Creating Great Leaders with Vince Molinaro and Personal Development with Roger Salam

Leaders make the team. They are the ones that glue things together. They shape the culture of the place. That is why they have the power to either break or make the business. Vince Molinaro, New York Times bestselling author of The Leadership Contract and the Global Managing Director of The Lee Hecht Harrison Leadership Transformation Practice, gives his insights on leadership—what makes a good leader and how can they help step up the business. He talks about how being a leader is a contract; it has to be something you’re not pushed into but instead it is your passion. So he lays down the four terms of this contract, giving more value to how leaders ought to be.


On to another great person who talks about the value of developing people, Roger Salam talks about teaching and learning. He is an award-winning speaker, bestselling author, consultant, and the Chairman and Founder of The Winners’ Circle International Inc.—an invitation-only mastermind. He shares about what separates his Mastermind from the rest while giving and recommending books he has read that taught him as well about personal development.

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I’m so glad you joined us because we have Vince Molinaro and Roger Salam here. Vince is a New York Times and the USA Today bestselling author of The Leadership Contract. Roger is a bestselling author, award-winning speaker and a Mastermind specialist. Both of them you’ve seen everywhere. They’ve been on all the top news outlets and it’s great to have them both.

Listen to the podcast here

Creating Great Leaders with Vince Molinaro

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The Leadership Contract: The Fine Print to Becoming an Accountable Leader

I am here with Vince Molinaro, who is the New York Times bestselling author of The Leadership Contract. He is the Global Managing Director of the Lee Hecht Harrison leadership transformation practice. He has spent more than twenty years as an adviser to boards and senior executives looking to improve leadership accountability in their organizations. His writing has been featured in the Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Inc. Magazine and the World Economic Forum. I’m very interested in your work. We have some friends in common and a lot of people have recommended that I talk to you because everything that you write about is right up the alley of what I’m interested in and what my audience is interested in. I’m very fascinated by the success of your book, The Leadership Contract and it was in its third edition.

It was released in its third edition and I also wrote up The Field Guide for leaders that accompanies the book so they can read the book and then apply the ideas in their own leadership roles.

Tell me a little about The Field Guide. What does that entail more? A little more in depth.

It came about from our customer demand and client demand where they had the book. We developed a workshop around The Leadership Contract, but they were telling us, “This is great but we want to go deeper. We want something that leaders can use in their own roles are what their teams and something that can be sustained over time.” That was the impact and it was taking a lot of what we’ve learned in working with leaders around the world. Driving leadership accountability at a personal and team level. There’s a whole series of practical exercises and activities to translate the books, ideas into action into one’s leadership roles and with one’s team, that was the intent. Both books were released and they’re a combo pack and they work well together.

I’ve been doing a lot of research for my book on curiosity and looking at some of the things that help make people more effective. Because there’s such a focus on artificial intelligence, innovation and all the things that leaders can be doing. I was fascinated by how you look at what makes a great leader. Do you still think that great leaders are the minority even after your book’s been out for this long? Are they catching on or is it staying about the same?

Given the work that you and I were doing in this space, it’s a fascinating time to be in this leadership industry. There’s a funny thing going on where companies are spending more on leadership development than ever before. The number is $65 million to $70 million that I see out there in the research literature. At the same time, it seems like every week there’s a new story of some high-profile corporate CEO or a political figure embroiled in scandal or corruption and you go, “Are things actually getting better from a leadership standpoint?” That’s a question I’m asking myself.

There are a lot of unsung heroes doing marvelous things in their companies with their teams who believe that the key is about being accountable. Click To Tweet

Then day-to-day, there’s a lot of unsung hero doing marvelous things in their companies with their teams who believe that the key is about being accountable. That’s been the focus of my work because I’ve been trying to figure out what’s missing because it’s not like the world needs more leadership books and yet more produced every day. The challenge I was trying to help solve was clients spending on development, not seeing it translated to stronger leadership and trying to understand that problem. To me, that’s where the idea of The Leadership Contract came about.

It is an interesting thing because I still teach quite a bit and I often ask students, we get a lot of discussions about communication and I’ll ask them, “There are so many books, there’s so much out there that tell us how important communication is, why aren’t we getting any better at it?” It’s the same thing, there are so many great leaders. I’ve had some great leaders on my show, Doug Conant and Keith Krach and the list goes on of people who have been on my show that know how to do it right. There’s still so much going on with all the corruption and scandals. You hear people always say people leave bosses, not companies. Didn’t you have a statistic that 75% of employees say their interaction with their managers is the most stressful part of their job?

