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Aug. 18, 2022

The CATK Interview: Chris DeSantis

The CATK Interview: Chris DeSantis

The CATK Summer Interview Series Continues with Chris DeSantis

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Orwell wryly noted, “Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it and wiser than one that comes after it.” Differences of any kind—whether they be race, religion, gender identity, point of view, or values—can make us or, if we let them, just as easily break us.

Regardless of our generational identities, we all benefit from understanding where others come from and what they need to get their jobs done well. With wit and keen insight, organizational behavior expert Chris DeSantis delivers thoughtful, direct, and actionable guidance we need to better navigate generational friction that can drive misunderstandings both in life and in the workplace. DeSantis can discuss:

Chris DeSantis is an independent organizational behavior practitioner, speaker, podcaster, and author, with over thirty-five years of experience working with clients in professional services firms both domestically and internationally. Over the past fifteen years, he has been invited to speak on generational issues in the workplace at hundreds of the leading U.S. law and accounting firms, as well as many of the major insurance and pharma companies. His new book is Why I Find You Irritating: Navigating Generational Friction at Work (Amplify Publishing, May 3, 2022). Learn more at cpdesantis.com.

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Production and Music: DJ Cellz


0:00:00.0 Torin: We've been about this work diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, shared through the voices of a White woman and a Black man we bring lived experiences. We have pursued DNI progress for most of our professional lives. We use Crazy and The King to cover news, tips from colleagues and host incredible guests. Listeners, Carol, Julie and I transparently drive the conversation, we thank you for rocking with us, check it. Julie kick off the show.

0:00:39.1 Julie: Welcome to Crazy and The King.

0:00:43.2 Torin: I know we don't use video, but this right here is kind of like my laying down like you ever felt like you have been traveling so much that you are just tired. J, let me tell you, when we got back from Rec Fest, I don't even know if you know this. But when we got back from Rec Fest literally the day after I got on another plane and had to do a five hour flight to Los Angeles. So as we enter into this celebratory month of August, let's say my second princess's birthday is this month. My oldest sister's birthday is this month. And in many places. This is when we begin to to kind of wind down the summer. So have you had a good summer?

0:01:32.4 Julie: Yeah, it's been a great summer obviously enjoyed our time together at Rec Fest and did a little sightseeing thereafter, to, you know me we try to enjoy Europe as much as we can. So got to see some new places. And yeah, not too bad. And glad to have a lots of celebrations for you in August as we wrap up the summer and start thinking into what does fall conference season look like and what does our end of the year look like?

0:02:03.4 Torin: Yeah, and I gotta tell you, real funny story about Rec Fest. I reached out to Charlotte. And I said, "Will you send me a list of potential hotels that I can stay at? While I'm there." And she sends me this incredible list. But what I gotta tell you, J, I don't know if I've ever said this out loud before. But like three of the five or six hotels she sent me, were like these real rustic country farm-like themes.

0:02:34.7 Julie: Does she not know how bougie you are?

0:02:37.6 Torin: Yeah. We ain't with the whole like farm and horns on the wall and, yeah, I wasn't with that. But what I am with is when we get a chance to revisit some of the conversations that we've had. And a couple of months back, you and I we talked about the announcement of Sheryl Sandberg and her deciding that she was going to leave Facebook and we also talked a bit about, culpability and responsibility around her presence at the organization. And whether or not history is going to be kind to her. In that conversation we talked about Lean In and what I did not ask you and I was thinking about this when I revisited that conversation in my head. What I was thinking about is, I never got your opinion, I never... I don't think we really sussed out how you felt about Lean In, as a white woman who is a professional, who is also a mother. Did Lean In resonate with you the way that I think the media portrayed that it resonated with so many women and I'm not asking through a tone of indictment. I'm wondering did Lean In move you, Julie Sowash to feel like I can be a better, more present professional woman and I'm not sacrificing the things that are important at home?

