Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders with Scott Allen

Jim Kouzes - It's Not Rocket Science

August 09, 2023 Season 1 Episode 187
Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders with Scott Allen
Jim Kouzes - It's Not Rocket Science
Show Notes Transcript

Jim Kouzes is the co-author of the award-winning, best-selling book The Leadership Challenge and more than a dozen other books on leadership including the 2021 book Everyday People, Extraordinary Leadership. He is also a Fellow of the Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University. The Wall Street Journal named Jim one of the ten best executive educators in the U.S. and he has received the Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning and Performance Award from the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) among many other professional honors.


A Quote From this Episode

  • "If you want those kinds of outcomes, both financial and emotional outcomes, engage in these behaviors more frequently...it's not rocket science."


Resources Mentioned in This Episode

About The International Leadership Association (ILA)

  • The ILA was created in 1999 to bring together professionals interested in studying, practicing, and teaching leadership. Plan for ILA's 25th Global Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, October 12-15, 2023.


About The Boler College of Business at John Carroll University

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The International Studying Leadership Conference


About  Scott J. Allen


My Approach to Hosting

  • The views of my guests do not constitute "truth." Nor do they reflect my personal views in some instances. However, they are views to consider, and I hope they help you clarify your perspective. Nothing can replace your reflection, research, and exploration of the topic.

Note: Voice-to-text transcriptions are about 90% accurate, and conversations-to-text do not always translate perfectly. I include it to provide you with the spirit of the conversation.

Scott Allen  0:00  

Okay, everybody, welcome to the Phronesis podcast. Thank you so much for checking in wherever you are in the world, I have a return guest, and this is Jim Kouzes. And he is the co-author of the award-winning best-selling book ‘The Leadership Challenge,’ and more than a dozen other books on leadership, including the 2021 book ‘Everyday People, Extraordinary Leadership.’ He is also a fellow of the Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University. The Wall Street Journal named Jim one of the 10 best executive educators in the US, and he has received the distinguished contribution to the Workplace Learning and Performance Award from the American Society for Training and Development, among many other professional honors. The seventh edition of the Leadership Challenge was released recently. And Jim, as I've said to you before, the Leadership Challenge is where it all began for me. As far as the academic pursuit of what it means to be an extraordinary leader and get extraordinary things done, it started with the leadership challenge in a discussion group led by my supervisor at 7:00 A.M., on Thursday mornings. That’s…

 

Jim Kouzes  1:12

That’s a little early to be talking about leadership.

 

(Laughter)

 

Scott Allen  1:18  

You know what, though? I think the year is probably about 1998, and we were just enthralled. And so, your work has a special place in my heart, the work of you and Barry. And it's just so wonderful that it has stood the test of time the way it has. 

 

Jim Kouzes  1:39

Thank you, Scott. 

 

Scott Allen  1:40  

Well, today, we could, and we've discussed this a little bit, we could kind of go down the path of ‘what are the five practices.’ I think individuals who don't know the five practices should, and should probably pause the podcast, go read the Leadership Challenge seventh edition, and then come back to our discussion. But something I love about your work, and something that I very, very much respect, and especially, I noticed this in the seventh edition. I imagine it's happening in other editions as well, but you're weaving in some of the research that you're gathering about the five practices. And so, where I would love to start our conversation today is, obviously, this work was rooted in some of that research. So, maybe give us a little bit of a history lesson as to the foundations of some of the work. And then, we'll zoom forward to 2023, to edition seven.

 

Jim Kouzes  2:35  

Well, thank you for that opportunity, Scott, I love telling the backstory of how we got to where we are. It's fun to tell, it’s fun to listen to. And if you'll permit me, I’ll give you a little context for this beginning. I was at Santa Clara University and I had met Barry Posner when I first arrived.  Barry, this very tall, six-foot-four guy standing in my doorway at my new office at Santa Clara University, knocked on the door and said, “Hey, you're in my office.” And I said, “I'm sorry, I thought this was my office. Dean told me this was my office.” And he said, “Oh, it is your office, I was just kidding. It was my office, however, once before, but I've moved to the building across the common. So this is your office. Hey, if you want to meet some people, get to know the campus, watch the Faculty Club, I'd love to have a chat.” And that began what's now been a friendship that started in 1981 and is still going to 42 years later with him and his family, and kind of we all growing up together. And Barry and I, when you spend enough time with someone, you find that you have some common interests, and we had common interests in values. And so, we did a little project together with Warren Schmidt and he wrote on ‘Shared Values Make a Difference,’ the very first paper we wrote together. Then we started to explore more deeply our common interest in leader behavior. And we did a seminar with Tom Peters in the early part of 1983 where Tom was speaking on ‘In Search of Excellence’ the very first day of the seminar. And Barry and I were talking on the second day on ‘Excellent Managers.’ Tom had a book, and a model, and some research, Barry and I only had some ideas. So, we had our ideas about what we might say, but we didn't have the same kind of data and a thick book to rely on. So, what we did was we asked the participants in the seminar that day to do a little pre-work, and then the pre-work was to tell us a story, write a story that you're going to tell the other people that second day in the seminar on your personal best leadership experience. And so, there were about 60 participants in that seminar room that day in that amphitheater, and they all had a story to tell. We broke them into small groups, and they talked about their personal best leadership experiences. And then, we said, “Record your findings from your conversation; what were the common themes?” On newsprint, and they went and put them out in the hall, McKenna Hall, right opposite Kennedy Hall 107 at Santa Clara University in the business school. And they walked down the hall as did we, and read all the report-outs from each of the small groups. Well, lo and behold, something astonishing happened to us, it was an ‘aha’ moment. What we found was that there were a lot of common themes across all these stories. So, everybody wrote a story about their personal best. So, it was an individual event for them as managers on this particular case; those are the first leaders we studied. But they all came from different contexts, different organizations from financial institutions, and high tech companies, aerospace companies, and local nonprofit organizations. And they all told these stories, and yet, had some common themes about what they did when they were at their best. And afterward, when Barry and I were debriefing, we said, “Boy, there, there must be something here, we need to explore this further.” So, we started exploring it further. And what we came up with, ultimately, was the five practices of exemplary leadership, after, well, some hundreds of interviews, about a thousand case studies, and literally, writing specific behaviors on three-by-five cards and putting them into piles. Now, this was before we had computers to do all this analysis.

 

Scott Allen  6:44  

(Laughs) Do you still have those three-by-five cards? 

 

Jim Kouzes  6:48  

I kept them for a long time, but, after a while, had tossed them, I'm sorry to say. But we did, literally, on tables, put those three-by-five in stacks and what kind of common themes came up. Initially, there were more than five, but we did some analysis of it, we found that, when we created an assessment based on that, which is now called the Leadership Practices Inventory, did a factor analysis, we came up with five independent factors, which are; model away, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, and encourage the heart. And then we worked to revise that assessment. Now, fast forward to where we are, the seventh edition, that book's first edition came out ‘87, this edition came out this year, 2023, in January. We continue to use the Leadership Practices Inventory as a measure of leader behavior, continuously updating it to make sure it's still a valid and reliable tool. Other people have used it now; we have about 700-plus dissertations that have been based on the five practices model. And most of them use the LPI as their measure from looking at folks in the military, military leaders, leaders in education, university and secondary education principals, healthcare executives, nurses, people in high-tech companies, and financial institutions. So, we've got a broad range of respondents. Now about 5 million people have responded to the LPI. Each year, we update the data. Each time we do a new addition, we update. This last year, over 100,000, we analyzed for this particular book, the seventh edition. That's sort of the context in this. And I think it's really important to emphasize that Barry and I have always been interested in evidence-based leadership, not just one executive's thoughts about their experience running a company or multiple companies. But what do, now, thousands of people say about what leaders do when they're at their best, and does that make a difference?

