Join Sam Jayanti in this episode of ideamix Coaching as she welcomes Mike Robbins, an author, speaker, coach, and podcast host. Mike shares his unique journey from professional baseball to leadership coaching, emphasizing the evolving landscape of leadership challenges. They discuss the multidimensional role of leaders, exploring topics like change, vulnerability, and trust in the workplace. Gain valuable insights into the essential skills needed to thrive as a leader in today’s dynamic work environment.
Sam Jayanti [00:00:04] Welcome to ideamix, Performance and Wellness. Where world-leading coaches and scientists explain how their research can help you achieve your personal and professional goals faster. Hi, it’s Sam Jayanti, co-founder and CEO of ideamix coaching. Coaching has played an important role in my life. It’s helped me through my journey to become a powerful leader, mother and wife ideamix coaches help you increase your self-awareness, improve your problem-solving skills and evolve your habits to achieve your goals– all things I’m grateful to have learned and done through my own coaching journey. Our easy one minute assessment matches you with an ideal mix coach that best fits your needs and values. Each ideamix coach is vetted and experienced and helps clients map and achieve their wellness professional and business goals. If you or someone you know could benefit from coaching, visit our website at www.theideamix.com. We also know that not everyone can invest in coaching right now and that’s why we provide free coaching in our coach shorts episodes. If you think someone you know would benefit from it, please share our podcast with them. Thanks for listening. And see you next time. Hello and welcome to Coaching– Performance and Wellness by ideamix coaching. Today I’m excited to introduce you to Mike Robbins, author, speaker, coach and podcast host. Mike regularly shares his insights with companies like Google, Wells Fargo and eBay on accelerating talent performance, a topic that obviously lies at the heart of what we do at ideamix.: In this episode, we’re excited to dive into three of Mike’s books and topics that deal with three areas we see lots of individuals struggle with at some point in their personal and professional lives change, vulnerability, and trust. Mike, welcome to the show.
Mike Robbins [00:01:54] Thanks for having me, Sam. Nice to be here.
Sam Jayanti [00:01:57] So Mike, tell us what made you become a coach and your focus on leadership and teams?
Mike Robbins [00:02:04] Well, my story to coaching and ultimately speaking and writing and now podcasting is kind of an interesting one in that I started out as an athlete. I grew up here in the San Francisco Bay Area where I still live. And I was a baseball player all growing up. I actually got drafted right out of high school by the New York Yankees. Didn’t end up signing a contract with the Yankees at that time because I got an opportunity to play baseball in college at Stanford, went to Stanford, played baseball there. Then I got drafted out of Stanford by the Kansas City Royals, and I did sign a pro contract at that point. And you have to go into the minor leagues even when you get drafted by a major league team and sign a contract. So I try to work my way through the minor league system. Unfortunately, Sam, I got injured. I was a pitcher and I tore ligaments in my elbow and I was 23 when I got hurt and had a series of surgeries and then was forced to retire at the age of 25. And I was, you know, really bummed, as you can imagine.
Sam Jayanti [00:03:05] I mean, that’s crushing, right? When you set your sights on a goal that you worked so hard towards.
Mike Robbins [00:03:07] And, you know, I started at seven years old playing T-ball and, you know, single mom. We didn’t have any money growing up in Oakland. I figured this was my shot to, you know, be someone to make it. And and it doesn’t happen. So I’m devastated personally. But one of the things or a couple of things that I had found fascinating as an athlete, particularly by the time I got to college and was playing professionally– on the individual level, what I noticed was it wasn’t always the most talented people that were the most successful, and it wasn’t always the most successful people that seemed the happiest and the most fulfilled. So I was curious about that. And then on the team level, I noticed it wasn’t always the teams that I was on that had the best players that were necessarily the best teams. Like talent was clearly important, but I was on some teams with really good talent, but we would underperform because, I don’t know, the coach was weird or the egos were off or something didn’t work. And then I was on other teams where it was like the talent was decent, but the team was fantastic. We like made each other better. We wanted to win together. We rooted for each other and so I thought these things were just sports related. I get my first job in the late 90s. I come home. I’m sort of licking my wounds personally, figuring out who the heck am I, what am I going to do? I get a job working for an Internet company in 1998, in San Francisco.
Sam Jayanti [00:04:26] That was the early days!
Mike Robbins [00:04:26] It was.com boom time. And I’m like, I’m a fish out of water, right? I’m this 25 year old kid who’s, you know, I went to Stanford. I it wasn’t like I wasn’t intelligent, but I’d never really thought of anything professionally besides baseball. But now I’m selling Internet advertising and I’m like, you know, and really interested in my own personal growth and development. Also going down the path of trying to kind of heal from my whole experience and figure out what am I going to do next? And the world of coaching was kind of new at that time in the late 90s, like people there was, you know, I’m taking workshops and I’m meeting people and they say “I’m a life coach.” What the heck is that? “I’m a business coach.” What’s that? And so I was benefiting from coaching and reading a lot of books on personal development and taking a lot of workshops. And the more I did that, the more I was like, I think I want to do that. Like, like I would I would go to the workshop and I would pull the workshop leader aside and I’ll be like, How did you get to do this? Like, how do you get that job? You know, where I would I would I would read the book and be like, This person’s really interesting. How did they get qualified to write this book? Like, what does that take? So that started me on the just curiosity path of like, what would it take for me to do that? And then the universe intervened, as often happens, I, I got a job in 2000 working for another, you know, a startup, and we’re all going to get rich because it’s going to go public. And then the.com bubble burst and I lose my job and I’m like, Oh God, what am I going to do now? But I had just met my wife, Michelle. We’ve been together for a little over 23 years now, and she had started her own business. She had a staffing company and she was also interested in coaching. And she and I decided to get some training at the Coaches Training Institute. And she really encouraged me, like, Hey, you have a passion for speaking and for coaching and right. Like you should do this. And I was like, okay, I’m 26, about to turn 27. Like, I have no idea how to like make any money doing this.
Sam Jayanti [00:06:26] Influencer wasn’t a job at the time.
Mike Robbins [00:06:29] No it wWasn’t a thing. There was yeah, there was no social media. There were no blogs, there were no podcasts. You had to like write a book or write articles or, I don’t know, somehow become, you know, are starting to get coaching clients. Anyway, that’s how I started in the year 2001, I decided people were like, “Go back to college or go back, get a advanced degree in psychology or in, you know, organizational development” or and the thing is, I love to learn, Sam, but I hated school even though I did decently well. I just didn’t like the structure.
Sam Jayanti [00:06:56] You and me both. Yeah.
