Courses are taught in MBA and executive development programs that provide a lot of information about the job. Direct reports and teams also observe leaders in action. But it’s not until you assume a leadership job that the reality of the position hits home.
The reality is that leaders operate in a crucible, one in which emotions run high and interpersonal relationships are at risk. Being in the spotlight, not having nearly enough hours in the day to address key issues, confronting right-versus-right decisions – all of this ratchets up the degree of difficulty.
We welcome back the author of Hidden Truths: What Leaders Need to Hear but Are Rarely Told, David Fubini
Find David here: https://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/profile.aspx?facId=102821
Topics Covered and Timestamps:
00:00:00 Sponsor Message and Intro
00:03:00 The Loneliness of Being a CEO
00:07:01 Advice to Avoid the Loneliness Trap
00:09:31 Talking to Your Partner About Work
00:10:14 Learn From the Difficult People
00:12:30 The Danger of Passing on Knowledge
00:14:26 Mentoring and Coaching
00:20:04 “The Power of The Known is Very Seductive” – Getting Out Of The Office
00:27:46 Incentives and Psychic Rewards
Transcription done by AI:
Steve Jobs 0:00
Stay hungry, stay foolish.
Aidan McCullen 0:02
Before we launch into part three of hidden truths with David Fubini. I want to thank our sponsor Zai, boldly transforming the future of financial services with a suite of products and services, enabling businesses to move funds with ease and manage multiple payment workflows with ease, check out Zai at HelloZai.com. Let’s get into part three of hidden truths with David Fubini. It is such a great pleasure to welcome back the author of hidden truths, David Fubini, welcome back.
David Fubini 0:32
Thrilled to be back. And thank you for inviting me back.
Aidan McCullen 0:35
What are the benefits of having a little bit of a break between parts one and two was, I had ordered a pin, you know, this, this nerdy thing I do. But the pins, I had ordered this pin, and I’m gonna just put it in the camera there. It’s it’s a kid covering their mouth, as in, don’t say, don’t speak up. And I thought it was so perfect for hidden truths when I first got into easy to ask you onto the show. But feedback has been magnificent, David, I’m so grateful. And so many CEOs got in touch when that is exactly what I needed to hear it was a wake up call, I’m sure you hear that a lot yourself,
David Fubini 1:13
I pull your pin. There’s a lot of CEOs who don’t feel like they can say things. But then when you actually ask them to tell, you know, often retired CEOs, in particular, they’re so open and so engaging, and they’re so wanting to talk about their experiences. And so it’s wonderful to sort of have that opportunity to pass that along to your listeners,
Aidan McCullen 1:33
I really mean the feedback has been so so good. One of the pieces of feedback I received was, hey, Aiden, love your content a little bit too long sometimes because you go deep. So what we’re going to do is do two parts by 30 minutes each or so, and get deeper into some concepts. This part we’re going to talk about is the loneliness of being a CEO. Once you step into that role, it becomes a lonely place. Then mentorship, which is something that many people miss, they actually don’t know what it really means, as well. And then maybe in part two, we’ll talk about re rebuilding the bridge with the board or building a bridge in the first place, because it’s not an awful oftentimes, it’s a broken relationship as you talk about within the book. So how about we started off with the loneliness of C being a CEO, I thought I just kind of related to my own knowledge, my own formers of knowledge, which was in sports, because there’s an iconic rugby coach over this part of the world. Many people hate him. If people love him, he was the former coach of Australia, Japan. And now he’s the English The UK is rugby team coached a guy called Eddie Jones. And he said in his entrepreneurs autobiography, something fascinating David that I thought would tee you up nicely. He said, I prefer not to talk to anyone on the team boss. It’s a lonely job. I’m used to its solitary nature. When I became Australia’s head coach in 2001, Rod McQueen, who was his predecessor, explained the challenges of the job, his final words hit home, you’re now the loneliest man in Australia. And I thought about that’s exactly what David suggest happens. Once you take up office, as the CEO in a large organisation, I
David Fubini 3:27
think this was one of the more surprising findings I encountered when I went around and talked to CEOs and took their those who had been retired. And, and they said, reflecting back, this was something they had were ill prepared for your coach, you know, had a former come along, understand it, CEO said look at I suddenly realised, I have nobody to talk to, you know, I really, you know, I, it’s hard for me. I mean, listen, I have 100 people I can talk to but to have a real deep personal conversation, where I’m sharing openly and transparently. I really don’t have that. On my board conversations are always in, you know, we’ll talk about the board always, you’re tainted by the fact that the board is in judgement of me. So it’s hard to have an open and candid conversation, when at the end of the day, they are judging me. It’s really difficult to talk to my four if I was an