Episode 52 – Unstoppable Collaborative Leader with David Savage

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David P. Savage is our guest today. I must say at the outset that he conveyed to me a concept I believe we all should consider. Near the end of our time, David discussed the concept, “Unlocking the possible within a culture of collaboration”. David will explain that and many other thoughts and insights during this episode.
David has been extremely involved in the energy industry throughout his career. He has led teams and groups and he also has taught others to lead using his concepts around collaborative leadership.
No matter what David teaches and says, I find him to be a person who is always learning. He also passes along what he has learned, a trait I admire.
I believe you will enjoy our discussion today. As always, please let me know what you think, and please give us a 5-star rating wherever you find this podcast.
About the Guest:
David brings expertise, experience, and leadership including oil and gas, renewable energy, health care, entrepreneurship, stakeholder engagement, business development, coaching, and conflict management. Over a ten-year period, David and his partners collaborated to develop 5 companies and 4 not for profits. Since 2007, Savage Management has focused on building capacity, innovation, and accountability in people and in and between organizations and communities.
Beginning in 2015, David has published seven books and hosted forty-five podcasts on collaborative leadership, negotiation, critical thinking, and collaboration.
Currently, David is;
✔   President, Savage Management Ltd. (since 1993),
✔   President 2021/22, Rotary Club of Cranbrook Sunrise,
✔   Co-Chair, Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group D 5080 (SEBC, E. Washington & N. Idaho),
✔   Advisor, The Canadian Energy, and Climate Nexus, and
✔   Director, Waterton Glacier International Peace Park Association.
Past director roles include the ?aq’am (St. Mary’s Indian Band) Community Enterprises, Canadian Association of Professional Speakers Calgary, Heart and Stroke Foundation Alberta, Nunavut and NWT, Petroleum Joint Venture Association (President) and Mediators Beyond Borders International- Canada.
David’s public speaking highlights include;
✔   Mediating the Evolution of Climate Justice for Mediators Beyond Borders International (MBBI),
✔   Nobody Gets to be Right: How to Lead Collaboratively for MBBI,
✔   Leading as a Positive Conflict Resolver: Don’t be an A.C.E. Hole,
✔   How to Produce Better Outcomes through Well Designed Collaborations for Rotary International Conference and
✔   Creating Shared Value is the Way: Collaboration is the Path.
Conflict, misunderstanding, misalignment of organizations and their leadership, lost productivity, wasted time, and wasted resources resulting from limiting perspectives, distraction, and hardline positions are damaging our today and our future. Our shared future matters!
 David’s books; Seven books available in print, eBook, and audiobook.
Better by Design: Your Best Collaboration Guide, Break Through to Yes: Unlocking the Possible within a Culture of Collaboration 2018 Edition, The Collaborative Podcast Series: Book 1: The Foundations For Collaboration, Book 2: The Collaborative Guest Podcasts, Book 3: The 10 Essential Steps and Book 4: Unlocking the Possible, Break Through to Yes: Unlocking the Possible within a Culture of Collaboration
Think Sustain Ability published in Sustain Magazine
Company to Company Dispute Resolution Council published the Let’s Talk Handbook.
david@davidbsavage.com / 403-466-5577 / https://www.davidbsavage.com/ Let’s talk.
About the Host:
Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog.
Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is an Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.
accessiBe Links
https://www.linkedin.com/company/accessibe/mycompany/ https://www.facebook.com/accessibe/
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Transcription Notes

Michael Hingson  00:00
Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I’m Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that’s a c c e s s i  capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we’re happy to meet you and to have you here with us.
Michael Hingson  01:20
 Hi, and welcome to another episode of unstoppable mindset. Today we are going to be talking with David Savage. David is an expert in helping companies manage conflict and he deals with leadership. And when I asked him how he wanted me to introduce him, he also said and I’m never late for dinner. So I can’t argue with that either. David, welcome to unstoppable mindset.
David Savage  01:47
Thanks, Michael.
Michael Hingson  01:49
I’ll bet he didn’t think I was going to do that, folks. But you know, that’s what you get for asking in the answering. So Well, we’re glad you’re here. Why don’t you tell me a little bit about you, maybe sort of early stuff and all that and we’ll go where we go. All right.
David Savage  02:04
Really appreciate this. And hello to all of your network of fans out there who enjoy dinner. The background to me is I’ve published seven books and 45 podcasts on collaborative leadership and inclined conflict resolution. I teach negotiation, mastery circles. And I’m the grandfather of five. I’ve been in the natural resource and energy, energy transition business all my career. And throughout my career, I’ve realized I really enjoy working with people and getting business to work better together. When I’m called in to be a firefighter, when supper on the stove is on fire, I I find that it’s often that common sense thing that people miss. Often the they get stopped in their stoppable mindset is to their anger and their their reptilian brain and their reactivity. And rather than one of the my 10 essential steps to collaboration is set your intention. So before I met with you in this recording session, Michael, I am sat and set my intention to say let’s have some fun today. Let’s go different pathways. So you and I are picking up on the same vibe here. But I always want to remind myself on what do I want to have for this conversation or what’s the outcome and of course the outcome for this is not only to have fun and not be late, but also to allow your listeners your viewers a few nuggets on my perspective on an unstoppable mindset.
Michael Hingson  04:00
Where are you located?
David Savage  04:02
I live in Cranbrook British Columbia and Kootenay Rockies of Canada.
Michael Hingson  04:08
So it’s not dinnertime. So you also don’t want to be late for lunch.
