Today’s remarkable guest is Fran Hauser.

She is passionate about leveling the playing field for women and showing people how to combine niceness and power. Fran was the president of Digital at Time, Inc. There, she led innovation, acquisitions, and digital expansion for PeopleIn StyleEntertainment Weekly, and Essence.

Fran currently helps fund and advises companies that are started by women. She manages the personal portfolio of over thirty companies, including iFundWomen, Kroma, and Brightland. She also sits on the board of directors of Copper. She is a limited partner in Female Founders Fund and Gather Ventures.

Her previous book, The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate, has been translated into six languages and was named Best Business Book of the Year, 2018 by Audible.

She has a new book, Embrace the Work, Love Your Career: A Guided Workbook for Realizing Your Career Goals with Clarity, Intention, and Confidence, a guided workbook for realizing your career goals with clarity, intention, and confidence.

In this power-packed episode, you’ll learn how to respond when people say you’re too nice, deal with bullying and sexual harassment, nicely and powerfully speak up, as well as negotiate a raise, and how to advise your sons and daughters as they enter the workforce.

You’ll also be the first people on the planet to learn about the Guy and Fran Grid Effect.

BE INSPIRED by @Fran_Hauser author of Embrace the Work, Love Your Career: How to Un-Stress Yourself, Have Fun and Make More Money #remarkablepeople Share on X

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Transcript of Guy Kawasaki’s Remarkable People podcast with Fran Hauser author of Kindly, Gently, and Powerfully Embrace Your Work:

Guy Kawasaki:

I'm Guy Kawasaki, and this is Remarkable People. We are on a mission to make you remarkable.

Today's remarkable guest is Fran Hauser.

She is passionate about leveling the playing field for women, and showing people how to combine niceness and power.

Fran was the president of Digital at Time, Inc.

There, she led innovation, acquisitions, and digital expansion for People, In Style, Entertainment Weekly, and Essence.

She currently helps fund and advise companies that are started by women.

She manages the personal portfolio of over thirty companies, including iFundWomen, Kroma and Brightland.

She also sits on the board of directors of Copper.

She is a limited partner in Female Founders Fund and Gather Ventures.

Her previous book, The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate, has been translated into six languages, and was named Best Business Book of the Year, 2018 by Audible.

She has a new book, Embrace the Work, Love Your Career, a guided workbook for realizing your career goals with clarity, intention, and confidence.

In this power packed episode, you'll learn how to respond when people say you're too nice, deal with bullying and sexual harassment, nicely and powerfully speak up, as well as negotiate a raise, and how to advise your sons and daughters as they enter the workforce.

You'll also be the first people on the planet to learn about the Guy and Fran Grid Effect.

I'm Guy Kawasaki. This is Remarkable People. And now, here is the remarkable Fran Hauser.

Your book has one of the best subtitles that I have ever heard. The subtitle I'm referring to is Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate.

Fran Hauser:

First of all, thank you. I love hearing that.

And, the title of the book is, The Myth of the Nice Girl.

And, the book is really all about how you can show up as yourself at work and still get ahead.

So for me, I've always been asked the question, "How can you be so nice and still be successful?" Because I'm nice. That's who I am. That's who I've always been.

That's one of the first adjectives that people use to describe me, but there's also this myth that, if you're nice at work, you're not going to get ahead.

And, very early on in my career, I was given really bad advice around, "You need to toughen up if you want to get to the corner office. Nice girls don't get to the corner office."

And, I don't believe that. I believe that there's so much power in kindness and warmth and empathy at work, and you can achieve a career you love, while bringing all of that to work, and not becoming a person that you hate.

So that's really the gist of the subtitle.

Guy Kawasaki:

Okay. And how do you achieve that? What's the gist of the how?

Fran Hauser:

Yeah. So, a lot of the how comes back to really getting out of autopilot mode, which I think a lot of us get into.

We get into this mode of doing and attending the meetings and going through our email inbox and heads down at our computer.

And, one of the things that I really advocate for is giving yourself the gift of time to reflect, to truly reflect on, what's working for you in your career, and what isn't working for you? What's energizing you, and what's draining you? What do you want to do more of? What do you want to do less of?

And, my new book, Embrace the Work, Love Your Career, really gives you all of the exercises and the tool to do that reflective work.

So, I'll give you an example. Guy, this is an exercise that's been really helpful to me over the course of my career is, this exercise where you look at your calendar for the last two or three months, and you identify the meetings, the experiences, the events that put a smile on your face, that when you think about them, they make you happy. They bring you joy.

