The Wonder Dome

#71 The Long Game (with Dorie Clark)

September 21, 2021 Andy Cahill / Dorie Clark Episode 71
The Wonder Dome
#71 The Long Game (with Dorie Clark)
Show Notes Transcript

Dorie Clark is seemingly unstoppable. She's been named one of the top 50 business thinkers in the world. She's been recognized as the number one communication coach in the world. She's a consultant, a keynote speaker. She teaches Exec Ed at Duke University and Columbia Business School. She's authored multiple books, including Entrepreneurial You (which, in part, inspired this podcast, thanks to her wisdom and insight on the power of making a commitment over time).

If you’re at all like me, you might read all of that and think something like "Dang, how could I ever accomplish all THAT?"

Well, her latest book, The Long Game, is all about the often invisible work that goes into producing the “overnight success.” Because every overnight success is (at least!) 10 years in the making. We don’t often get to see that invisible work, which is why we often overestimate what we can do in a year, but underestimate what we can do in 10.

In addition to Dorie's effervescent brilliance, I want you to touch into the recognition that if there's some seemingly unreachable dream you’re holding out hope for, you can give yourself permission to imagine it as a 10+ year commitment. Not something that needs to happen now, but something that could happen by virtue of the small, achievable choices that you could make right here at this moment.

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Andy:

My name is Andy. I help people live life on purpose. This podcast explores the mystery, beauty and complexity of life through conversations with an array of incredible practitioners, all of them working at the edge of what's possible. This is a place for big dreams, bold creativity, and fierce hope. Welcome to the Wonder Dome. If you're inspired by this conversation, and you'd like to see it reach more people, you can help the Wonder Dome take flight by sharing it with friends and colleagues, subscribing, giving us a high star rating, and best of all, leaving a glowing review. If you'd like to go even further, consider becoming a monthly supporter. You'll help me keep the lights on and support a wide range of charitable causes. You can learn more at MindfulCreative.coach. Thanks in advance for helping us inspire the world. My guest today is the seemingly unstoppable Dorie Clark. If you- if I were to introduce you to Dorie's work in this moment, you'd likely be a bit overwhelmed by the amount that she's accomplished. She's been named one of the top 50 business thinkers in the world. She's been recognized as the number one communication coach in the world. She's a consultant, a keynote speaker. She teaches Exec Ed at Duke University and Columbia Business School. She's authored multiple books, including Entrepreneurial You. There are a number of people I can credit to the creation of this show, The Wonder Dome. Dorie is one of them. In her book, Entrepreneurial You, she speaks to the power of building a consistent podcast, of producing something you love, and sharing it with others. And this podcast, my commitment to this podcast, was in part born because of her wisdom and insight on the power of making commitment over time. So anyway, she's got all these books. And you know, her book Standout was named the number one leadership book of the year. And she has been a presidential campaign spokesperson, and has been described in the New York Times, in the Harvard Business Review, and on and on and on. And it's so all really, really cool. And if you're a mere mortal, you might go Dang, like, what can I learn from Dorie? How could I ever accomplish all that? And what I love about our conversation today is her latest book, The Long Game, which is likely out, or will be out any day, when you hear this. It's being published on September 21, 2021. It's all about the invisible, often invisible work that happens, that produces the really wonderful cliche, but an important cliche - that every overnight success is 10 years in the making. Every overnight success is 10 years in the making. Or another mantra that I personally love. And I'm not sure who comes from, but I say it often. It's the mantra that people always overestimate what they can do in a year. But they underestimate what they can do in 10. Dorie's book, The Long Game, is all about that phenomenon. And she explores in depth the many years of struggle and heartbreak and loss that put her on the path that she's on now. And the choices, the difficult choices, she had to make about where to invest her time and her energy and money and what to focus on. And the goals that she had, the sense of who she was supposed to be that got completely pulled out from under her. And how that in the long run enabled her to build the life of her dreams and share her wisdom with others, but in the moment, produced all sorts of feelings of doubt and challenge and lack of self worth that those of us who just reading her bio might relate to. Like, how could I ever do that? But what I want you to touch into today, in addition to Dorie's just effervescent brilliance, and playfulness, and kind of sort of tell it like it is energy, is this recognition that if there's anything that you are cooking on in your life, that some part of you is holding out hope for, some dream, and it seems unreachable - Simply give yourself permission to imagine it as a 10 year or more commitment, not something that needs to happen now, but something that could become by virtue of the the small, totally doable, totally achievable choices that you could make right here at this moment. And if you're on the fence with that, listen to Dorie and I. And I sense that by the end of this conversation, you might really have a felt sense of what's possible. So let's get settled in and hear what Dorie has for us. Dorie, Welcome to the Wonder Dome.