internal candidate to talk to the people I used to work with because now I’m their boss, you know, and that’s a challenge. If I’m new, because I’m an external to the organisation, I’m coming in, I don’t really have the relationships with those folks. They don’t know me, and no matter what, it’s gonna be a subordinate to CEO relationship. My peers, I can talk to, you know, it’s sort of some, you know, events that are held where, you know, we come together, but a lot of that is, you know, talking to other people’s facades, you know, I mean, we have to be very careful, we can’t let down You know, and really talk personally to one another, in a big setting where we’re doing on a podium together, because there’s always issues of conflict. And, and, and disclosing and, and also, you know, really, for the most part, I don’t have relationships with those CEOs, because they’ve been my competitors, or they’re in a different industry. So it’s like, well, where do I go to have a conversation. And so this is why it’s a real challenge. And it’s something that, obviously consultants like myself, you know, try and fill that void. But we can only do that partially, obviously, somebody, we all partners at home that can help but they don’t understand all the details of what we’re experiencing. So it does feel very lonely.
Aidan McCullen 5:48
It’s so important, you mentioned there about the consultancy role. And I do play that role. And, and I just want to make it clear, I’m not tighten for business here. I’m busy. But I work with a couple of CEOs. And I play that role, almost like an agile and provocateur so to provoke thinking, essentially. And it’s so important because I thought about something about, I don’t know if you ever saw the show, Jim Carrey was the star of this show called The Truman Show. And essentially, it was a reality show. And they were forming his reality by presenting certain characters, etc. And I thought about how it’s exactly the same with CEOs, because so many people are afraid to speak up and hence the pin as well, they’re afraid to speak up in case they get tainted, in case they fall victim to shooting the messenger effect. Because it is a dangerous place to be.
David Fubini 6:41
And it is. And so it’s also why it’s funny, there’s a number of former CEOs on the Harvard faculty here, and they get reached out to because they’ve obviously been there done that job. And they can, they can obviously provide a consultative support of the type even you and I can’t do because I, for one have never been a CEO. And I make that very clear at the outset of the book, I’m writing more as an observer rather than a participant in that role. But this is the thing that was most striking was how surprising it was for them. That this was like, Oh, my heavens, I suddenly have nobody to talk to when all my career I’ve had many.
Aidan McCullen 7:21
I’m David, any advice for those CEOs? Because we did say the last time build your network before you get into the office. So you need that you need to build that capability before you need it. But what can you do when you’re in the office and you kind of go, oh, I can’t speak to anyone here? Well, the
David Fubini 7:38
first of all, it’s really helpful. And most, most of us have kitchen cabinets that we have developed in through a network of people, as we’ve gone through our careers. And this is it’s really important for a CEO to have some sort of a somebody a group of people that he can, or she can be talking to, it needs to be a huge number, we’re talking two or three people that are really go to people for advice, and counsel will come and talk about mentorship. These usually are mentors, who have stayed with them for a while. And so you want to tap that. Secondly, many CEOs have used some on their staff as real people that they can confide in. These are usually people who are not destined to be their replacements, but rather, you know, career advisors who have a role that is distinctly different from other operating roles. So like the General Counsel often turns out to be somebody or the Chief Human Resource Officer, you can turn to Him and really have a very in depth relationship with it’s sometimes still fraught with the challenge of, you know, being, you know, somebody’s obvious boss, but, you know, you really can nurture that relationship and be open to it. The third is, you know, you can understand that there’s going to be reluctance to sometimes talk to you and be open and candid. But if you model the behaviour of being, you know, receptive to and open to, and, frankly, sharing of an empathetic, you’ll get more of a relationship from both your board as well as from peers, as well as from subordinates. Now, I’m not suggesting it could always be without some level of you know, placating and you know, you know, in telling you what you want to hear, but you might have less of that if you really are yourself open to and candid about getting that feedback and wanting it and just in the back of your mind always wondering, well, how much am I hearing this because you think it’s what I want to hear, you know, but those who come in and much as your your coach analogy and story, you know, in in really say I’m going to sit on the bus and not say anything to anybody, well, then you’re going to be a very, very lonely person. So I would say you have to follow the antithesis of that in the corporate setting as opposed to a sporting setting.
