The complete transcript from our Broadcast with Ria Story. You can hear and see the entire interview After January 31, 2023

[00:00:00] Welcome to a podcast, Essential Leadership Skills, and Discussion with Ted d and Ted Talk speakers. Our guest today is R Story Ted x speaker, author, and leadership trainer. RIA has more than 20 years of leadership and management experience and is a certified leadership trainer. Some highlights of her journey have been speaking on leadership at Yale University and sharing her story at the United States Capital.

Please join our Director of Operations, Glen Daniels and Tedex speaker story. This is a Touchstone Publisher’s presentation, your trusted source of leadership knowledge.

Glenn: Good morning everybody. Good morning. And it is actually morning here as not morning and on the east. Yes, it is. Still Morning East Coast, but it doesn’t matter.

Morning, more energy for everybody. Good morning and welcome to our podcast today. You know what guys? We have been getting powerful TEDx speakers. This series has been very powerful, but I think you’ll find today to maybe be [00:01:00] the top one. And I’m very serious about that. So let’s just get into it because we got a lot of ground to cover in a very short period of time.

Real story. Thank you very much for hanging out with us today.

Ria: Absolutely, Glen, it’s my pleasure. Good morning.

Glenn: Good morning. So I’m gonna get right into this. So I want you to tell us, and I want you to hold back and don’t tell us about your TEDx talk, but what I’d like to get started out with is, Let us know what it was like before you gave this Ted talk from the time that you can see that you’re gonna do it until the time you stepped up on stage.

What was that like for you?

Ria: Wow. That process was incredible. It was, Exciting. Obviously just be, being given that opportunity. But I felt a lot of responsibility as well, because when, when you’re invited to give a TED Talk or TEDx talk, the whole concept is an idea that’s worth sharing.

And I love Chris Anderson’s concept of you as the presenter are taking that idea and [00:02:00] you’re. Planting it in someone, and sharing it with them. And so I felt a lot of responsibility to make sure that I represented it well, make sure that I did it justice because I wanted the audience to walk away with that idea we’re sharing and hopefully be able to take that and implement it in their own life.

Incredibly exciting. Lots and lots of practice and preparation. Hours and hours of preparation went into that seven minutes.

Glenn: Yeah. And that’s what is tough about that is that putting a lot of preparation in. Let me, I’m gonna wanna stay with that area for a quick second. How hard was it for you to take that entire ideal and narrow it down to seven minutes?

I know 18 minutes was next was impossible. Almost, but seven minutes. That’s crazy.

Ria: one of the things it forces me to do whenever I’m challenged to do a speech in a very short time is that it really forces you to get rid of the fluff, right? There’s just no room for extra thoughts, and I think it’s Chris Anderson who says overstuffed is under-explained, and so it really is.

It [00:03:00] really forced me to get down to one central main theme, one point, and really drill down and explain that. So in a way, it’s powerful because it does force you to just clarify. But to me, it felt the. I think the most pressure was just looking and making sure that every word was intentional.

For an hour keynote, you have plenty of time to explore or drill down or be flexible, but with the energy in the room. But with something like a TEDx talk in seven minutes, I had to be very focused and just make sure that every word was carefully thought out so that I communicated that idea.

There was just no time for extra room.

Glenn: Were you nervous?

Ria: Nope. Not nervous. I definitely get excited for opportunities like that, but nervous.

Glenn: You’re one of the few that were nervous. I’m the type of person who didn’t get nervous at the start, boy. But at the end, I was so nervous all over and was like, okay, how do I get back to the green room?

Where is that? I totally lost that. So you’re one of the few that didn’t get nervous. Did you have to [00:04:00] apply for a lot of these

Ria: to get ’em? Absolutely. In fact, when I first learned what TED Talks and TEDx talks were and I had started speaking, I applied. Fairly early on, soon as I, learned of what the whole process was.

And I applied several times over the next few years and didn’t get accepted. Didn’t get accepted, and I really had just pushed that application to the back burner. And I said, you know what? I’m gonna focus on other things and just focus on speaking and sharing my message where I can. And I really had just, Pushed that to the back burner and stopped applying.

And someone who had heard me speak before, reached out at some point and said, Hey, there’s gonna be a 10 x talk in our community. I think you’d be a really good fit. You should apply. And so I did. And total surprise and total shock when they accepted it.

Glenn: Yeah. And that’s of the way it works.

