Modupe Akinola explores healthy habits to implement into your life to reach your greatest potential. From channeling creativity from negativity to handling anxieties, Modupe discusses how effective leaders can find motivation, success, and positivity. This podcast episode covers how to provide a creative environment as a leader, understand different behaviors, and learn to be okay with setbacks!
Narrator [00:00:00] Successful individuals use coaching and mentorship to help them unlock their potential. Not all coaches are created equal and that’s why we work with the top 5% of coaches at ideamix. Welcome to Innovators to Know brought to you by ideamix.
Sam Jayanti [00:00:16] Today, we’re in conversation with Professor Modupe Akinola. She’s a professor at Columbia Business School whose research has focused on stress, diversity and biases in the workplace. She’s written extensively on these topics in publications like The New York Times, NPR, Wired, among others. Her coauthored Sunday New York Times op ed titled Professors Are Prejudiced II, with Dolly Chew and Katherine Milkman was one of the top 20 most emailed, read, tweeted, shared articles the weekend it was published. She consults for various organizations, among which are police departments across the US advising on their reform efforts. And apart from her extensive academic qualifications, she’s worked in consulting, finance, and in the nonprofit world along her path to where she is now–one of the most highly rated professors at Columbia Business School. We’re trying not to hold that against her despite being a Harvard University at Harvard Business School grad that she’s chosen to teach at Columbia. Welcome to the show.
Modupe Akinola [00:01:24] Thanks so much for having me. It’s really good to be here.
Sam Jayanti [00:01:27] So would you be–with your background in psychology, your research sits at the intersection of organizational efficiency and change, psychology and human behavior. You’ve done so many different things leading up to becoming a professor at Columbia Business School. Is this where you thought you’d end up, even as you were working at Bain Consulting or on a nonprofit project in Ghana?
Modupe Akinola [00:01:52] Here’s the funny thing. I was a psychology major undergrad, and I took a course on the psychology of organizations, and I even took my GRE junior year in college thinking that I wanted to be a professor. The amazing thing for me on my journey was I also did business stuff on campus, like Harvard student agencies all that. And I had a mentor who was a business school professor who when I said, I think I want to be a business school professor, she was like, No, do the business stuff. Do that, you know? So I was kind of like, You’re right. Maybe I will try a different path because I love the business side of things too. And at that point I was like, I’ll get my Ph.D. when I’m in my fifties or sixties. Eventually, I ended up getting my Ph.D. sooner than that, and that led me on this path. But there’s nothing like getting guidance from mentors, having mentors, getting guidance from them in terms of shaping your path. But, you know, there are certain things that you do prior, whether it’s in college, whether it’s in your extracurriculars that light you up. Pay attention to those because that might be something you do later or sooner than you think.
Sam Jayanti [00:03:00] Yeah, it’s fascinating. I think that, you know, we go through our high school, college, grad school, you know, early working years, sort of not cognizant of that in a way. And sometime towards the end of the twenties, early thirties, there’s this sort of realization of, gosh, I really loved doing that thing or that set of things. And and listening to those instincts, I think is is so critical to the sort of the future.
Modupe Akinola [00:03:30] I think that’s so right. And also having friends who give you guidance and advice too, because they’ve watched you in the things that give you joy. And it’s funny because I know we were talking about a friend we have in common from business school. I remember the year that I was applying to business school to get my Ph.D. right. I happened to touch base with her and she was like, I had a dream the other day that you were a professor.
Sam Jayanti [00:03:57] Huh?
Modupe Akinola [00:03:58] So you never know what little things are happening in the universe to guide you along your path. So like, pay attention. Pay attention.
Sam Jayanti [00:04:05] Totally. Look out for the signs.
Modupe Akinola [00:04:07] Yeah.
Sam Jayanti [00:04:09] So part of your research has focused on how setbacks can often spur us forward. Yeah. I want to take a quick look at this video where you describe some of your research. Would you tell us a little bit about how you developed the study? What got you interested in the topic, how you designed the study?
