Wed, 30 October 2019
Huge thanks to VMware for sponsoring this episode! If you want a free copy of my upcoming book The Future Leader, go to http://bit.ly/vmwaregiveaways
Today’s world is incredibly fast-paced and competitive. How do you stand out and build your career? By developing your personal brand.
Just like each company has a brand, each person also has a brand. It’s what you stand for and what you want people to know about you. Your personal brand could be a subject you are passionate about, a cause you care deeply for, or a message you want to share. A strong personal brand solidifies you as a subject matter expert and makes you more valuable in your company or in your own entrepreneurial endeavors. Building a personal brand takes time and effort. To build a maintain a strong personal brand, you need to focus on three areas:
Choose a brand and stick with it. What are you going to share with people? What do you want them to know about you? Decide on one thing and be consistent. Your brand could be talking about the future of work (like mine) or being an expert on new medicine or aviation. Once you decide your brand and message, stay consistent. Don’t jump around to other topics, but instead stay in your lane and build your brand.
Your brand becomes what you talk about all the time. The more often you talk about something, the more it will stick with people. Talk about your message in person, on social media, and in other personal and professional outlets. The goal is for people to instantly match you to your personal brand, but that only comes from talking about it often.
To build your personal brand, you’ve got to get out there! Your message doesn’t mean anything if you don’t share it in a visible way. Post on social media, contribute to other websites and blogs, speak at conferences—the list goes on and on. Be visible and spread your message.
Building a personal brand is a continual process and doesn’t happen overnight. Choose a message or brand you’re passionate about and make it part of how you live and work. Your personal brand should be part of your walk and talk every day. Following these three steps can help you build a strong brand over time and make you stand out in our competitive world.
Direct download: Why_And_How_To_Build_Your_Personal_Brand.mp3
-- posted at: 4:27am PDT
Mon, 28 October 2019
Daniel Martinez-Valle is the CEO of Orbia, a global leader in polymers, materials, and infrastructure. Orbia has over 22,000 employees in 41 countries around the world. They are committed to “help the world take shape and create a more livable, lovable planet for everyone”.
The company has been undergoing a major transformation, including a recent name change, from Mexichem to Orbia. There are three main components to the transformation they are going through, when explaining them Daniel says, “The first one has to do with articulating a very clear purpose, that people in our organization and our stakeholders can really understand and connect to. The second one, our values, which is very important as we move along, and as people make daily choices within our organization and within our extended organizations. And then the third one is to really transform our company and to become truly, a customer-centric organization.” They are changing to be a more human company, one that cares about the world, the environment, people and society.
Orbia’s transformation is holistic, it is not just about a name change or a website update or a change in strategy, every single aspect of the organization has been affected by this transformation. So why are they going through this change? As an organization Orbia wants to make sure that they are impacting the world around them in a positive way. There are many world issues that need to be addressed, including food and water shortages and pollution.
As they go through this transformation one of the fundamental steps is articulating a very clear company purpose that employees and stakeholders can connect to. Daniel says, “For us purpose means what is the fundamental reason why we exist, and why we come to work every day, beyond sort of generating profits, generating dividends or having the ability to pay bi-weekly, or weekly wages. Why would people care if Orbia ceases to exist five years from now or 20 years from now? Why do we matter, why do we exist? And it's a combination of a number of individual reflections in terms of, how can we transcend in life, why are we here and how can we make sure that in our final hours we can look back and say, at least one life could breathe easier because we lived. And when we combine that as a collective, and when we move from a 'Me' mentality to a 'We' mentality, that's what purpose means.”
And they don’t just put values and mission statements up on the walls of their organization and hope that it will inspire employees. They are backing up their values and purpose with action in every aspect of the organization. From incentives, to training programs, to the way they onboard new employees, everything inside of the organization stems from the purpose of why the company exists.
“I think the very basic analogy that I give very colloquially to people is if this were acupuncture, we have to insert a needle in every single pore of the skin. And if this is not sort of a truly holistic process, then the transformation will not be effective down the road. So, in everything that people see and every interaction, they need to feel that they need to see this transformation in order for this to be real. And at the end of the day, it has to transform itself into a social movement. It's not something that people in corporate offices can say, "This will happen." People have to embrace: What are our values? What is our purpose? Where do wanna take the company? How do we define success? How are we gonna make sure that we are making the right choices? How are we gonna embrace failure? And how are we gonna change the culture in order to make this transformation happen? And if I am one of those 22,000 employees, how do I need to understand my role in this transformation journey, and then that's when it becomes a social movement.”
