E114: What Did We Learn From Failure to Grow?

Ira Wolfe and Dr. Dave Cornelius

E114: Ira Wolfe - What Did We Learn From Failure to Grow?

Kayana Singing  00:07

We all have something to share. KnolShare with Dr. Dave.


Dr. Dave  00:13

Hello, and welcome to the KnolShare with Dr. Dave podcast. This is Dr. Dave familiar show host. And we're here having another fabulous episode. And we're going to talk about what did you learn from failure to grow? And with us, we have author and someone who recently met and I'm learning a lot about, and he's going to tell us about, what did he learn from failure to grow? So, Ira Wolf, why don't you give us an elevator pitch about who you are, and some of the great things that you've done?


Ira Wolfe  00:47

Yeah, thanks very much doctor gave him. It's great to be here. And I love this topic. So this should be fun. So just a quick background about me a couple, I'll give you some titles that people know me as one is a millennial trapped in a baby boomer body. So as anybody who's watching, they can see just chronologically, I'm a baby boomer, but I think much more as a, you know, maybe even a Gen Z. So you know, that's we're gonna be talking about today. You know, continual learning, and growing and so forth. But, you know, along the way, was a, actually my first career, I was a dentist, and then I had a successful coaching consulting business for 25 years. And now I'm on another chapter of that. So it just fits in line with what we're going to be talking about.


Dr. Dave  01:32

That's so excellent. So let's talk about, you know, failure. Most of us don't want to talk about failure, but failure is a great teacher, so share a significant failure in your leadership journey. And, you know, what are some of the lessons that you got from that?


Ira Wolfe  01:49

Yeah, there's some irony there. And I don't know, if you caught it, obviously, you created some of these questions, but you, you know, we started this whole conversation, but here's what did I learn from failure to grow. And that can be taken two different ways. Because you're gonna, there's a lot to learn by when you when you fail to grow. But you can also, you know, by learning from the failures, you can grow. So, you know, reflecting back, you know, I guess, I've got what they call a growth mindset, and I look at life as, as a journey, and there's, the, it's not a final destination with the products are constantly learning, changing, overcoming setbacks, and, you know, are those mistakes that basically knock us down that we can't get up? Or are they just part of that whole experience? And, and I'm sure we'll get into this a little bit, but reflecting, you know, what could we have done differently, you know, rather than diminishing our ourselves, our self confidence, that, hey, we're just not good enough, you know, to be able to do it. So, you know, reflecting back, I could have said that, I chose the wrong career, I had a very, very successful career as a dentist. 18 years sold it 30 years ago, people said, you're, you know, you've got this great life, you have, you know, two homes, you know, three cars, playing a lot of golf. You're only working about 20 hours a week you got I mean, it looked great from the outside. So but when I left this, people said, well, you know, was that a mistake? And to this day, 30 years later, I'm still struggling. Was it a mistake, that I went to dental school. But, you know, I was in the service for two years, I ended residency. You know, the toils of starting a practice from scratch and, and building it up and all the stuff that goes along with it. But I learned a tremendous amount. would my life have been different if I didn't go to dental school? Yeah, sure. But maybe it wouldn't have come out as good. I mean, we can't go back. So I have to where other people said, What a mistake. You spent all those years in school, and spent all that money. And now you're not using it. And I, but on the flip side, I am using it. I'm using it every day. What I learned from that experience, so I think failure is sometimes in in the eye of the beholder or in the maybe in the brains of the beholder.


Dr. Dave  04:18

No, I could totally relate to that in terms of switching careers and finding a new path that suits you better. Right? And that's the way I'd like to frame it. In that context,


Ira Wolfe  04:32

there's a lot of people struggling with that now, too. I mean, these people have gone to college and they have enormous debt, you know, coming out and it's like, Well, what a mistake it was they went to college and as debt No, I'm not using those skills, but there were experiences along the way and no one says that you have to, to whatever degree you have, you have to pursue a degree with that and work 30 or 40 or now even 50 years in the same Gildan you hate it, you know, I have a biology degree, or actually in that I don't have a biology gram to, I have a degree called natural science. And it was two credits, it was a couple of credits short of having a full biology degree. But I don't use any of that. But the whole process and learning and the experiences they picked up along the way, are incredibly vital. So a lot of people are struggling right now with that, that, you know, they have remorse that they took a particular path, but there's a lot of life skills and experiences that they have that could be applied across the board.


