Benefits of Conscious Leadership

Adam Torres and Janine Hamner Holman discuss conscious leadership.

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Show Notes:

Conscious leadership strives to advance current leadership principles and ideas. In this episode, Adam Torres interviewed Janine Hamner Holman, Founder and CEO at J&J Consulting Group. Explore “Conscious Leadership” as presented in Janine’s recent book release, Mission Matters: World’s Leading Entrepreneurs Reveal Their Top Tips To Success (Business Leaders Vol. 8, Edition 7).

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About Janine Hamner Holman

Janine founded J & J Consulting Group LLC.  She brings more than 30 years’ experience using scientifically validated strategies and tools to build high performance teams, enhance organizational development, and develop organizations and leaders with whom everyone wants to work. She has worked with everything from Fortune 200 companies to local nonprofits that are motivated to create a great working environment while also honoring the bottom line. She spent 10 years studying brain science and developed a curriculum to help great organizations create thriving workplaces with engaged, emotionally intelligent, high-performing teams, led by dynamic, innovative and compassionate leaders. She is especially focused on assisting organizations to become an employer of choice to attract and retain superior talent in the coming (and in many industries already here!) era of increased labor competition.

About J&J Consulting Group

J&J Consulting Group has a team of professionals as their trainers, coaches, and speakers, each highly trained in their respective niche. Together they supply a comprehensive solution to meet their client’s needs.

Janine is a nationally recognized expert trained in empowering people, teams and organizations. She has spent the last ten years studying the intersection of brain science, emotional intelligence and communication and has combined them in an accessible and revolutionary way to enable organizations and people to thrive. 

Their team is additionally comprised of a former engineer turned public engagement specialist working in the alternative dispute resolution industry; a nationally recognized expert on working with communities that are impacted by big infrastructure projects with a proven track record of successfully managing emergency deployments and other high pressure situations in a positive fashion; a leader from InterVarsity Campus Fellowship who specializes in working with young people; an executive coach; and a retired VP of Marketing for Warner Brothers. Together their team brings more than 150 years of cumulative experience and expertise to their projects.

Full Unedited Transcript

Hey, I’d like to welcome you to another episode of Mission Matters. My name is Adam Torres, and if you’d like to apply to be a guest in the show, just head on over to mission matters.com and click on Be Our Guest to Apply. Okay, so today is a very special episode. We’re welcoming back Janine Ham Holman, who is.

Officially a published author in one of our most recent business leaders books. Janine, if you didn’t catch the first episode as the c e o of j and j consulting Group. Janine, welcome back to the show. Thank you so much for having me, Adam. I’m thrilled to be here. Oh my gosh. So a long journey.

Long road. Publishing a book is, is never easy. And we’re, we’re finally to the finish line. The book is out. It’s there. We’re out promoting, we’re doing all the promo. I just have to start with saying, H how do you feel? I feel great. I am so thrilled that the book is out there and people are, are enjoying it and appreciating it, not only what I have to say, but also the other authors that we got to collaborate with and in creating this great book.

Wonderful. Well, Danee we’ll get into your, your topic and what you wrote about conscious leadership. Well, obviously you wanna make some distinctions here, what’s conscious leadership versus regular leadership or other styles of leadership. But before we get into that in the book and the subject matter, you already know the drill as a return guest.

We’ll start this episode the way that we start them all with our mission matters minute. So Janine, we at Mission Matters, we amplify stories for entrepreneurs, executives, and experts. That’s our mission. Janine, what mission matters to you? I, I love that. That’s your mission. My mission is to have the world of work be one in which everyone can thrive.

And that’s actually a great segue right into conscious leadership because the first principle of conscious leadership is figuring out your. Mission, your vision, and your. Yeah, it’s great. And love bringing mission-based entrepreneurs on the show and of course publishing them. So great to have you back on.

And I guess just to get this kicked off, I don’t wanna assume that all of our, all of our new listeners and new viewers maybe caught some of our previous work. So maybe let’s just start off with you talking a little bit more about your background and really how you got into entrepreneurship. Great. So like most people, I had a very non-linear path.

To where I am now. My first plan in life was I was gonna be an attorney and I went to work for a couple of really big law firms in New York and I thought, oh, , no, that is not what I wanna do, . And so I did a very small pivot and went to work for nonprofit organizations. For about the next 17 years. And I did a lot of change management work during that time and a lot of training.

And then when the economy got bad again in 2008 I did another small pivot and went to work for a Fortune 200 company. Mm-hmm. . And one of the things I, I, and then I was there for almost a decade and one of the things that was really interesting to. was how the challenges. Opportunities, great things, not so great things.

