I AM CEO PODCASTPodCEO

IAM963- Keynote Speaker Helps Organizations Navigate Through Disruption

Podcast Interview with Offner Gregory

Greg is a keynote speaker, emcee, and talented workshop facilitator. Greg’s experience is a unique combination of 17 years working in corporate leadership roles, including an expat assignment, with Fortune 100 organizations AND 12 years as a dueling piano bar player. This unique combination enables Greg to bring insight and perspective that few others possess.

Disruption has been a part of his life since he was very young.

  • CEO Hack: Do mental gymnastics to achieve your goals
  • CEO Nugget: (i) Learn more and know less (ii) Worry more about what you can learn
  • CEO Defined: Figure it out especially on three 3Ds – Develop, Deliverables and Don't do everything

Website: http://www.gregoryoffner.com/

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/gregoffnerjr
Instagram: @gregoffnerjr

Full Interview:


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[00:00:22.80] – Intro

Are you ready to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO podcast.

[00:00:48.50] – Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I Am CEO pod podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Offner Gregory of Gregoryoffner.com. Gregory, it's awesome to have you on the show.

[00:00:56.79] – Offner Gregory

Gresh, awesome to be here, my friend. Thank you.

[00:00:59.50] – Gresham Harkless

Super excited to have you on. And, Greg, I want to read a little bit more about Greg so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Greg is a keynote speaker, emcee, and talented workshop facilitator. Greg's experience is a unique collaborative combination of seventeen years working in corporate leadership roles, including an expat assignment with Fortune Hundred companies and twelve years as a dueling piano bar player. This unique combination helps Greg to bring insight and perspective that few others possess. Disruption has been a part of his life since he was very, very young. Greg, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

[00:01:31.59] – Offner Gregory

Let's do it.

[00:01:33.00] – Gresham Harkless

Let's do it then. So to kick everything off, I want to rewind the clock a little bit here a little bit more about this background and all the awesome work that you're doing, and what I like to call your CEO story.

[00:01:41.40] – Offner Gregory

Yeah. So unintentional CEO. Wanted to like Kevin Spacey in American Beauty. I think when I first started the corporate world if you remember that scene where he goes to the drive-through and says, I want a job with as little responsibility as possible.

[00:01:54.90] – Gresham Harkless

Right.

[00:01:55.59] – Offner Gregory

I think that's how I thought of myself initially in the corporate world I wanted a job where I could just make some money and be left alone. I think that came from not knowing what I wanted to contribute because when I got out of school, I had a background in music philosophy and psychology and had worked a lot in the service industry. I was good at talking with people and good at sizing up customers, but I had never done any internships, and I had no idea what I wanted to do in the world. So I fell into a sales role and very quickly started making a lot of money. And the more money you make, theoretically, the better you're doing. And the better you do in sales, the more they leave you alone.

So it seemed like this great job. But the more I did it, the more I made it, the less it mattered. You habituate to things all around you, good or bad. Humans are resilient in that standpoint that we get used to anything. You put us in a crappy situation, eventually, it becomes normal. You put us in a lavish lifestyle, eventually, that becomes normal. So when you fast forward the clock a little bit, Gresh, I had this job that was very financially rewarding but very unfulfilling. And I felt as if I wasn't allowed to feel that way. Who am I when I look around at the city of Philadelphia where I live where we don't have a lot of people that are earning what they probably could be and maybe should be earning? It's a fairly impoverished city.

So who am I to look around and say, I don't like this job? I should be so grateful for this job. Well, what I wound up doing to scratch that fulfillment itch as I started working at piano bars. And I didn't know the path that that would take me. I just knew that I had this day job that provided the money to pay the bills. And then I had this nighttime job that paid the emotional bills. It fulfilled me and allowed me to be in front of other people and to lift them, to make them a little happier. Because it's rare, Gresh, that a salesperson calls their prospect and gets a warm reception. Normally you have to work your way into it. That's why they call it cold calling. Mhmm. But I got warm receptions from crowds all over.

