July 8, 2024

Resilience Is A Lie with Malumir Logan

Why resilience the way most people talk about is a lie and other mental clutter, an interesting conversation with my guest Malumir Logan. 

My guest Malumir Logan has an extensive background in strategic roles, neurolinguistic techniques, and academia and she offers a fascinating perspective on mental clutter, intersectional leadership, and the often unseen barriers that marginalize individuals have to face.

We talk about the intricacies of ethical and compassionate leadership and the sensitive issue of unintentional oppression. We discuss how leaders can recognize their internalized biases, foster inclusive environments, and support marginalized groups by challenging systemic structures. 

We also examine the evolving complexities of language and identity, underscoring the power of mindful communication in breaking down barriers.

  • what does she mean when she says she's ambiguously racialized
  • why she says she's othered
  • her advice for professionals who are "othered" and struggling to survive
  • how resilience is a myth or even a lie
  • how ethical and compassionate leadership looks like

From personal anecdotes to practical strategies, this episode offers valuable insights on anti-oppressive leadership that prioritizes empathy and inclusivity.

AI generated Transcript    >>> click to open

Conny Graf: 
Well. Hello, my friend. Welcome to the podcast. I am Conny Graf, your host. Thank you so much for allowing me back into your ears. Today. I have a very interesting guest. Her name is Malumir Logan. Malumir is an intersectional seasoned leader with two decades of experience in strategic and operational expertise, and she's also a published author in the public sector innovation. She also is a small business owner in the spiritual industry, a certified master practitioner in neurolinguistic techniques and a university adjunct professor teaching master level leadership and career skills courses.C

So, a very versatile guest today and I'm really excited to dive into this conversation and for you hearing it, because, together with Malumir, we want to clear some mental clutter. But first in the conversation, I asked her to clarify the terms polymath, intersectional leader and anti-oppressive leader. And then we talk about what she means when she says she's ambiguously racialized, racialized, why she says she's othered and what advice she has for professionals who are othered and are struggling to survive. And, of course, as you can see by the title of the episode, we're talking about why she says resilience is a myth or even a lie. So, without further ado, let's jump into this very interesting conversation to clear some mental clutter with my guest, Malumir Logan. Welcome, Malumir, I'm so excited to have you on the podcast. How are you today?

Malumir R Logan: 
Oh, I'm lovely. Thank you so much for having me,

Conny.Conny Graf: 
Well, thanks for taking the time to come on and chit chat with me. I look forward to it. So this question I always ask every guest. First, because I have an international audience. I always say, where in the world are you located and then also tell us something surprising or quirky or whatever you want about you. That has nothing to do with our conversation, that we have afterwards.

Malumir R Logan: 
I'm located in Eastern Ontario in Canada and I don't actually know how to answer that question because I feel like as a person, I am a whole being, so anything I could talk about is related. So I'm not actually sure how to refer to a random quirky thing.

Conny Graf: 
Well, we had all kinds of answers. So like a lot of people are surprised Either they're surprised that I'm an accountant when they get to know me from kind of one side of my personality. Then others are surprised that I live on acreage with horses and ducks and chickens and stuff, so it's just like easygoing. Well I think.

Malumir R Logan: 
I think in terms of things that someone might find surprising about me. You know, because, given my own current career path as someone who's both an experienced leader in strategy and operations and I'm an adjunct professor at a university and I have a small business some people might be surprised to learn that I actually used to be a makeup artist.

Conny Graf: 
Oh yeah, see, that's surprising, yes.

Malumir R Logan: 
So yeah, so folks might find that surprising.

Conny Graf: 
Yeah, and I actually I myself love this question because I learned all kinds of interesting things about people that I have on podcast that I wouldn't learn otherwise, and I find that surprising and, yes, it makes us whole. I feel like it actually shows a facet of us that other people don't see, which makes us whole, but the world outside may not see it.

Malumir R Logan: 
Yeah, no, I think it's a great, it is a good thing to think about because it's true, right people, we we sometimes tend to think in terms of nice, neat categories or boxes and if someone fit nice and neatly into the box, yeah, but you know, I think there's so many underlying assumptions there, so it's always really cool to to learn the other facets of someone yeah, yeah, I don't like boxes whatsoever.

