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A Climate Change with Matt Matern Climate Podcast

105: Dr. Lance Secretan, Author and Leadership Expert

Guest Name(s): Dr. Lance Secretan

Lance Secretan is a spiritual thought leader and the world’s foremost authority on inspirational leadership. For twelve years running he has been voted one of the top thirty most influential leadership coaches in the world. He is the former CEO of a Fortune 100 company, university professor, award-winning columnist, poet, author, outdoor athlete and advisor and mentor to leaders. Talk about inspiration! Lance is an author who shows how to inspire our leaders AND employees to be their best.

The Secretan Center >>

Reawakening the Human Spirit: Finding the SPARK, the FLAME, and the TORCH Within (Amazon) >>

Spirit@Work® (app) >>

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Lance Secretan is a spiritual thought leader and the world’s foremost authority on inspirational leadership. For twelve years running he has been voted one of the top thirty most influential leadership coaches in the world. He is the former CEO of a Fortune 100 company, university professor, award-winning columnist, poet, author, outdoor athlete and advisor and mentor to leaders…
When the world feels uninspiring, how do we regain our inspiration? And how do we inspire others? We are experiencing an unprecedented roiling of human experiences, and in this book, you will find a life-plan for reorienting your life, your perspectives, and your well-being—in short, a pathway that will Reawaken Your Human Spirit…
These are the first cards ever developed specifically for a business setting and the rest of life. Use them to start a meeting, enhance the tone of a meeting or add inspiration to one. Spirit@Work® Cards help people all over the world to build teams, inspire colleagues, boost creativity and innovation, raise performance, suggest solutions to difficult problems, communicate ideas and set the tone for your day. They are based on the work of renowned author and corporate advisor, Dr. Lance Secretan…
105: Dr. Lance Secretan, Author and Leadership Expert
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ACC #105 – Dr. Lance Secretan – A Climate Change with Matt Matern

You’re listening to A Climate Change. This is Matt Matern, your host I’ve got Lance Secretan on the show. He’s an advisor and coach to leaders, former CEO of a Fortune 100 company, author of 24 books, most recently Reawakening the Human Spirit, a roadmap for realizing one’s personal compass, a self-guided path to well being and inspiration.

Well, you may be asking yourselves, listeners, why do I have a leadership guru on the program that’s dedicated to climate change? And my answer is, the environmental movement needs more inspiring leaders, there are undoubtedly thousands, if not tens of thousands of leaders in the environmental movement, and some of them are quite inspiring, and some are maybe a little less inspiring.

The fate of the world is really tied to the quality of the level of inspiring leaders we have. And one distinction that Lance is made in your books is between motivation, which is more fear based, and inspiration, which is more love based. And, you know, so that’s something I want to talk to you about. And I thought that distinction of the motivation, which those of us who have studied leadership for a while for me, going on for decades.

You know, we tend to lean on motivation, like to study for an exam, you fail, you do a good job, or you’ll be fired. That’s kind of that fear based motivational stuff versus inspiration, which is love, which is based upon a fire that lights within us.

Now much discussion in the environmental movement is in, as I step back from it, what after listening to your stuff, Lance is more fear based, it’s, you know, if we don’t cut our CO2 and methane emissions, we’re going to destroy the planet, we’re going to all die kind of thing. Less of, it’s inspirational, like if we cut our emissions, we will create a healthy planet, for our grandkids will create a prosperous and sustainable economy and the process.

So I’m excited to hear from you about, you know, how to be an inspired leader in the environmental movement, from anywhere from kids to CEOs, political leaders, and everyday citizens around the world. So, Lance, welcome to A Climate Change.

Great to be here. Thank you, Matt.

I’d like to know your journey and what what it was like to rise to the level of SEO and then what then hedges switch to your current path of leadership advisor, coach and author.

Well, and a new path since then, go back to your first point. And I’ll come to that. Why am I on your show, because something we’ve forgotten map is that everything’s connected.

It’s all one, we can’t do anything without touching your client. Nothing, we can get up in the morning without touching the client. So everything we do in life has to do with everything else, our relationships with each other, but also the relationships with our environment, everything else, all one. So that’s why I’m here because the influence that we can all have together will make a big difference.

Now going back to how do I get here? Well, I was 27 years old, I was a sales manager of a company and somebody called me said, I would like you to be the CEO of this company called manpower. Do you know manpower is a temporary staffing company. It’s probably the largest employer in the world today.