Dr. Dave  05:34

Completely agree that's a lot of good information that's available that that you can totally leverage in other aspects of, of your career or whatever work that you're doing. But if we think about you've worked with teams, and one of the key things that we think about is psychological safety. Right? And so how do you go about making sure that your teams feel safe to discuss mistakes and failures openly? without fear of retribution?


Ira Wolfe  06:05

Yeah, that's a great question. And in fact, I teach a class on innovation and entrepreneurship. And we're just that just literally came up today, just a few hours ago. It's, I learned a lot, I can't tell you that I've always done it. I mean, my, you know, I started business and building up my team 40 years ago, I always wanted to create an environment like that. And I think when it comes down to it, it's based on trust. You know, how do you how do you? How do you build trust? Or maybe even beyond that? How do you become trustworthy? How do how do my employees or people that I delegate to tasks too, but they disagree with me? How do I create an environment where they trust that I will not fire them or get angry at them? Sure, I can get frustrated, I can get stressed out, I may not like what they have to say. But, you know, how do you create that environment that it's a two way street and that you're open enough? Not to, you know, to accept what they have to say a different perspective, you don't have to agree with them and then move on. The challenge is, is that as a 28 year old or 30 year old, when I started my business, I started hiring people. You know, I had a title, I was a doctor. There were there were some of my employees are 18 and 19 years old, they were fresh out of high school, as assistants, and to have the attitude is that well, why don't they respect me? Why are they why are they questioning things? Why are things falling in my direction. And when I learned to open up and accept that, many of them had better ideas than I ever had had, I knew how to run the business I had, I knew how to do a lot of procedures, but some of them had different experiences. You know, even working in grocery stores as a waitress, those experiences they were able to bring into my life into my practice into my business. And, you know, when I when I was, I guess mature enough, maybe as the word or an open minded enough to accept it not as, Hey, what did they know, they're just kids, my life changed. And I still am that way. I've, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm an older baby boomer, and I've got my, my students now are 18 to 22 years old, there's, I mean, 4550 years difference between us, I'm still learning from them. I mean, that's the type of environment they thought I screwed up on one of the assignments, I didn't give them enough time. I didn't allow them time in class to to, to kind of set their projects, my assumption was a they go to the small school, they should all be able to meet and, and get their act together. And so I had a feedback form, and they shared it, and I took their advice, and I was wrong. And and just today, we talked about that, and they appreciate it. And so you just, I can't say just be open minded because sometimes it's not. And it's not just develop a thick skin, but you know, you can't titles, titles, don't do it. Nobody's perfect. Everybody's gonna learn. And I guess the bottom line is you got to be vulnerable and transparent and, and just be yourself Be authentic. You know, stop playing, stop playing the role. And life is just much better for everybody around you. So I must have learned done something right. Because, as I said, I haven't practiced in 30 years yet. Some of my employees are now we're in the 40s and 50s. I haven't even seen in 25 years or more. And yet, we're we're friends on Facebook. They communicate with me. They send me pictures of their kids, they send me Christmas cards and holiday cards. So I must have done something right. But I had to learn it, I had to learn.


Dr. Dave  10:10

Well, it's nothing like being a leader that demonstrates vulnerability to others, which gives them space to realize that, Hey, it's okay. When we fail. Sometimes we know, you know, Ira is going to give us some grace in the process as well. So I could guarantee a lot of that is coming from there, too.


Ira Wolfe  10:31

Yeah, but it takes time. I mean, I committed to doing I mean, I've wanted to become a better leader and a manager. So you know, through the course of 18 years of helping in my practice, I took a lot of clinical courses. But I did a lot of study, I really learned that leadership and management and how to build better teams. And I didn't always do it, right, I hired the wrong people. And sometimes I behaved badly. I didn't do it perfectly. But again, people trust, you know, there's a level of trust that at the end of the day, I didn't do things intentionally to hurt other people. And I know other people didn't do that. And once it did, we carved out of the team and, and they were few and far between, and you become much smarter who who you hanging hanging around with?


Dr. Dave  11:19

What without a doubt. So let's pivot and think about the tools and the approach of how we analyze failure. So the question is, what systemic approach or tools do you use to analyze and dissect organizational failures to extract meaningful insights?


Ira Wolfe  11:39

I'm gonna, you know, I teach a class on organizational change to a graduate level. So this should be like, here's the system. Here's the five steps. I don't have five steps. I'm much I'm not sure. It's that simple. I what I learned over the years, and I didn't know what to call it until a few years ago, I came across Carol Dweck to work with group fixed and growth mindset. And, you know, suddenly a fixed mindset is you are what you are, this is who I am, and they can take it or leave it. And some people are good at things, and some people aren't, and there's no way to develop it. Because natural born leaders and managers are, were athletes. And you know, what a growth mindset says is that you're open, that we're all on a journey. And if something is important enough for you, you'll learn how to do it. And along the way, you'll make some mistakes, but you'll learn from them. And, and again, life's not a destination, it's a journey. So part of that, I think when when we're analyzing failures, you almost have to have a growth mindset. And then what there's has to be a level of curiosity that you ask questions, is that if something doesn't work out, as well as it should? What could I have done differently? Who could I ever reached out to? What were the alternatives and and not necessarily look like what a stupid idea that was, and I've had those, I've made some bad investments, I've put money in the wrong places, I've trusted the wrong people. And some of them were just dumb mistakes. But I don't keep beating myself up. What I do is you reflect back on it and say, What could I have done differently? How could I have picked that up early? How could I have approached that person? differently? How could I recognize that it was gonna be a problem early, or maybe do something differently, to save the relationship or save that? And again, when it comes to investments, sometimes you get out early, and but there's, there's no way to be perfect in this life, whether it's, you know, over investing money or investing in a relationship. So I my I guess my my two step rule is one is, or process is, is have a growth mindset. And be curious.


Dr. Dave  13:53

Those are very two important themes or habits to demonstrate about having a growth mindset and being curious about information. But that leads right in to start thinking about reframing failures, you know of how do you guide your team in shifting their perspectives and failure from a negative event who evaluable learning experience? I could imagine this is taking place in the great experiment of the classroom right now.


