Glen Wakeman Podcast Interview with Daniel Budzinski

Glen Wakeman
Sep 26, 2018 · 26 min read

This article is a transcript of Glen Wakeman’s podcast interview with Daniel Budzinski titled “Art of Success”. To listen to this podcast, visit

Greg: I was in Argentina and the economy collapsed. The only way to keep the business going was to do a substantial layoff and taking away somebody’s job is the hardest thing you can do. As a leader, if it doesn’t bother you to do that or if you feel nothing when you do that then you’re probably a sociopath and you shouldn’t be in the job.

Daniel: Welcome to the artist success podcast. I’m your host, Daniel Puzenski, and I’m excited to be interviewing personalities from all different backgrounds on how they’ve learned and earned success. Our goal is that the stories would equip you to achieve success both personally and professionally. Please not that there may be explicit words or conversational topics in this podcast. So, if you’re underaged or …

Daniel: Well Glen Wakeman, welcome to the art of success podcast.

Glen: Thank you Daniel, pleasure to be here.

Daniel: You’ve got so much energy, so much excitement. Let’s jump in. When we were talking and laughing, your upgraded version of things I would love to be and love to do in the next 10–15 years. So, I’m excited to get your story out. Let’s start with just telling us a little bit about yourself. Tell us your story and how you ended up where you are now.

Glen: Thank you. It’s humbling to be on your program. I appreciate all the work you’re doing and am delighted to make a minor contribution to the effort of informing folks about the inside process of success. I have a very simple journeyman story. I’m from pretty humble beginnings. I grew up in a little town in Connecticut. It was a manufacturing town back in the day, and the things that tied us together were little league and biddy basketball, popcorn football, things like that. But I was this curious kid and I wanted to see the world. I remember I had a teacher in sixth grade that pointed out the Mediterranean Sea on a map in geography class. And I raised my hand and said, “Someday I’m going to swim in the Mediterranean Sea.” And everybody thought that was kind of funny. Years later, I did and there’s a whole story around that. But what ended up happening is I went to college and paid my way through school like lots of people. It was a small school in Pennsylvania called Scranton. And then, I did a couple of jobs, I studied economics and finance, I was working for this telecom company and I was a New York Yankee baseball game and I met this guy and it turns out the he was a somebody at General Electric — and I didn’t know that — we were just talking about the Yankees. He offered me a job and I took it and I got noticed in GE. I built a 20-year career there starting very humbly working with telephone equipment. Then I did all kinds of things that you do. I did operation stuff, call centers, and then I learned about business development and marketing. Along the way, they paid for my graduate degree at the University of Chicago which kind of helped me a lot because I got some self-confidence from that and it improved my critical thinking. Other than that, I just love Chicago. It’s a great city. Then from there, GE capital was looking for people that wanted to expand globally and go around the world. They weren’t global at that time, so I was the second employee to go overseas and I had a -

Daniel: Oh, that’s cool.

Glen: I had a 15-year run. I ended up working in Europe, Asia, and Latin America and I lived in six countries and was responsible for about 32. At the end of it, the last gig I had was 9 countries and 17,000 employees and it was pretty fun. Then I got tapped to run a regional bank, then I got tapped to do some private consulting work in capital markets. Then I decided I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I would say that some of my life was pure serendipity. Just really driven by curiosity and perseverance. Some of it were really great people that helped me out along the way and some of it was dumb luck and lots of scars, but also a lot of good things.

Daniel: So, as an entrepreneur, tell us a little bit about Launchpad. Because that’s what your entrepreneurial journey has brought you to right now.

Glen: I founded Launchpad. The idea with Launchpad is to take the body of work that I had accumulated over all those years and contribute it to early stage entrepreneurs who have a real appetite and passion for an idea, but perhaps haven’t quite figured out that an idea and a plan are two different things. We built a software solution that allows them to articulate their idea in such a way that it causes them to think through the business components, and ultimately, produces a document where they can use it to go and get funding. When I studied the problem, in the United States something like 50,000 new businesses a month get formed. Why do 7 out of 10, or even 8 out of 10, fail? The answer was two reasons: 1) they don’t have any capital, so they run out of money, and 2) they really don’t have a plan. So, I thought, “Well, if I could take the body of experience that I had and make it available to people, at the very least it would improve their chances of success by reducing their risk.” So, that’s how it all got started.

