Simple Truths Ignite Reads: Elevate

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t it Friday For ward. I just sen and d] fun tea m here at [our ” our por tfolio companies. — GR ANT G.

“This makes me think about things happening in my life and business now and the choices I am making. Great tools for success. Thank you, Bob.” — ANDREA H.

“THANK YOU for the message this morning. We’re dealing with a problem with a great customer right now that has sapped the energy of our team this week, and your “S note couldn’t have been more timely. ho rt, I was happy to share it!” gr bu t ea p — JOHN D. a — ti JE ns cked NN i g w ht IF ER s.” ith M .


ROBERT GLAZER “If you’ve been looking for a mentor—someone to increase your spiritual, intellectual, and emotional capacities—here it is in book form. Elevate will help you set the right goals for a well-rounded life, then equip you with the skills and attitudes to achieve them.” —Daniel H. Pink, author of When and Drive

“Leaders who elevate both themselves and their people will see the greatest success in these turbulent times. In Elevate, Glazer demonstrates how the four elements of capacity, explored both separately and as part of an integrated whole, offer a blueprint for personal and professional achievement. On every page, Glazer’s advice is both encouraging and realistic, and he masterfully combines real-world examples and clear framework for anyone to reach a higher level of achievement.” —Stew Friedman, Wharton School professor and author of Total Leadership

“In an act of real generosity and vulnerability, Glazer shares his recipe for integrating spiritual, intellectual, physical, and emotional growth to build one’s capacity. We can all learn from his example, his wisdom, and also the mistakes he’s brave enough to share on the journey to elevate himself and countless others!” —Kim Scott, author of Radical Candor

“This book is simply a masterpiece. It’s an easy-toread yet profoundly valuable guidebook to living a successful (as YOU define success), happy, and joy-filled life. Each and every page contains golden nuggets of wisdom within a system you can follow to blow past perceived self limits and accomplish more than you might presently think possible. Best of all, Glazer equips you to improve the lives of others as you help lead them to do the same. And—by all means—buy a copy of this book for your children, grandchildren, your business team, and everyone else who you want to help be nine steps ahead of the game…in a ten-step game.” —Bob Burg, coauthor of the Go-Giver Series and author of Adversaries into Allies

P u s h B e y o n d Yo u r Limits and Unlock Success i n Yo u r s e l f a n d O t h e r s

Copyright © 2019 by Robert Glazer, Kendall Marketing Group, LLC Cover and internal design © 2019 by Sourcebooks Cover design by Ploy Sirpant Sourcebooks, the colophon, and Simple Truths are registered trademarks of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems—­except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews—­w ithout permission in writing from its publisher, Sourcebooks. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought.—­From a Declaration of Principles Jointly Adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations All brand names and product names used in this book are trademarks, registered trademarks, or trade names of their respective holders. Sourcebooks is not associated with any product or vendor in this book. Photo Credits Internal images © page xvi, Thomas Barwick/Getty Images; page xxii, Azri Suratmin/Getty Images; page 26, Xsandra/Getty Images; page 28, RichVintage/Getty Images; page 38, Westend61/Getty Images; page 64, Mint Images/Tim Pannell/Getty Images; page 70, Noelia Ramon TellingLife/Getty Images; page 86, contrastaddict/Getty Images; page 92, svetikd/Getty Images; Internal images on the end sheets and pages xii, xx, 6, 12, 18, 32, 44, 50, 58, 76, 78, 82, 94, 101, 102, 114, 118, and 122 have been provided by Pexels, Pixabay, or Unsplash; these images are licensed under CC0 Creative Commons and have been released by the author for public use. Published by Simple Truths, an imprint of Sourcebooks P.O. Box 4410, Naperville, Illinois 60567-4410 (630) 961-­3900 Printed and bound in China. OGP 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

For everyone who knows deep down they can be more. For Chloe, Max, and Zach. You each inspire me to be better every day.

Table of F O R E W O R D





What Is Capacity Building?



Build Your Spiritual Capacity



Build Your Intellectual Capacity



Build Your Physical Capacity


Contents 5.

Build Your Emotional Capacity


Build a Better Path

87 119









to raise or lift (something) up to a higher position or

raise to a more important or impressive level.


the ability or power to do, experience, or understand something.