Modupe Akinola [00:04:32] So there was a lot of research out there that was like, you know, it’s bad to be in a bad mood in terms of being creative. You know, you need to be in a good mood and a positive mood and all that. And I can think of a lot of times in my journey where I wasn’t in a positive mood, but some creative things came out. And so we kind of set out to better understand what is this link between mood and creativity? And we know from the video that that lots of creative people often suffer from negative mood related disorders. And but then we’re very creative. So what is it? And so in this work, the idea was to kind of unpack that and to look at your biology, which when coupled with situations, can then affect your creativity. And the big thing we found is that, yeah, when you have a negative mood triggering situation and you might be more sensitive to that, that’s when people created the most amazing collages. So it’s just a reminder that sometimes that negative mood creativity offers an opportunity to repair that. And so when I think about that in everyday life, one question is, yeah, when you’re feeling down or whatever, what is something that you can channel that negativity into that can lead to some kind of creative output that might be useful for whatever it is you’re struggling with. So that was one of that, the origin of that work and what I take from it.
Sam Jayanti [00:05:59] Yeah, no, I think we we live in a world where it’s sort of a little bit the age of instant gratification, right? So, so it’s sort of, oh, I’m not in a good mood or I’m feeling negative or I’m feeling anxious or whatever. And that’s not a good thing, right? Is sort of the the very common perception when the reality is like everyone goes through those cycles. And the question is really what you do with that. And and can you channel it productively to kind of learn from those experiences and then get to a better place?
Modupe Akinola [00:06:36] Absolutely. I like to remind myself and others we were given this range of emotions for a reason. We have been given anxiety. So like, it’s not that we’re supposed to suppress it, you’re supposed to experience it. And then ask yourself, okay, well, why am I feeling this way now? Why do these situations cause me to feel this way? And what can I do about it? Instead of just being like, go away, go away, or why am I anxious? This is bad. Is it? No. Recognize it and accept it and then do something with it. And I hope that we start teaching kids this at younger ages, because I think that might lead to more healthy behaviors.
Sam Jayanti [00:07:15] Totally. No, absolutely. I think I start to think about Lisa de Moraes work, which I’m sure you’ve seen. And and I remember when my girls were starting to kind of experience some of those anxieties, that go into a talk by her, reading her book, you know, it was sort of help your child as a parent to understand what they’re feeling and going through rather than saying, Oh, don’t be anxious or don’t be stressed, you know? Because these are all practical realities of our lives.
Modupe Akinola [00:07:49] Exactly. And when we deny these things and these experiences, then it sends the signal that it’s bad when it’s not. So I think taking that advice for ourselves and for the young people in our lives is critical.
Sam Jayanti [00:08:02] Yeah, absolutely. So in terms of the practical implications of how individuals translate your research findings into specific behaviors in a corporate context or any kind of business context, how do you think, you know, any of us as individuals leading teams or in any kind of leadership role should sort of balance the positive and negative feedback we give people?
Modupe Akinola [00:08:33] Yeah, it’s such an important question. I think the first thing is understand your people.
Sam Jayanti [00:08:39] Yeah.
Modupe Akinola [00:08:40] Know that certain people react in certain ways to types of feedback. So there might be somebody who’s like, stop sugarcoating and telling me all the positive things. First, let’s get to the negative, then get to the positive. Other people are like, Please give me that positive reinforcement first, because then that will help me receive the negative because I’m already thinking about the negative. So to the extent that we get to learn what each person needs and cater our feedback to that or the processes we engage in, then that will be better for them. And I don’t think that people have that sensitivity as leaders. And if you develop that, I think not only will it help people receive what you have to say, that then will lead to them progressing, staying, being motivated by you, and doing even better at their job.
