IQ Meets EQ Podcast

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Ep 43 Best and Worst Moments in Life

by Jacqui Brauman
November 11th 2020

In this episode, Jacqui turns her mind to leadership again when interviewing guest Jenna Yeats. Jenna is a Group Manager for Metro Trains, Melbourne. She is a focussed and results-driven team playe... More

Welcome to the I. Q. Meets EQ podcast. I'm Jacqui Brauman, principal solicitor at T. B. A. Law and ceo of legally wise women and as always I'm here with Ush Dhanak former corporate lawyer then head of HR and now an emotional intelligence coach morning. Ush good morning, Jackie, how are you going? Yes. Good. It's been a little while since we've chatted and we've just been chatting for a while. It's great. Good to catch up. It was good. It was good. How's your week been? Yeah, fantastic. As I was saying, you know, november has started and it's just feeling like it's actually warmed up here in victoria properly. So um it also feels like the quick slide towards christmas, you know the christmas messages on all the staff, there's trees going up. It's yeah, I'm guilty of that. I put my tree up last week. Really? Yeah she is like the shops and we've just bought a um get the little wooden one with light so it's quite um minimum looking.

And then we found some really nice declarations and she's like I think we should put it up to you. I can't wait now, that's just it's just here. I'm like okay stuff tradition, we'll just put it up. So yeah that's fun and it's actually quite nice. It's festive and it makes you actually does it lift the mood a little bit. So yeah. Yeah it does it feels really good and I think as you said optimistic it's um that's definitely what I'm feeling at the moment. So yeah so that's good news. I've also been um not putting as much pressure on myself and so I've watched a bit of tv and read a couple of fiction books and it's, oh my goodness, it's amazing what difference it makes when you're doing a little bit of escapism. Yes. Yes. And just the downtime for you as well, which is rare for you to switch your mind off and do something totally different. Yes. Yeah. So I've got to recommend. There's a, um, it's a short series. It's only 10 episodes in the first season and it's on Apple tv exclusively at the moment.

It's called Ted Lasso and it's just so funny. Um, and it's about leadership and it's such an awesome study of leadership. So I would check that out for everyone. Ted Lasso will check it out. I just got the new subscription for it as well. So. Mm hmm. Yes. Um, and I mean, you're taking goals as well. So well done. Thank you. Yeah, It's been a bit head down. Bum up. Yeah. For the last few months. So yeah, it's paying off. It is. It is. So I've got out of my, um cave and started recording some videos as you guys have all heard the journey of that progression. So the first one is launched and I'm thinking of having the youtube channel out in a week. Fantastic. Yeah. I mean, I know you've got a couple of videos up on youtube. I've already followed you with all my accounts. So you went up by about five. I hope it's in the new one EQ Academy.

Yes. Yes. You'll probably, you'll probably be my first subscriber outside of my daughter. Actually, Funny enough, the other news, we're getting a kid in in three weeks. So to keep a little bit creative, she's opening her own youtube channel. She is called Marshall's Madness and the kid is called Marshy. He looked like a little marshmallow and she's already recorded two videos. They're awesome. It's just sort of stuff around how we prepared for a ragdoll. We're sort of blogged in. Kmart getting some goodies and her mission is to do better than her mom. So I'm gonna have to get all of you guys to subscribe or she literally is going to be better than me and we're both really competitive. That's not healthy and I was going to say, no, we want you to win. Yeah, but the kid and videos are going to be too cute. I think I can compete. Yeah. Yeah, that's the problem isn't it. Um, and, and rag dolls are just extra level cute, particularly are white. They are looking gorgeous.

Yeah, it would be something to cuddle. Exactly. Um, so on the theme of leadership again, I mean you just said you had a crush on Jenna now after listening to her. So that would be up my alley. Yeah. No, Jenna is amazing. I have started going to an online networking group, roses and thorns run by an amazing guy called matt Gaffney and I Jenna was the one who spoke at one of the, the events and her story is great. And so I'm like Jenna, I need to have you on the podcast as well. So we do, we have her. So Jenna Yates, she's actually group manager at Metro Trains in Melbourne um and she's just an amazing leader and I'm going to let her interview speak for itself. Yeah, Jenna, thank you so much for your time and welcome to the podcast.

Thanks for having me. I'm really excited to talk to you particularly about leadership because I heard you talk recently and I just loved what you had to say. But before we jump into all things career and leadership when you were a little girl, what did you want to be? So when I was little, I really wanted to be a marine biologist um for the reason that it just sounded really cool. I heard that I heard the, the title one day and I thought that sounds like someone who really is very important and and has such a cool job, not for any understanding of what that role entailed whatsoever. And I think I was probably seven or eight at the time and I just thought, yeah, that's what I want to be. Um, so it was a marine biologist for a couple of years. And then I realized, well I'm not really that, you know passionate about animals per se. Um So then it moved into a tennis player and I realized I'm not really good enough to be a professional tennis player.

