Agape Is The Only Way: Doing Business With Love With Joe Iannone

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In this competitive environment, it has become rare to find businesses operating with love. Not our episode’s guest because everything he does, he does with love. For him, “Agape is the only way.” Joe Iannone, the Founder and Facilitator of The ALLIANCE, joins Tony Martignetti to share with us his incredible journey filled with love, humility, and empathy. At the center of it, Joe imparts the wisdom, “To love is to will the good of the other.” It is in this vein that he moves to serve other people. Joe also highlights the importance of Spiritual Intelligence alongside IQ and EQ. Join this conversation as he tells us more about why Agape makes a difference in business and how joy is in giving to others.


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Agape Is The Only Way: Doing Business With Love With Joe Iannone

It is my honor to introduce you to my guest, Joe Iannone. Joe is an experienced Business Development Leader in the medical device industry. He’s also the Founder and Facilitator of The ALLIANCE, which is a collaborative network of packaging plastics industries professionals who share in the creation of ultimate customer success. Joe is committed to spreading agape unconditional love as a universal call to those that are receptive to building light that shines into the darkness.

He has an uncanny talent for coming up with unique strategies, prioritizing opportunities, and dealing with the unknown in complex problems. He is someone who sees the value of spiritual intelligence, SI as we’ll call it, in guiding us, not just IQ and EQ. He lives South of Boston with his wife. He has five children, loves cooking, and is a connoisseur of food and drink. He loves helping people achieve true joy in business and life. Joe, it is truly an honor and a pleasure to welcome you to the show.

Tony, it is certainly a pleasure. Listening to that, I’m thinking to myself, “Who is this guy? I want to meet that guy. I like that guy.” It is the same. Be the friend that you want to be, right, Tony?

Yes, 100%. I think that’s a great way to navigate life. Joe, I’m thrilled. We’ve had a chance to get to know each other and everything you do, you do it with love. That’s an important thing to put in there. Especially in business because people think that business is all about results bottom line. If you do it with love, all of that follows. Do you agree?

It does. It’s a universal language. They say music is a universal language. Music comes from love, Tony, so you’re correct.

That’s what our container is going to start with. We’re going to have this container of love. We’re going to spend some time navigating your journey through what we call flashpoints. These are points in your life that have ignited your gifts into the world. As you’re sharing your story, we’ll pause along the way and see what’s showing up. In a moment, I’m going to turn it over to you, Joe, and I’d love to have you share what you’re called to share. What were the points in your journey that you feel made you into who you are?

I’m going to take my virtual couch now and close my eyes. We happen to be two Italians. We have that, so let’s deal with that because whether it’s Italian or any ethnic group, you got to be proud of it. I’m a first-generation Italian. My father came here at eight and a half years old with his father right before the war started. The rest of the family, the mother, brother, and sisters had to remain in Italy for eight years. You can imagine an eight-and-a-half-year-old child not speaking the language and he had to learn what he needed to help his father. I got a real good sense of what family, faith, and helping others mean. That’s where I got it from.

He worked two jobs all his life. He got four hours of sleep a night. He met my mother, who’s another Italian, not from Italy. Her family was the second generation but it’s the same thing. She was a telephone operator and a steward. Even back when women were digging into leadership positions, she grabbed a hold of that and did a great job. That’s where it all started.

I went through the school system as most people do. The expectations from that type of background were to get the best grades you’re able to. I did grow up in East Boston, Massachusetts. It was a great place to grow up. At the same time, the school systems weren’t up to the power that they may have been. At the age of fourteen, my mother got transferred to the South shore of Boston, about 23 miles away to work as an operator and she had done that.

I was kicking and screaming at fourteen years old to go to a regional high school and nobody knew me. I had to survive. I had to thrive. It was a regional school. The only good thing was that the people from one town thought I was from another town and the other town thought I was from this town. It gave me a little premise on that. I jumped into sports but I slowly had to realize that if you were going to get anywhere, Tony, it was doing well and sticking it out. Life’s not easy. Try different things. Be curious.