 

Scott Allen  9:05  

In the seventh edition, I was saying before we got on, I just love when you are weaving in some of those findings to help support, oftentimes, what might be considered somewhat common sense. But it's just really, really nice to know, “Hey, this is actually supported, and it's validated by what we're seeing in the data.” And throughout the text, you're providing readers or listeners with those nuggets that I couldn't get enough of, I just absolutely loved it. Would you share a few of the data points that you highlighted in the seventh edition that maybe stood out for you, or that you found interesting?

 

Jim Kouzes  9:52  

Absolutely love to do that. And, recently, I just, along with Barry, did an analysis of a specific outcome measure. We use about ten outcome measures. So, from commitment to the organization to teamwork. Most people refer to this as engagement; we call it positive work attitudes. And one of those outcomes is the extent to which people trust their leader. And so, did an analysis around that. And just to give a couple of examples of what we share in the book, as well as, with our clients, and with our students at university, let's take a look at just the behavior of the leader who treats people with dignity and respect, and correlate that. What's the relationship between that behavior and the frequency of use of that behavior, and direct reports saying they strongly agree that they trust their leader. So, if we look at the data, on a 10-point scale, going from almost never to almost always, when people engage in that behavior, the leader treats people with dignity and respect almost never or rarely, less than 1% trust their leader. Going at the other extreme, the other end of the continuum, when they engage in this behavior very frequently, or almost always, 94% trust their leader.

 

Scott Allen  11:17  

Yeah. That's the stuff that I just absolutely loved throughout this book; it was those types of data points that just put an exclamation point, bolded, and underlined some of the statements that you all make.

 

Jim Kouzes  11:34  

I'm glad you love it because I love it too. And that's part of what Barry and I are hoping to do, is to communicate to people that, one; you make a difference, and it's not who you are, meaning demographics. It's not about whether you're male, or female, you’re a senior executive or a student leader at a university, it's not about whether you’re of a particular religious background or ethnic background, all of that stuff is important, but it's not what makes the difference in whether or not people for example, trust their leader. Demographics, we look at ten metrics of demographics, all of those combined in terms of the accounting for the variance and why leaders have an impact on others; the amount of variance they account for is point .3% combined, all of those ten variables.

 

Scott Allen  12:30 

It’s the behaviors.

 

Jim Kouzes  12:30  

It's the behaviors that make the most difference. They account for, depending upon who’s study you read, anywhere from about 38% - Gallup says their's accounts for 70% - our’s is more than 40% range, but they account for more explanation of why leaders have an impact on others. Leader behavior does than any other factor.

 

Scott Allen  12:52  

Hit me with some more, what else do you got? (Laughs)

 

Jim Kouzes  12:55  

Well, let's take another behavior under the practice modeled away is; leaders are clear about their philosophy of leadership. And, again, looking at the measure of trust just as one outcome measure, going from, again, 1% at almost never or rarely, at the other end, very frequently or almost always, 80% trust their leader. We see this with every behavior like sets a personal example, again, from less than 1% to 85% follow through on promises, from less than 1% to 86%. So, the major message that comes out of all this is, the more frequently you engage in a particular behavior, you demonstrate a particular behavior, whether it's setting a personal example, following through on promises, being clear about your leadership philosophy, making sure that others adhere to standards, actively listening to diverse points of view, expressing confidence in others, those are specific behaviors we measure, you see that, the more frequently people engage in these behaviors, the percentage of people who say that they trust their leader, or feel committed to the organization, or feel like their teamwork is strong in the teams that they work in, or have confidence in their leader goes from less than 1% to 79, 80, up to 96, 97%. And if you add into the numbers before that, you get almost 100%. In other words, you have to fairly often to almost always engage in these behaviors to get the highest levels of engagement.

 

Scott Allen  14:40  

Talk more about that; fairly often or almost always engage in these behaviors.

