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March 25, 2021

Putting significance before success and building on gifts of devastation with John Chappelear | Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader

Putting significance before success and building on gifts of devastation with John Chappelear | Partnering Leadership Global Thought Leader
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In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with John Chappelear, president and founder of Changing the Focus and author of the Daily Six, Six Simple Steps to Find the Perfect Balance between Success and Significance. John Chappelear shares how a gift of devastation created the perfect opportunity for him to be a better mentor, a better leader and most of all a better person.

Some highlights:

  • John Chappelear shares the difference between success and significance
  • Getting a Gift of Devastation
  • How leaders can use The Daily Six to add more significance to their lives
  • John Chappelear’s thoughts on the role of love and forgiveness in leadership

Also mentioned in this episode:

Leading With Love, Alexander Strauch

The Book of Joy, Desmond Tutu & Dalai Lama

Leadership is an Art, Max DePree

Connect John Chappelear:

The Daily Six: Simple Steps to Prosperity and Purpose

John Chappelear LinkedIn

John Chappelear Facebook

John Chappelear Twitter

John Chappelear Instagram

John Chappelear YouTube

Connect with Mahan Tavakoli:


More information and resources available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website: 



Mahan Tavakoli: 

Welcome to Partnering Leadership. I am really excited to speak to be welcoming, John Chappelear. He's a consultant, author and professional speaker. Additionally, he has been an entrepreneur for most of his life. Two of the companies he founded, The Stationaires and Corporate Interiors, grew from two employees to over 250 and both of them in excess of $50 million in sales.

However, it was the gift of devastation that got John to write his book, The Daily Six and we spend most of this conversation talking about the lessons learned from that gift of devastation and the lessons he shares in his book, The Daily Six. 

Now, I love hearing from you, Mahan@mahantavakoli.com, there's a microphone icon on partnering leadership.com. Leave voice messages for me there, don't forget to follow and or subscribe to the podcast, depending on your platform of choice, that way you will be first to be notified of new releases. And those of you that enjoy these episodes on Apple, I would really appreciate it, if you find a way to scroll down, leave a rating and review, that way more people will find these episodes and benefit from leadership insights, including from John's.

Now, here is my conversation with John Chappelear.

John Chappelear, my friend, welcome to the Partnering Leadership Podcast. 

John Chappelear:

Oh, thank you, Mahan. It's really great to be here with you. 

Mahan Tavakoli:

It is wonderful to have you, John, to share some of your leadership insights and background with a partnering leadership community knowing as much as I do about you. Can't wait to share it with everyone.

Now, John, whereabouts did you grow up and how did your upbringing impact the kind of leader that you eventually became? 

John Chappelear: 

I grew up in DC. I grew up in Southeast Washington, 13th and East Capitol Street, right on Kentucky Avenue. I lived there until I was middle way through elementary school, I guess. And my parents moved to Alexandria and I spent the rest of my life up until about 10 years ago, living in Alexandria.

It's interesting because a lot of it does pivot around leadership Washington, but the way in which growing up affect the way I evolved, was the fact that I grew up in a very bigoted, segregated kind of a family. I'm sure that's why we moved out of DC -you know, kind of thing. It's like, well, let's move to the safe white suburbs of Alexandria.

And it's interesting because I started noticing that this seemed to be inappropriate the way my father was behaving, and he grew up in DC too, so I mean, in the thirties and forties and fifties, DC was a very much white segregated Southern city. There's no two ways about it and I noticed that my father was distinctly prejudiced against almost any group of people, regardless. It didn't matter if it was a black or Hispanic, it was also Catholics or anything that wasn't me was something to be, to be shunned and it just never made any sense to me how that could possibly be a good idea. And then I began to notice that the people that he was prejudiced against was everyone, except the people that he knew.

This particular group of people is terrible, except for my lawyer and my dry cleaner, and the painter. They're all great, but everyone else is terrible and no matter what the group was, no matter what the religious background was, no matter what the racial profiling was, all those people are bad except the exceptions and the exceptions are the people that I know well, and that began to register with me and it never registered with my father.

I must have told him 10 or 15 times a year exactly what I just told you. Haven't you ever noticed that this is the way you feel about everybody in general, and this is the way you feel about the people that you know? Well, and it just never connected and I'm assuming that's just the way in which it became ingrained for him.

