Healthy CEOI AM CEO PODCAST

IAM2152 – Founder Helps Men Connect to Their Own Emotional and Somatic Experiences

Podcast Interview with Owen Marcus

IAM2152 - Founder Helps Men Connect to Their Own Emotional and Somatic ExperiencesIn this episode, we have Owen Marcus, a pioneer in men's emotional wellness and the founder of the MELD Community.Owen discusses the importance of connecting with our emotions and somatic experiences, and how this can naturally lead to building connections with others. He shares his journey of starting men's groups and developing programs for companies like Google, all to redefine men's emotional and relational health.

Owen highlights his insights on leading by example and creating a safe and collaborative working environment. He emphasizes the importance of being vulnerable, making mistakes, and supporting others in their growth.

Website: MELD: Men’s Emotional Leadership Development
LinkedIn: Owen Marcus

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Transcription:

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Owen Marcus Teaser 00:00

When we connected with a body, particularly for men it was easier to connect to their emotions. And when they connected to their own emotional and somatic experience, they almost naturally connected easily and naturally to other people. So relationships that were struggling start to just naturally start to resolve themselves and people build up connections.

Intro 00:21

Are you ready to hear business stories and 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.

Gresham Harkless 00:48

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO Podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Owen Marcus. Owen, excited to have you on the show.

Owen Marcus 00:56

Gresh, I'm honored to be here.

Gresham Harkless 00:59

Yes, definitely. The honor is all ours. You're doing so many phenomenal things. And of course, before we talk about all those awesome things, I wanted to read a little bit more about Owen so you can hear about some of those awesome things. And Owen is a pioneer in men's emotional wellness and the founder of the MELD Community. Since starting his first men's group in 1995 in Scottsdale, Arizona, Owen has been redefining men's emotional and relational health.

His journey led him to write a book, be featured in a documentary, and create Every Men Now Note, where men can explore personal growth and transformation through science-based approaches to connection and mutual support. Owen continues to coach entrepreneurs and develop programs for companies like Google. And before I hopped into this and prepare a little bit more for this, I listened to Owen's TEDx talk and his loads of great information, very impactful. He's definitely a man before his time. And his book you have to check out is Grow Up: A Man's Guide to Masculine Emotional Intelligence, lays out the skills most men are never taught growing up.

[restrict paid=”true”]

And his teaching and programs aim to transform individuals and relationships by connecting men to lost parts of themselves teach to them how to be strong and open simultaneously, and I think that this is a topic that is not talked about nearly enough. So Owen I appreciate you for being here appreciate you more for you than the work that you're doing are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community? Go for it. Let's get it started then. So let's kick it off. I were wanting to clock a little bit here, a little bit more to how you got started, what I call your CEO story.

Owen Marcus 02:24

I got started. I'm 70 years old. So I got started back in the seventies. I got into holistic health and what is now called psychosomatic therapies, where it's using the body in psychotherapy. I was living in Boulder back in the late 70s, and one thing led to another. Ended up with an integrated medical clinic down in Scottsdale. And then in 1995, I realized that my relationships weren't what I wanted. They weren't bad, but they weren't what I wanted. And I was a consistent variable. And so I looked at, okay, I got to do something I haven't done. I've done a lot up to that point, changed a lot about myself on a physical and emotional level, but my relationships still weren't working.

And I called up a friend that I knew had done some men's work. He gave me a suggestion, he gave me a lead. That lead ended up being my first men's group in my office in 1995. And one thing led to another. 19 years ago, after a few other men's groups in Arizona, Northern California, and then North Idaho, I decided to change the model of men's groups. It really based on a lot of the stuff I'd learned and applied in my clinical practice. And I didn't know if guys would go for it, but that's what I wanted. I wanted a real group and I wanted some real friends.

And that group, 19 years later, has had well over 400 men through the group. We got now over 50 guys in 5 groups. One of those groups is a group of expats that I'm in. It's a Zoom group of guys that used to live in Sandpoint and moved away. And that became the impetus for me starting Everyman, which I was a part of for 7 years. And then the first of this year moves away just because the business was not doing what it was supposed to be doing and created this new business, Meld. So that's the short of it.

