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Mindful Leadership with Dr. Eric Holsapple

George Grombacher February 16, 2023

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Mindful Leadership with Dr. Eric Holsapple

LifeBlood: We talked about mindful leadership, the impact mindfulness and meditation can have on us as individuals as well as our families and communities, the business case for mindfulness, and how to get started with Dr. Eric Holsapple, Founder of Living in the Gap, coach, speaker, and author. 

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Eric Holsapple

Dr. Eric Holsapple

Episode Transcript

Dr. Eric Holsapple 0:37
I’m an athlete personally, I love to do those kinds of things and was raised that way. My dad was a coach. And we were raised to work, you know, we were raised to we five years old, I remember working and was raised. And then I went out into school and went on, got an MBA went into real estate was kind of immediately successful in that was, and then a couple years as CEO of an Australian subsidiary, you know, in the US ran their US thing a few years later, was CEO in my 20s.

george grombacher 0:00
For one letter, this is George G and A time is right. welcome today’s guests strong, powerful. Dr. Eric halls, Apple, Dr. Eric, everybody to do this.

Dr. Eric Holsapple 0:09
Good morning, George. I am ready. I’m ready to go.

george grombacher 0:12
Let’s go. Eric is the founder and lead facilitator of living in the gap. He’s a speaker, a coach, his newest book is profit with presents the 12 pillars of mindful leadership. Eric, welcome back. Tell us a bit about your personal lives more about your work, and why you do what you do.

Dr. Eric Holsapple 0:32
Yeah, hi, George. Yeah. I

And was not healthy, was not happy, was stressed, overweight, drank too much. All those kinds of things was single had trouble, you know, I was traveling 24/7. So I was really successful. In a business sense, title, you know, money, those kinds of things. But I was really deficit in being focused and being happy, healthy, those kinds of things. And I had an epiphany moment, you know, they transferred me to Boston to help them with a company that wasn’t going well. And finally, I wasn’t traveling, there were enough problems in town. I bought a scale, but stepped on the scales at 50 pounds overweight, I was having some pains I hadn’t, you know, I hadn’t run in five years. And I just said, you got to make some changes, or you’re not gonna be around here very long. And I started making changes, you know, I started running again, started the diet, I left that job. And I found yoga. And that was my entry in the mindfulness getting into mind, I was an athlete as a kid, and I got out of that, and it just Gosh, this is so relieving, being in my body, this rate, you know, and then a couple years later, I started that, and I actually went back to school to get a PhD in economics, I met my wife, you know, I had some, some great changes going on. And my older brother, who was kind of estranged from my dad, my dad was the coach, my oldest brother’s a poet. And they were in a riff for about 10 years, and I just watched my brother through meditation get closer and closer and closer to my dad. And when he opened up, my dad opened up, and we got a whole family doc. And my brother said, Hey, you want to try it? I said, I want some of that. That was pretty cool. So I started meditation, I immediately took to it. I was a closet meditator for years, didn’t know I didn’t go around going, you know, singing about it. And you know, it wasn’t really accepted in the boardrooms around the world there wasn’t at that time is becoming more and more so

Unknown Speaker 3:17
simple like a yoga I mean, there wasn’t a yoga studio I went to back in those days it was just you know, or DVD or whatever but

Dr. Eric Holsapple 3:24
and then kind of in my business kind of wandering and I was teaching at Colorado State University adjunct and running a real estate development business and one at a time at my company people started noticing changes in me and as they came up with issues I became somebody you could talk to and I would talk to them and one at a time they became interested we started a seed group you know once a month talking about it practicing it for I knew it the room was full. company management team got together and created mindfully creating community as a as a catchphrase our real estate firms LLC Real Estate Group do commercial real estate and residential. And just has been a your thing lifeblood. It’s been you know, just transformative. I’ve seen these these mostly men I get it we have a few women but it’s mostly men just change their lives and change their family’s lives and run a huge businesses all involved in nonprofits on boards giving back to the community and that comes back to them and all kinds of interesting ways. And I was so inspired I started nonprofit living in the gap. To share that with other professionals. It’s been really successful. And then next stage was writing a book called profit with presents the 12 pillars of mindful leadership, which publishes March seventh. So that’s that’s a nutshell but it’s changed my life, mindfulness and business and I found that it’s not a lot of people feel it’s you got to wait until you have time. I found that my infamous is primarily focus. And that focus allows me to get more done in less time. I have we have all kinds of time for, for business, if I’m focused, and I’m intentional, I can move the world and just a little bit of time. I find

george grombacher 5:16
I love this. Russell Simmons quote said, if you don’t think you have time to meditate, then you 1,000% need to meditate. It’s something like that.

