Ep. 122 – Fireside chat with Wade Younger
Sean Pillot de Chenecey chats with Wade Younger, Founder of Fruition Consulting, The Value Wave and author of 30 books.
Included in the chat:
- The Corona lockdown and what it means to us, and how history shows that there will be an economic recovery
- Wade’s books and those that are most relevant for us today
- Wade’s inspiring background story
- What inspires Wade
- Why he’ll never be only a professional speaker
- His suggestions for post-Corona talks
Episode audio & transcript
Connect with Speakers Associates
Sean Pillot De Chenecey (00:04): Hello this podcast is care of Speakers Associates, the global speaker bureau representing a select group of the world’s finest thinkers and thought leaders founded in 1999. Today Speakers Associates operate out of nine offices across seven countries covering the UK, Europe and Middle East. I’m Sean Pillot De Chenecey author of The Post-Truth Business and Influencers & Revolutionaries. In this series, I interview a range of fascinating individuals, proudly represented by the bureau. These change agents and industry experts give an update on their specialised areas of knowledge, and also on their motivations and viewpoints regarding the future of business. Today, I’m really pleased to be joined by Wade Younger, Wade is the CEO of The Value Wave. An integrated performance improvement system his given over 1,900 talks and is recognized as one of the most foremost authorities on business acceleration. Wade’s written over 30 books that focus on leadership, change, innovative thinking and organizational development. He always encourages self-reflection and accountability often known as coach, waiters encouraged others to become masters of their destiny through the art of achievement. His professional passion is helping businesses be first best different, faster and better. So, Wade, hello.
Wade Younger (01:41): Hi Sean. How you doing today?
Sean Pillot De Chenecey (01:44): I’m very good. Indeed. As mentioned. So I’m in a vaguely sunny London, and I believe that you are in a very sunny North Carolina over in the US. So lucky you.
Wade Younger (01:52): Yeah, definitely feeling fortunate today. It’s beautiful outside.
Sean Pillot De Chenecey (01:56): Well, thank you. I mean, it’s beautiful outside, but obviously here we are in the to, to strike a, you know,
Wade Younger (02:34): Well, Sean, you know, as of this morning, there’s 1,033,000 infected individuals with this COVID 19 virus, which is very serious. And as of today, it’s it’s 53,000 individuals have lost their lives, which means families and friends have been impacted and affected by that. So it’s very serious for sure. So as we talk about economy and being first best different and moving forward, it actually changes our perspective on life as a whole, because when we have a, an individual in our household or our family member, that’s passing away, the last thing that we’re thinking is, you know, how do we do better as far as commerce is concerned, but at the same time, you know, the concern is, well, how do we pay our bills if the economy has paused for a minute? And that’s a, that’s a very valid question.
Wade Younger (03:28): Because at the same time we need the economy to support what we like to do. So what I’m doing with my customers my clients my friends, is to take a minute and think about what’s really important. And as I contact basically all of my contacts that’s one of my goals as we are shut in here in the in the United States is contacting individuals, having as many phone conversations as possible. I’m doing some emailing and texting as well, but we, we talk more about what’s important. But from a economic standpoint, you know, there’s this situation where everyone is forced to do something they haven’t done before and that’s still, and, and be reflective, but at the same time, we’ve been encouraged to do that for many years, but now it’s the time to do it.
Sean Pillot De Chenecey (04:18): Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s interesting. I, I thought the one of the things I find really fascinating from your talks is I think some of these statistics that you talk about also on your, on your website I mean, even before the virus hit us so I think you’ve got a range of them there. I’ll just read out a couple. So, you know, 20% of businesses failed in their first year, 50% failed within their fifth year, you know, 52% of 14, 500 companies that existed in, in the year 2000 are gone.
Wade Younger (04:56): Isn’t that something I know. And usually, you know, when you’re presenting, you usually wanna start with something on the positive, but at this you want to paint a realistic picture because you can’t go outside and wish that your weeds in the, your garden will go away. You can’t wish it away. You have to do some work. So here’s the thing we’re presenting first off, this is what’s happening. So as if you’re a small, mid-size even large companies that I work with all the time, this is the reality that we’re dealing with. But the great thing about it is to, to be forewarn is to be forearmed. So it’s, it gives us an opportunity to look realistically as to where we are and then how to move forward. One of the things that this gives us opportunity gives us opportunity that we have is that we will recover.
