Watch the Interview
The 5 Top Secrets of Unstoppable Leaders
Rocio Perez is an executive leader with more than 20 years of experience providing relevant insight to leaders around the world. She has delivered hundreds of inspiring and life-changing leadership trainings, keynotes and presentations to people around the world. Rocío helps leaders gain confidence, presence and step into their personal power, pave their own way, discover and eliminate their blind spots, spark self-awareness and maximize their overall impact.
Read the Interview
Hugh Ballou: Greetings, this is Hugh Ballou and Russell Dennis. Welcome to The Nonprofit Exchange. Russell, our guest today is somebody that you connected us with. How are you doing today, Russ?
Russell Dennis: I’m fine. It’s beautiful out here in Denver, Colorado, where my guest is. She is just a remarkable woman who is a master around leadership. She has a very interesting journey that everybody should know about. Her book really describes her in general. She has a book called Unstoppable. That describes Rocio Perez, who will tell us about who she is. Welcome. It’s always good to see ya.
Rocio: Russell, always a wonderful pleasure. Hugh, thank you for the invitation to be on your show today. I’m very excited. I’ll tell you a little bit about who I am, and then we’ll go back to what made me who I am. I am an international leadership expert and have worked with individuals all the way from Denver to Singapore and Korea. I love helping people create an extraordinary vision in their life. I love helping them get unstuck. All of us get stuck in one way or another in our careers. My goal is always to allow people to see how amazing they are so that they can have an extraordinary life. That has been one of the most exciting things I have done.
I have been working with people since I was 17 years old. It’s been a long time. It’s been an extraordinary journey over 24 years watching people. By 19, I was guiding 160-200 people at a time and taking them from where they were at in their goals and their dreams to be educated in their careers to where they’re at today. I have seen remarkable things all over the world. That’s been very thrilling to watch people open up their businesses, thriving businesses, and lead their team members into extraordinary amounts of success. Yet it did not start there. That’s where my journey to Unstoppable comes through.
I started off growing up in extreme circumstances as a child. By the time I was 12, given those circumstances, I looked at different things in life. I left home. I ran away from home at the age of 12. I’m sure there are a lot of people who wonder. I hear all the time, “How did you do that?” I had a vision. I had a dream. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to inspire people. I would run around with my uncle Sergio and say, “Some day, I’m going to grow up and become a teacher so I can inspire people.” Whether I was born with that or I picked it up somewhere, I don’t know. What I do know is that drew me closer and closer to him.
By the time I was 14, I ran away. I was pregnant at 14 and a mom by 15. And at that age, I was also knocking on the university doors to let me in so I could fulfill that dream. With my 6th grade education, showing up there, they’re like, “Who are you? What are you doing here?” One of the things I can tell you is I was relentless at knowing I wanted to go to school. The only answer I could hear, I could accept was, “Yes, this is when you start.”
That led me on an extraordinary journey at the age of 17 starting college. The track was difficult, guys. It was very difficult. It was an eight-hour track on a daily basis. Getting up at three o’clock in the morning so I could start my trek at four am to be at class by eight am was definitely something that unstoppable leaders are made of. I look back at that part of my life and think how amazing was that. I didn’t think about that. This is what needs to be done. That’s it.
I’m happy to say that along the way from the age of 19 forward, I have led thousands and thousands of people. I became a serial entrepreneur. I did what seems to be impossible in the eyes of many individuals who were saying, “That’s not possible. How can a person with your background make it?” I have been in homes of very important global leaders, in front of ambassadors of countries, presented to members of Parliament. I have done extraordinary things. It was all based on the belief of what made me unstoppable and what made the people I have guided throughout the years unstoppable today. My son is 28 years old, which sometimes I can’t even believe. I have a four-year-old grandson named Emilio who continues to inspire me and helps me move forward as I continue to build businesses and help them get unstuck in greater levels of success and help them move forward in everything they’re doing, making an impact on this world.
Hugh: What a story. What a story. Show us that book again. You just happen to have it handy.
