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Rick Miller | Be Chief

216: Rick Miller: All I did was apply the lessons my dad taught me

Rick Miller Notes Page

Rick Miller has turned around businesses during a dot com bomb and lead organizations that had to deal with real bombs. And all he did was apply the great lessons his dad taught him at the kitchen table, decades earlier.

Rick Miller was born and raised outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Rick is the oldest of 3 boys who were raised primarily by their father, as Rick’s mother was hospitalized for much of his youth.

Professionally, Rick’s Dad served as personnel (human resources) leader in the only non-union manufacturer in Central Massachusetts. Rick has been described by many as a different kind of turnaround specialist. Rick describes that difference as his balanced focus on human capital and financial capital, and Rick credits his father for that strategy.

The common theme throughout Rick’s career has been a focus on building highly productive teams. He actually started that practice in high school and college sports, and continued in his early professional life. Rick started his career in computer sales, where he quickly moved up first into general management, and then onto turnaround management as a specialty. In the first 27 years of his career, Rick applied his craft to companies in different industries ranging from a start-up to a Fortune 10 multi-national (AT&T), earning a reputation as a turnaround expert, a servant-leader, and a go-to Chief.

Rick’s legacy has been built around creating powerful teams that achieve sustainable growth.  Rick has proven that sustainable growth is achievable in any organization with appropriate focus on the 6C’s – customers, competitors, costs, capital, communities, AND a culture where employees can achieve sustainable growth too.

Rick currently serves as an Executive Coach and Confidant in a company he founded 11 years ago. He also speaks publicly at colleges and companies on how to build powerful teams that can achieve sustainable growth.

He shares the secrets of his strategy in the recently released book Be Chief: It’s a Choice, Not a Title, named an Amazon #1 new release in both Leadership Training and Business Management categories.

Rick has earned a bachelor’s degree from Bentley University and a MBA from Columbia University. Rick has been married for 36 years, and he and his wife Diane have proudly raised 2 public servants. Their son Jack currently serves as Press Secretary for Congressman Ami Bera in Washington DC. Their daughter Casey teaches in a bilingual 2nd grade class in New London CT.

Rick and Diane live in Morristown NJ.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @BEINGCHIEF to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow – Click to Tweet

“With whatever cards your dealt, play those cards to the best of your ability with a smile on your face.” – Click to Tweet

“Chiefs are people who connect what they do to who they are.” – Click to Tweet

“There’s a huge power in what you feel once you know what you stand for.” – Click to Tweet

“Once you figure out what you stand for, you can take a stand.” – Click to Tweet

“You know yourself more when you’re present.” – Click to Tweet

“You know yourself more when you choose to be accepting.” – Click to Tweet

“You know yourself more when you are generous.” – Click to Tweet

“It is important to know who you are, so that when you make the choice about what to do, they’re consistent with your values.” – Click to Tweet

“7 out of 10 workers are not fully engaged at work. Many times, it’s because what’s being said and what’s being done from a values perspective, isn’t quite matching up.” – Click to Tweet

“It’s the human capital that will enable financial capital success.” – Click to Tweet

“Power comes from when you line up how you think, how you feel, how you speak, write and act.” – Click to Tweet

“Today’s version of power is so much more attainable by everyone.” – Click to Tweet

“Power today is about energy, confidence, clarity, influence and impact.” – Click to Tweet

“When you learn something new and open up to a new truth, don’t be afraid to change your position.” – Click to Tweet

“Anyone that’s told you they’ve figured it all out, run away, they’re dangerous.” – Click to Tweet

“Open up and be open to all input.” – Click to Tweet

“Never confuse titles with power.” – Click to Tweet

“The language of business is numbers.” – Click to Tweet

“Power is never given, it’s only taken.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Rick Miller has turned around businesses during a dot com bomb and lead organizations that had to deal with real bombs. And all he did was apply the great lessons his dad taught him at the kitchen table, decades earlier.

Advice for others

Maintain a healthy impatience because it drives you forward and keeps you centered.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Going more deeply into meditation.

Best Leadership Advice

Power is never given, it’s only taken.

Secret to Success

Persistence

Best tools in business or life

My network

Recommended Reading

Be Chief: It’s a Choice, Not a Title

Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success

Contacting Rick Miller

Website: https://beingchief.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BEINGCHIEF

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/BEINGCHIEF/

Resources and Show Mentions

Power Compass Survey

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work

Show Transcript: 

[expand title=”Click to access edited transcript”]

216: Rick Miller: All I did was apply the lessons my dad taught me

Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

Call center coach develops and unites the next generation of call center leaders. Through our e-learning and community individuals gain knowledge and skills in the six core competencies that is the blueprint that develops high-performing call center leaders. Successful supervisors do not just happen so go to callcentercoach.com to learn more about enrollment and download your copy of the Supervisor Success Path e-book now.

Okay, Fast Leader legion today I’m excited because we have somebody on the show today who really is going to give us some insight on what it means to be the chief. Rick Miller was born and raised just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. He is the oldest of three boys who were raised primarily by their father as Rick’s mother was hospitalized for much of his youth. Professionally, Rick’s dad served as a professional Human Resources leader in the only non-union manufacturer in central Massachusetts. Rick has been described by many as a different kind of turnaround specialist. Rick describes that difference as his balanced focus on human capital and financial capital and Rick credits his father for that strategy. The common theme throughout Rick’s career has been a focus on building highly productive teams. He actually started that practice in high school and college sports and continued in his early professional life. Rick started his career in computer sales where he quickly moved up first into general management and then on to turnaround management as a specialty. In the first 27 years of his career Rick applied his craft to companies and different industries ranging from a start-up to a fortune 10 multinational, AT &T earning a reputation as a turnaround expert, a servant leader, and a go-to chief. 

Rick’s legacy has been built around creating powerful teams that achieve sustainable growth. Rick has proven that sustainable growth is achievable in any organization with appropriate focus on the six C’s, customers, costs, capital, communities and a culture where employees can achieve sustainable growth too. Rick currently serves as an executive coach and confidant in a company he founded 11 years ago. He also speaks publicly at colleges and companies on how to build powerful teams that can achieve sustainable growth. He shares the secrets of his strategy in the recently released book, Be Chief: It’s a Choice Not a Title, named an Amazon number one new release in both leadership training and business management. Rick has earned a bachelor’s degree from Bentley University and an MBA from Columbia University. Rick has been married for 36 years and he and his wife Diane have proudly raised two public servants. Their son Jack currently serves as a press secretary for congressman, Ami Bera in Washington D.C. and their daughter Casey teaches in a bilingual second-grade class in New London, Connecticut. Rick and Diane live in Morristown, New Jersey. Rick, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Rick Miller:     I’m ready, willing and able.

Jim Rembach:    I appreciate the fact that you’re here. Now I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

Rick Miller:     Well, my current passion is all about a service project that really kind of kicked off with the book. In prior years I’ve focused on kids and helping kids, I actually started a non-profit which I ran for about ten years as CEO focused on kids with diabetes, it’s a wonderful success. More recently I’m focused on helping kids with special needs. Thanks for referencing the book, it looks great by the way right back there over your shoulder and just to let everybody know all proceeds of that book go to help kids with special needs. So my focus right now is on kids with special needs their teachers—we’ll talk about that later on, but right now it’s kids and special needs is the is the passion of the day because it’s been of the year, new year new challenges but special needs focus is going to go on for the next couple years.

Jim Rembach:    Well, and so for me—I was reading the book and preparing for our interview together, and so for me, for those that aren’t aware, the education that I get by having some of these phenomenal guests on the show is tremendous and sometimes it hits home in a lot of ways. You shared a story about

Melissa being one of your mentors, and if you could just share that a little bit.

Rick Miller:     Sure, I’d be happy to. I share in the book the story of a wonderful six year old girl who is actually one of my greatest teachers. She was a six year old girl, when I first met her she was in a wheelchair she had cerebral palsy. I met her in a rehabilitation hospital where I had volunteered to work with a physical therapist to work in this hundred-degree heated pool to help kids that had muscles that were just very tight. Now this is what Melissa looked like when I first met her in the pool. Her hands were clenched and they up by her shoulders and she actually had one dream. Her dream was to fully extend her arms to grab a little nerf basketball and drop it in a net and scored two points, that’s all Melissa wanted to do. 

So when I met Melissa though, I should back up just a little bit, when I first saw her though she was in the wheelchair off to the side waiting for her turn to get into the pool, we had been working with another youngster at that point. But what struck me right away when I first met her years ago was that when she was wheeled in everybody on the staff who had known Melissa prior to be volunteering came over to say hello. She was a magnet for people. They came over said hello went by. And then she sat very serenely looking at us in the pool waiting her turn, she had a calmness about her that struck me. Yet when she got in the pool she was one of the hardest-working people I’ve ever met with. She was focused she was at the tasks you could see her intensity at the same time she was very generous with her smile. She was always very grateful whenever we were done with our session she will say thank you to the physical therapist and thank you to me. We worked together for six months for her to take and fully—that first day by the way we got her right arm extended about five inches. One hour of work and a

100 degree heated pool. So when I think about people that I admire I think about people who are Chiefs people who are powerful, we’ll talk about power in a bit, I think about power are people who are accepting of their situation, who are hardworking, who can be gracious, who can be generous, who can give to others, and I view those people as role models. So if that’s the criteria I think about someone like Melissa and she had an impact on me. I’m talking about her decades later, in fact, the book is dedicated—the money is going to special-needs kids because of Melissa. 

I think if the lessons that she taught about how to—with whatever cards you’re dealt play those cards to the best of your ability with a smile on your face.  I get goosebumps when I think about her to this day and I get teary-eyed. 

Jim Rembach:    I told you that’s why for me it just hit home and I shared with you my wife was in a car accident when she was eight years old and she’s in a wheelchair but yet this woman  is a CPA, she is the mother of three children that she carried they were all delivered via C-Section when you start looking at the triumph—she doesn’t like me to tell her story she’s very stoic she’s like, I’m just me. Talking about teary-eyed that gets to me too. I think for me I often have to stop and self-reflect just like you were doing with Melissa and talk about that impact, talk about that affect, talk about all of those things. In the book in the beginning you talk about some questions that are important for us to be able to ask of ourselves, such as, how can living my values bring out the best in me and those around me? How can I develop insight and learn more about myself? How can I use creativity to increase my positive impact? And how can I use discipline to manage better? And how can I support others to increase their positive impact? I think you hit all of that when you were talking about Melissa. However, when you start thinking about levels of importance and the things that really are differentiators they all can’t do that. While they’re all important, which one kind of stands out as one that’s like, this is the unique component that I find in a lot of Chiefs.

Rick Miller:     Well, we can boil all five of those down by list of five, actually, in two different words but to kind of bring them together. Chiefs are people who connect what they do to who they are. Your wife, Melissa, gifted people, we meet every day they connect what they do to who they are. I generally would say that it’s important to understand who you are because you’re different than me are people we know are all different so at the core of this it’s who are you? That would go to two particular elements. I spend a lot of time in the book talking about insight and values, let’s talk about those two if we could. 

Values was actually the first question and values are so important because I regularly talk to people and I say, what are your values? And they will give me a long list, sometimes it’ll be a short ones more often it’s a long one and I will stop and I’ll say, what’s your core for? They’ll look at me and I said, yeah, what’s your north south east and west? What are those that you hold most dear? And many people will stop. The people that I work with I’ll do the same thing and I’ll ask this question. There’s a huge benefit in terms of the power that you will feel once you know what you stand for. Because once you figure out what you stand for, you can take a stand. And when you take a stand you are powerful. So, that’s very much who we are at our core. By the way, very much related to insight and insight is synonym for self-understanding. We talk a lot about in the book and generally about how do you build self-understanding. Everybody says, know yourself. I would say, okay, how do I do that? And I believe this five areas that you can invest in to know yourself better. I think you know yourself more when you’re present when you choose to be present. I think you know yourself more when you choose to be accepting, talked about Melissa was very accepting of her situation. You know yourself more when you are generous when you are grateful and when you choose at certain times to be still to listen to the voice inside you. 

To answer your question directly it is important for you to know who you are so that when you make these choices about what to do they’re consistent with your voice inside your values. But first you have to take a little bit of time to figure those out.

Jim Rembach:    Yeah, I think that time component is really interesting and I think there’s also an exploration component that has to be involved with it. Maybe that’s where this whole fear factor comes in play for a lot of people is that fear stop them from doing that exploration in order for people to find these things out. Do you find that to be a case?

Rick Miller:     Yeah. I don’t know often that it is fear for many people, I just think it’s the question they haven’t asked themselves.  If somebody asked you, what do you stand for? Because maybe you haven’t thought about it many people come up—will I stand with family and ethic, you’ll come up with a set of words. There’s an exercise that I use, I’ll put 50 great words on a piece of paper and I’ll hand it to somebody and I’ll say, are any of these words that you disagree with? They’re all great words, they’re great attributes. No, I don’t disagree with any of them. I said, which of the four do you stand for most? Many of them stop and think. And I said, here’s the benefit, here’s the benefit. I said, go to the ten people who know you best and ask them to each give you four attributes of what they think you stand for. You could do the math, they could come up to with 40 different words in some scenario, 10 different people give you four different words 40 different answers. I said, that’s not a bad thing. But if you want to stand for something, if you want people to know—when I think of Jim, I think of family, I think of faith, I think of trustworthy, whatever those attributes you are wouldn’t it be wonderful if you ask those 10 people and rather than give you 40 different answers maybe they gave you a 10. Maybe some said, kindness—well those are kissing cousins you’re still going in the same direction with those. My point is, it’s a choice. Again, the whole book is titled, Be Chief: It’s a Choice not a Title. The choices we make about taking the time, and I don’t think it’s out of fear so much Jim, I think it’s more about to take the time and do the work to say, you know what? I can’t stand for 50 things, I can’t be viewed as

forty—but if I get it down to four then maybe people will bleed over 5 6 7. But am I more powerful in the way I talk? In the way I speak? In the way I act? In the way I think? If I’m constantly reinforcing what is most dear to me. Now, my core for is different than yours or anybody else’s but the exercise of doing it the people that I work with normally come back and say thank you. I wouldn’t have taken this time and I have a confidence now in where I go and how I go there is based on me not a well-intentioned spouse not a relative not a good friend not the media who’s always tripping at me, this is what you should be doing. How do I develop my own confidence? I think it starts with values. 

Jim Rembach:    As you were talking I did start thinking though that it does require some vulnerability to be able to go and ask those people those questions because you might be afraid of what—you know they’re coming back with even though they’re all positive words. For me I would have to actually go through that exercise and I think I’m going to ask you for those 50 words so that I can actually do that because I do want to know what people think are my—I would like to get it down to that core four.  I have a rough idea and some intuition because I think as you go through life you kind of start centering around certain ones, however, it would be nice to see what others perceive and then that is an important piece of feedback in order to be able to get so that you can do exactly what you were just saying, now I can take a stand. 

Rick Miller:     I think people feel more confident when they do and it’s about your confidence in a world where you’re trying to maintain an equilibrium when everything around you is constantly shifting and changing. Having that insight and having those value set I use that as the core of a topic that I call the compass. How do I use a tool to keep me towards my due north, which is what a compass does, when everything around me is shifting? Everything around me is shaking. I get new information all the time. Things I try to hold true too is constantly getting all this feedback, how to stay and use it in boating analogy? How do I keep my ship pointed in the direction that I want to keep when the waves are coming in from all angles and it’s up but it’s down and all around? How do I stay centered an element of being still? Stillness by the way you can achieve by walking in nature, by listening to music, or by classic meditation, however you stay centered particularly these days really, really important. 

Jim Rembach:    Well, in addition I started even thinking about when I’ve been within certain organizations and things just didn’t feel right and didn’t seem right to me and I felt like an oddball it’s really going back because of I didn’t share the same values with the organization that I was with and unfortunately I didn’t know that I needed to really put my efforts and then leaving that organization. Many times I would stay and be irritated and I would  be the one who was trying to change things when maybe that wasn’t really where I should’ve been putting my effort.

Rick Miller:     Such a great point. I have certainly and I tell the story in the book there are certainly at least one organization that I left when it became clear that my values and the values that were at least being practiced. It’s not the values that show up on a piece of paper on the wall or in your wallet insert all organizations, if you boil them down I’ve done work with startups to multinationals in a lot of different industries, a lot of organizations will put their values out there—on the website or whatever else—and many of them look the same. It’s teamwork, respect for the individual, it’s innovation, it’s focus on the customer, you and I can probably come up with 10 and of those 10 everyone’s got five. The question isn’t whether they’re on the card or on the website the question is are they in practice in the organization? And I think for those of us who are values-based if you find ourselves in a situation where they’re not practiced that’s when we have to make a decision about how much we’re going to invest in those organizations. And oh by the way, that’s one of the key business topics in the book, is the lack of engagement. Right now in the United States seven out of ten workers are not fully engaged at work they feel powerless. And many times it’s because what’s being said and what’s being done from a values perspective isn’t quite matching up and people are feeling that and they’re bringing their B-game to the office not their A-game. 

And when organizations can do things to have employees bring their A-game that’s the result whether it’s a startup or a multinational you can get organizations to achieve. That’s probably why I’m called an unconventional turnaround specialist because that is my job I generally walk into places where things are really bad or these people perceive they’re really bad so why would we ever go on the outside to bring in this guy. Those are the lessons, frankly, that my dad taught me back at the kitchen table growing up in central Massachusetts because it is a balance of financial capital you certainly have to look at those numbers but it’s the people it’s the human capital that will enable financial capital success. I’m going around a little bit I apologize maybe I had two cups of coffee this morning I’m pretty pumped up to be with you so I apologize. 

Jim Rembach:    I’m glad you’re pumped up. One of the things that’s kind of stood out to me too is you mentioned something about, I think the phrase you use is for those of us that are values-based, well if we’re not values based what are we? 

Rick Miller:     I think it’s on a spectrum, okay, it’s not people who are values-based are good people who are not values-based are bad, I’m not going there, I’m talking about the people who for example don’t use their values actively to make choices consciously. I believe that those people who have—many who I’ve worked with have gone through and picked their core four and are constantly reminded in my speaking consistently with those values in my writing consistently with my values and my acting consistently with those values because that’s where power comes from when you line up. How you think, how you feel, how you speak, write and act. If the framework is those values then you are clearly not only values-based but values-action oriented. There’s a lot of other people who just don’t think a lot about their values. The other generally kind of bumping along. They’re not bad people but the focus, which I always translate to power true definition of power, no we’ve not talked about it yet but it’s so important. When I say the word power many people go in their minds to yesterday’s definition of power which was authority, control that came from positions like chief executive officer, chief financial officer, the term chief in fact is interesting to people only because of the power associated with it. If I’m

a chief then I must have power. That’s one kind of power but today’s version of power is so much more attainable by everyone. Because a power today is about energy. Power today is about confidence it’s  about clarity it’s about influence it’s about impact so any of those five you can have if you’re on the front line of a company or you’re not even part of a company you’re just who you are. But what choices could you make to increase your energy your confidence and your clarity? You meet people who are clear who are energetic and confident, do they have an impact on you? They do on me, that’s Melissa. She had an impact on me because of just her confidence and what she was trying to do. Do those people make a big impact? They sure do. And those are the people I love to learn from and surround myself with because it is a student-teacher thing I think I’m there to share with them. Like I did when I walked into the heated pool at the rehab facility I thought I was there to help and to teach when in fact I was the student but that happens all the time. 

Jim Rembach:    As you were talking I started thinking about how much inspiration we actually get from those people and even when you’re explaining and I started thinking about authentic those people are authentic they say they are who they say they are and they behave in that way and there’s consistency and therefore I can trust them I mean all those core foundational building blocks on how you actually create a culture that’s successful. But when I start talking about these things I automatically start thinking also about quotes in in my head and we love them on the show we’d love to hear the favorites from the guests that are on this show because oftentimes they inspire us. Is there one or two that you can share?

