Dr. Belle Liang And Tim Klein
Dr. Belle Liang is a professor and chair of counseling, developmental, and educational psychology in the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College. She is a licensed clinical psychologist, and an expert in mentoring and youth purpose. She is an American Psychological Association Fellow Division 17, recipient of a Distinguished Alumni Award from Indiana University-Bloomington, The Many Faces of Counseling Psychology Award for outstanding contributions in psychology, and numerous honors for teaching and mentoring. She founded the Purpose Lab, and has published nearly 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and chapters to advance the science and practice of mentoring and cultivating purpose in schools and workplaces.
Tim Klein, LCSW is an Award-Winning Urban Educator, Clinical Therapist, teaching fellow at Harvard University and lecturer at Boston College. He has worked intensively with marginalized students to equip them to pursue meaningful and fulfilling lives. Prior to his work at Boston College, he spent five years as the Outreach Director for Summer Search, a national youth development non-profit serving historically underrepresented student populations. As the Director of School and Community Engagement at Medford High School, he implemented strategies that increased college matriculation by 30%.
Liang and Klein will be releasing their book (published by St. Martin’s Press), How to Navigate Life, on August 2, 2022.
Lesson 1. Adopt a purpose mindset, not a passion or performance mindset. 08:26
Lesson 2. Play your growth games, even while competing in fixed games. 14:18
Lesson 3. Future-proof yourself as a creator, facilitator or driver. 19:22
Lesson 4. Add value as a trailblazer, builder, champion or guardian. 28:32
Lesson 5. Meet the big five needs in the world (physical, personal, community, societal, environmental)38:50
Lesson 6. Create moments that matter. 53:04
Lesson 7. Listen for your call, not someone else’s. 01:01:28
Lesson 8. Diversify your brand, social and human capital 01:09:18
Lesson 9. Cultivate an inner world that ripples into the outer world. 01:14:35
Lesson 10. Trust yourself to figure it out. 01:18:45
Tim Klein and Dr. Belle Liang – Listen for your call, not someone else’s
[00:00:08] Diana White: Hello and welcome to 10 lessons it took me 50 years to learn where we dispense wisdom to an international audience of rising leaders.
[00:00:19] My name is Diana White and I’m your host. Our show helps diverse young professionals of any age, accelerate their performance in the modern workplace. On 10 lessons you’ll hear honest, practical advice that you cannot learn from a textbook.
[00:00:35] Today’s guests are Dr. Be yang and Tim Klein. Dr. Lee yang is a professor and chair of counseling development and educational psychology in the Lynch school of education and human development at Boston college. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and an expert in mentoring and youth purpose.
[00:00:58] She is an American psychological association, fellow division 17 recipient of a distinguished alumni award from Indiana university Bloomington, the many faces of counseling psychology award for outstanding contributions in psychology and numerous honors for teaching and mentoring.
[00:01:17] She founded the purpose lab and has published nearly 100 peer reviewed journal articles and chapters to advance the science and practice of mentoring and cultivating purpose in schools and workplaces. Tim Klein is an award-winning urban educator, clinical therapist, teaching fellow at Harvard university and lecturer at Boston college.
[00:01:40] He has worked intensively with marginalized students to equip them to pursue meaningful and fulfilling. Prior to his work at Boston college, he spent five years as the outreach director for summer search a national youth development, non-profit serving historically underrepresented student populations as the director of school and community engagement at Medford high school, he implemented strategies that increased college matriculation by 30% Liang and Klein will be releasing their book, “How to navigate life” on August 2nd, 2022, published by St. Martin’s press.
[00:02:21] Welcome. Both of you.
[00:02:23] Belle Liang: Thank you so much for having us. We are so thrilled to be here.
[00:02:26] Diana White: I am super excited to have you here. And, uh, Tim and I had, uh, extensive emails back and forth about, getting you both on the show. So, I’m, I’m so glad we were able to make it happen.
[00:02:39] So first up, I, I have two curve ball questions. I have one in the beginning, and I save one for the end. first question I have for you before we go into your, your amazing lessons, what would you tell your 30-year-old self? And I’ll start with Tim.
[00:02:54] Tim Klein: I think I would tell my 30-year-old self to trust the process.
[00:02:59] And I think at that point in my career, you know, I, I had gained a little footing. I had an idea of the direction that I wanted to go in, but there was still a lot of uncertainty with what I was doing and where I was going. I didn’t have a lot of idea of exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. And if you ask me at 30, I still didn’t feel like I was growing up.
[00:03:17] And at that moment, I. I think I, if I would just trust the process and been like, it’s not so much about this end destination, just trust yourself to head in the direction that you were going into. Probably would’ve been a little bit more present than I am right now. And I think I see that a lot in young leaders where they’re just so concerned with where they want to go.
[00:03:35] And it’s kind of just trusting themselves that if they’re doing the work to make sure they’re doing something that’s purposeful, which we’ll talk about, they’re headed in the direction and try to be a little bit more present.
[00:03:43] Diana White: Uh, I really, love that. I resonate with that too. Cause I was the same way.
[00:03:47] Belle. What are your thoughts on this?
[00:03:50] Belle Liang: I have this, saying that I’ve been thinking about a lot, which is close the gap between your public self. And your true self, and that boosts mental health and meaning in life. I think I spent my whole life really trying to do what people expected of me, you know, coming from an Asian immigrant background, a lot of my life was spent doing what I should do, um, what people expected of me rather than what I wanted to do.
[00:04:16] And I think that these days, you know, I’ve been learning, something that I wish that I knew like much earlier in life, even before 30. Um, and that is that when we close that gap between who we really are and what we’re putting out there, we are our, our best selves and that people can handle that, um, better than we think.
[00:04:34] So, uh, that’s a, that’s a work in progress.
[00:04:37] Diana White: now, it’s so funny that you mentioned this and, and I can already tell that this episode’s off to a good start, because I never really have any comments about what would you tell your 30-year-old self, but I, I really want to speak to what Belle just said. Uh, I think that the generation, that we’re trying to help, gain a leg up.
[00:04:57] I think there’s a lot of. quote unquote code switching where they, they can be their authentic selves with their friends, even more so with than with their family. but they, can’t bring that authentic self or they feel like they can’t bring that authentic self into their professional life because it’s been deemed unprofessional.
[00:05:19] And you know, we saw the beginnings of that, years ago with the social media persona that they may have, as opposed to the work persona. And so, I’m curious as to, if you have strategies for younger people who, uh, may feel like, well, I’m in this work environment. Oh my gosh.
[00:05:39] If they saw my Instagram, it would be a mess. When I go out with my friends, I let my hair down. I’m so comfortable, but I could never show one Iota of that at work. And I, I hope that we have some resources for them to let them know that you can have a balance.
[00:05:59] Belle Liang: Mm, I love those observations so much Diana.
[00:06:02] And one of the things I think about with their digital selves is how much we curate, even that, you know, because we can, right. So, we put up there the, the like perfect idealized version of ourselves and that’s not even truly who we are sometimes. And you know, I think that, you know, what’s interesting is that the latest research shows that those people who are authentically self-expressing in their digital worlds and in their workplaces are the healthiest ones.
[00:06:28] And so, I understand that we’ve I, for myself, it’s the cultural, professional, personal teachings I’ve received all of my life that have to do with T true self, keep your, you know, keep your secrets. Don’t put your laundry out there, give other people airtime, protect, self, protect others, all those messages fly in the face of putting your true self out there.
[00:06:53] Right. And closing that gap. But I think that what we’re recognizing now is not only does that dampen our own mental health, uh, but the research shows that it, it reduces your impact in your workplace, in your, in your digital world. That when we are willing to be a little bit more authentic, vulnerable, we have greater influence over people.
[00:07:12] So obviously there are things that we don’t want to air, and we don’t need to put out into the world, but when the reason. For stifling, your true self is to manage shame. That leads nowhere good for anyone, ourselves or the others around us.
[00:07:26] Tim Klein: Well, yeah, and I, and I think like, I think Bell’s completely right here, and I think if someone.
[00:07:31] I think Diana, you eloquently put it. Someone has this fear of like, I can’t show up as my true self because I’ll get penalized for it. And we’d say that’s a lack of belonging in the workplace, and that’s a sign of lack of psychological safety. And it’s this idea that if they saw who I truly am, the good, the bad and the ugly, I wouldn’t be accepted here and I wouldn’t belong here.
[00:07:51] And then I wouldn’t have a job. Right. And you know, the research is very clear on psychological safety and belonging. That’s actually, when we have that psychological safety, that when we can show up as our full selves, and even when we make mistakes, people will still trust our intentions dramatically increases performance in increases, team cohesion.
[00:08:11] It increases retention at work. And so, yeah, I just really resonate with that point. You made.
[00:08:17] Diana White: That saying that phrase, psychological safety that is powerful and I’m going to steal it.
[00:08:26] Lesson 1: Adopt a purpose mindset, not a passion or performance mindset
[00:08:26] Diana White: so, let’s go into lesson number one, lesson, number one, adopt a purposeful mindset or a purpose mindset, not a passion or performance mindset.
[00:08:39] Break that down for me. Uh, Tim start.
