Why Great Leaders Work on Themselves First

Why Great Leaders Work on Themselves First

To be a great leader, you must first establish and follow your own life plan. That’s the premise of the book Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want, co-written by Daniel Harkavy, founder and CEO of Building Champions. On this week’s episode, Angela Perkins of Xenium HR guest hosts the podcast and talks with Daniel on why big-picture life planning is as important as planning for your next vacation.

MP3 File | Run Time: 40:27

 

 

Brandon: Hey, it’s Brandon here. Welcome to the show and thank you for the download. As always, we appreciate the support and I encourage you to go to iTunes, that’s where most of our listeners find the show, and please give us a review. Let us know how we’re doing, what you think about the topics, how I’m doing as a host. We don’t really care as long as you provide us some feedback so we can help shape the content for the future.

More of a reason to go to iTunes and give us a review is that Angela Perkins who’s on my team at Xenium, she’s guest hosting for today’s episode. We mentioned it was coming and here it is today.

She went to an event featuring Daniel Harkavy. He’s the CEO/owner of Building Champions and this is all about building a life plan and as a leader, as somebody who maybe provides people resources – so as an HR professional, you provide resources to leaders and other employees in your organization, or maybe you’re an owner, president, CEO type person in your organization. Daniel provides some really great tangible takeaways for what building a life plan is all about and why you should work on yourself before you can take care and lead other people.

So you’re going to find a lot of great, amazing content in this episode. Angela asked some great questions and Daniel does a fantastic job providing the resources and just some guidance for listeners to where to go next. And make sure to stay until the very end of the episode because Daniel provides a lot of different links and resources for building this life plan. So I think you’re really going to love it.

Sign up for the what people want from work survey

One other quick housekeeping item before we get on with the episode is that Xenium is offering a free employee engagement survey. We call it the What People Want from Work Survey. Sign-ups are open through the month of July 2017 and we will be rolling this out to participants in August, and basically what it covers is leadership, culture, perks and benefits, compensation and many different areas. And as the leader of the survey, you would roll it out to your employees. They would take the survey and then at the very end of it by October, we provide you with a free report that gives you data based on your scores. We stack it up against the population and give you that report for free.

There are some other buy-up options with qualitative responses and other recommendations, roll-out options. But you are not required to purchase that by any means. But the baseline is free. I encourage you to go sign up. It’s at XeniumHR.com/What-People-Want-From-Work and there are some hyphens in between those words. Otherwise, you can go to the show notes and the link is there as well.

So I encourage you to sign up. Time is running out. There are a few weeks left. But that will be it. So make sure to go to iTunes after the end of the episode and let us know how Angela did as a host, what you loved about it, what we can do better, all those things. We appreciate the support. So I will stop rambling and we will get on with the episode. Thank you so much.

Angela: Welcome Daniel. So excited to have you on the show.

Daniel: It’s great to be with you, Angela. Super good to be with you.

Angela: Well, it’s good to be back. Now I had the unique experience of seeing you on stage a couple of months back in beautiful Dundee, Oregon on the site of the Stoller Family Estates. Ended the day with a wine tasting. It was kind of a perfect day and after spending that time with you, six hours just kind of walking through the concepts of the things that Building Champions brings to the market, I thought our listeners have to know this stuff. So welcome. To be able to kind of bring this out to the wider audience of Xenium’s podcast listeners.

Daniel: Well, thank you. That was a super special day. I was actually out at Stoller over the weekend. I brought my sister and brother-in-law there on our way down to the coast and it’s a beautiful property and that was a great crew and it was wonderful meeting you and I understand you have brought your project that we started there to completion, so kudos to you.

Angela: Indeed and we will talk a little bit about that and maybe I can share some of my insights to having gone through the process and finishing this concept that we call life plan. So I specifically want to talk about your book. So you are the co-author of Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want. With the subtitle of that book, it tells a story. In the beginning of the book, you actually talk about the fact that people spend more time planning their vacation and often spend more time planning their vacation than planning their life. So to start this out, just take a few minutes. Talk us through what exactly is a life plan and why should anyone spend time developing one.