 

Jim Kouzes  14:46  

Again, these are measures of frequency. So people are asked, here's the behavior, my leader sets a personal example based on the values we share. And then, we asked people to respond, to what extent do they do that? How frequently do you observe this person demonstrating that behavior of setting an example or following through on promises? And it's one to 10 scale, one is almost never, and 10 is almost always. And then, the numbers in between are from rarely, to seldom, once in a while, occasionally, sometimes, etc., up to almost always. People pick a number from their point of view as they observe a leader engage in this behavior, then that's correlated with the outcome measures, what we call positive work attitudes. And when you look at the behavior related to the outcome, you see that, the higher the number, which is the higher the frequency that they observe a leader demonstrating this behavior, the higher the levels of engagement. The message is, just as an example, let me just ask you a question. If you were to observe a leader very infrequently listening to diverse points of view, how much trust would you have in that leader?

 

Scott Allen  16:18  

Yeah, exactly. Low.

 

Jim Kouzes  16:21  

Low, versus very frequently, if not always, when I observe this person in a meeting, for example, she/he is listening actively to diverse points of view. I see that happen every time we're together. If you see that over time, you're much more likely to trust the leader, or be committed to the values of the organization, or less likely to leave and more likely to stick around when times are tough.

 

Scott Allen  16:56  

Well, and data like that, less likely to leave. Engagement and retention at this point are such hot topics, that there are real dollars, or whatever your currency is, depending where you are in the world, associated with that, right?

 

Jim Kouzes  17:15  

Absolutely. The report's message for everyone is, if you want those kinds of outcomes, both the financial outcomes, the emotional outcomes that result from this, the message is just to engage in these behaviors more frequently. It's not rocket science here. It really is just about doing things more often that we now have an impact. We know that leaders who are clear about their philosophy of leadership, clear about their values and beliefs are much more likely to have higher levels of engagement. So, just make sure that you repeat, over and over again, what's important to the organization, what's important to the team? What values are important to us as we make decisions and take action? In the stories you tell? In the rewards that you acknowledge people with? In the speeches you give? Yes, and you might want to post them on the wall, but all the ways that you can possibly clarify for others what's important to you in the team, make sure you do that. Make sure that, when you say you're going to do something, that you follow through on that and you do it, and everybody can count on you doing that.

 

Scott Allen  18:35  

Well, the durability of the five practices and the durability of your results has withstood a number of contextual shifts, right?

 

Jim Kouzes  18:51  

Yes. That's one of the things we observe particularly in this new edition because the pandemic intervened between edition six and edition seven, we were just getting started writing the seventh edition when the world got locked down. In March of 2020, we were just beginning to collect data and start writing the new edition when this happened. We said, “Oh my goodness, wow, this is a great field experiment. For one thing, we get to see what happens when a global crisis intervenes in every leader's life no matter where they are.” No matter what country you live in, no matter what type of organization you're in, what type of community here in, whatever your own personal philosophy is, we're going to see what happens. And it was a great field experiment. Not one that anyone could plan, but it happened. And so, we were able to collect data and found that, even during some crises like this, the more frequently leaders engaged in the behaviors like the ones we were just talking about, the more likely it was that people would remain engaged. So, the message became clear that, even in times of crisis and difficulty, it's still really important for leaders to engage in these exemplary behaviors if they want people to be engaged. And we concluded, and we went back to… Going back to the very first time we did personal best leadership, one of the things we noticed was that, in every single instance, the stories people told us about personal best leadership, or about crisis, change, adversity, difficulty, that they were very different back in 1983, 1984, 1985, when we collected them. A lot of them were about starting up new companies or dealing with a recession, or some of those kinds of challenges. But they were still challenges at that time. In 2020, and 2021, 2022, the challenges were very different kinds of challenges; working from home, we're learning from home, having to work and learn from home with kids around that you didn't expect, you're having to learn new technologies like Zoom, you had to deal with, potentially, your business going, going out of business or at least temporarily shutting down. Different challenges, different crises. If you're in healthcare, we all know the crises that people in healthcare face. Their very different challenges, but the common denominator was when we asked people to tell us a story about a personal-based leadership experience during this time; challenge was a common theme throughout. That challenge is an opportunity for exemplary leadership. Challenge is the crucible for developing exemplary leaders. And so, the context of challenge has always been there. The specific type of challenge is going to change, but the context is there. And the good news for leaders is, even when the context change, there are practices of exemplary leadership that still matter, and that still make a difference. You don't have to learn, in other words, you don't have to learn a new model of leadership and a whole new set of leadership behaviors when times change when the context changes. And we collect data globally, and the data we gathered said that this wasn't just true here, it was also true in other parts of the world.

