We have thousands of “friends” on social media.
But how many people could you actually call in a time of need?
Technology is becoming a larger and larger part of our life, but it’s causing us to be more isolated.
We have to work hard to continue to build actual human connections.
Otherwise, life has no meaning.
On today’s episode of The School of Greatness, I talk about all the ways that technology is affecting us in the workplace with a friend who has done tons of research on the subject: Dan Schawbel.
Dan Schawbel is a New York Times bestselling author, serial entrepreneur, Fortune 500 consultant, TV personality, keynote speaker, career and workplace expert & startup advisor. His mission in life is to support his generation from student to CEO.
Dan says that we have to use technology to create more face-to-face interactions.
The more people form relationships at work, the more collaborative and happy they will be.
So get ready to learn how to create more connection in the workplace and in life on Episode 718.
Lewis Howes: This is episode number 718, New York Times bestselling author, Dan Schawbel.
Welcome to The School of Greatness. My name is Lewis Howes, former pro-athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur and each week we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you discover how to unlock your inner greatness. Thanks for spending some time with me today. Now, let the class begin.
Steve Jobs said that, “Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.”
Today we have an opportunity to learn how to use the digital tools to becoming more human and having deeper connection in a digital world. Whether it be in the work environment or personal environment. We’ve got New York Time’s bestselling author, my friend, Dan Schawbel in the house. He’s a partner and research director at Future Workplace.
He’s the founder of both Millennial Branding and WorkplaceTrends.Com. Through his companies he’s conducted dozens of research studies and worked with major brands, including American express, GE, Microsoft, Virgin, IBM, Coca Cola, and Oracle. He has interviewed over 2,000 of the world’s most successful people, including Warren Buffet, Arnold Schwartzenegger and many, many more.
This is a guy who had probably had more interviews than I have done with people, in a lot of different fields, as well. He just usually publishes them as articles and not as much on audio, like myself. He also hosts, ‘The Five Questions With Dan Schawbel.’ It’s a podcast where he interviews a variety of world class people, asking them five questions in less that fifteen minutes.
In addition he has written countless articles. This guy is the king of press. He’s written everywhere, with Forbes, Fortune, Times, and others that have, combined, generated over 15 million views.
In this interview we talk about how technology can bridge the gap in relationships, instead of separating us, like it seems to be doing today. The importance of sleep and how it can affect your work performance, whether you’re working for a corporate job, or you’re working for yourself, the best tips to optimise your work environment; why having a good attitude at work can get you further than having great talent.
Also, how to negotiate with your boss or employer to create a happier work environment. This and so many other things in the interview. I’m super pumped about it! Make sure to share it with your friends, lewishowes.com/718 and it’s all about building human connection in a digital world.
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Alright, guys, get ready for this one! I’m super excited! My good friend, Dan Schawbel; again, he’s done years and years of research on this, so he’s got all the data backing this up, and I hope it helps you in your work, in your life, in your relationships and in your career.
So, without further ado, let me introduce to you my good friend, the one and only Dan Schawbel!
Dan Schawbel is in the house! Welcome, my man! You’ve got a book out called, ‘Back To Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection In The Age Of Isolation.’ Make sure you guys check this out!
And we’ve known each other for almost a decade, right?
Dan Schawbel: Over a decade, now.
Lewis Howes: Is it? 2008? Or 2007?
Dan Schawbel: Either 2007 or 2008. Every time I see you, I feel both young and old at the same time.
Lewis Howes: You still look the same.
Dan Schawbel: I know, I still look the same. I still look the same as I did when I was five.
Lewis Howes: Really?
Dan Schawbel: Yeah, if you see the baby pictures, it’s like, “Oh, my gosh!”
Lewis Howes: That’s a good thing, it’s a good thing! You’re staying young. We’ve had a fun relationship over a decade because we both got into this… You got into this earlier than me, by probably like a couple of years, maybe a year of something.
And I found your branding blog, personal branding blog, and it was the thing I needed to see in that moment, because I was, like, “How do I get noticed in this space of a new journey that I’m on?” I was on my sister’s couch when I found it, I was reading articles. I think maybe Chris Brogan linked to it or something like that.
And I remember I was reading Guy Kawasaki’s blog, because I think Seth Godin talked about Guy Kawasaki somewhere, and Guy Kawasaki said that he really liked Chris Brogan’s blog at the time. And then I read Chris Brogan’s blog and you were linked or mentioned somewhere, I think.
And so I went down this rabbit hole, and I loved what you created early on, because you were talking about how do you build attention, how do you create notice about who you are in your industry? And so I took on that early.
And I think I learned branding and personal branding very early, because of the spark that you gave me, and so I appreciate your work and your message and your research. And you’ve always been really good at researching, and this book is about a lot of data, isn’t it?
Dan Schawbel: My whole life’s been about a lot of data.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, you’re very analytical.
Dan Schawbel: I’m all about asking questions and I interviewed over 2,000 people and asked them at least five questions each. Plus, 45 research studies surveying about 90,000 people in 20 countries. So, really, my life is about asking questions, because that’s how we learn.
Lewis Howes: Why do you like data to that extent? Why can’t you just ask a question and be happy with it?
Dan Schawbel: When I was younger, when we were in our early twenties, we could write so many different career articles about how to get a job, how to be fulfilled in your life, but there was so much ageism. “You’re young, what do you know?”
So, for me, data was my shield. It was my way of saying, “Hey, if you don’t believe me, here are all these data points to prove what I’m saying.”
Lewis Howes: It’s credibility.
Dan Schawbel: So, in 2012 I had an incredible opportunity. I analysed 4 million Millennial Facebook profiles, and I did an entire media campaign around it that went viral. It was talked about on the Today Show, CNN, everywhere.
And, from there, I was like, “Oh my gosh! Releasing my own proprietary data and announcing it to the world is gratifying.
Lewis Howes: Because people are referencing and talking about it, “Look at what this study shares with you,” right?
Dan Schawbel: Take if you’re an archaeologist finding the next dinosaur bone. So, it was like discovering something new. It was a genuine excitement, plus, it built my credibility, and it allowed me to connect with other people who shared the same interest.