0:04:09.6 Julie: Yeah, I don't know that it ever... I don't think anything that we do as professional women who are also mothers will ever take away mom guilt. If someone can figure out the cure to mom guilt the world will be a much, much better place. And so at the time, Lean In, I thought was incredibly influential to me. Probably most importantly, thinking about the way that I structured my life so I could lean into my career more, which was the move to working at home full-time, being able to be there at very important things for the kids. And in the every day. That was the biggest change I think that I learned. And I wonder, I think maybe a lot of women would say that that's not leaning in, that's stepping back. But for me, it actually gave me a better work life balance. So when I was present at work, I could be fully present and not have to worry about the thing as a lot of moms who go into the office every day do.

0:05:20.9 Torin: And do you think that that was an advantage for you? And you say that that's a little bit counter to what a lot of women would think? Why do you feel that way? Did you have some of those, offline conversations, talk about it, maybe with your family, some of the colleagues inside of the organization? How do you get to that point of your being a little bit different than what a lot of other women might think?

0:05:45.2 Julie: Yes, definitely always conversing with moms who are also professionals. But I think that is what I could see happen to me. And how I knew I had to spend my vacation time, my sick time, my weekends, when I had to go into the office and have my butt in the seat from eight to five. How dramatically my life shifted, and my relationships with my kids shifted, when I was home every single day, even though I was upstairs on a call in the office, that kind of thing. I had more freedom to take care of personal things. So when I was at work, I got to lean into my work fully, and not had that distracted brain of what do I have to take care of at home? That for me was a game changer and made me a better leader and a more successful executive.

0:06:34.9 Torin: Do you... When you think about the work that you all are doing? You would consider it to be professional services, correct? Got it. And the reason I asked that is because you have a take, you have context, you have a position a stake in how a number of women show up. I don't know how many professional women there are, 10 million, 20 million 30 million inside of our workforce, but there are a number of them. But there are also this... There's also this conversation that really centers around the tech space very, very heavy. A lot of what we talk about in the DNI world for sure, in the DNI world is attached, it's connected in an intricate and intimate way, with the technology space. And over in the technology space, there's still some that feel like, they are part of a vicious cycle. There's a lot of women in the tech space that just feel like, I can continue to stay in this, I don't wanna call it a worker bee role. But but they can be a programmer, they can be an R&D.

0:07:46.9 Torin: There's just a cycle where they don't necessarily have enough people to see above them, that shows them that there's an opportunity for them, one to lean in, and then have a promising result, or an outcome as a result of that leaning in. Meaning, rather than stay in the worker role being the engineer being the developer being the designer being in that hands-on role, a lot of them are shifting over into management. And some feel like that's a vicious cycle. And I don't know, as a man, I feel like that's a good thing, because I'd like to see more women in management, and then move into leadership roles where they have P&L responsibility for thousands, tens of thousands, of hundreds, tens of thousands of people. I'd like to see more women in management. Am I like chauvinist in that? Am I being too male-centered? Where do you see, that opinion, that feeling of mine?

0:08:58.3 Julie: Yeah, I mean. I think that we should, I think tech is a visual demonstration of a much larger problem. It is the microcosm that we choose to look at because there have been powerful women in tech, and worker bees in tech, who have used their voices to start to help us from an outside perspective, understand what that vicious cycle looks like. And I'm not sure that I would ever say wanting more women into leadership, it could be seen as chauvinist. I think it's the challenge of how do we support women who are going through that vicious cycle and expect them to stay in it and not just get fed up with the bullshit and decide it's time to move into a different career path. It's time to move into a different industry. It's time to move to a different company where I can actually get that opportunity. That is asking a lot. And I think, just as we talk about other underrepresented communities, how do you continue to ask for the same thing, knowing that change is so slow, that it is so grinding? But that's... But we say to each other every day, that's why we do the work. The change is slow, and the grind is slow.

0:10:25.1 Torin: Yeah, thank you for that, I appreciate you allowing us to kind of revisit this conversation. Because sometimes, Julie, when we are conversing back and forth with one another, actually, oftentimes, while we may record and capture certain content, when I go back and think about the conversation, I'm always saying to myself, "Wow, I wish I would have raised this issue." Or I wish I would have been this vulnerable, so that listeners could hear that vulnerability, and then themselves, think about how they are showing up in the workplace. So for those of you who might have missed our conversation, Julie and I talked about Sheryl Sandberg's announcement, and I think that episode aired sometime in early June. So you can go back to crazyandtheking.com and you can grab that episode, you can absolutely grab all of our episodes at crazyandtheking.com, you can sign up for our newsletter there. You can also subscribe to Crazy and The King via iTunes, Spotify, and a number of other incredible distribution platforms. So listen, that'll do it for J and I because we could talk for an hour. But we have a guest this week. So we're going to do a commercial. And then we're going to allow the guest to talk for something close to an hour. We'll be right back.