Aidan McCullen 10:00
As you say, even though you might be able to speak to about work to your spouse, many times, you’re supposed to the last thing they want to hear, especially for my wife, for example of mine and kids all day, and I come in with my clothes from the office, it’s like, you take the kids, buddy,
David Fubini 10:17
the CEOs I had the pleasure of working with over my years in McKinsey, there always be one or two people that are just or one or two things, primarily people that bother than that, you know, and I’m sure that they go home to their, to their, to their partners, and they say, you know, I cannot believe how you know, Sally or Sam is doing. And you know, and I think your partner’s, like, would you just deal with them? I mean, good lord, I can’t I’m tired of hearing about Sally and Sam.
Aidan McCullen 10:41
It’s an it’s great advice. You know, I really lean into the whole Carl Jung thing about lean into those people learn what they’re trying to teach
David Fubini 10:49
you always. And, you know, and we write these whole scenarios about one about relationships and, and we have a certain set of beliefs. And there’s a voice in your head saying, Here’s what really is happening. And you really got to challenge that voice in your head, you really have to challenge it, because you’re probably most often wrong.
Aidan McCullen 11:05
I did a really interesting thing. Recently, David, I wrote down all the people in my life that I had friction with that I believed I had friction with going right back to childhood. And this is going back about two years. And then I reached out to some of them that I could and I met them. But what I found was there was patterns in the type of character, and some of them even looked like like so some people from my childhood kind of reemerged later on resurface later in my life. And I was like, wow, that’s really interesting. So if you believe in karma, those type of things, and we’re gonna go on, I wonder what was there, but it was, the reason I share it was the value in in letting go of it and not holding on to that not those type of people that you’d see coming down the street near would cross the road that you don’t have to anymore.
David Fubini 11:54
In a similar vein, when I joined the faculty at Harvard, there are some really some really people that are extraordinarily well known all your listeners and viewers would know many of them. One of them happens to be in a really, really super accomplished a woman who’s just by very presence and physical as well as mental acuity and present enrollment and the place. She’s just a dominant personality. And you and, and I remember saying system, others very senior practitioners that were teaching us, you know, she scares me, and on so I actually decided to, I scheduled time with her, I walked in and said, You should know that you’re spectacular person, but you really scare the hell out of me. And I just thought I’d tell you that because I’m fear that maybe we could sort of get past that. Anyway, this lovely conversation. Turns out, she’s an absolute marshmallow inside and you know, and can’t be the nicest, most kindest, gentlest person, and I had it all wrong. And now we have this wonderful relationship. But if you if you’re willing to confront that, it makes a big difference. So I don’t know if that’s apropos of this whole brilliant talking about, but it is still important.
Aidan McCullen 12:59
It’s gold, because I do think dealing with those things. So it’s hard enough in the workplace, where they battling within the workplace to try and battle against a competitor on the outside and the changing markets. But let’s move on to mentorship. And I was thinking about this, there’s a few different ways to view mentorship, there’s you receiving mentorship as the CEO, but there’s also you creating a succession plan of mentorship, mentoring may be a second in command. And I wanted to start with that one. Because again, some personal experience here is I always believed in the whole idea of bringing others along with you. But it can be dangerous again, because for example, what happened me was in my role, I mentored somebody, and she was brilliant. And she went on to do amazing things. But when I kind of handed over as much as I could, what I was thinking and how I did things, I could feel the staring eyes of the CFO kind of gone, we don’t need Aiden anymore. He’s on. He’s on X amount of money, we could be saving that and it could, I could just see the calculator working in his brain every time. And ultimately it led to kind of friction between us and I left the organisation because really, I didn’t, my whole thing was make yourself redundant so you can move upwards and do better things. But ultimately, I hit a ceiling. And in the moment, I felt awful about it. I was angry about it. I was angry with him, et cetera. He was on my list, for example, for a while, but then as always happens in life you realised Well, I kind of needed that forest fire and now it’s released me to do other things. And it’s, it’s we’re all worked out. But in the moment it can be difficult. I totally get it. If you’re a CEO and your identity is wrapped in your position. You feel a little bit of danger about mentoring somebody else who might take your place.
