We’re talking to returning guest Greg Conderacci, the energy management expert who wrote Getting Up!: Supercharging Your Energy and, at the age of 66, rode his bicycle across the United States in just 18 days.
In Getting Up!, Greg writes about the important difference between time management and energy management. Doing more, and living a happier life, isn’t about having more time – It’s all about having more energy. We don’t get any more time, but we can all get way
Throughout this three-part series, Greg discussed four types of interrelated energy, which you can remember by thinking of P.I.E.S.
- Physical energy is the ability to just get up and get going, and it’s the type of energy that a lot of people focus on… but it’s the least important of them all.
- Intellectual energy is what people usually get paid for. Do you have the energy to solve puzzles, solve the problem, meet these needs, etc.
- Emotional energy is the one that often causes the most problems. In episode 46, we discussed the “energy vampires” who drain your emotional energy, and how you can combat them.
- Spiritual energy fuels passion, commitment, and endurance. Although for many it’s religious nature, it doesn’t have to be – spiritual energy is embedded in each person’s mission; his or her’s life purpose.
Spiritual energy is the most powerful source of energy, but often people don’t really understand it until they work their ways through the first three.
If you look at people who make a powerful impact in the world, they all do that on the basis of spiritual energy. Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa: these people didn’t get elected to anything, they didn’t have armies, but the sheer power of who they were came through, drove their lives, and changed the world.
You can learn more about managing energy, reducing stress, and balancing your career in Getting Up!: Supercharging Your Energy.
Improv Is No Joke – Episode 68 – Greg Conderacci
Greg: [00:00:00] Identity first, then action, then your feelings in the context of your action.
Peter: [00:00:14] Welcome to Improv is no Joke podcast, where it’s all about becoming a more effective communicator by embracing the principles of improvisation. I’m your host Peter Margaritis, the self-proclaimed chief edutainment officer of my business, the Accidental Accountant. My goal is to provide you with thought provoking interviews with business leaders so you can become an effective improviser, which will lead to building stronger relationships with clients, customers, colleagues, and even your family. So let’s start to show.
Peter: [00:00:46] Welcome to episode 68 and today my guest is Greg Conderacci, and this is the final installment in a three part series on energy management. Greg is the author of Getting Up! Supercharging Your Energy, and an energy management expert because of two main reasons. First, he’s an author on the subject and second in 2015 he rode his bicycle across the United States in only 18 days averaging 150 miles a day. He doesn’t walk his talk. He rides his talk. If you haven’t listened to our prior interviews it would be well worth it to download episode number 35 and episode number 46. As a quick recap, in Episode 35 Greg discusses that in the 21st century it’s less about the time management and more about energy management. Our discussion focused around one’s physical and intellectual energy. In episode 46. Greg discusses emotional energy and those emotional energy vampires. You know these people who suck all the positive energy out and inject their negative energy. Actually we are our own emotional energy vampires because we’re exposed to lots of negative energy which does begin to seep into our heads. Greg gives us some great tips on how to manage those vampires. Today we focus on spiritual energy, which is a mission driven because it’s all about your identity and values, as Greg writes in his book. He goes on to say “spiritual energy, an elusive reservoir of them all, spiritual energy fuels passion, commitment, and endurance. Although for many it’s religious nature, it doesn’t have to be – spiritual energy is embedded in each person’s mission; his or her’s life purpose.” I’m sure you will enjoy this episode because Greg has some great stories to tell and many of them have that ah ha moment to them. Before you get to that interview, I would like to talk about the first five episodes of this podcast are now qualified for CPE self-study credit in the NASBA category of personal development. Those interviews are with Clarke Price, former CEO of the Ohio society of CPAs. Mike Sciortino, author of Gratitude Marketing. Tom Hood… Well you’ve been introduced to him and you will be introduced to him again. Ed Mendlowitz, who’s a partner at Withum, Smith, and Brown. And Karl Ahlrichs, who’s H.R. professional at Gregory and Appel. These episodes are located on the MACPA-BLI self-study Web site and they are mobile friendly. Create an account and purchase an episode. You can listen to them on your daily commute or while working out, or even at your desk! When you’re finished, take the review and final exam on your mobile device or your computer. It’s that easy. While all Improv is no Joke podcasts are available on my web site, only those purchased to the MACPA-BLI self-study Website are eligible for CPE self-study credit. You can get detailed instructions by visiting my website at PeterMargaritis.com and clicking on the graphic: Listen, Learn, and Earn improvs is no joke podcasts on my home page. I hope you enjoy this exciting and flexible new way of receiving CPE credit. OK now let’s get to the interview with Greg Conderacci.
