267: Effective Workplace Leadership, With Paul Falcone

June 20, 2023

Read Transcript

Dr. Pelè (00:00):
Hello, happy people. Welcome to the Profitable Happiness Podcast. Hello everyone. This is Dr. Pelè with the Profitable Happiness Podcast, and today, all the way living in Los Angeles, but forget about it. He's actually from New York, right? <laugh>. Oh. All the way from Los Angeles. I am so honored to be speaking with and learning from Paul Falcone. Paul is the multiple book author, uh, of books such as Workplace Ethics, uh, effective Hiring, uh, new Managers, leadership, uh, offense, leadership, defense. You've got it covered, Paul, but you know, what I'm most excited about is to learn from you exactly how leaders can just chill out and have a good time and build connection and emotion with employees. How are you doing today, Paul?

Paul Falcone (00:53):
I am good. I'm very happy to be here. Thank you.

Dr. Pelè (00:56):
All right. So Paul, let's go straight to the issue of workplace leadership success, whatever. There's gotta be a reason why you've written five books and more on this topic. What exactly is the challenge that you've seen that really inspires the, the work that you've been doing?

Paul Falcone (01:18):
And, and it's 16, as a matter of fact, number 16 comes out in the fall.

Dr. Pelè (01:22):
You were so kidding me.

Paul Falcone (01:23):
<laugh>. No, the five books that you saw was my newest set that came out, but Got it. Yeah. Harper Collins keeps me very busy these days. Yeah. Um, the problem out there really is having worked in entertainment, I've worked in banking, I've worked in healthcare and biotech people are people, and you kind of see the managers making the same mistakes over and over and over again. And what I've always liked to do as their HR person, like I was the Chief Human Resources Officer at Nickelodeon. I was head of international hr, paramount Pictures, whatever it was. I kind of wanna give them back to themselves. Mm-hmm. It's easier than they're making it. And you know what? They need to lighten up a little bit. We all need a little enlightenment. There's a lot of pressure out there. And I want that manager to be able to calm the room, for lack of a better term, but have fun while they're doing it. Mm-hmm. And, and that's really where it is. Now, granted, there's different disciplines that I've written about and that I've been involved in. It's how you're hiring. It's how you motivate your people, it's how you hold them accountable, all that stuff. But the core of it is how do you make people have more fun being a leader and just in their job every day? And what does that feel like and how do you get there?

Dr. Pelè (02:30):
Mm. You know, Paul, I have to say, it's, it is very interesting to me that people with your level of success and pedigree and experience, you just wanna make things simpler, not harder. Uh, I mean, you've worked at, you know, Nickelodeon as the Chief Human Resources Officer. That is not a small feat. You have experience all over the map and all the people functions, you know, how did you get here? What's your story? What, what got you started on this particular path? Why people?

Paul Falcone (02:58):
Are you sure you wanna

Dr. Pelè (02:59):
Yes.

Paul Falcone (03:00):
Oh, okay. So wait. Okay. So it's an interesting story. So I'm Italian and I grew up in Brooklyn. When I went to high school in New York City, they offered German and I studied German in high school. In my junior year, I got to go on a trip to Germany, cuz I want some kind of scholarship. Before you know it, at U ucla, I ended up getting my bachelor's and my master's degree in German. Mm. Which was great. I love literature. I love traveling. I was teaching German as a ta, you know, all that kind of stuff. When I graduated from UCLA with my master's under my arm, they weren't exactly breaking the door down to hire me. Mm. Um, I know that's surprising to hear, but German majors, you know, we have our challenges if we don't stay within academia. Mm-hmm. And I wanted to get in the business world.

(03:39):
So I went to a recruiting firm and I said, can you guys help me find a job? And they said, how about you work here with us? And I said, okay, what do you do? Ended up staying there for six years. I became their director of training, which is like a director of sales training in a way. And we were selling to HR people. So eventually I realized I wanted to get into human resources, and I made that transition with a company that was also my client at the time. So it, it's an interesting story. It certainly was not a direct route, I can tell you that much. But I was lucky. I was fortunate. I've had good mentors in my career and I always wanna pay it forward. It's in that spirit of gratitude. I think that I tend to look at things in my life and I think that works out well.

Dr. Pelè (04:19):
So, mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Interesting. So, so you're in human resources, you find yourself focused on the people function, but is it really, is human resources really the only organization within the organization that should be focusing on the people function in your opinion?

