What’s Your Next Challenge with Dr. Diane Hamilton

Dr. Russell Strickland  [22:03]

So a little bit needs.


Dr. Diane Hamilton  [22:05]

A little over did it. But you know, there was just so much in there that I got, I started to speak because part of my job is being the MBA Program cCair they had they volunteered me to speak for Forbes. So the very first person I interviewed was billionaire Ken Fisher, the very first speech I gave for free, but it was even for free ,paid speech was performed. So when I jump in, I just jump in big, you know. So I’ve written for, you know, Forbes and all these different other areas. And I think I’ve just touched on so many things. So I help people learn how to do podcasts now. But my main focus, I started to be interested back to your question about curiosity. I started to look at all these people on my radio show. And I, as you know, Steve Forbes ,Ken Fisher, all these people I’ve interviewed, and they were all super bright, super interesting and very curious. They wanted to know more. So I found my right book on curiosity as my fourth book. And as I started to write it, the person who had studied emotional intelligence for my dissertation came out and I started to look for the assessments, how do you assess a curiosity? And now you know how? And as I started to look at the assessments, they all told you, if you had higher low levels, just your range? Well, what if you had low then what do you do is what I wanted to know. And so for me, my doctoral dissertation journey really helped in this next process, which is I created the Curiosity Code Index, which is the only assessment in the world and the first to ever determine the factors that inhibit curiosity. And I had to go back and relearn some of that statistics I didn’t love and I actually kind of appreciated it now because I saw a meaning and purpose for it. And I my work on nominated by Thinker’s 50 radar, which is kind of the Academy Awards for business thinkers out of the world, which is amazing. And I’m very honored to serve with them alongside all these people like Amy Edmondson and Francesca Gino, all these Harvard professors that are just who are just amazing. And so I I think, you know, one thing leads to another thing is another thing but my my curiosity book, which is endorsed by Steve Forbes, and my you know, all my work it kind of just everything kind of in the education world, we say scaffolds or whatever, you just one thing piles on and you just get to the next level. And you don’t think so much. You just keep taking opportunity. And I think when an opportunity arises, I’ll jump on it if it’s something from I’ve worked everywhere from, you know, editor in chief of a website to taken on a dean role I’ve taken on, you know, different things. And if it’s the right opportunity, it really opens the door for something else


Dr. Russell Strickland  [24:56]

For the next thing. And that’s I mean, I could not have scripted what you said any better to tell folks that when you get you’re working on a doctoral degree, finish it, get it done. Because these are the opportunities that follow. You have to be out there, you have to be present, you have to be, you know, making yourself available. But it doesn’t take a whole lot more than that. It’s like this huge magnet that just draws opportunities to you, once you have that doctoral degree, because most people don’t like 99% of the population doesn’t have that.


Dr. Diane Hamilton  [25:28]

Well, and I would say one thing I would do now, if you haven’t done it, and I did a lot more later was to build your network on social media. Because you don’t know what, where that’s gonna lead. And I think when I started my radio show, I had maybe 500 followers, or whatever it was, you know, that people have on LinkedIn, and then immediately went to 20,000. Because I, you know, started connecting and meeting and they’re really interesting people. And I think you really need to look around and who can I connect with? And what can I be sharing with other people and don’t focus it on you focus it on them, share other people’s content, share things of what you’re going through with your journey, of course, but focus a lot on how you connect with others and do things for other people. Because when you get out and have your doctoral dissertation done, you will have your network, it already ready and opportunities will be much more available.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [26:27]

Absolutely. Beyond the networking, which which of the opportunities do you think that you you took on was most fruitful? I guess which one of them? Have you been able to leverage most since you graduated?


