if you want to understand the difference between motivation and inspiration, I believe that inspiration is motivation to the power of purpose and that's so important because younger generations want to do important work. They don't just want to be paid well, but they want to feel like what they do matters, that it's making a difference. Here's the question, what's going on inside the minds of top achievers that caused them to make extraordinary breakthroughs both personally and professionally, my name is tim Sure, and I invite you to join me as we take a deep dive into the unconscious mind and discover how to transform your biggest dreams into a reality. Welcome to the how to be mesmerizing podcast, everybody welcome to how to be mesmerizing. It's tim scher and today I have a spectacular guest with us. Mark Sanborn is his with us today, Mark, welcome to the program, Tim my pleasure. Thanks for having me, I am so happy that you're here, this is so exciting. So for those of you, maybe who weren't born on planet Earth and don't know who Mark Sanborn is, he is rated consistently as one of the top five leadership speakers in the world.
He has written a series of books that have sold millions of copies, including my favorite one, the fred factor, and he was past president of the National Speakers Association. So he's connected with everybody. And he also is, you know, was the youngest person ever inducted into the speakers hall of Fame. So fred, this is a real honor to have you with us today. You are the definition of mesmerizing. So let's jump in. Yes, all right, so we are going to jump right into that brilliant mind of yours. I've got some questions for you. So, question number one, what would you say is the secret to success? Well, you know, I've always found that concept of the secret to success to be interesting because it must not be a very well kept secret because I meet successful people all the time. I think there are many keys to success. Some of them are conditional on your challenges in your background and your skills and abilities. But you know, when my brother graduated from high school many, many, many years ago, he's five years younger than me, but it was a long time ago, I wrote in his graduation card, whatever you do do better than anybody else who does it.
And of course that's kind of an aspirational goal, but it makes the point that if you find something you really enjoy and you can do well, if not better than anybody else, chances are pretty good, you'll be successful. I think many people today kind of dabble and I can be a dabbler in my personal life when it comes to hobbies, I'm much more of a dabbler, but early on I decided I really wanted to become a successful professional speaker. I've been speaking in competition and part time and making a little money here and there, but I got just maniacally focused on what does it take to become an effective communicator from the platform. So the question becomes, you know, a how focused are you on that one thing you want to be better at than anybody else, whether it's in your company where you work or if you're an entrepreneur in your business and then number two, if I was going to add a second key or secret, it would be a discipline and discipline is the ability to do what needs to be done, even when you don't feel like doing it. I find that a lot of people wait till they're inspired.
You know, if I waited till I was inspired to write, I would write about a third as often as I do. Mostly I write on a regular basis knowing that if I just keep at it, the inspirational come or at least at the very least I'll be inspired when I edit what I've written, discipline is probably for me the key. I don't think I'm smarter or you know, had any special conditions growing up other than good parents. But I think the ability to just work harder than anybody else doing what needs to be done has been very, very helpful for me. It's sage advice, right? So you can be, all you gotta know is 10% more than the person next to you to be the expert in the room and with the Internet, we have the ability with the oracle, we call Google. You have the ability to educate yourself so fast, so quickly and in an entertaining way. And so you know, back in the day, I don't know about you, Mark probably. But I used to go to the library and I get cassette tape sticking in my walkman, walk around the block forever and fill my mind with all these ideas and on how to be the best that you can be at what you're doing or how to be the best you can be at helping others feel good and valuable.
So by the way, tim not only did I go to the library to listen to tapes, but I also went with stacks of index cards. You couldn't mark up the books in the library. So I would find a passage putting any index card in there and then write down whatever the ideas or that's why I originally did my research and today, you know, compared to the speed of the internet, it was incredibly tedious. But going back to what I said earlier, it was the best way to do what needed to be done. Yes, absolutely. So excellent advice Now, you know, you being one of the authorities on leadership in the world today. What are the best leaders or what I call mesmerizing leaders? What are mesmerizing leaders doing that, you know, are are taking them from good to great two mesmerizing or to the very best. Right? Giving them that as you would call the fred factor, Right? So what are they doing that? Nobody else is, Well, the foundation that all leaders build on is based on three things. The first is competence at what you do because nobody wants to follow a train record. You may not be the best at what you do in your company, but you better be good at what you do because competence is a credibility builder.