Peter: [00:04:22] Welcome back to the show. I greatly appreciate you taking time. And you are my first three timer.
Greg: [00:04:31] OK.
Peter: [00:04:34] This is this is part three of our conversation because just as a recap when we were discussing your book Getting up supercharge your energy at the end of our our first call I went there’s so much more there, and you said you know we only touched on the tip of it I said would you do a three part series for me, and you immediately said yes. And we’ve talked about emotional, we’ve talked about intellectual energy, we’ve talked about physical. I’ve got those three correct right?
Greg: [00:05:06] Yup.
Peter: [00:05:06] And today we’ll move that conversation into spiritual and I think you’re really going to enjoy the conversation my audience because in his book, and he had told me about this prior, that this piece of the book was really kind of the meat of everything. And I have completed the book and I agree it is the meat of his book. He ties everything in so brilliantly that it all makes complete sense so I’m looking forward to where you’re going to take this today: on the cycling venture that we’re going to read this spiritual energy.
Greg: [00:05:40] OK. Well let’s well let’s let’s begin with… Just before we began we had a conversation about you getting into bicycling again. I’m really excited that youre doing that. So I’ll get you a spiritual tip that I don’t mention directly in the book but which I really like it underlines the principle of trying to talk about today. Eric Greitens, who is now I guess governor of Missouri I think, wrote a book called Resilience and he said you know the trouble with a lot of Americans is that we begin by thinking about how we feel, and then we take action based on our feelings. That’s how we create our identities. And he says well you know that’s backwards. And he said well you ought to just begin with your identity, which is really what I talk when I say spiritual energy I’m talking about who you are. What your purpose in life is. That’s what it’s really all about. Begin with your identity, then think about feelings. So let me give me a bicycle example. OK.
Peter: [00:06:50] So I’m out on a long ride. And and of course I feel tired. So if I begin with how I feel then the obvious action is I’m tired so I should stop. Ok.
Greg: [00:07:02] Then my identity after I do that is I’m a quitter. The other way around though is if you think well you know what I really am is I’m a long distance bicycle rider and that’s what I do. So you know 100 miles 200 miles. That’s who I am. Well then if I start feeling tired Well you know that’s no big deal because that’s part of the game. So the idea is identity first, then action, then your feelings in the context of your actions, and if you look at people who make a powerful impact in the world, they all do that on the basis of spiritual energy. Ghandi, King, Mother Theresea You know all these people didn’t get elected to anything. They didn’t have armies. But the sheer power of who they were came through, drove their lives, and changed the world. So that is spiritual genius the ultimate source of energy…
Peter: [00:08:09] OK so I’m going to bring what you just said into present. Like actually today. So I picked up my son from school and I told him I have this podcast interview with yourself and I said I’m tired. And he goes yeah Dad you travel. I was in Phoenix when I flew back to BWI I drove to Hershey P.A. all day and yada yada yada. I am tired. But as you are as you were discussing this I’m going. All right if I twist it into the identity. Well I’m an entrepreneur. I’m I’m on this teaching circuit the lecture circuit per se. This is what I do.
Greg: [00:08:52] Yes.
Peter: [00:08:52] I should feel tired.
Greg: [00:08:55] Yeah.
Peter: [00:08:55] It’s part of the game. And as you are talking And as we’re doing this I’ve got energy back and I actually told my son I said I want to do this interview with Greg because I know he will give me energy but I had no idea How you were going to do that. It’s brilliant. I mean I could just as you were describing this I could actually feel my mindset change and fall into that well it’s part of the game you are supposed to feel this way. And the other thing I heard is that you are an ultra distance rider.
Greg: [00:09:31] Mhm.
Peter: [00:09:32] The only thing ultra that I’ve ever done is beer. That’s about.
Greg: [00:09:40] Hahaha. Practice makes perfect.
Peter: [00:09:44] That’s true.
Greg: [00:09:45] Well you know I think you know part of me is it is a very real thing. What a lot of people miss though is it’s not just this purpose thing it’s not just personal – it’s corporate too. Organizations. I work with a lot of organizations such as working on their marketing. Who are you? And you know keep a good strong solid purpose for your organization. You’re going to attract the kind of people you’re looking to attract. You can attract clients you’re looking to attract. And if you don’t know who you are, or if the only purpose in your organization is to make money, people see through that right away. And the opposite is very powerful. When I teach my students… as you know I teach at Johns Hopkins high School. Well they all go through the process outlined in the book about who am I, sort of thinking about what their real purpose in life is, what their real identity is. And again as you know the book is kind of a quick and dirty process. It’s not one that takes forever. It’s not heavy theology or philosophy. It’s just trying to get in touch with who you really are. Because if you can communicate. People will trust you and you’ll be much more successful. You have a purpose. You know I teach this energy stuff all over the country. One of the saddest things is when people come up to me afterwards and say you know I don’t have any purpose in my life. It’s I’m just Putting one of the other working every day. Hoping for retirement. And like oh my god. That’s a that’s really sad.
