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We believe these elements of leadership turn feeling alone and complacent into action.
We turn despondence to resolve, confusion to confidence.
We bring leaders to the environment to share what works. Less facts, figures, doom, and gloom. More reflection, self-awareness, connection, support, and community.
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342: Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll, part 2: Sex
For background, first listen to my first Sex, Drug, and Rock and Roll episode, part 1: Rock and Roll, how Bruce Springsteen's Broadway show motivated me at last to share some episodes about me. Listeners have asked to know me. I tried to put myself in the background, considering leadership and nature the important parts of the podcast, as well as the guests.
Bruce sharing personal stories showed me the value of sharing, in his case about the man behind the music and in mine the man behind the podcast. In that episode, I committed to sharing more about myself and sank my ships, so, like Cortes, I couldn't retreat.
Still, weeks passed without sharing. I shared my fear to act with leadership guru and past guest, Dov Baron. I talk about his episodes possibly most for his committing so fully.
He said: "Here's the solution: I'm going to interview you as a guest on your podcast." I immediately saw he had the solution. Since seeing James Lipton being a guest on his show Inside the Actors Studio, I'd thought of copying the idea. I knew Dov would guest-host perfectly for why I loved him as a guest.
Today's episode is the first of three episodes he interviewed me for, each delving into parts of me I've feared sharing publicly. I think you'll enjoy them. Within the first few minutes, he asked what politically incorrect views I held and what people misunderstood about me.
Dov led me to share without my usual evaluating my words while saying them when talking about sensitive subjects. He spoke supportively, sharing about himself and giving views that enabled me to share what I usually protect.
Only in the third episode do we reach my most poignant fears, but Dov laid the foundations in these first few minutes.
This first episode is about my relationships with women, which I worked to change late in life in a deliberate, non-mainstream way. We cover how little intimacy I felt with them in my first few decades, then how my learning about vulnerability and support led to blossoming of relationships in all parts of life. My working on relationships with women contributed more to my leadership development than probably business school, where I took classes from top professors at one of the top schools for the field in the world.
I talk about how following mainstream advice and learning from women led me to feel shame and hide my most important parts. I also talk about how I feared mainstream views about how I overcame prejudices that came from mainstream society, since I overcame them through what the mainstream called misogynist. They call it pick-up artistry, but my experience, starting late in life, nearly 40, was the opposite of the common caricature. On the contrary, I first learned to open up with women, then with everyone---family, coworkers, everyone I met. I'm still often socially awkward and restrained, but less than before.
This first conversation with Dov is my first foray into conquering fears that people could hurt me, but also realizing it wasn't me they'd attack, but their misunderstanding of me. Listen to all three episodes to get the full picture. I thought the fears I mention in this episode were my big ones, but they actually set the stage for the ones in the third.
I can't express my gratitude enough to Dov.
I alternate between finding this episode cathartic from sharing deep, important things and obvious, like doesn't everyone have rites of passage. In any case, I feel liberated from having to hide these things.
I'm also disappointed that I live in a world that demeans what led to some of the most important growth in my life while supporting what actually led to me being withdrawn while feeling full of myself. Relistening to the episode, I could sense a new beginning. I could sense fading the fears in the puritanical culture of people attacking me. But now I feel strengthened to continue being myself despite the fact that they get parades and I don't, that people celebrate their sexuality while they suppress mine.
Still, the next two episodes go further.
I love talking to professional athletes. Today I talk with Chris Manhertz, a tight end in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers. We cover three main things and partly a fourth.
If you want to reach your potential, people like Chris Manhertz help. I hope the audio picked up his smiling and enthusiasm for acting and using adversity to prompt him to more.
I hope I didn't sound too selfish asking about what I find intriguing about the actual experience of professional athleticism, but I think others will find fascinating what I do---the inside experience of playing on a professional sports field, training and playing with professional athletes at the peak of human ability.
Want inside views of covid-19 in the epicenter of the epicenter?
Michael has been working at the front line of Covid-19 in New York City.
He's also my brother-in-law who has known me since the 80s. I started the pattern of bringing people to share inside views of my work with my mom's episode, which I encourage you to listen to.
He shares inside views on the flaws and weaknesses of both.
He starts by sharing stories only surgeons can---for example, of saving someone's life on an airplane. You know in movies when the plane captain asks if there's a doctor on board? It happened to Michael when he was the only doctor on the flight---then just starting. He says he didn't fully save a guy's life, but it sounded close. Based in New York, he also treated a Victoria's Secret model and famous actors and singers.
Then we covered the pandemic. You'll hear how he risked his life to conduct surgeries of patients with Covid-19, inside views of doctors fed insufficient information seeing the pandemic dawn on them, dealing with government, and dealing with the looming threat of having to choose who might live or die. Most of all, hearing the inner sentiment that drives a care giver to go into harm's way for another person's health.
Then we talk about what brought me to invite him: his seeing me change over the years. I got more than I expected and different views than my mom.
It's two conversations---one on the front lines, the other personal, both meaningful, both honest and candid.
Brooklyn Borough President means Mayor of Brooklyn. If Brooklyn separated from New York City, Eric Adams would be the mayor of the third most populous city in the country. If it separated from New York State, he'd be Governor of more people than 15 states.
In this episode you'll hear why in 2013, Adams was elected Brooklyn borough president with 90.8 percent of the vote. He shares his transformation from his diet causing him to nearly losing extremities and vision to loving food they way I do.
We cover the gamut of food issues---politics, education, business, history, but most of all family, community, and personal joy, community, and connection. It's hard to keep in mind hearing him how far he came in only three years---meaning have far you can go in three years if food isn't the joy to your life it is for him.
