In this episode, Daryl Tol, the EVP of One Mind at Work, joins Renee at The Table. They discuss many aspects of mental health, including how to help lead psychologically safe teams and redesign supporting work practices. The conversation also covers One Mind’s efforts as a movement anchored around brain science, the power of individual storytelling, and viewing your mental health on a continuum versus a binary state.
Daryl started his career in physician practice management and moved to hospital and health system management over a 20-year career in healthcare. During his most recent role leading the $6 billion Central Florida Division of AdventHealth, Daryl led AdventHealth’s consumer work and developed a passion for health transformation and the impact of technology on whole person health. Daryl’s lived experience with mental health challenges while maintaining a busy executive career makes One Mind a work of personal purpose and energy.
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Renee DeSilva 0:07
Welcome back to The Academy Table. I’m Renee DeSilva, CEO of The Academy and your host. This week, I had the pleasure of chatting with Daryl Tol, who is the Executive Vice President of One Mind at Work, a nonprofit organization focused on improving workplace mental health. They do this through research, advocacy, and employer-driven culture change. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Daryl for many years, and I’ve long had deep respect for him as a leader, and this conversation did not disappoint. It’s one of my favorites to date. There are insights here to not only help lead psychologically safe teams and redesign work practices to support mental health but, and maybe even more importantly, to manage our personal well-being and how we all show up as leaders. I had a number of takeaways that I’ve been sharing with my team at The Academy, so let me summarize them for you as well.
First, Daryl describes One Mind’s efforts as a movement anchored around brain science. They leverage CEOs as change agents, recognizing that creating this new work environment can help employees thrive, even if the individuals make no changes themselves. So really putting agency on all of us as leaders to change the environment in which we’re all operating. And that has real impact on how our team members receive the work.
Next, Daryl has been brave and open and transparent about his own personal struggles with anxiety and panic disorders and he talks about the power of individual storytelling and driving this change. When a leader is vulnerable and shares their journey, it encourages others to be themselves and can break the stigma of talking about mental health at work. And Daryl is an example of leading from the front on that topic.
And lastly, and really more personally, when I was chatting with Daryl I wrote down really a new mantra for myself, which is “manage your pace and manage your peace.” There’s a real benefit to viewing your mental health and wellness on a continuum versus a binary state. And there’s benefit when we recognize the things in our day that either drain our energy or fill our cup. And I’m taking Daryl’s advice, to be mindful of that in my own life and model for my teams, managing my pace and managing my peace. So with that, let’s head to the table.
Daryl, welcome to the Table. So happy to have you with us this afternoon.
Daryl Tol 2:55
And it’s great to be here with you.
Renee DeSilva 2:57
So Daryl, I’ve had the benefit of admiring your leadership in healthcare from afar well before we met in The Academy context, but I don’t know that I fully understand your healthcare story, so tell us a little bit about the early forces that shaped your healthcare career.
Daryl Tol 3:13
Well, my mom was a nurse and my grandma was a nurse, and I had these generations of healthcare and my family. But I can’t say that the clinical side, called to me as strongly as thinking of the large strategic issues in healthcare. And as I got into college, and I got to know some hospital administrators, I actually followed some of them around even when I was in college. And it just stuck. It just seemed like such a fascinating, such a fascinating field. I remember one ran rural hospitals and he would be walking around these tiny hospitals in rural Oregon and it just really seemed like important work. And so I decided from there to just dig in and go after a healthcare career and really glad that I did.
Renee DeSilva 4:03
And you spend, I would say, more than 20 years before you moved on to your current role at One Mind, which we’ll get into in a moment, but you spend more than 20 years in more traditional provider leadership positions. Just take us through that at a high level.
Daryl Tol 4:18
I did, yeah. I started off and physician medical practice management and then grew to a single hospital leadership with that, but l grew to a region and then divisional leadership and advent health is a health system great system. I got to work with a lot of really amazing people there and see close up both the joys and the challenges of healthcare, including through the COVID pandemic effort of 2020 and really just have tremendous admiration for the teams, physicians, nurses and leaders that work in health care every day.
Renee DeSilva 4:58
That’s fantastic. So I want to just then by going into the part of the conversation which I think has engendered a lot of respect for you not just from me but just from healthcare leaders broadly, which is how you’ve approached telling your own story about your past and ongoing management of anxiety. So take us through that journey. I think it’s such an inspirational way for all of us to think about how we are returning that level of transparency that even body, so talk a little bit through that journey.
