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Episode 5: Career Nation Show with Jonathan Copulsky, CMO, Board Member, Northwestern University Faculty

Jonathan Copulsky joins us in the next episode of Career Nation Show. He is the former Chief Marketing Officer at Deloitte, co-author of The Technology Fallacy and faculty member at NorthWestern University.

This video only has the first 10 minutes; catch the entire episode on YouTube: or podcast

Here are some highlights from the discussion

1. Jonathan’s career journey

2. What’s the role of marketing in a new subscription-centric world where customers will “try and buy” new products

3. How customer make certain ‘habits’ over a period of time and how marketers can make customers change their habits

4. His favorite marketing and branding stories

5. Favorites game: Jonathan’s favorite app, favorite book, 

6. How to view career as sets of skills and experience rather than jobs helps us to navigate better

7. How he prepares for critical meetings and big presentations; and how watching others present helps him

8. How to learn: how to learn from others, how to use post action reports and how to learn fast

You grab a copy of his book at: 

Books referenced in this episode:

  1. Power of Habit
  2. Crossing the Chasm
  3. Competing against luck (Jobs to be done)
  4. Bad Blood
  5.  Customer Loyalty is Overrated


Jonathan:         Our job as marketers is not to make things easy to sell it, to make things easy to buy.

Voiceover:        Welcome to the Career Nation Show where you learn the strategies and tools to own and derive your career. Find out more at

Abhijeet:          hello and welcome back to the Career Nation Show. Today’s going to be another special episode because we have a very special guest today. He is former CFO of Deloitte. He’s an author and he’s now a faculty at Northwestern where he teaches marketing. Please welcome Jonathan Copulsky. Jonathan, welcome to the show.

Jonathan:         Well, thank you. Delighted to be here. Thanks for the opportunity to speak with you and your viewers.

Abhijeet:          Awesome. Hey Jonathan, thank you so much for making the time for [00:01:00] the viewers and sharing your career advice and your industry perspective.  why don’t we just dive into this and why don’t we start with sort of your career journey, sort of the,  older sort of the younger days, a slightly younger days of Jonathan Copulsky, to sort of the journey to the chief marketing officer of Deloitte. your various faculty stands. you wrote a few books, walk us through that please.

Jonathan:         Sure. And I’m, I’m in my mid 60, so I’ll try to give you the short version. graduate from college history major from a small liberal arts college. And my first job was teaching high school. So in some ways I find myself now as a teacher at Northwestern, going back to my roots. But in between that teaching in high school and teaching at Northwestern, I had several careers both in industry and management consulting. After I went to business school, I spent several [00:02:00] years at the publisher Time Inc publishing a number of magazines, also own HBO Cable TV stations and book publishing and vars products. And I was there working in finance magazine development magazine, production distribution. Went from there to my first in management consulting at what was then Booz Allen Hamilton now is strategy ad, which is part of PWC, became partner there and left to go to one of my clients, CCH, which is a professional publishing [00:02:30] company and spent five years at CCH where ultimately it was the chief marketing and sales officer. We did a turn around of this company, sold it to Walter’s Kluwer Dutch company, took a year off. And during my year off I spent working with the CEO at the Field Museum of natural history here in Chicago and came to Deloitte in 1997 as a partner focusing on providing marketing and branding strategy services to clients. 

At the time that I would be there for about a year or so. And  20 years later I wound up retiring from Deloitte, so exactly two years ago today and join the faculty at Northwestern where I teach both at the School of Journalism Media and integrated marketing communications and the Kellogg School of management courses and marketing, branding innovation and marketing technology.

Abhijeet:          Wow. What a journey. And from media [00:03:30] and I would say highly visible, media brands to management consulting,  to now faculty. And you wrote a few books in between. That’s a fascinating career journey. And Jonathan in that journey, you know, have you seen sort of,  a lot of transformation in this space around branding and marketing? Is is is, you know, there’s an old saying, ah, the more things change, [00:04:00] the more they remain the same. Is that true in marketing or are there things that are evolving and changing?

