Lisa McLaughlin and Robin Ann McIntosh
Tom Willis in conversation with Lisa McLaughlin and Robin Ann McIntosh
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Being a Co-Founder & a Co-CEO is not easy and we explore this subject with our guests Lisa & Robin.
Lisa McLaughlin is a social entrepreneur, pioneer inthe field of health informatics, and Co-CEO and co-founder of Workit Health. As the leader of Workit’s business development efforts and clinical strategy, she drives Workit’s outcomes research and value based partnerships with health plans.
As principal investigator on Workit’s translational research initiatives with the National Science Foundation and National Institute on Drug Abuse, Lisa keeps Workit’s model at the forefront of personalized care, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence for substance use recovery. She holds Masters of Social Work andInformation Science from the University of Michigan and brings over two decades of experience in technology development and healthcare.
She serves on the board of several economic empowerment initiatives, including Venture for America Detroit and The University of Michigan Accelerate Blue Fund. Lisa has been named a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year, a Crain’s Notable Woman in Health, and anErnst and Young Midwest Entrepreneur of the Year. Her work has been featured in JAMA, NIDA News, WIRED,The Economist, and the New York Times.
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Know more about Tom - https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomasawillis/
Lisa and robin thanks so much for joining me on the podcast. I'm super excited to talk to you guys because I have not yet had co-CEOs and co-founders on the podcast so I'm really excited to dive into that topic. I know there are lots of co-CEOs out there who will be especially interested in how you make it work um but uh to start with would just love to hear what is it that you know what are you up to what exactly are you guys um looking to make a difference on this planet with police say you can take that question.
So Robert and I met in recovery and for us we really see patient-led design and patient-designed care models as this huge revolution in healthcare that we're lucky to be on the forefront of and we've been able to build a company around so we started work at health which is a digital addiction care clinic for addiction really based on the belief that our lived experience seeing broken systems of recovery in America that didn't meet people.
Top-down and not patient-led um needed a big rethink in a major way which led us to build out what's now a very large 18 state digital clinic company that serves individuals with a harm reduction approach to opioids and alcohol and 18 states and how much money have you raised uh most recently we raised 118 million dollar series c but all told maybe closer to 40 40.
So 140 million dollars you're in 18 states um and you came out out of the gate here saying you met in recovery you know we're going to get real we're going to get honest here with the audience which is awesome tell us tell us about that what was what was that what does that mean first of all for maybe folks who don't understand and then how did you form such a quick partnership I'm happy to just walk down memory lane let me live up.
Lisa and I met in 2009 and she had just moved to the bay area and i had just moved to the bay area i just moved for art school and she had just moved um oh because Dom went to uc berkeley and uh lisa at the time was you know a thought leader in non-profits and that kind of work and social impact this is a long time ago and um i remember lisa you saying like this is the hotbed this is the epicenter that's like oh my god we're just very exciting and so anyway so we were at this a.a meeting in north oakland and we ended up sitting right next to each other.
We were both totally new and uh it was this great moment where the meeting for some reason you said where you were from and lisa said ann arbor i went to university of michigan ann arbor so it was the instant connection there and we ended up going to dinner afterwards we went to this great ethiopian place and um you know this is a long time ago now more than a decade ago but i think we just had such a chemistry such a spark you know and uh we we became very fast friends very close in recovery you know i looked to lisa for a lot of spiritual guidance.
