The Leadercast Podcast
The Leadercast Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

58. Randi Zuckerberg, A Leader Well-Lopsided


When we look at our proudest accomplishments, our lives didn’t look well-balanced. They looked well-lopsided.


In this episode, I interview Randi Zuckerberg, Founder & CEO at Zuckerberg Media, about living a lopsided life with her “pick 3” philosophy.


What we talked about:


- Being excellent at a few things is better than trying to do everything


- How COVID-19 has changed our relationship with technology


- Company leaders need authenticity even more than a clear mission


Check out the full podcast with Randi Zuckerberg by clicking here.


If you don’t use Apple Podcasts as your audio player, you can also find every episode at this link.

This is the leader cast podcast, helping you become a leader worth following. Hello, leader cast community, and welcome to the leader cast podcast. I am Angie Arrans, and today I'm excited to bring you a conversation with one of our upcoming speakers, Randy Zuckerberg. Randy Zuckerberg is an entrepreneur, investor, bestselling author in Emmy nominated tech media personality, not to mention a two time Tony Award winner. She is the founder and CEO of Zuckerberg media, with the mission of supporting current and future entrepreneurs through investment, mentorship and media. Prior to founding her own company, Brandy was an early employee at facebook, where she's best known for creating facebook live, now used by more than a billion people around the world. Like many of us, life it's changed for Randy. She is used to traveling in the world, keynoting and speaking for thousands of people. She is used to be in a Broadway and with her team at Zuckerberg media. However, the global pandemic we're experiencing has allowed her life to change as well. In this time, she's had the opportunity to slow down and evaluate a few things in her life. especially as a female leader. As I mentioned, Randy is one of our upcoming speakers. She'll be joining us at leader cast for full effect, happening digitally on October fifteen. Let's learn a bit more about how you can join us as well. How are you improving your skills to become the leader you've always wanted to be? Here's one way you can become a leader worth following. Attend the Digital Leadership Conference that Forbes says you don't want to miss. Visit leadercastcom to learn more about leadercast ripple effects. Now let's get started. Welcome Randy, thanks for joining us today in the show. How are you doing? Thanks for having me, and that doing is as well as one can do in that the craziness that is the year two thousand and twenty. Absolutely I know we're all kind of battling through that as leaders, and you definitely have all those fascets as well, because I know you're a family are leader in various companies. So really, when we ask how are you doing, we're really asking people these days how are you doing? It's a shift in that dynamic, isn't it? It is a shift and I think one of the things that has been most heartening to me about this whole experience is that the increased empathy that we all have for one another. And now when you do video conference calls, you see People's children, you see their dogs, you see the inside of their homes. I think it's really given us all the heightened sense of awareness that we are working with humans and not just colleagues. Absolutely authenticity and empathy are so strong right now. Why don't we dive into it? I know you're the founder and see of Zuckerberg media and before that you start as a director of market development at facebook. Can you tell us a little bit what inspired you to move on from Silicon Valley and Start Your own business? Sure? Well, I have to say that I never even thought I would be an entrepreneur out in silicon valley in the first place. In my life I grew up on the east coast, you know, everything I knew was New York City and Big East Coast cities and so honestly I never even gave California a thought. But having the opportunity to be at facebook from the ground floor up through the IPO and see to that incredible journey, it's really hard to be in the Silicon Valley and not get a little bit of the Entrepreneurial Bug Yourself. And so for me, one of my big things that I noticed in Silicon Vallee was the need for more women in the text base and business base, the need from more diversity. And so after I stepped away from Facebook, I knew I wanted to dedicate the next chapter of my career to that. I just wasn't immediately quite sure how. Makes Perfect...

