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Episode 45:

Love as a Left-Brained Strategy

In this week's episode where we are joined by Author of "Culture For The Left-Brained Leader" and Co-Founder of Culture 'n Strategy Dr. Andrew Kim. He talks about how logic leading individuals can approach culture and strategy. 

Speakers

Feel the love! We aren't experts - we're practitioners. With a passion that's a mix of equal parts strategy and love, we explore the human (and fun) side of work and business every week together.

JeffProfile

Jeff Ma
Host

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Dr.Andrew Kim

Author of "Culture for the Left-brained Leader"

MohProfile

Mohammad Anwar
President

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ChrisProfile

Chris Pitre
Vice President

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Transcript

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Jeff Ma
Hey folks, if you're enjoying the podcast, please be sure to check out our best selling book, we took all of our stories and learnings, the good, the bad, and especially the ugly and packed it into one easy read. Find love as a business strategy, the book on Amazon or at your favorite book retailer. Visit loveasabusinessstrategy.com for more info.

Hello and welcome to love as a business strategy, a podcast that brings humanity to the workplace. We're here to talk about business, but we want to tackle topics that most business leaders shy away from. We believe that humanity and love should be at the center of every successful business. I'm your host, Jeff Ma, and I'm a director at soft way a business employee solutions company that creates products and offer services that help build resilience and high performance company cultures. I am joined by co hosts today familiar faces Mohammad Anwar president ceo of software Hey, Mohammad.

Mohammad Anwar
Hey, everyone.

Jeff Ma
And Chris Petri vice president software. Hey Chris, how's it going?

Chris Pitre
Hey.

Jeff Ma
So as you all know, each episode, we dive into another element of business or strategy and meet new and interesting people and test our theory of love against the world. And today's guest is Dr. Andrew Kim. He is the author of the upcoming book culture for the left brained leader. And so the title alone was enough to get you on this show. Welcome to the show. Andrew, how are you today?

Dr. Andrew Kim
Thanks for having me, Jeff. I'm glad to be here. Yes. So we have a book that's that's entitled culture for the left brain leader which chronicles my own journey as an entrepreneur and also helping other companies achieve a similar transformation. And notice a lot of patterns. And notice a lot of a lot of unique obstacles that left brain leaders face that might not be entirely the same. So I'm looking forward to having that released. And I know that you all just released the book URLs, yourself. So congratulations on that. I know how challenging of a journey that can be. Yeah, thank you.

Jeff Ma
This is what ended up being almost like a book club, book club, book club episode here. I'm really excited to dive into that. But before we do that, we we have to do some icebreakers. It's just tradition. It's mandatory. And I'm going to start with Mohammad. We're going to actually all have the same question today. So Mohammad, you're going to kick us off?

Dr. Andrew Kim
It's very, very

Jeff Ma
simple, simple question. What is the wallpaper and or lock screen on your cell phone right now?

Mohammad Anwar
I can't look at it.

Dr. Andrew Kim
Absolutely. I

Mohammad Anwar
got it. Okay. So it's the it's a it's a world globe picture from the space, the default iPhone.

Jeff Ma
comes out of the box with that image. Yes, there is what it is. You're famous for your selfies and you haven't applied a single one to your to your lockscreen wallpaper.

Mohammad Anwar
I get confused looking at myself thinking I'm taking a selfie. So

Jeff Ma
Alright, Chris, what is your current wallpaper? lockscreen on your phone.

Chris Pitre
So I just think what Mohammad did is embarrassing. So I actually worked with Apple to develop a custom screen. And I think we made it free for everybody else to use. And it came default for everybody else. But we worked together to create sort of that Starry Night sort of color. You know, explosion coming in. So that's what I'm excited about. So thank you apple. It was great. Yeah, so

Jeff Ma
also a default apple.

Chris Pitre
But it was custom for me. It's everybody else.

Jeff Ma
All right. No pressure, Andrew, but what is your wallpaper logging on your cell phone?

Dr. Andrew Kim
It is a picture of my, my boy. He's two and a half years old. I suppose I started doing that shortly after he was born and just rotated maybe about half a year. I think the last the recent one was when when we went to the beach one time and and so I think that's the current one. Yeah, yeah.

Mohammad Anwar
What's it What's your son's name?

Dr. Andrew Kim
Arthur

Chris Pitre
That's my dad's name.

Dr. Andrew Kim
Yeah. Cool.

Jeff Ma
That's awesome. That that is the correct answer. Congratulations, you. You won the I saw

Chris Pitre
Jeff, what are yours?

Jeff Ma
Mine is what's mine is me. Me and my daughter. So me and my daughter right now. This is this is when before she could talk back to me that she's just Much nicer. I retain that memory on my phone never letting go. Alright, so I'm gonna, I'm gonna dive into this open panel, obviously, we're gonna grill you if we can all of us but we're just interested in knowing tell us, you know, just kick us off what made you kind of just walk us through what made you decide to write a book about culture? What's Where did you where you coming from, give us the background.

