well, I'll, be super honest, I'm close to two years innow, first year not fun Nofun, I would say six nine months ingot very crunchy, and I was wondering if I had made the right decision, I'msure that they were wondering it as well. We Storm Hard, and you know inHindstid I can tell you you know: foundeers are not usually the guys thatcarry a company into through the high growth phase right. The people who gofrom zero to two hundred or three hundred million are usually not. Theleadersthat t go from three hundred Millionto, a billion tim and Jo ar kindof exceptional. They are really they have the very strong business sense,but they're, very, very entrepreneurial, and I was brought in to help toestablish the infrastructure necessary for the organization to be able toscale and grow in a healthy way, and that means doing things differentlythan how you did it. When you were, you know twenty million and why youunderstand that intellectually actually shift again. Any sort of change causesa little bit of stress and a little bit of tension, and you know I came inafter being an advisor and private eqithy for seven years, and I was likeI didn't say anything for about six months and at first they're like whatare you doing, I'm like I'm taking it all in it was complex and I wasn't surewhat I was seeing because you know cultures are like ecosystems, you mightsee something, but you don't know the why behind it- and I didn't know if I'dchange, something of it there, but we would move something over here, so Iwas trying to be really thoughtful and taking it all in, and so that was thefirst problem. I didn't move fast enough, but I didn't know what I wasdealing with and then. Secondly, as I started to offer what we should bedoing, it went against what you know required a little more discipline, alittle more prospess and very nonsey stuff. Whe We're doingright now right and it's just not as fun, and so therewas there was. There was a little bit of the Dhis and luckily for me thethree of us had the hard conversations and were vulnerable with each other.But again I appreciate with with with these guys and I'll, tell you one ofthem said to me. He said you know. He said when you come in here. Like anadvisor and say you know, this is run and that's wrong. He's like I'm afounder, Hes Saing, an Godi'm telling you you know you make me feel bad whenyou say that and I was like oh my gosh he's completely right. Had he not hadthe wherewithal and t and the courage to be that vulnerable. With me, Iwouldn't have seen I was breaking a little bit lass, so I was like you'reright, I'm sorry, Jik, my brain and honestly from that moment I you know, Ilearned how to flank. I learned how I...

...reminded myself. I wasn't an adviser,as I had been the previous seven years. I kind of had built that muscle in thatway of being- and he reminded me know you're in it now and so now he says youknow, were we all say we're in the Fox hold together, so we're in the Fox holeand, and it's great it's Bantic- it's still hard, but there isn't tensionbetween us and I'm really proud of the relationship we've developed but at's agreat story yeah what a cool narrative arc you know and wouldhave been so easyto bail at that nine month, Bark like yeah! This is difficult. Why? What am Idoing? I'm going to go somewhere else now? Offen, I mean, I think, that it'ssuch a great example, because I think often in any relationship, whether it'sa professional relationship or personal relationships when things get hard,that's usually when the most that's when the gifts are really present forour own transformation right. You know that relationship is this Dojo ofgrowth and development and if we can keep swimming to the other side of theriver instead of turning back. That's where I his wold OES, that's right,because it all it's all sounds great in your head right and weat, gractice andrelationship, and I think you know. Luckily, I'm I've been on the journeylong enough to know that I didn't like it, but I knew that it was good for meand I'm so glad that we're on the other side and again we still have ourmoments. I also think you know the billerick model that talks about thedifferent, the different roles within HR, there', strategic change, agent,employee champion and administrator. I don't know if you've seen that one andusually won is sortf your anchorpoint, I'm a changed agent, and I have that ismy anchor and and the same happened at Pete too. I mean what I when I let Pedzthe CEO said to me after seven years he goes. I could tell you now that firstyear I didn't understand half of what you were saying: Thi Tis Hut, you wereSoaif. I left you alone. Now everybody wants to be an Ahart, youknow into in two thousand and six two thousand and a seven. It's just like.Don't break anything just higher and fire them well now everyone thinksthey're, a culture carrier so now they're in your shorts a little bitmore. So it's interesting okay. So this is a perfect segue. You know, and Ilove you know, and I think it speaks to the adaptability that you've cultivatedof you know btaking strong stances, but then also flowing and adapting andchanging, and I have a feeling that that is connected to the title of yourbook, Strong, like water. So would you just share a little bit about this bookand you know I mean what is it about? What's the title and a little bit ofyou know a little tease on what's what's inside those pages yeah, so it'scalled strong like water. How I found the courage to lead with love inbusiness and in life and strong, like water, is after a verse from Loudsu whowrote the Tauta Ching a I'm sure you guys know- and he wont these eighty oneversus and six hundred BC about the paradoxical natiture of life and one ofthem is called be like water and in it he says. Whatever is soft and yieldingis more powerful than what is hard and rigid, and that always