I just thought the world of her and then uh then lisa you were working at iskami and you asked me to come and design with you um an open education project so something for the open source world and we started working together and it was so interesting that so much of our chemistry translated from being in recovery being in the world to the workplace you know we just create we love to create we love to build we love to get really excited about the future and the preferred future is we like to think of it and it was this great moment but then um you know time went by as time does and in 2015 we sort of hit this our careers were really expanding and we were both in the bay area still so our careers were expanding i specifically can't talk for lisa and your experience liam but um i specifically was working a lot with digital health as in my design firm was working a lot with digital health and lisa and i would go to these a meetings and so many of our friends were going out and relapsing and there was a scary thing called fentanyl coming onto the streets and people were dying and it just seems like a really big uptick especially um in the bay area for sure but definitely in michigan and other places we're getting hit really hard so lisa and i banded together and said what's going on why why you know we started doing preliminary research saying okay if the 20 million americans diagnosed with substance use disorder why do so little people get into treatment and we started there i had never started the company before based um like digging into a problem without a lot of without a lot of solutions to grab i think you can start two ways right you can start with the problem or you can start with a solution but it was such an interesting organic start because we really dove into the problem in a really obsessive way and um and that never really stopped i mean that's what we do every day lisa i think at the end of the day what we do is we solve problems at a larger scale now but you know that's where the company started so when we say we met in recovery we literally were shoulder to shoulder and a meeting that's what that means and uh yeah we've been best friends ever since and now co-founders and co-ceos all these 13 years later and 140 million dollars which is amazing i mean that's why i wanted to ask that because when you think about starting sort of an aaa the trajectory isn't always to this sort of success and this sort of impact on the world um and it's just it's just impressive frankly um and the fact that you're not just co-founders and co-ceos that what you just said robin you're actually best friends is is also a bit of a miracle so how are you guys doing this how are you making this work um when so many times you see people get sort of fractured or ripped apart by the work
that's a great question i mean i think we we rely on ritual and ways in which we built into our relationship and how we have built the company to return to our core values all the time and to return to the why of what we're doing like we just went through this exercise again with a bigger group and we had a bigger executive leadership team of saying like you know what we're doing really boils down to like affordability access human-centered design like i think when we are feeling lost or like we're up against extreme odds and this extremely difficult social problem in america that no one has been able to crack and that just gets worse and worse and worse getting it back to keeping it simple and being like what are the things that like at core just like cannot hold like we cannot continue in a society where there's no access where the access that is there is really top down and judgmental for this kind of care where you have to be afraid to access it where health plans won't pay for it because you know we think mental health is some sort of thing that you hide in the closet um those kinds of truths i think are always really grounding like we we find more and more absurdity in the world around us in how we built the business or when we were like look under this rock or that rock we see like just such bizarre entrenched social problems that i think that like simple exercise of the why has never really left us and always helps us return to it's kind of maybe an aaa thing it's like you go back to the first step you know it's like first things first like this reality has changed like i can't live this way anymore i'm completely powerless over the way that that i'm living and there's got to be some other way and that brings us into i think the second anchor in our relationship which is this world-building piece this idea that like and it could be another way this optimism that um the tools of design the tools of technology the tools of um truth-telling i think and really being clear about what the constraints are um are powerful weapons against that kind of you know that kind of challenge and yeah we've learned so much i don't know that we've digested it all along the way but those are big anchors for me yeah for the second anchor too you know when we say world building lisa it makes me think of um how hard it is it's like our spouses always say it's so hard to be youtube but it's hard to stand in the world as women in the middle of a business in this economy um as co-ceos we get a lot of division there and uh as people in recovery you know we protect one another so when we say we world build we build first together and i think we you have to have sometimes sharp elbows to be in that world we stand our ground and creating that hollowed space has been so key to our relationship when i feel and you mentioned um ceos being lonely i i actually never feel lonely when lisa's