Jennifer Moss Show Notes Page
Jennifer Moss had two young kids when she founded her company and then her husband became almost fatally ill. They thought he would never walk again, but after a six-week recovery where he focused on gratitude, they realized they found a new passion that changed their narrative.
Jennifer was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba but moved quite a bit when she was young. She lived all around Ontario including Waterloo, then Ancaster. In University, she went to Ottawa then London. After University, she lived in Toronto then San Jose, California but now she is back in Waterloo, Ontario along with her husband Jim and three kids Wyatt, Olivia, and Lyla. She will always miss the weather in California but is happy to be back home close to family in Canada.
Jennifer was raised by two awesome parents. She has a wonderful brother and sister who are almost a decade older than her. Jennifer jokes that she was a bit of a surprise. The family is very close, often gathering for Sunday dinners. Her parents nannied all three kids – even living with Jennifer in California so her kids would be exposed to a multi-generational household. She speaks to her parents every day still and they are often over at the house.
Jennifer’s parents were hugely impactful on her career. Her dad, Douglas had a great “rising star” story. He started his career sweeping up the banks and then went on be a Regional Vice President. Jennifer loved his brand of work ethic. It taught her about paying your dues, being grateful for the work, and that no job is beneath you. Jennifer is proud to get her hands dirty all the time in her company.
Her mom Sally, gave Jennifer her entrepreneurial spirit. She became one of a small group of nurse practitioners – hand selected by one of the most recognized medical institutions in the world. Sally would later leave nursing and start up a retail business as she always loved to sew and it became a passion-project-turned-business later in life. Sally would go on to be a manufacturer, run a team of seamstresses, own three retail stores and grow her efforts into a million-dollar business.
Jennifer’s career has been a “slow and steady wins the race” story. She studied communications in University and today she’s the Chief Communications Officer at Plasticity Labs. She started in communications in television, went on to film (loved it!), then stayed in communications in HR/big corporate/tech in Silicon Valley. This is where Jennifer believed she experienced the greatest amount of learning and developed a passion for purpose-driven work. It was during this time in her career that she received an award of Service from President Obama and attended his inauguration. It taught her that she wanted to make more of a social impact. Ironically, she moved back to Canada and then went on to lead the PR and Social Media team at an agency, a job she ended up hating because it was the opposite of purpose-driven. But, as the sole income earner at the time Jennifer stuck it out. It would end up being an important tool in her work building empathy in leadership and would teach her how to coach managers “what not to do” in their roles.
Jennifer is the author of Unlocking Happiness at Work: How a Data-driven Happiness Strategy Fuels Purpose, Passion and Performance and feels the most fulfilled and passionate she has ever been in any job and she plans to keep this one for good. They are on a mission at Plasticity Labs to give 1 billion people the tools to live a happier, healthier, higher-performing life. They are working on that goal right now.
Tweetable Quotes and Mentions
“One of the most important economic shifts we’re seeing right now is a desire to change the workplace.” -Jennifer Moss Click to Tweet
“We’re going to see a lot of big organizations start to fail at recruiting and retaining people.” -Jennifer Moss Click to Tweet
“If we invest in well-being and happiness, it translates into high performance in every job.” -Jennifer Moss Click to Tweet
“We’ve been measuring for so long this antiquated metric of engagement.” -Jennifer Moss Click to Tweet
“When you look at purpose-driven jobs, engagement is high.” -Jennifer Moss Click to Tweet
“We’re not catching things like compassion fatigue, empathy fatigue, depletion, stress, anxiety and that’s killing our workforce.” -Jennifer Moss Click to Tweet
“We can look at how well-being and healthiness and happiness contribute to goals.” -Jennifer Moss Click to Tweet
“As humans we tend to over-complicate solutions.” -Jennifer Moss Click to Tweet
“We’re not doing a good job of understanding that it’s about individual experiences at work.” -Jennifer Moss Click to Tweet
“Every single organization has a different culture than another.” -Jennifer Moss Click to Tweet
“What is the secret sauce for organizations that drives and motivates people?” -Jennifer Moss Click to Tweet
“In a lot of organizations, trust and communication is one of the biggest happiness detractors.” -Jennifer Moss Click to Tweet
“We have a fairly disengaged global workforce.” -Jennifer Moss Click to Tweet
“You can’t ask someone to meet certain expectations if you’re not going to give them the tools to meet them.” -Jennifer Moss Click to Tweet
“When you look at the key traits to being happy, mastery is a very important part of that.” -Jennifer Moss Click to Tweet
“Life is a bit of triage and priority setting.” -Jennifer Moss Click to Tweet
“You can have anything, not everything.” -Jennifer Moss Click to Tweet
“It’s our flexibility and resilience that’s going to make us have the most successful lives.” -Jennifer Moss Click to Tweet
Hump to Get Over
Jennifer Moss had two young kids when she founded her company and then her husband became almost fatally ill. They thought he would never walk again, but after a six-week recovery where he focused on gratitude, they realized they found a new passion that changed their narrative.
