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Diversity, equity and inclusion in Business

Arthur Woods: Activating Diversity in the Workplace – Joel Goldberg Media

Diversity / July 20, 2022

One of the most unique benefits of my keynote speeches is my baseball-meets-business perspective. My 25 year career as a professional sports broadcaster has taught me countless lessons that I’m privileged to share with audiences.¬† For instance, coaches know that a team needs a mix of skills, builds and personalities to gain a competitive advantage. These are the same reasons that diversity in business puts companies in a position to succeed more and win bigger.

My podcast Rounding the Bases discusses culture and leadership with a baseball twist. One recent interview broke down the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. It’s a topic at the intersection of performance and culture, one of the most impactful places to be.

diversity equity and inclusion in business

My guest was equal parts DEI authority and entrepreneurial wonder kid, whose purpose driven thinking has earned him international renown. Arthur Woods is a global best-selling author, subject matter expert and perpetual champion for workplace diversity.

His tech prowess is unmatched by most. And countless more stand to benefit from his Hiring Inclusivity Index, a proprietary, first-of-its-kind tool. His inspired TEDx talks grant you permission to lean in to your inner hero. Also, his e-platform Mathison promotes equality in the workplace on an unprecedented scale.

With unstoppable New York energy and a splash of Miami flair, he’s blazing a trail for underrepresented job seekers around the world. And he won’t quit until each of them has found their perfect match.

SINGLE: Making a Shift

Superficial diversity in business isn’t being accepted the way it may have been in the past. Before, we hired an underrepresented candidate and wished them luck. These days leaders are making a genuine effort to fundamentally change behaviors and mindsets. By creating an environment that provides structure and support in equal measure, it does more than influence culture. It promotes inclusivity from the top down. It also signals to people of all identities that they have a safe place to welcome them each day.

DOUBLE: Keys to Success

High performing organizations are characterized by innovation, achievement and a broadly appealing deliverable. Additionally, more leaders have begun to recognize that in order to succeed, teams need a range of perspectives that can only found in diverse environments. “I experienced homophobia in my very fist job interview,” recalled Arthur, who is a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. As people work through the trauma brought on by the isolation of the pandemic, work has become more than just a job. Nowadays offices are a place to get a boost, and what better way than with the freedom to be your whole, authentic self?

TRIPLE: DEI by the Numbers


Reevaluation of professional purpose is fueling today’s competitive hiring market. As companies try to set themselves apart, one way to do this is to promote their diversity. Mckinsey reported that companies with high levels of ethnic and cultural diversity outperformed competitors by 33%. Another study found that 67% of job seekers weigh diversity when reviewing an offer. And if these stats weren’t convincing enough, Forbes found that diverse teams make better decisions 87% of the time.

HOME RUN: Defining Success

Every person measures their successes and failures differently. One of my recent guests – Casey Wright – discussed the mental shift he had to make in order to appreciate all of the good he was doing. As it turns out, Arthur has faced some similar challenges. “We can drive ourselves absolutely¬† crazy,” he said when discussing failure as relates to extrinsic elements of work.¬† Instead, he chooses to look for success in the intrinsics he calls purpose drivers such as learning and building transformational relationships. “Any situation we enter becomes fulfilling if we can look at it through that lens.” Traditional indicators of business success are important, but the sense of positive impact is what matters most.

Listen to the full interview here or tune in to Rounding the Bases every Monday and Thursday, available wherever you get your podcasts.

Learn More About Diversity in Business from Joel

Book Joel Goldberg for your next corporate event. He draws on over 25 years of experience as a sports broadcaster. In addition, he brings unique perspectives and lessons learned from some of the world’s most successful organizations. Whatever your profession, Joel is the keynote speaker who can help your team achieve a championship state of mind.

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Full Transcript:

Joel Goldberg 0:00
Welcome into Rounding the Bases, the podcast about culture and leadership with the baseball twist presented by Community America Credit Union. Quick shout out to my friends at Chief of Staff Kansas City. They are placing employees not just in Kansas City, but throughout the country. Most importantly, I just had the owner of Chief of Staff on, Casey Wright, and talk so much about the importance of just helping people right and and it’s not, none of it needs to be transactional. They do such a good job of that. They’re chiefofstaffkc.com. Making Connections That Matter. That is certainly something that my guest does today. It’s all about inclusivity as well. My guest is nothing short of a dynamo. He’s equal parts DEI authority and entrepreneurial wonder kid, or at least he was at one point, whose purpose driven thinking has earned him international renowned. Arthur Woods, global Best Selling Author, Subject Matter Expert and perpetual champion for workplace diversity is the man of the hour. His tech prowess is unmatched by most with countless more who stand to benefit from his hiring inclusivity index, his proprietary, first of its kind tool. His inspired TEDx talk grants you permission to lean into your inner hero and his e-platform. Mathison promotes equality in the workplace on an unprecedented scale. With unstoppable New York energy and a splash of Miami flair, he’s blazing a trail for underrepresented jobseekers around the world, and won’t quit until each of them has found their perfect match. I mean, I’d mentioned New York and Miami, so he gets to live in two really cool places. Most importantly, he’s making an impact on the world. And isn’t that something that we all would like to be able to do? I’m joined right now by Arthur Woods. Arthur, how are you?

Arthur Woods 2:06
Thanks for having me, Joel, I’m doing great. Happy, happy to be here with you.

Joel Goldberg 2:10
Well, it’s good to have you here. And I think that what you’re doing in the world is, is to me so fascinating, because I think anytime anybody figures something out, that’s new in the technology world, and you know, something that’s groundbreaking, that’s huge. But now, when we talk about a topic that is so important, should be important, I believe, to everybody is inclusivity. And to match those two together. It truly is unique. So let’s start with that. Tell me I’m in the simplest form, what Mathison is?

Arthur Woods 2:42
Thanks, Joel. Well, we, you know, created Mathison a few years ago, seeing a need that, you know, so many organizations and leaders, were making commitments to build more equitable, inclusive diverse teams and workforces, but were struggling with realizing those commitments and taking action. And so there’s no lack of intent. Right now, we’ve seen that, you know, the diversity, equity inclusion work has never been more demanded. But the reality, Joel, is that the vast majority of organizations haven’t set diversity goals, have made really little progress and have struggled to know where do we even focus our limited time and resources. So we built software to help organizations not only uncover their most pressing gaps, to actually build their diversity strategy, but to take action in those areas around the way that they’ve sourced underrepresented candidates, train their teams, and and truly bring the diversity strategies to life.

Joel Goldberg 3:37
Well, and I think this is interesting, because I think, correct me if I’m wrong here, I think I’m being really simplistic, that there’s sort of two categories of employers in terms of wanting to get it right. With inclusion. One is those that just genuinely want to do the right thing. Maybe you need some help in getting there. There are others that maybe they’re doing it because they’re supposed to do it. And yeah, to me, that doesn’t always play out the way it should, or the way that they, you know, I mean, it’s okay, better to do something than nothing. I don’t know if they fully grasp it yet. But we’re making progress, you know, probably, in my opinion, too slowly, but we’re making progress. But I think, and I say this, the same way that I do about the discussion of companies building culture is that it’s one thing to say you want to do it, but you can’t just check a box. I mean, it’s something that you truly have to be all in on, and I think inclusivity which could, could and probably is, should be very much part of inclusion to are a part of culture. I mean, if you’ve got the inclusivity part right, I think it helps your culture. So how does this how does this change the way people are going about things? How much is there a check and a balance to it? How much of this is measurable compared to saying, hey, we want to bring more people in but maybe not knowing how to go about it.

Arthur Woods 4:58
Well, I’m really glad you called that out. So I mean, you’re right, there are a lot of different drivers, some of which has been performative, you know, doing, you’re engaged in this work just because everyone says you should, that the vast majority of folks we’re meeting that we’re excited about are the ones who say, I really get the need for for diversity from a business standpoint, and I get it from a social standpoint, is this what the world needs is what what’s good for business? So those are typically the folks we, we try to cross paths with. But but you know, what’s what’s really interesting is, is today, leaders are trying to figure out ways that they can change behavior and change mindset. And cultures have their organizations around this work all at the same time. And that’s actually what makes the work really complicated. It’s not simply just about sort of, you know, going and finding a new underrepresented candidate and saying, okay, best of luck, we’re done here. It’s actually fundamentally about changing our systems so that they’re more equitable, and, and accessible. It’s about kind of changing the mindset of our team members to understand what does it actually mean to hire someone from an underrepresented community that doesn’t have the same support and, and structure perhaps as someone else that we’re hiring. And it actually means changing our culture, so that we’re creating inclusive environments where people of all identities can show up every day and feel safe.

