Darren Gold Show Notes Page
Darren Gold decided to forgive his mother, but she did nothing wrong. Thankfully, he realized how unfair and unjust he had been and how holding a grudge was disserving. He was learning how to master his code.
Darren was born in London, England and moved to the San Fernando Valley, a suburb of Los Angeles, at the age of 8. His parents divorced shortly after moving to the US, and Darren grew up with his father in a one-bedroom apartment.
Darren was raised on the edge of poverty, surrounded by crime and addiction. Both his father and mother spent intermittent times in jail. Darren was determined at an early age to break out of this cycle, and was the first in his family to attend college. He went to UCLA where he supported himself and his father by working full time while attending school. Working as a copy boy in a law firm blocks from the UCLA campus convinced Darren to attend law school.
He graduated from The University of Michigan Law School and began his career as an attorney. He soon realized that he loved law school but didn’t feel the same way about the practice of law. He left legal practice after a year and a half and joined the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. He then went on to serve as a Partner at two San Francisco private equity firms where he sat on the boards of dozens of companies and was responsible for investing and managing hundreds of millions of dollars of capital. About a decade into this part of his career, Darren became the CEO of one of the companies for which he was serving as a board director.
After serving as CEO of two companies, Darren joined the Trium Group, an elite management consulting firm focused on the intersection of strategy execution and human performance. As a Managing Partner of Trium, Darren is an executive coach, advisor, and consultant to the CEOs and leadership teams of many of the world’s best-known organizations, including Roche, Dropbox, Lululemon, Sephora, Cisco, eBay, Activision, and Warner Bros.
His clients describe him as a visionary, transformational change agent. Darren is the author of Master Your Code: The Art, Wisdom, and Science of Leading an Extraordinary Life. A groundbreaking guide for rewriting your program and mastering every aspect of your life.
Darren currently lives in the Bay Area with his wife of 24 years and his youngest son. His two oldest children are currently in college studying business at SMU in Dallas, Texas and musical theater at Montclair State University in New Jersey.
Tweetable Quotes and Mentions
Listen to @darrenjgold to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow – Click to Tweet
“Everybody has the opportunity to live an extraordinary life.” – Click to Tweet
“We have far more potential than we may otherwise believe.” – Click to Tweet
“The default way of being human is to hold a certain set of beliefs that were designed to keep us safe, not to thrive.” – Click to Tweet
“The human superpower is the ability to choose the meaning we give to our circumstances.” – Click to Tweet
“Life shows up as a set of choices that we make about the meaning that we give our circumstances.” – Click to Tweet
“There’s a part of language which is generative where we declare something into existence.” – Click to Tweet
“The more that we can declare the more we create a reality.” – Click to Tweet
“We create our reality often times through our language.” – Click to Tweet
“If you want to achieve extraordinary results in life part of it is declaring those results.” – Click to Tweet
“We construct a set of beliefs, values, and rules subconsciously that limits the results we get.” – Click to Tweet
“Most of our listening is about us.” – Click to Tweet
“We neglect the power of complete and true listening.” – Click to Tweet
“It’s an exquisite art and practice to really listen to somebody.” – Click to Tweet
“The fundamental default of human beings is to externalize.” – Click to Tweet
“Most of our issues in any part of our lives aren’t problems to be solved. What they are instead is natural and healthy tensions.” – Click to Tweet
“The very way we talk about change induces the very resistance to change they we’re trying to avoid.” – Click to Tweet
“If we want to achieve whatever it is that we want in life, we have to master ourselves.” – Click to Tweet
“Leaders underestimate is their ability through the use of language to create futures.” – Click to Tweet
“Great leaders are ones that have a vision and then generate possibility for people by declaring what that future is.” – Click to Tweet
“Reconstruct your identity, the actions you take will be a manifestation of the beliefs you hold about yourself.” – Click to Tweet
“Build a responsible mindset. You’re 100% responsible for your life.” – Click to Tweet
Hump to Get Over
Darren Gold decided to forgive his mother, but she did nothing wrong. Thankfully, he realized how unfair and unjust he had been and how holding a grudge was disserving. He was learning how to master his code.
Advice for others
Build a responsible mindset. You’re 100% responsible for your life.
Holding him back from being an even better leader
Challenge myself and not get complacent.
Best Leadership Advice
The power of creating a future for people to live into.
Secret to Success
Best tools in business or life
Master Your Code: The Art, Wisdom, and Science of Leading an Extraordinary Life
A Failure of Nerve, Revised Edition: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix
Contacting Darren Gold
Resources and Show Mentions
Show Transcript:Click to access edited transcript
254: Darren Gold: Master your code
Jim Rembach: (00:00)
Okay. Fast leader Legion today. I’m thrilled because I have somebody on the show today who’s going to help you decipher some of him. Very important components and element. It’s
Jim Rembach: (00:09)
about how you’re programmed and wired. Darren gold was born in London, England and moved to the San Fernando Valley, a suburb of Los Angeles at the age of eight. His parents divorced shortly after moving to the U S and Darren grew up with his father in a one bedroom apartment. Darren was raised on the edge of poverty surrounded by crime and addiction. Both his father and mother spent intermittent times in jail. Darren was determined at an early age to break out of the cycle and was the first in his family to attend college. He went to UCLA where he supported himself and his father by working full time while attending school, working as a copyboy in a law firm, blocks from the UCLA campus, convinced Darren to attend law school. He graduated from the university of Michigan law school and began his career as an attorney. He soon realized that he loved law school, but didn’t feel the same way about the practice of law.
Jim Rembach: (01:05)
He left that legal practice after a year and a half and join the consulting firm, McKinsey and company. He then went on to serve as a partner at two San Francisco private equity firms where he sat on the boards of dozens of companies and was responsible for investing and managing hundreds of millions of dollars of capital. After a decade into this part of his career, Darren became the CEO of one of the companies for which he was serving as a board director. After serving as CEO of two companies, Jair Darren joined the trim group and elite management consulting firm focused on the intersection of strategy, execution, and human performance. As a managing partner of trim, Darren is an executive coach, advisor, and consultant to the CEOs and leadership teams of many of the world’s best known organizations, including Roche, Dropbox, Lulu, lemon, Sephora, Cisco, eBay, Activision, and Warner brothers. His clients described him as a visionary, transformational change agent.
Jim Rembach: (01:59)
Darren is the author of master your code, the art, wisdom and science of leading an extraordinary life, a groundbreaking guide for rewriting your program and mastering every aspect of your life. Darren currently lives in the Bay area with his wife of 24 years, and his youngest son, his two oldest children are currently in college studying business at SMU in Dallas, Texas and musical theater and Montclair st university in New Jersey. Darren gold. Are you ready to help us get over the hump? I’m ready. Excited to be here. Thanks for having me. And I’m excited that you’re here because getting the opportunity to go through your book, I mean, it was intriguing at first. Um, and then I just got pulled into it. Uh, and a lot of it because of what we talked about off mic, you know, some of these personal things that we’ll get into is so that others can benefit from. But I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you, but can you share what your current passion is so that we can get to know you even better? Yeah. Um, it’s great to be on. And, uh, my passion is, and part of the reason,
Darren Gold: (03:00)
main reason why I wrote the book is a fundamental belief that everybody has the opportunity to live an extraordinary life. And I work with people in the context of leadership, but we’re all leaders. We’re leaders of our businesses were leaders of our families, were leadership leaders of our relationships. Um, and the wisdom that I’ve been able to get over the years and I’m still getting, getting, uh, is a realization that we have far more potential than we may, uh, otherwise I believe. And so my mission is to bring that wisdom to bear in the form of the book that I’ve written and the work that I do with senior leaders to enable people to, um, really tap into their potential and, and lead an extraordinary life.
Jim Rembach: (03:42)
Well, and as you know, as you’re talking, you know, for me, you know, it often may give people the opportunity to think wrong-headed, um, in a lot of ways. And wrongheaded meaning that, well, this just is the way that I am, you know, and there’s not a darn thing I can do about it and I’m not going to change it. No one else is going to change it. And that’s part of what you talk about. Um, meaning that this is how average people think and this is how extraordinary people think. And, and I, I don’t, I want to say that that’s not necessarily a judgment thing, meaning that Hey, you’re average and it’s bad, but it’s an opportunity if you choose to see it that way.
Darren Gold: (04:18)
Yeah, I would almost say it, and I do say it as average and extraordinary to be a little provocative, but it’s the default way of being human. The default way of being human, which is a function of our culture. And the way, uh, we’re raised in our environment is to hold a certain set of beliefs. And those beliefs are ones that were constructed usually very early on in childhood. And they’re designed to keep us safe, not necessarily to thrive. And so when I use the word average human being, I’m referring to all of us, right? We are born into a culture that has us believing, uh, a certain set of beliefs, a program that’s running us. And it’s really the realization of that that creates the opportunity to have real breakthrough and extraordinary performance in your life.
Jim Rembach: (05:06)
And so why, I mean this is important in a lot of ways when you target a life. But if we start talking about in the context of many of the listeners of the fast leader show is that we’re all dealing with change. We’re all needing to transform. We’re all needing to be, you know, proactive in the ongoing innovative aspects of our businesses. Boom, a as well as our lives. Cause we know those lines are getting blended together. Uh, and so when you start talking about the average and we’re gonna share, what that means in a minute is that they’re preventing you from all of that transformation. They’re preventing your organization from being more customer centric. They’re preventing your organization from being more collaborative and creative in their thinking. It’s all of these things that undermine what we’re wanting to do.
Darren Gold: (05:51)
Yeah, that’s right. You know, I like to say that the, the, the, the, the human superpower is the ability to choose the meaning that we give to our circumstances. So as you said, we’re all living in a world with massive complexity and massive change. And uh, the superpower that we all possess is the ability to give meaning to those circumstances. And you can have two, uh, people that confront the same set of circumstances that will give entirely different meaning to the circumstances and as a result, take an entirely different set of actions and get an entirely different set of results. I say in my book, this story that you remember may remember reading Jim, which is a two shoe salesman, you know, dispatched in 1900 from London, uh, to uh, to an emerging country to see if there’s a market for shoes. And they take the boat there.
Darren Gold: (06:39)
It’s a four day long journey and they get to, they get to their destination, they get off the ship and all they can see as far as the eye can, can see is thousands of villagers, all of whom are not wearing shoes. They rushed back to the Telegraph office. The first shoe salesman says, total disaster, no one here wear shoes. I’ll be on the next boat home. The other says, glorious opportunity. No one here wear shoes yet. Please send more inventory fast. And so life shows up as a set of choices that we make about the meaning that we give to our circumstances. And we’re either giving them one meaning, right? Which is something that’s limiting our effectiveness, limiting the actions we can take, limiting the results we can yet, or we’re giving it the totally different meaning. The key is we have a choice and we totally construct it. And so if you think about life that way, you start to begin to imagine how much power and how much potential you have as a human being, as a leader, right? To see your circumstances in a whole variety of different ways. Some of which can be empowering, some of which art.
Jim Rembach: (07:42)
Well, and also as you’re saying that I start thinking about someone who could be, you know, responsible for those two shoe salesman and knowing how they actually think, you know, and how they’re coded to be able to coach and guide them, you know, appropriately. So the guy that comes back and says, Hey, don’t do anything. It’s okay. Well let’s look at this a little bit differently. Right? Yeah, that’s exactly right. Okay. So I think that’s also a perfectly good setup. Um, when you give instructions in the book are for us to share the, how you do that. Um, and you say how to read this book and then mastering your code and it’s how it’s divided into 10 chapters. And so I’m going to run through these real quick cause I think it’s critically important so that people can see this transition in the difference between, um, and you also talk about polarity and we’ll, we’ll share that in a second, um, in a moment as well.
Jim Rembach: (08:27)
But you say the average person who’s run by program, by a program believes certain things. And then extraordinary person who, who masters his or her code declares these things. All right? So this is how the chapters go. It’s, I am who I am, or I am the author of my life. I am hardwired to react or I act. I don’t react. I avoid risk and do whatever it takes to stay. Or I played a win. I avoid responsibility whenever I can, or I’m 100% responsible for my life. I hold onto grudges or I forgive unconditionally. I need to be right, or I seek to understand. I don’t challenge the status quo or I own my identity. I have limited potential or I never stop learning and growing. I don’t keep my commitments or I am my word. I don’t control my destiny or I live on purpose. Now you told me you told call these declarations. What do you mean by that?
Darren Gold: (09:39)
Um, declarations are, um, really what I’m alluding to is the power of language. So oftentimes people think languages are medium for describing things, right? Which it is, and it does it, it serves a very important purpose. But there’s a part of language what is, which is generative, right? Where we declare something into existence. And so I use the word declarations intentionally. And the story I love to tell, which is a somewhat overused story, but I’ll tell it anyway and I think is one of the most important responsibilities of leaders is using language, particularly the declarative aspect of language very intentionally. And that that story is JFK. You know, when he declared we’re going to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade, he didn’t describe something, he declared something, he put something into existence. He declared a new future for people to live into such that the actions of an entire nation shifted.
Darren Gold: (10:32)
So declaration to me has a, there’s an important connotation to it. And the more that we can declare, the more we create a reality. And I, you know, like to say like, you know, we create our reality oftentimes through our language, whether it’s something spoken out loud or something that you’re saying to yourself in your head, right? So if you want to achieve extraordinary results in life, part of it is declaring those results with real congruence in the way you hold your body, uh, what you’re thinking. Um, and with massive certainty. And so that’s, that’s the, the reason why I use the word declaration.
Jim Rembach: (11:08)
And so if I am a particular type of person as we’re going through that, you know, differences in between the, the average and the extraordinary and I find myself declaring things from an average side, what do I need to do?
Darren Gold: (11:24)
Well, I think the first step is, um, is awareness and it’s really the, the first chapter is on awareness, right? I think this fundamental notion that, um, we construct a set of beliefs, values of rules subconsciously that are safety based, uh, what I call a program. And that that program automatically drives our behaviors and limits the results we get. Right? The awareness that, that, that, that is where oftentimes we’re operating from. And we never really knew. It is a profound realization, right? So the first step is just understanding, look, a lot of my life, I say in the book, I was a 40 year old man. I woke up one day realizing that I was being run by a program written by a seven year old boy. And that to me was a profound realization. Now I’d had cheated a lot of success and happiness and joy in my life, but I didn’t realize how much I was being run by a set of subconscious beliefs. And so step number one is just that realization. And then step number two is to say, okay, if I constructed these beliefs, this program, I can reconstruct it. Anything that’s constructed can be reconstructed. And the opportunity is I have an opportunity to be not run by a program, but to author, powerfully, author and intentionally author a code. Um, and the assertion I make in the book is that there really these 10 lines of code that matter most. And that’s the basis for each of the chapters.
Jim Rembach: (12:50)
Well, and also when you start talking about code coding, coding of man, coding of humanity, really this has been happening for thousands and thousands of years. I mean, this isn’t new. I mean for you, you’ve modernized it. And with the ability to, for us to connect with what may be going on inside of our heads from our thinking perspective. And one of the things I tell my kids all the time is that, you know, you can think whatever you want in your head. I said, but when it comes out of your mouth, you know, talking about that declaration, you may galvanize it. And so you have to be really aware, you know, of what you’re allowing to come through. But if we start talking about this overall coding component and coding element, and in in chapter six you had talk about and explain the Chinese symbol for listening. Uh, and, and I’ve never seen that happen, but for me it’s when you, it’s sorry, I started seeing the connection and the closing of the loop of this whole coding thing. It’s been going on forever. Just whether or not we’re being listening, somebody’s blind to Chinese symbol of listening.
Darren Gold: (13:50)
Yeah, sure. And you know, the one thing I’ll reference is the subtitle of my book, the art, wisdom and science of leading an extraordinary life. There is, um, you know, most of all, everything, it Canadian, my book has been around for thousands of years, right? Ancient wisdom. Uh, and oftentimes it’s Eastern wisdom, um, that is neglected by the West, um, in particularly in our businesses and our, and, and in leadership. And so part of the, part of the promise of the book is to integrate a lot of that is Eastern wisdom with our kind of Western scientific mind. Um, and one of the aspects in the book, this Chinese symbol of listening speaks to the power of listening. And I deconstruct, uh, in, in that chapter, in chapter six in the chapter, I seek to understand, um, how do we actually listen? Are we good listeners? And the reality is that most of our listening is about us, right?
Darren Gold: (14:44)
Uh, listening to make sure I’m right listening to make sure that I get my point across right. And we neglect, uh, the power of complete and true listening, which is to really let in with all of our faculties. Um, what the person speaking to us is sharing. And the Chinese recognize that, you know, thousands of years ago, imbedded in the symbol to listen is not just the ears, it’s the eyes, right? It’s the heart, right? And so in, in the very symbol for listen and in Chinese is this idea of totality, of listening, like really letting it in without regard to personal agenda with a complete surrender to the ego into the self. And, um, I invite the, the readers of the book to experiment with that. Um, and if you’ve ever been listened to in that way can be a transformative experience for you. And as we’re leading others, um, the opportunity is to, is to listen differently. And that’s, there’s a very powerful shift for people.
Jim Rembach: (15:45)
Well, for me, I mean, just looking at the symbol in the way that you’ve broken it down. I mean, I, I am, I think like most of us, uh, we try to seek connection through visualizations. I mean, you know, people say I’m a visual learner or the fact is we all are. If we can see, and even if you can’t and if you, I mean you still are, there’s something like that is happening still currently and in the brain to connect with other senses. So you have the ear, you eyes undivided attention and heart and those are all the components in this Chinese symbol for listen. Uh, and, and I think for all of us when we even start talking about the reactionary nature of our mind, um, you know, we can, our subconscious mind has already answered before it comes out period. Sometimes we’ve already formulated the response, you know, prior to the, the conclusion of the question maybe even before the question is asked.
Jim Rembach: (16:33)
Yeah. Uh, and I think if we stop and really pay attention and think about all those particular elements, I think our listening is going to have a significantly different outcome than it ever has before. And here’s the thing about it. I don’t think this is just the one on one thing. I think this is also an organization that wants to be more customer focused, uh, that wants to do a better job of understanding, you know, where to develop their next products, um, and where the marketplace is going. I think there’s so many different components into this that I think we can all break down and leverage from.
Darren Gold: (17:06)
Yeah, I totally agree. And you know, I was very conscious of my listening, right? Even as you were talking to me there. Um, it’s an, it’s, it’s an exquisite art and practice to really listen to somebody to really understand what are they trying to communicate to me without regard to my personal agenda and what I heard in your sharing was that, um, being able to do that one on one is one thing. Being able to do that outside, you know, with our customers, with our communities, um, as a whole has a whole other game. So there’s a huge amount of unlock that occurs when we change our relationship to listening and we become more conscious, right? We’re not driven right by, um, a way listening, but we cultivate and construct a different way of listening.
Jim Rembach: (17:53)
Well, and even as you were saying that, I started thinking about what we were talking about off Mike. When I start looking at, you know, your background and what you currently do right now and who you’re working with. I’m like, why this book? And I’m like, Oh,
Speaker 4: (18:06)
Jim Rembach: (18:07)
to me, you probably are spending a significant portion of your activities and effort on these elements. Not, Hey, let’s make sure your strategy is right because these are the underlying and foundational components of whether or not it is
Darren Gold: (18:22)
that that’s absolutely true, right? This, this proceeds. And now we, I work with leaders, um, on strategy and culture of course, but, um, the most important part of a senior leader and senior leadership team is, are they going to be the leaders that are capable of executing that strategy effectively, right? And, uh, influencing an organization, um, inspiring a community of users. And it has to start with self-mastery, right? So the fundamental default of human beings is to externalize, right? Is to blame, is to want others to do things. And you know, Gandhi said, and he didn’t say it quite this way, but the shortened version is be the change you want to see in the world. And so the fundamental premise when I’m working with leaders is if you want to master others, if you want to influence others, if you want to get results from others, you have to start with yourself. And so the exploration starts inward. And at that point you’re now a completely different, um, leader in terms of how you think about your strategy and your ability to execute it.
Jim Rembach: (19:29)
Well. And another thing for me as I see, cause I, uh, have a, a um, a leadership Academy for frontline leaders and contact center operations, you know, and is that what you’re talking about right there? And that skill development is something that is needed also at the front line because it’s gotten to be a situation to where more responsibility and the importance of the decisions that are made as well as the, you know, the whole culture, uh, execution component. If that head is not connected with those people down at the front line, uh, you’re going to have a bunch of turmoil and your company’s overall at risk. So we talk about alignment, um, and knowledge who are listening to the show. You’ve heard me say we the head and the feet have to move together and I mean senior level leaders and the frontline leaders. And when that fall, when that filtering happens, if we’re only doing that investment and only doing that activity at the very top level, you can’t expect the organization to move. It ain’t gonna happen.
Darren Gold: (20:27)
No, that’s right. And I would say the starting point has to start with the top right. If you’ve got a leadership team and then an extended leadership team that’s embodying consistently and congruent Lee, a set of values, a set of beliefs, a set of behaviors that it wants to see throughout the organization, you’re going to create a massive amount of momentum. The mistakes I often see in organizations is, um, senior leadership team set out strategies and they develop cultures and they want their organization to be customer focused. They want their organization to take responsibility and accountability. They want all these things for others and yet the very things they want and others, they’re not practicing, uh, themselves. They want people to make commitments and to honor those commitments. And yet there’s a breakdown, uh, within the leadership team. So it’s impossible to expect a, an organization, particularly at scale, um, to model behaviors and get, take actions and get results that you want.
Darren Gold: (21:25)
If the senior leaders that are stewards of that organization aren’t completely embodying them in every single thing they do. And that’s really the premise of this book because whether it’s your leader or your business or your leader, your family, you want your children. I talk about this in chapter four. You may remember we both have three children. I want my children to be polite. I don’t tell them to be polite, right? I show up to a restaurant and I am, I am polite to the server. I opened the door for somebody that’s going into the restaurant before my family. Uh, I say thank you. Uh, at the end of the meal, the whoever was gracious enough to serve our meal and I give up the hope of trying to tell my T my, my, my, my children, anything I role model the behaviors I’d like to see in them. And that’s what we do when we’re leading, leading anything.
Jim Rembach: (22:15)
It’s so true. Yeah. One of the things that you also revealed in that same chapter, chapter six, where you break down the Chinese symbol for listening, is you introduce a, your leveraging of a PLO, that polarity map. If you could kind of explain what that is and why you use it.
Darren Gold: (22:31)
Yeah. So, um, we’re trained from a very early age to see the w the world shows up as problems to be solved. And even as you know, we were, you know, in, in our very earliest educational years, right? It’s a, B, C or D or all of the above, right? We’re in an either or world and our, our mind is trained that way and there are a lot of things that lend themselves truly to be problems to be solved. You know, do I hire Canada day or do I hire candidate B? Do I let my son go, uh, to the dance or do I not? Whatever. The, so there are plenty of situations that require a yes or no an either or decision. The reality is most of our issues in any part of our lives aren’t problems to be solved. Although we apply problems to be solved thinking either or thinking to them what they are.
Darren Gold: (23:22)
Uh, instead is, is natural and healthy tensions. Uh, we’ll just go back to our parenting example. Um, you know, you might have one parent if your, your co-parenting that says I that’s really strict. Uh, and once a whole children to, you know, a certain set of, of, of rules and another that’s, you know, really flexible and wants to create space for the children. If you’re in an either or mindset, forget it. And so the assertion in the second half of that chapter is something we’ll call polarity thinking. And again, this is ancient wisdom. The yen and the young was the essential embodiment of paradox or polarity. And in business you’re going to confront natural and healthy tensions all the time. Am I direct right and risk the relationship or am I kind and dilute? You know, the, the communication is a false dichotomy. Jim Collins talks about this a lot.
Darren Gold: (24:14)
Best businesses are ones that begin to see problems to be solved as natural and healthy tensions to be leveraged. And what I do in my work with a lot of leaders is I begin to expose or at least have them see and expose what are the tensions that are present in your organization? One company I’m working with right now has a cultural, um, issue where they have a strong preference for being deliberate. They have, quality is such an important value of theirs, but they over-focus on that to the neglect of being decisive and taking action. And they’re in, they’re stuck in an either or mindset. Either we take action quick and we, you know, we quality suffers or we focus intently on quality and we have to move slow. And the basic premise of polarity thinking is don’t, you didn’t, don’t need to hold it that way. Hold it as a natural, healthy tension that can be leveraged. What if it were possible to get all the benefits of quality focused on quality and all the benefits of being decisive and moving fast and rather than choosing one or the other UV and to integrate the polarity. And so there’s this notion of mapping a polarity and there’s a tool that I use in the book that’s, that allows people to map individual polarities direct versus kind is a, is a very common one. Um, and organizational players.
Jim Rembach: (25:35)
Well, even as you were describing that particular situation, I started thinking about it from if we take coding, it’s like computer programming and, and I have a, uh, you know, the system has worked a certain way. If I have and understand all of those things, I can just rewrite the code just a little bit to make an adjustment. So oftentimes we talk about the process. I mean, if you have a particular situation that is occurring, uh, in a, in a fashion by which it’s not acceptable to you, most oftentimes it’s the system. It’s not the people involved in the system. So while the, the, the people may prevent, you know, the change from occurring. But we, we, you know, that’s where the really the issue is we need to do something different. We can’t keep doing what we’ve always been doing and then therefore you could probably start experiencing, uh, some of those successes from both of those, but it’s not under the same system.
Darren Gold: (26:26)
Yeah. A lot of resistance to change comes from a preference for one poll versus another. And one of the things that you know, for people that are listening to this, that are interested in or responsible for organizational change, I will often say that the very way we talk about change induces the very resistance to change that we’re trying to avoid, right? So oftentimes we talk about from two shifts, we’ve got to move from this to this and that language, right? While very well intentioned and maybe even accurate, right? Sets yourself up for failure because what you’re doing is you’re saying that something is wrong and something’s right. This is a problem to be solved when in reality, organizational dynamics are far more complex, right? And the reality is if you look at it closely enough through a different lens with a different distinction, what you’ll see is wait a second.
Darren Gold: (27:19)
The from and the two are actually two really good things, right? The centralized and centralized, that’s the classic Elio that organizations go through. All right, and they hire consultants. They spend millions of dollars, they, they’re centralized for three years and then they’re decentralized. Well, what if you started to see it differently? Said, wow, there’s a lot of benefits from decentralized. We get to focus on, you know, the particular customer at the point of sale, we let our best people make decisions at the front lines, right? And there’s a lot of wisdom and value and benefit from being centralized. We have consistency, we have uniformity. We can hold ourselves to common standards. What if instead of moving back and forth or deciding between the two, we said, is there a way to integrate? And that is the breakthrough. And now you don’t induce resistance. You don’t say, Hey, we got to move from decentralized to centralized. The best companies in the world, the best families in the world, the best leaders in the world begin to see what used to be problems to be solved, right. To choose one or the other. And they begin to see the value of both and they begin to integrate them. And that is a, that’s a game changer.
Jim Rembach: (28:21)
Well, that’s a very, that’s very helpful. Um, and talking about the ancient wisdom, talking about, you know, the guidance, talking about being able to understand all the emotional aspects of it. One of the things that we look to on the show or quotes to help point us in the right direction. And you have several quotes in the book that you share, but is there one or two that kind of stand out for you that you can share with us?
Darren Gold: (28:41)
Sure. Uh, you know, I love the first quote of the book, uh, and it’s a quote from Epictetus who was a stoic philosopher. If any of your listeners are interested, that’s a stoicism is a misunderstood and incredibly valuable philosophy. And he says, no one is free, who is not master of his own mind. Um, and it points to this fundamental notion that if we want to achieve whatever it is that we want in life, in whatever part of life it is, we have to master ourselves. And we have to avoid the seductive temptation to look outwards, to fix others, right? To make others do things that we aren’t, you know, that they’re not doing. So this, that, that quote to me sort of, you know, just encapsulates the importance of self mastery. And I really, that’s what I’d probably know. Point to the other one, just if you’re asking for a second one is Victor Frankel’s quote.
