Business owners always want to get a quick answer when things get complicated. If they don’t, there’s a good probability that the business will not succeed. Gordon Bizar finances businesses using leveraged buyout techniques and systems that people can apply to every aspect of connecting thoughts so that their vision for the company can be executed. The power of vulnerability is to create a team of leaders by a paradigm shift of mindset. Barry Kaplan believes that the inward shift and connecting with their emotions and abilities can help people find empowerment. Barry explains how a threshold of inquiry will start or delay our journey to believe in ourselves.
We have Gordon Bizar and Barry Kaplan here. Gordon is a mentor and educator but he’s mostly a business coach and financial advisor for entrepreneurs. He has some really interesting things he’s working with. I’m very anxious to talk to him. Barry Kaplan has a new book out called The Power of Vulnerability. He has had it endorsed by Marshall Goldsmith, so that’s quite an endorsement. I’m really looking forward to chatting with him too.
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Leveraged Buyout Techniques with Gordon Bizar
I am here with Gordon Bizar who is an entrepreneur, business coach, finance advisor, mentor and educator. He has helped entrepreneurs get their own businesses all over the world. As a business coach, he’s taught entrepreneurs how to start a business, how to buy a business and expand an existing business. As a finance advisor, he’s shown entrepreneurs how they can finance a business using leveraged buyout techniques, which is LBO. LBO purchases are done by using the assets and cash flows within a business. As a mentor and educator, he’s communicating with members from all over the globe through webinars. I’m very excited to have you here, Gordon. Welcome.
It’s my pleasure to be here, Diane.
I’m a little bit bummed that I didn’t get to interview you on that yacht that I saw your other interview on. Tell me a little bit about that ship? Was that something that was yours? Somebody let you use for that shot?
People tell me the whole idea of having lots of money is because you get to buy stuff. Owning this stuff isn’t as important as having the use of it or the control of it. I concentrated a lot less on owning stuff than I do the idea that I have access to it. This is a case where I have partners who are in the yacht business. They both sell yachts. They have a division that repairs and maintains them as well. We do a lot of work and assistance of each other in various projects. If I need one, I place a phone call and I have at my disposal a crew, yacht, the works. This is just a concept. The beauty of that is philosophy of assets. Who owns who? Do you own the assets? Do the assets own you? If you own the assets, you’ve taken on a maintenance and repair obligation. Stuff doesn’t just heal itself, doesn’t take care of itself, so you have to take care of it. If you have the use of it, you really get the pleasure from it. Somebody else deals with all of the maintenance issues. I’ve always found it better not to own the asset, but to have access to it so that I have it when I need it. Let other people have the ownership rights. Enjoy the usage, which is really what you want anyway.
It was beautiful yacht. I think it was called Casino Royale. It was in Fort Lauderdale as I recall. The leasing concept, it’s the other people’s money idea. Why have a second home that you’re stuck with where you have to go all the time and pay for everything when you can go all over the world? Is that kind of thinking?
I’ve had homes. We had a wonderful home in Lake George. We had a wonderful home at New York. We have a wonderful home in Lake Tahoe and a number of homes elsewhere. The problem was I was only in them5% of the time or 3%of the time. I had 100% of the maintenance and worry. What I figured out a long time ago was ownership is overrated. You really want to find other ways to have the usage of the assets that you required in life or want in life. Have a system that covers the balance of the costs, makes it less expensive to own. Puts the maintenance on other people, but delivers to you the same experience and usage that you have when you own it. I found that actually the much more effective way to live. Let’s be more focused on my business. I don’t have to worry about maintenance. It’s lifestyle. I’ve found more attractive.
You’re all about helping people have a vision. You have a site GettingRichYourWay.com. You talk about vision. Thomas Edison said, “Vision without execution is hallucination.” You help people execute their vision. What do you mean by that?