Joel Goldberg 6:19
And I’ve got to not even imagine, I know that once companies, whether it’s using Mathison or whether it’s just making inclusivity a focus, that once they go there, they see the rewards, they’ve got better employees, they’ve got more talent. I mean, this is what I always say is, if you’re an employee, in whatever profession, and you, you could have access to better people, and a talent pool, but you’re not even looking at whoever that is, whatever is not being represented. And you’re just, those are blind spots of yours. Don’t you want to get better and, and in the end, don’t companies want to perform better, make more money, have better culture, all that type of stuff. So if they are, if they are freezing themselves out of certain talent pools that are going to make them better. I mean, we all want to make more money, we all want to be better, at least to me on the simplest form. And this, this seems to always motivate people for change. Hey, I can make you more money, I can make you a better company. Here’s how to do it. Isn’t that ultimately what people want?

Arthur Woods 7:24
Absolutely. And that’s really why this is such a logical, you know, conversation, and one that, you know, tends to resonate with people, the more they think about it, you know, if we’re building organizations, we want to be high performing, right? Shouldn’t they reflect the diversity of the of the actual folks that we serve in society and community? Shouldn’t they be places where anyone with a unique thought and idea and identity can feel safe to contribute? And doesn’t that mean that we can innovate and achieve greater success together, and by the way, it’s going to be way more representative of what we actually intend to deliver, you know, and the more that leaders really sit with that, it becomes pretty clear that a homogenous team where people don’t feel safe, and where it feels sort of fear driven, isn’t ideal for anyone in any kind of sense of the word.

Joel Goldberg 8:14
I mean, I mean, that right, there’s inclusivity, in a nutshell, and we see it, you know, in every single way. We just had on our pregame show to host our pregame show for Kansas City Royals. We just had the star, goalkeeper for the women’s soccer team in Kansas City on it was it was pride night, she’d been a guest of ours before to present a new soccer team last year and big, big personality, superstar on the field. And we were talking to about about pride night, and this wasn’t the workplace this was and she she was talking about how nice it was to be able to come to the game with her wife and her little baby and feel accepted, to be able to be there and be herself. And so as she said that, to me, I thought this is just another baseball game. And for me, it’s just another day at work. But here’s a night. And let’s keep in mind we’re in we’re in Kansas City, we’re in, I was about to say we’re in Kansas, technically, that’s Missouri there, but we’re in a part of the country where progress is not as far in my opinion, and many others as it should be. Yet it really it hit me when I heard her say that, that I can be here with my family and be comfortable. And so you know, in my head, I turned that around and said how often is it the case where someone is not able to be comfortable and now take the discussion we’re having in the workplace. So if you are a company, that whether this is your intent or not, has employees that that are coming to work, not even feeling comfortable, where they’re at? How can you expect people to be productive? I mean this. You mentioned the word being logical before. I think that that oftentimes is very helpful and an answer to alot of situations if we could just be a little bit more logical. So much of this makes sense. Unfortunately, it’s not always the case. But isn’t it as simple as that just making people feel comfortable in their environment?

Arthur Woods 10:10
It is. It is. So and again, this is another, you know, I think kind of logical conversation, do we want an environment where people feel like they have to change who they are at work, you know, my very first corporate experience, I am a member of the LGBTQ community, I observed homophobia in my very first job interview, you know, and the feeling and I think so many individuals have had this feeling at work of not feeling like you can be yourself, of not feeling safe to contribute in a way that’s authentic to you, and having to hide core aspects of your identity, those are feelings that are really terrible, you know, and a lot of people today in the in the traditional corporate environment that we’ve oftentimes, you know, sort of put on a pedestal have had to conform to something that is not authentically, them. And then you add in the mix of being physically disconnected, you know, only virtually collaborating, and then experiencing a global pandemic, and all of the all of the trauma that comes with that work is a place where people are increasingly looking for way more than just a job, you know. So, to your point, you know, this is about creating environments where people thrive, where they can be themselves, they can do their best work, and it you know, work is actually a boost and not, you know, a deterrent, or, you know, I think, bring down, you know, for people in what they do every day.

Joel Goldberg 11:29
And oh, by the way, and I don’t know that this is this is the actual intent, although it all goes through it in the work that you’re doing is that if, if a company can unlock this, and by this, I mean making people feel comfortable making people feel included making people feel uncomfortable in their own skin, don’t you suddenly have a competitive advantage over potentially the competition that isn’t doing that? Right?