Mm-hmm. that were happening among people were exactly the same in the small mission-driven nonprofits as they were in a large Fortune 200 company. And so about six years ago, I decided to really pursue my mission and start my own business. Yeah. And and I think that’s a great I want, I want to jump around here a bit, so we’re gonna dive back in, we’re gonna go into your business too.

But and I, and I have some questions for you on that, but before we do let’s talk a little bit about the book. I’ve be, I’ve been waiting all day, all week actually, to talk to you about this. So conscious leadership a lot of different things. Obviously with your background, everything from working with very, very large organizations to to medium and smaller organizations.

A lot of things you could have wrote about. Why did you feel that this topic of conscious leadership was so important to present? That’s a, that’s a great question, Adam. And you know, if you, if you go to a bookstore, even if you look at my little bookshelf behind me, there’s a million books out there on leadership.

And yet organizations like US News and World Report and the Harvard Business Review and the World Global Forum are still saying that we have a crisis in leadership. . 91% of employees think that their manager doesn’t listen. Mm-hmm. . And so what I wanted to get out there is a way in which people who are leaders in their organization can transform their leadership to be more conscious about their leadership and to really move forward.

That idea of having the workplace be one in which everyone can thrive. Yeah. In, in, in your eyes, what’s the difference between, let’s say, leadership and conscious leadership? Like, what are, what are some of the distinctions. So as I created it, conscious leadership has six different main principles.

Mm-hmm. . So as I mentioned, the first one is getting really clear on your mission, your vision, your values, and then the next one is, just deciding to be a leader and as opposed to the way that we often think about leadership, which is that, you know, the c e O is the leader, or my manager is a leader.

Mm-hmm. , my take is you can be a leader from any position in an organization. Really what you get to do is decide to be a leader and then step into that leadership. And so then once you’re clear on your mission, once you’ve declared yourself to yourself to be a leader, then really getting clear about. how we see ourselves and the, and the way that we see ourselves may not be the way that other people see us.

Mm-hmm. . And so really becoming more self-aware. Mm-hmm. gaining skills in what’s off, what’s often called emotional intelligence. So those are the first three pillars. And then listening. being open, willing to be vulnerable, and then being curious. And those are really the six pillars that distinguish a conscious leader from an unconscious leader or some other kind of leader, a servant leader, or all the other different distinctions that are out there around leadership.

Yeah. And and we’ll, and just for, for the audience. So we’re gonna pick a, a couple of different points here. We won’t go into everyone in that, that Janine wrote about. And and I’ll tell you why, because we want you to still buy the book. Hey, I’m a publisher, right? I wanna sell you some books as well.

And there’ll be a link in, there’ll be a link in the in the show notes where that, you can click on that. You can, you can pick up a copy. But some of the, some of the topics. And ideas proposed. So I’ll just read some of the headings. So conscious leadership with a mop, determining conscious values putting your leadership style to the test or putting your leadership to the test.

Become more self-aware. Listen up. So when I, as I’ve kind of gotten to know you more and, and how you work with your clients in your practice I can see the correlations. I can also see like how your style, it just kind of shines through the writing. So conscious leadership. With a mop what does that mean,

So I, I love this story and I tell it a lot and, and if you’ve heard me tell this story, I apologize, but I think it’s a great illustration of this idea that you can lead. for many place in an organization. Mm-hmm. . So a couple years ago, a year and a half ago maybe, I was having a conversation with a c e O of a major hospital chain here in Southern California.

Mm-hmm. . And in his hospitals people can, employees can choose their own scrubs. So often in a hospital, you can tell who’s a surgeon or who’s a nurse or who does this kind of surgery. Based on the color of their scrubs in his hospital. You can’t, cuz everybody gets to choose their own. Mm-hmm. . And so he was walking the floors and he was talking to people and he was asking them.

What their role was and, and thanking them for their service because of course, as we know, hospitals are still having a hard time. And so this one day he came across one gentleman and he asked that gentleman, what is your role here? And that gentleman said, my job is to clean the floors. And the CEO said, thank you so much.

And it makes such a difference in having our hospital clean, especially during Covid. And then he came across another gentleman and he asked that gentleman, what is your job here? and that gentleman said, my job is to have my floors shine. Yeah. So that my patients heal faster. Wow. And the ceo, right. And the CEO said to me that guy’s job here is the same as my job here.

