In this episode of Relationships at Work, Russel chats with author and CEO Rajeev Kapur on AI disruption and what leaders need to do to get ready.
Rajeev shares his insights and experience in...
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Russel Lolacher: And on the show today, we have Rajeev Kapur and here is why he is. Awesome. He is president and CEO of 1105 media, a leading provider of B2B events, marketing, media, and security services, all helping brands grow their business. He's also an author. Can't miss that, cause it's a big part of the conversation we're having today.
The book. Chase Greatness: Enlightened Leadership for the Next Generation of Disruption. He has more than a decade of experience as a CEO and board member in the tech industry, and he spent a lot of it coaching other B2B business owners, how to be more effective leaders. And today we're going to be talking about leading through constant disruption, which we constantly seem to be dealing with. Hello, Rajeev.
Rajeev Kapur: Hey, buddy. How are you? I love that introduction. I wish I could, you could just follow me around whenever I enter a room. I think that would be awesome.
Russel Lolacher: I'll be your hype man. I got no problem with doing that. I'm I'm, I'm the guy for that.
Rajeev Kapur: I love it. Thank you so much. It's a pleasure being here with you.
Russel Lolacher: So we're going to start the episode as I start with every episode, Rajeev, which is asking the question, what's your best or worst employee experience?
Rajeev Kapur: Well let me give you my best experience first. And I guess they're somewhat related and I'm going to take you back to my Dell days. And, so I, I was asked by Michael Dell to go to Dell China back in 2000, and when I first got there... I guess, you know what, to answer your question, this is really best and worst at the same time, I guess, my, the first six months were really difficult for me. I didn't speak the language, cultural was a big shock, nobody was in China, none of the big brands were in China, it was still hardcore communist China, the only western form of civilization you could find back in 2000 in China was a random TGIFridays out on embassy row.
That was it. There was nothing else. And I really struggled for that first six months and it was a real, real difficult time for me. And it really questioned my sanity in terms of my ability to lead people. And it wasn't until I discovered, I found two employees who really bleeds and what I wanted to do.
Ronald and Bessie. And I asked them if they would be willing to be the face of my vision and they're locals and they said, absolutely. And they stepped up and they became the face of the vision of what I wanted to do and how to grow the business there. I became more of a wizard behind the curtain, and it really, really taught me that whole thing of I went to China pounding my chest and hey, I'm the guy from the U.S. I'm, I'm the Dell guy, and I really needed to adapt to China rather than trying to adapt to me.
And, and really getting them on board was just phenomenal. It was an amazing experience and it was just, just amazing just getting them and the company's done so well in China ever since. And and I'd like to think I had a little bit of a little hand of that growth and that opportunity, the worst employee experience I can tell you is probably around that same time when we found one of our employees was actually doing some funny business with computers and setting up a little shop in other parts of China and having computers shipped other other parts of the country and stuff like that, and effectively cutting himself a little bit of a deal on the backside.
Russel Lolacher: Geez.
Rajeev Kapur: When you find that stuff out you really got to be careful in what you do and how you do it.
And you're the guy from outside and coming in and... as it is, people already thought I was a spy for the company and all that. So you had to kind of figure that out. And it took a few months to kind of work my way through that and get the right people involved. But that was a really harrowing type of issue just because you're someplace you have no support, you're by yourself you had to figure it out how to do it.
And if I was in the U.S. It's easy, right. And you're done, person's fired in three minutes, but when you're there things were a little bit different. So that was a real challenging, really, really challenging experience.
Russel Lolacher: I have a quick question about going back to your time in China and dealing with, I mean, you were talking about not only having to dismiss an obvious disruption at your work by that employee, but also as someone new to a culture, new to a company, or not new to a company, but new to the culture there and so forth.
I'm always curious about leaders and executives in those roles, because we talk about supporting employees. We talk about leading employees, but leaders need that kind of support and leadership too. So how did you find it being a representative of a large organization going to another country.
