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The Leadercast Podcast
The Leadercast Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

4: How to Turn Failures Into Wins With Scott Hamilton

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

How do you handle failure?

Do you count up all of the ways the odds are stacked against you?

Or do you make the decision that regardless of circumstances, you are not going to let failure define your career, relationships, or life?

Scott Hamilton is an Olympic Gold Medal winner and a 4-time World Champion figure skater.  From 1981-1984, he was on top of the world - the best in his sport. But Scott wasn’t always a winner, and his life has not been perfect (before or since).  He has had his fair share of losing, disappointments, and difficult circumstances.

One thing has remained constant throughout Scott’s life throughout it all: he never gives up.  In his new book, Finish First: Winning Changes Everything, Scott demonstrates the principles of winners who know their purpose and chase it with open hands and open hearts.

We sat down with Scott to hear about his journey and his book, and how the two are intertwined.

This is the leader cast podcast, helping you be a leader worth following. Hello and welcome to another episode of the leader cast podcast. I'm Bart Keeler with leader cast, here to dive into the mind of someone who knows exactly what it means to win, but doesn't mean to finish first. A winning mentality, competitive mentality, can sometimes be seen as a negative personality traite, but our guest on this episode of the leader cast podcast will tell you that having a mentality to always finish first as the best attribute one can have. Scott Hamilton as a name synonymous with figure skating. Here in the United States he has a one thousand nine hundred and eighty four gold medal winner in men's figure skating and the one thousand nine hundred and eighty one, eighty two, eighty three and eighty four US and world champion. Or if you're of my generation, you probably have heard his voice on TV during the Olympics and other major figure skating competitions, or maybe you saw him in his traveling show. Scott has a new book out, released in February, called finish first. Winning changes everything. In this book he details his early career, his winning success on the ice and his career off the ice and how he chose to finish first and drive himself to being this international figure skating success. So, Scott, thank you so much for joining us here on the lead your cast podcast. We are just incredibly honored that you've agreed to this. So welcome. How are you? I'm doing great. And you know, it's funny in your introduction of, you know, the whole concept of competing and finishing first, it's like it is it's such a mindset for people go to kind of the negative aspects of competition first. You know, it's kind of like, well, we don't really like Super Competitive People. And you know, it's not how you compete to win, it's how you compete to win. Is that make sense? I mean it's there's so many ways of doing it. If you lead by example, if you are gracious in victory and defeat, if you are humble in your pursuit, I mean it takes on a whole different personna and all I was trying to do and finish first was to really inspire people that they need to really get in touch with their skill sets, there what brings them joy, and to reveal their purpose. You know, and and in that you know, now here's a process and here's an argument for the process to be better than you've ever been. So, you know, the whole idea of finished first is it's an aspiration. It's sort of one of those things where I always tell my wife there's a reason they ask you to put the mask on your face that an airline before you put that on your children, because if you're no good, they're no good, you know. So it's kind of like an answer like that for our culture, who I witnessed in my fifty nine years. I'm not a grumpy old man, so don't worry about that. I just see mean we've gotten so comfortable in a country that has all the comforts and we come to expect everything that has been, you know, laid out for us. But it's now I think we're at a time in our history when we need to, you know, kind of wake up and and really, you know, roll up our sleeves and participate. Well, I'm glad you've made that distinction between I think competition is good and I think you hit on that a lot in the book, but it's hard to kind of quantify winning and a competitive nature when you're not an athlete. It's very easy to say Scott as a winner because he want a gold medal, but it's harder to do for people who aren't athletes. So why did you choose to write this book specifically toward people who aren't competitive athletes and certainly are training on the day to day basis to win a gold medal? Well, because I think you know, in competition, you know, it's not just competing against others, it's competing with ourselves, you know, to try to wake up, do these things that need to be done. You use your days, you know, it's like I always tell people, live your days right. But it's more it's about how do...

