In 2003, an animated film hit the theaters and captured the hearts of viewers everywhere. This movie, with a score of 99% on Rotten Tomatoes, not only thrilled our kids, but gave adults a motivating reminder about how to react when life gets tough.

Here’s the premise.

A clownfish named Marlin has lost his son Nemo. As he ventures out into the unknown ocean on his search and rescue mission, he finds a travel companion in Dory, a regal blue tang with a serious memory problem.

Dory, amidst her silliness and flaws, lives her life based on a wise mantra.

In one of the most recognizable lines of any film, Dory tries to calm down a flustered and grumpy Marlin with the following words:

“When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do?

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.”


As your eyes wandered over the words, you probably read in the sing-song voice of Dory, also known as Ellen Degeneres. The wisdom behind the mantra transcends age levels. I can think back to plenty of moments in my own life where I felt frustrated or confused and needed to just keep swimming.


Many of our students in Career Change Bootcamp feel this way about their career. They hit a mental barrier of some sort, maybe the need for perfection or fear of breaking the rules, and they feel stuck. But progress, even imperfect and slow progress, is essential for reaching goals.


In last week’s post, we talked about the essential nature of celebrating small wins on the road to success. To get these small wins, you have to keep swimming. Nobody knows this better than my new friend, Dan Schawbel.

Over the last few years, Dan’s established himself as a leading voice in career and work trends as well as a NYT bestselling author. When asked how he finds success, Dan says he’s learned to lean into his strengths and just keep pushing.

For instance, Dan has interviewed over 2000 people for his podcast. Guests include Donald Trump, Tony Robbins, Anthony Bourdain, Condoleezza Rice, Rachel Ray, and Steve Harvey. But none of those guests came easily.

To quote Dan, he says,

“Sometimes I'll stand up and point to the wall and say out loud ‘just keep going, just keep going.’ That really is the secret. You have to keep shrugging off the negative, mistakes, and failures and just keep going. Life’s too short to look back. You can learn from the past, but don't let it hold you back down. Just keep going.”


Want to know how long it took Dan to land interviews with those celebrities?


  • Chelsea Handler took nine months.
  • Anthony Bourdain took three years.
  • Tony Robbins and Donald Trump each took over six years of attempts.


If that’s not perseverance, I don’t know what is.


To share another example, Dan’s latest book, Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation drops today. When he was trying to get published, Dan was turned down by every single publisher he reached out to EXCEPT ONE. How easy would it have been to give up after the first rejection? Or the second? Or the fifth?!


According to Dan and Dory, you gotta just keep swimming.

Now, back to what Dan said about strengths. If you’ve been listening to our podcast for very long, you’ve probably heard us mention the importance of signature strengths. (If this is your first time hearing this, take a moment to look over this free guide on using your strengths to find career happiness.) Research from Gallup found that if you know and use your strengths, you’re six times as likely to be engaged at work, about 8% more productive in your role, three times as likely to have an excellent quality of life, and six times as likely to do what you do best every day.

I like those odds. In Dan’s case, he realized he’s great at short format interviews. By keeping his conversations under fifteen minutes, he kept his anxiety at bay and increased the chances of getting a “yes” from interview guests.

Along with recognizing his strengths, Dan cut out his weaknesses. For instance, he realized he wasn’t a strong designer, so he now pays a skilled graphic designer to complete these needs. Instead of trying to improve his low points, he focused on honing his own natural abilities.


As you search for a role that fits your unique desires, strengths, style, and salary requests, you’ll probably hit a moment where you need to remember Dan’s advice: Focus on your strengths, and just keep swimming. (Okay, that second one is from Dory. But close enough!)


To hear more about Dan’s experience becoming a leading voice for millennials, press play on the podcast player below.

Transcript from Episode

Scott: Welcome back to the Happen to Your Career podcast. I am really excited to bring you our guest today because first came across him. He's, you know, it’s like no one realizes about 4 years ago. When had a few listeners send me a bit of his work and now today we get to bring him on the show to talk about a variety of topics ranging from his far-reaching and wide-ranging and ever changing career all the way to what the future of the workplace can look like and even in to, what leadership and connection can look like in the future in this very technology connected age too. So I'm super excited to bring on Dan Schawbel. How are you this morning?.

Dan: So happy to be here. Thank you very much for having me on.

Scott: Absolutely. So we're going to get into all of those things, but I'm curious, you know, as looked a little bit into your past and your story. Clearly you started work at a pretty early age I did too. So we've got that in common, 13 the ripe old age of 13, right? But I don't necessarily want to go back that far. I am very interested in where you feel like things really started to send you down your initial career trajectory.