Rick Miller:     One of the ones that I use a lot is Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous quote from self-reliance which is, a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. And so many times when you hear that quote by the way they will forget the word foolish but the true quote is a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds translate that says, be a lifelong learner there are things that you don’t know certainly you go after something with full intensity but when you learn something new when you open up to a new truth and you become deeper and broader in a particular area don’t be afraid to change your position. If you’re concerned about, well what will somebody else think? If you learn something says, you know what? I was wrong or I need to adjust from going north to northeast or north northwest because I’ve learned something new don’t be foolishly consistent no one has figured it all out. Anyone that’s told you that they have figured it all out run away they’re dangerous. We are all learning every day. So I love that because of the light heartedness and a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. I don’t like to think of myself as small-minded so it’s a reminder, open up and be open to all input. 

Jim Rembach:    I really like that. That actually reminded me of one of the quotes that I like which is, when you know all learning stops. 

Rick Miller:     Well said. 

Jim Rembach:    When you start thinking about all of these issues that you’ve run into these humps that you’ve had to get over and all of those they’ve had to have defined where you are today and really solidify those values so you could take that stand. Is there a time though when you’ve gotten over the hump that you can share with us? 

Rick Miller:     Oh, boy, there’s plenty of humps I thought you were going to go in a different direction. Let me answer the question that I want to answer not the one you just asked. My core four, just so you know are truth, service, equality and connection those are my core four. I’ll go to your question but I want to get those out there not because I think they are the right answers there my right answers yours could be totally different but the fact that I know those so clearly and I live, eat, sleep, and dream them they are my core four. And everything I do that’s the filter that goes in my speech, how I write, how I act. So when I hit those humps and as I say as a turnaround individual life I’ve run into some humps. I’ll give you two ends of the spectrum, in one case I was hired during the go-go days of the Internet boom to take a company public. I was going to be the gray hair to come in and work with a wonderful group of primarily 22 year olds who were destined to take a company and I’ll be billionaires. When I walked in just before it burst, around 2000, the board that brought me in said, hey this is the right move. So I had my first employee discussion and the first hand went up by a wonderful 21 year old who said, can you tell me how many months it will be until we’re all millionaires? Okay, Nasdaq crashed about a month later and over the next 18 months the market lost 68 percent of its value. During that time the people who were questioning why the old guy was here weren’t questioning that anymore. We were able to build, and this is a wonderful millennial team that learned how to serve customers who learned how to pull together, in this particular case despite the market going in the opposite we went from a dot-com to a dot bomb. It was crazy customers wouldn’t return our calls everybody was very quiet people were very scared we went on a road show and we raised 85 million dollars because we convinced Wall Street that we were worth betting on this wonderful group of 21 and 22 year olds we brought us some other diverse ages and things like that. But we raised—we took our IPO and we went public in the middle of the crash. We operated for two years we got products out we serve customers and then we sold the business but when most of our customers are going out of business, we’re going to tell the story in the

book how when the bombs are bursting around you, figuratively not literally we talk about literally in a minute, how do you pull together a group of people who have no experience with tough times to serve customers to pull together and actually drive results? Because all of a sudden we had shareowners. Those are the stories they tell on the book about how people come together. By the way, all I did was apply the great lessons that my dad taught me at the kitchen table decades earlier, simple lessons that can be reinforced and that was clearly on one end of the spectrum.  

Other I would say that a big challenge was that when I actually did work in a war zone. I was the president of a unit that earned the right to provide a public safety wireless network that was deployed throughout all of Baghdad and 70% of Iraq. In 2005, that allowed people to put up purple thumbs because it was the first time in the country’s history that they voted, first time. So my team was the team that was on the ground for years, now I was in and out a couple different times, and I tell the story in the book about never confused titles with power. Because when I arrived at Baghdad Airport in February of 2005 I had the title yet there was a security detail, and I tell the story in the book, the security detail of people without titles who were responsible to get me successfully to the Green Zone, the most dangerous road in the world by the way was between Baghdad Airport and the Green Zone in Iraq in the mid-2000’s, but they were the Chiefs they were the people who really had the responsibility and the authority and the control for someone who had a title and all I did was please just tell me what to do. Title meant nothing the power was with people who were on the front lines. I’d say that probably qualifies as a situation where it was a bit of a speed bump. Thankfully we got through safely and I was well cared for but the lessons of dealing with startups to multinationals the talent all around you the opportunity to help people be more powerful and learn from them as they learn from you it’s everywhere. 

Jim Rembach:    Going through the book I just kept finding myself jumping from these stories from one to another there’s a huge breadth and depth of them. But ultimately it culminates at the end when you start talking about helping folks find their compass and you talk about establishing your power compass baseline. And then you actually have 25 questions and answers to these questions are really going to help you describe yourself. If you could talk a little bit more about that and I think you even said somebody being online. 

Rick Miller:     It is. So I mentioned earlier I would love people to consider buying the book the book is fantastic for you or anybody you care about and all proceeds go to help special-needs kids. That said, if you want to measure your power, because I think in business what we learn is if it’s important you measure it, as a matter of fact I say regularly. The language of business is numbers. The language of business is numbers so if all this stuff about power and energy and clarity and confidence and influence and impact is important shouldn’t I have a number for each of it? The answer is you can. You can go online anytime with your smartphone. Grab your smartphone will take three to five minutes

and you can actually get a score, actually numeric score, for how powerful you are. I call that tool a power compass. The baseline power compass is you asked about the first time you take this tool you in fact will have a baseline it will be a starting point. You’ll look at the score, frankly you’ll look at the score and you may have a number of reactions, some people look at the score and say, well what should it be? This is a score but how am I compared to somebody else? Is my score higher or lower than Jim’s? Higher or lower than Sarah’s? Wrong question. The real question is when you take these 25 questions how do you feel about your answers? They’re very short. But when you answer a question, by the way you don’t have to pass this test in so you don’t have to cheat you have to be honest, when you answer these questions honestly you’ll kind of come away with your gut telling you something. Your gut will say, yeah I’m good. I look at the energy area and the five questions they’re being asked about how I really build real energy, yeah I like my choices. My advocacies don’t change a thing. But if you answer the question honestly, you go, that’s the truth not real happy or proud of it and it probably is impacting my energy. It gives a choice to go back and look at a small change, a small change, you might make with one of your choices that can increase your confidence, your energy, your clarity, your impact or your influence. So that’s all described in the book, how we apply, and I use two quick words which I think are really important. 

There’s a lot of places you can go to get leadership information that is on the supply side. Do these twelve things here’s your eight-point checklist. There’s a wonderful group of writers and researchers academicians who can give you a lot on the supply side of leadership. I think what’s different about this book is it’s not about the supply it’s about the apply. I am NOT an academic, I’m a business guy. I take, and I’ve read a lot, by the way I reference probably 20 or 25 of some of the greatest writing it’s referenced in the book, so I talk about, Good to Great, I mentioned other authors and people who’ve made impact. But my job is how to help a reader take the stuff that’s been supplied and in a simple way apply it. In a startup to a multinational you’re an entrepreneur you got one person in your company and it’s you, how do I actually make this stuff work on the front lines whether you have bombs bursting around you or not? Or market crashes or not? So that’s the focus of the power compass it’s really to be very simple. Redefine your thought it leverages a lot of other deep research that others have done but people don’t have the time to go into the deep research. They wonder, what can I use right now? So I’m a very pragmatic person. I’m a simple business person. The power compass, you can get it online, you go to beingchief.com, which is the name of my company, beingchief.com or you can go to bechief.com which is the book page, either way. You can get a link to take the power compass for free and get your own starter set of, okay, what choices am I making? And could I make slightly different choices that will make me more powerful? And the other thing just real quickly is that there’s a piece in the book that is just so powerful. I’ve come across some research which supports what you and I already know Jim, we already know that when we’re surrounded by positive people we tend to be more positive. In the book we talk about two particular research studies, the work done by Fowler and Christakis which talks about the happiness effect which has been well reported on but there’s a particular piece of research done by Versadi, who did it when she was at Yale she’s now at Wharton, we talked about the positive emotions spreading at work a real research that she did that shows that when you bring someone positive into a work environment they affect everyone else. In the book we talked a lot about this term viral engagement which means sometimes you kind of look up sometimes bosses can have a big impact on how you show up but we don’t really study as much as we could what impact does it have if my peer on either side of me is showing up with a positive disposition? Or is coming in every morning and unloading every negative thought he or she ever had? How does that impact the workforce? So these are things that get a little unconventional but it gets to turn around. When I come into an organization I do look at all the numbers I dot the i’s and cross the t’s and balance sheets and P & L, but we also spend lots of time looking at the people aspect. Where our team’s effective and where are they not? What small changes could we make to make teams happier, more productive and more engaged in bringing their A-game? 

Jim Rembach:    Well, Rick, thanks for sharing that with us and the Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor: 

An even better place to work is an easy-to-use solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone. Using this award winning solutions guaranteed to create motivated, productive and loyal employees who have great work relationships with their colleagues and your customers. To learn more about an even better place to work visit beyondmorale.com/better. 

Okay, Fast Leader legion, it’s time for the Hump day Hoedown. Okay Rick, the Hump day Hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us a robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Rick Miller, are you ready to hoedown?

Rick Miller:     I’m ready to hoe down. 

Jim Rembach:    Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today? 

Rick Miller:     One of the areas that I’m looking at is going more deeply into meditation. I’m considering going to a five-day silent retreat and meditate daily. But I think if I go deeper into me and delve it even stronger compass that way I think that’s the next step for me. 

Jim Rembach:    What is the best leadership advice you have ever received? 

Rick Miller:     Remember that power is never given it’s only taken. 

 

Jim Rembach:    What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

Rick Miller:     Persistence. 

Jim Rembach:    What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

Rick Miller:     My network. 

Jim Rembach:    What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners, they could be from any genre, of course we’re going to put a link to–be chief—on your show notes page as well.

Rick Miller:     I’m a big fan of Adam Grant and his book, Give and Take because there’s a misnomer out there takers get ahead. He’s done the research another wonderful Wharton professor and good friend, Give and take by Adam Grant. 

Jim Rembach:    Okay, Fast Leader Legion, you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/RickMiller. Okay, Rick, this is my last hump day hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25. And you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything back you can just use one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

Rick Miller:  I think what I would bring back is to actually maintain a healthy impatience. I think that there’s an opportunity to learn and everything else and you have to always balance to be patient because sometimes we’re not or to be kind of frenetic. I love the term healthy and patient because it drives me forward and keeps me centered. I would practice healthy impatience. 

Jim Rembach:    Rick, it was an honor to spend time with you today, can you please share it the fast leader legion how they can connect with you? 

Rick Miller:     Sure. Easiest way is the website, let’s go to the book 1, bechief.com there you can download a free chapter you can take the test you can read about the nonprofit the wonderful special-needs facility that’s going to get all the money from this thing and you’ll get started on your own version on your own way of being more powerful. 

Jim Rembach:    Rick Miller, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. 

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster. 

END OF AUDIO 

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Brannon Beliso | Live Learn Grow

199: Brannon Beliso: Achievements and success are two different things

Brannon Beliso Show Notes Page

Brannon Beliso as a child had no choice when he was a child, he was a victim. At some point Brannon the man had to make the better choices in his life that have led to greater self-discipline and founding one of the most successful schools in the martial arts industry.

Brannon “The Disruptor” Beliso (Buh-LEE-so) is dedicated to helping others live their best life. His purpose and passion is serving his clients in reaching their full potential through learning, living, and growing.

Brannon is an 8th degree black belt, a former recording artist with 3 top ten hits in the Philippines, owner of One Martial Arts, one of the most successful schools in the martial arts industry, and the creator of One Merit Badges, an internationally distributed life-skills education system.

The Professor, as Brannon is also known, humbly presents workshops and seminars – successful in the martial arts world and beyond – with the mindset that we can all always do and be better. He is committed to being a student for life, and is a dedicated father, husband, and servant to the community.

Brannon’s popular book, Live Learn Grow: Lessons of a Reluctant Tiger portrays his struggles and victories, and the insights that moved him forward step-by- step. He shares these experiences and the wisdom they’ve produced, to help his tribe find their why.

“Service is the New Profit,” Brannon’s mantra, helps him focus his clients to find happiness and success without focusing on money. In his TEDx talk “Happy
on Purpose” Brannon uses humor and experience to show how happiness is a choice we can all master.

Brannon and his wife Kimberly live in Millbrae, California along with their kids Teya and Brayden.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @BrannonBeliso to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow – Click to Tweet 

“Service is the new profit.” – Click to Tweet 

“Consistency is the key to quality.” – Click to Tweet  

“Thought by itself means nothing, it’s only when we tie emotion to it, that is the fuel.” – Click to Tweet  

“Emotion without discipline is simply a dog chasing its tail.” – Click to Tweet  

“Emotion eventually needs to be channeled in some constructive way.” – Click to Tweet  

“The one thing that will fundamentally stay the same are your core value, your why.” – Click to Tweet  

“Something our culture lacks as a whole is self-discipline.” – Click to Tweet  

“A humble heart is very powerful.” – Click to Tweet  

“People like to focus on other people’s drama because it makes their drama not look so bad.” – Click to Tweet  

“We can only heal with love.” – Click to Tweet  

“Achievements and success are two different things.” – Click to Tweet  

“What I need most, is myself.” – Click to Tweet  

“As we get older, we need to stop dismissing each new generation as incompetent.” – Click to Tweet  

Hump to Get Over

Brannon Beliso as a child had no choice when he was a child, he was a victim. At some point Brannon the man had to make the better choices in his life that have led to greater self-discipline and founding one of the most successful schools in the martial arts industry.

Advice for others

Be humble and appreciate more in your life.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Time management

Best Leadership Advice

Lead by example

Secret to Success

My personal faith

Best tools in business or life

Gratitude

Recommended Reading

Live Learn Grow: Lessons of a Reluctant Tiger

E-Myth Mastery: The Seven Essential Disciplines for Building a World-Class Company

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Contacting Brannon Beliso

Website: https://brannonbeliso.com/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu3E-JWdPXotKBn9-b1mCTg

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrannonBeliso

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brannon-beliso-2864657/

Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

Customer Experience Speaker

Show Transcript: 

[expand title=”Click to access edited transcript”]

199: Brannon Beliso: Achievements and success are two different things

Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

 

Call center coach develops and unites the next generation of call center leaders. Through our e-learning and community individuals gain knowledge and skills in the six core competencies that is the blueprint that develops high-performing call center leaders. Successful supervisors do not just happen so go to callcentercoach.com to learn more about enrollment and download your copy of the Supervisor Success Path e-book now.

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, Fast Leader legion today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who really exemplifies the whole human aspects of being successful at the customer experience. Brannon Beliso was born and raised in San Francisco with four younger sisters. His upbringing wasn’t the typical one it was riddled with a lot of issues that many would think that you could not overcome. But now Brannon is the disrupter he’s dedicated to helping others live their best life. His purpose and passion is serving his clients and reaching their full potential through learning, living and growing. Brannon is an eighth degree black belt a former recording artist with three top ten hits in the Philippines owner of one martial arts one of the most successful schools in the martial arts industry and the creator of one merit badges, an internationally distributed life skills education system. The professor as Brannon is also known humbly presents workshops and seminars successful in the martial arts world and beyond with the mindset that we can always do and be better.

 

He is committed to being a student for life and as a dedicated father husband and servant to the community. Brannon’s popular book, Live Learn Grow: Lessons of a reluctant Tiger, portrays his struggles and victories and the insights that moved him forward step by step. He shares these experiences and the wisdom they’ve produced to help his tribe find their why. Service is the new profit, Brannon’s mantra helps him focus his clients to find happiness and success without focusing in on money. Brannon lives in Millbrae, California with his wife Kimberly and as kids Thea and Braden. Brannon Beliso, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Brannon Beliso:     Yes sir, Jim I’m ready to get you over the hump. I like that.

 

Jim Rembach:   I appreciate that and I’m glad you’re here. I appreciate that you’re here. Now give my Legion a little bit about you but can you share what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

 

Brannon Beliso:     Well you made that statement–Services the new profit. Once I really discovered that service was my calling and becoming selfless and becoming more less of a boss less of a controller and more of a true leader a contemporary leadership or service is my foundation everything shifted. 

 

Jim Rembach:   I am a lot into customer-experience, employee-experience and I always talk about the human centric aspects of running a business and you yourself we’re a champion and then became the teacher and mentor and I’m sure you were doing that along the way. But now as a business as somebody who is helping others grow their businesses. How much do you feel that the service aspects versus the experience aspects are really related or where do they differ?

 

Brannon Beliso:     I don’t think they differ I think they’re one in the same. And that’s where people really compartmentalize and separate that Jim, it’s one in the same and then we can view it that way then we’ll get that sense of continuity that we need throughout every aspect of not just our business but our lives. I truly believe consistency is the key to quality, it’s a quick, quick thing about that. Go to my favorite restaurant order my favorite dish and make it the way I like it I go back again. If they don’t make it the second time I might give you a third shot. Third time it’s wrong I never come back again. So when you talk about that experience think about Disney, and Disney’s one of the companies I’ve studied inside and out they’re very consistent in their delivery of that customer experience that Disney experience. 

 

Jim Rembach:   As I was reading through your book I started really getting an understanding of all the struggles and issues from a family perspective as well as being in the system through childcare system is that—there a whole lot of emotion that’s involved with these things that don’t go our way and how we respond to those is extremely important. Your book is just lesson after lesson and vignette and story that has truth and relevance to it, most of them are your own personal experiences. But when you start talking about emotion and the service experience when you think about that from—hey, you can’t make everybody happy—how do you go about turning a new startup when you’re opening up a new location? How do you turn that into grabbing and capturing emotion so that you can create long term clients?

 

Brannon Beliso:     I was just thinking that Jim, I think everything the way the process goes everything begins as a thought. Now thought by itself means nothing I would have could have should have, it’s only when we tie emotion to it that is the inertia that is the fuel that emotion that inspires us to take action and from the action I get a result. Anyone can walk around—I need to lose 20 pounds. Well, they have a massive heart attack and the doctors looking at them all of a sudden the emotional connection that I could die tomorrow is there they’re more likely to act upon that and change their diet and exercise. So emotion is key but emotional without discipline emotion without vision emotion without an action plan of moving your business a start-up or anything—what it’s going to look like in three to five years is simply a dog chasing its tail. We can sit in a room together Jim and go rah rah rah, there’s a lot of emotion but that emotion eventually needs to be channeled in some constructive way and that’s where the vision, the purpose designing the culture, core values, brand absolutes, all those different things that come with growing a business come into play. 

 

Jim Rembach:   So as you were talking I started thinking too about an organization have maybe around for a long time—we’ve been doing things the same way for decades and we’ve been very successful with that and so it’s become part of who we are. However, now I have all this competition I have this total different generation of workforce I have to disrupt myself that has emotion involved with it. How can I be focused enough to say I can’t hold on, because there’s a motion with that, I can’t hold on to what we’ve been doing because we now must do some things differently.

