Hailing from Sicily, Italy, Mirko Maccarrone joins the podcast to discuss different paths to conscious living and leadership. After years of practicing developing people and creating an impact on their lives, Mirko started the Mastery Hub to combine his passions in coaching and consulting into a "coach-sulting" practice. Focusing on the best ways to develop people, Mirko is growing the already international Mastery Hub to pursue his ultimate goal - Elevating Human Potential. See full show notes and bio at uncoverthehuman.wearesiamo.com
Credits: Raechel Sherwood for Original Score Composition.
YouTube Channel: Uncover The Human
[00:00:00] Alex: Welcome to Uncover the Human, where every conversation revolves around enhancing all the connections in our lives.
[00:00:04] Cristina: Whether that’s with our families, co-workers, or even ourselves.
[00:00:08] Alex: When we can be our authentic selves, magic happens.
[00:00:10] Cristina: This is Cristina Amigoni.
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Authenticity means freedom.
Authenticity means going with your gut.
Authenticity is bringing a 100% of yourself, not just the parts you think people want to see, but all of you.
Being authentic means that you have integrity to yourself.
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Authenticity is when you truly know yourself. You remember and connect to who you were before others told you who you should be.
It's transparency, relatability, no frills, no makeup, just being.
[00:00:53] Alex: Well, hello. Welcome back to another episode of Uncover the Human. This week, we are joined by our guest Mirko. He comes to us from Sicily. He is the Co-Founder of The Mastery Hub, which is a conscious leadership and coachsulting practice, which is actually a really cool term and one that we'd love to dive into here. He's here to talk to us a little bit about conscious leadership. Welcome, Mirko.
[00:01:12] Mirko: Hi. Thank you so much. Thanks so much, Alex and Cristina. I'm so pleased to be here. It's wonderful to have the opportunity to talk a little bit more about conscious leadership, what’s behind it and coachsulting. For some, it might be a new term. Let's do a little bit of a step back. I'll tell you a little bit of who I am, what I do. Hopefully, we'll learn one thing or two along the journey, okay?
[00:01:36] Cristina: Let's do it.
[00:01:37] Alex: That's great.
[00:01:38] Mirko: My name is Mirko. I have a very Italian surname. It's Maccarrone. I'm the CEO and Founder of The Mastery Hub. The Mastery Hub, we like to define as the world's first digital coachsulting platform. We honestly blend coaching and consulting. We help individuals and businesses master the most important aspects of life, from communication, to leadership, to biohacking, to mindfulness, productivity, and so on.
The reason why we got into coachsulting and creating this is because as we were saying, myself first, I was a marketing consultant. I also have a tendency to use coaching as one of the most impactful way of really getting the learning across. As I was doing that, then I created a specific framework that harmoniously blended coaching and consulting. I got joined by beautiful individuals across five countries in this beautiful venture.
[00:02:43] Cristina: That’s wonderful.
[00:02:44] Alex: That's amazing. You are already international.
[00:02:47] Cristina: Yes. Already global.
[00:02:48] Alex: Coachsulting. Tell us a little bit about that. What led into that? What is coachsulting like?
[00:02:53] Mirko: Yes. Oh, well. Look, I find this really exciting, because effectively as I was working on creating this framework, I was figuring, what's the best way of infusing and blending coaching and consulting? I created a simple framework, which is called the 4C framework. The 4C framework, it’s all about really understanding our client, starting with values and really working with them toward success. I know that you guys are really big fans of values, so we're going to get deep into that a little bit.
Look, the priority is really about, so it all starts with a consultation. That's the first step. We need to understand what's going on. What is the reason why you're coming to us and how can we help you to get there? That's the first pillar, the first C. Consulting. That leads into conversation. Once we understand this, the reason why you're coming to us, we really want to have an open conversation. We don't want to shy away from the challenges, because we believe that from every single challenge, that could be a great opportunity.
As a human being, we know that sometimes, personally, we can only see the challenges. It's like, when do you see that you are so deep into something that you say, “Oh, my God. I cannot get out.” Someone comes with a fresh perspective and says, “Have you been thinking about that?” You say, “Oh, my God. It’s always been inside.” It's always been right there. Always been inside me, but I could never actually unleash, or get it out. That's the second pillar around the conversation.