We’re on the same mission. And the way that he understood his role inside of what the hospital was up to. Mm-hmm. , that’s what leadership is about. And so it doesn’t, or that’s what conscious leadership is about. Mm-hmm. . And so it doesn’t make a difference if your job is cleaning the floor or if your job is to be the c e o.

Yeah. When you make those connections between what the organization is up to and your role in it. and you decide to own that and step into your own leadership. Yeah, that’s really the first two steps of becoming a conscious leader. . Hmm. So, speaking of becoming a conscious leader, I know there’ll be some people that watch this and they’re, and they’re, you know, we all, we all start at different levels in our, let’s say, our leadership journey, right?

I can say that I’m growing many of the people watching this. I hope you admit you’re growing too, right? So that being said, if you wanna start, you know, transitioning and leaning towards this idea of conscious leadership what are some, what are some tips or some ways to kind of start inching in that direction?

So, a buy the book. It’s got some great tips in it, and if you don’t wanna buy the book, totally cool. One of the best ways easy, well easy, simple list ways, yeah. For people to start is by working on listen. And we all, as humans, we have collapsed the idea of hearing and listening. So right now, Adam, you and I are having a conversation.

Those folks who are hearing this conversation are hearing the conversation. Yeah. They may or may not be. Listening. Listening is actually a skill. So unless we’re hearing impaired, we hear, we hear sounds in our environment. Yeah. When we listen, it is a conscious choice. Mm-hmm. . And the more closely we listen, the more the other person feels.

both heard and even more importantly, understood, gotten. There’s a lot that we’re talking about now in the world of work around belonging and people feeling like they belong and why that matters to an organization. Mm-hmm. the best way to have people feel like they belong, have the experience of belonging.

Mm-hmm. is being listened to. . Well, yeah. And so I think that is one of the simplest places to. Yeah, I always think that when we, when we talk about this too, it’s so, it’s so tricky because if you’ve never had the experience of being on the other side of like really being listened to, it’s not a natural, like it’s, it’s not something I feel like comes natural to us nowadays.

I don’t know, I’m not getting into evolution or all that other stuff, but . But nowadays, if I feel like it’s not something that comes natural for, for many, especially as I mentioned, like if you’ve. Felt like you’ve really been heard or listened to. Right. Any, any tricks that you do or like, just things that you’ve done and that you know, that kind of like hone your listening skills?

Yeah. So the first thing that we wanna do is we wanna put down our phones. We wanna put down our devices. We wanna stop doing whatever it is that we were doing, and we wanna really pay attention. To the other person. We, we humans also believe in a myth that humans can multitask. About 15 years ago, I got really interested in, in this machine that lives in our head called our brain.

Yeah. The reality is our brain. cannot multitask. Mm-hmm. , what we’re doing when we think we’re multitasking is we’re just flipping our attention quickly between one thing and another thing. But if you’ve ever been watching a TV show and then you pick up your phone and you do something and you come back to the TV show, you’re like, wait a minute.

What? What are what? What’s happened here? We can’t actually pay attention to two things at the same time. So the first thing that we wanna do is we wanna stop everything else. And actually focus on the other person. We wanna make eye contact and there’s some cultures in which making the Native American culture, for instance mm-hmm.

making eye contact isn’t really something that they do. And so if you’re, if you’re in that kind of culture, you wanna figure out another way that is culturally resonant mm-hmm. to feel connected to, to know, have that other person, know that really you are paying attention to them. . Yeah. And then you wanna check in with them.

So you can say things like, oh wow, Adam, that was really interesting. Here’s what I think I heard. Did I get it right? Yeah. So that if you didn’t get it right, they can help you tweak. And when you start doing that, Just like anything, when we start doing it, it feels super weird and very artificial. I mean, I remember when I was five and learning how to ride a bike, I stunk at it, but the more I did it, the better I got and the less weird it felt.

And so checking in with people, here’s what I think I heard. Did I, did I pick up what you were putting down? Did I, yeah. Did I get it? That, that check-in is part of what then has people know, oh wow. She really is trying to listen to me. Mm-hmm. and she actually cares whether or not she fully got it, so.

Mm-hmm. . So did she fully get it? Because sometimes also when we’re talking, we’re not listening to ourselves. . Hmm. And so then the other person may be like I, I, I don’t know. I don’t know. . That sounds pretty good ish. You know, I, I think, I think you got it. Yeah. And then it also trains us to listen to ourselves.

