Between us we have over 200 years of combined experience in business and life. We have all lived and worked in multiple countries and cultures. It is that experience that we share with you through our podcast.
We came together on this project when we were discussing how valuable the lessons that we now know would have been to our younger selves.
We asked some of the sages and gurus that we know in our network if they would be willing to pass on their lessons to the world through our interviews and it was no surprise that they all readily agreed.
So we embarked on this journey of interviewing and documenting important lessons from these leaders of industry, academics, celebrities and run of the mill successful people so that their wisdom can be shared with you.
We know that there are somethings with which you will agree with and some that you will not. After all isn’t that what life is all about?
Ten Lessons Recap Ep13-16
Siebe Vanderzee: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome come to our podcast- “10 Lessons it Took Me 50 Years to Learn”. Where we dispense wisdom, not just information, not mere facts. To an audience of future leaders at any age around the globe. My name is Siebe Van Der Zee and I’m your host. I’m originally from the Netherlands currently living in the beautiful desert of Arizona in the United States.
During this special recap episode, our team at 10 lessons learned will be reviewing the previous four episodes that have already gone live during the last few weeks. And when I say our team, I’m referring to my good friend and cohost Dr. Duff Watkins born in the United States, residing in Australia. While living the good life in Sao Paolo, Brazil, also the co-host, executive producer, Robert Hossary. He has an extensive background working for major corporations, including watchmakers, like Citizen and Seiko in Australia, USA and Taiwan.
Robert is also the former General Manager at the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia, plus he has an amazing sense of humor. Finally, I want to introduce my friend and cohost Jeffery Wang. Jeffery is the founder and owner of our key sponsor, the Professional Development Forum. And I’ve learned over time, Jeffrey is a wizard when it comes to technology and we are very grateful for his support.
So now we want to share with you what we thought were the most intriguing and fascinating wisdoms from our recent guests. These guests included Alan Haselden, William Guy, Guillaume Lucci, and Jacob Butler. Uh, they’re all very different, but what they have in common is their desire to share their lifetime knowledge and their wisdom.
So, let’s get started with Alan Haselden and Duff Watkins. Alan Haselden is successful business executive and board member turned local politician based in Australia. Duff. What can you tell us about the interview you did with him?
Duff Watkins: [00:02:05] Well, Alan mentioned a few times about being culturally aware, culturally sensitive.
And in preparation for this podcast, I was reflecting on something he told me, but it’s not in the podcast, but I’ll share with you guys. Alan headed, uh, an international subsidiary of a large us multi-billion dollar us company. And, um, because he headed the Southeast Asia Pacific region, he would go to the US in North Carolina, as it turns out regional meetings.
And so was there with all these heads, the CEOs from the different countries, the different regions and the new CEO, thoroughly American, opens the meeting with a prayer. Now most Americans won’t find that strange, but Alan looked around and he said, you know, we’ve got non-Christians here. We’ve got non-Americans here.
It’s a very international meeting. Why the hell would you open it with a prayer? And certainly. It was a peculiar, particular type of Christian prayer too. I want to point out. And that’s one of the things that Alan talked about in the podcast as being culturally aware, when he gave example after example, how many things it could be in an American, it could be an Australian as well.
He’s just so unaware, blindly unconcerned with another culture. Wouldn’t take a moment of time to do a bit of research and, and we’ll see what you know about cross cultural communication. You’re in it, but. Um, as does Hoss as does Jeff, as we all do. And it’s, we’re continually amazed at how many people just stuff it up because they can’t be bothered.
Jeffery Wang: [00:03:40] Well, the equivalent here is I think in Australia, we tend to start with meetings with this idea of acknowledgement to country or welcome to country, which is a supposedly an Aboriginal tradition. Um, so look, I do think that there are some etiquettes that you do in order to be inclusive of other people.
Um, but just be mindful that, it doesn’t mean the exclusion of anyone else. You know, I don’t actually see a prayer as necessarily a bad thing. What works for one culture might not work for another. I understand that, but I think as global citizens, we should be a lot more open-minded to other people’s customs and not ask them to be excluded.
Siebe Vanderzee: [00:04:19] Fair point.
Robert Hossary: [00:04:19] I have nothing to add to any of that. I it’s something I’ve not experienced, whether you’re a business leader, whether you’re a performer, whatever, you have to be culturally aware and make sure that, not politically correct, but you have to make sure that you’re not offending anybody.