...we get in touch with, you know, who we are and who we could potentially be and how we can make that happen. It is extraordinary. I don't believe there is a life out there that isn't precious and that isn't special and unique and wonderful in some way. It's just what we do with our lives that really change our experience in this lifetime. And so, you know, it's not just about sports, it's not just about business or school or work. You know, it's about who we are as people and who who we become and how we interact with others. That really change and never has there been a greater need for that event. Now in our time, in our country of divisiveness and you know, and everything else that's going on. I'm if anything, let's unite under the opportunity and the idea that we can be better than we've ever been and in that way we can rise up above any situation, anything that comes our way. We can be empowered, we can be strong, we can be resilient and you know, just you know, going over the sort of the eleven principles that I lay out in the book, there's some there that, you know, I really feel like are common. You know, anytime I give a speech, I raise my hand and I say how many people in this room have failed, and every single person, a hundred percent, raises their hand. And I guessterday I gave a speech and I said how many people in this room and failed, and everybody raise your hand. There two guys in the front row and I just sort of looked at them and I raised an eyebrow and they go, okay, yeah, I felt we all mad, but maybe such a villain we've made it such a this horrible, nasty, toxic thing that is meant to be avoided at all costs. I lay out the argument in the book that it's extremely healthy. Failure is one of the greatest things that we can that we can experience, because it's feedback, it's information, it's nothing more than than that. It's not disfiguring, it's not a scar, you know, we just learned from it. And if we can fortify ourselves in a way that we can look at failure as purely information and as a way of pain and going okay, what did I learn from that? You know, I encourage people when they're tracking, you know, they're pursued, is to keep it journal of all your failures. Just here's my failure, okay, and that's not enough. Here's my failure and here's what I learned from it, and now you're able to take that that moment or that period and leverage it towards a greater good. And the same thing with criticism. And we live in a world of social media where a lot of really super great people say all kinds of nasty and horrible things to each other on social media, things that they would never say facetoface. But in that you know, I think a lot of people just either jump off social media they don't want to gage or they just get so destroyed by it. And I tell people it's like there's only two kinds of information when you're being criticized, and that's fact an opinion, and opinion you can delete instantaneously. fact, now there's something you can deal with, you can work with, you can say, okay, if this is a fact, if this is a weakness, if this is something that I need to address, my goodness that's a gift. But again, I had a judge years ago, and I use this as a great example of that. You know, she told me in my coach it was really nice that I was starting to do better because I was a habitual loser and skating, but she said, you know, please understand that you're too short to be competitive internationally. I looked at my how do you fix that? What do you do that? And then I look back, you know, and I thought, well, the last guy to win the Olympics from the United States of America was my size. MMM, so that's just her, you know, whatever she thinks is important or whatever, she has just one person. But if she thinks it's important, I'm alone on the ice. There's nothing there to compare size or whatever. I can try to look bigger, present, taller, present up and out where I can create a different sort of impression of size. So how we deal with people,...

...how they deal with us. You know, again, it's up for our editing, you know, and that's why chapter nine is edit your critics. So there's a lot of things out there where people just don't want to engage or they just don't feel like they had the energy or the desire or the platform, and I really firmly believe that everyone does. When I was in Pyeong Chang for the Olympics, I got to be dear friends with the venue manager there. Is Name was young do Lee and is kind of the English name was Josh, and we got to be really good friends and I really appreciated his professionalism and his generosity and, you know, his calm in the storm, because running on Olympic venue is not easy. And he said, can you talk to my staff and I said I'd love to. What's going on? He said, well, I just see so many young people in our culture and the Korean culture giving up they've been taught to be obedient and not really feel like they are unique or special, and I see a lot of young people just surrendering to that. And so I gave the talk and at the end a young woman came up to me. She was probably about eighteen years old, and she said, I don't understand what you mean about purpose. Like in the book I talked about, everybody has a purpose, they all have a skill set, they all have things that they're drawn toward, that they can leverage those and really creates kind of the next steps towards being you're really doing something you love and being better than you've ever been before. And I go, well, what don't you know about purpose to this young Korean woman and she looked at me and she said in this way, well, I'm not good at anything. And I heard the anger and the bitterness and the hurt in her voice when she said I'm not good at anything, and I thought to myself, who is pouring into this girl? And I so well, okay, okay, I get that. So what do you like to do? And she said well, I mean I love to read, and I go what do you like to read? And I saw a smile come on her face and she said, well, last two books I read where Jane are and Withering Heights, and I said, Oh, you love the classics and are she broke into this big smile and she goes, I do. And I just looked and I said maybe you're an author, and her eyes just sort of popped a little bit, you know how, and you have that recognition of something and it just sort of like you see somebody's eyes open just briefly for a second, and she just sort of got bigger in front of me. I just saw her just get inflated and she's like Whoa, and I go, you know, that's the stuff. I go. You know, if you want to pursue something, if you drawn to something and you love it, my goodness, you'll never work a day in your life. You know you'll just be pursuing something that brings you incredible joy and that you can get better at it and you can share something that no one else has, and that's you. And for the first time I really felt when I stepped away from that, and that's why it's so memorable to me, is I think that's the first time anyone ever gave her permission to dream and in finish first. You know, I really want people to know that. You know, for me, finish first came in many forms. For me, I finished. First moment was coming in fifth at the winner Olympics in one thousand nine hundred and eighty. You know, finished first moment was making it right a finish. First moment was I thought if I was eight that I just done something extraordinary and I was fifth this. So for me it was like Whoa, now that changes the trajector in the whole skating career. And from that fifth place finish, you know, the next season I was able to start a winning run that didn't end, you know, my entire ameter career. So four years undefeated came out of that first taste of okay, I'm on the right path and now I've been given this validation, I can leverage that confidence into the next thing. And and there's so many out there that just need that sort of realization that they do have something to offer, that they do have something unique about them, since they're the only one in seven at billion people on the planet right now. We all have something unique, something powerful, something wonderful to share. It's just how do we get to it? And that's what's laid out and finish...

...first. It's a great explanation. I think that's that story just gave of how this book was meant to inspire just the singular person. I really like that. Before we dick too much deeper into the book, though, I do have like two quick questions about just being an Olympic athlete, because I think I'm anything. Anything you want to know, I'll try to remember it. It wasn't long you know, it wasn't that long ago, but I trust you can remember my first question. I just I got to know what did it feel like in your gold metal moment when you first knew that you had secured that gold metal? What came over you? You know, I thought about it a lot and I've actually described it many times. You know, you'd think it's one thing, right. You think it's just joy kind of wrapped in a big moment of wow, this is an incredible but it's more than that. For me it was the end of a four year journey of trying to stay on top. I'd won for US national titles by them three World Championships. My Fourth World Championship was the next month after those Olympics. But when I stepped on the podium, I realized that I was relieved that I won. I'd found a way to get through that competition. I was really happy that I didn't completely crumble under the pressure, but at the same time I felt guilty. You See, I was the only one standing on the podium when a lot of people participated in allowing that moment to happen. I felt extreme pride in my country that I was actually going to be able to stand on a podium and have the anthem played for the United States of America. But at the same time I looked over the edge of the podium like it was a cliff, because everything that I've ever been since I was nine years old was now over. You know, it's like, who am I now? You know, it's almost like you get, you know, this this feeling of vertigo. You know, you just like Whoa my life is now forever changed. You know, it's just I traveled and trained and competed in relative obscurity and sort of isolation, and now I realized that because I won the Olympical metal my life was going to change, you know, forever in a way, and now you know, opportunities were much different for the next steps in my life than were before. And so you have this absolute multilevel collision of every emotion you have in your brain sort of culminating in two and a half or five minutes or whatever lever along that metal ceremony lasts. And it's complicated. My goodness, I never anticipated it would be that complicated. I missed my mother, who I lost to cancer seven years before, and I just thought of all the things that they sacrifice, my parents and their comfort, and what does that mean for when I become a parent and how do I do things? And I mean all those things were there and it's more more than just, you know, shedding a tear of pride for your country. It's everything your whole journey just culminates and those moments it's an amazing feat, obviously, but I guess the fortunate part of your own gold medal moment, as it's a part of a bunch of gold medal moment, says the beauty of the Olympics. You have fortunately been able to work the right alongside, you know, the Olympic Games for really the better part of your adult life. What's your favorite part of participating and just being at the Olympic Games right. I love being you know, it's kind of like you're given our front row seat to history. I Love Skating, I love the history of it, I love the culture of it. I love the worldwide shared experience of the pursuit of excellence in skating. I know and understand everyone's journey and you know, and so, as it broadcaster for all those years, is being the lead broadcast. My job to try to represent their moment on that Olympic stage and I try to do it as best as I possibly could, you know, because the skaters out there telling their athletic story, but it's up to me to kind of, you know, put...

...in context, not only for what it means to the rest of the competition but also to them, their families there. You know their preparation and you know this is their time that for them, you know, especially last forever. You know, it kind of a lot of that comes out of you know, I have a skating academy now in Nashville and when our coaches, you know, come to start teaching, it's a learned escape program now, so it's basic skills. Last year I think a one two hundred skaters come to our program, you know. So it's a big learned escape. And say to my coaches, you know, we have a meeting and I say how many of you remember every coach you ever had from your first steps on the ice? And pretty much, I would say, every one of them raises their hand and says, yeah, I remember every coach. And I go do the math. Every single child that you teach, every single young person, adolescent adult that you teach, will remember you for the rest of their lives. No pressure, go get them, you know, but it's like that. You know, it's like, if I'm going to be hosting or if I'm going to be the voice or the representation of someone's experience, I need to take it seriously to participate in it in a healthy and significant way. Well, let's talk a little bit about your career before you became a winner. I think maybe the way you describe it in your book isn't the best term for this, but I think the way that a lot of people on the outside world would describe you as a loser. I mean, yeah, you you fell five times at your first national championships. Boy Did I go. I let it come. I'm past that now. Never at her it's crazy. How is a athlete? You do hold onto those random moment, but maybe not random, those big moments that you kind of didn't do exactly what you wanted to, but you know you had doubling blocks along the way to one thousand, nine hundred and eighty four. I mean you mentioned in nineteen eighty. Fifth Place Finish is fine, but at the Olympics it's not on the podium. You know. And again, when you're a skater, you kind of know where you stand in comparison to other skaters. You know where the momentum is. You you see their trajectory of other skaters and you kind of know where you fit in. So again, for me, my victory was to be eight. That was my victory for I could be eight at the Olympics. My goodness, I am set up for the next four years to be competitive and to do this and do that. I never anticipated the fact that I could be fifth and the United States and that Olympics I was a third guy in a three man team and the US finished third, fourth, fifth. It's kind of remarkable, you know. So, yeah, yeah, I didn't meddle and I know a lot of focuses put on metals, but for me as an athlete, for me as an individual, you know, as far as the arc man, it was totally heading in a new direction just because of that fifth place finish and I was thrilled by it. Thrilled. Well, I think it goes to what you talk about a lot and this book finish first is the the process, the journey of becoming a winner and how it doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to finish first every time. You're going to win, you know, every time. Again, it's kind of hard to quantify that and some non athletic venues, but I do have to to wonder about what your mindset was during these failures. Obviously you're on this journey that you you know now, obviously how it was going to end, but when you're stuck in the middle of this journey and experiencing hardships and failures, what was your mental date there? What was your psyche during this time of not really, you know, great success, but still building through to the success you would later have? It's like any other pursuit. If it were instant gratification, it wouldn't be worthwhile. You know, when I was going through it, you know I could track my improvement as compared to the other skaters. I was able to give myself feedback. My coach would give me feedback, the judges would give me feedback,...