Foreword BY STEWART D. FRIEDMAN Professor of Management Practice, Emeritus, the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, author of Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life


ince the 1980s, I’ve been in the business of discovering and sharing practical, evidence-­ based

knowledge about how to build leadership capacity in all parts of life. In the early days of this work, the concept of leaders pursuing integration among the different parts of their lives was far out of the mainstream. It’s inspiring to see that the zeitgeist has changed, and that the legitimate demand for useful knowledge about creating harmony in our lives has exploded. A generation of thought leaders are emerging to fill the need in this


era; they are thought leaders who bring great talent and rich experience to bear on articulating wisdom that rests on the understanding that leadership in business is no longer just about business, it’s about life. Bob Glazer is one such thinker. In Elevate, he shares readily applicable ideas for how to understand and cultivate the interconnected elements that make us who we are as distinct individuals, what I refer to as the domain of the private self—our spiritual, intellectual, physical, and emotional lives. He shows how these four pieces, explored both separately and as part of an integrated whole, offer a blueprint for personal and professional achievement. On the foundation of a philosophy rooted in a commitment to continually learning, Glazer boosts our understanding of the importance of knowing what we want. This knowledge is always hard won; it takes courage, because to identify your core values requires choice, which is often accompanied by anxiety. On every page, Glazer’s advice is both encouraging and realistic, just as his particular emphasis on raising xiv

Fore word

expectations is both smart and optimistic. His hopeful view, which I share, is that we all have more capacity than we believe. We just have to pursue this idea and enlist the support of those around us who want to see us succeed in producing value for our world. The good news is that this can be done, and this book helps point the way. Leaders who elevate both themselves and their people will see the greatest success in these turbulent times. So hold on for the great ride that Bob Glazer is going to take you on in this zestful read of a book. He’s curated a terrific bunch of resources and examples you can use to get yourself to the next level of leadership capacity. It may not be comfortable or easy, but it will surely be worth your time and attention to obtain this wisdom and try it out for yourself. You are bound to see returns not just for you, but, more importantly, for the people who matter to you in your work, in your family, and in your community as you seek to make your contribution as a leader striving for harmony in our fractious world. xv


“If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed.” —­D AV I D V I S C O T T


ave you ever wondered why some individuals are consistently able to achieve at such a high level?

They are always pushing forward and hitting their

goals. They seem to be doing more with less, while the rest of us spin our wheels and don’t make as much


progress. The same is true with organizations. It might be comforting to believe they have some advantage, when the truth is they have found a way to become an elevated version of themselves. In 2015, I started sending an inspirational email every Friday to the people at my company, Acceleration Partners, which I later named “Friday Forward.” Rather than focus the content on business-­related topics, I hoped to provide inspiration around the concept of personal improvement and growth. My goal was to encourage our employees to want to achieve more in all areas of their lives. I wanted to help them challenge their self-­limiting beliefs and realize their true potential, something that very much aligned to my core values. I thought my Friday emails would be skimmed, at best, and maybe even ignored. To my surprise, employees told me they looked forward to the messages each week and shared them with friends and family. The weekly emails also had a noticeable impact within our company, as people started taking action and applying xviii


the different concepts in their work and lives. In just a few short years, these weekly messages had spread to over one hundred thousand people across fifty countries and were shared regularly across and within organizations of all kinds. In creating and sharing the Friday Forward emails, my initial goal was to inspire and motivate others. However, I soon came to realize a deeper truth. By tackling these concepts and having the discipline to write about them each week, I was pushing myself to perform better and grow my own capacity, including my ability to achieve and perform consistently at a higher level. Inspiration of others was the catalyst, and my journey of personal growth and achievement was the effect. I could see my Friday Forward messages were helping others in life and at work. Our team members began reaching new personal and professional heights simultaneously. They were running races, getting healthier, committing to more quality time with family, xix


traveling abroad as well as outside their comfort zones, and creating positive examples for one another. By taking a holistic approach to inspiring our team, we saw a higher return on investment than we did by just helping them get better at their current jobs. The same was true of people who would write back to me each week from across the world and share their stories and experiences of growth and achievement. xx


I could tell I was making a difference, but I wasn’t as clear about how. So I dug into the themes of my writing and quickly realized the patterns that illuminated the four elements of capacity building. Soon, I had a simple framework for changing my life, growing my business, and improving both the lives of employees and strangers. Be forewarned, this isn’t a scientific book with academic studies and theories. It’s a book full of real-­ world results, time-tested principles, and actionable advice designed in a format that you can keep on your desk or bedside table and dive into at different points based on where you are on your capacity-­b uilding journey at any point in time. I am excited to share this framework, which has served as a personal road map to higher achievement. I believe it is the key to elevating and achieving things both in life and business that you never thought possible.


1. What Is Capacity Building? “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.” — M A H AT M A G A N D H I


n its purest definition, capacity building is the method by which individuals seek, acquire, and

develop the skills and abilities to consistently perform at a higher level in pursuit of their innate potential.


















High achievers across all spectrums of life and business have found continuous ways to build their capacity at faster rates than their peers and use that extra capacity to stay ahead of the pack and achieve at the highest level; it’s how they elevate. People who consistently elevate, or “elevaters,” have a competitive advantage, but it’s one that you can replicate. To illustrate what capacity building looks like in real life, I’ll share the story of an inquisitive high school 2