So, that campaign went well, and now, it’s 45 research studies and one of them is captured in this book. I partnered with Virgin Pulse, one of the 400 Virgin brands that Richard Branson owns.
Lewis Howes: It’s only 400 he owns?
Dan Schawbel: More now.
Lewis Howes: It’s crazy, man!
Dan Schawbel: As we’re talking, he’s probably launching more companies. And I’ve actually interviewed him three times. Brilliant guy, and he believes a lot of what is talked about in this book, too. I interviewed over 2,000 managers and employees in ten countries and found that we are very disconnected, whether you’re on a subway, whether you’re in the workplace.
People in the workplace are having lunch alone. People in the subway feel like you’re around so many people, but yet around no one, at the same time. Because people are physically there, yet not mentally or emotionally or spiritually.
And so there’s a huge disconnection, because people are relying on technology too much and misusing it, whereas they should be using technology as a bridge to human relationships, not a barrier.
Technology can bring us here, in this great podcast studio.
Lewis Howes: Technology brought us here, ten years ago. I saw your blog, we connected on, probably, Twitter or something, back in the day, and then we met in person, right? I can’t remember which event it was, but we met at many events in the social media marketing world.
Dan Schawbel: But, if we stayed on the technology and never met, we wouldn’t be here and there wouldn’t be a strong friendship. So, what we lack in our society is community. We lack human connection because we touch our cellphones every fifteen minutes and 2,600 times per day.
Lewis Howes: 2,600 times?
Dan Schawbel: Jay Shetty had the same reaction.
Lewis Howes: Well, he might be. He’s on it a lot! He’s on technology a lot. I am, too.
Dan Schawbel: That’s an understatement, there.
Lewis Howes: He checks it a lot, too.
Dan Schawbel: But not having your phone is the new vacation. We’re overworked, we’re burned out, people are working longer hours than ever before, without additional pay, and technology has made us on call, 24/7. People answer business e-mail outside of office hours, on vacation, wherever they are. They’re always kind of working.
Lewis Howes: It’s the new norm.
Dan Schawbel: It’s the new norm. It’s almost expected. Busy is no longer a differentiator. Busy is what we’re all feeling, or we think we’re so busy. We think we have all of these friends, but yet, it’s an illusion. Technology has created the illusion of connection, when in reality we have weaker contacts.
Someone with an average of 100 Facebook friends only has three people they can rely on in a time of an emotional crisis. So we think we have all of these Facebook friends, but Facebook has changed the definition of friendship. Whereas, “Who can you really rely on if you’re mentally ill, or you’re in hospital? Who are the three people who are going to call you?”
Those are your real friends. Those are people who are going to be with you for a long period of time. It’s like what Jay said to me, he said, “I want to be friends with you forever.” And that hit home so hard. I posted it on Instagram and got hundreds of comments, because people, especially men, don’t talk like that.
You know that from writing The Mask Of Masculinity, and really focussing on men and emotions. People don’t talk like that. If someone does say that it really hits home, because it’s like, “Wow! What if I can just walk over to the people I really just want to be friends with for a really long time and say, ‘Hey, I want to be friends with your forever.’”
That is so powerful. And just going back to the workplace, we spend so much time at work. The average work week in America is 47 hours a week. I’m kind of jealous; in Germany they’re fighting for a 28-hour work week.
Lewis Howes: No way!
Dan Schawbel: Yeah! They have very strong labour unions there. In most parts of Europe, like Italy and France, it’s, like, 35-hour weeks, five weeks guaranteed paid vacation. But even in France they had the right to disconnect. So, you cannot e-mail an employee after work hours or your get fined.
Lewis Howes: Wow! Are they more productive? Or not as productive as US culture?
Dan Schawbel: They prioritise life. Just as much as work.
Lewis Howes: Over productivity.
Dan Schawbel: People spend a third of their life working. So, if you hate the people you work with and don’t extract meaning from the work that you actually do, you’re going to be disengaged, and 85% of the global workforce is either disengaged, or actively disengaged.
Lewis Howes: You mean, in the global workplace?
Dan Schawbel: In the global, everywhere, yeah.
Lewis Howes: What if you’re working at a job you love?
Dan Schawbel: If you work at a job you love, you still have to like the people you’re around, because if you have a poor manager, who does not create a healthy…
Lewis Howes: Who treats you poorly, yeah.
Dan Schawbel: Doesn’t have a healthy work environment, you’re going to be disengaged. You’re going to be unhappy, and it’s going to affect your personal life. That’s one of the things I studied. If you have a toxic work environment and are very disconnected and don’t have a lot of friends at work, what impact will that make in your personal life?
If you have a bad day at work, you’re going to go home and your wife or your friend is going to say, “How was work?” and you’re going to have a bad attitude and be, like “Oh, I hated it! My manager made fun of me,” or, “Took credit for the work I did today,” and that is going to hurt your personal relationships, too.
So, that’s why I focus so much on work in all of my books. I’ve been writing books since I was twenty-two.
Lewis Howes: Because it’s a third of our lives we spend there.
Dan Schawbel: Because it’s a third of our life, and because if you have a great work culture, and because people are working so many hours, that has become so significant. And what I found is that people lack work friendships. People just go to work, they go through the motions.
Lewis Howes: Why don’t they just create friendships? If there’s a hundred people in a company, why do we not build better relationships at work?
Dan Schawbel: Because people feel isolated.
Lewis Howes: At work?
Dan Schawbel: People at work, even in a physical office.
Lewis Howes: They get lunch.
Dan Schawbel: They get lunch in their cubicle, instead of asking a co-worker to lunch.
Lewis Howes: Why?
Dan Schawbel: Because they’ve created this whole isolation themselves. It’s their fault, right? Because it’s easier, it’s convenient.
Lewis Howes: Why don’t they just go out for an hour and connect with someone?
Dan Schawbel: Because then they get an alert on their phone. People would much rather text and e-mail than have face to face conversation.
Lewis Howes: Why?
Dan Schawbel: But one face to face conversation is more successful than 34 e-mails back and forth.
Lewis Howes: Just getting a call is better.
Dan Schawbel: So, instead of e-mailing back and forth where there’s misunderstanding, I can just walk two feet and say, “Hey!”
Lewis Howes: It’s so hard to convey clear instruction through text or meaning through text or e-mail. It’s really challenging.
