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  • Writer's pictureAndy Goram

How To Lead With Significance

Two grey-haired men smiling as they discuss leadership on the Sticky From The Inside Podcast
Joey Havens (left) and Andy Goram (right) discuss how to lead with intentional significance

How intentional is your leadership approach and style? How much thought do you give to the impact and significance your words, actions and behaviours have on the people you are privileged to lead? How conscious are you of the impact of these things on performance? These are all fundamental questions, right? But it is surprising just how many of us coast through our working lives not really paying too much attention to this stuff, and as a result end up way short of delivering our own full potential, and stifling that of the teams we lead. Just imagine what we could all accomplish if we were more aware and intentional with these things.

These are among the topics I recently discussed with Joey Havens, author of the book, "Leading With Significance", on my Sticky From The Inside Podcast. After a long and successful career, Joey had a calling to share all the lessons he'd learnt about leadership and culture, and I got to talk to him about all of that, and record what he had to say.

There are 3 key topics to leadership success that came through in our conversation. Cultivating a real sense of belonging as part of a people-first culture, transparency in communication and flexibility when it comes to ways of working. The following is a full transcript of our conversation, or you can listen to the episode by clicking on the player below, if you'd prefer.

Podcast Introduction

00:00:10 - Andy Goram

Hello and welcome to Sticky from the Inside, the employee engagement podcast that looks at how to build stickier, competition-smashing, consistently successful organisations from the inside out. I'm your host, Andy Goram, and I'm on a mission to help more businesses turn the lights on behind the eyes of their employees, light the fires within them, and create tons more success for everyone. This podcast is for all those who believe that's something worth going after and would like a little help and guidance in achieving that. Each episode, we dive into the topics that can help create what I call stickier businesses. The sort of businesses where people thrive and love to work and where more customers stay with you and recommend you to others because they love what you do and why you do it. So if you want to take the tricky out of being sticky, listen on.


OK, we often talk about the impact of leadership in shaping organisational culture and fostering a dynamic where every team member feels valued and empowered. But always on this podcast, we try to look at how we translate the theory into practice. Today, I am particularly interested in how we can lead in a way that leaves a lasting, positive imprint on our teams and organisations. And I'm talking about impact. As a leader or manager, how is our behaviour and our actions impacting the people in our care? How conscious are we of those things? How intentional are we with what we say and do? So with that in mind, today we're going to talk about leading with significance. Now, joining us to get stuck into this topic is Joey Havens. Joey is the author of the best-selling book “Leading with significance” and partner at Horne LLP, a professional services firm that is recognised for his expertise in public accounting, where he has been instrumental in cultivating a people first culture, and more about that later. Joey's insights into leadership are not just theoretical, but are forged in the fires of real world experience and faith. And he's here to share some of those things with us today, including why he challenges some of the traditional mainstays of what company culture is perceived to be all about. We will delve into what it means to create a magnetic, enduring workplace culture, how the role of transparency is paramount in leadership, and the power of learning from both successes and failures. So, grab a coffee, turn over to a nice, clean, fresh page on your notepads, and let's get ready to talk significance with Joey. Welcome to the show, Joey.


00:03:15 - Joey Havens

Hello, Andy. Tickled to death to be here with you today.


00:03:19 - Andy Goram

It's so lovely to see you again, my friend. Really nice to have you on the show here today. This topic that we're going to talk about today and the book. And thank you very much for sending me the book. I am thoroughly enjoying it. Leading with significance, I think is going to be a stimulating, interesting, and, for me, insightful conversation, today. But before I get overexcited, Joey, and we get into all that, can you do me a quick favour, my friend? Can you just tell us a little bit about you and your background and what you're up to today?


Joey Havens' Background

00:03:49 - Joey Havens

Sure, Andy. I'll be glad to do that. I own this, so being an introvert is hard for me to talk about myself. I grew up in North Mississippi, a small rural town in the home of two fine Christian parents, and I graduated from Ole Miss. I passed the CPA exam. I moved out to Houston, Texas, which is a whole different world, and went to work for one of the largest CPA firms in the world at that time. And I decided to move back to Mississippi. I joined Horne back in 1984. So I've been at Horne for 39 years.


00:04:31 - Andy Goram

Congratulations, Sir.


00:04:33 - Joey Havens

I actually retire January of 2024, and I've had a number of leadership opportunities at Horne. And in 2011, I became the managing partner of Horne. And that's really where the book picks up and about the leadership lessons and the things I learned in that process as being the managing partner. But you mentioned the word mistakes, and that has been my greatest teacher.


