Trusted Leadership: How Brands Can Build and Lose Trust with Jeremy Skule & Guy Kawasaki


In this week’s episode of World Reimagined, we explore the important connection between trust and leadership. Listen wherever you get your podcasts.

In today’s era of uncertainty, trust has never been more important. This presents an opportunity for organizations and leaders to step up on important topics to drive change and foster meaningful connections with customers, employees, and communities.  

In this episode, host Gautam Mukunda is joined by Jeremy Skule, Chief Strategy Officer at Nasdaq and Guy Kawasaki, Chief Evangelist at Canva and former Chief Evangelist at Apple to discuss how to build brand trust through authenticity, transparency, and integrity.

Building up trust takes decades, years, at least. Losing trust can happen in a matter of seconds.
Jeremy Skule

Follow @GMukunda on Twitter or email us at

Literature Referenced:

Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, by Robert D. Putnam

For more information on this episode’s guests please visit:

Learn more about TDAmeritrade:

Guest Information for Trusted Leadership:

Jeremy Skule is Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. In this role, Skule leads the Global Strategy Organization to drive strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, venture investing, NasdaqNext innovation, and is responsible for the company’s positioning as an innovative data, technology and analytics leader. In addition, he oversees Nasdaq’s Marketing and Communications division within Global Strategy.

Since joining Nasdaq in 2012, Skule has led the global rebranding of Nasdaq, as well as held a leadership role in developing the company’s 2017 strategic pivot to embrace its core strengths in data, analytics and technology. Under Skule’s leadership, his team revamped the company’s lead generation process, redesigned Nasdaq’s digital and social media properties, and introduced a new global thought leadership platform.

Skule’s 25 year career has spanned senior communications positions and marketing leadership roles in Washington, D.C. and New York. Before Nasdaq, Skule led marketing and communications teams across the financial services industry overseeing marketing, communications, business and financial media relations, internal communications, and analyst relations. He also led the financial services practices at the world’s largest marketing, advertising, and public relations firm.

He received a Master of Business Administration from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts from Dickinson College.

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva and the creator of Guy Kawasaki’s Remarkable People podcast. He is an executive fellow of the Haas School of Business (UC Berkeley), and adjunct professor of the University of New South Wales. He was the chief evangelist of Apple and a trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation. He has written Wise Guy, The Art of the Start 2.0, The Art of Social Media, Enchantment, and eleven other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University, an MBA from UCLA, and an honorary doctorate from Babson College. 

Episode Transcript:

Speaker 1 (00:00):

Commission-free trading is the norm, but true value is more than a price tag. It's a team of traders to answer any question, a personalized education and thinker swims charting capabilities. Value is becoming smarter with every trade, TD Ameritrade, where smart investors get smarter.

Gautam Mukunda (00:16):

Trust, takes years to build, but only moments to break. So how can you be a leader who builds trust and keeps it?

Guy Kawasaki (00:27):

Well, but you can have integrity and be stupid.

Jeremy Skule (00:30):

People are betting on themselves again in really compelling ways.

Guy Kawasaki (00:34):

One thing the leaders should explore is they need to push the envelope and see what really happens.

speaker 6 (00:44):

World Reimagined with Gautam Mukunda, a leadership podcast for a changing world, an original podcast from NASDAQ.

Jeremy Skule (00:52):

We saw businesses step up in really effective ways, and look after their employees.

Gautam Mukunda (01:05):

You got in last night on a red eye. It's your first day in this foreign city and you're jet lagged and exhausted, but you're excited too. Everything's new here. The sounds, the smells, you're still getting used to the food, but everyone you've met so far couldn't be friendlier. You're enjoying just walking around town, taking it all in. Then you reach into your purse or run your hand, absentmindedly over your back pocket. And you freeze. Your wallet. You could have sworn it was there a second ago. And you know it was with you when you left the airport. Okay, focus. Where was the last place you remember having it? Maybe you took it out when you sat down on that metal bench or when you rearrange your things to take a picture of ... The coffee shop, you left it on the counter at the coffee shop. It's only five minutes up the road, but even if you race back and it isn't there, you can relax and take a nice deep breath. I have some good news for you. You are in Tokyo and there's a koban right across the street.