Dan Schawbel: I mean, think it through, the last time you felt anxious because you sent something and you’re worried if they’re going to understand what you mean.
Lewis Howes: Right. Why are we anxious about it?
Dan Schawbel: Because people would much rather take the convenience of using the technology, instead of actually going and having a conversation with people.
Lewis Howes: Because it’s easier.
Dan Schawbel: Especially if you’re an introvert, is what we found; you’re more likely to be isolated. Maybe even out of choice. But whoever you are, even if you’re in the office space. There was a recent study that came out, that showed that, if you have an open office space, you’re less likely to establish human connections in the workplace.
And, if you’re burned out – we have such a burned out culture that there was another side that came out, it’s really interesting – if you don’t get enough sleep, you have fewer friends and weaker relationships, because you’re in a bad mood, you have a bad attitude.
Lewis Howes: It takes more energy to connect.
Dan Schawbel: It takes more energy to connect. So we have to think about all of this. That’s why the next chapter is focused on fulfilment; and I talk about a healthy lifestyle; and you have to think about your own fulfilment, before you help your team mates focus on theirs. So you have to get your own stuff right.
Lewis Howes: Yeah. How do you create fulfilment for yourself?
Dan Schawbel: You need to figure out where your strengths and passions collide and then be in an organisation that supports that, and organisation that has a leader that empathises with you and really understands where you’re coming from. That’s a safe environment.
So, at Google, they had Project Aristotle and they were trying to find out what makes the highest performing teams, and they found that it’s about creating a safe environment where people feel comfortable talking about emotions, what’s going on outside of work, big projects, big mistakes that people are making, and sharing ideas and taking risks.
Lewis Howes: Should we bring personal issues into the work space, and talk about them?
Dan Schawbel: Yeah, we have no choice.
Lewis Howes: It’s hard to disconnect.
Dan Schawbel: You can’t disconnect. You can’t disconnect.
Lewis Howes: To compartmentalise.
Dan Schawbel: So, if you’re a leader, you have to lead with empathy. I have a whole chapter, chapter nine, on this, because it’s so important.
Lewis Howes: Because people are going through life challenges every day.
Dan Schawbel: I don’t know what’s going through your head right now. I don’t know what happened this morning, but you’re feeling it and it could affect your work, so you might need a mental health day. And I have to be understanding of that.
A third of Americans suffer from anxiety and depression. We have to account for this, because it’s affecting so many people. Either it’s affecting you, or the people that you love or know. So everyone’s affected.
So, we have to take a step back and understand that person A is another person than person B, and we have to take both their needs into account, because, if we don’t we’re going to have a toxic work culture, people are going to be less engaged, and they’re going to go look for another job, which is going to cost us more money in time, and it’s going to cost us our health, too.
Lewis Howes: Should companies have therapists in house?
Dan Schawbel: Yes. I think that’s where we’re going.
Lewis Howes: Really?
Dan Schawbel: Well, Claude Silver, who works for VaynerMedia is a therapist of VaynerMedia. She’s the head of HR.
Lewis Howes: Oh, really?
Dan Schawbel: Yeah, and I think we’re going to see that more often.
Lewis Howes: I mean, you’re going into her office and just sharing stuff, and opening up?
Dan Schawbel: Yeah. And think about it, VaynerMedia has a lot of young employees that are suffering the most and they feel very isolated, because they don’t know who to talk to in operations.
Lewis Howes: It’s, like, the twenty-three to twenty-seven-year-olds. What does he have, 800 employees now, or something? Are they suffering, or what?
Dan Schawbel: Everyone has their own issues. Everyone. No one is in a perfect situation. And you know what? People look at us and go, “Everything’s all set for them.” No. We’re either creating our own challenges, right? By choice.
Lewis Howes: Or getting through something, yeah.
Dan Schawbel: Or external circumstances that we can’t control are happening and we’re reacting to them. And our lives, we’re just iterating our lives as it’s happening, and reacting and moulding.
I never set out to do any of this. It just naturally happened over time, because I’m leaning into my strengths. I’m figuring out what I’m good at and doubling down, and doubling down, and doubling down. And if something’s not working, I move to the next thing.
Lewis Howes: So what do you think every work environment should have, whether you’re an entrepreneur and you have a team of three, or you’re working in a space, or you’re a manager or whatever it may be at any organisation? What are the key element s that it should have to optimise the experience?
There’s obviously going to be challenges, even if it’s optimised and you have a therapist and this and that, but what do you think will set you up to win the best?
Dan Schawbel: First is using technology in a proper way. I’ll give you an example: It’s having artificial intelligence to remove administrative work, so that workers can focus more on spending time with their co-workers and doing work that has more impact on others, on the company and customers and the market.
So, eliminate that work, and then use technology to get people to go to a meeting, or to do something. But, when they’re physically there, have them take their phones and put them in the middle of the table. And I’m seeing this in the workplace.
Lewis Howes: As opposed to sitting in a meeting and checking and constantly texting.
Dan Schawbel: Use technology to get people to a specific place, but once you’re in that place, be physically and mentally present, instead of still looking at that same phone that got you there. Because, if you don’t, than how are you supposed to brainstorm and even listen and pay attention to what people are saying, if you’re still using your phone?
I think technology is great, because it can get you to a specific location, get everyone aligned and in sync, but it becomes abusive and you become addicted if you’re constantly using it during that meeting. You’re not actually leveraging that meeting the way you should.
Lewis Howes: Okay, so that’s number one, is leverage technology better. Use it less when you’re in person with other people, right?
Dan Schawbel: Create a shared learning environment. That’s number two.
Lewis Howes: What does that mean?
Dan Schawbel: Which means that, instead of hoarding information, selfishly, share it with others. If you read something that’s really interesting and applicable to your team mates, share it with them. Don’t even think twice. Because the average relevancy of a learned skill is only five years.
Business is moving so fast that in order to keep up with these changes and adapt to these changes, you have to share what you know and have co-workers who are going to do the same thing and reciprocate.
Lewis Howes: Otherwise you’re going to have to do all the work yourself, too. You need to be able to teach other people how to do that work.