Dorie:

Hey, Andy, good to be here.

Andy:

It's so cool to have you here, I need to take a moment, I need to take just one fanboy moment to say, and I've already told you this offline, but I want people to hear it that part of the reason that this podcast exists is because your book entrepreneurial you exists. In particular, there's a chapter in that book about podcasting. And I read that chapter and, and for a variety of reasons, I was already thinking about podcasting. And that was the kind of thing that was like, oh, if I'm gonna do it, this is how I got to do it. And it was just like, off to the races from there. So thank you for helping make this space a life. And now like, you're you are in it. How cool is that?

Dorie:

That's amazing. Thank you so much, and props to you for doing it for making it happen.

Andy:

Thank you. Thank you. So as you know, this is a place for exploration and conversation, I know you have a new book coming out soon. And I can't wait to talk about it. But before we get there, I want to maybe walk backwards in time a little bit, because one connection we discovered is that we both went to two adjacent graduate schools, not at the same time, but in the same location. And I've always been really curious about the fact that you have studied theology at the Divinity School at Harvard. And you also have this really robust kind of practice helping people rethink who they are and how they show up in the world. And I wonder, to what extent does that kind of past inform your present? And you know, how you tie those threads together for yourself today?

Dorie:

Yeah, thank you, Andy. So for a long time, people would ask, I think sometimes in aggressive ways, like, how does your div school tie into what you're doing now? And like the only appropriate answer was like it doesn't. But-

Andy:

This is definitely not an aggressive inquiry, I'm quite excited to see- and I sense that you have so many wonderful, different experiences along the way. So I welcome them all.

Dorie:

Thank you. I appreciate that. And I was not calling you out. No, but I think a lot of a lot of people are very invested in having a linear structure or linear view of the world. And it's like, upsetting to them sometimes when you don't. But the truth was, for a long time, I didn't necessarily see the connection. I went to divinity school because I thought it would be interesting and I wanted to, I wanted to learn about it. I thought I wanted to have a career as an academic. And I guess I sort of do now. I teach Business School. But what I really wanted to do was be a literature professor, and perhaps, sort of work at the intersection of religion and literature. But that did not work, I got turned down by all of the doctoral programs that I applied to after a master's degree. So for a long time, I was like, Well, I guess it doesn't really connect. But I was still glad that I did it. I thought it made me a better rounded person. I thought it was just a valuable lens on the world. But what I have come to understand retrospectively is that I think there actually is a connection in that. Essentially, the study of religion is the study of meaning making. It's about, you know, how people who are believers structure their understanding of the world. And I, and I've always found that very fascinating, you know. What is the way in which people understand their lives, or how their lives fit into the world around them? And I think ultimately, you know, for better or for worse, in modern American, largely secular society, work is the way we do that, you know. That is that is the standard question in America. It's not the standard question everywhere. It's like, Well, what do you do, Andy? And, ultimately, I mean, that's a tell that work kind of is the central organizing principle about how we understand ourselves. And so helping, in a small way, through my work, through my work, to help people figure out their own work, to figure out what that looks like, and how it can hopefully be a little bit more meaningful or a little bit more satisfying to them. I feel like actually is, in some ways, kind of a continuation of my work in div school because it really it really is about helping people self actualized around, you know, where they find their locus of meaning.

Andy:

Yeah, I love that. I love that from the vantage of this present moment, you can see that connection and that really rests Nate's with me this, this partly the importance of meaning making and the structures we live in that help us do that. I want to and I just want to name like for folks who don't know, your work, and I suspect a lot will who are hearing this but you know, the the sort of way I experienced you showing up now is really around this, these themes of reinvention and entrepreneurship and, and sort of skillful communication and presence and like you're doing all this really cool work to help people show up inside of a conventional work, you know, system, like work, what do you do in a way that to me, it sounds like it's more authentic and aligned. Is that is that? Is that a fair? Is that true like that, that you're helping people tap into something that's more true for them inside of their work?

Dorie:

Yeah, I definitely hope to do that. I definitely aim to do that. I mean, ultimately, it just, it seems like such a incredibly depressing prospect for people to have to think about their work as something outside of themselves. I mean, you know, I understand, obviously, people are entitled to think the way they want to think. In different cultures, you're entitled to think about things. But, you know, I remember dating someone when I was in college, who is, you know, a few years older, and she already had a job, like a real job. And it was, she was like an administrative assistant at this nonprofit. And even though the nonprofit was something that she cared about, it was very aligned about, the actual work was kind of boring and terrible. And I remember, you know, I would ask her about her job. And she just, she wouldn't want to talk about it. She was like, Oh, you know, like, Don't even ask me, like, I'm done. It's the end of the day, I don't want to go there. I don't want to think about it. I just thought, you know, how horrible like, that's not how I want it to be for anybody. I would like to help. You know, I mean, understanding, of course, that, you know, it's not a perfect world, not everybody can self actualize through their work, but I think a lot more of us can. And I would like people to be able to at least, you know- I mean, we all have sucky boring things. I did my, you know, it was Fourth of July weekend, and I was like sending invoices to clients. You know, I mean, it's not exciting. But, you know, I would like for all of us to be, for there to be at least some elements or some aspects of what we do that we actually really are excited to talk about, that we actually do find pretty compelling.

Andy:

That to me for what it's worth, as one sort of data point comes through super clearly, in your work, so feeling that- I want to sort of come back to the present, but I'm feeling drawn back to the past. You talked about this moment where you got rejected from every doctoral program you applied to. And you know, you're smiling and laughing out, but I imagine that at the time, that was a really confounding and challenging space to be in where the journey you thought you're on suddenly was saying, nope, not this way. So would you be willing to unpack that a little bit more for folks listening?

Dorie:

Yeah, sure. Of course. Yeah, I applied to. I think, in retrospect, I mean, the problem, I guess you could say, was, I did not, and this is often the problem for people where things don't work out. You don't know what you don't know. And I did not properly understand that the process of getting accepted for doctoral programs was fundamentally dissimilar than the way that you got accepted for colleges, or even for my master's degree. Those I had aced, it was fine. I got into every college I applied to. I got into, I mean, I only applied to one graduate school, you know, for my master's degree. I got in, like it was it was fine, you know, and I knew how to do that. But I didn't understand that doing doctoral work was fundamentally different. Like, the things that I always kind of liked about myself and which in college, they actually tell you like, Oh, do this, this is good. You want to be well rounded, you want to have a lot of interests, you want to, you know, be this Renaissance person that's like, great for college. That is like literally the worst thing you can possibly be if you are applying to graduate programs. And I just didn't know enough to know that. And I yeah, I got my ass handed to me. I applied to three programs, which I guess was probably not enough. And, I mean, I had no illusions I would get into all of them. But it had literally never occurred to me that I wouldn't get into any of them. And so I had zero Plan B. Literally had not even ever crossed my mind that I would need to do something radically different. So I was very alarmed that summer that I was getting these notices. And I had to think fast, I really had to think fast. And so that was actually what got me into journalism, as my kind of second choice was, you know, it was actually not a bad thought process. But I was like, Okay, what else is out there that's also about reading and talking to people and writing? Ah, okay. And so I landed on journalism, which I think was a good guess. But then within- and I managed to get an internship and I managed to get a job. But then within a year, I lost my job because the industry was collapsing. So there were some tough breaks in my 20s.

Andy:

Jeez, yeah, You know, I'm projecting myself into that experience. So please, like, please correct me if any of this doesn't ring true, but I can imagine that a part of me would have just said, kind of given up, buta kind of been like, God, like the odds are stacked against me with this. something's not working here. And at that point, just kind of take whatever, like, I'll just, whatever, just do whatever. Because I know I need to do something, but maybe I'll just get that administrative assistant job or, you know, like your girlfriend had when she was out of college like, how did you? How did you sit with that, like no doctoral, the industry is collapsing in journalism. WTF? How did you hold steady with that? Or maybe maybe you didn't hold steady, maybe that that knocked you off balance? But how did you navigate that?

Dorie:

Well, it was, it was certainly demoralizing. That was for sure. But I think a fundamental advantage that I had sort of instinctively, but I've now I've now codified it. So I recommend it to other people. This is like sort of my anti and my anti Zen philosophy is I like to encapsulated Andy as blame out not in. So I just, I was just like those stupid fucking fucks like I have done and they do not see my potential, they do not see they do not properly appreciate what is inside me. And so I am just gonna have to it is annoying. I'm just gonna have to move on from it. And I'm gonna be so successful that every day of the rest of their waking lives, they will regret having turned me down.

