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Episode 15: How to empower your people to take charge of their own wellbeing

In this episode, Jason and Jor­dan fur­ther explore the con­cept of well­be­ing in the work­place and how it is a col­lab­o­ra­tive effort between employ­ers and employ­ees. They dis­cuss the impor­tance of estab­lish­ing bound­aries and respon­si­bil­i­ties for employ­ees to expe­ri­ence well­be­ing. Fur­ther­more, they delve into the influ­ence of our child­hood expe­ri­ences on our rela­tion­ships with respon­si­bil­i­ty in the work­place and share per­son­al sto­ries from their childhood.

Cre­at­ing an envi­ron­ment where indi­vid­u­als can thrive is cru­cial, as it allows employ­ees to bring their authen­tic selves to work. As com­pa­nies grow, we dis­cuss strate­gies for scal­ing well­be­ing ini­tia­tives to ensure con­tin­ued suc­cess. We also empha­size the con­nec­tion between a sense of accep­tance and hav­ing respon­si­bil­i­ties with­in the organization.

A com­pa­ny’s ideals for its employ­ees should be root­ed in its core val­ues, align­ing the orga­ni­za­tion’s mis­sion with the indi­vid­u­al’s sense of purpose.

Last­ly, we empha­size that when choos­ing a com­pa­ny to work for, fac­tors such as salary and ben­e­fits should not be the sole deter­min­ing fac­tors. Instead, it is essen­tial to con­sid­er the over­all cul­ture, val­ues, and sup­port for employ­ee wellbeing.

Now avail­able on: YouTube | Apple Pod­casts | Spo­ti­fy

Key ideas and highlights

  • There is so much more to work than a transaction.
  • Well­be­ing is the respon­si­bil­i­ty of both the employ­ee and employer.
  • We are messy, com­pli­cat­ed, flawed indi­vid­u­als. Employ­ers must allow employ­ees to bring their full selves to work.
  • A company’s expec­ta­tions for their employ­ees should stem from their values.

Word of the day

  • Carouse — said 29:59 ✅


  • 0:00 Intro
  • 2:35 Well­be­ing is a coor­di­nat­ed effort between employ­er and employee
  • 6:53 Employ­ees need two things to expe­ri­ence well­be­ing: bound­aries and responsibilities
  • 9:11 How our child­hood affects our respon­si­bil­i­ty rela­tion­ships in the workplace
  • 15:33 An envi­ron­ment where peo­ple can thrive allows them to bring their whole selves to work
  • 17:33 How com­pa­nies can scale well­be­ing as their teams grow
  • 19:26 A feel­ing of accep­tance comes with responsibility
  • 21:20 A company’s ideals for their employ­ees should stem from their values
  • 23:10 The dif­fer­ence between humil­i­ty and arrogance
  • 25:56 Choose com­pa­nies based off val­ues not salaries
  • 26:35 Work is more than transactional


Jor­dan (00:05):

How many hours and years of our lives do we spend on work? For near­ly all of us, we spend 30 plus years and one third of our days in our voca­tion, more time per­haps, than we spend at rest or at play. But this isn’t a prob­lem. Why? Because work is good. Work needs to be inte­grat­ed deeply into our lives and must be in line with our most impor­tant goals and val­ues. And if it is, we have a far more com­plete and ful­fill­ing life expe­ri­ence. Wel­come to the How Peo­ple Work pod­cast, where we explore the inter­sec­tion of how humans think and act and how they apply them­selves to their work. When you under­stand both of these things, you’ll be equipped to be insight­ful, com­pas­sion­ate, and com­pelling leaders.


