Wendy Hanson: I am so happy to introduce you now to Dr. Josh Lang. Let me tell you a little bit about Josh. Josh is a serial entrepreneur from Miami, Florida. In a former life he was an as an assistant professor at one of England's top universities. And before that, a fortune 500 manager in the US by the age of 21. His current company advanced Language Institute is a world leading specialist language training services company that he has expanded to eight different countries in just two years when he is not raising his daughter As a single dad in Vienna, Austria, you might find him flying around the world, learning about different cultures by doing business with them. I thought today's podcast would really help us in this time of the Coronavirus and what it's like to be a global company. So welcome, Josh.
Dr. Josh Lange: Well, okay, thank you very much for the invite. It's great. It's just great to see you after these years.
Wendy: Yes, it is, well, well, we're both connectors. So it's nice to be able to connect with people that you know, are making a difference in the world. So tell our audience right now, where in the world are you and what's your situation currently, because this is part of what we're in right now in terms of this global pandemic and global leadership.
Dr. Josh Lange: Yeah. Well, you Thanks for the question. And it's, it is quite a unique time, isn't it? I'm actually in Delhi, India. I came on business. I was on a international trip to Germany, Japan and India supposed to be here for about two weeks, and ended up staying now for two months. And there's more time to go. So we're on lockdown, but we're making the best of it.
Wendy: You are Yes. But lots of time to be doing business. And thank goodness that we can all still do business even on lockdown.
Dr. Josh Lange: Yeah, and it's a great learning experience too. As a matter of fact, the audience doesn't know. But there was a little problem with my microphone and I had to go borrow a microphone from the guesthouse owner. So I've been in a hotel, and I went down there to get the microphone and there were the staff members sitting in the kitchen, on the floor eating on the floor, and they're you know, there's a there's a kitchen table, there's a kitchen table in the dining room right outside of the of the kitchen, but it's just how it is in India. So I'm learning a lot every day even though I'm basically in the hotel room. 24 seven, so it's a real privilege to be here and Indian people are wonderful.
Wendy: Yeah. Tell us a little bit about like, what it's like in the Indian culture right now. What what's going on that you've noticed? Because when we first were prepping for this, you were bragging about the people of India. And, you know, if you're going to be locked down somewhere, this is not so bad.
Dr. Josh Lange: Yeah, well, you wouldn't say that if you were sitting next to me on the on the plane back to the States because I probably smell like Indian. But after 40 days, but as a matter of fact, they're resilient. They're very strong people and they're very intelligent. They took early, they took early action on this Coronavirus and strong action to shut down the country and that means a lot different I mean, in the states for example, you know, people will lose their jobs and people are, you know, going through hardships and you have the whole month to month. Thanks. People live in month to month. But here, they're living day to day. So if they don't have any work, they don't have any food today, and that's a large amount of the population. But you know what they've stood in solidarity. they've dealt with it together. They said, Hey, we, you know, we love humanity, and we're going to take care of our people. And one of the things that I said that I saw read today, as a matter of fact, was from somebody who said that, you know, in in the United States that they're privileging the economy over the humanity, whereas in India, they're privileging humanity over the economy. That's, that's a very broad statement. But one of the one of the things that they are doing is they've, they've closed all the tobacco and alcohol stores. So Wow, yeah. So yeah, I had this guide to quit smoking.
Wendy: Well, that's not bad. But if you did that to me around why and I'd have a problem.
Dr. Josh Lange: Well, that's the thing is that but they've got great excuses. They say well, first of all, Coronavirus has a lung respiratory disease so why should we allow people to smoke and and do that, and then alcohol they said because of everybody this is a good fit because of everyone's, you know, being at home with their spouse, that they they want to prevent more domestic violence, which is wow, which is
Wendy: It's amazing how every country and their culture looks at things differently. How we're gonna make decisions in this time. Yeah.