Dr. Andrew Kim
Sure, I'd be happy to Well, I'm a periodontist by training, and also also have an MBAs. And so when I embarked upon my journey, as an entrepreneur, I had some preconceived notions about it. I thought it was about systems, I thought it was about data tracking and quality assurance. So when I embarked upon my journey, as a, as an entrepreneur, I studied what the best processes are regarding my industry. And not only did I do that, I actually looked at the other industries as well, too, so I couldn't amalgamate the best. Now, along my journey of business, I came to realize that's not how business works, there are people attached to the delegates. And so what I quickly realized is, as you're trying to quality assurance, various, various things, it just doesn't work that way, it's not as simple as, as calling things out, based upon your metrics and whatnot, that you actually have to look at the human component of it. And it took, it took a very unique journey for me to actually reconcile that in my head, because as the book is titled, culture for the left brain leader, so I, myself am a left brain, individual who makes sense of things by logic, it took a quite a journey to logically reconcile both from a business reasoning standpoint, and people's incentives to really come to really understand what's going on. And that's when I actually finally realized is actually in the topic of culture. That was a unique journey, a very, very, very, it took a lot of paradigm shifts to actually recognize that. And not only that long it, you know, I had my own cuts and bruises. So I really wanted to share that journey. I've also helped other companies reach a similar type of transformation. And they also had similar types of paradigm shifts that were extremely challenging themselves to. And so I put together a lot of my realizations, I noticed patterns and trends, and I consolidate my thoughts in that book, just just so that for those who actually see the world from the logical left brain perspective for them to have a chance to understand it, because oftentimes, it's the left brainers are sometimes the bigger resistors, to to this topic. I know that because I was a resistor until I understood what it was about. So that's when I realized, you know, what, I want to share this journey. I think it might help some people, whether whether whether they're trying to achieve that transformation, or maybe they're trying to reconcile in that in their heads, how it comes together, just just so that just so that they can achieve that transformation and sometimes achieved by in a bit more.

Chris Pitre
Yeah, it's interesting. I'm really curious, like, I've I've worked and went to school with and sort of played with even a lot of logic leading individuals. And I'm curious to know, what was that sort of defining moment that sort of made it made things click? Or was it a situation? Was it a story was an encounter? Like when did it like hit you hard that like, oh, culture is eating me up? And I need to do something different?

Dr. Andrew Kim
I think that's a great question. And you know what, it wasn't actually the initial logic that where it got me to see it out, when I tried to run the business completely through systems, and there were big gaps, because people would be very skilled and maneuvering around systems. That's what I came to realize quite quickly. And so as a logical left brainer, what the way they would try to get around that is to introduce more systems of capture that quickly realized that that wouldn't work along the way I received business coaching myself to and then they encouraged me to approach it from different angles, like leadership and whatnot. That being said, I was one of the resistors of it when my mind started opening once, once, once I hit a brick wall once everything that I tried, it wasn't working. I think sometimes when you when you meet your low point in life, that's when your mind becomes greatest, when you're most open to change when you're most open to opposing ideas that you normally would not be. And so, because of that, that's when my mind started saying hey, you know what, nothing else. I'm trying as it's working. Let's give some of these other things a try. Now, it wasn't an easy journey I a lot along the way. It felt uncomfortable, I made my people feel uncomfortable, I've led other people to, to other companies do those uncomfortable moments themselves too. And so basically, it's really that it's really that low point when you start really reevaluating everything that you've been doing. Because without that, you think that you can actually prop it up simply with logic alone. And because of that, I think there might be some ways to help some logic driven leaders to see it a little bit more logically reconcile it a little bit. They might not buy in right away, because again, they're trying to make sense of the world. But when they hit that brick wall, they might go, you know what, remember that one thing? Let's give this a try. I think it's time. Got it.

Chris Pitre
So I'm curious, as someone who's not necessarily always logic leading, I'm assuming that you put together steps to help logic leaders or logic leading leaders sort of get through that process. And I could be that could be a complete assumption, again, listeners, I had, I was not a part of any prep. So I'm asking questions that you might ask too. But I would assume that you know, in order to help logic leading folks, you have to lead with logic or sell to convince them to do different or try different, but maybe that's not true. But I'm curious to know, like, Is that true? But also, what exactly were those steps if steps were taken? Or was it just a chaotic, like a company of things that you just like, forget at the wall, and you abandon process? And just dove right in? I'm just curious.

Dr. Andrew Kim
Sure. I'd be happy to be happy to answer that. Well, well, I watched a couple of Joel's other episodes, I know that you all understand the complexities associated with culture, and how multifactorial it is. So what it does, what the bug does, and is trying to hit it from all those various angles. So there are a lot of components where we try, we tried to understand the business reasoning, just the philosophies behind it. But we also do talk about the various phases, I've noticed that there's a pattern to which these companies have to go through that process. And then one thing I've come to realize that sometimes it's all in different, different, they do it all, all out of order, or all all out of place. And then there is actually an element about the various various leadership and management skills as well, too. Because some and one major component about culture is that it all begins with leadership. Right. But to a left brain leader, you know what they think? What the heck does that mean? So just soft skills right? Now, I'm not a big fan of the word soft skills, simply because there's a tendency to downplay the impact of it. So there are there is a component on the various skills and based upon various scenarios, well, what are various recommendations, and another component of just how to interlink culture with strategy? So I know that that it's a multi faceted question I tried, I wanted to, I wanted above that truly looks at the topic of culture, not from not from a patronizing standpoint, but truly on encompassing an encompassing discussion. That does the topic justice. Got it?

