Doers, Leaders, and the Road to Happiness

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Leaders can play a huge role in corporate culture, but it takes a unique set of skills to create a truly happy workplace. Today, we sit down with Audrey Joy Kwan, a renowned consultant, coach, podcaster, and owner of AJK Consulting, to discuss the value of leadership. How do we find leaders? How do we support them? And what does it take to lead a company into a happier, more enjoyable future?

Key Points

  • Redefinition of Happiness and Leadership: A shift in perspective highlights happiness as being present and engaged, which also informs a more positive and involved approach to leadership.
  • The Importance of Individualized Leadership: Leadership effectiveness hinges on the ability to meet the unique needs of each team member, challenging the effectiveness of a standardized management approach.
  • Challenges for New Leaders: New leaders face obstacles such as lack of support, the misconception that leadership skills are inherent, and issues with promotions based on individual achievement rather than leadership potential.
  • The Role of Authenticity and Vulnerability in Leadership: Authentic leadership is rooted in self-awareness and aligning personal values with actions, where vulnerability contributes to building trust and transparency.
  • Building Team Care and Happiness at Work: Emphasizing team care and cultivating an environment that supports open dialogue and transparency is key to fostering workplace happiness and productivity.

Learn more about Audrey and her work here


Happiness means different things to each of us. After doing extensive research, Management 3.0 founder Jurgen Appelo discovered a common thread: Happiness is something we create. It is not something to achieve. It is a path you choose, not a destination to arrive at.

So many of us spend our lives in pursuit of happiness. Instead of searching for it, we need to find ways to live it, embrace it, and implement it into our daily lives. That’s why we created the 12 Steps to Happiness at Management 3.0.

You can find more information and even download a free poster of the 12 steps here.



*Please note that the transcript has been automatically generated and proofread for mistakes. But remains in spoken English, and some syntax and grammar mistakes might remain.

Elisa Tuijnder: [00:00:00] Leaders can play a huge role in corporate culture, but it takes a unique set of skills to create a truly happy workplace. Today, we speak with a renowned consultant and coach about the value of leadership. How do we find leaders? How do we support them? And what does it take to lead a company into a happier, more enjoyable future?[00:00:30]

Before we dive in, you are listening to the Happiness at Work podcast by Management 3point0. Where we are getting serious about happiness.

I’m your host, Elisa Tuijnder, Happiness Enthusiast and Management 3point0 team member. In this podcast, we share insights from industry experts, influencers, and thought leaders about what it [00:01:00] takes to be happy, motivated, and productive at work, so that loving your job becomes the norm and not the exception.

We will be publishing every fortnight on Friday, so be sure to tune in and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Hello and welcome to Happiness at Work. Our guest today is Audrey Kwan, a consultant, [00:01:30] leadership coach and owner of AGK Consulting. She’s also the host of the small but mighty agency podcast. I love that title. So thank you so much for joining us, Audrey.

Audrey Joy Kwan: Thank you for having me here. I’m excited to get into things.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, I love where I think this is going to be a great one. So, you know, I’m totally excited to talk to you about what leadership Development and happiness in the workplace is today, but here on the podcast, we always start with the same question, and that is, what does happiness mean to you? [00:02:00] Ooh, I

Audrey Joy Kwan: have been thinking about this one, and I really love this question.

I used to believe that it was setting goals and checking things off my to do list. I did the things. I went to a good school, got a good career, got a master’s degree, and I thought that would bring me happiness. But that needle just And so I kept moving forward and it was like I never fully arrived. And so today my definition of happiness is, is very [00:02:30] different.

It, it is about being fully present in what I’m doing, whether it’s at work or whether it’s in the weekend, hanging out with the husband, going to the cafe and getting our croissants and coffee and, and just being very present in that moment. You know, even before we turned on the recording, we were talking about spring and how the cherry blossoms in our neighborhood are just, they’re just so beautiful.

And this morning, I went for a walk and being able just to take that walk and [00:03:00] fully focus on how beautiful that walk was, like that to me is happiness.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, those blossoms, they do bring happiness and new, this revitalization of spring or something. It really, I don’t know why, but they really embody that.