Dr. Josh Lange: Well, from manage from a management perspective as well, you know, the companies have taken a lead role in dealing with some of these some of the some of the crisis by, you know, doing the work from home, but at the same time, continue Doing the benefits and can and and continuing the salaries. And so that's been that's been also really good they they seem to be standing quite in solidarity. And then they're also remember Andy is one of the world's largest drug manufacturers. And so they're, they've they they are continuing to produce a lot of these drugs that are, you know, like hydro clocks or coring this one that that Trump was mentioning. And they, they're the major producer of that. And so they've put people on this not only are all the health workers and things like that activated, but they've said, Hey, the world needs these respirators and these things that and these drugs that India produces, and so they've really taken a sacrifice and continuing to try and produce these things, which is, which is, which is something I've learned a lot I gotta say, but I learned a lot on YouTube every time we talk, you know,
Wendy: Let's learn a little more about like, part of what we'd like to talk to people about is what's happening in global business, and how are we all reacting. And so you've had some great experiences on this. So very succinctly tell us about what your business is and why is growing so much right now. Why is your business increasing? Well, here's what it is. What what's your business?
Dr. Josh Lange: Well, I'm in this. We have a niche set of niche products. We're in a specialist language services industry. So we do. We help lawyers and law firms. We support them on billion dollar transactions, so that their clients can understand what the contract says. We help them with disputes and arbitrations. We help them simplify their language basically. And we also work in academia work with professors making sure that they can publish their papers and in medicine, with medical doctors, so that they can Make sure that the research is easy to understand, which is even more important nowadays, when you have like a global pandemic, and you have people from chemists to biologists and scientists needing to talk to the public. And so language becomes much more important. And it's also important at the management and executive level, particularly right now and how to communicate with employees, things like dealing with people losing their, you know, needing to needing to fire people dealing with contracts, provisions, employment provisions in contracts, dealing with a lot of the issues that are centered around communications and so English is the global is a global language and we work in English around the world supporting professionals, particularly executives, and high level professionals, and what so I work with managers executive Have managers, CEOs, law firm partners, high level people, mainly and to see how they now their humanity has come out during this crisis has been a surprise. Because normally law firm partners aren't the types of people you think are empathetic, caring, human even, and they have to be certainly strong and objective.
Wendy: Give us an example of what surprised you there because I think, you know, empathy and compassion now needs to be like really brought to the surface. What are you noticing?
Dr. Josh Lange: Well, I've worked in Japan, for example, I was working with a large bank, and they decided to give their employees the time at home and also not only the time at home, and this was from coming From the CEO, not only the time of home, but flexible hours, so that they could spend the time with their children and their families. And so instead of demanding, and you know, banks, obviously, you know, deal with markets and market openings, market closings, that's really important. And, and so time is very important to them, especially when you talk about meetings and things like that, but opening the flexible schedule to understand showing the understanding of the family life and the fact that the kids are staying home and that the parents need to take care of the kids, I think shows a lot of leadership, and especially that affiliative style of leadership that requires that really empathy and understanding for people situations that you might not yourself. Need to deal with.
Wendy: I love you know, your background. Josh in his being a perfect have, you know leadership and that's how we started our first conversation around leadership. And then the work that you're doing now like providing the accessibility for people to understand English and you've got a whole team of people all around the world that are that are making this happen. I love that combination because you know, business, you know what good leadership looks like, and now you're providing support system for that. So how are you managing your team and during this lockdown and keeping their spirits up when you're spread all over the world?
Dr. Josh Lange: Now, that's the real question, I think that your audience is going to want to hear the answer to especially because there are a lot of managers a lot of leaders. Well, about half of my time is dealing with pastoral issues, dealing with people situations, you know, I mean, and a, this is your, you know, you lose a lot of time, but it's so important to keeps people motivated and encouraged now by listening by listening to what's going on with them. And not by expecting, you know, a good manager never expects for the focus to be on them. You know, and right now I'm going through a very serious time. I've obviously been stuck in a hotel for 40 days, I have a single dad, I might the other people are taking care of my daughter back in Vienna, while I'm on lockdown. And so, um, that, you know, she's only five years old. And so and obviously, I've got the transition a lot of our business online because mostly we do face to face, but we're experts in online learning. So to answer your question earlier, we do a lot of online learning already. I'm an expert in the field. And developing online learning programs have been over in over a decade. So our business isn't necessarily affected. But what I've noticed is that businesses are shutting down because of fear, but they don't have to, and then and they're they're stopping process. Seems like a lot of people are saying, Oh, well, we're not doing any more new contracts right now because of Coronavirus. But when you think about employee training, like what you're doing with better manager, this is exactly the time where people need those type of skills. This is exactly the time where people need to think about the 360 degree reflection. This is exactly the time when people need to upskill and not be afraid, but have the have the experts like you and your team, be there to say to coach them along and say Do not be afraid. But let's look at how to brainstorm for solutions to go into the future. And so with my with my team, a lot of it is obviously the taking care of the human element.