Rocio: I do. This book is all over the world. It made international bestseller in less than 12 hours from the moment that the book was launched. One of the things I can tell you, Hugh, is it’s been an answer to what a lot of people were asking: “Rocio, what can I do to help myself?” As I was getting off stages, whether it was Ph. Ds or MDs or 123s or ABCs, whatever it was. Whoever was getting off the stage wanted to get an answer. Besides coaching one on one or group coaching, here is another opportunity. This book has brought a lot of hope, a lot of transformation to people. It’s been exciting to hear people who have had up to 33 businesses saying, “Because of this book and what I got out of it, I am doing business differently moving forward.” That has been touching, humbling, inspirational.
Hugh: Tell us how you came up with that title, Unstoppable.
Rocio: It’s what I’ve always done. That’s my domain. I am unstoppable by nature, unstoppable by desire, unstoppable. I was sitting here as I was writing a memoir. The next version of my memoir, which will be released next year. What can I do? Besides answering the call. What is that message that we all have inside of all of us? In my experience, it was the fact that working with so many people all over the world, the one thing they sometimes couldn’t see, because I have been there and done that, I know what it’s like not to see my own greatness in front of others. Sometimes they couldn’t see it. They couldn’t see their unstoppable nature. They couldn’t see all of the amazing things they have done, how they have borrowed from the past. We were all meant to be unstoppable. Nine out of ten people are unstoppable and don’t know it. For me, it’s just to turn back that mirror and say, “Have you seen yourself?” The moment they see themselves, we go through a subtle process. When they see themselves fully, they become unstoppable. They own their unstoppable nature.
Hugh: That is a compelling title. The rest of the title, and I found that on Facebook. What is the rest of the title?
Rocio: Seven Steps to Becoming a More Intentional Leader.
Hugh: I found it on Amazon, I meant. A more intentional leader. Do you want to highlight those seven steps?
Rocio: Most definitely. I’ll talk about the first three steps that are really important. Let’s understand ourselves. Let’s understand how our mind works. That is the first and most important thing. Knowing that our subconscious mind is there to preserve and protect our life. I don’t have to speak about how many times our heart is going to beat. There is an intelligence inside all of us. When we understand that, and we understand that we are all meant for greatness, we are all destined for greatness, we can go ahead and hijack our own success, even in those moments we don’t think we’re unstoppable.
The steps that are very important after knowing that is what is it that I must be aware of? Fostering that awareness and that capacity to change that we all have. We can all transform no matter where we start from. Knowing if this little girl who would run around barefoot thinking of only a dream would be possible, then it’s possible for all of us. It’s possible for one; it’s possible for all. I have proved it thousands and thousands of times over and over again.
Having that incisive discovery and accelerating my insight. How do I work with the people who already know that I can continue to learn? Who I am today is not who I must be in order for me to have what I want to have or be where I want to be.
The next step, which is the third step, is I must know where I am going. Just like I knew where I was going. I wanted to become that teacher. I held that road map. No matter who came along, whether Ann or Billy or Dave or whomever was there, I held my own map and said, “This is where I’m going.” Whoever didn’t pay attention, it didn’t matter. I just moved on to the next person and said, “This is where I’m going.” Sounds like you have a question right there, Hugh.
Hugh: No, I’m just resonating- I was practicing my R. I’m Southern. This is fascinating. Go ahead. I am going to have Russell jump in on the next question. These are really important steps. What I was also thinking, there is a lot of resonance with what we teach at SynerVision.
Rocio: Beautiful. In that, too, is speeding up my personal evolution. They all go hand in hand. How do I accelerate? How do I become more aware of what’s going on? Today, more than any other time in history, three things to me are super important.
One is my auto leadership. How am I going to be leading myself? I hold the map. I take it wherever I go. Who is the most important person in our lives? We are. We know where we’re going. We are the ones who are going to make that commitment and move forward.
Two is being that intentional leader. How do I get there? It’s about going through it over and over again, necessarily that I have to be intentional about everything I do. I have a level 10 goal. I can’t give it 9.99 because that doesn’t get me through the finish line. What is going to bring me to the finish line? Understanding sometimes that intention is being in positive places.
Let me leave you with a picture here that was painted very vividly in my mind. You can get through the finish line of a marathon running with 100 people than with three people on your back. When you think about that intentionality, am I in a place that supported me? If I’m not, how do I create that for myself? Nothing happens to us; it only happens through us. Where do I go? How do I do this? How did that happen for me?
The third step is being that aware leader. What am I aware of? What is happening in my life? How am I creating my reality? What is it I have created over and over again? We can think about a thought. The only thing that distinguishes us from a horse or a puppy or whatever that may be is the fact that we have the ability to be able to think and think very vividly and create that. Whatever it is we can think about, we can think and bring it to fruition. That is important to know because if our thoughts are positive, fantastic. High five. If our thoughts are negative, what is the impact of those negative thoughts on what will happen in our lives? We are thinking negative. We don’t know about negative. We are wondering why we are getting negative results. It’s about thinking about hey, we have anywhere from 55,000-75,000 thoughts a day. Whether those thoughts are negative or positive depends on what we are into that moment, that day.
That very next step for me is creating that road map. I know where I’m going. Those three things are important. Now I know where I’m going. I can get there because I can look at that map and know what does it look like every step of the way, and being comfortable with adjusting that. Sometimes we get caught up in it has to be this way, yet it may not. Maybe somebody comes in and short-tracks your entire learning right there. It takes you from Point A to Point Z immediately. Yet if we were to be married to the way things are supposed to be, it’s not going to happen. It may be a long journey, or it may not even happen. If it does, you may not be happy with the process because we put so much effort into it.
It’s fascinating to see that. I have seen it over and over again. For instance, when I work with clients, individuals come to me and say, “I want to make more money.” Before they came to me, they had already jumped out of their business, or they took a leap of faith and didn’t have a parachute. That is destructive to see. You must have something that you know whether you’re very centered or grounded. Whether it’s the finances that support you through the process, or it’s just the belief and the action that will take you to your success.
The next one is taking that massive action. I have been relentless in taking action my entire life. Getting on a bus, waking up at three o’clock in the morning after I went to sleep at midnight, it’s not something that normal people do. As I hear it from my friends, I like to say that I’m fab-normal because I’m willing to do whatever it takes. That relentlessness and resourcefulness.
Something came up right here. Even the word “resentful.” To understand the impact of the words in our world. When a person holds onto feelings, those feelings actually have an impact in our world. What does that impact in our world? That can be detrimental. If I’m holding onto resentment, it’s like drinking poison and expecting somebody else to get hurt in the process, which is one of the worst things that anybody could ever do. To me, it’s blessing that person. I hope that person has an extraordinary time. Yes, it may have cost me time, energy, resources, whatever it may be. I just bless that person and hope that person is in a better place. I truly do. I can move forward.
The very last part of it is understanding I must come back and evaluate my process. What does that look like? Does it look like I am tweaking it? Am I testing, tracking what my progress is along the way and making adjustments? I have been caught up in certain parts of my life. Things are going rough, and things happen. We have a setback. What does that look like to be aware that that also has an impact in the way we are thinking and living life?
Russell: All critical stuff for any leader who wants to move forward. These are a lot of things we discuss with people at SynerVision in moving forward. We all have challenges. There are a lot of challenges. You have overcome some great ones. Most people I talk to have overcome some great challenges and don’t always recognize the magnitude of what they have come through. That’s important.
Nonprofit leaders are people with a big vision. They want to change the world. Some of them have a lot of these attributes, and the mindset is critical, as you have talked about. What are some of the ways that you have seen leaders you have worked with- If there were what you call three greatest hits for the ways that leaders get in their own way, what would those be?
Rocio: I would say the mindset is probably one of the biggest things in that. That is one of the biggest things that inspired me about our previous conversations and this one as well is looking at how am I getting in the way? Sometimes we hear things we intake from other people. That’s why I shared earlier that we must be intentional about who we’re around. If people are not supporting my vision, then I must look for a group that supports my vision. No matter the way we think about it, we start intaking it. It’s like somebody coming in and throwing garbage on our bed. Would we like that? They throw it little by little by little. Sure enough in time, that bed will be filthy. We are not going to know where to start. Number one is to find a place that supports you in your vision.
The other thing is to believe in the fact that there are good people in this world who are willing to help. Here you are, Russell and Hugh. The fact that you’re here to guide individuals, you know the way, you can lead the way, and short-track people’s success. You can go even faster. You can go the fast track or the slow track. What do you want? That’s what I ask my clients, too. What would you like to do? I can take you on any journey. What journey do you want to be on? Do you want to be on the jet that will give you immediate success, or do you want to be on the horse? That’s up to you. I will take you whatever way. I am here to be of service.
Know to stay focused on the vision. What is the vision? The vision you came into this nonprofit organization with, the reason why you set it up, who you are going to help will help you to continue to get up every morning and to know that’s what you’re moving toward. Focus on the feeling of what it is you are looking to accomplish, whether that is an individual, a city, a country, the world, whatever it is that is important to you. Focus on the feeling of what it would be like. That is one of the things we don’t focus on enough. We are focused on things are going haywire as opposed to that will feel amazing, that will get me up every single morning. There are mornings I get up, “I am here to serve. I am here to serve the people who are ready to be served.” In that, that inspires me to get up, to get on the stage, to show up every single time whether there is one person in that audience who hears that message, or 100 people who hear it. It’s about showing up and having that belief that gives us the confidence that the more we do it, the easier it becomes.
Russell: That’s what possibility engineering is about. That’s why I am one. There is always a way around something. We can find it with the right support. Becoming what Hugh calls a transformational leader is intentional. It’s deliberate. It’s no accident. Do all people have a capacity to be good leaders? Or is it something you have to be born with?
Rocio: For me, we are all leaders. We are all meant to be leaders. We are leaders of our own life. Let’s be honest. The morning we wake up, we are the CEO of our own company, the financial officer. We are leading ourselves. All of a sudden, somebody put this title up here when in reality it’s there for all of us. We are all leaders in our own way in our own lives.
Stepping into leadership to lead others is also when we take some of those fundamentals into life, let’s say that for leadership, I am a mom. Which I am. Looking at that, how do I guide a team? How would I guide them? Do I treat them with empathy and compassion? Do I listen and ask, “Hey Russell, is everything okay? I see the project is not completed on time. Is everything okay? Anything going on with you?” Whether I can help you fix that problem, it also gives you an opportunity to say, I don’t need to hide, because we hide. Whether we realize it or not, because we have been taught not to bring our home selves into work, which also has a huge impact. We can have many conversations. That piece alone, when we are siloing ourselves, here is who I am at work, here is who I am in real life. No, here is who I am as a complete and whole being. Yes, we are all capable of being those extraordinary leaders. Let’s bring some fundamentals. How would we treat our children? Do we want to treat them with empathy and compassion, love, connection? Are there any throwaway people? Not really. Are there any throwaway kids? No, no. In reality, have I found something that connects and inspires them to continue to move forward in the direction of their dreams and their vision?
Russell: That sounds like some of the ways a nonprofit leader can lead with a vision. What are the three most important things that a leader can do, especially in the nonprofit sphere, to help make his/her team unstoppable?
Rocio: Encourage self-care. Mindfulness is so important. All of the years I have been around nonprofits simultaneously in 24 years, I have seen the impact of an individual, the burnout. Their heart is in the right place. They want to make an impact on the world. Sometimes, as leaders, we are not consciously aware that they’re running themselves ragged. That is because we have already run ourselves ragged that we are not connected to that. We are numb to the fact they are doing that. Encouraging self-care is important.
Check in with people. Connect with them. Get to know them. Ask them questions about their lives. Really get to know them. That is big in my world is to get to know people. Sit down for coffee. Get to know what their vision is. One thing is to know them. How am I going to get to where I want to be? More than a decade ago, I read a book about leadership, and I always thought how I would be the day I became a leader in my organization. What would that look like? I would listen to people. Get to know who you are. This is for me now. I want to get to know who you are. What’s important to you? What would success look like? What do you not have right now that you would have that would light your world up, make it worthwhile? When I know that, I can help that person, as they are helping me to get to my vision, get to their vision.
This is not a one-way street. Just because somebody is getting paid does that mean they are disregarded. The fact is they are giving you the most precious thing they have, which is time. You can get anything from anyone. That time that person is giving you cannot be replaced by anybody. We have a certain bucket of hours. We don’t know when our time is called. That is why it makes it so special. Get to know people. Form those relationships. Take time to form those relationships, not just inside your organization, but outside your organization. A lot of people walk around and say, “Marketing is only one person’s responsibility,” when marketing is a way of communication for all of us.
Hugh: Russell, we got to the halfway point here. We titled our interview “The Five Top Secrets of Unstoppable Leaders.” You shared your seven steps to becoming an intentional leader. I am curious. Are you curious? Let’s see what those five top secrets are.