Daryl Tol 5:28
Sure, it goes back to college, Renee. In college, I had a scary experience that I didn’t realize impacted me to the degree it did. But a few weeks after that experience, I was with a large group of people walking in, it was a haunted house kind of thing at Halloween, and I started feeling like I was gonna die, that room was spinning. I felt like I had to get out of there. And I bolted out onto the lawn outside. And one of my friends followed me out there and said, Are you okay? And I said, I don’t know, I don’t know, I’m either like, losing touch with reality, or I’m dying physically, I don’t know what’s happened. Well, that was a panic attack. And it was the first of many at that time that I started to have finally ended up going to therapy, and getting some medication. But I was embarrassed, I was embarrassed about it. I not want my friends to know, I didn’t want my professors to know. So I bluffed my way through college. And finally, it stabilized. And some people think, Oh, you have anxiety, or an anxiety disorder. And it’s with you all the time? Well, for me, it comes in it goes it’s a copy anxiety blanket, when it’s there, you really feel it, it really impacts your life. And I developed some skills to just keep motoring on even when it was there. And I started developing those in college. When I started my career, I was very afraid to talk about this, I would go to counties over for therapy when it would pop up as an issue, I would keep my medication off of the benefits because I didn’t want anybody to know, I didn’t want that asterisk after my name. It took a long time. And people say I was so courageous. No, not really, I waited until I was really established. Before I actually felt comfortable talking about this, and I wish I hadn’t I wish I had started much, much sooner. And I didn’t start until my son’s college asked me to come speak to an assembly of the students as a business leader. Right? Not because I had this struggle. But I decided that’s the time it was in college. When this started, this is important. That was bad enough, I hadn’t even talked to the kids about it. So I had to sit down with my son and say, Hey, do you mind that font, talk about this at your school? And his reaction was amazing. He said, Why would I mind? Of course, that would be great. So with his permission, I talked to several 1,000 kids there at the college and I thought oh, they’re gonna just get out of here as fast as they can after this assembly. But they didn’t. They lined up down the center aisle. But clearly not all, but a meaningful number lined up and talked, talked about their own struggle. And that really got me thinking that this, this is an important story to tell. I went back, I started with my executive team, I told them about it, learn things about them, I would have never known and then grew to the hospital health system team and then the community. And it has just been a joy ever since to see the impact of just being a real person. And it’s been good for me too.
Renee DeSilva 8:56
I appreciate a few things that you said that I don’t want to fast cycle through. So one thing that you said that really resonated with me is it took some time for you to feel comfortable doing sharing your story. And you did that from the position of having influence and being established in the role that you’ve had. And so I wonder, for folks who are maybe not as established on their own professional journey and don’t maybe have the same positional power or influence, what advice would you offer them in terms of how to think through managing the communication process with colleagues around that? If that’s the appropriate thing for them to do.
Daryl Tol 9:33
The first thing is to be right with yourself and understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. For me, I woke up at some point obviously pretty late to the unhealthy dynamics of being a fake person of wearing a mask of armoring up. I’ve not really enough carrying the persona of a leader or that I thought was this impressive person, I wanted people to be impressed. And so I managed myself that way. And it created an extra burden and extra pressures that I regret. So I think people need to think about who they are, how real they want to be. And then when you, when you shift and start looking out, we’re thinking about the role of a leader of any kind, probably the role of a human being would be a fair way to put it is to help other people thrive, at its most fundamental must be about helping other people thrive. And so if people aren’t helped by the pretense of perfection, and are helped by vulnerability and openness, then then I think we realize, and I finally realized, I’m gonna be healthier if I do this, and I can help more people. If I do this, I would encourage people to spend time with their therapists, with their loved ones with their journals, and just really go through that kind of thought exercise, why do I exist? Why am I here? And what? How will it help people if I’m more open, and our helped me if I’m more open, it is important to know your organization to know your boss to know the culture there. And if you’re, if you’re in a healthy culture, you will be able to talk and be yourself. If you’re not in a healthy culture, it’s probably a good time to leave, I can tell you when I spoke openly about this, I received nothing but support from my company. So all those fears had been a misplaced. Now, I can’t say that if I had been younger, might a leader somewhere along the way have said well, you know, he seems great, but I don’t know, I don’t know if we can promote them. But I think that’s a risk worth take to be a healthy real person in life and to help other people thrive.