I was 27 years old, I had no idea what I was gonna do. And worse, they sent me to England. So I ended up in England not knowing the geography and North America, obviously. And also, I didn’t know how to run a company. I was 27.

So the only thing I can do is, what? What did my boss from hell that I’ve just been working for, for several years? What did he do? And I want to do the opposite. And that’s, that’s how I learned. I learned to do the opposite of all people that I felt was screwing it up, including my previous boss.

Well, I did that for 14 years. And we built a business from scratch and 72,000 employees and then I retired basically. So that was half my life ago. Now that I went to teach University and I was shocked to see how terrible the books were. I mean, the last place you want to learn about leadership is university.

So I had better write my own book since I’m teaching leadership, which I did, it became a best seller. That was called “Managerial Moxie,” which goes to show you how long ago that was. And it became a best seller and people started talking to me about, can you come and help us.

And so I did. And pretty soon I couldn’t handle my teaching load, and the rest is history. So 24 books later, I’ve been working with leaders all over, but there’s a footnote.

So the pandemic happened. And I realized that I had made a lot of people very successful, a lot of my clients that I coach, multimillionaires, and are retired now, I helped them do that I helped some other great companies in around the world has become better than they were.

But what I didn’t do, and I’m sad about this, is that it didn’t touch the lives of the people that work in those companies. I made it much better for the leaders and the CEOs, and for the shareholders, but the employees were at the end of the lineup, I didn’t get the same thing.

So I decided I really want to want to do is work with people, not corporations, so  much. So I’ve made a shift in the last few years. Because one of the things I’ve noticed is that we have created an environment where we don’t even recognize people, we don’t say let’s call Matt and Harry and Susan, and Shana to a meeting, we say Let’s have a meeting with the marketing department.

Like there is some transaction, there’s like no people here, it’s functional. So when we understand that we need to actually talk to people. And these are people that are mentally broken, or have dreams or just gone through a divorce or illness, or they’re going to aspiration that you don’t know about, when we deal with those things as humans, they’ll do whatever they want, because that will be inspiring for them.

Well, that’s, that’s a great path. I appreciate that, you know, as somebody who’s started my own business and my own law firm, back a number of years ago, about 30 years ago, I kind of know that path and, and trying to carve one, where I did create a firm where we, you know, we’re inclusive. And that was a great word that you you talked about in one of your videos, which I really thought the way you discussed it was, was eye opening.

And, you know, it’s it’s certainly challenging, but it’s also a great gift to kind of connect with the people in the firm and try to get their vision or what they’d like to have happen in their lives, which has, I had to drop kind of my fear based thinking about leadership and what I want, it’s like, I no longer was maybe as worried about how this would affect me.

You know, I had a guy who worked with us for about 10 years, and he wanted to go off and be a mediator. And instead of worrying about how that’s going to affect the firm was like, Thank you for working with us for 10 years and doing a great job and how can we support you?

And, you know, it’s, you know, it’s just a different mindset than the fear of, oh, I’m going to lose somebody and it’s going to cost me.

Well, I like to share with people the fact that I did some research many years ago, and find out when did we first start using the word work. So work, you know, it was a TV show back in the 50s. I get used to going there, what it’s called.

But anyway, he said, work? and you go to work or people feel..ah, Dobie Gillis, that’s it, and we people feel like you know what we didn’t work then back in the in the 1500s. We didn’t work, there was nowhere to go to work. There were no factories, no offices.

And if you had a blacksmith, it was in the back of your house didn’t go anywhere. Then we invented the word work in the 1600s. And then we started building places where people went to work. And then we’ve been doing that for 600 years. Then COVID came along. And we all went back home again.

I mean, we’ve just been on a 600 mile trip experience, we’re going to do exactly what we always used to do before the 1600s. So here we are. So what we’ve forgotten, and it’s going to take us some efforts to try and get through this is that we’ve treated business is a totally separate activity from the rest of our lives. So you’re talking about the way we engage with people, but why would you do that any differently? anywhere else?

You love you love people in your personal life. Why don’t you love them at work? And you inspire people at home, your family, your spouse, your kids, once you do that with your colleagues?

What’s the difference that human beings so we’ve forgotten like, you know, I can go out here in my drive, I can talk to a stranger and I can problem, man, no problem. They might think I’m gonna work since I don’t know me, but they are not going to go to jail or anything.

