Dr. Larry Liberty Went from Peace Corps Volunteer to NASA Project Manager | Episode 9

Dr. Larry Liberty Went from Peace Corps Volunteer to NASA Project Manager | Episode 9

Do you consider yourself to be a mature person? What can you do to be a better leader? How can you upgrade your maturity?

In this podcast episode, Billy and Brandy Eldridge speak to Dr. Larry Liberty about going from being a Peace Corps volunteer to a NASA Project Manager, and going from immaturity to maturity to become a better leader.

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Meet Dr. Larry Liberty

Dr. Larry Liberty has over thirty years of education and experience working with top corporations and organizational leaders worldwide, providing expertise in accelerating individual performance and success, coaching leaders and managers, and creating high-performance work teams and cultures.

A former Peace Corps volunteer and NASA project manager, Dr. Liberty has been working with Fortune 500 companies, government, and nonprofit agencies since 1985 and has taught at international MBA programs in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. He is the author of The Maturity Factor: Solving the Mystery of Great Leadership.

Visit Dr. Larry’s website.

In This Podcast

Summary

  • Creating cohesiveness amongst people in a dog-eat-dog world
  • Going from immaturity to maturity
  • How to be a better leader
  • Upgrading your maturity

Creating cohesiveness amongst people in a dog-eat-dog world

Dr. Larry believes that a lot of people have warrior’s hearts. They have the heart of wanting to protect things that need protecting and the heart of wanting to ensure that things work. There are a lot of people who want that in life. The nature of our society, up until recently, has meant that people promoted to the top were very often the ones with the least ethical mooring, the ones who would do anything to produce the “results”. There are a lot of fine people in organizations, but often, they aren’t at the top. Dr. Larry’s basic philosophy is to find people who have the maturity, passion, and values, to grow systematically together. These are the people Dr. Larry works with. There are people everywhere looking for someone to connect with, to make things better, to make things work, and do the right thing. It’s Dr. Larry’s job to seek them out and support and empower them.

Going from immaturity to maturity

A special quality that human beings have, that is our biggest resource and advantage, is self-awareness. Self-awareness is the key to the kingdom, as far as Dr. Larry can tell. Self-awareness, the ability to sense ourselves, feel our bodies, feel our emotions, and sense our minds and our spiritual connection – that is our entry pass into maturity. When people aren’t self-aware, they’re constantly defending their actions and not listening to other people. Their egos are inflated and they have a hard time regulating their emotions, their anger, and their frustrations. They are triggered very easily. Maturity is not a function of age. Maturity is a measure of your ability to identify, define, confront, and resolve the ever-changing problems in our lives. The more mature you are, the bigger and more complicated the problems can be.

How to be a better leader

Being a leader, or being an executive, is a state of being, more than a state of doing.

  • Dig into who you are – e.g. Who are you authentically? Who are you as a human being? Are you an extrovert/introvert? Are you a morning/later person. Are you a person with passion?
  • Give yourself permission to be that person – use that form and essence to build the leadership profile that you want to build.

Upgrading your maturity

In the presence of somebody who’s mastered something that you haven’t mastered, it has the potential of elevating your awareness and elevating your attention.

  1. Be around other people who are more mature. Find role models.
  2. Get a coach.
  3.  Find a mentor – someone who has been through what you’ve been going through.
  4. Severe consequences – If you don’t get a role model, coach, and mentor, you’re going to have severe consequences. Usually, a wake-up call that will make you want to do the work.

Books by Dr. Larry Liberty

Are you ready to find the freedom to be yourself as a beta male? Do you want permission and tools to be your best beta? Are you ready to join the revolution to find strength as a beta? If you want to be comfortable in your skin and be the most authentic beta male, then our free beta revolution course is for you. Sign up for free.

Useful links:

Meet Billy Eldridge

billy-eldridge

Meet Billy, the resident beta male. For Billy, this is a place to hang out with other beta males and the people who love them. We’re redefining what beta males look like in the world. I have learned to embrace my best beta self, and I can help you to do the same. As a therapist, I understand the need to belong. You belong here. Join the REVOLUTION.

 

Meet Brandy Eldridge

brandy-eldridge

Hello, Beta friends. I am an alpha personality who is embracing the beta way of life. I feel alive when connected with people, whether that is listening to their stories or learning about their passions. Forget small talk, let’s go deep together. Come to the table and let’s have some life-changing conversations.

 

Thanks for listening!

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Podcast Transcription

[BILLY]:
Hey guys. I am a therapist and between writing notes, filing insurance claims, and scheduling with clients, it can be hard to stay organized. That’s why I recommend TherapyNotes. This easy to use platform lets you manage your practice securely and efficiently. Visit therapynotes.com. To get two free months of TherapyNotes today, just use the promo code JOE, capital J-O-E when you sign up for a free trial at therapynotes.com.

Welcome back, Beta Male Revolution. Today we had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Larry Liberty. He’s got over 30 years in the world of education and working with top corporations. One of the most interesting things is he worked with NASA as a project coordinator and teaching people how to build successful teams in small environments such as spaceships and things of that nature, which really fits in well during this day and age when we’re all quarantined at home due to COVID-19. But beyond fascinating. I think you’re gonna get a lot out of it. Brandy was here with me today.

[BRANDY]:
Yeah, I really enjoyed speaking with him. I was able to speak with him before, and I really like him. He’s just got a lot of energy and he’s very direct. And he is one of those people that I wish I could play golf with. But he doesn’t live near us. He was just fun, he’s fun.

[BILLY]:
Maybe one day we’ll get out to California to hang out with him. But it was such a privilege to bring his home to our home and us have a conversation about how to do life in the world we’re living in. He has a book called The Maturity Factor that I fell in love with. It made me think back on studying Carl Jung, and First Half of Life and Second Half of Life living, and what it takes in this day and age to grow up and become mature and become your most mature, healthy self. We talk a lot about that. And I don’t know that we ever get it; it’s a journey. But let’s get in and learn his journey and see how he takes it on.

[DR. LARRY]:
I will tell you, I want to give you a couple of highlights about me. So, I’m a lily-white kid who grew up thinking I was middle-class, and it was lower middle-class. It was a quite a shock to me when I realized at 16 that all my friends were getting cars. And when I went to my mother in Long Beach, California, I asked if I could get a car, my mother blew smoke in my face – she was smoking a Marlboro – and told me as soon as I could afford one, I could buy a car. And that’s when I realized I was not really middle class. I was lower middle class. So, I’ve been working since I was 12. I think work is a good thing for people. I grew up in Los Angeles, family moved up to Sacramento, family’s been here ever since.

Kind of key backstory things: first person to have the privilege of a college education; worked at McDonald’s to get myself through junior college at Sacramento City College. Went off to University California Davis and got a bachelor’s degree. Peace Corps, went to Brazil, and ended up in a small village outside of Rio de Janeiro where I found that poverty and illiteracy did not have to be a life where people fell victim. And I was quite surprised when I saw people who were completely, you know, they were poor, and they were unable to read and they were happy. And so, it was the first time in my adult life that I realized that happiness might not be attached to the things that I thought it was. So that kind of sent me on a journey. And when I came back to California after the Peace Corps, I got myself a job working for the state of California, and worked in personnel and human resources and one day got an opportunity to move into executive leadership training, and been in it ever since. Master’s degree from USC in Applied Behavioral Sciences and 10 years consulting for consulting firms on the East Coast. Working with Fortune 150 companies and along the way, got pretty comfortable interacting with folks at all levels and got a chance to be in the offices of a lot of CEOs and such. And then I came back and got a job working with NASA on the space station project. And I was given the opportunity, for a couple years while I was working on my dissertation, to study analog situations to space. So I had a couple of my colleagues, excuse me, we worked on finding places where the circumstances were similar to what you might experience in space, particularly because we’re trying to figure out how to have people operate effectively in a tiny environment, like a submarine or an airplane, or a space capsule, when you’re 10 feet apart for three months and not hurt each other.

Anyway, I started my own consulting practice in 1990 and been doing that ever since. I focus basically on three things: creating high performance cultures in organizations, training leaders how to lead in complex and chaotic environments, and building high performance teams, and I’ve had the privilege and opportunity to work in all kinds of settings from Homeland Security, to startups, to medical and so on. I live in Sacramento and when I’m able to I play golf and cycle and have about 4 million miles on United, although none this year, which is… I’m not sure if I’m going to see United for a while. We’re friends, but we’re not dating anymore.

