074: Scott Mautz, part 1: Finding the Fire (transcript)
Scott comes from leading billion-dollar companies within major global corporations, well, Procter & Gamble which he left to restart a life of a speaker, a writer, a coach. You know he has to go out and hustle now. So he brings multiple views to helping people. You’ll hear that he’s mission-driven, he’s purposeful, he’s focused on others. I think he says very clearly the common theme that I hear throughout in the most effective leaders they focus on the other person, it’s the motivations and emotions of the other people what drives them. That’s what you lead them with. And he shares how and why he changed in ways that a lot of people dream of to go from corporate to living the life that he wants on his terms. Not easy. Pretty hard. I can speak from experience myself that he’s helped me and coached me in ways that have helped me beyond what I thought. We met because we have the same literary agent, this is a couple of years ago. He made that launch process which was very difficult a lot easier than it would have been, giving me wisdom and connections and you could tell he really enjoyed helping me. So let’s listen to Scott.
Joshua: We’ve met, I guess it’s been maybe a year or so now, we have the same book agent and same publisher. And your book is coming out. I’ve not read it yet. No, I have read some of it.
Scott: [unintelligible] I sent you. It’s called Find the Fire: How to Reignite Your Inspiration and Make Work Exciting Again. It’s built around a simple promise of man, there’s a lot of people out there just hurting in their jobs and they work right now that are really unhappy and inspiration has left out the door. Research will tell us 70 percent of us feel that way frankly.
And you know we try to repair it by when we’re feeling down and blue and uninspired we ask ourselves, â€œWell, what inspires me? And I’m going to go try do more of that.â€ But that’s not the right way to go out of it because that’s a very passive elusive thing that can get repressed if you try to bring it on that way. And a better question to ask yourself is, â€œWell, how did I lose my inspiration in the first place?â€ And the book answers that question because inspiration was everywhere. When you started your job, you didn’t have to work very hard, it was very natural, very naturally occurring. And a number of things happened to us over time that just drain the inspiration out of our work lives and the book exposes those things. It gives kind of a cerebral discussion of what inspiration is.
Joshua: Every time I’ve interacted with you, you’ve been tremendously helpful, youâ€™ve been upbeat. In my experience with you, you don’t sound like someone who’s lost the passion. Is it something that happens to everyone? Or are you speaking from experience or people that you’ve coached?
Scott: Yeah. Very, very insightful from you, Joshua. I’m lucky in that I am a self-inspiring type of person meaning that I’ve tapped into what I’ve been researching for over two decades to figure out the tricks of how to keep my engine fueled and how to keep my passion burning. That’s been gone for quite some time so I’m lucky to avoid the malaise that strikes quite a few people I think. But it’s also because I’m able to avoid that. I feel I’m so equipped to help just the masses and masses of other people that are just losing their mojo at work.
Joshua: You’re sharing what works for you. I mean were you always that way? Because I think the people who learn the social emotional skills a lot of people think, â€œOh, they were born that way.â€ But I think everyone learns. I think that maybe people learned it when they were a kid and they don’t remember learning it. But no one’s born automatically knowing how to be happy no matter what.
Scott: That’s exactly right. And those that say they are full of baloney. So yeah there’s a lot of intentionality to what I write about, Josh, and what I speak about. You have to have a plan for it. I feel like I’m lucky in that. I’m very naturally a very happy guy and when I do have periods of malaise they’re very short. But because of that I feel blessed and I have made it my personal mission to help those that are kind of suffering. And I try my level best to walk a mile in their shoes as much as I can. And I supplement my own limited experience into periods of you know when I’m personally not inspired with research on what millions and millions and millions of data would point to how people generally tend to become uninspired. And I use that as fuel to figure out solutions and help people pull themselves out of a malaise.
Joshua: Youâ€™re talking about what happens with them. I’m kind of curious for you as a coach, as a leader, youâ€™ve lead in mega giant corporations and now is it fair to say youâ€™re more of a hustler? I mean youâ€™re a speaker, youâ€™ve spoken to a lotâ€¦ I mean people donâ€™t know this but I’m moving into speaking, you’re way ahead of me. You’ve been very helpful with your experience so you’ve worked with lots and lots of people and lots and lots of contacts. What’s it like for you? Do they inspire you back? What’s it like helping people when you get the results?