Wendy: Talking about an Authoritative, what's called Authoritative and then remember Authoritative is different than Autocratic. I didn't know where you were going with that.
Dr. Josh Lange: Yeah, well, there's there's different leadership styles, you know, so there's a democratic leadership style, and there's a You know, and affiliative, which is more feelings based than there's an autocratic, which is an autocratic is the autocratic is the person who dictates you do what I say. But then there's the authoritative leader and then authoritative leaders like the Steve Jobs type where you're or the see the iconic American CEO, who everybody Oh, by the way around the world loves AI, and but this is the end, he's not necessarily expressing this right now. But it's this type of leadership that says, hey, I see a way forward. I'm going to explain to you what that way forward is. And let's go, you want to go? Come with me. We'll go. And that's I got to say that's the type of leadership we need right now. It's not the kind of democratic leadership where everybody's like, Hey, what's your opinion and what's your opinion, let's get everybody's opinion and go to a council and go to another Council and go to another council before we make any decisions. And then what happens is fear is going to set in, but when you have this kind of leadership that says, hey, this is a way for it might work. might make a mistake, but at least we're going to try it. And I think that's where the leadership, I wish I had a coach, as a matter of fact, because I had time for some of your coaching, because that's where the coach comes in. And these, the BetterManager experts will come in and say, Hey, to the leader to the manager, let's look at the path. And then you're responsible. You're responsible to take your team on that path. Yeah.
Wendy: It's I think that's so important. And I loved what you described as pastoral. Almost leadership was about listening, you know, and I think that's what so many leaders need to do right now. It's, it's a bit of the messages that we're getting about parents that are home with young children and homeschooling, you know, don't worry so much about their education and their academics, you know, use this time to have them, you know, can combine as a family and how do we do things. It's the same work, you know, if we just work on moving things ahead and productivity, we're going to lose something in this where we have so much to gain. And and so I think so many leaders need to be past Oreo in terms of they have to take time and listen and it sounds like that's what you're doing with your team and it's working so well.
Dr. Josh Lange: That's a great analogy, Wendy and having a five year old daughter helps.
Wendy: Right? When we teach people coaching skills, they always come back. And a lot of the feedback at the end is Oh, this is actually helped my relationship with my partner or I've been able to use these coaching skills with my children, you know, to move things forward. So, business and personal life right now is meshed in a way that we have never seen, right? Where it's all combined, because people are working at home. They're working remotely. They're having to manage things all kinds of day and night. And I love your cultural references that there are some companies, some countries that are doing this really well, and they're allowing for this space. And I'm sure it's different with every individual. Is there anything else when you think about the managers that you work with, like in Austria and Germany and how they're coping with this crisis that we can learn from? What are some of the positive things that you're hearing?
Dr. Josh Lange: Well, I, I haven't been hearing too much from Germany and Austria, except that they, you know, Germany like in the political realm, as taken pretty smart measures to try and curb this. One of the things that I really like about Germany is that they stand by their principles, so that whatever they decide, it's going to be based on their ethics and principles, and their values and they're going to follow it. And that's one of the things that they are pragmatic people. Obviously, they're known for But they're also principled, and they have a principle of inclusion. And so with refugees or with people from foreign countries and with the social system, that Germans are going to follow through on those things,
Wendy: We do a lot of coaching on our team now with you can only control what you can control. And so there are so many things that are outside of that in today's world. So what is it that we can do now that's going to make a difference? Because otherwise we can go into the depths of despair, of thinking where we're in a place where we can't see the future. We don't know we kind of live in business from week to week, sometimes day to day. But you know, my belief is that we really need to project like, what what would we want the future to be and how can we take steps to get there and your point before was, you know, don't don't just stop things. Don't say it's not possible.