And then you do the work to really figure out, what was it about that experience that was so fulfilling? Was it the type of work that you were doing? Was it the problem that you were solving? Was it the people that you were working with? And, is there a way that you can do more of that?

For me, when I was working in magazine publishing, I was working at Time Inc., and I had been there for eight years. I was the president of the digital division, and I was starting to feel that itch. I was starting to feel like I want to do something else.

And, I did this exercise. And what I realized was that, I really enjoyed meeting with startup founders. That was a part of my job that I really loved. I loved meeting with the founders of Rent the Runway before they launched that business, or the founders of Foursquare and Flipboard.

And, what I realized was, if I could do more of that in my job, I would feel more fulfilled.

And I talked to my boss about launching an innovation lab at the company that I would run. And that's what I ended up doing. And that kept me at the company for two more years, because it was something that I really enjoyed doing.

So, that's just one simple exercise that will help you, first, identify, and then lean into the work that you love.

Guy Kawasaki:

I think that's a very powerful observation. And I know you advocate this also, but many people advocate well, keep a log of what you were doing and how long you spent doing everything.

And I have never been able to do that because I never have the time to log. But, you're right. By definition, your calendar is a log.

So it's very easy for me to go and look back on what I did, as opposed to trying to log it as I did it. That's a very different thing.

Fran Hauser:

Absolutely. To have to think about, "Okay, now I have to write down. I just did this thing and now I have to write it down," it's really hard to do that. It's really hard to make time for that.

But, you're right. Your calendar is your log.

So, it's a really powerful tool that we can use, to figure out, what do we want to do more of, and what do we want to do less of?

Guy Kawasaki:

So, your calendar is a window into your soul, basically.

Fran Hauser:

Yeah, it can be, right? It definitely can be.

Guy Kawasaki:

Okay. Can we back up a second and tell us how you define being nice?

Fran Hauser:

Can I read you the definition from the book?

Guy Kawasaki:

Of course.

Fran Hauser:

Because we spent so much time coming up with this definition. And, here's the definition.

"When I refer to being nice, I'm describing a woman who cares deeply about other people and who wants to connect with them, who is guided by a strong sense of values to do the right thing.

She's considerate, respectful, and kind. There's a warmth and magnetism about her that draws people to her side and makes them feel good in her presence.

At work, she's fair, collaborative, and generous. Instead of competing against other women, she elevates them by sharing the credit for a job well done. She has a deep, unshakeable confidence that there are plenty of opportunities to go around."

Guy Kawasaki:

Well, how does being nice pay off in business?

Fran Hauser:

I'll share an example with you from my own career. And this goes back to when I was working at People Magazine, and I was responsible for and iPhone apps, and when the iPad came out, so basically, any digital manifestation of the content.

And, I was really dependent on our IT, our technology team, because I really needed those resources to help build these websites and build these apps. And Mitch Klaif, who was the Chief Technology Officer at Time, Inc. And I remember having a conversation with him, and he said the only time anybody ever calls him is when something is broken.

So it's like, "My computer's not working. The website is down." So, he's just always getting the complaints.

And I made such an effort to reach out to him to say thank you. If someone on his team did a really good job, I would let Mitch know.

I would send emails to our CEO and let her know what a great job Mitch's team was doing. And, I really did that in a genuine way. I wasn't doing it to be manipulative or to be strategic. It was important to me to be grateful and to really build a relationship with him. And I did.

I built a really strong relationship with Mitch. And it got to the point where, I would walk into his office, and he would look at me and he would say, "Oh no, what do you want now? Because I can't say no to you."

And so, whenever there was a request for resources, it was me fighting with all of my peers to get those resources. And, if the projected ROI was about the same for all of these different projects and initiatives, I really felt like I had a leg up, because I had a really good relationship with Mitch and he wanted to be helpful. He wanted to help me.

So, I think it's a really great example of, when you're nice to people, it builds trust. And, trust is the basis of every relationship. And really, to be successful in business, it's all about relationships.

So, when you think about being nice and how it leads to being successful, or how it leads to a strong ROI, it's that through line. What's like, you're nice. You build trust. You build relationships, which are everything in business.

Guy Kawasaki:

Just for grins, I tracked down Mitch and called him to verify this story. Actually, I called him twice, and the first time, somehow I blew the recording. Here you go.

Mitch Klaif:


Guy Kawasaki:

Is this Mitch?

Mitch Klaif:

Yes, it is.

Guy Kawasaki:

Mitch, it's Guy Kawasaki.

Mitch Klaif:

Hi. How are you?

Guy Kawasaki:

Hi. Fine, thank you. I interviewed someone who worked with you, back at Time, Inc., named Fran Hauser.

