Chuck Garcia - Your Mountains of Endless Possibilities
Leadership coach, Podcaster, Author, Mountaineer
Chuck Garcia is the founder of Climb Leadership International and he coaches executives on leadership development, public speaking, and emotional intelligence. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University where he teaches Leadership Communication in the Graduate School of Engineering.
A 25-year veteran of Wall Street, he spent 14 years in sales and marketing at Bloomberg in a variety of leadership positions. He was Director of Business Development at BlackRock Solutions, an arm of the world’s largest investment manager, and was a Managing Director at Citadel, a prestigious alternative investment manager. He is also a mountaineer and has climbed some of the world’s tallest peaks, including Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Elbrus, the Matterhorn, as well as mountains in Alaska and the Andes.
His podcast - A Climb to the TOP: Stories of Transformation- A C Suite Radio Broadcast
My episode on Chuck's Podcast - A Climb to the Top
His book - A Climb to the TOP: Communication & Leadership Tactics to Take Your Career to New Heights
His coaching agency - Climb Leadership International
Training & Courses - Climb Leadership Institute
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Permission to Heal Episode #63 - A Conversation with Chuck Garcia about Mountains of Endless Possibilities
I had read a book before nine 11 called into thin air, and I saw myself in that book. It was about mountaineers climbing these mountains. And I said, huh. Okay. Could I become a Mountaineer?
I don't know. Anyway, cutting to the, to the summary here exactly a year after nine 11 on 9 11 0 2. I stood on the summit of Mount Ranier, which has 14,400 feet above sea level. And I stood on that summit and all I could do with. God for my parents for the good fortune that I'm alive.
Maybe there's something here. That's that if I can't change the world, maybe I can change myself first.
Hello everyone. And welcome to permission to heal. I am Marci Brockman, and I am thrilled that you are here in today's episode. I finally got the opportunity to talk with Chuck Garcia. Chuck Garcia is the founder of climb leadership international, where he coaches executives on leadership development, public speaking, and emotional intelligence.
He's also. An adjunct professor at Columbia University and at long island university CW post where he teaches leadership communication and emotional intelligence, he is just a delight. He, and he's also a Mountaineer, which is amazing. He's climbed some of the world's tallest peaks, including Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Elbrus the matter horn as well as mountains and in the Andes.
He's he uses the Mountaineer and climbing metaphor for his recipe, his motivation and inspiration, lessons about emotional intelligence and public speaking and how we can each. Grow to become our best selves and, in collaboration with others. And he and I met through his presentation called the art of the podcast that he brought to my high school classes the fall of 2020 as in his role of adjunct professor at Long Island CW post.
So and then. Basically the direct inspiration for the birth of Permission to Heal. I hadn't even considered starting a podcast until Chuck Garcia pushed into my class virtually for his presentation. So thank you for that. And I can't wait to share this with you.
Good morning, Chuck.
How are ya? I'm very well, Marci. How are you? I'm great. I'm great. I'm so excited that I finally got you on permission to heal. I'm delighted to be here. I loved your book and to anyone on my radio show, I loved having you because I was so enamored of the way you wrote it, of the power of the vulnerability of everything that you said.
[00:00:21] As I read your book, Marcy brought you one of my show. My sentiment, as I read the book is every teenage girl should read this book. And I hope, I don't know. I don't know what the population is of 16 year old girls out there. Everyone should read it. I don't know how many have, but anything I can do to help promote it.
[00:00:40] It's that good? Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Yeah. I was hoping that I could at least get the high school where I teach to read it, but it's too close. I didn't realize psychologically sort of it's too close for comfort. So. I I, in fact, I recognize that as I read the book, I said, okay, this is amazing.
[00:01:00] The, you, you, BrenÃ© brown this, the power of this, no question, but that's what it was because BrenÃ© brown talks about to, to all people. You can, you have, you have two choices, you can choose comfort, you can choose courage. You can't choose both. As I read your book, it was incredibly courageous, but I recognize the people in your circle that you have taught for so many years.
[00:01:25] I wondered, is it too close for God? I didn't know whether I, yeah, there were, there were a couple of moments last school year where I brought in very short excerpts because it connected thematically to the other things that we're reading, other literature that we're reading or discussions that we're having.
[00:01:44] And even. What's too much, right? No, I understand that. Well, nonetheless thematically, it's wonderful. And if someone can read this book, read Permission to Land and the workbook that comes with it, it is both introspective, but also helps you to recognize what could things be. Outside of the realm of my own development for, for, for people that read that, what are, what, how do we adapt to the people around us?
[00:02:12] Be it family, friends, colleagues, whatever it is, because I think what's so many people are not taught in sort of moved back up what you and I do as teachers. We try. We can certainly instruct and we try to inspire. We always do. But the model of school is very cram exam regurgitate, and the way we define smart too many of my students are come into my classes.
[00:02:36] Their definition of smart is based upon a grade and often that's their identity. And it saddens me to see. Because there is so much more and not only so much more, when you get out into the working world, does anybody to ask you where you went to college? What was your GPA? No, no one cares. They don't give a damn yet.
[00:02:55] This is the runway that they're on is very much pointing them. This is how I define it. Well, you can't get into colleges without. Understood and transcripts question and I get it if this is the criteria to get to a certain place. But, but, but what I try to do both at NYU and Columbia, where I teach, I try to change the mindset, help them to redefine what it means to be smart because, and it's nobody's fault.
[00:03:19] It's just the model that we're in is completely different when you get out of there. And what your book was about was about like, It didn't matter where you went to college, you went to new Paltz remap, all that is good, but this is the soul that you put to the universe. And I'm grateful for that. And I thank you for writing because I really enjoyed reading.
[00:03:42] Yeah. I was trying to tell my story through. How did I figure out who I was or am right. While sort of being bounced around like a ping pong ball, through relationships, through my parents, idiosyncrasies and mental illness and through careers and through trying to figure out how to find love and how to feel connected and find my people and find community and figure out where my meaning and my passion was.