 

Brannon Beliso:     When I look at that say companies like Nokia companies like the Good Guys can you say blockbuster all gone once great, great companies because they stopped focusing on the why. Why are we doing this? We hear that it’s so trendy the why the why and if you read the great book by Simon Sinek, Starting from the Why and Good to Great, by Jim Collins no matter what products change business climate change trends change the one thing that will fundamentally stay the same are your core values are that why. And if I’m constantly revisiting that why living from that why refining that why then all it is a matter of tweaks and adjustments. If you really, really think about it take a great product like Apple it’s still fundamentally the same MacBook Pro same iPhones same iPad they haven’t done anything revolutionary in decades still what iPhone 10.0, it’s iPad Pro it’s MacBook with a faster processor. But what they really fundamentally got and this is important people the Legion as they’re called out there take note of this: when Steve Jobs came back the second time what he had learned the first time in that coup when they squeezed him out and got rid of them what they lacked was loyalty what they lacked was culture nobody drank the Kool-Aid. So what he did with the second coming he brought in Guy Kawasaki the chief spiritual officer as he was called he wore white he almost look like a pastor or a priest and his whole purpose was to live teach and preach the culture of Apple. So people drank the Kool-Aid that’s why you stand in line all night for a phone you can get two days later and walk into the store and Steve Jobs, God bless his soul long and gone, Apple just became a trillion dollar company. So I think that’s what really fundamentally happens is we get away from our why we start living from fair Jim and we focus on—all the bottom line the bottom line bottom line and then we become marketers instead of ambassadors of the why.

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a really interesting point. When I start thinking about the whole marketing piece and the ambassador piece I started thinking about a lot of those guys and ladies who you’re trying to help build their businesses in different parts of the country may probably even different parts of the world and they’re having to essentially connect with parents in order for those kids to become students of their—what do you guys call them, dojos? 

 

Brannon Beliso:     Dojos academies, martial art school but the big thing is martial arts drycleaner restaurant we are service based business and that’s what we tend to forget it’s all about service. 

 

Jim Rembach:   So from the service aspect—I’ve always wondered is there something different that’s involved when you start talking about, I’m not selling to the kid that’s essentially my end user I’m teaching the kid but I’m selling to the parent. Is there something that’s lost in translation? Or there’s something you have to do different?

 

Brannon Beliso:     Absolutely the majority of martial arts schools are one guy mom and pop maybe 75 students or less that makes up 75% of our industry. They’ve created a job for themselves they’re a terrible boss and that perpetuates itself. I think the big thing is recognizing there’s different skill sets. I’ll answer your question but I want to give you this first, the technicians like they talk about an EMS, Gerber talked about there’s so many technicians that’s one skill set I’m a black belt great guess what? You need a new skill set to be a great instructor. That’s not enough now you need a whole different skill set to be a great small business owner and then eventually a whole different skill set to be an entrepreneur. What I recognized early on when I say service is the new profit is I’m serving my parents and we know for a fact marketers 99 percent of the people will come to your website and they are not ready to buy, they’re not ready to buy. 

 

So they don’t want to be sold to but because we’re in fear Jim. I got to make rent, I got 75 students I got to make rent I got to make payroll I have to do all these things that we never get to the why and we live in market and behave from the what are we a martial art school, well, they’re a dime a dozen. So, it’s really me as a parent I need to know what separates you from everybody else. And if you focus your business on earning that trust which takes time which takes a lot of investment instead of just simply high $19.99 those cheap promo Black Friday things might be a quick one off but it’s not something you can build a sustainable growth-oriented business on it just doesn’t. Look at Walmart look at the position Walmart’s and now they built it one good cheap products but now with all the lawsuits and stuff going with the Walmart classic example, classic example.

 

Jim Rembach:  Your book is just riddled for me with teachings of emotional intelligence. I also see that there’s a couple things involved with this, first of all that personal drive an aspect of it meaning you knew that you could not respond to things a certain way you went down that path it didn’t go well luckily you were able to turn the tide but then also there was some aptitude and ability to be able to do

That. When you start talking about a lot of the different folks that you’re dealing with do you find, because you talk about—hey, they’re great technicians, so they have to become a more emotionally intelligent in order to have successful businesses, do you find that there is a problem with people’s ability to be able to execute on those things? Like they just don’t have the ability to do it? Or it’s a willingness thing.

 

Brannon Beliso:     Well I say all the time to any client I’m working with whether it’s one-on-one whether it’s a company whether it’s a martial arts school is there’s nothing I can’t give you that you can’t give yourself. There really isn’t, there really isn’t. In our industry you start off as a white belt you stand in line and you look at your instructor you want to please them, yes sir how many kicks? How many pushups? Whatever you say. In my case it was my dad he was my instructor my dad my coach he told me when to eat sleep how much to weigh what to do in a ring so I was disciplined and many people in life are disciplined but they’ve never learned or mastered the life skill of self-discipline, huge difference. One thing is to discipline a child a whole different days to empower them with self-discipline teaching them that tool that life skill. I think that’s really what our culture lacks as a whole is that we lack self-discipline. We’ve been disciplined and now there’s a revolt people revolt against discipline or they fall in line like sheep being led to slaughter and simply stare into their phone and distract themselves with something else. And I think that’s the big chance. When I talk about that disruptive mindset it’s not so much the willingness as it is the awareness, Jim, people like the awareness because I can get lost in my phone. 

 

Brannon Beliso:     I sat there in the lobby yesterday and I scan the room and I kid you not everybody was staring into a phone. Everybody and that’s scary that’s really scary.

 

Jim Rembach:   It is true. And you brought up one thing that for me I’m glad you did because in the book you talked about the saying that goes something to the effect of—if you want to eat omelets you have to be okay with breaking a couple of eggs. So when you start talking about this self-discipline aspect when you start going to being able to learn how to become resilient when you learn how to achieve when you talk about interacting and connecting with other people sometimes you’re going to have some broken eggs and you need to be able to push past that. So if I’m a person who’s always been disciplined to—how do I really get past that fear of, gosh! I might break an egg or two?

 

Brannon Beliso:     I think again living from some of my core values, number one is humility. People in a Western culture hear the word humility and they run because it automatically triggers humiliation, I’m being humiliated no you’re not. A humble heart is very powerful. Another one for me is gratitude. I’m thankful and if I don’t get along with you I’m going to take what I learn and be thankful we interacted for a moment a minute a day. And of course empathy. Seek to understand versus being understood. Today’s contemporary leader leads by example today’s contemporary leader like that picture at Facebook—old leadership he’s cracking the whip and everyone’s pushing the boulder—contemporary leadership leaders right up against that boulder with them. So if I’m right up against that boulder with my team pushing that rock I’m more empathetic to their challenges than their needs beyond our business and I think that’s very important in today’s leadership. You could be disciplined and I could be disciplined and if we meet at a level of humility we meet at a level of empathy and we’re both grateful for this moment we have now Jim you and I will learn a lot.

 

Jim Rembach:      Very much so and I appreciate that perspective and talking about the discipline piece. I started thinking about too – I had this question the other day talking about emotion and how important it is to everything that we’ve been talking about a lot of different ways and our response to certain things however our brain gets hijacked when we get in emotional stress and we know and we’ve experienced this ourselves like when we get into a heated discussion or some things just aren’t going and we just feel like we’re getting bombarded we can’t think of certain things our IQ drops tremendously because the whole emotion takes over. Do you feel that actually becoming discipline in the martial arts has helped you not have times where your emotions hijack your thinking?

 

Brannon Beliso:     Only time I get hijacked is with my six and nine year old are fighting that’s the only time my emotions get hijacked because it makes me and my wife crazy other than that what I’ve recognized about that process is when you feel those emotions start to take over you, what do most people do? They run they sedate they drink they avoid they become a victim they live from the victim mindset. When I’m faced with something like that—now let us just take social media, if it’s somebody I don’t know and you call me the trolls the haters whatever and they attacked me at Facebook I simply love them I block them and I delete them. I’ve really recognized to focus on my life what matters most versus what doesn’t matter. 

 

I think as a culture we focus on what doesn’t matter that’s why they sell millions of copies of The Enquirer people like to focus on other people’s drama because it makes their drama not look so bad. And if it’s somebody great like a Tiger Woods or some really rich actor they go, hey, I don’t have it so bad that guy’s got all that money’s more screwed up than me but still doesn’t cure, what’s there? So we sedate we distract we avoid but really what we should do is embrace like a best friend because we can only heal with love Jim. If I have something that’s adverse in front of me I at least want to recognize it let him go with love because I’m not responsible for how you think how you behave you know I’m busy dealing with my space. I recognize that I can’t control people places or things but can I make the conscious choice in that moment so I don’t get overwhelmed to simply say, hey, it’s cool. You think the way you do rock and roll but this is the way I think and if we can agree to disagree then I love block and delete. Life is short life is precious so to spend time around people Jim that that matter I think it’s really important.

 

Jim Rembach:      I think that’s a great valuable points. We’re talking about and I even said it on several occasions is it’s just filled with emotion and one of the things that we look at on the show are quotes to help give us emotion hopefully point us in that direction. Is there a quote or two that you like that you can share?

 

Brannon Beliso:     There’s many. Dali Lama is one of the people I embraced tremendously because his spiritual and humanistic attributes balanced my business mindset. He explains that it’s easy to be great when things are going your way can you be great when life is difficult. That’s what builds character that’s what makes us better people. Gandhi’s got a great one where he speaks about it, I’m not getting all the words right, the customer is not dependent upon us we are dependent upon him he is not a burden on our business he’s an attribute. If we begin to recognize that we treat people differently anytime somebody on my team says, this is my boss, I go, woohh time’s up pencils down I am not your boss the clients are the boss they simply pay me money and I distribute it amongst the team but don’t for one minute think I am your boss I am your team mate. You know some of those things are really important. I love the one by, I think it’s Lao Tze say that, if you’re living in the past you’re depressed if you’re living in the future you’re anxious if you’re in the present moment you’re at peace so I spend a lot of time and learning and practice being here now and I think that’s a big part of my success and happiness.

 

Jim Rembach:      Well and that success and happiness as I kind of mentioned earlier didn’t necessarily come from a place where that is cultivated and grown you chose to go into another direction and field and not be stuck in that. And so there’s a lot of humps that you’ve gotten over and you shared tons of them in the book but is there one that you can actually share with a Fast Leader Legion where we could learn?

 

Brannon Beliso:     I think you’ve done that for me through this whole conversation Jim choice. But I think for me as a child, and was sharing this with one of my clients the other day, as a child I had no choice. I had no choice when I was put in a foster home at 11 months. I had no choice when I was molested. I had no choice when I was beaten by my father. I had no choice I was a victim but eventually at some point Brannon the man had to make the better choices in his life or continue to be a victim. So I recognized that achievements and success for two different things. I was a state champion I had three top ten hits and I was the most unhappy person in the world so I recognized that the bigger house the bigger car more money wasn’t going to make me happy what was going to make me happy was taking that journey inward finding a place of why am I here? What am I here for? Not to buy a bigger car not to add more zeros on my bank account, I’m very grateful don’t get me wrong, you know we do very, very well I have everything that I want and possibly could mean but what I need most is myself and if you have that as far as leadership goes that’s the best example to offer your team and anybody.

 

Jim Rembach:      I think what you’re talking about too from that perspective talking about the leader perspective is there’s a particular study that, I’m just recalling in my head, were talking about the frontline leaders and the people who are on the frontline only 33% of those people who are on the frontline feel that their immediate frontline supervisor is competent. And I think with what you were just talking about is that if you have that sense of self and that awareness and humidity and all those other things that is going to you project a totally different type of know presence that I think that whole concept of competency is going to be thrown out the window people are going to feel that you’re competent.

 

Brannon Beliso:     Especially with today’s true entrepreneur. I’m in my business 16 hours a month for me to walk in there and throw the boss card around is insane. The autonomy I grant my team is tremendous I trust them they’re there in in the trenches every day I need their feedback I need their input I need that because I’m not there. Sure I’ve written the systems and the processes and I’ve established the culture and they run it but—a classic example is I would never walk into a room and demand and tell people I’m the boss, I don’t walk into my businesses and say, hi, how are you doing I’m the owner, I would never do that it’s not in line with today’s values. When you’re dealing with Millennials and Z’s they’re totally revolting against that sense of control and command leadership which perpetuated itself. World War II because we had all the factories I had the higher management the floor managers and the worker base on the assembly line I get that hierarchy that pyramid. We run with a flat line management we don’t have titles nobody calls me the boss and we all coexist and kind of serve each other. I think that creates the culture that we have it and our businesses. 

 

Jim Rembach:      Well, I would dare to say that you’re going to find that’s going to be the culture that many, many organizations are going to have to, I don’t want to say revert to, but let’s just say transition into in order for them to keep the top talent that is going to exist within those millennial and Z generations.

 

Brannon Beliso:     Well there’s a lot of talent there. And I think as we get older we need to stop dismissing each new generation is incompetent or lesser than because they do have a cellphone some people will say, well the promise we don’t have critical thinkers today Jim because I can simply google it. The other day I said to my son he was writing report on Walt Disney I said, well tell me about Walt? He was Alexa. I said, no, no, no don’t ask Alexa I want you to tell me. So I think that’s the challenge with technology as I can simply Google it and then watch a YouTube video and then it becomes lore. It’s bred out of people is that critical thinking those soft leaders that we need more and more and more. But if we can really utilize and leverage technology to do the mundane to automate those many tasks that we don’t need to spend our process on but not turn around and start playing video games and not turn around and to snapchat or Instagram but really recognize, I am this different kind of freedom because of technology, and really integrate yourself on a another level of learning of leadership it’s going to change tremendously. Look at Zappos, look at Apple, look at Facebook, I’m right in Silicon Valley so I get to witness this on a daily basis that movement towards a culture driven tribe of raving fans of people that drank the Kool-Aid that get it it’s really the movement because that’s where purpose and passion lives. You keep talking about that at heart level that emotion now people aren’t driven by data, sit with a bunch of seasoned Millennials and go, third quarter report earnings, they’re going to go, what? It doesn’t happen. 

 

Jim Rembach:      That’s very true. I know you got a lot of things going on—you get the book, speaking coaching, of course teaching, building, a business you got two young kids—there’s a lot of things that are going on, but if you talk about one goal, just one, what is it?

 

Brannon Beliso:     To continue to find more ways to spend with my kids, that’s really it. I’ve reduced the level of speaking gigs I’m staying closer to home as I shared this summer I think I worked three hours this whole summer other than a few podcasts here and there I discipline myself to spend three months consistently with my kids especially because they’re out all summer. I’m home every night at 6:30 for dinner I help with homework I go to soccer people say well that’s pretty mundane for somebody with all your accomplishments. I said, let’s get this straight achievements and success Jim are two different things I’ve got tons of trophies they sit up in the attic. I have tons of awards none of them hang on the wall because I don’t want to live in the past. So today what I need to do is be successful and success today for me is to find more ways and time to spend with my family. 

 

Jim Rembach:     And the Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor:

 

Need a powerful and entertaining way to ignite your next conference, retreat or team building session? My keynotes don’t include magic but they do have the power to help your attendees take a leap forward by putting emotional intelligence into their employee-engagement, customer-engagement and customer-centric leadership practices. So bring the infotainment creativity the Fast Leader show to your next event and I’ll help your attendees get over the hump now. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Alright, here we go Fast Leader Legion it’s time for the Hump day Hoedown. Okay, Brannon, the Hump day Hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Brannon Beliso, are you ready to hoedown? 

 

Brannon Beliso:     Yes sir, Jim, I’m ready.

 

Jim Rembach:     Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

 

Brannon Beliso:     Time management.

 

Jim Rembach:     What is the best leadership advice you have ever received? 

 

Brannon Beliso:     Lead by example. 

 

Jim Rembach:     What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success? 

 

Brannon Beliso:     My personal faith.

 

Jim Rembach:     What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

 

Brannon Beliso:     Gratitude.

 

Jim Rembach:     What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners it could be from any genre, and of course we’ll put a link to, Live Learn and Grow on your show notes page as well.

 

Brannon Beliso:     Yes other than my book I would recommend everybody read the E-Myth by Michael Gerber and The Mindset by Carol Dweck.

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay Fast Leader Legion you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/Brannon Beliso. Okay, Brannon this is my last hump day hold on question: Imagine you were given the opportunity go back to the age of 25 and you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything you can only choose one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Brannon Beliso:     Humility. Back in my 20s I was so full of myself so much egos so much bravado that came with that age and that time being a state champion a recording artist just at the top of everything I lack humility tremendously and if I was more humble I would have been more grateful and appreciated everything in that process in that time of my life. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Brannon, it was an honor to spend time with you today can you please share with the Fast Leader Legion how they can connect with you? 

 

Brannon Beliso:     Yes. Social media of course Facebook, LinkedIn. YouTube subscribed to my YouTube channel please, Instagram we can find me everywhere and of course at Brannonbeliso.com. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Brannon Beliso, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader Legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot!

 

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today for recaps, links from every show special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster. 

 

END OF AUDIO 

 

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Aaron Edelheit Leadership Podcast Fast Leader Show

193: Aaron Edelheit: I’m going to turn off

Aaron Edelheit Show Notes Page

Aaron Edelheit was grossly over-worked, over-whelmed and way too connected. He found himself becoming less and less productive despite investing more and more time. Not only was work suffering so was his family and friends. Finally, Aaron decided he was going to turn off.

Aaron was born in Marlton, New Jersey new jersey but grew up in Boca Raton, Florida along with his two brothers Mark and Jon.

Around the age 9 his father was reading the Wall Street Journal and Aaron asked him what all the numbers were, pointing to the stock listings. He explained it to Aaron and it seemed fascinating. It wasn’t long until he was hooked.

Aaron has always been fascinated and interested in business and investments. For some unknown reason, he’s been reading the Wall Street Journal since he was 9. He started his own money management firm at age 23 and lived above his parent’s garage.

Then, he started a small side-business buying foreclosed homes and fixing them up and renting them out. He started with 16 homes in 2008 and built it up to 2,500 rental homes with 80 employees. He sold the company in April 2015 to a publicly traded Real Estate Investment Trust.

Aaron has been featured and quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Bloomberg, and CNBC among others and has given lectures on business and entrepreneurship in the U.S., Canada and South Africa.

He is the Chief Strategy Officer of FLO Technologies and the CEO and Founder of Mindset Capital, a private investment firm and author of The Hard Break: The Case For The 24/6 Lifestyle.

Most importantly that I was a good father and husband and that I tried in my own little way to make the world a better place.

Aaron currently lives in Santa, Barbara, CA with his wife Valerie and his three kids Nora, Max and Miles.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @aaronvalue to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow – Click to Tweet  

“Over-work is actually hurting our chances for success.” – Click to Tweet 

“Once you work past 55 hours, in the long run, it’s all garbage.” – Click to Tweet 

“We’re connected every second to every person that has our contact information.” – Click to Tweet 

“We’ve ceded our control and freedom to everybody else having the ability to invade our lives.” – Click to Tweet 

“Why is there so much anxiety, anger and frustration – arguably this is the best time to live ever.” – Click to Tweet 

“Success in life is not about consuming more information.” – Click to Tweet 

“You’re actually not giving your brain the chance to be creative – to be innovative – to be problem-solving.” – Click to Tweet 

“What’s in short supply at this day and age – it’s time.” – Click to Tweet 

“A lot of people are starting to realize that’s it’s not necessarily things but experiences.” – Click to Tweet 

“Why not give yourself the gift of time.” – Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Aaron Edelheit was grossly over-worked, over-whelmed and way too connected. He found himself becoming less and less productive despite investing more and more time. Not only was work suffering so was his family and friends. Finally, Aaron decided he was going to turn off.

Advice for others

Don’t be in such a rush to get to a destination. Enjoy the journey.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

I need to do a better job of being more present.

Best Leadership Advice

Don’t focus on the short-term, really think about the long-term and the things that don’t change.

Secret to Success

My Sabbath practice, the hard break of turning off and being with friends and family.

Best tools in business or life

Communication – I can communicate complex things in a simple manner.

