Bringing Out Your True Brilliance To Create An Impact With Stephan Thieringer

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Sometimes, it takes others to help us see ourselves and coax the true brilliance within out to the world. This is where great coaches come into the picture; they are there to support and encourage us to make the most impact. In this episode, Tony Martignetti is with Stephan Thieringer, the CEO and Founder of The Human Innovation Garage, a leading coaching and advisory firm that serves and supports mission-driven entrepreneurs, executives, and high potentials. Stephan shares with us the flashpoints in his career that led him to be recently recognized as part of the 2023 Global Gurus Top 30 for coaching. He dives deep into how fear holds us back from our brilliance, working with executive trauma, and living with intention. Full of Stephan’s wisdom and life lessons, this conversation inspires you to step into your unique self and create impact.


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Bringing Out Your True Brilliance To Create An Impact With Stephan Thieringer

It is my honor to introduce my guest, Stephan Thieringer. Stephan is a personal futurist, executive guide, CEO and Founder of The Human Innovation Garage. He's an Angel investor, a heart attack survivor, a dad and a dog dad and a soccer and foosball club Cofounder. He was recognized as the 2023 Top Global Gurus for Coaching. I am so thrilled and honored to introduce you and welcome you to the show, Stephan.

Tony, it's wonderful to be here. Honored and thrilled are perfect words. We know each other for a long time in the virtual world and the local world. It's awesome to sit down with you and chat a little bit. Thank you.

Same here. I'm thrilled to be able to share your story of what brought you to make such a big impact in the world and be recognized. It's a humbling experience and we'll talk more about that but there's a sense of wanting to know how did you arrive here? What's the journey that brought you here? What we do in the show is help people to share their stories through what we call flashpoints, points in your journey that have ignited your gifts into the world. You can start wherever you like, share what you're called to share and along the way, we'll pause, see what's showing up and take it from there. With that, take it away.

Thank you. I'll start with presence, why we're here and most recent past, which is in this context for me, why I do what I do at The Human Innovation Garage. It's a little bit older than a decade. The easiest way people relate to it is what we do at The Human Innovation Garage. We coach people. I always compare coaching a little bit with skiing. If anybody who's reading is a skier or you're a skier, yourself, Tony, when you teach other people, you learn yourself better.

That has been quite a bit of my journey as well. As coaches, teachers, mentors, advisors or whatever we call ourselves, if we're honest with ourselves and self-reflective, we become hypocrites. We are saying one thing but we're doing another. We know it but we don't tell anybody about it. That's a reality. We're doing this thing on Zoom and he's dying laughing on the other side. That's a reality.

The question then becomes, “What's the commitment? What's the integrity behind it? Are you willing to do the work at some point?” A famous colleague of ours said many times, "The works." That's an important part. In 2012, I left my last startup which at that point had been 5 or 6 years old. We predominantly were operating in India. We were an education technology company and I decided on a Friday to walk out of the room. I asked myself, “What is a passion or a talent, something that I enjoy, which was inspiring people but also influencing people to ultimately create impact?”

At the very forefront of that is if you ask yourself how you influence people to create impact, you got to start with the individuals. One is yourself and the other one is on the external side. How do you influence and create movement? How do you create these ripple effects of change, transformation, whatever it may be? That's where Human Innovation Garage then started. Human in the context of humanity, kindness and constant daily striving to do better for yourself. Not for yourself in terms of more success or material things but better the way you behave, respond and not react.

We can talk more about emotional intelligence and conversational intelligence. The innovation part is that we're a conformity society. Conformity makes us comfortable and creates that comfort of, “I'm safe.” As human beings, we're neuro-scientifically set up that way so we are very good at catching people doing things wrong. What we're not good at is celebrating small successes and big successes. We talk in companies about it but are we practicing it?!