Advice for others
Be patient that it will all work out.
Holding her back from being an even better leader
I get distracted by all the things I want to do.
Best Leadership Advice
Practice the Golden Rule.
Secret to Success
Intuition. I have a good gut and anytime I don’t follow it I get into trouble.
Best tools that helps in Business or Life
My Outlook Calendar.
Contacting Jennifer Moss
Email: jen [at] plasticitylabs.com
Resources and Show Mentions
54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward faster. Get your free list today.
Show Transcript:Click to access edited transcript
Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we uncover the leadership like hat that help you to experience, break out performance faster and rocket to success. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.
The number one thing that contributes to customer loyalty is emotions. So move onward and upward faster by gaining significantly deeper insight and understanding of your customer journey and personas with emotional intelligence. With your empathy mapping workshop you’ll learn how to evoke and influence the right customer emotions that generate improve customer loyalty and reduce your cost to operate. Get over your emotional hump now by going to empathymapping.com to learn more.
Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader legion today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who’s going to going to finally help us turn what is perceived as intangible into the tangible. Jennifer Moss was born and Winnipeg, Manitoba but moved quite a bit when she was young. She lived all around Ontario including Waterloo and then Ancaster. In University she went to Ottawa and then London. After University she lived in Toronto and then San Jose California but now she’s back in Waterloo, Ontario along with her husband Jim and three kids Wyatt, Olivia and Layla.
Jennifer was raised by two awesome parents. She has a wonderful brother and sister who are almost a decade older than her. Jennifer jokes that she was a bit of a surprise. The family is very close often gathering for Sunday dinners and her parents nannied all three kids even living with Jennifer in California so her kids would be exposed to a multi-generational household. Jennifer’s parents were hugely impactful in her career. Her dad Douglas taught her about paying your dues, being grateful for the work and that no job is beneath you. Her mom Sally gave Jennifer her entrepreneurial spirit she became one of a small group of nurse practitioners hand selected by one of the most recognized medical institutions in the world. Sally would later relieve nursing and start up a retail business as she always loved to sew and it became a passion project that she turned into a million dollar business.
Jennifer’s career has been a “slow and steady wins the race” story. She studied communications at university and today she’s the chief communications officer at Plasticity Labs. She started in communications in television went to film and then stayed in communications in HR in Silicon Valley. This is where Jennifer believes she experience the greatest amount of learning and developed a passion for purpose-driven work. It was during this time in her career that she received an award of service from President Obama and attended his inauguration. It taught her that she wanted to make more of a social impact. Ironically she moved back to Canada and then went on to lead the PR and social media team at an agency a job she ended up hating because it was the opposite of purpose-driven but as the sole income earner at the time Jennifer’s stuck it out. It would end up being an important tool in her work building empathy in at leadership and would teach her how to coach managers what not to do in their roles. Right now Jennifer feels the most fulfilled and passionate she has ever been in any job and she plans to keep this one for good. They are on a mission at Plasticity Labs to give one billion people the tools to live a happier, healthier, and higher performing life and they are working on that goal right now. Jennifer Moss, are you ready to help us get over the hump?
Jennifer Moss: I am ready.
Jim Rembach: I’m glad you’re here. I love the conversation that we had prior to interviewing I hope we can actually replicate some of that because people need to hear some of the things that we were talking about. I’ve given our Legion a little bit about you but can you share what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better.
Jennifer Moss: My current passion is trying to convince global leaders and my government in Canada specifically to invest in a happiness ministry. I want us to have a minister of happiness just like they have in the United Arab Emirates.
Jim Rembach: Okay, so now, as much as—like I introduced you and talk about the intangible what are you talking about? Why in the heck would anybody be interested in having a minister of happiness?