Mohammad Anwar
So I had a question.

Dr. Andrew Kim
Yeah.

Mohammad Anwar
So you mentioned that, you know, until a leader hits this brick wall, it's hard to go through the the change or open up the mind, is there a way to accelerate that process? Get them to hit the brick wall faster, so we can get leaders to start understanding this culture aspect? Or have you witnessed or seen anything like that?

Dr. Andrew Kim
Well, I think that's, I think that's a very great and great question. There's five things that I've noticed, where people's minds become more open to things. The first one is emulation. So basically, when they see another leader that they respect, do something, then rather than trying to reconcile that logically in their heads, they actually see it work and go ahead, you know what, there's something that might be there. Okay. The second one is speaking, speaking truly to what's what's in what's in their hearts or souls or what's in their minds, okay, speaking their language rather than speaking a language that that you're accustomed to yourself, by understanding the audience and really resonating with them. That's a second component. A third one is the low points. So when people hit that low point, that they're minds become very open to change. And then basically, within a company wins when a leader has someone hit that low point, I believe that's an opportunity point to actually capitalize on and provide some coaching right there. Because that's when the mind mind becomes more open to change than any other time. Because there, I'm sure there are times where a leader wants to talk up want to try wants to transfer a certain know how, but sometimes feels like is talking to a brick wall. Another one is actually a third party, a third party. I don't know if this story might resonate. But some folks, let's say they're trying to teach their boy how to play baseball, and then tried to teach him a few different techniques. And nothing seems to soak in. But then one day, they try to bring in a third party person, maybe a coach, and they say, Hey, no, Hey, buddy, you know, just just do a couple of these things. And then the boy tries it and smack the ball out of the park. And then the boy says, Hey, now, you're amazing. You're a genius. I wish my daddy tried to show me that. And you're thinking, that's what I've been trying to show you the whole time.

Every day, so sometimes I've third party perspective, right, in a strategic manner. And the fifth one, you know what, I think I'm gonna have to marinate on what that fifth one was that there were five that that, that people's minds become open that those are the four that come on top my head? I'll let you know. Later in the episode, like, if I remember on top of my head?

Mohammad Anwar
Sure. No, this this helps. So talking about low point, can you just describe a little bit like low point in the sense of their confidence or low point in business sense? Like, what is that low point described as in terms of a leader perspective? Oh,

Dr. Andrew Kim
I think it manifests in all different shapes and forms for various people. I think everyone, we all have high hopes and dreams and ambitions and whatnot. But then sometimes reality comes hits you. And that's when you start actually reprioritizing. Your, what's important to you in life, what I came to realize was family was important to me once, once things started hitting home, that's when I said, You know what, no, I need to start looking into a different, different perspective, it could be something different for various people. But for me, it was it was, it was family that started getting me to really look at my priorities. And was once those once, once those priorities starts hitting you, that's when that's when you feel it, you feel that this is not the journey of life that I've been wanting to go. I didn't mean to start sacrificing, start sacrificing them and, and things hitting home. And I think once and sometimes you don't see it, you don't realize something's important to you, once you start. Once you start losing it, then it makes you take a step back and go, you know what, there is a different I need to look at different approaches. Got it? It could be different for different people. Yep. Awesome.

Jeff Ma
For for a quick level setting, can you give your definition of how you view a left brain leader versus say a right brain leader?

Dr. Andrew Kim
Sure. To me, a left brain leader really processes the world through logic, more so than anything else. So it really is a combination of seeing the whole world world as cause and effects. Just Just a whole plethora of combinations of causes and effects. Because of that, and because of the fact that culture and management and leadership has so it's infinitely complex to the point is very difficult to logically reconcile that without guidance. So, to me, a right brained leader oftentimes gets to feel out the situation a bit more is more in tune with the emotions of the various individuals and the left brain leader, things a bit more systematically, maybe like an engineer. Right. Now, to me, that's how that's what defines a left brain, individual for me. Got it, oftentimes left to throw another like, two cents in that topic. Oftentimes left brain leaders struggle a bit under in management and leadership, simply because they're trying to make sense of this infinite complex situation. And, and because of that, they get burnt out by it. And not only that, sometimes get a little bit impatient and frustrated.

Chris Pitre
That's, that's really interesting. I was, you know, as you were talking, I was thinking like, Man, I've worked and reported into some sort of logic leading and left brain centric. You know, folks, if you could talk to, you know, employees who are like me through this podcast right now and say, like, here's what you can do to help and support your left brain leader who could be either still on the end, where he's not yet aware of sort of all of these complexities and how to navigate them, or they're going through their process. What would you advise them to do? How can they be as a poor? How can they even be sort of the revelation that comes forward to that, that left brain leader?

