In this episode, Heather speaks with David Niu , Founder and CEO of TINYhr, creator of TINYpulse, an employee engagement technology platform. David shares an eye-opening story of a time when he was not the best leader he could be and what he does to stay in the best place he can be. David talks about his leadership and entrepreneurial journey and why helping people learn and grow is his priority.
- Everyone has their own version of the truth.
- Transparent leadership builds trust.
- Journaling is a great way to stay centered as a leader.
- Sometimes it is necessary to slow down in order to speed up.
This is a great one for entrepreneurs. Make sure you take in every learning you get!
David is the Founder and CEO of TINYhr. He is also the author of Careercation (Career+Vacation) and shared how he sold everything he owned, stuffed the rest of his belongings in storage, and bought one-way tickets to travel around the world with his wife and 10-month old daughter. It was this Careercation that inspired him to start TINYpulse to help organizations like HubSpot, GlaxoSmithKline, and Living Social get a pulse on how happy, frustrated, and burnt out their people are before retention sinks and issues fester.
The Pain Point
During that Careercation, I interviewed over 35 CEOs, and at the end of every interview, I asked them one question: What’s one pain point you have when it comes to managing your people, that when taken away, you’ll gladly pay for it? And different leaders would tell me different reasons.
But at the end of the day, when I got sufficiently far away from Seattle, both time and distance, I kind of sift through those answers to see if there was a theme. And there was.
People share all the time about metrics, their pain points, challenges and opportunities. #leadershipwithheart Click To TweetIf we cannot take care of ourselves, how can we take care of others in an effective manner? #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet
Despite where they were located, despite how big their company was, despite what industry they’re in, that regardless, one of the most haunting feelings for any of these leaders is when their key employee says, “Heather, here’s my two-week notice” out of the blue.
Everyone Must Grow
What can I do to get better?
I get driven if I benefit from continual learning.
I get really passionate when I ask people in every interview, a question: What are some of your short term and long term goals? If we were to meet again, in five years being short term, and ten years being long term, what will you be proud of from what you’ve accomplished? Because if I don’t know, I cannot help you as a manager, if we were to work together, get to that goal faster.
That’s is one area when I see, and I understand that I see tremendous growth in the people.
As for me, when I meditate, I get to slow things down in my mind a little bit better than when I’m out in the open field and be energized or stressed out. When people are getting lost and when I feel like I am floating, I like to journal. There’s a lot of great journals out there, about the things I am grateful for in the morning, the things I want to tackle today. Everyone can come up with their own. But, I think, just the art of slowing down to speed up and not typing an email especially in the morning is really important.
Accessibility and Transparency
As a leader, the hard stuff is the soft stuff when it comes to dealing with people. #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet
We have this program called TINYcoffee where I schedule 30-minute coffee sessions with people. I just literally find random people and I don’t have preset agenda when I am talking to them. It’s how I understand how they are doing, if there’s anything I should know about, that I don’t know about. And I just keep it pretty free fluid.
It’s a great way especially with new folks to understand where they are and also, for them to understand that I am accessible. Even though I am travelling, or my title is different, it doesn’t mean that I am any less accessible.
Take care of the mind and the body. #leadershipwithheart Click To TweetWe want to make other people's goals come true. #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet
People share all the time about metrics, about their pain points, their challenges and opportunities, and I get to be a part of those conversations.
The employees that rate themselves the happiest are also the ones that rate the perception of how transparent they think the management is. And becoming more and more important is how open and transparent could they think the management is.
As I acknowledge their version of how they saw the truth, I had my version too, but everyone else has their version as well. I want to make sure that to the extent possible that we’re as transparent as possible.
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