Peter: [00:11:19] Yeah.
Greg: [00:11:19] Because they had much less energy and they live a much tougher life.
Peter: [00:11:27] Right.
Greg: [00:11:27] There’s an old saying ego. Tough choices, easy life. Easy choices, tough life. And that’s really what this is all about. Figuring out who you are getting in touch with that, behaving in line with. That’s where the real juice comes from.
Peter: [00:11:45] I’m thinking of Simon Sinek and it starts with why and people don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it. Along those lines and I think about our identity and I want to bring you mentioned the gentleman that we both know. You know him a lot better than I do what Frank Ryan did… It’s been three years now?
Greg: [00:12:05] Yeah two or three years.
Peter: [00:12:07] Do you mind telling that story?
Greg: [00:12:09] Well I mean I tell that story all the time because Frank, in addition to being our mutual friends, which of course why is why he’s famous, of course, he’s also famous for walking across the country. And you know people look at me and say great way to go riding your bike across the country. That’s incredible. Yeah bit… Frank walked. It was a hundred and fifty plus days. And what people don’t understand and you and I do because you read his book and I know him well and so we had many conversations… he and I teach a course on energy and endurance based on his walk and my bike ride. But what’s critical. I mean people don’t realize he peeled the bottom off his feet. Imagine what that must have felt like. He had bone spurs. He limped for probably two thirds of that trip. He limped across the country. But The reason that he did it is because, A, he’s Frank. Marines don’t quit. Plus he’s absolutely dedicated to raising money for this nonprofit that he the chairman of the board of for years and years and years and people say well what gives you that get up to don’t go all the way across the country. It’s purpose. He had every step he took there was a reason behind it. Same thing when I was riding and trying to raise money for our daily bread, which is probably Maryland’s most famous soup kitchen. I helped start it 35 years. You know I knew as I was riding across the country that I was raising money based on the mileage. So I knew every mile was another or you know dollar nickel whatever for those guys. And it’s the type of thing where that gets you up in the morning it keeps you going. Even win heat, headwinds, rainstorms it’s like oh yeah it’s tough. But boy you know I get to go sleep in a hotel tonight after I ride and a lot of those guys don’t. So grateful thankful and you’re energized. It’s all about purpose.
Peter: [00:14:25] So going back to the person who said I’m just trying to make it through the day. I mean I do believe we all have a purpose. There’s some reason why we are here. We’re here to have some impact. And that can be a journey. How do you counsel people who say they don’t feel like they have a purpose? Do you begin to ask questions? Do you begin to ask them kind of explore where maybe that lack of energy is and trying to make suggestions? Well how does that work, or does it?
Greg: [00:14:58] It does work, and the example that I use is if you have a Labrador Retriever.
Peter: [00:15:04] I Have two.
Greg: [00:15:05] Yeah there you go. It’s one of the most popular dogs in America or you know. So it’s like. All right. The purpose of a lab is fetch. OK. And how long can you throw that ball or throw that stick before he’s tired of fetching it? The answer is NEVER. Until your arm falls. And because what’s going on here is that dog has a purpose that’s in its DNA. Just like your purpose and my purpose is in our DNA. Now we’re a much more complicated than dogs, but there’s stuff where if we’re doing what we should be doing, if we’re aligned with our purpose and know what it is, we live it every day, we get enormous amounts of juice. We can do that all day long. OK. Because, as I like to say, Mother Nature is not stupid. She gave us these talents for a reason and that reason is our purpose. And when we use our talents aligned with our purpose, we feel great!
Peter: [00:16:02] Yeah.
Greg: [00:16:04] And it’s universal! It’s it’s you, it’s me, it’s labs. I mean it’s you know it’s really pretty much universal. And that’s why, when you look at people who are happy in their jobs, and the answer is that the reason they are happy is not because they’re making a lot of money. That’s who they are. They’re doing what they should do. And that’s enormously powerful because… I mean part of it is is it your purpose isn’t necessarily a job. You can spread your purpose over a number of different jobs. I mean you’re a great example. I mean you’re a CPA. OK. You’re not doing cash returns. Hahaha.
Peter: [00:16:46] No. No.