What kind of supports did you get as a leader, as an executive? I'm just kind of curious of what kind of environment they supported you in being in a stranger in a strange land.
Rajeev Kapur: Great question. I'll be honest with you. There wasn't really a lot of support back then. I mean this was 23 years ago. And there was no iPhone the the internet was still fairly nascent, right? And the connection that we have today in the world and versus the connection we had 23 years ago, there's a big difference.
It wasn't the dark ages, but it was, it's totally different. You still did a lot of things over the telephone and but there's a big time zone difference and those kinds of things. And like, I, I had a boss in country and he was the president of Dell China. And he was a local guy, and he was a nice guy, but he wasn't from the Dell culture and he was more focused on he was much more focused on doing whatever it took to, to, to pacify the Communist Party leaders, or whatever the case might be the local government people and all that.
And he served his purpose, but he didn't understand me, he didn't understand the company, he didn't understand the culture, right? It was difficult for him then, it was difficult for him to understand what I was trying to do. And so we, we, we had our clashes and we had our issues and our challenges and ultimately he ended up leaving the company and somebody else came on board and this person came from Hewlett Packard and had a little bit more understanding of what we were doing because just from a competition perspective. But you know, things started to move forward, but there wasn't a large contingent there wasn't a place where I could just pick up the phone and call somebody in the U S and say, Oh, I'm having this problem.
What do I do? You have to just kind of figure out for yourself. And what I tell people all the time, I tell young kids this, That experience probably shaped me into what I am today. I don't know if I'd be a CEO today if I didn't go through that experience. And the reason why Russ is, people always want to move up in an organization and sometimes people feel entitled when they move up to an org.
Hey, I just, I was the best performer. I should get promoted, right? Or whatever the case might be, but I'm here to tell people, if you really want to get promoted in your organization, you have to raise your hand for the toughest, most difficult thing the company needs done. Raise your hand to try to fix that.
And China was the most important initiative Dell had as a, as a company. And I raised my hand to say, look, I'm willing to go. And by the way, I'm the only one who raised my hand and said, and I, I, I chased that opportunity. Like I was proactive with it. And the funny thing is I was really proactive with it for a while and then it didn't happen and I didn't think it was going to happen.
And then randomly it just ended up happening. Because I planted those seeds and and thankfully I did. And I got that experience and it was an amazing two years in China and then an amazing two years in Singapore and helping build out South Asia and helping to build out Delhi, India and all those things.
And it was just an amazing experience. You meet some amazing people, but you really refine your, your leadership skills. You really refine your empathetic skills because I can tell you, one of the hardest things for leaders, I think, in the U. S. is that we are trained to have this issue. Like when I was growing up in the U.S. and Dell, we were all trained that if you have a problem, If you had a problem in the company, you had a problem with whatever you were doing, you need to go to your boss with three solutions, right? That's how we were trained. In China, in Asia, in India, in Southern whatever, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, you're not taught that.
If you have a problem, you just go to your boss. And that was such an eye opener for me because, and I learned early on in my, and I learned very early on that if I put that roadblock up of saying, Hey you can only come and talk to me when you have, if you have three solutions, no one's going to come and talk to me.
Number one, if they do come and talk to me, they have one good solution and two just shitty solutions. Sorry for my French. And they just made it up. That, that, that's number one. So that doesn't help anybody. Number two is not going to come and talk to me at all because they can't figure out the three solutions.
And number three, if they don't come to me, they're just going to go talk to somebody else and they might just come up with something that may not work anyways and waste a bunch of time. So I kind of early on realized that doesn't fly so I took that away from my leadership mantra. I said, no, if you have a problem, you have a challenge, you're stuck somewhere, come and talk to me because I'm in my chair for a reason.
Maybe I might have an idea. Maybe I might have an experience that's going to help break that logjam that you might be facing let's work through this together. And so that was something that was probably one of the biggest lessons I learned of that. You know this whole idea of being empathetic and having your door open for your team really should be at all times and it needs to be at all times not just when they have three solutions to come knock on your door.