Um So then I sort of I was I was stumped, where do you go from there? Um So those are my two my two dreams marine bowler just in a professional tennis player very similar, didn't you? Yeah, I had an awesome opportunity. When I was 20, I was just about to turn 21. I actually I was approached by the famous Dick Gould who was back then the head tennis coach of the men's team at stanford University in California in Palo alto and he asked me to come over and coach for a couple of months. So Um that was an incredible opportunity and I remember landing in sunny California on my 21st birthday, you couldn't have timed it any better. Um and I spent a couple of months at coaching tennis and I got to meet some incredible, incredible people um some of whom must still speak to you today, so it was such a wonderful opportunity.

There you go, well that's you know, coaching is professional, like yeah, I'm not sure I really would have gotten far with it, but it was fun while it lasted. Yeah, great, sounds like a great adventure. Um So giving up the marine Biology, what did you go to study after school? So keeping and themed in theme with the tennis coaching and professional tennis players. I actually studied exercise and sports science. Um so when I was finishing school I had, as most kids finishing school, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grow up and I thought well I'm quite sporty, I'm pretty good at it. Um Sports science, that fits the bill. So I did that growing up in Hobart. So I went to the University of Tasmania. Um I then realized that I had really outgrown to see at that point and I needed a bit of a sea change. The California opportunity actually presented itself in my third year.

Um and it was at that time the best and worst thing that happened to me. So I, I had to set all my exams earlier, I think I sat in about four or five weeks early whilst also managing my, my incredibly busy social life, you know, parties almost every night. Um and when I say I did those all early and flew off to sunny California when I was over there, I got the news that I'd failed three out of my four subjects and I was absolutely devastated. I remember crying my eyes out because I thought how am I going to go back and all my friends are going to know that I failed, I can't go back, I absolutely cannot show my face and I remember Dick, Dick called sitting down with me, he found me crying outside. I thought I'd hidden myself away. But no, he found me and he sat down next to me and he said you know what, this will actually be the best thing that's ever happened to you? I thought at the time, what do you know?

Yeah. Yeah. Right. But I actually often reflect back on that moment and going, yeah, you know what? He actually was right because I I went home back to Hobart and I worked for a couple of months and then I stopped uni. I thought no, I need some time to just figure out what it is that I want to do because I'm not happy. And so I worked for a couple of months and I actually realized how much I missed learning at that point. So I made the decision to actually move to Melbourne then I thought let's let's finish off my degree. I really want to finish my degree but I want to do it somewhere else. Not so much that I was embarrassed to go back. In part I was I'm a very proud sort of person. But I actually just needed that sea change. So I finished my degree here and then went on to do my MBA a couple of years after that as well, which was a fantastic, challenging but really fantastic experience as well. Yeah. Yeah. And I can imagine I've looked at the program for an MBA a couple of times and it's just um it's always niggling in the back there, so between after finishing your bachelor um what then got you interested then in business and to look at the MBA um you know, it was funny as I was finishing my undergrad and looking at what the jobs were that most people went into, it just didn't excite me, you know, at that time, a lot of my classmates were looking at doing phds um and really becoming, you know, professional sports scientists, being in labs all day with professional athletes, which which does sound really exciting to, you know, a lot of people, but it just didn't like that fire for me, it just didn't really get me, and I just kind of started having that, that moment of, you know what, I actually something about working in a large corporation, you know, making a difference to that company, this sounds so boring, but it actually was something that I was sort of, thinking sounded really cool, I had no idea what that looked like, but I knew that it was kind of pushing me towards the business world, so it was kind of at that point that I went, I need to sort of balance this out, I've got, I've got a heavy sport background, a lot of experience in coaching and and I guess in leadership in that sense as well from quite a young age, as a tennis coach, you know, summer jobs and all that kind of stuff.

All my experience and my learning had been sport focused and I knew if the business world was what I wanted to enter, I needed to balance that out in some way, because there weren't going to be too many companies who would hire a a non PhD sports scientist who kind of new theory, but hadn't actually practiced anything. So that was kind of what made me then consider taking on an NBA was the need to sort of balance that out. And also to kind of test, test the water a bit as well and and figure out is this actually what I want to do, is this going to be something that I do find interesting and thankfully enough, I went in and I just absorbed it, I loved it, it really, really got me interested and got me excited. So I knew at that time, Yeah, this is the right decision few, Yeah, thank God, it's such a big commitment an MBA but again, I suppose they're very interactive and and quite broad in some ways as well, so you could always find what you really loved in it, I suppose.

Yeah, absolutely, yeah, so from early twenties being quite insightful, really relatively to go, okay, well I'm not going to just follow the course of everyone else I'm actually going to think about what I want, which is quite amazing within itself. So then you do your M. B. A what next then I get a job as essentially as an analyst in a really small consulting firm. And again this was probably you know at that point in time the best and worst thing that happened to me. I thought when I first got the job, yes I'm in a consulting firm that sounds so fancy. That means I've made it absolutely and I hated it. Absolutely hated it. The work was okay, you know it was it was fairly dry but you know you're a junior analyst, you've got to work your way up so suck it up princess. But it was actually the probably the first time that I felt like I've been treated like a girl.