Dr. Andrew Kim
Yes, I think one word captures that. The best the synergy. So meaning that if a striking a partnership with a with with that individual, because of left brain leader has is bringing certain talents and to the table and holding the fort in their own way, however, sometimes on sometimes they may struggle in seeing their own blind spots. So basically, by creating that partnership with them, that's when you can actually create awareness around these blind spots as as those blind spots become, there's greater awareness around them, there's greater respect for it, as there's greater respect for it and their openness might become, they might become more open to it, because the now they see the cause and effect, they see the cost, hey, if we if we are, if we are skillful, in addressing these components of the ask of the people side of the business, we tend to get better results, that as a respect level of it goes goes up, then then they become more open to it. And not only that's also some of the earlier things that we talked about, when do people become open to various concepts? It's also, it's also that the greatest form of emulation, the best person to emulate is when like, the senior leaders are exhibiting it, because then they're setting an example that other people want to emulate.

Chris Pitre
Yep. That's, that's really helpful. Sorry, I've dropped something. But no, I think from from that angle, I could see the employees who are wanting their leaders to get it, who are wanting to be in an environment where they they feel heard, but also they feel like their leaders vision and outcomes and goals are being achieved. This can be extremely insightful for them. Because I know for personally speaking, when you're not left brain oriented, or when you're not leading with logic, and you're sort of looking at empathy, you're looking at context, you're looking at all of these things before you think about what to do. Having someone that does was a down to data sets. And you know, process and systems can be extremely frustrating, if not infuriating. And usually you start to see those ideological differences emerge inside of teams and organizations. And, to me, as we're talking about this, it feels a lot like we're getting into the aspect of neurodiversity. Where within organizations as well as when you think about individuals who who might have sort of social situations where they are not comfortable, etc, they they might dominate on that logic end. And as we start thinking about how do we sort of embrace all the differences that are within a society, this topic in this book could be a huge insight into supporting all types of individuals, whether they are the leader, leadership level, or, you know, new employees or even intern. So that's if you have any thoughts on that. But that's just, you know, as you're talking, that's what I'm thinking about. Yes,

Dr. Andrew Kim
yes. And also, what also helps is for them to see the big picture of how it all connects, seeing the whole architecture of a company that that thrives on his culture, where we're culture is actually a business strategy, seeing the architecture, meaning that the various communication structures, how the cross functional processes within the organization is, is modified or tweaked in order to enable various things, see the various areas where there's red tape that's actually disrupting it, or actually tightening up on certain areas, understanding the chronology of it, the different phases, how it all comes together. When they logically reconcile that oftentimes they don't become the resistors anymore. They become the supporters and And the ones who are who are trying to push it forward. But it does take some degree of just logically reconciling how all this comes together. Because the moment when they see it when they go, Okay, I see how this all comes together, then oftentimes, resistance goes away. But because of the left brain nature, they're very talented, and shift in identifying the risks of it. Okay, so we can't do it all at once we got to go, we got to go a bit incrementally, because if we try to do that certain things too soon, it exposes too much risk for the organization. So then it becomes then it becomes a partner effort in order to create the, the direction or transformation that they wish to achieve while doing it safely.

Chris Pitre
Yeah. Sounds very familiar. We had a situation where we had like, in our India office, we had a developer who, you know, he was on the hiring panel, right. So he, you know, was one of the folks that was used to sort of vet talent before we extended an offer. And we did this little off site. And we asked everyone, like, how important is sort of a culture adding in sort of the culture element over or in comparison to just pure skills and abilities and capabilities? And, you know, for him, he was like, well, we can downplay the culture piece, and just, you know, if they're a good developer, we should have them, right. And he was like, out there by himself. Everybody else was not on that same page. And like him, that was logic, right? Like, you know, you only work with good people, you don't hire just anybody. Everybody has to have the right skill set. That's, that's all you get, right. But over time, he started working in teams that weren't as high performing as he wanted. They didn't meet the expectations that he had for the product or the project. And he started to shift that to that, like, Oh, what is what's the issue is like, yeah, I have, you know, talented peers, but we don't jive. We're not jelling, we're not aligned, we're not sort of moving the needle the way it needs to be moved. And and now he's like one of the biggest culture advocates, you know, he's, you know, developing our cultural products, he's doing everything he can to push this awfully vision forward. Right. But I think sometimes as you say, is that boat plant or those, you know, robots and brick walls, really helped those logic leading folks to sort of see the difference and understand like a and b, there is a difference, but sometimes you have to fill it before you can actually do something about it.