Conny Graf: 
I'm a rebel that way, and I think you're probably similar. I don't like boxes whatsoever. I'm a rebel that way, and I think you're probably similar.

Malumir R Logan: 
I also don't love the boxes. Yes, exactly.

Conny Graf: 
So it was really otherwise, contemplating where I wanted to start our conversation, and then I noticed in your bio that there are a few words that actually really don't know 100% what they mean. So I thought we start there because I thought maybe my audience doesn't know either. And so can you elaborate a little bit on the words polymath, intersectional leader and anti-oppressive leader? I can't even say it, just that we get kind of like on the same sheet of music.

Malumir R Logan: 
Certainly yes. So by polymath what I'm referring to is the idea that I have so many vast interests and skills and things that I do. I mean it's just it runs. It runs the whole spectrum of things that that I'm interested in, can do, and generally I you can throw anything at me and I can just kind of roll with it. So I've never just been able to do one thing, which is why my career has been so varied and not nicely fitting into a neat box, and, and you know, many aspects of my life have been the same. But I just have so many interests and and those are also important to me. And when it comes to trying to explain, though, to people, sometimes people really struggle. They don't understand how people can, someone can be interested in so many things and genuine, like actually doing them and being active in all these things, and so I found it was a good way of creating a box for people who need a box. 

Conny Graf: 
It's a polymath box.

Malumir R Logan: 
In terms of intersectional, what that gets at is that it's based on a theory from a couple of decades ago and I'm now blanking on the name of the author, but I will look it up.

She was a lawyer and she is a woman of color and what she noticed is that the way, when, when, so it's the idea of intersections. So you imagine, like an intersection when you're driving with your car, it's that you're at an intersection where two roads meet, and the idea is that the more identities that someone has for example, I'm ambiguously racialized, I'm a woman, I have multiple neurodivergence, I look able-bodied, but I'm dealing with disability, so there's a few different things going on and her idea was that the more intersecting, uh identities you add on, the more uh, the more challenges in society that we can face that other people may not realize are there. Because you imagine you know if you've just got a straight road, well, it's easy to just drive up the road once you've got one intersection, okay, now you need to stop, make sure you're not running into any other cars. But then what if you add another road?

Conny Graf: 
and another road, and another road, and now it's this like, it's like an asterisk.

Malumir R Logan: 
Well, that's right. It does add. It adds a lot of complexity and it can add challenges that a lot of people don't realize are there. So by intersectional, I'm just being clear that my identity is such that I've had, I've had, quite a number of interesting experiences in life In terms of anti-oppressive leadership. I take leadership very, very seriously.

Malumir R Logan: 
To me, being a leader, it's about people, it's about putting people first. It's about ethical, compassionate, genuine care of people, compassionate, genuine care of people. And the thing is that systems in general, like any organization, all organizations, have systems, because we can't have chaos, obviously you have to have something, you have to have some structures. The issue is that a lot of those structures have been created in ways that a lot of people don't realize are actually not meant for some people. For example, you know, lots of structures are not created for people who are living with disabilities and a lot of people just don't realize it because they're not living with disabilities and, without realizing it, those structures are actually oppressing people with disabilities, like they're barred from access. Same thing, same thing for other other of those identities that we talked about earlier, where organizations can be set up in ways that are they don't even realize they're not necessarily intending to oppress people.

Malumir R Logan: 
My approach as a leader is that because I take my leadership responsibility very seriously and I'm a wise steward of whatever decision-making authority I may have, even if it's little, that still matters and I can still in whatever my own authority is. So in my own teams I have the ability to create an environment where it doesn't count against someone say that they're racialized, it doesn't count against the folks with disabilities on my team and so forth. So that's what I mean by anti-oppressive leadership is asking yourself okay, so even if none of us are intending to, are we oppressing people? Are we borrowing access for people and how can we remove those? That's what I mean.

Conny Graf: 
Okay, Thanks so much for all these really visual explanations too. That helps a lot. And this is the problem, right? We often don't see what all we could do wrong. And now we have the conversation out.

I feel like I had somebody on the podcast I think it was last year, no, might have been even two years ago who got blind. She was seeing before and then got blind, and she already talked about how our whole, just regular day-to-day life is so inaccessible for her sometimes, or websites or social media and stuff like that, and we don't think about it that much, even though and I felt really touched or even caught because I have an eye disability you don't see it either, but I only see because I have contact lenses in it. Otherwise it would all be a huge blur and it's quite extreme. Most people have never heard that it can be so extreme and you still can function normally, Right, and so I get it.