The third pillar is coaching, which I know that your audience knows very well, what it is, and what coaches do all across the globe. The fourth pillar is around circle back. Once we have defined the challenges that our clients, or business size, once we have started a plan to really get closer to overcome these challenges, then we are doing a circle back. We are going back from where we started and we said, “How much have you changed? How much of your challenges changed?” We actually help you to overcome some of your challenges/needs.
How about your values? We’re doing an entire study about understanding what a person or organization stand for. Now can our coaches and consulting programs can basically help the individual in businesses to get there faster, while also having a transparent approach.
[00:05:30] Cristina: I particularly loved the coachsulting word, because it was one of those moments that you just described. When I read that, when you were launching The Mastery Hub, and I read that on LinkedIn, I was like, “Somebody figured it out. Oh, wait.” It’s like, that's what was missing inside of me that now somebody else has finally told me that can exist. Coming from a consulting background, and Alex does too, moving into coaching a little bit more in the last two or three years, I've also found that I can't really separate the two. Even in consulting, I didn't have the formal training of a coach, but I always was a coach.
I'm always going to be a consultant, and I'm always going to be a coach. It's like, how can I blend the two? Because especially in the coach training, there's a lot of talk about separating the two very clearly. It's like, when you're a coach, you're not a consultant. When you're a consultant, you're not a coach. But I'm both all the time. How can I split my personality? Is it Banner or Hulk today? Hulk is the consultant, Banner is the coach.
[00:06:37] Mirko: Look, that was the reason why The Mastery Hub came to live, really came to be, because that – let's say, internal friction was inside me all time. I was really trying to figure it out. Well, sometimes I am consultant, but sometimes I'm a coach. I guess, the real challenge is, how do you do it in a way that really harmoniously blends together, without discouraging, or without negatively impacting your client in front of you?
For me, if I need to be honest, whether we call it coaching, consulting, coachsulting, what is really important is to really provide tangible value to our clients. Because effectively, they are expecting a service from an expert, right? Specific expert in the field. They could bring their input to hopefully solve that problem, address the problem and get closer to even a new way of seeing things and seeing the world, or reframing the narrative, the specific person, or businesses. That's what I've noticed over the last couple of months, as I've been working. It’s firmly hard to bring this to life, is that the coachsulting was something that a lot of people were just intrigued about. They say, “Okay, but what is it? How do you think is different from coaching and consulting?” I think many of us do that unconsciously. We act like a coach. We act like consultants. It's just really about finding the balance.
[00:08:11] Alex: I like the idea of both providing value and leading with values. I mean, essentially, you're meeting people and organizations where their values are and trying to figure out how to best live and grow whatever value they're looking for, which I think is something that sometimes gets missed in the traditional consulting models, where we're going in to provide value, but there's generally either a prescribed path, or there's hope that it will provide value in this more standard way, rather than what we get when we talk about organizational values, or personal values where the goals may not quite line up with what a generic goal might be, what people might say they should do with a business, or should be part of.
[00:08:48] Mirko: Absolutely. I think one of the other challenges we're facing, as we'll build the company is that there is always a strong focus on the same one specific pillar. A lot of businesses, a lot of coaching or consulting businesses that might be focused on one specific thing. It is something I always struggle with, because I like to bring as many experts, as many coaches, consultants as we call it, to basically help organizations, or individuals master the most important aspects of life.
That's why in our programs, you will find from leadership to communication, to conscious parenting, we find that parenting is such an important pillar in everyone's relationship and how basically, being a parent will create, or get you closer to your goal, or get you far away from it. We also have made progress in biohacking. It's so important to optimize our vitality and resilience and sleep hacking. We have a sleep hacker and nurse and wellness coachsultant from Australia, that really helps people to optimize their sleep.
We took a little bit of a different approach, because we believe that to really be inspiring leaders, to be inspiring human beings, we cannot only focus on one pillar of a life. I was a broken corporate person before. The reason why I brought all these different programs to the platform is because I was really lacking in so many areas of this consulting program. I was sleeping terribly. I wasn't taking care of my body, because my day was only working. I was really forgetting how important life is, and where you can learn from it day after day. As I started appreciating the little things, and started appreciating my body, myself, the why of just stopping and enjoying a mindful moment, that everything started to change.