Arthur Woods 11:57
Absolutely. It’s unbelievable how, you know, organizations. I mean, we have so many stats that I can just like quickly read off, you know. Organizations that have achieved diversity inclusion, you know, there are a couple of, Makensie has a stat that that says, you know, organizations are 33% more likely to outperform competitors with high ethnic and cultural diversity. You know, Forbes says that, you know, you know, 87% of the time diverse teams make better decisions compared to others, and 67% of job seekers today say that, you know, working for a diverse workforce is one of the key differentiators in a job offer. We know how competitive the labor market is right now. So those are just three of many statistics that are showing pointing to that tremendous business case around diversity right now.

Joel Goldberg 12:47
I mean, to me, there’s the selling point, of course, they have to want to get there. But that is what that is where they want to be. Right? And so I think and then with a tool like Mathison, and obviously you can help them get there and everything ends up being better. So I want to I want to go back a little bit to what it started for you because it sounds like you were you were moving and shaking at a young age. Shoot I was I was reading in in one of the write ups or the research that my my assistant Ashleigh did that you created a fruit and snack delivery service, sophomore year at Georgetown. And whenever I hear stories like that, I always think this is someone that has the entrepreneurial spirit and probably did from early on. It’s I think it was at the case for you.

Arthur Woods 13:29
That was actually did an amazing job researching by the way. That’s really, that’s really back, back in the day. She’s good. She’s should become an investigative journalist. That’s really that’s really good work.

Joel Goldberg 13:41
Yeah. So you had that bug though? Clearly, right?

Arthur Woods 13:45
Yes, I did. I mean, I grew up in a in a pretty poor family, single parent, mom, amazing mother, we didn’t have a lot of resources. I started working when I was really young. So I already had this sort of relationship to work. But for me, honestly, Joel, early on, I loved building things. I loved sort of bringing ideas to life. And I felt as though as an entrepreneur, you can, you can really express your values through the conduit of what you build in a business and business can be used as an agent for positive change. So in Georgetown, kind of halfway through school, right around the time that I was coming out and realizing I was part of the LGBTQ community, I was I was launching, you know, one of my very first companies and we, you know, again, it was it was one of these powerful moments of realizing, you know, there is such such a joy in bringing ideas from the ideation phase to reality and involving interesting people in that journey with him, you know.

Joel Goldberg 14:44
Well, all these years later, it’s showing up in many ways, including with Mathison too, so I mean, you clearly had the entrepreneurial spirit. We’ve covered that you you have the the expertise that they can in the technology piece and all that so to be able to, to marry all this together, and I say this to people all the time, in my other world, as a motivational speaker, when you can find purpose in life, you can do anything. Now it’s not, I would say it’s easier said than done to find that purpose. For me, it was a little bit easier. I mean, I grew up and dreamed of talking about sports. Wasn’t particularly great at them, surrounded by a lot of people that that are amazing or were amazing at sports, but I get to talk about them every day on TV, the greater impact and purpose is that I could use those stories and everything that I’m doing to help companies and people build better culture and take those experiences, and share them with others and help others. For you, as a member of the LGBTQ community, as someone that did come out, as someone that has the entrepreneurial, the tech background, and all this to be able to put that all together and to be able to change companies and change the world. I don’t think I’m overstating this at all, and I’m not trying to be overly dramatic on it. But that has to be incredibly fulfilling to be able to have this purpose that is so important to you.

Arthur Woods 16:03
It is and I’ll tell you Joel, you know, someone was asking me on a podcasts last week, you know, tell me about failures, you know, tell me about a time that you failed? And I, I, it was a really interesting question, because for me, and I know that that same goes for you and all of your thought leadership. I really think that the more that we consider failure around the material, and I think extrinsic side of work and what we do, we can drive ourselves absolutely, uh, you know, I would say crazy, you know, but we you know, if we think about success in our work as is making an impact growing and learning, working with interesting people building transformational relationships, those are the I would say intrinsic drivers, the purpose drivers for me that are most important and, and almost any situation that we enter, in, especially on an entrepreneurial journey becomes fulfilling, if we if we look at it through that lens. So I think for me, a lot of this sort of definition of success has changed quite a bit as I’ve grown. And yes, you know, we need material gain, we need, we need profits, we need these major aspects of business. But I think that purpose, and that sense of impact, truly, to me is what matters most right now.