This was Western civilization. I loved it but I also love the teacher. I’m sure we’re going to get into this a little bit because you’re very inspirational. You bring up the best in people and that’s what teachers are asked to do. It’s not about them. It’s about what gifts they have, that they can inspire others to be the best versions of themselves.

Good leaders bring up the best in people. It's not about them. It's about what gifts they have that can inspire others to be the best versions of themselves.

It’s like Michelangelo taking a block of marble and seeing David within that. All he’s doing is chipping away to get to that David. Good leaders do the same thing. I went to college and again, I have taken that work ethic, As and Bs, and working at the same time because that’s what you do. I paid for my first car. I was proud to help contribute to the education portion of it. I had my own intramural teams at college and also belonged at that point to the Knights of Columbus because that’s a group that helps others. I’m still a member of that group.

It was all about helping myself become the best version but it was more than that, Tony, but it wasn’t on the surface like it is now. We’ll get to that point but that’s the evolution of that. I did well at jobs, got married at 25 years of age, and did what typical people did back then, having a number of children, going to mass, or discovering your faith, whatever it may be or no faith.

Again, this is how we deal in business. I’m not asking people to be Catholic, not by any means. Can you have an affinity with a like-minded person? Sure, but the challenge is having somebody that has no religion, has a different one, is a different ethnic group, or a minority because that’s where my father came from. I can respect that. I always said, “One thing my father always put in is that respect the other person.”

I want to pause there for a minute because there’s so much you shared there and there’s a lot to dig into. It’s beautiful when you connect with this. Where did a lot of my beliefs come from? How did those beliefs then manifest through the journey, especially in earlier days? I can relate to this hard work mentality for my early upbringing too, but this sense of working hard. Also seeing that community and connecting with others is also part of getting further along.

There’s also some unprogramming of that, which I’m sure that you had to figure out. It’s not just hard work. You have to also find out how to work smarter as you move along. That hard work mentality and committing to persevering through those different challenges while believing in people is important.

When you shared that example of the teacher, the thing that we most need at that point in our journey is to make sure that there are people along the way who show us that there’s a reason for us to believe in ourselves. That’s a great reflection point there. Maybe there’s anything you want to share in terms of reflecting back on what I shared but I’d love to hear, what were the big moments that got you into the work you do? What was the industry you first got into?

I remember one of the turning points for me. I got out of college and into printing for a time. I thought that was great. In fact, I went on an interview with a friend of mine. He knew somebody at the place. I didn’t but he was going more for the interview and I was going for more than the interview, a possible job. I took it very seriously. He went first. He came out and I said to him, “How did the interview go?” “It’s tough.” I said, “How tough can it be? Give me one of the questions that they asked.” He said, “What’s the difference between marketing and sales?” I get that.

It’s funny. When you went through different people in the departments, the last one I had was the vice president. His name was Mr. Kelly. I said, “Mr. Kelly, it’s like a relationship with marketing and sales.” The guy almost fell on his seat. He said, “How’d you know I was going to ask that question?” I said, “I’m relating an analogy. I didn’t know anything.” I gave him the answer and I got hired. Needless to say, my friend was a little disappointed.

I learned how to be flexible too. We’ll get into this a little bit about IQ, EI, and SI. You could be the smartest person in the room or wherever you are but you may not have that emotional aptitude or intelligence that gets us to the next spot. Again, I started that career in printing but eventually, I got into food. I love food as a person that cooks food. My father and my mother love to cook only pasta and sauce. I’m not talking to somebody. You know how it is.

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I opened up a small cafe and catering business with my wife six months after we were married. I tell you, that was a lot of work. We did that for about six years in a nearby community. At that time, we started having children. It was best because you put the hours in. The wife decided that it might be better to stay home with the kid. I thought that was a great idea. I sold food and equipment. I sold some to some of the larger restaurants and establishments in the Boston area.