What are the things that differentiate what we do? What I do from other folks? If the world is full of information, you can get information at the touch of a button with today’s technology. You can find out almost anything about anything. The question is the difference between knowledge, know of, and know how. The difference is huge. If you tell somebody a magic formula and then they try to replicate the formula. They don’t have the real know how of how that formula really comes together. They will find many times they can’t create the same result because there’s that missing gap between the two. What we do is we put together systems that not only teach people everything in every aspect of what has to get done. Stresses bringing to them the know how that actually connects the dots that enables it to be executed. To the extent that they can’t execute it with knowledge and information, we actually partner with them to get it done.
That’s more like the ‘why’ and the whole foundation of everything. I am writing a book on curiosity. Know of is a lot different than know how. We’re losing the, ‘why things have to be a certain way,’ the foundations. Don’t you think sometimes that a lot of people just want a quick answer?
People always want a quick answer. I want a quick answer. Anything worth doing has some complexity to it, especially in today’s world. Until you understand all the nuances that really affected, the chances of you being uber successful with it are probably pretty small. Let me give you an example. What are the things that we teach people in our program about acquiring businesses? The establishment of what we call a cosmic bond between the buyer and the seller. This has nothing to do with finance. It has nothing to do with numbers. It has nothing to do with dollars. It has nothing to do with how do you price the business and how do you allocate values to different. It has nothing to do with any of that. It has to do with the basic fact that buying a business before it’s a financial transaction is first and foremost a psychological transaction. If you spent the first five minutes talking with the seller and they don’t like you, the chances of you ever making a deal with them are slipping.
If they find you open, if they find you somewhat appealing, if they find you somewhat empathetic in their eyes because you remind them of other good people that they’ve met in their lives. If they see you as a person of substance, of competence, of integrity and all that bleeding through. The way you present yourself. The way you carry yourself. If you take a personal interest in them and the things that they’ve done in their past. Share different stories with them that they don’t normally share with other people because you’re both business owner types. All of a sudden, you start to build a bond with that person. The acquisition of a business is an emotional experience for both buyer and seller. There’s going to be times when they resent or rebel against the process. If you don’t have that cosmic bond with the seller, you don’t have the glue necessary to sustain yourself through all of the differences that you guys are going to face trying to put this together. The essence here is, this is the difference between know of and know how. The know of is what I know the mathematical realities of the finance and all that. They might know the sources, they might know this, they know that. That’s all good. If you don’t have that cosmic bond, it’s all for not. That’s the difference between the know-how. How to affiliate with that owner and that seller in a way that makes them responsive and wanting to be the party that sells their pet that they’ve raised to you.
I wrote my dissertation on emotional intelligence. Empathy is such a big part of it. I’ve probably been in sales for many decades. A lot of the training we learn in sales was so important in everything I’ve done. You don’t realize how much you learn from how to interact with people of what it can bring. You’re the kind of guy that knows all the financial aspects. How did you get interested in the personality aspects?
It happened for me a really long time. Before that I had a dad who was very successful in the life insurance business. I was very fortunate because when I first graduated college, I actually spent time with him and went with him on certain interviews that he had. He built a very high level of life insurance where they did estate planning. His clients were fairly wealthy people who had big estate tax obligations at the point that they would die, and life insurance was a key element in that. On these interviews that I went with him, I literally had my jaw dropped sometimes when I listen to my dad talking to these other wealthy people. The level of mutual respect. The level of empathy. One for the other of their issues was something that impacted me at a very high level. I realized that I wanted to emulate that. I used my dad as a role model for how do I connect with people so that they want to do business with me. That was the real snap point for me. I had the idea, but it was a loosely bound concept in my mind. It solidified with me when I went to those meetings with my dad.
It’s always fascinating to me to see where we get the things that open us up to different experiences as we get older. You buy companies and you do a lot with them. You were explaining on some of your videos about how people can do certain things. They run out of their core competencies of what they’re good at. They have a hard time getting the company to grow at scale. It made me think of my neighbor who had started Panera Bread and he ended up selling. It grew to this other thing that he couldn’t have brought it to because that’s not his expertise. How do we know when we’ve met our limits and where we need to sell?