spoke to mebecause I've never had a hard time being sort of direct and for me I haveto learn how to soften and be a little more vulnerable, and the book is reallythat journey that I took, and it starts with the catalyst for the growth fromme happened to be three mator losses in my life, my husband, my father and mymother. In a short period of time and the book you know. Obviously we gothrough the losses, but what it's really about is how moments oftremendous inverstity in your life to wait. You're, saying, shame reallyprovide you with a gift and a moment to learn about yourself and to show updifferently and to and to grow andttransform, and so forme. I held myself in such a way that I valued being really super capable andstrong, and I'm a problem solver, and I use that that Perssona that heropersona to stay away from IQ feelings. I just wasn't going to go there, and Idid that very well. For forty years and and I had a lot of on process andunfelt feelings that had been building up insideide of me and when my husbandpassed, my daughter was three, and it was a moment- is my first year as thehead of HR FOR PIANC public company. I was still learning how to be achieved.People Officer- and I had a moment where I had to makea decision- was I going to continue in the way that I had been in my wholelife, which is no notice. It's tide, it's fine. I got it. It is okay, or wasI going to allow myself to fall apart and grieve and reconnectto not only the feelings that was...

...feeling at the time, but all thefeelings? I had not allowed myself to feel up until Athaut a moment, and I think, if I'm honest, I had somuch will at the time that had I not had my daughter, I might have justtried to power through it. I'm a little embarrassed to say that, because itsounds so ridiculous now, but that is how convinced I was that I couldcontrol everything. But I knew that I couldn't guide my daughter through thatkind of loss unless I also experienced ID so I have to go into the valley and thenbecause the universe knew that I was a tough case just made sure I got anothercouple, toses yeah and you know I could laugh about it. Now it's been a while,but it was. I don't think I would be who I am today softer more authentic vulnerable andthe irony is, I thought for sure I would become weak. If I allowed myselfto be sad to feel to admit when I was, youknow, feeling overwhelmed and you don't that's the crazy thing, I'm here. U, the strength becomes infused withthis tenderness and the softness. I think, I'm still as strong as I everwas, and sometimes I'm not strong like water. Sometimes I'm strong like ice aswe saw test year right and then I remember I'm like okay right, let'sbring it down, so we have both inof an us all of us yeahthere's, a a Dallas saying that I really love.Speaking of you know Chinese sages. That goes my barn. Having burned to theground, I can now see the moon. You know why what occurs? What iscatastrophe? What is absolute destruction is the very thing thatpeels away the layers for Ein for the beauty that is around us, that we justhave been closed off to Roomma has the same. I'm sure you know the roommy poemcalled the Guest House same thing, and I will say that I could not have ledthrough this last year of tremendous loss with the pandemic and the socialunrest in the polical political devisiveness. I would never have beenable to do that. Had I not been where I was in my journey, because it was justa year of making and holding space for for a lot of a lot of loss, a lot of badness, a lot of fear, and Ithink I would have just folded if I had not come through my journey. I couldn'thave done it because last year, leading was really all about the being right,being open and holding space and being compassionate and understanding andempathetic was less about doing anything, but just creating thecontainer for people to feel hell like it was going to be okay, and I feel like that that empathy, youknow Shan Yiu, said something recently. I think it podcastwer recorded recentlytha about not trusting people who haven't had their heart broken, and Ithink that Thereis, a level of humility and empathy that gets cultivatedthrough these challenges and especially in Er personal challenges and loss thatI've been thinking a lot about. How do you? How do you? How do you help peoplefind that deeper level of empathy? If they haven't had those experiences orwithuout, you know kind of pushing them into those experiences? How do youcultivate an organization is ympathetic and I do think it. It does start withleadership, but you know it's an open question for me: It'Si, don't know that I I know theanswer. defisiively you're right. The leaders have to model that behavior,because the leaaders set the tone. Fo for the entire organization, so ifthey're not empathetic Yoyou're showing to others that that's not important, Imean for us. We I just rolled out working agreements. We do have valuesbut working agreements. I distinguished by saying those are the promises thatwe make to each other and how we want to connect and work with each other,and they are presume positive antent, so seek to understand right, whichrequires empathy. It's choose courage over comfort or right to lean into thatthing. Ot want to stay again is a little bit o a vulnerability and thenthe last one is a line, commit and go which really kind of gets. You directedand then practice gratitude every day picks something to be thankful forevery single day and we're practicing them now. I have quarterlyge meetingswith my directors and- and I use that framework in all the training that wedo so that they so that they start to to internalize it and and rule play andhopefully model the behavior yeah. It reminds me: We've recently createdcompetencies for each of our values, and so we have our core valuesand. Thenwe look at like okay well, like like,...