Joel Goldberg 17:21
The name of the company is an interesting one, and it goes back in what I was reading on your website, which is mathison.io. Very interesting, going back to World War Two times. Tell me about that.

Arthur Woods 17:37
Yes, again, Ashleigh did great research here. So Mathison is named after Alan Turing, who many folks may know, was instrumental in cracking the enigma code, the German Enigma code, in World War Two, using some of the earlier forms of data science. And he, despite this extraordinary achievement in his career, he faced persecution at the end of his life, because he was gay. And he was actually chemically castrated. And it was, it was a terrible story. For someone who had been, you know, again, really saving millions of lives through his work. And his story to us was a motivation on kind of two levels. One, the power of data and knowledge and in this work, but second, this idea of diversity, any anything that makes us unique and different, really becoming a strength and not ever being perceived as a weakness, you know. That is a huge part of our work. And we dream of a world where, you know, our workforce can reflect the diversity that exists in society.

Joel Goldberg 18:39
Yeah, amen to that. I, you know, I’ll follow up. And this is something that I think I would have asked a little bit later, but I’ll just do it right now. Where are we at with that, because to me, the worst days, when you see all the politics and the fighting, and in this country, not just this country to, but I’ll focus on where we live, it can be very, to me, it can be very disheartening, that as someone that is not a member of the LGBT community, but someone that is very much always has been and always will be an ally. But then I look and I, and I see that progress is never easy. Yet, then again, I, I see, for instance, I’ll put it this way that there are there are elements of, just discussions that I can have around the house, where my daughter is so aware of who she is, she’s 16, just about 17 years old, so aware of what what is right and what is wrong and where we should be and where we’re not, that I never knew as a kid. And so I see progress. And I’m not just saying that that’s progress in my house. I see that as progress of what she is learning outside of the house too. And so that that makes me very, very proud and very excited. At the same time. Everywhere you look. There are signs of I wouldn’t say no progress but but signs that are disappointing to me. So yeah, where are we at overall in this day? In this important, absolutely necessary aspect of inclusion?

Arthur Woods 20:06
Well, so I, it’s a wonderful question. And I’ll tell you without, without getting political, there is a there, there are a lot of forces, you know, globally that are, that are working against the entire essence of what you and I just talked about. You know, I think we see, first of all, we have a war that’s happening, you know, on the other side of the world, you know, people’s kind of basic rights being taken away, we see, even in the States here, many of the core aspects of, of, of an identity and have basic rights are being kind of challenged and stripped away in many in many cases. And, you know, it’s interesting that we can’t take anything for granted anymore. I think there’s anything that we’ve realized, especially among a global global pandemic, it’s that we, you know, our safety, our sense of inclusion, our sense of, you know, the ability to authentically represent our identities and be, you know, given basic rights in each of those identities equally, these are not at all surefire, you know, outcomes. And so it really is important right now that people use their voice, that we think about what matters most to us as individuals into society, and that we don’t just assume that everything will work out without there being true action, you know, and if anything, the last few months, especially he reminded us of this.

Joel Goldberg 21:33
I couldn’t agree with you more. And I’ll still get back to this. While politics tends to creep into all of this, and by the way, it creeps into everything in life, always has, unfortunately, always will, I hope that we can continue to try to reduce that. Not everything needs to be political. And this is, this is to me about human rights. But you and I are on the same page with that. And again, I’ll get back to what company doesn’t want to make their employees feel comfortable.

Arthur Woods 22:04
Well, that’s exactly right. And I’ll tell you that, you know, with with the uncertainty that’s happening on the public, you know, the public stage and the, I would say the global stage companies, employers have a lot of agency to lead with the practices, the inclusive practices that they can control. You know, I was talking to an employer in Florida, we’re facing this huge, you know, don’t say gay issue down here. And in order, an employer has every right in their workforce to input, to stand up the most inclusive LGBT policies, parental leave opportunities. They don’t have to wait for the state of Florida or the, you know, our country to implement changes that are right for their employees. And so employers have a very powerful voice, they have influence over the well being of their people, and have a great deal of agency that they can use. And I think a lot of employers that abstained from that conversation thinking they’re being political. And again, this just gets back to how do you help your people thrive? How do you help your people do their best work? Right?

Joel Goldberg 23:08
Before I get to my baseball themed questions, you wrote a, co-wrote a book called Hiring for Diversity: The Guide to Building an Inclusive and Equitable Organization. Tell me about that. And what what what people can expect to read in a book like that, which I’m sure has everything to do with with with all the rest of what we’ve discussed?