Daniel: A life plan is a simple plan written for you by you and basically what it does is it walks you through a process that helps you to really become crystal clear on what matters most to you in your life. Most people kind of drift through life making decisions primarily based upon emotion and circumstance, either an opportunity or a challenge and then what happens is people wind up at some point in their place, many off course.Living Forward Book Cover

They wind up with regret, with pain, with a whole bunch of missed opportunity and it’s because they were never walked through a process that enabled them to stop, look at their life, look at all the areas of their life that they want to excel in and then figure out how to do so.

The life plan, the way that we’ve created it, now – what? Twenty-one years ago. For the last two decades, it has helped thousands of people to live with more intentionality and to make proactive decisions so that they’re completely present, they’re growing in areas of their life that go beyond just the money they make and their career which is where most people put a lot of their energy and they give the other areas of their lives their leftovers.

This is a plan that enables you to really kind of write a story that will hopefully be one that you would enjoy reading or that those that you leave behind would enjoy reading because you’ve made a difference.

Angela: Well, in one of the things that – just my personal experience with having written one out, I find myself struggling with saying I need to because I now don’t have an excuse to say, you know, I really need to start working out. I really need to spend more time with my sister or whatever that I need to might be. It’s really hard to get away with doing that when you’ve actually spent the time documenting what your intent is in terms of how you’re going to live your life.

Daniel: Absolutely, yeah. You gain – like I said, you gain clarity around what matters most and then how you want to go about living. So here’s a great visual for people. Most people will define success without really thinking about it. They will define success with an answer that has to do with maybe their career or their finances or possessions and yet when you talk to people who are in their final hours of life, which I’ve had the incredible privilege of doing – I have lost friends and family members close to me.

Daniel Harkavy and Michael Hyatt

Daniel Harkavy (left) with Michael Hyatt, co-authors of Living Forward

What you will hear is what matters most to them was relationships. What mattered most to them was the difference that they were able to make, the loving relationships that they had and very rarely do you hear them in their final hours talking about the companies they led or the money that they had.

So what life planning does is it helps you to put together strategies to accumulate net worth in all of these different accounts in your life that for you defines success. So like you just said, health, relationships with siblings. You’ve got your marriage. You’ve got kids. You have individual children that you want to have a plan to grow in net worth with. You’ve got community and you’ve got your career.

There are so many different accounts that people may have and what the process does is it helps you to just stop and say, OK, these are all the areas of my life that are important and this is what success would look like in each and every one of them. This is where I’m at right now and this is the unique role that I play in these accounts and then you identify a few steps, things that you want to commit to so that you begin living with more intentionality and then you accumulate more net worth in all the areas of your life that matter most and it’s not a guaranteed plan. It doesn’t guarantee that bad or unfortunate things won’t happen. But it definitely puts you in the driver’s seat with regards to what you say yes and no to.

Angela: How many life plans would you estimate that you have been a part of?

Daniel: Thousands.

Angela: That’s pretty impressive.

Daniel: Yeah, thousands and thousands. Our company Building Champions has been coaching business leaders for the last 21 years and we believe self-leadership always precedes team leadership and we believe that a life plan enables you to better lead yourself. So we’re always coaching thousands of people a year, thousands of leaders a year. Then a lot of these leaders bring this concept and some of our models into their companies.

So yeah, I’m going to say tens of thousands have gone through the process over the last couple of decades.

Angela: I’m going to pull a thread on something you said, that self-leadership precedes team leadership. Great concept. It’s missing from so many leadership books and philosophies and trainings and things like that. Why is that?

Daniel: It’s hard. I mean it’s just difficult and it’s also a foreign concept. People don’t know how to help people to better lead themselves. It’s easier to help people to create great plans and to develop strong strategic bets and to improve how they execute. But to really help somebody to better lead themselves, it’s kind of a foreign concept and what people need to realize, leaders need to realize, is that your teams are watching you and they’re making conscious and subconscious decisions about how they’re going to follow you and what level of engagement they’re going to give to you dependent upon how you lead yourself and that’s not just in the conference room. That’s 24/7.

