The Power Of Mattering

Marketing Podcast with Jennifer Wallace

Jennifer Wallace, a guest on the Duct Tape Marketing PodcastIn this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview Jennifer Wallace. She is a freelance print and television journalist who began her career at 60 Minutes. She’s a frequent contributor to the WSJ and the Washington Post. 

Her upcoming book Never Enough: When Achievement Culture Becomes Toxic-and What We Can Do About It, explores the deep roots of toxic achievement culture, and finds out what we must do to fight back. 

Key Takeaway:

Mattering is the idea of feeling valued for who we are at our core by our families, by our friends, by our community, and also being dependent on to add meaningful value back to parents, to friends, to the community. Jennifer highlights that many parents today inadvertently place excessive emphasis on their children’s achievements, associating their value primarily with academic performance, extracurricular accomplishments, and external recognition. This approach, while intended to motivate and prepare children for a competitive world, often leads to unintended consequences such as heightened anxiety, stress, and a distorted self-concept.

It’s important that parents adopt a more balanced and holistic approach by fostering a sense of mattering within the family dynamic. By prioritizing mattering, parents help children develop healthy self-esteem and self-worth that transcends external achievements. Children who feel valued for who they are tend to exhibit greater resilience in the face of setbacks, fostering a growth mindset and a willingness to take calculated risks. Furthermore, the conversation extends the relevance of mattering beyond parenting and into other spheres of life, including the workplace. The concept of mattering holds the potential to humanize organizational cultures, enhance employee satisfaction, and contribute to overall well-being,

Questions I ask Jennifer Wallace:

  • [01:31] Why did you want to tackle this topic?
  • [02:44] So as a trained journalist, you actually did a whole range of research subjects for this book. Tell me a little bit about this.
  • [04:46] There are a lot of things that have changed generationally but do you think that every generation has felt the same way to some extent?
  • [06:27] How much of a crazy sort of reset did COVID cause?
  • [08:22] You spent a great deal of this books talking about something you call mattering. What do you mean by that and what the implications are of not mattering?
  • [11:20] How has writing this book changed your parenting?
  • [14:46] How much of that mattering is considered mattering for your parents?
  • [16:49] What role does social media have on competition striving that may create some of this stress?
  • [17:40] Where’s the healthy balance? Because some achievement is not all bad.
  • [19:15] A lot of the work that you write about could really apply to a workplace, right?
  • [20:13] What’s the solution to this problem?

More About Jennifer Wallace:

  • Jennifer’s website
  • Pre-order Never Enough: When Achievement Culture Becomes Toxic-and What We Can Do About It

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