And, she tells a great story about how being nice was so beneficial in working with you. So I just want to verify that story.

Mitch Klaif:

I remember Fran very well.

Guy Kawasaki:

And, why do you remember her very well?

Mitch Klaif:

Very, very well, because Fran took the time to get to know me and understand me and understand my situation and problems. And, it made me more inclined to get to know her and understand her problems and her situation.

I think she calls that the good girl approach or something like that. It's a good person approach. And, it works very well in life and in business to establish a personal relationship.

And, people want to help each other, but when they don't know each other and you have to pick a priority, sometimes the person who you know gets the priority.

So, Fran putting in that effort to get to know me absolutely paid dividends.

Guy Kawasaki:

Now, back then, you were the CIO of Time, Inc., right?

Mitch Klaif:

That's correct.

Guy Kawasaki:

This is a dumb question, but, let's just say that not everybody came to you with how life was wonderful and everything was working.

Mitch Klaif:


Guy Kawasaki:


Mitch Klaif:

Yes. Yes. Yes. That's the way life is though. The old joke is, nobody calls the phone company to say thank you for the dial tone.

Most of your time is spent dealing with problems and concerns. And, when somebody only approaches you about problems and concerns, when they come in the door, you immediately are on the defensive.

But when somebody finds and spends the time to get to know you as a person and establish a relationship, when the phone rings and you see their name on the phone, or your assistant says, "So and so is here to see you," you have a different reaction. And when they say they have a problem, you want to help them.

Guy Kawasaki:

Okay. That story's verified. Back to Fran.

Do you have any visible role models, that people can look at and say, "Oh, she's an example of being nice and successful."

Because, most role models are Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Bill Gates. And let's just say, they're not known for being nice.

Fran Hauser:


Guy Kawasaki:

So we need a nice hero.

Fran Hauser:


Guy Kawasaki:

So who's the nice hero?

Fran Hauser:

Michelle Obama. I'll never forget. I was pitching The Myth of the Nice Girl back in 2016, in late October, early November.

And, I remember being in all of those publishing meetings, meeting with all the book publishers, and we were talking about culture at the time. We were talking about Michelle Obama saying, "When they go low, we go high." We were talking about Trump taking a very different approach.

And so, when I think about Michelle Obama, she's just such a huge role model for me, because she leads with grace. She's so gracious, and kind and warm and magnetic. But, she's also strong.

And I think, that, for me, is the winning combination. When you're nice and you're strong, and I believe I'm both of those things, and when I think about leaders that I've worked for who I've really respected, they've been both of those things.

You don't have to choose between being nice and being strong. You can care about your team, but still have high expectations of them. When you're making a decision, you can get input from others.

But at the end of the day, you need to make the call, when you're the leader. So, it's a false choice, really. You don't have to choose between those two things. And I think Michelle Obama personifies that.

Guy Kawasaki:

Your definition, and I don't say this to be funny because I kind of believe it, your definition eliminates men in all the qualities you listed.

So, can there be a nice man, or is that an oxymoron?

Fran Hauser:

Yeah. Guy, you're a nice man. Trust me, you are a nice man, and I've worked for so many nice men. I think about Paul Caine, who was the Chief Revenue Officer at Time, Inc., who was my champion.

Anytime he heard of a reorganization that was going to be happening at the company, he would always put my name forward as someone who could take on more responsibility. And, clients loved him. His employees loved him. And he over delivered on his goals.

What's interesting is that, there's a great book, I want to say it's called The Athena Doctrine, that talks about how men who have qualities that are more typically associated with women are actually better leaders.

I think, you have these more traditional feminine qualities, and you have more traditional masculine qualities. And, there's real power to these more traditional feminine qualities that both men and women can have. Obviously, my book was really geared more towards women, but yes, men can be nice too.

Guy Kawasaki:

What do you think the lesson is of someone like Sheryl Sandberg or, at another extreme, Elizabeth Holmes? What should one conclude from their paths?

Fran Hauser:

When I think about Elizabeth Holmes, and I'm fascinated by her, I've watched all the documentaries and I've done a lot of reading about her, I really feel like she was trying to fit in to highly masculine venture capital world and environment. And, for her, what that meant was, taking on some of those qualities and some of those values, that, at the end of the day, I feel like she lost herself. She really lost herself. She changed her voice. She changed the tone of her voice, if you really think about that. And I think a lot of it has to do with the lack of confidence.

Because, when I think about the way that I show up in the world, at work, in my personal life, I am so much more comfortable in my own skin when I am truly acting in a way that's aligned with my values.

