Rishad Tobaccowala Show Notes Page
Rishad Tobaccowala stepped back from the brink of data overload by developing practical tools and frameworks that assisted his organization to properly put data in its place. He now teaches others to combine their emotional intelligence with their data intelligence and to focus beyond the short-term tendencies that many businesses fall victim to.
Rishad was born in Bombay, India, and has one sister who lives in California.
Growing up, Rishad could be found in a book store reading books.
He immigrated to Chicago in 1980 with a BS in Mathematics to follow in the footsteps of his father by getting an MBA at the University of Chicago.
Rishad Tobaccowala is the author of Restoring the Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data. His parents loved books and reading as he did, and he always wanted to write one, and he finally has. He’s also the Chief Growth Officer of Publicis Groupe, an 80,000-person marketing company.
Rishad has spent his entire 37-year career at this one company in a wide spectrum of roles spanning advertising, media, strategy, digital and data. As the world changed and the company changed, Rishad re-invented both himself and the company.
In addition to his two grown daughters, his greatest pride are the hundreds of people he has had the opportunity to train, mentor, and guide over the years who are making an impact all over the world and to most of whom he remains connected.
Rishad currently resides in Chicago with his wife, Rekha.
Tweetable Quotes and Mentions
“The soul of a company is something that integrates the spreadsheet and the story.” – Click to Tweet
“Companies that fixate on the short-term tend to implode in the middle to long term.” – Click to Tweet
“Companies should at least look after it’s talent and not just its customers.” – Click to Tweet
“We may be losing the plot by forgetting the human, the culture, and the storytelling.” – Click to Tweet
“Do customers find your service people interesting or do they find that interacting with them doesn’t make any sense?” – Click to Tweet
“Do employees of your company consider they are working with a company with great values.” – Click to Tweet
“If you don’t think about the heart and the story, then your data not only is cold, but it could potentially mislead you.” – Click to Tweet
“Most of the data can capture the obvious, not the non-obvious.” – Click to Tweet
“The non-obvious comes with experience and age.” – Click to Tweet
“It’s what we add to the machine that will actually add value to us, our companies, and to society.” – Click to Tweet
“A machine looks backward; a human being looks forward and finds ways to trick the machine.” – Click to Tweet
“Everything is easy, but people get in the way.” – Click to Tweet
“People always do stuff that data doesn’t predict.” – Click to Tweet
“Very successful companies have found that 90% of their data is irrelevant or wrong.” – Click to Tweet
“Don’t tell me what your data is, tell me what your perspective is, and tell me something that is provocative that the data tells us.” – Click to Tweet
“What data is worth receiving, and eliminate the rest.” – Click to Tweet
“Ask questions that data could answer, don’t ask data-driven questions.” – Click to Tweet
“Too much measurement is the same thing as too much social media and too many notifications.” – Click to Tweet
“The inability to speak either the truth or the truth to power is the downfall of the organization.” – Click to Tweet
“We have to talk about the turd on the table and speak the truth to power.” – Click to Tweet
“The only way forward in these very difficult, challenging, and times of opportunity, is to see, think, and feel differently.” – Click to Tweet
Hump to Get Over
Rishad Tobaccowala stepped back from the brink of data overload by developing practical tools and frameworks that assisted his organization to properly put data in its place. He now teaches others to combine their emotional intelligence with their data intelligence and to focus beyond the short-term tendencies that many businesses fall victim to.
Advice for others
Gain perspectives and patience and don’t make decisions that are 3 or 6-month decisions.
Holding him back from being an even better leader
Not enough time.
Best Leadership Advice
Sleep at least seven hours a day.
Secret to Success
Best tools in business or life
Contacting Rishad Tobaccowala
Resources and Show Mentions
Show TranscriptClick to access edited transcript
Jim Rembach: (00:00)
Okay. Fast leader Legion today. I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who has the power to bring you insights and information from 80,000 people.