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The Leadership Contract Field Guide: The Personal Roadmap to Becoming a Truly Accountable Leader

When you ask employees what’s the most stressful part of their job, three or four of us face our manager. Other research has found when you ask employees if you have a choice between getting a pay raise or a new manager, 66% of them say, “Give me a better experience of leadership.” In other words, “Give me a new manager.” They’ll forgo an increase the compensation. Part of what’s happening is that Millennials are driving these huge expectations on wanting to have the opportunity to work with someone who you deem to be a great leader. That increases the expectations of those of us in leadership roles. That’s a good thing but it means the bar is high and you’ve got to commit to working towards that high bar of what we expect for people.

I worked for a company where the leaders were rated one of the lowest of those lists. There were a lot of problems with engagement and all the cultural problems. The company kept chugging along. I remember asking one of the leaders, “Why doesn’t this company go down? Why is it sticking around if it’s so badly managed and led?” He said something to me, I hadn’t thought of it before. He says, “It’s a lot harder to kill a company as to create one that they could keep chugging.” Do you agree with that?

You can drive performance in a number of ways. I can see a hard-driving, a manager that may not pay attention to my team and push people hard and people will do that. They’ve got jobs, they’ve got mortgages, they’ve got things and they’ve got obligations they’ve got to live up to. That will take you so far. Sometimes you can have the right product, the right service at the right time. There’s an interesting business model. The real strength in leadership is the innovation and that can certainly drive you for a period of time. You get to a point in the evolution of the company where you’ve got to start addressing the bad leadership.

In fact, I’ve done global research and it’s in the book that when we survey our companies, 20% say that they actively address the leaders who they know to be mediocre and unaccountable. In conversations with particularly HR leaders, we all admit we all know who they are, we don’t know or choose not to do anything about it because it’s good enough. It’s this sense of things are okay. They’re not great but they’re okay, which perpetuate keeping those leaders who are struggling in their roles were more mediocre. In turn, not creating a great experience for their employees and that’s unfortunate. The other thing is in those companies, there probably are some strong leaders and their performance is so strong that carries things and makes up the gap and in others.

When you’re saying that, it makes me think of like, “He’s not a bad parent. No one’s dying.” It’s how we look at it, we’ll allow it as a minimum. It’s fascinating to me. In your book, you have four terms in The Leadership Contract. What are they? In case anybody’s not read the book yet, give a little bit of an insight.

It begins with this idea of a contract. As clients, we’re struggling with the problem, even if the leadership is not as strong as it needs to be. I’ve spent my career in this field both as a consultant researcher and writer and then in my own leadership roles. I thought that what we have to come back to is this idea that whenever anyone takes on a leadership role at any level, they have signed up for something important. It’s always been true. I don’t think that’s necessarily a new idea. If you ask people like I have, it’s almost ingrained in us as humans when we think of someone as a leader, we immediately expect more from them from a behavior. We hold them to a higher standard of behavior. To me, that implies a contract. You’ve got a leadership role, you signed up for something important, but we never made that clear to people in leadership roles.

The real strength in leadership is the innovation. Click To Tweet

Most people get into leadership roles. When I asked them if I’m honest, “I got in by accident or I was good at something. I was a good engineer, a good salesperson, a good analyst. I was the one who was around a lot.” It was a rewarding tenure and then you move people into leadership roles. You don’t support their development and they’re trying to deal with the team and all these people issues. The first thing is that there’s a contract, and the world is so complex that I don’t think you can get into that role without paying attention to what you signed up for. The first idea is there is a contract, we’ve got to make it explicit and it comes with four terms.

The first term is it’s a decision. You’ve got to make a deliberate decision to define yourself as a leader, make leadership your main thing, make it your passion. We find a lot of leaders who particularly when they’ve been promoted because of strong technical expertise, still think of themselves as the engineer first or as a salesperson. The leadership is a part-time job. I’m saying not good enough, the role is too demanding. The company expects a lot from you. You’ve got to make it your main thing. The second term says it comes of obligation. You’ve got to be clear on what’s the enduring value you need to create for your company, for your employees, for your customers, for your shareholders.

Other stakeholders, it’s about leaving things better than you found them. Then that’s got to be pivotal. In our workshops, we find the vast majority of leaders when they come in early in the day and have no idea of what their obligation is as a leader. By the end of it, they get real clarity of what their purpose is and what they’ve got to do to add value. The third term says leadership is hard work and you’ve got to get tough. We expect leaders to tackle complex problems and a lot of tough issues around people. What we find in practices, a lot of leaders shy away from those things. We don’t realize that when we avoid those things, we make ourselves, our teams and our company weaker. We need to resolve and we need to have the courage to go after those things aggressively.