Dan: Great question. It was in 2017, and I was at all day event training session at my company EMC Corporation. I was in online marketing at the time and we had to spend eight hours learning everything we could about over two thousands products that the company was selling and these are very complex products. Meaning that after that course. I came home and I started questioning my life because I was so inundated I didn’t even remember one product, the second I got home. So I started googling. I'm like, oh, it's got to be something out there for me. What am I missing? And I was googling because my background was in marketing. I had a marketing and bachelor's degree from Bentley University. It was just Bentley College back then and I was like, there's got to be something out there and so I typed in marketing and self-marketing and self-branding and branding and then eventually I got to personal branding. I came across Tom Peter’s famous article the brand called “You” which was written in for the cover of Fast Company Magazine on August 1st 2007. And that’s the reason why Fast Company took off in the first place and people are reading it today and he is the father of business books. The reason why there are business books is because his book in search of excellent created the market for business books. There's no market until something sells a million copies or viewing a certain amount of times and he created that and it's not like the article gave me the idea for personal branding it confirmed my belief and validated my opinions. During college, I had a CD portfolio of work a business card a website all of these marketing materials that was using the cell myself in interviews and I kept landing internships and eventually landed a job. And so everything that he was talking about really hit home to me especially because I was really early into social media. I had my first blog was called “Driven 68”.  I created in October 2006 and I was writing 12 times a week for it and once I read his article. I was like, oh my God, I can be him for my generation and I had such conviction when this happened. I knew. What I could become. I saw the future and I was one thousand percent committed to this journey. So wherever it would take me.

Scott: That's super interesting. So what do you think was it about that time then that causes you to have such conviction and be able to see some of that work because as we've interacted with lots of different people from lots of different backgrounds there's a couple of different ways. You can go with the okay. I've got the conviction. Let's get rolling already or the opposite way which is hey, how would I even do this necessarily? So what do you think was that put you in that place where you're like, let's make this happen?.

Dan:  I was already doing it. I just didn’t have the term for it. So thinking of personal branding that empowered me because “Oh!” I finally have the term. I can run with this and so I took my blog driven to succeed. And I repositioned it as the personal branding blog, which still exist today. I think we have over 5,700 blog posts on there. And so I really believed in it so much that I built a whole community around personal branding. For my generation, but other generations would read the materials too. So I had personal writing blog, personal rating magazine, personal branding TV, personal branding everything. I bought like 40 domain names back then. I even still own  if anyone wants to buy it. But I was already writing and talking about personal branding and practicing what I preach. I just needed the term to validate what I was doing and to make and to have it make sense when I communicated to others and this is right around the time and social media was getting traction. We were talking to Web 2.0 in social media and so my skills really learning about social media firsthand by having a blog being I was one of the first people to ever to write about how to use LinkedIn to build your personal brand for sites like Mashable and Wall Street Journal because I was really figuring out how to use it as a 20 to 23 year olds. And so all of this came together and I was just like this is what I'm meant to be. Do you know and as many times as I was bullied and made fun of between cyberbullying and needing friends of fraternity brothers being like what is wrong with you? I just knew it. I knew it and I just put so much energy. I was working over hundred hours a week nights and weekends. I would comment on every single blog that mentioned personal branding I was so dedicated to it. And what most people don't know is when I started self-publishing personal training magazine. I was doing everything being I was managing a hundred different contributors to editors. I published it, I marketed I promoted it. We had a subscription model. So I was growing that I did everything I designed it. I did everything and by doing that I learned a lot about business. I learned about my strengths for instance. I learn about I’m not the best graphic designer in the world. So now I over the past, you know ten years. I've hired a graphic designer. I realize that eventually, I wasn't going to have time to manage it. So eventually it folded and I was too emotionally attached, I could have sold it to another company and I didn't so I learned a lot of business lessons in creating that magazine through the blog I learned so much. I never wanted to be an entrepreneur because when I was growing up, my dad had a business of with a hundred employees and his employees in the Food Distributing industry would steal from him and I was like, oh this is not really for me. But the blog told me that there was something you know, it was like grooming me to be an entrepreneur because I was connecting with people. People who are commenting on my blog ended up being the sponsors for the blog in the magazine. It was my way of figuring out who else out there cares about this topic. Who wants to be part of this, who wants to invest in it and the blog was my training ground for everything I've done since. That's why you will see the personal branding blog still be alive in 30 years from now because I feel like it reminds me of where I've come from and it's to support the industry that you know after Tom Peters, you know, established. Like I helped pushes it to a whole new generation. So that was phase one of my career was around personal branding and then phase two is, you know, I think everyone needs to evolve their brand evolve their career. And I started to focus on millennials and how they could be successful as they started to get jobs and advance in their careers. So that's why I wrote “Promote Yourself”. So each book, I've written helps people get to the next phase of the career “Need 2.0” is not just the first book on how to use social media to build your career, but it is how do you get your first job when you graduate school and this was happening because I write the book after I've already accomplished something. So I already had a job when I graduated and then wrote that book and then the second book was called “Promote Yourself”. It's for people who have a job, who want to get ahead of that job and eventually become a manager so I did a study with American Express on what managers look for when they promote which are almost all soft skills, like teamwork ability? Ability to communicate effectively and prioritize work. And then now with back to human. It's really a leadership book for the next generation and each book emphasizes the human connection more for instance. The first book was heavily focused on technology. The second book was it touch on technology, but there was 40 plus pages out of the 280 pages about soft skills. And then this book is way more about how to build human connections in a workplace without using technology as a crutch as a leader and the team member and so my mission in life that I realize from focusing on personal branding to millennials is to position myself as someone to help a whole generation throughout their whole career trajectory from student to CEO. That's my mission in life and that depicts what I write. What I focus on and really how I spend my time and money so and I open .I only realized this after many years of seeing what was working seeing what topics that I was clinging to the feedback I got and then how I position myself almost in my mind of Wow, there's a better greater picture. Maybe I'm meant to help this generation. Throughout their whole career path, just like I was you know, growing and advancing my career. I can grow with this group and if this helps people who are older or indifferent geographies that would be amazing. But my goal is, how I can help people who are kind of like me or want to become leaders in their career and be successful throughout their path using all the resources that I have established through my journey.

