Building a Feedback Culture with L. David Kingsley, 3X CPO
Many of us weren’t taught how to receive feedback; rather, it was perceived as a wrongdoing. However, in reality, feedback is a gift and a powerful tool for people to grow as an individual and in their careers.
In our latest episode of LEARN, L. David Kingsley, Chief People Officer at organizations like Intercom, Alteryx, and Velocity, chats with Ted Blosser about why organizations must build a feedback culture for business growth and the new era of learning and development.
“When someone gives you feedback, the first thing to say in your head is, they care about me. And when you change that mindset and put yourself on the receive mode versus the defensive mode,” shares L. David Kingsley. “Hard mindset shift because many of us grew up not being taught how to take feedback because we thought that meant we were doing something wrong. It's actually an affirmation of how much that person, company, or organization cares about us.”
Tune in to hear L. David Kingsley shed light on:
- The role of creating a feedback culture and business impact
- How HR is a trusted advisor to the executive team and business partner
- Why People teams need to rethink L&D and the ROI for company growth
Take a listen on your favorite podcast app.
01:36 - About L. David Kingsley & Intercom
03:56 - HR as a business partner
09:00 - Being a trusted advisor
12:10 - Why talent development is more important than ever
18:28 - New era of HR, L&D & ROI
26:44 - Receiving feedback & building a feedback culture
29:36 - Rapid-fire round
David Kingsley: When someone gives you feedback, the first thing to say in your head is, they care about me. And when you change that mindset, and you put yourself on the receive mode versus the defensive mode, you're gonna hear the feedback. You're gonna incorporate it into your approach or be able to respond to it most effectively when you operate in the, this person is giving me a gift. It may not be a gift that I want. And I'm gonna take this as a way that they're saying I care about you. And I'm taking the time to give you feedback. Hard mindset shift because, again, many of us grew up not being taught how to take feedback because we thought that meant we were doing something wrong. It's actually an affirmation of how much that person or that company, or that organization cares about us.
Ted Blosser: Hi, I'm Ted Blosser, CEO and Co-founder of WorkRamp, where we're redefining the corporate learning space with the world's first all-in-one learning cloud for employee and customer learning. Welcome to the Learn podcast, where we learn from the biggest leaders in SaaS and hear what makes them successful. Hope you enjoy the show. Hey, everyone. Welcome back to the LEARN with Podcast. We have an amazing guest today, L. David Kingsley, the Chief People Officer at Intercom. David, welcome.
David Kingsley: Thank you. Thank you, Ted. It's a pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me.
Ted Blosser: Well, let's get started. Why don't you give us a little bit of an elevator pitch on your career? Today we'll spend most of the time on what it means to be a modern Chief People Officer. And I'll ask you a few questions about that topic, but before we jump into it, give us a, give us that elevator pitch.
David Kingsley: The elevator pitch. Well, the first and most important thing is that I'm the, I'm the proud spouse and partner of my wife, Erin, and dad to our three kids who are four, three, and ten months. Those are, those are my, all the time everyday jobs. So shout out to all the working parents out there. And that's what gives my life a lot of meaning and purpose. On the professional side, I'm the Chief people officer of Intercom. You can find us at Intercom and any website you go to where there's a little smile on the bottom right-hand corner, you kind of see it on my patch here, you click on that and you can interact with our customers on their website through a chat interface. We just went ga with fin chat, G p t powered tool, which is great. Our customers are interacting with their customers and solving cases much faster than ever with the power of ai. So really cool company. Just over 10, 11 years old. Venture funded based in San Francisco, Irish founded. So our largest single office is in Dublin, Ireland. So truly global company, but driving what we believe is the future of customer interactions and having a lot of fun doing it.
Ted Blosser: Well, we're a very happy customer of Intercom. I was in there yesterday in the interface. We're making new product tours. And we should, I don't know if we turn on Finn. Is Finn G can we, we could turn on
David Kingsley: Literally, literally days ago. So previously there was a, a limited, but we're GA now, and so come on in. The water's warm.