Gresham Harkless 04:11

Nice. I truly appreciate you sharing that, especially how many times we forget by scratching our own itch, so to speak, it sometimes creates some really phenomenal and impactful opportunities. So I love to hear that. And I think so many times, I feel like that's the sign of entrepreneurship is like so many times we can just complain and complain to plan. It's like, things aren't how I want them to be. So will somebody change it in? We don't realize why we point and figure out somebody else. We have to be more pointing back at us. And it sounds like you took that and said, okay, I don't like where this is. So let me be the change that I want to ultimately see in the world.

Owen Marcus 04:41

Yeah. And I just, when I created my last group 19 years ago, I did it for myself. It's really selfish. I wanted to help guys, but honestly, I did it for myself. And it just really took off and it continues to take off because of how we do what we do, which is different than other men's work, men's therapy, and other men's programs.

Gresham Harkless 05:02

Absolutely. So I would love to hear more about the program, how exactly it runs, and how you're making that impact. Could you take us through a little bit more on what that looks like and how that.

Owen Marcus 05:09

Yeah. It really started back when I got involved in all this stuff, back in the late 70s and early 80s. And what I realized from my own experience and then studying with the men and women that really were developing this whole new burgeoning profession of psychosomatic therapies and body therapies is that our bodies and our emotions and our unconscious are pretty much all the same thing. And then we have our conscious mind. We grew up in a culture, particularly as men, thinking that if we understand something, we can control it and we get what we want. Yeah, if you're building a bridge, that might be true.

But if you're trying to build a relationship, that's usually a pretty limited model. And I just saw when I was working with clients and myself that when we connected with a body, particularly for men, it was easier to connect to their emotions. And when they connected to their own emotional and somatic experience, they almost naturally connected easily and naturally to other people. So relationships that were struggling start to just naturally start to resolve themselves and people build up connections. And we just kept on building on that premise and kept on honing our principles and the skills we're teaching.

Gresham Harkless 06:22

Yeah, I appreciate you so much in breaking that down. So, what would you consider to be a little bit more of what I like to call your secret sauce? You might have already touched on this, because it could be for yourself, the business, or a combination of both. But what do you feel that you're part of McChesney?

Owen Marcus 06:34

See, I didn't know this when I was a kid, but I realized in graduate school that I was dyslexic, which made a lot of sense. And then I realized later on, I had Asperger's syndrome, my old autism. And healing a lot of that and just working around that has been a challenge. But really, it's left me with some of these like superpowers, and that my mind thinks a little differently than most. And as you probably know, so many entrepreneurs are dyslexics for some obvious reasons.

So my best friends are dyslexics. So we see things differently, we pursue things differently, and we're tenacious because we had to be to survive, let alone succeed. And often by finding ways around things, those ways around often end up being better ways. So that sort of gets stalled for all of my challenges has really left me with some gifts in terms of creating this system that we've created with working with men, but also in a business, because ultimately a business is an art form, it's a creation. And you gotta think out of the box to create a new business or a successful business.

Gresham Harkless 07:50

Yeah, absolutely. And I think so many times you hear that business as usual is not usual because there, once you approach it in the same way, we look at life the same way. We don't see where those opportunities are. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an Apple Book or even a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

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Owen Marcus 08:12

Applying what I was just saying, several years ago I created what I call the ROC formula, R-O-C. And R is relaxed. So we slow down the relax, because if you're like me, people have been telling us to relax. And most of us guys, particularly as a kid, we were too hyper, ADD. I was ADD before they even had that diagnosis. And so, relax, relax. That just made me more stressed. So, with all the study and all the research out there and what I've developed, I really saw that when we can slow down our physiology, we start to relax and we start to feel safe.

And then as we feel safer, we slow down more and it's a positive cycle. So the first part of this is just slowing down. And how do we slow down? We just feel our body. And so we might feel our body racing or being tense and we go, oh, that's not good. Now I go, no, it actually is good. It's good that you're feeling it. Now you're feeling it. You can't change it until you feel it or connect with it. And we teach these guys how to facilitate change.

