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There’s Never Been A Time Like This Interview
with B1G1 Founder, Paul Dunn
Paul Dunn is a 4-time TEDx speaker.
He is a Senior Fellow in one of the World’s Leading Think Tanks and consults to and mentors leading-edge businesses around the world.
He was honored as a Social Innovation Fellow in his new home of Singapore; something he shares with film-star and philanthropist Jet Li and Walmart Chairman, Rob Walton.
He was one of the first 10 people in Hewlett Packard in Australia. He then created one of Australia’s first computer companies and then The Results Corporation where he helped develop and grow 23,000 small and medium scale business enterprises.
His programs are used by an estimated 226,000 companies around the world and he continues to push the boundaries. He featured in Forbes Magazine alongside Sir Richard Branson in a global piece on ‘disrupters’ in business.
He is the co-founder of Accountants for Good and B1G1: Business for Good, the Global Giving Initiative that’s already enabled businesses to create over 220 Million giving impacts globally.
For more information go to https://www.b1g1.org
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Hugh Ballou: Hello, everyone. It’s Hugh Ballou. Welcome to this episode of The Nonprofit Exchange. Over the last 7.5 years, we have interviewed some amazing thought leaders. Some of them don’t call themselves thought leaders, but they have stepped up to a vision they have seen. They shared their stories, their wisdom, what worked, what didn’t work. We have all had a good time, but we’ve learned something. I like the quote from British conductor/composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, who said, “Music did not reveal all of its secrets to just one person.” As we lead in this very difficult space of nonprofits and social benefit organizations, for-purpose organizations I like to say, we have hard work ahead of us. We have a vision, and we are dedicated to it.
My guest today is Paul Dunn. I’m in east coast time in America, and he is in Singapore. He stayed up late tonight to be able to share with us today. Paul, welcome. Give us a sense of who Paul Dunn is. Give us a bit of your background and how you ended up where you are today.
Paul Dunn: Thank you, Hugh. I love the way you emphasize “the” in The Nonprofit Exchange. I am very thrilled to be here. I am in Singapore, so I am 12 hours ahead of you. As someone said earlier today, “You’re in the future.” Well, that’s an interesting way of thinking about it. But anyway.
I’m very privileged to be here. In fact, if I think of my life, it is just one of enormous fortune. Therefore, something I’m incredibly grateful for each day. Here’s the interesting thing. When I talk about “lucky,” theoretically, when you read all the management books, you’re supposed to go on the hero’s journey, that thing that Star Wars and so many other stories are built around. You have the up and the down and that whole thing. I sometimes get disappointed because my journey wasn’t like that. I just thought I was so lucky.
How lucky can you be at age 21, just a few years ago, to be there working away in the United Kingdom, just outside of London, and get invited to go to Australia to be one of the first 10 people in Hewlett Packard? You’re sitting down with literally Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. Interestingly, about 18 months ago, when we could fly, I was flying to speak in Silicon Valley at a big session there with some 5,300 people. On the way there, you can sit back on the plane and watch movies, there was a movie all about Silicon Valley. It mentioned that Bill and Dave were the original people in the original garage in Silicon Valley. That’s where it started. You can imagine working with people like that who were reinventing what leadership meant. It was just an amazing experience.
I got inspired to then do my “own thing.” I started one of Australia’s first computer companies. I went to something, I didn’t know what they were, the days before we knew what the word “seminar” meant. I got dragged to it. I didn’t really want to go. There, I was engaged with a guy who died about four years ago, Jim Rohn. All of a sudden, I had this incredible experience of being in a time tunnel. I saw him as me, if that makes sense. I realized instantly that there was something that I literally had to do. That was to find ways of sharing some of the thoughts I had with people around the world.
That led to building a company which was interestingly called Results Corporation, where we were bringing exactly that to 23,000 small- to medium-scale businesses right around the world. I flipped that and realized that every single one of those had an accountant. Well, wouldn’t it be interesting to shift everything so that accountants around the world could actually deliver the stuff we were delivering? We had 17,700 accounting firms come through these programs.