Greg: [00:16:50] So you’re a CPA. That’s you know that’s those are the initials after your name; it is your credentials. A Powerful one. But you know your calling is way different than that, or includes that and many other things. And so you’re using your talents in a way that clearly aligns with who you are because that’s where you get the energy to do all this crazy stuff.
Peter: [00:17:15] Thank you very much. And I do agree. There is a quote that you have in your book. It’s Confucius. Choose the job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life. When I went when I went full time with this job I tell people I have not worked a day in seven years. When I started in 2010. Ask my wife you get a completely different answer.
Greg: [00:17:38] Hahahaha.
Peter: [00:17:38] And she will also say I’ve never seen him happier.
Greg: [00:17:43] Yes. It really is. You know I mean and that happiness is what it is. That’s a big source of energy. You know I mean people do better and have more juice for what they’re happier doing. I mean the easiest translation for that is. OK. So it’s Friday afternoon and you’re exhausted right. I’m exhausted. Well here comes come’s happy hour.
Peter: [00:18:09] Hahahaha.
Greg: [00:18:09] Why. You know all those people who were drag themselves out of work at 4:30 5 o’clock on a Friday are totally different human beings at happy hour an hour later.
Peter: [00:18:20] Right.
Greg: [00:18:21] And you know obviously that’s a different kind of happy, but part of it is you notice if you doing something you enjoy. If you look at why people have after work softball and you talk to anybody who’s one of those and they’ll all say wow I want to go work this hard at work all day long. Well it’s because they’re doing something they love to do. And so figuring out you know in the book there is a process… it is not a complicated process figuring out who you are, what gives you juice, where your energy comes from. It’s really powerful. Often, it’s what people do for fun in. In the book is you know I did this process that were trying to articulate a personal mission. One guy came up to me and he said I’m a surfer. That’s what I do. I’m a surfer. And when he graduated from college you surf big waves all over the world. And he said you know I knew I had to do something that pays the bills here. And so we just like you know wow trading on Wall Street. And you know it’s just it’s just like surfing. You got to know which way to pick. You got to know which stock to pick. You got to know when you get on. You got to know when to get off. You can get hurt. And that’s part of the fun at the end of the day you got it. And he said what I do all day is I just surf. Of course it’s very profitable. He’s very successful. But part of that is the same adrenaline the same reflexes. The same sense of what’s right and what’s wrong, and being a great surfer makes him a great trader. Yeah. So he’s using that set of talents in a way that’s very profitable. He surfs.
Peter: [00:20:15] Well when you said he was a surfer then you went to Wall Street I couldn’t make the connection but now I have. So let me ask you this question. We see that there’s a lot of unhappy workers out there.
Greg: [00:20:27] You bet.
Peter: [00:20:28] Especially in corporate America, and really in the book… So they’re not aligned. The mission vision of the organization is not aligned to those who are employed, It sounds like to me. There’s a disconnect. And and in a lot of companies because well I’m seeing more of it in the older more established companies that have been around for a while. That have gotten so big. But then we’ve got some new large businesses that have formed over the past 10 15 years. And there seems to be more alignment with the organization itself, the culture, as well as transcending that into the people to keep them energized and happy and will walk through fire for the organization. So how does how does a company do that? How does how does somebody like GM change their culture to be more like quote unquote a Google completely different into this economy or even in some small essence to maintain that workforce? At least have a happy workforce.
Greg: [00:21:37] Well you know it’s interesting because I think the smart companies are doing a great job of unwinding their values and their purpose with the values and purpose of their employees. I’ll give you an immediate example. My kid just changed jobs from a old traditional company. I mean it was like 1956. It’s the type of thing your dad and my dad grew up. That’s how antiquated it was. And she just changed jobs to work for a bright young company, and I’m not talking about one run by Millennials. I’m talking about a company that’s been around for you know a couple of decades, but has that fresher view. And she she she called me up and she said Dad I just got out of orientation with the manager and I said well how dod it go and she said well he stood up and said… you know there was a small group of you know employees and he stood up and said You’re here because we love you and we want you to be happy.
Peter: [00:22:49] Wow.
Greg: [00:22:49] And of course you know if you if you put on your energy hat and you think about that, that wasn’t stupid. That was not touchy feely. We want to know what you want to do. And we have lots of work here and we’ll find the best fit for you. And you know I mean that’s that’s like right. I was like did you read the book? I mean obviously those principles are very very powerful in terms of I want these people energized. So you people are there to understand the purpose. They’re there to make sure their purpose aligns, which you talk about. My purpose as an individual aligns with my companies purpose. That’s when you get maximum performance. And that’s really what a leader does, as opposed to a managers. Managers solve problems and make sure trains run on time. LEaders, as you know, are all about a a vision, a mission, values, align people with those values. That’s where the real performance comes.