Dr. Diane Hamilton  [26:44]

Well, having a radio show led to everything. So I have to say that in a way because it led to a lot of boards I’m on now. I mean, I run you know, I worked from the board of advisors of DocuSign with Keith Crock, who wrote the foreword of my book, who is the billionaire genius behind DocuSign and Ariba and then he became, you know, undersecretary and all the things he’s done, you know, and I’ve worked on a couple boards with him on a global mentor network is another one I’ve been on. I’m on several boards, and I have, you know, some VC work I do. I work on boards with like Radius AI here in Arizona, which is, you know, amazing startups. I mean, there’s just so much that those kinds of things that I’ve led that have interested me and led to some of the my VC work and any kind of investing if you’re anybody’s interested in doing that, that’s that’s a great opportunity for that. A lot of people do the radio shows to get business as a speaker and a consultant. I didn’t do it for that reason I did, because I truly was interested in knowing what people do and what their hobbies are and things and I mean, what has made them successful or whatever. But I have met I mean, there are movies made about people, I mean, Molly’s Game Molly was on my show, or Craigslist, Craig was on my show, or you know, whatever. All these people Richard Stallman wrote Linux/GNU code, you know, whatever it is, you know, the all these people from Caruso, the celebrity dachshund has been on my show, just because I thought it was interesting. I don’t know, you know, you’ve had you get to pick the people. I mean, Albert Bandura was on my show. I mean, you think he’s 94 years old, you can’t teach a class that his name isn’t on, Daniel Goleman was on my show, the main guy in emotional intelligence, which I wrote my dissertation on, I mean, think about these things, you know, they really open up doors to and it made me write the book and the writing the book made me create the assessment and creating the assessment is such a huge thing, because I’ll forever have had this impact, because curiosity is the key to everything in the business world innovation, engagement, everything everybody’s trying to pick, everybody’s hiring me to speak about soft skills, you know, emotional intelligence kind of things. But what what leads to that a lot of it is curiosity based, and if you can improve curiosity, then you can improve everything that slows people down status quo, all the things that people are trying to get out of, to improve productivity. So I’ve become the curiosity, guru of sorts, you know what I mean, because of that, which also led to my fifth book, perception, which ties curiosity into perception and global learning and culture and a lot of the things that I co wrote that with Dr. Maya Zellige, who became the MBA program chair after I left at Forbes.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [29:26]

What a fascinating history and just, it’s, it’s amazing to me, all the people I talked to, because you’re right, having a platform, running a show is one of the best ways to meet new and interesting people. And, and to hear over and over again, all of the amazing opportunities that have come from this place of I earned a doctoral degree and therefore, you know, in a sense, I became more interesting. There’s a halo effect around the people wanted to have me, you know, why do you think you got that first radio show offer by the way, how much do you think your doctoral degree had to do with that?


Dr. Diane Hamilton  [30:01]

I think that I wouldn’t have gone that direction if I hadn’t gone through the doctoral process, because I wouldn’t have taught so much, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity at Forbes, I wouldn’t have had all that, that because you wouldn’t have gotten to that level. So it did have an impact. I think that a lot of people are they want to write books, that’s one of their motivations, you know, and it really wasn’t my motivation, but it led to that later. But if you’re thinking of writing a book, because of this, and, and it’s getting to be the business card is no longer your calling card anymore, you have to at least have a book and your book is you’re showing your expertise, your level of knowledge. And so if you’re going to go on to be a consultant, a lot of people don’t want to teach, they want to do some other things with their PhD, they don’t want to research they want to do something else. And a lot of them are just an authority as you are here and authority on this. And you you, you don’t know what you’re going to do with it. But if you’re thinking of writing a book, a lot of it is your networking and building your foundation of your network. And they’ll, if you ever try to get anything published, they want to know who follows you, who’s looking at you. And this is a time to start to build that. So I said that before. But I think think about those things, as you’re writing, maybe start blogging, maybe about your journey or something just so you get used to connecting with people.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [31:28]

And particularly with you know, if you’re still working on a doctoral degree program, you’ve got to continue to develop that ability to write for people. Because when you’re when you’re writing in your dissertation, that’s writing that no one’s going to read outside of your committee. But there’s, there’s the notion of taking that what you’ve learned, and writing it for a public audience, for people outside of academia. And so blog and things like that, I think helps keep those muscles into while you’re simultaneously learning how to write as an academic on the other side.