Just all of a sudden I’m there. I’m there. So let me just change up just a little bit here. So what is unique, powerful, of a need to know about. Your TEDx or your company. So again, let’s shade away from the TEDx for a second, but maybe you [00:05:00] or your company, what’s unique, powerful that the listener needs to know about you?

Ria: think it’s something that is unique about me. And I do a lot of speaking with my husband, but so he. This kind of applies to him as well, but that is unique. Yes. Mac and I have separate lanes, but we do a lot of our speaking together because the principles are the same regardless of whether the audience might be different.

. But one of the most and highest compliments I think that we get is, number one, we are very authentic, and we share real stories from our experiences. And a lot, most people appreciate that. And I tell people, I’m like, I didn’t really marry him for his name, but I like to joke about it and say, you know what, if you’re gonna be a speaker and author, you have to have a laugh name-like story.

How cool. Yeah, it

Glenn: works perfect. And you probably, okay, I’ll ask him about that later if it feels that way. Yeah, that, and that is unique because there is a story that you guys work together, like you have a separate lane and that’s very powerful. I think that, after having a brief conversation with him the other day, it is very powerful.

Let’s talk about your TEDx because [00:06:00] here’s where lessons can be learned bridges out of the past. Okay, so that’s you talking about a survivor’s lesson on resilience. One thing that you hit on at the very start then drifts it away from a little bit was this idea of nature versus nurture.

, tell us a little bit about.

Ria: I think that most people fall into one of two ideas in terms of how we are shaped. Either it’s nature, which means, your genetics influence you. It’s your grandparents’ fault, good or bad, because it’s just, it’s in my genetics.

It’s just, that’s just how I’m wired. Can’t do anything about it. Versus nurture, which is the thought that says, you know what your environment is what really shapes and determines you. So in other words, it’s your parents’ fault, right? But Right. But really, when it comes down to. Absolutely both nature and nurture influence us, but neither one of them determine us because at the end of the day, as human [00:07:00] beings, we have the freedom of choice, right?

Things happen to us, and every single one of us have the freedom and the ability to choose how we respond when something happens. And that’s incredibly empowering because that means when something happens, we get to stop it for a moment and just choose what’s the best response, what’s the response that’s going to serve me best, which one’s gonna increase my influence from a leadership perspective?

That’s easier said than done. It’s kinda like New Year’s resolutions. Yeah, I was gonna ask you about that. We all can do it. We all, because we all get it right sometimes, we make the right choices and then sometimes I know I’m not the only one who said or done something in the emotion of a moment and later thought, oh, I shouldn’t have said that.

Shouldn’t have done that. The thing is that we are emotional creatures, right? We’re human, we have emotions. But it’s Andy Stanley who reminds us our feelings can be terrible leaders.

Glenn: [00:08:00] Wait a minute. So every now and then we get to, I don’t like the term tweetable moments, but we get to the term writeable moments, whereas you should be grabbing a piece of paper and pencil and writing that down.

Say that again. For us,

Ria: we are human beings, right? We have emotions. There’s nothing wrong with that. When things happen, particularly things that we don’t like, we have. Feelings that come up, emotions bubble to the surface, but every single one of us have the power to choose how we respond. And it’s Andy Stanley who says Those feelings can be terrible leaders.

Glenn: Feelings can be terrible Leaders. Wow. Wow. And so that actually goes to your statement. The power to respond proactively is necessary. What did you mean by that? Is that what you meant to say? Okay. If you’re leading by your feelings, you’re not responding proactively. How did you You mean that

Ria: Absolutely.

To, to me, to understand what responding proactively means. You have to understand what responding reactively means, right? And back to those feelings. Sometimes think of this, maybe you’ve had a long day, a stressful day at work or something like that, and you come home and [00:09:00] just all of the stress and the energy of the day or there, and so someone forgot to take out the trash, and so suddenly your emotions just boil up to the surface and you start, Yelling at somebody, right?

Maybe you lose your temper, snap, if you will, and then later you have to apologize to that person cuz you’re like, you know what? I didn’t really mean it. I was just taking out the stress of the day, the emotion of the day, had a tough time at work kind of thing. But I took it out based on those feelings.

I responded based on my feelings and reacted based on responding proactively, based on principles and values. I didn’t really want to rupture a relationship because somebody forgot to take out the trash, and yet, we all have gotten it wrong from time to time. , and yet we have all gotten it right from time to time as well.