Mike Robbins [00:06:57] So here’s what I decided. This was my whole plan was like I decided I was going to design my own curriculum is what I called it. And I was going to spend that first year and I figured it might be lean, which it was. I figured I might go in debt, which I actually did. But if I went to school, I was going to go into debt anyway.
Sam Jayanti [00:07:15] Much further, yeah.
Mike Robbins [00:07:16] And at the end of it, I knew I wouldn’t have a degree, but I figured by the end of the year, if I couldn’t get any coaching clients, I couldn’t figure out how to, like, speak and actually get anyone to pay me or I couldn’t write anything that anybody would actually publish or read, then I should probably go find a job. And you know, that first year was pretty lean, but ultimately what I was able to do and my real passion was speaking as I started speaking and a bunch of more traditional companies, the Kaisers and Wells Fargo’s and Chevrons of the World that are based here in the Bay Area. They had a bunch of Gen-Xers like me who had gotten laid off from their .coms and they were having some cultural issues at the time of baby boomers and Gen-Xers trying to work together. And I started coming in to talk about teamwork and culture from my perspective as a Gen-Xer, but someone who had played baseball and been in some diverse environments. And then I started to develop some material around how do we find common ground and how do we work well together? And that’s really what kind of started my coaching and my speaking business 23 years ago. And all these years later, you know, I’ve had a chance to write five books and work with a lot of amazing companies all over the world. But, you know, and I’ve learned a lot in the last 23 years for sure, but that the foundation of a lot of my work sort of started in my early life. And from what I learned as an athlete and what I kind of started off doing all those years ago.
Sam Jayanti [00:08:34] Yeah and you gave yourself the runway, right? Like a limited runway, where you gave yourself a year to sort of explore this, knowing it would be hard, but you also took the risk and went into something that wasn’t such a well-developed profession the way it is today, where coaching now is a much more developed profession.
Mike Robbins [00:08:54] Right. For sure. And I say to people all the time, I mean, I’m sure people listening, there’s lots of different folks listening for different reasons. But the thing about getting into coaching or speaking or writing or podcasting or influencing in whatever way is like, there’s so many more opportunities to do it now, which is awesome. Yeah. It’s also very crowded and it’s harder to stand out. So in those days it was tricky because it was like there were very few points of entry and I was really young and naive starting, which again in hindsight was a blessing because if I had been a bit older and had a family and kids and a mortgage and the whole thing, like I don’t know if I would have done it, or we able to do it.
Sam Jayanti [00:09:26] You wouldn’t have been able to take the risk.
Mike Robbins [00:09:27] Yeah, yeah, I would have, you know, and, and at the same time, there are a lot of opportunities today for people, you know, a company like yours, for people to come. And I was looking for actually what I wanted to get hired by was like a small boutique consulting company or coaching company where I could be mentored and sort of be an apprentice, if you will. And they had some clients, but I couldn’t find that. And I started my business when the economy was down, the dotcom bubble had burst, and it actually ended up being a blessing in disguise. But it was actually pretty hard, to be honest.
Sam Jayanti [00:09:58] I’m sure. Yeah. Yeah, I don’t doubt that at all. I think getting anything off the ground, you know, partly because of the uncertainty, partly because you’re so resource and time-constrained and the pressure to get it right while you’re having to basically do everything on your own is, you know, certainly not de minimus. So, Mike, you’ve had a ton of experience doing this. Now you’re sort of 25 to 30 years in here. What are some of the most common challenges that you observe in leadership development, and what are the topics that you specifically like to tackle and work on through your coaching?
Mike Robbins [00:10:39] Oh, wow, look, I mean, I actually think the last couple of years have been super challenging for all of us, for a whole bunch of reasons. And look, even pre-pandemic. Most leaders that I’m working with, even super senior leaders all the way down to kind of, you know, new managers inside of some of the big companies that we work with, you know, just the struggle around how do I show up, how do I manage my time, what do I focus on? What’s most important? It’s kind of like the balance between, you know, skills and results and then developing emotional intelligence and, you know, human and sort of people capacity. I think that’s ratcheted up to a whole other level over the last few years because so much of what leaders are dealing with, whether, again, you’re working at a very small company, you know, a nonprofit, a government agency or a big, huge Fortune 500 company, the people issues, the human issues that we’re all grappling with. You know, the conversations around mental health, conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion, conversations around wellbeing. You know, again, not that these things didn’t exist a decade ago, but like the way that they exist now, there’s so much being put upon leaders. It’s hard.
Sam Jayanti [00:11:59] I think the dimensions of the problems have really amplified, right?
Mike Robbins [00:12:02] Totally. And I also think one of the things I was at a conference, I spoke at the Work Human Conference in San Diego earlier this year, and Esther Perel is one of the other speakers. And she said something really simple but profound to me. She was talking about sort of American culture, Western culture, and basically saying that over the last number of generations for a whole bunch of reasons, that we could go deeper into, but like things like institutions like the church say, or like spiritual institutions that many societies were sort of based around doesn’t really exist in our modern society for rent and therefore work has become everything for everyone that your workplace is supposed to be meaningful and you’re supposed to be passionate about it and your manager turns into your therapist and spiritual advisor and all these things, and she was talking to all these HR professionals and basically saying that like, your job has gotten way harder in the last couple of generations because the expectation now that’s put upon you. And again, I think in some ways there’s a blessing to that that people like me and you can do what we do and bring a more holistic approach into work. That’s really important. But the dark side of it is there’s so much pressure in the system and there’s so much put upon leaders and everybody that I think most people I know and work with, even the really effective, successful leaders are struggling with just the amount that’s expected of them.
Sam Jayanti [00:13:21] No, I totally agree with that. I think the lack of institutions, the kind of dimensionality is that have really shifted in terms of the problems individuals are dealing with and then those consequently come into the workplace are just so many more. And in many ways the role of a leader is equal parts coach, psychologist and and sort of professional skills leader right and I think it’s those first two that are relatively new in a workplace context. They’re certainly not skills that are developed in those earlier rungs of professional development because they’re kind of not necessary then and they’re absolutely essential the minute you begin to lead a small or large team.
Mike Robbins [00:14:17] Well, and you know, I know we want to talk a bit about change, but you think about how much change there’s been over the last couple of decades. I just think of my own life and my own career, right? I’m about to turn 50 in a couple of months. I started doing this at 26, and in the last 23, 24 years, just my own work like, the topic that I started to speak about initially that I still talk a lot about, that’s the foundation of my work is appreciation. And I remember 25 years ago as I’m starting this, people saying to me. “Appreciation? First of all, what is that? Why is that important? Why would you talk about that at work? Who cares? No one will pay you for that,” you know, and I would show up in my suit and tie to these events, and I’m trying to make the case for like, why appreciation is important. And half the rooms, if not more of the rooms I was in, people look at me sideways like, “What are you talking about?”