Gautam Mukunda (02:21):

Koban are the tiny, compact neighborhood police stations that you find everywhere in Japan. And I do mean everywhere. Tokyo boasts 97 stations per 100 square kilometers. Compare that to London, which in the same area only has 11. The koban are a crucial component of Japan's high level of trust. A recent study where researchers planted wallets in major cities to see how many were returned showed that while only 10% of wallets in New York city got turned into the police, a staggering 80% in Tokyo were eventually reunited with their owners. And today mercifully, that number includes you.

Gautam Mukunda (03:12):

Bottom line, if you lose something in Tokyo, you can trust that you're going to get it back. Japan is a high trust society. That means that people there believe that they have common values and are confident that other people even strangers will do the right thing. The United States used to be a high trust society, but recent data suggest that status is slipping. So how do societies, people and leaders gain and lose trust?

Jeremy Skule (03:43):

Building up trust takes decades, years, at least, losing trust can happen in a matter of seconds.

Gautam Mukunda (03:54):

That's Jeremy Skule, NASDAQ's chief strategy officer. The two of us sat down with Guy Kawasaki, the chief evangelist of Canva and host of the Remarkable People podcast to talk about trust in the present day, how do leaders gain it? How do they lose it? And what can they do with it once they've got it and given all that and given that Guy spent a large part of his career with Apple, there was one person we inevitably wound up talking about.

Guy Kawasaki (04:18):

People in general will definitely make themselves crazy if they use a Steve Jobs example. Because Steve Jobs is the unicorn. So if you think that, Steve jobs wore a black mock turtleneck. So I'll do that and I'll be Steve jobs, no.

Gautam Mukunda (04:34):

Silicon Valley Fashion aside, Apple's legendary founder illustrates an interesting point that defining who is, and isn't trustworthy, isn't always as black and white, as we like to think.

Jeremy Skule (04:45):

Even when you think as wonderful as Steve jobs, an amazing track record he is, Apple did not have a straight line to where they are today.

Guy Kawasaki (04:56):

You have what we call in Silicon Valley, a firm grass of the obvious. Yeah. And I don't know, we have to decouple. I think there's trust and there's admiration. You can admire Steve jobs. That's not the same as trusting. I'm not saying he's not worthy of being trusted, but I don't think the first emotion out of your feelings for Steve would be trust. It would be admiration to me, which is slightly different.

Guy Kawasaki (05:25):

I've been pounding my head against the wall, trying to figure out. I'll give you two people I trust, and this is going to be very controversial, but I trust Tony Fauci and I trust Stacy Abrams. Those are two people I trust. I don't even know them, but I trust them. Let's just say there's about 49% of the United States who would just vehemently disagree with me though.

Gautam Mukunda (05:49):

Trust in the United States can be ephemeral. In his landmark, 1995 paper, Bowling Alone, political scientist, Robert Putnam pointed to all the ways that social trust had been falling in America for the last four decades.

Gautam Mukunda (06:04):

His point was simple. Given the wide array of specialty stores and TV channels available to us, Americans in the nineties had a wider range of ways to entertain themselves and spend their time than ever before. So they spent less time doing activities with other people like volunteering or going to church. They still went bowling, but alone, instead of in leagues. This rise of niche interest meant less and less time around people that didn't share their backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, or particular interests. In other words, people didn't necessarily seek out who didn't necessarily look like them. And as studies have shown again and again, when you're unfamiliar with something or someone you don't trust them.

Gautam Mukunda (06:50):

Now let's go back to Tokyo for a moment. Why are these police officers seen so reliable when institutional trust, especially as we just mentioned in America has spent the past few decades on shaky ground? Some studies argue that because these tiny police stations are so small, so localized and so ubiquitous they've become an accepted part of the landscape. They're familiar, comforting, trustworthy. But in America, and especially since the pandemic, the path towards trust has gotten complicated, especially for the people trying to lead us. Jeremy said something in this regard that caught my attention. At the beginning of the pandemic as established organizations like governments and A groups struggled to an unprecedented crisis, trust and institutions plummeted, but at the same time, trust in brands was soaring. And I was curious to know why that was.

