This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is my good friend, Dov Baron. Dov is considered the leading authority on Authentic leadership and is one of INC Magazines Top 100 Leadership speakers. He’s been featured everywhere from Oprah to the Wall Street Journal and has been consulting, advising, and speaking on leadership for the last 30 years. He has spoken in front of everyone from Fortune 500 companies to the United Nations and the State Department.
Dov is also the founder of Full Monty Leadership and the Authentic Speaker Academy on Leadership. He is a multi-time bestselling author and is the host of the Pursuing Deep Greatness TV show and the number one leadership podcast on Itunes, Dov Baron’s Leadership and Loyalty Show.
What I love most about Dov is that he doesn’t mince words, tells you how it really is, and gets results. So, he is just the person I wanted to speak to you about leadership and life on this show.
Dov’s personal email - Dov@dovbaron.com
Dov was born into abject poverty in London in a ghetto. His mother shipped him off to rabbis because he had “visions” as a kid. He started studying spiritual works with the rabbis and then later traveled the world studying with spiritual masters from all different areas including Buddhism, Hinduism, and others.
He was very interested in psychology, but also studied quantum physics. In the 80’s he started speaking and had a knack for it. He was on TV, radio, newspapers. But, he was an adrenaline addict and In June 1990, while freeclimbing a rock face and fell from 120 ft. up landing on his face…or as he likes to say, he “fell 12 stories and landed on my ego.”
His life as he knew it was over and he went through a very deep, dark depression, had many reconstructive surgeries and came out the other side as what he is today.
Who is Shishu Sharma and what did you learn from him?
• Shishu is his wife’s uncle
• Dov dedicated his last book to him
• One of the chapters of the book is about being a CRO – Chief Relationship Officer
• Dov spent a considerable amount of time with Shishu before he died of cancer discussion what really mattered
• The #1 thing was the realization of how important relationships are and how he missed out on many of the ones in his life.
What is your biggest takeaway from learning this from him?
• It wasn’t any changes as much as what he learned underscored what he believed about how relationships are the most important thing in our lives
• Relationships tie everything together
• Once you realize this, you have to invest in them and ask for help
How did you get out of your depression after your fall and how did it lead to your understanding of authentic leadership?
Dov tells this story at the 14 min mark…
• Authenticity is what you know about yourself
• What we know about ourselves is an evolution
• Many people think they know themselves, but they don’t
• When Dov fell, his identity got smashed to pieces as well
• “There is no back, there is only forward…”
• He would put on the “happy face,” but deep down he struggled to find who he was truly going to be because that person was gone.
• At times he became filled with rage
• He came home one night to find his cat dead and holding the cat, fell to ground weeping, not for the cat, but for the realization that he had hit bottom and had to move forward.
• From there, it became about finding his purpose and how he would serve.
Your identity is not what you do, but your purpose…
At the 17 min mark, Dov answers the question, How do you teach people to find their true identity and purpose?
• People mix up mission statements and purpose – or even passion • Purpose is emotional – it calls to your heart and your soul
• Passion is transitory – when you were 15, your passion was different than it is today
• Your purpose is not transitory. Your purpose is the fuel that goes into the vehicle of your passion.
• Purpose runs through everything
At the 20 min mark, Dov gives an exercise of how you can find your purpose…
• Imagine what your Short statement eulogy would look like – what is that one statement you would want someone to say about you.
• Now imagine what people are whispering in the back of the room – does it echo what is being said in the front? What is it you fear they would whisper in the back of the room?
• Whatever that whisper is tells you your fear and gives you the insight you need to understand who you need to become to live your purpose. •
Your purpose is not your career, but your career can be the best vehicle for your purpose.
What are the characteristics of a notable leader?
• If you want to be a truly outstanding, authentic leader, you must have courage
• You must have courage to be curiosity
• Courage + Curiosity + Love is needed
• Love is critical – great leaders love their people. Because if you don’t, someone else will
• Don’t be afraid to love and truly care (it’s not romantic, it’s platonic)
• You must also be willing to be vulnerable – vulnerability is not a weakness, it is a great strength. You must be willing to show your humanity
What creates loyalty?
• What is the difference between a great friend and an acquaintance? Vulnerability
• When you see people in their faults and love them anyway
• The same goes for you – you’re vulnerability endears people to you
What is the soul of leadership?
• For Dov, the soul of leadership is service. Being there to serve.
• To ask what it within a person is that can be a blind spot or that they need support in overcoming them and then serving them by helping them.
What does purpose matter more than profit?
• From research done between 1991-2001, it was shown that profit changes dramatically when you have purpose.
• 90% of consumers expect companies to act responsibly
• Companies that purpose driven are on average more than 1600% more profitable than companies that are not purpose driven.
• In today’s age, being meaning drive is critical for a company.
• Purpose drives profit.
What is the hero’s journey and how does it relate to this?
• Being a leader is a heroic journey.
• Leadership starts with self and you need to be heroic about it.
• The treasure you most want is hidden in the cave you most fear and you must have the willingness to step into it.
• The treasure is soul – it is your most authentic self, the whole of who you are.
• Many people have everything they want except that “one thing for them…”
• Life is defining you or refining you – that is the choice
• You can’t be a victim and you must be open to life refining you
What are the elements of a great story?
• The answer is the hero’s journey
• Read Joseph Campbell’s, “The Hero’s Journey”
• Read “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”
• Before there was writing, everything was passed on through story
• For a story to work, it has to involve the listener
At the 44 min, Dov tells the story of how he got into speaking…
“If you are going to be the best you possibly you can, you cannot do it by imitating someone else. Your hero’s journey lies in being truly yourself…”
Dov asks you, “What are your taboos? What is it that you don’t think you should talk about? Why? Are those hindering you and not letting you be who you are?
Best Quote: “There is no back, only forward. Life is either defining you or refining you. It is your choice.."
Dov's Misfit 3:
1. Get to know yourself by taking on the heroic journey of self-inquiry. How do you know who you are? Are these principles still true not matter what you are going through?
2. Be deeply curious about everything.
3. Love without limits. Leave the taboos behind.