[00:10:49] Alex: That's a great insight. Is that what led you more towards the conscious idea? You have the conscious leadership, conscious parenting. It seems like a lot of awareness of what's happening, both just in the small moments and the bigger ones.
[00:11:02] Mirko: Yeah, that's a great question. I love that. The reason why I think consciousness is so important is because by being aware, you are less likely to make mistakes. Because by being aware of something, I mean, so you're effectively preparing, you're effectively moderating your voice, you are moderating your approach to something. That means that you are equipped with different elements that will help you to be more conscious in that specific action, okay, more conscious in the specific journey that we call life.
The reason why I got so fascinated and intrigued with the concept of conscious leadership is probably because I spent close to 10 years in a corporate career across the world, in four different countries, starting from Italy, moving to the UK. Then I was going sometimes to China, because the company was representing a Chinese company. Then I moved to Australia. Now I move back home, to just focus a little bit on myself and focus on the things that are really important. Things that I discovered, as I was going through the values. Doing very, an inquisitive journey of value foundation, which is what do I stand for? What are the things that I can do every day, and that are actually radically important to become a more, a conscious leader, an inspiring person and a good human being? Because at the end of the day, call them whatever you like, but the most important thing is to be a good human being and make an impact into this world.
[00:12:35] Cristina: It definitely is. I love the focus on values, clearly. We have talked about values just a few times on the podcast. I think we're on episode 30 and I think it has probably come up at least 45 to 50 times. One of the things that I am interested in getting your take on is where do you see the connection between a fulfilling life, where we make an impact, and values? I know that it's very clear in my mind. One of the things that I found is that it's not as obvious, because it is not a focus in a way for a lot of other people out there.
[00:13:14] Mirko: Fulfillment, I think is something that each and every one of us is constantly pursuing in life. More people, I see a wall that each and one of us has the opportunity to wake up in the morning and can make an impact, or basically, can empower, or disempower, okay. You can have a real impact, or you can have a less impact in whatever you do. The point is, the choice is always yours, whether you are waking up in the morning to empower yourself for the world, or whether you're waking up in the morning to disempower yourself, including the world around you, the choice is yours.
Taking a step back, the question you probably have to ask yourself to get there is what really fulfills me? What are the things which is what I call the circle of appreciation, which is one of the techniques that I built as part of the conscious leadership program, is really being crystal clear about the three to four, to five things that are basically, the key pillar of your journey that you could call life.
Look, I would be lying if I would say that I wake up every morning and I feel empowered. Sometimes I feel miserable. Sometimes I feel miserable. Sometimes I feel uninspired. When that happens to me, when the biochemical my body creates to say, volcanic erupting reaction inside of me, what I do is I go back to my circle of appreciation. I say, why do I do what I do? Right there, I will find the reasons. I will find very clear values that I gathered and I had built over the years. As you know, Cristina, values is not something that one afternoon you feel inspired to put it down on paper and then you never look back at. It's a continuous evolution, because you're evolving constantly.
In going back to your question, I think what I probably would do, I would suggest people and the listener, is to create yourself a circle of appreciation. Because once you feel appreciated and once you feel value that you provide value, then you are much closer to being fulfilled.
[00:15:31] Cristina: I really like that.
[00:15:32] Alex: Yeah, that's a great way of looking at it. Appreciation makes sense. Empowering makes sense. You’ve mentioned a few terms, like empowering and inspiring. It’s part of the goal. I think, actually, on Mastery Hub, you talk about the goal being to elevate human potential. When you think about inspiring and empowering, are these core values for you personally? Is this more The Mastery Hub? What does it mean to empower and inspire?
[00:15:53] Mirko: Inspire and empower is probably what I really live up to. I spend every single moment of my life trying to have an impact by inspiring and empowering people. The reason why I'm doing that is because I had a pretty tough childhood, growing up in a very dysfunctional family, where I was very disempowered throughout probably the most beautiful years of my life.
As a kid, you are looking for inspiration, understanding what are the things that make you fit, make you shift your environment around you. What are the things that want to make you dream bigger and bigger and reinvigorate yourself to become the human being that you want to be one day? For me, it was very different. The connotation at the time was that everything around me looked toxic.