Um and for all the wrong reasons, you know growing up I've always been told you can do anything you want to do, you just work hard, put your mind to it and you can be anything and do anything you want. So I had kind of finished uni with a sense of I guess with only confidence that you know I knew I could work hard, I knew I was relatively smart and I knew I wanted to really sort of do well in life and succeed at what I put it, I put my mind to. So when I came into this consulting firm that kind of all unraveled for me really quickly and it's amazing when I reflect back just how much confidence I lost in a very short period of time and I think it was, you know, I remember 11 friday morning walking into the office and no one was in there except for the receptionist, a lovely girl Eva and I later found out that I'm sorry, I was the only woman in the office aside from Eva as well.

And I found out that later that morning that all the guys in the office had flown down to bamboozle, bamboozle golf course and tasks for the day, my private plane, which is amazing. I mean I would have loved that. Not that I can play golf to save my life, but probably better than they would have, but anyway, possibly, but didn't have any communication about it. And then on the monday morning no one said anything to me at all and I just couldn't believe it. And you know, part of me, I remember going home that day just in tears just thinking is this real life is this and is this what I'm going to be treated like this doesn't seem fair, but you know, these guys are all professional, so maybe it is so that really rocked me and it really, really knocked me for quite a few months and I knew I wasn't happy though, so in a way it sort of scared me to look elsewhere to try and find somewhere that I would be happy and from there it actually, and I say it's also the best thing that happened at that point in time because it led me into a company which I work for now who have just been incredible.

Absolutely incredible for looking after development, seeing something in me as well. And really pushing me to do better and be better and pushing me into roles where I was so scared but actually made me so I guess gave me so many skills and experiences by pushing me into that unknown. So you know, and not to mention also that I learned so much about how to treat people. You know, people that are different from you whether it's gender, cultural background, political views. You know, I always say that the differences in people are what makes the world go round. You know, if we all were the same, it would be one hell of a boring life. So I really learned a lot in terms of I guess discrimination against people. But then also certainly as a leader now how I never ever want anyone to feel that way in my team. If I can have anything to do with it, you know, to make sure that no one ever has that same experience. Mm hmm. Yeah. Because you wouldn't orchestrate something like that yourself.

What you experience but in a different way. You could make someone feel like that. And when you spoke and I heard you last time there was the potential that you did isolate someone or make them feel, I don't know, like not part of the team or not supported or something like that. And that seemed like a big trigger moment for you as well in your development as a leader to Yeah, yeah, there was a moment, I reflect on this actually quite a lot initially when I moved into my current role where I'm a group manager, so I manage a large team of train drivers and I have a management team under me who, who do that direct management. When I first moved into this role, there was a gentleman who I managed really lovely guy, He's since moved on to another company, but really, really lovely guy. He's probably in his mid sixties, so you know, a couple of years ago when I first started managing him, I'm in my late twenties, so we're in very different phases of our lives and he comes to me one day and he says Jenna, um, I started quite early today and by the time I finish this, you know, the end at the end of the day, I will have done a 10 hour day, do you mind if I come in a bit later tomorrow just to kind of make up for that.

And I kind of just stopped and looked at him and said absolutely not and thinking to myself, a 10 hour day, that's a short day, like, hello, I do that every day at least. Um, and I was telling that story to my mentor a couple of weeks after that and she let me finish and and she said just tell me why why did you make that call? And it was like that split second where she just she just asked why and that was all it took when I went, oh yeah, you know what? We are in completely different phases of our lives, you know, for me work life balance, I've got nothing to go home for. My husband works really long hours, I don't have kids at that time. Him on the other hand, he's you know, he's got you know daughters at home in the very early twenties, he's got his wife, he's he's really focused on work life balance as he should be. Um And it was it was such a great moment that I actually caught up with him, you know, a few days after I saw my mentor and said I'm actually so sorry, I really reflected on this and that was the wrong decision and I explained to him why I made that decision because I felt like that was important and not to say that, you know, just because I work long hours, you know, look at me look at me, but really to get across to him why my first reaction was no, because it's something that I would never accept for myself and that in itself, recognizing that also made me kind of question, well you know, maybe you should allow that for yourself as well, You know, just because just because you're starting off your career doesn't mean you need to burn yourself out as well.

So it actually was sort of a multitude of learnings, but it was something such a wonderful thing to kind of happen and and really just such an insignificant conversation really, which actually took so much from Yeah, yeah. I love that story. And even your guts to go back to him and apologize and talk through it as well was sort of a bit of a light bulb moment for me because I think I make a lot of mistakes and then I don't apologize for them or explain myself probably as clearly as I could. Um so even that was just like opening up the possibilities of leadership and what I could be doing for myself for my team. And you know what it actually is really hard to apologize to your team when you are wrong or when you've done something that you should have done better.

And I actually think it probably depends on the people in your team sometimes as well. I think, you know, if if I look at my current team, probably 90% of them would be really receptive to me owning up to that mistake and apologizing and would actually respect me a lot for doing it. There might be probably one person in that team would go, yeah, I expect better from you, but on the same token you can't impress and please everyone. So I've kind of found that you just have to be yourself and what's really important to me is showing my team that I'll always own up when I stuff up. If it's, if it's my mistake, you'll always know about it and if you don't like that, well you don't like it. But that's what I really value is that honesty and making sure that people know that it's okay to make mistakes. So I had a conversation with the team a few weeks ago when I said, I actually want you to make mistakes. So long as you learn from them, don't make them 10 times in a row and make the same mistake 10 times in a row.