00:05:03 - Andy Goram

Like so many other people, my friend, like so many other people. I am really looking forward to this. But I want to ask, before we start this topic of leading with significance, in all seriousness, why is today's topic, after all those years of experience, why is this topic today so important to you personally?


00:05:24 - Joey Havens

I was probably about 40 before I realised that my true purpose was to help people see and realise their full potential. And as I grasped that and embraced it over the next 25 years, it really became… changed who I was, how I led, how I was a team member, how I followed. And then as I started praying and thinking about this next part of life, I really feel like my purpose is to help inspire leaders to trust more in the inherit good in people and to be intentional how they demonstrate they care. And I think that's my next calling. That's the next thing I'm supposed to do in life.


Finding Purpose

00:06:14 - Andy Goram

Well, if my foray into your book is anything to go by, Joey, I would agree with you, my friend. I think you have a story to tell, and I think you tell it very, very well. I would just love to ask you a question on that finding your purpose. At the point at which you realised or you had that epiphany, was the change that you've just mentioned, did that feel instantaneous? Did everything just click and then all of a sudden, bang, I'm in. Or was it a more gradual process for you?


00:06:46 - Joey Havens

I think the only bang was when I hit the wall. And I mean that by I had really gone as far as I could thinking I was leading teams. I was leaving this behind me. If you looked in the rear view mirror, there was a few stars, and then there was a lot of other people laying on the side of the road saying, “What happened?” Because I was so competitive, I was so driven by, okay, this is what we need to get done. And so the only bang was when I hit the wall and I knew I couldn't go any further and that I really wasn't making my team better. I was collecting stars for Joey, but I was not putting any stars on anybody else. And so it was that reckoning, and it was very slow and hard process. And I think one of the keys for me is I hired an external performance coach. And I had so many blind spots, they just opened my eyes to so many things.


00:07:55 - Andy Goram

Well, that in itself can be a brave adventure, getting someone to properly shine a light on who you are and how you act. I know when I get the opportunity to do that myself with some clients, it's a very humbling experience to be allowed to kind of do that for somebody. And if you can suddenly see the lights go on behind someone's eyes when you share some stuff and they really take that stuff to heart and make a change, that's why we do what we do, Joey. That's exciting stuff and privileged stuff at that.


00:08:28 - Joey Havens

Very privileged.


The Inspiration For Leading With Significance

00:08:29 - Andy Goram

Yeah, absolutely. I'm interested to get stuck into this book, but it would seem daft of me not to ask you the seemingly obvious question to start with about the book. What was the inspiration for it? What was the motivation for capturing all this learning and putting it into leading with significance? Joey.


00:08:51 - Joey Havens

As I was reflecting on my retirement, when I saw the journey the firm had made the last ten years, where we made our workplace culture, our people, our number one strategy. And I saw the results of that. I started thinking about, what am I going to do in the next part of life? And over the last 10-12 years, as part of my communication tool, I started a weekly leadership blog called “Be better.” Started internally for Horne, and then we started publishing it externally the last ten years. Well, in all of that process, I couldn't sleep, even though I had a year of transition from turning over Horne to my successor. I couldn't sleep. God wouldn't let me sleep. He kept saying, “I want you to get started on this book”. I kept coming up with excuses, Andy, to a point in time when a friend in Houston, Texas, mailed me. He had no idea what was going on in my life. He said, God put you on my heart. He said, buy this and send it to Joey. And it was a hand carved wooden pen. He said, “I don't know what it means. I just know you're supposed to get this.”


00:10:14 - Andy Goram

And so the pen arrived. And did you just start writing or what did it do? What did it say?


00:10:22 - Joey Havens

After I cried, I started writing that week.


00:10:27 - Andy Goram

Wow. Amazing. When those connections work, good stuff happens, right?


00:10:32 - Joey Havens

Stuff happens. Coincidences. I have a lot of coincidences in my life.


00:10:36 - Andy Goram

There's a chapter in the book, right? Based on coincidences. Right. I think that's fascinating. I have to also ask, because I'm a word guy, I can't always get the right words out, but I'm fascinated by words. What's the significance of the word significance in the title? Joey, explain that to us.