I did exceptionally well in so much that I won an award and they said, “Would you like the award and money?” I said, “Fine, of course.” I remember the VP said, “Would you like the money or would you like some professional training for your career?” I thought it was a trick question but I said, “How much money are we talking about?” Anyways, I chose professional career development and it was great. It was Deal Carnegie back in the day. He’s still around but that was when I had his highlights.

I met somebody there and here’s the thing. If you’ve ever taken Deal Carnegie, you’re supposed to move tables. You’re not supposed to stay at the same table. You’re supposed to go to different tables and meet different people. The first table I was with, we go on great but I said, “I got to move.” Nobody wanted to move. They were comfortable. They enjoyed each other. By the third table, I met somebody, a great guy.

He was the sales manager for a plastics company, blow molding, and injection molding and I said, “What’s that about?” He told me and he says, “Joe, I like how you act because you’re doing skits, right? We’re looking for a regional position, would you consider taking an interview?” I said, “Fine. I’m in food right now but sure. Plastics, right?” I’m thinking back on It’s a Wonderful Life. Remember, “Going to plastics?”

It’s from The Graduate, when he’s like, “Plastics, Benjamin. Plastics.”

Wasn’t it there It’s a Wonderful Life, too? In plastics as well? I don’t know.

I’m going to have to do some research on that but I love that movie too.

Anyways, I said, “Fine.” I interviewed with them. He called everybody in. I got the job then I got into plastic manufacturing. We’d sell to some of the larger companies around the country and that was good because it got me out of the city. I was pretty much tied to Boston from early morning to late at night. After a while, I needed more. You’re always looking for more and that was a good position. I got into that, did that for a few years, and then evolved into medical manufacturing for packaging and plastics.

That’s amazing. I love the journey you described because it’s like leaving yourself open to so many different opportunities but it starts with putting in the hard work because having a business in food, you know that you’re no stranger to hard work. You put in the hard work then you realize, “Here’s an opportunity.”

A big flashpoint is accepting that training versus the money because the money will be gone in a flash. It’s not to say anything bad about you. It’s the idea is that money goes in and out but knowledge applied well can change the game. For you, that’s what it did. It changed the game for you. It got you thinking differently about what’s possible. I love what you shared. I know that it’s not always rosy. You get into sales and you think like, “Now what do I do?

There were learning moments along the way. Some people call it failures or feelings. They want to soften the touch but let’s face it. There were times when they weren’t pleasant but you don’t stop. It’s like a scene from Rocky. “It’s not how many times you get knocked down. It’s how many times you get up and move forward.” That was the word of advice to his son. If you remember one of the Rocky movies, I think it was Rocky Balboa, his son says, “How can you go back to fighting? Think of me. Think of yourself” He said, “I’m going to do it because it’s for me. I want to do it.”

That was one of the Rocky moments. A movie like that can always bring in the subtleties of life. That was also a turning moment to get to the next step because I’m always moving forward. I’ve done that with positions. Some of the things that have happened. I’ve been through a number of buyouts where the company I was with got bought out. That’s never a good thing.

At the same time, you learn so it’s a good thing.

When a company tells you that they just bought out and the company coming in has all the salespeople and doesn’t need you, I don’t know what the learning moment is. You have to bounce back and keep going. It’s funny because in that one job that I was with, within a matter of a couple of months, not only did I get the green jacket. I got awarded the jacket for selling the most in the country. Within a few months, the company was bought out by another major company. They had given you, “It’s time to go, and good luck.” It’s that 4:59 in the afternoon on Friday type of email. You don’t even have a chance to respond.

I want to share something with you about this because there’s something about that. It’s turning the motivation factors to be internally motivated versus externally motivated in the sense of if you’re constantly feeling like, “My value is bound up in this company, then it becomes this challenge.” It’s like every time, you’re feeling like, “I need to win for the sake of the company,” but you know that that rug gets pulled any minute. You’re on top then you’re at the bottom. You have to find a way to say, “How do I find my own internal vector of value?” I made that up but it’s that sense of value that comes from within that says, “No matter what happens, I know that I’m worthy.”