Ira Wolfe  14:22

Oh, yeah. Yeah, they absolutely did today. The assignment that I positioned, realizing that I probably was overloading them giving him too much time, and also realizing that this weekend was four days, they this they have the spring break or another spring break their fall break. And I have this like major assignment due Tuesday. So you know, you take a step back and you recalculate. But, you know, how, how do you reframe the bigger picture again, my career, you know, 18 years, actually 25 years invested in you know, going to college, you know, the dental school residency, opening a practice and then So I didn't walk away, I got paid for it. But but you know, shifting gears and starting all over how do you? How do you reframe that? I'm gonna go back to what I said earlier, I think it's I don't how do you analyze failures? It's having that growth mindset. And I can tell you early on, I did not have that I had, I had more of a fixed mindset, that there were certain things that what if I admit that I made the wrong choice? What if I admit that I wasn't really fulfilled doing dentistry? What would people think when they stopped coming to me? Who would I share that with? Would that be indicated that I'm a failure that I'm running away that I'm a quitter? And so, you know, partly is when you have this fixed mindset is one is it could be an internal belief that you just are who you are, and you can't get any better at it. And if you're not good at something, you can't be good at it. But even if you don't have that, even if you say that's fine, but there's still a perception, there's still a perception of other people. And I can tell you, for the first number of years that I left my practice, people said, Something must be wrong. Why did you quit? Why? What are you running away from? And it went all the way from? Are you getting divorced? I mean, people had a look for a reason that people would leave an enormously successful practice, to one of the largest in our region, to starting another career, starting another business it went from, are you getting divorced to and this was early on. Now, it seems like strange, but early on 30 years ago, AIDS, I mean, people were fearful of AIDS, there was no vaccine, there was no treatment, people were being alienated. There was a rumor in my community that I must have had AIDS. And, again, that was the reason that that's the only reason that people who, you know, would quit, would change a career like that, because they didn't know any other dentists who did. They knew a lot of unhappy dentists in their career. They knew what happy physicians, engineers, accountants, teachers, they knew a lot of happy people, but it was how do you deal with the other people. And that's when you realize who your friends are. And that's where you realize that, you know, you develop your own story. And, you know, in time, it was, it was a belief that in time, they would come to say, Oh, now I see why you left. Now, you're so much happier, you're a different person. And, you know, that's what the story was underlying that. And maybe we're jumping ahead here a little bit to the solution. But one of the things that I that I was always asked, and I'm sure you are, and many of the listeners out there was, what do you what do you want to be remembered for? What do you want to? What do you want on that tombstone? I mean, there's a lot of different ways to do it. I mean, when when somebody says, I'm a wolf, after you're gone, what do you want them to know about you? Who are you? And I can tell you, I worked on that. I mean, I took lots of training implementers, and coaches, and I struggled with figuring it out until somewhat recently. And I wrote about it in my latest book, but it was really haven't knowing what your purpose is having that personal purpose statement. And I can tell you that what got me through how I reframed failure, what helped me to reframe them was my was my wife statement and, or what we call our y operating system, and that really is to help others find better ways to be extraordinary. That's who I am. I wonder what hit me was, when I was in dentistry, I could do that, by helping people have a healthier mouth. But I don't know if that helped them become extraordinary. It was, you know, and people said, you can change somebody's life by having a great smile. And that is true. But having a great smile doesn't necessarily become doesn't necessarily help them become extraordinary. It just may prevent them or give them the confidence or, or change that in perspective, but that alone is not going to do it. So I needed something bigger. I needed to literally trend help people that were struggling or or transform their lives and I spent the last 30 years and helping companies hire the right people. Because when you hire the wrong people, it makes the owner and the manager unhappy. It makes the person unhappy. The person who leaves is unhappy the person who that they have to work for is unhappy? How do you help people live up to their potential bring out the best in them. And when I say extraordinary doesn't mean that they're going to be mostly Jillian airs. They can be earning $40,000 A year and but they feel good. They feel that they matter that they have a role to play. They're enjoying their life. So long way around there when we're talking about reframing failure. I've, I think what's missing a lot of times is, why would people do that? Why would they want to reframe failure, because there was nothing guiding them to the future. It was like, oh, yeah, we learned from that now we'll do that we'll go try something else. And we'll go through the same mix. And if we fail, again, we'll just stop. But that's sort of just, you know, getting knocked down, getting back up, get knocked down, getting back up, eventually gets, it's tiring. But if there's a path, if there's a goal, if there's a milestone, if there's some belief system in your head, that, you know, such as, and I can't give this to other people they have to learn for themselves, is to help others find better ways to be extraordinary. That's my guiding light. At the end of the day, when I have a bad day, and something doesn't work out, and I get criticized for something or don't, don't get, you know, I apply for something and don't get it. It's still, Okay, tomorrow, I'll help somebody else find a better way to be extraordinary. And that's, that's the goal. That's, that's how I live. And it took me a long, long time to find that. And that's part of what one what my personal mission is now, how can I help people do it before they're in, you know, 60 or 70 years old? You know, and figure that out? How do you help everyone know my class 18 to 22 year olds? How do I help them at least start to think about what their personal purpose is? Early on and, and in an entrepreneur class, you're talking about mindset more than how to run the business, business mindset, and then the learn how to run the business.


Dr. Dave  21:59

Certainly, with practice, but it's the lessons learned, right? And now it's about how do we implement those lessons? So once you have picked up on some of the lessons from from the setback? How did you ensure insights are transformed into something that's actionable? Steps for improvement, right? Cuz that's, that's the whole thing. It's not just, yeah, I learned something from it. But how did I get better?