[BILLY]:
NASA.

[BRANDY]:
NASA, the things that you study now, I mean, you’ve really led a fascinating life. And one thing I wanted to go back to was while you were in the Peace Corps, you said you saw that happiness was not attached to things. So, will you talk more about that?

[DR. LARRY]:
Sure. I was at a small village outside of Rio de Janeiro. And they dropped me off. I was 145-pound skinny white kid out of college. I was the richest person in the town except for the mayor; I was making $60 a month. There were people literally living on the streets, people with kids walking on the streets all the time, begging. And what I noticed pretty quickly, was that nobody was victimized, no one had that sense about them of doom and gloom. People shared with each other, you know, people that had a little bit, gave a little bit and there was a kind of happiness and a kind of joy that was, for my American context, quite a surprise. And over the time when I got to know people, what I realized was that their definition of success and happiness was a little different.

Our society, we have a tendency, I think, in the United States, but it’s in other Western countries as well and Europe and so on. We have a tendency to think that the way to happiness is through addition; you know, if I have another car, or I get another computer screen or I get a bigger or I get a more expensive phone. And in some places, this was the learning, the happiness is a function of subtracting. So, if you switch the model around and we can do it, even today, in these circumstances, if we said, okay, I’m going to get more happy by having less things as opposed to more things. That would give us an interesting perspective, a new context, a new mindset, if you will. And in Brazil, they were like, okay, whatever the minimum is you can have, we’re going to be happy with that. So, that was quite a surprising event for me. And it gave me an appreciation for, I think, the little things in life, and it gave me an appreciation for getting unattached to things and more interested in relationships, which is how I got here today.

[BILLY]:
Wow. So, that time in the Peace Corps, in there, I assume it’s so informed your work that you did in regards to teams and leadership; and my idea of corporate America is dog eat dog, fight your way to the top, push the other guy out of the way. But you’re coming from a different perspective, correct? I mean, in what ways do you create cohesiveness among people where there’s not that individualistic, get the other guy out of the way, promote myself, really that where you’re deflating the ego and working as a team? How do you do that?

[DR. LARRY]:
Yeah, it’s a great question. So, I have come to believe – and this is one of the advantages of having lived longer than most people – I’ve come to believe that there’s… I’m going to use some words that are stolen from other people, but I think a lot of people, a lot of men, but a lot of people have a warrior’s heart; they have the heart of wanting to protect things that are needing protecting. They have the heart of wanting to ensure that things work. There’s a lot of people who want that in life. And I think what I’ve discovered over the many decades of my work is that the nature of our society, and our business society in particular, has meant that, up to recently, that the people who got promoted to the top very often were the ones who had the least ethical mooring. They were the people who would do anything or say anything to produce the results – quote marks around results. And so, I think there are a lot of people in organizations, and I’m sure you guys experienced it, too, that there are fine people in every organization. And often they’re not at the top, they’re in the middle someplace. And so what my basic mode is, or my basic philosophy is, is to find people who have the maturity and the passion and the values to want to grow systemically together and make things work, and I work with those people. And then basically, like the Peace Corps, I just work with a little village of people, I find the people who want to work with me.

When I grew up in my nascent years back and getting my masters and PhD, there was a model, which is you got to go to the top of every organization; the only way to change an organization is from the top down. And that model is true. But the other alternative, which I figured out along the way, is find the people who find you. I mean, the three of us are on the call together. This is… I mean, how did this happen, for God’s sake? And it’s like you sent off a little, I don’t know, I guess it was on LinkedIn, and I opened up my LinkedIn a couple of weeks ago, and I’m like, who the hell is this person? I don’t know this person.

[BILLY]:
It’s a crazy girl from Texas.

[DR. LARRY]:
I saw Texas and then I thought, God, I hope we didn’t date in the past and I forgot. There was some bad decades in there. But anyway.

[BILLY]:
I don’t think you dated in the past, Dr. Liberty.