In fact, the most difficult time was right then, in the year 2000. Various people close to me were saying, “You are working all the hours God gave. You should retire.” I tried to do that. I went to France and was there in Provence. It was incredibly challenging. Three years later, I couldn’t do that anymore. I had to get up and do my thing, as it were, because I think one of the great things about leadership- By the way, I neglected to thank everyone for joining us today.
One of the great things about leadership is to continue to be curious, be curious about how things are changing and how we as leaders can have the privilege of doing that. How incredible is that, to be able to do that? To take account of all of the things that are happening and lead from different perspectives.
One of the most interesting things, and I’m not sure how it’s been for you and the people that you’re privileged to serve, but for me, it’s been really interesting looking at what’s been happening in the pandemic, for example. Not to minimize some of the awful things that happened there. What has happened is that it’s accelerated the impact of all of those things that you and I have been talking about for many years, like being impact-driven, like being on purpose.
My experience during that was that there were leaders who just froze. They had no idea what to do. Panic set in. They literally froze, which is not a good thing; it’s a downward slope. Then there were others who were bobbing up and down, seeing what would happen. They started a particular point and ended at exactly the same point they were, bobbing up and down. Then there were others—the pandemic was a great example of leadership in action—where you saw people accelerating growth. The reason that I saw that happen is because it was those leaders who were very clear about where they were going, pandemic or not. That’s not to say they may have changed up. They had, if you will, what Stephen Covey all those years ago referred to as something bigger than themselves, that North Star they were aiming for. That North Star was always there. It was always driving them.
The people who didn’t have that didn’t have anything to aim for. Their companies and people were in total disarray. We’re seeing the impacts of that. But at the same time, we’re seeing these positive impacts of people asking different questions, things like, “Wouldn’t it be nice to get on track?” Yes, but it’s a much better question to be able to ask, “Hang on a second. Were we already on the right track, or is there another track that perhaps we need to be on?” I’ve seen that acceleration. It’s been amazing to see. What’s happened is it really has been a fascinating shift in how we now need to be in order to serve the people that we’re privileged to serve. A massive shift. I’m happy to talk about that.
Hugh: Let’s do. We’re talking in 2021, coming out of the great pandemic of 2020. It’s been a sobering awakening. You quoted Jim Rohn. He inspired so many people: Les Brown, Tony Robbins. Jim Rohn draws from the wisdom of Napoleon Hill, like so many thought leaders do. He was very legendary. He was famous for, “Jot this down. Work on yourself harder than you work on your business.” We’re in an age where it’s sorting out- He also said, “The people driving the budget cars are in the back row or didn’t come today. The people driving the expensive cars are in the front row because they know they gotta learn a lot more.” There are some myths about leadership. “I heard this speech, or I read this book. I’ve got it.” It’s a plateau. There are other myths. Covey certainly inspired so many people. What popped out of what you’re saying is we begin with the end in mind. Where are we going? What’s our journey about?
Learning business is one of the goals of this podcast. We are in a tax-exempt business, whether we’re clergy, leading a nonprofit association, leading a cause-based charity in a community, or in education. We have a hard job. It’s our job as leaders to look in the future. We work and live and think in the future because we see potential. As we proceed with this, what are some of the most important lessons that you learned on that journey you talked about? Secondarily, what have you observed are some of the major pitfalls that leaders have?
I had five distinctly different dealerships with Kodak, up through to the ‘90s. That’s when Kodak dominated imaging in the world. They were blind to digital imaging. They were blind to Fuji and all the other competition coming in. They lost their market and went into bankruptcy. That is a failure of seeing your blind spots in leadership, which nobody is exempt from.
Talk about some of those kinds of things you’ve experienced that leaders have been blindsided to because of their closed-mindedness. What have you learned, and what have you observed with leaders who could be better?
Paul: There has been this massive acceleration. I may be wrong about this. To me, it kickstarted in 2008, or just before that. We’re talking about seminars. In 2007, we could have gone to seminars which had the underlying theme of “greed is good.” Then we learned, “Hang on a second. That doesn’t work too well.” Now there has been this interesting acceleration. Now, we are in a very different time. Covey talked about the seven habits. I’ve never thought of this before, so thank you for the opportunity. I’ll give it a new label. Hugh, I’ve learned something already. Here are what I would call the seven shifts.
The first shift is a shift from me to we. What I mean by that is we cannot have been on this planet for the last 12 months or so to understand that we are connected. We have always been that way, but sometimes we don’t recognize that. From a leader’s point of view, it’s not about me, and it’s not about you. It never was by the way. But now, it’s about we. It’s about us.
The other thing is lots of people talk about what you can measure, you can manage. The problem is we sometimes measure the wrong things. One thing we tend to measure is input when we should be measuring outcomes. The moment you think about outcomes, you start to realize that your own wealth, talking about the company now, your own profits, if you will, your own revenues, your own value is a direct result of the value that you add to others. It’s a direct result. We need to move from being concerned with the inputs to being concerned about the outcomes.
The value we give has always been important. Never before are values as important. What we stand for is now crucial. I’ll talk about a friend of mine who wrote an interesting book that I’m sure many of us have read.
Talking of money, there has been a massive shift from money to meaning. Pre-pandemic, I was seeing a lot of people in senior executive roles who were being paid a lot of money. They were going home at the end of the day, putting their head on the pillow, and asking before they went to sleep, “Is that all there is?” It’s not all there is. We are seeing this massive shift from money to meaning.
My friend Simon Sinek talked in 2009 with his Start with Why book. Thanks to him, we understand it’s not about what we do. It’s about why we do what we do.
When you get that, here’s the seventh one, which can sometimes be hard for people to get their head around. The way I draw it is profit to purpose. Some people ask, “Does that mean profit isn’t important?” No, what it means is that purpose powers profit. If people want to go further than that: Impact powers income. Very simple: create more impact for the people that you are privileged to serve and work with, and be really seriously on purpose. What I would call impact-driven. When you are impact-driven, you are automatically getting that North Star and doing great things for the people you’re serving.
Hugh: I’d like to highlight that. We have this term we use, which is an absolute lie: nonprofit. It makes us think in minimalist, scarcity terms. In fact, we build this organization. It’s like building a car with no gas to go anywhere. You have to put gas in the car. You have to put fuel, which is the funding, into your tax-exempt business. We are not there for profit; we are there for purpose. However, we have to be mindful of what you just highlighted. It’s not profit; it’s proceeds, which are funneled back into the world. Fundamentally, what you just highlighted about impact, that is the driver in the social benefit business for people to want to participate. That is the value we give; it’s the impact we have on people’s lives. I wanted to highlight the synergy. There is a bigger connection between business and nonprofit and how we collaborate. Sorry to interrupt you.
Paul: You have amplified. I appreciate that.
Hugh: Yes, sir. Go ahead.
Paul: As I was saying, you’ve massively amplified it. Just today, I was thinking of someone in the for-profit space. I actually think that there is more impact here in Singapore maybe six years ago. We had an office in one of the innovation centers at one of the universities here. The university was doing a survey on behalf of the government. The question they asked was, “Should the government develop some special tax incentives for nonprofits?” This is going to be interesting. I said, “No.” They said, “Why? No one said no.” They certainly could do that, and we wouldn’t say no to it, but more and more, we are going to see more for-purpose or impact-driven companies in the world. We are all going to move that way.
Talking to someone we would associate very much with profit, Larry Fink at Black Rock. I read today actually that seven trillion dollars flows through Black Rock every day. What they are doing is suggesting that you and I might give them our money and they will then invest that in start-ups and give us a return on that investment. He is really interesting because- Let me read you something that he said recently. He said, “Purpose is not a mere tagline or a marketing campaign. It is our fundamental reason for being. It’s what our company does every day to create value for its stakeholders. Purpose is not the sole pursuit of profits or revenues, but it is the animating force for achieving them. Profits are in no way consistent with purpose. Profits/revenue and purpose are inextricably linked.” I love the way he says that, particularly this thing around purpose is not the sole pursuit of money but is the animating force for achieving them. I like that a lot.
Hugh: That is powerful. Thank you for sharing. You were headed down a track. Do you want to go back to exploring the track you were on?
Paul: No, I could keep going for years on any track. If you wanted to give the top line of that, it would be impact powers income, and purpose powers profit. There is another interesting thing. If anyone has been writing these things down, if you look at the things I would describe on the left hand side—me, inputs, values, money, what, profit—when I look at those things, there is only one word that comes to my mind: transactional. On the other hand, when I think about the things on the opposite side of that–we, outcomes, value, meaning, why, and purpose—there are two words that come to mind.
The first one is “humanity.” I love that word. In fact, the biggest association of accountants in the world, the AICPA in the U.S., just did this amazing study. It’s called Human Signals. It talks about how the humble accountant has to really understand this purpose-driven thing. It’s a fascinating report. It would be valuable for any leader. If I look at the right-hand side, humanity is central to it.
But there is another word that is central to it as well: connection. There are two words that really underscore where we have to be in leadership now. Those two words are connection and belonging. I rather like what Jeff Bezos said pre-divorce in an interview. He was being interviewed in front of a massive crowd about two years ago. The interviewer said to him, “Jeff,” wouldn’t it be rather nice to be on a first-name basis with Bezos? “Jeff, what would be the advice that you would give to your marketing department as compared with what you did on day one of Amazon?” Bezos looked straight at him and said, “It would be exactly the same as it was on day one.” The interviewer said, “Really? Like what?” Bezos said, “We need to remember every time that people want something to belong to.” Connection and belonging should drive everything that we do in terms of leadership.
The role of leadership, I think it was Neale Donald Walsch in Conversations with God that said in book one, “The role of a leader is not to generate followers. The success of a leader is measured by the leaders they create, not the followers they have.” Again, I think that underscores where we are at. That is the kind of thinking that creates great leaders at any time, but particularly now.
Hugh: Everything you’ve said so far resonates with what we teach at SynerVision Leadership Foundation. We subscribe to the transformational leadership model, which is about building leaders. It’s not about you; it’s about the vision. I want you to respond to a James Allen quote, As a Man Thinketh. “People want to change their circumstances but are unwilling to change themselves. They therefore remain bound.”
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You don’t attract what you need; you attract what you are. Those are concepts in a very simple book. Those two jump out at me as relevant to what you’re talking about. We’ve talked around our responsibility as a leader, but self-awareness is a big one, isn’t it?
Paul: It certainly is. When we talk about connection, we tend to think that’s connection to others. It’s not. It’s talking about connection to you. You cannot authentically connect unless you are connected to you. It starts inside. James Allen was right on. One of the great things that you’re able to do is pull these fabulous insights from people from different backgrounds. The funny thing is—maybe it’s not so funny—but they all say the same thing. All we have to do is be curious enough to seek them out and inspire in ourselves to be able to use them in all sorts of different ways. That’s awareness.
Hugh: I’m going to switch my persona from being in the mountains of the Commonwealth of Virginia to being in a concert hall. You talked a minute ago about our ultimate goal is influence. As the conductor, influence is the pathway to impact. I have this little white stick in front of these union musicians. People who aren’t conductors think we’re dictators. Just because you have a white stick doesn’t mean you can make anybody do anything. They are going to play for the two hours you have hired them for, and then they will leave. They’re union. We’re going to play the notes, and we’re leaving. However, if we influence them, they will play at a much higher level.
Hugh: It’s us as influencer, not as power people, that we get results. Everyone in that group is a leader in their own right. They are very skilled at what they do. It’s the leader’s job to influence them to step up. In a symphony, it’s the harmony of the synergy and the common vision. Speak for a minute. You had a business where you influenced leaders all over the globe. The essential part of what I just talked about is leaders paving the path and encouraging and influencing people to step up to their potential.
Paul: Exactly. I love that photograph behind you by the way. As you put it up there, I wondered to myself, What would Hugh be saying to the orchestra before the orchestra gets on stage?
Hugh: I will repeat a quote from the famous conductor Robert Shaw with whom I spent thousands of hours studying. He said, “You know, this is going to be a great performance,” to the choir and orchestra. “It’s going to be all your fault.” Robert Shaw was famous for his pithy sayings. Boom, he didn’t care. He was an equal opportunity offender. But he would be very profound in how he framed things, which encouraged us to step up and do our part. A conductor doesn’t do it; a conductor allows us to do it. That is the leadership paradigm. We don’t do it. We provide the space and the guidance for others and allow others.
Paul: Exactly. That is the beauty of being able to frame things. I think what’s interesting, too, is I mentioned earlier on if you’re continually curious, then you start to see new things that were always there, but you just didn’t see them.
Right now, one of those things for me. A friend of mine was talking yesterday about a new podcast that he was going to be doing in Australia for for-purpose companies. His name is Tristram. I said, “Tristram, one of the things I’m talking about these days is I’ve been talking about for-purpose a long time. I’m switching it up to talking about being impact-driven.” He said, “I like that because it’s more active than simply for-purpose.” We have businesses who on their daily catch-up they have what we call morning tea for good, which is interesting. Then we all talk about the impact.
The reason I ask you that question about the orchestra is I wondered how I would do that. Probably now, I would say something along the lines of- I could not beat that quote, and I’m not trying to. If everybody gets the idea that we are here to impact, and we are driven by that impact, so we’re not focused on ourselves, we are focused on the others and the impact that we create, then to me, that is a game-changing thing. It really is game-changing.
One of the experiences I’ve had recently is when people run with that idea of being impact-driven. They then start to measure the impact they are creating in various ways. For example, you are huge on meetings. You have these wonderful playbooks as to how to create great meetings. One thing we do is measure the impact of the meeting. Everybody has an opportunity to rate it out of 10. What happens is because we are B1G1, which is all about giving, we have a budget, which allows us to give, depending upon the success of the meeting. If you rated the meeting a 10 on average, the entire budget for that meeting will go to wherever it was planned to go. If on the other hand, you rated it a 7, not so good. Not so much giving gets done. It’s all about focusing on outcomes that you get and being able to rate those outcomes, and then have some consequences as a result of the outcome, which is kind of cool, but also makes it a fun experience.
Hugh: It’s got to be fun. I term music rehearsals as attitude adjustments. I impact their attitude so they leave feeling better than when they came in. Not all meetings do that. Meetings should do the same thing. Meetings put a damper on teams. I have done webinars, so I have been a serious student of meeting facilitation. The real crime is people think they know how to run meetings, but they don’t. Let’s go back to the analogy of grading impact. A conductor is only as good as their last performance.
Paul: So glad you said that. I’m so glad you said that. I’ll tell you why in a minute.
Hugh: It’s immediately evident if we have done our work or not. On a nonprofit board, it’s not evident until later. We have bad systems, and they materialize. People think we’re okay until all of a sudden there is a train wreck. There is a delayed awareness for their dysfunction when in music it’s instant. It’s the awareness of how leaders are creating problems or solving problems. What’s your thought?
Paul: First of all, I’m so glad you said that you’re only as good as your last performance. Just after the James Rohn thing, where that was like, “Oh my God,” the next day, a very good friend of mine said, “Paul, you really should do what you felt that you should do and be.” This guy talking to me was named Ron Turkey. Ron was a great speaker, an awesome speaker. I remember him saying, “There are three things. One: Don’t believe your press releases. Never do it for the applause. In fact, you’ll get standing ovations, but never do it for the ovations.” His final thing was, “Always remember that you are only as good as your last speech.” That brought back a lot of memories for me right there.
Hugh: Absolutely. We always need to be treating every opportunity as special, new, and important. Sometimes we don’t do that, and that’s what gets us at the end.
Paul: I love, Hugh, the music analogies that you use because all of us in leadership right now, just imagine that we were in fact conducting an orchestra. We have two hours or whatever the length of that performance is to make sure that everyone is absolutely at their best and supporting the other person near us. How cool is that for an analogy of what creates an extraordinary organization?
Hugh: You talked about starting a new pathway and doing something different. I served mega-churches as a music director. They were all in crisis when I got there. The last one, the bishop sent the preacher to close down the church in Alabama. We didn’t. We doubled the attendance. We built a 100,000-square-foot auditorium. We brought in world-class artists, like New York City. We had this artist series that was a winner for which we paid nothing. We negotiated with others to be able to do this together. We don’t think enough as leaders about sharing the stage, about bringing collaboration in. With the Napoleon Hill writing, he interviewed thought leaders, but that was the age of greed and capitalism. We have experienced the power system of communism, which enslaves people. Now there is a time to come up. As Berny Dohrmann, who recently died, who founded CEO Space, his dad said, “Let’s establish cooperative capitalism, where we work together.” Coming together, blurring the lines between this nomenclature and that nomenclature, how do we work together for the greater purpose, the greater good, and impact?
I’d like to unpack what you did in your business, in inspiring so many business leaders. We talked a few days ago, and you shared with me before the pandemic you flew something like 400,000 miles. You flew around impacting a lot of people. What was the most important revelation in all of that work with businesses, accountants? What was the most important revelation you helped people achieve as leaders?
Paul: Wow, that is such a deep question. Let me go back into the feedback that you get as a result of the work that you do. One of the most interesting feedbacks that I think gets to your question is that we see things in interesting places, provided we’re curious and provided we open our eyes. Just pre-pandemic, I was in a line—in America, you call them a line. Elsewhere in the world, we call them queues. I was in a line here in Singapore in Starbucks. I’m not a reader of newspapers, but they happened to have the newspapers in the line. I figured I’d take a look. There on the top right of the newspaper was this quote that was plugging a section of the newspaper. The quote said this: “We have not inherited the world from our forefathers; we’ve borrowed it from our children.”
The moment that hit me, I was actually in the middle of writing a book, which was called Legacy. Oh my goodness, that’s it right there. Then I started to think about the legacy. When we think about legacy, we think about leaving it. The interesting thing as leaders, we don’t have a choice about whether we get to leave it. We’ve got to leave it. The question is what does it look like? That’s the question. Does it look like one of consumption or one of contribution?
Whilst you in your career, Hugh, worked with the magic of music, there is so much magic in music, the Quincy Joneses, and all of those things, I find magic in words. I start to string different words together. I thought about this whole idea of leaving a legacy and the idea that we don’t have a choice about it. I thought of some other L words that might go along with legacy. I thought instead of leaving a legacy, why don’t we live a legacy? Why don’t we do that every single moment? Then because we are leaders, leaders of our churches, of our nonprofits, we have this incredible opportunity to leverage that legacy. Another way of thinking about what we do as leaders is to think about ourselves as the guardian of that legacy. We do that not by worrying about leaving it but by living it and leveraging it at every moment. Just in relation to your question, that has been one of the beautiful pieces of feedback that I get from speaking. Hope that is of value to the people who joined us today.
Hugh: it’s brilliant. Paul, you built this important business where you influenced businesses and were a speaker all over the world, which led you to founding an organization called B1G1. What was the inspiration for founding this really powerful movement, encouraging people to think differently and act differently on those thoughts? Jim Rohn also said 100 people have an idea, and only three will do something. It’s the law of averages. You actually had a thought. You got some inspiration. You did something, and you are encouraging others to do things. Talk about B1G1. What was your inspiration? What is the value on both sides, for-profit and nonprofit, for participating?
Paul: A simple insight which came from a lady called Masami Sato, who I was mentoring, she turned the whole mentoring thing on its head. Instead of me asking the questions, she asked me one. She asked me permission if it was okay. She said, “Could you just imagine a world where every time business was done, something great happened in our world?” “Yes, I can, but tell me more.” She said, in those early days in 2007, “Well, I’ve called it Buy One Give One.” I asked her how that would work. “Imagine you go to a Best Buy, and you want to buy a plasma TV.” I said, “Hang on a second. Buy 1 Give 1. If I buy a plasma TV, will they give me one? That’s not how the world works.” She said, “No, no, you’re misunderstanding. Imagine you wanted the TV because you wanted a better vision, a bigger vision. Imagine when you bought that, if as a direct result of that, someone who could not see got the gift of sight.” Or imagine when we go buy a Starbucks, if some of the 780 million people who don’t have water got it because we did that. Imagine if every time a book was bought, a tree was planted. That was the initial idea.