And I know that, because there have been a few times in my career where I did try to take on a different persona, and it didn't work. It didn't work for me, especially early on in my career.

So, I believe that it's really important to really bring yourself to work.

So, for me, I'm someone who's kind. I'm compassionate. I'm empathetic. I don't want to check those qualities at the door when I go to work. I think there's so much value to all of those. So, Elizabeth, I just think she really lost her way.

Sheryl Sandberg, I have a huge amount of respect for. I think about all of the books, including my book, The Myth of the Nice Girl, I mean, Lean In was really the beginning of all of these women's empowerment books.

And, I took a little bit of a different approach than Sheryl did. I think Sheryl was really more about leaning in and stepping up. And my book was more about being yourself, and by being authentic and by being yourself, how you can be successful at work and the power that comes with that.

I think Sheryl's message was important during that time. I don't remember what year it was, but I think it was an important message for women to hear at that time. And then I think we went through a few years where it was like girl boss and how to be a boss, and those were the messages.

Now I feel like the message is really more about, don't take on a different persona. I think it's really more about, how can you tap into your values and your talents and your traits, to be your best self and to do your best work.

Guy Kawasaki:

Okay. But, what about the case where your authentic, real self is bitchy, then what? Because there are people who are like that. So, should they not be authentic?

Fran Hauser:

Absolutely. Look, there are aspects of being bitchy that can work, depending on the culture that you work in. There are aspects like being very direct, having a strong personality.

And, I think, sometimes it's just checking, like, "Is what I am saying and the way that I'm approaching this landing?" Or, "Am I being off putting?" And look, it's the same thing with being nice. There's a downside to being nice, like when you veer into that people pleasing territory, or you veer into that pushover territory. That usually doesn't work, because then, you're going to come across as someone who is weak.

So, that's why I always say. It's like, this balance of being nice and being strong, I think is the perfect balance. So whether you're nice or if you're more bitchy, I think it's just checking in with yourself every once in a while.

Because there are aspects of both that can work, but it just really depends on the culture. It depends on the meeting. It depends on who's in the room. It depends on the people. There's different factors.

Guy Kawasaki:

So what happens if people that you respect come up to you and say, "You are being too nice," then what do you do?

Fran Hauser:

People have said that to me, and I've had to reframe the conversation. I've had to explain to them how being nice has been really helpful to me in my career, and also been helpful to me in doing a good job.

I might share examples of a contract that I was able to negotiate, where the company was really stuck and then they pulled me in. And, because I approached the negotiation and the conversation with empathy and with really trying to understand what was important to the other party, I was really able to get it unstuck.

And, we were able to really build a successful contract and partnership. So, I like to use real life examples and stories of how my niceness has been a good thing, how it's actually been helpful, to my team, to my department, to the organization that I work for.

I would ask, "Share some specific examples with me, of a time where you thought that I was being a bitch and it was damaging, or it created a toxic environment." Because I do think it's important to have specific examples that you can then talk through.

It's actually the same thing if someone says you're too nice too. It's like, "Share some examples with me," because then, we can talk about it. In some situations, there might actually be something to learn.

Like for example, if someone said to me, "You're too nice." And I said, "Share some examples with me." And they said, "You're so busy worrying about getting everyone's buy in, that it's taking a really long time to get a decision made and to move things forward." That's something tangible. That's tangible feedback that I can do something about, and I can work on that.

But, these over generalized "you're too nice" or "you're too bitchy", I feel like you need to get more specific. And sometimes, when you get more specific, there might actually be something there that's legitimate feedback that you can work on.

Guy Kawasaki:

Let's switch gears a little bit.

So, what makes people love a job?

Fran Hauser:

There are four aspects to loving a job. It's when you're doing work that you're good at, that you enjoy, where you feel like you're making an impact, and, the last piece of it is, where you're appropriately valued.

And, if you can achieve all four of those things, you're good at it, you enjoy it, you're making an impact and you feel valued, it's like nirvana. And I always say, even if you could get two or three, out of the four, sometimes it's just doing work that you're both good at and you enjoy. And it's just starting there.

Because sometimes, people will be doing work that they're actually really good at, but it's not fulfilling. So, it's pausing every once in a while, and checking in with yourself, and asking yourself, "Along those lines of those four things, how are you doing? Are you good at the work that you're doing? Are you enjoying it? Do you feel like you're making an impact? Are you appropriately valued? Are you getting the recognition? Was your compensation fair?"

And, I think the most important thing is literally just, every once in a while, to check in on these things. Because, I think it's really easy, like I said before, to get into this mode where your head's down at your computer, you're doing the work. And taking a step back every once in a while.