And you know Alexandria, I never really got to know very many people of color. Just nobody lived in Alexandria. At least the area I lived in when I was young.

It wasn't until I got to college, the University of South Carolina, where I began to meet more people, of variety of different kinds of people. And then coming back and working in Washington. 

Started a company right after graduate school and it grew substantially in the next 15 years or so, but it was being back in Washington and sort of getting to know people, not going to be a child of a parent, but to be an adult and getting to know other people. And especially through the leadership Washington program.

I opened my company in '79, '80, and I went through the second class of leadership Washington in 1988. There, my understanding of people, regardless of race, creed, color, socioeconomic, everything else just blew up because I had an opportunity to meet people. 

It's funny. Because my parents moved to all-white Alexandria because they were concerned about the tracking system and the DC schools. And this was a friend of mine and she and her family, her African-American family moved to silver spring for exactly the same reason. So it was just, let's get out of the city, my father for his tracking system issues and Carol for her family's tracking system issues.

So it was just an interesting dichotomy of people, places, religious beliefs. It was amazing and excellent. I've never really had a uncomfortable sensation, not a sense of fear or a sense of concern or anything else. And maybe that's just sort of a sixties kid, but give everybody a chance to sort of see, you know, how they're doing.

And each year as they brought in new people, into leadership, Washington, and I got to know more and more and more people. And every year that I got a chance to know more people, it just became great. I probably know at least as many people, not in my class as in my class or maybe even more, I don't know, but I have people send me notes and texts all the time from some of the things I write or something that I posted and a lot of it comes from leadership, Washington, and I'm really happy about that. 

I'll mention one other thing. I spent about 2004 to 2020, well, 'till January of last year working in Saudi Arabia and I've had so many people ask me, were you afraid to be there? Were you concerned about being safe? I said, The four seasons hotel was a four seasons hotel, I don't really think it makes much difference where it is, but it was sort of this concept that this would probably be an unsafe area. And for me, whether I was in Dubai, whether I was in Egypt or whether I was in Saudi, everybody that I've ever met was warm, friendly, welcoming. It just. Really great people.

They had a tremendous thirst for knowledge. As I said earlier, I was just very comfortable. And the more that you can sort of let yourself relax rather than create prejudgments of what's going to happen. I call that creating a preemptive strike. You know, it's when you already had the argument before the person shows up and I don't want to have any preemptive strikes with people. Life is hard enough with carry a lot of prejudice, anger, judgments around them and let the judgments go. 

I like where I am and I'm happy with the experiences I've had over life, but I guarantee you, none of them would be as rich if I hadn't had the experience of leadership Washington in the second class.

Mahan Tavakoli:

And that's wonderful to hear John, obviously, through your experience growing up, you saw that connecting to humanity and seeing people as individuals even enabled your dad to move beyond differences and obviously that's what enabled you to do so well and engage with leadership greater Washington, which is outstanding.

Now, eventually, John, you wrote a book, the daily six, six simple steps, to find the perfect balance between success and significance. 

Before we talk a little bit about the key parts of your journey that contributed to you writing that book and the lessons in the book, what is the difference in your view with success and significance?

John Chappelear:

Well for me,  I used the term success and it has to be a short subtitle, it can't be a long subtitle. So I was using success, defined as power, money, position kind of thing. And I was using significance to be the other components of life. Do you have good friends? Do you have people that are reaching out to you? Are there people who are asking you for help or guidance or direction, something that doesn't have to do with money? 

Something that doesn't have to do with the fact that I'm in a position of power and so the people who come to me are coming to me because I have the power versus because they want to get to know me better because instead of having power, I have value. Maybe that's the easiest way to describe it. 

Because when I was younger, there was a Regardie's magazine. I don't know if you remember Regardie’s magazines or not, but their subtitle was power, money, greed. Welcome to the eighties, ladies and gentlemen. I thought that was the coolest thing in the world. You know, wanted to be John Wayne, James Bond, and Bill Gates all wrapped up in one nice, neat, well, tailored suit. 

And to me, that was the epitome. But the fact is that my wife really couldn't stand me and my kids wouldn't have recognized me without a photograph because I was never home. I was always running around trying to go to the next thing, to make sure that I was connected or I made sure I stayed on the A-list of invitations.