Dan Schawbel: There’s a myth that if you are an executive at a company, that you maintain power by holding on to information, yet, as you know and as I know, as social media influencers, that the more we share, the more influence we get. The more people follow us and the more impact we can have.
If we just held on to all of this content, and never published it, we would have zero impact, and that wouldn’t feel good.
Lewis Howes: No. Okay, so that’s number two, right? What else? Is there anything else?
Dan Schawbel: Yes. I think that what we have to do in our society is embrace diversity. So, I have a whole section about how we need people who are similar to us in terms of values and work ethic, but they need to look different. They need to challenge us.
Lewis Howes: Different backgrounds.
Dan Schawbel: Because our greatest challenges are solved through arguments, and arguments are created when there are people who are different. So people look at conflicts in a negative way. Conflicts are how we solve things. Nothing is peaceful, nothing is great all the time, so people will naturally argue. They’ll have a different belief or point of view and those arguments are actually beneficial. They make us more creative and innovative.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, you talk about promoting diverse ideas and open collaboration.
Dan Schawbel: Yes. We can’t be closed off any more. The leaders of the past were autocratic leaders. They were all about commanding control, following policies and procedures. The managers of today, and the future, are those are transformative, meaning that they encourage the best in others and have a strong vision that others follow.
You can’t get excited about someone who has no vision. You talk about this all the time. If you have a good vision, though, you want a collaborative environment, so people feel like they’re included. People want to belong to something that’s bigger than them.
Lewis Howes: Something we do, is everyone on the team goes through emotional intelligence training, and goes through many months of it. And I feel like when we continue to personally develop and grow as humans on a team, then we can start to grow as a team. When we work individually, then the whole team benefits.
Because we’re able to process emotions better, we’re able to express better, we’re able to not hold on to things that hold us back, and I think that’s what helps seed things to grow. So, it’s something I like doing.
What else do you think the workplace should have, or the work environment should have? You say, “Hire for personality.” What does that mean?
Dan Schawbel: Yeah. Hire for personality, train for skill. Hire people who have a great attitude, because they can perform much better.
Lewis Howes: It’s hard to teach people how to have a good attitude if they have a negative one all the time.
Dan Schawbel: So, they’ll have a positive attitude if they’re around people how are positive, and if they’re doing work where they’re playing to their strengths and where they know that they’re having an impact. Most organisations fail because they’re not good at communicating [that] to their employees and connecting with the work they do, and the impact that that actually makes on the team, on the leader, on the CEO, on the customers, on partners, on the world, potentially, right?
And so, drawing the connections to give people meaning, is so important. Because, if you’re just coming to work and doing administrative work, you’re not going to have a job anyways, in the future. It’s going to be automated.
Because upwards of 40% – 50% of jobs will be automated in the next decade or so.
Lewis Howes: How will they be automated? Through AI, you say?
Dan Schawbel: Through artificial intelligence. So the idea, like, in my industry, in HR, if you think that you’re going to just sit around and answer employee questions about their benefits, you’re out of luck, because artificial intelligence, and chat bots are already happening.
Intel has an artificial intelligent chat bot, and AI chat bot for HR, that’s answering all those questions so you’re not needed any more. So, the smart people, now, focus on big data. But that was always my big bet. But also, focus on problem solving and social skills. Sales skills are only going to become more important.
A robot is not going to close a 4 million dollar deal.
Lewis Howes: Someone who understands human connection, human psychology, what makes people tick, what makes people think, what people desire.
Dan Schawbel: And you know what hasn’t changed? Is meso level needs. After safety and security and food and shelter, you need love and friendships, otherwise you’ll never be self-actualised. So there’s a great story in my book about a girl who was living in North Carolina and she had to get relocated to New York, but the cost of living in New York, as we both know, is very expensive.
Lewis Howes: Four times as much, at least.
Dan Schawbel: Exactly. So her manager took her in as if she was his child, and supported her so that she can make it work. So, instead of going to work every day and being like, “Oh my gosh! I can’t afford to live here,” and being always stressed out about her financial situation, she had that cover, because her manager empathised and supported her. So she could focus on doing…
Lewis Howes: The job. She wasn’t stressed.
Dan Schawbel: And being at top performance. And now she’s an executive on one of the biggest companies in the world. She stayed with the company for over ten years, as someone our age, which is very rare, because of that support.
Lewis Howes: But if our basic needs aren’t met and someone is anxious all the time, they’re not going to be able to deliver great results.
Dan Schawbel: It’s impossible. And so that’s why I’m trying to emphasise friendship at work, because you know what? What we found in this study is that people lack friendships globally. 10% of people have zero friends at work, and half of the work force has fewer than five.
Lewis Howes: How many people were in this study?
Dan Schawbel: Over 2,000.
Lewis Howes: 2,000 people globally.
Dan Schawbel: Yeah, UK, Australia, India, China, Brazil.
Lewis Howes: 10% of the people have, what?
Dan Schawbel: 10% of the people have zero friends at work. Zero.
Lewis Howes: How do you have no friends at work? Do you have just, like, acquaintances?
Dan Schawbel: In Germany it’s the worst. They have the least amount of friends.
Lewis Howes: Why?
Dan Schawbel: The most amount of friends: Brazil. They are just the most outgoing people and the most likely to be extroverted, too. They are just social. If you’ve been to Brazil, they are up till 7 in the morning, partying and having fun. So they’ve got something going on there that’s right. There’s other issues but, socially, they’ve nailed that.
In America, overworked, burned out, lacking friendships. It’s extremely unhealthy. Because we’re just always working. So, it’s great to be a banker and make $150,000 a year.
Lewis Howes: If you have no friends.
Dan Schawbel: But you have no time, too, because you’re being burned out every single day, seven days a week.
Lewis Howes: You’ve studied the workplace for over a decade. You’ve talked to thousands of leaders and executives and CEOs, managers, HR. What do you think is the ideal work week, I guess, hours wise? How long should somebody be working for? Should there be breaks? How much vacation?
Dan Schawbel: That’s like a hundred questions in one, Lewis.
Lewis Howes: I mean, if you could have the ideal working year, based on every country that you studied and what you know about the workplace, how many hours a week would it be, vacation time, all of it?
Dan Schawbel: I’m actually studying this right now, but there’s a firm in New Zealand that tested a four day work week, and it was successful. People were productive, healthy.