What you will learn:
- What it is like to work at Orbia
- Why the company is going through a transformation
- How you can help employees find their purpose
- How to change corporate culture
- How purpose and profits can be fully aligned
- Daniel’s advice for people who want to be better leaders
Direct download: Daniel_Martinez_Valle_Podcast_-_done.mp3
-- posted at: 3:37am PDT
Wed, 23 October 2019
Every organization has values that showcase what it stands for. In most cases, these are words like innovation, collaboration, or integrity that are used in the company’s mission statement and emblazoned on the walls. As important as many companies think their values are, in reality, most companies have similar values. Nearly every organization emphasizes things like trust, quality work, and authenticity.
So if the words themselves aren’t unique, what makes your company different? Employees don’t care as much about the words themselves as they do with how the values come to life. It’s one thing to say your organization values transparency and another thing to actually showcase transparency every day. It should be evident what your company stands for just by looking around the office.
Here are five ways to make your company’s values come to life:
1. Do a value audit.
Look around the physical workspace to see if you can find the values in action. Look for employees who are live the values or procedures that encourage the values. If you can easily see the values, your organization is likely doing a good job of bringing them to life. However, if you can’t see the values or if you see the opposite values in action, it’s probably time for an overhaul.
2. Start at the top.
Values should be personified by top leaders at the company. If the CEO and other executives make things like innovation and empathy part of their mindsets and actions, those values will flow to the rest of the employees and become a crucial part of the company.
3. Get employee feedback.
Ask employees how they think the organization is doing. Can they name the values without looking at them? Employees who are in the trenches often have better recommendations of how to improve the values and overall culture.
4. Focus on purpose.
Modern employees want a sense of purpose at work. They’re more likely to be engaged and live the values if they see the impact of their work. Make sure each employee knows how their responsibilities impact customers and the company.
5. Reward values.
Back up the words with rewards. If your company values collaboration and teamwork, reward employees that showcase those characteristics. Employees naturally work towards whatever is rewarded, so focusing on values can encourage people to find their own way to apply the values.
Many companies have similar values, but that doesn’t mean every company is the same. Focus on bringing the values to life and turning them into the walk and talk of your company instead of just words on an inspirational poster. Truly applying the values will help separate your organization from the rest.
Huge thanks to VMware for sponsoring this episode! If you want a free copy of my upcoming book The Future Leader, go to http://bit.ly/vmwareee
Sun, 20 October 2019
Pamela McCorduck is an artificial intelligence (AI) expert and author. She has written 10 books, the newest one comes out this month and it is titled: This Could Be Important: My Life and Times with the Artificial Intelligentsia.
Pamela first became interested in AI when she was studying at the University of California, Berkeley. She was an English major, but she had a job typing in the business school, which is where she met some of the “fathers of AI”. Two assistant professors in the business school who she became acquainted with through her job approached her to see if she could help them work on a book. The book was on the topic of AI, something that at that time Pamela knew nothing about.
When she asked one of the assistant professors what AI was he gave her a great definition. He said, “I would define it as machines doing something that if a human did that we would say, 'Oh that's intelligent behavior.” Pamela said that while working on the book in 1960 she fell in love with the field of AI and she has been learning all she can about it ever since.
Back when Pamela first started immersing herself in AI, it fascinated her so much that she decided she wanted to write a book on the history of artificial intelligence. With the help of AI experts at that time, she wrote Machines Who Think, which looks at the evolution AI has gone through from the time of the classic Greek poets to the 20th century.
Pamela states that the algorithms we use today were actually developed in the 80s, but at the time we didn’t have the advanced technology needed to use them. So the things we are seeing today in AI and machine learning which seem so futuristic, are actually from a few decades ago, we just didn’t have the technology needed until now.
