Today’s new leaders are not born, but made. And they bring up those around them.

Today’s super successful surprise guest explains how becoming this strong leader comes down to the choices that you make and the habits that you create.

We also talk about how the relationship that him and I built after I missed our first appointment, sending him cupcakes… and something about constipation.

Please welcome, Alain Hunkins.

Episode highlights:

  • 6:29 – Alain Hunkins Background
  • 9:39 – Leadership
  • 14:38 – Epic Failure Stories
  • 20:03 – Alain’s Book
  • 21:39 – All about books

Learn more about this guest:



Podcast Episode Transcripts:

Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.

Alain Hunkins. Did I do that right? You did a great job with that. I’ll take it. Damn. It’s better, better, better than alien. So I’ll do it. Okay. Well LAN, thanks for jumping on learning from others. I appreciate you joining. Oh my pleasure. I’m really excited for our conversation today. Um, you know, usually I start with two questions, which we’re going to start, which we will do, but I’m going to throw myself under the bus.

So, um, Alain and I were supposed to jump on a call. It was about a month ago probably. Yeah. And, um, Just didn’t happen. Totally my fault. So we have, I legit got stuck by the train and it was like the perfect storm of a couple of things and it just didn’t happen. So let’s, let’s be honest. Did the cupcakes, which moves you back, you know, sugar is a way to mainline all sorts of stuff.

Yeah. So thank you for the cupcakes. It was really nice. Couple of weeks in a jar in the mail. Impressive. Yeah. So, you know, I think this might actually be an interesting topic that we can start with, and maybe you can give some insights as to why, you know, so I, I own the fact that I didn’t get the opportunity.

Things got in the way of their, out of my control, but it’s still my fault. Right. Yeah, Atlanta and I couldn’t connect. So I just simply emailed them. And I, and I left the voicemail as well. And I said, look, I screwed up, um, to make happen. I’m not making excuses. It is what it is. And then I sent him cupcakes and a little card because from my perspective, I run into the same thing.

Right. I run into people that waste my time, um, that legitimately wastes my time. And I’m sure that you do. And I wanted to make sure that that was clear that that wasn’t what was going on. So, um, I, I I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that there was probably like my sincere approach to, uh, owning that circumstance.

Do you want to add any, anything to that? Oh, I mean, I, I love that you did it, but I’d like to zoom out because I think there’s a huge lesson for all of us in this, which is the fact is. All of leadership. And I, by the way, I focus on leadership. When I say leadership, I’m not talking about a job title. I’m talking about any time, you’re trying to get anyone else to do anything that takes leadership, which means that we are all leading others and ourselves every day.

And what you described in there is that, look, you screwed up. No one is perfect. And it isn’t so much what happened. It’s how do you respond to it now, granted, if this was the case with you, every single time I talked to you, this wouldn’t be a one-off thing. It’d be a, there would be a certain competence issue being gone.

It’s a question, however, because you owned it and you just said straight up, and this is it. To me, this is a question of credibility. And what you try to do is repair the relationship because at its core, all of our leadership happens in a relationship. It doesn’t happen in a vacuum. And so what you did was you said this relationship is important enough to me to call this out for me to own this and actually realize that for me to be just honest to say, I meant to do this.

I didn’t, I screwed up. I’m sorry, what can I do to make it right? I would, and I think everyone would say this. I would much rather have someone. Be clean with me about a mistake, then try to pretend like it didn’t happen. So I’ve got these great mentors, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner who wrote this book, the leadership challenge and their first law of leadership is about credibility.

And what they say is you won’t believe. And they said, if you don’t believe the messenger, you won’t believe the message. And I think it’s so important. And so for me, credibility is the foundation of this and doing what you say you’re going to do. Is the most important and frankly, showing up on time is the basic skill because it’s the easiest in the world to measure.

So, no, thanks for bringing that up. And you showed up late. Yeah, I did. I took today and I did, and I knew I was going to show up late and I emailed you six hours ago to say, I’m going to show up. Like I know, so this is the thing I know you had it because it doesn’t cause because life’s not perfect, right.

