Ep 90 // Creating High-Performing Teams with Trust and Empathy

Ep 90- Joris Merks-Benjaminsen

Creating a high-performing team that is also human and inclusive is possible! Listen as Akua talks with organization transformation expert Joris Merks-Benjamin about how to balance high-performance standards with inclusivity and humanness in the workplace. 

Formerly Head of Google Digital Academy, Joris became one of the highest-scoring managers of all time. After 12 years with Google, Joris has recently gone freelance and developed the Managing Without Power program. He is an award-winning author of several books, his newest being “Managing Without Power.”

In this episode, Akua and Joris talk about the importance of trust, empathy, and communication and how to create a culture of continuous learning and improvement. Learn why the best teams are based on trust and psychological safety and how leaders don’t need the power to be effective, but they need to empower their team.

If you've enjoyed the Open Door Conversations podcast, please leave a review.

Listen, Follow, Review, and Rate the Open Door Conversations Podcast

Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Audible | Amazon Music | Spotify

What's Covered in this Episode About High-Performing Teams

  • Joris talks about his pivot from a marketing space to learning and development and how he created his own opportunity.
  • Learn about how instructional design gets adults to learn by doing, leading to actual behavioral change. 
  • Joris talks about how, in a large company, balancing the performance elements and human elements is the only way to get a genuinely high-performance organization.
  • The two discuss inclusion and diversity, Joris being raised by a lesbian couple, and how intentionality is essential in order to measure progress and enact DEI on a large scale. 

Quotes from this Episode of Open Door Conversations

  • "I know now how in high pressure environment, you can create space for a team to be successful based on the intrinsic motivations of the people and for all kinds of people." - Joris Merks-Benjaminsen
  • "If you make your organisation more inclusive for certain ethnicities and minorities or women, it doesn't stop you from also In your direct contact to make it more inclusive for all people, and if you make it more inclusive with one type of group, then you solve certain things with make the organisation more accessible to all types of people." - Joris Merks-Benjaminsen
  • "Investing time in the team always pays off many times. It's just not instant. It's a few months later, and it becomes even more if you look a year later." - Joris Merks-Benjaminsen

Mentioned in Creating High-Performing Teams with Trust and Empathy with Joris Merks-Benjaminsen

Get to Know this Episode's Guest

My name is Joris Merks-Benjaminsen. I worked 12+ years at Google, first as Evangelist in Digital Marketing Transformation, later leading Google Digital Academy: a team of 23 people that ran 1000+ workshops per year supporting Google's largest customers across Europe, Middle East, and Africa, solving Digital Transformation challenges. I won the award of best Marketing Book twice with books about Digital Transformation. I became one of Google’s highest scoring managers by achieving 100% favorable manager feedback in 12 consecutive performance cycles across 6 years: just like all managers at Google I was scored by my team on Google’s 10 behaviors of great managers. I trained many Google managers, and drove global initiatives in Diversity and Inclusion. I now run my own business working with managers and leaders to create organizations that balance high performance standards with humanness and inclusiveness. . I do this based on the principles of “Managing Without Power”. My book on this topic comes out later in 2023.

Website: www.managingwithoutpower.com
LinkedIn: @Joris Merks-Benjaminsen 
Twitter: @jorismerks

Get to Know the Host of the Open Door Conversations Podcast

Learn more about your host, Akua Nyame-Mensah.

Akua is a certified executive and leadership coach, recognized learning and organizational development facilitator, speaker, and former startup executive. 

Since 2018, she has had the opportunity to partner with amazing organizations, from high-growth startups to multinational brands all around the world, to maximize people, performance, and profit.  Outside of her coaching and corporate speaking engagements, she is a regular mentor, coach, and judge for various entrepreneurship-focused organizations.

Stay in touch with Akua Nyame-Mensah, Leadership & Culture Advisor:

  • Read about Akua’s services if you’d like to learn more about how you can hire her to help you strengthen your organization’s culture.

  • Complete her contact form to jump on a call.

