Derik Mills is the founder and CEO of Glo, a health and wellness company that challenges people to live a fulfilling life and live into their potential.
Glo exists to connect people through self-care so that, together, we can heal our planet. It’s a self-funded company whose online service empowers members around the world to experience world-class instruction in yoga, meditation, and philosophy and integrate self-care into their everyday lives from anywhere in the world.
Featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Forbes, Goop, Oprah, and more, Glo has become a cultural phenomenon driven by Derik’s commitment to creating an environment that enables people to live into their potential and contribute to something larger than themselves.
One of the things that I most admire about Derik, and which I think really comes through in this episode, is his authenticity and vulnerability. He’s led the creation of a very successful company and is an example of how to transform one’s environment and company by transforming oneself. He’s doing it in a way that I find authentic, inspiring, and relatable — among many other things, we discuss how to be okay with things being a never-ending work in progress, and how to let go of shame, perfectionism, and engage well in the struggles of life and business.
We discuss many powerful experiences in Derik’s entrepreneurial journey, as well as the almost decade Derik spent traveling and experiencing the fullness of humanity around the world before getting into entrepreneurship.
I’m especially excited about this conversation, because Derik and Glo’s story are a real-world, ongoing case study of how to make real many of the essential concepts discussed on this show — entrepreneurship, a culture that is kind, candid, and creates high performance. This is a very raw, real story from the front lines of exploring what business is and can be, and I am honored to bring it to you.
Please enjoy this conversation with Derik Mills.
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Andrew 00:02:40 Derek my friend. Welcome to the show. Thank you so much for taking the time to be here. I really appreciate it.
Derik 00:03:12 Good to see you, Andrew. Great to be with you. And thank you for having me on
Andrew 00:03:15 Man. I’ve been, I woke up so excited today because we were having this conversation. So it’s already made my day. And so I’m excited to actually get into it with you.
Derik 00:03:23 I tried to block out as much as possible today just to get myself as focused as possible. But as I mentioned, I just came off a call that was quite triggering. So I’m,
Andrew 00:03:33 You know what though, I love that you’re open and honest about that, which is, you know, major thing. Like, you know, I, you know, I’ve gotten to know each other over the last few months and that’s been something that stood out to me about you from, I think maybe the first conversation we ever had was like, damn, this dude is like super real. And I love that about you. I think that’s great.
Derik 00:03:48 Oh, thank you. But, you know, so are you, so I feel comfortable to go there with you. It takes you to that.
Andrew 00:03:54 I was just gonna say it takes two to tango. So there we go. You know what I actually wanted to start, um, as I was getting ready for this conversation and, and I’m thinking on some of our previous conversations and researching you a little bit,
Derik 00:04:04 I there’s something I,
Andrew 00:04:05 I heard you talk about elsewhere that I think is maybe where this whole thing starts. Um, and it’s in a college philosophy class that you had, and there was a question that your teacher asked everyone to answer, which was, what do you want to get out of this one shot? You’ve got it life. And you had a answer that I thought was beautiful. And I was hoping you could tell us what that answer was and, and expand on that a little bit. Like, what did that mean to you?
Derik 00:04:29 Yeah. Wow. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. What a great question. All right. Well, before I give the answer, uh, I’ll just give a slight bit of background. So I, I went to a small liberal arts university up North in Washington state. And, uh, my thoughts go out to everyone out there, by the way for the virus and, and anywhere else, I, this was, this was a lovely place. And I had had lovely friends and I was a chemistry major. Uh, psychedelic mushrooms actually grew on our campus, believe it or not. So I was in this space of, of just exploring consciousness, mindfulness self-awareness. And in my senior year, I took this course that was actually called Hinduism. And we read parts of the rig data various upon his shots. Uh, we spent a half a semester just in the Bhagavad Gita and some other supplemental texts.
Derik 00:05:31 And I was just blown away by the way, in which it was taught. It was taught from a very academic point of view, not in any way, proselytizing a particular agenda. Like there wasn’t a particularly say Buddhist or Hindu take on the material, which can often often happen quite common, uh, or, or other perspectives. And the way it was presented was that yoga really is this kind of continuous, ongoing process of, of virtuosity and being oneself. And at the end of the semester, on the last day of class, the professor started the class with the one question of what do you want? Like, what do you want in this lifetime? And we all wrote in our notebook and my answer was something like something like I want to nurture and cultivate my capacity for wonder something like that. I don’t know. Do you have the exact words,
Andrew 00:06:39 What I heard you? Yeah. What did you say was that you wanted to maintain and cultivate your faculty for one year
Derik 00:06:44 Faculty? Yes, exactly. And the reason why I gave you the kind of preamble is because wonder has a lot to do with it. There’s so much opportunity for wonder and awe and gratitude. And even with the chemistry of seeing what this subatomic world looks like and the distinction between the Newtonian world and the, uh, quantum world, and just playing with all of that and with some of these concepts in these texts that are, you know, considering how we experience, how we speak about reality, either from a dual point of view or a non dual point of view or a combination thereof, like all of that was just so fascinating to me. And I didn’t know what to do with that. I didn’t know what, like, what did this mean for me in my life? Uh, you know, had I been maybe a little more focused, a little more precocious and a little more intelligent, perhaps I would have stayed in an academic path, but that just set me on a path of wandering for a number of years. Yeah. I think you’ve mentioned it.
Andrew 00:07:57 You spent like seven years on the road
Derik 00:08:00 Spend it. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So on the road can mean lots of different things to different people. I started. My first job was in Munich, Germany saved some money, traveled through India, uh, through Southeast Asia, uh, ended up in Sydney. I wanted to find a way to stay in Sydney. So I stayed on a student visa. I started, uh, the coursework for a master’s in neuropsychology at the university of new South Wales. And then, uh, through some very specific experiences, which could take us down a really long tangent. I got fascinated with business. And so I switched to the masters in business at the university of Sydney.
Andrew 00:08:39 Yeah. What was that, what was that pivot for you? Like why, why the hard left cause neuro neuro psychology is fascinating. So what was it that took you in this other?
Derik 00:08:48 So I, I began to see that the, the profession that would most interest me would require possibly going to medical school, going down the path of either neurology of some sort, uh, you know, neuroscience. Wasn’t what it is today. Uh, the people that I’d met that word doing work in neuroscience didn’t really inspire me. I, uh, I look at people who did go down that route back then and the work that they’ve done and what they’ve become. And, and I, I I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have some regret and jealousy about that because it definitely lights up something within me. Yeah. Uh, but you know, I look at all the paths that I took and peaked into. And I’m going to get to the answer to your question in a minute. And I, I think one, like the threshold to determine whether or not I would continue in any particular path was this kind of intuitive, visceral felt sense of like, how much does it really light me up?
Derik 00:09:57 And so nothing really lit me up enough to say like, I’m going to devote my life to this. You know, even, even just the traveling and the wandering and being with people in these countries and just sitting with them and staying with them like that lit me up too. But, you know, I do, I become a social worker, do I start a nonprofit? But all of these things were interesting and fascinating to me and tapped into aspects of me that were wanting to be exercised, but just, you know, my mid twenties, late twenties, it just wasn’t clear to me how I could bring together all these different dimensions of myself. And so, yeah, in that, in that first year of neuro psychology, I began to see that the theory is way more interesting than, than the practice and the people doing the really cool work were the ones who got to play with the MRIs and pet scanning technology and some other technologies.
Derik 00:10:51 And, um, you know, it’s funny actually in undergrad, I, I wrote to, uh, Robert to Polsky’s lab because I had read his, I read his book, you know, why zebras don’t get ulcers? I think when I was a sophomore, junior, I can’t remember exactly. And I’ve read, I just read behave, but I haven’t read the zebras book yet. I haven’t read anything of him of his since then. Maybe it’s a, maybe as a block there, but I, I, I, I’m standing there like 600 pages long. So there’s just that, I mean, you could work out with this book. It’s huge. I’m not surprised anyway. Um, and other attempts like that to kind of crack into that world. And, uh, you know, I was, I was a B student and, you know, maybe there are some certainly aspects of, of like feelings of inadequacy and not, not good enough.
Derik 00:11:37 And, and so, uh, you know, I, I, I still had this fire to go out and explore and come back to this, the sense of wonder and what does wonder and awe mean for me? And what does it mean for me in not only in terms of my own sense of self sense of self construct, but what does it mean in terms of how I can contribute to the world in a way that’s fully just resonant with me authentic to me, uh, and, and, and of service. And so, yeah, so I, I was probably halfway through, or in the first semester of, of the neuro psych work. And it was awesome because one of the classes was, um, with the med students for neuroanatomy. And I love learning about the brain, but I was dating a girl at the time who his father, uh, was quite successful in business and Sydney. And he’d come back from a trip overseas with this collapsible crate. It’s kinda like two feet by a foot by a foot. And the sides collapsed in and collapsed down. And he said, you know, everyone in Italy is using this. And, um, it doesn’t exist in Australia. The reason why my tone just changes cause he has this really tall, large man from Argentina with a very thick, thick accent.
Derik 00:12:57 And he said, you know, use my, my company, I resources, um, everything, uh, if you wanna bring this into the country and we’ll split the profits 50 50. And so I said, sure, but leading up to that, I was so in my parents were both teachers. So I didn’t have, I had some experiences with business, uh, in childhood adolescents, but, uh, definitely the core, the core environment growing up was about education, not overtly like full on like it’s all about education, but it was just something that was constantly there. For example, my father taught counseling psychology. So, uh, you know, having like Carl Rogers lying around the house and keeping peeking in and exploring like, what, what, what is humanism, what is humanistic psychology? Like? So these things were already kind of percolating in the background for me, the seeds have been planted. Exactly. And so, uh, I was curious about his world.
Derik 00:13:59 He would take me on meetings and I would see him do his thing. And I would see how he would merge deals with gifts to the city, for example, like connecting a development with a theater or adding a park or, you know, et cetera. And I just saw, I saw an interesting combination of creating, moving things forward, working with people, negotiating and innovating. And I just, I, it, it lit me up to continue with the imagery. It lit me up and, uh, sure enough, I ended up long story short bringing this product and some of the products in, from Italy and distributing it all across Australia to, um, uh, one of their large department stores, kinda like our Macy’s, uh, I use that money to, uh, basically pay for my education. And then, uh, that experience in some other experiences inspired me to switch to the master’s in business at the university of Sydney. How cool,
Andrew 00:14:56 How cool. I love that because one of the, I mean, one of the things you, um, that I actually, the thing that you said in there that jumped out to me that I think is a real through line here from starting back in Australia, but then even now into Glo. And we’re going to talk a lot more about that, you know, in a little bit, is this idea, you know, you talked about your parents being teachers and teaching. One way of looking at teaching and education in general is as if not the, a primary mechanism by which we help people explore and unlock their potential. And there’s a phrase I’ve heard you use that I really love, which is the idea of living into one’s potential. And that seems like that that’s a really core idea for you throughout your life, but of course, in Glo as well. And I’m curious if, if you could, you know, what does that mean to you?