So I had this sort of bifurcated life, two lives if you will. And then in twenty fifteen, everything changed. I had a visit with a doctor because I'd lost my voice while I was performing. And they use this scope. It's a very uncomfortable process, Gresh, where they go up your nose and down your throat to look at your vocal folds. And when they looked at mine, they gasped. And they said we've never seen vocal folds as badly damaged. And if you continue to sing and speak on them, you're gonna break your voice. You're you basically will paralyze your vocal cords. Once that happens, we can't restore your vocal function. That'll be it.

So I said, well, what does that mean? What do I have to do? He said, well, ideally stop using your voice for several weeks and let it let the swelling subside. But then we need to do surgery. We need to repair all the damage that's been done to your vocal folds. So Gress, you're probably already putting this together and your listeners are too that a guy who speaks for a living during the day and sings for a living at night has just been told that he can't or shouldn't use his voice or he won't be able to use it ever again. So the emotions running through my brain were too many to describe.

But they pointed me in a path of needing to do something different with my life because the day job was gonna be unsustainable. If I couldn't go to loud breakfast meetings to network, loud evening events, and sporting events to entertain clients, I couldn't compete in this very high-profile world of selling that I was in. I'm selling a very expensive insurance product. And if I couldn't use my voice for four and five-hour performances each night, then I couldn't have that emotional fulfillment. And so I found myself in a place of deep depression, feeling financially lacking, and not sure what my contribution or what my value to this world was going to be. And I was in probably the darkest place that people find themselves in.

And it was there that someone saw something more in me. Saw that all those experiences that I had, the background in selling and psychology, my interest in music and entertainment, the ability to quickly relate to people, and the interest in helping them, could be used for a stronger some might say stronger, for a different purpose. And so I unintentionally became the CEO of this business, which we call Global Performance Institute. And I'm hired by corporations and associations all over the world to speak at their kickoff events, to be the lead keynoter for their large conference, to work with their executives when they need help navigating their way through disruption, through change. Unfortunately, I haven't been that busy lately. There hasn't been a whole lot of change going on in the world, Gresh. there hasn't been a lot for me to do.

[00:06:30.89] – Gresham Harkless

Exactly. It's smooth sailing.

[00:06:31.69] – Offner Gregory

It's been a wild time. It's been very gratifying to help these organizations find a way to continue to deliver the performance of their lifetime and maybe the darkest part of their lifetime. This situation where we're all working from home, where we've had to lay off or riff hundreds if not thousands of employees depending on the size. And where some organizations have had to make the hard choice to shut down. It's a tough place to be, but I get to do a lot of cool work.

[00:06:59.69] – Gresham Harkless

I love that you've been able to do that and you do that with, your clients that you work with. So I know you touched a little bit upon, like, how you serve your clients. Could you check us through anything additional you may not have touched on? And, of course, what you feel is what sets you apart is what I like to call your secret sauce.

[00:07:12.00] – Offner Gregory

Yeah. Well, I told you my secret sauce. Would it be secret? Am I allowed to do that? I don't know.

[00:07:15.69] – Gresham Harkless

You and me. Just you and me.

[00:07:16.50] – Offner Gregory

We'll check with my attorneys. And I have attorneys. So to the extent that it would it would benefit your audience, Gresh, I think it's important that I talk about what I do, being short-term. Right? I'm not the type of guru that you're gonna bring into your company and I'll work with you for years and years and years. Maybe I will be in the future, but right now, what I look for are organizations that are one of three things. They're approaching a change in their organization, and they wanna make sure that it goes as well as it possibly can. Two, they're in the middle of a change, and they're not sure if it's going well. Or maybe they know it's not going well, and they don't know what they need to do to make that change go better.

And the third is that they've just gone through a change, and they're facing resistance. These are my three favorite scenarios and the three scenarios I work best with. Because, invariably, changing the inspiration, the inputs, or changing the expectation, what the output is, is what can help these organizations or individuals find their way. And there are a couple of processes that I use. One of which I'll share as a fun takeaway for your audience. And if they wanna write this down, this is a good time to grab a pen and paper, is called the goal of your goal. Goal of your goal.

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And the purpose of this exercise is to help break this pattern that all human beings have. This pattern is that we all have two reasons for everything that we do. Everything that we do has two reasons, a good reason, and a real reason. Most of us don't talk about the real reason. We talk about a good reason. When I work with high school kids and college kids, my favorite example to use is that of becoming a millionaire because dang it. That sounds like a good thing. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find somebody who would argue that becoming a millionaire would be a bad thing.

So when I ask these kids about becoming a millionaire, I ask them why they would possibly wanna become a millionaire, and I get all sorts of answers. I get a lot of crazy stares too. What do you mean? Why would I wanna be a millionaire? Who wouldn't?

[00:09:17.20] – Gresham Harkless

Why would I not?

[00:09:18.39] – Offner Gregory

Right. But, Gresh, what it ultimately comes down to is that they equate being a millionaire with having freedom.

[00:09:24.39] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah.

[00:09:24.79] – Offner Gregory

So the logical next question that you or I would ask them is, if you could have freedom without being a millionaire, would that interest you? Was that something you'd be interested in? And that sums up this goal of your goal process. You might be a sales executive and say, I wanna double my revenue next year. And the question that I ask is, when you double your revenue next year, what will that allow you to do or to feel? Alright.

So this is a part of your listeners wanna write down. After any goal that I've decided I've I would like to achieve, can I answer the question, what will achieving that goal allow me to do or to feel? If I can and most of us can, then then that first thing we said isn't the goal. It's the second thing. But then we apply the formula again and again and again and again, and it can feel like a never-ending ladder that we're climbing here. But what we want to arrive at is what philosophers call an autotelic goal. An autotelic goal is a goal that just is for itself. It is in its own the goal.

Give you an example because it's a real loosey-goosey heady concept. If you enjoy playing music, you probably have a hard time describing why. It's just something about the way you feel. If you're a singer, the way your body feels when you resonate. If you're a drummer, the way it feels when you drum out that beat. If you're a guitarist, man, the way it feels when you strum that chord. You just can't describe it. It just is. That's an autotelic goal. So when your listeners arrive at that autotelic goal, they've identified something that's gonna drive them through any obstacle.

Because being a millionaire is hard. If being a millionaire is a good goal and not the real goal, when you realize that you're going to have to sacrifice family events, you're going to have to make tough choices about hanging out with friends working on your business or working on the revenue-producing idea, you may opt to take the easy route. Because being a millionaire isn't the goal. It's something else. Once we identify that real goal, the autotelic goal, that's power. That's the power we can use and leverage through those hard choices, through those tough times. That's just one example of what I do with my clients, and that's been a pretty powerful tool for them.

[00:11:35.60] – Gresham Harkless

Yeah. It sounds extremely powerful. And I think that so many times as you said so well, we sometimes attach ourselves to goals that we had at a young age, and we feel like that's the goal, but we don't drill down to find the goal within the goal, as you said so well. That really is what we're trying to do, and it starts to allow us to do and find the actions or filter out the either-or options that we have so that we're in alignment, and we're truly doing what fills us up in our purpose. And that sounds like that could be, I was gonna call it a CEO hack.

[00:12:03.39] – Offner Gregory

Absolutely. There's nothing tougher than the mental gymnastics that are expected of many CEOs. I was speaking to one that I advised the other day, and he said, COVID has been a real punch in the face for him because he realized he doesn't do much. He makes a lot of decisions. He gives a lot of orders, but at the end of the day, he doesn't do most of it. It's his troops. It's the people that work for him. And so as a CEO, when things are going wrong or when things aren't going as well as expected, the mental gymnastics that they have to do can be daunting if they haven't identified the true goal, the autotelic goal, the goal of their goal.

[00:12:44.00] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. So, I want to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. And this might be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client. Or if you happen to be a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

[00:12:56.50] – Offner Gregory

One of them I got from Tim Ferris, from a guest of his. And that's why we should all learn more and no less. Especially the higher we climb on the corporate ladder, we tend to think we have to know everything, And we're best served actually by consistently learning. Don't worry about what you know. Worry about what you can learn.

[00:13:16.10] – Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping for different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So, Greg, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:13:25.79] – Offner Gregory

It means figuring it out. Being a CEO is the chief everything officer. You've gotta figure it out. And the most important thing for individuals to figure out is the three ds. So number one is you gotta develop. People who are CEOs, especially if you work for yourself, meaning you're a sole proprietor or you are one of a very small team, the most important thing to your business is development. Developing customers.

When I say development, I mean business development. I mean revenue coming in. You gotta develop your pipeline. You have to develop your existing customers to produce more revenue. The second is deliverables. Once you sell the client, you better deliver. You better get that deliverable right. Getting bigger is not why a business exists. A business exists to get better, and then you gotta get rid of the dumb stuff. That way, you don't have to use the dump button. I'll say dumb stuff.

[00:14:18.50] – Gresham Harkless

If you know what I mean. I got what you were saying.

[00:14:20.39] – Offner Gregory

You gotta understand that your job is to figure it out, but not to do it. You're the chief everything officer. It doesn't mean you do everything. That means you need to know what you are great at doing and what you can outsource, or offload. That is what it means to be CEO.

[00:14:39.79] – Gresham Harkless

Greg, truly appreciate that definition, and I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is just pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know, and, of course, how best they can get a hold of you and find out about all the awesome things that you're working on.

[00:14:47.79] – Offner Gregory

Sure. Well, I think a really important conversation that's happening right now is a conversation around income. Income inequality and then what we should do about the minimum wage. And, you know, this is a passion, it's an area of passion for me because, for a long time, I relied on my employer to develop me. I thought that my manager was the one who was gonna groom me for the next role and that my company was going to make sure that I had all the resources necessary to be successful. And while that is true for some companies, what's more, true is that individuals need to take control of their development. You can't wait for your boss to do it for you. You can't wait for the world to do for you.

You've got to develop and make yourself more valuable because you'll be paid exactly what you're worth to the person paying you. You go and you get in touch with me there and if you have a question, I'm happy to help. I'll I'll take fifteen minutes to meet with anybody. Anybody that wants to chat, I'm happy to give them fifteen minutes of my time. You can book it through my website. So to the extent that your listeners feel like I can be a resource for them, it would be a privilege for me to be able to leverage some of my value to help them. And I'm so thrilled that you invited me on this podcast, Gresh. Thank you so much for having me on.

[00:15:54.20] – Gresham Harkless

No. I am thrilled as well, and I truly appreciate you for all the awesome work that you're doing. We will have the links and information in the show notes as well too so that you can get ahold of Gregory and see about all the awesome things you're doing. But I love that final note about being and having so many things that are accessible to us. I often say we can all go to the University of YouTube or Google College and get as much information as we need to improve our craft. So, I truly appreciate you for reminding us of that. I appreciate you again, my friend, and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

[00:16:18.79] – Outro

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Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

[00:00:22.80] - Intro

Are you ready to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO podcast.

[00:00:48.50] - Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I Am CEO pod podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Offner Gregory of Gregoryoffner.com. Gregory, it's awesome to have you on the show.

[00:00:56.79] - Offner Gregory

Gresh, awesome to be here, my friend. Thank you.

[00:00:59.50] - Gresham Harkless

Definitely super excited to have you on. And, Greg, I want to read a little bit more about Greg so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Greg is a keynote speaker, emcee, and talented workshop facilitator. Greg's experience is a unique collaborative combination of seventeen years working in corporate leadership roles, including an expat assignment with Fortune Hundred companies and twelve years as a dueling piano bar player. This unique combination helps Greg to bring insight and perspective that few others possess. Disruption has been a part of his life since he was very, very young. Greg, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[00:01:31.59] - Offner Gregory

Let's do it. 

[00:01:33.00] - Gresham Harkless

Let's do it then. So to kick everything off, I want to rewind the clock a little bit here a little bit more about this background and all the awesome work that you're doing and what I like to call your CEO story.

[00:01:41.40] - Offner Gregory

Yeah. So unintentional CEO. Really wanted, kinda like Kevin Spacey in American Beauty. I think when I first started the corporate world, if you remember that scene where he goes to the drive through and he says, I want a job with as little responsibility as possible.

[00:01:54.90] - Gresham Harkless

Right.

[00:01:55.59] - Offner Gregory

I think that's how I thought of of myself initially in the corporate world was I wanted a job where I could just make some money and be left alone. I think that came from not knowing what I wanted to contribute because when I got out of school, I had a background in music philosophy and psychology and had worked a lot in the service industry. So I was good at talking with people, good at sizing up customers, but I had never done any internships, and I had no idea what I wanted to do in the world. So I fell into a sales role and very quickly started making a lot of money. And the more money you make, theoretically, the better you're doing. And the better you do in sales, the more they leave you alone.