Paul Falcone (04:38):
No, not at all. It's a great question. Everyone has to have an HR hat. Mm. It doesn't matter if you're finance or marketing or sales or IT, or whatever it happens to be, everyone's responsible for leadership. So for me, what was always interesting is managers would come to me with their problems. I'd help them work through them. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I'd always offer to be there with them if they needed to help. But after I got the same problems over and over and over again because humans are humans. Yeah. The funny thing that would happen is I would start writing articles and I was publishing for the Society for Human Resource Management. Before you know it, I'd have 20, 25 or 50 articles done, and I thought, Hmm, there's a book in there, and you'd put it all together for the book. Mm-hmm. And that's kind of how I ended up getting into the writing.

(05:19):
I was writing with the American Management Association mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And then in 2018, the, their book division AmCon books was purchased by Harper Collins. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So now I'm Harper Collins, leadership author because the Harper Collins leadership imprint was created from the AMA Library. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So interesting. It's very circuitous. But somehow I got here and I don't know how, but again, I'm very thankful for it. <laugh>. It's been a good run Up until about a year ago, um, I was in corporate human resources and last 4th of July I opened my own consulting firm. So I'm having a blast.

Dr. Pelè (05:51):
Yeah. That is so awesome. That is so awesome. So here we are. We are, we are in the thick of your intellectual, uh, property. Your thought leadership. You've written these books. How exactly do you go about helping organizations solve some of these people challenges? How do you make it simple for leaders as you've mentioned?

Paul Falcone (06:09):
The funny thing is, when I would, as an HR guy, when I would go into a new company, Dr. Pele, I, I would always do management training workshops. Mm. I would tell the managers, not mandatory, but come and sit in lunch and learn. I'll bring the pizza <laugh>. I, I wanted them to understand though, where I came from. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and a lot of the managers just always did their own thing. HR was kind of the bad guy. You only went there if you had a problem, was like going to the principal's office and Yeah, I don't need hr. I can do this on my own. By going out and doing the training, um, all of a sudden I was a subject matter expert. They saw me as the teacher mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and they would partner with me a lot easier, especially since I was giving 'em information that no one ever trained them.

(06:49):
Even people with MBAs from top schools, they don't train leadership in the trenches. Mm-hmm. They teach organizational development and organizational behavior. Yeah. But they're not teaching leadership on a day-to-day basis. In essence, managers have to figure that out on their own. Mm-hmm. And they step on landmines all along the way because they're using logic, but they don't understand how the game is played. So my writing has always been teaching them the how. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they know what to do, they don't know how to do it. And somehow my books over the last 25 years have really kind of gotten in there and become a teaching tool for frontline operational leaders and senior executives, business owners. How do I run the organization a certain way? So it's, it's been good. I, I didn't design it that way, it's just kind of how it turned out. But lucky for me,

Dr. Pelè (07:37):
You know, I'm kind of curious because you, you kind of whispered in my ear that you are a musician like I am. And I'm like, oh, let's see. How does he use music in his work? Do you have any kind of creative outlet, if you will, uh, for the music that you, you make in your life?

Paul Falcone (07:52):
No. You know what, I played trumpet. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, all through high school and all through ucla. So I was in the ucla, a marching band. I did the wind ensemble, the concert band, the, the, the orchestra. I did it all. Loved it. It was a great way to get through school, especially with a big school like ucla mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because you had a small team of 300 people and you got to know them really well. But once I graduated, I did hang up my horn, I have to say. So I can't say I interpreted or I'm using it actively. I love that Right behind you, I see a beautiful guitar and everything else <laugh>. So you're doing it the right way. I'm impressed. The problem with the trumpet is you have to play it every day. Otherwise you sound like the cattle are dying when you try and pick up a horn that you haven't played in a while, <laugh>. So it was either gonna be all or none. And I just thought, no, I wanna focus on some other things at this point.

Dr. Pelè (08:36):
Well, I, I'm gonna let you know that in my opinion, you never really dropped the creativity hat, which you inherited from your trumpet. You're, you're teaching people how to form habits of leadership. And it's the same stuff. We gotta build on the fundamentals, practice your scales, you know, practice your leadership scales. Same thing. Right. That's good.