They’re watching. They’re reading. They’re listening and it’s super important when you look at all the companies that find themselves in trouble. Usually it’s not the leader deployed bad strategy. It was that the leader just didn’t lead himself all that well and as a result of that, they imploded. They developed some habits. They start to experience some extreme pain and difficulties in other areas of their life, whether that be health or relational or whatever it may be, and then that bleeds right into the business and into the team and I think that really limits a lot of organizations from reaching full potential.

Angela: Agreed and it was interesting though just even reading the book and diving more into that self-leadership piece. If you were not healthy and that’s a very broad term but just you’re not leading yourself well, it’s really hard to get focus to follow you. So you may by authority, be a leader but no one is going to emulate what you are doing in your life if you’re not doing things well. So it’s just – it’s a common – an “ah-ha” for me that was very basic but yet I had never read it before or never considered it before.

Daniel: You look at it. It impacts culture. Some of the organizations that we work with are – they’re famous for culture. There’s white paper. There’s Harvard business reviews done on them. There are all sorts of articles done on some of the organizations we work with because their culture is so stellar.

What you will find in these organizations is that these organizations are being led by people you would want to follow. They’re being led by good people. They’ve got good relationships. They don’t have these destructive habits or quirks that cause them to have body bags to their left and to their right.

When we see that good people make for good leaders and these good leaders build great cultures, well then we need to understand the importance of making good decisions with how you live your life. It impacts retention. Most of these cultures that are led really well, these teammates have been around for a long time. They hang out together. They spend a lot of time together, decades together in the same company, and if you’re looking at your own organization, you’ve got to understand that these people that you want to retain, that you’re investing so much in so that they develop high levels of capacity and competency, you want them to stick around and if they’re looking at you and what they see for you and how you live your life doesn’t line up with how they want to live life, if they’re looking at you and they’re seeing a train wreck, well, they’re not going to want to trade in the majority of their waking hours to become you. They don’t climb that ladder.

So it’s a super solid business strategy and there are a lot of companies today that are grasping it and deploying it and are pushing self-leadership and life planning throughout the organizations and it’s a cool thing to see.

Angela: What do you see when a company comes to you – so they’re going to engage and say their top two tiers of leaders are going to go through the Building Champions coaching programs. What do you see in terms of percentage of naysayers? I don’t need a life plan. I don’t know what all this hoopla is about this program that we’re going through. I’m just going to kind of coast my way through this “training” just like I’ve done everything else. What do you see in the conversion ratio of kind of winning those folks over? How do you do that?

Daniel: Well, the good news is it has gotten a lot better over the last couple of decades. When the concept of business coaching – when I first started the company in 1996, 1995, 1996, there were all sorts of naysayers. Because who needed a coach and what was it? Then over the years, as coaching started to gain some notoriety and people started to become more accustomed to coaches, they started to believe that coaching was needed for poor performers. So you have naysayers saying, “Well, I’m not a poor performer and I don’t need to buy into this.”

Today, a lot of the organizations that we work with, I’m going to say 70, 80 percent of the leaders are no longer naysaying. They’re sitting there believing they could build their own leadership capacity and they place a high degree of value on outside insight.

So they know that having an expert, somebody who has led a company, somebody who has got great coaching skills, and somebody who has proven models, can come alongside of them and help them to better lead themselves, their teams and their organizations. You really don’t see a lot of naysaying. There’s some. But if you – if they go through a private event with us and they start to go through the process, if they’re willing to jump in for just a day, you see a pretty high degree of conversion.

Angela: I think you’re right. Well, you’re obviously right. The adoption of this coaching is clear, even in our business. So as an HR company, there’s more and more companies coming to us looking for how do I help build up my leadership team. Not just by technical skill set. But how do we motivate our teams more and how do we get them third party input, trying to get some of that support to their leadership team. So I see that as well.