...for instance, cultivate relationalmastery ase one of our core values. You know that, like the default world isLik, you know you look at reality TV and that's the opposite of relationalmastera's drama. It's gossip! It's not choosing comfort over courage, it's notbeing vulnerable, it's not telling the truth, and so then we've createdcompetencies out of each of the values so that we can actually be you know,training on them and measuring them and having those as the guidelines and- andI love that you have gratitude in there as well. We every every Monday we havein all hands and the first five minutes is focused on a gratitude meditation,and so we have different op. And you know it's just a just that moment oftaking that pause before we're in the DU. Do Do you know human doing human,doing human doing to just be and Rigke oh yeah right like we have thats countour blessings. That's, let's shine the light of gratitude on a variety ofaspects of our lives, because for me, like my secret motivation, when I cameup with that practice was like, like people don't cultivate gratitude, it'snot a natural way that especially in work, and so can we stop for just fiveminutes and appreciate. I love that and I think I hear from alot of people that this last year was so hard in so many ways and things thatwere completely out of our control, that it almost forced us to just sortlike okay. What can I be grateful for? What are the small things you know solong with the sky turned orange here last summer? Now I'm just grateful thatI'm looking at a clear, blue sky- and I would never have thought about that-manyfore right, clean air to breathe right. So we it's been an embarrassement ofriches for so long. We didn't even know it. Yeah Yeah we've had a good run andyou know I think I think we have a lot of good runs ahead of us as a species,but I do think we've got bumpy waters ahead and- and they you know this lastyear is- is an indication of more turbulence and more more back taxesthat we collectively are going to have to pay for he thepast. Yes, yes, andyet you know, that's part of I mean, and I think that's part of what givesme meaning is that you know I actually early on thought. I was going to gointo green business. You know I was thinking I was going to be, you know,running to company like all birds and fell deeply in love with you know,people like Paul Hackin, who wrote natural capitalism and Amory Lovans andthe Rocky Mountain Institute and really saw the opportunity. I think my seniorthesis was on the the transition generation that all these exponentialtrends that are happening on the planet are converging in Tho, thusand S, Indthns, and that it is millennials who are kind of coming into power at thismoment and are going to have a lot more influence to that are going to play acritical role in the transition to more beautiful sustainable world and thenOokay. That sounds interesting. That yeah I might have to try to like searchdark ives. I might make it sound a little more interesting than it is. Idon't know it's always weird, going back and really reading early writingslike like really I could have done better than that or something but andthen I you know, and then life took beyond the transformational journey,that it did and it's a completely non linnear path, and I met David and allof a sudden, I'm tech, founder of a HR Tech Company, and I'm like what that Ihappened to this and and really seeing that, oh, that it's unlocking humanpotential, it's opening human hearts. It's opening! It's elevating theexperience of work where there can be more love, there can be more compassion,there can be more joy, you know, switching from fear and obligation isthe primary colorance of our work to joy and service, and that's not easyright. I mean it's like. I go back and forth all the freaking time, and yet that is, I do believe. We don't createa more sustainable world without creating happier more joyful, fulfilledand selfactualized human beings hundred percent, and I also think that the rolefor Jenx or that small generation that the sandwich in between the bloomersand the millennials like, I really feel like my a lot of a lot of my role. Anjenexters is bridging the the orientpation and how the bloomers seethe world and the world they grew up when with and the millennials right,because the millenniums have so much passion and super idealisttic and veryfocused on really trying to address Thom, very, very big issues, but lackexperience right and and there's just a generational gap between them and theboomers like they really don't understand each other, but a as agennexer. I understand the boomers, I'm an old Jenexer, so I get it, but I'vealways been wired with that idealilism that that the millennials have and- andI agree with you- it is up to them... move us forward and I think webecome their mentors. The the genesors become the mentors and pave the way forthe millennials. That's really the role that I seen myself playing it allwards.That's that's amazing! I can actually relate as Ta Genexor, myself and kindof understanding both and having that that sense of Idealissm, I don't thinkwed, be doing what we're doing without without that Y, a and as a oldmillennial. You