Dr. Dave Miles: Welcome to "Conversations on Leadership with Dr. Dave." This is our weekly visit to the crossroads of leadership, communication, and engagement, where we provide captivating conversation while helping you create your compelling company culture. We always get meaningful insights on these topics from fascinating interviews with top business leaders, trendsetters in leadership research, and receptive commentary from your host, Dr. Dave Miles, myself. Thank you for joining us today on "Conversations on Leadership with Dr. Dave." I am thrilled to have Roxanne Derhodge with the Authentic Connection Movement here today with me. We talk a lot about authentic leadership, and you can't get better at that than Roxanne as part of the Authentic Connection Network. A little bit about Roxanne—she's a mental health and wellness expert, a registered psychotherapist, corporate consultant, keynote speaker, trainer, and author. With that, welcome to "Conversations on Leadership," Roxanne.

Roxanne Derhodge: Thanks, Dave. Thanks so much for having me.

Dr. Dave Miles: Oh, no problem. Thank you for being here. I wanted to start off with getting you to introduce yourself a little better to the listeners and give us a bit of your background.

Roxanne Derhodge: I've been a psychotherapist. I started in the field quite young at age 21. It was something that I decided a long time ago. I figured, you know, I wanted to help people, and that was my perception at age 11. I thought, you know, I wonder if they would pay me to do something like this, which was speaking. In my traditional high school, which was an all-girls private school, it was the traditional professions—doctors, lawyers, engineers. I just knew that that wasn't the fit for me. So, I decided quite young that I would enter into psychology and started university and getting my designation. I got my first degree as early as 21 and ended up starting with the Metro Toronto Police here in Toronto.

Dr. Dave Miles: Nice. I missed something—I wanted to shout out to our UK listeners because we have a lot of listeners from the UK. I forgot to mention that, yes, Roxanne is coming from a Commonwealth country and is actually in Canada. So, yes, we're thrilled to have you. God bless we've got Zoom to talk back and forth—it's a little tougher to do that in person right this second.

Roxanne Derhodge: Absolutely. It's going to get better soon, though.

Dr. Dave Miles: Yes, yes, yes. At 21, it must have been interesting to go through psychotherapy sessions with someone significantly older. I'm sure that presented challenges.

Roxanne Derhodge: Absolutely. I still remember my first call. I was a first-line trauma responder with the police. My team and I would respond to victims of crime. I remember the first call—it was a suicide call. My partner, who had been there for a while, said, "Okay, we'll wait until the coroner and the police do their thing, and then we'll go in." I remember thinking, "Oh my goodness, this is very real." That was my first step into the real world of people and, in this case, pain—what people really need at that point to feel safe and secure when the rest of their world is swirling.

Dr. Dave Miles: Spending years myself in the fire department and EMS and training with the SWAT team, it's one thing when the lights and sirens sound cool until you realize where you're rushing headlong into. Sometimes you think, "Wait a minute, people run away from this stuff; they don't run towards it."

Roxanne Derhodge: Exactly. We're wired a little bit differently, right?

Dr. Dave Miles: Absolutely. The next question I have for you is, what does leadership mean to you, and what does good leadership look like?

Roxanne Derhodge: Leadership is really connecting to yourself and why you're doing what you're doing. Whether you're a senior leadership team, leading at home, or in the community, it’s about being aligned with what you truly believe and value and translating that into actions. The really good leaders I’ve come in contact with, and even ones I interviewed for my book, recognize that they are whole persons regardless of the role they play. Whether they're at the hockey rink with their kids, in the community, on a board, or at a senior leadership table, they strive to be the truest version of themselves and align with their values. They leave a legacy of leadership by recalibrating their actions to stay on the right path.

Dr. Dave Miles: That's one of the things I admire about your work. When you talk about the Authentic Connection Movement and authentic leadership, it's crucial. People know when you're fake. They can tell when your corporate speak doesn't match the Mission, Vision, and Values on the wall. When there's a disconnect, it impacts engagement and retention. Authenticity is vital, and leaders who put on a facade damage themselves and their organization in the long run.

Roxanne Derhodge: Exactly. Integrity in business is non-negotiable now. People use their values to decide which companies they want to be associated with. Supporting local businesses aligned with one's values is a trend. Likewise, employees want to support leadership teams and organizations that align with their values. When there's congruence, it creates a better work environment with positive impacts on engagement, productivity, and turnover. Authenticity is key.

Dr. Dave Miles: Absolutely. The average person now is savvy enough to research companies and leaders online. They can see if a leader is authentic or just putting on a show. With social media, people have finely tuned BS meters, and leaders can't get away with being fake anymore.

Roxanne Derhodge: That's right. People are using platforms like Google reviews, Yelp, and LinkedIn to check out companies and leaders before making decisions. Authentic leaders are congruent regardless of where they are. One leader I interviewed shared how he had to humble himself and recognize that his human capital was the most important thing for his business. He made changes, like flying economy with his team instead of first class, to show that he cared about them.

Dr. Dave Miles: Yes, those optics matter. Leaders must ensure their actions match their words. When leaders walk the talk, it fosters trust and loyalty. We'll be back in a moment with more on "Conversations on Leadership with Dr. Dave."