This cliché of it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. It is so cliché, but it is so true as well. And I love how I love what

Audrey Joy Kwan: you just said there, like it, I think that as a self professed A type person, I’m [00:03:30] very goals driven and I’ve always been goals driven. And so for me, it’s always been about trying to achieve something.

And I think that That only gets us so far. And for me it got me so far until I realized that, yeah, until I realized that, Hey, like this is not what happiness looks like, it’s not just having an endless goals list and trying to knock off all the gold. It really is being in that very moment and enjoying that moment.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a space where you go somewhere and your mind is so preoccupied [00:04:00] with whatever it is, maybe it’s that thing that you had to achieve on Monday, but you Couldn’t zone in on the time you’re spending with your partner because your brain was just so concerned about that thing on Monday, right?

And that’s that’s not being present and I think presence is just being in that very moment And I think having that in my life and just being conscious of that has really changed my idea of what happiness means to me

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah I love that people’s perceptions around happiness change and that we are able to kind of you know Go with what [00:04:30] life brings us and that our definition also Kind of changes around that with the more we learn and You know that concept of flow as well comes back a lot in happiness and I generally think that’s true because like if you’re not in like the same thing as being in the present but it’s more of a moving kind of thing is like being in the You know, the meanders of life, but also just knowing that you’re there, so that’s nice.

Hey, so you’re a leader yourself, uh, and that’s what we want to talk about, leadership today. Uh, you also work with dozens and dozens of leaders. [00:05:00] So in your mind, what is the biggest mistake that companies and agencies seem to make when it comes to leadership at the moment? And this might’ve changed over time, but What do you see the most at the moment?

Audrey Joy Kwan: The one thing that I see are new leaders being stranded. Um, we often think of leadership as leading an entire team, but leadership is more and more becoming about meeting people, i. e. individuals, where they’re at. [00:05:30] And as new leaders, They’re getting stranded in organizations on how to do that. And I think the reality is in today’s workplace, people don’t want to work hard for a job that doesn’t care about them as a person.

Yeah. It doesn’t align with their values. No, right? It really is about the individual and the person and learning how to connect to them as people. And caring is a lot more than the, how are you conversation [00:06:00] that’s happening in the workplace, right? Yeah. Absolutely. It’s knowing how to implement what I call a not, not a one size fits all type of leadership.

And I think when you’re a new leader, what happens is you tend to lean on the examples that you’ve had in your own career. So you look at the leaders that were above you and you evaluate, evaluate what you liked and what you didn’t like. And then you tend to lean towards the side that you really liked.

And I will say that, sure, I think that [00:06:30] it worked for you and it could work for other people too, but it won’t work for everyone. And as a leader, we have to lean into learning how to work with different people and understanding different people. And that’s why, you know, leadership isn’t this one size fit model where we take what we think works for us and apply it back out to everybody else.

And so I think that’s where people are being left behind, new leaders are being left behind in understanding what does that non one size fits all model look like for them if they were to practice it [00:07:00] in the workplace.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, complex problems require complex solutions and that’s always the scary thing because we think, okay, if we just go this one way, this will be the right way, but it’s not one size fits all and it’s not.

I think it’s situational leadership that really talks a lot about the right approach for the right people. I also hear a lot, like, leadership, people see this kind of thing, especially for new leaders, it’s like you either have leadership or you don’t. As if it’s not something that you can kind of develop or get better in, and that’s always a very wrong way.

of [00:07:30] approaching it as well. So maybe let’s really zone in a little bit on these, like, these new leaders being, being left stranded. Why is this happening, do you think? And can we find on this podcast a way out of this?

Audrey Joy Kwan: I think they are, they are being stranded because I think there are a lot of leaders out there themselves who haven’t been provided The right types of leadership support.

So they themselves are not able to recognize what [00:08:00] needs to be addressed proactively before putting other people into leadership positions. I think that’s, that’s one challenge that we have. I think the other challenge is when we lift people into positions, what we’re doing is we are recognizing them for their individual achievements, right?

So as an individual, you did really well in your position. It makes sense that you would lead this team because you are a great individual contributor. And I think, and [00:08:30] you and I both know that an individual contributor doesn’t necessarily make for a great leader. Not to say that, and you and I both agree on this, it’s that we believe that everyone can be a leader should they choose to be a leader, right?