Sam Jayanti [00:15:07] Right.
Mike Robbins [00:15:08] You know, fast forward to today and it’s like, you know, recognition and appreciation and engagement and all these things. I mean, we’re talking about millions and billions of dollars that is put forth by companies to make sure that people feel valued and appreciated so they don’t leave. So, you know, all this stuff. And it’s amazing to me because I look at that and just think about, oh, my gosh, like the ground beneath my feet personally has shifted so much in the time that I’ve been doing this. And I’m not inside of an organization managing, you know, a big panel and lots of people necessarily. So again, for anybody, whether someone’s 25 years old or 65 years old, you know, again, the younger someone is, the less they’ve had to deal with the massive amount of change. But that’s the other thing that I do notice is that people who’ve been around a bit, well, they have a lot of wisdom and a lot of experience, which is beautiful. It’s been a massive amount of change for anybody who’s 50 and older that’s still working these days.
Sam Jayanti [00:16:01] Well and the rate of change has sped up.
Mike Robbins [00:16:03] Right, Right.
Sam Jayanti [00:16:05] Yeah.
Mike Robbins [00:16:05] Yeah. And it’s and it’s important, I think, to just understand the knowledge that I mean, I think sometimes, too, even when you think about the pandemic and kind of where we are in the cycle, it’s like, thank goodness the pandemic’s behind us. And I don’t think we any of us have fully comprehended what we’ve just been through and what we’re still navigating through because we can’t like we have to keep going. We can’t just stop and be like that was crazy. And what you know, but there’s been so much change in the system. And again, not just in places like Silicon Valley where I do a lot of work, but just in everyday business, like how we do work, how we show up to work. Even you and I having this conversation on Zoom and people listening to this podcast, again, it’s so ubiquitous to how we operate now, right? But like, this wasn’t happening ten years ago.
Sam Jayanti [00:16:52] No, wasn’t even happening five years ago. Yeah, right.
Mike Robbins [00:16:56] And again, we just kind of keep rolling with it because we sort of have to and we focus a lot. We got to pivot. You got to be resilient. You got to adjust you. All those things are true. But they do take a toll. And sometimes, like, I’ll look at a post or a photo or something from ten years ago and my wife and I reflect on something will be like, Geez, it’s really different today than it was.
Sam Jayanti [00:17:18] Yeah.
Mike Robbins [00:17:18] You know, it’s so true. Yeah. Facebook memory from 2010 or whatever.
Sam Jayanti [00:17:23] Totally true. What’s a perfect segway into. I want to talk a little bit about your book, Mike, “Nothing Changes Until You Do,” which is a very apt title. And in it you note that most of us really struggle with our relationships with ourselves.
Mike Robbins [00:17:42] Yeah.
Sam Jayanti [00:17:43] Even the most successful people, leaders of the tops of organizations, celebrities, whoever it may be. And that struggle has sort of birthed, in my view, an epidemic of, you know, pretty pithy but superficial aphorisms right, about how to help oneself and how to diminish self-criticism and self-doubt. And at the same time, we really continue at an individual and societal level to perceive our own value as very directly connected to our jobs, our finances, our appearance, our children. You know? And why is it that changing ourselves is perhaps the most difficult thing? And how do you coach people to, in the first instance, become aware of what they need to change and then actually to make that change?
Mike Robbins [00:18:41] Look, it’s I mean, it’s a great question. It’s a hard one because I think I know for me and I think this is true for just about every other human that I work with, you know, we’re all different and unique and we have our different backgrounds and personalities and ways we enter the world. But like, the relationship that we have with ourselves is probably the most important human relationship that we have. We get almost no training on how to manage our relationship with ourselves, and it’s not even really a thing that gets talked about that much because it’s either either completely ignored or if we do start to talk about it, it seems somehow selfish or self-absorbed or like, what are you talking about? But I think of back as an athlete, it’s like. How I felt about myself. The level of confidence or lack thereof that I had in myself had everything to do with how well I was able to perform on the field personally and for my team. I think about this in, you know, 20 plus years of being with my wife. Like when I feel bad about myself, I’m not as good of a husband.
Sam Jayanti [00:19:45] Right.
Mike Robbins [00:19:45] Right. It’s like she can tell me how much she loves me and how wonderful I am. But if I’m feeling bad about myself, I’m going to see the world the way I see myself. And so, again, the first part, I think, is for us to kind of reconcile at some level how do we focus on ourselves and take care of ourselves and manage ourselves and work our relationship with ourselves and not think that there’s something wrong with that or weird about it? And look, there are you can be self-absorbed and completely obsessed with yourself in a way that’s detrimental to you and everyone around you. So that’s the thing. But then once we get past even though, okay, I understand that it’s important for me to have a healthy relationship with myself, then the question is how the heck do I do that? What does that even mean? What does that look like?
Sam Jayanti [00:20:30] Yeah.
Mike Robbins [00:20:30] You know, and again, sometimes when I’m coaching someone and we’ll talk about, you know, kind of getting a little bit into their self-talk, like, what do you say to yourself about yourself? And most of us even relatively successful people. Our self-talk is not that positive. It’s not that empowering. Like and I will say to other people, and this is true for me, like if you talked to someone else the way you talk to yourself, how do you think they would feel about you?
Sam Jayanti [00:20:57] Yeah.
Mike Robbins [00:20:58] And, you know, for the most part, it’s like there’s a story that I often share about this from many years ago when Michelle, my wife, and I first met actually, it was in the early days of me starting my business and all of it, like it was hard and I was scared and I and I just had this about six months into dating Michelle about about the same amount of time as starting my business. And I felt so bad about myself and was so defeated and I what am I doing? And I’m an idiot and I should never started this and I need to go get a job. And this is so stupid right? And I was on the phone with her just telling her this and she says to me after I rant for 3 or 4 minutes about myself. Okay, Mike, you know, first of all, thank you for being real. I appreciate you sharing how you’re feeling. I totally get it. But then she said, I have something really important to say to you. And I said, What’s that? She said, Stop talking about my boyfriend like that. And I was like, What? She said, You just said some really mean things about yourself. And look, I know you’re struggling and I know you’re being vulnerable with me. But if someone else said those things about you, I would be pissed and I would defend you and I would basically tell them to knock it off. I love you and I believe in you. And just because you’re you doesn’t give you the right to talk about yourself like that. And I remember being on the phone that day and the first time thinking, Man, I like this woman. She is awesome. But I was like, it never had occurred to me. Oh, when I mean to myself and I’m disrespectful to myself and I talk negatively about myself, even in my own head. Yeah, of course it’s detrimental to me at some level, I know that. It’s actually disrespectful to my wife, to our daughters, to everybody who knows me and actually loves me and cares about me. And so I will often say to people like, again, if for no other reason, if it’s hard to just do it for yourself, do it for the people that you love.
