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Zoe Routh Interview: Loyalty, Advocacy, Leadership

By PeopleLeaders | People Leaders Podcast

Zoe Routh Interview: Loyalty, Advocacy, Leadership

We have an information-packed episode with Zoe Routh. In this episode, Zoe talks about the gig economy and this pandemic, strategies for leaders on retaining talent, her definition of loyalty in the workplace, on being an elder-archetype leader, and more.

Zoë Routh is one of Australia’s leading experts on people stuff - the stuff that gets in our way of producing results, and the stuff that lights us up. She believes developing people skills is the gateway to better decisions and greater results. She has worked with individuals teams  internationally and in Australia since 1987. From the wild rivers of northern Ontario to the remote regions of Australia, Zoë has spent the last thirty years showing teams struggling with office politics and silos how to work better together.

Zoë is the author of three books: Composure - How centered leaders make the biggest impact, Moments - Leadership when it matters most and Loyalty - Stop unwanted stuff turnover, boost engagement, and build lifelong advocates. Her past leadership roles include Chair of the Outdoor Council of Australia, President of the Chamber of Women in Business, and Program Manager at the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation. Zoë is also the producer of the Zoë Routh Leadership Podcast. Her fourth book, People Stuff - Simple tools for better leadership, is due out May 2020.

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Episode Highlights:

  • Who is Zoe Routh?

  • Zoe Routh shares with us her past affiliations, experiences, and her first marathon experience.

  • Zoe talks about the gig economy and why digital nomads chose to be digital nomads.

  • It's interesting how the gig economy and digital nomads were well ahead of the curve in terms of being prepared for a pandemic.

  • "What motivates us most is not necessarily money, but purpose, mastery and autonomy." - Dan Pink

  • “We look at the gig economy and the digital nomads, autonomy probably sits as the primary reason why people go into that kind of work conditions where they're their own boss.They have the freedom to operate where and how they choose, making their own hours. And this makes for very engaged workers because they're doing it on their own terms.”

  • Zoe talks about research from Osi Tanner about what makes really good work.

  • "The number one thing they (Osi Tanner and team) found that made a difference, a real difference to engagement and making good work is recognition."

  • On the topic of recognition for teams in the workplace: “It doesn't cost much. It doesn't take much time and it has such a profound impact on how people feel about their work.”

  • A discussion on how the pandemic made most of us into digital nomads, how it amped up our ability to learn technology, being autonomous, and more.

  • "Health. Wellbeing. Put that at the forefront of everything that you do. Get yourself into a rhythm of looking after your health and wellbeing, because that is what's going to sustain you through this. And of those people that have done that, you can see them they're sort of rolling through quite nicely."

  • Zoe shares some tips for leaders regarding some of the things that could be done to retain those people that are considered talent.

  • "There's a lot of macro trends in the work environment that are working counter to this desire for leaders to keep their staff around. As a leader, if you just want to hang on to people and you're expecting loyalty to equal longevity in a workplace, you're going to be sadly disappointed.

  • "I think we need to redefine loyalty, first of all, as advocacy, not longevity."

  • "As a leader, we need to spin our focus a little bit from trying to keep people and focus more on creating such an amazing work life experience for people, an employee experience for people, that they will be advocates, no matter how long they stick around for you."

  • "Isn't it interesting that leaders think that they're doing the right thing by actually offering all these perks, but actually, they're discounting the underlying reason why people would either want to go or stay."

  • What are some leadership traps?

  • What's debilitating about the Imposter Syndrome?

  • "I've seen that debilitation happen mostly with female leaders, occasionally with male leaders."

  • What are the three aspects of the elder archetype that we want to engage and involve into our leadership approach?

  • "You have these polarities or these poles. I guess one is Deep Imposter Syndrome. At the end of the spectrum it's arrogance and hubris. And that trap of arrogance is really difficult. So that's what can turn us from being an elder archetype to the tyrant archetype."

  • "Feedback is the cut-through piece that helps shield self-awareness."

  • "The more specific you can be about the sort of feedback that you want, then you're more likely to incorporate that. And have it as a focused and targeted way to do something with your leadership."

  • Zoe discusses the Four Devils of People's Stuff. The Four Devils are a lens on the behavior that we find challenging in the workplace.

  • "I think at the outset what leaders often do, which is a mistake, is blaming it on personalities. And so if you have any of these devils, one or multiple of them in your workplace, we often think they're just a problematic personality."

  • Zoe also discusses how leaders can manage or basically "cure" these Four Devils.

  • Zoe shares a strategy on how to set up robust conversations in your team

  • What Zoe is currently working on

  • "As leaders, if we're to be wise and compassionate leaders, we need to work on our practice of perspective."

  • Zoe shares an overview of her new upcoming book titled "People's Stuff"

  • What are the strategies that Zoe shared for leaders who are very good at the attention to detail?

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