Wel­come back to How Peo­ple Work. This is a co-host of yours, Jor­dan Pease. I’m sit­ting here with Jason Mur­ray. I hes­i­tate to say this is your host, because I used to be the only host. I mean, you can be the host. I’m not sure what to say any­more. Wel­come to episode 15 today, shock­er. We’re going to be talk­ing a lit­tle bit more about well­be­ing. I think we’ve explored what well­be­ing isn’t and maybe, hope­ful­ly, bro­ken down some myths and some bar­ri­ers around what that word means and how it’s applied in the work­place in par­tic­u­lar. And then we stud­ied a few, we stud­ied a few stud­ies, if you will, and what oth­ers are say­ing, Deloitte in par­tic­u­lar, which was, I think, real­ly well done. And I think today we want to, we’ll see where it goes, but we kind of want­ed to get into our own per­son­al thoughts about what well­be­ing is, how it ought to be defined, what it should look like, maybe some exam­ples from our lead­er­ship with Fringe, et cetera, et cetera.

Jason (01:46):

And I think build on some of the ideas that we’ve talked about in pre­vi­ous episodes around just this kind of work life bal­ance and sort of decon­struct­ing that myth. And so when I was think­ing about this episode in par­tic­u­lar, I felt like we’ve sort of spent a bunch of time decon­struct­ing well­ness and well­be­ing and what it isn’t, or maybe con­ven­tion­al think­ing about it. But I thought, well, it would prob­a­bly be help­ful to maybe start con­struct­ing back some­thing pos­i­tive. And I think we’ve done that in some ways, but it feels like it’s a pret­ty mul­ti­fac­eted top­ic: well­be­ing. And so there’s prob­a­bly not just a sin­gle def­i­n­i­tion, but we could prob­a­bly start tri­an­gu­lat­ing onto some­thing that’s a help­ful, maybe work­ing con­cept for peo­ple as they’re think­ing about apply­ing it with­in their organizations.

Jor­dan (02:35):

I think one of the things that stuck out to me in that Deloitte study that I think was real­ly use­ful that I nev­er had put into words very well, was the idea that cre­at­ing well­be­ing is a coor­di­nat­ed effort between employ­er and employ­ee. It’s neither’s full respon­si­bil­i­ty, at least at work, at least in the work con­text. And being that work is such a huge part of peo­ple’s lives, and those two things are inte­grat­ed, there is a respon­si­bil­i­ty on the employ­er to cre­ate an envi­ron­ment where peo­ple can thrive and expe­ri­ence well­be­ing. Now, we as employ­ers, of course, can’t impact every sin­gle area of some­one’s life. We don’t always know every­thing that’s going on at home, for exam­ple, and so forth. But you can cre­ate a space in which it’s safe for peo­ple to bring the hard­ships that they’re expe­ri­enc­ing into the work­place, in cer­tain con­texts, ask inten­tion­al ques­tions and help just cre­ate that environment.


But I think I made this point last time, but what gets lost is, okay, my employ­er’s going to take care of well­be­ing for me. They’re going to check that box, and I’m going to go feel well every sin­gle day because this parental fig­ure in my life is going to cov­er that for me. And I think that’s a mis­take. So there’s two mis­takes that can be made. The employ­er can make the mis­take of going, not my respon­si­bil­i­ty just do your job. Right? And the employ­ee can make the mis­take of think­ing, this is some­thing that is being pro­vid­ed for me. Sim­i­lar to I think a dis­cus­sion you and I had recent­ly, which was behind closed doors, which is now not behind closed doors, cause I’m say­ing it on a pod­cast. But the way we felt about when we put our Fringe val­ues out there in the world and what they were intend­ed to be was a set of norms and expec­ta­tions that, hey, we are all going to adopt and abide by these val­ues. And I think for some, they turned into promis­es that lead­er­ship is going to treat me with these val­ues. That’s that’s what I’m going to be giv­en. Right? And I think that was, that’s a les­son learned from me as a leader. And I think for the whole exec­u­tive team that we need to com­mu­ni­cate val­ues in such a way, no, this is nor­ma­tive. This is all of us. These are expec­ta­tions we’re going to put on each and every one of us. This isn’t an adver­tise­ment of what it’s going to be like to work here. Right?

Jason (05:07):


Jor­dan (05:08):

So there’s that. Again, it’s that mutu­al respon­si­bil­i­ty of employ­er and employ­ee to gen­er­ate the envi­ron­ment that we’re look­ing to gen­er­ate. Yeah. So I think ther’s some over­lap there.