So you start to slow down and almost naturally go into the, oh, which is you open up to be vulnerable. So we're first vulnerable to our own experience, which can be scary to our physical, particularly emotional, but that's the secret. Being vulnerable and being open to our own experience sets us up to be open to others experiences. They pick that up. They pick up that you're safe. So often without invitation, they're opening up to you. And then the third one to see is the connect. And so you risk or reach out for connection.

Once you're relaxed, once you're open, you reach out for a connection and you have connections there. You just reach in to deepen that connection. And as I do that with myself and others, I can't say always works, but I can say almost always works with the right people in right situations. In other words, if it's not happening, it tells me so. If I can't connect with you and we are connected, I feel that. And then it's like signals to me like something's off. They go, oh, is it me? Is it him Or is it us? And then I might pursue that. But if it stays off, it's a huge sign that, yeah, we shouldn't do something again. We shouldn't work together.

Gresham Harkless 10:28

Yeah. And I almost wonder, I appreciate you so much for sharing that. So what would you consider to be a little bit more of what I call a sea of nugget? This could be a word of wisdom or piece of advice. I like to say it might be something you would tell your favorite client, somebody in the group, or potentially if you happen to do a time machine, you might tell your business self.

Owen Marcus 10:45

Yeah, I thought about that. I guess it would all come down to really, as a tagline lead from within. And what I mean by that is to embody what you want to create on all levels and be the model, be the example and be willing to screw up. And one of the things I tell my team is screw up. I grew up screwing up a lot, you can imagine with my challenges. So I still have an edge there, but I just expect to screw up. I probably screw up more than anyone else.

But, yeah, creating for leading within part is creating a safe space. So now new research coming out with emotional safe spaces, or they call it psychological safe spaces, and how important it is for work. And I think it really is. But that safe space is really set up by the leader. It's not going to be any safer than the leader makes it. And the leader has to prove how safe it is one way he or she approves how safe it is by making mistakes and only his or her mistakes.

Gresham Harkless 11:45

Yeah. And I think so many times we don't realize that, especially from a leadership standpoint, you're creating the lack of a better term, the culture, the environment and all those things. And I think when you're able to create or make mistakes and create things that maybe don't go the way you want them to go, but you own those things and say, hey, I learned from many, you're by doing that, creating a culture that a lot of people are quote unquote marching towards.

Owen Marcus 12:08

Yeah. And it brings out the best in people and it creates a great working environment, which is what really people want. And then you, that's very, it's much more collaborative. It's fun and people want to go to work because they feel that their contribution is going to be valued and there's an opportunity to grow, which is the other thing. I'm always supporting people and growing, including myself, and creating that kind of environment that allows or encourages that.

Gresham Harkless 12:36

Yeah. It is a being such a huge thing. And especially too, I think when you understand and you give people kind of validation to be themselves, because I think so many times we're always say if you run your own race, you can't lose. And so many times we're trying to run other people's races. You're trying to do what other people are doing. But when you get that validation that, hey, the leader is being his or herself and that leader's doing that, I can also do the same thing and can get valued and make mistakes and do whatever, you know, everything that entails.

Owen Marcus 13:06

Yes, I totally agree.

Gresham Harkless 13:08

Awesome, awesome, awesome. So, I wanna ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And our goal is that different quote unquote CEOs on this show. So Owen, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Owen Marcus 13:18

It means a lot, but being a CEO or any kind of leader means that you're really leading by example. And as we said, part of your example or my example is making mistakes and owning those mistakes and leaning into being bigger than I am. And which is I think what we do when we create a business and creating a business is like creating art. You're really putting yourself out in the world, which is an act of courage. And you're going to get shot at. You're going to not secede all the time. And so just accepting that and then with that having the kind of support you need to keep getting back up to keep leading and keep creating.

Gresham Harkless 14:02

I love that, especially the analogy around the art as well too, because I think you get to create something that, like you said, ends up being bigger than what you think. I think it represents a lot of the values, the ways we want to see the world, even everything you've been able to build largely. You said you built the first group for yourself and now you get to make so much impact for so many men. And I think once we start to see that, we start to say, okay, when do I value in the world? What do I want to see in the world? How can I create that quote unquote piece of art so that it can make the impact that I see it could?