Paul Falcone (08:55):
<laugh>. Yeah, exactly. There. Yeah. Truthfully, that's a great metaphor because you're right. It isn't something that just comes naturally. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you have to build it. It is a muscle. And it's funny that once it makes sense to people and they get the aha moment mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they're like, I can do this. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but the truth of the matter is people will go through their entire careers without having someone to help them through these issues. How do you have these conversations with these employees? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, how do you interview people so that it builds trust and they like you? And they say things like, well, you know what, Dr. Pilay, I, I normally don't say this in an interview, but as soon as you get that you've got the real person. You did a great job. You made them feel comfortable with you. Yeah.

(09:35):
That should become part of every practice that you have in terms of your communication, your team building, and your just your overall leadership style. It's not that hard to do. Yeah. But people make it harder because they think they have these preconceived motions about, well, I'm a manager now, so I have to do blank, or I have to be a certain way. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, the truth of the matter is you just need to be yourself. And that's why I say give people back to themselves so that they can lighten it up a little bit and feel comfortable in their own skin, but know that they are still holding people accountable. They're not being taken advantage of. There's a way you can be a really, really good guy. Good person, but still have high expectations. Yeah. It's not mutually exclusive. It's not one or the other. It's actually both when you're doing it the right way.

Dr. Pelè (10:16):
You know, I once worked for a leader who told me, uh, she said to my face, she said, listen, we don't have time for all this emotional stuff, uh, at work. Okay. Just get the job done. Okay. That's all we need here. <laugh>.

Paul Falcone (10:30):
I had one of those too. I had totally with you, Uhhuh.

Dr. Pelè (10:33):
So I'm thinking to myself, Hmm. We need Paul fco to explain to this leader the, the importance of emotions and, and, and le how leadership relates to and connects with that. Give us sort of the big picture on why it's so important to bring it down, make it simple, and focus on emotions as a leader.

Paul Falcone (10:53):
Okay. So earlier in my career, remember I would do these trainings Yep. And I would always wanna do a training on quote unquote soft skills. And they used to be like, go back, I don't want you here. We'll call you. Don't call us <laugh> Mike cuz it was squishy and all this other kind of stuff. Uhhuh. Yeah. Now here we are post Covid and they're polling all these CEOs and the number one, number one, or one of the top three things, they keep coming back with it. They want in their senior executives. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> is emotional intelligence. Ooh. Otherwise known as soft skills. Yeah. Okay. And why is that the case? It was because, well when you're, you had the great resignation, we were afraid that we couldn't keep the doors open. We were in a situation where the idea of recruiting was no longer an HR thing.

(11:36):
It was a company thing because we needed the human capital to keep the doors open. And then the reality becomes, it's like, wow, when you realize you're managing the un, the invisible, you're managing the unseen. We don't want these people leaving. How do I make sure that there's enough glue there? That there's a relationship there that people still feel loyal to the company. They still feel like they're part of the culture. They don't feel isolated out there working from their homes. We did this for three years. Yeah. So all of a sudden they realize it's those people skills that they're, that are gonna be the thing is that solve this. And the funny thing is, we should have been doing it all along, but we let that muscle atrophy. And now we're in a situation where it's like, okay, time to build that muscle again. Because even though people are starting to come back to work, still a lot of people out there that are working remotely and this idea of the hybrid work environment is pretty much here to stay. Yeah. So you have to make sure that you're piercing their heart, not just their mind in terms of their loyalty to the company. It's always that relationship to their boss. That's the most important thing that, that, that builds retention.

Dr. Pelè (12:40):
Mm. I love that. I, I love the piercing their heart, not just their mind comment. That's, that's just powerful. Um, in fact, you made one earlier, you said to me, happy cows make more milk. We're, we'll get to that. I wanna I wanna hear that in a minute. It's

Paul Falcone (12:53):
True. It's true. It's true.

Dr. Pelè (12:55):
But, but before we get to the, the happy cows thing, I just love that one. This

Paul Falcone (12:58):
Was such a happy interview. I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying this. Yes, please go ahead.

Dr. Pelè (13:02):
<laugh>, before we get to that, you know, someone might be listening to this or watching this and going, you know, I, I kind of get it. I gotta be, I gotta step up my leadership. I gotta connect with the emotions, but I just still, still don't know how in terms of, is there one or two nuggets I could steal from your books? You've written so many that I'm, I'm wondering if you could talk about two that sort of sound like opposites leadership offense and leadership defense. What do you mean by that? And how can we maybe create one or two nuggets out of those to share with the, with the world?