Unfortunately, the value, the belief system were the wrong ones. The only thing at that time, and I was of course struggling to do was to change my own narrative. That was the only way that kept me inspiring myself and empowering myself. Because what I always tell my clients, or doing podcasts, I always tell people, look, if you don't inspire yourself first, unfortunately, you won't be in a position to inspire anyone. The reason why is because you are spending most of the day yourself. The story that you tell yourself, the now that you built for yourself will shape who you are, your values, your action and the things that you will be doing, or not doing in that specific day and time.
[00:17:42] Cristina: Yeah. I find that, and you mentioned this a couple of times. You mentioned it in what you decided to focus The Mastery Hub offerings on in the classes. Also, you just mentioned that again, on how the – your own values have come from being disturbed when they were missing and how you found the pieces of, “I'm suffering, because these pieces are not there, or I'm not quite sure how to apply them in my life. Let's create coachsulting services around the ones that I have been struggling with. Also, let me focus on inspiring and influencing my life, because it was missing so much in my childhood when I was growing up.”
I find that very fascinating, because I'm a big proponent that we don't change until we're disturbed. That's the disturbance. It's like, we don't change when things are going okay and we don't change when things are just coasting along. It's fine. When we're deeply disturbed, that's when we stop. We say, “Okay, something is not right. I don't want to continue like this. I don't want to not sleep at night, or feel nauseous every time I wake up in the morning and have to go to work. I'm going to do something about it.”
[00:18:58] Mirko: I love the concept. I can see myself. I think many people can see right through it. Because I guess, when you are in a state of uncertainty, when you are challenging yourself, then you are there to almost challenge the status quo. Because you're looking at yourself and saying, “Okay, but why I’m not happy? Why I don't feel like I have the energy to wake up in the morning? Why I don't feel I'm making the impact that I want to?”
You’re asking yourself all these empowering question that sometimes lead to disempowering answers. How can you turn the disempowering question into an empowering question? You need to go back to understanding the reason why you walk into this earth. Understanding your DNA core values. One question I asked you guys when we first started talking was, what was your defining value? Because we have so many values, but they're probably one or two, or three that are defining us as a human being. The actions that we bring into this world are proportionally defining the impact that we are making into this world and the people around us.
It sounds easy. It’s just really complicated, but effectively goes back to really understanding yourself before anyone else. Because if you don't understand yourself first, how can you expect to help a client? How can you expect to help a friend? How can you expect to help anyone from that perspective? You got to help yourself before being in a position, in a power state to help anyone else. That's what I truly believe. I think, this is why, as I was thinking about leaving the corporate career behind, going to, having a tangible and meaningful impact in the world, I was thinking, how do I start?
A lot of people started from a website. Other people started from a Word doc. I actually started from pen, paper, long walks in the park and defining my values. What I did is I created 12 pillars of my life. The 12 pillars were relationship, family, emotional intelligence, character, careers, and so on. I really put together a simple framework. Each single pillar was divided by a premise, followed by a purpose, followed by a vision, followed by a strategy. It's a very long process. It took me probably a year and a half. Because in certain pillars I was weaker.
When I got to family, I was burned, from the family that I had previously experienced what the family life is like. In there, I had to spend a lot of time thinking. Just taking the time to think about something that usually, you're too busy to think about, or you are pretending to be too busy to think about, will start connecting your neurons and will start basically, creating, triggering impact in your life.
[00:22:11] Cristina: Pretending that you're too busy to think about. I love that. It's one of the biggest things that I've learned as a coach and I've had to face for myself. I always remind my clients as well, as when they say, “I don't have time for this.” I'm like, “Well, who controls your time?”
[00:22:28] Mirko: Exactly.
[00:22:30] Cristina: What's the real block? Because time is not the block. What's the real block?
[00:22:34] Alex: I think, it's always funny that we always delay working on those things. We say like, “Well, I have to get this done.” It's so much easier to work on a discrete task, or to do – I have to get this website done, or I have to go do this, or whatever it comes up. It's so much easier to conceptualize, there's a beginning, there's an end. I know how to get through that. Then when we go into working on ourselves, first of all, I don't know where to start. I don't know how long this is going to take. I don't know where this is going to end up. Yet, that portion, ourselves is what we carry to every single project anyway. Ideally, the place to start if you wanted to improve all the things.