Sam Jayanti [00:22:36] Yeah.
Mike Robbins [00:22:37] And again, it’s tricky, right? And I’m not trying to say this is some holier than thou way. Like I have my moments every day where I’ll think something or say something negative about myself. Of course I do. I’m human. But I think the more we can bring that into the light and the truth is that the better and the stronger that we feel about ourselves authentically– not like I’m the greatest, I’m not talking about ego or arrogance– that actually then allows us to be kind, to be loving, to be present, to be engaged with other people in a genuine way. And the more diminished that is within ourselves, the more diminished it is with everybody else. So again, leaders like again, it’s the cliche of all cliches, but it’s like you got to put your own oxygen mask on first. We all know that. We all say that. And most humans I know, most leaders I know struggle with that.
Sam Jayanti [00:23:24] Yeah, I mean, it really is. It’s self-awareness, right? And it brings to mind, actually, a really close friend of mine said this to me, someone had said this to her in a very different context. But this statement has really stuck with me, which is we tend to judge others by their actions and ourselves by our intentions.
Mike Robbins [00:23:48] Yeah.
Sam Jayanti [00:23:48] And I think if we apply the same lens of judging ourselves by our actions, our actions in fact change our level of self-awareness shifts.
Mike Robbins [00:23:59] Yup.
Sam Jayanti [00:24:00] And we become healthier, more productive human beings, ultimately.
Mike Robbins [00:24:05] Totally. And then the other side of that I love that thing too, because the other side of that, the whole assumed positive intent, if you then are judging other people, not that we’re giving them a pass if they do things that we don’t like, but just assuming, I bet that wasn’t malicious. I bet they weren’t trying to do what you know, because again, most people most of the time, in my experience, their intentions are good. The actions, the execution isn’t always great.
Sam Jayanti [00:24:28] Yeah.
Mike Robbins [00:24:28] You know, I was just listening to a podcast interview this morning with Dr. Becky, whose name, last name, I can’t remember. She’s a parenting expert. She was on with Dax Shepard, but she was talking about, you know, she wrote this book called Good Inside. And the basic premise, right, is she talks about it in the parenting context that our kids and us, we’re good inside and sometimes we do bad things, right? Our kids, whether they’re three years old or we’ve got teenagers in my house, 17 and 15. So like they’re really good humans and sometimes they do things that drive us crazy, right? And so it’s like, same thing with employees. It’s like you have an employee that they do something or someone who works with you. A coworker. Yeah, but it’s like, can we come from that place of assuming positive intent about ourselves, about others? And then, yeah, we have to have some hard conversations with people or give feedback or talk about things or let someone know that didn’t work or that wasn’t what we wanted. But it doesn’t have to be from that deeply kind of shame-based place that we’re bad or wrong. And I think the place that we do that the worst harm is with ourselves.
Sam Jayanti [00:25:22] Yeah.
Mike Robbins [00:25:23] You know what I mean? And in some ways it’s like one of the blessings of my life actually, was that I played baseball all those years because baseball, even if you’re listening and you don’t care about baseball, or you don’t know much about baseball. There is a ton of failure in baseball. Like, even when you’re really good, you fail all the time. Even when the team is really good, you lose a lot.
Sam Jayanti [00:25:44] Well, this is why team sports are so important, right? There is a reason that when you talk to a lot of older generation managers or executives, they in fact look for people who have played a team sport. Right? Because the learning that comes from having to work with a group of people to get everyone pulling in the same direction, to get everyone to show up with their best foot forward each time. And the self-awareness that builds from that is is massive.
Mike Robbins [00:26:14] Totally. And I think all my years of playing sports and I say the reason why I’m grateful for baseball is like the losing, the failing. I never liked to lose and fail. I still don’t like to lose and fail, but I’ve lost and I’ve failed a lot. Yeah. And what you learn when you fail, as painful as it can be, is like you’re not a bad person because you failed. It just didn’t work or you didn’t execute or whatever. I mean, sometimes it’s luck. It’s crazy. I mean, it’s all kinds of things. And then you have to realize, like winning is fun. Usually losing is not as fun usually, but it’s all kind of part of this cyclical process. And I think we live in this world now. Today I get concerned sometimes because it’s like everybody gets a trophy, right? We don’t want the kids to feel bad. So you can take the test seven times until you get an A and it’s like, okay, I think I understand where that impulse comes from because a few generations ago, like we shamed people and said, you’re dumb and you’re no good and you sit over there, which wasn’t healthy either. But you and I were talking before we hit record on the podcast sometimes, like we swing the pendulum the other way and we swing it too far. And one of the ways that I talk about this with leaders is understanding the difference between recognition and appreciation. Recognition is about performance, about outcome. So you want to recognize people when they deserve it so they have to meet or exceed the standard? Appreciation is about valuing people and caring about people. Something that we can do all the time and is actually essential. So you appreciate people all the time. You recognize people and they deserve it.
Sam Jayanti [00:27:39] Yeah.
Mike Robbins [00:27:39] So it’s not an either or. It’s like, Oh, I can value and care about everyone all the time. And that’s an essential thing to do, especially in the crazy, stressful world we live in today. But I’m only going to recognize people when they actually deserve it, because if I say good job or way to go all the time and there’s no difference between great and good and mediocre and poor, that’s actually detrimental to everybody’s development and performance.
Sam Jayanti [00:28:01] Yeah, absolutely. I’m glad you brought up appreciation because in a way, the flip side of never perceiving ourselves as enough is gratitude, right?
Mike Robbins [00:28:12] Yeah.
Sam Jayanti [00:28:13] And also the subject of many superficial aphorisms. But yes, I have my own theory about this, but I’m really curious to hear yours on why it is that we struggle to appreciate the positive aspects of our life and instead we’re constantly focused on the negative– the thing we don’t have. Right?
[00:28:35] Right. I mean, look, some of it, I believe, is biological and some of it is cultural. So the biological part of it is like you and I and everybody listening. We all have a negativity-bias in our nervous system for survival.
Sam Jayanti [00:28:50] Yeah.