Duff Watkins: [00:04:37] At AMCHAM you came to me one time, I was chairing an event and, and you said, you got to read this bit. You got to thank the original landowners here. We’re in Sydney, Australia. I think the original owners are the Gadigal people, I think said, you’re kidding me! Never heard of such a thing, it became standard. I think.
Robert Hossary: [00:04:56] Well, yes, but especially for that particular event, we had the first nations, uh, you know, the first peoples represented in our audience. It was an event for them and for you to celebrate the new relationship, we just formed with an organization of the first people.
So that’s why we did it, but, and you have to be, as I said, culturally, aware of your audience, understand who your audience are. Do you shake hands? Do you not shake hands? Do you make constant eye contact? Do you not? You have to understand all of these in all the different markets that you’re in and Siebe, I’m sure that you come across this as well.
Siebe Vanderzee: [00:05:39] I have. And while listening, I’m thinking of situations that in that respect can be complicated. If you think, for example, of the role of women in certain societies, and that is accepted culture in those specific countries, but perhaps in the country where that individual, that female is from, that would be unacceptable.
Now they may be there on a business mission. Can they adjust, can they accept that they’re not treated as equals? I’ve seen that in some countries in the middle East where American businesswomen went out and they were not necessarily invited equally as their male counterparts. It can become complicated, but respect for the culture, especially if it’s not your culture, but showing respect to someone else’s culture, I think is very, very interesting.
I like to move on because Alan shared some very interesting lessons, right? Anything that stands out and maybe Jeffery, you can start with that.
Jeffery Wang: [00:06:41] All right. The one that stood out to me was lesson one “identify bad actors and weed them out” The reason why this one particularly appeals to me is because he goes through this process of differentiating the bad actors from people who may just be inexperienced in competent or unmotivated. Bad actors as he refers to them are actually evil, corrosive and actively works against you in order to undermine you in the organization. Right. So, I think, I think it’s important to, to understand what he meant by what’s a bad actor versus someone who’s just struggling to succeed in whatever it is that they’re trying to do. That to me, was a very good lesson in, in separating the two. It’s taking a very strong stance on what you do with employees. But you know, I think it’s something that had to be done.
Robert Hossary: [00:07:29] Uh, I’m not disagreeing here. However, if you have a bad actor, this is my experience. If you have a bad actor in your organization, they’re entrenched.
You just haven’t employed someone, um, who all of a sudden, you know, doesn’t like you, they’re entrenched. They’re someone who’s been in the organization for years, maybe decades. And I would say to Alan that it’s going to be really hard. It’d be easy to identify them really hard to weed them out.
Uh, really hard to get rid of them.
Duff Watkins: [00:08:03] What he didn’t say what he couldn’t say on the podcast. I know one of the bad actors that he was thinking about, and it was a rising star for whom he was very. Alan was very, very high on.
Didn’t look like a bad actor. Didn’t behave like a bad actor. Didn’t smell like a bad actor. But man, once we found out the undermining and the white anting, as we say in Australia. So that’s a good point, Hoss, I mean, you know, first of all, the bad actors probably got there before you did.
And secondly, they’re not color coded. They don’t wear black hats, you know, so it’s very hard to detect sometimes.
Siebe Vanderzee: [00:08:35] I was thinking even on that topic, what is the definition of a bad actor? Because you have people that have ambition, they have ideas. And if that’s different than perhaps what the boss or management as expecting, let’s keep things going. Let’s keep it under control.
Ambition can be a very positive element and it can disrupt an organization. And I wasn’t real clear, on that particular point. I just put that as a question, is ambition not a positive thing to have?
Duff Watkins: [00:09:05] He was just talking about shonky people, you know, just deceitful, not genuinely disruptive people who have the best interest of the business, but people who just, you know, operate, undermine you behind your back.
Robert Hossary: [00:09:21] Yes. I agree that it’s the deceitful people there also, in my opinion, and in my experience in a few different organizations, the bad actor is someone who doesn’t embrace change. Doesn’t want the change and will work actively against new processes, new procedures, new policies, because that’s not the way we did it before. You know, those wonderful words and bring a lot of companies down.
That’s not what we do here. That kind of stuff. I mean, I think they’re bad actors as well.
Siebe Vanderzee: [00:09:56] Good point. Perhaps connects to lesson number seven, that Alan shared, please don’t give me data without a conclusion and a recommendation. So, he does expect from people to think it through, work it through and come up with conclusions and recommendations.