There's this innovation component of that we all have brilliant pieces in ourselves. We need oftentimes somewhat of a trigger, a pivot point, help mentorship and guidance to discover that and be able to say," I'm creative and inspirational," or whatever it may be. Building that bridge for people is a big part of what we do. The toolset is we bring your car into the garage where there are tools. There are frameworks. In coaching, we talk a lot about frameworks but I'm not a framework believer.

There are a couple of things about a great coach, which differentiate great coaches from good coaches. You are willing to work with your instinct and it goes back to impulse instinct. You act and reflect. That's leadership. It's not like you overanalyze and get frozen in your analytics and then you never act and ultimately nothing gets impacted. That's the first piece.

The second piece is you got to bring your expertise and experience to the table. I'm not a business coach. We are not business coaching or telling you how to run your business but I understand how thinking works. I've been in many situations which are agnostic of the industry where we're then able to extend that if that's on the side of Human Innovation Garage or a subset we have, which is the culture maker where we do a very similar thing.

First of all, I love what you're sharing. There's something about what you shared. The first thing that comes to mind is there's this sense of being able to pause the action for a moment and see the brilliance when it shows up and not get too hung up on frameworks or worrying about sticking to some formula. It's following intuition, seeing where things are in the moment and then reacting to them at that moment. That's brilliance right there.

It's because we're a conformist society and that's a fact. We'd start this in school. We continue it in college and university. We most certainly do it in organizations a lot. If you're an organization that's reading but not doing that, hats off to you. I want to talk to you. That's organizational brilliance. It's that creative chaos. If you can control that to an extent that it still gives an impact on productivity, that's what it's about. Some large corporations have done that very well.

To your point, you need to have freedom. Everybody will define freedom differently but there's a brilliance about it that makes you uniquely you. We forget to invite people to put that out there. People are afraid of being themselves sometimes, more often than not, unfortunately. The other part is how we create a culture around it as an organization and how we create a culture for ourselves. Culture is not necessarily about the box of the organization. It's about you and me and the people we interact with. That's an important piece.

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There's something you said that I wanted to reflect on because it happened around fear, a sense of fear of being too much or not enough. The reality is too much and not enough is a fear of being you. That fear is what holds you back from your true brilliance of being able to show up and create an impact which is a powerful insight. I'd love to hear your thoughts on that theory of fear.

You opened up two major cans for me. Let's start with the first one before we go to fear. Let's talk about not enough or not being good enough. I remember a conversation vividly with my brother years ago. My father coincidentally passed at the proud age of 94. I have a younger brother who's brilliant. He's a physician at a university clinic in mind.

I grew up in German with very rigid study and rigor expectations. You go to grammar school, what we call a baccalaureate track and then university. You study, You do this and that. If you don't comply with that at the societal level I came from, then you suck. On top of that, I was always the kid who got thrown out of the class because I had fun. We were eating the little Rolo candies in the middle of the classroom. Both of us got thrown out.

Here's a funny side story and I know he'll forgive me that I'm going to say it. This guy's name is Ulf who runs a global Mercedes Sprinter, you know the big buses switcher out there. He's an engineer. He is been with Mercedes for a long time. The point is the two of us got thrown out of class. I’m speaking about Ulf here, not about myself. A guy like this who's brilliant is not recognized by the teacher at an early age. We can hone that and develop that further. That feeling was installed in me very young. I always felt not good enough towards my father. Nothing I was doing was right. My grades were never good enough. It didn't matter. It was always not good enough.

As we grow up as adults or become adults and adolescents, we have these programmed behaviors. It’s if we think about how a programmed identity is established and how we think about and memorize remembered identity and reflected identity. Reflection is an active concept and remembered is either conscious or not. Certain patterns are established. All my life, if that’s in business, relationships or conversations, I have to be very aware of not being good enough.

Let's go to the fear. The fear is consequential. If I'm not good enough, what happens then? It's like a parallel track. One almost doesn't exist without the other and you illustrated that with your experience. That is the important piece. If we think about it in the context of innovation and we put the innovation back on humans, the question is if you would not be afraid and you don't feel good enough, what's possible? If you take that self-limiting belief out of it, see the invisible and do the impossible. That's a big mantra the way we work, where people can say, "I never thought about it."