Mike Robbins [00:28:50] So even if you consider yourself an extreme optimist, our nervous system is designed in a way to store negative memories in our amygdala. So we don’t have those things happen again, which is great. It’s like otherwise we’d get hit by cars and fall down stairs and burn our hands on stoves all the time because we wouldn’t remember, Oh, that’s a bad thing. Oh, that’s a dangerous thing. And we walk into a room and we immediately look for threats. Most of this is unconscious, right? But we look for threats. And again, depending on our age and our race and our gender and our background and where we came from and our traumas and all the things like some of us are even more heightened to the potential threats. All of that is to keep us safe, quote unquote, and for survival. So we have to go against our biological wiring in a lot of cases to even look for and find the good things. And then culturally, what happens and again, you think about the world that we live in. You live in New York City. I live in San Francisco. We’re all on social media and everyone listening to this podcast, part of the reason you’re listening is like, you want to be successful. You want to be effective. Whether you’re a manager or a leader, you have your own business. You’re an employee early in your career trying to move along, whatever it is. We are looking out at the world and seeing all these things, especially now because we can scroll on Instagram and everything else that everybody else seems to have. And it points to things we don’t have or that we may want. And so therefore there becomes this sort of obsession as a culture with more and better or different. And again, there’s a healthy part of wanting that ambition or them wanting something new, wanting something different, wanting something more. But there’s also a real dark side to it. And for the most part, like, we’re not really trained on how to have relationships with ourselves. We’re not really trained on ways to have healthy desire and healthy ambition. It’s kind of an either or all or nothing kind of dynamic. And look, I’ve struggled with it a lot of my life. I mean, I’m a three on the Enneagram, which also means I’m an achiever, performer, personality type, which, you know, I was we were with some friends over Thanksgiving. And our good friend is a therapist and studies the Enneagram. She’s also a three. And she was saying American culture, Western culture is like a toxic three –culturally that were obsessed with …
Sam Jayanti [00:31:02] 100%
Mike Robbins [00:31:03] … performance, appearance, you know, outcome. And we think that that and we look everyone listening has had this experience in either a small or significant way. We go for some goal, whatever the heck it is I’m going to graduate from.
Sam Jayanti [00:31:15] No and we laud and applaud the extremes. Right?
Mike Robbins [00:31:17] We do, we do.
Sam Jayanti [00:31:18] When someone says, I remember listening to an interview, listening to an interview with some entrepreneur at some point to a tech guy, and and he talked about how to increase his productivity, he listens to podcasts at three times the normal speed. And I just kind of went, I don’t even understand that, you know.
Mike Robbins [00:31:38] Right. Right.
Sam Jayanti [00:31:39] It’s it’s just and somehow, like the journalist sort of, you know, goes, oh, that’s amazing. I’ve got to try that. And it’s like, no, you don’t. Actually, because it’s sort of absurd.
Mike Robbins [00:31:50] I know.
Sam Jayanti [00:31:51] Rather than approaching a goal or something that we want and desire through a lens of what’s the learning and development path that can get me there potentially, rather than just sort of the the envy and the negativity of why don’t I have this…
Mike Robbins [00:32:11] Right.
Sam Jayanti [00:32:11] Right? It’s a much more productive way to go. But as you said, we’re not we’re not taught that in a way because of particularly in the US– and it is really different, I think, from from Europe in this regard.
Mike Robbins [00:32:22] Yes.
Sam Jayanti [00:32:22] We are taught to, or our cultural values system only rewards success.
Mike Robbins [00:32:32] Right.
Sam Jayanti [00:32:32] Right? It does not recognize kind of anything other than that.
Mike Robbins [00:32:37] Totally.
Sam Jayanti [00:32:38] And it’s always about the result, not the journey.
Mike Robbins [00:32:40] Totally, and, you know, I’m glad you brought that up because I think it’s something I know I’ve struggled with. It’s been a big part of my work for all these years. But at some level, and I’m thinking about this too, in the context like, again, we have two teenagers in our house. Our older daughter is literally in the other room right now finishing up college applications. All the UC’s us here out in California — they’re due on the 30th of November. Right. So this is a big thing. And as the more I’ve been paying attention to this and supporting her, the more I’m like, oh my God, this whole system is so screwed up. Like, there’s such a different way. I don’t know. I don’t have the answer to how it could be different. But there’s so much pressure on these kids and it’s so much harder to get into college these days. And degrees are are less valuable than ever and it’s more expensive than ever to go to college. But I’m like watching myself and my cohort of fellow parents at this age and stage. And on the one hand, what I say to my daughter and I mean this in my heart, listen, honey, we don’t care where you go to college like we love you. We want you to be somewhere that you feel good about, that you’re proud of, and that where you can thrive personally, emotionally, socially, academically, all of that. And at the end of the day, when I see someone post “my kid got into Yale,” right. There is a part of me that’s like, “well, damn good for you.” You know what I mean? Like, because we live in the world where it’s like, that’s like one of the ultimate things that we start out in the world, here in America and in the Western world, it’s like, where do you go to college seems to matter a lot. And I then sometimes struggle with this notion of like, okay, does it really matter? And why does it matter and why do I care? And why do we all care? And yeah, in the scheme of things, you put that on your resume and it’s going to differentiate you from someone else. But what are we talking about? Like when I was in college, I remember this– one of my first realizations I got to Stanford, which is this grade school, and I was super proud of being there. But even back in the early to mid 90s when I was there, everyone was asking each other, what are you up to or what are you doing or what classes are you taking? And I was a kid my junior year in college, got suicidally depressed and I come from a family with a lot of mental health issues and was like, no one’s asking me HOW I’m doing.
Sam Jayanti [00:34:52] Right?
Mike Robbins [00:34:53] And it wasn’t their fault that I was depressed, but I was like, We’re not even talking about. And I appreciate that in today’s world, whether it’s young people or those of us who are not so young anymore, we talk more about mental health. But at the end of the day, to your point, we’re still back to we’re obsessed with outcomes and results and success. And we don’t even often ask people how they feel about the success or what was the journey to get there. It’s all about the story and ultimately the achievement,.
Sam Jayanti [00:35:19] Right.
Mike Robbins [00:35:19] But every single one of us has had an experience where we achieved something that we thought was going to be the thing that was going to make us feel good about ourselves. And not only did it not in a weird way, it made us feel worse because it’s like, Oh damn. That wasn’t the thing, right? That’s why all the way circling back to our relationship with ourselves, when I’m coaching someone and I ask them, what’s the goal? What’s the thing you want to achieve that you think would be like the beyond the beyond, right? And they tell me the thing, whatever it is, I start this company and it better we grow it and it goes public. Or I write this book or whatever the heck it is. It’s like, okay, I fall in love with this person and we build this amazing family. And okay, if you had that. How do you think you would feel in general and how would you feel about yourself?