Renee DeSilva 11:56
I think that’s great. It’s a good example of an individual leader having the ability to start a conversation that begins to break down stigma associated with this topic, if I could stay at it for a moment longer. I guess my follow on question would be because I’m imagining what the listeners are thinking through because I think this is a conversation May is Mental Health Awareness Month, he academies in the process of thinking through our own programming for that something that we’ve been spending time on just from our own engagement survey, what’s the perception of our own employees? And so maybe a question for you would be when you think about the colleagues that were most helpful to you, as you not just communicated it but really manage the wave or the blanket, as you call it a moment that might be triggering. What advice would you give to colleagues who may be on the receiving end of that information? How do we support and show up for folks that we care about in the workplace?
Daryl Tol 12:49
Such a good question, and it’s easily mishandled, but it’s also easily handled if we’re in touch with our humanity. Some of the most meaningful things happened, as I started talking more openly. It’s so great to be heard. It’s so great to have people listen to you and not to treat you like a special case, or somehow more fragile now that you’ve spoken about this, but just as a friend, and as somebody that has been heard. So listening is always safe to do, it’s always safe to listen. And I always encourage that. The second thing is to share back. I really appreciated the people who turned right around and said, ‘Thanks for sharing, let me tell you a little bit about myself, or my child or my spouse or some family struggle that I’ve experienced.’ In every talk I do, Renee, I always ask the room, ‘How many of you have a loved one or close friend or you yourself struggle with mental health?’ Every hand in the room always goes up. So we all feel alone, but we’re not alone. And when we talk about these things, it’s great to just turn it right around and say, ‘Yeah, here’s my story.’ Now we’re comparing stories. We’re mutually vulnerable. For me, that helped a lot to know, you know, I’m actually getting to know these people I’ve worked with for years, better than I’ve ever known them before. And that affirmation led me to share more, and I think it led them to share more head circles of impact.
Renee DeSilva 14:22
Absolutely. Well, you now have shifted into a new role at an organization that I want to explore a bit called One Mind, and particularly some work around One Mind at Work, which is all about supporting mental health in the workplace. I was just preparing for this conversation, and I think you all put it really nicely in that 1/3 of adult lives are spent at work. And to think that we don’t spend more time on this topic is sort of one that we maybe have a little bit of a blinders around. So talk to us a little bit about what drew you to work more formally in this space and what is the mission of One Mind at Work in particular?
Daryl Tol 14:56
Sure. Well, the draw when I started talking About this, I became really passionate about making an impact more broadly on the topic, and they just so happened I interviewed Brooke Shields about her postpartum depression, as part of the conversations that were generated by me speaking openly about this. And my future boss, the current individual I work for Garin, he saw the interview. And as a result of the interview, and some conversations with his board, at one mind, he called me I didn’t know who he was, it was out of the blue, but he called me and asked me to consider coming and leading at one mind, and specifically leading this mental workplace effort. So the timing was amazing. And that topic, and the purpose of it was really, really important. Our effort is really interesting, because one mine started by a family what was started by a family and Staglands, Garen and Sherry Staglands, whose son Brandon, in his late teens and early 20s, had a number of really significant mental illness challenges that were ultimately diagnosed as schizophrenia. And Brandon is doing really well now. But through the struggle, they started a music festival at their Napa vineyard to support mental health efforts and research, because they just had so many frustrations with the current state. And then started to recognize as that music festival gained steam venue to build a not for profit around which they did in one mind. And then they realized the science and research wasn’t creating real change at the individual, person level. And so started with a media capability. And then this workplace capability, which is where we are today and the topic of this conversation. So science back research back, but now all the way to real people. In the one place, we all gather consistently, whether virtually or in person, and that’s at work with more organized infrastructure that really can make a difference. And that’s something that I’ve seen already just has a powerful impact when companies go all in on this topic. And it’s an overarching topic, but impacts the entire strategy of the organization, for a simple reason. And that is, our brains are the seed of our entire value to any job we hold in any organization, the functioning of the mind is central. And because of that, and realizing we’re all on the mental health continuum, not just some people, it’s just like physical health, where we can move around on it, and we’re all on. It makes it a universal effort, that right now is particularly important. So it’s really been fun to see the growth of very rapid growth of the movement, but also to arrive here myself and to be part of.