Ted Blosser: All right, we gotta call our sales rep. Excellent. well, you have such an amazing background through many companies like Salesforce, velocity, Alteryx, we'll get into that too. But as I mentioned, at the top of the discussion, we'll actually talk about, I would call it the core pillars of chief people, of the chief people officer role, or VP of HR role. And actually just get your take on each of them especially in this market focus on efficiency and productivity. The first area, or the first pillar I wanna start in is the traditional HR business partner role. We all kind of know this role. This is even, even when I was at my previous company box, that was one of my strong partners I had in the business. But tell us about how this role has evolved, how you look at it now, and where do you see it heading in the future? And then I'll jump into the next pillars afterwards.
David Kingsley: I love the question, Ted. And you're right. The HR business partner world is one that's near and dear to my heart. It's what I grew up in, in hr. And for the VP of HR or the CPO or the CHRO, whatever term you call it, that person I do think of as the HR business partner to the CEO. That is, you know, sort of, there's probably three or four job ones, but I would say that's a, that's a critical job one. And similar roles apply the rules apply to an HR, BP to the C. It's things like, you know, know that client's business, you gotta learn it inside and out. Have their best interest at heart; check your ego at the door.
There's no agenda that HR BP has other than their client's agenda. And so I think all those same rules apply. So for anybody who's in, in this CPO role, or moving into one who's come up through the HR BP ranks or knows that role it's, it's not a big reach to say, I'm the HR BP for the CEO. And to, and to go from there. So I'd say that's the first part. The second one is remembering, and this is a little bit of the evolution of the CPO role itself. That's really kind of shifted, remembering that the principle of first team, and I think it's Patrick Lencioni one of his concepts of what is your first team? And the first team of the CPO is the exec team. It is the C-suite as it is, as I would say for every CXO you know, on the CEO staff is your number one job is to be a member of the exec team.
Your very close second job is as the head of HR for the company. But every one of the CEO's directs need to show up at the table as an executive in the organization helping to drive the business forward. Full stop. That is our number one job. I think previously, many of us, maybe myself included had, had had that a little bit more in balance or maybe at sometimes letting the employee ombuds person maybe edge ahead by a nose to say, I'm here representing the voice of the employees, the voice of the people. And in most cases, the answer is no. You know, CPOs are not a union rep. And all love for the union reps out there who do really amazing work for their companies and their members. That's not the CPO's job. The CPO's job is to represent the interest of the company and be the trusted advisor of the CEO and a member of the executive team who happens to lead the people function of the business, just like your chief product officer leads the product function of the business.
So too, does the CPO need to stand up and, and be seen as that? I would say there's an evolution, and I'll give you Ted a continuum on that, that HR as necessary evil, we'll put that over here on this part of the spectrum. Then HR as a critical enabler, call that in the middle of the spectrum, and then HR as trusted advisor. And there's been a journey there. My mother was also in the discipline many years ago, and they, they still called it, and even I was in the Navy for eight years as a reservist reserve officer, still called the personnel department, right? So that's really kind of a necessary evil. Like, Hey, I'll reach out to you only when I absolutely need you. I want as little of that as possible. Please just go away.
Right? That's the kind of necessary evil world. It's important, but it's not somebody I wanna see every day. Then the critical enabler is, Hey, you do some important stuff and I know I need you. And I value that the trusted advisor, though, that role for a CPO or even for an HR organization is when the client or the C e O says, we're having a great discussion. I'm gonna pause it right here because I want my C P O in the room, or I want my HR business partner in the room, or I want my talent advisor in the room, and we can't progress this discussion until we have a full team talking about this. I think for the most progressive organizations, the most forward-leaning leaders who understand that culture is the secret sauce in companies, most of us, right? We don't make widgets. We are knowledge workers. Many of our companies, certainly a lot of your listeners certainly, you know, work Ramp and <laugh> and Intercom and all of our companies, we're all knowledge full of knowledge workers. And so having your p o or your HR business partner in the room to help make those decisions I think is a critical part. And that's really where that trusted advisor role lives on that spectrum. So there's a, a few lenses you know, on the job as I, as I see it.