You know what the definition of insanity is? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. There’s a certain point where if a person is reflective on their own behavior. They look at what they’re doing and the results that they’re getting. There’s a certain point where they stop getting results. Up to that point, they do the same thing over and over again and they get results. There’s another point where they keep doing the same thing over and over again and they don’t get results. That’s the point.
I’ve been to these mastermind type of things. They talk about, “You should 10 X here, this and that.”If you’re around people who do things that you don’t do. That are way better than you are at different things. You can get past a certain point. Do you agree with that?
Yes, I do. We live in a world where today collaboration is extraordinarily easy. The conversation that you and I are having being miles apart, it gives us the opportunity to do that. We use GoToWebinar a lot to do meetings all over the world, where we have our London people, Sydney people, New York, Chicago, Hawaii. We have people from all over. We’re all on the same webinar at the same time. We’re sharing documents on the screen. We can make anybody the presenter. We can do in a matter of fifteen or twenty what it would’ve taken me months to do twenty years ago. We didn’t have that level of communication technology. Instantly it’s in everybody’s computer. Instantly everybody’s acting on it. As opposed to the normal process that many of us are used to. Still using today.
I use Zoom quite a bit. I’ve used so many different software packages. I teach a lot of courses asynchronously, which means they are on at different times. I also do some synchronous videos and different things. It’s amazing to me the connections that we have. Technology’s gotten changes. Innovation makes us have to constantly reinvent ourselves. You cannot continue with same business model for forever. How often do you have to reinvent yourself to keep up with innovation?
I’ve been around for a while. My first business I took public in 1969. Back then, I found that I literally had to tear apart my business model, start from scratch and reinvent myself in ten years. The next time I had to reinvent myself, it was eight years. Then the next time I had to reinvent myself, it was five years. Then the next time I had to reinvent myself, it was three years. I am now reinventing myself every year at the least. That doesn’t mean that the old models stopped working. It’s just that they don’t work as well. The new models have presented such great alternatives and brought with them enough innovation, that if you’re not grasping the new innovation, you’re missing out.
In 1980, I was a pioneer in the infomercial. That’s the half hour or hour long commercial. Up to then everything was a spot commercial on radio and TV. The reason I went to an infomercial is people had stopped responding, at any volume, to newspaper ads. I found that I had to take control over my own visibility in the marketplace. I did a lot of marketing back then even by doing radio and TV interviews, like what we’re doing today. It was a way of introducing ourselves, which obviously still works. We still do it. Part of the reason I’m here is I want to expose what we’re doing to other people. I went to the infomercial because it gave me the opportunity to take more control over who saw me, how they saw me, and when they saw me. I could organize that around seminars that we did back then.
I had to innovate that technology. If I didn’t innovate it, I was going to face a losing audience in the message that I used to communicate up until then. If you stop innovating, if you stop reinventing yourself, you stagnate invariably. Then the speed at which you stagnate has been accelerated twenty fold since my first had to realize what was going on.
Times have changed quite a bit. What innovative ideas do you find the most exciting right now? You’ve seen so many different things. How do you keep up with everything? What are you most excited about?
I’ve always found myself as the innovator for all the things that I’ve really ended up doing. The fun for me is to step back from the business environment. Allow myself to feel what’s happening. Then start to see the commonalities of the various patterns that are taking place around me. From those patterns, you start to see the trends and what’s really happening. There were two business models that most people today are familiar with because they’re disruptive. They totally disrupted the prior business model. An example of that would be Uber. Another example of that would be Airbnb. Let me share with something that they both have in common. What both of them did is they innovated into their business model. A simple fact, that people have what you want and they will give it to you if you give them what they want.