Jennifer Moss: That is a great question. I’m writing a blog right now and the question I included that is why the heck would we want a minister of happiness when we have all these other big problems to solve right now? And there are low hanging fruit that we should be dealing with those things. But one of the most important economic shifts that we’re seeing right now is a desire to change in the workplace and that’s being driven by our biggest work force and our youngest work force who are leaving jobs because they’re unhappy they don’t have the same stuff that we used to have in my mature generation where people at their age aren’t buying homes anymore they aren’t buying vehicles they don’t have to same golden handcuffs so, they will move out of a job if they are feeling a lack of well-being or happiness.
When you look at the workplace and how important that is to create policies and programming and support for these young people who want to find happiness in their rules and they aren’t tied down to you and tied down to a work that has any sort of ownership problem we need to make commitments to that or else we’re going to see a lot of big organizations big corporations, government any sort of industry start to fail at recruiting and retaining those people.
Jim Rembach: Well, one of the things that we also talked about that goes—okay, the whole attracting and retaining is one aspect of a work but we also had talked a little bit about what is intangible or perceived as intangible from a performance management perspective. You shared a particular story and that to me I was like—I knew from an evidence perspective of this case that is out there I think we need to share.
Jennifer Moss: I love the story and I included it in the book. It’s the story of Ruby receptionists. They are based out of or again they are—part of this news are gig economy where you can work from anywhere and you can be a receptionist for any company around the world. Some of these receptionist will manage ten different companies and as you know receptionist is your first line of defense the person that makes your first impressions. What they wanted to understand was how effective are they in their jobs and how can they make sure that they assimilate into the culture even just how can they improve on their typing skills. And so when the CEO decided to look into gratitude and understand that gratitude actually as an intervention will improve performance there’s lots of really great data and science already out there on she (6:34) to spend the next twenty-one days practicing gratitude and then doing their own hack around tracking the data of their performance. And so what they did was they saw after 21 days of practicing gratitude that they were able to reduce errors in their typing by 20-30 % that alone actually saved them $250, 000 dollars a year but it just improved their client relationships it changed the dynamic of their workforce and one of the most prosperous companies and rapidly growing companies now in this space. So, that’s a micro example I think of a broader theme around how we can start to look at these intangibles, as you say, interventions around well-being and happiness this very lofty concept. But if we invest in well-being if we invest in happiness how it translates into higher performance across every job every industry every individual.
Jim Rembach: That might be a micro case but it has macro impacts.
Jennifer Moss: Absolutely, yes.
Jim Rembach: When you start taking—okay, so now I have especially for them as a company I have multiple, I have many receptionist sort of thing about an organization as I have a lot of knowledge workers and I have a lot of contact center agents, you start multiplying these things. It also isn’t just a one-time benefit talking about the analytics and the impact is that it’s year-over-year reoccurring.
Jennifer Moss: Absolutely. We see this across support we work in education, we work in public health we’re able to map patient healing and patient care to happier doctors and nurses to better more well staff it actually reduces the amount of time a patient will be on the drugs after they leave their pain medications after they leave the hospital. We are looking for example, in education we’ve been measuring for so long this sort of antiquated metric of engagement. But when you look at purpose-driven jobs like teachers and doctors engagements are high we show up in our jobs we are there because we care. And yet what happens is we’re not catching things like compassion fatigue, empathy fatigue, depletion, stress, anxiety and that’s killing our workforce that’s killing people individuals like literally actually hurting them and causing death. So, we have to understand that if we can improve those measures by better nuanced, better understanding or through data gathering then we might be able to solve some of these problems by intervening much earlier than we are right now.
Jim Rembach: You bring up a really interesting point about some of the metrics that we’re leveraging and prior to us actually recording is that—I talked about one of the things that I like to say is that when people come to me or they make some type of comment about particular metrics and they talk about certain performance like—well, that’s an intangible. For me I always have to come back and say—the reason it’s an intangible is because you don’t know how to measure it.