Lewis Howes: One firm.
Dan Schawbel: Just one firm.
Lewis Howes: In New Zealand.
Dan Schawbel: Yeah, so we’re blowing that up into a bigger story that comes out Labour Day.
Lewis Howes: Wow. Which is a three day weekend every week.
Dan Schawbel: Yeah. So, basically people, when asked, “How many days, with salary consistent, how many days a week would you work?” about 75% said they’d would work less than five days and still perform very high.
Lewis Howes: Same salary.
Dan Schawbel: Same salary, reduced days.
Lewis Howes: One day less a week.
Dan Schawbel: Yeah, because they’re wasting at least an hour each day on administrative tasks, which they shouldn’t be doing if they’re going to be automated anyways.
Lewis Howes: So, yeah, you might be smart in the way you put systems in place, if you knew you had one day less, you’d be smarter with your time, you’d get different software, you’d develop things.
The thing is, once you’re productive at four days, you’d say, “Hey, let’s add an extra day, and maybe we’d grow even more.” Isn’t that a challenge?
Dan Schawbel: Well, that’s especially if you’re an entrepreneur. You’re not going to work four days a week, because you like it, and you see the potential.
Lewis Howes: It’s more a mission than money. So, as opposed to driving the bottom line, it’s more about how do we impact the most?
Dan Schawbel: People need flexibility. That’s one of the consistencies across my ten years of research. After pay, flexibility is number one, even over healthcare benefits.
Lewis Howes: Pay is number one, always, right?
Dan Schawbel: Always, across all age groups, 16 to 65 years old, it doesn’t matter what country, pay is always number one.
Lewis Howes: People want more money.
Dan Schawbel: But, it’s about fair pay, because, especially people our age in the workforce, we’re likely to talk about our pay to the people we work with, so if you work the same amount of years as your colleague in the same position and they’re getting $10,000 more than you because they’re a man, or they spoke up, or something, that’s not okay, and you’re going to end up leaving.
And flexibility, healthcare, none of that’s going to matter if you aren’t being paid fairly.
Lewis Howes: So fair pay is number one.
Dan Schawbel: Fair pay is so important. Once you get past that, then it goes, flexibility.
Lewis Howes: Time flexibility?
Dan Schawbel: Flexible schedule, so coming in at ten o’clock leaving at eight o’clock, because everyone’s in a different situation; you have kids, you don’t have kids; you’re more productive in the morning versus at night.
Lewis Howes: Not having to be nine-to-five every single day, but being able to have some flexibility, when needed.
Dan Schawbel: Correct. And working from home. There’s a dark side to working from home.
Lewis Howes: Because when there’s collaboration in person, it’s more technology, right?
Dan Schawbel: Everyone talks about the positives of working from home, which is freedom and flexibility and the reduced commuting costs. No one talks about the dark side, which is loneliness and isolation.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, it’s more loneliness, more isolation and, sometimes, people don’t take care of themselves as much, right? You’re just in your pyjamas all day.
Dan Schawbel: There’s less accountability.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, less accountability, you’re just like, “Well, I can get up later and just get to the computer at nine, and I’m not going through my routine, I’m not being as proactive in my health.” Not all the time, but this can happen.
Dan Schawbel: A third of the workforce, globally, works remote always or sometimes, yet two thirds are disengaged.
Lewis Howes: Two thirds of the one third are disengaged? Or they’re just doing other things, there’s no accountability, right?
Dan Schawbel: No accountability.
Lewis Howes: That’s a challenge. Unless you have a 24/7 video camera on them and you’re seeing exactly what they’re doing on the computer. But you can’t even do that if they’re working in the workspace. But people are disengaged from work, too, whether it be on social media or doing other things, personal stuff, all the time, right?
Dan Schawbel: Yeah, the research shows that you should be working and focussed for 45 minutes and then take a fifteen minute break. Because it’s really hard to focus for [eight] hours a day. So you need these breaks.
Lewis Howes: You need to get up, walk around have a conversation, engage.
Dan Schawbel: Have a conversation. And that’s what we’re trying to encourage with this book. This book is giving people permission to establish more human connections and not rely as much on technology. And it’s a reminder, every time you’re using technology, in your head you see the book cover.
Like, “Wow, I should be a little bit more human!” And you can be human with technology, too. But I think technology is a path, or it can be a path to more human connection. It can lead you there. In the early part of my career, I used the technology to establish a great network.
Lewis Howes: Build an audience, sales channels, everything, yeah.
Dan Schawbel: Yeah, but, it’s the same reason why you have a live event, because you have to meet these people in person.
Lewis Howes: You have to!
Dan Schawbel: You have to get to know them. And you learn so much about your customers, your friends, everyone, through the emotions that you have and the things that you share when you’re vulnerable.
Lewis Howes: Absolutely. What else is the ideal workplace setup? Money, flexibility and freedom, all of those are important.
Dan Schawbel: Then it’s healthcare benefits.
Lewis Howes: So, healthcare benefits is next.
Dan Schawbel: Compensation, flexibility, healthcare benefits, and training and development.
Lewis Howes: So, having more training to grow and develop.
Dan Schawbel: The younger you are, the more you’re looking for a mentor, and training and development. As you get older, you just don’t care as much.
Lewis Howes: Why is that?
Dan Schawbel: Because you think you might know everything, or you’re in a position where you’re getting paid enough.
Lewis Howes: Or you feel like you put in your time, and now you deserve…
Dan Schawbel: Entitlement, a little bit of entitlement, yeah. It’s really hard to get a job if you’re sixty-five. But also, when you’re young, it’s hard to get paid a lot, because people see you as younger.
Lewis Howes: Inexperienced, yeah.
Dan Schawbel: Some people see you as inexperienced, yeah. And experience does matter, for sure. You know, you’re better at interviewing now, because you’ve had so much time speaking with so many people.
Lewis Howes: As an entrepreneur, or as a CEO, or whatever, you’re looking for results; someone who can deliver results efficiently, that’s what you look for. I don’t care if someone’s twenty-three, I don’t care what colour, I don’t care what gender. Me, I want to know you’re going to be positive, you’re going to be fun to hang out with, if we’re going to be spending time.