0:11:48.0 Julie: Alright. Welcome back. I am so excited to welcome our guest this week. Chris DeSantis, author, speaker, consultant. Chris uses organizational behavior practices and an inclusive, others-focused approach, I love that, to help companies identify and address assumptions that get in the way of growth. Specifically, some we'll talk today about generational changes and generational friction at work. He also has a podcast with a very funny podcast partner, I'm going to make sure we dig into what that podcast is all about as well. Chris, welcome to Crazy and The King.

0:12:36.1 Chris: Thank you. Thank you for having me. I really appreciate being here.

0:12:40.3 Torin: Hey, Chris, I gotta jump in real quick. So first of all, Julie, she highlighted that others-focused approach. I loved that phrase. Because to me, that means that you are decentering yourself. And when I say you, you are suggesting that as often as we can, or certainly in more instances than we have that we decenter, ourselves and we focus on others. How do you frame a definition, a description, a characterization of that powerful phrase, others-focused approach?

0:13:19.0 Chris: Well, for a while there, I was under the... I made the choice of thinking in terms about perspective taking, meaning that you take the perspective of others. But the limitation of that is it's predicated on the assumptions we have of others based on what little we might know. So I end up categorizing. So for instance, I see a very successful female on front of me, I have all of these things I will say about her in my mind. But I don't know if that's true. So that perspective taking has a limitation. I think what I really am looking for now is perspective seeking, it's to say who are you by virtue of asking versus who I assume you to be by virtue of the experiences that I've had up to this point in time. So I think it's... I hate to say the word behooves. But who gets to use that every once in a while, but I think it behooves us to really think about, okay, step back about, test your assumptions. I'm not saying that we're right or wrong in our assumptions, I'm saying that we have to test or qualify them before we get into deciding what they need from us.

0:14:25.9 Torin: That testing of assumptions is like super strong, because the way that you just defined it, it really coincides well with how do we establish belonging? How do we establish culture? How do we establish true inclusion? True inclusion?

0:14:48.8 Chris: Yes, we think inclusion is interesting, 'cause we are biased towards the visual of inclusion as opposed to the larger perspective of who's in front of us in terms of their differences. So I am a fan of embracing a broader spectrum of difference. And being visually different is only one aspect of that.

0:15:10.2 Julie: Yeah, I very much so. And I think it speaks to what we really have to think about when we think about the future of work, right? We as leaders have to get to know our people, because our assumed... Our assumptions are not their actual lived experience. So let's kind of talk about that. How have you... How have your views changed? Let me say it this way, regarding the future of work. One of our favorite phrases we use way too often right now, kind of, since the start of COVID, to now.

0:15:46.7 Chris: Right. Right. Well, I've been, I do a lot of home... I had a lot of time over COVID, as everyone did. And so I've read a bunch of these books on the remote work or the future of work and all of these things. And so I see the world as going to be, it's going to be hybrid in some quality, it has to be, it's just because we were successful during the pandemic, in terms of being able to operate outside of the office real estate. So if that is the case, and if we are successful, then I think and that we introduced a number of people into the workplace who only experienced that, then in fact, there's an opportunity here to leverage that. I also believe though at the same time, we need each other, we are social creatures by evolution.

0:16:32.3 Chris: So we're going to have to meld these things together. But what I don't see is we don't have clear metrics of how we measure your performance. So therefore, what happens is, I'm gonna have some people in the office that I'm gonna like better, even though they may not be better, just because I see them. So I think the challenge is how do I be remote and still be in the game? Because I think we're gonna be biased. That's just...

0:17:00.0 Torin: Chris let me jump in. And you actually... That's interesting when you say we don't have metrics. But don't we have metrics, is it?

