Dan Schawbel teaches about the importance of building human connection in a digital world.
Today’s guest has interviewed over 2000 successful people from a diverse range of industries and professions. These individuals include fortune 500 ceos, athletes, generals, politicians, astronauts, actors, musicians, authors, professors, billionaires, magicians, Nobel prize winners, journalists, chefs, Olympic gold medalists, youtube stars, Ted speakers, designers, thought leaders, and even the current president of the United States. You’re fired. And on today’s show, the New York Times bestselling author, Dan Schawbel is teaching us about the importance of building human connection in the digital world that we now live in.
Today’s show you’re interviewing the New York Times selling author and the millennial career and workplace expert Dan Schawbel about the importance of human connection in a digital world. Dan, I’m honored to have you on the show, my man. How are you?
So happy to be here with you. Thanks for having me on your show.
I watch a lot of the Louis podcasts and I was first introduced to your book back to human through the podcast, and I would just like to ask you what first inspired you to write the book back to human, how great leaders create connection in the age of isolation.
Multiple things happening at once. One is every book I write helps people get to the next phase of their career so that my life mission is to help people go from student to CEO. So me. Two point. Oh, is college. The first job promoted yourself as first job to management and back to human is a leadership book. The other thing is I was interviewed for a documentary two years ago called the revolution generation comes out next year and I was asked what the biggest challenges for people my age. I’m 35 and it was talking about student loan crisis, world war income inequality, climate change, and then in my head I’m like, wait, what’s affecting us on a daily basis? And it’s our overuse of technology and that’s made us more isolated and lonely in the workplace and at home.
So I’d love to for you to share, for the listeners out there who are not as familiar with your background, what was your path to becoming a best selling author?
That’s a very long path. I’m going to try and summarize this as quick as possible. I started working when I was 13, first internship in highschool, seven more internships in college. First a business sophomore year of college doing website design and graphic design for local businesses in Newton, Massachusetts. Graduated, spent three and a half years at a company called EMC now, Emc, Dell, very big fortune 200 company and I went from product marketing or online marketing that I created the first ever social media position based on where I was doing outside of work. I was very early on in personal branding. I mean my own personal branding dotcom and I had personal branding blog. I was writing 12 articles a week, started a magazine called personal branding magazine. It’s doing a lot of different things around personal branding and that fast company profile. Me, uh, my company had no idea what I was doing outside of work until that moment because it mentioned that I was a fulltime employee and that’s how I was able to create the first social media position in a big company and then that inspired the first book meets you point out, which is the first book on how to use social media to build your career. And then from there I launched a company called millennial branding, wrote another book. I’ll promote yourself, started another company in our workplace trends.com. That was acquired and then now it’s back to human.
You are a guy who, if you read any of your books, you’re a person. It’s very intentional. Who about leading with data? You can correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like you always use facts and data to support what you’re saying instead of just saying a, Dan Schawbel thinks this is the idea of. Could you explain why you use facts and data on such an intentional basis?
Yeah. It’s very intentional and I have it a real attachment to numbers because early in my career when I was blogging, people are like, oh, what do you know? How do you know that’s true? And I would always cite other people’s research and so I realized that wow, like research and data can combat ageism. And so I always knew that was important. And then in 2012 I launched my first study where I analyzed 4 million millennial facebook profiles and I launched a study in the media, went viral. It was a big deal back then and then I just got hooked on it. I’d say it was viewable that I’m an archeologist trying to find the next and dinosaur bone, but instead I’m uncovering the labor workplace data that it’s going to help people better prepare for the future of work and companies to create better, healthier workplaces so people can be healthy and happy and thrive. And so I’ve done 45 studies into being over 90,000 people in 20 countries. So it’s been six years of that and I. This is my sweet spot. It’s what I enjoy. So I hope to do more next year and in the future
I’ve heard you say that, that whether you’re on a subway or whether you’re at the workplace, people in the workplace or having lunch alone, you feel like you’re around so many people but yet around not anybody at the same time because people are physically there but they are not there mentally, emotionally, or spiritually there. Dan, can you break down what you mean by this?