When asked about the meaning behind the title of her new book, This Could Be Important, Pamela said, “This book is a memoir of sorts, and it starts from the time that AI really grabs me by the gut and goes on. So my husband was the chairman of the computer science department at Carnegie Mellon in the 70s. And in the late 70s, he was called to Columbia University because the Ivy League was among the last to establish computer science departments. And so he established the Computer Science Department at Columbia where he earned his Ph.D. and, of course, we moved to New York City, which I loved 'cause I'm a writer. And that was the writer's company town in those days. Anyway, I got into all kinds of literary circles 'cause I still thought of myself as a literary person, and I would run into various public intellectuals and I would say, "You know, this artificial intelligence, this could be important." And they would look at me as if I were absolutely nuts and laugh. I mean, what else could they do? And it went on for two decades at least.”
Pamela believes that AI will have a major impact on the future of work and the future in general. And there will be benefits as well as some challenges that come with it. She understands that AI will never make a perfect paradise because we as humans will never be perfect. But that doesn’t mean we should forget it altogether.
“It's not gonna be paradise, but it's gonna be a lot easier for a lot more people, and that gets to one of the things that really makes me unhappy about people like Musk who say, "Oh, we've just gotta stop AI." And I'm thinking "You live in a privileged society, and you live a life of great privilege in that society. Who are you to say nobody gets the benefits of AI because it might have some bad effects?" There is a world of need out there that AI could supply, and it's not up to us privileged white people, and privileged white men to say, "Oh no, sorry, we're not gonna have that because there are dangers." Well, yes, of course, there are dangers but boy, think of the benefits.”
What you will learn:
- How Pamela first got involved in the AI space
- A look at the history of AI
- What is symbolic intelligence and why is it so important for the future
- The impact AI will have on the future of work
- How the current industrial revolution is different than the first
- What is was like in the early days of AI and what Pamela learned from the “fathers of AI”
Huge thanks to VMware for sponsoring this episode! If you want a free copy of my upcoming book 'The Future Leader', go to http://bit.ly/vmwareee
Direct download: Pamela_McCorduck_Podcast_-_DONE.mp3
-- posted at: 7:36pm PDT
Wed, 16 October 2019
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that the majority of Americans say their job is the biggest cause of stress in their lives. As we push ourselves harder and are constantly connected, stress has started to take an even bigger toll on our lives. Many employees constantly feel burned out and overworked. When you’re stressed, you’re not as good of an employee or manager, and you’re definitely not as good of a friend, spouse, or parent outside of work.
A growing number of organizations have initiatives to promote health and wellness, but it really comes down to each employee taking control of his or her own mental and emotional health and control their stress.
Here are four ways to manage your stress at work:
Take a stress audit.
What causes you stress at work? Is it having to do the work of two people because a co-worker left? Is it being called into meetings at all hours of the day? Is it a client with a bad attitude? Analyze what triggers your stress and try to find solutions to control the trigger or avoid it altogether.
Stay in control of those stress-causing triggers. Talk to your boss and set boundaries. If always being on call is causing major stress, set limits of when you will and won’t respond to a work call. Openly share what is causing you to stress with your manager and find solutions that work for you and the company.
Your physical health is connected to your mental health. Take time to exercise and be active. Eat healthy meals, even if you’re stuck at your desk all day. Make sure you get a good night’s rest and make time to take care of yourself.
Oftentimes, stress is caused by creating unrealistic expectations for ourselves. Remember that you’re human and can’t do everything on your own. Learn what you are capable of accomplishing in one day, and divide the rest of your responsibilities for other days. With realistic expectations, you won’t feel overwhelmed when you can’t possibly get to everything in one day.
Managing stress is an ongoing process. Find ways to mitigate stress triggers and take care of yourself mentally and physically. If you find talking to your boss and setting boundaries at work isn’t working, don’t be afraid to leave that job behind and find something that is a better fit for your mental and emotional needs.
Huge thanks to VMware for sponsoring this episode! If you want a free copy of my upcoming book The Future Leader, go to http://bit.ly/vmwareee
Mon, 14 October 2019
Sanjay Poonen is the Chief Operating Officer at VMware, a global leader in cloud infrastructure and digital workspace technology. They are the 5th largest software company and they currently have around 26,000 employees in offices around the world.
Sanjay has been with VMware since 2013, prior to that he was President & Corporate Officer — Platform, Applications & Industries at SAP. He started his career as a software engineer at Microsoft followed by Apple.