It's a perspective shift. The only person who could shift perspective for you is not me. It's you. I can be a catalyst for you to do it and I can help you. Sometimes it's rephrasing. Sometimes it's reframing. Sometimes it's techniques of neurolinguistic programming. I use cognitive therapy. I'm not a therapist but there's a fine line between how we communicate with each other meaningfully, the yes and versus the yeah buts.

The only person who could shift perspective for you is yourself.

It's little nuances but if I give you feedback on something and I say, "Tony, I love this idea but," I may as well hit delete. When I say, "Tony, I love this idea," you're receipting. You're like the little Frenchy dog who puts his ears up like a satellite dish and goes, "That's working. I can relate to that." It's these little things.

I want to invite everybody and I always do it for myself, to pay attention. Nobody's going to tell you that you need to do that. Experience the changes and also the reality. What happens from a neuroscience standpoint if we think about neurotransmitters? How can I trigger certain emotions through breathing, talking and using particular words? From a cause-effect analysis essentially, NLP again, what can I affect in my chemical triggers but also for the other person? Whom do I want to affect? What's constructive?

One of the things that you remind me of is that our words create worlds. If you choose the right words, for example, what exists on the other side of if, there's something that shifts in you immediately from that. Having someone challenge you on that is amazing.

It's funny you bring the word if up. In the German language, the word if and when is the same word. There's no if and when. I always say to people and that's what I wanted to say quickly, sometimes when you make a sentence, shift the word if into when. If we think about commitment to ourselves, “When I do,” versus, “If I do,” if it's potential, I'll try. I can't stand it when people say try. I call all my clients out and then I said, "No, let's rephrase this. It's not trying. Trying is failing with honor."

If that's how committed you are, okay. If I say, "When I do or when this happens, then I will," suddenly I'm having a commitment made. That's very subtle but from a standpoint of self-fulfilling prophecy and a promise that's already the first drift.

What is the word if and when in German?

Wenn. We have the saying in German, "Wenn es das Wort Wann nicht gäbe, dann wäre mein Vater Millionär." The translation is and it's a sentence every kid knows, "If the word when wouldn't exist, then my father would be a millionaire." It rhymes a little nicer in German but that's the reality.

I love that you went into your childhood and brought us into that journey where this showed up. I'd love to hear more about some of the moments along the way that have defined you and brought you to the space. Is there another flashpoint that you're willing to share?

I say this with a smile because in the therapy I've been through, one of the biggest discoveries I had and I want to relate this to my practice is when I talk about executive trauma. Marilyn Murray is a woman who is a therapist. Are you familiar with her?

I've heard the name before.

She created The Murray Method and one of the big pieces of the Murray method is what she calls The Trauma Egg. She teaches it all around the world. You draw an egg and then put different lines in, depending on how many traumas you can remember as a child or as an adolescent as you grew up and ultimately came to the point in life where you're at.

I was in a workshop with her as a participant. I afterward looked at her and went through my stuff. These are things that I think about also when I talk to people. One morning on Easter Sunday, we had a little pet rabbit. My mother was in the kitchen. I got up in the morning. My mother was sitting in the kitchen. The pet rabbit was dead.

I looked at her and she was sitting there sad. I was in shock and ran away. My mother chose to deal with her pain. She was sitting there and nurturing herself. I don't know how old I was. Maybe 6, 7, 8 or even younger. What I needed is care for my mother. I needed my mother to come up, console me and nurture me at that moment. I didn't get that.

These little traumas become bigger traumas because you start to build on them. It energizes further. In any trauma, there's something that you need and something that happens. Particular people are participating. If that need you have is met or not, you either move on or develop a coping mechanism to make up for whatever that gap is that you didn't get.