Scott: I have to say it’s so funny. You know I worked at Procter & Gamble for several decades and I ran some of their very largest multibillion dollar businesses. And when I decided to take the lead and go into the world of speaking and writing you know some people were like, â€œYou’re crazy, man. You got the golden handcuffs, you got everything going for you. You got you know more promotions looming, even more money, even more power, even more responsibility.â€ But I kept coming back to one question and I asked myself this over and over and over again to make the decision of you know should I stay or should I go from corporate life. Because of the time I have left on this planet whatever that might be, what is the easiest and most powerful way, the most productive way to have a positive impact in the lives of other human beings? Is it sticking around at Procter & Gamble and fighting my way to the next level of the company and running a division of you know a thousand and being hopeful to have personal contacts with a hundred of them and influencing a hundred of them directly? Or speaking to 5000 people at once like I did two months ago and connecting with their hearts and their minds? Or thousands and thousands and thousands of people I can reach with my writing through my books or my column that I write for Inc.com.
Once I put it that way it was very, very simple. When I knew the best way to make an impact on other people is by going and doing what I’ve chosen to do now it became a very simple equation. So now to answer your question directly, â€œWhat does it feel like when you’re helping people?â€ it feels like I’m fulfilling my mission, feels like I’m living a purpose and what I was intended to do and not that I didn’t enjoy my time in corporate life and that I didn’t try my level best to influence people around me the best way possible but I feel like now I’m more directly incongruently in line with what’s significant to me in my life. So it’s a very profound feeling of deep satisfaction when I’m able to help people, Josh. A very long answer to a simple question.
Joshua: I want to ask you something. So you make the switch and now you’re doing it on your own but also you collectively people who say, â€œI want to find meaning and purpose and create it for myself in the world.â€ How do you influence people, how do you lead people when you don’t have authority over them? I mean I know howâ€¦ I mean is that one of the main things that you have to do is because you can’t just like work up the ladder. You have to find people, you have to find opportunities, make things happen. And when you don’t have that structure around you how do you influence people, how do you get people to want to hire you and promote you and things like that?
Scott: Yeah. It’s a great question, Josh. And what’s always worked for me at least in my career and my approach I have to say is consistently focusing on others and not myself and then ends up in the end it was never a goal of mine to have it help my career but in a roundabout way it really did it at the end of the day. And where a lot of leaders go wrong is they think it’s a zero-sum game, it’s about advancing myself and my cause making myself look good. For me to win, somebody has to lose. And the most progressive companies and the most progressive leadership chains realize that if you can attack your job with a servant mentality, consistently asking yourself how can I help others become a better version of themselves? How can I serve those around me? How can I have compassion in the job that I’m doing? Believe me, people are drawn to that and they want to work with that. And you get so much more motivation. You know the old saying of the carrot and the stick, it’s more than just a carrot. It’s about compassion and having empathy for the fellow human being and really caring about them as an individual and where their career takes them. I’ve encountered such success in corporate and outside of corporate because I fundamentally believe if I’m helping others and doing my job, if I’m ever in a place where that’s not good enough, I have to start engaging in behaviors that are against my value system to stand out politically, to get myself more notoriety than I’m happy with moving on even if it means things like making a lot less money or working in some smaller environment of less stature, that it really does boil down to that.
Joshua: So now here I have to comment something. This is going to be new to you Scott but regular listeners to this podcast are going to know that Iâ€¦You hit on a common theme that the more effective leaders are, the more that I find that the focus is on the other person. And in stark contrast to what you see in movies and dramas that you see on TV where leadership is about myself and getting ahead and what can I do and the zero-sum thing that you talked about and what I find is effective is this focus on the other person and leadership is so much aboutâ€¦ Well, if you look at it from a purely Machiavellian terms, leadership is about motivating the other person, their motivations and motivate them. But then that’s also where you get purpose and meaning from. So I’m really glad to see that. Just to make it clear, your book will help people to develop these skills. Is that right, that perspective?
