Davida Ginter 00:03
Only when we identify that you know the root cause we can address it in a proper way, sometimes we just fix the wrong problem. And that’s not very helpful. But when we have that self awareness, when we do the self inquiry, we can really solve the problem rather than you know, just scratch the surface.
Adam Baruh 00:37
Welcome to The Change, where we share stories and inspiration from business leaders and people making positive work, life changes. I’m your host, Adam Baruh. We live in a time of busyness. Here in the US, many of us find pride in the symptoms of our overworking, anxiety, burnout, exhaustion, we take these as symbols of being productive of doing something, building something being a part of something. In the words of our guests here today, we see busyness as a sign of success and hard work. And we remain busy to hide from the fear of failure. Like it or not, we have become addicted to being busy, we pride ourselves on busyness, and this trait has become a status symbol. This has been especially true of the changemakers of people working towards a mission of social or other change. As someone who fits in this category myself, I can relate personally to change maker burnout, I run two companies, and I have four kids, two of whom are under seven years old. I’ve fallen easily into the pattern of giving everything I have to my businesses, and to my family, and almost zero to my own personal and mental health needs. This culminated last year with the onset of numerous and powerful anxiety attacks, it catches up to us, all of us and for change makers in particular, we need to replenish ourselves so that we can do the important work we set out to achieve a previous guest on this podcast described the need to be positively selfish. And it’s true. Think of the flight attendants when they inform us that in the case of an emergency, we should put on our oxygen mask first, and then the masks of our children. The same holds true in preventing burnout. If we aren’t nourishing ourselves, how will we be able to find the strength and stamina to care for others? Our guest today Davida Grinter is the author of Burning out Won’t Get You There: Cultivating Wellbeing, to Successfully Lead Social Change. Hi, Davida, welcome to The Change.
Davida Ginter 02:36
Thank you, Adam. Pleasure to be here.
Adam Baruh 02:38
Yeah. So I want to start at your childhood. In your book, Burning Out Won’t Get You There, you describe a story from your childhood, I believe you were seven or seven and a half or so. And you were preparing with another student for a piano recital. You spoke about how during the performance, you lost your concentration, midway through and began to panic, but that the other student a young boy named tall, helped you recover and you were able to finish your performance. So can you tell us why you included this story in the intro of your book? And how by remaining positive you achieved a positive result?
Davida Ginter 03:11
Yeah. So funny, you know, it’s been over 30 years since that moment, I still remember that vividly. And still smile when I think of it. So it was not so much about the panic attack that did not arrive eventually it was more about the result resourcefulness of that young boy who helped me. And he did not stress himself. He just helped me to put my fingers right on the exact spot where I should put them. He didn’t know my part. But apparently he felt where it should be. And I remember that moment, because for me, it was such a powerful lesson about finding your resourcefulness, but also to navigate through stress, hardship, setbacks, and to remain. I don’t know if positive, but at least calm enough to move on.
Adam Baruh 04:09
That’s important. So what else can you think of from your life growing up that helped inform the work that you do today? Well, there are many moments. And I think, I think the thing is that we all go through different journeys. But at the same time, while it’s a very personal and subjective experience, I keep seeing patterns, identifying patterns that are so common to many people. And what I’m seeing here is that even when people struggle, if they can find this ability to reach out for support and help, then suddenly we can, again, still move on, you know, get out of this darkness or the idea of a freeze Suddenly can recall our purpose or goal to find meaning in what we do. Then again, we can jump over hurdles. And those are just part of the signs or the abilities and capabilities that help us to prevent burnout. And keep pursuing our mission. And so living in Israel, what observations do you have of the tendency to prioritize work in busyness, where you live it there in Israel, compared to here in America? I see many different examples. But I also see that to some extent, here in Israel, we actually mimic a lot of what we see in the work culture of corporate America, which is not a good sign for either