Wisdom From Charlie



In this episode, Ralph and Bill discuss identifying the key takeaways, insights, and concepts that we as leaders want our team members to remember, and perhaps more importantly, how we can help them apply those learnings to deliver positive results for the organization.



Bill Berthel: Welcome to the Get Emergent podcast, where we discuss leadership team and organizational topics and best practices. We like to provide ideas, concepts, and pragmatic experiments to help you develop your potential in your work and leadership. And today we have a special show with Ralph Simone, sharing some, life and leadership advice inspired from a book he just read.

Bill Berthel: I’m Bill Berthel

Ralph Simone: And I’m Ralph Simone. And I am chomping at the bit. I was actually up at 04:00 a.m. And we had only planned to do one podcast today, and I got to the end of this book, and let’s end the suspense. It’s called the Book of Charlie. It’s on the New York Times bestseller list. The author is David von Drell, and the subtitle is wisdom from the remarkable American life of 109-year-old man.

Bill Berthel: Oh, wow.

Ralph Simone: And it was just a delightful book. It’s a little different than maybe some of the books I usually read and a lot of interesting stories. Now, what I was hoping for is that throughout the book that I would kind of dispense these words of wisdom. And, it wasn’t until the last few pages that the author kind of recounts a list of wisdom from Charlie White, the 109-year-old man, former, was a doctor, GP, and then an anesthesiologist. And I’d like to share some of them and talk about their connection to leadership.

Bill Berthel: Oh, that’s great. Can’t wait to hear it.

Ralph Simone: Yeah, the very first one.

Ralph Simone: And we’ve seen this one on other podcasts, do the right thing.

Bill Berthel: Yeah.

Ralph Simone: I mean, when you have a choice, do the right thing. And I think we’ve talked about in the Ted Lasso podcast, doing the right thing is never the wrong thing to do. And sometimes we need to take that strategic pause. We need to check in with our conscience, with our values, to determine what that right thing is.

Bill Berthel: I love grounding that in values, and I often think of that space of doing the right thing because we are subjective creatures and the situation could influence us differently. I was always subscribing to that. You do the right thing no matter who’s watching. And that’s your character showing up? That’s your character.

Ralph Simone: So the second one, which I think is one that I’ve subscribed to, and I think it makes some of the people we work with go crazy, is think freely. I love this idea of thinking freely. Thinking for yourself, doing the research. Don’t just believe something just because someone said it, or even that you read it somewhere.

Bill Berthel: So, free thinking to me, Ralph, is that beautiful space of creativity and it allows us for any and all possibilities. I think we suspend judgment and then we can think freely

Ralph Simone: And we ask ourselves what could be?

Bill Berthel: Absolutely.

Ralph Simone: And it’s amazing.

So tied to that, there was a long list and we’re only featuring a handful of them.

Ralph Simone: Practice patience.

Bill Berthel: That’s so hard.

Ralph Simone: As a parent, as a coach, as a business owner, this idea, part of my purpose is to allow things to flow and unfold at their own pace and speed. Now I have that as part of my purpose statement to counterbalance what I think is my natural, impatience to want things to happen quickly. But practice patience in what you do in all your relationships and probably most importantly with yourself.

Bill Berthel: I just read a quote this morning. I’m sure I’m going to butcher it here, but the essence was the universe isn’t in a hurry, you are. Where can you slow things down to match the pace of nature is where it was going. And I just liked that.

Ralph Simone: That’s brilliant. I love that a lot.

Ralph Simone: The next one that caught my attention was forgive and seek forgiveness. I think part of forgive for me is letting things go and really moving on. I think part of the reason that you forgive is so that you can unburden yourself of the weight you’re carrying over an actual or imagined transgression.

Bill Berthel: Absolutely.

Ralph Simone: The next two I want to put together and maybe we’re getting a little mystical or quantum physical with this, but observe miracles. And then the one that goes with it, its companion is, and make them happen. And I’m reminded, and this comes from a course in miracles, that a miracle is a slight shift in perception.

Bill Berthel: Nice.

Ralph Simone: And I think part of the work that we have been attracted to is helping people shift their perspective so that they can step further into their greatness, which is a form of a miracle.

Bill Berthel: Well, you mentioned quantum physics. I think it was Albert Einstein that said there are two ways in which to approach life as if nothing’s a miracle or as if everything’s a miracle.

Ralph Simone: Yeah. And what different energy, • if we approach it as if everything’s a miracle.

Ralph Simone: Absolutely.

Ralph Simone: The next one I really resonated with personally. Trust yourself enough to take risks. Trust yourself enough to take risks. I think sometimes we play it safe, we play it conservatively because we’re not trusting in our innate greatness, in that what I believe is unlimited potential that we each have in life.

Bill Berthel: Our family is not big on reality TV, but we just started watching this show that is inspired by James Bond. So these pairs and couples, it might be two brothers, might be two friends, might be husband and wife. They’re all put in situations that are very James Bond like to get the next question so they can go on in the quest. And these are like crazy scary things. These are common people, you know scaling buildings and doing all the James Bond stuff. And through the whole show I’m going, oh my gosh, I would not do that. My wife is right away, I would do that. I would do that. So I asked her, I said, what’s the difference? She said, I think I trust myself to do that.

Bill Berthel: And she’s right. I don’t trust myself to do those physical challenges. I think this applies to psychological challenges as well.

Ralph Simone: Absolutely. Because in order to extend trust to others, there needs to be self trust.

Bill Berthel: Yeah.

Ralph Simone: And so I think there is a correlation. Last couple. Be soft sometimes.

Ralph Simone: And I think for me, soft is hard for me to do. But to be soft and really be real, to be authentic, to allow yourself, to allow your compassion to come through, because that creates connection.

Bill Berthel: I like that space. I work to practice that continually, especially my closest relationships. And I’m reminded by the tanzanian proverb that nature breaks what does not bend. And I think being flexible is a form of softness or being gentle.

Ralph Simone: Great. Another perspective on it, a form of agility, right?

Bill Berthel: I think so.

Ralph Simone: This to be resilient.

Ralph Simone: And then, the last two I’m going to are paired together and we can kind of wrap up, make some mistakes and then learn from them. I think we try to be perfect or if we try to do things flawlessly, we’re really not pushing ourselves to our full potential. And if we make it okay to make mistakes with the focus that we will learn, more and more people would be in positive action.

Bill Berthel: Ralph, thanks for sharing that list.

Ralph Simone: Yeah, it’s a fun book. I highly recommend it. Charlie White was a gentleman’s name. Lessons that you can learn from 109 year old man.

Bill Berthel: And thanks for listening. You can listen to a new podcast two times every month here at Get Emergent or wherever you listen to your podcasts. This is where we bring you contemporary leadership topics and ideas balanced with what we hope you find are better practices that you can apply directly to your work and your leadership. Thank you.

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