People like him are why I created this podcast. The environment and food lack leadership. When you bring effective, authentic, genuine leadership to the environment and food, look at the difference. You'll hear how fast and thoroughly he changed and the passion and conviction he speaks with. You can imagine how deliciously he eats.
Do you doubt he will make a difference?
I can't believe people think one person changing doesn't make a difference.
I consider leadership a performance art and the environment the most beautiful thing around. Abbey and I talked about beauty, art, performance, teaching, technique, craft, and everything that goes into mastery.
She has little experience with burpees. I have little with painting, but we connected on mastery. I think I can safely say we both look forward to our next conversation. Just after stopping recording we both commented on how much we enjoyed connecting on what underlies all fields amenable to mastery.
Abbey has painted a painting daily since 2007. As someone who has done burpee-based calisthenics and written blog posts daily for nearly as long, I couldn't wait to talk to Abbey about the personal growth, community, connection, self-awareness, self-expression, and so on that come from a daily practice.
I learned about her from podcast guest Seth Godin's book Linchpin, but watching her videos (links below) showed me the beauty of her work. More than that beauty, I enjoyed watching her connections with people learning art from her.Do you want to make an activity you care about a pillar of your life? Why care about classics and masters? Listen to Abbey.
I discuss the connection between perceiving lack of variety in food made from scratch and feeling miserable and bored under lockdown, despite having access to all the world's art, music, literature, and culture ever recorded and more material abundance than kings only a few generations ago, despite our material abundance being only slightly less than a few months ago.
If you measure an interaction with someone by how much it affects and improves your life, my conversation with Julian was profound. Why? His conversation led me to start meditating regularly---something I've considered for year but never implemented, until the morning after our conversation.
Longtime listeners know I've meditated for nearly 15 years. I've chosen infrequent deep dives---5-10-day retreats with no reading, writing, phone, internet, or talking---finding that I've gotten most of the value of daily practice from my other sidchas. The morning after our conversation, I started and have kept going since. I credit Julian's conversation.
I met Julian after hearing an episode of his podcast featuring Wen-Jay Ying, an entrepreneur who founded one of the CSAs I get my vegetables from in New York. I learned more about his podcast: he hosts well-known guests to speak about the environment and human views on it. He focuses on emotions, leadership, action, authenticity. He also does solo episodes sharing his thoughts. He coaches on leadership.
In other words, he works similarly to me. His voice is different, though, so you'll hear from Julian a different approach to similar topics. One of my first observations from his talking was on the speed of my thinking, which could be more relaxed. I predict Julian will get you thinking too.
I recommend listening to my episode on his podcast.
Talking to Julian put me in a different frame than usual, more introspective. I'm not sure if it's coincidence so soon after my Springsteen episode and my episode with my mom, or maybe an effect of the global lockdown. It's led me thinking more openly of the lockdown as an opportunity, not to detract from the experiences of people in pain, dying, or risking their health for others who are.
The quote you just heard was Rhonda's description how showing people how to cook the way I showed them could save time and money for people to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables.
After Rhonda and my first conversation, I recommend watching the video of my going to the Bronx for the group Rhonda assembled at a church for me to demonstrate cooking my famous no-packaging vegetable stew.
This conversation came shortly after that potluck. Rhonda and I share hear how that event went. One woman said you couldn't cook that way up there, but then everyone else said it was possible. Rhonda knew everyone there, so listen to our episode to hear her read.
Rhonda sounded to me upbeat about her Bronx community finding value in learning this way to cook from scratch. She says the transition takes time, but that once started, the transition would happen.
On a personal level, I feel vindicated from people repeatedly evaluating my suggestions that this style of cooking could help people by my identity---or rather their perception of it---instead of how it could help people and communities.
There's no question that different neighborhoods have different access to food versus doof. My questions to you
I don't think we have to accept it. I'm helping change it. I'm helping reverse the trend of doof producers extracting money from communities with less defense to their manipulations. They claim to offer convenience but make people dependent, creating lifestyles to spend less time with family to work at low wages.
I recommend you help this process instead of sustaining what McDonald's and Starbucks are doing---perpetuating poor health and impoverishing people and communities.
Rhonda and I have become friends, over vegetables. She met my mom, I met her son and community. Food brings people together---in my experience, more when you meet the farmers and prepare fruits and vegetables from scratch.
This episode starts off strong with Jethro's matter-of-fact description of riding a bike in minus 40 degree weather. He's a principal going to school, but could be talking about radical mountain biking. I don't remember my principal being this badass. I don't remember anyone talking about activity like this so understated. I wouldn't be able to hold myself back as he does.
Tell me if you don't laugh when he talks about what the cold does to his tires. You'll notice we recorded a long time ago when we talk about Greta Thunberg.
Listen to the end, especially after he talks about his daughter, where we get into what actions like these are about. It's about meaning and purpose and living an intentional life of those things---how accessible those things are, yet today's world makes it easier to live passively, losing meaning.
I learn from every guest, but Jethro led me to some new places. He came to me with this commitment, from listening to other guests. Unpacking that clause, ". . . then what I do doesn't matter" hit me listening to him. If a clean environment means something to you and you say things including the phrase, " . . .what I do doesn't matter . . ." about something meaningful---first, it does matter. Where we are now is the result of people's behavior.
Second this is your chance to create meaning in an area of importance. You don't have to ride a bike in Fairbanks, but what can you do?
Everyone talks about what they can't do. Well Jethro---a regular guy---rode his bike to work every day, including in -40 degree weather. What can you do?