Arthur Woods 23:32
Absolutely. So Joel, during the during the pandemic, we had been writing a lot of blog posts and articles and op-eds. And we were getting asked really consistently can, can Mathison give us the playbook for inclusive hiring? And we realized there was such a such an important juncture at that at that moment, to give employers and leaders a practical guide to bring these ideas to life, that it deserves the book. And so over the course of the pandemic, on a lot of Saturdays and evenings, my, my co author, Susanna, and I wrote, wrote this book. And what leaders can expect is whether you’re a small business and you care about diversity, but you don’t think you have enough capacity or resources or you’re you’re a large organization, or a manager in a you know, in a large organization, in a public sector, organization, you name it. If you are someone who cares about advancing diversity on your team, in any capacity, this is a book for you. It’s a practical guide, it’s not at all heavy, you can get through it quickly. It gives you a ton of resources, because we should not you know feel as though we don’t have the direction the insights or the support to do this work. Anyone with the energy to do it can bring it to life.

Joel Goldberg 24:47
Alright, so want to make sure that people knew about that book and really everything Mathison related including the book too. You can find at mathison.io. mathison.io. mathison.io. It’ll be in the show notes. I want to hit you with my baseball themed questions before we wrap up. And among the, among the many accomplishments, I mean, you’ve you’ve done so much already in your, in your career and all the different awards, which I know are nice. Forbes 30 Under 30. And on and on, you’ve been a TEDx speaker three times, which is incredible, and just doing doing important work, what is the biggest home run of all the accomplishments, what’s the biggest home run that you’ve had?

Arthur Woods 25:28
The biggest home run for me, Joel, I had, my mother has been a major inspiration and just champion, if we stick the baseball analogy has been in the dugout cheering me on all along, you know. And I had the opportunity to help her get a house recently. And she’s just an amazing human being and lives now in nature in Maine. And that just, you know, I think, I think that reminder for me is that, you know, as leaders, we usually stand on the shoulder of giants, you know, usually was a few people that, that were instrumental in our confidence and in our growth and in our, in our impacts, right. And to make sure that we’re always, you know, reciprocating in setting up, whether whether it’s paying it forward, or pointing back to those amazing people who supported us, that to me was a real kind of great way to close the loop. You know,

Joel Goldberg 26:23
That’s like the ultimate home run, too, taking care of mom. I mean, right. It doesn’t get

Arthur Woods 26:26
Yes, I know, I know.

Joel Goldberg 26:28
That’s a good feeling.

Arthur Woods 26:30

Joel Goldberg 26:31
That’s amazing. That’s actually as good of a homerun. I think as, as I could hear, because we all can relate to that one. That’s, that’s beautiful thing, how about a swing and a miss along the way? And what did you learn from it?

Arthur Woods 26:43
Yeah, you know, swinging a miss, I would say is, I, you know, I, I’ve had, I’ve had a couple cases where I ideated, on concepts that were almost ahead of their time or too early, and had a couple learnings around, you know, just, you know, you could have a great idea, it might not be the right time for it in the world, you know, you may be too early. And, you know, as a social entrepreneur, you know, I’m motivated sometimes by the next breakthrough, you know, chance to break break the mold. And timing, though, is everything. So the swing and a miss is kind of bringing it bringing, bringing an idea to, you know, to life ahead of its time, knowing knowing that timing is key, you know,

Joel Goldberg 27:26
And the last question, really, to me, it was always meant to be a culture question. And, you know, I mentioned before focusing for me on on purpose, you know, I was I was reading about you that that finding purpose has been so much of a focus, I just think that that’s something that is always ongoing, at least to me, but But such a powerful thing, too. And it’s, it often comes from this question of small ball, the little things that add up to the big results. To those little things that happen, you know, in some ways to me, that’s, that’s your mom in the dugout, so to speak, cheering that’s an element of small ball to having that support system and all that. But it’s, you know, it’s to me, it’s what does not show up on the sales sheet, it does not show up in the box score in sports, it’s those little things that really, truly become who you are. So what is small ball to you?