Renee DeSilva 18:04
So let’s talk more about the movement. You mentioned that it’s combining research and advocacy, but also some just practical ways in which in CEOs in particular member organizations ought to embrace it. So talk a bit around why you anchor on CEOs in terms of really sort of driving the agenda forward. I think you’ve got 60 employers who are all in on really embracing this, but what does it look like from an organizational lens for people and organizations who are really wanting to lean into this work?
Daryl Tol 18:38
Sure, absolutely. And by the way, we’ve been growing so quickly, it’s easy to get behind on the number we’ve gone from 60 members to over 150 members right now. And these are global corporations like Walmart KPMG, Bank of America, AXA, but they’re also many health systems Kaiser and Sutter and Hackensack meridian. HCA national, we have 350 plus hospitals that are all part of the movement, so tons of interest. And the reason we start with the CEO in the C suite is because that’s really where the impact to the organization and on thriving of teams can be made even if individuals do not. So there’s this recognition that many wellbeing programs have been built around individual action. If you climb the stairs, if you drink less diet Soda, if you sleep enough, you can be healthier. And that’s true, of course. But if you don’t, you won’t be healthier and your organization can easily just wash its hands and say, Well, we told you to climb the stairs and you didn’t. And it’s really hard to demonstrate the impact of these well-being efforts and much has been written about whether they even have a return when we’re asking individuals in fight their whole life to lose weight and don’t etcetera, to make changes. Meanwhile, all of these employers too often are ignoring the fact that they can change their environments, change their workplaces, change their policies, make decisions, change their cultures, in ways that help people thrive, even if those individuals do nothing. That’s the power of leadership. And that’s why we start with the CEO, when a CEO wakes up to the fact that he or she can impact the thriving of people, even if those individuals do nothing. It changes the entire perspective of well-being. And we’d hope this kind of evangelism we do on this topic helps the physical health side too because we need more effort in organizations. And I think especially health care, to change, work design, to change culture, to change, storytelling and communication, to change access and benefit structures, all in the interest of individuals thriving, because leaders made the right things happen.
Renee DeSilva 21:10
Yeah, I think that’s a really interesting point, just to spend a moment on. It reminds me of a previous conversation that I had recently with Dr. Heather Farley. She’s the Chief wellness officer at Christiana Care and she pushes a lot on this topic of you can’t ask people to continue to be resilient if you’re not changing the environment or the milieu in which they’re operating in. It’s a conversation that comes up particularly in the healthcare conversation that I’m a part of just given what’s been such a challenging set of years for folks to navigate through. So this notion of, yes, resilience is important as a characteristic, but not sufficient in terms of really driving that culture of wellbeing from more of a holistic perspective. It sounds like you’d agree with that approach.
Daryl Tol 21:56
100%. In fact, one of our members, MUSC in South Carolina, they had a meeting of an employee resource group, essentially a group of their team members who were talking about this topic. And one of them said, we, we don’t like it, when you talk about resilience. We don’t like it, because it implies that if we’re strong enough, that we can, we can handle all of this, and then it’s a weakness or a failure on our part individual if we aren’t able to perform, and the musc team has really taken that seriously to say what is really the organizational dynamic and design that helps create thriving. It is a major intellectual, emotional load to carry to say, Man, if I were strong enough, or if I were one of the strong ones, right, then I would be fine. But the truth is, nobody is able to be healthy in certain environments, our bodies and minds, we just weren’t designed to maintain health over time. So things tend to go under the surface, things tend to become unhealthy in different segments of our life, some are better at faking it until they make it they help. But the truth is the Yeah, it’s not possible to be fully healthy and functional in all possible environments. It’s something that requires a lot more intellectual conversation and wisdom than just asking people to be resilient.
Renee DeSilva 23:29
I love the MUSC example. As you sort of think through the other members with whom you work, are there other things that come to mind in terms of things that are working to promote a thriving culture. I don’t want to say it in the context of low-hanging fruit, but when you think through the foundational elements that all of us as leaders need to have in place to really create this environment or culture, what comes to mind for you?