Conny Graf: 
But how do you so? I have all kinds of questions. But how do you sail around our own blind spots? Because, like, we're all growing up in this kind of box system full of boxes, Right, and it's almost like you have to question yourself constantly, and still there is this saying that you can't see the label from inside the bottle. So how do we see the label Like, how do we notice that we oppress somebody by accident, unwillingly, or you know how do we do this?

Malumir R Logan: 
And you make such a good point, because that is exactly the idea that each of us and it doesn't matter what our experience has been so, even as someone who is racialized and has all these, you know, all this disability and neurodivergence that doesn't mean that I don't have internalized racism. That doesn't mean, you know, as a woman, that doesn't mean I don't have internalized misogyny. That doesn't mean I don't have internalized ableism. I do, just like the rest of us, we it is. So I think the starting point is to recognize it is literally impossible, impossible for us to grow up in society and not have absorbed it. It's just literally how brain development works, that's just how socialization works, and so I think that's a really important starting point, because a lot of people will think, oh, but I'm not racist. Well, you may not intend to be, but the thing is you might accidentally be, and so it's about actually pausing to say you know what, without even realizing it, I am accepting the fact that I have absorbed stuff just from living in society, and I need to recognize that. And then I need to start asking myself so the question that I pose to people who are asking about well, how can I become anti-oppressive? I mean first of all is be really curious. Be really curious about other people's lived experiences. And here's another one that sometimes feels a little harder Don't be afraid of your own stuff, right, because sometimes we're afraid.

Malumir R Logan: 
You know, carl Young was a psychologist. He talked a lot about our shadow side and the idea there was that you know that we, we and I mean I I'm really bringing this to lay terms, but the idea was that there are aspects of ourselves that we consider are bad and so we avoid them. We feel shame about them, we avoid them and so you know, we just don't, we want to pretend they're not there, but actually that just makes those they're still parts of ourselves and it makes us feel worse. And the problem is that then we can act to accidentally turn that on other people, because the more comfortable that we can be with our stuff, with the fact that we have stuff that maybe we're not super proud of, or that we've gone through stuff, the more comfortable we can become with that, the more comfortable we can be with oh, oops, was that thing that I just said Like, oh, wow, okay, I said a thing. I realized that I shouldn't, or I acted in a way that I didn't realize could have caused harm.

Malumir R Logan: 
And then I think the third thing is to acknowledge that the oppression is taking place right in front of you, right, like, and I think so this is something I say when I'm talking to leaders in a course I teach is assume, just assume it's happening right in front of you, right under your nose, and ask yourself where it is. Don't ask yourself if it's there, don't assume that it's not. Assume it is there because I promise you it's there, and ask yourself where it is, because then, once you start building your awareness of realizing, oh wait, who's at this table? It's interesting to know, like, look at this, it's like 80 percent white dudes, for example, and a lot of people. Just they don't even notice that right, and so it's asking yourself, assuming it's there, asking yourself where it is.

Conny Graf: 
Yeah, I'm thinking. Whoever is in the majority often doesn't notice it because it's so normal for them, right? And I think in the language sometimes. So I noticed in myself, so pulling out my own shadow. So I grew up in Switzerland and now I'm living in Canada for the last 20 years. Yeah, and I don't maybe not so much in the English language, because I, even though I'm very fluent in it, I still have to probably think a second longer what I'm saying. But in my own Swiss German language I notice I say things that are like sayings or like how we speak or how we spoke. When I grew up that I realized those are unacceptable, that that we can't say that um, and I, I say that sometimes like it's just like in the conversation, and then I'm catching myself right and it, it's in, it's out, and you're like, oh my god, back in the 80s that was normal to talk this way. We can't talk this way. This is crazy.

Malumir R Logan: 
But when I, this is crazy and I think you make such a good point. Because I think and it's just a slight shift between the oh we can't say that, as opposed to thinking about, well, why isn't that a thing to say, for example, like who is it harming? Because I think, when you know a slight shift from I can't say that to actually this could be harming these people If I say that I think that that actually helps us, because then it's more supportive, because none of us wants to hurt anybody.