[00:08:42] Tim Klein: yeah, so, I mean, so we, we’ve done a lot of work in the mindset, field and mindset at its most basic. It’s just beliefs about the world we live in and our place in the world. And we’ve just noticed that we live in a world with a lot of fear, uncertainty and doubt. And so, we’ve noticed that, when people have a fear of their financial security or their ability to be successful, they adopt what we call a performance mindset, which is this idea that the purpose of life is to be successful. And so, the purpose of life is to win. And so, when we have a performance mindset, we view life as a never ending. Hypercompetitive zero-sum competition, where there are few winners and many, many losers. And so, when we adopt a per, uh, performance mindset, we view life as this never-ending race.
[00:09:26] Belle’s research is very, very clear that when you are on this never-ending race, it’s not a question of if you’re going to burnout, it’s a question of when you’re going to burnout. And I think we’re seeing a lot of people who are actually rejecting the performance mindset because it’s taking way too heavy of a toll on their mental health.
[00:09:44] And they’re coming to realize that the purpose of life is not to be successful. And we’re actually seeing this switch, this rejection of the performance mindset to the passion mindset, which I think Belle can talk about really, really eloquently actually.
[00:09:57] Belle Liang: Well, we just have been seeing, um, this cultural shift where people are swinging from gunning, working as hard as they can towards achievements to getting, uh, tired, to getting burnt out. And so, there’s swinging to the other side where it’s all about, um, you know, that people are quitting, their jobs, they’re selling their possessions, they’re becoming digital nomads.
[00:10:19] They’re YOLOing it to, to the max. Right? And we see that, um, you know, in some ways there’s some benefit from that. People are taking more care of themselves in terms of their mental health and thinking about self-care and those things. But ultimately what our research shows is that the passion mindset has the same pitfalls as the performance mindset.
[00:10:39] Both mindsets are this idea that you should be successful enough. Happy enough and ultimately reach some sort of goal that once you arrive, you will feel like you have made it you’ll be successful. You’ll be happy enough. But the unfortunate thing is, since there’s no clear definition of successful enough or happy enough, you can’t Google up the definition of what’s enough of each of those. What we do instead is we compare ourselves with others. You know, there’s interesting research that shows that 12% of our daily thoughts are focused on comparing ourselves to others. Whether it’s, we’re thinking about, you know, are we as successful as those people that we’re seeing on Instagram?
[00:11:20] Are we as beautiful? Are we as, happy as them and it causes us to be miserable? That’s why you can go from happy to unhappy in 15 seconds after scrolling a bit. So, both mindsets ultimately lead to a lack of performance and a lack of happiness. The two very things that they’re striving after.
[00:11:39] The purpose mindset is very different. It is a, a third way that is really, um, been supported in our research. It is, uh, you know, to define it. It is having, uh, a mindset where you’re living to, do things you’re living in a way that is personally meaningful. So, it has that passion mindset piece to it. But also, in a way that is about contributing to the world beyond yourself.
[00:12:05] So that’s a little bit of that outward performance mindset goal. It’s that perfect balance in between where you’re about things that matter to you personally, but also matter to the world beyond yourself. And when you have that mindset that balances both of those other mindsets and is about living a life that’s meaningful to you, as well as making a contribution to the world beyond yourself.
[00:12:28] Our research shows that there’s all kinds of positive outcomes, better mental health, better physical health, all sorts of, um, outcomes. When it comes to academic and career lives, more engaged, more dialed in enjoying work, meaningful, fulfilling work. And ultimately what’s ironic is that the purpose mindset actually fulfills the, the goals of the other two mindsets.
[00:12:53] It is actually associated with higher performance and greater happiness. So, we get a lot of questions all the time. Like, you know, suggesting that you can only have one or the other, you only have purpose or think about, you know, what’s practical like performance, but actually, the amazing thing is, is that when you are owning what you care about, you have clarity around what matters to you in terms of your own, using your own strengths and skills, going after needs that, that matter to you, you are you’re, you’re all about it.
[00:13:25] You’re engaged with it, you’re owning it. And so, you’re going to have higher levels of performance and success.
[00:13:31] Diana White: Now, I, dare say, you know, I think we’ve been seeing that trend happen. subconsciously I believe, for the next generations, uh, in the workforce, you started to see, people coming out of school and saying, I, I don’t just want to work for a company.
[00:13:49] I want to work for a company that’s affecting change. I want to have a work life balance. I mean, they were talking about these kinds of, needs before we even labeled them or understood. How healthy they are. And you’re absolutely right. And I, and when I read that lesson, I never really equated those words and what they really mean and how they’re so very different, but connected until you, you put it in a lesson.
[00:14:18] Lesson 2: Play your growth games, even while competing in fixed games
[00:14:18] Diana White: Let’s go to lesson number two, play your growth games, even when competing in fixed games. That one confused me a little bit. So, Belle, I’ll let you start, help me understand that one.
[00:14:31] Belle Liang: So, we think about, growth games as those games that are really focused on the process. You are about
[00:14:38] playing the game of life, you are enjoying the work that you’re doing as opposed to fixed games, which really are focused more on the outcome. You know, you’ve decided that you’re going to be the CEO or a teacher or a social worker. It doesn’t matter how noble the destination is. The problem is your focus is all about getting there.
[00:15:00] Rather than the process. So, we think about growth games as those games that you want to keep on playing. And if that is, you know, what’s happening, then you’re winning versus those games that you know are really about like you haven’t achieved it until you’ve reached your destination. Unfortunately, so much of what we care about in our society, um, from, from school days on into the workplace, really have to do with going after those, those outcomes going out after the, um, the accolades and, um, you know, the, these final destinations and goals. And there’s just a lot of misery as we’re trying to get there. There’s not that joy and that fulfillment of, of playing a game that you want to keep on playing.
[00:15:46] It’s more like you are. You’re terrified that if I don’t get to whatever rung of the ladder, I’m not going to be loved or accepted or approved of. And, um, and unfortunately, so many of us live that way instead of really being able to identify what our growth game is and having the pleasure of the, of the game itself and being able to just, um, keep on enjoying it from one season to the next of our lives.
[00:16:12] Tim Klein: Yeah, just to add on that. I mean, I think a good example of it. So, we call them games because so much of our lives is structured as a game. We have specific goals. We’re trying to reach, there are rules we have to play by. We have feedback that tells us whether we are achieving those goals.
[00:16:26] And I think a good example of this, uh, and it pains me to say it as a Boston Celtics fan. But like when you look at Steph Curry, right? And so, a, a fixed game, you play a fixed game to end that game, ideally as a winner. So, winning an NBA championship is a fixed game, right? Because his goal was to end the season, end the game as a winner, but it’s so clear that Steph Curry has this growth game that he’s playing.
[00:16:48] And we know that because Steph Curry loves the process of playing basketball, his goal. He feels like he’s winning when he’s actually playing. So, people are playing growth games when winning is getting to play the game as long as possible. And what’s funny about that is you look at Steph Curry. He loves the process of practicing, of getting better of always growing.
[00:17:09] And so, and, and fulfilling his values as a family man, and as, and as a man of God and spirituality. And what’s funny is that he’s playing a different game and we have so many people who are obsessed with winning the NBA championship, but Steph Curry is actually playing a very different game. Right? And the irony here is that when people focus on the long game, they focus on what is the thing I want to be doing, no matter what my job is, they actually tend to win the fixed games that everyone else is obsessed with.
[00:17:36] And so for your listeners here, it’s thinking not about the. The job title or the salary that they want to hit, or any of those external metrics it’s asking themselves, what do I hope I always get to be doing in my vocation? No matter what my role is. And if they can really dial into that question, that’s going to start giving them the clues to understand what their actual growth game is.
[00:17:57] Diana White: So really what I’m hearing is something that resonates across the board from your personal life to your professional life, to if you’re becoming an entrepreneur, if you are writing a book, whatever the case may be, it’s the journey. That’s more important than the destination.
[00:18:16] Tim Klein: Beautifully said. Exactly.
[00:18:19] Diana White: I didn’t coin it, but, but that’s what I hear over and over again.
[00:18:24] And, and that’s what I actually try to instil in, in founders that I coach who are so focused on the fact that it’s been, you know, eight months and they’re not at the revenue that they originally put on that dreaded budget. Okay. You’re not there. What have you learned along the way? And there’s a lot missed, there’s a lot missed.
[00:18:46] So, and I, and I love the reference to Steph Curry. Um, I’m not a big sports buff, but I do know who he is. And I do know how hard he trains and plays. And I remember seeing a little clip where they were talking about the championship and they said, uh, do you think Steph Curry has a chance to, to get there?
[00:19:07] And it was a resounding no, it was a no, no, no. Um, and I think even one of them said, he he’s, he’s not playing to win something like that. And lo and behold, he got there, you know, so yeah, it’s, it’s absolutely amazing. It’s amazing.
[00:19:22] Lesson 3: Future-proof yourself as a creator, facilitator or driver
[00:19:22] Diana White: Number three, future proof yourself as a creator, facilitator or driver, who wants to take that one first?
[00:19:30] Tim Klein: yeah, this is really about the role that technology is playing in the future of work, right? And there’s this big, big fear or embracing of technology about and what that means for the future of work. Right? And there’s this very common trope and education that 85% of the jobs.