And so learning to, just not ignore those feelings, but learning that we don’t have to respond based on their starts meaning that we can make choices intentionally rather than from our head, ra, [00:10:00] making choices intentionally from our head rather than from our heart or the emotions or the habits that sometimes don’t serve us well, you.

Glenn: This, the idea of figuring out what serves us and what doesn’t serve us well, that is a bit of a challenge, I think, sometimes. . But you also sit on the philosophy of that we can have more influence. Does that come from our ability to. Control our emotions or how are you coaching that?

In other words?

Ria: Absolutely. The choices that we make as individuals in all four dimensions of life, physical, emotional, social, and even spiritual, are determining the level of influence we have with other people. For example, say you make a commitment to have a meeting with somebody at 10 o’clock and you don’t show up until 10 15, right?

, that’s understandably, sometimes things happen, but if this is a consistent pattern in your life where you’re not keeping your commitments or you’re late for them, that’s decreasing your influence because influence is based on relationships. Relationships are based [00:11:00] on trust. And if I can’t keep, if I can’t trust you to keep your word or your commitment, then you’ve got a little bit less influence with me because next time you make a commitment to me, I’m gonna be thinking do they really mean it?

Or maybe they’re, maybe it’s not as important. And that’s just one example of how a, How something that we do can affect our influence. Every single interaction that we have with somebody is either increasing our influence and our leadership or decreasing it.

And it’s the little things with people that are big things.

Glenn: So when you go into the classroom or to the workshop, or you do workshops and keynotes, is that correct? That’s correct. Okay. So when you go in to do a workshop, for example, you have exercise. Helps people understand that influence comes from building trust and

Ria: not exercises.

For most of what I do or what Mac and I do as we speak together is really talk people through, we share the principle like I just did, but then I’ll share the story. Yeah. Maybe a story from my experience where I knew someone in my career who [00:12:00] was always late to every single meeting.

We all knew that was just how it was gonna be. She was always gonna be late. But sharing, share the principle and then share the story from my experience of how it played out. Because here’s why people learn subconsciously, right? Yes. If I’m just sharing a PowerPoint with information on it, most of us don’t learn, we don’t absorb that.

In fact, it, it’s boring for a lot of us, but when we share stories, people. People connect emotionally to stories. And so I share stories from my experience of where things went right, where things went wrong, where I got it wrong, because that’s how people can best learn.

Glenn: So R’S stories, share stories.

I get it. That’s, if I get that one. I wanna ask you to define something because. Jargon. Key words oftentimes get misinterpreted, misunderstood. So define this word for me. Resilience.

Ria: To me, resilience really means, rising. Rising above [00:13:00] the ashes and burning brighter because of the flames. Not just surviving, but thriving.

And I like to say that what happens to us in life is not as important as who we become because of it, because we all go through adversity in life. Life is tough, right? We’ve all experienced situations, trials and challenges. That’s just a fact of the human experience. Yes. And there’s no doubt when things happen, they influence us, but they don’t determine us.

And I think that’s where we have, the ability to thrive and be resilient is saying, yes, something happened. And I, and it wasn’t good. It was painful, it was bad, it was hard, but I can choose to be bitter about it or better because of it.

Glenn: Okay, so now this surprised me a little bit in your TED Talk that you were able to talk about this principle in this short time, but now I want you to talk about it, but I want you to really make sure you’re coaching me and I fully understand [00:14:00] Rise.

. That just seems to be a principle that helps you get past. Lot of the challenges and to be more resilient. But would you mind just talking us through that?

Ria: Sure. I like, I love acronyms. I geek out on acronyms, , but RISE is the acronym I use to, to really talk about resilience. The first step is what we’ve just discussed about respond proactively.

So the R stands for respond proactively. And there again, we have feelings in emotions, but we don’t have to make bad choices in life because of what happens. So we can choose to respond positively and proactively, and every time we get it right, our influence can increase and every time we get it wrong or make the wrong choice, our influence can decrease.

I stand for identifying accurately. Know, It’s a cliche. We’ve heard that hope isn’t a strategy, but you have to have hope to get the strategy right. , but the trick is to identify accurately what’s going to help me move forward. And that doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to be fancy.

It might be as simple [00:15:00] as saying, what’s the one most important thing I can do in this moment to move in the right direction? Relative to wherever my goal is, wherever I’m going, wherever I want to find myself. And sometimes when we’re going through challenges, we find ourselves like driving through the, a thick fog and your car headlights won’t really shine very far and that’s okay.