Jason (05:20):

Yeah, I think it’s great over­lap. It makes me think about fam­i­lies, and I know we shy away gen­er­al­ly from analo­giz­ing work to fam­i­ly because -

Jor­dan (05:29):

Well, we try to shy away from it, but I think we often get back to it because we’re sit­ting here with eight kids under 12 between the two of us.

Jason (05:38):

Well, and I think it’s safe to say work is not a fam­i­ly. The con­di­tions of the rela­tion­ships are very dif­fer­ent. But there’s things that I think we can infer from

Jor­dan (05:47):

Kids don’t get fired as much as we might exact­ly want to occasionally,

Jason (05:50):

But, well, where I was going with that, cause some­thing you said just a minute ago made me think of this was we also are very annoyed by kids who are free­load­ing and not car­ry­ing any weight. And so when you were talk­ing about val­ues being some­thing that are done for some­body ver­sus this kind of col­lec­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion in a set of val­ues that we all hold, that’s kind of the expec­ta­tion with­in a fam­i­ly is we teach our kids like, Hey, there’s jobs that you’re going to start doing around the house as you’re old enough and able to con­tribute to what we’re try­ing to build here, because that is a val­ue that we have as a fam­i­ly. And so if you don’t, then it’s actu­al­ly frus­trat­ing. And there’s even dis­ci­pline that comes into play in those sce­nar­ios where it’s like, Hey, there’s cer­tain things that you need to have true about how you go about your busi­ness and life in order to be a pro­duc­tive human being and con­tribute maybe fair­ly or equi­tably to the com­mu­ni­ties that you’re a part of, which in this case would be your family.

Jor­dan (06:53):

Yeah. Well, I think it’s com­ing from a lov­ing place as well with chil­dren. And then if you apply it to the work­place, it’s the same idea. Kids are not going to, and employ­ees are not going to feel a sense of well­be­ing if they don’t have two things: if they don’t have bound­aries and they don’t have respon­si­bil­i­ty. Right. I just, well for­get employ­ees for a sec­ond. Just think­ing about chil­dren. If chil­dren have no bound­aries, they live in a sense of chaos, right? They don’t know who the author­i­ty is, they don’t know what the rules are. They don’t know what’s okay. And so they actu­al­ly live in fear. They don’t understand.

Jason (07:22):

There’s a lot of anx­i­ety that comes with that.

Jor­dan (07:22):

Con­stant anx­i­ety. Cause they don’t know what’s expect­ed of them and what to do. And so any action might be met by any reac­tion from their par­ents, right? Because they don’t under­stand cause and effect, right? Because there’s not enough dis­ci­pline there. And then with­out respon­si­bil­i­ty, they nev­er real­ly mature into a place where they see their own kind of con­tri­bu­tion in the world and start to form a sense of pur­pose. And here’s my role and here’s what I’m good at, and here’s what I can con­tribute. That’s how they start to feel grown up. That’s how they start to feel like real peo­ple and not just kind of free­load­ing tod­dlers, which is fine. Tod­dlers can free­load. That’s accept­able. They’re two. They’re two. It’s fine.

Jason (08:05):

When they’re four. I mean, it’s a total­ly dif­fer­ent story.

Jor­dan (08:09):

A gray area -

Jason (08:10):

You tie your own shoes.

Jor­dan (08:12):

  • how this grows over the course of time. And dif­fer­ent par­ents approach it at dif­fer­ent paces, I think, right? But set­ting aside kids and think­ing about employ­ees, it’s kind of the same thing when you think about well­be­ing. Peo­ple are not going to expe­ri­ence well­be­ing with those same, with­out the same two attrib­ut­es. If they don’t know the rules of the game, then they live in a con­stant state of anx­i­ety. Am I doing a good job because I’m not sure what my job descrip­tion is. I’m not sure what’s expect­ed of me. And then with­out a sense of, Hey, you need to take own­er­ship over your own life and your own choic­es and be respon­si­ble if you do too much of that for employ­ees and sort of cod­dle, which I think I’m guilty of. I’m a cod­dler when it comes to the employe- employ­ee rela­tion­ship, then you rob peo­ple of the oppor­tu­ni­ty for some growth and to kind of find with­in them­selves their best con­tri­bu­tion and what they can be in the workplace.