Know David saw potential in me and mens men toward meand it's it's one of the greatest gifts inmy life sipperhappy. You guys are doing what you're doing I mean in twentytweandy ten. I was re redoing, pizza values, and I want to call this book.We were creating for the love of Petz and I remember people like love, my lopse. We love our company and Icouldn't get et them there. So we call it me passions, O ten years later, wow.We talk about love all the time now, so we've come a long way. We have come along way. That's I, and that would have been such a better book title for theLov of pizs. Did you you consider for pet sake, because I knew it had mistelled it allthe time because itkee the Dutch hard but yeah, that's right right right, itwas interesting. I was connecting with John macky the founder of whole foods afew years ago, and he was talking about how love was the a value inside ofwhole foods, and it was almost like a dirty word and it's like how can lovebe a dirty word, and it is great we're talking more about that. I'm curious.How does that manifest in all birds? How vocal are you about that conceptand how does that actually come alive? Culturally? Well, I think you know,there's lots of different forms of love right and the Greeks have all thesewords for it wherever you fall on that on the at spectrum, whether you're,more comfortable being you know, demonstrating the more femininequalities of Nertha, transinpassion and emphathy and love, or whether you'rejust more wired to drive for results, we can still care about people rightand we just have to make sure we set healthy boundaries, so it at all birds.It's a very, very nice company. If you know the any Di we talk about the anyBram. Shame it's. I think it's movie that we know it: Olsure, okay, so stoto culture, E feculture and thelp bur, the helper, the Uimor, the lover chooseand and twos are, I mean they want to give they want to help the shadow they sometimes use their helping and giving is currency? So you can kind oflean in too far and it can become, in least in relationships a littlecodependent, so I find at and his the way I love about being an HR differentcompanyis, because the challenges at allbirds are so different. They were wired to be lovely and Nice,but they can also be a little conflict diverse because they don't want to likethey don't want to make people mad. They don't want people not to like them,and so our big challenge, one of the reasons why shes courage over comfortis one of our workn infreements is because we tend not to say the challenging thing, because we wantto be nice, but that's not that's not how relationships are forgmd. That'snot how trust is built and that's not how businesses are successful. So mychallenge is: How do I encourage people to speak their truth to carry the hardmessage and recognize that that is love that that is kindness if you're holdingback Welwhen, I was at Walmart in the early days I went to a Saturday morning,culture meeting. They had a bet in Betonville Arkansas. These people work.Six days to week, okay, this was lick in two thousand and Lei Scott, who wasin the CEO at the time he told the story. There were, like hundreds of us,he told the story of a department manager of one of the Walmart stores,which you know. MONMORK throws like a hundred fifty million dollars, it's abusiness and he all he wanted was to be a store mnager and for forteen yearsnobody told him that he didn't have it to be a store manageter and when he wasfinally told he was so crushed. I heard that story twenty years ago. It stillsits with me you're not doing anyone any favors by holding back a messagethat they need to hear, and it doesn't mean that at that there might not be anopportunity at the company for them, but it doesn't mean that they are not aperson worthy of hearing. What you know what the feed back is so that you canhelp them to grow on their journey, whether that journeys at allbirds orsomewhere else, and so what I try to do with our managers. I think you're notused to geting difficult feedback. You feel like you have to disconnect fromyourself and from the other person, so... kind of throw it over the fence andlike now, I'm going to be this, this jerky person and tell you what I don'tlike about you right, but if you can stay connected right and you have tobuild the capacity to stay connected and he like- hey, shame. You know lastweek when you said this, like what my CEO did and when you say that that thatmakes me feel bad that hurts my feeling that took a tremendous amount ofvulnerability and t sowed me a blind spot that I would that I had my thoughtwow and that really helps shift our relationship and- and so that is thepath that we're on as a company, because we tend to be a little on thecomlic avoid inside. How do we lead into it in the healthy way? A I ve,then, is actually gender compassionate candor similar to I mean you know theere adical candewell too. You know, I think it's there's the you know:youthere scew, more conflict avoidance and it's ruinous empathy or moreobnoxious, aggression and, I think well, we all fall somewhere on that spectrumand that ability to deliver truth. Bu, we've reframed that we call at truth,ith kindess delivering