Jennifer Moss: Right, exactly. I mentioned with that last case study you can figure out any way to measure anything really. We have the capacity to look at what we care about? What are our goals? For some a non-profit it might be getting more donors for staff inside of an education environment it might be better academic outcomes for students, we have ways to measure this and we can look at how well-being and healthiness and Happiness contribute to those goals. It’s simpler than we think we tend to try to as humans over complicate the solutions and yet we can easily fix these issues. Even just going back to kind of grandma’s rules around kindness and the Golden Rule and all these things that we’re supposed to be working on as just part of who we are. But as we’ve shifted away from some of these parts of our life that encouraged way of behaving it’s getting further and further away from us behaving that way. As we bring those in we can show that it actually increases people’s performance and tie it to the economic benefits because we are in a capitalist society we can prove that then those grammar rules kind of kind of get to come back in a way that’s supported by corporate and by government and all those other people that care about the bottom line.
Jim Rembach: Okay, so as you were talking I started thinking about some of the underlying metrics associated with some of these performance metrics because when you start thinking about the ones that are oftentimes referred to as KPIs, key performance indicators, all of that and what an organization is actually tracking, maybe a department level or a team level of course it goes all the way up into the corporate levels if you start getting the shareholder wealth and value of your publicly traded there’s all kinds of different metrics. But there’s underlying metrics that often are the ones that you should be using from your management perspective because they’re going to drive many of those numbers that are often being tracked at a higher level. So, if you start thinking about some of those micro types of or underlying metrics, what are some of the ones that you see people now looking at that they didn’t looked at before?
Jennifer Moss: Well, we get pretty deep into traits like their site cap and as part as positive psychology and psychological capital and they’re called hero traits but their hope efficacy, resilience, optimism, gratitude, empathy, mindfulness, predicted job satisfaction is important because it actually shows—do you feel like you’re going to come out of whole compression workloads that’s a problem. When you look at accountants they have these seasons that are really tough but they know that they’re going to step to the light at the end of the tunnel so predicted for job satisfaction we combine all that with what MPS, that promoter scores and some of those other scores and bundle it all together and understand what are the culture drivers? That’s like hygiene, trust communication this kind of table stakes inside of organizations when you meld all that together and look at things like hope for example when we see the hygiene of a company their trust and communication dive hope is the first thing to fall off. But if you don’t have hope what happens is you start to see that you might be able to effect change but if you don’t believe in the collective opportunity for change that reduces your hope or your feeling of efficacy so, all of these things tied together into this in creating really small data that is what helps us to analyze if you are in a good place plus it’s also time of measurement so we look at things every 90 days.
then we look at day to day measurement of mood so you can be like we sometimes refer to it as that volatility factor, like in the stock market when people bump in and out of about their volatility range, inside of organizations they have this same thing. We might ask someone on an engagement survey on the day that they didn’t sleep the night before and we asked them to report on their engagement survey they’re going to give you miserable results. But if we ask people every 90 days and sort of getting check points with them we can see how the ebb and flow of everyday life and the nuances of experiences inside of the workplace factored in to that volatility. One of the things that is important to note is we also really want to focus on qualitative feedback. Sometime when I go into a team of 40 and there’s a manager and all I keep hearing about is how bad the coffee sucks inside of their break room sometimes—all it is just saying I hear you. You believe that the coffee sucks and the microwave doesn’t work so I’m going to go and fix that you’re amazed at how much happiness improves inside of these teams. We’re not doing a good job of understanding that it’s about individual experiences the whole being that comes to work and not these giant programmatic sweeping changes that actually feel like they fall on deaf ears.
Jim Rembach: I think you bring up some really good points. For me going from that putting my analytics hat on you’re continually trying to track and understand the independent variables and how they’re driving the dependent variable which is at MPs or whatever it may be that you’re looking and trying to drive. So I would dare to say an organization also has to give you, as well as themselves, the opportunity to do some testing to find out what independent variables are actually going to impact what they’re trying to drive.
Jennifer Moss: That is an excellent point. What we found is that every single organization has a different culture than another. We work with Lululemon and then Banks and startups are very different than these giant global organizations, teachers and then doctors, these are all very different groups of people. And then when you also look inside those organizations what’s the difference between a developer and programmer or an IT engineer versus a salesperson it’s so nuance so we have to understand what is the secret sauce of that organization that drives and motivates those people inside that organization? Blend that with what the stakeholders and the shareholders and the CEO wants to drive towards.