Paul Falcone (13:31):
Sure. Those are the sports metaphors, right? For offense defense. Yeah. But, but, but the idea is we've lost the ability as a society to sit around the campfire and pass wisdom down from the elders to the younger generation. We're too busy. It's the digital age. We're all looking at our, our iPhones when we're walk down the street, everything. We've kind of lost that human connection. It, it really had become a problem. Covid made it worse. It exacerbated the problem, especially since you couldn't bring people into the office to see them every day and talked on them over the, you know, the, the water cooler. So we have these problems. So the idea of the leadership offense is how do you build loyalty? How do you motivate, how do you reward, how do you teach your people to come from gratitude? What's all this about the leader as coach model?

(14:14):
Am I a manager or am I a coach? But what does that really mean? And the most important question is, would you wanna work for you? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that's what I ask managers and I, and, and I tell 'em, I really, you know, it's like if the whole company followed your lead, would you be happy with where you took it? And I really want you to think about that as a takeaway from this exercise. Because this whole idea of becoming someone's favorite boss is a prism that captures it all. Dr. Palai, when you think about it, it's like, ask someone who their favorite boss was and why they tell you things. Like my boss always had my back. My boss always made me feel like I had a seat at the table. My opinion mattered. Um, she challenged me to do things I didn't even know I was ready to do.

(14:53):
She seemed to have more faith in me than I had in myself. That's what leadership offense is about. And really what you're talking about is not what the person did. It wasn't their doing this was their beingness. Mm-hmm. It was who they were. Okay. What really, at the core of it all is what makes someone your favorite boss is number one, their character. And number two, they're caring. When you feel like it's someone that you respect because of their character and you know, you have that personal relationship with them, you're not going anywhere. Not for 15 or 20%. Cuz you know what? I may risk it in Godzilla in my new job who throws chairs and spits fire <laugh>. I can't do that. So they'll stay put. But we're also busy chasing our tails with our hair on fire trying to do, do, do in this society of ours when it's like, wait a second to be a great boss.

(15:39):
You just have to be a certain way and let people find their own way and let them get their own traction. And they're, you're there to guide them. And that's what the coaching piece is. So I'll sw swap for a minute over leadership defense. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> leadership defense is, is is the stick. Right? You gotta have a carrot, you've gotta have a stick. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, owning people accountable is important. Knowing how to have tougher conversations with people that, you know, you can do 'em very constructively, but they're still painful knowing how to document discipline. I'd written a book on that, on progressive disciplinary actions because companies don't know how to do that the right way. But even when you document, you've gotta shift that responsibility back to the employee. Mm-hmm. Because that's really where, where it belongs. These are adults. I don't hold my people's hands, but I wanna create the space for them to gain their own traction.

(16:25):
And I want them to excel the way they need to excel. So it, it's really about structuring, terminations. It's understanding how layoffs work. You have to know how to do that too. You can't just have a stick. You can't mo or, uh, carrot. You can't motivate everybody all the time. You also have to be able to move on the ones that unfortunately either aren't ready or don't wanna really participate in the new energy that you bring to the organization. And they do have to be moved out. Hopefully that's not many, but you still have to know how to do that. So that was the whole idea of the offense and the defense.

Dr. Pelè (16:57):
No, I, I really love that. And I like the way you broke them out into these two camps. Um, cuz a lot of, a lot of times, you know, leadership as a, a training concept if you will, is just everywhere. It's everything. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so when you say, Hey listen, you could be pushing or you could be pulling, you could be, you know, offensive or defensive, then I can think about two things. <laugh>, I got two things to focus on. Right. Yeah. I

Paul Falcone (17:20):
Love that. Yeah, exactly. And it's the football game. It's like what side of the ball are you on right now? And I think you need to know, there are times when managers talk to employees and bring something to their attention and the employee immediately goes on the offense mm-hmm. <affirmative> and says, well it's not my fault. They're all being too sensitive out there. This, I've been here for 20 years and no one ever seemed to have a problem with it. You've gotta slow them down. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and say, wait a second, you're going on the offense. You need to be playing defense right now. I'm on the offense. I didn't bring you in here to complain about your coworkers. Mm. I'm bringing you in here because a number of your coworkers have complained to me and I've seen it myself that your behavior isn't working out right now. Yeah. We need to fix that. And then you can kind of go down that road, uh, of making them assume partial responsibility for the problem. Cause once someone assumes partial responsibility, they can fix it. But if they come from a hundred percent anger, it's everybody else's fault and they don't assume any of it themselves. You're just heading for a, you know, for, for a monster of an event, which is probably not gonna be good for anybody. Yeah. So raising that awareness among your employees is important. Yeah.