Daryl Tol 23:56
Well, one is very close to home, which is leadership storytelling. We do see that make a big impact. There’s some good science behind the rash. The reason that the frontline won’t likely start building vulnerability into the organizational conversation, it really does have to be senior leaders who step kind of off the pedestal and become real and talk about when they use the EAP or when they struggled. That’s important, not because it’s the end. People identify best with people more like them. So the conversation needs to spread through the organization to people like them, but it’s permission-giving and helps open the organization up. So that’s something it’s free, by the way, and it’s, yeah, it requires a little bit of courage, but it opens organizations up. The second thing that is really impactful is middle manager, manager or even frontline leader training and up through the organization. We have members at one mind at work that require all managers to be trained in mental health in the workplace, how to listen, how to look for early symptoms, how to have conversations, how to feel comfortable in an uncomfortable area, uncomfortable topic. In fact, one member goes all the way to require all managers to be certified. And they just say you don’t have to be a manager in our organization, you don’t have to lead here. But if you do, you’re going to be mental health certified. And that has changed the organization profoundly, as leaders become more capable at lifting other people on the topic of mental health, both healthy and preventively as all as well as in the midst of struggle. So those are two, those are two quick examples. There are so many great stories, but those make a big impact very quickly, without a lot of additional investment.
Renee DeSilva 25:56
What does it mean to be mental health certified in your mind?
Daryl Tol 26:01
Well, there are formal programs for leadership that are built that end with a certification in the case of our member that has one they built one and customized it for themselves. And so they’ve created a certification internally, their external tools like the mental health ally certification, so an organization could get mental health ally, which Sherm and psych hub have now partnered up on and could require or, or create an incentive, perhaps to, for leaders to become mental health allies. And of course, that’s a great Peer Program as well, for peers to become allies. There are other types of programs made of millions have built as built made Academy, which is broader, doesn’t certify, but it orients, the organization to mental health struggles and helps people with how to start thinking about and having conversations like that. Lots of great tools out there. Those are a couple of examples.
Renee DeSilva 27:02
That’s great. So in some ways, maybe the way that we think about it is sort of a mental health first aid, the way that you might think about more physical manifestations.
Daryl Tol 27:07
That’s a great way to put it. Yes, absolutely. And it even precedes the first aid stage, where we’re all just looking out for each other.
Renee DeSilva 27:20
I love that. So when you think about— and you’ve mentioned this earlier on that this is sort of a an evergreen set of topics and everything in this realm operates on a continuum, right? So the way that I may be feeling a showing up today might be very different than tomorrow or yesterday, how then do organizations think about evaluating progress or continuing to evolve to meet their team members where they are? How have you or your members thought about that?
Daryl Tol 27:52
One of the very first things I heard from our members was, we don’t have a great way to measure our maturity or our progress in this space. And so we’ve partnered with Columbia University and Ethisphere, to build mental health at work maturity index, it’ll have a fancier name when it’s done, but it’s, it’s actively in development right now, and will launch later this year. The goal of that is to give organizations the ability and by the way, many of your members are part of Bala or part of atmospheres measurement, say in compliance or in ethics or in cybersecurity. So, atmosphere is very experienced in this and may work with a number of the listeners in their organizations that they’re creating the platform for us to use it one mine to drive this effort. So it should be familiar and very credible. Companies will take this index, and it will tell them out of a scale of one to five, where they fall from a maturity standpoint compared to the best practice. So 3.8, say, and then through an algorithm, most companies will get a list of precision recommendations for them based on how they answered here are some things they should start with in order of priority. It’s benchmark couple you can see how you’re doing in your industry, and then you can see what you need to go do about it. We’re really hoping that that effort can add C suite level dashboard board level dashboards that individuals can say, Okay, I know exactly where I am. I know where we want to get to and we have a series of actions that have been recommended that are now part of the strategic plan, continuous cycles of improvement work in health care, they work in this in this effort, for sure.
Renee DeSilva 29:47
Yeah. As you were responding, I was thinking through we spend, I guess to be back up here, compared to when you and I first entered the workforce we are having much better conversations on hard to topics I think writ large, right? We’re talking health, we’re talking through race, equity and inclusion, we’re talking about things that we probably would not have spoken to or spoken about 15, even 10 years ago. And so and we also sit in positions where we spend a lot of time on dwelling in the art the possible in terms of just broader strategy settings. So the question that comes to mind me, as you’re talking is, what do we hope the conversation is five years from now, where we will feel like we’ve made leapfrog progress on having the right conversation around mental health in the workplace?