So that is encouraging. I think that he wants people to take the lead. Am I wrong?
Robert Hossary: [00:10:20] No, It’s a lesson that we all learned as, well, I learned anyway, in my first managerial role. I spent my, how, I think, two weeks on a report that would save to the company a couple of hundred thousand dollars and the gave the managing director who just looked at me and said, “And?” he didn’t want to read the damn thing.
What is your recommendation? Don’t come to me with crap. So, I learned that lesson very early and I agree with him, have the data to back up your point or your suggestion or your recommendation, but for God’s sake, you know, just tell me, and this is where lesson number eight is very pertinent to me. “Can we just get to the point?” stop the nonsense, stop talking and tell me what you’re saying. You know?
Jeffery Wang: [00:11:07] I think this is one of those challenges that you’ll find when you’re doing intercultural communications, because some cultures require a certain amount of context before you can say something right?
And specifically, I’m referring to the Chinese culture where you have to give five minutes of context before you tell them something. And if you don’t do so, you’re considered almost tactless. So, I think if you’ve got to just take a bit of that into consideration that some people’s, uh, maybe their minds just aren’t wired that way.
And I know I struggle with this when I first started out my sales career. Um, but I’ve developed strategies since then to try and deal with that. And, you know, the, the fact is when I was brought up, we were told to give context, you know, an essay as an introduction, middle and the conclusion. Um, whereas the reality, the way that people wanted you to communicate is to tell them what they need to know.
Yep. And then if they need any clarification, then you expand it out. So, I always start my, uh, answers in a sales call. I always start ” the short answer is”, and then I’ll go on to explain what the reasoning behind that is. You have to learn how to speak more like a journalist and less like a lawyer.
Robert Hossary: [00:12:13] Well, that’s why a lot of reports have an executive summary. To do exactly what you just said, Jeff. Yeah. The short answer is this, go and do this and here is why you should. I’ve worked in Taiwan. So, I back up exactly what Jeff said. Every time I tried to get to the point in a management meeting, I was seen as aggressive and pushy. Um, but you know, I learned exactly what he said to do. We would just stretch it out, tell them the context first.
Siebe Vanderzee: [00:12:44] Good point, a lot more to discuss about Alan, but I like to move on to our next guest for today. William Guy also known as Bill Guy, based in California, highly experienced executive search and Board of Directors expert. Who has built a very successful global executive search network organization named Cornerstone International Group?
I’m real curious, your thoughts, Duff, obviously, you know him you’re in the same industry. What were your thoughts about the interview with Bill Guy?
Duff Watkins: [00:13:16] Bill is always entertaining. He’s a very smart guy and he is a superb sales guy of a certain type, but he’s a smart guy and he’s got a very big heart.
I find it very stimulating that the statistics that he quoted, I, like he said, I don’t know if the stats are correct, but I’m going to quote them. 2% of people love their job. And the hiring process is broken, and he said, 50% of career advice is wrong. And I thought. 50% seems kind of low.
I think most of the career advice I see is wrong and the idea of people loving their jobs 2%. Again, I don’t know, but he strikes at the central point is that work becomes so, so, foreign to us that, the workforce in the US has to be caffeinated just to make it through the damn day. In other words, you have to ingest the foreign stimulant and just to survive.
It makes you wonder about the very nature of work and why people are so dissatisfied doing it. I mean, how many people have jobs that they like? Well, I ask people if I do seminars, how many of you have jobs have, or have had jobs that you really love, maybe one or two hands go up.
And then I asked them how many of you have had jobs you loath, you just hated, and everybody’s hands go up. So, it seems to be kind of rare. I think Bill’s onto something there.
Siebe Vanderzee: [00:14:35] And he did write a book about it as well. Right? You wonder sometimes whether, when you’re talking about liking or not liking your job, to what extent is it related to the people that you work for?
Is it the organization? Is it the product or the service that they provide or is it more personal? And, and obviously there are other elements in there in terms of. You know, I don’t like my boss and I can do his job, or her job better than they can. That that can be part of it as well. I wonder if you asked the question of people who built their own business, how many people love their job?
And I think that percentage would be probably a lot higher, even if the work can be sometimes complicated and difficult.
Jeffery Wang: [00:15:20] I think that’s absolutely right. I can’t count the number of people I speak to, the young professionals, who are in that rut. You know, the recruitment process clearly is broken.