Malumir R Logan: 
Right, we're not we're not all on it, we, we, we don't want to hurt people, and so, I think, you know, asking ourselves, you know, you know, is how, how am I, am I talking in such a way, or am I saying something or doing something that could be, you know, that could be causing harm, and how do I not do that?

Conny Graf: 
yeah, and that's kind of what I meant with I can't say that there was. I don't want to repeat it here and it's in German anyways, but there is a saying I grew up with in our household that when you did something wrong or if you looked like you did something wrong, we had a and this definitely harms black colored people Right, right. And when I grew up as a child, you never even think of that and this is what you were saying earlier like it happens right in front of your nose, and when I'm saying it, I'm saying it not consciously and that's what gets me. It comes just out in the talking. And this is where I was saying like do we have to be on high alert or not? Do we have to? We want to be on high alert in a way when we're speaking that we're not using words or innuendos and jokes or whatever that we grew up with that were normal, and I'm putting air quotes here, which they were never normal, that we're still using them, and so this is kind of challenging sometimes let's say like this oh, it can.

Malumir R Logan: 
And you know, I think the the same thing applies to people's gender expression. So, for example, a friend of mine uh, you know has some kids and at the time that they first introduced their, their child, to me, uh, the, the child was introduced as a daughter, and so my first introduction to this person was, that is, that they were a she. And then at some point, the, the child, realized that actually they did not. They did not resonate with the gender binary. They didn't. They didn't identify as a she and they did not identify as a he. And it took me some time and I slipped up. There were a couple of times because, first of all, the child had first of all been introduced to me as a she and then, secondly, I've grown up in a society where the norm was that it's either he or she, and that's what it is, and that was also never actually true. That was just what socially has been enforced on us, and so I.

Malumir R Logan: 
It took some time to to you know a. I realized that I slipped up a couple of times and I apologized when I did slip up, and and so I took responsibility for that. And and secondly, it's a continuing learning process, right? Because it's just all things that we've learned and we can relearn new things. We can unlearn other things. It's just a matter of doing the new things enough times that we create new pathways neurologically in our brains.

Conny Graf: 
Mm-hmm. So two things to that. It's interesting. I had similar experience Back then. The daughter of one of my good friends in was a daughter and but she decided she is a he now. So she went so to the he and I noticed I slip up less with that then, because I think too is like when they're not identifying with any of the two genders, we use they often, and in the German language also, there is actually no they, so they kind of took the English word and it's really hard, like then you really have to be more aware. Okay, how do I word it and all that. And it's so interesting too.

Conny Graf: 
I don't know whether you heard, but there was this music contest, eurovision music contest, a week ago, and a Swiss person won. Their name is Nemo and they're not female, not male, and the huge discussion around this and they were saying that was always the case, we always were here, we were just not seen, we were not allowed or not spoken about, right? So that's what a lot of people think. Oh, why is this? This is just a phase. Why is this showing up? No, it's not a phase, it's just they were oppressed in a way. They were invisible, they were othered.

Malumir R Logan: 
Maybe you would call it right there isn't an option, and it's interesting to think about how even language as a system can oppress, which is exactly another example, right when this was the language that you learned from infancy, and so it takes time to develop those new neurological pathways to realize oh, there's more here, there's more yeah, but it makes life interesting too.

Conny Graf: 
So to me, like you were saying in the beginning that you're a polymath and interested in so many things, I can see myself in this too. I have so many different facets on me. Most people don't know, because I don't know whether I want to call myself oppressed, but there was times when I was not feeling comfortable exposing certain of my interests, so I was kept quiet. But in general, I have such a curious mind and I find it so interesting how we, how also certain people, struggle so much with the latest developments in like anti-racism in all the conversations around. We need to make our world more accessible, also for physically how do you say it properly? These days I think there's a different word than physically disabled. Now, right that you say.

Malumir R Logan: 
Well, there's yeah, it is that there's physical disabilities, but there's invisible disabilities. There's all sorts of disabilities, to your point. For example, of the person who lost their vision, and there's also mental health illnesses and there are neurological divergence.