of us. I’ve, I’ve lived and work in Scandinavia, in Sweden, and Norway, and have members from Denmark. I’m collaborating with partners from Germany and the UK. I’ve been interviewing people from Japan and Singapore and South America. But I keep seeing specifically both in Israel. And in the United States, this tendency to just as you said, the beginning, pride ourselves for busyness is not even about being busy. It’s about occupying ourselves with this notion of, we need to do a lot and we need to be productive in order in order to count, you know, to matter. So in that way, we attach our self worth, to the amount of time that we invest in working, basically. Yeah, that’s a really important point. And I can relate to that 100% how you describe how we attach our self worth, to this busyness and, you know, I, I’m not sure why or where that came about. But yeah, it’s like, when I when I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot it, it gives me a sense of gratification. And, you know, I’ve kind of thought about, you know why that is like, where that comes from? Because, you know, there’s a lot of other things that can feed into me feeling good. But you know, the fact that I’m gaining gratification from the work seems weird, it seems not natural. I believe it’s more complex than that. I mean, I see your feeling I can relate. But at the same time, I think it’s good to ask ourselves, or to question the idea of what is accomplishment? What is that we want to accomplish? So what if I want to accomplish something within my mission within my work, but also, I want to accomplish a state of positive atmosphere in my family, you know, the idea that I’m available for my children, just as I’m available for my team members, and my clients, and so on. So accomplishment could be in many areas and aspects and not just in work. And don’t get me wrong. I’m also I’m, I love working hard. It’s sometimes not about working hard or not, right. I think it’s about the way we manage work, and the way that sometimes we prevent ourselves from being flexible and challenge the norms around working. I want to talk about change makers, you know, because it could imply some somewhat different meetings. But in your words, if you would describe exactly what a change maker is, at least and how you wrote about it in your book.
Davida Ginter 08:59
Yeah, so I see change makers, as people who care but also who made their mission meaningful in a way that they pursue change in many levels within many circles. So any one of us can be a change maker, because I can lead change within my own family or my community, or in the workplace. So and by the way, it’s also the same as how I see leaders, it’s really not about the title, or the authority. It’s about the idea of we can articulate a vision, make other people care to about this vision, and then pursue this meaningful mission. So change makers will be anyone who takes action to move the needle right in the direction that they see as positive in this world.
Adam Baruh 10:02
Yeah, perfect. Thank you for that. So I’d like to read a quote from your book. “We found it ironic that for the sake of promoting a healthy and positive social change changemakers themselves often work in an unhealthy manner, that many of us sustainability practitioners are often acting in an unsustainable way.” So I want to make a confession here, that I’ve kind of grappled with this for some time. You know, here on this podcast, I interview people about meditation, leading with compassion, normalizing the mental health, conversation and more. And yet, I’ve felt this sense of embarrassment because I don’t live by all of the ideals that that we talk about here on this podcast every day. I don’t really exercise all that often, I don’t carve out time for my personal mental health needs. And I’m not always making good self aware choices. So why do you think change makers can be particularly unskilled in the area of prioritizing our own sustainability? Yeah. I have to start also with a confession. I’m not perfect either, you know, I’ve written this book. And I can still find myself sometimes need to remind myself that, hey, I’m not following my own advice. So that’s perfectly fine. Perfectly human. Right. This is also why we have those support systems that I mentioned earlier to remind us that we can better manage or cultivate a healthier routine, better question about why do change makers? Why why are we more likely to approach burnout? Yes, I don’t think it’s about the skills, I think it’s about the mentality. For example, change makers are often people who identify so much with the mission, you know, care so much, that we forget to set boundaries. So boundaries dissolved, for example, between our mission and our personal life. But even more important between our mission and our self identity. So one of the interviewers in the book, that’s, that’s a good example, James, from