Sam Jayanti [00:09:26] 100%. I mean, we experienced this in our business here at idemix all the time, right? Like, the skills that put people into leadership roles are then not the skills that they require to be effective leaders. And probably the number one skill is sort of evolving their communication style. You know, kind of knowing your audience, you were just saying understanding that different personalities require a different mode of communication. And that transition a lot of people struggle to make. Right and need sort of something, whether it’s some kind of learning mechanism, whether that’s mentorship. In our case, it’s coaching to really understand how to change those behaviors in themselves and then implement them on their team.
Modupe Akinola [00:10:18] Right. And I mean, what a couple of things that I always remind my students when I teach about being effective leaders is different people need different things at different times. And also that we have these egocentric tendencies where we think that everyone’s just like, I am, right? So the way I want to receive feedback is the way they know or they’re just like each other. No. And so to the extent that we remember that this is not the case the better off will be.
Sam Jayanti [00:10:45] 100%. 100%. Let’s shift gears a little bit and talk about failure. Another topic you’ve spent a lot of your time working with. One of the insights from some of your work is that failure is a positive practice, right? For life. And you, chair of the board of your alma mater, the Brearley School, one of the best girl school schools in the country that my girls have been privileged to attend. And even there, despite a constant effort, I think, at the school to talk openly about the importance of failure or admitting failure or discussing it and learning from it, it often feels quite monumental for today’s young adults, right? Share your thoughts with us on this. Is there something that’s changed? Is–what’s shifted?
Modupe Akinola [00:11:42] Well, I think that the problem or the challenge is that we as older adults are not used to that–used to understanding that. And so part of it is that we’re passing that along, but then asking them to shift. So how can we get used to this ourselves as adults? And the funny story about this, I just was with classmates of mine from Brearley.
Sam Jayanti [00:12:07] Yeah.
Modupe Akinola [00:12:08] And one of them has a child that goes to Brearley and she mentioned that she was going to a birthday party and her daughter had written a card to the young person and she’d crossed out, messed up a word, and crossed it out. And my friend was horrified, like, you’re going to–you’re going to give that card with the crossed out letters to your–and she had to pause and be like, no, that’s okay! Mistakes are okay. And I bet you there are enough parents who are not pausing and they’d be like, No, no, no, here’s a new card. Why write the new one? Yeah. So I think that the beauty of interacting with human other humans at different age levels is to be a mirror and to watch yourself and to say, Wait, why did that trigger me? And what does that mean? I need to change in myself to potentially not be triggered by that. If we do that more, then I think the younger generations are going to be even more accepting of this idea of failure and okay with it, knowing that it’s just a part of life.
Sam Jayanti [00:13:09] You’re so right. I mean, I think these behaviors with children and young adults in particular are all learned behaviors and learned reactions, right. That come from I mean, they’re teachers, they’re parents, the adults they interact with the most in their lives. And if we’re just simply not role modeling the right kind of behaviors, that it’s unsurprising that they become very anxious about failure.
Modupe Akinola [00:13:34] Yes. And admitting and sharing, like, here’s where I messed something up, too. I think we hold it in so much, and then that prevents the learning that can happen that then leads to changed behaviors.
Sam Jayanti [00:13:46] Yeah, makes a ton of sense. So one of the things we’ve touched upon in various ways in our conversation up until this point is learning, mentorship, coaching. What role does that play in your life?
Modupe Akinola [00:14:02] I feel like I’m a constant learner. I like to constantly be in that mode, that mindset, and I like to constantly be in that mode and mindset of being coachable. Yeah, so I do a lot of coaching. Obviously I have, you know, my students, the clients I work with and all that. But so much of the coaching that I do teaches me about myself, too. And so I think the best coaches are able to kind of integrate in a unique way and not just impose their perspectives, but also listen. I think the best thing we need to do as coaches and in being coached is to listen.
Sam Jayanti [00:14:48] 100% yeah. And to treat it as a learning process for ourselves as much as it is for the other person as we kind of take them on this journey of self-discovery.
Modupe Akinola [00:14:57] Right! Otherwise, you are thwarting that process for them. Because often as a coach, you kind of know or you feel like you know the answer. And so to have somebody walk through it themselves and get to that place is even more rewarding for them as well as for you. But it’s hard because we like to impose our perspectives on others.