And so you'd come home and there'd be nobody awake anymore. There's a story in the book I talk about where I came home one time and I don't remember what time it was, but it was late, you know, midnight, one o'clock in the morning. And I walked in, room's dark. So I walked through the kitchen and flip on the light and I noticed some things in the dining room and I'll walk into the dining room and there's one of those aluminum balloons that's coming up from my seat that says happy anniversary, honey. Oh yes, It's my anniversary. 

So everything and anything that didn't directly attribute to more success for me was put aside. My personal life was something I could just put back here and I'll come back and work on that when everything's better, then I'll come back here and start paying attention to my personal life.

And I finally realized that I guess that's the difference between success and significance is there's never a perfect time to do anything. It's like saving money. You want to save money? and save it at the front end because it's never going to be extra at the other end. 

So if you want to spend time, quality time with your kids or your family, you're going to have to make sure that you give yourself time to do that. Because if you wait until it's not busy, you'll find yourself with kids that are 30 years old and don't really want to talk to you too much. 

Mahan Tavakoli:

That's brilliant advice, John, for you, it all came crashing down with what you call gift of devastation. I love that terminology on January 1991. 

John Chappelear:

Yes. Well, the good news is it was a long time ago, so I don't have a problem talking about it anymore. 

I had a friend of mine in '91 who said, just remember, you're going to look back on this Sunday and really be grateful. And I wanted to just smack them at the time, you know because it's like the last thing in the world I was concerned about being was grateful.

Yes, in '80 '81, actually it was '79, I guess when I opened the company and I grew it up until 1991 and we grew from a couple of employees and a card table and a phone to about 400 employees in 12 different locations between Gaithersburg and Fredericksburg. And it was a really good business. It was a very successful business.

It just, we really just didn't have any extra cash because it was tied up in inventory and accounts receivable. And in 1991, the banks had a problem with having to take the real estate that they were carrying on their books and remove it as an asset from the bank. And a lot of the Donald Trump stuff that people were talking about with having loans that sort of came through a little iffy as to whether or not they should have been.

Well, It wasn't iffy. They didn't give me a loan. So I got a notice from the bank that said, we told you 30 days ago that we're calling your loan and we're calling it and that was the Monday after the Superbowl in 1991. 

Basically, I sort of went from probably a little old to be a child prodigy at that time. I was sort of thought of that when I opened the company. But, successful and positive growth for 12 years. And when the company was profitable, it was all good. It was just, give me $3 million by nine o'clock. And unless you're sitting on $3 million, and if I had been sitting on $3 million, I probably wouldn't have been selling paper clips and rubber bands.

The thing is, is like the guy said in 1991, pretty soon, you're going to realize you should be grateful for this. And that's where the concept of the gift of devastation came from. 

Gift of devastation is something negative that happens that causes positive things to move into your life. This may be a sore subject still right now, but I think the Trump presidency was a gift of devastation.

Look at all the things that sort of showed up. The Me-too-movement,the gays in the military was much more. The spotlight was on so many good things that had been ignored and it also showed sort of the darker underbelly of the US it's sort of bubbled up to that. We could identify that too, so it was like a horror show for me.

But I wrote about this, that I think that it wasn't really a dumpster fire. It was really a gift of devastation and when I do a keynote, I've asked people, how many people in here have ever been fired to find out they got a better job, three weeks later, or six months later, or broke up with somebody and they were heartbroken and they had to move back to their home and they ran into the love of their lives and they got married and had a wonderful life after that.

Those experiences wouldn't happen if the negative experiences hadn't happened too. So I have to go back to the person in 1991 and say, well, it probably took me five or six years, but you're right. I did eventually get to the point where I was really grateful because none of that would've happened.

If the business has just kept chugging along, I'm sure I would have worked my handicap down to a two or three and lived a nice little mediocre life, but I can guarantee you that In the 20 years or so, I was selling paperclips rubber bands, and that kind of thing, no one ever sent me an email and said, what you just wrote today changed the way I feel and made my life better.

Nobody ever said that and that's what I mean by the difference between success and significance because you can be very successful and very insignificant in the lives of the people around you. And for me, my preference would be of course, to be both. But if I had to choose one or the other, I would always pick significance over success.

Because the one thing I've learned, good leadership, people always can find a way to make money, but it takes a lot of work for us to sort of put ourselves second sometimes and focus on the needs of others. 

Mahan Tavakoli: 

And part of what you say in order to get that and be able to take advantage of the gift of devastation is to reflect on your daily six, which starts out with willingness, being ready to make changes.

John Chappelear: 

The thing I say about willingness, willingness is like oil in an engine. You know, it's a very small component, but if you don't use it, nothing will run willingness is the initial moving forward. It really isn't take any time. It just takes a mental commitment to try new things, to be uncomfortable with uncomfortable situations.

For me, the idea of focusing on somebody else's success rather than my own was a tremendously different feeling. But the idea here with willingness is simply to be willing, to be uncomfortable with new behavior because all new behavior is uncomfortable. To be willing to admit that you may not know something or ask for help or be willing to look out beyond yourself and see the needs of others and begin the process of thinking that may be reaching out to them might be a good idea.

When I read the daily six, I wanted something that would fit into the lives of busy people. And the one thing I've learned with busy people is if you want to get something done, you give it to a busy person. So with the daily six, I wanted to create something that if you could just change your focus, you could almost practice everything just with a change of perspective. 

The other little components like action and love and forgiveness. These are all the ways in which you relate to other people. You don't have to move to Sedona and chant on a cave for six months and become a Holy man or a woman. You just have to be willing to change your focus from what's in it for me to what's in it from me. And when you do that, it's amazing how your life can change. 

Mahan Tavakoli:

And I absolutely love that in service to others, you turn it around and ask what's in it from you which is different way of expressing it that I've heard of before.

John Chappelear: 

I think that was my mantra when I was in business was what's in it for me? What's my end? What's my deal? What's my cut? How's this going to work for me? And when I turned that around to what is in it from me, everything in my life began to change because I was concerned about putting things into the relationships,  not only personally, but also organizationally and professionally.

When people would call and ask me for something, there's a Jim Carrey movie that I can't remember the title, maybe it's called Liar Liar. I don't remember if that was it or not, but the deal was he had to start saying yes to everything. Right? And what I learned with what's in it from me is that if you start saying yes, much more often than you say no, because in the old days of success only I was focused on saying no to anything that would dissuade me from this laser beam focus of making more.

Cause more was the big deal, more sales, more business, more trucks, more space. And the reality is of more is all you want. Then more will never be enough. It has to be more something. It can't just be more so for me, what I'm putting into things became dramatically more important than what I was getting out.

And the funny thing is the more I put in the more I got out without even thinking about it. And as soon as my focus changed from me to others, I began to feel much, much better about myself. So go figure. 

Mahan Tavakoli: 

What a great attitude to have with perspective to all relationships, most especially with respect to leadership, which is a much of your focus.

Now, you also mentioned the need for love and forgiveness. How does that play a role in effective leadership, John? 

John Chappelear: 

Well, I'm actually focusing on two components this year for my business. And one is called leading with love and the other one is staying open because what happens is when we find things that make us fearful or concerned, we tend to tighten our souls or parts, whatever you want to think of, tightens up like a fist, and we want to stay closed and protective.

And my focus is please try very hard to stay open because in staying open, you have a chance of expressing love, which in the book, the definition of love in the book is simply understanding the needs of others and treating those needs as important as if they were my own. 

That's it. And so that works, whether it's a child or a customer or a partner or a board of directors, it works just fine. If I'm paying attention to my client's needs, not just my client's needs for my stuff, but my client's needs. Do I realize the issues they're going through? Do I realize the problems that they've had in the past? I remember sending a book to a purchasing agent once that had to do with child issues that he was telling me about once. And for some reason, when I was in a bookstore, which for the older people here will remember what a bookstore is, but I went in a bookstore and happened to run into something that I had read because my son had struggled with a lot of issues when he was younger, too. And I found the same book, picked it up, and wrote will note in it. I think this might be something that you might want to read. And I packed it up and sent it to him. 

And this customer was almost in tears when he called because no one had ever done anything like that for him before. And so I've written notes to employees that just said, I don't know if you realize how important you are to my success. But if I haven't ever expressed that, I'm sorry and you are. And even today with all the talk about mindfulness and inclusion and engagement, people are still disengaged and feel like being left out. 

So that's our love and forgiveness works. Love is simply understanding the needs of someone else. And that's how you keep yourself open is letting go of the anger, resentment judgments that you carry around.  You build them up at work and you build them up at home and you put them in this big bag and you throw it over your shoulder and you drag it home and if you get any new stuff at home, you throw it in the bag and then you drag it back to work. And whoever happens to show up in front of you first gets most of the stuff out of the bag, Bam! Thanks for showing up and letting me unload on you. 

So forgiveness just simply allows us to maintain a level of emotional control. And being in emotional control allows us to be loving in the way in which I described it. So that's why it's together. Everything else is one, one, one, one, but love and forgiveness is together because I see it as two sides of the same point, you really can't be loving unless you're forgiving and you can't be forgiving unless you're loving. 

Mahan Tavakoli:

And along with that, John, you also mentioned gratitude when more is not enough. This is a time where we all need to be grateful for the many great things in our lives, but at the same time, we find continual urge for more,  more, more, and it's not enough.

Now, how does this play a role with respect to leadership?

John Chappelear:

It depends on the size of the organization. If you've got a hundred employees, it's a whole different world than if you've got 10,000 employees. One of the hospitals I work with has about 11,000 employees and it's amazing how much work the CEO does to make sure that he stays connected with frontline people.

So the CEO spends about half his day talking to nurses, talking to patients, talking to physicians, how's it going? How can it get better? And this is very much like sending the book to the guy that I told you about before. When was the last time the person who owned or ran the company came by where you sit and said, how's it going? And it takes no effort. It costs no money.

I remember back in the Dale Carnegie days and I remember saying to somebody, and it might've even been your idea, I don't know, I stole a lot of your ideas and don't tell anybody.

But it was simply the the idea of writing a letter to the employee and mailing it to their home, letting them be a hero in front of their family or write a letter to the spouse of the person or the partner of the person and say, thank you for allowing Sally or Fred to work here. It's whatever you're doing at home makes him come to work with a big smile on his face or big smile on her face and really is a huge contribution to our company. I mean, I think, stamps have gone up a little bit these days, but what are they? 55 cents or something. So you've got a piece of letterhead which comes rolling right off your printer for free and you've got an envelope it rolls right off your printer for free and a 55 cent stamp and you probably will buy yourself at least six months’ worth of goodwill with that, because again, nobody else has ever done it.

I just finished working with the trucking company, now it's been about a year because of the COVID, but where we started doing things, and this guy had been in business for 35 years and we started doing things just like that, where the CEO went around and checked on the drivers, checked on the warehousing people and absenteeism went away. There was no absenteeism for the next year, with the exception of severe serious illness. But I mean, there wasn't any, I just didn't want to come to work today. 

The turnover went from and drivers truck drivers, Turnover's huge. And the cost of investing in training is huge and we dropped turnover by over two-thirds just by being more committed and focused on the successes of the people rather than the money that I can make because I nickel and dime the people.

That's our love and forgiveness and gratitude, you know, go together. The idea of being grateful, and we talked in and out about gratitude. But the idea here is to be grateful for all things at all time, regardless of situation, it's just like the day the company closed, it was not a day I felt like gratitude, but if that hadn't happened, I wouldn't be on this path. I would have probably no difference in my life from 1991 to 2021 with the exception of got older and my handicap went down. Other than that probably wouldn't have been any different at all. I wouldn't have traveled anywhere, I wouldn't have written the book, I wouldn't have gotten the changes and this has made such a difference in my life. I would never trade it for anything. 

Mahan Tavakoli:

So John here is one of the things that I struggle with in that most leaders listening to this conversation see themselves as already showing gratitude, showing love, and forgiveness. 

Many of the employees of organizations don't feel the love and don't feel the forgiveness and don't feel the gratitude. In many instances, it's that disconnect contributes to the fact that these are all to a certain extent, common sense, but not common practice principles based on your experience with leaders.

Why have you seen this disconnect continue? 