Dr. Andrew Kim
Right. And that brings up an interesting other element is the fact that that the high performing teams oftentimes have a balanced perspectives. But when we have a balanced perspective, oftentimes managers hire people that they feel most comfortable with, well, that's oftentimes leads to a homogenous team rather than a balanced team. But the thing, the thing is a balanced team, there's a higher incidence of, of tension points between people. That means that, in general, the standard of collaboration of emotional intelligence, ability to collaborate around these various situations needs to be at a higher level. So that being said, is no longer looking at people based upon only technical skills, I was guilty of that myself, I know what that can lead to. But to also look at where they were, where they are in their collaboration skills. And also not only that, sometimes when, when there is an opening for a position, you can take a step back and look at your team, is there a certain type of perspective that we that we could use, and actually look for that person? for that next hire? So I think, I think that helps logically explain what it means for cultural fit. Because a lot of people say, don't just hire for technical skills, hire for culture fit, but what does that mean? Sometimes, often times, it just means I felt good with the person. But if you actually look at it, you know, from the balance perspective standpoint, also from the collaborations standpoint, because the thing is, nowadays, companies, the ones that actually thrive on that are the ones are doing the best, simply because they can capture value in between various components. And because a lot of traditional companies, they they struggle with that oftentimes because everything was made in an isolated silo, in order for in order for everyone to stay in their lanes. But then the thing is, that the today's market evolves so rapidly these days, that it's it's you won't be able to adapt in today's marketplace like that. There needs to be another standard.

Chris Pitre
Yeah, and I know for us we had a little bit of a language change from culture fit to culture add, because you know, sometimes when you say fit, people think they have to strip themselves of those differences to fit in. And sometimes hiring managers are looking for just that. I just thought that homogenous player, but we say culture Add, you start some sort of reprogram your brain to think I'm looking for somebody that can add, which means that they should bring different a different perspective, they should bring different skill sets, they should be able to collaborate highly across those skill sets and differences, right. And so I think that that's something where as hiring managers, culture leaders, DNI professionals are starting to influence sort of practices around the business, those are certain terms that, you know, we've been sort of really talking about within software, because it is critical, you know, if you're listening, that language can sometimes be what sets mindset, you know, when it comes to critical decisions when it comes to hiring when it comes to even letting people go. And so those are some of the things that we've come across.

Dr. Andrew Kim
Right, right, right. And especially when, when that additional perspective comes in, sometimes it's a boost and an increase in all these capabilities within the team. The thing I think to watch out for is where they're like, sometimes excessively hierarchical is, is one thing to watch out for. That one's really difficult to integrate when a company is trying to make culture as like, a core strategy. But I agree by bringing perspectives and making and looking at those various culture fit components, I think there's actually a lot of opportunities for the business.

Mohammad Anwar
So I'm gonna ask a question. So yeah, it's the premise of your book by saying, you know, culture for a left brain leader, does it imply that a right brain leader has got it down? In terms of culture? Or like, what what was the angle of that title? And why go down the left brain leader and not the right brain leader? Or what?

Dr. Andrew Kim
that's a that's a great question. Well, first of all, I think the the, the the needs or the journey that a left brain leader walks to understand this topic is a different journey. Number one, so not all right brain here, sorry, art skill, that there's a lot of leaders that are not skilled at this. But then oftentimes, what I've seen is that they walk a different journey to make those realizations. So that being said, it was not the initial title of the book, when I was first walk. When I first sat down to write it, it was called culture architecture. In order, what are the what are the How do you architect this together? Along the way, I've come to realize that that title didn't necessarily resonate with people. But then more people could resonate with with left, oh, I'm a left brainer, okay, then maybe this, it might have, there might be something for me. But really, the book is, was actually designed to architect business. Where, where, where culture could be used as a business strategy.

Mohammad Anwar
Got it? The way you're describing everything. I'm sitting there, and I'm questioning my right brain or left brain right now. Am I am I considered a right brain leader, a left wing leader, because everything you're saying I'm resonating with it? And I'm like, does that mean I'm a left brain leader? I don't know.

Jeff, Chris, do you guys have an opinion? I'm just trying to figure it out.

Jeff Ma
you lean more left than right, for sure. Really? Okay.

Mohammad Anwar
Cool. Because I was resonating with everything. And that makes complete logical sense. Like, you

Dr. Andrew Kim
know, our folk song just like there are ambiverts for extroverts and introverts, there are those who exhibit both characteristics. But there are some who weigh very heavily left. Because I I agree, I sense the left brain, but I also sense right brain from you as well, too. But yes, I agree. The logical aspect. If it's resonating, then definitely there as well to

Mohammad Anwar
make sense because I definitely I went to school to get a computer science major and math minor, so I must be left brain.

Dr. Andrew Kim
Right, right, right. I come from a science and science background as well, too. So naturally, that direction of just understanding the world. That's just the way my brain works. In fact, in my training, it was all about how do you filter out the emotional bias that people throw at you and stay true to the logic um, that was my training. And there are others with such training that are that exists in the business world.

Jeff Ma
Do you have any one oh guy,

Mohammad Anwar
Jeff, sorry.