And I do think mindfulness and meditation really plays into this. It's really important to pause and to reflect. And I think that's a big part of my book, Embrace the Work, Love Your Career.

It's this idea of, even at the end of each section, I have a pause and reflect moment. I have a meditation. I have a coloring break. Because, I know, even with myself, I love to just get through things. I love closure.

And I have to remind myself, "Oh, wait, I have to stop. I just have to give myself a minute to check in." So that's one of the big practices that I encourage when you're thinking about your career, because we spend most of our waking hours working.

So it's really important that you take that time.

Guy Kawasaki:

Now, you mentioned one thing about adequate appreciation, and you mentioned money within that concept, but, you didn't mention money as top line, shall I say? So, where is money in this?

Fran Hauser:

Obviously, it's important. It's more important to certain people than to others. I even know, all the different jobs that I've had over the course of my career, where I was running teams, one of the most important things that I felt I could do was really understand what motivated each person on my team.

Some were more motivated by money. Some were more motivated by getting placed on the high profile project and getting visibility. Others were really motivated by validation and praise. And so I think it's just really important to understand what motivates the people that are working on your team.

And look, compensation is really important. It's something that, for me, I can't tell you how many times, early on in my career, I got promoted or I got a new job, and I just took whatever the salary offer was.

I just took it. I didn't even negotiate. I didn't even try to negotiate. And I learned later on how important it is to not take the first offer, but have a conversation about it. And guess what? Every single time, I was able to get, either more money or more flexibility, or maybe negotiate a course that I could take that the company would pay for.

But, early on in my career, nobody was mentoring me in that way. So I had to learn that on my own.

Guy Kawasaki:

But, that would not push you from the nice category to the bitchy category? "We're giving her a promotion, and now she wants all this other stuff?" Whereas a man would not even think twice about that.

Fran Hauser:

I cannot even tell you how many men have asked me for a raise out of cycle, meaning, it's not the end of the year where we're doing the performance reviews.

And, I could count on one hand the number of women that have asked me for a raise, over the course of my career, out of cycle.

I think a lot of it is the way that we're wired. And, it's something that I talk about a lot, because there is still this pay gap between men and women. And, we really need to work on closing that gap.

And I think, part of the responsibility is the company, and part of the responsibility is the women, where we need to be knowledgeable. We need to be informed. We should be talking to executive recruiters and understanding what the market rates are for our jobs, so that we can have an intelligent conversation with our managers. So, it's really important.

And, don't think that it pushes you into the bitchy category, especially if the way you approach the conversation is in a really constructive, positive way, in a way where you're talking about, not only how much you deserve it, but also how much you love your work and how much you love the organization, and how you want to be there for a while. So, I don't think that it pushes you into that category.

Guy Kawasaki:

So, hypothetically, if you're a woman and you just heard that, and you say, "Okay, I'm going to do this," what's your opening sentence? You're sitting in the room with your boss. What's the first thing you say?

Fran Hauser:

That's such a good question. I think something along the lines, like I really believe in framing every conversation in a very positive way.

Just because the way that our brains are wired, you don't want to trigger that fight-flight-freeze. You don't want to trigger the amygdala. You don't want to come across in any way that's threatening or negative.

So, I really always believe in starting out in a very positive way. And it could be something like, "I really love my job. I love the work that I'm doing, and I really love this organization. And, I've been thinking a lot about my work, the value that I've created for the organization, how excited I am about the year ahead. And as part of that, I'd really love to talk to you about my compensation."

It's a good place to start. You're starting in a really positive way. You're engaging your manager. And you're basically saying that you're happy, and you love what you do and you love the company and you want to continue to do great work. And, as part of that, "Let's talk about my compensation." That's what I would advocate for.

And again, I always say this, if you're about to give really tough feedback to someone, or if you're going to be sharing really difficult news, always start from a place of positivity.

Guy Kawasaki:

So, while we're in this vein, you basically answered the question of, how does one nicely and effectively ask for a raise? How about, how does one nicely and effectively speak up?

Fran Hauser:

Okay. So, I have to tell you that, early in my career, I really struggled with speaking up, especially in meetings where there were people who were much more senior than I was. I felt very intimidated by them. I was so shy.

And, I had this moment, where I was leaving one of these meetings and my manager actually pulled me to the side and said, "Fran, you need to start speaking up in these meetings. You're smart. You have really thoughtful points of view and opinions. And if you don't speak up, you are going to continue to be invisible. So, it's really important that you do that."

Oh my gosh, I just remember feeling a little bit devastated, because it's really hard to hear that feedback, but I was also really grateful that he took the time to share that with me.