You believe in the mission that we’re here to do, which is impact people, and help people be better, and you’re going to get results, efficiently. Yes, you’re going to make mistakes. Yes, there’s a learning curve, but if you can do those things, I’m pretty happy.
Dan Schawbel: And you need all of those things. Everything else, you can learn. You can learn everything else. It’s hard to find those people.
Lewis Howes: It’s really hard.
Dan Schawbel: It’s not easy to find good people who work really hard and who get along with everyone and put their best foot forward every single day.
Lewis Howes: Why is it so hard to find good people to hire?
Dan Schawbel: Because I think people want different things from work, and are in different situations and not everyone believes what you believe, and you have to be okay with that.
Lewis Howes: And there’s shiny objects, and there’s…
Dan Schawbel: But I think the key is: the more you put yourself out there, the more you will attract the right people, because you’re not going to follow someone and read their content every single day if you don’t believe what they believe. Right? Unless you’re a bully. We’ve had enough of those.
Lewis Howes: Yeah. Okay, so health benefits, flexibility, fair pay, learning and development. What else? Is there anything else? Because if you’ve got that, that’s pretty good.
Dan Schawbel: That’s really good.
Lewis Howes: If you’ve got some free food here and there, that’s another perk.
Dan Schawbel: People don’t care about those perks. So, I interviewed the former head of people operations at Google, and he said that people work at Google because they want to learn and be with the smartest people in the world. That’s why. Because of learning and development.
Lewis Howes: That’s part of their personality, yeah.
Dan Schawbel: And Google’s changing the world. They can be part of the change that they see in the world through working at Google or Facebook or Amazon or Apple. The companies that are changing and have control over society, they want to be part of that, rather than go against it.
And so I think it’s about being a leader, that inspires, that has empathy, and that creates a culture that allows people to bring their full humanity to work. Because they’re going to, anyways. And they’re going to need support.
Lewis Howes: For an entrepreneur that has a whole team that’s remote, they never get together in person, it’s three to ten people or twenty people, but it’s all remote – because I have some friends who have fully remote teams that are actually doing pretty well, financially, but they haven’t grown past, it’s hard to grow past a certain level.
Is it possible to have a thriving business with the whole team remote?
Dan Schawbel: Yes. I mean, you friends have it, I have friends who do, but I think, only 20% of companies have off-sites or social events for their team, yet in the research we found that that’s the number one way to have a healthier work environment and establish more human connections in the workplace.
Lewis Howes: Doing work events, doing off-sites, yeah.
Dan Schawbel: Yeah, so even if it’s once a year.
Lewis Howes: Retreats for a weekend.
Dan Schawbel: At least once a year do something. You’ve got to show people you appreciate them, to have a whole chapter on recognition. And people don’t want to wait a year to get feedback or any performance review, they want feedback along the way.
Lewis Howes: Consistently, right?
Dan Schawbel: Consistently. Every day. And it’s another excuse to connect with someone. So learning, sharing what you know, that’s another excuse to engage someone, you know what I mean? So these habits are only good for the work environment, because the more you do it, the more your employees see that you’re doing it, so they start to adopt that behaviour, and then you create a whole environment where people are sharing what they know.
The motto is, “Whenever I learn, I share.” And they’re always recognising people, so people feel good about being there. You want to obviously recognise someone in an authentic way. You don’t want to come off as ingenuous or blow it out of proportion, but I think recognising people and telling them, first, what they’re doing great, and then saying, “You could improve something else,” that’s how you give feedback.
If all you do is criticise, people are going to be turned off by that. So you have to learn, there’s a subtle art of giving feedback so that people feel good about it, yet they see it as a learning opportunity.
Lewis Howes: As someone who is studying his constantly, you have your own company, and your own team. What are you lacking, to implement, that you know you could do better at?
Dan Schawbel: Yeah, I think that is something that we should be doing better at, is an off-site. The good thing is, we do at least four inter-person events a year.
Lewis Howes: So you all come together.
Dan Schawbel: All come together, not just the team, but all the customers come together. So we are seeing them, because if we didn’t have interactions with these big Fortune 500 companies every year, they would not be part of our network any more. Because they require a lot of human contact.
They don’t want to just hear about something that they can Google, they want to actually interface with people who are like them. It’s a community, just like you and what you’ve created as a community.
You can put out hundreds of podcasts and a lot of content every day on Instagram every day and Facebook and have your own show, but it’s really about engaging people where they already are, and making them feel like they’re part of something bigger.
You know, like when I was going to your shows, you could just tell that people felt like they were a part of something. And you were a leader, or the group organiser, but they were like, “I listen to the show, you listen to the show, we have something in common. We both care about self development and gratitude,” and everything else you stand for at the School of Greatness.
That’s what I think is so powerful. You’re creating a community of people who have shared interests around something that is positive in the world.
Lewis Howes: Wow. So more off-site connection, more retreat type stuff.
Dan Schawbel: At least have more video conferencing, where you can actually see the person. Not that technology is ever going to replace those face to face interactions. It’s impossible.
Lewis Howes: Nothing. But video is key. I do a lot of those face time, just with people in general, you know, I’m always on face time and that’s way better than just a phone call or text, I think. You can connect eye to eye.
Dan Schawbel: You’re eliminating misunderstanding. And you’re encouraging connection. And it’s like every morning I call my parents. I’m an only child, with Jewish parents. I’m calling them.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, yeah, yeah, of course!
Dan Schawbel: I can’t rely on a brother or a sister to call them and for me to take a break.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, well, I’m the youngest of four, so I can get away with that.
Dan Schawbel: But I think it’s a good habit to create. A habit where you’re constantly engaging with the people who you care most about, and you’re telling people how you feel about them, even if you have a fear of being judged.
Lewis Howes: When should employees, or people working, request more of their company if they’re not getting something, and how should they approach it so it’s not attacking or defensive or entitled, you know what I mean?
Dan Schawbel: Yeah, that’s the problem, because a lot of people feel they’re entitled to more money.
Lewis Howes: Like, “We should get this,” and, “We need this,” and, “We need this.”
Dan Schawbel: Asking for too much, especially in the first few months. It’s a big mistake. I’ll tell you what I did, early in my career, with my first job. Everyone in my department, in the marketing department in a Fortune 200 company, everyone had to create a marketing plan.