Jeremy Skule (07:50):

I think it's a great question. And I would be surprised if there's any brand or CEO that would stand up and say, they've cracked the code. I think they all would agree that they're on a journey and that journey has ups and downs. But I do have a bit of a theory on this, in the sense of, with the pandemic, when that happened, you saw institutions, really government institutions around the world in varying degrees, just completely ineffective in handling it, according to their citizens that facilitated a lot of trust or distrust in those government institutions at that time. What you saw, at the beginning of the pandemic is a lot of businesses and brands lean in and take care of employees. Step up on bigger societal issues and you had a confluence of events happening at that time, which was really interesting.

Jeremy Skule (08:45):

You had racial tensions at levels we haven't seen in decades, you had effectively a stock market crash and you had a global pandemic, all emerging at that time. And you saw businesses step up in really effective ways and look after their employees. And so I think there was a bit of trust built amongst CEOs and brands during that time, whether we can maintain that as a business community is truly up to us because now there's a whole new set of needs that our employees are going through, which are mental health issues, challenges in juggling work-life balance, understanding what the dynamics of working from home versus coming into the office and the risks associated with that. How brands and CEOs support this network going forward is going to determine our trust.

Gautam Mukunda (09:38):

Jeremy's point about the government's perceived lack of effectiveness in handling the COVID-19 pandemic and the real observable effects people saw in their lives and communities, thanks to the brands they brought from and even worked for, highlights an important divide in the way leaders need to think about trust.

Jeremy Skule (09:54):

What's interesting is that, when we've looked at this, there's actually two ways to think about this. One is horizontal trust, which is within your community, your friends, the people that you interact with everyday, and then there's a vertical trust of institutions, your company, your government, those types of things. And I think what we're seeing is that the trust on the horizontal side seems to be stable to growing, that people trust their friends, their community, the people that they interact with, while the vertical trust amongst institutions is something that people are struggling with right now.

Gautam Mukunda (10:36):

So Jeremy that's fascinating, I want to tease out both of those threats, right? Because we know there's social science data and it's contested, but it's out there saying, that the more racially diverse a society becomes, the lower the level of social trust. And I'm not saying that, that evidence is overwhelming, but it exists. And what you are showing is that the United States, which is an incredibly racially diverse society, actually might be moving in some ways in the opposite direction. And you're actually seeing increasing trust in some areas, but only for some thing, only for some aspects of community. So what are those?

Jeremy Skule (11:08):

Well, I guess a fair way to look at that too is, how do you define community? Are you defining an entire society as the US, as that community or are you finding the community in where people live, where some communities, yes, they tend to be diverse and some tend to be more homogeneous.

Gautam Mukunda (11:27):

And so Jeremy, when you see this data that people are actually starting to trust each other more in some situations, what should we take from that? So what does that tell you? Does it mean that they trust more within certain particular homogenous communities? Or is there something broader going on?

Jeremy Skule (11:41):

It's a good question. And I worry about the answer a bit, because if you look at what people read, watch, and who they talk to today, there is an appetite for a bit of an echo chamber mentality where people want to read and watch and talk to people that are like-minded in their thinking and validate their own views. And so to me, that is a concern for society at large.

Gautam Mukunda (12:09):

Talking about trust can often be difficult or confused thing because we use the same word. Describe two very different concepts. Essentially, there are two types of trust. Take, for example, Bobby Axelrod, the iconic insider trading hedge fund titan from the TV show, Billions. If you wanted to make money on the market and you didn't care how it was done, you'd give your money to Axe, every time you'd trust him to do that. But would you trust him to do the right thing? If your life or reputation was on the line and he had to lose money to save them, would you trust him then? I doubt it. You'd have the first type of trust for Axelrod. We call it cognitive trust.