There's all sorts of all sorts of differing realities and ways of experiencing the world. And yeah, and you're right, there are. There is a lot of resistance and you know, I think part of it is just that change is hard, right. I mean, we've just talked about, we are. We are two people who are very respectful of people's gender identity. We really respect it and yet we have both, we've both slipped up, we've both made mistakes and and the learning process can be, it can be uncomfortable, because when no one loves making a mistake, and especially when it's an embarrassing mistake and, you know, no one likes that and change can be hard for some people. I expect that's part of it for why there is some resistance, and also, I think some people just want to be resistant because there are perhaps people who have a lot of power and don't want to make space for others. I'm sure there's some of that.

Conny Graf: 
Yeah, maybe I don't know Like one one thing for sure. So what? What I think is one of the reasons is, too, is like the way I grew up, it was bad to make a mistake, like even in school, like I remember, like I was terrified. I would not say something in school if I wasn't 1000% sure it was true, because you got so looked down at and all that for saying something wrong or laughed at. So we don't want to make mistakes. So I think this is true, what you're saying.

And again, that is conditioning and oppression in a way, because we're all making mistakes and then blaming somebody for making a mistake makes it worse, because then that's what actually happens. Everybody is starting to become armored up and we're not living like in this okay, curiosity A, like you said, or also like in this openness to learn who is the other person, because we're so stifled or scared that we're doing something wrong. And this is also what I wanted to ask you. So, from your experience, do you prefer when people ask you certain things, when they're unsure about you, or whether, like you talked about your invisible disabilities? Are you preferring they ask you or you prefer they don't? I think I know the answer.

Malumir R Logan: 
But no, I think and I think that's a great question to me a lot of it has to do with um, you know with because I don't think it's always cut and dry, because generally I'm a very open person not everybody is, but generally I'm a very open person Not everybody is, but generally I'm a very open person and generally I w I would want people to ask um, ask, to ask questions. Sometimes there are times when, especially someone who is ambiguously racialized, where I start to wonder what is the intent, because if someone, if it's clear that someone is just genuinely curious, I have no problem with having a conversation. The problem is, and it's and this is this is a common experience for people like me who are ambiguously racialized, where people can't tell what we are, they can't tell what box to put us in, where sometimes the intent is not great and sometimes we've had really negative experiences as a result of someone asking right and sometimes in answering the question, it can actually make things feel worse for me. Or I may feel less safe, and so generally I want people to ask questions and I can decide whether, or I may feel less safe, and so generally I want people to ask questions and I can decide whether or not I'm going to answer, because, you know, these days I'm confident enough that if I'm not comfortable answering a question I'll just say so.

Malumir R Logan: 
But not everybody is there. Not, not everybody is there. You know. What I tend to suggest to people is you know what I tend to suggest to people is is do your own research. We're in the age of very available information and, you know, try to look at at reasonable, high quality sources to do a little bit of digging. You know, based on whatever you do know about someone, to try to better understand their experience.

Conny Graf: 
Typically, though, yes, I would typically want someone to ask yeah, yeah, we were just saying because we were talking about men decluttering the mind and mental clutter, right, and oftentimes so, because I you remember, I asked you at the beginning of the conversation to explain some of the terms. I actually did start looking them up and it's overwhelming, almost like tend to find really high quality sources. So that's why I was asking I have a different question so how did your journey from being a makeup artist going to become a leader besides the point of what all we just talked about, just in general, that is an interesting journey that I would want to know how that happened and does it have anything to do with what we just talked about, or not at all.

Conny Graf: 
Oh, it has lots to do with it.Malumir R Logan: It has lots to do with it. It has lots to do with it. I mean, I will say just at a very high level for context, that I had a very, very difficult upbringing. Okay, so I did not, and so I moved out as soon as I turned 18 for safety reasons, best decision, by the way and I worked. I worked multiple jobs at the same time, mostly frontline customer service. I did a little bit of tutoring on the side, but I worked multiple jobs to pay the bills. I was still below the poverty line. You know I I scraped by, but at some point I realized you know, there's I want to create something.

