We are just twelve days away from the release of Beyond Happiness: How Authentic Leaders Prioritize Purpose and People for Growth and Impact! To celebrate, I'm giving you more of my sit-down with DH CEO, Cofounder, and author of Beyond Happiness, Jenn Lim.
Last week we talked about bringing humanity to the workplace. This week, we are continuing the conversation to include how to adapt in the future of work and what does it really means to go Beyond Happiness.
The hybrid model resonates with people because, from a C-level perspective, it definitely saves a lot of money. People don't have to travel as much, they don't need to own or rent offices, and that's a ton of savings. From an organizational point, they see the light that the business can still operate and be successful.
At the same time, there is merit and value to being in person. The hybrid model is most effective because, on one end, it makes sense for the company to really look at the organization and how they're spending their money. On the other hand, it gives people freedom of choice, and as we know at DH, one of the big happiness levers is a sense of control, autonomy, and freedom. When you give those options to people, they're demanding these things more than ever.
4 million people resigned in the US in April of 2021, and it has been continuing since. People are quitting their jobs even though they don't have another job, even with so much uncertainty. I think the biggest cause of this is what I talk about in Beyond Happiness, the reset of humanity. It gave us so much time to be in our homes and not be traveling and not be sidelined with all these different noises in our lives and complexity to think about what it is that's most important. There's a great sense of self-awareness, especially in front-line workers because many companies put profits over people. This is what is causing this great resignation.
This is why I included exercises in the book to help you be real with yourself, identify your purpose and values, and work on your eulogy versus your resume. When people talked about Tony after he passed or Steve Jobs or Rosa Parks, they didn't talk about all the achievements or the fact that they have an iPhone because of Steve Jobs. People talked about them as human beings. It's a great reminder for us, what legacy do we want to live and how can we live it now.
This is reframing artificial intelligence into adaptive intelligence in a positive way and being able to feel that no matter what comes your way, you are able to adapt. That's where the intelligence comes in, being able to adapt to the right things. We as human beings need to be adaptive more than ever because there is no telling what will happen next. The biggest power that we have is to be able to adapt. As Darwin said, "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one most adaptable to change".
The most important thing with innovating, adapting, and pivoting essentially is to ground ourselves in our purpose and values. Your purpose and values are the foundation to understand how best to adapt.
Once you are grounded in your purpose and values, think about what you can shore up at that particular time because we can't really plan too far ahead anymore. Shore up your people, their strength and talent, your products and services. Prioritize the most important things to focus on and double down on them. Then do away with the other stuff that doesn't matter so much to the business operationally, financially, and obviously purpose and values.
Events happen in our lives, sometimes these events happen to all of us (like 2020), and sometimes it's very personal. When things happen, especially something that was unexpected and unfathomable, I go back to the question, "was that within my control?" "is it now in my control?" and "what is outside of my control?" This helps answer "what should I adapt?" This is sometimes easier said than done because obviously, we go through a lot of emotions when a random crazy event happens. After we've sunk in with those emotions, feel those emotions, then ask ourselves what can I learn from this. Finally, create an action for it. This final piece is so important because then if we don't act, we don't adapt.
How we stay resilient and get real is being able to be open and curious enough to look in the mirror and understand our highs and lows, our strengths and blind spots. That's where it all starts, and then by grounding ourselves in our purpose and values. The resilience comes from knowing that you were grounded in what you believe in the most and what fulfills you the most. So even when the craziest unknown event happens, you will be resilient because you'll be self-aware and grounded in what you believe in and how you want to live a fulfilling life.
We can talk about purpose, profits, people, and positivity, but it really doesn't become sincere or authentic until we actually hold that mirror to ourselves. A great example of this is David Kidder, an entrepreneur, an investor, and a two-time New York Times best-selling author. He thought he was checking off all the boxes for success and growth. Then his CFO asked him, "why are you ruining the future of our company?" This was a breakthrough moment for David, and he realized all of his motivations were for the wrong reasons. He thought he was doing well and succeeding, but in reality, he had his own demons of why he was working on the wrong things. He was forced to hold that mirror to himself. He began to identify his true purpose and values then grounded himself in them.
The greater impact of going beyond is that when we get real with ourselves, we become more resilient, which will be helpful for us as organizational leaders to help build companies and teams where people will want to stay, want to be loyal, and will actually be more productive.
We've all experienced plenty of lows, darks spots, and shadows over the last 18 + months. In these moments, we discovered what's really important, what really matters. And now, as CEOs, C-suite executives, leaders, and humans, we have a fantastic opportunity to move forward with a focus on our purpose and values so we can make a difference in our lives, our organizations, and our world for not just the few but for all.