Ted Blosser: That's very cool. When you think about, I love, love that spectrum of basically graduating to the trusted advisor. Does that, has that taken time for you to gain that trusted advisor status? I know you were at Salesforce for a long time. Mm-Hmm. And I think you just built up a lot of street cred, probably moving through the organization, but then you drop in as CPO into Alteryx drop in Intercom. Is this a gradual move you, you have to make where you have to build trust to get there mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, or do you try to jump in and say, look, I'm your trust advisor from day one, start treating me that way. What's your advice for new CPOs that are, that are starting in those roles now?
David Kingsley: Yeah, no, for sure. And I think that I like to say that every day is an interview. Every day is an interview that never do we in any part of the business and any of our functions get to rest on our laurels. And I think there's, the question today especially today in a lot of our businesses in this market is, what have you done for me lately? So I'll give you an example of that. Previously you know, new, new CXO joining your team as the ceo, the strategy might have been, Hey, I'm gonna take the first, you know, 90 days to learn. I'm gonna listen, I'm gonna learn, I'm gonna meet everybody. The world has shifted now that I would say within two to four weeks your new C p o, your new head of hr should bring some value to the company.
Mm-Hmm. Solve something, tackle something that's been keeping you up at night. And that's incumbent I would offer on the CEO themselves, who knows their business cold to say to the new cpo here's what's keeping me up at night. I don't have time to tackle this. Here's some ideas that I have. Go solve this and make it digestible, snackable, I like to call it the person who really synced their teeth into that to get steeped in the organization that we don't have the time or luxury to just learn and ingest for the first 90 or a hundred days. We've gotta sink our teeth into it and help start solving things. I think it does two things. A, it tackles something that's keeping you up at night in the business that's delivering value from day one, but also b those first impressions is, wow, this person is coming here to help us to be of service.
And, and that's just a little bit of a shift, I think, in, in the world, in what, what is required in the market today. That is an evolution than, than what it, it previously was. And I think we would all agree that the pace of change is, is doing nothing but accelerating in our businesses. And the scrutiny that all of us are under, whether you're a public company or a private company has never been greater. So this is definitely not a time for the faint of heart. For those of us in the western world in the us we're eating our Wheaties in the morning. I dunno if anybody still eats cereal, but I still like that analogy of, you gotta get a good breakfast, get started for the day and, and really get after it.
Ted Blosser: Love that. So the main takeaway is immediate impact, build some trust on there, start building from that. Let me go into the second pillar I wanna talk about. Mm-Hmm. And this is, I want like to get your take in this current environment. If you look back in the, in the, let's called the, the tech bubble that we were, we were both in, in of, of the big bull market, let's call it ending in 20, mid 20, 22. Yeah. Where talent development was something that we were just tossing, promotions, tossing money, tossing mm-hmm. And the whole market, especially in tech, has shifted into more efficiency, fewer promotions, fewer pay raises. Give us your take on how you look at talent in this new market. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, for example. Do you see this as a temporary thing or do you think of this as a full shift that we need to kind of all adapt to mm-hmm. Kind of moving forward when it comes to the talent development pillar. Mm-Hmm. Let's call it the CPO office.
David Kingsley: Candidly, I think, I think talent development has never been more important than it is today. And I'll, I'll tell you why. In the last, and I, I kind of bucketed in HR 1.0, HR 2.0, and HR 3.0, and we'll call HR 1.0, like call it up until 2019. So call it, you know, 2013 to 2019, let's rewind the clock back till then. That was this era where we were all competing for talent with the big dogs, right? We were having to throw as many employee perks out there as possible. It's like we do, you know, dog walking at work, well do your dry cleaning, unlimited avocados, ping pong tables, nap pods. That was my favorite one. Ted nap pods. Like, I get it, we all love a good siesta, but like, I'm gonna build out a part of you know, a hundred dollars a square foot.
In my case, it was in downtown San Francisco to put a nap pod in, like, oh, we're probably not gonna do that anymore. So that was kind of a HR 1.0, let's say. And, and all love for a good nap, but probably not gonna be part of the solution going forward. HR 2.0 was, call it 2020 to 2022 or as I refer to it as the snow day. Because Ted, if you're like anything like me when Covid hit we said, okay, everybody go home for the week and this covid thing will blow over. We'll all get back to work on Monday, <laugh>. And sure enough, boy was I wrong. Two years later, we all start coming back to the office and we're starting to see, you know, folks coming to the office a couple three days a week.