We think of not burning bridges. We don’t want to burn bridges unless the bridges are burned for us like Cortés. All the ships are burned and there’s no going back, except for one. He kept one ship. Nobody knows that but he made the point, “We’re not going back. We’re going to take care of business over here.” It’s like anything. I like what you said. You think of bridges in the behind but we got to make sure that we build bridges ahead. Nobody thinks of this concept. What does that mean?

It means making enough of those great relationships that if something happened and I’ve done this a couple of times. I’ve helped people and I’ve also asked for help. I say, “This is what happened to my company. We went through a restructuring. Wasn’t aware of it. If there’s somebody you know or if there’s somebody I can work with, you know what I bring to the table, let me know.” As I said, I’ve had to use that. There’s a gentleman, Bob Burg. He wrote The Go-Givers Series. I like Bob a lot.

That’s a great book.

We go back and forth a lot. He’s a local guy in Massachusetts. In The Go-Giver Series, there are five laws of stratospheric success. The last one is the most difficult, the law of receptivity. We’re taught to give, not expecting to receive, which is good. That’s like agape love. Sean Covey wrote a book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. My daughter and I read it. He talks about the relationship bank account.VCP 207 | Business With Love

A relationship bank account is making deposits with relationships that are going to build credibility and trust. If you have to use it, don’t feel bad. It’s the interest that you have built up to ask in the right way for help. It’s not bad to ask for help, Tony. I don’t know if it’s a guy thing. I don’t know what it is. Humility is one of the best qualities. Every person you’ll vote back, generals, speakers, presidents, or Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Humility is seeing the person in every person that you meet and that’s the difference. Now if we take this up to the next level, a flashpoint that you’re always mentioning, which is pretty cool honestly. I love this journey that people take. Winning all the awards and all the money. I’ve done pretty well in the past. I got five kids.

You had to.

I know where some of the money went but the point is that I don’t know if it’s age. I wish I had this wisdom younger. Everybody does but the wisdom that we learned, Tony, is that there are more important things than money, fame, fortune, all the accolades, everything that you think, and all the beautiful houses and boats. I have plenty of friends that have all those and they’ve deserved it. I’m sure you do, too. They earned it but there’s also an adage that says the more possessions you have, the more you’re possessed by them.

The more possessions you have, the more it possesses you.

The boat is screaming, “Use me.” The vacation home, wherever it is, is asking, “How come you haven’t been with me?” The three cars you have and the driver, “Come and use me.” I don’t have a driver but people do. It’s like to get your true worth, you have to empty yourself, and then you feel fulfilled. Don’t empty yourself that the bad things come even worse. There’s a parable about that. Clean your house like you were for Easter or any holiday like Passover now. Clean your house and get yourself ready.

What you let in though has to be better than what you cleaned out. Jonah the Cross was a Spanish mystic. He had the phrase nada, which means nothing. It pretty much should be for business as well because when you empty yourself of all those distractions, you allow the good things to come in. You allow that joy.

It’s funny because the only mistress my wife lets me have is joy. She’s gorgeous. She’s cool with it. Grace is pretty good. Faith is unbelievable. Hope is terrific. Charity is wonderful. Prudence is even better. All these are women’s names but that’s what I mean. That’s how you get joy. Joy doesn’t have a price tag. Here’s another saying. It’s from Thomas Aquinas, “To will the good of the other is a definition of love.” Who in business, these days that you know of, wants to will the good of others? How many leaders do you know that do that at work and in different groups?

It’s getting harder to do that because we’re all feeling like competition is the way of the game. You might’ve heard me say this quote before and I’ll say it because it’s important, “Amateurs compete and professionals create.” When you think about it, it’s the same thing that you’re tapping into. It’s a sense of feeling into this abundance of creating together as opposed to feeling like, “We have to fight against each other. We can’t support that person. We have to support ourselves.”

That leads me to another thing. It’s a friend of ours. Do you know Rebecca Heiss?

Only the name.