Dr. Pelè (18:22):
You know, you mentioned, uh, the word safety, uh, in, in one of our conversations, but you weren't talking about employees, which is where most people talk about things like psychological safety, employees need to feel safe and so on. And that's very important. But you spoke about safety with respect to leaders. You said leaders need to feel safe to explore building these emotional connections and relationships. Tell us about leadership safety. I haven't heard of that one before. This is

Paul Falcone (18:47):
Good. No, absolutely. And a lot of times managers will look the other way and sweep things under the rug, not because they don't wanna solve a problem they don't know how. Mm. And it's scary. It's like you hear things about, well, F M L A and the Americans with Disabilities Act and my person has taken all this time off, but I don't know what to do. And so they just look the other way cuz they're afraid of that. Or it's the sense of, listen, I, I would take this to the employee, but the union is just gonna turn it over and they're gonna challenge us so we're gonna lose mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it's like, wait a second. You gotta give management their spine back. I mean literally in, in, in a way they need to know that I've got your back. And that's what I would tell 'em as the HR person.

(19:26):
And I said, I'll be there with you side by side if you want me. You don't have to have me there. I'll coach you through how to do this, but if you want me there, I'm there with you too. My, my point in all my books was always to say this is, this is a, a handy guide and a and a guiding hand. Mm. I want people to know that I'm taking the journey with them. It, it's not like you're doing this alone. I can ask all these managers, tell me about the two kinds of sexual harassment and they're like quid pro quo and hostile work environment. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. I'm like, who cares? Tell me about the speech that you give your team that talks about your values and why No, no disrespect should ever come out in any of the relationships that you have with one another.

(20:07):
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And they look at me like, huh, that's what you need. Okay. I'm glad you know, the, the different kinds of sexual harassment you pass the test. Yeah. On a practical basis, let me give you an example of a script that you can use with your team to talk about the level of respect we have for each other. And my expectations. It's called values-based leadership. My expectations as your manager in terms of having one another's back and helping everyone else become stronger at what they do. Teach what you choose to learn. You know, I want you to be the one who's teaching what you're best at to your people mm-hmm. <affirmative> to help them replace you someday. Just like you're gonna replace me someday. But I want them thinking that way cuz it creates more of an achievement mindset. Yeah. Um, I want them to codify their, their achievements and their accomplishments.

(20:53):
I don't want people living a comma life. I'm the administrative assistant who does phones, comma, filing comma correspondence, <laugh>. I don't care about that. Why is it a better organization for you having worked here, cut through that, cut through the noise. I wanna know what's the gift that you bring? And it's funny how you can have those conversations and people walk out like, no manager's ever talked to me like this Falcon fella. Yeah. But the but they like it because they know that it's sincere. Yeah. And they've got someone who has their backs. Only other thing, Dr. Pale I would say is the, the way I've opened up the conversations with a lot of people who have quote unquote attitude problems

Dr. Pelè (21:27):
Yeah.

Paul Falcone (21:28):
Is to say, listen, the most important decisions about your career will be made when you're not in the room. Mm-hmm. And that's for you. And that's for me, and that's for everybody else. I can have your back to fix this right here, right now, so that it never plagues you in the future. And we can learn to influence what's gonna be said about you in that proverbial room one day when you're not there to defend yourself. Yeah. But let me help you. I'm willing to be your, your, your mentor and your coach to fix this with you once and for all. You'd be surprised. Some people don't say, well, okay, on the spot. Some people need a little bit of time. Couple of these, couple of days later, they'll come in and say, you know what, I kinda like your help so that it all takes some different amounts of time.

(22:07):
But the bottom line is even if they don't want your help, you're still setting the expectation going forward. Yeah. That your behavior and your conduct has to be a certain way. And I'm not gonna carve you out because you've been here for 30 years because your uncle is the C F O because you're, you know, whatever. That uhuh not gonna do that. Everyone is held to the same standard and they'll get that, they'll understand it. It's kinda like that soft hand, or excuse me, the iron hand with the, with the velvet glove. But they need to know that what you're saying is something that you mean and you will follow through on if they're not able to turn things around.

