Rich Karlgaard On Late Bloomers

Our guest today is Rich Karlgaard, publisher and futurist for Forbes and author of a new book, Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement.

Are all high achievers early achievers?

Can mature individuals with life experience add value to a workplace?

Does personal and professional growth have an expiration date?

Helpful links from today’s show:

Buy the book: Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement by Rich Karlgaard

Connect with Rich via his website: RichKarlgaard.com

Vested Interest. Positive or Negative?

It’s funny how language can inspire aha moments.  I love Sekou Andrews‘ work for that reason, because for me, he offers much more than clever turns of phrase.  When you unpack his brand of poetry, there’s always such rich meaning to be extracted if you take the time to do so. He has since inspired me to look for that deeper meaning no matter who mouths the words.

So during a workshop I conducted for a Vistage Emerging Leaders Group in San Antonio today, one of the members shared that the group was incredibly effective because the members had grown to develop a “vested interest” in the outcome for each of their member’s actions.  I immediately asked, “What do you mean by that?”

To digress for a moment, I’d like you to consider my frame of reference for asking the question.  When I grew up learning this stuff during my early days with Vistage, part of the value proposition was that CEOs and business leaders could meet with peers who had no “vested interest” in the outcome – meaning they had no financial or professional skin in the game.  The point was that they could receive impartial advice from people who knew exactly what it was like to sit in their chair and who had nothing to gain one way or the other.

The vested interest the member was referring to today was quite different. It was vested interest of a higher order.  It had nothing to do with personal gain.  It had to do with the emotional connection they’ve developed for one another when it comes to wins and losses.  While members may join a group without having a vested interest in their fellow members’ outcomes, one could argue that, over time, acquiring this brand of vested interest makes the group that much better.  If you think about it, this is exactly what every peer group should be shooting for.

Sekou says, “Tapping into the collective intelligence makes our whole greater than the sum of our smarts.”  I learn something new every time I work with a new group.  That’s why I love doing it so much!  A big thanks to Sekou Andrews and to everyone who challenges us to think about the world a little differently.

 

 

 

 

Announcing the WACD Minute!

The What Anyone Can Do Minute is a new video series created to accomplish two goals: 1) Give you a valuable takeaway in one minute; and, 2) use that takeaway as fuel to take a deeper dive toward doing the things anyone can do that most of us never will.

I’ll release 2-3 videos per week on my LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter feeds.  They’ll also appear on my website’s Video page, where you’ll find the entire collection as they go live.  I’ve released two this week already and by visiting https://leobottary.com/videos, you’ll get to preview the one I’ll be releasing in the next few days.

If there’s a topic you’d like me to cover, leave your suggestion as a comment, and you may find it featured in an upcoming episode of the WACD Minute!  Enjoy!

On Great Books

If you’re writing and speaking more than you’re reading and listening, it’s time to right the ship!  Here are three books you’ll love!  When you don’t have immediate access to the right people directly, you can still surround yourself with their ideas!  Enjoy!

Amazon links to the books (not affiliate links):

Cracking the Curiosity Code: The Key to Unlocking Human Potential by Diane Hamilton

Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement by Rich Karlgaard

Lifescale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive, and Happy Life by Brian Solis

Let’s Talk Teams

In the wake of Tiger’s win at The Masters, we talk about the value of the people who surround us and how, together, we can do things we would never otherwise achieve.

How Will Doing What Anyone Can Do Possibly Help Me?

Great question.  One I’ve been asked many times.

In Joe Henderson’s 1976 book The Long Run Solution, he suggested that becoming truly accomplished at running (or at anything, for that matter) doesn’t typically require us to perform superhuman feats. We don’t have to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Success doesn’t ask us to do what no one else can do.  All too often, success and happiness find those who have the discipline to do the everyday things, the things anyone can do that most of us never will.