So it seemed like this great job. But the more I did it, the more I made, the less it mattered. You know, you you you habituate to things all around you, good or bad. Humans are really resilient in that standpoint that we get used to anything. You put us in a crappy situation, eventually it becomes normal. You put us in a lavish lifestyle, eventually that becomes normal. So when you fast forward the clock a little bit, Gresh, I had this job that was very financially rewarding but very unfulfilling. And I felt as if I wasn't allowed to feel that way. Who am I when I look around at the city of Philadelphia where I live where we don't have a lot of people that are earning what they probably could be and maybe should be earning? It's a fairly impoverished city.

So who am I to look around and say, I don't like this job. I should be so grateful for this job. Well, what I wound up doing to fulfill scratch that fulfillment itch as I started working at piano bars. And I didn't know the path that that would take me. I just knew that I had this day job that provided the money to pay the bills. And then I had this nighttime job that paid the emotional bills. It really fulfilled me that got me an opportunity really to be in front of other people and and to lift them up, to make them a little happier. Because it's rare, Gresh, that a salesperson calls their prospect and gets a warm reception. Normally you have to work your way into it. That's why they call it cold calling. Mhmm. But I got warm receptions from crowds all over.

So I had this sort of bifurcated life, two lives if you will. And then in twenty fifteen, everything changed. I had a visit with a doctor because I'd lost my voice while I was performing. And they use this scope. It's a very uncomfortable process, Gresh, where they go up your nose and down your throat to look at your vocal folds. And when they looked at mine, they gasped. And they said, we've never seen vocal folds as badly damaged. And if you continue to sing and speak on them, you're gonna break your voice. You're you basically will paralyze your vocal cords. Once that happens, we can't restore your vocal function. That'll be it.

So I said, well, what does that mean? What do I have to do? He said, well, ideally stop using your voice for a number of weeks and let it let the swelling subside. But then we need to do surgery. We need to repair all the damage that's been done to your vocal folds. So, you know, Gress, you're probably already putting this together and your listeners are too that a guy who speaks for a living during the day and sings for living at night has just been told that he can't or shouldn't use his voice or he won't be able to use it ever again. So the emotions running through my brain were too many to describe.

But they pointed me in a path of needing to do something different with my life because the day job was gonna be unsustainable. If I couldn't go to loud breakfast meetings to network, loud evening events, sporting events to entertain clients, I couldn't compete in this very high profile world world of selling that I was in. I'm selling a very expensive insurance product. And if I couldn't use my voice for four and five-hour performances each night, then I couldn't have that emotional fulfillment. And so I found myself in a place of deep depression, feeling financial lack, and not really sure what my contribution or what my value to this world was going to be. And I was in probably the darkest place that people find themselves in.

And it was there that someone saw something more in me. Saw that all those experiences that I had, the background in selling and psychology, my interest in music and entertainment, the ability to quickly relate to people, and the interest in helping them, could be used for a stronger some might say stronger, for a different purpose. And so I unintentionally became the CEO of this business, which we call Global Performance Institute. And I'm hired by corporations and associations all over the world to speak at their kickoff events, to be the lead keynoter for their large conference, to work with their executives when they need help navigating their way through disruption, through change. Unfortunately, I haven't been that busy lately. There hasn't been a whole lot of change going on in the world, Gresh. there hasn't been a lot for me to do. 

[00:06:30.89] - Gresham Harkless

Exactly. It's smooth sailing.

[00:06:31.69] - Offner Gregory
It's been a wild time. It's been very gratifying to help these organizations find a way to continue to deliver the performance of their lifetime and maybe the darkest part of their lifetime. This situation where we're all working from home, where we've had to lay off or riff hundreds if not thousands of employees depending on the size. And where some organizations have had to make the hard choice to shut down. It's a tough place to be, but I get to do a lot of cool work.