The fact is most of us are in jobs, which are just not aligned to our purpose or values. Probably the challenge here is that a lot of people do not feel like they’re in a position of power to even demand jobs that are meaningful to them. And they see jobs as just a means to survival.
I was told about a time where, economy was booming in Australia, you know, back in the sixties or seventies, I don’t even know when it was, what it was, was this plenty of manufacturing labor jobs going around and yeah, it was a middle Eastern kid could go around and get a job, um, in the morning, just go around and going to every factory and just ask for a job. They’ll get the job. If you’re not happy, you’ll be gone by noon. And then in a different job in the afternoon.
And I think in some respects, the job market is actually more functional back then than it is right now. You know where yes, we do have more job security, but the reality is, there is less, satisfaction because people are afraid that they won’t be able to just, you know, walk out of the job and straight into another one because of whatever it is that they’re attached to in these jobs.
Siebe Vanderzee: [00:16:36] Good point. Robert. Any thoughts on Bill Guy?
Robert Hossary: [00:16:40] Yeah, Bill had two good lessons that just stuck out especially for me. The first one is “good guys can finish first”.
It’s an unusual premise because of everything we’ve ever heard, but it is true. Um, you know, good people can influence a business. They can influence their peers. They can finish first and they can get the promotion, they can run organizations. And they do.
it’s observational bias. We all see the bad ones more so than the good ones. The good ones are quiet because they’re not because they’re good.
But the other one that, that really meant a lot to me because I learned this lesson a long time ago and I actually tell people this, I try and share this lesson with people is “Learn to say no”. “Okay to say no”. It’s not a dirty word. It’s not a problem to say,” no, I’m sorry. I can’t do that”. Or “no, we don’t have that product. Let me help you find someone who does” that is more powerful than saying yes. And then letting the person down. So, I really liked those two from Bill.
Siebe Vanderzee: [00:17:58] Duff anything else that stands out?
Duff Watkins: [00:18:01] Well, Bill made a point that somebody else made you can make a difference. Whoever you are wherever you are, you can make a difference, whatever your age, you can make a difference to that company, that environment. And I think that’s really pretty important for you know, you’re a cadet, you’re an apprentice and you think nobody pays any attention to me and they probably don’t still, you can make a difference.
And one thing Bill said, that’s really important to people and I noticed, because I studied this, I said, aging is self-imposed no, it’s like, you have to subscribe to this notion. Now, Jeff, you and I played basketball. I’ve seen guys who turned 40 and it does with their head in, you know, they start hobbling, I don’t even remember 40 it was so long ago. It is something you really must actively subscribe to. Aging process, otherwise, you know, uh, and, and it’s dangerous to do that. I just see it so many times with people. They, I don’t know why the one to sign on to that, but I thought that was a really good point that older, more mature people need to understand,
Siebe Vanderzee: [00:19:06] For some reason Duff. I expected you to pick that one “aging is self-imposed”.
Robert Hossary: [00:19:13] Just a little point on, not that I’m disagreeing with what you’re saying, because it is all self-imposed, but you got to remember how old you are. Don’t try to be the younger you that’s in your head. I moved recently and I tried to lift things that I shouldn’t be lifting, and I went, Hmm, I can’t do this anymore.
So just, just be careful.
Jeffery Wang: [00:19:40] I think what you’re alluding to, you know, aging is a first-world problem. Think about that because I I’ve observed grandmothers in rural China where there to look after little kids, you know, they’re incredibly sprightly. They can still pull ups and everything else and just watch them catch their little grandkids trying to run away.
And you realize aging is a luxury you can only have if you live in the first world.
Duff Watkins: [00:20:01] I think Bill meant the mental aging, you know, or spiritual. Yeah, not that, I mean, I got an arthritic kid that reminds me every damn day. It about within the realities of physical aging. I don’t mean that. And, and there is a point, I think. I don’t know if you’re there yet, Jeff, but there was a point in your life where you realize you don’t want to go up on a ladder, but that’s meant for other people.
I haven’t been on a ladder in years, you know, I’m not going to. Every time there’s always somebody falling off and breaking their head or something. So, so you just don’t do that anymore, but that’s see that’s wisdom. See, that’s why we’re hosting a podcast on this stuff.
Siebe Vanderzee: [00:20:36] Good point, good point. Let’s move on to the next guest Guillaume Lucci, a great interview.