[00:19:46] That our young people have don’t exist yet. Right? And there’s this idea of how can you keep up with the Joneses in a rapidly changing world? And so, this idea of future proofing yourself as a creator facilitator or driver, is when we look into the research on emerging skills and technology, there’s something called creative destruction, which means technology is very, very good at automating anything that is a pattern or a process, or that is repeatable.
[00:20:14] So anything in our lives that we do the same way over and over again, eventually technology is going to automate that for us. We’re seeing it all the time. It’s happening with driving, it’s happening with Uber, it’s happening. When you go to the, to the grocery store and you have the automatic checkout, anything that is repeatable will get automated.
[00:20:32] And so what the research finds is that. There are key skills. That technology is very, very bad at automating and it turns out these are the skills that we thrive as humans. So, we call these universal human skills. And so, the things that we as humans kindergartners six, seven-year olds are really, really good at technology will never be able to automate.
[00:20:53] And those things are being a creator, you know, using creativity, innovation, critical thinking, using skills of the mind is really, really valuable. Or the other one is being a facilitator skills that involve working with other people, collaboration, communication, persuasion, you know, all of those skills that involve working with other people.
[00:21:13] And then the third one is what we call driver skills, which is around managing systems and being organized time management, being able to, you know, juggle many different balls at once. And so. I think a lot of times we see people being like, what’s the next certification that I need? What is that next specific technical skill that I need to learn?
[00:21:33] And we would really like people to step back and be like, in my role, in my vocation, do I want to really focus on getting better with ideas or getting better with people or getting better with systems? And if you can do that, the research is very clear. These, these skill sets are in demand. The most in demand skill sets across all domains.
[00:21:52] They’re very, very valuable and they’re imminently. We can learn them in a lot of different domains. So that’s why we talk about these skill sets to learn as a way to think about how you want to grow in the future as a person, this can be a helpful framework to do that
[00:22:06] Belle Liang: Yeah, I think that, you know, one of the comforting things for young people who are entering the workforce is.
[00:22:14] It would be knowing that there are these larger categories of, of skills that you probably have, everyone has, but you’re on some continuum in terms of like, which ones you prioritize. Um, I see so many young people as they’re, you know, going through their college years, thinking about, you know, future careers, really sweating it over, you know, should they do this major or that major?
[00:22:40] And it’s like splitting hairs, like, and, and there’s no Intel for them around, like, why should they do this field over that field? Right. But here, what we’re talking about is there are three sort of overarching skill sets that are going to be relevant your whole life long. And, and they’re going to only become increasingly more relevant with, the changes that Tim has just described, um, because of, you know, technology taking a lot of over a lot of the other skills.
[00:23:06] And so, um, you know, now we can encourage young people to continue developing the skills that they so naturally develop in any of these categories. And they’re going to remain relevant no matter what field, whether you have to pivot, um, you know, somewhere along your career journey or not, those skills will continue to be relevant in every field.
[00:23:25] Tim Klein: And just for, and if we have, you know, business leaders here who are thinking about recruitment and retention, the research is very, very clear that like very specific technical skills are actually pretty easy to teach once you have someone there. And so, but you know, what’s really hard to teach critical thinking.
[00:23:43] Innovation collaboration, communication, time management. And so actually, you know, there’s all this bemoaning about liberal arts degrees and, and student college graduates coming out without the skills they need to be successful. The research actually shows very clearly that people with liberal arts degrees actually have spent a lot of time learning how to learn these skills.
[00:24:03] And so if you’re looking to recruit and retain the best talent, do it through this lens of what do we need in this role? Do I need someone who’s really creative or who’s a great facilitator, or who’s really organized and driven and get creative in when you’re looking at people, where are they showing these things in their education in their past work or just in their social lives?
[00:24:24] Cuz these are things we’re using in every facet of our lives every single day. And if you can do that with that framework, you’re going to open up a massively larger pool of potential people to recruit from then just people with the exact experience and skill sets that are so common on job descriptions nowadays.
[00:24:40] Diana White: So, you know, you talked about the liberal arts degree, and I had a question in my head and, and this is a good segue into that question. Both of you are in academia. Do you feel that for the most part, higher education is doing a good job of recognizing the fact that these are skill sets that are required and needed for the advancement of our, of our race, of our population.
[00:25:07] Or do you find that, you know, they’re still pretty much focused on the stem of it, the technical of it, of, you know, let’s get this person certified in a degree, that eventually this thing will become automated, but we did our job by getting them certified. What are your thoughts on that?
[00:25:24] Tim Klein: I would say higher, education’s doing a very bad job.
[00:25:27] Not because they’re not teaching them these skills, but we are not using this language that we’re talking about. So there, there is research showing by David Deming, Harvard university, labor economists that employers, when you ask them on job description, what are the skills that are most important? They say it’s character skills, interpersonal skills, interpersonal skills. It’s actually the same exact language that we’re talking about here.
[00:25:52] So we really think the skills gap that we’re seeing in higher education and in the workforce, it’s not a skills gap at all. It’s a language gap. And so, you know, I don’t think we’ve done enough in higher education as a whole to help students be able to articulate what exactly are they learning as they go through the journey of higher education in a way that they can actually, um, communicate that to potential employers so that they can understand these transferable skills here.
[00:26:20] And so that’s, that would be my answer for that, but it’s not, they’re actually doing the right thing. It’s more of just a language issue and a really a heart of our work with colleges and organization is how can we all start using the same language of skills so people can start connecting the dot between these disparate, uh, experiences to see where those competencies might lie.
[00:26:41] Belle Liang: Well, I really love the question and, and there’s much that I agree with. Tim and I really see, a shift among university leaders, at least at my university, recognizing that we can’t just keep resting on our laurels. We can’t keep, you know, just thinking that, because we have, you know, lots of students who want to come to our university, we have, you know, very good, selectivity and all of that, that we can keep doing business as usual because, you know, we really need to be watching what this next generation of young people are looking for out of an education. They’re paying a lot of money they’re taking, you know, there there’s a lot of sacrifice involved in, their engaging in higher ed. And so, uh, you know, I think that instinctively, um, at least people in, in some universities are recognizing that, okay, there’s a shift coming.
[00:27:34] We’re going to need to pay attention to what it is that young people are looking for in an education. And, you know, I know from what I’ve observed that for a while now, young people can learn more on YouTube videos than they do sometimes in the classroom, right? With just a click of the mouses, you can get all of those facts that you might get out of a textbook or through a, a lecture.
[00:27:59] So if you’re coming into the university, We have to really think hard. What is the value proposition of higher ed? It’s not just about like delivering these very, you know, discreet, bodies of knowledge and facts. It’s teaching people how to think. It’s teaching people how to learn. It’s giving them a sense of belonging and purpose that they can then create in the workplace and in the systems to which they belong.
[00:28:25] That’s a very different kind of education than we’ve been doing for the last 30 years.
[00:28:30] Diana White: Agreed. Absolutely.
[00:28:32] Lesson 4: Add value as a trailblazer, builder, champion or guardian
[00:28:32] Diana White: Okay. Number four, add value as a trailblazer builder champion or guardian. Tim, I’ll let you take this one first.
[00:28:43] Tim Klein: Yeah. So, this is really about understanding what your, your core values are and the values that you want to add.
[00:28:48] And I, I know in the world of work, we, we talk about core values all the time. You know, organizations put them all over their website. They put them all over their walls and their office if they have offices anymore. But for us, we’ve done a ton of research on the role that core values play in living a purposeful life.
[00:29:06] And as much as we talk about core values in the business world, we never actually talk about what core values actually are. Right. And so, and we found that, I think that’s a reason that when we talk about core values in the business sense, it kind of can fall flat because we don’t know what we’re talking about.
[00:29:23] And so when we look at the research. I think the most helpful way to understand core values is I can tell you what your core values are by looking at what you actually don’t value, because a core value is only a value. If we are willing to sacrifice something of great importance in the name of that value.
[00:29:43] And if we’re not willing to sacrifice anything for that value, it’s just lip service and it’s not a core value at all. And so, we talk about, um, we looked at the research on core values and we really did to deep dive into Shalan Schwartz. He’s a leading expert on core global human core values. He’s looked at core values at over 70 different cultures all across the world.
[00:30:06] And he’s really found that there’s these two continuums of values of what we find really important. And on one spectrum is what we call it’s individualism. Versus collectivism. And so that’s just that, you know, where you are on this spectrum, where do you believe when I win? We win. Meaning the better I do as an individual employee at an organization, the better my organization is going to do.
[00:30:28] So I’m going to focus on my individual efforts, or do you believe when we win, I win the better my organization or community or company does the better I’m going to do. So, I’m going to put my company first, right? And there’s no correct answer there. We all are somewhere on this value and continuum, but the more you have individualistic values, which means you’re you don’t value collectivist values.
[00:30:51] And on the same side, it’s the same. And so, there’s that. And then the other one is. A continuum on a Y axis of growth versus stability. And essentially what it means the way you know, on that is do you tend to see change as an opportunity to make things better, which would make you orient towards growth values, or do you tend to see change as a threat to make things worse?
[00:31:15] And so everyone is on this continuum based on their own community culture lived experiences, but we can’t say. We’re really into change. We’re progressive. We want to change the game, but then you put no lip service to it, and you don’t actually are willing to make any sacrifices in the name of that growth.