Owen Marcus 14:32

And like with art, that it can continue on beyond us.

Gresham Harkless 14:36

Absolutely. That legacy part is such a huge part when you're able to bring everything home and you realize, like you said, that the generation upon generation of men get to see that come to fruition. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Oh, and truly appreciate that definition. And Of course, I appreciate your time even more. So what I wanted to do now was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know. And of course, how best people can get onto you, find out about the groups, the books, all the awesome things that you're working on.

Owen Marcus 15:02

Oh, thank you. The easiest way to find me or us is through meld.community. And it MELD is m-e-l-d.community, the word spelled out. That's our website. You'll find out about all the things that we do there, which includes supporting men in men's groups, which is obviously where I started, includes online courses that we have. We have a really dialed in course that I started years ago, brought it to every man and then developed it there. And the fellow that's teaching it now teaches it for us.

And then we do retreats. We're doing one in July in Mendocino for a weekend and where guys really get to come together and we take our skills that we've developed and teach them not in a really didactical way but really experiential. And this is one of the things that we foster for men is when they have this place where they like weekly can come to this real connection, not only do they endure life, they really prosper much more in life and they feel that they have men that have their back and men that they can show up and just be themselves with and actually have that be a contribution for them.

Gresham Harkless 16:08

I absolutely love that and truly appreciate you for building everything. Of course we're going to have the links and information the show knows as well too so that everybody can follow up with you and I hope you have a phenomenal day.

Owen Marcus 16:18

Thank you, you too.

Outro 16:19

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by CBNation and Blue16 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 Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, and everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe and leave us a 5-star rating. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.

00:00 - 00:20

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Owen Marcus: When we connected with a body, particularly for men, it was easier to connect to their emotions. And when they connected to their own emotional and somatic experience, they almost naturally connected easily and naturally to other people. So relationships that were struggling start to just naturally start to resolve themselves and people build up connections.

00:21 - 00:48

Intro: Are you ready to hear business stories and 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.

00:48 - 00:56

Gresham Harkless: Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Owen Marcus. Owen, excited to have you on the show.

00:56 - 00:58

Owen Marcus: Gresh, I'm honored to be here.

00:59 - 01:27

Gresham Harkless: Yes, definitely. The honor is all ours. You're doing so many phenomenal things. And of course, before we talk about all those awesome things, I wanted to read a little bit more about Owen so you can hear about some of those awesome things. And Owen is a pioneer in men's emotional wellness and the founder of the Meld Community. Since starting his first men's group in 1995 in Scottsdale, Arizona, Owen has been redefining men's emotional and relational health. His journey led him to write a book, be featured in a documentary, and create Every Men Now Note, where men

01:27 - 02:01

Gresham Harkless: can explore personal growth and transformation through science-based approaches to connection and mutual support. Owen continues to coach entrepreneurs and develop programs for companies like Google. And before I hopped into this and prepare a little bit more for this, I listened to Owen's TEDx talk and his loads of great information, very impactful. He's definitely a man before his time. And his book you have to check out is Grow Up, A Man's Guide to Masculine Emotional Intelligence, lays out the skills most men are never taught growing up. And his teaching and programs aim to transform individuals and relationships

02:01 - 02:24

Gresham Harkless: by connecting men to lost parts of themselves teach to them how to be strong and open Simultaneously, and I think that this is a topic that is not talked about nearly enough. So Owen I appreciate you for being here appreciate you more for you than the work that you're doing Are you ready to speak to the IMCO community? Go for it. Let's get it started then. So let's kick it off. I were wanting to clock a little bit here, a little bit more to how you got started, what I call your CEO story.