Sam Jayanti [00:36:03] Yeah.
Mike Robbins [00:36:04] I would feel accomplished. I would feel grateful. I would feel proud of myself. I would feel whatever, you know, awesome. And again, I know it sounds almost too corny, but it’s like, okay, well, why aren’t we feeling that right now? Because that’s just something that we can access.
Sam Jayanti [00:36:19] Yeah.
Mike Robbins [00:36:19] Like, you can have millions…
Sam Jayanti [00:36:20] It’s like, you’re on a path and you can’t be unhappy at every point on that path other than when you get to the end of it. Right? Like it’s just a very stressful way to live your life.
Mike Robbins [00:36:33] Totally. And at some level, again, without getting to, you know, we’re all headed to the same place ultimately. I heard someone say this years ago and it really resonated with me. They were talking about life and they were like, Look, we all know the destination of this thing. We’re going to die. We don’t know when. We don’t know how, but it’s like we’re all on a train and that train, everyone’s on the train and everyone gets off at a different point. But the end point is the same for everyone. And what he was saying was like the weather changes outside of the train all the time, right? Sometimes it’s sunny and it’s beautiful. Sometimes it’s like a blizzard and it’s everywhere in between. And he said he was saying this and I just found it so inspiring. Like, I’ve decided that I’m going to, yes, I’m interested in where I’m going and what where I’m headed. And those things matter to me. But I want to get better at learning how to appreciate the weather as it changes– because it’s always changing.
Sam Jayanti [00:37:24] Right.
Mike Robbins [00:37:25] And just because it’s sunny doesn’t mean is going to be sunny the whole time. Like sometimes it’s going to be stormy and sometimes it’s going to be overcast. And so and for me, again, a three and achiever type and someone who’s coaching lots of people and leaders and teams who are trying to accomplish great things, it’s like, oh, my gosh. That’s so important. And how do we, not in a cliche kind of corny thing that we post on Instagram, but in a real way that we actually live? Like, how do we remember that when like things are hard or we get scared or, I don’t know, a global pandemic happens or, you know, we lose our job or someone close to us passes away or whatever, because those are the things where it’s like, you know, another cliche, but so many cliches are cliches because they’re true. It’s like circumstances don’t define us. They reveal us.
Sam Jayanti [00:38:09] Absolutely, our reactions are what define us.
Mike Robbins [00:38:13] Totally.
Sam Jayanti [00:38:14] Yeah. So I want to quote to our readers something that you’ve written in the past, which I thought was very well expressed about vulnerability. All too often we relate to vulnerability, especially in certain environments, relationships and situations, as something we should avoid at all costs. However, it’s vulnerability that liberates us from our erroneous and insatiable obsession with trying to do everything right.
Mike Robbins [00:38:41] Yeah.
Sam Jayanti [00:38:41] Give us an example of how you’ve seen this manifest with a leader and how you’ve coached them to accept and express their vulnerability.
Mike Robbins [00:38:50] You know, the one that just popped in my head is not 100% answering your question, but I think it’s related. I was I was delivering a workshop at Google. This was about 10-12 years ago. And, you know, mid-level managers. And the workshop is on building authentic relationships and embracing vulnerability. And this woman raised her hand in the group. And she said, you know. Something just hit me that I don’t think I’d ever quite connected the dots. She said, “there’s another woman who works here at Google who I grew up with. We went to high school together and we weren’t super close, but we knew each other and we come from the same town and we’re the exact same age. We went off to different colleges. We’ve had different careers, but we’re both here. She is now way farther along in her career than I am” just in the in the matrix of the company, like, right. And she said, “and as I’m reflecting on this whole notion of vulnerability, what I realize I’ve always admired about her is that she seemed to not I don’t know if it she didn’t care or she just had more courage or whatever, but she would raise her hand and put herself out there and just go for it.”
Sam Jayanti [00:39:51] Yeah.
Mike Robbins [00:39:52] And I and she said, I think that’s probably why she’s been so much more successful than I’ve been, if I’m really being honest about it. You know, and I appreciated the openness of her saying that. And then we all as a group were kind of having a discussion about that. That, again, vulnerability is scary. It’s hard. It’s uncomfortable. Right. What does Brené Brown say? It’s risk, emotional exposure and uncertainty. And if we can lean into those things, if we can embrace those things, if we can move towards those things, not against those, not away from those things, even though they’re scary and uncomfortable and you know what we might lose, We might fail. We might fall flat on our face. We might ask the person, you know, for the job and they say no or for the the sale and they say no or for the date and they say no or whatever. But again, it’s like. Again, another cliche, but it’s like the answer’s always no if you don’t ask.
Sam Jayanti [00:40:47] Right.
Mike Robbins [00:40:47] And the difference between the person who’s willing to ask and the person who’s not willing to ask. And I’m both of those people, depending on the mood and the situation, quite frankly, if I ask, I might get the thing. If I raise my hand and I step forward. It might happen. But if I don’t, because I’m scared…
Sam Jayanti [00:41:06] It’s a default no.
Mike Robbins [00:41:07] Yeah.
Sam Jayanti [00:41:08] Yeah.
Mike Robbins [00:41:08] It’s, you know, and again, and I don’t say this in some way, like this isn’t about like, just suck it up and, like, you know, it’s like, no fear to me. That’s ridiculous. And again, what I wish I would have known all those years ago, Sam, as an athlete, like I was really good at baseball and I would get really, really nervous. And I thought something was wrong with me. I thought that I was like, just weird or weak or insecure at bat or something like that was my internal dialog was like, You’re not very good and you don’t have enough confidence and blah blah, I and I’m looking around everybody else and they all seem to be way more confident than I felt. I did not know at the time. And I wish I did. They were all feeling some version of the same thing too.
Sam Jayanti [00:41:47] The same inner turmoil.
Mike Robbins [00:41:48] Yeah, right. I mean, again, look, some people are genuinely more confident than other people. Some situations were genuinely more comfortable than others. But in general, we compare our insides to other people’s outsides and they don’t match. And then we think I’m crazy or I’m flawed…
Sam Jayanti [00:42:03] Or deficient in some way.