The final term is leadership as a community. It’s about bringing a new model of leadership that’s not about one or two heroes at the top, who have all the answers and know the future and can tell the rest of us what to do. Those models still exist, but more and more we’re finding our content. We’ve got to make sure that we have leadership strength and that leadership is strong in every seat in every role from the frontline through the mid-level, through the top of the house. That sense of building a community of strong leadership culture is another expectation of leaders. That’s, in essence, what The Leadership Contract is about and the four company terms.

Whenever anyone takes on a leadership role at any level, they have actually signed up for something important. Click To Tweet

When you bring up some of those things, I originally think Peter Principle. These people get promoted to their level of incompetence. Sometimes nobody has helped them with the next step and maybe they’re great as an engineer but not so great in the leadership role. I hear so often Millennials are wanting flatter teams and in general, they don’t want to be pointed out as the one in control. They want to be part of a group. Are you seeing more of that?

That’s the other thing, the corporate executive board does some research among leaders and they have found that the amount of collaboration happening in companies is up by 60%. 50% of leaders say that more than ever, they are dependent on colleagues for their own success. There was a time, ages ago when companies were more hierarchical, and you were in your own little silo, you had your own team. You’re all at the same office or the same plan or the same building. You do work on your priorities almost independently and be successful. Nowadays, you need the help from somebody in marketing. You need to help somebody in operations. You’ve got to make sure that sales contribute and legal and corporate. We are in a world where we have to work in a more horizontal way and that means collaborating more. That’s where those relationships become important and that’s where Millennials want to work.

It’s my thinking that even in a lot of the literature on leadership, we talk about leadership and followership as these two separate things. There are people who lead and people who follow. In reality, and I’ve had this in my own experience being on part of a global Fortune 500 company where when you’re working globally and you’re working virtually, a leadership and followership is happening at the same time. Some meetings I take charge and then I take back because it’s time for someone else to step in. It’s a much more fluid relationship between those two. That’s what I’m seeing. I’m not sure what your experience has been.

I see a lot of that one. When I was MBA program chair at Forbes School of Business, I taught a lot of courses that dealt with that. Leader-follower relationships and it led to my interest in writing my book on curiosity of how we’re going to get our followers to be more involved and more innovative because artificial intelligence is such a huge thing, everything’s innovation. How do you get your leaders to allow people to be more curious? For me, I found that a lot of what held people back was the fear environment and different factors like that. If people get shut down, if they offer any suggestions they’re going to shut down. How do you get a leader to develop those traits of natural curiosity in their followers?

There are a couple of things. In the book, there’s an individual response and an organizational response. Organizationally, companies have to set clear expectations of what they expect from their leader. If they’re expecting to drive more innovation and curiosity’s important. You’ve got to make that explicit and that’s where it starts. In my global research, I find only about 49% of organizations that we surveyed around the world have set clear expectations of leaders. If you don’t do that, you’re hurting yourself. In place, it’s important at an individual level that leader embraced those expectations and modeled that behavior because ultimately, the culture of a place is shaped by the behavior of leaders.

If I’m a leader, and to your point, if my manager has almost conditioned me that every time I put out an idea I get whacked on the head or shut down, then chances are I’m going to do the same thing with my own people. To set those expectations to make those behaviors clear and make sure that leaders model those behaviors that you want your employee to see because they’ll follow along once they see leaders behaving in the right way. If leaders are running scared, if leaders are being provocative, if they’re not demonstrating curiosity, no one else was going to do it.

Any cultural change we want to start at the top. I was thinking about what you said in your video is about how we click agree too much without thinking about what we’re signing up for as leaders. Making explicit expectations is important. Why do you think that’s our natural tendency to say, “Yes, we’ll do this?” We don’t even look and think about what we’re signing up for.

That’s the analogy in the book related to The Leadership Contract. Many of us have taken on leadership roles because we were good at something technical. Your boss taps you on the shoulder one day saying, “You’re so good at this. We’re going to get you to lead the team,” and you don’t want to let your organization down. You’re feeling pretty good about yourself. It’s a better title is usually those jobs in the management track pay more money. Who doesn’t want that? Then the analogy that I say, “It’s not like you’re reading an actual written document as a contract. You’re shooting it like an online contract.” What we all do is when they come up on our laptop screen or on our phone, we click agree and move on without understanding what we’ve signed up for.