Russel Lolacher: How does an enlightened leader supporting their teams inside and outside of an organization, handle things like disruption, like AI, because I mean, I hear it from, from a, from a generational one, absolutely pandemic. We're still feeling it, but AI is sitting there right in our face going, this is a thing you need to deal with and we'll continue to have to.
So I'm just trying to understand as a leader. How do you support internally and externally?
Rajeev Kapur: So another good question. And I know this is fairly new, so this is brand new for you and your audience, which is, I've written a book about AI, it's called AI Made Simple, and it's available on Amazon right now. I talk about that a little bit there, but I'm a member of an organization called YPO, the Young Presidents Organization. Now, I'm going to turn 56 here, so I'm not young anymore, but I joined it 17 years ago when I was a little bit younger, so I'm a little bit younger.
And I go around the country now and I'm speaking to YPO chapters and member companies about AI. And we're talking a lot about AI and the company. And I can tell you, one of the things to focus on if you, if you are, if you're listening to this and you're leading a team, if you're a CEO, leading from a place of fear is not going to get you anywhere.
There's nothing you can do to stop the ChatCPT train, to stop the Midjourney train, to stop this train. It's coming. So don't even try to stop it. All this talk about, from Elon Musk and these guys, Oh, we have to slow it down, we have to slow it down. The reason why they're saying that is because they're behind.
They want it to slow down so they can catch up. No one wants to slow this down. It's coming, alright? In fact, I tried to use ChatGPT this morning and it was down because of demand. So, it's going crazy. And it's going to continue to go crazy. And so the disruption that you're going to see is initially going to be a lot of fear in terms of how to use the tools and how best and oh my god, I'm going to lose my job.
Well, let me just talk about that for a second. When the first PCs hit the desktop, people lost their jobs, and people got retrained. When the first internet came out, people lost their jobs, people got trained. E-commerce, people lost their jobs, people got trained. Mobile? Apps, right? Ubers, Airbnbs all these different industries were born over the last few years and people got retrained in the job market has been as strong as ever.
I think the same thing is going to happen here. If you look at it from a, from an AI perspective, as I mentioned, don't be afraid. And instead of focusing on the word artificial and artificial intelligence, you should focus on augmenting intelligence. She'd come from a standpoint of saying, look, if I can, and I've done this with my team, we've done over 300 man hours of training now for my team at Media 1105.
And the number one thing I talked about is if I can give you your own assistant who sits with you literally in your in your pocket who can work with you and take a lot of the heavy lifting off your plate. Would you want that? Would you want that tool? And they say yes. And that's what AI does.
AI does, the one thing AI does that you can't do is that, that money can't do, is it buys you time. Money can't buy time, right? But AI can buy time. Something that might take a marketer, let's say 20 man hours to do, the AI can help you do it in two man hours. Well, what can you do with another 18 man hours?
I was, I was doing a, a talk with a, with a group of people who were in the HR industry the other day. And I said, like, how many, and I asked the question, how many of you actually spend proactive time proactively managing people and helping to train people to become better leaders? Not a single hand went up.
The reason why, they said, oh, we're too busy doing this, and it's dealing with this law, and dealing with that issue whatever. And I said, okay. I said, how long does it take you for you to write a job description, but get get it ready for LinkedIn, put it out and all the, whatever you want to do?
Oh, it takes eight to 12 man hours and getting approvals. I said, okay, let's, let's do it right now. So right there, I gave him an example where we wrote a job description. We did it in 30 we, it took a couple of minutes to write the prompt, but the job description came out in 30 seconds.
We massaged it a little bit. We asked it to rewrite it for LinkedIn and it did. We asked it then give me all the keywords and give me SEO keywords. Give me... get it ready for prime time. Turn it into a newsletter that we can send out to other people, blah, blah, blah.
