We’ve got a special conversation lined up for the Achieve Your Goals podcast today. Jon Berghoff gets interviewed by Dr. Richard Shuster, host of The Daily Helping Podcast.
For those of you unfamiliar with Dr. Richard Shuster and his work, he’s a neuroscientist and altruist with a mission—to inspire one million people to perform random acts of kindness every single day. Want to share your act of kindness story with the world? Join the movement by using #mydailyhelping ?
Jon and I first connected with Dr. Shuster at this year’s Best Year Ever Blueprint event, where we learned about some of the amazing things he’s doing to make the world a better place. As someone who has dedicated his life to serving others, we couldn’t have asked for a better person to interview Jon about his life.
Told differently than you’ve ever heard it before, Jon Berghoff shares the story of his journey and the many unexpected turns along the way that made him who he is.
- How Jon’s childhood shaped him and the lessons he learned by combining his strengths to succeed as an entrepreneur, despite fear and anxiety.
- Jon’s unique formula to attract incredible mentors and strategic partners—and what makes these relationships lasting and meaningful.
- The lessons Jon learned about human systems and how they apply to us as individuals.
- The ONE thing you can do to get in touch with your ability to shape your own future.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
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COMMENT QUESTION: What is your big takeaway? Write it in the comments below.
Jon: Achieve Your Goals Podcast, hey, everybody. Happy new year. Jon Berghoff here. Today, something a little different for you. We’re actually repurposing a conversation that I just had a few hours ago where I was being interviewed by Dr. Richard Shuster who’s the host of The Daily Helping Podcast. A couple of things that I love about Dr. Richard. Not only is he a member of our Quantum Leap Mastermind but he is also a neuroscientist and he has dedicated his life to some pretty admirable causes and I’ll let you go look that up on your own because I want you to go look at what he’s doing with The Daily Helping Podcast. But the other thing I appreciate about Dr. Richard is he credits a lot of his personal transformation to The Miracle Morning which is pretty cool.
One other thing. In the conversation that he and I had, he asked me some questions about my personal life, my upbringing. We talked about things I don’t usually talk about in this podcast but one of the things that he asked me about that after the fact I thought that was a really interesting conversation was the idea of developing mentors in our lives. And I shared my personal strategy for how I have tried to attract and cultivate relationships with multiple mentors that I’ve had. And some of you who are on the live stream sent me notes afterward saying that it was a really eye-opening conversation. So, I hope you enjoy it. Take care, everybody. Bye.
Jon: I’m about to be interviewed by Dr. Richard. And Dr. Richard I met at the Best Year Ever Blueprint Event, has had his own transformation through The Miracle Morning, and in a unique turn of events, I’m going to be interviewed and we thought somebody might enjoy hearing this. Dr. Richard, I’m all ears. Actually, if you don’t mind, forgive me. I do want to say this. I want to say that one of the reasons I’m excited for this community to get to know you and about your podcast and they’ll have to go find out more about you, I guess, in another episode because this is supposed to be about me. But I want to make sure I acknowledge that you are a doctor in the area of neuroscience and also in the science of altruism in helping others and that you not only have your own podcast, The Daily Helping, it’s really an emerging podcast in the area of self-improvement and generosity but you’re also doing incredible social work helping children that really need your kind of leadership. So, I’m here for you to interview me but I did want to at least stop and appreciate and acknowledge you and thank you for the work that you’re doing and now I’m all ears.
Dr. Richard: Well, I really appreciate that. And it was outstanding getting to connect at BYEB. I had been an avid practicer of the SAVERS since 2015. I haven’t missed a week. So, no doubt, that as many of the people who are tuning into this right now, it’s made a profound impact in me. And my show is, for those of you that don’t know me, it’s all about helping people become the best versions of who they are and what I’m really trying to do is to get a million people to commit daily acts of kindness, random acts of kindness, and posting in your social media feeds, using the #MyDailyHelping. So, for those of you that are new, welcome. For those of you who know me and know Jon, we’re going to do something that’s a little different because for those of you who listen to the Miracle Morning Podcast, the Achieve Your Goals Podcast, we don’t really talk a lot about it, Jon, and I think that’s what being a good host is, is that you kind of shut your mouth and let the guest talk about their expertise.