David Fubini 14:53
Well, first of all, let’s, let’s do a couple of things. This this this describe what mentorship is so that our viewers and listeners Here’s understand there’s a difference between being a coach. And a mentor. A coach is somebody who comes in and says, you’re at this level of skill, I’d like you to get to this level of skill, there’s a certain amount of improvement I’m going to seek to get over. It’s a transactional relationship, I do something and I improve you from baseline to this level, but then I leave, you know, or, you know, or my role is different. Mentorship is like, No, I am I am I worried about your whole being, I’m worried about who you are as a person. Yes, in relationship to our professional relationship, but also our personal relationship. I care about where you are in the world, and I think are ours is a familiar relationship that will continue beyond the moment that we’re that we find ourselves in. That’s what true mentorship means. Now, to your point, Jack Welch, GE fame as a famous YouTube video, it’s, your viewers might want to just get a get, because he basically says what you just said, which is he thinks mentorship stinks. Because he says, you get with somebody, then you turns out that they’re your mentor, then people dislike that mentor, they fire that person. And then you’re, you’re like the old guys, you know, you know, disciple, and we’re gonna fire you to. So he said, don’t ever have mentors. Now, I love Jack, I knew him pretty well, when he was here in Boston, I totally disagree with that perspective. But I’m just telling you, many could have that CEOs, you know, can mentor their executives, because they really will get so much more out of them. If they’re feeling as if they’re being actually not just coached, but cared for that there’s a real empathy for them, and you want them to succeed. Because by the way, CEOs are more successful if they’re, if they’re bu leaders and their operational people are being better at their jobs and more successful, and they will be if they’re mentored, yes, in the back of their heads, I’m sure most CEOs do know that they’re actually enabling their replacements to be developed. But you know, I think for the most part, CEOs who will who I spoke to basically say, I know that, and I know I have a certain length of time. But frankly, this way, I at least ensure that by that my team is more solid, I get the beneficiary of that ability. And frankly, I can have a legacy that says I left this to an internal candidate, I didn’t have to wait to have to go outside to replace me because I didn’t do my job, which is to create an internal candidate to replace me. On the other hand, it is difficult to do on the day to day basis. Like, my God, if I spend more time with Aiden, he’s gonna He’s really been a rocket ship and Oh, my God, he’s gonna just blow right past me, that does exist, but you’ve got to fight that natural instinct.
Aidan McCullen 17:53
I loved your father’s quote, cooperate with the inevitable, right and you say you’d offer the same advice to co CEOs have to use the need for successors to their advantage, you say Nazi as a threat to their continuity. I love love what you said there. There’s another great quote, perhaps you’ll expand upon you said INEC in the command and control past mentorship was less important because senior execs tended to be directive, and senior staff was informed as to what was expected of them. With a bit of coaching and a great deal of performance pressure employees would respond positively. And learning was more experiential. Today. However, the demands of the market and the expectations of employees at all levels require greater development initiative, an embrace of learning, and a pursuit of personal growth and developmental learning opportunities for mentors facilitate such activities again, love that. It’s
David Fubini 18:54
because you know, and we talked about this earlier in our conversations, and in the book, you know, the the huge number of constituents that one now has to deal with on any topic is so great, much greater. The communication challenges are so much more deeper and more challenging, because now we have social media and traditional media that one has to deal with, there’s advocacy groups that you didn’t have before, there’s activists you didn’t have to worry about previously. So all of this is makes this so much more challenging than it used to be in the command and control environment. And that’s why, you know, a whole generation of CEOs have come through and and try the command and control and it rarely works. It really only it only really works in deep functional one product type companies doesn’t work anymore for the reasons you’ve just started articulating.