truth is kindness, but I love embracing thecourage also because it really does take courage to do that. Great greatterm I heard was a Mashup of vulnerability and courage, jous andtalking about being vonar agents, and can we go? Can we be more like it o?Well, couradge, the the root of courage is cur, which is the friend war, Frenchor heart yeah. So it's interesting that I think theconnotations changing of courage I used to to me at least it has, I feel, likethere's a lot of tenderness encourage. Well, it makes me think that we don'tknow what love is right. You know that we have so many false ideas of whatloveins- and you know I forget- some Greek philosopher said like the mostuseful part of learning is unlearning. What is untrue and so unlearning the false ideas of what love is love isbeing nice. Love is protecting somebody from the truth of what we actually seeand what their capabilities are and that oh well, we can just you know,just be nice and that's love and it's just a false idea and so aind love. Youknow I mean yeah, we can be nice and beloving. That's not anothin, isn'tlove, it's so much more powerful. It's so much more transformative! That's and we realize it, and I thinkthat it's like part of it is. I think that we are still infants in our in ourjourney of learning how to love. You know what helps I think is becoming aparent Yesi. I mean you can't be nice all thetime to your kid right or they'll kill themselves. You have to createboundaries. Now you can't have the ice cream for dinner. You have to have theBroccoli first and there's a way to deliver that right in a loving kind way,so that they know you care about them and I think that's the model right there.It it took my wife and I a number of years to get pregnant about five yearstotal, and it was maybe about third year in where it waslike so hard, and it's just such an so many ups and downs on that journey, and I had this striking realization where Ifelt like I connected with the spirit of my daughter, and I realized whoashe's, already teaching me how to love, because this is taking like the theimage that came to min was like Oh wow. If she was, you know five years old andgot sick, I would do everything in my power to love her back to health and,and that was all ther was. It was just I just needed to keep loving her intoexistence and never they just not give up, and it was like this. Thisincredible experience where, like my heart opened- and I just was floodedwith light- and it was just like whoa she's, already teaching me how to love-and you know- and of course those are thosethings are available to all of us. Even if we're not parents, and- and so it's it's just a cool- I lovethat we get to live in a world even if we're in still in the minority and thebusiness world is still cut throat and competition and market driven, but thatthis is at least some spring flowers popping up where work can be a placewhere we actually learn to love more and love ourselves more and love eachother more yeah. For sure I want to circle back to that. To that storyestold about th the store manager, because you know, if you think about it,I maybe in the moment not telling him felt like the person was protecting hisfer Ih b fifteen years, and then you know what that feedback could have donealong that Jororney like that. Obviously, in Hindsisigt, that was notlove. Love would have been being you know, providing on his candidatefeedback in the moment and so building a bridge. On top of that, we talk a lotabout some companies lean more towards... of the people over performance.Others might lean to more care of the performance over the people. We mightcall that you know either the family or the sports team, but we talk about. Howcan we have both of those things and some people see them as a paradox o wedon't actually see them as a paradox. We think that high care for people andhigh carper for porm is actually creates the highest performance and tothat and end, I'm curious like what are some of the things alongside the is ityou know. What's the formula for you guys is it? Is it that thecommunication with courage, plus you know, creating boundaries and havingeye standards or what's the formula to create that in your Vaila before youanswer that David, I got it. Where were a community soccer league, I don't think theyre, so I'm alwaysdrawing these circles that intersect in the middle I mean, in fact, if you goon my website, ofside you're readng, my byor you'll, see it it's it's twocircles that intersect right and one side is focused on it's the Ang right. It's drive forresults, it's high performance, its business. The other circle is thepeople. It's the heart. It's a culture of connection and belonging right andthey overlap and that middle part is the sweet spot and where the magichappens and my after my first few months at Alberdswhen I started connecting the dots and what I thought, the cultural challengeswhere I created a five minute video. I can send it to you guys, and it was alittle bit of our story of our growth, of where we were in our growth, and Ilike I did the crawlwalk run and I said the magic is in the as an at theintersection of these two things and it's not a straight line: you're like