Melbourne, Australia. He’s a sustainability practitioner, and James shared with me, that’s every time he used to walk into a room and see something, which is damaging the environment, say, using plastic bottles. He kept thinking, Oh, I didn’t do enough to save the planet. And then he started thinking, Oh, I failed at my mission. But over time, he started thinking, I am the failure, which is a very powerful place to be right. When we over identifying with our mission. So every small win or failure, every small mistake, even is it has a highly toll on us our emotional, right, our our mental well being. So first, is this over ID ID identification, what a word. Secondly, it’s changemakers often don’t see the results of their efforts in the short term, right? Sometimes we fight for things that we will only be fruitful after months, or years or even decades, maybe not even in our own lifetime. And that’s okay for a while. But over time, if you keep you know, pushing and fighting windmills and you don’t see results, it can be very frustrating. And that’s another pain point that could lead to burnout, if you don’t have the constant reminder, why you are doing what you’re doing. And sometimes it’s about a lack of systems support, or we don’t get compensated well enough for our efforts, because, hey, it’s charity, right? So why pay you for this important work? There are many malfunctioning around doing change, change making work. And it’s also in the societal level that needs to be changed. Yeah, I mean, you know, for me, personally, what happens is, I feel like I’m so just passionate and fully invested in to the work we’re doing here, you know, through this podcast, and through the other podcasts that I produce that, you know, I it’s almost like a prioritization issue. I just, I feel like that’s more important of my time to dedicate to that then doing yoga and working out and finding time to nourish my own personal needs, right. And then, you know, the other point that you made in In terms of, I think it was the compensation or the seeing the results. I mean, that’s, that’s something as well, it’s like, you know, with this podcast, you know, I get some emails and some messages over LinkedIn, you know, from time to time with people saying how important it is to them. And, and that refuels me. But that’s few and far between, it’s, you know, I kind of look for that, because it helps me, it rekindles that fire, right. But I think the flaw, I believe, is emotionally investing in waiting for that compensation, because that’s going to produce that higher sense of burnout when you don’t get that feedback at times when you want that feedback, right? Yes. And the feedback is important. It’s definitely, you know, it’s all helpful to know where the impact reaches. But at the same time, we cannot be constantly dependent on external approval. Exactly. And we need to sustain our lives just as we try to sustain the environment, or sometimes even entire communities. Yeah, you’re right, because I mean, even if I was working on environmental issues, those are things that you may not see for several years, right. And it’s Yeah, to, to kind of make that emotional investment, where you only feel that sense of pride or gratification, when you see the results. Like we have to learn how to how to be satisfied and just doing the work and knowing that eventually, the results will will reach people that need to hear it that message or, you know, in terms of the environment, just seeing, you know, if you’re working and this was an area of work that I used to do, I used to work for the National Park Service. And I used to work in a in an office where the team was dedicated towards restoring native plant habitat in the Marin Headlands in the San Francisco area. But you don’t see the results of that right away. It takes several seasons, several years to see that and definitely an important comment to just make sure to not have that emotional capital invested in the seeing the results, right. Yeah. So I follow a podcast hosted by a woman named Jessica Reid. And she relates to how people’s energy levels can be perceived, kind of like a video game where you can see your character’s health levels, they run around on the screen. And often we forget that we have somewhat of a health meter that will deplete the more we ignore recharging our own batteries. And I’d like to make another quote from your book. “It’s unbearable to keep working towards your meaningful cause without recreation and inspiration. And on top of it, all, your physical and emotional health are decreasing, when you do not allow yourself the time to rest and recharge your battery.” So I’d like to know about some of the ways in which you recharge your battery.
Personally, and um…. this is what I love about this is very personal, right? If I would host now a circle is done many times, we will hear dozens of different answers, so..