Jason (09:11):

So I don’t know where this is going to go, but I’m inter­est­ed because this top­ic has me think­ing that our expe­ri­ences that we have maybe in rela­tion to our fam­i­lies or our par­ents, seem­ing­ly have an impact on how we approach respon­si­bil­i­ty rela­tion­ships at work. And so I’m curi­ous total­ly for you,

Jor­dan (09:30):

Total­ly, impact on every­thing in your life.

Jason (09:31):

What do you feel like are maybe expec­ta­tions or expe­ri­ences that you kind of car­ry from how you grew up that apply to the way that you’ve thought about respon­si­bil­i­ty at work or how you inter­act in that setting?

Jor­dan (09:46):

Is this the Jor­dan Cries episode? You want me to, it can be, you want me to go all the way there? Gosh, I don’t mind shar­ing some per­son­al things here. So this, but for the sake of the audi­ence, I grew up in a house­hold real­ly lov­ing, won­der­ful house­hold, me and had a old­er broth­er still do. And I think when I was, gosh, I’ve lost the plot now. 10 years old, maybe 10 years old. I think as my mom got diag­nosed with can­cer for the first time, she expe­ri­enced sev­er­al dif­fer­ent can­cers. But the point of the sto­ry is that was a cen­tral kind of theme in our fam­i­ly, was like, we’re going to bat­tle togeth­er this dis­ease. And we had suc­cess­es and we had some loss­es, and we had more suc­cess­es. And it was actu­al­ly a real­ly back and forth thing for an entire decade.


And one of the things I learned, a learned behav­ior that I had was, Hey, I’m a kid. I’m not a doc­tor. There’s not a whole lot I can do med­ical­ly. There’s not a whole lot I can facil­i­tate in terms of get­ting a lot of tasks done, because I’m just not that capa­ble. But what I can do is I can make peo­ple laugh. I can raise spir­its, raise the spir­its of the room. I can be a lit­tle light­heart­ed in heavy moments and so forth, and just get peo­ple a lit­tle bit out of the fear or the grief or the anx­ious­ness or what­ev­er the case may be. And so I’m still that per­son. I mean, in the midst of, I’m like, I could be sit­ting in a funer­al and I whis­per a joke to some­body. Cause I have this learned behav­ior of I need to light­en the mood and peo­ple need that from me.


And to kind of enter­tain and so forth. So I mean, it’s what you go through in your child­hood. I mean, just impacts your entire per­son­al­i­ty, your entire thoughts about your mis­sion of life and what you’re all about and so forth. Also, and a lot of folks lis­ten­ing prob­a­bly won’t be famil­iar, but there’s a per­son­al­i­ty assess­ment called the Ennea­gram and the per­son­al­i­ty type of that Ennea­gram test. That’s a numer­i­cal one through nine. And I fall in this num­ber eight cat­e­go­ry and the num­ber eight, they’re kind of key desire in life is the need to be against, they need an ene­my, in oth­er words. They need some­thing to fight. And it’s no sur­prise, 10 years old, can­cer comes into our fam­i­ly. We get into a fight with it joint­ly. And my whole life, I’m 37 years old, I’m just look­ing for fights, but I’m look­ing for fights that I can fight along­side oth­ers. So I’m a big recruiter as evi­denced by the fact that we have five founders of our start­up. I’m a big recruiter. I don’t want to just fight. I want to get my group togeth­er and let’s go bat­tle it out, and let’s do some­thing that seems impos­si­ble, have a big scary fight, because I don’t real­ly feel like less­er fights are worth fight­ing. It needs to be incred­i­bly hard for it to feel worth­while. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, absolute­ly. I don’t know if I’m get­ting at your ques­tion, but Yeah. Yeah, absolute­ly. That col­ored my entire life.