Just focus right now. Identify what’s the next step. I don’t need to know the next 10 steps or a hundred steps, right? What’s the next step? The one thing that’s gonna move me forward in the direction I want to go, and then the S stands for step forward consistently. Lazu said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

So it’s important to take that single step, but you gotta take next step, the second, and the third, and the fourth step, because we overestimate the power of consistency, right? Consistency beats intensity every single time. It’s like going to the gym to, to lose weight, right? If I get on the scale and I’m like, man, I wanna lose five pounds.

So I [00:16:00] go to the gym and I work out hard, and I come home and I still haven’t lost. And so tomorrow I get up and I go to the gym and I work hard and I come home and I still haven’t lost any weight. At some point I’m making progress, but I like to talk about. In fact, we have to push past the point of no results.

I’m making progress, going to the gym, exercising, but it hasn’t shown up yet, right? And as people, we tend to get frustrated when we don’t see instant results. So consistency beats intensity every single time. Just take one step forward every single day, right? You’ll get there. And the E stands for experience Joy, because joy is a choice that we make.

It’s not a product of our circumstances right now. That doesn’t mean ignoring problems or pushing them away. It just means that we can look at any situation and focus on the positives or the negatives, much like a a camera. One of those fancy telephoto lens cameras that the photographer can look through the frame and they can choose to [00:17:00] focus on an object in the foreground.

A person, for example, in the background might be blurry, or they could shift the focus and they can focus on the background details and maybe the foreground is blurry, right? Same picture, same frame, but the focus changes. And that’s what, when we choose joy, whatever we’re going through, we’re not saying there’s not a problem.

We’re just saying, you know what, I’m gonna change my focus and be grateful for what I’ve got.

Glenn: And you might find that you might find the solution just from that by itself. , when I look at the rise though, and I heard you just explain it just now, it of hit me to say, wait a minute.

You’re talking about resilience and overcoming, but doesn’t that apply, the same acronym, doesn’t that apply to being a good leader, would you say? You have to know how to react to situations and you have to make that right choice. We went all the way through. Would you say, or would you make some adjustments for leadership versus responding to critic critical challenge?

Ria: I would say that this is a powerful model for leaders because really it is just a, it’s not specific to [00:18:00] resilience necessarily, but it’s the model that we as people can just follow and apply this over and over because leadership principles are, they’re kinda like gravity, right?

Even if you don’t know what gravity is, gravity still applies and you have to deal with it at work and you have to deal with it at home. Gravity is every. Leadership principles are the same way they apply at work at home, right? We wanna increase our influence and our leadership ability at work.

Absolutely. But how many of us wanna increase our influence with our 15 year old so that they make better choices in life? The same leadership principles can help us be successful in that situation. So yeah, rise can be a powerful model for leaders because leaders, we expect our leaders to be resilient, right?

If we’re following somebody, we’re looking up to them and we, we’re depending on them to pull us up. So they almost are under more of a microscope to be more resilient than everyone else.

Glenn: I think that’s so true. So I like that acronym. I hope everybody got a chance to jot that [00:19:00] down and really start deflating, dissecting it and saying, okay, this is how it works in leadership.

This is how it works with my teenager. So I think that’s very, a powerful thing to do. You also talked about leadership of others begins with leadership of self. That rise creates that. Would you agree or. .

Ria: Absolutely. Because there again, our choices as a leader are shaping our influence with other people cuz it’s building trust or decreasing it.

And I’m not able to lead and influence others at a very high level if I’m not able to lead and influence. Myself. The most difficult person in the world to lead is the one sitting in your chair right now. We all know things that we haven’t done that we should, right? The greatest gap in the world isn’t the lack of knowledge, it’s the application.

And as leaders, we are challenged at a different level, right? We all know for water, for example, we all know we should drink eight glasses of water and we should exercise three times a week. But I know I don’t drink eight [00:20:00] glasses of water every day. Yeah. Yep. Yep. It’s not that we don’t know, a lot of times the things that we need to do, it’s just that we don’t do them.

And yet as leaders, we are taking that ownership and that responsibility and saying, if I’m gonna step into a leadership role, then I’ve got to take that responsibility of saying, What are the changes I need to make as the leader? I’m accepting that responsibility to higher level and until and un, unless I’m willing to lead myself first, I’m not gonna be able to be very effective at leading and influencing others.