away on vacation or something or pto the rare time she ever takes vacation but when she's away on vacation i feel deeply lonely i understand what it's like to be a soul ceo and it's terrible and i understand other people's experience because lisa carves out so much space to protect my psyche right like there is i don't know i like this idea of we build the world first that we want to live in and then hopefully that expands and resonates out it's getting a little woo-woo i think i think like you know and that actually to get back to the business piece that actually means holding two board seats that are specifically tied to co-ceo titles as the ultimate unit of protection against all of the forces out there getting fired getting your company taken away being divided etc so there are very real um real world components and manifestations of this these two anchors that we're talking about it's been one of the brilliant strokes we think that we've done so we love talking about it yeah i'm sure you've done lots of sort of what i would call more pragmatic things like that on the board seed lots of lots of very pragmatic practical things but fundamentally it comes back to a lot of the boo-boo robin that that what i hear in that is sort of you guys have built a relationship where you're you're not just co-ceos you're like um you're like one ceo who are working together and you you've got such a deep relationship that it works that you're literally able to support each other in probably tough times celebrate in the good times and that it's not it's not like woo-woo at all in my opinion it's it's effective leadership it's understanding how human beings work and that we are mostly emotional spiritual beings and if we want to be effective at leading people and coaching people and managing people we have to we have to tap into that you know we never give our our car to a car mechanic who doesn't understand how engines work but right we we give people to leaders who don't understand how humans work all the time right and it sounds like you guys are really tapped into that for each other and being able to really support each other at a deep level right it's also you know i think it it begs the question it's almost like a parental unit right like if you you're a little kid screaming at you and you lose your temper the other parent can step in and that's how i see it as well um because we're obviously two individuals coming with totally diverse skill sets at the same time i think of it as you know our our little world our little fortress if that makes sense makes a lot of sense well so you know back to the recovery you said people in recovery i i know very little about that world so i'll admit ignorance but i got to imagine that like a lot of addictions it is easy to relapse or to fall back you know back into and for a lot of our listeners who are ceos you know they may not be an aaa but they're they may be addicted to work uh they may be addicted to to other devices out there how how have you been able to um stay out of you know falling back into that world well that's a big question you said do you want to tell yeah i mean i can speak for the think fundamentally some of the process of work it was about uncovering like levels of consciousness and ways to bio hack and like get ourselves into a place where we have enough challenge to be in flow intellectually that you don't want to use right like that's always the goal of building something entrepreneurial is that you're not stuck in some big bureaucratic structure you got to play by the rules but that where you could create a space a creative space where you can thrive and i think most addiction most triggers that cause people to use are either like set like ways of thinking that keep entrapping them like either without achievement or about them not being enough or them you know needing to have x y or z before they're okay um but i think one of the interesting things about robin and is we've always been extremely audacious about what we thought we could obtain for ourselves in terms of if we kept hacking together and optimizing learning more about medicine learning more about um community and different ways to connect with people on this path that like the possibilities were endless and that quest i think has been extremely stabilizing actually i think about all the time how that process as we've grown in recovery our version of work it in the beginning it felt very heretical like we were cheating on a a by building new ways of being in recovery because we weren't just doing it's almost like leaving a certain church or denomination in a certain sense where like things in aaa are done a certain way there's 12 steps you do them this way you do them in these sorts of settings and everybody holds hands and has that like shared social contract i think in the early days of work it everything we do what felt a little bit like oh should we be doing that people don't usually do that in recovery and it felt dangerous and maybe a little sinful or wrong and then over time we're like at least for me i was raised evangelical um so i think over time it became like our eyes were open to so many truths that we didn't realize from looking at like the science of recovery to looking at you know what was working for other people that we had no awareness of outside of our what we knew in our little native journeys and that i think became what's been stunning to me about it is that my own personal recovery is way stronger than when i was just somebody who like three days a week met up and had circles with other people and talked about like hey i'm at least i'm an alcoholic and you know guess what i'm still anxious 10 