And I was, like, a year into this job. What I did was, I walked up to each one of them, and I said, “I’m going to do your marketing plan for you.” I did everyone’s marketing plan, or at least the first draft of it, which is a significant amount of work, okay?
I had learned how to do a marketing plan when I was younger and I saw I need to be able to establish relationships with everyone else on the team and getting them to support future projects that I wanted to take on, and it was the best job security you could have, because I’ve created enormous value.
And so, I did it all for everyone. And so it’s making that huge impact quickly, whether you’re networking with someone or whether you’re trying to excel in the workplace at a young age, it’s seeing an opportunity where you can add value, and just quadrupling down, going all in, doing as much as you can for the people you work with, because in the end that’s how you win them over and throughout the rest of your career you have people you can rely on.
Lewis Howes: Absolutely. And it’s hard to get rid of someone who is always showing up, and always proactive, and always thinking, “How can I be more efficient and create better results, and go above and beyond?” It’s hard to say, “I don’t want that person around.”
You’re always going to be acknowledging and appreciating that person, more than people that aren’t doing that.
Dan Schawbel: Exactly. No, it’s about consistency. If you’re showing up every single day, even five, seven days a week, people notice that, people love the work ethic. No matter what anyone says or how they criticise people we know, “These people work so hard!” And we can relate, because we’ve been through this long, long journey.
The blog I started when I was twenty-two-years-old, over 6,000 articles now. It’s been read by over 10 million people. It’s big! But it only did that because every day, twelve blog posts per week. I was managing the magazine, I managed a hundred different contributors, two editors, I did the marketing, the promotion, the distribution, everything, on top of having a full time job.
But, I knew in my heart that all of that work would eventually pay off. And, I think, when I was in my twenties, I really had a lot to prove to myself. I needed some sort of validation, like you did. I needed the validation, because I never got that, growing up.
Lewis Howes: Really? You were the only child.
Dan Schawbel: I was bullied so much, growing up, in elementary school, I got in trouble every single day, because I suffered from anxiety so I didn’t know I had anxiety, and I couldn’t channel it, so I was always in trouble. And also I was treated very poorly by teachers, like, in elementary school, I was put in a closet by my third grade teacher.
Lewis Howes: No way!
Dan Schawbel: Yeah. My friends would make fun of me, every day, so, it was tough. I didn’t really say much when I was in middle school, and even high school, because I knew that I would almost punished every time I spoke.
And, in middle school, I was actually shoved into a locker. So that actually does happen.
Lewis Howes: A lot.
Dan Schawbel: Yeah, you see see it on TV, but it actually happens.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, I was too tall to fit into the locker, so they did other things to me. They hurt my heart in other ways.
Dan Schawbel: Totally. But what I realised is, some of the things that might have made me weak and enabled people to bully me when I was younger, became my greatest strengths. When I was really young, I would come home and literally cry into my pillow, because I never fit in.
And I even said, “I never fit in, I’ll never fit in. But maybe I don’t fit in because I’m special and someday I’ll do something great.”
Lewis Howes: So, you knew that?
Dan Schawbel: I knew that, back then when I was a little kid.
Lewis Howes: You said, “Maybe it’ll pay off.”
Dan Schawbel: “Maybe all this will pay off.” And I had to be so patient. I was a little kid. I knew it, I knew all of this. I didn’t know that we would be here, doing a podcast and I’d have three books by now.
Lewis Howes: You knew something would happen.
Dan Schawbel: I just knew it, because maybe I don’t fit in for a reason. So if I stopped the self talk, that saying, “I’ll never fit in,” that’s defeating, and that would have led to enormous amounts of depression and who knows whatever else I would have faced, from that.
But, I turned that around and said, “Well, maybe it’s because I’m going to do something great in my life.” And, to me, that is the most inspiring thing, to me, is the fact that I said that when I was a little kid and I knew all along.
And I’m still patient. I say it’s like the subtle art of being patient with persistence. I will wait years to talk to someone and that’s fine, because I’m doing this for the rest of my life. It’s easier to make short term decisions when you know what you want to do.
And the only way to figure out what you want to do, is to do as many things as possible, as young as possible, so you can figure out what works for you. And then not being afraid to iterate along the way, and evolve.
Lewis Howes: Take six months at a time, or six weeks at a time to go all in on a subject, or something you’re curious about, or a skill set, and get as far as you can. And if you like it, keep going, or start something new and just keep starting something new where you have a skill set. At some point you’ll have a lot of skills and you’ll be able to use it for one big thing. Or multiple big things, and it’s going to pay off.
Dan Schawbel: Reflecting back, I always said, “Be the best at what you do for a specific audience. That was the framework behind building a personal brand when I was younger. Then I realised, as I got older, what’s made me unique is two things. One, I’m really good at multiple things, when combined, give me a competitive advantage. That, to me, is really powerful.
The other thing is, I am a marketer, in HR. So I have a skill set that is becoming increasingly valuable in a different profession. So, take something that you’re really good at and put that work and that skill set into something different. Whether you’re really good at something and work in California, and you go to Hong Kong, and you just leverage all those skills to blow up Hong Kong.
Like, just take what you’re doing into another market and that has huge room for growth, if you can do that.
Lewis Howes: I love this, man! Make sure you guys get the book, Back To Human, Dan Schawbel: How Great Leaders Create Connection In The Age Of Isolation. If you’re a CEO or an entrepreneur who has got a team that’s building, you’re going to want to check this out.
Even if you’re in the workspace, if you’re an employee, should you check this out, so you can understand what you can bring to the CEO, or to your manager?
Dan Schawbel: Absolutely, and there’s tips for everyone, whether you’re an employee or a leader, how to work with leaders, how to manage remote workers, it basically – I have nothing more to add to that book – it’s everything I’ve got.
I interviewed a hundred young leaders, from a hundred of the best companies, for the book, I did an assessment called ‘The Work Connectivity Index’, with a professor, that measures the strength of your work relationships, from low connectivity to high connectivity, so you get a score.
Lewis Howes: So people can take the test? Your whole company?
Dan Schawbel: Yeah, the whole company can take it for free.
Lewis Howes: Wow! Where do they get that?
