Fresh Blood Podcast Episode Guest - David Savage

Intro Banner of David Savage
Intro Banner of David Savage

How do you have a successful conversation with someone you disagree with? David provides great insight in how to bring people together, how to thrive during the most difficult parts of life and proves the absolute power of active listening. David Savage has leadership expertise across a variety of industries including oil and gas, renewable energy, health care, entrepreneurship, stakeholder engagement, business development, coaching, and conflict management. Over a ten-year period, David and his partners collaborated to develop 5 companies and 4 non profits. David’s company, Savage Management focuses on building capacity, innovation, and accountability in people and in and between organizations and communities.

Since 2015, David has published seven books and hosted forty-five podcasts on collaborative leadership, negotiation, critical thinking, and collaboration.

David’s current roles include:

  • President, Savage Management Ltd. (since 1993)

  • President 2021/22, Rotary Club of Cranbrook Sunrise

  • Co-Chair, Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group D 5080 (SEBC, E. Washington & N. Idaho)

  • Advisor, The Canadian Energy and Climate Nexus

  • Director, Waterton Glacier International Peace Park Association

How do you have a successful conversation with someone you disagree with? David provides great insight in how to bring people together, how to thrive during the most difficult parts of life and proves the absolute power of active listening. David Savage has leadership expertise across a variety of industries including oil and gas, renewable energy, health care, entrepreneurship, stakeholder engagement, business development, coaching, and conflict management. Over a ten-year period, David and his partners collaborated to develop 5 companies and 4 non profits. David’s company, Savage Management focuses on building capacity, innovation, and accountability in people and in and between organizations and communities.

Since 2015, David has published seven books and hosted forty-five podcasts on collaborative leadership, negotiation, critical thinking, and collaboration.

David’s current roles include:

  • President, Savage Management Ltd. (since 1993)

  • President 2021/22, Rotary Club of Cranbrook Sunrise

  • Co-Chair, Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group D 5080 (SEBC, E. Washington & N. Idaho)

  • Advisor, The Canadian Energy and Climate Nexus

  • Director, Waterton Glacier International Peace Park Association

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

David Savage - Negotiation and Collaboration Coaching, President of Savage Management, Advisor & Board Member

[00:00:00] Jolie Downs: Today we are speaking with David Savage. David has leadership expertise across a variety of industries, including oil and gas, renewable energy, healthcare, entrepreneurship, stakeholder engagement, business development, coaching, and conflict management.

[00:00:18] Over a 10 year period, David and his partners collaborated to develop five companies and four nonprofits David's company, Savage management focuses on building capacity, innovation and accountability in people. And in between organizations in communities. Now since 2015, David has published seven books and hosted 45 podcasts on collaboration, leadership, negotiation, critical thinking, and collaboration really quickly.

[00:00:48] David's current roles. Current roles include president of Savage management. Since he's been doing since 1993, president of the rotary club of Cranbook sunrise, co-chair of the environmental sustainability rotary action group advisor to the Canadian energy and climate nexus and director Waterton glacier international peace park association.

[00:01:10] I mean, not to mention the 18 years of executive level roles previous to this. Starting his own firm. Now I'm excited to learn more. David, thank you so much for joining us on fresh blood, please. Could you tell us a little bit more about your story in getting to where you are today? Well, thank you so much for this opportunity and hello everyone.

[00:01:29] This is, , A progression and evolution because you've developed this, , fresh blood after 40. And I think it's a continuum and, and I think it just keeps on getting more impactful all the time. So what I've done, what I've really, admired here is yes, I was, , in banking for a little bit, , started and helped run and build and sell little Canadian oil and gas companies.

[00:01:53] About 18 years ago. I said, well, that was been fun, but what's at the heart of that. And of course it it's those transferable skills and the transferable skills that I really value the most. And I think I'm okay at is, , negotiation, conflict, resolution collaboration, and just innovation through, , better minds working together.

[00:02:17] Yeah. One of my speaking topics is nobody gets to be right. Hmm. Because after raising, , three teenagers on my own as a single dad and having lots of conflict in my work life, cuz that's what I embrace. I realize, you know, the older I get, the more I realize I'm not right. You're not right.

[00:02:40] None of us actually are. Right. We just have our own truths, so right. Why don't we put all those into the pot, stir them up and see what comes out. Right, right. What if we let go of our rights and wrongs and just went with what works. Yeah. Yeah. And so this, you know, obviously a huge challenge for all of us.

[00:03:00] Not only. California and British Columbia, but globally is this attachment to polarity this attachment to right or wrong left. Right. Black, white, whatever. Mm-hmm and that's all nonsense. Mm-hmm the world. Isn't that way. So just think of the richness when you and I can have a healthy, respectful debate. We can be completely charged, but listen deeply to each other and say, Jo.

[00:03:31] I didn't realize that you've just taught me something. Mm-hmm how do you suggest people do that? Because we're in a, a situation in the world that is struggling in a very big way to do that, really? With anyone who has a differing opinion. So what suggestions would you give someone to help with that? If you were faced with someone with a greatly differing opinion, What's the best way to have a conversation with them, seek them out and listen, listen, listen, don't shut them out.

[00:03:59] Or judge them, seek them out. So I really want to encourage everyone to embrace conflict, seek them out. Listen, listen, listen. And from the interest based negotiation, mediation training, I have, I think it was Ken cloak, an amazing California world class mediator and, and thinker. What the conflict is about is never about what the conflict really is about.

[00:04:26] Right. So let's, let's dig and dig and dig and find out, okay. What's what's this really sometimes the hostile bully adversarial style is covering up insecurity or just a wish to be heard. Mm-hmm so loosen that up by just engaging wherever we can, whether it's with our staff, with our boss, with people that are Guinness.

[00:04:53] And just listen, listen, listen. Doesn't mean we need to agree. Mm-hmm but we need to understand yeah. Come at them with curiosity. Yeah. And UN unwrap those layers essentially. Yeah. That, that, um, whether it's a negotiation or, or conflict resolution, I really encourage my clients to, when you think you've got it.

[00:05:14] When you nailed it, you you're ready to sign off and shake hands and go away. Ask three more questions. because you never have it all done. Mm-hmm so ask three more questions. It'll help clarify. Okay. What is it that we're sharing and building and committing to? You know, I find that people who learn a lot about something like along these lines generally had a challenge earlier in life.

[00:05:39] Did you ever have a time when you really struggled to, to hear someone on the other end and, and, or, or, or struggled to have this kind of communication, then you learned how to. Oh, sure. , let me, let me just say early in my career, uh, sitting around a boardroom, you know, inner company, weekly meeting, and, uh, one of the bosses just turned into a real jerk mm-hmm and really bullied another one of the bosses in a different department.

[00:06:12] He was just hostile and angry and mean. Yeah. And, uh, I, I was the new guy. I was only there for a few months and I just felt, oh man, I'd like to leave here. And, it was left UN unspoken. Nobody spoke up to interrupt that conversation. And that's the kind of meeting, whether it's a board room or in the park or with our kids, you know, we need to get beyond and say, hold on a minute.