Yeah. So whether you’re in the subway, whether they’re in a corporate office. I mean I had lunch alone, so I’ve, I plead guilty. Uh, wherever you are, people are physically there, but people are looking down at devices more so now than they were looking at people and up to half of someone’s work day is consumed using technology. Found that in the virgin pulse study I did for the book of over 2000 people globally. And so as more and more of our time is spent looking at devices, it really hurts our soft skills and it prevents us from establishing the relationships we need to be successful at work, through collaboration, and at home to establish relationship, we need to be human and to survive because we need each other to function and operate and be happy.
In your book, back to human, uh, you create connections in the age of isolation. You decided to name one of the book as Master Self-connection. What does this portion of the book all about?
Yeah, part one is really a focus on yourself, right? And the theory, especially in the chapter one which is focused on fulfillment, is you need to be able to get your head straight. You need to know what you want out of life, what your vision is, what your values are, and your purpose is. Because once you do that, you can be a role model to others and others can look up to you. And then you’ll know how to help them figure out their own life and help them become more fulfilled. If you’re talking to people and you don’t know really what you want to do, you feel lost and isolated, then you’re not going to be as effective in helping them because in your head you’re always thinking about, okay, I’m alone. I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m lost, so it’s going to be less effective. But if you’re happy, they’ll people will feel your positive energy. And so through being more productive, taking care of yourself, uh, I think all of those things really add up to being a healthier, happier human. And then you radiate onto other people. So your positivity will travel throughout your organization.
Dan Schawbel, Dr z here I on your website, you talk about being a serial entrepreneur. What are some of the, are all your business is pretty much the same or have you done anything outside of what we’re talking about right now?
Yeah. Well, millennial branding originally was a personal branding coaching company and then the second iteration was really focused on helping companies better sell to or hire and manage people my age. Um, but really everything is workplace focused now because that’s where I want to make the biggest impact. I had a decision back in the day of, Hey, do I, you know, in terms of personal branding, do I want to get into more marketing or human capital and marketing to me. I, even though I liked those skills, I want to apply those skills into hr because I knew that in with her I could really affect someone’s life and success and to me that I could gravitate more to because that would give me a sense of purpose.
I’m fascinated by what are those original studies you did with 4 million millennials, facebook pages that you deep dived into and kind of looked at. What are some takeaways from that study that you could share with the audience right now? So there’s a long time ago. The big, the big thing that I remember because you know, when I released a study up to talk about it so many times, but it’s usually talking about the core findings and the findings on that one was we have an APP, we had an average of 700 friends on Facebook, 16 of which are co-workers, so the idea is wow, like we have to be smarter about who we add and the boundaries we create because there was stories back then, have people posting how much they hated their manager on Facebook and then getting fired in the comment section by their manager. Yeah, it’s crazy.
Hmm. I, I would just, I would encourage everybody out there, if you’ve yet to check out this book, back to human, it’s, it’s gonna be a game changer for somebody out there. Part two of your book is called create team connection. On a very practical level. I’d love for you to break down with this portion of the book is all about,
yeah, we’re all in teams right now in the study I did for my last book, promote yourself. We asked managers what are the, what are the things you’re looking for when promoting and teamwork was in the top three. The positive attitude was another and the ability to prioritize work. So really it’s about, we’re all in teams now. We have to be able to function in a team. People look different than they ever did, right? We have a more diverse workplace and ever before, uh, when I interviewed 100 top young leaders for this book through the top companies in the world, I didn’t go in saying, you know, I need, you know, the percentage being African American and percentage being women. It just naturally happened, which tells me we’re at a different place now where the next generation of leaders is more diverse. We have to work in diverse teams and embrace diverse people and ideas.