She came up with a book, Instinct. The point is that we all know this. There’s a psychology behind biology. We have a monkey brain, a lizard brain, or however you want to put it, that was put there for reasons. The fight/flight syndrome that we have in us is built in for a reason. If we get into an accident, you’re going to quickly respond, “Do I get out of this car? Is it burning? Is it going to blow up?” There are different times in our life when something happened within seconds of what we respond to. I get that.

That’s where emotions come in but we also have a prefrontal cortex. This is where you can decipher those types of emotions and filter out correctly how the response is. We all know that things happen but it’s how you respond to them that makes you. This is where it leads me. I know we’re getting to a point here, Tony, but I would say that I was getting to the fact of then we acquire wisdom. When those things don’t mean as much as they do, we still get to pay taxes, get fed, and do everything that is asked of us.

How many trips do you need to take to Europe? How much do you have? There’s never enough. We think we can control that but we can’t because we’re striving for survival. We want to thrive. There’s no doubt about that but it’s how we do that and that’s what gets in the way. If you take that to love is to will the good of the other like what you do with leaders, it’s not always about the paycheck, Tony.

You have value to offer. You should get paid for it. There’s no doubt about that but say you’re in one of your engagements with it and you got twelve people in front of you. The bell just went off, it’s 5:00 but you see the curious look on somebody in the back. Everybody’s leaving, the person still in the back, getting ready to go a little less than the others, putting the book, and writing down your final notes because you got so many valuable things to say.

Does Tony look the other way or does Tony say, “Samantha, do you have any questions? You seem a little puzzled. Did you get what I meant by when I described this?” She stops and she says, “Tony, I love what you said but this is a little bit. I’m not grasping this but I value your time. It’s 5:00. I know you’ve got to go.” What does Tony say? Tony doesn’t say that it’s 5:00. Tony says, “Sam, I got some time,” and guess what? Maybe you got to pick up your kid at school. Maybe you already told your wife or your significant other you’re going to get some groceries.

The point is, how can you help this person now? I got paid with love. That’s the difference that makes us at a certain age or a certain time in our life. You can be young and be this wise too but that’s what makes all the difference in business with leaders. It’s not sympathy but empathy because you’ve been there. We’ve all been there. Maybe it’s not the exact type of what happened in some. I was never a drug addict. I was never an alcoholic but do I have friends that are drug addicts? Yes, I got a lot of them. We all do. I got my own stuff that I had to deal with from the past that came up in my life. You don’t need to share here now but believe me, there have been challenges.

What makes all the difference in business with leaders is not sympathy but empathy.

The scars that we either allowed to come up every once, we scratch at it or we put some medicine on it and we understand it but we choose to move forward and take that as a gift from God and a grace to say, “Thank you for letting me heal. I’m going to take this and help others. In some way, I’m going to make their life a little better.” Those are the relationships in life that matter most. It’s funny, there was an African proverb, “If you want to run fast, run alone. If you want to run far, run with a group.” I don’t know how many battles you had to do on your own, Tony, but I always wanted somebody to the right and left of me to help me out.

Many people think they have to go on their own. I like that you tapped into this asking for help and the need to let down our guard and say, “It’s okay to ask for help and be humble in that.” Everything you shared was so powerful and I know we’re going to go a little further into this because it’s so important. It’s a sense of when we can tap into this connection to other people and realize that we’re serving other people through those little moments of humility, It’s part of our chance to serve in a very powerful way.

What came to mind at this moment because I want to tap into the spiritual intelligence aspect, is a sense of whenever everyone thinks spiritual, they’re like, “I don’t know if I’m religious in the way that you think.” It doesn’t necessarily have to always be that. It can be whatever you feel or whatever moves you. That’s what I’d love to hear more about now. Maybe share how is it that you’ve come to see this part of you show up and what does it mean to you to have spiritual intelligence?