Aidan McCullen 19:46
Another topic you talk about here dedicated to chapter two is aligned to mentorship in some ways. This is about walking the talk. And you say CEOs need to use role model laying as an essential change management asset, I thought you’d bring us through this, you say the hard truth is that CEOs often don’t like to do the role modelling that is required to accelerate their change programmes. And as a consultant, you are always surprised by the comfort CEOs took in being in their own offices, rather than being out there either walking the talk, talking to customers, being in the War Room, sometimes they’re not even in the War Room, working on strategy of their own companies.
David Fubini 20:30
This is one of those things that I observed throughout my time as a consultant, and certainly, even now, I observe it, when I work with organisations on a variety of manners, there’s this sort of comfort in the home status of being in my office, I’m in control, I have my staff around me, I know exactly what’s going to happen. In almost any meeting, it’s sort of, you know, the power of the known is, is is very seductive. And CEOs will often say, look at this as the more efficient use of my time, I can really, you know, see many people this way, you what you’re talking about is, is I have to leave the comfort of this office is what they’re really having their heads, but they’re saying to you, I have to go and I have to travel and I have to spend time in it very inefficiently, I’m not really, you know, I’m really not basically doing my job in the way I think is best done. You know, who cares if I walked through a factory floor, you know, who will really ever notice, and you know, just that factory will know, they don’t know all the other. And I keep saying you are so wrong, you know, because one is you’re so carefully watched as a leader, people know exactly what you’re doing, where you spend your time, who you meet with, they know, if they don’t know for certain they get told, and they infer it from where what they read about you. So how you visibly spend your time is an incredibly signal to your organisation. So if you’re out visiting a factory, other factories will assure you know it, if you’re out, meeting with customers, other customers will know it. And then your own people will know you’re on Salesforce, oh my God, he’s visiting that, you know, that incredibly important customer for us. I hope, you know, that means he probably cares about what we’re doing, he understands us. That’s the power of the role modelling behaviour. You know, our our political leaders know how to do this almost to a fault, because they just do stuff for Shell, the usual ribbon cutting stuff, it has to be substantive to you just cannot show up for show, you’ve got to really want to know, when you’re walking around a factory, you know, stop and ask people, why are you doing things the way you do? How can we do things better? You know, the most powerful thing you can always say is how can I help in any organisation you ever meet? I had one CEO tell me the thing that he learned most on a tour he did have sales offices and customers was yes, it was important to see the customers, he was not surprised by what they said to say, what he was surprised about was the salesperson who was driving him around at every different city. He said, I learned so much from them. But you think they told me the truth in a way that I would not have understood otherwise, I saw how they spend their days. That was a great learning lab. That’s what role modelling is. And it’s so powerful. It’s a form of communication that has great power, and it’s underused.
Aidan McCullen 23:33
One of the other parts he talked about is okay, you mentioned about how to spend your time you talk you call this calendar management. But you mentioned again, on one of your lunches with Jack Welch, how you asked me like, come on, Jack, really? How long do you spend on you know, the learning organisation, and it revealed the truth behind the amount of work that he did do on that it wasn’t all execution. It wasn’t all strategy. It was a lot of nurturing.
David Fubini 24:00
And you know, and I was shocked when I said, you don’t really spend as much time as people say you’re doing human resource management, and training. He said, If anything, it’s understated. It’s really, you know, now, again, remember, this is a different era a different time. But still, I think it’s valuable, as you point out that the learning organisation, it gets back to the mentorship point, it takes time, and you have to sit with people and you have to understand them and help them and you know, this isn’t like a, you know, sitting down and have a cup of coffee for 10 minutes and, you know, checking the box. This is my sitting down and really understanding who these people are, how I can help them and really what motivates them. You know, there’s there’s a really wonderful story. This is getting back to your sporting analogy, read our back was, was a famous coach of the Celtics, and he won 11 championships I think in 12 years with Bill Russell and Bill Russell explaining the success that the two of them had was that radar Beck had the best ears in the NBA He said, he would actually listen to every player and know how to motivate and coach that individual player because he listened better than any coach, a tailored his approach. And it was why he was so successful. And I always think that’s something you should ask yourself is, as a CEO or leader, are you the best to have the best years in your organisation? Are you listening the best? Because, you know, a lot of leaders think they need to talk, weather, what they need to do is listen.