Jonathan:         Oh, well it’s, I think we can, I would phrase it a little bit differently. I think we can sometimes find roots of what exists today, back in the past, but they come, they manifest themselves differently. So we live in a world today of marketing. We’re very much focused on the metrics. Things like quick to open engagement rates, read rates, et Cetera, et cetera. [00:04:30] But the notion of being able to focus on individuals and being able to direct marketing to individuals had to choose indirect marketing, which was invented 50 years ago or so. So back in the day when I was at Time Inc, the process by which we ran ab tests, the process by which we solicited subscriptions for our magazines and so forth actually has a lot of similarities to what people now do through digital marketing. What has changed is one, the speed at [00:05:00] which this stuff is done. So what used to take us three months to analyze, we can now do literally in seconds. And the second is the medium. So what used to be mail is now digital.

Abhijeet:          Absolutely. And, you know, that word comes up so much often these days, which is digital. And, you know, the, the, the process of including digital in every sphere of a company and every function [00:05:30] of a company and marketing is no exception. In fact, marketing it, you know, is one of the biggest spenders of digital technologies and one of the biggest consumers of digital technology. Whether that’s marketing automation, you know, email marketing,  you know, what have you. And so with all of these tools,  is our, our companies as companies start to look at, technology as a big lever in their digital space and digital [00:06:00] marketing space specifically.  is there, is there a,  is this and big opportunity for companies to really, you know, change the game, how their marketing does, or is this more of a tool that they can use to accelerate,  whatever their branding efforts might be or, or marketing campaigns or PR become more specific about the customers that they want to go after. Maybe they want to get into more micro segmentation [00:06:30] of customers, et Cetera, using more technology. And I think you’ve touched upon this a little bit in your book, that technology fallacy. So how, how do companies, how are companies using these technologies? Can they do better use,  of these technologies?

Jonathan:         Well, I think the answer to all of your questions is yes, but I’ll be a little bit more specific. Look, I think what digital has done is for many companies in many industries, in many sectors is [00:07:00] transformed the business model from what it was to what it is today. So we can see, you know, extreme examples of this say in the music publishing industry. You know, I’m old enough to remember when I used to go out and buy long playing records, which were 33 Rpm, which was revolutions per minute. And now people will still buy vinyl records, but we’ll be sort of this antiquarian thing as opposed to the uptodate thing. You know, and I just saw this week that apple has announced I was going to phase out iTunes. So we’ve taken, [00:07:30] you know, what was once a physical business of taking music and recording it on vinyl to one, which is completely digital.

Jonathan:         So we’ve gone from atoms to bits and we could see the same thing in lots of other industries. We could look at the software industry and salesforce, which is 20 or so years old, you know, transform or led the transformation going from odd premise software to, you know, software in the cloud. And now it’s hard even with consumer’s software to find anything you buy because everything’s [00:08:00] in subscriptions that I used to remember when people talk about shrink wrap software, we’re actually meant a box of software that you could buy and you’d take off the shrink wrapping. So I think it started with business models and then it’s permeated to other sectors. So from a marketing standpoint, increasingly all the research that we’ve done the research at other people then say when somebody goes through the process of looking for, trying to understand what products, what services, what offerings the best for them is a digital journey.

Jonathan:         [00:08:30] Most of the time they may wind up buying it in a store, they may wind up with a physical product or digital product. But that whole process of the customer journey is increasingly enabled by digital, which then also means that as marketers, we need to be there. Now does that mean that all, analog marketing goes away? We still have plenty of direct mail. You know, we still have analog TV, we have billboards and other types of outdoors. But increasingly, I think this was [00:09:00] your last point. We see things which may have been physical at one point, but now have become digital and become much better at targeting individual customers and individual personas with messages and content and offers, which are much more personalized and relevant.