Malumir R Logan: 
It doesn't feel like this is because I'm not. You know, I have so much respect for people who work in frontline customer service, having been someone who worked in that in that field for years, and it also felt like for me this, this isn't quite the right place for me, but I didn't know what that was and I'll never forget this. This one night I was working the overnight shift at a franchise coffee shop and it was the quiet lull in between the late night rush and the early morning rush and I had finished up all the general responsibilities and I was kind of leaning out the drive-through window and it was a full moon that night and the air was just so fresh and it was quiet. And I remember looking out this coffee shop was on a highway and there were these 18 wheelers that kept driving past. And I just remember thinking this I can feel it. I can just, I could tangibly almost just reach out my hand and feel that there was something else that I was supposed to do and I just didn't know what it was. So I decided, you know what, I'm going to keep a really open mind. I'm going to keep a really open mind and I'm going to keep asking. You know the higher powers at that time, for me it was God or the universe. Well, you know, help me find my way. I want to find my way and I believe so strongly in our intent. When we have a strong intent to do something, even if we don't have it all planned out, we have a strong intent that holds so much energy and it helps our brains neurologically to focus. In talking about mental clutter, it helps to kind of clear away some of the noise and starts to focus you in on. Okay, I'm going to find my way. I know this isn't quite the right thing, so I'm going to find the way. So I kept an open mind.

Malumir R Logan: 
And then there was this. There was a, and I loved makeup. I already loved makeup at, you know, even though I was, you know, just in in customer service, but I would do like lots of really fun makeup every day. And I absolutely loved it. And I started, you know, wondering is there actually a possibility for me in this? And then there was a local person who was running some courses on working in film and television and I started getting involved in that because I thought that was kind of fun getting involved in that, because I thought that was kind of fun. And they actually suggested, you know, such and such a college is actually really good for makeup. Maybe you should check it out.

And for me, I grew up thinking that I was not a smart person, because that's what I was being told. I was being told that I was not a smart person. And so I thought, well, how am I going to get into college? I'm not a smart person. But I started looking into it anyway. I just, I just went on faith. I'm like I'm just going to look into it. Right, I can decide. Not, I can decide not to move forward with it, but I'm just going to start exploring.

And I looked into how much it costs. And then I I looked into the requirements and I had to complete this, this exam, to prove uh, you know, my I that I had basic English and I had to. You know, do the do these exams. So you know, I went and I sat the exam and they accidentally gave me the wrong exam. They, instead of just testing me for English, they tested me for English, science, civics, mathematics and some other things, because I had been tutoring. I was actually still fresh on everything, even though I'd been working for a couple of years. And I passed the test, I got into the college program and I thought oh, my goodness, this is really happening.

So I did so. I started out in college and I thought, oh, I'm not gonna be very good at this, you know, because, again, I'm not very smart, I don't, I don't know how I'm gonna do with this, but I loved it. I just I. I absolutely loved the courses and it felt like my mind was just waking up and, as it turned out, apparently I was a smart person. I graduated at the top of the class and then that's when I started realizing wait a second, if I had the ability to get through this, then maybe I can do other things. If I simply decide I'm going to do them this, then maybe I can do other things if I simply decide I'm going to do them. Right, yeah and so. And so I did. And so I started. I was always on set.

It didn't pay very much, but because I wasn't in the union you have to be in the union to make good money generally but then, actually, from there, there was one month where I had a bunch of makeup jobs lined up because I was freelance, and one by one, they all started falling through and I started panicking because I thought, oh, my goodness, I was relying on those to pay next month's rent. What am I going to do? And so I thought well, I had previous experience as a receptionist, as an administrative assistant, so I'm just going to start applying to jobs. And so I did. I applied to about 100 admin roles and I got one at a beauty magazine actually. And then, as it turned out, instead of just being their front desk person, I was also their events coordinator and I worked. I did some work on a little bit work on accounting and I became a regularly contributing writer.

And then I realized, wait a second, it seems like I'm able to do this and actually I'm actually pretty bored and I bet you I could do something else. And again it was that same feeling of this doesn't quite feel like a right fit. And wait a second, maybe I can do something else, maybe there's something additional that I can do. So I started doing lots and lots of reading and talking to lots of people and going onto university websites and even at that time I thought there's no way I can afford this, but I'm just going to look anyway. And then I found urban and regional planning and it just lit up my brain. I was just intrigued by it because it's so interconnected between you know, people getting around cities and towns, and and how do you, how do you support and make a space for everyone? And I loved that. And then I thought, oh my gosh, how am I going to get in? I've got a, you know, a diploma in makeup as if a university is going to want that.