And, what I decided I was going to do was, in advance of the next meeting, I was going to look at the agenda, pick one topic on the agenda that I really felt comfortable speaking about, I really felt like I had some level of expertise in.

And I actually practiced what I was going to say before the meeting. Now remember, I'm like in my twenties at this point, so I'm like, "I have to do something."

And when you practice, you feel more confident. So, I went into the meeting and I said it.

And, I started doing this more and more often. And, I realized that people were listening to what I had to say. They were responding. It was allowing me to build relationships with people.

And eventually, I was able to wean off of the practicing ahead of time, and I just felt comfortable enough to speak up.

But, I have to tell you, one of the really intimidating men in those meetings ended up hiring me, because I had built such a great relationship with him. And I was working for Ernst & Young at the time, and he was the CFO at Coca-Cola, at one of the divisions. He hired me away from Ernst & Young to work for him at Coca-Cola.

And I always think about that. I'm like, "If I hadn't spoken up, I never would've built a relationship with him."

And I'm so grateful to Lou Sheretto, who is the manager who called me out on this, because we talked about mentoring a lot and we talked about giving feedback. And, I'm so grateful that he took the time to do that, in the moment, mentoring in the moment.

Guy Kawasaki:

Okay. So, we now have covered how to speak up, how to ask for a raise, nicely and effectively.

How about dealing with bullies?

Fran Hauser:

Yeah. It is really important, number one, to deal with it, and to not just assume that it's going to go away on its own, the situation. And if you're being bullied, it's important to speak up. It's important to talk to your manager about it. It's important to talk to human resources.

I've had a couple of situations, over the course of my career, where I was dealing with someone who would yell at me, would call me at home on a Sunday, and put me down and scream.

And, I remember having to have a conversation with my manager, and basically saying, "I can't do my best work in this environment. And, he's not only putting me down, but he's creating a toxic environment for my whole team."

And, they ended up moving this person out of their role and putting them into an individual contributor role, where it wasn't necessary for him to do a lot of collaboration. It was really more individual work. That was the way that they dealt with it.

And it worked. I didn't have to deal with him anymore. My team didn't have to deal with him anymore. And, no one deserves that. And, it's really not fair. You should not have to go through that. If you feel like you're being bullied, it's really important to speak up.

Guy Kawasaki:

And taking this line to an extreme, what is a nice, effective woman, who's being sexual harassed in the workplace, supposed to do?

Fran Hauser:

100 percent, for sure, you have to speak up. There's just zero tolerance for that kind of behavior. And, Gretchen Carlson is a very good friend of mine, and she's really one of the people who started the Me Too Movement.

And, I look at her, going up against Roger Ailes at Fox. And I am so inspired by her. That could have had a hugely damaging effect on her career to go through that. And I always look at her as a role model. For me, it's just zero tolerance. And, whether it's your manager, or it's someone in human resources, or sometimes we have mentors within the company that aren't our direct managers or aren't in human resources, it's totally fine to speak to that person as well. Whoever you feel comfortable speaking to, go to that person and tell them what's happening.

Guy Kawasaki:

And what if a woman counters by saying, "If I institute this process and it becomes a lawsuit, I'll be blackballed in the industry. People are going to say, 'Don't hire her because she's a troublemaker.'"?

Fran Hauser:

The way that I think about it is, if you're being sexually harassed, the toll that is taking on you, emotionally, physically, psychologically, all of it, it's just too high of a price to pay. That's really what it comes down to, just from a human perspective.

That is not something that any of us should be taking on. And, I really believe that, because of people like Gretchen, and like all of these other incredible women that have stepped forward, we're just in such a different place now as a country, from an organizational culture perspective, where I do feel like women should feel safer, in terms of coming forward.

Because, those women have really paved the way for us.

Guy Kawasaki:

But, and I don't mean to be argumentative, lots of women are not Fran or Gretchen. They're working in a Dairy Queen or they're working in a Chipotle or whatever, and they're getting sexually harassed. Single mom, needs the income, is your advice the same?

Fran Hauser:

First of all, my heart breaks, just listening to you describe that situation and use that example. Look, I think it really depends on the person.

And, if you're a single mom and you really need the money, I would hope that there would be somebody at that organization, Burger King or wherever, who you could go to and feel comfortable that they are going to do right by you. There's got to be somebody there.

It might not be your direct supervisor, but there has to be someone in the organization that you can go to. Because how can you live your life like that?

Guy Kawasaki:

One more hard question, post-overturn of Roe vs Wade, should women's tactics change?

Fran Hauser:

Should women's tactics change?