The second is character and characters who you are regrettably in politics today we have a dichotomy. You often have to choose between character and competence when really we deserve both. But in an imperfect world that sometimes becomes the choice if you're a leader really what character is it's being, whom you appear to be and it's being the same person on the inside that you appear to be on the outside. I often define integrity is the distance between your lips and your life is the distance between what you say and what you do, because we can all, you know, preach a good sermon. But living in a whole lot harder now, if you have a competence and character that makes you a good person, an effective person, but it doesn't make you a leader. The third part is connection because people rarely follow or change outside of relationship. So good leaders connect with the people, they lead, not just at a professional level, but at a personal level. So if that's the foundation, then, you know, what takes that kind of a leader from ordinary to extraordinary, what makes them mesmerizing?
Well, I think a big part of it is how well they communicate, they don't replace substance with style. That's a foolish thing to do. But they leverage substance with style. If you have substance, if you have good ideas, if you have powerful messages, but you don't present them well, they aren't hurting, they aren't acted upon. I say in my work, one of the most important skills to leverage leaders effectiveness is communication both in person and in a group, whether that's from a stage or on a zoom webinar or whatever media might be used. So if you want to become mesmerizing, work on both, how you structure your messages and how you then deliver them, because those are the two key elements that get messages heard and taken seriously. That's excellent advice. Yeah. We live in uh you know, and the world is changing and leadership strategies are changing, which is really great because the old leadership style was do what I say, and then it came well, let me bribe you into doing what we want, right?
And now it really is about forming relationships. Where before, you know, the people in the c suite kept their distance, you can't be friends with employees that messes up the dynamics and now it's about no, you actually create personal relationships with your with the people that you're working with, you know, and seeing people as equals and inspiring them to be as good as they can be, you know, creating a new vision for them of who they can become through their work. So you reminded me of a few things that are important. The first is I think managers tell, but leaders sell leaders focus on persuasion, not just communication. The other thing that is important is that I've been asked often, you know, what's the biggest change in leadership you've seen in the 33 years, you've been in that space? So the biggest change isn't with leaders, it's with followers and that they no longer want to be treated like or feel like followers, especially younger generations. And this is not a bad thing. This is just a matter of fact, they want to be treated like collaborators and team members and contributors and colleagues.
And when you treat people that way and when you change the language that you use to describe them, it changes how people respond and how they act. So I think that, you know, you're you're absolutely right, A friend of mine once said, most companies say leave your personal problems at home at my company, I say bring your problems to work. The reason is if you've got problems at home, they're going to affect your work. I'd rather help you solve your problems at home. So you're more effective at work than have you keep your problems at home and be ineffective at work. And I've always thought, even though that's easier said than done, I've always thought that was really brilliant advice Well, and that's why the books that we write are so relevant and important because they teach people how to do that. Most people feel very uncomfortable getting into that sticky emotional stuff or they think that you have to be a psychologist to care or to listen with empathy and that is not the case. And so most people need to learn how to do that and that's why it's so important to, you know, to get the books that you have, including the new one that you have that just came out the intention imperative.
Right? So tell me a little bit about why you wrote that specific book right now in this time. Well, first of all I wrote it before Covid 19, so once covid 19 hit, I remember thinking I better go back and kind of just recheck my thinking and see if it was, you know, negated or antiquated. And the good news is even though some of perhaps the applications have changed much more of what leaders do now is virtual. The premise and the three shifts are still every bit as valid, if not more the premises. The ground level most essential thing of organizational leadership is intentionality. That's being crystal clear on what it is you're trying to achieve and and this is an important end taking the right action every day to achieve it. Those are the two things that derailed leaders. You know, if you're clear but you don't take action, you're ineffective. If you're unclear and you're just taking action, your vague, it's about being very focused and it's hard because sometimes problems and opportunities distract us from the most important work that we try to do.