Mike Robbins [00:42:03] But in reality, like everybody is feeling that. And a big part of my work is to not to be weird about it or force people to share stuff they don’t want to share, but to try to take some of that inner dialog and put it out so that A, it’s not just roaming around in our head and making us crazy. And B, when you say it out loud, what you find is that other people are like, Oh, you feel like that? I feel like that. And all of a sudden, like the big secret is now out on the table that like, everybody’s feeling some version of their own insecurity or doubt or fear. And if we can talk a little bit about it, we don’t have to spend so much time and energy hiding it. And what I find when I work with teams and we can do that or when I work with leaders and they can express some of that, even to me, it’s like, okay. Putting it out on the table. Now, what are we going to do now if we’re not wasting all that time and energy performing for each other and actually connecting with each other? Now we can do some great things.
Sam Jayanti [00:43:01] Yeah, absolutely. It brings to mind, you know, Lisa Damour, I read a bunch of her books as the mother of teenagers and particularly two teenage girls, and she talks about this idea of, you know, so many adults when when young adults come to them and say they’re nervous or anxious or stressed about something, the reaction is don’t be anxious or don’t be nervous. Don’t be stressed. And and in fact, that seeks to obviate what they’re feeling.
Mike Robbins [00:43:35] Right?
Sam Jayanti [00:43:36] And sends this message of, Oh, you mustn’t feel that somehow, right? When really what we should be saying to them is it’s reasonable that you’re feeling this way. Let’s talk a little bit about why you’re feeling this and what you might do to address that.
Mike Robbins [00:43:54] Totally and to normalize it. And, you know, it’s interesting you say that. So our older daughter Samantha was with me a couple of months ago. I had a speaking engagement in Las Vegas, and she wanted to come, which was kind of a big deal. You know, Dad is mostly cringey to both girls these days, but she wanted to come and she was interested. And I mean, we were going to go do some fun things in Vegas. Interesting place to take your 17 year old daughter. But she came to my speaking engagement and she wanted to come. I mean, she’s seen me speak a bunch when she was little, but the last few years, not so much. And I, I purposefully said to her and I wasn’t. I meant it and I felt it, but I wanted her to know. Right before I went up on stage, I leaned over and I said to her, Samantha, I’m so glad you’re here, and I’m feeling really nervous. And she looked at me kind of funny and she’s like, Why? And I was like, Well, two reasons. First of all, I’m speaking to a group of dentists, and I don’t usually talk to dentists, so I’m a little nervous, like, I don’t know what exactly how this is going to resonate. This is a different audience than I’m used to speaking. It was a dental conference I’d got invited to and I said, And secondly, you’re here, and, you know, I’m just like, I’m aware of you being here, so I’m just feeling nervous and I’m wanting to do well and I’m wanting not to screw up, Right?
Sam Jayanti [00:45:03] Yeah.
Mike Robbins [00:45:04] And she looks at me kind of surprised, like dad. And then she immediately goes– and it was very sweet– Dad, you’re going to do great. And she starts to, like, kind of coach me and sort of pump me up. But the reason why I did it, though, is I wanted her because she was going to see me get up on stage. And look, I’ve been speaking for 20 plus years. I’m pretty good at it. When you see me on stage, it does not look like I’m nervous at all. It looks like I’m totally comfortable and I’m telling jokes and I’m– right? I wanted her to know this is actually what’s genuinely happening inside right now. Yeah, I’m going to go up there and you’re going to watch me do this thing and there’s no way for you to be able to feel what I’m feeling. But I wanted to normalize to her that like, even at 50 years old, like, I still get nervous and it’s okay. It doesn’t freak me out and I might go do it anyway. And you know what I mean?
Sam Jayanti [00:45:47] Like, totally.
Mike Robbins [00:45:48] I think we don’t do enough of that as leaders, as parents, as human beings to say to each other like, yeah, I’m kind of worried about this thing, or nervous, yeah, and I’m going to go do it anyway. And I might still do a great job at it, but like, I still have some doubt or some fear or some insecurity or whatever, that to your point, it’s not a bad thing. In fact, what we know about emotions is like we can’t selectively mute emotions. So if we say, I’m not going to feel scared or I’m not going to feel angry, I’m not going to feel jealous or whatever of emotion we don’t like, What that does is it mutes all the other ones we want to feel. That mutes the gratitude and the joy and the love and the excitement. So it’s like my work also focuses a lot on can we, again, bring our whole selves to work? Can we be vulnerable enough to be real? You know, one of the most the most vulnerable emotions in life is joy.
Sam Jayanti [00:46:36] Yeah.
Mike Robbins [00:46:36] Because it’s love and appreciation.
Sam Jayanti [00:46:40] Well it’s exposure, in a sense, right?
Mike Robbins [00:46:41] Yeah, right. If I… If I tell you that I love you, if I express my joy and how happy I am about something, it could go away. And you know what? In life it will. Because emotions ebb and flow. And the thing that we’re so joyful about. Yeah, right. You fall in love, you get married, it’s wonderful. And then it’s not so much. And then you get your heart broken and your marriage ends and it’s like, well, what am I going to do? Never love anyone else again? Because it didn’t work out?
Sam Jayanti [00:47:05] Yeah.
Mike Robbins [00:47:06] You never try to go for the promotion because I got fired from the job? Never try to start the company because the last time I tried it didn’t work? Again. Those are real experiences in life that we have to work through. But like, that is part of what ultimately success and fulfillment is about, is like that feeling, picking ourselves up, learning from it, licking our wounds and going, I’m going to try again.
Sam Jayanti [00:47:29] And trusting in that process.
Mike Robbins [00:47:31] Right? And it’s super vulnerable, right? Because it’s like I already you know, I think about this sometimes in my own life and I realize there are some things that, like, I have failed at so much that sometimes I don’t want to try again. And I have to reckon with that. Like, Well, what is that about?
Sam Jayanti [00:47:47] Yeah.
Mike Robbins [00:47:48] And oh, can I pick myself up and go for it? And sometimes even in life and we’ve lived a bit and we’ve had some wisdom and experience, we also have some trauma and some disappointment and some frustration in there. And we start to say to ourselves, consciously or unconsciously, Well, I can’t do that. Well, I don’t do that. I tried that before and it didn’t work. And it’s like, okay.
Sam Jayanti [00:48:06] So true. So. I want to bring us to our last topic. Trust.
Mike Robbins [00:48:13] Yes.
Sam Jayanti [00:48:14] So culture is a word that we hear over and over and over.
Mike Robbins [00:48:19] Hmm.
Sam Jayanti [00:48:20] And a lot of the research on trusted organizations really sort of focuses on two ideas, right? One is how important trust is in shaping individuals’ perceptions of fairness and justice within an organization.
Mike Robbins [00:48:40] Right.