 

Scott Allen  22:37  

Well, I'm excited because I'm going to be in Australia this summer, working with an organization called Crestron. And we're talking about the five practices. So, I'm excited that it holds cross-culturally as well. Are there any differences that you've come up with, or that you've noticed, or any blips that have caught your attention when it comes to cross-cultural dimensions of the five practices?

 

Jim Kouzes  23:02  

Well, again, like with the challenge being in context, every culture has its differences. And, by the way, this is a sidebar; Barry spent, I think, three sabbaticals in Australia. They should be very familiar with leadership for anyone who puts in any of Barry’s classes. Back to the question. So yes, if you look… By the way, for anyone interested, on our website, leadershipchallenge.com, there's a paper that Barry pulled together, a white paper that Barry wrote called ‘Bringing the rigor of research to the art of leadership.’ And there's a lot of data in there, and there's a lot of cross-cultural data. For anyone who wants to geek out on numbers, and look at some of the data in responses to the kind of questions you're asking, they can find it in that report. And you can download it from our website under the solutions tab at leadershipchallenge.com. So yes, there are cultural differences, but when you look at, again, the pattern of behavior, the model still holds. The more frequently, in Australia, you engage in the five practices of exemplary leadership, the more likely it is that people have positive work attitudes and higher levels of performance. The more frequently you do it in China, the more frequently you do it in the UK, and European Union; the more frequently you do it in Latin America, South America, Mexico, the more frequently you do it in New Zealand, the more likely it is you'll have positive outcomes. So, while cultures are different, the behaviors still hold up.

 

Scott Allen  24:55  

Jim, I'd never thought of it this way. I recently had a con procession with Ron Riggio. And Ron, at Claremont McKenna, was talking about this study out of Fullerton. That since 1978, they've been following this cohort of about 106 humans from age one forward. And they originally were interviewing the parents, and now, as adults, they have a few data collection points on these individuals as well. But, as you were talking, I wondered what would happen, and maybe this research has been done, I just don't know, do the behaviors equal great parents? Do the behaviors equal great coach? Do the behaviors equal great priest, or pastor, or minister, or person of faith? Do these have cross-role applications? Because I imagine they do. I imagine that, if a parent is behaving in many of these ways, that you are going to have someone who's perceived and experienced as a great parent. So really, any person in a position of authority, are there some close connections? Has that ever been done?

 

Jim Kouzes  26:16  

We have looked at… You mentioned earlier when you were introducing me, thank you again for that gracious introduction, that we had written a book called ‘Everyday People, Extraordinary Leadership.’ And, in that book, we talk about people who aren't in managerial roles for the most part, these are mostly people who were engaged as volunteers in the community, or in schools, or at work, but they were not formal leaders. The model holds with people who are not in managerial roles where they have a title, and they have the authority that goes along with it. And so, it holds up in that role. We haven't looked at parents, per se, and leadership; these leadership behaviors as a separate study, but what we do find is these do hold up if you are not in a formal leadership role. So, I would hypothesize that, if we studied parents only, and we asked their kids to rate them and their spouses on leadership behavior, and looked at the frequency of these behaviors as applied to parents, changing the language a little bit so it's not organizational but more family related, we'd find the same thing.

 

Scott Allen  27:41  

Ron was saying that something that came out of that research was that the family unit is so incredibly important as a determinant of leadership role occupancy, and some other variables that they were finding in that research, but coaching, I just think of other positions of authority where, if you have an individual engaging in these behaviors, it's wonderful. And I'm so thankful for the work. And again, I was just blown away in this edition tidbit, after tidbit, after tidbit, that I think it’s so incredibly pragmatic, useful, and accessible for people doing the work day-in-day-out. And I love how you… The more often you engage in these behaviors; probably, the more likely people will experience you as a great leader. Boom. Not rocket science. Maybe that's what we'll call the episode – “it’s not rocket science.”