00:10:55 - Joey Havens

If you had asked me, even when I had the draft written, what would be the title? I thought it might know my rally cry, be better. I thought it might be wise firm. Never in the world did I think about leading with significance. But as I came through that and I came to that chapter where what does this all mean for us and everybody, it became very evident that what needs to happen in leadership, what needs to happen in our lives, is that we need to think about the significance we're having on people. The significance and the opportunity to lift others up and have an impact. And as we look at the world and we think about it, you really have two choices. You can chase success, which is all about more, more and more power, more control, more money, more titles, more fame. Or you can chase significance, which is about elevating those around you and lifting them up and making a difference in the world. And the neat thing about it is when you lead with significance, success always follows. When you give to others, you always get more in return.


The Importance of Intentionality

00:12:11 - Andy Goram

That is so true. And I think as a theme that I'm finding throughout the book is this whole thing around intentionality. Right? Really having purpose behind your actions. Have I read that correctly, Joey? Is that a big theme for you?


00:12:26 - Joey Havens

Absolutely. And I think we all know that. Every time we do something good in our lives or we develop a new good habit, it's all about being intentional. And every book I've signed, Andy, those two words, be intentional, are in there.


00:12:42 - Andy Goram

Well, they're in my copy, which I'm hugely grateful for, my friend. The words that you shared, they will go on a LinkedIn post somewhere, because that was a lovely thing when I received your book. I want to ask, before we start getting into the construct of the book, do you remember a pivotal experience in your leadership, in your management approach that really kind of signalled a change for you? A change, I guess, from, I try and use some of your words, the managing and control mindset, to this kind of releasing, unleashing of potential. Was there a particular episode that was a stimulus for that?


00:13:27 - Joey Havens

I think it really relates to the one I shared a moment ago about when I, at the time, I was leading part of our healthcare teams. Healthcare has been a big focus area for our firm since 1965, and I was leading part of those teams. But I had hit the wall on, really, the progress we were making and the growth of the team. It was that wall and that external coach, Dr. Joe Paul, which is in the book, by the way. And there's a really neat story in there about Dr. Joe Paul and our vision. And when I really started getting that feedback from somebody I trusted, that's when I really realised there's a lot more to leadership. You know, as you were talking about a while ago, one of the things I like to share is that leaders never arrive. You never stop growing, you never stop learning. When you think you've arrived, that's when you're hurting people. When you think you have gotten there, you're in trouble. That's when the trouble starts.


The Parable of the Wise Firm

00:14:38 - Andy Goram

I believe that. And I believe that is ultimately what does trip up a few people. They think that they have completed leadership, or completed management or whatever it might be, and that's the big, big hurdle to avoid. Okay, well, look, I want to get into the construct of the book. You've mentioned this word previously, though, before we start, which I think is a nice set up for the construct, because you mentioned the “wise firm”, and there's a piece within the book talking about a wise firm and the foolish firm, and there's an origin story, I mean, a big origin story behind that, a parable, if you will. Explain to us the wise firm and the foolish firm and how it relates to Horne and how it relates to the book, and then we'll get into it.


00:15:27 - Joey Havens

Absolutely. The wise firm is really what we called our culture. And it came from the compelling vision that I laid out to the partnership group when I was being considered for the next managing partner. I had to give a presentation to the owners, to the partners. And why should Joey be our next leader? Why should we trust Joey to take us forward? And Horne has always been a faith based company. In other words, one of our core values is honouring God and personal faith. And as I prayed about that presentation and worked on it, the biblical parable of the wise man and the foolish man just became so clear to me. The wise man built his house on the rock. The foolish man built his house on the sand. The storms came, the winds blew, the rain pelted down, the water washed the foolish man's house away. And so I shared with our ownership group. We want to be the wise firm. We want to be a place where people are first built on the foundation of we and service and using those Christian values of humility and caring and compassion and kindness and patience. And so what I did is I built a foolish firm which had many of the behaviours that we had going on one block at a time. Like the foundation was me and self-interest versus we and service in the wise firm. And we built it all the way up to politics and negative energy in the foolish firm and positive energy in the wise firm. And it was that compelling vision that said, “Hey, we're going to make people first. And that was what we began to call our culture, the wise firm culture.