And, and that was 2.0. And there was really an interesting world that we were in there where the barriers to entry and exit to our companies dropped to zero. Employees would inter be in a staff meeting on Monday, interview with another company on Tuesday, get an offer on Thursday and resign on Friday. And, and we'd go, which just happened there. And they're like, yeah, I'm changing jobs. And it's like, you've been here nine months. And they're like, yeah, I think I'm gonna go do something new. And the new employer was great, okay, you've been there nine months, no problem. We'd love to have you over here. And there was this race where almost like those cartoons, when people's feet start going so fast, they make like a little whirl ball. That's kind of how it felt in some of these organizations in, in HR 2.0 where we were just chasing and, and grabbing as many staff as we could because we were scaling and growing.
And as you said, that was in a zero interest rate environment where for pre-public companies, the, you know, funding was accessible. Venture capitalists were, were looking to fund lots of new businesses. And we were growing at breakneck paces that some would say was maybe perhaps unsustainable. So HR 3.0 comes and we kind of near in the end of the pandemic for, from a functional, practical purpose, we're getting back to work. And what I think that's left us in is this world where knowledge workers now view themselves, ourselves as members of the gig economy. And I know that's kind of a provocative statement because we tend to think of folks who are doing, you know, DoorDash, Uber, Instacart, et cetera, as members of the gig economy. I think knowledge workers have evolved their thinking as well. And the reason I say that is last, you know, fall and maybe even into the first part of this year, a lot of companies did some pretty big and abrupt layoffs focus on profitability.
You know, that rule of 40 took a much different turn, whereas you could be you growing at 50% and negative 10% profitability, it's like, well, still a rule of 40 check no longer. Right? We've gotta be mindful of that. And every company's under that pressure now. And so a lot of companies, you know, trimmed the cost and did so no fault of the workers, it's just, Hey, you know, we just don't need that division of that department that's set anymore. And so we'll excuse you from the company, you know, give you a severance package and off you go. That reminded workers that at the end of the day these are businesses that are for-profit organizations, most of them. And whereas back in HR 1.0, we probably talked a lot about, you know, come join the family, come join, and the company has family.
And, and now it's kinda like, mm, no, we're not really a family. We're a company and we're a corporation, and that's okay. I mean, this is a free market economy. We're in business to make money and deliver value for our shareholders and our stakeholders. And I think we as knowledge workers, workers generally were reminded of that not too long ago. And so now this calculus has shifted whereby employees are saying, what's in it for me? If I join your company? Do your values align with mine? Am I bought into your mission? And how am I going to grow and develop here? Well, that plays right back into the role of learning and development inside organizations that, in our employee and our employer value proposition. And we've gotta be really clear about what's gonna be in it for you in this company, in this role, in this quarter because that's, as far as that employee is concerned about is where am I gonna grow and develop in this role if I take this job or I take this promotion even you know, I've heard tell of, you know, folks saying, you know, I'm good on the current role.
I don't want that promotion. I like where I am now. I know this job. I know how to do it. I feel safe here. And I'm, I'm protected. And if we wanna promote someone or challenge them to grow, we've gotta tell 'em how we're gonna support 'em. And that's where, you know, learning and development comes into play. So never has been a more important time than now because of the way I think that workers self perceive and how they're making decisions about where they're gonna take their time, energy, and labor in organizations. And the ones that have an answer to that from a learning perspective, are the ones that are gonna take talent in, in what is still and what will be a competitive market.
Ted Blosser: So really good transition. I was gonna ask you about the learning and development pillar next, and maybe I'll preface this, the question with also kind of a, let's call a subsection of frequency as well too. So in this, in that, in that HR 2.0 world, you were about actually no HR 1.0 in your, in your framing, this was happening frequently, and I'm assuming now it's hard to do things like toss as many resources or give as many promotions now to people in this new area. But you talked in this new era, but you talked about how it's so important. How do you kind of, how do you kind of combine the two needs of like, hey, providing great L and d, and I wanna dive into what great l and d means mm-hmm. When you, let's say, have fewer means to do it mm-hmm. From a literally a company resource and cash perspective. Yeah. How do you reconcile those two? And, and then we'll dive into the details of what you actually do as well.