Dr. Eric Holsapple 5:23
Gandhi said, I’m so busy today, I’m going to meditate for two hours instead of one. I’ve got so much to do.

george grombacher 5:31
That is way better. So how, how is that?

Dr. Eric Holsapple 5:37
Do you just more focus? I mean, we waste so much time, we’re so distracted. You know, I joke. Those when I speak, I joke that, you know, a lot of business people are saying no, that’s woowoo, you know, is it’s gonna hold hands, we’re gonna sing Kumbaya. And I say now woowoo is the state of the world distracted by our smartphones, by advertising, we can focus, we’re distracted. But to me, that’s woowoo mindfulness is the ability to focus on what I choose to focus on for a period of time and know when I go away, and bring myself back to me, you know, mindfulness is is business, it’s how do I focus and have an intention and pull it off? Not woowoo. So I just find when you get clear on what you want, you know, we get this culture has put in us that you know, we got to do all these things get this great job half of these condos and second houses and country clubs. And then Sunday, we get to be happy. My experiences my I have a lot of successful friends and I was really successful is we just want more. We want the second country club, we want the private plane we want you know, that kind of stuff. And I watched the billionaire space race today. And they go is that? What is that some of what’s going on here? Are they just really trying to get enough things. Nuff experiences to truly be happy? I don’t know. I don’t know any of those guys. But I have to wonder about it. I think happiness comes first. You know, who do you want to talk to someone that’s happy or someone that’s trying to be happy? Because if you’re on trying to be happy, or in some ways unhappy? I find it to be a business generator because people would rather talk to somebody that’s more uplifting.

george grombacher 7:23
I think that that’s 100%. True. It’s interesting to sort of the business case for mindfulness. That’s Is it fair to say that that’s that’s something that you’re trying to make?

Dr. Eric Holsapple 7:38
I’m trying to change the business conversation, I think businesses where, you know, we talk about America being the great melting pot. But business is that alchemy, it’s the fire. It’s where we all get together all races, all religions, all political parties get together for a common cause. And we have to get along. I mean, it’s mandated that we get along. So businesses, we have people at our company at all extremes of gun control and abortion and political conservative. And we get along, we have a phrase here, you know, what do we what do we agree on? And we go to work on that. Versus if we wanted to figure out what we didn’t agree on that be easy. And I call it the miracle business mindfulness, because what I have witnessed and what’s happened in my life is somebody gets something at work through mindfulness, they take it home, they share it with their spouse, they share it with their kids. We have a guy here, Nathan, Nathan Klein, one of the top real estate brokers in northern Colorado. He leaves every day at four o’clock, coaches, kids. And he’s not just coaching them, he’s coaching them mindfulness. He’s not sitting around, you know, everybody does not meditate. That’s just one tool. You know, he’s not doing that. But he’s being a mindful coach and a mindful parent, and he’s more successful than ever. And he’s got his life back. You know, I just think it’s an incredible opportunity. And I tell the business community, no one else is coming for us, the politicians, the, you know, the lobbyist. They’re not going to get us out of this anytime soon. The business community when we decide we’ve had enough of the political gridlock and the divisiveness and those kinds of things, and it’s really I don’t know how badass to get. Seems like it’s pretty bad already. But when the business community decides we move the world, man, we just have to decide we acknowledge our power and say, you know, so there’s some ideologies. I’ll do that later, but during the day, give me some give me some guardrails. So I know how to run my business, and I can go out and run it. And anyway, I think the business is awesome. I love business.

george grombacher 9:54
I definitely agree. So when a lot of really important things, yes, I think that, that the power of delivering mindfulness through through a company is the employee gets it, he or she then takes it home. And, and, and, and spreads it to other people. Thus, thus raising consciousness or just just just making things better, that you can hold multiple ideas in your head at the same time and focus and be productive on the things you want to when you want to is, is that one of the keys here, so you’re able to work with people that that have different backgrounds, different philosophies, different ideas, but you could come together in service of a greater mission.

Dr. Eric Holsapple 10:46
Yeah, I don’t find any particular dogma, you know, particular thing that that instrumental to mine wellness mean, what I find is it’s awareness and consciousness and being able to focus and, you know, hopefully finding something bigger than yourself that things but I mean, a couple of skills, I’ll tell you a couple. I mean, the skill of listening is a lost art, to actually be able to focus on what somebody’s saying, rather than just going off in our mind on what’s pulling us or what we’re trying to say next, or whatnot. That’s a skill, we work on deep listening. And the other one is, you know, community service. Mean, gratitude is a well known scientific fact that how it changed your mind and makes you happier, you start looking for things to be grateful for it will services gratitude and action. And it sets out what I call and I describe in the book, and I didn’t coin it, a guy named Buckminster Fuller did, but the precession effect, precession effect, which is, you know, the world works at 90 degree angles. When I go into a community nonprofit meeting, and I really go in intentionally to help the community to help somebody to be compassionate to do something. I meet different leaders and givers on a whole nother level, I meet them, you know, as other people just like I am. And what just happens time and time again, is when they need something they asked you, and business has generated from it. And it’s a it’s a deeply bound connection versus a transactional relationship, where I’m just trying to get a closing or just trying to get a deal or something that’s like, you know, somebody that needs something, you just happen to be there. I’ve had all kinds of my book, I have all kinds of examples of of that happening to me, you make the community, you live in a better place, and you’re in flow, it’s 10 times better than cold calling, in my experience to be out in flow and meeting other leaders and other people in that kind of context. So there’s just, it’s a, it’s a myriad of different little tools, that just change your world, change your Karma, you know, if you want to have a yogi Yogi term, it’s changed your karma, what you put out, you get back, but all good things, and it comes back.

george grombacher 13:05
So this idea of that, that you’re out and about in in flow, it’s aligned with we talked earlier about getting clarity on what you want. Yeah, so making the decision that hey, community is important to me, how can I nurture and foster my community? Oh, there’s an opportunity to do some community service with this organization over there. So I go and do that. Because it is, it is lined up with with, with what I want what I believe to be helpful. And in doing that, that’s where I’m finding the flow.

Dr. Eric Holsapple 13:38
Yeah, totally. You know, it’s something that, you know, we get so resigned and cynical that the world’s problems are unsolvable, that we do nothing. versus, you know, I don’t have to solve world hunger, but I can go, I can go work at the food bank, or your during the school food bank board and help a family with it, that every What if everybody did a little of that every business person just did a little thing and help one family or one thing. I mean, we’d soon find that we could move the needle on this thing, we could move the needle and start working on solving these problems. It starts also, you know, with a belief that they can be solved, you know, and that we’re part of it like my, my, my motto is world transformation. mission starts with me. And it doesn’t have to be I’m not saying that I’m, you know, world Slayer, what I’m saying is the little things I do create ripple effects. And if everybody was creating little ripple effects, before we know it, we’d have a tsunami, you know, and we would, we’d be able to turn the turn the corner on some of these things. So I’ll just do a little bit, you know, and everybody feels like they are empowered and doing a little bit and everybody else doesn’t have to be for me to be, let’s say, Well, no, that doesn’t responsibility is me taking those actions regardless of the result and Regardless of what other people are doing, just taking those little actions to make the world a little better place, because I’m in the world, you know, I can’t have the world I want to live in. If it doesn’t constantly improve a little bit, then it’s easy to get cynical. I mean, I’ve been there myself, it’s not, it’s not hard to say, oh, gosh, this is hopeless. But we need to turn that we need to change that.

george grombacher 15:26
Yes, cynicism. Negativity is what? What drives the tension, sadly, and unfortunately, so it’s easy to, to get that when when when we want it, or we don’t want through our weapon of mass destruction or our cell phone. And that oftentimes does lead to inaction. Well, what in the world can I do about all these massive problems? You know, what, I’m just not going to do anything at all versus what you’ve been talking about. The way the the way through it the way, you know, the solution really does begin with each one of us. And we have this massive opportunity to be doing our part that’s aligned with what we want. And if more people did that, will the world be a better place.

Dr. Eric Holsapple 16:10
And it’s not contrary to business. In my experience, it’s what business is all about? First of all, it’s what made capitalism work. I mean, capitalism doesn’t work, if it only works for a handful of people that end up with all the marvels, capitalism works if you, you know, you generate the life and then you’re willing to share that with others. And then capitalism is the greatest system in the world. And it’s great, and I got to be able to do you know, the things that I care about and what I want, not just all what I’m mandated to do, but part of that, and mindfulness has opened myself up. So I actually care about things and really, actually am compassionate. And that, to me, is consciousness. When I feel connected to others, I’m, I’m compassionate when I feel disconnected. I’m resigned and cynical, you know, and skeptical. But if I can feel connected to other people, and connected the world, then I can, and I know what the next action to do is, and just take these little actions. It’s not the big, it’s not the big grand slams. It’s the singles, you know, a bunch of people hitting singles, load the bases.

george grombacher 17:18
I love it. That’s super powerful. Well, Eric, thank you so much for coming back on where can people learn more about you? Where can they get their copy of Prophet with presents the 12 pillars of mindful leadership?

Dr. Eric Holsapple 17:30
Yeah, it’s great, great to be on. We’re, we have a website living in the, which has all of our programs. In it, we have a nine month mindful Leadership Program, which is our, you know, our backbone that we do take leaders over a period of time to learn practices, we have some shorter, we’re kicking off. Well, we’re in the middle of an eight week corporate mindfulness program when this when this airs, and we have other free resources. And then the book is there’s a link for the book there. And today is actually our launch of our Amazon Best Sellers of profit with presents 12 pillars of mindful leadership, where you’ll get a real glimpse of eternity, and our role and business’s role and getting us out of this thing and what every individual, you know, kind of a practice manual, or individual and you can take it to any level you want, you know, starts with a couple of minutes a day and can be completely private. I mean, you don’t have to I did that for years, you know, you don’t have to run around and expose yourself, I usually say you know, part of it is don’t don’t share until you have achieved, you know, get your own practice there. And you can take this, so many levels and so many depths, but the main thing is to get started. So I hope you buy the book, it’s on Amazon presale and help today, if you buy you help us with our Amazon bestseller with our launch, it actually will ship on March 7. And then we’ll have a six week webinar starting in April, if anybody’s interested in that we’ll just go with the sixth one hours that will go through and some of the founding principles because some of it is you know, like consciousness, the science of consciousness is is evolving me. It’s a scientific community is finally really making some progress and that we create our own universe, we create our own world, you know, and together we create the world and the universe and it’s they’re making great steps, steps academia is in and I referenced a lot of recent research. So hope you hope you buy a coffee and hope you get started with just some little practice. And if it’s not formal meditation, maybe it’s taking a mindful walk. So I get a lot of options.

george grombacher 19:33
Love it. If you enjoyed as much as I did show Eric your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas pick up your copy of profit with presence, the 12 pillars of mindful leadership at Amazon. I’ll link that in the notes and then go to living in the and check out the leadership programs the mindfulness programs that Eric has put together as well. And I can purse Not only attest to the role that mindfulness has played in my life since I discovered in 2015. It’s played a huge role. And so I think that Eric’s book is a great if you’ve been practicing mindfulness for a long time, great. Or if you’re curious about if you’re mindful, curious, it’s probably a great entry point as as as well. And certainly if you’re part of an organization, we talked about the benefits from a corporate level and a company level that that it can have as well. So check it out. Thanks again, Eric.

Dr. Eric Holsapple 20:33
Thank you for having me on Georgia, really appreciate it and I really appreciate what you do. Thank you.

george grombacher 20:37
Till next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

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