So stuff that would have taken again, like I said, eight to 12 man hours is now being done in two hours. And so my question is, so guys, I asked a question, I go, if you have this tool, if you had these tools available to you... now, how many of you feel like you can go spend time developing people as opposed to being reactive to issues?
And they all raised their hand. And that's the opportunity. The opportunity is going to be if you learn how to utilize these tools properly, then don't use the disruption as a negative, use it to your advantage. And it's those who figure that out, are the ones who are going to really thrive. This was, this is what I'll tell you about the disruption that's coming.
You can have a choice of not using the tools. You don't have to use them, but I will tell you this, you will be replaced over time by people who do know how to use the tools. Period. I don't care who you are. If you're a CEO and you're not embracing this, you will be replaced by a CEO who is going to embrace it.
If you're the, if you're a marketing manager and you don't want to use the tools to help write copy or whatever, and again, I'm not saying you take the copy and use it as gospel. No, I'm talking about use it as a foundation building, massage it to your, to your needs. Put it out there. It would have taken you 12 man hours, it's going to take you 2 man hours, whatever the case might be.
So, that's the area where that disruption is coming. And so just embrace the tools and don't be afraid and, and learn, and learn. And look, just like the mobile revolution was a disruption to people, this is going to be a disruption. Look, we just over the last three years have lived through one of the greatest, have lived through the greatest business disruption in the history of mankind. It was the pandemic.
Right? And people lived through that. People led through that. People came up with new ideas through that. Same thing's gonna be here. We just have to stand up and lead now through this and just understand and realize why it might be, where it might be a disruption. Embrace the tool. So it's not a disruption.
Russel Lolacher: You would define enlightened leadership as supporting and leading in the organization and out of the organization. And I was wondering what the, how that relates to AI as a disruption, because you mentioned all the benefits about AI, but not leading the disruption of it.
Rajeev Kapur:AI is a massive disruption in the workplace. And, and what I'm saying is that the, if you focus on the artificialness of the AI, and you don't embrace the tools and you just continue to do your job and say, Oh, this is a nothing burger. It's a fad. It's going to go away. You're going to be up for a rude awakening.
And so, so what I'm here to say is that if you want to be an effective leader for the future. You need to get your team. You first need to embrace the tools and understand the tools and you can embrace those tools, not just for the business side. You can use it for your personal life and your family life.
You should be using these tools. If you want to plan a vacation, use, use ChatGPT to help you plan your vacation. If you want to come up with a new recipe to cook on a Friday night, use ChatGPT to help build you build that out. The more you start using the tools on a personal basis, the more you're going to use the tools on a business basis.
Number one. Number two is, keep in mind, what we're talking about here is that these tools have now made it, it's buying back people's time. The one thing I talk about all the time is culture. One of the things Enlightened Leadership does, it focuses on building culture and experiences. One of the things you hear from people all the time is, Oh, I'm working too much.
I have too much on my plate. I can't do, I can't handle the workload I already have. How can you give me more work? These tools are designed to help reduce and potentially eliminate a majority of those types of issues. That will then allow you to go spend more time on your mental health, allow you to spend more time on other things.
So to me, there's a domino effect, right, of having you embrace those tools. And I'm just here to tell you, you don't have to embrace them. You just don't. You can, like I said, you can look at this as, hey, Rajeev is wrong. He's full of shit. And I get it. That's fine. No problem. But I'm telling you, if you don't embrace it, and over the next couple years, you're gonna have a problem.
And I'm just telling you to embrace it. And look, it's easy to use. It's not that difficult. And so if you look at it from an enlightened leadership perspective, what an enlightened leader would do here is they would pay for their team to have chat, ChatGPT 4. That's what I'm doing I have a hundred and 104 of my employees, which is 80 percent of my workforce.
I'm paying for ChatGPT4. Now you might say, well, what about the other 20%? Well, they're thinking they're fine with ChatGPT3.5. They just don't need it. Some of them are doing work where they don't need that in fact, the advanced version of ChatGPT. At some point we'd probably would pay for it as well.