But at work, if I do that, I got all kinds of problems, your lawyer, you know that I have to be really, really careful about not stepping over boundaries, and so on, and you’re behaving myself. So what is human beings? Why can’t I hug them? Why can’t I go up to somebody to work and say, even if she’s beautiful and pretty, I love you. If I work with her every day, and I respect her, and I have a deep admiration for why can I say that?

What’s it got to do with anything else? And I can do that outside? Why can’t I do it inside? We hold people accountable at work. Would you say that your spouse will do performance appraisals and engagement surveys, horrible things? Why would we do that?

Oh, it’s a fascinating conversation. And I think that certainly one that we should be having, because I think the work world in many ways is broken. And that is, and and the disconnection and what you talked about the oneness factor. Essentially, there isn’t a way you should behave at work that’s different than the way you behave at home.

It’s the same person now. I got up in the morning and I met my husband and now I go to work and I’m a janitor. Well, I didn’t change I’m the same person. Right. So you’re listening to A Climate Change? We’ve got Lance Secretan. On the program, really looking forward to talking with Lance after the break, we’ll be right back in just one minute.

You’re listening to A Climate Change. I’ve got Lance Secretan, the author of Reawakening the Human Spirit, and I was just, I was thinking about this in terms of leadership and the climate movement. You see somebody like Greta Thunberg, who’s a great example 15 year old who started a global movement Friday’s for the future, out of her personal commitment to the environment.

What makes her so special as a leader? Was she born with some leadership traits? Or is that something that lots of kids or people could do?

Well, she was a good thing. So I think that was like Malala. You know, it’s the same thing, when you’re always inspired by a young person who can change the world. We understand you and I, you with your gray hair and me with none, that it is going to be younger people that are going to change everything.

There are a few of us at our generation that will change. But mostly it’s going to come. I mean, think about Congress, Congress, is average age of 70. Most of the people can’t operate a computer, and they’re writing laws about technology.

So you know, we have to understand that this is not a way to go forward, young people are going to change. So we’ve seen Greta Thunburg, we say, Wow, thank goodness as a 15 year old that gets it. And now we’re inspired, right? And she has charisma in a very odd way.

A very sort of down, down home kind of a style of charisma. But she’s got charisma, and she turns people on. And she’s gutsy, got the courage. It was the person of the castle principles.

Yeah, moxie. As a kid. So my brothers called me Moxie I, you know, I guess I should take it with greater pride at the time. But sure, it’s not a bad word, it’s a good word.

So speaking of leaders, you were recently interviewed by Marianne Williamson, who’s running for president United States. Did you give her any leadership advice?

She doesn’t need any she knows my work very well. So we’ve been friends for a long time. No, I think she already you know, that’s the thing about our work. I can teach you technique and models. But fundamentally, when you already have it in you, as you do, and as she does, there’s not much to teach. And most of the what we’re teaching in my work is something we’ve forgotten.

In other words, I’m helping people to remember what they’ve forgotten. We’ve forgotten how to be inspired. We’ve forgotten how to have dreams. We’ve forgotten how to feel good about the world. We’ve forgotten with the burden of a million different crises around us.

So Ukraine, polarization, opioid crisis, COVID, institutional corruption, climate change, I mean, there’s no end of this stuff. And it feels heavy for a lot of people, which is why I wrote the book because I think we need some mental health, health care, and we need to get out of this place and we need the world is not gonna present itself and say, Hey, man, I’m here to serve you and make you happy.

So unfortunately, we have to do the work. And so the book is really a roadmap of how do we get there? How do we the world is not going to change that much. So let’s get involved. And I think Greta is a good example of that as others set the tone for us. We love our youth, when they’re inspiring.

Yeah, it’s it’s certainly a wonderful quality. And so I, I had gone to a number of Marion’s seminars here in Los Angeles. And, you know, there would be 1,000 plus people at these and she would kind of wade out into the group and talk to various people during that. And I think it was, you know, she had just so much experience of dealing with people’s problems.

So I people would bring the life’s problems to her doorstep. And she was kind of ad libbing, you know, with what she had in front of her on a on a weekly basis. And I think it kind of sharpens one’s skills to be practicing in the game. Talking to real people.

She’s a world class expert. I mean, very few people can match.

