Have you ever felt “The Speed of Trust?” It’s the “shortest route to results” (Robert Allen, author of Multiple Streams of Income), and “the one thing that affects everything else you’re doing. It’s a performance multiplier which takes your trajectory upwards, for every activity you engage in, from strategy to execution.” Stephen R. Covey
I felt “The Speed of Trust” from the moment I asked our next guest if he would come on the podcast, knowing full well that he hasn’t spoken on a podcast or radio show since around 2014, but I know that “when trust is high, communication is easy, instant and effective.”
✔︎ Who was behind the marketing strategy that took Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits Book to sell over 40 million copies worldwide (surpassing the popular Think and Grow Rich book) in 40 languages.
✔︎ How exactly did Greg Link come to meet and partner with the late Dr. Stephen Covey and what dots were connected as he looks back over his career now.
✔︎ How “Inspired Action” a term coined by Jack Canfield helped many leaders forge a path where no one had ever been before.
✔︎ What the Covey Organization learned from taking their book to Japan, and how they became the best-selling foreign business book in Japan.
✔︎ How Dr. Covey simplified the 7 Habits, and his vision for this book from the beginning.
✔︎ The challenges that Dr. Covey had as they began their work in the K-12 school market, how they overcame these challenges, and created The Leader in Me program.
✔︎ How they overcame daily obstacles they faced and used the 7 Habits to move forward.
✔︎ How he came up with the idea for the 8th Habit.
✔︎ How Greg’s expertise was recognized in the motivational speaking industry.
✔︎ Why Trust was a trait that was the center of The Speed of Trust, Smart Trust and their new book Trust and Inspire.
✔︎ What advice did Dr. Covey give Greg Link that changed his life, and how can you use this advice today?
Welcome back to The Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning podcast, EPISODE #207, I’m Andrea Samadi, author and educator from Toronto, Canada, now in Arizona, and today’s guest is someone I have mentioned often on this podcast. For returning guests, you’ll be able to figure it out quickly. For those who are new, welcome.
This episode is very special to me in many ways—not just with the fact that I consider myself beyond lucky to have had the opportunity to have met some of the world’s most influential people at a time in my life (late 20s) when this influence was important for the direction that I would take, that would land me exactly where I am now, all these years later. While listening to today’s episode, my hope is that this story inspires you in some way, to take action with whatever it is you are working on as I take you on a trip that goes back over 20 years ago, with the lessons learned along the way highlighted, so that you can see how some of the top influencers in the world have faced challenge, had doubts, fears and worries, and even unthinkably difficult life challenges that they all had to overcome, just like you and me.
What was unique with this opportunity that I had while working in the motivational speaking industry in the late 1990s, is that I was driven to keep in touch with many of the speakers who came in over the years, (as you can see from this podcast) and this platform allows us all to continue to learn and grow from them with what author Jack Canfield would call Inspired Action (that I’ll cover in a minute). Today’s guest, I know we can all learn from which is why I knew I had to ask him to share his experience on this podcast.
If you think back to our final episode of The Think and Grow Rich book study, EPISODE #196[i] that we launched 2022 with, we opened with a quote from Bob Proctor, who said ““You can’t just THINK and GROW RICH, you’ve got to do something with those thoughts” and it reminded me of meeting some of these global leaders, around 20 years ago, including our guest today, Greg Link, and that knowledge is power, but without action, it’s useless. It’s got to be Inspired Action as well, that comes from the heart.
The seminar where I met Greg Link was a pivotal one, and we’ll talk about this in the interview, when Steve Jobs says, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, only looking back. It was here that I met Mark Victor Hansen, who co-authored The Chicken Soup for the Soul Series with Jack Canfield, Presidential Historian Doug Wead from EPISODE #187[ii] and many others including celebrities like Melanie Griffith, and world class athletes who came in to speak. I met today’s guest, Greg Link in the lobby of the Ritz Carlton in Pasadena, as he introduced me to his good friend Stedman Graham, the longtime partner of Oprah Winfrey, at the very beginning of this event.