Scott: So let me ask you about a couple portions of that and they definitely want to come back and talk about how it’s evolved. I think that, that is really important. However, one thing you mentioned earlier was you were spending tons and tons of time and energy, in a portion of this and eventually it folded at some point, so I want to ask you a bit about what that was like as that was happening and everybody has some type of phase maybe is not in that same way by any means but everybody has some type of phase that ends in one way or another. And I think that, the opportunity there is that can be a really negative experience or that can be turned into a really positive experience. So what was that like for you initially and what did you do to make it a positive experience? Which clearly it sounds like a loss.

Dan: I knew in my head that I could not do the magazine for the rest of my life and I had an employee back then.

Scott: Yeah.

Dan: Who told me he's like, Dan. What are you doing with this magazine and it's taking up so much of your time because I had an advanced business. I was doing so many different things around this topic and  it was stretched so thin and when he did that it was almost like I needed someone to tell me to quit the magazine I couldn't do it on my own and then I went through the first phase was realizing that I need to stop publishing the magazine focusing on the last issue because I want to end glory and then coming to the realization that now I'm going to have more time and thinking about how I can best allocate that time to help build a brighter future and support. Everything that I was doing. So I think that when one door closes, another door can open and you can reallocate your time under things that make more sense given different, you know objectives that you have and goals that you set. For me, I've always had to evolve. I've sometimes I have to drop something like for instance. I'm no longer writing for Forbes, but now because I'm not writing for them I have enough time to build an Instagram following and I have a podcast called “five questions with Dan Schawbel”. And if I was just writing for Forbes, I wouldn't have time to build all these great assets that I'm very excited about. So, sometimes something either happens to you or you quit and that can actually be a good thing. So, you know, it might not be smart for you do something taking for 10 years because that will eat up so much of your time. So you're not spending it doing other things that might be more valuable and that could bring you more joy and happiness.

Scott: How have you decided then that like let's take the example Forbes, right? So I know that writing for something like that or just spending lots of time writing on one particular area or project takes. I mean, it's even if you are an incredibly fast writer and very gifted and everything like that still takes time and energy and creative energy, right? So how do you decide on any of those things but we can use that as an example to quit and move on to something else.

Dan: Yeah, I think it's because I was getting less traction. I had been writing for them for seven years and it's just what I was doing was not aligning with what they were looking for and not aligning with where I was going and then you know, I was just noticing a lot of my peers were growing Instagram or growing all these podcasts and really enjoying it and I had a podcast in 2012 and 2013, but you know, I highlight with the sponsor. I show is too complicated and ate up too much my time, so it didn't work out and now I feel like I have the right concept and right time that plays to my strengths. So it's been a ton of self-awareness for instance, you know, I suffer from anxiety and pretty extreme amount of anxiety. So I've realized that the reason why throughout the past 12 years all of my 2000 plus interviews have always been about 15 minutes or less with five questions is because it's very hard for me to interview someone for an extended period of time like I get very anxious and unsettled and so I’m quadrupling down on who I am by having these short punchy interviews because it plays to my strengths and who I am as a human and how I operate. So like I think you know as you get older if you really pay attention to who you are and you know, what makes you. You and special and unique you can be much more effective, right? I know what I'm not good. I know what I am good at I won't do graphic design because I'm not the best at that. I find people who have already accomplished something that I want to accomplish and I line myself with them. But I also serve as a resource for others, right? So not just asking for advice but also giving advice and creating a whole culture of giving and a support system because as you advance in your career things would do not get easier. Right? My life, but a lot of people see a successful person or someone who's accomplished something great and they view them as having an easy is it has an easy life.

Scott: That's right problems just disappear and all of a sudden it's easy and yeah.

Dan:  Problems disappear, but new problems are created at same time.

Scott: Exactly.