That’s a basic axiom. If you have that as your underpinning in business, you’re going to have access to anything and everything you ever want. Let me give you examples with Uber. They took an asset that almost every adult has, which is their car. Another asset, which almost every adult has, is their cellphone. They put that together into a technology where they could be the largest cab company in the world. They don’t have to buy a taxi cab, the people that they want already own them. The people that they need to communicate already have the cell phone. The people that they want to communicate with already have a need and a want to earn more money. Don’t have for them an excellent pathway to do that. They put those pieces together to leverage the assets of other people to accomplish their objective where they stepped back, and they are now just the orchestrator.
They provide the platform and the orchestration that allows the people with the assets to make more money and fulfill their own goals and dreams. Now look for the same pattern in Airbnb. In Airbnb, what do they do? They don’t own a single hotel room. Yet, they have the largest booking organization in the world. They found that people have the homes, they have the condos, they have the apartments, they have all those things. These people would love to find a way to turn them into an income or at least help offset their income. They found a way to create a platform that orchestrates the assets of other people and provides the platform and communication infrastructure that allows them to turn that dormant asset into something more dynamic that helps them fulfill their needs. If you start to look at the elements of those two disruptive models, then you start to see that there’s a better way to organize resources in today’s communication information environment.
Now what do we do? We do the same thing, but we do it in a very different way. Our way is not one you’ve heard of because it happens a little subrosa. We do this more underground than we do where it’s visible to the public. Let’s say, for example, that I own a business. I need to grow my business. I’m a service business. I work with other businesses to help them save money, market to hire better people, finance their companies. Whatever it is, there’s a whole array of services. If I’m in business, these things are there as business services to help me make my business more profitable, grow, etc. All of those folks have a common clientele, a small to mid-size business person, for example. That’s their clientele. What we do is we now organize those people around a common marketing theme. The people who have those service businesses, we organize them around a common marketing theme. Then we cross market their clients one to the other. Then we allow each of those businesses to earn money two ways.
One is when we bring them a new account that we cross marketed from a complimentary company and they’ve got a new account. They’re going to share some of that revenue with us. When we take one of their clients and cross market them to one of our other strategically aggregated partners. Then they get back in revenue. They get a share of the revenue that was produced by the sale to that other party. Now what this does is it takes everybody who’s already in the business. Already have the clients. Already has the infrastructure to deliver their service. Instead of us going to try and replicate that or compete with them, we could just orchestrate their efforts in a more efficient way. Instead of have having one revenue stream, mine on my client, I’m now participating in 30 revenue streams for that client. I’m getting all that back in revenue.
When they bring me a client, instead of me having to go out and market all my clients myself, I now have the cross marketed clients coming to me. I have 40 client bases that are now starting to become my client base. Eventually you do it right, and the clients of each of the companies become the clients of almost all of the companies. You’ve radically, not just by an incremental amount, increased their volume, efficiency, and profitability. It’s logarithmic. All of a sudden, the company that had 100 or 200 clients goes to 500 clients. It could happen in a year. That’s what we mean by innovating in today’s business concept. You don’t need to own the assets. You need to orchestrate the assets so that the assets work for you. You do that by giving other people who own those assets what they want. That’s the new thinking. That’s the new business.
Influence marketing is such a huge topic in all the marketing courses. All that is for an advantage of, “I have this and you can use that.” Everybody wins in that whole process. Arthur Robinson, Jr. referred you to me and I was on his podcast. The way you talked about the concierge to make things easy for wealthy people and different things that you discussed was fascinating. Bizar Financing, that’s your main site. Can you let people know your different sites and how they can reach you?
The one site that’s the easiest to see what I do on is to go to what’s called Getting Rich Your Way. The key there is ‘your way’. It’s not enough to get rich if you have to get rich somebody else’s way, and it’s not you. The question is how do you do it your way? GettingRichYourWay.com is probably the best place to connect with me. One of the things that I do want to mention is financial leverage. A leveraged buyout is basically very simple. The business you want to buy already has assets. It already has cash flow. The business’s existing assets and its existing cash flow can be financed to fully pay for the cost of buying the business, the purchase price. It’s that simple. Now that’s the overriding concept. Now the nuances of how you make it happen.