Daniel: That’s amazing! I’m learning right now from a book my father gave me, How to Win, and it’s all about one of PNG’s executives wrote the book on having a winning strategy and it’s all about having a plan, then allocating and getting the funds you need to do that plan and how PNG had won in all of these different sectors and all of these different industries and cultures and countries. The Launchpad has the conglomerate of all your experience. I can see that being something very special for any entrepreneurs that are looking for funding, or better yet having a plan. The last seven years, I’ve had no plan, no passion, and I wish I would have found someone like you seven years ago. I wasted a lot of time without really knowing it. And nothing was a waste of time in the sense that I am where I am today now. But it’s definitely acceleration.

Glen: That’s exactly it. You are a — I would say — a normal story in that you have these ideas and passion and what is missing a lot of times is the formula. And it doesn’t need to be a big secret. It’s not a Scooby-doo mystery. How do you put something together that you can raise money? So, what we did was contemplate that formula and make it easy for everybody to understand in plain English. And you don’t need to be an accountant or MBA. You just shape your idea into something you can execute. That’s the idea behind it. So, you’d be a bullseye.

Daniel: I want to go a little bit into your stories. You are a storyteller, man. Tell me a story about your family upbringing. I always think what’s interesting is when we look into the past we see kind of a glimpse of who we are in the future. Tell us a story from your past, your family life that taught you something about what you carried into your “now”.

Glen: I’ll tell you a funny story about — well, it’s funny when I reflect on it — I think that’s a great question. Where I grew up, it was a sense of a community. And one of the things that was available to us was a boy’s club. And I used to go down to the boy’s club when I was a kid and I spent a lot of time there, and I’d walk there or whatever. I remember one of the first times I went there -

Daniel: Like boy’s and girl’s club of America?

Glen: Yeah.

Daniel: I talked to the CEO of them today. That’s the first time I’ve talked to anyone there and a friend referred me, so that’s very funny. Keep going.

Glen: It was a great environment. They had quasi-adults there that were mentors and available and if you had a lot of energy they had lots of sports and they keep kids out of trouble which is great. But I remember learning how much about life I didn’t know in a ping pong game. I was just playing ping pong with this kid and he was younger than I was. I beat him, and I beat him, and I beat him, and then he said, “Hey, did you bring any lunch money?” And I said, “Yeah, I have $0.50 or $1.” He said, “Do you want to play for lunch money?” And I said “Sure.” and he said, “Do you mind if I get my other paddle?” (Laughter)

Daniel: He hustled you man.

Glen: Yeah! He killed me, and I lost my lunch money and I realized just then that appearances are so deceptive. And I didn’t really know anything about it. And it turned out he was the state open champion. So, he just laughingly picked my pocket. And for me, I’ll never forget that. And every time I meet somebody, you know the old adage “don’t judge a book by its cover”, yeah, it’s really true. There’s a lot of benefit as a consequence of just observing and listening and trying to learn.

Daniel: So, that’s a great story by the way, and I love ping pong. I think it’s one of the best games to hustle people in, because you can really easily fake that you’re bad, too. When I think about your life — and I’d love for you to at some point talk about these global experiences in the next few questions — but I’m really curious on how these stories or experiences are your worst or most difficult day working. I think sometimes with your job, you’re trying to deliver a message that’s not so positive in the sense that you’re telling people feedback on who they are as a leader. Tell us about those most difficult days what that looks like, and maybe a story that encapsulates that.