[00:04:12] And. Well, the big underlying message is that that really birthed this podcast was that nobody else can define you except you. No one else can find healing. No one else can figure out what brings light brings you life, meaning except you. And so I kept for very long time, kept looking outside of myself.
[00:04:41] For all of that. And it wasn't until my early forties, after my divorce sitting at this very drafting table, which is where all my paintings were born. And now the podcast is born where I, I figured out patience and motivation and meaning and meditation and through the creation of art, through visual art, writing, whatever it all happened here.
[00:05:08] And now. I don't know I'm rambling, but well, as I read your book and I do a lot of emotional intelligence training and I teach it, but as I thought about the emotion that you brought into it, it reminded me of a Carl Jung quote that I use often that, and the quote is there's the following. I am not what happened to me.
[00:05:28] Pause for dramatic effect. I am what I choose to become. And as I read your book, it was obvious you were making and intentional. It was intentional. You were making a choice. Okay. All this happened to me, my mom, whatever her issues were, all of that is good. All these things had happened. Your. It's a description of what you, what, who you chose to become at a time when, when, when you made that choice.
[00:05:54] And I think a lot of people don't give themselves enough introspection and credit. Think about who, who, what you want to be and go be it. And that's an easy thing to say, but I think reading books like that help people develop a framework and to be inspired by the fact that it's possible. Don't just react to all of life's events, make a decision about what it is.
[00:06:16] What you want from love, what you want from the people around you, what kind of friend human tend to be? That's what your book was in the call to action. And that's what I loved it. So all good. It was great. Your person, your fabulous. Well, wait, wait, wait, when you read something and I think both of us as authors, as readers, lifelong readers, not every book strikes a chord and, and, and yet as.
[00:06:42] Married to a woman with four children, two boys, two girls. You. All of this, but who's talking about it. Nobody you're going into school and you're cramming for that math exam and that England and everybody's stressed out. Am I going to get into Harvard? Oh my God. Whoa. Yeah, I've been trying to talk about that since the COVID, since COVID happened, I've decided to approach all the literature in my classes from a mental health standpoint.
[00:07:08] Beautiful love. And so we're having these conversations about relationships and love and, and, and all of this. Well, why did this character do that? Yeah, she might've been a manipulative crazy person, but what was she looking for? What was the deficit in her life she was looking to fix? And now she becomes a three-dimensional character, not just.
[00:07:28] So the, the antagonist, you know, dare I ask, is lady Macbeth in the mix? Uh, no, I don't teach 10th grade. I was actually talking about Abigail Williams from the crucible. You know, she, she lies in manipulates and tells all this stuff and tries to get rid of her, her ex lovers, wife, and the character right.
[00:07:47] Causes this whole craziness. What was missing in her life. Her parents were murdered in the bed right next to her. She was living with an uncle who begrudged, her, her bed and the clothes on her back. Her belly. She had no community. She had no love. She had no security. She probably had PTSD from her parents being murdered.
[00:08:05] And then she finds love in the arms of a man twice her age who want to keep that whose brain wouldn't be skewed in a different direction. To do anything to keep that there's also an important point. And I think we learn about it in our modern world, and certainly we can tie the literature to literature, to it, but the PR issues weren't any different as I think about particularly the, my evolution.
[00:08:30] And as I watch all the people around me without, without a doubt, the one thing that we strive for, and we're certainly see it in COVID it is, it starts with safety, whatever that is, you're going to go to a safe place. And whether, whether you're inspired, whether you take a leap. All has to start with gravitating to a place that makes you feel that way.
[00:08:47] And if in the crucible, if this particular character, what I came to understand, when I read it, what's the safest place, where is the safest place to go? And then everything else starts after that. And we don't know what it feels like for someone to gravitate to that place because who's, who's defining.
[00:09:05] She defined it in her way. I don't get it, but I recognize we all have to go to a place that others may not understand. Help people to understand what you're doing and why you're doing it, but it's the elephant in the room and nobody wants to talk about this stuff and they really should. So I really appreciate that.
[00:09:21] You're, you're moving your class to, to these considerations because this is what they're talking about at dinner. They're not talking about cramming for their math exam. No. And what they're talking about with their friends and what they're writing in their journals. And, you know, the, the biggest thing since COVID has been trying to get conversations going on in class, because the kids have these masks on we're all wearing masks, but it might as well be a muzzle for most of them.
[00:09:44] They just. They mumble or they don't speak loud enough. And they're shy about speaking loudly and you just have to project your voice a little more with the fabric, but it's just fabric. It's not going to, you know, so it's just been hard getting them to talk. And I try like really controversial things sometimes hoping that that'll do it.
[00:10:09] No, keep trying. It's good to have a goal. We'll see. So, so I have to thank you for. Giving me the impetus to actually start this podcast. You know, I got to say, if I didn't accomplish anything else this year, I'm delighted to have done that. Well, I really felt like well for the listeners who don't know Chuck as a professor over at Long Island University CW Post, and I teach the college tie English class to my seniors and. We had this opportunity last school year for virtual guest speakers to come in. And I said, sure, the more the merrier I'm, I'm happy for that. And so Chuck decided to push into my classes. Some virtual means probably a Google meet and do a presentation, the art of the podcast. And I thought, oh my God, my students are going to be so excited.
[00:11:05] I'm sorry to say this Chuck nobody cared. They were bored. They were unmotivated. But the Universe sent you for me because I, I took notes in my, in my planner book and my attendance book. I took notes. I was just like, holy shit, I can do this. It never dawned on me that this was the next step, but it was the next step. I'd written this book. I had this YouTube channel. I was trying to figure it out. What I could do to reach more people.
[00:11:38] I already owned all the equipment from doing my audio book. I recorded my audio book myself. Right. And all I had to do then was research platforms and voila. So you learned something from it? Well, here's the interesting part. When I read your book, Marci I heard your voice. Yeah. And, and, and so your, well, it was written very well, but also when you read something personal from the author in a, certainly from my book, many people said to me, Chuck, I heard you speaking to me.