But we're paying for that. And it's like a $25,000 a year commitment, but I think I'm gonna get way more than $25,000 a year value back. By having the team use and embrace these tools. My salespeople are using it to build out prospecting email lists or whatever the case might be, right? Code interpreter and plugins and all these things are, they're tools out there that are helping them analyze different things.
I have a whole research team that can now look at this and upload research to it and have ChatGPT help them, give them a basic foundation of the research that's available. So it's designed to say, look. I want to help reduce that workload and these are the tools that help reduce that workload.
And that's what an enlightened leadership, an enlightened leader does. Because a lot of times, how many times have you heard people saying, well, I have to work at night at home, well use the tools, get your work done between nine and five, you don't have to work at home or you don't have to work extended hours, whatever the case might be.
So that's the whole point of, I think, enlightened leadership and disruption from that perspective and AI and these tools and embracing it. Those are all the different, I think, opportunities that that one has to embrace, but you have to embrace it. I mean, I can lead my team to water, but they have to be willing to drink it.
And and so far I can tell you from 1105 perspective, it's working, may not work for everybody, But it's working here and, and I'm a focus group of one and, and we're, we're, we're, we're, we're nothing special here. I think we do a really good job of what we are focused on and if we can do it, anybody can do it.
Russel Lolacher: So disruptions happening. I mean, AI is one, generational as you've talked about. So as an organization of any size, how do you prepare for disruption? Especially because it's going to happen as you're saying, whether you embrace it or not disruptions here to stay, how do you prepare as an organization, as a leader, to be better prepared for that?
Rajeev Kapur: Yeah, so the first thing I did, for example, like when ChatGPT was first announced with like November 30th, I think, of last year, right? Or roughly around that time. I remember that same morning messaging my team, saying, guys, this is going to change the world. And they all looked at me like I was crazy.
And then I just kept hitting them with it. It's coming, it's coming, it's coming, it's coming, it's coming. And I literally had to drag them in saying, it's here, and show them how to work it. And so it had to come from the top down. So this whole AI revolution, it's going to be very top down driven initiative.
If you think about like the social media revolution was very bottoms up, right? Young people embracing, at the time, Facebook, and then Twitter, and now Instagram, and TikTok, and these things. A very young person, bottoms up, hey, we gotta do it, hey, CEO, if you don't understand it, go hire a 22 year old intern to come and teach you how to use TikTok, and Instagram, and all these things, right?
This is gonna be a very top down situation. So the first thing is you have to embrace it. You have to understand it. You have to realize it. And the next thing you do is you have to get your management team on board. And so I actually took my whole management team to an offsite. We went for an offsite and spent a day and a half going through all the tools that were available. What's coming. How to use the tools.
We then started doing training. So all my management team went through training. We then started training the teams. Like I mentioned earlier, my team has gone through over 300 man hours of AI training, ChatGPT, Midjourney. We're now in the process of putting together Zapier training, and that's a whole new automation tool.
Now that's coming and you can make quote unquote zaps. So if somebody's interested in learning Zapier, go to zapier. com and you can learn all about Zapier. So we're in the process of doing everything we can to train everybody on those tools. I'll give you an example of how it's benefited. So we were in the process of hiring a potential, hiring a director of marketing, an additional director of marketing.
We found that we didn't need to hire that additional person. Now you might say, well, geez, it doesn't, it's not, isn't that a job loss? No, it's not a job loss because we were looking to hire that job. We found out we can do a lot of heavy lifting within ChatGPT. Instead, we took that opportunity and we went and hired in a different area that needed it more.
So it allowed us to use the tools to fulfill an area that we knew we could fulfill. And then we looked at a real pressing area that really needed it on the event, on the event marketing side and the event relationship side. So we did that. And we, and we, and we had that job, we had that job opening.
