Mike Robbins: ALL IN with the Journey to Leadership

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Do you struggle as a leader? Do you find yourself torn between family and work? Leadership expert Mike Robbins shares the struggles and successes of being a successful business leader with Alicia in the latest installment of ALL IN.

As an expert in teamwork, emotional intelligence, and the powers of appreciation and authenticity, Mike Robbins delivers keynote addresses and customized seminars that empower people, teams, and organizations to work together effectively and be more successful. He has inspired tens of thousands of people around the world to reach new levels of awareness and productivity, both personally and professionally. He has been featured on ABC News, the Oprah radio network, in Forbes, the Washington Post, and many others. He is a regular contributor to Oprah.com and the Huffington Post and the author of several books, including the soon to be released Nothing Changes Until You Do: A Guide to Self-Compassion and Getting Out of Your Own Way.

Mike Robbins - intro video
 

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How talent doesn’t always equal success
  • Why you should enjoy the journey to reaching your goals
  • What is the difference between accomplishment and success
  • Why you can’t have balance and perfection
  • Why trusting yourself is the key to leadership
  • How important self-compassion is to success

Keep Going ALL IN:

Mike’s favorite leadership quotes:

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde #ALLIN “If you haven’t found something worth dying for, you aren’t fit to be living.” – Martin Luther King #ALLIN

 

Interview Transcript:

Interview with Mike Robbins

 

Alicia Dunams: Hi, it’s Alicia Dunams here and we are playing ALL IN: Elevating Your Leadership Game. And I’m super excited to announce Mike Robbins as the next guest, he is here right now. And Mike Robbins is a author and I’ve been really following his career when I first launch my book in 2007; so talk about motivational speaker, and really inspiring people. I believe you used to be a sport star, so I want you to talk a little bit about that Mike. First of all, I have to ask this question; this is how we start all of the ALL IN podcasts. Mike, are you ready to play ALL IN?

Mike Robbins: I’m ready, thanks for having me here. Absolutely, good! Well, first of all, I want you to use this as a platform, introduce yourself. I know that you are speaking a lot in the corporate world. I love to introduce you to my audience, business owners, speakers and thought leaders. So tell us a little bit about yourself Mike.

M: Well, I started back in 2001 full time as a speaker. And you know, you referenced my sports background. You know, I grew up here in the Bay Area where I still live, and I actually played baseball and I got drafted right around high school by the New York Yankees. I didn’t end up signing with the Yankees ‘coz I got an opportunity to play baseball at Stanford. So I went Stanford, I played there then I got drafted by the Kansas City Royals. So you know, my dream since I was a little kid was to play the major leagues. Unfortunately, my 3rd season in the minors with the Royals, I went out to pitch one night and I threw one pitch and I threw ligaments in my elbow, and I blew my arm out. So that was, sadly and very painfully, the end of my professional baseball career. And you know, it was the late nineties at the time, I came back there in Bay Area, I did the .com thing for a couple of years and worked for a few start-ups. And then in 2001, I got laid off like a lot of people did. You know, for me ALL IN is what would I really wanna do? And as much as I really want to play baseball, and I did and I wanted to make it into the big leagues and that have been my dream since I was a little kid, I really wanted to be able to make an impact. And for me, you know, what can I do? What’s my passion? And I just felt like, even though I’m at a relatively young age at that time, I was 26, I had a real passion for speaking, and attempting to, at least, inspire people with whatever I knew or whatever I’ve learned. And so, you know, the world of live coaching, personal growth, that type of stuff. As big as it is now, with all the online platforms there are, it wasn’t quite that way back, you know 13+ years ago. But I got all in, so to speak. And it was back in 2007, my first book came out a book called Focus on the Good Stuff, ‘coz a lot of my work focuses a lot on appreciation and gratitude. And in 2009 I wrote a book about Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Already Taken. So those are the two books I’d written, and just this summer, I wrote a new book and that should be out in a few months here in May; it’s called Nothing Changes Until You Do. And so yeah, I’m really excited about it. I travel around the country and sometimes around the world and I speak to a lot of big corporate audiences and groups and events. And that’s how I spent a great part of my time when I’m not hanging out with my wife and our two girls.

A: Well, it definitely sounds like you are playing ALL IN in your life. That’s a terrific story! As you’re talking, I was like, “Ah, I have so many people to introduce you to; to connect you to.” ‘Coz there’s a lot of people who come from sports and they have this realization, it’s very inspiring because I think the whole thing about training and being in sports is playing ALL IN. It’s teamwork, it’s fully being living an exhilarated life, living in urgency and then being able to translate that now into personal development in your 2 books. And then speaking to corporate America, I think that’s a beautiful transition. It seems like you’re doing really well with that.

M: Well you know, one of the things I noticed in all these years that I played sports, when I started at seven, I played all the way through to college and then professionally and I got to end playing when I was 25. One of the things I’ve always been fascinated about, there’s actually 2 things. The first thing I noticed as an athlete for all those years playing, is it wasn’t the most talented players end up the most success. Baseball is a really funny game like that, it takes a lot of skill and talent, but it’s not like the biggest, strongest, fastest person ends up being the best players. So how can some guys I played with translate their talent into results and others couldn’t? And the other thing that I noticed, it seemed like there was something mental, emotional and psychological going on for me and for a lot of guys I played with. The other thing that I noticed was from a team perspective, I was on some teams where we had some really great talent, and we were very good in teams. And there were some other teams where the talent wasn’t like off the charts, I mean we we’re good, but there was something about the team. There was some magic in sports, you know and we call it chemistry. And I’d always been fascinated by that; how come we get hot sometimes, and like all of  a sudden, everybody played really well and it was a magical experience. And when I was in sports, I assumed that was a sports thing, but when I got into the business world, I think that’s a human being thing; both on an individual level and on a team level. And a lot of it actually led me to the work that I’ve been doing now for the last 13 years, it was that phenomenon. I started to realize, well there’s actually science behind this and it has nothing to do with playing baseball, it has to do with being a human being and focusing on whatever it is that’s important to us.

A: Profound, profound. Is that some of the stuff that you shared in some of your books, or in your new book coming out?

M: Yeah, absolutely. You know, the thing about the new book that I wrote, it’s called Nothing Changes Until You Do. And one of the things that I learned in the process of writing this book, specifically. But I’ve sort of always known this. You know, people were always asking me, I mean you know this from writing a book. I mean a book has kind of its own life to it, and it’s too big to undertake. People were asking me, “Well Mike, how’s the book coming? How’s the book coming?” And I would often say, “Well you know what, the book is actually really easy. The hardest part is dealing with myself.” I think that’s true for so many things that we do, it’s like writing a book is relatively easy, marriage is relatively easy, and parenting is relatively easy. I’m not saying that there aren’t challenges to it, but the hardest part, starting a business, growing a business.; those things in and of themselves aren’t so hard, it’s often our own relationships with ourselves in relation to what we’re doing. It’s the fear, the doubt, the worry, the second guessing ourselves, the stressing out over things, the being attached to what people say, all that stuff, and that has nothing to do with what we’re doing, it has everything to do with us. So this new book that I wrote is really about how can we make more peace with ourselves in pursuit of whatever it is we’re after. ‘Coz I know you’ve noticed and I’m sure you coach people on it, people go after their goals, we all do, and we’re so focused on the result, but sometimes in the process, we don’t realize, not only can we make the experience more enjoyable, but there’s a lot of things that we do and are getting in our own way, that if we just actually get out of our way, it would be way easier.

A: Enjoying the process. I know there are different types of people, there is the journey people, and there’s the destination people. I have always been a destination person, and I’ve had to sit back and think, “Wow, I’m doing some major things.” ‘Coz not only am I a destination person, but I’m someone who like high roles to the destination, I’m like jamming at ultra miles per hour, that everything can be falling around me, I have no idea, I’m just so focused on the result. And it’s been in the last 18 months or so  that I’ve been really slowing down and seeing, well how am I impacting people? How are people experiencing me? And it’s been a really powerful lesson to be like, you know what, it’s all about the journey. Of course you have that overall vision, and those goals; but it’s the journey, it’s being present, it’s how you are relating to people. That is really, really crucial, and when we are so focused on the end game, which have been something that I’ve been, you can really bulldoze through life and leave things crashing and burning behind you.

M: I think it makes sense, that for most of us, I think we find ourselves usually kind of somewhere along that continuum. Like you were saying, the journey people, the destination people, and most of us are a combination, like sort of where do we fall. Like you, I tend to fall more on the destination side, and have for a lot of my life. But one of the biggest realizations I had, and this goes all the way back to my baseball career…Here I am, I’m 23, almost 24 years old and I’m in the minor leagues when I hurt my arm, and it’s my third season in the minors. You know, the way it works in baseball, you get drafted by a major league team but you still have to go into the minor leagues, and there’s like 6 levels, you have to work your way up to get to the big leagues. So even though I had signed up for a contract as a professional baseball player, I wasn’t in the major leagues yet. And that had been my goal as far as I can remember. We’re talking about the destination, and it was very specific, finite, although it wasn’t a very easy path to get there, but I knew exactly what I was doing, what I was supposed to be doing make it. And then I go out and tear ligaments in my elbow, boom, it’s over. And as painful as that was, and it was really painful physically, but also mentally, emotionally, the most painful part of it, but also the most enlightening part of it was when started to ask myself a whole bunch of important questions about it… and one of the questions I kept asking when it was all over, and I realized, you know what, after all the surgeries and everything, I’m not gonna be able to come back. I asked myself, “Did I have any regrets?” And the only regret that I had, it wasn’t you know the games that I blew, the times that I wasn’t successful as I wanna be, the only regret was I didn’t fully appreciate what was happening, I was too busy trying to make it. I was just a kid, I grew up in Oakland with a single mom, we didn’t have a lot of money, I was gonna make it into the big leagues, I was gonna make a bunch of money, I was gonna be somebody. You know, and after that point in my life, even though I was pretty good, I spent most of my time thinking I wasn’t good enough, comparing myself to everyone around me, and literally like holding my breath hoping that I won’t mess it up. You know, and when it was all said and done, I thought to myself, “Oops, I think I missed the point.” And I reflect on that now, because here’s the truth, all these years later, I still have to remember that in my own life now, because if I’m not mindful of it, I can get caught, I’m trying to get into the big leagues mentality and forget. Number one, when we do that, we miss out on all the great stuff, that not only are we creating, but do we get to experience. And another thing, you know this from your own life and probably from working with lots of people, and I’ve met from the course of my life some unbelievably accomplished and successful people. But there’s a big difference between accomplishment and success, and really that art of being fulfilled and at peace with ourselves, and really being in a place where there are more goals and achievements. Almost everyone I’ve ever met has a list of things they’d like to experience or achieve or accomplish, no matter how successful they are. When there’s that quality, you know when you meet someone and when you’re around someone, you’re like this person, regardless of their title or their status, they really seem like they’re at peace with themselves, in their life. And for me, I’ve been more and more practicing how do I experience more of that? And that really is an art, there’s no science to it, that’s about an experience.

A: That is beautifully put, and I think that really comes down to being present and fully savoring every moment ‘coz at any moment, things can change. And it’s usually that, “Ah…” You know, people who lose a family member, “Why didn’t I make that last trip or make that last phone call?” Those are hard lessons…

M: They are. It’s a balance too, because there’s that and then there’s the reality of you know, back to the sort of destination versus journey. We can also spend so much time in the experience and in the process of it, and this happens a lot, I’m sure you know this when people are starting businesses or with creative ideas, we can spend so much time in the gestation period. Sometimes we’re really trying to create something, but a lot of times, it more of like the fear of putting it out there, the fear of actually getting going. You know, a good friend of mine often says to me, ‘coz he and I both have a tendency of being a perfectionist with certain things, he’ll me up and he’ll say, “Hey man, done is better than perfect. Get it out there! Just go, get it done instead of trying to make it so perfect!” And again, I think all of us, even those of us, like me and you who write books and coach people, we all need people around us to coach us, to push us, to challenge us, to remind us who we are, you know all the different ways that we all need to be motivated in life. Because, you know, being human poses its own challenges, just being in our own hands, how to get out of our own way…

A: And I think the fastest way to get out of our own hands and in that place where we can get depressed and neuroses and all of that, is to focus on other people. And I think leadership is all about being outward. And this is a good time to ask, because we’re really, in terms of all in, it’s all about helping create leaders. And talking about that, I wanted to know what’s your favorite leadership quote ‘coz that’s something I love to share. What is your favorite?

M: Well I have many, you know. But my favorite quote, and it’s a leadership quote, is the title of one of my books, it actually came from Oscar Wilde, “Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken.” And the thing is, you know Alicia, a lot of times I get invited into these organizations. We have companies like Google, like Gap, like Chevron, Wells-Fargo, Facebook; I mean really cool companies that I respect and admire. They now bring me in to talk about, among other things, leadership; we talk to groups of leaders. The main message that I often have, specially when I’m talking to leaders, is really about authenticity, and specially these days… I mean you know these, whether it’s on the internet, whether it’s in our personal relationships, whether it’s in the organization, whether it’s on the work that we do; we have a tendency to be skeptical ‘coz there’s so much stuff out there, and what tends to shine through is you can feel and sense authenticity. It’s not something for someone to do, it’s a way of being; it’s something that is visceral. So when I’m talking to leaders and coaching leaders, it’s like, look we all emulate certain people and we admire certain people, and we wanna model ourselves after certain people, and that’s wonderful. But at the end of the day, one of the most important qualities of a leader, in whatever type of leadership we’re involved in, is being ourselves and trusting that who we are and what we bring to the table is enough. There’s always areas for improvement, there’s always ways we can grow and we can continue to expand ourselves, but when someone gets put in a position of leadership, especially in an organization, what often happens, and this is not something people talk about publicly, is they start to get, especially with the bigger level of leader it is, of what we call in psychology the ‘impostor syndrome.’ They start to wonder, how did I get into this position? I sometimes often experience that. When I’m up on stage in front of these people and they’re looking at me, and I start to look around and ‘why are you looking at me?’ You know, it’s that experience of, as passionate as I am in what I’d say, and as important as I think it is, we’re all human, we all have our vulnerabilities; we all have our doubts and fears. And so, part of it, my message to leaders often is ____ is not a liability, in fact, it’s an asset. ‘Coz you being human, you being real, you being vulnerable and accessible, will free you up so as to not feel like you have to be perfect, and it will actually allow people to relate to you as a human being, which is the best way to inspire people. We often think we have to have it all figured out, we have to have all the right answers and be confident, but that’s just… I’ve never met anybody who’s authentically that way.

A: Thank you! So the power of vulnerability in terms of being a leader. And with that, I mean obviously you are speaking, travelling and sharing these with the world, how are you being a source of leadership in your life?

M: You know, the thing about that even prior to having this conversation… You know, I would say on the one hand when I think of leadership classically in terms of leading a big team of people and lots of people following me in some direction, you know, that’s not really how my life looks in terms of the work that I do. But I do feel like there’s a couple, two main places that I, you know in my work what I’m always attempting to do… I’m being hired and come in and speak with these events, and I’m always talking out of topic whether it’s authenticity, or appreciation, or teamwork, or emotional intelligence, and as important as these topics are to me, and as much passion as I have for them and the research I’ve done… A lot of my research… you know, it looks dated information, but what’s interesting is I always know the most important thing for me to do is to model what I’m talking about. If I’m gonna stand up in front of people talking about authenticity, I gotta do it from an authentic place. You can’t teach authenticity without being authentic. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t challenges and there aren’t gaps, but it’s always about, “Can I show up and model? What does it look like in vulnerability?” And for a lot of us, male or female, it’s challenging. But particularly for us in our culture, it’s men in the business world. There’s still a lot of stereotypes and expectations about how we’re supposed to be. So one of my main sources of pride and also inspiration, is that I want to be someone in the world who is myself. I mean, who I am is really open-hearted, loving, expressive, emotional, sensitive man; I’ve always been that way from the time I was a little boy. So it’s like, do I have the courage to actually be that way when I’m out in the world doing my work? And at times, it’s more comfortable for me than others, but that’s a place where I feel like my attempt or my intention is always to be a leader in that way. The other place is my family – with my wife and my girls. And I think specifically with my girls, you know I have 2 daughters, and my first daughter, Samantha… I remember thinking, well it’s a girl, like I don’t really know, well you know Michelle’s gonna teach the girl, and that kind… But I’ve read this book when my daughter was about a year, a buddy of mine gave it to me; it’s called ‘Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters,’ and the book was written by a doctor, her name is Meg Meeker. I love this book, I recommend it to any father and daughter watching this. I highly recommend it. It’s the best book I’ve ever read on parenting and specifically for a father of a daughter, where the book is all about. And she was talking from a medical perspective, but also as a psychologist, the work she’s done with girls, particularly teenage girls over the course of her career. And she basically said, look, there’s all these challenges in our culture these days, and the one key factor in the health and success of your daughter in her life is for you to show up and be a really strong and loving force in her life. And although the message is fairly simple, and certainly it hit me right between the eyes and I realized, well my girls are gonna continue to look to me, not only for guidance and to be their daddy and all of that, but like, ‘How does a man treat woman?’ So how do I treat my wife, and how am I in the world, how do I treat them, and what are the things I say to them? And as of now, they’re only 8 and 5, but as they’re out in the world, and people, you know they’re little girls, it’s like, “Oh you’re you cute, and you’re so pretty!” And I really want my girls to believe in themselves and have confidence, but not simply based on how they look or even what they do, but who they are. So the most important place, and oftentimes the most challenging place for me to be a leader, because look when I’m at home and sometimes I’m stressed out, sometimes I raise my voice, and sometimes I get irritated, like all of us do with children, so I gotta keep coming back to what’s my intention and what kind of impact do I wanna have on these 2 beautiful girls who are looking to me as their father.

A: I love how you talk about being, because a lot of times we feel leadership or being in business, entrepreneurship is all about doing, and as a leader I have to do a certain thing. I want you to talk a little bit about being because I think there’s a whole term of be, do, have. And it’s really being first which is really the grounding for me.

M: I agree. And look, I think especially nowadays for business owners like you and me and probably a lot of people who are watching us, who are doing business in creative ways, in new ways, who are running their own businesses by themselves, or with a small group of people. You know, like authors and speakers and coaches and a variety of different people in that genre which you and I both know a lot of. Look, there’s a lot of different ways and you know this or an expert of this, about how to get yourself out there, get your message out there, get connected on social media, get connected on the internet, use video and all the different ways that we go about it. And look, those things aren’t areas that I feel like I have a lot of expertise; I rely on people who know things about that to help me, ‘coz that’s not intuitive on how my mind works. But no matter what it is, my belief is that people will be interested in you, and it’s gonna be a lot more about your way of being, and without sounding, you know, too sort of boohoo or touchy feely or kind of weird about it even though you and I both live in Marin County and there’s a lot of that around here. It’s really some level of kind of the energy that draws people in, and that goes back to authenticity, and that goes back to way of being that I don’t believe you can orchestrate in any way that you want. But at the end of the day, if you write a book that really has value, it’s got a chance for it to be a bestseller. If you have a program, an online program that really gives value to people, the best marketing approach in the world is gonna be helpful. But there’s really no value there, a bunch of people show and they’re gonna be like, “Eh! It’s not very good!” You know, and years ago I had a conversation with someone who’s become a friend and mentor of mine, who also lives here in Marin County, and that’s Dan Millman, who wrote the great book Way of the Peaceful Warrior. And this was when I was first, or wanting to start my business, I was really scared and nervous and I said to Dan, “I don’t really know exactly how to start, I don’t know what I would be saying that would be any different from anyone else, what do I do?” And he said, “Mike look, here’s my belief, I believe there’s one light and there’s many lamps. So your job is to have your light be as bright as possible and just trust that people that are supposed to show up will show up, and they’ll be drawn to you and some of them won’t be drawn to me, they’ll be drawn to you, and some of them will be drawn to someone else. And it’s not gonna be about a lot of the rational things you think it is that has them show up.”And so for me, without being naive and neglecting some of the things we have to do as business owners, my belief is again the brighter that light is in an authentic way, the more that way of being is real, people will resonate with it. You know, I look at somebody out there in the world right now who I really respect and admire, Brené Brown. And I thank Brené and I love her work, and I love just the things that she’s doing, and I watch her both in terms of what I’ve learned from her, but I think to myself, I don’t think Brené Brown woke up in the morning and said, “I’m gonna orchestrate this big movement around vulnerability, and then Oprah’s gonna call me and then I’m gonna do this, and then I’m gonna do that, and I’m gonna target to 10 conferences.” No, I mean she went to 10 talks in Houston and it was a good talk and it went viral. And those things happen, and all of a sudden… ‘coz she was already doing good work, she was already really deep in what her purpose was and then all of a sudden, I think the audience looked up to her, and then when she had the opportunity to step into it, she showed up. And that’s something really there, so that’s happening very organically and very naturally, which I applaud her and I appreciate because people’s awareness of her work and what she’s doing, and she’s been really helpful to me as I go out in the world and talk about vulnerability and authenticity. But I also look up to her, even though I don’t know her personally, as a model for, that’s a great example for allowing it to happen.

A: I love when you said show up, it’s really how we show up in life because part of being a leader is being there, and being on I find… you know, I think about Barrack Obama, and how being the President of the United States, you need to be on at all times because there’s so many people depending on you. ‘Coz sometimes leadership could be exhausting, that’s how I find it.

M: It’s not easy, and that’s the thing. I say oftentimes when I speak with leaders, “Look, leadership is kind of a bad idea in certain when you think about it practically.” Like what do we do in our own culture… I mean you mentioned Barrack Obama, right? Almost across the political landscape, everybody loved Barrack Obama when he first showed up. Now you got a good chunk of people who absolutely despise him, right? And the thing is, I often think about, look I thought about this, and even though I make _______ of Barrack Obama saving George Bush on a human level, I think about people in that position as the President of the United States as an example, and my heart goes out to them. It’s like hey, that’s one of the hardest jobs on the planet; you have half the country and maybe half the world despising you. And the energy of that alone… I mean I feel bad enough when someone writes something negative about something that I posted online, I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have… Anyway, with that being said, even on a lower level, with most f us normal humans with our lives, when you’re a leader, when you step out, when you’re ALL IN, what’s gonna happen is people are gonna judge you, people are gonna have opinions about you. Some people might think what you’re doing is fantastic, other people might think it’s terrible. You know, when I do have one of those days where I get some negative feedback or I get some criticism, and it makes me feel bad, one of the things that I would do, I don’t know if it’s like an ego game… I would like go to a page on Amazon on someone somewhere that I really admire, you know, and I look up a review or somebody, the one with the really negative ones, not because I’m trying to… you know, there’s something about Wayne, something who writes something that’s horrible about him or about his book, and you know somehow it made me feel better. And it’s like, oh when you’re getting criticism, when you’re getting judged, that’s actually a good sign that you’re taking risks, you’re putting yourself out there. And I actually look to that, even though my ego, when someone says critical of me, I try to embrace it, ‘coz that’s a sign that I’m on my path, that I’m expanding,  that I’m stepping more fully into who I am, because I’m out there enough that people have the ability to criticize me.

A: Yeah, that’s very powerful. The more you get out there, the more you’re gonna get that exposure and attention, the more attacks that you’ll get. But then also, the more impact that you’re creating on a global level. And really, in terms of… I love how you bring up your daughters and women in leadership. I think one of the reasons I launched this podcast, being all in, is because I saw places in my life that I was fully performing on all levels, and then I would just sync or retreat, or hide and miss phone calls, and do things like really… And people would be like… Oh my goodness, you know, they really needed me, and I let people down. And I was like, you know what, if I’m gonna step into this place of greatness and be out there, I can’t do it half ass. And it’s the only time for me, like you know, when it only works for me. It’s about being there all of the time and being available and being a source. ‘Coz people really depend on you, even people… You know, from letting your daughter down, which I’ve done… I mean I went through the whole thing where I picked her up from school, and I was like, oh my good I’m so awful. But then also how there’s people I don’t even know who have, you know, I can let them down by you know, not being consistent. And so that’s a lot of learning lessons that I’ve had in the last couple of years.

M: Well, and I think, a couple of pieces, like I can relate to that, myself. And I think one of the pieces, and this is another reason you know this book that I just wrote, Nothing Changes Until You Do,is all about self compassion. Self compassion, not like letting ourselves off the hook, but can we… ‘coz look, a lot of cases, and I hear these especially from a lot of working moms, specifically. So you got your own business, you’re working and you have kids. And it’s not that it doesn’t impact dads, but there’s a different expectation culturally, for better or worse, and it’s oftentimes not fair. But this feeling of guilt, no matter where I am, I’m feeling guilty. I’m working on my business, I’m feeling guilty, I’m not with my kids. I’m with my kids, I’m feeling guilty, I’m not working on my business. And I’ve had that experience in times, like I go on the road and I feel guilty, “Oh gosh, I’m leaving my family, I don’t ever wanna be the guy that always drives to the airport, getting on a plane.” Or, to have one of my girls cry and said, “Daddy, you’re leaving again?” I felt like I’m a terrible person. But at the same time, it’s like, but I love my work, I love what I do, I am out being  a leader in the world and making a difference, impacting people, but it’s sometimes… you know, and there’s times I’m home, or my wife went out for a week in December and I had the girls all by myself, and by the end of the week I was like begging for a road trip. This is horrible! But you know, it’s all balanced, and it’s all just trying to make peace with ourselves in it. But one of the things I think that’s important at some level, can we have compassion for ourselves in a way and to your point about leaders and being there for people, the balance also is, what do we do to be there for ourselves so that we can show up authentically for others? Because what tends to happen is we give, give, give, until we’re depleted, and then we get resentful, and then we’re mad. But we’re not getting back what we want, and then we realize, oh this is leadership that I say is leadership, is really there’s some other things going on. I’m trying to validate myself, I’m trying to feel like I’m worthy in the world, I’m expecting certain things in return. And again, I think leadership, that in whatever capacity, it is a great personal journey for all of us because we get to deal with in our face all the time, the areas in which we need more love, more acceptance, more growth.

A: So this had been awesome Mike, and one thing I wanna do to get wrapped up is I want you to state what does it mean to play ALL IN to you? What does ALL IN mean?

M: All in to me means it’s about being willing to fail, it’s about being willing to risk, it’s about being willing to go forth. There’s a quote from Dr. King, and this may be one of my favorite leadership quote as well, and he said, let’s see if I can get this right, “If you haven’t found something to die for, you don’t have a life worth living.” And it’s a pretty intense quote, but it’s sort of like what is that thing in life that we’re so passionate about, not that we’re interested in dying, but that we would give our life for. This is what I give my life for, and to me, ALL IN is about that. It’s about being mindful of ourselves and the people around us, but being willing to let go of our small concerns and our ego attachments for something much bigger.

A: Wow, powerful. So Mike, how can people find more about you and your books?

M: Well, the best place is just on my website which is Mike-Robbins.com.

A: Okay, great! Well, it has been wonderful to talk to you, play ALL IN with you, talk about leadership. You’ve added so much to the conversation today Mike. I really appreciate it. It has been a huge pleasure. So, thank you again!

M: You’re welcome, thanks for having me. Glad we could connect!

A: Absolutely!

 

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