Is Paying for Trust Untrustworthy?

The correct answer to this week’s quiz is option A), Facebook.  Per post, the recent compensation rate on Facebook was $250. By comparison, on average influencers get paid by sponsors $100 per post on Instagram and merely $20 per post on Twitter. The second-best monetary gain for influencers is in fact on YouTube, where a post typically earns them $200. In other words, trust has become a commodity, too. In Gordon Glenister’s new book, he aptly points out that companies have turned to influencers who possess more “street cred” and offer sponsors access to passionate niche audiences that make influences an appealing alternative to high-priced celebrities appearing in TV spots. Another way to think of the influencer phenomenon, however, is that in parallel to how companies now offer workers gigs rather than careers, here again the compensation levels are collapsing as companies try to earn (lost) trust on the cheap by associating themselves with up-and-coming social media stars.

Released today: episode #63 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Gordon Glenister discussing Influencer Marketing Strategy: How to Create Successful Influencer Marketing. Click here to get to the new episode.

Gordon Glenister is the Global Head of Influencer Marketing for the Branded Content Marketing Association. Host of the Influence podcast, Glenister was previously the Director General of the British Promotional Merchandise Association for over a decade.

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc.

What It Takes to Avoid Derailing Your Career

The correct answer to this week’s quiz is all of the above, A through C. It’s a trick question because advancing as well as protecting one’s career is a tricky proposition. It’s tempting to say A, competency, is the single most important quality to possess. After all, what’s more fundamental than can you do the job well? And yet, as a university department chair said to me in an interview years ago: “We know you’ll publish and be good in the classroom. What we want to know is can we stand to go to lunch with you for the next 20 or more years?” So in lots of ways, B, compatibility, can you get along with others, proves more decisive in one’s career. Finally, don’t underestimate option C, commitment. Sure, on day one you want to do the job well and get along with others. After three to five years into the job, however, when you’ve been disappointed by sundry developments within your department, can you still summon the energy to care? It’s hard to fake being excited to be there. They give Oscars in Hollywood for playing a role, but you may not be an A-list actor day in and day out.

Released today: episode #62 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Gorick Ng discussing The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to Starting Your Career Off Right. Click here to get to the new episode. 

Gorick Ng is a career adviser at Harvard College. He’s also managed new employees at the Boston Consulting Group, worked in investment banking at Credit Suisse, and been a researcher with the Managing the Future of Work project at Harvard Business School. Gorick’s book has been featured on “The Today Show,” CNBC, and in the New York TimesWall Street Journal, and Fast Company

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc.

Catch 23: Anxiety about Anxiety at Work

An image of this question: As of July, 2020, what percentage of Americans feared for their job security? The possible answers are 40%, 60% or 80%. What’s your guess?

The correct answer to this week’s quiz is option B. Nor is that the last of the eye-opening statistics contained in the new book by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton. Workplace anxiety is estimated to cost America $40 billion a year in lost productivity, errors, and health-care costs. Add in stress in general and that number climbs to over $300 billion. What percentage of millennials have quit a job for mental health reasons? The answer is estimated to be over 50%. For Gen Z, the estimate is 75%. Finally, here’s the kicker. In a situation reminiscent of Joseph Heller’s famous, satirical novel about World War Two, Catch-22, 90% of employed adults report that they would be anxious about reporting their on-the-job anxiety to their bosses. In other words, welcome to the bureaucratic absurdity Heller’s characters encounter on a daily basis: “a problem for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem” itself. A boss causing stress becomes the choke point for resolving that stress.

Released today: episode #61 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Chester Elton discussing Anxiety at Work. Click on https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/special-series/dan-hills-eq-spotlight to get to the new episode. 

Image of Authors Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick and the cover of their new book "Anxiety at Work Eight Strategies to Help Teams Build Resilience, Handle Uncertainty and Get Stuff Done. for Dan Hill's EQ Spotlight on the New Books Network.

Adrian Gostick is ranked among the top ten global gurus in leadership and organizational culture. Chester Elton is ranked number two among organizational culture experts around the world and among the top ten in leadership and it shows in my interview in which he’s an exceptionally gracious guest.

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc.

Sensitive Strivers, Incorporated

An image of this question: There are five personality traits that belong to the Big-5 Model. Three are shown here: conscientiousness, neuroticism, and agreeableness. Which two of these three traits might best describe somebody who’s a Sensitive Striver? What’s your guess?

The correct answer to this week’s quiz is answers A and C, though B is hardly out of the question. That conclusion comes courtesy of Melody Wilding, a self-described Sensitive Striver. What characterizes this type of person in Wilding’s estimation? Sensitive Strivers tend to be sensitive obviously; also thoughtful, responsible, vigilant and full of inner drive. They’re committed and kind-hearted, hence conscientious about the details and eager to get along with others. Their tendency to be “over-everything” can get them into trouble. In other words, they’re perfectionists who get burdened with more work than they or anybody could readily handle. Stress results. To overcome what Wilding calls the Honor Roll Hangover and subsequent burn-out, she suggests cutting your to-do list by 70%. A safer route is to ditch an all-or-nothing approach for something more modulated and realistic. If you can do that and keep your job, another way others might describe you is a Miracle Worker!

