Richard Socarides

GLG Head of Public Affairs

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What Do You Do When Team Members Fight?

I think I'm pretty lucky, I mean, and I work with a very diverse team of people, but we're based in New York City. It's a pretty diverse place. People have a pretty, a very…

Running Time: 0:52

How Do You Give a Great Presentation?

My trick to giving a great presentation, I would say, is be yourself. I would say don't over-prepare. I mean, I like to be prepared and, perhaps, I am in over-preparer, but I think when…

Running Time: 1:21

When Does It Make Sense to Take a Pay Cut?

Probably always, if the job is something you're passionate about and something you love. I have taken a lot of jobs with pay cuts. I've even taken a 400% or more pay cut when I…

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How Do You Manage a Culturally Diverse Team?

It's super important to be respectful of, that different people bring different things, different perspectives to the workplace; in fact, that's what we want. I mean we're lucky if we have people with diverse perspectives…

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What Advice Would You Give a First-Time Manager?

Be compassionate. Be understanding. Be patient. Demand the best, but understand also that everybody's usually trying their hardest.

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What Was the Worst Advice Someone Gave You?

I have actually taken some jobs that, I thought were going to be fantastic jobs, and then I got there, and it turns out they weren't really the right jobs for me. So that's advice: people…

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How Do You Build a Strong Personal Brand?

How do you build a strong personal brand? That is a important and difficult question. I think that the key is authenticity. I think the key is sharing of yourself in as authentic a way as…

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How Do You Put Workplace Diversity Into Action?

For us as managers, the way to ensure a diverse workforce is to insist upon it. And as qualified as anyone might be, if you don't have options that include diverse options, you should reject…

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What Is Your Biggest Time-Saving Trick?

Wake up early in the morning and just go at it. I know that some people don't like the idea that we have a 24/7 work environment—24/7, you know, I do sleep so it's not…

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Where Do You Go to Rejuvenate?

Well, I like, I think that sleep is very important so I often go to bed to rejuvenate. I mean, it seems like an obvious answer, but a lot of people don't get enough sleep,…

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What's the Biggest Mistake New Bosses Make?

Being too demanding, and not respectful. I think that managers have to remember that they are in a very special position of trust and responsibility, and that what they say, the mood they're in, the…

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What Rituals Do You Perform Before a Stressful Task?

Well, I actually think that meditation is a great thing to do before you're about to have to do something very stressful. It's, I think, been terrifically helpful to me. I don't always do it,…

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Who Do You Admire and Why?

Tom Harkin, former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin. I'm a huge fan and admirer of his, because he was able to bring a real authenticity to public life. You always knew where he stood. He did…

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How Have Your Parents Affected You?

Well, my father, despite the fact that I had a very contentious relationship with him, he definitely affected who I am. And, actually, some people, people who knew him—he died about 12 years ago—but people…

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What's Your Biggest Regret So Far?

Well, you know, I'm pretty happy, so not a lot of regrets come to mind. I think that—my biggest regret, I think, is not knowing what I know now as a 60-plus-year-old person, not knowing…

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How Do You Get Work Done While You Travel?

I don't mind traveling that much. I mean, I'm lucky that I get to go to places that I like to go, and I'm at the point in my career where if I don't really…

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Tell Us About a Mistake You Made and What You Learned

I think I have made a lot of mistakes, and I think people make mistakes, and if you take chances, which you need to do in life and your professional life and in your personal…

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What Happened to You as a Child That Changed Your Life?

Well, I have a lot of things that happened in childhood that changed my life. I mean, my parents were divorced at a very young age. I had to figure out how to maintain a…

Running Time: 1:57

What Makes Your Blood Boil?

I will tell you, on a personal level, if I have not gotten enough sleep and I'm over-scheduled, I'm usually pretty cranky. The people who work with me will definitely verify that. Otherwise, even if…

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What Do You Hope People Get Out of Listening to Your Answers?

Richard Socarides: Well, I think, I would hope that people would get from listening to my answers that Radiate is doing amazing work. Betty Liu: Thank you. Richard Socarides: And other than that, I hope that…

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What Is the Best Advice You’ve Ever Received?

I had the honor and privilege to work with Bill Clinton when he was President for eight years as a member of the White House senior staff. And when his presidency was wrapping up and…

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If You Could Write a Letter to Your 21-Year-Old Self What Would You Say?

It gets better. I would say it gets better, like the fantastic campaign they had for gay kids called It Gets Better. I think that I would say to people who are young, whatever you're…

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How Do You Recruit and Retain a Diverse Workforce?

First of all, I think it's very hard to do, and I have a lot of compassion for any of you who are trying to recruit a diverse workforce. But I remember when I worked…

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What's the Most Important Skill You Use That School Did Not Teach You?

The most important skill, I think, is to be authentic and not be afraid to show yourself. As a manager, I think authenticity and compassion are super important; we don't really learn those in school.

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"Long-time LGBT rights advocate"

Richard Socarides is head of public affairs at GLG (Gerson Lehrman Group), the leading global membership for professional learning. Richard oversees media, communications, marketing and government relations.

Previously, Richard served as White House Special Assistant and Senior Advisor to President Bill Clinton, where he worked on labor, education, and civil rights issues. Richard also worked on Capitol Hill as Special Assistant to U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin. He has also held a number of senior executive roles at Time Warner, New Line Cinema, and AOL.

A lawyer by training, he was a partner at the New York City law firm Squadron, Ellenoff earlier in his career. Richard is also a writer and regular contributor to The New Yorker and a frequent commentator on television and radio news programs. Richard is a Trustee of the State University of New York.