We have to go back a little bit. You mentioned the ALLIANCE. I remember in March of 2020 when the COVID time kicked in. I was with a company where we did injection molding. Now I was seeking out design companies and other companies like Thermoforms, printers, and testing companies because we didn’t do all that. I learned when I was looking for design companies to work with that, most of them would say, “We do the design work for the customer up to a point then we let go of it.” I said, “How are you helping the customer?” I have a network of companies and people that I know. If I can’t do it, I deferred to them. In a soft way, I give a soft introduction and I follow it through.

A light bulb went off and I said, “In helping the customer, I’m going to help other people.” I put this alliance together. We celebrated. You were nice enough to do the celebration and be the guest speaker. These are people that are experts in the industry in what they do. Part of The ALLIANCE is the customer can visit any one of us. If the customer has a need, we have a group of vetted people. This is a nonprofit. Don’t pay anything to get in, just commitment. That’s the price you got to pay. You’re going to get into this.

The customer benefits and it’s not about like I had twenty leads and I gave them to other members. I’m not expecting twenty leads to come back to me. It’s not about that. It’s done quite well and we’re growing. You see some of the people involved with that group. At the beginning of 2023, a motto came to my mind. It’s, “We for 23 thinking,” and I wrote it up.

It says, “Switching the me to the we is something to behold. With a flip of the letter, the M to the W simply makes all the difference in our mindset, purpose, fulfillment in life, and our altruistic goals and you can see the transformational difference.” That’s flipping that one letter, me to the we. From that, Tony, we always talk about this three-legged stool. Mostly, chairs are built on four legs but I get it. It means you need at least three to be able to sit down on a stool.

Not for me. I need four.

I think a four-legged stool but whatever. Let’s go with it. I was thinking, “What’s important in business and life generally?” Business is a reflection of life anyways. You have to have IQ. That’s what you go to school for. That’s where you get special training if you go to trade school. You have to have the aptitude to be able to do your job and have a conversation with people. If I’m going to have heart surgery, I want somebody that’s gone through the schools that they needed to go to, they’re the best in the industry, and they also feel that it’s not just a job, Tony.

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That person they’re working on is a father, a son, a brother, or somebody that is involved with other people. If that person’s not here, there would be a void. There would be a loss to a lot of people. My father died in my arms at 66 of a heart attack, Tony, right in the back of my house. It was not a good day back in 1997. My parents lived with us and it was a tough day.

I didn’t blame God but, in that instance, I was not responsible. I used to go on trips. My father would be taking care of the house and watch out for the ladies, the kids, and my wife, my mother. He was gone, so then in that instance, I was responsible now for my mother and my family and pretty much everything that had to evolve in our little group. Besides having to write his eulogy, which was a tough thing, and all the business that has to be done with that. We grew up but we also move forward. You have to have that IQ. You have to have the ability to be able to do your job.

The next part is emotional intelligence. Simply having an IQ is not enough. We know that. What made Tom Brady one of the best quarterbacks of all time? Not so much now but in his day. He got a little greedy there at the end but let’s say. I think most people would agree. It’s either Peyton Manning, if you’re a fan, or Tom Brady. What makes the great quarterbacks is that within 3 to 4 seconds, they can have the aptitude. They know the plays.

They could coach, most of them but they know which receiver, which back, whatever the play entails, and call audibles even before that to change it because of the defense. Those are the type of people that have that high emotional intelligence. Now, we can agree on that perhaps but what’s going to take the best version of yourself to the greatest version of yourself? What’s going to take a golden rule and make it a platinum rule? The golden rule is not, “The one with the most gold wins.” That’s not the golden rule.

It’s, “Treat everyone the way you want to be treated.”

The platinum rule is to treat others better than you want to be treated. When somebody loans you a car, do you bring it back that the gas is down there empty? Even if the tank was a quarter full and you borrow the car for the day or whatever, you bring it back full. That’s what we were always taught. You might even get a carwash. How’s that? That’s the platinum rule. Spiritual doesn’t have to mean religious. For me, it does but that’s me but for you, it might. Let me help you out. Let me read this because I want to make sure that we got it right. There are a lot of versions of spiritual talent but this is one that’s good.

The platinum rule is to treat others better than you want to be treated.