Released today: episode #60 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Wilding discussing her book Trust Yourself. Click on https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/special-series/dan-hills-eq-spotlight to get to the new episode. 

An image of the author Melody Wilding and her new book "Trust Yourself: Stop Overthinking and Channel Your Emotions for Success at Work" for Dan Hill's EQ Spotlight podcast episode 60.

Melody Wilding has been named one of Business Insider’s “Most Innovative Coaches” with clients across a range of Fortune 500 companies. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Oprah Magazine, Fast Company, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. She received her master’s degree in social work from Columbia University. 

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc.

Getting Some Love (and Money, Too)

Image with the Question: What number of powerpoint slides should entrepreneurs use in pitching their start-up company to venture capitalists? The choices are 5 slides, 15 slides or 25 slides. What’s your guess?

The correct answer to this week’s quiz is 15 slides, following the title slide. That number comes courtesy of Debi Kleiman, who’s seen it all; she’s witnessed over 1,000 pitches by the entrepreneurs of start-up companies based on her own business world experiences. Having been the Executive Director of the center for entrepreneurship at Babson College, the nation’s #1 school for entrepreneurship, Kleiman developed a pitch deck formula she calls the 4-H Framework: Headline, Heart, Head and Hope. A good pitch hits all four bases, and the pitch might be a home run if delivered well. Sadly, the odds don’t favor females, who receive a measly 2% of all venture funding despite owning 38% of all the businesses in America. No wonder Silicon Valley has also been called the Uncanny Valley, a reference to what it feels like to have to interact with uncaring robots!

Released today: episode #59 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Kleiman discussing her book First Pitch. Click on https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/special-series/dan-hills-eq-spotlight to get to the new episode. 

Debi Kleiman is now the managing partner of The Upside Angels, investing in early-stage startups and providing strategic advisory services to founders. After her BS from Cornell University and her MBA from Harvard University, worked at Coca-Cola, Welch’s, Procter & Gamble, and Babson College before launching her own firm.

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc.

How Well Do Books Compete with Your TV set?

As Covid-19 struck, did the amount of books Americans buy go up or down? The options in this pop quiz are a) down 10%, b) flat, no change from 2019, and c) up 10%

The correct answer to this week’s quiz is number 3) because sales rose 8% compared to 2019 book sales.  That’s the “good news,” as people were generally stuck at home while the pandemic raged. The bad news, if you’re a bookstore owner or employee, is that bookstore sales were down 23% versus 2019 given that they were either shuttered or often had limited operations. The bigger picture “bad news” for the book industry is that the percentage of people who read a book on a typical day has declined from 26% to 19% from 2003 to 2017. In comparison, TV / streamed viewing is an activity consuming 10x more of people’s time than cracking open a book. The fear that books may become less relevant in a world driven by TV et cetera was, Joanna Scott says, one of the underlying concerns motivating her latest book, a collection of short stories about the often blurry line between fact, fiction, and the fantasies that play in our heads.

Released today: a pair of podcasts. Episode #56 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight” features Joanna Scott, the author of Excuse Me While I Disappear. Click here to get to the new episode. While on the web site, slide over into the Biography channel to listen to my episode with author Nelson Johnson regarding his book Darrow’s Nightmare: The Forgotten Story of America’s Most Famous Trial Lawyer.

Joanna Scott is the author of 12 books, including Arroganceand Various Antidotes, both PEN-Faulkner finalists, and The Manikin, a finalize for the Pulitzer Prize. Her awards include a MacArthur Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She teaches at the University of Rochester.  

Nelson Johnson is a retired New Jersey Superior Court Judge and the author of four previous books including Boardwalk Empire, which inspired the HBO series about Atlantic City.

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc.

Is It Time to Retire the Saying “Bully for You”?

Given the difference between bias and prejudice, what’s the best counter-response to prejudice. Is it an “I” statement, an “It” statement or a “You” statement?

First, let’s clarify that prejudice is a consciously-held bias against others based on gender, race, religion, or other factors. As for our little quiz, “I” statements may work best in responding to people not even aware that they have a bias problem. The reason is that telling these people how their bias impacts you personally, as a victim of bias, increases their awareness, and makes them take responsibility for the bias rather than (falsely) attribute that bias to others. A “You” statement is a way to get bullies who are being mean-spirited and exercising power to back off – in very personal terms. You’re fighting power with the power that your response will have consequences for the bully in question. That leaves an “it” statement as your best tool in countering prejudice because you’re dealing with a fixed attitude, a bias or essentially, an unmovable object that must be called out objectively for what it is: a cancerous problem.