But you won't ever remember the things that just worked really well and worked really easily. You won't remember that, but you'll remember the times that you've stuffed up because you'll be really upset with yourself and hopefully you'll reflect on what you did wrong and why it turned into a mistake and that will be the time that you learn. So I think that's so important just to encourage people to be honest. No one's perfect. We're going to make a million mistakes in our career. And I think I think people need to get comfortable owning up to well for one making mistakes. But then owning up to them as well. And I think I think on that it's so important that leaders accept that because that will encourage that behavior. I know I've had bosses previously who was so scary. I would never own up to a mistake. My God, that would get me fired or we're not quite, but you know, really get you reprimanded. But then I've had, I've had people who have worked for when, when I've when I've made a mistake and they all they've really said to me is what did you learn from it?

And that's really encouraged me then to go to go and reflect upon that as well. But then also to know that it is okay. Yeah. Yeah. That's that's fantastic to hear Justin reflection. I think that I do that in terms of the work. I think the main mistakes that I don't apologize for is more around leadership behavior or business decisions rather than the work because yeah, I think the making mistakes and allowing for the mistakes and encouraging the learning through mistakes because you learn faster by making mistakes than you do. Yeah. By things going well, you're absolutely right. But it sort of brings me around as well to our conversation before I started recording with you know, being authentic and being able to have a bad day as a leader, which is something that I've had a few challenging conversations around recently and I'd love to get your views on that. Yeah, we were discussing this earlier and I said to you, I think not enough.

And in fact, I don't know if I've actually ever heard someone say just how exhausting it is being a leader. I, I honestly don't think I've ever heard one of my leaders say that and I remember I used to reflect on it particularly I think has your, when you first start managing people and kind of becoming a leader. I certainly for myself that was probably the most exhausting time because you're constantly judging yourself on everything that you do and making sure you don't put a step out of line and that's exhausting. But also I think, you know when you have a team that look up to you and look for you for guidance and advice all day every day and you need to be on for them as well. That's tiring not to mention also that you're not just this one manager, you, you know, you might be a mother, you might be a partner, your Jenna outside of work. You've got a social life, you've got family, you've got pets, you've got a big to do list.

So you're not just work Jenna. You know, you've got other things that take up your time as well and your focus and I think people forget that and again, it sort of comes back to, I guess having that vulnerability and you know, I had a conversation with one of my direct reports a few weeks ago and we probably chewed the fat for a good almost two hours and that was, that was what he needed. But I actually needed that so much because I was feeling so flat and walking into that meeting, I kind of just tried to give myself a bit of a slap around the face to say kind of perk up a bit. You know, he needs, he needs you to be on right now. You need to talk to him about how things are going, what you can support him more on because that was one of the ones are so important for yourself. But then also for that direct report as well. And we just, we talked in there and I actually said to him, you know what? I'm struggling. I've been really flat the last couple of weeks, I think, you know, the lockdown that everyone's going through in victoria right now is really hard mentally not to mention also people who are, I'm lucky that I get to go into the office most days that people who are working from home and have been since March, my hat goes off to you.

Also people who are trying to homeschool kids and work at the same time and you know, you probably never thought you'd be able to do it and yet they are doing it. You know, and I'm coming back to that chat with my direct report. I said to him in all, honestly, I'm struggling at the moment and I just don't have the energy, I need a holiday, but I can't go anywhere. So that's not going to happen. But you know, I know I need to give you guys more. I'm struggling to find that energy to do that for you right now. And that was such a positive, positive conversation with him. And I haven't had that type of conversation with him before. So part of me was like, I don't know how it's going to take this, but you know what I'm going to be honest because that's how I'm feeling and I don't have the energy to put, put on another game face. I don't have that energy today. And it was like I said, it was such a positive conversation and he texted me 20 minutes after we finished just saying how much he got out of that and I knew, okay, that was the right thing to do.

You know, he needed to see that vulnerability in me to show that I'm not perfect by far, am I perfect and I have bad days or bad weeks, You know, So yeah, well, I mean, I suppose if there's any time it's now that we need to sort of at least give ourselves a bit of a break and that the mental load is just a bit overwhelming. Yeah, I did here. It's been a browns podcast because I've been getting so into that since lockdown. She was talking about How the pandemic is both like a natural disaster? Because there's the immediate adrenaline that keeps us going for a little while because it's so long term, it's not something that we can keep going on adrenaline. And so we've lost that adrenaline now and we're still in trauma crisis mode. But we've lost, we can't we don't have that surge anymore. It's gone. Yeah. It's funny. I remember the first, the first lockdown that we went into and I actually, it's funny you say that because I remember having this rush of adrenaline like cool, we've never done this before.