[00:31:32] So he, with this, it’s really understanding where you are on these continuums. And we have these archetypes. We can talk about to help you understand where you are, but then it’s really mostly focusing on what you actually don’t value. And what are you willing to sacrifice and stand for those values can be incredibly helpful in finding organizational best fit for like where you can show up as your best self, where you’re going.
[00:31:56] Your values are going to compliment. Not conflict with organizations
[00:32:00] Diana White: makes so much sense Belle.
[00:32:03] Belle Liang: I think it’s really true that, um, many people have a lot of you put a lot of lip service into their mission statement, but what we’re talking about here is not just, you know, what values do you espouse, but which ones do you actually enact?
[00:32:19] Because those values are sensed by the people in your organization, your employees, the workers. And as you said earlier, gen Zers and millennials are looking for organizations that not only espouse, but they also enact values that are aligned with their own values. And, um, they’re no longer willing just to work for a paycheck and perks.
[00:32:43] Um, they recognize something that, you know, I think earlier generations haven’t or didn’t, or didn’t maybe have the, the, the privileges to do, because we were so focused on performance. They are now stepping back from the workplace and, and seeing that, you know, life is short. And if I’m going to put my energies into something, it’s going to be something that I truly believe in.
[00:33:07] And the organization is going to have to not only say, what their values are about, but they, they need to be living them out. I need to be seeing, um, you know, a lack of hypocrisy and actual behavior and action. Around standing behind those values.
[00:33:23] Diana White: Yeah. You know, one of the things that I teach founders when I coach them, and it starts very early when, when they’re a company of one, just an ideation with an idea on a napkin.
[00:33:35] I start talking about company culture and I start asking them, you know, what are your thoughts about what your company culture is going to be? And many of them look at me like I have three heads because I, I have no one. Why should I be thinking about this? Well, you should be thinking about it now.
[00:33:53] In the same way. You know, most families, when they’re planning a family, they think about how they’re going to raise their kids. What values are going? Are they going to pass down to these children? What things are they not going to do that their parents did that they wish was different?
[00:34:10] You know, you got to start thinking about that before people start getting on the bus. And, and I always say this, I say, you have, you have two choices. There’s one certainty that we know your company is going to create a culture. Now you can either be ahead of that and create it, or it’s going to be created without you.
[00:34:31] And usually cultures that are created without the leader having buy in and really steering the ship. Don’t turn out to be very good cultures. Mm-hmm and, and, and I mean, this speaks to what you both are saying, and it, it makes a lot of sense and, and it also speaks to, and I don’t think we talk about this enough, that it’s not a hard job to get everybody on board. If you are doing things for the right reasons, because you have two generations worth of workforce that are literally looking for someone to give them purpose, to have that purpose as an organization. So, it’s very easy.
[00:35:10] Tim Klein: Yeah. And just to dive deeper, because I think you gave a great example, those entrepreneurs that you’re working with they’re individualistic, right?
[00:35:18] Cuz they want to go out and do their own thing and they’re growth oriented at the same time. Right. They, they want to change it. And that’s what we call trailblazers where trailblazers are people who are, want to go their own way, Ze their own path. And they want to create new things outside of existing systems and they don’t want to be told what to do.
[00:35:37] They don’t want to be beholden to structures. They don’t want to agree with. Right. And so. Those, those are trailblazers. And then, um, what we found is that when you start a new entrepreneurial idea, at some point, that idea needs to be codified and you need to start creating systems and processes. And what that happens is that you need to go find what we call builders and builders are people who are growth oriented.
[00:36:01] They think change is a good thing, but they’re collectivists at the same time where they, so they come in and they’re like, you know what? We need to start creating systems and processes because we care about every single person in this organization. And we want it to work better for everyone. So, we’re going to come in and build these systems.
[00:36:19] And then what happens is that when you build these systems, you’re like, okay, we have product market fit. The wheel is turning. We need to pour gasoline on the fire here and really go then what you actually need. You need what we call champions and champions are individualistic and they’re stability oriented.
[00:36:37] They actually like, they want to go out in individual achievement recognition is what they want, but they want stability what they want to know, how the rules work so that they can optimize their own performance based on it. And they don’t want to change the game at all. Because if you change how systems work that might interfere with their own individual perform.
[00:36:55] And then the final thing you need is what we call guardians who are stability, oriented and collectivists. And these are the people who want to protect, uh, and preserve. What’s tried and true. And these are the people who like they want to protect what makes that organization special in the first place. And so, what’s interesting, it’s knowing what your own individual value archetypes are, but then it’s like a really, really high functioning organization has an equitable mix of all four of those value archetypes.
[00:37:23] Absolutely. Right. And so, but it’s just being able to explicitly say that and then make sure, and then it’s just where do all the pieces fit there.
[00:37:32] Diana White: Good point, Belle, you have anything to add to that?
[00:37:35] Belle Liang: Just the, the fit between, uh, well, I like to put it as the way in which an individual can feel a. Cultural value, add to an organization is very important.
[00:37:47] And so this chapter is about not only identifying your own as a, as a worker, as an employee, as a manager, as a leader, your value archetype, but it’s organizations identifying their value archetype or a departments identifying their value archetypes so they can, um, have a clear sense of what is going on in the dynamic when.
[00:38:13] They might be in a guardian stage of the organization, or they may be, you know, just guardian focused, you know, really preserving what is tried and true. And they’re feeling irritated by the trailblazers who are amongst them trying to push the envelope. Um, so recognizing that, oh, like these people are not trying to make me miserable.
[00:38:33] They are living their archetype and bringing to our organization exactly what we need to balance our guardian archetype. So, we think it’s just so important for people to recognize what, individuals are bringing into their organization rather than be threatened by the differences.
[00:38:50] Lesson 5: Meet the big five needs in the world (physical, personal, community, societal, environmental)
[00:38:50] Diana White: I love that.
[00:38:51] And I also love number five. I, think there were a couple that resonated with me, but this one hit me because it’s personal thing that I had to ask myself, am I actually doing this? So, number five, meet the big five needs in the world, physical, personal community, societal and environmental.
[00:39:14] And, uh, I want you to talk about this because I, when I read that sentence, I truly had to think of myself and say, am I, am I doing what I need to do am? And not just from a societal standpoint, but from my own self fulfillment, do I feel like I’m, I am contributing. And doing what I need to do to make the world a better place by hitting these five points.
[00:39:39] So I’d love to start with Tim, Tim, give me your thoughts.
[00:39:43] Tim Klein: Yeah. you know, so purpose this definition of purpose, it’s doing work that’s personally meaningful that also contributes to the world beyond the self. And I think when we think about purpose, People get this idea. That’s like I have to go solve climate change or world hunger or solve cancer.
[00:39:59] It has to be this massively huge thing where I’m like sacrificing my own material comfort in the name of this larger thing. And it’s more about what we recognize is that it’s called in the, in the world of psychological research, being prosocial, just genuinely having the intention where you want to benefit other people.
[00:40:17] And that can be easier said than done. And so, what we’ve realized is that everyone, the needs that we want to meet in the world is different for every single person. And we’ve realized that really this desire to help other people. Can come from two different places. And one of those places is adversity. And adversity is just like, if a need is not being met, that is an adversity, you know, so if your basic physical needs are not met, you don’t have enough food or you don’t have clothing, or you don’t have the same place to sleep.
[00:40:45] Your needs not met, getting met. And that is an adverse experience. And that could be around psychological, around depression, anxiety, belonging. Um, and so we found that in the research that people who have experienced adversity and they’ve had the time to process and make sense of that adversity tend to be more pro-social.
[00:41:05] They tend to be more compassionate. They tend to, manifest that adversity when they can handle it. And it’s not an ongoing adversity in a way where that turns in the desire to give back and to help other people who might be going through the same thing. And then on the flip side of that is. On the other end is that people also develop the need to help other people through their advantages.
[00:41:29] And so advantages or privilege is just anything in our lives that have made our lives easier. So, I grew up, you know, I had two married parents, college educated, well educated. I grew up with a ton of privilege because I just had a ton of stuff that I didn’t earn that made my life easier. And we found that people who can reflect and recognize their advantages, recognize things that have made their lives better.
[00:41:54] That turns into gratitude and gratitude is a key engine of being prosocial. And so, the idea here with this is just thinking about, you know, what are the things in life that have made your life harder? And then how could you potentially use that experience to help other people? Or what are things in your life that have made it?
[00:42:13] You’re really grateful for they’ve made your life really, really easy or like better. And how could you share that with other people? And so, this meeting needs every single organization, any single business, zoom and accounting, software, dunking donuts, whatever it is, those are meeting needs. They’re, they’re like contributing in a way.
[00:42:33] We just have to understand what those needs are. And so, it’s just reflecting on that and just, I mean, the research shows that people who are meeting needs, who genuinely care about other people are the most successful leaders in the workplace. They’re more resilient, better relationship to their peers.
[00:42:48] They stay longer in their jobs. Any indicator of success and wellbeing is correlated with being pro-social. So, Diana, given that, I’m curious on you though, like, where did you come to when you were asking this question of yourself and did that help at all?
[00:43:03] Diana White: So, I’m going to answer that in a second, but I want to talk about, and really give you honest, kudos.