And so we're feeling that right now, but it allowed us to shift. And that's what I, that's what you're going to see happen. This is not about job loss. You're going to have, you're going to have some job disruption, but you're also going to have a massive amount of job creation down the road. We haven't even started to look at all the, if you look at what's happening in Silicon Valley right now, every, almost every dollar is being invested in two areas.
It's being invested in AI and longevity sciences. How to live a healthier, longer life. That's where all that money is going right now. Those are the two hottest areas within Silicon Valley. And those startups right now are what Uber and Airbnb and kind of all these things were 7, 8, 9, 10 years ago, right?
You're gonna start seeing all these startups coming out. You're already seeing a lot of them. Come out, there's Midjourney, there's Zapier, there's stable diffusion, there's runway, there's looka to make logos. I mean, there's, there's, there's places... I, I think, I can't remember another one that does the internet websites for you.
But anyways, so there, there's a, there, there's tons of these coming out. I saw one tool the other day that, that reads invoices, that can read invoices and parse the data out of the invoice to help you do analysis from an A, from an AP perspective. So you're going to see all these tools that are coming down the road, and that's going to create whole new job opportunities.
So yes, there's gonna be some job disruption, there might be some job losses, but there's gonna be other job creation that's gonna happen, just like it's been every time we've had the these types of things happen to us in the past.
Russel Lolacher: How do you know you're not ready? I mean, it's, it's as. It's great to get into training. It's great to embrace it and learn it, but not every organization is as nimble, as agile, as interested in embracing these. So are there, are there red flags that we should be looking for an organization going, you know what, we're not ready. We need more work before we can embrace disruptions like AI.
Rajeev Kapur: Look, I'll, I'll be honest with you, I don't know if we're ready either, but we're but we, but we're getting better every day. I mean, I don't think there's a, there's, there's not a high watermark that says, once you get this level, you're now ready. You know that doesn't exist. But I can tell you companies are embracing it.
And you need the tools to catch up. For example, if you're a salesperson and you use Salesforce, well, Salesforce is working on improving their, I think it's called Sherlock. I think that's what it's called.
They're in the process of building out AI tools directly into Salesforce. Microsoft is getting ready to launch, they have a 600 company test happening right now and they're getting ready to launch something called Copilot. Where they're going to integrate the ChatGPT functionality into Excel, Word, PowerPoint, everywhere else.
So right now, for example, maybe it takes you 10 or 12 hours to build a proper PowerPoint presentation. In the future, you can just type in, I want a slide of the moon and with a rocket that shows these three things. And then we'll build a slide for you, right? Excel and the finance team while I was talking to a couple of finance people yesterday, it might take you 30 days to do a monthly close.
In the future, as AI tools roll out over the next year or two, it might take you only a week to do a monthly close. And again, my question back is, what would you do with all that extra time? Oh, be focused more on working with our bank relationship, or we would do this or we would put in better processes, Whatever the case might be. You know some of the low hanging fruit things people can start looking at doing obviously train your people. Start looking at building little chatbots internally. So for example at 1105 we're building a chatbot for HR That will be the first line now of questions so you build out a little database of Q& A. So you have your little questions and you have answers and you program the chatbot. Hey, how much vacation, what's our vacation policy? What's, what's my reimbursement policy?
How many vacation days do I have left? Just those types of things that people call HR for, now the chatbot will handle, right? If you think about it from, from an IT perspective. Oh, I forgot my password. Can you reset my password for me? Well, the chatbot will handle that for you, right?
Do you want to escalate this? Do you need help? Do you want to talk to the CFO about this more? Great. Reach out to the CFO. So, those are all the things that are coming down the road. And I, I can tell you that over the next couple of years people should be embracing all these types of tools in the workplace, and like I said, some, some companies are going to be on it right now. And some companies might, might take a while. Maybe they don't have the internal staff to do it. But these tools are going to become ubiquitous over the next 12 to 24 months. And so this is not something that you have to be ready tomorrow.
I just encourage people to start thinking about it today. And if you're thinking about it today, you're going to be ahead of the game than others.