Glenn: Leading yourself first, that’s well, so key and so difficult. I liked what you. Pointed that out, you can’t lead others or the hardest person to lead is to lead yourself. . Once you’re able to do that, it’s good. I wanna just now go a little bit into your TED Talk cause I had some questions that sit on the outside of it actually.

And I, the reason why I put the title back up cause I think everybody here should go listen to it. Man and woman should go listen to it cuz [00:21:00] it touches you. It’s, I like to know how were you able to touch what had. A very painful core in yourself to even share that on stage. How did you get yourself to, to get there?

Ria: A lot of growth. A lot of work. A lot of work on me, A lot of, I think the greatest thing that really helped me, and I share this sometimes when I talk about this subject, When you talk about something painful, like my story and my experience, you have to have healed enough so that you are no longer playing the victim in your head.

Cause if you’re still playing the victim in your head, then it’s going to come out like that and that doesn’t serve anybody. That doesn’t help anybody. And so you really have to have moved beyond the point of being. It’s the greatest trap that we fall into as humans or as leaders, is playing the victim mindset because the moment I start blaming someone else or something else [00:22:00] is the moment I lose my power and ability to.

Improve it to correct it. And yet it’s so easy to blame other people. Do you know why we blame other people? Because there’s only one other choice.

Glenn: Yes, exactly. Yourself.

Ria: As long, yeah. As long as I’m blaming someone or something else for my circumstances, then I can’t, I won’t do anything to fix it cuz I, I didn’t do anything to begin with.

Now we don’t control everything. It’s not that everything happens in life is our fault. But we always have the ability to choose how we respond. Victor Frankel said if you don’t know his story, he was a concentration camp survivor, and he lost everything in the concentration camps.

His family, his wife, their unborn child. Yeah. And he wrote a book afterward. He said, I learned that they can take everything from me, except my greatest freedom is the ability to choose my attitude in any given set of circumstances. So we have to choose not to play the victim. Whenever things are going wrong or things we don’t like, we can look around and say, you know what?

I [00:23:00] can’t change everything, but I can change me.

Glenn: How did you decide at age 19 that you were strong enough to leave that situation?

Ria: I’d tried a few times and it wasn’t successful that was probably the third or fourth attempt at leaving home. But when I was 19, I met my, what I call him, my knight in a shiny Camaro.

And 20 years later, we’ve long since gotten rid of the car, but I married him, we’re about to celebrate 20 years of marriage, and he was the first person who really gave me the courage to leave and to stay gone, to leave for good. He was the first person to really believe in me at a higher level and just support me and say, you know what?

Let me just help you just be there for you and that’s powerful. The people around us heavily influence us.

Glenn: You may have said this, and all this was going on, but I’m kind of wondering if you would. What was your mind like?

You tried. You did a lot of different things. It got to the circumstances. Got right. So maybe just for me, tell [00:24:00] me what your mindset was?

Ria: My mindset after I left was, from the moment I left, I was determined, number one, to be independent. I didn’t wanna be dependent on someone else, but I was also just determined that I knew I could spend the rest of my life.

Blaming my lack of success in life on what happened to me. And there again, we don’t choose everything that happens in life. We can’t control much of what happens in life, but we can always choose to be bitter about it or better because of it. And I would not have been able to say that back then, but I was determined to just put it behind me and go on, right?

Because I could use it as an excuse or a stepping stone, and it is what we make it. I did a quote the other day on social media that says you can control your narrative about your story, but if you don’t control your narrative, it will control you.

Glenn: And so that still leads me drawing a blank.

How did you decide to control your narrative?

Ria: one day at a [00:25:00] time. , okay. It’s still a choice, right? It’s still a choice I make every single day because it’s there. It’s always there. It always influences us and affects us, and yet, every single day, we wake up, and I use the analogy of a train station, right?

You’re, you wake up, and you’re at a train station, and you can choose to get on the positive train today, or you can choose to get on the negative train. They’re going in opposite directions in life. It really is a choice, not easy, but it’s developing that mental discipline, right? Just like our physical muscles get stronger when we exercise them, our mental muscles can get stronger.

And so I tell people, I coach people, I’m like, You know what, if you are learning to, to be more proactive and positive, start small, right? Don’t tackle the biggest thing in your life and try to tackle that. Start by just choosing one instance today that I can be a little more positive and proactive, right?

How can I pause and choose a better response and one situation? And like anything, the more frequently we do [00:26:00] it, the easier it becomes.