How To Build A Magnetic Workplace

00:17:20 - Andy Goram

All around people, centric people, led activity and belief. And I think also at the core, and let's get into what I think are the core concepts. So we've spoken, I've read an amount of the book. I've still got more to go. But this is what I've kind of picked up on as the key things for me, Joey. I think the core concepts as I see them in leading with significance, which is, I guess, this journey you're now on to share leadership lessons and leadership learning from your own experiences is all around building a magnetic workplace on the foundations of greatness and high performance. And we can get into the trap of believing that a focus on culture isn't tough, but this is about really achieving right and putting an environment together that really is magnetic and really helps people be their best. I wondered if you could confirm, or give the construct as you see it, but I thought these three key themes were coming out. One around people first, which you've just sort of mentioned. One around transparency, and one about leaning into failure and moving forward, moving on. There's always another day to sort of keep going. That's what I found in the book. How would you describe the core concept of it?


00:18:46 - Joey Havens

Those are pretty strong. I would say that you're definitely on the right path. Let me say this also. I believe every organisation and every leader group, it takes a group of leaders, by the way. No single person changes a culture, but it's going to be unique. Your journey is going to be unique, but there are some principles there that you're touching on. I'll go to the first one, which is people first.


00:19:17 - Andy Goram



00:19:18 - Joey Havens

People first is grounded in every team member having a strong sense of belonging. Think about that, the power of that. That's where the magnetic energy comes from. So, if you feel like you truly have a strong sense of belonging in a group, you're going to do the things, you're going to take the risk to reach your full potential. You're going to put in discretionary effort, which is part. You're going to focus more. That is where the magnetic energy comes from. It's a strong sense of belonging. And that starts when leaders trust first. It's not, “hey, you got to earn my trust.” As a leader you have to give the benefit of good intentions, and you have to walk the walk. You have to demonstrate, be intentional to demonstrate you care, be intentional to connect. And I call it the fishbowl test. When you become a leader, you get a fishbowl. And the reason you get a fishbowl is because people really don't care what you hang up on the wall. They don't care what you say. They're standing around the fishbowl watching what you do. Seeing is believing. And as you move up an organisation, you get a bigger fishbowl every time. And it's not because you're a bigger fish. It's because there's more people standing around the fishbowl to watch your actions. And people won't have a strong sense of belonging if leaders are not aligned and living the core values and the purpose and intentionally connecting. So people first, that's where that comes from.


00:21:01 - Andy Goram

Do you think this links... I think probably, you clearly do think it links to this concept in the book about good culture not being enough. The lack of things like belonging, real concrete stuff and too much kind of use a British word, frippery around the edges of all the kind of, like, benefits stuff and veneer, things that can be pulled away. That’s one of the core connections to that, right?


Good Culture Is Not Good Enough

00:21:28 – Joey Havens

Good culture is just not good enough. And the reason I say that is probably, of course, in the book, I use the rotting hamburger meat to illustrate that in my very first car, that car was my identity. Well, the same thing. Let's use something that a lot of people also relate to as being a parent. You relate to. If somebody asks you, “Are you a good parent?” You're going to say yes every time. But we all make mistakes as parents. We scar or wound our kids in different ways. They have to grow through that and recover. We do it in a lot of different ways. Well, if you ask somebody about their culture, it's their identity. Even if they're a team member, they're going to say, “We have good culture.” That's the first thing. I've interviewed thousands of people now, 85% of them are going to say their culture is good or better. And that's the hard part, is that every good culture has a lot of areas that need work, and not everybody's getting the same experience in your culture.


00:22:39 - Andy Goram

That is true, isn't it? I think that's such an interesting take, because there's a lot of talk around having, oh, yeah, we've got a good culture. We've got a good culture. And your positioning is, well, that isn't enough. It's got to go deeper, broader, firmer on a lot of things we're going to talk about today. And I think that's what a lot of people have to understand with culture. And I don't mean to get preachy and teachy. And in fact, there was a LinkedIn discussion recently about people being pulled up for making culture too clickbaity and too simplified. I come from a standpoint around culture that, look, there is no silver bullet to it. It is complex, to your point. It's nuanced and different for every organisation. That doesn't mean we can't try and simplify the complex to make it more palatable, to make it less scary. But this is a full-time commitment job. It's like you don't complete leadership. You rarely complete culture. This is a continuum, right? This is something you've got to continue to work at. Which, I guess, is why there's so many facets within the book that build this picture of what really thinking about your impact, really thinking about the significance you have on others, takes on a larger cause. Hence the theme around transparency. Right? Joey, just explain that one to us.