02:24 - 02:57

Owen Marcus: I got started. I'm 70 years old. So I got started back in the seventies. I got into holistic health and what is now called psychosomatic therapies, where it's using the body in psychotherapy. I was living in Boulder back in the late 70s, and 1 thing led to another. Ended up with an integrated medical clinic down in Scottsdale. And then in 1995, I realized that my relationships weren't what I wanted. They weren't bad, but they weren't what I wanted. And I was a consistent variable. And so I looked at, okay, I got to do something I haven't

02:57 - 03:30

Owen Marcus: done. I've done a lot up to that point, changed a lot about myself on a physical and emotional level, but my relationships still weren't working. And I called up a friend that I knew had done some men's work. He gave me a suggestion, he gave me a lead. That lead ended up being my first men's group in my office in 1995. And 1 thing led to another. 19 years ago, after a few other men's groups in Arizona, Northern California, and then North Idaho, I decided to change the model of men's groups. It really based on a

03:30 - 03:59

Owen Marcus: lot of the stuff I'd learned and applied in my clinical practice. And I didn't know if guys would go for it, but that's what I wanted. I wanted a real group and I wanted some real friends. And that group, 19 years later, has had well over 400 men through the group. We got now over 50 guys in 5 groups. 1 of those groups is a group of expats that I'm in. It's a Zoom group of guys that used to live in Sandpoint and moved away. And that became the impetus for me starting Everyman, which I was

03:59 - 04:10

Owen Marcus: a part of for 7 years. And then the first of this year moves away just because the business was not doing what it was supposed to be doing and created this new business, Mel. So that's the short of it. Nice.

04:11 - 04:35

Gresham Harkless: I truly appreciate you sharing that, especially how many times we forget by scratching our own itch, so to speak, it sometimes creates some really phenomenal and impactful opportunities. So I love to hear that. And I think so many times, I feel like that's the sign of entrepreneurship is like so many times we can just complain and complain to plan. It's like, things aren't how I want them to be. So will somebody change it in? We don't realize why we point and figure out somebody else. We have to be more pointing back at us. And it sounds

04:35 - 04:41

Gresham Harkless: like you took that and said, okay, I don't like where this is. So let me be the change that I want to ultimately see in the world.

04:41 - 05:01

Owen Marcus: Yeah. And I just, when I created my last group 19 years ago, I did it for myself. It's, It's really selfish. I wanted to help guys, but honestly, I did it for myself. And it just really took off and it continues to take off because of how we do what we do, which is different than other men's work, men's therapy, and other men's programs.

05:02 - 05:09

Gresham Harkless: Absolutely. So I would love to hear more about the program, how exactly it runs, and how you're making that impact. Could you take us through a little bit more on what that looks like and how

05:09 - 05:41

Owen Marcus: that- Yeah. It really started back when I got involved in all this stuff, back in the late 70s and early 80s. And what I realized from my own experience and then studying with the men and women that really were developing this whole new burgeoning profession of psychosomatic therapies and body therapies is that Our bodies and our emotions and our unconscious are pretty much all the same thing. And then we have our conscious mind. We grew up in a culture, particularly as men, thinking that if we understand something, we can control it and we get what we

05:41 - 06:15

Owen Marcus: want. Yeah, if you're building a bridge, that might be true. But if you're trying to build a relationship, that's usually a pretty limited model. And I just saw when I was working with clients and myself that when we connected with a body, particularly for men, it was easier to connect to their emotions. And when they connected to their own emotional and somatic experience, they almost naturally connected easily and naturally to other people. So relationships that were struggling start to just naturally start to resolve themselves and people build up connections. And we just kept on building on

06:15 - 06:21

Owen Marcus: that premise and kept on honing our principles and the skills we're teaching.

06:22 - 06:33

Gresham Harkless: Yeah, I appreciate you so much in breaking that down. So, what would you consider to be a little bit more of what I like to call your secret sauce? You might have already touched on this, because it could be for yourself, the business, or a combination of both. But what do you feel that you're part of McCheney?

06:34 - 07:10

Owen Marcus: See, I didn't know this when I was a kid, but I realized in graduate school that I was dyslexic, which made a lot of sense. And then I realized later on, I had Asperger's syndrome, my old autism. And healing a lot of that and just working around that has been a challenge. But really, it's left me with some of these like superpowers, and that my mind thinks a little differently than most. And as you probably know, so many entrepreneurs are dyslexics for some obvious reasons. So my best friends are dyslexics. So we see things differently, we

07:10 - 07:42

Owen Marcus: pursue things differently, and we're tenacious because we had to be to survive, let alone succeed. And often by finding ways around things, those ways around often end up being better ways. So that sort of gets stalled for all of my challenges has really left me with some gifts in terms of creating this system that we've created with working with men, but also in a business, because ultimately a business is an art form, it's a

07:42 - 07:42

Gresham Harkless: creation.