15 20 years into recovery like surprise surprise everybody and recovery has like underlying depression anxiety but i think work it really over time became this like graduate school of recovery that i'd always been kind of craving in early days of being like is this all there is like i just don't get to do things for the rest of my life like other people get to drink other people get to experience whatever the latest thing is micro dosing like expand ayahuasca whatever is out there these consciousness expanding experiences and like i'm ineligible like that's that's it for the rest of my life and i think robin and i have always kind of shared this belief that there were other ways to get to what you're trying to feel like when you do those things right and like i think work has given us some of those experiences and levels of consciousness okay great what would you add robin i know it is a big question yeah i i mean work gets interesting right because we're trying to do something we're starting to do a for-profit business or on something that's so integral to our survival as human beings so it's different when we see like lisa and i will go to a conference and we'll see one of our competitors you know one of the many and we'll see somebody talking about addiction from a third person point of view and think oh that's wrong or like oh that's so strange like that that point of view and this is more i think specifically of this one time in the early days or somebody proposed doing um like a lie detector test with your eyes that like someone was gonna look at the app and then i was gonna get no you're lying you're using and and you know all sorts of different ideas and it's so interesting to have um the data coming in from the external world like that and say say oh gosh this is how other people see us right and then the data that is surfaced from work it we've had 20 000 people use our program we have so much data and i'm not talking about lisa and i don't sit around and know any phi or we don't go into individual charts but we know for instance that 80 percent of our patients struggle with anxiety and depression clinical anxiety and depression and so um you know seeing these population health insights bubble up right like the comorbidities have been so eye-opening how people switch addictions like i knew cross addiction was a thing for me but i didn't quite know how accelerated cross addiction has become with the buffet of menu choices right like the buffet of options so i was got sober 15 years ago now everything under the sun is available to middle schoolers and so it's been really interesting kind of having our own data inform my addiction journey and say oh my gosh like this is something that we're fighting every day and it's taking different forms right like the chronic illness isn't just oh i'm an alcoholic and i'm an alcoholic for life it it you know it has me it's like guacamole it has many different forms and and it has prompted i think lisa and i to do more internal work of fixing core struggles or at least ameliorating core struggles in our life we've talked a lot about coping and strategizing for how to do that so yeah it's just it's opened my world wide up whereas aaa right like you're still not allowed to talk about things other than alcohol in its most truest form and you have meetings that go against this of course but there's a fundamental flaw for me specifically there's a fundamental flaw in that model and um you know it's it's a flaw that's emblematic of a lot of medicine you you treat the arm and nothing else and i i don't know i it's really changed the way i think about my recovery from a holistic lens yeah it's like you're you're going to the real core of these challenges as opposed to fixing the arm you know in your example rob and it's and as a society i think we're starting to make progress there but you would never be ashamed and tell people you know try to hide your broken arm right right but we don't talk about how we've got some anxiety and we need to go talk to somebody about it it's like a taboo although that seems to be slowly lifting over the last probably five ten years at least from my perspective and i think a lot of it's because folks like you are being the work meaning you you experienced it you can speak from credibility but it's not just the credibility of of having been in a.a and been in recovery but but that you're willing to be that open about it and talk about it um and not pretend like it it doesn't exist and that is truly attractive i think it's like it's you know draws people in to what you're trying to accomplish um and yeah go ahead there's a really good saying that lisa and i sometimes talk about that you learn in early recovery at least at least i don't know if this was in recovery or this is just in the rehab circuit or therapist said it i can't remember if this was like technically a a but there's a saying you're only as sick as your secrets and you know there's a lot of flaws in that thing etc but at core i believed that and i didn't quite understand how the veil of anonymity contributes to that sickness if that makes sense like going into you know time magazine forbes all of these news outlets and saying lisa and i are in recovery and this is how and this is why and this is what teenage hood years were like or teenage years or like for us and god were we [ __ ] ups you know sorry i don't know if you're not not allowed to say that but i mean it has been a real like slamming down of only as sick as your secrets like we don't have many left and so um that has been incredibly liberating lisa wouldn't you say that's one of the most liberating aspects of work it because now my entire family plus my entire in-law family everybody knows and they know and they know and it's been i'm free and free i just feel free yeah i love that i mean sometimes they get it wrong my mom's been hurt more than once