Gautam Mukunda (12:53):

Cognitive trust is how confident you are in someone's competence, their ability to do their job. It's important. You can't trust someone with anything if you don't trust them to execute. But when I say, I trust my best friend, I don't mean that I trust his competence. I mean that I trust him to look out for my best interests. Even if they're in conflict with his own, it's the trust that leads me to joke to my students, friends help you move, real friends help you move the bodies. That's effective trust. And that's a very different idea. So you can be great at your job and still not be a trustworthy person, or as Guy phrase, the other side of that argument.

Guy Kawasaki (13:37):

You can have integrity and be stupid, right? So if I tell you, I trust Tony Fauci, it's not just because I trust Tony Fauci because of his, I don't know, his demeanor or whatever. I trust his scientific competence too.

Gautam Mukunda (13:52):

So what has changed in our society that it's not just that we broadly have lower trust, it's that different groups in American society trust very different groups of people.

Guy Kawasaki (14:03):

Well, you could make the case the internet. The internet and social media has degraded the ability to trust. And for better or for worse, the internet has exposed people that you might have trusted that you shouldn't, but it has also given rise to people that you shouldn't trust and it's obvious you shouldn't trust, and they made it obvious with social media.

Speaker 6 (14:28):

This is World Reimagined with Gautam Mukunda.

Speaker 8 (14:35):

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Gautam Mukunda (15:08):

It's harder to trust than it used to be, even in popular culture. The most iconic characters in my parents' generation were, well, probably someone played by Dick Van Dyke. When I was growing up, it was the characters from ER or the West Wing. But nowadays, if you are looking at TV's most relevant high profile roles, heroic doctors and politicians have been replaced by crooked hedge fund managers, adulterous admin, and serial killers. Say what you will about their technical competence, they're not exactly people you trust to do the right thing. An inability to trust is bad enough at the individual level. It gets way more serious when you're talking about entire societies where people feel they can't trust institutions, the government or each other, then you've got a much bigger problem.

Gautam Mukunda (15:58):

I wouldn't want to live in a society that didn't have my best interest at heart, no matter how punctual the trains were. But polling of Americans fines that more and more, they seem not to trust their government, businesses or just ordinary Americans to do the right thing. In light of this, I asked Jeremy if there was anything the next generation of leaders could do to fix that problem. And given that we are all on treacherous footing these days, how do we even begin to turn that trend around?

Jeremy Skule (16:28):

Yeah, I think doing well by doing good, they are not mutually exclusive concepts. And importantly, what something like Patagonia has done is they have calibrated their investment thesis accordingly. And so they're able to talk to investors about why what they're doing is important to their brand, to their consumers, to future consumers and they pull it through. It's very real. They pull it through their products, they pull it through their business and they pull it through their investment thesis. And that's the consistency, I think you need to see from companies and CEOs that this concept of stakeholder capitalism is only going to grow over the coming years. All of these things are not going away. And so companies need to find what they're doing well by doing good and make that a core part of their authenticity as a brand. And that's essential going forward.

Gautam Mukunda (17:33):

Let's go back to that unicorn we mentioned earlier, there's something you should see. It's October 5th, 2011. You are standing in front of Apple's flagship store in Midtown Manhattan. Notice anything different today?

Gautam Mukunda (17:55):

Ever since it was announced that Steve Jobs passed away earlier that day, people have been coming here to leave flowers, notes, even old iPods, tokens of appreciation and respect. Like Guy said earlier, "The legendary founder of Apple was many things." People certainly trusted him to make products that worked, that were well designed and efficient and delightful. They trusted that when he said the latest gadget was going to launch on a certain date, come hell or high water he'd delivered. And is it really so remarkable that a founder and a brand could inspire so much emotion in an era where people look at their lives, and the only thing they see getting better on a consistent basis is their computer.

Gautam Mukunda (18:40):

Putting aside Steve Jobs and his legacy. We have to be wary of this trust too, because banking on someone's technical prowess only gives you half the picture. If we ignore the effective side of their trustworthiness while putting all our faith in their cognitive abilities, we can wind up following people who have absolutely no business leading.