We also understand that if we can put that sort of leadership thinking mixed in with how people are actually driven and then figure out where the gaps are where it’s not meeting those people tie all that together in a bowl and be able to say, okay we know we can’t fix everything the Rome isn’t built in a day, but why don’t we target one thing that we see you’re doing well and then also combat one thing that is going wrong. And seeing that there’s nuances inside of cultures that corporations themselves have their own special culture—Lulu is a great example and that they hire a lot of athletes because athletes are very drawn to their brand. And so you’ve got a certain personality trait there and that they are already doing the work around their own psychological fitness. They’re doing yoga they’re doing meditation they are attracted to their brand and so you’ve got really high performing people that are heading towards them and so their culture has this capacity to attract really exciting young high-performing people. Whereas, you might not see that in an industry that isn’t as alluring or as exciting so there’s different problems there and different issues that you have to solve.
Jim Rembach: I think I also want to go back there’s something that you’ve mentioned that might need to clarify a little bit because unless you’re in it you may not interpret it properly. You said, hygiene, the organizational hygiene. Now, we’re not talking about brushing their teeth and bathing themselves, what are we really talking about?
Jennifer Moss: I use hygiene actually quite a bit—Shawn Achor he wrote the foreword for my book he’s written a couple other books he’s just a fantastic writer, researcher, he came up with the concept of happiness hygiene and it’s this idea of sort of the plasticity piece—practicing every day the ritual of improving your own health. Well, organizations have a hygiene too and you’re right it isn’t brushing your teeth but it is just the table steak stuff where you come to work and you expect a certain level of—commensurate pay you expect to have a desk you expect to have certain things laid out for you. We consider these culture drivers as the hygiene of the organization that needs to be strong or else you won’t have a high-performing happy, healthy, company and that’s the trust and the communication piece and that sort of accountability space where that really does fall through. Unfortunately, in a lot of organizations that trust and communication piece is one of the biggest unhappiness or happiness detractors inside of organizations because they can’t get that right. Part of that is just scale, part of that is that you’re growing too fast, part of that is that we all have different ways that we want to communicate and just in general we have a fairly disengaged global workforce. There’s people there that are actually pulling those happy people away from being happy.
Jim Rembach: As you’re saying that I started thinking about the independent variables that are going to drive the performance that you want, the hygiene is going to be different too. For example, especially when you start talking about—and it isn’t even a generational thing anymore—but you’re asking me to do a particular job and you’re not giving me the tools. You know you want me to do something technical and I’m working off on IBM AH400 green screen—hello!! That’s not a good hygiene.
Jennifer Moss: That is a great example. Again I’m going to steal this from you, you had so many today which is great but that is exactly –yeah, you can’t ask someone to meet certain expectations if you weren’t going to give them the tools to meet them. We need to get better at that. We need to understand that it’s frustrating when you have—technology is a great example because when it’s not working right for people it is extremely frustrating and you start to feel like you aren’t mastering your skills and mastery actually as it relates to happiness. When you look at PERMA and positive psychology, when you look at the key traits to being happy mastery is a very important part of that. When you look at PERMA which is purpose, engagement, relationship, meaning and accomplishment you look at what that means, if you don’t have the tools to be effective you are losing basically these five pillars of what makes you happy in your life and work. Organizations have to get really clear on how to make people feel more effective by providing them the tools.
Jim Rembach: I think you bring up a great point. I was just talking to a friend of mine who’s been with the same organization for over 20 years and he just started a brand new role which is very different from what he was used to doing. And he said, I just feel so overwhelmed I have so many things I need to learn. And so for me as I heard, because of being certified emotional intelligence and all the work that I’m doing and meeting wonderful people like you who just spread my eyes even more wide open is that—what he was talking about was that whole mastery thing he has an insecurity now feels like he’s not competent feels like he’s starting all over again and there’s a lot of insecurities associated with that and as an organization you need to be aware of that and address that so that somebody can be more forgiving of yourself more than anything.
Jennifer Moss: It’s so true. And what happens is this breakdown in succession planning you have someone comes into the role they don’t do a very good job of succession planning or leadership just fit someone into role and then says—you figure it out. And that’s one of the worst things that we can do for high-performing people because they are hardest on themselves and they have high expectations of how quickly they can acclimate but if we don’t have programs that get people feeling like they’re up to the task fast enough then you drive down your resiliency you drive down your hope you don’t feel effective and then you start to disengage. Succession planning is one of the most important ways that we can support these high-performing people to move into new roles.