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For me, that was an a-ha moment where I'm going interesting. After the workshop, I went to Marilyn and said, "Can I ask you a question? Would it be okay if I use that exact principle with my executives and call it Executive Trauma?" She goes, "That's awesome. I'll love it. Nobody ever thought about it this way." At least nobody's ever talked about it that way.

When I introduce people to my work, I say, "I work with executive trauma." They go, "What is it?" As a very simple example, you and I have worked for more than one company in our life. If we adopt certain behavior and patterns, let's call it a little professional trauma, because our boss, every morning when we walk in, never says good morning to us. We may say a word because we walk into a store, shop, wood shop, design shop, atelier or whatever else it is. We start talking. We get yelled at by the boss. What's the normal coping mechanism? What do we do? Next time we walk in, we don't say anything.

We go to the next employer. How likely am I to jovially walk into the room and say, "Good morning?" Probably not. That is a pattern behavior, which is not reflected in identity that's subconsciously remembered based on a prior pattern that I've developed in an environment that no longer serves me. That's the kick point also for human transformation or change to say, "How many of those little kick points can I identify that ultimately if I change the behavior, actions and response, it becomes not meaningful to me but also the impact and the way I show up in the world is very different?"

There's something about that is landing for me, this sense of all of the behaviors we get through like our past experiences carry with us. There's a sense of we want to make meaning. We're meaning making machines. The meaning we make through those micro-traumas sticks with us. Whether we like it or not, they become part of us. It's about reprogramming ourselves when the time comes when we're ready to reprogram and we can see the impact that we can have when we start to show up differently.

It's such an important piece. You asked me about some of the things that inspire me and some of the people's work who has inspired me. One of them is Robin Sharma. Robin Sharma works on what he calls The Four Interior Pillars. This is exactly the right way to look at it. My practice is very similar. I came across Robin years ago. The thing about it is we talk a lot about mindset. “You got to be focused, healthy and health set.”

What we don't talk about is old wounds, which is exactly what we're talking about. “What do I need to process? What does it mean to me? How do I show up? How does my ego relate to that?” Reduction of ego, shortness of life and being in the moment. Health is not just food and exercise. Health is nutrition. We don't talk about sleep. No offense but the American grind is ridiculous. Busy for the sake of being busy. Wake up. That's not serving you, your company or anybody. It's not healthy. End of the story. Mic drop.

Health is not just food and exercise. Health is nutrition.

In the work you and I do, that's where we can make a difference. It's not just one person affected. Dave Hollis passed at 47 years old. He was the old Disney guy. I don't know if you know that. He was the funniest guy in the world and a good human spirit. I'm not sure if that was a bigger story to it. I would imagine he probably resigned back from Disney when he realized he's got some heart issues and died of a heart attack if I have it correct or some heart issues at least.

Here's a guy sitting right here. I had a heart attack and I had the full saw through the chest and the quadruple bypass. Thank God I was so healthy that I ended up being the second case at MGH and it happened in downtown Boston. I was conscious I didn't kill over but I felt nauseous and it was not a good situation. If my girlfriend wouldn't say to me, "You need to walk into the next door," because I called her and said, "I'm nauseous. I'm this and that," I probably would've walked on and flipped over about an hour later.

That is remarkable, being able to clue into those little signs and symptoms when they show up. Most people don't know. They go about their business.

I'm also somebody who is not a guy who goes to the doctor because I need to. I'm a guy who’s like, "I'm fine. I don't need it."

You're a strong soldier.

It's a Germanic stupidity of weed that doesn't die.

That's a flashpoint in its own right. Walking out of that operating room and having that new lease on life, tell me more about that. How did that change you if you're willing to share?

It's funny that we're talking. It's February 2023. It happened on February 26th, 2020. February 24th was my heart attack and February 26th was my surgery. It's one of the things where it's profound because you think it's never going to happen to you. That's the first thing, particularly for a guy like me who plays soccer. I'm on the bike. I have a Peloton. You meet me and say "You had a heart attack? There's no way."