There’s a lady called Byron Katie, which I would say, who probably has a similar impact on people. Simple work, very profound. And she’s surgical. She pulled someone out of the audience that’s going through a trauma. She’s gonna use her surgery on them. It may be, it’ll be inspiring, but it may hurt. Right?

So now, does Marianne have some weaknesses as a candidate potential president, lack of political experience, lack of management experience, lack of maybe formal training, whether it’s legal, academic, MBA, all that kind of stuff?

No, I think others see that as a disadvantage. But you could make the argument that lack of political experience isn’t one of them. And I would say we shouldn’t underestimate Marianne that way, she already ran for congressional district in California. And last, but she came fourth, which wasn’t bad. And then she tried to run again for President in 2020.  And here she is, again. So this is not our first rodeo.

So that I think is an important point to understand there is no limitation, Marianne that I’m much more concerned about. It’s not any of the things you’ve mentioned, because I think our lack of inexperience is actually a positive.

She’s saying, can’t expect these old guys to change everything. Because they think the same, and they’re never going to change their thinking, but I will, because I’m not experienced in that place.  I don’t know how all that works. And I’m going to make some waves.

But the thing that isn’t her way, in my opinion, is bashing in corporate America. I think that will not be helpful. If you bash corporate America endlessly. They won’t vote for you, and you need them.

So we need to be more inspiring around that. I think that’s that would be my message for her. If, in other words, it’s true of everything, isn’t it? We want to get something done. We need to inspire other people to do it. Trouble with climate change, Matt is were not inspired. At least not enough people are inspired, were inspired, but not enough people are inspired, most people have a much more short term view.

Right. I interviewed Marianne back in September of 2021. And she spoke of the need to end the use of fossil fuel. And though I agree with her that that is a good goal to have. And it’s a challenging process to end the use of fossil fuels. And she, I felt she was lacking a plan. So it was unrealistic to kind of state this immensely, put forward this immensely complex task requiring worldwide cooperation at a level never seen before. Do leaders need more than just a lofty goal to inspire.

But I don’t know that it is so out of reach. Because I think when America decides to do something like that, the rest of the world will not necessarily follow but at least that’s an opening of the door. And then people will start to think about because that you’ll see that with the Paris Accord, for example. You’re basically the Paris Accord fell apart when America bailed. And it’s got new life and it now that Americans back, and that’s the way it works.

 So if she shows up and says, let’s write a new plan for global energy, I think it could make an impact. I mean, I would hope for her that she will end up in a cabinet that would be a perfect place for her. She’ll make a lot of noise in there, and she’ll be a sort of AOC inside the cabinet. So that’ll be kind of fun.

I think that she she is not, and you’re likely to see that success as a presidential candidate, but she couldn’t have a big impact. And I think that’s what we need right now. Noise. We need to shake people up. And millions of people feel very strongly about her and would vote for her.

No, I, I agree that we do need some new thinking. And I like a lot of the things that she stands for. And I and I agree with the direction regarding fossil fuels. It’s just as I’ve studied it, I mean, you look at Greta Thunberg’s book, it has probably 75 to 100 different experts who are writing different pieces in the book.

So I mean, that’s a complicated set of challenges. And we need to be kind of cognizant of the complexity of it. In terms of we’re going to shake up the world as we know it to make these changes.

And so with the Biden administration, America, and the rest of the world has started to make progress towards fossil fuel reduction, let’s put it that way, and alternative sources of energy. But then Ukraine happened. And Ukraine messed up everything, because suddenly we’re short of gas and oil.

And so now we ended up drilling in Alaska, which was never intended that’s just came about because of the pressure. So, you know, it’s short term, I suppose. So we’ll do this for a while. Hopefully, we’ll get past it and stop doing it. But that’s where I’m mentioning that because I think one has to be realistic.

I’m all for switching out of fossil fuels. But if I can’t fill up my car, and I can’t get to a grocery store, I need help.

Right. There’s just there’s a plan to get there. And that’s the challenge. And that’s what we’ve got to work towards. And kind of the cooperation factor is, is highly important. And the problem of us kind of not cooperating as a nation.

In the past, like when we’ve solved these big problems, there was cooperation across a wide spectrum of the country. And this time, there doesn’t seem to be that and, and we need a leader that inspires kind of left and right, who can speak to both sides of the equation.