Jeff Ma
My might be quick because I'm just as curious if you have any interesting kind of, like, stats or metrics on like this. I know. It's not Track thing but like, you know, industries or standards around leadership like is there a trend where like, the higher up you go in certain industries, you're finding more left brained leaders or is leadership impacted? Like, are there any trends within the space that you've seen in working with leaders? Well,

Dr. Andrew Kim
I think there is an industry aspect for that, for example, industries that involves like science or, or coding or accounting tends to those in that tends to have those types of individuals. I've also seen that, especially in traditional companies, a lot of traditional companies, senior leaders tend to be left brained or more very data centric. However, I think there's a trend going on in that there's a greater awareness and realization that the the aspect of promoting that cult culture and developing other people and teams is such an important core competencies, that there is a trend going the other direction, in which case, there is they're starting to bring up those who are strong and the right brain more and more so. But not only that, I think I think I think those who rise are good balance. Because I think if if a leader is only right brain is very difficult for them to understand data and the financial statements and whatnot, and vice versa, the other way, they only look at numbers, and sometimes they can just they can plow through people and also also create issues in some other ways. So that being said, I think those are some of the trends that I've seen industries, also in terms of like, how it used to be how it's kind of going towards.

Mohammad Anwar
Got it.

So this, you know, the step by step process that you described, the, you know, the four steps that you said devaluations speak to the heart, the low point and then I think you said the third party into intervention.

Dr. Andrew Kim
Yeah, this one too. I just can ring a bell

Mohammad Anwar
right now. Yeah, yeah. No, no problem. Yeah. Would it still be applicable to a right brain leader to?

Dr. Andrew Kim
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I think that that's just a human psychology thing where people become open to ideas. I think the the the second one that I mentioned, speaking to what's like their language, that language is gonna sound completely different. Like, for instance, someone trying to get buy in from a group of coders versus someone who's trying to get buy in from a farm, a lot of salesman, the language is going to look completely different. And if you use a similar type of language, we're just going to completely miss the boat.

Mohammad Anwar
Got it? No, no, that makes that makes sense. So if you look at that speak, speak to the heart, it's almost like the building an empathic connection with your audiences and communicating to them at that level, so they are able to understand you and comprehend and stuff. So that's very cool. So really, although the book is titled culture, for the left brain leader, this is really applicable to any leader,

Dr. Andrew Kim
I think, I think it is applicable now if someone is looking for a quick read to get inspired and whatnot, is probably going to miss the boat on that one. But, uh, but you don't necessarily need to be a left trainer to, to, to get a lot of value from it, because, um, sometimes just by understanding various things a bit better, you could even right brainers can actually get some value add

Mohammad Anwar
God. Now, talk to me if the book, does it help with a readership who are in leadership positions? Or would it be also beneficial for non leaders to read?

Dr. Andrew Kim
Well, the book does actually talk a lot of it from the leadership standpoint. So I tried to get the book written in a way where it's like a reference along their journey of leadership. So one thing I've seen is, when someone reads it, something it does, it doesn't quite resonate with them yet. But then after they go through a critical experience in their life, and then look at another part of the book, again, they get it then. So that being said, I think the book is written from the perspective of the leader. Now if let's just say you're a team member, some of the concepts might seem a bit foreign. Now, I wouldn't discourage them from looking at it. I might encourage them to read it with a different lens by by just knowing these concepts exist out there, and let's just say they get they start having to They're supervisor now or a manager, or their leader for multiple teams. Now the world just completely changes the way that they have to do everything completely changes, and which case in various steps along their journey, they can actually take in additional, like, major learning points from it.

Mohammad Anwar
Got it? So, I know, I know, we both agree on this term that you know, culture starts with the leaders and leadership sets the tone. But how do you think a leader can scale culture inside of an organization? What's your thought process there and philosophy around that?

Dr. Andrew Kim
Well, in terms of actually, that's, that's why that that topic was actually what initiated me to kind of dissected the way the way I want it to, because the thing is, it all begins with leadership. I 100% agree with that. However, once once an organization starts scaling with additional vertical and horizontal layers, now, it's very difficult because the leader is not doesn't have direct access to everybody. And so meaning that their influence is starting to get diluted simply because of the fact that they don't have access to everybody. So that's where we have to become dependent on various communication structures, ritual, various ways that they approach on aspects of how they design some of their cross functional processes, how they design their strategies in a way and which cadence and intervals, those things starts becoming more and more important in within the book, I do talk a lot about that. And so that means that by having those things again, and without, without that leader, who who believes in it, it's still not going to work, what I'm saying is that by with a leader who wants to actually spread that across the organization, by having those things it becomes like, like a loudspeaker throughout the organization. Because with when we don't, what what I've seen are leaders who are who who believe in it, but it's not penetrating the various layers of the organization by by putting, putting certain things in place. Now, there's a channel for it to go through is what I've seen.

Mohammad Anwar
Got it? Hmm. Interesting. And to see, for example, like, I'm a leader of an organization, and they believe in culture and philosophy, but my team, or my middle management are resistors. How do we overcome those type of situations in your, in your philosophy and approach? Like, how would we overcome middle management problems, as as a leader of your company, for the culture thing?