0:17:11.1 Chris: We don't have.

0:17:13.2 Torin: I mean. But isn't, X number of cold calls still X number of cold calls.

0:17:18.0 Chris: Oh, you're viewing tangible metrics. But having listened to your show, you're dealing a lot with knowledge workers, you're... In fact, your... Our audience is knowledge work, those are abstract measures. How do you measure innovation, creativity, engagement, criticality, judgment. These are all abstractions. Now we have performance appraisals, which are horrible, because they're just a series of biased views, subjective views, as determined to say... To appear objective, to appear objective. Now, when you have a bias tool that is subjective, and you have people in the office, you're measuring against people who are not in the office, I will argue that the people out of the office will never come up to snuff relative to that, or they will just because they don't have the annoying habit of somebody in the office, do you follow?


0:18:11.9 Julie: No. As someone who has run a fully remote team for the past 10 years, I could not agree with you more. Some of the worst mistakes I made a long time ago, were allowing lack of relationship and lack of good communication, to result in me losing good talent. That was one of the hardest lessons I learned as a remote leader. And it's so interesting for me to now hear leaders in this place that I was 10 years ago. Try to figure it out. Because let's be honest, so much of what we're really talking about with knowledge workers and appraisals is also gonna be relationship based. And so some of my team is much better at the communication and telling me, "Hey, I did all of this great stuff. Hey, I wanna talk to you about this." Whereas the others I have to sort of pry it out of, but the biggest lesson I learned is that that is not the same as them not doing their work. It's just them not communicating to me in the way that I like to be communicated in.

0:19:25.0 Chris: Yes, you're hitting a very interesting point is that when we don't have information, we fill it in. Do you see what I'm saying? We just fill it in. So the absence of their... Of their having an exchange with us, we could read that as, "Oh, they're aloof. They're distant. They don't care." But if somebody has an exchange with us with some rapidity and they're friendly about it, "Oh they must care." You see, we're defining their deliverable by virtue of their interaction with me and not the deliverable itself.

0:19:55.9 Torin: Chris, can you tell us more about the work that you do and then we'll get into your book.

0:20:01.6 Chris: Sure, sure. My background is in organizational behavior, and what that means is... Originally I did more consulting work. I go into firms and I talk about things around performance. Basically, my moniker would be play well together. So in the sense that we have to work together in this world. So how do we do this in a way that everyone comes away engaged and I think respected to a great degree. And so I do a lot around how do you present, how do you give feedback, how do you lead, how do you play on teams, how you mentor, gender differences. Although I have trouble giving gender differences talks just because I don't see action with that when I have a mixed audience.

0:20:39.0 Chris: I know I'm digressing. I prefer gender talking to only women because they are looking for actionable things and they will talk about it if the men are absent. And if men are in the room, they are less likely to do that because they are perceived as somehow... I think... I don't know if it's a... Is it a sense of, "I will be seen as weak if I have this as a question because the men don't have this question."

0:21:04.5 Chris: So in that sense... And do I share this because... Can I share this with them 'cause I trust these other people in the room who don't... Do you see what I'm saying? There's... It's a very... Anyway, I know I digress there. And then I talk about this... 18 years ago, I noticed young people coming into the office were markedly different than I was when I arrived at the office, and firms were coming to me and saying, "Why are these kids this way?" And I didn't know, and they wanted to change them into them. And I said, "That ain't gonna fly. You don't wanna do that. You don't want... " I'm a big fan of accommodating and embracing difference because that has palatable advantage. But to change somebody to be just like me becomes redundant and an echo chamber.

0:21:46.8 Julie: Yeah. And I think that... That's such a good point. And I think that we are fighting that every single day, right now, as we think about generational change in our workforce. And every generation thinks that they're smarter, faster, better than the one before them, and the one after them is just dumb and just doesn't get it. And so when you're thinking about how... Just for a second, back to the hybrid approach, because I think that's where so many of us are gonna be living for a long time. How are we seeing different generations interact in a hybrid and be affected by a hybrid philosophy?