...sense, and I know you did content and marketing and you have a lot of experience and insights from that. What can leaders do to keep up with media landscape that's changing so much these days? Gosh, you're right, the media landscape that seems that every day there's a new APP, there's a new website. It can be very dizzying and very confusing. I think first of all, the number one thing that leaders should be focused on right now is not, you know, an APP or website, it's the concept of trust. I think consumers are really scared, they're really nervous to do a lot of activities, especially if a business focuses on gathering in person inside a space, and so I think that you know previously, marketing messages before this relied on things like saving time, convenience and ease, making things faster. Consumers don't want that anymore. They want trust, they want health, they want safety, and so I think, I think it matters less which platforms you're on right now as a marketer and leader and more about how you are continuing to reinforce that message around trust. Is that face learn consumer behavior with Covid nineteen right now? Do you think? Absolutely. I think consumers that have completely shifted their behavior overnight. And you know, it reminds me of an experience that I went through in Silicon Valley in the early days of facebook and so of the other companies, which was the the invention of the iphone. I remember that. You know, all of us in silicon values we were sitting at our companies one day with all of our customers using our products on desktop or laptop computers and then suddenly, within the span of only a few weeks, almost all of the customer base which to using mobile and I mean that was such just a seismic shift in technology and and Silicon Valley and I saw almost the same thing that was happening now happen then, where some companies you know, they rolled up their sleeves and they said, okay, we're going to pivot, we see where consumer behavior is going and we're going to go with it. And some companies just, you know, got really stubborn and said no, you know, we're going to stick with the way of doing things. And you know, the companies that that were stubborn like that, many of them don't exist anymore. The companies that rolled up their sleeves are now some of the most valuable companies in the world. So I know this is a time of hurt and confusion for many leaders, but I think it's also a time of huge opportunity if you can embrace where consumers are going. So we talk about adaptability a lot and how innovation and creativity come out of that. So I know a lot of people are kind of working through that as leaders and companies, and those who can make it will survive and thrive with that. We have leaders at home right now. I know you you were talking about this earlier. You can see everyone's family and their kids and work. Bet Life bands is really, really hard. If you've been possible right now, it is in the business role in general. You shared this unique take on your book pick three, in which you explain that we truly shouldn't strive to balance at all. Can you, can I describe that pick three philosophy and how we succeed better when we learn how to be well lopsided? Absolutely, and thanks for asking. You know, I've actually never really believed in work life balance. I think it's a nice concept in theory, but if you ask anybody to name the two or three things in their life they've done that they're most proud of, whether those are personal, professional compliments accomplishments, people never list a time when they were well balanced. They never list a time when, like, they perfectly got sleep and they were able to juggle everything in their life. Know people that when people are proud, it's because they give themselves permission to go all in on one or of...

...two areas of their life, and so I've never believed in work life balance. Instead, I've believe in being well lopsided, and that I have a mantra called pick three that goes like this, work, sleep, family, friends, fitness. Pick three. You can. You can change the the threes that you're picking on any given day. You're not stalk with three just because you pick them. But I feel like in any phase of your life that you're in at any time, you really can only be great at a few things, and so I think it's better for any of us to focus on excellence and a few areas rather than stretching ourselves so thin, trying to do everything and feeling guilty. So I strive to be well upset and I think in a pandemic time like this, it needs more important to give yourself permission to be well lopsided and say, you know what, may be I'm not, you know, being as fit for as healthy as I normally am, but I this is a time for me to double down on work and family. Or maybe you know you're living your best life right now and you're like, I'm going to take this opportunity to really get healthy and change some habits and that's what I'm going to go all in on. But whatever it is, I think it's better to do a few things than be excellent. I love that. And from your pilosity personally as a see of your own business, a Broadway producer, mom and wife, how does that look like for you on a daily basis? Yeah, what ones do you swap with more often. I mean my life has changed drastically over the past year. Just to paint a picture for you, about a year ago I probably was on the road on an average of twice a week. You know, in the year two thousand and nineteen I was I gave, I think, almost a hundred keynote speeches over the course of the year and in summer of two thousand and nineteen I was on stage as a Tony Awards, winning two Tony's for producing Broadway shows. And now here I am. I have moved back in with my parents. The entire Broadway industry is closed for just the foreseeable future and there are no, you know, in person conferences and in person travel. The world has drastically changed and I think it's forced so many of us to revisit our priorities and take a good hard look at ourselves in the mirror and think, you know, you know who am I without that hustle and grind, and for me it's actually been a very good exercise and self reflection and I have really relied on that pick three philosophy to guide me through this time and kind of give myself permission for all the things that I'm not doing right now in my life, and congratulations on those, Tony, as I fail to mention that. So I can't imagine how your life had shifted right now. Thank you, and definitely interesting time and you know, I feel lucky that. You know, I do some work in theater but also a lot of work in technology and supporting entrepreneurs. You know, it's it's a very sad time for friends and colleagues of mine who work entirely in the theater industry and just have been completely out of work for months and months with no horizon insight. So, but what I will say is that I've seen so much creativity across many of these industries and ways that probably never would have happened if the world kept going as normal, because no one would have had any motivation to change the way things are done. Suddenly we're seeing all these creative live streaming shows and different kinds of outdoor theater and a lot of events put on in different ways. So I actually think we're going to come out of this the better for it because of the creativity. But of course, you know, any big ship like this has some pain and discomfort. Also...