 

Jim Kouzes  28:39  

(Laughs) I love it. Just to underscore the importance of what you just said about parents. We did, in a separate study starting with the first edition into this current edition. And so, again, updated data that we asked people to tell us select from a list of, I think it was eight or nine, eight different role model options. From business leader, to entertainer, to community leader, family member, professional athlete, family member, teacher or coach, to indicate from which category did your most important leader role model come. And family member was the number one vote-getter across all age groups. It occurred most frequently among those in our study who were under kind of in the 16 to 30 age category, no, under 30 age category. But still, even if you're 50, it was more like you would say a family member was your most influential role model. When people ask me who is my most influential leader role model, I'd say my dad. My mom was second on my list. And so, parents end up being the most frequently mentioned family member who has an impact on our ideas about what good leadership looks like. So, if that's the case, just imagine if parents understood a little bit more about leader behavior, in which leader behaviors were most important for them to engage in, like actively listening to their kids, to being clear about what you value and believe in, what's important to you, to talk about what you hope and aspire for the future, both for your family, for your kids, for the community, to talk about all those kinds of things with them. And to help them develop and grow as leaders themselves. Imagine how much more engagement we'd have in the workplace, and engagement in the community, if we did that.

 

Scott Allen  31:02  

Well, I was with a group of frontline managers in an organization recently, and, again, if you go with Gallup’s numbers or your numbers, it's a large percentage of how someone experiences the organization, their direct supervisor. And these folks didn't identify as leaders; they'd never thought of themselves as leaders, which is fascinating. And so, we talked a lot about that, and that's part of why I was there, like, “Look, you are the face of the organization, to this large faction of the organization, it's you. It's not the CEO. It's you.” And I think if more parents identified their role as a leadership opportunity, because you're leading a family, and in some cases, you're co-leading the family with your partner, and I think it's a really interesting lens. I think it's a leadership opportunity. You're building a team. Are you providing a vision? Are you setting norms? Do you have traditions? Are you celebrating? Again, it's all there. (Laughs)

 

Jim Kouzes  32:12  

It is all there. You're absolutely right. And I think one of the reasons I got into this work, I think back on this many, many, many times, my dad was a retired deputy assistant secretary of labor in the US government, but he started out as a file clerk, and he just worked his way up. And people always identified my dad as gracious, generous, and very supportive of them in their own work. At the time, I knew nothing about any of this. But that experience and what other people told me about him gave my perspective on him. And so, I just have to believe that these were the kinds of behaviors he was demonstrating to other people. And I know, somewhere back then, I was influenced by the work I'm currently doing because of that behavior. And my mom, was challenging a lot of the processes; she was challenging the status quo a lot in our community and our church because of civil rights. She marched with Martin Luther King, and during the Great March, she was very active in the United Nations Association, inviting people over to our home to have them here with us. And eventually, many of them stayed for a year or more as they went to school as students. I was exposed to a lot of different points of view. And my parents really encouraged us to learn as much as we could about other cultures and to learn how to work with, live with, and get along with people of diametrically opposed beliefs, in some cases. Just to understand where they're coming from. And, to me, that was a very fertile ground for me to learn about the impact of these kinds of behaviors on someone growing up.

 

Scott Allen  34:02  

And all of those behaviors add up to your mind, thinking of your dad and your mom as the most influential people, right?

 

Jim Kouzes  34:13  

Yes. I had some good mentors when I went to work, and, by the way, teachers and coaches are number two on the list of role models for young people, followed by, then, when you go to work, and you work for a few years in your organization, you have a manager and a supervisor, immediate managers becomes number two on the list once one is in the workplace. Family members are still first but then followed by the manager, which makes sense. You're farther removed from your teacher and coach in school, but your manager then becomes your teacher and coach. And if you have an exemplary manager who is using these behaviors, you're more likely to see that person as a role model for how you should behave as a leader. And so, managers can replace teachers and coaches as role models based on the behavior that they exhibit.