Peter: [00:23:57] Because early on in my podcast I interviewed, and I made this comment multiple times, One of my author friends. Her name is Karen Young. She wrote a book Drama Free H.R. quit knocking on my door, and during the interview she said that her her company the attrition rate was higher than she wanted it to be. And they sat back as a group and said well maybe we need to go and rework our Mission Vision core values. And they spent a considerable amount of time of getting those right. And then they said we’re going to change the hiring process. Instead of putting an ad up and giving somebody an application to have them fill it out, go through the interview process, hire them, give them the you know the onboarding stuff. They flipped it around. They would put an ad out for a job then the first thing that they had to do before they even got an application was to go to the Web site read the Mission, Vision, core values and then have a phone interview to articulate how they saw themselves fitting in to the core values, mission, vision of the organization. If the person could articulate that in a way then they would get the application, then they would go through the screening process, and by flipping the hiring practice their attrition rate almost disappeared.
Greg: [00:25:12] Yeah.
Peter: [00:25:13] And they had motivated… they had energized employees.
Greg: [00:25:17] Yeah yeah. I mean if you ask anybody in any company you know well what what’s the most important thing for the employees here. Because you to use your example you know there are a lot of CPAs. I could hire 50 CPA but I want to hire the one that fits my organization. Well the best way to do it is the way you just outlined because that says that the purpose of the person hiring and the purpose of the organization are aligned. It’s not rocket science. I mean part of this is what happens a lot of organizations, and a lot of people too, make the mistake of taking you know sort of the favorite values, as opposed to the values that really drives them. So for example you know I asked CPAs all the time what are your values. They say honest, integrity, hard work. And you know and recently somebody said punctuality.
Peter: [00:26:09] Hahaha.
Greg: [00:26:09] Always glad to hear it, but… but it’s like OK so what is it about integrity that gets you out of bed. And so you know from reading the book my values are s l e e p: sleep.
Peter: [00:26:24] Right.
Greg: [00:26:25] Because that’s something that I like but what gets me out of bed which is you know it’s easy to remember because it’s S for spirit. I like spirit. School Spirit. Holy Spirit. I like people with Spirit juice. You know L stands for light. I like to see the light bulb go on. That’s what gets me going. I know that’s what energizes you too. And then I couldn’t do what I do not like energy and endurance, so that takes care of those, and finally you know it’s all about productivity. What good is all of this energy not doing something productive? So you know so when I tell people my values are sleep, they’re like hey that’s different. Well yeah. Even if you look at Google’s value, if you look at like Zappos, you look at their values, and then you look at the companies and you say yeah. I see how those values apply to this stuff. Now do they live them 100 percent? Well nobody is 100 percent. you know if you really know what your values really are, then that’s very powerful.
Peter: [00:27:33] Well as you write in the book, you use an example of a company that no longer exists. A small company out of Houston called Enron.
Greg: [00:27:44] Right. Haha.
Peter: [00:27:45] And you do say that Enron had a mission vision core competencies. They had a code of conduct. But then you said… Do you remember the quote that Ken Lay said around that?
Greg: [00:27:58] Yes but you know rules and regulations are important but you know they shouldn’t take it too serious. I mean What happened in Enron is they lived their values. They really did. Except those weren’t the values they put on the wall. And so I think everybody lives his or her values, If by value you mean what’s important to you. In their case it’s important to make as much money as we can by hook or by crook. Yeah sure. They lived according to their values. But not what’s on the website. OK. But that’s the way they operate. And you know I think if you talk about recruiting and maintaining… a company that can truly articulate it’s real values, I mean the values so that when you show up there you see them either as a customer or as an employee and you see it every day. That’s power. And so many companies have these… really it’s a set of platitudes. What I always tell companies when I go in is I say okay you get all these values, but do you compensate people based on those values?
Peter: [00:29:07] Ohhhh.
Greg: [00:29:07] What do you mean? Show me the H.R. system that links to your values that compensates people who are behaving that way. Because right now you’re compensating people for behaving some way. WEll what is that way? And you know that usually gets a thoughtful look or two. It’s sometimes painful.
Peter: [00:29:32] Yeah I bet. Going down this path and you talk about Enron and basically there was a misalignment in there. But when you when you’re doing this, I think the biggest piece out there is the word trust. The people have to have trust in the senior management, in the C-suite, and the C-suite has to have trust in people. And I recently heard a guy by the name of David Horsager, who wrote the book the trust edge. He keynoted at the National Speaker’s Association. He states everything of value is built on trust, and the lack of trust is the biggest expense organizations incur.