The challenge is that, and I don’t believe this, that I don’t believe that anybody’s born a leader. I don’t, I don’t think that’s a skill set most people are born with, right? And I think the workplace is also requiring people to become leaders faster. I think you put in that mix, you know, requiring [00:09:00] leaders to, requiring people to become leaders faster.

And being led by people who don’t know they, you know, let’s just say they are a good leader, but they can’t put into words what leadership is. They don’t know how to implant leadership into others. Right. And then the third thing is choosing people who are really good doers, which absolutely makes sense, and then promoting them into leadership, thinking that the doer can be a great leader.

Those are the three, you know, mixes I think. leaves a leader stranded in the workplace and needing some more [00:09:30] support to be able to step into that role that, uh, that we want to see them succeed in, right?

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah. I was just really reflecting on what a funny system it is, really. Like, at least sort of the way it’s, it’s traditionally set up.

Like, okay, you do good at your job, so now you go further, but actually you can’t do your job anymore. You now have to lead people and tell them how to do the job. Which is something you potentially don’t want at all. Maybe you just want to do or get better at the job and maybe make operational decisions.

But leading [00:10:00] people in doing their job is such a different skill set than being good at your job. And people are not even being asked like, Hey, is this something you’d like to do? I’ve, I’ve worked with people who didn’t want to become, who didn’t want to go further in their career because they didn’t want to be people leaders, they just want to be good at their job.

And it’s funny that, that we sort of don’t even separate the two, sort of, in a lot of, in a lot of organizations. So that’s, I was just picking up on that point that you made there on how there’s no real reflection on that.

Audrey Joy Kwan: I love how, I love how [00:10:30] you frame that. I think that there is nothing wrong with not wanting to lead people.

And I think that if you’re in an organization and you raise your hand and say, look, like I want to be the person for who forever just does this work because I don’t want to step into leadership, there should be no shame about that. It should be celebrated, right? Yeah, there is though, there is so much.

Because, Because here’s what is expected of us. And I’m guilty of it too. [00:11:00] Before I owned my own business, I was climbing the corporate ladder. And so when you’re climbing the corporate ladder, what does success look like? It’s the next rung of the ladder. The next rung and the next rung, right? Without really asking yourself and stopping to say, Look, is the next rung gonna Fulfill my happiness, not in the sense of what the world expects of me, but in the sense of what I want for my life.

And I think those are fair questions to ask if you’re an employee seeking happiness, just because the world says that you [00:11:30] are successful when you reach the next level. rung of the ladder. Is that true? Is that true for you? That’s a great question, right? And there’s no shame if it isn’t because at the end of the day, I think true fulfillment, true leadership comes from actually leading your own life first.

And, and, you know, bringing the conversation back to people who are wanting to become leaders in the workplace and are excited to be tapped on the shoulder for leadership. I think in order for someone to succeed in that space, more and [00:12:00] more, they need support and support means that they need awareness of what it is that they need to unlearn in order to become a leader.

And then they need a plan for supporting them, right? And I think, and then comes the measurement aspect, right? But a lot of organizations are just really good at the measurement aspect, where it’s like, great, you’re a leader now, here’s all your KPIs, go do the thing, right? And that’s not fair to people.

That’s just not fair. And, you know, for me, it’s like, if I were to, you know, Look [00:12:30] at an organization and one that really wants to raise great leaders. And we all know now what happens when you lose, uh, or have a poor leader. I should say, when you have a poor leader in an organization, you’re going to have poor productivity.

You’re going to have poor motivation. And you know, the thing is people are going to turn over more aggressively because people don’t want to work for poor leaders. And Alisa, you and I both know that anytime someone turns over, what does that mean to the company? It’s very expensive. Typically, it’s 30 to 50 percent of that person’s salary to replace [00:13:00] them, right?

So, you know, coming at it from just an ROI standpoint, return on investment, It makes sense, right, to ensure that the new leaders in your organization are being supported, do have what they need to succeed. And it’s important to be proactive about those things.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, absolutely. I could pick, you know, on so many things.

My brain’s going all kind of dark since one, the, the usability of metrics and using the right metrics in the right places. And also [00:13:30] performance development review is like the way that they’re set up so ideatedly, but. I feel that it’s going to get us through a whole different ballgame. So I just kind of wanted to see what, what do we provide them?