Russel Lolacher: And that leads me to my next question, which I was kind of curious, what kind of cultures, what kind of leaders, are ready for this? And I mean that from a, a a trait standpoint and curiosity is the first one that comes out of my brain is... To be ready for something like AI being curious, assuming you don't know everything right out of the gate would probably help your sanity a bit.
Is there anything else a leader could be leaning into strength wise, characteristic wise that would make them better prepared?
Rajeev Kapur: Yeah, look, if you're the type of top down leader where the buck stops with you and nothing can be done without your say so, you might struggle with this a little bit, right? But you talked about curiosity. Did you watch that TV show, Ted Lasso?
Russel Lolacher: Of course, I'm a Ted Lasso fan. Of course.
Rajeev Kapur: Yeah, me too. I love Ted Lasso. And do you remember the, remember the dartboard scene?
Russel Lolacher: Yes!
Rajeev Kapur: At bar?
Russel Lolacher: Love that. Love.
Rajeev Kapur: And so what did he say? He was talking to Rupert, that guy that was essentially...
Russel Lolacher: Be curious, not judgmental.
Rajeev Kapur: Be curious, not judgmental. And that's what you have to be here. And it, if you, if you're judgmental about this, it's just not going to work. Eventually you might get there, but you're going to be a little bit far behind, but be curious, play with the tools, have fun.
This is not scary. It's not that scary. It's, this is fun, man. I mean, It's, it's like I'll tell ya, I mean, look, you, you like Jarvis from the Avengers? In the next couple years, you're gonna have Jarvis from the Avengers with you, right? Not only are you gonna have it at work, you're gonna have it at home.
I mean, Elon Musk he, he did a demonstration of Optimus, his robot, right? Which is a, a, a, a, look, look how fast technology's advanced. Right, imagine what technology's... look where we are today with iPhones and laptops and all these things. Look at, in the next 20 years... when my sons are in their 40s and I'm 70 something, I wouldn't be surprised if there's robots in the house, or we're working in the house, or whatever the case might be.
You already have Boston Dynamics demonstrating some amazing things. So look, you can't stop technological innovation and advancement. It's just going to happen and come. And you come back to the old story of Ford, right? If he said, if I asked my customers what do they want, they would have told me they wanted a faster horse, right?
And again, you just have to, you got to just, look, again, be curious, don't be judgmental about this stuff. Just be curious. Go, go play with the tools, go watch the YouTube videos, go on Reddit and read what people are saying. It's great, it's a lot of fun, I'll tell ya, this stuff is awesome.
Russel Lolacher: You've worked in a lot of countries over your career. I'm kind of curious from a culture standpoint, and I mean geographical cultures, Do they embrace change like that all the same? If AI is coming here, is a Western culture maybe different than an Eastern culture in how they're... willing to embrace and accelerate this based on your experience?
Rajeev Kapur: Look, I, I would argue that in some parts of the world there might even be a little bit faster to adopt than we are. Because education systems in China and India are much more focusing on technology and STEM type solutions, As opposed to here. We do, we do. We do have good STEM, both my boys were in STEM solutions, but you know, they're just a bit more advanced there. Like China and India are going to graduate a million engineers this year. We're going to graduate 100, 000, right? And embracing, if you really, if you really want to get into this world, then really look at Python, Python development, understand the Python language and a little bit of Java. That that's what AI is built on.
But to answer your question a bit more, look, I don't think that the good, the good thing about AI, there's no border. Anybody can use it now. Italy stubbed their toe a little bit by causing a pause because they had some issues and some concerns about it and they stopped it for a couple of weeks and maybe a month.
But then they saw that they were going to be left behind. So they turned it back on again. So they're fine. But look, are there concerns? Sure. Do you have to worry about privacy issues and confidentiality issues? Sure. If you're going to upload a document into ChatGPT, make sure you anonymize the document or opt out or opt out of chat or they have a form and we can opt out of stuff.