about my upbringing that we're a little i've been glamorized for the press but um i i think like yeah i it doesn't feel scary to me to the point where like now i struggle when people are at like stigma busting level one where they're like good you know have mental health care or something like i'm like no no we're at stigma busting level 18 where we talked about adverse childhood experiences and how they impact leadership and how they impact like the scripts that we're running in our head impact the things that we're afraid of either with each other or with the board like we're way beyond stigma we're like deep in the trenches of like what's under all that muck in our consciousness that's making us so afraid or living like shame-based or fearful lives um and i think i really think one of the best gifts we've given to the world is to just be like yeah that's the first step and guess what there's so much more freedom like 10 steps beyond that like so the people think a little more than it's not just about like it's okay to need mental health care but i think i'm super inspired that like young kids are like it's changing so much so fast because of that that like younger kids look at us when we like describe stigma and stuff and they're like what's up they're like what are you what are you talking about like oh we did this thing where no one said when they had any problems like our whole upbringing and like my daughter's like why but like you know like it's just it's it's funny it becomes absurd over time um and that's inspiring to get it to a place where it's like even what robin and i are doing or what work it has done seems like like you know level one and there's like you know a company five or ten years from now that's doing something that makes what we were doing seem really judgmental and really yes you know i'm like going to be so humiliated by that yeah and then we'll look at that and be like well i guess that was a little bit top down you know or whatever it was but like i think i'm hungry to see that world and you know i don't know that it would have been confident before we started this that i still in my professional life wouldn't be kind of like toeing the line of thinking that i had to always be in fight or flight either professionally or personally in my life that like at some point we are these like mammals out there it hasn't it's only been a couple hundred years that we haven't been like just darting big animals eating us in the woods you know and like but we have a lot of tools now and workit is one of them of getting such a deep understanding of your own coping that you don't have to live that way and that's pretty revolutionary and pretty powerful all right yeah i couldn't agree more we're literally writing a book right now and it's it's on this very subject it's you know it's how do we tap into our own sense of of fears and what's driving us unconsciously what's you know what's got us what's what's got that cap on our thinking and the self-limiting beliefs because as leaders all work all culture work all transformational work starts with you as the leader and you got to go first and if you're not aware if you're not self-aware of your own sort of self-imposed limitations and that critic in your head that's screaming at you that you're not good enough you're not you're not enough for the world then how can you possibly be it for the rest of your team and and help lead a culture change a culture and improvement so i love i love love what you guys are talking about and i think um you know the world world needs more of that now having said that i think the pendulum can also swing too far you know and that we're we're constantly processing emotions um but what do you both think i think well something i'd like to mention actually going back to the co-ceo piece and the constant processing of emotions i agree but the co-ceo piece is interesting because um like i think and we're talking about space emerging as a theme but a lot of people can take up space right and when you look a certain way in our culture you can you can go to a board meeting and take up space so if you need something if you want something if you think something if you feel something it's considered societally appropriate whatever to take up that space women people of color you know um lgbtq communities like any marginalized population struggles with taking up the same amount of space so the co-ceo ship and i s we think about this quite a bit and we've done a lot of work on this and lisa and i actually also consider writing a book on this specific aspect the co-ceo ship is not just protecting space right but it's also like literally holding holding the space so what i mean is um like and i know we talked about this before but it's very protective especially for marginalized groups so it's like literally serves as like a lever that we can use uh in our company lisa i think about like the most recent summit we had right and um you know it's hard for a woman to come to work uh to go on maternity to have a baby to have a family i think it's really hard for a male parent but when a man actually like you know we had we've had so many investors and i don't want to turn this into like a men versus women or anything but it's a really good example we've had so many investors on the call especially during the last race of series c during the pandemic stop the phone conversations with us like very intense conversations to like pick up a kid or one time