Wade Younger (05:40): We’ve been through this before and you think back, I think back to 1929, when the stock market crashed in 29, obviously we weren’t alive then, but that was in 29, but the great depression wasn’t until 1932. So there was this three year lapse of just this degradation of of the economy. So it was, but this point instead of the two to three years, this happened in two weeks. Yeah. So that’s the alarming part of it. But even in 29, even in 32, there was a recovery, even after it was it the 87, even after 91, there was the recovery. So I totally anticipate the United States or not the world recovering from this at some point I do have an estimation from, from my, you know, viewpoint, but I, there will, there’ll definitely be a recovery.
Sean Pillot De Chenecey (06:37): Mm. And in terms of that recovery, I mean, I know that again, you know, going through your details, you talk a lot about growth coaching and you do our spotlight sessions and skills development. Are there any particular areas of those that you are now gonna be concentrating on more than you were before? I mean, I wonder, you know, is there, is there sort of, is, is there sort of the ratio of, of, of your consultancy skills shifting around, are you concentrating as mentioned on one, one area that perhaps wasn’t such a, a, a, a front point, you know, let’s say three or four months ago.
Wade Younger (07:11): Exactly. Good question there. Yes, it is. And what, what’s, what I usually do, what we usually do with the value wave is we work with individuals and organizations that have again midsize to large companies, a lot of small as well. And we give them an opportunity to hook themselves up to a figurative MRI. Mm-Hmm,
Wade Younger (08:09): Now, there is, there are stimulus packages that are being sent out throughout the world. I know a lot of organizations and companies countries rather have these great stimulus packages that take place, but what’s gonna have to happen is what will the consumer do with their, their money at this point, because this is what happened. Sean, whenever an individual, a person goes through a trauma and obviously a trauma is this unexpected event that takes place. Your brain does something that’s called refactoring and refactoring is when your brain takes note of something that was not expected. Like if a person gets, goes to a trauma, if you see someone gets shot something, even as small as you get a, you get bit by a bug, the first thing you do is you slap at that area. You look at what happened, same thing here, there’s this, oh my goodness.
Wade Younger (09:01): I got caught unprepared. What am I gonna do next time? So the consumer will sort of hold onto those funds and rightly so. So the buying habits of the consumer will change. So which also means when it’s time to spend, you’re gonna have to do a little more convincing, you know, to make that happen. And so instead of it’ll be a little harder, but if you go about it in, as far as selling solutions and helping customer care versus customer service, you know, that helps you to move forward. And we know this because again, in reality, we’ve been through this, not in this pandemic scale, but in the sense that we’ve seen economic down terms before there’s been a rebounding and then now it’s, you know, flattening it out and hopefully lessons learned. So to answer your questionnaire, I’ll spend a lot of time on strategy because it has to change
Sean Pillot De Chenecey (09:59): And can I ask, and in terms of, you know, focusing on strategy, because, you know, say because things are, are absolutely changing and we’ll see as sort of a, a, a real change in consumer habits, you know, consumer attitude and attitudes and behavior. I mean, I know that I think it’s quite extraordinary. You’ve written over 30 books. I mean, a I’ve really wondered how have you found the time? And then I mean, a couple of titles, I love things like changing tires and a moving car and the first best different, faster, cheaper, better of those titles. Again, are there any, you know, specific titles that are, you know, again absolutely, you know, relevant to where we are now, you know, if you had all your books in front of you, are you gonna be picking up a couple and going, these are the ones that really do answer, you know, some of the issues we’re facing today.
Wade Younger (10:46): Yes. Good question there. So the first book that I would recommend as far as a resource is fluorescent leadership, how to lead from within, because the first thing that we need to do is learn how to lead yourself in your household. Out of this. Obviously we hear a lot about being a leader doing chaotic times. So this, this particular read as far as fluorescent leadership, is an introspective read, taking an inventory as to where you are and then how to strategize your way step by step out of whether it’s a conundrum that you’re in or just looking forward. So I would start with that because of this air quote crisis, I don’t have to air quote, this is real crisis that we’re in. I would go with the Jericho Rose and it’s, it’s in the subtitles, the book to read.