Adam Baruh 18:07
Exactly. Yeah. It’s really important to note first, that there is no one size that fits all, what suits me will not necessarily suit you. And, and precisely. It’s also good to know I mean, I think sometimes I see how harmful it is when people try to blindly follow others advice and practices. So that’s just to put it out there. What personally helps me to recharge or rejuvenate, is first and foremost, always to be outside. I’m an outdoors person, but I find myself often working indoors. Either when I facilitate you know or teacher when I work with within companies, we do a lot of training in company. So I just find myself in an office which is amazing, a lot of connections, people, but then I just want to be outside in the fresh air. And so I like walking and I live close to nature. So I find myself almost daily, even just for 20 minutes walking outside. Another thing which is really I found so helpful for me is to write I’m journaling and I’m writing and I’m authoring even if it will not see other eyes beyond my own eyes, but it’s just helpful for me to to pour onto the page. My thoughts. It’s like a processing mechanism for me. Yeah, and I’ve been I’ve been suffering from Um, sleepless nights for many, many years, and when I discover that I can journal my thoughts, write down my stories and, you know, inner conversations, before I go to bed, I found it much easier to fall asleep and actually slept the entire night. Because I can stop the rumination going up there in my heads. And lastly is connecting with people even, it could be a coffee with one friend that I really love, or it could be hanging out in a crowd of people. I just love the personal interaction and knowing that we’re not alone on this planet, you know, we are part of something bigger. So it’s always helpful for me to have, especially if those are meaningful dialogues. Yeah, thank you for sharing that. Um, and, you know, going back to Jessa Reid’s podcast that I referenced earlier, one of the kind of a challenge she put out there, you know, she talked, I think she was relating to her own experience, about, you know, not even really knowing what, what recharges her. And so I think she offered a challenge out there to her audience to kind of sit, you know, sit with a journal or sit with a pen and paper and actually think about what what are the things that recharge me, so I actually I did that I, I took that challenge. And it wasn’t easy. I mean, I remember, this was at a time where, you know, in my intro, I talked about these anxiety attacks that I was having. And I was starting to have a lot of self awareness and really, you know, recognize a lot of things that I wasn’t really doing to take care of myself. And so, you know, I was at a time where I really, for years, haven’t ever focused on my needs, right? So I sat there with the, with the pen and paper, and I tried to write down five things that recharge me. And I sat there for a while on it, I couldn’t even think of one. It was, it was really eye opening. And it was a little alarming, to be honest. But finally the answer, the more I sat with it, the answer started to come with me. And I really appreciate that you said yes, it’s definitely going to be different for everybody. So thank you for pointing out that caveat. You know, for me, what I found, you know, I really like reading, I go, I’ve gone for, you know, certain periods of time, I’ll be really into reading and I’ll make sure to carve out the time to do it. And I feel good. And you know, often I’ll go like at my office here, there’s a nice little park across the street. So I go to the park and I sit out in the sunshine and and I read and it feels good. And so it was interesting that I just It took me a while to even make that connection. So I definitely challenge people, you know, here listening to you know, try to try to take that challenge, try to take this exercise what, you know, find out what inspires each of you. And yeah, it’s gonna be different. What’s the what’s the best book you’ve read recently? You know, I really love so probably, I’m going to say the four wins, by Kristen Hanna. I love it. I really like historical fictions. And the four winds is a period piece during the Dust Bowl. And, you know, it’s a story of struggle, and, you know, people and families trying to stay together through really challenging situations. And when I’m reading these types of books, I it, it makes me get out of this comfort zone, you know, that that we live in, in today’s society where, you know, we’re afforded a lot of safety. Another Well, the way I knew about Kristin, Hannah, before that book, the four winds was she wrote a book called The nightingale. And, you know, books about Holocaust, Holocaust survivors are probably my number one place of passion. And I’ve I’ve really, I tried to explore that within myself, like, what is it about these types of stories that that changed me that move me that gives me that inspiration? And I, you know, I think what it is, is, again, is about these stories of struggle about, you know, what people have done and you know, Could I could I have the strength to overcome what people have gone through in history, it’s, you know, these types of stories are always really moving to me. Yeah, definitely. You know, speaking of stories, I’d like to go back to the story about the piano recital, and, you know, you summed it up by saying what got you through that experience was the power of positive thinking and just that remaining calm, and you talk about the phenomenon of emotional contagion in your book. So can you describe what you meant by this term? Yeah, so emotional contagion is the idea that when we experience any emotion, that’s it has a spillover, it has the effect that we can experience many similar emotions. So I will never classify them as negative or positive, I don’t see emotions that way, when I do think we should give room allow, allow all the range of emotions to be fully experienced. And that doesn’t mean that we need to, you know, go angry all the time, and of course, turn violent, but it means that we need to sit with it for even a moment and explore what’s going on there. Just to say that emotional contagion is alright, so we allow room for a certain emotion, and it could affect a range of emotions within us. But it’s also about how do we react to other people who we interact with, and their emotional exhibition, if we reflect that. And that is something that we see a lot when we work, for example, with groups or teams is that oftentimes a person, especially if they’re very dominant, will walk into the room. And they will display a certain behavior, but also their emotions naturally, and it will affect the entire group. And the reason why I’m pointing this out, is again, that we want to give room for all types of emotions. But when we learn how to respond instead of react, that means that we can absolutely contribute to a more calm environments in the setting that we operate within. So sometimes people don’t even notice and they will walk in with all their not just anger, but cynicism. In you know, fear, and everything is this, you know, huge judgment, even so, judgment is not an emotion, but it could be driven from very hard emotions. And that will affect the group so significantly, and not in a good way. And this is something we want to pay attention to. Yeah, having that self awareness. Yeah. And for me, it’s like, you know, I’m almost 50 years old. And I really don’t think that I had a strong sense of self awareness until I started going through mindfulness work last year working with my coach Kristin Taylor, as well, as you know, just like that story of when I sat down with the pen and paper and tried to think about what refuels me, it’s, it’s when you can start building the tools of self awareness. I mean, that’s where when you can start to recognize where your emotions are, what those mean, the feelings of burnout, the feelings of stress and anxiety. You know, without that self awareness, we just kind of go through those experiences, and perhaps we have an emotional reaction. But when you have that level of self awareness, then you’re able to respond versus react, because you can kind of take a step back or be quiet with that emotion or that thought for a moment think, Where’s this coming from? Like, okay, I get it, this is coming from this. And so here’s how I can I can respond to that in a positive way.