0:22:33.8 Chris: Yes. Well, what you're talking there is might not be so much... There is a generational issue here, but there's also a stage of life issue here. You see, in a stage of life, you have different needs. So both of you on this, you have... You have a stage of life where you have mastery of what you do. You're good at what you do. So is the place you do it as critical to doing it. Because you've already established your relationships, you've already established your expertise, so I can do this anywhere.

0:23:01.2 Chris: Now, if I'm somebody who's very new to the workplace I do not have that mastery and I have to learn at the feet of another. Because most... 70% of what we learn is through the observation and doing it with others. They have a need to have some level of presence. Because we learn by observation in a way that is not necessarily conveyed in what I would call this flat screen environment that we see here. This Zoom or whatever we use. And so in that sense, they need some presence. So the needs vary. Now, the generational distinction might be such that the... I will call the millennial to some degree, is collaborative or interdependent by nature. They're children of dialogue, I call them.

0:23:44.1 Chris: They like to engage in dialogue. Now, if you are a classic Gen X-er in the sense that you were raised as a latch key child and you had the experience of being on your own more, you don't require the interaction with others as much. So now we have a separation between us in terms of needs and wants. So this is where there's a... And I'll tell you what the Gen X-ers always will say to me is that... Well, the ones who classify themselves that way will say, "Hey, these young are so needy. They're so needy."

0:24:11.5 Chris: And I think that's not a fair statement. I don't think it's that they're needy, I think they like working with you. You see a lot of you as parents, I would argue you probably did homework with your kids. You probably helped them with their homework. When you start helping kids with their homework, it's an act of love. Well, if you do that with any frequency, you start to create the habit of working with somebody. Now, I would argue a Gen X-er may never have done homework with their parents. And so there's no action here that requires me the interaction and there's no love in the room. So I'll just figure it out myself. You follow how this all plays. So...

0:24:43.8 Torin: Yeah.

0:24:45.6 Chris: It's a molding... Or it's a melding of both the stage of life and the generational perspective.

0:24:51.1 Torin: Which is a great segue to get into your book, the title of such as Why I Find You Irritating: Navigating Generational Friction at Work. But you also say that this book is different than others on the topic. Explain to listeners the theme of the book and then why it's different.

0:25:07.7 Chris: Yes. I've tried to do a lot of homework on this topic. So I've got about 60 of these books under my belt, and I think they're all interesting in their own way, and some were not interesting at all. But one of the problems I found with... What I've tried to do is I try to introduce something that's new relative to the topic. So I go backwards more into this notion of why we generalize. Where generalization comes from. Where stereotyping comes from. How does that play out in the history of the United States in terms of how do we evolve as a society from the company man to a transactional workplace? Then I overlay the parenting models. I say, "Well, what were the parenting models that are normative in the middle class."

0:25:49.0 Chris: As I get through all of that, then I start talking about the limitations of this, because one of the challenges with this topic is millennial doesn't address all young people, it's an assumption of a title for all young people. And so when I talk to people, that's one of my major caveats. I'm not talking about everybody, I'm talking about who you think you know. And so in that sense... And that's what we do. We are sweeping. I see young people, and if any one of these young people does something that I think they would do anyway they must all do that.

0:26:20.5 Torin: So Chris, I wanna interject there for a moment, because you raise a very interesting point. We've been uttering the phrase or the moniker of millennial since 2012, 2013, 2014... Around 2018, 2019, we would suggest that the older millennial was around 38, maybe approaching 40.

0:26:45.9 Chris: Yes.

0:26:45.9 Torin: We are pushing through 2022 and entering 2023. Now we're looking at about a 10-year window. Do we still say millennial and people still feel like they think they're talking about the people they think they know as you just described it?

0:27:09.0 Chris: Right. It's a good question because I address this as well, is that I don't see... What we've done is... 'Cause humans like to simplify, so we categorize rather... In this age group. I'm a big believer in generational waves. You see the first wave of a generation sort of frames our perception of them, and then the rest of them live under the auspices of their older siblings as it were.

