14 Sep September 16, 2019 – Grace John Baldoni and Fearless Wealth RC Peck
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Let people know what your purpose, your why, is. From purpose comes your vision.
John Baldoni is an internationally recognized leadership educator, executive coach and speaks throughout North America and Europe. John is the author of 14 books, including MOXIE: The Secret to Bold and Gutsy Leadership, Lead with Purpose, Lead Your Boss, and The Leader’s Pocket Guide. John’s books have been translated into 10 languages. In 2018 Inc.com named John a Top 100 speaker. Also in 2018, Trust Across America honored John with its Lifetime Achievement Award for Trust, and Global Gurus named him the #9 global leadership expert, a list John been on since 2007. In 2014 Inc.com listed John as a Top 50 leadership expert. John has authored more than 700 leadership columns for a variety of online publications including Forbes, Harvard Business Review and Bloomberg Businessweek. John also produces and appears in a video coaching series for SmartBrief, a news channel with over 4 million opt-in subscribers.
RC Peck – Founder/Principal of Fearless Wealth, Inc.
What’s left over in your checking account is not saved. You have to transfer to your future, a retirement account for example.
RC Peck sits at the intersection of money and human behavior. For over 20 years he’s helped people hear what their money is trying to tell them. His struggle with dyslexia, watching his parents’ life savings get embezzled, and his background in Asian Studies, taught him to question the unquestionable. He now uses his ability to see what others can’t see which brings clarity and insight to a world that is often described as confusing and overwhelming. His message is clear. Listen to your money. It’s trying to tell you how to get the life you want.
Highlights from John’s Interview
We live in an absolutely graceless world, don’t we? That’s why I wrote GRACE. Call me naive, but I’m one who believes there’s more that unites us than divides us. However, in our time of, let’s call it antisocial media, rancor rises to the top more than kindness. And GRACE is a tribute to the men and women around us, most of whom we never know, who are performing purposeful acts of kindness, and making the world a better place. That’s the focus of this. I took a leadership twist on it, because that’s my best, my intention, and how leaders can create conditions for grace to thrive in their workplace and in our communities.
I think it does matter if little people do it. Will each of us, as individuals, change the world? No. But we will if we act with an open heartedness, and not in a sense of, “Hey, I’m going to do this act of kindness so I will be on the radio and people will cheer for me.” Know, if you reach out and touch someone (I talking metaphorically), in a positive way, you at least change one life. You’re there for a friend or colleague or neighbor, whomever. And so I do it, and I talked about something called toxicity in the workplace. And people will say, “Well, my boss is solid,” something like that. So all right, you do what you can do, you be the example for others to follow. In other words, you don’t engage in hate speech, you be a person who’s willing to help a colleague, you be a collaborator, you be the volunteer. I don’t mean work for free, but be an initiator, be someone who is willing to work with others, be a good teammate. You can be that if you so choose.
I know you’re acting with the best intentions, and my advice, knowing you, is keep on doing what you’re doing, and damn the torpedoes. In other words, keep doing what you’re doing, be the example for others to follow. But I think there’s something that… One of the executives I talked about in the book is a gentleman named Scott Morehead. And Scott has a concept, the way he runs his businesses gives people permission to care. So if people see what you do, and they respect you, they may follow your example. Certainly, if you’re a boss, that will be an expectation. My boss does this. And he creates an atmosphere where people can care about one another. We don’t get to be nosy busybodies, he’s not into that type of stuff, but be available for friends.
When I talk in the book, there’s a wonderful profile of a wonderful man I’ve gotten to know, Father Greg Boyle, who created Homeboy Industries in East Los Angeles, the largest gang intervention program in the world. Father Boyle is also a great writer and in his second book, called Barking to the Choir, he talks about something called radical kinship. When you see someone in need, the worst thing you can do is go up to them and say, “Hey, here’s what you need to do, boom, boom, boom, boom.” That’s kind of that’s off-putting. Better just sit down, speak in the same space with them, share this radical kinship. It’s about connection. In doing that, it begins with simplicity. All of us have in our heart the ability to do that. And I think you raise a very good point, because will other people? Well, you do what you can do. You’re not always going to be successful, but you know what, it’s not about you. Nor is it about me; it’s about others. We try to help those around us, sometimes we’ll succeed. Sometimes we won’t, but we’ll try to do our best.
G is for generosity, which is that sense of openheartedness, sharing what you have. From a leadership dynamic, it’s about sharing, sharing authority, sharing power. Why, because you give people ownership. And what it is they’re doing, is respect. Respect is anchored in the dignity of others, it’s anchored in the dignity of work. And here’s the concept that folks that I interview talked about, is that when you meet someone for the first time, or maybe a second time, do so with an open heart. Assume their best intentions before you make judgment. That’s very easy to say, but you know, in our pejorative culture, we make assumptions about someone before we really hear them out. I think from a leadership standpoint, that’s really critical. A is for action, and that is focused on leadership. Leaders act. They must think, of course, but leaders are known but what they do. C is for compassion, that’s the caring, the concern for other human beings, connectivity, if you will, being there for others. The E, energy, is a leadership trait, which is the sense of keeping yourself fit. Eat right, exercise, all those kinds of things. But also as a mobilizer, you’ve got to demonstrate. Energy leaders, I like to think, are the Energizer bunnies for their organizations. They’ve got to give it out so that people feel and act excited, and know the mission, and can fulfill it.
You don’t act for the good and expect to be patted on the back. But getting back to Scott Moore, his comment about giving people permission to care. It’s okay to talk about these things. It’s okay. But most importantly, it’s not what you say, it’s what you do. But I think the leaders are in that position to say, “Hey, let’s demonstrate generosity. Let’s have respect for others. Let’s show compassion for one another.” But it’s not what they say, it’s what they do. I think it’s fine to talk it up. And in the abstract sense, let’s try it. Let’s move toward it. But let’s not do it so we’re patting ourselves on the back.
I think the obvious one to start with would be the first one, which is generosity. If you have an open-heartedness about other people, and you put aside, prejudicial statements, our perceptions and assumptions, I think life will be a whole lot better. Integral to GRACE are two concepts that I know you, as a southerner, would know very well: mercy and forgiveness. All of us are flawed creatures, all of us have made many mistakes. But how about cutting ourselves a little bit of slack? Sometimes we make amends for our mistakes, but we’re going to resolve to go forward, same thing. Who may have wronged us, let’s forgive them. Even if they don’t forgive us, let’s forgive them. You be the example you want others to be. When we live a life that’s anchored in mercy and forgiveness, I think we’re centered in ourselves, we understand our flaws. And here’s something else integral to GRACE is the concept of gratitude, and being thankful for things, but you can only be thankful if you know that you have something to give.
This is where sometimes we feel short, like what can I possibly do? You have a lot to give, and you have time, you have resources, you have energy, these things you can share with others in need, if you so choose. But you have to believe in yourself. It’s a kind of confidence. So part of gratitude is being thankful for what you have to offer. It’s not patting yourself on the back, but it’s taking pride and saying, “I can make a positive difference in the life of someone. And so I’m going to do it justice.” You said you hope I can hold the door for someone. I’m going to do it like that, a little step like that. Is gratitude being thankful for what you have received? Oh, yes. But also, if we look more deeply, gratitude is an internal thing. We need to be thankful for what we have, so that we can share it with others. And sometimes we short ourselves, we don’t think highly enough about our own abilities to share it with others. That’s the point I’m trying to make.
The key to leading your boss is to think like a CEO, but act like a manager. In other words, it’s big picture thinking. Understand goals and directions, the vision, mission and strategies of your firm, and then ask how can I, in my role as a manager, or as an employee, fulfill them? When we come down to an employee, and I work for my boss, who we hope is a leader, one who puts the interests of the organization first and the team first. Then we begin to think, how can I help my boss do his or her job better? When you’re framing things that you want to do and initiate, you try to see the project, not from your own eyes—because we can quickly be enamored of our own ideas—but position your ideas into how they appear to others. How will my boss react to this? In doing that you need to do some homework, or something I call, figure out your boss. In other words, what one of my bosses’ points, what does he or she like? Structure your initiative or your idea in those terms, so that you’re appealing to that. Often, we have the perception that whatever the CEO says goes, and to an extent, yes or no. But in reality, initiatives are only carried out by well-intentioned women and men in the middle of the organization, who take those initiatives, and make them our own, and drive them forward.
This is where it’s relentless communication. Let people know what your purposes and purpose is. The start is the why, the starting point. And from purpose comes your vision, what is it, which is your becoming, mission is your doing, and values are your belonging. Let people know what you want to accomplish with your firm, and then as part of the mission, what each one of them can do to fulfill the mission, solicit their ideas. If they come up with ideas, ask them to flesh them out in ways that complement what you’re trying to do for your service or your product, and how it fulfills your mission toward fulfilling customer need.
I can give a good example. I’m mentoring someone who has exactly this challenge. He’s only in his mid 20s, but he’s built a couple of businesses, and he’s building a new one now. He takes time with every person he hires, in articulating what I said about mission and vision, but also, he wants to know them. And he said, “My role also is to, as we build our business, I want you to find fulfillment, I want you to be able to fulfill your needs as we work together in this,” so he spends a lot of time communicating. And it’s something you do again and again and again. And that’s a form of influence, and this time it’s flowing downward, as opposed to leading your boss, it’s flowing upward or outward.
Originally, I wanted be a filmmaker. I went to Los Angeles, and it didn’t quite work out, but I fell into the writing game. Unfortunately, I got involved in corporate communications. I was pretty good at marketing, communications, and then I started moving into speech writing. I quickly started writing for very senior leaders. This was in the early 90s, when leadership became something of a fact; we didn’t really talk about leadership in a corporate environment. Until then, the concept was around, I’m not being up to speed, but it became more of something that everyone spoke about. So I was asked to write speeches on leadership, and I came to this moment of decision for myself, and I said, “I’d like to be saying those things. I’d like to be the person on stage who speaks about leadership.” The one thing you need to understand about speechwriting is it’s anonymous. Speechwriters don’t get on stage speaking. So I went back to school and got a master’s in performance consulting, it’s some sort of a management program with education and organizational theory and whole bunch of stuff, but it suited my needs. And I started working, became a leadership educator giving workshops, and I was invited to become an executive coach, and worked on that. Over the time, I’ve reinvented myself, and along the way, I wrote a bunch of books, and people seem to like them. So I guess I have a reputation from that.
I don’t I think it’s been a slow and steady progression, I can tell you a couple of inflection points. One was being invited to write for Harvard Business Review online, and the second was my first book that I published with McGraw Hill, which is Great Communications of Great Leaders. Those two things together gave me a platform. And from there, I got some publicity and notoriety and became invited to speak on that. So maybe that was my, I don’t know if it was a rocket ride, but it was a little bit of a incline point. It’s been steady since then.
My books are all on Amazon. You can also order them or find them in Barnes and Noble stores. Or if not on the shelves at your local bookstore, you can order them that way. My website is johnbaldoni.com. And that will take you to my writings and readings and I also do a video series. So there’s lots of videos, my coaching videos, on YouTube. That’s where I’m at.