Recommended Reading

The Hard Break: The Case For The 24/6 Lifestyle

Pachinko (National Book Award Finalist)

Contacting Aaron Edelheit

website: https://www.thehardbreak.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aaron-edelheit-0707b519/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/aaronvalue

Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

Public Speaking

Show Transcript: 

[expand title=”Click to access edited transcript”]

193: Aaron Edelheit: I’m going to turn off

 

Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

 

Call center coach develops and unites the next generation of call center leaders. Through our e-learning and community individuals gain knowledge and skills in the six core competencies that is the blueprint that develops high-performing call center leaders. Successful supervisors do not just happen so go to callcentercoach.com to learn more about enrollment and download your copy of the Supervisor Success Path e-book now.

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, Fast Leader legion today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who’s going to help us to stop doing something so that we can move forward faster. Aaron Edelheit, was born in Marlton, New Jersey but grew up in Boca Raton, Florida along with his two brothers Mark and John. Around the age of nine his father was reading The Wall Street Journal and Aaron asked him what all the numbers were while pointing to the stock listings. He explained it to Aaron and it seemed fascinating it wasn’t long until he was hooked. Aaron had always been fascinated and interested in business and investments. For some unknown reason he’s been reading The Wall Street Journal since he was nine, I think his dad had something to do with that. He started his own money management firm at the age of 23 and lived above his parent’s garage. Then he started a small side business buying foreclosed homes and fixing them up and renting them out. He started with 16 homes in 2008 and built it to up to over 2,500 rental homes with 80 employees and he sold the company in April 2015 to a publicly traded real estate investment trust. 

 

Aaron has been featured and quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Bloomberg and CNBC among others and has given lectures on business and entrepreneurship in the US, Canada and South Africa. He is the chief strategy officer of Flow Technologies and the CEO and founder of Mindset Capital, a private investment firm. Most importantly he wants to be a good father and husband and that he tried in his own little way to make the world a better place. Aaron currently lives in Santa Barbara, California with his wife Valerie and his three kids: Nora, Max and Miles. Aaron Edelheit, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Yes. I am.

 

Jim Rembach:   I’m glad you’re here. Now I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Well my current passion is to spread the message about how being connected every minute and every second of every day is not good for us both business and professionally and also how overworked is actually hurting our chances for success. 

 

Jim Rembach:    I guess we have so many different mixed messages about this particular issue that we don’t know which way to go. We hear about you have to work harder than everyone else in order to be able to get ahead and then we hear that hey, you can’t burn the candle at both ends because you don’t function well and so on and so forth. And so we see a really big confusion around this. So when you start talking about trying to find clarity in your own place, really where does it start for someone?

 

Aaron Edelheit:    About 12 13 years ago I hit a wall. I had a lot of early success in my professional career and I worked all the time and then when I hit a rough patch, my personal life my social life that could all suffer, but it wasn’t until I hit a rough patch and then no matter how hard I work no matter how many hours I put in I didn’t see any change in the business results that I realized that something was wrong and really out of desperation I needed to do something different. So I began a journey to actually take a hard break or take a Sabbath where I turned off my phone I turned off my computer and I stopped working and I tried to give my brain a break. At first all I could do was try to make it four hours

I tried to make it till noon on Saturday, that’s how addicted to work I was, and then overtime over a couple weeks I’d built it up to the afternoon and then after some time a couple of months I built it up to a whole day. It transformed my life and it enabled me at a very rough time for many people in 2008 to actually have the vision have the courage to start a business that was fundamentally against what everyone was experiencing at the time, which was buying foreclosed homes when no one wanted to buy homes. It enabled all of my success the fact that I had this day every week, I have a vacation day every week like who doesn’t want that, and found that I had this time to decompress the process for renewal every week where I could get excited for the upcoming battle every week. 

 

After I sold my company I spent the last three years researching and writing this book. There are 200 footnotes in my book because my book is the business case for the Sabbath so I wanted to prove definitively that this is good for you. There are studies from like Harvard and Stanford and Centers for Disease Control showing—and once you work past going back to your original question, once you work past 55 hours a week in the long run it’s all garbage. In the short run you can grind yourself anyone can accomplish something over a couple weeks even a month or two months but in the end it’s going to affect your decision making, your ability to think clearly, be innovative, be creative and all of this has been shown over decades of research. And so, what I wanted to show in this book and share with people is that, okay, so what do you do with this information? And my idea is there’s a tool that’s actually thousands of years old that is practice across faiths and ideologies even secular people are basically taking the Sabbath. 

 

Jim Rembach:   And the book is titled, The Hard Break: The Case for the 24-6 Lifestyle so it’s kind of funny that you’re saying that we’ve known this for thousands of years thousands of years but yet we’re not only just repeating a pattern we’re actually deepening the pattern and passing it down to even younger generations. Before we got on this interview we were talking about one part of the book where you mentioned specifically, and this is based on studies that you found talking about how teens are even especially at risk with all this, and these teens are going to be people who are in the workforce really darn quickly. When we look at that entire emerging generation of workers and also looking at the fact that we have so many unclaimed hours a vacation time, is this really going to ever stop? 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Well, that’s why I wrote the book because I want to make this case. You and I remember a time before cellphones before we were connected when you were home from work or you’d be away you’d be on vacation you might be able to call via payphone or you do long distance but it was kind of a hassle. Now we have instantaneous communications we’re connected every second but not only that were connected every second to every person that has our contact information. People can email us they can text us they can send us social media likes spokes all that stuff. They can tweet at us LinkedIn messages, so it gives us this sense of freedom that we can do stuff from everywhere and that’s why you have ideas like work-cation but it comes with a big downside and that we’ve essentially ceded our control and freedom to everybody else having the ability to invade our lives out peace and quiet our down moments and we’ve given up this freedom and there comes to be a pretty significant downside as I share in the book there’s a lot of negative downsides to essentially being on call which is what you are. First response may be well I can respond what I want but they know that you’ve read it they know that they’ve grabbed your attention and this has some pretty significant downsides to our young who have no tools to cope with this. And that’s why the number one way middle school kids die now by suicide that’s why college I believe college campus health clinics are being overrun with mental health issues where it’s growing at double-digit percentages. And we have the sense in our country right now why is there so much anxiety and anger and frustration arguably this is the best time to live ever in terms of health, well-being in terms of life span everything—violence it’s all in the right directions but people are very anxious and then you see this in depression medication. And so I think it’s tied to the overuse of technology and the fact that we’re running around like chickens without their heads cut off we have no downtime. 

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a really interesting point. You’re talking about the whole downtime part, I know when my kids are on their devices or when I’m on my devices I’m not moving, what do you mean I have downtime, right?  But no, the brain is always activated. I think there was something that I heard the other day where we start talking about the fuel that we put in our bodies, what we eat, even though that it’s not from a size perspective comparatively larger but the brain actually uses over 20 percent of that fuel. 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    That’s right. But it’s the same thing if you think about your brain it’s a very great analogy and I’m thinking about it, think about the amount of information we’re consuming every day compared to what people used to consume. I heard some crazy statistic that the average person consumes as much information like a day that a hundred years ago someone would consume in a year like we’re just being bombarded with information, breaking news, we’re just consuming so fast, we’re not machines and in fact, success in life is not about consuming more information. What’s really important about the brands, this is what I love you have this tradition that’s thousands of years old, that’s been practiced for across faith and then the latest in neuroscience says that when you’re actually resting, daydreaming, going for a walk in the woods, you think that you’re not using your brain but there’s a part of your brain called the default mode network that goes into overdrive. And what is the default mode network? The default mode network processes information and it takes all the experiences and data that the brain is collected trying to form patterns trying to gain understanding. Think about the proverbial idea in the shower, like why does that hit you in the shower? It’s because there’s a part of your brain that’s actually working when you think it’s not. What happens when you’re running around like a crazy person and you’re working and you’re emailing and you’re texting and  you’re on your phone all the time you’re actually not giving your brain the chance to be creative to be innovative to be problem-solving all the skills needed to succeed in today’s economy?

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a great point. I also heard study not too long ago that talked about when we start talked about—when we start talking about our listening skills and our active listening skills and our ability to be able to take information and therefore you can leverage it and decide upon it and use it intellectually is that even when we have to go to the bathroom our IQ drops like 10 percentage points because instead of listening and engaging and thinking we’re just thinking—I got to go, I got to go. 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    That’s right. And it’s the same thing—there’s another effect a psychological effect that has been documented for over a hundred years called the Zeigarnik effect, which is when a task is not complete it kind of remains as a weight on our brains. You think about all the tasks you have to do and it just sits there and it affects your decision-making it affects your ability to think clearly and so think about how the modern world works all the emails and all the stuff that you have to do constantly it never ends so you have this ongoing Zeigarnik effect, what’s one way to fight against the Zeigarnik effect? It’s to go ahead and say, I’m going to turn off for this period and I’m going to make sure that I get at it after this point in time. Again the idea of the Sabbath of knowing there’s this defined hard break it’s not something that I do in this period of time. 

 

Jim Rembach:   As you’re talking I’m thinking about what I see from a society perspective and a communication perspective and what people are focusing on right now is that I think there’s a growing, well first of all need, but then also presence in society about mindfulness. 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Yes. 

 

Jim Rembach:   And being really mindful of all the things that we’re talking about and in the back of the book you have the worksheets that’s kind of what you’re doing is you’re trying to get people to be more mindful of what they’re doing. You have questions to ask yourself but then you also have questions to ask your partner, friends, spouse and child. But the questions to ask yourself you have in here are, when was the last time that your phone was off for 24 hours? Did you respond to any work-related emails or texts over the weekend, on your last vacation? When was the last time you took a nap and rested in the middle of the day?–we’re not from pure exhaustion. When was the last time you read just for pleasure? It’s all these really mindful activities in order for you to say, hmm, I need to do a better job of creating structure and having that Sabbath. 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Yeah, it’s about creating a regular—. I am the chief strategy officer for a start-up that’s growing really fast. I am partnering to build houses outside of Atlanta, I have an investment partnership in Charlotte. I just wrote a book, it’s really hard. I have three small children. I’m on the board of a non-profit there is a lot of stuff going on in my life right now and frankly sometimes it’s overwhelming. But I already know what’s coming up right in a couple hours is I’m turning off and I’m going to take a deep, deep breath and I am going to be able to just become Aaron. I’m not work Aaron I’m not this title Aaron responsible for all these people and I get that renewal and that vacation every week and it’s the best thing that I do that’s why I wrote this book it’s why I’m preaching this message. Having this defined period this hard break where I can then be myself and then think about things and take a nap read for pleasure do all these things that make life enjoyable and give long-term satisfaction spend time with friends and family but then also having that renewal that when Saturday night rolls around. I’m excited to turn back on I’m excited to get but what did I miss? What’s going on? Oh, I get to check all this stuff it renews me every week. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Well, that’s definitely been a huge shift I’m sure from where you explained that you were doing that you had to find and do your research so you had a get to that rationale side and then also address all the emotional things that went along with it. And with that as far as that emotional piece, oftentimes we look towards quotes in the show to help give us some inspiration and hopefully point us in the right direction. Is there quote or two that you like that you can share? 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Well, one that I would share is from Abraham Joshua Heschel who is a very famous rabbi actually marched with Martin Luther King Jr. and it was called it praying with his feet which I love and he wrote a very small book, great book, called The Sabbath, and he calls it a palace and time. Do you think about what’s in short supply at this day and age? It’s time. I think a lot of people are starting to realize that it’s not necessarily famous but experiences and the value of time is incredible, why not give yourself the gift of time? Where people can grab—your attention won’t be taken away and that you can actually just be you. So give yourself this kind of palace, I’ve called it a vacation. I’ve always loved this turn of the phrase coined at the Sabbath is a palace in time. Here’s the thing it doesn’t have to be religious. I profile people in the book that or secular, Christian, Jewish, Mormon, Seventh-day Adventists, corporations that are doing it for non-religious reasons like Boston Consulting Group.

 

Jim Rembach:   There’s definitely some good practices in many of those face and religions and  if you don’t have one that you follow you definitely still have to have the things that we’re talking about is you have that mindful restful and this peace the reflection, all of those things are critically important. Now, I know that when you started talking about going through everything that you went through from a heavy work perspective and even before that and even since after that you probably had some humps that you’ve had to get over where it really got you to where you are today. Can you share one of those stories with us?

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Well, I could tell you is I’m still addicted to my phone as much as everybody. My wife has taken my phone from my hand and thrown it in the bushes. She complains that she just sees the top of my head because I’m looking down at my phone. Just because I turn off—I wrote this book half to myself than to anyone else just to remind myself. I love Twitter, I’m on Twitter you can find me @AaronValue—this is not a screech or cry against technology it’s just like anything it can be good or bad and it’s how you use it. I just think that people were—we have this new technology we’re not realizing all the downsides from extreme overuse and from overworking. I still struggle all the time and I can tell you is that—and I write about this in the book about how important it is to prepare and how you can actually do this, there’s a lot of how-to tips but my scramble before I turn my phone off every week that’s still not something that I’ve perfected. Because there’s all this stuff to do I’m going to turn off like I’m off—there are emails to send there are people to call there’s stuff I’ve got to have be in place. And so I still struggle with it in some regards. I’m not saying and I have—please don’t think I have all the answers this is just one answer. 

 

Jim Rembach:     And the Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor:

 

Need a powerful and entertaining way to ignite your next conference, retreat or team building session? My keynotes don’t include magic but they do have the power to help your attendees take a leap forward by putting emotional intelligence into their employee-engagement, customer-engagement and customer-centric leadership practices. So bring the infotainment creativity the Fast Leader show to your next event and I’ll help your attendees get over the hump now. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more. 

 

Jim Rembach:     Alright, here we go Fast Leader Legion it’s time for the Hump day Hoedown. Okay, Aaron, the Hump day Hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Aaron Edelheit, are you ready to hoedown? 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    I’m ready to hoedown. 

 

Jim Rembach:     What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

 

Aaron Edelheit:    I think that I need to do a better job of being more present and like everyone else put the technology away and make sure I’m really focusing on the person in front of me. 

 

Jim Rembach:     What is the best leadership advice you have ever received? 

Aaron Edelheit:    Don’t focus on the short-term really think about the long-term and the things that don’t change. The things like what Jeff Bezos has said, it’s the people’s want, great customer service, convenience those kind of things never change.

 

Jim Rembach:     What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Oh, that’s easy, that’s my Sabbath practice, the hard break of turning off and being with friends and family. 

 

Jim Rembach:      What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

 

Aaron Edelheit:    I would say it’s communication. I think that I can tell a good story and communicate complex things in a simple manner. 

 

Jim Rembach:      What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners they could be from energy genre of course we’re going to put a link to, The Hard Break: The Case for the 24-6 Lifestyle on your show notes page as well. 

 

Aaron Edelheit:    I just actually read a wonderful fiction book called, Pachenko, and it tells a couple of generations of Koreans that lived in Japan before, during and after World War II, it’s wonderful.

 

Jim Rembach:      Okay, Fast Leader Legion you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/aaronedelheit.  Okay, Aaron, this is my last hump day hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity go back to the age of 25 and you have been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything back you can only choose one. So what skill or a piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Patience. I was in such a rush to be a success I even left college early you tried to graduate college early and I wanted to get out there and work and got a job and then immediately started managing money and started seeing success and I was so focused on just being a success as opposed to having a balanced life. And so when I suddenly hit a wall, and I described this in my book, and it got sick and my personal life was in shambles and then suddenly work which was everything was struggling I had no real foundation to rest upon I went to a really dark place. Now, luckily for me it was a wonderful turning point in my life and led me to start a Sabbath practice, started take taking better care of myself. I wrote this book so hopefully people don’t have to go through the same thing that I did. If I just had a little more patience wasn’t in such a rush to get to a destination kind of quaint to say enjoy the journey a little more take better care of myself and build myself up to be more successful in the long term, I would have been much better off.

 

Jim Rembach:      Aaron, it was an honor to spend time with you today, can you please share at the Fast Leader Legion how they can connect with you?

 

Aaron Edelheit:    Sure. Well, you can find my contact information on my website, thehardbreak.com. You can find me on Twitter as I said @aaronvalue. You can find me on Facebook, Aaron M Edelheit the author of Hard Break and you can find my book on Amazon.

 

Jim Rembach:      Aaron Edelheit, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader Legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot!

 

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today for recaps, links from every show special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster. 

 

END OF AUDIO 

[/expand]

 

Simone Vincenzi

192: Simone Vincenzi: I basically made myself homeless

Simone Vincenzi Show Notes Page

Simone Vincenzi decided to quit his job and go to school to learn how to run his own business. Tragically, his grandfather pasted away and Simone decided to travel back to his hometown in Italy from London every two weeks to comfort his grieving mother. Quickly, his savings was exhausted, but he continued to travel home to his mother and made the choice to become homeless.

Simone was born and raised in Maranello, Italy along with his younger brother Graziano. His parents divorced when he was 14 and it taught him how to fend for himself an that good can come from something bad.

While growing up Simone was always independent and loved talking to people. He has always been the life of the party. This is why he found the perfect career in the catering industry as a waiter and restaurant manager.

He was always happy doing what he did and he did not understand why people would compromise their happiness. This is the reason he moved to deliver seminars to help people live a happier life.

Simone Vincenzi, known as The Experts Strategist, is the co-founder of GTeX. He’s a contributor to Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine and the Huffington Post. He’s a TEDx speaker, Host of the podcast Explode Your Expert Business and author of 3 life-changing books.

Simone is transforming the personal development and speaking industry to help changemakers change more lives.

Every year he speaks in front of more than 5,000 business leaders, which included sharing the stage with Les Brown, Dr. John DeMartini, Trent Shelton and many more. He has also organized over 170 events, including Gary Vee speaking from York Hall boxing ring.

Following his passion for making an impact on the younger generation, he also partners with the largest youth organizations in the UK, helping them deliver more effective courses and training.

Simone now lives in London with his lovely wife Lovelda. Simone cannot live without 3 things: Speaking, basketball and playing his Didgeridoo.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @simonegtex to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow –Click to Tweet 

“Structure and frameworks are crucial, because they give guidelines, but at the same time they give freedom.” –Click to Tweet  

“Why are you doing what you’re doing, what is the motivation behind it?” –Click to Tweet  

“There needs to be a line where we have a policy and line where we have a framework.” –Click to Tweet  

“There’s this big talk about you’ve got to be passionate, but I know a lot of passionate people that are doing freak zero with their lives.” –Click to Tweet  

“Where are you channeling all this passion that you have?” –Click to Tweet  

“The moment when I implemented my strategy, I now had a channel for my passion.” –Click to Tweet  

“Intention creates attention.” –Click to Tweet  

“Count your blessings, and everyone has a different blessing.” –Click to Tweet  

“Be aware of what you’re doing and ask for advice.” –Click to Tweet  

Hump to Get Over

Simone Vincenzi decided to quit his job and go to school to learn how to run his own business. Tragically, his grandfather pasted away and Simone decided to travel back to his hometown in Italy from London every two weeks to comfort his grieving mother. Quickly, his savings was exhausted, but he continued to travel home to his mother and made the choice to become homeless.

Advice for others

Have a strategy and be more aware of what you are doing and ask for advice.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Making decisions without thinking about consequences.

Best Leadership Advice

Lead by example.

Secret to Success

My resilience.

Best tools in business or life

My team.

Recommended Reading

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

The Richest Man in Babylon

Contacting Simone Vincenzi

Podcast: https://gtex.org.uk/podcast/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/explodeyourexpertbiz/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/simone-vincenzi/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/simonegtex

Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

Public Speaking

 

Show Transcript: 

[expand title=”Click to access edited transcript”]

192: Simone Vicenzi: I basically made myself homeless

 

Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

 

Call center coach develops and unites the next generation of call center leaders. Through our e-learning and community individuals gain knowledge and skills in the six core competencies that is the blueprint that develops high-performing call center leaders. Successful supervisors do not just happen so go to callcentercoach.com to learn more about enrollment and download your copy of the Supervisor Success Path e-book now.