[00:43:10] That trigger word privilege, in society right now, that’s a trigger word, right? And I love the way you described how you grew up and used that word, because it didn’t seem as if you were bragging. It didn’t seem as if you were saying I am better than. It didn’t seem that you were saying I was more worthy.
[00:43:34] You just said, I happen to have these circumstances around me. That gave me an extra edge. And, and I see that. And because I see that and recognize it, and I know that’s not the way it is for everyone. I’m assuming this is why. You give back in a social footprint kind of way. And so, I, I just wanted to acknowledge that you said that, and maybe if more people talked about that word, the way you do it, wouldn’t be such a trigger word.
[00:44:04] So how I show up and I’m glad you explained what this is, because now I realize some of the things that I don’t do that I thought I was doing. And so, when you think about, you know, fulfilling those needs, the physical, the personal, the community, the societal, the environmental.
[00:44:24] I tie some of that stuff back to me being whole and holistic so that I can then stop focusing on the things that I don’t have, or that I’m upset about myself with and focus outward. Right. I do a very good job with many of these aspects, but one that is very, lacking is the physical, I go, go, go all the time.
[00:44:48] I don’t have the best exercise routine. I don’t take the time to really, get in tune with and appreciate my mind and body. I don’t meditate. I don’t go for walks. And I know quite honestly, and I’m also, and I’ve got two very well-trained people in the room right now in the zoom room. So, uh, you’ll be able to tell me how you feel about this whole introvert versus extrovert thing.
[00:45:17] But I consider myself an extreme introvert. I just never found a job to pay me, to sit in a corner and read, right. And so, I get drained very easily from social interaction, but I ask myself now looking at this lesson, if I took better care of myself, physically, if I gave myself the things that I need for my endorphins to naturally kick in, would I have more energy in these social interactions?
[00:45:45] Would I be less drained? I wonder about that now, just because of what we just spoke about Belle, what, what do you have to add?
[00:45:52] Belle Liang: I just really love what you shared because, uh, you know, I think it speaks to the fact that we all have a natural disposition and identifying your purpose and pursuing it should be one of self-discovery.
[00:46:05] It’s not just, another kind of obligation or responsibility to slap on our shoulders. Lord knows we all have experienced enough of that with the performance mindset, but it’s really listening closely to yourself and identifying what makes you tick and what makes you want to get up in the morning.
[00:46:27] And there are things that, you know, we sometimes do that don’t necessarily completely align with who we are, but we can make adjustments so that it can be something that we can do more naturally with more ease. So, what you just said is that I’m an extreme introvert and I can relate to that because I also have that inclination.
[00:46:49] And I’m also in a role that requires a lot of sort of public facing work. But I’ve come to understand that, you know, I need certain like downtime. I need certain, like recovery time from the public spaces so that I can truly engage and enjoy moments like this, which I am enjoying completely.
[00:47:12] But this morning I had a run. I had, my morning cup of tea and I’m in a great space right now, but Tim has seen me when I’m not in a great space, you know, he’s, you know, more of an extrovert all day long, all the time and two little kids, but I need really quite a lot of, you know, sort of space in order to do what I do.
[00:47:31] And I think that that is a sign of health, what we just said about ourselves, recognizing what we need so that we can, truly enjoy the work that we’re doing. Versus we just got to muscle through, because this is our contribution. This is our way of meeting the needs in the world. That chapter’s really not about, obligation and responsibility.
[00:47:51] It’s about listening again to yourself. Like a lot of the other chapters are it’s really hearing who it is that you are and, uh, you know, what, what gets you excited? What motivates you? What inspires you and doing more of that, um, and adversity and advantage are just two filters for understanding the things that matter to us.
[00:48:14] When you have had some area of adversity, let’s say a mental health issue that tunes you into that need in the world. Yeah. You begin to care about it. You’ve suffered, you’ve experienced it and you also have learned from it. And so, there’s something that you can offer. And it’s why there’s so many people in the field of mental health, who have experienced their own mental health struggles.
[00:48:36] Mm-hmm and so I think it’s just something that, you know, really helps us to be again, like what I said before, it’s the closing of our public self and our true selves
[00:48:47] Diana White: You just touched on something that made me have an epiphany and you’re so right. You know, when you talk about people who are helping other people who have gone through some tough times, whether it be addiction, trauma, abuse, Most often, of course we have our clinically trained community, right.
[00:49:07] That helps us and grateful for that. But most often boots on the ground are people who have been through these things, gotten past it, learn how to incorporate it into the story of their life to make them better and whole, and I think though that there’s a duality there. Yes. This person that has been through what the other person has been through.
[00:49:33] They have empathy when they come to the table, but the other person knowing that that person coming to the table has been through the same thing that builds a safe space and trust. So, I didn’t think I would be in school today, but I am learning, I’m learning a lot of things.
[00:49:53] Tim Klein: Just to go one deeper on it.
[00:49:55] You’re so right here. And that’s what, like, we call that like being a wounded healer right. Where it’s like, you know, and so, I mean, you said you work with entrepreneurs, you do coaching. And so, it would be like reflecting on not taking care of the physical health. What impact has that had on you? How has that made your life harder?
[00:50:12] And then it’s almost thinking about like my, in my journey in trying to. Overcome this. And I would say for you, maybe for me personally, dealing with the same thing, I try to think about service over sacrifice. And so that allows us to like, I’m going to give myself, but not in a way where it’s going to like take away, because that makes me realize I can’t play my growth game if I’m giving too much of myself.
[00:50:33] So it’s trying to take a longer horizon, but then it’s also, think, who else needs to hear this and how can my journey help them? Who’s going through the same thing. And we’re not saying that people who have gone through adversity have to use that they have a responsibility to do it at all.
[00:50:49] You’re like, that’s not what we’re saying at all, but if it feels like your truth and it would feel purposeful to you as in a way to deal with this is to help other people going through the same thing. That’s a perfect example of how adversity and a need not being met can turn into pro-social intentions that can turn into purpose.
[00:51:07] So I really appreciate you sharing that with you, with us here today.
[00:51:10] Diana White: And I, and I agree with you too, Tim, you know, we would never want to tell everyone, okay, the most horrific things you’ve been through in your life, the lowest of lows, get over yourself and now help other people. That’s not always how life works.
[00:51:26] but I tend to find that.
[00:51:28] even if it’s a trivial thing, if I’ve been through it and I’ve overcome it and I, sense somebody else is going through the same thing and I, and I share, share not try to control, share if I share, it gives my pain purpose. It gives what I went through purpose. You know what I mean?
[00:51:47] So I, I, 100% agree. It’s not for everyone, but I would challenge lots of people if you haven’t done it, try it and see if it is for you. You might be surprised in how full your heart gets, um, and how it changes, shifts, how you think about what you went through.
[00:52:07] Belle Liang: it can be so empowering.
[00:52:09] And, and, and there’s research to suggest that those people who are survivors of trauma, who have gone through a process of meaning making around their experiences, and now they’ve become advocates, they’ve become activists. They are healers, they are enormously personally helped through that contribution.
[00:52:32] And so, again, we’re not talking about a should, we’re talking about a want to, a lot of our book is about shifting from that mentality of, I feel the whole weight on of the world, on my shoulders, and I need to be doing such and such and such because I’ve been given privileges to recognizing that we tend to have a lot of natural compassion and processeality.
[00:52:55] And, you know, we’re looking for our way of, of doing that. That is. Aligned with who we really are.
[00:53:03] Diana White: I love it. I love it.
[00:53:04] Lesson 6: Create moments that matter
[00:53:04] Diana White: And that actually is a really good segue into number six, which is create moments that matter, and I feel like in a world where, no one feels like they have enough time creating those moments that matter, instead of just going through the motions.
[00:53:20] I had a conversation with my mentee and, I told her, I said, I’m at the point in my life now where literally every minute. Needs to matter. And I’m not saying every minute has to be spent doing something out in the world. I’m saying, if I decide to sit down for a moment, have a cup of Earl grey tea and listen to some jazz, I’m going to be present in that moment.
[00:53:47] That moment matters. I still think we have a lot of people in this world that are passengers in their own ride through life. Like they’re not driving, they’re not intentional and purposeful. So, I’m going to get off my soapbox because I’m afraid of Heights and I’m going to turn it over to Belle.
[00:54:09] And I’m going to say bell, talk about number six create moments that matter. What does that mean to you?
[00:54:14] Belle Liang: Well, I just love what you shared Diana that, I’m reminded of, my experience yesterday, where I was at Boston college and giving a presentation to parents who had just are dropping off their kids to freshman orientation and they’re their own, you know, they’re freshman as well because they, many of them are first time.
[00:54:38] Parents of college going students. And there’s just a lot of mixed feelings that they’re all having, because they’re proud, but they’re also scared. And they’re sad because they’re becoming empty nesters, lots and lots of emotion in the room. And I was just thinking about how I have an opportunity to create some moments that matter here.
[00:55:02] If I am willing to be completely authentic that four years ago, I was sitting in this room when my daughter was starting her journey as a freshman at BC. And even though I’ve been a faculty person for 22 years, I was. So terrified and sad and at a loss around this new stage of life. And it meant that, you know, though, I had kind of a script for the presentation that I was going to deliver.