[00:06:59.69] - Gresham Harkless

I love that you've been able to do that and you do that with, your clients that you work with. So I know you touched a little bit upon, like, how you serve your clients. Could you check us through anything additional you may not have touched on? And, of course, what you feel is what sets you apart is what I like to call your secret sauce.

[00:07:12.00] - Offner Gregory

Yeah. Well, I told you my secret sauce. Would it be secret? Am I allowed to do that? I don't know.

[00:07:15.69] - Gresham Harkless

You and me. Just you and me.

[00:07:16.50] - Offner Gregory

We'll check with my attorneys. And I have attorneys. So to the extent that it would it would benefit your audience, Gresh, I think it's important that I talk about what I do, being short term. Right? I'm not the type of guru that you're gonna bring into your company and I'll work with you for years and years and years. Maybe I will be in the future, but right now, what I really look for are organizations that are one of three things. They're either approaching a change in their organization, and they wanna make sure that it goes as well as it possibly can. Two, they're in the middle of a change, and they're not really sure if it's going well. Or maybe they know it's not going well, and they don't know what they need to do to make that change go better.

And the third is that they've just gone through a change, and they're facing resistance. These are my three favorite scenarios and the three scenarios I work best with. Because, invariably, changing the inspiration, the inputs, or changing the expectation, what the output is, is what can help these organizations or individuals find their way. And there are a couple of processes that I use. One of which I'll share to really fun takeaway for your audience. And if they wanna write this down, this is a good time to grab a pen and paper, is called the goal of your goal. Goal of your goal.

And the purpose of this exercise is to help break this pattern that all human beings have. This pattern is that we all have two reasons for everything that we do. Everything that we do has two reasons, a good reason and the real reason. Most of us don't talk about the real reason. We talk about a good reason. When I work with high school kids and college kids, my favorite example to use is that of becoming a millionaire because dang it. That sounds like a good thing. I think you'd be hard pressed to find somebody that would argue that them becoming a millionaire would be a bad thing.

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So when I ask these kids about becoming a millionaire, I ask them why they would possibly wanna become a millionaire, and I get all sorts of answers. I get a lot of crazy stares too. What do you mean? Why would I wanna be a millionaire? Who wouldn't?

[00:09:17.20] - Gresham Harkless

Why would I not?

[00:09:18.39] - Offner Gregory

Right. But, Gresh, what it ultimately comes down to is that they equate being a millionaire with having freedom.

[00:09:24.39] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah.

[00:09:24.79] - Offner Gregory

So the logical next question that you or I would ask them is, if you could have freedom without being a millionaire, would that interest you? Was that something you'd be interested in? And that sums up this goal of your goal process. You might be a sales executive and say, I wanna double my revenue next year. And the question that I ask is, when you double your revenue next year, what will that allow you to do or to feel? Alright.

So this is a part of your listeners wanna write down. After any goal that I've decided I've I would like to achieve, can I answer the question, what will achieving that goal allow me to do or to feel? If I can and most of us can, then then that first thing we said isn't the goal. It's the second thing. But then we apply the formula again and again and again and again, and it can feel like a never-ending ladder that we're climbing here. But what we want to arrive at is what philosophers call an autotelic goal. An autotelic goal is a goal that just is for itself. It is in its own the goal.

Give you an example because it's a real loosey-goosey kinda heady concept. If you enjoy playing music, you probably have a hard time describing why. It's just something about the way you feel. If you're a singer, the way your body feels when you resonate. If you're a drummer, the way it feels when you drum out that beat. If you're a guitarist, man, the way it feels when you strum that chord. You just can't describe it. It just is. That's an autotelic goal. So when your listeners arrive at that autotelic goal, they've identified something that's gonna drive them through any obstacle.

Because being a millionaire is hard. If being a millionaire is a good goal and not the real goal, when you realize that you're going to have to sacrifice family events, you're going to have to make tough choices about hanging out with friends working on your business or working on the revenue-producing idea, you may opt to take the easy route. Because being a millionaire isn't the goal. It's something else. Once we identify that real goal, the autotelic goal, that's power. That's power we can use and leverage through those hard choices, through those tough times. That's just one example of what I do with my clients, and that's been a pretty powerful tool for them.