David Savage  04:12
Yeah, well, and I just made lunch for me and my partner and so it’s all good. And and in fact, in a couple hours we want to go to Naik into the community forest and it’s some nature breathing in
Michael Hingson  04:28
fresh air. Yes. Well being a grandfather of five. So when you became a grandfather, was it kind of a quantum leap to I can spoil these kids and send them home at the end of the day and all the things that we hear about grandfather’s
David Savage  04:45
Well, I’d like to tease that that grandpa grandparents or parents without rules. At the same time, I just love developing the relationship with my grandkids in teaching them value views and how they are loved and respected, I think indoors with my grandchildren, because in this world today we have a lot of separation, a lot of polarization. And that generation and the next generations younger than me, are the most talented and brilliant in history. So. So for my grandchildren, I want to allow them to, to dream together. We’re in fact, with two of my grandchildren, 14 year old green and 12 year old Sarah, we’re actually in the process of writing a book together to help them those possibilities in their mind that they can, they can create, they can they can be in. If our shared book is only read by the three of us, that’s fine. If it’s read by a young adult in Afghanistan even better.
Michael Hingson  06:02
There you go. Why do you think that you’re unstoppable?
David Savage  06:10
Yeah, I struggled with that question. In preparing for this discussion, Michael. Of course, nobody’s really unstoppable. But when I face dramatic obstacles, I really go to my values. I really go to my sense of, okay, who am I? transparency, honesty and integrity. take the high road. So in some instances, you know, in my own personal life, about seven years ago, I had a huge challenge in my personal life. And people kept on saying, Well, why don’t you you know, play the same game as they are, I just won’t do that. Because that would actually stop me to allow me to continue to evidence to my family, my grandchildren, my clients, that being honest, being an integrity and and showing my vulnerability, then I can include them. What happened with that is, at the end of the day, the really challenging several years for me, I came out, probably better than anybody expected. Because I would not be dragged down I would not be stopped and in my sense of who David Savage is,
Michael Hingson  07:34
well, do it. Do it slightly a different way. What what do you think unstoppable means or what is unstoppable mean to you?
David Savage  07:47
Yeah. I really believe it is a sense of okay, yes, we are going to have some major obstacles in our lives there, there will be diversions and detours. But to me, Michael unstoppable means I know who I am, I know where I want to go to. And and I will be unstoppable in achieving my goals, my intentions, my dreams.
Michael Hingson  08:13
You know, it’s interesting that when phrases and words suddenly catch on with people, they get overused. And I do hear a lot about something being unstoppable or someone being unstoppable. And unstoppable is become a pretty, pretty major buzzword. And I think sometimes overusing those words diminishes their value. And another one is amazing. We always hear about something being amazing, or someone being amazing. I know, people with disabilities who succeed and do the same things that everyone else does or do are called Amazing. And why is that? Really because in reality, what it means is you just don’t have a high enough expectation of us to recognize that. It is an amazing, it is what everyone else can do. And why shouldn’t we be able to do it, so don’t call us amazing. Call us normal call us part of society. But you know, it’s that are unstoppable. And it’s the same sort of thing. We overuse the terms, but I like unstoppable mindset and the way you just described it, because that’s really what it’s all about your goal. Unless something really causes you to change it. Your goal is what you you shoot for and what you work to achieve. It may well be that your original plan for how to achieve that goal may change. But still it’s the goal. It’s the overarching principle that stays the same.
David Savage  09:48
Yeah, yeah. And I love the combination of the two words because unstoppable to me, Michael, is the mindset. Yeah, I can be deterred Written, delayed and all that stuff, but if my mindset is, I want to, I have the skills, I have the network, I have the resources available to me somewhere to get to where I want to be, then it’s really my mindset. It’s the mindset that gets me there.
Michael Hingson  10:18
Yeah. Which is really what it’s all about. Hence, why we call this unstoppable mindset because I think it really comes down to mentally what you think and how you go forward. You know, there are a lot of ways to do it. Some people talk a lot about visioning, vision boards and other things like that. And there’s in some people just adopt the mindset that I’m going to achieve my goal. But also achieving your goal means that you’re going to do it in an ethical sort of way, too. Yeah.
David Savage  10:51
And the word victim just popped into my heart and mind, Michael is, there are some of us, all of us some of the time, but some of us that just want to hang on to being the victim. Well, to me, that just means I’m giving my ex myself an excuse to not get what I really deserve. And I’m not courageous enough to take the risk of failure or retry, retry, retry, you know, I’ve got one client, I’ve been working with coaching. And they, they simply want to go to that mode of, you know, the world is bad to me and I want them to negotiate a better world for themselves. It takes time the victim applies to all of us. What I would also say a real good friend of mine for the last 15 years is a disability rights advocate lobbyist in Washington DC for probably a decade and really worked hard in integrity because she had visible challenges that I don’t have and about five to seven years ago Rhonda decided joining in to take a break you know Washington’s are sometimes a toxic place and and she ended up going on a three months walk about literally she just took a little economy car and drove around North America talking to folks and saying hey, do you mind if I sleep on your in your spare bedroom or you know, she often captain or occur. And with when we were out on Vancouver Island, she would go swimming with us. So while she had limited use of her limbs, she was unstoppable she still is and she’s still a strong strong image and connection and friend for my family members that said well, flicks liquid Rhonda Dyson, she’s pretty unstoppable. And it was also self care for her to to get away for a few months and just kind of hit reset,
Michael Hingson  13:09
which is really what it’s about, to a large degree. I know a woman who happens to be blind and she and a friend of hers who also is blind. Two or three years ago, I can’t recall which just decided they were going to go down and spend a period of time in Peru hiking and touring and so on just the two of them by themselves. And they did and had a heck of a time. And what she said to me was it was certainly unusual to do that to women by themselves much less to women who happened to be blind, but hey, we had so much fun wouldn’t trade it for the world it’s it’s all about mindset and all about attitudes to do the things to do the things that we we choose to do and want to do. And it’s like anything else. It’s something where were our goals may take a while to achieve. I mean, I think it would be fun to drive a car to really drive a car at least I have in the past but really seriously now given the way most people drive I’m not sure I want to be on the road I I just admire my wife all the heck because of the fact that she drives us around. And and you know, the two of us and people are crazy. They just the way they drive and I hear her descriptions all the time. She also happens to be a person in a wheelchair so she uses hand controls and does it but geez driving has just gotten to be crazy in the world.