[00:06:41] You know, that's not how we act together. Are you prepared to go a little deeper with me and I, and those are the, those are the times where I really regret the opportunity and I've shrunken. instead of stepping in mm-hmm oh, I've done the same. And then I regret it. Why didn't I say something? Yeah. It's, it's hard in that moment.

[00:07:02] Isn't it? It, it is. And, and that's where I'd really like to encourage myself and my clients and your listeners to really look for conflict. Yeah. And step in and make that quake that uncomfortable, that, that gap, that chaos. A place that you wanna seek, because that is the area of greatest learning. Yes.

[00:07:24] Yeah. If, if everything's stable and set and we're all right, well, we're probably dead. so, well, just notice if you step in with that, with, with that curiosity, with the non-judgmental. With the learning intention, if you will. Yeah. In whatever situation it is, even if it's a situation that is a diff, like you said, with a boss that is, , berating someone else.

[00:07:51] And it is a difficult situation, you know, stepping in, even with that kindness, that consideration. Compassion. It can diffuse something as opposed to judgment or, , anger. I mean, there's lots of ways that we can do things. So, so being able to step in, in a moment like that with the right message can make a big difference.

[00:08:10] I, I, I like what you said there as, as far as how to do it. And if I can add a little more to this conversation is you've, you've spent a lot of your life dedicated to yourself to building organizations, building teams, building people, human resource. and, there is no one size fits all. So oftentimes when I will, for example, a couple months ago, I was in a meeting and, , the negotiator on the other side just started slamming a party that wasn't in the meeting.

[00:08:42] Mm-hmm , , was just really running that person down as a professional. And I just stepped up and I said, hold. That's not the way we build this agreement. That's not who we are. If you choose to continue, then we'll come back later when you've, when you've decided you want to communicate differently. But for now I'd really like us to work together and it stopped the guy in his tracks because nobody had actually done that.

[00:09:09] Yes, that's perfect. People would step back and just let 'em rant and, and destroy re relationships and opportunities. The other side of the toolbox is now this was quite some time ago, but in my small team, , I was having a real difficulty working with a, , Massachusetts power generation mm-hmm , uh, group.

[00:09:31] And when I would come back to Calgary to report back to my partners, you know, they're pretty frustrated. I was pretty frustrated. And one of my partners just started lamb basing me, like, what are you doing, Dave? You're supposed to be the negotiator, the dispute resolve. You're getting nothing done. And, uh, Maybe not consciously, but I actually stood up, walked around the boardroom table, stood over him and started yelling at him.

[00:10:00] mm-hmm so I've rarely ever done that. Jo in my professional career, it happens to all of us sometimes. Right. He touched, but, but I lost it. Mm-hmm and that's exactly what he needed from me. He needed me to speak his language mm-hmm . And from that point on, we could be truthful, honest, collaborative, and he never bothered me again.

[00:10:21] We, we were working together, but, so, so my point is there is no one size fits all mm-hmm but on the other side, there is no opportunity to be missed. Here. There is great opportunity. My oldest sister. Taught me about 30 years ago, the people that are against you that are in conflict with you, David are probably your greatest asset.

[00:10:48] They're against you, probably your greatest asset because they're standing up for their values. Something that's really important to them that they don't think I'm understanding. So go there that on the flip side, the people that are the most frustrating are the ones that won't speak up. They'll sit on the sidelines and, and get you later.

[00:11:11] and that's tough. well, David, tell me about your background because you, I saw in, in your profile that you were a COO of a company before starting your own company. So what happened in there to make you switch from the corporate world into an entrepreneurial ship type of role? Yeah, the. So I've always been a serial entrepreneur.

[00:11:37] Mm-hmm, , I've always been a people agreement, creator, , kind of person. And I found that, , early in my career, when I was working for international companies, it wasn't very satisfactory because it, it wasn't mine. And, , within about five years, I started working with small groups of people or if I wasn't in charge, which I often wasn.

[00:12:00] Then I could walk down the hallway and talk to the person that was making the decision and be satisfied that they would hear me out. Mm-hmm they? The, so that evolution, that transition from actually, I haven't worked for anybody other than companies I've helped create or myself since 1993.

[00:12:26] And is in its joy. And, and I think what I's want, what I wanna share with you is, you know, we, we talk about ageism. We talk about, uh, challenges as we grow. I think we need to look at ourselves as our, the needs that the world has for you and I, and your listeners are different when you're 25 versus 45 versus 65.

[00:12:53] So instead of pushing, pushing, pushing, and getting angry about ageism, find out, okay, what do they really need from me? Well, to me, what they need is mentoring, coaching. Mm-hmm consulting, you know, like you, my best role is building capacity and building teams. Uh, I won't be on that team. I won't be part of that leadership group.

[00:13:17] And, and it's time for me to step out of the way anyways. The next generation is amazing. They're brilliant people in your age group, people younger are, they're just awesome. Powerful wise people. And they've had so little coaching, so little internal support they're kind of used as cogs or, or as if they're widgets.

[00:13:42] Mm-hmm, , that's the role that as we shift from being in the corner office or at the boardroom table, It's important for us to use everything we have to support that age group and let them shine. Yeah, that's perfect. You're absolutely right. There is a big hole, I would say in that coaching mentorship for so many people, , I hadn't really thought about it until you just said that.

[00:14:11] And, and it just was like, well, yeah, that's, that's exactly how it's been. So that's, that's really interesting. I'm I'm curious, David, cuz you've done a lot in your life. Really, if you look at all the things that David has done, , it's really impressive. I mean, for the past 40 plus years, you've been incredibly involved in a lot of different things.

[00:14:31] You've moved up through the ranks in the corporate world. Then you started your own company. Helped start seven other companies. So what would you say has been your greatest success and why, and what did you learn from it? Can I give you two answers to that? Joey always since there's never one right answer.

[00:14:52] Yes, no, really. I, you know, the favorite, I just, the favorites are so hard. Just give whatever comes to mind in the, the general screen. You can give a few , I feel my greatest success is, uh, integrity. Oh, I've honored myself and honored the people that are in my family, in my company, in my community, in my rotary clubs, etcetera.

[00:15:15] So I really value that integrity between who I am with you, who I am with the environmental sustainability group, with the AKA Tanaka. First nation and British Columbia. , I value that. And, and a test for me of that has always been, if mom and dad knew I was doing this, how would they feel? Mm. You know, checking in from, to the values that they gave me.

[00:15:44] Mm-hmm uh, second one is probably more of a financial success is, , sometimes as entrepreneurs leaders. We, we keep planting seeds in the, in the darn plant. Never seems to grow. Right. And then all of a sudden it really grows. So nowhere. Yeah. You know that you just, you just keep watering, you just keep watering and then all of a sudden it just sprouts wasn't if the seed was gonna work, you know, know why?