someone had their kids sleeping on them and they're like hold on i have to take my kid off of me and give them to my wife or whatever like it is so accepted and we're all supposed to say oh what a great dad what a great dad right and so you know if lisa and i did the same thing if we did the same thing and we were solo we would immediately be knocked down i mean it would just we would never raise a dime if we comported ourselves in the same fashion but because there are two of us when we were at a recent summit and i just had a baby i just had a baby a few months ago era and um i i was breastfeeding at the time and lisa i think about us and every like you know every couple of hours i had to be like all right lisa and i are going to go take a meeting in the nursing room everybody continue we'll be right back and then i would go and i would pump and then we can come back and we continue we didn't think much of it at least i got so many emails afterwards thank you so much thank you for doing that that was such a great example thank you for doing that so i just wanted to do before we get into you know another topic i want to put in a plug for having that co-ceo architecture reserve that space for a marginalized group and how important it is to claim it early um lisa and i have never gone away from it it's hard and it's hard rod and we fight um to maintain it but i wanted to to share that really quickly and not jump off that conversation topic because i think it's it's really important for those groups to hear like this is a great way to do it it's a hack and it's been one of our most fundamental protective hacks at work at health i think or in our lives yeah and you need those sorts of things because the the world is still changing still evolving still improving but we are still in some areas you know like you just said i think that you didn't feel comfortable talking about being pregnant when you're trying to raise money because no the venture capital world would probably not respond to that during my second pregnancy robin and i went
going in black scarves from zara in chicago because we were pushing we were pitching the blue venture pond and i was just about to have my time you know and i was it was not subtle you know i do not i'm a five foot tall woman so when i'm super pregnant it's like i look like a bowling ball and so but but i felt that felt more normal to me to do that to put this giant scarf on it was so hot in that room and i was like i gotta wear the scarf her hair was like frizzing up i mean it was like spread and sweating but i was like i can't and i was like this is so stupid why am i wearing this like winter scarf they have no icy it's so hot and but it it felt like that was the range of my accepted like that was the right tactically the right move and we got the funding now i still don't know and i still i've asked people from the fun did you know you know and they're like no i didn't know and whether they knew or not it was just like the whole charade was crazy that i was doing that like i thought that i needed to do that and you know it's just it looks like buffoonery if you really step back and look at it you're like this is so bizarre that this is like this beautiful part of life having more humans is like this like shameful disgraceful thing in a professional environment like europe parts of you know danish culture whatever happened so far beyond this for like i think over a decade but like the u.s is pretty pretty yeah it's hard pretty slow to evolve in this regard yeah yeah it's hard and and making progress you know it's it's i would imagine another ten years from now that that won't be as big of a deal we we hope um you know you said you don't really have any secrets left which is disappointing for me because then i can't expose any but maybe i'll ask you a question you know what is it that um uh about your your sort of co-ceos that is hard you know what is it that maybe you haven't told each other before that that is challenging about it because there there's got to be right it's you're human right well i think at first it changes all the time now it's just hard to be away from lisa we're just sort of we're on the other side of so many issues but at first i think it's difficult to swallow okay i am going to have to split all my decisions with this person right come um you know everything has to be code turned keys like every award we split you know tons of stuff right there's a lot of ego driving it at the beginning where you're like no i want to be the only leader and i want to be this or i want to be that and then later you're like think it in the high times in the low times you're like thank god i have someone to split all the blame with me and this investor group is yelling at both of us and our wind our hair is being blown back by these like orange people but um no they're not all but you know and so but i think that's really hard to kind of jump over the ego part of the beginning and say no this is a better way to run the world this is a better way to stand in the world like to this is so much more fitting for the world we're in than one leader at the top like look what has happened to the to our society at large for this militaristic model of one man usually at the top that we all report up to it hasn't worked out so well and so we think this is another stab at trying a new form of leadership and then it really bubbles down i mean sorry trickles down bubbles down it trickles down to our full staff but that part of the beginning is difficult to say gosh like you know we're jumping into this and we're diving in head first i think now you know it's more um i don't know at least i would be curious what