What I talk about is important for organizations to set those expectations. Take time when particularly a few key turning points. The first time someone enters a managerial role for the first time or the first time they get into middle management or first time to become an executive. At each of those turning points, what it means to be a leader changes dramatically the expectations that demand the pressures. Instead of having people click agree, sit down with them and say, “Here’s what we expect. Here’s what the role is about. Are you even interested? Are you saying yes for the right reasons?” We’ve got to make it okay for people to say, “This leadership role isn’t for me or I’m not ready. I feel I can add more value in a technical role.” Historically, we’ve not given people that career choice. I remember the first time I was offered, I felt that if I say no, it’s never going to come again. People feel inclined to say yes whether or not they fully understand what they need to do.

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Developing People: People feel inclined to say yes whether or not they fully understand what they need to do.


That’s true because it is a tough thing. You don’t want to pass up your big opportunity, but then you also said something about how we need to make things better every day than we’d made them the day before for it to be a good leader. How do you do that? How do you even know if you’ve done that?

It starts by thinking about your role from a standpoint. This is in the section on obligation. This idea of leaving things better than you found it was and I write about in the book was inspired by Sam Palmisano when he was a CEO of IBM. Once he was interviewed around his perspectives on leadership he said, “My job is to lead this company and its people in better shape for the future and to leave the company in better shape when found it.” When he said that, it locked and loaded my mind saying that’s it. Not only do we hold leaders to higher standards of behavior, at the end of the day we measure leaders in terms of have they left things better? Have they left society better? Have they left their company in a stronger place?

Are things better for customers? Did they leave things better for employees or the communities in which they do business? When you look at all the leaders embroiled in scandal or corruption or bad behavior, they have forgotten that leadership has an obligation. Those scandals, I get how this has benefited you personally. I see all the money you walked away with. I’m not getting how you’ve left things better for everyone else. That’s where, as leaders, we’ve got to understand that idea. In the book and in The Field Guide was an activity for people to define what they see as their primary obligation.

Make it explicit on how they’re going to or how they intend to leave things better. As I said before, a lot of leaders have never even thought of that idea, so they’re not as deliberate, but once it’s surprising to see in our programs, once someone is clear on the obligation, something clicks in them and they elevate their leadership immediately. It’s fascinating to see. At the end of the day, The Leadership Contract ideas are about the mindset of a leader. We don’t teach skills, we don’t teach capabilities. It’s helping people think more clearly and deliberately about their role. If someone at the beginning of the day, wrap up at the end of the program and it’s like you’ve got a different person there. You haven’t taught them how to do anything different, you’ve got to think more deeply about their role.

They’re walking away with more deliberate plan about the leader they aspire to be because at the end, I don’t think people get up in the day wanting to be mediocre. They’ve either only experienced bad managers or their career and has never had good role models. Organizationally, there’s a number of practices in place around innovation and curiosity that you put out an idea, you get shut down. That happens a few times and then you quickly learn, “There’s no point and then stepping up so I’ll just keep quiet.” We get conditioned. Those aren’t excuses. Leaders need to be aware of those things and work to overcome them as best they can.

The culture is shaped by the behavior of leaders. Click To Tweet

I’ve seen that where no good deed goes unpunished, so why bother? You talk about scandals, how much is it the pressure to be competitive to stock price go up to do, to compete and make everybody happy that creates the Ken Lays of the world? Are you surprised by the Wells Fargo and some of the big names that had a decent reputation and then all of a sudden here we are? Any of these that are surprising to you?

At this point in my career, I would say I’m not so much surprised as disappointed because again, we expect a lot more of from leaders. Sometimes because there’s some research that came out on the influence that power has on leaders, how it makes them less empathetic, makes them less sensitive to other’s power, tends to deflect you from feedback. You can be at that, sprinkle a little bit of greed, sprinkle some market pressures and you can see how the conditions get created where someone says, “Let’s take some shortcuts here.”

There’s an opportunity to do something and because you can do something doesn’t make it right. Some people who aren’t good people and they’re wired to behave in those ways, but I wouldn’t say it’s about the conditions they face because a lot of CEOs I work with, they do talk about the market pressures around quarterly results to drive short-term thinking and whatnot. There’s a lot of them that still behaves ethically and behave well. I wouldn’t say it’s strictly those conditions in that environment that drives someone to behave unethically or get embroiled in a scandal.

It’s interesting that research about power and empathy because I wrote my doctoral dissertation on emotional intelligence. Empathy is such a big part of emotional intelligence. I’m glad you shared because that’s an important point. You have so much great information in your book. If anybody hasn’t read it, The Leadership Contract and it’s in third edition, why don’t you share your website, so everybody can know how to find you and find out more about the book?