John Chappelear: 

The honest answer is I have no idea. Because there isn't a single study, there isn't a single thing I've ever read in the last 20 years that says, treat your people badly and your income will go up nothing. I haven't read a single study on that and yet when I walk into an organization and we start talking about how you're connecting and now everything is going, and I'm talking to the leadership and involved, everything is fantastic. This is great and I said, okay, now I'm just going to go talk to some of the people and I go on, I talked to some of the people and it's a diametrically opposed feedback and there was an old line that I used to use all the time once, which was, if you have to tell somebody you're in charge, you're not in charge. They should be able to determine that based on your behavior, based on the way you stand, based on what you say and this the same way.

If you think that people are grateful to be employed, or you think that they feel loving and forgiving, that this is a culture of love and forgiveness and gratitude. Ask them and don't ask your assistant, don't ask your three or four partners. This goes way back to the eighties. Leadership was really hermetically sealed within its own little life bubble.

And the CEO talked to the COO and they went to dinner together and Merrill Lynch got in a lot of trouble because the CEO had a Louis the 14th commode in his office that costs like $400,000 and the reality is, is who in the world would think that was a smart thing to do buy and put in my office. I mean, really?

So it's because we stay disconnected, that we are able to fool ourselves into thinking that we're being loving, forgiving, grateful, we're being of service to others. You really need to not ask, Don't ask me, go ask my people. Don't ask my leadership team, go ask my people. Because in the days now, when the leadership may be making 20 times or more, what the average employee is making, you better make sure this is the time when you definitely want to make sure that your people are connected.

People talk about engagement all the time. I want engaged people. I want everybody to be engaged and included and what I say to them is, okay, well, you have a couple and you have an engaged couple. What's the difference between these two couples? An emotional connection. That's the difference and the depth of the emotional connection, the deeper, the relationship, how deep is the emotional relationship that you have with your people?

If your emotional relationship is deep, then they are highly engaged. They're working towards your goals. They're excited about achieving things. If they're not engaged, then they're not. But it takes work. It's not money.  I mean, this goes all the way back to fighting with my father back in the seventies, he was sort of a higher minimum wage until they complain a bunch and then firearm and high over somebody else with minimum wage, the concept of training or starting people over was completely lost on him. And I'm still astounded like you said, what's the biggest change in the last 20 years? My thinking is, people were at least open to the idea. I haven't seen a huge swing and I just haven't. I wish, I wish.

Mahan Tavakoli:

In many instances, the words have changed, but the actions haven't changed. So people are saying the right things but when you ask their team members when you look at the organizations that behaviors haven't really changed, which is why. I love the point that you ended daily six with. It’s action, there is never a wrong time to do the right thing. 

John Chappelear:

When you write a book, they ask you to write a business plan and one of the things that you have to do is you have to tell them what's different about your book than somebody else. And the biggest thing that I could see that was different from my book is that everybody else's book pretty much gave you a bunch of tenants, love and forgiveness and gratitude and those kinds of things.

And then the book was over now, what am I supposed to do with this? So I thought maybe I should include a chapter on, okay, now you learned this, what are you going to do with it, rather than just thanks. You learned about love, forgiveness, gratitude, willingness, you know that you can set your heart in the right direction, you know you can be comfortable with uncomfortable behavior just by practicing it more often, you can be loving and forgiving and you can be grateful. But if it's just in here, it's of no value. 

I remember when the book first came out, I had friends of mine who said, "can you sign your book for me?" And I would say, sure, happy to. And they would reach up on their bookshelf and pulled this book down and open it up. You could hear it. It was cracking open because it had never been opened before. You know, it's like, okay, I love you like crazy, thanks for buying the book but if you read it, it will be a whole lot more valuable than if you just leave it on the shelf.

And so it's not what we learn, is what we do with what we learned. We talk about you have the event, plus your reaction equals the outcome, right? And it's the same thing with, I have new ideas that I have never acted on. And so nothing has ever changed versus I have some new ideas. I've moved them into my life and it's been a little weird and uncomfortable getting started, but boy, things really feel like they're hitting the ground smoothly now.

And wow, what a difference it's made. But again, this is like new year's resolutions. These resolutions are over by, I don't know, March, April, because they're uncomfortable. It's new behavior. And people want new behavior to feel really comfortable tomorrow. And I can guarantee you in 1991, when I was trying to be grateful, it was not even remotely part of my life to be grateful for, for the bank and the way in which they acted.

But the further you can sort of distance yourself. And the thing I've learned is with practice of love and forgiveness, mindfulness, meditation, any of these kinds of ways in which you can settle yourself emotionally, you don't have to get away from the event by months or even years, you can just simply get away from the event emotionally and have it not be in control of you? 

I cannot tell you how joyful it is to not take the bait when people are trying to bait you into a conversation, to be able to hear it as bait and go, I had never thought of it that way before versus just wanting to come over the table and throttle somebody. But it's so much more easy to live without all this stress, anxiety, confrontation, conflict.

And the only thing I have found with conflict is all it does is reinforce the other person's beliefs and behaviors. Very seldom does a person who's coming at me with any kind of vitriol, very seldom do they ever change their mind because of what I said, but they might change the way they think because of the way I reacted and that it makes it worthwhile for me to practice it.

Mahan Tavakoli:

Which is why the action is the most critical part of the daily six, John.

Now, when you were asked for leadership resources, in addition to your own, of course, are there any leadership resources you typically send people to? 

John Chappelear:

Well, I'll tell you the first book I think of it's called the art of leadership and it was written by Max DePree. Max was the CEO of Herman Miller for 35 years or 40 years.

And the first line is "a leader's first task is to say, thank you". And I opened the book up and read that sentence and I thought, this is a guy I want to read more about. 

The other one is called Leading With Love. And I don't really have any particular discipline that I follow and so I don't try to talk to anybody about my ideas are better than your ideas, but I can take things out of this book that makes sense.

And the idea here is stay open. Don't let yourself get tightened up because this is what our hearts and minds look like when we're angry and frustrated. And this is what our hearts and minds look like when we're calm and peaceful. So the idea here is anything that makes you feel like that.

There's transformational books, there's a book that Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama wrote together that I wish I could tell you the title of off the top of my head, but I can't, but it was a wonderful book to read. Books of people, overcoming complicated situations. Mandela is an excellent example of living that kind of a life to spend that many years in a small prison cell and to come out feeling like let's remake our country in a positive way.

I can guarantee you. There aren't a whole lot of people that I know who would come out of a cell 30 years later, and their first thought was let's remake our country in a positive way. It would be, how can I get back at these people versus how can I make things better? And I guarantee you, the more that we think like that, the easier our life gets the more productive and positive our life gets and the more significant we've become to ourselves and in the life of others. 

Mahan Tavakoli:

And that's a big part of your message in your book, The Daily Six.


So how can the audience find out more about you John, and about the book?

John Chappelear:

Well, the book is available from Amazon and most other leading booksellers online.

It's also available from Scrble, which is S C R B L E.com. They have the new audio version of the book available. That's only been available for about three weeks, so Scrbl, Amazon, and pretty much any other bookseller online. The ebook and paperback book are still available. 

I'm on all social media channels. Most of it is just JohnChappelear. That wasn't hubris, it was just, it was easy for people to find. It's like, well, what's your name?  Just look my name up, that's where you'll find it. It's either JW Chappelear or John Chappelear for Twitter, LinkedIn Facebook.

And the daily six is available. I write the positive thought of the week every week and the daily nudge three times a week, which are available if you go to the website, there'll be a link there. 

Mahan Tavakoli:

Well, John, thank you very much for sharing your life experience through the daily six and your insights with the partnering leadership community. Really thankful for having you as a friend, as a leader. And as a part of this community. 

Thank you so much, John Chappelear.

John Chappelear:

Thank you, Mahan. It's great to see you and great to be on your program. 

John ChappelearProfile Photo

John Chappelear

President and founder of Changing the Focus, Author

With over 30 years of experience guiding organizations to national and international success, I have experienced first hand all facets of business including growth, decline, and turnaround.
This experience allows me to create programs for individuals and organizations which create a more productive, positive creative and connected people and environment.

My award-winning book "The Daily Six - Six Simple Steps to Find the Perfect Balance between Success and Significance" was published by GP Putnam.
The Daily Six delivers a simple path to permanent, positive change, individually or organizationally.
I am excited to say The Daily Six is currently being adapted into a cutting-edge program for Families in Recovery.