Aidan McCullen 25:30
Again, it’s, as you say, it was a shift. And one of the things that just to highlight on the Jack Welch stuff is that in the time that they were leading a learning organisation, it wasn’t a done thing like that, because it’s kind of like everybody’s at least attempting it now. But back then that was highly unusual as well, just to tip the hat to Jack me rest in peace,
David Fubini 25:51
just a robot. And let’s also remind ourselves our you know, this house that Jack has many faults, as many CEOs do, and we all do. But when it came to replace him, he had four internal candidates that now you know, we can all argue with them, what was the right choice, but the point is, is that he had four, he then not only he didn’t abandon the others, he got them jobs. I mean, they all got massively important jobs, you know, so that’s, that’s mentorship, right? That’s really, really a great example from Jack, as you say, Now, these past it’s so useful to remember that part of
Aidan McCullen 26:27
him, again, going against the grain because many people who go for the CEO role often leave the organisation because they feel they kind of have to as well, which is just again, magnificent, but it reflects also you’re saying about where do you spend your time by role modelling as a CEO. In doing that, also by going around the organisation seeing what people are doing on the floor, you’re also delivering what I love you call psychic, psychic rewards. And just to talk about incentives. I grew up when I worked in the Pope, I was telling me before I got a I got a an operation a surgery on varicose veins here. I couldn’t have had a worst operating for varicose veins. Firstly, genetic Secondly, worked in a bar when I was a kid and third had a career playing Ruby and stand on my feet for a living today. So everything’s going against me but going back to the bar day, so in my teens, David, I worked in a bar and I used to come in early like 6am clean the place was four floors, cleaner from top to tail, then become a seller boy would bring in the kegs of beer, then become a cleaner and then become a barman. And I used to make me really jealous to see envious to see the lounge boys and girls getting tips especially from American tourists, because we don’t really tip very well over here in this part of the world. But then you saw changes in behaviours because when the lounge boys or girls saw that it was an American tourists they knew they were a good tippers, they all flock then it all kind of like, you know vultures around the carcass looking for the tips. And I say that to say how incentives really, really tilt behaviour in certain ways. And sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not so good, which is why you talk about the power of psychic rewards,
David Fubini 28:24
we all need a certain minimum level of compensation above that. And so before you get to that level, whatever that is, for all of you individually, yes, monetary is always Trump’s psychic, but at some point over that minimum threshold over time, the value of the cash awards you get doesn’t, you know, plateau, it just does for the amount. Not enough more money that you throw at somebody is gonna really change their behaviour. The exceptions probably are sports stars in Hollywood stars. Other than that, for the most part people, you know, because they measure their worth on the basis of what they’ve paid for the last film CEOs and other executives don’t So, so the psychic reward does have an essence topic relationship, but just but psychic side compensation rewards. But psychic rewards are always incredibly powerful. And the more you use, the better they are to motivate people. What are psychic rewards? They are Hey, you done a you did a fabulous job. Thank you. That’s a psychic reward right there. You know, I want to give you a committee assignment if you’re in a professional service firm to help us guide the strategy of the organisation. You know, could you leave recruiting because you’re such a powerful force. You know, in the firm you I’d like you to take that out and get others like you psychic reward. You know, we’re having a training programme for your high profile people. I want you to go on a psychic reward. These are the things that people you know, really value. It’s amazing. And, you know, there’s so many examples I can give you. So those are things that are, you know, to interview vigils, you know, I have CEOs who want led a major cost reduction activity and, and in so they he took a one year savings from a particular unit, I can’t remember exactly how he determined this bam, he ended up sending checks to all the participants and said, Look, here’s the 10% of the savings you achieved. I’m giving this back to you as a psychic reward. And he said to me, David, it was amazing. I went back and I said, Why, why didn’t they cashed the checks. And he said, because you know what, they all frame them and put them up on their in their offices, because they’re so proud to have been recognised for their work. So even to that extent, they’re actually foregoing the financial just to get the psychic return. So the power here is really important and is so easily done. And it’s, it just is what people longed for. And so feed them that, and you’ll be the great beneficiary of it.