Dr. Andrew Kim
Well, so we're talking about a direction of buy in from a top down direction, it sounds like I've seen, there are different forms of directions. So basically, the middle manager is a critical person in all of this, the reason why is because they have direct access to their team members, and oftentimes on the employee there on the biggest influence on their experience on the company, is the middle manager. Now, that being said, again, by having by having the various us and the calm structures in place by utilizing the various aspects in terms of the various aspects of when the mind becomes open, but not only that, there's also a pattern, a sequence in which case, by an occurs as well to by understanding that, for instance, it's unrealistic to get buy in from everybody right off the bat. And it's important to reconcile that simply because that way you can identify who the early adopters are, who the majority are and who the resistors are, by partnering with the early adopters earlier on, then we can we can actually have different efforts that penetrates the organization. And meanwhile, we're getting more buy in from the majority. Where whereas the resistors, well, we we have to manage them in a particular way, education, trying to get buy in. And besides that some resistors actually have a very valid concern that they're not resisting, just to be difficult, but they actually see real obstacles. And sometimes you can make them into early adopters by by talking with them actually recognizing that they're calling something out. That that would be a huge obstacle to the effort so that you can make them an early adopter. Now there are situations There are resistors where it's, I think Chris mentioned it earlier in our call in the conversation where it's, it's just not jiving, right. Well, sometimes a difficult decision does need to be made. Unfortunately. However, in my opinion, that should be the last resort. We I believe that we should, I believe that dumb buy in, should come first. And I think there are a lot of various tools and efforts that can be had for it. But But then at the same time, I want to be realistic as the left brain myself, I want to always acknowledge the fact that you know, not everything is 100%. There are some times that that situation makes sense.

Jeff Ma
Can I ask, I guess one of our one of the tenants of our love is business strategy kind of philosophy and belief revolves around the aspect of self awareness and introspection for leaders especially, I'm curious, because that's where we always leads of, we're talking to a leader of we're consulting with leader, we're always first trying to get them to realize the role that they play in some of the blind spots that many leaders might have, even if you think you're great, even if you are great, there's still blind spots of self awareness of where your behaviors contribute, and things like that. Does your book tackle any of that spectrum? Because like, it feels like if you just say, here's the process, but the leader himself is still kind of a jerk. I don't know, you know, any of those things? I don't, I don't know how far that's gonna go, right. I don't know how you can create all these systems of communication, stuff like that. But you know, whatever emails or comms that come through, are going to be they're gonna fall flat or be fake or any of those things like, what about what about leaders who have actual, you know, people who don't enjoy working with them for one reason or another? Or aren't leading in a very, you know, compassionate culture friendly way? What does your book address that? Or what are your thoughts?

Dr. Andrew Kim
Well, I think that's a very, very, very great question. And that actually has made bring up one other element of which is, which is identification of the hypose. within an organization, it's a succession planning, concept. And introspection is a very important element for that. Because sometimes an organization is in that situation, because their definition of who, who are great, who has the potential to be great managers and managers and leaders was not really standard standardized. And so that being said, that's when, from your words, those without the introspection were inputted into certain roles that were perhaps perhaps they're becoming a blocker to the, for the permission of the culture. So meaning that by having having that filter earlier on definitely helps. But when we're talking about a situation when we're already in there, right, so, yeah,

Jeff Ma
you know, there's this element of that just like a left brain person is commonly, you know, I feel like, it's interesting, because I feel like a lot of what we create, is also for the left brain leader. Yeah, but but trying to get them to say, hey, process and tools are great. But you got to start somewhere else like completely, is that that's just kind of where where I'm coming from is I think all of our ideas are still on the same side of the fight. But I think where we started for we angle, the angle we take is a little bit different. And that's where I'm just like, to me, the person holding the book might be the problem. And I think, I think I'm wondering if your book kind of takes any time to like, hold the mirror up to them on that.

Dr. Andrew Kim
I agree. I agree with that. I think there's two, two aspects to answer that question. One of the one of the steps, one of the phases that I've actually noticed a pattern of it is the is the third phase culture, initiation. And that requires a huge lead and component. That's what I like to call it a lean in a time to be vulnerable, open, and sometimes admit, hey, we weren't really there. We weren't, we weren't really doing what we needed to do as a managing leader. In fact, when I've helped people along the journey of phase one is a pre culture phase. By the way, phase two, it's culture awareness, and just getting the moving pieces together. Phase Three is starting to do it. And it's actually very common once you kind of get up on the various things together in phase two and, and to begin the process, they hesitate. And they hesitate because their instincts tell them this is gonna feel awkward. This is going to feel very vulnerable. And I think it's because we had the systems lined up to the moment where they have to be interested packed into themselves, and not only introspective to themselves, you know what the outcome of the organization is and what they what they would need to do in order to get the buy in. So it's very interesting that you mentioned that because that sounds like the whole the core crux of what the phase three kind of looks like. That's why in phase three, that's the time to just be with the people. Just be with the people, okay, because phase four is when a lot of other things starts getting introduced, again, when we're starting to get buy in and partnerships again, but phase three, just be with the people you got, you have to make it about the people again. So I wholeheartedly agree. And I, in fact, that that, that is where people get paralyzed for a second Oh, I think I'm starting to understand what's involved. Besides that, besides the recommendations, in terms of in terms of hypose is all there's a champion just that talks about the heart of a manager and leader. And I believe that a heart of a manager and leader, the coaching needs to be within their DNA. And the reason why it's because I think it's a good balance between results in people, if we're only focused on the results, then we can overlook the people. But then if we only look at the people, then we can also we can get walked on right and not not keep the business sustainable, I find a coach coaching mentality is the good balance, because the thing is your input r is less polished people. And your output is well developed, well developed people who collaborate towards a common goal. So it's a different input and output, and it does take, it does take a wreck. It does take from the heart, them to recognize that a different approach is necessary.

