I have a returning guest for this podcast and he has been on the show before, author Nate Klemp, PhD.  His first book and podcast were about his book entitled “Start Here: Master the Lifelong Habit of Wellbeing” and in this podcast, we are going to be speaking about a new book he co-authored with his wife Kaley Klemp entitled “The 80/80 Marriage: A New Model for a Happier, Stronger Relationship.”

“Do you ever fight over fairness?” In this interview, we talk about  mindfulness, radical generosity, battle of fairness, domestic equality, parenting  and a lot more  to have a successful marriage and why 50/50 mindset of fairness will not work and has to be 80/80 Marriage.

If you want to read a book that will help your relationships and give more love, compassion and understanding, you will  want to listen to this very engaging interview with author Nate Klemp, and you will want to get a copy of this new book he co-authored with his wife Kaley Klemp entitled “The 80/80 Marriage: A New Model for a Happier, Stronger Relationship.”

To learn more about Nate and Kaley, and their book please click here to be directed to his website. You can also click here to  get a “Free Guide to EPIC Date Night”.  I hope you enjoy this great interview with Nate Klemp.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Nate Klemp, PhD

Nate is a writer, philosopher, and entrepreneur. Along with Eric Langshur, he is the co-author of the New York Times Bestseller Start Here: Master the Lifelong Habit of Wellbeing (Simon & Schuster: North Star Way) and is a weekly columnist for Inc. Magazine. He is also a founding partner at Mindful, one of the world’s largest mindfulness media and training companies. Nate holds a B.A. and M.A. in philosophy from Stanford University and a PhD from Princeton University.

Kaley Klemp

Kaley is one of the nation’s leading experts on small-group dynamics and leadership development. She is a TEDx speaker and the author of three books, including the Amazon Bestseller The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, The Drama-Free Office, and 13 Guidelines for Effective Teams. A favorite with Young Presidents Organization (YPO) forums and chapters, Kaley has facilitated retreats for more than 400 member and spouse forums throughout the world. Kaley is a graduate of Stanford University, where she earned a B.A. in International Relations and an M.A. in Sociology, with a focus on Organizational Behavior.

 

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to inside personal growth. This is Greg Voisen, the host of inside personal growth. And we have returning guest actually, Dr. Nate Klemp, PhD, he is joining us from Boulder, Colorado, where he was introduced to me by Beau parfit, who wrote a book that's boy A long time ago, die trying one man's quest to conquer the seven summit. But I became very good friends with Bo as a result of that. And Nate and I did a podcast, which we'll put a link to on a previous book, but we're going to be talking about this book, and it came out of he and his wife's own pain in their marriage. So they decided to write this book for everybody. And it's called the ADHD marriage, a new model for a happier stronger relationship, naked data. How are you doing?

Nate Klemp
I'm doing well, Greg. I'm just happy to be here. Thanks for having me again. Well, it's always good to get guests on that are speaking about topics that are timely. You know, I think there are so many things today that are timely, it's I every time I get on, I learned and that's the best way to do this. And same thing with my listeners. And I always thank them because they come from around the world. We've got the largest United States, second is Canada, and third is United Kingdom. So for all of you who are out there, and those three regions and everywhere else that are listening, thank you for taking the time to listen today. And we're obviously going to be talking about relationships and how to build better relationships.

Greg Voisen
And Nate is, let me just tell the listeners a bit about you. He's a former a philosopher, professor and founding partner at mindful and you can check it out. There's a website for that. He's the co-author of start here, a New York Times best-selling guide to mindfulness in the real world. Nate received his Ba and Ma from Stanford University and PhD from Princeton. Now his wife Kaylee is also a highly sought after executive coach specializing in building trust, and synergistic change. She is also an anagram expert. And I got into that really deep. So I need to have a conversation with Kaylee because we've had several Instagram authors on the book, actually, one of the kings of anagram was on who lives up in the Bay Area. TEDx speaker and co-author of the 15 commandments of conscious leadership, she received both her Ba and Ma from Stanford. So I'm assuming both of you lovers met at Stanford?

Nate Klemp
No. it would seem that way Wouldn't it? We met just before we both grew up in Boulder, which is where I currently am. And we met in high school, we were at Boulder High School. We were chemistry lab partners, our senior year. So we actually met and started dating and then we both ended up going to the same school Stanford. But just before we left, we pragmatically broke up. We're like, you know, we're 17 We're too young. Right? And then we got back together seven years ago, or seven years after that, sorry,

Greg Voisen
Stanford a great school. Both of you, which we all know, kudos out to all the professors that I've had on from Stanford. The most recent as a gentleman who actually is a on-site physician and teaches pediatric medicine at Stanford. And we just did an interview with him. It was great. I'm thinking of his name is we're talking it's Greg something, but we both have the same name, but Nate, and Kaylee. And in this case, Kelly's not here to fend for herself during this, this marriage thing, but that's fine. Marriages today, Nate as you know, our undue amounts of stress pandemic trying to raise kids, you know, putting on the masks, doing the whole routine, the vaccine not available for kids under 12 concerns, whatever it is that you want to throw out into the world today that young people have been attempting to navigate it's there and it takes its toll on marriages. My son who's 40 has two young ones lives in San Rafael works for Adobe, I understand the pressures.

Based on your personal experience. Why do you believe that we are seeing more couples in counseling, and I was actually looking at the statistics? The divorce rate hasn't gone.
up, it's actually gone down. It was an interesting one, because I actually did some research before we got on. But we are certainly seeing an upsurge in kind of counseling. And you guys have come up with a formula here and a model, which you believe could help a lot of people speak with us about it.

Nate Klemp
Yeah, well, I think there's good news and bad news when it comes to looking at the state of modern marriage. So the good news, I think, is actually what you're referring to that there are more and more couples going to counseling. And I think that's good news. Because there's this strange stigma around working on your marriage. And it was interesting, we even saw this when we were promoting the book. You know, I had some friends come to me and say, hey, yeah, I bought your book on Amazon the other day, and my husband saw that there was this book called The 8080 marriage, this marriage book and our cart, and was automatically like, Is there something wrong with our marriage? Did I do something wrong?

And I thought that was really telling because, yeah, that's the mindset we have around marriage. And it's so different than other things. I mean, if you were to buy a book on how to be a better leader, nobody would say, Oh, you must be a terrible leader. Or if you were to buy a book on how to be a better parent, nobody would say like, wow, you must be the worst parent in the world. Right? They would say, Oh, great, you're improving leadership skills. you're optimizing your parenting. And yet, when it comes to marriage, there's all this stigma, and this belief that we should have it figured out that it should be easy. And if you have to work on it, then you're doing something wrong, and you're just somehow not good at it.
Greg Voisen
I totally concur with you. You know, what the days of Dr. Ruth and Dr. Phil, are out there. But you know, there's always been talk radio around love, sex and marriage. I mean, there's all kinds of talk radio, people that are out there doing that. And I think it's kind of like this, you know, they're always on it late night. Cuz when you look at it, it's like, we're not going to do this during primetime drive today, because there's a stigma attached to this. So we're just going to let the people stay up late night.

Nate Klemp
Exactly. And, but I do think that that's changing. So the fact that more people are going to counseling and getting help, I think is a sign that it's starting to change. Yeah. And you know, I'm a big fan of the idea that, hey, we don't have to treat marriage, like this weird taboo thing, or sex or intimacy. Like, we can try to optimize marriage and be good at marriage, just like we were trying to be good at everything else, parenting work, etc. So that's kind of I think, like, the good news part of the picture. And then I think the bad or the challenging news is that just over the last year, too many couples have experienced this really challenging, difficult time. And as you said, the divorce rate has not skyrocketed. A lot of people thought and COVID was happy that and I actually think it's become a disincentive to getting divorced, because there's all sorts of complications that now come from living a COVID life with kids and things like that. Yeah. But I think what has happened, what we've been hearing is that it has amplified, whatever it is that you had in your relationship, pre COVID. So for couples that were close and doing fairly well, in many cases, COVID has made things better, like they have more time to be together. But for couples that were sort of teetering on the edge of conflict and tension, in a lot of cases, it's just amped up and you know, kind of like crank the volume up on that.

Greg Voisen
In the book, you speak about the battle for fairness in a marriage. Yeah. You know, this goes back to john gray, who endorsed your book. Would you rather be right? Or would you rather be in love? You know, and I see this happen where it's that in that that is a battle for fairness, right, but it's also about being right. You mentioned that the 5050 shared situation wasn't working for you and Kaylee.

So tell our listeners about your research and why you believe the 80/80 marriage, which is 30% more
is a better solution. And I agree, because what you're trying to do is come together close surprise. You didn't write it the 100/100. Yeah, yeah. Well, we actually have a reason why we didn't do that, which I'll get into in a second.

Nate Klemp
But no, it's a great question. So, you know, when we decided to write this book, we wanted to look at both our lives carefully, but also the lives of many other couples. So we interviewed about 100 people
To really understand what was going on in the modern state of marriage, and we found that it was really helpful to kind of zoom out. Because I think a lot of us here relate

Greg Voisen
How did you choose those 100 people was their economic, social background, educational background, was it a pretty diverse group?
Nate Klemp
Yeah, we were striving for as much diversity as we could get. So you know, initially, we started with people we knew. And then from there, we kind of grew our list, you know, asking for various, you know, other couples to see if they'd be interested in this as well. So, so we tried to get as much diversity as possible Good luck, we, we, you know, had a number of same sex couples of both genders.

Greg Voisen
So because you didn't get quite the great cross section that you need. Because I think for people coming from lower socio economic area, trying to raise kids earning a lot less money, it, there's a lot more struggles in it in it, it can show up in the marriage. But on the other hand, I'm glad you took a cross segment. So anyway, go on, I just was making sure that we had a pretty good cross segment of people.

Nate Klemp
Exactly. Yeah, yeah, well, and so we find it really helpful to kind of zoom out from our current situation. Because I think for many couples, you're so focused on the micro, day to day level of relationships, that there's something important that we all miss, which is that there's been this monumental change in the institution of marriage. So you know, if you think about the 1950s, you think about your grandparents, or maybe even your parents, there was likely a very gendered model where one person did 80%, or more generally, the woman, the other person did 20%, generally the man. And what we have now generationally is this shift to what we call the 50/50 model. And this is a model that I think in many ways is to be celebrated, you know, that, we're now in a situation where, for many couples, it doesn't matter whether you're the man or the woman in the relationship, you know, you both have equal opportunities to do amazing things, you can both go to graduate school, you can both become an attorney, or whatever you want to do, the world is your oyster. And that's what we were told, growing up is, you know, realize your potential as an individual. The complication with that, that we ran into, and many of the people we interviewed, is that marriage is a very different kind of institution, it's not really built for individual success. And so what we did and what many couples are doing now, is saying, Okay, well, the, the way we can be equals and in love, is to make everything perfectly 5050, fair knology we're going to use to do that is this really kind of clunky tool where we just keep this mental tabulation of everything that we've done, and everything that our partners done, and we're constantly comparing it, and we're arguing about who did the dishes last, or who took the kid to school. And so we're getting into this conflict, over fairness. And we're in this mindset of making everything 5050 that, hey, I'm just going to do my 50%. And if I do more than that, now you owe me, which just isn't really the most like loving or intimacy boosting way of thinking about relationships. So the basic insight behind the 5050 marriage is that if you want to get out of that fight that struggle over fairness, that conflict, that resentment, the best way to do it is to begin shifting your mindset by contributing way more so. So we think of it as 80%, right? Which makes no sense. And it's crazy. And it's based on this idea of radical generosity, that I'm sure we'll talk about more. But the basic idea is that by shifting the goalposts from 50%, to something radical and crazy, that makes no sense, really 80% you're actually able to dramatically and sort of radically shift the underlying culture of a relationship.

Greg Voisen
Well speak with me for a minute because behind this fairness question at its root, is our ego. And I think that the, you're obviously in mindfulness, sought after speaker and coach and look at this area. You know, the monkey mind goes around and around and around and people start getting these thoughts. And, as we used to say, you don't have to believe everything you think. But the reality is, is that's what's happening here. You're seeing something and experience something and you're believing that that's the truth and your mind is telling you that's the truth when in essence it's just a matter to basically just do what needs to be done, right? I'm not putting anything against the 8080. I think the extra 30% is great. The reality, though, is at the core of this, and you probably can speak to it as, as good as anybody is what the self-talk is that's going on behind the scenes. Yeah. What advice would you have for our listeners out there about this negative self-talk? It's constantly pervading about; did she do this? Did I do that? Did who do this needed to do? It really shouldn't be that at all, should it?

Nate Klemp
Well, I love this question. Because as you say, mindfulness is a big part of what I think about and what I do. And you're absolutely right, that the default mental habit of most people in relationships is this soundtrack that's playing in your head. Yeah, it's basically presenting this completely skewed picture of your relationship in your life, where you're the one who's right, and you're the one who's doing more and your partner, if they could just do a little more, or if they just weren't so diluted about x, y, and z, you know, everything would be great. And basically, it's a world in which you have zero responsibility, your partner has 100% responsibility for making everything great. And so I think it's important from the perspective of mindfulness to recognize that that soundtrack is likely never going away. Like Kaylee, and I wrote this book. And we've spent the last several years where this is the central project of our life. And the soundtrack of 5050 has never left us, it's always there. But what you can do, I think there are two things you can do. One is, you can just begin to see it happening in real time, that's kind of the mindfulness move to just sort of, like, watch it, become interested in that soundtrack, because it's kind of crazy and interesting. And you know, it's like watching a sitcom or something, right. So that would be thing one, but then thing two, is to start to recognize that a lot of the assumptions that your mind is making are based on pure delusion. So this gets into some research we talked about in the book, which basically, you know, there's a whole line of research coming out of psychology showing that our assessments of fairness in relationships are clouded by a couple really interesting cognitive biases. So one is what researchers call availability bias, which is basically just a fancy way of saying that everything I do in my relationship, all of that information, and those amazing contributions, that's all available to me, I see all the socks going into the washing machine and the dishes and the trips to school with my child. But what's happening on my wife's side, all of her contributions, most of those aren't available to me at all. So I have this tendency to sort of underestimate what my partner is doing. And then there's a second cognitive bias, which is overestimation, where we have this tendency to just vastly overestimate the amount of time we spend on childcare and housework. Right. So like, if I'm doing dishes, I'll say that I did dishes for 60 minutes was probably more like 30 minutes, we're really bad at estimating this kind of work. So I think that's important, because it's just essential to see that this story that's going on in your mind is often based on really bad data and really bad assumptions that are actually not true. Not even close to being true.

Greg Voisen
Yeah. And, you know, look, we, as individuals, we've been taught this we've been engendered with it, we put labels on everything, including ourselves and others. So, you know, we'd like to label it with a noun or verb or something that says, hey, you know, this is what I label, and it is really quite interesting. I was talking with a hypnotherapist, the other day and the subconscious mind. I thought that was really, really quite something. Now, you know, in your first chapter, you speak about the work of Dr. Edwin, is it plus Pulaski, in his book sex today in the wedded life written in 1945? No, I think this is great, because we're talking about, you know, eons ago, way before I was born.
What is it about the advice that applies today as much as it did back in 1945? So when you look at a lot of these books that have been written were written on sex, or they were written on whatever I'm sure there may be funny to look at and embarrassed. Here we are today. And how does the 8080 model apply?

Nate Klemp
Yeah, yeah. Well, it's funny. We started with his book, in that first chapter, because it's
Really a chapter about the 8020 model, which is kind of the starting point. So we wanted to, to dissect and kind of unpack the essence of this model. And he was the perfect place to go. Because in the 1940s, in the 1950s, it's my understanding that there weren't really, you know, as many discussions happening about sex and intimacy and relationships. But this was one of the few books where it was discussed. And at the end, he has 10 commandments, for wives and for husbands. And it's a really fascinating list, because it's kind of a mixture of like, pretty good advice, and just totally sexist advice that you can imagine anybody uttering in this day and age, right, so. So you know that things like be a good listener, like, that's actually pretty good advice. Everybody should do that. But then, you know, for wives, he says things like, you know, don't burden your husband with your troubles. Because his yours will seem trivial in comparison to his right, things like that, where you're just like, wow, nobody would ever say that. And if they did, they wouldn't have a public platform ever again about today. Exactly. So we thought that was just interesting, because it shows like the precursor to 5050, where the assumption is, that one person, generally the man, always the man really has this sort of greater status in the relationship. And that's an assumption that has started to break down. And I think we would all applaud that. And yeah, the reason we start there is because that early model, while it's totally sexist, and culturally backward, I think we'd all agree on that. It actually did one thing pretty well, which is that there was a very clear structure of roles and responsibilities. And both partners were sort of aiming toward shared success. In contrast, many modern couples, many of the people we interviewed are dealing with a situation that we would call role confusion, where now that we're both equals we're both equally capable of making dinner, of doing the dishes of doing all the things that need to happen in our lives. And I and I'd add,

Greg Voisen
And I'd add to that both capable of economically bringing in the right, so then the question is new, which didn't used to be as much right it is yet it is today. And back in 45, that probably wasn't the case. Now you're seeing wage equality. You're starting to see more of this happen. And I think that even from looking at the patriarchal matriarchal kind of situation, we came from a patriarchal, we obviously are going more into this matriarchal. And I think it's important that you bring up a very good point, because it's, it's there. And if you would speak with us about the many facets of fairness in a marriage? How do the fights over fairness show in relationships? And what can be done to mitigate these issues? You provide a list in the book, and I think that's a telltale, for any of our listeners, even if you rattle off a few of those things on the list, I think yeah.

Nate Klemp
Yeah, absolutely. And just to connect this to the earlier point, I mean, it's the fact that there is this confusion. And, and we're both now equally capable of doing everything, right. It signals in our minds a real power, to bring a little bit more intentionality and structure to the way that we think about our lives. And also just awareness, you know, to get back to mindfulness, just to become aware of fairness. So when it comes to these various phases of fairness, one of the really interesting things we found is that if you ask most modern couples, hey, do you ever fight over fairness? They will likely say Not really. Right? But then you dig a little bit under the surface and you ask a few more questions. And all sorts of fairness, fights begin to reveal themselves. And so that's why I think it is important to sort of like talk about well, how does this show up this battle for fairness? So one of the most classic fights is around sort of domestic equality. You know, so who's cooking? Who's cleaning? who's managing the social calendar? Who's doing kid logistics, right? Like a lot of couples find themselves fighting over what's 5050 what's fair when it comes to just sort of like the, the complicated logistics of everyday life. Then another way that shows up which showed up for us and a lot of people we interviewed is a fight over fairness when it comes to time with extended family and friends. So, you know, one couple told us about, they were going to divide up Mother's Day and Father's Day equally, so.His family got Father's Day her family got Mother's Day. But then the question became, like, how many hours exactly are we spending with your family versus my family, and that has to be fair, that has to be equal, then there's money, a lot of couples fight around fairness when it comes to saving or spending, you know, so there are some classic fights where one couple feel, or one person feels like the other person is spending too much. And it's not fair. You know, here I am saving, holding back on big purchases, and you just came back with a bag full of clothes from Nordstrom, that's not fair. And then finally, one of our favorites here is the fight over free time. And this is a fight that happens the moment you have a child. So you know, the moment you walk home from the hospital, with a kid, all of a sudden, free time, becomes this, like extremely precious, valuable, scarce commodity, you know, having an hour to go for a run or having an hour to go to a yoga class or to go fishing or whatever it is that you do. And so a lot of couples told us about these fights over how much free time do we have? and What counts is free time. So one woman told us that, you know, she went to Target and her husband was like, okay, you had your free time. Now I'm going to go for my run. She's like, wait a minute, I went to Target. That's not free time. What are you talking about? Right. So you can just see how all these sorts of conflicts start to fall out of these various areas of fairness, fighting.

Greg Voisen
And I, and I'd hate to say that, you know, it's about letting go. But really, you know, I know, it might sound a little bit trite to the listeners. But you know, if you can learn to stay in a space, like Nate is talking about.fairness is the state of mind, you said mindset that you created. It isn't the other person. It has nothing to do with the other person. It's how you perceive how the time that person is being used is spent and if you can, if you can at least shift your mindset or perspective, to look at it that way. You probably will reduce a lot of the tension. Now you talk about the two fallacies of fairness. What are those fallacies? And we explained to the listeners if you would?

Nate Klemp
Yeah, absolutely. And just one comment on what you were saying just there. Because I think it's so important is that I think there's a really essential principle here, which is that your mindset in a relationship is contagious. So if you show up in your relationship, scanning everything your partner's doing, trying to figure out whether things are fair holding a lot of resentment that is contagious, your partner will mirror that back to you with 100% certainty. And that's why the shift to radical generosity and 8080 that I'm talking about, and we're talking about in the book is so powerful, because that's also contagious. Right? So, so really only takes you to make that shift. And so I just wanted to underline that point. And then I love the question about what the sort of two delusions of fairness are are the ways in which, you know, fairness creeps in, and we try to use it and it sort of starts to break down. One of them is just a problem of comparison. So you know, when we're talking about what is or isn't fair, in a relationship, we're often comparing things that are totally incompatible or impossible to compare. So I might be comparing the work I did on finances for 30 minutes against the work my wife did at three in the morning, helping our child that's really difficult to compare and say, like, Well, how do we sort of make those equal, you know, where the time I spent with my kid at the pool, versus the time my wife spent at an important business meeting, you were comparing things that are just in very different domains. And it's, it's almost impossible to make accurate comparisons. So that's one of these traps around fairness. And then the other trap is what I was mentioning earlier, around these cognitive biases, right? So the fact that we're just really bad at assessing what is or isn't fair. So, you know, I talked about availability bias over estimation. It's just this fact that we're really pretty much diluted when it comes to our information and the data we have that we're, we're using to make these comparisons of fairness. And as a result, you know, if we take a step back, it sort of shows that this fight we're having over what is or isn't fair, really doesn't make much sense because it's based on these inaccurate domain comparisons. It's based on really bad data. And it's really taking us away from what we want out of marriage.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, you bring up a really good point in the book, you discuss this concept of mindset of radical generosity as a relates to the 8080 marriage and have the mindset can change everything. For a couple struggling. Yeah. And also, what are the two traps for radical generosity? In other words, you thought about radical generosity. And then there's the two traps of radical generosity. And I love the concept of putting radical and generosity together in a statement. Yeah. And I get what it is. The question is, how do you help people live it?

Nate Klemp
Yeah, exactly. Well, yeah. So if we say that this 50/50 mindset of fairness isn't working, I hope I've persuaded everybody that it's not for all sorts of reasons that we've talked about before, then the question is, okay, well, how can we shift our mindset to make marriage work to get what we really want out of marriage connection, better intimacy, etc.? And we think the answer is to push the goalpost way beyond 50%, to 80%. And the way to describe what that would look like, or how that manifest in a relationship, is radical generosity. I mean, its generosity, because generosity is by definition, doing more than what's fair. But it's also really radical, because in many ways, the cultural center of gravity keeps pulling us back to fairness in marriage keeps running that out automatic soundtrack that you were talking about earlier, Greg, that we just get locked into. And so this idea of radical generosity is the idea that you can push way beyond 50%. You can contribute more than your fair share. And just as I talked about before, that there's a way in which that can become contagious, and it can start to create what we think of as a kind of upward spiral of radical generosity, where I do something radically generous for my wife, Kaley, she's more inclined to do something generous for me, you can see how there's like a feedback loop that starts there. Now, we get

Greg Voisen
Actually, it's it’s a reciprocity, you know, in other words, it's, yeah, you're giving up radical generosity, and generosity. And, and, as you said, you know, to repeat, it's doing more than your fair share, or it is depending on how you want to look at it, it's really a state of consciousness that you have, you have to cultivate that state of consciousness that giving is an important element without anything in return. So it's like, Okay, I'm going to give, but what am I, I'm not expecting anything by what I get. And that does take cultivation by people, because a lot of people have never been brought up that way. They've like,
so it's like, What's in it for me? And I'm like, well, there's there have to be anything in it.

Nate Klemp
Well, and that sort of leads to the two barriers to radical generosity that you were asking about. So one of them is what we call inequity phobia, is basically just a way of saying that. We've been conditioned into these 5050 mindsets. And according to that mindset, acting on the basis of radical generosity is crazy. I mean, it's almost insane. And so there's a way in which we're, we can feel some really intense emotions, some deep unfairness, and really some fear and discomfort when we start to experiment with this mindset of radical generosity. And our advice in the book is a very sort of, like mindfulness-based practice that it's totally okay to feel that discomfort, and you can just be present with it. And that in many ways, change in marriage almost requires that discomfort, we like to say that, like your marriage begins at the edge of your comfort zone, you know, it's moving into that discomfort that that is a sign that you're doing something different. So there's that. And then the other big thing that's a barrier for a lot of people is that a lot of people have a story. And that's actually a legitimate story, that they're the ones doing everything. And they're likely the one who's reading this book. So, so many people will say, well, you know, why should I be radically generous? I'm already doing everything. And I think that's a really important objection. We actually wrote a whole chapter at the end of the book about the reluctant partner

35:00
problem, as we call it. But basically that, you know, the short answer there is that, yes, you might be doing more. But chances are, you're not doing it from this place of radical generosity, you're likely doing it for fairness, that's creating resentment. And it's likely creating a dynamic where your partner actually wants to do less. That was certainly the case for me and Kaylee, I was kind of the reluctant under contributing partner. And the more resentful she felt, the less I wanted to do, the less equal things became.

Greg Voisen
So it made the division even greater and greater.

Nate Klemp
Exactly, even though you think you're trying to create equality, the more you get into that game of fairness, the more inequality sort of falls out of the system,

Greg Voisen
It's like taking two magnets with the same polarity and try and push them together.

Nate Klemp
So exactly. Getting exactly the result you don't want

Greg Voisen
They’re never going to go together. But if you turn one this way, and put out positive and negative, it's going to come together, right. You know, in the chapter on contribution, what you do you tell the story about Rob Israel, the co-founder of doc popcorn, which is the world's largest franchise, popcorn retailer. Yeah. I, I wanted you to tell the story. So what it was Rob's challenge and speak about this story in the context of what you do? And then how you do it.

