Lisa Lloyd is a UK-based Psychologist and Psychotherapist. She took some time out from running her successful coaching practice - It's Time for Change - to tell us about which type of leaders inspire her, and why it's essential to stay true to your values.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
I want people to be their best! When we get people right, we get business right.
I left teaching to work with families disadvantaged by the system. I focused my career on making a difference for people across society; starting in socio-economically challenged communities and ending up in workplaces. That's when I founded It's Time for Change.
Being a chartered psychologist and psychotherapist gives me a point of difference to understand what's going on and support meaningful development. My drive to get workplace cultures right for people to be happy and engaged has put me where I am today.
What kind of work does your role involve?
I use research-informed practice and psychological expertise, in partnership with organisations, particularly SMEs, to bring about sustainable improvements for people to engage. I provide consultation, coaching and training across organisations. My role is always bespoke.
I work with leadership to develop a culture for employees to thrive, embrace change, have a voice, and shape work practice that enables people to be their best. I support managers to gain the skills and confidence to connect and engage with cohesive teams. I provide employees with knowledge and strategies to achieve mental well-being, including extending mental health first aiders' professional development.
What gets you excited about your industry?
Empowering people to fulfil their potential and be fully engaged and happy in what they do really excites me! The tide has turned, and good leaders now recognise the need to put people first for business to succeed; encompassing an honesty and willingness to explore what it means to develop good emotional health, mental fitness and connection with work.
It's an exciting time that has allowed me to join regional steering groups, collaborate with the top level of organisations to lead culture change, and fundamentally be part of a significant movement that sees people become their best.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Don't eat yellow snow!
Second best: Stay true to my values.
It's easy to get swept along without pausing to check that work fits with what's important. I juggle my business with being a mum, so I am selective about who I work with. I plan carefully to make sure I achieve the best outcomes in the most efficient way. I engage with people who really want to make a difference, not those who want to tick boxes. I aim to feel a sense of meaning, purpose and achievement as much as I build that for my clients.
What, or who inspires you?
I'm inspired by company leaders who clearly demonstrate their ability to inspire, and put first, their employees. These people believe that we could achieve huge results if we all started to do things a little differently. The figureheads who dare to be open, authentic, vulnerable, hear what others say and allow them to shape the future, and are keen to learn and develop current practice are truly motivational.
I'm not impressed by 'status', intellect and egotists, but by the often understated individuals who really want to do things better.
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in the industry?
My practice is evidence-based, and so I read reports for up-to-date research. This helps me identify what has the most impact and the cost of not getting it right.
I also learn from my peers on LinkedIn and at events where experts and role models share good practice. I enjoy listening to what others have to say, assimilating that with my beliefs, practice, and development. I read professional publications such as The Psychologist and The Human Givens journal, and books written by leaders in their field.
I share what I know via LinkedIn, my website blog, and my monthly company bulletin.
What was the most challenging project or assignment you've worked on?
Recently I inspired a company director, who attended a talk I provided, about how to gain employee insights using an approach I've developed. The process is led by human interaction and as such, aimed at groups that can fit into a room. The director then asked me to roll out Insights to his client of 23,000 staff!
After many conversations about the specific needs and parameters, unpicking what I'd initially created, and re-working it to fit with existing measures and processes, we created bespoke Insights. It required true collaboration and a vulnerability and honesty on my part, which was respected by the client.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
I'd quietly enjoy it!
Haha! Not really, but what a dilemma!
Of course, I should hand it in, but I think about the good that money could do, in making a significant difference in the world. Right now, I'd get everyone vaccinated against Covid so that life can resume with a sense of normality. That has got to be a priority. The impact of businesses re-opening, kids returning to school, reduced tension in households and a much-needed improvement in emotional and economic health.
Now, that would be a great way to spend $10 million!
How do you switch off after a day at work?
How I switch off completely depends on the type of day I've had. I might need to run fast. Or I jump on my bike and enjoy the country lanes and, depending on the time of year, excessive mud or sunshine. I love being outside and getting involved with adventure.
At other times I'm partial to a G&T (ok, I'm a real fan!) and I love crashing out with my husband to enjoy a boxset or movie. Weekends are about meeting up with friends, eating good food and maybe even dancing!
And I always end the day with my book.
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
My wish would be for ALL company leaders to make their employees' well-being and mental fitness integral to their business plans. That would mean ensuring employees plan for and implement activities to boost their ability to thrive throughout the day.
Getting beyond words and turning rhetoric into action by modelling from the top, asking people what gets in the way, taking time to understand and helping overcome barriers, is real change. Only when we have employee-led cultures where self-care is the norm will we eradicate stress and disengagement.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
Nine Lies About Work by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall (2019) was a pivotal guide for me - it was like reading a book I'd commissioned! It provides excellent data and examples of practice that I've been developing for the last few years. I love the notion of turning things on their head (hence my website video where I'm on my sofa in the garden!), and this text boosted my confidence to challenge leaders and everyday practices that companies take for granted. It really resonates with my questioning style and approach to finding better ways that work in the real world.
How should people connect with you?
Phone me! I'm a fan of natural, impromptu conversations that also mean I can get outside and walk and talk; a win-win all round!
However, in reality, I'm often on email, Zoom and LinkedIn, so here are my details:
Phone: +44 7766 252574
I don't mind how you get in touch as long as you connect so that we can get to know each other, share our passions, and work through the sticking points that are getting in the way of being the best we can.
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