[DR. LARRY]:
But it’s like, there are people everywhere, looking for someone to connect with to make things better, to make things work. And here we are on this call today. Yesterday, I did a webinar for one of my federal clients with 35 pretty high-level folks. And the webinar was about leading and living in crisis and chaos. And these are people that are, you know, sort of GS-15s in this organization, 30 of them. And they had the most interesting questions, and they had the most profound way of thinking about how do you… you know, they’ve taken this big organization and everybody’s working from home. And so, people wanted to know, how do we take care of our families at the same time as we take care of our jobs? And what’s the new normal gonna look like? And somebody said, listen, the hardest part of my life is I have a four-year-old and a seven-year-old at home now, all the time. Sorry, it was a seven-year-old and a 10-year-old, and my dog, and my husband. And we’re all together and the dog thinks I’m here all the time to play catch. And the 7 and the 10-year-old, or the 10 and 12-year-old, they think I’m here to entertain them. How do I do that and still work? So, people are trying to find ways to make things work. So back to your point, Billy, I think there are certainly some immature people in the world, and a lot of them go to the top of leadership jobs. But there’s a lot of good people in the world as well, who want to do the right thing and just want life to work. And my job is to seek them out and support and empower them.

[BILLY]:
Yeah. So in supporting and empowering that work is, I work with couples, I work with individuals and I look at your business book and I see how closely it aligns with family systems, and how it can be integrated into that. And there’s so many things I’ve taken out of your book that I’m going to use in my practice, just because I believe that you have a way of explaining things that break down very complex topics into palatable, understandable topics. So, we’re talking about moving from immaturity to maturity, and it’s a journey that I’ve been on, trying to… that’s what this podcast is about: being authentic, moving towards self-actualization, healthy self-esteem. When you find yourself in an immature state, what are some things you can do to move towards maturity? Are there any hacks or any things we can do to take us from this place of immaturity to maturity when we recognize it?

[DR. LARRY]:
Yeah, very good. I appreciate it. And thanks for the plug on the book, The Maturity Factor, I appreciate that. It’s a labor of love for me and I’ll tell you where to send the royalty checks, by the way.

[BILLY]:
Absolutely. We’ll put them in the mail.

[DR. LARRY]:
Well, first of all, let me say, and let me get your thoughts about this as well. I think that the special quality that all human beings have, that’s our biggest resource, our biggest advantage, is self-awareness. I think that that distinguishes. You know, there’s only like four creatures on the planet that, if they see their reflection in a mirror or in a glass surface, they know it’s them and not something else. You know, my girlfriend and I had a Maltese who passed away a couple years ago, Baxter. And Baxter was this lovely little guy. But every time he walked by any kind of reflective surface and saw a dog, he thought it was another dog. You know, and so I watched that over the years and then one day I said, I wonder who actually knows that’s them, who has the self-awareness to understand that. Certain kind of gorillas, certain kind of chimpanzees, human beings and some dolphins. And that’s it, everybody else is like, there’s a dog there, that must be a dog, I’m gonna bite that dog. No. So, self-awareness is the key to the kingdom, as far as I can tell.

I suspect in your practice, Billy, that’s the case, you know, when couples come… I did a clinical couples practicum along the way. And I remember sitting quietly, you know, to work with four, quote, healthy couples. And so, I had this script to follow, and the couple would come in and sit down, and I’d say, why are you here? And the wife would turn to the husband every time for couples, and the husband would say some version of, I don’t know, everything seems fine. And then the wife would say, that’s why we’re here. He thinks everything’s fine. And after four months of that, I ran screaming from the room, right? I was like, Oh, my God, I might hurt myself. Because there was a certain kind of lack of self-awareness, often with the men in this situation.

So, let me start by saying self-awareness, the ability to sense ourselves, to feel our bodies, feel our emotions, feel our minds, or sense our minds and our spiritual connection. That is our entry pass into maturity. The people who have the lowest level of self-awareness are likely to have a hard time going from immaturity to maturity. So, I’d like your thoughts on it; agree, disagree, and since you’re the practitioner, how does that fit into your model in your counseling?

[BILLY]:
Oh, I completely agree. When people aren’t self-aware, they’re constantly defending themselves, their actions, they’re not listening to the other person. Their ego’s inflated, they have a hard time regulating their emotions in their anger and their frustration. They’re triggered very easily.