Dr. Pelè (22:40):
Yeah. Well, you know, I, I have to tell you, you, you're gonna need to like copyright a whole bunch of your sayings because there's just so cool and so powerful. I mean, I've written so many down, like, you can't live a comma life. That, that was a good one. Another one you said was, uh, your book is a handy guide and a guiding hand. That's nice. I like that one. Huh. I like that. I like that one. And another one you said was, um, probably my favorite and I want to come to, to ask you about this is you said, happy cows. Make more milk. Okay. Let's talk about that. And you know, this is obviously the Profitable Happiness podcast, so Yep. What do you mean by happy cows Make more milk?

Paul Falcone (23:16):
When you ask people, again going through the prism of, tell me about your favorite boss. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they will usually tell you that was the favorite job they ever had. Not just the best boss they've ever had and where they did their best work. And you go back to the second grader who has a favorite teacher, and they usually will bend over backwards to do their best work for their favorite teacher just because they want to, not because they have to.

Dr. Pelè (23:37):
Yes.

Paul Falcone (23:38):
If you can create the culture in your organization where you become that favorite boss, or dare I say, the management team as a a whole is a positive influence. They're having fun. It's a creative environment. And I had that, I've had that at several points in my career, but nowhere greater than Nickelodeon. The general manager of Nickelodeon was, you know, when you say you learn from the best as an HR guy, by that time I had written a number of books, but I was watching Mark Taylor and my eyes were like this. It's like, wow. Yes. He's so good. He knows everybody in the building. Yeah. He spends time with the new hires, Dory, new hire, uh, you know, orientation. He's, this guy was like, everyone wanted to work at Nick just to be under Mark Taylor. Wow. And he knew all of them by name. He invited all of 'em to his office.

(24:23):
When he would walk around, he had a squirt gun, believe it or not. And he would, he was kinda a practical joker. He'd squirt people. Everyone had fun at Nick. Everyone felt like they could do their best work every day with peace of mind. Yeah. That's the gift. Your best work every day with peace of mind. Yeah. And you're gonna get amazing results from that because everybody wants to be there. It's just, that's the kind of environment, it doesn't have that negativity to it. Or, you know, when they talked about toxic work environments, we had nothing close to that. Nick. It was a, it was a very fun place. It was my favorite job I'd ever had. And, you know, I was just fortunate to, to, to learn from someone who was a master and then I turned it into some more books. Yeah. <laugh>. There you go.

Dr. Pelè (25:04):
More content. You know, it's

Paul Falcone (25:05):
Funny. More content. More content. More content.

Dr. Pelè (25:06):
You know, it's funny because I, I think anyone listening to this should think in their heads as I was just doing who that favorite, favorite leader was that you worked with? I, I can remember a few and you mentioned Mark Taylor. Um, for me it would be probably a guy named Paul Bots. Uh, just a great leader. Uh, I've had others too, though. Uh, Jim Pelman. But anyway, they're not gonna probably hear this, but it's good to focus on who they are because then you start to see, oh, here are the qualities. Right. This is how they develop these happy spaces where we, we could all be the best that we could, that we, we want it to be. Right.

Paul Falcone (25:40):
Yeah. And you talk about, you know, creativity and innovation. Mm-hmm. And it's like creativity and innovation is not an idea that comes out and all of a sudden there's a Tesla.

Dr. Pelè (25:47):
Yeah.

Paul Falcone (25:48):
Creativity and innovation is a, it's 10,000 little ideas. Yeah. And then X amount of years later there's a Tesla.

Dr. Pelè (25:55):
Yes.

Paul Falcone (25:55):
Yes. But you've gotta create the space for people to make themselves vulnerable. And that's the Brene Brown, um, uh, Ted talk, if you've heard that one. I think it's one of the top 10 Ted Talks. Yeah. She's the University of Houston, I think. Um, but anyway, it was all about the importance of vulnerability. Yeah. And it's not just in your personal life, it's in your work life too. It's again, the candidate who says Dr. Play. I normally don't say this in an interview, but that's a healthy sense of vulnerability. And if you can bring that out for to out of your people so that they can be honest with you, that's important. When I go into the office sometimes and, you know, you're just in a bad mood, you woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I tell everyone, you guys, I'm in a bad mood. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Yes. Yeah. So I'm just gonna go in my office, close my door for a little while and have a cup of tea if you need me come in. But I need a little downtime that I would always app appreciate more than the perfect manager who's always having a perfect day. It's not real, it's not. We need to be ourselves and you've gotta make it safe for your employees to be able to do the same.