This will be a bit of fun. Like there'll be some benefits to this. You know, let's go victoria's let's smash this coronavirus, you know, hurrah hurrah. Um and then, you know, it's funny. Then the second time around there was a little bit of that, but nowhere near as much as the first time and then, you know, coming up to what week are we now? You know, 652 or something and it's just like, yeah, no, I'm done, I'm done. I've got nothing left to give. So it's funny. It's so funny that you mentioned that because it's so true. Yeah. Yeah. So having said everything that you have, if you came across your 21 year old self there crying because you flunked your three subjects? What what would you say to her? What advice would you give her God. And would she listened listened? She wouldn't have listened no way, that's a stubborn young thing. Um look, I think, you know, if I had any advice to my 21 year old self, it would be that, you know, things that seemed like the worst things in the world that could ever possibly happen are just going to be blips on the radar come a couple of years and that, you know, everything that you know as your world right now will be so different in two years, in four years and 10 years, um, that your life will evolve and keep changing and you know, you'll be okay.

I think one of the things that I would say though to my younger self is don't doubt yourself, it's something that I always struggle with and I still do that self doubt even now I walk into a room of professional people and always just have that first reaction of self doubt of what am I doing here? I don't belong here. And I think, I think, you know, it's funny even now that I still have it and probably less to a lesser degree than what I used to, but but that, that self sabotage is so real and I think I would say to that younger Jenna, you know, you're fabulous, you're absolutely fabulous and own everything that you are, but recognize there are things you're not great at as well and that is okay, you don't have to be perfect, you just have to be yourself. And I think I still need to tell myself that, you know, I was just going to say that some really great advice and maybe we should play that to ourselves just about every other day.

You're fabulous, got this, that's right, that's right. And in a couple of years time this will just be a blip and and something that we laugh about. Yeah, absolutely, Yeah, that's 2020 years. No, I don't remember it. No, that didn't happen. Didn't happen at all. So last question, what do you do to keep yourself going to keep yourself mentally well to be showing up, as you say, even on those bad days, like how do you check in and make sure you have regular things that you do for yourself? I think for me it's you know, I used to just keep pushing and keep pushing and keep pushing. And the weekend was kind of that recovery mode now I really probably more so since I had my son, he's 16 months old and so weekends are no longer relaxing and I think for me, I just recognized that I get to that point and I know that I'm stressed and the decisions and the interactions that I'm having with people are not going to be my best.

So that's kind of the line that I need to draw to say, you've got to do something for yourself, whether it's Taking yourself out for a coffee just by yourself, taking 15 minutes out of the day to do something for yourself or you know, for me, I find I need to go for a run, I love listening to music. So that is something that really helps me reset. Um sometimes when, you know you're so tense and you can just feel the stress vibrating through your body For me, I need to go for a run and put my headphones in, put my 90s R&B on because that is the best type of music and that kind of gets me through it. That is, you know, the thing that keeps me sane and I'm certainly not a far runner or a professional runner. I'm a slow and stodgy, wins the race type of runner, but that's, that works for me and that's what I need, you know, and I've said to people before, you've just got to find what that is for you. And if it is reading a book my sister reads, you know, probably three books a week.

She loves loves reading. That's her escape. And when she's stressed, that's what she needs for me, it's getting out and getting that fresh air and having that music in and that's what I need to reset. But the difficult part is actually drawing that line to say, no, you need to go and do it now because you're not looking after yourself. And I think that's probably the biggest challenge is actually calling that out and telling yourself it's okay to take that time out. Be a little bit selfish. That's okay. It's not a bad thing, you need that because for me, I know if I'm in that space where I'm tense and I'm stressed one, I'm not good at work, but more importantly, I know I'm not a good mother then as well and I want to have, you know, when I come home from work or on the weekends, I want to be able to give everything to my son. I know I can't do that if I'm, if I haven't taken the time for myself as well. Yeah, Again, more great advice. I'm very similar and need the body movement to really just punch out all that adrenaline and emotion and stress or whatever it is and it's just, it's such a relief.

Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, people do need to find what that is. So this has been such a great conversation. I love talking leadership for anyone who wants to continue the conversation or reach out to you or even, you know, you're now point where you might start taking on little mentees. Yeah. Where can people find you. So I'm on linkedin, you can search me under that just under my name, jenny Yates. So people please reach out. I'm more than happy to connect with anyone. Absolutely good. That's the best place. Fantastic. Thank you so much for your time today. Just a brilliant conversation Jenna. Thank you. No problem. Thanks so much for having me. It's been fun. All right. So what have we got? What are we going to talk about? Because there's so many things and so many of the common themes actually that have come out of other leaders we've spoken to as well. So let's start with the things that pissed me off as well with the golf into it.

Yes. How rude. So I, the bit that shocked me outside of it happening was how none of those guys spoke about it, even when they got back and I know in hindsight, it's easy for us to say this and not all guys in life, there's so many guys are listening to apologize, but you know, they've got wives and sisters and daughters like how could no one speaks up and go, this is wrong. It's just unfathomable. Well, it's almost like they were all told, you know, we've excluded Jenna, ha ha ha, um, don't tell her about that. It's happening and you know, don't talk about it when we get back. Yeah, But you know what? If they just want to do a boys thing, you're better off just saying it and be open honest and calling it out, but you're right. I reckon there would have been quite a few that would have questioned and felt bad about it. But it's the whole culture that I suppose that had developed because once the culture is that way it's hard hard for someone to stand up and go against peers, isn't it?