The Significance of Transparency

00:24:06 - Joey Havens

So transparency flows right into what you're saying, because if you think about culture and you want to have a magnetic culture, a people first culture, it's one conversation at a time. And that drives people crazy, but it truly is. Every voice counts, and it's one conversation at a time. And the higher you up in the organisation, the more your words matter in the conversations you have, every one of them impacts people. And the transparency thing deals with over communicating. We believe, like when we state our core values, or we state our purpose, or we state what the strategies are for this year, we've said it once and we wrote it and put it on a brochure, that's enough. And you have to over communicate. Owning mistakes is part of the transparency. I mean, I had to own some big mistakes in front of the entire organisation. Again, every voice counts, so you have to develop these, I call them confidential loops to where you get the feedback that the leadership team gets the feedback it needs to be better. That people trust the organisation and you enough to help you understand what the real experience is. And you got to be intentional to get that feedback. And then the transparency is, hey, this is something in our good culture that's not so good. Telling everybody that, by the way, this is really interesting. We used to qualify for a lot of best places to work. When we started our journey on making culture number one, and we very transparently shared everything that was wrong. We shared experiences that underrepresented groups were having, experiences that women were having versus men. When we put all of that out there and put our plans out there to improve it, our scores went down. But our culture went straight up. The trust in our organisation went straight up. The only reason the scores went down is that we were spending time telling people turnover is a problem. It's a problem that the underrepresented group is turning over at 35%. It's a problem that women are 60% of our organisation and 30% of our leadership pipeline. That's a problem. And we went to work on those things. But once you communicate them and transparently educate everybody, that's when you get everybody pulling together. That's where that strong sense of belonging comes in. That's why this transparency thing is so critical. You got to own what doesn't smell good in your good culture.


00:27:03 - Andy Goram

100%. I'm fascinated when you're going through that process and when you're communicating the things that people have either buried their heads on, or can see out in the open, but no one's ever talking about them. What does it feel like inside the organisation at that point? Once you get up and you start to tell the story and you start to peel back the layers and show that what the emperor's clothes really looked like, did you experience a period of shock, or was it a period of relief and release that happened, or was it a combination of those things? What happened?

The Complexity of Culture 

00:27:44 - Joey Havens

It's a combination. Obviously, you got to have a compelling vision that people buy into. So you have early adopters that say, “Hey, let's get to work on this.” And that's, again, a strong sense of belonging doesn't come from me convincing Andy. Andy has to convince himself that he can trust this organisation and his team members around him have to help pull Andy in. And so you have. That starts to happen. But what happens is the waters separate a little bit because you also have these high-performance expectations. This is not about…. having a great magnetic culture, the last thing you have to worry about is that you're lowering the bar of performance. In fact, the stronger our culture got, the higher the bar of performance went. And in fact, if you weren't really performing at a high level, it stuck out like a sore thumb. So that whole process starts to separate the waters. One thing that I like to tell is, in our first two years, our ownership group went down 20%. But the firm, for the first time that I know of in our history, grew 25% in 24 months. And so we had this exponential growth. We had less owners because they didn't buy into we're putting people first. I think it was one of God's blessings, because once we got at the end of that two-year period, everybody started to say, “Hey, I want to help on this journey.”


00:29:23 - Andy Goram

Well, you very graciously said, when I sort of tried to lay out what I thought some of the core concepts were, bless you, you'd sort of said, well, you're on the right lines there. You've certainly got a few of them. What did I miss? Joey, what are the sort of really key things that you really want to highlight in this conversation today? Some of the most impactful things that you could share.


00:29:44 - Joey Havens

Those two people first, which I call strong sense of belonging, because you got to have it for every team member. And transparency are two really big ones. The third one and the one we probably made the most mistakes on but was the most impactful is flexibility.


00:30:06 - Andy Goram

Okay, talk to me about that.


The Impact of Flexibility

00:30:07 - Joey Havens

Yeah. And the reason I bring it up, there's other really important things, but flexibility is the one that the workplace seems to be struggling the most with right now. You've got these organisations saying, “Everybody's got to come back from eight to five”, “We're going to be here” or, “We're going to have flexibility. Every other Friday. You can be off. You can work from home every other Friday.” There's even some that are still working on “You can wear blue jeans one day or another”. But flexibility, we went to work on it in 2013, and it was 2015 before I even had confidence that there wasn't a large amount of our team members taking advantage and that there weren't a lot of our leadership group that wasn't holding people accountable. So flexibility, and the reason it's so important and key to it is that you have to trust people, and it requires better communication, better structure on expectations, more structure on when the meetings happen. But if you trust people to have more influence on integrating. I call it integrating, not balancing, integrating their life, their career, and their personal life, they will perform, because that privilege, and it's a privilege, it's not a right. That's another important thing that leadership needs to communicate. You're going to have lots of flexibility at Horne, but it's a privilege, and you earn that privilege by honouring your commitment, your communication, and your trust. You do those three things as a philosophy, then you have as much flexibility as you want, and obviously it changes. It's unique. That's the other thing, really hard. It's like one conversation at a time. Flexibility is unique to the individual, the role they signed up for and the team they work on. And you've got to work within those parameters.