Greg: [00:30:24] Absolutely.
Peter: [00:30:24] And I’ve I’ve used that phrase a number of times recently and I just watched the looks on everybody’s face in the audience, and it takes them a moment. And then you get that ah ha or oh crap look and going yeah that’s right. And how do we make that trust that that belief that spirituality, or however we want to phrase it, within organizations that people buy in. And it’s it’s it’s not easy.
Greg: [00:30:57] No I think you’re you’re absolutely right. What I always tell CEOs that I’m working with is really really their most important tital is chief reputation officer.
Peter: [00:31:09] Hm.
Greg: [00:31:09] I mean that’s that’s really what it’s all about because if you’ve got a bad reputation you got no business. You have Enron. Arthur Andersen is a great example. Lose trust. Lose business. That’s all it is. And employees and customers. All of that together. You know from the book that Trust is a function of credibility times intimacy divided by the perceived risk. So essentially.
Peter: [00:31:37] I’ve heard that before. Wait a minute. No no. It was Pam Devine.
Greg: [00:31:43] Hahaha.
Peter: [00:31:43] I remember when I was talking to her about trust she rattled that Off.
Greg: [00:31:49] You know she got that from.
Peter: [00:31:51] I think she said it was from you, but yes. Could you say it again?
Greg: [00:31:55] Yeah. Actually it’s from a company called Synectix which came up with this about 25 years. Still around, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and they said you know trust is a function of credibility, how believable you are, times your intimacy, how much you care, divided by my perception of the risk I’m taking in trusting. Obviously because there’s a multiplier in the numerator, if Either of those is zero. I mean you get no credibility or if you have no intimacy, by intimacy It’s really kind of relationship. Teddy Roosevelt said it best. I don’t care what you know until I know the care. And if you look at how people select professionals, whether they’re CPAs or physicians or whatever. It’s basically do I like them or not like.
Peter: [00:32:49] Right.
Greg: [00:32:49] And the biggest mistake that a professional can make, whether the person is a CPA or a physician or whatever, is to forget that care part. You know everybody focuses on the credential, the CPA the M.D. or law degree, and that’s fine. But there are a lot of people who have those. The person that I’m going to pick, and I have my choice. I pick the one I like. You know the example that I use for my students at Hopkins is look. How did you select your pediatricians for your kid? And invariably the answer is I selected my pediatrician based on a mother’s recommendation who’s already there. What did she say? She’s great with the kids. I really like him or really like her. And it’s like why? Because hey we don’t know anything about pediatrics. You know the person’s board certified, person has as a CPA. What more do I need to know? They know what they’re doing. OK. Now can I work with them and do I like them? And then that becomes the differentiator.
Peter: [00:33:59] I think you would agree with this and I don’t remember we’ve talked about this before, but when I when I speak to audiences a CPA I ask what business they’re in. And I get consulting I get all this other stuff and I go no. That’s a byproduct. And I get that Scooby Doo look from them. You’re in the people business first and foremost. Everything else is a byproduct because you have to have people that work with you. You have to have customers who are individuals. Who are human beings. And we have to have some type of connection to this point, and we only do business with people we trust, respect. When we get referrals or stuff. Like you said you could be a CPA but if you can’t communicate, if you can’t that connection with your client… And whether this is a client in a public forum or youre a CFO… it’s not going to work. So I think we’ve kind of outlined this I think in business today when we look at individuals and look at this process, we also need to remember we all are people and we all have needs and we all like to be cared for. We all have feelings and stuff and this is not the touchy feely part, but recognize that versus looking at somebody well as like just an asset on a balance sheet that has no tangibility.
Greg: [00:35:15] Absolutely. You know the story I like to tell is like I took a group of 250 CPAs in a big firm in Baltimore through the mission exercise. And when I got to the end I said OK would anyone like to share their mission. And a young woman raised her hand and she said I’m a jump partner.
Peter: [00:35:37] A What?
Greg: [00:35:37] What what do you mean? Well if you’ve never jumped out of an airplane, what they do is they lash you to somebody who has. That’s your jump partner. So you don’t have to worry when you jump out of the airplane. You’re going to be OK. That person will pull the chute. That person will guide you. I’m a jump partner. That’s who I am. And I thought there’s somebody who really understands what you just said. OK. Because who doesn’t want a CPA that’s a jump partner? That’s why I’m paying you. I’m not paying you to do taxes. I could do that on Turbo Tax. I’m paying you to stand by my side if the IRS knocks on my door. I’m here to make sure that I’m not missing something that I know that I didn’t know I didn’t know. So you know that’s the real power. So she articulated them just beautifully. I use her as an example al of the time of what you know a real mission sounds like. It has you know it has the content and it has emotional and spiritual power.