But I want to celebrate Jon Berghoff today and I like to do that by finding out what makes people who they are because we’re all driven by our unique stories, our unique backgrounds, and the unique passions. And a lot of people know the things about Jon and the work that he did with Vitamix and some of the other things he’s doing with the Flourishing Leadership Institute. But I want to go back, Jon, to the beginning and talk about what were some of the things that inspired you when you were younger and really put you on the path that you’re on today.
Jon: Forgive me. I was sipping on my drink.
Dr. Richard: Not at all. I will do the same as you start talking.
Jon: Right as you’re setting that up. I look forward to it. I’m happy to go back and share anything I can in service to you and your audience. So, I’m happy to go wherever we want to go.
Dr. Richard: So, let’s talk about, I know that you’re in Cleveland, Ohio now. Is that where you’re from?
Jon: Well, I grew up in Cupertino, California and I’m now based out of Hudson, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland. And Hudson is a really cool historic town that, well, it borders the National Park where I get to spend a lot of time. So, I grew up in the Bay Area, lived in Northern Virginia and now I’m here in Hudson. And this is a great place to raise a family, so I don’t know. Maybe we’ll be here forever.
Dr. Richard: Awesome. And growing up, a lot of people who are entrepreneurs are kind of in this entrepreneurial space who will say things like, “When I was a kid I always had this bug. I was selling newspapers or lemonade stands,” or whatever it is. Was it the case for you that entrepreneurship, that business, was just kind of a part of your upbringing or is that something you learned about later in life?
Jon: I appreciate that question. Entrepreneurship for me, it’s both. One is growing up in the Bay Area, my parents, anyone who spends any time in Silicon Valley, there’s very much a pioneering spirit that exists. You can feel it in the air. And I felt that as a kid. I didn’t necessarily comprehend it, but both of my parents worked in high tech. They worked really hard. They both worked full time growing up. And so, I saw firsthand kind of the passion and the commitment of being mission-driven through how my parents went to work every day. But for me, entrepreneurship actually it was kind of like a way out as my friend, Christopher Lochhead, would say because I was very fortunate that when I was 17 years old, it was a time in my life where I was not thriving. I was not in a great place by pretty much every possible definition. I would just call it lucky. You could call it what you want that I stumbled into the opportunity to sell Cutco knives as many of our audiences might know.
And so, I was very fortunate because when I got into that entrepreneurial opportunity, I never knew that it allowed me to use some strengths that I had and because I was able to tap into certain strengths, I thrived combined with having incredible mentors and that company having a great culture but what is really interesting, I don’t think a lot of people know this about my story but at that time in my life, I was really experiencing in many ways a downward spiral. And so, that’s why I would say entrepreneurship it was kind of a way out for me of a path that wasn’t very uplifting. And so, for that, I’m super grateful.
Dr. Richard: It’s interesting that you describe that as a downward spiral because one would think based on the way you described, two hard-working parents in IT in Cupertino, that life was probably okay. What was it at 17? Because most 17-year-olds they have this teenage angst that we know. Do we go to college? Do we not go to college? Who do we take to prom? It’s not necessarily the existential crisis that it sounds like you are kind of going through at that point in time.
Jon: Yeah. For me, I think it was a combination of things. I think anybody can maybe relate to this in their own way. High school is a very interesting time in our lives where, and I can only say this looking back, where how safe we feel means a lot and I had this interesting dynamic for me in high school where I didn’t have one particular core group of friends that were like my nucleus of friends. And I don’t know if it’s because of that or something else led to that. I didn’t feel psychologically safe when I was in high school and if I combine that with my nature of being more internal or introverted, I ended up being in a place where I was literally afraid to go to school every day. Not because of the learning aspect, because of the social aspect, and it was pretty painful.
It was pretty painful. And what that led to what was it actually hurt my ability to learn to where every college that I applied to, I got rejected and I was by most measures a smart kid, but I was failing in the current education system and I think not because I wasn’t smart but because I was psychologically in such a bad place. I didn’t see a lot of light at the end of the tunnel and that light really got dark when this idea of going to college pretty much got eliminated. So, that’s why I feel lucky that I found entrepreneurship because while most of my friends were doing what everybody else is supposed to do, I didn’t have a path.