...agree there are things on television that I'm loving to see that our streaming now, but there's a real zoom fatigue out there too. That's something that we ought to be aware of. You discuss tech life balance a little bit in your dot complicated book, and we spend so much of our time, especially now, we just screens. So what's the secret to live in a life that isn't ruled by technology, because often that's just what we do. Wow, I mean that is the question of the moment. And I was reading that when people work from home, especially during this pandemic times, the average work day is three hours longer because we just don't have any boundaries in our lives anymore. When when you're working from home and you're always reachable and always plugged in, you end up just, you know, being pulled in so many directions, you end up working longer, you're probably less sufficient, you're trying to juggle children or dogs or roommates or whatever you have, and and so it's very stressful and I think especially now, it's more important than ever before to set some rules and boundaries around screen time and being plugged in. It's funny because I my first book, Dot complicated, I wrote, I mean eight years ago with this point and I wrote about setting up boundaries, especially around children, and now my own children, even though they're very young, are on computers and screens, you know, ten hours a day going to school and doing homework and doing all these things, and it's this crazy new world, because I think we all know that that's not good for children, but it's really the only safe option that we have right now. So we are, for all, having to establish these new boundaries and relationships around technology from a blank slate. I see it every day, especially as adults are streaming through it too. It's we worry about the children going to school and what that looks like virtually or in person. Whatever. That did hard decision that people are making, and then we throw social media in the mix. Two we were already trying to arrange things around that. Speaking of social media, we haven't seen an organization CEO really be named for a long time. That's changed. Leaders of companies serve as the face of the organization all the time and we also get it inside look at their lives, both personally and professionally. Because of that, for the leaders listening out there, what a device do you have on using and social media? The right way in the business world, if there's even a right way. I actually I think it's a great trend that we're starting to really look up to business leaders the same way that we look up to Hollywood celebrities or sports celebrities, because people who do build massive companies and create jobs and opportunity for other people should be looked up Tom and I think it's a great lesson for anyone who's starting a company or leading a company today that building your own brand and finding your own voice on social media is probably the most important thing that you can do as a leader, because nobody tells the story of Your company better than the founder or the leader of that company. Nobody loves your company or your product the way you do, and so getting out there, having your own brand and your own voice be loud and out there in a controlled, positive way is one hundred percent most powerful thing that you can do for marketing of your company. So I'm I am all for it. I think that, you know, there are a lot of great tools out there to learn how to build your brand. If it's something that, as a leader, you're you feel uncomfortable or you're new at. I think podcasting is a great place to start like this, because you can use your voice, you can go deeper and more intimate for a longer amount of time and really show thought leadership in a great way. But there's so many other great tools out there and so I'd really encourage any leaders to just, you know, get started today. Is...

...there a balance between too much or too little? Yes, they're there. Definitely has a balance between too much. I think you know, at some point, if a brand becomes all about the founder or the leader and it's distracting away from the great works that the company is doing and that all of the employees are doing, I think you know that is something to be dialed back. I also think more and more we're seeing kind of these interesting lines being walked between founders or leaders who have really strong political views on things or are donating money to different causes that sometimes are and sometimes are not aligned with their employees or with the company, and that can be at odd. So I think, you know, I truly believe that as a leader of a company you need to stand for something, you need to have a mission and it's important to have a strong voice and not just be a wallflower. But I think it's also important to be very thoughtful and very careful, knowing that anything you're doing personally also reflects on your company. Makes Perfect sense, and authenticity is a valued leadership trade. And so you want your leaders to be authentic. You want your founders to be authentic. But often people think of social media as doing a person's life through rose glasses and because we only show that what we want the world to see. Do you think it's possible to be a truly authentic online knowing that you're also walking the fine line of business versus personal? You know I do and I don't at the same time. You're right, people can we all we're all great marketers when it comes to social media. We have twenty four hours in the day and we show you know, the best two minutes of our day where we look great and our children are smile, is laying and like everything looks perfect. And so you know, it's easy to go on social media and feel insecure because it looks like everyone else has their act together except for you. So I do think that being vulnerable and being authentic on social media is very important. The Times that I have been authentic, I feel like I've gotten such great support and such great feedback. The one caveat that I will say, because I do wonder as a female leader in business, I think people already expect you to be a little weaker, and so I do worry with female leaders that being kind of overly vulnerable or authentic, like I don't want it to get in the way of like the you know, the deep power and intelligence and ambition and drive that women have. So I think it's a very fine balance and I think, you know, men have a little bit more of a leeway to truly authentic on social media. Women were. We're still balancing, you know, trying to portare yourselves with these strong, driven leaders will also, you know, not too strong. It's difficult. Great Point, you know, as you're in a workplace, bouncing kind of that emotional intelligence peace with everyone around you. So that makes sense. I do have to be done on social media as well, if you don't mind. o like the shift gears a little bit, because we were talking about disruption earlier, being in Covid nineteen and how just ruption can be a good thing and how everyone's getting creative and innovative, and I think about how facebook, social media as a whole, disrupted our world and allowed us to become a global village, changing how we communicate, how we do business. How can we thether strife or disruption beyond this season, though everyone's worried about now, but what about the future? How can we think towards the future? Hmm, I love that question and I think you're absolutely right that I think if we can look in a bigger, broader way and realize that there are parts of this pandemic that are actually a gift in disguise. I recently had the executive director of Carnegie Hall in New York City on my my serious Xm radio show and you know,...