David Savage  14:51
Yeah, the you know one of the metaphors that I like to talk about and use when it comes to overcoming barriers is either sports or racecar driving, you know, if I’m driving my Missouri, at 140 miles an hour, 200 kilometers an hour, and there’s a crash in front of me. If I look at the crash, I’m going to hit the crash. If I look at where the sliver of road in between that car and the ditch or the wall, I can get there. So it is that constant sense of where do I want to be and continue to look at that? I, there’s just so I have no credibility, because when it comes to disabilities, I have many abilities. I’ve got many disabilities, maybe mentally sometimes. But at the end of the day, what I do with respect to diversity is I really focus on including all the voices, including all the perspectives, so people that are very different from me, people with a different culture, different abilities, different demographics, I really want to, to the best of my ability, include them in my negotiation, my leadership and my teams to say some of the most brilliant insights come from the most unexpected places. Often, oftentimes in my, in my green team, and my rotary environmental sustainability group in Washington, Idaho and British Columbia, the most brilliant ideas come from the 16 to 18 year old young people. And they tell me, David, we’ve never had this voice. Nobody’s actually listened to us before. And we say, as the old folks, please, please inform us, please share your wisdom, because it is and when, especially when we’re talking about sustainability, it is your future and our shared future. But we better stop minimizing those that are  nodes that are that we’re in conflict with, they have much to teach me.
Michael Hingson  17:26
But it also goes the other way. And that is that people who have lived long lives who have been successful or who have observed life, also have a lot of information that they can share. And all too often, we ignore that as well, especially when they get past a particular age. How do we break down that barrier as well? Yeah,
David Savage  17:53
ageism is I think what we’re talking about right is, Well, geez, I was an ageist once, before I got old. I remember telling my parents when I was a young kid. Yeah, don’t trust anybody over 30. And oftentimes, in our culture, especially in North America, anybody that’s over 60 Well, they’re not worth the investment. They, you know, they’re rigid, whatever, those shackles they put on our opportunities. It’s just, you know, we are our job, as elders, as mentors, as coaches, is to create the safe space and mentor and help encourage. And I think our job is not to block the block the road just to continue that metaphor is, I find that there’s too many people in my demographic, they’re still trying to hang on to power. And our greatest gift now is to encourage the healthy use of power by those that are younger than me. So So I think it’s a bit of a twist on the ageism. Yes, I love my work. I want to do this work for another 10 years at least, I’d love my clients around North America. But it’s time for me to do everything I can to support those clients, those young people, those next generation, those people that are are different from me in so many experiences and cultures, it’s it’s prime time to get them ready, capable, accountable. And in leadership,
Michael Hingson  19:38
of course, you get to be 30 At some point, and as some say, it’s amazing. When you think back on it, how much your parents learned by the time you were 30 Right?
David Savage  19:51
Yes. Yeah, I think I think I think Michael there is a somewhat predictable when you know, to me roles start saying no, most often, that’s a healthy thing. And then when a teenager starts expressing and demanding their power, that’s understandable and expectable, but at some point, but once those young leaders have their own mortgages, their own careers, their own children, it’s like, huh, Mom and Dad weren’t all that stupid.
Michael Hingson  20:25
And the other side of it is that, as we gain more wisdom, hopefully and as we get older, rather than saying no to those teenagers necessarily, it would be it would be appropriate to say no, but let me show you and tell you why I say that. And then you do have to let people make their own mistakes. And, and IT risk taking is certainly a part of what we all have to do. I remember when my parents were told that I was blind at about four months old, and the doctor said, send him to a home because no blind child could ever amount to anything, my parents rejected that. You’re kidding. And oh, oh, it happens all the time, even today, that the expectations for people who happen to be blind are extremely low. And they blame it all on the blindness, rather than allowing us the opportunity to flourish. And it doesn’t just happen with people who are blind. I mean, we see it with race and so many different kinds of things in our world. But for blind people, it happens all too often, my parents went the other way, I don’t think to an extreme, by any means, because they always kept an eye on me, they always talked with me, but they let me do stuff. until I was five, we lived in Chicago, when I’d walked down to the local candy store, I’d walk around the neighborhood, I went to kindergarten when I was four, and was involved with a lot of activities around the school, some of which I remember and some of which I don’t. But my parents then when we moved to California allowed me to take risks and a little bit more rural community, I learned to ride a bike and figure out how to know where cars were, when they were parked on the streets and other things like that. And they allowed me occasionally to kind of get get hurt a little bit or whatever. But there were always discussions around and saying, what did you learn from that? And I think that’s the biggest issue that we can teach anyone is introspection, and say, at the end of the day, whether things went well, or they didn’t go, well. What did you learn from it? And can you go back and think about that, can you go back and think of the choices and how you would improve what you do?
David Savage  22:52
Very much. So I just want to go back to my first of my 10 essential steps in collaborative leadership is sent set intention is my intention for that young person on my staff or my child, it’s my intention for them to grow powerful, influential, successful, and brilliant and healthy. While there is one roadmap for me and for that relationship, or is my intention to keep them safe? And I think those are almost mutually exclusive intentions. Seat safety can do a lot of harm.