Andy:

Wow, that's potent. So there's this, like this real sense of like, I'm not going to let these idiots over here tell me that I don't have something to offer the world.

Dorie:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, I don't know for a fact that they regret every day turning me down. But I hope they do. I still remember who they are.

Andy:

But let me ask you an honest question. Like, if you could go back and get into any of those doctoral programs, would you?

Dorie:

I mean, it is possible, it is conceivable to me that this is sort of a retrospective reimagining to make myself feel better. But I actually do think that it was better that I did not, um, for a couple of reasons. So I mean, I am glad I actually did not end up in that career. Number one. I think in some ways they can, you know, even though I could have done a good job. I mean, you know, I was a good student, I was a good writer, I could have done a good job, but I think they probably did honestly pick up on a fundamental misalignment, which is that a, you know, the level of hyper specificity that's necessary to be successful as a tenure track academic, really would have been stultifying to me. I mean, I had a crush on someone once who had abandoned this doctoral program. And anyway, I was asking her all these questions about it, you know, it's like captivate them. Tell me more, tell me more. And she was telling me more. And I was like, I was super interested in this girl. And so I wanted to be like, paying attention and like, Oh, that's fascinating. But as she's telling me, I'm like, Oh, Jesus, that's not fascinating at all. Like she had spent like five years in this program, studying. I kid you not. It was the shift from paper money to like, or no, it was like the shift from metals and gold to paper money in 17th century England. And I was like, wow, that's just actually horrifying. I would really never want to study that for five years. So yeah, I just the more I learned about what it was like to be a doctoral student, I was just like, No, no, God helped me. I don't want to do that at all. And then of course, there's the practical considerations, which is that there is a, a, you know, just structurally it's kind of irresponsible, how universities are doing this. But there is a structural glut of humanities doctoral students, that they keep producing them because they like to have low wage teaching assistants. But then once they graduate, there are no actual jobs for them. So it further depresses wages. So I mean, it's just this really terrible cycle, and I probably would have had to do something else, you know, otherwise, like, it's very, very hard to actually land a tenure track position. So so in retrospect,

Andy:

I could imagine you graduate with your PhD and be like, shit, I guess I'm going to go into journalism. Oh, wait. The industry's tanking.

Dorie:

Yes. Yeah. So they did they did me a favor, really, by kind of forcing, forcing all of that on the early side, rather than the later side.

Andy:

Yeah. So you've got you come out the other side of this kind of crucible with this sort of Bizarro Zen philosophy of like, you know, I'm not going to let your rejection define my worth. What's more, I'm going to show you that there's a path for me. There's a path for someone like me, who has wide ranging interests who is just, like gobbles up information. I can learn it and teach other people how to do it really skillfully. And here you are, I don't know. Feel free to not date yourself if you don't want to, but like, you know, years later, you're publishing books. You're teaching courses. You're writing regularly in national, international media outlets. you're coaching, you're like, you have all this amazing stuff happening. I just I mean, I'm curious, I'm curious what you're sitting with now as the next frontier. When you've done it, you've proven those motherfuckers that like you can do it. So what's that like? And what are you sitting with next? What's your sort of- how are you continue to grow on this journey?

Dorie:

Well, thank you, Andy, I appreciate that, say, kind kind view. And I would say that the way that I think about future things, I mean, let's call it the next 10 years or so, I would say that I feel very fortunate that I've been successful in being able to do a lot. And you know, as you say, write books and teach and, you know, write for different publications and things like that, I would like to continue to take it up a notch. So that really one of my goals is to be widely acknowledged as one of the handful of top business thinkers in the world. That would be that would be my goal. I think, you know, that that would require a sort of order of growth in terms of, you know, I mean, of course, I will work on continuing to increase the quality of what I do. And hopefully, simultaneously, there will be increases in the number of people who are aware of what I do, and hopefully that will be a virtuous circle. So I think that's one piece. And then the other piece is that, in 2016, I set a challenge for myself. And I decided that I wanted to write, you know, to be the lyricist and librettist for a show that reached Broadway by 2026. So I created a 10 year plan to reach Broadway. So that's what I've been working on.

Andy:

That's so cool. Um, gosh, I'm like, wow, I want to talk about both of those. There seems to be something in common about both of them, which is a willingness to stake a claim on an ambition that some people might, if they were only trying to own that ambition for themselves just go like, How in the hell could I ever do that? That seems to be one. One thing that has in common and another thing that has in common is that, that both of them have an audience, that both of them have folks who are having an experience as a result of what you're creating or producing. And I wonder, what's important to you about those themes of kind of like impact and high ambition and reaching people and helping them have an experience that's different and unique? What's important to you about that?

Dorie:

Yeah, thank you. I mean, I guess ultimately, I would, it's probably a combination of two things. One of which society would laud the other of which it might scratch its head at. But you know, let's lay it all out there.

Andy:

I like, I like head scratchers. That's good. Yeah.

Dorie:

Yeah. So it's kind of like the one-two punch of like, you know, number one, I would really genuinely like to be helpful. I'd like to be helpful to people. And I think, you know, certainly the goal of my business work is very clearly in that area of like, you know, how do you improve your career, Or how do you improve your business or things like that? to a certain extent for, for my musical is, I mean, the goal is to entertain, but you would like to make people think you'd like to make people feel you want them to have a good time, so that there would be some form of being helpful or something like that. I think the the other piece of it is, perhaps, just for good or ill, the conviction that I know how to do things, and the world would be better if more people did them this way. That doesn't always work out, of course, but you know, often it does.

Andy:

I love that. I love that, again, there's just like, what I'm tuning into is the way that you just really stand in your inherent worth and value to other people. Like, I just think there's something in society thing that was scratched my head or makes me sad, and I lived with this for a long time, with this kind of idea that it was more important to fit in than to stand out and, and that like, if you were to open in your ambition, or to be thought too big that people would kind of cut you down and say like, hey, rather than rise up to meet that challenge, I want to bring you back down here because that ambition, or that kind of boldness, is intimidating. But it's so funny, I don't at least I'll speak for myself, I've never once encountered that your approach is like, wow, yeah, Dorie is crushing it, and you still seem really genuinely open and committed to people wherever they are on their journey. So I just like, I wonder if you've had any experience of that, like, Hey, this is my ambition. And you have people being like, Yeah, right. And how do you hold steady with that?

Dorie:

Yeah, I mean, I think that one thing that I've really become very convinced of over the years, is that people treat you the way that you signal to them that you need to be treated. And I think we have a lot more power over the response we receive than we might imagine. So, I mean, there you know, there are obviously a couple of important pieces. I mean, you have so you have to be rational and know what you're talking about, right? Like a couple of years ago, I remember, I met up with some contact. And you know, a friend was like, Oh, you should meet this woman, Oh, she she's really interested in theater too. and blah, blah, blah, blah. And so anyway, she's telling me all about her plans. And she's like, and my plan, she was like, I don't know sort of this like, you know, this secret kind of person. She's like, my intention to the universe is that this fall, I'll have a show on Broadway. And like, Listen, I mean, this is not like she had a show off Broadway, and it was gonna go to Broadway. She was like, she had nothing. She had like nothing. And listening to her. Just, you know, the very first thing that I did when I wanted to learn about theater was like, Okay, how does it work? Like, what's the structure? How does a show get to Broadway? And literally, that's why I created a 10 year plan. Because on average, it takes seven years for a show to go from development to Broadway, if it in fact makes it to Broadway. Like, you know, I've now invested in Broadway shows specifically for the purpose of understanding the arc. So I know that she's literally smoking crack. There's, there's 41 theaters, I mean, now everything's wacky with COVID. But like pre COVID, there's 41 theaters, they are all, you know, queued up the wazoo unless you know, have production financing in place already. There's literally no way you're going to get a show on Broadway coming out of nowhere in the fall, like she was it was just kind of weird, wishful thinking. And so I heard that I'm like, okay, you were like, extremely not credible, because you have to do your homework, you have to know the basics. But assuming that you have assuming that you've taken the time to research the landscape to understand like how things work or whatever, when it comes to what your ambitions are. I think that there's a lot of people out there, that kind of telegraph to a greater or lesser extent that they're looking for other people's. If not approval, at least they're you know, they're kind of checking over their shoulder, like what do they think, what do they think? And, you know, for me, this is one of what is one of the lessons I guess you could say one of the one of the useful lessons that I learned in terms of being gay and coming out as a teenager, which is that you know, if you If you act like you're looking for somebody's permission to be gay, like, you ain't gonna get it. You know, like, you don't you don't ask for permission, you tell people and then that's it. And you Brooke no dissent. And if you do that, then almost always people are gonna be like, oh, okay, cool. And then that's the end of it.