Scott: Yeah. I think it will help. The new book coming out in October, Find the Fire, the subtitle Reignite Your Inspiration and Make Work Exciting Again, it helps people find within themselves first you got to take care of yourself before you can lead others. You know there’s that old saying that the purpose of leadership isn’t to create more followers, itâ€™s to create more leaders. Well, you can’t create more leaders until you clearly believe in yourself, you’re happy with yourself and you’re believing that you have the ability and wherewithal to lead you know for all the right reasons.
Berkshire Hathaway has kind of criteria of hiring that are very much focused on finding the type of people that are self-starters in their own happiness, self-starters in their own inspiration and they look for that intentionally because they want people that want to commit to the job because they’re passionate about it and its ability to serve others through that. They don’t hire just whip smart people that understand investing. And that’s a lot of what you know creating good leadership is about and what my book can help people do, it helps themâ€¦If you’re hurting at work, if your confidence is down, if you’re suffering through fear, if you feel inundated, if youâ€™ve become bored and you’re settling, if you don’t believe in yourself as much anymore and you find yourself not creating and outputting you’re not leading yourself. It is very difficult to lead other humans if you don’t lead yourself first. And that’s what my book helps you to do. And it helps you to figure out the things that, social science teaches us, tend to drag us down into the muck and into malaise and drain our inspiration. My book teaches you how to reverse that so you can lead yourself and then lead others even more effectively.
Joshua: I want to take actually something you said related to the environment because you are talking about values and you were talking about leading yourself and when you talked about values, I felt like a lot of people had to go through a struggle of living by your values sometimes when it’s easier not to. And it seems to me like that’s the big challenge with the environment because we grew up in a world where it is just natural to you know you donâ€™t have to think about it. You know you don’t have to think about the exhaust out of your car, out of an airplane. You donâ€™t have to think about that you knowâ€¦Two hundred years ago no matter what you threw on the ground it would eventually biodegrade. It would not last for 10000 years but now a lot of stuff will. The mental models we had growing up, the values we had growing up are inconsistent with, the science says as far as I can tell, is inconsistent with having like society and culture continuing for long term. So people are facing the challenge you are talking about. I have a value that says one thing but it’s easier for me to do something different.
Scott: Yeah. It’s so true you know values are obviously those little things we do each and every day that exemplify who we are [unintelligible] little impressions that lead up to one huge permanent impression about us. And what I keep reminding myself and others is that we have a choice each and every day to live in support of our values or in spite of our values. And I think particularly in the case of the environment it’s so much easier to live in spite of our values rather than in support of because you know you and I’ve had this talk before, Joshua, because it’s just easier. Doing things right as a leader is hard. Doing things right for the environment is hard. It’s so much easier to live in spite of our values rather than in support of our values. And I don’t point a finger at everyone else like I think I’m any better. You know I have to think about this and Iâ€™m supposedly I’m a higher echelon of leaders that really start from a place other than myself. I mean I teach at Indiana University on the topic of Others oriented leadership and despite all of that I still have to remind myself to live in support of versus in spite of my values. But it is truly a daily struggle.
Joshua: Now you agreed to do this knowing that I was going to ask for a personal challenge and for anyone who has not released a book the launch process is insanity and everyone wants your time and so for you to do this is like I’m very grateful that you would give time for this podcast. And now am I right in saying that what you’re talking about is what you’reâ€¦ What you talk about, about not backstabbing, about getting fulfillment, about living by your values, about getting through the struggle to improve your life. Is that the vision that you have of this personal challenge that’s going to come?
Scott: I think so. And so what I wanted to do was wrap small doable things and then sandwich right in the middle one big thing that I could really work on so that I could enjoy some success in doing some small things and start to feed my fulfillment slowly and not be discouraged by the big challenge I’m going to put in the center of my life here, at the center of this acronym that I developed for myself so I can kind of increase my chances of success and sticking with it over time. And frankly just putting the effort in and if I could see this through to completion, I think I’m going to find it and it’s going to lead to really a tremendous amount of accomplishment and personal success and fulfilment for me.