[00:23:07] Mirko: Absolutely. There is a very key process. How and what do you feed yourself with? Because if you feed yourself weight, motivation is for action, things that are in a way, connecting to your values, your core being. Then trust me, that you will feel inspired, you will feel empowered, you'll feel motivated. If you guys spend most of your time looking at other people on Instagram thinking about, “Oh, wow. They're really rich. I’m not?” How do you know?
We look at the layer, which we now call reality, which is basically a framework of what people want to show, on what people wanted to put out on their social. This is why I took a completely different approach. I try to be and basically, always am as vulnerable and fragile as possible. Because I believe that by embracing vulnerability and fragility, we can be the best self. Because we got nothing to hide.
The moment that we expose our weakness and we are knowledge, okay. It’s not really just about exposing them. It's about acknowledging them. You need to acknowledge, there is a challenge. I don't call it a problem. I call it challenge, because a challenge could lead you to an opportunity, or solving it. If you see there is a problem and there is nothing I can do about it, that you really failed, because you're not willing to find a solution. If you’re not willing to find a solution, what would you find? Excuses.
That goes back and appears in a lot of the coaching programs, a lot of coaching – my clients where they say, “Well, I don't have time. I'm stressed out.” A lot of them are not excuses, but they are blockages that could basically be turned around. I was always giving an example. I was coaching a single mother. She's a very talented artist. She was working in a supermarket. She was saying, “Mirko, I really want to be a full-time artist. I can set my own hours, while the supermarket, I love the interaction with people, even though nowadays, it's less and less.” Because anyway, as you know COVID – Any way, the automatic cashier, and so on.
She was saying, “I would love to find a time to put an action plan together and move from an actual goal to an implementation plan that will lead to bring my vision to life. She said, “But I don't have the time. I’m a single mother. I don't have the money.” Then basically, this is what I did. I put myself in her shoes. I said, “Okay, what is your biggest challenge?” My biggest challenge is time. Wonderful.
Let's break it down. How do you spend your time when you don't want to work, or you already put your kid to bed and you have just some time for yourself? I watch Netflix. Okay, but what is it that you enjoy doing the most? Painting. If you enjoy painting the most, if you don't find stress from painting, why don't you replace that hour of Netflix on actually fulfilling and pursuing what you enjoy the most? Which is painting.
What you do now is you are maximizing your time. You're taking that one hour. Before you were spending on watching other people on Netflix and movies, and so on. Actually, not only reaching yourself by going to a very tangible solution to change your life. Fast forward one year now, she spent an hour a day or three sometimes on Netflix, because we cancelled it. Painted. Funny enough later, she was able to leave her full-time job in a supermarket that she’s speaking. She became a full-time artist. Now, she spends more time with her kid, she has time for Netflix if she wants and their life changed.
Why did I tell you a story? Because it's really about identifying a problem, identifying something that you have. How do you change that narrative from, I can't do it. I don't have the time to how do you find the time and start moving forward? What I find is that the biggest challenge is that a lot of people expect to start working on it today and get the result tomorrow. Now, you got to fall in love with the process.
[00:27:44] Cristina: The process is really where the richness is, I find. Being a creator and a builder, I actually have found that the process is where I really enjoy life, is where my strengths are, is what I love. I could work 17-hour days, and it doesn't matter. I don't feel it. I'm energized. Not for a long time. Sometimes, I could definitely do that. The destination is once things are built and created, I get bored. I'm like, “Okay, what's next?” I need to go back to the blank page. That's the alignment, once I figured that out was key for any job, or situations, or partnership, or any opportunity that comes our way is like, if you call me when everything is created, and I just need to deliver what you created, I'm not interested.
[00:28:32] Mirko: Absolutely. That is the element of challenging yourself, I think. Is really pushing forward, or even to fail forward, to keep on pushing so many times that you start saying, “Oh, my God. I'm failing, I’m failing, I’m failing.” The more you fail, the more you learn. Of course, define failure is something important. Of course, if you fail really, really big, then I really hope that why you were doing that, you learn really, really big. You'll learn a lot.