Abhijeet:           Absolutely. And, you touched upon a lot of things there. And so let me unpack a few of them. I think one was the piece around companies [00:09:30] moving to different business models using digital subscription being the most prevalent. There could be others like utility, etc. The other,  the other piece that are really, really like was sort of this using technology to drive more personal messaging towards customers and having offers that you know, really relate to the customer and really enable the customer to feel that they are getting a very personal service,  from the [00:10:00] marketer. And this sort of hyper personalization continues in this age of digital.  let me, let me ask you a question just on sort of this intersection of subscription and personalization. It’s around sort of this notion of try and buy and you know, back in the day there used to be a brand promise and someone would make a brand promise that would be a marketing campaign around it, whether it’s print or billboards or what have you, our direct mail and that the, the person [00:10:30] or the company would buy it.

Abhijeet:          And this probably holds true for both, for B2B as well as B to c. And so the person or the company would buy that product,  over a period of time, which is now we see subscription and in the subscription model we have this notion of a try and buy where the customer gets to try the product first. And if that company or that person likes that product, they will actually buy a whole bunch. Right. And so is marketing [00:11:00] changing in the try and buy world? Is the offer or the product becoming more important than marketing or marketing still is relevant because you have to address the whole customer life cycle? What are your thoughts on this?

Jonathan:         Yeah, no, it’s a great question. How, you know, I, and I think you have to separate out from, you know, the products that we are used to buying and that we’re accustomed to in the categories that we know versus the ones which are new to us. So you know, if I’m going to go buy ketchup, [00:11:30] okay, I’m going to buy Heinz Ketchup and I’m not gonna spend a lot of time thinking about do I buy Heinz or hunt or something else because I know that I’ve tried and I liked no hind sketch and you could make all the offers in the world to me. Oh and I’m not going to do it because I’ve selected my ketchup. So they’re worrying about what my customer journey is or anything else like that. It’s kind of irrelevant. And there’s wonderful article that appeared several years ago [00:12:00] and the Harvard Business Review, which talked about the power of habit and one of the coauthors was h g Lafley, the former CEO of proctor and gamble.

Jonathan:         So habit is pretty important in determining how people buy. So if I’ve got a new product or even more importantly a new product in new category, I have to figure out how do I break that habit and how do I [inaudible] the process of trial. Now, some of it’s trivial, right? I could be in a physical [00:12:30] store and for a long time and CPG people done samples and they can, you know, give me a physical sample. I could try it in the store and something else like that. But another way to do it, particularly with digital products is if I can try and buy or there’s a freemium model like there is like linkedin and a number of other products. But I think this notion of how do we de-risked the process of selecting testing and experimenting with the new product, particularly in new category,  [00:13:00] that’s it.

Jonathan:         That’s going to be, increasingly important. So I think subscription offers, freemium offers, things that let us do a little taste. You know, that’s the wonderful thing about cloud based software. Now all of a sudden I don’t have to buy a bunch of servers installed this software, it’s been thousands or hundreds of thousand dollars are now talking to often to install. I can try it in small ways and then I can scale up. So, along with, particularly on the B2B side, along with this stability to try before we buy, then I also need to make [00:13:30] sure that the product or the offering is engineered in such a way that if I like it, then I can do rapid scaling up. And I think, you know, I’ll go back to salesforce because I think they set the model of going from, you know, companies that were trying to figure out do I spend a lot of money on all these expensive on premise CRM solutions to hey, I can try it, I can buy it and then I can scale rapidly. And so along with this try and [00:14:00] buy, I think scalability particularly in the B2B side is really important.