Playlists-Wide Rectangle Ad

Here’s the transcript for episode 90 about Managing without Power

NOTE: Please excuse any errors in this transcript; it was created using an AI tool. Akua Nyame-Mensah 00:00 Can a team or business highly focused on their goals and achieving superior business results be human and inclusive. This week on the podcast, I talked to an amazing leader and writer who talks all about how to balance high performance standards with humaneness and inclusiveness. It's possible and it's also possible to manage without power, so that interests you, keep listening. Hello, and welcome to the open door conversations podcast. My name is Akua Nyame-Mensah. I also respond to Aqua and Akua. I'm a certified executive and leadership coach recognised learning and organisational development facilitator, speaker and former startup executive. And I am so excited because this year I'm celebrating five years of working for myself five years of supporting leaders. And I am so grateful because I've had the opportunity to partner with amazing organisations, from hydro startups to multinational brands all around the world, and 2022 alone, I serve over 600 Yes, over 600 leaders around the world. And in this podcast, you will have the opportunity to learn my three step leadership framework. I actually break it down in Episode 71. I use this framework with my high achieving and entrepreneurial minded clients that are juggling a million responsibilities so they can easily build wealth. This three step framework is going to teach you how to leverage your innate personality to learn how to prioritise and maximise not just your time, but also your money. You don't have to work harder or turn into someone else to get more done. Let's tune into this week's episode. All right, well, I'm excited to have this opportunity to chat with you. And you know, I love jumping right in. So can you please tell us what is one of your favourite accomplishments that you've had recently? Unknown Speaker 02:07 Well, I just left Google after 12 and a half years. That's incredible. Yeah, and so so even just being there, and having a nice journey for 12 and a half years was already, I think, something I'm really grateful for and also proud of, and in the last six years of those 12, I became manager. And even though I never wanted to be a manager, I actively prevented becoming a manager before. And then I thought, Okay, now we're going to do it, I'm going to do it well, and I ended up most likely being the highest scoring manager in the history of the company. Since I've like, at Google, you get measured by your team and scored on the great 10 behaviours of great managers. And I have a track record of 12 times 100% scores, which is unlikely that someone asked that. So that's probably what I'm most proud of. Akua Nyame-Mensah 02:53 Incredible. And actually, I did not know this, and we've had conversations before. What do you mean, when you say you didn't actually want to become a manager, I want to hear more about that. Unknown Speaker 03:03 So I used to be customer facing. So I worked with large marketing organisations and I supported them first with all kinds of research, data driven questions. And later I became a guide in digital transformation and organisational transformation. And I always felt I enjoyed working with large brands and organisations. And then I looked around and everybody who became a manager, I felt they become these useless internal stakeholder managers who never saw clients anymore. So I actively prevented becoming a manager because of that reason. Akua Nyame-Mensah 03:36 Wow, I love it. And I look forward to diving a little bit deeper into that. But before we do, can you take a second to introduce yourself? Who are you and what do you currently do? Unknown Speaker 03:46 Well, my name is yours, met experimenter. I live in the Netherlands. And I have a wife two kids out in Ayana are my son and daughter of five and eight. And my wife is called Claire, I work in corporate life for about 20 years or so. And then the first half of it is most mostly market insights, working with brands in advertising media. And then second half of it. I've been working most of all on digital transformation and organisational change at Google. And so I've worked across Europe, I've run a team in the last six years called Google digital Academy. And we ran about 1000 workshops per year with Google's largest customers across Europe, and Africa. Akua Nyame-Mensah 04:32 I love that it's and I actually before we jump into some additional questions, just wanted to finish out with some of the other accomplishments that you shared with me. So this next one, I think that you already alluded to, and that's really keeping time for your wife and your kids. How have you been able to do that? Unknown Speaker 04:47 It's mostly discipline and everything you do so I've, I think it's obvious like at Google is a high intensity type of job, you know, and I've written four books in three years or so. Incredible alongside the job at Google, of which two books won the award for best marketing book and in the Netherlands. But at the same time, I've done all of these things with almost never working evenings, and almost never working weekends. And I think I've done that. Like when I say discipline, I mean, being very rigorous in what you spend time on what you don't spend time on. So it starts with prioritisation, so that everything you do has instant impact. And then you also know, okay, I've had my impact. It's 6pm time for dinner for the family. Shut it down. Next morning. 