This is how I’m looking at my life. Sometimes I wake up and I’m streaming from Australia that say, “Oh, I wish that I could get there sooner.” We all do. Effectively, that's the whole point. If you don't put the work, if you don't learn, if you don't fall in love with the process, you're not going to get there. The difference between happiness and happiness, or fulfillment and fulfillment, it's that two letters right at the start, that you end.
Happiness and unhappiness, fulfillment and unfulfillment. How do you actually turn the two letter? Just slash them away and you foggers on your long-term goal. How do you put, ingrain that long-term goal to life? Go back into your value in the first place. Sounds silly? A lot of people say, “Oh, why would I spend an hour a day working on my value.” You don't have to. Spend an hour a day doing what fulfills you, that bear in mind, that your values are the backbone of what you do.
For me, I've always been extremely clear of my values to inspire and empower people with the power of my voice, with the power of storytelling to ultimately, elevate human potential. How that got translated into The Mastery Hub on a framework on coaches across five countries was, okay, we need to find a common ground. The common ground was how can we elevate human potential? By helping people to really change and transform their most important aspects of life, which is not only the business related stuff, but it's really about that we take care of our body. We are taking care of our family, we are taking care of our employees, and so on.
I find that is really frustrating sometimes that nowadays, we see the wall be measured by money-driven purposes. You go on Instagram or Facebook, you will find the average teenager that will come there and say, “Oh, I'll make you 1 million dollars in one hour.” Okay. Well, what if you will actually change the narrative from making a million dollars to impact a 100 lives? By impacting already one life for me, I'm already solved. I'm already there, ready to listen. Because one life is a recollection of millions of moments.
That's the beauty of life in the first place, right? This is why it led me to the concept of conscious leadership, because I wanted to change that leading to create money-driven outcomes, to actually create inspiring-driven outcomes. Because if you create a collective vision, people will come and join you. If you create one monovision, which they only want to consider vision is yourself, you're going to end up become a blind man with sole purpose.
[00:32:11] Cristina: Indeed.
[00:32:12] Alex: I like the idea of the money-based incentives that we have. We look for money-based value in companies. We often do that in life. Then often, we strap on just at the very end, almost consolation value, really. Well, yeah. I'm pursuing money right now, because I'm going to provide a better life for my family, or I'm going to be more comfortable, whatever it is, more stable.
We end up justifying this money-based pursuit with this last-minute thing. There's one more question to ask, which is like, “Well, are you providing that better? Do you actually get to spend time with your family? What does it look like?” Do you have the value of you're valuing your family enough that you want to give up all your time to go earn the money for the family, what connection to your family do you have? Are you making sure that's also kept up? Or is that just a value that's justifying staying in-line with the money-based metrics?
[00:33:03] Mirko: Exactly. I find that it's really important to find that equilibrium in life. Find a balance. Because if you have balance, then everything will start complementing. Everything will start complementing each other, and harmoniously blending together. I find that as a leader, which you nurture human potential, we should really shift the way we act, we react. The reason why I lead into the conscious leadership was because I spent five years working for a Chinese tech company, where there was a lot of unconscious behavior in terms, the boss, “You should follow me.”
I know more, because I'd be on time, or I know more. By listening to you, I’m knowing less in my time, I'm disinvesting my time. I think, all that frustration that built over the years, they've brought me into finding a solution. That goes back to your point. When you're frustrated, you're most creative. That's what I found. When I'm the most frustrated, I'm the most creative, because I'm a problem solver.
We’re all different, so some people are frustrated, they say they are frustrated. I sometimes am very frustrated and I really tried to find a solution to that specific problem. With the conscious leadership, what I wanted to do was I wanted to reframe that narrative. Going from leading the way to inspire the way. I wanted to go from my way is the only way to create a collective vision, where everyone can join in. Go from a money-driven to impact-driven. I'm not saying, you shouldn't make money, because otherwise, you can't survive.
We live in a capitalistic, in a realistic world where we need life to survive. What I'm saying is, if you lead only with a money-driven narrative, then sooner or later, you will have a lot of friction inside your team. If you lead with an impact-driven narrative and you say, look, what's the biggest impact do you want to have working in this specific place over the next year.