To keep it in Joe Henderson terms, let’s say you want to run a marathon. Until the 1980s, and well before IRONMAN competitions and ultra-marathons were part of the public consciousness, marathon running was considered extreme. It wasn’t something most people would even attempt. Only a freak, or someone who lacked any other mode of transportation, would choose to run 26.2 miles. With the advent of Team in Training, which has raised more than $1 billion for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since 1988, marathon training programs for the average person became more prevalent.

In 1994, Oprah Winfrey showed the world that if you surround yourself with the right people and follow a training program, you, too, could run a marathon. (She also lost seventy-two pounds). The real challenge, of course, is sticking to the strict regimen required to get you ready for race day. Those of you who have done it know that the race is the easy part, relative to what it takes to prepare for it—sixteen to twenty-four weeks (depending on the program) of the daily discipline to do what anyone can do on a given day.

The wonderful part is that when you do the things anyone can do every day for four to five months, you can accomplish something almost no one can do. That’s the magic. The task is no different, whether you want to be an artist, a scholar, or a business leader. The question is: Are you willing to do the things anyone can do on a daily basis to achieve what you want in life? Because most people aren’t willing, doing what anyone can do puts you a step ahead of the rest.

How Can We Do Things Anyone Can Do More Often?

Surround Ourselves With the Right People.

Wanting something is one thing. Being committed to doing what it takes to make it happen is quite another. Left to our own devices, we all too often don’t do the work—or we don’t do it over a sustained period of time. We might get off to a good start, but we eventually succumb to whatever rationale we can conjure that explains why we stopped.

Even the most disciplined among us can benefit from involving our friends, family members, and colleagues in helping us achieve our goals. While we all know that no successful person in the history of the world ever accomplished anything totally by him- or herself, we see self-help as by-your-self-help.  As a result, we view our goals as solitary pursuits, and we don’t do the things anyone can do nearly often enough. This is why we fall short.

One thing we can do is seek out people who can play a positive role in our success and enlist their support. When we invite others to be our partners in success, they tend to help us do all those things anyone can.  And when we do, we give ourselves the best chance to achieve our goals whatever they may be.  That’s why doing what anyone can do help you HUGE!

*Includes excerpts from the book, What Anyone Can Do: How Surrounding Yourself With the Right People Will Drive Change, Opportunity, and Personal Growth.

The Power of Reframing

Okay, do you tend to see the glass as half empty or half full?   Check out this week’s conversation, where Randy and I talk about the power of reframing and how our circle of people can help us see the world to our advantage!

Links mentioned in today’s show:

Career Mastery Kickstart
May Busch, Host of Career Mastery Kickstart
Leo’s books: The Power of Peers and What Anyone Can Do

Fashioning A New Approach

Using our new PEER method for telling peer advantage stories, read Xavi Gutierrez’s* story and consider submitting one of your own using this simple outline.  To review the guidelines for submitting stories, click here!

*The member’s name and other details in this story have been changed to protect member confidentiality.

Preface

Xavi Gutierrez is the Founder and CEO of a tech startup which provides customized ecommerce solutions for fashion stores.  His company was doing pretty well in the Spanish market, and after securing an additional round of funding to expand his business, Xavi set his sights on finding a partner in the UK and eventually expanding globally.

Expectation

After Xavi received the funds to go global, with a specific focus on Europe during this first growth stage, Xavi tried without success to identify and hire a partner in the UK. Given the international diversity of the peers (namely from the UK market) of the online mastermind groups available at CEO World, he decided to become a member and join a group with the hope that the members might provide him with the support he needed to achieve his goals.

Experience

Xavi shared his challenge with the group during his very first meeting, focusing largely on how frustrated he was at his lack of success.  After only 20 minutes of conversation, it became evident that Xavi’s pitch was missing the mark for a UK audience.  It was also clear that the value being offered wasn’t appealing enough for someone to risk investing in this partnership. After a few rounds of clarifying questions, the group members learned enough to suggest additional resources Xavi should explore before moving forward, along with some ideas that Xavi could use to make his pitch and his offer more attractive to a potential partner.  This would involved Xavi securing a few UK clients himself first.
Not only did Xavi make a commitment to the group that he would rethink his approach, but also several group members volunteered to work with Xavi outside the construct of the meeting – which they did.  Xavi’s peers also saw to it that he remained committed to the goal, as opposed to focusing on obstacles or making excuses.