Jim Rembach: (00:11)
Rishad Tobaccowala was born in Bombay, India and has one sister who lives in California growing up for shod, which could be found in a bookstore reading books. He immigrated to Chicago in 1980 with a BS in mathematics to follow in the footsteps of his father by getting an MBA at the University of Chicago. Rishad Tobaccowala is the author of restoring the soul of business, staying human in the age of data. His parents loved books and reading as he did and he always wanted to write one and he finally has. He’s also the chief growth officer of publicist group, an 80,000 person marketing company. Rashad has spent his entire 37 year career at this one company in a wide spectrum of roles spanning advertising, media strategy, digital and data. As the world changed and the company changed, Rashad reinvented both himself and the company in addition to his two grown daughters. His greatest pride are the hundreds of people he has had the opportunity to train, mentor and guide over the years and who are making an impact all over the world and to most of whom he remains connected. Rashad currently lives in Chicago with his rifle. Rekha Rishad Tobaccowala are you ready to help us get over the hump?
Rishad T.: (01:22)
Absolutely. And thank you for inviting me.
Jim Rembach: (01:24)
Well, you know, I’m glad you’re here and we’ve had some good discussion prior to actually turning on the record button. But before we get to that, can you tell us and our Legion a little bit more about yourself so that we can get to know you even better?
Rishad T.: (01:38)
Sure. So I, uh, have, uh, as you mentioned, grown up in India, come to the United States. Uh, and there are two or three things that sort of, in addition to my love of books, I love drinking beer. So, uh, I, and I love food, conversation, food and beer. To me, I, one of the most interesting triangles in life, uh, the other is on an average year. I unfortunately am on 120 flights a year. And, uh, I’m about to take off tonight on flight number 114 to Bombay, India. Uh, so that’s uh, the other part of me that you did not cover. So my love of beer and food and flying on plates
Jim Rembach: (02:22)
and then also your passion is absolutely what you’ve written this book. And that’s about bringing soul back into the business. So tell us a little bit about why that has such a passion for you.
Rishad T.: (02:33)
The reason that has had a big bash and for me is over the last five years, uh, I began to understand that because of data, the increased use of data, the increased availability of data because of the speed with which business moves as well as the increased pressure from financial markets on leadership, uh, companies were tilting towards the side of their business more than the story side of their business. And I sort of defined the soul of a company as something that integrates the spreadsheet and the story. Uh, so a business with only spreadsheet, which is what we were tending towards, would end up actually having three very damaging consequences, which I began to see over the last five years. The first one is that these companies, uh, because they fix it on the short term tend to implode in the middle to longterm. A company like Wells Fargo, it focused on opening as many accounts as you possibly could is your, as an example.
Rishad T.: (03:37)
Uh, the second factor is you began to have people not only when they laid off, but the people who were inside these companies were disengaged. And if you think about the fact that companies should at least look after it style and, and not just as customers, that becomes a big issue. So that’s something the second, but the third, there was some interesting societal impacts. And these were particularly in technology companies who are, the first two elements were very, very successful. So if you think about the market cap of the very successful technology companies, they’re incredible. And if you do a great extent, see the job satisfaction of some of the people there, they’re pretty good. I mean, it may be back and forth and they’re pretty good. But the societal impact of let’s say a Facebook, YouTube and others are an Amazon was leading to three key things, sort of a, a loss of trust, a breakdown in sort of Simfinity and increased polarization.
Rishad T.: (04:38)
So your blue, I’m red and there’s nothing like purple and not only are you blue and I’m red, but you should not exist. Blue should not exist. Um, forget about even thinking about bubble. That’s some of the second and the third was rising inequality. And part of what happens when you have very significant rise in inequality where today, you know, I think about, uh, the top hundred people in the world have more wealth than the bottom 50% of the world’s population. Uh, at some stage people question the system. And I believe our system for good or bad is a pretty good system. But if you start basically having a system where most people feel disenfranchised and contrast each other, you begin to have some interesting issues. And a lot of that comes because of algorithms and algorithms are driven by data. So this was more of a cry, which you say, listen, as a person with a degree in mathematics with an MBA in finance, someone who is basically pioneered a lot of digital stuff, we may be losing the plot. I forgetting the human, forgetting the culture and forgetting the storytelling. And I’m not basically saying that’s the only thing you need. But without that, what’s the point?