Yeah, it is and I think you know what good on jennifer realizing that that's not an environment that she wants to be and I think that takes courage to um you know, to really be up there and say this is wrong. Yeah. Yeah because I sort of thought about the alternative as well like if she had stayed there and sort of changed herself to become a you know one of these people who hang out with the boys and really lose a lot of yourself and your integrity to try and fit into something that is not right. Yeah. Yeah and sometimes that's easier to do, isn't it? Especially when you're new in leadership. Yeah, I think you know just I hope all of that stuff just stopped happening now. It annoys me every time I hear about it. Yeah. About examples like that. Well again it must have been so recent, it must have been in the last six or seven years. I mean yeah, that's what I was thinking. It would have been recent. Yeah. Yeah and as we've spoken about, we're putting this book together, it's been a long slog but even One of our very first episodes with Tracy Safra she said sort of happened to her and that's why she started her women's network, but you know that was 25 years ago.

It's not just five years ago. Yeah, exactly. And I think my my other big takeaway from the interview that was you know how she she had to apologize to that guy. Um you know when he wanted to take off early and I think you know Virginia to have that level of self awareness post the incident was huge. And I really liked how she explained that you know, they were both at such different stages in their life and it actually made her realize that you know, having that balance isn't a bad thing and what he wanted wasn't a bad thing and not everyone is expected to work the way that we do. Mm hmm. Yeah. I made the same little note for myself that you know, it took a lot of guts too because you could acknowledge it to yourself and go I'll be better next time. But she actually went back and apologized. I thought that that was such a huge step. And it's not like she had to but from her perspective she had to you know and yeah, I think that putting our own standards on others as the level of achievement is a difficult thing, isn't it?

Not only different stage of life but the if someone is meeting the requirements of work in five hours of their eight hours a day. I mean Even that is it shows efficiency and so why do they have to hang around for 10 hours when they finished their working five? I think it's a big thing, right with leaders, um, and the expectations that they have, the ones that they put on themselves. But then there's also, if you've got a bigger team, it's a little bit of that comparison thing as well. Actually, funny enough as a lady in coaching at the moment and she's got an employee who is a really, really high performer, high achiever. But the problem with the employee is that she's up and down. So there'll be days where she's really productive for five hours and what she can smash out in five hours will take her 10. But then there's other days where she's just not really with it, it's almost like she expends all over energy and um this leader that I'm coaching was like, I don't want her to be this amazing performer, three days or four days of the week because I just want consistency.

So I know what to expect and I think hearing it that way was so true. I think leaders just want to know what's going on, what the expectations are and I think consistency is better than the up and down. Yeah, no, that's a great point. Yeah, I was just reflecting on a couple of staff that I've had through, but it's not so much the energy level of, of output. It's more just the energy of whatever emotion they have got a particular day and it can impact the whole office as well, so being a leader and being able to minimize the negative impact of someone else's emotion or even their overly exuberant sometimes, you know, it's like a yo yo one extreme to the other when it impacts everyone, but it also made me reflect on to workplaces that I was in back to back One, the leader was this amazing lawyer, an older bloke in his 70s or so and it just had amazing career and he was such a calming influence, you know, he was so understanding of what was important and just had so much knowledge and experience and he would walk past my office at about five or 10 past five every day and go come on, end of the day, get out because it was just um and again, it's just the culture he was setting, it was what was important was life as well, it wasn't all just about work and then the extreme opposite was the next job I went to and I only lasted there about six weeks because it was horrendous.

I went to a mid tier and the expectation was there that you were there for 12 hours of the day and you had to build an amazing amount of hours and I didn't have enough work and I was done in my work and I'm like well what do I do with my billables? Like I don't have enough, wow and then I'm just sitting there like I can't even leave. It was just, oh no, yeah, so I guess so many workplaces, so many ways of setting culture. The other thing I love about Jenna is just how conscious shears of doing that. Yeah, it's the awareness piece totally. Um, got me thinking as well, it's just the last couple of weeks, I've just hired this awesome kid on the other side of the world, in another country actually, that was actually in India and I put this little ad out for some support for EQ academy and ideally initially wanted someone here and then I was open to people anywhere in the world because they don't need to be here for the job.

And I felt this resistance right going no, I don't want someone where I can't see them and I had to check myself and go, what am I talking about? Like even if they were here, like we're not going to be, you know, we don't have an office, I'm not going to see them. But it just reminded me that, you know, it is hard, like going back into a leadership role now and you've run your own business and I haven't had to manage anyone for over seven years now that I've been in the business, it's really surreal and it's almost relearning how to lead and I sent him the letter yesterday of the offer and he's on a four week probation and scoped out what he's going to be doing and learning and it's just, it feels like it's learning leadership again, it really does, but it is because you're developing it from the ground up. So you get to start from scratch the way you want and you're leaning in a completely different context. So it is relearning because you're not just popped into a team into a role that requires management. This is your thing.