Derik 00:15:38 Yeah, so you’re, you’re, you’re picking up on our, so we, we had, uh, a working version of our mission and vision statements that we’ve, we’ve since refined. Uh, we haven’t, we haven’t publicly posted it yet on our, on our platform. I I’ve updated it on my, some of my profiles. Um, but the, the full manifestation of our, our current why statement, uh, isn’t there. And so maybe we can talk about that in a bit, but even, even as we were working with those words to live into, there was some discussion around how it’s a little grammatically awkward, but it was, it was incredibly important to me, for us to preserve those words, because it suggests a never complete, it suggests a it’s a living, breathing thing that, uh, there’s always more.
Andrew 00:16:25 Yeah, no, that, that’s the reason I read it. It really resonated with me is cause I have I’m in love with that idea as well. The idea of potential, and one of the things that occurred to me at some point was that by definition, you never reach your pet your potential, right. Because there’s always more and
Derik 00:16:40 Serving versus lived or fulfilled or
Andrew 00:16:42 Exactly. Right. Or like, you know, um, people will say things like, you know, to, to fully realize our potential. That’s actually impossible. You, you, cause as soon as you get somewhere, there’s, you know, the goal line just moved on you. And for a while, that really like that made me so feel, it feels so depressed. And then, but I think the language you have there of like living into your potential is in some way, like the third door, it’s like the hack on that, um, seeming paradox. It’s like, wait, I have this potential, but I can’t get there. So now what, and that’s why I love the language you’ve chosen so much. It seems to hit on a, um, hit on both the truth of it, but also in a way that is psychologically, um, empowering, so to speak.
Derik 00:17:18 Ah cool. Yeah. Yeah. That, that, that taps into your, your middle way or your third option philosophy. Yeah. Yeah.
Andrew 00:17:27 You don’t have to remind me what that is. Cause it sounds like something that came up in one of our, one of our Epic jam sessions that I’ve forgotten about. So for the listener who doesn’t know this, so, so Derek and I have developed a pattern over the last few months and I think at least certainly I enjoy it. I think he does too. Um, of, of basically we’ll start somewhere and then we’ll have this three hour jam session about God knows what, and at the end of it, I’m not totally sure what we talked about, but my life is better somehow and it’s all good. And so somehow it’s like, it’s gotten better and I think that’s what we’re going to have today. Maybe not three hours, but if it is, we’ll cut it into parts, you know, we’re gonna, we’re gonna see how this thing goes. So that’s fine. So you’re gonna have to remind me what that third way thing is at some point here.
Derik 00:18:01 Totally, totally. Well, unfortunately I’ll probably be a little less experimental on this, given that this will be publicly available, but yeah,
Andrew 00:18:07 We can always cut. So fair enough. Fair enough. Fair enough. But, um, you know, there’s actually one other thing that is related to this and then I want to start to shift gears and talk more about, and, and some of your journey there, but I heard you also say, um, in another conversation that it was really important to you to learn how to struggle better. And I was curious if you could say more about that, like what does that mean to you? And for that matter, the way you said that assumes that it has to be a struggle. And I’m curious what you think about the idea of does it have to be a struggle?
Derik 00:18:38 I think it’s all in the framing. Yeah. The words that I use are to struggle well, like better suggests we’ll just simply suggest that what is happening now is not okay. So in my struggle, if I think of my struggle now is not okay that I could be struggling better, then that kind of invalidates the ability for my struggle that I’m in within now to be enough inadequate versus struggling. Well, aligns me more with, uh, say like in meditation, the, the incessant per the assess, the incessant bubbling up of thoughts and simply just observing those thoughts without attachment and judgment. Versus if I were just the only better at this, I wouldn’t have these thoughts.
Andrew 00:19:26 No, it was just a better meditator. My mind was trying. Yeah,
Derik 00:19:29 I suck. Dammit. Exactly.
Andrew 00:19:34 So yeah,
Derik 00:19:36 Absolutely. Absolutely. So I liked the, I liked the concept of struggling well, because it takes some of the pressure off and it also suggests that struggle doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Struggle doesn’t have to be viewed as, as heavy and intense. You know, we all struggle all the time. Show me one person who probably doesn’t experience some type of struggle in their day. Someone saying something to them in a particular way that might engender a particular emotion. And that moment of deciding, observing the different options before responding. Sometimes we’re not going to respond in ways that we’re proud of. That’s a struggle. And so we that’s an experience in and of itself and that pre-thought, or that, even that thinking moment of, of how will I respond. It is a form of struggle. It’s the water’s turning it’s it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s wrestling with, it’s engaging with all different aspects of myself to evaluate like, how am I going to navigate this particular moment in time? And maybe struggle’s not the right word for, for all of it, but there, there are some maybe it’s to engage well.
Speaker 3 00:20:57 Yeah. So whether we use the word struggle or the word engage, I agree with you that this is something that is inevitable, right? Whatever word you want to say. Um, the ability or the, not the ability, um, the requirements to show up and deal with or engage whatever is presenting itself in front of you. You know, that is, it seems to be a requirement of this game we’re playing. And so like, my question is, regardless of the words, whether it struggle well, engage well, what does that look like for you? What does it mean to you like to show up and do that? Well,
Derik 00:21:26 Well, let me just say sometimes hitting the couch and binging, Netflix is fantastic.
Speaker 3 00:21:31 Lily ultra carbon season two just came out. That’s what it is.
Derik 00:21:35 That’s been on that. I’ve been saving that one
Speaker 3 00:21:39 Got in formula one. My friend, this season just came out so fucking good.
Derik 00:21:44 I finished season one. I was thinking crap, I have to wait a whole year for another season. It’s so good. So good. I had no idea. I had no idea that I would be interested in that someone, right? Yeah. A friend keep me into it. And I thought, nah. And he kept telling me, you gotta watch this. You gotta watch this. And eventually I did. Oh, I was hooked.
Speaker 3 00:22:00 Yeah. I was like, wait for it. I was like, ah, racing’s kind of boring, whatever. Then I watched it. I was like, Oh my God, what the hell have I been doing? Yeah,
Derik 00:22:08 Yeah, yeah. My wife, my wife was chuckling because in the weeks after I kept checking the leaderboard
Speaker 3 00:22:18 And then you’re like, 5:00 AM, Saturday, Saturday morning, getting up to watch her race. And she’s like, well, yeah, yeah.
Derik 00:22:22 And I’m not, I’m not a sports watching guy. I’m a sports, I play sports, but I only watch the sorta France and the, and the world cup every four years and the super bowl. But I think your question was what is, what does engaging well look like for me, I’m very curious about what it means to show up with as your whole self to work, to work. And I, I so deeply love that this is now a thing that everyone’s talking about. Yes. I suspect you’ll hear a pretty broad spectrum of what people mean by that. And I don’t claim to have fully, fully, uh, I haven’t spoken about this yet publicly. So I, one of about the same age may change, but you know, we we’ve, we’ve identified three core values that, uh, along with all of the other ways in which we support those values, uh, such that we think that leads to creating an environment that’s psychologically safe, where people can bring their whole selves to work well.
Speaker 3 00:23:29 Glo was the original leader in the space of bringing yoga, mindfulness, philosophical practices in that, um, in that discipline to people anywhere. Right. And so actually having people have access to that, that seems like a really commonplace thing. Now people are like, Oh yeah, of course you can have an app. Lets do yogurt, whatever. But that was, that was like groundbreaking. When you started, you know, you started in August, 2008, like almost a, you know, 12 years ago. And uh, you’ve, you’ve been at the forefront of this thing that entire time, which is extraordinary ended up itself. And so when I really want to go into now is really your, your entrepreneurial journey and the journey you’ve gone through as a leader, as a man, um, in going through that. And so, you know, you, you said to me once was that for you starting a company was like giving birth to yourself, closing her ever 12, like 12 years now. And there’s been a tremendous arc of things that have happened in that time. But I think the last three odd years in particular is especially interesting. Talk to us about the way out of a toxic culture.
Derik 00:24:25 So continuing with this lit me up imagery. I started a business before this and I was trying to get other ideas off the ground before this company. And I was quite unhappy with where I was across a variety of dimensions, psychologically relationship professionally. And so my way of addressing that at the time was to do a few things. I was going back to texts, literature, things that inspired me like in my late teens, early twenties, things that, that really kind of, uh, lit up this, this faculty of wonder and because that always felt very natural to me. And a lot of that reading was centered around some of the texts that I’d mentioned at the beginning. And I was also reigniting my meditation practice. I, because I was experimenting with it back in the mid nineties and I was going off into yoga class, like the modern, modern postural yoga class that we all typically know yoga as sure.
Derik 00:25:50 And I was also extremely fascinated with what was happening in the tech space at the time. This is 2007. I was constantly refreshing tech crunch and Mashable, uh, the ways in which that technology was being used, you know, not just only in a variety of ways, like in terms of, of, of, uh, of creating an and growing community of disseminating video of using these technologies to be of service. Like some of the nonprofit initiatives that were, were starting to kind of come online and take advantage of some of these technologies back then, just so fascinating to me again, like all these little things lit me up and actually tie it. So a lot of them tied into some experiences that I’d had leading up to this, which
Speaker 3 00:26:38 We don’t have time for. And I was often driving from Manhattan
Derik 00:26:44 Beach where I was leading at the time to Santa Monica to go to yoga classes. And I was just so often late and this one time I was stuck on Lincoln Boulevard and I was thinking, Oh, you know, Oh, good old Boulevard. I remember the exact intersection. And I just thought, why can’t I just, you know, I could just beam this class into my living room and I wouldn’t have to do this drive. And I would cut out all the anger and frustration and increase in quarters and all that. And with that idea, I was so excited. I went to class and I just couldn’t wait to get home. I don’t know. I was just buzzing and I couldn’t wait to get home to see if anyone was doing it. And so, uh, then I started thinking, Oh, you know, I have a really specific sensibility for the kind of teachers that I like.