Guy Kawasaki:

Yes. Can you still be nice in a world where, clearly, a political party is trying to remove rights from you?

Fran Hauser:

Yeah. It's infuriating. And, I think it's a moment where strength is more important than ever, and being brave and being courageous, and whether it's sharing a story that can be helpful to people. I'm in all of these amazing women's networks, where we're all doing different things, whether it's to organize to be helpful to other women, to try to get the right people into office.

So, I think it's about taking action. I think it's really about being brave, being courageous, taking action. You can do all of that without being a jerk.

So, I still think that it's important to stay true to your values, but there are moments in time where we all have to step up and really exhibit the strength that's required to affect change.

Guy Kawasaki:

How has the shift to virtual work changed this? How do you be nice virtually?

Fran Hauser:

Yeah. It's so interesting because it's much harder to make a connection and develop a relationship virtually.

It's just so much easier when you're in person.

And, I really encourage people that are working remotely, like full-time remote, to really try to meet people one-on-one, in person, if they can, whether it's going for a walk or having a coffee, so that they can really develop a relationship with that person.

Or, if they don't live in the same state even, or in the same country, picking up the phone and just having a conversation, just really getting to know each other. I think it's important to find those moments outside of Zoom or outside of Google Meet, where you're on these Zooms with all of these people.

So still finding those moments where you can develop those relationships and make those connections outside of Zoom, I think it's just more important than ever.

Guy Kawasaki:

And let's say that you're the CEO of a company, and you heard that, and now you want to... Not put the onus completely on the employee, but what can the company do to foster these interactions?

Fran Hauser:

Yeah. Look, I think it's really important that companies foster in person gatherings, even if it's a lunch and learn, where they pick up lunch, where maybe they can even give an employee and say, "Hey, invite five to ten people to do a lunch and learn. We're going to pick up the tab, and everybody can bring something that they want to share with the rest of the group."

So I think really facilitating these gatherings and financially supporting them is important.

Guy Kawasaki:

And, if your team is spread around the world, are you saying bring them all to one place?

Fran Hauser:

I think if you can, like once or twice a year, get people together, so that they can have that in person time, it's just so valuable. It's so valuable.

There is so much value there. I can't stress that enough, the importance of connecting with people. So, yeah. Look, if you can, once or twice a year, bring people together, yes, absolutely.

Guy Kawasaki:

All right. And, let's say there is a young Fran listening to this, high school or college, what's your advice to her?

Fran Hauser:

I would say, "Don't get too hung up on what you believe others expect of you and your career. Create your own expectations."

Because, early on in my career, I was so worried about what I thought everybody else was expecting of me, in terms of what my next step would be, versus just really doing the work myself to think about, okay, where do I want to go? What do I want to do? What are the things that I really want for myself?

And, "Try to tune everything else out, because it's really noise. That's what it is. So create your own expectations of yourself."

Guy Kawasaki:

And do you have tactical advice in terms of advanced degrees, specific career choices, how to find the ideal job, first job, second job, like really tactical, practical stuff?

Fran Hauser:

I will share one thing that I found to be really helpful is, often I have young people come to me. They're graduating from college, and they right away want to get into their dream job.

And sometimes, it's really great to start in a role that's more of, it could be like an assistant role, an administrative assistant, or an executive assistant, where you're working for a general manager or a head of a department or a president, where you get exposure to so many different parts of the business.

And, I think about my own career and all of the assistants that I've had over the course of my career.

So many of them, they worked with me for a year, and then they ended up moving into a direction that was really great for them, whether it was moving into production or moving into sales or moving into marketing.

But, I really love this idea of being an assistant for someone who's in a leadership role, where you can get exposure to lots of different types of functions, different technical skills.

I think there's so much value in that. Don't be afraid to take that kind of job.

Guy Kawasaki:

Is there a danger of, if you're a woman and you take that kind of job, you're stuck in that role of executive assistant, not in the fast track?

Fran Hauser:

This advice is for both men and women, I would say, coming out of college. It really is. And I think it's really more broadly around, there's a perception.

And sometimes, we have a perception of certain types of roles that they may not be good enough for us.

And, I would just really encourage you to be a little bit more open and be a little bit more curious around, what are the good things about this job?

It might be, you might be making incredible connections. It might be a way to get exposure to certain areas that you would otherwise not get exposure to if you went into a finance roller, into a marketing role that's much more specific.

So, be open. Have that curiosity, because sometimes, I just feel like people that are graduating from college are just so focused. They have this one track mind of the type of job that they're looking to get, and they're not really open to anything else.

Guy Kawasaki:

And they want to go work for Goldman Sachs.