Gautam Mukunda (19:02):

After two years of global upheaval, people are looking for leaders to put their faith in. Guy mentioned, a couple of people are earlier who he trusts to be good at their jobs and have his best interests at heart. I asked him and Jeremy how we do that, how we become the leader worthy of flowers in front of our building and the respect of our teams. And given that when I asked who we trusted, Guy only named two names, I wanted to know what them so special.

Jeremy Skule (19:32):

I guess I've seen them both take heat, right? And they're unwavering in their commitments. It's also, I don't want to speak for Guy, part of it is track record. People have spent their lifetime doing something. Part of it is also a willingness to discuss and handle difficult issues to shape conversations. I think Mark Benioff is definitely in that camp without a doubt, and has earned the right to do those things. And part of it too, regardless of your views on Fauci, he's willing to take heat to adjust his views based on the data that comes in and based on how situations evolve and change. And he's taken a lot of heat for changing his views on certain things, but he's letting science dictate the right policy recommendations.

Gautam Mukunda (20:24):

So Jeremy, I find this fascinating, right? Because it seems like there's some a distinction between trusting in specific recommendations that science makes and trusting in science itself. So when I say that I trust science, I don't mean I trust when scientists say do X or do Y or do Z, right? Because those things change as we learn new stuff about the world. When I say I trust science, what I mean is, I trust the process of science. I trust the way scientists go about to learn those new things. And so I know a lot of the criticism of the way we've handled a pandemic has been about, will the recommendations change, right? We said, "Don't wear mask." And then we said, "Do wear a mask." We said, "You're going to need two vaccine shots." And then, "You're going to need three vaccine shots, right?" And so for a lot of people that's affected their trust and their recommendations.

Gautam Mukunda (21:11):

But for me it's not the recommendations that I trust, it's the process that led us to changing those recommendations, because sometimes you learn new things and you come to new conclusions. So how do you see that distinction between people trusting consistency of outcome and people trusting in the process?

Jeremy Skule (21:27):

Well in my view, you have to understand what's an evolution versus a static stated process, right? So like there's been a lot of debate around capitalism in the future of capitalism, but it's an evolving theory. It's evolved over several decades and it will continue to evolve. And so what capitalism look like in 2030 is going to be very different than what it looked like in 1960. And that's okay it's an evolving theory and it has ups and downs and evolves with it. And I also think the pandemic has been very much an evolution of science as we learn more and as variance change and as the science evolves and gets better. And so I think to me, the flexibility of someone's thinking is super important to understand where we are in society, what the context is around us and what works for today.

Guy Kawasaki (22:25):

I would make the case that the fact that Tony has changed his mind makes me trust him more not less.

Gautam Mukunda (22:33):


Guy Kawasaki (22:34):

As opposed to someone who said, "Nope, in 2020, I said, you don't need to wear a mask and I'm sticking to that because I want to be consistent." That's the least trustworthy person.

Jeremy Skule (22:45):

I think that this hits on one of the fundamentals challenges we have as society, which is inability to recognize and even appreciate a counter argument, to be able to see some merits in it, but be able to disagree with it. And I think we've lost a lot of that. And we need to find a way to get that back.

Gautam Mukunda (23:11):

Listening to counter arguments, having the flexibility to embrace new ideas and evolve your thinking while sticking to your principles, that's one way to become a leader people want to follow. In fact, it's perhaps the most important ingredient of successful leadership. Research by Dean Simonton on leaders in a wide variety of fields found two closely related traits that more than any others explained if they would succeed or fail. The first was cognitive complexity. The ability to understand the world around you as a vast and complex place made up of interconnected parts.

Gautam Mukunda (23:45):

Simonton looked for example, at generals before battles and measured their cognitive complexity by looking at what they wrote in the days leading up to the battle. He found that their cognitive complexity actually predicted victory better than the ratio of the size of their army to that of their enemy. Then he looked more broadly at many types of leaders and found that when you accounted for their individual situations, their success or failure could best be explained by something he called, intellectual brilliance, which is intelligence, yes, but is also much more.