[00:12:11] And if you've done that, that means you've connected in, in a medium. That is. Beyond what you originally expected when you set out to write the book and as I heard your voice, and then you came back to me sometime after, and you said it contemplating the podcast. That was a no brainer to me. If, of course you have a voice to project, but the, the toughest part about a book is once it's done people put that on a shelf and they move on to the new.
[00:12:37] The beauty or the art of the podcast is, is the continuance of the moment, right. Of the momentum of the theme, because people need to be reminded in a crowded world. There's just so much noise. So if there's something that they find they can focus on, they can keep coming back to the past. I've done 99 podcasts.
[00:12:54] We're about to do our hundredth people. Come back. Thank you. Well, people come back to it and I appreciate even if you get a loyal audience, that's what you have. And yet you broadcast it through. The podcast, you have your art. I see that in the back in your book, it was very important to you. It became healing and cathartic.
[00:13:14] You should be talking about this and you are so mazel tuff to you for doing this. A lot of people talk about it. Very few, actually act on it and you did, and I'm delighted to be here. Excellent. So now let's talk about you. We've talked to me a lot and I appreciate that very much, but I never know how to bring things like this up and you know, whatever I'm I'm too. Self-effacing I don't know how I don't. I'm I'm still learning. Be my own PR agent, you know? Well, we're all each other's teachers, so let's keep going. Exactly.
[00:13:46] So, so how did you get from wall street to teaching, to writing your book to, I mean, what's your career path? Where did you start from this? This is amazing to me and I appreciate that.
[00:14:00] Well, I mean, the start was. Like every high school or any high school, whether it's listening to this, you know, the big question, what am I going to major in? Where am I going to go? Right. And it was, I'll get to the quick part of that. I went to Syracuse university and I was a finance major. I never wavered from my desire to major in finance.
[00:14:17] And here's the ironic part. I didn't. Really quite what it was. I didn't know anybody on wall street. Uh, I, uh, I had seen a picture of the New York stock exchange when I was eight years old. And I looked at that and I thought about people go to work doing this. And they were running around and screaming.
[00:14:34] And, and yet I grew up in west point. My father was a professor of linguistics at the United States military academy. So I grew up, yeah, I grew up with that. He was a Macpac. My parents are Brazilian. They came and immigrated to. Westpoint specifically for my father to take a faculty position at west point, but he was a civilian professor on a military base.
[00:14:55] And on the base I did, I lived about 200 yards from my father's classroom. Yeah, it was awesome. Great. Oh my God. My dad walked to work, but for me, we grew up on right next to what's called the parade ground. And every morning at four 30, a Canon blew and it was reveling and it was right near our home. And so, boom, everyone's leaving late.
[00:15:16] Used to it, but my dad was a linguist and my mom was, was a pianist. And so I grew up to the sounds of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart growing up. So in my house, I heard the sounds from my father. You hear the sound of language. And my father taught me and my father was trained in the Jesuit tradition and he had a British mother and a German father.
[00:15:34] So he spoke a zillion languages. It made it really easy for a vocabulary test. When I was in school, he said, Chuck, you don't have to memorize that. He knew the origin of every word in Greek and Latin. But I say that because it hadn't tremendous influence on me that my dad, the sounds you hear in the room or language.
[00:15:54] And when my mom, she spoke with her fingers because it tickled keys on a piano, my mom was trained in the classical tradition. So I grew up. Oh in pond, big had been in piano, but I grew up to the sounds where a whole note, a half note, a beat, all of that became language. So it was a really interesting integration of a scholarly dad who taught language of a pianist mom, who, who was, who was a musician.
[00:16:18] Got all them human brother went to Juilliard to become a classical guitars. He got all the musical town. I didn't have any of that. And yet the thing that I was gravitating, well, I didn't care. It just didn't matter to me. I wanted to make a living that was dynamic. That was fun. And when I saw that picture, New York stock has changed and I see a saw so many people bored in their careers.
[00:16:39] Nobody looked bored in that picture, and this is a stupid, silly thing, but it talked to me and I said, All right. Well, I don't know what it is. So I started reading about this, but you can take a dollar and you can put it in a place. And a year later you get two back. That's a good investment. What? Oh my God.
[00:16:56] I think about all the grass. I cut the cars I washed. That's how I made money. But if you take a dollar and you invest it, I didn't have to cut grass to get too bad. What a constant weight and put it in the right place. Right? Exactly. So I said maybe somebody could teach me how to put it in the right place.
[00:17:13] So I, I went to two. Finance major all the way. And all I wanted when I got out of college was to do three things. First is to make my parents proud. That was a number one. They had sacrificed so much to come to the United States. Second, I wanted a dynamic career in finance. Got it. And then third, I wanted to travel the world.
[00:17:32] And my goodness did I, and part of what gravitated me to finance was not just the subject. Matter of understanding what the investment world was, which I really loved. Finance is one gigantic. Poker game. And I say that because early in the morning, Tokyo opens up and an hour later and it follows the sun.
[00:17:52] Hong Kong opens in the stock market of Hong Kong opens. Then Mumbai opens, then the middle east opens and then London, New York and San Francisco. So within the confines of 21 hours on any given day, you have people buying and selling investments. The thought of that was just freaking cool. I don't know what they're doing, but I want to be a part of it.
[00:18:14] Mike Corinne. And I looked at pictures of the stock exchange and I went, holy crap. That's too much stress. Right? Well, we all see what we want to see. And I agreed yet. I, your talent, Marcy, the ability to take a paintbrush. I can't draw a stick figure. I can barely read my own hand. So we all bring different talents.
[00:18:34] So anyway, most of my career, I was the a hundred and 90th employee of a teeny little company nobody ever heard of called Bloomberg. And I was, it was at the time, in fact, my friend said, why are you joining this company? Nobody ever heard of, I had gone from Syracuse to a big bank and twisted and turned. I hated it.
[00:18:51] It was boring, but ultimately I came across this guy. Bloomberg. He had me at hello. I said, what is this place? This is cool. Long story short, because I'm bilingual. I was head of Latin American sales for seven years. So I was the representative of Bloomberg taking Bloomberg south of the United States. So for those seven years, I traveled all through Latin America and the Caribbean and mostly Mexico city, San Paulo.