Rocio: Number one is getting to know myself. Every intentional leader gets to know who they are. They get to know what limits them, what drives them, what excites them, what blocks them. That is so important. First and foremost, get to know yourself. As you get to know yourself, you can get to know others and come from a place of empathy and compassion, and in some cases, ruthless compassion. Get to know yourself. That way, you can get to know others.
Hijack your mind. If you can hijack your mind, intentional leaders hijack their mind. They take their learning into their own hands. They are constantly learning from people.
Hugh: That’s #2?
Rocio: #2. Continuous learning. Hijacking your mind, and learning from anybody you can learn. There is not just one way of doing things. That is learning more about you. How does that work for you?
The next step is showing up from intention with everything that I do. If you look at those three things of leadership that are close to me, the intentionality. If I know I am working with Russell, and I know Russell wants to send his kids to college, Princeton and Yale specifically, how can I help him every day to show up with intention in everything that I do for him? It’s not just me; it’s him.
Show up from a place of authenticity, with those values that are so important, connection, vulnerability. What a concept. When people know me as an individual- Let me share one thing on that. I used to speak from a stage. You can give me any topic I’m familiar with, and I did an extraordinary job. When I tell you, when I started to share about me and my journey and where I had been, people would follow me. That was so different because it took something from me to be so vulnerable. I thought that that vulnerability was something that wasn’t supposed to be shown. The moment you show up from a place of authenticity, vulnerability, connection, story, there is a relatedness within others that you can connect with.
Showing up with energy, extraordinary energy. Nobody talks about energy. We see leaders from the stage talking and expressing, yet their expressions don’t match what they want us to see from the audience. That is key. It’s very different. I can come in and tell my son, “Son, I really love you,” or I can lean in, “Son, I really love you.” Same intonation. My body speaks louder than words. When we can show up from that place, “It is fantastic to get to know you. It is fantastic to get to be here with you,” that is a different story. When we can look somebody in the eye and ground that person because they have lived whatever is going on in that day, that is what leaders really do. They focus on that individual and pay attention to what that person is going through because they are the most important person in front of them in that moment, just like you are, and each person that I stood in front of before is the most important person in the moment because we all are.
Russell: That’s critical. Those are great attributes for people to have to become unstoppable. I had thought of an acronym for hijack. I remember writing a piece quite some time ago. I have to gout and find that. Those are characteristics of extraordinary leaders, too.
When you go into your typical workplace, and it doesn’t seem to matter which type, there are some challenges you have in nonprofit workplaces that you might not have in others. What is missing in the workplace when it comes to leadership? What are some of the things that are missing? How is that impacting the effectiveness of both nonprofit and profit-making entities?
Rocio: The most important thing that is missing is our humanity, the fact that we are not seeing each other as human beings, that we are more concerned about the work, that we are not thinking about our impact. We work in silos, and we work not just in a silo, but we think that our work only impacts us. In reality, our work impacts everybody in the organization.
When I start thinking from a place of how this impacts the other individual- Let’s take the engineering world. Engineers, I have the extraordinary ability to be able to make them dance. Presidents of associations don’t even know what happened the moment they walk in a room. Why are they connected? Why are they dancing? Why are they engaged? Allow me to share.
It’s that humanity, connecting from the heart, connecting with individuals, and also understanding their world. What’s going on in their world? We talk about how sometimes we hoard information. In that hoarding of information, we are withholding from our project and everybody. How we do anything is how we do everything. Everything we do has an impact on what we do and how we show up in the world. Emotions.
When we talk about passive-aggressive, we know that 66% of individuals don’t like their jobs. People have been chasing money. They went into careers because they thought they were going to make money, not because that’s what they felt made them happy. I chased money. I know what that looks like. I know what that feels like. That’s a lonely world. I have also come in from a place of I wanted to inspire. The more I drifted away from that, the more miserable I was. The more I walked into it, I was happier. How can this be? Do I get paid for this? I love that fact. That’s where the happiness comes from.
When we know that 28% of individuals are passive-aggressive, what does that look like? What are the implications? When we talk about an apple spoiling the bunch, that will happen. When we know that more than 89% of individuals who volunteer, and this is what’s missing. We are not doing something that is outside of ourselves, contributing to others. When we know that that happens as a leader, I can support my people more. There are so many things. Those are the most important things.