Gautam Mukunda (24:17):

Intellectually brilliant people are curious, have a wide range of interests and can plan and complete long form intellectual tasks like writing a book or a podcast. One thing that leaders with these traits have in common is that they are constantly seeking out new information. And when they learn something new that contradicts what they previously believed, they are willing to change their mind. That doesn't make them inconsistent. They are perfectly consistent in their willingness to learn. It's their inclusions that change as they learn new things. So learning is important, but when you learn something new and change course, will people still follow you? That depends on how much you're trusted, how much people feel that you're competent and that you're good.

Jeremy Skule (25:03):

I will tell you that study after study show that the expectation amongst employees, future employees, clients, consumers, is that CEOs are going to stand up and step in and lean in for the things that they value and that their company's value. And so I do think that is going to be a question, Guy that every CEO and frankly, most of them already have had to face and contend with. And I also agree that the question about whether stakeholder capitalism is the way of the future is also a question. And if you think about that, then it's not just about managing one constituency, your shareholder, it's about managing a multitude of constituencies that can impact your business. And so how do you effectively do that as a CEO and as a corporation is something everyone is going to have to contend with.

Jeremy Skule (26:07):

The number one issue, or certainly one of the top three for literally almost every company today and certainly every CEO, is attracting and retaining the best talent and more and more studies show, not surprisingly that people are attracted to brands and CEOs that represent their values. And so if are trying to attract the best talent, you have to make sure that you are espousing the values of your company and what you stand for. And I think that's something every CEO has to consider.

Gautam Mukunda (26:39):

So we had Cynthia Caroll on this podcast and she was the CEO of Anglo American Mining. And so she went in and she transformed their culture, right? And Anglo American was a South African based mining company and they're the third biggest mining company in the world. And this is post-apartheid South Africa, right? And there's a longstanding thing that our job is to make money. Our job is to get a lot of them out of the ground. And if people die, well people die, there's shareholder pressure. This is a really dangerous environment. And you can always find new mine workers and she just found that totally unacceptable. So she went in and she cut down their fatal accident rate by more than half, literally saved hundreds, maybe even thousands of lives across the industry from all the other companies that had to emulate her push on safety over the course of her years. And so that influence is just gargantuan, right?

Gautam Mukunda (27:25):

And I remember talking to her former chief of staff and I said, "So, don't you get pushback from investors who say, look, we are here to make money. That's why we're invested in your company?" And he said, "Well, I talked to them and some of them do say that." And I said, "We as a management team, we are not interested in leaving the world worse off than we found it. We are not interested in being a company that kills people. And if it's that important to you to make a profit, that you're willing to do that, then you should invest with someone else." And I thought that was a remarkable thing to say, right?

Gautam Mukunda (27:56):

You just don't hear the senior executive at a major corporation, say on the record, "If you don't like this, you should invest with someone else. If that doesn't work for you." And that was a pretty remarkable thing. So in a world where CEOs face these constant pressures to deliver short term results, how do you see leaders of corporations being able to act in the consistent fashion that you've identified as the key to building trust?

Guy Kawasaki (28:19):

Well, in a rare moment of Guy Kawasaki humility, let me admit that I am not a leadership coach or visionary or guru, okay? So with that caveat, I would say that one thing that leaders should explore is, they need to push the envelope and see what really happens. So you may be sitting there thinking, "There is no way that these investors or these stakeholders are going to go for this. So I better not do this." You should try. That's what your example just said, which is, "Yeah, we told them, go invest someplace else and guess what? They back down." So it may be that in many situations, this worst case scenario that you've imagined is going to happen is not going to happen. And they're going to back down and you're going to score points. I think so.

Gautam Mukunda (29:16):

And Jeremy.