Michael Hingson  23:38
Well, yeah, um, I think the issue about safety is that we need to teach what it means to be safe and to stay safe. And then we need to let people make choices based on really having the the appropriate knowledge, which is part of the whole way we get to be successful in understanding some of these things. Because ultimately, you have to try things for yourself. I mean, how often do children get told don’t touch the stove? It’s hot. And you know, eventually they’re going to touch the stove when a Tom but but why do they do that? Are they doing it just to rebill? Are they doing it because they don’t understand what it means. And if if it’s the ladder, it’s all about exploration. But once they do it once, they won’t do it again, because they now really understand. And it’s like blindness. People talk about blindness all the time and they talk about what we can’t do and that blind people are not really capable of working successfully like others. And of course, we can show lots of evidence of that. And a lot of blind people subscribe to that because they don’t know differently until the time that They, in fact discover they can do what they really want to do. And employers discover that hiring a person who is blind or someone who is different than they really isn’t that big of a deal because we can help them become successful, then it isn’t just a theory anymore. It’s an emotional buy in.
David Savage  25:24
Yes. I’m also thinking of another friend of mine in Calgary. When London, England was hosting the Summer Olympic Games, he was the drummer on the video to introduce everyone to the London Olympics. And no, just picture a drummer doing great work, really high energy. And then think about when there was the Paralympic Games. And he was a victim of thalidomide, he has no arms, and yet he’s one of the best drummers I’ve ever heard. So there’s there’s a challenge to our perspectives. I think also, when I think of some of the helicopter parents who just want to protect and therefore disrespect, and disempower their own children or their own staff members, then I think of people like Michael, who was high up in a tower on September 11 2001, you should definitely wear it safe, and you survived.
Michael Hingson  26:36
Well, you know, and helicopter parents, for example. I understand it, intellectually, I understand and you do to what their concerns are. But what, and let me go on with today’s world, it’s got to be a whole lot less safe being a kid than it used to be, especially girls, but not just girls, but kids in general. And at the same time, if we don’t find ways to teach children the same things that we learn from our parents, although we may be doing it in a different way we are and coming at it from different directions, we still need to teach them those things, because those are the basic things that allow us to survive.
David Savage  27:26
Yeah, a huge challenge and opportunity to change that mindset of we need to lock everything up, we need to keep our children safe, we need to need to need to need to, well, I still have family members and friends that don’t have a lock on their house. So they can go away for two weeks and they know that house is going to be fine. That mindset of we need to protect ourselves against what might be out there. And I definitely agree with you might call that some of the risks are very great and very dramatic. And at the same time, if if we are falling prey to that mindset of fear and scarcity, it really takes away again, the power, the ability, the risk taking for people just to have fun outside, go out with your friends and not feel like you have to be driven to and from and all of that good stuff. God in your organization and being a be able to just do a lot of different innovative things together. When we get so tight, and so fearful of the consequences, I think the consequences are already here.
Michael Hingson  28:45
Yeah, and we, we make the consequences, all that much worse by not preparing people. And that’s what we as older people also need to learn to do is to understand the society and help prepare those younger than we and use our knowledge and creativity to find other ways to teach. I remember being in New York before we moved to New Jersey, when I was working for a company, I would travel back to the New York area from time to time. And I decided I wanted to take a walk around Midtown Manhattan. We were up near Times Square actually. I was staying at a hotel. And I’m another thing I was I was gonna go to my favorite record store in New York City at the time that actually sold records even in the 1990s colony records. And I walked out of the door to my hotel. And this guy comes up to me and he says, hey, you know, I’m a guardian angel. Do you know who we are? And I said, Yeah, I’m familiar with you guys. Being around to help people and so on. He said, I’d like to just walk with you. And I said you don’t need to. He said I really would like to and I said well if you feel it’s necessary. But you know, here’s what we’re gonna do. And I let him walk with me and it was fine. Other times P and other people weren’t around. But I would like to think that he didn’t just do that sort of thing for me. And as I learned, and in learning more about them, I wasn’t the only person who got assisted or monitored by these people. And it was really nice to know that there were people who were spending the time to look out for you, so long as they didn’t try to restrict, you know, what you do. Now, if I wanted to go into the middle of Central Park where it was dark, I suspect he would have been a little bit more concerned. But I also wouldn’t do that, because that’s a reasonably unsafe place to be. And so I think that there are certainly practices that we all need to deal with to help keep ourselves safe. But I learned enough about the environment that I understood a lot of those things, and even so he wanted to help. That was fine.
David Savage  31:02
Yeah. I’m thinking about the definition of respect that I was taught about 18 years ago, me and others were teaching and negotiation mastery at the Omega institutes near Rhinebeck, upstate New York. And one of the participants came up to me and said, Dave, do you know what the definition of respect is? And I said, Well, yeah, I think I do. But obviously, you have another take. And she said, respect is not doing for others what they can do for themselves. And I love that. I just love that definition of respect.
Michael Hingson  31:45
I am a firm believer, and we need to teach people to fish, not give them a fish. And yeah, I think that makes absolutely perfect sense. I know that. And I’ve said it before in this podcast. When ever I’ve hired a person to sell for me, I have always, on the first day said, I know I hired you, I’m your boss, but I hired you because you did a good enough job to convince me that you could sell our products. So my job is not to tell you what to do and how to do it. But my job is to work with you to see how I can be a second person on your team, and add value to what you do. And as we learn to work together better. And we figure out how I can assist you, which will be different from how I assist the guy at the desk next to you, then we will have a better relationship and you will be more successful. And the point is that I could add value to the people whom I hired. And that’s the way it really ought to be. And one of the value is that I could could teach them things and they had to be willing to to listen. And the people who chose not to take advantage of a lot of that kind of stuff weren’t successful. And the ones who did were extremely successful. But it wasn’t just because of necessarily what I did. But they were already on a path to being observant and analyzing and making good decisions.