Jim Rembach: (05:50)
Well and for me, I worked for an organization that captured the customer experience for many years and I always used to say that data has no, you know, what we have to be able to do is enable that data, you know, to have some meaning and connection and things like that. And you talk about, you know, that we have data all over the place and talking about three types of data. Now we’ve talking about those three types of data. What, what are they to you?
Rishad T.: (06:16)
So you know, the, the, I think the first is we have different types of data. This one type of data which we basically use to help our business. And those are data that basically tells you a little bit about the customer. So customer insight, you have data that gives you feedback so you can have competitive advantage. And then you have data which has intelligence, which basically tells you where you may have the ability to launch new products and new services. And that tends to basically be the data that we measure a lot and are very important. But there’s another set of data which is less about the math and more about the meaning. But those can also be measured, but they tend to be less instantaneous, but they can be pretty longer term. So one of them is a brand’s reputation. So what happens when a brand’s reputation significantly changes?
Rishad T.: (07:11)
So Facebook for instance, was a brand where two and a half, three years ago, 90% of the people who got a job at Facebook accepted a job at Facebook. Today that number two years later is 50% okay. Their stock prices doing fine. It’s just, you know, 10 15% off from the top. Hi, it’s making a lot of profits. But don’t you think there’s likely to be a longer term disadvantage when you can’t get one of your two best engineers because they don’t want to come to you for only because your reputation has been hurt. So, and you can measure reputation, customer service beliefs, you know. Do do customers find your service people interesting or do they find that interacting with them doesn’t make any sense? The other ones are, do employees of your company consider that they have a working in a company with great values?
Rishad T.: (08:07)
This morning I was talking to someone who basically said who’s the head of HR? Said one out of two kids now ask what is the purpose and value of our companies, things that they never discussed five, 10 years ago. So what do people think about your company as well as the company’s missions and values? So companies, vicious value, employees, service, reputation, and then to a great extent what is not captured in the data is also something that’s interesting about data because to your point, a, which is your data does not have a heart. I use a sick by Blaise Pascal, who’s a French, was a French philosopher. And he basically said, people choose with their hearts and they use numbers to justify what they just did. Right? And other definition that I once heard was a story is data with the soul. And so to a great extent, if you don’t think about the heart and the story that your data, not only scold but it could potentially mislead you. And a great line, which I use in my book, um, which has been put together by this lady whose name I do not recall right now is she basically said algorithms are weapons of mass destruction,
Rishad T.: (09:29)
right? And so my stuff is, Hey, listen, understand that [inaudible] has been put together by a human being at, so the human beings bias has gotten to the data. So don’t necessarily worship at that data you met if following the wrong God home.
Jim Rembach: (09:45)
You know, as you’re talking, I started, started coming back to a particular conversation that I had, um, with a, believe it or not, a college pitching coach at the university of Missouri. Fred. Um, and, and Fred said something to me that I think I’ll take with me for a very long time, maybe even to the grade grave. And I think it totally applies to what we’re talking about here in regards to data and analytics and all of that is we can do all the algorithms and we can do all the number crunching and we can do all the, you know, the collection and things like that. But Fred said, he goes, you can’t teach a new dog old tricks. And what he meant by this is we need to have the people who are, have more, have the wisdom, the people wisdom. Um, the, the organizational wisdom, uh, the, the marketplace, the, the workplace, the, all of the, the, you know, business acumen. We need to have those people actually work with the data so that it does have meaning and heart. We can’t just take the data and say, okay, we got rid of you. You old dog. That’s just not going to work.
Rishad T.: (10:54)
It’s not that it worked for a couple of reasons. One is most of the data can capture the obvious and not the non-obvious. And the non-obvious comes with experience and age in another saying is new brooms sweep clean. Old brooms know the corners. Okay. And the only way the old brews do the corners is because they’ve been dented by the quarters. Right. So that is one particular perspective. But the other reason why I think it’s extremely important is as modern technology continues to accelerate at very fast rates, many of the math parts of our job, the computing parts of our job, seeing the patterns part of our job broadly is going to be computed away. And it’s what we add to the machine that will actually both add value to us, to our companies and to society. And yes, the best computers can bet beat the best chess players, but the best chess players with the computers can beat the computers.