I was never afraid of dying. That was the first piece. Part of that is a mental commitment where you have to yourself a commitment that says, "I'm going to make it through this one way or the other." You may not even consciously think about this but that's a big part of that. They say, "There is a chance that you survive a flight crash because of your willingness to live and survive in a small plane. If you have that, you may survive because there's a subconscious thing."

I don't know if I believe that or not but the point is people say that. I do believe that's a similar thing. My surgery was on the 26th. I remember sitting in the hospital on a Wednesday. They kept me sedated until Thursday. When your heart and lungs are on a coat hanger, it's very normal that you kick off.

I guess I kicked off at some point on Wednesday evening during the surgery. They kept me sedated. On Saturday, a very good friend of mine came into the hospital and says, "Do you realize that the world's shutting down?" I said, "Perfect timing. I'm not missing anything." That was February 28 or 29, 2020. A couple of weeks later, the world shut down. What happened for me was my surgery was on Wednesday, I woke up Thursday and Monday the following, I was already back home. I didn't realize what has happened until I walked into my place.

I realized I had no control over anything whatsoever and I needed to let it go. I don't know. I'd probably cry for ten minutes and my daughter was with me and she looked at me like, “This is real.” She was amazing. It brings you much closer to the people around you. You also start realizing who shows up for you. I had guys from a group I have breakfast with once a week. They did not just show up in the hospital but it was a group of 25 guys with a card. It was unbelievable. In my whole soccer group, I had guys standing in the ICU when I woke up with my daughter together.

The one thing which I would invite everybody to think about is, “What does your community look like? Is your community meaningful?” If you go through death, divorce, sickness, illness or whatever it may be, these are the very telling moments. I had people come to my house and say, "How do you can't feed yourself? I'll bring you food for a week. I'll put it in little containers." It's amazing. My daughter was at the very forefront. She ordered me a chair because she knew I couldn't sleep in a bed. I had one of those chairs like in the hospital too. She ordered it for me. It was at the house already.

She got a scale. She hired a nutritionist. I don't eat unhealthily but not healthy enough for my daughter who said, "We're going to look at that a little closer." I have a physical change in terms of sodium, sugar and triglycerides. You wouldn't think it's the same person when you look at my blood work now than what it was then. I wasn't unhealthy, I thought, but it was under the hood. You don't realize it. You don't pay attention to it. It's these little factors.

It's multifaceted. It's not just one thing you changed. I deleted 650 people from my Facebook. Are you friends? You're not friends. You're acquaintances. Get with the program. The new measure I introduced in my life is I got 200 people on my Facebook or 250. The measure I introduced is if I can't call you from an airport and say openly, "I'm broke. I don't have $20 to get from the airport to the hotel," and you don't Venmo me $20 right then and there, we're not friends. We may know each other on LinkedIn and that's okay.

I don't expect that from somebody on LinkedIn but if you're on my Facebook, you better send me not $20 but $50 and say, "Don't worry about it. I don't need it back." The point I'm trying to make is we're so tolerant of other people that we allow them into our lives instead of setting boundaries. That was a moment for me in life where I said, "This works for me. This doesn't." It's a constant project. You make the 1st step, 2nd step and 3rd step. It's an ongoing project. We're all with our ongoing projects but as long as we at least realized, that's one part.

The second part for me was life is not about legacy, money and what you leave behind. Life is about this right here, connecting with people. That's my wish for anybody. If that's on the professional side or personal side, we are interacting with so many people every day. There's a statistic that says, "Every single day, all of us walk by three people who will die that day." Isn't that a crazy statistic?

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It puts things in perspective. It opens up the TV to accidents and earthquakes. I'm not trying to make this a negative morbid conversation but it's a reality. We think we have this guarantee that we're going to live until 92 the way our financial advisors are planning for us. Maybe yes and maybe not. "What am I going to do with all that stuff I got when I'm 91? I know I'm going to die in 92. Am I going to have a big party or live life now?"

