The Principles of Hope, Courage, and Problem-Solving with Dr. Randy Ross

November 15, 2020

Hope helps us through.

Dr. Randy Ross is the CEO of Remarkable.

Randy inspires others to bring the best of themselves to work. He focuses on the relations and creates better team dynamics within businesses. In this episode we talk a lot about encouragement and how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the workplace culture.

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Welcome to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, Founder and CEO of We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. Stick around to the end of the show; we'll reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go.

And with us right now, we've got Dr. Randy Ross, from up the road and Atlanta, north of Atlanta. Dr. Randy Ross, you are the founder and CEO of Remarkable you're the author of three books. I'm looking at your newest one, Hope Rises. And you've got a couple other ones I think we'll talk a little bit about as well. Remarkable and Relationomics, you do a lot of work in the field of workplace culture. Thank you so much for joining us, Dr. Randy.

Gus, pleasure to be with you, Josh. Thanks for the opportunity.

And so from a high level, um, can you kind of explain what your business is? Or what you do? I understand. So you do, do you do a lot of consulting. And normally speaking,

we do. Mostly I travel the country and around the globe, doing keynote addresses for corporate events. We do a lot of workshops for organizations just to engage their people, our our messages are all around corporate culture. How do you engage your people more fully and create an environment that inspires people to bring their best work every day? But the the concepts of relation omics, you know, you would appreciate this, it's a business powered by relationships as common sense circles you think that might be we also know it's not common practice in a lot of corporate circles, relational principles that lead to good team dynamics. And so we take a lot of the basics, the fundamentals of how do you give and receive good feedback? How do you elevate morale within the life of an organization and create better team dynamics? How do you offer good healthy, constructive coaching conversations? Just how do you enhance relationships overall, but the thing I'm most excited about the message of this latest book, hope arises, because right now, encouragement is something is made it among the audience that's struggling with anxiety and uncertainty of stress during rather tumultuous times. So I'm, I'm really pleased to be able to offer this message to the masses.

And, well, I've got several questions on this, of course, and, you know, in terms of like, a workplace culture, and, you know, if you've typically in your culture has been around, okay, you know, Friday is, you know, blah, blah, blah, you've got these little traditions, and you've got these things that, you know, really thrive in an in person environment. And now you've got, pretty much everybody, you know, could have could be now working in a distributed fashion, they haven't come back to the office are all working remotely over zoom. I think it's important, more important than ever to kind of, you know, maintain that culture. So how do we do that?

Yeah, great question, Josh. We define culture just simply is how we played together in the sandbox of life. And obviously, right now we're having to play the distance, which makes everything much more challenging. The dynamics are certainly different. But the necessity of being able to move into one another and still create this thing we call community, the sense of interconnectedness when it comes to relationships, is more vital today than it ever has been before. And so I think, for leaders, whether you're leading a small organization, or a global organization, being able to connect effectively with others emotionally and make sure that everyone has a lifeline of support, especially during these times, when everybody's challenged with the anxiety that's prevalent in society as a whole, I often describe to people that I think the whole globe is suffering from a low grade depression. And we've had this layering effect of negativity that's come from the pandemic and, and economic challenges. Now we've got social unrest and political divisiveness. All of that created a lot of additional tension, not only professionally, but personally as well. And so the question is, how do we personally navigate that? And then how do we encourage and equip others to navigate that effectively as well? And I think that's where the message of hope comes into play.

Yeah. So practically, what does that reduce your taxes eight upright tactically? What does that look like?

Yeah, well, hope for many has always been sort of this ethereal term. It's been hard to wrap your head around it. But but hope is far more than wishful. thinking it's not a it's not a Pollyanna attitude or mere positivity. I guess what I'm trying to say hope is not for, for dreamers and poets, it's for news. Maybe you've heard this hope is not a strategy. A lot of people like to throw that out there as a as a maximum. But the reality is, hope is actually the best strategy. Because without hope, then nothing you know, strive to do is going to be successful. No endeavor will ever be accomplished if you don't hope and believe that it can happen. And so hope is based upon four basic principles. It starts with principle of positivity, which just simply says that, I believe that tomorrow can be better and brighter than today, no matter how dark today may be, but hope goes far, far beyond positivity. Because a second principle of hope is that of responsibility. And that simply says that, I have a say, Josh, and how my life unfolds. I'm not a victim of circumstance, yes, there are things beyond my control. But there are many things within the realm of my control with me and how I respond to that. The third principle is the principle of agility, meaning that there are multiple ways to get to any desired destination, there's not just one way to get to a, you know, a preferred picture of the future, there are multiple routes. And so we have to demonstrate agility and creativity, to find alternate routes. And sometimes we even have to read goal, we have to set a different destination for ourselves, in order to keep fully engaged. And the last piece is the principle of reality. In reality, just simply says that, that there will be obstacles, it's an admission up front that life sometimes gets hard. And so we have to be prepared to flex and morph and, and demonstrate the agility that's necessary to be successful. So it from a from an advocacy standpoint, it's pretty impressive. If you go and do the research, I comb through over 200 scientific papers that were published on the efficacy of hope. And I can just tell you that high hope individuals are healthier, happier, they live longer, they're more productive, they engage more fully emotionally, which means that high hope individuals are 14% more productive, then there are low hope counterparts. This is even hope is predictive, more predictive, of final ranking in law school better predictor of performance in law school than the LSAT. Can you believe that? Yeah, science backs that up. So hope is a powerful, powerful idea to not only embrace but in view. And it makes a huge difference in the way we approach life, the way we interpret events, and how we're able to, to effectively face challenging times.

You know, I look at and if someone, because I think initially when I hear the word hope, it will say is, it seemed you know, maybe Initially, I think it's a little kind of nebulous, you know, and so, I think, at first glance, I maybe I don't really connect with that, but then, you know, now hearing you explain this, now, I think of other concepts in and around that, you know, expectation, you know, goal setting, you know, what is my belief in my ability to overcome challenges or to, you know, accomplish great things. And, uh, you know, if I believe you know, that I don't necessarily have the answer, but I believe that I'll be resourceful enough, in that moment that all thrive. I think these are all kind of concepts around, you know, maybe that central word hope that now, you know, kind of thinking about it that way. Okay, I get it, I can absolutely see it.

Well, so let me give you a definition of hope. And this may make it a bit more concrete. Hope is a dynamic motivational system that's tied to inspirational goal setting. So there are basically four components to hope. There's the work of hope, which is the what you do the will of hope, which is why you do it, the way of hope, which is how you do it, and when you do it, and then there's the the the the width of hope, with whom do you do it? So those four components, and it's very concrete, which is the fun part of being able to unpack and explain the power of hope is to take this nebulous, aetherium idea and be able to couch it in very practical terms, and back it up by science backed up by research and then be able to talk to individuals and Organizations about how they can not only embrace that, but they can, they can use hope to leverage their teams to higher levels of productivity, higher levels of engagement, reduce absenteeism, promote good health and happiness. It's a powerful, powerful idea. And that's the fun for me. I love to take, you know, complex ideas, and synthesize them and articulate them very simply so that everybody can embrace it and apply it.

Yeah. If someone personality wise, tends to be a kind of an enneagram, type six, you know, or they're just a little worried about things. Often, you know, and some people call that anxiety. And they're like, Look, I don't like this. I don't know why my brain always goes to that. But, you know, maybe a different way of asking this is, you know, if someone tends to be a glass half empty kind of person, is there, is there a process where they can practice and become more hopeful?

Yeah, well, most certainly. And it's kind of interesting that you should, you should bring that up. Because the fact is, that's not necessarily a bad perspective. Because hope has this incredible ability, both to have a disposition of positivity, but it's balanced by embracing reality in its totality. So it's almost this paradox, if you think about it, it's the paradox that has positivity that says, I have the confidence that I will be able to prevail in the end. This combined with the discipline, of being able to embrace reality, no matter how harsh that might be. And so it's not this denial of reality. So those who may have a disposition that tends to see, maybe life in darker colors, so here's what I would say to you. That's okay. Because here's the interesting part about it. Hope and hopelessness are not on a single continuum. Hmm. So think about this. You can possess hope and hopelessness simultaneously. Now, some people have a bit more of a disposition to to have more hope, less ness, but the way that they mitigate the risk of that is to increase their hope. So hope offsets are mitigates the negative impact of hopelessness, think about it in terms of courage and fear. Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the ability to move forward, even in the presence of Yeah.

And in the same way, hope.

can offset hopelessness even though if you have high levels of hope. There are some circumstances that are just quite frankly, hopeless situations, and you've got to embrace the reality of that. But you can have overriding hope, in a hopeless situation.

Yeah. You know, especially this year, I think it's important to note that there are just things that are outside our control, you can't change the economy, you can't change a pandemic with hope. So I feel like I'm kind of pulling back to the Serenity Prayer, right, where it's like, you know, give me the wisdom to know the difference, because I think it can be really frustrating to focus on, Oh, woe is me, the economy, blah, blah, blah. And, you know, I, I'd say that, you know, I've I feel like, you know, when when, you know, when when COVID started kind of impacting, and we had clients that were like, Whoa, you know, we need to press the pause button on some new things. You know, I'm actually pretty heartened when I see the number of businesses that have adapted very quickly, and I think adaptability is a big part of this, particularly when there are things that we just we can't we can't control. Key. Talk about that a little bit.

Well, yeah, let me back up and kind of frame the conversation by sharing a little bit more my story. Our organization remarkable, we started we started remarkable about my timing is impeccable. Let me just put it that way. I'm the master of good timing, because we started remarkable in December of 2007. Now think about that, a consulting and advisory group in the training field. Yeah, we just started the housing market was beginning out. We were headed into the recession. And so 2008 2009 was not the time to start an organization like this it just what and for the first three years we barely held on and we're not for hope, you know, we would have crashed and burned and wound up on the junk pile like so many other startups because it was hope this sustained us that didn't really realize realize it at the time. The concepts and the principles that we were living out are a lot of the concepts and principles now that I've written about in the book. Now fast forward. I'm looking at this last spring, and I'm looking at my calendar and I was packed wall to wall with speaking engagements across the country. And Josh, I saw more money slip off of the table in q2, and q3 when we hit this COVID crisis, because all those events were either postponed or shut down. A friend of mine, that's a friend of mine challenged me said, Ray, do you need to write a book on huddle? And I thought about it. And I almost laughed, because that's not an area of expertise for me. Right? But But the best messages I have found in life come from not what you know, but what you need. And I needed hope, right? So that's why I dug into all the research and, and wanted to unpack this, and I wanted to put something out there wasn't just filled with platitudes, because I had read a lot of content on hope before that was nothing more than just, you know, nice sayings and flowery language. Right, I wanted to wrap you know this into a very powerful the science of hope that they could practically apply, you know, to make like your, to your point to make the theory and the nebulous crank. And so so that's what I have done in this book. And, and so for me, hope is such a powerful concept that really is forms the foundation of everything that we do, because to your point, it establishes and reveals the core values that we hold. And here's what I'll say that the tough times reveal what good times conceal. And see, to your point, these tough times have refined us in many organizations, they've had it, they've had to flex they, they now see maybe what wasn't going to work in terms of the business strategy. And they moved in a different direction. Yes, actually, to pivot is essentially what hope is really all about,

you know, this is amazing, Randy, because I think about now there's been several instances that I've noticed, even lately, where Initially, I was very disappointed by a circumstance, right. So for example, even just like refinancing our mortgage, you know, and this guy was doing some research on it. And he's like, it just, it was just not it was really disappointing. What he, what he came back with, when we really hoped for something much better. Well, as a result of that, I was able to take that information, go back to my current mortgage provider, and share that information. And we got a deal. But we've never even seen anything close to that deal. And but it was, it was it was that moment of like, it's like I you know, you know that that disappoint them immediate disappointment. I, I look at those disappointments as like moments to, okay, it's time to take action now, based on this circumstance, what's your best guess on what to do? And you just start laying out all your ideas? And then you know, what about this? What about this direction? You know, the same thing with our company. So for years and years and years, we we get, you know, we turned our clients into media celebrities, we're good at it. However, beginning of this year, you know, a lot of people were like, Well, you know, media is nice. But, you know, I think everybody kind of pulled back and got more conservative and focused on the basics. And the basics. revenue is interesting, you know, that, you know, sometimes your ego can get in the way. And I think thankfully, we didn't let her Egon my ego initially, you know, this this year, uh, you know, when we had actually been starting to do some work for some of our clients in regards to building their sales systems. I'm like, I'm not a sale systems guy. But I just said, You know what, that's the market. It's asking for it. I don't let my ego get in the way because I think because of that. I mean, compared to last year, I just had my meeting with my CFO, we're up like 400% compared to last year, as a result, too. It's like, hope in one's self that in that moment, um, there will be other opportunities you, you don't have to know what they are today. And I think that that's a big part of this as well. And one one last thing, Randy and I'm sorry, I just, you know, here's here's another thing I think I've tried to condition myself to. Someone once told me said its success is found on the backside of failure. I didn't know that I really understood it at the time. But my interpretation of that was when something bad happens, or you're disappointed or you fail, get excited, because you are inches away from something that you had never considered or some sort of success. And I think that I look at the two examples I just shared with you, as illustrate of, of that concept.

Think about this, Josh, I love this definition of creativity. Creativity is what you get, when all other options are taken off of the table.

Mm hmm.

And what has happened during this period of time is that so many of our options, you know, so many of our creature comforts, so many of our Yeah, Eg directions, so many of our pathways, we found ourselves, they're blocked. And so now it's forced us to go back and number one, reexamine our values, but also change our perspective, you know, how do we see this situation because we often say, how you view things will drive how you do things. And that's so important, because during this period of time, and anytime you're facing challenges, it changes the way you view reality. Now, if you will allow it to because you've got to see the light, you've got to see the world and life and business differently than maybe you've seen it before. But that's not a bad thing to your point. It opens up a whole new window of opportunity. So here, here's the pivotal question. I think this is where everything kind of hinges. Here's the question that I would like for people to ask rather than Why is this happening? Here's the question I prefer people ask, what does this now make possible? And that shifts the focus away from negativity. What does this now make possible? Okay, so they're challenging times. So that path is blocked. So we can't do this. So we don't have that. Okay. So what does this now make possible now the slate is wiped clean now that the table is clear. What other options can we bring to the table that will allow us to move forward with optimism and positivity knowing that our future we have a say in how our future unfolds? We don't have to passively sit back and be a victim of circumstances.

What does this now make possible? I've written that down. I'm gonna look at that all day long. Dr. Randy Ross, your website again is You got three books relation omics remarkable and the newest book, hope rises, make your life love and leadership soar. Dr. Randy Ross, any anything else that people should look for?

And Josh, and I appreciate I just I would encourage people to look for the light. Because even in a hopeless situation, there still hope. You know, and one of the things I'd like to maybe say as we close is it that faith, hope and love are intricately intertwined. And so I kind of want to wrap it up with a caption, I would say this that, that joy is the emotional response of hope. Joy is the emotional response of hope. Peace, is the emotional response of faith. And love is the expression of them both.

I dig it. Dr. Randy Ross again, thank you so much,, you find all three books. Thank you so much, Dr. Randy. I appreciate it.

Thank you, Josh.

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