Jeff Ma
I love that. I like that. Like I agree completely with the coaches mentality thing. It's really interesting seeing all the crossover the same types of concepts and learnings. But you're using terms like input and output to describe this is pretty great. I like it.

Dr. Andrew Kim
Yeah. So yeah. Again, that's probably like, you know, the left brainer thing, just seeing the world in that aspect. But I think actually, it sounds like, well, we're looking at the same elephant, but from a different perspective.And that's what it looks like. For sure. Yeah. Yeah.

Jeff Ma
Sorry, Chris. I looked at your face didn't know that. Man. You had a question? Did you have anything?

Chris Pitre
No, I don't have a I don't have another question.

Jeff Ma
It's the doubts downside of the video side of this as well, we can see each other and then we miss Ricky's

Chris Pitre
apologies to the listener for that awkward.

Jeff Ma
So, you know, as we, as we run into the end of this conversation, I guess, I have a lot of, you know, the the four of us Frank's not here, but the four authors of love as best as we just kind of went through this journey. So there's a lot of empathy right now for what you're likely going through in this. So anything, you know, is there like a, what's your biggest kind of kind of takeaway or story kind of anecdote from this journey itself? Like, as kind of, you know, publish this book and get this word out there?

Dr. Andrew Kim
Are you talking about in terms of journey of writing the book? Or are you talking about just one big story from from having experienced that? I'm going through the experience of either,

Jeff Ma
either would work to be honest. Yeah, just the Where's your where's that that story?

Dr. Andrew Kim
syndrome? Well, I think this is the book that I wish I read, before I did something like this. And the reason why it was even though I was guided along the way, I wasn't, I wasn't given the heads up of how challenging it could be. The fact that there there could be early adopters majority and resistors. The fact that you manage them differently, the the fact how you can do that, because some of those tactical components, I think, could have helped and I think it could help some other individuals as well. Especially some folks on the better they understand something with crystal clarity before they go in. I think that the more confidence that they can in pushing it through and getting other people's buy in. So just understanding the components of the journey, what to expect both the good and the bad. Just to be like a pragmatist, this book was written from a pragmatic standpoint. I think it can, I think it can help. Again, it's the book that I wish that I read before I embarked on something like this. And in the book can be helpful in very many ways. In fact, one thing I found is that it's one of the biggest reasons as someone wants to wants to go through something like this not because they're interested in culture, they're interested in enabling innovation across the organization, guess what, that'd be acquires culture. Trying to get people to be strategic, add multiple layers, that to also requires culture, you can't force that in there. And sometimes, it's it's not a typical thing that they want to focus on the strategy component, that they got the culture part down, and then ones kind of going in that way. No, no, no, we actually have to go. Focus on on the culture fundamentals again. So yeah,

Jeff Ma
couldn't agree more on that point? For sure.

Dr. Andrew Kim
Yeah, so if someone is interested, we, in the book, they can learn more about it from cultureleftbrainleader.com. And if anyone wants to pick my brain on the topic, or they can email me at andrew@culturenstrategy.com, is a topic that that really changed my life. And I enjoy guiding others through that, through that journey of multiple paradigm shifts is so many onions to peel along that along that journey. So yeah, I'd be happy to, to answer questions from there.

Jeff Ma
Absolutely. cultureleftbrainleader.com and what what,

Dr. Andrew Kim
when does your book drop on the projected launch date is June 22. of this year.

Jeff Ma
Awesome. Awesome. Well, Andrew, super excited for that book. I can't wait to read it. And, you know, good luck, and another phase that that we're in, right, like the date wise, you're going through some of the more stressful parts of getting into the finish line. So definitely good luck to you on that. And really appreciate you joining us today and sharing about it.

Dr. Andrew Kim
Thank you. Thank you. It was a fun conversation.

Mohammad Anwar
Absolutely. I I'll just leave you this. leave you with this. The day that it goes live. Enjoy that day. Just cherish it. That's a pretty big accomplishment. So congratulations to you in advance. But we'll be there looking out for the launch date so we can get our copies. Thank you.

Dr. Andrew Kim
Okay, wonderful. Thanks. Awesome.

Jeff Ma
Yep. And here on the podcast. We'll be posting new episodes every Tuesday as usual. So if there's any topics you'd like, if you enjoyed this conversation, if you have feedback for us, we'd love to hear it softway.com/laabs. As you know, we also have a book out now, which is love as a business strategy. You can find that at love as a business strategy.com and that book retailers including Amazon, so if you like the podcast, the book, please check it out. leave us a review and share with your friends. And with that, thank you, Mohammed. Thank you, Chris. And especially thank you, Andrew for today's conversation. We'll see you next week.

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