Glen: I remember being in a situation where I was in Argentina and the economy collapsed. The only way to keep the business going was to do a substantial layoff and taking away somebody’s job is the hardest thing you can do. As a leader, if it doesn’t bother you to do that or if you feel nothing when you do that then you’re probably a sociopath and you shouldn’t be in the job. But it bothered me a lot. The country blew up. The only way to save the business was by eliminating 20% of the workforce. That was a terrible day. And I brought all the good people in and I told them face to face and I didn’t hide behind anything. I did my best to absorb their misery which is maybe noble, but it’s hugely ineffective because I didn’t lose my job and I could carry on while they suffered. I learned a lot from that experience and I learned a lot about humanity and I learned a lot about clarity and discipline and principle. The best thing that could come of that is that I was straight with everybody and there wasn’t a big song and dance and I didn’t sugar coat anything. At the end of the day, it was like, “Listen, we’re making these cuts. Unfortunately, you’re no longer employed here.” It was terrible, but I learned about how to treat adults like adults. And it was a lifelong lesson for me. Sad but helpful, I suppose (

Daniel: I like that there are sometimes things that you have to do in your job that you have to do, but you don’t lose your humanity in the process. But at the same time, you don’t have to overpromise or fluff words. It’s a tough season and situation that you’re in, but that’s really amazing. I remember you told me a story about global exposure and experience and how cultures impacted your global leadership capacity and where you had those foot-in-mouth moments where you’d do or say something. Tell us a little about that.

Glen: I’ve been really lucky that I’ve survived in a lot of different cultures. Notably, living in Thailand was a challenge because it was so different; living in Brazil was very different; living in Mexico, very different. So, I learned about those cultures by making egregious mistakes in etiquette. For example, in Thailand your head is sacred, and your feet are dirty, and if you sit and cross your legs and point your foot at somebody and show them the bottom of your foot, that’s probably as awful an insult as you can present. Well, yeah, I did that. And I didn’t even realize it. I was just having a conversation like most people do, I crossed my legs in my lap like most people do and that was bad. I remember in Brazil, I remember having a meeting with a very important family and they invited me to breakfast and the patriarch was at the head of the table and he asked me if I liked the breakfast. It was croissants and stuff like that, and I remember in the United States to speak with your mouth full is really rude, so you don’t do that. And so, it’s ok to use hand signals so my mouth was full, I didn’t want to say anything, so I hand signaled, I put my hand up and made the sign for “ok”. Meaning it’s really good. Well, that signal in Brazil does not mean ok. Actually, it means “we’re number one”. In the vernacular, I gave the guy the finger. Everybody at the table just started laughing crazy. And he was great. He laughed out loud, he explained that it didn’t mean what I thought it meant and he was laughing. So, I got away with that. And the last one that I would tell you is that in Mexico I had to speak for a group and I was practicing my Spanish and I was trying to say that I’m embarrassed because my grammar wasn’t very good and I was using the phrase “estoy embarasado” in Spanish, and I thought that meant I’m embarrassed and I really meant I’m pregnant. So, the group got a good kick out of that. So, there are all these inconveniences along the way.

Daniel: I think the moral of that story is to not be egocentric. Right? Because the egocentric person feels like they have to recover, they’re more focused on themselves, they’re more focused on people’s perceptions of themselves. But it’s ok, you roll with the punches, have a laugh. Being embarrassed is thinking of yourself too much, right?

Glen: Yeah, fair enough. I remember more than anything just how gracious everybody was to me because I really tried to make an effort in spite of these missteps. I make an effort to try to understand their culture and know about their local sports teams and food and things like that. And what I found was if you’re genuinely trying to be polite, cultures around the world are remarkably tolerant. And they will be remarkably welcoming and have a genuine interest in showing you things about their country and their societies that make them special. So, at the end of the day, it was a nice experience for me. The people I spoke with were kind and generous with their time and attention.

Daniel: I’ve had a few experiences, too. And I have noticed too that there’s all these culture codes which is are the social norms for that culture. You know, in Thailand how they say hello and how you put your hands together against your chest or at your forehead and you bow, right? And everyone’s like, “You have to do it this way, you have to do it that way.” I’ve really noticed that people are quite forgiving as well. I think if you’re being genuine and you’re not being disrespectful, you can get away with just about anything that you do on accident because people — no matter what culture or language barrier they are is — I notice that people can sense who you are as a person, your demeanor, who you’ve chosen to be. It’s very amazing to see that when you’re relational, that transcends all those borders and boundaries.