Glenn: So that’s like the S and the step, just taking one small step. Yes. And the next step and the next step, the S and the rise, excuse me. The step, yes. So that’s taking that one small step.

One small step. I want people to go to the TEDx to hear it, but I’m going to just let them know why this is so intriguing to me and why it’s so difficult. And I wish that everybody who I sent the link listened to it. , you had a very, extremely abusive father and a mother that blamed you for it.

. And this was a lifetime of things that progressed, and you just seemed like to me, you just said, okay, bye. When you are able to, that’s a powerful step, and I am wondering when you’re actually in front of the room. Sit now. That’s a story. That’s a story right there that I’m sure. A lot of women unfortunately, a lot of women are hearing that and reliving their own battles.

They’re not living your battle, but they’re reliving their own battles. , and they’re making steps to get [00:27:00] that happen. So when you’re in the classroom and your workshop’s teaching this, by the way, before I ask you the question, how do people get ahold of you so they can do workshops with

Ria: you? My website’s the best way to get in touch with me is just rya

Just my name, ria

Glenn: Okay. That’ll be in the notes, in case you guys are. Listening and can’t write it down right now, but I read a So how does that tell us? I would like to know, what does it feel like when you’re in the classroom working with somebody, and they’re in their pain?

Ria: Oh, it’s heartbreaking on so many levels because, at the end of the day, I can’t do it for someone else. I can share my journey, I can share the principles, and I can share the stories of my experience, But I can’t do it for them. And that’s, that’s tough because, at the end of the day, it’s a choice that they’ve gotta make to heal and move forward.

And it’s not easy, and I know that. And yet all I can do is say, Hey, I’m here to help and support, but you’ve got to do the [00:28:00] work. And it is work.

Glenn: See, I wonder if I disagree with that to some level because stories are so powerful and positive. I did some work recently on a couple of things. Greatly disappointed in the level of stories that were being delivered.

Because I thought people could do better, and you even have more stories, though, that doesn’t relate around you all the time. So I just, I, the reason why I disagree with that is that when stories and metaphors get in somebody’s head, they may not give you credit for the change because they think it’s all theirs.

Ria: And that’s okay. I don’t need credit.

Glenn: absolutely don’t need credit, but that’s why I tend to disagree with you, that when you say I can’t do anything about it,

Ria: see what you’re decision,

Glenn: right? It’s your stories that are doing something about it.

Ria: I hope that’s why I share it. When I left home, I didn’t talk about my story for many years.

I didn’t want people to see me as a victim. I didn’t wanna talk about it. I didn’t want people to know. And it took me 13 years to get to the point of [00:29:00] sharing my story. I had. I heard Les Brown speak. He’s a motivational speaker if you’re familiar with him. And he is speaking to a whole room full of people, right?

Several hundred people were at this conference. And he says to this whole room full of people, he says, you have a story to share, and someone needs to hear your story, and only you can help them. And I thought, I got a story to share, but I don’t wanna share it. I worked really hard to put it behind me, and it took me six months after hearing him share my story publicly.

And up until then, a few friends and very close family members were aware of my story, but most people didn’t know. People I worked with for years hadn’t had any idea. And then, ten days after sharing my story publicly for the first time, I resigned from my career that I’d worked really hard to get and gone to college for ten years to get, but yeah.

Yeah. I realized it’s a calling instead of a career, and sharing it takes a very terrible thing and turns it into something good.

Glenn: Yeah. Turns it into something where people fall [00:30:00] across. TEDx is one thing. I hope people can take a few moments and say, let me because you got the story out in seven minutes, which is amazing.

It might have been good for you to be, to keep it that short might have been good, but it was an amazing thing that you accomplished there just to get to that age of 19 and walk away, and then everything else you have done since then. I wanna ask you, though, How did this TEDx change your life and or your business just doing that?


Ria: so much work goes into TEDx and a TEDx speaker, and there again hours and hours of practice and writing and outlining and videoing yourself and critiquing yourself and, but it, it does change you because there again, it forced me to really clarify my message. The benefit for me was having put all that work in, and it’s been something I’ve been able to use again and again.

But I think at a different level. When I got done, when I stepped off that TEDx stage, she prob there a group of high schoolers who had received scholarship tickets to come to the [00:31:00] event. And this, she probably was 15, just a 15-year-old girl came up and just said, I wanna give you a hug.