Sam Jayanti [00:15:20] Well, and we also you know, there’s almost a societal value system around “tell me what to do” or tell somebody what to do. And and and that’s viewed as, in some sense, a solution, like the sort of quick fix or the free lunch or whatever. But there isn’t one really because you hear and are told all sorts of things kind of every day of our lives, but we don’t internalize them until we do them, in a way.
Modupe Akinola [00:15:52] You know, you just made me think about something that I am practicing more of, which is to ask people what they want when they ask me for What do you need right now? What kind of friend, Coach, mentor do you want me to be? Do you want me to be the one that’s like telling you what to do? Do you want me to just listen? What do you want? And I think that that is helpful, because I often don’t think we know what we want. So forcing somebody to actually think that through is one of the most important steps, I think, in a coaching process.
Sam Jayanti [00:16:25] Totally. That’s such a great point, actually, because I’ve sometimes struggled with this with my teenage children where they sort of, you know, will come to me with a problem and my immediate instinct is like, I see a problem provide a solution, right? And and asking them the question of, you know, do you want a solution? Do you want me to just listen? Do you want–what is it that you want and need right this time? Creativity and innovation. These are perhaps the most often repeated words in organizations among leadership teams. Just a few weeks ago, actually, we were in conversation here with Amy Edmondson, who’s focused some of her research on psychological safety. Tell us your thoughts on creating the right environment to encourage and boost creativity and innovation.
Modupe Akinola [00:17:22] So it’s interesting because when you asked that, the first thing I thought was, is it creating the right environment in general and then this creativity and innovation comes. And so the first thing that came to mind was can we have an environment where people are different on many dimensions, whether it’s their thinking styles, whether it’s their demographics, like race, ethnicity, gender, whether it’s their backgrounds, they’re whatever area they’re in, in an organization. So if we bring diversity to the table, I think that there’s tons of research showing that can lead to greater, more innovative solutions because people with different ideas are then bringing them to the table. But that doesn’t lead to creativity on its own because when people are different, you know that that can lead to conflict because everyone is so–has different opinions and all that. So it’s on the leader to create the environment that then allows for the creativity to come out and the conflict to be diminished. And that means creating an environment where people feel like their voice matters, where they can speak freely, where they are listened to, where they are not interrupted, where they’re building off each other, where there’s enough space and time. Because these days I’m worried. We’re so rushed in our meetings, we’re like, okay, we’re going to have 90 minutes and then this is what we’re going to do and then you’re done. You know, can we create the space and the time to allow those ideas to flow? And so I feel like those ingredients of diversity, environment, where voice and opinions are welcome and time and space can lead to more creativity and innovation.
Sam Jayanti [00:19:09] So we see this in our work where we coach professionals at companies with frequency that they really struggle with creating the right environment as you’re saying, right? I think they know and understand the principles that you just outlined. And yet when they try to implement them, it’s one of the most common things we see is there’s sort of this like aversion to confrontation in a way. And I don’t mean confrontation like people are yelling at each other, but but just simple disagreement, right? In a professional setting that’s expressed appropriately.
Modupe Akinola [00:19:52] Right.
Sam Jayanti [00:19:53] And they sort of draw back when they see that and and feel, oh, it’s bad or I’m threatened by it or somebody is threatened by it. And without an honest environment, I mean, maybe Bridgewater lies at one extreme of honesty, but without that honest environment where people can say some of the negative things again, appropriately, but can actually express those thoughts, it’s really hard to create an open atmosphere, where the freedom to express perhaps an unformed but creative or new idea can sort of happen.
Modupe Akinola [00:20:36] Yeah.
Sam Jayanti [00:20:36] Why is that struggle so acute? Has it always been so acute?
Modupe Akinola [00:20:41] I think it probably has been, because I think that that environment requires vulnerability. Requires people–
Sam Jayanti [00:20:51] On the leaders part.