Life is not perfect. And it’s not about holding each other to an impossible standard. It’s finding the, where can we be? Truthful and move things forward. It’s so important. And you know what I think that’s even unique about these circumstances is that, um, you know, there’s certainly the opportunity if, if we didn’t connect and then that was that, then that is understandably bad on me and looks bad on me, but there’s also like a beautiful opportunity that comes from this, that you and I now have.

Potentially a better relationship than we would have had had we not gone through that little thing? Yeah. Yeah. You’ve totally named something so important, which is really think about we’ll call it conflict. Right? Some people like, oh, conflict. Oh, like conflict is a part of life. If anyone has been in a relationship for more than a year, I’m talking about a romantic relationship and maybe even less.

I mean, this is the nature of life and relationships. You’re going to go through ebbs and flows. It’s how do you deal with it? And the fact is there is that opportunity to get more honest, to get more truthful, to create more depth and less superficial reality. And ultimately, if I think about the people in my life who I have those relationships, I’m better friends with them.

I’m better customers from them and they’re better clients of mine, right? So this is you have that small group. And the goal is to expand that circle by being an honest person of integrity. Hey, I didn’t say perfect by the way. I said an honest person of intense. Yeah. Yeah. Have you seen, um, the last dance that Netflix documentary with Michael Jordan?

Have I have seen it? Yeah. One thing, one part that I, you know, so I’m not like a big sports person. Um, but I love that D and I, and I don’t watch, I don’t, other than watching cartoons with my kids and movies, like, I just don’t watch anything unless it’s like a documentary and I really liked that documentary.

Not because of the sports, but just because of the whole work ethic and just seeing the level that. The present how Michael Jordan brings to the team and brings up his team. But one thing that kind of we’re talking about that, um, a comparable example was I think it was Kerr where, um, he said that Jordan was in his face at a practice and, and like swung at him and curse said, I didn’t back down and I’m not a fighter, but I swung back or he, you know, came back at him and he said, There, their relationship just skyrocketed after that, because then Jordan said, all right, this guy’s got my back because he stood for something and showed value in the relationship and, you know, wanted, wanted to, in that unique circumstance.

Somehow give back a little bit. Yeah, for sure. All right. Questions, two questions. Now we’re starting, we’re starting our starting Ellen. Who are you? Why, why are we listening to you? What are we going to learn from you today? Yeah. So what I’m about is I am about helping people to achieve performance goals easier.

And as I said before, that’s around leadership and the way I see it as there’s a huge gap between being a high performer and facilitating high performance and others. And so what I focus on is what I call the facilitative mindset. That if you really want to lead, especially in 2020, That’s the world that we’re living in.

You need to have a mindset that is around facilitating results in others, which is taking a look at what are the beliefs and the behaviors that you have. And to me, that boils down to a mindset and it boils down to certain skill sets. And for me, there’s three primary skillsets that you need, which is you need to be a great connector, a great communicator and a great collaborator.

I actually want to dive into that here in a minute, because I saw a little video yesterday. That’s on this topic, but not until I ask you a question, number two, which is what do you suck at? Oh, um, particularly, I’ll say one thing I suck at is I am not handy whatsoever. People like, you know, I live in new England.

I live in Western mass and around here, there’s a very much of a good. DIY work ethic and contractors will come in and they’ll say like, oh, you don’t need to hire somebody to this. Just get a couple of your friends and a 50 pound bag and gravel. And it’s like, no, no, actually you don’t understand. I do want to hire you.

See, this is my checkbook here. Let’s do this. And this is not my skillset. It’s painful. It’s bad. It’s going to go wrong. It’s going to take me 20 hours. I’m going to screw up the house. So I am not handy whatsoever. That’s interesting that they have, like, I can, uh, I can admire the, um, them kind of have in your back a little bit and one to save you money or whatever it is.

But it’s interesting that, that, that it’s that, um, that, that straightforward. Yeah, it is. Yeah, it is. It is for the most part. And it’s probably places like these small jobs, like I don’t want to waste my time and maybe that’s what it is. There may be an ulterior motive to all this, for sure. Yeah. You know, you talking about being a high, high performer versus, um, facilitating high-performance.

The little clip I watched yesterday was a preview of, I think the book was called turn the ship around something like that. Are you familiar with it? I am. Um, and so I watched like, The 10 minute YouTube promo where it’s it’s the, the author and he must’ve been giving a speech somewhere and they did like one of those whiteboard videos that are yeah, exactly.

Yeah. David Marquette. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. So, um, but, but that’s basically what that was about why, so, so the gist of the book is he’s, um, like I can, I can’t remember the proper terminology, but he’s like an Admiral or a captain of a submarine. And, and so he comes in and he says, look, I don’t want. I don’t want people coming to me.

Do we turn the ship around? I don’t know. Do we turn the ship around and like all these little micro decisions. And so instead he’s obviously a high performer because of where he’s at in his career, but then he wanted to facilitate high performance within his team. And then just how that trickles down and brings everybody up.

So that sounds like your jam. That’s totally my jam. Yep. And in fact, I know David Marquette, so we’ve talked about some of these things a little bit and yeah. I mean, what we’re talking about here is it’s such a shift and here’s the interesting, we live in such interesting times in that there’s still such an inherited legacy that most leaders, and by the way, if you do the research on this, and this is what I’ve done is if you do the research is that, you know, the state of leadership is really poor.

MIT came out with this study that said only 12%. Of people strongly agree that their leaders have the right mindset to lead them into the future. Only like 31% of people think their leaders communicate well only 23% think they lead well overall. So it’s really bad. And the reason for this is because so many leaders are operating from an industrial age mindset, right.

And we’re not working in the industrial age and yet, so if you try this command and control, which most of us learn because that’s the way our leaders were and we have very few good role models, we just. Tell where like tell my job is to be the fixer. My job is to be the problem solver. And so that mindset, if, if you’re operating from this tail fixed problem, self problem-solver mindset is gonna trip you up today because the way information is.

Disparate and scattered and what we need to do and how we need to collaborate and move things through. We frankly don’t have the time to have one person be this information and decision-making gatekeeper, like you were saying with data Marquette, should I do this? Should I do that? It’s like, if I’m spending all my time answering your questions stuff, ain’t getting done.

So it’s, we’ve got to shift the paradigm so that people are, and I’ll use the word empowered, but truly empowered, not just in that kind of flavor of the month, way by really showing them how they’re a part of the larger whole, and then giving them the tools and skills they need to succeed. Yeah, it’s been, it’s been really fun for me.

It’s been interesting to me personally, because, um, I’ve been kind of introspective in the last couple of years as, as I, as I start to better. I guess I’d say I better quantify how fortunate I’ve been in my accomplishments, because I’ve always been very driven and I’ve always been a people person, and I’ve always tried to bring my team up and, and that was just me.

And so until the last couple years, I didn’t realize like how that’s not the common denominator amongst most organizations and most teams. And I think what really, where I really started to see kind of things. Where my line in the sand was, was, um, before I started my company 14 years ago, the gentleman that I worked for before that super successful, but just a toxic person.

Right. And so I got thinking, this is how he, he treats his team all the ways. I would never treat a team. And then like growing up, going through, um, you know, my family moved a lot and there was a lot of stability and I was like, like there’s no, there’s no like sad story there, but it was like, Those are things when I’m a parent, like I want stability.

And so it’s been interesting for me to a lot of times when I’m on the other side of the mic and people say, you know, who, who’s your mentor or who have you learned from? And it’s kind of the opposite. It’s like, I’ve learned where people have screwed up. Like I’ve looked at those things and said, that’s not how people should be treated and that’s not how I want to be treated.

So it’s been interesting and I’m actually super grateful to realize, like, this is a thing and I can go, oh, okay. Like I found my tribe and start to better relay and go into those groups. Yeah. I mean, what you’re saying about having those we’ll call them negative role models, mentors, such a valuable lesson.

And I think, I mean, because the fact is most of the people that you lean in leadership roles are going to be those kinds of people. So why not get the experience you can from it, which is now I know what not to do. You know? And the only other thing I’ll say around that is I would just gently and lovingly challenge you around this idea.

They were super successful. They were probably super six and full. Financially in a certain very limited domain, but again, they’re being, they’re being toxic and this is the thing. And in our society, I think we have to watch this because are they being successful? Because that’s the way they are. Are they being successful in spite of the way?

And had they been different and not toxic? Just think about how much more, not just. Successful, I think because we’re generally measuring that from a financial metric point of view, but just think about the legacy they would be leading the sustainability. I mean, just think about what that means. So I just invite all of us as we think about working in our own leadership is how are we defining success?

Yeah. I wouldn’t want anything to do with our life. Like even, even, even in my pre entrepreneur days where I started my own journey, like. You know, I’m happy where I’m at, but even before I got to where I’m at, I w I never considered even, even trading being in their shoes for one minute, just because it’s, uh, there’s so much more that goes on behind the scenes that I, you know, toxic it wasn’t just toxic workplace.

Like, you know, they have a toxic relationship and marriage, and like you said, there’s no legacy going on with her family and whatever. Um, so. You, you said you have offline, you made a little note, you have an epic failure story. So I want to hear about this. Okay. Well, I have a few epic failure stories. Um, so one was early, early.

I had just gotten involved, uh, volunteering for not-for-profit. Volunteer organization that focuses on leadership development. And I’ve been involved with them for three years and the center director stepped down. So there was a vacancy and there was an election to be held. I thought, okay, I’m a young, I was like 29 whipper snapper.

I’ve been involved with this organization. I should be able to do this. And so I put my hat in the ring to become the next center director and. Well, one other guy decided he wanted the job. This guy named Gary. Now I’ve been around three years. I was the Uber volunteer. I thought everyone knew what I was doing.

And Gary was new. He’d been around six months. He owned his own construction business and I didn’t think he would give me a run for my money whatsoever. So election day is an annual meeting. We all come together for this election and it’s a blind ballot thing. And then they reveal the results and they say, okay, and the results are.

Okay. All I hear is 33 votes to six. There’s like 39 people in there. Of course my, my, my first thought is, yes, I have brushed him until it took that millisecond to realize no, actually I was the one that crushed. I got six votes. Gary got 33 and I, my head was spinning. Like, how could this possibly have happened?

Like I thought I had done everything well. And so I leave there with my tail between my legs and I think it’s probably six weeks go by and I ended up meeting up with this guy, Kerry or over lunch. To kind of talk about stuff and the future of the organization. And I sort of half jokingly said to Gary, so Gary did, did you really know you can get those votes?

And he said, of course I did. What do you mean? Like he had, had a whole strategy? Like, I didn’t think about any of this stuff. He just said, he says, yeah, I basically, I got into the organization and I started meeting up with people and having coffee and getting to know them and asking them what their plans and their goals were.

And then I share with them some of my vision. Then we talked about how we could work together. And I told them I’d be running for Senator director. Would they support me and be part of this? So Gary had basically. Intentionally built relationships. He didn’t intentionally ask people questions. He’d intentionally collaborate with them.

I had assumed, which is, I think a lot of us who kind of go into whether it’s starting your own business or getting into leadership, we think that good work will speak for itself. Right. And if good work spoke for itself, the field of marketing would not exist. So I, and not to mention part of marketing is you need to, part of marketing is you need to have a network to market to, I hadn’t built the network.

I just done work. And yeah, it was good work, but no one really knew it the way I knew it. And so for me, that was such a wake-up call that actually the key to effective leadership in this case with Gary was you need to connect. You need to communicate, you need to collaborate. So that was this wonderful.

Horrible, wake up call and I’d say a great failure that, that turned me around in a lot of ways to realizing that, oh, it’s about the people stupid. How, how quickly did that change? Anything like, was that like an instant change? Um, certain aspects of it changed. I know I’d love to say that. Oh, I got it all.

I mean, I am a self-identified recovering perfectionist, which I think is in some ways a lifelong battle, because another mentor of mine said, you know, your problem is you’re trying to get a hundred, a lot of tests that are just pass, fail, I think is such a valuable wisdom, right? Let’s face it there’s a lot of life is pass fail.

And if you’re trying to get an a or a hundred on a pass fail test, you are totally wasting some time and stressing yourself out. So that was great. Great wisdom. So I still struggle with that, honestly, Damon, I mean, that is not the easiest thing because. It’s so it’s, you know, any recovering professionals listening right now knows it’s like, it’s in you.

It’s like, oh, it’s like, that’s harsh internal critic. And so I have to talk myself off the ledge. Now, granted, I can talk myself off the ledge more quickly and it doesn’t get quite as intense for as long, but it happens from time to time. For sure. So what I found though, the thing that shifted the most was I think.

Well, I was, I still am. I’m a bit of an introvert. I learned to become my, I worked at my social skills. I just realized, you know what, everyone else doesn’t know anything about anyone. Just ask questions and be okay with not knowing and just get to know people. So that was a quick switch and just starting to build genuine relationships with people that started to happen pretty quickly.

And then the rest has continued over the time. I’d be willing to bet all the things that you fall in yourself at being like the shooting per shooting for a hundred on a pass-fail test. Like all those things that you, um, are guilty of. Are probably the things that you Excel at helping other people with.

Am I right? I mean, I can spot a recovering perfectionist from a mile away and I know what it’s like. Yeah. So, I mean, this is the thing is you, you kind of end up coaching what it is you need to learn. Right. You teach what you need to learn and you help those people and yeah, no, for sure. Absolutely. That’s funny.

Um, yeah. I live that too. So like, you know, when we’re working with clients on their web design or their marketing campaigns, anytime, anytime they’re like Wilson send me some samples of, of designs. And I’m like, well, the first place to not look at is our site. Like, don’t go look at ours because it’s the neglected stepchild that is just there.

So I get it. Well, you have, um, you’ve taken some of your experience and you got. Book is it, is it done or is it coming? Book is done. Book has been out. Yeah. The book is called cracking the leadership code, the three secrets to building strong leaders, which by the way again, are connection, communication, collaboration.

Yeah. It launched in March. Right? As the world was shutting down in the pandemic March of 2020, and it’s gotten some really great press it’s gotten reviewed in Forbes. I’ve had articles in ink, fast company business, insider, chief executive, chief learning officer. Scott and around it got endorsed by some really great people like Dan pink and Marshall Goldsmith and Jim cruises and Barry Posner, the authors of the leadership challenge I was mentioning before.

So yeah, it’s been great. And it’s opened up a ton of doors, uh, in terms of talking to people. So I’m really excited about it. Could you, do you have any comments you could add on, on these book endorsements? So, um, you know, a lot of people, I think the first biggest I too wrote a book this year, mine was.

April of this year that I came out. So I feel you on the pandemic rollout now, um, one thing that I learned in offering a book as it, you know, people will say like, well, tell me about it, this and that. And one of the common questions is, do you make money on it? I was fortunately fortunate enough to know, to know, no you’re not going to make money on the book.

Right. It’s how you leverage the book. So I think that’s one big. Miss a person, you know, misunderstanding, but maybe another that you could talk about is, you know, you have all these great endorsements. So for these aspiring authors and people that want to share their message, like how did they not necessarily have to get book endorsements, but how did they get people to care?

Like how do they get people? How do they get the exposure around their book? Do you have anything to add to that? Yeah, we could spend a couple hours just. Um, this one, um, there’s, there’s a few things to me. I mean, so, you know, going back to thinking about the, the whole sense of. Are you going to make money on your book?

I mean, that’s the first thing that people don’t know like, Hey, how are books sales? Um, I sold three maybe this week. Yeah. I mean, the fact that his books don’t sell themselves and the fact that unless your last name is Kardashians or something like that, no one is standing in line to market your book. I mean, I have a major publisher and I still had to hire, publish and do most of this work myself and doing the legwork.

So the thing about endorsements is, you know, um, I have a colleague named Dorie Clark and she’s written some great books. One’s called standout. It’s all about your marketing and G. And I’ll use her model. So I want to give her credit for it. As you think about, if you’re trying to really stand out and be in a crowded marketplace, there’s three key components.

Number one, you need to have great content. So if you’re writing a book for example, or you have a great, you know, whatever it is, your website or your service or whatever it is, you need to have great content. Because at the end of the day, all the marketing in the world, at some point, they’re going to open up the package to see what’s inside.

So it’s got to stand on its own. So, number one, you got to have great content. Number two, you need to have social proof. And this is the whole sense of influence that is who else says, you’re good. Who else? And are those people, people like, oh, so-and-so says this they’re impressive because it’s all about that makes people feel more comfortable because people are trying to manage their risk.

And then the third piece after you’ve got social proof and content is around your network. So how can you start to share this with different people? So for me, my strategy around getting endorsements, most of the people that endorsed the book, I did not have a personal connection to whatsoever in terms of, they didn’t know me and I didn’t know them.

However, what I would say is the personal connection was these people deeply influenced my thinking and my writing in fact, many are featured in the book. So when I wrote to ask them for an endorsement. I basically shared with them how much they’re influenced and I was specific. I wasn’t just like, I think you’re great Dan pink, but I shared specifically how you’re thinking around this, this, and this focused on my whole shaping and this, would you be willing that at least open the door to a manuscript?

Because what I shared in that is I know you, I know your work. I think it’s great. Would you consider looking at this? And then of course, I need to deliver the goods and have a good enough something. Good enough. But that is what opened the door to all think about it. Um, so that’s where I started from, but it’s always starting from their point of view.

And I did my work. I mean, I didn’t just go like who’s famous and how can I get them to write, like, you know, who’s out there in the world, you know? So I didn’t, I didn’t do that. And that, that worked pretty well. And then writing very personal heartfelt. Emails and every single one was very customized. It took a lot of time and a lot of work and amount of persistence and people ask me how much time did I spend?

And I will say it was weeks. I spent probably two solid weeks. Full-time my wife called it. She said, I feel like you’ve gone off on an endorsement bender. Because it was literally like, like I was spending like 14, 15 hours a day, like working on these letters, crafting and stuff. And I probably did it for 14 or 15 days straight.

Um, and so, and I got a little obsessed, but I think, you know, the nature of the ebb and flow of when you’re an entrepreneur, you have a season for that. And that was my season to like have my endorsement vendor and the proof is in the pudding. I’ve got. 31 amazing endorsements in the book. And that has helped open up doors to get on podcasts.

I can use the names. Oh, by the way, so-and-so was on your podcast. They’ve endorsed my book. And so suddenly I had these other connections to things. Yeah. Well that’s what I was going to ask next is has, so, you know, you didn’t have, um, a one-to-one relationship. Pre outreach. Have any of those now blossomed in a relationship?

Yeah, for sure. I’ve certainly reached out to some of those people, the endorsers, and certainly podcast hosts now as, as reaching out, staying in touch with them. Um, and for the most part, I mean, this is a general rule of networking. Is this Jenna reaching out and checking in with people not so much? Hey, what can you do for me?

But just like, Hey, I’m thinking about you. What can I do for you? So for example, a few of those folks, now that I’m on the podcast circuit, I’ve been going, Hey, I got this really great podcast. That I was on. Would you be interested in being a guest? So that’s a way I can give back to some of these thought leaders who endorse my book is just thinking about this.

Would you like to be guests on any of these things? And so that’s, that’s something that that’s easy for me to make those connections between people. So I think that’s so important because for me ultimately, it’s about how can I. Deepen these relationships and provide value. And, you know, I don’t know if you know, Bob Berg, who’s another great person and his work.

He’s got a book called the Go-Giver because it really, if you think about it, it’s ultimately, it’s all about trying to create value for people, because then if you do that, the money part will come. Yeah, the, the, the Go-Giver I was somebody recommended that just last week and I, I saved that. Yeah, that’s cool.

I like how you said seasons because, um, I liked that better. Cause I would say phases and I felt it accomplished communicating what I was trying to communicate, but I think seasons illustrates it better. So I’m stealing that now. You know, we had another guest, um, Rebecca who she’s a, uh, a big, she she’s like a, uh, celebrity attorney kind of that kind of person.

And she did the same thing. She had rubber Shapiro write the forward in her book and did exactly what you said. She just reached out and said, look, um, you know, I’m here, here’s my book. That’s coming out. I. Um, have learned that, you know, we have similar angles on this, this and this, you know, I can’t remember her, her exact emotional tie and just said, Hey look like, would you consider writing a foreword for this very specific reason?

Not just because you’re, you’re, you’re a respected attorney, you know? And, and it worked, she didn’t have a relationship before that and just got the forward. Yeah, that’s what happens. Um, one thing I want to jump back a little bit on is, um, talking about, you know, success. And I w I talked about the people that I worked prior to my company and being toxic, and, and you had kind of started to imply about what we see online.

And I think that social media. It is good and bad, right? Like it’s good because entrepreneurs can, you know, you should share your wins. But the problem is that you don’t see like all the stuff that happened behind those wins. And so there’s, I think there’s too much of a perception of instant gratification, instant wins.

That is just totally out of touch with reality. Oh completely, completely. I mean, you know, they’ve done all sorts of social science research around people and social media usage. And basically there’s this horrible relationship. The more you’re on it, the more depressed you get, because it’s so easy, you’re comparing yourself to someone’s idealized version of themselves.

You know, if you just thought the world. Existed as it does on social media, everyone’s always at Cabo on vacation and doing whatever, you know, living the high life and that people aren’t sharing the, oh, I had a really crappy day today. I could, I can barely get to bed or, you know, you know, I was constipated like no one’s sharing that.

No one wants to know. And certainly no one wants to see pictures. Right. Anyway. Yeah. So the thing is, what we tend to do is we tend to compare our entire life. To someone else’s very thin slice and this thin slice in this one area. And it’s like, oh, and then of course we go, oh, so who’s the most wealthy.

And we compare ourselves to the wealthy person and then we want to compare ourselves. Who’s got the best six pack abs and we compare ourselves to somebody else. And before, you know, it, you’re now competing against, you know, not even one person, but different people in different aspects. All of which makes you feel really bad about yourself.

And of course, I mean, it compounds this because it used to be before we had all this, you know, when we lived without mass communication, you are comparing yourself to the 150 or 200 people who lived in your neighborhood, do your school. Well, now you get to compare yourself to everybody else in the world.

There’s always gonna be somebody who’s richer. There’s always going to be somebody who’s got, you know, Better abs there’s Owen, someone’s got a bigger boat, you know, you pick it. There’s somebody who is more spiritual than you are, you know, who’s more evolved. And so it’s a lose, lose game. And I think it’s really important to realize where are the strengths and where are the limitations?

And then how do you. Cut yourself off and set some boundaries and focus on some other things, because it can create a really two dimensional world. And I think, especially in the U S I mean, we have culturally in the U S there is this addiction to success. And this idea of self-made, I just came back to the U S I was living in the Netherlands for two years.

Right. So I was there a very different vibe, much more family oriented, much more. Yeah. It’s enough like that. Like, there’s a lot of focus on just hanging out and just relaxing. What a concept, right? It’s relaxing. Do you find that. One or the other locations, there’s a sliver of a hint. That one side is migrating towards the other a little bit at a, in any capacity.

Um, I mean, I mean from, I was only in the Netherlands for the last two years, just moved back in August. I mean, my sense is. Some things there have moved more towards the kind of the us all commercial all the time. But if you went there from here, you’d think not. So, um, in terms of, I don’t think that we are moving.

I mean, part of, I think part of the reason that we are so challenged in here is that at what point do you ever feel that it’s enough in the U S in that I don’t care how much money you have, like one good health scare with you’re still even with insurance. Could wipe it could bankrupt you depending on what it is and how that works well in the Netherlands, they have socialized medicine that’s off the table.

That would make me more relaxed. Also, if you wanted to save up for your kid’s college here, you might have to take out, you know, six, seven figure loan. It seems like because of how expensive is there higher education is much more reasonably priced. There are, they have pension. I mean, so there’s something to be said about what social democracy does in terms of giving people a sense of.

Relieving their anxiety. Yeah. Stability because people aren’t worrying about these things. Plus if you want to get a job at the supermarket, starting wage is like 20 bucks an hour, 22 bucks an hour. So suddenly even that is a living wage. Um, so it’s just, it’s just different. In terms of how that plays out.

Look, there’s a lot of great things about the U S but definitely. I mean, I see it and I work with, you know, quote unquote, super successful. Like, we’ll use that one. What I mean by that isn’t financially successful. You know, we’re talking about CEOs of fortune 50 companies, et cetera. And I wish I could say that they were as happy as they are wealthy.

That’s not the case. It’s just not the case. You know, it’s like, there’s a lot of stress and anxiety to keep all the balls in the air and keep going. And I think if nothing else, 2020 has taught us what happens when the balls start dropping, right. When they start dropping. And then the seams of the fabric of society start ripping open on multiple levels, right?

On a health level. On an economic level on a racial level. I mean, look at what has happened. And so to me, this is this opportunity for a reset, wake up call, because what we know from the science of what motivates people to change people don’t change unless there’s some kind of a wake-up call and a reset.

Well, Certainly this year, the alarm clock bells have been ringing. And so I think the choice is do we hit the snooze button and try to pretend like things are just going to be able to keep going or do we stop and re really rethink some core fundamental values and what might need to change to be able to sustain this longterm?

Yeah. It certainly feels that way. And I like your metaphor of the whole reset button because yeah, it’s got to go one way or the other. I mean, if we hit the snooze button, it’s just kind of build that tension even more and it’s not, you know, we’re not going to get the answer. Um, On the social media thing.

Yeah. It’s much, it’s much of a highlight real one. Um, side note I wanted to add about not talking about being constipated is I did have somebody go as far as sharing that they were the quote unquote. Crop dusting in their beds. And I think they took that one a little too far on that transparency level.

Yeah. It’s so interesting too, about like what people are willing to share and not, and I’m learning, I mean, just like in disclosure, so I’m turning 52 in November, so I’m a total gen X-er, you know, in terms of like, in terms of my academics, Just technology. I have, my younger sister is 14 years younger than me and I love her and she will share so much more about her personal life than I will on like I’m on Facebook to the point of view of like typical 52 year olds I got on because my high school friends, like, Hey, you have to get on.

And like, I’m on, but I’m not on that much, but she’s like sharing her in her life and God bless her. I mean, she’s cool with that. I don’t, that’s not the place I want to be sharing that information. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m sorry. I’m somewhere in the middle. I’m I’m um, I feel really lucky that I was born, um, at a, at a point where I knew before the internet, but I also grew up with it being able to leverage it.

And so I can see. The value on both sides. And so I try to, I try to run down the middle a little bit. Yeah. Yeah. Well, Alon, I appreciate you jumping on learning from others. Um, I appreciate you sharing your story. Story has been a fun conversation. Thanks for giving me round two with you. I want to give you the last few moments to tell our listeners how they can find out more about your book or anything else you wanna throw out there.

Yeah, sure. Thanks. Dammit. Yeah, so probably the easiest way to find more about me in the book is to go to the book has its own website, which is way easier to spell than my name, which is And while you’re there, you can download the first chapter of the book, get a preview of it.

And that’ll also connect you right to my ally website, where you can learn about the various offerings that I have. I have a bootcamp I’m about to launch a leadership bootcamp. I’ve just. I’m in the middle of a 30 day challenge. I’ll be running that again in 2021, a couple of different times.

We’ve had great, great feedback, over a hundred leaders from five continents, all around the world, practicing leadership every day. So you can learn all about that. And since you’ve listened this far in are also now part of the end of the podcast club, which means anything else that came up, you want to.

Reach out to me directly. You can email me at, which is A L A I N H U N K I N And I do respond to all emails. I get from podcast listeners. I like that. I like that little end of the podcast thing. Super cool. Yeah. All right. Appreciate your time on you can chat and thank, thank you.

Thank you.

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Today’s new leaders are not born, but made. And they bring up those around them.

Today’s super successful surprise guest explains how becoming this strong leader comes down to the choices that you make and the habits that you create.

We also talk about how the relationship that him and I built after I missed our first appointment, sending him cupcakes… and something about constipation.

Please welcome, Alain Hunkins.

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