Nate Klemp
Yeah. Yeah, I thought this was just a fantastic story. So Rob, was one of the people we interviewed for the book. And, you know, when I told him about what we were doing, he was like, oh, wow, I had this moment, where I just totally saw what you're talking about the power of radical generosity. And the moment was, he was, I think, in his late 20s, he was living in New York City. He was about three years into a relationship with his girlfriend. And he came home one night, and he had expected her to be there. And he had expected dinner to be on the table and her to be excited to see him. And he walked into his apartment. And nobody was there. She hadn't even come home yet. And, like all of us, Rob's mind started to generate all these stories about what was going on, right in the story was, she doesn't do enough, she should be here more, she should care about me more, she should be more excited to see me all these things, right. And then a certain point, he describes it as this kind of voice of God moment, where his mind just popped this radical question, which was, well, what have you done for her? And he wasn't really clear, like he didn't really have a good answer to that question. So then he decided, oh, wait a minute, I'm going to just completely flip the script here. So he went to this Korean deli, and he bought all of her favorite foods for dinner. And he was going to plan this kind of magical evening, and she walked into this Korean deli, saw what he was up to. And it just completely changed the course of their relationship. And what he told me after the fact is, he learned in that moment, that if you want your partner to be more loving, more intimate, more compassionate, a better listener, it starts with you doing that for your partner. Right, so he got everything he wanted from his partner by giving it to her first. And I think really, that's the essence of what we're talking about here with radical generosity. And in terms of the, the how, and the what you were describing, you know, part of the key to radical generosity is not just doing something kind. But it's how are you doing it? What is your mindset as you are doing it? So if Rob had done that, with the mindset of fairness, you know, gone to that store and said, well, I'm going to do this really nice thing for her and then she owes me she better do it for me tomorrow night, it would have meant nothing. Right. Right. So that, that how is almost as important as what, when it comes to radical generosity.

Greg Voisen
You know, it was it was portrayed on, and I'm sure it's true, but it was just recently on LinkedIn. And I read this story about Keanu Reeves, you know, and he travels frequently on buses back of buses. And he's extremely generous. I mean, give just gave $5 million, simply. So he showed up 20 minutes late, but it is his

demeanor. It is who he is, the way he was brought up about this huge generosity, about the fact that he travels in public transportation, which he doesn't have big lemons, taking them around. They said he was standing out in the rain for 15 minutes when he was knocking on the door, right to get into this event that he was supposed to go to. And I thought it just speaks very highly Just some people's level of generosity, you know $5 million to this thing and be there and show up and not just the money, but to actually show up and be part of it. I think it's so great to see that kind of philanthropy, that kind of person and what he's doing. Now you speak about john Gottman, the world's leading researcher on science of marriage. And what you learn about Gottman love lab? And how can this help empower the appreciation in a marriage?

Nate Klemp
Yeah, well, I mean, in some ways, this really connects to what we've been talking about this difference between what you're doing and how you're doing it, you know, what's the underlying motivation? Or mindset? What's the how look like. And I think garmins work more than anything shows that how we're interacting with our spouse, whether it's positive or negative, really makes all the difference. And so, you know, I think he's done a lot of really interesting research come up with a lot of interesting discoveries. But probably the most important one for our purposes, is that when he looked at the difference between so called masters and disasters of marriage, couples, who are just crushing it, who love each other, they're connected, and the couples who are living in chronic and happiness, what he found is that the primary variable that differentiates those two is the ratio of positive to negative interactions. So he shorthands, this is the five to one ratio, basically, what he finds is that if the ratio in your marriage of positive to negative interactions is five to one, you know, you have five positive interactions where you appreciate each other, or you give each other a hug, for one, you know, nagging comment or sort of sarcastic remark. That's a sign you're doing really well. And you're probably going to make it as a couple. As that ratio goes down, though. And if it inverts, then you're in trouble, right? Like, if most of what you say to each other is negative, and defensive, and, you know, sort of blaming, then, you know, chances are, you're not going to make it and, and it sounds so obvious, but Gavin was the first person to really see that. And I think the big idea there, that that we sort of latch on to in the book is around like, Okay, well then if you want to shift your mindset in marriage, one of the most powerful things you can do is simply appreciate your spouse, simply add more to the positive side of that ratio. And it's just noticing what they're doing, thanking them for it, noticing how they're contributing, giving them a quick thank you, Kaylee. And I have actually turned this into a habit. Because we know that, you know, the default structure of our brains often won't do us, do it for us. So at the end of every day, when we're lying-in bed, we just do one appreciation takes 30 seconds, and it just completely changes the energy of the day.

Greg Voisen
Very good one, that's a great piece of sound advice at the end of the day to actually take something and say something to the person and listen intently for what an appreciation would be during the day, whether doesn't matter how, what it is just as long as it's something. And if everybody did that every night before they went to bed, that would probably be a good, a good way to injure your day. Now, you've talked about this reluctant person, you said it was you. And I'm sure that many of my listeners have experienced The Reluctant partner in the relationship, whether it's male or female, either side, how do you deal with this resistance and reluctant partner, if you're in a relationship, or one person has little or no give? Meaning, you know, they're just like, forget it. This, this is who I am. Take me for what you are now I'm not going to change.

Nate Klemp
Well, this is like a really common pattern where you have often an over contributor and an under contributor. And statistically speaking, the over contributors are the women in heterosexual relationships, and the under contributors are men. And, you know, one thing that was really interesting when we were interviewing couples that were experiencing this dynamic is that it's actually really painful for both partners. You might think, like the under contributor has this great setup where their partner does everything. Isn't that amazing? But it's super painful. Because you know, the story in that relationship is whatever Nate doesn't do as much meat is just a free rider, whatever it is, that's actually really painful. So when you're in that kind of a situation, you know, we talk about it a lot in that chapter.
Have some practices I would, there are a few things you can do. So one is as crazy as it sounds, shifting to these 8080 mindsets of radical generosity is a big deal. Because, as I said before your mindset is contagious, and most over contributors are doing what they do from a mindset of generosity. So making that shift where you just keep doing whatever it is that you're doing, but you shift your mindset around it, that can be huge. And even if your partner doesn't sort of catch on, you're at least ameliorating some of your own suffering, you know, the stress response you have, as you're doing the dishes, you're at least shifting that. But then the other thing that's super powerful, is to start to look at are there ways in which I the over contributing partner, am participating in this dynamic? Generally, the answer is yes. So just to use the case of me and Kaylee, I was the under contributor, she was the over contributor. If she was here, what she would tell you is that there were ways where she was holding this pattern in place, because she didn't want to let go of control. So she was the one doing our finances, she complained about the fact that I never did our finances. But for about 10 years in our marriage, she was unwilling to let go of that control. Right. And so for her to start to unwind this pattern, she had to let go of some of that control. And that was really the way in which for us, we started to unwind this, this pattern is that, you know, both of us started to see how are we participating in this?

Greg Voisen
Well, you take things on in life that you think you're better at. and frequently, you've never given the other person an opportunity to experience it. And it's primarily as a result of fear, because you've been doing it yourself. So Kaylee had this thing that she did herself? Yeah, as you're called the finances, it could be anything that taking care of the kids, the dishes, the whatever. Because the issue is, you know, Nate won't do it. Right. Yeah, right. And it's also power. So there's a power in having those exact things as well, because it gives you some power. And only way to really diffuse that power, is to let go like she did. Now you're probably doing the finances, or

Nate Klemp
I am, I do all the finances now.

Greg Voisen
There you go. And you do a perfectly good job of it, and you took something off for play. So that's it. That's a really big win for you guys that would go in the wind box check. Yeah, there. Now you cover a lot in this book, The 8080 marriage. And I think by this point, the listeners get it. It's a matter of changing their mindset. It's a matter of using radical generosity to get to that 8080 mark. And I'd want you to give three takeaways that you can leave our listeners with that can help them relieve tension in the marriage. And, and how to improve the love compassion and understanding.

As the Dalai Lama would say, you know, all we really need is love and compassion. So the question then would be, if that's the space you're coming from, you probably wouldn't have these problems. Yeah, that's where you stayed. If you stayed in that essence, it you know, you'd be like Him and you'd be laughing all the time.

Nate Klemp
Exactly. Yeah. Well, I and I love the question, because it's really great to have a few actionable things you can do is I like the one you gave us at night. Do the judgment, right? Yeah. So I would say like she didn't. In the book, we talked about mindset. We also talked about structure, which we haven't talked too much about here. So I'll give you two mindset tips and one structural tip. So in terms of mindset, small micro acts of contribution, you can do one such act a day. This isn't anything big. This is giving your partner a huge hug. This is making them coffee in the morning. This is writing I love you on a sticky note and putting them on their mock and putting it on their monitor. One of those things a day, that can be huge. That starts that upward spiral of radical generosity. appreciation would be my number two, we talked about it earlier, establishing a regular habit of appreciation. Maybe it's a dinner, there's an appreciation check in we do that in my family sometimes everybody offers an appreciation for the others at the table.

Greg Voisen
What about your epic date?

Nate Klemp
Yeah, the day night thing super important, especially now where it's very difficult to find time together.

Greg Voisen
What if that then even just going out and ordering the food and having
Uber bring it or something? Yeah, the reality is a lot of people now they you know, they're not going out there know exactly what it's like, but date night is when I actually did it and had it brought in. So you guys can have a dinner together?

Nate Klemp
Yeah, exactly. Well, and then the last one is more from the structural side of the book. So, in the book, we have a bunch of practices around things like priorities and boundaries and roles, power and sex. And the one I would just say is, is crucial, or at least it was crucial for us and many of the couples we interviewed, is getting clear on roles. As I said, Before, we live in this condition of kind of role confusion. Many couples have employed what I call the wingman approach, where they say like, Hey, we're just going to let historical accident and random gender norms from the 1950s determine who does what. And it usually doesn't work out that well. So just sitting down together and thinking through, okay, what are we currently doing both of us, right? Are those things lined up with what we like to do our strengths, things like that. And then coming up with a more intentional structure. It takes like 10 minutes, but it can be a complete game changer.

Greg Voisen
Well, I think your example that Kaylee was doing the finances, and then you took it over is a roll. It is a roll nation ship. Absolutely. That was a game changer. It was like she was pissed off because she was doing it all the time. And you weren't, I'm just putting words in your mouth. But usually, that's what happens. People get to a point where they're like, Oh, my God, every year, I have to do the taxes. Every year, I'm meeting with the accountant every year, I'm doing things. And I don't, you know, I don't want to do that anymore. He want to do kind of thing. And that requires some flexibility too. Because I think over time things change. So that to me would be well, let's revisit this every year. Let's look at these roles on a yearly basis, or every six months or whatever. Yeah, so you've given our listeners a ton of food for thought. And I'm going to tell them go to the ADHD marriage website. And there you can download as well. The information I just said, which was about the epic date. And I think called the epic date night, it's a free guide that they offer. You also can watch a video of the two of them introducing the book, which I think is quite good. plus an interview that was done on Good Morning America as well. That gives you some idea about that. Nate, it was a pleasure having you on insight, personal growth, speaking with my listeners about how to improve relationships, and I want to state this to so many people. What supplying here. If you're not married, and you're listening to this show, or you're not in a relationship, think about how you could apply that in the relationships at work. Yeah, cuz the reality is much of what, you know, Nate's talking about here, though radical generosity, the fairness thing, these same problems occur in a work environment.

I just I just want to say that because I think there's got to be some people out there that are single that are going, this doesn't relate to me. But you know, there are ways to apply this no matter what it's universal principles, to be honest with you. It's what it is. So, thanks, Nate.

Nate Klemp
thank you so much for having me on, Greg. I appreciate it.

Greg Voisen
I appreciate having you on and I appreciate the wisdom that you've imparted on here. And that and the fact that you and Kaylee got to this 80/80 marriage and actually generated a book and inform people about how it can improve a relationship. So thanks so much.

powered by

If you want to Lighten up – physically and emotionally, then you are going to want to listen to my next guests on Inside Personal Growth, Liz Dickinson, CEO and Shannon Shearn, COO of Relish Life.

RELISH LIFE is a revolutionary program that takes a 360-degree approach to weight release by tackling the root causes of unhealthy eating habits. They encourage people to not just treat the symptom but solve the root cause of your struggle with weight and food.

In this interview, we talk about weight release, lifestyle interventions, medications and therapies.

If you want to learn more about Liz and Shannon and their Relish Life programs, please click here to be directed to their website.

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

About Liz and Shannon

Liz Dickinson, CEO

Liz Dickinson is no stranger to the struggles that come with trying to lose weight. With each pregnancy, she gained stubborn weight that overstayed its welcome well beyond the baby’s due date. No matter how hard she tried, the weight would always come back.

Shannon Shearn, COO

As a critically acclaimed circus acrobat and elite athlete, Shannon did what it took to maintain the weight to look the part, no matter how unhealthy the path to get there. This led to disordered eating – a common issue in the world of professional athletics – and a loud inner critic who constantly told her she was never thin enough, never small enough, and never quite good enough, either. When she became a mother, her struggle with “bouncing back” and weight gain contributed to her feelings of failure at this new chapter in life, which led to depression and an inability to be fully present for herself, her life, and her family.

 

Greg Voisen with Liz Dickinson and Shannon Shearn

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen and the host of Inside Personal Growth. and joining me from Sonoma County is Shannon Sharon and Shannon is one of the co-founders of relish life, and we are actually going to be speaking with them about their weight, release program, I'm going to call it release you can call it loss I kind of like release better. And Liz Dickinson, another co-founder of the organization and Liz, you are joining us from where this morning, Vancouver, Canada. Okay, well, hopefully it's nice and cool there because Shannon, you can see how she's dressed. She literally was saying it was very, very warm. So, how's Vancouver today.

Liz Dickinson
It was gorgeous yesterday, call today Vancouver's the kind of place that you actually have to have a full spectrum in your wardrobe because you never know where you're going to have to wear in the morning.

Greg Voisen
Have a sweater available so fall is coming. Yeah, well, I'm going to let my listeners know ladies just a little bit about you, Liz, is no stranger to struggles when it comes to trying to lose weight. With each pregnancy she gained stubborn weight that overstayed its welcome well beyond our shores. No matter how hard she tried the way would always come back and intelligent university now. And 2000 is shot finally crack the code with a strict regimen of counting calories. Shannon critically acclaimed circus Acrobat and elite athlete, Shannon did what it took to maintain the weight to look the part, no matter how unhealthy the path was to get there, led this order orders in eating a common issue of worlds professional athletes, and, and a louder inner critic who constantly told her she was never thin enough, and never small enough, never quite good enough either. And we are going to be talking about those psychological issues, and the list of other people that are involved with the firmer doctors that have helped. Liz and Shan and develop relish life. And, you know, relish life is a kind of a new science, um, you guys are revolutionizing how people look at weight release. I not only look at it but emotionally, mentally, spiritually kind of adjust their life. To do that, you have groundbreaking research about the links between stress past trauma, and overall health that affect weight release. What does that research really tell us that you guys have gathered, which most likely drove this initiative to develop this website, and help people release weight because, you know, look, it's everybody from Oprah with Weight Watchers to people who want to get thin. Going down to the store and buying the drinks, right. So you guys there's weight loss is a really confusing weight release is a very confusing area, maybe you can help demystify it.

Shannon Shearn
Absolutely, I mean I can speak to my own personal research and journey and then it can have Liz kind of weigh in because she's much more on top of all the scientific research that we're utilizing and going with but it really all started with me, sort of realizing myself, but he talked about the inner critic and the feeling of not being good enough not doing enough, and not being thin enough, and so it came down to the realization that, wow, it's my head it's the way that I speak to myself that's holding me back. It's not the weight, the weights, not the problem, that'll come off, but I need to fix the, the inner dialogue that I'm having with myself, otherwise I'm going to keep eating. I'm going to keep; you know screwing things up self-sabotaging because that's who I believe I am so it led to me creating program obviously starting to research more and more as I realized how well it worked for me to begin that path and what I needed to do to start that journey. And then really the personal experiences, it worked. I started doing it with my clients, I was a personal trainer and my friends and people are just flocking to me saying, you know, I saw Christie the other day she looks amazing. She's so happy and you know that was the magic that I found, and then, when I met Liz, who had had dove into so much of the nitty gritty of the scientific research that's out there, it just really came together pretty incredibly so all that Liz Why don't you speak to some of something.

Greg Voisen
Liz did your journey does not start with Mio when you, I mean most of the listeners didn't hear that he used to own a company that made a watch that tract of runners. Early on, and I have no, I have no idea what happened to all of that but you were heavily involved in that I presume you got bought out but tell us the story list because you've been around this world for a long time.

Liz Dickinson
Well, Mio was actually my first venture into the weight loss space. When I first developed the watch, I was actually meant to be a watch for dieters it was a watch that counted the calories that you took in during the day and then told you how many calories that you burn during exercise. And the way that I got to the calorie burn data was by integrating, heart rate, and then all of a sudden all these athletes started buying this watch, which was such a surprise to me because it was meant for dieters and actually women like myself. And what were all these dudes doing buying this feminine looking watch and it turned out that it was because it was the first watch that shows a heart rate watch that worked accurately without a chest strap, and this was all novel and new at the time, so that was kind of a hard pivot for the business, and all of a sudden, you know, the rest is history became the world's first continuous strapless heartrate monitor, we ended up, you know, being best sports product in the world we were sold in, you know, all Apple stores and then yes, ultimately Adidas took over the business so that that was, you know, a great, great story and it was a great experience, but what I did learn through that process is actually calorie counting was not the way to lose weight, and despite the fact that I was religiously counting my calories and, you know, was exercising at the appropriate levels using a heart rate monitor. I was not losing weight, and nobody could point a finger at me and say that I was not doing the things that somebody needed to do in terms of exercise and managing my food. Why is it that the weight wasn't coming off? And it turns out that there's a lot of physiological reasons as to why your body hangs on to weight a lot of it has to do with stress, a lot of it has to do with the hormone quarters of cortisol. And if you don't actually deal with those things you can actually get long term damage to your hypo pituitary axis in your brain, and you need drugs, man.

Greg Voisen
How do we break those set points because, you know, I don't know if it's commonly referred to as a set point but it's almost like you get to a point where the body doesn't want to let go? You know when it really goes back to caveman I've studied a bunch of this as well. We were designed as you know species to carry the extra weight for lean times right. And so, you know, you see these people that go on these. It doesn't matter if it's naked or afraid or whatever and they got to be out there for 30 days, the guys come in all beefed up, and then you see him lose all this weight because they gained the weight knowing that they were going to be in a starvation diet. So how do we how do we get beyond that setpoint less.

Liz Dickinson
Well there's a lot of. That's a long discussion but anyway fundamental fundamentally something happens in the body which creates a condition called insulin resistance, where you're just not breaking down glucose effectively and it's not being stored properly in your muscles and that happens to most people, especially after middle age as you get older and also for women, if you've got polycystic ovary syndrome, also women as they go through menopause. It tends to occur. And, you know that that commonly leads to people not being able to shed weight. Later in life but stress, stress hormone cortisol, Aki actually also plays a huge role in maintaining what you think is a setpoint, but was, which is actually an imbalance in your neuro chemistry that causes you to really choose food over bikes and not to get too detailed here because I have other questions, but not to derail this but, you know, glucose level insulin levels when you have those spikes that are over there. Then you actually see a one C levels go up and then doctors say we are diabetics and I'm going to put you on some diabetes medicine or something.

Greg Voisen
So address that if you wouldn't leave, because I think, you know, maybe that's, you know, the reality is, I know nobody wants to do that. But if you look at the epidemic in our world right now with diabetes, it's, it's huge. Any way to address that list based on what the sciences that you guys have in what you're doing.

Liz Dickinson
Yeah, I mean, there's a lot of science, you know, endocrinology has come a long way in terms of its understanding of weight loss and there's a lot of science, science that shows that people that have been overweight for a long time, especially people that have deep stores of visceral fat. They're into consistence get confused and use start, you start being able to sort of recognize if you actually need to store more fat or not. So there's just a whole bunch of things that's happening with leptin and ghrelin and insulin and we could write a whole, we could do a whole. We could do terms of what relish does what we do is we actually put a break on all of that stuff. So, we have a fully integrated approach to weight loss, and it's very important that you look at the thing holistically. So the first thing is we prescribe medications that give you a breather, that allow you to stop with the bingeing stop with the impulse control, you know, start with the impulses like get a control on the impulse impulses, allows you to reframe your relationship with food, and that's when the magic that Shannon does in her entire team of health coaches. That's where they can come in and they can help you make more mindful decisions around the choices of food, and then all of the content that we have from our clinical psychologist Dr Brian Allman, who has created some of the, I would say some of the best in the world programming for stress management for anxiety management for sort of deeply discovering those things which are at the root of why you have all of these issues with stress. And then of course our medical practice. Our doctors who have dealt with weight and people who have struggled with weight and are empathetic, and they understand the struggle that people are going through, so you need this whole team, and we're so confident that we'll be successful, will guarantee weight loss for life. If you join our program

Greg Voisen 19:47
where you state in there in the book and on your websites is when you lighten up emotionally, we shed our baggage or extra weight. Shannon is probably a question more for you, how do you help people as his coach release this emotional baggage, and the psychological issues and if you would speak about the ACES the adverse childhood experiences. I know that when I got my master's degree in spiritual psychology, people would come in with all kinds of aces. And as we went through, we would have to kind of deal with those deep wounds that people were dealing with so are your psychologist prepared at relish life, to kind of help deal with those I mean, I'm Brian knows this because we just had a doctor on which you guys know Dr John ratty, and he was speaking about ADHD, but the site the study that was cited at Kaiser San Diego was about the women who were coming in, who were grossly overweight, but in essence they were coming in and it was because they were. There was sexual trauma and their life because they've kind of found that out by accident right that study was pretty phenomenal. So you know, whether it's sexual or it's whatever it might be, there's a lot of baggage we carry, it's not just, you know, the fact that, you know, I had this issue. What is releasing that baggage look like and on your counseling program because you guys do have a program which, you know you have one starts at $99 and goes all the way up to your three or four tears. So we don't need to speak about that yet but what is it that you guys do.

Shannon Shearn
Yeah, so I mean, like I said we dive into addressing those root causes, so not just the hormones and the cortisol levels and what that's doing to your body but why are your cortisol levels chronically raised where is that chronic stress coming from. And so we, we have a team of both health coaches, not nutritionists and dietitians because most people who are here at this point, they've gained and lost hundreds of pounds already they know how to lose weight, it's just not staying off so they know what to do. We have a lot of teaching opportunities for that nutrition side so to allow the wise, right so people who are just strictly counting calories. Note, why is that not the best option, why do we need to focus on our gut health and eating whole foods and so we do have a lot of learning opportunities for that with our functional nutritionist who's on staff and our health coaches who dive in a lot on that, but we really personalize it to the, the, the needs of the individual so we get to know them, we get to know their ACE scores they have a personal health coach who, who knows all about them has done thorough interviews, and they really personalized does this person need more nutrition coaching, do they need to get more active or is it purely dealing with the emotional side of things, and what we do with health coaching, And then I'll dive into the psychologists, but with the health coaching, we listen, so we're there to listen to what, what they're feeling and what they're going through when they grab those chips, every day, why is that and we help them explore through some motivational interviewing, and our own understanding of what happens to the body in these moments, and we, we help them move through it, giving them power statements, you know, how can you move past that feeling in your head, to not grab those chips, how am I going to feel after, am I going to feel guilty, am I going to feel tired, am I going to feel bloated right so exploring that inner dialogue so it's not the powerful one who's the negative speaker in your head, that the one who becomes more powerful is the best friend voice of voice who speaks to you like your body is a temple and your own best friend, and we cultivate and nurture that. And then along with that we have the psychologists who meet weekly with small groups and the small groups are there to support each other, they get to know each other. They learn all the different facets and explore, everybody's individual needs and the, the facilitators the masters level addiction specialists that, that we, we utilize they're trained by Dr Aman by Brian, and so they're well aware of ACEs and the need for that psychological intervention there so they do a lot of exploration work, they give assignments things to read through every week we have one of Dr Almine psychological interventions

Greg Voisen
Would you say that cycle where somebody craves sugar, salt, fat, right, which is commonly what manufacturers put in these foods to, to want people to get addicted, you're actually asking them before they reach for those potato chips or before they reach for whatever it is that favorite food the cookie or whatever, to ask yourself some questions about the temple of the body, you know, what am I going to feel like afterwards, after this. Right. And you do realize and I'm sure both of you know this that in most cases I'm sure most of your clients are going to say, hey you know what, emotionally I probably feel pretty good because I got that quick high from it. Because of the sugar. Right. But afterwards, they’re not going to say that they're not feeling bloated, but they've been able to deal with the bloat, because I got that quick fix. It's almost like taking, you know, heroin or something right it's absolutely it is it’s; I hate to use that analogy but that is what it is. Absolutely, yeah. So your therapy really varies from medications to hypnotherapy. Right, I use a hypnotherapist myself and I know the subconscious mind. Seriously has some abilities to affect how people can approach this, right, because it's how that inner voice is speaking with you and how it's reprogrammed. How have you found that the combination of these therapies works so well to release weight. In other words hypnotherapy we're talking about we're talking about taking some medications like Liz said a few minutes ago. Either one of you can address this, but you have a wide variety listed on the website of all these things that you offer. How do you determine which ones to choose to use?

Shannon Shearn
Well we, we utilize them all. So that's the magic of what we've created at every level, everybody has access to all of the interventions. And to your point, you know that that heroin pull that addiction for the dopamine release that comes out of having those chips out of having those, you know, chocolate covered almonds that they reach for all the time. That is, a lot of what we, we solve with the medications that we provide. So we're working with medications that help eliminate those neurological needs for the food so they have it and then they're like, Oh, it didn't actually release the dopamine, now I just feel bloated, and so they can listen to that inner voice that's like, no I don't, I don't actually want this doesn't feel good. I'm not getting that same relief than I used to get from it, and they can start to wean off the need for those things and really listen to their inner voice. That way, when they're off the medications they can, they have that already built in.

Greg Voisen
Well, look, you are an extreme athlete, and Steven Kotler has been on the show, I can't tell you how many times about all his books on people and what happens to extreme athletes, right. So my question would be, you know, on the opposite side of the coin. Some people are releasing are getting that high from a run, or they're getting a high from going out on a surfboard and writing, huge waves or they're going up skiing or whatever they're doing. Right. How do you create that same high for that person who says no, I'm not going surfing, I'm not going on a run. I'm going to sit in front of the TV and eat a bag of chips, because that's how I'm getting my high. Right.

Liz Dickinson
Well, it's all about dopamine right, It depends on what your drug of choice is and some people choose running to release dopamine. Some people choose potato chips. The thing is that the people that choose potato chips, unfortunately, tend to end up in a worse outcome with respect to their health than people that choose running, although there are, although that is not necessarily right. I think that what we do is we provide a medication that is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, and that that allows you to break the cycle of whatever it is that you may be abusing to get your high from doping whether it's running or bag of potato chips, and then actually reframe your relationship with that drug of choice and start implementing healthier habits and making healthier choices because you can actually control the conversation in your brain now, It's no longer controlling you.

Greg Voisen
So now that you guys deal with all kinds of people that come to you, you know as varying degrees, I'm a vegetarian. Paleo I'm you know I'm vegan, they've gone on all kinds of programs, none of them, I'm not going to judge any of them, they all what they, they are what they are, how do you address somebody that maybe comes to you and says they're vegan yet. They're eating all the wrong kinds of things because we see vegans. A lot of times that are really quite overwhelmed, sugar, yeah because they got to get the carb somehow right so I know I'm vegetarian so I have kind of the same kind of issues right it's like you're still looking for that carb, right. So do you guys go through a questionnaire Do you extensively look at their background, what kind of diets they've been on before what's worked for them, what's not. How do you address that?

Shannon Shearn
Well a lot of it comes from the health coach, the interactions there so there's throat interviewing, face to face, one on one, because we know a lot of people don't tell the whole truth, when they're filling out a form, so it's a lot easier to get that truth out of them, like, alright, alright so I'm vegan but I do have a milkshake once a week or, you know, whatever those things are. And from there we do provide a lot of learning opportunities so we encourage people to not take things away from their diets but to add things so how do we add nutrients right like you have pizza every Friday night, how do you add some nutrients into that, let's put some veggies on the pizza, let's have a salad, let's, let's celebrate how our body can feel with food as fuel, and as medicine so we teach a lot about eating whole foods and staying away from processed foods. But, you know, to that point, we, we help people, you know, they're addicted to Diet Coke, right, so how do we take six cokes a day and maybe bring it down to like three a week. The Diet Cokes not off limits, but now it's not really a problem per se, with your blood sugar levels because even, we know that aspartame and those things still work against your blood sugar, regulators, so it's really about getting to know them, like I said personally and having that support, and, you know, at the lower levels, they're getting to know themselves a little bit more in signing up for the courses that they feel they need. And that's why we have those higher levels where, you know, maybe you need that one-on-one support that real person who's going to talk to you and tell you, you need this, go do it. So, we have varying levels based on what people feel like, like they need in terms of,

Greg Voisen
so tell us about those memberships, and you, you, Liz alluded to it a bit. There's various levels of membership. It's, it's unique in that respect because you guys actually have a chart up there, and you say, company A company B Company C Company D and then you have relish life. And when you look down relish life, all the boxes are checked. And I would say that is absolutely true, from what I've seen, I haven't experienced the course I haven't gone into it, but from what I know about the other companies, be it. Jenny Craig to Weight Watchers to whatever they are limited, but they're also less expensive, so you get what you pay for. So in this case, at, let's just talk about the $99 one. That's your entry level $99 a month. What do they get?

Shannon Shearn
We promise to deliver all of the aspects of the fully integrated program in every level of membership, it just comes down to level of support, and one on one, interactions. But, at the $99 level, they have what we call our digital package, so every level comes with medications, and access to doctor as much as you need, because we know that the doctors aren't going to just give them medication. All right, good luck. We want them to have access to ask questions and check back in and modify their medication as needed.

Greg Voisen
And then we have most of those medications covered by their insurance or is this an extra cost for them.

Shannon Shearn
It is well it's not an extra cost so it's part of the $99.

Greg Voisen
Oh, okay. Okay,good to know. Yeah,

Shannon Shearn
We can super bill your insurance for it, but we don't work with any insurance providers at this time, although we're, we're working on that. Okay. But yeah, it's all included. And then we have our digital package which is a dashboard of all of our resources so you have a chatbot that sends you the mindfulness, programming, the nutrition support the daily kind of check ins and cheerleading, there's weekly email check ins with a form that come to us and then we have groups at the group meetings. So, not with the psychiatrists and psychologists, the group meetings are with our health coaches and their membership wide so they're not small group, but at this point we're a small company, so they're relatively intimate and we, the coaches guide you through our mindfulness programming. With that, and so they can join some of those group sessions weekly check ins with a health coach, those types of things at that $99 level, and then there's just more and more support the guided groups come in at the next level, And then the small master's level facilitated groups, those come in at the top level and then health coaching is spread out the same

Greg Voisen
And it goes from 99 to 249 Wasn't that 299 299 So 99 199 to 3600 a year or 1200 a year, kind of, you know, and in between two other that's good because it gives people an opportunity to choose that. Now, I know you guys have a complimentary consultation, tell our listeners a little bit about and if they want to take advantage that complimentary consultation. How would they do it, just go to the website. Click the box, sign up, set a time on someone's calendar, right, that's right, probably yours or somebody else's probably mine. Yeah, and is it is that initially a half an hour. What is that,

Shannon Shearn
Yeah, it's just a it's a getting to know you session you get to know what our program is and how it could work for you, we give you some tips and ideas on, you know where to start your journey, maybe, maybe you do need to start with Weight Watchers maybe you need to get to know how to manage your, your intake on your own or maybe, you know, we've actually never had somebody like that but you know we're there to, to be honest about which level of the program you need, which, which kind of support where you're at with your diet. So, we help them sort of think through what is their next approach, where should they start at this point. And, you know, hopefully they, we hope to allow them to walk away, even if they don't sign up with us with some tools and ideas that they can take with them to get started on their journey.

Greg Voisen
Have you started any programs for midsize to large companies, where if they if the purpose in an HR recognizes that or if they happen to have a health officer, some companies do. Not unless they're usually pretty big. Do you are you guys. Accepting kind of memberships at that level where you would enroll, many people within one company.

Shannon Shearn
Our business model at this point is set up to be direct to consumer. Although we are completely open to those types of discussions and engagements and discussions at this point because we want to, we absolutely want to move in that direction, but at this point we're not quite set up in terms of our business model and growth trajectory, really, but we are absolutely excited to reach that phase and to talk to people about how that could look and how starter packages could look so that we can test it out and try it out.

Greg Voisen
Well I think you have all the technology to scale, I mean I'm speaking from a business standpoint so it'd be pretty easy for you to go that trip. Absolutely, and scale it so you're, you know because you've got stuff online, you've got a synchronistic course that people can get to. So, Shannon and Liz, I always like to conclude these podcasts with like three takeaways that people can do today, like right now after they leave, You know, we've talked about your program, we've talked about things that may or may not interest them but then maybe do, what can these people that are listening right now, do that they could take away from our conversation, that might be different, change behavior modification might do something to get them started on the right path toward weight release.

Liz Dickinson
Well, the first thing is I like to challenge people to ask themselves the question, where is the struggle with weight actually coming from. If you can actually get into the real reasons why you're struggling with your weight you have made such a tremendous leap forward. It's the best place to start. One of the first questions we ask people to join our program is, when did you first start to gain weight, why then why not two years earlier, why not two years later, that answering that question, gives you some really rich insight into why you choose food. And many of us do choose food for some very specific stress related incident, if you can get a handle on that, then there are lots of tools online that can help you dig in to sort of the basic reasons as to what is causing that long term toxic stress, and of course Dr. Ryan Allman, our Chief Clinical Psychologist chief behavioral officer, he's got tons of resources online for people that are really looking to, you know, get ahold of that toxic stress.

Greg Voisen
Great question, great question. When did it all start and Shannon to you pass the baton?

Shannon Shearn
Well, I go, You know I go from a more technical perspective so I would say, your tasks, every day, meditate, you know, start to get to know how your inner dialogue, feels and how you speak to yourself. Meditation guided meditations are a great way to get to know that even just one two minutes a day is huge to stop and breathe. We breathe so shallow, all day, so just even just physiologically, taking time to breathe and fill your body with oxygen is huge, and, and along with that, get outside. So, even, even if it's hot, stand out, try and let the sun. Yeah, just be part of your life be present, and then drink water. That's the other one, that's just,

Greg Voisen
Rocky, well water keeps you full walking in Nature keeps you calm and deep breathing and meditation does the same so releases the stress, great and Liz loved your question When did it start because I don't think people often think about when they started to gain weight. It's been a pleasure having you both on inside personal growth, speaking with my audience about relish life and for my listeners, there'll be a link in the blog. There'll also be a transcript to this so you'll be able to download this as well. But if you want to find out more, just go to relish life.com No relativo life, Brett. Yes, sir rally dot life, sorry, and no doubt on that. So we'll repeat that again, actually, relish dot life, l-i-f-e. I didn't even know there was a life link there so I just type it in. It's interesting though when they go to Google, I'll tell you this, if you type in relish life, it's just going to come up, it's the first thing that pops up, so your search engine is quite powerful at this point, so good. Kudos to you guys who's ever done that with the website, loving, yeah, yeah, no, it is it's the first thing. All you got to do is go in your Google search engine and type relish life and you guys’ pipe right up, so good. All right you guys, thanks so much. NAMA state to you both. Thank you for being on today. Oh, thanks for spending a little bit of time with, with my listeners and enjoy the rest of your days.

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David Corbin is a very good friend and a returning guest to Inside Personal Growth.  This time he joins me to discuss his new book entitled “The Illuminated Brand: Building A Culture That Remains Brandcentric Even Under Pressure.”

In this interview, we talk about integrity, branding, relationships and in all these, his advise is to always wake the F’s up, face it, follow it and fix it. “Face the fact that you have a brand and a brand reputation, whether it’s on purpose or not. You have a brand and you have brand descriptors, wake the f up, face those brand descriptors, then follow them.”

I hope you enjoy this engaging and illuminating podcast with author David Corbin. You can learn more about David, his book and mentoring programs by clicking here to be directed to his website.

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR –  David Corbin is a Keynote Speaker, Business Adviser, President of Private and Public Corporations, Inventor, Mentor and pretty good guy…..David M. Corbin has been referred to as “Robin Williams with an MBA” because of his very practical, high relevant content speeches coupled with entertaining and sometimes side splitting stories. A former psychotherapist with a background in healthcare, he has served as management and leadership consultant to businesses and organizations of all sizes – from Fortune 20 companies to businesses with less than 1 million – and enjoys the challenges of all. He has worked directly with the Presidents of companies such as AT&T, Hallmark, Sprint as well as the Hon.Secretary of Veterans Administration and others.

“I write about what’s important to me and that which will bless and benefit others”, David M Corbin

Wed, 9/15 12:09AM • 46:56

Greg Voisen 00:00
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen, the host of Inside Personal Growth. And joining me from Poway, you're in Poway this morning. Poway California, is my good friend and associate David Corbin, David, how you doing? Fantastic, thanks. Hey, doing it, Greg. I'm doing wonderful. And you know, where, as I told you before, we're approaching close to 900 podcasts now, and I'm always thanking the listeners, you know, I tell my authors, it's a broken record. But without the people that come and make comments and do whatever. It's the lifeblood of what I do. So I always thank them before I start. Now, we had David on the show quite a while ago. For his book, slaughter brand, or brand slaughter, I reversed the words, and we'll put a link up to that. And David, for those of you who don't know, has worked in the area of branding and consulting business owners for quite some time, he has many books out that you're welcome to go to Amazon and check out some of those. And I would also say just go to David corbin.com. That's David corbin.com. And I encourage all of my listeners to watch the featured Inc. Little videos that he's got up there, their little two-minute videos that are just really, really cool. But David, I'm going to let him know a little bit about you. He's a keynote speaker, business advisor, president of private and public Corporation, inventor, mentor. And he is really a good guy. He says he's a good guy, David has been referred to as the Robin Williams with an MBA, because he's very practical, highly relevant content of the work that he does. He's worked for hundreds of companies. If you go to his website, you'll see he's a former psychotherapist with a background in healthcare. He served as management leadership consultant, the business in organizations of all sizes from fortune 20 companies to businesses with less than 1 million. And he enjoys the challenge of all this work. He also worked directly with the president of companies such as at&t Hallmark spread, as well as the honorary secretary of the Veterans Administration and others. Again, go to David Corbin comm that's where you can learn more about David, and what it is that he does, speaking at at&t and working with them. You know, I you talk about brand slaughter. And I know at&t lately has been challenged, and I have them for my internet service. And it isn't a dig. But I'll tell you, it's been a challenge to get anything done. When they're gotten pretty big. So David, you know, you give a ton of acknowledgments at the beginning of the book, a lot of gratitude and one love to people that have come before you, Ben, your mentors taught you, everybody from Greg Reed to Brian Tracy, who used to work with that, let's kind of start the interview there. What did you gather in the way of knowledge, expertise and wisdom by working with some of the greatest thought leaders of all time across the country? And how did that impact the writing of this particular book?

David Corbin 03:25
I got to tell you, Greg, I, that question alone is delicious. I'll tell you, I'll tell you why. Not just because I've never been asked that question.

Greg Voisen 03:36
I'm sure you have. No, I've

David Corbin 03:37
not I've literally not in the way that you just as that I mean that. Sincerely. You know, I've invented products. As a result of what I've learned, and how I've learned, in addition, I've invented products and build companies around the things that I learned from while I was teaching, and while I was mentoring others, I mean, I was Margaret Thatcher. And I got an award presented in part by Margaret Thatcher in Maya Angelou and Tom Peters and Secretary of State James Baker. And that invention came from a collaboration and a consultation I was doing with a client. And then my current invention, which just won the healthcare innovation, international healthcare Design Award came from a collaboration with someone who I consulted with 25 years ago. And so the impact of by with and for mentors, is beyond it's beyond words. So, as you're building your business, you know, we think we're building our business not Her business is building us. And business is, of course always about relationships, relationships with others, and relationships with ourselves. Right and learning about ourselves, our bandwidth, our skills, our areas of infinite potential. And all. And so I was business partners with Brian Tracy for five years.

David Corbin 05:30
how could you be around such an enlightened being, and not learn? Even osmotically, let alone directly and strategically. I've mentored for 15 years, Greg Reed still do. And while as I mentor in areas that I have experienced and expert expertise and wisdom, I'm learning from him. So this library is a building in the back of my property. Always wanted to have a library, I have a library, not to show off books. But to read, right, from old books, Carl Sandburg, his book on Lincoln, which is signed by Carl Sandburg.

Greg Voisen 06:19
Wow. And

David Corbin 06:20
books of people that I've mentored. And they've, they've written those books. So I'm touched, blessed, and in deep appreciation, and gratitude for all of these relations.

Greg Voisen 06:34
All our relations are really an important one, you know, after going to years of meditation retreats on the orcas islands, and one of the things we will say is all our relations, and when we do our vows to the north, the South, the east, in the West, in these silent retreats, those are the things that we're doing. And it is, you know, you look at your journey through life, and you look at all the people. And I was just reflecting as you were talking about some of the people that I've been so blessed to work with as well. You know, Larry Wilson, I was thinking about him as you were talking because that big bookcase behind you reminded me when I was in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and he had to have a ladder to go through it and pull the book down. And, you know, just it goes on and on and on and on of the people. And one person that you probably know that has become very close to me, because we've helped is Quint Studer from the Studer group, and he's in the hospital administration business. So if you don't know him,

David Corbin 07:37
but I do see your interview with Quint. It was very well done. Well,

Greg Voisen 07:43
he is doing something quite interesting now. And I'll offline here, we'll get to that because I want to get to what you're doing. This is a good segue to the Reliant hospital. This is this fictional setting for the book. And, and I'd like you to comment on thinking and actually using a hospital as a fictional setting to teach a lesson on brand integrity. Now, you know, we on the outsiders in don't always get to see the bowels of the ship inside of a hospital. It doesn't matter if it's scripts or it's UCSD or it doesn't matter. But why did you choose to use this this hospital as your setting? And then also, on that note, second question. The whole pandemic situation, it's been a huge discussion for the last nine months on these podcasts and how it has affected brands, brands that have gone down, they've disappeared, right? brands that have risen to the top zoo. And I could enumerate more AMC gone theaters we're at. So what would you have to say about using this as your setting for this?

David Corbin 09:03
Many years ago, I wrote a book called psyched on service, building the total service mentality. This is many, many years ago. And then one of the Cabinet Secretaries had picked up the book or was given the book and he read it. He was the secretary of the VA. And he said, get this guy in here and get him in here now. And I went in and I consulted and then I was asked to train to speak to and train all of the directors of the VA medical centers and their chiefs of staff at the Willard Hotel in Washington DC and of course I did it was a great honor. I remember telling my mom, oh my god, I'm going to go consult with and speak for the secretary. She said Oh, that's wonderful sweetheart, who's secretary. And so I really got to know hospitals and healthcare and then because I didn't want to travel all over the place. I created a video-based training and we trained many 1000s within the VA Medical Center system. And then other hospitals who were not military, medical, VA government related had me come in. So I knew that environment and, and I've worked in and around that. Well, I know that hospitals are known by everyone. And they often don't have the greatest reputation. Oh, the doctors might. But the hospital night in some cases, the hospital night and the doctors don't In any event, everybody's had hospitals as a touch point at one point in their life. So I use this as a business novella, a background, because I love telling making points. With short stories. I think people really get it, I get them emotionally involved. And they do in my latest book, I've actually had people cry, which is interesting. I like to engage people. And when they're laughing Haha, I punch him in the belly with something serious. And when they're too serious, I tickle them in the little gut and I get them open. And I like to take people on sort of a sine wave. My friend Zig Ziglar taught me that years ago. And he's a David's sort of like a Reese's cup. He says it's a little bit sweetener, it's a little bit salty. And so rely on Hospital is its affectations hospital that I I wrote about preventing brand slaughter, which made it to the Wall Street Journal bestseller list, I think because it was an engaging story with a really powerful message and a specific takeaway, you know, how to do an audit of brand integrity. So

Greg Voisen 11:44
yeah, and you know, I remember reading the part about the hospital administrator saying, I think it was Patrick, did you hear about the virus is what they said what you said the virus No, they didn't call it the pandemic, the virus and that they said, No, we didn't hear about the virus. I thought that was really good. How you you kind of wove that in there. Yes, the virus was coming. So on the second part of that question, um, how has this in and I know, I've talked with Quint a lot offline and online, about what the pandemic has done inside the hospitals for the morale, the challenge has been the morale and the, you know, people working inside of these facilities under extremely stressful conditions. And obviously, that morale issue then affects service, it affects brand that affects a lot of things. So would you comment on that, if you would, because that was the part two of my question.

David Corbin 12:56
Yeah. We know that our staff, our customers are never going to treat our patients or our clients any better than they're being treated by management and leadership, right? know that. If there is indeed a domino effect. It may not be in economics, but it sure as hell is in interpersonal relations. There's no doubt about that. Look, pandemic comes down. And everybody's stressed out. We offer them pp. And we even had shortages. But who is giving them the E pp. The emotional, personal protective equipment? and hospitals need to know that look, in the story, the illuminated brands, when this all comes down? They're blindsided. They're, they're committing brand slaughter, you know, we know but manslaughter, but they're committing brand slaughter, but it's involuntary brand slaughter, in this case, this stuff is happening upon them. And in the book, they get together and have a committee and say, listen, we've monitor how our brand lives at each touchpoint in interaction. But with this brand, with this pandemic coming down, or potentially coming down. This is involuntary brand slaughter, what could we do to make sure that we keep our brand promise our values, concrete congruence and integrity with all of our actions, because if we don't plan on it, it ain't going to happen because it's going to get crazy. And I have a story, the reader learns how to do the illuminated brand program internally so that the reader could do it themselves. And oh, by the way, I have a division that does the illuminated brand for corporations or hospitals. or whatever. And oh, by the way they came up with in the book. Well, what can we do to create a space a sacred space for our doctors and nurses to sort of reboot, when they found this thing called a rejuvenation station, which is a video kiosk with noise cancelling headphones, and an eight to 10 minutes, they go from their crazy roles and goals down into their souls. And by the way, that's an invention of mine Rajat?

Greg Voisen 15:31
Well, you have that little kiosk. Yeah, well, but that is also you know, when you think about it, to be able to take eight minutes, and go in a booth, and come down to a soul level, because of how you treat patients, there couldn't be anything better for brand than to allow people under extreme stresses to experience. So congratulations for that invention, because I think it's brilliant. And it is much needed. You know, in chapter one, you speak about brand integrity, and the state of when the hospital was in integrity with its brand. And they were confident that they were in compliance with the highest standards in health care. Speak with our listeners about brand integrity, and why compliance is so important, because obviously the pandemic had an effect on being in compliance and brand integrity.

David Corbin 16:32
You will look integrity is everything. Yeah. Integrity isn't is everything. If, if Greg Voisen is doing podcasts as you've been doing, I think longer than any other person I know. And if Greg is designing that podcast so that the message comes out from his guests, but Greg doesn't even care about the message from the guests he cares about, look at me, look at me, that's brand integrity. I mean, brand slaughter, I should say brand integrity is asking questions, like the first question you asked me, showed me that you read the book, you give a hoot. And you want that message propagated. So all I'm suggesting is this, if a hospital talks about integrity, compassion, caring, state of the art, respect for the individual, then everything that they do in harmony with that is brand integrity. But everything they do outside of that is brand slaughter. And so when I come into a hospital, and is dirty, or it's smelly, or it's hard to get in, or I'm not greeted, or I asked a question, and I'm treated like I'm a new sensor, but

David Corbin 17:48
brand slaughter and until and unless every employee at a hospital, or even a small organization, until they do the audit of brand integrity, with a list of the brands here, and the touch points there and saying, am I living this brand, with this person? It's a hit or it's a it's a yes or no?

Greg Voisen 18:13
Yeah. And it's got to be amongst everybody, all the way down. Everybody in the organization, you know, I'm working inside a company now and I totally it kind of, you know, I drink in the elixir of what you're saying, because it's really, really important. And I hope the listeners get that, because you can't have if you're going to align. And I know you talked about culture. In one of your videos, you said I'm so tired of people talking about culture. And I agree with you. But importantly, on the other hand, it's about the relationship with the people, you know, in in your chapter, where the hospital staff were talking about the new virus. They also talked about the positive power of negative thinking and the three step process to handle the negatives as face it, follow it, fix it, that is one of your you know, you've had that for quite a while. Can you discuss the three step process with the audience and how it relates to the positive power of negative thinking?

David Corbin 19:19
Yeah, so as you know, many years ago, Wiley published a book I wrote called illuminate and it's harnessing the positive power of negative thinking clearly, you're a positive guy. Why are you reading negative thinking? It's because I've read all the positive mental attitude literature and I've shared the platform. Nowhere. Nowhere in positive mental attitude literature, does it say ignore negative issues? Right, where, you know, one time You and I were talking about melanomas and having them cut up? Well, if I see like, potentially a melanoma, well, I'm just going to put a band aid over it. I'm going to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative Now, we say accentuate the positive, where things are great, yay. don't eliminate the negative illuminate the negative. You can't solve everything your face. But you can solve anything unless you face it. And then I teach, face it, follow it and fix it. And when I look at the client work that I've done over the last, this my 41st year, in my consulting business, when I look at the clients who were most effective, they were the ones who not only celebrated the successes, but they were willing to look at the issues that may be holding them back, face them, and then follow them. Where are they coming from? What's holding them in place now, and what happens? Follow it out into the future, if we if we don't mitigate it, and then you engage upon the process of fixing it, which is to eliminate or minimize the power. That's the face it, follow it and fix it. And I've done this in so many industries. I did it yesterday in a strategic planning session in Central California here. I've been doing it forever. I know the model. And for the viewers and listeners, what are you facing? In your business? Or in your life? I was challenged on Oprah Radio One time, does this apply to the family? And it does? What is it that you may be missing? You don't know. So think about it, that if you faced it, which you may be suppressing, you may be putting under the carpet, that if you to face it, and allow and follow it and fix it. Man, I'm telling you, sometimes these issues or challenges are like a vampire, they evaporate in the light of day.

Greg Voisen 21:55
Yeah, it's an IT, what happens is your lift, the weight is lifted off of your shoulders, you almost feel that I watched a thing I'd never seen it before. But Dr. Phil house calls, and he went to a family that was dealing with an overdose drug, overdose drug of one of the children of a mixed marriage. And everybody was blaming everybody else, I thought it was really fascinating because he showed the cameras in there and what he was doing, and it was very redeemed revealing for kind of a show like that. But whether it was played up to the camera or not. In the end, you really saw that this family was relieved by being able to talk through the issues of the death of the Son, and get through it. And I thought it you want to talk about illuminating. It was like they the last scene was on a boat where they're all together kind of hugging and talking about the young man who had committed because they were blaming one another. Right? And frequently that happens and you know, being psycho. Hmm, yeah. remindful.

David Corbin 22:58
Right, right. And there's nothing wrong with me, but I can sure see everything that's, that's wrong with that's wrong with you, you know, as a consultant, and as a mentor. That is huge. Because, you know, mentors and consultants are so focused on scanning and reviewing the issues, the lives, etc. of their client, they sometimes forget that they have a mirror. Yeah. And

Greg Voisen 23:26
I used to have a friend that used to say, you're pointing one finger out, two fingers are pointing back. He used to say that to me. And it's you know, they're such simple little statements or comments that people can make that really make a big impact. I mean, you were talking about Zig Ziglar. And I never forget what I used to go to all of his events, because I was definitely involved in marketing and sales. And he says, It's not your aptitude that determines your altitude, it's your attitude. And I'll never forget that, like, I still use it today. And I think it is still so very, very important. You

David Corbin 24:03
know, it's immutable, you know, Zig used to say to me, Dave, you imitate me better than you do. We did a test. He used to call his wife, sugar darlin. Yeah, yeah, his wife turned around, and we both took turns to see if she could determine who it was after turned around and sugar darlin. And he did the same time she turned around, she says, well, Dave, you came in second. And

Greg Voisen 24:37
it's so true. Now, you know, in this book, which we're going to put a link to Amazon, you speak about the illuminated brand program in your chapter three, to help the hospital face the virus issue. Regardless if it's virus or whatever it is, in general terms, what should our listeners learn from the program that they can apply? lessons in their lives or in their business. If it's every business, right, it doesn't matter if it's a hospital or whatever. But this, you use this setting to tell the story. It's a great setting. I have businesses right now I'm consulting, that have the same problem. So if you were speaking to anybody today, what would you tell?

David Corbin 25:22
You go, and I'm giving it away, I'm giving it away. So if you're interested, if any of this stuff is made any sense, grab a pen and a paper cuz Here you go, or record this or whatever? Or watch this video, or not? Most importantly, get this in any way shape, or form that you get this and that is this.

25:45
What

David Corbin 25:46
are your I call it my B ds? What are your intended brand descriptors? How do you want to be described? Let's say you're a leader, or a manager, or a supervisor or a salesperson? Or you're looking at the whole business? What descriptive adjectives Do you want to be described as, as your ibds? It's not irritable bowel does or is is intendeds, IBS, Irritable Bowel Disease, but syndrome, you want to be described? Make that list? What is your brand promise? Well, we are and we and one can only just Google it, you'll see a different brand values of many different companies, you know, how do you want to be described? What do you want people to yell over the fence so to speak to their neighbor to talk about and describe you. And then with that, you will look at all of the people in your in your life or in your business, whatever your focus is, because it really does apply to both and you simply write up you as prospects as customers as co workers is leadership. There's

Greg Voisen 27:00
then all the all these stakeholders. Yeah, all the people

David Corbin 27:06
that whether they're a stakeholder in your business or not, you have some Association. It could even be the people who office next door, anyone, anyone that you have contact with, verbally, visually or otherwise. And then you create this matrix now there's a really cool thing on the list TV, the list TV comm they did a really cool show on me and on brand slaughter. And and they did a great video, there's a comedian is the list TV and you look at brand slur, but he shows the matrix. Here's the in brand descriptors, which you can make it do it on Excel, or you could do it on paper, it doesn't make a difference just right. And then here's the touch points of the people. And you look at the intersection, and there's your bingo card to brand integrity. It's not really that simple. Now in groups, I have people look and go, Hey, where are you have a red, a green checkmark, as the song goes accentuate the positive

28:10
right there, you

David Corbin 28:11
have a red X, you don't eliminate the negative note illuminate the negative and then we break them up into groups. And then they describe where they're falling down. They illuminate it will follow it Why are we falling down? Could it could be very simple solution. And then we set SBI is right that SBI strategic brand initiatives to close the gaps to close the gap from where you are to where you want to be. And Greg, you and I know how many years ago, we talked about PGA and it wasn't Tiger Woods, it was performance gap analysis, closing those gaps with your strategic brand initiatives. And when you do your organization is focused on living the brand on brand integrity, and it creates an esprit de corps and a culture of engagement, ownership and asking ourselves, hey, are we living the brand? If so cool. If not, what can we do? And if we don't have the resources of time or money, or even know how we still put it on the flip chart, let's not lose it. That's illuminate that's brand slaughter. And that's their birth child the illuminated brand.

Greg Voisen 29:41
So if they go to your website, can they get that or should I put a link on the blog to this list? Where's that chart is that chart available? You said you're giving it away? I don't I don't know that it's

David Corbin 29:57
on the website. It might be It might be on the website. I know it's on LinkedIn.

Greg Voisen 30:03
Okay, so we can we can find it on LinkedIn, we'll, we'll put a link to that. So because that was a great way to do it, you don't. And I know you were good friends and still are with Tony Alessandra. And his name came up in a podcast yesterday with Dr. Bob Nelson, who I'm sure you know, as well. And, you know, we were talking about the Platinum rules, you know, because you're just kind of referring back to this and that. And you. I mean, you know, when you look at some of the people that have influenced you, including Dr. Tony Alessandra, and all of his quizzes and things that he created in things, it's, it's phenomenal. Now, if you would, each of the chapters, the book is engaging, we got that it's a story, it's lessons related to current situation in the country due to COVID. You talked about some of the lessons, I think the one you just shared is really good. Speak to our audience about potential brand slaughter hotspots, and its effects to brand integrity. So a

David Corbin 31:10
hotspot would be defined as being out of integrity. Now, quite frankly, many business owners or leaders, if they knew it was a hot spot.

31:27
They'd be on it.

David Corbin 31:29
But they often don't. You know, how many times have we called Martone? How many times have we called I don't care whether it's a utility. I won't mention names but I'll give you initials like at&t, you know, and we're put on hold or God someone we go through our we have to tell them our country western story about what's going on. And they tell us well, it's the wrong department. Hold I'll connect you to the right department. Are you kidding? And then we get disconnected at the executive executives audit that process Yeah, actually call and so they don't even know that brand slaughter is rampant

Greg Voisen 32:19
in their organization.

David Corbin 32:21
And they don't know it and in my opinion, they should be convicted a brand slaughter in the second degree.

Greg Voisen 32:28
So this ABI you call it a bi in the book and what an audit of brand integrity, discuss that that some of the tools techniques and practices for our listeners, because ABI look, everybody should be doing this, but they're not. The point of the book is I give you these tools. I give you these lessons now apply them. And as you said, accentuate the negative and let's fix it. Right. So I mean, if you're really down to it, it's let's fix that.

David Corbin 33:00
So yeah, doing as they call it in my client companies. Yeah, real life. Yeah, they call it in my fictional biz book, hospitals Reliant in preventing brand slaughter and in the illuminated brand. They call it the Abby. We're going to do the Abby AI wanted a brand integrity to the Abbey, where everyone goes around with a very sophisticated device called a yellow pad. And this very high tech thing called a pen. And they have their diary of time. touchpoints and they audit in their mind. Hey, am I doing it? Am I not doing it? It's not Greg playing audit brand police. Pull it over. I'm Greg Voisen I'm the sergeant the brand integrity notification that you kind of screwed up over there. What do ya know? You do this yourself and the reason you do it yourself and this is interesting.

Greg Voisen 34:06
It's almost like Undercover Boss when you think about it, but not going undercover but your own Undercover Boss Yeah, exactly

David Corbin 34:14
good at this because you have more experience under your own covers every night. You do you don't need somebody else to do it. But I've had clients tell me that when they keep their peripheral you know but the reticular activating system in the brain you open up this filters to like a red Subaru you never see one but then your neighbor gets one you see him all over the place. Well, when you open up your peripheral vision to Am I living the brand descript or am I earning the descriptors Am I living the brand? When you do that people seek and you shall find right you open the filter and you go you'll either go Holy moly, that was cool. Yay. You go, holy crap, holy, I'm going to change that. But I don't know exactly how best to handle that, because that might be a policy issue. But I'm going to write it down because it's brand slaughter. And I'm going to talk with someone in the organization, because we're all engaged in order to brand integrity. So the culture is, celebrate the success. And let's celebrate that we found an area, that we're not really doing it. And that's a celebration. Look, when we found out many years ago that we had breast cancer. Was that good news or bad news? Well, I'll tell you, it was painful news. But it was good news with regard to if we didn't know about it. She wouldn't be alive today, we couldn't have dealt with it you saying, you know, on that health? nut, you know, you talked about we should be but we're not. I mean, I sat down at breakfast this morning, with the top executive of a health care in company. And I took out my, my monkfruit maple syrup, and my big bag of supplements. And he ordered bacon, and you know, nitrates and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, but making judgments. But what I'm saying is I have illuminated years ago, you know me when I was 50 pounds heavier.

Greg Voisen 36:29
Yeah, I did, actually,

David Corbin 36:31
I have age that I was obese, I followed it. When I become a grandfather, I won't be alive or at least mobile or flexible. And I fixed it. That does take courage and discipline. But most executives don't at least even audit their brands integrity, and they allow for those calls to happen. Or they allow for the front receptionist who is the ambassador of first impression to, to either ignore them or be on a phone and not even not even look up. I mean, that's Bresler. And it's such an easy, it's such an easy fix.

Greg Voisen 37:16
Well, and much of this is, you know, being a psychotherapist, it's, I don't care if it's tiny habits, or BJ Fogg. It's really about in your case, everywhere. It's about new habits that have to be formed, to keep the consistency and the integrity. And I love the fact that it's all just done one step at a time. So when you do illuminate the negative, and like, in your case, you said you're 50 pounds overweight, I've always carried a little bit extra weight, but I'm now down. And the reality is, you know, those little habits about what you're putting in your mouth, it's very simple formula. You know, everybody makes make this real complicated, you know, calories in versus calories burned. And I know, there's a lot of controversy about all this. But the reality is, I've had enough people who help people lose weight, and then your case it's doing it, it giving them advice. And the advice can be very simple, just like you just said, Now, in chapter 13, you state that the kindness touch, and the compassionate care are two very important components in branding. And because of the pandemic, these were usually overlooked. And I would agree with you. I had a brother passed away during the pandemic at Scripps, and you couldn't get in, and he didn't have COVID. But it was so tightly restricted. You know, it was tough. What advice would you give to those on the front line, under the most pressure, about kindness and compassion coming from David Corbyn with little bit of influence from the Dalai Lama? Because the reality is, if we follow the Dalai Lama, we thought we would all be compassionate kind and understanding. And I love listening to them and I just wish the rest of the world when understand the message that he's trying to convey.

David Corbin 39:16
Let me say this to you, Greg. Yes, I am Swami Corbyn, Nanda. satchidananda, more Thai. We can't we can't give away what we don't have. We can't give away what we don't have. So if we don't show love, kindness and compassion to ourselves. We can't give it away. We could fake it. Not fake it till you make it. I think I think is more fake it till you break it because if you fake it, you're going to break compassion begins here.

Greg Voisen 40:00
Got it. I got it. I got to show you something.

David Corbin 40:04
I want to hasten to say this while you're looking and you're moving the camera to show you this, Paul, you're moving the camera

Greg Voisen 40:12
because she can add it that my next interview tomorrow, make it don't fake it.

David Corbin 40:19
And I'm saying make it don't break it. Yeah or here's what I want to say. When we talked about health, restoration, yeah, which could involve releasing weight. The greatest tips hacks or advice that I was given is self love is go inside and become connected with yourself. Will a baby Shakespeare said to thine own self be true and show follows the night the day thou canst not be false to any other. And so go inside my mentoring clients, you know, I mentor, some pretty famous people and all and I have the meditate for 12 to 22 minutes, they start them off at 12 they build up to 22 minutes until they go on their own for an hour. But the point is, is they go inside. And when you go inside and you're in touch with your quadrant at your physical self motional your intellectual, your emotional, and your spiritual. When you keep the emotional the intellectual and physical in harmony. The spiritual can steer you in the direction of greatness and equanimity and equipoise and alike. So when Swami got to be Manda, go and go inside. And if you're a healthcare worker, or if you're a high tech worker, or if you're a frontline or whether what no matter what you do, if compassion, caring, and love, which is damn good business, my buddy, Steve Farber wrote that book McGraw Hill, look, if that's important to you, it has to come from here before through heart math, you could measure it coming out of here.

Greg Voisen 42:18
Yeah, you know, it's so important that you bring this up as it relates to brand integrity, and brand slaughter. Because if people saw that, at the core essence, you said, I remember earlier, going from stress and then into your booth, getting to a soul level, at the booth eight minutes. Now you're saying you're, you're helping people meditate 12 to 24 minutes, and then on to an hour. And it's that peace that you come getting out of the whirlwind, which is what you're doing inside the hospitals, you're taking health care workers out of a whirlwind for eight minutes. And as my good friend, john Selby used to say, You're, you're giving them a breather break.

43:07
You know, there used to be there used

Greg Voisen 43:08
to be these people would say, I'm going to end in hospitals. It's really interesting. you'd walk around a hospital and see people smoking cigarettes, and I was like, How the hell could this be happening? Right? These people are out on a break, and they're walking around the building, smoking a cigarette. And they're healthcare workers. And I'm sitting here going, this is true people.

David Corbin 43:31
I worked with a company for three years, they pay me paid me lots of money to do what I used to call the marketing mentality for the healthcare professional. And I set them up for a program, that I won't tell you the name of the company, but rhymes with schmeisser permanent they then they did a program called thrive. And I told them, don't do that program. Unless you have a face of thriving healthcare workers. They're not thriving, and you're talking about thrive. That's brand slaughter. Yeah. And that was when I wrote the book, preventing brand slaughter.

Greg Voisen 44:14
Well, very, very good correlation. But again, you've linked all these together for us, which I think is really good for the listener. Obviously, we're going to tell him to go out and get the book. By the time this airs, the book will be up on Amazon. So let's wrap this up. Dave, if you were to leave the listeners with one or two single points that you'd like to have them take away from the book, what would it be and how can they integrate this advice for both themselves, and for the organizations in which they're running or working for? So in other words, if I'm the CEO great, if I'm the mid line manager, great if I'm down in the bowels of the ship, and I'm the nurse On the front line, what advice would you like to leave them with about the illuminated brand because they are the brand. Every one of those people I just mentioned because I watched your video, they are the brand.

David Corbin 45:18
Yeah, so here, here it is. Get ready editor's wake the f up. Wake the f up. If you're not effing up your business, your effing up your business. Let me explain. Face it, follow it and fix it. Wake the F 's up, face it, follow it and fix it. face the fact that you have a brand and a brand reputation, whether it's on purpose or not. You have a brand and you have brand descriptors, wake the f up, face those brand descriptors, then follow them. Are they a good witch or a bad witch and follow them as to why they're good. And follow them as to why they're sub optimal. And then set the SBI as a strategic brand initiatives, close the gaps and fix it. Wake the f up.

Greg Voisen 46:19
Great advice. So you all in that you've got three points of advice in there, which was perfect. And I didn't set that question up but you answered it fantastically. Well David, thanks for being on insight, personal growth, sharing some of your wisdom and insights about an illuminated brand slaughter the ABI and the face it and then follow it and then fix it, you know, so kudos not mistake to you. Thanks for your time this morning. I appreciate it. Thanks, Greg.

powered by

My guest in this podcast is Sabrina Horn, author of a new book entitled “Make It, Don’t Fake It: Leading with Authenticity for Real Business Success”. Sabrina is an award-winning CEO, author, tech communications expert, and advisor/board member. She is the Founder, CEO and President of Horn Group, the iconic U.S. tech communications agency she founded in Silicon Valley at age 29.

In our interview together, we discuss about how integrity and honesty matters in business. She explains that integrity is not an option or multiple choice to think about, but a must do instead of “faking it till you make it” which is very wrong. According to her “Faking it doesn’t help you be successful. It actually helps you fail. And the reason why is because the truth always comes out”. Leading with integrity always has better chance of success.

I hope you enjoy this absolutely wonderful and engaging podcast with author Sabrina Horn. You can learn more about Sabrina and her book by clicking here to be directed to her website.

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

Thu, 9/2 11:29AM • 48:34

Greg Voisen 00:02
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen, the host of Inside Personal Growth. And Sabrina. Every time I do this, I think, listeners, for those who have listened to the almost 900 podcasts, you probably hear this and you go, oh my goodness, he's, he's thanking those listeners again. I can't thank them enough, because those are the people that make the show. That's why I'm on the air. And I'm also on the air because of great people like yourself, who write wonderful books. And joining us today from Long Island is Sabrina horn. And we're going to be talking about her book. Make it don't fake it, leading with authenticity for real business success. Good day to you, Sabrina. How were you in Long Island?

Sabrina Horn 00:51
Oh, hello, Greg. It's so great to be here. And thank you for having me on your great show. I'm just thrilled to talk to you.

Greg Voisen 01:00
Well, likewise, uh, you and I have talked previous on a pre interview. And I got to know you a little bit more. And I'm going to let my listeners know a tad bit about you. Because, you know, you have an interesting background. And it's really important, I think that listeners get to know the authors a little bit more. She's an award-winning CEO, author, tech communication expert and advisor, board member. Her career is highlighted by 25 years as founder and CEO and president of the horn group, and the ionic us tech communications agency she founded in Silicon Valley at the age of 29. Her firm consulted 1000s of tech C suite executives and their companies through their business and marketing challenges, including category creation, brand transformation, global expansion, IPOs acquisitions, pivots and crisis manners. Our group had multiple offices across the US global partner network, and received numerous awards, including the best employer and best tech agency in the US. Sabrina sold horn in 2015, that Finn partners, a global marketing communications agency, and was appointed managing partner of their technology arena. And Sabrina, I mean, this is, you know, the bio could go on and on and on, because you have so many great achievements in your life. But this book is a big achievement in itself. And I think it tells the story very well. And it does a really good job of doing that. And I know all of the listeners have heard, fake it until you make it. But they've never heard about a book, make it, don't fake it. You wrote this book with an emphasis on integrity, honesty, and telling the truth. Why now more than ever, is it important for business owners, to not only get this, but to live it? I mean, obviously, our press has seen all kinds of improprieties by all kinds of people. And it is become more and more public didn't used to be as public. But now, it's just so easy to make it public with social media. What would you have to say to those people that are listening, that you know, need to get this message?

Sabrina Horn 03:40
Yeah. Well, that's a great place to start, Greg. I mean, I, I think that in the last five to 10 years, so many people have forgotten about the fact that integrity matters, right? And it's almost like an option and a multiple-choice question. You know, should I be honest? Or should I pull a fast one and take a shortcut, and fake it till you make it was originally kind of an innocent little tongue in cheek quip. But it took on a life of its own. And now it's like Sage business advice. It's basically telling you it's okay to lie, or exaggerate the truth, or minimize or distort the facts, right in order to succeed. I've talked with many people, especially younger folks just getting into their careers, and they tell me if they feel like if they don't fake it, they won't be successful. And like everything is everything is wrong with that, because faking it doesn't help you be successful. It actually helps you fail. And the reason why is because the truth always comes out. You know, like it could be a day. It could be a week could be a year or 10 years, but the truth always comes out and when it does, you'll be exposed for, for how you faked it. That will sabotage your success. It ruins reputations. We have a prime example of that. on trial right now Elizabeth Holmes with theranos, you know, so So that's my point, it's better to lead with integrity, because you'll have a better chance of success.

Greg Voisen 05:23
Well, having been in the advertising business, obviously, it's kind of all about lifting one up bringing up the profile, right? What would you say, you know, obviously, you during the course of your career, whether it was in Silicon Valley or consulting other companies, and what is it personally, that you're so passionate about, to make certain that this message gets done? What maybe happened to you, or something that went on that you saw going on? When you were doing consulting? That you didn't like, that? You literally decided, I need to make a statement here? Yeah.

Sabrina Horn 06:09
Yeah. Well, I mean, look, I was a 29 year old woman, with no leadership training, no management experience, really, I had four years of job experience. And here I am a CEO of a, of a hot agency in Silicon Valley. And boy, I'll tell you, you know, it's nothing like becoming a CEO with on the job on the job training, like I made so many mistakes, because I didn't have all the information and I back then fake it till you make it wasn't a was wasn't a saying, but I sure I sure as heck fix it. And of course, in being in Silicon Valley, I saw hundreds of entrepreneurs, you know, trying to do their thing and faking it here and there every day. And as an advisor to these executives, you know, it is a big time out, like they're not, that's not going to fly, the media is going to figure it out, the analysts are going to call bs on that. And so gradually, over time, I learned that lesson a few times, really the hard way, and so on, and so on my clients also dealing with that, and, and just decided, you know, unless Life is too short, it's better to just leave with integrity. And, you know, I have some examples in the book of a few.

Greg Voisen 07:31
Hey, yeah, we'll get to those, you know, Samsung with the phone and Uber. And, you know, we have lots those, I think we could, you know, fill up a book just about the about those, that you state, the book is about achieving success about making it and knowing what, you don't need to fake it that you don't need to fake it. What advice would you provide the business owners entrepreneurs out there listening, about shifting their mindset to one of a focus on ethics, passion, confidence, pride, resilience, commitment, so that they can survive and thrive no matter what situation they're in, because that is a is a is a big thing.

Sabrina Horn 08:24
Yeah, you know, so that it starts with something that may sound silly, but it's so vitally important, which is having a sit down with yourself. And really asking yourself, who you are and what you stand for. And what you want your company to stand for. Those core values, infuse everything about your culture, about every business process in your business, and how you interact with your customers, right? Ultimately, you want to be successful, you want to have a build a great brand. And that's always about a consistent customer experience based on trust. The next thing is you have to adopt a philosophy that may be a little bit uncomfortable, but it is about being humble. And it is actually about being comfortable admitting when you don't know something. And when you've made a mistake, because that that draws people in and it builds, it takes all the cypa out of the equation, and it makes you a much more productive learning organization. And then, you know, there's many other things but I guess you have to make a commitment to being able to deal with reality and looking at the truth in the face. And that's why leading with integrity is so hard. Because, by definition you have to be grounded in the truth right? But the truth hurts sometimes. threading can be very harsh to deal with reality, it's much easier to shove it under the rug. So, you know, it really is about making that commitment so that no matter what comes your way, you're going to deal with it.

Greg Voisen 10:14
Well, I think business leaders today, you know, you look at the green leaf kind of philosophy that's been out there for a long time. And leaders today, more than anything, need to learn how to be in higher integrity, but have more compassion and more empathy, especially given the pandemic and what we're going through. And I think that that's a character trait, that in a lot of people, it evolves. They don't, they are born with it all the time. Right? They have to kind of figure it out. I mean, we aren't all Dalai Lama's and don't have that great attitude about life. And I think it is learned and you speak to the listeners, and you have a chart in the book, which I thought is very cool. It's called the phaco meter. It's a progressive progression that takes place while moving along this phaco meter line that's in the book, and I'll let you explain it. Also, what are some examples that you would that you would make or give? I know, you cited the Boeing 737 max. Accident as one, but there's many. Yeah. But the reality is talk with us about the phaco meter. And talk with us about some of the examples of people that were faking it we I know, we talked about one of them was Volkswagen. You know, we've got lots of big companies. But can imagine if big companies made the mistake, how many little companies are doing the same thing?

Sabrina Horn 11:47
Yeah, yeah. Well, so the phaco meter was something that I conceived when I was writing the book and thinking about all the different ways that people fake it. And I had to put it like in different buckets. And so then I thought, all right, let's, let's put that on a continuum, from, you know, most innocent to jail time. And so if you start off with what is most innocent, right, there's something called acting as if, which is actually a technique and cognitive behavioral therapy, where you are simply say, Your, you don't feel very confident. And so you want to try and practice the behaviors that you wish you could exude and embody. And you do that until you until it feels more comfortable. And you can actually have those behaviors and feel that way. There's nothing wrong with that. It's just a form of self help. Just like visualizing yourself in a tough situation or dressing for success. But where you run into trouble, right, and you cross the line, is when you start to say and do things at other people's expense, for personal gain. So the most common acts of fakery that, that we see and hear and would expect, right, fall into this category of just simply exaggerating the truth. So if you're an entrepreneur, and you really want to get that venture capital money, maybe you'll stretch the truth a little bit about what your technology can do, or how many customers you have, or you're a salesperson, and you want to you've got to make your number, it's the end of the quarter. So you over promise a little bit about what you can do to your customer to win the deal. Or a really common way of faking it is lying on your resume to you know, get the interview. From there we go to minimizing the truth. So here examples would be like, like my, my kids, you know, yeah, I came home last night, Mom, I parked the car in the garage, and I turned off the lights. leaving out the fact that I broke the headlight coming into the garage, you know, or, hey, we won that big deal. And, yeah, we close the sale, leaving out the fact that it was really only at like, 50% of the budget that we wanted, you know. So that's, that's minimizing a situation. And then now there are other types of fakery as we move on the continuum that don't involve lying. It's called ostrich lies because like an ostrich, you're sticking your head in the sand. This is when you're an entrepreneur and or CEO, and you're facing a crisis situation, and you're so overwhelmed. You don't know what to do. You just want it all to go away and you shove it under the rug and you delay dealing with reality. That's also faking it because the consequences could be quite severe before Your business, you know, and then from there we go into like jail time, which is, which is like a selective truth telling. That's where you actually telling the truth but leaving out certain facts, as was the case of Boeing. And then, you know from there we're into total outright deception and fraud like Bernie Madoff with his Ponzi scheme, Jeffrey, yeah, yes. And you know, of course Elizabeth Holmes, who's on trial now for

Greg Voisen 15:34
Yeah, that was that's pretty egregious actually. Yeah. You know, what's interesting, as you're saying this and you're speaking about your phaco meter, is what came up for me was that, I don't think a lot of people like to be raw, for some reason, the word raw came into my, my being here. And on top of it, you mentioned sales, people promising more than could be delivered so that they could get the order. And that gap, in some cases can be so great, and causes so much repercussion downstream. And, you know, you see this happen. I'm doing some work in a company right now, where they have these contracts, say one thing, and then the performance has been another thing. And they're now paying the price if that. So you either adjust the contract to say it's going to change, and this is all we really can do. Or you change your pricing so that you can do it. Right. But you have to be honest, that it's going to cost more. And I think a lot of people are worried about not getting the order, right. So it's like, okay, I didn't get the order. And that might be a small example. But that's an example of something that happens. I think, all too frequently, almost every day causes huge customer service issues, customer complaints and problems. Yeah. And, you know, you tell us story in chapter two, great story about your own PR firm, and you landing the account at PeopleSoft. And you, you beating out this other firm and the process, which was a friend of the CEO, right? What did you learn from the experience? And can you relate the story to the listeners about how being an integrity helped you land this account? Yeah,

Sabrina Horn 17:35
yeah, well, um, yes, it was a wonderful way to start your business. And, to be honest, no pun intended, I had nothing to lose, by being honest, you know, I figured, I've got a shot. If I win it, I'm in business. So I better handle it, right. And if I don't get it, then I'll just go do something else. And, or I'll find another customer or just whatever. And so I thought, like, I've got nothing to lose by just being absolutely honest with them and with myself. And so that started by doing what I said at the beginning of our conversation, which is like, here, here's an honest assessment of what I can deliver, and what I can't. And here's who I am, and what I stand for. here's, here's my business plan. And I shared all of that with them in that meeting. And I think that my candor, and my honesty was perhaps so refreshing that it caught their attention. But I also learned that the value of doing my homework, you know, like, I crossed every T and dotted every I, and I had to ask myself, you know, what is the CEO of PeopleSoft worried about what's on his mind? What is he not thinking about? What can I then do like thinking as a business person first, like, knowing all that, then and winding my way back to Okay, so then what would be the right thing for them to do? Rather than saying, here's a list of things I'm going to do for you and you know, seeing how that resonates? So it's, it's about putting yourself in your customers shoes truly. And then having what I call a 60-minute episode with myself, where I've thought of every question they might ask me, and especially those I didn't want to answer, and I forced myself to come up with an answer for them and like, okay, that's the truth. Right? And if, if that if that answer doesn't work for them, then that's better than pulling a fast one and then being caught for it later. So I think those were the really key lessons Things that I that I learned all sort of swirling around being authentic and, and operating with integrity.

Greg Voisen 20:07
It's a good point you make I mean, you know, a person in sales, a person in marketing, and let's face it, public relations PR is, is it's all inner wound, right? Yeah, it's easy to get caught up in the emotion, it's easy to get caught up in just, oh, what we can create here and what we're going to be able to do, because you're living in the world of creativity, and imagination. And there's nothing wrong with imagining with somebody, as long as they know what you're going to be able to do is real. Because that's actually quite fun to have this imagination and creativity, mind meld of all the people. And one of the things that you speak about in the book is disarming fear and organized risk. And what it is like to be in a startup, I mean, let's face it, that's you, you've landed this account pretty much very early in your, in your career. What advice do you have about not faking it, because as you state faking, it is the same thing as lying. And this is not the value that you want to embrace. And you list on page 49. You know, some, some things that I think are important, maybe you can articulate that. But it faking it is lying. And as your phaco meter says, it depends on where you are in the scale of the phaco meter. Right. But it also has to do with this, you know, we've talked about integrity. I remember, Dr. Jim Laura was recently on here about leadership, and as a great book out the personal credo. And I come to this, and I really look at what he said. And if you can't stand in your own shoes and tell the truth, you're literally you're literally going to pay the repercussions at some point later on, as you said earlier. Yeah. So what would you say about this disarming fear, organized risk? And, and, and not whining?

Sabrina Horn 22:16
yeah, you know, it's a really appropriate thing to discuss, especially now, you know, as we've been basically living in this constant environment of fear, uncertainty and doubt with the pandemic. And it's always seems to be a moving target from week to week. And the reason why we have fear, and in, in life or in business, and especially in a startup is because there's something unknown about it, there's something we don't understand about it. And so you have to disarm the fear. And the best piece of advice I ever got was, know what you don't know. So, dial in to the fear, what's making you have that anxiety, it's probably about something you don't understand and don't know about. So acquire a bias for seeking information. Now, it's fear can be very paralyzing as well, you feel like you have cement shoes, and you know, it's just overwhelming.

Greg Voisen 23:19
It also can be very motivating. But you know, cliche for fear was false expectation appearing real. That's fear. It's like the acronym for fear was false expectation appearing. I like, Yeah, but that is, in essence, you know, in many of these companies, they don't talk about love. But if there weren't two emotions that really did exist, it would be fear or love. Yeah. And it's love for oneself. As much as its love for what it is you do and love for the people that you work with? Yeah. Because you really only have that, you know. And so, if you're going to organize this organized risk, I like how you talked about, you know, he called it organized risk. I've actually never heard it referred to that way. So I thought that was very clever. Thus, but, so is there anything else you would say about you know, this, faking it and lying from your list?

Sabrina Horn 24:23
Um, I mean, I would say, from the fake commoner

Greg Voisen 24:30
Well, on page 49, you have a list.

Sabrina Horn 24:35
Yeah. I mean, I think it's, it's about making a list of all the ways that something could go wrong. And then asking yourself, what's the worst thing that could happen here? And then how would you recover? So for me, that's contingency planning, right? hoping for the best and planning for the worst is all about Having these little plans in your back pocket so that whatever happens, you can sort of find a path down the middle to move forward. It's also about surrounding yourself with people who are going to give it to you straight, not people who will tell you what you want to hear, but people who will tell you what you need to hear. And, you know, and then lastly, it's it is also like, thinking about what success ultimately looks like. And you've got these, all of the things that could go wrong, your risks on one side, and then and then ultimately, like, okay, a year from now, this is where we want to be. And so we just need some plans to deal with these risks so that they don't get in the way of achieving that success down the road. And, and I don't mean to minimize, you know, that because depending on what kind of business you have in the industry, you're in, those risks could be quite enormous. But that's where contingency planning is just really comes into play.

Greg Voisen 26:03
Well, the other thing that we could add to the icing on the cake there, I just recently did an interview with Jonathan Brill rogue waves. And you know, much of this was all predictable. You know, if you have really taken time to look, it was there going to be a pandemic. You know, he made a great statement about the Titanic crossing the Atlantic, and that the captain of the ship knew that during that time of the year, there were 1800, icebergs crossing where that ship went. And now the question was, you know, when you navigate something, whether it's a ship, or you're navigating your company, what are you looking for that you can see around corners, that's potentially coming, because those are the risks. That's the risk to sink the ship, that's the rogue wave that comes up that you thought was just rogue, but the reality it's not, there are ways to actually look at all these factors, and have a pretty good indication to predict them into the future, you know, as a future futurist, and you stated that for you as the CEO, and that's why I love doing the show. You'd like to read lots of books on leadership, looking for in you're looking for advice, then you go on to list the characteristics of great leaders? Yes. Can you tell us what you believe is the makeup of a good leader and your estimation, you put it on page 54? Through 57? But, you know, I just want to hear it from Sabrina. Yeah. Well, as you were a leader, you still are a leader, you're a leader in this other company now. Well,

Sabrina Horn 27:49
I no longer work at Finn partners to be okay, to be clear, I, I completed my time with them. And Okay, that was an 18. And, and then wrote this book, but I still consult with them. You know, I think leadership is many, many things. But my view is that being a great leader, begins with making the right decisions at the right time, based on what you believe to be reality. And so a great leader has to make a commitment to always being grounded in the truth and in reality, and that is a has to be a tireless, relentless effort, because reality is constantly changing. Next, I believe that a great leader has to as we said earlier, have this concept of humility and to not only, you know, put that on like a new wardrobe, but to truly feel confident, admitting mistakes and knowing when to ask for help. I believe that a great leader should be flexible and agile, you know, I have this saying like, adopt early move quickly. Sometimes making a wrong decision is better than making no decision at all. I would say being I have this also this notion of being a realistic optimist. Like you always have to balance Okay, we can learn from our mistakes, but you can't spend all your time in the rearview mirror. You have to always be looking forward and trying sometimes at the it's at the 13th hour for a solution to a particular problem. You just cannot ever give up pushing and moving forward and finding solutions. And like that, that is exhausting work. And but that is the mark of a great leader who knows that somewhere out there. There is a solution. There's an answer to this problem. You just have to find it. And then I would say two more things. Surround yourself with people who complain Aren't you and complement your own weaknesses which need to be aware of people who will give it to you straight. And lastly, to be a good communicator, I mean that it's essential for the privilege of being a leader, you have to not only communicate the right message to your constituents, but you need to do it well, then you need to inspire hope in people and comfort.

Greg Voisen 30:26
That's very well put. And, you know, you spoke about humility, and I think in in leaders today, again, that's a trait that's cultivated, many of the egos are very big, and I have a, it's not an off the wall question. It's a question that really drives home. You're being in touch as a leader that you are, and you were to access a power outside of yourself. Call it spiritual illness, call it whatever you want. Call it intuition. Because you're, you're doing that, how much time is a leader did you spend in contemplation meditation, thinking about something outside of you asking for the answers? Because we all know the answers are within us. Yeah, the question is, is to extract them and not let the ego sidetrack us. And much of what you've talked about this whole fakeness, frequently is the ego speaking to somebody and they're not able to control that. And that's what's creating all that, that. That's that drive to be fake. Yep. And I know the word ego is used a lot. And I have another acronym ego is edging God out. So the question might be as, as a leader, you've had lots of people, lots of people dependent on you, how much of your time did you spend in contemplation, using your intuition to guide you and direct you and listening to that inner voice?

Sabrina Horn 32:13
You know, I, there were times when I did it consciously. And then there were other times where use your, you drift off with your thoughts on the ride home on the train, I would say probably a good hour, half hour every day. But sometimes there's no time for it, because you just have to move and you've got to execute. And there's stuff swirling around you. And you know, when that Yeah, you know, I mean, I was also a single mom, for almost the entire time that I ran my company. And so there was like, it was basically like, either my priority is something to do with my company, or something to do with my kids. And, and then I put myself last and that. And what I realized was that I had to be a part of, I had to give myself time to think about these things for the business and for my kids to take a different path or to shift gears or not hate the word pivot, but to pivot. And, you know, I spent quite a bit of time actually doing crafts, like knitting and crocheting, because it was so meditative. It could really absorb, do something completely different. And then all of a sudden, like an idea would pop into my head. And I'd say, like, you know, that's a good angle, I'm going to put that arrow in my quiver. So whether I knew I was doing it, or whether I was deliberate or not, or whether it just sort of happened. I think I probably was always doing it somewhere in the background.

Greg Voisen 33:53
Yeah. And I think that's true. You know, when you ask scientists or you ask people that are programmers, you get different answers, although it's surprising, how many of them will say, you know, how does, you know getting in the flow or staying in the flow as a CEO and having that endorphin that gets released and all those chemicals that get released in your brain to give you that kind of that high that you have, but the feeling that you have the time just passes, you know, you look at come in the morning, for you know, it's evening already, and you're like, well, what happened? It was a great day. You know, you meant that a lot of days are not those kinds of days. No. Yeah, a lot of lot of days are absolutely the opposite. That's right. That's right. You know, you said in the book, if you want to create a high value brand that you need a high value culture, yes. How important is having our values and beliefs articulated and known by our clients and customers? Also, what are some of the enduring brands. I mean, I know we can talk about, you know, apple, and, you know, Microsoft, and all of these brands that have lasted forever. But if you would, you know, a lot of people create their values, they create their mission, they create their purpose, they hang out in the lobby, and they don't live it. Yeah, it's one thing to create it, it's another thing to live it live in. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's almost better not

Sabrina Horn 35:30
to have a mission statement, if it's going to be like this vapid statement of emptiness that, you know, insert company name here. And, and I did meet, you know, a lot of entrepreneurs and startups when, who don't think about values and culture until they become bigger company, and then it's something that they strap on and bolt on. And it's not necessarily authentic, right, because it wasn't created from the beginning. So there's so there's, you know, there's a conflict there, establishing core values and having them sort of this viscerally present in your culture and how you communicate with each other. I talked about, like, infusing of value in a business process. So if you take, for example, creativity, and how does that manifest itself, in customer service, in every interaction you have, with your clients, with your customers, with how you talk to them with how you respond to them, with your how you train your people to respond to them, right? And, and the beautiful thing is that, if you are committed to core values, they, they hold you and they protect you. And when you stray from them, and you get bad customer feedback, you have to pause and say, so how, where did we fall from our core value system here? How can we realign with that, or maybe the universe has changed, and we need to push the reset button and give that value new meaning because it also needs to evolve, perhaps? So I, I truly believe this is the essence of building a great brand. Because again, it's about a consistent customer experience that's grounded in a company's heritage somehow, even as it evolves over time. So you asked about great brands, you know, that Aside from the obvious ones, there's a company I love called Oh, Excel, and they are the kitchen utensil

Sabrina Horn 37:43
They make peelers, and, you know, spoons, and can openers, and things like that. And they have this commitment to the customer experience that is that is just without questions just outstanding. their customers love them. Because if they have a question about something or God forbid, it broke or they didn't know the box arrived, broken or whatever, they respond immediately. And they use empathy in their language with how they communicate with customers. Another brand that I think should be applauded is McLaren The, the race car company, they used and donated a lot of their equipment and their parts and whatnot. To build ventilators during the pandemic crisis, Ben and Jerry's ice cream company has, has such an enduring brand of great ice cream and great flavors, right doesn't disappoint, but they also have a commitment to social justice. And they had various campaigns in the last two years. So you know, these are great brands that are grounded in core values right? At the beginning, that founder of Oh, Excel made a commitment to like, making quality products, but really listening and paying attention to customers like, like they were in your home using your stuff.

Greg Voisen 39:13
Right, right. I you know, whether it's Patagonia or tow Expo, or its McLaren, or you have a lot of these, these are big companies. And I think for all those people that are listening for this, the small ones that are trying to support mom and pop out there, the little guy who's during the pandemic got hit pretty hard. I would say you know, there's so many of those that have the same values that are out there, and if that's what you want to do, go seeking them to do that. I think it's really important. You know, and on the flip side of the coin, you cited and we talked a little bit earlier about three examples of Falling from grace. And we don't want people to fall from grace. But you know, VW, Uber, Samsung, and these companies have the ability to fall from grace and still get back up and keep going. Many companies, if they fall from grace, that isn't going to happen. What advice would you have for entrepreneurs? like yourself who is in a startup, so they don't fall from grace? And that they know how to handle the situation afterwards? Meaning, okay, if I'm going to this is a PR nightmare. Right? You're the PR person. You know, whether it was I was trying to think of the anchor that that was on NBC that, you know, got caught. And you know, that was a nightmare for, for them for a while trying to deal with it. But no, there's lots of these, there's so many of these examples. What advice would you give as somebody who has this background in PR to kind of manage that?

Sabrina Horn 41:01
Yes, I. So I think there's various different frameworks that you can find for managing a crisis. But it there are some fundamentals. Number one, always, if you made a mistake, admit it. Admit that you made the mistake, the longer you pretend you didn't, or you hide it, the worse your crisis is going to be. And the consequences could be disastrous. always speak the truth. Never, in essence, say anything that you don't know to be the absolute truth.So that also means never predicting or providing false hope, because people aren't going to ask you about it and calling on it. Next, you want to have only one spokesperson, and perhaps a subject matter expert, but only one spokesperson, which could be the CEO, or could be someone else to sort of provide consistent information to all constituents about the situation. Use visuals, and graphics, right? Because pictures always say 1000 words, keep the message simple. retrench if you have made a mistake, tell people what your plan is to go forward. And it's always three things admitting what happened, what you're going to do about it. And then telling them when you're going to tell them about the progress you've made, when you're going to come back to them. And in a last thing is in a crisis, you want to over communicate, because people, there's fear, and anxiety and uncertainty. And it's just like, if you're waiting for your plane, and the planes late, you're sitting there at the gate, and the person standing behind the counter, and they're not telling you information, even if the information is the same, you just want to have the update agree. So over communicate, and it's those three things, here's where we are, here's what we're doing next. And we're going to get back to when we have these answers or have figured out these next steps.

Greg Voisen 43:07
I think the point about over communicating is a big one, you know, you look at what we just went through with the withdrawal out of Afghanistan. And then yes, the kind of challenge the administration had, and how it was communicated. And, you know, I mean, look, the prior administration, that's all they did was try and put out fires from things that, you know, the pyre president did. So the reality is, is that your advice is very, very strong advice. And it's very good advice. And it really helps to calm in a crisis, the situation, what you're attempting to do is remove the emotion from it, because so much emotion is tied up in it. And people just need to hear and I think that's wonderful advice. Now, you provide some great learning lessons in this book, all kinds of stories. And it's always good to leave listeners with a couple of takeaways, two or three takeaways that you would leave them with so that they can basically apply them to their business, to if their personal to their personal life. I mean, I think much of what you talk about here, even though you're a very strong business woman, and you built a very successful company, this whole point, even if I was in high school today, and I just listened to this interview, and I was a high school student, I would want to say, you know, Sabrina, great advice, where do I put this in my life because, hey, I certainly want to be an integrity. I want to tell the truth. If I broke the light in the garage, I want to make sure I tell my parents I did it before they found out

Sabrina Horn 44:55
I mean, I guess the first thing I would say is don't feel like you have to fake it, because you have what it takes to be successful with just who you are. Secondly, do think about the last time you faked it? And why were you afraid? Were you under pressure? Did you just not know what you were doing? Were you overwhelmed? And if you had a chance to, for a do over, how would you handle it differently? Would you disarm your fear? As we talked about? acquire a bias to get more information? Would you talk to someone? Would you reach out to a mentor? would you ask yourself, okay, what's the worst thing that can happen? If I organize my risk? What's the worst thing that could happen? If, if this if this does occur? And how would I rebound? You know, and then I guess, think, think about that commitment to the truth that costs you nothing. And so I think those would be a summary of the things I

Greg Voisen 46:12
I would recommend great words of wisdom from somebody who's lived it and continues to live it. Here's the book, make it don't fake it will have a link to Amazon will also have a link to Sabrina's website, which is a lovely website, you can go there you can is the book available to be purchased off of there too, or just Amazon probably links?

46:36
Yeah, you can. If you go to my book page on the website, Sabrina Horne comm forward slash book, there's a list of all the online retailers with links, so you can go to them and get the book there.

Greg Voisen 46:51
Well, what I can say, Sabrina, in closing and wrapping up here is that one, your energy as a prior business owner, and the experiences that you've been through as a single mother, and all of the experiences that have brought you up today to write this book, and now promote this book. I just want to acknowledge you, you have wonderful energy. And it's we need more female leaders. Yes, we need more female leaders that have the compassion that you do the understanding you do that really want to help make it not fake it. Yeah. And I just, I want to acknowledge that part about you as well. Because this is, you know, I do a lot of these interviews, you know, sometimes three, four a week. And this is not just to your horn, it's to say, the pace of the interview, the thoughtfulness in your answering the questions, the way in the demeanor which you carry yourself is exceptional. And maybe that's the background and PR that you had to have. But again, everybody go out, get make it, don't fake it. You're going to and then go to her website and cruise around and see what you need. Yeah. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Now this day to you. Thanks for your attention and spending the time with my listeners today.

Sabrina Horn 48:29
Thank you. Thank you, everybody, for listening. Thank you very much, Greg.

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My guests in this podcast are Dr. Bob Nelson and Mario Tamayo, authors of a new book entitled “Work Made Fun Gets Done!: Easy Ways to Boost Energy, Morale, and Results.” Dr. Bob Nelson is the president of Nelson Motivation Inc., the world’s leading authority on employee recognition and engagement and Mario is a principal with Tamayo Group Inc., a no-nonsense consulting firm specializing in leadership and organizational performance.

In this interview, we talk about having fun at work while engaging and motivating employees. I encourage everyone to listen to the insights and techniques they shared on morale boosters, recognition and communication at the workplace.   Find out more about ways to bring fun into work in four different levels: individual, leader, team and organization.

If you want to learn more about Dr. Bob Nelson and Mario Tamayo and their new book , please click here to be directed to their website.

Enjoy this podcast interview that will certainly have a positive impact on your work life.

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

Thu, 9/9 12:20AM • 53:11

SPEAKERS
Dr. Bob Nelson, Mario Tamayo, Greg Voisen

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen, host of Inside Personal Growth. And joining me from Rancho Bernardo, California is Dr. Bob Nelson. And Bob and Mario and Mario, make sure I pronounce your last name right. It's Tamayo. Right, you got it. My Oh, absolutely. Wow, it's pretty good. We're going to be talking about work made fun gets done easy ways to boost energy, morale and results. And no, I'm not going to use the pandemic as an excuse. But I will tell you that, you know, this pandemic has created more havoc in the workplace, as you guys know, than anybody. And you're well aware of it, because you're out consulting all the time talking to companies about the issues associated with that. And you have some great stories in the book as well, which I love. But I'm going to tell my lizard listeners just a tad bit about you about Bob, Bob's PhD president of Nelson motivation, Inc, is considered to be the leading authority on employee recognition and engagement worldwide and has worked with 80% of the Fortune 500 companies. Dr. Bob is still practicing. And you guys can reach him at his website at Dr. Bob Nelson calm or is it just Bob Nelson calm? Dr. Dr. VOB ne LS on calm? Here you go. And we also have Mario Maya. He's a principal with Maya Group, Inc. and has more than 30 years of experience and maximizing human performance working with companies such as Genentech, General Dynamics, Jay Connect pet Co. So, he also is an expert in this field. And they wrote this book together. And it just came out about how long ago you guys, I'm trying to remember what Amazon said. Yeah, middle of summer. So, it's a new book for everybody. So, you know, let's just kind of start this off with really a question for both of you, I kind of wanted to get both of you involved in this first one out. Everybody loved to have more fun at work. I do consulting as you guys do. So, I realized the stresses and the anxiety in the workplace today. Why did you guys write this book? And why is it more important now, given them pandemic, given the times that we're in, given all the adjustments that workers are making working from home, working from various remote locations? And that what they're dealing with to be able to have higher morale and higher ability to perform in the workplace? either one of you?

Dr. Bob Nelson
Yes, well, this is my 31st book. And some say that every author is writing the same book over and over. And in many ways, this is another cut of the same cloth. I've all my books have been wrapped around principles, proven principles, research based, that actually work to get a better result from employees to better attract them to better hold on to them, but are not widely applied in business. And so, I, the research base in this book is research based. And then within that context of what we know to be true, what does it look like, has 100% real life examples from actual companies that are doing the things that we that we're talking about right now and getting results. So, it makes it easier for the reader to don't have to reinvent the wheel, just open the book anywhere, and you can find a usable example.

Greg Voisen
I want to say for my listeners, I've never seen a book with so many examples and tools and techniques. You guys really did an awesome job of that. So congratulations. I mean, you cite the company, you cite what the people actually are doing. And I think that makes it a very practical book. You know, this is something that anyone can pick up almost anywhere and open the page and get an idea from, you know, one,

Mario Tamayo
Greg, one of the reasons we probably the major reason we wrote this book is back in the 70s. As you might have heard your father tell you that the promise was, we were probably with technology and all the advances that were probably going to go to a three-to-four-day workweek by the year 2000. And that we were going to be all spending 20 to 30 hours, you know at work, and we're going to be this leisure society Well, the opposite It's happened. And we're spending a lot more of our time at work. And a lot of us have not been enjoying it so much. And one of the reasons another reason we wrote the book is that people are, are absolutely craving to enjoy their work since they have to spend so much time at it. And it has become the competitive edge out there in business today. And so, we recognize that we've got some data that's, that's in the book that that says that. But the companies that are providing healthy cultures of fun and enjoyment, are also the high performing companies. And the flip side of that is that employees who are having, who are high performers are having the most fun. And fortune came out with a study just recently about that. And it shows that 82% of the companies, the great companies that they identified, have great fun working environments, while only 62% of what they categorized as the good companies, only 62% were having fun. And so, it just solidified and really just hammered home the point that we have got to do something where our employees today can enjoy themselves and have a lot more fun.

And that and that variable Mario just mentioned was the biggest differential on those that make the 100 Best Places to Work for in America fortunate list, and those that don't. So, if you if you want to be an employer of choice that better attracts and retains talent, this is key to make it happen. And he magazine, I think put it well. They said, fun is frivolous, we know unless you want to attract and keep the best employees.

Greg Voisen
Well, you know, fun is a word that isn't frequently used in the workplace. So, let's first state that. And so, you bring something I'm not going to say new, but you bring something that kind of gets glossed over, I think by a lot of people. And you mentioned in the book that each year, the great places to work Institute, ask 1000s of employees to rate their experience in the workplace. What are the factors that are rated that make a workplace fun to work in, because look, it's one thing to talk about fun, it's another thing to look at the factors that actually or the culture, I should say that even creates fun in the workplace?

Dr. Bob Nelson
And that's some of the research we were just citing from the best place to work Institute and in their creation of the Fortune 500 Best Places to Work each year. So, it's, it's really just that that one variable there. Now, there's a lot of things and in the book, we have about 15 categories of different ways to have fun. And we have it in four different chunks, what you can do individually in your own job, what you can do as a leader of a group, what the group can do, and then what the organization can do. So that's what were the buckets that we filled in the real examples that we identified. You're absolutely right, though fund is not commonly used at work, there are more and more companies that have fun is one of their core values that we were delighted to find. But there's an old-line belief that, you know, we're paying you to work, have fun on your own time do that in the weekend. And the thing about it is that personal lives and work lives have merged. And so, I don't know anyone that doesn't do some work emails at night, or on the weekend, or even on vacation, you know. And likewise, if we're if we're giving our personal time to work, work has got to be it's a little bit more doable, if we can make that that journey, that time working with others and serving the customer. More fun as well. It's only fair,

Mario Tamayo
I used to be that, you know, we used to say work hard, play hard. And that was the mantra of a lot of companies. And then when people got to work, they realized that the company was serious about the work hard part, with the play our part was the one that fell by the wayside. And you know, it's interesting today that the way that people are having fun is they're bringing in new people, new employees who already have that as a as a core value. And I'm talking about the millennial generation, but 50 to 60% of them are saying, when I go to work, I expect I demand to have fun at work. And if I don't get it, I'm going to move on to some other place. Right? It's very well,

Greg Voisen
Work when work is fun and pleasurable, productivity goes up. So, let's just talk about that. We know that all the studies will indicate, you know, greater levels of productivity when people are having fun. They also get into flow more frequently. So, they're literally when you're having fun, you have an opportunity to actually kind of do Get the Whirlwind mind gone and really be more creative and more innovative. And you know, you speak about the philosophies of about the fund workplace. And you talked about the do's and don'ts about great places to work. What are those do's and don'ts that some of our managers that are listening today online, could actually implement? I mean, I'm going to encourage everybody, you know, just go buy the book, we'll have a link to Amazon, you can go to both of their websites. There you go. We've got it up. But, you know, let's face it, whether they buy the book or not, we want to give them some value. And there are some do's and don'ts that I thought were quite valuable. Mario?

Mario Tamayo
Yeah, well, number one is, you don't make people have fun. So, I want to start with that. That was one of the things that will really kill it. If you if you try to make somebody have fun at something they don't consider fun, then you can just forget about it. So, one of our principles is that to remember is that what's fun for some may not be fun for others. And we always say, keep that in mind, no matter what you do. And as long as you're asking, and you're respecting, and you're providing people what they truly feel is fine, then then you're two steps ahead, right there.

Dr. Bob Nelson
So, for example, for example, yeah, we you can't have fun at someone else's expense. That's definitely it's not, you know, so we don't believe in pranks. pranks are funny for like two seconds. And then the person you're pranking is now upset. And, you know, I know companies have had like the bonehead award, and Haha, Jerry gets it this week, because he made this client mistake. And all of a sudden, Jerry says, hey, yeah, I had the support to do the job, I wouldn't have had that, you know, and he's defensive, he's upset, I think about quitting because you guys are jerks. And so, it's not worth to go there, there's enough, there's enough things to do. Where you don't have to do it at someone else's expense, they could do it at your own expense. And that's, that's very powerful for a leader. If they make fun of themselves, it makes them more human. And it makes it but there's so many so many ideas. And one of my biggest aha is doing this whole project. And the research that we did for years on collecting examples is that everyone's view of fun is different. You know, and so that's why it's good to pull people in and include their ideas. And it may be different than you were thinking but enjoy what they want to do. And we can all benefit from that and along the way by involving everyone, then then it makes them more receptive as well. So..

Greg Voisen
Inclusion..and that leads me to this next question, which, you know, Charlie Chase, the President of Genetic Synergy created this color code, it's colorcode.com. I never heard of it before that's why I'm asking this question. Because I think that it's really quite interesting. I didn't go to the website and take the quiz. But there is a quiz. And then you fall into a color code system, if you would talk about the color code system, to our listeners, and how the system can help them create more fun in the workplace.

Mario Tamayo
Yeah, let me let me address that. For those of you out there who are familiar with Myers Briggs, and insights, and disc. And these are all personality preference, models and profiles. And the color code is very similar in that regard. They have colors blue, green, yellow, and red. And what that what that's all about is personal preferences. And it helps people to identify what they prefer, what drives them. And it also helps them have a conversation with other people, where we can find out the colors of our coworkers of our managers of our direct reports. And what's most important is, number one, not to diagnose them, and get try and guess what they are, what they would like, but to use that as a start for a conversation, to confirm what it is that they value and what they like. And I you know, some of your folks probably have heard of the Platinum rule. And Bob and I go by that, and it's doing unto others the way they need to be done unto. And we feel it's even stronger than the golden rule of Do you want to others the way I want to be done unto because the focus there for the golden rule is on myself. But what this is all about and having fun at work is how do I set something up so other people value it as fun for themselves? So, it's doing unto them the way they want to be done unto.

Greg Voisen
Boy did you take me back Mario? That was a Dr. Alessandra, Yeah, here in La Jolla. I haven't seen him in a long time but that whole Platinum rule thing he will go over that that was it. Yeah. Wow. Tony Allesandra, we're dating ourselves. Now we are. We are. I'm sure he's still out there. Right, Bob, you must be

Dr. Bob Nelson
Yes, he was. And he was in Vegas. I'm not sure if he's moved back or somewhere else. But yes, he had some great, great content. And I remember using some of his training movies. The Pygmalion effect, I think was one that he worked on. It was very good.

Greg Voisen
He also had a bunch of assessments as well that he created. Oh, yeah. I'm sorry. But the bottom line is it puts them in kind of a category so that all the coworkers can determine really what, how everybody works, how they like to have fun.

Mario Tamayo
Exactly. Yeah. In fact,one of our one of our dues is, is that you want to when you're when you're deciding what to do is ask people form a committee, a cross section of your organization, get management involved, get an executive sponsor, get the people on the front line, and find out what the different parts of your organization really like, not just for individuals, but also for the different, you know, teams and departments and all that volunteers.

Dr. Bob Nelson
Yeah, you can have a, it's not very hard to have a fun committee and have volunteers and see what they come up with and to brainstorm to prioritize and support them to try a few things. And maybe if they need some budget, maybe you can, you can give them some of that a lot. A lot of things you could do don't cost any money. They're just, they're just fun. I was going to say that Mara and I both worked with Dr. Ken Blanchard for quite a while. And one of the one of the things he used to say was that management is what you do with people, not to them. So, this is a perfect example that you want to involve people, you might use their ideas, maybe rotate the responsibility. When Mario and I worked together there, in fact, and we had staff meetings, one of the things we would do, and we tried different things to keep it fun. Yeah, if you do the same thing over and over, it's, it's going to be boring, you know. So, we would have, remember, we tried, we started the meeting with a joke that we'd rotate who would tell the joke. Now, some people were good at that some people were not, but they had a whole week to practice. And when they're done, there could be a little better doing the joke. So, it was fun no matter what,

Greg Voisen
What would you guys say about the culture having a permission to have fun. You know, it's interesting, you can go into various cultures. And you can see the ones just by the demeanor, how they're a little more lively than others. And you'll get this heavy air when you walk in, I call it heavy air. It's, yeah, it pulls you down. It's almost like you don't have permission. What would the two of you say, would help management decide that permission is good to allow people to do this? Because I think a lot of places not even allowed.

Dr. Bob Nelson
Yeah, I agree. And, and I think, go ahead, Mario,

Mario Tamayo
I was going to say, you know, I, I remember what you just said about having permission to do it. I remember when I was doing wellness in the workplace in the 80s, right, where we were trying to get organizations to have a healthier workforce, and a lot of the same benefits for wellness. You get and you and you enjoy from having a fun work environment, right. And what we'd like to say is we got to take it up a notch, even above permission, we want the organization not to give permission, but to encourage and to nurture, and choice of words, but no, no, no, no, it's where a business is. It's like, well, we allow that to happen here. And what we're trying to do is we're trying to transform it to say, No, no, no, we've really got to embody the spirit of this. And we have got to encourage it. We've got to ask people how they're doing with it. And this and that. And, you know, one of the things in our book is we talked about, how do you get top management? Who poopoo the idea? How do you get them and convince them that fun? Is great. And Bob's got some great ideas about this.

Dr. Bob Nelson
And just to build on the idea you gave me I remember in talking with you about the wellness programs, like you did it for john dynamics that that part of the success was getting the executives involved. So, you'd set up a yoga class and there'd be some executives that would come to it. So that's they're walking the talk, and that encourages other people. And so that's a great a great strategy. I remember working with the California CalPERS, California Retirement System, imagine $7 billion in assets for California employee retirements. And they were very, very stiff, very stodgy, you know, money you know, we're managing finances, we can't be, you know, having fun here. And men, we, we, we worked it. And I showed them the data how their people were very stressed and burnt out. And, and we convinced them a couple of things. One of the challenges they had is they said, We can't we're using taxpayer money, we cannot spend money on stuff that's frivolous, right. And I and I put together a list is about a 12-page list of government agencies, federal, state, and local, what they were doing their legislative authority, and the results they got. And that went into a board meeting. And they came out and they said, we're going to do it. So, I loosened up the purse strings, and then we appealed to top management. And I didn't, you know, you think well, didn't ever get go for that. We got them to create a music video. And they were all on camera. And, and I tell you what, once we broke the ice, they loved it. And they were all in the music video, and the employees loved it. And all of a sudden, by action, not by decree, the tone is set. We're loosened it up here.

Greg Voisen
That's an important point of your book, you know, you guys have included tools, techniques, examples, lots of examples, that so many consultants that you guys talked to had developed. And companies that you would you spoken to, to create fun in the workplace? Can you speak about a few of these tools, techniques that would stand out and are available to the listeners to consider implementing, into their workplace because you like I said, when we started this, you open this book up. And I mean, literally from almost page two or three, other than the introduction, you guys are already citing examples and things and tools and things that people have used that have had success. And I think that community of fun that you guys have created, is really something that these people that are listening could get involved in. It's almost like hey, did Dr. Bob and Mario create this, you know, community of fun speak about that, if you would, though?

Dr. Bob Nelson
Well, it's sort of I've and I spent a lot of time studying organizations, I got my master's in organizational design, and my, my PhD with Peter Drucker and in in organizational behavior and human behavior, and, and so I've kind of come to the conclusion that the way you get things going in organizations is not by policy, not by a program, if you have a program is have a start a middle and an end, and it goes still, but you do it by behavior, you get down to the individual focus of control. So, we're all about getting into the individual worker and the individual manager and showing them how they can make things happen. So let me give you an example. I know my Scala as well, but one of my favorites, because you can do this in person, or you could do it virtually as well on zoom, is when you get your next time you get your group together, say hey, this, do this do something different here. Start as I go around the group, as I call someone's name, I like everyone to say what they most value about working with that person. Let's start with Jerry. Okay, now Mary 100% positive comments from your peers, that's called a praise barrage, you can do it in five or 10 minutes, and I tell you what, it will lift everyone up, they will feel better about themselves. And whatever was called out that they were good at. Tom always jumps in to help out I value that so much he takes initiative, I thank you time, I get I guarantee you that Tom will do more of that going forward, because what gets recognized gets repeated. And so, it's a great simple team building. And, and next time you together in person, you can do the same thing with index cards, right down to thank you for someone else in our group that you Oh, you get four or five thank you cards of things that people value that you've done in your job, you're going to feel better about yourself. And on a practical level, you're going to see what your most valued for and do more of those things.

Mario Tamayo
I got to tell you that that's a great activity, Bob, and I must say, and I have to give props to my sister, Elsie, to Maya, because she started that at the county of San Diego in the 1980s. And people, the way it worked was people would, would take strips of paper and they would write something nice, fold it up, and they'd put it in the middle of the table. And then it was up to each person to read out loud. What other people said to them? And I got to tell you, this is when the tears started to flow for some people, because they were saying, this is the greatest thing I've never been recognized. Nobody's ever said this stuff about me and my 20-year career. And right away we knew we had something because it just connected with people. That's really what it’s about we're working so hard working so long, that we have a tendency to forget about the human spirit at work. And what fun at work, what wellness at work, what they do is they honor the human spirit at work, and they allow the shared experiences and the connections, what's called ubuntu Bob, you want to mention anything about that?

Dr. Bob Nelson
Yes, Marcin, because he has done a book on that the South African principle of unity and connectedness and we, you know, I am what we are as a basic concept, that's a different podcast. Yeah.

Greg Voisen
You know, I go back to the days, Bob, when I would go to San Francisco and go to spirit in the workplace conference, right, here you go. And, and then as a result of that, I went, I went back to school and got a master's degree in spiritual psychology. I love it. So, the reality is, is that what you're speaking about what we're all talking about here, really, when people are allowed to express themselves freely, you know, and have fun. And when they're doing it, creativity goes up, productivity goes up, morale goes up, everybody has a lot more fun. And they want to be around those people, too. They'd like to get a dose of it, you know, it's kind of like, they're eager to get into work. Yeah, the job you know, you know, here comes Mario and Bob the twins with all this inspiration and fun they're going to bring in, you know, so only when it comes to hair. Yeah, exactly. But I love that. Now you guys, look you Gallup is big, decided to study 7200 plus US adults revealed that one in two had left their jobs to get away from their managers. They hate their managers to improve your life. At some point in your career, when

Dr. Bob Nelson
we go to work for a great company, we leave because of a bad manager. That's kind of the rule.

Greg Voisen
And we've got some managers that are listening. Okay, guarantee you there's going to be managers listening, and we're not pointing a finger at you. What I'm trying to get at is what advice do you have for managers to help inspire their them to inspire their employees to become more engaged at work? Look, we know the engagement levels at work are extremely low levels. They have been for quite some time, decades. So, if that's the case, that means everybody hates work, but not everybody does hate work. There's a percentage of people that love to work. How do you love the balance? And how do you inspire these people.

Dr. Bob Nelson
The other thing we're in the middle of is called the great resignation, that we have people leaving quitting their jobs in droves. And there's a lot of debate about why that's happening. But in a nutshell, it's like they've had they've had the whole pandemic to think about is this really what I want to do with my life, and I hate my commute, I hate my boss, I hate what I'm doing and, and time to make a change. And they are, they're doing that and so far, just the last three months, it's been 11 million people in America have quit their jobs. Because they want to do something new, something different than whatever, they're very clear. They don't want to do what they have been doing.

Greg Voisen
Much to the chagrin of the managers, because now you've got to go replace these people. And no, yeah, but I need to add this that are making the decision to do that are really your higher-level employees who have an extremely high level of consciousness. And these are the people that that the organization is relied upon. to actually help, strategize, get things done, move the workforce. And that's, that's a 11 million people, Bob, that's a lot of displacement of high-level management, people leaving to go out and seek something out,

Dr. Bob Nelson
It's going to continue as well. The whole the whole ball of wax, the community, not enjoying their work that wanting a greater purpose in their life. So, if we can't get that at work, where are we going to get it? You know, it's the

Greg Voisen
So, Mario for the people that are staying not Yes, yes. What advice do you have for them, to inspire this workforce to have more fun so that when the all the morale does increase? I mean, look, the reason I'm kind of sitting in this little office up here upstairs, because I just came from a consulting gig and I was running like crazy to get here to make this. But the reality is, is that, you know, I see it, I was just there. I see an owner of a company with 120 employees in the boardroom. And his voice and octave of his voice went up 15 20% because of lack of communication. Yeah, right. Yeah. And yeah, look, we're falling apart because you guys are talking to one another.

Mario Tamayo
You hit it on the head and in good communication always starts with having an authentic respect for other people, and really the one of the best things a manager can do is they've got to realize before they go to work, before they get on the zoom call, that they have to ask themselves, what are we doing here? What is this company all about? Oh, this company provides us product or service. And who does that? Oh, we have people that do that. And every individual we're only as good as, as our individuals put together working as a team. And if, if we can start off by asking questions, and by finding good things that people are doing, and noting and catching people doing things, right, that is the first start. So, the first thing that we do is we got to recognize the good work that our people are doing now under these conditions that they're under. Absolutely, number one, number two is a career development is we got to talk to them and find out what is it they really want to do next. And help them get there. Bobby, we're going to add to my things

Dr. Bob Nelson
I was going to say. So, in a nutshell, stop telling and start listening, start asking the questions, and don't assume you have all the answers. And here's what the problem is. Tony, you didn't do that you didn't do that. And instead, you have, I mean, I did my doctoral work on the power of recognition of catching people doing things right and, and why managers do it or don't do it. And it's been called the greatest management principle on Earth, that you get what you reward what you what you inspect what you reinforce what you catch people doing something, right, you will get more of that, you lead the charge. By doing that you don't there's so many managers that the way they're trying to lead their people is they're chasing them about performance, you did that wrong, you did that wrong. We have a policy about that the customer complained about this. And the whole thing is 100%, negative, that doesn't that doesn't drive behavior, it drives people away from you. They void you, they didn't want to work for you. And then they're miserable. And then they come home and they make their family miserable 15% of workers, workers, the average worker spends 15% of their time at home, complaining about their boss. Oh, my God.

Greg Voisen
Well, you both remember this, and especially Drucker School of Management, and when he did, you know, command and control, we know doesn't work anymore. But we do realize it's still happening. But to make the person aware that that technique is inappropriate, I'm going to actually say inappropriate mode, a lot of people would say, No, it's not, I'm still going to do command and control. Because the buck stops with me, I write the checks, it's my money, it's my business, it's, you know, I'm going to run it the way I want. It also is very controlling it also, you know, those kinds of companies where you could cut through the air, or the kind of companies that are run like that, now you, Bob, this is a really important one, you say that over 25 million meetings per day in the us today. And it makes up 15% of an organization's collective time. And that most of these meetings are on productive. And I paraphrase, because he even talks about financially, how unproductive they are, what are some of the things organizations can do to make meetings more fun, more productive, and raise the morale? This is a big one. Because if we're going to have these meetings, why not have good meetings, you know, we've got to have them. And then who plans these meetings so that they are spontaneous, fun, good, and people are walking away going, yay.

Dr. Bob Nelson
First, I would, I would highly recommend doing away with standing meetings, which is, you know, every Monday or every Friday, we're going to meet for an hour and a half, we're going to talk about how it's going. Don't meet just to just to do that, and waste time and people don't want to go and it's boring. You know, if you have a, you have a party, and no one comes, it's really not much of a party. So you guys start thinking of meeting like that, how can this be? How can this be fun for people? So they want to be here? How can we? How can we vary it so it's interesting, maybe to help them learn new skills? And so that might be having a rotating who leads meeting so it's not just the manager every time that would be interesting. Or I remember when Mark and I worked together, we were working in developing training materials. And to my chagrin, I felt that the group was kind of a CT low in basic grammar and grammar skills and so I don't know if you remember this Mario, but I remember I did grammar quizzes and they were they're quick and we'd score them together and you can't do that not learning something. It's so I kind of as a fun activity I rose the competence level of everyone that's working on writing and editing and, and as a group, we got better at it. I know I've taught Writing business writing skills for six colleges. So, I know I could do it, but I don't want to do everyone's job. I want them to be better at doing their job.

Greg Voisen
I have to say that our meetings of the meetings don't have them be regular. I'm trying to paraphrase here. They don't need to be every Tuesday or every Thursday or whatever they need to be based on the need. That's maybe what's happening, right. In other words, we have a desire to meet, something's going on, we need to talk about it, we need to have a discussion, then very up the person that mean is responsible for the meeting, yes.

Dr. Bob Nelson
Oh, invite those people that need to be there. Don't everyone come? If it doesn't involve them, just the core people. And that could vary from meeting to meeting. And then and then then vary what you do. Martin, I used to have standing meetings, you want to have a short meeting, do a standing meeting,

Mario Tamayo
Physically standing me

Dr. Bob Nelson
Somewhere done at 20 minutes. Or we had a fun thing. I know, you remember, the smarter that we you know, because we got pretty excitable people are very engaged and stuff. And we're talking on top of each other. So I brought in a coconut. I said, Okay, here's the new rule. You can only speak if you're holding the coconut fasten on the coconut and let me have the coconut it was fun. It was silly, but it served a function as well. So fun is practical as well.

Greg Voisen
It's like, you could also do you know, I go back to the days when we did visit Levi Strauss, we'd a hand a talking stick, there you go. And we would move the talking stick around in the basement there, because that's a Native American kind of mission. But it worked really well. Because you could only speak if you had that talking stick. Yeah. And it really allowed people to express themselves. I love some of the ideas that are that you're giving.

Mario Tamayo
Now also, there's, there's a lot of companies that will not meet on Wednesdays, as Bob mentioned, standing meetings, they will meet as quickly as they can, if you're late to a meeting, people sing, put in a little cup, all kinds of little things here,

Dr. Bob Neson
My son went to a boot camp for programming. And I loved the fact that and you know that 40 people in the class and you know, they're all trying to move into a new career, whoever was late, they started at 830. Every morning, whoever was late, they would stop what they're doing. Everyone that turns the person they had to explain why they're disrupting everyone's education. No one was ever late. You can't I mean, in some, some corporations I meet and people are drifting in and out. And I go, how do you guys get any work done here? It's like, it's like a Moveable Feast. It's like, you know.

Greg Voisen
Well. I like some of the ideas both of you gave. And I think, again, for my listeners that will put the link to the book, just go get the book. There's hundreds of them in the book. And you know, we did touch on this a little bit. And I love Mario, your story about your sister in this county of San Diego in recognition. But what I did

Dr. Bob Nelson
I cite her in the book, I read 1000 ways to reward employees, and Elsie Tamayo, she had a she had a lot of good suggestions for me.

Mario Tamayo
It's a whole case study.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, recognition is good thing for productivity in the workplace. But it appears that this happens far less than we might think. And again, you cited that in the book. He said, I look recognition is great, but it's just not happening enough. This lack of recognition has massively negative impact on how employees feel about the workplace. And I concur. Recognition comes in a lot of ways time off free dinner, salary, increase of bonus, whatever mean, those are the standard ones. Thank you in the hallway. Yeah, call out began the meeting. What advice would you provide to the managers listening about moving, improving the recognition program so their employees can get a job? Well done? What would you say because this is a big one?

Dr. Bob Nelson
I'd say start with the behavior in your own sphere of influence. Think of what you can do as a leader. And so, some managers will know I worked with ESPN, a manager said whenever we start a meeting, we start the same way we named five things are going well. And usually it's pretty easy, but sometimes it's not. Sometimes things aren't going well. We never skip that step. Because that's our homeroom. That's our touchstone to allow us to take on the next obstacle or problem. So again, something positive, calling out when I worked with Bank of America, 210,000 employees, I convinced them that directness was so important. It couldn't be arbitrary. It couldn't be if you feel like if you happen to get to it because it would never happen. So, they started a policy that you meet at the bank, whether it's three people 300 all meetings will start with some type of recognition. It could be calling out the achievement of department it could be someone finish to degree or had a birth in their family, it could be any number of things, but something for the or the success of the bank how things are going. And so, you make it part of it or, or when I worked with NASA last fall, Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, which is ranked by the way, this is no coincidence, number one best place to work in, in federal government. Number one, that doesn't happen by accident. And you could you walk in the building, and you feel the energy, you see it on the walls, you hear it in the conversations. And, and I, when I attended meetings from managers, I remember what they said, as per our custom, they say the last 10 minutes of this management meeting, to go around the group and ask everyone to share one thing they've done to recognize someone on their staff, since we last had been together. And I tell you what, you could just feel the energy, the pride rises, and I know something else that people would say, going to try it. They learned from each other, they got it, they got became a self-learning organization. He's trying things and then sharing with others what's working and learning from each other. That's how you make it to the top and be a culture that everyone wants to be at. And on and on. I've got I wouldn't have done 1001 rewards, which is 47th printing is now 15 101 ways to reward employees. So, it's all the time if you open your eyes to it. You know, one of the things

Greg Voisen
Sincerity, I just want to add is, you know, you don't want to just do recognition, you do recognition needs to come in a sincerity and it needs to be from the heart. Absolutely. And I'm not talking about a bonus or a paycheck, but also Mario. You know, in these times of the pandemic, we saw many companies small, big, you know, let's cite it. AMC virtually went out of business, zoom went through the ceiling, Moderna went through the ceiling, but many companies very large, were struggling financially and under tremendous pressures. Yet we saw some many rises to the top as well. The question I might be is under financial constraints like this, and pressure, it seems to be that the culture changes drastically and to have all of these things happen. And you say, have fun in a workplace. When there is so much financial stress becomes a challenge. What would you say to a founder out there of a company who maybe is experiencing something like that right now, as a result of just the economics, the kind of business they're in? God, you certainly wouldn't want to be in the theater business right now, you might not even want to own shopping centers right now. Right? Considering, you know, just what's been going on with the pandemic, not as bad, but the reality is they're still fall out. Any thoughts about that?

Dr. Bob Nelson
Yes, I've got a lot of thoughts about that. Because you know, what you just described as someone that they're, they're starting to panic, because they're not getting results. So, they push harder, and they make more commands. And they, you must do this, you must do this. And people say, guess what I'm not doing anymore, I quit. And so, you can't force you can't force performance from anyone know, if someone if someone puts a gun to your head, you could do whatever they say. But that's not the situation people have in America today. They've got more freedom than ever before to leave and go find another job. We're in. We're in an employee's market right now.

Greg Voisen
It's very hot, and it will continue 75,000 last month, jobs created so our jobs are way up each month,

Dr. Bob Neson
Created not filled, not because and it's not just because of the pay, it's because of the environment and whatnot. So guess just to give you an example, example from the Great Recession 2009 other two companies competing head to head, Best Buy in Circuit City, you remember Circuit City, they're not around anymore, because when they when they both were hit with the recession, they had, they had two different approach at Circuit City said, Well, people are as our people are our biggest expense, as is the case in most companies. 90% of the pay and benefits goes to employees. People are our biggest expense. We got to cut people and cut they did they laid off 9000 people whole strata across the country. And wow. That month their financials look good. By next month, they started to tank because they threw out all their experience and I actually remember being in a circuit city, and somebody was they I don't know. Maybe it's how I looked. But someone said, Hey, can you help me? I'm looking for a car stereo. Look at the car stereo. Someone else did it. Well, I can help you. The store manager comes over and offers me a job. I got a job, but you got to think about training the people you got here. If you're not serving customers, too late, they're out of business, they had to close down that you take best Buy, same company, same products the same time, they were hammered by the recession. But instead of saying, keep our biggest expense, they said, they said people our biggest investment, we need to get more out of it, we need to get it now. So, they started for the first time, maybe they could have done earlier. But they the recession prompted them to set up an online suggestion program to ask people, how can we save money? How can we better serve customers, and within three weeks, they got 900 suggestions? And even if they didn't implement all of them, they implemented enough of them. And just by doing that, it showed people that wow, they like my idea, I got another one for you. And it turned the whole thing and they got a better of people rose to the occasion to help the company through a tougher time. They blew it out of the water, they're still doing well. They took over the market that the Circuit City had, and they're still I think a very exceptional company. So that's, that's what I see in companies. Where you can, you can see it's it’s an opportunity.

Mario Tamayo
So, the bottom line here is, is that when we're faced with the challenge, is when you mentioned it before, Greg is we've got to communicate with each other immediately, early and often. And we've got to take the philosophy of we're all in this together. So let us solve this together. And that's really what Bob's getting at here, you are our most valuable asset here, we're going to give you something, you know, we're going to provide you with something that's low-cut low or no cost right now, to just catch your breath. Let's have a little fun here. Let's remember why we're all here. And let's talk about what we all need to do together as a team to get out of this

Dr. Bob Nelson
And even say that, verbatim, this is why we're doing it because we do value you. And then and then that will give you the financial stability to be able to do things for employees, you take Southwest Airlines, you know, the culture of having fun and whatnot. People don't realize they're also highly, they've been profitable, 30 years in a row. And as a result, they're able to pay their people better and have better benefits and other airlines because there's financially successful.

Greg Voisen
Did you know during the pandemic, they were the only one that didn't take government money?

Dr. Bob Nelson
There you go, God bless them.

Mario Tamayo
Well, I didn't I didn't know that.

Greg Voisen
They didn't take any government money, Delta, United. All the others took government money, they did not take any government money. Yeah, they were proud to say that. Now look in wrapping the interview up because like you guys gave a lot of ideas, tools. And it's one thing to listen to a podcast. And it's another thing to actually implement what's been talked about. And as people listen to these podcasts, they look for the takeaways. And I always ask the authors toward the end, you know, what are the takeaways? If there were three things that each of you would recommend to help improve morale, bring more fun, and improve productivity, because every employer listening, if they're an upper management is saying, hey, I need to take up my numbers with improved productivity at the same time, while creating this culture, where people can express themselves have fun and whatever. What are the three things? Let's start with you, Mario? Cuz you've been sitting there patiently?

Mario Tamayo
Oh, I know that.. patience. You know, again, communications huge. So, the first thing I would do is I would have a one on one with all my people. And I would ask them, I would actually ask them, you, you bring the agenda here. My purpose for doing this is, I just want to find out how things are going for you.

Greg Voisen
Good idea. Great idea.

Mario Tamayo
So that's one Bob, what do you what do you have?

Dr. Bob Nelson
Well, I just build on that. Because in many ways, all any of us have to work with our conversation. So, a one on one, but you can have that as a group as well. And I would say whatever goal is, instead of feeling like you've got all the answers as a manager, and you've got to make the right decision for us to be successful, I'd lay that out and say, Hey, here's, here's the objective we have, who What do you think we can do to reach there, because they know their jobs better than you do? They're doing them even if you used to do their job is changed since you did it. So, get closer to the action of the interaction with the customers or, or what they're seeing, you know, when they when they tried to sell the customer or, or the problems that are coming in on a customer service line and, and maybe you should be listening on those as well but, but get to their strengths. And I had worked with the company and in North Northfolk, Connecticut, boardroom Inc. They did a thing called ipower where they asked every employee to turn in two ideas for how we can improve things around Here, save money better serve the customer, every week, each week to ideas from every employee each week. And, and, you know, they got that going. And suddenly they were getting 1000s of ideas. And they couldn't implement all of them, but they implement a lot of them. And as a result, they increase their revenues fivefold in a three-year period, just by asking people for their own suggestions for how we can...

Greg Voisen
A good old suggestion box works again

Dr. Bob Nelson
But it's not just, it's not just a suggestion box, because that's in the in the lunchroom with a lock on it, no one ever opens. This is actually asking people, and then they had other employees, volunteers review the ideas. And they said, we want to encourage these ideas. So, most of them, they said, that's a great idea, you should really do it. And they gave it back to the person, this knows how we can support you with your idea. So, they it wasn't just a rubber stamp. Yeah, we're not doing that we're not doing that we're not doing that. It's get to them.

Greg Voisen
Mario's got something he wants to say.

Mario Tamayo
I want to say the third thing here is there we go. What Richard Branson does. And then a lot of other execs do this as well, with large organizations, they will actually sit down on a Sunday, and they will ride out on a hat by hand, a card, they'll still write out a card about what they're thankful for, for each of their people that they work with directly, Branson will even go visit different sites. And if he can't meet everybody there, when he goes to visit, he will write them a card that I'm sorry, I missed you. But let me tell you, what I what I love about what you're doing. And again, I think that is just so motivating. As long as it's genuine, it's authentic. It and it's doesn't cost anything other than somebody's time.

Greg Voisen
What I love about Bob and Mario is you're creating awareness. You know, this is, yep, I'm going to tell all my listeners, you know, go to the link that we're going to have a website, buy the book, and it's not because it's lining their pockets with gold because it's really not what you will want to do those check out their websites, because if you're in need of finding a consultant to help you bridge this, these two gentlemen would be at and they both have the expertise but certainly get the book there's plenty of ideas in this book that you could implement yourself. I want to say paperback it's very inexpensive. It's a great company. We will have links to both of your websites will have links to this. Thank you both for being on insight, personal growth and spending nama safe to you, Mario, appreciate it. You guys spending some time with my dedicated listeners. We'll make sure that everybody gets this and gets it out. And I hope that if you're still listening right now, after 15 minutes of this call, that you will take time to go check out the book, their websites. Thank you so much, guys.

Mario Tamayo
Thanks for having us.

Dr. Bob Nelson
Thank you love to come back anytime.

Greg Voisen
We'll have you back for certain

powered by

In this engaging interview with Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, we discuss their new book entitled Anxiety at Work: 8 Strategies to Help Teams Build Resilience, Handle Uncertainty, and Get Stuff Done. 

In our discussion, we speak about, anxiety and stress in the workplace as it affects productivity, focus and performance.

If you want to learn more about Adrian Gostick and and Chester Elton their books and courses, you may click here to visit their website.

I hope you enjoy this great interview with authors Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton.

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

Anxiety at Work with Chester Elton & Adrian Gostick

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen, the host of Inside Personal Growth. And I want to thank both of my authors because this is a co author book, it's called Anxiety at Work: 8 Strategies to Help Teams Build Resilience, Handle Uncertainty, and Get Stuff Done. Adrian Gostick is there on the bottom, and on the top is Chester Elton. For those of you who are watching this on a video for those of you who are not it's just audio you don't know top from bottom anyway. So, it doesn't really matter that much. Thank you, boy for joining me today. Adrian is joining us from Park City, and Chester is joining us from New Jersey where he resides. Thank you, guys, both. I am going to let my listeners know a tad bit about each of you, just a little bit before we get into a series of questions around the book, just so you know, these gentlemen are the author of eight. Well, is it seven other books including this one?

Chester Elton
14 actually, this is Chester, we just finished the Anxiety at Work we've been writing together for 20 years and Anxiety at Work is our 14th booked in

Greg Voisen
14th book. Well, you guys have made a good partnership I can tell from the videos that I've seen and I'll direct all of my listeners. All you have to do is type in Chester Elton, calm, E-l-t-o-n, You'll get there and you can get to Adrian's website at Adrian G-o-s-t-i-c-k.com either of them, I was just informed by Adrian, that they now have, they have Elton and Gostick gospel, and Elton Gostick okay so the other way around so you got first billing on this one guy always gets first billing, always that's the Lennon and McCartney it's never McCartney and Lana. That's great. Well, Chester is spent two decades helping clients engage their employees to execute on strategy vision and values in a proactive inspiring and always entertaining speeches he's number one bestselling leadership author and provides real solutions to leaders. And he Chester's also been called the apostle of appreciation by Canadian Globe and Mail creating the refreshing. Refreshing and by New York Times, as a must read for modern managers by CNN. Adrian hailed as the number eight leadership guru and number nine organizational guru of 2020 and Adrian helps clients around the world with employee engagement and leadership issues, their clients, I'm presuming combined together are like Bank of America, Rolls Royce Cisco California Pizza Kitchen, which is where I reside, I have one down the street, that's great. Also, Adrian is a global expert on organizational culture and the author of The New York Times and number one Wall Street Journal bestsellers the carat pencil, and when they say he is they mean he and Chester, so both of them, they kind of done everything together, it's earned his master's degree in leadership from Seton Hall University where he's a guest lecturer in organizational culture and founding partner of the culture works which is their organization a global consultancy focusing on helping organizations build high performance work cultures. Well, that's a mouthful but both of you guys have plenty of credentials, all my listeners need to do is go to the website and check it out. That's where you'll learn more about them and go to Amazon which will have links to the books on Amazon. So, you can click those links and get to them. Well guys, um, you know, I really enjoyed how you started the book off with this story about the manufacturing company in Arizona that you were speaking to and right in the middle of the pandemic. And I'm curious, you know, because we're talking about anxiety. And to me, anxiety, and loneliness and all of these things. They're not just exacerbated by the pandemic, but there's been a lot of things that have going on in your estimations, how has the impact on productivity which the numbers are pretty alarming when you look at them, but I think they've always been growing the key is now we've had a pandemic. We have people that were unemployed like crazy. We're going to get into the job security thing, but how is it really on productivity, and the mental health of the workers today really affected them, and we'll go with Chester He's raising his hand so he's going to say first.

Chester Elton
You know I just like to kick it off and say you know while there was a whole bunch of unemployment in different industries and so on. One of the surprising things about the pandemic is the productivity for those that were still working actually went way up, you know, for those that were remote workers, and that actually was a huge point of anxiety because there was no separation between work and life, you know your commute was walking through the door. And so, it was very interesting that there was a lot of anxiety for those that lost their jobs and were trying to figure out how to pay the rent and pay their mortgages and so on. On the flip side, there was a lot of anxiety for those that had jobs that were working at home and now their productivity is sky high, and yet there's no time to, to refresh and build that resilience but Adrian What's your take on that.

Adrian Gostick
Yeah, I know it's it’s a good starting point Greg because you're right we are seeing. We're seeing impacts to with this great resignation right now we're seeing impacts that a lot of businesses just can't even get started. And though the people who were there are working actually quite productively, but it's actually it's just a says leading to, to, to twin greater levels of anxiety because people just can't turn off if they have a job, they have a good job especially they want to keep it. What Wi Fi can't find the great resignation is all actually about bad jobs. We can't find people to do things that, you know, to work in retail to work in service to clean to do all those things. If you have a good job you want to hold on to it, we can't hire people to do those things that maybe aren't as sexy those entry level and so that's the discussion we're having right now. So how do we get people to come, feel good about working feel like they're making a contribution and bring down anxiety levels, that's what we're looking at,

Greg Voisen
well, you guys, you know you do an interesting thing here you delineate between, anxiety, stress and worry and these are three different responses because of, I say because of fear. I think the key behind most of it as an emotion is always fear. And we have emotionally, mentally and physically, there's an impact. And I like how you guys define or if you would define the differences for the listeners between the three of these because I think it's important, I think people like to lump them up and they say well, anxiety, and doubt and worry and fear you know they're, they're all the same thing, but they truly are and stress being the result of those emotions and how we deal with them,

Adrian Gostick
It's a good point we're making here Greg is that, you know, worry is you know I'm afraid of catching the virus, I'm afraid, and I have a big presentation coming up I'm worried. That's normal, and worrying stress and anxiety are all normal human emotion so worry is we're typically focused on an individual or single thing. It can lead to stress, stress is when our body starts getting involved. It's hard to sleep, you know, we're starting to, you know, our hands are getting sweaty where stress is starting to affect us, and we know from studies over years and years that stress actually, if it is prolonged it never stops can lead to some really bad things, heart disease, cancers, even full-blown anxiety. So, we have worried, which is one event stress starts getting into our bodies, but when we get to anxiety that even when the stressor is removed, we are still feeling the anxiety. Now it can be one of two things it can be an anxiety disorder that we feel all through our lives that people work and deal with, or it could be something creative within us like PTSD can create anxiety, stress over long periods of time, many teens many traumas, can create anxiety we see that in in soldiers and police officers, firefighters, etc., dealing with trauma, almost every day, and we're also seeing it in people dealing with this pandemic for the last year and a half, that it's actually creating full blown anxiety in people.

Greg Voisen
But it's interesting, I'm reading a book by Michael Pollan right now called change your mind, and the PTSD, the guys that are coming back, the anxiety, the stress, whatever, you know, he's, he's actually delving into the micro dosing of psycho celebrants to actually reduce anxiety. Now I'm not advocating that that's what the listeners go do what I'm saying it's pretty interesting. The effects of anxiety on a, on a cancer patient who maybe is going to die. Right. And how do you help relieve that how do you put them in a different state of consciousness where they can do that or somebody with PTSD. And you know, you guys state that anxiety costs 40 billion a year in lost productivity errors and health care costs. And while stress is estimated over $300 billion a year you said in the book. If you would speak with us about how these effects on various generations in the workplace. We know that the Gen Z they want to talk about it. I mean I, I work with Gen Z I work with millennial, they like to talk about it when you get to the Gen Xers, maybe not so much that would be me. And so I'm curious because you discuss it in the book, and you discuss that these generations kind of maybe flow with this or deal with anxiety, stress, worry in different ways. So, whoever wants to address that will go for it.

Chester Elton
Yeah, no, I'll jump in, you know, it's really interesting. You know you talked about all the books we wrote. You know as the as the buildup this book actually isn't an Elton and Gostick book, it’s an Gostick and Elton and Gostick book. We've got Adrian son Anthony, who, you know, really courageously dealt with anxiety for most of his life and gave us that wonderful perspective and I'll turn it over to Adrian for in a bit to brag on his son and the contributions he made because you know we are we are not of that generation, my generation, you would never talk about anxiety or admit to being under stress because of the stigma of you being weak or not being tough enough, the fear of not getting a promotion or getting a plum assignment so you know we would tamp it down and stick it there until you know you wouldn't know that anybody had anxiety or stress until they, you know, had an ulcer, which wasn't that uncommon,

Greg Voisen
But you also spoke about in the book, and I think this is important that upper management people and remember the one story that the gentlemen it's easier for them to come out about it. that is for maybe middle management people to actually talk about anxiety, depression, their fears, whatever mental health issue, they may have it doesn't matter what it is. So, with that being said, I mean if you've got these not only generational divisions, and now you have class divisions with inside the organization meaning, you know, high, higher-ranking people who can come out about that so Adrian any insights from your son on being able to discuss anxiety in the workplace and have discussion groups.

Adrian Gostick
Yeah, no it's a great question, you know it's a big question too because we're talking about generations are talking about what leaders, you know feel themselves middle managers, etc. And so, there's a lot to unpack in there which is, but it's important questions you're asking, you know, just a couple weeks ago I was doing an in-person session one of the first we're doing, getting back to, and we're training on anxiety work, teaching resilience, and I probably had 100 and 150 managers in the session boy, and it was amazing how much they were engaged. And as we went around at the end saying, Okay, what did you learn what are you going to take away. I had at least four or five people say the most important thing I've got some tools now to help my people, but most importantly, I realize I'm not alone. I've been feeling this as a middle manager but I haven't told anybody. And so, what's really interesting is just to say as our generations Gen X and baby boomers we just squeezed it down in the, in the Z Yeah, exactly. And so, what we're getting into now with Gen Z coming in right and millennials, is that they're talking about it. So, Anthony was one of the first one actually to talk about we need this book and he talked about this back in his high school days he's now 25 at USC in his master's program, studying regenerative medicine and stem cell biology, he's not a dumb kid by any means. He's brilliant, and yet realized that he was as he was working in labs in genetics labs, over the last five years or so he said the other some managers who get me as somebody with anxiety, and some who just don't get me at all. And he says, I know who I could really confide with hey I need to probably need a day. He says there's other times I would work 80 hours a week and I would just plow through, but we just work very differently. He said. So, he really was very open, and he started introducing us to other younger people and what they told us, not just now people you know that half of young people, by the way in their early 20s have anxiety. Anxiety so yeah if you, if you say now there's nobody really in my family have it, you're probably not seeing

Greg Voisen
well, no I relate to that, I mean my younger son, my older son who is a Chief Design Engineer at a very big company has insomnia and insomnia is worry. You know the company basically creates programs where they can go see a counselor about specifically about insomnia, if you can believe that, um, which kind of surprised me but you know they had a counselor so it, you know you look at these conditions which are being exacerbated as a result of the amount of stress that's being induced in the workplace. And it's manifesting itself in various forms of anguish anxiety, Insomnia, or any other things that you can do I'm sure there's lots of others that we have a name that healthcare professionals could name, but it is a big problem. Right. I mean you're saying it's a $300 billion problem stress, you're saying anxiety is a $40 billion problem I think it's probably even more than that in lost productivity, and other things. So, both of you, you know you've organized the book to deal with eight leading sources for anxiety in the workplace, you know, the first is employee uncertainty about organization strategy for contending with challenges and how it affects job security. I get job security as a big thing. Can you address these issues, and as you stated, July 2020, 60% of workers said they were concerned about job security? Now we're only talking like a year ago. Right. That's, that's a huge number, that are saying hey I don't know I'm going to have my job and now obviously that creates worry and that creates anxiety and that creates stress. How would you help leaders reassure workers about job security and what are the six methods to meet uncertainty?

Chester Elton
Well, you know you jump in, as with any kind of crisis, you know, communication is just really important. You know that you've got a rapport with your people and you're checking in on a regular basis, you know employees want to know, how am I doing, how's the company doing, where are we going, how do I fit. And, you know, the old traditional annual review is so ineffective now we're telling leaders and managers look in crisis time, you should be checking in at least once a month, if not weekly, that you know during your crisis how you're doing. I mean, we had clients that during the crisis, when it first hit in the restaurant industry, they were meeting every morning with their leaders and their leaders were communicating with their line people every day, because everything was changing, so for me it really starts with communication, and then that second part is very specifically, how do your people fit into the plan. Where are we, where are we going, how are we going to get there, how do I fit, am I valued, Adrian, you know, what would you add to that.

Adrian Gostick
Yeah, and this is a big question too and uncertainty because this is the number one cause of anxiety for No, and a lot of leaders probably listening to this will say well, but I don't have all the answers, and that's okay. And that's the number one method we present in the book is, you have to make it okay to not have all the answers, but people have to feel like we're going to go into this together. We're going into the dark together. And then part of it too is that some of us, in fact, studies show about more than half of those when we get into tough times, we clamped down we want to micromanage everything, and we want to. And we put more stress and pressure. We learned this from Nicole Makowsky was the first female pilot in the Air Force's Thunderbirds. And she told us when you hit turbulence as a, as a in one of these formation groups. She says you actually have to loosen your grip it's counterintuitive that when you hit turbulence instead of taking control of that stick you actually go to just two fingers, and she says otherwise you end up in what's called a pilot induced oscillation you end up kind of bouncing even more so, and she says this is something for us as leaders as well, when we hit tough times, we actually have to loosen our grip, we have to trust in our team, we have to make it through. And so there's in my anxiety work we present a lot of ideas about just the things that just talking about him, you know, presenting clear a strategy, letting people know exactly what's expected of them, helping people know you control what you can control and you have to let the rest go, there's a lot of strategies that you can employ the worst thing you can do with uncertainty is just have a strategy of, gee, I hope that everybody's okay, you've got to do something

Chester Elton
I think hope is a great strategy. Yeah.

Greg Voisen
Well and I think your other book. Gratitude is a great strategy. You know when you really think about it. If somebody can wake up every morning grateful for their job. They can be a lot more focused, and I find that gratitude does that and it's a shameful plug for your other book as well. That is true. And you know, you guys. We've had a couple of people on the show and one is Rita McGrath and you cited her in the book, and I just had Jonathan Brill on his book, rogue waves future proofing your business. He's a future. It's interesting because businesses today well maybe before weren't as interested they had their nose to the grindstone and doing what they did. But really, projecting what disruptions may come again. What are the disruptions in our industry, what are the disruptions that might occur as a result of something like a pandemic that, you know, people claim they didn't see, but we've known about this for a long time? After speaking with Jonathan Brill, we've known about most of these things. He is a great example would you guys get, you know, the Titanic was cruising across the sea, and the captain had it full bore and it got hit and all those people drowned and got killed, but the reality is, there was information ahead of time which they knew there were 1800 icebergs crossing that area at that time. So, it's like you're driving right into it. You know, you would think that maybe you would have slowed up a bit and I think that's read them a grasp point here and you bring up a good point about the story about the Navy Seal and how weak, and the correlation with the research work that Rita did at Columbia Business School about taskers. Can you relate the story and the point you're making to the listeners about dealing with employees to reduce stress and anxiety because I think it's, it's really important it's like okay we're going to bring all this down and we're going to get focused and we can do what we can with what we have? Right.

Chester Elton
I mean it is one of our favorite stories really isn't a daydream about the navy seals the taskers and the optimists, no misers not misers Yeah, well I've, I've heard of both ways, I think it is interesting that you know when you can just focus on what's ahead of you. Yeah, it reduces a lot of stress you know they do these running or they're in the freezing water whatever it is. I'm not worried about getting to the end of it I'm not getting worried about getting tough tomorrow I just I'm just going to get through this. And they sleep better, to your point about insomnia, because they're not worried so much about tomorrow and it's a hard thing to do because we do projects, you know, we want to look for danger down the road. And I love I love the test here's it's been really helpful for me. After we wrote that, you know when you get caught up in certain days and you start to think, oh, this, this day is crushing, and you go you know what, let's just get through this meeting. Let's just get through this, let's get just get through that and then you get to the end today go Oh, it wasn't that bad. You know, we did it.

Greg Voisen
You make a really important point and I think what we do frequently to in our society Western culture in particular we identify, we use a noun or a verb to describe something and then we believe that's what it is. So, then we're walking around with that identification, you know, if you really want to get deep psychologically if you're going to let go and release. You need to release the identification with what it is that's creating that. But it's so difficult in the workplaces because that's where people come from. We have these hierarchies and people move up in the ladder and that's the way it's supposed to be. But the reality is that to read to eliminate the stress and reduce it. You need to stay present. And I think if there's one thing that Rita McGrath is talking about is like, how do you, you know if these taskers can just work on one thing and complete it. And I've even had companies I'm working for saying guys we've got so many things on the initiative here like for dx, right, and we know we're going to go to the wildly important goal. Well, what is that wildly important goal, what are we going to get done right and how are we going to accomplish it. And you talk about in the clear path forward, you say. Sherry Sandberg CBS C E O A Facebook quote leadership's about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure the impact lasts and the absence. What advice do you have for leaders listening about becoming great leaders? And what I want to call instilling within others. This autonomy to just be able to do what they can do. And while you're gone, know that they can continue to do it if you guys look at your list of companies from In and Out Burger to Bank of America. That's what any great leader wants to have happen. The question is, is how you instill that with inside of everybody within the company.

Adrian Gostick
Yeah, no it's a big question because that's what every leader is trying to do is to create this legacy that that continues it's almost like spraying perfume in a room, it stays after you leave in a positive way. Right. And so, so really, and this is what our work is done for 20 years that we've, we've studied this and we know that there's a series of things that leaders do that, that are more effective, you know, they, they, for instance, They really define the burning platform for others around them, which means that they, they talk about the competitive threats very honestly, the and this is the reason why we have to do things the way we do that includes our purpose, our mission, our vision but they put it in very, very simple to understand competitive terms. So that is really clear they they're more agile than their peers, they're, they're more customer focused, they're more transparent. They hold people accountable, but they do it in very positive ways. And the red thread, we found throughout our work is that they are more grateful, the best leaders really take time to, to be grateful to their people they and gratitude is more than just saying thank you it's actually seeing the value that's being created around you. So, it's being more observant. So, there are there are steps we have found in our research that really correlate to higher levels of engagement with employees with profitability with customer satisfaction, that really are inculcated in a lot of our work and anxiety at work.

Greg Voisen
Here's some of the questions that you would ask during these check ins with these people. I know you've enumerated them in the book. And I think it's a very valuable point for somebody who picks this book up and wants to read it. What, what some of those might be.

Chester Elton
You know, it's really interesting actually even since the book, we've been doing a lot of interviews in our podcasts as well and one of the, one of the ways to check in that we really like is, rather than say, Hey Greg, you're anxious, aren't you hit it head on, that's probably not your best tactic language like, hey, I've noticed. You know, I've noticed that you haven't been quite yourself you're always on time and you're struggling to show up a little late listen though we know it's been tough for everybody. I'm here for you. How can I help you no language like that as you check in, I love that I've noticed? And to your point, the messages that I care. You know, back to the previous discussion about how you how do you, you know, protect yourself against the great resignation, how do you attract and then keep good people as they need to know that that you care and those chickens around not just is the assignment do. How's the family, how are you doing, I've noticed, let's just have a conversation just man you really, really help and I know we've got the list in the book as well I think that takeaways for the listeners. If you just incorporate more of, hey, I've noticed, into your language. I think you're going to find people a lot, a little more trusting and a little more open. Does that make sense?

Greg Voisen
Totally, I mean, I, you know, coming from my perspective, you know, I went back late in life and got a master's degree in spiritual psychology. And one of the things we used to say in the course was, you know, you don't have to believe everything you think. And the reality is that you know you get people making up stuff, right, and then beginning to believe it, they get a vicious circle. And then that becomes the result of their anxiety their fear, their frustrations their doubts their whatever it may be, you know, and, and I think that's important for people to realize is that the monkey mind is always going, it's always constantly moving forward with more thoughts and to quiet that mind down, and to get very focused, requires that you, You know, if you ask those questions that you just posed it, it really brings a calming effect. You know we know all the answers within our side of ourselves, if we're willing to ask the questions now, you're prompting those questions through those check ins, and then now all we have to do is think about it. And you know, you mentioned in the book that common complaint you hear from managers is that many of their people today are conflict avoidant, I really like this one. You can't be conflict avoidant and not then have anxiety or stress. And then the other thing is his anger starts to show up when you're conflict avoidant. So, they shy away from disagreements and they can't handle on his feedback and will not engage in tough conversations. How would you advise our leaders who are listening about creating more harmony in the workplace, especially around this conflict avoidant behavior that you see happening?

Adrian Gostick
You know, and conflict actually has a very important place in the workplace. Now we don't want personality conflicts, what we want are debates over creativity. We want debates over process improvement, and we want people to be able to speak up, but with that number we talked about earlier that you asked about Greg or that 60% of people worrying about their jobs. When people worry about their jobs, they don't offer up ideas, that's the last thing on their mind is to stick their heads above the you know the parapet and to see what's out there. They're just worrying about getting through the day. And so, what we're looking for that we debate in every aspect of our lives we debate politics and sports and everything, and then we come into work and all of a sudden, people clam up, and that's not what creates creativity. So, it's really important, what we find is low levels of candor in a team really creates poor performance. There's hurt feelings people withhold their best ideas. So, what we have to do is really set some ground rules for debate. Not only do we do those little things like go around make sure everybody's contributing fine, but I'm still not going to contribute if I'm not feeling trust in this environment. And so, we as leaders really do have to set ground rules that say, here's how we're going to treat each other during our debates. And, you know, we'll, we'll argue the idea but never the person. You know those little snide comments, they're never funny, we won't do them in front of each other or behind their backs, etc. Whatever the ground rules are the genius is not having the specific rules, it's having something in place that helps people know, we want to debate, and here's how we're going to do this in a safe way,

Chester Elton
I would add to that, most leaders don't want that kind of feedback loop for fear of conflict, employees want feedback, you know, I think our numbers were around 65% or something of employee say look I want to know how am I doing, am I on track. One of the one of our favorite leaders I was just on the video chat with him this morning, Gary Rich at WD 40 Fabulous culture tribal culture we hunt together we feed each other we cheer for each other you know it’s; he created a tremendous

Greg Voisen
Just down the road for me,

Chester Elton
There you go. Absolutely. You know, for those who I never leave home without my travel size right. The thing that he's done to encourage debate is he says look, we don't make mistakes we have learning moments. And I think, you know that mantra is so liberating for people to give feedback in the loop when something's gone wrong. They're not worried about being punished or victimized or villainized for mistakes they make they're interested in solving the problem making sure we don't make that mistake again. You know one of the great things that Anthony Gostick brought to us in dealing with innovation and making mistakes he says you know I'm becoming a scientist and when you think of science, it's just mistakes with notes. Appreciate that was such a great explanation of a whole way of being for scientists of course we're going to make mistakes, write that down, you know. And so, I think as Adrian says when you've got those kind of ground rules when you've got that kind of mantra, because going back to what you said before Greg and I'm just as guilty of this as anybody. We get a wrong thought in our head. And the more we say it, the more we believe it. Right. You know he could actually have no basis in reality whatsoever, we through constant repetition, convince ourselves,

Greg Voisen
Well, we live in a world of MSU, making stuff up, then, then we believe the stuff that we made up 90% of it, it doesn't mean anything anyway so, but the reality is we make up stuff, and then that stuff, believe it or not, can turn into our reality and it cannot be the right stuff you want to bring into your life, right?
Chester Elton
And it can be dangerous. I remember convincing myself that I really was being stalked by JLo, I wasn't. And it was very embarrassing in social situations.

Greg Voisen
I like that when that's the good joke. Well, I think that, you know,

Chester Elton
What do you mean joke?

Greg Voisen
I like it, because you're the funny one, and I like the fact that we have humor because humor then brings up another whole issue it's important to have humor, all the time as Bernie Siegel would be who wasn't, he was just on the show, not that long ago. Hey, you know, resiliency is important in Irie I've for the last two years, consulted a company 20 for a life Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic has an app and I remember one of the doctors talking about resiliency, and not everybody is born with the set of resilient factors. Okay, and resiliency has to actually be developed. And I think this doctor is absolutely correct, you know, if you came into a family that, you know, had all the right circumstances and everything worked out you might be extremely resilient I remember him actually saying that, during one of the videotapes and my visit to Mayo clinic as well. And I and I look at that and I go, man is he right. The reality is that in the culture today and what you guys are working with within anxiety. The best antidote is to develop resilience as an individual, as a team, as an organization, what would the two of you say, if there are varying degrees of resiliency amongst individuals. Some people cry at the drop of a hat right, they can't stand it. Other people are like well let's for John, that’s a, that's a move for me I'm going to actually take this on. How would you recognize individuals so leaders could recognize them and help them build resiliency amongst the workforce?

Adrian Gostick
Now, in this is really a great place as we kind of get near the end here to really focus in on this idea of resilience, because this is what we're all looking for. And you're right, I mean, that sometimes people are built into it or born into families that the build this with them. Other people are born into the worst of circumstances and build this up so there has been, you know a lot of very, very smart people who have studied this over the years and, and the trick is, we don't really know why some people build more resilience than others. What we do know, as you just said is weak wherever we are right now, we can build more and so the for the two most important things we found in our work is the first one is this idea of mastery it's and it's not mastery of everything it's having a sense of control over what we can control and letting the rest of it go, that really actually and that's a big idea in one little sentence but then it's vital to be able to control what we can control let everything else go. The second is the idea of so is the idea of social support…

Greg Voisen
Can I put in a crazy little plot, Adrian?

Adrian Gostick
Yeah, of course, yeah

Greg Voisen
For all those listeners who have never heard George Leonard because he's been deceased for many years I had the honor of interviewing he wrote the book called Mastery, and he was one of the founders of Esther one up in the Bay Area, he and Michael Murphy, and not, there is not one better interview I sat in his living room for four hours, and was just in awe of where he came from mastery, and he speaks exactly about what you're speaking about. And I think that book was the number one selling book around developing mastery by George Leonard. And so, what I would say to all my listeners if you want to listen to this podcast. Great, thank you. I hope you do, but if you would go back to George Leonard's podcast, I'll put a link in here, around mastery because it's, it's really good. Sorry, sorry to interrupt.

Adrian Gostick
No, I would love to. I'd love to listen to that as well.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, I'll send you the link.

Adrian Gostick
Yeah, it's terrific. And the second one is, is social support. Now this is important because, because this is what so many people miss only 10% of their of employees say they would feel safe talking to their boss about their mental health. Yeah, that's a problem. So, we have to find people that will help us, and, and most of the time we keep turning to the same people, I hear this from people I get keep telling my mom about my mental health, but she just doesn't get as a. Why are you keeping talking to your mom about it she will never get it? Talk to us, don't, don't stop talking to him. Talk to somebody else find people who can give you support coming back to our military idea, you know, the, the folks who helped the military members who come back from war are other soldiers, not therapists not senior officers, it is other soldiers that's who provides the best help, not that those other people aren't important in it, so you had to find social support.

Greg Voisen
But you have to find social retribution in the workplace too Adrian, and that is a question, really, also as well for Chester. Chester, I don't know if Adrian knows Quint Studer, but Quint just wrote a great book and was on, and we've been talking but one of the things that was going on in our hospital systems and this has been going on for years is the retribution around the death of a patient so it would be hidden. Now I don't know if that's so true, kind of up in Canada, but it isn't the United States, and you know you've got a culture now that is saying, Well, we really can't talk about this, because if we talk about it, we have liability, right, and the liability is that maybe somebody did something wrong, and this created the death of somebody, right, can you imagine what pressure it is for a nurse or a doctor or somebody who may be attempting to work in an environment like that so now they've started with these open focus groups to be able to talk about these things and this has been going on for a while, but the reality is, think about that. It's got to be extremely stressful. Any thoughts on that, um, Chester.

Chester Elton
Well, yes, I mean, again it comes back to have you created a culture where you can discuss hard things, right, when you talk about the individual, one of the concepts that keeps coming back to us again and again as far as building resilience is having as Adrian said on social network, to have somebody that's an ally, and we've got a whole chapter on being an ally in the book, the idea, keeps coming back to us again and again, you're not alone I'm not alone. There's someone I can go to, you know, when you say, people can build resilience, I think part of building resilience is having somebody that believes in you. I mean, how often do we hear about the athletes and the performers and so on that come from just ridiculously negative and dangerous backgrounds. And what was the key I had a coach that believed in me, and you know I had a mentor that that told me I could do it. And it's so funny as we do these, they are training around Anxiety at Work with managers and leaders. The other conversation shifts from Yes, my people are suffering, they're suffering they're suffering, thank you so much, I've got tools and then, oh by the way. Me too. You know, so where do the leaders go to have that allied to build it up, I think culture as is often said culture eats strategy for breakfast. If you've got a good culture where people trust each other, and you can have those hard conversations where mistakes aren't punished. They’re simply learning moments as they have WD 40, And you've got an ally somebody that you know believes in you problem in many cases more than you believe in yourself. Those are great foundational building blocks for resiliency, because it takes away a lot of the fear it takes away a lot of the stigma and allows you to ask questions, and the most important question that I think builds resilience is when it's safe to ask for help. When can you say help?

Greg Voisen
And as I think you know look and kind of summing up here that what the Dalai Lama would say is empathy and compassion. And I think one of the best attributes a leader can have today is tremendous compassion and tremendous empathy and understanding and with that begets a culture that has less fear. And the reality is when you really break it down in some kind of simple terms here for our listeners. Fear is the driving force behind anxiety, and all of these other emotions that we have. And if you can remove fear from your workplace. I always love what Herb Kelleher used to said you guys are culture, guys. And you know he'd walk around with m&ms and he hand out m&ms to the people you guys remember all this because this goes way back. But the fact that he just walked around, and he wasn't even the undercover boss, he just wanted people to know that he was there and he loved him. And he said, and Southwest Airlines is about love. That doesn't mean Southwest Airlines hasn't had their problem, but the, there's only really two things in this world love and fear. And on the other hand, if you can bring love into the workplace and I know people don't want to talk about it because it's like, oh this isn't a loving organization, well then, you're a caring organization how's that maybe just change the term if you can't use love, but I really appreciate the two of you, this book is excellent. It not only points to the issues that we're having in the workplace, but it also points to strategies to build that resilience which we addressed as well. And not only individual resilience, but the team resilience, and then the cultural resilience. When you can get it going that stuff the uncertainty goes away and stuff gets done. And, and the reality is that's what this is all about. Any parting words from either of you before we leave our listeners do you want to leave with a tidbit each?

Chester Elton
Sure. My tidbit really is what we talked about earlier, you're not alone. You know, so often, we've got friends and we think, Oh, they're always so happy and engaged they've never had an anxious moment in your life, in their lives. Just remember that top performers and people that are anxious are really good at hiding it, you know, be an ally, be a friend and if you're suffering realize that, that you're not alone. It's always fun when someone's got your back, I always loved the stories of Herb Kelleher when, when people would complain and they'd get on his people he would write them a personal letter to the customer and he'd say, I hear what you said, we’ll miss you, you know, and his employees knew that they, that he had their back. So, but be aware, people are good at hiding it, they're not alone, be a great ally, Adrian.

Adrian Gostick
I would echo that is that we've got to get being on the fine, you know, we do this all the time. Hey Greg, how you are doing fine. We got to get beyond that, really, because I got so much going on again little vulnerability in our place in our, in our place as a leader goes a long way to be able to say these are the things that I'm going through the myth of the Infallible manager his guys got to go away. We've got to be a little vulnerable ourselves and get behind the fine, and really see how people really are doing.

Greg Voisen
Well, it's a great way to sum it up, Adrian, thank you both for being on insight personal growth, thank you for your thoughts and inspiring words of wisdom to those that are listening to this about, Hey look, there's a problem, but we know how to solve it. And the reality and the solving are around caring and understanding and bringing more empathy into the workplace. And the reality is a whole big dose of gratitude. Gratitude for what we really have. Thank you both for being on insight personal growth!

Chester Elton
Pleasure being here.

Adrian Gostick
Thanks for having us.

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I had the pleasure of recently interviewing Michael Clinton, author of a new book entitled “ROAR into the second half of your life (Before it’s too late).”  Michael is the Former President and Publishing Director of Hearst.

In my interview with him, we discuss about roaring into the second half of life, being happy, strengthening capabilities and achieving harmony and success through a dynamic process called ROAR: Reimagine yourself, Own who you are, Act on what’s next and Reassess your relationships

If you want to learn more about Michael Clinton and his new book, “ROAR into the second half of your life (Before it’s too late).” please click here to be redirected to his website.

I hope you enjoy this engaging  interview with author Michael Clinton. You may also refer to the transcripts below for the highlights of the interview. Please leave a reply in the comment box if you want to request for the transcripts of the full interview.

Greg Voisen:
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen the host of Inside Personal Growth. And joining me from New York today is Michael Clinton. And Michael has a new book coming out called roar into the second half of life before it's too late. Michael Good day, how are you doing?

Michael Clinton:
Great to be with you? Thank you so much for inviting me.

Greg Voisen:
Oh, you're quite welcome. And it's a pleasure having you on, and this is a topic that considering COVID, I was listening to chairman Powell today. Talk about all the people that have taken early retirement because of COVID. And they're looking at the actual impact it's going to have financially on the government. So, you know, your topic is very timely. It's for a lot of people because they're rethinking their lives. And I want to let our listeners know a little bit about you. Michael is the former president and publishing director of Hearst magazines, and now serves as special media advisor to Hearst corporation CEO. He's also an author and photographer who believes that everyone should strive to live their fullest life possible, particularly in life's second half. And I guess it just depends. Michael, when that second half is, he's an avid traveler, he had experiences in 124 countries run marathons on seven continents. He's a private pilot part owner of a vineyard in Argentina has started non-profit foundation holds two masters degree and still has a long list of life experiences he plans to tackle. So can you briefly speak about the other two? You talk about O w N own your wins and strengths and opportunities and successes, as well as own your losses, weaknesses, failures, and threats. These were also part of the own section of the book.

Michael Clinton:
Yeah, yeah. You know, there's a, there's a great and this is one tool and there are others in the books as well. It's called the SWOT analysis. S W O T for your listeners, who've been in business, it's a business rule, right. But it can be applied to your personal life as well. And, you know, it is a great way to sort through, I'll go back to the magazine industry. You know, one of the threats in the magazine industry is print, was being very challenged and disrupted by digital threat. That's a total threat, but what's the opportunity if you were in that industry or any industry that's been disrupted, the people who are who were in that industry learned how to become digital experts and they retooled themselves. So the opportunity that I had was to stay in our industry to learn something new, as opposed to being you know, in a stuck situation. So that's, you can do that, you know, analysis and cross crossover too, from the threat to the opportunity in any, any part of your life. You know, one of the things I I acknowledged early on is, you know, I'm a wiz at P and L and financial statements, but I have a fundamental weakness in what was, you know, mathematics in school.

I was not a stem guy. I was a you know, social, social science guy. So I knew that mathematics as a discipline was a weakness of mine. And I always had to make sure I had people around me who were better than they were better at math than I was in, in my in my business career as an example, to do an analysis and stuff like that. But, you know, you and failure, you know, you're, you're the weakness. Failure is a great learning tool. I've always said they should be a course. It should be a course on colleges about because we all know great stories of people who failed and came back in a new way that we're just, you know, allow them to be successful. So the SWOT analysis is a great personal tool for people

Great Voisen:
And the failure part. I like to refer to it as learning lessons. You know, if you, if a failure is only a failure, if you look at a failure, I've had plenty. And the way I look at them now is what did I learn from that, that I don't want to do again, I don't want to repeat that again. And I think if on the learning line, right, if you say, Hey, life's a learning lesson. What are those things along the learning lines that you're able to bring forward and know didn't work, and what are the things that you've done that have been successful that you want to keep doing? And I think that's really a very important thing for people now you state in the chapter act courageous, and don't look back that we need to rid ourselves of the ideas that now that we're at a certain age, that we need to act like something we need to move slower.
We need to walk with the cane. We going to have the, you know, whatever and become old in the way we dress and act. And you see this way, you know, you talked about this kind of earlier, but what advice would you give to a person that's fallen into these, the mindset I'm going to say? And then the mindset created a habit of acting old and it's, and it's hard to break it. You know, the other day I was, I was going down the street and nothing against it. I see this guy, old kind of gray hair, nothing against him driving kind of a, an older car, you know, the top down the radio, going whatever. And I'm thinking to myself, you know, he's, he's kind of playing the whole, the whole scene. Right. And not in judgment. That's okay. But really embracing that. And I think there is a time when you do embrace your age, what would you tell people if they're trying to embrace this old stuff too soon?

Michael Clinton:
It's a great topic. I mean, we could do a whole hour on, you know, w we live especially in Western cultures, but especially in the U S we live in an ageist culture. And, you know, there needs to be a reckoning because, you know, let's start with the images that are all around us in advertising and images, in marketing and, and movies. You know, I like to say, if you watch the network news, the advertising is more depressing than the news because the advertising pharmaceutical companies and the old people that are, have failed banks, and they're showing people, you know, over 50 or 60 who are struggling, that is such, those are such negative images. If you think about the average 50, 60, 70 year old today, they're tech savvy, you know, they're active and athletic by, you know, doing something. They are not brand loyal.
Michael Clinton:
You know, they're buying new things. They've gotten a lot of money as you referenced, you know, the five to 0 20, 30 to 60% of the economy in the us is going to be driven by people 50 plus. And that'll include, that'll include the millennials who are going to be hitting 50 plus. And so we have this old fashioned construct. And so what happens is we create self-imposed, age-ism on ourselves. We start saying, well, I have to start behaving this way, because I'm now 60. Or I have to start dressing this way. And I like to say, we need to blow that up because it's no longer a to quilt it's person appropriately. And those are the things. Yeah. So, you know, we, we take on these behaviors that we self impose on ourselves and we have to stop and say, well, wait a minute. Why? You know, when I, when I turned 60, I ran a marathon on Antarctica and wow, wow, you did that at 16. And I said, yeah, but hold on a minute, I was in Toronto running the Toronto marathon, and I watched the first 100 year old person cross the finish line of the Toronto marathon, the first a hundred year-old whoever ran a marathon in the world gesture.

Great Voisen:
Yeah. And I know that, you know, it's I'm an avid cyclist in a friend invited me to go on this thousand mile bike ride down in New Mexico, and it's all planned and everything, and I'm going to do it. And the reality is, is that, you know, at, at any age, if you've maintained your health, you said it earlier all of these things are possible. You know, we're seeing octogenarians running marathons and running ultra marathons. And, you know, it's, it's just there for you. But, and then the flip side of the coin is, like you said, the nightly news is focused on and is feeding a story that you're old and you need this pill because you have restless leg syndrome, or you have something. And then the side effects are so worse that you know, that you're doing it, but they're trying to sell you something to say, Hey, we can make you better.

And for some of those people, and I think better is a mindset and it's not buying into what society has done break the status quo. You know, that that's, what's going on here in the conclusion to your book, you state that it doesn't matter how old we are. Just like you said a second ago, because we can begin at any age. I think you can begin this in your sixties, seventies, eighties, wherever, what are three takeaways that you'd want to leave the audience with in embracing who they are what they would like to become and what contribution they can still make in the world, no matter what their age.

Michael Clinton:
No. Good. It's a good question. You know, I think that I'm going to go to the construct of taking the first step and, you know, one of those things taking the first step is going back to your younger self. And what is it in your younger self that you gave up that you abandoned? And, you know, there's a great story in the book of a guy named Rob Smith, who was a very successful executive. And it's in his fifties, just sort of said this, you know, this is not working for me anymore. And he went off and took a trip. Then he was in south American, Peru, and he went through that aisle washer. I'm going to mispronounce it ceremony, which is kind of like a, almost like a whole listen to Janet. I watched a thank you. And he said he was sitting on a rock and he looked across the water and he saw his 13 year old self. And he said, I'm so sorry that I left you.

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I am honored to have another returning guest for this podcast, my good friend Jack Elias. My  first podcast interview with him was about his book entitled “Finding True Magic” in 2010 and in this podcast, we are going to be speaking about this new book that he co-authored with his wife Ceci Miller entitled “The Outrageous Guide to Being Fully Alive: Defeat Your Inner Trolls and Reclaim Your Sense of Humor”

Jack Elias, CHT is the founder and director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning, a Washington State licensed vocational school offering Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP Certification trainings, seminars and mentorship programs.

If you want to know more about Jack Elias and his books, his coaching and training sessions, please click here to be directed to his website.

I hope you enjoy this engaging and informative interview with author Jack Elias. You may also refer to the transcripts below for the highlights of the interview. Please leave a reply in the comment box if you want to request for the transcripts of the full interview.

Happly listening!

Greg Voisen:
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen, the host of Inside Personal Growth. And I have a returning guest, Jackie Elias, and his wife, Ceci Miller actually wrote this new book. He is up in the Seattle area called The Outrageous Guide to Being Fully Alive: Defeat Your Inner Trolls and Reclaim Your Sense of Humor. Love the title, Jack . good day to you. How are you doing?

Jack Elias:
I'm great. Thanks for having me back.

Greg Voisen:
Well, it's good to have you back. Jack. I've known you quite some time and you've got a long history with your wife Ceci in doing workshops and seminars and counseling and transpersonal hypnosis and hypnotherapy. What is it that you've learned from your clients and that you can share with us that have created really rapid results for your clients? And then in inspired you really to write this book, The Outrageous Guide to Being Fully Alive.

Jack Elias:
So as I consider my work, the evolution of my work, based on the experience with clients and how people tend to think complexity is important. And to be able to think in complex ways is important. A lot of what contributes to that as a lot of the way the way that psychological theory and ideas about psychotherapy are transmitted. People like to talk in very complex ways and have lots of complex labels. People come to me all the time with labels, for their afflictions, and they feel like they're a victim of these things and that's how it's presented to them. So, what became quickly apparent to me that the most important thing to help people is to recognize that language is hypnotic. That, our subconscious self-talk is hypnotic. That language, if not from outside or inside, and that if you get a label we're taught that nouns are things.

So you get a label that was a subtle hypnotic suggestion there that you're dealing with a thing. When in reality, there are no things there's just activity, but if you're given a label, now you think there's something outside of you, something outside of you that you have to struggle with. Whereas the, the truth is you are creating what you're experiencing. So I turn people's attention towards connecting with the awareness that they're the creator and what are they doing to create the profits. Like initially people would come to me and many people say, well, I don't know about hypnosis, or I don't think you can hit and ties me. I've been to other hypnotists and they haven't been able to hypnotize me. And I just say too late, too late, your problem is a freestanding hypnotic state. And they quickly get that and it energizes them and it gives them hope because now it's not something outside of them. That's afflicting them. They can, they can quickly that they're creating this, which means they can change it.

Greg Voisen:
I love what you say because literally they've created their own hypnotic state, which they were denying. They would alter as a result of working with you. And that phrase, you said, can you repeat it again? Cause I think it's really important.

Jack Elias:
Which one?
Greg Voisen:
What you tell them.

Jack Elias:
Language is inherently hypnotic. You're creating your experience of your issue. It's not a thing that's afflicting you. It’s like you're slapping your own self in the face. But you're being told that the pain is coming from this label syndrome.

Greg Voisen:
You speak about expectations and the correlation to having anxiety and stress in our lives. That is a big factor for anybody listening to the show. Because nobody's immune from it. We're not immune from anxiety. But taking this Zen Buddhist approach, which you do, and I would as well, not every listener would, what advice can you give our listeners about falling into the expectation trap and what are the three insights in gaining clarity about expectations? Because look, you know this, and I know it. And I think a lot of our listeners know it, but if they set themselves up by saying, I want a particular outcome, and it doesn't happen that way, that actually creates anxiety. And that creates stress. But people are doing that all day long every day, Jack that's like, Hey, I expect that someone's going to behave in a certain way, or I expect my business is going to go this way. And it doesn't. What are those three insights that you can impart on our listeners?

Jack Elias
I'll tell you the insights, but it's more important to get the background from which they arise so the insights are there in the book, our confusion about ownership, confusion about adulthood and confusion about performance. And these are all just different aspects of a dysfunctional hypnotic suggestions. All of our thinking any self-conscious thinking is a hypnotic suggestion, as opposed to being reality. So what you said is, is at the root, when you said people and immediately take it personally, like when I said slapping yourself in the face that they're going to think, oh, I'm the problem. This is the route. This book is based on a paradigm I've created from the 18 types of confusion that create all of our suffering and we use the word confusion all the time, but because we don't appreciate really the power of language, we don't examine words that we should examine. And this is a crucial one, confusion con means with, fusion means poor together. So you get a state of confusion and suffering, anytime you pour things together that don't go together. So the root confusion of these 18 types is pouring worth of being together with judged performance. Everything you just said was in the context of believing that the worth of your being is at stake in terms of how your performance turns out, how it's judged. That's a delusion.

Greg Voisen:
Now, Jack, if the listeners would like to end their day free of stress and anxiety what recommendations do you have that hypnosis can help them with? In other words, they want to wake up, hopefully stress-free and they want to go to sleep stressfully stress-free and anxious. What do you, what recommendations do you have?

Jack Elias:
Would I would phrase it as practicing de hypnosis. You don't want to have moralistic gratitude, which means you're trying to be a good boy or a good girl. And moralistic gratitude is in the framework of beliefs, religious beliefs, whatever social beliefs, family beliefs, actual gratitude is based on what we said before is recognizing that you are literally being birthed moment by moment. We're not deciding to be able to see right now, we're not deciding to have conscious intelligence. We're not deciding to digest their food like a good one. Every moment we are being fully manifest all these millions of coordinated processes that we just experienced at a superficial level of I'm here. I'm me. And I have, I can see and feel my body that's based on millions of coordinated experiences that are being gifted to us moment by moment. So you want to de hypnotize yourself to who you think you are and what you think your life is and practice your friend is right. It's all about practicing, developing habitual sanity. So habitual sanity is practicing, remembering and developing a felt sense, not just an intellectual idea, but a felt sense that you're being birthed, that you're being given the gift of life, breath by breath, heartbeat by heartbeat, and make the effort to deconstruct all the speedy thinking of your hypnotic self so that you come back to your natural, effortless flowing self.

Greg Voisen:
Jack, thanks for being on Inside Personal Growth.
Jack Elias:
Can I add one more thing quickly?

Greg Voisen:

Jack Elias:
Create a, create a file on your phone that says you deserve your love and respect as much as anyone in the universe. And so that you see that every time you open up your phone, that's a, that's a teaching of the Buddha. You deserve your own love and respect as much as anyone in the universe. And that includes the Buddhists you deserve love and your love and respect as much as anyone in the universe, we learn through habituation. So if you every day, just see that takes five seconds, but you do it like say a hundred times a day, day by day, it will change you

Greg Voisen:
And Jack. Namaste to you. Thank you for being on the show again and bringing some of your wisdom and insights. And I think my listeners definitely appreciate that.

Jack Elias:
Thank you. Thanks for having me
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I have a returning guest for this podcast and we are honored to have him back in the show, Dr. Eric Maisel. I originally interviewed Eric when we discussed his newly released book “Life Purpose Boot Camp” in 2015.

He is returning for this podcast to discuss one of his most current book entitled “The Power of Daily Practice: How Creative and Performing Artists (and Everyone Else) Can Finally Meet Their Goals”.

Dr. Eric Maisel is the author of more than 50 books and has delivered lectures worldwide. If you want to learn more about Dr. Eric Maisel please click here to be redirected to his website. You may also visit this website to know more about his coaching programs, training sessions and courses.

I hope you enjoy this informative interview with author Dr. Eric Maisel. You may also refer to the transcripts below for the highlights of the interview. Please leave a reply in the comment box  if you want to request for the transcripts of the full interview.

Happly listening!

Greg Voisen:
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen, the host of Inside Personal Growth. Today. We have Eric, Maisel joining us from Walnut Creek. Here's one of his most current books. He has over 50 books. And I'm going to read a little bit about him. It's called The Power of Daily Practice: How Creative and Performing Artists and quote Everyone Else Can Finally Meet Their Goals. Eric, you speak about the varieties of daily practice because that's kind of an integration and you call it your recovery practice, speak with us if you would about this recovery practice, because there are many of these, like you just mentioned, we know family members who talk about craving, obsession, compulsion, dependency, addiction, whatever. Speak with us about the recovery, because when you talk recovery, you're usually talking about something on the opposite side, which is addiction addicted to something to get rid of it.

Eric Maisel:
So as folks who know 12 step programs, one of the ideas of 12 step programs is first things first, one day at a time, the idea that you have to pay attention to the work you're doing in recovery, to make sure that you don't slip on any given day. It's not something you can push off to the side. And so to speak, forget about, you have to remember that you are, whatever it is you are, drinking alcoholically or whatever your challenges, you have to every day, realize that you're trying to deal with that challenge. And that's why the idea of recovery merits naturally with the idea of daily practice. It's something we should be thinking about every day. For creatives, the recovery practice is interesting because it in a way flies in the face of a creativity practice, because the tasks of early recovery are to stay calm and to not be too ambitious, not to generate a lot of energy in yourself, not to start getting your engine worrying, whereas for a creative person, that's exactly what that creative person wants to do. That's a long, it's a long, good way of saying in early recovery creatives have to be less ambitious than they want to be. If you think about it, you've been drinking alcoholically, you've been falling down. You haven't been writing your novel. Now, suddenly you're in early recovery, you have 20 days of sobriety. Now you want to suddenly get to your novel with this 23 characters. Well, actually you kind of better turn to a short story and your novel with 23 characters, it's better to be modest there in early recovery in terms of the tasks you set yourself than to be suddenly in modest and narcissistic and grandiose and all those words. And suddenly think that because you have 17 days of recovery behind you, you're now equal to doing a lot of this energetic work. This is a way that these practices go together so to speak because you can have your daily creativity practice where you do rev up, maybe followed by or proceeded by your recovery practice, where you do your big book work. If you're working a 12 step program, whatever it is that amounts to your recovery program, this gives you your daily way of attending to that.

Greg Voisen:
So speak with us. If you would about the mindset that people need to create. I want to mention all my listeners that in every one of these chapters, there's food for thought. So what Eric gives you is four to five questions to be thinking, to reflect upon. And on this one, are you regularly challenged by your mindset? Are you specifically challenged by your mindset when it comes to your daily practice and what might you try to meet the challenge? I love the questions because they're very stimulating.

Eric Maisel:
So this will also preview, I think another chat that we'll have down the road for another book I have coming out called The Redesign Your Mind, and that that book comes out in a bit. And so you change your mindset by literally changing your mind, which sounds crazy. How do you do that? Well, if you visualize your mind as a room, if you use that metaphor, the room, that is your mind and you go in there, so to speak again, metaphorically and make changes like install windows so a breeze can blow through or repaint the wall so they're no longer dingy gray, but a bright white or whatever it might be. Remove that bed of nails that you sleep on and put in an easy chair. These are all metaphors, but they're metaphors that speak to the idea that you can change the insides of your mind, at least to the extent of visualizing difference and having a more positive, calm, for instance, visualize a calmness switch that you flip when you were talking about the energy needed to do the works. Well, this is one of those tricks or tactics to have to be in the right place. Energetically is to flip a condom, calm the switch, and decide to be calmer, decide that there'll be fewer dramas in your life, decide that there'll be less histrionics and all of that. So these different visualizations of flipping a calmness switch or repainting the walls or installing start installing windows or whatever the visualization is, speaks to an idea that we can actually think about our current mindset and make changes. It's not actually that hard to visualize the change. It's again, as you were, you were saying just kind of the willingness or, or taking the time to do that kind of thing. In conversations with people, they discover that they can repaint their walls in a split second and suddenly feel a little less depressed or despairing just by suddenly having yellow walls rather than gray walls. It sounds not too exciting as an idea, but in fact, it works wonders if a person is willing to try it.

Greg Voisen:
Again, a goal is defined in the mind by the vision to say, I've got to get there. Now that doesn't mean that it was influenced by the outside world. Maybe it was influenced by something that brings you pleasure. Frequently I find people are chasing goals that are not pleasurable and it doesn't mean just monetary goals. It just means goals. Let's take, for instance, the correlation between somebody saying you're going to lose 30 pounds and what you have to do to lose 30 pounds, what steps need to be taken to lose that 30 pounds and frequently they see the gap as being too much. So they never start, or if they do start, they get sidetracked because it's so easy to see that piece of cake or that pie or that whatever it is to do that. What advice would you have that around meaningful, meaningful, and heartfelt and sincere goals that one would write in harmony with their life to actually say, Hey, my ego beats up on me enough, I'm enough the way I am. Because I find that frequently that is the problem.

Eric Maisel:
Well, one of the things I would say for my creative clients who are trying to decide about their goals is to remember what they loved when they were five or six or seven. I think those are the truest loves actually. And actually stay with us our whole lives. If we remember sitting in a corner, reading a book at the age of five and being transported somewhere. Well, that's the motivation to write our novel. It's not about bestseller or what have you it's to give someone else that experience some other five-year-old or 35 year old, the experience of being transported by a book. It might've been a movie we saw in a darkened theater, and now we want to be a cinematographer. So, this is just one piece of a puzzle, but one piece of the puzzle is to reconnect with, or get back in touch with our most genuine loves. And I think those loves were really spontaneous. No one, no one told us to love a book or no one told us to love a movie. Just when that TV came on and the movie started we fell in love with what we're seeing. So that that's one piece of this puzzle is to organize your goals around your, I almost want to say ancient loves or youthful loves or childhood loves because those are probably good guideposts for what to set as goals.

Greg Voisen:
So any last words you have Eric about the book, practices, challenges that you'd like to impart on our listeners?

Eric Maisel:
Well, because I work with creative performing artists primarily, I like to remind them that the issue isn't losing a day here or there it's that if you don't become very consistent and regular in your practice, you really won't get your work done. You'll lose an awful lot of time. A decade will go by. You'll be disappointed. And you won't exactly know how it was that you didn't get your novel written or your paintings painted. So it's not so much daily practice. It's the idea of regular persistent every day as close to everyday practice, as you can get for the sake of doing the things that really matter to you.

Greg Voisen:
Well, that's a good way to sum this up. And for my listeners, you can see my little notes here. This is Eric Maisel, PhD. His book is The Power of Daily Practice. This is a new world library book. Thanks for being on Inside Personal Growth and spending time with our listeners.

Eric Maisel:
Thanks for having me.

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