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.