One other thing I feel is important is emotions in the workplace. They are real. They will make or break your business, whether we understand them or not. People are running around passive-aggressive. I have spoken inside of businesses and spoken with CEOs of companies, and in between. The thing that I see the most common is our feelings that are getting impacted. Anger, resentment, rage, shame. We don’t feel good enough. We don’t feel worthy enough to be where we’re at. Wherever we may be, those emotions have an impact. If we are running around withholding in our world, it won’t work.
Hugh: There are a lot of stuff packed into this narrative you just gave us. You are expanding on something you said early on. How you had influence on others. Leaders are influencers. You mentioned that early and whizzed by a strong sound bite about how we do anything is how we do everything. That is so true. You worked that through your narrative. A lot of good stuff.
There is a lot of resonance in what we teach. Some of the key points of resonance is we teach that leadership is founded in relationship. You’re talking about the aspects of that. Communication is likewise. We call this passive-aggressive triangling. People are taking an odd position in a triangle against another person. You have this power position of a triangle. What is lacking is relationship. You pull those people together and expose that toxic passive-aggressive stuff. There is no way to deal with it without pulling a triangle together and exposing it to light. Fungus dies in the light. We just got to get it out. There are those unhealthy systems.
Russell, she is giving us a lot. We have time for a couple more questions. A whole lot of content packed into this. I bet Russell has another great question up his sleeve.
Russell: One of the things that we haven’t covered yet is Rocio does work with a nonprofit called GlobalMinded. That is all about diversity and inclusion. We are almost due for a panel on that. I have read studies. I know that the Denver Foundation did a lot of work just a few years ago to help cultivate diversity and inclusion in nonprofits. How important is that to leadership? What does that look like from your perspective?
Rocio: It’s so important from a leadership perspective. Diversity and diversity of thought. Two important things. It’s so important to include individuals. I have walked into rooms where people have had this problem for a very long time. For instance, I came in to deliver a presentation. It was a team of basketball youth. They couldn’t get through. Some were doubting themselves. They didn’t know what was happening. Because of my experiences in the world, I was able to walk in there. They have been working on this for nine months. I was able to walk in there and in 15 minutes help them shift. In 15 minutes, they were in tears because they were so excited. They were excited about new possibilities and opportunities. In 20 minutes, some people turned around and said, “We are going to church tomorrow just because of what we have seen.”
To be able to take other individuals’ experiences, when we invite those experiences to the table, regardless of the fact- I love background. I’d love to hire somebody from prison. I’d love to hire somebody who has had these life experiences because they know certain things that we’re missing. I’d love to see- I heard that. I heard a lady who was hiring a number of individuals who were from prison. Why? She sat down and asked them, when she got past the idea this person was from prison, “Let’s talk about marketing. How did you market?” “I never did.” “How did you sell drugs or do whatever?” This person started saying, “I studied my market. I did this and that.” When you can start taking those gifts, to me they are gifts, from every person, and encourage them. I work on a global scale.
One of the most fascinating things and saddening things is so many people sit around a table and confess to me, “You know what, Rocio? I just don’t say anything because I don’t feel my voice counts there. I don’t feel I have anything to say.” Wow, there is so much for you to say and contribute. I want to hear you. I want to hear your voice. In some cases, people show up and say, “I don’t know if I should ask for this, or maybe I sound too arrogant for wanting this.” Arrogant? We should all have what we want out of life. A leader should help individuals tap into what’s possible, not where this person wants to go. If we see there is much greater potential, take them to that potential.
That’s been the reason why the people I have worked with have had so much success. I have taken cohorts of people who have had 100% graduation from our programs. 100%. Unheard of. How did that happen? That happened because I saw their potential, and I led them to their potential. You don’t want to scare people. You don’t want to get them into freak-out zone. You want to get them into possibility and building those blocks overnight. I hope that answered your question.
Russell: Part of our methodology as we go in and do live events, we bring people in, we put low-tech tools into their hands. Give them markers and sticky pads, things to write on, because one of the things that happens in a group dynamic is you get certain people who take over. The extroverts take over. Your people are your best assets. You’re leaving brain power on the table when you have two or three voices out of a group of 20 who are dominating the discussion. It’s leveraging that with people being your most important asset and taking time to develop them, give them ways to develop. That is something a lot of nonprofits don’t do. They don’t feel like they have the resources.
