Q&A with Dan Schawbel: The Next Generation Of Courageous Leaders


Today, we speak to Dan Schawbel, author of Back to Human and moderator of our keynote panel “How Millennial Leaders Create Bold Cultures Through Courage and Connection” taking place at the HRPS Annual Conference on Tuesday, April 9th at 12:45 PM. In Schawbel’s leadership book, he talks about the importance of building strong human connections with your teammates instead of relying on technology as a crutch. Together with his panel of Millennial leaders, Schawbel will explore how they’ve built a more human culture, overcome organizational challenges and what HR can do to best support them right now. We had time to interview him ahead of the panel for a sneak peek at what attendees will get out of it.

HRPS: Why is a culture of courageous leaders so important to an organization? How does it impact other areas of business?

Dan Schawbel: The only way that true lasting change occurs is when you have courageous leaders. They are willing to challenge the status quo, overcome criticism and be bold enough to carry teams forward. When you have a courageous CEO, it creates a ripple effective throughout the organization because their courage gives others permission to take risks, act of their beliefs and even deliver bad news. Courage needs to be part of the organizational culture so that HR looks for it when recruiting and managers reward it when they see it. Courageous leaders impact every stakeholder, including employees, partners, customers, shareholders and even the general publics perception of their companies. When we see courageous leaders, we respect them and naturally want to back them with our time, money or effort.

HRPS: What is the biggest takeaway you want attendees to get from your session?

The biggest takeaway I want attendees to get from my session is that we need to treat employees as humans first and use technology to bridge relationships instead of isolate them. When we focus too much on our devices, collaborative tools, texting and email, we lose that previous time to connect on a deeper level. What all leaders, and their employees, really want is trust, purpose, belonging and happiness. We can use technology to enhance or supplement all four of these engagement factors but not replace them. At our core, we want to be in a human culture, where it’s safe to be bold, have courage and lead with confidence.

HRPS: Can you tell us about the link between self-awareness and courageous leadership?

Self-awareness is key for identifying who you are, what you stand for and your purpose. Through self-awareness, you become a more confident person and can become a more courageous leader. You have to know yourself before you can lead others down a path. Without self-awareness, you won’t have the assurance and confidence to make changes and bold moves. When you’re self-aware and have courage, you are your most authentic self. When this happens, you can relate to your teammates on a human level and gain their trust quicker because you’re relatable. When your team trusts you, it gives you the space to be bold, take risks and be the leader they need.

To learn more about HRPS Annual Conference and to register click here.



The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

Add new comment

Please enter the text you see in the image below: