Dr. Mark Goulston – Wow, Hmm, YES! (312)

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Dr. Mark Goulston - Wow, Hmm, YES! (312)

Dr. Mark Goulston is a Marshall Goldsmith 100 Coaches member and works with business owners, CEOs, chairs, and managing directors to help them reach their full potential. He inspires audiences throughout the world as a keynote speaker.

Dr. Mark Goulston’s experience has been formed and tested in the crucible of real-life, high-stakes circumstances. He was once a UCLA professor of psychiatry for over 25 years and a former FBI and police hostage negotiation trainer. He is the author or co-author of nine books, with the best-selling “Just Listen” published in twenty-eight languages. He co-hosts “Out of Our Minds and In Your Space” on Twitter Spaces, a mashup for creatives and intellectuals, and he is the host of the highly regarded podcast “My Wakeup Call.”

The Difference Between Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence

Dr. Mark Goulston recently shared a very interesting quiz about self-esteem on his blog. Being aware of your self-worth is something fundamental to maximizing the greatness in you, and we should learn how to differentiate between self-esteem and self-confidence.

Self-confidence and self-esteem are two different concepts. Self-esteem is believing in your goodness, whereas self-confidence is believing in your ability and competence. You earn self-esteem by putting forth the time, effort, and sacrifice necessary to help others. Once you’ve achieved it, the reward is a sense of completeness and satisfaction. How much or how little contentment you experience at the end of your life depends on your level of self-esteem.

One of the causes of poor self-esteem is frequently believing that your true priorities are selfish, you lack genuine goodness, and you are consequently unworthy of happiness or success. Furthermore, if you have done an excellent job of hiding that you really or mostly care about yourself from the outside world, it may make you feel like an imposter.

If you want to find out your worthiness score, just answer the following question on a scale from 1 to 3 (1 rarely, 2 sometimes, 3 frequently), and then check out the results at the end of his article here.

  1. You raise and DON’T lower the self-esteem of others
  2. You sustain an effort outside of your comfort zone to help others as much or even before yourself
  3. You give the same effort to a fair decision that you disagree with as you do to something you agree with
  4. You ask for help or assistance
  5. You quickly and sincerely thank someone who has helped you
  6. You quickly offer help without the other person having to ask for it
  7. You fully forgive and forget after you’ve been hurt and quickly move on
  8. You quickly recognize and earnestly apologize for your failures of commission or omission to people you have let down
  9. You enthusiastically and sincerely congratulate someone else on an achievement or good fortune
  10. You give much more to the world than you take from it

And now here’s Dr. Mark Goulston.

Full transcript below

Video With Dr. Mark Goulston

Dr. Mark Goulston on TEDx – “What Made You Smile Today?”

Visit MarkGoulston.com to Learn More About Mark

Check Out Dr. Mark Goulston’s Books

Connect with Dr. Mark Goulston on LinkedIn

Follow Dr. Mark Goulston on Facebook

Follow Dr. Mark Goulston on Twitter

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Podcast with Dr. Mark Goulston. Wow, Hmm, YES!


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Mark Goulston, Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta  00:04

Hey everybody, welcome back to the “How’d It Happen” podcast, powered by WINJECT Studios. Before I tell you all about my guest, Dr. Mark Goulston, I feel like I need to tell him something first. So I was fortunate to be on his podcast, “My Wake-Up Call,” episode number 324, And I’ve been on a lot of podcasts. I was introduced to Mark from my publisher, I think that’s how it happened, Scribe Media. So I did his show, and I’d never heard of Mark, but I was so taken away by the empathy that this guy has, like, he had so much empathy for me, a person he didn’t even know, had just met and was talking to for the very first time.  So that could have been just it, you know, I just did the show, and that would have been it, but I started listening and sort of investigating Mark after, which I don’t do with many podcasters either. And, as I’ve been listening to his podcast, I’ve just been blown away by how he can connect. And I think you use the term sometimes, Mark, to get people to surrender to you because he’s got this empathetic disarming, but at the same time, very engaging and inquisitive way about him. So I just wanted to say that to you, Mark, and to my audience first they get to know more about you and your show. So thank you for that gift.

So let me tell you a little bit more about Mark. So, Dr. Mark Goulston, is a Marshall Goldsmith100 Coaches Member, who coaches entrepreneurs, CEOs, chairs, and managing directors to become the best version of themselves. He’s also an international keynote speaker, helping audiences do the same, and a contributor to some of the most important publications out there, like Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, you get the picture. Originally a UCLA Professor of Psychiatry for over 25 years, and from what I understand from listening to Mark’s story, it was quite a trip for him to even get there, and a former FBI hostage negotiation trainer, sort of like Chris Voss, I always think of when I hear that thing, he’s probably the most person that identifies is that most in the media or at least. Marc’s expertise has been forced and proven in the crucible of real life high stakes situations. He is the author or co-author of nine books, and his book, “Just Listen,” has been translated into 28 languages and become the top book on listening in the world. He hosts the highly rated podcast, as I mentioned, called “My Wake-Up call.” And fun fact, if I have my facts straight, parts of the movie “Superbad,” starring Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Michael Cera, Emma Stone and Bill Hader were filmed at Mark’s home. Do I have that right mark?

Mark Goulston  03:50

That’s what makes me memorable to millennials. Forget about the FBI. Forget about being a shrink Forget about all that stuff. When I when I say they film super bad in my home, they go. Oh my god, really?

Mike Malatesta  04:07

Amazing. Amazing. Well, we may touch on that just a little bit. If you don’t mind. You can find mark all over the place. He’s his website is his name. Right? Markgoulston.com? if you Google him, you’ll find out a ton more. You see his TEDx talk, a lot of his talks. He’s everywhere. And today he’s here. So Mark, thank you for joining me on the show. I start every podcast with the same simple question and that is, how did it happen for you?