So I had shared with you at one point that I have to read your book in private because if I read it in public, I start talking to it and the reason why is I’m constantly saying yes, this is exactly right. It’s, again, very fundamental concepts but some of it, when it’s finally down on paper, you adopt it, right? And you say, yes, this is exactly what I’m feeling. One of those concepts that struck me so much was this whole concept of drifting and you mentioned it earlier. Without a plan, you drift. You just sort of get through your day. I think a lot of listeners can resonate with this.

You have a really “busy” day. But you turn around and you realize you haven’t actually done anything good. So I’m going to put it into the work environment. I know the life plan spans over other areas of our life. But let’s really just talk about prioritization and how even having this life plan and the core concept around the work life, how that helps prioritize people and keep everyone on focus.

Reading a book alone

Daniel: What’s happening today is that every single person listening to us is completely buried with the absolute enormity of correspondence. It’s email. It’s Facebook. It’s LinkedIn. It’s Instagram. It’s Snapchat. It’s all sorts of input, text messages, where people are expecting immediate response. There are so many ways for us to communicate. So it’s virtually impossible for most people to get their work done in a day.

So how does the life plan help a leader to better execute and to be more effective and efficient in their day? Well, when you have a life plan, what you do is you start to see with clarity what time you want to get home from work and what you want your home life to look like. There are a lot of people that are listening that blow right through dinners or they get home for dinner but they’re sitting at the dinner table looking at their iPhones and answering email and not being completely present. They’re missing opportunities to connect because they’re thinking about the business. They’re physically there but mentally gone. They’re working through things in their mind and what life planning does is it just creates a greater sense of awareness of who you want to be in these many different situations.

What’s happening today is that every single person listening to us is completely buried with the absolute enormity of correspondence. There are so many ways for us to communicate. So it’s virtually impossible for most people to get their work done in a day.

So it kind of forces book-ends on your day. What time you want to wake up, how you want your mornings to roll, how you want to prepare for your day, and then when you want to end your day. So it’s like you’re leaving for vacation and you’re so effective right before you leave for vacation. Well, life planning puts you into that same mindset every single day of the week. So that you’re really clear on what matters most.

Then what we do at our company is we walk leaders through different processes to help them to gain that type of clarity around their workload so that they understand truly what their high pay-off activities are. All of you out there, you wear a lot of different hats and the magic is to get rid of hats. You need to do less. You need to do less with more focus and with more excellence. You need to understand what you do that truly brings the greatest value to the business and if the business were just to pay you for these things, these things that you do, these three to five, maybe six different things that you could do on a daily or a weekly basis, they’re the things that bring the real value to the business.

So we help clients to get real clear on that and it’s all about – for your listeners, Angela, it’s all about building leadership capacity and for all of you who are managing HR, in the old days, your job was a lot different than it is today. You know, today, you guys are talent and leadership capacity building people. Organizations are looking to you to figure out how to build the overall capacity and leadership effectiveness of those in the organization.

So the developing of coaching skills with your leaders is really important. Helping people to understand how to effectively train and delegate so that they can build the capacity of themselves and those under them is really important.

So life planning definitely helps individuals. We will oftentimes walk our clients through time tracking and have them write down everything they do from 8:00 in the morning until 10:00 at night and to help them to identify which activities do bring the organization the most value and which ones they can start to develop capacity outside of their role and train and then delegate, so that they can be more effective.

Angela: Sure, because sometimes there’s not even clarity about what those most important tasks are. They would have to go through the time tracking to even define that.

Daniel: Yeah, and they need to have a conversation sometimes with an outside expert. Well, why do you think that’s so important for you to do? Who else in the organization could do it? And what about if you took this function and that function and that function? Is there anybody in the company that would rather be doing those things than what they’re doing today or is this an opportunity for you to build some capacity and make a strategic hire? There’s a lot there.

Angela: What’s interesting to me on that end is we’ve got a lot of folks in our midst and listening today that are new in their career. So they’re earlier on in their career. Say they’re an HR generalist or an HR manager, maybe leading one or two people or maybe zero. So the art of delegation becomes a dance because there isn’t maybe someone to delegate to or there isn’t strong leadership above them to help them understand where their biggest impact is for the company. So maybe speak to those listeners that are up and coming and not yet to the place where they can push down so much as they have to figure out how can they make a big impact at their role.

