Former Hewlett-Packard CEO and New York Times Best-selling Author Carly Fiorina on How to “Find Your Way”

Show Notes

Book: Find Your Way: Unleash Your Power and Highest Potential


Carly Fiorina shares with us about: Her childhood, time spent climbing the ladder at AT&T where she started off as 1 of 1,000,000 employees, her run for the Republican nomination for President, her book Find Your Way and much more!

  1. Thrive Nation on today’s show I am both honored and privileged to interview the best-selling author and woman who ran for President after completely obliterating the “glass ceiling” for women in business when she became CEO of the FORTUNE 20 Company, Hewlett Packard. Ms. Carly Fiorina welcome onto The Thrivetime Show! How are you?!
  2. Carly, throughout your career you’ve had massive success, but I would love to start today’s interview at the very beginning of your career. What was your childhood like and how does that still impact you today?
    1. I was the child that most people said would be least likely to succeed. I was shy, scared and a “goodie-two-shoes”
    2. Honestly, my mother and father were incredible people who invested so much into their children
    3. The huge gift from my parents was:
      1. From my Mother I learned “What you are is a gift from God and what you make of yourself is your gift to God.”
      2. From my Father I learned, Character is the most important thing. It is demonstrated through time. You should define your character the way you want your destiny to be.
    4. Both my mother and father overcame real difficulties
      1. My mother was an only child. She had the evil stepmothers. She graduated valedictorian and her father didn’t let her go to college. She ran away and joined the women’s aircore. Watching her inspired me.
      2. My dad was born with a disability and was born in a small town. He struggled with his own insecurities.
    5. They both lived life on their own terms. That was the model for me.
  3. Carly, now my understanding is that your father was a professor at the University of Texas Law School, and that he would later become the dean of the Duke University School of Law, Deputy U.S. Attorney General and Judge on the United States Court of Appeals on the 9th Circuit…how did your Dad’s success impact your world-view and the goals that you set for your own life?
  4. Carly, my understanding was you originally wanted to be a classical pianist, when did you first discover a love for business?
    1. I loved the piano but I discovered that I neither had the talent nor the temperment to play the piano.
    2. My plan was that I was going to go to law school. My core competency was pleasing my parents and that is what they wanted me to do.
    3. I hated it and I quit. I had no plan.
    4. I went back to work typing and filing as a secretary.
    5. I was just trying to buy time to figure things out.
    6. Two men came up to my desk and said “We’ve been watching you and you can do so much more than type and file. Do you want to know what we do?”
    7. Those two men introduced me to business
    8. Through their encouragement I went on to get my masters.
  5. Carly Fiorina, you’ve earned a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from the Robert H. Smith School of Business, and a Master of Science in management from the MIT Sloan School of Management and you also earned a reputation for the delivering results during your time working with AT&T. I’d love for you to share about your time at AT&T and why you believe you had so much success there?
    1. It was impressive but it wasn’t what I thought would happen.
    2. I started as an “Account Executive” which was a glorified sales person
    3. They had 1,000,000 employees at the time
    4. I was asked to share some accounts with a man who was on his way to retirement. He didn’t like that idea so my first client meeting was at a strip club. It was a very difficult first meeting.
    5. I didn’t have a plan to get promoted. I just didn’t want to get fired.
    6. When I looked around I saw problems everywhere. I asked questions. I saw that other people also had potential. They just never asked.
    7. In business what matters is when problems get solved.
  6. Carly, in 1990, I believe you became AT&T’s first female officer as the senior vice president of the company’s hardware systems division. What advice would you have for all our listeners out there about the keys to climbing the corporate ladder?
    1. I would say to men and women:
    2. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “If you want to solve problems, you are going to have to get used to criticism.” – Carly Fiorina
    3. Most people stop because they are afraid of criticism.
    4. The kinds of criticism is different
      1. Women
        1. Appearance
      2. Men
    5. Women, don’t get a chip on your shoulder and don’t hide your light under a bushel
    6. If someone does something to upset you, confront them. Be brave and smart.
  7. What was the highest and lowest point in your presidential run?
    1. I was prepared to win and prepared to lose
    2. People get attached to a particular way and if they don’t get it, they’re devastated. If they get it, it turns out to not be what they wanted.
    3. I don’t think our nation was developed to have professional politicians.
    4. I was happy to get the job and to not get the job because I knew that there were ways to help the world in other ways
    5. The highlight:
      1. Working with my team and meeting the people I got to come into contact with. All of these people cared about the future of our nation.
    6. The lowpoint:
      1. The way politics has become. The process that has taken over politics, driven by both parties, does not work at all.
  8. Carly, when you obliterated the glass ceiling for working women everywhere by being asked to become the CEO of a FORTUNE 20 company… Hewlett-Packard…how did that feel?
  9. Carly, you have a written a new book titled, Find Your Way – Unleash Your Power and Highest Potential…what first inspired you to write this book and why should people buy it/read it?
    1. The vast majority of us underutilized what we have. We underestimate our potential.
    2. We’ve come to believe that leadership comes from a title. Every single person is capable of leadership.
    3. Leadership is different from management and has nothing to do with ambition.
  10. Carly in your book, you shared a story about Oris Smiley, whom everyone refers to as “Dino.” I would love for you to share the story of “Dino” and why you decided to include this story in your book?
    1. He is the perfect example of: Everyone has the ability to lead
    2. Dino is an African-American man whose story began in south central Los Angeles
    3. He started playing at an organization called “The Drew League”
    4. He thought, “If we’re going to be a basketball league then we need uniforms.”
    5. He took the initiative to go and get uniforms without asking for help or permission.
    6. He eventually took over this league
    7. Dino’s goal was to keep these kids alive because gangs were recruiting these young kids
    8. He took the initiative to talk to the gangs for them to stop recruiting while the kids play.
    9. Dino Smiley is a leader even though he does not have a big fancy title.
  11. Carly Fiorina, in your book Find Your Way you write, “We don’t use the term character much anymore in society, but during my growing-up years it was common to hear people talk about it, and everyone knew what it meant.”? I’d love to get your thoughts about the importance of character?
    1. Character is:
      1. What gives you the strength to pursue the right, but more difficult path, when the more easy path is more tempting.
      2. The ends don’t justify the wrong means
      3. How I get something done matters as much as what I get done
      4. Honor, Integrity and consistency.
    2. In our culture we lift up things that don’t have real meaning unlike character. Things that are superficial. It is avoiding criticism.
  12. Carly, what’s next?
    1. The path is next.
    2. The path is using all of my gifts.
    3. The path is finding the potential gifts that everyone else has around me.
    4. Every day I want to make a positive contribution.
    5. Life is measured by Love, Grace and Positive Contribution.
    6. You never say never.
    7. Carly Fiorina Enterprises unlocks potential gifts of everyone around us
  13. Carly, Chapter 5 of your book is titled, What Are You Afraid Of – I’d love for you to break down what readers can expect to find in this chapter?
    1. The first and most important ingredient in leadership:
      1. You have to get over what you’re afraid of and we’re all afraid of something.
        1. I’m going to look like a fool
        2. I’m going to fail
        3. I’m going to get fired
      2. NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it is the overcoming of those fears” – Carly Fiorina
  14. Carly Fiorina, you are a very proactive and intentional about your life…I’m always curious…how do you spend the first four hours of every day and what time do you wake up?
    1. I stick to the path and am very intentional about reviewing how I’ve spent my time. Time is the one thing we can never get back. How we choose to spend our time becomes our life.
    2. There are four parts to my morning:
      1. I start my day with a conversation with my husband and a cup of coffee
      2. I spend time in reflection and prayer about the previous day and the day to come
      3. I think about the day ahead.
      4. I exercise
        1. The greek philosopher said “Sound Body, Sound Mind” and “Moderation in all things.”
          1. I eat healthy but sometimes I pig out. I just don’t do that every day. If it something truly bad for me, I only eat it in moderation.
        2. When you lose your health, you realise what a blessing health and fitness is.
  15. If you could go back in time and talk to yourself, what would you say?
    1. Don’t worry about all of the wrong things and remember the important things.
      1. We spend so much time on the wrong things and not the important things.
      2. The important things:
        1. Love
        2. Seeing possibilities
        3. It is a choice to be generous
    2. Have positive contributions
  16. If someone wants to be a better problem solver, what would you tell them?
    1. Figure out what you’re afraid of and get over it.
    2. Look for the problems that you know the most about.
    3. Find allies and collaborators.
  17. Carly, you’ve always tried to stay in great physical shape throughout your career, what does your diet look like on a daily basis?
    1. Daily exercise and eating everything in moderation
  18. Carly Fiorina, you are very well read person. What are one or two books that you would recommend that all of our listeners should read and why?

ACTION ITEM: In what areas of your life and business are you underwhelming or under achieving in your own drive, ambition, position? What should you be doing on a daily basis to make sure you reach your full growth and potential?

What are you afraid of? Figure it out and get over it! Only focus on the problems that you can solve

Business Coach | Ask Clay & Z Anything

Audio Transcription

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Yes, yes, yes and yes. Doctor Z , is it true? In an hour and a half ago, we just interviewed the head of NASA. Jim Bridenstine Let me some jam, which we’ve interviewed Jim Bryden study. It’s like a Unicorn Day. Now on today’s show, we are interviewing a woman who obliterated the glass ceiling for women, men in business when she became the CEO of the Fortune 20 Company, Hewlett Packard, she also ran for president. She’s a best selling author. She’s a great American. She’s a big deal. She’s a big deal. Ms Carly Fiorina, welcome onto the thrive time show. How are you ma’am?

Well, thank you for that overly generous introduction. I am great and I’m delighted to be with both of you. Thank you so much for having me.

Well, Carly Fiorina, throughout your career you’ve had massive success. I love to start today’s show by beginning at the very bottom of your career. What was your child like? A childhood like it in we’re, where did it all start?

Well, I was, uh, probably the child that most people said might be least slightly likely to succeed actually. Um, I was extremely shy. I was scared of lots and lots of things. I was a goody two shoes, middle child, which means that my principal talent was parent-pleasing. And um, you know, I had, um, lots of fears, lots of insecurities. Let’s just say that I think honestly, my mother and father were incredible people who invested so much in each of their children. I had an older sister and a younger brother, but if I had to summarize the huge gift I got from each of my parents, which set me on my way, I would do it this way. When I was eight years old, my mother said to me in Sunday school, what you are is God’s gift to you. What you make of yourself is your gift to God.

And what I heard in that was that despite all of my fears and insecurities, I was gifted. And what I also heard in that was you need to make something of those gifts. So it was a promise from her and it was a challenge from her and from my father who um, struggled with a physical disability who intellectually was out of step with so many of his peers. And that was difficult for him from my father. What I learned was character is the most important thing. It is demonstrated through time. It is not the same as popularity or a claim, but your character is your destiny. And so define your character the way you want your destiny to be.

Your, your father was a professor at the University of Texas Law school, if I’m correct. And he became the dean of the Duke University School of law, the deputy us attorney general, and then a judge of the United States Court of Appeals. The ninth circuit. And I mean this, your dad had a lot of success, your mom had a lot of success. What kind of impact did that have on you in terms of your worldview and, and, and, and the kinds of goals that you set for yourself?

Well, I think it had a huge impact of first my, both my mother and father overcame real, uh, difficulties. Um, my mother was an only child at a time when her, she lost her mother when she was very young. Um, she had the proverbial evil stepmothers plural, um, over the course of her childhood and she was not going to be invested in a, she graduated Valedictorian of her high school class and, uh, which in itself was an achievement. And her father said, you don’t get to go to college. That’s not what we do. And so she literally ran away from home at 18, got on a bus, went to Texas, and joined the women’s Air Corps. Uh, she had to overcome many of her own insecurities and watching her, um, an incredibly brave woman. A woman was huge zest for life. Watching her inspired me. My Dad had own barriers to overcome.

He was born with a physical disability and a tiny little Texas town. He went to the wrong school, you know, he wasn’t Harvard or Yale, you know, he was in Texas. I mean, ut is a big school now, but it wasn’t then. And so he also struggled with his own insecurities. And yet both of them lived life absolutely on their own terms. They never sacrificed their integrity even when it meant difficulty for them. And that was the model, the inspiration, um, for me in very many ways, in so many ways. In fact, in my very first book, tough choices, and I spend the first chapter on my parents because they laid the foundation for my life.

You, if we want to understand is you are very good. Are you priced too, are very good at playing the piano and you wanted to first be a classical pianist? Uh, when did you discover your love for business? What did that come about?

Well, I, I did love the piano, but thankfully, perhaps I discovered relatively early on when I went into college that I frankly had neither the talent nor the temperament to be a professional career. Um, so I graduated from college with a degree in medieval history and philosophy. I love that. So not exactly did you have to joust at all to get that degree was a gel. But I did write my honor’s thesis on trial by ordeal in medieval times. So you know, Yikes is right. Um, but my plan was I was going to go to law school and I was going to go to law school because remember my um, core competency was pleasing my parents and that’s what they thought I should do, particularly my dad. So I was going to go to law school and I went and I hated it and I quit, which definitely did not please my parents and I had no plan, no plan.

So I went back to work typing and filing because I knew how to be a secretary because I had been a secretary to help put myself through college. I went back to work as a secretary in a little nine-person real estate firm. I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t particularly think about business. I was just trying to pay the rent and figure things out. But two men who work there came to my desk one day. I tell this story in my upcoming book. Yeah. Um, but they came to my desk and they said, we’ve been watching you. You can do more than type and file. Do you want to know what we do? And it was such a gift because they saw possibilities in me, which meant suddenly I saw new possibilities for myself, but they kind of introduced me to business. And what I discovered through their generous introduction was I liked the results of it. I liked the numbers of it, I liked the teamwork of it, I liked the clarity of it, I liked the customers of it. And it was really through their encouragement that eventually I would go on to earn an MBA. Although first I had to run away to Italy and teach English for a year. So

the challenge about a 30 or 45-minute podcast is that you have decades of success, although you just celebrate your 27th birthday today. I believe. So congratulations. That’s awesome. So talk to me about your, your, your time at, at, at, at, t, and, t, you know, when you started working AT&T because you had a very, uh, impressive climb to the top. Talk to us about where you started at a t and t and how you, uh, your, your roles during your time spent there.

Well, it may have been an impressive rise to the top, but it isn’t what I thought would happen. I started out at the very bottom after I earned the, uh, m my first MBA. I, I, uh, started out in a job that was called account executive. That was a glorified title for an entry level sales person. A T and t was at that time, literally a million employees. There were very few women. Uh, and so I kind of came in with this resume that said, I know nothing about telecommunications. I majored in medieval history and philosophy. Okay. She got an MBA. Let’s reward, let’s throw her in the deep end of the pool and see what happens. Yeah. And, um, there I was at an, in fact, I was asked to share some accounts with a gentleman who was on his way out to retirement and he didn’t much like that idea.

And so he wasn’t exactly welcoming. And so my first client meeting was held in a strip club and extremely intimidating environment for me. Um, and so that was my start, not auspicious, not encouraging. Um, very difficult. I almost didn’t go to the meeting and probably then would have been fired from my job because I was so terrified of going into a strip club. My point is this, along the way, I did not have a plan to get promoted, frankly for the beginning part of my career. I was just hoping not to get fired. But what I did was I saw problems everywhere I looked. And because I didn’t know much about telecommunications when I started out, I asked questions of everybody I met. And what I figured out was that everyone around me also had loads of potential. Everyone around me, the people closest to the problem actually had some great ideas about how to solve it. It’s just they never been asked. And so I started collaborating with people to solve problems and we solve them. And in business results matter and in particular problems getting solved that a festered for a long time gets attention. And so I collaborated with other people, found out what they were good at and we solve problems.

One thing about your career in, and Z , I wanna, I wanna Brag on Ms Fiorina here, the midst Carly Fiorina time. I was watching the debates. Oh yeah, I was watching you were watching the debates and my wife and I were very, and I’m a huge patriots fan as he, you’ve seen me cheer for the Patriots, Dude, by the way. You were cheering for the rams and he wasn’t sure how to controls or how to be a balance of life. Okay. So I’m sure for the Patriots and I, and I’m so excited, I’ve, I’ve cheered for the Patriots ever since Bill Belichick took over and there was part of the debates where you are being, uh, clearly, uh, attacked, you know, he’s like a personal attack kind of thing. And I thought that the way you handled it was awesome. And so as God as my witness, I’m yelling at the TV going, yes, Carly Fiorina, come on.

Here we go. Yeah, here we go. Because the way you handled that, that debt attack was pretty awesome. And you probably remember that. I don’t wanna get into the political issues and all that, but can you talk to me about, talk to listeners out there about being a female in the world of business, 1990 or even 2019 how is it different? Well, what advice would you have for the females about rising to the top of the corporate ladder, climbing the ladder as a female, and how has it maybe different for men? What would advice would you have?

Well first I would say to both men and women that if you want to solve problems, you’re going to have to get used to criticism. Hmm. It’s just part of it. True. It’s why the first essential quality of leadership is courage. It’s why I spend a whole chapter in a find your way, talking about courage and asking people what they’re afraid of. Because the truth is the reason problems fester is that people are afraid to challenge the status quo. The way things are has great power. And the second you start to challenge the way things are, somebody is going to criticize you. And in this day and age, criticism is omnipresent everywhere, on social media, everywhere. And so the criticism feels so heavy and weighty that a lot of people get overwhelmed by it and they stop. They get afraid whether they would admit that or not.

That’s true for men and women. For Women, the kinds of criticism are still different. Women are, um, caricatured characterized and criticized in a way differently than men are. Frequently Women’s appearance is caricature or criticized or, uh, characterized by both men and women. Sadly. True. Um, there are things that happen to women because they’re different than many of their colleagues that are difficult. It was absolutely commonplace when I started in the business world. For men to have a business meeting in a strip club. For a woman that was a very difficult and potentially demeaning situation. It is still true that it’s different for women just as it’s different. For anyone who’s different, uh, different things get said. So what I would say to women, um, is this, don’t get a chip on your shoulder and don’t hide your light under a Bushel. And what I mean by that is don’t get a chip on your shoulder. There are people who are truly bad in this world. There are men who do truly bad things to women. True. But most people are good and trying to do the best they can. And most men are extremely well-intentioned, even if they make stupid mistakes. The man who insisted on having the business meeting at the Strip club, he and I became very good allies. Very good partners, very good colleagues.

Don’t get a chip on your shoulder. Look for the good. And if someone does something that diminishes and demeans you confronted, have a conversation with someone, make sure they understand how you feel about it, but don’t let it scare you off of who you really are, which is the second part. Don’t hide your light under a Bushel. See as brave as you are, be as smart as you are, be exactly who you are. And if someone doesn’t like your face, so be it. If someone doesn’t agree with your point of view,

let me just say, let me just go one step further. Thank you for that. But frankly, whether you like it

my face or not as completely irrelevant, that’s actually the point.

Yeah. That’s actually the point. My face, I’m like, God, I like your face as much, but I’ve got to ask you this. I mean, what an epic effort that it’ll run, right? I mean, oh my goodness. Wow. It was like you couldn’t make that stuff up. No, mean you sat there top up. Unbelievable. Okay, so you’re running for president of the United States of America, the most powerful job in the universe. Oh No, we don’t. We’ve been out, there might be aliens today, so we made him takes or maybe alien. Maybe he’s just in from our Home Office. You put this in that podcast as part for that. What’s that? We’ll say the world will say the word world. Yes. What was the highest point and your run and the lowest point in your run. Can you, can you share that with us?

Yes. Well first, thank you for asking the question. It gives me the opportunity to say that, um, I was prepared to win and I was prepared to lose it. Is the essence of the book. Find your way. People get attached to a particular plan, to a particular job, to a particular destination. Come on and if they don’t get it, they’re devastated or if they get it, it turns out not to be what they thought it would be or if they get it, it turns out not to be as fulfilling as they thought. The point is. The reason I ran for president is because I think we need more problem solving in politics. Amen. I think we, I thought I brought an understanding of how bureaucracies actually operate, which is vital to solving some of the problems that we have and I thought that our nation and still believe all of those things.

By the way, I don’t think our nation was intended to have professional politicians because as George Washington observed way back in 1789 the trouble with political parties as they will come to care only about winning, not about problem solving or in governing. And I think we’ve seen the results of that over the last many years. So I also obviously knew that it was a really tall order. It was a very long shot. So that, so while I put everything into it, I also was very and believed I was highly qualified to do the job. I was also very prepared not to do the job and to go on and find other ways to make a difference consistent with what I believe. And I hope to share much of that in the upcoming book. So now to your question, what was the highlight and what was the low light look?

The highlight was always working with my team and talking to citizens and voters across this country. Politics can be so mean and mean spirited. But the truth is it was a joy every day to work with my team. And it was a joy every day to interact and have conversations with people out there who are doing the best they can every day, most of whom are not bitter partisans, but all of whom care about the future of the nation. That was a joyful experience. The worst of it was the process that politics has become. Um, the way we speak about politics, and I include lots of people in that, uh, social media, the media in general, the process that was used for the debates, which basically said, if you’re not well known, you don’t get a chance to talk. I mean the process, I think we don’t have time to get into it here. But suffice it to say, I think the process that has taken over politics, um, driven by both political parties for the purposes of winning as much as possible does not serve our nation well.

Curly you, you became a CEO who really did obliterate the glass ceiling for women. Uh, you became the CEO of a Fortune 20 company, Hewlett Packard, and I think anybody out there, if you’re, if you’re going, hey, you know what? I’m not going to buy a book unless it has at least one nugget, one specific nugget, one specific knowledge bomb, one thing that is worth the $25 $20 to buy a book. Uh, you definitely should buy this book, so I’d love for you to share with us about your, your new book. Find your way, unleash your power and highest potential. What first inspired you to write this book and why should the listeners out there check this book out? Read this book.

What inspired me to write this book is that the vast majority of us under utilize what we have, we under,

we don’t. We underestimate our own potential. What inspired me also to write this book is that we have come to believe that leadership is defined by someone’s position, their title or their ambition for position and title. Every single person is capable of leadership and leadership has nothing to do with position or title. It’s not the same as management and it actually has nothing to do with whether or not you have an ambition for a higher position or title. That is what inspired me to write this book. It is what I know from a lifetime of experience and a lifetime of encountering people of all kinds in all walks of life, all over the world.

Your, your book has a lot of stories in it that are, are, are just interesting to read. And in your book you talk about this a gentleman, we’ll call him a dino because that’s his nickname or uh, uh, Oris Smiley cause that’s his given name. Can you share with us about the story, there’s a story about or a smiley and why you decided to include the story of Mr Dino in your book?

Yes. And it, by the way, he is a perfect example of what I just said, that everyone has the potential to lead, although we frequently don’t utilize that potential. And leadership has nothing to do with position or title. Well, most of your listeners, perhaps like me, never heard of Danielle smiling. I never heard of Dino Smiley, maybe real basketball aficionados head. But Dino Smiley as an African American man who’s story began when he was a young boy in the very, very difficult neighborhoods of south central La. And a, um, gentleman started something that he called the drew league. And basically this was about gathering African American boys after school to play basketball so that they wouldn’t get into trouble and into trouble in that neighborhood meant drugs. It meant gangs, it meant getting killed. And so they played basketball and dino PSAT and kept score. One day, Dino, when he was in eighth grade, decides, you know, if we’re going to be a basketball league, we should have uniforms.

And Dino took it upon himself to walk across town and go talk to the plumbing supply store and say, you know what, there’s this war. We’re playing basketball and we need uniforms. And he talked him into it. Now what would possess an eighth grader to have the courage to do that, the, the, the imagination to go do that. But he did that well, fast forward a few years and now he’s put in charge of this league, south central La. And he said to me, Carly, I’m just trying to keep these boys alive. One of the things that characterizes this neighborhood is rival gangs and the rival gangs recruit these young boys and young men and get them into a life that is exceedingly dangerous and destructive to them. And so dino decides that he is going to take it upon himself to meet with the heads of each of these gangs and ask them to lay off while the drew league is playing.

That took a lot of courage. He was literally perhaps putting his life at risk and yet he went off and did that and he succeeded in talking them into it. And so for the period of time while the drew league playing, there is relative peace and calm in his community. Now fast forward a couple more years and Dino Smiley has built a league that is famous and all the best world renowned basketball players come to watch the drew league play in the playoffs in the summer. Sometimes they even get to play. Dino Smiley had everything operating against him. And yet a man that I had never heard of in a troubled community decides I’m going to make a difference. I’m going to solve a problem, I’m going to make progress. And he is a leader, although he doesn’t have a big fancy title and he never had ambitious for a big fancy title.

Curl your, your book find your way I think is a must read for anybody out there in, in one of the wines in, in, in your book that you’ve, uh, one of the quotes I took out of your book, how I did a highlight of your book because it says we don’t use the term character much anymore in society. But during my growing up years, it was common to hear people talk about it and everyone knew what it meant. Um, I would love to get your, take their ms Carly Fiorinaabout the importance of character.

So what does character, you know, character is what gives you the strength to pursue the right but more difficult path when the easy path, it’s more tempting. Character is what reminds you


the ends don’t justify the wrong means ever. Character is what tells you that you know, how I get something done is going to matter in the long run as much as what I get done. Character is honor, integrity, consistency over time. And the reason I think character is so important is because all of us, each of us, we’re always tempted by the wrong thing. We’re always tempted to take the easy way out. And in this day and age frequently the temptation to take the easy way out to do the wrong thing actually sometimes gets more commendation then doing the right thing. But the tough thing, you know, if you think about our culture, if you think about what we lift up in our culture, wow, we lift up, um, controversy, conflict, same money, those aren’t necessarily, none of those things are necessarily the right thing. They don’t have to be achieved by doing the wrong things, but they so frequently are. And we also tend to focus in, in our culture, particularly again on social media, but not only social media. On the superficial, how many likes do I have? You know, am I putting forward the perfectly curated photograph here? It’s superficial. Sometimes too often it’s um, avoiding criticism as opposed to doing the right thing and a lot of times doing the right thing, doing the tough thing, actually solving the problem. Get your whole lot more criticism in the short term, then I’m doing the wrong side.

Call me. What’s next for you? Well, uh, you know, as people find out in, by reading my book, uh, I don’t have five year plans. I have a path. I’ve never had a five year plan. I don’t have one now. So if you say to me, what’s the job you’re going for now? It’s not how I, it’s not how I live. It’s not how I’ve ever lived ever since I dropped out of loss goal and the plan blew up law school and law school dropout. Yeah. I said, okay, we’re, we’re, we’re going to have to do this a different way. But what’s the path? The Path is to use all of the gifts that I think I have. The Path is even more importantly to find the potential and gifts in the people all around me. I think the highest calling of a leader is to unlock potential in others for the purpose of changing the order of things for the better. And so I hope that every day I make a positive contribution. And in the end, having, you know, faced tough times in my life as we all do. I had a very difficult battle with cancer. We’ve lost a child to the demons of addiction. Um, I faced tragedy and trouble and criticism as others have. But in the end, I think life isn’t measured by position or title or fame or wealth. I think in the end, a life is measured by love and moments of grace and positive contribution.

No. Well said. So if I’m listening out there, we’ve got quite a few thrive nation members that are listening to this podcast and I’m in a big company. I’m like, I wonder if I’ve got a shot of hired her as my CEO. Does anybody out there for shadow hiring you as a CEO? Is that even a possibility? Are you open to me? Are you open to it? I mean, one of the hardest is the CEO of thrive nation, which is, well, it’s not a deal, but we want

it to be a right to be a big dope. We’re a Garageband, garageband, trying downloads. It’s our mom Mays basically downloading a lot of our downloads. But if, if we were to say, hey, listen, dude, you think we have a shot of hiring Carly’s our CEO. Hi. What do you think? What do you think? Like we think, I don’t know, Carly, look a shot. Let’s just, let’s swing for the fences.

I’m, I’m flattered by the question and I look, I have also lived long enough to know you never say never. However, what I would offer in return is a Carly Fiorina enterprises is my business that provides problem solving and leadership advice to all kinds of people. Unlocking Potential Foundation is the nonprofit part of Carly Fiorina enterprises where we focus our problem solving and leadership skills and advice on the nonprofit communities, um, particularly in this country who are dealing with very difficult, festering problems. Sure. Uh, and have, uh, many potential leaders, um, in their midst who just need an investment. So a while I may not be able to be someone’s CEO. They certainly are welcome to go on to Carly and check out the kinds of work we do through Carly Fiorina enterprises and through the unlocking potential foundation. And uh, so much of that is captured, I hope in find your way.

God, I’m so sorry. I failed to mention and it’s, it’s my bad, but clay in our are going to offer a four o one k plan. Nice. Nice. So I don’t know, it’s a hard, it’s a hard but the Swedes the potty. But I mean he’s a, he’s making a passive aggressive attempt to hire you at this point. But we’re going, we’re going to have to move on here now. So I want to ask you, Chapter Five Year book is titled, What Are you afraid of? Hmm. I’d love for you to break down for the readers what they could expect to find in this chapter.

So I’ve mentioned a couple of minutes ago that one of the reasons courage is such an important element in leadership. Indeed, I might argue the first and most important ingredient of leadership is that in order to solve problems, in order to lead, in order to unlock your own potential and perhaps those of others, you have to get over what you’re afraid of. And everyone’s afraid of things. Everyone’s afraid of things, whether they realize it or not. We’re all afraid of things. What are some of the most common fears? I’m going to look like a fool. I’m going to make a mistake. Someone’s going to make fun of me. Someone’s going to criticize me. I’m gonna fail. I’m gonna get by. I’m going to stand out. Everybody’s afraid of those things. And yet, unless we can get over those fears. And by the way, courage is not the absence of fear. We’re all afraid of things. Courage is being able to get over fear. Unless we can get over those fears. I’m going to look like a fool. Someone’s going to criticize me. I’m gonna make a mistake. I’m going to fail unless we can get over those fears. None of us can ever fulfill our potential and we can’t even find out what we’re made of.

I have three final questions for you. I don’t respect your time here. So my three final questions for you are, you’re are very intentional woman. You’re a person who’s very an intentional about uh, uh, how you plan your day at it. It appears, and I know you don’t have a five year plan, but you might have like a 24 hour plan or a seven day plan or a 30 day plan. Talk to us about how you organize the first four hours of a typical day in the life of Carly Fiorina.

Well, what I first I would say no, I don’t have five year plans, but um, I do stick to the path and I am very intentional about reviewing at the end of every year, the end of every quarter. How have I spent my time? How have I spent my time? Because your question is so important. How we spend our time is the most important choice we make because time is the one thing we can never get back. And how we spend our time, how we choose to spend our time becomes our life. Do we spend our time meaningfully? Do we spend our time with meaningless activity? So how you start the day for me makes a huge difference. So how do I start my day? I always start my day with my husband and a cup of coffee and kind of a conversation about, I tend to look around. I have a nice conversation with my husband.

I look at some beauty around me. I like to see beautiful things, whether it’s the view or the bird outside the window or something that brings me joy, like my silly dogs. I then spend a fair amount of time in reflection. Introspection could be prayer, could be reflection about the day to come, could be reflection about the day, uh, the before. But I spend time with myself introspecting and then finally, the third part of my preparation is to think about the day ahead. What is coming up on the day ahead? How do I want to think about the day ahead? So I have a plan for the day and on most days, but not every day. Um, I then follow that up with um, exercise because I find if I don’t feel well and I’m not fit, don’t think well

you beat me to the punch here. I was going to ask my next question was you’ve stayed in great physical shape throughout your career. Ah, what’s the keys to your success? What, what does your diet look like on a daily basis? And then, uh, how often do you work out?

So, um, you know, the Greeks, remember I was a medieval history and philosophy majors who I read philosophy, right? So the Greek philosopher said two key things, sound body, sound mind. And it really is true in my experience. If your body is sound, your mind will be salad. And if you’re not in good health, your brain isn’t operating as well. So sound body, sound mind. I want to be fit. I’m not a maniac over exercise, but I get regular and pretty rigorous exercise

daily for you. Is it Dale? Did you work out daily?

If I can, yes. Now there are some days when I just can’t and I don’t beat myself up too much about it. If I can’t, I can’t. But it is a regular part of my routine. The other thing that I would say, having been through a tough battle with cancer, when you lose your health, I mean there were times when I literally could not walk more than 200 yards. When you lose your health, you realize that what a blessing health and fitness is. And so for me it was an added incentive to keep my health and fitness. Um, so sound body, sound mind. The Greeks also said moderation in all things. I don’t diet, I’m just moderate in all things. So, um,

but what do you eat? Like what, what do you get here? What did you eat the last 24 hours? What do you, what do you eat on a typical day?

So, uh, I start with hopefully a healthy breakfast. It could be a, you know, a bowl of cereal and some fruit. It could be, um, you know, an English muffin with peanut butter. And some tea. Some days I just pig out and have everything wrong. But I don’t do that five days in a row. I do that, you know, once every few weeks.

Normal. Carla, you say great shape. There’s somebody out there going, what are you, somebody out there wants to know. What, what, what, what do you avoid? What do you say? A gluttony cause you say moderation. So no, no. Gluttony. Uh, what, what do you say? I just avoid that entirely. I don’t eat that,

you know, honestly, very few things. But if it’s something truly bad for me, yeah. Um, I eat it in moderation. Okay. Uh, so, um, I don’t avoid ice cream. I just don’t eat it a lot. I eat in Monterey when I eat ice cream, I eat, you know, one scoop, not

I’m scoops. [inaudible] look, I’m human. Occasionally it’s like I have a bad day. I want three scoops of ice cream cheese to where we want to. She does not have 18 skips for breakfast though. There’s just no Zhi. You have the final word, the final question for the incredible, super humble. Very nice. Well, the woman, the author of the new book, find your way. Ms Carly Fiorina z. What’s your final question? Would you get that bought from me right now? Would you buy while while we’re on the show by your book right now? That’s a commitment we make for new interview where we will buy your book on the Erythema put puts done here. Let’s leave a review because I have read the advanced copy, so let’s make sure we [inaudible] nice. Okay, Carly,

go back in time. 20 years and talk to yourself.

Yeah, if you could turn back time, sorry, I’ll share it. Right.

For instance, he loves to share. Um, if you could go back 20 years and have a sit down with yourself and say self south, here’s what’s up up buttercup, what would you, what would you say to yourself?

Don’t worry about all the wrong things and remember the really important things at what are those? We spend a lot of time worrying about the wrong things and we spend too little time focused on the really important things.

And in your opinion, what are the important things?



The people all around us. The S I would describe it this way. Seeing possibilities, seeing possibilities in the circumstances around us, in the people around us. There were possibilities everywhere and we have to see them in order to be able to seize them. And it is a choice to see possibilities instead of constraints. It’s a choice to be optimistic, incentive, pessimistic. Come on. It’s a choice to be generous in spirit instead of mean spirited. Those are all choices. And the final thing that I would say that’s really important is um, positive contribution. Making actually having an impact every day, making a difference. It’s not in huge ways, in small ways. We can all make a difference every day in the lives of the people we love and the people, the lives that we work with and the problems that we’re faced with every day, whether we have had cancer or not. The truth is none of us know the future. None of us know how much time we have. None of us know one time’s up, but we can all seek and give love. We can all focus on the possibilities that are good. All around us and we can all focus on what’s important and make a contribution instead of getting all caught up in stuff that doesn’t matter at all and will be forgotten very quickly.

You know that from what I’m hearing today, that is the theme of your life. It’s a beautiful thing. By the way, I, uh, prophetically just say to you, you are a wonderful problem solver because a lot of these things are you talking about her problems in our society that there is a solution to just like you did in business, which elevated you to the highest levels. True. And if our thrive nation, everybody listened to this podcast right now says, I want to be a better problem solver. Yeah. What is the first step or several steps or what would you encourage them? What would you say to them right now?

Number one, figure out what you’re afraid of and get over it because you, you can’t be a problem solver if you’re afraid. Okay? Number two, look for the problems that you know the most about. Don’t look for abstract problems. Don’t focus on world hunger. Maybe focus on the homeless guy that happens to be on your block. Look for problems that you are closest to. Okay, and number three, find allies, collaborators. Not only, don’t just see the potential in yourself, which is vitally important, which is why you’ve got to get over your fears, but see the potential in all the people around you because it’s there. It’s there. Great word. Thank you

curly. Thank you for putting up with us. I’m started, I know you looked at your calendar very proactively and you said, well, this is going to be a low point of my debt. You guys have been fun.

Do thoughtful. It’s been a delight. Truly.

Well, we really appreciate you. We would love to have you on the, on the show again, but again, thank you. On behalf of all of our listeners out there and everybody out there, if you have $15 in your pocket, put your hands up and they’d go by. Find your way. That book right there is going to give you unbelievable life changing knowledge bombs. Who doesn’t want to find their way? I mean, I, I mean, if you don’t, if you want to stay lost, then yeah, yeah. Don’t worry about who, Doug, if you don’t want, just don’t want to stay lost. Don’t forget about it. But you want a gps for [inaudible] truck stop by the book. It’s just putting in a truck stop and go. You know what that was, you know, whatever. Yeah, whatever. Carly, thank you so much. Thank you. Well, thank you all the best and we’re off curly. We’re going to get this all edited and when we do, I add kind of a fun intro to the beginning of it and I’ll do a bunch of tweaks to it and then I’ll send it out to your team and you guys can promote or not promote it to your heart’s content. But again, thank you so much. You’re a candidate who made me actually scream at my screen during the debates and I appreciate your class. It was just awesome to see how you handled the whole thing and, and uh, again, thank you so much.

Well, it’s our pleasure and of course we will promote it. Uh, it would be our pleasure and I hope we’ll have an opportunity to collaborate again.

All right. We’ll look forward to that. You have a wonderful evening.

Thank you so much. Take care. Bye. Bye.



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