Derik 00:27:29 I didn’t even know what a downward facing dog was until about five to six years after I had taken that philosophy course, despite having I’ve been through India two times, I believe, uh, I just hadn’t been and introduced to this postural practice. And, uh, there’s one day when I was living in New York city, I ended up taking an, um, a group fitness class and it was an abs class. Yeah. At this particular gym. And afterwards I was lying there, tired, sweaty, uh, the ground, everyone was leaving. I was just worked because I hadn’t done that type of work. And a lot of time just like, Oh God, I was like cover. And people started walking in with mats under their arm. And I asked the person next to me. I said, what is this? She said, yoga is. I said, well, what do I need a mat?
Derik 00:28:17 Like, I don’t have one grab one from the corner. And so I grabbed it, did the class. And luckily the woman who taught the class it’s so in this really mellifluous lovely way, integrating music, uh, she read from one of these texts that I refer to. Uh, she even chanted, she had, it had enough intensity that it, it, it lit up the athlete in me and afterwards I was buzzing. I was, I wasn’t in a way that I was not buzzing after the app’s class. And I just thought, wow, I don’t know what just happened to me, but I meant to it, I need to continue tapping into this and that, that just set off a, a journey of exploring all the teachers in New York city at the time. And this was like 2001 or two. I’m not sure exactly. Probably 2002. And so as I’m processing this thought on Lincoln Boulevard, on my way, my way back, uh, from the class, I’m thinking I have a very particular your sense of what type of teacher gets it in quotes.
Derik 00:29:24 Yeah. Too far on the side of the spiritual and, and, and weird and culty, but also not too far on the side of just purely calisthenics like this, this nice middle ground. I mean, on our platform, we offer the whole spectrum. So I’m not sure playing any of it, but all of our teachers can teach to that, that spectrum, they have the capacity to do. So, which means that they, they, um, inhabit the, the, the range of that I’m speaking, speaking of, and I can speak a lot more to that, but I’ll, I’ll just leave it at that. And so then I started thinking, I could add a nonprofit component to this. I could add a community component to this. I could add a tracking component to this where we could, we could, we could leverage, uh, you know, some of the experiences I had in terms of, of, of how we help people create healthy habits.
Derik 00:30:16 And, and so I found someone who could help me build it to do the coding, and we just, we just started building it. And, uh, I, I tried extremely hard to not rent a space because I was funding this myself and I, I tested out some existing spaces in it. And I quickly realized that that wasn’t going to be sustainable. So unfortunately, and fortunately, I set out trying to find a space and that took about like, probably close to I’m guessing ten-ish months, maybe for 3.3, three brokers. And I was known as this crazy guy, trying to start this to get at your point back then this crazy yoga thing, like, like, what is, what is yoga?
Andrew 00:30:55 When is this in time? This is like 2009.
Derik 00:30:57 No, this is now too, that this is, so this is trying to find a space. This is a 2000, 2007, 2007. And so we’re just like incubation phase right now. Yup. Yup. I took the step to start building a little prototype. I took the step to create some test video because of what I wanted to do was I wanted to create the experience of being in a real class at home. So I wanted people to see others. Cause if you recall back then DVD video was more like this kind of really flashy models, super produced way over produced soap, opera, like kind of backdrop. And I wanted the opposite of that. I just wanted to be beamed into the class like star Trek style. Yeah. And, and so, so we, I did a test of this concept and a little prototype and I sent it out to a few people and I just wanted to ask, like, does it feel like you’re in a real class? Like, do you feel like you’re there with the people I didn’t care so much? Like, would this work for you as a service because it didn’t exist yet. So I didn’t, wouldn’t expect for people to think even subscription. Like the New York times dropped its paywall, I think in 2010, like it was all ad supported. I mean, we, we launched at, at, at the time when the markets were just, just tanking
Andrew 00:32:14 You’re right. Like the Lehman brothers, the whole, I mean, everything fell apart right. When you launched.
Derik 00:32:18 Exactly, exactly. And so when I saw that I could potentially bring all these different components together into one thing. It just, it, it, the, the, and I’ll stop relying on this imagery soon. Like the little things that kind of lit me up over all those years combined to make like a fire. Yeah. Like a conflagration big bonfire. And it’s when I think back on it, it was truly a surreal experience in that I almost had no choice, like this thing was going to exist almost with, or without me. Yeah. All the obstacles, all the challenges, all the weird shit that happened from betrayal to you, name it. Like none of it mattered. I mean, it all affected me emotionally and physically, but it, it, none of it would have stopped me. And so the initial product actually had the ability you could choose across three different nonprofit partners that we had chosen at the time.
Derik 00:33:25 And the language that we, that I, that I had written was that in some version of like, you, you give to others by giving to yourself or your practice through your practice, you give to others by giving to yourself. And that we said that we would get 5% of our profits to one of the nonprofit partners of, of, of your choosing. Um, it was very naive. I quickly realized eight or nine months into it. I think I took it down August, 2009 or September, 2009. And, but it’s, it was a big gaping hole in my, in my dream of, of this service really being something that like you do through the platform and in, so doing, you’re not just giving to yourself, you’re also by becoming, by engaging well or learning to engage well, you’re, you’re giving back to others because your relationships are changing your navigating the world differently. You’re, you’re, you’re, you’re spreading through example like mindful behavior. Uh, but then in addition to that, like you’re also making a financial impact. Like that was the fantasy, um, of,
Andrew 00:34:27 Oh, that’s stacking up hitting on all these things simultaneously. It feels amazing if you could find that, like, that overlap that.
Derik 00:34:34 Exactly. Exactly. So you, fast forward to 2016, we, we moved to a new space. You were we’d cobbled together about over that, that over those years, six or seven spaces that we kind of cobbled together and about a block and a half away, we moved to a new space and, um, um, I’m hesitating. Cause I haven’t yet spoken about this publicly. So I’m, if I’m stuttering or staggering, uh, bear with me. Uh, so just up until the point until we moved into our new office slash recording studios, we were using a lot of third parties for lots of different things. And I could see the limitations of that. You know, it was a lot of, of execution that I just dreamed that if we were all together as a unit, as a team, living, breathing, thinking, dreaming about this mission, that there would be that, that more would come of it or would come out with the experience.
Speaker 3 00:35:38 And let’s just set the context here really quick. So at this point it’s 2016, you’re like eight years into this crazy journey and how you’ve gone this crazy journey. You’ve been in multiple spaces, things across multiple cities. And how big is the team across, you know, third parties, contractors, whatever, but how many people are involved at this point?
Derik 00:35:55 That’s a great question. I, I don’t know at that point, you know, we, we were, so we’re still self-funded and you know, the strategy all along was to make sure that there was more money at the end of the day or more money coming in and going out. I mean, that, wasn’t the case for like the first year and a half. Uh, I I’d maxed out all credit cards and whatever lines of credit I had. But then after that, that was the strategy in terms of at least financial matters,
Speaker 3 00:36:25 Generally a good rule for bootstrapping and business in general. Exactly. So like
Derik 00:36:29 A few things that, that I did that I would recommend other people do is like, I, I handled customer support other than social media, all the other, like tickets coming in. I did that all by myself and I like to do that for four years. Wow. That is a long time. And I, again, I don’t recommend it. I don’t wear it as a badge of honor. It’s it prevented me from doing other things that were probably more important. Again, we could do a whole separate episode just on, just on the lessons learned. Yeah. And so I really, I have no idea how many, how big we were. I suspect if I were to guess we were in the, on payroll, probably 15
Speaker 3 00:37:08 Ish range.
Derik 00:37:10 So 20 maybe. And then when we moved into the new space, we ramped that up very quickly. If we had the opportunity to, uh, bring in not only individual people, but kind of little groups of people. And before I go into the next part, I just want to share that my way of dealing or addressing, or trying to elicit kind of an internal commitment and inspiration towards my worldview of how I would want us to behave in terms of the cultural behavioral norms, uh, was extremely limited. And my way of doing it was giving everyone a copy of Fred Kaufman’s conscious business. I love that book, but how’d that go, as you would expect, as I, as your laughter and tone suggests, you know, until you truly, uh, operationalize all of that, it doesn’t happen. I would do a lot of lunches, a lot of one-on-one meetings, a lot of, uh, you know, checking in with individuals in a way that wasn’t scalable.
Derik 00:38:17 You know, I hadn’t developed the skills of, of, of, of how to move beyond that. And so when we did add more people, I think we got into the, the low sixties in terms of people on payroll and, and probably a few people remote. It was all in the context of having zero end to end people ops strategy, like by end to end, I mean, from interview to exit interview, no, you know, no sense of continuous performance management, no sense of what it takes to create psychological safety, foster growth mindset, et cetera. No, no, none of that, no clarity around, uh, what it means to be a manager, uh, how to do compensation, how to discuss compensation, how to give and receive feedback. I mean, none of that. And so what I learned in an extremely painful way is that all of those things I refer to, if they’re not clear, they create voids and people will fill those voids with their own versions of reality of how to behave. And so by me not setting all that up, I like to think of it as like, I helped create what we had at a time, which was a very dysfunctional and toxic culture.
Andrew 00:39:39 Somebody walked into Glo during a Workday. There was a, I’m not even sure the right word, but like, you could feel that there, you could feel like the intentionality in the place in a way, like you just walked in and you went like, Oh, something’s different here. And even here, even if you couldn’t quite figure out exactly what it was, you could feel it, you know, and now that I know you better, I know the company better. I would say it’s a lot of living the values that you’ve so intentionally created and cultivated both personally and collectively over the last three years. And so I would love for you to actually describe the transition from 60 people. Would it be in a void of expectations and just chaos going on and like, Holy shit, what are we even doing to the experience I had, you know, a few months ago where I walked in and it was like this just, I mean, obviously I’m over exaggerating little bit, but it felt like clean and pristine and, and supportive and connected and like fill in your favorite, like positive buzz word here.