There's always what I like to call the Superman effect. Which is, in the Superman effect, is imagine if Superman was raised by the cartel. What type of Superman would we get? As opposed to Ma and Pa Kent. So again there's gonna be bad AI. Well, good AI is gonna help fight bad AI.
Intel's working on deep fake detection technology. Others are working on that, right? Cyber companies are working on ways to help thwart AI intrusions. You're starting to hear stories of people who can take my voice, your voice, anybody's voice for three seconds, and then they can emulate that voice. Call my parents and say, Oh my God, gee, hey, mom, dad, I'm in trouble, send $5,000 or whatever, right?
So one of the things I tell people is come up with a safe word for your family, right? That, that they know. So look, I mean, there's definitely challenges out there. There's going to be challenges. I mean, just like there was challenges in anything. Are the challenges here bigger? Sure, absolutely.
But it's coming and there needs to be some regulation. There needs to be some ethics put around this whole thing. The challenge on regulation is unless China and India and the other countries step up and join in the regulation, the U. S. may be left behind. So it just can't be a U. S. only leadership thing saying we need to be the ones who are regulating. No. The whole world needs to step up together. This needs to be a global regulation process.
Russel Lolacher: Where would you start? Like, I mean, anybody listening to this that is not as familiar, they've heard ChatGPT on CNN or, or any, but they haven't played with it at all. Or they, they not too sure about it cause their kids have told them about it. Where do you start tomorrow?
Rajeev Kapur: Well, I would just tell them, just go to openai. com and, and click on the ChatGPT link and play with the free version. And if you want to pay the 20 bucks a month for the, for the expanded version or the enhanced version, you can do that too, but just start playing with it. Ask it any question you want.
Start simple. Hey ChatGPT. And I always do please and thank yous in ChatGPT in case the world of Terminators do come, it'll remember that I was nice to him. But and I say that jokingly, but but I do, I do find myself saying please and thank you a lot to ChatGPT. But no, just start there, like go on YouTube and type in ChatGPT, like how to use ChatGPT.
It'll show you some amazing videos. Go on Twitter. Talk type in hashtag ChatGPT and it'll pull up some amazing people to follow. I wrote my book. My, my book is called AI Made Simple. I wrote the book so my mom could understand it, right? My mom's gonna be 78 years old, 79 years old, so I, so tho those are the areas I would start.
But just start by opening it up.
Russel Lolacher: What are you most hopeful for with all this. With AI being here, you're on a lot of boards that are talking about this right now in your own business. Where are you hoping AI takes us in the workplace?
Rajeev Kapur: I think it's gonna really, what I hope it does... What I hope it does, it unlocks a whole level of creativity that we haven't been able to unlock before. I think people are going to have a much more creative and enlightened, I, I think that we may actually be on the cusp of new age of enlightenment. And I just don't say it because I coined enlightened leadership, but I think there's an opportunity there. We're going to see a whole new level of creativity being unleashed. The one, the one thing they say about social media is the good news is everybody has social media. The bad news is everybody has social media. I think the, I think the good news here is that everybody's going to have an opportunity.
Russel Lolacher: Well, Rajeev, I'm going to wrap it up with the question I ask all of my guests, which is what's one simple action people can do right now to improve their relationships at work?
Rajeev Kapur: I'll tell you, to me, what I tell people all the time is never be the smartest person in the room. When you're the smartest person in the room it comes back to that, being too judgmental, not, not, not being curious enough. just don't be the smartest person in the room surround yourself with amazing talent, surround yourself with amazing people and leverage what everybody brings to the table.
Everybody brings something valuable to the table. Leverage what that is, use that and embrace it. And just go, go focus on building a winning culture.
Russel Lolacher: That is Rajeev Kapur. He is the president and CEO of 1105 Media and the author of Chase Greatness, Enlightened Leadership for the Next Generation of Disruption. And he's got a new book all about how you can learn AI simply. Check it out. Thanks, Rajeev.
Rajeev Kapur: Thanks, buddy.