Frank B. Glassner is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Veritas Executive Compensation Consultants (Veritas). Additionally, he leads the Firm’s executive compensation consulting practice. His consulting experience includes a wide range of assignments with specialization in: executive compensation; studies linking organizational strategy and compensation programs to business strategies; board of directors compensation and governance; bankruptcy and reorganization compensation and incentive plans; corporate governance and ethics; litigation support and expert witness services, succession planning; tax-deferred compensation; wage and salary administration; job analysis and evaluation; surveys on compensation and organizational practices within specialized industries; sales and marketing compensation; incentive compensation and performance management; and performance appraisal and development.
Frank is a nationally recognized executive compensation and corporate governance expert with over forty years of experience in the field of compensation and strategy consulting. Prior to joining Veritas in 2009, Frank founded and was the Chief Executive Officer of Compensation Design Group, Inc. (CDG), assisting both domestic and international companies in developing unique and specific compensation programs linked directly to business, financial and strategic objectives. Prior to Veritas and CDG, he was the National Director of the Deloitte & Touche Strategic Rewards Practice, and led the Western U.S./Asia-Pacific compensation consulting practice for KPMG.
Frank is frequently quoted in major publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Business Week, Time Magazine, Financial Times, London (UK) Times, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, USA Today, Directors and Boards, Die Welt (GER), US News & World Report, Boston Globe, New York Times, New York Post, LA Times, La Prensa (MX), India Times (Delhi), Washington Post, China Times (PRC), The Standard (HK), South China Post (HK), TheStreet, MarketWatch, The Daily Mail (UK), The Telegraph (UK), The Globe and Mail (CN), Reuters, Associated Press, Barron’s, the Chicago Tribune, and the San Francisco Chronicle. He also appears regularly on CNN, Bloomberg, CNBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, NPR, and NBC. He often speaks publicly on such subjects as executive pay, corporate governance, and strategic total compensation. He is a member of the Conference Board, World at Work, American Management Association, and is a Corporate Governance and Leadership Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors.
Where did the idea for Veritas come from?
Many Boutique executive compensation consulting firms today are just spin-offs of bigger companies and have fallen out of favor due to the diversification of their business that was created on a conflict of interest. Veritas Executive Compensation Consultants was created to have independent ownership to avoid these limitations.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
The typical day is usually devoted to clients. Serving clients 24/7 concierge-style. If a client calls at 2 in the morning, there will be work done for them by 9 that same day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Veritas will do a thorough analysis of clients and individualize each one. Every client has their own unique plan because every situation is different. We don’t create cookie-cutter plans that are given to everyone.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Anything outside of the ordinary and outside of the box. We are called whenever there are struggling companies. We have always been the master of the hard case. When a company is in trouble and starting to fall apart, who do you call? You call Frank.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I always lean on the leading edge. Trying to stay 500 miles ahead of the trend. We publish our newsletter twice a week, so no one is left behind. We don’t want to do what others do. If you see 20 dogs eating out of a bowl and another bowl a half a mile away, we ask ourselves why do dogs keep going to this bowl when there’s another one. We will go to the unused bowl and ask how do we fill this bowl. It’s always been; why didn’t I think of that. The master of the abstract. It’s not just us preaching to our clients, it’s more here are some things to think about. We ask ourselves what is it that we can do that is unique and out of the box for this client. We are client-centric 24/7.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I’d tell myself to follow your path, be true to your heart, be true to your instinct, and don’t be swayed by industry trends or pressures or meeting people’s needs in place of your own needs. Don’t be afraid of what is unique or different. Never fail to listen to others who are unique and think outside of the box. Always value direct communication. Young people are wiser beyond their years, take advantage of that. Don’t fear the future. Approach life in a way that is fearless and in a way that is unencumbered. Have an unrelenting focus, and don’t be afraid of that. Don’t just work smart but also hard. Have a consciousness of spiritual and physical wellness. Practice the concept of “family is first” practice a concept of “Buddhism has a lot to say”. Always pay it forward and share with those around you, as well as those both in front and behind. Be smarter than I was and always be a mentor to those you work with and share your life with. If you practice all of the above, you will be happy with what you have accomplished.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
The world is not your friend. There are factual realities in life that have to be dealt with head-on. One can not put on a pair of rose-colored glasses to change what they see. Always live in a clearly defined and easily understood manner that will benefit your company stakeholders and those around you. Live your life for all, not for one.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Think out of the box. Going back to the empty dog bowl, I always try to think of how do we get this empty bowl to be full instead of using the same one everyone else uses. Be fearless of the unknown. If you remove the fear, you can conquer it all. Many want to climb Mount Everest and be powerful. They want to be a CEO or even the president, and they want to be great. The biggest thing I can recommend is before you take that journey, first learn these three steps. First, learn to put on your shoes. Second, learn how to weave and tie your shoelaces. Third, break your shoes in. The journey can be a million steps, and if you learn how to get there, you always will.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
One thing that has helped Veritas grow is by thinking outside the box. Finding ways to do something that no one else is doing. Going back to starting your journey, one must first learn to put on their shoes, how to tie them, and then break those shoes in as they start on their journey.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I would have to say that every single day is filled with little successes and failures. Face those failures, don’t fear them, and don’t figure out a way around them. Instead, find a way to conquer mountains piece by piece bit by bit molecule by molecule. Have courage and commitment, and you will get where you want to be.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best 100 that I would or could spend is creating educational possibilities to help young people remove their fears. Helping them to better understand what science is, what business is, what medicine is, what politics is, and what the road ahead is. I would ask how can I feed people’s minds and bodies. I wouldn’t go buy 100 fish for someone who is starving, but I would spend that $100 to buy the equipment needed to teach them. I’d spend $50 to teach them to fish and the other $50 to teach them to cook. That way, they will be able to do something with the fish they caught. It’s not just food but books and education to help them remove the fear of learning new things. I would absolutely get people excited to learn things they never knew. It’s like planting a fruit tree and watching it grow. It is exciting watching people learn and grow as well.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I say humorously anyone can be Einstein with Google. However, more importantly, there is a difference between book smart and brilliant as well as there is a difference between spiritually brilliant or educationally brilliant. It takes a tremendous amount of soul searching and learning about philosophy and perhaps a Buddhist life and all things great and spiritual. The greatest educator of all is life as well as looking into the past and, to the best of our ability, into the future as well as finding those in our lives who might look forward to the future with us.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Probably any of the scriptures of Thai Buddhism and any and all things Mark Twain. The scriptures of Thai Buddhism are a way of life. They teach how to be kind and open your heart, how to not be judgmental, and to embrace your fellow person. I would also suggest anything from Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, Confucius, and Gandhi. The essays on self-reliance Ralph Waldo Emerson.
What is your favorite quote?
One is “radiate boundless caring towards other humans and towards the entire world”. Another one is “give even if you have a little”. Third, “conquer anger with non-anger, conquer badness with goodness, conquer meanness with generosity”. Fourth, “drop by drop a flower pot is filled likewise the wise man gathering little by little fills himself for good”. Last, “those who cling by perceptions and views wander the world offending everyone”.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.