asale, boat and you're, always tacking and sometimes you're, going to be alittle too far. This way and then you're going to be a little too far.This way. But as long as you keep your eye on the horizon and you stay in thatsweet spot, it is a moment by moment thing right, so we're encouragingpeople to give more honest feedback and at the same time we want you to stayconnected and do it with kindness right. So I think again, this is where I thinkmost HR people are oriented towards one or the other. Maybe I'm diluted by. Iactually think I'm a little bit of both. I've really really do think. I love people and- and I am naturallycaring R. I ATSEMTI wanted to be a doctor when I was young. Rememberthinking is caring for people a thing is that a like? I didn't know, and Iand and it's funny because you know twenty five years later, I'm now at theclosest to a caring profession there possibly can be in business, and so Ilove to accomplish things and I love to you know achieve and that's part of meas well, and I like to do it as a team. It's no fun doing it by yourself. Right,I always say we want to achieve big hairy audacious goals, but we don'twant to leave a trail of dead bodies behind us, because then, then, who doyou celebrate with and I just try to bring? This is another thing I findthat I don't know Shane you tell me this is a milinial thing. Everyone isso heavy and serious and I feel like we need a little bit of Levity, but it canbe a little fun guys. It's okay and just a little bit of humor, and I think that adds a lot, and that alsoshows a little bit of love and compassion to right. You can you cansometimes you can carry a harder message with a little bit of love withYo little bit of humor, so I'm trying to intuse a little bit of that as well.You know I look at my daughter and AP classes and college applications.It's like Woa well, well, just go COSO. We can go surfing for a few weeks, soyeah I mean. I certainly hope it's not a millenial thing. I mean, I think it'sit's a you know it's a natural human condition to sort for what is wrong andand then get pretty heavy about it, and you know not that we can't be aware ofhow our eyes open about the problems. But not everything is a problem andthere's so much perfection and joy available at Ay moment well and ifyou're following positive psychollogy. There's so much that you don't see ifyou're just looking at the negative and so like you pu things that are goingright and do you llow, the I've always heard, give three times as muchpositive feedback to the one negative because human nature anchor on thenegative. Every time you want toven hear the positive s actually right: thedriving science behind our high five. It's the driving science bind our highfive fuature. You know so that, like we can mediately increase the amount ofrecognition and appreciation and positive feedback in any businessecosystem because of that ratio being so critical to get right so that theconstructive feedback will also land and it can you have an emotional bankaccount to make some deposits from versus just being overdrafted all thetime exactly, and I also I also...

...designed our initial weekly check it onthat same positive psychology principal where question number one was what'sgoing well, what's going well in your rold before you address the challengersYo, there's, always challenges, we need to know what they are, but you have toanchor on, like you know, if you're just thinking about the challengeesyou're missing it there's always something going well. Yes, I use thatmodel too. What's going well, what could be better? Not What's Wong?What's TAT nwhat's going Welt, what could be better based on those twothings? What do we do now? Yeah? How do we shit? How do we, what O we FEL COCUSON WO? I love that well wellet. This has been so fun. Where can people findyour book? You can find it just about anywhere amamazoncom. You can go on mywebspite lelatraftecom. You can buy from your local book store it'sactually out on audiobook. Now you can find it on audible. An ar were, did youhi did have somebody nee I didn't want to, but I did and itwas it was. It was hard, but I think I'm sure that was its owntransformational journey of e Wyinit s like living atbut. The hard copy willbe available starting April thirteen and you can preorder it now. Well.Thank you just so much I feel so so inspired and just you know that there'sso much more possibility for bringing love and to not only our work but ourlives as well. So thank you so much. Fifteen five is the only evidence basedpeople and performance platform for highly engaged in high performingorganizations. Strategic HR leaders in all industries use the platform to winby improving communication of leveling. Their managers and increasing companywhite engagement learn more at ND. INHUDREN FIVECOM you've been listeningto HR superstars stories from the front lines of HR people offs be sure younever miss an episode by subscribing on your favorite podcast player. If you'relistening on Apple Podcast, Woud love for you to leave a thought, fulver youor give a quick rating by topping Yo stars. Thank you so much for listening.So next time.

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