Or is this also, again, really individual? Are they, are some people more self guided and self learned and we just need to provide them with the resources? Do some people need a coach? Do some people need just an L& D trajectory? Like, how do you see that? How can we help them the best?

Audrey Joy Kwan: Yeah, let’s look at that three [00:14:00] step process I just talked about.

There’s teach, plan, and measure, right? And so let’s not dive into measure, but let’s talk about like what teach and planning looks like for new leaders. And first and foremost, it’s awareness. So teaching is awareness, right? And when I say teach, I’m not talking about getting into a boring old classroom or switching boring old webinars and all those things that don’t create, you know, action from people, right?

I’m talking about. The ability to bring people into better conversations about what leadership looks like, and [00:14:30] informing them and raising their awareness, and having proactive types of, you know, opportunities for them to workshop these things. I think those things are what gets people learning quicker these days.

It’s not the, hey, watch this webinar video. It’s create an interactive experience for you, right? So that you can learn these things and truly absorb them into your being so that you can put them into practice, right? And when I, when I say bring awareness, what I mean is. I think that oftentimes when you’re a new leader, [00:15:00] you hear things like just delegate more.

You hear that so often, like, you know, I, I, and I, when I was, when I was in my twenties and I had my first, uh, leadership role. So I was working for a agency, a marketing agency, an experiential marketing agency, and I had one, um, direct report at that time. Who’s more like assistant. And I somehow ended up with five reports because there’s a couple of things going on [00:15:30] in the organization.

I ended up with five reports and then also the responsibility of managing this campaign across Alberta. Okay. And you know, it was like, it was almost like I had been plucked out of one scenario and dropped into something that I was just so unfamiliar with. And I remember having a leader and that leader that I had, you know, she, she was amazing.

I really did. I really did love working with her. And I think even if you have a good leader, like I mentioned, oftentimes they don’t even have the words to put into how they want someone to [00:16:00] lead. They may know the behaviors, but it’s hard for them to put them into words. Nevermind, nevermind implanting them into someone.

And I remember, you know, the advice that I got was you just have to delegate more. Like, what does that even mean to someone who has never led a five person team before? And I think that the right support in getting someone to become a better leader is teaching them, bringing awareness, right? Outside of delegation, what other ways are there for us to lead?

Well, yes, there’s direction, there’s [00:16:30] support, and there’s coaching, and then there’s delegation. And those are different styles that we can apply to different circumstances and individual. And that learning in itself is so important. It’s like, learn, teaching someone to look at the circumstance and teaching someone to look at the individual and then giving them that tool, right?

Here’s four concepts. What do we do here in this situation that makes the most sense? That in itself can really shorten that learning path for someone to step into that leadership role, especially when we require people in this fast paced environment to become leaders [00:17:00] quickly.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I remember when I first had to lead a team, I was so focused on them that I kind of almost forgot myself and forgot actually operational objectives of the role.

I was just making sure that my team did it well and that they felt supported and they felt good. Uh, and I learned so much from them, but I sort of had the opportunity as well to really focus on that and giving myself that time really, um, yeah, really helped. [00:17:30] Um, what you also said earlier, and I think I also believe you’ve talked about this before, and this unlearning of things, you know, like you, we, you do your job, then you have to become this new person in this new role, and there’s a lot of new factors, but you have to learn some things as well.

So I wonder, when you were becoming out as leader, when you had this first five people, people team, or one of your teams, was there anything you felt like afterwards when you reached reassessing, this is what I had to unlearn, this was really one of those things. [00:18:00] that I had to dig a different route for.

Audrey Joy Kwan: Yeah. I think there are a couple of things that, um, I had to unlearn. And usually when I’m working with a leader in an organization, these are the five things that we talk about unlearning. And number one is this idea of being an individual contributor to being what we call a team facilitator, right? So going from, it’s about my contribution to getting the team to work together to create an outcome.

The second is [00:18:30] Being a problem solver is where we usually are at when we’re an individual, right? So it’s going from being a problem solver to someone who knows how to empower others and motivate others. And here’s a big one. It’s, it’s about going from managing your own time to setting priorities and, and, and figuring out how to bring those priorities to life.