How you execute it? How you create that rapport with the seller? How you evaluate the business? How you understand the asset values and where you go to finance them? What kind of financial instruments and documentation you need to do? There’s a lot of detail there. It’s basically simple. It’s simple as the business you want to buy has assets and cash flow and you’re going to use them to buy the business. Now contrast that with, “I’m going to start a new business from scratch,” where you have nothing. You have no momentum. You have no assets to go leverage. You have no existing credit relationships within the business that it’s going to operate. You have no customers. You have no anything. You’d have to work against that negative inertia to go produce that all yourself.
The better way to approach it is, “I don’t want to go into a business and it does X. Whatever X is, there is some business out there that either does X already. It does something close enough to X that you can acquire that company. Leverage its own assets and cash flow to acquire it. Then divert it’s assets to what you want to do.” It’s going to be a whole different level of accomplishment and success. You’re going to have by taking that little different twist to how you get there. It’s going to speed it up. It’s going to make it less risky. It’s going to give you way more assets to work with than you would have if you’re trying to just use your own meager assets to get a business up and running. 80% of most businesses fail within two years of their initiation. By the end of five years, it’s down to 7% or 8%. That whole situation turns around when you acquire a business, because it’s 92% of them survive after the sale. You’ve already changed the whole dynamic by changing your approach to how you’re going to do it.
Thank you, Gordon. It’s been so much fun.
Diane, thank you so much. This was a great interview. I really enjoyed you personally and I look forward to hopefully doing more in the future.
The Power Of Vulnerability with Barry Kaplan
I am here with Barry Kaplan, who inspires leaders and their teams to declare what they want and coaches them to access their power to make it happen. Various coaching wisdom comes from his experience leading teams in the tourism industry, ranging from CEO of a 200 store chain with over 2,000 employees. Division President and board member of a public company in dining, entertainment and travel and Co-Founder and Senior Executive of a 21 company roll up and leisure travel. He has coached hundreds of executives and works extensively with leadership teams and YPO firms. I’m so excited to have you here. Welcome Barry.
Thank you. I’m glad to be with you.
I saw that Marshall Goldsmith had a quote on your book. Your book’s titled The Power of Vulnerability: How to Create a Team of Leaders by Shifting INward. Marshall wrote, “Once powerful and thoughtful. Kaplan and Manchester have created an inspirational guide to help leaders get the most out of their teams. This book will change your business and your life.” That’s quite a nice thing to have said by such an amazing guy as Marshall. Tell me a little bit about your background. I want to get into the book, but in case anybody doesn’t know how you got to this point. Can you give us a little lead in there?
I am a coach. For the first time in my life, I can get clear who I am and feel very comfortable in my skin. Real, authentic. It is me, Diane. I am a coach. I didn’t start out this way. I started out as a lawyer and then I became a business person. I led businesses, built businesses, grew businesses, but I never felt comfortable in my skin. I never gave myself permission to look inside me. I never asked myself, “What is it that I want? What is it that Barry wants? Who is Barry?” Not until decades into some called successful career that I finally gave myself the permission to ask that big question.“What is it that I want? Who am I?” It became clear that what I loved most about my work experience as a business operator and leader was working, mentoring, and coaching people and teams. Believing that everyone with whom I work and every team with which I work, has far more potential. Far more power than they realize. They didn’t know how to tap into it. That’s why I said, “That is what I’m attracted to. That is what I do well. That’s where I can add value.” Little over ten years ago, I said, “I am going to unwind being a business person and I’m going to start becoming a coach.”
You hear a lot about coaching, mentoring, and sponsoring. How do you define coaching in your mind as compared to maybe mentoring or even sponsoring?