Abhijeet:          Yeah, absolutely.  you made a lot of great points there, Jonathan. I think one of them is around sort of how do we remove friction and enable the customer to choose your product over their existing sort of favorite brands. And by removing that friction, allowing the customer to try some of your product. [00:14:30] And then once they understand the product, they understand,  how to use it. They are able to get the most out of it and they’ll absolutely buy your product.  I think that’s a great sort of a way to get into the a customer life cycle and sort of make it,  make it for customers to,  I want to say, decide because of one of the ways marketers help customers do, let me help you to decide because [00:15:00] this is my message to you and I’ll help you make a better decision. So it’s sort of this aspect of sort of educating the customer as well. that comes into play.

Jonathan:         Yeah. Well one of the books that we read in one of my classes is a very famous spoken silicon valley and crossing the chasm and for those people read the book, the original book was, or not believed back in 1991. Still, it’s a, it’s a fairly old book by most standards. And in 2014, Jeff Moore, the author, [00:15:30] we published it and updated a number of the references that were in the book, but he’s just on thing, which I, I’m a just, I think there’s wonderful content. He, it’s a job out of job based marketers is not to make things easy to sell it, to make things easy to buy, not to make things easy. So, but to make things easier. But, and if you think about that, for those of us who are in marketing, you know, and then I have to really think [00:16:00] about what are all the obstacles to try, what are the obstacles that adoption was to all the obstacles to sustained involvement with a offering. And then what can I do to just tackle those obstacles in a systematic way and make it easy for them to buy it. And, and I, I share that with my students and  I can see in some cases light bulbs going off like, Oh, I thought I’d travel was to sell this stuff. And I said, no, no, your job is to make it easier to buy.

Abhijeet:          That is brilliant [00:16:30] right there. Make it easy to buy, not easy to sell.  that’s wonderful.  Jonathan, in your experience as you’ve looked at, you know, many different industries as a consultant,  and of course now as a faculty, are there stories out there that you really like from a marketing and branding standpoint? Like things that really you think are great [00:17:00] examples for anybody to sort of take lessons from?  and it could be a B to B company or B to c company or it could be a different brand.  what are some of those stories that you really like?

Jonathan:         Well, I’ll tell a story about myself, which doesn’t necessarily paint me in the best light, but it’s also indicative of the challenge that we have, you know, and understanding,  the potential of products. So many [00:17:30] years ago, back around 2000 2001, I was doing work with Samsung and I’m sure you probably know Samsung, well known, Korean based company, a diverse set of products and offerings. And we were working with their consumer products and particularly with their digital display devices. And back at that time, Sam tongue was really making a transformation of itself from a provider of analog TVs and other analog devices to more of a digital play and particularly in [00:18:00] North America. So we help them at that comments a consultant figuring out what the market entry strategy was, how they should position themselves, how they should work with partners and so forth. Project went extraordinarily well.

Jonathan:         One of the out comes from the project was helping Samsung to design its a partner relationship strategy with best buy and really helping them to explode the category of digital display devices. Very, very successful project. At the end of the project I [00:18:30] was in Korea and as part of our meetings we took a trip to the factory that Samsung has not that far from sold and they showed us a number of devices and these were devices that they were prototyping, testing out in certain markets. One of the devices was a refrigerator and at that time Samsung had appliances in many markets, not in the u s but this refrigerator. Remember this about 2001 had built into its front a browser [00:19:00] and the intent of the browser was that they could use that browser to look up recipes. I don’t know, do all kinds of different things and they’re showing us this like, Eh, I didn’t was underwhelmed and I really didn’t sink that that was going to be compelling in of itself.

Jonathan:         Samsung never introduced that product in the U S it’s competitor. LG introduced a product was not very successful. So score one for Jonathan, I predicted that product [00:19:30] was not going to be very successful. Same visit, we keep on walking around, we get to the mobile phones and they start showing me these various mobile phones and Samsung was and still is one of the leaders in the mobile phone business and they had phones, I don’t remember. Or The iPhone was introduced in 2007 so this is long before the iPhone and other smart phones really took precedent and they’re showing me these phones and one of the phones has a phone and a camera built into it. [00:20:00] So I say, why would anybody ever need a camera in a phone flash forward right here we are 2019 like who has, who doesn’t have a camera and phone? And what I didn’t understand at the time was that the purpose of that phone in the camera then, well if not to displace that single lens reflex camera that somebody had had, it was a way for [00:20:30] somebody who had that phone to say, Hey, I happened to be in a cool spot.