David Kingsley: Yeah, I think that the, the focus on this is a new term I learned recently on numeracy financial literacy. I'd never heard that before, but numeracy, and that all of us in our roles, especially the chief people officers, are being called to be more numerate than ever. And that means a much closer alignment with our CFOs in organizations that every decision we make, every dollar we invest needs to be very clearly articulated to an roi. Gone are the days where we can put out a program or an initiative that we think is just, you know, something good to do.
We've gotta be able to say, here's the ROI on this, and here's our projection for that. We're gonna lay out this much money. Here's what's gonna happen next. And then here's where it's gonna pay back in terms of employee engagement, efficiency, productivity, retention, you know, shareholder value. Stakeholder value, you know a C V A R, whatever term you want to use. We've gotta quantify, you know, each element of the business, everything that we're spending on, and make sure that it ties very clearly back to a return on that investment. So that numeracy is more important than ever.
Ted Blosser: Are you saying, sorry to interrupt there. What I was gonna say is, are you seeing yourself even get into modeling now Excel sheets when promoting your programs that you didn't previously do, or have you always done that and now, now it's finally caught up with everyone else?
David Kingsley: Yeah, probably a little bit of both. I mean, Ted, I described myself as a, I was in management consulting for the first 13 years of my career. So I just, I entered hr, you know, 10 or 12 years ago proper. I was in organization design change management as a management consultant. And so I described myself as an analyst who got old and lost his hair. So I've always tried to make sure that you know, programs pencil when you're bringing them to market, because that was what my clients wanted. You didn't go to a client and say, Hey, we're gonna propose that we plus up the team introduce this program or project in, and I'm gonna invoice you for that. And the client goes, oh, yeah, I don't care if it actually drives any value for my business. Right? The client always wanted to know what's the ROI for me?
So I kind of grew up in that world. At the same time, I'm redoubling efforts today as a CPO at doing that. And, and that's just so critical that the entire executive team and the cfo, importantly as a key stakeholder, understand and support that. And colleagues across the aisle on the finance team can really be helpful in that because we wanna make sure that we're modeling in the way that they're modeling ROI for the rest of the company, whether it's a marketing initiative top of funnel, or adding more account executives to the sales team, or adding more software engineers to the, you know, large language model, you know, build out organization, whatever it is. We gotta make sure that we're speaking the language of the business and that that usually comes in terms of dollars and cents and roi. So that's, yeah, that's never more important to be, to be numerate in these organizations.
Ted Blosser: Hey, everyone. We're on right now with L. David Kingsley, the Chief People Officer at Intercom. It's such a great discussion, but I want to interrupt for a second and talk a little bit about WorkRamp Intercom is also a WorkRamp customer leveraging our platform to drive all of its l and d programs. If you wanna learn more about what we're building and the learning cloud technology that we have, you can visit email@example.com ramp.com. Now, back to the episode. Well, let's talk about the l and d pillar as a whole, and thanks, thanks again for being a, a work ramp customer from a l and d perspective. Yeah. What programs are you finding are the most impactful today under the l and d umbrella? Are there any unique programs you've rolled out lately or that are tried and true programs that you would recommend to the audience? Like, Hey, these are the, the base programs you need to be knocking outta the park right now. Give us your take on l and d programs.
David Kingsley: Yeah, I think that l and d programs when they're successful, and there are a lot of 'em that, that really are, and, and a lot of your customers using your platform and your content are doing that are thoughtful about and reflective of two things the, the evolved workforce and the generations we have, and truly how adults learn. Now, adult learning theory is not a new thing for us to think about in l and d. Intergenerational workforce has gotten more and more, especially as millennials have become, you know, now the, the majority of our workforces most of us as adult learners don't learn best by sitting in a con a cold conference room for five days, eating that little cheese danish thing that none of us would eat in our normal day-to-day lives. But somehow you put me in a corporate conference room, I'm like, I need four cheese danishes at 10:30 on a Tuesday.
