Marcel Schwantes’ guest on this episode of Love In Action is Susan McPherson, founder and CEO of McPherson Strategies. A renowned keynote speaker and facilitator at American Speakers Bureau, Susan is also a founding member of Kindred, and a board member at THE LIST and The 19th. She has over 25 years of experience in marketing, PR, and sustainability communications. Her most recent book — The Lost Art of Connecting: The Gather, Ask, Do Method for Building Meaningful Business Relationships — provides insights on how to forge lasting relationships and foster value-based connections.

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Show Notes

  • Technology is a tool that helps us connect, but we tend to measure connection by clicks, likes, and followers, according to Susan. [9:06]
  • Marcel shares his experience of seemingly genuine attempts at connection which turned out to be someone trying to sell him something. “When we reach out to others,” Susan advises, “lead with how you can be helpful; go as far as doing a little bit of research about the person before you reach out to them.” [12:49]
  • We are now more wired than ever before, but somehow we’re more disconnected from each other, Marcel claims. He asks Susan how we can address the current ‘loneliness epidemic.’ “I think intentionality has broken down the loneliness during this pandemic,” Susan replies. “One of the ways we can help ourselves be less lonely is by reaching out to the people that we know.” [19:05]
  • “From a professional perspective, I learned early on that if you don’t have a seat at the table, you have to make your own. If you invite two people and ask them to bring two people, guess what: you’re the convener, you’re bringing the people together. There’s joy, love, and power in that,” Susan remarks. [23:30]
  • Research shows that friendships and meaningful connections at work directly impact an organization’s performance. Productivity skyrockets, turnover rates decrease, and people are more likely to recommend the company to someone they know and admire, Susan shares. [27:02]
  • Marcel asks Susan how leaders can show love in the workplace. “I think we have to look inside ourselves and think about what our superpowers are, what our strengths are, and what we can do to help others. When we can find that, then we can share those with the people that we care about, the people that help us succeed,” she says. [31:59]

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About Marcel Schwantes

Marcel Schwantes is the founder and chief human officer of Leadership from the Core, a global leadership training and executive coaching boutique aimed at developing great leaders and great cultures through Servant Leadership.

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