Jonathan:         I’m snapping a picture. I’m going to share that picture with people. And this is long before we had Instagram or anything like Facebook and other kinds of sharing things. And what I discovered was I wasn’t thinking about what I should have. Why would somebody use a camera and a phone if not to take a great quality picture, but it’s to communicate, you know, a sense of immediacy. And obviously over time the quality of the cameras have improved [00:21:00] tremendously. So now it is competitive was single lens reflex. So, you know, we, another thing we read, one of my classes is clay Christianson’s work about innovation. And I remind the students that innovation is all about understanding the job to be done and the job to be done that I didn’t understand back in 2001 was not about taking the grit based picture in the world. It was about creating that sense of sharing an immediacy of I happened to be here, look at me, I’ve got my camera, I’ve [00:21:30] got my phone, and you can share that with me.

Abhijeet:          Totally agree and great stories there. and by the way, Clay Christensen, thanks for mentioning him.  I think the book is competing against luck. I think there’s also a couple of videos often on youtube jobs to be done. I’ll put those in the show notes. fantastic stories. It’s really wonderful that you wove your personal story with a brand stories and a [00:22:00] yes, we all have cameras,  on our phones now. We are, you know, now that we are into a personal space, Jonathan, can we move into a little bit of your personal side with our favorite skin? Okay. All right. So this is our favorite game. So we will ask you questions about your favorite things and you’ll have to tell us, you know, what are your favorite things and why are those your favorites? So we’ll start now with your favorite app.

Jonathan:         My favorite [00:22:30] app, so probably the app that I think is incredibly cool is something called spot hero. I don’t know if it’s an all markets in the United States, but basically it’s a way to find a parking garage. So it started in Chicago and if you’re looking for a place to park, you go to spot here, you book the parking spot, it gives you a code that you can then have scanned by the machine at the garage. And typically it literally is a spot market [00:23:00] for parking spots. Typically that the charge that you will pay is anywhere between 60 to 30% of the posted rates go. A great way to find parking, but also great way to save money, you know? And so I just love it because it does job, which finds me a place to park and saves me money.

Abhijeet:          Oh that’s great. Love. Love it. I’m going to download that one. I don’t have spot hero currently, but I will make sure I get it.  let’s move to the next favorite. [00:23:30] Your favorite book.

Jonathan:         Favorite book. it’s probably the book that I haven’t read, but I’ll tell you, I read something recently which I a my new favorite business book and that is bad blood and bad blood is a book about Theranose and it was written by the Wall Street Journal who basically blew open a, the whole fraud, if you will, with fairness. And it’s just, if I could detective stories who spent novel, what’s going to happen [00:24:00] next. And he just does a wonderful job, both because the story is a riveting story, but he was also the one who exposed the fraud that went with her nose. And so he plays a critical role. So two thirds of the book is what happened. The last third of the book is a whole, his personal Wildman and exposing this with the series of articles that he wrote for the Wall Street Journal. And then at San, so as you probably know, there’s a podcast on Theranos. There’s an HBO [00:24:30] series on Theranos, but the book bad blood definitely worth it. 

Abhijeet:           Bad blood. Awesome. I’ll put that in the show notes as well.  let’s go to the next favorites topic. And this is about your favorite quote. So my favorite quote is from Condoleezza Rice. Condoleezza Rice was the former provost at Stanford University, Secretary of State, and I believe she’s back at Stanford. Brilliant woman, regardless of whether you agree with all of her politics, [00:25:00] but she has a quote and she has said a number of times in slightly different form, but the gist of the quote is what at once seem impossible in retrospect, seems inevitable. What at one time seemed impossible and retrospect seems inevitable and what she’s talking about. And she was referring to geopolitics, which we see a situation and it is what [00:25:30] it is. If we went back in time, whether it was five years, 10 years, 15 years, and somebody described that it would be very hard for us sometimes to imagine that taking place.