David Savage  33:25
And may I suggest open
Michael Hingson  33:27
and open. And so we were able to be successful together.
David Savage  33:35
That being coachable that part of me being coachable being realizing that I don’t know it all. And you and I and others can do far more together than I can ever do. On my own. It’s it’s apparent, but sometimes it’s just not apparent.
Michael Hingson  33:55
Right. Tell me what you mean by Nobody gets to be right. I’ve heard you say that before.
David Savage  34:01
Well, we’ve we’ve talked about teenagers and somebody that and children and all that and and I learned as a father that raised my three kids on my own substantially. You is more important for me to give them power and accountability, positive and negative. Then I I learned in so many that conflicts that I’ve engaged myself in by simply listening and listening and listening. profound ideas and innovations changes to the directions come when I come forward not feeling I have to pitch or convince or sell you. Pardon me, Michael. So I think as a leadership coach, encouraging leaders and family members and parents to be more curious, the less polarizing and command and control the greater the outcome. So it is it is in this these complex times is a real power to be curious.
Michael Hingson  35:11
Curiosity is a wonderful thing, and we should never discourage it. And, in fact, we should encourage it. And all too often again, we discourage it way too much.
David Savage  35:25
Yeah. Yeah, all I can say is listen, listen, listen, I have in companies that I’ve been part of the management, we’ve run into some conflicts. And after weeks and weeks of simply listening to our opposition, we came up with far better capital expenditure and facility plans, and our shareholder, our shares tripled, very quickly. If I would have been command and control, this is the way we’re going to do it, I’m going to convince you and I’ve got these rights while that company was still next door, and they never got anything built. So this is not soft skills. These are hard skills for communication for families, for organizational leaders to say, what if I stayed open? What if I actually realized that there’s a gift in what the person it seems to be challenging me, there’s something there some gems, some piece of gold that I need to uncover?
Michael Hingson  36:31
One of my favorite books on leadership and team building is The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. And yes, yeah. And I think one of the most important things he talks about is, when you’re working as part of a team, when the team makes a decision, or even if the team leader says this is the way we’re going to do it, you go along with that. But if it turns out, it wasn’t a good decision, then the team recognizes that collectively, it has the wisdom to make a change, and to try something different, and it may happen several times. But it has to start with respecting that the team is in it together. And respecting that. Who ever maybe created the final decision that wasn’t right, is also wise enough to recognize it wasn’t right and then work to find a better solution.
David Savage  37:36
Very much, so very much. So. You know, Patrick Lencioni is an amazing leader. He’s taught me a lot. Another book that I really encourage our your listeners, your community, to read, listen to take in is think again by Adam Grant. And I just want to share a quote that really, I think lands the point that you and I are exploring here. It takes humility to reconsider our past commitments, doubt, to question our present decisions and curiosity to reimagine our future plans. What we discover along the way can free us from the shackles of our familiar surroundings, and our former selves. I think that’s a, an incredible invitation to learning. And through curiosity, and challenging myself to think again, and then think again.
Michael Hingson  38:40
Well, Jimmy Carter once said, we must adjust to changing times while holding to unwavering principles. And I think that that’s just as important. There are basic tenets, there are basic principles. And I think that as we progress in our development, which is another way of saying maybe as we get older, we make sure we understand the principles but then we have to teach those principles to others and recognize we may get to them in a different way. I mean, in the past, you went to school and teachers wrote on the blackboard, and they lectured to you and so on. It’s a whole different world. We’re still teaching, we need to adjust to the fact that the process might change. But what we have to do is still the same.
David Savage  39:30
Yeah, the my experience I just sold a used for runner, and my habit is to buy brand new and I want and then drive it for 500,000 kilometers 350,000 miles. And so I sold mine and and I had the experience this time because I had that vehicle for 13 years I had this experience of We put it on Facebook, and the awful toxic comments on Facebook from just trying to sell a great condition used for runner. Everybody had to pile on and be really rude and angry. And then they started to a social media fake that people that really love the vehicle said, Oh, no, this is really great. He was just astounding. So I just thought, you know, I gotta take it off Facebook, this is not a conversation where I can get my use for runner in the hands of somebody that would really love it and appreciate it. Went on to ge, ge and autotrader. And all those and there was much more civil. But again, you know, changing in culture, my view is, if you like a vehicle, come look at that, look at the service records, get it inspected, drive it, talk to the owner. And then if you like it, then making an offer. On those other online sites, people said, well, we take this much, and I said, I’m not going to negotiate until I know that you’re going to come and look at it and see what you really buying. Because, you know, I could sell you a bucket bucket of bolts for half price. But that’s not a bucket of balls. And and so of all the people there was probably 30 people on Facebook, that were posting toxic comments, there was probably 20 people on the other platforms that just wanted to talk about price. And there was only four that came in sight. And then I had a number of people saying, jeez, that is worth it. I’d like to buy that. So as a negotiator, I always say you know, the money comes last, whether it’s your corporate culture, your family, but to deal with a the issues, the interests, the opportunities, and then whatever’s left, we can talk about compensation. But in in my social media and my online experience in selling a used for renter, it’s like, wow, that wouldn’t have happened even five years ago. And yeah, I’d rather just, I was, I think it might have been with you and I talking last week, Michael, I said your three wonderful to have 10,000 connections on LinkedIn. But four would be very profound if they were the right four,
Michael Hingson  42:18
correct? Well, and connections is the operative word. I was talking with someone yesterday about a lot of the things with social media. And the fact is that, are we really connecting with a lot of social media, Facebook, and so on, you just talked about posting a lot of toxic comments and so on. But it took some heavy work to get to four people who really connected with you. And then decided this was worth exploring, rather than just spewing out a lot of toxic stuff that doesn’t serve anyone’s purpose.