0:27:34.0 Chris: And so slowly you wash into the next generation, and so it dilutes what was core to the identity or the perceived identity of that original group. And so if you think of a millennial, someone who's 40 and that the younger... Someone who is 24. These people don't feel they have a lot in common. I don't necessarily think they're incorrect. I think intra-generational... Within a generation. I'm sorry. Within a generation, they see more variation. But when you look from the outside, you don't make the nuanced difference. You follow? Because we already have a view. And so we're looking for just confirmations... Confirmation bias of the view we already hold of them. So and that's just the...

0:28:14.0 Torin: So do you...

0:28:15.3 Chris: Go ahead. I'm sorry.

0:28:16.6 Torin: No it's okay. So do you feel like the potency of uttering the phrase millennial or the reference millennial is still there? Or is that... Is that uttering of millennial losing its potency almost like you rarely here us say Generation X? You rarely hear us say Baby Boomer these days.

0:28:40.1 Chris: Well, you do her baby... If you think about this, you hear Boomers and you hear millennials, but in both sense, you hear them as accusations. You don't hear them as descriptors of a group that might have some wonderful qualities, but rather an accusation of some failing. Gen X has always been invisible. They've always flown below the radar. In fact, they never played this game at all. They just sort of go along to get along. But they are... I will say as a cohort, they are distinctive. They are distinctive. I hope...

0:29:09.7 Julie: Yes.

0:29:12.4 Chris: I'm sorry.

0:29:12.5 Julie: No, I think that's... It's so interesting because there are waves. I'm at the end of Gen X, the beginning of millennials, and sort of feel like no one pays attention to me. That's probably the...

0:29:26.1 Chris: You're a cusp baby.

0:29:27.0 Julie: It's probably the X in me, I don't know.

0:29:30.2 Chris: Yeah. You're right.

0:29:31.2 Julie: You said something I thought that was really interesting I wanna go back to. You talked about the company man. And I think... Especially for the first part of the X and definitely the Boomers were taught that you go to a company, you stay there, you get your retirement, you do your thing, and now we've changed to a transactional relationship with our employers. Let me say it that way. And how does that help us to understand not just the difference between generations, but how those transactional labor markets are gonna impact how we live our lives, how we spend our money, what decisions we make.

0:30:11.1 Chris: Yes. Yes. Well, let me go backwards to the company man. The company man is almost a relic now, but it was part of the covenant, right? If I work hard I will have a job for life. But you know who's in charge right now, it's the Boomer still. While half of us have retired at the tops of organizations, these people are still in charge and they are living under the auspices of that model. And so when they say, "We want you to come back into the office," they are not saying to... This is where the confusion lies. In their minds, they're not doing this to you, they're doing this for you. Because the for you is that's how I built my relationships. That's how I was successful. If my model worked why wouldn't it work for you?

0:30:49.3 Chris: So they're not... To your point, and how you speak about this, they're not embracing the change. They're not embracing it. And the more that you resist embracing the change, the more you... I think the more you force people to be revolutionary versus evolutionary. Now, getting to your point about transactional. Transactional is scary unto itself. Because when you have a hybrid world and everyone is in a transactional like, "What can you do for me? Here's what I want in return for that." And then you put that into a remote environment you make people far more detachable. And so when you have a detachable world, all of a sudden the company like a Nike doesn't have to produce anything other than their marketing. So I can subcontract everything out and therefore there's no company anymore except for the name. So in that sense, I think one of the challenges with this is it further atomizes society, which is not the direction I want us to go.

0:31:45.8 Chris: I think we need to be more interdependent than more independent, because we are not individuals living... Just happen to be living in this country. We're all part of this country. So in that sense, that's one of the challenges with, how do you balance this. How do you create a sense of belonging, as Torin mentioned at the very beginning, that is both respectful but also recognizes that we need each other.

0:32:11.3 Torin: Well, one way you do it is you don't allow me to enter into your kitchen. Don't let me walk into the kitchen, open up the pantry, pull out the Duncan Hines mix and say that I'm going to prepare something tasty for us to enjoy. Like my brownies are lopsided, my cakes are lopsided. But you use that phrase lopsidedness.

0:32:34.8 Chris: I love lopsided.

0:32:36.5 Torin: What does lopsidedness mean in the book and not in the kitchen.

0:32:39.9 Chris: Yes. Well, it goes to my point. I'll add on to it, 'cause I think work is a team sport. I think everything you do has complexity, and I... For instance, on this very call it... Torin, you're not our technologist on this call. Julie is our technologist on this call. So I will give unto Caesar what Caesar does. In my world of lopsidedness is, I want us to start to recognize what are the unique contributions I'm capable of making, and how are they most relevant to the work that I'm doing on the team that I'm on. Measure me against those contributions, not the commoditized contributions of the 10 things that we measure on every team, which is silliness. And allow me to do those things with greater frequency than not.

0:33:22.2 Chris: Now what I have is I have complementary skills in this on my team, I then measure you not against the image I have of you in totality, but rather your specific contribution. And this reduces... By the way, this reduces, those of us who are different. It reduces the bias against us because we're only measuring the aspect of what we do, not the image we have of the person in front of us. You follow? So lopsidedness is the future in my opinion.

0:33:50.8 Julie: Yes. I absolutely love this. I call it team unicorn, and we put this into place a couple of years ago on my team is... We are all incredibly different people with incredibly different skills and personalities. And sometimes that makes leading that team a lot more difficult in terms of draining... Just emotionally understanding where everyone is. But what I've learned is that investment in finding what's missing instead of trying to find culture fit or a X number of skill sets has been a game changer for us. And I think that... That's such a great point.

0:34:38.3 Julie: When you're thinking about how do you embrace the lopsidedness, how do you bring people in who don't necessarily fit into a box... I think... I spend a lot of time mentoring. And you talked about how the millennial generation is used to a much more engaged relationship. How do we help bring up the latter part of the millennials and Gen Z... Our kids who are entering the workforce now in a productive mentoring way that doesn't feel belittling to them.

0:35:14.4 Chris: Well, again, in the book, I talk about this in terms of the chapter on mentoring. I had to soften it. I was given feedback that I was a little too harsh with... Talking about mentoring. 'Cause I don't like the way it's organized because we've moved mentoring from an organic event that you talk about in reflection. Remember... You don't say, "I'm going to... You're going to be my mentor," in reflection. You say, "He was my mentor." So in that sense, we move from an organic model to an assigned model. And the problem when you assign mentoring, you assign intimacy that isn't earned.

0:35:49.2 Chris: So I don't like the language of mentoring initially just because... For instance, if you're a classic Gen-X and you're my assigned mentor I'm gonna start getting intimate with you on day one. "Here's what I want. Here's what I feel... " And you're going, "What? I don't know you. I don't know... What is this?" You're too much too soon. So I like the idea of finding an advisor, but I like it to be goal-specific. Meaning I'm not gonna take on your life on day one, but I will take on your learning on day one. What is it you need to learn? How can I help you learn? How can I help you? What are the obstacles in your way to doing that, and then what is the... This is what I would call the expectation meeting.

0:36:30.3 Chris: What can I do to support your efforts and what will you do as a consequence of me doing that? Meaning the exchange again? So I think we should be more laser-specific in terms of the help of another, because then you can see the output. You see what I'm saying? And then you build on it. If you keep incrementally adding to them in terms of making them better each day, it's gonna be a wonderful human being. But to take on a life instantly are too many factors involved?

0:36:57.5 Torin: Chris, real quick before we get out of here, can you just comment briefly on the multi-generational workforce. Like when you think about that phrase and the way that you've compiled the book, and the other six keys that you've referenced. What are we missing? Just kind of sum it up for us. What are we missing in that aspect?

0:37:18.0 Chris: Well, the multi-generational workforce is... First of all, I think we're all gonna be working longer. We're all gonna be working longer. We all wanna make a contribution, and I think we should embrace the differences that each of us bring to the table. You see, the more different we are the broader the perspectives, we are. So Boomers, we bring doggedness to the table.

0:37:40.9 Chris: And then I think... Because we'll just go... We'll stay as long as you need us. Then... So, Gen X, I think they bring sort of like, "Okay, how do you figure this out on your own?" I think millennials bring sort of a collaborative sense to the table. I think that this newest generation will probably bring technology to the table in an integrated way as opposed to just a leveraging of it. So the point being is everyone's got something to add, and so rather than challenge them on their difference, "Well you are younger. You are older than me." Just find out what they can do that I can't and then bring it in.