[00:55:33] I just got real. When I looked at their faces, sitting in the room, looking up at me, I said, I get that. I was sitting in your shoes and in this room, but I’ll tell you what, a few weeks ago, I also watched my daughter graduate. Ugh.
[00:55:48] Diana White: Oh, my goodness.
[00:55:49] Belle Liang: It comes full circle. I promise you, you know, and it’s not an easy journey, you know, even, you know, as a faculty person, I could have given her all this advice.
[00:55:59] But I knew from the research that we do, that she also needed to have her own journey. So, it meant letting your kid make their decisions for better, for worse, it means. Falling down sometimes and having hard moments. And as it got real, I just saw their face. I just knew that this was what they needed to hear more than any kind of research.
[00:56:22] And so I think that moments that matter really means presence. Just like you said, it means like being dialed into this moment. That’s a meaningful moment. It’s like when you’re sitting down with your kid as a parent, and instead of going into lecture mode, you are absorbing the vibe in the room and tuning into what they’re really needing right now.
[00:56:47] Putting on pause your, your lecture and recognizing that it’s about connection. And in the same way, we need to be doing that in the workplace with our, with our colleagues, with our peers, we can be. So, you know, again, that performance mindset is sometimes so much about the products and just trying to push them out, thinking about the bottom line that we really miss, why people want to be working in the first place.
[00:57:12] It’s not just about the pay. Yes, of course. Those are critical reasons people work, but we see in this, you know, the gen, gen Z and, and amongst millennials that they’re not just after those things only anymore. It’s about if they’re going to come into the work, if they’re going to schlep into the workplace, instead of being remote.
[00:57:32] All the time it’s going to be, because there’s some moments that matter in the workplace, it’s going to be like, whether it’s on zoom, remote in person, it’s going to be, because there’s a sense of belonging. That’s being cultivated. There’s a sense of purpose that’s being cultivated. And this requires a lot of presence and attunement, by employers, leaders and workers,
[00:57:53] Diana White: 100% agree, Tim.
[00:57:55] Tim Klein: Oh, I would just add to that. It’s not. It’s not that hard to do either. Cause I think in the world of work, you know, we’re so as Belle said, future oriented all the time, it’s all about the quarterly earnings, your KPIs, your OKRs. It’s always about go, go, go in the future. And you know, younger generations today, aren’t showing up because they care about your KPIs.
[00:58:15] They don’t care about the OKRs. They care about doing work that matters to them and feeling like they matter to the organization. And so, like you can really do that. These can be micro moments of mattering. So, any moment where you are talking about something that matters to you and, and the person is listening, and they hear you and they make you feel like you matter.
[00:58:35] Diana, this is happening right now. You’re making us feel like we matter, and we care about this. This is a moment that matters and all. And so, if you’re a leader it’s genuinely asking, caring, intentional questions of your employees and it’s listening. And if you can ask your employees, are you, are you, do you feel like you can be your best self here?
[00:58:55] Do you feel like you’re learning and growing? Do you feel like you’re making an impact here? Not only is that answer going to make sure that they are talking about something matters to them. You are signaling to them that you genuinely care about them. And it’s just asking those, taking a minute at the beginning of a meeting and just carving out four minutes to have a little micro moment that matters can increase belonging.
[00:59:18] And it increases what we call positive resonance, which has been shown to increase life satisfaction, retention, recruitment, everything here, like there’s a science behind these things here that can get lost in this world in which we’re so busy. We go, go, go that we just zoom by the present. So, I’ll hop off my soapbox now.
[00:59:35] Diana White: In all honesty, you’re bringing me back years and years ago to when I first started out in retail and I was climbing up the ladder trying to, become a manager someday.
[00:59:47] And I had all of these different supervisors come through my life. And I remember most of them when we would have meetings. I would say, okay, we’re about to have a meeting, let me go in and find out what needs to be done today. What, what do they need of me today? Very few and far between were the supervisors where I got excited for the meeting.
[01:00:11] And I realized the difference was in the other meetings I was being told what to do. I was being talked at; I was being given numbers. We’re down 30% from yesterday. What are we going to do in the meetings that I was excited about? It was a collaborative effort. It was, Hey, I’ve been thinking about this. What are your thoughts on that?
[01:00:31] Diana, you came up with a good idea last week, about how to rearrange the sales floor. When do you think you can make that happen? It was engagement and I’ll go back to Belle, even with your children. If you start that collaborative engagement early, it makes such a difference. My daughter will.
[01:00:50] She’s 29. from a very young age, I read everything she read. I watched everything she watched. I listened to everything. She listened to. One because I’m a parent and I want to make sure she’s listening to the right things. You know, two, I wanted something to talk about. I wanted something that resonated with her to talk about.
[01:01:11] And to this day we still have inside jokes about some things that were for many years ago that we bonded over because I took the time to get to know her and figure out who she was as a person and developing to be.
[01:01:28] Lesson 7: Listen for your call, not someone else’s
[01:01:28] Diana White: So, everything you guys are saying just resonates with me, including number seven, listen for your call.
[01:01:37] Not someone else’s, I’m going to repeat that for our listeners and viewers, because it is super important. I’m going to even try to look in the camera, which I never do. Listen for your call. Not someone else’s. And so, Tim, I’m going to let you start with that because that’s powerful.
[01:01:58] Tim Klein: Yeah. Thank you. Um, and I just loved that story that you gave, and you just totally brought to life a concept here in a way that we couldn’t have done.
[01:02:05] So I’m just like getting goosebumps from that. So, thank you.
[01:02:10] Belle Liang: I have to just jump in right now, too. Cuz I was thinking sister, you are a good mama and I hope your 29-year-old daughter. Knows that
[01:02:18] Tim Klein: yeah. Yes, she does. So, so I would say with, listen for your call, not someone else’s, is that a core tenet of Belle’s and I’s work is that we are in what we call a college and career navigation crisis.
[01:02:33] Meaning people are working harder than ever before, but we’ve never taught them how to make meaningful decisions. We’ve never taught them how to decide what college to go to, what major, to choose, what career to go into. You know, we’ve never taught them when you’re at these inflection points in life where the decisions you make really can change the direction where you want to go, what to do.
[01:02:54] And we’re seeing that play out with the great resignation, the great reshuffle, whatever you want to call it. You know, people, so many people are lost and adrift right now. And that’s because we’ve spent all our lives thinking about what should I be doing? What is everyone else telling me what doing these linear paths that we’ve created in education, where it’s just like you are supposed to get, get great grades, do community service, you know, chase wealth, status, prestige, power, that’s supposed to what you’re supposed to be doing.
[01:03:23] And what we’ve found is that in the research people with a purpose, they see life as a very open-ended adventure. They are much more focused, not on some specific end destination, five years from now, people with a purpose mindset, don’t actually probably, create five-year plans that they have to manifest.
[01:03:41] It’s more about being like, am I headed in the right direction? And does this direction feel meaningful to me? You need a compass to be able to do that. And you need to really be attuned to who you are as a person, you know, the strengths, the skills. And so. It’s creating space to really root down to who you are as a person.
[01:04:02] And so the, the metaphor that we talk about in this is that if you ask a young person or even a 30-year-old, like, what do you want to do 10 years from now? They have no idea. Right? And they have no idea what they want to do. But if I went and I asked you or your daughter, like what, what are the best five albums or five artists you’ve listened to this year?
[01:04:20] They’re going to have really, really strong opinions about that, right? Yeah, I can. Yeah. She’s they have strong opinions. How do they have strong opinions? Because they’ve spent the time to listen to what moves them. Right. They’re listening, they’re exploring, they’re getting a lot of different experiences out there and they develop, they know what type of production, what type of lyrics, what type of sounds move them.
[01:04:42] And so this is about stepping off like the pathway or the corporate ladder, and really starting to attune to what really moves you. And it’s listening for that call. Um, and when we do that in an uncertain world, You can be very, very confident that you’re headed in the right direction, even if you don’t know where you’re going.
[01:05:00] So that that’s about listening for the call, not someone else’s. I love that. Now,
[01:05:04] Diana White: Belle, I’m going to ask you to give your spin on this, you know, different, cultures, different races have different expectations. And you mentioned this earlier, when you talked about, you know, the, the path of, you know, wanting to be lawyers and doctors, and really exceed academically in stem.
[01:05:21] How does this resonate with you? Listen to your call and not someone else’s. If you’re from, a group that status where you went to school, what you went to school for, what your career path is, is really dictated by your village, by your parents, by your grandparents, by the weight of your family wanting you to do something. How does this resonate with you?
[01:05:51] Belle Liang: I think that that’s such an astute question. that certainly has been my journey that throughout my college years early in my career, even now I catch myself asking what should I do and what I, what should I do often time the answer to that is what do other people expect of me?
[01:06:10] My elders, my authority figures, whether it’s in the workplace or in my family and my extended family. And at the same time, that that is a very, I think cultural response, um, you know, coming out of an Asian immigrant family who has sacrificed so much for me and believed in the education meritocracy, that if you work really, really hard and you achieve certain accolades and positions, then you will be successful that you will have made it it’s protection over you and your family. Um, there’s a lot of virtue in those aspirations. I understand that. And yet I also see that those patterns of living for the expectations of others really transcend culture. I’m always struck by, in our research across demographics.