[BRANDY]:
Right. When we get in a fight at home, and he starts defending himself, I immediately say like, hey, your ego’s there, just let it… You know, I reverse his words on him and I start using the things that he’s used on other people before. But it’s immediately this [unclear].

[BILLY]:
Yeah. And I couldn’t help but think of going back to my graduate studies and reading Carl Jung. And he talked a lot about First Half of Life Living and Second Half of Life Living, and it paralleled so much with the adolescent to the adult, in your work, and the shift. He put an age limit of like 40; real life begins at 40, after you construct the ego and then you begin to deconstruct it and find out your true self and your authentic self and make the ego healthy. But I liked in your book, you had a 27-year-old executive that was… I think he was 27, a very healthy man who had done his work and gone on to be a great leader but started young and that was very encouraging to me. I didn’t get there until my late 30s and started doing the work, but it’s good to know young men and women can start this stuff and don’t have to wait till their second half of life.

[DR. LARRY]:
Well, not only that, but I think… the reason I bring up self-awareness… and you know, you have a great partner there Billy because she’s one of those people who, when you’re full of shit, she’ll probably call it, right?

[BRANDY]:
That’s right.

[BILLY]:
Absolutely.

[BRANDY]:
I could call him on it right now.

[DR. LARRY]:
Yeah, so as long as there’s no 911 calls after she does that, I think you guys are in pretty good shape, right? Because you need someone who can stand for you being your more self-aware self. But what I noticed about maturity is that maturity is not a function of age. In fact, it was so surprising to me when I discovered… and the backstory is I was around a lot of rich and famous people over about a 10-year period back in the 80s and 90s. And I kept running into people that are famous to me. I met someone in the entertainment business and movies and got to be friends with her and you know, I went to a bunch of parties and Hollywood stuff. And I remember, here I am, this young guy, and I’m at this big party with a lot of people. And I was starstruck, I was like 32, 33 years old. And I was starstruck and I’m standing in the corner of this big ballroom, in Beverly Hills, and I step on somebody’s toes. And it’s a famous movie star. And, and his wife and I almost have a heart attack. And it was Paul Newman and his wife. I’m like, oh, my God, I’m so sorry. And he was like, no, no, no problem whatsoever. So, he and I and his wife, we sit there and talk, and I like, finally I go, why are you guys over here? And they go, oh, this party, this is not for us. You know, we’re just kind of home bodies. And I was like, oh my god, these people are so mature, so sophisticated, so normal, so healthy.

And so that helped stimulate me to really consider what’s maturity mean, and how do you get to there? And let me say for people who are new to the maturity conversation, maturity is a measure of something. And what it’s a measure of is your ability at any point in time, to identify and define and confront and resolve the ever-changing problems in our lives. And the more mature you are, the bigger and more complicated the problems can be. And the less mature you are, and not as a judgment about you as a human being, you know, there’s maturity, and there’s immaturity and less maturity. But the more mature you are, the bigger, more complicated the problems are that we can confront, and identify, and resolve. And that’s not a function just of age.

So as you said there, this young guy was a CEO, and I’ve now had the privilege of working with a lot of young people and a lot of younger people who are startup CEOs, and I’ve got pals, clients of mine, who have been CEOs of three, four, five companies. And their growth is a function of, and I’m going to use a word with quote marks around it, how they’ve done their homework. And the model that I created for myself is, in high school, and through the time from kindergarten to high school, we have homework to do. And [unclear] go home and practice multiplication, and so on. And when you graduate from high school or graduate from college, there’s this relief for a moment. It’s like, oh, my God, I don’t have to do any more homework. And then for people who really want to grow, they wake up one day and they go, you know what, I got a new kind of homework, I got to grow myself. I got to grow my self-awareness. I got to grow my ability to manage my impulses. I got to grow my ability to be able to have a meaningful relationship and disagree about things. So, there’s always homework to be done. And the more mature people figure out that the homework is a different kind of homework. So, let me stop right there and questions, comments, like that.

[BILLY]:
Oh, yeah.

[BRANDY]:
I’m taking notes, this is so good. I’m taking notes, obviously not for me; to give to Billy, and make sure that he uses [unclear].

[BILLY]:
Absolutely. I realize I stepped off into some maturity earlier and totally cut my wife off when she was trying to say something. And that’s something I’m trying to learn. I do that, I get really excited about a conversation and she’ll begin to say something, and I’ll jump right in there. So, oh, apologies. What were you going to say, babe?