Dr. Diane Hamilton  [32:01]

Yeah, I think you have to, to learn to write two different ways: the academic writing, and then what everybody else wants to read. And but the academic writing, it really teaches you discipline. I, I mean, just the how nitpicky they can be, I had no idea that you can’t have one extra space apparently, in this world, or, you know, contractions are, no superfluous words or whatever, you know, all the things you learn, it really helps you later to to write better, even when you don’t do it in a scholarly voice.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [32:36]

Yeah. But I tell folks all the time when our students do when they graduate, like okay, now do you wanna write a book, so someone will actually read because your book is your dissertation. But that’s, that’s getting published into the the dungeons of UMI and never never to be seen, again, for most people. But you can take that same expertise and write a book on that same topic or on something else. Because once your first name is “Doctor,” people, people give you a lot of latitude, right about whatever you want to do, is you can become an expert on that pretty quickly.


Dr. Diane Hamilton  [33:07]

Yeah, it’s something that just is so foundational to everything. And I don’t think you see it, when you’re in the middle of it, you think it’s the end, and it’s really the beginning. And to me, just getting over the psychological telling yourself, it’s so hard. I mean, when I say it’s hard, it was challenging, but there was no point that I thought, oh, I can’t do this, or it’s too hard. It’s just like, oh, this is really interesting. And I learned so much I loved it. I kind of would take the next thing if I mean, if there was a next thing, I want to know how hard that is. I mean,


Dr. Russell Strickland  [33:45]

I’ve got the same I so I forgot what the hell they characterize these but I learned a while back about some psychological archetypes. And I learned I’m a hunter archetype. Because I watched sports and I see the guys celebrating after the Superbowl where after the World Series or something, and I just don’t get it. Because I would be out there like, wow, that was awesome. Okay, here’s what we’re gonna do next year.


Dr. Diane Hamilton  [34:06]

Yeah, yeah. It’s hard not to. That’s why the guys who went to outer space get a little bummed out. Because then what do you know? Yeah, yeah.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [34:18]

Time Machine.


Dr. Diane Hamilton  [34:19]

Right. Right. Right. So I mean, always have another goal in mind. I think, you know, and you may, I guess, for me, I always am looking for the next challenge.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [34:31]

Yeah, me too. I, you know, I have my goals I’m working on now. And already the goals after those. I know what they are, they might not be clearly established, but I kind of know what they are. And that’s something that that drives me and everybody’s different as far as that’s concerned. But that’s when you said that, it resonated.


Dr. Diane Hamilton  [34:49]

Yeah, yeah.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [34:51]

So what do you think was the most surprising thing to happen to you after you’re on your doctoral degree because of the doctoral degree, I mean, you talked about all of these wonderful things. At what point were you in a room and you’re just like, no, this isn’t my life.


Dr. Diane Hamilton  [35:06]

I think being up on stage sometimes I spoke to Sherm, you know, you’ve got 1000 to 2000 people in the room, and you’re looking and they’re all staring at you, and you’re the expert, and everybody’s thinking, you know, you’re the one they’re going to for this or that, I think that’s those are the pinch me moments, the speaking for Forbes, you got the bright lights in your face. And you’re like, okay, people are sending me to all around, you know, the world for different things, or, you know, when they put my my curiosity code index, and the schools are when they added my book as required reading, as you know, at another university, or if it becomes available in Africa, or wherever you go, like, oh, this is really cool. Yeah. Yeah, so I get people from all over the world, writing to me and asking me questions and interviewing me, I, you know, I get, I do my show three days a week. So I’m, I’m doing maybe interviewing six people a week on my own. And then I’m on two or three other shows a week for their shows like this one. And you know, you’re just meeting people you would never otherwise have met and learning and expanding and every day I learn something new. And I love that.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [36:20]

Yeah, awesome. Yeah, for me, the sort of pinch me moment I was invited to teach a seminar in Paris. So is quieter than being up on stage with Forbes and everybody but yeah, I was invited teach a seminar in Paris.  Pretty good. Paris. Yeah.  That pinch me moment was so I got to the hotel and the room wasn’t quite ready. I put my bags down, took my briefcase, walked down the street to the park in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral and sat down and started answering emails. And I was like, okay, I’m answering emails, but are you kidding me?