Wade Younger (11:36): When you feel like you’re ruining your life. Now I wrote this book, I wrote this book back in oh nine and for a totally different reason that had nothing to do with economics, but the principles of that book really hold strong now, because it’s a matter of, you know, I’m flat now, how do we move forward in that book while it’s on a very personal level and looking at your life, you can definitely apply every principle to your business. The third book that I would recommend, just kind of going through the library is five 40 vision and five 40 vision has just to do with innovative thinking and the, the, the principle of five 40 is this, you know, if you were to stand up and look around where you are, that would be a 360 degree turn full turn. And then once you take a inventory of that, you, you make changes to 4, 180, so 360 plus 180 is five 40.
Wade Younger (12:32): So, okay. It’s yeah. So it’s just a matter of looking at the way. Things really are where you are now, where you want to be, how do you close that gap? So that’s where innovation comes from. So those three areas I feel like will help you get started. So the, you know, the, the, the principles of Isaac Newton is, you know a mass that’s at rest will stay at rest. You know, a mass that is moving will continue to move, but we are at situation, where are we at rest? Are we really moving? And how do you, how do you jump start something that used to move, and it’s not moving anymore. Those three areas will help us help you, you know, move forward there.
Sean Pillot De Chenecey (13:17): Yeah. Yeah. Can I ask really intrigue me the type of that second book, Jericho rose. Why do you call it that? What’s the
Wade Younger (13:27): Yes, I, I use a lot of analogies when it comes to nature and there’s actually a plant that’s called the Jericho rose. It’s also called the resurrection plant. And what, what happens with the Jericho rose is every season, when there’s no water precipitation, it completely dies. It completely dries up to where it’s almost well it’s tumbleweed, but within it once it hits moisture of any kind, it will replant itself and blossom again. Wow. It’s not, yeah. It’s not an attractive plant per se, but it it’s, it marvels at me because again, it’s an, a dormant, completely dead state hit water. It, it generates so, so the thing is with us, we may feel like we’re at that point where we’re dead, we’re flat, what are we gonna do next? But here’s something that will give you their figurative precipitation, so you can replant yourself and blossom.
Sean Pillot De Chenecey (14:19): That’s fantastic. I love that.
Wade Younger (14:38): So for me I, and just, I’m in my, you know, mid fifties now almost 56, and I grew up just as a normal kid, four sisters, no brothers, and, you know, mom and dad. And so I, I was always a thinker. I thought I would be majoring in communications, you know, in, in college, but I ended up in, in the it field and I was, you know, glad about that. But in my mid to late twenties, more late twenties, I was working at an insurance company and I had a boss and his name was Paul and Paul was this, tell it like it is guy. He was an ex IBM, ER, this was his second career. And he didn’t really have any people skills if you will. And so
Wade Younger (15:38): And at one particular day, he asked me, Wade was the projects status on XYZ. Now with me at work, I don’t think there’s a such thing as good news or bad news. I feel like news is just news. You work it out either way. And he didn’t like my status. So he figuratively Sean put on some golf shoes and ran up and down my back. I mean, he really led me have it, it was horrible. And so, but that was just the last time, because it was never that wasn’t the first time that it happened. This is how he was. And I, and I, I hated working with him for him and in that environment. And so that particular day I, I went home and quit my job. Didn’t tell him yet, but I
Wade Younger (16:23): And I heard recently at that time, this is back in 1990 and it, and someone said that everything that God does comes to fruition and I’m like, yes, it does. And so I started my company, fruition consulting, and that was in 1990. And it started with just me. And then I called everybody I knew and told ’em my plan. And then two people became 10 became 200, by the time I sold back in 2007. Whoa. Yeah. And so and so that’s, that was sort of the, that was the, the, the precipice of change for me. But I recognize as just a really average person, anyone can do it, you know, once you have focus, vision, integrity communication skills, compassion, and, and grind, anyone could do what I did. I just stayed focused on it and, and kept moving forward. So that was the, that was the thing, as far as the big break it was happened in a reverse way.
Wade Younger (17:19): This is back when time Warner cable was merging with AOL, they were gonna buy AOL America online. Oh. And so I, I was, I used to do a lot of cold calling and I happened to get the right person. And because I was a a change management consultant and they said, well, if you can come up to, you know, 30 Rockefeller center in New York, I’ll meet, you know, we’ll have a meeting with you. I said, this is amazing. And this is me. If you can imagine Sean, at this time, I probably had 15 people working with me. And this is, this is a, a billion dollar merger, if I’m gonna help them with change management. Right. So it’s like, well, let’s go for it. I can do so I can do something. We can do something. And so I get there and with my wears, I’m nervous as crap.
Wade Younger (18:04): And I get there. And I went through the presentation flawless. I was nervous, but it went through well. And they were so gracious in, in hearing me out. And they, they recognize, you know, that they, they do work with small to mid-sized companies at times. But at this point, this is such a big deal. You know, they didn’t use my services, but I, I learned so much from that. I can’t even call it a failure. It was such an amazing lessons learned to be at the table at the potential of working with a, you know, this multimillion dollar organization organizations. That’s when I learned, Hey, we can do this. And from there, my, our confidence was shot through the roof. We changed our approach to be more polished. And then but that, that break turned us into what we end up being toward the end of our, our run.
Sean Pillot De Chenecey (18:56): Whoa. Yeah. That’s fantastic. Yeah. I mean, it’s always, I mean, again, just like your talk. So always, I know they very, very sort of inspiring and very, very punchy, very, very powerful. I mean, I, I love one of the quotes again, that you got in your site talks that says, you know, it’s never too late for your organization to be what it could have been. Just I love that Sarah, it’s a real
Wade Younger (19:20): Yeah. That’s, that’s, that is so important, especially today because what ha what has happened is I will find that you’ll find that a lot of organizations have been dealing with a false economy where, you know, tomorrow’s promised and tomorrow will never be promised. I, I personally think in, in dealing with business acceleration, because I do a lot with business centers in North Carolina through the community college system, actually the North Carolina community college system does a great job at working with their businesses and organizations. But one of the things that I I’m recognizing in, in the researchers I’m working with and looking at things now, and this is some of it, somewhat crystal ball is I think it’s gonna take us three to five, three to five quarters to get through this, which puts us in the end of this year, into next year, before we’re looking normal.
Wade Younger (20:14): So it’s like, well, what’s gonna happen. I mean, we have to chop wood or, you know, what’s, you know, if no one’s buying, what do you do? So this is a great opportunity to say and use that quote. It’s never too late. So whether we are changing our vision, whether we’re gonna look different, cause we’re doing a lot of e-learning now we’ve always done e-learning so we’re doing a, a lot of eLearning now to help our organizations move forward. And then a plan accordingly. It’s hard to, it’s hard to strategize when you’re under stress. It really is. Cuz you you’re in survival state. If you’re, if you’re, if there’s a deer and a pasture, you know, grazing and a pack of wolves show up, that’s not a time for bonding and love. He’s not gonna, they’re not gonna, you know, this is a time for running to safety safety. So we’re in this point where we’re thinking about three things, we’re thinking about our bodies, as far as not being harmed, we think about the time it will take to get to a safe place. We’re thinking about our environment to, to feel safe. So because it’s time, body, and environment, those are the three things that I’m focusing on with people and, and incidentally, that premise is something that I’ve always taught. But now, because of these, this circumstance, you know, I get a better listening audience now.
Sean Pillot De Chenecey (21:35): Yeah, yeah. I’m sure. And I know you mentioned prior to that, your points about sort of, you know, focus, vision and integrity. So are those the three things that you are really sort of advising companies to to think about? Or are, are there, is it something else?
Wade Younger (21:51): No, I think, yeah, that’s definitely it. This is the time where is your vision, really what you want it to be because it’s not, it’s not a time to tinker or waiver at, you know, what, what your strategy will be. So definitely focus and as far as integrity is concerned is being true to obviously who you are being true to the people that has been working around you. And there are some sacrifices that have to take place. They really are. And so are you gonna, what are you gonna do to help your people, you know, as to help everybody get through this next year.
Sean Pillot De Chenecey (22:29): And on that, by the way from the point of view of talking about, you know, what companies and organizations should do, are there any that you point to as best practice in terms of, right. Here’s an example of a, of a company or, or an organization that really, really does lead from the front?
Wade Younger (22:48): Yes. So it’s, this is like it’s, this is a new BC, like it was before Christ. This is before Corona. This is the new beacon.
Sean Pillot De Chenecey (22:57): Yeah. Yeah.
Wade Younger (22:58):
Sean Pillot De Chenecey (24:31):
Wade Younger (24:48): Okay, good question. I I’ve always read a lot. My dad was an avid reader. So from the mayor of just newspaper, but so I’ve always enjoyed reading and, but when I’m, when I’m writing and I started writing in early mid nineties when I’m writing, I don’t read as much cuz I don’t want to, you know, pin someone else’s thoughts cuz you end up subconsciously doing that. But I’ve always read, wrote, I’ve always read. And then I started writing just from a, my appreciation journals. And lessons learned, turned into my first book, tunnels, bridges, and ladders, how to, you know, how to change. And I think I, I, I don’t sell that book as much, but that was my first book. But what inspires me is seeing other end, seen other individuals succeed. I, I definitely have an affinity and, and a passion for seeing people be whole and, and, and whole is not perfect.
Wade Younger (25:49): It’s just being your best and that’s, that’s how I’m, I’m driven. That’s, I’ve been built that way. And so that’s, that’s it, it’s just, if I can help you do better, I feel like I’m better. And that’s, that’s just how it is. And it’s going back to my mom and my dad. They were very giving papers, so they always, you know, promoted giving. So I kind of got that from them. So as far as inspiration, if I can help you do better, that’s, that’s great with me. And it’s just, it’s just that simple. And, and, and Sean, that’s why as far as speakers are concerned, I’ve I never was. And I will never be, I’ll never be a full time speaker. And the reason why is, if you’re just speaking, you end up giving book reports because you, you, you talk about what you heard or what you read, but if yeah, if a person’s in their, you know, on the ground level boots on the ground you begin to talk about what inspiring stories and, and people that were intra Vail companies that were intra Vail and how did they push forward?
Wade Younger (26:56): And that makes the, you know, that makes the talk yeah. That much more rich.
Sean Pillot De Chenecey (27:01): Yeah, yeah, yeah, no, no, totally with you. And actually on exactly that point, I know you’ve given a quite astonishing amount of talks. I mean, I’ve interviewed many, many speakers over the years and I mean,
Wade Younger (28:01): I gotcha. So as far as an overall event is concerned the one thing that you wanna recognize is that people are, are motivated by a number of things. People are also hungry for leadership. People also want to succeed. They, they really want to cut their own path. So with all those things, being said, conferences should not be built on the promotion of a speaker or a presentation conferences. The great ones are built on helping the participant do their best. And there’s just a lot of conferences that, that will do that. But if you, if they’re structured the ones that I’ve participated in, if they’re structured around solving a problem, making things easier and you really succeeding where you can go, go through a presentation, whether it’s a keynote or a breakout session or a workshop, if you can take what you learned and use it that afternoon, or the next day that’s, you know, that’s a successful workshop.
Wade Younger (29:15): So that’s that’s, you know, as far as the, the crux of the, the, the quintessential conference, that’s what I would start with. And then what have I’ve experienced is do people need motivation? Of course they do, but it’s not just motivation, it’s inspiration. And the difference, the difference between inspiration motivation is you can be motivated to do nothing
Sean Pillot De Chenecey (30:25): Very good, really interesting. Well, just the last couple of questions. And it’s been actually fantastic Wade. So I mean, first of all how about you then? So, you know, what’s coming up for you. I know a bit of a tough question at the, at this time when obviously the economy is at a standstill, but anything’s on the horizon for you that we should know that any more books
Wade Younger (30:45):
Wade Younger (31:40): So I, I wanna spend some more time with Youthapedia and, and continue to do that. And so I, I really enjoy that so much and you probably can recognize my tone changes when I talk about Youthapedia versus talking about the value wave, because it’s just, when you get a chance to work with children and help parents to have an on wrap, to teach life lessons and everything from, I mean, we have a book on, on on active shooting and it’s a, it was a, it was a tough, right, but it’s, it’s been happening and from gang environments, sex, drugs, alcohol, you know, how to avoid those things. And so those are the things that we’ll be, you know, spending some more time with now, as far as the big next move. One of the things that I recognize that the, the areas that have been affected most with this, you know, Corona virus issues obviously is our, our financial institutions have been affected, has been affected, which, which is hospitality. And then our trade industries have been affected. And obviously the workforce have been affected. So my offerings will be structured toward helping organizations focus in on helping those smallest, midsize and large companies gather up to, to think about the next step, cuz it’s not just, here’s a check, let’s go at it again. Things have to change and they, and they will.