911. You refreshed you go high intensity again. No, like you get from prioritisation and rest, you get high intensity, work at the same speed, even though you don't make over hours. Akua Nyame-Mensah 05:50 I love that. I absolutely love that. And he truly does prioritise. And we'll set a boundary because we once were supposed to have a call. And he was like, I'm sorry, I gotta pick up my kids. So I definitely think it's something that you continue to practice. And I think it's incredible that you've been able to continue to do that, as well. One of the things I think that's so interesting about your background is that you've ended up in learning and development, right? So you mentioned you had 20 years of experience in the corporate space, you started sort of in the client facing marketing space. You know, the last accomplishment that you shared was that you won this incredible award for your marketing book, how did you end up and learning and development ultimately, Unknown Speaker 06:31 what happened was, since I started as head of marketing sites at Google, and I did research on shifting consumer behaviour from traditional shopping to online shopping, and I use the data to present on conferences and create urgency around digital marketing transformation initially. And then as I presented, there was less and less data in my presentations, and more and more vision about organisational change. And then I started feeling like, okay, like 20 minutes, half an hour or even an hour is way too short, to cover the full breadth of what's in my head. So I started writing the books and the books became successful. And then I realised like, I'm no longer a researcher. And then I had a big problem because I was in the Netherlands is a relatively small office at Google. And my kids were already in school, at least my first one, and the only way to progress and find different roles, then a sales role at Google would have been to move to England or Dublin, because those are large offices. And I did not want to drag my kids out of school. And so I tried sales role in the Netherlands didn't like it, because I wanted to be consultative advisor to customers on this transformation with the role was hard selling. So I almost left. And then I thought, You know what, I know that customers want Google to be partner in digital transformation. I know I can do it, because customers are asking me all over the place. So I wrote a job spec, head of digital transformation. And I gave it the Dutch country lead. And I said, Look, this is what I want to do. I want to work with all the large customers, I want to run full day workshops with them on digital transformation, like working with the full team solving their challenges, and then enable the Google salesperson to do more consultative selling at the back of it. They said yes, so I started running these workshops became successful, and then the European vice president. So there's the vice president of sales, and he asked me to train people around me to do the same across northern Europe. And until then, I intuitively created my workshops. But just based on customer knowledge, I wasn't an actual actual instructional designer didn't didn't even know what instructional design is. But through my customer knowledge, and my intuitive work with workshops, I ended up working in a team called Google digital Academy who did the same as I did, but with 20 Something people. And then my manager track record started with 100% scores, which quickly led to me getting the entire team under my wing. So I've been running the entire Google digital Academy team with loads of people who are the best instructional designers that I've ever worked with. So I actually learned from my team members, the art of instructional design, so I could combine it with my customer knowledge and knowledge of digital transformation and org transformation. Akua Nyame-Mensah 09:10 Incredible. So I mean, first and foremost, you created your own opportunity, right? So hey, this is what I wanted to do. Secondly, sort of created demand by using education, and then opening up new sales opportunities, and then sort of were able to take over a team by sort of intuitively being able to create this and then sort of them having more of that, I guess you can say formal education and putting together some of these these educational opportunities and elements. Incredible, I wasn't aware of all those pieces I love absolutely love this. And I mean looking back on this journey, do you have any advice for anyone maybe that wants to get into learning and development that doesn't have that, you know, learning and development background or Organisational Psychologist background? What advice would you give them right because they're probably thinking to themselves No, I have to go get it. You know? a specific degree in this or get this specific certification? What advice or thoughts would you have for them? Unknown Speaker 10:05 The difficulty about learning and development and also the talk of instructional design is that there's almost no leader out there that has any clue what it is. Yes. So it's not very high on their radar. They don't know the difference between good design and bad design, you know, like, Google, all salespeople that just like, created their own workshops, because it's a nice way to differentiate yourself, you know, and, but then they call it a workshop, it's actually presentation of 100 slides. Whereas a really good learning designer creates a flow of exercises, that gets adults to learn by doing by interacting by applying their own case, it creates a journey that leads to actual behavioural change. And on the surface, a leader looks at it, there's no way they see the difference. And so you have to find a way to explain to them the difference between just presenting 100 slides and something that changes behaviour deeply and permanently. So you have to learn to speak leadership language, it's not just the formal education, and you need to build deep experience working directly with clients. So you can build like a whole repository of powerful stories where you say, and we did this with the client, change the behaviour like that. And it's because of the instructional design that I've put in which drives real behavioural change. Akua Nyame-Mensah 11:27 Oh, I love that. I love it. If anything, it sounds like it's quite entrepreneurial in a way. So really understanding right? Your users really understanding