The fourth is, I would, it’s avoiding risk to managing it wisely. When you’re an individual, it’s [00:19:00] about avoiding the risk, but When you are leading a team, you’re managing that risk. That’s always risk, yeah. Yeah, huge difference. And the last, and I think what everyone talks about is this idea of going from the person who receives feedback to the person who now gives constructive feedback to nurture growth, right?

I think those are the five big unlearnings that I typically cover when we work with the leaders in our organizations. For me, though, if I were to look at the big one in my journey of becoming a doer to a [00:19:30] I would have to say it was from managing my own time to setting the priorities and then knowing how to prioritize the priorities.

So what does that mean? Okay, so I’ve always been a person who is really strong at productivity. Okay, so I’m strong at productivity and that’s because I can manage my own time well. What that looks like is I have my own internal process and systems and how I do things, right? And that makes me really [00:20:00] productive, right?

So, essentially, good at managing my own time. Now, it’s very different when I started to lead a team because I had to actually identify priorities that were different, right? So, for example, While I was managing my own team, and let’s just, let’s just say in my business now, some of the key things that we do, for example, our priority is typically marketing and sales, right?

And having to carve out time for marketing and sales. So what that would look like is carving out, let’s say a day just to work on [00:20:30] marketing and sales, right? But what would get in my way is this idea of. Productivity, this notion of what productivity looks like. So self sabotage, right? In my brain, productivity is checklist, getting more things done.

Elisa Tuijnder: People’s

Audrey Joy Kwan: great management of time because that was a role that I had before, which is getting things done equals success, right? But it looks very different when you step into leadership. It’s not getting more things done. It’s getting the right things done, right? And I think when you step into leadership, it’s helping people figure out what are the right things that [00:21:00] lead to the success of your role and how do you carve out time without self sabotaging yourself back into the old habits, and that’s one of the hugest things I had to unlearn.

I do see that in the workplace right now with new leaders and having to, you know, share with them what that potentially can look like. When they are implementing leadership or at least stepping into that leadership role.

Elisa Tuijnder: And it’s also very context dependent, right? So you have to really listen to the needs of your teams, and the capabilities and responsibilities of your teams.[00:21:30]

And that is also, I mean, that’s the key. That’s where it all starts. Communication and reciprocity. Or reciprocity in the sense that you just have to learn from your team. Like, how they need to be led as well.

What leads to a happy life? What are the various ways to be happy? Happiness means different things to each of us. Yet after doing extensive research, Management 3point0 [00:22:00] founder Juergen Appelow discovered the common thread. Happiness is something we create. It is not something to achieve. It is a path you choose, not a destination to arrive at.

So many of us spend our times in pursuit of happiness. Yet instead of searching for it, We need to find ways to live it, embrace it, and implement it into our daily lives. We created the 12 Steps to Happiness at Management 3point0. [00:22:30] You can find more information and even download a free poster of the 12 Steps at management3o.

com slash practice.

I love how leadership is always so prone to kind of these trends, right? When actually all of them just come back. But, uh, at the moment one of these buzzwords is really authenticity. I just wondered, like, from your perspective, how important is this? How, how do you implement it and how do you see it? [00:23:00]

Audrey Joy Kwan: How do you implement authenticity?

I think that’s such a great, I think authenticity is understanding your own values and understanding your own strengths. Right? And I think you can’t be authentic unless you have those two things nailed down. And I think values explorations is oftentimes, um, ignored. in organizations, personal value explorations, because in an organization, oftentimes we’re talking about corporate values, right?

But I think it’s [00:23:30] important when you’re an individual to understand what your individual values are and know how to align them back to the actual organization. And those values should guide how you lead others, right? And in that way, it makes it authentic, right? At the same time, though, I think that when you think of like a non one size fits all type of leadership, Applying a type of leadership is not going against your values because you’re still using your values within a type of leadership to lead.

So let’s say for example, let’s say the four types [00:24:00] of leadership that we know are direct, support, coach, and delegate, right? And let’s look at my values, right? My values are curiosity, they’re joy, and it’s also a venture, right? Those are some of my values. And so I approach each of those levels of leadership using those values.

