Jeremy Lucabaugh, Ph.D. is and Industrial/Organizational Psychology Consultant and the CEO/Founder of Society of Evidence-Based Organizational Consulting. He has served a variety of organizations as an executive coach, and has developed corporate leadership, onboarding and communication programs, as well as employee engagement, culture and time management systems. He created statistics, research methods, leadership, psychology, and human resources courses for both national and international clients. He has a passion for coaching others on mastering critical conversations that most people dread.
What made you choose the career you’re in? During the last years of high school and my summers home from college, I worked in a factory making parts for Harley Davidson, Yamaha, and such. It was the type of job where people glance at the clock all day and can’t wait to leave. It was grungy, monotonous, and dangerous work. Employees operated steel punches, saws, welders, and moved heavy loads from 20 feet above with forklifts. Some of these workers drank liquor to get through the workday, which was obviously a big problem and highly dangerous.
Even at that young age, I thought “There has to be a better way.” I began to think of what management and ownership could do in that setting. How could they provide employees with options, a sense of autonomy, and a sense of appreciation? How could this be done to increase productivity, reduce mistakes and work accidents, and ultimately increase profit for the company? Those seeds were planted in my mind.
After college, I worked with at-risk youth for a number of years, and eventually made the change into business, sales, organizational development & training, consulting, and executive coaching, all while applying the psychology of the workplace.
What do you enjoy most about it? What I enjoy most is seeing the change that I help create for employees and for those leading them. I have saved countless jobs that were up against both union complaints and failing performance reviews. Through coaching and manager development, train the trainer, and critical communications courses I developed and facilitated, I’ve seen data-driven results in the hundreds which included numerous promotions.
I also enjoy that the field of Industrial/Organizational Psychology is everchanging. It is exciting to have a direct impact while being on the leading edge of applying workplace science. This includes everything from enhancing the worker experience, workplace environment, structures, and data-driven processes that make organizations profitable. Well-positioned companies can continue to provide employment opportunities, create a positive emotional attachment to the organization, and thus increase the employee discretionary effort necessary to drive that organization’s success.
What qualifications are needed to succeed in your industry? Typically, a masters or a PhD is required to be successful in the field. Industrial/Organizational Psychology has been around for over 100 years. Unfortunately, it has yet to enjoy a proper introduction into the workforce. One of the major pains of I/Os to this day, is that when Industrial/Organizational Psychology is mentioned, many are met with “I don’t know what that is.” This is a challenge that we are overcoming slowly but surely.
Typically, if one holds a PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, that alone is qualification enough to be considered competent and able to start practicing in the field. Some choose certifications in coaching leadership, or even human resources to complement their skills, especially if holding a master’s degree. Knowledge of workplace psychological assessments is vital, as is the ability to skillfully interpret the results for coaching, recruitment, and other high-stakes situations. Strong data analysis skills are also crucial to create and lead a variety of performance initiatives.
What daily habits help you stay successful? The daily habit that helps me to be most successful is writing down a consistent list of goals every morning and night. These goals are to be written in the present tense. I started out with a list of three, which has grown to a list of sixteen.
Note: This is not a task list. Rather, it is a list that is of the person you want to become and the behaviors you wish to solidify as habit. For example, a few of the goals that I write are:
- I am a networking guru.
- I am well-organized.
- I think three steps ahead and weigh options and outcomes before I act.
You can see how this is not necessarily a list of tasks, but rather a list of what I want to be mindful of. Writing these down takes only a minute or two and provides great focus and power. These present-tense goals have manifested themselves in extraordinary ways.
What is the biggest obstacle that you’ve had to overcome on your path to success? The biggest obstacle I have overcome is the networking aspect for professional success. As a person-introvert and task-extrovert, I have made my way by simply being helpful to others, without expecting anything in return. Slowly but surely, I have made connections with others, with the goal being simply to help them overcome obstacles and achieve their own success. My few connections have become many strong and healthy connections as the multiplier effect kicked in. My goal in meeting new people is still to focus on their needs and be helpful.
What advice do you have for someone who is interested in getting into your industry? Those interested in getting into my line of work can benefit greatly from having a true desire to help others, while combining curiosity, science, and business strategy. Network in a manner that is helpful to others. Work on your personal branding. Build your personal brand in a manner that suits both your individual style and career goals. Always be authentic. Have stretch goals that are just outside of your comfort zone. Seek out ways to continue to educate yourself both formally and informally.
Industrial/Organizational Psychologists look at things through a forward-thinking and exciting lens, while focusing on current research and trends in the workplace and workplace science. Understand the difference between scholar and practitioner. Be careful once you make that transition to speaking to those in the business world. As a practitioner, you must speak your company or client’s language.
Connect with Jeremy at his website: https://www.turnboot.com/