your clients, their pain points, taking them on a journey to help them, see how you can support them. And then being able to share that to the stakeholders will make a decision about whether or not you can do that. Unknown Speaker 11:44 Yeah, the other thing that's also like, like leaders will always say, yes, we'll do it if you can prove me how much more we sell. Exactly, yeah, lt is the link between education and sales ROI, your business ROI is always going to be hard. And so they will, they will tell you, Oh, please come back with some good numbers, and you invest lots of time, and then you come with the numbers, and the never gonna be sharp, and it still doesn't convince them, it also served in the end, you kind of have to win them over through the customer stories and through the stories of the people that have felt the change, and then have those people do the work for you convincing leadership to invest more in education. Akua Nyame-Mensah 12:25 I love it. So allowing the results really to speak for themselves. And I think this is actually a really great segue to talking about your new book that's coming out. So this summer, you have a new book that's coming out on leadership. And one thing I think that's also just really incredible about what you've been able to do in your career is that I feel like your books are very much sort of related to what you're interested in at that time. Right? So it sounds like you go on a journey, both in your career and then also with the research you do and what you put out and share with the world. Can you share a little bit about your thoughts on leadership? I think you've started to already talk a bit about it. But can you give us more concretely what's coming out in this book? And why was it important to put together for you? Unknown Speaker 13:05 Yeah, you're exactly right. It's almost every book is a summary of about five, six years, where I've gone through certain accumulated certain experiences and knowledge, and you then transition to a new era, you know, this kind of closes it off. And so this one closes off the period of management and leadership at Google, and enables me to open the new one where I work with managers and leaders in all organisations to create the Google that I thought could have existed, but it actually didn't exist anymore. And it's also the reason why I created it. So I've been in this journey of 12 and a half years at Google. And before I joined direct all the stories about the great culture and everything. And the first three years, I actually experienced that. And on one side, I've been a bit lucky, I think, because at the time I joined, they were already like, 30,000 people or so. Okay, and at that size, like any organisation is just corporate and political, etc. But I was lucky with my first manager. And so the first three years, I literally experienced everything like like the fun and the innovativeness, the know, like the playfulness of the Google culture, and then I moved to a different leadership line. And suddenly my world was political, corporate, etc, you know, and at first I didn't realise that just didn't like my job anymore. And then I created this new job for myself out of this nation, which gave me more space to be meaningful, but I still felt the same. And at some point, I analysed it and I looked a few layers up as okay, there's a leader that is that has a management by fear kind of style. And as long as I will be in that management line, this is going to be corporate and political. And so so I used my the uniqueness of my workshops to promote myself to see if I could move out of that management line and successfully did so. But then actually Like, I switched like three, four more times from manager position, you know, but I never found the culture of those first three years anymore. Okay. And I genuinely believed in that that uniqueness of the Google culture where they combine high bar for performance, but also high bar for humaneness playfulness, inclusion, a deeply believes in that story. And I wanted my Google to be like that, but it wasn't anymore. So I thought as a manager, like, I'm going to create a Google for my team. And I'm going to use that to prove to everyone it's gonna still exist, you know. So I did that when I got this track record, like the first four or five times on upset score, people noticed. And they asked me, Okay, let's try more by managers around you, was asked to lead diversity inclusion initiatives, both European and global, I was asked to lead career development initiatives. So I created influence over the environment around my team. But at the same time, I also bumped into certain boundaries that I just couldn't change, like, they could have been changed if people would have cared enough, let's say, but I just discovered they didn't care enough. So So at some point, I reached the point where I felt like, well, I've proven to you that it can exist, I have offered all my time and effort to help you change the organisation to create it on a larger scale, but you don't care enough, you know, and then I'll get people don't believe anymore, that the real Google can exist. And that kind of triggered the idea of the book, like, I know now how in high pressure environment, you can create space for a team to be successful based on the intrinsic motivations of the people and for all kinds of people. And I also know how I can teach it to other people. So now that I have left Google and I'm freelance, I can now work with leaders and managers and organisations to create the organisation that I believe and know can exist. Akua Nyame-Mensah 16:51 Yes. And that's a really great segue to my next question, you know, what are you looking forward to as a full time entrepreneur? And let's make sure that everyone listen to this knows he's only been at it now for two months. Am I correct? That's only two months. Yeah. So So what are some of the things that you're looking forward to? Unknown Speaker 17:09 Well, I have two things right now. So in