I remember at the time, I had just started to write my first book that would be published quite a few years later, The Secret for Teens Revealed, (that was originally called The Mentoring Excellence Now Program that was created when I worked with over 100 youth with physical disabilities for the Easter Seals Foundation) and when I met Stedman, and saw that he had just written a book for teens[iii], I remember that feeling of “oh no, I’ve missed the boat on this topic” but the message I would receive loud and clear this weekend from the speakers, was quite the opposite. I can still hear Doug Wead shouting out at the audience, in an attempt to motivate action from them, when he said, “Get up and do something” with this booming voice and I wrote down-move forward with publishing this book idea I had in my head. What shocks me to the core, looking back and reading my notes from this event, is that I had written Doug’s age beside his name. 21 years ago, Doug Wead was 54. I’m turning 51 this year, and if you heard EPISODE #187, you’ll know that Doug passed away unexpectedly last year, at the age of 75. I don’t know how old you are, but I do know that whatever age you are, that there’s no such thing as “missing the boat” with whatever it is you want to do.
If that’s not a huge motivator, I don’t know what is. Remember, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, only looking back. Everything I needed for success in my lifetime was right in front on me that weekend. They were all standing a shoulders length away from me. If you were standing next to someone who could possibly change the course of your life, would you see it?
After I had recorded our Top 10 episodes of all-time, I got this strange feeling to ask Greg Link if he would come on as a guest. I mentioned taking “inspired action” at the beginning of this episode, and recognize this was one of those moments when I sent the message to Greg, but hesitated. Why was I afraid to ask him to do this? He’s always been there, ready to help when I’ve asked in the past. He did an incredible testimonial[iv] for our work in 2013, AFTER those days working in the seminar industry, and he even wrote a back of the book endorsement for The Secret for Teens. I hesitated because I knew he had been off the grid for some time, but I asked him anyway. That’s what Jack Canfield, who partnered with Mark Victor Hansen for the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series would call taking “Inspired Action.”
I learned from Jack Canfield that those flashes of insight we get to reach out to someone, are important to listen to.
I’m so excited to see what this Inspired Action will uncover, and know that whatever it is that you take away from these secrets to success from someone who not only worked with, but partnered with the late Dr. Stephen Covey, my hopes are that it inspires you to move forward, and take the Inspired Action needed, to move you in the direction of your goals.
Let’s meet Greg Link….
Welcome Greg!! Thank you for speaking with me today on what I am shocked is your FIRST podcast appearance?
Before I get to the questions, I always like to open up with something that helps us to dig a bit deeper before we begin, and it has to do with the fact that you kept coming into my head the past few podcast episodes, as I do tie in past episodes to current ones, and after quoting you on the last episode, I thought “I’ve got to ask Greg Link to see if he would speak with me on my next episode” and I know we have kept in touch over the years, but I wasn’t sure if this is something you would want to do, so I was a bit nervous before I sent you that message. I usually listen to those thoughts that come into my head (Jack Canfield called it taking inspired action)—so I wonder, if you would share what you have been up to the past few years, since I saw you last, and what did you really think when I asked you to come on this podcast?
This leads me to go back to where your career began…
Q1: How exactly did you come to meet and partner with Dr. Stephen R Covey, I know you’ve told me the story—I wonder if looking back, like Steve Jobs’ incredible commencement address at Stanford, what dots were connected when you think back to that moment?
Q2A: When I found that interview you did in 2014 with that Toronto radio station where you mention where your journey with Dr. Covey began--it made me wonder what qualified you to work in publishing and why did Covey pick you? What did you do that made Ken Blanchard refer you to Dr. Covey when he was launching the 7 Habits book?
Q2B: 2 PART QUESTION--It’s written everywhere how you took the 7 Habits Book to incredible heights, published globally in 40 languages. Can you explain what you did? Also 7 Habits is the best-selling foreign business book in history in Japan. How did that happen?
Q2C: How did get Dr. Covey to “simplify” the habits to make them easier for people to understand? Why did you call him your recovering academic?