Mark Goulston  04:55

Well, I’ve had a long and winding road journey line. In my early 70s, I started out as a medical doctor, than a psychiatrist, and I expanded, as you mentioned, to hostage negotiation training, then to coaching and executive coaching, high-stakes negotiation. Something you didn’t mention, probably because we haven’t really promoted it, I have a website with my partner called Michelangelo Mindset. And we may do something with it, but I, I want to share it with you and your viewers and listeners. Because what I realize is my whole life, I’ve used the Michaelangelo Mindset. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, if you want to be a successful CEO, if you want to be a successful salesperson, if you want to be a successful husband, or wife or mother or father, I think you may adopt it also, because one of the things that Michelangelo famously said is, “I saw the angel in the marble and I carved to set it free.” In fact, there’s an article if you go to Real Leaders, Michelangelo leadership, there’s an article where I said, you know, if you’re a leader, inside your people is a hunger, not just a desire, but a hunger to trust you, have confidence in you, respect you, admire you, feel safe with, you, like you, be inspired by you. And what you need to do, to set it free, is to be trustworthy, don’t lie, instill confidence, have a track record of actually getting stuff done. Cause them to feel psychologically safe, which means that you eliminate bullies and toxic personalities. And when there’s a crisis, you take charge of the situation. And then when the crisis passes, you are more consensus-building. You’re respected because you stand up for things. And you stand up to people who violate those values. If you’re a salesperson, inside every customer you’re having a meeting with is someone who wants to buy something, wants to buy something from you. Every three months, I give a six-month presentation to an accelerator called Expert Dojo. And it’s a cohort of about 20 startups at their early stage. So they’ve exhausted friends and family, and now they’re looking for investor money. And one of the things I present to them, which they seem to like, as I said, inside investors is a desire to give you money. You know, in fact, you’re doing them a favor, because they can’t sit on their money, they have to invest it. And one of the things that I share with them, which they’re always looking for because they’ve heard about it, If you’re a startup, or an early stage company, and you’re talking to investors, and after three minutes of your presentation, they smile, that’s not a yes. investors don’t smile. It’s about money. If they’re smiling three minutes into your 20-minute presentation, it’s because they’ve already decided it’s a no, but you put so much work into that presentation, you know, and they don’t want to be rude, and say, I’ve heard enough, done goodbye, pass. So they smile because they don’t want you to catch them wanting to be rude. So what I suggest to people, Now if your experience is that the smile does lead to them throwing money at you and wanting to give you more than you asked for, well, then this wouldn’t apply. But if you’ve had that experience, where three to four minutes into a 20-minute presentation, they’re smiling, it’s because they’ve already decided to know and if your experience tells you — and here’s the Michelangelo part of it — inside, they want to give you money. So here’s what you do, and here’s the exact script. When they smile, whatever you’re saying, whatever slide you’re on, you pause and you say, Can we stop for a moment? They’re gonna get nervous, because you’re onto them. You caught them not wanting to be rude, and then what you say is “when we started the presentation, you were listening for something, and you didn’t hear it. In fact, I’m guessing we’re even further away from it than when we started. Can you tell me what you were listening for specifically, because we actually might have it, we just didn’t put it in the presentation, because you know, we put the deck together wrong. But if we have it, what you’re listening for, or looking for, you know, maybe this could be a workout for both of us.” And then what you say, this is what we say in the accelerator. And as you can say, “I’ll tell you, even if we don’t have it, I’m in a cohort of 20 companies, we know each other, we support each other, I might be able to come up with two or three introductions, and then you when they can go on your merry way, you give them money, they succeed. And so what’s happened is by using the Michelangelo selling, or pitching, inside them as a desire to give you money, you just need to surface what they were looking for and listening for. And then if you pivot away from anything that makes you money to introducing them to other startups, those startups are going to be grateful to you, that person who was all set to say goodbye is going to be grateful to you. And you have the possibility of building a relationship, as opposed to they’re smiling at three minutes, and then they allow you to go the 20 minutes and they say something polite, and they say, Well, you know, send me something, but you know, they’re gone. But can you see how if you take this approach, so I’ll share something else with you, if you’re an entrepreneur and a CEO, many times entrepreneurial energy, CEO energy is really Alpha. It’s very Alpha energy. It runs on dopamine; you tend to be momentum junkies. Frequently, that doesn’t play well in your personal relationships. And a lot of times what will happen is you will rush your partner who may want an emotional connection with you. And you try to push it into a problem or give them advice that they don’t want.

Mike Malatesta  12:27

Yeah, you’re trying to solve a problem that may not exist. In other words,

Mark Goulston  12:31

right. So let me give you some insight that I hope will grab your attention if you’re in a relationship with someone who doesn’t have that alpha energy. And I’m not being sexist, because I’ve run into alpha female entrepreneurs, whose husbands are the ones who tend to be the more softer and more emotional and more connecting type. So this is not in this day and age, this can apply to you whether you’re a male or a female, or LGBTQ entrepreneur. So if you’ve had one of those conversations that go sideways with your partner, one of the reasons they’re listening for a way to connect with you emotionally, is frequently they’re a little bit frustrated with people in your family, like your young kids. And they’re losing their patience with your young kids. And they want to pivot and displace their frustration on to you so that they don’t yell at your young kids. And then have them question themselves. Oh, am I a terrible mom? Am I a terrible dad. And so what they’re really wanting is not for you to give them advice, or solutions. But you want you want to this is dating me, but you want to do a Muhammad Ali rope a dope. So Muhammad Ali beat George Foreman, by just allowing George Foreman to get punched himself up. So what you want to do in an intimate relationship is not give them solutions. But get them to talk even more. And for those of you who like tactics, one of the things you can say to your partner is in a calmer moment is the same when we have conversations. Do you want me to give you advice? Do you want me to just be aware of what’s going on? Because if you just want me to be aware, it’ll take the pressure off me and having to come up with a solution when you don’t want one and then I get my feelings hurt because I give you this great advice and you don’t want me to be aware. Then I’ll just try to keep you talking to you get it off your chest. Or if you want me to give you advice, I’ll be happy to do that.

Mike Malatesta  15:00

Yeah, very smart. Yeah. Well, in both of those in both of those cases, mark with that one and with the VCs, it seemed like you were inviting permission for the other person to express what they’re looking for from you. Do I? Did I sense that, right?