07:43 - 07:49

Owen Marcus: And you gotta think out of the box to create a new business or a successful business.

07:50 - 08:12

Gresham Harkless: Yeah, absolutely. And I think so many times you hear that business as usual is not usual because there, once you approach it in the same way, we look at life the same way. We don't see where those opportunities are. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an Apple Book or even a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

08:12 - 08:47

Owen Marcus: Applying what I was just saying, several years ago I created what I call the ROC formula, R-O-C. And R is relaxed. So we slow down the relax, because if you're like me, people have been telling us to relax. And most of us guys, particularly as a kid, we were too hyper, ADD. I was ADD before they even had that diagnosis. And so, relax, relax. That just made me more stressed. So, with all the study and all the research out there and what I've developed, I really saw that when we can slow down our physiology, we start

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08:47 - 09:13

Owen Marcus: to relax and we start to feel safe. And then as we feel safer, we slow down more and it's a positive cycle. So the first part of this is just slowing down. And how do we slow down? We just feel our body. And so we might feel our body racing or being tense and we go, oh, that's not good. Now I go, no, it actually is good. It's good that you're feeling it. Now you're feeling it. You can't change it until you feel it or connect with it. And we teach these guys how to facilitate change.

09:13 - 09:48

Owen Marcus: So you start to slow down and almost naturally go into the, oh, which is you open up to be vulnerable. So we're first vulnerable to our own experience, which can be scary to our physical, particularly emotional, but that's the secret. Being vulnerable and being open to our own experience sets us up to be open to others experiences. They pick that up. They pick up that you're safe. So often without invitation, they're opening up to you. And then the third 1 to see is the connect. And So you risk or reach out for connection. Once you're relaxed,

09:48 - 10:21

Owen Marcus: once you're open, you reach out for a connection and you have connections there. You just reach in to deepen that connection. And as I do that with myself and others, I can't say always works, but I can say almost always works with the right people in right situations. In other words, if it's not happening, it tells me so. If I can't connect with you and we are connected, I feel that. And then it's like signals to me like something's off. They go, oh, is it me? Is it him Or is it us? And then I might

10:21 - 10:28

Owen Marcus: pursue that. But if it stays off, it's a huge sign that, yeah, we shouldn't do something again. We shouldn't work together.

10:28 - 10:45

Gresham Harkless: Yeah. And I almost wonder, I appreciate you so much for sharing that. So what would you consider to be a little bit more of what I call a sea of nugget? This could be a word of wisdom or piece of advice. I like to say it might be something you would tell your favorite client, somebody in the group, or potentially if you happen to do a time machine, you might tell your business self.

10:45 - 11:16

Owen Marcus: Yeah, I thought about that. I guess it would all come down to really, as a tagline lead from within. And what I mean by that is to embody what you want to create on all levels and be the model, be the example and be willing to screw up. And 1 of the things I tell my team is screw up. I grew up screwing up a lot, you can imagine with my challenges. So I still have an edge there, but I just expect to screw up. I probably screw up more than anyone else. But, yeah, creating for

11:16 - 11:45

Owen Marcus: leading within part is creating a safe space. So now new research coming out with emotional safe spaces, or they call it psychological safe spaces, and how important it is for work. And I think it really is. But that safe space is really set up by the leader. It's not going to be any safer than the leader makes it. And the leader has to prove how safe it is 1 way he or she approves how safe it is by making mistakes and only his or her mistakes.

11:45 - 12:07

Gresham Harkless: Yeah. And I think so many times we don't realize that, especially from a leadership standpoint, you're creating the lack of a better term, the culture, the environment and all those things. And I think when you're able to create or make mistakes and create things that maybe don't go the way you want them to go, but you own those things and say, hey, I learned from many, you're by doing that, creating a culture that a lot of people are quote unquote marching towards.