...and it becomes this sort of carrot that allows the mule to keep walking towards, you know, forward. Just keep that carrot in front of us. And you know, the carrot was the promise, the promise that I don't want to be last place anymore. How do I get out of last place? My first year on the senior level, I made it to the nationals. I probably shouldn't have. I was eighteen sponsored and living in an apartment alone, you know, kind of my own first time. That's the TRIFECTA. I mean it's a recipe for disaster. You know. It's like I didn't have to worry about, you know, keeping the lights on. I was eighteen years old, which means I had new found freedom, and I was living on my own with without anybody kind of looking after me for the first time, and I completely blew up. And at that year, was my first year on the senior level, I came in fits in the figure which is my nemesis part of the competition, and I'm thinking, Wow, I'm doing this is extraordinary, and fifth of my first nationals and the and the figures. That's extraordinary. And then I've managed to blow up and fall all the way to ninth and that was the last time my mother would ever see me skating competition. She lost her battle to cancer three months later, four months later. So here I am now dealing with this fact that I failed when giving this incredible opportunity. My mother now is the center of my universe and gone, and it's now taking sort of counting or, you know, looking at what I had to work with. It's like I can't look at myself in the mirror anymore if I'm going to have all these sacrifices made on my behalf and I don't honor them. And so what I did was I went on a walk the morning I lost my mom and I decided in that walk that I'm going to mourn her in a way that honors her sacrifices and her commitment and everything that she boarded in me as my mother, and I took her with me to the ice every single day and from that I went from ninth in that first year and seniors at national's as a complete failure to third in the United States the next year rank eleven in the world, and that was just in that one decision of getting to work. Now I still wasn't done because, yeah, that first initial push to kind of break out on my own ways, I was able to do that. But now how do I become make that a lifestyle? And the next year, you know, a few things happen kind of around my skating which weren't positive, and I ended up sort of getting injured early in the season and then hobbled through the rest of it and I ended up skating really well at national's, but by then the judges, it's sort of given up on me and and I was fifth in the long program where, honestly, I was one of two standing ovations on the night and which didn't make sense. But I kind of use that as another thing of well, now I have something more to prove, but I also have money in the bank, because I think a lot of those judges knew that my result tonight wasn't what it should have been. Right. So you use anything and everything you can to fuel your passion, your desires and your work ethic, and I was able to do that through the next season make it on to the Olympic team, which I never thought possible. And then from right after that Olympics I went to world's came in fifth there as well, and then about a month later I woke up and I realized that the top three guys had all retired. And so basically all I had to do is get up now, breakfast and I'm rank second in the world. I call that too Greens Cup of copy. So then it's like, well, what do I got to do? I got to get better at figures, and I hated figures. I just didn't like them boring and unsatisfying. But I realized in that point and my career that maybe the greatest strength is a lack of weakness. And and I looked at that and I said, well, if I'm not weak in any aspect of the competition, it's going to be hard to get to be beaten. So I, you know, kept working on elevating my game on the free skating...

...side and on the figure side. I just had to change my mentality and my direction, my focused and my intensity and my ambition to be better at figures. And fast forward the next four years. The only reason I won the Olympic gold medal was because of compulsory figures House that great improvement? No, it's the only reason I want. I was second both free skates to Brian Orser, but I built such a huge lead in the compulsory figures that he couldn't rise above that. You know. So I look back on that now and it was like, it's true. The only true great strength is to bang away your weaknesses and get rid of your weaknesses, and once we're able to get rid of our weaknesses, we're going to be stronger, better, more resilient than we've ever been. That seems to be a life mantra of yours. The greatest strength as a lack of weakness. If you were talking to a business professional leading a team, how would you translate that from going as an athlete to say hey, just don't have a weak spot in your program to a leading a team and helping them understand how they can sharpen their own skills and the business world? I think it's like anything else. It's like, let's come in, I'll tell you what you need and you tell me what you think you need to shore up your ability to do the best work and, my goodness, if you have an advocate, no, not just a boss, but if you have an advocate, somebody that says, man, you're great at this, you're so good at this. I really appreciate your improvement in this part, but I really need you to be stronger in this capacity. Now you're an ally. Now you're you're not this their boss, but you're also someone that says, let's leverage your strengths right now to bang away your weaknesses and let's get you where you need to be here and here and here, and I'm here to help you, guide you and strengthen you and these aspects of your ability to work and, honestly, not only ability to work but to advance in your career. So I mean there's there's always something. You know. It's like I'm part athlete, part businessman, part artist. Man. The artist part of me totally trips me up every single one, because there are no deadlines when you're an artist. It's done, it's done right. So I really had to, you know, focus in on a lot of those things and really just get to work. You know, when I was at the Olympics and Pyeong Chang, I was not the lead broadcaster anymore. I was put into a different position and I was trying to figure out how to do that because basically we had an hour talk show every day where I had to know something about every single athlete. Now, picture a iceberg upside out right. So you heart off the Games, you have to know everything about everybody and then, as you get through the events, you whittle down to the tip of the iceberg, which is the ladies competition, and you'll all you have to know is about a few people. Right when, at the beginning, I'm sitting there and I lost sleep two nights in a row and my book was going to come out finished first, was coming out in about three days, and so I had a copy of it sitting on my dresser and I woke up one morning after having this restless sleep of like I am going to be so overwhelmed and exposed as a fraud. I all these negative things were coming out at me right, left and center, and I woke up one morning in this sun. My curtains were just parted enough to like the sun came in and they just illuminated my book sitting there on the Dresser and I was like, Oh yeah, that's awesome. Hypogrante. Here's where you get to work right. I got to work and I just realized the joy and how much fun it was to just pour through every page of research information, to get on Youtube and to watch every competition throughout the year. They go back and forth between two rivals and really highlight their strengths and weaknesses, to go over their biographies, to see their trajectories, to see their longevities, to see there and you...

...know kind of where they're weak and where they're strong. And Man, I just felt so locked and loaded by the time we did our first show that it was like yeah, finish first works. It's like I wrote the book, but I also kind of read it and I took its advice and I was able to get to that Olympics in a way, in a joyful way, that I never anticipated getting through a brand new role after all these years. You can teach an old dog new tricks and I guess sometimes taking your own advices is helpful. Well, you know, it's like if you can't take your own advice, you know it's kind of hypocritical to tell everybody to get to work while you're sitting lemonade in the hammock right, you know. So there's a couple aspects of finished first that I really like. It's direct, it's friendly, it's backed up with lots of stories of you know other types of ways of illuminating principles and concepts and it's short. And you know, I joke with people all the time that there's two things. One I negotiating my high school diploma, so there won't be any words in the book that you have to look up, and the other part of it is that when you're telling somebody to get off their backsides and get to work, you're not going to give them that with shrug right. It's going to be a short, to the point book where they can get it, get the concepts, organize their lives and then start banging out a plan to get to the promised land. Well, it's nice to be able to talk with someone who understands what it is to go through the ups and downs but altim they come on top. But you know, not everyone has that person they can just talk to on a daily basis. Obviously this book is a great help, but what would you say to the manager or the leader in a workplace, in a school, whatever it may be you mentioned in this book a great quote says self esteem as a powerful force. But not everyone has that high self esteem. So and our roles as leaders. What's a good, kind of easy way or daily way to help those the lowest with this following US raise their self esteem? But I think it's communication is key. I think it's, you know, really being accessible. I think it's really setting an example, personal example. If you want others to be this, show them how to do it with your own behavior. I think open door policy is always great. I always I use the the analogy of an open hand versus a clench fist. You know, I at times, you know, I needed a little bit of a crack the whip, you know, a little bit of a, you know, boot to the backside. But other times, you know, I look at just being open, just being accessible, just being, you know, that open hand of open door, open mind, open heart. Man, it just creates a different environment. So for many leaders, you know, I'd say, yeah, lead by example a but you also are in that position because you know you need to teach people, you need to guide people, you need to manage people, and everyone has their own story, their own trajectory, their own path and you know, it's understanding and leveraging that to create the greatest good. And if you're, if your employees, if you're the people that you work with feel good about themselves, they're going to be a lot more productive and they're going to be a lot happier and they're going to be a lot more devoted and dedicated to their craps. So again, it's creating that. I to use the word in a work environment, but it's true. To great a joyful work environment is incredible. We've done that with our skating academy. We won every award, we have incredible customer satisfaction and repeat business. We have a phenomenal reputation in the community and it's all because we create a joyful environment that looks after people and it is open door policy and I love that. I absolutely love that that my coaches get it, they participate and they know that there is no work environment like ours in the United States or Canada. It's quite an interesting and impactful story you have and we touched on it a little bit...

...throughout the podcast and you mentioned in it and you're finished first book. But you did not have the best hand. You know, life did not deal you the best hand, from having to, you know, being adopted up basically at birth, to having undignosed disease as a child that kind of didn't allow you to be, as I guess, as athletically gifted as probably you wanted to be as a figure skater, to losing your mom to cancer and then to battling cancer three times yourself. But overall you've been incredibly successful. So I guess the question is, how can people take someone with such hardships and then such success as you and apply that to their own lives? How can you some that up? I guess no difficult period needs to last forever. You know, you need to work your way out of it. You know, when I was a young child, in hospitals, in and out, no answers to what was going on with me, you know, as they did the best they could, but technology like today did not exist. That bend, the diagnostic tools, nothing. It was sort of a gas or an intuition or, you know, experience that allowed doctors to move forward, but they couldn't with me because they you know, in four years and I'd studied growth, I had lack of development. All these things were going wrong and they finally, just by the time I got to the granddaddy of all the children's hospitals, Boston Children's hospital, he just said go home and live a normal life and take advantage of what time you have left. And so my parents kept me on this supplement that I hated, by the way, but took me off all the other restrictive diets of no flower, dairy or sugar. I was able to have birthday cake and ice cream for the first time in memory and just live joyfully. And then it was there that I started skating and I realized just with the moist cool air to help my lungs, the activity, the exercise helped with, you know, just my body functioning. The more I move, the better I felt, and dating was this sort of this miracle Pill for me to take where all of a sudden I realized that just by being here in this sort of neutral ground, my goodness, as a kid that's been sick and in hospitals for last four years, I can do something as well as well kids. And then I realized that I can do something as well as the best athlete, athletes, Mike Grain, and you know, all of a sudden I felt like I wasn't, you know, sick anymore. I wasn't hurting, I wasn't sickly anymore. I was able to do stuff and and skating really gave me that self esteem and that ability to kind of rise up and and I look at that and it's sort of set a pattern in my life. You know, and I fail a test, I'd find a way to pass it. I just take the feedback and I'd work harder and I just be more attentive. And if I need to do this, I knew I need to learn this jump, I'd have to find a way to learn that jump. And you know, through the feedback of failure and falling and all that comes with it, there's always that next thing that you need to work on, that next thing. And and you know, when I had cancer, that one knock me down really big, in a big way. I just realized that this was a wake up call that I wasn't living my life the way I should. And so without cancer I'd never would have met my wife. Without cancer, I never would have the children that I have or the life that I have right now. So I'm really if you're looking beyond it and taking what you've learned through that experience, that period of time and understand now that life is better lived this way. My goodness, every single time I've gotten knocked down, I there's always been that thing that I could recognize where this is my way out. It's like being lost in a cave and then there's this little bit of sunshine or fresh air coming through and you just follow it and you know what's next is next. But you have to participate in it. You have to participate in it in a way that, yeah, it's not just going to fall on your lap every time. It will sometimes, but most of the time you just got to roll up your sleeves and start moving and get in go moving toward a better time, a better period of better life, because, my goodness, you know, we don't know what our days are going to be and we have to live them with that spirit of...