Glen: I think that’s exactly right. And I think that it’s really what of yourself are you willing to give, and it will be returned 50-fold. Thailand’s interesting, and you’re right, when they approach you in the bow and all that, Buddhism is the principle religion in Thailand and when they bow and say thank you, they will form their hands in front of themselves kind of like a temple, but really it looks like they’re praying. And if you give your waiter or waitress a tip, you can tell if it was good one or not because the closer they put their hands to their eyes the more respect that are showing to you. So, if they bow and they keep their hands to their waist, they really didn’t like the tip too much. I learned that too.

Daniel: I never knew that. I honestly think that traveling the world is such an amazing learning experience. I think it also does expand your capacity from a leadership standpoint. Tell us about how you would connect the traveling and experience to global culture and exposure to that. Would that expand your capacity as a leader? Even if it’s just for fun or vacation.

Glen: Well, I think there’s a lot that’s directly applicable to leadership. And I think if I were to organize the thinking, I’d organize it around problem definition and problem solving. Problem definition is a fundamental of effective leadership and being able to define the problem correctly is how you avoid wasting time and money and resources and confusing your staff and making things effective. Problem resolution or solution is a different idea and that’s where it’s creative. So, problem definition is really very analytical. Problem resolution is very intuitive and creative. What I found culturally is — surprise surprise — all around the world, the laws of physics apply. So, you have a very natural common ground when you do problem definition because the linear thinking, A plus B minus C kind of thing, really works well and it’s easy to apply in various countries, circumstances, and whatever the culture. On the other hand, the creativity or idea generation process for solutions is very different around the world. In Asia, it entirely depends on context. Latin America, it’s more hierarchical. In the States, it’s a little bit more sharing power collaborative. In Europe, it really has to do with a kind of a blend of all of it. So, the way it manifests itself is how people communicate.

Daniel: Yeah, explain that. Connect it because this is interesting.

Glen: The way it works is like in Asia, it’s all about context. So, you would talk, and they would talk, and you would talk — and there’s a pause in between because the two parties or groups are trying to understand the context of the communication. In Latin America, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, the other places I’ve lived in and worked, you talk right over it. It’s possible to have multiple conversations at the same time. You talk right over each other. That is more ceremonial, real work is done more privately and quietly. So, it’s a really different way to communicate and it’s easy to get wrong-footed. In England, when I lived there, it took me a while to get used to their humor because some of it I thought it was kind of mean-spirited, but historically it’s sardonic approaches, sarcasm and the like, are a part of how they filter ideas and reach conclusions.

Daniel: That’s so interesting. I want to connect those two. You’re saying that defining the problem is more analytical and problem solution is more creative. And you’re saying all the way all these cultures do that is different.

Glen: Yes.

Daniel: How they define the problem and how they get the solution. Some of it is private some of it is talking over each other and some of it is with gaps of respect and listening you’re saying for both sides.

Glen: Yes, that’s true. That’s absolutely true. So, you have to have your bearings on what the stage of the discussion you’re in. With the problem definition stuff, you’re US American business set of analytical tools perfect, it works really well. The listening on the solutions side, you really have to understand the context, but your circumstances are really determinant, but what they have in common is in your mind you divide based on whether you are in problem definition mode and you have all your behaviors apply to that. Now, I’ve just crossed over into solution mode and that’s intuitive and creative and I have to apply my skills to that within the context of the culture.

Daniel: It’s so interesting. But that all goes back to leadership capacity. And as a leader, it’s understanding who is your audience and how can you bridge the gap to defining the problem in a way that makes sense to them which is basically language or personality and style can come into that, right? Do I take more of the listening approach? Do I take more of the asking question approach? Then how I deliver the solution, am I getting the solution out of them? Do I just tell them the solution? I think that as a leader what I’ve learned from some of my greatest mentors is that exact thing how something can be so simple to you and you can communicate it but it’s because you are so immersed. So, how you communicate and the tone and the style to your audience, you’re bringing it back to capacity of a leader.

Glen: Yeah, exactly. And what I’ve found, Daniel, is the goal here is transference of ownership. Because as the leader, it may be perfectly clear to you what the right answer is, but unless you can convince or persuade your constituents to effectuate that change or operate on it or actually do it, all it is is a theory. And the transference of the ownership is probably the critical step and within the context of US-centric leadership, or European, Latin American, Asian — I mean that’s still at the end of the day, the techniques and rituals might be a little different, but the goal is still the goal which is “here’s the problem definition, and here’s a solution.” In order to effectuate it, you need to transfer ownership over to your constituents and there are lots of ways to do that. Being a good listener is a really big asset. And I relate that to the ping pong story with Franko when he took my money, to not pre-judge circumstances, to be very self-aware, to realize you may not have all the answers, and to try to process what’s presented to you. I think those are all traits of a good leader and I think that they are applicable to 20thcentury business, 21stcentury business. So, I just it’s part of how humans have to work.

Daniel: That’s really good. I like that. Thanks for going into that. I love what you talked about a little bit earlier. I want to bring it up this whole serendipitous approach. Everyone’s different. And I think that’s the beauty of the art of success is the idea for me is that art is different for every person because music is art and some people hate certain music. I hate country music. I know, I’m trying, I’m working on it. I don’t not listen to it, I just don’t know how to appreciate it yet. But business is art also. And I don’t think that people realize when I’ve found the happiest people they are also usually the wealthiest people. And wealth doesn’t just mean money. I could mean accomplishing the thing that they wanted. It’s because they’ve painted the picture and they’ve used business as their way to create. And that’s what it is for me Glen. A business is a way to express my individuality and my dreams and deep convictions. So, talk to us about how when you were young how you were projecting your consciousness into some future success and then, when you got there, how did you reinvent yourself to do the next thing and reinvigorate your energy in all of those things.

Glen: That’s a real question about life and that’s a great question and insightful like the others that you brought up. The starting point on the answer is I completely agree with you in terms of it being art. So, let me start with that and I’ll build it back into the discovery process. If I start at the top of the funnel or the top of the pyramid, I’ve run across two different types of chief executives. There’s people that want to be the chief executive because of the title, prestige, power and money. Then I run across people that want to be an executive because they actually want to build something. And what I found is the people that want it for the sake of narcissism ultimately fail because it’s totally self-centered and they can’t inspire, and life happens, markets change, customers go away, whatever but they ultimately don’t succeed. On the other hand, the builders do succeed because it’s not just about them. It’s about what they’re trying to achieve and that’s an easier thing for people to get behind and join and drive. And then, you get the collective IQ of the entire group, company, or team as opposed to a singular IQ. And although a singular IQ might be formidable, even Einstein had his limitations. So, when I think about myself and my journey, how that manifested itself was, in a word, curiosity. In my hometown, I just wanted to see and discover different things and serendipity played a part because I didn’t know that I would live around the world or meet a guy at a Yankee game. But that child-like appetite for learning was pretty essential. So, when I think about business, I completely agree it’s an artform, particularly when it’s at its best. It’s a creative process and you could pick any number of disruptive businesses that meet that definition, right? The whole idea is that there is a radically new way to do something, it’s creative, it takes genuine courage to do it, it takes perseverance to do it and it takes the ability to persuade others to join in. And what I found is if it’s entirely about one person, it’s pretty hard for people to join. If it’s about something else — and relating that to my own journey, I played a lot of team sports, I can’t think of a better metaphor for effective business leadership for the things that you learn when you’re on a team because effective leaders have to be very comfortable sharing power. That’s what teams do. I think that manifests itself in our art takes courage, takes discipline, takes intuition, it takes creativity, it takes remarkable sacrifice and at the end of the day the fact that you’re with somebody that actually believes what they say, that by itself is pretty inspiring.

Daniel: Well, to your point too, don’t just believe what you see. Hear it, feel it that they actually believe what they say, go see if they do what they said they were going to do.

Glen: Exactly.

Daniel: To see the intent of that leader.