Jeremy Skule (29:17):

Yeah, I think I'd just go back to the authenticity point. If it's core to who you are as a leader and as a company, you're going to have, hopefully, the courage of your convictions to make a statement like that and stick to it. And I agree with both you and Guy, I would rather bet on that as an investor and be clear and transparent about what you're going to get by investing in me.

Gautam Mukunda (29:46):

How can leaders be trusted by their customers and their teams? And which leaders are still seen as both competent and good. Those thoughts were hovering in the air when I asked Guy and Jeremy, our final question.

Gautam Mukunda (30:00):

All right. So in your career, you've undoubtedly met a large number of extraordinary people. So this isn't just about your career, right, it's also about your personal life. But over the course of your life, who was the person you met, who most impressed you and why?

Jeremy Skule (30:15):

Wow, that's a really great question. One, I'm going to say is my brother. He's a guy who has dedicated his life to service both in the military and in the FBI and has done amazing things for our country and really is an inspiration in terms of what he's sacrificed of himself and his beliefs to better create a society for all of us to live in. So I think I'm going to stick with him.

Gautam Mukunda (30:45):

Okay, Jeremy, thanks so much. And Guy.

Guy Kawasaki (30:48):

Well, it's hard to go wrong by saying Steve Jobs. I was in the Steve Jobs reality distortion field, all right? So with that caveat, but that guy, as I said earlier, was a unicorn who farted pixie dust. It was amazing. He's off the spectrum in terms of vision and foresight and force of personality, distortion, all that stuff.

Gautam Mukunda (31:12):

So now that you've been out of that reality distortion field for so long, can you think back and analyze it and tell us what made him so special?

Guy Kawasaki (31:21):

Well in a sense it's just track record. So if you were lucky, extremely aware, you make one great call in your life, right? And you predict something, but you could say, and I would look at it this way. He and Apple, I mean, they did Apple 2, Macintosh, iPhone, iPod, iPad, Apple Stores-

Gautam Mukunda (31:45):

And he did Pixar. So he wasn't even limited to Apple.

Guy Kawasaki (31:47):

Pixar, yeah. Anyone of those alone would give you bragging rights, but to have done all of them is off the scale. And that's not luck. When you're on a fifth or sixth or seventh one, it's not luck anymore.

Gautam Mukunda (32:02):

No. He is America's greatest industrialist ever, right? It's really hard to argue otherwise.

Guy Kawasaki (32:07):

No, you can't argue with that.

Gautam Mukunda (32:10):

So as someone who knew him so well.

Guy Kawasaki (32:12):

Well, I didn't know him so well, don't get me wrong. A lot of people want to hold up that they are BFFs with Steve Jobs. I wasn't one of them.

Gautam Mukunda (32:21):

If he had any, yeah. But you must have a theory as to what it was that enabled him to do that.

Guy Kawasaki (32:27):

Well, my theory is that he either had the ability, depending on how you want to look at him, he either had the ability to anticipate what people will come to realize they needed, or he made whatever the hell he wanted and made them think they needed it. Either one is an explanation for Steve. Before you cut me off, though, I want to tell you, so Steve Jobs is one answer, but the other answer for me is Jane Goodall. So I have become friends with Jane Goodall and she's off to scale in terms of sincerity, in terms of her perspective on the world, it's a privilege and an honor to know Jane Goodall.

Gautam Mukunda (33:04):

Trust is the oxygen that sustains your friendships, your family, your company, and your country, but to switch metaphors, trust is also a delicate plant, hard to nurture and easy to kill. A leader who is trusted can work miracles. One who isn't can barely work at all. That trust is built by demonstrating your competence and your humanity over and over again, for years, it's lost by slipping up on either even if you do it just once. Does that sound unfair? It's certainly hard, but doing the hard things, that's what makes a leader.

speaker 6 (33:49):

World Reimagined with Gautam Mukunda, a leadership podcast for a changing world, an original podcast from NASDAQ. Visit the World Reimagined website at

Speaker 9 (34:03):

Gautam Mukunda does not speak on behalf of Rose Park Advisors, LLC, or any of its affiliates and is not soliciting investments or providing investment advice.

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