Marcel Schwantes’ guest on this episode of Love In Action is Sabrina Horn, an award-winning CEO, communications expert, and author. Sabrina is an advisory board member to several organizations and founded Horn Group, becoming one of the few female CEOs in Silicon Valley in the early 90’s. Her most recent book, Make It, Don’t Fake It: Leading with Authenticity for Real Business Success, aims to help executives make the right decisions as they start and grow their businesses for long-term success.
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- The phrase ‘fake it til you make it’ has bred and normalized dishonesty to get ahead, Marcel says. It encourages people to lie or twist the truth for personal gain, which sabotages your success and destroys your reputation. [3:04]
- “Technology is often misunderstood or not understood,” Sabrina claims. “I made a living out of helping people who would otherwise never meet, connect with each other; and making complex things simple to move things forward. That’s essentially an act of love to me because you’re making the world a better place that way.” [7:28]
- Running a business with integrity and authenticity is difficult because taking the shortcuts to avoid that is easier, Sabrina says. By definition, integrity means truth, but the reality is that sometimes truth hurts. “If your product has a flaw and you have to do a recall or if the market’s turning sour and you have to do a layoff, that’s hard to face,” she remarks. [12:26]
- Marcel asks Sabrina to discuss why core values and transforming your workplace and brand are important. “My advice to every entrepreneur is to determine what you stand for and what your company has to offer before you start,” she replies. “Think about every business process you’ll have in your company and how your values will integrate into them.” [20:43]
- In recreating and revamping your company culture, you should first elaborate on how your values manifest through the culture and what you will and will not tolerate. You must also lead by example. “I also suggest that leaders overcommunicate with their teams, especially coming out of the pandemic,” she adds. “In the midst of all this uncertainty and doubt, you need to know what is unknown. You need to acquire a bias for information and overcommunicate with your people to remove that uncertainty and doubt.” [25:33]
- Marcel asks Sabrina how leaders can show love at work. “A leader loves well by creating an environment where values and culture matter, where people feel like they can stay and grow and build their careers, where they feel like they can be themselves… when you give that kind of care [to your people], that ultimately translates into better financial performance, more employee retention, and a stronger brand; all of it pointing to a more successful business,” she responds. [33:22]
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