Results

After 12 weeks (three, two-hour mastermind sessions later), Xavi hired his first UK client.  Twenty-six weeks later (6 sessions later), Xavi’s team hired 10 UK clients, and soon after, Xavi convinced a local partner to sell his services in the UK market. Xavi’s initial goal was achieved.  During the following year, Xavi would use this approach to break into 5 new European markets.  As Xavi sets his sights on entering the United States and Asia, he plans to do so with the help of his peers as part of a new mastermind group, with peers who are experiencing the same “business stage” issues and who understand the American and Asia markets.

Carol Tometsko's Greatest Discovery

Using our new PEER method for telling peer advantage stories, read Carol Tometsko’s story and consider sharing yours using the same outline and maximum of 500 words.  This story is fewer than 400 words!  To review the guidelines for submitting stories, click here!

Preface

Carol Tometsko is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Litron Laboratories, which she co-founded in 1976 with her late husband Dr. Andrew M. Tometsko.   Starting this company was her husband’s dream.  Fast forward eighteen years, and their company, Litron Laboratories, was still in business, largely because they were extremely successful in obtaining government grants.  Then, in 1994 when Carol was at the airport, she received a call that Andrew had passed away.  She went back to the lab to find two employees who were as grief stricken as she was, and it was in that moment that she decided to continue to run the business. At this point in her life, Carol was still wearing a scientist’s hat and was not necessarily a business person, and while she considered hiring outside leadership to take the helm, she did not.

Expectation

In 1997, Tom Merkel, a personal friend of Carol’s, suggested she join a Vistage CEO peer advisory group. In 1995, Litron began developing and selling genetic toxicology kits, but Carol understood that she couldn’t build a company based on that approach alone.  Carol said, “We had to get involved in new areas, in exploring new genetic toxicology areas.  That’s where we were sort of stumped.”  She was looking for a group of CEOs she could talk to about her business.

Experience

Little did she know the impact the group would have on what would become the re-imagining of her company. Carol said that it was her group members who taught her the word “collaboration.”   Up until that time, her world pitted scientist against scientist in a race for who would arrive at the answer first, so she found the idea expressed by her fellow CEOs of collaborating with other scientists somewhat frightening (because of her prior university experience) but an intriguing idea for scaling the business.   It took CEOs outside of her industry sector to help her see this.

Results

Under Carol’s leadership, Litron has transformed from an organization once dependent on government grants into an international technology company, which as of 2015, provided support to laboratories in 37 countries.  Carol did so by stepping outside her company (and the world of science) to make one of her greatest discoveries – the value of peer advantage.  Carol is still a member of her group today.

Tell Us Your Peer Advantage Story

Tell us how peer advantage worked for you by submitting your story to leobottary.com, using the PEER method.  Give us the background we need in the Preface.  Tell us about your Expectations, either when you joined your group or when you brought an issue or new opportunity to your group and then share your actual Experience.  (For example, you may have planned to ask your peers for their thoughts on your choosing between solution A & B, only to discover you had more options than you realized).  Then reveal the Results – it’s that simple.

Feel free to identify your group as a (for example) CEO World Mastermind Group, Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Forum, Renaissance Executive Forum, The Alternative Board (TAB), Tiger 21, True North GroupVistage Group, Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) Forum, etc.   As a member, sharing your story for this site means you’re granting me permission to post and promote it publicly.  If you lead a group and wish to submit a member story, I will assume you’ve received the member’s permission or that you’ve used pseudonyms to ensure confidentiality.  Either way, please indicate that with your submission or it will not be eligible for posting.

I’ll be adding stories myself as well, so if you’re a group leader or group member, tell us how you experienced peer advantage by completing the form below or by emailing your story to me directly at leo@leobottary.com.  Stories should be 500 words max!  (The story below contains fewer than 400 words).

Here’s a sample story for your review.

Now It’s Your Turn!