Joshua: This is what happens when I talk to people who are like who do leadership, who lead others and lead themselves. You are already like way ahead of whereâ€¦ You already know how to do all this. Let me say the basics just for anyone who hasn’tâ€¦If this is the first time listening. I’m inviting you to do a personal challenge and you do not have to change the world overnight. You don’t have to solve everything. You don’t have to do it for very long. You don’t have to do it but if you choose to do it I hope that you think of it as something long term even if it’s something you only commit to doing short term. And it’s something that you have to come up with and it sounds youâ€™ve already done this. It sounds you’ve come up with multiple things. What have you come up with that you sound like you want to do?
Scott: Okay. So here is what I try to do and hopefully you’re not going to laugh at me here, Joshua, but I came up with an acronym to help me remember this. And you know what I find in business and with the environment that people pay a lot of lip service. They talk a lot about doing the right thing for their people. They talk a lot about not worrying you know subjugating to the greater good. They talk a lot about making a difference in the environment and really caring and in a lot of times itâ€™s lip service.
So what I tried to do, number one, was create a simple acronym LIP and I’ll tell you what it stands for. LIP. Number two, I wanted a sandwich this. The L and the P are very small things that I wanted to encourage your listeners like you said and you recorded me, it doesn’t have to be life changing stuff, you could start small. So I have few small things on the outskirts and then I have a big thing in the middle, the I in LIP. So I’ll start with the two ends. The L and the P in LIP. Very simple.
And it shames me to tell you this but I have a huge habit of leaving like every fricking light on in the house and my daughter and my wife tell me all the time, â€œYou’re wasting electricityâ€ and I don’t have a good reason for why I leave every light on in the house but I do. So my L in LIP, and itâ€™s a small thing, is I’ve talked to my wife and my daughter about this. We’re going to be very, very mindful of dive down big time the use of electricity and lighting in our house and it is going to start with me and I’m going to start you know really thinking about that and paying attention to it.
On the other side of that equation, small things that you can do, the P and this is really small but I am also notorious for leaving everything in the world plugged in and it doesn’t need to be. I’ll charge my iPhone and I’ll take the phone off of the charger and the charger stays sitting in the wall with the other end of it naked and just sitting there. Or Iâ€™ll use the toaster but we don’t unplug it when we’re done and on and on and on and on. And I know that research is very clear on the amount of electricity you burn and waste by this just unnecessary habit of leaving everything in the house plugged in. Those are the L and the P, the small things.
Now the big thing in the middle for me, the I in LIP, and this is where it’s going to take much more commitment rather than just mindfulness. The first two were mindfulness, frankly. This one is commitment. The I is going to beâ€¦ I’m going to work very hard at increasing I, increase use of alternatives. So I’ve kind of mapped this out and I’m going to start trying to drive whenever I possibly can versus fly. And you know I will take a flight for you know a speech that’s you know X number of miles away when if I was really honest with myself I could jump in my Mini Cooper that is very good on gas mileage. I bought a version of particularly good on gas mileage and I’m positive, I would have much less of an impact. And by the way, I could look at bus lines as well and train lines. I wish the United States had the train line system that Europe has but I’m going to start to really look hard at alternatives to flying where I could still get to the destination in a reasonable amount of time even if it requires a little bit of extra investment.
I am going to increase the use of alternatives and for example foods, working with my wife to figure out where we can buy foods that haven’t been treated with pesticides [unintelligible] do a number on our environment. And it’s so easy to find good organic choices that haven’t been treated and doused with chemicals. My wife does a much better job of implementing that in our house and I’m going to join her in that for I. Increasing the use of alternatives can also be starting to make choices. And when I have to purchase something. Purchase something and it doesn’t have so damn much packaging to it. There are so many things now so wrapped in so much plastic and junk and garbage that I’m either going to start asking myself â€œDo I really need that thing to begin with?â€ because it’s going to fill up a landfill worth you know plastic and crap and over packaging, â€œCan I do without it?â€ Or can I find an alternative that’s much simpler and sleeker and reward with my wallet those manufacturers that have thought through the amount of packaging that’s really required for a product that’s needed?â€ So the theme is increasing use of alternatives and getting really serious about trying to find places to do that. The acronym is LIP and I intend not to pay lip service, Joshua.