Arthur Woods 28:18
Yeah, you know, in terms of little thing that that doesn’t show up, it’s really kind of part of who I am. Yeah, I would say that one is, is, you know, I find myself constantly in this mode of like, I have to work I have to, I have to get something done. And a lot of folks kind of see this outward, you know, just constantly, you know, productive. And my biggest small ball has been realizing, taking time to slow down and not do anything and be reflective has been really essential to doing work thoughtfully. And I think we’re constantly this mode right now, especially where we have to be busy, we have to have back to back zoom calls. And I’m just realizing that the breaks are just as important as the work itself.

Joel Goldberg 29:08
I want to follow up on this. I didn’t know where you’re going with the answer, but only because I feel like and hopefully this whole this discussion helps other people as we wrap it up that that I feel like I’m just getting there right now, I was just having this discussion with someone the other day where I’ve been wired my whole life to say that if I don’t accomplish X, Y and Z today, if I don’t do this, this and this, then somehow I’m a failure and why am I not getting to this? Why am I getting not getting to this? And I find myself more often than not now pushing some of that aside and saying this will be okay. I need to focus on working out, I need to focus on going out on the road and just going and walking three or four miles that the meditation the peaceful thought. And I’ve always been wired to say well wait a minute, though that but I didn’t get this done without valuing that element of taking care of myself and I This is that whole discussion that we’re all having now on work life balance. But it feels to me and that’s a bit of what you’re talking about, that that’s as important. As all the rest of it, we just don’t always measure it.

Arthur Woods 30:12
It’s really true. I, there was a time in my life where I thought I was going to become a professional trumpet player. And I had an instructor who told me the time that you play is just as important as the time that you don’t play. And that really stuck with me because, you know, you think as, as a, as a, as a musician, I just need to be playing constantly and his reminder was, it is just as essential that you take breaks as it is that you play, you know, and it should be actually equal. So that, you know, and I think in life and work right now, that’s the same, you know, we’re doing important work, but it has to be sustainable. It has to be, you know, we have to do it with with our physical, emotional and mental health. You know, prioritize beyond everything else, otherwise it won’t last.

Joel Goldberg 30:55
Yeah. Yeah. It’s it’s just a continued lesson, at least for me, and an interesting one to explore it. The, probably the greatest athlete in Kansas City’s history, certainly the greatest baseball player of all time, George, Brett has an expression that he likes to regularly say he did when he played he does now to some of the younger players, they’ll say try easier. And really, he’s talking about sometimes, but I think it ends up being a great metaphor that sometimes from baseball standpoint, what do you do when you’re trying to hit a homerun, you swing as hard as you can. But yet, I oftentimes I’ll interview a player after the game, they’ll say, I wasn’t even trying to hit the home run. And so I think about that, often, if you don’t have to put in 100%, or whatever number we want to make up beyond 100. We want to I tried 200%. Well, that’s not possible. But that max effort sometimes isn’t always needed. And sometimes when we can pull back a little bit, in no matter what the endeavor is, you’re talking about taking that time or not, you know, not always playing the trumpet. Having that time away as being just as important. I just think it’s a great lesson to learn and, and still, again, goes back to the best, you know, work habits and workplaces. And that’s ultimately what you’re trying to do.

Arthur Woods 32:03
Well, in baseball too, right? I’m sure there are a ton of baseball examples of that if the time that we’re now not not playing just as critical as the time that we are, right?

Joel Goldberg 32:12
Completely, completely, absolutely. Just taking care of ourselves and, and recharging and being better for that. So I want to remind everybody again, that for more information on that this and if you’re looking for your company, to focus more on inclusivity not just the you know, the discussions that we’re having which are very important but actually having a plan in place. As it says on the website, you can accelerate your DEI journey a single platform to build your Diversity Action Plan, mobilize your team, source underrepresented candidates, and measure impact company wide. I highly encourage you to get a hold of Arthur’s people you can figure all that out right on the website Mathison.io. this is this is Arthur been a great discussion a very informative one an important one to me. Congratulations on all this success. I’ll wrap it up with this. I know that entrepreneurs always have, have more ideas so I’m guessing you’re not just done there’s there’s more coming at some point right?

Arthur Woods 33:11
I would hope so. You know, that part part of the you know, the silver lining in the work for sure. You know?

Joel Goldberg 33:19
Well, congrats on all the success and everything that that is coming your way that we’ll continue to most importantly, congrats on on getting your mom that home and rewarding her for for I know a lot of hard work along the way and love and passion and all that but again, it’s matheson.io. Arthur, I really appreciate you joining me on Rounding the Bases.

Arthur Woods 33:38
Joel, thank you for having me.