...he was saying that this it was so painful for Carnegie Hall to be closed during the pandemic, but it was leading him to this realization that ninety nine point nine percent of the world was never going to get to Carnegie Hall Anyway. They were either never going to travel to New York City or if they did, they were not going to make it a priority to go into Carnegie Hall. And so he was saying, you know, wow, I've actually been handed this opportunity to get creative and figure out how to reach that other ninety nine point nine percent of the world and how did democratize content a little bit. It shouldn't be that, you know, you can only experience the beauty of Broadway or classical music or a concert if you have tons of money. And I think coming out of this there's going to be a huge global trend to really make live events accessible to everyone in a beautiful way. So I think any company that can get ahead of that trend and not just think about right now, but think about, you know, a year from now, three years from now, how our live events going to be different? How is your industry going to be different? I think can actually view this as a tremendous opportunity. Future growth is always important and you talked about women and leadership a little bit earlier and I want to revisit that because this October you're actually joining us for ripple effect, are all female cast of leaders. I don't want to steal from your content, from your talk by any means, but I would like to ask cope of questions about that. In your decade working and set on valley, you're often the only female in the room. You kind of alluded to that earlier. What did you learn from that experience being the only female, especially in that kind of environment. HMM, it's you know, it really taped a lot of my career and I'm ripe so excited to be speaking at this event. I'm thrilled to be joining such an all star cast of female speakers and really, you know, Kudos to your organization for putting that on. I think it's such an important topic, especially right now because the pandemic threatens to really push women back from many years of progress and the workforce with children at home, with things at home. I know so many high level women. They're stepping out of their careers right now because I know traditionally if one parent needs to help the children of school or do things around the house, it's the woman who stepped down and sacrifices. So I think this is an incredibly important time to be focusing on these issues. I know for me, when I went out to Silicon Valley I was very surprised to see the lack of women out there. As I mentioned, I grew up in New York City. My first job was in an advertising agency in New York City that was run by an incredible female CEO, and so I didn't even really think about a glass ceiling until I got out to Silicon Valley and it just, it really boggled my mind how we could be in a country where more than half of college graduates are women, yet in the highest levels of the most successful industries there are no female executives, there are no women on board. And for me, you know, that led me to a almost decade plus long years of research and exploring and figuring out what was happening, and I'm going to be talking about some of the gaps that I find during my speech of exactly when and where we lose women in the workforce, and I know we were all looking forward to it. So thank you again for joining us for that. I'm just going to wrap up with one last question for you. At leader cast, our mission is to build leaders worth following. We would like to end every episode with a question related to this. So, Randy, in your opinion, what would you say makes a leader worth following? HMM, it's such a great question and my answer to this has really evolved over time. So right now I think a leader who you keep mentioning the word authentic. I'm going to...

...double down on that word. A leader who's authentic, but even more than that a leader who really leans into what makes them unique and isn't afraid of being a multidimensional person. I think there are so many leaders who feel like they you know, all they have to do is you a walking mouthpiece for their company. You know PR and and things the company is doing. But I think the modern day successful leader has outside interest, is a full, threedimensional human and the leaders that I think are worth following are the ones we're not only do you get to know what they stand for as someone in business and leadership, but you also get to know what's important to them in their life and in the world and what they care about, and I think that that's what really differentiates someone who's worth listening to and worth following. Today perfect and I don't think we could to end on a better note. Randy, thank you so much for joinning us and we look for to seeing you in October. Likewise, thank you so much for having me and see them well, eatercap community. I hope you enjoyed this preview to what randy will be speaking about during our upcoming event, ripple effects. You can connect with Randy on twitter or instagram at Randy Zuckerberg, or purchase her books, rout podcast blog at leadercastcom, as well as major book retailers, and, if you'd like to learn more about Zuckerberg media, find them at Zugerberg Mediacom. This month leadercast is content focus on the topic of networking. Right now, when so many individuals are not seeing each other in person, it may be a great time to check out our blogs, newsletters, webinars, videos and more by visiting leadercastcom and learn how new networking advice and help you today. As always, if you'd like what you heard, please share, rate and review this podcast so we can help grow others with their leadership journeys. Check out our previous episodes and subscribes so you never miss the latest from the leadercast podcast. Again, thank you for tuning in. Now go be a leader for a following. According to research from Edelman and Linkedin, almost sixty percent of decision makers said that thought leadership led them to awarding business to an organization. Sweet Phish media helps marketing teams turn their executives into industry thought leaders. Learn more by visiting sweet phish MEDIACOM. Leader cast. Thanks for tuning in to the leader cast podcast to ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player.

In-Stream Audio Search


Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (67)