 

Jim Rembach:     Okay Fast Leader Legion, I’m excited to have somebody this guest that we have on the show today because he’s going to help give some framework and understanding and something that we oftentimes think is intangible. Simone Vincenzi was born and raised in Maranello, Italy along with his younger brother Graziano. His parents divorced when he was 14 but it taught him how to fend for himself and that good can come from bad. While growing up Simone was always independent and loved talking to people. He has always been the life of the party. This is why he found the perfect career in the catering industry and as a waiter and restaurant manager. He was always happy doing what he did and he did not understand why people would compromise their happiness. This is the reason he moved to deliver seminars to help people live a happier life. Simone Vincenzi also known as the expert strategist is the co-founder of GTex. He’s a contributor to Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine and The Huffington Post. 

He’s a TEDx speaker host of the podcast, Explode your Expert Business and author of three life-changing books. Simone is transforming the personal development and speaking industry to help change makers change more lives. Every year he speaks in front of more than 5,000 business leaders which include sharing the stage with Les Brown, Dr. John Demartini, Trent Shelton and many more. He also has organized over 170 events including, Gary Vee speaking from York All Boxing Ring. Following his passion for making an impact on the younger generation he’s also partnering with the largest youth organizations in the UK helping to deliver more effective courses and training. Simone now lives in London with his lovely wife Lovelda cannot live without three things: speaking, basketball and playing his didgeridoo. Simone, are you ready to help us get over the hump?

Simone Vicenzi:     Ready to rock, Jim. Ready to rock. 

Jim Rembach:     I’m glad you’re here. Now I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you but can you share what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better?

Simone Vicenzi:     Yeah, absolutely. My passion is to inspire and empower business leaders to get more customers and to change more lives ultimately.  We work with businesses that—I have a mission that they’re not just there for profits. Although profits are important and they’re a crucial part of a business but it’s not the main reason why they started a business. Like it’s not the main reason why I started my business. And we particularly helped them in making a lot of money and getting a lot of clients running seminars live and online presentations. That’s what we specialize on here at GTex. 

Jim Rembach:     For me when you started talking about that issue of mission and why an organization exists. I often find because I was been having this discussion with one of my clients, being certified in emotional intelligence, I try to help them differentiate by connecting at a deeper level other than, hey these are our features and our benefits. Because from a product perspective—even if in a service perspective for that matter too many times we go to the functional and we forget the whole finesse piece. And it’s really the finesse piece that ultimately causes people to initially engage with us maybe get to a point of having trust with us and then ultimately staying with us and referring us. It’s really those things that are kind of rooted in the whole whether its happiness authenticity all of those components that we say are intangible. For the course of my life I’ve found that they’re not intangible there’s frameworks and there’s things to focus in on that helps you deliver. When you start thinking about creating some structure and frameworks about that how do you help or teach organizations to do that?

Simone Vicenzi:     As you said structure and frameworks are crucial, are really important because they give guidelines but at the same time they give the freedom for an organization for an individual to be themselves and to express themselves within the framework. That’s why I prefer frameworks rather than scripts the scripts as a script is something which is setting stone, this is the script. While when you’re given a framework you’re allowed individual or a company to be to be free and to put their own personality in their own ethos into the equation. If you’re thinking about the topic of mission which is what we started talking about and you mentioned the importance of every mission behind products behind services then there are a few things that we explore with a company. First, of all he is a why they started what they started. There’s a brilliant book which probably you’ve read or maybe you’re listeners have read which is called, Starts With Why from Simon Sinek, if you have not read the book you might have watch his TEDx talk or maybe you have read some of his articles. In that book he mentions that people follow leaders that have a purpose. But a lot of leaders they forget to actually share why they started doing the things in the first place. So something that we start from is why are you doing what you’re doing? What is the motivation behind it? What is your personal motivation? And there are two things that you can distinguish within that. One is your personal motivation for yourself as a human being. And the other is your personal motivation that you have for what you want to create for others in the work because they are both important. 

Now we all have personal goals. There are very few mother Teresa’s in the world they’re just doing big for others. I have my personal goals, I want to be wealthy I want to have a great lifestyle I want to provide a great lifestyle for my family for my children, when I will have children, for my wife. I want to go on holiday whenever I want. I want to wake up with a smile on my face and be happy doing what I do. That’s my personal motivation. But then I have an external motivation which is what I want to see in the word, what is the legacy that I want to leave? And then at this time I’m talking about changing the way entrepreneurs run their businesses. Because I believe that if an entrepreneur is more purposeful and runs the business in a more effective way and they make more money as well then they will have a ripple effect in their communities in their families in their household with their clients and this is the intangible that I cannot see but it excites me because I know it’s happening even though I can’t see directly. And that’s where we start from the beginning. 

Jim Rembach:     Now you bring up some really interesting points because as you’re talking there’s a couple things that kind of stood out to me that I think are definitely worth us maybe delve into a little bit deeper. First of all, I think there’s a big mistake that gets made if we’re not careful taking a framework and turning it into a policy. Because then I think that does put the constraints on people because ultimately what we need to be able to do is take that mission and that reason and the passion behind it that which we’re talking about the positives, not the threats and a weaknesses components it’s the positive components, and actually not being able to scale it. You talked about entrepreneur but organizations that are even large have the same desires and goals and issues and humps they need to get over. And so when we start talking about taking that personal, aligning it with the work that you’re doing, and not using the framework  for something that could be a negative or detractor like turning it into a policy. Is there a point by which you see that kind of happening and then you got a kind of real people back from? 

Simone Vicenzi:     First of all even that because we work with a large organizations. One side of our business, which mainly my business partner deals with, is a sales training for recruitment agencies. So we work with larger recruitment agencies we work with the some of the largest recruitment agencies in the world to help them train their staff. And I believe that not every policy is wrong I think that in life or in business we will need policies and we need frameworks. So there needs to be a line where we have a policy and the line where we have a framework. Now I think that the way you are dealing with certain issues that there are for example very critical for example, how are you going to deal when a client is not happy and now they want to cancel their account or they’re asking for a refund? There needs to be a policy for that. There are so many things that you can leave to that person to decide but then there might be other decisions for example, we’re talking about leadership you are looking at the manager how would the leader team to perform better? So very specifically about the sales environment. In that case it’s better to give them a framework because if we give them a policy the policy might not be aligned with the personality that they have and actually instead of supporting them it’s holding them back. In that case they’re looking at how do you lead your team? It’s great to have frameworks because then I can put my personality I can put my genius or I can put what I know is great for me I can infuse that in the framework so that I can have this connection with my team. Does it make sense, Jim?

Jim Rembach:     Absolutely makes sense, and so for me as you were talking I started also thinking about the build the depth and level of expertise of somebody who is looking at being able to create or scale. If I don’t have a lot of experience and depth and understanding I’m going to err unintentionally on the side of policy because I don’t know a whole lot of it about myself and I don’t understand that really here’s where I should be leveraging and using a framework and kind of give people the freedom. I do see a whole lot of requirement in regards to utilizing people who have the skill and understanding and who know how to apply some of the finesse and the artistic and the freedoms and the innovative energizing types of things to know the difference in where the line is. I don’t think you can actually just give it to somebody at a lower level and say here, follow this procedure or follow this process and now write this up. 

Simone Vicenzi:     It also depends by the person by the individual because there are people that work really well with frameworks and there are people that work really well with policies and the very solid structures. If you’re given to a person who is incredibly detailed that they love to have a structure to follow and they want to know word by word what they are going to say what they’re going to do otherwise it puts them in a situation that makes them feel uncomfortable and they would not perform as well then you know that that person will need a much more stricter guidelines. But then if you give the same guidelines to another person who’s maybe very creative and they love to express themselves that’s holding them back. I think in every business it’s finding the right person the right role with the right personality with the right passion that gives you the outcome that you want or the best possible outcome for the company. We’re going into the art of recruitment here which is I think is a major part of the leadership conversation. How do you find the people that are the best fit for your team? One person instead of another one. Which role would it be? How do you move people within the organization from one side to the other? And it’s something that—for example I’m going through right now. We grew our company one year from three to eight people so we had a really a large growth. And it was about allocating the different people in the different role. And the more we were getting to know them the more we knew what position was best for them. 

Jim Rembach:     I think that’s a great point. Because as you were talking I started thinking about, if that person needs a whole lot of that structure and a whole lot of that step and processes and detail and stuff that person who’s perfect for being in compliance or being in quality being an analyst where hopefully someone who’s in a leading position or we put in a leading position is one that—just give me a framework and let me apply what I know and my skills and what I learn and give me the opportunity to have some more flexibility because therefore I’m also going to do that for my people. And that’s when you know an organization can scale where they can actually gain some velocity instead of needing people that are in leading roles to have so much structure and policies and things like that to give them a decision-making power so in other words. In other words, okay, I have all this behind me and I know this is how it’s supposed to go and therefore I feel confident enough in order to be able to move forward. Where people who are a little bit more creative and have the frameworks can say, you know what? Give me 80% of what I need to know or heck even 50% of what I need to know infuse me and other people and let’s go. 

Simone Vicenzi:     Exactly, exactly absolutely. 

Jim Rembach:     When you start thinking about—gosh! All these people who you’ve spoken to all these people you’ve spoken with all these people who you’ve worked with what you’re doing I can only imagine that you’ve been exposed to a ton of different quotes in order to inspire you. And on the show that’s one of the things that we look at. Is there one or two that you can share that you like?

Simone Vicenzi:     Absolutely. There is one which was very relevant to me in particular in my leadership roles and as well and growing my business, which was, Passion will get you moving a strategy will get you there. And the reason why I love this quote it is because there is this big talk about passion you got to be passionate, you got to be passionate, you got to be passionate, you got to be passionate. But I know a lot of passionate people that are doing freaked 0 with their lives but they’re really passionate. Every time they have a new project and is the most amazing project ever and then you’re looking at their bank account or their organization or their team or whatever they’re doing and you’re like, where are you channeling all the passion that you have? And that was me at the very beginning very passionate all over the place. Why? Because I didn’t have a solid strategy. The moment I implemented this strategy then I had a channel for my passion and I could focus my passion to create something of value something productive. 

Jim Rembach:     And as you talk about that I’m starting even to think about my kids, I have three kids, and for me I’m like, hey, when you get up in the morning you have to know what you want to be doing or what you should be doing or if not you end up laying around all day. And so for here right now we’re doing this interview while my kids are having their summer break from school and that’s exactly what they want to do all day. And so finally my wife and I said, this is crazy. We try to keep them busy and doing camps and things like that and my daughter’s going on mission next week but there’s times in between where we don’t have things for them to do so she created a checklist. And she said, look if you do these things you probably could get them done in 15-20 minutes. At the end of the day we still have to go to them and say, you hadn’t even finished your checklist. So it’s like they don’t have a good practice and a good habit of actually going through and executing because. You talk about the passion piece and an even frameworks instructor but you got to move forward. 

Simone Vicenzi:     Absolute, absolutely, I agree with you. 

Jim Rembach:     How do we get people to move from, I don’t know where to go I don’t have a framework to actually executing, is that where—

Simone Vicenzi:     I can tell you an organization I’m not a parent so I I’m the kind of person that will not give advice if it’s something that I’ve not experienced myself. So in this case sorry to disappoint you Jim but nothing around parenting there teenagers and kids are different than adults and I used to work in about 150 schools a year that’s how I started doing courses. When I run a seminar with young people or teenagers it’s completely different from when you run a seminar with adults. If they listen to you for 10 minutes in a row with the young people you’re lucky. There are some schools that I went into that if I came out without having like pens and books thrown at me it was a good day. So I would not expect that unless I go in a prison maybe to go this wrapping a seminar with adults. 

Jim Rembach:     I would dare to say though that the whole attention span—okay, so adults may not throw books and pens at you however the attention span is actually for many adults even shorter because they have so many different things that they have to focus on so many tasks they have to do and so many responsibilities so oftentimes the attention span you got 30 seconds—and that’s important from a speaker perspective from a trainer perspective.

Simone Vicenzi:     You know what’s a difference Jim? The difference is if the audience wants to be there or not, that’s the main difference. Because even if you go to school and the students want to be there, I did some summer camps with students and they wanted to be there. It was a leadership camp they were the top performing students of the school and sometimes even not the top performing but they wanted to be there and it makes the experience very different. It’s almost like the same if you go into an organization if the people of the team they want to be there is one thing it’s completely for an experience everyone is excited, I want to get involved they’re there to learn and therefore when you are excited your attention is increased because it’s something that you want, intention creates attention. So when your intention is there the attention is there too as well. 

Jim Rembach:     That’s a great point. Okay, so looking at the things that you’ve actually gone through talking about the parents early divorce and quickly you learned how to fend for yourself and getting to even where you are today I’m sure there’s a lot of humps that you had to get over, things that you’ve learned along the way, can you share one of those stories with us?

Simone Vicenzi:     Yeah, absolutely. I’m not even 30, I’ll be 30 years old soon, but I feel that I lived an intense life. One of the story that I can share is when I became homeless that was a huge learning experience for me. I was at a point where I was very successful in the catering industry. At the age of 19 I was the youngest Michelin star restaurant manager in Europe. I just earned a lot of money from a very young age I was living incredible lifestyle. I was going clubbing every night strip clubs, you name it I was I was living the dream at 19. And when I was 22 then I came here over to the UK I was recruited to work in this Michelin star restaurant from Italy so I moved here and after a couple of years then I knew that something needed to change. And therefore I decided to quit my job and then started my business doing leadership from what I’ve achieved before in the catering industry. But I didn’t have a clue how to run a business. I had some savings, not too many, but I have some savings but at the same time my grandfather died at home. So, now my mom was left there by herself with my little brother and my mom and his father, my grandfather had a very strong connection so she was devastated completely devastated and I know that in that moment my mom needed me. I was in the fortunate position where I was going through my studies to complete my diplomas and to go to my business salaries and I wasn’t didn’t have a job as well and I was living off my savings so I decided that every I was going to go back every two weeks to Italy and travel two to Italy and two weeks in London. But then I looked at my finances and I couldn’t sustain that kind of lifestyle. I wasn’t earning any money and I was taking two flights and London is a very expensive city as well. 

What I decided to do is I basically made myself homeless. When I was in London I was sleeping in parks, streets, and tube stations whatever and wherever there was a Wi-Fi I was there during the day and I was going through my studies and still learning and then I was going back to Italy I was there to support my mom and still going through my studies. And that was one of the best experiences of my life because I’ve learned what it was like to live with nothing. I think that everyone should have the experience not to be homeless but to live with nothing because it makes you appreciate 15 20 times hundred times more every small thing that you have and that’s what happened to me and so I’m happy that I made the decision because I knew that my mom needed help she needed me there, and my mom didn’t know anything at the time otherwise she would never allow that, she didn’t know I quit my job she thought that was taking two weeks holiday at a time to be with her, and that went on for six months. And then when mom was better I went and find a part-time job because I had no money at all, deplete all of my savings and then I started building my business from there. 

Jim Rembach:     I have to say that I think you’re the first person who I’ve ever heard became homeless by choice. 

Simone Vicenzi:     I don’t know anyone else too. 

Jim Rembach:     I can’t even imagine coming to that conclusion and making that decision and how you—

Simone Vicenzi:     For me was it wasn’t a tough decision that’s the thing of the story, it was logical I am that kind of person and I’ve always been. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get what I want. I don’t care how long it takes I don’t care how hard I had to work I don’t care whatever situations I’m in I have just this winning attitude that I don’t care about the circumstances I’m in and I was born that way that’s always been me I’m super competitive. I play basketball in the national league here in the UK for example and I’m pretty sure. I’m not like the average player that you expected as basketball player I’m a short Italian guy but I’ll go to my training every single day and play by myself and do whatever is required for me to compensate what Mother Nature didn’t give me with. My wife she didn’t even like me she didn’t even want to date me and it took me like more of a month, some people call it stalking, t to get her to actually consider me. I’m the kind of person who never gives up and for me that is just the logical decision, this is what I got to do. What do I have? Great I’ll do it. 

Jim Rembach:     Well that resilience is something definitely shoot, I think I would say a lot of people would covet to have that kind of resilience and be able to do what you need to do in order to be able to go forward. A lot of people won’t take the two, three, four steps back in order to ultimately get to ten steps forward that that vision is oftentimes lost. 

Simone Vicenzi:     That’s why I think I’m better lucky, we say count your blessings and everyone has a different blessing this is mine and everyone has theirs. It’s a personality that I thank God for having that and giving me this confidence because that’s what made me—at the age of 26 become one of the most influential migrant entrepreneurs here in London and more and more and more. And that’s all down to my opinion that resilience and I’m thankful to God whatever you believe in, if you believe in God or not whatever I’m thankful that that’s part of me. 

Jim Rembach:     Yes, I’m a person of strong faith and oftentimes I’ve shared in the show and I do believe that those things come from him oftentimes we just don’t find our blessing we all do have them and we have. We have to learn how to find them and then have to own them and continue to grow them. When I start thinking about all these things that you have going on and being a very young man and I could definitely see a family coming in front of you—

Simone Vicenzi:     Yeah, coming soon.

Jim Rembach:     Good luck with that.

Simone Vicenzi:     I need it.  

Jim Rembach:     I’m sure you have a lot of goals but if there was one that you could focus in on what would it be?

Simone Vicenzi:     On a personal level, yeah, having a family having kids that’s on a personal level that’s coming next year probably and that’s going to be a completely new chapter of my life. Every blessing comes with a curse at the same time there is the Ying and Yang in everything. My personality I’m incredibly driven and I can get things done and I don’t need anyone around me then that also impacts everything else that I’m doing so it took me a long time to become a team player not only in my business but also with my wife and she has to remind me constantly, hey we are the two of us you’re not by yourself anymore. And with the family coming up it’s going to be even more difficult because I’m just used to have an idea and crack on with that. I want to do something no problem I’ll do it without really thinking about the consequences that can create, it’s just my personality. When you have a family that’s different, I’m sure you know that better than me I’ve heard this. So on a personal level that’s my goal and then on the business level is to get GTex to be the number one community in the UK for experts and speakers and trainers to be the number one hub where they think about training. I’m a consultant I’m a speaker and trainer when I think about training I go with GTex and that’s the most logical choice for me, and that’s where we are building a company. 

Jim Rembach:     And the Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. 

 

Need a powerful and entertaining way to ignite your next conference, retreat or team-building session? My keynotes don’t include magic but they do have the power to help your attendees take a leap forward by putting emotional intelligence into their employee-engagement customer-engagement and customer-centric leadership practices. So bring the infotainment creativity the Fast Leader show to your next event and I’ll help your attendees get over the hump now. Go to beyondmorale.com/speaking to learn more.

 

Alright, here we go Fast Leader legion it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Simone, the Hump Day Hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So, I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us a robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Simone Vincenzi, are you ready to hoedown? 

 

Simone Vicenzi:     I’m ready to hold down.

Jim Rembach:     Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

Simone Vicenzi:     Making decision without thinking about consequences. 

Jim Rembach:     What is the best leadership advice do you have ever received? 

Simone Vicenzi:     Lead by example.

Jim Rembach:     What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

Simone Vicenzi:     My resilience. 

Jim Rembach:     What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

Simone Vicenzi:     My team. 

Jim Rembach:     What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners and it could be from any genre?

Simone Vicenzi:     Love as a book I love, The Richest Man in Babylon—it’s a financial book.

Jim Rembach:     Okay Fast Leader listeners you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/SimoneVincenzi. Okay, Simone, this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imaging you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything back you can only choose one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why? Heck this was just three years ago.

