Dr. Corrie Block has an impressive resume. He's been a consultant and coach to business owners for nearly 20 years. MBA. PhD in Arab and Islamic Studies. Business School Professor. Published in media and academic journals. International speaker.
But to me, here's the most impressive thing about him:
He's joined the best of both Western and Middle Eastern business culture, to help his customers in a truly unique way. I honestly can't think of any other local consultant with his skillset, academic credentials, and vast experience.
Dr. Corrie and I had a wide-ranging conversation at the Ubrik Media office recently. I had a bit of trouble coming up with a title for this episode. We covered so much ground.
The best, and most important, insight I got was the importance of thinking of business in terms of human relationships. Employer and employee. Client and vendor. Board members. Tribes. When you start to think and behave this way, according to Corrie, you activate the brain chemicals of happiness, trust, and fulfillment. It turns out to be very profitable for you in the long-run.
Enjoy the episode!
Time-Stamped Show Notes
[01:10] How Corrie ended up in Yemen for 5 years.
[02:25] Why he forgot all the Arabic he learned after moving to Dubai.
[04:30] Why Corrie is intentional about growing his personal brand even though he hates "self-promotion."
[05:45] The easiest way for CEOs to build their company's brand.
[07:05] The reason why, when we say "Ronaldo" or "Messi," you know exactly who we're talking about, what sport, and what team.
[09:10] The democratization of media and building a brand
[11:20] The "addiction" that makes Corrie stay small as a solopreneur
[12:00] The balance between marketing and fulfillment: Apple in 1997
[14:30] Dr. Corrie's interesting connection to Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, the ruler of Sharjah
[16:30] How Corrie unexpectedly became a cultural ambassador when the attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand happened
[17:30] 1,000 cups of tea, and consulting
[18:10] The Middle Eastern approach to doing business that drives Westerners nuts
[18:45] If you want to do more business, make more oxytocin
[21:00] Book smarts vs. street smarts - which is more important in business?
[22:20] What the best leaders do to be successful
[24:20] Why your Board of Directors never having any problems is a BAD THING
[26:00] How much does Khaleeji / Emirati culture affect the way business is done in the U.A.E.?
[26:10] The best description of Dubai we've ever heard
[27:10] Non-verbal signs that a Khaleeji businessman trusts you
[29:50] Why business is moving in the direction of "Solopreneurship"
[30:30] How Corrie runs his business as a Solopreneur
[33:10] Artificial Intelligence and the future of work
[35:20] Are you a horse breeder in the era of Henry Ford?
[39:00] The differences in thinking of top- and middle-management in Dubai that organizations need to be aware of
[40:10] How would Corrie describe what he does to a 5-year old?
[41:50] 2 questions every employee and business owner should ask themselves so that they have happier and more fulfilled work lives
[44:20] The one thing people need at work to perform better
[46:20] The true source of your profit margins in business
[47:10] Why ideas like "it's business, not personal" are total BS
[48:10] Understanding the purpose of business through tribal affiliations
[52:10] How one of Corrie's consulting clients had an amazing 2009 year despite the financial crisis
[53:40] The brain chemicals of happiness and how to "make" them in your employees