Jim Rembach: Okay, now I do want to share because but we’re going to have to move on but there were some really important things to me that would help a lot of folks keeps cup of mine and I’m just going to say you guys got to get the book who’s listening. You talked about that H3 model which is focusing on the positive and helping with change and then you also talked about a persist model, we’re not going to have time to go over those maybe we’ll have to get you back, but hey guys you need to get the book Unlocking Happiness at Work-How a Data-Driven Happiness Strategy Fuels Purpose Passion and Performance, and that’s where I am with that right now. As you and I are both very, very passionate about all of this and one of the things that we focused in on the show are quotes to help us give them some extra energy and hopefully be happier. Is there a quote or two that you liked that you can share?
Jennifer Moss: I have lots. But one I love is, “You can have anything but not everything”. For me that’s about prioritization and understanding you have to be hear be in the moment right now and understand that life is a bit of triage and priority setting, I am always asked as a woman who has kids on stage, how do you do it? The answer is I don’t really do it. Either I figure it out as I go but I’m okay with that because as much as I want to do so many different things I have to understand what is my priority every single day and get other people to not burn out not to deplete. I was in Dubai and Arianna Huffington was talking about how we glamorize the leaders that burn themselves out and that is not what we should be doing we should not be glamorizing burnout we should be celebrating people who can prioritize. You can have anything not everything is kind of my motto and I follow it as much as possible.
Jim Rembach: I think that’s a really good one and kind of helps you hopefully stay in the right direction and move that direction faster. When I start thinking about all that and even myself trying to do certain things and staying up late and getting up early and all that I’m like I’m burning myself out too many times. But there’s a lot of humps that you have to get over in order to kind of figure out the best path that’s for you. So for me sometimes I try cycling through and I don’t mean like bicycling cycling through different periods by which—okay, I know I’m going to be up late and then I need to go to bed early drives my wife nuts who’s the accountant she’s like—you were just up till two o’clock last night now you want to go to bed 10:00? I’m like—I have the opportunity to do it so I’ll do it.
Jennifer Moss: It’s so true.
Jim Rembach: Can you share a story about a time when you’ve had to get over the hump so we can learn?
Jennifer Moss: Oh, gosh!! I have a million of them. I am a founder of a start-up and we had two young kids and we came here we’re considered mature founders we didn’t come straight out of university and start this tech company but we came into running Plasticity out of our personal passion sort of story. It started actually when my husband became almost fatally ill. He was a professional lacrosse player and had come off of winning the World Cup and finally beat the US, sorry to say after 28 years of losing granted that was their time, but he has gratitude in the hospital to recover and they didn’t think he was going to walk again. After six weeks we realized that our narrative our mood all of those things impacted our healing and if it changed our lives. We moved back from California to Canada and started this passion project essentially. I t took a lot of our life savings our life our commitment and there were a lot of hurdles along the way where we thought we were going to do this. And then just as we decided to turn down a job for me to work in a very cushy easy comes job we found out we were pregnant with our third. So, when you talk humps and big humps we knew that it would have to be triage. I took the baby, two weeks old, into some of our meetings with our investors it was definitely where passion moved us through those goals. But now I look back and it’s been six years eight years since Jim got sick and I wouldn’t change anything it’s been a driver of my happiness and a reminder of how you can have anything not everything every single every. I think you’re right and that you can choose to go to bed at 10:00 or 2:00 whatever the moment deals you but it’s our flexibility and our resilience that’s going to make us have the most successful lives.
Jim Rembach: Without a doubt, and thanks for sharing that. I think for me hearing you tell that story, and I also had the opportunity to watch it on video when you told it and had a chance to have a little bit more detail associated with it, it was pretty impactful it tugs on you in a lot of ways. I can only imagine that when you reflect upon that time could you ever have foreseen that you would now look back on that in a positive way?
Jennifer Moss: No, the short answer. It wasn’t all at once it wasn’t like we just had some sort of gratitude epiphany and all of those stresses went away there was lots of times where I felt very sorry for myself and sad and it wasn’t a linear path to happiness there were some low moments. I know a year and a half or two later when we really understood that Jim was never going to go back to play there were some moments there where we thought there would be a recovery or comeback and that didn’t happen and so you go down again but what we learned was that we have the capacity to rebuild.