“Spiritual intelligence has been described as the ability to behave with wisdom and compassion while maintaining inner and outer peace regardless of the situation with oneness of self and others.” I add even divine but again, that’s what it is. What does that mean? It goes back to that doctor doing heart surgery. How many people treat it as, “I’m making great money. I’m here. I’m going to do this surgery. I’m thinking about my next surgery then I’m thinking about dinner? ”

No, you can still think and do all that but you have to be in the moment. You have the IQ of a surgeon. You’re probably one of the best in the industry, let’s assume that. Unless you have a spiritual intelligence, in other words, a charity for others, caring for others, “How can I make that person better? What can I do? Everything I can do.” Most sports are played in a certain timeframe in a border.

Everybody will tell you at the end of the game that you have to give it all every second of your play now like in hockey. They have 3-to-4-line changes. It’s not like you’re always out there. You get a rest, then you go back in, like football or basketball. This breaks and quarters but especially with hockey. It’s intense. There are five people in a goalie that are out there not to do everything perfectly. That’s the other thing, Tony.

It’s not about perfection. It’s about progress towards perfection. That’s the difference. You’re talking about, “How do I get to this point?” The religious component is part of what I believe in Jesus. I’m a practicing Catholic. I believe especially this time of year. If you do this segment in July 2023, it’s going to be different but that’s okay.

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It’s all good, people know.

Easter’s coming. This is what time it is now. It’s a great value to go through 40 days plus six days of Lent as He did in the desert. Why? It goes back to what we were talking about, Tony. Emptying yourself out of your needs. Coming back outside of the desert. Being tempted by the devil. The devil is going to give him everything. The first time, why don’t you change those rocks to the bread? He could have done it. He was the Son of God. Let’s go up to the temple now. “If you throw yourself down, the angels are going to save You before You even get a scratch.” You don’t tempt the Lord your God. We know it. The first one is you don’t live by bread alone.

The third one, “Here are all the kingdoms of the world and they’re all going to be Yours. All you got to do is worship me, the devil.” It’s not going to happen, right? You only worship God. Maybe Satan is watching this. I’m still going to love this person. That’s the difference, Tony. This is the difference. We, as Christians or Catholics, Hindu, Buddhist, Wicca religion, or whatever, love is the path that comes in.

It’s unconditional love.

It’s agape love. Remember all the different types of love that the Romans and Greeks had? Mostly egotistical and hedonistical but they were smart enough to know that only agape love. Unconditional love is giving of yourself and you make somebody else better. In business, you become a friend even with your competitor. This is the difference.

When I was young, growing up, and in business, I was told, “You don’t talk to your competitor. You hate your competitor. You step on them. If you got an account away from them, you get an extra bonus.” I never could believe that. Others that did that were a little bit even higher than me and that’s fine. I could sleep on myself at night. How do I tell my children stories like that? I don’t. I can’t be a hypocrite and ask my children to do a better job than I was doing. I know you got at least one son.

We, as leaders, fathers, mothers, sisters, or brothers, the best thing that you can do, Tony, is to do it by example. Very few people are going to look at somebody like a speaker comes in. The speaker’s going to start talking about something. As you said, you’re talking over the head or whatever.

I saw a movie for the third time Father Stu with Mark Wahlberg. What a great movie. I’m not going to try to give everything away but he had an illness that was incurable and went through a tough life. In one of the scenes, one of the priests got up and he knew everything about him. Father Stu lived what it was to be a priest because he was an atheist. He started off as an atheist.

He went through some real tough times, women, drugs, drinking, and all that stuff. It’s a lot of people though but he finally saw Jesus on the cross and the sacrifice that that person is making. Again, I’m just going this way, Tony, but I can have a conversation that I have with other religions. Love is that common thread. Respect is that common thread. Caring for other people is the common thread.

Maya Angelou said, “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Nobody’s ever been poor for giving too much.” These are the points that you embrace and take and you live by them. We’re going to be getting to the close of something but I’m trying to make it easy for both of us. That is how to get to the point of why. I finally was enlightened at this point in my life to realize that by bringing joy to others, that is the reward and we can feel good about ourselves, Tony.