00:32:19 - Andy Goram

Yeah. And you've mentioned this already in terms of thinking about what people have to deal with. And when it comes to culture, this issue of having to have one conversation at a time, having to put the spade work in it not being an easy thing. What was that like going through with the leadership team, the management team at the time at Horne? What difficulties did you have to overcome in getting people's head around that whole piece of this is not a quick fix. This is a long-term thing.


Moving From Good To Magnetic Culture

00:32:56 - Joey Havens

I try to make that clear in the book about the journey. For any organisation, this is something you never win the race. You get up the next day and you have a lead that if you continue to work hard on, you can continue to have the lead. You can have a competitive advantage, you can have a high performing organisation that everybody gets a lot of joy and energy from contributing to that and to its purpose and what you're trying to do. But it's like anything, and especially with change, when you're moving from good culture to magnetic culture, it's like going down into the swamp. There's going to be a lot of bad days, bad conversations. Not everybody's going to make the trip. The reason those hard conversations are so important is that your culture will never, ever rise to the very level of your aspirations, to your dreams. It always falls to the level of behaviours you tolerate or you allow. And so those hard conversations have to happen, and you've got to give people the benefit of good intentions. A lot of times those people don't understand the impact they're having, negative impact they're having. They've never been told.


00:34:20 - Andy Goram

And you know what? That, to me, is the thing that I find the most in some of the client work on leadership development that I'm very fortunate enough to do. It is some of those things. No one's ever picked up that behaviour before. No one's ever forced me to think about it before. It happened in my own career. I've told the story probably too many times. I don't even recall on this podcast. But the impact that somebody can make by pulling you up of bad behaviour when you have never been challenged for years in my, you know, completely changed my attitude and my path. Which is why I'm fascinated and delighted when I meet people like yourself, Joey, who talk about very similar thing. Or when I get to talk with clients or groups and you find that one person who really responds to being challenged on something, on some poor behaviour, and then you can see them totally go off on a different direction with real purpose and conviction. That's the great stuff, right? That's the joy we get to when we get to help people in the whole piece of leading themselves, as well as caring and leading for other people. Fascinating stuff. I've always said on this podcast, it's great to talk theory. It's fabulous to talk theory, and we could talk theory all days, but really, I've always want people to take away practical pieces. And when we look to your next journey, Joey, you've said right at the start of the show, you're about to retire in January, right? What a loss that's going to be. But you're going to keep us going because you're going to start to do more with this leadership message. I just want to set some scene before I ask you some future questions. Because at the very start of your book, and I could have put this in the intro, but I wanted to draw attention to it, there's a series of statistics, some scary statistics that talk about over half of those people who've left their jobs in the last six months didn't feel valued by the organisation or their manager, or they felt some lack of belonging playing directly to what you've talked about earlier today. And additionally, a number, a similar number cited a real desire to work with people who trust and care for each other as another reason for quitting. Played back directly to the things that you've just talked about. So as we move forward, what do you think? Anybody listening to this conversation and picking up the book, Joey, if you want to draw attention to the first steps that an organisation should really start to take, to start this journey to leading with significance, what would you say to them? What would be the first things you'd want them to do?


00:37:15 - Joey Havens

I think it's kind of two things that happen simultaneously. One is you need a compelling vision about who you want to be. It's hard to start a journey if you don't understand who do you aspire to be? And the second is getting that feedback to understand where you really are.


00:37:40 - Andy Goram

Really facing into it.


00:37:42 - Joey Havens

Yeah. Leaning into it, spending the time to get that confidential feedback to know where you really are.


Future Workplace Challenges

00:37:49 - Andy Goram

And as you look forward, Joey, and you're about to embark on this, I'm going to say, second half of your career, what do you see as the challenges, the pressures of the future of work?