And when I haven’t seen a whole lot of that yet.

No, and I don’t know if any of the candidates in the next election will be like that. And we don’t know who’s gonna be presidential candidates either yet, but nobody who’s made a noise except for Marianne perhaps. Looks like they would ever do that.

Well, you’re listening to A Climate Change. This is Matt Matern, your host, and we’ve got Lance Secretan on the program. And we’ll be back in just one minute to talk to Lance and more about leadership and what direction the environmental movement is likely to take in the next few years.

You’re listening to A Climate Change with Matt Matern, and I’ve got Lance Secretan on the program, former CEO of Fortune 100 company, Manpower, and recently wrote a new book, Reawakening the Human Spirit.

Lance, I noticed on your website that you use “namaste” on there and as being a longtime yogi, myself have been doing yoga for about 15 years, almost every day. Curious as to what that what led you to that part of your path?

Well, like you, I’ve studied that world too for a long time. And one of the things I came across was the old status script greeting. “Na,” which I think means “bow.” No, it means “me.”

And “namaste” means “I bow to you,” in Sanskrit, therefore, what it actually means we translate it to is “the sacred in me, the divine in me, sees the divine in you.” And when we are both in that place, there’s only one of us. It’s the greeting.

Yeah, it’s a beautiful greeting and certainly it kind of dissolves a lot of differences when when we can get to that space.

Well, you know, another way that we can do that too, which often freaks people out when I tell them this, but you know, I’m sure this must happen to you as an attorney. You sitting with people that you don’t like. It happens from time to time, yes, you’re sitting with people you don’t like. And they are challenging. And they usually don’t like because of us have different beliefs, something’s not noticing for you. So what I do when I’m in a situation like that, is I say to myself, silently just to myself, I love you. You’d be amazed how it changes the chemistry. I still don’t like this person, much. And I still don’t agree with him. But I toned down my potential hostility, because I’m in a different place and coming from a different energy.

You know, it was about 15 years ago that I was first starting to do yoga, and I was at home and this guy who we were up against, sent me a 335-page meet and confer letter, attacking our responses to some discovery, and, and my first response was, you know, I want to do a full frontal attack on this guy, because he’s such a jerk.  

And then, as I was doing the yoga, I was realizing that’s exactly what he wants me to do. I’m not going to do this. I’m gonna jujitsu this energy. And I kind of did that and we got him sanction for his silly letter. And we ended up certifying the class action and, and we ended up settling it, getting a guy a good result for our clients.

At the end of it, he said, you know, it’d be fun to practice law with you. So I hadn’t burned. So I hadn’t burned the bridge, and I got a good result for my clients. And then I realized that this yoga stuff really actually works.

Right? Did you end up being doing anything with you?

You know, we’ve, we’ve talked over the years and you know, it’s kind of a friendly rapport versus in in a past iteration of my life, I think I would have put a flame thrower to that bridge, that relationship and…

Could be, yeah. You know, it’s the same with divorces. It always mystifies me why we can untangle in a dignified and elegant way. You’re like, why do we have to have a war when you divorce?

You know, I definitely try not to or do your one’s best not to, I guess I wish I would have had more wisdom, you know, back 16-17 years ago, but you know, there’s always there’s always room for improvement.

We get it in the end all of us.

Yeah. So now, you get a chance to meet with a lot of great leaders. Please tell us about some of them that inspired you?

Well, I think my current favorite hero is Satya Nadella.

And what I love about Satya Nadella, in his approach, is very similar to my philosophy. And I worked with Microsoft a lot over the years, probably 20 years I’ve been working for them.

They…not only does he have a philosophy that is caring, and compassionate and connected. So it’s really, he sees the implications of what he’s doing. For instance, there is a commitment on the part of Microsoft to be completely energy free, self sufficient, and energy, I think by 2030, which is amazing.

When you think about a company of that size, I don’t know how they handle that with all their servers and everything that giant energy consumers. But I’ve got a plan. And I don’t know the details of it. But that’s one thing. The other thing is if you go back and look at the results, the “e” of “CASTLE,” which is effectiveness.

He added basically he’s tripled the value of the company in the seven years he’s been CEO. And he’s done it not by using technique of management or leadership, he’s used by being sensitive to people and the environment.

Right, that’s, it’s pretty incredible. So tell us the, what the CASTLE acronym stands for and how you use it.