It’s got way beyond that. For example, just because we are having this meeting right now, 11 kids are getting access to education. Every time we send an email, somebody gets access to water. That doesn’t sound like a big thing until you remember that every second there are 2.7 million mails sent. Just imagine through applying the power of small that we could create these huge things.
As you kindly said, with the help of some amazing nonprofits, we by the way are proudly a 501(c)3 as well. We know what that’s like. With the help of some amazing nonprofits around the world who become a part of B1G1, we introduce business owners in various ways to those organizations. As we sit here right now, we just crossed 229 million giving impacts. Notice the word “impact.” That’s what I have the pleasure of doing every single morning.
One thing that we sometimes look at in relation to nonprofits for example that are doing awesome work, if there was one piece of advice that I would give, if they would allow me to give them one piece, it would be that we seriously need to convert the awesome work that you’re doing away from the dollars and cents and toward the impact that is being created. The moment we do that, what actually happens is we connect in a very different way with the people that we are connecting with. As a result, things get rather interesting. There you go. Thank you for asking me to explain that. I hoped I explained it well enough.
Hugh: What is that statistic? How many impacts?
Paul: 229 million right now.
Hugh: That is the total of what you have been able to accomplish. How long has this been in existence?
Paul: Really, 2007 was when the idea came. It sounds like such a simple idea, but it took us three years to figure out how to do that. We’re still learning. 2010 was when it first went live. It’s now rapidly accelerating. We see that hitting a billion impacts rather quickly as well. Just doing great things. One of the great things about you, Hugh, is your ability to connect with NFPs and all of those people, and to provide them with great things. If there is some way they think some of the good things we’re doing with B1G1 might help them create even more impacts, we’d certainly love to hear from them.
Hugh: B1G1.org. We’ve never had an interview like this, Paul. This has been inspiring and informative. I’ll be 75 this year. I have learned more in the past year about leadership than I learned in the previous 73.
Paul: Exactly. Isn’t that amazing? I have two years on you by the way.
Hugh: As a conductor, I cherish the work of opera composer Giuseppe Verdi. His early works was classical, like Rigoletto. Then he had a bunch of romantic operas. Then he moved into the next era of music. When he did the Requiem and Otello and the late three pieces, the critics said he was senile. He was so far ahead of them they didn’t get it. I’m in my third period, so I’m thinking this will be my best work yet. An inspiration.
You’ve given us a lot to think about. We try to keep these under an hour because we could talk all day.
Paul: At least.
Hugh: We gotta hurry up. In our age, we have a lot more to do. I was inspired by Bob Proctor. I had to follow him on stage. This was several years ago; he is in his 80s now. He said, “You know, people said, ‘Bob, you’re 77. When are you going to slow down?’ He said, ‘I’m 77. I have to speed up. I have more to do, more to learn.’”
Paul: That’s exactly the truth.
Hugh: He is still going. Robert Shaw worked into his senior years. He was very active and inspired so many people. As we end this, what do you want to leave people with, a thought, quote, or challenge, that would inspire them?
Paul: One that I had just the other day is that sometimes we feel as though we’re losing it. It’s not all coming together. I am not a trained psychologist. One of the things I believe, and I don’t want to knock this because I am sure there is great value in it, is we need to go inside and figure things out. I think from my short experience is there is much more outside. Yes, we have to work on ourselves. Absolutely. But we do that by seeing what’s out there that we want to work on and that we can make an impact on. When we get that, it just opens up the inside and inspires the inside for us to do what we are really here to do.
Someone asked me the other day, “What is it that you’re here to do?” I said, “I was asked a question a lot of years ago. ‘What do you want to leave on your tombstone?’ It would go something like this: ‘He was here a while. Whilst he was here, he made an impact.’” All of those years ago. That’s still going to be the case hopefully.
Hugh: Your legacy is strong. Thank you, Paul Dunn, for being our guest and sharing such great wisdom with our audience today.
Paul: Hugh, you’re incredibly generous. Thank you very much for providing this space. I’ve loved every moment of it.