0:38:13.0 Torin: Find out what they can do that I can't and then bring it in. So as we wind down, summer what's on your reading list?

0:38:22.6 Chris: Well, I try to read something every week or so. I just finished Your Brain at Work. I thought that was great. This week, I'm on, Think like a Rocket Scientist. So I go during waves... I go through some of the... I like the brain books for a while now. I'm doing that. So I think that's on my summer list. I have some... I just finished a really interesting book, Advanced Social, which is a wonderful book about how we are designed to be with others and how those others shape who we actually are.

0:38:54.8 Torin: Chris DeSantis, I'm sure I speak for Julie, we have appreciated your contribution. Author, speaker consultant. You can find Chris DeSantis at cpdesantis.com. Again, C as in Charlie, P as in Paul desantis.com. Are you on Instagram?

0:39:16.0 Chris: No, no. Those would be photos, and I'm... I don't...

0:39:20.7 Julie: How about Twitter? Twitter is my jam.

0:39:25.3 Torin: Are you on Twitter?

0:39:25.3 Chris: No, Twitter's political. I don't... Twitter's political.

0:39:28.3 Torin: Hey, J, hold on. He said, Instagram is photos. I don't do that. Twitter is political. I don't do that either. But what I do do and do it extremely well is send people to cpdesantis.com. That I do well. And by the way, listeners, if you get there to the website, you will find all of his charm, richness, the contribution to our space, and you'll see some links to his book as well as his podcast. Chris, we thank for joining...

0:39:57.1 Chris: Oh my Gosh.

0:39:58.8 Torin: Julie and I.

0:40:00.3 Chris: This was a privilege. Thank you both.

0:40:02.7 Julie: Yes, thank you so much. And let's just catch our next ad break and we'll get into Her Voice.

0:40:09.7 Torin: Our Her Voice segment is where we amplify women making moves. In the spirit of our conversation with Chris regarding organizational behavior development and his incredible book we wanted to enjoy the strides of achievement. Some women who are making some things happen. So we decided to feature some women that are and have done some amazing things. First up, a collection of incredible women compiled by the good folks over at Harvard Business Review.

0:40:41.0 Torin: We'll drop a link in our show notes to more than 30 case studies that feature women protagonists recommended by the Harvard Business School faculty. Each and every case comes with a teaching note. This collection was developed by the HBS gender initiative.

0:41:01.2 Julie: Nice, and then next we're gonna highlight the Twitter page of Women of Organizational Behavior. And they're @WomenofOB on Twitter. They are a signal boosting management research, organizational behavior, HR, OT, and related fields by women. No, manels. I repeat. Thank the gods, no manels. The term refers to all male panels, just in case you didn't know that, and is used to highlight the exclusion of women as subject matter experts.

0:41:31.7 Torin: And finally, this week, Pratima Arora, she is the Chief Product Officer at Chainalysis. Chainalysis actually just raised 170 million... Actually, that was a couple of months ago. But they raised 170 million with an 8.6 billion dollar valuation. Pratima, is leading the entire R&D organization, which houses engineering, product research, design, data science and intel ops. She is getting busy, for sure. Listen, J, this was a great show. We had some incredible women that we were able to highlight, some awesome case studies, Chris was an extreme compliment to that. Like a compliment. Listen, we all can do this thing together. I loved his work around multi-generational workforces, his redefinition of millennials, how he framed the belonging and the culture. He pushed the... He even corrected me once. You saw... He low key flexed on me. He corrected me and I appreciate being corrected. Let me tell you all something... I know we gotta get out of here, but it's okay to be corrected. Like we had an incredible conversation. Thank you, J for finding him to be a guest.

0:42:49.3 Julie: Yep, absolutely. And until then, we're ghost.

0:42:53.9 Torin: Yeah... Well, wait a minute. No, no, no, no, no, no. See here's another real-time correction. I'm gonna close this one out. We close reminding each and every one of you to share the pod with your digital tribe. We absolutely want you to find your voice, build better cultures, better teams, better workplaces. For now, J and I are ghost.

0:43:13.9 Julie: See yah.