Jonathan:         But then, you know, after all takes place, of course it happened. So I, I’ll, I’ll tell a little personal story. I remember back in 2007 when Apple introduced the iPhone. Once again, I say, what business does Apple have being in the phone business? Because that was so far field. Now of course I didn’t realize and many [00:26:00] of us didn’t realize the ways that we use our iPhone, other smart phone today is so different than how we were using phones before. So we probably spend less than 1% of our interaction time with our phone speaking on the phone and much more about using apps and communicating with people and so forth. But if you go back to 2007 when the iPhone one was introduced, it would be pretty hard to imagine this state that has existed in [00:26:30] today with now the iPhone 10 and all the advances that have taken place in terms of the cam or the apps, the network, the ecosystem, and so forth. So on these rise, Condoleezza Rice is a quote about what once seemed impossible. Now in retrospect seemed inevitable. I just love it. And talking about innovation.

Jonathan:         Absolutely. And you’re so right because that can be applied to, to marketing, to product, to services. I mean, who knew maybe even five years ago [00:27:00] that we would, let’s basically get into cars with strangers and they would drive us around town and all, all of this happens on our phone, which is a pretty phenomenal, and that’s Uber and now you see Uber everywhere as Uber for babysitting, Uber for lawnmowing and then the model has just exploded.

Jonathan:         Well, it’s become one of the things where people describe a new business as this is the Uber of, right? AIRBNB is the Uber of hotels. So it’s very easy for [00:27:30] us to kind of, it’s not just a company, but it’s also a metaphor for a business model that can be applied to so many other sectors.

Abhijeet:           Yeah. So true. Cool. Well the next one is what’s your favorite restaurant?

Jonathan:         Okay, so I thought about this one. I know that you were going to ask me this question. Probably my favorite restaurant is a restaurant called Pesh watery and it is in the IPC hotel in Mumbai. [00:28:00] And they have a dish which is,  a lamb leg of lamb dish and the lamb is cooked for over eight hours. It’s the most tender thing in the world. Anxious, absolutely, absolutely delicious. But if you can’t get all the way to Mumbai, there’s wonderful restaurant here in Chicago that I could walk to called North Pond. And North pond is a terrific restaurant as well, and it just has an atmosphere of sitting right. Literally I’d one of the ponds within Lincoln Park, which is gorgeous, [00:28:30] and the food and serve, it’s a wonderful as well.

Abhijeet:           Awesome. And maybe because of this interview, that restaurant starts to get a lot of traffic. Okay. Good deal. We’ll take you for sharing your favorites with us.  Jonathan, why don’t we dig into your sort of career angle a little bit more,  over the years, are there certain sort of strategy techniques,  that you’d like to share with us with respect to managing careers?  and [00:29:00] it could be something as simple as, hey, this is my daily routine and, or my, the moment I wake up, these are the things that I like to do. Or it could be certain techniques or strategies. Maybe it could be certain type of, pattern recognition that you see around you.  what are, what are some of those things that you’d like to share with us?

Jonathan:         So once again, I think if we go back in our Condoleezza Rice quote, a lot of times we see [00:29:30] as we two things in our careers, some of the antecedents from other things that we’ve done earlier in our career, but sometimes it’s hard to know where they might lead to. It’s only in retrospect that they seem that they all kind of fit together. So,  yeah, I, I came to a point in my career where I started to think about these are a set of skills and experiences that I have as opposed to jobs and what kind of skills and experiences do I [00:30:00] want to build and how can I take those things and bring them to the next job I have as opposed to what’s the next job that I’m going to have. And,  well, what I find is that there were some, when I was consulting, I worked on some projects I hated, absolutely hated the project, but I got a set of skills that turn to be, how to be invaluable.