Glen: Exactly. One of the things I did learn when I was still in business school, and I’m happy to pass on, relates to exactly that point, Daniel, about the level of skepticism. And there’s a productive or constructive, healthy way to think about skepticism when you think about problem definition. One of the things I learned was a technique that’s called “seeking disconfirming evidence”. And what that means is that all of us, as humans, are going to have a point of view about things. We’re going to have biases because we grew up a certain way, we ate certain foods, you know, whatever, it’s just part of being a human. There are mental models that we carry around with us, and they’re not necessarily bad, but they exist. That can interfere with your ability to make good choices and good judgments. And that can be managed by a willful attempt to identify things that don’t line up with what you believe — seeking disconfirming evidence. This employee is lazy — well, wait a minute. How come he/she were at their desk at 7:30 in the morning or how come he/she gave up their weekend? Maybe my predetermined view, or my bias, about this person isn’t right. So, when you go through your evolution as a professional, leader, creator, entrepreneur of things, having a little voice in your head say, “Are you sure about that?” is really not a bad idea. And then having the character to actually identify things that are just inconsistent with what you thought and then seeing it through and modifying your position, I think that’s a healthy way to do it. Now, that sounds super easy, but it’s hard.

Daniel: It’s very hard.

Glen: We’re people.

Daniel: That even shows humility because you have to be willing to — again ego says, “I, I, I, me, me. I’m right.” And when you take on that humility and you realize that we’re a part of this global conglomerate of individuals finding and looking for the way, it’s a lot easier to say, “I was wrong” and make an adjustment. I think you’re hitting something pretty huge too because to me it’s facts over emotions. And I’m learning from and talking with lawyers over the years, great lawyers are not emotional. They’re just about the facts. “Well they are lazy.” They will say, “Oh really? Tell me the facts”. That’s an emotion. I like what you’re saying because I think the greatest leaders can really just look at the facts and draw conclusions from those things and not be emotional about it. I’m learning about that in my life right now.

Glen: I think that is right. I think being a dispassionate leader is very hard to do, but it’s the most effective way to go. The way you don’t lose control or sight, or your vestiges of humanity is by empathizing with the consequences, right?

Daniel: I like that, because there are consequences.

Glen: You can empathize, but you cannot sacrifice your principles.

Daniel: That’s so killer.

Glen: And the best leaders are principled and that’s why people follow them because they are principled. And you’re more predictable. If this happens, he or she is going to do that. Why? Because that’s what they’ll do. Good.

Daniel: That’s so killer. So, what are those two things you just said? Don’t sacrifice your principles, and you said one other thing.

Glen: Be empathetic. Right? About consequences.

Daniel: Be empathetic to the consequences. I really like that because what it shows is accountability and there’s responsibility and your problems are your problems not my problems, but I can’t empathize with the consequences of those problems if you choose those things and make those choices.

Glen: Fair enough.

Daniel: Take us back now to the reinventing yourself. You had this serendipitous approach, but did you ever have moments where you’re looking in your past and you’re like “Gosh, look at where I’ve come. I can’t believe it.” And how did you reinvent yourself to the next thing, and then the next thing.

Glen: Yeah, actually that’s a great question. It’s a real question, and it was a conversation I was having with my wife about these types of things. My wife is not from our country. She’s from Argentina. She’s naturalized here, and my kids were born in England and Mexico. So, I’m kind of outnumbered and I’m caused to revisit things quite often, and this is one of them. Where are you at this point in your life? And how did you get here? What’s next? What I learned from my wife and others is that it’s perfectly ok for you to make mistakes provided that you benefit from the cost of those mistakes. You can’t make progress without experimenting, but experimentation and recklessness are different. Experiementation is kind of …

Daniel: Calculated.

Glen: Yeah, calculated. Willful intent. Recklessness is really that you just don’t care. And that’s no good.

Daniel: Yeah, I’m taking notes on that having willful intent with what you’re doing. That’s huge. That’s essentially having a plan for every action.