Dan: Yeah, it's and someone who's ambitious like us. Things we push ourselves harder and to get to that next level. It's more challenging and we have to keep constantly put out content. Re- invent ourselves do things differently test. And so the only way to learn and advance in your career is to throw yourself into that situation. So many people are counting on reading a book a week or just listen your podcast or reading a Blog to solve all their problems. You have to actually act in initiate if you're not doing it. If I didn't spend God knows how many hours writing 12 blog posts a week commenting on every blog. Producing a magazine and doing everything needed to make that happen. Having the full time job as I created the first social media position and like almost any company, especially a big company back in 2007. Like, if I wasn't doing all that, how would I know what I'm good at, what I'm not good at. What the Outsource, what to do in house. What projects to work on watch to avoid who to surround myself with who did not so like the more you do the early the younger you are the better, but obviously is never too late to put the effort in and testing and in figure out a new direction to go in.

Scott: Well, here's what I'm taking from that in your case. I mean you had to have an extreme amount of inputs in order to get out an extreme amount of knowledge essentially useful knowledge. Valuable Knowledge about yourself so that you can double down in those areas that really aren't really working for you and allow you to be more of you for like a better phrase that

Dan: I always lean into what’s working for me.

Scott: Yes.

Dan: So for instance this the interview format. I've done over two thousand times, but think of how many people I've reached out to in order to get the 2000 interviews. Probably five or six thousand people over the past 12 years and I get a lot of no’s, but I'm so patient and I just constantly reach out and I constantly try and repackage and promote. So like, you know anything you Donald Trump but it took over six years. Tony Robbins took over six years. Chelsea Handler took over nine months. I've had you know Anthony Bourdain took three years, but I'm willing to constantly try and get what I'm looking for. It just takes time and I've learned to be extremely patient with the time because there's always someone else you can interview for most of what I've done in my life. Most everything I've done is been rejected by every for instance book publishers. Every publisher besides one and I've been doing book since I was 23 and each one is more successful than the last and still rejected by every publisher besides one. And so I think the best things in life the things that are most gratifying, you really have to earn, you have to sacrifice you have to fail, you have to get rejected in order to really appreciate them. And once you get that opportunity, you're going to naturally maximize it because you're so grateful that you have that opportunity. And so I think just over the past few years. I've finally got to a point after 12 years that you know, I'm happy with what I've done to a point where if nothing else happens, I'm still good but whatever but it's not like it's not going to demotivate me. I'm still motivated, but I'm finally secure in what I've done and I figured out kind of who I am and what I'm meant to do and the only way to do that, like I can't keep reiterating is to do as much as you can to test things not be afraid of failure to reach out with the attitude that you have nothing to lose. I will reach out to anybody. I don't even question my head anymore any time I even stopped for a second to think if I should reach out sometime already emails are already out. And so you really don't have anything to lose and if 99 people reject you like one of my early research studies 99 companies said no, but that one company said yes, it was American Express and then I was on my way and now I'm not fly much my 45th research study since 2012 on Nexters that. So like I'm just I just keep going and I actually anytime I have an obstacle in my life. I always say to myself now just keep going and I say what those pauses to because I really want to reinforce in my head.

Scott: That’s important.

Dan: Yeah, sometimes I'll like stand up even in like point to the wall and just say just keep going, just keep going and that really is a secret. You have to keep shrugging. Off the negative, off the mistakes of the failures and just keep going because life's too short to look at.  Look to the past of course learn from the past, but don't let it. Hold you back down just keep going.

Scott: Love that and since I have little kids just keep swimming pops into my head, too. I want to come back around to what you one of your latest projects is here and you had, you did about hundred ish interviews for the project that ended up becoming this book, right?.

Dan: So there's a lot to this book called back to human how great leaders great connection and the age of isolation. I interviewed a hundred of the top young leaders at a hundred of the best companies in the world for and it took three and a half months. It was about 850 communication back and forth to get approval from the company's PR department because I wanted to use that their names titles and companies and I had to get approval from the HR department to check with their age was. So it's all people aged 24 to 35 and from you know Uber, Instagram, Chie, IBM, Intel. You know Johnson and Johnson the best of the best of the best, but it took a lot of people were checked me. I just kept going on that. I'm going to make this happen. And then I also got a research study funded. This studies on work connectivity sponsored by virgin pulse, which is one of the 400 virgin brands under Richard Branson and we interviewed over 2,000 managers and employees in 10 countries. And that was an awesome study. It was kind of work to 71 pages of research analysis. And then I partnered with a professor so over the past seven years there have been about seven professors that have studied work isolation in the impact on business and personal health and commitment. And so I worked with Kevin Rockmann, he's Professor George Mason University on the work connectivity index measures the strength of your work relationships, it's a free self-assessment. So all of that plus my personal stories advice activities all into one so tons and tons and tons of work. I was doing a chapter a week. Actually, I was drafting because I created a whole writing system this time that I didn't for the last two books where it was outline, research, writing, right? So the outline frames the chapter for you, the research helps you make the chapter more credible and interesting and helps you frame your self-help advice and activities and the story and then actually writing it you're more prepared to write it because you've already done the research you have the outline so you know where to focus your writing. So that's been my chapter week system that I developed and worked extremely well and it bought me enough time to bring out editors to help me smooth out the writing and make it more linear because one of my weaknesses can self-awareness is my brain goes in many directions. I'm like, I'm carrying on all these stats my head and all these things I need to do and so I need to hire people to help me get back to Center and Center my writing again. I only know that because it's been 12 years of figuring this all out.