I love that. That’s a great way to close in terms of knowing that joy is in giving joy to others. As you said, that was one of the mistresses. It was a great way to share the message that you have connecting with that third leg of the stool, which is powerful. That’s a big message we want to share. There’s more to it than just IQ and EQ.

We want to make sure people understand the value of bringing that third part to the table and seeing how that creates a new part of us, a new way to add value. Joe, before I let you go, I have one last question that I ask every guest and that is, what are 1 or 2 books that have had an impact on you and why? If you want to share some insights on that, that’d be great.

I’m going to have to get some of yours but I love your campfire. I love this whole sequence that you have, going and bringing people together. It’s the Bible of all I collected. Not the Old Testament but the New Testament is bringing it home. I have one right here. It’s The Heart of Business by Hubert Joly. I’m sure we know this guy.

The Earned Life by Marshall Goldsmith is a fantastic book.

There are a lot of others and those are a couple of books that have driven me home especially The Heart of Business because he was very successful. When we say success, we always think of being the CEO of Best Buy and all these other things. He was that but ask a five-year-old what success is and see the answer that you get.

There was a six-year-old girl, I believe and she was talking with her parent. It was about why dogs don’t live so long. She didn’t get to every 7 years equals 1 sort of thing. She turned to her mother and says, “Mom, we, humans, need to live longer because dogs know how to give unconditional love and they don’t need to live so long.” How’s that?

Humans need to live longer because dogs know how to give unconditional love and don't need to live so long.

That’s great. I love that.

Out of the mouth of kids.

It’s beautiful.

We got to pray. We got to give more. It’s the choices we make at the end of the day, Tony. We have free will and we believe if we make the right choices, not always. When you get knocked down, come back up. These are learning moments, we get that. I’m going to give one other plug for you because I’m certainly grateful for being here.

More importantly, I’m grateful that you were the speaker for The ALLIANCE and that you gave up your time. You gave your talent. When I asked you if you could do that, you didn’t hesitate a moment. “Joe, how can I help?” We have other guest speakers that do that. James Kerr is one of them. He has done it. We both know him. These are the type of people that bring something.

One takeaway that you brought up is that you had asked people to go through those flashpoints of their life. I’m going to tell you one. At least I know a couple of people. I was like, “This is great.” Do you remember the immediate feedback from people, “I went through this my whole life and I’m just doing this now?” It’s like, “Why didn’t I do this before?” One woman was so inspired that she’s going to now, I’m hoping she goes for it but she’s going to be our team development chair.

As with any group, I would say for anybody who’s reading this, you can have the best group on paper. You can have the best team on paper but like March Madness and other series have played, who picked these two people though, UConn and San Diego State? Finally, you took it but the point is that you got to work on people’s relationships. Your campfire series gets to the heart and soul of people.

That’s not religious because there’s an inner being in us that wants to come out. That’s the intellect, from the prefrontal cortex that goes down to here. Do you know the longest distances some people say? Head and the heart. That’s the heart that we have to work on in business and life. Thank you for contributing and doing a great job. We appreciate it. Anybody that takes you on Tony, they’re the better for at the end of it. I can tell you that.

Joe, you’re making me blush over here but thank you so much. I appreciate it.

We’re Italian. That’s what we do. We love hard, we fight hard, and we make a lot of babies.

VCP 207 | Business With Love

Joe, this has been so much fun. I am so grateful for you bringing your true self to the table. This was amazing and thanks for coming on the show. Before I let you go, I want to make sure that I share, where can people find out more about you if they wanted to reach out?

LinkedIn is probably the best way. I spent a lot of time on LinkedIn but you’ll recognize this face. If you’re just reading, I’m on there.

Thank you, Joe, and thank you so much for everyone reading. I know you’re leaving feeling so inspired and moved. Go spread some love out there. That’s what we’re all about here. Thank you so much.

Agape is the only way. That’s what I say.

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