All the information about the book is at, that’s pretty straightforward. It’s also available on Amazon. It’s been translated into Italian, Portuguese. It’s in South America with the launch of the Spanish book, so that will be available, and the book will be translated into Arabic as well. Lots of momentum around this idea of leadership accountability globally. In fact, in South America was fascinating, I’ve been talking to many clients where they’re saying there’s not a work for accountability in the Spanish language. We don’t even have a way of thinking about accountability because we don’t have a word for it. Leadership accountabilities are a problem and so it was fascinating to be talking to a lot of business leaders down there about the same issue. What it takes to run a successful company is the same challenge.

Whether you’re in Shanghai or whether you’re in Zurich, whether you’re in Santiago or in Houston, business is very similar everywhere. That’s where I see even while there are some cultural differences around leadership, what people want, what employees desire, the environment they want, the leaders they want to work for, the leaders that will get the best out of them. I’m finding more and more that there are more similarities globally around those things. I’ve been fortunate that these ideas have spread around the planet in a positive way. It’s been great traveling and talking to leaders about some of their challenges, but more importantly how they can work together with their fellow leaders to drive the success of their companies and create great environments for employees.

It’s been great talking to you about this too and this is a wonderful book. I hope people take some time to check out your site. Thank you so much for being on the show, Vince.

Thanks for the opportunity. Great talking to you. I admire your work. Wish you all the best as you continue to spread your great ideas and the ideas of so many others.

Personal Development with Roger Salam

I am here with Roger Salam, who’s an award-winning speaker, bestselling author and consultant to CEOs and a high-level executive trainer. He is the Chairman and Founder of the Winners Circle International Inc. and it’s an invitation-only mastermind for speakers, authors, consultants, and highly successful entrepreneurs and business leaders. Prior to founding TWC, he joined the team of world-renowned author and inspirational speaker, Anthony Robbins. He’s the bestselling author of six books on sales, marketing, real estate success and masterminds. We know a lot of the same people and you started out speaking with Tony Robbins. I met him at the Genius Network in Arizona. I wanted to start with that if you don’t mind because I wanted to know what the biggest thing is you learn from that experience because that’s quite an experience.

I joined back in the early ’89, ’90s when I first saw him literally right out of UCLA. My manager took me there. I was so impressed with Tony and I said to myself that I want to master what he’s teaching. I don’t want to gobble in it and what better way to master that to go work for him. He’ll make sure I live it, otherwise he’ll fire me. I didn’t even know what I was doing but I realized later on that I did a total immersion learning. Anytime you want to master something, you put yourself in a total immersion environment. You’ll do it a lot faster. It allowed me to go there. If you want to learn Chinese, you can go to a class or you can go to China.

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Developing People: Anytime you want to master something, put yourself in a total immersion environment. That way, you’ll do it a lot faster.


Where do you think you’ll learn faster? You immerse yourself in there and from there I got on the road. I used to be on the road 48 weeks out of the year and speaking every day. I remember the very first day I asked Tony, “Tony, how long will it take me to master this presentation?” and in a true Socratic method, he answered, “How long do you want it to take it? If you speak once a week, it will take you ten years. If you speak once a day, it will take you five years. If you do it two times a day, it will take you one year.” I said, “I’ll do it three times a day because I don’t want to wait.” That’s what I did and I’m not bragging that I was the number one speaker by a long shot.

My goal was not to make the most income or anything as I was enjoying the process. Forty-eight weeks out of the year I traveled, people say, “You’re going to get burned out.” Not for a single day I got burned out because my passion was to speak. I was the first kid on the on the road that started doing presentations on Sundays and people were like, “New kid on the block, he’s going to get burned out.” I say to myself, “I can’t think of a more noble thing to do on a Sunday morning than have a group of people giving me the privilege to be a catalyst in their life to make their lives better.” What could be better? The thought never crossed my mind that I’m there to make a presentation to make money. Those were the byproduct. If anything, the biggest lesson I learned is that when you’re passionate and do what you love to do, money will follow. You could do more what you could do if you did it for money. That’s the beauty of it. When you’re not doing for money, that’s when you seem like money comes to you more.