Technology today is advancing more rapidly than ever before, and it’s hard to tell what the world will look like 10–15 years from now. But Sanjay says some things will never change and as we progress we still need to make sure that we are training our children the fundamental principles of science, technology, engineering, math, logic, physics, etc…He also believes storytelling is an important skill for the future.
He says, “I think it’s super important that we emphasize storytelling to our kids. And I hope that dinner table conversations are not obsessed by keeping the TV on and the device on. We try to keep a no device policy for a period of time in the evenings in our home. It’s super important we go back to that basic principle of what people did around the dinner table, which is telling stories.
And I hope that the classroom setting is the same time too. One of the dangers of this obsession with devices is that we move away from whatever friendship or family constructs that got people telling stories. I find often today, people are so obsessed with their devices, they’re not as good at carrying on a conversation, they’re looking down.”
Technology can be used for great things and it can be used to make our lives easier. But we also have to be careful because it can also be used in dangerous ways as well. Sanjay explains that just as fire can be used for good (keeping us warm, cooking food, giving light) and bad (arson) technology can be used either way as well.
For example, AI can be used to help doctors take more efficient, legible prescriptions via speech recognition technology rather than writing them out by hand. And it can be used in vehicles to help people park better or to drive more safely in heavy traffic.
But it can also be used in selfish or even evil ways. With facial recognition, there is a possibility that someone could be wrongfully identified and end up in trouble. Companies can sell data they have gathered from customers without permission. Because of these issues, Sanjay believes it is critical for technologists, leaders, and governments to constantly have conversations and debates in order to make technology a force for good.
As a leader, how does Sanjay attract and retain the best talent? He says it starts with practicing servant leadership.
“It’s super important that you’re always humble and hungry, and looking to learn. And part of it, being a servant-leader doesn’t mean that you’re a doormat that everybody steps over. I’m strongly opinionated, I’m passionate, I’m a hard negotiator, all those things. But I don’t want any smell of me that I’m arrogant, unwilling to learn, unwilling to listen. I make plenty of mistakes, I’m a work in progress. But I want my team to feel like, “You know what, this guy’s got a growth mindset, so I can give him feedback. And I want the person who’s at the lowest rung of my organization to feel like I’m approachable, as opposed to sitting in some ivory tower with a bunch of security guards around me that they can’t come and talk to me or send an email to me or walk into my office. And I’m always challenging myself to how I could continue to drive that servant leadership mindset, both in myself, and role model it to my organization.”
What you will learn:
- Sanjay’s general take on technology today
- The importance of leaders speaking up and taking a stance instead of staying neutral
- How to balance technology and humanity in the workplace
- How Sanjay brings in the best people and keeps them motivated
- The importance of storytelling
- Why Sanjay believes an A should be added to STEM to make it STEAM
- What technology freaks Sanjay out
Direct download: Sanjay_Poonen_Podcast_-_done.mp3
-- posted at: 7:22am PDT
Wed, 9 October 2019
Conversations about AI are nearly unavoidable these days. It seems like everyone has an opinion about how AI is taking jobs from humans and how it will impact and transform our work situations. Many of those conversations are full of fear that the machines are taking over and soon employees in all industries will be replaced.
Here’s the truth: yes, AI is impacting jobs. But we should let it.
That doesn’t mean that machines will soon leave us completely unemployed and take over our world. Instead, it means that AI is augmenting and transforming jobs to make them better. Just because it’s new and unknown doesn’t mean it has to be scary. Here are three reasons you should let AI impact your job.
AI removes mundane tasks.
AI is built to do repetitive tasks like data entry, analysis, and scheduling. The best applications for AI are areas where humans don’t typically want to spend their time. AI takes over those boring, mundane tasks and does them faster and more accurately than humans, which gives humans a chance to work on other projects that are more exciting and engaging. Think of AI as a skilled assistant who frees your schedule to work on more interesting things.
AI provides a chance to learn new skills.
A growing number of companies, including Accenture and McDonald’s, are re-vamping their workforces with AI without losing a single human employee. That’s because employees that are being replaced are being up-skilled to work in other areas of the company. Accenture replaced many of its entry-level data entry employees with machines but then trained the human employees on business strategy and moved them to other areas of the company where their skills could be better used. By allowing AI to work in areas where it thrives, humans have the chance to expand our skillsets and careers into new areas. AI could be the boost that takes your career to the next level and encourages you to learn something new.
