I showed up to the Regent Theater at 4:32 pm; slightly sweaty from power walking. I was in a hurry that afternoon. I left my apartment with a pair of jeans that I wished were slightly cleaner smelling(I feel that I absorb the plethora of pungent smells on the LA metro). I wanted to wear my favorite “chill” t-shirt, but my laundry was not ready to be washed yet. In other words, I did not plan accordingly. After I climbed the staircase in Pershing Square metro station, I scouted the plaza for someone who looked like they belonged in the city. Again, I did not really care to memorize the exact location of the Regent theater; the venue of choice for Dave Asprey, my favorite “bio-hacker“/best-selling author of 2017.
After weeding through a few locals; with the thought “hey you look slightly sane, and willing to help me find my destination”, I met a guy who just happened to be heading towards the old time theater located near the old business district of Los Angeles.
I walked into the theater slightly confused. I expected a longer line. There were about a dozen patrons waiting in a dimly lit corridor. The light mainly emanating from the open front doors and the Gothic-esque lamps.
My fantasy prior to entering the rustic theater, included an enlightening conversation with Dave Asprey; and a few laughs between two writers passionate about hacking the human body. After five hours of waiting, conversing, and listening; I felt really satisfied with my impulsive book-tour purchase. That night, I inadvertently learned five things that turned out to be more valuable than Dave’s seemingly brief bio-hacking bonanza.
Always listen with the intent to learn
When I first arrived, I met a middle aged woman named “Jane”(for purposes of privacy I changed her name. I think she would really appreciate this considering her profession!). She was an excellent event companion. She waited her turn to speak, and knew how to carry a conversation. I really appreciate an excellent conversationalist. There were a few moments where she started to point out things about Bulletproof diets that I already knew. I admit that a part of me wanted to show that I knew how to achieve ketosis, and the benefits of bio-hacking with ketones. However, I felt it was necessary to chill out, and tell my ego to “take it easy compadre”. It was clear that this kind lady just wanted to talk, and share something that meant a great deal to her. She shared her nutritional shortcomings with me. She told me how she needed to actually finish reading “The Bulletproof Diet”. What a strong thing to do! She admitted that she was not really familiar with the diet to the degree that she wanted to be. Throughout the night we exchanged bio hacking tips and offers to pick up shots of Bullet proof coffee for one another at the “bar”. By the end of the night, we exchanged friendly good byes and Facebook monikers. Although I do not ever think we will run into each other again; I am pretty satisfied knowing that two bold moves based on empathy allowed us to enjoy Dave’s book tour. This is an excellent skill that I feel is necessary for entrepreneurs and leaders. It is imperative to lower the ego to connect with others and build a successful team. As the old adage goes, “team work makes the dream work”!
You can learn alot about a person within the first minute.
I never openly discussed this with my fellow bio-hackers at the VIP event; however I will never forget the douchebag with the pocket square folded neatly in his egocentric “power suit”. Prior to the live podcast with Neil Strauss, and Dave’s presentation on his studies of the Mitochondria; a special “Q & A” occurred. Dave offered his bio hacking fans the opportunity to spend an extra chunk of change to ask him questions in an intimate setting. It was worth the money. I asked Dave a question regarding mitochondrial biogenesis. I did not get a very clear answer, but I appreciated Dave’s response. A professional looking woman asked a question about Hashimoto’s disease. A row behind me, a younger gentleman started to passively request for Dave’s patented process for making his coffee grounds. About five minutes before the dialogue between Dave and our small group ended; the man with the pretentious suit boldly interrupted Dave. “Hey can we change the subject? I have a questions regarding…” I think most people did not remember the response, because of the focus on the way he interacted with Dave Asprey. It would not have been very difficult to patiently wait his turn, or pull Dave aside later for clarification.
In hind sight, the questions asked during the Q & A did not really hold much value at a surface level. The real value was seeing how Dave reacted, and the audience reacted to one another. Observing the way people asked questions, and the way Dave responded to questions was a game changer. Those who showed appreciation for Dave with a sincerity in their voice, seemed to signal a trust worthiness that opened up a genuine dialogue. The few bio hackers that did not present themselves with sincerity and empathy at the start of the conversation; were often left with a bitterness that you could smell in the air.
Within the first minute of dialogue, pay attention to a person’s tone, body movements, and words. Beyond a surface level, you may be able to determine a person’s trustworthiness, emotional intelligence, and the willingness to learn.
Critical leaders really give a damn about sharing
Earlier, I painted a picture of a very inconsiderate man that was the epitome of douche bag. While I appreciate his bold request; I considered his lack of tact as a sign of low emotional intelligence. I am also willing to bet that he places little value on building up the people in his life. In my experience as an entrepreneur, marketing professional, educator, and sailor; I can tell you that great leaders make the time to build up the livelihood of those around them. Sure, there is a level of personal responsibility that we should hold dearly. A leader can only extend so much energy into the lives of the people they care for.
I have found that my worst experiences with leaders were often related to ego battles and insecurities. Who is in charge? Am I being taken advantage of? Am I being respected with sincerity? These are all questions that stem from insecure personalities, such as the man described earlier. My best experiences with leadership often surpassed my expectations of what it means to care. People love a genuine and vulnerable leader. I think Dave is an excellent pioneer for education and biohacking. The information he shares is reliable and valuable. It is not necessary to share this type of information, yet Dave makes a livelihood educating the general public on becoming superhuman!
The next time you spend time with a friend, coworker, or partner; I challenge you to utilize these three learning lessons. Be willing to learn something new, no matter how much you have invested in your education. Pay attention to what a person is saying. Really observe their tone, facial expressions, and general demeanor. Finally, do not forget that your personal growth is not a “zero sum game”. There is enough wealth for everyone.