Believing in someone and believing in their inner wisdom, their inner strength, their inner power. Then using tools to access it. About half of my work is one on one and the other half with teams. When I’m working with teams I am a facilitator and you’re the master facilitator. I took a workshop with you. You talk about Marshall a lot. I think about Diane in terms of aspiring to become a masterful. Each of us is on a journey aspiring to come. As a coach, I want to tap into my wisdom and your inner wisdom to help you get clarity around what that path is. Then support you in the journey to get there. Whether I’m working with you one on one or with you as a leader and your team.
A lot of people probably don’t feel comfortable in their skin as you had said at the beginning. How do you recognize that you maybe need to work on that?
I like working with people who want to work on themselves. It’s often the threshold inquiry that either is going to begin the journey or delay the journey. I don’t want to say end it, delay it. I want to believe in you, but I want to believe in people who want to believe in themselves. That might be the first couple of coaching sessions to unblock why you don’t yet believe in yourself?
It’s something that’s harder to see what others see sometimes. I liked that the title of your book, The Power of Vulnerability. What does being vulnerable do for us? You say it’s positive, the power of it? Why do we want to be vulnerable?
That’s the key to unlock all the goodies inside. Without vulnerability or courage, which I consider a synonym, then we fall into the trap of pretending we’re always good. Pretending that we have no fear or weakness, or sadness. Pretending that it’s always okay, we’ve got this figured out. We know the solution to the problem or worse, maybe hiding that there is even a challenge, a problem. We hide from our spouses. We hide from our bosses. We hide from our teams. We hide from ourselves. Vulnerability is powerful because it opens up us holistically everything that is inside. Not just the shadows and the darkness, but the power that may actually reside underneath it that we don’t yet see. It’s the unknown that is below the line that we can’t see. We don’t even attempt to get there because we’re pretending that all is okay. Being vulnerable means I’m going to share with you everything. I’m going to share with you the elephants in the room. All of the little things that may not yet be elephants but without transparency, openness, vulnerability, they’re going to creep up. That’s one piece.
At the start of this conversation, let’s start the recording right away so we don’t miss anything. That’s the point. Let’s start the recording so we don’t miss anything. I want you to know about me, all of me, from each domain of my life. When you connect to me and all of my humanity, it’s more likely that you’re going to connect to me with all of my strengths. Knowing that, you’ll know how to tap me to support you in whatever you do on our team. If you do that to me and I do that to you. We do that with each other, together, with all of the others on the team. We will indeed be more powerful. That’s where the power of vulnerability is. Let’s not separate the domains of life. This only ones here in the workplace and we have boundaries around what doesn’t. I want it to be safe. Very safe for us in the workplace to talk about everything, especially to talk about the things that we don’t talk about. I can start modeling that by talking to you about the things that are often considered taboo. That we don’t talk about in a podcast. That we don’t talk about in the workplace, at a polite cocktail party. That’s where the good stuff lies.
You talk a lot about shifting inward. You help people find their in-powerment. Are you saying we need to Shift 180 as your company is called? Completely go another direction or how does that work exactly?
Often, it is a major shift, a paradigm shift, or mindset shift that the answers are always out there in experts or resources, however masterful we may be. The wisdom lies inside. The power resides inside each member of the team. As a collective if the power is in the group wisdom. What outsiders like us can do is help them tap into it. The shift inward is realizing that we actually have more influence in our outcome than we realized. We can tap into more power than we knew we had. It’s not on the balance sheet. It’s not even off balance sheet. It’s actually inside us. It’s soulful. It’s deep. It is another realm, often hidden. We can start by creating a safe container so that we can tap into that. It happens because we talk about the stuff that we don’t talk about. Then give ourselves permission to explore bolder ideas, richer ideas, out of the box thinking that will ultimately help us break through. That’s where we want the shift to lead us.
How do we tap into our power? How do we create a safe container? Do you have any of stories or examples of people who’ve done that or things you would suggest that people should be doing?