We talked about that on the show with other people about doing what you love and I’m working on my research on curiosity and the importance of curiosity and what inhibits it. A lot of people who are passionate about certain things, but they can’t make good money. If you love parking cars, you might not make the same amount of money. It’s interesting to me what makes somebody curious or passionate about their different hobbies or interests or different things. For me, when I was doing the research, I found four things that held people back from being curious and they were fear, assumptions, technology and environment. It sounds like you were always a curious person. You’re very driven. Most people wouldn’t want to go 48 weeks a year like that on the road, that’s a lot. What do you attribute that to? Where did you get that drive? You obviously had it before you met Tony. How did you get that?

Perhaps it’s from the very childhood, I had this natural metaphysical bend. Even in middle school, I had diaries or journals. I found my diary, I believe it’s sixth or seventh grade, and I opened it and I called it My Philosophy: Wisdom Derived from the Changes and Trials of Life. I had no idea that was the tagline. I’m a collector of quotes. Since then I was writing anything that resonated with me. I would take that quote and put that in my diary. That’s all I had in my diary. Every year I would get a new diary from my father. Right from that early age, looking back when I’m reading that I said, “How old was I?”

When you’re passionate and do what you love, money will follow. Click To Tweet

I’m going to ask one thing that most people actually miss. If I’m parking cars, how can I make money doing it? What you do is if you are the best parking attendant, you get the process that you can park more cars. You can get more tips than anyone else by a long shot, and what you do is you bottle that. Then you go to teach all the other parking attendants and you go create a course on that because there are parking attendants all over the world. That’s how you become financially independent and similarly, if you’re a teacher, you teach kindergarten. How come your students sleep and listen and that’s what you bottled, and you become multi-multimillionaire doing what you absolutely love? What you do is you scale.

The Law of Compensation, people mistakenly think of that. The fireman or the school teacher they’re so underpaid. The Law of Compensation is simply this. You get compensated based on the number of people you serve and how well you serve them. It has nothing to do with that you’re a good person, that you’re helping. It’s how many people you serve and how well you serve them is the Law of Compensation. I believe that you can bottle that parking attendant or bottle that school teacher and you will truly, honestly, sincerely do what you love and your money will follow. There are parking attendants. There are kindergarten teachers all over the world, this day and age. This is why I’m telling you what you’re doing with a podcast, all of a sudden, a million kindergarten teachers from around the world is subscribing to that for $1 a month. You’re making $1 million a month doing what you love. You can still have your day job of teaching so that you’re passionate and you’re current and relevant.

It’s not like you’re teaching twenty years ago, 30 years ago and you’ve never stepped in a classroom. I do real estate investing, I mentor students and I’ve been in since 1999 but I still take students in the field. It took us three students in the field for me to stay relevant. I have trained a whole bunch of mentors and whenever I make time, I’m teaching, “Is it still relevant?” I want to know that personally, not through the research or hearing from someone else, “Logically it should still work.”

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Developing People: What better way to learn something than to teach?


That’s how important because you’re talking about training and teaching people. You’ve been listed in America’s Premier Experts and they’re slipping in a Thought Leader of the Year award by the National Academy of Bestselling Authors. You’ve got a lot of accolades out there for helping people to learn and to develop their thoughts. When you were saying that it’s learning about things and what you were like in sixth grade and all that, it reminded me I had Naveen Jain on my show. I went to dinner when he was in town. My husband and I took him out and we were talking to him about what makes him successful. A lot of what he was talking about was how much he reads. He reads so much. It sounds like he was driven to learn from his Indian culture and things that he grew up in. I’m curious about your culture growing up. Was your family dedicated to having you read a lot because that’s an unusual position for sixth grade?

My father was a businessman, so he was always out there being the provider and my mother was a homemaker, encouraging us to always study. I remember that I got my eighth or sixth-grade teacher. She said one thing, and I still talk about it in my speaking engagements, she said, “Every day before you go to bed, ask yourself this question. What have I learned? If you have cannot think of anything, get out of bed. Open the dictionary learn one new word before you go to bed.” Dr. Leo Buscaglia, the love doctor, his Italian immigrant parents used to say, “It’s a sin to wake up as ignorant as you were the day before.”

I have a read through book summaries and audiobooks because I’m on the road a lot, I download audiobooks and I get book summaries. I also do my show for a company that every week, every day I have to do a ten-minute wisdom inspirational talk. I make my talk about the book that I read that week. Almost every week I’m reading a new book. It started back in my childhood. I have three daughters now. They’re twelve, fourteen and nineteen. My nineteen-year-old is in UCLA in my Alma Mater and I always ask them the same question every day. My only advice to them was, “Don’t let your schooling get in the way of your education.”

When you’re talking about how you would give a talk about the book you write, what better way to learn something is to teach it and that’s what you’re doing.