David Savage  43:00
Or even selling a one size fits all solution. You know what? There’s so many people that approach I’m sure you way more than me, Michael, just hit you with here’s my package, and here’s why you need to buy it. And that just doesn’t work for me. It’s okay. What’s the challenge? What’s the optioning? What’s the pain? And then let’s collaboratively come up with a solution or a service that suits you. Well, then that takes way too much time I just want to package? Well, you don’t want to really solve your opportunity or your problem then
Michael Hingson  43:37
when people asked me to come and speak. And I’m sure you see it a lot to the very first question is what do you charge? So I’m, I’m glad to tell people I I say all the time well, in 2016, Hillary Clinton got $250,000 to speak for Goldman to Goldman Sachs. And I think I’m worth it. And in some people stop for a second. And then they realize maybe that really wasn’t what he meant. And it breaks, but it breaks down a lot of barriers. And ultimately, my response is I’ll give you a number. But we really need to see what you need. And I have I’ve done presentations where we settled on a number but I will also say as long as I’m there. And we do settle on a number as opposed to it being a hard and fast. It has to be a certain amount, right. But I also say that when I’m there, I’m your guest, and I want to add as much value as I can. And so now that we’ve agreed on a number, let me also say if there are other things that I can do for you, in addition to speaking during this particular time segment at your event, if I can do any other workshops and so on, let me know I am glad to do that because I’m coming there to help you to be of assistance to you to add value to your event and I will Do whatever you need me to do. And some people have really taken me up on that. And it turns out that I’ve done a whole lot more work than we originally talked about. I don’t charge more for that, because I’m there to be of assistance. I’m going to be there anyway. And it’s also a lot of fun.
David Savage  45:19
Yeah. So to your point, you know, you might do a keynote, and then two or three breakout sessions and private meeting and follow up. You know, I guess that’s not only very clever and generous expertise, Michael. But it’s also the realization that no matter how much money even if somebody offered me a quarter million, which nobody has yet, for some reasons,
Michael Hingson  45:44
offered me that I’m really disappointed. But yeah, go ahead. But even if they did,
David Savage  45:49
I think your quote, your response would be the same as mine is, how do we make this really effective over time? Because Because being a speaker, you know, it’s not all that difficult to create some hallelujah moments. But I think this statistic says is three weeks after a speech, nobody actually remembers what you said. But they can remember what you challenged them with, or how have you felt? Yeah, so so it’s a it’s a long term commitment. It’s not a pay me a bunch of money, and I’m gonna go cash a check and run away. Not at all not not for you, not for me.
Michael Hingson  46:27
That’s my belief. And when people come back in six or nine months, or even years later and say, We remembered you, because, yeah, and we want you now to come back, or we remember what you said. And we really appreciate that. And we still hear from people about the time you were there, then I can’t I can’t complain a bit.
David Savage  46:50
I think that’s true. And leaving earlier this afternoon, I was approached by a group by the central Canada. And I said, Well, how did you find me? And they said, well, our President participated in one of your negotiation mastery circles 13 years ago. So there you go. Some words still worked. And I think the other parts in you know, when we talk about unstoppable mindset and diversity and supporting those that aren’t naturally are currently in the inner power circle. I think it’s also important to allow them to negotiate what they pay me. So for example, I have a series of prices. If if, if a client is in a major conflicts, and they’re going to try Oh, well, there’s one rate, the opposite end is if it’s a person, as an entrepreneur, or starting out or university or just not in the advantage position, I let them name their price. So sometimes that’s free, and sometimes that’s 20 bucks. And I’ll say, okay, because I believe in you. Yeah.
Michael Hingson  48:06
And sometimes the, the, the amount has to be reasonable enough to make it so you don’t lose a lot of money, at least expenses. And sometimes I’ve spoken just to get expenses paid, and I will sometimes do that. But I also find the people who just try to always negotiate you down to paying as little as possible, are the ones that take a lot more work than, than others. And they also can be some of the more challenging ones to work with, from the standpoint of just, they’re hard to work with, as opposed to genuinely trying to deal.
David Savage  48:44
Yeah, they’re the, they’re the ones wanting to buy the foreigner for two thirds of the value, they’re not prepared to actually make the investment of building a relationship with you designing something that’s powerful. And, and I’m also thinking of that famous wine experiment, you know, where, where they took a bunch of wine experts, and they said, here’s a $90 bottle of wine, and here’s a $9 bottle of wine, and then got them to rate them individually. And then they switched the labels. And I was the one that they were told was the $90 bottle of wine was far superior to the 919 dollar one. So that there is that impact of you know, separate and aside from those starting out starting over entrepreneurship. You were valued more, the more you charge, which is kind of an interesting metric.
Michael Hingson  49:42
Right? Well, Trader Joe’s, which is a store shop in this country, it’s a decent chain, had Charles Shaw wine, or sometimes called to buck Chuck because they sold it for $2 A bottle. Wine wasn’t the greatest in the world, but I recall many years ago, there was a blind taste test in New York. And one of the wines was to buck Chuck. And it won the top award for wine. And then when people discovered it, they all wanted to change their minds. And, but but the bottom line, is it. The damage was already done, folks, if you will.
David Savage  50:21
Yeah. So. So I want to I know that we’re getting close to the end of our discussion, Michael, and I’m really enjoying this because you and I play together? Well, I believe. I want to ask you a question.
Michael Hingson  50:36
All right, and then I’ve got a couple for you. But go ahead. What is
David Savage  50:39
in this moment is one quality that you think is most important to be an unstoppable mindset? What’s one quality?