Mm-hmm. better and to be more conscious about the words that we’re putting out there. Words matter, language matters. Faces matter. Mm-hmm. , it’s one of the reasons why during Covid. , you would have a number of zooms in a day and then you would get done and you’d be like, oh my God, I am ex exhausted. The zombie

Why am I so tired? I’ve just been sitting in this chair. looking at a computer. Yeah. It’s, it’s physically, because our brains are so used to having a full body to interact with, you may know that that old statistic, you know, 98% of communication is not verbal. Yeah. So our brains are used to paying attention to the body language and the hand motion and the facial expressions of other people.

Yeah. When all we get is this, it’s very hard for our brains. To really be able to tune in. It’s one of the big challenges that organizations are having to figure out in the, you know, working from home, virtual hybrid world that we’re now all living in. . Yeah. That’s great. And it, and it reminds me of I remember talking to somebody about, like, about listening and what it looked like, and, and I remember telling them, well, I, I try to put a percentage on it, like, that’s what I do.

I’m like, well, I try to make sure the other person’s talking, maybe depending on this. Near like 80% of the time, if it’s about them, if it’s about them and I’m not delivering instruction. And this person, they, they took that like to heart and and so they went, they went away. They, they said, they were like a networking event and they were like really quiet and it, it was, and it comes back to me, tells me, Adam, it, it, it was very awkward.

Like I was not, they were talking to me, but I didn’t wanna go over that 20%. Like, and I was like, well, wait a minute, where were you at? And he’s, and he told me, he is like, well, I was at a networking event. I said, well, if you’re a networking event, you’re sharing with each other, that’s not a client meeting.

It just can change. And, and the reason, the reason I bring that up, the only reason I bring that up is to say that that in all of this, We’re still humans. We wanna have connection. We wanna like listening. If you take a little bit of what Janine just shared, just a little bit with you, and if you just implement just a percentage of that, like it will make a difference.

Cause I’ve seen it time and time again. But just remember, we’re human. Like we’re human. You still want the connection piece, but that’s not an excuse. You can listen still, . Absolutely. Yeah. One of my longtime mentors used to say, with any new information, take 10. And by that she meant take 10 years to really get good at it.

Hmm. Any of this stuff that we’re learning, it takes a while. Yeah. So let’s let’s, let’s shift a little bit here, Janine. I want to I wanna circle back and I wanna get into j and j Consulting Group. So for those that maybe haven’t kept some of our previous work tell, I mean, tell us more about the company.

So, j and j Consulting Group, it’s what’s called an organizational development. Consulting group. And so what that means is we work inside of an organization on anything that has to do with how people are interacting with each other. So it’s everything from massive cultural change. Realizing that the culture of an organization isn’t what you want it to be, to doing small things like.

Working with an organization on getting better, it’s people getting better around emotional intelligence. Mm-hmm. So we work around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. We do seminars and webinars on listening. I’m also a keynote speaker and so I’ve been doing a lot of, I’ve been giving a lot of talks actually on conscious leadership and all the different pieces of that and why it matters.

for leaders today. You know, leadership today is so different than it was 20 years ago. What it meant to manage people is so different today than it even was 10 years ago. Yeah. And so helping, especially people who are in the older generations in the workplace, understand and, and embrace what it is that the younger generations coming up need.

To feel connected, to stay at an organization to make that investment. That’s a lot of what we do. What do you attribute maybe some of that, that evolution to, in, in leadership? Like what, what are you seeing cuz you work with, I mean, many organizations from, from very large to small. Like, what are you seeing?

So it’s, it’s, you know, the way that society moves is a, is a fascinating thing to watch and. as the millennials and the Gen Zs who are coming up after them. Mm-hmm. are becoming more powerful in the workplace. The reality is that the Gen Zs, so I’m the very last year of the Baby Boomers. I was born in 1964, so you don’t have to do math.

That means I’m 57. Mm-hmm. , and when I was growing, , the consciousness of my generation based on our parents and our grandparents was get a job. , keep the job. Shut up. Suck it up. Yeah. Do whatever needs to be taken. Don’t, don’t lose your job. That’s what stability is all about. And what we need is stability.

Yeah. As time has gone along, that idea has become more and more antiquated and people’s idea around work and meaning. At work has changed dramatically. I think part of it is because of the evolution of the cell phone. Mm-hmm. and, and how interconnected we all are. Most people, when they wake up, the first thing they do is check their phone.

Yeah. And so work has permeated into life in a very different way than it was 50, 60, 70, even 20 years ago. Hmm. And so people are demanding, especially younger people are demanding to have work that is me. So, you know, back to the janitors, when an organization can help their people, make the connection between whatever your role is and whatever the organization is up to and can create a, a real synergy and connection between those two things.