Dr. Diane Hamilton  [36:54]

It is amazing. When you get those I think Thinker’s 50 is a pretty amazing thing for me, you know, I went to their event. Year and almost two years ago. And you know, I’m walking around in ball gown, with everybody in ballgowns, from Harvard, and everywhere else from all around the globe. We’ve all the smartest minds in the room, and you’re like, this is really, you know, amazing thing.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [37:15

It’s awesome. What was it that? What was the book writing experience like for you? I know a lot of our folks after they graduate, that’s one of the things they really want to do. Um, you kind of jumped right into that. But what was that experience like for you kind of starting out?


Dr. Diane Hamilton  [37:30]

You know, I wrote three of them the first year, right out of my dissertation, right after I finished and graduated, I just wanted to know what it’s like to write a book. And they’re, they’re not my favorite books that I’ve written. One was because I wrote it with my daughter. And actually, that one was is called It’s Not You, It’s Your Personality, and with my agent had me write in a more irreverent tone, because Skinny Bitch was a pop, a popular book at the time. And so I wouldn’t have written in that tone. That’s not me so much. But my daughter put it into that tone. And I helped write the content. And we did it together. And it was fun because of that. So that’s that one. Actually, I built a course around it at a local university here of foresight, and of course, in technology, and we ended up using that book, which was fun. But it’s my journey was very similar with a curiosity. I wrote Cracking the Curiosity Code, and I wrote the Power of Perception. Those two books are my last two books in the last two years. And those books, the journey, I took them as very seriously as books that I wanted to, to change something in the world to fix the business setting, to not just know what it’s like to write a book, but to actually make it be important book. And so, for me, I learned a lot from the first three books of what I wouldn’t do what I would do or differently, kind of those were kind of experimental things. I think the first one I wrote about online education was online students user manual was to teach people how to be an online student and I liked that I was doing that kind of thing. And then the third book was how to reinvent your career, but which was I was just trying to help people but this one was really Cracking the Curiosity Code was my my life lesson, I wanted to be known for the person who changed how people think about curiosity and getting out of status quo thinking and because it went along with the assessment, and so did the Perception book went along with a perception assessment. Those were completely different because I kind of had them as companion books to the assessment. So you learn all about the value of the curiosity or perception and the books and then you take the assessment and you move forward. And so they those I think that was a journey because you know, you have to just like in a book you have come up with your outlines and you decide how to to set it up, and I’ve learned a lot from a guy who I dedicated my last and I both dedicated our last book to a guy named G. Roskelley, who died right before it published. But he works a lot with us to help us with the alignment of the book. And you know, just how to showcase certain things in certain ways. I’ve always learned from him from other from my other book, he just was a friend and really great guy. And I think every time you write a book, you learn something, what you would not do the next time or what you should have done. And the great thing with my Curiosity book is I had the audio book. I had Dion Graham do the voiceover for it. And I just saw him on TV the other day, he’s a famous actor, and he did Neil deGrasse Tyson’s book, Death by Black Hole, which is one of my favorite books, by the way. And to have Dion Graham, the voice of audiobooks, it’s most beautiful voice ever do my voiceover for my book, that was another pinch me moment, by the way. Yeah, he was on my show too.

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Dr. Russell W. Strickland

RUSSELL STRICKLAND, Ph.D., has been referred to as a “rocket scientist turned management consultant.” In truth, he applies an eclectic body of work from astronomy and nuclear physics to dynamic inventory management to market research to each of his student engagements.