Released today: episode #52 of “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Kim Scott, the author of Just Work: Get Sh*t Done, Fast & Fear and her business partner, Trier BryantCheck out the audio link below to get oriented or click here to get to the new episode.

Kim Scott and Trier Morgan co-founded the company Just Work to help organization and individuals crate more equitable workplaces. Scott was previously a CEO coach at Dropbox, Qualtrics, Twitter, and other tech companies. She’s been on the faculty at Apple University and led various teams at Google. 

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc.

Tesla: The Poster Child of Context Marketing

The correct answer is C because for the Model 3, for instance, Tesla has spent about $6 on advertising for every model it’s sold. How is that possible? The answer is that Tesla leads the way in changing the business model from build / market / sell to market / sell / build and market some more. Tesla does so by having a values-based purpose out ahead of the traditional value proposition, i.e., Tesla aims to rid the world of fossil fuels. That positioning earns Tesla free media and buyer loyalty. And Tesla goes further by inviting consumers to provide input on where its showrooms are located, how they want to configure their own cars based on guidance from an owner advisor, and a referral program with a $1,000 cash incentive to both the owner and the friend who purchases based on a referral. The result is that Tesla has 22% of the electric car market, Mercedes-Benz 5%. 

Released today: episode #51 of “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Mathew Sweezey, the author of The Context Marketing Revolution: How to Motivate Buyers in the Age of Infinite MediaCheck out the audio link below to get oriented or click here to get to the new episode.

Mathew Sweezey is the Director of Market Strategy for Salesforce. Mathew is the host of the award-winning podcast The Electronic Propaganda Society and an accomplished author, having written for The EconomistForbes, the Harvard Business Review, and AdAge

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc.

Making Company Culture Something Real

AN image of the question "Tell me about something you’ve invented” a the question Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson asks of job candidates wanting to join his company.

In the book, The CEO Test, which executive “aced the exam”? I would vote for Jeff Lawson, the CEO of Twilio, a cloud communications platform company. Why? Lawson allows for very little daylight between Twilio’s espoused values and how the company actual operates. Here is how Lawson pulls off that feat:

  • First, the company’s values were formulated based on broad input from current employees, not just as an exercise controlled by the c-suite.
  • Second, those values are carried forward to future employees by being front and center during the hiring and onboarding processes. The “invention” question above is but one example, given the goal of ensuring every employee likewise has a “builder mentality,” which is one of Twilio’s core values.
  • Third, quarterly and annual employee awards, as well as all promotions, involve honoring employees who embody the company’s values. The converse is that violating those values is cause for the firing of even high-performing “culture felons.”

Released today: episode #49 of “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Adam Bryant, the co-author, along with former Amgen CEO Kevin Sharer of The CEO Test: Master the Challenges That Make or Break All Leaders. Check out the audio link below to get oriented or click on https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/special-series/dan-hills-eq-spotlight to get to the new episode.

Image of Author Adam Bryant and the cover of his new book "The CEO Test: Master the Challenges that Make or Break All Leaders" For Dan Hill's EQ Spotlight podcast "The X-Factors That Set the Best Leaders Apart" episode 49

Adam Bryant is managing director of Merryck & Co, a leadership development and mentoring firm. Before that gig, Bryant was a journalist for 30 years, including at the New York Times where he authored the “Corner Office” column. In addition, he’s a frequent contributor on CNBC.

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc.

Why Walking the Talk Doesn’t Propel Culture Change

The typical large American company is estimated to spend $2,200 per employee, per year, trying to manage its corporate culture. That amount equals over $60 billion annually.

Like a three-car pile-up on a freeway, consider these statistics: two-thirds of all business mergers fail; under 30% of executives think their company manages its culture well; and only 10% of HR leaders would go that far. Walking the talk doesn’t work. Who needs to hear more about a company’s “values” or “mission statement”? Trying to instill behaviors based on high-minded rhetoric isn’t nearly enough. Instead, a company’s basic operating system requires change if progress is to be made. That move means changing the habits and routines—the practices—that both drive and reflect the company’s true culture. What is also needed? Executives must ditch overconfidence in favor of psychological flexibility, the competency Israeli thought leader Yuval Harari has called the single most important passport to success in the 21stcentury.

Released today: episode #46 of “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring David G. White, Jr., the author of Disrupting Corporate Culture: How Cognitive Science Alters Accepted Beliefs about Culture and Culture Change and Its Impact on Leaders and Change AgentsCheck out the audio link below to get oriented or click on the image below to go directly to the new episode.

Image of the author, David G. White Jr's and the cover of his book "Disrupting Corporate Culture" for Dan Hill's EQ Spotlight Podcast episode 46, entitled "You are What You Do"

David G. White, Jr. is cognitive anthropologist working with organizations on culture, change, and leadership issues. He’s the co-founder of Ontos Global, a boutique consulting firm. David previously held leadership roles at Microsoft, Mercer, and IBM; and is also a professional jazz musician with 7 CDs.

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Dan Hill, PhD, is the president of Sensory Logic, Inc.