you think now i think it's just more emotional stuff it's like we have a marriage and we work through those kinds of things together we have a series of tools and we actually even have a coach that we work with to to form our relationship but the what drives us is really the love is always there so we're always willing to work through um but i think we're more similar to a marriage than a business partnership in our earlier days but i'd love to hear what you think lisa like now what do you struggle with i think it's it's a lot like parents i think the parenting analogy really holds where it's like if you have a different disciplinary side whatever it is right like you we have somebody we're going to put on a performance improvement plan or something and like i would introduce it this way because i come from a family where there were all these elephants in the room and everything was sort of packaged and you know we went around and and then we snuck the performance improved in without looking through a little you know zinger outburst that came after repression repression repression zing you know and like to see someone else's style or to try to adapt to that where i think that's been challenging for me in the past but robin will just like call it and like mine or like you know traditionalist or whatever will be like oh you gotta like you can't just call that's dangerous you know and but i think it it's always been like this creative tension that's always pushed me like the parts about you that were hard for me have also also been the parts about you that i love the most because they are the most they are the most like aspirational parts of my own self that have been blocked that i see broken free in you and so i think those like even those things that i find really frustrating i find that frustration really energizing because we've been through so many of like the layers of discussion about them to evolve past them like the ego thing is a really good example so like you know even now like i was trying to do a values exercise the other day what do i really care about and i was like accolades you know like do you care about accolades do you care about affirmations social recognition policy change and i was like
i did like in a couple years ago as a woman i felt like i had to be like women right percent of razor's a venture capital and we are in this rare air and like we need to shout it from the rooftop so other women come in and it's like four or six or eight percent over time but now i think it's having done so much of that work and recognized that there was still like a hollowness in those achievements still kind of bigger social problems or like the opioid epidemic rages on right we've been unfortunate
i think that gets you to the other side to be like well there's still like there's reasons we're not solving these really entrenched problems and those reasons are partially unsolved problems in ourselves or in our relationships with each other in our relationships to human experience so i don't know it's kind of meta but i think that are the hardest parts of our relationship have been the most evolutionary to the point where like robin and i have evolved together the point where sometimes it's really difficult to talk to other people because i'm like over here in our relationship and like i'm like 5 000 cycles past that in my relationship with robin and that has been really like enabled me to see blind spots that i had that i probably would have like close my eyes and shut my ears to my whole life if i could un unhindered without a trusting relationship yeah i was telling robin when you at the end of what you were saying you said i don't know i'd be curious to hear what you think lisa like that's such a subtle thing but to me that's hugely indicative of sort of your general relationship that you're you're truly generally interested in each other's perspective and there's not that like guarded like oh i don't want to hear what she has to say um i'll ask but i don't really want to hear it it was a genuine invitation to uh to explore the topic together which i think is extremely rare and and um very impressive um so um as the time usually does it flies by maybe um we can we can wrap up with sort of what what excites you both about where where you're headed you know as not just as you know co-ceos but as human beings you know as i'm assuming this is your first child robin you know as a parent you know what excites you about the future it's my second child second okay oh it's a hard time it's a hard time to ask that was like the roe v wade and all the things that have happened but um you know what i have two daughters and it goes on what lisa said i have two daughters i come from a family of three girls the way they're growing up is so different from the way i grew up and so i think they're gonna look at this one day i hope and say my mother was so closeted she was so extra she was she was so limited in her vision and i hope that they're like ha ha mommy remember this one time you said x y and z like how could you think that that's so what i would call like 1950s you know and do this to my own mother where i'm like mom that is such a baby boomer comment like you take the reigns mom like why do we have to ask dad what kind of tv he wants the other day we had this conversation the other day and my mom's like robin and because he's gonna watch the tv we have to have this huge conversation but i'm excited for that i'm excited to keep pushing this generation i mean especially of young women to say take up space move the board and i am excited to see what they do like all of the agency that is yet to come that's what i'm looking forward to