Joshua: The way that you’re talking about it, it’s like youâ€™re problem-solving. You’re like interested in something, this is something interesting, this is living by values. You’ve crossed the chasm from looking at this it’s like, â€œOh, it’s a burden or something I don’t want to deal withâ€ to â€œI’m reading the emotion of like curiosity or not curiosity, like enthusiasm, intrigue.â€ I like that. I just had to comment on that because this is not the voice that someone’s like, â€œOh, woe is me. I have to not flyâ€ or something like that. It’s like this is what happens when you live by your values is you explore your values.
Scott: That’s right. And again, you know I keep going back to before I was ready to commit you to take on a challenge, I told myself if I’m not going to care about it, then that I’m not going to do it. And that’s why I believe it’s almost impossible to fail at your challenge that you’re issuing to your listeners. If you start from a place of reframing the challenge and reframing the outcome of what you’re asking for until it matters enough. And for me I just kept telling myself it would be so easy to tell Joshua I don’t have time. The little thing I’m going to do is it going to make a difference, it will make for a good story and a podcast but it’s not going to matter. And I had to just fight all of that instinct and say, â€œNo, it will matter.â€ It’s time to start doing your part. And at that point it becomes a in a weird way a little bit of a game of intellectual curiosity, of measurements, of stick-to-it-ness, of integrity and it takes on a whole another life once I reframed it that it needs to matter more. And I’m very interested in it. I think it’s going to be fun.
Joshua: Great. So now that we have a date, to wrap up you have a new book coming out. People are going to want to contact you for coaching, for more about your book. How can they find you? How can they find the book?
Scott: Yeah, great. Thanks, Josh. The new book is called Find the Fire: Ignite Your Inspiration and Make Work Exciting Again. It comes out October 12. You can of course find it on Amazon but the best place to go is go to my website scottmautz.com, and you’ll learn more about the book there, you’ll learn about my keynote speaking services. I also I do one-on-one coaching as well. And if you want to follow me on as social as well the scottmautz.com, thatâ€™s your one-stop shop.
Joshua: And I have to add to this that listeners can make their own judgment but of the people that I’ve spoken to youâ€™re comprehensive, you know what you’re getting into, you’re taking on a bigger challenge than almost anyone and you are someone who has obviously taken on challenges yourself, lead other people through challenges, you’ve seen the hurdles that come because all these things that are like tripping other people up like you’ve handled it. So I don’t know if this is to promote you it’s like if people want coaching, if people expect like I expect a lot out of this book. I mean I think it’s going to deliver. So I had to comment that because I’m asking people to change themselves and you’re working on it on a level of comprehensiveness. And what’s the word, like solid, like it’s really clear that you’ve been through this before. So I appreciate that. Thank you.
Scott: Thank you, Joshua. And thanks for having me on. I hope your listeners get something not only out of our talk, I hope they get something out of the book Find the Fire and in general out of your podcast which I’m sure they will on a continuing and sustaining basis.
Scott showed what many people prefer to hide, letting us into his home life seen so stuff that a lot of people don’t like to say that they’d leave lights on and things like that or that their family doesn’t like that they do these things. But leaders allow themselves to be vulnerable and they make themselves accountable, they choose these things voluntarily. And is it obvious also to you that he’s going to use this change to improve his relationships. Many people fear that change will undermine their relationships, it will cause problems. But leaders see others to work with, not against. A lot of people in this podcast they choose smaller things to do for their challenges like they’ll do something like avoiding disposable coffee cups. Scott’s going much bigger than that. So I wonder if he gave himself too much or did his acronym and system enable him to do more than most people. I expect he’ll grow in more ways than he expects in ways that you can only get from doing things. I’m interested to hear how he takes on this multitude of challenges and if he gets at all to work together.
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