Jason (13:09):

Yeah. So grow­ing up a mil­i­tary kid is a very dif­fer­ent expe­ri­ence. So I mean, it’s inter­est­ing hear­ing you talk about it in rela­tion­ship to work and what that’s meant. And yeah, I mean, I’ve known you long enough that the sto­ry of how you gath­er peo­ple togeth­er and that sense of we’re going to go fight and be against some­thing and accom­plish some­thing big is great. And I think that’s part of what’s made our part­ner­ship as friends and in busi­ness so good. And it’s fun­ny for me because I feel like my dad, hav­ing been a drill sergeant in the Marine Corps, when I was grow­ing up for a cou­ple years along­side of a long career in the mil­i­tary, I just had this sense of do the right thing, respon­si­bil­i­ty, take care of your busi­ness, the buck stops with you. All of this throughout -

Jor­dan (14:10):

High account­abil­i­ty,

Jason (14:11):

Super high account­abil­i­ty. And I’d say that that’s prob­a­bly not actu­al­ly extreme­ly nat­ur­al for my per­son­al­i­ty in some ways. I mean, maybe in some areas, but I’m not nat­u­ral­ly, I think a high­ly dis­ci­plined per­son as some peo­ple might be that you’d go and look at. But I do think that there’s this sense for me as I approach my work, even of it requires respon­si­bil­i­ty and you do need to own it. And there’s kind of a dri­ve that comes out of that. I mean, as I’ve unpacked with my coun­selor and stuff like that, yeah, there’s, there’s neg­a­tive sides to that as well. But I mean, think that’s some of prob­a­bly what we’ve got­ten to a lit­tle bit in that indi­vid­u­als have some respon­si­bil­i­ty them­selves, even for under­stand­ing, Hey, what are you bring­ing to the table that’s impact­ing why work may feel a cer­tain way? It’s not like work, or your expe­ri­ence of work is just objec­tive­ly good or bad, right? We’re bring­ing stuff to the table when we go to a work set­ting or take on a role that is all these years of what we think work should be and healthy mind­sets and unhealthy mind­sets and strengths and weak­ness­es and so on.

Jor­dan (15:33):

I think what I was think­ing while you were talk­ing, I was lis­ten­ing, I promise, but I was also think­ing, every­body lis­ten­ing brings some sto­ry, maybe sim­i­lar may be far dif­fer­ent, but they bring that into work every day. And I think part of what, cre­at­ing an envi­ron­ment where peo­ple can thrive, where there’s human flour­ish­ing, to use your term, where well­be­ing can be a big part of the cul­ture is hav­ing a place where you can bring your sto­ry in, where you’re allowed to have a past, you’re allowed to have a child­hood, you’re allowed to have wounds and pains and pref­er­ences and what­ev­er beliefs. And it’s part of, it’s obvi­ous, you could use the word diver­si­ty to apply to that, but I think diver­si­ty is almost lit­tle bit too much of a buzz­word to real­ly cov­er it. I think it’s an accep­tance of flawed peo­ple with painful pasts, right?


Yeah. That’s more of the expres­sion I would use to describe what this wel­com­ing envi­ron­ment ought to look like. And it’s a tough thing to scale. Inti­ma­cy is a tough thing to scale, right? Because when you have 10 peo­ple in your orga­ni­za­tion, you can ask inten­tion­al ques­tions, you can get to know them, trust builds. Even­tu­al­ly you begin to hear their sto­ry. And of course, there’s going to be a sit­u­a­tion where peo­ple feel a sense of well­ness, right? Yeah. Oh, I brought my whole self. That whole self was accept­ed. That whole self was, dare I say, loved. And there’s a coor­di­nat­ed effort to take that whole self and to fig­ure out the best con­tri­bu­tion and the best work and the best style of work, and the best hours of work and what­ev­er. All you can cus­tom, you can bespoke that, if you will, to use that as a verb, which is not.