Modupe Akinola [00:20:52] –on the leaders part to show that even they can make mistakes or have an idea. That’s not great and that’s okay. Yeah. And I think that it’s really hard for people to be vulnerable. There’s some weakness that’s associated with that. And so leaders tend to shy away from it, which means that people who they lead will shy away from it. Right. But I have found that the best leaders model, that it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to have setbacks, because that’s what makes us human and everyone wants to see and understand and believe they’re working with people who are human like them, like the same emotions they have, others have. So I think that if you add a dose of vulnerability and don’t view it as weakness, but actually a strength, then that is a piece of what can create even more innovative solutions.
Sam Jayanti [00:21:49] So I’m curious for your thoughts on this. So I’ve worked at large and small companies, large, mid-sized and small companies. One of them was Palantir, you know, like a Silicon Valley. It was mid-size by the time I got there, no longer a startup. And we would have, I mean, endless numbers of senior management teams or even middle management teams from large companies come through and visit us at Palantir, among other tech companies in the Valley, on sort of these innovation tours, like trying to understand why Palantir and other companies in the Valley are innovative and what’s the environment like? And they would index, in a sense, on the wrong thing, right? Because they’d be like, oh, foosball tables and scooters or whatever. And it wasn’t about that. It was more about leadership. And the sort of modality of the dialog that would go on amongst teams. What is it that big companies and leaders at big companies, why is that struggle so much more acute in those larger organizations, do you think, than it is in smaller ones or technology ones or however it’s best to think about it?
Modupe Akinola [00:23:09] So to me, so much trust is built in smaller interactions in one on one.
Sam Jayanti [00:23:18] Yeah.
Modupe Akinola [00:23:19] And in a larger organization, leaders are busy, have more direct reports, have more things going on, so some of those one on ones just don’t happen as much. And so it’s harder to develop that closeness or relationship that can be the foundation for so much of so many of the behaviors that we want to see. But I mean, you just don’t have the time to pour into people in a way that would make them feel like aligned and alive and able to bring their full selves.
Sam Jayanti [00:23:54] So it’s almost like a loss of fidelity in a way.
Modupe Akinola [00:23:56] In some ways. And so how do you, in spite of the largesse of an organization, create those micro moments?
Sam Jayanti [00:24:04] Yeah.
Modupe Akinola [00:24:05] That’s what needs to happen. More of those need to happen for people to feel psychologically safe in bringing themselves, bringing their ideas to the table. And it’s hard. It’s really, really hard. But, you know, the other thing is then if a leader–if you have enough of the right people reporting to you, then you can have that culture flow down into more of the one on ones of the direct reports and then of their direct reports. But it needs to start at the top first, then flow down.
Sam Jayanti [00:24:40] Yeah. Is there one of the things we like to use in our coaching engagements with anybody–individual or corporate employee–is some of the most robust and commonly used assessment tools around either personality or professional skills. And do you feel like even sometimes, you know, even when leaders are the right type of personality and are demonstrating vulnerability, as you said, and creating the right culture in their teams, there can be a breakdown somewhere further down the chain where, you know, the the next set of managers is not doing that. And is there almost a change in our corporate culture that we need to help diagnose some of these, almost like a lack of adequate leadership qualities among some of those professionals and then actually address it however a company chooses to address it.
Modupe Akinola [00:25:53] I don’t think enough leaders understand the basics of leadership–leadership 101. Some of them have gone through the ranks, so they’ve never had outside training, you know. Some have gone to business schools and others, which presumably I hope will have taught some of those skills. But then you need to be reminded of those skills over time. And so I just think there’s a fundamental breakdown in how we train in our organizations, these leadership skills. Because some have never had them. Some have also have had awful managers themselves, so they don’t even have a model of what a good leader looks like. So if we’re operating with so many of these different levels, then you need a level set through training that really creates some core fundamental traits or behaviors that everyone aspiring to be a leader should have. And I take that back, not even everyone aspiring to be a leader. Everyone should have an exhibit to be able to be an effective leader at the organization. So that’s where we’re failing. We’re not reminding people regularly what they need to do to be effective.