Sam Jayanti [00:48:41] And then the second is that trust isn’t just about anticipating others behaviors, but it’s also about the perception of sort of morality within the organization. We’re living in a time when, as we were saying earlier. Trust in institutions it feels like has never been lower. Right. With the with the collapse of organized religion, with media what it is, social media, etc.. Tell us if and why you feel trust is at a low and how do you work to build trust in/for individuals in teams and then ultimately in their organizations.
Mike Robbins [00:49:26] Well, there’s a lot there. I mean, I look at trust on three different levels. There’s interpersonal trust. So, like, again, let’s say you and I work together or we’re friends or we’re in a family together. Do we trust each other? And that process, as we all know, is tricky. Trust can be built, It can be broken. But it really is a 1 to 1 phenomenon. It has a lot to do with, by the way, our willingness to be real with each other, our willingness to be vulnerable with each other, our willingness to take ownership to repair when something gets broken. And again, we don’t get a lot of training in trust. And it’s a really tricky thing. Everyone says trust is fundamental to relationships. It’s fundamental to teams. It’s all leadership. We all know that. But it’s like, so there’s that. Then there’s group trust, like team trust, which another way to think of that? We talk about psychological safety. Psychological safety means what the group, the team is safe enough for what risk taking, speaking up, challenging one another. You know, debating in a in a healthy, productive way, taking risks, failing. Not that we want to, but we know any of those things can happen within a team. And I’m not going to be shamed, ridiculed, kicked out of the group simply because I made a mistake or I had a different opinion. Then there’s more organizational trust and that one to what you’re speaking to. That one’s tricky because it’s like, well, how do I trust the company or the institution? You know, I’m employee X over here and the company has 30,000 employees. Like what I often will say when I’m talking to the CEO or the senior leaders and they’re wanting we want to we want there to be more trust in the organization. I always say we got to go down to first interpersonal one on one trust and group trust, team trust, because that’s how people actually interact with their world, like their experience, their, you know, most people’s experience of the company they work for is the experience they have with the manager that they report to and the teammates that they have.
Sam Jayanti [00:51:16] Yeah.
Mike Robbins [00:51:17] So if we do really develop and work on and focus on interpersonal trust and group trust, psychological safety, that can have an impact. However, the institutions as a whole, to your point, there’s a lot of things happening in our society these days government institutions, corporate institutions. It’s not that people weren’t skeptical or even cynical about them, you know, five years ago, ten years ago. But there does seem to be a really heightened sense of a lack of trust in institutions.
Sam Jayanti [00:51:46] Yeah.
Mike Robbins [00:51:47] And some of that, I think, is warranted and justified because, you know, companies and government organizations and others like don’t always do great things.
Sam Jayanti [00:51:57] Right.
Mike Robbins [00:51:57] And, you know, it’s hard when that happens, you know, in the nature of how work is. We were talking about this earlier, but again, a couple of generations ago, you went to school, you got a job, and you worked for the company for 40 years and then you retired.
Sam Jayanti [00:52:11] Yeah.
Mike Robbins [00:52:12] That’s not the way it works anymore.
Sam Jayanti [00:52:13] Well, and it wasn’t an individual success wasn’t a zero sum game, right? I think increasingly there’s this sense in our society and it was interesting in a in a conversation Adam Grant and Malcolm Gladwell were having, they were talking about how the this idea of success being more zero sum, you know, isn’t that recent. It sort of began in the in the 70s and 80s really.
Mike Robbins [00:52:36] Right.
Sam Jayanti [00:52:36] And and and you know, with a societal value, increasingly that one’s success implies the failure of someone else.
Mike Robbins [00:52:48] Right.
Sam Jayanti [00:52:48] That just creates a lot of insecurity and negativity and and a lack of trust in those institutions where, as you said, you know, for many of our parents’ generation, they had one, maybe two jobs.
Mike Robbins [00:53:04] Right.
Sam Jayanti [00:53:04] And that was their life. Right?
Mike Robbins [00:53:07] And the expectation wasn’t that I’m going to go here and leverage that and go there and leverage that and then get in early here and it’s going to go public and we’re all going to get rich or whatever. I mean, again, it’s a different paradigm. Like one of our clients is Lawrence Livermore, National Lab out here in California where I live, and people that work at the lab and I’ve been partnering with them for about ten years. I mean, people work there for 30, 40 years.
Sam Jayanti [00:53:31] Right.
Mike Robbins [00:53:31] I was on a Zoom call with a senior leader there who’s been there, this was yesterday and I was asking, remind me, how long have you been at the lab? And she said, only five and a half years. And I said, you know what’s amazing? And I said, If you were in Silicon Valley five and a half years in most.
Sam Jayanti [00:53:44] It would be an eternity.
Mike Robbins [00:53:45] You’re like an old timer. You’ve been around forever, right? And again, it’s all relative. And again, I’m not necessarily arguing that one’s better than the other. It’s just a different paradigm. And so in terms of trusting the institution and again, I’m an optimist, but I don’t think that people have as much stake in the institution anymore. And again, think of Covid and hybrid working and virtual working. Let’s just say I got a job working at Company X in, you know, late 2020 or 2021. And I’m working from home and I interact with everybody on Zoom. And like I’ve literally I mean, maybe I’ve been into the office a couple times. I don’t even know people. I don’t even have any physical connection to the place.
Sam Jayanti [00:54:24] Yeah.
Mike Robbins [00:54:25] So again, it’s tricky, but I mean, even if you’re the CEO or you’re the chairman or chairperson of the board. There’s only so much you can do that’s going to inspire trust in the people inside the organization or institution to trust it. And the more you can do to make good decisions and be transparent with things sort of organizationally, the better. But at the end of the day, it is going to come down to the individuals and their individual relationships with each other. One on one trust and that psychological safety of the team, like that’s where you can really move the needle the most from a cultural standpoint.
Sam Jayanti [00:55:05] Wonderful. Mike, thank you so much. We’ll pause there. I have a feeling we’re going to need to have another conversation about a whole list of topics we did not cover today.
Mike Robbins [00:55:15] Yes, I probably should have warned you up front that I’m short, short winded, so.
Sam Jayanti [00:55:18] But we will do that. We will do that another time. Thank you so much for joining us.
Mike Robbins [00:55:23] Thanks for having me.
Narrator [00:55:26] Thanks for listening. Please subscribe wherever you listen and leave us a review. Find your ideal coach at www.theideamix.com. Special thanks to our producer Martin Milewski and singer-songwriter Doug Allen.
|This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".
|The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".
|This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".
|This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.
|This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".
Get new ideamix content delivered straight to your inbox.