You hit on a point earlier when you talked about taking time to sit and talk with people. That costs you nothing but a few minutes. You have some coffee and get to know people. That’s a powerful thing: to get that buy-in and make sure every voice at the table is heard. Bring in new ideas. The idea of being teachable, being flexible, and there are so many things.
Today’s workplace, we have people from 18-80 everywhere. It’s a different type of future that we’re looking at as far as the work force goes and the way people approach things. How do we prepare for a workplace of the future from the perspective of being a leader so we can grow and develop them?
Rocio: I love the question. I love the question. As a matter of fact, I presented on the national level about this specifically. In preparation for the future of the gig economy, which we’re in, and looking at how we transform the world, for me, is to really encourage that connection individual to individual. Encourage individual stories. Encourage the authenticity and vulnerability. Understand the distinctions between being vulnerable and feeling vulnerable. Understand those distinctions. Being vulnerable is I get to share myself with you, what’s important to me, what’s near and dear to my heart versus feeling vulnerable, which is feeling attacked by someone. That throws me into survival mode. Encourage people to connect with each other.
Truly listen. I heard you talking about listening to individuals. That is so important. Find a way. Learn about listening. What we have been doing, and I can almost guarantee you that there are very few people in the world like you guys who actually hear what people are saying. That is what makes extraordinary leaders. We are looking at 2-3% of people in the world who are extraordinary leaders. They have the ability to be able to listen because we feed back into that individual not only what they heard, also what’s possible and that world of possibility.
You’re looking at many other themes of encouraging self-leadership. I am not here to do it for you. Even when I work with clients, I am not here to give them the magic solution. I am here to help them rediscover what’s already in them. I am not here to teach them anything. That is fascinating from what other individuals are doing. It’s perfect. It works out for them and their client. For us, what makes it sustainable is clients work with us for one year. That’s the max. That’s it. I have shared every tool and resource and helped you reflect through a process. Reflecting helps people. Figure out how to best coach each individual. Understanding their personalities. Those are the key things that are important for me.
Hugh: Awesome. When you are talking about listening, when I teach leadership, I come from the perspective of a musical conductor. Listening is essential for us. It’s not a fine-tuned skill for most leaders I meet. Listening happens with your ears and your eyes. There are subtle things people communicate in various ways. There are lots of ways we communicate when we never say a word. There is the listening that makes us aware of what’s going on around us. This has been good stuff packed into a short interview.
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Rocio, as you are wrapping up this great stuff, what is a thought or challenge you’d like to leave with us, especially the people working in the hardest place in the world, which is the clergy or nonprofit leaders, working in this space with volunteers? What would you like to leave them with today?
Rocio: Lead them with your vision. Get to know yourself. I will repeat that one. Get to know yourself; that way, you can get to know others. Through that, lead them with your vision. Authentically connect. Get to know their vision and how your visions connect together. Being very intentional about what you’re doing. Invest in yourself. Invest in your mind. Invest in your people. Your people are your greatest assets. I love the fact that you get to help individuals from all over the world. You gentlemen help so many people through this. One of the most impactful things I have heard is my impact is your impact. When we can see that in another, when we can help them achieve that goal we are working on together, we know our impact is even greater. We did an assessment earlier this year. Just to know I by myself in a company with others, I could go so far, yet to go even further, to make that global impact, has to take a lot of individuals who are committed and who can see that vision. Because of that, we were able to reach 1.5 million in months. That would have taken years to achieve. Yet that achievement was it was because it was all of us.
I make the invitation for those who want to come and join and connect with us. We have unstoppables. Www.SevenStepsToUnstoppableBook.com. We have a free webinar for individuals. You can come on board and send me a quick email. Whoever signs up and purchases the book through that can get a free one-hour webinar and go through that process. When you get more knowledge and get more understanding, you shift into wisdom. That is important. We can talk about this like you gentlemen do so beautifully. It comes from the heart. It’s there for you. It becomes a part of who you are. Leadership is who I am.
Russell: Rocio, thank you so much for sharing your time with us and connecting with our audience. Thank you, folks who are watching and listening for all that you do to make the world a better place.