[01:07:02] How many people feel as though they’re living somebody else’s life. That’s not just a cultural thing. It’s like the way we’re socialized. We love our families. Oftentimes the people that raised us, we want them to be proud of us. We want to live up to their expectations. We live for external validation.
[01:07:22] These are very hard-wired things in us that we think that if we’re doing them, we will be loved. We will belong. We will be accepted. And what I had to learn is that doing just what other people expect you to, doesn’t bring you the true sense of belonging that you long for. It’s really about belonging to yourself.
[01:07:46] And there’s a lot of, of, you know, when I first. Decided that I was going to become a psychologist that was not a popular field in my family and background. And they worried, it was, as if I said I was going to drop out of college. Like, what are you going? What are you going to be able to do with that? Yeah.
[01:08:06] You know, and, but now they’re very proud, you know, and it’s, you know, it’s, I think that a lot of our fears around acceptance and belonging don’t necessarily come to fruition around the things that we think we need to do, the paths we feel we need to follow in order to earn approval, um, that we have more freedom that we think regardless of, of our, our backgrounds and so on.
[01:08:29] It isn’t doesn’t necessarily mean that, um, you know, we aren’t concerned about practical things like, having a job that pays that is going to meet your material needs. That’s not what we’re saying. They’re not mutually exclusive hearing your call and following your own call does not necessarily mean you’ve taken a complete leave of your senses around what is going to pay the bills.
[01:08:55] But rather there’s a whole lot of room in there of the possibilities that you could be exploring, that are also, careers or directions or work that are going to, you know, enable you to navigate well in the world of work. And you will actually ironically be doing that better when you’re following your own call and not somebody else.
[01:09:18] Lesson 8: Diversify your brand, social and human capital
[01:09:18] Diana White: All right. Number eight, diversify your brand social and human capital. Now I have been talking about personal branding for a very, very long time. It started when I was talking to my founders and I was telling them if you eventually want to seek funding, if you want to, capital infusion investors are going to be able to quickly determine whether or not, your venture is a good investment.
[01:09:46] And after they do that, it’s all about figuring out if you are the right person to take it to the next level. So, it really is about the founder and not necessarily about the business. If the business is structured to succeed and therein lies. How are you cultivating your brand so that when you’re in front of these investors, they see you for who you are and what you bring to the table.
[01:10:12] Never occurred to me that cultivating your brand should start much earlier. And so please talk about that, Tim, I’ll start with you.
[01:10:23] Tim Klein: No, and you just made a great point, like in just different language, you’re saying they need the brand capital to show that they are, have what it takes. They need the social capital to actually access these venture capitalists.
[01:10:35] And then they need the human capital to show them that they have what it takes. And so, this is more about what, you know, when we’re thinking of younger people, you know, this is really about college and. We work in higher education. And what we’ve realized is that there’s this narrative of higher education and that the ultimate value of college is brand capitals.
[01:10:54] The name brand recognition that you get from going to that place. And the idea being, if I go to Harvard or Stanford, you know, that’s going to signal to venture capitalist to, to employees that I have, what it takes to be successful. And so brand capital is very, very real. It’s very, very powerful. We would argue, you know, you got to diversify that with social and human capital.
[01:11:16] So if you’re going to Harvard or Stanford, social capital is the value of the network of people that you are building. It’s the information and resources of the other people at Stanford and Harvard that you can learn from gain information, resources, opportunities from. So, it’s really what we’re noticing is that students are going to college.
[01:11:35] They think it’s all about brand capital and they’re not being intentional about building out social capital, making meaningful relationships with their faculty advisors, students. And the final one is around human capital as well. And that is gaining, having formative experiences where you can gain on the ground skill sets to show people what you actually can do.
[01:11:56] And so we would just say, you know, for like young leaders or lo looking for new jobs. Yes. You know, working at Apple or Netflix or someone where brand capital is very important, but also think about what are, who are the people that I’m going to learn from, who are the people I’m going to be working with?
[01:12:13] How is, how is that organization, that network going to increase my social capital here that I can learn from over the time. And also, will I have an opportunity to build human capital? Will I have an opportunity to work on projects where I can really develop new skills, um, you know, stretch myself, gain better as a professional.
[01:12:34] And we’ve just found that as much more helpful in being able to determine whether a college or an organization is a good fit for you based on these three capitals versus just brand capital alone.
[01:12:46] Diana White: I love that. I love that. Belle what do you have to add to that?
[01:12:50] Belle Liang: Well, we see that in the research, there are three major things that I think, uh, you know, would also be relevant in the workplace that are really the key to purpose in higher ed. And they are having even just one mentor who really empowers you, equips you to pursue your purpose. And the second is having hands on experiences, not just focused on, um, academic content, but really getting out there and having experiences real-life, hands-on experiences in and out of the workplace.
[01:13:23] And then the third category really is about having a place where you can really explore how your work connects with your larger vision for yourself. It’s an opportunity to sort of connect the dots rather than just do, do, do we need to sometimes just put it on pause, like we are right now and look at all of it from 50,000 feet up and understand how is the work I’m doing today relevant to the direction that I want to head in the contributions that I want to make, what my legacy is going to be.
[01:13:53] Starting early to think about those things. Um, so that we can be navigating in a direction from the beginning of our journeys, not just waiting until the end.
[01:14:03] Diana White: made such practical sense. I feel like you should have a version of your book. That’s kind of like an inoculation.
[01:14:11] And when kids get a certain age, let’s say five or six, just pop, give them that inoculation. And they’ve got the book and everything they need downloaded, so that they can start thinking about these paths before they get to their senior year in high school. And now they’re in the crunch and they have to make these life changing decisions in this short amount of time.
[01:14:35] Lesson 9: Cultivate an inner world that ripples into the outer world
[01:14:35] Diana White: Okay. So, number nine. Cultivate an inner world that ripples into the outer world. Belle, start with you. Talk to me about that.
[01:14:45] Belle Liang: So, this chapter really is about the connection between our inner systems, like what we believe, what we care about, what we’re inspired by what we’re motivated by. And the systems in which we live, because even though we talk about purpose as a mindset, we recognize that mindset alone does not mean you’re going to be able to live out your purpose because we live in a world with all sorts of obstacles and injustices and, ways in which we are stymied from being able to live our, inner purposes.
[01:15:21] And at the same time, our inner purposes have a great deal of influence on the way that we interact with our systems. And so, this chapter really is about identifying what matters to us, the values that we hold ways in which that then, um, causes us to look for certain things in our systems and, and live out our purposes in certain ways.
[01:15:43] Diana White: I love that, Tim, what do you have to add?
[01:15:46] Tim Klein: Yeah, I think when you look back on this whole conversation and the advice that we’re giving, I think people already knew a, a lot of the answers that we’re giving here. And I think the big thing here is that it feels really, really hard to genuinely put other people first contribute.
[01:16:01] You know, all of these things we’re talking about, it feels very, very hard for people. And that’s because we’re living in a system a lot of the time that feels like there’s. Few winners and many, many losers, and it feels like we have to be aggressively racing all the time. And so, we’ve just noticed that, you know, it’s when, organizations are, structured, like a pyramid, where there is like a huge gap between the very top of the pyramid and the bottom of the pyramid, it tends to make people really worry about limited scarce resources.
[01:16:32] And they tend to fight among other people to acquire those resources, to make sure that their needs are met. And so it’s really about if you’re a leader or if you’re looking for an organization it’s really about looking for organizations that are not designed as pyramids, but are more designed as ecosystems and ecosystems are the belief that every single one, there is enough for everyone in that organization to get enough to be successful there, but is the genuine belief that, the better that , your co-worker does, or anyone else, the more that they’re being successful, that you are going to also thrive from that. And a thriving ecosystem in an anthropology is like the more that it’s, it’s realizing that a diverse ecosystem, everyone has an important role to play, and that the whole ecosystem is not going to be successful without every single person’s needs being met there.
[01:17:23] That’s not, that is not what it looks like right now. And so, what we’ve realized is that so much of our work and our book is a reaction to the fear, uncertainty and doubt that if I am not in the 1% point, 1%, the very, very best the top of the pyramid, I’m not going to be successful in life mm-hmm
[01:17:43] And that causes us to, you know, pursue all the things that we’ve kind of been pushing back against. And so, it starts with, yes. Purpose is this individual mindset that you need to do, but like Belle said, it’s also about developing systems ecosystems at the same time that actually allow us to actually live out this purpose in a way that feels meaningful to us and can also benefit our organizations and communities.
[01:18:06] Well, and I’ll just end with. Organizations that act more like ecosystems that genuinely care about every single part of them. Uh, they, they do better over time. They’re more resilient. They’re anti-fragile the research is very clear that like, you do not have to sacrifice profits in the name of purpose at all.
[01:18:24] It’s actually very, very sound business advice. We just need to start enacting it.
[01:18:29] Diana White: And I think that is, one of the most powerful lessons throughout all of this is cultivating that in a world and letting it ripple out, and surrounding yourself with people that all hold their own selves accountable to do the same thing.
[01:18:45] Lesson 10: Trust yourself to figure it out
[01:18:45] Diana White: So, Belle tell me your thoughts about number 10, lesson number 10, trust yourself to figure it.