And this is so relevant to burnout prevention, because we haven’t mentioned this yet. But burnout and stress are not the same. Burnout is chronic stress that has not been successfully managed. But those are not the same. So when we experience stress, it’s not a negative thing we can, you know, respond to that quite well. When we don’t pay attention when we don’t manage stress, well, that could become chronic, and then you know, we hit the wall of burnout. That’s self inquiry inquiry, what you just mentioned to identify the root causes is so important, because we can suddenly notice, alright, so I’m not really stressed about work. I’m stressed about a specific interaction that I just said, or a future interaction that I’m concerned, how will it go. But only when we identify that you know, the root cause we can address it in a proper way. Sometimes we just fix the wrong problem. And that’s not very helpful. But when we have that self awareness, when we do this self inquiry, we can really solve the problem rather than you know, just scratch the surface.
Adam Baruh 29:56
You gave me a perfect segue into my next question, which is regarding part two of your book, which deals specifically with burnout. There’s probably a number of different signs of burnout, many of which you relate to signs of depression. So can you tell us a bit more about how we can identify if we are feeling burnout versus stress or anxiety? Absolutely, well, there’s a range of science, but there are basically three main symptoms. And those are, first of all, is exhaustion. And you know, the feeling that we’re not just randomly tired, but we are constantly, we constantly feel tired, exhausted, we feel this fatigue. And this is, by the way, emotional exhaustion being translated into physical tiredness. And the second symptom is that we start to feel negative, and cynical and judgmental, towards our mission, our work our boss, our colleagues, no, every one of us have, we have those days, right? When you get up, oh, this person is so annoying, that boss is not, you know, they don’t value my efforts. But we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about this feeling that we start to feel everyday about our work and mission. So that’s a red flag there. And the third sign is reduced self efficacy. So yeah, we feel less productive. But we also start to feel that our worth diminishes, basically. So we just feel that we cannot contribute well, to the mission. Yeah, I’d like to go back to you know, referencing a quote from your book, because I think it perfectly conveys how burnout occurs. “As a metaphor for the draining of energy burnout refers to the smothering of a fire, or the extinguishing of a candle, it implies that a fire was once burning, but the fire cannot continue burning brightly, unless there are sufficient resources, that keep being replenished.” And you know, I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve fallen into that habit, numerous times of complaining about the lack of time I have available to me and in order to replenish my resources, and you know, when we break it down to such a simple concept of a fire, needing resources like heat, oxygen and combustible material, continue burning it, it becomes very clear that if we want to sustain our fire, over a long period of time, we have to feed the fire within us. So what are some thoughts you have about how we can begin to shift our thinking, as a society as a whole? Where we give emphasis and priority to that replenishment? How can we make prioritizing our personal physical and mental needs the norm?