Dan Schawbel: workconnectivityindex.com.
Lewis Howes: workconnectivityindex.com. I love it, man!
Dan Schawbel: It’s got everything! It’s everything I ever wanted to do for a book, and I finally, after the second book, had enough credibility and connections that I was able to pull it off. And each book helps people get to the next phase of their career. Me2.0 was college to first job; Promote Yourself was first job to management; there’s a leadership book.
And each book is more human. Me2.0 is the beginning of the [web age], it’s all about digital. And then Promote Yourself had some chapters on digital, but little bit more on soft skills, because we found out that that’s the most important thing management are looking for when they promote; and then this one is clearly saying, “Hey, we need to get back to being a human being. We need to get smarter with how we build our relationships.”
Lewis Howes: As technology continues to grow, it’s only going to create more isolation, unless we create the structure to be more human.
Dan Schawbel: And what’s so fascinating, we did a study of 25,000 people, and we found that the technology is actually forcing our humanity outside of us. So, like, the more we’re using technology the more you have a need to pick up the phone because you still have the need to have friendships and have connection.
Lewis Howes: Intimacy, connection, yeah.
Dan Schawbel: That’ll never go away.
Lewis Howes: Yeah, wow. This is The Three Truths question. If this is the last day for you, and you can only share three lessons with the world, what are the three things that you would say?
Dan Schawbel: One is, be patient, but with persistence. So, work really hard, go for it, but be okay if it doesn’t happen right away. I always tell so many of my friends this, because everyone wants thing immediately. Instant gratification, right?
Number two is experimentation. Figure out what works, what doesn’t work, and lean more into what’s working, and quadruple that. Because then you’ll be able to maximise that opportunity and then if there’s something else you want to do, you’ll have a better chance of doing it, because you’ve already built the framework, the foundations, the connections, and the skill set to leverage to do the next thing.
We’re always a work in progress, we’re always learning and being challenged, and you need to rise to the occasion. I think that people need to be more curious and ask a lot of questions. That’s how I got to where I am in my career; I just kept asking and asking and asking. And the more you ask, the more you try and solve problems for yourself, the more you’re going to be able to help others.
If you can’t focus on your own fulfilment and become happy and fulfilled in what you’re trying to do, you’re not going to be able to be effective with others, you’re not going to have that attitude and that excitement. You’re not going to understand what it takes to figure it out if you don’t figure it out for yourself.
So, really get your s**t right, and then help others, as much as you can, and be generous. So, like, me, I’m always, like you, I’m like, “How can I help people?” I’m always thinking about that, but it’s not like I’m walking to random strangers, being like, “I’m going to introduce you to Richard Branson,” or Reid Hoffman, or Reid Hoffman, or someone very substantial.
I’m very smart about who I talk to, who I introduce to each other. I’m deliberate and thoughtful in everything. I’ll spend a week before I give you feedback on a show or something that you’re producing, because I want it to be very thoughtful, because you’ll gain so much more from that, rather than me in the moment saying, “That was great,” or, “It can be improved.”
And people appreciate that. People appreciate the effort that you put into anything, whether it’s relationship, friendship, work, everything. And that’s why you have to be picky about who you surround yourself with and the work you do, because you’ll only put that effort in when you’re with those people, working on those projects, and in the right environment.
Lewis Howes: Yeah. Great, man! Well, I want to acknowledge you, my man, for consistently showing up for me. It’s been a decade of friendship and you have such a level of work ethic and you always are thinking about how you can add value to me and other people.
I just want to acknowledge you for the level of detail you have with your research, the attention to detail, towards your writing, the impact you make on other people. You’re constantly showing up for others and that value is very much appreciated. So I appreciate you so much for that, man.
Dan Schawbel: Thank you!
Lewis Howes: Of course, man. Guys, make sure you get the book, Back To Human, go to danschawbel.com, you can get it on Amazon, you can get it in book stores, @danschawbel on Instagram, he’s starting to blow up, so make sure to follow him there, and you can learn more. Everything else at danschawbel.com.
Dan Schawbel: Follow the podcast! Five Questions With Dan Schawbel.
Lewis Howes: Five Questions With Dan Schawbel, which I’m going to be on as well. Check it out if you want to hear what my five answers are.
Dan Schawbel: Definition of greatness!
Lewis Howes: What’s your definition of greatness?
Dan Schawbel: It’s going to be different than four years ago, when I was on last. It’s, lean into who you already are, instead of living up to the expectations of others.
Lewis Howes: Dan Schawbel. Appreciate you, man.
There you have it, my friends! I hope you enjoyed this one with my buddy, Dan Schawbel. He’s a guy who spends countless hours, weeks, months, and years researching certain topics, to find the exact analytical data to back what he shares and what he talks about, and he spends a lot of time writing his work.
So, this book, make sure to check it out right now. Get a copy of the book it’s all at the show notes at lewishowes.com/718. You can follow Dan Schawbel over on Instagram and Twitter and all those good places. Again, we’ll have it all linked up on the show notes.
Make sure to tag me, @LewisHowes and @danschawbel over on Instagram, what you enjoyed most about this episode, so we can stay connected to you as well. And, share with your friends. Spread the message of greatness by sharing with your friends, spread the message of continual learning, continual development, in your friends’ lives, so we can all grow together.
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My friends, we’ve got big interviews coming up, every Monday and Wednesday, and on Fridays we’ve got 5-Minute Fridays, the inspiration to finish your week strong. But, man, some big interviews we’ve got coming up, I’m so pumped!
We’ve got LeAnn Rimes, we’ve got [Charlotte Gard?], we’ve got Derren Brown, we’ve got some incredible people coming up soon, who have been blowing my mind, literally, and I can’t wait for you to hear them and watch them.
If you’re not subscribed on YouTube, go to youtube.com/lewishowes and subscribe, because we have videos coming out every single week, as well, that are going to uplift you and inspire you throughout your day and throughout your life.
And, as Steve Jobs said, “Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.”
I love you all so very much. It means the world to me that you continue to show up every single day and listen to this podcast, and apply what you learn here into your life, because that’s what’s most important. What you learn you must apply and start inspiring those around you.
As always, you know what time it is, my friends: It’s time to go out there and do something great!