Rishad T.: (12:02)
And so, and that’s what people don’t, aren’t remembering. That’s actually true. You take the best computer with the best person and they will beat the best computer. So that definitely means that we add value. The other one is this. If you think about the ability of compute, Facebook believe they could like find all these issues and problems using algorithms and AI. They’ve missed so many people in problems that they now have to have 35,000 people sitting on top of those. And the reason is because the machine looks backwards. A human being looks forward and finds ways to trick the machine. The machine computes the human fields and feeling is not just euros at once. So while the other thing is toggling between zeros and ones, I’ll go to 0.1 with a little bit of red color. What are you going to do now?
Jim Rembach: (12:53)
You know what you’re talking to though. I think that’s one of the reasons why so many people actually go into the computers because the human beings are so difficult to be able to understand they aren’t zeros and ones.
Rishad T.: (13:03)
Right? Well, as I say, everything is easy, but people get in the way.
Jim Rembach: (13:08)
So true. Okay. So when we start talking about this in the book, you mentioned something about the need for a human centric data policy. What does that to you? So
Rishad T.: (13:20)
the reason I came across this human centric data policy was primarily because I saw that very successful companies were utilizing data, but they were utilizing them in a different way. And by the very data, this book is pro data, but it’s just like, Hey, let’s bring some intelligence and perspective to it. So the first is to sort of recognize that the reason why people to the point you made, uh, often just to, to as the data is because data centric interactions can be, you know, Buch easier to deal with, but a real human interaction often is far more effective. The second is people always do stuff that data doesn’t predict.
Rishad T.: (14:09)
And third is data itself is a very wide ranging quality and very successful companies have found that 90% of the data they have is irrelevant or wrong. Uh, because it, it, by the nature of the way it’s collected, it’s highly driven, uh, you know, sort of, uh, dated, et cetera. And I put forth that approach where over the years I’ve studied lots of companies, I did a lot of studying to write this book. So I basically said, okay, what am I experienced, what am I seeing and what have I read? Right? And then I’d try Ash. And then I came up with this thing called to get a human approach about people. You need to basically think about six eyes and these are not like two Cyclops, you know, like it’s six the letter. I, so what is, when someone gives you the data, you need to interpret the data.
Rishad T.: (15:06)
So what I always tell people, don’t tell me what the data is. Tell me what your perspective is. Tell me what your point of view is and tell me something that is provocative that the data tells us. Just don’t tell me that there’s data. So you have to interpret the second one, which we underestimate is involving diverse people to look at the data. So you have some amazingly crazy stuff that happens like a Pepsi commercial that sort of thinks that they can, you know, overcome racism by giving someone a Pepsi. Right now clearly someone looking at that, there was probably no person of color in the room or the person of color in the room was so scared to death. They didn’t say anything. Okay, so you’ve got to involve diverse people. Third is what does the data relate as it relates to interconnect is my third.
Rishad T.: (15:56)
So you know, inclusiveness is one. Interpretation is one, but interconnecting, which is anything is part of a larger ecosystem. As we discussed. It’s part of a larger societal effect. So if this is running counter to what something else is, you have to ask why. Right? And what is happening, the fault is almost any innovation isn’t the result of data itself is the result of leaping and connecting dots between data and other things. So the whole idea of how do you imagine where the data might go and not just let the data you know happen. Then obviously you want to iterate, which is if you look at the data, ask for other things. And then the final one, which is the most important of this people experience is when you come up with a result, us is that what people actually experience, right? Which is investigate people’s experiences. So often I ask people if you want to understand the human condition, why don’t you read a Russian or French novelist? It’ll tell you more about the human condition. If you read Anna Karenina or Madam Flo, you know, a better Bovary right? Then if you basically spent hours and hours looking at grids and graphs.
Jim Rembach: (17:13)
True. Okay. So I mean, as you’re talking about this, I mean I’m still going back to the whole issue of you know, dangers, dangers and measurement, dangers, interpretation, and you talk about, you know, many of those yes. Imbalances. Yes, there are a few.