especially in this hyper ridiculous archaic draconian environment to to see that generation rising alongside is just a point of inspiration and hope and uh i'm lucky that i have two young ones to kind of watch this and lisa's kids who i'm very close to and i love very much so lisa but what about you i think the thing that's been most inspiring we had an employee that left like a year ago or a year and she was really burnt out and she just she didn't she was like kill her she had gone to harvard and she didn't leave to like go to the next step or like you know she's going to go to a competitor she like left to like get off the wheel of workaholism and hard-hitting tech sector and like when i see that when i see like the you know i guess the big message from the great resignation or these changes like i see people really stepping back more holistically and being like why are we these like rats in a cage like what like is there a different way to do this is there a different way to imagine being happy and also successful and productive and ambitious but within a different framework and that i think i'm excited for i think we as we've grown and like practice giving away control different parts of the business like different leaders letting them rise up i think
we are starting to and will hit our stride at some point i think with you know infecting the organization with the ability to self-generate its own innovation frameworks like the one we have between each other that don't that are more movement-based that aren't just like you know it's not like robin and i are like you know sometimes the head of hr will be like we need more videos from you guys to inspire people in it the more like my ego i can't get any more kudos for anything like the more i see someone else get kudos or some new like someone in marketing find this like perfect solution for sales that we never would have thought of like that's what i am excited about for the future is that like we created a petri dish or an environment where other people could world build you know with or without us being as these figureheads on top that are like robin at least away or something and that i think is truly exciting we're starting to see that and it's also scary right because then you're like you let go of some control and sometimes you have this great part of the petri dish and sometimes you get this crazy mold fungus
it's both but i i think like that's always been like what i've been aiming for i saw this one okay just like a che guevara movie where there's this scene and this reporter was like talking to jacob aria and she's like how does it feel to be a symbol and uh whoever the actor is who plays j as like a symbol of what you know this symbol of revolution and the symbol of like you know reclaiming a structure societal structure right but like that became really powerful to me the idea that we could be some sort of a symbol for a way of doing things that other people could use um that like outlives or outlasts us in some way
all right awesome one last question a book recommendation i always ask my guest for a book recommendation could be work related uh it could be just a great you know fiction book you read what would you offer up to the listeners
um well they said their sister had a book that she was excited about i'm just kidding
which i really liked which was like a retelling of the experience of um the goddess cersei from the odysseus try i like from homer's work which was really interesting and and cool i also can't say enough good things about the body keeps the score i've really enjoyed that about trauma and about like the nature of the ways in which our physical forms kind of hold our fears and our biases and our like literally hold them and how much scientific their evidence there is of that i think it's been just like super instructive to me and how it work live think about therapy just changed my mind from thinking it was a mental thing to a body thing
i was just looking at my ibooks i read a lot a lot a lot but the one that i'm reading right now i was like i should be honest about what i'm reading i'm reading right now is um the highly sensitive child and uh and actually this is something for all of the people who are listening that might have an addiction or might be struggling with this after the other but lisa and i've been talking a lot about sensory processing disorder and um my sister's also an occupational therapist and talking about um like the hypersensitivity the hyper uh the hyper-prone to stimuli um aspect of our family and you know my dad only can sleep in a certain type of pillow and i can only walk with certain type of shoes you know if i had my way every single day would be completely perfectly designed and constructed in this and that way and at least it would be in my ear in the perfect ear but like we're really obsessed but it's sort of liberating in a way this book i like specifically because it reminds me of my oldest daughter sinclair who i think is a highly sensitive person and it just reminds it just it's it's throwing me back in my right to lean into my idiosyncrasies or really my authentic self so i would suggest that book i think there's a counterpart for older people called like the highly sensitive human i think but um you know i just i just like it it's a good reminder of we are the way we are and we deserve to be the way we are you know we are we are perfectly made as we are awesome well thank you guys not just for the time today but for the work you're doing in the world to to help those thousands and thousands of people that that need it you know that the world has mostly forgotten about so thank you thank you thank you thank you