I'm gonna go and eat all of those right now, <laugh>. It's just a really unnatural environment, and it's unnatural for our bodies. It's not how we, we, we work. We don't just sit one space for five days. And it's not how we learn. I think of you know, in terms of snackability learning today is much more user driven in terms of how do I best learn? And in some cases it may be, I'm an, I'm, I learn by audio and I learn at 1.25 x speed on content, and I wanna listen to it and I'll listen to it while I'm exercising or walking the dog or commuting or what have you. Other folks might, you know, do it in snippets and they want visuals with their learning, and they want to do it in five minute increments, meetings that they block off, you know, two or three times in a day that wait.
They want to consume content in a way that then lets them be thoughtful about how they're going to apply that. And then most importantly, and this hasn't changed, but I think it's good for revisitation, is it's gotta have leadership sponsorship. It's gotta be said by the leadership in the organization all the way up to someone like you, Ted, to the C e o who's saying, this is a priority for us. Because I want to grow our workforce and develop them, again, back to the employer value proposition in these, this, to these knowledge workers in what is now the knowledge gig economy. I've gotta prove to our people why they're gonna grow and develop here, and I wanna deliver on that promise, and I wanna deliver it to them in a modality and with content that's gonna resonate and help them grow, that they're gonna say, this place cares about me.
It's investing in me. And oh, by the way, I'm getting better at my job because of the content I'm consuming because it's delivered to me in a way that I best consume content, and I get to personalize it, right? So we're all in this, this Netflix generation now where I wanna have my queue, I want it to be curated. I wanna upvote and downvote content. I want it to be served up to me and I wanna consume it on my own terms, in my own way that I'm gonna do best maybe with or without cheese danishes, you know, those may be optional. I, but I think about it, like when you go into, you know, the, the Apple store, for example and it's the person in the colorful shirt, they greet you, they route you to the part of the store that you need, and you have this really customized, tailored experience.
And Ted, if you're like me, I, I've never spent a thousand dollars so fast in my life as walking in an Apple store, like it's like, like four and a half minutes, and I walk out with this little bag with a cute little rope handle, and I'm like, I just dropped a grand never. I mean, I, anything else in my life, when I'd spend a thousand dollars, I would have like a six week, you know, spreadsheet, the kids would be involved, there'd be a whiteboard at home. I'd be explaining to my wife what I'm doing, not at the Apple Store. They've made it so smooth in the way that I buy and consume content or products. Juxtapose that with your last trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles, you know, bless those good people who are doing the Lord's work for our government all around, all around the country, all around the world.
That's not a really tailored, customized personal experience, right? It's a very different thing. And so I look forward to going into the Apple store. I try and defer, go into the DMV as long as I can and do most of it online, thankfully, here in California nowadays because of the way that I as a consumer consume content. And I think as we think about the learning and development pillar, how are we being responsive to the modern customer, modern consumer experience in what our, our content consumers and, and, and product consumers want in how they learn and grow.
Ted Blosser: If you had to say to the audience, the one program, I wanna kind of tie back to the ROI statement you had earlier too. The one program you need to nail from an L and D perspective, and this could be something like a leadership development program, it's just as an example. You don't have to answer it that way. What's the one program you would say L and d leaders or CPOs need to make sure they nail or is probably the most impactful in this market today?
David Kingsley: Wow. The number one most impactful. How to receive feedback,
Not how to give feedback, how to receive feedback. And the reason I say that is, and I'm, I'm gonna generalize a little bit here and I'm gonna include myself in this, frankly. Much of the workforce, the way we grew up was being told that we were great at whatever we did. And I know it, it's kind of a, a a little bit of a, you know, a meme, but it's the, everybody got a trophy, right? When I played T-ball when I was whatever, five years old, everybody got a trophy. There are no winners. We're all winners. Everyone wins. And going through school and even, you know, into the university space, there was an emphasis, and for very good reasons, in many cases, on affirmation of effort, an affirmation of you did your best, you know, great, great, a great input into the system. You tried your best, like how you thought about et cetera, a lot of affirmation.