[BRANDY]:
Is that when I flipped you off?

[BILLY]:
Yes, you didn’t see that over Zoom. The bird flew into my face earlier, Dr. Liberty. And I realized I had stepped off into my more immature self and wasn’t being present in the moment.

[BRANDY]:
No, no. No, there’s quotes in your book that are just, they’re fantastic. And we are going to, again, we’re going to put your book on our show notes and have a link to it so people can get it. But Billy had one I wanted him to read, it was so good, And we took our picture, a little selfie, with it earlier because we were excited that we were actually getting to talk with you and I was fangirling a little bit.

[DR. LARRY]:
Thank you.

[BRANDY]:
Billy was fangirling a little bit more than I was.

[BILLY]:
Absolutely.

[BRANDY]:
Just in me, and past things that I’ve done, and being… I hate to even use the word leader or boss in places; this was really easy for me to understand and be able to look at myself, one, and say, here are some areas I need to grow. And here’s some places that I need work on. But then being able to recognize it in people I’ve worked with in the past or in the present that I can say, oh, I get it. I understand why they are right here where they are. And it allowed me to give a little bit of grace. And you do a lot, you talk a lot about humility and how you learned humility. And my next question, setting all this up, goes into for people who are leaders or people who want to be leaders, what are just some really good takeaways that we can use? Just some practical things that I can do every day to be a better leader? Or for those people, the nice guys in the world, that want to be a leader and may not be able to do that for themselves.

[DR. LARRY]:
That’s a great question. I start with the notion that leaders are, for the most part, people who got there by accident. I’ve been around some really high level, powerful, world changing folks, and maybe once a month I’ll get a call or an email from someone saying, I’m looking for an executive coach and your name came up. And so, I’ll have a conversation with them, and so on. And I ask them, how do you think you got to be an executive? And they always say like, well, I worked really hard and I sold more than other people. And then they go on and on and I go, you want to know how I think you got to be an executive? They go, yeah, and I go, by accident. They’re like, what? I’m like, yeah, cuz when you were 12, you didn’t have an idea like, I’d like to be the CEO of a $500 million startup in Silicon Valley – that’s my big dream. No, you wanted to be shortstop for the Cubs, you know, or you wanted to be a doctor or something.

So, I start with a notion that most people don’t have the necessary training, coaching and support to be the thing that they are now. And it’s a little bit like, if you were on an airplane, and there was a flight attendant, the first flight attendant was serving, and the person who was in the cockpit got sick, and they said to the flight attendant, we’d like you to come up here and be the first officer. And the flight attendant said, okay. It’s like one of those deals where mostly, when you get to be an executive, you don’t have much training to be that. You might have skill sets around finance or marketing or sales or whatever. But being a leader, being an executive, is a state of being more than a state of doing. So, the first coaching I give to everybody who’s a executive and wants to upgrade their game, is I say, I want to talk about who are you authentically. Who are you really? You take down the barriers and this is what you do, Billy, in your practice, right? You know, who are you as a human being? Are you an extrovert or an introvert? A morning person or a later person? Are you a person who has a baseline of shame about whatever in your past? Are you a person who has a passion for art, or a passion for sports, or whatever it might be?

So, the first thing I do with all my leaders, is I really get to dig into who’s there. And the second thing then is I give them permission to be that that they are, authentically, really, and use that form and that essence to build the kind of leadership profile that they want to build. Human beings are 7 billion of us, everybody’s different. And so there’s got to be 7 billion different ways of expressing your leadership, so mostly I focus on giving people permission to be themselves, and then just kind of varnishing that and supporting that and building an infrastructure around who they are authentically. So, that’s not a very useful answer, but it’s…

[BRANDY]:
Oh, it’s really good.

[BILLY]:
Absolutely.

[DR. LARRY]:
Okay. And Billy, let me just ask, isn’t that consistent with what you do in your practice?