So I went to the open house for for this, this program, and there were a few of us all sitting around a table and the program director was there, and as people were going around the table asking questions, it became clear a lot of these people well, my uncle works as a planner of so-and-so, and my dad and my mom and blah, blah blah, and all these people were so fancy and I was sitting there and so I decided just to ask a very blunt question. I said so, I raised my hand and the program director said yes, and I said well, here's the thing. I currently work at a magazine and I used to be a makeup artist and I have a diploma in makeup. Do I have a chance at all at getting into this program?

Every single person prospective student around the table laughed at me. They burst out laughing. The program director did not laugh. He said actually. He said what we appreciate is an interdisciplinary approach. We like it when people bring perspectives that we're not used to being around. So he said you have as good a chance as everyone else here and so I applied and I got in.

I got in and from that point I decided that I wanted to. By the time I graduated I wanted to work for uh, for a municipality, for the private sector and for the province. And by the time I graduated I had done those things and I was actually kept on the the. I got a role with the province and they kept renew, done those things and I was actually kept on the. I got a role with the province and they kept renewing my contract and I absolutely loved the work there. From there I decided to get a master's degree. So I went, got my master's degree in public administration. I got a little bit of experience with the federal government, realized I liked the province better and continue to build my career at the province and that uh. There were quite a number of uh points of navigation there, given my identity, as we mentioned earlier. But that is essentially how I got from from before being a makeup artist to being a makeup artist to getting into leadership.

Conny Graf: 
Wow, awesome, awesome for you to not get stopped right. Oftentimes, people just get oh, I was told. I have a similar experience, and I find it so interesting when we're realizing like, oh, it's actually not how they told me that I am or who I am, and we realize we are actually somebody different or we can do certain things right Now. While you were talking, something popped in my head I read I think either it was in your profile on Podmatch or somewhere else that you say resilience is a myth. But all I could think while you were talking was we would call this resilience in a way. No, we would call this not giving up, still showing up, being curious, being open. So why do you say then, resilience is a myth?

Malumir R Logan: 
Yes, I use that because it really catches attention. Actual resilience is not a myth. Actual resilience is crucial. The issue is that the way that resilience is being slapped on people as an easy fix by organizations. Organizations worldwide are investing billions of dollars in wellness programs, including resilience training for employees. The reason I take issue with that is that, of course, I think it is wonderful that organizations are investing in employee wellness, but about I think it's 42 or 43 percent of workers globally are burnt out.

Malumir R Logan: 
They are burnt out and telling people to take time out of their busy schedule to go sit in a program, as you know. As you know, you just need to be resilient, you need to tough it out, you need to punch above your weight, be small but mighty. To me that that now it's being used as a myth and telling people. You just need to tough it out, you just need to be stronger. That's not actually what resilience is.

Conny Graf: 
Yeah, no, no, I totally agree with you and I think this is actually I'm just trying to find the word but this is bullying almost when you're saying that to somebody. Maybe it's not 100% the right word, but that comes to my mind. That's how I would feel if I tell somebody I'm burned out, I can't anymore, and then they just have to tough it out. That's bullying in my eyes, Oppressive too.

Malumir R Logan: 
Yeah, it is yes, yeah, I totally agree.

Conny Graf: 
And so I'm not in the corporate world anymore. I was, and I couldn't stand a lot of the things there. I had to go through a few of these weirdo team building courses and weekends that, yeah, take away your weekend, right, and then tell you how you or how we as a team are going to behave. And then on Monday when you're in the office, everybody forgot about it and we just soldier on. And I was a female in a male dominated thing, so you can just imagine. So, yeah, oh, I have a lot of experience with that.

Malumir R Logan: 
I have a lot of experience.

Conny Graf: 
Yeah, so that's when I become a freelancer, because then you're still having all this, but you're, you're, you can take yourself out of this box a bit more, and you can. You have some more liberties to also push back. So that was one of the reasons why I became self-employed early on, early on.

So where do we wanna, how do we wanna wrap this? I love this conversation. I could talk with you for I don't know three more hours, but where do we wanna go with this? Because I think, like it's I want to inspire people to, and we talked about it. We say we declutter the mind, right, and we're decluttering these, these perspectives that we have how the world should work and how people should be and behave, and all that, and we're breaking this all up a bit. Maybe I'm asking you what advice would you have when people In leadership positions, for example, want to go on that journey and become a non-oppressive leader?