I think that to me is extremely important. And then there’s another chapter on recognition. I think people are not willing to wait a whole year for the annual performance review. They want to be acknowledged on a regular basis is, you know, technology is brought along. Instant gratification. You know, no one’s, no one wants to wait to know if they’re doing a good job. They don’t want to be surprised after a year, uh, with not getting a promotion. So I think giving feedback and getting in the habit of recognizing people for good behavior is helpful because then it creates a culture of kindness and happiness and support that we all need.
Hey Dan Schawbel, this is Paul Hood, Hood Cpas. I tell you, sitting here listening to you, I’m taking notes and what one of the things that made me think of, I like to read a lot. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Jack Welch, former CEO.
I’ve interviewed him actually in his wife.
Oh, awesome. Well, he says in his book, winning before leadership, your job is to grow yourself and after leadership, your job is to grow. Others. Your words here, and I haven’t read your book, I’m going to get it and I’m excited to read it, but do you think that. I mean basically, do you agree with that comment? Does that fit in with, with the direction of your series of books?
I would say for this book, you kind of have to do both at the same time, right? So I think you can be a leader while being a good influence on those around you and the real core to this book as the for employee engagement factors, trust, belonging, purpose, and happiness. I think as a leader, if you on those four, you can layer technology over it. You can do anything you want over those four, but those are the four critical components because that’s why people actually come to work and if you look at all three bucks, the first two books were really about the work you do and this is the first book where I’m really saying, okay, it matters who you work with, the work you do and who you work with that his work. Or you can be working in different locations at home regardless of the setup.
If you love the work you do and you have people who are supporting your ambitions, you’re not leaving any time soon. Right? And I think that what I’ve recognized in the past few weeks is that if you love the work you do, you try to find real purpose in it. But you’re in a toxic work environment where people don’t want you to succeed, where you’ll never get a promotion where they kind of want to push you out was just never succeed there. It’s going to be awful for you. It doesn’t matter how much you love what you do. So I think the people you work with is actually more important than what the work you do. I’m fully convinced on that because if you have a support system around you, a great leader or great teammates that want you to be successful and support you, then you’ll figure out that you’ll, you’ll make your job better. You know, they’ll, they’ll let you work on projects that are mighty, might be outside of your spectrum of duties. You might be able to move around the organization to do something more of what you love. So I think who you work with is, is the most important. And you know, it’s like the old saying, people don’t leave companies, they leave managers.
Gotcha. Dan, I have a hot question for the z wants to one up me with a better question here in chapter seven of your book, uh, you titled the Chapter Hire for personality. What, what do you mean by this?
Hire for personality and train for scale? You know, I think hard skills over the next coming years are going to be all automated at some level. I think, you know, all these programmers and engineers are making so much money right now. Some of the engineers actually have Hollywood agents in California because they command such high salaries higher than some of these Hollywood stars. But I think what’s going to play out is that all this technology and machine learning and artificial intelligence are going to continue to get superior and learn and get better and more efficient and that’ll end up replacing a lot of these hard skills. They’ll get that smart. So what is left, what is left is our soft skills. And in this case, you know, natural curiosity, creativity, communication skills, ability to work and managing a team, uh, having a positive attitude I think is like the most important thing.
I mean that’s how I got my job when I graduate because I was competing against the director of polaroid and I was hired because I was so passionate about getting a job there. So it’s if someone has a positive attitude, it’s a predictor that when they get that job they’ll work that much harder. And so I think hire for personality. So important because these are the people you’re going to be working with and if they’re not bearable, if they, if they aren’t genuinely curious and supportive and have a positive attitude, then they’re gonna leave anyways because they’re just going to fit in and it’s going to hurt everyone else. Okay. Dan, on your website, you talk about doing over 2000 interviews with celebrities, are well-known people and do a few of those stick out or, or, or very memorable ones. Part a of the question and the part B is it shows on here that you interviewed Donald Trump.