Daniel: For newer leaders who aren’t managing people or maybe they’ve got a smaller team, managing yourself is critical and you being crystal clear on the functions that truly do matter most is important. So for you to gain clarity on the activities that you and only you must do, they’re the A priorities, they’re connected to big strategic bets or they’re connected to mandatory kind of tasks that have to get done in order for the business to just manage, you need to be doing those with excellence.

But you need to have vision for the future and if you’re a leader, you’ve got to have a vision for your department or for your business that shows a much better situation in the years ahead and this is a core element of how we coach. We actually have something called the “core four” where we walk clients through life planning, business vision, business planning and priority management and when we go through all four of those elements, we have leaders who are absolutely clear on how they need to lead themselves and their teams to get the best results that they can get and you’ve got to have a vision that paints a much better picture for your business or your department in the years ahead and then you start to build quarterly plans that enable you to develop the competencies by taking on the specific improvements and tasks that will allow you to grow, so that a year from now you’ve got somebody to delegate to or two years from now, you’ve got a department to delegate to.

It really just depends on – you’ve got to have clarity on that bigger picture and not just see your job is one that is just managing today’s status quo, because if you just do that, you’re going to be in reactive mode all the time and you’re not going to create opportunity for yourself in the future.

Young person building a life plan

Angela: What I love about that is again it puts control in every individual. So you can’t say that it’s not in your hands to create opportunity for yourself when you’re intentionally living through a life plan. I loved when we were together out at the vineyard. You actually had everyone raise their hands in 10-year age groups. So where are my 30-year-olds? And you were saying you would love to be able to get in the heads of more 20 and 30-year-olds, to have a life plan at that age, and then to live through a life plan at the beginning of your career, versus many of us come at that – we’re leading. Now we’re in the senior level positions and we’re finding more need to be intentional. But gosh, how powerful it could be at 25.

Daniel: Absolutely. I mean there are so many good habits you can create and you start to develop muscle. You start to develop conviction around what you say yes to and what you say no to and companies are looking for strong leaders. Don’t buy the lie that what makes a great leader, a great employee is a yes man, that says yes, I can do that, I can do that, I can do that.

The more that you take on without really putting it through a filter of what the company needs from you and how you bring the best version of you to the company, what happens is you start to water your effectiveness down and you become really mediocre in everything instead of becoming stellar and stand out at a few things.

When you become stellar and stand out and exceptional in a few things, well then leadership starts to notice you. The business notices you. Customers notice you and opportunities start to surface.

You’ve got to have that vision piece and work your life plan young. Regularly reviewing it, making decisions around it. Every time you say yes to something, you’re saying no to something else.

The more that you take on without really putting it through a filter of what the company needs from you and how you bring the best version of you to the company, what happens is you start to water your effectiveness down and you become really mediocre in everything instead of becoming stellar and stand out at a few things.

Angela: Right. When did you author your first life plan?

Daniel: So I built my first life plan about 25 years ago; 24, 25 years ago and I’m 52. I will be 53. So I was in my mid-20s.

Angela: OK. At the basis – it has obviously changed over 25 years. But at the basis, they’re still the same components and you’ve just over time continued to modify based on where you’re going.

Daniel: Absolutely. We made the life planning tool a little better. There are some components to it today that weren’t there when I first created it. So some of my teammates have made it better. I co-authored Living Forward with a longtime friend and client Michael Hyatt. He was the publisher of Thomas Nelson Publishing and I started working with him a long time ago as a client. He loved the process and he started giving it away just like many other leaders do, started giving it away to people and his company, to others, and going through the process of writing Living Forward with him. We made the tool even better.

Angela: Yeah, that’s great. How about a success story? What’s one of your favorite – seeing this through with a particular leader – you don’t have to use names if you don’t want to. But just bring this to life through an actual experience that you’ve watched.

Daniel: Yeah. So I’ve seen people who were way down the divorce road a decade ago living in absolute oneness with rocking marriages because the individual decided to put his or her marriage above his or her career.