Yeah, exactly. And and you know, the other thing I was very mindful of is he's, you know, he's young, he's 22, but so worldly, you know, just wants to do good and provide for his family, lives with his parents and he's just so energetic and I thought, gosh, this is his first proper gig, this is going to make or shape him to a certain extent in terms of his experience of life of work, of learning. So, you know, it just reminds you, again of that responsibility that leaders have and how important that role is. Yes, Yeah, that's putting a lot of pressure on yourself though to it is, it is, but it's true like this is his first gig, you know, outside and You know, I'm sure in 10 years time he'll be talking about this experience of working with someone in Australia, you know, somewhere where he never thought he'd get to work. So yeah, yeah, it's gonna be an interesting, interesting few months with him and, but what's been nice is just his energy, his passion and enthusiasm, just so refreshing. It's great. You never know he might still be with you in 20 years time. Exactly.

Hopefully. Hopefully. Yeah. And I think as well about my staff, there's quite a few that haven't worked elsewhere either. You know, I've got them at the start of their careers and I've created a safe work environment, but I know that there are things that they would still criticize potentially if they went elsewhere looking back and can't get everything perfect. But I also think that if they don't know otherwise sometimes they don't know how good they have it. Yeah, I agree that saying isn't the grass isn't always greener where you water it. That's a good saying. That's a good saying. What else about Jenna? I love that. She talked about a couple of things that a lot of our guests have talked about having a mentor and actually going and consciously finding one and those sort of things, which is just lovely to hear. Yeah, I think the other big thing for me, the third thing was that meeting that she had with that guy and you know, she wasn't feeling the best kind early on early on when she was leading and mentoring that guy for a one on one and then she actually said at the end of the interview that, you know, she didn't have the energy to feel so far are and give what she needed to give in that meeting and she didn't know how he was going to take it, remember it was the first time she sort of said something like that to him and then he sent her that message and I think, you know, it's important.

It's not even a case of showing vulnerability, but I think it's a case of just being honest with the team and you know, that leaders aren't going to be okay all the time. You and I talked about this all the time too, but it's actually having the balls to share that and say that. But you know right now, yes, I should be in this one on one, I should be supporting, you should be mentoring, you should be doing what I'm doing. But I actually just don't, don't feel great today to be able to do that. Yeah, that was one of her more recent interviews with the staff member because you know, coming towards the end of lockdown and the tiring the mental toll and yeah, it's nice to reflect, I think it was probably, you know, just being human that helped them form this deeper relationship than they've had before. Perhaps. Yeah, I think so, um you know, and I think the more open, we can be about those things that shows that we're just human, okay, we're just at a different stage and careers, we've got different skills as leaders, but you know, it was really true what she said around, we have other responsibilities outside of a leader.

You know, we have kids, we have pets, we do other things that take our time. And that is so true because sometimes you don't see that when you look at the leader, you know that you only see them as the boss at work, yep, yep. Absolutely. And sometimes we forget that about our staff, which is, you know when the guy she apologized to, you know, we forget that they've got other priorities and they have other things going on in their life too. So yes, it's about humanity. I think Jenna is going to kill her in leadership. So well, yes, well she is doing, she's doing amazing things. I mean the other thing that she spoke about as well was just, and I think we all, well we all do this to a degree as the self sabotage and they're talking ourselves down and yet looking back on our younger selves, we just think my god, you were amazing. But at the time were so down on ourselves. Yes, Yes. Yeah. That actually led me to my post last night actually because I was obviously with the move from home and stuff.

I was cleaning up the office and getting myself and I looked at my, my old certificates and results and I failed so many subjects. Yes and I remember that feeling literally transported me back to that feeling of failing those subjects. I remember thinking then going, oh my God, you know, I'm not going to ever be who I want to be or do what I want to do. I'm just failing these subjects and I was always one of those people that just had to really work really hard to pass the test on one of those not didn't come naturally to pass tests. And then that feeling of that, you know, failure hit me for a few seconds and I'm like stuff that, you know what, it's freaking exams and it doesn't really mean anything now. It's sort of, you know, really reframed how I now think about what you're doing her exams in school. So I've actually kept them there to show her. So hopefully she's not going to throw that in my face when she, if she fails, it's all right mom, you told yours, but just, you know, just to remind us, it's not all about that and you can change the course of who you are and where you want to be. You really can. Yeah, yeah, that's a great point.

I don't know what it was that I was I was talking to someone recently and it was again about, You know, kids going through year 11 and 12 at the moment and how with the disruption, how they think that it's almost the end of the world and how Particularly teachers play out year 11 and 12 is like the pivotal point in your life. I'm laughing because it's almost like a bit of a joke because no one's ever looked at my high school results ever again. It's so true, but it's unnecessary pressure, right? But you know, I remember I was talking about it, but it shows that the whole power of the mind. So obviously that favorite story of um Edison, right, and how he got kicked out of school for being dumb and his mom just said, no, the school has kicked, not kicked you out, but you're just so special that they've got nothing else to teach you. And then, you know, she just reframed it and then there was this other example, someone gave me of someone who read their results the wrong way around on the rating scale and they thought they'd done really well, but actually it was the lowest rating, but they just read it the wrong way and then that really they thought great, I'm doing really well and that carried on and that energy and that mindset just continued and they passed whatever it was.