Mark Goulston  15:23

Absolutely. Absolutely. In fact, if you’re a game, and we’ve already gotten to know each other, because you are my podcast, I’m gonna write here and now give you the difference, using you the difference between you listening to me, and you’re listening for something. Okay, so let’s do, let’s do it. Yeah. And I want you to share with me if you feel a shift inside you. So right now you’re listening to me, you’re talking to me, you’re checking boxes, you’re following up with what I’m saying. And you’re building on it. And we’re having, I think, a very pleasant, mutually respectful, I’m talking to you, you’re listening to me. But if I would a drill inside what you’re listening for, underneath you listening to me, I think what you’re listening for try this on,

Mike Malatesta  16:24

is you’re listening

Mark Goulston  16:25

for me to give information that is immediately usable and valuable to your listeners and viewers. Because your listeners and viewers trust you and have confidence in you. And you want to honor their trust and confidence in you, by you’re bringing them value that’s relevant to their lives that they can use. And you may also be listening for, which isn’t the case with me, because we’ve already had a previous interview. But you may be listening for maybe a best-selling author who’s awful, who’s terrible, and you have to go back, because you have to protect your audience from them. And afterwards, you can say, congratulations on your being on the Wall Street bestseller list. But we can’t use the podcast, because they were terrible. TV viewers and listeners. He is laughing because he knows exactly what I’m saying. And so does that. Can you feel that? That’s right, that you’re listening for a way to not waste your listeners or viewers time?

Mike Malatesta  17:41

Yeah, as you were saying that I thought that was very artful by the way, you had a lot of you know, your intonation, your facial expression, everything was sort of convincing me to about what you were saying. But I think the thing that I was listening for, and I think you were you were delivering it as well was, I want my audience to have a connection with you. Like, I want them to not only have something they can take away, but say I want more of that. And the reasons they may want more, which could be different for you know, for every person or a lot of people but I that’s what I really am looking for, how do I connect you? To them to their life experience? How do I get them? How can I be successful inviting their permission to connect with us through the conversation that we’re having.

Mark Goulston  18:36

So you’re not just wanting to honor your listeners and viewers, you’re wanting to honor your guests giving you their time? Yeah. And you want it to be valuable not just to the viewers and listeners but to your guests. Right. And if you can connect them to each other. That’s then you feel you’ve satisfied. What you’re trying to do.

Mike Malatesta  19:01

Yeah. So let’s build on that on that connection thing a little bit. Mark, if you don’t mind. Let’s, let’s I mentioned this sort of road you had to get to becoming a psych type psychiatrist. And as I recall, you had several stints in medical school. You were the benefactor of someone’s kindness. And I’m interested in in in having you share that your experience you as a young person to how you got to, to there and why.

Mark Goulston  19:42

Okay, well, Mike, at the risk of alienating your alpha, momentum driven listener is one of my greatest accomplishments, and I’ve had a long life and I’ve accomplished a bunch but something that I’ve accomplished that I don’t know of anyone else who has is I dropped out of medical school twice and finished. I don’t know anyone who dropped out of medical school twice in finance. And I didn’t drop out to see the world and to go, you know, be a stand-up comedian. I think I had untreated depression. So what happened is I reached a certain point in medical school dropped out, they allow you to drop out a lot of you know, a lot of people take a year off because they’re stressed out. And I worked in blue collar jobs, which to this day, I love I mean, they were so simple. I would just go put in my time, I’m done at five, I romanticize those blue-collar jobs.

Mike Malatesta  20:43

What were they mark? What were the jobs?

Mark Goulston  20:46

Well, my favorite one was I worked for a liquor distributing company. And I put up displays, in liquor stores in put up Heineken windmills in bars. So I’d be climbing up these rickety ladders, seeing dead rat skeletons on top of a bar in South Boston. And I loved it. I mean, I wouldn’t be talking to the barkeep. I’d be talking to the customers. I loved it. And, and then I learned negotiating because I would say, Okay, if you keep this neon sign up in your bar for a month, I’ll give you a second one to put in your basement. Because a lot of these people who own these stores and bars, I worry that they’re going to get some kind of cancer, you go into their basement, you can’t see yourself, they have 93 lights and displays and things. So you’d be bartering with them. You know? And yeah, okay. And so I love that. And then I came back. And my mind went back to where it was in six months. So I asked for another leave of absence. But this time, what I didn’t realize is that schools, medical schools are known for its true of law schools, but they lose matching funds. When you take a leave of absence, tuition doesn’t cover the cost of educating you. So I met with the head of the school, and he cared about funds, and I don’t even remember the meeting with him. But I got a call from the Dean of Students who cared about students. And I was at a low point. And I come from a background where, you know, my dad was a product of the Depression and you’re only worth what you do. If you can’t do anything and not worth much. Yeah. And so the Dean calls me in Dean of Students. He says, I have a letter from the main Dean read it. And the letter said, I met with Mr. Golson, we talked about alternate careers. I’m advising the promotions committee, that he’d be asked to withdraw. I said, What does this mean? The dean of students said, You’ve been kicked out. And it was my good fortune. I don’t really believe in miracles. But something miraculous happened when he said that I felt it was like a gunshot wound I kind of folded over I, my eye, my cheekbones were wet, and I thought I was bleeding. I kept looking at my fingers. Like I was bleeding from my eyes. And it was tears. And so imagine hearing this. And this is probably why I went on to become a suicide prevention expert. So you feel you kind of useless, and you’re about to be thrown away. And this is what the dean of students said to me. He said, Mark, you didn’t mess up because you’re passing everything, but you are messed up. But if you became on messed up, I think this school be glad they gave you a second chance. So at that point, I just started crying because he was he was pummeling me with compassion. And then he hit me with the trifecta, which is what I used with suicidal patients for 25 years, and none of them died by suicide. And the trifecta is he, he saw value in me, just for me, he saw a future for me. And he was willing to stand up to the medical school. Stand up against them. And he said, Mark, even if you don’t become unmasked up even if you don’t become a doctor, even if you don’t do anything with the rest of your life, I’d be proud to know you. So he hit me with that and I just started sobbing. And then he said I’d be proud to know you because you have something that the world needs. And we don’t great at medical school. But you won’t know how much the world needs it till you’re 30 35, but you’ve got to make it to your 35. And you deserve to be on this planet and you’re going to let me help you. So the trifecta was he saw that I had something of value in me that I had a future. And he stood up to the medical school and say, We’re gonna give this one a second chance. So I took a year off. I grew up in Boston, went to med school in Boston, went to undergraduate school at UC Berkeley. And during that time off, I went to Topeka, Kansas, your neck of the woods, well, south of you. And I went to a place called the Menninger Foundation, which is a big psychiatric institute. It’s now I think, based in Houston. And I guess what he saw was there because I was able to get through to schizophrenic fanboys when I grew up in a suburb of Boston. So knowing that I had some kind of knack, you know, allowed me to take that time off, I went back, finished med school, went to UCLA, finished psychiatry, training there. And then I went out. And a big part of my practice was suicide prevention. And I just put it forward, people would come to me and I would see something worthwhile, and then that they didn’t have to do anything for I could see a future for them that they couldn’t see. And I grabbed them by the nape of the neck psychologically, and said, You’re not going anywhere.

Mike Malatesta  26:36

And what was so that was 25 years, not a single patient died of suicide, although they were all at least in some way suicidal when they came to talk to you. What was what was the conversation, Mark? I mean, the what was the path? I mean, we had talked earlier about this ability that you have, and I’ve heard you talk about this, to have people surrender to to you. Was it just about having? I mean, I know there was a lot of clinical stuff in it that that maybe I won’t get but I’m just wondering, what’s the what what was the secret?

Mark Goulston  27:22

Well, I think the secret now you have to realize this is the secret of me as a practicing psychiatrist who did psychotherapy instead of medication is when people came in one of the one of the great fortune, good fortune of my career, is that when I finished training, a fellowship I was supposed to go into got cancelled. So I said to myself, well, I’ll just go out there, see if anyone comes to me and one of my mentors was one of the leading pioneers in suicide prevention. So he’s the one who kept referring me people. And, and because I didn’t work at an institution, I didn’t have the checkboxes. And when I would sit with people who are suicidal, I pick up in their eyes, that they were screaming at me in their eyes, even though they look kind of almost like numb. What they were screaming at me is you’re checking boxes, and I’m running out of time. So I threw in the boxes. And so what I listened for entirely was, where’s the hurt? The fear, the anger? And how much time do we have before they do something destructive? is the only thing I listened for. In fact, I listened for it’s so deeply sometimes I didn’t know what race or gender they were. I remember I was seeing an African American patient. And six months into seeing him. I must have said something kind of weird. He said, Mark, or Dr. Goulston. I’m black. I didn’t know he was black. Do you follow me because when he got in the room, the hurt, the fear, the anger and running out of time, before he did something was so powerful. And what happens and I will tell you this to you, in your personal relationships, okay, so this may not help you as an entrepreneur, but it will make your life better in your personal relationships, especially in this time of the pandemic. Almost everyone, you know, has a lot of hurt, fear and anger. And when people pick up that you’re listening for it. And I wrote, I co-authored a book, my eighth book during the pandemic and it’s called Why cope when you can heal and I introduced it a name for this approach called surgical empathy. And why surgical empathy? Because if you’ve never been suicidal, you won’t understand what I’m about to say. But if you have been, you’ll say he’s bright on when we’re traumatized in life, in order to cope with it, we don’t form psychological attachments, we form psychological adhesions. It’s like when you have surgery, to save your life, your organs will often develop adhesions. And the adhesions are strangulating some of your organs, you have to go in surgically and cut the adhesions. So surgical empathy, is a way to go into the psychological adhesion to death, as the only way to take away the pain of hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness.

Mike Malatesta  31:02

And is that adhesion thing? Is that like a defense mechanism? That’s sort of like,

Mark Goulston  31:06

yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, if you if you think if, if you’ve ever taken a lifesaver training at the beach, or the pool, one of the things they train you on is how to how to safely hold on to a drowning person without that drowning person bringing you both down, right? So they’re not attaching to you in a rational way, saying, Oh, thank you, Mr. or Ms. Lifeguard for they’re grabbing on to you. It’s an adhesion. But surgical empathy, cuts through it, actually, I’ll share an anecdote because, you know, you seem to be giving me a lot of time and, and by this time, we’ve probably scared away the entrepreneurs who are into this, but you’re into it, I can tell ya. So there was one woman I was seeing that was referred to me by this doctor Schneidman, who is a pioneer in suicide prevention. We’ll call her Nancy, she’d made several suicide attempts. And I didn’t think I was helping her. And way back, then you could be in the hospital for four or five, six weeks, you know, it’s not like that anymore. And so she’d been in the hospital multiple, multiple times and made three suicide attempts. And I was seeing her but she never made really eye contact. And I didn’t think I was helping her. I was seeing her probably about six months, couple times a week, maybe more. And I used to moonlight once a month, which means I would go into a state psychiatric hospital and cover for the psychiatrist there on the weekend. And sometimes you don’t sleep for 24 hours or 30 hours. So there I am seeing Nancy on a Monday and I hadn’t slept, and she didn’t make eye contact with me. And as I’m seated with her, I’m looking at the room, and the color turns to black and white. And then the black and white, I turns to my I get the chills. And I think I’m having a stroke or a seizure. So I do I’m a medical doctor. So I did a neurologic exam on myself. I’m tapping my knees, I’m topping my elbows, I’m looking at my finger to see if I’m seeing double. And it wasn’t rude because she didn’t look at me. And everything was there. I said, you know, no stroke, no seizure. And then I had this crazy idea that I was looking out at the world feeling what she felt that it was black and white and cold. So because I was sleep deprived, I leaned in and it got worse. And then I blurted something out that normally I wouldn’t have said. And I said Nancy, I didn’t know was so bad. And I can’t help you kill yourself. But if you do, I will still think well of you. I’ll miss you. And maybe I will understand why you had to get out of the pain. And I thought to myself did I think that? Did I say that? And then I thought, I think I just gave her permission. And that was the first time she looked at me. And I thought she was going to say thank you for understanding. I’m overdue. And I said, Nancy, what are you thinking? And she looked at me and she held on to my eyes like I’m holding on to yours. And she said, if you can really understand why I might have to kill myself to get out of the pain. Maybe I won’t need to. And then she smiled. And then I grabbed on to her eyes. Because this was the first time we made eye contact. And I said I’ll tell you what we’re going to do. I’m not going to give you any treatments that you’ve already been through that really didn’t work unless you asked for them.

Mike Malatesta  34:59

Would that be okay?

Mark Goulston  35:01

She smiled as if to say, keep talking. And then I leaned in and grabbed onto her eyes. I said, what I’m going to do instead is I’m going to find you wherever you are. And I’m going to keep you company there as long as it takes. Because I don’t want you to be alone there anymore. Would that be okay? And then our eyes started to water a little bit. Kind of like what happened with me and the Dean of Students. But could you track with that mic? Yeah. And then what happened, then? Well, we turn the corner because you felt less alone in hell, you know, after Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, died by suicide. And it was within the same week I wrote an article you can find it why people killed themselves, it’s not depression. And what I talked about is that there’s a there’s hundreds of millions of people who are depressed who don’t kill themselves. These people lose their job or their marriage, and they don’t kill themselves, it contributes to it. But one of the things I recognize that nearly all suicidal people feel at the end, is they feel despair. And if you break the word despair into D S, P A IR it means unpaired. Hope, less unpaired with a future, helpless, powerless, useless, worthless, purposeless meaningless. And when they all line up, pointless, and they pair with death, to take the pain away. It’s like the sirens calling out to the sailors come crash on the rocks. I’ll take your pain away. And so they pair with death to take the pain away. But if they can feel felt by you, which is what Nancy felt.

Mike Malatesta  37:05

They’ll pair with that.

Mark Goulston  37:09

And let go of this being suicidal. I’ll share another insight that was kind of snack,

Mike Malatesta  37:16

can ask a question for smart. SURE that you said during that conversation you had with Nancy twice. You said, Would it be okay. And then you proceeded to? So getting back to like what’s important for entrepreneurs? I thought that was very, like asking for permission? Would it be okay to whatever follows is a very powerful strategy, right? Because when you say Would it be okay, you’re giving someone the chance to say no, it would not be okay, in which case they weren’t going to be receptive to whatever you are going to say otherwise do? Does that make sense? Does that would

Mark Goulston  37:56

not only make sense. But if you’re listening in to the few entrepreneurs that listen through all those stories? I got Mike’s attention. He’s thinking you got you got my attention mark? Why you might want to say Would it be okay? And this is a problem that a lot of entrepreneurs do. Entrepreneurs are often too convincing too soon. And what I coach them on is you want to be compelling to open people’s minds, convincing to get them to take action. And why you might want to ask permission is because you want to give them the chance to choose to do something with you. Whereas what I see with a lot of tech entrepreneurs is this so enamored with their IP and their technology, they come off as convincing too soon, which can take away the space between you and your customer or investor and you take away their choosing to want to give you their money. So when you say Would it be okay, you’re respecting them? Making the choice. Right to want to engage with you. That makes sense. Yeah, it

Mike Malatesta  39:19

does. Thank you for clarifying that. That’s good. Do you mind if I shift it a little bit?

Mark Goulston  39:26

Your podcast you?

Mike Malatesta  39:27

You mentioned? Are you a YPO member? I see it on your website. I don’t Matthew.

Mark Goulston  39:33

It’s interesting. A friend of mine, Jason Reed, serial entrepreneur, his 14-year-old son died by suicide three years ago. He reached out to me and we’ve been doing presentations we did. We did two YPO global presentations where he talks about this Times that he missed with his son. Okay, how he blames himself. And then I come in and talk about, if you’re worried about your teenager, this is how to open up. And we’ve done presentations, the EEO both in person and on on virtually. So yeah, okay. Yes,

Mike Malatesta  40:20

I asked because by solid on your website, but then I also I heard you at one time mentioned Andre Norman. And for those of you for those of you don’t know who Andre Norman is a gentleman who was heavily involved in gangs, went to prison, killed multiple people killed people in jail, but ended up having an epiphany of sorts, and actually got a degree from Harvard, some sort of degree from Harvard afterwards. And now he, he goes around, and I actually accompanied him for two days here in Milwaukee, when he came here for YPO. And I took him to three schools, because he likes to his thing host thing is when he goes to a community, he wants to talk to kids in high school. And he’s become you, I’d say very popular. I don’t know if that’s how you ran into a mark. But anyway, look up Andre Norman, he’s got a tremendous story. And for you know, it’s kind of it’s kind of, you know, you pick up a guy at the airport who has had the history, he said, You’re a little kind of kind of worried. But, but boy, oh, boy, I had a great time. I spent a lot of time with him, driving him around, and then hosting him at the events and, and as I said, we went to three schools, and I just sat there and saw the kids interact with him. And what was so cool about it is when, you know, kids are like that, you know, whatever. They don’t want to interact with him. They think they know it all still. And he calls them on that. Right? Like, right, just very, very plain-spoken Lee to try to get them to listen. Because listening to him is going to be a net positive for their futures, some of them or maybe a lot of them. So anyway, I remember hearing you talk about him. I don’t know how you connected with him. But do you

Mark Goulston  42:17

remember, he and I have become partners like brothers? Oh, okay. So he, so he was on my podcast, Andre Norman. Yeah. And I have the same feeling about him that you did. And so I’ve been introducing him to the fortune 500. So one, someone else who was on my podcast was Doug Conant. He was the CEO of Campbell’s Soup. He’s also the chair of chief executive for corporate purpose. And these are the 250, top CEOs of the top 250 companies. And it’s their social philanthropy. And so I introduced Andre to Doug, Andre did a town hall meeting with Doug. And in May of this year, he went to New York, and he did a presentation to the fortune 500. Companies, social responsibility people, because he’s for real. He’s he, he doesn’t come off. As he said to me, and he said this humbly. He said, I’m the Lebron James of racial equity. Because the black community trusts me. And I don’t shame the white community. I’m just direct. Yeah, I say, Look, you want to do something about it. Let’s do something. If you don’t want to do something about it, that’s okay. But black lives matter. Black lives matter isn’t going away. And you can be on the leading edge of it or you can be a laggard, it’s up to you. That’s all.

Mike Malatesta  43:57

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So anyway, cool, cool, little connection. I wanted to go to you mentioned as the mentor that you had the suicide expert, but I’ve also heard you talk about Larry King as a mentor and being part of his breakfast club. And so I throw that out there and people are probably thinking to themselves as I am, you’re, you’re practicing psych, psychiatry, UCLA. Helping people with you know, their their problems specifically with suicide, and I’m thinking how can you become a person that you know, is having breakfast regularly with Larry King or just last week? Last Friday, Tim Ferriss email has a tattoo to to you. And, you know, I hear you talking about being on stage with Daniel Kahneman. And I believe, you know, South Nelson Mandela and I’ve just heard all these things. And I’m wondering to myself, how does this, I might have that run. But anyway, I’m wondering how does this all happen? And details start with Larry King?

Mark Goulston  45:10

Well, I’ll share something. I’m a founding member of the Newsweek expert forum. So the Okay, foray into the business thing the way Forbes and Inc does, you know, where you can, you can write articles. And probably by the time you post this, my latest article at Newsweek will be out, it’s called the the UX Trifecta user experience. And so I think one of the ways that I’ve discovered to be most compelling to open people’s minds is three things. You want to share something that is counterintuitive? Meaning they would say to themselves, I, I never would have thought of that. That’s irrelevant to me, I never would have thought about, it should be intuitively Correct. That’s the second step. I can use that. I can use that that’ll help me. So it’s relevant to me. And then the third thing is, it’s doable by me, I’m going to act on it. So when you’re trying to so have your marketing departments, that when they put out any information, and marketing is what you put out, that gives you the opportunity to make a sale, a lot of people confuse those, but marketing is what you put out in the world that attracts enough attention so that you have the opportunity to make a sale. And all marketing should trigger something that’s counterintuitive. I never would have thought of that. Intuitively correct. This is relevant to me. And the third thing is, I’m going to buy that. And and so here’s so here’s an interesting first impression with Larry King. So he had a breakfast club of quirky people for 21 years. And you know, people would come in from out of town and there was like four or five regulars and you take turns paying for it.

Mike Malatesta  47:31

You know, One of those people. Absolutely, yeah.

Mark Goulston  47:35

Okay, he moved back to the East Coast. Cal is a great guy, love Cal, you remind me to reach out to him. And so someone invited me, you know, who was part of the groups said, oh, you know, I meet with Larry King, you want to come to breakfast? So here’s, here’s what you called the UX Trifecta this. Okay. I think this is a cute story. So I remember there were six of us there to two tables side by side. So I’m diagonally far away from Larry. And, and he’s engaged with someone in front of him, you know, and they would banter really intensely. And this person who brought me introduced, said, Oh, here’s Mark. And you know, Larry didn’t really talk to me because I was distant from him. And and so this is how you make a good first impression. I said, Larry, and they were getting up. I said, Larry, you’re pretty curious, aren’t you? He said, I’ve been curious all my life in Brooklyn. I’ve been curious all my life. Yes, sure. I said, really? He said, Yeah, yeah. When I was a kid, I didn’t care about eating ice cream. I want to know how you make it. So Well, that’s good. I said, I have a suggestion for you. And he’s kind of looking at me oddly, like who is this guy? I don’t even know this guy. I said, a couple of weeks ago, Sully Sullenberger was being interviewed by Lawrence O’Donnell, I think, the 11th hour whatever the guy is the last word with whatever his name is. And, and he was referring to Trump as incurious and he was and we saying I and what Sully Sullenberger was saying is I don’t know if President Trump can learn because he’s not curious. He’s in curious. So Larry’s looking at me. And the tables looking at me. I said, here’s an idea for you. You’re gonna go and print up to Cat you’re gonna have Sully Sullenberger on your show, or print up to caps. And they’re each going to say ma CA Not ma GA. You’re going to put one of the hats on and you’re going to say to Sally, Sally, why don’t we start a campaign make America curious again. And you’re gonna give him the cap. And he’ll be all over that in a heartbeat. And then the person Larry was bantering with looks at Larry, looks at me looks at Larry. And he says, Larry, do you know how brilliant that ideas? And then Larry smiles at me, he said, You didn’t come to breakfast every day. So that’s how you make your good first impression. But do you see how that’s counterintuitive? I never follow that. It’s intuitively correct point, I think that would work. And it was doable. He didn’t do it. Because you know, you know, he’s caught up in something else. But that’s what you want to do. If you’re listening and you’re an entrepreneur, you want to be able to do that. Something I will mention, which you haven’t mentioned, is for a year and a half, I’ve done a bunch of things. I did a one man show playing Steve Jobs coming back from the dead. So I yeah, I did. There’s videos up on YouTube. So there’s a turtleneck, the 501 jeans, the horn-rimmed glasses. And the whole purpose of it was to tee up a formula that Steve Jobs discovered. And it’s the secret formula that makes him an Elon Musk, a visionary. And the formula is, you want to show people in your marketing, something that triggers in them?

Mike Malatesta  51:42


Mark Goulston  51:44

Hmm. Yes.

Mike Malatesta  51:47

Wow. Sorry about the silence. Okay.