Simone Vicenzi:     Exactly, exactly pretty easy to remember even if it’s four or five years ago. A lot change in five years—biggest piece of advice—what should I bring? Strategy—bring more awareness of what I was doing and actually asked for advice, that’s probably the best one. Asking for advice because I was doing too much by myself and that was very stupid. Sometimes necessary but sometimes I could have be more humble and say, hey I need help. 

Jim Rembach:     Simone, it was an honor to spend time with you today, can you please share the Fast Leader Legion how they can connect with you?

Simone Vicenzi:     Yeah, absolutely. There are two places where you can connect with me, you’re listening to a podcast so you probably like podcasts and you can join my podcast which is, Explode your expert biz, you can find it on any podcasting platform. The other option is to join our Facebook group, if you’re going on Facebook which is, guess what? Explode your expert biz, on Facebook and you can get a lot of free training on how to be a great consultant, speaker, trainer in your field.

Jim Rembach:     Simone Vincenzi, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader Legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot!

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show special offers and access to download and subscribe if you haven’t already. Head on over a fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

END OF AUDIO

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Erik Seversen Ordinary to Extraordinary

149: Erik Seversen: I realized part of the problem was myself

Erik Seversen Show Notes Page

Erik Seversen had a horrible string of hiring the wrong person. That’s when he needed to do something different. He decided to totally change the interview process and his leadership style. Erik started focusing more on using emotional intelligence to move forward and applying it to his new English as a second language startup.

Erik grew up in Parkland, Washington, which was a quasi-meeting ground between really rural and the “big” city of Tacoma. He was the third of three children from a middle-class family, and Erik’s biggest decision every morning was whether to take the bus or walk to school.

It wasn’t a bad childhood, but Erik struggled with math and spelling, and although he had a loving and supportive family, he often felt out-of-place. However, Erik had a very large imagination and very large dreams, and he focused hard working toward them.

When things began to click, Erik decided to go to UCLA. He applied and was rejected, but Erik didn’t let this stop him, so studied at a community college and got into UCLA two years later. Erik had been to over 30 countries by the time he re-applied to UCLA. After graduating near the top of his class, Erik went on to get a Master’s Degree in Anthropology at University of Virginia, and he followed more opportunities teaching English as a Second Language in France, Thailand, and universities within the USA.

While teaching, Erik started a Motorcycle Touring Company and went into business for ten years. Erik is currently Director of International Business Development at EagleRider, a company he helped grow from a valuation of $7MM to over $100,000,000, but he is also applying the success formulas, motivational leadership, and entrepreneurial strategies he learned in business to Language Linq a company Erik created which aims to make lives better for English as a seconds language professionals who need to improve English for their career.

Erik lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two kids of eleven and thirteen, and he’s now learned from people in over 80 countries.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @ErikSeversen to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet 

“If you’re helping somebody, you’re not afraid of anything.” -Erik Seversen Click to Tweet

“Fear goes away if you’re helping somebody.” -Erik Seversen Click to Tweet 

“Doing things for employees, that made them give back more.” -Erik Seversen Click to Tweet

“You don’t have to be confident, but appearing confident goes a long way.” -Erik Seversen Click to Tweet 

“Knowledge is awesome and action is way better.” -Erik Seversen Click to Tweet 

“Pull the trigger before you’re absolutely ready.” -Erik Seversen Click to Tweet 

“The time is never, ever going to be perfect.” -Erik Seversen Click to Tweet 

“We need to create our own paths, often.” -Erik Seversen Click to Tweet 

“Give more and it comes back to you.” -Erik Seversen Click to Tweet 

“Getting past fear leads to really good things.” -Erik Seversen Click to Tweet 

“Turn fear into positive motivated energy.” -Erik Seversen Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Erik Seversen had a horrible string of hiring the wrong person. That’s when he needed to do something different. He decided to totally change the interview process and his leadership style. Erik started focusing more on using emotional intelligence to move forward and applying it to his new English as a second language startup.

Advice for others

Getting past fear leads to really good things.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Time, not time management, but time.

Best Leadership Advice

Give more and it comes back to you.

Secret to Success

Praying every single day and meditating everyday.

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

Loving, compassion, and gratitude.

Recommended Reading

Ordinary to Extraordinary: http://erikseversen.com/fastleader/

The Power of Meaning: Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed with Happiness

The Magic of Thinking Big

Contacting Erik Seversen

website: http://erikseversen.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erik-seversen-56ab9b10/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ErikSeversen

Resources and Show Mentions

Erik Severson’s Fast Leader Legion Resources: http://erikseversen.com/fastleader/

Developing a Better Place to Work

Increase Employee Engagement and Workplace Culture

Empathy Mapping

54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward faster. Get your free list today.

 

Show Transcript: 

[expand title=”Click to access edited transcript”]

49: Erik Seversen: I realized part of the problem was myself

 

Intro:  Welcome to the Fast Leader podcast where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

The number one thing that contributes to customer loyalty is emotions so move onward and upward faster by gaining significantly deeper insight and understanding of your customer journey and personas with emotional intelligence. With your empathy mapping workshop you’ll learn how to evoke and influence the right customer emotions that generate improve customer loyalty and reduce your cost to operate. Get over your emotional hump now by going to empathymapping.com to learn more. 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, Fast Leader Legion today I’m excited because I have the opportunity to talk to somebody who has a really interesting perspective on the customer experience, the human experience and really globalization as a whole. Eric Seversen grew up in Parkland, Washington which was a quasi-meeting ground between really rural and the big city of Tacoma. He was the third of three children from a middle-class family and Eric’s biggest decision every morning was whether to take the bus or to walk to school. It wasn’t a bad childhood but Eric struggled with math and spelling and although he had a loving and supportive family he often felt out of place. However, Eric had a very large imagination and very large dreams and he focused on working hard towards them. When things began to click Eric decided to go to UCLA he applied and was rejected but Eric didn’t let that stop him so he studied at a community college and got into UCLA two years later.

 

Eric had been to over 30 countries by the time he reapplied to UCLA. After graduating near the top of his class Eric went on to get a Master’s Degree in Anthropology at the University of Virginia and he followed more opportunities teaching English as a Second Language in France Thailand and universities within the USA. While teaching, Eric started a motorcycle touring company and went into business for ten years. Eric is currently director of International Business Development at Eagle Rider a company he helped grow from a valuation of seven million to over a hundred million dollars. He’s also applying the successful formulas of motivational leadership and entrepreneurial strategies that he learned in business to Language Link a company Eric created which aims to make lives better for English-as-a-second-language professionals who need to improve English for their careers. Eric currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two kids of 11 and 13 and he’s now learned from people in over 80 countries. Erik Seversen are you ready to help us get over the hump?

 

Erick Seversen:   I am absolutely excited to go over the hump Jim. How are you doing?

 

Jim Rembach:   I’m doing great. I’m glad you’re here. I’ve given our Legion a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better? 

 

Erick Seversen:   Yeah, definitely. My work passion is just that, you mentioned a little bit about taking business strategies. For the for the last 10 years I’ve been reading every business book there is from Dale Carnegie, Napoleon Hill to the more contemporary ones Brendon Burchard and I’m using these in business and its really been successful and I realized not a lot of people are using these same strategies that are successful in language. So, I created Language Link and my goal is to take these students mostly ESL English as a second language students coming to the United States. They’re smart people but they struggled and because they know more English in their head then they think they do so their confidence is broken a little bit so I’m taking these business success strategies applying it to language and allowing them to speak confidently and better and their lives really improve by it. It’s just exciting for me to see their lives improve. 

 

Jim Rembach:   You talked about you talk about these concepts and people not really applying them to English as a second language or language learning but there’s companies like Rosetta Stone huge company grown like crazy, what do you mean by—you don’t see these models? What’s the difference?

 

Erick Seversen:   Oh, yeah. Rosetta Stone is actually great, I really enjoy it. And it’s got a very nice formula for how to learn a second language independently on a computer, what I’m going for is the student who’s coming over from a different country maybe an intermediate level, advanced level even some high intermediate but they don’t know how to connect with the language. On Rosetta Stone I can learn how to conjugate a verb all day long I can learn the pronunciation all day long but what I don’t know is that there’s a difference in teaching styles in Japan and the United States for example. In Japan the difference between a teacher’s level and a student’s level is a lot wider there’s not supposed to be as much direct engagement it might even seem rude in classes in Japan. Whereas in the United States you’ve got a really smart student who doesn’t say a word in class because they don’t want to act impolite towards the teacher the teacher gives them a bad participation grade because they’re not engaging in class. So, there’s a little thing to do to just understand the difference, making friends with people in a different country so a strategy—the best way to learn language often is just familiarity and speaking it with people. 

 

But you get so many students who come to United States or Australia or the UK to learn English and they find a little bubble of either aloneness which is a problem in itself, I address homesick on being alone or they get a small group of people from their country and have a good time together but they’re still speaking their native language and they don’t know how to break out and meet another student who speaks English only. One strategy for example is to know exactly where your class is about 10 minutes before your class get across campus and start walking towards your class and then just look for somebody who’s walking alone who look walking the same direction and he looks like a person you’d be interested in speaking with and say, “Excuse me, do you know where this classroom is? Chances are they’re already walking in that direction they’re going to hear your accent they’re going to want to speak to a foreigner as well they’re going to walk with you and talk with you as they get you to your class and by the end of the eight minutes it takes to get to class there’s a good chance that you have a meeting for a coffee and become friends after that. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Gosh. Thanks for sharing that, that perspective was really vital. I also started thinking as you were talking about the growth that you’ve had at Eagle Rider and that to me listening to you talk and whether or not it’s intentional per se it sounds to me like you’ve got to focus on the customer that others just fail to possess.

 

Erick Seversen:   Oh, my Gosh. One of the models of the company is we provide dreams, we rent dreams, we rent motorcycles as the pith of the company and we sure do. We provide experiences that change people’s lives. I literally can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard somebody say, “This trip changed my life or best trip of my life” and about 50-60 percent of our customers are people who come from Australia from Europe from Japan, Germany to come ride in the United States on a motorcycle, they’re on a Harley-Davidson riding up Route 66.  I’ve seen big huge bikers, tattooed bikers, almost weeping at the end of the trip talking about what a great life-changing experience they had because they’ve been dreaming about it since they were kids, it really is a beautiful thing. So, for the customer service directly we have that and also we have somebody in accounting or somebody in IT who’s having a bad day sometimes we say, Hey, walk out front on the Saturday don’t go to your desk until 11:30 on a Saturday or Friday morning I want you to go back and see the customers for a little bit just go interact with the customers. Always it gives them that revived life to get to work and just really enjoy what they’re doing knowing that they’re doing an accounting spreadsheet but what they’re doing is they’re providing dreams for people, real people.

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a great lesson that I think many organizations can learn from a customer focus, customer centricity. Knowing that people have to have that connection with the consumer, our customer even when they’re in the back office and don’t necessarily interact with them daily. They do need to understand where their purpose is and how they’re making a difference to the overall health and wealth and viability of the organization.

 

Erick Seversen:    Absolutely.

 

Jim Rembach:   When you start thinking about all of the things that you’ve been working on for the past couple years and where you’re headed right now, I think we also talked off mic and you have a new book coming out which is, Ordinary to Extraordinary, what is that all about? The title seems easy but what’s inside?

 

Erick Seversen:   Yeah. In the bio you read at the start I was an average kid in an average neighborhood and my favorite quote is Elon Musk and is this, I think it is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary, and simply I did that myself. I’m an average kid don’t know big support I ended up mowing lawns when I was 19 years old. Flying to London and hitchhiking down to Africa, because I wanted to see elephants and giraffes basically really I wanted to see what Africa was about as a 19 year old, and nobody helped me do that but I had a big dream big goal I worked hard to make that happen. I don’t really consider myself extraordinary but in the end I’ve been to over 80 countries lived in five, I’ve done some great things in business as well. But my actions are extraordinary because I didn’t let people say things that they thought were impossible weren’t possible, I didn’t listen to them. So that’s where the title of the book came from and the funny thing is I ended up writing 42 first-person true narratives about things that have happened,. I’ve had a machine gun in my mouth in Nigeria. I lived with the Indians in South America for a while. I’ve climb some mountains around the world. I’ve had a girlfriend in Paris and that was a great story, and so I wrote these stories and my editor said, “You know what Erik, you’re ten friends are going to love this. And I go, “That’s not a compliment is it?” He said, “No.” So, I had to restructure it with what do we get out of this? And what the book does is it groups all of those stories and some of them deal with  being in an outlaw bike Clubhouse with tattooed monsters of AK47 sets tattooed on their necks and what life is like with these people and it was engaging I learned so much from them and there’s a section in there on that. But I just had the stories as they were which was neat but what I did is I added a component of, what can we get from this? And there’s a book called The Power of Meaning by Emily Isfahani Smith, which is genius, it came out this year. It talks about four pillars of meaning—they are belonging, our purpose, transcendence, and storytelling. I grouped all of those 42 narratives into one of those four pillars and I kind of show the reader how that influenced my life, how it gave meaning to my life and it will let the reader recognize where they’re lacking. Are they lacking in belonging? Are they lacking in purpose? Are they lacking in storytelling? It’s been really fun to create a narrative throughout this book of a bunch of narratives. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, so for me listening to you chat about your escapades and your travels I started thinking to myself—and you start talking about having some struggles as kid in school, applying to UCLA not getting in but not stopping, for you it seems like there’s no fear that you’ve got this  resiliency. But I when I start looking at the majority of people is that fear handcuffs them it keeps them from sticking their neck out it keeps them from doing that trouble because—you know what? I might get a gun stuck in my mouth. So, how do you push yourself past the fear or is it that—you know what? That’s just something that doesn’t fire in my head. 

 

Erick Seversen:   No. I was actually quite nervous growing up. I was nervous during my travels but I learned I’m going to say two things about fear, the first one is I definitely felt fear. Every time I walked huge sections in Africa, sometimes 60 miles in a row, and when I’m getting into evening sometime  I’ve been walking all day alone out in in the desert and all of a sudden I’m approaching some small village, I don’t know if they’re going to like me. I don’t know where I’m going to stay this night I don’t—so this nervousness is there but I overcame it and I realized that by just asking people and helping people smiling I consider to be even some helping somebody. Adam Flores he’s a guy who does business seminars down in San Diego, he says I just learned this two weeks ago from him he said, “If you’re helping somebody you’re not afraid of anything.” Fear goes away if you’re helping somebody. The quick example of this was he said, Hey would anybody—if I say, can you go give a dollar to the homeless guy out in front of the hotel? Who would not be afraid of doing that? Everybody raised the hand then he said, “Hey, who would like to go up to the man in a business suit standing in line checking in and ask for a dollar from him?” And everybody was feared they don’t want to go there and be embarrassed. The point is when you’re doing something good for somebody the fear goes away.

 

Jim Rembach:   Now that’s a really good point and I never really thought about. I know now for me talked about having kids is that maybe I need to do more of that because one of the things I do and I’ve shared with this before on the show you can call it brainwashing or whatever you want—yes it is and it you don’t like it send me an email and I’ll delete it. When I ask my kids, why did God put you on earth? To help others. 

 

Erick Seversen:   Oh, great, that’s beautiful. Jim, that is so awesome. 

 

Jim Rembach:   If you just focus on that, it kind of removes you and your fear and your ego and you’re—you talked about kids and there are people that are saying and speaking up in a classroom here in the States is there’s a lot of reasons because they don’t to look stupid.

 

Erick Seversen:   Exactly. 

 

Jim Rembach:   –so I just keep my mouth shut that way I don’t look stupid. I think that’ll allow you to bring a lot of those humps down and you’ll be able to get over a lot easier, so thank you for sharing that. 

 

Erick Seversen:   In business one of my “aha” moments was realizing that doing things for people who work below me, for employees, that made them give back more. I wasn’t being nice to them and I wasn’t giving—when I say giving sometimes it’s teaching them something highlighting an interesting quote that I think will make this particular person’s life better that day, bringing in a small module to make them think about something different that might be better that way, focusing on the why so they can understand the big picture, so I consider giving them these things and they give back tenfold. I’m not doing it to get the bigger return but it always happens. 

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a good point. For me it’s trying to make sure that I’m not trying to do that intentionally because I want the return it’s just doing it just to do it. 

 

Erick Seversen:   Exactly right. 

 

Jim Rembach:   You talked about quotes. You talked about quote that’s important to you and we always asked for those, and thanks for sharing that, you got to that point before I did. I know you shared a lot of stories talking about your travels and things like that talking about work but can you focus in and give us some details on one particular time where you had to get over the hump and it made a difference for you? 

 

Erick Seversen:   Let me think of a time—this is when I was trying to hire somebody and the role was–I’m kind of an assistant role they had a reporting role and I had a horrible string of three people in a row didn’t make it past their 90-day probation, in fact, they didn’t make it past three weeks. And so something was wrong and so two things happen, the first that thing happened was I decided to have a working interview where I’d choose the one I liked out of the fifty people are who applied and I’d say, Okay, you’re not hired but I like you I want to pay you for a full day’s work on Monday and you’re going to come in and you’re going to get paid for this day no matter what but you’re not hired at the end of the day we’re going to have a discussion and either you’re hired or here’s your money have a great life and it helps so much. The first guy I hop in an hour half into it I walked by he was in a cube I walked by his cubicle and he’s on his phone that just didn’t fly if you’re on your phone an hour and a half into a job that you’re going to have I don’t think that’s going to work very well. 

 

I actually did a probing question just to make sure it was an emergency, it wasn’t. And then the next the next one, full day working interview, he had great Excel sheet all over his resume how good he was at Excel. I had a very basic Excel work that I wanted him to create and it wasn’t nearly as polish—he was a nice guy and I thanked him very much I paid him at the end of the day and that was it. The third one she came in she was good with the people her Excel skills were adequate and I saw her work and she did really good and so she was hired and that’s when I mentioned giving that it was her that I actually started working on to really be intentional about—I realized part of the problem was myself. I was trying to lead a millennial by giving a directive and expecting it be done in a certain amount of time and I realized that wasn’t right. The way I proposed something to get done changed, I didn’t talked about why I talked about how this report, that somebody was creating, is going to benefit some of the people that I’m going to show it. So my leadership style changed a lot—yes she’s still with the company eight years later which is awesome.

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s a great perspective of the differentiating and treating people differently it’s also as giving people an opportunity and kind of debunking some of the things that you would actually perceive when you’re going through an interview process as well, just to find out that those Excel skills were what you said.

Exactly right. So when you start thinking about her and her development I would dare to say she’s not doing the same things that she doing when you first—what is she doing now? 

 

Erick Seversen:   Now she’s got into—we have about 4,000 motorcycles and now it’s about 2,500 we become more efficient with them, and she’s titling. She has to be the intermediary between the B and B to make sure all those bikes are titled. She worked at the fleet department to make sure bikes all over the country get—can you imagine how hard it is to get your little slip in DMV and check if you have a smog check or not and get it paid and get a sticker on your license plate? She does that to 2500 vehicles at a time.

 

Jim Rembach:   Oh, my goodness. 

 

Erick Seversen:   That’s pretty impressive. 

 

Jim Rembach:   It is pretty impressive. Okay, so when you start thinking about this current work that you’re doing in regards to English is a second language and you start talking about the differences in how people learn the cultural differences and all of those things, how do you separate the learning or focus in on the learning piece and the individual piece? Because you even mentioned it with the young lady who said, hey, your Excel skills weren’t that great but it’s these other things that were important and we’ll teach her the technical Excel stuff, how are you actually focusing in on developing and getting people to gain some competencies in the language speaking piece but then also gain some competencies and skills and their emotional intelligence and becoming a more effective person?