So intentionality is being crystal clear on what you're trying to accomplish. And in the book I used the phrase taking action in the world. That is not the world, that was now, that was kind of prophetic. Not because I'm a really smart guy, but because The world that was when I wrote the book, it came out in September Excuse Me October of 2019 is not the world it is today. So much has changed and so you have to go back and re examine your strategies. The good news is a lot of the strategies won't shift as much as how you apply them. And in the book I talk about three major shifts. We talked a little bit about this one and that is from structure to culture. I bet during covid 19 the organizational structure you had whatever organization you work at went to hell in a handbag because people stayed home, they couldn't walk down the hall, lean over the cubicle, ask a question, go in the office to see their boss. What carried you if you were successful was the D. N. A.
People knew what was important, they knew what they believed and thought and believed and they still acted In disparate locations. They still act in inappropriate ways. So I always define culture is everything we think and believe because a lot of times leaders think just telling somebody makes them believe it now. Culture is based on what they think and believe. So if the leader says one thing and somebody believes something else that's the real culture, the shadow culture. The second part of that is what we think and believe results in what we aspire and do or what we do and attain the results as well as the actions that we take. So I think that that's still every bit as valid as it was. But the three shifts as I mentioned is from culture organizational culture. Second shift is from motivation to inspiration. People have been through very trying times. I know I have I think most people would say that and if you want to understand the difference between motivation and inspiration I believe that inspiration is motivation to the power of purpose and that's so important because younger generations want to do important work.
They don't just want to be paid well but they want to feel like what they do matters that it's making a difference. And so I think good leaders during the shelter in place or maybe you're still dealing with a remote workforce continually remind people of the bigger purpose, motivations, carrot and stick. But purpose is powerful because it gives us a reason why for what we do. And then finally, the shift is from customer experience to customer emotion. What I call the emotion economy and a perfect example of that is that the priorities that we have as customers and employees for that matter, emotionally change right now. Where the spike as we record this with a spike in covid cases in a number of states, we are reminded that what people want more than anything else is safety and security. We don't want to go to a restaurant and think we're going to get sick. We don't want to go to a meeting and think we're exposing ourselves to a very, very dangerous virus. And so we're going to have to find some ways not just to tell people that the way we do business is safer, but to show it to demonstrate it.
And this morning on the news, I saw Nobu is opening tomorrow in Chicago and they had the GM showing not telling because showing was more powerful than telling, showing guess what their experience would be like how they'd be treated, how the risk would be minimized. It was powerful. And even though I've spent some time with some hotel people in Covid 19, some of the ideas that Nobu came up with were incredibly innovative and I might add they wouldn't have come up with these ideas if they hadn't been forced to by the circumstances of Covid 19. Yeah, that's powerful. You know, often as it is, you know, challenges that we have our opportunities in disguise, right? And without some of these problems we want to be forced to be creative and come up with these new solutions that end up producing even better results. And so I love that idea of, you know, it's always been about, you know, you got to walk the talk and it's better to show instead of just, you know, tell, so it's really powerful. I love those three intentions that you have those keys.
They're really, really powerful, you know, just like Can I interject something? Just reminded me it's a corny old story. And I bet nine out of 10 people listening have heard it. But you know, there were these two twin boys and one twin boy was, you know, negative and the other twin boy was optimistic. You hear the story? I'm here anyway. Yeah, it makes an important point because we have the same circumstances. Wait, you've got to tell the story. I'll tell the story. So that the, you know, the strategy at christmas the parents thought if they got a lot of nice gifts for the negative boy that would cheer him up when he opened his gifts. He started to cry and they said why? And he said, well these are nice gifts, but I'll play with them and they'll break and we'll get old and their plot failed. And so they thought, you know, we've got to tamp down the enthusiasm and optimism of our other twin and he's gonna become a realist hope. They just gave him a big pile of horse manure just in the middle of the room on a big plastic sheet, big pile of horse manure. And as soon as the optimistic kids saw it, he jumped in the horseman or started digging around and his parents like, oh my God, what are you doing?
And the optimistic boys said, I figure with all that horseman or there's got to be a pony in here somewhere. That's right, that's right. And you know, both boys, both boys had a realistic perspective when you think about it. But what the difference is is that optimism? The ability to look for opportunities and pile of crap and we've all got our piles of crap right now, both personally and professionally. Yeah, that's I'm not denying that. But you know what, you're exactly right. I think there are so many opportunities now, especially, I think we're gonna see a huge spike in entrepreneurialism As a result of COVID-19 and I think I just did some research by the way that about 33% of Americans believe life will be better because of COVID-19. So I think that's certainly my belief. Yes, Oh, I absolutely agree. So I wrote that power of optimism book back there that has that exact story in a gazillion years ago and it's true. You know, people who are now, you can be an optimist or you can be a troubleshooter however you're solving problems or finding solutions is great as long as you're finding the solution or solving the problem and not getting stuck on the problem itself and that's what a lot of people tend to do.