Mark Goulston  51:54

Here’s an example. And so when I when I played him, I taught and I played him coming back from coming back to Apple in 1996 till 2007. And I said when he discovered the graphical user interface at Xerox PARC, and there’s a video if you’re listening in or viewing look up National Geographic, Xerox PARC, Steve Jobs, you’ll see a dramatization where he discovers the graphical user interface, the mouse, and you, you look at the expression on his face, and you’ll see he goes wow. Huh? Yes, the wall is he can’t believe what he’s seen. Mm hmm. His he says he looks at Wozniak, what do you think? And was the access once they go there? Then I call him back. And then the yes is they didn’t know what to do with it at Xerox PARC. He went back to Apple and created the Macintosh. And he did the same thing with the announcement of the iPhone. It’s a phone. It’s an eye, it’s an eye. It’s an iPod. It’s an internet connecting device. Right? And he says it several times. And he says these are not three separate entities. I give you the iPhone. So he created in people the while. Hmm, yes. And Apple every time they announce a new product. Elon Musk does that with Tesla. You want to be able to create in your market. That experience Wow, I can’t believe what I’m seeing. Hmm, this is too good to ignore. Yes. I see what I can do with this. Sold.

Mike Malatesta  53:47

Yeah. What made you want to do that? Mark? What made you want to

Mark Goulston  53:53

do the one man show?

Mike Malatesta  53:55

Yeah, to the one man show? Yeah. Well, I’ve

Mark Goulston  53:58

done for years, I’ve intermittently done presentations to Vistage groups YPO. EO. And I was doing I was doing a presentation to a group called Advanced. I forget it, but there’s about 10 of them up and down California. And, and I was doing presentations on listening. And I’m a pretty good storyteller. And then I remember the founder of it. Mimi grant. She said, You got pretty good ratings. After the first one, I was talking about listening. And she said, you’re going to come back and do one for one of the other groups. And I said, I said good, but I’m going to do a different a different topic. And she said, but you did so well. With the first one. I said I lucked out. I said trust me on this. And she looked at me I don’t I don’t lie. And so the next one, I, I talked about this Wilden yes thing and someone said, You just figured out Steve Jobs. So then the third presentation, I explained how Steve Jobs went through it. And then the fourth presentation, I started channeling Steve Jobs. And someone said to me in that group, because there were about 10 groups, you know, you get to decide whether you want to give information or you want to do give entertainment. And he looked at me, he said, and you know, the one you want to give. So after that I just started presenting as Steve Jobs. Got it. And just like I could look at the world through Nancy’s eyes. I learned to be able to look at the world through Steve Jobs eyes.

Mike Malatesta  56:05

It makes me wonder listening to you. Do you think that Elizabeth Holmes watched your video? She’s the Theranos. Woman.

Mark Goulston  56:15

It it had a very short run and they were small crowds.

Mike Malatesta  56:21

Yeah. Okay. I’m just curious. So let’s, we’re kind of up against our time here, Mark. I’m wondering I, I sort of talked about it at the very beginning. I don’t think I can let you leave without asking you about how Superbad came to be. Or at least parts of it came to be filmed at your home. How did how did that happen?

Mark Goulston  56:41

So we live in a we live in a part of Los Angeles called Brentwood.

Mike Malatesta  56:48

That’s OJ I lived in Brentwood, as I recall.

Mark Goulston  56:51

Well, I was on the I was part of the OJ trial. I worked with the prosecution. I remember you talking about that. Oh, that’s, that’s a whole other show. Yeah, okay. Well, maybe we can do that. Because I do a talk about never be bullied again. And I talked about being confined. being confronted by F lee Bailey. That’s a whole other story.

Mike Malatesta  57:16

Oh, can we do another? Can we do that? Would you be willing to do so? Yeah, it’d be fun,

Mark Goulston  57:21

if we want to do that. So. So they so sometimes the location, people are looking for houses. And, and so one of my wife, she’s a full time mom and grandma, um, and she’s, she’s wonderful. I hit the lottery with her. But when we’re little Hobbes’s, you know if someone wants to use our house for a location, and so so this movie company comes over with a guy named Judd Apatow never heard of him. Jonah Hill and, and, and I was away working in the East Coast. And they use the location for two weeks. And I didn’t know this. But if they use your house for 13 days, it’s tax free, as well. So that that helped pay for a couple tuitions those 13 days. And I remember my wife was saying, you know, ask you one of the nut the main director. So what’s the show about? And they say, I don’t know, it’s probably gonna go straight to video.

Mike Malatesta  58:37

Yeah, sure. And so

Mark Goulston  58:39

they filmed they filmed the final 10 or 15 minutes of super bad and my home. And here’s here’s a silly stupid story. So, about a year and a half ago, I joined clubhouse, you know, the audio, the audio? Yeah. And and, and because you put up pictures. And so what I put up I put up a picture of one of the super bad characters named McClellan. And McClellan was this nerdy kid who finally has sex. And so my clubhouse picture was a picture of McClellan sitting on our bed, just after he’d had sex. And then I got all this I got all this pushback from club boss, they say, Mark, you bet you look like a child molester. You better get rid of that picture, you know. So when you see something out of context, but it was funny and they use that and so that’s the Superbad story.

Mike Malatesta  59:39

Nice. Well that goes to your you know, that first thing that you said you know, you say something or do something that’s counterintuitive or say something counterintuitive, right? So that picture was counterintuitive, but view as a as a, you know, physician, psychiatrist, all of those things and all the other things you are CEO coach or whatever. or Dr. Carlson, thank you so much for being on my show. This has been a real joy getting to know you and getting the education that you provided as well. It’s really interesting to sort of go back and forth on that. I said, where to find you at the beginning? Is there anything you want to add here at the end so that people can hook up with you?

Mark Goulston  1:00:22

Mark goulston.com is relatively up to date, LinkedIn, and keeping pretty much up to date. Okay. And I’m on Instagram. I don’t do much on Facebook for some reason or other. Yeah, me neither. Yeah, there’s just only so much I can do. And my wake up call is available on nearly all podcast platforms, and listen to that. People, and I’m going to be launching something, but I can’t tell you what it is. But if you’re gonna have me back on the show, it might be launched. By the time you have me back.

Mike Malatesta  1:01:03

Okay. All right. So can you leave us hanging? I like it. Perfect. He was wanting more. Okay, Mark, thank you so much.