 

Erick Seversen:   Actually, I focus more on the latter on the emotional intelligence of the language learning there are a lot of good schools out there. The community college I went to was Green River Community College now it’s Green River College so that’s a four-year things up in Washington State, they actually have a huge international program and they really work on cultivating the student and acclimatizing them and helping them build friendships and bonds and teaching them some of the differences between culture and how language and culture are the same but a lot of other schools don’t. There are a lot of very, very good skills taught at different universities at different community colleges at different language skills but not many are focusing on the integration the emotional intelligence of the speaking and a lot of the students they have things in their mind but they can’t release it because they’re scared to speak and make mistakes. So, I try and eliminate that fear. I take some things from certain books and one of them talks about—you don’t have to be confident but appearing confident goes a long way and you can do that by looking somebody in the eye, you can do that by a good handshake, you can do that by walking 25% faster than you normally would. Those little things I would focus on more than the actual language skills. I do focus on—I know the language skills I’ve taught it for ten years and I do that as well but that’s not the biggest focus. I try and get into things like meditating in English. I’ve got a 15-minute meditation I’ve created where somebody can listen to it. It’s a guided meditation and it basically says, your English will be easy today and it allows them to be relaxed in their own head and have a conversation with a fictitious character in their own head in English and they’re always shocked about how good they speak to themselves in their head they can speak better to themselves on their head than they can to somebody on the sidewalk. They can translate that into real English because they now they know what’s inside of them.

 

Jim Rembach:   So, as you are talking and explaining that to me I started thinking definitely about the whole Napoleon Hill influence and having your affirmations and being able to really shape your mind. And you start talking about choosing now it’s coming full circle for me and I appreciate it we’re having this conversation long enough you know how people can choose to be extraordinary.

 

Erick Seversen:   Exactly.

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, so when you start talking about building a particular organization, you’ve done it with the motorcycle ride share company, you’re trying to do it with the current company, if you were to say, I am trying to do the same thing either within my own organization as an entrepreneur or do my own gig, where do people really need to focus their efforts and activity?

 

Erick Seversen:   Oh, yeah, so I’ve got a great answer I’m going to clarify something. I started a company called Ride Free Motorcycle Tours, that was my company I owned it and I ended up selling it and then and I worked for Eagle Rider, I wasn’t one of the founders Eagle Rider but I was instrumental in helping it grow and I’m still with Eagle Rider as well. For starting up entrepreneur it’s this—knowledge is awesome and action is way better. I’ve seen so many people who have read the Brendon Burchard stuff who’ve read Tony Robbins they know it inside it out they’ve listened to Napoleon Hill stuff and but they’ve got all of this knowledge and they’re not really doing as much with it because learning it is exciting in itself and I think a lot of people get caught up in to the learning aspect of it but it doesn’t mean anything until you absolutely start to apply it. So the one thing is always keep learning but know when it’s more important than to take action towards beer business on something it’s scares you maybe which is making a call to a potential partner rather than reading the next chapter of a self-help or a motivational book.

 

Jim Rembach:   For me as you were talking I started even going back to that whole fear thing. I don’t want to look like a fool, I don’t want to make a mistake, I don’t want to—and so therefore it’s got to be perfect and I’ve got to study it to the nth degree  before I take a chance.

 

Erick Seversen:   Yes. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Are you saying to me, as I was listening to you, that I just have to practice execution?

 

Erick Seversen:   Absolutely. I’m kind of laughing to myself because we had an IT guy once who in a boardroom he was in a high-level meeting he was a little bit nervous and he said everything’s going great but I’m having a hard time executing myself. Every time I hear that I think of that—absolutely I say pull the trigger before you’re absolutely ready. So many people want all of the stars to be aligned perfectly they want to know of everything in the book, they want to have the plan mapped out. I used to be more guilty about myself too and what I’ve started doing is I’ve started going when I was totally scared when I felt half prepared and I figure things out as I go and that’s really made a big, big, big difference because the time is never ever going to be perfect. At some point you need a little base but you got to go.

 

Jim Rembach:   Yeah, I think that’s a good point. Also too when you start talking about an organization, if you’re in a particular organization where you don’t feel safe enough to be able to move forward you never will move forward. 

 

Erick Seversen:   Right. It was a professor in grad school who said this to me once, she said, good classes aren’t given they’re created. If somebody has a good idea they have an idea that I’m going to propose to teach this class that doesn’t exist yet same thing with jobs even at Eagle Rider there are few jobs that I’ve had it wasn’t a position that I moved into it was a created position because it made a lot of sense. I think we need to create our own paths often don’t wait for somebody to do it for you.

 

Jim Rembach:   Very true. Okay, so talking about creating that own path—you have a book that’s going to be released, will actually put a link on your show notes page to get more information on that, I even get a discount and some other resources and tools we’ll do that—

 

Erick Seversen:   I have a landing page also that ericseversen.com/fast leader and some of the things we’ve talked about, some pictures of the places I’ve traveled, like you said the book will be up there for 50% off for you nation and so that’s good. 

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s awesome and that’ll also be on a link line of show notes page, so you can always come to Eric’s episode on show notes page and get a direct link to that if you can’t remember the URL—you got the kids, the business you’re starting, the business you’re working for, the book you release, you’ve got a lot of things going on.

 

Erick Seversen:   Oh, yes I do. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, we have to narrow and focus because we know that’s an important—Napoleon Hill too as well as many of those other guys to come up focus, right? What’s one goal that you’re focused on? 

 

Erick Seversen:   The first thing that pops to mind is one-third of a triangle. The first thing that popped to mind is is climbing Mount Elbrus, it’s the highest mountain in Russia and climbing mountain is my passion outside of work. I conquered Gowen South America’s another big one, so that’s the self in this triangle. I need to take care of myself even if it’s selfish away from—my kids are too young to climb Everest, my wife in not going to go to Russia with me for two weeks so that’s one. The other side of the triangle is my work. I’m balancing the Eagle Rider and my language link and that’s just been a blast working hard. I wake up really early in the morning so that I have time to do both and I love it. I can’t wait to wake up every single morning when I’m going to bed. The other part is family. If my kids have a soccer game I’m going to make a choice, do I miss this Wednesday afternoon soccer game and work, because I know I need to? Or do I take work off and go to the soccer game? Whatever I choose to do I don’t focus and dwell on the other one. My kids not going to cry if I miss his soccer game and I’m not going to cry about missing it if I chose to work and if I go to the soccer game I’m not going to be worried about those three phones that I might miss. 

 

Jim Rembach:   That’s good perspective.

 

Erick Seversen:   So balancing that triangle of self-life and family is my biggest goal right now. 

 

Jim Rembach:   The Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

 

An even better place to work is an easy-to-use solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone. Using this award-winning solution is guaranteed to create motivated, productive and loyal employees who have great work relationships with our colleagues and your customers. To learn more about an even better place to work visit beyondmorale.com/better. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Alright here we go Fast Leader legion it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Erik, the hump day hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us a robust get rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Erik Serversen, are you ready to hoedown?

 

Erick Seversen:   Yes I am. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

 

Erik Seversen:   Time. Not time management because I’m pretty good at it, it’s time. I try like Jockey Will Nick does and wake up early but I can’t do this—4:30 in the morning, so I do the best I can, but it is time. 

 

Jim Rembach:   What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?  

 

Erick Seversen:   Give more and it comes back to you.

 

Jim Rembach:   What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

 

Erick Seversen:   Praying every single day and I also meditate every single day. I pray multiple times throughout the day and I meditate and that time really I think helps me get more done in my 24-hours of a day.

 

Jim Rembach:   What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

 

Erick Seversen:   Loving and compassion and gratitude. Loving and gratitude—

 

Jim Rembach:   What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners it could be from any genre, of course we’ll put that the link that we had mentioned to your upcoming book Ordinary to Extraordinary, and the landing page as well.

 

Erick Seversen:   It’s going to be, The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz. This book is written in 1959, every single time I read it I get more out of it and it just has so many gems on how we can be more successful with small changes in our life and thinking absolutely huge with big tall goals. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Okay, Fast Leader legion you can find links to that and other bonus information for today’s show by going to fastleader.net/ Erik Seversen. Okay, Erik, this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity go back to the age 25 and you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skill that you have now back with you. But you can’t take everything back you can only choose one. What skill or a piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

 

Erick Seversen:   I would take back the piece of advice that—getting past fear leads to really good things. I was pretty good about it when I was 25 but I was still experimenting and I was fearful of what’s going to happen in my future and so now seeing where it’s come and that strategy has paid off, so work through fears turn fear into positive energy, motivated energy. 

 

Jim Rembach:   Erik, it was an honor to spend time with you today can you please share with the Fast Leader Legion how they can connect with you? 

 

Erick Seversen:   Erik at erikseversen.com, the website has links to all that and the easiest way to get to me is just through there.

 

Jim Rembach:   Erik Seversen, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader Legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot! 

 

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.

 

END OF AUDIO

 

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1

 

Brian Biro The breakthrough coach

144: Brian Biro: I’m no good because I’m never the best

Brian Biro Show Notes Page

Brian Biro was down on himself. He had a drive to be the best at whatever he did. He was very intense and was no fun to play with. That’s when he decided to change one word and it helped him to move onward and upward faster.

Brian is the author of 11 books including bestseller, Beyond Success!

Brian was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California along with his older sister Katlin.

His mother and father have been married for 65 years and live in Lake Tahoe.  His dad was in the LAPD and after retiring and moving to Tahoe has carved wooden signs for 40+ years.  His mom was the receptionist in a pediatrician’s office for 20 years and then became the curator of a little museum in Tahoe for another 20+ years.

Growing up his parents taught him about work ethic, honesty, and energy.  He was always involved in sports and swam competitively through school. In order to pay for his tuition to Stanford University, he began teaching and coaching swimming in the summers.

Brian absolutely loved teaching swimming and realized early on that he didn’t really coach swimming… he coached PEOPLE! That path led him to his greatest professional passion, which is helping others breakthrough fears, obstacles, habits, and beliefs that keep them from their potential.

Upon graduating from Stanford Brian returned to Southern California to become a swimming coach. He coached full-time for 8 years and had the joy of building one of the largest swim teams in America.

After coaching, Brian attended the UCLA Graduate School of Business. There he met his soon to be wife Carole during a summer internship in Seattle.

Brian was hired by the company for whom he had interned and rapidly rose to Vice President. He began teaching teambuilding programs in his company and generating record results.  More importantly, they broke through silos and became a terrific place to work.

Despite enormous success, Brian said to Carole…”Honey, we’re doing great! Let’s QUIT!  I want to speak and teach!” Carole is AMAZING and said, “Let’s do it!” He’s been a professional speaker now for 27 years, delivered more than 1,600 presentations worldwide, written 11 books, and loved every minute!

Brian and Carole now live in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina! They have two grown daughters and one grandson.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @bbiro to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“Start to look at the possibility instead of the limit.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“Enhance the value you get in every precious moment.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“You’ve got no idea what you’ve got inside of you.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“Rarely do we rise to our actual level of potential.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“There are no overachievers, we’re all underachievers.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“You would not be who you are had you not seized the window of opportunity.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“You have to shape the future or you’re going to be behind” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“We should not be scared of differences, we should be excited.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“Invite people to hear other voices and see other concepts, that’s when we grow.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“What you focus on is what you create.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“What can I learn from today to make it different and better tomorrow?” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“We are too focused on the need for approval.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“You should get the joy from what you’re doing.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“Credit is something we should give, responsibility is something we should take.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“Receiving is allowing people to feel the joy of giving.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“If you don’t receive well, you take away their joy.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“You’ll never really be a giver until you learn to receive.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“When you’re driven by the need for approval, you never have enough.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“Everyone has their own potential.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“If you coach everybody the same you’re lazy and you’re not going to be as effective.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“Coach everyone based on their unique qualities and differences.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“The meaning of my communication is the response I get.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“Our energy is our example.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“The biggest sense of who you are comes from your energy.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“The quality of questions you ask yourself will determine the quality of your life.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“When you are hard to offend you open up the possibility to connect and communicate.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“Comfort zones almost immediately become confinement zones.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“My energy is my choice.” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

“When you give the answers, you stop people from discovering their own learning” -Brian Biro Click to Tweet 

Hump to Get Over

Brian Biro was down on himself. He had a drive to be the best at whatever he did. He was very intense and was no fun to play with. That’s when he decided to change one word and it helped him to move onward and upward faster.

Advice for others

Ask more then tell. When you give the answers, you stop people from discovering their own learning.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Getting caught in comfort zones.

Best Leadership Advice

It’s amazing what’s accomplished when no one gets the credit.

Secret to Success

I love people and I believe in people. And my energy is my choice.

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

Being fully present.

Recommended Reading

There Are No Overachievers: Seizing Your Windows of Opportunity to Do More Than You Thought Possible

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

Man’s Search for Meaning

Contacting Brian Biro

Website: http://www.brianbiro.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brianbiro

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brian-biro-3b34776/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bbiro

Resources and Show Mentions

Developing a Better Place to Work

Increase Employee Engagement and Workplace Culture

Empathy Mapping

54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward faster. Get your free list today.

 

Show Transcript: 

[expand title=”Click to access edited transcript”]

144: Brian Biro: I’m no good because I’m never the best

Intro:  Welcome to the Fast Leader podcast where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.

The number one thing that contributes to customer loyalty is emotions. So move onward and upward faster by gaining significantly deeper insight and understanding of your customer journey and personas with emotional intelligence. With your empathy mapping workshop you’ll learn how to evoke and influence the right customer emotions that generate improve customer loyalty and reduce your cost to operate. Get over your emotional hump now by going to empathymapping.com to learn more. 

Jim Rembach:   Okay Fast Little legion, today I’m excited because I get the opportunity to talk to somebody who’s going to teach me some new terminology as well as some ways to find new energy. Brian Biro is the author of books including the bestseller Beyond Success. Brian was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California along with his older sister Caitlin. His mother and father have been married for 65 years and live in Lake Tahoe. His dad was in the Los Angeles Peace Department and after retiring and moving to Tahoe has carved wooden signs for 40 years. His mom was the receptionist in a pediatrician’s office for 20 years and then became the curator of a little museum in Tahoe for another 20 years. Growing up his parents taught him about work ethic honesty and energy. He was always involved in sports and swam competitively through school. In order to pay for his tuition to Stanford University he began teaching and coaching swimming in the summertime. Brian absolutely loved teaching swimming and realized early on that he didn’t really coach swimming he coached people that path led him to his greatest professional passion which is helping others break through fears obstacles, habits and beliefs that keep them from their potential.

Upon graduating from Stanford, Brian returned to Southern California to become a swimming coach. He coached full-time for eight years and had the joy of building one of the largest swim teams in America. After coaching Brian attended the UCLA Graduate School of Business there he met his soon-to-be wife Carol during a summer internship in Seattle. Ryan was hired by the company for whom he had interned and rapidly rose to Vice-President. He began teaching team building programs in his company and generating record results more importantly they broke through silos and became a terrific place to work. Despite enormous success, Brian said to, “Carol, honey we’re doing great let’s quit I want to teach and speak.” Carol said, “Of course, let’s do it.” And he’s been a professional speaker for 27 years delivering more 1,600 than presentations worldwide, written 11 books and loved every minute. Brian and Carol now live in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina. They have two grown daughters and one grandson. Brian Biro, are you ready to help us get over the hump? 

Brian Biro:   I’m ready to rock n’ roll Jim. That’s great you had to deal with Brian Biro’s bio, you did a masterful job.

Jim Rembach:   Hey man, I’m glad you said that because I don’t think I could.

Brian Biro:   I can do it three times so just once this is it. 

Jim Rembach:   I’ve given our Legion a little bit about you can you tell us what your current passion is so that we get to know you even better?

Brian Biro:   Absolutely, I love helping people break through that’s really been the force of what I’ve done in every career but breaking through getting people to start to look at the possibility instead of the limit look beyond the obstacle. It was really about helping people make great choices that enhance their health, enhance their careers, enhance their families and enhance the value you get in every precious moment. 

Jim Rembach:   Well I hear you say that but then I got a little bit confused when I look at your latest title which is that there are no overachievers now either that’s brilliant marketing or something else, I mean to me I’m like, what do you mean there’s no overachievers?  I mean I’m sitting here trying to help my kids achieve and over achieve and exceed but you’re saying there aren’t any of those types of folks I don’t get it.

Brian Biro:   Jim, that came from the actual sense there are no overachievers came from my mentor, my friend who wrote the foreword to my first book, who is the greatest college basketball coach of all time his name was John Wooden, coach Wooden coached the UCLA. He won ten national championships. He often said there are no overachievers and what he was saying is you have no idea what you’ve got inside of you. Rarely do we actually rise to our level or potential. So the purpose of that title is to kind of shake it up, I’m glad I shook you up a little bit to say, hey you know what? Maybe I can do things I didn’t know I could do, maybe I could get better physical health, maybe I could learn that new skill, maybe I could relate better to my teenager, which may be the biggest challenge of all, in other words what he’s saying is do have more potential and there’s more in us than we ever dreamed of there are no overachievers we’re all under achievers and with that viewpoint we never feel like we reached the end.

Jim Rembach:   That’s a really interesting positioning and different context that you put it into. When you added that other part saying that we’re all underachievers, to me that resonates and I get that. However, probably it wasn’t as good of attractive book title but— you also talk about “woo”, what the heck is “woo”?

Brian Biro:   First of all it’s fun to say isn’t it? Woo stands for window of opportunity. I want to suggest that everyone listening to the show has the same most important “woo” right now, window of opportunity, it’s every precious moment. In other words, you never know it’s the next person you’ll meet today, I meet you today for the first time, I never know if we may become lifelong friends as we didn’t know we met our lifelong friends. You never know if the next time you talk to your son, your daughter, your coworker, your friend, something you say in the next conversation may be so on target for what that other person didn’t see with their own eyes but you saw it and then when you said it you sees the will. And because of something you said to another person their life sets off on a better trajectory. I’ll bet you everyone listening to the show has had somebody in their life who sees the “woo” believed in them in a moment when they won’t believe in that much in themselves and it changed their lives. So, the question is not is there a “woo”? There is. The question you got to ask yourself to shake it up and to breakthrough is how many of those puppies have we missed? How many windows of opportunity we missed in the last month along with the people we love the most? Why do we miss them? A lot of this book is about helping people seize those windows of opportunity instead of miss them.

Jim Rembach:   It’s really interesting as you say that as you did I started thinking about for me oftentimes I say that I’m stirring the pot, I always stir the pot. Because for me I think I somewhat you know carry around a “woo” stick. Meaning that I see windows of opportunity for folks and I’m like, hey and I tap them with it. I’m like, don’t you see that this is a potential opportunity for you. 

Brian Biro:   The great way to look at it. One of my favorite quotes came from Think and Grow Rich classic book. It said “Within every adversity is planted the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.” I’ll say it, within every adversity is planted the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit. Now everyone on this show I bet you if you look back in your life and you think of the toughest things you went through no fun in the process could have been really tough. But if you made it to the other side and you look back now bet you say, it was from those tough things that I grew the most. So, in other words you never would not be who you are had you not seized that window of opportunity made the way through. So, I love the fact that you do that. One of the hottest terms in business world today and all my speaking is to disrupt the status quo. In other words that shaking that woo stick and touching people with it saying it and if you don’t you’re going to fall behind. You have to shape the future or you’re going to be behind.

Jim Rembach:   For me I think you just helped me also draw some clarity and to why I put so much effort into doing the Fast Leader show. We’re sitting here with close to 150 episodes at this point and I have several organizations that—our PR companies that have clients that are pitching me their clients to be on the show and it’s gaining a lot of traction and which is exciting and everything but I’m always up here having to put things together, coordinate and turn my extra hours in the day, and there’s none by the way, like why am I doing this? But I think you just kind of explained it to me. I enjoy in giving people the chance to see things within themselves and to obtain and achieve things within themselves otherwise wouldn’t see and that’s where I get some fulfillment.