Peter: [00:36:45] So I love that because I when you said jump partner I had my mind was racing like 18 directions. But when you put it like that I and I will use that in future speaking engagements because I love the visual nature of that picture. And really also anybody who’s in the profession, whether you’re public, whether you’re in the industry, whether you’re in government, whether you’re teaching. We really all should be partners as it relates to the complexity of what we deal with.
Greg: [00:37:19] It’s a it’s a great image but I’ve had you know I’ve worked with you you know and I had thousands and thousands of CPAs. People said a whole bunch of just incredible things. You know I’ve had CPAs who said you know I’m a gardener. What do you mean? Well you know I like to work my garden of course but I’m interested in helping organizations grow. I’m about growth. OK fine. So you know I had one CPA who said I’m really a bartender. Not like I serve drinks but what I do is I listen and I make people feel good. That’s what I do that you know… so you get you get these kind of responses and it’s like Yeah. So what these people have done is they’ve taken their profession and they’ve aligned it with their mission and their values. And that’s where the energy comes. Those are the people who are most successful because they understand not only but everybody else understands, but you also have the experience and the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual horsepower. That’s what makes you a successful anything.
Peter: [00:38:39] Exactly. And when you say clients I know you’re talking about internal and external, and we’re talking about whether you’re a CFO, managing partner, staff accountant, or whatever. And along those lines is a recent quote I’ve heard from Simon Sinek about leadership which I believe ties into this because you know we think of leadership… There’s a difference authority and leadership.
Greg: [00:39:02] Correct.
Peter: [00:39:04] And the way he put it was Your title doesn’t matter, your level, on the way that we have a positive effect on another person. Period.
Greg: [00:39:17] Right.
Peter: [00:39:17] Which which ties into the whole spirituality as you’re outlining and being aligned with your organization stuff. And I love that quote because I don’t think I’ve really ever looked at leadership other than… Not so much for authority level but from a different perspective. That kind of helped align my thought process that you know if you want to empower and get a lot of energy in your work force… Herb Keller. Southwest Airlines. He was known as a Jack Daniels chugging, chain smoking kind of guy, but he would talk to the CFO the same way he would talk to a baggage handler or a pilot or somebody in the corporate office. He didn’t feel like he was above everybody because he was a founder. He was just like everybody else and treated everybody the same.
Greg: [00:40:16] Well you know that’s… And that’s really very very powerful because that is you know that it’s what a leader is really all about. That’s what the Sinek part about what your Why is… that’s where the trust comes from, that’s where the credibility comes from. That’s where real leadership comes from. People just want to follow people when they know who they are. And that’s why you know branding is so important these days. You know it’s why some of the best CPA firms have the strongest because you know people know what they’re getting. They know what to expect.
Peter: [00:41:00] I was actually thinking about how do we kind of wrap and tie everything together. And I think maybe the best way to do that is through touching on those four energy pieces kind of like in order, and just kind of recap. So everybody who has maybe listened to all three episodes can… I think it’ll be a nice way to kind of tie up this package and our conversation.
Greg: [00:41:29] Right. OK. Well as you remember from the beginning it’s all about PIES.
Peter: [00:41:34] Right.
Greg: [00:41:36] Physical energy, intellectual energy, emotional energy, and spiritual energy. As we said today, spiritual energy is the most powerful one. But often people don’t really understand it until they work their ways through the first three. Physical energy. You know just the ability to go a long way or you know run a long way or drive from Harrisburg and catch that flight and just getting up and getting up and going is one that a lot of people focus on and that is the least important of them all, but that’s the industry that five hour energy drink and Red Bull and Starbucks are really good at. Well there’s nothing wrong with a little caffeine. But for the longer more durable types of energy, the other three are much better. Intellectual energy is what people usually get paid for. Do you have the energy to solve puzzles, solve the problem, meet my needs. That type of thing. We learned about trust. I’ll trust you if I believe you can meet my needs, and so intellectual energies is frankly what we get paid to use, and there are many ways that we can improve that, and many ways we can lose it. Distraction or you know too much in front of the email. Now of course emotional energy is the one that often causes the most problems. People are always talking about well you know I have this energy vampire at work… So these oxygen bandits are often a problem, but emotional energy is a powerful thing and you can turn them around. We talked about ways to do it but my favorite way is to kill them with kindness. Usually what makes someone an energy vampire is some kind of fear. If you can remove that, then you’ve converted a vampire. And then finally of course is spiritual energy. We spent all day talking about it today. That relates to your purpose; who you really are. And if you’re living that life, if you’re doing that as much as you can, You’re going to be happier and you’re going to be more successful. So it’s all about more energy – not about more time. We don’t get any more time. 24 hours a day. But we can all get way more energy.