Intellectually he knew that his marriage was important and should be more important than his career. But he wasn’t living that way and until he went through the process and until he really examined the fact that his days were numbered and he couldn’t keep buying the lie that he would get to his marriage tomorrow or if he just waited it out, it would get better.

I’ve seen so many marriages improve. I have seen individuals start dating their young kids or teenage kids and relationships with kids improve. I’ve seen people lose over 100 pounds, people that never ever made the time to take care of themselves and all of a sudden they realize that they have to take care of themselves, so they can take care of others.

I’ve seen people make such significant changes with how they lead themselves that their leadership effectiveness in the organization starts to grow because their personhood is improving. They’re happier people. They’re not living in the regret and shame reality which so many leaders live in. They regret the fact that they’re working so hard. They regret the fact that they can’t coach their kids’ soccer. They regret the fact that they miss dinners. They regret the fact that they’re exhausted and overwhelmed and shame, they’re living in shame because they’ve missed things and they’re not being the person they want. There are so many people who have gotten out of that because they’re living with more intentionality and they’re crystal clear on their yeses and their nos. So I mean story after story after story, Angela. I’ve got so many.

Angela: It’s great work you’re doing and so fulfilling for you as an individual. I mean it’s really amazing to have all of those stories to turn to. With 25 years and thousands of leaders coached, if you had to break down one thing that you’ve learned about just successful leaders in general, what patterns you see, challenges that they overcome, what would you say to that?

Daniel: So I hit on it a little bit already. But the leaders that are leading well over the long haul – you look at my team of coaches. In the last couple of years, we’ve added some really solid new coaches to an already very solid team. I think there’s about 24, 25 of us and a lot of these coaches were clients of ours. So I look at them and I look at them as well as countless others that we’ve coached. They’re just passionate people.

They care about their people. They care about their customers. They care about their products and they’re really driven to be the best they can be. They’re visionary. They always make the invisible visible. They see something for the business that very few people do. They have it in writing. They share from it. They plan from it. They read it. They’re reviewing it. They’re building strategy to get them from where they’re at to where they want to go.

Angela: And again, they’re just happy, well-balanced people. So that comes through, yeah.

Daniel: Yeah. Sheri and I, my wife Sheri and I, we have the good fortune. We get to go to dinner and become friends with some of our clients and you start to hang out with some of these people and you see them in the non-nine-to-five and you just see good people. You see good people that treat each other really well and they’ve got neat families and they’re doing great things and I know that right now there are people listening to us, right? Maybe that’s not their reality. You can still be a great leader even though you’ve taken some hits on the home front or maybe things aren’t working out really the way that you hoped for.

There’s still hope for you and you can change how you’re responding to situations and that’s one of the beauties of life planning is it helps you to gain such clarity around where you want to go, that you start to power through some of the emotional mess that prevents you from being the person that you want to be.

So, to your point earlier Angela, it puts a whole bunch of control back into your hands because you can choose how you would respond to everything. So you get to hang out with a lot of these leaders that have been really, really amazing. They lead huge companies, thousands and tens of thousands of them.

You know, I’ve got one client. They’ve got more than a couple of hundred thousand people in their organization and you see them being good, all-around people who are passionate, who are trying to lead themselves well. They’re just like you and me. They’re dealing with a lot of the same challenges. But they feel a lot more weight because they’re responsible for so much more.

They’ve got great teams as well. I mean they have surrounded themselves with fantastic people and they invest time into that small group of people, that leadership team. So they’re with them a lot.

Angela: What would you give as a next step? So folks have listened to us for a bit. They now are intrigued about this life plan concept. What are some resources you would have for them?

Daniel: So the book Living Forward is available everywhere and it’s a cheap and easy way to get in. You can read the book. The book is an easy read. As Angela said, you don’t want to read that out in public. You will seem like a crazy person. I love your passion, girl. But that’s an easy, good way. The book is a how-to. It will walk you through step by step on how to build a life plan and then in it, it will direct you to a website to where you can download the tools, life planning tool for free. It costs you nothing. You can circumvent reading the book and you can just go to LivingForwardBook.com and on there, we’ve got all sorts of tools and you can just download those for free.