[BILLY]:
Absolutely. Completely consistent in the work I do on a day to day basis. When I opened up The Maturity Factor and realized it was a book on leadership, I didn’t realize how many parallels there were going to be to the work I do with couples, especially the work I do with people in recovery from addiction. You talk in your book about spirituality, suffering, powerlessness, things I didn’t think I would find in a leadership book. But I often find that people come to their most authentic selves through, oftentimes in life, some form of spiritual experience that a lot of times is prompted by some form of suffering, and opens them up to a new way of life that they didn’t have access to before. And it makes them a little more vulnerable, a little more authentic. They walk a little softer in the world, and they become much more beautiful people after they go through that. I don’t know why we have to do that sometimes, but sometimes we do. But the fact that you spoke of that in your book meant so much to me, and I appreciate you tying that into leadership and what makes good leaders. Could you expound upon that a little bit?

[DR. LARRY]:
Sure. And I agree with you totally, and I appreciate your perspective on that. I have found that if you want to upgrade your maturity, there are only four ways to upgrade maturity. The first thing is to be around other people who are more mature than you are, to find role models. I happen to love golf; it’s a sport I took up late in life. I’m a pretty good older golfer. But I love playing with people that are way better than I am. I met a young man from Argentina about two months ago here in Sacramento. He’s here with his family. He’s the number six amateur golfer in Argentina. His name is Mathias, and I’ve played with him five times. I’ve learned more in five rounds of golf, playing with him… and by the way, his English is horrible, and my Spanish is passable, so we have to communicate [unclear] visuality, right? He has to show… you know, he does stuff with his hands and we make sounds like we’re birds mating sometimes. It’s [unclear], I swear to God. But I’ve learned more watching him in the last eight weeks than I have in taking three or four lessons. Because in the presence of somebody who’s mastered something that you haven’t mastered, it has the potential of elevating your awareness and elevating your attention. So, the first and easiest way, the most elegant way to upgrade maturity is to be around people who have mastered something, in your maturity domain, that you want to master. That’s the easy way.

The second easiest way is to get a coach. Most of the coaching I do is just providing people with different insights, different ideas, different perspectives, information and so on, so that they can think about a problem in a new way. One of the world’s top physicists is a client of mine. He’s in the top dozen in a certain special kind of physics, and he’s a leader of a big team of people and they’re working, and they got a half a billion dollar project; they’re trying to create some new technology that’s going to help human beings figure out how to battery make batteries longer. And he’s a lovely guy and his leadership style is kind of uninformed and sort of pedestrian, but not in a pejorative way, just that he hasn’t done much of it. And so, we’ve been working together for about eight months now, and he’s just a lovely human being. He’s kind of a beta guy. And so, we’ve found ways of getting him more access to information and experience. So, he’s making huge progress, and he’s so appreciative of what seems to me to be a simple, straightforward set of recommendations.

So, the first way to upgrade maturity is about being around role models, people who have mastered. Second is coaching. Third is to find a mentor, somebody who’s been through what you’ve been going through, get their point of view, integrate that along the way. And then the last one, which is the one you’re talking about, Billy, is called severe consequences. There’s a there’s an old joke, which I’m sure is okay to share on a podcast about… it’s probably in Texas or Oklahoma; there is a big rainstorm. And the waters are coming everywhere and this guy’s standing on his porch, and a guy comes in a four-wheel drive and says, hey, Billy, get in, you know, I don’t want you to drown. And Billy says, I’m waiting for the Lord to save me. And so, the rains keep coming, keep coming. And pretty soon he’s now up on his roof a little bit now because the house is underwater and a guy comes by on a boat and says, Billy, get in. He says, I’m waiting for God to save me. And finally, it’s all the way to the top of the roof and a helicopter comes by and drops a ladder, and then yells, hey, get on. And he says I’m waiting for God to save me. And he any drowns. And he gets to heaven, and he’s at the pearly gates. And he gives his name to St. Peter and St. Peter said, you know, Billy, I’m so confused because God sent you a four-wheel drive, a boat, and a helicopter. I don’t know what you’re doing here.

Well, if you don’t get the role model, if you don’t get coaching, if you don’t get mentoring, what happens is if you want to grow in life, you’re going to have to have severe consequence. And usually what that is, is it’s a wakeup call, and a wakeup call that whatever you’re doing, and whatever you’re being, is not working. So, a lot of people get the low road or the high road, they take the low road, and that shows up as alcoholism or any kind of addiction, sex is in there as well, that usually costs people their families. Also, it’s not uncommon for people to be addicted to work. And so, they spend so many hours at work and they justify and rationalize their behavior. And so, usually when you find somebody or when I find somebody who’s had that happen, those are people that are pretty softened up and they’re ready, they’re ready to roll. So, they want to do their work now, they just want to know what the work is.