[00:19:15] When was itis. And everywhere in between. And then for the next seven years, I was the companies think of it as a global spokesman. I did about a hundred speaking engagements a year, all over the world. So London, Zurich, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong. They became my base as I traveled around the world.
[00:19:34] So here I was living this dream. This is, I didn't know what finance was, but this was in my mind. This was the life that I wanted because I could travel the world. I could become a subject matter expert. I could taste the food, meet the people. And I grew up in a home that's so promoted. We're all citizens of the world.
[00:19:55] We speak different languages. We different food. I was so open to it all. So throughout the course of my career, it was a wonderful evolution. And what, I didn't know, Marcy, and this is where I think everybody should stay adaptable. I didn't know that all of that time that I was speaking on stage for Bloomberg was really becoming the foundation of what I was going to do in my second career.
[00:20:19] So coming along the way on nine 11, I was scheduled to speak in the world trade center at three o'clock that afternoon, and I lost 16 friends and top three colleagues from Bloomberg were there to support myself. And I was Bloomberg's public spoke from, so my job was to get onstage and that happened to be the event that was certainly other than the loss of my parents, the saddest day of our lives, but something happened that day.
[00:20:42] And I, as I reflected, why am I, it wasn't my day to die. I don't know why I was on a dead list for several hours. My parent, my, my, my family, my company, they thought I was. I was unaccounted for until I got back into the office, but I was assumed dead. I'm like, oh my God. So I got back into the office.
[00:21:00] And as over the course of time, as I reflected on God, I'm so lucky to be alive. Something happened to my psyche and I was 42 years old, 41 at the time. And I thought about what I, there's nothing I can do to bring. To make sense of this event. I certainly can't bring back my three Bloomberg colleagues, what two were 24 and one was 22 years old.
[00:21:25] They should not have to, they should not have died that day. And I spoke to two of the parents that day, just yesterday, an incredible sadness. I thought about what can I do in the spirit of their lives, in what can I do to change myself? If there's something out there trying to make sense of this world? I grab it.
[00:21:43] I had read a book before nine 11 called into thin air, which is a description of an event that occurred in Mount Everest in 1996. And I saw myself in that book and it was about mountaineers climbing these mountains. And I said, huh. Okay. And I've been a distance runner in my whole adult life. And could I become a Mountaineer?
[00:22:01] I don't know. Anyway, cutting to the, to the summary here exactly a year after nine 11 on 9 11 0 2. I stood on the summit of a mountain in the cascade mountains in Washington state called Mount Ranier, which has 14,400 feet above sea level. And I stood on that summit and all I could do with. God for my parents for the good fortune that I'm alive.
[00:22:26] I lost a lot of people that day, but maybe there's something here. That's that if I can't change the world, maybe I can change myself first. And I began to think, what can I get out of this? No question. Well, the lesson of mountaineering was, and it unleashed a beast in me. I didn't know how I would take to it.
[00:22:45] A year later, I stood on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and then a year later I climbed the Matterhorn in Switzerland. And now I'm not just climbing mountains. I am becoming a Mountaineer and how grateful I am. And I, in the meantime, Juggling career family, you know, marriage, children, all of that. But I I'm, I had to find space for everybody that was the space for myself.
[00:23:06] And I say that Marcy, because through the years it was on a mountain in Alaska called Mount bono. It was 14 day Trek. It was in the middle of nowhere. We took these little glacier planes, little planes flew, landed on a glacier at 10,000 feet and spend the next two weeks. Climbing what's called Himalayan style, where we carried loads of equipment for different camps.
[00:23:28] And ultimately we summited the mountain. Wow. When I came down from that mountain and it was a monster wonderful mountain with a great team, I thought about what, what, what just happened here? Well, I looked at mountaineering really as a metaphor for how I. Live my life and my career. And as I was heading down and you have a lot of time in your head, I was like, what, what, what just happened here?
[00:23:53] Let me try to put this in a frame that I can help people to understand what this mountaineering thing is. Well, it was pretty clear. We set a goal. That was the first thing. The golden mountaineering is not to get to the summit, the golden mountain news to get home to your town. Well, it's to get home. It's for all of the accomplishments.
[00:24:10] Oh my God. I bagged the summit. Yeah. It's all well, and good. And you can do that, but that's a destination. That's not a goal. So I thought about getting home to my family. I'm going to do all of this. And if we get through the summit, that's great. We feel a sense of accomplishment, but let's, let's never lose sight of our goal.
[00:24:24] The second thing is the only way to climb that mountain was one step in. And I say that because many of my students aren't incredible hurry. And I understand that, but everybody take, take your time. It's a step, take a step, take a next step. Your most important step is your next one. And then the third one, the most powerful one is, oh my goodness, I can not do this alone.
[00:24:43] The power of collaboration. And I thought about in my career, how did I grow my wall street career? It was all the same. This is the same thing. I set a goal. And the goal was flexible. I took a step at a time and it's all you all were capable of doing. And. The people around me, the lives we touch the communities we build.
[00:25:02] Nobody told me that in college, they just want to keep studying. And that's your path to prosperity? That's ridiculous. It's good to study, but this was different. So Marcy, as I came down from that mountain on Alaska, I made up my mind. I had done this wall street thing for so many years, it was time to change.
[00:25:19] And so when I came down just shortly after I formed my own company called decline leadership, since I had so many leadership positions on wall street, could I teach these things? And people saw me for years as a public spokesman saw me on stage. So that's a natural segue indeed. And people saw me do what I did and recognize they need help doing it.
[00:25:41] And if they saw me in action, no doubt. Th the good player becomes a coach in sports. It's the same thing. So on that in 2015, I formed client leadership and I said, I'm going to teach college as well. I never expected to do that, but I lost my dad when he was 24. My dad was the best teacher I ever had. And my dad.