AI allows us to focus on human qualities.
Even the most advanced robot can’t collaborate with humans or be as creative as a human can. There are certain skills that are uniquely human and can’t be duplicated by a machine. As AI takes over many of the mind-numbing tasks humans used to do, it frees us to focus on what makes us human. We get to build relationships and be innovative.
AI in the workforce is unavoidable. Instead of living in constant fear of being replaced by machines, we should be excited for the change. Embrace AI and encourage its growth in your organization. AI is going to impact your job, but with the right attitude, that impact could be a great starting spot for your next step forward.
Mon, 7 October 2019
Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is the Chief Talent Scientist at ManpowerGroup and Professor of Business Psychology at Columbia University and the University College in London. Tomas has written 10 books and over 150 scientific papers on the psychology of talent, leadership, innovation and AI. He has also delivered multiple TED Talks, including one on “The Power of Negative Thinking” and another on “Why do so Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders”.
What is a Chief Talent Scientist? In Tomas’ case it means combining his expertise and background in organizational psychology and analytics & assessments. Tomas says, “If you combine both things, and an interest in understanding human performance, then you get the kind of interface or the main area niche that I specialize. And at Manpower Group, our agreement is to really use all of our data, our tools and expertise to predict performance and understand human potential in a deeper way.”
ManpowerGroup’s main purpose is to “understand where people can be deployed most effectively, and where people will be thriving, and what role, job, or capacity. And then helping organizations not just deal with their current talents, but predict what their future talent issues might be.”
They are currently working to help match people with jobs that they have the potential for, but have never actually done in their lives. For example, there may be a marketing employee who would be great in more of a customer service role, but they have never worked directly with customers before. In the past, this employee may not have been considered for a role in customer service because of their lack of experience. But ManpowerGroup is looking at how data assessment and AI can be used to match the employee with a role that matches their skills without past experience.
One of the biggest trends that Tomas has been paying attention to is the growing need for soft skills like empathy, emotional intelligence, teamwork, resilience, and creativity. As technology advances and we start using more AI, automation, and data assessment inside of our organizations, there is going to be a greater need for people to be more human.
“The last things machines are going to be able to do is to show respect, appreciation, or care for others. So in a way, even though you would think that as technology and AI becomes a more prominent aspect of jobs and careers, we should all become data scientists, geeks of one sort or another, and learn coding, actually the real need is for people who develop and boost their human skills, the soft side of talent, which is actually the hardest one to develop and to find.”
Tomas’ advice to job candidates today and in the coming future is to be flexible, adaptable, and well-rounded. Things are changing and in order to succeed you can’t pigeon hole yourself into one role, or a specific job title. It is important to be curious and to constantly learn new skills. AI and automation will disrupt jobs, individuals can thrive, but they can’t expect to do so if they sit back and expect to be safe in one single role for the rest of their life.
“Fundamentally, we believe that there will always be three core employability skills that will continue to matter in the future. This is what we use when we assess candidates, when we evaluate potential and when we try to almost distill all the different jobs and careers to their fundamental core elements. These are learning ability, so the ability to learn new things, reason and acquire new knowledge and expertise. The second is work ethic or drive, determination. And the third is, people skills.”
What you will learn:
- What is the role of a Chief Talent Scientist
- Tomas’ view of science vs. intuition when it comes to hiring talent
- Why we need to rethink the way we promote and train leaders
- Tomas’ advice for candidates looking for a new job
- The best way to take criticism and negative feedback
- Why soft skills are becoming so important for the future of work
Wed, 2 October 2019
AI and technology are at the forefront of so many conversations today, but why is that when neither AI or tech are new concepts, they have been around for decades. The reason is there are 4 major elements that are working together to create the perfect storm that is causing AI and tech to progress more quickly than ever before.
The 4 elements are:
- We have more data than ever before
- The cost of technology is decreasing
- The speed of technology is increasing
- Moore’s Law: the number of transistors on a chip doubles every year while the costs are halved.
All of these things are coming together to cause AI and technology to progress at a much faster pace than we have ever seen before.
Direct download: 1._Why_The_AI_Conversation_Is_Everywhere.mp3
-- posted at: 6:47am PDT