When we work with teams, leadership teams, management teams, sports, we often do three day off sites or retreats. I think of the journey as a U curve. We startup on top from civilization and then we’ll retreat. We prefer going to an out of the box place, preferably in the wilderness. We start the journey going down and deep, or down and in. We can only do that if we serve the first step, which is creating a safe container. We can talk about the stuff that we don’t talk about. One of the purposes of going slowly and going to an offsite is so that we can remove all of our distractions and get present in our power. Tell stories. What we’ll do to build a safe container is to do storytelling about our lives. In successive inquiry of prompts, we will tell our stories. It could be in a simple fashion.
Sometimes I’ll say, “Diane, can you share the arc of your life story in six words?”They give you and the others time to synthesize the one word chapter title of the six chapter book so far on your journey. That’s a simple yet incredibly powerful way for you to start opening up your life. The story will expand from six words into a paragraph each. With each chapter I am connecting more deeply to who you are as a person. I am now invited into your inner beauty. Into your power. After an hour or so of storytelling, all of a sudden the leadership team’s looking at each other incredibly differently. We’re now people. We’re so different than the board room. We’re now moving down in the U shape of our offsite into the unknown, into the bottom.
That’s where we can start exploring the stuff that we’re challenged by. Our end and our accompanying opportunities. Our dreams and aspirations. Our heartaches. If this is a personal development retreat, we would be doing the same thing. I’ll be around aspirations and heartaches with a commercial team or a nonprofit team. It’s more around our hopes and our challenges. A guided, facilitated conversation. We are now engaged in a deeper way because of our vulnerability. We’re more likely to talk about the bolder dream. We’re more likely to talk about the deeper heartache. We’re more likely to share the wisdom of our life experience in providing what possibilities to seize that opportunity or navigate through the pain of the heartache. As coaches, that’s what we’re looking for. Those moments. They happen because we create them by intention, by building that safety and recognizing the shape of our time together.
Ultimately, by the final half day or final hours, we’re ready to come up and out the top of the U curve by anchoring and integrating what our insights are. As you asked before, specifically what are we going to do next? Specifically, how are we going to behave differently? How are we going to relate to each other and support each other differently? How have we been able to transform ourselves from what was a highly functional work group with peak performing team? We now understand each other at a cellular level because we have gone inside with each other. By the time we depart, when you’re up and out, we will behave differently. That’s how we do it. When that shape works, it’s brilliant. It doesn’t always happen. It requires after work and sometimes the second or third off-site before we get it, but that’s our model.
I found it interesting when you said they start off with the six words and then you start expanding from there. It’s almost like writing a book of their lives. It’s that same outlining process and you just develop, which is a good way to look at it. You put a lot of focus on being authentic. What does it mean to be authentic and how do we know if we’re being authentic?
We connect vulnerability with authenticity because it’s about being willing to stand in the power of my truth. The good, the bad, the ugly. To actually appear comfortable in my skin doing it. The way that I feel right now. This is an interview hopefully many are going to listen to it. Am I trying to be authentic? When I try to be authentic I often am trying too hard, and it is inauthentic. I’m just talking to you. I’m just being me. That’s what it is. I’m being me. I’m not overthinking it or overdoing it.
A lot of people have agendas. Do you think it’s possibly possible not to have some form of agenda when you’re interacting with people in the working world?
What I’ve tried to do is instead of having an agenda, I set intentions. Before our conversation I will set my intentions. What is it that I want to get out of this? What’s my intention for how I’m going to show up? Am I going to show up just by actively listening and trying to connect my empathy and try to deliver some compassion? Or am I going into this conversation because I do want to share a message. I do want the person to come away with my message. That will dictate how I’m going to show up. I can be authentic in both situations.
Empathy, which is so big in terms of how we communicate and be able to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. It used to be that we thought about things in terms of trying to please people based on how we’d like to be treated. The old golden rule. We talk about the platinum rule now that we need to think about the way they’d want to be treated. I liked the shift towards empathy. Since I study emotional intelligence and so that’s a big part of that. How much time do you spend on emotional intelligence and those kinds of things when you’re dealing with people?