Dr. Josh Lange: Well, there's, there's just on that point, because I want to say something positive about that, Saint Gallen, 2000 years ago, came up with these four personality styles, which are the basis for the way that we look at the Myers Briggs and things like that, they're actually based on old Greek wisdom is based on a guy with a rock, if you there's a rock in the road, and it's how you respond to that big rock in the road, you could sit there and you could be melancholic and say, oh, there's a rock on the road, you know and be despondent, you could see the rock and say, oh, there's no way around the rock I'm going to turn around, you could be a third type is where you try and push the rock out of the way. And, and then the fourth type is the one who goes above or around the rock. And so with what we're doing, and it's the same thing with the bureaucracy, and it's the same thing with business, and you see this all over the world, that people are coming up with solutions, despite those kind of limitations, and that's what we Got to do as humans and that's what makes us so special. And that's what makes it special to work together to work in teams to come up with creative solutions. And that's what the real leaders are doing. And I can I can see it all over the world like I see I've been in Asia been in Germany. You know, I've been all over the world in the last couple months even though I've been locked down. But But you see that same Creative Leadership where people are finding solutions no matter what and continuing to take care of their friends or family and while we're seeing that 80% drop in pollution so in in it's nice to be in Delhi, and Delhi, India, one of the most polluted cities on the planet, and it's been nice, fresh air the whole day. But yeah, yeah,
Wendy: There's a lot we can learn from this both how our collaboration and connection is really that's what's going to bring us forward out of this, you know, if we, if we work remotely and we have a lot of client companies we work with that are saying we're learning so much from remote work and managing remotely, that teams don't all have to come into the office and we can cut down on traffic, we can cut down on pollution. So to look at this and see what are the possibilities that we can take away from this. And, and because this is going to be a long time coming, you know, it depends on who you listen to, but this is not going to be over with in the fall. You know, we're going to go through this, so we better learn our lessons well. So what's your what's your last piece of advice of how, you know leaders and managers can break through these uncertain times to have positive outcomes? If there were three things you'd want people to take away? what might they be?
Dr. Josh Lange: Three things in a nutshell would be empathy, genuine empathy, not fake empathy, not Oh, I feel you and oh, yeah, I understand real empathy, putting yourself in that person's shoes. Secondly, roots, get to your roots, we'll get to the roots of who you are and who your team is and what you believe your values, roots. And then the third thing is grit. You know, we hear a lot about that in the school system these last years and Americans have been traditionally known for grit and toughness, John Wayne, you know, the whole movie, True Grit. But what's happened to that? What's it? What's up with all the softness? Let's be resilient. Let's be Let's be tough and get through this. So grit roots and empathy.
Wendy: Hmm. Oh, I love those. It's something. You know, when you wake up in the morning, I tried to think of mantras for myself these days, you know, what am I going to do to impact my empathy with my team, my roots, which is my values, how I look at things, what I believe in and my team believes in and my grit, what is my resilience? How am I going to be resilient today and there are days that all of us are not going to be all those things, have all those things display all those things. And there are days that we will add it and cut yourself some slack. If you're a leader and you have a bad day. Yeah, I think one of the best things a leader can do is say, I'm having a bad day. This is like, and when people ask you questions, we don't know what the answers are. I don't know right now. But just like you talked about the different ways around the rock and leadership styles. We need to be able to make sure that we're where we're lighting a path for people so that they feel safe to follow us even when we don't know. And to be honest about not knowing is such a great thing for leaving.
Dr. Josh Lange: Yeah, yeah. And you're showing a lot of leadership in your organization and you're pushing through, and I'm sure that all your listeners really enjoy that you're doing these continuing to do these podcasts and you're one of the most positive people I've ever met in my life and I Really is really a really a pleasure and an honor to know you. Wendy said, thank you so much for the time.
Wendy: Thank you. I Well, I I love your perspective. And I love that you're not only a serial entrepreneur, you're at your academic mission, you're a doctor of leadership. And so you put all these pieces together, and Oh,
Dr. Josh Lange: And on that, on that point, I'm not only a serial entrepreneur, but his divine allies, we're going to not only are we going to overcome this crisis, but we're going to give a million people free education here in India by the end of this year. So that's what we're doing here. And I'm, I'm happy to be stuck. If that's going to be the result in Wow.
Wendy: Well, that's a whole other subject. But what I want to do is in our show notes, we will put information and your website and things on there so that people can look it up and they can take that how is he going to do that in India right now. learn a little bit more and a way to Be able to contact you to learn more about what you are up to. So thank you for sharing your your your insights today with us and, and be safe where you are and I hope that you can get back to your daughter soon.
Dr. Josh Lange: Yeah, thank you, Wendy Anna, you know i don't i don't say stay safe and I what I say stay strong and courageous because that's what you're doing.
Wendy: Ah, yes. Stay strong and courageous. Good way to end this. Yes. Thank you all for tuning in. Stay Stay strong and courageous and have the best day.