That’s a deep question as should be because I believe that we need to treat the issue in a systemic and holistic way. So I’m appreciative that you ask that on the societal level, because it’s not preventing burnout could not be just an individual question or responsibility. We are part of systems, many systems. And you know, you and I can do all the work in the world. But if tomorrow morning, we are going back to the very same system, organization, institution, family, whatever it is that contributed to our feeling of burnout, then we only half the work. Yeah. So first of all, it has to be a systemic change, you know? Secondly, what can be done differently? to challenge the definition of success? Wouldn’t be a great start. How do we measure success? Is this about productivity? Is this about, you know, just producing more bringing results hit the quota meet the KPIs? Or is there more tweets? You can imagine that I believe there’s more to it? But you know, that’s, that’s not an easy question for organizations, for example, because they want to say, Oh, we care about the people and we are human centered. But if at the end of the day, you just measure the numbers, how many hours they did person work, you know, results, rather than measuring other important aspects. Then again, we just we won the fight we lost the person. So yeah, that’s that’s a very important first step to to challenge the definition of success. But there’s many more there’s, you know, questions around flexibility, changing how we work and allow flexibility and allow different types of interactions. And you know, shift the idea of strict hierarchy and involving the pupil, you know, we think that people are burned out because they overwork. But that’s not entirely true. That’s not even the number one cause. Most of the people are burned out because they feel that no one listened or valued their opinion, they don’t feel belong. And, you know, they just don’t feel heard and seen. So we can start by seeing the people and their efforts. And even if we ask them for their opinion, and then we do nothing with it, you know, we don’t take that into consideration. That’s not good enough. And we need to be known, we need to put it out there. We need to say it out loud, even if it’s uncomfortable to hear this truth.
Adam Baruh 35:52
Yeah. So you know, besides being a host of this podcast, kind of my my main job, if you will, is I’m the CEO of a consulting agency in the in the tech industry. And, you know, we’re a professional services organization, mainly, which means that we have team members that do work for our clients, and they they bill by the hour, right? And so one of the uniform measurements in a professional services organization, is this concept of utilization. How, for each, for each resource, how much are they billing, versus their total time worked over the week, right? So, for example, if you build 32 hours out of a 40 hour work week, I’m not gonna do the math, but I think that’s like 75% utilization. And it’s like, the main measurement. And I’ll admit, it’s, you know, at my company, it’s, you know, people’s bonuses are kind of built around that model. And I’ve grappled with this a lot. And, you know, part of the reason why I started hosting this podcast is, you know, as a business leader, as a CEO, exploring these topics, and, and challenging ourselves as business leaders, to think of new ways in which we can, you know, ultimately, you know, our, our team does need to build, that’s how we obtain revenue. And that’s how I pay my team, right. But perhaps, the concept of, you know, taking the main measurement focus against this utilization, I feel like it really does some negative harm to the company culture, if you will, because then there becomes a fear if you’re not meeting your utilization targets, right. So yeah, anyway, I want to shift gears a little bit. And, you know, talk about the pandemic a little bit. You know, how, with the beginning of the pandemic, there was such a shift to working from home. And, you know, this really impacted this concept of work life balance. But in particular, I want to, I want to focus on changemakers, who almost never really shut off the mental energy focused on the mission, and how the pandemic has caused, you know, such a massive shift in the workforce, where more and more people are becoming permanent, remote, remote worker. So how do you think the pandemic has impacted this whole work life balance, you know, for us in this group as changemakers? And what are some things we could do to manage that blur between work and home? I think in a way, and my book was written before the pandemic, so I keep driving there about work life balance, but in a way after COVID or during COVID. To be more accurate, the term work life balance, kind of loss is its meaning. And currently, I prefer to treat it as a work life harmony or work life synergy or work life integration, they could all fit because boundaries have dissolved, and there is no way around it. And I prefer now to treat bands in a new way in a different way. And instead of have this artificial separation between work life, which almost doesn’t exist and way to find different kinds of balance, which I sometimes call personally, tailored balance or something like that, which is around needs. So how can we balance our routines in a way that will meet our own needs. So if I’m working on as I mentioned before, if I’m working all day long in front of my screen, I will balance that by being outside after work. If I’m work alone, I will meet people to balance that if I work in a noisy and hectic environment I might want to balance that with some quiet time, you know, to reflect or whatever it is. So it’s more about finding the balance that truly serves us, and helps us meet our needs and build a more nourishing routine. And I think it was a huge realization for people during COVID, that it’s not egoistic, to think about our own needs, and to take care of ourselves because we want to thrive, rather than just, you know, survive in this world and keep chasing our own tail. Absolutely, you know, a previous guest, her name is Kristel Bauer that I had on the podcast, use the same term, the work life harmony that you use, and I, I think it perfectly illustrates, at least, you know, why that’s perhaps a more accurate term than then, you know, trying to understand work life balance instead. Because when you think of balance, it’s like, almost like a scale, where it’s this constant battle to keep the scale in balance. And so think about like, the, you know, the tension, the anxiety that is produced by trying to maintain this balance. But, you know, the, the way that crystal described it with work life harmony is, you know, instead of always just spending our mental energy trying to keep this balance, even, you know, allow, allow this blur allowed things to cross into each other. But at the end of the day, find meaning, find purpose and find value, because that’s, that’s the thing that is going to be what nourishes us. And, you know, avoids that anxiety around, you know, always having to keep the balance even.