And I think if we know them, we’re not being unauthentic when we’re applying different types of leadership, we are still being authentic to that, right? The other, the other element is, um, Authenticity in the [00:24:30] workplace with values and authenticity in the situation, right? I think authenticity in a situation, um, requires us to be self aware of what our triggers are.

So, everyone has triggers, right? Everyone has something that’s going to trigger them to react in a certain way. But as a leader, our responsibility is to be more aware of the things that trigger us [00:25:00] and to be proactive about understanding them and not reacting to those triggers so quickly. Right? That’s authenticity to me, right?

Authenticity is not trying to be something else or someone else, but the awareness of Who we are in certain our values first and then who we are in such certain situations, and being able to be proactive versus reactive to situations.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And I like the one, how you connect that up with your values and, and things that people need.

So one of my main [00:25:30] motivator and, and values sort of is freedom. That doesn’t mean that if there’s a new person in the team, I’m just like, do your thing. Right? Like you, you give them as soon as they’re ready, you give them the freedom and you work with that. Uh, but that doesn’t mean that you just kind of, if, if you then.

Not micromanage, but if you don’t support them significantly, that that’s against your values.

Audrey Joy Kwan: Like, I love the word, I love, I love how you brought the word freedom into the conversation because what we see with new leaders is often this idea, well, I don’t want to be a micromanager, right? And so if I don’t [00:26:00] want to be a micromanager, I don’t like to be micromanaged.

Therefore, you know, the best way to support someone is to give them as much freedom as possible, right? Which, which, in, in true form, delegation is full freedom because delegation is this, it’s really low support and low direction, that’s what delegation is, right? So delegation is low supports. low direction.

It really is leaning on someone to have probably most likely a track record of doing something and just handing them that responsibility right away. But we all [00:26:30] know when you inherit a team, especially inherit a team, not build your own team, when you inherit a team Different circumstances, i. e. different projects, have different levels of expertise per each team member.

So you just can’t delegate everything out, because if you do that, guess what? It’s gonna fall flat on its face, right? But for new leaders, it’s this, sometimes it’s this belief that, well, you know, I’ll just trust in my team and delegate, and then we’ll see what happens and go from there. But I think what tends to happen, if that’s the approach, is delegate everything [00:27:00] else and see what happens.

You’re gonna have a lot of like one step forward, three steps back type of scenario in leadership, right? And I think when we talk about being proactive, it’s a matter of being able to look at that situation or circumstance, that project, right? And look at that individual and ask yourself, In this, in this work that we have here, in this project, is Delegate the best path to go?

And if it’s not, which path am I going here to better support the team members that I have? Right? And that’s what we call a great leader. Someone who’s able to meet someone where they’re at [00:27:30] and support them with the, with the need that actually, um, that actually the person needs in general.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah.

Delegation is not give every task away. And because, yeah, it ends, especially with new leaders, right? It’s important to listen to your team, but also continue to be the leader. Um, I was wondering as well, like, I’m not really, I myself, I’m not completely clear about this. I think how I, how for me, for myself, it is, but how does authenticity relate to [00:28:00] vulnerability?

So, because like, I myself, I, I have no problem with putting myself up as a very vulnerable person or being super open to team members about where I lack skills or capabilities, but I know that other people are not very comfortable with. And sometimes that’s then not seen as being authentic, but it feels like a vulnerability seems to always be some sort of prerequisite for authenticity.

Um, and I think in my leadership style, that is probably the case, but I’m, I’m, I’m sure there’s other people who wouldn’t see that as a prerequisite. [00:28:30] And I, the more I read around it, the more I get confused sometimes. So I’m wondering if you, how you see vulnerability and authenticity sort of related.

Audrey Joy Kwan: Yeah.

I think what you’re seeing is that some people feel more comfortable being vulnerable and some people are just not comfortable being vulnerable, right? And so it comes down to. To again, the person’s personality, right? I think for myself, I am comfortable being vulnerable. So I will share when I don’t know [00:29:00] something.

And when I don’t know something, I will say, Hey, like, I don’t know what the answer to this is. And that’s why I’m going to ask you these questions so that we can come up with an answer together, right? That, to me, is being vulnerable because I’m really sharing what I don’t know. And I think the trend, so the trend in leadership is vulnerable leadership, right?