She’s I’m just; you’ve just so inspired me, and I have no idea if she had experienced anything or not. Doesn’t matter, But it really touches something in you because then you realize the power of sharing your story. If I can share that story and inspire her to go on and overcome a challenge in her life, whether that’s from the past or something she meets in the future, right?

That is a calling to me. That is right. That is what turns pain into purpose.

Glenn: You’ve answered this question, but I want to drill down a little bit. How are you helping people right now? How are you making a difference right now? So I know you’re sharing the stories and other stories, but drill deeper.

Tell me if I said, okay, here, come address this group. How are you gonna help them? How are you making a difference?

Ria: Regardless of almost any event that I speak for, whether it’s a small, a small workshop or a group or a large conference stage or anything like that, I share my story even if it’s a corporate event or something [00:32:00] like that, because there again, I think one of the greatest challenges that we face in the leader, Is we tend, and just because it’s a human challenge, we tend to blame other things or other people when circumstances go wrong.

When problems happen, it’s easy. As long as I’m blaming, I don’t have to fix it. So when I share that story, and I talk about the power of being proactive as a leader, right? It’s not easy to do, but as a leader, we’ve stepped up. I’m taking that responsibility for leadership. I fundamentally have to be proactive because leadership is not easy.

Leadership is not always fun. It’s challenging. It’s hard. It’s difficult. It’s not always rewarding at the moment. , and yet long term, it’s something inside us that says, you know what, this is part of who I am, and I can’t turn away from that. So I share that because I think. We cannot hear it too much, the power of being proactive.

And there again, whether I’m speaking in a small group onsite training and leadership or speaking with Mac [00:33:00] or a large conference, and then I do a lot of work sharing my story with youth groups or high schools church groups. I work with a lot of women who’ve been rescued from trafficking because.

We all go through something in life, right? We all need inspiration and encouragement, and I think that’s mine. The world needs more hope. And if I could say anything, I want to be able to help people understand that what happens to us is not as important as who we become because of it.

Glenn: Wow. It is not as important as who we become because of it.

, another writeable moment. Okay. I wanna. Being respectful of the time and everything. There are more questions, but I think I just will ask you this. Don’t tell Mack I asked you this, okay? , but here’s a question for you. What should I have asked you that I didn’t ask you? what questions should I have asked you that I didn’t ask you?

Ria: That’s interesting. Because Glen, you’re very skilled at just asking a [00:34:00] question, but allowing me to explain what I need to from it. Nothing comes to mind at the top of my mind. You’re very, just very good at just letting me share the story and the principles.

Glenn: Yeah, I appreciate that.

But there, I’m not gonna you off the hook. There’s something that may be there, maybe not, but I’m not gonna let you off the hook that easy. There’s something that you might say needs to be a little bit more explained that you didn’t ask about. Like, when’s your next book out or your first book out? When is this gonna happen?

What should I have asked you?

Ria: One of the things that we didn’t talk about was my most recent book. Coming out. It’s just it. I released it last year. Okay. Called Fearfully and Wonderfully Me. And it’s really a book specifically for women where I talk about becoming the woman you are destined to be.

And I really use the same tagline, become the leader you are destined to be. And I talk about the elements of personal growth. Really help us transform. And that’s so powerful from a leadership perspective [00:35:00] because there it is a buzzword, right? We talk about transformational leadership or leading cultural transformation, right?

But you can’t be a transformational leader unless you’ve gone through a transformation. , you can’t lead it. So you can’t lead it in others. So when I talk about the elements of growth, that’s so important for us as leaders because the only way that we can step into our potential, our leadership potential, and our potential as a human is to grow and develop ourselves.

We are. You’ve all heard the term posttraumatic stress, right? And I’m a believer that there can be posttraumatic growth as well. But I love the concept of pre-traumatic growth even more. What if I’m growing and developing myself and my leadership and my personal development every day so that when I face the challenges tomorrow, I’m gonna be better equipped to meet them and overcome them?

Glenn: So when we talk about pre-row or post. Your book lays out a game plan [00:36:00] to help you get maybe that pre-row growing…

Ria: Absolutely. Being intentional with that. It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we leverage the power of intentional action consistently over time.

Glenn: Okay. Okay.

With that said, though, now you bring up a whole nother series of questions. So you’ve mentioned a couple of people and places and forgotten a couple of others. What books other than your book would you like?

Ria: I think the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey’s a very powerful person. On a personal level, I really like Andy Stanley’s, like Iraq becoming a person of character.

