Episode #273: Chip Conley – How To Be Wise Beyond Your Years

Rebel hospitality entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author, Chip Conley disrupted his favorite industry… twice. At age 26 he founded Joie de Vivre Hospitality (JdV), transforming an inner-city motel into the second largest boutique hotel brand in America. He sold JdV after running it as CEO for 24 years, and soon the young founders of Airbnb asked him to help transform their promising start-up into the world’s leading hospitality brand. Chip served as Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy for four years and today acts as the company’s Strategic Advisor for Hospitality and Leadership. His five books have made him a leading authority at the intersection of psychology and business. Chip was awarded “Most Innovative CEO” by the San Francisco Business Times, is the recipient of hospitality’s highest honor, the Pioneer Award, and holds a BA and MBA from Stanford University.  His latest book is titled, Wisdom @ Work – The Making Of The Modern Elder.

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The Learning Leader Show

“When you’re the leader, you’re the emotional thermostat for the people you lead.”

Show Notes:

  • Commonalities of sustaining excellence:
    • “An operating system unique to them. It defines how they operate no matter what the context is.”
    • Understand Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
    • A way of thinking about people
  • The importance of being both a practitioner and an author
    • Having a finely tuned sense of your greatest strengths… And hire for the gaps
  • “The capacity for holistic or systems thinking that allows one to get the gist of something by synthesizing a wide variety of information quickly.” — Pattern recognition
  • How to develop self awareness:
    • Having an internal and external antennae
      • External — “read a room”
      • Internal — “understand your intuition” –> How to tap into your “gut brain”
      • The ability to be vulnerable is critical
      • Action: Journal, meditate, speak with a coach. Converse in a vulnerable way
  • Why being part of The Learning Leader Circle is so valuable
  • Stanford Business School classmate of Seth Godin
  • “When you’re the leader, you’re the emotional thermostat for the people you lead.”
  • “People get very attached to their identity.”
  • Learn to “listen to hunches and take chances.”
  • The story about the time Brian Chesky (founder of AirBnB) called him
    • “Instead of trying to prove himself, he was trying to improve himself.”
    • We had an “EQ” for “DQ” relationship – Emotional intelligence for Digital intelligence
  • A mentern = Mentor + Intern at the same time.
    • The importance of having a beginners mindset — “Ask questions. Be catalytically curious.”
    • The “modern elder” is as much a student as they are a sage
  • Chip’s inquisitiveness became contagious at AirBnB
  • It’s important to “intern publicly,” and “mentor privately”
  • There is progress to go from hubris to humble
  • Wisdom: “Move out of trying to prove yourself, and instead work on improving yourself.”
  • As the leader, always ask: “How can I support you to do the best work here?”
    • Know you boss has your back — Support
    • Put direct report in a role to create conditions to grow
  • Set learning and development programs
    • The biggest gap at AirBnB was “understanding humans.  There were 28 year olds leading 24 year olds.”
  • How to build an alliance with someone who disagrees with you?
    • Find some sort of alignment.  Even the smallest amount is progress.
    • Find the intent…
  • “We’re all like plants/flowers. Look at the soil.  If you’re a sunflower in the arctic, you have to get out of there.”
  • “Make sure you have a boss that has the capacity to get you there.”
  • Why joining The Learning Leader Circle is a good idea
  • Use the “Get To Know You Document

“Move out of trying to prove yourself, and instead work on improving yourself.”

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Episode 234: Jocko Willink — Why Discipline Equals Freedom