Fran Hauser:

Yeah, exactly. Or a venture capital fund, or an ad agency and focus on marketing. All that stuff is great too, but there's always other opportunities.

Guy Kawasaki:

Talk about jobs that don't stack up well against your four qualities of loving your job, but anyway, I digress.

Two more questions. Second to the last question is, you have two boys….as they're entering the workforce after college, whatever, early twenties, do you pull them aside and have the talk with them and say, "This is how you work with women."? What's your advice?

Fran Hauser:

Oh. I would have a conversation with them about the importance of how you show up at work, really for anyone, for all people. And the reason I'm saying that is because I see a lot of college graduates that start these jobs, and they're so focused on the technical and the functional skills, and they're not really focused on the relationship building and on the connecting and on the human skills.

So, I would definitely have a conversation with them about how important it is to be making those connections, how important it is to be respectful, how important it is to be a good listener, if you're going to disagree in a way that's respectful.

And I would also share with them things like, if you're in a meeting and someone shares a great idea, but then somebody else gets the credit for that idea, how great it would be for you to speak up and to make sure that the person who shared the idea originally gets the credit, and to share opportunities and to be collaborative.

So I think it would be actually a very broad conversation around all of that.

Guy Kawasaki:

And if you had daughters?

Fran Hauser:

If I had daughters, it would be all of that, plus, I would want to make sure that they are aware of some of the behaviors that tend to hold women back at work, like the not speaking up, like the not asking for more. I would want to make sure that they are very aware of those things, going into the workplace.

And I would work with them on, okay, how do you bring your best self to work? How do you do work in a way that's aligned with your values? But also keeping in mind that there are these inequities and we do need to be aware of them.

Guy Kawasaki:

So, my last thought, this is not a question. I just had this thought in the middle of this interview. So, I think, and I've read your books, so I don't think you've explicitly said this, but it seems to me, I love your advice about looking back in your calendar.

And I think, if you combine looking back in your calendar, with the four qualities of loving a job, you could make a matrix. So this is what I did. And this is column A column B, column C, column D, how many checks do you put for each item? And at the end of the day, you can just look and say, "Oh, when I did this thirty days ago, I checked all four columns. This is what interests me." Can't you combine those two ideas-

Fran Hauser:


Guy Kawasaki:

And make a really powerful audit system?

Fran Hauser:

I love that. And I love frameworks and processes and structure, and I can totally see that Google Sheet right now, Guy. I see it. I see the columns.

But you absolutely could, and it would be really interesting to see, of those four qualities, maybe there are one or two that you're consistently hitting.

Maybe there's one that you're not. So what can you do about that? How can you be proactive about that? I love that. Thanks, Guy.

Guy Kawasaki:

Now I can say that I helped you a little.

Fran Hauser:

You did. You helped me a lot. I love it. I really love that.

Guy Kawasaki:

You can call it the Guy Chart. I don't care. No, call it the Fran Chart. The Fran Matrix.

Fran Hauser:

The Fran Effect. The Guy and Fran. Because I'm the nice girl, I always share. I always share the credit.

Guy Kawasaki:

You don't even have to mention me. You can have all the credit.

There you have it.

I hope that you're convinced, or at least open to the idea, that you can be nice and powerful. You can speak up, and be nice and powerful. You can ask for a raise, and be nice and powerful. All because of Fran Hauser, a remarkable person.

And as you use the grid, the Fran Grid, the Guy Grid, the Fran and Guy Grid, the Fran Effect, the Guy Effect, the Fran and Guy Effect, whatever she ends up calling it, I hope it empowers you to dent the universe.

I'm Guy Kawasaki. This is Remarkable People.

My thanks to Jeff Sieh, Peg Fitzpatrick, Shannon Hernandez, Madisun "Drop in Queen" Nuismer, who I hit with a board twice this week, Alexis Nishimura, who is now at NYU, and Luis Magana. Luis, take out the jurist board, not the blue board.

All the best. Until next time, Mahalo and Aloha.

Guy Kawasaki is on a mission to make you remarkable. His Remarkable People podcast features interviews with remarkable people such as Jane Goodall, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Marc Benioff, Woz, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Bob Cialdini. Every episode will make you more remarkable.

With his decades of experience in Silicon Valley as a Venture Capitalist and advisor to the top entrepreneurs in the world, Guy’s questions come from a place of curiosity and passion for technology, start-ups, entrepreneurship, and marketing. If you love society and culture, documentaries, and business podcasts, take a second to follow Remarkable People.

Listeners of the Remarkable People podcast will learn from some of the most successful people in the world with practical tips and inspiring stories that will help you be more remarkable.

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