Episode #289: Philip McKernan – Relationships Move At The Speed Of Vulnerability

Philip McKernan works with entrepreneurs and business leaders all over the world. When people are seeking clarity about their future or want to move through roadblocks, seen and unseen, they call Philip. As a speaker he has inspired and challenged the Canadian Olympic Team and The Pentagon to name a few.  What separates Philip from a lot of coaches, speakers and gurus is originality. He brings new conversations to the table and spends an obscene amount of time thinking and challenging the status quo, instead of simply repackaging business & life hacking strategies. Philip is a modern day philosopher of the human experience.  With a knack of getting into all sorts of scenarios – he’s caddied in golf for the President of Ireland, been chased and nearly killed by a bull elephant in Nigeria and made wine in Australia. He has traveled to 80 countries around the globe and has worked with orphans in Sri Lanka, Peru, India and Guatemala, written five books despite being dyslexic and his first documentary film released in 2016.

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“Vulnerability is the only way to truly deepen relationships.”

Show Notes:

  • Commonalities of sustaining excellence:
    • Moments where they feel like a fraud, question themselves.  They are more comfortable within those moments
      • This allows them to bounce back quicker
    • They seek and attract things that are outside of their normal comfort zone
    • The Picasso example — The courage to face the failure and own up to it
  • “Vulnerability is the only way to truly deepen relationships”
    • “When you say, “I don’t know,” it helps others feel empowered to help”
  • Philip felt worthless at age 14. He felt isolated and alone, a burden to try and fit in.  “That pain had a purpose.”
    • How to go from an isolated and alone 14 year old to a keynote speaker who moves people to tears?
  • How to deal with skeptics?
    • “That’s okay. But, I would address it now. Couples typically wait five years too long to get counseling.  Do it now.”
  • What do you do? “I create environments for people to go deep. I meet them where they’re at.”
  • The story of starting this business on the side in an Irish pub.
    • “The hardest time of my life was at the beginning, but I didn’t allow lack of money to impact what I did.”
    • “What are you willing to give up to do what you want?”
    • “I stopped making the journey about me… It was about them.”
  • Why Philip will not send his kids to college…
    • “Spend time learning. You need to understand who you are. A classroom is not built on how to get to know who you are.”
  • The “Planes, Trains, & Automobiles” test:
    • Kevin Bacon started his career with no lines… But kept working. “Be willing to put in the work. Run for the cab.”
  • Is “follow your passion good advice?”
    • “Yes and no.  There is a big difference between excitement and passion.  I believe we all have gifts and so many people use their talents.”
    • “For you, sales was a talent, but your gift is connecting with people. To lift them, to help them, to build confidence.”
    • “We are all leaders but a lot of people lead from an inauthentic space. It’s not what we do, it’s how we do it.”
  • What is One Last Talk?
    • “If you had 15 minutes left to live to share your message, what would you say? You need to share with the world to free yourself.”
    • The process creates freedom.  People want to connect.  This is “team deepening.”
  • Why write a book?
    • “Everyone has the capacity to make an impact. I believe all of us carry some demons.”
    • “It’s like five years of therapy in one book.” “The book is by me, but it’s not for me.  I will never sign it.”
  • “One of the greatest burdens a child can bare is the unlived life of their parents.”
  • Why joining The Learning Leader Circle is a good idea
  • Use the “Get To Know You Document

“One of the greatest burdens a child can bare is the unlived life of their parents.”

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