Darren Gold: (29:35)
And if your listeners aren’t familiar with Victor Frankel, he wrote an incredible book called man’s search for meaning. He was a of a Holocaust, uh, um, concentration camp. And he, and he, um, he says the, you know, the last of the human freedoms is the ability to choose, uh, the, our attitude regardless of our circumstances. Um, and that sort of goes back to what I said about the human superpower. Here’s a man who is in the most unimaginable conditions. Um, and knew in that moment that he had a choice about the meaning he gave his circumstances. He could have been an absolute despair and given up or he could have seen the beauty even in those horrific circumstances. And he chose the latter and he not only survived, but he’s been, you know, his, his work has been been a gift to the world. And so that for me is the another really key point of how much choice we have in terms of the way we, uh, we view our circumstances.
Jim Rembach: (30:32)
Well, I’m talking about that, uh, choice, decision making, all of that. Um, we talk about getting over the hump on the show and, you know, just even reading your bio, you’ve had tons in your life if you hadn’t had to have gotten over in order to be where you are today. Um, but errors, is there one that you know, that you’re open to sharing that could really make a difference for everybody?
Darren Gold: (30:53)
Yeah. Um, you know, one of the one decision I made was, um, and I talk about this in chapter five. It’s one of the more personal and intimate and vulnerable, uh, chapters, uh, for me was the decision to forgive my mother and I, you know, use air quotes around forgive because even the word having to forgive somebody implies that they did something wrong. And I’ve gotten to a pretty profound place in my life where I’m no longer capable of holding grudges against people, even when you could argue objectively that they’ve done some wrong. And I, I can see that I said there were some things my mother did in her life, um, that were regrettable and certainly, um, I’m sure if you were alive today would, would agree. Um, but that has nothing to do with, um, my ability to forgive completely, unconditionally forgiven a way that actually implies nothing was done wrong in the first place.
Darren Gold: (31:47)
Right? And so, you know, I had a story for 40 years of my life that I was abandoned by my mother, and it was a narrative that I held, uh, with some pride. Like, look what I’ve accomplished. I didn’t have a mother. I got abandoned, right? She did all these horrible things. And, uh, when I got in touch with that, um, and it got in touch with it in a really remarkable place, which was inside Folsom prison, uh, in the maximum security section of Folsom prison where I was working with men inside, which is another remarkable experience and story. Um, I was able to see how, um, how disempowering that was, how unfair and unjust it was and how it wasn’t serving me and the letting go of that story for me, the absolute, uh, unconditional forgiveness, um, and in its place, all I had was love for my mother. She had passed by that, um, was a remarkable act of grace and humility and maturity, um, and effectiveness for me. So that would be one that I, that I chair
Jim Rembach: (32:52)
well and, and that kinda hits me. I lost my mother not too long ago. And um, you know, on the, and there’s some things where, you know, you’d, like you were saying, I wish certain things that could have been a little bit different certain ways. And, and I have a choice to make, right? Um, and finding peace with all that is a path, uh, that I also, you know, kind of forced myself to go down because I could have, like in the book, I could have been that average person that says, well, you know, this, that, and the other and it is what it is and you know, or I could actually move to a different place. So thank you for sharing that. Yeah, my pleasure. Now when I think about the work that you’re doing, when I think about this book, and as I said, I was like, Oh, this is something quite different. But yet it isn’t. It’s that underlying foundational component. But I have to imagine that you have certain aspirations and goals associated with this piece of work. And then also for me, it’s like you mentioned 10, you know, is there an 11th code shadowing of that? But if you were to say you had one particular goal with this work and where you’re headed, what would it be?
Darren Gold: (33:57)
Uh, books have changed my life. I’m an avid reader. You know, I probably read 30 or 40 books a year, uh, and through through my life, um, they’ve shaped who I am. They shaped how I’ve seen myself, others in the world. And, um, I always had this subconscious desire, uh, to give back in the form of a book. Uh, and I talk a little bit about this. You remember my chapter on identity, right? My, the most powerful driver of human behavior is the desire to be consistent with one’s identity. And I was holding an identity that I’m not an author. Uh, and it was changing that identity that allowed me to read this book. It’s a write this book. And the, the goal and I get really clear about it was I wanted to give the gift, um, the gift that I had, uh, to share this body of wisdom, um, to others and have as many people read it as possible and have them have the reaction, um, that I’m humbled to hear you say you had, which you know, ranges from, Oh my God, I never knew this too.
Darren Gold: (34:58)
This was life changing. Or I want to give this to people that I love and that kind of feedback, which, you know, the book’s now been published for a little over three weeks has been coming in pretty consistently and it just fills my heart and speaks to my mission of, you know, wanting to, um, give back, uh, to have an impact in the world. And, and, you know, boy do we need it. Um, you know, given the world we’re living in today. So if it can have some small measure of impact, uh, I would be, I would be delighted and I’m going to do everything I can to create awareness of it so that people have an opportunity to read it.