[00:26:04] I was 24. My dad was 56. He died of cancer way too young, but my dad had an enormous impact on me. And the interesting part is my dad was not American. He grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I grew up hopelessly American because I was surrounded by kids that like baseball and basketball and. And, and when I told my dad, I wanted to go into finance, he was so supportive.
[00:26:26] He didn't understand it like, oh, okay, whatever, it's cool. If that's what you want to do, I'm on board. But he, he taught me the power of bringing your subject matter to life. It taught me the power of language. My mom taught me that. The universal language of music. So as I thought about I'm going to change careers here.
[00:26:47] My dad was very much in my heart. He was present. And even though I never considered teaching college, I now teach at Liu and at Columbia. And I got to say, when I stood on one of my Columbia classes, If I could bring my dad back to life one day to see me teaching at this wonderful institution, I don't know what he would say, but I'm speaking to him.
[00:27:15] Well, I'm grateful to him and to my mom, I lost my mom from cancer. She was 85 years old. She died five years ago, but they're with me. They're well, they're with me. It's a celebration. The, with me all the time and all these twists and turns in my career ultimately led me to really doing two things. I I'm, I, I'm an executive coach and my clients include all the financial institutions, many of which I've known over the years and how grateful I am for the opportunity to really teach them public speaking and emotional intelligence.
[00:27:43] Those are the two things that I focus on because they're, they, they go together teaching someone to step on stage, just leadership. You have to be emotionally intelligent and aware of your own. And the people you're you're working with in order to be an effective leader. No question. There's there's, there is an even greater implication here and that's helping people stay calm under the weight of enormous expectations.
[00:28:06] And I say that because what's. Promotes is your brilliance, your academic achievement, your scores. That's all well and good. But if you have a brilliant individual who cannot stay calm under the weight of those expectations and is crushed, that is that that's not valuable. I will take someone less brilliant and more.
[00:28:26] But when you find the combination of one who is dedicated to becoming an excellent speaker and learns the techniques of emotional intelligence, the way we breathe, the way we count to ourselves, when we're trying to contemplate this acute stress that we're in, it is not negotiable. You can not respond like a jerk because you're on camera all the time.
[00:28:52] It's really interesting in my own evolution. I learned how to do this and now I teach people to do that. So at Liu I teach. So anyway, I, I, my life is so fulfilling because my day job is very much as a consultant to these financial institutions. And then the college I juxtaposed that it's probably 25% of my time.
[00:29:12] I teach two undergraduate courses at Liu and I teach courses at Columbia in the graduate school. I'm sorry, what classes that you're teaching? I teach public speaking and emotional intelligence and yeah, anything in the realm of soft skills. I even teach a course, uh, One of the courses. One to my career Bible was called how to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie.
[00:29:34] And at Columbia, I teach seminar style right out of that book written in 1936. That is the best book on psychology. I have ever read bar none bar, any academic work bar, any textbook. So Marcy, my, my passion, my privilege is to bring. Public speaking, emotional intelligence, the importance of soft skills for career growth is what I do at the executive level and what I do at the college level, because it's where I spent 25 years of my time.
[00:30:04] That's what I did anyway. So I'm really teaching what I did, what I know and helping people to understand the importance of this skillset that gets added onto your technical competence, which is absolutely imperative. No question. Oh, here it is. People can't survive without. And in fact, if I had an opportunity to reinvent the high school curriculum, I would pair down some of the, all the, the harder skills and I'm not minimized in their reports.
[00:30:31] They are important. I would find a better combination of the hard skills juxtaposed to community. Collaboration creativity, those kinds of things, because your career, they become so much more important. Yet many of my college, my undergraduates had no, I just keep studying. I do the best in school. Well, okay.
[00:30:48] I get that. And that's good. Let's not lose sight of that, but here's what we're going to add onto it. And it becomes a revelation to them. And my job is to be, to promote all that. Yeah. I, I agree with you. I think that, that the educational system. Really hasn't been modernized. It hasn't doesn't really meet the needs of the majority or at least a significant portion of the kids.
[00:31:11] You know, like four years ago I've been teaching for 25, 20 something years. I don't even know how many. And when I started, there was this very big pit push towards differentiated instruction and multiple intelligences and so on and, and everything that we were doing. W was geared towards different modalities of kids learning and not everyone is college bound.
[00:31:37] And you can't assume that. And, and, and then we started with this, no child left behind and the common core nonsense, and now we try to fit every single kid in a college bound. Been in a college bound avenue, pathway, whatever. And not every kid is going to fit down that way. Not, not every kid needs four years of science, not every kidney.
[00:32:01] It's four years of math. You know, I didn't take physics that I'm perfectly fine. I didn't take calculus. I'm perfectly fine stunk and I'm perfectly fine. They had nothing to do with where I was going, you know? So I just, I think that we're trying to fit every single kid into a round hole, whether they're triangular or they're square or their dodecahedrons, you know, whatever.
[00:32:26] And, and something's got to change. There's a wonderful book. I, I I've read a, an author. You, you all know a Harari wrote a wonderful book called sapiens and the book is really an account of history, but it's the best history book I ever wrote. And he's an historian, a PhD from Oxford, but he followed up with a book called 21 lessons for the 21st.
[00:32:44] And each chapter is a different theme. And one of the chapters is education and here is a conventional, definitely his path was academic right up to the PhD in research who said the cram exam regurgitate model that we've grown up with hundreds of years will only get you so far. What he talked about is there's no lack of educators that if they could reinvent what education looked like, his framework was called the four CS of education where the communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking that is what we should be focused on.
[00:33:23] And you use those to follow the path of the hard skills, so to speak that you would be interested in, but that is foundation. To any career. And when I read that book, I said, oh my God, finally, somebody who's talking, this is the elephant in the room because so many people in the careers look back at their college and high school education with regret, like look at all the time that I've wasted.
[00:33:47] Now, a lot of it is good. There's a lot of the liquidity to it, but it hasn't changed nearly as much as I would like it to. And I hope one day we will see the four CS of education on. Well, I th I think when the education system, when our model of the, of education was invented was created, we kind of had a finite number of jobs or options for kids.