00:38:05 - Joey Havens

I believe that flexibility is the future of work, that it's already here, that I believe some of the greatest talents are making decisions about what team they're going to be on even today, as we speak, based on their ability to integrate their life more. And that's a huge challenge because it's unique to the individual, their role and the team they work on. The other great challenge is that, and this is a legacy anchor. But if you think about business, you think about workplaces, the legacy anchor was, I'm going to manage people, I'm going to control people. They're going to be here from eight to five. If I can see them, I know they're working. It is a huge challenge. I call it a mindset of excellence anywhere. To go from that to excellence anywhere, which means if I do the good job of leading people, of influencing people, of communicating what success looks like, what expectations are, we can achieve as a team, we can achieve excellence anywhere. Those two things to me are probably the biggest challenges in the future at work.


00:39:33 - Andy Goram

Big, big challenges And it's going to take a lot of the stuff we've talked about today, I think, to kind of step in and meet those. No question.


00:39:40 - Joey Havens

I think the word of encouragement in that, whether you view yourself as a leader or not, every person, every team member makes a difference in culture, and every voice counts. And some of the biggest changes start with that voice that asks a question that nobody's asked. Not in a blaming way, but just “Why do we do this? Or could we be better at?” So I would encourage people to realise that it is one conversation at a time and that every voice counts.


Sticky Notes of Wisdom

00:40:18 - Andy Goram

That is a wonderful little summary of all of our conversation today, Joey. Thank you for that. Well, I don't really want this conversation to finish, but I have time parameters that I have to kind of try and stick to. So I have come to the part in the show, Joey, that I call Sticky Notes, which is where I ask you to consolidate all your years of wisdom and the messages in the book into three little sticky notes. Or, if I take the analogy from your book, three magnetic thoughts. And so if we were looking at what three steps you'd advise someone to take to begin really leading with significance, what would be on your three sticky notes, Joey?


00:41:05 - Joey Havens

All right. Three magnetic thoughts that could be really sticky. Okay. Number one, be intentional to trust first. Leaders have to be vulnerable. And that starts with giving people the benefit of good intentions. Seek to understand first. Assume people want to be successful and they want to be high performers because they do. They want to be. Number two, be intentional to connect. To be vulnerable enough for people to know who you are and to demonstrate that you care by recognizing people, showing appreciation, showing gratitude. And number three is be intentional to have enough courage to understand what's the smelly thing in your culture that needs to be worked on. Be intentional in getting that feedback so you can go to work on those things. That's my magnetic thoughts that I think would be sticky for any organisation.


Podcast Conclusion

00:42:11 - Andy Goram

I love that. I love the fact that the sticky notes and the magnetic thoughts tie up. When I saw those in the book, I was like, yes, this is great. And any sticky note that has the word smelly in it for me, when it comes to culture, is an absolute keeper. So thank you for those, my friend. That is brilliant. I have thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and talking to you. I am really enjoying the book. I will put all the links to where people can find you, where people can get the book in the show notes. But people don't always read the show notes, Joey. I don't understand it, but there you go. People don't always read them. Where can people find more about the book and find out more about you, my friend?


00:42:51 - Joey Havens

They can find out more about the book and me at And I'm on all the social media platforms, mostly as Joey Havens or Joeyhavenscpa. Can't say enough about how much I've enjoyed this session and just a thrill to meet you, Andy, and to work with you on this podcast.


00:43:19 - Andy Goram

I've loved it, Joey. Seriously, really loved it and I wish you nothing but the best with the second half of your career. If I get to retirement and have a chance at a second half of a career that's anything like you're going to have, I'll be a happy man, my friend. Thank you so much for coming on and you take care.


00:43:36 - Joey Havens

Oh, God bless.


00:43:38 - Andy Goram

And you, Sir. Well, everyone, that was Joey Havens. And if you'd like to find out a bit more about him, the book, or any of the things that we've talked about on today's episode, please go ahead and check out the show notes.

So that concludes today's episode. I hope you've enjoyed it, found it interesting, and heard something maybe that will help you become a stickier, more successful business from the inside going forward. If you have, please like comment and subscribe. It really helps. I'm Andy Goram and you've been listening to the sticky from the Inside podcast. Until next time, thanks for listening.


Andy Goram is the owner of Bizjuicer, an employee engagement and workplace culture consultancy that's on a mission to help people have more fulfilling work lives. He's also the host of the Sticky From The Inside Podcast, which talks to experts on these topics from around the world.

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