Scott: I'm letting you run with it because it is super interesting to me just in the place where we. I’ve written another book but it was actually a kid’s travel journal, wrote that with my wife. So haven't written a traditional book yet, and we're just embarking down that road. I've been asking tons of my friends that have written 2, 3, 4 books and soaking up all of this. I'm just loving this part. But what I did want to ask you about though, as you're going through this process and you did those interviews and you pulled together all of this this research and you're writing the outline and everything else. What were some of the biggest surprises that you had in everything that came out of this and it probably be useful with briefly outlined. What the content is here to, because this is a different book than some of what you've written in the past.


Dan: The main message in the book is technology is has created the illusion of connection with in reality people feel this connected last engage less committed to their teams and organizations more lonely and isolated over the overuse and misuse of that technology and one of the big most interesting things that is now part of my presentation when I speak all over the world is that technology is a double-edged sword. It can be used for good and bad. It's really about how you use it? And for instance the easiest example to say is you can use technology such as a calendar. Maybe you've been artificial intelligence to get everyone to show up immediate for a meeting on time in a specific location, but if you're in that meeting and you're looking at your phone the entire time you are not using technology properly. If you go to a networking event and you use again technology, email, you know your account thinking people, thinking everyone's calendar to show up at that meeting or networking event, and that you're not really there. You're not present and you're just too busy using that technology that brought you there. You've made a big mistake and it's going to affect your career because building one's career, as you know is all about the human connection and those sacred human relationships and if you like technology become barrier between you and another person it is not going to be effective and you're going to feel very isolated and unhappy as a result. So there's been a lot of really fascinating things. I think the most interesting finding from the book that blew me away and that you'll be you know, I'm going to be talking about a lot more in the future.

Scott: Yeah.

Dan: Is that if you work remote you're much less likely to want a long-term career company and this is pretty controversial and I worked home for about eight years. And a lot about a third of the global workforce, works remote always or very often. Yet two-thirds of them are disengaged. So while remote work gives you freedom and flexibility to work when and where you want it lowers your commuting cost real people don't really talk about that right? You don't have to put gas in the car. You don’t have to maintain a car etc., and then the cost of like cafeterias and all that. It makes you lonelier and isolated because you're not getting the human interactions that we strive for with that we need as part of Maslow's hierarchy of needs after food and shelter. We need love affection and relationships. And so how are you going to perform at your very best if you lack those relationships? And the more friends, you have at work, the more loyal you are, the happier you are and the longer, you're going to really stay and be productive member of your team and organization. So that's one of the things he found is that people lack work friendships, yet we spend so much time at work. The average work week in the United States is 47 hours a week for full-time salaried employee. And you know more than that most people answered businesses on vacation or after work hours. We're always kind of working especially if you're an entrepreneur you're seven days a week. You're always on call, so it's important to like who you work with more now than ever before because if you don't, your personal life will suffer and there's a connection between your work experience and your personal life. If you're having a great work day, you're going to come home and if you're married, you'll be much happier and you'll have a healthier marriage if you hate your job it will affect your marriage. It affect your relationship with your children and your personal health. I interviewed a former US Surgeon General for the book and he said that loneliness is an epidemic and has the same health risk and smoking 15 cigarettes a day. So this is a really big deal. It's especially a big pain point for men as they age. We start losing friendships at age 25 and then lose them quicker. And so if we're not trying to seek those friendships at work, we're spending so much of our time. There's a big disconnect for us. It makes us lonely, isolated and unhappy as a result which hurt our personal life.

Scott: So, let me ask you about that then because as we work with people one of the things we do in our business by all means just helping people get to where they want.

A lot of people perceived that they want more flexibility as well as remote work and what we've learned from doing that is that if that alone and is not taken into consideration. Then the other elements like Hey, how do you feel connection? And what do you need in terms of what are the other elements that are going to keep you more happy more connected more often. So my question to you then is what do you see as some potential solutions to that?.