Rishad T.: (17:30)
So the, the, the third, the, the, these are some of them. The first is to determine what data is worth receiving and to eliminate the rest. There’s this poem which I sort of paraphrase, uh, which was Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem where the lion, when something like water, water everywhere, so much water or the wards, the shrink water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink today. Most companies are the following data, data everywhere. So much data. We will sake data, data everywhere, pray who will help you think? The first thing is what data is worth receiving so and eliminate the rest. So that’s the one key thing, which is what’s good and what is it? The second is often very much like one bad Apple spoils the barrel. You got to watch out for bad data entering the good data, just like bad money drives out good money.
Rishad T.: (18:22)
And the third one also is stop using data as a crutch. So whenever someone gives me an answer and they just cough up a number, I literally tell that I don’t need you anymore. You just have toughed up a number. A machine can cough up a number and finally ask questions that data can answer. Don’t ask data-driven questions. Okay? This is the hardest for most people to think about because they say, but the data told me and showed me the way I said, no, no know you looked at the data, you brought human insight into the data. You then asked a new question. When you ask the question, make sure that that question could actually be answered by the data that you just saw. Or was it just that the data gave you an idea for a question and now you’ve got to go find the answer somewhere else. So often what happens is through co-relation, people see trends, but then instead of asking what the trend is, they think the trend is the answer. So those are some of the things that I, I sort of suggest. And most importantly, I think we’re measuring too much. There’s just too much measurement and too much measurement is the same thing as too much social media intubating notifications at some particular stage. You aren’t taking the temperature, you’re just constantly putting the a on me to, into your mouth.
Jim Rembach: (19:46)
Well, and as you’re talking, I also see and what I’ve seen happen over and again is that people don’t understand and they want it simplified and they just say, just give me one number that’s, that’s another yet one of those imbalance issues. And one of those pitfalls that I often see people fall into. And then the other one is, well it’s intangible. It’s, you know, you can’t really measure it. And so for me it’s like then you just don’t know how to measure because everything is measurable. Now whether or not you have confidence, you know, is a different story.
Rishad T.: (20:20)
Right. And as I tell people, there are only two numbers that are, would always be true. One, which you know, and one which you don’t know. So the one you know is the day you were born, that’s a number, right? And that the day you will die. That is a number. Any other number about you is a variable, including your height, your weight, your network, everything. So bio stuff has given me a number. You can’t even define yourself with anything but your death. What sort of number is that?
Jim Rembach: (20:49)
Too funny. So my, my oldest son is grown, he’s grown a lot and he, so I’m six, four or at least I was and I’m six, three and a half. Um, gravity’s taking over and he’s six, two. And I said, just stop right there. I’ll catch ya.
Rishad T.: ( 21:04)
That’s exactly right because we are [inaudible] they’re growing, right. And that that’s the whole idea is like there is nothing like a number except that your death data, your birthday.
Jim Rembach: (21:15)
That’s so true. Okay. So now you have a couple chapters in this book that have some extremely colorful names to them and one of them, one of them is in the first one we’re going to talk about is the turd on the table. What is the turn on the table? So, so
Rishad T.: (21:32)
the background for the turn on the table is the following. Often we are in a lot of meetings and there’s something that we all want to say. It’s the middle of the table and it looks like a brownie. It’s moist. And people refuse to acknowledge that that is not a brownie, but it’s a piece of shit. Okay. And in many organizations, the inability to speak either the truth or truth to power is the downfall of the organization. And there are two challenges at this. Actually, I first came up with this statement many, many years ago when I was in a meeting with the chief executive officer of Adobe. Uh, his name is Sean [inaudible] and Orion. And he’s one of the people who’s actually read by book and endorsed it. But this, this chapter begins with me and him being in a room with some other people and Adobe has made an investment, which to me sounds awful like an advertising agency.