And we've addressed a lot of, not all the way, but we've addressed a lot of what were development areas in terms of child and adolescent, you know, psychological development by being affirmative of people as they're growing. And I think we're getting better about that as a society, and that's good. I wanna affirm that. And when we come into business, it's not work ramp.org, it's work ramp.com, right? You're a for-profit business driving value for your shareholders and stakeholders and employees, and all of our organizations need to be given feedback about how they're doing. And oftentimes that needs to be constructive feedback. So the more that we can learn how to learn or learn how to take feedback and incorporate that in a way that we know we're being affirmed when we get feedback, and that person or leader or organization is affirming their investment in us by giving us feedback, especially when it's constructive, and to perceive it that way, and then incorporate it into the work that we're doing I think that's the, that's a hallmark of a learning organization when it's filled with people who embrace the learning journey and embrace the ability to, to get feedback as they grow in scale.
Ted Blosser: David, that's such a good answer. And even at work, work, we spent a lot of time on that even recently. And the one interesting insight I had was that actually helps in your personal life a ton is, is you get it in this business context, but what I realized is when I parlay it into my personal life, getting feedback, for example mm-hmm. For my spouse or my wife and even even my kids, it's like, all right, you actually you, you're not always the smartest person in the room. You're usually not the smartest person in the room, but actually parlays really well into other aspects of your life, not just the professional context, but actually originated for me personally, originated more from a professional standpoint. So mm-hmm. I love that answer, David. All right. We're almost at about time. I'm gonna go into what we call the learn rapid fire around here.
David Kingsley: Water here. I gotta hydrate, I gotta hydrate for this.
Ted Blosser: I'll ask you a few questions, gimme a one two line answer for each okay. This is the tradition that we do. So the first one is, what is one podcast book blog, which you've learned the most from, or even that you're, you're reading now?
David Kingsley: You know, there's one that I'm reading now, I think it's been out for a little while, but it's, it's good to read again. It's called Breathe. And it's a book about the importance of our breath, and it's all about nose breathing. And this is something that many societies around the world have known for years, but somehow on our journey, we've all become, or many of us have become mouth breathers. And the power of knowing your breath and being mindful of your, your, your body space as you're working and working out and living I think that mind body connection we've lost a little touch with that and regaining it is a good thing for our health and wellbeing.
Ted Blosser: You know, it's interesting while you're saying that, I was like, I, I think I'm a mouth breather to even notice.
David Kingsley: I'm a, I'm a big, I'm a big time mouth breather, like in every sense of the word.
Ted Blosser: I was like, what? What am I? Great answer. I will check that out. All right, next question. If you could learn from one person dead or alive, who would you learn from if you could choose?
David Kingsley: My, my mother's mother, my grandmother, I never met her. She passed away before I was born. First-generation American raised six children. Her husband died you know, pretty early. And so she was, she was in charge of it all. And the anecdote is she used to make the kids' clothes out of flower sacks. So she would wow, sow them at night when the kids were in bed. And I just think about that kind of resolve and grit. I certainly don't have it, but I'd love to just hear from her. How did you do that and, and what did you think about and how'd you stay focused? So one of the first kind of examples of a great executive was my grandmother, even though I never got to, got to know her.
Ted Blosser: Alright, I'll close you off with this one. So, if you had one piece of career advice you could give the audience, what would it be? You've had such a lu illustrious career and you're still going, what's the one big piece of advice you would give?
David Kingsley: I'm gonna tie back to the answer I gave you on that last question around the learning thing. And this is something I'm working on myself, so I did not have this all figured out, but it is something that I'm, I'm really working on. When someone gives you feedback, the first thing to say in your head is, they care about me. And when you change that mindset and you put yourself on the receive mode versus the defensive mode a, you're gonna hear the feedback and you're gonna incorporate it into your approach or be able to respond to it most effectively. When you operate in the, this person is giving me a gift, it may not be a gift that I want, and I'm gonna take this as a way that they're saying I care about you and I'm taking time to give you feedback. Hard mindset shift because again, many of us grew up not being taught how to take feedback because we thought that meant we were doing something wrong. It's actually an affirmation of how much that person or that company or that organization cares about us.
Ted Blosser: David's such a good answer. Change in mindset is what we all need to do. I could apply that in my next three meetings today, so I'm likely leveraging that. So David, thanks so much for joining us today. This was an awesome conversation. It was so nice having you,
David Kingsley: Ted. My pleasure. Thanks for having me, and thanks for everything you're doing out for the world at Work Ramp. It's just that, the work you're doing has never been more important, so thank you to all your colleagues who are driving value for us. Thanks.