Davida Ginter 41:51
Yes, and when we need to be creative there, in finding the solutions that work for us, creativity is not just about knowing how to sketch well. It’s also about finding creative solutions to new situations. And we are all humanities now in the new situation, we really need to harness creative thinking at the moment.
Adam Baruh 42:13
Yeah. You know, in chapter seven, you introduce the idea that leaders often feel the need to hide or bottle up their feelings and honesty that they especially feel the need to hide stress and turbulence from their own colleagues and employees. And, you know, for me, looking back, I can point to numerous examples of this in my own leadership, you know, I attribute at least my own experiences with that to impostor syndrome quite a bit, where, you know, I thought I had to, like present myself a certain way. But what, you know, why do you think in general, we do this as changemakers? Or leaders? What you know why, in your opinion, do we feel like we have to not be truthful or authentic to ourselves? I believe we do this. There are many reasons. And some of those are cultural and social. But oftentimes, it’s because we are afraid to be perceived as weak. Right? So leaders or people who are now in charge, they’re afraid that if they will show the slightest sign of vulnerability, or hesitation or doubt, that will be perceived as indecisive as if we are big. And if we can’t, you know, control the situation, why are we even leading. And that was a lesson that I personally had to learn, in the sense that I wasn’t, I was a military officer. And, you know, release from the army went in the corporate world. And I thought I had to be tough, you know, I had to kind of hide my emotions. For people to respect me when I start doing management positions and roles and took me many years to understand that people will still respect me maybe even more, because then they could relate. Exactly, I will actually show what I feel in the right setting, you know, in the appropriate moment and everything but still, there’s a way to do it, be vulnerable, be real, be authentic, and people will still trust your leadership because you’re relatable and you’re human. Exactly. I and I’ve shared on this podcast kind of my own experiences with that I I’ve talked about how growing up I’ve always been a highly sensitive person. I’ve always had a very heightened sense of empathy and emotion and in business myself, especially in the tech industry, where there’s a lot of ego at play. I’ve felt I’ve had to be someone else and really hide my true sensitivity, thinking that that was a weakness that was a character flaw of myself. And it really wasn’t until last year and I started to do the work with my coach where I, I recognized, you know, what was I doing this whole time really looking at that as my weakness one truly now, I think it’s my number one superpower. I think it’s my unique makeup and why I’m here on this mission. And, you know, another another thing and I touched on it my intro my own painful experiences with anxiety and negative self talk. You know, I think much of my own healing in the last year or so, has been in sharing my own story and demonstrating that being vulnerable is okay. You know, in general, we easily assume people will stop liking us or admiring us if we share any story of failure. And you gave me the perfect segue I want to make one more quote from your book if I can. The continual attempt to appear successful and mistake proof is a massive time and energy waster while talking openly and authentically about what you have been experiencing is a much more effective way to sustain your motivation and grow even stronger. Would you mind sharing examples in your own life of you know, where you’ve grown stronger through opening yourself up and being vulnerable? Just last week, I stood on stage. And I, I was asked to give a 10 minutes talk TED style. And originally I’ve written something about burnout and everything and the coach, the speaking coach who worked with all the speakers pulled me aside afterwards after the first rehearsals and she said, you know, you’ve been very professional and everything but you’re not bringing yourself. I want to hear you. Where do you struggle where and and, you know, I went I drove home thinking about everything. She said the first reaction was resistance, what is she even talking about? Right? Then I slept on a walk up the next morning, and it suddenly hit me. First of all, she’s writes, I need to give something of myself from myself to put myself out there. And secondly, it’s it’s again about the question of being relatable. So eventually I delivered the talk, while the entire two to three minutes even. Just a big piece. So out of 10 minutes talk was about a huge failure. Huge mistake I’ve made in one of my first jobs as a news editor. We almost got sued for that the newspaper, they forgave me everything was okay. But it’s taught me a lot. First of all the mistake and you know, going through that and but also last week taught me about, you know, standing on stage in front of live audience talking about my failure, and sharing what have I learned from that? And that was a powerful moment for me. I don’t know about the audience. I felt empowered. By in sharing this. It sounded it sounds to me like you responded, instead of reacting.