Sam Jayanti [00:27:11] And how do you think people organizations should do that? Is it training, coaching, an open discussion about exactly the skills and qualities that needs to happen with greater frequency?
Modupe Akinola [00:27:21] Yes. I also think that it needs to be customized training, too, because sometimes we think we can do this off the shelf staff or whatever. Know what is unique about our organization and how can we create something and tailor it towards the things that are unique about our organization? You know, I mean, it kind of reminds me of like implicit bias training. Everyone learn. You know, we have issues with diversity. We need to be less biased. So let’s have–let’s do bias training. Well, what kind of bias training is right for your–is it bias training that’s right for your organization? Are there other elements of DEI that need to be fixed first before you delve deeper into that? So I think we need to be better in our organizations at diagnosing what is needed and then customizing it in a unique way. And the funny thing is, that sounds obvious.
Sam Jayanti [00:28:13] Yes, it does.
Modupe Akinola [00:28:14] But it’s not done as much as it should be. And you mentioned, you know, feedback systems like performance evaluations. And these processes are still not done well in most organizations. So we need to align that leadership development training with what people are receiving in performance management systems and then hold people accountable for that. All of those systems are broken down in most of our organizations. So that’s one of the big challenges. Fixing these broken systems.
Sam Jayanti [00:28:48] Totally. So I’m glad you brought up bias because this has obviously been a focus of yours. And I think there’s an increasing awareness of it in our society and kind of dialog and discussion of institutional biases, whether it’s, you know, in the police or in a hospital or wherever. Tell us a little bit about that work and and what some of your insights are from it.
Modupe Akinola [00:29:19] So, you know, a lot of this work is about trying to help organizations be more inclusive and at the individual level, I think it starts with the self. I think it starts at the individual. And the first thing is recognizing that we are all biased. Yes, we are all in a society where there are myriad biases that we soak in, in what we read and what we watch and what we experience on the street. And so I think the biggest thing people need to do is pay attention and notice their own biases. That’s the first step. And then once you recognize that, what some of these are, then being able to say, okay, now let me not behave in a discriminatory way. And then taking it to the next level and saying, okay, well, what are some systems and processes that we have in place that could end up allowing bias to come–
Sam Jayanti [00:30:17] Creep in.
Modupe Akinola [00:30:18] –creep in. And so that–starting with the self
Sam Jayanti [00:30:22] Single most thing.
Modupe Akinola [00:30:23] Single most important thing and I study this stuff and I’m bias all the time. And I have to say to myself, I’m not a bad person for it. I’m human, but I would be a bad person if I didn’t recognize it first and then do something about it.
Sam Jayanti [00:30:39] So how do you think, like everyday individuals, how do everyday individuals develop a greater awareness of their own biases, do you think? Or how can we encourage that?
Modupe Akinola [00:30:56] So much of it is about every interaction you have. We have tons of interactions on a daily basis. Who do I say hi to and who don’t I know? Who do I ignore and why? Whose name do I know in my organization? This is my big one. For me, I try very hard to know the names of every single custodian or whoever works on my floor. Right? Because they deserve to know–have their name known.
Sam Jayanti [00:31:32] I mean, it’s the most basic recognition. Absolutely.
Modupe Akinola [00:31:34] Basic recognition. But if you ask most people, they would not know. And I see their eyes light up when I say, Hey, Lawrence, how are you? Hey, Balthasar. And I write it down. I don’t have a great memory, so I write it down in my top drawer so that if someone comes in and is cleaning the garbage or something, I can remember their name. So can we just start there? We’re bias in whose information we choose to care about.
Sam Jayanti [00:32:01] Yeah. It’s a simple starting point. Yeah, I love that. Thank you. So would you–last question, and this one focuses on another often repeated word or in our cultural moment, stress. Some of your research is focused on how organizational environments and gender stress and how it influences both individual and organizational performance. You ended up implementing some of your research real time to work with Chris Hemsworth on the Netflix show Limitless.