Jim Rembach: (35:34)
And the fast leader Legion wishes you the very best. Now before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.
Jim Rembach: (35:40)
And even better place to work is an easy to use solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone using this award, winning solutions, guaranteed to create motivated, productive, and loyal employees who have great work relationships. With our colleagues and your customers to learn more about an even better place to work. Visit [inaudible] dot com board slash better. All right, here we go. Fastly Legion. It’s time for the home. Oh, okay. Darren. The hump they hold on as a part of our show where you give us good insights. Facts. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Darren gold, are you ready to hold down? I’m ready to down. All right, so what is holding you back from being an even better leader today? Oh, that is a great question. Part of it is
Darren Gold: (36:30)
got it all figured out. Uh, and I’ll say that, you know, vulnerably, right? So I would say that for me is my work challenge myself. Uh, cause I certainly don’t. And when I love that belief, um, to sit there subconsciously, I’ll get complacent.
Jim Rembach: (36:47)
What is the best leadership advice you ever received?
Darren Gold: (36:51)
Uh, best leadership advice. I sort of alluded to the power of creating a future for people to live into. The one thing I think leaders underestimate is their ability through the use of language to create futures. People are living into a future all the time, but they’re doing it from a default place and it’s usually past arrived great leaders. The most powerful, the most effective leaders are ones that have a vision and then generate possibility for people by declaring what that future is. If you can do that consistently on message, um, that’s the, the one piece of advice I got and give to leaders.
Jim Rembach: (37:23)
And what is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?
Darren Gold: (37:29)
Uh, one of my secrets, um, I, uh, I believe in daily rituals and, uh, I often say that, um, the act of doing something every day without exception is the act of an extraordinary person. So I have a 10 minute ritual. I do every single morning. I set my alarm clock 10 minutes before I’m otherwise supposed to get up. And I do it unfailingly. I never miss a day.
Jim Rembach: (37:53)
And what is one of your tools that you help believes lead you in business
Darren Gold: (37:57)
for life? Uh, my tools, my identity. So, um, we, we talked a little bit about this. Everybody’s got an identity. Most of us have a subconscious identity. We haven’t really examined. One of the tools, uh, that I offer is, um, reconstruct your identity, cause your, the actions you take will be a manifestation of the beliefs you hold about yourself. So I have an identity statement and I say that identity statement every single day, multiple times a day with a lot of emotional and physical, uh, intensity. And for me that, that primes me for the day. Um, but it helps me deliver the kind of results that I want.
Jim Rembach: (38:33)
Talking about that coding and programming, you’re doing it all the time, right? Yeah, exactly. Okay. So what would be one book that you’d recommend to our Legion? It could be from any genre. Of course, we’re going to put a link to master your code on your show notes page as well.
Darren Gold: (38:46)
Yeah. Uh, probably a book, not many people have heard about a failure of nerve by Edwin Friedman. It’s the number one leadership book other than humbly my book, uh, that I would recommend, uh, recommend to people. It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s awesome.
Jim Rembach: (39:00)
Okay. Fast leader Legion. You can find links to that and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fast leader.net/darren gold. Okay, Darren, this is my last hump. Hold on. Question. Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you could take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you, but you can’t take it all. You can only take one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?
Darren Gold: (39:23)
Um, the one of the most profound, uh, breakthroughs for me was this notion of a responsible mindset. And, uh, I make the distinction between a victim mindset, which is the world happens to me. Circumstances shaped me. There’s very little I can do to affect my situation. Responsible mindset is the opposite. There’s always something I can do to affect every situation. And I go even further to say, you’re 100% responsible for your life. And, um, I think I had a little bit of that when I was 25, but boy would I have loved to have under really embodied and understood that distinction.
Jim Rembach: (39:57)
Darren, I had fun with you today. How can the fast leader Legion connect with you?
Darren Gold: (40:01)
I’ve got a website, uh, www dot Darren J gold, D a R R E N J G O L d.com and then my from the trim group trim group.com is a great resource as well.
Jim Rembach: (40:14)
Jared gold, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. The fast leader Legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.
Jim Rembach is the Editor in Chief of the Customer Service Weekly and it’s Podcast host. He is President of CX Global Media and the creator of the Call Center Coach Virtual Leaders Academy. As the host of the Fast Leader Show Podcast, he has interviewed hundreds of experts, authors, academics, researchers, and practitioners on various angles, viewpoints, and perspectives for improving the customer experience. He has held positions in retail operations, contact centers, customer support, customer success, sales, and measured the customer experience. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner, Employee Retention Specialist, and recipient of numerous industry awards.