We see that, we see that trend happening where people are being encouraged to come to the table and be honest about who they are [00:29:30] and what they don’t know in order to create more transparency in the workplace, right? And, you know, yeah, and trust, right? So, you know, so for me, I think the true question really comes down to How is transparency happening in the workplace, right?

Because we all know that in a workplace where there is lack of transparency, you’re going to have unhappy people because they, they feel like they’re kept in the dark. You know, they don’t feel like they’re actually, um, valued in the organization. And for me, it’s like, how is transparency happening in the [00:30:00] organization is a really important question.

Now, does trans, is transparency linked to vulnerability? I think to some extent that, um, It is linked to vulnerability because people connect to other people at the human level and that, that will never change, right? We’ve connected people at the human level. And it’s

Elisa Tuijnder: a strong connector. It’s a very strong connector.

It’s a strong connector, right? And

Audrey Joy Kwan: I think the question becomes, if you’re a leader who is not comfortable being vulnerable, The question then becomes, what does vulnerability look like for you in [00:30:30] the leadership role? In the scenario, yeah. Pulling that out and understanding that and just working on that together, right?

But the awareness that you’re not comfortable being vulnerable in itself is a huge win because you’re recognizing that vulnerability is important. And you want to become a more vulnerable leader, right? So just the fact someone’s asking that question, we’re winning already, right? Usually when someone’s not open to being vulnerable and not leading from that authentic, vulnerable space, when there’s zero awareness of that, that’s I think where [00:31:00] we have to dig a little deeper and help each other.

Establish what authentic leadership looks like for the individual.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, and, and, and as with everything, it’s not like there’s one vulnerability. Everything is a, is a scale, right? And you have to continuously feel what you’re comfortable with. And it also depends on the receiver, et cetera.

Like there’s so many nitty gritty things, but the, what we do in language or what we do often is just kind of see these things as totals. Or at least that’s what I just did kind of [00:31:30] in asking the question. Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. And it’s so much more complex and nuanced, um, than, than that. He used to say also, like, that you’re going to have a lot of unhappy people.

So I’m just going to pick up on that one, uh, because we’re also running out of time and it’s such a shame. Okay, we’re at Happiness at Work. What, for you, is something, maybe that’s kind of like for new leaders, what is something they can, I mean, all the things we do. Disgust lead to happiness, right? In some kind of form or way or, but [00:32:00] is there anything you want to pick out or lift up here?

Just say like, okay, this one is a good one to make sure that your people are happy at work.

Audrey Joy Kwan: For me, I think that for people to be happy at work, a good thing to, to look at, a good thing to investigate is, Are you consciously building team care? I think that is a question that, um, we as leaders need to ask.

And, and this isn’t just new leaders. This is, [00:32:30] you know, um, leaders throughout the organization. Uh, And I think team care is related to obviously team culture, right? But I prefer the question, how do we care for each other in the team? And I think that contributes to the two things we were just talking about, which is, um, transparency and also this idea of open dialogue, right?

Those are the two things that I think in, in the future of work and current work, happiness is really reliant on is transparency and [00:33:00] open dialogue. And what we’re really seeing is that. In fast paced environments, um, where things stay bottled up and there’s a lot of negative feelings that come from that, it’s hard for organizations to thrive.

And leaders are becoming Um, tapped on the shoulder to be the people who are going to be able to create those transparency moments and have ability to facilitate open dialogue. And so I think, you know, if I were to look at a leadership [00:33:30] skill right now that really drives more happiness in the organization, it would be exactly that.

Like, how are you consciously building team care? And when we say team care, we’re not talking about, you know, And yes, this has its place in organizations, which is, you know, um, having outside events and pulling people together for pizza and beer and all those things, those have its place in an organization, right?

However, what I’m really talking about here is kind of the things that really drive an organization, not just for, but drive happiness. You know, again, it’s about team care and [00:34:00] how that team care contributes to transparency and open dialogue.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, I really wholeheartedly agree with you there. Like, I mean, what happens a lot with happiness at work, when people see the term happiness at work, they kind of box it into like, I mean, maybe that’s sort of around the positive psychology at work and organizational things.