So I don’t know if I mentioned this earlier. But the castle  came to us when we did research about what do people not like about other people?

They don’t like cowards, they don’t like selfish people. They don’t like phony people. They don’t like people who lie. They’re like people who roll with fear and they don’t like idiots incompetent people.

So those six things, we discover other things that we do not like about other people. We say, “well then, let’s not turn this into a major engineering project. This is simple, let’s do the opposite.”

And the opposite is courage, authenticity, service, truthfulness, love and effectiveness. CASTLE principles. If we live those six CASTLE principles, we will inspire others. Because we love people who are courageous. We love people who are authentic in love people serve others, love people who tell the truth are loving and effective.

Now, the CASTLE principles are practiced by millions of people all over the world, because it works and it’s sticky. I’ve had people say to me, Hey, I heard you speak 20 years ago, and I said, Oh, what did I talk about? Well, we talked about CASTLE principles. What are they? Coverage, authenticity, service, truthfulness, love and effectiveness.

That’s sticky. And then when it’s sticky, you can live with the kind of remember, it’s not an it’s not sticky. You forget, that’s what happened to seven habits, for example, successful people.

I think most people can give you one or two of the successful habits. I can give you all seven. Hardly anybody can do that.

I’m not sure if I can give you one.

But yet we’ve done the course. So that what that proves is pedagogically it’s not. Doesn’t quite stick around is a great concept, but it needs some engineering to make it stickier.

Right, right. If we don’t remember it, what’s the value of it?

I saw you interview Bill Clinton, like once. What was that? Like? Tell us about that? That’s pretty fascinating. Interview.

Yeah, that was was interesting. And I was asking him about strategy. In our conversation, actually a little footnote here. We were on stage together. And we were in, I think Nashville. And I went to the bathroom, which I typically do before I go on stage.

And as I went into the bathroom, 22 Secret Service men followed me, 22. They were outside the door, they were inside, they were all over the place. I couldn’t go anywhere. So anyway, that was kind of I have not been in that environment where I have all this, you know, these suits and spooks all around me. So he, he is super smart, that just getting away from it. He’s got a brain.

He’s getting on a bit now. So I think he’s not quite as quick as he used to be. But he’s still totally engaging. You know, if you spend time with him, I don’t know if you’ve ever done that. But he goes into a bookstore to sign a book. I mean, the women role swooning. He just has a magnetic effect on people. It’s hard to explain, but it’s…and men not just so he was he, he’s very charismatic and very smart.

So I asked him about strategy. And he was telling me how he would handle the Middle East, where you have to get people together and get them to agree on an outcome and then negotiate backwards to try and get there. He said, It’s really never done. He said he tried to do that in the Middle East, but it never, it hasn’t really been done properly.

And he laments that that’s sort of one of his big regrets during this, this turns that he didn’t solve the problems of the Middle East. And that’s actually touches me because I did my PhD thesis on Israel in the Middle East. And I interviewed, the leaders of both countries set up in the day and begun when they were around bottom, and the top 40 opinion formers in Israel and in Egypt, to find out what they were doing with each other, why they were in conflict and so on.

Because complex issue for me, I am very interested in that subject. And I think we have to uncover it. And not only that, but as you were saying earlier, in our political system, that’s what we think we need to do. I need to fight you. But that’s not what we need to do. I need to understand you and then collaborate with you.

We don’t agree, but we should come to a compromise somewhere where we both get at least some of what we need.

Yeah, it’s certainly the talking is the first step to find out what the know is what the what the push points are. We do that in in mediations of cases all the time. And I I thought what Bill Clinton had said regarding that, they had basically a deal that both Arafat and Israel were willing to sign off on. And then Arafat backed away from it, which is kind of the tragedy of it.

And he felt, hey, if I had gone to Saudi Arabia and some of the other Arab countries and and got them to buy into it, they could have encouraged Arafat to do the right thing, but they were so afraid of secrecy that they didn’t kind of put the deal on the table. And then it just petered out for whatever reason, which is so tragic when you consider what’s happened over the last 20 years.

And a footnote, I was actually the CIA tried to recruit me because I was shuttling between Egypt and Israel and you couldn’t do that. In those days. I have two passports. Government gave me two passports. So travel.