Aidan McCullen 31:02
And, David, let’s talk about the flip side, one of the amazing things I heard during the pandemic was, so Ireland has many tech giants based here, so many of the companies are based here. And one of them, maybe all of them, I’m not sure, but I heard this story, but one of them in particular had said to its employees, okay, we know we used to give you breakfast on campus, we used to feed you on campus, we can’t do that during COVID. So what we’re gonna do is you get yourself an Uber Eats, you get yourself deliver whatever it is, and we’ll pay for it, just keep your receipts. So people started to do that. Then when things started to defrost, after the pandemic, things started to open up again, it was like, now we need you back in the office. Some people like kind of go there, don’t really want to do that. And they’re like, Okay, well, we’re not paying for your, your deliveries anymore, right. And then I just don’t remember how behaviour is shaped here, people would come in, have one meeting in the morning and have their breakfast and go home and work from home again. And it just shows you how they can backfire as much as they can help. Maybe you have some thoughts on that.
David Fubini 32:07
In some respects, this is sort of a monetary incentive, it is opposed to a psychic, because it really is, you know, if I’m using your, your breakfast facilities, then I’m not paying for it. So it’s a it’s a transference of money. You know, it would be more powerful. If you were to call up somebody in that context and say, Look at, we need you here in the office, because without your presence, others won’t come. Now, I’ve done I’ve done nothing to actually reward you other than to say, and by the way, I’m encouraging you to come back to the office, which is something you may want to do. But now I’m telling you, you have to come because if you come others follow, oh my god. I’m like, man, of course, I’ll come you know. Now that’s how that you can do a psychic reward to achieve the same thing you’re trying to do with regard to a monetary award, you know, and there, there’s a famous, that’s a famous one a favourite example, which I’m not going to take the time to go through here. But in the book, our UPS drivers would, would would unfortunately hit things when they are driving these trucks are very expensive and very big. And they cost money to repair. And they tried to pay for better performance and it didn’t work. It just modified but not in a meaningful way. So what they said to the drivers is look at if you drive successfully in the US, at least over a certain length of time you get to wear a bomber jacket will give you a bomber jacket as a reward, you get to be in the driver Hall of Fame. And when I’m teaching this, I always ask people well, how long do you think they had to drive safely? Before they earned this award, and many people think oh, a year, maybe two. And turns out it’s 25 years. They had to drive safely 25 years. And so people were like shocked by this. And then what’s even more shocking is that 1200 drivers have achieved this objective. And most importantly, they drive safer. And you’re giving out a bomber jacket. So that’s the power of psychic returns.
Aidan McCullen 34:14
Beautiful example to end this episode on. Let’s wrap this one up, and then we’ll come back because I mentioned breakfast there. It’s early morning for David over in the US so he probably needs some sustenance. We’ll take a quick break and we’ll record part two. We’ll be back with diversity inclusion. We’ll be back with getting on board with your board as well extremely important two topics that are so important and often overlooked. David for now, I just want to remind our audience I have given away two copies of your brilliant book already. I have one left up for grabs a copy of hidden truths what leaders need to hear but are rarely told by David Fubini. David before we finish where can people find you for those who don’t join us for the final episode,
David Fubini 34:57
but you can always find me on the Harvard website. If you’re just looking at Harvard Business School, if you put in McKinsey or Fubini, your pop up, you can send me an email. I’m available on LinkedIn as well. So those are the easiest ways to find me.
Aidan McCullen 35:12
David, thanks so much. We’ll see you soon. Thank you. As always want to thank our sponsors ZAI boldly transforming the future of financial services with a suite of embedded products and services, enabling businesses to manage multiple payment workflows and move funds with ease check out Zai HelloZai.com and we’ll see you very soon.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai