Rhett Power is "The Pathfinder"

business purpose transition Jul 19, 2022

July 19th, 2022
Ep 28: Rhett Power, The Pathfinder


What does it look like to blaze a new path? To be so confident in who you are and what you bring that you don’t mess with pretense or attempt to impress anyone. 

That’s Rhett Power, a world-renown business coach, speaker, best-selling author, podcast host, entrepreneur and CEO of Accountability Inc. He’s kind of a big deal. But he doesn’t let on. 

Even after all the awards, the major international stages and all the success, Rhett tells Lauren Lowrey, he only just recently discovered his purpose: it’s to help leaders be accountable, and not just in business, but in life!


πŸ’₯ This episode is for you if πŸ’₯

- You’re interested to hear life advice from well-known business leader
- You want to understand the power of accountability in your life
- You need guidance from one of the great business coaches in the world
- You want to know more of Rhett’s personal journey 


πŸ“ΊWhat you'll hear in this episodeπŸ“Ί

The episode begins with Lauren’s favorite game, Best Time/Worst Time where Rhett shares the difficulty of having a son born with tremendous special healthcare needs which should’ve killed him. Rhett shares what those years taught him as a father.

  • [7:15] How Rhett’s work in the Peace Corps changed the course of his life. He chose to leave corporate America because he felt a calling to go to the middle east.
  • [12:41] How accountability brought clarity to Rhett’s life. He found more happiness and the achievement of goals that otherwise were left unattainable.
  • [32:30] What his interviews with hundreds of business leaders worldwide has taught him about people’s needs.
  • [42:22] When Rhett realized his purpose and how he actively pursues it every day.


πŸ”– Chapters πŸ”–

0:00 - Intro
0:09 - Lauren intro
1:01 - Best Time/Worst Time
3:04 - Rhett’s son nearly died multiple times
7:15 - How international Peace Corps work changed Rhett’s life
12:41 - How accountability brought clarity in Rhett’s life
15:51 - The business of accountability and why it’s so necessary
32:30 - We need to be kinder to each other
39:27 - Rhett works to overcome two big things
42:22 - Rhett’s purpose to bring accountability

βœ”οΈ Connect with Rhett Power βœ”️

Rhett on LinkedIn
Rhett’s website
Rhett’s book


πŸ“ Show Notes & Mentions πŸ“
Rhett writes "Did you know I used to sleep in my van?"


July 19th 2022                  AMPstigator Ep. 28               Rhett Power – The Pathfinder

[00:00:00] <Intro >

Lauren:        Rhett Power, is one of the top business coaches in the world. His business became one of the fastest growing in the whole country during the Great Recession. He eventually sold it and began speaking and coaching other people in that same entrepreneurial realm.

But in the last few years, he's started to blaze a different path one all about accountability. He's now creating a movement and a community, around helping leaders understand they aren't alone. And there are other leaders who can keep them accountable.

As I learned, he's followed his gut through all of it blazing a new trail at every turn. This is Rhett Power, The Pathfinder.

[00:00:48]         < Music >

Lauren:        Okay, so, I like to start with a little game. You ready to play a game?

Rhett:        I am ready, let's do it.

Lauren:        Okay, when was the best time in your life?

Rhett:        Man, I don't have a hard story. My childhood was idyllic. My work has been idyllic. I remember driving, I was in this motorcade in Afghanistan and I'm thinking, "Life is freaking great."

Lauren:        But you're in Afghanistan saying that.

Rhett:        I'm in Afghanistan and I'm just thinking, "Wow, I'm doing something meaningful. I'm having fun in my work." I just I don't have like this hard story of struggle, and overcoming some massive adversity. I mean, we've had bad things happen but life has been good.

Lauren:        Yeah, do you think that's because of the stance you've chosen to take. One of saying, "All right, this is happening. It sounds bad, but no big deal we'll keep moving forward." Do you think it's your perspective that's made it seem that way?

Rhett:        I mean, we get our butt kicked in business all the time. We slept in our vans. We had no money. We started a business in the middle of the financial crisis in 2007 and going into 2008, nine.

So we had hard times but our attitude never changed. And I don't know where that comes from? I don't know where the positivity and that outlook on life comes from? And when things are not so great, how you maintain that positivity? But I try and maybe it's just a natural state for me, I don't know.

Lauren:        Yeah, when do you think the worst time in your life was? Was it living in the van?

Rhett:        No, that was almost a necessary thing, I think. The economic crisis then and the financial crisis, actually, made us a better company. It made us run tighter, it made us run more efficiently.

We didn't have a lot of extra money. We didn't have VC funds knocking on our door to put millions of dollars in the business. So it made us a leaner, and meaner, and more efficient company.

The worst time wasn't really the business, the worst time was when my second son was born. We didn't know he was going to have some issues. And, so, he was born with something called CDH, which is a diaphragmatic hernia and almost died. The night that he was born, the doctor came in and he put his arm around me. He was a big guy and he put his arm around me and he said, "You know, you need to go ahead and plan for your son's funeral."

Lauren:        Oh, wow.

Rhett:        And that was the biggest gut punch I know I've ever had. And to see where he was and how he didn't have much of a chance. 80% of the children at the time that he was born died.

Lauren:        Oh, my gosh.

Rhett:        They had to put him on a new technology called an ECMO machine, which was a heart-lung bypass. Had to sacrifice his carotid artery to put it in. He had to survive that, and then they were going have to survive the surgery.

The thing that happens is if you have a hole in your diaphragm, in development, and the earlier it happens the worse it is because your lungs don't develop. Fortunately, it happened late for him. So he had about 75% of his lungs and they were able to do the surgery, put everything back where it was supposed-

What happens is all the stuff inside your stomach and kidneys, all that, migrates up here into the lung cavities, and that's why you can't survive. But they were able to put him back together and he survived. He got RSV when he was 10 months old, went back on a respirator. Got staph infection, and MRSA, and, almost, didn't make that, but he survived that.

He had a bowel obstruction when he was three. Had to rush him from El Salvador to Miami to have surgery, he survived that, so he's meant to here. But that was the toughest period where we didn't know if he was going to make it.

Lauren:        How old is he now?

Rhett:        15.

Lauren:        Wow.

Rhett:        And a pain in the neck, but brilliant.

Lauren:        What did that time teach you, if anything? What did you get from that time other than the anguish?

Rhett:        That's a great question. I think an appreciation for life. Appreciation for all the blessings that we have, and just an appreciation for him being in my life. Because he's a pain in the neck, he's a teenager, but he's also brilliant. He writes music, he composes, he writes screenplay.

I mean, he's just a brilliant kid, he's supposed to be here for some reason. He's supposed to be here. He's got a purpose, and, so, you learn to appreciate life. It makes you think about what's important.

Lauren:        When was a turning point, for you, in your own life?

Rhett:        Wow, I think there're, probably, been four or five.

Lauren:        All right, let's hear it.

Rhett:        I remember walking into my boss's office, when I was 29, and handing in my resignation letter and I'd had a pretty good promising career at Clear Channel Communications. But I had decided to go in the Peace Corps at 29.

Because something in my gut said "You need to do something else, you need to do something different." And I didn't attribute it to my gut back then, but I've learned to listen to that feeling. And I define my life by the things that I've quit.

Lauren:        I can't wait to hear more.

Rhett:        And, so, quitting that career and going in the peace Corps and I got sent to Uzbekistan in 1999. And I was teaching at a university, I was about three months from the end of service, the 9/11 happened. And something said to me, "You're not finished in this region. You're not finished in this kind of work."

So I was able to, actually pretty soon after 9/11, get a job with USAID to go back to the region. I spent two years in Tajikistan from 2001 to 2003, right on the front lines of the War on Terror, but was doing amazing work.

The Tajiks had just come out of a civil war. So we were helping them come out of that civil war in that time in their country's history. But also working with cross-border trade with Afghanistan.
Working with young people to build the economies of those countries, so that they had alternatives to other things like extremism and terrorism, so just an incredible time. Spent six years in the region and then had that feeling, again, that it was time to do something different.

Lauren:        To quit?

Rhett:        To quit and start. We came back to the States, and my business partner and I, we bought a one-product toy company out of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. You know Myrtle Beach?

Lauren:        Yeah, my hometown.

Rhett:        And started our journey into building an international toy company.

Lauren:        Did you know anything about business at that point?

Rhett:        Absolutely not. Everything I'd read in school and every class I had ever sat in, yes, I thought I did. But what I learned was that it takes grit, it takes determination and it takes discipline. It takes all things that I think I had some of, not all of, but some of in my life. But you learn how to make it, and you learn how to survive. You make a lot of mistakes. We don't talk a lot about the mistakes on places like this, we like to talk about-

Lauren:        Well, this is the place of mistakes.

Rhett:        ...we like to talk about our successes. But the fact is you make a lot of mistakes with people, with product, with managing, but it's the learning process. And if you learn from it and you grow from it, then you can be successful. But, God, we made ton of mistakes. Hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of mistakes.

Lauren:        Oh, gosh, expensive mistakes is what you're saying?

Rhett:        Expensive mistakes.

Lauren:        When did you quit that and go to something else, for your next turning point?

Rhett:        Oh, thank you for bringing that back up-

Lauren:        No, I'm just intrigued, I'm like, "Wow, what's going on here? I need to know."

Rhett:        Thanks for bringing us back to the quest, that was good, very so.

Lauren:        Let's go, it's good.

Rhett:        So then we grew that, and that was a successful company, and we were able to do work in 35 countries and do product for Toys R Us and really make a real go of it.

But the business was changing. The environment with Amazon growing, and online shopping growing, and electronics. Things like iPads, really, hurting the toy industry in terms of physical play toys. We saw the writing on the wall, and, so, we had an opportunity to sell the company in 2014. And, so, we said, "It's time to let somebody else see what they can do with it." And, so, that was the next turning point. That was like, "It's time, we have an opportunity, yes, let's do it."

Lauren:        Yes, and it feels like each time it's like a six-ish year increment. I'm wondering where you are in your current iteration? Are we at the end of six years?

Rhett:        I'm seven years in now, so I'm in dangerous territory, I guess. But I'm, actually, in a really good place with where I am now. I don't see that happening.

Lauren:        When do you think, in your life, you've had a great moment of clarity? Maybe even a point where you've said, "Everything from now on makes more sense because here's what I'm here to do." Have you had a moment like that?

Lauren:        Absolutely, and pretty recently, in the last couple of years. So COVID was a big moment of clarity for me in a lot of ways. But prior to COVID I was struggling in my coaching business that I currently run. In terms of who I, really, could help? What kind of coaching I could really be doing? And I had taken jobs and coaching assignments with various types of leaders, and various types of people. But I was struggling.

I was still spinning my wheels to grow, and I was still spinning my wheels to figure out who I am as a coach, and the type of person I can really help and impact because you can't help everybody.

You don't connect with everybody and your expertise doesn't click with everybody. And, so, I was still struggling to find that. And in the pandemic I joined this organization called the Marshall Goldsmith 100 Coaches. And Marshall is a Nashville resident, actually, but he's one of the top executive coaches in the world. And he brought us together some of the best coaches in the world as a group, and I've learned so much from that group of people, and it's helped me focus.

We started doing accountability sessions every week and we got together in small groups and my business started growing. And, so, I started thinking about this about a year and a half ago, and sort of try to figure out— WHY?.

Yes, it's the network, but more importantly, these people hold me accountable every week to what I say I want to accomplish. They push me really hard. They make me learn things. They push me to learn and grow.
And I started thinking about our time in the toy business, when I had a business partner, we held each other accountable. We pushed each other. We helped each other focus. I had the worst case of ADD in the world, focus isn't a big problem.

So what I started thinking about was every time in my life where I had somebody that pushed me, that helped me, that helped keep me focused, that helped keep pushing me and challenging me. I responded and I was able to do something positive and something good.

And, so, it's really refocused my work on accountability and made that the focus. And I work with people who want somebody to help them and they want somebody to push them, I get results in that way.

So it's refocused my work, and the moment of clarity is that accountability, for me, having somebody that helped me and push me every day is what I needed to be successful. When I don't have that in my life, I don't go to the gym. I don't do the things I need to be doing for my health and for my growth.

Lauren:        Well, let's talk deeper about accountability. I find it, really, interesting what your company does because you have figured out a way to build this framework around keeping people accountable. Because if we just have this idea in our mind that we want to do something but don't do anything else. How likely are we that we're, actually, going to achieve a goal? Not very likely.

But you have figured out a way to make it way more likely that someone's going to be able to achieve whatever it is that they want to do. By having partners and accountability. So walk me through what you've created and what your company does?

Rhett:        I mean, we've tried to simplify it. Because it isn't complicated, and I like to overcomplicate things.

Lauren:        Don't, we all?

Rhett:        But it's almost as simple as you and I sitting down every week and having written down goals, and clear goals. Things that are attainable, and things that will move the needle for you, whatever it is you want to do. Whether it's your health. Whether it's your wealth. Whether it's your business goals. Whether it's your family, and health and wellness goals.

And, so, we have these several categories. We have happiness, so I'll just explain what's on my happiness list. So I have things like, I make sure I call my kids every night. I make sure that we do date night every week. I make sure that I call my dad once a week just to make sure, and I'm awful at communication.

So my happiness goals, I clearly spell out what I want to do every week, and at the end of the week, I can check the boxes, that's progress, that's good for me. I also call a friend every week that I hadn't talked to in a long time.

Lauren:        Oh, good.

Rhett:        So those are the kind of things I have on my happiness. On the health goals, I have the walking and the workouts, and the eating right, which we didn't accomplish today, but that's okay.

Lauren:        It was the mac and cheese.

Rhett:        It was the mac and cheese, it was all good, I'm not complaining we can have some cheat days. And on the wealth goals, it's the managing the money and the things. So it's things that are really important that I stay on top of. Or the kinds of things that I have on my to-do list every week, and if somebody asked me about every week, "How did you do?"

"Well, why didn't you accomplish that this week, what happened?

So you're 95% more effective or likely to accomplish a goal, if you have it written down. If you have somebody that asks you about it every week, and that you've told them that this is what you want to accomplish. So if you have those three things going on, you can accomplish so much more because everybody needs somebody to hold them accountable.

Lauren:        Is it like having a frequent conversation with another person, who also has their own goals? Or is it someone who's lording over you to say, wagging their finger, "Did you do this or did you not do this?"

Lauren:        It's not like having a drill sergeant yelling at you, that's not our model. The model we have, the way we do it, is we have six people in a group. Every week you meet for one hour. You have your spreadsheet. You have the things that, and they're constant goals, they don't change.

Lauren:        Yes, it's not like a to-do list this week. It's, "This is what I need to consistently work toward."

Rhett:        And it's mostly big stuff. It's stuff that's going to help you be the better you that you want to be. Very simple though, a lot of these things are not complicated, but they're hard. They're simple but not easy to do all the time. Because a lot of these things are things that you would put aside when you're busy.

Lauren:        Totally. Our health always goes by the wayside. Eating right gets trumped for convenience. Working out gets moved because, "I don't have enough time for that." Or whatever.

Rhett:        Right, you nailed it. So then you're in your group, you sit down every week and you talk about why you did or didn't do what you said you were going to do. And people can ask questions in the group.

Lauren:        And say, "Does this really matter to you? You're not getting this done."

Rhett:        Right. That's the key, is that you see, and we do it a red, green, and yellow. So it's very easy to see you've made progress. You've made a little bit of progress or you didn't make any progress.

And you start seeing trends over a period of weeks. And if you have a lot of red and yellow, then there are a lot of questions about, "Is that the right goal?"

"Is that something that you're really serious about?"

"Is that something you, really, want to accomplish?"

Because if you haven't made any progress on it, then you got to ask yourself, "Is that real?" So it's a simple system. It's a simple process, but the groups stay together. I've been in one of these groups, now, for two and a half years.

Lauren:        Wow, and not with just anybody, I mean, you've got important, big people in your groups, it's pretty incredible.

Rhett:        But they all have a similar desire to push themselves harder because we know that we don't push ourselves as hard as we can. We can't find that other gear without help. We're not going to push ourselves like others can.

Lauren:        Yeah, why do you think accountability is so important? I mean, is it just having the awareness that you can't do this on your own? Or is it creating community around making yourself better? What do you think it is?

Rhett:        I think people come to these groups because they want to get better, then they want the community. They don't do this alone. They don't want to feel like they're trying to accomplish everything that they want to accomplish.

They want to be able to talk to somebody that's been there, that's experiencing the same, and these groups a lot of people are in business. They're doing amazing things, they're worth talking to you every week.

They've got valuable insight into what you're facing, they've been there. And, so, it's nice to talk to people who are struggling too, who are trying to make improvements. And, so, having that community is extremely important.

But the common trait, I mean, you interview people all the time. You interview successful people and I get the honor to do that as well. And one of the things I find in super successful people is that sense of accountability. Is that they have an ownership for their behavior. They have an ownership of their results. They have ownership of what it is they're trying to accomplish, and they feel a responsibility for the outcomes and how they perform.

Lauren:        Hmm.

Rhett:        And that's a common trait I see in, really, successful people. And if you have that, if that's a trait that you have and that's how you feel about things, then a program like this can really move you way forward. Because you've got those elements, you've got those characteristics, those principles of accountability already ingrained in your DNA.

Lauren:        Yes, let's dig into that because I feel like what I'm hearing from you is, is a level of awareness. That successful people have to have a level of self-awareness of where their limits are, what they need help with. Do you feel like having an accountability partner, for example, helps amp up that awareness of self?

Rhett:        Absolutely. I mean, when somebody is pushing you and asking you- Why? - every week, it's a powerful motivator. I mean, that peer pressure it's good peer pressure. That's a positive thing, and not everybody responds to that, I mean, it's not for everybody.

But for people who are serious, I think, who understand that they can't do it alone, that they need help. That it's nice to talk to somebody, and you've got to have a level of, like you said, self-awareness.

But I also think it's about being comfortable in your own skin, and being comfortable with yourself and your flaws, and your shortcomings, which we all have, and being able to express those. And have somebody help you, walk you through, and be another set of eyes.

The way I look at it is kind of like Olympic athletes and high-caliber athletes, like you've got Marques on this season. We talk about this all the time that people like that are used to pushing themselves.

Lauren:        Yeah, and being pushed. They're used to being pushed.

Rhett:        Right, we all need that. We could all benefit from that.

Lauren:        Yes, I think, it's interesting because there does have to be, again, the awareness of the shortcomings. But I wonder, is there a point, even in this accountability relationship that a person has, that they even begin to view themselves differently. Maybe what was perceived as a shortcoming may not be the shortcoming they think it is. Maybe there's actually some strength in that, or maybe they're changing their viewpoint.

Because then they have five other people in a group who are helping them to say, "Well, hold on, let's reframe that because what you think is actually shortcoming isn't. Maybe it's only partially true. Maybe this becomes your greatest strength. People don't do this the way you do this. So you're bringing a valuable point of view."

So then you've got these other people who are helping you, not just achieve a goal, but reframe your entire viewpoint of a situation.

Rhett:        Yeah, absolutely. I mean hands down that happens all the time. What you also find is that people say, "I didn't realize that this was a real huge issue for me. Now that I see this clearly through." I mean, a lot of people are visual. The thing that helps me on my goals is I can see visually what's, really, truly, important to me.

Lauren:        Like, you can see it in your mind's eye, you're saying?

Rhett:        Well, I can see it on paper. When I see it on paper, when I see that visual, when I see red across the whole thing, it clearly defines for me that, that's not important. And I thought it was important. I was thinking it was important, but it's not.

But what happens is I had a CEO the other day tell me, he said, "I've hired people, now, to help cover my weaknesses." He said, "This exercise, for the last six months, has helped me so clearly understand myself better. That I've been able to hire people that fix or help me fill in the gaps."

Lauren:        Yeah, they augment. They augment in some ways.

Rhett:        "They fill in the gaps where I'm deficient, which I'm okay with now, I've gotten over that. But I realize that and I'm weak there. I'm going to be weak there, so I need to fix that. I need to bring somebody else on that can help fix that gap, and that's okay."

Lauren:        I can't help but think, as I listen to this, in my own experience, I've always been someone who I've never liked group work. Right. So growing up, I was the person that, "Please don't put me in a group, I'd much rather work alone."

I think there's two parts of that. I have a way that I want this project to be a certain way. I want this to be written this way. And then I would find that I would end up doing all the work because I was the one who cared the most or I was the most anal, so I would do it that way.

The older I've gotten, and I think probably as the stakes have gotten higher, I've taken on more in my own life. There are things that I realize I cannot do. I cannot get to that. I've got three little children. I work full time. Oh, and I'm starting this podcast, I can't do that. And, so, it's been an interesting change, for me, of like this needing community. Creating community that inspires others, but also forces collaboration.

I wonder, in your accountability settings, how often you're dealing with people who feel like they've finally come to the end of themselves. Maybe they're even burn out on their own inability to get everything done or can't figure out why they can't make headway. And are there, kind of like, light bulb moments in those groups? Or do you think people have already gotten past that and that's why they're in the group to begin with?

Rhett:        It's mixed. I think that there are people that what happens is a lot of times people will come and they're doing really well, maybe in the business side, but the health is a disaster.

Maybe they've got some relationship disasters or there is something out of harmony in their life. And I know that feeling well. You just alluded to a few minutes ago, when I was going full a 100%, 150% in the toy company, my health was awful. I wasn't doing the hobbies that I really loved, things that made me, me.

I wasn't, probably, wasn't a great husband at the time. Wasn't great in that. So I wasn't. The business was going great, but I wasn't really doing great in the other areas. I had to find that harmony and that balance. We talk a lot about work-life balance. I don't think that's a thing, I think we should be trying to get work-life harmony because work ebbs and flows.

Your professional stuff sometimes takes a big role. Sometimes parenthood takes a big role. Sometimes other things in your life, or you have to shift focus and energy to something specific. And, so, I think, people come, a lot of times, because something is out of whack. Something is not in harmony, and they want to try and figure that out and fix it.

And this groups, again, you're in there with people who've been through it. You're in there with people who've been in the trenches. People who are successful, but they've all been through this. We all have to find our way through a lot of this.

And people who've accomplished a lot have just figured it, not always figured it out, but they've thought about these things and they've tried and failed. And hopefully they've had some advice and help, and can help guide people through a certain stage.

That person may help that person and the reverse, there may be a business problem that, that person is really doing well there, can help somebody else solve. So the groups tend to help each other in multiple ways.

Lauren:        You have so many musical stylings here, I mean with harmony. I'm thinking of like the discord that comes along when things are out of whack. And in so many ways, I'm looking at you and I'm thinking of you as like a fine-tuner. That you're helping people tune and you do to me, as I listen to you, you feel so evolved to me.

And, so, it's interesting, to me, to hear you say that your moment of clarity was only just recently, like, in the last couple of years. As it hit you because I just feel like this level of wisdom doesn't just happen in the last two years. I feel like maybe you've always had that, and then you've had this deeper understanding that's just popped in here in the last couple of years.

Rhett:        I'm a late bloomer.

Lauren:        Oh, I see, I don't think so. I feel like you've been doing all this stuff all along. And I do find it interesting because you do lead so many people, I mean, you speak all over the world. And then you also listen all over the world too, with your own podcast pursuits.

What do you think that you're hearing from people a lot, right now? Maybe even since COVID, is there a melody, maybe, as we continue our metaphor, is there something that you're hearing consistently from people that's different?

Rhett:        That's a fascinating question. And everybody I talked to in the last couple of years is longing for people to be kinder. I think they're longing for love. They're longing for us to be able to communicate better.

I think there's a frustration that we've forgotten how to talk to each other and, actually, embrace difference instead of making it something that divides us. I think there's a real longing for all of us to be able to talk to each other better, be kinder.

Lauren:        Yeah.

Rhett:        And I was thinking of, for me, what does that all mean. COVID has been, really, rough on a lot of people and, I think, we have to acknowledge that. But I've had two friends die from it.

Lauren:        Mm, I'm sorry.

Rhett:        And I was angry about that because they didn't wear a mask, and they didn't take the vaccine, and we all grew up together. But, I guess, I can't really be angry about that anymore. I guess I had to say, "I loved them. They were great. They were great people. We had differences as we grew older, we had differences. But, I think, people just want some love. I think they want love, I think, they want us to be kinder and nicer to one another.

Lauren:        Yeah, I do feel like a person can't take that stance of wanting more love unless they will give it, and then give it to themselves too. I do feel like there is also a void there right now. And maybe COVID was the awakening we needed for the love we weren't sharing with each other, but also the love we haven't shared or shown to ourselves. And, I do think, it does go back to being able to achieve at the highest level must come with some recognition of the faults, the shortcomings where we all need help, where we struggle.

I know, for me personally, I felt like I could do everything. But then when I had children, it was like this first realization, like, "Ah, I can't do this alone. I can't do this by myself. It requires support in some way. It requires a conversation with another woman who's been there."

And I'm sure in the business community, it's the same way. "Wow, I don't know a lot of CEOs. I'm having a problem, where's another CEO that can help me? Who can just talk to me about what's going on." Because we do have to offload some of that.

Give ourselves the grace, but then also in that process give others, too. Are you seeing that in the work that you're doing? As people long for love, do you find that they're also turning that back to themselves and giving themselves what they're also longing for?

Rhett:        Yeah, I mean, that's what we're trying to accomplish. I think that's one of the keys. I mean, this whole accountability movement that we're trying to, really, start and show people a different way, part of that is self-love. I mean, that's why the happiness goals are on there.

Two or three, four years ago if you just said, "Make sure you call your kids every day."

"Make sure you call your dad once a week."

"Make sure you dial up a friend that you hadn't talked to in a while."

"Tell people you love them."

That wasn't on my list.

Lauren:        Right, that's connection. It's interesting that we're pulling happiness, like, my happiness is dependent on connection.

Rhett:        Maybe that's the word.

Lauren:        Connection.

Rhett:        Connection. Maybe it's not love so much, but maybe connection.

Lauren:        Well, and as you know everything is automated now, everything is online now and we were all so apart for a couple of years. And, so, I do hope that it's been this pendulum swing. I know, for me, it's felt that way of like needing and craving connection. It's truly like the root of this podcast. Craving deeper connection with people to understand where we're the same.

Rhett:        Yeah.

Lauren:        And for anyone to listen, this is why I ask, "When was the worst time in your life?"

"When was the best time?" Because someone can look at that and go, "Oh, wow, gosh, he's had a harder slog than me."

"I feel connected to that person because I've had a similar thing."

I've also dealt with a child that had special health issues at the beginning of their lives. There are so many things that connect us and it's interesting even to put together connection with accountability because it fosters trust. You have to trust someone to be able to share with them.

Rhett:        Right, and the counter to that is that we don't accept accountability often because of fear and because we're scared of failure. We're scared of criticism. We're scared of the consequence of failure. We're scared of the consequence of accountability.

So accountability is a scary word to a lot of people in a lot of ways because it means that we are responsible. We have to own whatever our reactions are, whatever our feelings are. We have to own the results of whatever it is. So that's scary because we've created a culture where that is not good, that is bad, to own a failure or a mistake.

Lauren:        Yeah, because, well, look, we're in the age of Instagram and everything is perfect on Instagram.

Rhett:        Right

Lauren:        So to embrace something that's imperfect it's like, "Whoa, wait, what?"

Rhett:        And we don't have great models of leaders accepting responsibility.

Lauren:        Oh, true.

Rhett:        It's always, "Well, let's blame COVID or let's blame someone else for what happened."

Lauren:        Yeah, I do like one of the ways that you position what you do in saying, "There's a lot of new modalities, and new ways to do things, but I'm not a new guy I just do things the old way." And a lot of what you're saying sounds to me like, "Wow, this is what my mom taught me."

"Wow, this is what I grew up with."

"This is what my parents said."

Rhett:        My grandfather used to tell me and talk to me when I was 11, "You got to own it."

Lauren:        Yeah, "Do what you say you're going to do." That was my dad's biggest thing. "Do what you say you're going to do." And it's just that simple. Well, obviously, difficult but it is that simple.

Rhett:        It is.

Lauren:        What would you say is something about your nature you've had to overcome or you continue to overcome?

Rhett:        Oh, the list is long. I think I mentioned, I, probably, have the worst case of ADD in the world.

Lauren:        But that doesn't come through to me.

Rhett:        Focus, I can go down a rabbit hole in a second. I think what I've realized is communication. I'm perfectly happy getting lost in a book or a rabbit hole online, or reading something, or writing something. And the reason, again, going back to my list of stuff that I have to focus on is I can let the weeks go by. And it's not because I don't want to talk to someone, or I don't want to make that phone call, or pick up the phone and have that difficult conversation, it's just I'm in my own head. And it's not intentional but I'm an awful communicator.

Lauren:        I disagree. Please let me shine the mirror to you right now, I think you're an excellent communicator.

Rhett:        But that's work. But that is actual hard work to make sure I do that. It's not easy for me. The older I get the less... I used to think I was an extrovert and I'm totally not. So it's something that I have to, really, overcome and work on.

Lauren:        But, I mean, you're talking about it as if it's a negative. To me, I don't see any of that as a negative, I see that as here is who you are.

Rhett:        But if you don't communicate you can't be effective. And if I'm happier being in a book and I get lost in a book, or in reading, or writing something and I don't make that phone call. I leave something on that, I leave an issue out there, or I don't. If I don't pick up the phone call and call my kids every day, or my father once a week, or a friend, then I lose opportunities to build-

Lauren:        To connect.

Rhett:        To connect, and that's on me.

Lauren:        Yeah, and it does then dictate some level of happiness and fulfillment in that.

Rhett:        But I don't like doing that.

Lauren:        You don't like calling your dad?

Rhett:        I don't like talking on the phone. I don't like doing email. I don't like sitting down and doing email, I hate it. But it's become a necessary thing.

Lauren:        Yeah, it's part of it. And then you spend so many hours of your life on a plane flying from one place to the next place, and, oftentimes, that's the only way that you can connect is on a phone or over email. What would you say your purpose is?

Rhett:        I think is to create that movement where I was talking about accountability. That's become clear to me in the last couple of years is that, that is my purpose is to create that movement. To help leaders understand that accountability is the key to success, it's a prerequisite.

So, for me, accountability, this movement, is a prerequisite for everything that you want to do. It's a prerequisite for change. It's a prerequisite for success. When you accept that accountability and the principles of accountability, you're so in critical to whatever it is you really want to accomplish.

That is the purpose is to help leaders see that and understand it, and live it, embrace it, and do their thing, and create a community. Going back to what you said, part of that is creating a community where people cannot be alone in that sort of ideal or in that sort of-

Lauren:        It's, almost, I feel like in those times, too, I mean, I just think about times in my own life, when I've felt alone. It does feel like you're in a desert. Whether you're in a desert of problems that seem insurmountable, that you can't seem to overcome, or at a time when you're in a real pickle and you can't figure out the answers.

Hopefully, we're fortunate enough that we have people in our lives that can come up with ideas or see something differently. And if we don't have that, gosh, I feel like a group like that would be so killer important. To have people with shared experience, and shared outlook, and shared pressure.

Because how often do we go to someone and need advice, but they don't know the pressure. They don't know the pressure of what it's like to be an executive. Everybody is looking at them to be thinking five years out, 10 years out, and they don't have the answers.

Rhett:        Right, and another thing about these groups is that they don't want anything from you. It's not like you're talking to a friend or a business colleague, and you're not being vulnerable to someone at work.

These are people who don't have a stake in what you're doing at your job, or you're not a competitor. They're not someone that you feel awkward about being vulnerable with. These are people that are truly are there just to listen and be in the group to co-share, and co-learn, and co-grow, I never use that statement.

Lauren:        Co-grow, I like that. But the assonance is there, so it works-  co-grow.

Rhett:        And, I think, you're absolutely right. I would also say, though, it's not about joining our groups. It's about finding somebody in your life, at the end of the day, even if it's a really good friend. But it's got to be a friend that's going to push you. It's not a friend that lets you slide. It's not the guy that's going to say, "Oh, that's okay. You're okay, you didn't do that this week, that's okay." It's got to be somebody in your life that is willing to push you and ask you the tough questions, and call bullshit on your stuff. I hope that's permissible.

Lauren:        Yeah, I love it. Keep going, dish it all out.

Rhett:        But somebody that can call you on your stuff. At least get that person in your life and you guys work together on a weekly basis, spend 30 minutes a week together and push each other. Write your goals down, is that simple?

Lauren:        Right, well, I'm so glad you brought this up because that's exactly what I was going to ask you next is, what do we need to do? Like someone who hears this or watches this, and they're like, "Okay, you're right, I'm sold on accountability. I need accountability."

What's step one?

Is it let's pull out all the things that we want to accomplish or is it first acknowledging the shortcomings?

What is step one?

Rhett:        you have to acknowledge your shortcomings, absolutely. You have to understand who you are. I mean, you should do that self-work anyway, before you even think about accountability. You got to know who you are and you got to know what your limitations are, and where your shortcomings are, and are you really going to go lose that 30 pounds? You got to know who you are and the next step is finding that right person.

Then the two of you sitting down, or three, or four, whatever if you want to make a group out of it, that's great. And write down your happiness goals, and your wealth goals, and your business goals, and figure out what's important to you. And then meet once a week and say, "I accomplished this, this week."

"I accomplished that, I did that."

And do that on a weekly basis and you're 95% more likely to achieve those goals, if you do it that way.
Again, you got to have somebody that pushes you, and you've got to have goals that push you. If you already run five days a week, and go to the gym five days a week, and you eat well, and you've been doing that for years. You can't put that down because that's not-

Lauren:        That's a checklist item because you're already doing it.

Rhett:        Right, that doesn't count.

Lauren:        Yeah.

Rhett:        It's got to be stuff that you won't do that you need to do, unless somebody's holding you accountable. So that's the distinction, I think.

Lauren:        I love that. Was there ever anything on your list that became a glaringly obvious thing that you said, "Oh, I must not really care about this. I must not, really, have this goal I need to remove it." Was there anything for you like that?

Rhett:        Oh, yes, I mean, I do it all the time. I mean, I wasn't going to eat macaroni and cheese.

Lauren:        Again back to the food, the good food.

Rhett:        No, I mean, but seriously, there were some health goals. Things that I had started out thinking I needed to do that I didn't like doing. And, so, if I wasn't really going to like doing that activity, from an exercise perspective, or things that I thought I might try, that I would keep but I didn't do it, and I didn't like doing them.

Lauren:        I'm picking up that you really should like what goal you're setting for yourself. You might want to enjoy it to some degree.

Rhett:        Yeah, I think, that's important. I think you have to in order to be serious about continuing to do it.

Lauren:        Or at least see the merit. I mean, there's plenty of things that I'm sure people put on lists that they're like, "I really don't want to do this, but I know I have to do it." For example, like, "I got to be better about my finances. I don't really want to do it, but I have to do it. So whether I enjoy it or not I realize how important this is."

Rhett:        Yeah, I mean, mind shifts. I analyze them every few months. I mean, there's always a financial goal that I sort of tweak, there are things I have to tweak. I don't change a lot of stuff now, every year I change a little bit, but now I just tweak.

There might be a monetary goal or there might be some other goal only that I have to sort of adjust, because, maybe, I overshot or undershot or what have you.
But I don't change a lot of the big line items anymore. I change some tactics. I might change some things like that, but I don't change the big stuff anymore, I think, I've got it zeroed down.

Lauren:        Yeah, well, here is to continued zeroing in, friend, here's to that, cheers.  Thanks so much for being here, Rhett, I appreciate it.

Rhett:        Thank you.

Lauren:        So what do you think? Tell me in the comments below, Like it, Share it, with someone who needs to hear it. I'm adding new videos all the time to help you reconnect with self and then prepare for purpose. And since you're here, I've gone ahead and linked to my playlist, the episode AMPlified. It gives shorter clips from each episode, still, though, very much power packed with encouragement, it's all right here. So thanks for watching and I'll see you next time.

[00:50:35]        < Outro >

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