Mark Goulston  1:01:12

You’re welcome. And I’ll leave with what the Tim Ferriss quote. Yes. Okay, because that was a long tangent. So I saw that he likes quotes. And so you can reach him on Twitter. Yeah, um, so I said, I saw that you like quotes. And here’s my favorite quote, of all time, and I collect a lot of them. And the quote, I credit to a woman named Dr. Shani duper Ron. And it said, forgiveness as accepting the apology will never receive. So I sent it to him. And he’s got a zillion followers. But I got a tweet back from him, you know, saying this is very, very helpful. And then two or three weeks later, he made that his quote of the week, which means I’m sure that got through to him, I’m sure he thought to himself, this is counterintuitive. I never would have thought of that. This makes so much sense. I’m gonna do it. I mean, I’d love to get on his show to see how we follow it up on it, because, obviously hit a nerve with them. But who knows? Yeah,

Mike Malatesta  1:02:20

it’s a wow. Huh? I’m gonna use that. That’s right. Yeah. All right, Mark.

Mark Goulston  1:02:28

Well, my friend,

Mike Malatesta  1:02:29

thank you so much.

Mark Goulston  1:02:30

Thank you. So here’s a tip if you’re in transition, and you’re trying to define what your unique value proposition is. There’s a saying that people are more impressed by excellence than what you’re excellent at. You don’t have to like basketball. But you could still be impressed by Steph Curry. You don’t like you don’t have to like golf and still be formally impressed by Tiger Woods. So what I suggest to people who are trying to distill what their unique value proposition is, is to reach out to people you’ve worked with, in the past two, three years, not before that, who you believe saw you as excellent. And excellent means you’re consistently better than very good. And you consistently exceeded their expectations. So identify who those people are. And you reach out to them. And in the subject line of whatever the email or text is, I’d like to buy 15 minutes of your time. Now, these people, except the real sort of eight holes are going to say you don’t have to buy what’s this about. And what you say is, unless I was mistaken, it seemed to me that you felt that I was excellent. Because you told me that. And I just worked hard to help you. But I’m trying to drill down what it was that I was excellent about in your eyes. I’m trying to distill what that is, but I take your time seriously, and I want to pay for it. And these people, you know, are going to give you the 15 minutes or you pay them for, but what will happen psychologically, is they will share things that you did with them that they now remember. And when they’re remembering it, they’re re experiencing how appreciative and grateful and wild they were by you in the conversation, they’ll relive it. And then what you say to them is what would you call that besides, you know, works hard. And what industry do you think? Most needs that and it’s just a matter of me Getting in front of that industry or that company. And they’d be able to tell you what that is. But if you do this with enough people, and you’ve been that respectful and willing to pay them for their time, I would say about a quarter of those people, after that conversation with you are going to say, let me make a call. Because if you’re excellent, they can reach out to someone they know in an industry. And one of the ways I make introductions to people, I make two introductions a day, is I’ll reach out to people from my podcasts, and say, as part of my relationship with you, is when I run into people that are truly excellent. I feel it’s my responsibility to let you know that I know these people. And I’m not telling them that I’m hitting on you for them. But I just ran into someone who’s the best oncologist, the best veterinarian, the best strategist, the best, whatever. And, and here’s the list. And if you want, I’ll send you a link. And if you want an introduction, I’ll introduce the two of you. So you’re building incredible goodwill. And you don’t, and you develop a group of people that you deem to be excellent. So one of the things that I we didn’t talk about that I seem to be excellent is, is conflict resolution. Because what I’ve discovered is the majority of people avoid conflict in business. Unless they’re a bully, bullies cause conflict, they don’t, they don’t avoid it. But most other people put off firing someone confronting someone. And so I’m one of the best known conflict, mastery coaches. So I’m not just going to go in there and resolve the conflict. At my age, I’ll say, well, we can do that. But I’m going to help you master any conflict you’re facing. Because you’re not just avoiding conflict with your business partner, you’re avoiding conflict with your, with your brother or sister such and such, and it’s eating you up. Right? And let’s work together so that you can confront any conflict. So people are now introducing me to people who they know have a conflict. Is there a conflict or avoiding? Yeah? Does it ever eat you up at night where you can’t even sleep? Oh, yeah. All the time. Why? Why are you asking? Because I run into someone who is who teaches people have to finally confront any conflict they have. Right? So if you follow how that works, I do.

Mike Malatesta  1:07:51

In fact, as you were saying that, so I’ve, I haven’t done exactly that what you did was, what you suggested doing was, I think, more valuable than what I’ve done. I’ve done something similar. I call it grateful for your thoughts. I’ve done this twice over 20 years, and I’ve reached out to the group, same sort of group that you’re talking about people who know me, but don’t rely on me, they’re not looking at me for a check or something. And I asked them, What am I good at, helped me understand where I provide the most value. And I also ask them, and if there’s areas where I do something that actually takes away from the value, my value proposition tells me that too. And it’s been great, I collect the information back, most people are very willing to help me with that. Some want to, you know, talk to me, some just want to email, you know, but I collect all of that, and then I look at it introspectively. And I say, okay, you know, my on the path that I want to be on my making the difference I want to make or what? Or is there something getting in the way of that, that I can address that I can’t see myself or I want to avoid that and hope that other people don’t see it, even though I recognize that it’s there. Yeah, that was really good.

Mark Goulston  1:09:09

I think that’s wonderful. You can try either, but in terms of getting people’s attention, if there’s someone who thinks favorably towards you, and you haven’t been in touch with them, I think if you say if you send them a message. Hi, I’d like I’d like to buy 15 minutes of your time.

Mike Malatesta  1:09:32

Yeah, I like your approach better. I’m just gonna be clear about that. That’s like a very compelling, no one asked to buy your time. Yeah, they just don’t do it. Right. They asked to pick your brain and people go, Oh, no, buy your time is way different.

Mark Goulston  1:09:48

Yeah, so you’re respecting and if they had a good experience with you, you know, only the real you know, jerks are gonna say, okay, my time is $10,000 an hour, so it’s 20 $500 for 15 minutes

Mike Malatesta  1:10:01

right yeah well thanks for sharing that Mark

Mark Goulston  1:10:06

Oh you’re welcome take care, we’ll be in touch



Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta

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