Now as a leader, can help you to get there. How can we do one thing a week, that can help you to get closer to the impact-driven framework, rather than we'll do a review, we'll do a KPR and then we get to giving you a 10% increase. I'll give you the 10% increase, but also, I'll give you more life, more life impact, more values with what do you do. I was seeing that probably another challenge a day I'd seen was going from a me first, to a people first.
Because when you are inside your head, there's really not much to see. It's only to see what's inside your head. If you don't bring more hides together, or more minds more, people together, that's when you build a collective vision. You need effectively the last point is you have to make people part of something bigger. The reason why most of the people join these startups is because they feel part of something bigger. In a big corporate job, because they feel part of something bigger.
These are all the things that as conscious leaders, we can start implementing in our life. Of course, we are the face. We’re called leaders, because we are the face. We are the ones inspiring the way. We need to learn how to implement, fix a life first, and be stable across all the different aspects of it. Hopefully most of it, in order to translate that into the people that we need to inspire and lead the way with them.
[00:36:43] Alex: I really like that distinction, because there's such a subtle nuance between the ME first leadership, or thinking that my vision is the way to go, or my way and no other ways. The subtle nuance is that we do need to focus on ourselves first, so we can then become the inspiring leader. We do have to have some amount of self-leadership, self-guidance, so that we can get to the point of being able to lead others.
The goal eventually, is to do it with other people as much I think is the distinction. There's the goal of knowing yourself better to help other people, versus knowing yourself better to promote yourself.
[00:37:16] Mirko: Exactly. I think, by bringing people together and making them part of something bigger, that's where everything starts to shift. Because you don't become more of a machine, you become a harmonious team working toward the same goals. You don't see any more conflict. You don't see people going against each other. You see people working toward the same direction, working together over the same direction. This is not easy to get there. I mean, we know that creating and working with many different people is challenging. That is the key of being a leader in the first place. How do you bring people? You make them part of something much bigger than what they thought was possible.
[00:38:08] Cristina: I personally think that's where life gets to have meaning. Our company name is not accidental. It took us about, I think, nine months to come up with it. Siamo as you know very well, means WE ARE. It's because it's a big piece of what I believe, which is WE ARE so much more when we work with others and collaborate and connect than we could ever be as individuals. That applies to everything we do and what we can create and how we think about things. If we approach things from a WE perspective, instead of a ME perspective, which includes the what matters to me, so that I can show up as my full me to be part of the we?
[00:38:49] Mirko: I love that. I love the name, because well, I'm Italian, so you don't have to translate it.
[00:38:55] Cristina: Yeah. Exactly.
[00:38:56] Mirko: I get it right away. It’s a sense of belonging as well, right? There's a sense of, again, then that being part of something. I feel that, in this beautiful planet, we have a lot of limited resources. The only unlimited resource that we have in this world is a human potential, is the potential that we have in this world is just limitless.
I was watching a movie about – it was called Everest, and he was narrating the journey of his climbers, climbing Everest for the first time, which was what he believed was impossible before. Effectively by changing, or reframing your possibilities, reframing your own stories, you open the world to unlimited potential, by yourself from you. Yourself from what you say to yourself every day.
If you wake up every morning, if you wake up to a person that says, “I'm not good enough. I am a failure. I haven't figured out what I want to do in life.” Then most likely, you are stuck in the past. You are waking up every morning in a state of consciousness based on past events. Then, how do you shift? Well, that's a multimillion-dollar question. That's very tiny, little reads that can make your shift.
I've seen people that say, changing their life with the power of LinkedIn. I've seen people changing the life were just stuck finding that one hobby, or one specific skill that we're good at. They found out when they were going to say, much older, and that didn't matter. Keep investigating your values. Because once you found them, and once you’re working toward them, people will start realizing you're pretty good at it. Your life will start to change. Why are you changing your life? You will change so many people around, while you’re just doing what you are doing best, which is working toward your values.
[00:41:03] Alex: I like to tie that back into your idea that you brought of belonging, when you have that belonging. I think it's such a natural human thing. We talk about human potential. At least, I think it might be somewhat more American, just because we're very much on the individualistic train. When we say human potential, we sometimes think about one person's great achievements. We think about the gold medalists. We think about Steve Jobs. We think about these one pillars of people and they had massive human potential.