Rishad T.: (22:35)
Okay. And I and the advertising agency business. And I’m saying, okay, we are partnering, but you seem to be investing in a direct competitor to me. So how are we going to basically be partners if that’s what this is? Right? And, and so I said, I’d like to bring the up the tote of the table. And he basically said, I’m glad you brought up the turd because let me explain what I’m doing. I’ve made this investment to better understand your industry. I don’t want to grow this investment for the primary reason. My economics are much better than your economics. Okay, I’m in the software business. You’re in the services business. But as I go deeper into this, often I will buy companies which will have some managed services to it. And that’s the reason I have it. But that’s not the business I want to be in.
Rishad T.: (23:20)
And if that’s the reason that business I wanted to be in, it made no sense at all, which is why I’m here to partner with you. And interestingly, many, many years later today, the publicist group is the largest partner of Adobe worldwide. And last year and the year before, we were their number one supplier of the partner of the year. So it’s a, it’s a big difference, but you have to sort of go out and say what you have to say. And when people don’t speak to our either, because management doesn’t allow it. So management will say, say whatever you want, but if you do, they like to punish you or they’ll give you so much to do that you are inundated and you’ll say, why did I raise my voice? Uh, or as younger people or as more junior people, we don’t want to be wrong. We don’t want to run the boat.
Rishad T.: (24:09 )
We want to keep our jobs. So how do you create an environment where people can actually speak up? And just like, you know, a lot of people understood there were struggles at Wells Fargo. It’s now very clear that a lot of people understood that there was trouble in Boeing every year. Every day you learn more about Boeing knew exactly what was going on. Right. And if someone had spoken up before two plates crashed, whatever negative impact they would have had would not have been a reputational and financial impact. It would have just been a financial impact. Right? But yet you have a reputational financial and obviously a human tragedy impact, uh, because someone never spoke up. And so my whole stuff is, we have to talk to about the turd on the table and speak truth to power. And especially in today’s world where most of us, because of the way we consume media online as surrounded by likeminded people. So to a great extent, not only do we not recognize that the brownies actor, but we basically think the brownies the was most precious lava cake. Okay. We go to the exact opposite. So it’s not even a piece of shit. It’s basically something amazing and mild stuff is like wake up. Right?
Jim Rembach: (25:23 )
Well I think, I mean, okay, okay. As you’re saying that, I’m trying not to laugh is that um, you’re really talking about being and enabling and encouraging the ability to disrupt, right? Um, you’re, you’re inviting, you know, uh, from a upper level to say, Hey, you know, push back on. Right. Uh, but then you’re also saying amongst everyone else is that, you know, we have to do more of this and you actually talk about five different best practices to encourage table talk. What are they?
Rishad T.: (25:52)
So there are a series of them, you know, one white what is relatively sort of simple, which is some are old fashioned, but it’s still, you know, sort of like a anonymous tip box or where someone can basically, uh, go and say, Hey, this some anonymous like a, it’s not like a whistleblower program, but w where someplace can can go in because some people don’t want to be recognized. So someone can just go in and say, Hey, there is something that is going on and I need people to, uh, uh, pay attention. So if, if, if that, that, that is one. The, the, the second one, which is, which is somewhat also very interesting, is does management, uh, allow it so often what I basically, uh, ask people to, to, to sort of do is, does leadership encourage it? So, for instance, every time I would end up meeting, uh, this is what I would basically say, and this is not because I came up with this, I read widely and I said, people who can get people to speak up say the following, which is, is there something that has not been said that should have been said?
Rishad T.: (27:16)
So I end the meeting by saying I want to ask everybody, is there something that has not been said that should be said? Right. And then, okay, if nobody says anything like that, the next question I ask is, can someone please say what Y what we discussed or agreed on today might be wrong.
Rishad T.: (27:39)
Okay. So those are two very interesting ways of getting people to speak up. Because what you’re saying is we’ve said everything, but is there something that should have been said? We did not say. Maybe someone will say, well what about this? And let’s say go past that. We’ll say, okay, we’ve also agreed, but what if we were wrong? What would that look like? So you’ve set up a hypothetical question where it isn’t, you suck. So someone doesn’t have to say, Hey boss, you made a mistake or everybody in this room sucks. It’s like why? We could all be wrong because, right, which includes the person who’s saying it. Even if they spoke or did not speak up and some research I did indicated that this is what the Navy seals do. So after every project that they complete, whether it’s successful or unsuccessful, the Navy seals basically go around the room, the junior most members speaking first, and each of them basically say, what could we have done better and what will we do next time?