Sean Pillot De Chenecey (33:07): Mm. Okay. Well, in that case, last question. So, I mean, let’s assume, figure out of the air that in six months time this horrendous situation is resolved and business, then, you know, accelerates again, you, you again get called in by, you know, the ideal client to give a talk at a major event. What do you think you’re gonna be talking about as, as the audiences come into that location for the first time after going through this, you know, seismic change, what are you gonna be giving them a talk on
Wade Younger (33:41): My, my post Corona? My, my, my, my post Corona talk will be will be accelerating your business. It will be. And the, and the reason why is individuals will wanna know, as they come to conferences is how do I from an economic standpoint restart. So that’s, you know, so I can use my business acceleration acumen for that, after that, a close second. And, and it’s one, a one B, if you will, I’ll be using my leading change and motivation talk. And the reason why is things have changed? Th there’s a new normal, and this is, this is like it’s like nine 11, but different because obviously that was just centric to the United States affected it, affected the economy in the United States. And, and cause when I was working in New Zealand a little, little bit after that, the, the effect wasn’t the same.
Wade Younger (34:46): So my, my messaging was a little different, but it’s just a matter of since it’s, this is a global affecting event. It’s like, how do I become something different? So my leading change in motivation would be those, the, those the second or one B as I present. Yeah. And then I, I would, I would start with just, cause I’ve been thinking about that as well is thinking about organizations that started during the time of recessions, because we, we will be in a recession very shortly. It sits in. It’s impossible not to be. So you know, you think about the number of organizations that started during recessions and are still existing today. So that would start with that shot. Mm-Hmm
Sean Pillot De Chenecey (35:34): Yeah. Yeah. Very good. Well look where there’s been. Absolutely fantastic. And thanks so much for your time. It’s been really, really interesting talking with you and can happily done so for a lot longer, but so Wade Younger, CEO of The Value Wave who’s given over 1,900 talks and is recognized as the most authorities on business acceleration
Wade Younger (35:54): There. And you very wears, I’m nervous as crap and I get there and I went through the presentation flawless. I was nervous.
Sean Pillot De Chenecey (36:02): That’s great. Thank you, Wade.
Wade Younger (36:03): It went through well and they were so gracious. Okay. And hearing me out and they, they recognize, you know, that they do work with small and mid-sized companies at times, but at this point this is such a big deal. You know, they didn’t use my services, but I, I learned so much from that. I can’t even call it a failure. It was such an amazing lesson to learned, to be at the table at the potential of working with a, you know, this multimillion dollar organization organizations. That’s when I learned, Hey, we can do this. And from there, my, our confidence was shot through the roof. We changed our approach to be more polished. And then but that, that break turned us into what we end up being toward the end of our, our run.
Sean Pillot De Chenecey (36:50): And I’m afraid at that point, unfortunately, the line went down when I was speaking with Wade over in North Carolina. So we’ll have to finish the podcast there in which case, I’ll just say a huge, thanks to Wade younger. I thought that was a really, really interesting talk and as mentioned, so Wade younger CEO of The Value Wave and as Wade mentioned, he’s given a 1,900 talks he’s recognized internationally is one of the most sort of foremost authorities on business acceleration. He talks about focus, vision, and integrity. And as he says, his professional passion is helping businesses be first best, different, faster, and better. So Wade younger, thank you. Thank you for listening to The Speaker Show podcast. Please leave a rating on iTunes. We’d really appreciate it. And also it’d be great. If you could subscribe to the podcast itself, you’ll find it also on Google podcasts, SoundCloud, or your favorite podcast app. Thank you.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I’ll send you periodic updates about the podcast.
Sean Pillot de Chenecey
Foresight strategist, author and podcast host Sean Pillot de Chenecey is an inspirational speaker, who’s also consulted for some of the world’s biggest brands.
Sean has a very deep level of knowledge regarding the genuine issues impacting brands from a cultural, social and business perspective.