In the Now Podcast: Episode 28

Join Nowspeed's CEO, David Reske, as he engages in discussions with founders, marketers, and CEOs from around the globe. Delving into the realm of marketing and leadership, aiming to unravel the myths and misunderstandings that often surround these topics.

What Leadership Skills Create a Mentally Healthy Workplace?

What leadership skills create a mentally healthy workplace? Joel Bennet of Presence Quest joins David Reske of Nowspeed on this week’s episode of “In the Now” to expose the myth that you need to invest heavily to create a healthy workplace. While employee assistance and mental health programs have their place, it turns out that good leadership skills are the key to creating a workplace that lowers stress and keeps employees engaged. Leaders are made during stressful situations. Do you have what it takes? Watch this engaging conversation to learn more about the leadership character qualities that matter!

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Episode Transcript

In the Now: Joel Bennett

Is the response to failure the real litmus test of leadership? And does creating a mentally healthy workplace have to be expensive? Joel Bennett shares his thought-provoking and science-based answers in this insightful conversation with Nowspeed’s David Reske. 

Watch the full interview with Joel Bennett here and read an excerpt from the interview below. 

Nowspeed: Welcome to this edition of In the Now with your host David Reske, CEO of Nowspeed Marketing. Our program is dedicated to dispelling myths and misconceptions about leadership and marketing, and today, we’re fortunate to have a distinguished guest, Joel Bennett. Joel has a PhD and is the CEO of Organizational Wellness and Learning Systems whose mission is to cultivate healthy cultures and communities from the inside out, guided by science, and it has so far influenced over 250,000 workers. Joel is not only a successful CEO but also a prolific writer, having authored or co-authored more than 30 peer-reviewed scientific articles and seven books. 

Joel, it’s a pleasure to have you here today. With your extensive body of written work, it’s intriguing to wonder, do you have a favorite among the books you’ve written?

Joel: Thank you for having me, Dave. To answer your question, my most recent book, titled “The Connoisseur of Time, An Invitation to Presence,” holds a special place for me. This book was just recognized as an Amazon Best Seller. It’s a piece of work that is particularly relevant to leadership, as it invites leaders to cultivate a deeper sense of presence.

Nowspeed: That sounds fascinating. It resonates with a recent experience my daughter had. She completed a ten-day silent retreat and learned a lot about engaging with her thoughts and being present. Your book seems like it would be relevant to her experience.

Joel: That’s wonderful to hear about your daughter’s experience. She, and anyone else interested, can download the book at no cost from www.presentsquest.life. But of course, I won’t dissuade anyone from purchasing it on Amazon and hopefully leaving a positive review!

Nowspeed: I appreciate that, Joel. Moving towards the primary interest of our audience — leadership. I’d like to start a conversation about a prevalent myth about leadership. Many believe that creating a mentally healthy work environment is an expensive endeavor. Could you shed some light on this?

Joel: I’d be happy to, Dave. If you’re an authentic leader who “walks the talk,” the cost isn’t as high as many believe. When you promote wellness through your actions rather than just words, and you’re sensitive to the work environment, the pace of work, and you exercise compassion, the costs of investing in wellness, well-being, or mental health programs can be significantly reduced. This isn’t to say that there are no costs, as providing full-service employee assistance involves some expense. But the costs can be considerably mitigated depending on how you treat yourself and others.

Nowspeed: That’s a profound insight, Joel. Could you expand on what qualities a leader must embody to create a mentally healthy work environment?

Joel: I don’t focus on traits or character for leadership exclusively. While our book “Heart-Centered Leadership” discusses virtues and our “Best Self at Work” addresses strengths, my belief is that leadership, especially in the present time, involves other qualities such as vulnerability, agility, adaptability, and flexibility. Open-mindedness, humility, and self-care are also important. It’s not just about the traits themselves, but how you respond to challenges, stressors, and failure. Responding to failure is a critical leadership quality, particularly as you rise in the ranks.

Nowspeed: I couldn’t agree more. It feels easier to embody qualities like vulnerability, agility, and flexibility when everything is going smoothly. But, as you mentioned, it’s in the response to failure where true leadership is tested. Is that the real litmus test of leadership?

Joel: Exactly, Dave. Genuine leadership is not just about steering the ship in calm waters, but how effectively you navigate it through the storm. The real test of a leader is how they handle failure and adversity. Those challenges bring out the true character and resilience of a leader…

Make sure to watch the interview with Joel Bennett in its entirety here