...adventure, joy, Opportunity and and gratitude. Well, obviously this is a leadership focused podcasts and our company's mission is to fill the world with leaders worth following. So it's kind of a final takeaway. I want to ask you, in your opinion, what does it take to be a leader or following? Why? Think in many respects you. You have to be selfless as a leader. You have to be looking out for everybody in a way. Sometimes it's very quietly, other times it's you know, it's straight on and you know you need to nurture people. It's not just running a ruling or being the boss. It's nurturing people. It's allowing them to recognize what they have and who they are to do the work that needs to be done. And and you know, leadership, you know, I've seen, I've heard, I've experienced so many great levels of leadership. You know, leadership that is effective is far. Leadership that is effective is kind. Leadership that is effective is everybody wins. It's not just about that leader coming up eight and everybody made it happen, but he's taking credit for everything. It's no when you're at a table and negotiating table, everybody has to walk away with something. You know, I've seen incredible executives that just believe a legacy behind them of wow, that person is fair, is measured, is not egotistical, is, you know, a leader because they understand what it's going to take in order to get the best product out the door, no matter what it is. So you know leadership is is hard and not a lot of people are meant to lead, especially if they're doing it just to satisfy their own bank account and ego. That doesn't work. That becomes that kind of house built on sand. But if you're able to build a company of inclusivity and this endless inspiration and support and really being available to everybody and nurturing and supporting people in their work, you're probably going to be extremely successful. And you know, I had a friend WHO's the CEEO of a company West. It was a manufacturing company and it was a lot of workers come in and they just decide not to show up. You Go. It cost me a fortune to train these workers. They you know, I pay them well, it's a clean environment, everything's great. So he did this one thing and when he did this one thing he never lost another worker. He opened up at twenty four hour cafeteria where they would he would feed everybody for free. Wow, he never lost anybody after that. You know, you feed people, they're going to feel like Y'Allkay, all right, I've got a belly full and I'm loving my job. Go to work, even if it's just to eat. I'M gonna go to work, so we didn't have to train me people. It didn't lose productivity and lose all those things, and it cost him a little bit to have the twenty four hour cafeteria, but he was able to run three shifts, keep their product out as a global company and he didn't lose anybody after that and everybody was happy. You know, that's just one way, but you know, I learned. I learned from is it? How is it to work for that person? And I think that's kind of the test that every leader has to have, is what's it like working for me? You know what I want to work for me, and then sort of taking it from there. Well, Scott Hamilton, the one thousand nine hundred and eighty four figure skating Olympic gold B list and four time us and world champion and figure skating, this is just been an honor for me to talk to you and for you to come onto the leader CAS podcast. Thank you so much and truly giving us words of wisdom from a long and successful career. Again, just thank you so much for being on here. Well, you know, it's my pleasure and if I can just let me close this one thing. You know, finish first is really just agaain an open hand, open heart, way for people to get to their their...

...purpose, their passion and their success, and just looking over them. It's this. It's no your purpose, break the pattern of losing. Permit to the long haul, keep showing up, overcome your limitations, out work everybody, ditch fear and celebrate failure, edit your critics, played by the rules of the game, never look back and understand that winning will change everything in your life. So thanks for the opportunity to be on your podcast today and I very much enjoyed speaking with you well. Again, thank you very much. That was Scott Hamilton and his new book out that was released in February. Finished first. Winning changes everything. This and all episodes of the leader cast podcast are available on Itunes, Google play and stitcher. You can also find them on leader Castcom and you can interact with the podcast by using Hashtag the leader cast podcast. Don't forget to follow us on all of our socials. You can find us anywhere at leader cast. Thank you again, Scott, and this is Bart Keeler for the leader cast podcast. We will catch you on another episode. Leader cast certification is a virtual, self paced education opportunity when you complete the online program you will walk away with a digital badge and leadership excellence or innovation. To learn more, visit certification DOT leader castcom. Thanks for tuning in to the leader cast podcast. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player.

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