Rishad T.: (28:33)
The third is to actually provide incentives to tell the truth. You don’t have to have like a visible a program, but what happens is when someone speaks up you, if you reward them versus punish them, people will say, Hey, I want to basically do that. Many companies they say speak up and when you speak up they punish you. So what people do is they say they follow incentives, they don’t follow propaganda, right? So they want to follow the proper incentives. The fork, which is very hard for leaders to do is for bosses to often say when they are wrong, that they’re wrong. Okay. And so then you don’t have to have a bunch of people building up false narratives around a mistake that everybody knows is a mistake because then that gets engineered into the, the mental operating system of the company. And the company basically believes there is the leaders must be protected, right?
Rishad T.: (29:27)
Do you lead a statement has to be right, which is important. And the fifth and another one I find very, very interesting, especially today because today we have a environment, uh, for both very good reasons, but also there’s sometimes a backlash to it where people are very scared of saying anything. Uh, they’re scared of saying things even if it’s right, because it might be thought of as Harrisburg or discrimination or a microaggression or something of the song. And, and all of those things, unfortunately, are real inside an organization. Uh, and therefore I’m all too for making sure we don’t allow those things. But sometimes people get so scared that they don’t even know what to say because they don’t know if a criticism of a decision would be seen as a criticism of the person, which will then be seen as a criticism of the person’s background.
Rishad T.: (30:24)
You know, very quickly you could cascade down. So what I often, when I need to tell somebody something, I tell them a story. I don’t talk to them about that. I tell them a story. And at the story is either a general story, it’s a story about myself, and nobody can tell me that I am microaggressing myself. I’m just being a story of myself. Right? And you might say like, that’s terrible. I said, well, that’s me. That’s nobody else’s problem. It’s my problem. And when I do that, often people will say, I know exactly what you just said. Thank you for telling me.
Jim Rembach: (31:00)
That’s so true. You can’t come to them directly. You have to kind of go around the Bush as they [inaudible].
Rishad T.: (31:04 )
Right? So those are the five things we’ve found in as simple as just having a place where people can protest, boss behavior, bosses advocating, right? The ability to basically storytell and [inaudible] and then incentivizing those five things have always helped.
Jim Rembach: (31:22)
Well and that led into another chapter as you talked about having more meetings and so without going into depth so we can definitely move on to some other good parts of the show is that you’re saying to have more of those types of meetings where we can have those connections and have that relationship and have that disruption occur.
Rishad T.: (31:38)
So what are the key things that people have always told me is how come that I’ve always available for meetings and I go to meetings when anybody wants me to have one was this. People say don’t go to meetings and only go to meetings where you can extract value. I say I go to meetings with people ask me because I know are able to add value because they’ve asked me, right? And I will discover new things. It’s not having more meetings. That’s the problem. It’s we are going to the wrong meetings. We’re going to meetings where there should be no meeting, there’s no reason to have 20 people standing around for two hours looking at some data on a spreadsheet, which they could have read about. It’s to me the best meetings are when you have meetings that are small, small groups, one on one, one on two.
Rishad T.: (32:21)
Because you can build relationships, you can understand tone, you can understand, uh, body motion, body language, and those become important because 80 to 90% of the time you will then interact with that person electronically, right? But that interaction will be a big, big part of it. The other part of it is when you’re in a meeting and you’re talking to somebody, you, you have, they know that you’ve got their attention and you’ve got theirs. Uh, and so my stuff is, have more meetings and then I have this entire thing on how to run meetings with generosity, with energy, and with empathy. Uh, and so those meetings can be meaningful. And as you know, you and I have succeeded many times because people took pity on us and took time with us and helped us. Right? We can look back at meetings. I don’t think you’re gonna look back and say, I saw this particular spreadsheet and that changed my life. You basically said this interaction changed my life,
Jim Rembach: (33:17)
you know? Thanks for sharing all these stories that you shared. Usually what we do is we talk about, you know, a particular time when you’ve gotten over the hump, but I think you’ve shared about five or six of them through the process. So what I started thinking about this book when I made your first one, I don’t have a feeling it’s not going to be your last a, you talk about all these miles you’re flying, you talk about, you know, all of these people, you’re responsible for part of chief growth, all this transformation. And you talk a lot about change and transformation and really these are the underlying elements. But when I start thinking about all the different goals that you have, what is one of them?