Michael Hingson  50:52
For me, I would think that probably the most important quality is that you truly analyze, and think about what you are doing and what you want. And, in your own mind, create what you feel is the pathway to get there. And then be open to change. So in a sense, openness is part of it. But it doesn’t mean lack of confidence. But rather, you need to be open to dealing with your plan. And addressing in your own mind the issue of how do I tweak it as I go, but this is where I want to get to, and I want the plan to be it isn’t having a million dollars in the bank. I think I think unstoppable is when we are helping ourselves to move forward emotionally, intellectually. And through that, obviously, also, physically and in terms of our own survival and other things like that.
David Savage  52:02
So may I ask you a second question?
Michael Hingson  52:05
Oh, sure.
David Savage  52:07
How do you want to get remembered 10 years after you pass.
Michael Hingson  52:14
I want people to remember me as someone who helped them who was able to teach them something. And I want to be remembered as somebody who was open to learning. Thank you. Now why did you ask?
David Savage  52:37
Well, to me it is that unwavering principles that you mentioned from President Carter, it is what we would call an extra, you know, it’s, it’s how do I stay focused on the my pathway, if I could call it that way, my, my route my values. And oftentimes when I deal with organizations and communities in conflict, I take them to the future they want to create, and we can always agree on that, then we need to work backwards. Okay. If you want to be remembered that way, what do we need to do in the next three years, and the next year, the next month, the next day? You know, it’s much easier map that way? Right?
Michael Hingson  53:21
Tell me a little bit about what you’re doing now. And I want to get to your books also. But what you’re doing, you talked about hosting and being involved in mastermind courses and mastery courses, and so on. Love to learn a little bit about that.
David Savage  53:38
But as we as we touched on earlier, I think change takes time. So the way I approach what I serve my clients, and my volunteer obligations is the set the intention, create the measurable objectives based on the challenges and opportunities and do it over time to a gently so that we’re all very, very busy. And habits take time to change. So I prefer to work with people over a six month period as opposed to a two day period. And I also I also encourage insurrection. Some of my clients have told me that I incite insurrection, because in organizations when the people in the middle have started challenging the people at the top. I think that success. I think that means they’re thinking for themselves they trust enough to challenge and their ideas can be now heard. That doesn’t happen overnight. And oftentimes the person in the corner office or at the top of the food chain isn’t very happy when that happens. So I guess the other pre condition is the Listen at the top must buy in and must be seen to be participating and be learning as we go together.
Michael Hingson  55:07
What’s one question that you ask to help understand the leadership style of someone or a new contact?
David Savage  55:16
Well, something that I was informed of, by a friend who at one time was the VP of Union Carbide. Heather asked me told me this question asked me this question. In history, in literature in fantasy, whatever, what is one person that you most want to be like? So whether it’s fictional or real, what’s one person that you really like to be seen as? And that’s not only an engaging question, because a lot of us don’t have the immediate answer to that. But what Heather told me at that time was, she’s used that one question, you know, what’s that superhero that you’d like most likely to be? What like, is the most profound human resources, candidate or board selection committee question she ever asked. And if, you know, some people will say, I want to be Vladimir Zelensky, or I want to, I want to be, you know, Nancy Pelosi, or I want to be, you know, any number of things. Some people don’t want to be Batman. But it can actually give you a sense of their playfulness of how they want their focus their pathway, their goal, their next shift would be. So that that’s one question that in itself, we can turn that into our whole further conversation as to what’s that all about? What does that mean to you? What does it feel like when you get to that point? So they start so they start to claim that space?
Michael Hingson  57:08
And you get so many interesting answers from that, and the people who perhaps have thought about it, although maybe they haven’t thought about it quite that way. But then Nevertheless, when you ask the question, and it pops out, you obviously can, can go in so many directions will Why do you choose that person or tell me more about that?
David Savage  57:29
Well, in in Heather’s case, when she was at Union Carbide, you know, this would have been 25 years ago, the new boss said Hitler, and she resigned the next day. And Union Carbide had a series of disasters over the next two years, I won’t go into them, but horrific disasters, so it really worked for her. Yep.
Michael Hingson  57:55
So who would? Who would you answer that about what would your answer be? I was afraid you knew I was gonna ask that I
David Savage  58:01
was afraid. I’ve always struggled with answering my own question, Michael. Because I don’t have heroes. Well, it sure I have heroes that there’s many admirable people in the world. But I don’t attach to any of them. You know, if if I said, Geez, I’d really love to be George Harrison. Well, that’s nice. But it’s so it’s not me. That’s not me. And I think, to me, it’s about becoming David.
Michael Hingson  58:39
Well, and that’s true. If I had to pick someone out, because I can see you might try to spring this so I was about to I’ll answer. My favorite science fiction book is The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein. And it’s a story of the takes place in 2075 300 years after the US revolution. And as part of that whole thing. There is a a technician, basically, who works on the it’s a revolution on the moon. So the moon has been colonized, and so on. And so there’s this whole system where what you pick up on fairly quickly as the moon is being treated, like America was being treated by England in 1775. And there’s this computer technician who’s working on their major mainframe who discovers that the computer has as he put it woke up and it’s, it’s, it’s established its own personality and so on. And he and the computer, and a few other people start to think about how do we revolt and rebel against the lunar authority, the company on Earth, it’s coordinating the moon stuff, right and keeping everyone subjected to horrible things. And along the way, one of the people that he brings into this Is Professor Bernardo dela Paz, who was one of his teachers. And I would like to be most like Professor Bernardo dela Paz, because one of the things that that happened is that the professor as, as the main character in the book, Manuel Garcia Kelley talks about, he said, the professor once said, many times, I will be teaching someone, something that I don’t know a lot about. But as long as I can stay at least a lesson ahead and continue to learn myself, then we’ll make progress. It wasn’t quite the way he said it. But similar to that, and I liked that attitude. And I just think it’s the kind of attitude I would like to have is, if I can teach and as long as I can stay a little bit ahead and be challenged, and work with people, then I’m good.