Wow, that’s pretty fascinating. A certainly a time we’ll have to go into that in more detail. Now you had asked Bill Clinton some questions that I’d like to maybe ask turn the tables on you. You had asked him “what was the one word that you that was most important about leadership to define leadership or talk about leadership“ and he said “service” would what would be your word?

I think, “courage.”

I’m gonna get back to you in just one minute. We’re going to take a break and we’re going to talk about courage with Lance Secretan, author of many books, most recently Reawakening the Human Spirit. So we’ll be back in just one minute.

You’re listening to A Climate Change. This is Matt Matern, your host I’ve got Lance Secretan in here on the program. And Lance, you were just telling us that you thought courage was the most important word related to leadership. Give us what your take is on that. Why?

Well, I think “service” is an important word as Bill Clinton said, it’s one of the castle principles also. But the thing I stumbled on, I think, is that nothing happens until we’re courageous. I can’t say sorry. Unless I’m courageous. I can’t say I love you. Unless I’m courageous. I can’t say I need help. I was wrong. I can’t say, I don’t know. I can’t say, please forgive me. I’m sorry. Thank you.

These are all things that take courage. So courage is the beginning of everything. I can’t tell the truth until I’m courageous. I can’t be authentic until I’m courageous. I can serve others and until I’m courageous, I can’t really do anything. I can change my beliefs. I can change my values, I can put my ego aside and be in your space. All those things take courage.

And we were courageous when we were born, but we’ve lost it. Now we need to get it back. And if we can get back our courage, then we can be exceptional leaders. But it takes courage. It’s the most important thing.

I can tell you, you know, I certainly can relate to that. And that when you’re up against it a real challenge. It’s it is, it is frightening. I mean, I I ran for President back in 2020, challenged Donald Trump in the Republican primary, because I felt that he was taking the country in the wrong direction and, and felt that not enough people were standing up to say this was wrong.

And and I as somebody who’s an environmentalist felt his lack of interest in the environment was cataclysmically wrong. Yet standing up to say, No, or standing, throw my hat in the ring. caused a lot of sleepless nights before I did. It would scare the hell out of me.

Good for you, Matt. That’s, first of all, I’m honored that I shouldn’t be interviewed twice in a week by presidential candidates. That’s astounding. But at the same time, I just took my hat to you, because that’s what we need. We need people like you showing up and tilting windmills, making people nervous.

So that probably you’re not going to change in the sense that you will get elected as the president you knew when you started. But what you will do is stick a burr on the saddle of some of the guys that are sitting there already.

And that’s useful, because that will say that they’re paying attention, they’ll say there’s a bit of a trend here and I better just get lined up for that. Because that’s what politicians do. You know, they’re always trend chasers, not trend setters.

Right. Yeah, I felt like it’s just important to as a citizen, and I have been given so much by this country to say, you know, as a civic duty to stand up and say, “this is wrong. I don’t. I disagree.” And we are so missing that there’s not enough people doing that.

This is just a wonderful thing to do. And thank you for that.

I appreciate that. So how do you think the President buying Biden is doing as a leader? If you were coaching him? What would you what would you tell him?

Tell him not to run again. Not because he’s not a good president, because I don’t think his chances would be as good as somebody younger. And I’m sorry to say that because I’m not young either. And ageism is a problem in our environment, in our society, but I think he’s probably used his best years. But, I think he’s done well. I think he’s done incredibly well, actually.

And at some point, as we get closer to the election, we’re gonna hear, I’m sure how much they have done, which is enormous. This is, we’re the only Western country in the world, of developed countries, whose economy is on fire.

We’re in a mess, and we’re not doing it at the expense of everything else, either. I mean, it’s, it’s sort of a new way. I mean, think about the energy we’re saving by not having 50% of downtown Manhattan office buildings are empty right now. So we’re not using all that traffic and oil and burning up resources and all the rest of it.

That’s a step forward, we built the economy even with all of that. Amazing, so it hasn’t been on before. He’s unique that way. So, you know, I’m bummed, I did it. But after the 2008 crisis, and here we are, again, with the demo. I don’t know what the Republicans would have done. Probably getting rich tax breaks probably.

I think he’s doing well, and I applaud his leadership, particularly on the Ukraine, crisis has been incredibly good. And, you know, I guess I’m gonna part ways with you on that he should run again, I think he’s kind of a Trump Slayer.  And since it’s a pretty good chance that he’s getting that Trump is going to be the nominee for the Republicans. I think Biden can beat him again.