12:08 - 12:36

Owen Marcus: Yeah. And it brings out the best in people and it creates a great working environment, which is what really people want. And then you, that's very, it's much more collaborative. It's fun and people want to go to work because they feel that their contribution is going to be valued and there's an opportunity to grow, which is the other thing. I'm always supporting people and growing, including myself, and creating that kind of environment that allows or encourages that.

12:36 - 13:02

Gresham Harkless: Yeah. It is a being such a huge thing. And especially too, I think when you understand and you give people kind of validation to be themselves, Because I think so many times we're always say if you run your own race, you can't lose. And so many times we're trying to run other people's races. You're trying to do what other people are doing. But when you get that validation that, Hey, the leader is being his or herself and that leader's doing that, I can also do the same thing and can get valued and make mistakes and do

13:02 - 13:05

Gresham Harkless: whatever, you know, everything that entails.

13:06 - 13:08

Owen Marcus: Yes, I totally agree.

13:08 - 13:18

Gresham Harkless: Awesome, awesome, awesome. So, I wanna ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And our goal is that different quote unquote CEOs on this show. So Owen, what does being a CEO mean to

13:18 - 13:53

Owen Marcus: you? It means a lot, but being a CEO or any kind of leader means that you're really leading by example. And as we said, part of your example or my example is making mistakes and owning those mistakes and leaning into being bigger than I am. And which, which is I think what we do when we create a business and creating a business is like creating art. You're really putting yourself out in the world, which is an act of courage. And you're going to get shot at. You're going to not secede all the time. And so just

13:53 - 14:01

Owen Marcus: accepting that and then with that, having the kind of support you need to keep getting back up to keep leading and keep creating.

14:02 - 14:26

Gresham Harkless: I love that, especially the analogy around the art as well too, because I think you get to create something that, like you said, ends up being bigger than what you think. I think it represents a lot of the values, the ways we want to see the world, even everything you've been able to build largely. You said you built the first group for yourself and now you get to make so much impact for so many men. And I think once we start to see that, we start to say, okay, when do I value in the world? What

14:26 - 14:31

Gresham Harkless: do I want to see in the world? How can I create that quote unquote piece of art so that it can make the impact that I see it could?

14:32 - 14:35

Owen Marcus: And like with art, that it can continue on beyond us.

14:36 - 15:00

Gresham Harkless: Absolutely. That legacy part is such a huge part when you're able to bring everything home and you realize, like you said, that the generation upon generation of men get to see that come to fruition. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Oh, and truly appreciate that definition. And Of course, I appreciate your time even more. So what I wanted to do now was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know. And of course, how best people can get onto you, find out about the groups, the

15:00 - 15:02

Gresham Harkless: books, all the awesome things that you're working on.

15:02 - 15:36

Owen Marcus: Oh, thank you. The easiest way to find me or us is through meld.community. And it meld is m-e-l-d dot community, the word spelled out. That's our website. You'll find out about all the things that we do there, which includes supporting men in men's groups, which is obviously where I started, includes online courses that we have. We have a really dialed in course that I started years ago, brought it to every man and then developed it there. And the fellow that's teaching it now teaches it for us. And then we do retreats. We're doing 1 in July

15:36 - 16:06

Owen Marcus: in Mendocino for a weekend and where guys really get to come together and we take our skills that we've developed and teach them not in a really didactical way but really experiential. And this is 1 of the things that we foster for men is when they have this place where they like weekly can come to this real connection, not only do they endure life, they really prosper much more in life and they feel that they have men that have their back and men that they can show up and just be themselves with and actually have that

16:06 - 16:08

Owen Marcus: be a contribution for them.

16:08 - 16:18

Gresham Harkless: I absolutely love that and truly appreciate you for building everything. Of course we're going to have the links and information the show knows as well too so that everybody can follow up with you and I hope you have a phenomenal day.

16:18 - 16:19

Owen Marcus: Thank you, you too.

16:19 - 16:55

Intro: Thank you for listening to the I am CEO podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at imceo.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 Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, and everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe and leave us a 5 star rating. This has been the IMCEO Podcast with Gresham Harkness Jr. Thank you for listening.

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Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

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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