Sabrina Horn is an award-winning CEO, tech industry communications expert, and advisor with over 30 years of experience. In 1991, she founded Horn Group, one of Silicon Valley’s most iconic public relations firms, and built it from the ground up to national acclaim. While growing her business and working with countless entrepreneurs and CEOs, she came to understand how deeply a leader’s actions can impact a company’s success. From her book, Make It, Don’t Fake it, Sabrina shares how honesty and authenticity lead to success in business, and in life.
[2:20] Sabrina has a stamp collection and shares where it all started.
[4:30] Talking about her book, Make It, Don’t Fake it, Sabrina shares the different ways people fake it.
[5:55] People exaggerate the truth. Sabrina provides some examples.
[6:35] Sabrina explains what she calls “ostrich lies.”
[7:05] Selective truth-telling can be very dangerous.
[9:10] Procrastination or avoiding the truth is more harmful than exaggeration. Sabrina shares a story to explain why.
[13:00] Sabrina shares her thoughts on the book, Leadership BS.
[15:10] More recently, everybody’s language is all about empathy, humility, and authenticity. This book would not play well today.
[17:10] What some leaders do to get power and keep power is to withhold information. Sabrina shares insight on how to handle difficult conversations truthfully.
[20:05] It’s tough being a leader and employer managing through the pendulum of a company’s profitability.
[22:45] Sabrina talks about imposter syndrome.
[24:20] How to deal with imposter syndrome: Meet with everybody, be the director of your own movie, use the “we” word, and lastly, remember that you’ve earned your success.
[28:05] Cognitive behavioral therapy and mentors can help you with your imposter syndrome. Sabrina shares her own experience with this.
[30:35] Jan asks Sabrina why good PR should have nothing to do with spin.
[32:25] It’s not about being better or sexier, faster, or cheaper, it’s about being different. Sabrina shares how honesty can be a great PR strategy now.
[35:05] There are so many people clamoring for attention and it feels emotionally draining. Sabrina shares her insights on the best strategy for marketing.
[37:55] Because of the amount of information we are being bombarded with now, leaders can’t be numb if we expect our people to be resilient.
[40:50] Sabrina shares a piece of advice that is hardest for her to take as well.
[42:10:] Sabrina would tell her twenty-nine-year-old self to make an effort to build a team of mentors and advisers and be true to her own convictions.
[45:15] Sabrina shares some practices on how to stay true to your own core values as a leader.
[48:10] A bad subculture can infect the whole. Sabrina explains how this can relate to your company and brand.
[49:20] Sabrina’s closing thoughts: Be successful by doing things the right way.
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Quotable Quotes“So, we go from this seemingly innocent not-meaning to do any harm to crossing the line where you actually are saying and doing things with the intent to deceive.” Click To Tweet “Hope is not a strategy.” Click To Tweet “A leader may be tempted to lie and to deceive in order to get out of a tough situation or under pressure but the problem with that and with all kinds of faking it is ultimately the truth always comes out.” Click To Tweet “Imposter syndrome can arise in situations where people don't know who you are, and you don’t know who they are. And you’re walking in there and people think you’re going to put on a show for them.” Click To Tweet “Spin really is about us peeling back the onion, getting to the absolute truth so that you can then find a path forward through a crisis or to create a great brand and tell a great story.” Click To Tweet
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- Sabrina on LinkedIn
- Sabrina on Twitter
These are the books mentioned in our discussion with Sabrina