Daryl Tol 30:35
It’s really about the interconnectedness of the right conversations, and moving away from being initiative-driven. But I’m really glad you raised this question, because without deep insight into how the mind works, we won’t make as much progress as we should on diversity, equity and inclusion on health equity, or a social determinants of health. These, these topics often stand alone, and the definition of the resolution of the topics or the strategies to attack them are delinked from psychology and human behavior and the psychology of the oppressor and oppressed and the mental dynamics within organizations and behavioral dynamics within organizations that met frankly, with deeper insight into the mind. Everything from engagement to DNI, to SDOH to human performance, people work and the broader functioning, the organization will never really take flight. So integration is what I think is the key word for five years from now. And where we need to fight to from here: integration. It’s an interesting parallel because mental illness is disintegrating. So anytime an organization or a number of people are disintegrated, they’re, they’re in silos, their initiatives are all separate. And they deal with everything all by itself. They are creating an illness in their organizations not dissimilar from mental illness when experienced by individuals, it’s disintegrating. If organizations and individuals can integrate, it is healthier. And that’s really I think, where we have to get to in the way we build culture, the way we do our knitting, right? The way we lead in organizations.
Renee DeSilva 32:26
I think that’s really powerful. I often say, just going back, as you’re chatting, I’m thinking through, I spent a lot of time on representation in the workplace, I was the chief talent officer before this role. And I often think through Equity and Inclusion cannot be a thing that we do, it needs to be a way that we do all things. Absolutely. And that’s your point here is healthy brains, how that’s connected to how our bodies feel how that’s connected to what are the way that we can approach our work, where our energy rests, both physically and mentally has to be comprehensive and integrated and not creating a sense of other nests for people who should be showing up on one end or the other of the spectrum, and I don’t mean spectrum in a clinical way, but of the continuum. So I love that framework that you put around it.
Daryl Tol 33:15
It’s so important. And that creates the sense of all in, to form a word, team-ness rather than isolated, separateness.
Renee DeSilva 33:28
That’s right. I also am encouraged by I think in many organizations, there are multiple generations represented in the workforce. I do think there’s something about, you know, I have teenagers and a 20, something, I think that generation is far more comfortable talking about things that are hard. And so if I have another sense of optimism, and I think you saw that in your own son’s reaction, they’re willing in a way that maybe my mother or father’s generation would, or maybe meet my own would not have been willing to go. And so that gives me some hope, too.
Daryl Tol 33:59
It’s very hopeful. And the cool thing is they’re recruiting meaning they are teaching us how not to put up with things we thought we had to put up with his story, right? You know, they’re changing the rules. They’re saying this is unacceptable. They’re saying this, this kind of work environment, a way that the way bosses have used, the way, the way we’ve been required to work and misplace or that place the rules of the game, we don’t accept them. And I think many of us are starting to say, Oh, you mean we don’t fret. Okay, well, well, that’s cool. And we are seeing our older generation are saying, Oh, wow, our perspective has to change too. And of course, we know that can change that that changes the world when generations start to think differently.
Renee DeSilva 34:50
That’s right. And I do think you know, some of what we’re all tracking in terms of the great resignation and whoever you’re, you’re framing it is also forcing companies to maybe push their own comfort level on things that they would not would have been off limits. Disrupting norms are totally on the table at this point, just given that there’s such a deep need to get qualified people tracking with you, right. So I think listeners are converging in a really positive way.
Daryl Tol 35:14
Right. And it’s just at the right time because the after effects of a traumatic event and talk about trauma with the pandemic, that does drive people to make change and reassess careers and relationships. And that’s happening at scale now. So the great resignation is not unexpected, it’s what you would expect following trauma, people make changes. The good news is that coming out of that, companies are going to have to prepare differently and need to because the after effects of traumatic events also leads to a massive growth and mental health struggle. And so if our companies don’t have the command center mindset right now around mental health in the workplace, they need it, because it’s on the way if it hasn’t arrived already.
Renee DeSilva 36:03
It’s a great parallel. All right, so I want to go a wrapping us up here, I sort of want to start or end where we started, which is a little bit more of some individual, maybe thoughts or comments, which is you’re spending so much of your time now at scale, talking about mental health advocacy, brain health, how you really move the needle across populations, but go back to your cell, how do you approach your own well being? How do you unplug from work? What’s the way in which you’ve sort of managed just from a day-to-day perspective? What advice might you give us that for those of us who’re also trying to figure it out for ourselves?