[00:34:12] I think it was 1368 in bologna. Italy. Things have changed a bit since then. You know, I've been saying this for years, that the careers that are current kindergartners by and large will wind up in haven't been invented yet. Haven't been thought of yet. And so how is our educational model now that's already antiquated going to adequately prepare them for careers.
[00:34:39] We haven't even conceived of yet. You know, so we need more of these soft skills, the three, the four CS in order to be able to get them to be adaptable and to be self-starters and to teach themselves and to be emotionally aware and all of that. And in order to. To, to rise to the challenge, could not agree more.
[00:35:00] Let's keep doing what you're doing in school. Oh, good. Thinking of rise to the challenge. Let's try the Berry in, in elegant segway. Let's talk about a climb to the top, to your book. Yeah. When, when I made that career change a cycle, okay. Now I'm a teacher and, and I started to teach public speaking, but what I was leaving people with was PowerPoints and a lot of material.
[00:35:28] But, I think somebody once said to me once. I forgot what the conversation was. What's the one book that changed your life and somebody, his response was the book you write is the book that will change your life. Right. And I was like, huh. And that was just in my head. And here I was now starting to coach, I'm starting to teach.
[00:35:47] I didn't have something. I could leave my students and my mentees, all my coachees with so sick. Oh. You know, I really got to lay down. Framework for how I became a public speaker and I'm self-taught. And when I got this job at Bloomberg, it was almost tongue in cheek. Well, Chuck, you're not so great at this.
[00:36:05] You just suck less than everyone else in the company. So you get the job because nobody trains you for this stuff. I crammed an exam like everybody else. And here I am stepping on stage. Oh my God. I don't get a grade for this. I can't measure it. And yet I was given an opportunity, oh my God, this was just my, this was the best opportunity.
[00:36:27] Oh my God, this is awesome. And I can't say I was that good at it. I had a debate class in college, which, which was the best. Absolutely the best course. I took that debate class. Taught me the power and purpose of communication. And it had more impact on me, I think, than all of my other 39 subjects combined.
[00:36:48] So I had it in my teacher. My professor was in Eric scoped back what? I will never forget him. In fact, I tracked him down 35 years later in Manila, just to thank him. Biggest regret is when I graduated from Syracuse, I didn't walk into his office, give him a hug and a present and tell him how much he meant to me eventually I did, but it shouldn't have taken me that long.
[00:37:11] But I say that I did, but I say that because it was my time to put this framework, this practice that I use to become a public speaker that people seem to respect and admire. Well, now I need to share that I need to bring it to scale. So. I said I've never. And also I want to say one part of my second career Marcy, that I think is an important part of my mindset.
[00:37:35] I set out to do things when I became a Mountaineer that from here on in, I'm going to do things I've never done. And I may be absolutely horrible at them, but that's what my second career is. Do things out of my comfort zone, do things I've never experienced. I never thought. Of course, but many people don't think that way.
[00:37:54] They want to keep doing the same thing. Cause it feels good. I get that. But that's not the way I think I'd never taught college. I'd never read a book. I never had a podcast. Right. I'd never read a reclined, a mountain. What do I have to lose? So I said, all right, I have to put all of this method and what I thought about, how do, how do I step on stage?
[00:38:14] What do I do. Well, it was pretty clear that there's a lot of techniques that I use and I needed to codify them. I needed to put them down on paper. Well, how do I give a speech? So I developed in my book, something called the 10 commandments of great communicators. Now I say that because as I watched Martin Luther king, Barack Obama, you watch the really good one, Steve jobs, they all have a different way about them, but what do they do?
[00:38:40] And then I thought about what do I. And how do we simplify it in such a way that I could put this into a framework that people could understand? So the first thing that was, what am I going to call the book? That was a, no-brainer a climb to the top. Use the mountaineering as a metaphor for how you climb your career.
[00:38:59] But the backpack, the tools that we carry on the mountain are now going to be different. So the 10 commandments of great communicators is. That's what's in your backpack when you're stepping on that stage or doing your podcasts, that's a great metaphor. No, well, it, it became my brand and if I call it a climb to the top, my company is called climb leadership.
[00:39:19] This is the intersection of me as the wall street or a Mountaineer. This end, the subtitle of the book is communication and leadership tactics to. Your career to new Heights. Again, we layer in the mountaineering metaphor, but this is what the book is about. So each chapter is a tool. And just by way of an example, one, the first chapter is called the primacy recency effect.
[00:39:44] When I sit there and I watched someone give a speech and they Bumble on endlessly for the first 30 seconds to two minutes, that's their primacy effect. And you have 15 seconds to engage people. And what's the consequence of non-engagement people go. They're there physically, but they're not there mentally.
[00:40:01] So what we teach in the primacy recency effect is people, the observation that people remember, the first thing you say, and they remember the last thing you say, oh, I'm going to remember what you say in between. So make the first and the last part count, the first part is opening up and engaging them.
[00:40:16] The last part is the call to action. What are you leaving them with? Right. The second chapter is called the power of emotional appeal. There's a chapter on body language. There's a chapter on the. Of the pause. I like that. Well, most people that I train, they speak at a hundred miles a minute, like, whoa, listen at a hundred miles.
[00:40:38] An no question. And mark Twain said the right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective. As a rightly timed pause, just that chapter eight. I should've made a chapter one and the music right there. No question where you learn about the rest and when you're reading sheet music and you're listening to Bach and Beethoven this, and you know, Harmony's listened to Crosby, stills, Nash, and young Simon and Garfunkel listen to the way they harmonize.
[00:41:09] There was a pause. You understand, you hear the words. So a climb to the top is the book that changed my life because it became my brand. It became an Amazon bestseller. It was translated into Chinese. I did a tour in four Chinese cities, which was a thrill. It was awesome. Awesome experience. And to have the translator, the, the guy.
[00:41:32] The individual, a professor at a university in China with me on the book tour. And he did his part in Chinese. And I had no idea what he was talking about, but I wrote the book. He was talking about what you were saying, right. I hope he did. I'm accepting on faith that whatever he said. The power of the pause.