 

Scott Allen  35:05  

Well, for listeners, I hope you will pick up the seventh edition, it is definitely worth the read. It's an incredible, incredible piece of work. It's an incredible longitudinal piece of work. Again, we're going back a few decades here that Jim and Barry have been at this, and I greatly respect the work, sir. I really, really do. And I'm very appreciative of the work.

 

Jim Kouzes  35:31  

Thank you very much.

 

Scott Allen  35:42  

Now, we always close out by asking our guests what they've been listening to, reading, what they've been streaming. What's caught your attention in recent times? It could have something to do with leadership, it could have nothing to do with leadership, but what's caught your attention?

 

Jim Kouzes  35:48  

I just read the 2023 World Happiness Report. Not someone's casual reading for the most part, but it caught my attention because of the work that we do. And, of course, I'm hoping for world happiness, more world happiness than we currently have. But I have to tell you, Scott, one of the things that really struck me in both the 2022 and the 2023 World Happiness Report is the strong relationship between trust in the way they measure it, is more social trust, and trust in institutions, and trust in your neighbors than in organizations. So, not looking at trust in the same way that Barry and I do; trust in your manager, but really, trust in your institutions. And there is a strong relationship between happiness and trusting your institutions, and trusting your neighbors. And interestingly enough, they took a look at COVID data and found that, when trust is high in your community, there's a lower morbidity rate in COVID. People who trusted institutions and were looking out for their neighbors were more likely to follow protocols that helped to mitigate the virus than those who had lower levels of trust. I think we all need to read that report, particularly, the 2022 version, and understand how powerful trust in each other is when it comes to how happy we are and how healthy we are. In a totally unrelated read that I'm doing is my brother-in-law's new book called ‘The Yin and the Yang of It All: Rock'n'Roll Memories from the Cusp as Told by a Mixed-Up, Mixed-Race Kid.’ ‘The Yin and the Yang of It All: Rock'n'Roll Memories from the Cusp as Told by a Mixed-Up, Mixed-Race Kid.’ It's a tongue-twister of a title, but my brother-in-law wrote a book. He is Asian and Irish. His mom, my wife's mother, remarried and married an Irishman after many years of being a single mom. She's Korean. And John is his name, John Faye. John is the son and much younger brother of my wife and his sisters. And he wrote a book about his experience as a rock and roll musician. And it's a wonderfully told tale. And I'm always looking for leadership lessons throughout. And I think, speaking about the role parents play and the influence that his mother had on his growing up, and also, influence in music had, and how he found his voice through music. It's a very different kind of book than the 2023 World Happiness Report, but it's a wonderful story for any listener out there who’s interested in music and how it can help shape someone. ‘The Yin and the Yang of It All’ by John Kim Faye is a really wonderful read. Back to more work-related stuff, I’ve also been reading ‘The Good Life: Lessons from the World's Longest Scientific Study of Happiness,’ by Robert Waldinger and Marc Schulz. It's a longitudinal study of what contributes to one's health and happiness over one’s life. There's a one-word answer to that, to their findings, and that's relationships. More than anything else, it's about the relationships and the quality of relationships you have over your lifetime, accounts for a good life. I think the message here gets clearer and clearer; the kinds of relationships we have with other people, whether it's parents, whether it's one's leader, manager, or whether it's yourself in relationship to friends and family, that's really the biggest factor in what makes people healthy, happy, and engaged in what they do.

 

Scott Allen  40:18  

Yep. Well, that's a great place to end. That's a great place to end. Jim, I am so thankful for your time. I appreciate your work. Thank you for all that you do. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us today. And until next time, be well, sir.

 

Jim Kouzes  40:37  

Thank you very much, Scott. I look forward to it next time.

 

 

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