Dr. Dave Miles: Welcome back to "Conversations on Leadership with Dr. Dave." Today, we are thrilled to have Roxanne Derhodge with us from the Authentic Connection Movement. We've been talking about authentic leadership, good and bad examples. We touched on a particularly interesting example at the end of our first segment. You mentioned that people leave people, not organizations—a sentiment echoed by many, including John Maxwell. Gallup's "Employee Engagement on the Rise" survey in 2018 noted that 70% of the variance in team engagement is explained by the quality of the manager or team leader.

Roxanne Derhodge: Absolutely. Employees are more likely to stay if they feel connected to their leader. If there are unresolved issues, conflicts, or favoritism, they will think twice about staying. It's not just about money—it's about the alignment of values and feeling engaged. My decisions to leave organizations were never about money; they were about misalignment and integrity.

Dr. Dave Miles: That makes sense. Gallup's survey also found that 34% of US workers are actively engaged, 53% are not engaged, and 13% are actively disengaged. That's a significant portion of the workforce that isn't fully engaged. Leaders play a crucial role in changing that by being authentic and addressing concerns.

Roxanne Derhodge: Yes, creating psychological safety and engagement is essential. Leaders need to ensure their actions match their values. It's about creating a culture where employees feel valued and understood. If leaders only pay lip service to values, it creates disengagement.

Dr. Dave Miles: Exactly. Leaders need to walk the talk. I had a question for you—what is one of the biggest leadership challenges you've faced in your corporate experience?

Roxanne Derhodge: One of the biggest challenges is when leaders want the truth but are afraid to hear it. They may ask for change and get the analysis, but when they hear the truth, they realize it's a systemic issue that requires a long-term strategy. True change requires vulnerability and a willingness to invest time and resources. Some leaders aren't ready for that commitment and back away from the challenge.

Dr. Dave Miles: It's like going to a physician and being told to eat right and exercise to lose weight, but not wanting to hear it. Real change requires effort and commitment. Leaders need to accept the truth and invest in the necessary changes, even if it means making difficult decisions.

Roxanne Derhodge: Absolutely. Leaders need to be vulnerable, take responsibility, and stick with the plan. It's about being consistent in their actions and building trust over time.

Dr. Dave Miles: What do you see as one of the biggest mistakes leaders make today?

Roxanne Derhodge: One of the biggest mistakes is not working on themselves. Leaders need to be resilient and clear on their vision and values. They must understand their responses to stress and ensure they are optimally functioning individuals who happen to be senior leaders. Introspection and awareness are crucial for effective leadership.

Dr. Dave Miles: Scientific studies show the effectiveness of self-awareness, mindfulness, and physical activity in leadership. Leaders need

to carve out time for these practices to stay effective. That’s all the time we have for this segment. We’ll take a break and be back with Roxanne on "Conversations on Leadership with Dr. Dave."

Dr. Dave Miles: Welcome back to "Conversations on Leadership with Dr. Dave." Our guest today is Roxanne Derhodge from the Authentic Connection Movement. As we wrap up, let's talk about the best ways for leaders to improve their leadership skills.

Roxanne Derhodge: Leaders should assess their skills and seek feedback. This can come from self-assessment tools, mentors, or business colleagues. Understanding what you do well and where you need improvement is key. My book outlines a process where leaders assess their skills, and their team provides feedback. This helps leaders understand their strengths and areas for development.

Dr. Dave Miles: I love the idea of self-assessment and 360-degree feedback. It's important to see the gap between how you perceive yourself and how others perceive you. Leaders need to be intentional about meeting their team members halfway in communication and leadership styles.

Roxanne Derhodge: Absolutely. Leaders need to adjust their style to meet the needs of their team. Consistent feedback and introspection are crucial.

Dr. Dave Miles: We have about three minutes left. How can listeners connect with you and learn more about your books and programs?

Roxanne Derhodge: They can reach me at I’ve written two books—the first is a guide on relationships, and the new one, "Return on Relationships," focuses on how leaders can enhance resilience on their teams. It will be available on Amazon soon. I’m also available for keynote speaking and consulting.

Dr. Dave Miles: That’s fantastic. I love the concept of your new book, "Return on Relationships." It’s all about people and building those connections. Thank you for being on the show, Roxanne. And thank you to our listeners for joining us on "Conversations on Leadership with Dr. Dave." Take care.

This week’s special guest is Roxanne Derhodge.
She has helped a lot of organizations in the health and wellness space and hopefully listening helps you as well.

Roxanne is a psychotherapist Mental Health and Wellness Specialist.
She has over 20 years of experience and is a graduate
of the University of Toronto and University of Guelph specializing in Cognitive behavioral and family systems therapy.

She was an Executive with the Largest Health and Wellness firms in North America for 15 years. She was able to utilize her
expertise as a Psychotherapist to assist companies with their corporate strategies in Health and wellness.

She is a professional member of the Canadian Association of
Professional speakers (CAPS). She speaks Internationally to Companies on Mental health and wellness and what it takes to Create the Space for Positive Health Changes in their Organization.

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