And, and also Guillaume Lucci what an interesting background and what I liked, right from the introduction, the global aspect and Duff, you mentioned you have done business with him in different countries. I detected a French accent. So, I assume that he is originally from France, but he has traveled and worked around the world.
Is that a fair observation?
Duff Watkins: [00:21:05] I think he’s born in Morocco, raised in France educated, but lived most of his life in the US. But his dad and brothers are in France or Spain or somewhere. I dunno. He’s really, quite a mixture. I met him working in Brazil. He lives in the Philippines now. So, he is the truly international business guy. I’m curious to see what you guys thought of his lessons.
Siebe Vanderzee: [00:21:26] Sure. Jeffery, you want to start with that?
Jeffery Wang: [00:21:28] Yes, so many good lessons in this one, you know, I should have learned much earlier in life. I would have suffered a lot less if I knew that. So just for example,
Robert Hossary: [00:21:37] Jeff that’s why we’re doing the podcast, so that all the upcoming future leaders can not suffer like you did.
Jeffery Wang: [00:21:46] Well, yeah, absolutely. For example, not being prepared to fail, being overly cautious and conservative, pretty much stumped my growth professionally. Uh, not promoting myself at work. You know, as I explained before, self-promotion runs contrary to my values of humility and contradicts the cultural upbringing, aiming for perfection instead of good. Um, yeah, I’ll admit I’m probably a victim of perfectionism way too often. At times it rendered me incapable of making decisions and I believe I’ve missed out on a lot of opportunities as a result.
But the one lesson that’s resonated with me, wasn’t even one of the 10 that, that you stated there was one where Duff, you mentioned you learned from Guillaume in Brisbane somewhere. Yeah. You talked about, how a professional basketball team refuses to visit the White House because they didn’t agree with the President.
But Guillaume said, if you only shake hands with people you like, you’d be living in a very small world. So, this is the kind of wisdom. And I think this world needs right now more than ever, because it feels like people are less capable than ever of understanding people who are different. Right. And whether it be across the political divide, across different countries, or even across the gender divide, you know, you may not like someone, you may not agree with someone, but we need to grow the hell up and be civil and respectful.
I can’t count how many times that I’ve made friends with people who I thought I’d never be able to agree with. And the truth is if I tried hard enough, I’ll always be able to find something, whoever it is, that I’m genuinely in agreement with. And I think we just need to do more of that.
Robert Hossary: [00:23:14] It’s a good sentiment, Jeff, but I think what’s going on is we live in a world where you have the choice not to shake hands with people you don’t like, and that is the real problem.
Yeah. I choose not to do that. Therefore, I won’t listen to your point of view. I won’t agree with you. And that causes these divides. At least that’s what I see.
Jeffery Wang: [00:23:39] But that’s the point of wisdom though, because then your world gets smaller because you, you go into these echo chambers. Yes. You might be comfortable, but are you getting wiser?
Are you becoming the best version of yourself? And I believe by isolating yourself from views that you disagree with, views that you’re uncomfortable with. I fear that we are all becoming infantilized. We’re all, you know, not being prepared to I suppose be the best version of ourselves.
Siebe Vanderzee: [00:24:08] I think it can be tricky because, I have dealt with certain individuals that I would say I would despise, for whatever reason, it doesn’t even matter. And at the same time, there were situations where I had to be in the same room with that individual.
And as a courtesy, yes, friendly, polite. But in my mind, I was still looking for ways to let that individual know that we’ve are not on the same wavelength. And I say it on purpose, very polite. Um, and there are, you know, a situation sometimes, but ultimately, and that’s perhaps the wisdom when you look back and you say well.
I don’t want to mention the person’s name. He’s quite well known, but if I think back. I think I handled it right. And at the same time, that’s the Dutchman in me. I couldn’t resist putting a little stab out there and sometimes with humor, but still to make it clear. I thought that the lessons were very helpful from Guillaume. I’m curious about your thoughts on lesson eight.
“Perfect is of poor target” and Jeffery, you addressed some of that I’m puzzled because in many theories in business, including, quality management from Japan, that was especially during the 1980s and 1990s, sort of an example set. If you make sure every element is done perfectly then the end result will be perfect.
I say it in a very simplistic way. Um, are we saying, well, it doesn’t really matter, you know, as long as it’s within the range.
Robert Hossary: [00:25:52] No, in manufacturing. Absolutely not. I don’t think you have that flexibility in manufacturing, but in today’s digital age. Yeah. I mean, if you wait until you get your website, absolutely perfect.
You’re never going to have a website if you wait until you have your marketing campaign absolutely perfect. You’ll never have a marketing campaign. And this is, this is I think what he’s talking about, manufacturing, however, No, you cannot not be perfect because it will cost you too much.
Siebe Vanderzee: [00:26:24] Finance?
I worked in banking and if there was a dime missing, or a penny, it was kind of part of the game. We got to figure that out because it’s supposed to balance exactly. But I think. Putting it in a broader context that, uh, that makes sense.
Jeffery Wang: [00:26:40] It’s always been that way. You see? and this is going to give away my age, but if you remember what a beta max is, is certainly …
Robert Hossary: [00:26:46] What do you mean remember what a betamax is? I had a Betamax…
Jeffery Wang: [00:26:50] Probably still have!
But here’s an example of it, a better mouse trap, and unfortunately the market’s moved on and, and the same with GSM. Right? So, the idea is that if you can get a product to market fast and capture it. Yeah, that would, That would essentially catapult you ahead of the competition, which might be superior in technology or quality.
So, it’s always been the case. It’s not just something that’s happened today. Speed to market is becoming more and more vital as we go into this knowledge economy, because speed is everything.
Robert Hossary: [00:27:21] And one of the new business strategies or mantras out there now is fail fast, oh fail early and fail quickly.
So, you know, you can’t be perfect. The business gurus realized this and created this fail quickly mentality so that you can then bring on the next iteration of your project, which has been tweaked. And you’ve made the corrections to the mistakes you made earlier.
Duff Watkins: [00:27:49] I think what’s Guillaume meant, and what was significant to me was that he said, perfect is not an entity unto itself. But trying to be perfect is really a drain on your resources. It’s a drain on your time, your physical energy, emotional energy, psychological, and you can spend a lot of time.
You waste a lot of time trying to be perfect when it’s not necessary. And you said, are we talking about a range of, and I think we are, a Bayesian Equation, they talk about ranges of probabilities. How likely is it to occur? It may be possible, but is it likely, is it probable? Is a highly probable? Vaccines, for example, you know, there is a range in there and some people will have a negative reaction, but 95% won’t.
If you observe all of life really sort of unfolds in this range of probabilities and, and we just try to make intelligent decisions as best we can. I, I think that’s what Guillaume was saying. And the point is, if you get too hung up on perfection, which doesn’t exist, that you’re really undermining yourself.
That was my takeaway.
Siebe Vanderzee: [00:28:56] It’s a good point. There is truly a lot of wisdom and as we are discussing the different aspects of it, the way we listen to it with our ears, it’s a great example for what we are offering through these podcasts, with the very, very impressive guests that we have.
Robert Hossary: [00:29:10] Before you move on and see, the one thing that I think was incredibly pertinent and something that I believe personally, that everyone should make note of is “leave the money, take the opportunity”. And this goes back to, I think Andre Alfonso, when he said, ” collect adventures”, it’s the opportunity it’s the adventure, it’s the work that gives you the satisfaction. The money is not going to make you any happier.
And there’s studies that show this beyond a certain level, you’re not going to get any more happiness out of money, but you will get satisfaction from the work and the type of interaction that you have with other people. That to me, was the standout lesson, even though everything Guillaume said, I thought was wonderful, but that, to me, it was a standout lesson.
Siebe Vanderzee: [00:30:09] Good points. And by the way, if you don’t care about the money, I’ll give you my bank account. No worries. We’ll take care of that.
Moving along at the next guest for discussion Jacob Butler. And I want to give a little bit of an introduction here. I know Jacob quite well over the last few years and, I have been impressed by him from the first time I saw an interview he did while at the Smithsonian and is an amazing story.
He’s a member of a native American community. He is a very successful artist. He does a lot of shell work and pottery, very much in tune with his culture and ancient history. He is also involved with the garden on the reservation and serves on the board of the native seats search organization.
And what I want to mention is that when I spoke to him, it was more or less a conversation he and I had. And as we continued, it was not even planned as the final recording, but as we progressed, He came up with some comments and emotions that were quite impressive. And that’s why we went live with this particular broadcast.
It takes about an hour, I feel very comfortable sharing this, take your time and listen to it. And as the four of us know, there is quite a shocking surprise at the end. Of his particular podcast, but let’s go back to the beginning and ask you your thoughts on some of his lessons and the impression he created with you.
Robert Hossary: [00:31:47] You know, I edit almost all of our recordings and Jacobs recording just had me mesmerized, not only during the editing and the transcription, but when I listened to it just as a podcast on its own, he is one of the most genuine people that I have heard in a long, long time, not to say that our other guests are not genuine.
They are, but the level of love for his culture and his community and he, and people that comes across was just, to me, just wonderful. And from a lesson point of view, all of these lessons are great, but the very first one and the anecdote that got him to this lesson was amazing as well, but the very first one “know your worth”.
Yeah. Okay. So yeah, it sounds like a very trite list and know your worth. Not the way Jacob puts it. And that’s why I think it’s just wonderful the way he makes you realize that. Yeah. Okay. You got to know what you’re worth, but. The way he makes you realize it. I’ve never experienced that before. I’ve never thought about it the way he made me think about it.
I have a great deal of respect for this guest. I have a great deal of respect for his wisdom, and I think it’s wonderful. I’d recommend any of our listeners to listen and tune into that one.
Duff Watkins: [00:33:17] “Know, your worth” is the one that stuck out on me, two actually, um, and the reason it stuck out, it reminded me, I think it was Aristotle who said a long time ago that it was the Mark of a well-rounded intelligent mature person to have an accurate perception of their competencies or their worth, I’m paraphrasing, of course. But the idea of having an accurate self-perception takes a long, long time. I don’t think it’s trite at all. Hoss, I think most of us take a long time to get there. Being able to assess yourself accurately, honestly, realistically.
You know, without having your head up your ass or just being completely blind and defensive about it. Like so many people are or so unwilling to admit their lack of competency in certain things. I think that takes a great deal of maturity. Well, Jacob says, “know your worth”. And of course, the question is worth to whom? I guess it starts with self-worth, the perception you have of yourself, so that was the connection that I made.
And the other thing that I will probably take to the grave with me is Jacob talking about accelerated the living, accelerate the learning, live fast, live hard, man. Cause the Pima Indians, they seem to condense life, man. It’s all, it all happens very quickly with them.
Siebe Vanderzee: [00:34:34] They live life faster? Definitely a, an interesting comment, because guess what?
He’s not 50 years old. So, it’s very appropriate to comment there, but, Jeffery, your thoughts on what you heard from Jacob.
Jeffery Wang: [00:34:47] Look, I love Jacob’s story because he’s so different to the guests that we usually have at 10 lessons. Right? And I guess it goes on to show that you can find wisdom in the most interesting of places.
The thing that really resonated with me is the values that he espouses. So, he spoke about his father, now one thing I notice about Jacob is that he’s an incredible storyteller, and storytelling is one of those art forms that we probably don’t value enough.
But he spoke about his father and how he was looking after his community. And at times he felt like, you know, he was missing out on that time with his father because his father was out looking after somebody else. It actually dawned on him the impact that his father had on the community and he remarked that he noticed that his father was the most selfless person that he knew, but also the happiest person. And I think it’s because he was living his life in service of others. I think there is a universal theme that I’m sensing that if you live your life, serving others, it tends to give you that sense of fulfillment and purpose that allows you to find happiness.
The other lesson that I really resonated with was when he grew up in a time of segregation. He grew up with a lot of hate in his heart as the word he used. Now. Certainly, I can identify with that despite maybe the level of discrimination I received is nothing compared to what he had to experience.
But what happened was that he traveled, and he connected with others. He met different people that challenge them with that belief, and it was through building of genuine connection with others that stopped seeing people as a group, but he said he saw them as individuals. Right.
And so again, this is the sort of wisdom we need now more than ever. We seem to be going backwards in the time where we should be forgiving healing and moving on. I understand there’s a lot of emotions involved. I believe and I’m sure Duff would also agree that as our mate Charles Barkley was saying on the ESPN, that there are a lot of powerful people trying to divide us. They’re trying to turn us against each other. But the reality is that most of us are decent human beings. And I think Jacob’s story demonstrates exactly that. Even though as he grew up, he has every reason to be angry, but he found forgiveness. He found peace and he found genuine connections with individuals as each other.
And I think that story is something that we should all take on and practice in our own lives.
Robert Hossary: [00:37:05] If I may, of course, one thing that I believe from what you just said, Jeff, that Jacob proved, which is what the four of us have been saying for a while is. Internationally it, the more exposure you have to different cultures, different people, different things in your life, the wiser you become, the more tolerant you become.
I’m not going to say the better, but you know, the more you can process different things in better ways. Let me put it that way. I just wanted to add that because he made that point very clear is when he was traveling to not really internationally, just to other States, he saw this, and he saw everyone as people.
And that’s what the four of us have, have known for a long, long time.
Duff Watkins: [00:37:56] I think we’ve gone full circle. We started talking about Alan Hazelden and cross cultural, and we ended up on the same note really which is, but what you have though, is people who have this international experience, and they get it.
They understand they arrive at a new understanding of reality, but. I have also seen people who are absolutely immune to that. You know, they I’ve seen them on cruise ships. They’re Australians, they’re Americans. It’s a big thing when a person learns that different doesn’t mean worse, doesn’t mean better. It’s just different. It’s different. And that’s it. That’s all there is. It’s just different, not better or worse.
Siebe Vanderzee: [00:38:35] That’s a good point.
Jeffery Wang: [00:38:36] What Duff described is what I term as having the blinkers on, right? So, you refuse to see what’s out there. And, um, I’ve always talked about how there’s a challenge of how do you make them aware of things that they’re not aware of?
And the metaphor I always use is that you’re trying to tell them that they live in a Matrix. How can you tell them something that they’ve never actually experienced, and I don’t have an answer to that.
I haven’t actually worked out how are, you can tell someone to open up their mind to different things like that. If you’ve got an answer for that, I’d appreciate that.
Duff Watkins: [00:39:10] BF Skinner does the famous psychologist he said, “you can’t change a person’s mind” says BF Skinner “you can only change the environment in which they take certain actions”. So once the mind is made up, you can’t change it. Because they have to change it themselves. But when you change the environment, and this is the biggest lesson, I’ve seen the psychology in the last half century, the power of a situation having the environment upon us.
That’s what shapes us that what forms us. Do you think you’re a rock solid, solid individual? Nah, put you in a certain situation who knows what you’ll become.
Robert Hossary: [00:39:46] Even better, Duff, I’ll become even better!
Duff Watkins: [00:39:51] Is that possible? Seriously? Is that possible?
Siebe Vanderzee: [00:39:55] I want to, let’s circle back to Jacob real quick, because one of the things I’ve learned about their community is, and with other native American communities, but I definitely don’t claim to be an expert, but they have an incredible respect for their ancestors, the way it used to be. And that goes back hundreds, thousands of years.
And if you find remains that dates back, thousands of years, they are treasures that are to be respected. And also, with this particular community. The term has been used and that’s not necessarily accurate.
They think in terms of seven generations, it’s not, what’s in it for me. And you hear clearly from Jacob, his focus on his children and their children, and that those two values ancestry and future generations are vital in their belief system. And of course, it’s a tribe. It’s not the United States and there are many, many tribes.
There are 21 tribes just in Arizona. They’re all a little bit different, if you think about where are we coming from and how can we make sure that our children and their children, and hopefully the children of their grandchildren are taken care of that creates, I believe a complete circle as far as that’s good for my life.
If I know I respect my ancestors and I take care of the future generations, then I’ve been doing the right job. So, his respect for his father, but also his mother of course, And as we know, at the end of his podcast recording, he brought up an issue that I think we all want to leave for our listeners to listen to, extremely powerful, extremely powerful.
Robert Hossary: [00:42:05] It is. But I also want to say to the listeners, it, this isn’t a murder mystery, so don’t think you’re going to get, the Cracker Jack prize in the box. It’s a great list. And at the end, it’s a great story. Definitely agree with Siebe listened to it.
Duff Watkins: [00:42:24] So one of the lessons I picked up, I don’t even know if it was an intended lesson. Well, he’s told a great story about his mother. Very, very moving story about his mother at the end. It makes perfect sense, but it turned out that Jacob had a great mother and a great father. And one thing I picked up was that great role models was so extremely important.
And you mentioned, Siebe that the relationship that they have with their family, with their future generations, I think had a lot to do with it. And I think that’s something that I suddenly took out of that as a very important value to have to look after your family, to look after your children and certainly your, the respect that he had for both his parents, I think are incredibly important.
Siebe Vanderzee: [00:43:09] Thank you so much. And thank you all for participating. I know we are working as a team and we’re friends, this input is very helpful. With that I want to make a few closing comments.
You’ve been listening to the recap session of our international podcast -“10 lessons. It took me 50 years to learn”, the podcast that makes the world wiser lesson by lesson.
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