[00:16:14] Yeah. But on the other hand, it's like, okay, while it's not appearing to grow and maybe it's just growing roots. you ask yourself, well, geez, maybe I should have taken the early easier route and worked for a big co and just been part of the treadmill, cuz they get so much and yada yada, yada, but as entrepreneurs, as people that believe in people, that's just not who we are.

[00:16:41] Yeah. You know, a human resource specialist can never. Strategized to minimize her staff. Mm-hmm like, it's just so contrary. Mm-hmm on, on the financial success, you know, we were, a few of us were running a little company called B XL energy and, , we wanted to drill some deeper natural gas Wells, , in a community outside the city of Calgary.

[00:17:08] And of course, It's difficult, , people that, , just wanted to protect their family, their home, , it's really important to them. , we also wanted to protect our opportunities and our rights, and I'll, I'll say we all, we all get into that quotation rights conversation way too often. And they, , when I said we'd like to come and, you know, drill some Wells around your land, around your ranch.

[00:17:37] You know, they called me a lawyer, a used car salesman, you know, everything evil in the world. and, but I just kept on talking to them and say, Hey, you can call me twenty four seven. Here's my home phone number. We're gonna listen, listen, listen. And at the end of three months, we were actually to have a number of, , you know, heartfelt conversations when we were just listening to each other.

[00:18:00] Mm-hmm as opposed to me trying to manipulate them into a yes. Mm-hmm . And as a result, we brought in another third party. And what we came up with as a solution was completely different from what my company wanted to do was in the best interests of the landowners and the families that lived in the area and the best interest in the, , processing facility that was underutilized.

[00:18:25] And while I was berated and beone for about three months, three months later, We had, our capital costs were slashed because the, , underutilized facility was gonna pay for it. All the landowners were coming back to say, Hey, when are you gonna drill some more Wells? We kinda like this, Dave, this is, this is better than ranching and farming these days.

[00:18:47] And, , and the beautiful thing for me in our shareholders is. Our share price tripled in another three months. So, oh, it's wonderful. So it's not just feel good. This is the way successful companies, respect, listen, and innovate together. Oh, that's beautiful. You said something really important in there too.

[00:19:09] You know, you, you listened without trying to get a yes. You listened without an agenda, right? That's the way to listen. And I think that's a lost skill for a lot of people. Yeah. And we're a, we're a skill that, um, managers, leaders, parents feel that well, that's a sign of weakness, you know, just get on with it and let's get our way mm-hmm

[00:19:34] Well, if I can go back to that example, that drilling example, we had a larger company that took that route in the same neighborhood in the same community mm-hmm and said, we've got our rights. We're gonna go to the regulatory authority and we're gonna force you to let us in. Three years later, they still hadn't drilled their first well, wow.

[00:19:55] Wow. Lawyers were happy, but there, there was a lot of toxic energy going around.

[00:20:01] So I wanna go back to that point of, my sister's advice to me is, , Listen deeply and listen to those people that really are against me. I was thinking about that advice when you were talking. Yeah. Yeah. There's a lot to learn there. Mm-hmm so the, the other point is because so much of your content and, and your guests , and your work and your future book is about evolving collaboration, innovation, , and how do we prepare for these next years and decades together?

[00:20:35] I in preparing for this conversation. I thought, you know, I've always been a fan of the Beatles because every album was different. They never repeated the same style. , last fall, , we were down in Las Vegas and lady Gaga was putting on a jazz piano live show in Las Vegas. I wanted to see that. And, and there's another example.

[00:21:01] She took risks. The Beatles took risk. You took risks, I've taken risk. And look, it's just like it's, it's a joyful place to evolve and play and discover. It is, it is, there's a lot of beauty when you are willing to take risks. Yeah. Which reminds me, you know, I've been, I've been resisting a risk recently, so this is a very good conversation.

[00:21:22] I'm gonna step into that. This is a good reminder step into it. I think so. I, I welcome everyone else to step into it with me. now what what's, what about the flip side of that question? What has been a time of, of your greatest difficulty, a time that. Really challenging for you. How did you get through it?

[00:21:40] And, and, and what did you learn from it? The most difficult times are personal times. Like when it's business, when it's community, where it's volunteerism, you know, you can manage your way through that. But when it's personal, it can be really painful. Yeah. So, , about. Well, about five years ago, , my wife and I, split and, , things went very, very sideways and I was often thinking, yo spirit, are you just testing me?

[00:22:11] Like put myself out there as a negotiator, a mediator, a dispo dispute, resolver, somebody that can, you know, Fight the fires and come out with a brand new building and that wasn't happening at all. And unfortunately it went on for years and years and, and it was, it really hurt. It was, uh, yes, it was a heartbreak.

[00:22:35] Yes. It was, , a bank break. , yes, it was toxic and all of that stuff. Yeah. And, and so many of my friends said, why don't you get her back? Why are you being so nice? Go for it. Use the same tactics. So in all that pain, whether it was spirit or me or whoever, I just said, no, I can't do that. That's not who I am.

[00:23:01] I will never sell my soul. My purpose, my way of being in this world, just to win something. And at the end of the day, I, I stuck to it. I was patient and everything was resolved to everybody's satisfaction. It just, we had to get through that storm. Mm-hmm oh, I'm glad to hear that now. And that happens. all over the world.

[00:23:28] It's in one of those natural occurrences. Now, how did you get through it? What helped you get through it? And what did you learn from it now that you're on the other side? Well, well, speaking of evolution, progression, change learning and all that stuff. Uh, you know, let me make a, a quick comment before I tell you another quick story Jolie, a quick comment is we need peace crusaders.

[00:23:50] We need people that believe in what we're talking about because too many politicians leaders, parents. Think they're better served by doing it the opposite way. And mm-hmm , you know, with the media and if it bleeds, it leads. If it's mm-hmm , if it's, if it's love, it's lost. Well, mm-hmm, , let's just lead from love.

[00:24:10] Yeah. You know, that's please in preparing for every meeting, uh, at this interview, I just settle myself and, and say, huh, how would I talk to Jolie from my heart? From my love? Oh, And it, and it changes well, it just changed. It changed you. It ch and thank you for sharing your six phase meditation, which I think is fantastic.

[00:24:36] Oh, I'm so good. It's a, it's a preparation. Mm-hmm so I'll do one more twist that you probably won't expect to answer. The question is, uh, how did I deal with it? How did I change? Well, I decided I was just gonna let go of everything. Oh, interesting. So the marriage, I thought I had the beautiful heritage home that I had, the family that I thought I had, the future that I had, the business that I thought I had, I just realized, huh, I need to let that go.

[00:25:12] I can't be attached to that because I'm gonna be fighting. I'm gonna be sad. I'm gonna be in resistance. Mm. So in fact, for a three year period, I became a digital Noma. so I, I left everything behind. I could still coach teach, do workshops, podcasts, , whether I was, , house sitting, , whether I was renting, whether I was in my 20 foot AirPod trailer, , whether I was doing whatever I could do, serve my purpose and my clients and my friends, but everything that I needed for that three year period.

[00:25:54] I could put in the back of my 4runner, that was a large suitcase, a laptop and any sporting equipment I needed for this season. So, so while some people would say, oh, it must be so hard. You, you had lost all of that. Well, no, I, I said no to all of that, cuz obviously it wasn't working out and I would have mornings at five 30 in the morning in Moab and I'd wake up in my art pod.

[00:26:19] I'd uh, get up onto the trails and canyon lands and delicate arch and all those things, hike and bike. And I'd , about 10 o'clock when it was getting to be 40 degrees and other people were getting on the trail, I'd go back to my trailer. I would do my podcast, do my coaching and, , then have an app until about three o'clock when, , when it was time to get back outside.

[00:26:42] And so a, I think. Well loving, loving what you have what's most important to you. Mm-hmm I, I realize it wasn't the big house. Wasn't all the stuff, you know, I thrive for three years in what I could put in a big suitcase and a kayak or a bike or, and a laptop, you know, from anywhere in the world. I love that.

[00:27:04] I love that. I mean, you were in this very difficult position, like you said, you could have stayed in that position. You could have fought, you could have continued, continued the struggle and let that go on. But instead you, you surrendered to it. You, you let it. You let it be what it was and you let go of all of the negativity and you let go of all of the struggle and you embraced what was, and to me, what you just described sounds absolutely amazing.

[00:27:31] it sounds like it was a gift of a few years. it? It was probably, I would imagine a lot of incredible experiences and things that would never have happened. Had you. Not let go. Yeah. And, and obviously beautiful community, cuz I've, you know, I've talked a little bit about my volunteering for rotary. Well, , I could go to Beverly Hills rotary club.

[00:27:55] I could go to the one in Vancouver. I could go to the one in to lose France and I would always have community there and a welcome there. That's great. So it actually wasn't about having the fight, , defending what I had. It was just realizing. When you lead with love when you do the kind of work that you do, Julie, that's enough, that's all you mm-hmm

[00:28:17] And, and it feeds itself well. And what a gift to have a community that you can tap into in multiple different places. A lot of people don't know what is the, what is a rotary club? As it's often said, in my club, you join for service. And you stay for the friendships mm-hmm so it's a service club, you know, a service before self, , served to change line, , lives.

[00:28:42] Pardon me? So, so for example, my club, we're working with an amazing group of, , junior and senior high school students. Uh, Building their peace initiatives, , building their leadership skills. Mm-hmm , um, youth exchange. We're also, , helping, , farmers in Nepal to plant fruit trees, , so that they can have more marketable produce to sell it to themselves and recover from the horrible earthquakes we've, , helped rebuild a school in Africa that was destroyed by ISIS, , about six months ago.

[00:29:15] So, so it's a way. Making the world a better place, but it's also a way of saying, you know, here's a place of love. Here's a place of service. It's non-religious non-political and we're not there to sell our services. It's just to band together and, , You know, this morning, we issued checks to, , university college and trade students for scholarships.

[00:29:38] We had issued checks for, , music in the park in Cranbrook, British Columbia, this summer, you we're it's, it's amazing what a group of, , non-ego driven folks can do. What a beautiful, beautiful group. And here's the thing. The rotary club is out there service to others, building beauty in the world, but the people who join it.

[00:30:06] While they're joining and giving service to others. They're actually serving themselves and bringing beauty into their own world, because that is one of the universal secrets in life. When, if anyone out there is feeling stuck or unhappy and they don't know what to do with themselves, The rotary club would be a great place for you to go look and to connect with other people and to help other people, which I promise you, it will help you find your way out of the stock.

[00:30:32] Yeah. And, and that, I really wanna underline what you just said, Julie it's uh, when we're down, helping others gets us up mm-hmm , you know, it , it's a wonderful thing. , and rotary. Used to be seen as we retired people doing good in the world. Mm-hmm well, now there's more members in our local high school and, , middle schools in crown.

[00:30:59] In our interact club, then there isn't actually in our rotary club. So it's our future. And that's amazing. And if I can just highlight and brag, one more thing is, , in my environmental sustainability rotary action group for Southeastern BC, Northern Idaho, Eastern Washington state. Yeah. When we started a little over a year ago, there was a lot of polarization Savage.

[00:31:22] What the heck are you doing? You know, you turn green, you turn into a socialist. My response is, tell me more, tell me more. And, uh, we turned that polarization and accusation that I'm gonna ruin my reputation into. Huh? Now we've got a group of people that meets once a month to critically think about how do we combat climate change?

[00:31:48] How do we make our future better together? And guess who the most profound leaders that we have in our green team, who. Three young women under the age of 18. Oh wow. In, in, uh, Washington state and in British Columbia. Wonderful. They are brilliant. They are just, just wonderful legacy. Wonderful, you know, wrap around to, okay.

[00:32:15] It's time to coach mentor support and find the good mm-hmm help. The good mm-hmm oh, that is wonderful. I'm curious. Do you have any regrets in life? Is there anything that you didn't do that you wish you did? Oh sure. I, I, for the last few months, I wish I would get off my butt outta this chair and, uh, get outside and ski and hike and hike way more

[00:32:46] to on and stroke board of directors in about 10 years ago, we said, yeah, sitting is the new smoking. We're sitting way too much, we are saying. So that's a constant regret and, , desire to, to, , get back and balance. You know, now that I, for the last 18 months come back to Cranbrook, have my own home, right beside the community forest, it's more comfortable, but because of I'm more comfortable and have my own home office and all that good stuff.

[00:33:16] I'm not, you know, getting on my bike at, you know, six 30 in the morning and Mo mm-hmm so

[00:33:25] true story. Is there anything that helps you get up? Because let's be real sitting is sitting is the, is a pandemic right now for everyone. Um, and I struggle myself. I know that I need to, you know, be moving more. Is there anything that's helped you get up and move more that you think would help other.

[00:33:41] Yeah, it just feels so good when I do mm-hmm yeah. I've never exercised where I felt. Oh, I wish I hadn't done this. Right. So it is that sense. , James clear atomic habits. He teaches this, , and my friend Martin Parnell. He's a, he's a great, , district leader of rotary and out of Calgary Martin for kids, right.

[00:34:04] To play internationally. Ran 250 marathons in one year. Wow. Around the world to raise money for kid sport. Amazing. And, and I think, wow, Martin, that is so amazing. How, how did you do it? And he said, well, Dave, I need to tell you something. I actually don't like re running. I said, what? You've dedicated years of your life to do this?

[00:34:31] Like you don't like it. He says, yeah, it's. And he started with Kate McKenzie, a secret marathon for women in Afghanistan to run instead of running around their wall backyards. They had the secret marathon about four years ago. So tremendously impactful using running for good and for freedom and for sport.

[00:34:52] But he says, you know, Dave, I get up in the morning and I said, well, now I'm up. I might as well put on my run and shoes. I might as well go outside. Well, since I'm outside, I might as well run for a block and he. Every time it's about that way. Just little steps, just little steps, right. which is the secret to everything yeah.

[00:35:14] With little steps, it really is, you know, everything, anything that any goal we have can feel overwhelming or too big and make us not want to start or stop us from starting. But if you just break it, like you just break it into those little steps. Well, Get myself outside. Yeah. And once you're outside, get myself down the block.

[00:35:34] Can I turn the mic back on you Jolie? I want to, uh, ask you about your book and your methodology of these podcasts, because we have similar approaches of including others and wisdom of others to, to build our own wisdom and our own platform. So tell me more about what you're doing with respect to. What's you're building creatively.

[00:35:58] I, I just plan, I plan on turning all of this content into a book that highlights those universal truths, that golden thread. That you find amongst all of these stories, the, the building blocks, if you will, that create that highly successful, satisfied, fulfilled life and, and successful. And it is, is a personal definition to us all.

[00:36:25] And so it's all about building that life of success that is for you and figuring out what that is and, and, and going out to build it. And. Through all these conversations. I have found that there are these building blocks, these, this golden thread, there's these, these common denominators in all of these stories that if we can learn them, we can transform our lives.

[00:36:50] And I've, I've found it transforming my myself. Wasn't my intention when I started this, but I am a completely different person. From when I started internally, there's been so much amazing change by listening to all of these stories and, and you're doing amazing work. So I'll ask my three question. I'll ask one question with three answers is, , what are three golden threads that you you're playing with?

[00:37:14] Mm, three golden threads. Well, the first and most important to me is to build your own vision and to build your own vision based on what is true to you and uncovering. What that is because so many people, even at this, these forties, fifties, 67, so many people have been reacting to life and. Living the life that's set in front of them and taking those steps, but never actually building the life that was right for them.

[00:37:44] They didn't ask themselves those questions. They reacted to society. They reacted their teacher, their parents, but they never uncovered what it was that they wanted or maybe they did, but never took that step in that direction. And I believe it's incredibly important regardless of what age you're at to take a step back and to ask your.

[00:38:03] All of those questions so that you can uncover what it is that is most important to you. And what is that you want? Not what anybody else wants. And I think that's number one and most important. So what's number two and three. No. So there's so many good ones. um, you know, one that's very powerful. in any situation is to focus on what you can control versus what you can't control and to let go of those things that you don't have control over and really focus your attention on what you can do.

[00:38:35] And once you figure out your life, vision, you'll know what it is that you want to do and the directions that you wanna go. So then you can then focus on those things that you can control. And that also includes letting go of the baggage that other people put on you and the stories that they put on you.

[00:38:50] And you going ahead and just putting those down. And walking away and caring only what belongs to you. So I'd say that's, that's a, that's a big one. And then, and then for a third, which is another one of the most important, which we touched on is helping people. If you really wanna help yourself, you need to help other people.

[00:39:08] And that is where I found where a success makes. It's really the biggest transformation of success in people's lives is when they, they switch from that mental process of how can I help myself to thinking of, well, how can I help others? And then things really seem to begin to happen. There's those are those I would say are, are three top ones.

[00:39:29] And what's the timeline for the new publication? My goal is to have it finished by June. I don't know if that means it'll be published or, but my goal is to have it packaged and done by June and, and hopefully in the publishing process, at least. So we will see. Thank you for asking me about that. That's really nice.

[00:39:51] Well, I look forward to purchasing it. This is brilliant. Thank you. I appreciate it. And if I, if I can give you one piece of advice, when I was writing my first of seven books, I would. Uh, you get into this brilliant time where I don't know if you're a morning person, but I get up and start writing from five 30 to seven every morning.

[00:40:10] I just love that time cuz it's, you know, a heart and brain is clear and fresh. , and then somebody said, you know, Dave, the perfect book has never been written. so just publish it. And now that you've declared it, you actually have to publish it for your own integrity, right? Yeah. and it also takes some of the heat off to say, you know, whether it's leadership, human resources, family, none of us are perfect.

[00:40:39] So let's just do our best and, and get it out there because the, the crime would be, if your book didn't show up, if your listeners didn't show up, That's just wasted wisdom. Yeah. And that's something that is, uh, consistent through these stories as well. Perfection is the enemy of progress. we need to let that go.

[00:41:03] Yeah. And that's something that is important. I, I actually have to remind myself of that often as I'm writing, whenever I'm writing as well, you know, it's like, let it go. Just keep writing. Just keep going. You can come back. You can edit, you can make changes. It doesn't have to be perfect. Just put it out.

[00:41:18] Yeah, and then keep moving forward. So thank you. What's one, what's one thing that you hope your reader in the future in, you know, November 20, 22 will, uh, put down your book and say, wow, this is what I got. I hope that they got the belief that they can live any life that they dream of and that they can create that for themselves.

[00:41:44] That's what I hope I. Everyone who reads the book to put it down and shake their heads and be like, how have I not been living? And how do I change that right now? So that you can live the very best life you can because our days are not promised to us. And we need to make the very, very, most of every single day that we are blessed with.

[00:42:08] I am a very strong believer in that both of my parents were taken very young. Life is short. Yeah. Yeah. We just don't know mm-hmm yep. So, so, you know, that's why I ask about the regrets, cuz we all have regrets, you know, everyone has, and you could say that you, you don't have regrets because really the things, the decisions we make, get us to where we are.

[00:42:31] Right. And if, if you had made a different decision, you might not be where you are. And if you're thriving in life, you're just really happy that you went through all those things. But I. For people to think about the things that they might not have done because of somebody else or because of a situation or because of society.

[00:42:48] That that was maybe a little niggle in their soul that, that spoke to them, you know, that might still be ready to sprout because we're never too late. It's never too late to, to scratch those itches or find those things that our soul was, was waiting to, to be let forth, to sing. So. Thank you. That's why I think it's an important question to ask sometimes.

[00:43:12] Yeah, they so did long, long time ago, I was invited to, you know, I'd only been in the oil and gas industry for about five years. And, , Canadian company came to me and said, Hey, we want you to be our president. And I said, whoa, whoa, I'm not ready. Um, well, why don't you think, you know, call me back in about 57 years and , and so that was a great regret because I realized two things is, uh, they were inviting me for a reason.

[00:43:41] They saw something I didn't think I was ready for. And oftentimes, no matter how incomplete we think we might. Look at the people that are doing the job right now. , it's not that maybe that's pejorative, but, uh, it's a true, very true. you know, and it's a sign, it's a sign of intelligence to question yourself too, you know, I mean, really it's, you know, to know that.

[00:44:08] We all have more to learn. Um, but, but that is the imposter syndrome that we all, we all have. Sure. I, I, I have a regret, very similar to that as well. And, and it was, it was that imposter syndrome that questioning if I was ready and felt I needed more time, but like you said, it, it is, if you look at really that's the secret, everyone who is in a position.

[00:44:31] That is doing something that you think is wow. You know, that's, they're just so amazing. They, they all okay. Maybe I can't say all, but I would say, I would say with certainty 95% of them have questioned themselves and have thought to themselves I'm am I the right person for this? Mm-hmm am I. Qualified for this because that's just a natural human reaction.

[00:44:53] That's how our brains work. Yeah. Imposter syndrome. So for the last 17 years, I've been on retainer for a little company out of Vancouver called hemisphere hemisphere, energy mm-hmm and the president is a geologist on Simmons. I love that, man. It's a small team of eight people doing miraculous things and none of them get to be right.

[00:45:18] you know, we plug and play to our strengths. Mm-hmm and Don is very careful. If, if something is unclear or he wants to challenge, he'll ask and ask and ask and he'll sit and listen and listen, and listen. So companies like hemisphere, , leaders like Don Simmons. They don't have to be imposters. They recognize they are not complete.

[00:45:43] They don't have all the answers. They just build a great team around them. Those are the most honest together powerful leaders. Yeah. Those are the most powerful leaders. Cause those are the people that can really make amazing change happen. That's awesome. Yeah. Yeah. That's to me, that's what makes a good leader is someone who can listen to other people and knows their own limitations, finds people with those strengths yeah.

[00:46:10] And listens to all of it to get that right big picture and figure out what's the right decision to move forward for everybody. Yeah. And has a lot of diversity. Let's not forget diversity, like too, too many leaders wanna duplicate themselves and they'll run their vehicle right into the ditch that way.

[00:46:26] So true. And we're seeing that play out. So, I mean, thank you for bringing up. Cause that's, that's a vital key aspect to that. David, you've learned a lot. I'm curious. What's like the what's what's the biggest life lesson that you've learned that has brought you the most benefit to your life?

[00:46:45] Hmm.

[00:46:46] Wow. ,

[00:46:49] it's something about you staying on purpose, just staying on purpose. You know, we can often wonder who are we gonna be when we grow up? When I am I gonna get this profound revelation, but. We all know who we are. We, we know what our values are, our, our Inuk, our guidance, radar, whatever. And, and I think the biggest life lesson is just be true to yourself.

[00:47:19] You know, know your values and you will thrive. Mm-hmm . Yeah. And no, and no, actually the fresh blood at, after 40 is a beautiful name because I really realize most of us get to the point of 40 saying, okay, I've been the good kid, the good student, the good boss, the good husband, whatever. And then you say, and what about me Brady?

[00:47:47] Right. So it is a brilliant time whether you. Four 40 or 104 to just say. And what about me? What about me? It's it's our time now, a hundred percent. Now, if people wanna find more information about your books and your podcast, where can they find all of this information? And what are the, what are the books about that you have published?

[00:48:10] Well, thank you. So the, the series of seven books is breakthrough to yes. And locking the possible within a culture of collabo. , they can find them on Amazon. They can find them in, , supportive bookstores and they can learn more about me@davidbsavage.com. David B as in Bruce savage.com. And just as a, as a branding reminder, you know, I'm.

[00:48:39] Pretty easygoing guy, collaborative guy, but I really love the name. David B. Savage. I'm attached to that. It's a great name. It's a great name. And you'll remember it, right? I mean, I'll remember it. It's got that sticky stickiness to no, for, for your books. Who do you feel are really, really want to pick up your books?

[00:49:04] Well I hope. The world wants to pick up our books, our collaborative leadership books. I think what I've, everyone can use the collaborative leadership books. Yeah. Yeah. , some of the reviews I've got have, have basically said, , while it's meant from a business leadership perspective, mm-hmm, , uh, this is very useful in families as well.

[00:49:26] Mm-hmm so, and in community, so it's, it is. Let me in a way it's like a buffet to say my seven books are all really about my experiences, my stories, what I've learned, what I've changed, , checklist, design assessments, et cetera. but mostly there are about the a hundred plus people from eight countries sharing their wisdom on collaborative leadership.

[00:49:53] And yes, and I think it's similar to the book that you're creating too, that, , if you're looking for a place has over a hundred voices from different cultures. Mm-hmm here we are. Mm-hmm . Yep. Giving, giving those the own golden threads to that. The leadership. Yeah. Mm-hmm yeah. Yeah. That's wonderful. So before we go, my last question, what are you sure of in life?

[00:50:21] Hmm.

[00:50:22] I am sure of who I am and everything else can change. I'm not certain about anything and, and, you know, wrapping around our conversation this hour is, , because I'm curious and don't think I'm right. It just opens up doors. Mm-hmm , and in my life, I realize everything can fall away. So just be sure of who we are, who you are, who your listeners are, just hold that.

[00:50:52] It's the one thing you always have until the day you die is yourself. Yes mm-hmm. . Thank you so much, David. I really appreciate this has been a wonderful conversation. I had so much fun. Me too. Thank you so much.,

[00:51:05] What an enlightening conversation with David. Right away, David starts talking about how there is no right and there is no wrong that it is all our own truths. He begins discussing one of the most important topics for us at this point in time in our history, how to have conversations with people who believe other things than.

[00:51:34] Because, let's be honest, there is a great divide happening in the US and many other places as well. The rhetoric, the words, the messaging that many people in politics are choosing to use, it is only growing that divide rather than trying to fix it, to heal it, to mend it. We are choosing leaders once again.

[00:51:57] This coming week, what kind of leader will you be choosing? Will you be voting for the person who uses their words to divide or will you be voting for someone who uses their words to uplift?

[00:52:14] As David said, we need more peace crusaders. We need politicians and leaders who will lead with love. What if our politicians talk to people from their. What if our politicians led and made decisions from a place of love, what would that look like?

[00:52:43] Will you yourself choose words that divide or will you yourself find the words to heal, Find the words to help bring us back together. What if you made your decisions from a place of love rather than fear? What if you talked to people from the heart leading with your curiosity rather than your judgment?

[00:53:16] What would your world look like? What would your life feel like?

[00:53:24] David gives the best advice on how to successfully navigate any conversation. He advises that you listen, that you listen without judgment. He suggests that you even embrace the conflict. You be curious. You find out what the conflict is really all. Rarely is the issue, the one at the surface. So take the time to care.

[00:53:55] Take the time to dig and find out what is really going on. So often what you find is a wish to be heard, an insecurity, a fear or hurt. So engage with people and listen, listen, listen. It does not mean that you have to agree, but seek to understand by unwrapping all of the layers with your curiosity. And remember David's advice.

[00:54:33] When you think you haven't done, go ahead and ask three more questions because you never have it all.

[00:54:44] His story about his company going in and drilling wells where there were families and landowners is one. I won't forget it. It's a beautiful example of the absolute power of listening, working for an oil company. David went into a neighborhood to prime the way for drilling well. What he found when he arrived was a community filled with disdain and ready to fight.

[00:55:15] It was an understandable reaction. People are not interested in an oil company drilling wells on their property and in their neighborhoods. Naturally, there were a lot of concerns. David came into the area and he was immediately seen as the enemy, someone to be distrusted, someone to get rid of at all costs.

[00:55:42] Now, even though David was seen as the bad guy, he came in and he just listened. He continued showing up and listening. He did not push his agenda. He did not try to convince anyone of anything. He simply listened and then listened and then listened to some more until he felt he was getting an understanding, until he felt that he could, he could see what the other side was seen.

[00:56:13] And then he brought in the third party and together they developed a solution that everyone could be happy. Through active listening, they created a third solution, one that ended up saving the company money. It solved a facility issue. It made everyone in the community happy, and it drove the stock price up.

[00:56:38] It was a win, win, win all because David listened instead of bulldozed. He listened without trying to get a. He listened without an agenda.

[00:57:00] This is a lost skill, an absolute silent super strength that can be misconstrued by some as a weakness. But take note, it is an absolute super. There was another company who had a similar situation in a different community. They took a different tactic and tried to bulldoze through the neighborhood objections.

[00:57:33] Three years later, they were still in lawsuits. Having not started drilling one single, well, they were stuck. And the only people are happy were the lawyers. It is powerful what active listening can do.

[00:57:53] How well are you listening to those around you?

[00:58:00] Have you been having conflict in a certain area of your life or with a certain person? How much listening have you been doing with them or in that situation?

[00:58:17] It has become a lost art for so very many. I know I can be guilty of a lack of listening at times, but I also know that since my talk with David, I have been paying attention to that superpower much more, and he has. Absolutely right. Active listening has the capacity to transform any situation.

[00:58:45] It also has the power to be so very endearing. David made me feel so comfortable in our talk. He had this calm, pleasant demeanor that was open, and even though he was here on this podcast being interviewed about his own life, He practiced his active listening with me. He practiced his curiosity with me.

[00:59:09] He's one of the few guests to ask me about my book, and they all know about it as they all have to give me permission to be featured in the book, to be on this podcast. It was kind and caring of David to ask, and it made me feel closer to him. Listening helps build relationships. And for those curious, the book will be coming out mid next year.

[00:59:37] Now, David had some other great examples of learning in his life that he shared with us. I loved that when someone was ranting and talking badly about another person while in a company meeting while that person was not there, mind you, instead of just doing nothing, which is what the majority of people in the world would do.

[00:59:59] David stepped up and he did something. He stepped in and he said, Hey, hey, wait a minute. You know, this is not the way we build this agreement. This is not who we are. This is not how we communicate. For now, let us move forward working together the best way we know how.

[01:00:23] Wow. If I was there, I would've stood up and I would've applauded that very moment. What if there was a David in every meeting, in every classroom, in every corner of politics reminding us of who we are, reminding us to not let the bullies and the bulldozers take. Reminding us that we can and should demand respect and kindness for all we, each and every one of us, you and me, we deserve nothing less.

[01:00:59] Will you be that person the next time it's needed?

[01:01:06] I hope so. We need you.

[01:01:14] I also love how David flipped ageism on its head. Instead of getting angry or irritated about ageism, he simply found what was most needed from him. Where could he provide the most value as he is? So he decided to step away from the leadership team, and he pivoted into mentorship, coaching, and consult. He knew he could teach others how to build successful teams.

[01:01:44] He knew there was little support and so little coaching and wisdom that was being given to those who needed it. So David found a way to fill that need, making a personal shift to supporting others. Asking yourself, How can I provide the most value as I am? Is a powerful and needed question in life for David.

[01:02:13] It led to smart career shifts at key times in life, and it led him to becoming a part of the Rotary Club, a service club, helping to change the lives of those in need. He joined for the service, but in so doing, he has built the most incredible friendships and he has been a part of such amazing experiences beyond what he could have imagined.

[01:02:38] David found one of those universal truths that when you turn your focus to how can you be of service to others, that is where you will find those immense feelings of success and fulfill.

[01:02:57] So how can you best provide value to the people or community around you as you are now?

[01:03:12] I also found myself incredibly inspired by how David handled his divorce. When his wife decided to leave him, David decided that instead of fighting, instead of drawing out the entire process with anger, with bitterness, with additional pain, David decided that he would let go of resistance. That he would in fact let go of everything.

[01:03:42] He let go of the vision of his wife, that he thought he. He let go of the future he thought he had before him. He let go of his house. He let go of his office, He let it all go. He let go of attachment, and for the following three years he became a nomad. He traveled with what could fit in the back of his car.

[01:04:03] He served his purpose, he served his clients and he served his soul by following it where it was wanting to.

[01:04:16] David traded resentment for adventure. He traded the harshness of holding on for years of amazing experiences that can never again be replicated. He thrived during a time that makes the majority who experience it shrivel.

[01:04:40] How did he do?

[01:04:45] He learned to love what he had. Yes, he was in a difficult position, but instead of fighting it, instead of saying this was a bad, terrible thing, he surrendered to it. He let go of the negativity. He let go of the struggle, and instead he embraced what was, and he found the good that could be. He led with love.

[01:05:15] This is called Amor Fatty. It's what the great German philosopher Friedrich Nietzche would describe as his personal formula for human greatness. It's an enthusiastic acceptance of everything that happens in one's life. Accepting and embracing life for what it. As negativity cannot and will not change the past.

[01:05:44] But optimism combined with the willingness to accept, evaluate, and learn will absolutely impact the future. This is what makes a truly unstoppable person, the person who loves it all, because they can make the most of. It is the one who goes forth and makes things beautiful. Use this philosophy, use amor fat to help change your perceptions with what has happened to you.

[01:06:23] How have you struggled? Really look at it. What opportunity did that provide you to grow? How have you become a better person because of.

[01:06:38] How have you experienced loss? How did that teach you to appreciate life?

[01:06:50] Have you lost a job or a relationship? What doors then opened? What new relationships, what new opportunities blossomed because you finally had the space for them.

[01:07:08] Can you see how learning from past mistakes or past perceived failures has taught you to be so much better than you were before

[01:07:22] Amor fatty? So that is my wish for us all to understand that every moment in our lives is needed to create the unique fabric of our story, which then produces that special value we can offer others to trust that the nature of the universe is change, which is neither good nor bad, and that you embrace.

[01:07:47] Every aspect of your story, accepting all that has happened, all that is happening, and all that will happen in the future, making the most of every moment given in your one big, beautiful life.

[01:08:06] Until next time.


Jolie Downs:

David Savage Ending

What an enlightening conversation with David. Right away, David starts talking about how there is no right and there is no wrong, that it’s all our own truths. He begins discussing one of the most important topics for us at this point and time – how to have conversations with people who believe other things than you. Let’s be honest, there is a great divide happening in the US and many other places as well. The rhetoric, the words and messaging that many people in politics are choosing to use, is only growing that divide rather than trying to fix it, to heal it, to mend it. We are choosing leaders once again this coming week, what kind of leader will you be choosing? Will you be voting for the person who uses their words to divide or will you vote for someone who uses their words to uplift? As David said, we need more Peace crusaders – we need politicians and leaders who will lead with love. What if our politicians talked to people from their heart? What if our politicians led and made decisions from a place of love? What would that look like? 

Will you yourself choose words that divide or will you yourself find the words to heal, to and help bring us back together? What if you made your decisions from a place of love, rather than fear? What if you talked to people from the heart? Leading with curiosity rather than judgement? What would your world look like? What would your life feel like?  


David gives the best advice on how to successfully navigate any conversation – he advises that you listen – Listen without judgement. He suggests you - Embrace the conflict. Be curious and Find out what the conflict is really all about. Rarely is the issue the one at the surface so take the time to care, take the time to dig and find out what is really going on. So often what you find is a wish to be heard, an insecurity, a fear or a hurt – so engage with people and listen, listen, listen. It doesn’t mean you have to agree, but seek to understand by unwrapping all the layers with your curiosity.

And remember David’s advice – when you think you have it done – go ahead and ask three more questions, because you never have it all done. 


His story about his company going in and drilling wells where there were families and landowners is one I won’t forget. What a beautiful example of the absolute power of listening.

Working for an oil company, David went into a neighborhood to prime the way for drilling wells. What he found when he arrived was a community filled with disdain and ready to fight. It was an understandable reaction, people were not interested in an oil company drilling wells on their property and in their neighborhoods. Naturally, there would be a lot of concerns. David came into the area and was immediately seen as the enemy, someone to be distrusted and someone to get rid of at all costs. Even though David was seen as the bad guy, he came in and just listened. He continued showing up and listening. He didn’t push his agenda, he didn’t try to convince anyone of anything, he simply listened. And listened. And listened some more. Until he felt he was getting an understanding, until he felt he could see what the other side was seeing. And then he brought in a third party and developed a solution that everyone could be happy with – through active listening, they created a third solution, one that ended up saving the company money, solved a facility issue, made everyone in the community happy and it drove the stock price up – it was a win-win-win – all because David listened instead of bulldozed. 

He listened without trying to get a yes

He listened without an agenda

This is a lost skill, an absolute silent super strength that can be misconstrued by some as a weakness. 

There was another company who had a similar situation in a difference community, they took a different tactic and tried to bulldoze through the neighborhood objections. Three years later, they were still in lawsuits, having not started drilling on one single well – they were stuck and the only people happy, were the lawyers.

It’s powerful what active listening can do. How well are you listening to those around you? Have you been having conflict in a certain area of your life or with a certain person? How much listening having you been doing with them or in that situation? It has become a bit of a lost art for so many. I know I can be guilty of a lack of listening at times, but I also know, that since my talk with David, I’ve been paying attention to that super power much more and he is absolutely right – active listening has the capacity to transform any situation. 

It also has the power to be so very endearing. David made me feel so comfortable in our talk. He had this calm, pleasant demeanor that was open and even though he was here on this podcast being interviewed, he practiced his active listening with me. He practiced his curiosity with me. One of the few guests to ask me about my book – and they all knew about it as they had to give me permission to be featured in the book to be on this podcast. It was kind and caring of David to ask, and it made me feel closer to him. Listening helps build relationships. And for those curious, the book will be coming out mid next year. 

David had some other great examples of learning from his life to share with us. 

I loved that when someone was ranting and talking badly about another person while in a company meeting and that person was not there – instead of just doing nothing, which is what the majority of people in the world would do – David stepped up and did something – He stepped in and said – Hey, That is not the way we build this agreement. This is not who we are. This is not how we communicate. For now, let’s move forward working together the best way we know how. 

Wow.

If I was there, I would have stood up and applauded.

What if there was a David in every meeting? In every classroom? In every corner of politics – reminding us of who we are. Reminding us to not let the bully’s and bulldozers take over. Reminding us the we can and should demand respect and kindness for all. We all – each and every one of us – you and me – we deserve nothing less. 

Will you be that person the next time it’s needed? 

I hope so.


I also love how David flipped ageism on it’s head –  instead of getting angry or irritated about ageism, he simply finds out what is most needed from him. Where can he provide the most value as he is. He decided to step away from the leadership team and pivoted into mentorship, coaching and consulting. He knew he could teach others how to build successful teams. There is so little support, so little coaching and wisdom being given to those who need it so David found a way to fill that need, making a personal shift to supporting others. Asking yourself, how can I provide the most value, as I am now – is a powerful and needed question in life. For David it led to smart career shifts at key times in life and it led to becoming a part of the Rotary Club, a service club helping to change the lives of those in need. He joined for the service but in so doing he has built the most incredible friendships and been a part of such amazing experiences beyond what he could have imagined. David found one of those universal truths – that when you turn your focus to how can you be of service to others, that is where you will find those immense feelings of success and fulfillment.  

So how can you best provide value to the people or community around you?


I found myself incredibly inspired by how David handled his divorce. When his wife decided to leave him, David decided that instead of fighting, instead of drawing out the entire process with anger, bitterness and additional pain – David decided that he would let go of resistance, that he would in fact, let go of everything. He let go of the vision of the wife he thought he had, he let go of the future he thought he had before him, he let go of his house, of his office, he let it all go – he let go of attachment – and for the following three years he became a nomad. He traveled with what could fit in the back of his car, he served his purpose, he served his clients and he served his soul by following it where it was wanting to go. He traded resentment for adventure, he traded the harshness of holding on for years of amazing experiences that can never again be replicated. He thrived during a time that makes the majority who experience it, shrivel. 


How did he do this? 


He learned to love what he had. Yes, he was in a difficult position, but instead of fighting it, saying this was a bad, terrible thing, he surrendered to it, he let go of the negativity and struggle, embracing what was and finding the good that could be had. He led with love. 


This is called Amor Fati – it’s what the great German philosopher Fredrich Nietzsche (Freedrick Nitcha) would describe as his personal formula for human greatness. It’s an enthusiastic acceptance of everything that happens in one’s life. Accepting and embracing life for what it is – as negativity cannot and will not change the past but optimism combined with the willingness to accept, evaluate and learn will absolutely impact the future - this is what makes a truly unstoppable person – the person who loves it all because they can make the most of it. The one who goes forth and makes things beautiful.


Use this philosophy, use Amor Fati, to help change your perceptions with what has happened to you.

How have you struggled? Really look at it. What opportunity did that provide you to grow? How have you become a better person because of it? 

How have you experienced loss? How did that teach you to appreciate life? 

Have you lost a job or relationship? What doors then opened? What new relationships and opportunities blossomed because you finally had the space for them? 

Can you see how learning from past mistakes or perceived failures has taught you to be so much better than you were before? 

Amor Fati

So that is my wish for us all. To understand that every moment in our lives is needed to create the unique fabric of our story which then produces the special value we can offer others , to trust that the nature of the universe is change, which is neither good nor bad, and that you embrace every aspect of your story, accepting all that has happened, is happening and will happen in the future, making the most of every moment given in your one big beautiful life. 


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