[01:18:53] Belle Liang: I think this again, goes to like recognizing that we have a lot of collective wisdom that we have, we have gained over the course of our lives, whether we are, 20 years old, 30 years old and, and, and beyond, and. I think that oftentimes we have been trained to listen to the advice of others, which oftentimes is very helpful to learn from others who have, come before us.
[01:19:20] But at the same time, you know, everybody’s always trying to give us advice and, and we sense a lot of the time, but the advice doesn’t really fit for us. You know, we have some unique wrinkle in our story, in our journey. And as we’re listening to the advice, we’re like, Hmm, how can. Fit my life into that advice and guidance, rather than recognizing that I know some things and you know, it is okay for me to make some mistakes, even if this particular direction that I’m taking is not going to, um, you know, work out as well as I hope.
[01:19:56] And so it means like really, you know, jumping out with, some courage around, you know, trusting ourselves and allowing ourselves to fail at times, um, and to be able to, um, take some risks.
[01:20:08] Diana White: So, Tim, let’s talk about that. Trusting yourself to fail and take some risks.
[01:20:13] Tim Klein: You know what we’ve realized, like when you look at purpose as the science of purpose people with sense of purpose. Better in school, better mental health, thriving in their careers. You know, every indicator of wellbeing correlates to purpose.
[01:20:27] And there’s not a lot of research out there. We’re, we’re doing a lot of the research on how do you cultivate purpose? How can you find purpose if you don’t have it? The research is actually very clear. The more you think about purpose, the more you carve out time to think about who I am, who do I want to be?
[01:20:44] How do I want to be remembered through either thinking, writing, reflecting, talking to other people, the more you think about purpose, the more likely you are to discover answers to purpose. And so, when I was a school counselor, talking with those very students that you talked. You know, those, those risks feel very high stakes where if I have to get into this college and if I don’t, then I have no other plans.
[01:21:07] That is a key example of just not having the opportunity to figure out, well, why do I want to go to that college? What impact do I want to make from being there? And when you ask yourself those, why, why, why questions? Um, suddenly there’s a lot of different ways that you can be achieving that same goal.
[01:21:23] And then that specific college or job is just one avenue that you might be able to take on that, uh, on that journey. And so, when we say trust yourself to figure it out, it’s give yourself the time to reflect on these questions, because I’m sure your listeners have. Listening here and they hear some of these questions and they’re probably like, oh God, I have no idea how to answer that question.
[01:21:46] And so when we say trust yourself to figure it out, it’s just saying lean into that uncomfort. There are no wrong answers here. And this is what we realized that people with a purpose mindset, when they go to college, you can go to college and choose a career that’s or a major that’s not great for you or a job that you hate if you can reflect on well, what, what was it that you hated about it?
[01:22:07] Were you not using your strengths? Did you not have an opportunity to build new skills? Did you not feel like you were contributing to the world in a meaningful way? You can use that information to pivot and redirect yourself and reorient yourself. So, if you’re just, if you use purpose as a practice, there is no failure or wrong decisions.
[01:22:25] There’s just information here.
[01:22:26] Belle Liang: I wanted just to add one thing, that, you know, we’ve been noticing again, a cultural trend. This was true before COVID, but it’s certainly true now. Like when I think about, you know, life before COVID, I’ve spent my whole life, like many people have learning how to play it safe because.
[01:22:42] Being in familiar places, protects us from all of the threats in our environment and, and in ourselves, the threat of failure. And so, we try to do the things that we know how to do. And I love this term that COVID triggered a widespread Jomo, uh, instead of FOMO, the joy of missing out and, do we remember how we felt relieved when we needed to hunker down?
[01:23:09] and as it turns out, people who are just playing it safe, instead of trusting themselves, they don’t need much faith and they’re not getting after it with their dreams. They’re just living in a bubble, oftentimes trying to, avoid failure or rejection or discomfort. And that’s a huge obstacle to growth and to purpose.
[01:23:29] And so, you know, it’s like all of us, you know, in this COVID times are needing to come out of our bubbles again and start interacting with people. Start speaking to people, of course, in safe, you know, continuing to be in, in, in safe ways. But taking these calculated risks are critical to cultivating that sense of openness and learning to trust ourselves, learning what we’re capable of learning.
[01:23:50] Um, you know, what we, what we enjoy embracing these new challenges has everything to do with being able to connect with our sense of purpose.
[01:23:58] Diana White: Fabulous. We have come to the last lesson we are done, but we’re not. I have a curve ball question for both of you. You’re lifelong learners. I can tell academics, psychologists, doing amazing things.
[01:24:14] but along your journey, there’s probably something that you had to unlearn. So, I’ll start with Belle. Belle, what have you had to unlearn?
[01:24:23] Belle Liang: I think for me, it has been playing it safe, you know, along the lines of what we were just talking about, you know, that, if I didn’t feel for sure that I could be successful in something, then I might not try it at all.
[01:24:36] And, you know, lately I’ve been thinking about the importance of evaluating your fear and, this question that, you know, that, that comes to mind that, that Tim and I use as a filter for, making a decision is to ask yourself whether the fear holding you back from a fantastic opportunity is rooted in doubts about the opportunity’s value or doubts about your value and if what you fear is your own ability to be successful, then that’s not a reason to quit. So, I think that, for me, it brings to mind how this book that we’ve written has kind of been in my mind for the last 10 years. I’ve wanted to write it, but fear of failure held me back.
[01:25:19] And even when I spoke to a really brilliant, experienced agent and she was pumped about it and said, you know, you need to write this book, even then I doubted myself. And so, you know, getting this book out really has required getting over myself. It’s the shift from focus on me to my purpose. And this shift takes care of so much stuckness.
[01:25:47] Um, suddenly we are getting after our goals. When we are not hinging our self-worth on the outcomes.
[01:25:55] Diana White: I love that. Tim, what have you had to unlearn?
[01:25:59] Tim Klein: Yeah, I think I’ve had to unlearn like my own definitions of success and like constantly reminded myself what really matters. It’s just so easy to get into like, well status, prestige, power as the thing, you know, and even like, you know, we’ve written this book and we wanted to do well and it’s like, it is still like, you want it to be a New York times, best seller.
[01:26:19] You want to hit all the best seller lists and it’s just like catching yourself that it’s not about you. And it’s reorienting yourself to one. Like defining success for me about being the impact it has on other people. So, it’s not like just this number on a screen. That’s going to define success for me, but really about conversations I have with people who got something from the book and really saying like, that is the core.
[01:26:41] And also like the process, you know, it was like, I think I had to catch myself writing the book, being like, it’s the process of writing. This is the thing that you’re wanting to do. So really being in the present moment there that is still an ongoing battle, because it’s our default to just want to glam onto those statistics of success.
[01:26:59] And so yeah, just being able to have the, um, honor of working with Belle through this whole process and coming to this, like this book really, really helped us develop these things. So yeah, this writing, this book has been massive unlearning for me on many different levels.
[01:27:13] Diana White: I love that. before I close out the show, tell us, where can we find you? What are you doing? Tell us. I know I already talked about the book coming out, but tell the readers why they should pick up this book.
[01:27:25] Tim Klein: Yeah, so you can find more about it at how, how to navigate.com is where to find us. And so, I think what we’re most excited about is that we really, really tried to blend research. You know, Belle is this award-winning expert at mentoring and purpose. There are probably 500 different citations in that book, but we’ve tried to make it relentlessly practical at the same time.
[01:27:45] And so you can find us reading that book. It’s really, for anyone who’s at an inflection point or any, you know, we really wrote it as a way for anyone specifically. I think we’re also incredibly excited about that. We have been talking and working with high schools, colleges, and more specifically organizations on what we talk about.
[01:28:03] How do you bring these principles and best practices to your organization, through what we call purpose and belonging informed leadership. And so, if you’re interested in learning more about that work, or you want to engage with us to learn more about these resources, you can do it at howtonavigate.com.
[01:28:18] Diana White: Wonderful Belle. Anything to add to that?
[01:28:20] Belle Liang: A really big emphasis in this book is to take research and make it practical it’s research that works it’s science that works. And so, for us, it’s not just about like, sort of pontificating on interesting ideas. Although we think we have some interesting ideas, it’s really about the how-to’s it’s.
[01:28:39] How does this look on the ground? If you are a leader, uh, you’re in the workplace you’re struggling with, retaining and recruiting your talent. You’re struggling with identifying what matters in the organization. What are the practical steps to clarifying those questions and creating an environment of purpose and belonging?
[01:29:01] We think that we have some very, very practical, pro tips for how to do that in the workplace. So, um, and we’re engaging all the time right now with, workplace leaders and organization leaders to help us to continue to bring together wisdom from the field. So, it’s a very interactive process that we’re using to get this work out.
[01:29:23] And it’s been a lot of fun for us. We feel incredibly privileged, um, to get to do this work with so many people.
[01:29:29] Diana White: Well, I, thank both of you for being on the show. This was an absolute treat. and I’m going to close this session out. I want to thank Dr. Liang and Tim Klein for being on the show today. You’ve been listening to 10 lessons it took me 50 years to learn. I hope you enjoyed the show. Don’t forget to like share and subscribe to 10 lessons. We also appreciate your feedback. So, follow us on social media. Engage. Thanks again. Be safe, everybody.