David Savage  1:00:54
Yeah. So you’re evolving your lessons evolving your own learning, and not simply rolling out, you know, the curriculum that you’ve done for the last five years?
Michael Hingson  1:01:04
Right. Tell me a little bit, because as you said, I know we’re getting a little bit late, but we’re having a lot of fun with this. But tell me about your books.
David Savage  1:01:17
Well, thank you, Professor dill abounds.
Michael Hingson  1:01:20
I’m you should read the book. It’s a great book.
David Savage  1:01:23
I haven’t read a Heinlein book in a long time, but I love them viewed beautiful art history and visionary writing my books. Actually, in the three books that I’m writing right now, one with two of my grandchildren, it is fiction. So I’m getting into fiction, the seven books that I’ve published so far on Audible. Kindle, in print, I’ve, it’s really a breakthrough to Yes, unlocking the possible within a culture of collaboration. So I’ll say it again, unlocking the possible within a culture of collaboration. And I guess, my 10 essential steps for collaborative leadership, my better by design, which was my 2018 latest book, I really want to help people work together better. One of the one of the things that I think is clever about the the title, the cover of my first two books, breaks through the s, is I’ve shadowed four letters in the title of break through the s on the cover. And those letters are E. G. O ‘s, and egos are the greatest barriers to collaboration. So I love the playfulness, I love having some artistry in that. And unlike any other book that I’ve seen, you noticed since I started writing these in 2015, and still writing, there’s not a lot of books on collaboration. And the books that are on collaboration are not collaborative books. So along the curiosity and nobody gets to be right line, Michael, I reached out and include quotes, on my seven books in my 45 podcasts, from 100 Different people in eight different nations to say, Well, what do you think about what is the greatest barrier to collaboration? What do you feel is your highest value, things like that, that are really important and, and well, while I go through, some people say if you’ve failed a lot, and that’s true, I have failed a lot. And it’s important for me to give examples of how I’ve failed in my collaborations, what I’ve learned from them, and how I, how I offer that to the listener to say, well, this is what Dave went through. Now, here’s what I might do. Probably the bit, if I’m asked, okay, what’s, what’s the one thing, Professor Diller pause and they want to come back to being playful? is just having that pause, Professor of the pause, just have that pause between stimulus and response. Where we can say what is my intention? What what do I want to create here? And is my No, we talked about a number of words that are misused and misunderstood. Collaboration in the last seven years has become one of those along with sustainability. They are such profound and brilliant words, but they’re thrown out to without any regard as to what it really takes to focus on sustainable leadership on collaborative leadership on I’m actually creating innovative teams. Yeah, we, we think we can just call a meeting, and we’ll do some whiteboard work? Well, no, no, it’s like that speaker negotiation, if that’s the way you approach it, that you’re going to be a little limited in what your outcomes are. Yeah.
Michael Hingson  1:05:21
And openness is, is ultimately where it starts.
David Savage  1:05:28
Very much. So I don’t like it to be right. I do not know at all I need to encourage myself and my clients to towards critical thinking, because speed of change, and the increase in complexity is getting more and more challenging at every moment. So we must go there as opposed to defensive, angry, control based leadership.
Michael Hingson  1:05:56
Well, David, it has been absolutely fun having you on unstoppable mindset, how can people reach out to you and learn more about you, and maybe contact you?
David Savage  1:06:07
Thank you, Michael, for the opportunity to speak with you for this hours, it has been delightful again, I really appreciate you and my website would be David B savage.com. And you can find that ton of resources, videos, audio, their downloads. And what I would offer is anybody that contacts me, and quotes here in new and I talk in this podcast, then I will offer them a free digital copy of my book better by design, how to create better outcomes through well designed collaboration. And I’d be happy to have a conversation with any of your listeners just to say, okay, what can I learn? What can I learn from you today? There you go.
Michael Hingson  1:07:06
Well, perfect. So I hope people will reach out to you. And I’d love to hear how that goes and what you what you discover and and who interacts with you. So I, of course want to keep in touch and communicate. Anyway, I’ve learned a lot today. And I have always been a believer that if I don’t learn as least as much as whoever I’m working with, then I haven’t done my job right. So I really appreciate all this time with you. And we will spend some more together, I’m sure.
David Savage  1:07:37
Thank you so much, Michael and take good care.
Michael Hingson  1:07:40
Well, you as well. And everyone who’s listening. Remember, go to David be savage.com. And if you reach out to David refer to unstoppable mindset podcast, and you can get a free digital copy of his book. I’d like to hear from you to know what you thought of today’s so please feel free to reach out to me my email address is Michaelhi at accessibe.com. That’s M I C H A E L H I at A C C S S I B E.com. Or go to our podcast page www dot Michael Hingson M i C H A E L H I N G S O N.com/podcast. Thanks again for listening. Thanks for being here. Hope you’ll join us next week. And when you rate this podcast, we hope that you will do that and give us a five star rating. We would appreciate it very much. So again, David, thank you very much for being here. Thank you. We’ll see you all next time.
Michael Hingson  1:08:43
You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you’ll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you’re on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you’re there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit www.accessibe.com. accessiBe is spelled a c c e s s i b e. There you can learn all about how you can make your website inclusive for all persons with disabilities and how you can help make the internet fully inclusive by 2025. Thanks again for listening. Please come back and visit us again next week.

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