We get stuck on the problem instead of what it could produce, what's possible, right? What good can come from this? And that's why you're beautiful stories are emphasizing its really good. So is there something that you do every day that's keeping you kind of, you know, grounded or focus as we move through this? Well, as a person who embraces discipline, I have a routine. I basically have a template or what I do most days, all my days begin with, you know, and by the way, the good news about what we've just gone through is hopefully a lot of americans who are perpetually lacking in sleep, caught up a little bit on their sleep because the research has become clear that if you're sleep deprived, decision making is often affected as if you were legally intoxicated. And I think a lot of leaders have been so fatigued and maybe now coming out of Kobe, they didn't get to rest because of all of the challenge they were the challenges they were facing. But I'm a big stickler on, on getting enough rest and getting up when it's right for you. I get up early. I go to bed early. My wife thinks I'm incredibly boring because I fall asleep early, but I get up at five in the morning, 5 to 5 18.
I just kind of have an alarm clock in my head and I think the first thing you should do in the morning is you know, you should do something to wake up in a healthy way, whether that's exercise on big exercise steve, okay, I think you should read and meditate. If you're a person of faith, whether that's your bible or into mindfulness, I think you should have if you eat breakfast. I used to be a stickler on breakfast and again, the research has changed a good bit on that, but start your day with something nutritious. Not if you can help it, a delicious plays donut and then the things that I do during the day, I focus on three things and problems to be solved, opportunities to be exploited and relationships to be built or improved because those really take up the majority of what leaders do in their organizations every day. And then at the end of the day you should rejuvenate, do something fun, whether it's a hobby or family time. If you keep working, you will burn your candle and you won't have as much flame when you get up in the morning the next day.
So that's kind of my routine, It isn't sexy or amazing or surprising, but it works for me. Well, I love it. You know, I agree with you. I think that there's a lot of opportunities that came from coronavirus. I know there is hurt and suffering, but there also are tremendous opportunities for so many of us. We felt like life is going so fast that we're on a runaway train and we couldn't get off of it until the whole, we had to have a whole worldwide pandemic to be able to slow down and get some rest. Right. And so because I remember, you know, when I was doing my mesmerizing leadership trainings, the unconscious beliefs, that's what I focused on was that I don't have time to take care of my people. I barely have enough time to get my own stuff done. And so there was a core embedded belief in every company and organization. I went to, people were saying the same exact thing. I'm, I, I don't have time to take care of anybody or I want to do this. I want to take care of this. And so I had to change their beliefs about, you know, it takes 10 seconds to smile to care about someone to offer a compliment. So we had to change the limiting beliefs, but but that core belief still stands.
And so hopefully we'll go back into, you know, into the world with a new set of insights and, and ideals and certainly they will get that from reading your books and your programs that you have. So when you get scared, Mark, how do you handle it? Well, the older I get, the less things bother me, fortunately I still let the important things bother me, but I get scared about less. I mostly not get scared about the health and well being of my family, Not that I ignore mine, but I'm much more concerned about my 85 year old mother and Elizabeth, my my wife has a compromised auto immune system. So the biggest stressor for me has been, you know, them and keeping I hopefully if if I were to get Covid, I prefer not to, but if I get it, I'm pretty have a high chance of surviving. I don't want my sons who are adults and live outside our home to get it either. But my concerns are the things that I can't control that affect the people I love. Secondarily, you know, I would say the other, the thing that is frightening, especially if you're an investor, you've saved you have money in the market is two things.
One is just kind of what happens globally that can undo your savings unless you get your money in a mattress, money can go just as easily as it came. And also the political scene with the divisiveness and the very, very different points of view on both sides of the parties of the equation, what that is going to do both uh to to the economy and the stock market, I guess probably if I had an overwhelming concern is that we've lost our moral compass in the United States, I'm still an optimist, but it's so discouraging to see things that were so clear cut as good and positive and enriching now, treated as bad and negative. And I think that we really are at a very pivotal point in our history where we need to rethink and do everything we can to to get refocused on the right things beautifully said. You know, um if we went into a company, we would not start silo in different departments and getting them against each other, you know, where our goal is to bring them together and one team, right?
