Lawyers, Accountants, Computer programmers. That's what our parents encouraged us to become when we grew up. But Mom and Dad were wrong. The future belongs to a very different type of person with a very different kind of mind.
1. I loved the concept of Symphony in "A Whole New Mind". Do you have a formula for bringing consistency to seemingly unrelated events?
No. I think it's less of a formula and more of a general attitude. Are you open to new ideas -- no matter where they come from? Are you reading in areas outside your own professional expertise? Are you talking to a wide range of people? When you put together a team, do you make sure there are diverse viewpoints? People who make this sort of behavior habitual generally do pretty well on Symphony.
2. In “Drive” you challenge the carrot and stick formula of prize for performance. How has this message been received by HR professionals?
So far, the response has been great. But I think HR professionals are more astute on these matters than many others in organizations -- because the very best among them spend their time and energy working on talent. They know that money does matter to talent -- but that it's not ultimately what gets them up in the morning. HR professionals can be hugely important ambassadors in bringing the science of motivation inside of organizations.
3. How important is Empathy in leadership?
It's hugely important. It's very hard to lead without being able to see the world through the eyes of those your leading. That's especially true for creative teams. And it's doubly true for the growing ranks of people who are leaders but who don't have much formal authority -- and therefore must rely on influence rather than command. There's also some recent research, led by Adam Galinsky at
4. Why have some companies simplified the process of education in the workplace down to product knowledge?
It's easier -- and they know how to do it. Plain and simple.
5. You are one of the most recognized business authors of our time yet you always make time to respond to your readers. How do you balance this?
Hmmm. I'll resist my lawyerly instinct to disagree with your premise and instead thank you for the overly generous assessment. On the matter of responding to readers, it's not all that complex. First, I like it. I learn a heckuva lot from readers and I always appreciate hearing from them. Second, it's the right thing to do. If someone spends 10 or 15 dollars and several hours of their time reading one of my books, the least I can do is spend zero dollars and five minutes of my time responding to their question. To me, what's weird is that everybody doesn't do this.
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Don't Forget to Remember!