Ira Wolfe  22:26

Yeah, for sure, yeah. So, you know, just because you go and you get an x ray doesn't mean you're cured. It's just the problem is, so you know, ultimately, what is you have to some people have that self motivation, if you know what your purpose is, or if you have even a grand what they call a massive transformative purpose and some big vision, you're gonna cure cancer, you're gonna solve part, you're gonna solve poverty, you're gonna have clean water around the world, you're gonna reduce climate, you're gonna have a better climate, whatever it is, it could be that grand, or it could just be, I just want my kids to grow up and have a good life, a better life than I do. Is, is knowing what that is, and believing it. Because there, you know, probably lots of people who say, the most important thing to me is my kids, and I'll do anything to make sure they have a better life than I do. And then along the way, they absolutely lead a dysfunctional life. They drink too much, they're angry, they don't get help. They don't treat their family, well, they wouldn't a whole lot of social things they do wrong. That does not help their kids. Do what they say they want to do. The implementing part is sometimes it's motivation. Sometimes it's getting help, whether it's a mentor, whether it's a coach, sometimes it's changing your job, so you have a better manager finding a better opportunity. But I still think, you know, the implementation part, I think is pretty easy. I think that the challenging part is, most people don't know what they want out of life. You know, it's like, what do you want to do is, well, I want a good job. And I want to I want to earn enough money to take care of my family. I will tell you, that gets really old. You know, that gets really, really old, and doesn't motivate people. And so, you know, what are the things that people need to do to change that? And again, I'm going to, I keep getting back to the why because I saw even with 18 to 22 year olds, the Gen Z who is lost, you know, the last another lost generation, they don't care about work. They're they're lazy. The light, I would say out of 19 students for 10 or 12. The light bulb went On is like they got it is like people were saying, Well, I really want to be an actress, I want to be in theater, but I know I can't make money. And it's like, why what? When you're on stage or you're singing, you're or you're creating a scene? What is it that you ultimately want to create? And how could you use your talents in that way? And it's like, well, you know, I really want to help young children to have a more opportunity, I want them to be more creative. That's your why that's the goal. It's it's not being on stage, and getting applause that motivates you. It's the ability to change somebody's life, who is in the audience. And you know, that that's the implementation part. I mean, that's, that's the effect. But I think that the missing piece is you can give people all the steps of how to do it. But if you don't, if they don't know why they're doing it, and the why is personal, then it's just the transaction. It's not emotional. What we're talking about here is how do you implement is how do you emotion? How do you? How do you create emotional resonance with that, that people get it? You can't motivate other people, what you can do is inspire people to help them find their motivation. What's, what's their driver? What's their value? What do they want out of life? And so I think implementation really comes from the wide more than, here's five steps. And if you follow these five steps, you nailed it. That's that. I think we're just doing the same thing over and over and over again. And then we're just being coaches and consultants who have this five step process that works some of the time but not all the time.


Dr. Dave  26:54

Well, isn't that a truth? Because one of the other aspects that's really important is resilience and resilience, play a critical role and bounce back from failure. Think of a time that your team showed remarkable resilience? What factors do you believe contributed to them showing up with that sense of resilience?