Now we’re not a political show, we’re an entrepreneur show, but I got to hear about how that, where was he in his career and how that went, how that happened, and, and you got to give me a little something on that. Come on. So a couple that stood out and then. And then how was the widow a president trump. How’d that go? Yeah, trump was 2011. This. I like the stories of getting to these people more than the actual interviews sometimes and that was one of them where I set out many, many years before to interview him and I thought, okay, well, you know, a lot of people will probably want to interview him. How do I do? I go about it a longterm way. And so I interviewed his daughter, Ivanka, like I dunno, 10 years ago or so. I interviewed Larry King. I interviewed Robert Kiyosaki.
I looked at and examined all the people he cared most about in his life or the people who are associated with. And I interviewed them to build the story up of why should interview him? Ah Ha. There’s a longterm story of how I got him and then it was about 12 minutes on the phone and you know, I was pretty naive at that point. It was what it was. I mean, these answers aren’t even that bad. I mean it was really about entrepreneurship and the thing that I remember was the last question about, you know, who it is he higher just like we’re talking about hire for personality, very relevant is he doesn’t want to see a resume where people are job hopping because that’s an indicator that they’re not going to stay with him very long and I thought that’s legitimate. It’s sort of an old school mentality because people are shifting jobs a little bit more regularly now, but I thought that was fair.
I thought that was a great answer and then Whoa, whoa. Kogan was a great story. Yeah. I interviewed a guy, a man by the name, multimillionaire, by the name of Ryan Blair, and back in the day Forbes had a partnership with Yahoo and that interview out of all my interviews went on the home page of Yahoo, which is the number one spot on the Internet back then to be in and it got done enough, $40, million page views a and I got a call from him saying, Hey, this really impacted me and changed my life and this is someone who is probably worth a few hundred dollars million so that, that says a lot about the impact of that publicity. And I looked at his website, oh, he’s like, what? What can I do for you? I looked at his website, it said that whole Kogan was a spokesperson.
I was like, I’d love to interview hoke and so is the process of getting an interview and then just like realizing how to win people over quickly. So, and I did the same thing with trump and Hogan was you talk about a memory of when you saw them speak or on TV or in this case for whole Cogan. I saw him battle Andre the giant when I was six or seven years old and in western Massachusetts and it meant a lot to me and so one of them over, he was by the pool in Florida at as far as state and he was just very relaxed and he was coming up with questions for me almost right. He was talking about the divorce. Things that I would never ask him. I don’t, I, I don’t ask about people’s personal lives to that extent and so I thought it was just really great because it was like talking to a friend.
That’s awesome. Thank you. My final question I have here for you is your book a new book that’s out there. Back to human. We all, our listeners tend to buy books. They love to buy books. We have entrepreneurs tend to consume more books than the average human. Why should everybody go out there and check out a copy of your book back to human?
I think it prepares you for where we’re going in our world, you know, uh, the main message is led technology, be a, um, a bridge to human connection, not a barrier, you know, so always remember that despite all the technology, the human connection is important. If you want to retain coworkers and collaborate more effective and, and really just be happy in today’s world led technology, remove the work you don’t want to do and let it get you to physical places where you can interact with the people that will matter most to you now and in the future.
Dan, I appreciate you for being on the show. I know you have a lot of things to do today. Thank you for investing your time and to our listeners and I hope you have a blessed and a wonderful rest of this month and a great 2019. You too. Thank you so much. Take care. Thrive nation. As always, we’d like to end each and every show with a boom, but before we go to the boom, I want to encourage you to check out. Thrive time show.com has thrive time show.com where you can download a free ebook versions of the start here. Amazon best selling book that I have written just for you. It is sort of the spine of the thrive time show business coaching systems and processes. You can download that ebook version absolutely for [email protected] You can also download the boom book for [email protected] Check it out today at thrive time, show.com, and now that he further ado, do three.
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