And this mantra that I’ve heard you talk of in the past, of being the best part of someone else’s day, did that come from your upbringing in surfing culture?
I think that just came from trying to be the best son, father, employee and manager that I could be. My daughter just got out of grad school and [when she started, she] said, “What should I really focus on?” I said, “Just be the best part of another person’s, day.” If you can just focus on that, you’re interested and interesting; you’re bringing something of value to the conversation. I think it’s so important. It’s not that hard. Yes, you need to do the pre-reading, you need to have strong opinions and be able to voice those respectfully, but again – do people come away from an interaction with you feeling better, like they’ve learned something, or like they feel better about themselves, or what they’re doing because of their interactions with you? That’s just a nice thing to focus on.
I might be putting you on the spot here slightly, but can you give an example where you were the best part of another person’s day?
I don’t know if I have a specific example, but I will say [it’s about] being present, giving someone your full attention, not being distracted, not looking at your phone, putting devices away and just giving someone your full attention. There [are] so many times I read articles about people and how they really feel connected to someone when you’re looking them in the eye, when you’re paying attention to what they’re doing, and giving them the full respect of your time. I think that is powerful. To care, to take notes, to understand who the person is, to have the respect of doing the work before the meeting – you know, those kinds of things … I like to think that whether I’m in the water with somebody, or talking to somebody at the airport or whatever, that my interactions are positive.