Jonathan:         And some other projects. You know, I’ve had some jobs, which little did I know that I was going to wind up in marketing, 40 years ago. But [00:30:30] as I started to work on some things, I realized that some of the skills involved in projects that I had done led themselves to a career of marketing. So, I’d say the first thing is think about skills and experiences as opposed to jobs. The second thing is, you know, particularly at a time when, you know, life sometimes seems overwhelming and we talk about work life balance is a, I don’t think that the very good way for people that think about their careers. I think people need to think about [00:31:00] work life, tradeoffs. And we make these trade offs all the time. And I think some people think, well, somehow I will magically get to this point where I’m balancing all and,  you know, on this she saw the balance beam and so forth and I’ve got it nailed.

Jonathan:         And you sometimes listen to people who have been very successful and they told their story about how, you know, they’re at the kids’ soccer game and then they, you know, back at 10 o’clock at night, then they’re doing a conference call with Asia and [00:31:30] then, you know, they get up at four o’clock in the morning so they can do their 10 k run and so forth. And you’re, you feel overwhelmed because you know, you will never measure up to that. And you, God bless those people who have managed to get there, who live so finely tuned or that they could fit all those things. And that, that’s never been my case. So I do think it’s, sometimes it can be misleading. So I tell people what I’ve learned is that you got make [00:32:00] tradeoffs. There are times when you’re going to say, I will go to that baseball game.

Jonathan:         I’ll go to the soccer game and deal with the consequences. And there will be times when,  I’ve got to stay and I got to work and so forth, but I can’t have it all. And I, I think that the illusion, but going, you know, just pushing that a little bit further, I do find the more that I share, the more that I’m open and transparent about some of the things I’m trying to trade off the better [00:32:30] it plays in my sort of marketplace of colleagues and friends and employers. And if I tried to kind of keep it all myself, and I’m not going to tell anybody, sometimes people don’t understand why you make the choices you do. So having that discussion with them, not necessarily assuming that therefore they’re going to say you have permission, but just so that they’re, that you build that awareness, I find that that awareness and creates more sympathy and empathy for the tradeoffs that you make.

Abhijeet:           Absolutely.  [00:33:00] great nuggets there, Jonathan. So this concept of looking at jobs as skills and experience that you’re gaining and not as a job so that you can figure out a, how can I package these skills and experience for the next experience that I’m going to have. It’s a, it’s a pretty phenomenal concept and I love your, sort of rewording of, it’s not a work life balance. It’s work-life tradeoffs, maybe even integration and being open about [00:33:30] it. And so that you can have the right conversations and make sure that people understand your perspective and where you’re coming from and that really helps and love that. And so, so let me, let me dig a little bit into sort of your, sort of method of preparation, if you will. So for example, let’s say you’re getting, I mean, you, you teach all the time, you make big presentations.  do you, do you, is there like a special preparation that you [00:34:00] generally have for like a big meeting or a big presentation that are about to give? like is there a method to the madness?

Jonathan:         I mean, I’m somebody who tends to be what we would call belt and suspenders type A, I tend to be overprepared. I tend to like, if I’m going to do a presentation, I want to know exactly where am I going to do the presentation. I’d want to show up early. I want to see the room, et Cetera, et cetera.  and [00:34:30] I get nervous before presentations and I think that being nervous is a good thing, not to the point where you’ve got so much anxiety that it becomes paralysis, but having a bit of nerves and then you just have to remind yourself, oh, I’ve done this before, I can do this again and so forth. But I think, yeah, I watch when I go to a presentation, I watch people present and I say, what are they doing [00:35:00] that really works well and how can I think about adopting that into my routine and what are they doing that doesn’t work too well?