Peter: [00:43:59] I will say that through our conversations, and we will have many more, I have learned a lot and we started out with the physical energy and I found myself really trying to apply or manage that physical those ups and downs of those energy levels because I have started a new book and I am hell bent to have the least the manuscript done by my Christmas. So I’m trying to put out 22-2500 words a week to try to get around my 35000 that I found that I need, and my best energy is first thing in the morning.
Greg: [00:44:39] Yes.
Peter: [00:44:40] So the intellectual energy to deal with those distractions… I eliminate those distractions and I work. What I’ve also found is, since I spent a lot of time on an airplane, is if I can conserve energy at different points and use that energy while I’m on the plane, I can crank out a bunch of stuff. Even if it’s on a 15 minute flight to Baltimore or a four hour flight to Phoenix this week, I cranked out a lot of stuff.
Greg: [00:45:07] Yes.
Peter: [00:45:07] I’ve learned more about my energy, my physical, my intellectual, my emotional, and dealing with the vampires and the spiritual energy from your book, from these conversations, and I hope my audience is taken a lot. Because I thank you a lot my friend. I’ve known you for a while. I knew you were brilliant, but I didn’t know you were this great! It’s the best kept secret out there!
Greg: [00:45:34] Haha, oh! Too well kept a secret for this marketing guy.
Peter: [00:45:40] Yeah, You’re the marketing guy! I absolutely enjoyed our time. I’m looking forward to our conversations off line, crossing paths. Hopefully we’re speaking at some conference sooner or later, at the same time. I’ve enjoyed it immensely. I thank you for your friendship and your counsel and they say that you want to put five or six people around you that I’m the weakest link. Well you’re part of that of that five. And thank you so very much. And I look forward to sit down some day soon and just face to face without a computer between us and just catching up and then spending some time with these conversations. I really appreciate it. Thank you so very much.
Greg: [00:46:22] Thank you. It’s been a delight as it always is when working together. Good luck on that book! You can do it.
Peter: [00:46:29] I’ll get it done. And you’ve got a signed copy coming your way.
Greg: [00:46:33] Excellent.
Peter: [00:46:34] That’s guaranteed. Alright my friend. Thank you so very much.
Peter: [00:46:42] I would like to thank Greg for giving his time to record three outstanding episodes on how to supercharge your energy. I have thoroughly enjoyed all the conversations and they have had a tremendous impact on me personally. I would like to talk about the first five episodes of this podcast are now qualified for CPE self-study credit in the NASBA category of personal development. Those interviews are with Clarke Price, former CEO of the Ohio society of CPAs. Mike Sciortino, author of Gratitude Marketing. Tom Hood… Well you’ve been introduced to him and you will be introduced to him again. Ed Mendlowitz, who’s a partner at Withum, Smith, and Brown. And Karl Ahlrichs, who’s H.R. professional at Gregory and Appel. These episodes are located on the MACPA-BLI self-study Web site and they are mobile friendly. Create an account and purchase an episode. You can listen to them on your daily commute or while working out, or even at your desk! When you’re finished, take the review and final exam on your mobile device or your computer. It’s that easy. While all Improv is no Joke podcasts are available on my web site, only those purchased to the MACPA-BLI self-study Website are eligible for CPE self-study credit. This is not nano-learning – this is self-study learning. You can get detailed instructions by visiting my website at PeterMargaritis.com and clicking on the graphic: Listen, Learn, and Earn improvs is no joke podcasts on my home page. I hope you enjoy this exciting and flexible new way of receiving CPE credit. Remember, you can subscribe to my podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. If you’d like to purchase an autographed copy of my book Improv is no Joke: Using Improvisation to Create Positive Results in Leadership and Life, for $14.99 with free shipping, please go to my website, PeterMargaritis.com, and you’ll see the graphic on the homepage to purchase my book. Please allow 14 days for shipping. You can also follow me on social media. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram. In episode 68, I interviewed Byron Patrick, who is the managing director of CPA practice at Network Alliance, and the past chair of the American Association of CPAs executive board. Our discussion centers around the benefits of volunteering at your state CPA association, or really at any association. So thank you again for listening and I greatly appreciate it if you take time to write a review on iTunes. Remember to use the principles of improvisation to help you better connect and communicate with those in your organization.
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