Andy:

Yeah, really impacted by that I'm sensing This is another aspect of your like anti Zen philosophy. This is like the Dorie Clark Zen. I had another guest on the show that shared with me, and this really resonated, that in contexts that are not welcome to people who are gay. People who are out, actually thrive and like in organizational contexts that culturally are not welcome. People are gay people who are out thrive more than people who are trying to keep it a secret or who are trying to repress it. And that all and what I'm hearing, what you describe is a version of that, like, all the energy we're using to try and not upset anyone, or try and get people to love us or try and get people to, like, approve us or give us permission is actually energy that could just go into being who you are. And then as a result, like, you suddenly have a much bigger landscape of possibility to play with, because you're kind of like, Look, you know, as long as you're not literally attacking me, like, I don't really care what you have to say or think because I've, I've got I this is who I am and what I believe so really, really touched by you sharing that story. And I think it's really exciting to realize that a lot of energy gets wasted on stuff that, frankly, doesn't really make a huge difference. Right?

Dorie:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And, you know, I love what you said, Andy, and I'm even gonna see you and raise you, which is that, you know, while it's true that if someone is like crazy homophobic or something like that, I mean, yeah, you're not going to necessarily change their mind. But for the vast, vast majority of people, it's not even just like a question of like, you think what you want, I'm not going to pay attention. It actually I would argue, is something even stronger than that. I'd make a stronger case, which is that you're treating sexuality or, you know, whatever the use case is, as a given fact, that it's not- it's just like this, this is a thing. Of course, you're not gonna make a big deal out of it, because it's just a thing. And, you know, we're sort of moving forward, like, Okay, this is like, it's not a thing that's up for debate, you know, in the same way that like, you know, whatever. I'm not going to have you vote on whether I should be right or left handed, like, okay, we're just moving on. Like that's what it is. I think that actually changes things. That actually proactively changes things, because people look to us in terms of like, how they should be reacting to us. So it's creating a cascade and a positive chain of events, because we are teaching them through how we act, how they should then react.

Andy:

Wow, love that. Thank you. Thank you for up-ing the case. That feels really resonant with me. And I'm curious, I know, you have, you know, a series of books that I think as I hear you describe it in that way, play with that theme. For instance, in entrepreneurial you, you sort of put up a menu. Like here are possible pathways to take something that you are good at, or that's unique to you, or that you love and to build a living around that. And you're not saying do all 10 of these, but you're saying like, if this one is right for you, here's a path forward. Right. And in that way, then, like, from where you sit, I'm a podcast host right. Like, you know, yeah, sure. I'll come on your podcast, Andy. But you know, a year ago, if I was just like, hey, Dorie, can we have coffee? You know, you might not have said yes to that. Because I would have just been a guy asking you for coffee. So I've just like tuning into the way in which your work kind of invites people in a really practical, pragmatic, do your homework kind of way. That if you want to stand you know, if you want to stand on this stage, whether it's Broadway or something else, make a path for yourself and teach people to see you on that path, which is really cool. And I wonder like, I know, you're working on a new book. And so I'm wondering like, how are you evolving that? What's fresh or alive for you as you see the next frontier, for people who are open to reimagining how they show up and work and how they get maybe a bit more ambitious and bold with what they can do in the world?

Dorie:

Yeah, thank you, Andy. I appreciate that. And, yeah, I'm very excited about the new book. It's called the long game: how to be a long term thinker in a short term world. Thank you, yeah. And, you know, I think all of us can probably agree that the way that the deck is stacked in society these days, the pressure, the emphasis is on the short term. Whether that is corporations being so focused on quarterly earnings reports for wall street, or you know, for individuals. There's a lot of pressure, whether it's like things that we have to tell our parents and colleagues or like, you know, looking around on social media and seeing that everybody else seems to have it figured out. There is a lot of concern. I think internally for a lot of us that like, Oh, my God, you know, I, it seems like everybody else has got it figured out. Why don't I have it figured out? Or, you know, if you're pursuing something, so often, there's just real panic and frustration, because it's just it's not working out? It's not working out? Oh, my God, does this mean, I can't do it? Does this mean I'm not good at it? Does this mean I should quit? Or like, should I keep going? I don't know. And there's a lot of, of that struggle. And I see it in members of my recognized expert community, sometimes. I have this online course in community that I run for people who are smart professionals looking to kind of grow their platform and get their ideas better known. And I certainly went through a period of experiencing it myself, where, you know, you feel like you're kind of operating in the dark sometimes about whether you're doing the right thing. And I really wanted to write a book to help people think through that process, because I am a firm believer, you know, as much as I'd like hate patience, fuckin hate patience. Very annoying. But what I do believe in and I sort of make a case for is what I call strategic patience. Because, you know, the kind of passive patience is sort of like, you know, what your mom might tell you like, Oh, well, you know, give it enough time, and maybe something will work out. You know, it's like, that's what my mom says.