Davida Ginter 48:28
Yeah, in a way. That’s yeah.
Adam Baruh 48:32
Well, thank you for that. And, you know, as we close here today, I’d like to change our focus away from your book, and instead talk about the work that you do today. Tell us where the ideas for in Enkindle Global and Be The Change came from. And what each of these organizations focuses on?
Be the Change was the first business venture that I found that I came back from studying in Sweden came back to Israel. And I wanted to support leaders in driving, social change, you know, being the catalyzers. So I started with a change, which was we delivered many programs and workshops for entrepreneurs and leaders and sometimes even activists who needed help to turn their vision into reality. And that’s also where I know this change maker is going through burnout and this is how in Enkindle Global eventually was born, which is the current main mission and my and ours business venture. And basically, in Enkindle Globall, which started from working with individuals, we brought in people to go through the workshops, it expanded to be working with systems, organizations of different types, from nonprofits to companies, sometimes, you know, corporates, really different saizen in character, and our main work is to facilitate processes. So we walk in, usually my first question to the CEO, do you have a marketing strategy in place? And you said yes. Do you have a financial strategy? Of course, then what about the well being strategy? And they go, Okay, we did not think about that. Because, you know, who think about these things? So this is what we do. We facilitate a process that helps them build a well being strategy and then implement that. So how do we really take care of people’s well being, motivation, engagement, well being stress management, all those sorts of issues, resilience within the workplace, but build upon a strategy. And of course, there are workshops and trainings, but this is the core, this is the main idea of what we do to shift the culture towards well being.
Adam Baruh 51:01
Yeah, that’s great. Okay, so finally, where can people find out about you and get connected? My personal website would be the perfect address de vida kinter.com. And I’m also very active on LinkedIn, I believe that’s where we met. And people can find me on LinkedIn, the Davida Ginter. And usually very responsive, because I like conversations as you know this already. Well, thank you for today’s conversation. You know, this has been really meaningful to me. As I’ve said, I’ve resonated with your message and your work very personally. So thank you, you know, for for the work that you’ve been doing to help recognize and prevent burnout. And, you know, I’ve learned a lot today, you know, and how to challenge myself and think about ways to keep my own fire burning. So thank you for being my guest here today. Thank you for the invitation. Davida Ginter is the co founder and CEO of in Enkindle Global, an organization that leads global efforts to eliminate burnout. She’s the author of the book, Burning Out Won’t Get You There, which features interviews and conversations with worldwide leaders and changemakers. She’s also the founder of the sustainability center Be the change and has been recognized internationally for her work in the field of values based communication for sustainability. You can read more about Davida on our website, www.eiqmedialllc.com/thechange. Our theme song and sound engineering was provided by Shane Suffriti You can listen to more of Shane’s music at www.shanesuffiti.com If you have a story to share about burnout, or if you’d like to tell us what you think about our podcast, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you all for listening. We’ll see you next time on The Change.
EIQ Media, LLC 52:57
The Change is produced and distributed by EIQ Media LLC. Elevate your emotional IQ with podcast and content focus on leadership, mental health, entrepreneurship and more.