the Netherlands, I have a seven day course called Managing without power. And that's one where individuals can subscribe to subscribe. And they can become like an officially accredited manager without power, like there's an accreditation to it. And I work with a group of teachers, that kind of supplements, my experience. But the primary thing that I actually hope to do myself is work as an individual with companies to create cultures that combine high performance standards with high human standards and for everyone. So that's the main thing I want to want to do. And I see two types of clients for myself that I would both enjoy. One is like these large corporations that lost something about their effectiveness and their culture, because of growing. And I just know, if you have a leader that believes it can be done, and you train that leader and all the managers under it, you can change the pocket in your organisation around and you can still create it, no matter how old the organisation is, no matter how political used to be. And then the other types that I hope to work with this, when you have startups that move to scale up phase, they still have that culture, they're still purpose, they're still momentum, etc. But then there's these young managers who gradually get larger teams and not always be formal management experience. But at the same time, they don't want to become traditional style managers with lots of bureaucracy and structures, but some structure is needed. And I would love to help these, actually, my first two clients are of that type, you know, where you help them create the amount of structure that is needed to grow, while retaining your effectiveness and your culture, but not so much that you become bureaucracy and political. Akua Nyame-Mensah 18:55 I love that. And we'll make sure that we link some of the resources and some of the work that you've done already related to this in the show notes. But I did want you to dive a little bit deeper into one element of, you know, managing without power. And I'm just going to read it off here because I actually really liked this but I feel like so many people will have a hard time wrapping their heads around it. But high performance and humaneness are like Siamese twins. I think a lot of people would feel like those things are polar opposites, right? That in order to be a high performer, you actually have to not care, right? You have to not eat or sleep. So how can they be like Siamese twins? Can you tell us a little bit more about your perspective and the way you teach this and train other leaders to really consider this and incorporate it into how they show up? Unknown Speaker 19:40 Yeah, this was a what you described like this in order to be a high performer you need to not cannot eat asleep. Yeah, exactly. That's only true because of the way we've designed our organisations like we've designed our organisations in a way so that you need to have a thick skin need to be willing to elbow a bit and not care too much what that does to your call Accenture culture, and that's how you win. But the reality is like an organisation where that is the reality thinks of themselves very often as high performing, but they're not. Because you have an if you have an organisation like that only the people with thick skin that care a bit less about their environment bit more about themselves, they're the ones that are successful. And then all the ones with slightly thinner skin, but with huge skills, creativity, lots of care for for the company as a whole for the customers, etc, they survive a bit less, and people go off, you have some people leaving because of that culture. So there's a certain percentage of your talent pool that you're just not utilising. And the only way as a large organisation to be really high performing is if 90% of your people is their best self all the time. Akua Nyame-Mensah 20:45 Oh, I love that as like a standard. Yes, yeah, that Unknown Speaker 20:49 you can only achieve that if you have like, sometimes you hear people say, okay, then we go to self steering teams, you take away that, but that also doesn't work. People need direction. And when people are low performers, you need to deal with them. Otherwise, the drag down the rest. So you have to steal these performance elements, they have a function, but you have to balance them with human elements. And if you can balance those, that's when you get to genuinely high performing organisation. Akua Nyame-Mensah 21:13 Yes. And I think one of the things I see in a lot of the work that you've done and the things that you've shared about me or shared with me about your work, is this, this idea of psychological safety, and you talk about organisations, you need to be more diverse, and inclusive. And one of the things that you're also very open about is the fact that you were raised by a lesbian couple, and that this has really shaped your perspective on gender and bias language. Can you tell us a little bit more about your your background, having this experience and how it's impacted your thoughts about how to create equal opportunity in the workplace? Unknown Speaker 21:48 Yeah, the interesting thing is, so when I became a manager, for the first time, I already knew that I wanted all types of people to be able to succeed. So I was completely bought into the idea of diversity inclusion, but I also felt I wasn't knowledgeable about the topic yet, because I haven't done actual work on it. And the other thing that happened is I felt an allergic reaction, whenever people would speak about diversity inclusion, as Oh, it's so dear to my heart. And then they would speak primarily about race, gender, and sexual orientation. And then my instant brain started, like talking in what about all that you want all people to be successful. And I think part of that was was because I was conscious what my source was why I thought it was so important. And part of it, it was also an awareness about how you drive diverse inclusion in large scale. So my first