I think leadership and self-deception by the Arbinger Institute are incredibly powerful. I’m not familiar with that one. Okay. The Five Levels of Attachment by Don Miguel Ruiz, Jr. is a Very powerful insight into identity and attachment and how that holds us back. Yeah, and I’m slightly biased, but I think my husband Max’s books are probably some of the best, and there [00:37:00] again, I am biased, but what he does is a good job of getting rid of the fluff and just bringing down the principles, right?

Short books that people can read and implement.

Glenn: What he does is they have short books, but. Got a chance to research a little bit, but what I discovered is that he does bring it down to the simple. It’s like something that you don’t feel like it gotta be a stuffed white shirt to learn it.

Just is simple. So yeah, he and I will talk about that later on, but that’s yeah, recommend that little his as well now, we’ll later on. Okay. So that’s great. Seven Habits that’s one of the key concepts that everybody’s teaching. So I always ask, what’s your favorite habit?

Ria: I’m a first-things-first sort of person.

I’m very task oriented. I’m very focused. It just, it’s a natural strength for me. And that doesn’t mean I’m strong in all areas, but that I will be proactive and have a plan. And then first things first. There again, I like to just focus on the power of the moment and leverage that.

Glenn: Good, good. So time management [00:38:00] is another course that you’re ready to teach, right? First? Absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. I have to thank you very much. And I was thinking, and I was gonna edit out that interaction with the folks trying to get them out of the house and get outta their way.

But I’m gonna leave it in there just so people know that I can make mistakes. Not the most professional thing, but you are one of the most professional people with the most extensive, strongest knowledge I’ve ever seen on the stage out here. I think people will learn just Hans and tons from you the whole way.

, a couple of people have commented on a wonderful message. Clarity is very important. When you have self-doubt, how do you overcome self-doubt? That’s a great question. So let me just take another couple of minutes if I may. Yeah,

Ria: Absolutely.

Glenn: Glen, when you have self-doubt, how do you overcome self-doubt?

Ria: I think the best way that I personally overcome self-doubt is not losing sight of it. The focus on the big picture is great, but there again, I need to be able to just focus on it. Right now, I have a running analogy, if I may, but I’m.

I usually run a [00:39:00] marathon every year because it forces me to eat healthier and exercise, and it helps me build discipline in myself. But I have a running analogy that helps me when the running gets tough, and I’m running 26 miles, and it’s no fun. It’s tough. It’s hard work.

There’s a saying that kind of floats around that says, run the mile that you’re. And when we have self-doubt, what happens is we get overwhelmed by the big picture. So I like to say, just drill down and run the moment that you’re in. Focus on the moment that you’re in. Don’t get distracted by all of the other things that need to happen.

It’s what are you in the right this minute, right this moment? What is this mile look like? And most of the time, that’s what helps me. Don’t focus on everything. Bringing. Power of focus down and saying, okay, I, I can’t worry about all those other things. What I need to do is direct my attention right here because the naysayer inside your head is the voice that you cannot get away from, right?

So learning to tune it down by focusing on what you can control. In the [00:40:00] moment, because that self-doubt might be there. But if you stop listening to it and start listening to what can I do at this moment, right? I might not, and I can run all 26 miles. I might not build a business from scratch, but I don’t need to worry about that.

I need to worry about what I need to do today, right? Don’t worry about whether I am good enough. And to climb the mountain. Mac is saying. He says when something is tough, don’t focus on the mountain. Focus on the moment, and if you conquer enough moments, you’ll climb the mountain.

Glenn: I agree with that a whole lot because also I’m thinking as the self dot comes from saying things like, okay, I’m going to, I wanna become the leader of this company.

But do I have the skills? Do I have the? Okay. So you’re saying focus on the mile you’re in, and or comment, Michael says, that’s the awesome focus of that mile that you’re in. So in that particular case, if you’re striving to become a great leader, focus on what you need to. Today. , the reports you need to write today.

Don’t worry about becoming that great leader. That’s the goal, but focus [00:41:00] on what you have to focus on right now, and I guess if you don’t really know how to write that report or something, then you focus on learning how to write it, or you focus on getting the help to write it. Powerful statement.

Powerful statement. Thank you so much for taking that extra question. Oh, absolutely. Yeah. So I am going to. Been a sheer joy. I greatly appreciate everything that you’ve shared with us and taught us today. Thank you. I

Ria: I appreciate it. Absolutely. It’s my pleasure, Glenn. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for connecting with us here at Touchstone Publishers.

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