Andy:

A verbatim quote from Dorie's mom here.

Dorie:

Yeah, I don't mean to throw your mom under the bus. Maybe she doesn't do that. But my mom.

Andy:

Our mom's were like, when are you gonna get your shit together? Come on. Like, Hey, I'm being strategically patient.

Dorie:

That's right. That's right. But I think it is an important question like, how do you? How do you thread that needle? You know, how do you tell the difference between being patient enough, so that the right things, the slow but important things work out, versus abandoning them too quickly? Or, you know, staying too long in something that actually isn't right. And so I created this book, as hopefully a way for people to be able to apply that lens of strategic thinking to their own lives and their own careers.

Andy:

Hmm. Love that. where or how are you applying it, or helping, like helping others apply that, this distinction of when should I step back? When should I lean in more? When is it too much? How's that actually showing up for you in practice?

Dorie:

Yeah, well, I mean, you know, one area for sure, is, which I actually have a whole section in the book talking about is the whole Broadway thing, because it is actually very rare, very surprisingly rare once we reach adulthood, for us to literally start something completely new that we're terrible at. Like, that's very rare. I mean, like, a lot of us like, okay, I mean, maybe even the nearest example is like, Oh, I wanted to pick up Spanish and I tried some Duolingo or whatever. But, I mean, it's relatively low stakes, right? It's like, Okay, if the machine beeps at you, it's like, kind of Who cares? Nobody knows. And when I think about my early days, writing musical theater, I mean, it was just, it was really like having to lean into abject humiliation. Like I just, I did not know how to do it. And, you know, I mean, it's not like, it was my fault. You know, like, I grew up in this little town, and we didn't have a theater program, we certainly didn't have a musical theater program. Like, I had never done it. Like when I was a kid, you know, I mean, my parents tried to, quote unquote, expose me to culture, as much as as one could, in that capacity. But that meant seeing cats in Raleigh, like that was it, you know? So I just, yeah, I really had no idea. It's like a lot of things. It's a very particular art form. And, you know, I see in my students that I work with, like, in my recognized expert community, literally this morning, I got an email from somebody who was so discouraged because she had this piece she had submitted at the Harvard Business Review. She had some back and forth with them even, so she got some encouragement, and then in the end, they turned it down. And I happen to know that, you know, because I have spent lik a decade studying this, you know. I've done courses about all these things. Like, I think I understand what happened. And, you know, there's there's just very particular nuances that HBR is looking for, and this is true for any publication, but, you know, they're looking for very, very particular elements that are not intuitive. This is not a question of like, are you a good writer, oh, therefore you can write for HBR. Untrue, you can be a great writer. You can, you know, you can be whatever, you know, like Maya Angelou or something. She's not going to get in HBR. I mean, also, I think she's not alive. But if you know, if she were, she would not get in HBR just because she's a good writer. You have to know the house style and study it, because it's a very particular thing. And similarly, for musical theater. I mean, for instance, who knew, apparently, in classical music, you know, and this is not true, like, people break the rules all the time, Hamilton breaks it. But in classical musical theater, you have to have a true rhyme. Like, if I was going to rhyme, like home with alone, that would be like, terrible. Like, you would be shamed for doing that. I'm like, Fuck, I didn't know. Like, like, in pop songs, they do it. But this is not a pop song. And so you just have to make every humiliating mistake and be just like, okay, and you know, get your self worth in other ways. And you do that for a while until you learn and until you get good, and it is not easy. It is not easy, this process of eating crow. But anyway, all that is to say, I think that you have to one of the most important things that I'll say, Andy, is, we kind of started the conversation in this way, in many ways about me not understanding what it took to get into a doctoral program. There is a story that I tell in the long game, which is, in many ways, one of my favorite anecdotes, it comes from Jeff Bezos, his 2018 shareholder letter for Amazon. And he tells the story, he says he has this friend, unnamed friend is probably Lauren Sanchez, and it's his friend who decided to hire a handstand coach. And so she wanted to be-

Andy:

Handstand, like wanted to able to stand on your hands?