line of defence was actually not to have a diversity inclusion strategy, my team, and I had a team of six people at that moment in time, easily afford to just spend loads of time with people to understand the full person. So they were all in different countries they meet, I visited them at least twice a year, and we went for full day walks in the forest. Like my main goal was to just see the entire person with as little bias as possible. on his side, I realised that the reason why I did this is because of how I was raised by a lesbian couple. This people have asked me like, from the age of five, six or so they always ask me, like, which of the two women is the man in the relationship, you know? And at that time, I had no idea how insulting that is. And it was only when I later started working on diversity, inclusion related work. That was really offensive. And I used to answer them just I felt like okay, well, my mom cooks a bit less than my mom's girlfriend cooks a bit more. So then that one must be the woman is like literally like that. But it's a completely bullshit question, because there is no man like there is. But somehow people see manly qualities of female qualities. And then even though there is no man, they still label. So some became allergic to any kind of labels, which is also why I became allergic when I heard the various inclusion and the start dropping these labels. So my first line of defence was doing that. And then there's Google guys is an employee's satisfaction of Google. And they measure all kinds of diversity related questions. And I thought, You know what, I'm just going to focus on individuals as unbiased as I can, and then I will look in Google guys if I need to do more. And then it turned out I had like an absurd scores on every diversity inclusion related statement in that survey. And then I started running diversity inclusion initiatives. And I discovered while advising is not enough, you actually do need to focus on gender, race, etc. Because if you don't do that, there's no way you can drive it at large scale and you can't measure progress. And if you can't measure progress, it's not going to change at large scale. And the other thing is also it doesn't conflict. Like if you make your organisation more inclusive for certain ethnicities and minorities or women, it doesn't stop you from also In your direct contact to make it more inclusive for all people, and if you make it more inclusive with one type of group, then you solve certain things with make the organisation more accessible to all types of people. So, like, but it felt to me like, like limiting initially and later I discovered it just like in the end it is about for all people, but you also have to focus. Akua Nyame-Mensah 25:20 Yeah, and I love I love what you shared about how, you know, as managers or leaders, I guess the first step, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like the first step is seeing members of your team as whole people and creating time and honouring time for that, right. Because I think another sort of thing that comes up and I you know, just I really love this framework that you use around high performance, and also like high humaneness. People would say, Well, I don't have the time. That's what I hear a lot from my clients, I don't have the time. So if a founder or CEO came to you and was like, I don't have the time, what advice would you give to them around seeing their people as individuals, and you know, telling them that, hey, seeing them as individuals helps contribute to building the culture you want, and ultimately having the impact you want as well? Unknown Speaker 26:05 Yeah, I hear this all the time, my approach to conversations about career personal growth, that's kind of how I labelled these these forests conversations was one that was the first thing that people learn about at Google organisations that are trying to manage it all. And I trained them on a short version of a three hour version of that conversation, even though I spent four days on it. And even there, the first reaction, they said, well, what's the shortest version of this conversation that we can do? And I don't, okay, so you can't even afford three hours for this conversation, you know, and even though I know, having spent like, like full days on it twice per year, for every single person that reporting directly to me, I've earned that back 10 times through the motivation and trust that they bring to the job, I've gone to three reorders in three years. And normally, that can just shut down the team for a very long period. And that was just like a few weeks, we were up and running again, move on, because of the trust that you've built because of the foundations of intrinsic motivation. And like I know, my experience is just once a team is a full steam, there is nothing that you can do as an individual manager that is more impactful efficient than what the team as a whole can do. So investing time in the team always pays off many times. It's just not instant. It's a few months later, and it becomes even more if you look a year later. So I think it's short termism. And this is also where discipline comes in, you know, it's the discipline to invest in the thing that pays off three months from now or six months from now, instead of just running like crazy to fix the thing that needs to be done this week. Akua Nyame-Mensah 27:43 Yeah, well said. Well said, I feel like a lot of times, there's two things I'm hearing leaders say I don't have time, and how can we speed this up? How can this have an impact faster? Correct. Unknown Speaker 27:54 And there's a whole like, like chain reaction that comes from it. So I have in my book, I have five Brilliant Basics. And these conversations about career and personal growth are the first three basic, it's like seeing the whole person. And once you see the whole person, then you get to what I call OPR. Writing like objectives and key results. It's about setting direction, setting expectations. This is what