But then at scale, how do you do it? How do you cre­ate that deep­er sense of well­be­ing? I think the only way is to repli­cate that through a man­age­r­i­al process or a lead­er­ship process. Peo­ple are trained to not just tell peo­ple what to do and why we’re doing it, which is two very impor­tant things, but to also con­nect on that deep­er lev­el and to under­stand who it is that’s work­ing for them and what their sto­ry is. And I think it might be achiev­able, so long as you don’t have one per­son lead­ing 20 peo­ple, if you keep that kind of span of con­trol, I think you ought to rebrand that span of care maybe, might be, Span of care might be a bet­ter term, that it might be achiev­able. Yeah.

Jason (18:27):

Yeah. You said some­thing that kind of stuck with me, and I want to talk about it a lit­tle bit more because you men­tioned accep­tance as part of this kind of con­cept of inti­ma­cy. And maybe it’s because I’m an intro­vert and I have only so much capac­i­ty for inti­ma­cy in my life, but I was also think­ing about this con­cept of psy­cho­log­i­cal safe­ty. And I’m not sure I always under­stand what peo­ple mean when they say it. I’m not sure they do either. Fair. I won­der if some­times, and this is relat­ed to our dis­cus­sion on what do we bring to the table from our child­hood and what­not, if we put accep­tance at the pin­na­cle of what it means to feel like I belong some­where. And if that’s right. So if we go back to the anal­o­gy of a fam­i­ly, well, what’s, what is one thing that’s true of a fam­i­ly? You’re part of the fam­i­ly, right?

Jor­dan (19:25):

You’re accept­ed permanently.

Jason (19:26):

Right? Should be. I mean, in a prop­er­ly func­tion­ing fam­i­ly, accep­tance should be sort of the oper­at­ing truth across the board. But then what hap­pens in a healthy fam­i­ly to devel­op indi­vid­u­als, and I mean, maybe come back to kids, this is a use­ful way to do this, is we chal­lenge them, right? So it’s not just like, Hey, I love you and you’re accept­ed, right? I love you. You’re accept­ed, and there’s respon­si­bil­i­ty you’re going to need to take on. Yeah. There’s ways that you’re going to need to grow. There’s going to be chal­lenge that you have to take on for things that are hard even. And so I think the ques­tion is, are the hard things actu­al­ly bad? Because the sense I get from inter­act­ing with peo­ple is some­times I just want to be accept­ed. Don’t make me do any­thing hard, right?

Jor­dan (20:14):

Yeah. Right. Well, I think that’s a child’s per­spec­tive to just go, well, I just am. Just accept what­ev­er I am. But I think there’s a dip, a dif­fer­ence between accep­tance and approval or accep­tance, and no one’s ever done. No one’s fin­ished grow­ing. No one, no one’s arrived, ever. So I think the accep­tance is, I’m going to take you into this team, and I’m going to take your past and I’m going to take those wounds and all that pain and all that stuff. But there’s still an expec­ta­tion that these val­ues and these norms that we put out there as some­thing that you agreed to when you took the job, you, you’re expect­ed to live that out here, right? So there isn’t just like, well, what­ev­er you are rela­tion­al­ly, what­ev­er you are social­ly, what­ev­er, how­ev­er you act, is okay. Yeah. That’s not true. There has to be a stan­dard. There has to be an idea of what the ide­al is, and the ide­al should be set forth by a com­pa­ny’s values.

Jason (21:25):

So that’s a real­ly inter­est­ing idea because when­ev­er you put forth an ide­al, it means that we’re not going to meet it.

Jor­dan (21:34):

Oh yeah.

Jason (21:34):

Because an ide­al, by def­i­n­i­tion, is something

Jor­dan (21:37):

That nec­es­sar­i­ly means that

Jason (21:39):

That is to some degree unat­tain­able. And so there­fore, I’m mea­sur­ing myself against an ide­al, which means I am always falling short of that ide­al. So it’s this fun­ny ten­sion that we have of our need for accep­tance as human beings. We’re not per­fect. We’ve got our bag­gage and our sto­ries and so forth, but yet, if we don’t have an ide­al to strive for, what are we aim­ing for? We’ve talked about that. What are we doing? Yeah, we’ve talked about that. Yeah. Actu­al­ly in pre­vi­ous episodes, it’s like, what are we aim­ing for? Has a lot to do with how we go about oper­at­ing in the world.