But it just just show that's what story we tell ourselves is, what it's going to shape us to be. Yeah. Yeah. So we should all be a little kinder to ourselves and tell ourselves that we're quite fabulous, shouldn't we? Yeah. And you know, just decide what you want to do and then just make it happen, you know, set yourself goals and push through. Um I've sort of been reflecting on that a little bit as well, like set your goals and push through because certainly, you know, coming out of school and doing the first degree and then the second degree, it's sort of you did, you had so much momentum and you set the goals and you pushed through exactly like what you said, but then as you started to get further into your career, and I think we've spoken about this before, it starts getting harder to work out what you want to do next and what your next goals are. You know, because you're now, like, you've done the set path bit, which is, you know, finish school, get a degree, get a job, and then you've got 2030 40 years of work ahead of you, and if you don't start working out what you want and where you want to go, you could just end up years down the track, looking back going, what what what have I done for all this time.

Yeah, absolutely, and I think especially, you know, if you look at yourself now, you know, with your business, you're right, I mean, if you don't have that next goal, you will be doing what you're doing for the next 10 years. And then the question is, is that really what you wanted to do, or did you do it? Because that's where you are? Yeah, and I think, well, I think so many people get into that, particularly professionals because they've, you know, you sort of reach all your goals by your mid twenties and then you're like, well, this must be it. That's right. I'll just keep doing this you and I obviously don't have those problems, but I think a lot of people wood or don't consciously think about it and take the time to think about what they want. Um, I agree, I agree. And you know, what time is going really quick, isn't it? But that's the other thing. It just looks like everything's speeding up. Yes. Yeah, it does, october just disappeared. Well, this year has just been a bit of a time warp. Really? I don't think any other years been similar. No. And I think, you know, next year will probably be the same, I think.

Yeah, well, I think next year will just be consistently fast. 2020 for me, like there was a couple of months that seemed like 500 days. Yeah. And then there's been a couple of months that felt like five days. Yeah, I remember I was so delusional, I think, and clouded coming into 2020 before the virus. I have this thing. Oh my God, this is gonna be my year. And you know, all of those things that I'm sure lots of people did because it was just 20 and yeah, at that moment. Yesterday. Oh my God, we're nearly at the end of the year. I just sort of want to get through the end of the year quickly and then just reset. Yeah. Don't wish it away. I know this has been your year. I mean you've had such big changes business name, the whole business structure, a couple of massive clients, videos like you're pushing through so many things now. You gotta staff turned 40 and got divorced. I think nothing, nothing really in 2020 that can top that now.

Big, huge. Yes, huge. And it might be the time now really as well to go. Okay, well the next five years are going to be the most amazing years of my life. Yeah, Yeah. Yeah. It's like that, you know, the end of the year feeling of, okay, deep breath breather here. I'm feeling that a lot earlier this year. Mm hmm. Well, I suppose we sort of set this arbitrary, you know, first of january to reset, but you can reset any day, can't you? You can absolutely, absolutely. You know, we just had Halloween. Maybe that's someone's reset date Or we'll have, what is it? The longest day of the year is the 21st of January. Maybe that's your reset date of 21st of December. Yes. Dog degree. That's a fine. Yeah, it's a bit early for them to be running around fighting with each other. Um, anyway, what have you got coming up next couple of weeks.

Um, what have I got coming up. So I was telling you before we hit no, we did hit record. Um so speaking at the Queensland Law Society Festival, um, is one of two panelists on the topic for the Sunset event. So it's all about frontline fatigue for lawyers. Excellent, wow. You know, you've got your first experience from me, I'm preparing for that and then just client delivery now with, you know, all the, the onboarding is done and it's just really getting in there and then onboarding this new staff member and getting him through and seeing how we go there. Amazing, good stuff. Yeah, I'd approach that topic from it. Well, obviously your, the EQ the best EQ trainer in Australia, It's from an emotional exhaustion point of view. Yeah, yeah.

And for the coming weeks for me, um look, october was just such a huge month. I'm sort of having a bit of a reset for november because october I was the sme at the rural woman for the month. So I was just providing so much for rebel blacks community. Um I also ran my first course in legally wise women how to find and hire right lawyer. So that's all done. So I'm just going to, I need to reassess my objectives and go, okay, what are the, what are the next task that I need to focus on? So yeah, but I have a speaking gig like you do as well on a panel for the Law Institute of victoria that 20 November I think. Yeah. Yeah. And it is about so it's a conference for suburban and regional firms and it is, it's a resilience one as well.

So it's not a, not a legal topic. It's a survival topic. Well done. Yeah. That's funny. I wonder if we can get recordings of each other's and pop it together. That's good. Well there you go. It's great to catch up. It feels like forever. That was good. Yeah. Yeah. Three weeks. It's been. Yeah. Yeah. And everyone hears from us every fortnight but for us we catch up every week or every three weeks. Yeah. Yeah, awesome. Alright. So if anyone wants to reach out for general, pop her details in the show notes and if they want to continue the conversation with us, it's also at like you meets eq dot com dot au. And us Where can people find you? Yeah, I'm at eq academy dot com dot au. Excellent. And the best place to find me is still to be a law. My direct email is there or linked in but legally wise women is fully fledged so you can go and check that out too and jump into the community.

Would love to have you in the free section in there. I don't have any of the paid stuff available at the minute. But yeah, it's coming along. So check to you next time. Mhm

Ep 43 Best and Worst Moments in Life
Ep 43 Best and Worst Moments in Life
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