Brian Biro:   That’s exactly the whole focus of the (8:27 inaudible) I want people to see you can do more than you thought you could it’s the basis of what I do in my seminars to get people—actually, I have people do things that when they walk away—I don’t know I could do that—what else could I do that I didn’t know I could do? Maybe I could start that business, maybe I could turn this corner and maybe I could patent that idea. That’s what you’re doing with this podcast by hoping people to really explore different ideas, hear different voices. We should not be scared of differences we should be excited about differences because we only see what we see when you when you invite people to hear other voices and see other concepts that’s when we can grow.

Jim Rembach:   You’re right. Talking about doing some things that you otherwise wouldn’t think you would be able to do or even possible of doing. There’s one of these little tricks that you like to do when you’re public speaking that really—is one of those things that does just that. Tell us what it is? 

Brian Biro:   I’m called America’s breakthrough because I’ve had more than half a million people breakthrough. I had people in my seminars breakthrough one-inch thick board karate style and it’s not just for the fun of it though it is the most fun thing you’ll ever do in a seminar it’s a metaphor and it’s a powerful one. I have everyone write on their board something they want to break through. Fear, obstacle, habit or doubt, could be a fear of public speaking, could be something to do with their physical health, could be a relationship so it’s the greatest individual breakthrough experience. Because they get clear about this thing that’s been holding me back, procrastination about this thing I always wanted to do. On the other side, of the board they write down, when I’ve broken through that fear or that obstacle, when I’ve lost that way, when I’ve written that book, when I’ve started that business, what am I going to do, feel, create, ** my life because I’m no longer held back by that fear? I’ve got people bring their families back together and people conquered cancer I got people lose 125 lbs. and then people do things they didn’t know they can do because they got so clear. The team part is equally powerful because you’ll never see people cheer like they do in this board-breaking experience. I’m going to be doing one next month for 4,000 people and I’m telling you I’m going to left the city of Atlanta off the ground with the cheering we want each other to breakthrough. And when—say Jim, you’re in the circle of ten people breaking your board but other people going Jim, Jim, Jim, cheering like crazy. During that time all those other nine people or ten people they’re only focused on you some people have never been cheered for in their life and when they’re in that circle all that unconditional support lifts them to a level that they’ve never experienced for some people that is the greatest breakthrough of all.  So I love this experience because—really you don’t know you can breakthrough until you do it and that’s the way it is with life. We don’t know we can lose the weight until we do it. We don’t know if we can start the business until we do it, so I give that real experience. Confucius said, “When we hear we forget. When we see we remember but when we do we understand.” And so I like to give them that real breakthrough experience. 

Jim Rembach:   For those who have had the opportunity I’ll make sure we link to it on the show notes page. You’ve videotaped a couple of these sessions and seeing people who don’t initially breakthrough the board and when they finally breakthrough the board they must get giddy?

Brian Biro:   It’s amazing. And people go crazy that’s really the kind of the crescendo because the last people who break the boards are those who didn’t break it after three tries. I often say to them, “You’re the lucky ones.” And they look at me like, what? I said because you get to figure out what you changed in you to break through and then apply it in your life it’s uncanny how often it’s the same thing. I hesitated the key moments I focused on the obstacle instead of the breakthrough and so it was the same person, it was the same board you could have broken it the first time but you changed something do it in your life exactly the same way and it’s unbelievable how accurate it is.

Jim Rembach:   I started thinking when you started saying that and talking about so many of the things that we’re now finally learning about the way that our brains work and how it will take just very simple things like that and learn how to apply it in that other scenario in other words we can transfer it. How many people come back to you and say, guess what? 

Brian Biro:   Oh, yeah, I guess that’s one of the greatest thing it’s one of the most fun things about social media’s I get people broke their boards 20 years ago writing me now and saying, I did it. I can’t believe it, I started that business I wanted to start and it’s been going for 20 years they fund they come across the board and that’s the other thing it stays with you. What you focus on is what you create the great experience of that board breaking is to understand how powerful it is. If you focus on the board you get the board. If you focus on the breakthrough you’re amazed at how you can fly right through it.

Jim Rembach:   You mentioned a moment ago about one of a quotes that you like from Napoleon Hill, this whole board-breaking thing that’s very Napoleon Hill-ish if that is a way to describe it.

Brian Biro:   It really is. One of the things that I love to do Jim is—I’ve read a ton of biographies. People have accomplished great things in their lives that’s the basis of thinking getting rich incidentally that’s what he did he interviewed people who had great success they have some very powerful simple principles that are—who they become. One is they have extraordinary energy. Two is they’re optimist. They’re not unrealistic but they always feel that we can get better they always feel there’s more in them like there are no overachievers. And these could be people from widely different beliefs but those commonalities of energy of focusing on what you want more than what you don’t want and I’m absolutely positively coming from a place of we can we can grow we can do better. Those principles are really Napoleon Hill- ish but they’re basically the greatness that’s within us that allows us to move forward.

Jim Rembach:   One of the things I also found interesting is that a lot of those folks have also overcome some significant adversity so I guess you need to go out and create some adversities to get over in order—no, no, don’t do that—

Brian Biro:   You’ve got to do it anyways. But ** on Michael Jordan always talked about how he missed more game winning shots than he made and you learn from those things. And you just don’t stay stuck in the past and say, I didn’t do it yesterday I’ll never do it. No, what can I learn from yesterday to do it different and better tomorrow. 

Jim Rembach:   Yeah, and he also talks about getting cut from the basketball team and definitely didn’t let that keep him down that’s for sure. So, when you start thinking about—oh, gosh, I can only imagine you talked about reading a lot, the speaking and those speakers that you’ve met and all of the things that you’ve been exposed to there’s probably several quotes that you like but is there one that kind of stands out that you can share with us? 

 

Brian Biro:   Yeah. I love the quote from John Wooden it said, “It’s amazing what’s accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit.” We are too focused on a need for approval and what he was saying is you get the joy from what you’re doing, really Jim that’s why I love what I do speaking it’s not from the response and I get a ton of really neat response because it’s fun it’s emotional it touches your family and your work, but I love the way I feel when I’m doing it and I don’t need any credit for it I don’t need any approval. I appreciate it I’m thankful for all the kind things that people say but it’s not my purpose it’s not my driving force. My force is that I love what I’m doing and in the process of doing that I’m already fulfilled. I love that one because credit is something we should give responsibility is something we should take and too often that gets reversed. 

 

Jim Rembach:   I think that’s a great point. For me as you were saying that I started thinking to another thing that’s important to go with that because here’s where I’ve made some mistakes if sometimes when people give you that appreciation and give you that credit is that you discount it but you need to learn how to take it with grace.

 

Brian Biro:   Absolutely. In fact that’s a chapter in the book it’s about learning to receive. Because receiving is allowing people to feel the joy of giving. If you don’t receive well you take away their joy so receiving you’ll never really be a giver until you learn to receive and take it graciously. Thank you, take it in because that is allowing them to feel that joy that we all love that we feel when we give.

 

Jim Rembach:   Most definitely. Also when you start thinking about all of this learning and all of these things is that in order for us to get to these points and break the board and stuff it’s the overcoming humps that we talked about them on show. Is there a time where you’ve had to get over the hump, where you broke through the board and it made a difference for you?

 

Brian Biro:   bsolutely. When I graduated from Stanford, right before I graduated from college, I was just real down to myself because I was like a lot of people my age I had a dad who came from a kind of a different time and so he was not one who gave any praise he was not one who gave a compliment and so as a little kid I just wanted my dad to love me and to be proud of me. But he couldn’t say it he could never say, I love you son. He could never say you’re doing great. It just wasn’t in him and he just came from a different world. But it turned into this drive where I had to be the best at whatever I did and I was no fun to play with. If you’re playing a game with me you go, man this guy’s no fun he’s just like too intense, because I was trying to be something that was out of my control I was comparing myself to others. At that lowest point where I thought I’m no good because I’m never the best I realized that I wanted to shift one word in my approach to life. Instead of going to be the best my decision was I choose from this point forward to simply focus on being my best. The shift from the best to my best transformed my life because no longer did I evaluate what I was doing based upon what other people thought or comparing to others. I focused on what I put in more, my effort, my energy, my attitude, the things I actually control. I became fun to play sports with. I performed better because I wasn’t working against something that was unreachable. When you’re driven by the need for approval you’ll never have enough annual and you’ll never feel complete. So, that shift that epiphany from trying to be the best to simply go on after being my best was the big breakthrough for me.

 

Jim Rembach:   Gosh, I can only imagine coming out of school and you were teaching swimming at the time and all of that I mean how did you prevent translating or transposing that type of mindset and drive on to your students?

 

Brian Biro:   Well, you focus on each one individually. Everyone has their different potential in terms of their physical potential. I realized that I have many athletes, and one of my favorite stories I have to tell you this is a long, it’s about an athlete I coached for eight years and I coached her backwards, her name was Allison. She always fell apart at the ends of a race, she had quick speed but she died at the ends of races. I kept saying to her year after year, one of these days you’re not going to die, Allison, she kept dying because she thought about was not dying. One day I said to her, focus on finishing your race this time like you just did your warm-up sprint, because she did a great warm-up sprint, and she blew away my expectation she broke through in a way, as I think about it I’m getting chills just talking about it again and I realized how often we coach backwards or we compare them to others we don’t have to do that. We don’t have to say, “Why don’t you act more like your sister” No. Why don’t you do this outside of your sister leave your sister out it instead work on them individually focus on their strengths and their potential. So that’s really the concept, I wanted each one to rise as far as they could rise and also to never overestimate to never think I knew their limit. One like Allison show me you can do better than you ever dreamed of. She blew away my absolute, wildest dreams for her and it was all in that moment of shifting from what we don’t want to what we do want. 

 

Jim Rembach:   I think that’s a great story. When you’re talking about that I started thinking about something that a good mentor of mine Dr. Shama Kannan talks about—it’s called difference management. And we have to understand the differences of folks in order to be able to manage the situation, the relationship in a way that’s unique and important to that not to a particular group or stereotype.

Brian Biro:   Every great coach, teacher, leader understands you don’t coach everybody the same because everybody’s not the same. Some people need a pat on the back some people need a pointed cat call your toe and their (21:01 inaudible). Some people need space you need to let them go and that’s to them says, you believe in me because you’re not standing hovering over me. If you coach everybody the same you’re lazy and you’re not going to be as effective. Look for people’s opportunities, their strengths coach everyone based upon their unique qualities and differences and you help them get the most out of who they are.

Jim Rembach:   Well you can’t rely on your own devices in order to do that. For me I have to—what I do is that I create a dossier. And I have to keep referring back to it because oftentimes I forget that particular person I have to be different in that way in order to connect with them. So, I will take notes and I’ll put it in LinkedIn or something like that and create separate forms in order for me to keep track of it because otherwise I just go back to my norm of what I have habits in. 

Brian Biro:   See what it does for you too is whatever you seek to enrich another person’s experience you can’t help it enrich your own it makes you better because it means you have to be more alert you have to pay attention you have to learn from when you mess up, this didn’t work right. A great way to look at it is the meaning of my communication is the in. In other words if I’m communicating something, even if I think I’m a good communicator, and that other person doesn’t get it if you go come from the place that says the meaning of my communication is the response I get that says I got to change me I got to be a better coach better teacher. Bear Bryant, the great Alabama coach once said, “I’m just an old country (22:33 inaudible) but if I’ve learned one thing if you want to get a team’s heart to beat us one when things go great they did it. Things go pretty good we did it. Things go bad I did it.” In other words, I’m going to take responsibility and so by doing that by really coaching those differences looking for those ways that we need to treat people differently what happens is it makes us be more alert, more aware, more creative and a better leader.

Jim Rembach:   That’s for sure. Doing all that definitely requires a lot of energy, so one of the things that stood out in your book was that you talked about having a new kind of energy that allows you to go from three to ten, what is that? 

Brian Biro:   Well first thing, everyone we touch our energy is our example. People don’t remember that much of what we say but we remember their energy. We get their energy over the phone we never seen their face. So it’s important to understand that the biggest sense of who you are comes from your energy. Energy is a choice that’s what I want people to learn from that, In other words, a lot of people think about their energy kind of the way they think about the weather—hope the weather is good this weekend for the family picnic, that’s what we think about our energy, hope I’ll make it through this week—but energy is a choice. I like to put it on the ten-point scale because it’s just really simple and simple to me is actionable. 

On a ten-point energy scale one is comatose, ten is a child on Christmas morning. Ten is the way my people feel in my events when they break their board. So the pivotal question in life is, where are you living on that ten-point scale? Man that’s a great question. And then suppose you said I’m living at the seven, which is pretty high in this world. How do we change our energy by choice? And I talked about it in the book. To make it real quick first change the way you move. Our energy is created by the way that we move. You can instantly change your energy by sitting up, opening your eyes bright or smiling and immediately you’ll feel a higher level on that ten-point scale. The most constant source of energy though is purpose. When you’re filled with purpose energies no problem. When you’re doing what you love to do doesn’t matter how much sleep you have you’re feeling great. Constantly remembering to focus, what’s my purpose here? What’s my most desired outcome? That will immediately change your energy. 

Jim Rembach:   The last thing is ask better questions that can elevate your energy. The questions you ask yourself will determine the quality of your life. Instead of why can’t I do this, how can I do this how can I do this? How can I do this better? Start to create constructive, enabling, uplifting, empowering questions. 

Brian Biro:   As you’re talking I started thinking a whole lot about building of resilience. And you also talked about being easy to impress and hard to offend.

Jim Rembach:   Yeah, I love that. That to me is one of the really great breakthrough principles and in the new book there are no overachievers. Most people are easy to offend and when you’re easy to offend you immediately go into the defense mode and in the defense mode nothing ever gets done. When you’re easy to impress what that means is you’re interested in people. That’s why you do this show Jim, you’re interested in people you want to learn from all kinds of people have fun with them and learn those little pearls that might be different than maybe you’ve thought about before that allows you to grow a little bit. I tell the story about being hard to offend difficult to offend of Jack Nicklaus, the great golfer. When he came up, people don’t forget this now, he was the bad guy because he has beaten Arnold Palmer and everybody loved Arnie. And Jack Nicklaus was heavier and he had a butch haircut and he had the audacity to beat the king, to beat Arnold Palmer, but he is a great example of being hard to ascend. He was gracious in defeat, he was gracious in victory he always had a kind word to say about everyone. Gradually that changed the perception of Jack Nicklaus, till today he’s revered because he was hard to offend he stayed to the things he controlled and he never took it personal and that’s really what it’s about. I love to ask this question whenever I start to feel a defense thing come up inside of me, inside my own head I’ll ask, what else could this mean? And immediately it makes me think, “Well, maybe it’s not about—maybe they’re having a bad day, maybe I didn’t communicate very clearly I need to do a better job of communicating, maybe it has nothing whatsoever to do with this they just found out some bad news in their family.” When you come from being hard to offend you open up the possibility to connect and communicate rather than to get defensive.

Jim Rembach:   That’s so true. Now I know you have a lot of things going on. Your daughter’s working with you.

Brian Biro:   Yeah, I love it, I love it. It really helps me hook up with—also you are kind of force some activity with us seeing my ten month old grandson, Auggie, and I’m telling you that’s the greatest thing in the world. People always joke about grand parenting, you love it because you can play with them and then drop them off, that’s not it. I’ll tell you what it is, Jim, is that, when you have your own children you’re trying to figure out your life and so you’re not present a lot of the time when you’re there. You’re thinking about the meeting you had to do tomorrow you’re thinking about this and that you’re not present you’re not there. By the time you have grandchildren you realize none of that stuff was nearly as important as these precious moments I have with you. And so when you’re with them you’re really with them that’s why a grandparent though it’s harder to get down to the ground they’ll stay on the ground with that grandchild for an hour instead of getting—because it’s so precious and you’re fully present. That’s the most important thing we say to people in our lives, is by being fully present. We say to them you’re important, I’m loving it. My daughter is bringing fresh ideas she’s much more tech-savvy than I am she’s forcing the old dad to grow a little bit, I love it. 

Jim Rembach:   Thanks for sharing that and that perspective that’s something I really needed to hear. When you start looking at all these things and the additional work that she’s actually creating for you, I’m sure there’s another book already in works, when you look at all of those things what’s one of your goals?

Brian Biro:   I think my greatest goal is I want to reach as many people as I can with the concept that if one breakthrough. You break through from fear to love, that’s it. Fear has a lot of names. It can be anger it can be animosity it could be hiding. Love has a lot of names, joy, possibility, courage. When I help people break through whether it be in my books or in my seminars and I start to recognize that every time you choose the fear side you feel it you feel heavy it feels like a thousand pounds. And every time you choose the love side you feel light, your eyes open wide you feel like hey I can. So my real goal in life is to help people start to recognize it’s already in you. It’s already in you to focus more on what you want than what you don’t want. It’s already in you to affect your own health by the decisions you make. It’s already in you to get along with people who you maybe didn’t get along with before but you got to change you, If things are to change I must change. 

Jim Rembach:   Stop underachieving, right?

Brian Biro:   That’s it. 

Jim Rembach:   The Fast Leader legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.

 

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Alright here we go Fast Leader legion it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Brian the Hump day Hoedown is a part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us a robust get rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Brian Biro, are you ready to hoedown?

 

Brian Biro:   I’m ready to hoedown, let’s do it. 

 

Jim Rembach:    What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?

 

Brian Biro:   Getting caught in comfort zones. Comfort zones almost immediately become confinement zones. So, disrupt your status quo and challenge yourself to try to learn something new every day.

Jim Rembach:   What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?

Brian Biro:   It’s really from Coach John Wooden and that is, it’s amazing what’s accomplished when no one cares and gets the credit. Give the credit take responsibility. 

Jim Rembach:   What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?

Brian Biro:   I think number one is, I love people and I believe in people and I think when you come from that place you bring it out.  Secondly, is to understand that my energy is my choice. Every day I would seek to live with as much energy as I can. Use up that gas from that day so it’s empty and you fill up the tank during the night start again.

Jim Rembach:   What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?

Brian Biro:   Being fully present. Telling people through your actions that when you’re with them you’re a hundred percent with the mind, body and spirit.

Jim Rembach:   What would be one book that you’d recommend to our listeners, it could be from any genre, of course we’re going to put a link to, There are No Overachievers, on your show notes page as well.

Brian Biro:   I would choose two books. One is called, Unbroken. It’s a book by Laura Hillenbrand, she wrote Seabiscuit as well. It’s an incredible story, people read that book they will never complain in their life again. It’s about a guy named Louie Zamperini. The second one is Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. It’s a story that ultimately gets to the power of purpose.

Jim Rembach:   Okay, Fast Leader listeners you can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/BrianBiro. Okay Brian, this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything back you can only choose one. What skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?

Brian Biro:   I would ask more than tell. Leaders think they’re supposed to have the answers but when you give the answers you stop people from discovering their own learning. I would ask more than tell. It’s no coincidence we have two ears and one mouth we need to have that proportion. Great leaders want to create more leaders you only do that by getting people to think. The way to get people to think is to ask more to tell.

Jim Rembach:   Brian, it was an honor to spend time with you today, can you please share with the Fast Leader legion how they can connect with you? 

Brian Biro:   Sure will. Thanks so much. On my website, brianbiro.com, it’s got all information on my speaking, my books. Love to hear from you, it has all the hooks up to the social media as well. Thanks a million for having me Jim it’s been a blast.

Jim Rembach:   Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for Fast Leader helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot!

Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster. 

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