Dan: Yeah. I think the interesting thing just the start is, what we want is different than how we behave in all of my research across the globe even with young people. They say they want in-person meetings and to work in a corporate office place with other people yet. They spent 30% of your part of their personal and professional time using Facebook and other technology to technology and social networks. So like how people are beheading is giving them what they actually desire which I think is really interesting. And so what I recommend is, it's all about embracing open collaboration getting everyone on your team to commit to being open accessible and honest with each other. The other thing is I am promoting through the book a whole chapter on practicing shared learning. So instead of holding information to your chest share it with others. Because it's another way to interact with them and in order to keep up with the changes in our economy and all the distractions that are occurring acquisitions mergers. You name it. You need to help each other because the information is moving so fast that you need individuals to be the filters of that information and then share it among your team because the average half-life or relevancy of a skill is only five years now. So things are changing really fast. We need to count on each other to be able to work through those changes. And have right skills, the right time to be able to maintain our jobs and advance in the workplace. The other thing I would say is recognition. Regular recognition. Let's abolish annual performance reviews because people hate them and because the bell curve doesn't work because if you are rated as if four when you think you should be a 5 out of 5, you're going to leave the company. Because you felt like you deserved the five and make it only award won 5 for the department or the team. So instead of this, let's do regular recognition, right? You can criticize people to can say oh, well you did great at this, but you couldn't prove it in this way, which is how people want really a take in feedback. But I think you know, the compliments really are really key throughout the day. If you can do it and recognizing people from seniority standpoint. If you're a senior leader recognizing people makes a huge impact and of course people need cash bonuses and gift but recognition we find can be extremely powerful coaching.

Scott: What did you, I'm curious about that because as, well I'm a bit of a nerd about both the research but then the application side to just coming from a talent development and HR background and then also the type of work that we do now with helping people identify what they need. Did any of your research help identify some of the different elements or different categories and what people need because everybody's a little bit different is what we discovered in terms of how and what they need specifically for recognition like for one person as you mentioned, you know cash is great and another person needs, you know ongoing thank you and acknowledgement for things and you know another person like me. I benefit most from when my past bosses would share with me things and information that they won’t tell anybody else and that was my form of recognition. I’m curious what?.

Dan: Yeah, that's a great question sadly all the research I've done since 2012 points to people caring about compensation the most and cash bonuses the most when it comes to recognition, it's just a fact it's because you know, the cost of living is not declining right? There's a lot of pressure cash is king and I think cash will always be king. But once you get past cash then things get really interesting. What we found as a difference between 2014 and 2016 when we asked people what employee benefit sir the important to them we went from it was healthcare and then healthcare flexibility and training to flexibility healthcare and training. So once people's health needs are met, once they have some degree of flexibility in their job. Yeah, the number one retention tool you can use this training and development. Which is right thing is like coaching is a big deal because you have all these new managers, 40% of people in my age group have a manager title in above now and a lot of them are failing because they've never been managers before a lot of companies don't have leadership development programs only about 6% have like really well-established leadership development programs companies aren't focusing on succession planning. There's a big disconnect in when it comes to leadership and the leadership styles of people my age and people who are much older are very different. The old leadership styles autocratic, which is about command and control and falling specific policies and procedures. People my age when they become leaders, it's all about encouraging the best in others getting people, you know to focus on a specific mission be a mission oriented and that's why they go to these transformational leadership. So that's changed and I think the other thing is, you know, the importance of vulnerability, gratitude and empathy are becoming more important but I have it chapter 9 is leading with empathy because everyone has your own situation, you know, a third of people suffer from mental illness in United States. And you know, it's a huge dilemma and it huge issue and it's something we have to account for us we have lot of the big professional service firms who have all these mental health awareness programs, which have been somewhat effective where people were aware of like a patch that says they're open to talking about mental health issues because it's either you suffer from a mental health condition or you know someone who does everyone has that in common, right? We all either know someone or suffer ourselves. And so that's why that is becoming more important as a leader now than ever before is because the stigma is kind of moving away from mental health and people are just being more honest and open about what they're going through. We just have to be much more understanding in order to connect in a human way to others.

Scott: Interesting. That is a lot of stuff. So I'm curious.

Dan: There's this book has so much.

Scott: Yeah. I love that because I soak that up, but also want to make sure that you know for everybody listening it, they can take away one or two things that they can actually do differently or put in place tomorrow or ask for from their leader or any number of other things. So what would you recommend that if I'm in the place where I want to be able to do this better whether I'm as a leader, or as a receiver for lack of a better phrase then what can I do tomorrow?.