Rishad T.: (33:51)
So my single biggest school today, uh, both as individual as well as a employee or a leader of the company, uh, is what I really wrote this book about, which is how do I help people remain relevant and transformative times in ways that they can think, see and feel differently so they can grow their company, grow their teams, and at minimum grow themselves. So my old stuff is the only way forward in these very difficult and challenging and times of opportunity is to see, think, and feel differently with the lens of how do I grow as a human being? How does my team grow? How does my company grow? And so everything I’m now doing is how can I help you grow by helping you look and think and feel differently and try to give you a perspective of why change is happening and what that changes
Jim Rembach: (34:54)
and the fast leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.
Jim Rembach: (35:00)
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Jim Rembach: (35:19)
four slash better. Alright, here we go. Fast leader Legion
Jim Rembach: (35:23)
time for the home. Oh now, okay, Rashad, the hub day. Hold on. As a part of our show for you, give us good insights best. And your job is to give us rapid responses to help us move onward and upward faster. So I’m going to ask you several questions. Are you ready to hoedown? You bet. All right, so what is holding you back from being an even better leader today? Not enough time. What is the best leadership advice
Jim Rembach: (35:50)
do you have ever received?
Rishad T.: (35:52)
Sleep at least seven hours a day.
Jim Rembach: (35:54)
What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?
Rishad T.: (35:58 )
I build a case for the exact opposite of what I, what I believe.
Jim Rembach: (36:02)
And what do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life reading and what would be one book that you’d recommend and it can be from any genre. Of course, we’re going to put a link to restoring the soul of your business on your show notes page as well.
Rishad T.: (36:18 )
Uh, today I would say that the single best book that I would recommend to people is homo tube by URI. Uh, Nova, you already have all the person who wrote homo sapiens. Uh, so he’s written another book which is less famous than safe, it’s called homo du. And it’s basically about, uh, the future and impact of data on society. And he comes at it in a very nice way. I don’t completely agree with him. I in fact, uh, cite him a lot in my book, but it’s a very, very interesting fun book and it’s more business oriented than sapiens and more held together than 21 lessons for the 21st century.
Jim Rembach: (37:00)
Okay. Fast leader Legion, you can find links to that. And other resources by going to Rashad show notes page, which you’ll be able to find it fast leader.net forward slash Rashad Toboco wallah. Okay. Rashad, this is my last Humpday hold on question. Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you can take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you, but you can’t take it all. You can only take one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?
Rishad T.: (37:27)
The one piece of knowledge that I would take back with B is to have a sense of perspective and patience because we are going to live or work for 50 to 60 years after we are 25 so don’t make decisions that are three or six month decisions.
Jim Rembach: (37:45)
Rashad, I had fun with you today. Can you tell the fast leader Legion how they can connect with you?
Rishad T.: (37:49)
I can be connected with on Twitter at Rashad or you can basically reach me at [inaudible] gmail.com
Jim Rembach: (37:57)
tobacco Tobaccowala thank you for sharing her knowledge and wisdom. The fast leader Legion honors you and thank you for helping us get over the hump.
Jim Rembach is the Editor in Chief of the Customer Service Weekly and it’s Podcast host. He is President of CX Global Media and the creator of the Call Center Coach Virtual Leaders Academy. As the host of the Fast Leader Show Podcast, he has interviewed hundreds of experts, authors, academics, researchers, and practitioners on various angles, viewpoints, and perspectives for improving the customer experience. He has held positions in retail operations, contact centers, customer support, customer success, sales, and measured the customer experience. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner, Employee Retention Specialist, and recipient of numerous industry awards.