And, and I think he’s kind of more in the center of the country, which is, I think, ultimately healing and a good thing. And I guess the other thing is, I think he’s reached a point in his life where he’s willing to be a bit more courageous. I think as you get older, you’re, I think he could get a little less timid. It’s like, “hey, this is my last rodeo, I’m gonna make it count.”

Yeah. He’s comfortable in his own skin. I don’t follow Trump or be the nominee. I think he’s got too many crashes ahead of him. Spoiler chance, I may be wrong, and I’m just making stuff up here. But then the question becomes, well, will Biden face off well with his antics?

You know that’s an interesting question. I don’t know if that will be the question. But if it is, I think he I think he would I think DeSantis has gone so far, to the extremes that he’s very much in danger of losing the center of the country.

I want to be clear about my comments around Biden, I have the greatest admiration from his stance for the right things, and he’s done the right things. What I’m more concerned about is the way the media has got to trash him because of his age.

And that’s not his fault. He can’t do anything about that. He’s still a good person and has done good work. But you know how it goes. The same with Marianne Williamson, by the way, your last time. Just a week ago, they did a poll of where all the candidates stand. And then she wasn’t even on the list.

You’ve got to get on the list. And so, she’s a fabulous candidate. But if the outside world is not working with you on this, you’re not going to get there. You need that. And that’s what I worry about with him. Can he manage the media in such a way that he overcomes that?

Yeah, I think he can talk…

His cosmetics, Matt. I don’t mean to make a… I mean, he’d be great. If you went to a gym and showed that he’s got you can do be buff, and you can lift weights, then people say, “oh, he’s not falling apart”. This is great. You know, I mean, it’s cosmetic. It’s not real. But it helps because it’s all part of the picture. You know, yeah. Politics is showbiz.

Yeah, that I was gonna harken to Ronald Reagan, and that people were concerned about his age, particularly the second time he ran. And he really turned the tables on Mondale and said, I’m not going to hold his inexperience against him and get everybody laughing.

And, you know, that’s right. And, you know, I’m 83. So I’m in a place where I can say comfortably, you know, I’m not old. I don’t feel old. But I’m, and I’m busier than all get out. I’m all over the world all the time. You know, traveling and working. Life is good. So it’s possible.

And by the way, if Trump is the running mate, then the whole argument of age will disappear because Trump’s old too.

Right, exactly. So what coaching Would you give me and other people similarly situated to be leaders in the environmental movement?

Well, let me give you a little tip here. There’s an app that we created called Spirit@Work Cards on all the platforms, Apple and Android. It’s 77 cards. 77 cards, with single words. So intimacy, vulnerability, passion, chemistry, all the castle principles, courage, authenticity, so on and son. So if you pick a word as a meaning you tap the card and turns around as a meaning.

There in the 77 words is basically all our work, which is called high ground leadership. So we one time long time ago, we said, what are the key words that we use in our work, high ground leadership, these are the 77. So in terms of climate change, and anything else for that matter that moves us forward. Download the app, shake the phone, it’ll shuffle the card, randomly. Pick a card, and live that today.

So if it’s intimacy, search for intimate relationships today. If it’s courage, be courageous, more courageous than you would have been yesterday, if you hadn’t picked this card. So each day is incrementally in a small way moving forward in the right direction.

That’s a great thing. I love it. I’m kind of into Taoism. And that’s all about following the spirit. And so this is yet another tool to kind of follow the spirit.

It’s a zen practice.

Right. So everybody go to Spirit@Work, download the app, and let’s start living that way. Because it’s just a it’s a, it’s an opportunity to stretch ourselves.

Yes, exactly. As you do the inner work, which is what we need to do. We spent a lot of time talking about how the world needs to change. But are we prepared to?

Right, right, it starts at home. And so that’s, that is certainly the big challenge.

So it’s been a pleasure to have you on the program, Lance. Great, great talking with you, everybody. Go out and purchase a copy of Reawakening the Human Spirit, Lance’s new book, a roadmap for realizing one’s personal compass, and also get his app on Apple or Android and start living your dreams.

Thank you, Matt. Thanks for inviting me.

Okay, well have a great day and everybody in the audience, go out there and go make a difference today. Pick up some trash, volunteer for environmental organization and get involved in politics. Make your voice heard.

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