Andrew 00:40:29 But it felt like that. And not in a bullshit way, but it actually did. And so I’d love for you to tell the story as someone who actually walked that walk, which I know is a hard walk. What did you do? How did you do that? Because I think you guys are actually doing what so many entrepreneurs managers actually want to create. Like you’ve talked about culture is creating a culture of continuous candid feedback, having a culture where people care deeply, but also perform and create tremendous results, which what everybody wants. Like, you know, as you said, that’s a thing now, but you’re one of the first people I have a personal relationship with. Who’s actually done it and is doing it. So I would love for you to talk about how you,
Derik 00:41:03 Okay, so I’ll go into it with the caveat that, that please don’t follow what I did. You’re listening. If you’re listening to this, you have the whole thing, but, but first of all, just want to acknowledge what you just said. Like, that means so much to me that you felt that, that, that that’s, and, and it really comes down to, you know, I, I write a year end email to our team every year and this year was, it was short. And I just said, like, you’re all heroes to me and I’m paraphrasing here. But the main reason why you’re heroes is that over the course of the previous 12 months, we, we achieved a level of cohesiveness that we hadn’t had for pretty much ever. And that requires depending on where you’re at in your own maturity and emotional intelligence, that requires a lot of going deep and addressing things that sometimes are painful to address.
Derik 00:41:56 And so I just had this really end of your cracked, open, heartwarming feeling. I just want everyone to know, like, to me, your heroes, because you’re, you’re going, you’re stepping into the ring. And, and I truly believe that what you’re sensing is that you’re sensing like people and we are just getting begin. We’re just getting started rather exciting. I don’t, I don’t want for anyone to think that we’ve nailed it, that it’s a done deal. Like we’re just getting started. Uh, but I also want, wanna acknowledge the incredible contribution contributions that our team has, has, has made in order to create the energetic vibe that you’re, you’re now referring to. So engaged. Well, they engaged well,
Andrew 00:42:44 I mean, that’s, that’s what it was
Derik 00:42:45 Good one. Um, so yeah, it took a few years and, uh, you know, I, when I read and I don’t know if it was Patty McCord’s book, uh, maybe I read that at the height of, of, of, of this change, change management and change culture. You know, she, she, I think she mentioned that when they release their culture now famous culture deck, that it took a solid four years for that to become realized and felt and operationalized. And
Andrew 00:43:14 Just anyone who’s not familiar, who’s listening. Patty McCord is the former chief, basically the head of culture and people ops for Netflix wrote a book called powerful. It’s all about business culture. And, uh, I think it was the sort of the lead person on the now infamous culture deck, which if you haven’t seen it will be in the show notes. Definitely check it out.
Derik 00:43:29 There you go. Yeah. It’s so cool. Yeah, she’s a, she’s a bit of a hero to me and we had someone come in to, to kind of help us. This is the moment that I realized is maybe I should memorize these dates, but I’m guessing it was 2000 thousand 17. I’m guessing 18. I don’t, I don’t know exactly. And it was after that, that I realized like, wow, okay, there’s a lot. That’s, that’s not well here. And what I did, which I don’t recommend you do. I, I, I kind of went to my cave. This is how I used to handle things. I’d go to my cave. I would go to all my sources. I came out of the cave with a 45 page document of all the things that mattered to me that really start to flesh out the behavioral boundaries and guidelines that I wished for, for us whittled that down to nine pages through the help of the team at the time. And I met with every single person for 30 minutes in succession over the course of, I think, seven to eight days. And it really depends on, on the individual, but, uh, you know, those conversations went in a whole spectrum of ways. And from like, yeah, this I’m on board with this. Like, let’s, how can I help to just be
Speaker 3 00:44:50 When you were going into that conversation? So you’re meeting with every single person in the company and you have this nine pager in your hand. What do you, what are you saying to them? What was the context for this conversation? Like, what are they walking in thinking is going to happen?
Derik 00:45:02 So I asked them to read it ahead of time. And the context was if I remember this correctly as a while ago, and I’m sure I’ve repressed some of this is it’s, how can I help? Like how, how, how can I help create more clarity? Cause I I’m acknowledging that I have not created clarity. I’ve not done my job to, to, to create the clarity that’s needed, nor create the conditions to generate the cohesiveness know I’m leaning on Patrick Lencioni. And so, like I said, those conversations were all over the board from how can I help I’m on board. Let’s do this together to, uh, these, these are, these concepts are idealistic. This is not how the world works. And, uh, I then began to have a greater appreciation for just how varied the human experience is in the workplace. You know, some people are coming from environments where toxicity or certain types of behaviors that I consider toxic are actually rewarded.
Derik 00:46:04 And so I then began to really feel, and, and in some cases like tears generated tears coming to my eyes and like, wow, like this is some people really experienced some trauma and PTSD in certain places. And, and so this just began a very multi-year long journey of like, how can we move through this together? And how can I become better at generating inspiring clarity and, and, um, the things that would ultimately lead to creating a more cohesive and psychologically safe environment. The part I want to get to here is initially, like, I don’t want to make it sound that I, I showed up in such a helpful way. Initially. I like my instinct at the time was more because I was still, we hadn’t fully transitioned all operations to our COO. Yet at that point I was still addicted to being busy. I was still addicted to, well, let me rephrase that.
Derik 00:47:12 I was, I was, I still had firmly rooted my sense of adequacy and self worth in being part of certain work streams and putting out certain fires consistently. And that, that really gave me a sense of value. And I wasn’t even aware that that was the, and so what I mean, in terms of my way of dealing with it, not being helpful, you know, because I told myself I was too busy to go the full distance on this. I would do things like, just, just read this or just listen to this and just be like this, and we’re going to be, we’re going to be okay, got it. Or, or that we’re, or we can, we can work through this stuff together through the lens of this particular framework or model, or, uh, I’m being intentionally vague here because I don’t want to bring up any particular situations or, you know, like all of this is there’s so much nuance to all of this.
Derik 00:48:04 Um, but the reason why I share this is because I realized pretty quickly thereafter, uh, maybe like three or four months into attempting to do it that way, that it wasn’t the way that it wasn’t helpful. And so, yeah, that then signaled to me that if this isn’t going to work, I need to work on changing myself. That was the perspective shift. Yes. Just hitting, hitting, hitting the same walls over and over again. It just like, all I had left was to think, what can I, if I can’t change others, all I can do is change myself. And so that’s, that began my journey back to therapy, uh, my journey to finding a leadership forum that I was in for a year, my journey to finding the right coaches that worked for me. And I thought I’m still working with, and I’ve experienced so many fascinating unlocks, but, but one I’m trying to choose the ones that might be the most interesting or helpful is that the more I create the space in myself, the more others have the space to operate in ways and show up and be in ways that are more in the spirit of bringing their whole selves to work.
Derik 00:49:24 Versus if I am not spacious within myself, I constrict space. I construct the space for others. And that does the opposite of what I just said, Oh man, let me just say, this is the first time maybe I said this earlier is the first time I’m, I’ve spoken to this publicly. So I just want to acknowledge that this, this isn’t easy. And, and I, uh, I I’m certain that, well, I appreciate you being willing to, by the way, because this is the actual stuff that people grapple with. Yeah. And I know I’m going to after this thing. Oh, you know, I wish I’d said that differently, but look, if it could be helpful to others and then let’s go for it. So
Speaker 3 00:50:05 At this point it’s maybe late 2017, maybe early 2018, somewhere in there, you’re into the process of shifting the culture. Right? You went into your cave, you came back with this giant manifesto, you worked with a team and whittled it down to something that was actually, you know, a consumable. So then you began the process of meeting with everybody and trying to get this ball rolling and start to turn the tide or turn the, turn, the ship, so to speak. And you spent several months working on that realized, okay, a lot of stuff I’m doing, isn’t working. And then you had your big epiphany moment of like, okay, I can’t change other people, but I can work on myself. Is that what I’m curious about is after that, and you were do, at this point, you’re doing your work personally, but now your work you’re, you’re working in two streams at once. So to speak, you’re working on yourself and your own stuff. And then there’s still the work that has to be done to change the environment and the culture within the company, outside of you. And I’m curious how you navigated between that internal and that external, how did you walk that path, ping, ponging, back and forth between looking within doing whatever you had to do there and then taking that outside and vice versa.
Derik 00:51:01 Yeah. So I just want to acknowledge that if we look at this on a scale of like, I don’t know, zero to 10, where zero is the starting point of this, this particular, um, moment, this particular range of time that we’re discussing and like 10 is fully pass it on. And on the other side, you know, from probably like me personally, not the team because the team is we’re, we’re, we’re past it in a very awesome way, but me personally, I’m probably still at like an eight, eight and a half. So when you’re shifting what has worked for a long period of time, and when, what has worked, as I mentioned earlier, is inextricably bound to sense of self worth and adequacy to shift that for me in my experience was not trivial. Yeah. And it wasn’t always pretty. And it still isn’t. In fact, this call that I referred to earlier, like there are just a few little remnants of that transition that, uh, I would say are the source of, of that trigger.
Derik 00:52:24 And, you know, we being self-funded, I, I, no matter what, if you’re funded herself, like you’re always managing to a budget and resources are always limited, but you know, constantly walking this very fine line, how much can I invest in change? Not just for myself, but with our team and how much can I invest in pushing the product forward, pushing the user experience forward, pushing, supporting our members forward. And often we over-indexed on many of the former like supporting our members, pushing the product forward. And, and though the cultural individual group dynamics self-improvement work was just always incredibly important to me. Yeah. The decisions of like, well, did we spend on this or did we spend on that? I mean, just agonizing for me because I could see the light at the end of the tunnel of, of, of, of where we’re at now. I mean, it’s just within grasp so frequently and, and, you know, given the size of our team and given that I’m not, I’m not someone, unless you do something incredibly egregious. I don’t just fire people. I, you know, we, you know, we’re certainly better now at, through continuous performance management people, knowing where they stand at any given point in time, you know, without that people don’t really know where they stand without any kind of clarity around how we, how we hold. One-on-ones how we do quarterly performance reviews, how we have, uh, you know, individual professional development conversations, like all of that without any of that in place, you know, you know what that’s like possibly
Speaker 3 00:54:04 It can get very, um, chaotic, confusing, right? And so
Derik 00:54:10 I don’t, I don’t, I can’t, I can’t just say to you, you know, I flipped a switch and all was, well, it was just this, it was this, this constant iterative process of what can we do now? What can we do in this quarter on these things? How can we continue to move the ball down the road? And, uh, it wasn’t until 2019 where we started working with these two wonderful women, dynamic duo, Tiffany and Bentley, where we finally mapped out like a, here is the entire spectrum of what we want to accomplish in terms of people ops in terms of our core values, in terms of, uh, of, of operationalizing them, uh, in terms of, uh, refining our why statement and how that then becomes integrated into all that we do in terms of what is it, inappropriate ways. So, yeah, I think what you’re asking is like, how was that for me personally, like making that shift was not trivial.
Derik 00:55:11 How did it change you? So here’s a whole separate story of when we switched over from an older version of our platform to a newer version of our platform, as I mentioned, we had more features at least more public facing features. Uh, that’s not so much the case now, but more obvious public facing features than we do now. And we’re bringing all those back this year, but I underestimated our ability to bring those back quicker. And so I had a lot of shame around not being able to accomplish that about around not being able to, uh, create cohesiveness, assemble a cohesive team. And so, you know, I was wrestling with a lot of, of, of shame and, and, you know, pre therapy, pre leadership group. I wasn’t fully aware of that. And so the ways in which my shame would manifest and express itself were not healthy. And so the more that I became aware of those dynamics within me, that then led to a greater awareness of, of how those were manifesting as either action or inaction. And so then I could, I could begin to develop new, healthy, functional responses to, to my, my shame.
Speaker 3 00:56:27 You know, there’s a phrase you said to me, the first time we hung out in person that, um, is coming to mind right now that I’m wondering if it’s, it is what you’re referring to here. I think you were quoting this fantastic book, the Bhagavad Gita, which you gave me a copy of it. The first time we hung out. And there was a phrase in there you quoted, I think, which was something to the effect of, we are entitled to our actions, but not the fruit of our actions. And you were the point you were trying to make to me was it was about, there was something very important about owning the intentionality of what we do and releasing the illusion of control over the yeah,
Derik 00:57:03 Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. The thing with that tax is depending on which translation you read, the words will vary some cases quite, quite drastically.
Speaker 3 00:57:12 And just the workload. This is the Douglas Brooks translation.
Derik 00:57:14 Yeah. I highly recommend it. It’s he also lectures on a platform if you want to go deeper. So when I first read that when I was 23, that was one of the things that kind of like shook me to my core, like to focus on action, not the fruits of action. Like what did that mean?
Speaker 3 00:57:32 That’s exactly what I wanted to ask you. What does that mean?
Derik 00:57:35 Please enlighten us. You know what I mean? So much you probably can observe in yourself or anyone listening. Let’s do a little experiment on yourself like this gap between like where I am now and where I want to be. Like, there’s always some gap, you know, across some dimension and imagining that like, Oh, if I only could get there, I will be blank or I will experience blank or I will feel blank. Uh, and, and that the sense that I want to do the thing only for the fruit of doing that thing, it, depending on what the fruit is. So like, if I want to do, if I set out to do that thing, because I want to look good, or I want people to respect me, or, you know, if the fruit somehow is tapping into some shadow aspect of myself that I’m not fully aware of it, it likely causes some type of unsatisfaction or dissatisfaction or suffering or so that’s what that means to me.
Derik 00:58:41 I like to focus on action, less on the fruit of action. And I think that also has evolved for me over the years, too, is like, outcomes are great. Outcomes are wonderful. Goals are wonderful if we’re not setting goals and trying to work towards them and achieve them. And that’s potentially a problem too. I mean, there are some people who don’t need to, I think of people living in caves and try and try not try not to accomplish something or, and, uh, I it’s, it’s just all the work in this state, that statement signals to me, the work is in how I experience that fruit. My am I clinging to it? Am I attached to it? Am I, uh,
Andrew 00:59:29 I think you said this to me the first time I asked you about it, but it’s about grounding ourselves in the intention, right? It’s releasing the illusion of control of the outcome because we don’t control outcomes. Like, look, I love results. I love love outcomes. Uh, love them. And I, I go hard after him, but I know, and, you know, on some level it breaks my ego to know this, but I don’t control them. And so all I really have is to control how I show up to control, what is my intention, how am I moving this forward or, or hurting it. Um, and that’s really what I hear in that is that it’s sort of that. And when you said that sort of, when you’re coming from the shadow side, um, that it tends to create that sort of dissatisfaction or the I’ve been setting a lot of Buddhist Buddhist thought in the recent six months. And it reminds me of the word dukkha, which is often translated as suffering. Um, but I actually liked the other trends, another translation of that word, which is sort of, um, unsatisfactoriness is idea that something’s just not quite, you know, it’s just not quite satisfying.
Derik 01:00:28 Did you get that in what the Buddha taught? Is that where you,
Andrew 01:00:32 No, I try to remember where I, where I first learned. I think I learned that on retreat. Uh, so I’ve gone on numerous meditation retreats and I think it was one of those where there was, um, a Dharma talk, which is sort of like a, almost like a Buddhist sermon or sort of like a philosophical talk at night, uh, every night. And, and, uh, one of the teachers spoke to,
Derik 01:00:52 Yeah, I prefer that word as well.
Andrew 01:00:54 The, which one? The unsatisfactoriness
Derik 01:00:56 A factory is. Yeah, no another, so just another line from the Bhagavad Gita, which, which I took with me and was kind of like a, uh, almost like the future calling to me. It’s, you know, it’s better to do one’s own duty in perfectly than another as well. And I think it ties into your comment about control. Like if we’re trying to control some sort of outcome that may not necessarily be fully aligned with who we are, I find it typically leads to some sort of on satisfactory experience. Um, I just wanna say it one more thing about control and it speaks to your question earlier in terms of my own psychological journey with, with all of this and that my wife and I have been in doing IVF for the last seven, seven years. And we recently made some decisions that, uh, which certainly have, um, which made us truly face that we certainly do not control the life that we had fully imagined for ourselves as coming to fruition and our confronting the degree of attachment that we had to this imagined or perceived version of how things would fold unfold, relinquishing that I can’t stress enough how much that also fed into how I experienced control and the work environment and how it’s it’s also let me examine where I’m clinging and, and trying to control.
Derik 01:02:35 So I don’t know. I just want to add to that.
Speaker 3 01:02:37 No, that’s, that’s really powerful. Thank you for sharing that. Um, you know, one of the things that really stands out to you, sorry to me about you, is that it is something I think I really appreciate about, about not just you as a, as a person and as a, as a leader of a company, but the example you’re setting for the culture is that you do, you seem to do an extraordinary job in my, from my, from where I sit of toggling between reflection and action and weaving those two together on an ongoing basis and having your action be informed by your reflection and your reflection actually be informed by your action. You know, the, the sentences you just said, just really speak to that to me. And I think that’s fair. That just think that’s really cool and wanted to acknowledge that.
Derik 01:03:20 Nice. Yeah, I would say that’s accurate. I’m glad to hear that. Um,
Speaker 3 01:03:25 You know, it’s interesting, we were just saying about the journey you and your wife have been on, because one of the things that it just occurred to me is also unique about the story of Glo and, and your story is, you know, not only have you built this extraordinary business and this extraordinary company, of course, like any company it’s had its ups and its downs, its challenges, um, you’ve done it in a way that is oddly out of Vogue right now in this, the fact that you’ve, self-funded this thing, as opposed to going down the, you know, the shiny VC scale at all costs, you know, unicorn valuation take over the universe play. Um, but in addition to that in a lot of ways, it’s a family business, you started it with your brother, you work with your brother and your wife. And that to me is also a shortener.
Speaker 3 01:04:03 I was just wondering like, what is that like, and how do you navigate the, what I have to imagine? There’s, there’s like, how do you navigate those different roles in the merging and the blending of all those different roles, if you know the role you play at home versus the office and advocate, like, how do you do that? Cause I, and I say this because I have, I have gone into business with friends before and righteously fucked it up. So I’m asking this selfishly about like, and for other people out there, cause I know this is not an easy thing. And so I just ask him,
Derik 01:04:27 Yeah, yeah. Well, look, I fuck up every day. There isn’t a day that goes by, or I’m just not feeling some sort of regret. And so just be kind, be kind to yourself as much as possible. So, uh, so my brother and I had the benefit of working on a business prior to this. So we, we worked out some of our kinks and uh, then once we started doing this one, we got the, we had the opportunity to work on many more kinks. Uh, we’ve been to therapy together, which has helped, uh, both myself, my brother, Ryan and my wife, Lisa, and, um, our, our COO Brett, we each work with coaches, coaches, um, at reboot. Okay. Uh, so we, I would, we weren’t great at this initially, but we’re much better at it now of being vulnerable with each other on things that are typically not discussed in a work environment.
Derik 01:05:32 Like I’m afraid of this or I’m, I, I, by us discussing that it triggers me in this way. And here’s why, and, uh, you know, we’ve created this space where we can go to places that are probably not typically appropriate, you know, like I can fully say it all for all three of them that, uh, this particular topic or dynamic, you know, triggers a particular, uh, conditioning that I acquired in childhood, for example. And like they, they have similar conversations with me and I’m not saying we always go there. I mean, it’s pretty, pretty rare because what you’re able to, what we’re able to, which is fantastic and that wasn’t always the case. And so, uh, I would say that we probably, I would say the company would be in a pretty bad place if we weren’t able to have conversation in that way. And, and when we do have friction disagreement or when we show up in ways that are unhelpful, we address it, we address it right away and we don’t, we don’t go to bed with it.
Derik 01:06:45 We talk it out. Uh, you know, my, my wife and I, we have a rule that we don’t talk about business past 8:00 PM. Okay. Uh, we let that slide sometimes when it’s good news, but no, no, no really hard conversations after APS. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, the tough part is that it’s never off, like it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s not an exaggeration to say that it’s 24 seven. That’s the tough part. It’s what we in the last, um, I’m guessing here four or five, six months have gotten extremely intentional about is turning it off because we’ve, in some ways we have acknowledged how we are experiencing some burnout. And, and so we’re just becoming much more aware of when certain aspects of our, how we’re interacting or how we’re, we’re intersecting with our broader team that just no longer serves either the four of us or serves our team. And so, you know, specifically my brother and my wife and I were pretty much not part of anything operational at this point, although Lisa, my wife, um, as chief sustainability officer, uh, is heading up the, the component of when we haven’t launched it yet. But the components of engagement with our platform as giving back to our planet, our refined, why statement is that we connect people through self care so that together we can heal ourselves and our planet. That’s beautiful. That’s what also, I’m curious. So I think this is a great opportunity
Speaker 3 01:08:16 To talk a little bit about that. Why and that the, the core values you’ve just been rolling out. And one of the things you said to me, I don’t remember if we were recording or not, was that, you know, you wouldn’t necessarily recommend the founder goes into a cave, comes back from the mountain top with the stone tablets approach. So how did you, how did you do it this time? Was it different?
Derik 01:08:36 Okay, so I, I should memorize the date on this as well, but there was a time where the nine pager was PR was pretty solid and pretty much everyone on our team now, uh, with the exception of maybe two, three or four, uh, sat with me as the final interview. And before the interview, they would read the nine pages and then I would spend one to two hours discussing it with them.
Speaker 3 01:09:03 This culture doc was a, was a piece of the part B part of the process coming into the company. Correct. Okay.
Derik 01:09:09 You didn’t, you didn’t join the team until you’ve read the document and had spent some time with me. Got it. And, uh, but that too, that was from me or, or from me, Brett Ryan. Okay. So, so, so it, wasn’t what we wanted it to be. We wanted it to be self emergent. And what I mean by that is when I mentioned Bentley and Tiffany earlier, uh, you know, part of the scope of work with them was to, uh, set up a, uh, two groups, both the four of us, and then, um, another group, which, uh, was, uh, at the time a representative sample of our team. And we did like a, I think she called it a values affinity mapping process, and, uh, all with the intention of like, who are we now? Who are we at our core? And what, uh, what about who we are now is what we want to preserve and codify and operationalize. And are there any aspects that we’re seeing are also a bit aspirational so that we can grow into ways of being that we just know we have the capacity to do so, but at the end of that potential. Exactly. And so what was truly awesome at this time, the team evolved quite a bit. And so we were, we were, uh, in a good position to do this. And, uh, as, as Bentley and Tiffany referred to it, luckily both groups aligned, they were done independently and then they merged all of,
Speaker 3 01:10:41 Got it. Today, they’ve really facilitated this process.
Derik 01:10:44 Right. And so I ended up with three core values, uh, the N each have four respective key behaviors. Okay. So, uh, the first one is grow awareness. Second one is nurture kindness. And the third is practice curiosity. Okay. So wearness kindness and curiosity. Yeah. And then under awareness, we have be open to possibilities, own actions and reactions, reflect, learn, and integrate and comfortable with the unknown under nurture kindness. We have venture to be vulnerable express yourself, see clarity, I’ll repeat that, seek clarity, hold each other accountable. And under practice curiosity, we have verified stories and assumptions. That’s a big one. That’s my, actually my favorite. Yeah. Consider ideas from anyone, try new approaches and listen with care. We almost didn’t go with, with kindness. What was it almost instead? Well, care, care and kindness kept coming up as, as words that already exists. And I had experienced the misinterpretation of care and kindness enough. And so at others on our team to be extremely wary of going,
Speaker 3 01:12:02 What do, what do you mean by that? With the, the misinterpretation?
Derik 01:12:05 Well, uh, you know, that feeling you referred to, like when you walk into a space, you can just feel something is, is awesome. I think you can also feel that in a, when a, when a culture is defined as a nice culture, ah, okay. You know, in a nice culture in my experience can be as toxic as an overtly, not nice culture, you know, until you, until you join the team and work with each other, you know, niceness can be, you know, it can keep people from having the hard conversations. It can do so many other things, but,
Speaker 3 01:12:41 You know, I love it. This, this is echoing a lot of, um, a lot of ideas that I’ve come up in, in the research and conversations on this, on the show so far around, uh, particularly around psychological safety. Um, I’m going to reference the conversation with Amy Edmondson in particular. Um, there was entire bit in there about this idea of niceness, you know, in air quotes, right. And it’s like, Oh, everyone has that. Not everyone, but many places have that version of like, Oh, we’re such and such company. Nice. Right. Meaning we’re not going to tell it like it is, we’re not going to be real. We’re going to be maybe too nice, too polite. But the, um, for some reason, Bernie Brown comes to mind right now is like unclear is unkind. And that kindness can actually be, um, very challenging, right. Or to, you know, another, I knew we were gonna be really good friends when I walked into your office and you had like 12 copies of random, radical candor on your bookshelf. And I was like, okay, we’re going to be cool. Right. So, uh, Kim’s got his whole thing about, you know, that, that dimension of caring personally and simultaneously challenging directly is it seems like that real sweet spot that, um, is enabled by what you’re, what you’re speaking to.
Derik 01:13:41 Yeah. The way I explained it in interviews, it’s, I I’ve a, a longer way of explaining it, but the short version is like, how do we create a culture that is both kind and high performing? Yeah. Because therein lies the tension. Yeah. So how you do it,
Speaker 3 01:13:58 It’s a work in progress, but how are you doing it now?
Derik 01:14:00 Yeah. So we mapped out pretty much a 12 month journey. I keep mentioning Bentley, Tiffany with the two of them to, uh, you know, some of these, like you mentioned, verify and assumptions as, as being a good one. Yeah. You could, you could imagine a whole set of training around that and how by not verifying stories and assumptions that can lead to like misattributing something, it can lead to gossip. It can lead to triangulation. Uh, you know, so some of these are going to require more, uh, education and training and support than others, even growing awareness. Like how, how, how do you set up systems, process rituals where behaving mindfully is, is a norm. And that’s, maybe we can do an interview a year from now, and I can, I can share with you how that, how that all went. But it will, if we have a bunch of workshops, a bunch of exercises, a bunch of, um, ways of adding to the continuous performance management systems that we’ve set up. So I highly recommend something like a 15, five or, or a lattice that, to support that, uh, you know, the,
Speaker 3 01:15:18 Because basically I think the thing that it sounds to me, like you’re doing that based on my own research and what I’ve seen out there is, uh, bodes very well is that you’re, you’re avoiding the trap that values fall into, which is that values stay like platitudes. And they’re just nice ideas, but they have no grounding in reality. But by going all the way to, like, what does this value look like? In reality in action, you actually enable accountability to values where, you know, there can be peer to peer feedback of like, Hey, Derek, in that meeting, I saw you do X. That was amazing. And I also saw you do this other thing, which, you know, it looks like a point where you’re, you’re, you’re, you know, you have something you want to work on or have a look at. Um, and so it seems like that’s really what these continuous performance management systems are going to enable you to do. Is that, is that the idea here that that’ll let you put that into your, your sort of ongoing cycles of reflection and review.
Derik 01:16:05 Right, right, right, right. I think it was your second, your second interview. I forgot her name. Uh, she spoke to the cadence, the importance of cadence, Christina, what game? And that’s what these tools do. They, they make it top of mind. Yeah. And easy to repeat
Speaker 3 01:16:24 As Christina would say, it’s all about the cadence,
Derik 01:16:26 Right. It doesn’t mean the work it’s easy. Yeah. The conversations aren’t necessarily easier. Uh, but if, if, if we can all agree to like how we give and receive feedback or how we, how we navigate defensiveness, you know, and so on and so on, then, you know, these conversations become more, I don’t know, less personal. Um, but yeah, to answer your question, like weekly check ins one-on-ones how do we do one-on-ones as I mentioned, how do we, how do we give and receive real time feedback? Like, how are we doing quarterly reviews?
Speaker 3 01:17:03 So you’re actually baking these into all of those
Derik 01:17:06 Exactly. How do we have, how do we have wage wage, um, increase or just wage discussions? Like, how do we, how do we have performance issue discussions? Uh, you know, how do we like, like, I see all of, all of this stuff is really how do we support people and becoming their best selves and like, how do we support our team and being like practicing and nurturing kindness, uh, while performing in ways that are, we’ve used the phrase high performance, but like, you know, we all, we all want to be challenged and we all want to grow. And so how do we support that? And I, I really see that as like a, like a core focus of
Speaker 3 01:17:47 My job. Yeah, for sure. And, uh, just cause you said it, let me to, you know, give a shout out here to 15 five, actually I love their podcasts and their material in particular on best self management is I find it to be a really accessible and thorough and well thought out framework for thinking about this. And, and so we’ll link to that in the show notes and anyone who’s finding this an interesting topic. I definitely recommend checking it out.
Derik 01:18:07 Yeah. And part of the day they’re amazing Shane and, uh, um, David are just like just awesome people. Yeah. Uh, yeah. We actually created our own best self playbook and uh, like we, we define best self management, which is totally borrowed and I may even be plagiarizing here. So if I am, I don’t, I don’t claim ownership of this in any way as an ongoing process of coaching reflection and two way communication that supports people and increasing their self awareness and becoming their best.
Speaker 3 01:18:36 Hmm. Nice. So, yeah.
Derik 01:18:38 And to wrap it up like management training and you know, how do we, how do we foster psychological safety? How do we, uh, foster growth mindset, uh, internal locus of control versus external IX control? How do we, how do we practice one more when we’re being victim villain hero? You know,
Speaker 3 01:18:54 Anyone who’s listened to this podcast enough by now is familiar with a lot of the ideas we’re discussing here, which is great. And I’m so happy as someone like you. Who’s committed to using business as a vehicle and a force for good and being a change agent in the world and in people’s lives. I’m really, I’m stoked that this is a thing now that’s great. Full stop. My question is this. So we have a lot of good ideas. There’s a lot of great work that’s been done out there, right about psychological safety and radical candor and self management and, you know, on and on and on all of these fantastic tools, ideas, et cetera. Here’s what I’m wondering about on a very tactical, practical level. How do you create, and this is maybe the wrong way to say it, but how do you get people on board with the process itself of, Hey, we’re going to work in a different way than most people work. And we’re going to have types of conversations that maybe you’re not used to having in the workplace. They might be more personal than you’re used to because you know, we are who we are, whether we’re in the office or not. So that’s what I’m really curious about is sort of that, um, I’ll just say buy in.
Derik 01:19:58 Yeah. That makes two of us.
Speaker 3 01:20:01 I was having your name. Well, if I find anything, I’ll send it to you. Yeah.
Derik 01:20:08 You know, I, I think it’s going to be different for every team. I have certainly forcing doesn’t work. Yeah. I love how Fred Kaufman speaks to elicit. These are his exact words, eliciting the internal commitment of others to blank, to that’s powerful, uh, help, help manifest the vision to, to, to, uh, behave in ways that are values aligned. Yeah. Again, like eliciting the internal commitment of others to, to do what it is that you’re. So I think that stuck with me and it’s, it’s, it’s memorized because I, I have learned that that truly is the only way, like there’s no forcing there’s no, Hey, go be like this or go be like that or go read this. And then you’re going to be, you’re going to be mindful. And you’re going to constantly practice self-awareness and creating. Like, I think, you know, when, when, um, I guess it was project Aristotle that arrived at, uh, psychological safety and, uh, you know, there’s a reason why, right.
Derik 01:21:11 That that’s the number one component or attribute of high performing teams. It just makes so much sense. I think if you can create an environment where it’s safe to take interpersonal risks in a group dynamic, then it does seem that these things will work themselves out in conversation. Now, one thing that I do now in these interviews, I mentioned, you know, years ago, when we were using that nine page document, I would straight up say, look, this is not how the real world works out there. I know that it’s been reflected back to me as such that this is little maybe utopian, but this is also, I’m trying to create a place where, you know, in the spirit of, of so much of our discussion today is there is no perfection. There’s just being in the ring and they’re just showing up and endeavoring to engage well. And that if, if, if you’re up for that, great, if you’re up for the discomfort that that will most certainly bring great, then this is a place for you. And we will do everything we can as a team and as a company to provide support for that. But if not like, this is a great chance for you to like eject from this interview process.
Speaker 3 01:22:28 Yeah. Like this almost verbatim what I say. Yeah. So I’m curious, hear you used to have them read the nine or what do you do today now that you’ve, you know, you’ve evolved a lot more.
Derik 01:22:38 So the, the three core values with the respective key behaviors, there’s they each have also two paragraphs. Okay. So now it’s, it’s just that it takes, it takes much, it’s, it’s a, it’s a much shorter read, you know,
Speaker 3 01:22:54 There’s so many good ideas out there, and there’s so many ways to implement good ideas. And from what I can tell most of the implementation of these things fails and the reason it usually, well, there’s a lot of reasons it fails, but I think one of the biggest ones is that is actually a void of leadership. It’s a L it’s a lack of actual leadership to do the really, really hard, like the brutally hard inner internal work to have the conversations that you’ve had to explore, make the hard values assessments, right. To basically be willing to take a stand for saying like, no, no, this, these are the things, this is what we are here to do. And this is the way we hold ourselves accountable to showing up and engaging, engaging well. And, and the fact that you’ve done that work, I think is, I’m curious if you agree with that first, I was saying, do you agree? Is that actually the thing that’s making the difference here? Or is it something else? I couldn’t,
Derik 01:23:43 I couldn’t agree more. I would change the word done to doing okay. In the same way, in the same way that we started off, you had done that work you were doing. That would be the same way that we started this conversation with living into.
Speaker 3 01:23:55 Perfect. Okay, good. Thank you. Thank you for that correction. Okay.
Derik 01:23:57 Absolutely not. I thousand percent agree. And this is, this is what our manager training. We’ll just, it’ll be about a lot of things, a lot of tactical things, but more like the, uh, I look forward to the day that the phrase soft skills were replaced with something else, but you know, it’s also like the tactical plus the soft.
Speaker 3 01:24:16 Yeah. Just as an alternative phrasing, by the way that I’m a guest who will have another episode with it will come out shortly, um, is changing it to either say human skills or power skills.
Derik 01:24:27 Ooh, I’m going to go with human skills. Yes. I like that. And, and I couldn’t agree more like, I, I just see it. I I’ve just seen it play out, um, with myself and with others that if you’re not, if you’re not constantly engaging with moving the needle on the human scale.
Speaker 3 01:24:46 Yeah. The rest is just like window dressing. Yeah.
Derik 01:24:50 You’re just gonna repeat the same mistakes over and over again, in my experience.
Speaker 3 01:24:53 Yeah. My, my whole thing about this, just speaking to my own, my own work experiences is that, um, without the, I was going to say the top cover, but without basically leadership, the presence of leadership saying the kinds of things you are saying, there is not a, it’s not safe for people to go there. And my experience has been that when it’s not safe for people to go there, um, that most people, not everybody, but most people won’t because they don’t like they feel this sort of artificial boundary between the personal and professional, so to speak. And what I’ve noticed is that when, like, if you’re not willing to have these very human conversations and I’m using that word very deliberately, like the human side of life and business, which is the emotional stuff, it’s the hard stuff. It’s all the things we’re talking about.
Speaker 3 01:25:33 This conversation. My experience has been that when people are unwilling or unable, for whatever set of reasons, including environmental, cultural reasons to have those conversations, that there is only so far, you can take things, especially in the domain of performance. Um, and so I romantically for people who are, because it’s usually shows up in very like quote performance oriented cultures, but the great irony to me is that, uh, you can’t actually perform to your best and increase your level of performance without going to these places. That’s my belief. I don’t know that that’s true. In any objective sense. Yeah.
Derik 01:26:04 I mean, I think it was Christina, right. And episode two, Christina Wikia. Yeah. I think she even said as much of the, the, the, the, the research is pointing in that direction. I mean, the fact that now, you know, pretty frequently the harvest Harvard business review cover has some component that, or some feature that’s addressing these topics. Um, you know, the business schools now are teaching.
Andrew 01:26:28 Yeah. Yeah. Oh, that’s right. She talked about the touchy feely class at Stanford as the most popular class at Stanford business school, which is like one of the tops of schools in the world.
Derik 01:26:36 Right, exactly. Um, uh, before I forget, just a shout out to your other interviews, I’ve, I’ve listened to like, they’re really good. I highly recommend other people listen to them and made the difference for you really special, uh, you know, Barry Barry Brown, right. Is that I love Barry, you know, there’s, you know, that gosh that I needed to listen to that one when I listened to it, there’s I, I’m not going to recall all of it obviously, but there, you know, that, that whole segment or a conversation that the two of you had around, um, raising the flagpole and see who gathers around. Yeah. Um, and, and just all this stuff that, that, uh, that, that had to do with, uh, Amy Edmondson, amazing. Like, I, I’m a huge fan. She’s awesome of hers. So just keep doing what you’re doing. Absolutely. I appreciate that. Thank you very much. Yeah. Welcome to fully answer your question. Like I I’m, I’m learning, I we’re learning as a team. Like we’re, we’re kind of just getting started and, you know, I, I have a big smile on my face, which you can see because I’m, I, I am really kind of for the first time ever. It’s a recent phenomenon for me. Like, I’m, I’m okay with that. I’m okay with us not being perfect.
Andrew 01:27:56 I know that’s a big step for you and that’s, that’s a, I really acknowledged that. That’s powerful. So congratulations on that.
Derik 01:28:02 Thank you. Thank you. By that. He means I, I, I disclosed that perfectionism. I used to have a much tighter grip on my sense of, of reality and self than it does now. I too am a recovering perfectionist, right,
Andrew 01:28:14 Right there with you, shout out, by the way, a book that I found very helpful that if you haven’t checked out, I think you’d, you would dig on this topic specifically is a book called how to be an imperfection
Derik 01:28:24 Who, by whom? Uh, gosh, let me look it up. Hold on.
Andrew 01:28:28 Even guys, guys is G U I
Derik 01:28:32 Nice. I’ll check it out.
Andrew 01:28:33 Yeah. A really good one. So I want to, I want to start to wrap up here, but I actually want to ask you, there’s something that occurred to me that I want to ask you a lot of businesses, especially if you look at it, statistically, most businesses do not last that long, right? Most or many are gone within a year, maybe five years, whatever the stats are, what they are. You’ve been at this now for something like 12 years, and which is an extraordinary accomplishment in and of itself, particularly the way you’ve done it. I’m so excited about that. And one of the things that I wonder about is never worked on anything
Derik 01:29:02 For 12 years. Yeah.
Speaker 3 01:29:04 I can only imagine all the ups and downs you’ve gone through the tough times, the good times, et cetera. But what I’m wondering about is, you know, you were speaking to burnout a little bit earlier with the four, four of you at the senior level of the company.
Derik 01:29:16 How do you, I’m going to use it
Speaker 3 01:29:18 Say stoke the fire, basically. Like how do you keep the fire alive for something for that long? Because that is a, is a, seems like a really important thing to going to do.
Derik 01:29:28 So I’ll just address burnout briefly because I don’t mean burnout in like burnt out around the, the idea or the mission or in terms of enthusiasm. Okay. I was referring specifically to, uh, you know, certain behaviors or certain habit loops or certain ways of being an operating, not producing results or, you know, certain bottlenecks allowing to persist or certain ways of being as a group, just not working. And so the, the, the recognition of this just isn’t working, let’s change it. And a business is always doing that. I’m not suggesting like, we’re just, Oh, we just now finally realized that he’s worried. It’s more, yeah, it’s more of, of, of like, like certain things that you just kind of let persist that, that if you were to continue to let them persist longer for those things that, that are truly taxing on a emotional, psychological level of, of just crying uncle and saying enough.
Derik 01:30:36 Yeah, okay. This is something that is hard to address, but we’re mature enough adult enough to put it all on the table and say, and have a discussion around how are we going to address this. So I just wanna be clear about, about that, uh, in terms of burnout, I’d want to be misunderstood on that and thank you for clarifying. Uh, it’s, it’s a, it’s a very easy answer to your question. I, so I, one thing I didn’t mention back when I was first exposed to the word yoga in that class many years ago, I had this, what I felt at the time was naive. And I, I still feel that way, but I still believe it, a point of view that if more humans would engage in some type of, uh, contemplative, reflective, ongoing mindfulness type practice. And I don’t mean just sitting on a cushion.
Derik 01:31:30 I mean, like mindfulness can be practiced throughout any moment, but the world would just be a safer, more peaceful place and that we would treat others, other humans, other animals, our planet in ways that are more sustainable. And that just really grabbed my heart. It grabbed my heart so much that I didn’t know what to do with it. And so I still believe that today. And that’s one thing, another thing that keeps me going, we get feedback daily from members saying the whole spectrum. Like you changed my life. You’re a life changer. You’ve saved my life. You’re a lifesaver. You helped me get through cancer, helped me grieve from the death of a loved one. You help me, uh, navigate, uh, this incredibly painful autoimmune condition. I mean, I go on and on, like, my husband’s so grateful that you, that I’m no longer as reactive or, you know, so, so that, and then the third thing is, as I have, has, as I’ve, as I’ve experienced the, the sh the shift in culture that we’re referring to, I see the power in it.