Dr. Richard: And I imagine as well because this spiral that you talked about probably didn’t happen overnight in high school. It was probably a series of over a period of years and then accentuated by the rejection letters from these universities that you were receiving. So, when you transitioned into Cutco and you had good mentorship which you mentioned, how quickly were you able to recognize, “Hey, I’ve got some abilities that maybe I didn’t realize I had?” When did that kind of lightbulb go on for you?
Jon: Yeah. Almost instantaneously. And the reason why I think, looking back, is because I was able to combine several different strengths of mine that I had never had a playground to configure them together. And so, one of those strengths that I credit my parents for helping me to develop was when I grew up, they worked hard, and I really learned to value working hard. I don’t think today that working 100 hours a week is a badge of honor worth celebrating, especially as a dad nowadays I celebrate working a lot less. But knowing how to turn it on, knowing how to flip the switch, knowing how to get focused and driven at least for periods of time to move a lot of activity was something that I was able to glean from watching my parents growing up.
So, that strength of being willing to work my ass off I felt like I can work harder than anyone on the planet. And when I combine that with realizing, “Hey, I’m pretty good at listening and communicating.” And when you combine hard work with listening, communicating, and a real curiosity about how people work, being in sales can be a really positive place to be. So, that’s why I say it’s almost instantaneous and I got to credit, I had Dan Casetta as a mentor, as part of a company and a culture that were absolutely perfect for those skill sets to thrive. So, I think that’s why it happened so quickly.
Dr. Richard: It’s kind of like that combination of life being able to thrive like you have the right environmental circumstances and then you have these other things, these other properties instead of events that just kind of set into motion at the right time. So, you were essentially in the right place at the right time and you had people. You mentioned Dan Casetta who were able to not only pull those strings out of you but helped you realize, unfortunately, realizing short order that you’re awesome and have the potential to do really awesome things.
Jon: Yeah. Yeah. It was an awesome experience.
Dr. Richard: So, take us through now. You’re at Cutco. You’re doing exceptionally well there. Take us through what happened to you next.
Jon: Well, I had a positive experience selling Cutco and I got to a point where in my mind I felt like I have learned a lot and I thought what would it look like if I took these strengths out into the world if not knowing what that would mean? And so, I did something kind of extreme which when you’re 20 years old, that’s what you should do. I moved across the country from the Bay Area to living just outside of Washington D.C. One of my two older brothers was living out there. And I’ve saved up enough money that I went trail running and rock climbing every day. And that’s when I actually when I started meditation. In fact, it was an audio program. I think it was called, I think it was by Deepak Chopra. Yes, Synchrodestiny. Here it is if you are watching the live stream. This book, Synchrodestiny, was an audio program, whatever that was, 10, 12 years ago and I not only listened to it, but I had it transcribed. And I noticed that when I started to meditate there was, in Deepak’s words, a synchronicity that I was becoming aware of in my life and that led to in very serendipitous ways, my next entrepreneurial opportunity which was in the health club business.
And it was almost like a parallel universe for me happening five years later after the Cutco story. I got into this health club business. I had an incredible mentor named Mark Fisher who gave me an opportunity to be a leader in that organization and had an incredible experience. And I ended up leaving that after a couple of years because my good buddy, Hal Elrod, was telling me about this thing called coaching. And when he first told me about this thing called coaching, I thought, “That sounds like a legal scam.” I mean, people pay you money to just talk with them. And then when I realize he not only was being paid money to talk with people, but he was sitting in his underwear all day. I thought, “This is worth exploring.” So, I followed Hal’s lead and I got into coaching. A lot of people don’t know the full story here, but I went to a bunch of different trainings and then Hal he literally handed my first 10, 15, 20 clients and that was how may coaching business took off and I did that for about five or six years. And then Vitamix was a client of mine at one point and I ended up working for them, and that starts to get us all the way up to here. So, I’m fast-tracking the whole story but that’s like the chronological order of things, how they unfolded.
Dr. Richard: The theme though seems to be people coming into your life at key moments whether it was Mark Fisher for the health club thing, whether it was Hal Elrod with coaching in your underwear or Vitamix. It was these people who popped up at the right time for you and, maybe to steal from Deepak Chopra, synchronicity.
Jon: Yeah. And I want to say something about that. I was on a trail run with my good friend, brotha James, our musical musician messenger. And when we run, we have these like deep conversation sometimes and one of the things he said to me is he said, “Man, you know, you are so lucky that at such a young age you had a mentor like Dan.” And I stopped in my tracks and I said, “Jer, I just realized something.” I said, “You’re right but I’m not lucky because I had a mentor like Dan.” And I said, “Jer, I never actually stopped and thought about this, but I’ve had probably ten Dans in my life.” And you would’ve thought I just told him the secret to life. He’s had this look on his face like, “Oh my gosh,” because he thought to have one incredible mentor at a young age would be amazing but to have 10 like that, oh my gosh. And then we had a conversation about that.
And when I look back on, and I could talk about these 10 Dans that I’ve had. None of them are the original Dan but I’ve had a number of mentors and, Dr. Richard, one of the things that I’ve come to appreciate is somebody could look at that and say, “Well, you got lucky.” Maybe. I look at it and one of the patterns that I recognize is I’ve always had an openness and you could call it humility. I don’t know. You could call it a curiosity. I’ve always had an openness to figuring out who is my teacher and what can I learn from them. And I eventually got to a point where I believe that every single person I meet is my teacher in some way but the reason I feel like I’ve had not one or three but quite a few mentors in my life is because I’ve always been open to who is it that their wisdom and their experience could really serve my ability to fulfill my mission.
And so, that’s just something that as I thought about that more and more, I don’t talk about that very often, but it makes me think that this idea of cultivating mentors is something that each of us individually needs to actually take some ownership over and not just hope that we have a Dan that stumbles into our lives. I think we have to maybe flip it around and say, “How do I proactively create the conditions where the kinds of people who I want mentoring me I’m in proximity and then they actually want to mentor me.” And that opens up a whole other curiosity that I’ve had. So, I just want to acknowledge that because I think it’s easy to overlook that.
Dr. Richard: I think it’s important because a lot of people listening to this or who are on either a journey of self-improvement or a journey of entrepreneurship oftentimes may not know who to ask or how to ask if they identified the who. So, would you mind sharing us from your perspective a little bit about the how, how do you find that mentor?
Jon: I’m really glad you asked that question. So, let me do this through a story. So, when I was at Vitamix and this is a story about a gentleman, Dr. David Cooperrider, who is now today at this moment one of my most important mentors and influencers. But when I first met David, I was one of 1,000 employees of an organization, Vitamix, that had hired him to come in and do some consulting work. And I was in a meeting that he was facilitating for about 25 people. And after about an hour into that meeting, I’ll never forget, I was texting my buddy, John Ruhlin, and I said, “Hey, man. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of this guy, Dr. David Cooperrider, but,” and I sent him a text. I said, “I have this feeling that his mission and what he’s up to and what he’s doing that we are going to want to be participants in this in our lives,” because I was learning about appreciative inquiry for the first time.
And so, one of the things that, that led to was I then proactively chose to go get my executive MBA. And to do that, I had to write a check for about $110,000 at Case Western Reserve, because David was one of the key professors in that program. And I knew that there may be a lot of benefits to going through that learning experience but one of the biggest ones was just to get closer to David. And I went through that program, got to know him, and then years later my path crossed his path again where we actually got to collaborate on a project and just days after the particular event that he and I got to run together, he called me on the phone and it was a phone call that I didn’t know at the time but looking back after three years now, it was a call that redirected the rest of my life when he invited me to collaborate with him very closely on the work that I would end up doing that I now do.
And so, here’s the case where the day I met him was looking back maybe eight years ago and it was a long-term process, but I had this openness to, okay, what he represents and the mission he’s on and what he values, I have a deep alignment with that. So, that’s a personal story of how you could say I have attracted or David has attracted or we both attracted towards each other and if I had to deconstruct it, Dr. Richard, so that somebody could get a, okay, here’s something really practical. If I want to attract really quality mentors in my world, I don’t believe that you have to necessarily go pay $100,000 to have a mentor. In my case, that was a vehicle through which I could establish a kind of relationship and maybe credibility and maybe trust that that could happen.
What I do believe as critical to attracting quality mentors is to figure out, what mission am I on? What purpose is driving me? And who are the individuals who maybe are a generation ahead of me? That’s been a part of my kind of formula is, who is a decade or two decades? Or in David’s case, he started doing the work the day I was born. He was 30 years ahead of me. And so, I’m always looking at who is maybe a generation or two ahead of me? Maybe not. Maybe they’re the same generation that I am in terms of age or stage who is on a mission and maybe my skills could actually help further their mission because if it’s not just about me getting something but if it’s also about me able to contribute to their mission, it’s amazing what can happen.
Another one of those mentors for me is Dr. Richard Boyatzis so you probably are familiar. He’s one of the top emotional intelligence instructors in the world today. And he was one of those professors at Case. But by getting in proximity with him, he got to know what I value and what I was interested in and he opened the door for me to start teaching at Case. But he only opened that door because he saw that my values aligned with his and he saw that my strengths and my skills could actually further his message. So, I think that’s an interesting piece of the puzzle when we’re trying to attract mentors in our lives or even strategic partnerships is to not just ask, what can I get, but what can I legitimately give to serve his or her mission and how can I make sure that this potential mentor of mine can see that we actually have a really strong value alignment? So, those are just a couple of reflections on that whole idea of attracting mentors.
Dr. Richard: Somewhere in Florida, Bob Burg is smiling and nodding in agreement probably with what you’re saying because it makes a lot of sense that we as a society, and there’s data to back this up, in fact, social media for all of the good things it does has made us a lot more selfish and we do have the data to support that. You’re talking about the opposite of that. Having humility whether somebody’s older than you, younger than you, not being presumptuous to think that you know more or less now but really focusing on how can I give back, how can what I’m doing in my mission help somebody else? And I think that is brilliant and refreshing in this day and age to be sure.
Jon: And what’s convenient is it also works. When you come through the lens of what works, that seems to work at least for me.
Dr. Richard: And you kind of glossed over Vitamix and you did talk about your time there and some of the things that happened to you but talk a little bit about what you did at Vitamix specifically and then we’ll transition to so that basically brings us to the present. So, I definitely want to talk about Flourishing Leadership Institute. But I wanted to spend a few more minutes on Vitamix.
Jon: Yeah. Where would you like to start or go and what would you like to know? Because we could do five episodes on Vitamix. Anything in particular that you’d love for me to touch on?
Dr. Richard: Well, one of the things that really stands out is that you help them grow from $42 million in revenue to $174 million in revenue in less than five years. So, that stood off the page to me and I’m sure people listening to this want to know how did you do that.
Jon: Yeah. Well, so the first answer is I didn’t. I clearly didn’t and anybody who’s been in any leadership role in those that there’s no such thing as a person that does that but, yeah, the question I appreciate and there are a few things that come to mind. First of all, I was, you said earlier, in the right place at the right time. There’s a number of macro-level trends that have nothing to do with me that existed before I got there. Trends like people have been more interested in what they put into their bodies. The technical term we use internally at Vitamix is what we call the transparency trend. People want to know not just the nutrient information of what’s coming to their bodies but even the source of that food. There is an interest in transparency to where does this come from and what does it do to my body.
There are other trends too like people wanting to be home chefs like if you look at reality television, one of the fastest growing segments in the last 10 years was like the home cooking segment. So, I just want to be clear, there are macro-level trends that made it right for us to possibly grow. It doesn’t guarantee it and let’s not forget that we had arguably the best product in the world and we could argue if I’m biased or whether it is or isn’t. I’ll say it is. And so, those are incredible pieces of the puzzle that can’t be denied.
What role did I play? Well, when I was brought in, like many sales organizations, this isn’t unique to Vitamix, there was some tension between their geographically dispersed sales organization and the headquarters. And what I would consider to be normal, natural tension when you have decisions being made by different folks who don’t get to connect closely together every day. That happens in organizations. That’s the norm I have discovered and so one of the things that I saw though was that even though there was cultural tension and some opportunities to improve really the quality of the culture within that sales team, what I saw was that the people both the leadership, the regional managers that reported to me when I got there as well as the demonstrators that they were leading before I got there, these were incredible people. These were human beings who were really good at what they did. There were just some systemic issues that are natural that had occurred with the geographically dispersed sales organization that weren’t the product of bad people. They were just a product of what happens in a human system.
And when I say a system or human system, every single person listening to this has experienced a human system. The most common unit of the human system that we can relate to is that of a family. And if you’re wondering, well, what does it mean to be a part of the human system or what are the dynamics of a system? A family is a great example because and we just finished the holidays where you may have spent time with family that you don’t spend as much time with the rest of the year. So, you may have noticed this that in families and in any human system, we often have unintended consequences. We often have tension or problems that nobody is intentionally wanting to create and just exist when you have a system of people.
So, I was able to bring certain strengths that I had, and I learned about appreciative inquiry my first week on the job. And without talking about the appreciative inquiry to everybody I work with, I realized the principles of it, the principles of including as many voices as possible in the most important decisions, the principles of finding the strength within any system, lifting those up, and spreading them, the principles of really being careful about the questions that we ask ourselves, questions like, “Well why are we doing what we’re doing?” I’ll never forget one of the first meetings that I led with our management team, they all came in the room and the only thing I had planned was one question and the question was, “I just want us to have a dialogue around why does being here matter.” And we had a several-hour dialogue. And by the time we got to the end of it, we all came to this recognition that didn’t really matter how many blenders we sold. Didn’t really matter if we made a lot of money or a little bit of money. I mean we cared but the thing that mattered most was that for all of us at that time was we wanted to create a culture or anybody who is a part of our culture whether they were with us forever or just for a season, they became a better human being, that their well-being improved.
And that’s just a great example of you choose the certain questions and you discover certain things and that can change the trajectory of an organization but we had a lot of great things that happened that unfolded and I could get into the technicalities of how we design and rolled out training across the country but I think the biggest thing that helped us was not only those things that I had no control over but that we really cared about the quality of the experience for the people that worked within our division, within our organization. And that we understood just a little bit about the psychology of a whole system of people and that we were paying attention to that. So, again, I could give a lot of stories. In fact, I will finish with one.
One of my Dans was actually he’s still the Chief Operating Officer at Vitamix today. His name is Tony. And Tony, one of the things that I learned from Tony is Tony was, on one hand, most of us always felt like he was probably the smartest guy in the room, yet as a leader what was really admirable, and the other executives at Vitamix they embodied this as well, as a leader, he always wanted to hear the ideas of others and he always wanted to find the strengths of others and he wanted to give others the chance, the responsibility to make mistakes, to experiment intelligently to think about it a little bit but to go apply their best strengths.
So, for me to get to learn that amongst many other things from Tony, that was a great model for me to realize, “Hey, being a leader is not about having the answers.” That’s the old-fashioned model. A hundred years ago, that was true. In a production line if you’re the manager of efficiency then you should have an answer to what’s everything that supposed to happen in this production line. But in a changing environment where we’re facing challenges as an organization that nobody has the answer to, what we’re learning, and I learned from Tony firsthand is that the best answers are going to arrive by combining everybody’s strengths that no longer going to emerge from a person or two the more complex the environment is. That was a big influence for me and my thinking about leadership.
Dr. Richard: Outstanding. And I’m very appreciative that you’ve been willing to share these experiential stories as you’ve gone through your journey. And we’re getting close on time, but I would be remiss if I didn’t talk a little bit or give you the opportunity to tell us about the Flourishing Leadership Institute and just scratch the surface on Appreciative Inquiry. You’ve mentioned it several times. I know that’s something you’re well known for. Talk to us about FLI and how it utilizes appreciative inquiry.
Jon: Yeah. We’re driven by one question and as you know, I partner with Hal to help nurture along the Miracle Morning Community and the Best Year Ever Community and the Quantum Leap Mastermind Community. And one of the things that I’ve enjoyed is that every one of these communities in their own way is also asking a version of the same question and the primary question that we ask here at FLI, and FLI we’re kind of like one part research Institute, one part consulting company, and then we’re a training organization as we now certify people in our approach to facilitating kind of group facilitation. And the big question that drives all of that is what is it that causes any human system or group of people to be at their very best, to be able to actually shape their future proactively, and what allows that to happen more effectively and faster and maybe most importantly more naturally than it’s ever happened before. And that question has led us to a lot of fascinating discoveries.
It’s brought us into some incredible conversations from conversations we’re having with the largest social networking platform right now to German automobile manufacturers. I won’t say the name but we’re going out to Munich probably next month. And the reason why they called us is because they’ve got a lot of smart people that are a part of their organization and what they’re recognizing is that when a group of people need to shape their future in the face of changes that they don’t have an answer to, we have to uncover what is it that allows a living group of people to be at their very best. And some of the answers we’re finding are some of the things I shared earlier. It’s about recognizing the importance of coming from strength but when it comes to systems what we call new configurations of strengths which means breaking down silos, getting rid of hierarchy and barriers and letting people have conversations that don’t normally have conversations. It’s also about the importance of the questions that we ask.
And so, when people ask us what do we do, we get paid pretty well to go into organizations and design the smallest number of questions that will lead to the conversations that will allow that community or group of people to most effectively create the best possible future. And even though the work we do is at the level of the system, what I really come to enjoy is if anyone’s listening right now, every single thing I just said applies to individuals. In fact, that’s the nature of systems that what’s true at the whole is true at the level of the cellular or the part of the source. So, everything we’ve learned about moving 1,000 people forward, it actually applies to moving one person forward. Take everything we just said, connecting to our greatest strengths, being sharp about the kinds of questions we’re asking ourselves, maybe just being more conscious about it. So, that’s, in a nutshell, the work that we do and hopefully in me sharing that it reveals some sort of value for any of your listeners. If it doesn’t, you can give me another question.
Dr. Richard: Well, I’m sure that it does, and I know that we’ve only just looked at this from a very high level over a week. We could probably spend an hour or so just talking about appreciative inquiry, but we don’t have the time to do it, unfortunately. But as we are at the end, let me just say thank you so much for being a part of this episode of The Daily Helping. I’m really grateful you came by. And as you know, one of the things I ask every guest who comes on my show is, what is your biggest helping? So, Jon, what would be the single most important piece of information you’d like somebody to walk away with after hearing you today?
Jon: That’s a big question. The single most important piece of information, well, I think it would be an encouragement, an encouragement for people to find a way to push pause. And when I say find a way to push pause, this comes from system science and that when people hear the word system, they often think of like a computer or an automobile as an example where if you push pause on a machine and what’s called a simple system, if you push pause, it stops working. What we know about a human system or an individual is when we push pause, it actually starts working. So, my encouragement when I say to push pause is to invite everybody in whatever way you can do that, for some people it’s mindfulness, for some people it’s yoga, for some people it’s connecting to nature, for some people it’s just being in the school of silence but I’d encourage everybody to push pause with the hope that in that space maybe you can become open to seeing things differently, open to appreciating people in a different way, and then ultimately open to the possibility and the potential that each of us can actually shape the future as it emerges. So, that would be my encouragement. Push Pause.
Dr. Richard: Beautifully said. Jon, where can people find you?
Jon: Well, they could find me on Facebook. They could find me on this episode right here. They could find us at our website, Lead2Flourish.com and that’s it. They could find me in Cuyahoga National Park running through the trails in about 20 minutes.
Dr. Richard: Outstanding. And for those of you who are not watching this on the live stream but rather listening to this in your car or on the treadmill at the gym, we will have all of Jon’s information posted in The Daily Helping app as well as at TheDailyHelping.com. But again, Jon, thank you so much for being a part of this show today. It was fantastic getting to interview you and hopefully, we get to do this again sometime. And for those of you listening either watching this live or those of you listening to this, your iTunes or wherever else you do, thank you so much for tuning in and making this a part of your day. I know there’s a lot of podcasts that you could listen to and I’m appreciative and grateful that you’ve chosen mine.
If you like what you’ve heard, go out there and give us a five-star review on iTunes because this is what helps other people find the podcast but most importantly, go out there today and do something nice for somebody else even if you don’t know who they are and post it in your feeds using the #MyDailyHelping because we know the happiest people are those that help others.
Jon: Awesome. Thanks, Dr. Richard. Great being with you.
Dr. Richard: Likewise.
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