Jor­dan (22:16):

Yeah. I don’t think I’m okay, you’re okay is love. I don’t think that’s a lov­ing way to treat peo­ple in your life. I think you should under­stand what they want, and you should under­stand what their goals are, what mat­ters to them and what they’re aim­ing towards. And if they’re not aim­ing towards any­thing, maybe a lit­tle coach­ing would help to, Hey, you should maybe set your sights on some­thing. We talked about pur­pose and past episodes. But then once you under­stand the pur­pose and the pur­pose they signed up for by tak­ing the job and tak­ing on the val­ues as ascribed, you need to coach ​‘em towards that with the knowl­edge that they will fail. But I mean, they will nec­es­sar­i­ly fail, and as will the leader, as will every­body in the orga­ni­za­tion, which I think, I’m just think­ing through our own val­ues doc­u­ment. There’s phras­es in there like, fail bold­ly, be flawed, but be flawed and don’t front. Right? That’s the key. That’s the dif­fer­ence between humil­i­ty and arro­gance. Both a hum­ble per­son and an arro­gant per­son are flawed, but the arro­gant per­son pre­tends not to be. And the hum­ble per­son accepts that they are and will tell you that they are flawed. And you can­not coach some­one who won’t. Right. You can’t. Well, because they’re not par­tic­i­pat­ing in their own wellbeing.

Jason (23:34):

Humil­i­ty at its core is an acknowl­edge­ment that you don’t know every­thing. So if you don’t -

Jor­dan (23:39):

And you’re not perfect.

Jason (23:40):

And so, yeah, they’re kind of one and the same. And so humil­i­ty requires that you’re acknowl­edg­ing, I guess, a deficit you might call it. That’s a deficit that’s uni­ver­sal­ly true about humans. But I mean, com­ing back to this idea, even though the ide­al cause I think that to me, there’s some­thing more pro­found that maybe gets at our dis­com­fort because an ide­al judges you, and we are very uncom­fort­able with judg­ment. Who are you to judge me? Right? Yes. I’m a per­son. I’m a beau­ti­ful but­ter­fly. Right? Who are you to judge me by some stan­dard? But what we’re get­ting to is with­out a stan­dard, we have no aim. And so we have to have some kind of stan­dard or ide­al, because oth­er­wise we have noth­ing to aim for. But as soon as we have that ide­al, it judges us, and that judg­ment is uncom­fort­able unless we can maybe be more com­fort­able with humility.

Jor­dan (24:45):

Well, I think to reit­er­ate, I think that’s the mis­take that I made with Fringe. One of many mis­takes I’ve made with this com­pa­ny that we run, but one of the mis­takes I’ve made, again, is not lay­ing those val­ues out as an ide­al, as an expec­ta­tion. It was more, I think it came, and I did­n’t mean it this way ini­tial­ly when I wrote it, but it came across more as a recruit­ing pitch. Come here and here you’re allowed to be flawed, and here you’re allowed to be, right? As opposed to, this is what the ide­al is here, be hum­ble, be coura­geous, be these things. And I think had I done that, we prob­a­bly would’ve saved our­selves cer­tain amount of pain with folks that came in and thought that they were going to be hand­ed — hand­ed well­ness, hand­ed accep­tance, hand­ed, what­ev­er, a vision for their life, what­ev­er the case may be, and did­n’t real­ly par­tic­i­pate in that them­selves from the jump, because they nev­er accept­ed an ide­al that was laid out before them.


And I said this before, you should not choose a com­pa­ny to work for based on the salary or the ben­e­fits. You should choose based on the val­ues and your per­cep­tion as to whether or not the exec­u­tive team actu­al­ly believes the val­ues that they put out there, or it’s just a bunch of virtue sig­nal­ing crap, right? Does it real­ly reflect what they believe in their hearts of heart, in their heart of hearts, and are you on board? And if you’re on board, you’re going to have a won­der­ful expe­ri­ence with that com­pa­ny, but if you’re not aligned from a val­ue stand­point, I mean, I don’t care how much a com­pa­ny pays, it’s going to be a mis­er­able experience.