That is critical because emotions are rarely a pillar of what we do together with vulnerability. Vulnerability isn’t just about sharing my rawness. It is about connecting with my emotions. Intelligence starts with connecting with my emotions. One of the things we do before we start any conversation or meeting is check in. We check in typically head, heart, body, soul, and the heart one, I often describe as it’s what I’m feeling right here, right now. For me it’s always a range of emotions. Not one but several. As I’ve become more aware of my range of emotions, I also become aware of how they’re stacked or lined up. Are they lined up side by side? Are some of emotions tucked underneath other ones? Is the sadness below the anger? When I can be happy and sad at the same time, is that off and in? How are they presenting? What does that look like? I try to visualize it. I check in my coaching calls. I’ll spend ten minutes and an hour of call checking in emotionally. Because that turns out to be, talking about agenda, the content of where the session emerges.
All this work you do, it creates a sense of fulfillment, which creates loyalty and long-term employee commitment. That’s a big focus with all the job hopping. We hear a lot about different generations not staying in jobs as long. Are you seeing any changes in how long employees remain with companies based on this training?
With some companies that embrace the power of vulnerability, there’s a stronger likelihood that they will create bonds of trust. I think trust is the foundation for loyalty and fulfillment. When I trust you in relationship with you, then I am going to be loyal to all of you. Not just because we have a commercial transactional relationship, because we have personal, authentic relationship. I’m going to be with you whether I’m following or co-leading with you. I think it’s going to lead to my tenure because we talk about younger generations moving jobs quicker and quicker. It’s not that they’re disloyal. I would say to the contrary they are loyal, but they’re loyal to their own authenticity. They’re loyal to find a place where they’re going to be comfortable in their skin. If we can create a workplace where we are engaged in leveraging the power of vulnerability and building these onto trust, then we have a much better shot of retaining them. Not because of what we pay them. Not because of free lunch. Of course they actually believe in the foundation of trust that we’ve built in and among our relationships.
How can people find out more about your book? A lot of people are going to want to know more about how to reach you with your coaching and all your work. Can you share that?
Our website is Shift180.com.More information about our book is on the site. You can also go right on to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or independent bookstores and look for The Power of Vulnerability: How to Create a Team of Leaders by Shifting INward.
Thank you, Barry. This has been so much fun.
Thanks so much, Diane. Appreciate it.
You’re welcome. Thank you so much to Gordon Bizar and Barry Kaplan. If you’ve missed any of our past shows you can find them at DrDianeHamilton.com. If you go to DrDianeHamiltonRadio.com you can get right to the radio aspect. You can also check the blog to read some of the content from the show. I hope you join us for the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.
About Gordon Bizar
Gordon Bizar is an entrepreneur, business coach, finance adviser, mentor and educator. He has helped entrepreneurs get into their own business all over the world. As a business coach, he has taught entrepreneurs how to start a business, how to buy a business, and expand an existing business. As a finance adviser, he has shown entrepreneurs how they can finance a business using leveraged buyout (LBO) techniques. LBO purchases are done by using the assets and cash flow within a business. As a mentor and educator, he has communicated with members from all over the globe through webinars.
About Barry Kaplan
Barry Kaplan inspires leaders and their teams to declare what they want and coaches them to access their power to make it happen. Barry’s coaching wisdom comes from his experience leading teams in the tourism industry ranging from COO of a 200-store chain with over 2,000 employees; division president and board member of a public company in dining, entertainment, and travel; and cofounder and senior executive of a twenty-one company roll up in leisure travel. He has coached hundreds of executives and works extensively with leadership teams and YPO forums.
- Gordon Bizar
- Panera Bread
- Arthur Robinson, Jr.
- Bizar Financing
- Barry Kaplan
- The Power of Vulnerability: How to Create a Team of Leaders by Shifting Inward
- Marshall Goldsmith
- Shift 180