Malumir R Logan: 
Maybe we go there oppression is happening right in front of you, even if you don't want it to be. You know, as a leader, just assume that it is happening because it is and and just be okay with the fact that you're going to start noticing because, you will right, our minds are super processors and remember how, earlier I was saying, our intent is so important. It helps to clear away some of the noise and really focus things in. As soon as you actually start assuming that the oppression is there in whatever form it is, then you'll start noticing it and from there ask yourself, with whatever authority you may have because you don't have to have tons and tons of authority, but whatever, if you're in a leadership role, you have some authority, you do. So what is it and what can you do within your own, within your own jurisdiction, in order to make things better to address that, that oppression?

The second thing that I would say to people is that do this. So this is an exercise that I always have my students do, that I always have my students do. Basically, what it does is it helps with improving your strategic thinking, but it's actually good for everyone really. So what to do is to pause and reflect. So it sounds simple, but all you're doing is you are, on a regular basis, pausing. Whatever you're doing, you get out a pen and paper or a dictation app or a journaling app whatever, set a timer for five minutes and you just start writing or dictating for five minutes nonstop, even if it's about nothing, even if you just say I don't know what I'm writing about, but some person on a podcast said I should do this and I don't know how the heck this is going to help but this just seems ridiculous.

but blah, blah, blah. Just keep going for five minutes and keep doing this on a regular basis and I promise you, you will actually start improving your strategic thinking, because what you're training yourself to do is you're actually training yourself to quiet out the noise, because we should on ourselves so much. We should on ourselves all day, every day, and the problem is that then we're actually not listening to the information that's right below the surface, that's underneath all of that noise, and so what we need to do is to really pay attention to ourselves. How do we do that? We do that by doing this exercise. So what happens is that over time, you won't have to be some weirdo told me to write for five minutes. You'll actually be. You'll be diving right into the information that's right below the surface, and it will help you start to zoom out and zoom in in a very effective way. That is, those are the two things that I recommend.

Conny Graf: 
Yeah, I love that. I don't remember who said it first, but you might have heard it too that we don't learn from experience. We learn from a reflection on the experience, and I'm not sure whether it was Dr Benjamin Hardy that said it or whether he just said it in a book, and so I don't know who the original source is. But I love that. And the other thing that came to my mind was the morning pages from Julia Cameron. She talks about that, right, and it's really so funny because I don't do it every day, but I do it too and you literally start and you say like, oh, I don't know what to write about, but I probably should write about it again, just to get my mind decluttered. I love it.

Thanks so much for giving us this. Really, I think it's a fun exercise. And yeah, you can say that weirdo person on the podcast said that Two weirdo people on a podcast said we should do that. So before we wrap up, malamir, tell us where can people find you if they're interested in more of your wisdom around non-oppressive leadership and all the other topics we talked about?Malumir R Logan: Absolutely so there are two places. Either you can look me up on LinkedIn I'm the only Malamir Logan on LinkedIn or you can go to my website as well. I have a very extensive blog, acornandburdockca, and I talk about all the things there as well.

Conny Graf: Okay, awesome. And so, before we say goodbye, any last words of wisdom, anything that I didn't ask, that burns in your heart, that you still would like to add to the conversation.

Malumir R Logan: 
I think I would just you know, leave with people that that you know you, you absolutely can find the peace in your mind, no matter how chaotic the world is around you, you absolutely can find the peace. It may only be in little, in little snippets and little moments here and there, but as you continue to look for it, you absolutely will find that peace and alignment within yourself in a way that is so empowering.

Conny Graf: 
thanks so much, Malamir, for coming on and sharing your experience and your wisdom with us. 

I hope you enjoy this very episode and if you find value in what Malumir and I are talking about please share it with your friends and business connections, because if you find value in it, they will too. ❤️ Sharing is Caring. 

Help me grow my podcast 

by going to Apple Podcasts and write a review. This way more people will find this podcast and can move from chaos to peace in their life and business. 

Click here for Here are step-by-step instructions

(you don't need an Apple device for this)

Rate and Reveiw Podcast

Malumir R Logan

is an intersectional, seasoned leader with two decades of experience in strategic and operational expertise and a published author in public sector innovation.

She is also a small business owner in the spiritual industry, a certified master practitioner in neurolinguistic techniques, and a university Adjunct Professor teaching master-level leadership and career skills courses.


Website   *   LinkedIn


You may also like

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
>