Jason (26:35):

Yeah. I think to me, this is why I recoil so much at the idea of work being just a trans­ac­tion between employ­er, employ­ee trans­ac­tion of time for wages. I give you time, you give me mon­ey, end of sto­ry. Yeah. That’s it. And I hear a lot of peo­ple talk about it in that way, and it just feels so, it feels shal­low, I guess, because I don’t know. You don’t have to go far below the sur­face to real­ize it’s just not even true. We might try and put that frame­work on top of this con­cept of work, but I mean, we talked about, I think of one of the pre­vi­ous episodes, the World Health Orga­ni­za­tion calls employ­ment, one of our social deter­mi­nants of health. So I mean, even in that set­ting, they’re acknowl­edg­ing that work has -

Jor­dan (27:24):

I’s not just a paycheck.

Jason (27:26):

There’s some­thing that’s not true deep­er to work than just a trans­ac­tion between an employ­er of time for money.

Jor­dan (27:34):

But we’re cyn­i­cal peo­ple that are afraid of inti­ma­cy, and so what do you, you fall to the low­est com­mon denom­i­na­tor, which is this quote, liv­ing the dream atti­tude. I like to call it.

Jason (27:47):

Nobody means it.

Jor­dan (27:48):

The peo­ple that you, just to clar­i­fy the peo­ple that you ask, Hey, how’s your day going? How you doing? They go liv­ing the dream with all this drip­ping with cyn­i­cism. That is the eas­i­est thing. That is the eas­i­est way to com­mu­ni­cate. The eas­i­est way to inter­act with peo­ple is just with this cyn­i­cal, jad­ed, emp­ty reac­tion to that ques­tion or to any ques­tion. I think that is the poi­son in the water when it comes to this whole con­cept of work that has led peo­ple to, even in 2023, even though I think they know deep down is not true to say, yeah, it’s just a paycheck.

Jason (28:27):

Well, because it lit­er­al­ly reduces you to a resource. You are only time.

Jor­dan (28:33):

Is that what you want?

Jason (28:34):

That’s what you are.

Jor­dan (28:36):

You want to be a cog in a wheel? I won­der if that’s a way of just shirk­ing the respon­si­bil­i­ty of being more. I think that maybe that’s com­ing from a place of fear as I’m self-pro­tec­tion that, okay, well, if I get into this role and I’m not pro­mot­ed and I’m not praised, and I’m not the star of the show, well then it’s because I, I’m just a cog in the wheel any­way. Nobody real­ly cares about me. Maybe it’s just this kind of self-pro­tec­tive dis­claimer that’s put up front to shy away from the inti­ma­cy of actu­al­ly hav­ing to try. The risk of effort, which could be met with failure.

Jason (29:20):

Which should be scary.

Jor­dan (29:21):

Yeah. Right. Yeah. I mean, that’s what we’re all afraid of. We’re all afraid to actu­al­ly try and then fail. If we fail, and we’re like, well, I just sort of phoned it in any­way. It’s like, it’s not so upset­ting, right? When we pour our­selves into some­thing, we expect to win. So any­way, we’ve prob­a­bly gone well over our allot­ted time for an episode today. Good top­ic. Thank you all for lis­ten­ing to episode 15 today. Jason and I are going to con­tin­ue to hit our tequi­la glass­es hard and carouse with one anoth­er through­out this after­noon. Oh, you worked it in right at the end. I got it. Got to give you your new word too. Got it, J? Yeah. Jason, hit us with the word of the day for the next episode. All right. Next episode. Word of the day is going to be rar­efied. Okay. Eas­i­er than carouse was like, how do we, it’s like this drink­ing and par­ty­ing and being like, how does this relate? This is what we do on the pod­cast. I mean, I guess, yeah, that is some part of well­ness. But alright. Thanks for lis­ten­ing to How Peo­ple Work. We’ll catch you next time. Bye-bye.

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