[00:41:56] It was so much fun because here was my subject matter. The book that I so passionately wrote, and this is my dad speaking to me, it's now he's speaking to an audience of Chinese students and I'm listening to something I don't understand. I understood it. I knew exactly what he was saying, even though I don't speak a word of Chinese.
[00:42:17] So I think that's part of the experience that I had. Well, we cross-connect language and culture. And so it's been so much fun because my mountaineering world is always on display. I'm always the Mountaineer. That's just who I am. And I'm the teacher and I'm the coach. And I am just so blessed. I have all these things and the book simply.
[00:42:38] Put all of this in a way that was certainly instructive. I hope inspirational, but also I'm a businessman. It's part of my brand and my podcast, Ms. John, which was on ABC for 54 episodes. Now we're on bunch of other networks. It's called the climb to the top. And it's not about success stories. It's about Dearborn.
[00:43:00] You're right. It's about when I read your book, it was about. Just that the lives we lead, the struggles. We come to know who we are through the challenges. And then as in your book and in mine, we make up our mind, we are strategic and intentional that I'm not going to let the world knock me around anymore.
[00:43:22] I'm going to take control of this life and I'm going to go out and I'm going to set out to do. In my case, I set out to do things I've never done before. And I don't give a damn if I suck at them because I, every day I will suck less until I get, I learned something. Right. And even if you quote unquote, fail at it, or you decide that you don't like it, or it doesn't bring you joy, you're meaning you try something.
[00:43:45] Well, one thing I said in the book, there is no failure ever. That's a mindset there's for you, whatever it is you're doing. Just, just learn from it, get a little bit better. The next day, take a step at a time. You'll suck less. And eventually you become a subject matter expert. That's how they all do it anyway.
[00:43:59] So, but Marcio will say the high school students, many of them have this incredible. The perfectionist and them, I need to be perfect. I need to get everything right. And when I'm teaching someone to give a speech, many of them, they want to write down every little word. And I said, no, no, nobody's going to remember what you said.
[00:44:15] They're going to remember how you made them feel. So let's focus on the emotional appeal. We speak at a rate of 125 words and learn your last line roadmap of how to get there. That's it right. Spot on. Yeah. Yeah, we, there's a an organization called moth moth.org. They're storytellers. Oh yeah. I hear the moth radio hour on MPR and they've got in random cities around the country.
[00:44:40] They do these story slams kind of, and I could, because field trips are pain in the ass and these things generally take place at night and they're in bars and things. I can't bring my students, so, I bring them off to my classroom and then we watch a bunch and analyze a bunch of them. And then. I make them write their own and deliver them in front of the class.
[00:45:01] And I said, you can't memorize it. Right. And you can't bring any paper up with you. What is your first line? Memorize your last line and a roadmap on how to get there? It's your story? You're talking about your life. No one knows it better than you. So kindred spirits, right? Same, same, same thing. Yeah. Know your beginning, know your end, then just get up and do it.
[00:45:21] But you know, this year because of. And their anxiety level is up higher and their masks. And there were so many kids, so many kids with schooling, anxiety, and social anxiety. So this year, instead of performing them for each other, I had them make videos and just mail them to me. So I watched them, but. It's not what it was.
[00:45:46] We're all just trying to get through it. I want them to feel safe and cared about and not stressed out over something. That's supposed to be fun. So, yeah, forget it. So before we end, let's do our. Quick questions or seven I'm ready. Okay. What six words would you describe yourself? Yeah, you know, and I thought about that is like, to me, this was a, you know, I'm just going to write it quickly without thinking about it.
[00:46:10] So here are my six in whatever order, loving, enthusiastic, passionate, driven, determined, and fun. I would say that describes you. Thank you. And I like to have fun doing it. And what's the point, of course, of course. What's your favorite way to spend a day? Yeah, I love this one because I thought about a day in the life and, and complete day.
[00:46:32] I'm a runner, a Mountaineer I'm I'm physically fit. It's really important to me and I became that way right out of college. So my date will begin either. At the gym, a bootcamp class, Pilates, that doesn't matter something physical that starts the day with mind, body spirit, second. Cool. Every, every day. I hope that every given day I laugh every different I feel.
[00:46:57] And on any given day, I think so I'm a, I'm a lifelong reader. Yeah. It took me awhile to get there, but every day I read something that I hope makes me laugh, makes me feel and makes me think. Also music is a big part of me, even though I don't know how to play an instrument because I suck at it. I will turn on Bach or I will turn on Simon and Garfunkel, hairy chest.
[00:47:18] Led Zeppelin. It doesn't matter. There's Billy Joel was probably in stain on my favorites, but I listened to any of them or whatever music I listen to. So there's a music part. And then certainly my family, my friends, I'm married with four children. My kids are all graduated at a college to one lives in Colorado.
[00:47:35] One's in Florida. Two are in the area. It's important. My circle matters to me. I don't give a damn how many there are only give a damn that the ones that, that are in my circle, I love them and they love me back. So that's a part of my day. And then lastly, I'm a big movie guy and certainly included it.
[00:47:52] When I watch movies, I get to meet people I otherwise never would. So whether it's from a book or from a movie, but if I include all of those in a day, That's a great day. It sounds great to me. I like that. What's your favorite childhood memory? I grew up an hour outside of New York. When we used to vacation as kids, I never flew, I didn't fly until I went to college, but my, my dad we'd drive around.
[00:48:18] And I remember my favorite memory is, and Niagara falls we're on this boat in the bottom, bottom of the falls called dismissed. That's it? Yeah, the main of the MIS and I remember my favorite memory. We were on the boat. I think. 10. And I remember all this water coming everywhere and I just remember the joy.
[00:48:36] The sun was shining. My mom and dad were holding hands. They were just having a ball. The water was everywhere. We were soaking wet. I stick my tongue out to taste the water. I was like, God. And I look back just at that moment, how lucky I was for such loving parents. And, and I'll never doubt the maid of the mist.