Dorie:

Yeah, like yoga. So she wanted, she wanted to be this like great yogini. She hires the handstand coach and what the handstand coach tells her, and she then repeats to Jeff Bezos, is that the average person thinks typically, you know, prior to becoming educated about this, that if you spend about two weeks practicing reasonably assiduously, that within two weeks, you should be able to do a yoga handstand. It turns out that is not true. It turns out that if you practice every day, it takes about six months of practice to be able to do a yoga handstand. And I saw it, I'm like, Oh, my God, you know, that is sort of the perfect example. Because the truth is, you know, if you think oh, it should be a couple of weeks, like you never interrogate that. You never investigate that. But then you do it for a month, you do it for six weeks, and you're like, this isn't working. No, I guess I'm not meant for handstands. And it's like, okay, guess what? You, you underestimated by a factor of 12 that was necessary to succeed at this. Like, you can succeed just as well as anyone else, you know, I mean, barring some terrible physical, you know, ailment, you should be able to do this. But the problem is that you need, you just need to put in the work that's necessary. And for so many of us, we don't take the time to do the research upfront to really understand what's necessary. We therefore have unrealistic expectations, and it causes a cascade of problems that leads in the end to us not really fulfilling the dreams we want. And I want to overturn that. And with the long game I want to help correct that.

Andy:

Hmm, amen. Love it. That's awesome. I'm really struck with I don't know, have you heard of, I'm sure you've heard of Ira Glass's sort of famous quote about like our tastes outpacing our ability.

Dorie:

Yes, yes.

Andy:

And I hear you speaking in a really strategic and deep way to people who give up on themselves too soon. So thank you for doing that.

Dorie:

Yeah, absolutely. Thank you.

Andy:

I'm conscious of time. I know you have to jump to your next thing in just a minute. I wonder, that feels like a really strong place to land. I wonder if there's any other parting words you want to share with my audience, and then also want to invite you to share where folks can learn more about the book, the long game in particular, and your other work and all the cool stuff that you're doing in the world.

Dorie:

I appreciate it. Andy, thank you so much. I will also just mention for folks that are interested in these questions and thinking more about strategic thinking and how to apply it to our lives in our careers. That I do have a free resource, which is the long game strategic thinking self assessment, and anyone who's interested can get it for free at DorieClark.com/thelonggame.

Andy:

Nice. That's awesome. Well, here's to more of us playing the long game. I sense that the world would benefit if we had more People who believe that age whatever, that 10 years from now they could perhaps make one of their wildest dreams come true. And I sense that whether or not, I don't know how far you are maybe- how far are you into your 10 year plan for Broadway?

Dorie:

I'm five years in.

Andy:

Halfway, amazing.

Dorie:

Halfway there I have I have completed a musical. I've written a complete musical. I've completed three years of a musical theater fellowship training program. And now I'm just networking to hopefully get this sucker developed by a lead producer and or a nonprofit theater partner. So I'm working on it.

Andy:

And just I don't know, like, I don't want to, for you, I know you're like getting on Broadway. So I don't want to undercut this. But I also want to celebrate that like, you have written musical theater. Right? Like, five years later, you actually have a completed piece of theater that in theory, could be staged on on a stage in the world in the real world. How fucking cool is that? So like, Here's to the long game. Thank you for modeling it and your life's journey and this work and this book. I'm really excited to share it with people and I'm really appreciative of you coming into the Wonder Dome with me.

Dorie:

Thank you, Andy. So good to spend time with you.

Andy:

Yeah, this is beautiful. Thanks for tuning in to the Wonder Dome. This podcast was produced by me, Andy Cahill, with support from Kaleigh Cerqua, and audio editing services from John Nolan at Middle Mountain studios. The theme song was written and performed by Todd Marston. You can find the Wonder Dome wherever pods are casted. If you dig what we're doing here, please share widely, subscribe, and give us some love on the review boards. And if you feel called to support this humble offering to the worlds, while also making an even greater impact in the lives of others, consider becoming a monthly supporter. Not only will you help me keep the lights on, and keep the show going for as long as I'm able, but 30% of all member contributions go directly in support of causes, like the Black Lives Matter Movement, United Nations Refugee Agency, and the National Resources Defense Council. You can find out more at my website, mindfulcreative.coach, where you can also sign up for my newsletter. Learn about my transformational coaching work and get plugged into exclusive offers and community happenings. In the meantime, I'm wishing you a life of purpose, power, and presence. We need you now more than ever.