The best way to learn is to teach. On a selfish reason, I do that. I was so beyond excited about the opportunity that this $100 million company, they hired me to be their spokesperson internally. For their tribe, every day I do a talk for ten minutes so I have to summarize something in ten minutes and my thing was I would always do a book. I said, “I’m going to talk about this book.” Primarily their audience are entrepreneurs and businessmen, which resonated with me. There’s another opportunity that I would have done it for free because they’re helping me to create my own content. I don’t have a ten-minute content, I have longer. I would have to paraphrase things and the essence of that particular chapter. These things are coming to me and the harder we work, the luckier you get.

I’m curious about all the books you’ve read, is there any that stood out above the crowd that you go, “That was quite an interesting leadership book?” 

TTL 254 | Developing People
A Happy Pocket Full of Money, Expanded Study Edition: Infinite Wealth and Abundance in the Here and Now

My favorite books are all related to a personal development and entrepreneurial business development. That’s my specialty and that’s where I read. The personal development, career, financial independence money seems to be a big topic. I study two things, money and happiness. These are my two favorite topics to speak on. There’s a book that I read called A Happy Pocket Full of Money. I asked one attendee in my seminar, “What books have you read?” He said, “I’ve read over 500 books this year.” I asked him the same question to you that you asked me, “What is your favorite of that five?” He didn’t even hesitate. He said, “A Happy Pocket Full of Money.” It’s somebody who’s read 500 books and without hesitation, this is the best one.

If somebody recommends a book, I immediately download from audiobooks or Audible. If I like it, then I order the book because then I want to highlight and take detailed notes. If the audiobook doesn’t resonate with me then I don’t bother about ordering the book. Another one you’re probably very familiar with personal development, the one that resonated with me is The Go-Giver, a Bob Burg’s book. Beautifully through a parable, it gives the five principles and one of them I shared with you that he called it the Law of Compensation, and the complication he shares.

If you want finance, if you want also happiness, there’s a book called The How of Happiness. Everybody wants money, everybody wants happiness. The reason the majority don’t have it is number one, they don’t have clarity on either of them. They have more misconceptions about what money is and that’s what blocks them. Clarity is power. As a matter of fact, lack of clarity is a root of all failures. A Happy Pocket Full of Money is a very deep metaphysical book. It’s not a book about money, it’s a book about creation. The universal principles and universal tools, the laws of creation, how things are created, how the universe creates things and thoughts, and what are the tools that he uses.

You cannot build a building without tools, it’s impossible. What are the tools that the universe uses? I’m like a kid in a candy store. I could be there all day, all night. I wish I could stop everything and all day, all night do nothing but study. Every week, I’m in a different city. I’m an experience junkie. I am a lifestyle entrepreneur. I have not bought a round-trip ticket going almost seven, eight years. I’m flying to Dubai local with a one-way ticket. I have no idea when I’m coming back and why should I come back to the same place I came from?

I stay open to opportunities and I live my life with the next person I meet on the plane, in the gym, in my seminar or even the next fender bender. There’s a reason. That’s the person that will take my life to the next level. That’s the person that will bring another level of happiness, give another distinction that I can share and make a difference to someone else and makes life so much interesting because you never knew who that person is. Who knows who’s going to listen to this and what will happen? If this is what you are doing, then you have the opportunity to be spreading this throughout the planet, not just in Arizona, not just in the US, to Google translate somebody in China or in Argentina or in India listening to their own language in Bangladesh.

This is such a great point and I wanted to add a book about happiness. I don’t know if you’ve read a Mo Gawdat‘s book Solve for Happy. He was on my show. He used to work for Google and he’s got a whole happy movement going. You might want to check that one out. I agree with how important it is on to have the ability to look at not just money but happiness. There are so many leaders who have been on my show and groups who have created masterminds and done things to help people get to the next level, and you’ve done that. You have a mastermind. They’re becoming so popular. Can you explain what you do in yours and what makes it unique from some of the others out there?

I used to do masterminds and it is my eleventh year doing it. I know that my mastermind is unique because I am an experience junkie I don’t want to create a mastermind and give people information. I want to create an experience, like a Disney experience. We live in an experience economy. On my last mastermind, I was in Palm Springs at a fifteen-bedroom mansion and fourteen acres surrounded on a top of the mountain that butts head into a national park. I take people out of their normal environment, then I put them in a total immersion environment. When I go overseas it’s also a disruption from that normal life, they are open. When they go to these resort places or a new place, I call it disconnect to connect.