Q3: I saw it when I first began, and so did you! I remember you telling me how difficult it was BEFORE Leader in Me launched in our schools. You gave me millions of tips BEFORE I went into the schools with my work, and I still met with challenge and obstacles. Can you share how difficult it was for the 7 Habits BEFORE it sold millions of copies worldwide, inspiring the Leader in Me curriculum? AND what led the 7 Habits into primary schools in the first place?
Q4: We could spend a good week on my next question, because you’ve got some incredible life experience, with high levels of success and achievement reached, but I want to know about those times where things were difficult. Our audiences consist of educators, and those in the corporate workplace (around the world) who could benefit from your story that you told me where everything went wrong in Portland (I think) and Dr. Covey insisted that “the show must go on.” Can you tell this story, so we can all take some pressure off ourselves when it comes to presenting or speaking in front of others and wanting everything to be perfect? What about Distance Learning from Microsoft and Zoom?
Q5: I think I like the 8th Habit the most, as that’s what I’ve centered my life’s work around (especially with this podcast). You mentioned to me that The 8th Habit almost didn’t get published! What happened?
5B: What’s YOUR favorite habit, and one that you find yourself working on the most?
Q6: When I first met you, it was around 2002 when you came to consult with Bob Proctor and Mark Victor Hansen from the Chicken Soup for the Soul on their 3% Club seminars, around the same time Doug Wead came in, and I remember meeting you in the lobby of the Ritz Carleton in Pasadena, that’s now called the Langham, and I remember that you were coming in to help impact change with the seminars back then. What do you remember about those days, and working with the seminar industry leaders? Didn’t you also work with Tony Robbins and Werner Erhard?
Q7: We’ve talked about your book with Stephen M.R. Covey, Smart Trust. I’ve got a Character Book on my laptop that I’ve held off producing (it was a compilation of lessons I used when I worked with schools) but will release it eventually. Trust has always been THE most important character trait for me. What was it about Trust that you thought was important for everyone to know-what was so important about Trust for you that you wrote a book on this topic?
Q8: I know you’ve got another book on Trust coming with Stephen MR Covey (Trust and Inspire)…and in this low-trust world, I think this is the best time for this book. What’s this next book about?
Q9: I’ve got to ask a question about family, since I know it’s an important part of your life, and the pandemic surely put the emphasis on family for us globally. Your family has gone through some really difficult times. For those listening, who may also be dealing with difficult times, what words of encouragement could you offer with your life experience in mind?
Q10: As we think of all the habits, I like the 8th Habit the most, as it relates to our building our legacy (Find your Voice and Inspire others to find theirs. What advice can you offer for people listening as they might be working on the legacy they want to create, thinking of Dr. Covey as an example?
Q11: What’s next for you? Trust and Inspire, and then what?
Q12: What are your final thoughts?
For people who want to reach you, what’s the best place? I’ll be sure to put your Twitter, Linkedin and social media accounts, and I’m sure when this goes out, everyone will be reaching out to you for an interview. A lot of excitement was generated BEFORE I even asked if you would do this podcast today.
Greg, I want to thank you for your time today, to share these secrets that only you would know. I’m so grateful we met, and that you took an interest in helping me along the way to find my voice, and help others find theirs. Where I am today is such a huge quantum leap from where y mindset was back when you first met me, so I’m forever grateful for the help, ideas and support along the way. I’m looking forward to Trust and Inspire coming out next month and learning more from you moving forward.
This episode is far from over. My mind was blown while editing this episode as Greg mentioned so many book titles, that I do plan on creating a map of this episode, with his suggested book titles to guide us along the way. I do highly suggest grabbing this next book, Trust and Inspire, and taking on Dr. Covey’s challenge of reading a book a week, like Greg has done over his career. His final challenge of writing out the 20 books that have changed your life, with your commentary, is something I will do in the future, and hope that this episode inspires you to take inspired action in your life.
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein
'We are human beings not human doings” Dalai Lama
"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” Albert Schweitzer
“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no "brief candle" for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations" George Bernard Shaw
“At the end of the day people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
“In the end all you have is your reputation” Oprah
“It takes 20 years to build your reputation and 5 minutes to ruin” Warren Buffett