[BRANDY]:
Yeah.

[BILLY]:
Wow.

[BRANDY]:
I don’t think Billy thought he was gonna get a therapy session.

[BILLY]:
You’re kinda stepping on my toes with that work thing. I’ve been through all the other unhealthy consequences. I often say, my life somehow unfolded and became beautiful in spite of me. In spite of all the things I tried to sabotage it, and often I thought were sabotages, they helped me fail forward as I like to say, here we are today.

[BRANDY]:
But this is what you do. You get in here and you coach people naturally, that’s just who you are. My first conversation with you, you were the same way; you were digging in, you were you were talking to me, you were coaching me through stuff and I called to ask you a couple questions. And next thing I know I’ve got a life coach and it was incredible. It’s in your bones, in your blood. You just want to help people.

[DR. LARRY]:
I appreciate you see it that way. You know, we all have a choice every day. The choice we have to make every day is am I gonna make a difference today or am I just gonna survive? I mean, really, am I gonna live through one more day? So, where’s my friggin Netflix changer? You know, I need to sit down, I need some Bonbons and sit over here for friggin nine hours or, you know, or can I make a little difference today? And I think that’s a choice we have to make, and the experience that we’re all having these days, in this chaos and crisis and craziness, is we have an opportunity in many tiny ways to make a positive difference in people’s lives. You know, if you say thank you to the clerk at the store, if you stop six feet away at your local market and you say, hey, thanks for being here today, young man, or young lady, I really appreciate it, stay safe; that will make their whole friggin day. And so, the smallest thing can become the biggest thing, but you have to be open to the fact that we’re here to make a difference if we want to. We don’t want to, you know, Bonbons and Netflix sometimes is perfect.

[BRANDY]:
Well, you’ve made our day.

[BILLY]:
Yeah.

[BRANDY]:
You’ve made our day.

[BILLY]:
In wrapping up here, I know this is gonna resonate with our listeners, and where they’re at, if they’re looking for some coaching and mentoring, how do they get ahold of your company? Are you still doing that?

[DR. LARRY]:
Oh, yeah, I’m fully engaged in business. They can get ahold of me at libertyconsulting.com L-I-B-E-R-T-Y, my name is Larry Liberty. Or I assume that they have access to your podcast, they can…?

[BILLY]:
And we’ll link to it in the show notes.

[DR. LARRY]:
There we go, that’s all and I’ll be glad to support anybody. And let me say that I appreciate you guys doing this podcast because I think we have some misunderstandings about the kinds of leaders and the kinds of people we need to be, that under these difficult times, everybody needs to get tougher. I think we need to be more vulnerable, more open. I see these incredible acts of kindness. I’m sure you guys have it in Dallas and around the world as well. But you know, in my neighborhood, young kid, he’s having his 10th birthday, they just brought cars in and drove around and honked and dropped off packages. Every night in our neighborhood, at eight o’clock we go outside with our iPhones, turn our phones on, stand in front of our mailboxes and wave our lights at each other and the lights have gotten more and more from five or 10 to those 30 lights you can see down the street. Those are tiny actions that make a big difference. And I think that’s kind of who we are as human beings.

[BILLY]:
Wow, I don’t think we could find a more beautiful place to end our conversation today. We are overwhelmed with gratitude. Thank you for your time. And thank you for all of your insight for us personally and for our listeners and I can’t wait to connect with you more in the future, if we get out that way, hopefully we can grab a cup of coffee.

[DR. LARRY]:
I look forward to it. I’ll look forward to seeing you in person sometime too. Thanks for the time, guys.

[BILLY]:
Are you ready to find freedom to be yourself as a Beta male? Do you want permission and tools to be your best Beta? Are you ready to join the revolution to find your strength as a Beta? If you want to be comfortable in your own skin and be the most authentic Beta male, then our free Beta Male Revolution course is for you. Sign up for free at betamalerevolution.com/course.

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guest are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.

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