Ira Wolfe  27:20

Yeah, you know, I've lived through a bunch of tragedies. And so again, a lot of your listeners may be a lot younger, and they don't remember but you know, in the in the late 80s, or in the 80s, was the first time that I'm going to go back to the HIV was the first cases that were there. And it was primarily among, I mean, the highest rates were among homosexual men. So but there is transmissions. But there was a there was a dentist in Florida, who there was a patient of a dentist in Florida who died from AIDS. He and he probably had it from a patient he treated invested on Ebola. So now there's this general fear around coming to a dental office. And fortunately, I had training in the hospital, I was on staff at the hospital. So you know, I was familiar with masking and wearing gloves and uniforms and the protocol where a lot of other people weren't. So I looked at it that, you know, here's an opportunity to improve. We can't take the fear away and we can't stop. We didn't want to stop treating patients. But we created a is how do we respond positively to that. So you know, basically invested in everybody had uniforms, we send them out to be cleaned. We all wear masks and gloves. And we became familiar with that three years ago, I again, but we all wore masks and gloves and I had a newsletter at the time and I wrote a newsletter and ensured everybody that we would be safe. And also the staff was safe that I was taking every precaution. So part of it is is that there were people that were fearful there was definitely a downturn people were canceling appointments right and left. Yep, we banded together. We talked about it, how can we what was our What was our ultimate goal? How can we do that safely? How can we communicate that to the patients and we were we boomed and the dentists down the street, were doing the exact same thing we were they were masking and gloving and sterilizing their adherence but they complained about it. They said you know how much it's how much more expensive it is for us to buy gloves and masks and, and and sterilize all the instruments. We had to go by this and we're gonna raise our fees. And, you know, our approach my approach was that's part of our responsibility when people come into us they needed to be safe, they needed to get the care that they wanted and leave healthy. Not Hey, we felt your teeth but you got AIDS. That can that story can be translated over and over and over again. So part of it a resilience is still going to go back to What's your ultimate goal? What's your values? But how do you turn? And maybe this maybe this ultimately, it's a great question because I'm reflecting on my own. If you look at it as what am I, that it's a mistake, or it's a tragedy? Or how am I going to change this? You can't. But what you can do is respond differently. So resilience is really what did I learn from it? And how can I respond differently tomorrow, or the next time this happens? So it's not necessarily how do you become more resilient, it's how do you develop a better response to the times you sit back, and also just in the very definition, and this is a passion of mine, we work with something called the adaptability quotient. And part of that is we measure we look at people's grit, which is going forward. But also is grit. By the way, just for everybody out there is more than just hard work and keeping going. It's passion. The real definition of grit is perseverance and passion. So you never know what you're passionate about what you're motivated about, just doing it over and over again, is not grit. But resilience is not only bouncing back, but bouncing back in a timely manner. Because there's some people that are resilient, but for a year, they were depressed and down and stressed out and angry at the world. And then finally, they somehow got out they were often they got over it. Resilience, when you're resilient, it's the ability to get knocked down, and pretty quickly get up and get over it. Similar. I know a lot of people talk about it's like a similar pathway to grieving. But it's not that you can't grieve. It's you just can't stop living, you know, through that process. So everyone has a different degree, there are tools to help people become more resilient. But I again, I think it's still I again, I got a theme going on here. It's growth, mindset, curiosity, what could we have done differently? How can we and thinking positively and making those moves, and that's going to help you recover and be more resilient. There's no magic bullet, there's no pill you can take to be resilient.


Dr. Dave  32:30

But that walks right into the next question of creating a continuous learning culture. So you've laid out several points. And I would like to say how do you foster a culture where failure aren't just accepted? What are actively seen as opportunities for continuous learning and growth. That's the important thing, because resilience is not just bouncing back. But it's also learning and growing from the experiences that you had. So I'd love to hear from you on that.


Ira Wolfe  32:57

Yeah, it all goes hand in hand. Because again, you need to everybody needs grit, they need to be persevere, we're going to have setbacks and the neighbor forward, we need to be resilient. Because no matter how much plant we plan, there's always somebody throwing a curveball or, you know, COVID, or pandemic or, you know, weather I mean, there's all these things that are going to disrupt our life. So we need to, we need to know how to accept those and move forward. growth mindsets is clearly a key. How do you develop that? Well, again, you need these other skills, because you're not going to have a growth mindset if you're not ready and resilient. But it's also being again, it's both being curious. And it's it's about surrounding yourself with the right people. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Vulnerability is a key part of that, you know, you need to be vulnerable. I mean, if if everybody thinks you're Superman, the only you're only kidding yourself, I mean, is that the fact is that if you think even, even Superman was invulnerable to kryptonite, you know, everybody has everybody has a weakness, and it's understanding what your strengths and weaknesses are, I would encourage everyone, not that you have to personally hire a mentor or coach and invest tons of money. But you know, self awareness is a key is who I am. How do I respond? Again, I, my wife tells me this all the time I have, I have a, I don't get angry, I don't get outwardly angry, I get quickly frustrated. So I have a short fuse, and something doesn't work like it should or I think it should I get frustrated. But I go up and I come down. And she says, Why do you get so frustrated so quickly? Well, I don't get angry. I'm not angry at anybody else. I'm angry at the situation. I'm angry at myself. I take a deep breath. I think about it, and then I move on and it's like, okay, what could I have done differently? Go back I can fix it up. There's other people that just stay there. But that was that was a learning process. I don't know what triggered me wanting to learn how to do that. I don't have an answer for that part. You know, what, why did I? You know, what was the aha moment that I woke up one day and said, you know, yeah, I am, you know, pretty smart, got into the schools had good grades, became a successful dentist, did all those things. But I still didn't feel whole, I didn't feel fulfilled. But I couldn't admit that I wanted to do something differently. And there had to be this vulnerability to say, you know, yeah, I sort of screwed up in my career choice. But I learned from it. And, and pursue that. And, you know, and I made lots of dumb choices along the way. Some are personal, some are professional summer career we're in. But there's a vulnerability to admit that if you enter, if, if you and I met 40 years ago, and asked me about the same conversation said, Hey, you're really successful dentist, would you come on my show and talk about mistakes, I probably wouldn't have done it. Because I didn't want people to know that I, I didn't have my entire life completely together. So even even to talk about that people just need to be vulnerable. I'm not that I'm not a coach in that regard. You know, I can provide people tools, but there are people that are really, really good at helping you get comfortable at again, being vulnerable. And I think being vulnerable, is the first step in growing. So continuous learning isn't necessarily about Oh, I'd love to learn more history, I love to learn how to speak another language, or I'd love to become really good at programming. Yeah, those are all decent skills. That's, I don't think that's what you and I are talking about here. continuous learning is about how to deal with other people. learning a new skill is easy, changing our our personal abilities, or that what we used to call soft skills, which are a whole lot harder to learn than a lot the technical skills, because, you know, technical skills, you can study, do it all over again. But dealing with your emotions, other people's emotions, and working on their stuff. So I think that creating a continuous learning culture is one, how do we, you know, becoming self awareness, I mean, a willingness that I need to understand me better. And the second part of that is understand how other people see me. Because I may see myself as, as driven, and other people may see might see me as aggressive and a bully. I may see myself as detailed. And other people see me as nitpicky, I may see myself as outgoing and other people say I'm a BS, or, you know, how do I recognize when what I, what I'm trying to portray, or what my intentions are, are completely interpreted differently when by somebody else. It took me a while, you know, to, to not look, you know, through that same narrow lens is like, well, if you don't see me this way, then that's your problem. Now, it's probably my problem.