And so the more we suffered losses or the more pain we would go through or the more we were forced to rebound that really did teach us that we can keep dealing with things and so now it’s just a faster process of rebounding we have higher resiliency we’re more fluent in gratitude. When we are being ironic as a co-founders of a happiness company and we aren’t following our rules we get quickly back to them because we know that it works. But we still have—I wrote this article for HBR called, Happiness Isn’t the absence of negative emotions, and it really is about us having a emo-diversity not feeling guilty for feeling sad being okay to be stressed but working on your psychological fitness so that when you deal with trauma then you can come out of it in a in a healthier, higher performing way and not get sort of stuck there. So that’s been the big learning.
Jim Rembach: I’m glad that you shared that. For me when I started thinking about it’s like—okay, we’ll embrace it. Be sad. Be distraught. Embrace it. But you need to learn also when to let it go.
Jennifer Moss: That is the big learning that I had. At first again I was still in this sort of first world problem place we had all the stuff we had all the things we’re living in California great house great jobs but we weren’t actually very happy and so it took me some time through that process to figure what does actually make me happy. It wasn’t the stuff it wasn’t what I’m is quoted on paper as being the definition of the successful life there were other things that made me happy and so that learning and that evolving slowly got me to this place and it makes me not live in that sort of feeling sorry for myself space as much. I still have bon-bon days and the times I just want to eat chocolate and have a glass of wine for myself that’s pretty normal but it’s few and far between versus when I had everything and I felt like that all the time. So, yeah, it’s been quite a journey.
Jim Rembach: Okay, you talked about the council, the global council, you have the practice you have the book and you got a lot of things going on but if you had one goal, just one, what would it be?
Jennifer Moss: One goal? Oh, gosh, it’s funny I just talked about the—have everything not anything—I’ve constantly shiny object I have a real problem with feeling like I’m missing out I think. I do have a goal of writing a children’s book. I spend quite a bit of time working with youth and students we measure the happiness and intervene as young as kindergarteners we’re in testing right now with little JK’s and we’re asking them what makes them happy and do they know what empathy means and we’re measuring in this goal to follow them over the next 20 years in this longitudinal study to see how interventions at three years old impacts the rest of their life, so, that’s pretty exciting. I think my next steps are really focusing in on education and spending more time with little kids and writing children’s books around these hero traits and focusing in on that goal. When I was eight I put in a time capsule that I was going to win the Newbery Award for literature for children’s books so I’ve written the adult book I feel like now it’s my time to write the children’s book.
Jim Rembach: And the Fast Leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.
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Jim Rembach: Alright here we go Fast Leader legion it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Jennifer, the hump day hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Jennifer Moss, are you ready to hoedown?
Jennifer Moss: I’m ready to hoedown.
Jim Rembach: Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?
Jennifer Moss: I think that I get distracted by all the things I want to do, so I have to get better at that.
Jim Rembach: What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?
Jennifer Moss: To be able to practice the Golden Rule which is, Do unto others as they would have treat them, not Do unto others as you would want to treat them.
Jim Rembach: What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?
Jennifer Moss: I have intuition, a pretty good gut and I follow it. Anytime I don’t I get into big trouble.
Jim Rembach: What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?
Jennifer Moss: I absolutely rely on my Outlook calendar, we’re talking about what is required, I have a very busy schedule and I have learned to rely on beeps and signals and Siri and all of those people that help me to be successful.
Jim Rembach: What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners and it can be from any genre, of course, we’re going to put a link to, Unlocking Happiness at Work, on your show notes pages as well.
Jennifer Moss: I love Malcolm Gladwell’s, Blink, I was just in Dubai listening to him speak and he references it but it’s this idea of if we go with our gut we make better decisions every time because our bodies are like human lie detectors so I love his books.
Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader legion, you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to www.fastleader.net/jennifermoss. Okay, Jennifer, this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question. Imagine you were given the opportunity to back to the age of 25. And you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything back you can only choose one. What skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?
Jennifer Moss: Patience. That everything is going to work out just fine. I had a quarter-century crisis like most young people do at 25 and they feel like they have to figure it all out by 25years old and what you realize is that you actually know nothing until you actually go through the experiences of life and then you get really chilled out. I love being 40. I love it. I feel like I’ve got all this relaxed way of thinking about the world and I wish I had that at 25.
Jennifer, it was an honor to spend time with you today can you please share with the Fast Leader Legion how they can connect with you?
Absolutely. I’m active on Twitter, https://twitter.com/JenLeighMoss. I’m on Instagram and LinkedIn on those same URLs and then also https://plasticitylabs.com/
Jennifer Moss, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader Legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot!
Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links, from every show special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.
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