Glen: Yeah, so I learned over time that there were things that I enjoyed doing. Then I got an epiphany about that. The things that I enjoy doing, independent of whether or not I was good at them, they were things that I genuinely enjoyed and got to be pretty good at. Things I didn’t enjoy, I was not as good at. For example, new creative processes I really disliked repetition and I’m not so crazy for structure. But, what I found is there is a cocktail where they all play a role, and you need to be aware of the things that you are good at the things that you’re not. Ideally, you find yourself in a set of circumstances where most of the time you do things that you like and those are things that you’re good at and that will really engender your success.

Daniel: That’s something my brother has really been pushing at me lately. “Don’t focus so much on what you don’t have or what you’re not like. You’ve got these specific personality traits. Focus on those. Get other people around you to leverage those. “I like what you just said, because it’s the same with structure and all that, but I realize there’s a time and place for all of that. You can’t throw away anything. Everything sticks together.

Glen: That’s exactly it. And being self-aware, which is coming back to your point about humility, oh boy is that powerful to have people around you that will give you unvarnished assessments. That’s invaluable.

Daniel: I like that word, unvarnished.

Glen: Emperor has new clothes adage. Right? But it’s really true. People that care about you but are willing to give you straight talk is a key asset. But if you’re in a company or a business it’s an invaluable resource to trust that the person talking to you has your best interests in mind and for him/her to say to you, “You know what? That was really dumb.”

Daniel: “And I want to tell you why.”

Glen: As somebody once said to me, “Glen, I was just in this meeting with you. Let’s count the number of stupid things you said. 1, 2, 3, …” and he dissected them. And I told him, “Jim, I probably would have handled it differently than what you just did.” He said, “Of course you would. But’s that you and not me.” He wasn’t wrong.

Daniel: That’s amazing. In that moment, to your point, it was like learning moment. There wasn’t a teaching moment. Maybe there was some truth to that, maybe there’s not. I just really appreciate your demeanor and your approach and the experiences that you’ve created for others. I wish we had more time to talk. I would love to end with this question, though. This podcast is called the Art of Success, so I would love to know first what that means to you in short. But ultimately, why don’t you describe what the art of global leadership means from your experience.

Glen: Fair enough. To me, the art of success is spending a lot of time doing what you love. I think that if you choose to be a lifelong learner and you’re not afraid to have setbacks, you’re going to have a very successful life. For me, family is fundamental, and I’ve been very blessed with commercial success, but I’ve never forgotten that without the strength of the relationships with my family and how they encourage, it wouldn’t feel like success to me. For me, the art of success has the word “we” in it. It doesn’t necessarily have the word “me” in it. In terms of global, for me when you can enrich your life by observing and absorbing differences among cultures, that’s an art of leadership. The fundamentals of principled leadership and planning and control and so forth are pretty universal. But what makes global experience unusual is that it actually changes your thought process. Your listening, your skills of perception, how you approach problems and solutions. So, for me one enhances the other. The art of success as it can be manifested in the art of global leadership, I think they are cousins, and one can reinforce the other ultimately. And it can yield what I hope everybody has which is a happy life, not defined as all ups, but a fair number of downs so that you can appreciate the ups.

Daniel: So, good man. Glen, thank you for taking the time with me. I’m really excited to hear people’s feedback from the show. If you’re listening in right now, I strongly suggest you send this episode with Glen Wakeman to others. If you know of anyone that would like to be a part of Launchpad, I’m sure that you can go right over to the website at You can also interact with Glen at glen@wakeman.comas well. There will be links here on the site. Share this with an entrepreneur or friend or family member who’s looking to launch something that’s looking to create the art of success and have global world experience. Again, Glen, thank you for coming on the Art of Success.

Glen: It’s a real pleasure Daniel. I learned a lot just by speaking with you. Thank you so much. Be well.

Daniel: I hope you are more successful in life from the episode of Art of Success. If you haven’t already, go ahead and subscribe for future updates on episodes released. Also, if you’ve enjoyed what you’ve heard today, share the Art of Success with a friend, colleague, or family member. Thanks again for listening and we’ll catch you again on the next episode.

For more interviews with Glen Wakeman, visit

Glen Wakeman

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CEO of LaunchPad Holdings, with 20+ years of experience transforming businesses, Glen Wakeman is on a mission to help early-stage entrepreneurs.

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