Dr. Dave  38:52

Well, you know, it takes time, it definitely takes time. So as we wrap up, I want to remind our audience to innovate and thrive and just be willing to experiment, evaluate and evolve. You know, that's the mantra of a future focus, generative leadership. And gentlemen of leader, an IRA, I just wanted to say thank you for giving your time and bringing some of those great thoughts forward, to help our listeners to learn and get better at stuff. And maybe is there one thing you want to leave our audience with today?


Ira Wolfe  39:31

Yeah, I'll leave him with something physical. I actually got it. I just came in the last couple days. So the change. It's actually a book I co authored, and a lot of what I talked about is in there, it's my personal story, my journey, talking about some of the mistakes, some of the challenges. It talks about the why that way, iOS that we talked about and talked about growth mindset. So it was it was my application in a more personal story. There's also 19 other similar stories people shared with their failures there. We built this go few stories on resilience and in growth mindset and overcoming some challenges there. But I, I guess the one short message I would have, by the way, you can can I am I allowed to give my, my website how they can get that because I'm giving it away for free?


Dr. Dave  40:19

Of course, of course, if you didn't do that, like if you didn't like my show.


Ira Wolfe  40:25

Yeah, so it's very easy. And we'll put I'm sure you'll put this in the in the, hopefully I'll put it in the show notes. But it's very similar to Ira wolf Ira wolf.com, forward slash, the dash change dash book. So it's either wolf.com forward slash the dash change dash book, or just go up to over wolf.com. And you'll see it up there. I'm just giving away the digital copy. You can you can get it for free. And so that's that would be a good way to start this continuous learning journey. And growing because there's 20 great stories from other people who some of them had real tragedy strike their life, and what they did to get through it. And so again, what if you liked my chapter and not? Hopefully you do. But there's, there's a lot of other life experiences. And that's the best way to learn from people, people that have been there before, challenged and we came from all different walks of life all over the country, actually all over the world. And, you know, hopefully people can learn from that.


Dr. Dave  41:26

Well, I hope so. So in closing, I just like to say thank you for tuning into the KnolShare with Dr. Dave, a podcast. Until next time, keep experimenting, learning and leading from the middle, not from the back or front. I want you to be in the midst of everything and leaving things forward. Again, Ira, thank you so much for contributing today.


Ira Wolfe  41:49

Thank you, appreciate it.


Kayana Singing  41:53

Let's talk about it. Talk, talk, talk.  Let's go deep.  We all have something to share. KnolShare with Dr. Dave.