Daryl Tol 36:37
Yeah, it’s so individual, but I’ll tell you, I had to do some real thinking on this because I had got me into I ran, I was very busy. I ran a large division and was very, very busy and had to get life under control. And that that was important. I was reading four books at a time, I realized I need to read one book at a time. It’s okay, Darrell, you can read one at a time. Yeah, I was reading books, you know, on my electronic device that I also used for work. And I switched just to paper books, I created some really hard boundaries around weekends and evenings that I wasn’t so good at before. And that’s been a huge help doing a lot more outside activities and hiking. And that’s just rejuvenate. It just builds the energy, and paying attention to how feels, how I feel, what feels good, and what doesn’t feel good. And realizing those are signals that I need to pay attention to, rather than just push through. Everyone’s got to think through how to manage their pace, and how to manage their peace. And those are both things that that I’ve spent a lot of time on.
Renee DeSilva 37:55
That mantra of managing your pace and peace is one that definitely lands and to your point. It is individual, it takes some quiet reflective time. I also I often think about it for myself, that’s just energy management, as well like noting the calendar test of noting what things are on my calendar that bring the energy, what things are on my calendar that drain my energy and trying to use insofar as you know, I should have a decent amount of control over how I spend my time trying to add more to that energy building bucket for sure.
Daryl Tol 38:27
And often, when you really get into it and say, Okay, I’m not looking forward to tomorrow, why not? Out of a calendar with 789 things on it, there’s probably one thing that’s really the issue. And, and to really understand that one thing, why it’s the issue and what you’ve got to do about it, because you should do something about that is a step by step it starts to make a difference.
Renee DeSilva 38:54
As you’re talking, what I’m also taking away is the importance of making that transparent to the people around you like even that nomenclature around. It’s healthy and appropriate to draw boundaries that you can pay attention to how your body feels and how your mind feels and talk to your managers about that. And there are such small but powerful takeaways and sentiments from what you’re sharing that was useful for me as I’m thinking about how my leadership continues to evolve. I think these are really important things to just dwell on.
Daryl Tol 39:25
It takes a while to really get I don’t know if you ever get there all the way I have not.
Renee DeSilva 39:31
That’s hard work. Indeed, indeed. Alright, final question a bit of a later one, which is if you could invite two people for any for a conversation at a table that you curated. Who would you invite, and why?
Daryl Tol 39:44
Oh, man. All right. Don’t judge me here, Renee. Number one, I would love to have dinner with Elon Musk. And of course, he’s just blowing up the news today we is with his after thinking there was no chance in the world. With his acquisition of Twitter, I have a feeling there’s a lot about his view on life I disagree with, the thing I find fascinating about him is that he has this almost limitless way of thinking about what’s possible. And then somehow he does a lot of it. It’s just, it’s just unbelievable. And I would just love to dig into that, like, not only can you dream, but I mean, you’re sending rocket ships into space that include a vehicle event. And then your lunch that what is going on here. And it’s, it’s shocking. And then to help me manage the energy of it probably, I don’t know, it speaks at my age. But I’m a big Jerry Seinfeld fan. And I would love to just sit at a table with Jerry and Ilan together if I’m allowed because that would be quite the conversation.
Renee DeSilva 40:59
That would be. I can imagine Jerry Seinfeld might have some good funny jabs at Elon Musk as part of that dinner.
Daryl Tol 41:07
That would be fun. That’d be and then that the Twitter battle that would come after the two of them sat at dinner would be fun to watch, too.
Renee DeSilva 41:15
That’s right. Well, I have one final thought, which is back to my point, there are parts of my day that drain my energy and parts that add to it. This is definitely one in that category of adding to it. So I appreciate you showing up and giving us a bit of your personal story and also just really tangible practical things I think we can all take away as we are all managing this journey. So thank you. And I would love to see you in person soon. I hope that we can make that happen.
Daryl Tol 41:40
Thank you, Renee. It’s added energy for me too. It’s a lot of fun, and I look forward to seeing in person as well. That’ll be a joy.
Renee DeSilva 41:46
Great. Thank you. Thanks again for joining me at the table. The table is a podcast produced by the Health Management Academy. Make sure you catch future episodes by visiting our website, The Academy table.com or by subscribing on the podcast platform of your choice. And if you have suggestions for topics or guests, I’d love to hear from you. Please drop me a note at Renee at HM academy.com. I look forward to talking with you soon.