Dan:  Great question. I recommend the one thing that always works is incremental change. Everyone talks about these big innovations and let's change the world. We have to get used to things in order to adjust and create new habits. It's just in our human nature and that I don't think that'll ever change. So for instance next time you are leading a meeting with your team has everyone put their phones in the middle of the table. But that and test it out and see if it's different and then ask people at the end of that meeting if there was more effective and they got more accomplished. Very simple very action-oriented number two, I would say, you know when you have a meeting or when you if you are one-on-one weekly with a team member. Ask them how they're feeling ask them. You know what they need help on. Ask them questions that are going to give you a sense of what this person is actually going through their hardships, their strengths just really program get to know people on a deeper level instead of being superficial and just talking about work asking like what's really going on. Like what are they doing for fun? I think that’s so important. One of the things that companies lack this is really interesting. I remember reading the study last year. Only 20% of companies have off sites. Yet, what we found in this version study is that, that’s the number one thing that employers want to establish better relationships. And the other thing that is interesting is stop sending countless emails one face-to-face conversation is more successful than 34 emails back and forth and the number one thing that gets in the way of human connections in the workplace is email use and so next time you're sending an email use the email to coordinate a meeting where you're actually physically being with someone or even a video conference if they lived there in a different location. Do not constantly if you find yourself just constantly going back and forth an email. It's a signal that you are not using email properly and just have a quick phone call and I'll shape everyone time and stress. These are like small little things that make a big difference over time and you're training yourself to creating new behaviors that could live with you from job to job from role to role, which I think it's extremely important and the other thing is being a coach again. One of the top things that people care about is Learning and Development, especially young people. So if you're managing a team you really need to spend time coaching them and helping them and figuring out they need help on people expect companies to invest in their learning development time and both time and money. I mean, look what, what's happening with AT&T. They’re investing a billion dollars to rescale and upscale their current employee base so they can move around internally and take jobs that are not even created yet. But because you're moving into new markets, they're going to need people with new skills that serve those markets and so I think companies play a role in this and I think individuals the people were listening here, need to be accountable for their career and take charge of their life and make these investments on their own whether it's at work or whether it's at home, you know you can be a leader at home with your family or in your local community or in your organization. I think that's why this is so important because if you want to get things done if you want to close a big deal, if you want to lead a team it’s really about the interpersonal soft skills that are really going to make a difference for you. And if you're not investing in your team, why should I invest in you? There’s an expectation that the leader is investing their time into cultivating these relationships and training their employees.

Scott: I love that. Thank you for that. I would highly suggest making at least one of those and starting tomorrow. It can be super. Well, it can be uncomfortable but super easy and I think to be you know ask your team to put the phones on the table. I've done that before and make sure that you have the follow-up conversation to find out hey, was that productive afterwards. And then you can round out the pick one of these at least and move it forward so that you can have more connection in the workplace to this is been phenomenal Dan I really appreciate you taking the time and making the time so I've got just a couple other questions for you. One is if people want to, if they want to get the blog or they want to find out more Dan they got to get more Dan. Where can I get to that?.

Dan: Yes. Follow me on Instagram, Dan Schawbel. My website is and there you can access my podcast five questions within Schawbel, which is also an iTunes and you can get all of my social network feeds, my blog. You know, I'm like you I got this so many different things that I've centralize it all on my personal website and I hope you enjoy “Back To Human”. I think it's going to make a really big impact because we're all feeling. We're all relying too much on technology now, and we need a book to give us an excuse to go meet someone for coffee or pick up the phone or give someone a hug if you need tears, we need to get back to being human because we can't let this technology take control of our lives and will leave us as very unhappy and isolated.

Scott: Well, I am a huggers so that works out. I do really appreciate it. And the only other thing that I wanted to ask you just you know as you look back over your career in so many twists and turns and evolutions and everything like that. Aside from just keep going and pointing out the wall and I feel like when you say that you have to point on the wall but aside from that. What do you feel like is the biggest thing that really have kept you just keep going and evolving. What’s in either the biggest piece of advice or what has been your biggest take away? What would you share with those people that are in that evolution place right now?.

Dan: If you want people to believe and invest in you, you have to believe in investing yourself first. That to me is the most important when no one believed in me when I was in my early 20s when I was take it seriously because I was writing career advice articles as a 22-23 year old. I just knew what I could become. I knew I had the right abilities because it all click for me. But the only reason why I had that self-awareness is because like you, I started working when I was 13 years old. So I had an internships, seven leadership’s position on campus. You know, organizations at my school. I had an internship in high school. Like I was learning all this when I was very young. So there's you know, there's no overnight success. It just takes a long time because you have to figure out, what you enjoy, what you don't enjoy, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and then you just keep iterating and naturally and organically growing your career from that. Instead of forcing an idea. I've never forced a business or a research study. Nothing ever force. It just naturally happens based on what I know I can do and what I know that I’m not as good at.

Scott: Love that. Hey, really appreciate it and we are were clipping it right there actually and something.

Dan:  We can talk for like a hundred hours on this.

Scott: I feel like.

Dan: There's so much more.

Scott: Oh my Goodness. Yeah, to say the least.

Dan: Like highlight reel.

Scott: How else can I be helpful to you Dan?.

Dan: I mean, I think the podcast where I think a lot of people get value out of this because you know after 12 years and I can look back and really self-analyze. And really explain, why certain things happen, happen? And so I think they'll really enjoy it and yeah it mean if you can plug the assessment that people can take I think that would be really helpful you get a score. So it's like high connectivity or low connectivity. And if you're up low connectivity score, it's good self-awareness because you realize. Wow, I'm very isolated. I need to spend more time with my team members or even my family like the people that I'm around.

Scott: We can absolutely, I’m actually so that.

Dan:  And then the podcast too. One of the things that I've learned my friend is that and you know this sure but when you're trying to promote a medium, you need to promote it on that team medium. Meaning that.