I’ve told everybody, I’m not excited about you buying the book. I’m not excited about you reading the book. I’m excited about you completing a life plan and then reviewing it regularly because I’m confident that if you do, you will start to see beautiful results in your life.

So Angela, now you and I are having a conversation one on one in front of all of your tribe of listeners and I’m really proud of you for not only reading the book, but building your life plan. But my encouragement to you now is the daily reviews for 90 days which are super hard and then the weekly reviews for the rest of your life. If you do that, I promise you, one, two, three, five years from now, we will run into each other in our neighborhoods and you will give me a good report. You will tell me that you’re living it and you’re seeing great results and accumulating net worth in all the areas that are important to you.

Angela: Well, I’m drinking the Kool-Aid. I think you’re right and the daily for 90 days has been a challenge but I am – I think – again, the review of it in general, the concept of that makes sense to me because just like businesses put together business plans and then they put them on a shelf, this is no different. So another opportunity for listeners, talk to us a little bit about what’s happening in Sunriver [Oregon] in September.

Daniel: Yeah. So this will be our final experience and it’s awesome. It’s our tenth one. We designed the event around Sunriver. So for those of you who are from the Pacific Northwest, you know what that property is. But the experience is a time to reflect, to plan and to connect. To reflect on where you’re at in life and in business and my team of coaches and I will walk you through this life planning process as well as some of the other leadership processes that will enable you to be a more effective leader.

So we walk you through this exercise where you get to reflect on where you’re at. You build plans while you’re there and then you get to connect with other like-minded people, people that want to lead businesses and live lives of intentionality. They want to make a difference. It’s a 3.5-day deal and it’s limited to 225 people. It’s a couple of thousand dollars to get in and that includes a couple of the meals a day and we’ve got people that have come every year. It’s fantastic. People will come from Europe. They will come from all parts of the world for it. It’s a very, very cool deal.

The question that some of you are asking right now is, “All right. Is it really your last year? Why would you kill it if it’s so awesome?” and it’s because it’s that awesome. When we started it, it was the only one we did. It’s the only one we did and leaders liked it so much. They started wanting them for their own companies and I was telling you Angela that we’ve already done eight in the first six months of the year and when we started this thing, we did one year and now, we do so many.

So it’s just harder for us to do a public event when we do so many private corporate events. But I would encourage you folks to come. You can check it out at the Building Champions website, BuildingChampions.com, and you will find it there under our coaching and you can call us if you want to discuss it with you. It’s a super cool event.

Angela: Awesome. Well, I would encourage folks to check that out and definitely pick up the book and/or like Daniel said, just go to the Living Forward website, LivingForwardBook.com. Is that right?

Daniel: Yeah, Living Forward Book.

Angela: And grab that life plan and start playing around with that. So if only one person listening today goes out and takes that effort, then I’ve become part of this phenomenon that you’ve started, Daniel, and I love that. So I hope that folks do take advantage of putting some things to paper and being more intentional about their life.

Daniel: Awesome. Well, thank you so very much for getting on the bandwagon and doing it yourself and then wanting to share it with others.

Angela: Absolutely.

Daniel: That’s our hope is we want to make a difference in the lives of a whole bunch of people and if some of you want to take action on this, you read the book. You download the tools. Take one day. Go somewhere special and build it and then review it and I guarantee you, you’re going to have a lot more success in life as a result of doing so.

Angela: Agreed. It has been an honor to have you. Thanks so much for being a guest today.

Daniel: Absolutely. My pleasure. Thanks for having me, Angela.

Brandon Laws

As Director of Marketing, Brandon Laws leads all marketing efforts for Xenium, providing oversight on all marketing campaigns, digital marketing strategy, events, sponsorships and public relations. Brandon brings a positive energy to every aspect of his role at Xenium—from internal initiatives around culture and wellness to industry thought leadership through the Xenium podcast and other social efforts. Active within the HR community, he currently volunteers on the board of the Portland Human Resource Management Association as the Director of Marketing & PR.

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