Mm-hmm. , then you’re gonna be in that sweet spot where regardless of your role in the organization, people. Connected to making the world a better place by the work that it is that you’re doing. . Yeah. To me I, I, I see this, and, and to hear you say this, it’s kind of like provides a solace to me to hear others, someone else talk about that because the, the I mean, the workplace has just changed.

And the thing is, is, and I, and I’ve kind of seen that like you can, you can try to fight it, but some of the trends are wonderful to me. Like the old, the old school thought process that maybe not everybody had, but it was like exactly what you just said, which. Get the job, keep it, take whatever you have to take, move on that and create, create that stability.

Now, just the fact that people are talking about things like equality, diversity workplace like enjoyment in the workplace. I mean, we spend so many hours working and doing and like whatever our craft that, you know, if, if we can, if we can have some enjoyment in that, if we can have some good human connection, if we can be.

Mission based, whatever your mission is and be, if you can be aligned with an organization and heading in a direction that feels positive to you and your family and your lifestyle. I mean, that’s amazing. That’s like a, it’s a luxury to me. And it’s a, and it’s an increased quality of life for everybody that gets to experience it.

Absolutely. You know, and, and when we think about connection at work, you know mm-hmm. , we’ve, we have, I believe we’ve gone a little too far in, in the way that we talk about some things. You know, we say we want people to bring their whole selves to work. I don’t, not every, no leave. Leave a lot of your personal

I never said that. . You don’t wanna see my whole self at work. And I know we don’t wanna see some other people’s whole selves. I don’t, I do not. You know, so, so we get to figure out and, and each organization gets to figure it out for themselves. What’s the right balance? Because of course, Adam, you and I know like my rights end.

Where your rights begin. And so we’ve gotta have a conversation about what’s the right culture for us. Mm-hmm. in this organization to get the work done and to be able to have meaningful connection at work. And that’s that, that’s both that sweet spot and that tricky spot. So many folks are sort of, have swung one way or the other where they want work to be a party.

We want it to feel like family. Well, I mean, there’s all kinds of families. There’s great families, and there’s massive, massively dysfunctional families. So which kind of fam, which kind of family are we? Mm-hmm. . And what does that mean? You know, people often say like, we’re all about teamwork here. We’re all about integrity here.

what does that mean for your organization? So we’ve gotta make these buzzwords operationalized and then train people in what that means for us here at this organization. What’s the lived experience of that value? . Wonderful. Well, Janine I just have to say it has been great having you on the show today.

I’m excited to continue promoting the most recent release in, in our book together. I’m just excited about it. It’s been, I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback. It’s, it’s been fun and a privileged work with you and I can, and I look forward to our continued working relationship. But that being said I mean, what’s next?

What’s next for you? What’s next for j and j Consulting Group? We’ve got a big opportunity that we are about to sign with a major organization here in Southern California that has been around for a hundred years. Wow. And they have realized that, you know who they were, just like we were talking about who they were a hundred years ago and how they were set up and organized is not how they need to be.

For the going forward. And so we’re getting to, with a number of different consultants to partner together and really take that on and look at how do we set up this big organization to be what it needs to be for the next 100 years. . Oh, that makes me happy. I, I know you’re out here in the world doing great work, but I only get to see you most of the time when we’re recording or when you when you make it up to la.

So either way. Congrats on, on that. Congrats on your success. Thank you. And if somebody is, is watching this or listening to this and they wanna learn more about j and j Consulting Group, what’s the best way for them to. . So the best way is to check me out on Facebook. I don’t mean that on LinkedIn.

I am the only Janine Hamner Holman there. And that’s a great place to sort of find out everything that’s going on. You can also check out my website, which is in the show notes, but it’s j and j cg.com and janine hamner.com, which is my speaker website. . Perfect. And and we’ll, we’ll put all that in the show notes for sure.

And speaking of the audience and if this is your first time listening to a, a Mission Matters episode or engaging with a platform or, or, hey, picking up one of our books we’re all about bringing on business owners, entrepreneurs and executives, and having them. Their mission, the reason behind their mission, why they really, why they do what they do, how they’re doing it, and what we can all learn from that.

So we all grow together. The point of the platform is for us all to grow together. If that type of content sounds interesting or fun or exciting to you, hit that subscribe button because we have many more mission-based individuals coming up on the line and we don’t want you to miss a thing. And Janine, really it has been a pleasure.

I look forward to the next time we get to do this. Thank you so much, Adam. It has been my, my privilege.