Scott: Yes

Dan: That want to know my pocket. Podcast, if I have a TV show, and I want people to watch my TV show I'm going to be on all the other TV shows. If I have a blog, and I want other people to read my blog you know that's how you do it. You focus on the platform that you’re trying to build and you connect with all the people on that platform.

Scott: I wish that I hadn't just been through several years of years of I went on 200 podcast.

Dan: Wow.

Scott: To the first. I don't know two and a half years or something like that that we started this business and that works great. It really helped in growth and finding us. And then we decided that we were going to move down different trajectory for acquisition for leads and everything like that. So we started moving into other channels and then so we learned that lesson the hard way. So.

Dan: Yeah.

Scott: I just need to talk to you two and a half years ago.

Dan: You're doing an excellent job. So you should be proud of yourself.

Scott: Yeah, absolutely. I appreciate that. We will.

Dan: And you know what it's only the people who are also doing podcast that really understand what the work that goes behind it.

Scott: Oh, yeah, I think we produce and we choose to make it harder on ourselves than we probably need to be, but we want to produce a certain type of show for a very certain audience. And we total it up and he's we spend about between 20-38 hours a week for everybody on my team that touches it which seems crazy to me. But yeah, absolutely. So we've got you slated in there. I'm dropping in a note right now so that my team seize that we can put that into the blog post and link up to the assessment here for you. If we can do anything else don't hesitate to let us know. Are you booked out on are you making this a book tour. Is this how you’re doing this?.

Dan: I think Book tour are dead. Unless your name is Kim Kardashian. I'm serious. It's been dead for a while though. I don't think I'm smart by saying that.

Scott: You know what I mean by that is.

Dan: I’m doing my own book tour. I’m doing a corporate-sponsored book tour. Meaning that I am on book tour, but within conferences within corporations, so I don't have to market. Those are dancing get people to show up which is a nightmare. So it's a book tour, but it's a strategic book tour and I believe and I've had many conversations with people who are way more successful than I am that you have to do everything and you have to do everything just because the consumer needs to see and hear something two to three times at minimum before making a purchase. So for instance if they listen to me on this podcast, and they read about the book in an email newsletter and then one of their friends recommends the book they're buying it.

Scott: Yes.

Dan: But if they just hear about this podcast, maybe not. If they just see something on TV. Like everyone's like Dan, you know, why do you not think that when you are in The Steve Harvey Show that it didn't so many books and like well, it's The Steve Harvey Show along with all these other things that you remind people to buy it. That's the secret you have to do everything. You have to hit from every angle. And why wouldn't you I mean, I do a book every four to five years. I got to do everything because of no, I don't want to have any regrets.

Scott: Your book has, okay now I’m going to super quick question for you. Just,

Dan: Yeah.

Scott: Since, I'm going into this my first real time for lack of a better phrase in a totally different book market this time around but this one is really targeted towards organization.

Dan: No, it's targeted to leaders within organizations.

Scott: Yes.

Dan: And if I were to go more mesh than that, I would say the specific audience is new managers.

Scott: I guess really what I meant by that is if I was you know, I was an HR director in an organization. I would probably be willing to buy cases of that title type of a book versus say like one of your other books in that in the past that is more document towards listen people's where it would be incentive to buy from an organizational type perspective. But as the consumer only perspective.

Dan: Yeah. Well, the last book was extremely corporate friendly. I mean American express young I had all of them up for it. The first book was not corporate friendly because the first book is hey, you know build your own personal brand and while there was some corporate context. Not is much right? Like a lot of people who read my first book wanted to start a company or being consultant they want it was really for their personal brand little bit less about work. But then you know, I wanted to serve the corporate market because my business is served fortune 500 companies. So it just makes sense. And I end like branding has always been important to me. That's why I interviewed under the top young people are hundred top brands because I'm leveraging the branch do many things with a book. It's more marketable to say the book has introduce to people at the top companies in the world. You know, I got a puppy Parker. It's almost like you name the best of the best on here. It was hard to do. It’ really hard to do. Like after the first few of might what the heck? I thought I was going to do the whole thing. I'm so committed when it mattered, but man it was hard, it ended up being I think 400 pages of content all the interview responses put together. There's a ton of work.

Scott: Wow!.

Dan: Yeah, and I cited 78 out of the hundred in the book including inside all of them but I think 78 of a hundred is pretty good for like a 260 page book.

Scott: Yeah, not too shabby.

Dan: Yeah.

Scott: Way to go. I'm going to ask you to other questions, but we're actually about out of time here.

Dan: Okay.

Scott: So one question. I'll drop you an email later. And may we get your address to send you a little thank-you gift.

Dan: Yeah, it's 229. Chrystie Street. Apartment 825, New York 10002.

Scott: Let me read that back here really quick 229 Chrystie Street.

Dan: Apartment 825, New York 10002.

Scott: Alright sounds good. Hey, thanks so much for your time. Really appreciate it. You got a ticker.

Scott: I've got one. Thank you.