One collaboration. So when we're talking about politics and maybe we'll talk about this another time because I try not to talk about politics pretty much. Yeah, but I kept my buddies when I'm having a beer that's a safe, that's the only safe place for an old white guy like me to talk about politics is like drinking beer. That's right. So, but you know, one of the things that I wish we could do is get rid of the words democrat and republican, because that means that, you know, instead of being citizens of Earth or citizens of the United States, you know, we're different departments, we've siloed each other, we're not seeking to understand we're defending why we should be understood. And it breaks every law of leadership and team building when you see what happens in our political system. And so, you know, as a leadership guru, you know, I'm sure that we could have quite a healthy conversation on that subject. So we've got a few minutes left. So I'm gonna give you some quick fire things. What was the best advice you were ever given Mark? When I was probably 18 or 19?
I met a state legislator in Ohio and he said whenever you speak, always remember people want to be entertained. I have modified that a bit. I think engaged as a more comprehensive word. I think entertainment can be amusement. But I think when people are engaged, they are either amused or they're learning. So I think from a communications standpoint that was among the best advice I ever got. I love that one. That's really good. Who was one of your role models and why? You know, early on it was Billy Graham and I'm not gonna get religious or or you know, across that barrier in terms of my personal beliefs. But what I most admired about Billy Graham was two things. One is impeccable integrity even to this day. You know, even though he's passed, we haven't, I doubt we will ever find out. There were any closet skeletons in his closet any any, you know, shortcomings of character. And the other thing was his preaching style. We could all learn from whether or not you agree with what he preached, it was very simple and direct and therefore powerful.
There was never at the end of his messages, there was never any doubt in your mind what it was he had said and what it was he wanted you to do. And and that at end doesn't, that doesn't depend on your religious beliefs or lack thereof is just good communication. So he was certainly a role model in more than one way for me. Mm It's beautiful. Really good. Uh, what's the most exciting adventure that you've had thus far? You know, I dove the island is a pardon off the coast of Borneo. It's now closed because of terrorism. That's occurred since I was there. But I dove what Jacques Cousteau called the graveyard of the sea turtle. And it's one of the nicest dives that at the time you could do, you have to use ropes because the sediment in these caves were such that if you panicked and picked up sediment and you didn't have a rope, you could join the sea turtles. What they have since found about the sea turtles is that they probably did not go there to die. Cousteau's Theory was that they were, that's where they went to die. What they found is even the sea turtles got so disoriented in these caves that they couldn't get out and that's why they died.
So that, that was, it was a fantastic trip. The island. You could walk around in 10 minutes and the diving that I did, there is certainly high on my list of really fun things I've done. That's extraordinary. So, you know, you've been around and and talk to so many people and and so many cool experiences who's one of the coolest people that you ever got to meet one of them. I just thought are one of the more interesting people, but I'm not sure that would be edifying to share here. One of the coolest people I've ever out. I got to me, well, I'll tell you the story when I was F. F a national officer. I was in the White House, we had some meetings with met Vice President Mondale who was an extraordinary leader. But while we were outside his office, a relatively short fellow walked by and he was just incredibly nice and inquisitive about us and we were R. F. F. A monolingual jackets and He talked to us probably for 10 minutes. And of course we were just so excited, you know, to tell them about our story that at the end we knew his name was mike.
He said, just call me mike. We said, well, what do you do? Mike? And he said, I work in the Treasury. His name is Mike Blumenthal, a Treasury and that was such a great, such a powerful example of how here's a guy. It could have said, Hey, I'm Michael Blumenthal, Secretary of the Treasury and he was just interested in us. So I thought that that was a great, both a great encounter and a great lesson. That's what mesmerizing leaders do And people with the fred factor, that's what they do, right. They make you feel like you're the most important person in the room. Exactly. And then they reciprocate that feeling. So once you achieve, I mean to sell a book that sells, you know, two million copies and to have 2600 clients of like, you know the who's who in the industry and and to all the, do the things that you've accomplished once you hit that level of success. Was it what you expected it to be? Lifestyle has been fascinating, interesting, exciting for me. I'm a big believer. That boredom is a choice, not a condition. I do get bored. It's not that discipline not to G K Chester Seuin said, life will never lack for wonders only wonder which is to say there's many wonders around us.