expects you to deliver, and you take what you know about the person, and you have what the company in the team needs from the person and you bring those together. So you put people on projects that help them on the growth journey that they want to have that fit their skills, the ones that they want to build, etc. But you also have an honest conversation with them when there's no match anymore. So when when they want to be in a certain journey, that's not no longer aligned to what the team is going to need from them. And if you do that, well you prevent situations where people spiral down. And so this is, again, one of those things where if they're still on board, they work based on intrinsic motivations and projects that they helped them grow, and you prevent the spiralling down, you know, and then the next one is spending enough time with people to give them honest feedback while they work and to give them guidance while their work. And the end quote, you get to after a few steps, you get to performance evaluations. And when you get all the basic rights performance evaluations are fairly predictable. Akua Nyame-Mensah 29:13 Yes, it shouldn't be a surprise everyone. Exactly. So Unknown Speaker 29:17 you get the rating that you'd expect. And you never get feedback that you didn't hear before several times in a moment that you could still act on it. And if you systematically get that right, then there's a layer of trust in the team with people amongst each other. But also you as a leader, there is intrinsic motivation, because they work on the projects that fit where they want to grow. They get guidance during their strength, you know, and then you invest in all of these basics with what you get back is a team that knows exactly what they're doing, where they're going and to do so with energy. Akua Nyame-Mensah 29:46 I love it. I love it. And most importantly, right they are high performance. That's right, because they're getting the feedback that they're need. Everyone's working in the direction they're meant to work in. I love that and I look forward to reading more about that when your book comes out. You know, I feel like I could talk to you forever. But we do try to make these episodes on their shorter side. So maybe just to close, what are you looking forward to next? Like, what are you excited about? You just launched your business, you have amazing clients, you have this book coming out, what else are you looking forward to, Unknown Speaker 30:18 I think the biggest thing is just working directly with organisations and seeing that they have changed. And as a consequence, seeing that the people in those organisations feel happier, are more impactful. You know, like, like, that's also the thing that I remember from having run my team, you know, you just have this experience, okay, this is how it can be. And everyone who was there at that moment in time, they never forget it anymore, and they are still in contact with all of them. And wherever they go, you know, they, they take that piece of that memory and okay, this is how it can be, and they bring it to the next place is where they go. So like if I can create that in as many places as possible. I think that's what I look forward to most and then by the time I'm like, 65 or so and retired, then there's probably a whole bunch of people out there that are still connected, you know, the athletes memories, and you see them still creating that space around in their own places, you know, and then you know, okay, well to submit better. Akua Nyame-Mensah 31:13 Oh, I love that. I absolutely love that. And, you know, I think when I think back to the time when I worked full time, and I had a team, that's that's what's so incredible, I still sometimes pinched myself at the impact I had, because I didn't think I had much of an impact. But when people come back and they start, you know, sharing specific memories and stories, and they talk about, Hey, you did this when I was working with you, and now I do X, Y and Z. It's it's incredible. Mind blowing almost. Yeah. I love that. Um, to close this out, how can people find out more about you if they're interested in your services? And where can they find the book when it comes out. Unknown Speaker 31:47 So the Dutch version of the book comes out 16th of June, the English version A month later, so, and my website's managing without power.com launches the 31st of May. So I think just note the URL. And then as soon as the English book is available, I will link it on the website. If there are people who believe you know, you could actually make a difference in our organisations by working with leaders and managers. They could also contact me through the website, and I'm easily to find over LinkedIn as well. Akua Nyame-Mensah 32:20 Incredible. We'll make sure that we link all that in the show notes. But just thank you, thank you so much for your time for your thoughts. And I think so many people will really benefit from some of these very practical and actionable things that you've shared today. So thank you so much. Unknown Speaker 32:34 Thank you, too. It was really nice speaking. Akua Nyame-Mensah 32:36 Thank you so much for listening to this week's episode, please share this episode with someone who can benefit from its contents. If you found this episode helpful. I want to ask you to leave a review. This makes it easier for other people to find my podcast and also allows me to bring on even bigger guests, and even more fascinating stories. Thank you so much for listening again. Stay safe and stay sane.


There are no comments yet. Be the first one to leave a comment!

Leave a comment


 Untitled design (7)  Untitled design (8)  Untitled design (1)



               CASE STUDIES

               PEOPLE ROUNDTABLE


Leaders aren't born; they're made.

This 5-minute assessment will help you understand what leadership stage you're currently in so you can determine your next steps.


© Copyright 2023, Akua Nyame-Mensah | Terms & Conditions  | Website by Rachelle Deem