Derik 01:32:37 And I see the beauty in it. And I see how people when provided with that kind of environment. Again, I’m not saying we’ve nailed it or we’re done, or it’s all great, but I’m seeing the glimpses of how that provides the opportunity for others to show up as their whole selves at work and, and, and operate with each other. Cross-functionally in ways that are just way more healthy. And so that is massively inspiring to me. So overall mission how we are impacting our members and how we are impacting the lives of, of each other, who are behind the scenes, working on our service like that, right there is enough, or it doesn’t mean I don’t wake up sometimes depressed or anxious. A common ups and downs are intense at times. Uh, but those are very solid reference points and anchors for me that are just, they, they, they, they’re persistent and durable. And, um, and I’m, I’m just so grateful. I have an incredibly deep amount of gratitude that I, that I still get to do this, that I still get to be in this position to, to operate along these dimensions that I just mention
Andrew 01:33:57 To keep living into this potential and exploring it with people. That’s beautiful. I mean, it seems like when I, when I just listening to you, it’s so, um, it’s very inspiring to me because you’ve through, you know, your own, your own journey, managed to reach a place and create created an environment, not just for yourself, but for other people to actually do exactly what you set out to do back when this whole thing started, which was, you know, to maintain and cultivate that, that faculty of wonder, and to go on this journey. And it’s funny, I want to share with you, um, I wasn’t aware until I was getting ready for this conversation, that Glo had a manifesto. I was wondering if you would share that with us.
Derik 01:34:31 Hmm. Oh gosh. Um, I don’t have it in front of me. I have it. I have it. I used to have memorized, want me to try to do it from memory? Yeah. So it is the following to you. The seeker, you listen to your inner calling to nurture wonder and curiosity to illumine your mind inspire your heart with Kindle, with sorry, with courage to Kindle the fire on a journey of self discovery. We exist for you to awaken the desire to live your own true potential with a full throated yes. To show up and do the work intentions and actions define us not outcomes alone. We empower one another to be of service to others, to reveal to ourselves our most, most authentic feelings to affirm our inner values and cultivate compassion, to create community and conversation, to give expression to our truest selves at Glo, we create tools and experiences that challenge you to invest in yourself to become strong and body engaged in heart and mind your yoga occurs on a mat on a bicycle in conversation through any endeavor in yoga. We accept the invitation to live fully. Join us on this journey.
Andrew 01:35:46 No. When you say that now, what does that spark for you?
Derik 01:35:49 Well, you know, that one line actually refers back to action. Fruits of action. Oh. Like, like the opportunity to, to, to, to align all these different aspects of me into one thing towards which not only was I thoroughly passionate about, but that was in service of something larger than myself. That’s, that’s what those words encapsulate for me.
Andrew 01:36:12 Yeah. Because you know, when I, when I hear you saying, like watching Glo, watching you and your journey and hearing you talk about that, it just honestly gives me a lot of, um, inspiration and excitement and hope, which is why, why don’t you to come on the show? Because you’re a living breathing example of that I can point to when I want to, I’m on a mission in my life to make more companies like this myself, and to help other people do this. And this is really the source of this entire show is like creating what I, what I refer to as enlivening organizations. Right. And those are organizations that, um, it’s ironic that I named the show and came up with that entire concept without looking at the definition of the word enliven, which is a little bit like what it’s very,
Derik 01:36:48 Yeah, that’s very unprofessional of you.
Andrew 01:36:50 It is right. I’m making progress, I’m making progress, but it turns out, you know, the definition of it is, and this is why I’m so excited because you guys are doing this is it is to give life action or spirit to, to animate. And that is a, to me, what I hear and see in everything you are, you all are doing. So thank you for what you’re doing, and please keep it up. We’re going to wrap up now, but I want to actually ask one or two quick, rapid fire questions. Uh, the questions are short. Your answers don’t have to be, then go as long as you long as you feel. Um, so first of all, you’re starting a podcast,
Derik 01:37:22 So it’s going to be called Glo together. And, uh, I haven’t, haven’t memorized my pitch yet.
Andrew 01:37:31 Just tell me what it means to you. Like what, what what’s, um, what do you want to express in the show? What do you want to explore? And, um, yeah, what’s, what’s, what’s going to be about,
Derik 01:37:39 There will be different buckets of content. There will be interviews with me. There will be interviews with our faculty. There will be interviews with our members. There will be the audio Glo talks. When we hold guests, we have guest speakers speaking at our office, and I think that’s it. And, you know, ultimately we have a, we have a, a phrase that we use at the office and that’s take care of yourself because our world needs you. And like the name of the podcast will be Glo together. And the way we think of, of, of those two words is like to Glo together is to participate in this ongoing project of caring for ourselves together. And I think there are just, you know, given the fact that this decade, we’re just going to share so many different transitional moments, that there will be crises and opportunities for us and for our relationships, particularly with the natural world.
Derik 01:38:45 It’s clear now that we’ve crossed a tipping point, like that’s no longer an arguable statement. And I really believe that our future selves and future generations will ask us, like, how did we contribute to meaningful change? And like, like truly ask, like, what have you cared about, you know, to go back to the question that that professor asks, like, what, what did, what did you care about? And, uh, and what did you do about it? And that, uh, the, the, the sort of sensibility of what we’re doing at Glo is like, we believe we all need to engage these questions through self care. And like, I want to continuously explore self care is more than what typically might come to mind. Um, you know, when we deepen our understanding of the connections that we make, as we’ve discussed today, with our inner experiences that emerge from different sources, our biology within our psychology, through physical movement.
Derik 01:39:44 And how do we bring those into our outer experiences of relationships, workplace, culture, and leadership. Like we, it’s so clear that like our self care, how we treat ourselves, uh, extends into our work life, our family life, our inner most experiences of self. And it’s not just merely a concept that we use to explore ourselves. It’s, it’s truly a complexity of practices that we can do with each other and by ourselves. And so, uh, I, it’ll be fascinating to see where that leads, you know, like for example, I would love to interview Amy Edmonson. That would be a dream come true for the workplace culture proponent. But, um, you know, based on everything that I said, you can imagine just a pretty broad spectrum of people. For sure. I love that. Um, so who, or what has had a major impact on the way you show up in the last few years?
Derik 01:40:34 You know, I, the group work, I really needed the group work, the group leadership work, the forum that I was in, aye, aye, aye, aye. Truly needed to come out of this habit of being in the trenches and putting out fires and thinking that I was alone and being seen and to see others deeply and to, and to see their vulnerability helped crack open my own experience of what it means to, to be vulnerable with myself and with others. And I also did another, um, like leadership bootcamp, uh, with another group and same, same, same dynamics, same experience emerged out of that. And that’s that, I mean, I could list so many things, but this being kind of like a short answer format, like I would just, I would leave it at that, like just being in conversation, in connection with others in, in, in, in, in an environment and, and a way of being together that allowed for disclosure and vulnerability was something that I didn’t know how much I desperately needed. Hmm.
Speaker 3 01:41:45 Wow. That’s huge. That’s huge. And maybe it’s related to that. Maybe it’s not, but I’m curious if there’s anything in recent memory, is there a small change you’ve made in recent memory? That’s had an outsized impact, whether it’s, you know, on your work life or at home or whatever, but, you know, small change, big impact
Derik 01:42:04 Coinciding with the challenges that we explored here together, there was a moment where I was experiencing incredibly painful back pain and about six months into it, uh, not knowing what to do about it. I didn’t, I got an MRI and it showed a herniated disc that was bowing out into the spinal cord and stenosis, and went to three of the top surgeons in LA. They all wanted to operate and it wasn’t until I met the right people. And, uh, it was a fantastic documentary called all the rage. I was familiar with John Sarno, dr. Dodge Sarno before the movie, but that movie just did it for me. I probably was crying throughout the whole movie. It’s, it’s, it’s powerful. And through that journey of just trying to ignore it, fight it, wish it away be angry at myself for like this isn’t me, I’m an athlete.
Derik 01:43:02 This is like the opposite of everything that I identify with. I’m not someone who can’t walk half a block without stopping. It’s just not me. I was racing amateur races of mountain biking and cyclocross races. And it’s just, I, I had a very strong physical, uh, uh, yoga movement practice. And so to, to experience, this was just challenging on a number of fronts and yeah, it wasn’t until, and there’s so many confounding variables or what actually shifted it is hard to actually pinpoint, but I, I truly believe the practice of kindness towards myself and the practice of, of listening to, and feeling my, my embodiment and listening to and connecting with heart is though it may not sound like a small change. It it’s a decision like I’m going to be kind to myself at the amount that that’s unlocked for me.
Andrew 01:44:03 It’s huge. That’s amazing. You just in wrapping up and in closing, first of all, where can people connect with you online if they feel compelled to reach out?
Derik 01:44:11 I would just Glo.com dot com. You mentioned the podcast. I don’t know yet what the URL will be. It’ll probably be glo.com/Glo together, possibly. Um, I’m at Derek mills, D E R I K M I L L S pretty much everywhere.
Andrew 01:44:29 Okay, great. We’ll link to all that. And, and as soon as the podcast is out, we’ll update the, uh, the links as well. So we can make sure we get the, the correct link in there. And then, um, is there any asks you have to listen to anyone listening to this, if you could make a request of them, what would you ask them?
Derik 01:44:44 Can I just say something on a side note? Sure. I have not practiced how to communicate a lot of the things that we’ve, we’ve just discussed. And so it’s, it’s really kind of revealing and vulnerable in a way that I, I’m not used to well, thanks for going there and trusting me. And I definitely have never seen myself as a, as a, a teacher or a, um, in part or of wisdom, you know? So like, like, like, like, like this question kind of triggers that in me. Right. It triggers, it triggers that like, Oh, I don’t see myself as someone who has, has, has something to leave someone with. Yeah. Yeah. So is it just a side note? I, yeah. Um,
Andrew 01:45:29 It’s you finding that, that voice in your, your self expression with her?
Derik 01:45:33 Right. I would say that if any of this resonated with someone who is struggling to know that you’re not alone.
Andrew 01:45:43 Hmm.
Derik 01:45:46 Yeah. There are, there are people out there going through some version of what you’re going through. We all have our own experience of what it means to be an embodied human. So no experience is the same, but there probably is some overlap and there probably is help and community out there. It’s just a matter of being open and vulnerable enough to, to seek it out and, and to just get through that first hurdle of, of, of fear.
Andrew 01:46:18 Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. Well, Derek, thank you again so much for first of all the work you’re doing and the example you’re setting, and then also thank you for coming on the show and being so open and so vulnerable with what is, as you, as we talked about at length, very much a work in progress, as weird as it always will be. Uh, so I really, really appreciate it. Thank you for coming on and for being open to the conversation and for everything you shared with us.
Derik 01:46:40 Thank you for having me. It’s such a pleasure.
Andrew 01:46:42 Yeah, absolutely. Man. We’ll keep it up and we’ll definitely have to, we’ll have to have you back for around to somewhere in the future to check in on, on how things have and, and see
Speaker 3 01:46:50 Where things are at that time. I would love that. All right. I love it, man. Keep it up.