Modupe Akinola [00:32:33] National Geographic.
Sam Jayanti [00:32:35] National Geographic. Sorry I stand corrected, yes. You ended up implementing some of your research, real time to work with Chris Hemsworth in the National Geographic show Limitless. Are we more stressed than we’ve ever been before, or are we just talking about it more? Or what are the drivers, do you think?
Modupe Akinola [00:32:59] I think some of our stress–there are more things that we have on our plate these days than before that then lead to us being more stressed. Whether it’s the fact that you are always on and you can always check your email, that people can ask you for anything from anywhere who you’ve never even met. Then you know, yes, from an economy standpoint, there have been ups and downs, but the wealth gap is huge, which means that they’re financially they’re more stressful for some people than others. Things are generally super expensive now, so we just have more. And when you have more, there’s more of an opportunity to be stressed out by more things. So it’s not that it wasn’t something that existed before. It’s just the volume, the sheer volume of opportunities we have to be stressed is more these days.
Sam Jayanti [00:33:58] Absolutely fair. But the first part of what you said, that, you know, there’s just things coming at us all the time with constancy. Is that a self-regulation issue? Like, yes, we all have phones, but we can also make active decisions not to look at our phones or how do you think about that?
Modupe Akinola [00:34:20] I think that there are these societal norms regardless of whether your personality can kind of overcome it or self-regulation abilities that kind of say you should always be on and available. And so unless we buck that norm and say it’s okay to not respond or we change what timely is versus not or we respect people’s boundaries, If we do that, then it will allow for more people to engage in self-regulatory practices that are more helpful. But yeah I’m sorry. Most of us, when we email somebody, we want them to respond pretty quickly.
Sam Jayanti [00:35:03] Absolutely fair.
Modupe Akinola [00:35:03] So which is unfortunate because that means that no one is breathing. People aren’t breathing. They’re constantly on. And so learning how to turn off, but not only that, though, because that is painting a picture of this stress is a bad thing. I think it’s ultimately about knowing the type of stress that you need that can help you rise to the occasion and knowing the type of stress that can make you kind of buckle and not perform at your best. And again, to the point of knowing yourself, once we get better at understanding what situations lead us to be less effective where stresses debilitating versus the situations where stress is enhancing. If we can self diagnose, then that will help us in adjusting to our ever present stress.
Sam Jayanti [00:35:58] That makes a ton of sense. You know, with so many things you’ll hear the prior generation say about the next generation, oh, they’re so much smarter or they’re so much more technologically adept or they do so many more things. Do you think self-awareness is also increasing and evolving in a positive way for future generations or with each successive generation?
Modupe Akinola [00:36:21] I think it is with each successive generation. I’m so happy about that because I think that prior generations it was kind of like you just do and you survive and you make it happen. You don’t need to find joy in your job. You have to find joy in your life. You just survive.
Sam Jayanti [00:36:37] Get it done.
Modupe Akinola [00:36:37] Get it done. And, you know, I would like to say that my generation is kind of like, wait a minute, but all of you in that prior generation aren’t that happy. So what do we need to do in our generation to be happier? And that is come with look inward. And now look inward and take advantage of resources, therapy, coaching, whatever that can help you look inward. And now that’s a norm or more of a norm for the younger generations who have the capacity to take advantage of those resources. Absolutely. So it is getting better and better in some ways, but what we need to also do is level the playing field so that everybody has access.
Sam Jayanti [00:37:21] So it’s actually accessible.
Modupe Akinola [00:37:23] Yes, because we all need to better understand all of the mess and beauty that’s in here in these minds.
Sam Jayanti [00:37:31] 100%. That’s a great note to end on. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Modupe Akinola [00:37:35] My pleasure. It was a treat! Thanks for having me on.
Narrator [00:37:40] Thanks for listening. Please subscribe wherever you listen and leave us a review. Find your ideal coach www.theideamix.com. Special thanks to our producer Martin Milewski and singer songwriter Doug Allen.
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