These are the kinds of things which are probably, in some instances, I start becoming much more self-critical in regards to, "No, we're going to do that or buy that. I'm going to go or travel there." We talked about ubiquitous access to our clients, except if we're on-site. I'm going to be in Germany at the house. I can do my coaching sessions from there. I got to make sure that my coaching session is at 8:00 at night, which is 2:00 here. I'm still awake, meaning I'm still as energized as I'm here at 2:00 in the afternoon.

That's a commitment to yourself and that's little things like that. There's no reason not to enjoy life. I hear people say, "I'll travel there at some point." How do you know you're going to have some point? There are changes with some consequences, being in the moment, appreciating people differently, reaching out to people and not being a crappy friend where you don't call your friend for three months and say, "Can we schedule a phone call for three weeks down the road?"

If we're friends, I'm not scheduling a phone call with you. What's wrong with you? We're scheduling a phone call? You're not my friend." I may sound brutal. For some people, that may hit them in the face like, "Who are you?" Welcome to my world. I've been around the block 5 or 4 times. That's the way I choose to live my life and that may not work for anybody else.

What I'm hearing from you is living with intention and doing it on purpose. I always ask this question of my clients and it is apropos of what we're talking about. What are you tolerating that you shouldn't? When you go through a moment that you did, there's a sense of, "I'm tolerating all this stuff." "Why am I tolerating this stuff? I need to live in this moment and realize that I'm not going to tolerate the things that I'm tolerating." You demonstrated very powerfully that sense of getting rid of all the things that aren't serving and moving right into that place of, "What's the intention of my life?"

It's important. I put this thing out and I don't know if it's original or if I saw it somewhere. I'm sure other people say it’s in similar ways but you're never too important to be kind. That's a reality. You and I are both in the Boston area. Boston I always say has a little bit of this New England attitude, which is, "Don't you know who I am?" For a long time, I lived my life like that too.

You're never too important to be kind.

It's one of those things where you need to self-reflect. You asked me the question about not being good enough. Are you compensating for something that in the first place you should be confident that's who you are? Embrace who you are. Be who you are. Don't apologize for who you are. Live your life. Whatever that means. You don't have to have an accident or something else. I don't know how older you are but let's say you get over 40 or 45. There is the occasional news flash of somebody popping off like this. Don't be that guy.

If you've ever read a book about palliative care, there are three things people don't talk about, their assets, what they should have thought and they didn't work enough. What they do talk about is, "I wish I would've done that. I should have done that twenty years ago." We all have been in conversations where somebody says to us, who's in their 70s, 80s or 90s, "I should have done that twenty years ago."

Anybody who is 70 minus 20, go do it now. Go fly to Hong Kong, Portugal, Singapore or Maldives and spent $2,000 or $3,000 you need to spend to get there. Maybe that's the one time you gift yourself something that you deserve. Twenty years from now, maybe you're not going to have that opportunity.

I'm getting my credit card out for my trip. I don't know where yet.

Go do it. I play soccer still. That was the first thing I did again in September 2020. I played with a group of 15 guys or 16 guys whom I've played with for more than a decade together. We are Manchester by the Sea originally. We started playing together up there in Brook Street in Manchester. We go every single year. We go in March 2021 for a week to Ireland and the group grows.

In 2022, we were sixteen. In 2023, we're leaving on the 23rd of March with 29 guys. We're renting two buses. Last time, we did it from the East to the West. In 2023, we're going to the Southern part of the island which is a little bit rougher, as we were already warned. I said, "Thank God we're 28 guys. We can take on a lot of people." The point is that's the people you want to surround yourself with.

I was at a party of one of the guys. There were probably 70 or 80 people. Nobody talks about what you do, where you live, what you drive or what you make because that's the guy conversation, particularly on the East coast. It's not about that. It's about, "Let's drink a beer and have some fun. Let's talk about the family and kid’s soccer," whatever life that it's never this assessing off. It just doesn't happen.

It's not a measurement of what you've accomplished.

It's one of those things for me. I'm not perfect. I get triggered and that's a fact. I make mistakes. The important piece is we all have a vision for ourselves. That's another thing I stole from Robin Sharma. We all take action but the most important piece is we need to also talk about reflection. We run but do we make space and time for reflection.

We all take action but the most important piece is reflection.

Is that constructive? What's the consequence of the reflection? Are we willing to adopt, be agile humans and essentially be able to say, "What I made there in a little booboo or the decision or choice I made or the way I maybe even reacted rather than responded was not whom I want to be known as? What's the corrective measure I can take? Is it an apology?" The proper apology is a whole other conversation. Is it a corrective measure? What is healthy and unhealthy? There's a book written about that too by a great therapist and a local guy as well.

I can talk to you for hours. I feel that we touched the surface. Maybe we need to book another episode.

I'm happy to.

I have to ask one last question before we let you go and that last question is one that I ask everybody. What are 1 or 2 books that have had an impact on you and why?

I'll start with the easy one by Herminia Ibarra. She wrote a book called Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader. Are you familiar?VCP 199 | True Brilliance

It’s a brilliant book.

It goes back to what I said. If you have an impulse, go do it but reflect if it was the right choice or not. What's the outside? What's the inside? The internal and the external. That's a book that is somewhat very practical. There are a lot of little sketches and things in there. The book's old. She wrote it in the middle decade somewhere. Long story short, it's a great book.

The second book is something that I'm still in the last third of but I'm inspired and challenged by it. I love it. It is The Courage to Be Disliked. The author is Ichiro Kishimi. There's a second author and I can't say the name at the moment but they are two Japanese gentlemen. It's a book that challenges your value system, belief system and behavior in a way like, "Who am I catering to in my life? What is the message to me as the individual who's reflective in regards to the takeaway, how I can potentially shift some of those dynamics and understand why I do things," which goes back to, courage, one of the greatest leadership attributes you can have and then also certainly self-awareness.

That's how I started Human Innovation Garage at the very beginning. When you go to or, it brings you back to Human Innovation Garage. We said that the biggest thing was radical self-awareness. I'm still a huge believer in that. It's like radical candor. The more you can say in a kind but candid, self-critical way, that’s important part.

That's the next book on my list. I got to go grab that because that sounds brilliant. I want to check that out.

I'll add a third one for you. Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty.

I love that book. I read that a few times in 2022.

It’s a great book as well. It’s very similar. That book inspired me to also do The Courage to Be Disliked. His new book is out. 8 Rules of Love, I believe it's called. That's on my next list. It's already loaded up for me in Audible. That's the other thing. People always say, "I don't have time to read." You'll be a lot more awake in the car. Take advantage of traffic university, as I like to call it. If you go for half an hour somewhere, listen to something. Make it meaningful, even if it's just twenty minutes. Listen to a podcast you enjoy. Not because it's some entertainment podcast about the next crime but something that helps you grow or challenges you. Your drive will go by a lot faster.

I couldn't agree more. I've found ways like taking my dogs for a walk. I pop an Audible in. Before you know it, I'm listening and exercising. We're all happy. I can't thank you enough for coming on. This has been truly a powerful conversation. All your stories and insights are amazing so thank you.

Tony, thank you. I have great admiration for you for what you do as well. Thank you for allowing me to be here and share some of my stories and experiences. I’m grateful.

You're so welcome. Before I let you go though, I want to make sure that the readers know where to find you. What's the best place to reach out if they want to find out more?

It’s very easy. If you're on LinkedIn, you'll find me very easily there as long as you spell my name correctly. If you look for number six on Global Gurus, that's another way to find me. The easiest way is to company I always look forward to supporting and serving. I tell people this all the time, particularly in business schools, when they ask me to give profound advice, I always say, "Not every interaction is a transaction." Keep that in mind. That's the way I've built with great inspiration and gratitude for my business. The paying it forward is real.

Not every interaction is a transaction.

Thank you so much. Thanks to the readers for coming on the journey. That's a wrap.

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