But if we aren't curious about them, then then we get bored. But yeah, I think it has. I think that, you know, a lot of what you're told, but until you experience something you don't know it like you do conceptually being a father is probably the most gratifying thing I've done next to marrying my wife and her and I raising a son who is a second lieutenant in the marines just graduated with honors from Ohio State. Congratulations. Thank you are younger son who is a successful rapper and its own right. But is involved in the real estate business. That was more both more challenging and more fun than I could have ever understood before. So I would say that to everything I thought I understood, I really got to understand and no more deeply when I experienced it. Mm That's beautiful. Yeah, I have two boys as well and they're 16 and 12 and I'm like going through their life, you know, as a whole, it's kind of like watching it's a wonderful life.
You know, when you're in your 10 and then when you're 20 and then 30 and 40 and 50 and you just keep seeing it in a different way and that's how the experience I have every day of living it through my son's eyes. So that's really awesome. All right, last question for you, if you could go back, people always say if I knew then what I know now if you could go back and tell that that little boy inside of you little mark, you know, give him some advice based on what you've learned through your career and you could go back and tell 10 year old marks something, what would you tell him? You know, I've been asked that question before and there's lots of things that I've screwed up and done wrong, but I would, I would say that since I was really strong on the intensity standpoint almost to a fault, I would say lighten up. I was a real warrior when I was a kid, I worried a lot about everything. And I also, whenever I did something, I was very intense and that intensity was often mistaken for, you know, a lack of enthusiasm or happiness or joy. So it sounds so simple, but I would say lighten up, you know, that's why Aristotle talked about the golden mean, you said it wasn't an extreme one side or the other.
It was, you know, the gold Mine was somewhere between intensity and frivolity, right? So that you can have fun and yet be focused and, and be successful what you were doing. That's beautiful. Yeah, it's finding your center, you know, that discipline can, you know, when you're disciplined, you're good at whatever you do. So, but if that means you're good at worrying. Yeah, pretty intense. Worrier. I didn't just work, worry like an amateur. I was, yeah, you were messing around. That's great. So, and Mark, where can people find your book? I know you can go to Mark Sanborn dot com, which you have a fantastic website. I love your website. People can go to amazon, is there anything else that people should know or they can get involved with? So they can learn more about you and what you have to offer? Well, my websites the best place are, there are a lot of free resources, probably 70 or 80 little videos. I blog every week. So I try to share ideas. You know, that's what my business is sharing ideas with people to help them improve their businesses in their lives. So, check out my website and if you enjoy my website, it's easy to get any of my books.
Yes, absolutely. Mark, this has been an absolute joy. You are very, so articulate. You're a master of your craft, the way that you would describe things and, and the insights that you have. It really is obvious that you know what you're talking about. And it's been a real pleasure having you on the program today. So, thank you for being mesmerizing. Thanks tim. Pleasure's been all mine, appreciate it. All right, everybody. So you heard from the legendary Mark Sanborn? Incredible. Right? I mean, oh my gosh, you're going to have to watch this again, grab a pen and paper, take as many notes as possible. There was so much stuff that you can get off that or you know what you could do. You just go buy his books. That would be really easy to do. Mark sanborn dot com or amazon dot com. Get the fred factor. You'll love it. So, thanks for being a part of this program. Make sure you share it with your friends. And, and if you're a part of a company or organization, get this to the leadership team because everybody needs to hear what what mark is sharing. So thanks so much for watching everybody make today mesmerizing. We'll talk to you soon. Hey, would you like more free tips on how to be a mesmerizing leader? Then check out mesmerizing leadership dot com and also hang out with me on facebook facebook dot com forward slash tim.
Sure. Thanks so much and make your day a sure success. Hey, it's Tim Sherwood. You like to learn my best secrets for how to be mesmerizing. Then head over to www. Dot surviving to thriving dot me. That's www dot surviving to thriving dot me. I'll see you there.