Jonathan:         And how do I make sure that I don’t do that? Because sometimes I’ll see myself and then I’ll say, oh my God, it’s just like me. But you know, at the, at the end of the day, your PR, your presentations are, you know, it’s an individual performance and you have to figure out what works for you. I’m never going to be the loud chowder, the exuberant [00:35:30] yeller and everything. That’s just not me. But I, I have learned through watching other people and saying, oh, that works, that works and so forth. So the, the big advice I’d give is less about the way to prepare for presentations is to study presenters. And it’s not about including yourself. I mean, there’s nothing more horrendous than watching yourself on TV and seeing any, you go, oh my God, but it’s, but when you go to other presentations, you want to hear [00:36:00] the content, but what works?

Jonathan:         What are the techniques, the things that they do that resonate and whether it’s how they walk, how they hold themselves, what pitch they you were, they use, what visual techniques and so forth. So I’m a student of presenters and,  I think I’ll be a student for the rest of my life. That’s a wonderful idea of observing great speakers as well as not so great speakers [00:36:30] and constantly learning, about sort of all of the various attributes of speaking,  and of presentation.  so thank you for, thank you for sharing that as we, as we close here, Jonathan.  do you have any message for career nation, any advice, that you’d like to give?

Jonathan:         You know, I, I’m a runner and I run over 25 marathons. I’ve done long distance relays and so forth. [00:37:00] And a lot of people are fond of saying, well, you know, it’s a marathon. It’s not a sprint. Most of the people who say that have not run a marathon, I’ve run a bunch. Every marathon I’ve run has been different. Some have been hard and some have been incredibly hard and some have been fun and some less so fun. And I just do think, you know, the, the, the challenge for me and I think for others sometimes is, you know, we want to always be perfect. [00:37:30] We always want to run the perfect race. We always want to, you know, have everybody, you know, clap for us after we finish your presentation. We always want our recommendations to be perfect and so forth. And, and we tend often to, when things don’t go so well, either discount the thing or we want to somehow downplay those things.

Jonathan:         And I may obsess about this stuff, but I’ve learned something [00:38:00] several years ago when I was doing a, a different book called the brand resilience. And the, the whole book is about incidents that people may have with, something goes wrong with the brand and how to brands recover from those setbacks. And I do think it’s important, to do what in the military, in the u s at least they would call after action reports when something doesn’t go so well. Can I take a deep breath debrief? What happened? [00:38:30] What could I have done differently? How do I make it better next time? And painful as that might be. Because a lot of times we just want to close the book on something. So,  you know, doing that, I’ll call after action reports, but the, you know, the post action, what happened that group and how can I learn from these things.

Jonathan:         And so the biggest career advice is, you know, nobody likes failure. Yeah, I know. And so kind of ballet sometimes, you know, [00:39:00] [inaudible] to say, fail forward, fail fast and so forth. Nobody likes failures, but,  what’s worse than failures or failures that you fail to learn from? So,  I think a notion of, you know, how do we get better at learning? I mentioned before about learning from other presenters. You know, we, we’ve gone be, you know, learning from everything we do. So, you know, my mantra lately has been learned fast. How can I learn [00:39:30] faster?  and I find that, you know, as I’m in a completely different career than the one that I spent last 20 years in, which was consulting and now I’m teaching, even though there are a lot of skills and experience through that transfer over, I’m teaching something very different than what I’ve been doing for the last 35 plus years. And Joe, I’ve had to become a not only teacher but also a student.

Abhijeet:           Fantastic advice, Jonathan. [00:40:00] I think this whole topic about,  sort of learning from failures and then I love that post action report topic that you mentioned and sort of reflecting on those failures and learning from them allows us to become better professionals. Thank you so much for the fantastic advice. Thank you again for making time for the show. We wish you all the very best and we will see [00:40:30] you next time on Career Nation Show. Thank you, Jonathan.

Jonathan:         Thank you. And good night.