[00:11:35.60] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. It sounds extremely powerful. And I think that so many times as you said so well, we sometimes attach ourselves to goals that we had at a young age, and we feel like that's the goal, but we don't drill down to find the goal within the goal, as you said so well. That really is what we're trying to do, and it starts to allow us to to do and find the actions or filter out the either or options that we have so that we're in alignment, and we're truly doing what fills us up in our purpose. And that sounds like that could be, I was gonna call it a CEO hack.

[00:12:03.39] - Offner Gregory

Absolutely. There's nothing tougher than the mental gymnastics that are expected of many CEOs. I was speaking to one that I advised the other day, and he said, COVID has been a real punch in the face for him because he realized he doesn't do much. He makes a lot of decisions. He gives a lot of orders, but at the end of the day, he doesn't do most of it. It's his troops. It's the people that work for him. And so as a CEO, when things are going wrong or when things aren't going as well as expected, the mental gymnastics that they have to do can be daunting if they haven't identified the true goal, the autotelic goal, the goal of their goal.

[00:12:44.00] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. So, I want to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. And this might be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client. Or if you happen to be a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

[00:12:56.50] - Offner Gregory

One of them I got from Tim Ferris, from a guest of his. And that's why we should all learn more and no less. Especially the higher we climb on the corporate ladder, we tend to think we have to know everything, And we're best served actually by consistently learning. Don't worry about what you know. Worry about what you can learn.

[00:13:16.10] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping for different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So, Greg, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:13:25.79] - Offner Gregory

It means figuring it out. Being a CEO is the chief everything officer. You've gotta figure it out. And the most important thing for individuals to figure out is the three ds. So number one is you gotta develop. People who are CEOs, especially if you work for yourself, meaning you're a sole proprietor or you are one of a very small team, the most important thing to your business is development. Developing customers.

When I say development, I mean business development. I mean revenue coming in. You gotta develop your pipeline. You have to develop your existing customers to produce more revenue. The second is deliverables. Once you sell the client, you better deliver. You better get that deliverable right. Getting bigger is not why a business exists. A business exists to get better, and then you gotta get rid of the dumb stuff. That way, you don't have to use the dump button. I'll say dumb stuff.

[00:14:18.50] - Gresham Harkless

If you know what I mean. I got what you were saying.

[00:14:20.39] - Offner Gregory

You gotta understand that your job is to figure it out, but not to do it. You're the chief everything officer. It doesn't mean you do everything. That means you need to know what you are great at doing and what you can outsource, or offload. That is what it means to be CEO.

[00:14:39.79] - Gresham Harkless

Greg, truly appreciate that definition, and I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is just pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know, and, of course, how best they can get a hold of you and find out about all the awesome things that you're working on.

[00:14:47.79] - Offner Gregory

Sure. Well, I think a really important conversation that's happening right now is a conversation around income. Income inequality and then what we should do about the minimum wage. And, you know, this really is a passion, it's an area of passion for me because, for a long time, I relied on my employer to develop me. I thought that my manager was the one who was gonna groom me for the next role and that my company was going to make sure that I had all the resources necessary to be successful. And while that is true for some companies, what's more true is that individuals need to take control of their own development. You can't wait for your boss to do it for you. You can't wait for the world to do for you.

You've got to develop and make yourself more valuable because you'll be paid exactly what you're worth to the person paying you. You go and you get in touch with me there and if you have a question, I'm happy to help. I'll I'll take fifteen minutes to meet with anybody. Anybody that wants to chat, I'm happy to give them fifteen minutes of my time. You can book it through my website. So to the extent that your listeners feel like I can be a resource for them, it would be a privilege for me to be able to leverage some of my value to help them. And I'm so thrilled that you invited me on this podcast, Gresh. Thank you so much for having me on.

[00:15:54.20] - Gresham Harkless

No. I am definitely thrilled as well, and I truly appreciate you for all the awesome work that you're doing. We will have the links and information in the show notes as well too so that you can get ahold of Gregory and see about all the awesome things you're doing. But I love that final note about being and having so many things that are accessible to us. I often say we can all go to the University of YouTube or Google College and get as much information as we need to be better at our craft. So truly appreciate you for reminding us of that. Appreciate you again, my friend, and I hope you have a great rest of the day.

[00:16:18.79] - Outro

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

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Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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