Clarity is power. The lack of it is the root of all failures. Click To Tweet

We are so addicted to phones and things. When people come to my mastermind I said, “I’ll give generous breaks. I hope you don’t go back to your work. You take the time to connect with these other people and in these three days or this week, you disconnect so you can connect. If your life is so dependent on you being connected, that itself is a sign that you need to create better systems and delegate better. Otherwise, if you cannot go out of your business for a week and your business falls apart and you don’t have time to work on your business is you’re always in your business.” I create experiences. When I took people to New Zealand, to China to Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Macau, I’d take them to Bangladesh and these are always twelve to fifteen people. That’s another reason my mastermind is unique. Most people these days, they put on 50 people, 100 people in, they call it a mastermind.

It’s a mill, that’s networking. Mine is a mastermind where everybody gets to speak in front of the group and it’s a collaborative environment when we’re there to help one another. Everybody is focusing and over the years I have created some process. I’ve created structure and that’s what makes the breakthrough. It’s very simple. You don’t need me or anyone. If you put all the great people that you’ve interviewed, if you take half a dozen of these people in any room, they will create good ideas. They’ll make it happen because that’s the type of people they are. They don’t need you, they don’t need me.

Good things will come out of that meeting. If you want great things to come out of it, if you want breakthroughs to come out of it on demand, then you need structure, you need processes, and you need systems around it. That’s how you ensure that every single time, it’s never hit and miss. I have processes to create, not good things but great things and breakthroughs to come out of it because I take them to a place that will inspire them. These are limited to twelve to fifteen people so that everybody gets a chance to go deeper and learn. We’re not rushing, “If I talk to these people more than two minutes, I’m going to miss that other person and they’re looking over their shoulders.” No, it’s only us and everything is taken care of at the moment. It’s an all-inclusive mastermind that they come in with the food, accommodation, transportation. Everything is taken care of all you have to do is get there.

It’s always at the end of the second week. This time, I do a mastermind at sea. That’s one-week cruise where I take hundreds of these thought leaders. That’s my annual event and we focus on the following year. How to have your best year ever? That’s in one place. I’m a very ROI-centric mastermind, not an idea-centric mastermind. It’s ROI-centric that in that one place, you could interview practically all of the other 99 people because they’re thought leaders. You book your whole years’ worth of show, your speaking engagements, your joint ventures.

Whose stage can you be and how can you reciprocate? For seven days you’ve built relationships and the more fun you have, the more business you do. I have zero interest in selling people into my event or my masterminds because I believe that if I have to sell you to come to my mastermind events, then you’re not ready. Then you don’t understand that this is a privilege. I pinch myself, “I’m here.” These people are paying me to be here and I should have paid on the reverse. If you’re the smartest person in that room, it’s time to find a new room.

I’m sure a lot of our audience wants to know about attending your mastermind or finding your work out there. Can you share some links to how they could find you and find out more?

It’s They can go and they’ll see the events and they’ll see what they need to see over there. They can contact me if they have any questions. There is no bone of a competition in me if they want anything, if they don’t want to attend, if they need help creating their own mastermind, I have helped create many masterminds that have nothing to do with it. They can call me because it’s expanding the universal consciousness. That’s the selfish reason I do it. The rising tide lifts all the boats and that’s the concept that you don’t have to worry about it. You make sure the tide comes and you’d be there, your boat’s there so that arise along with the greatness.

Thank you for allowing everybody to have that experience of rising with what you said. I enjoyed having you on the show. Thank you for taking the time. I know you’re a busy guy and I appreciate it.

My pleasure, Diane. It’s a privilege to being who you are.

I want to thank Vince and Roger for being my guests. It’s such a great show.

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About Vince Molinaro

TTL 254 | Developing People

Vince Molinaro is the New York Times bestselling author of The Leadership Contract. He is the Global Managing Director of The Lee Hecht Harrison Leadership Transformation Practice. Vince has spent more than 20 years as an adviser to boards and senior executives looking to improve leadership accountability in their organizations. His writing has been featured in The Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and the World Economic Forum.

About Roger Salam

TTL 254 | Developing PeopleRoger Salam is an award-winning speaker, bestselling author, and consultant to CEO’s and high level executives. He is the Chairman and Founder of The Winners’ Circle International Inc., an invitation-only mastermind for speakers, authors, consultants, and highly successful entrepreneurs and business leaders. Prior to founding TWC, he joined the team of world-renown author and inspirational speaker, Anthony Robbins. He is the bestselling author of six books on sales, marketing, real estate success, and masterminds.

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