Dr. Pelè (26:55):
A Absolutely. Absolutely. So Paul, what are you having fun with these days? What are you excited about? What's the new project and how can people best find you online?

Paul Falcone (27:06):
Oh, that's nice, Dr. Blake. Well, the easiest way is probably on my website. So it's paul falcon hr.com mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Okay. So easy enough. And Falcon is a nice Italian name. It's just like Falcon, except there's an E at the end. Yeah. So paul falcon hr.com and that's fine. And I'm on LinkedIn if anyone wants to reach out. I'm Paul Falcon one on LinkedIn, so feel free to send me a LinkedIn invite. But yeah, the fun thing for me now is I just felt like I wanna touch more lives. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, as much as being in a corporation is great, and you get to know the people on your teams, it's like, in this final decade or two of my work experience, I wanna be there to work with different companies. I love keynote speaking, uh, facilitating corporate retreats, different kinds of things. But, you know, I really, I've always felt like my message was important, important in a humble sense. Not in the sense of saying, oh, you know, there's an arrogance. I don't think anyone would ever claim that, that that was my issue. But to kinda give people back to themselves, to help them pay it forward, to help them come from gratitude as opposed to not enoughness. Right. We all know the people are, oh, not enough time, not enough money, not enough love, not enough,

Dr. Pelè (28:11):
Not enoughness. I like that. Not

Paul Falcone (28:13):
Enoughness. It's like, no, no, no, come on. What are we, what are we thankful for? Yeah. Having those meetings, when I say sitting around the campfire where the elders passing wisdom down to the younger generation, that's what I'm talking about. Wisdom, not knowledge. Knowledge is great, but wisdom is knowledge applied. Mm. And wisdom helps people understand things. Remember Gen Z, the 25 and under the Zoomers, they are the most isolated loneliness, loneliest and depressed, um, uh, generational cohort on the planet. They've, we've taken all these tests. We realize covid made it worse, but they are the digital generation. When you and I were younger, you'd pick up the phone, each house had one phone, you'd call the, the,

Dr. Pelè (28:57):
And you remembered the phone number,

Paul Falcone (28:59):
<laugh>, you remember the phone number. You said, hello, Mrs. Cleaver, this is Paul Falcon. Can I please talk to, you know, uh, Wally, is he available? It's not like that. Then the kids just went phone to phone. Okay. Yeah. Then it's not like that anymore. Now they don't use the phone as a phone, they just text each other. And I am each other. Yeah. But the bottom line is everything is becoming more isolated. And literally the gift that we have to give as leaders, especially to the younger gen is, is to kind of make them feel more socialized, feel more connected to the organization, find ways of making them part of the solution. What do you wanna see in this organization? Well, I wanna, I want corporate social responsibility and environmentalism. Great. What does that mean to you? Well, I think we should put canisters in, in the break rooms for glass and for plastics.

(29:45):
So that doesn't go in the garbage. That was pretty easy. But the funny thing is, we know what Gen X and Gen Y want, and that actually is one of the top five. So what are the things that we can do that aren't gonna cost us much as a company that's gonna engage employees and give them the pride of why they like working for your company? Well, my company does this, that, and the other thing that makes a difference. Adopt a nonprofit as an organization. Create a community day where everybody in your company goes out to one of a half a dozen, you know, organizations, schools, whatever, and let them give back to the community. That doesn't cost you anything, but boy, it pierces people's hearts. Mm. And that's the narrative. That's what you want people to be able to say about your company. We don't just exist for profit. We exist because we're making the world a better place. Mm. Not that hard to do.

Dr. Pelè (30:35):
Mm. Wow. You know, I have to say, I hope that, uh, whoever's listening, uh, took a little bit of that and got the pierced heart thing that you're talking about, because <laugh>, you're make, you're, you're making it easy and, and safe as you say. You know, for people to just get back down to basics of building these relationships, these positive emotional relationships with employees, uh, as, as leaders. Powerful stuff. Paul Falcon, thank you so much for teaching us here on the Profitable Happiness Podcast.

Paul Falcone (31:01):
Thank you, Dr. Play. It's been an absolute pleasure. I've had a blast. It was a lot of fun.

Dr. Pelè (31:06):
Thanks for tuning in to the Profitable Happiness Podcast. For more episodes, visit dr palet.com. And remember, get happy first and success will follow.