[00:48:54] That's it. Thank you for the reminder five. It's fine. I have, when I was 12, was the last vacation. One of the only, but definitely the last vacation we took as a family before my parents split up and, and we did both sides of the falls and we did the, this thing inside. Right. And then I went to college in Geneseo, which was only about an hour outs an hour and a half away from Niagara falls.
[00:49:19] And the drinking age was 19. So mine too. So we'd go to Canada. And so as a college student with my friends, we did the maid of the mist thing also, and it was really great memories. I hadn't thought about either of them in a long time. It's always in my head. And then it's a representation of the good fortune that I had growing up with.
[00:49:40] Apparently. That shaped me to become who I am. That's awesome. What's your favorite meal? Yeah, I have the good fortune I've traveled. I don't know, 50, 60 countries I've had just about every cuisine I could possibly imagine. I'm in a Italian food freak and so I start with a burrata and if it's got olives and some dried tomatoes and olive oil, I'm good.
[00:49:59] And then any kind of protein, salmon chicken, it doesn't matter what the is to veggies and a glass of Malbeck or Keon D is fine if on any given day and I am one healthy. I do not eat food out of a box or a back. I do not eat junk food. That is not negotiable. I only eat food from the earth. So every day, breakfast, lunch, dinner, it doesn't matter.
[00:50:20] And, that what I've just described in any combination, it's got all live sun dried tomatoes and olive oil. I'm good. Sounds good. Excellent. What advice would you give to your younger self? Yeah. When I speak to my younger self. I tried to help my 16 year old. And this is certainly to my children, help them to redefine what it means to be smart.
[00:50:41] And that smart is not just the memorization or knowledge. Smart goes way beyond that. I would have told my 16 year old self more intuition go with what you feel, listen to your heart while, while we live in a world of empirical big data, all of that, I get that, but I think we're humans. We feel first, we think second.
[00:50:59] And I think I would have told them what you're feeling is right. Don't discount. It don't displace it. You don't gush over it or try to try to overcompensate for it, but listen to what your heart is telling you. That's your path, whatever that is, and drown out all the noise. Forget where everybody's got an opinion of you.
[00:51:18] The only one that matters is your own intuition. Beautiful data. Thank you. What's the one thing you would most like to change about the world? Well, I have to admit that what I want to change about the world is a very narrow focus. I set out every day and I have the good fortune that what I do is I go to work in the service of someone else's success.
[00:51:40] That's just a good fortune because for 25 years, I worried about mine. Now I get to help other people. Not worry about theirs, but to help them with there's no question, but the one thing I would do to change the world is I would help others to focus on their communication skills. First and foremost, for your relationships, for your career, for your friendships, it is the most under utilized.
[00:52:02] Ever in education. And I get, we got to learn all these other things, help others to communicate more effectively. If I can do that from the time, I'm no longer on the planet and that is my legacy, then I know I'm here for a reason. And that is it while you're doing it. Chuck, I appreciate it. Thank you. Now I'm blessed for it.
[00:52:21] That's wonderful. And then the new question, just cause I'm interested in it is what TV shows are you being. Okay. Yeah, of course. Well, let me first, first state that, that I have on television before I get to the binge order, my three favorite television shows Seinfeld number one, a one, not negotiable.
[00:52:40] Nothing makes me laugh more than that. Second jeopardy. I'm a fan. I love the 30 minutes of interaction because I'm stupid and I learned something from it. And then third, 60 minutes as toward what we're binging. It's 60 minutes. I it's just it's it's the best magazine I've ever listened to. , but I would say in the bingeing world right now we're benching true detective with Matthew McConaughey.
[00:53:01] It's several years old, but it's, it's quite intriguing. I would say also there. As I think about what else we're binging. There's a couple of things that I have binged that I absolutely adored. One of them is called bloodline. One of them is called godless. There is many out there. There are so many good series and movies on Netflix and prime and oh, God, how could I miss this?
[00:53:25] Hey, number one. And I, oh my goodness. My favorite, in fact, I can't, I don't want to insult Jerry and George, but Ted lasso. Oh God. Yes. Oh my in fact, when, when somebody told me about Ted last, so it's like, oh yeah, yeah, I okay. What the heck? And Jason, Sudeikis, he's very funny. Oh, man, no, buddy. This is the emotional intelligence, the leadership lessons I watched the first episode of Ted lasso as said, my goodness.
[00:53:57] Finally, somebody has made this isn't about football. This isn't about soccer. This isn't about the UK. Oh my goodness. If to anyone, listen. If you have not seen Ted lasso, it's the best show on television? I agree. It's the best. My in, in the, in the, the streaming world. Yeah, a number one. DOR this show.
[00:54:23] I've watched the series now four times both at both seasons. I just, and every time I see something else, I it's just, it just speaks to me on a, on a molecular level. I just th the emotional intelligence, Marcy, I've not seen a show between, particularly when you see the characters interacting in the locker room, even just the coaches, before we get to the players, the lessons learned the humility.
[00:54:47] The, the we're all each other's teachers, Jason Sudeikis when I watch his character play out as Ted lasso, this is leadership in the making people should watch his behavior toward Rebecca, the character though, the boss, how they interact, the fun, the challenges, the drama, the collaboration. Oh, that's phenomenal.
[00:55:11] Right? That's so all of the characters and all the characters are three dimensional. Every single one of them is a believable person. So great on apple, plus I just absolutely phenomenal. Yeah. Yeah. Well, thank you for the seven. This has been super fun, Chuck. I'm so glad that you were here. Oh, thank you for having me.
[00:55:34] It's a real pleasure and I am so glad you, you did your podcast. Keep bringing and I see your, your emails come through all the time. Keep bringing. Good work to the universe, Marcy, it's wonderful. What you've done and watching the evolution of your brand have permission to heal. I'm watching it evolve every day.
[00:55:52] Every time I see it. So it puts a smile on my face when I get your email and I am blessed and grateful for the opportunity to be on the other side of the mic this time. Wonderful. Thank you so much. Enjoy your day. You're quite welcome, Marcy. Thank you very much.