And not that not everybody does this, but it’s, so happiness is all, is everything, right? Happiness is culture. Happiness is Happiness is the well being side of things. Happiness is satisfaction scores. It’s engagement scores. It’s basically this umbrella that [00:34:30] goes over all these things. And that’s hard again, because it’s so much to disentangle.

But this is also why I like to continue to talk about happiness at work, because it basically encompasses everything that you have to do, right?

Audrey Joy Kwan: Yeah, I think that, um, when you think of happiness at work, it’s like you said, it’s not one dimensional, it’s multi dimensional, right? And I think, um, addressing happiness at work comes at many different layers, right?

And, [00:35:00] and from when I look at an organization. And you and I both agree with this, right? Leaders play a huge part in that. And I think the sooner we, the sooner we can get our leaders, especially our new leaders, to support on how to help you build an organization that does that, the more happy your organization will become.

Cause really you’re looking at supporting people from. The bottom up rather than up and down, right? And in most organizations, where do we [00:35:30] get leader support? When they’re at the director level, right? Then we’re giving them the coaching support. Then we’re giving them the things that they need because we want them to lead at the higher level.

But you know, the way that I see it is that in the workplace now, It’s about this same idea. Proactive is starting to look at your new leaders and how do you help them become that director early on, right. That’s gonna help you build the happiness culture that you really want.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. And a management report.

I, we even go further in that, in, in, into ownership and, and everybody is a [00:36:00] sort of a manager in there. Right. But that’s a, that’s a whole different box to open up. So I. We know that on this podcast, we really are also, we call it a no fluff approach, right? We really want to leave people with also like a tangible practice or some, some tangible advice that they can sort of start implementing tomorrow without talking about it in such a holistic way that we’ve just kind of did it.

So what do you want to leave our listeners with that they can start practicing, whether that is a practice with our team or for something for them individually? [00:36:30]

Audrey Joy Kwan: What I want to, what I want to share here is I think it always starts with asking great questions. Like that, that’s, you know, that’s how I believe we grow great business.

It’s always about asking great questions. And so I want to leave a question, um, for people who are listening to ask themselves and, and that is, what are you doing consciously to build team care in your organization? I think that’s a great question to ask yourself. You can’t build care unless you define it, right?

So I would say, go ahead and define it. And once you define it, then comes [00:37:00] the actionable items, which is determining the standards that need to be put into place. Then you’ve defined the structures that need to be added. And finally, the action. You address the habits that need to change. So, yeah, that’s kind of where I would say I would, um, leave the tangible practice at, which is starting with a question, because that’s where all the good things usually begin.

Elisa Tuijnder: Yeah, and I love that it’s such a reflective question as well, where you drew that in, like, Thinking what is, what is happening and what is, what is going on around us. Do some of these practices that we do actually still [00:37:30] work, et cetera. Um, so that’s always a great, great, great way to start. So Audrey, where, if, if people are in Canada or just want to get in touch with you or want to read more about you, follow you, et cetera, where can they do that?

Audrey Joy Kwan: Yeah, we’re offering a free live workshop for agency owners and their teams to really help them activate what we just talked about here, which is the four leadership styles. so much. So to get access to that, you can go to our website, which is at [00:38:00] AudreyJoyKwan. com forward slash leadership styles. It’s absolutely free.

So if you just hit that, um, URL, you will be able to sign up for that workshop.

Elisa Tuijnder: Fantastic. And we’ll add it to the show notes as well. And then, uh, we, uh, hope that you get a lot of signups from that. And, uh, take care. We get all these new leaders to be the best leaders that they can possibly be to empower the next generation.

And then we have a perpetual loop of happiness eventually.

Audrey Joy Kwan: I love it. Perpetual loop of happiness. Yes to that. [00:38:30]

Elisa Tuijnder: Hadri, thank you so much for coming on to the podcast. I really enjoyed the conversation and hopefully we will see you again in some form or some capacity. Thank you, Lisa.

You’ve been listening to the Happiness at Work podcast by Management 3. 0, where we are getting serious about happiness. Be sure to subscribe wherever you get your [00:39:00] podcasts. And if you enjoy our shows, don’t be shy. Write us a review, share the happiness with your colleagues, family, or friends. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn under Management 3.

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