Human nature is to be social, to be interactive, and to work with each other. None of these big visions happen without that collaboration. When we talk about human potential, there's such a tie in to the need for belonging, because we can access much more potential when we're all communicating with each other. It's an interesting tie into values as well, because when we can present our own values, and we can tell people what our values are, I think there's a pretty natural human instinct with a lot of people to want to help. We want to help other people, and when we can more clearly articulate what we're looking to do, they're willing to help. If they can then see that it's okay to articulate what they want to do, we're going to want to help and then you get this nice self-feeding collaboration, where everybody gets to live a little bit more in the values, just by being more vulnerable, being more open about what they want and allowing the human nature, the reciprocity, the connection, the desire to help each other run naturally.
[00:42:23] Mirko: Absolutely. I think, as human beings, we are emotional beings. If you attempt to really look, or most of the headlines on LinkedIn, or most of the bios, you will see the word help many, many times, over and over again. Effectively as humans, we always want to be there to help. You can see that in everything we do. You want to help by providing value. You want to help by making people's lives better, while making your life better. That sense of belonging, the thing is something that probably in the next few years to come, we'll have to be more intrinsic in the culture of big organization. Because I worked for a big organization. What I've seen is that sometimes, the sense of belonging is always being – is getting interfered by values. There are no as rich as the value itself for being human.
Because what I mean is sometime, let's say, you have defoggers on hampering, compassion is a foggers. Then at the end of the day, you got to the end of the year, you haven't met your goal and instead of helping that specific person understanding what has gone wrong, in many organization, what happened is you get into look, if you don't do this well, unfortunately, we have to let you go.
A lot of people, I think, what they need is a sense of encouragement and understanding themselves and their values in their professional progress, especially juniors people. As you get outside of Uni, you get into a place that you don't know if their values are actually going to be in symbiosis with your values.
You're going to be like, “Oh, my God. What's going on? I have no mentorship. I have no one helping me.” This has been something they asked to be fixed in a big organization. Foggers on coaching, or mentorship, on helping people to really maximize and understand what are the areas that they need most help with. We all got the sales training. Yes, it’s important, because it's going to make your sales, going to make you more profitable. Got it.
There are certainly things that’s so important. How about identifying this and complementing with going back to the most important point, elevating human potential. Elevating your potential doesn't mean, make the company rich. It means making everyone rich. I don't talk only about money, I'm talking about rich in life, rich in values, rich in family. This is what I am really pushing myself on creating. Sometimes I find a lot of resistance, because people say, “Well, you're trying to create – someone is perfect in everything.” No. I'm just trying to create something that will enable fulfillment that you can get from the most important aspects of your life, which is very different.
[00:45:24] Cristina: That's beautiful. I think that we brought up values enough times that it may be time for us to share what our values are, so everybody knows.
[00:45:32] Mirko: Absolutely. A lot to get into the four values. These are values, they are the mastery of values and my values, as effectively as I was building it day after day. It was really understanding, what are the things that I want this company to focus on? One of the most important values is empathy. I find that empathy is the highest form of knowledge. Because if you are an empathic person, that means that you always put yourself in someone else's shoes.
What that does is to discourage reaction. Encourage action. Because sometimes, we wake up in the morning, we go to work. Let's say, we find very tiny things that can completely ruin our day. Maybe your colleague is rude. We don't spend enough time trying to understand, but maybe something happened. Why don't I just put myself in their shoes for just one second? How can you do that? Without being rude, without being aggressive, finding the right moment or confidence, trying to just ask a question. I'd rather just ask the random question like, “How are you?” Yes, I'm good. Just trying to understand, is there any way they can make your day better today? That's reframing the conversation. Because if you say, “Are you okay?” Everyone is expecting the same thing. Yeah, I’m okay.
Well, actually, I'm not okay. I'm not going to tell you I'm okay, because I don't want to bring you my negativity in your life. If you say, “Is there a way that I can provide value to you today? Is there one thing I can do? Can I go and get you a coffee? I see that your mood is not as shining as always is. Can I help you?” This is something that I usually do. Then I was doing the work and I tried to implement it as part of my company, and the way we operate as a business. Empathy is the first.
The second one goes back to the reason why we’re all here, people. If there wouldn't be people in this world, there wouldn't be a world. It would be a world very different from the one that we know. People first, we make our people the hero of our journey. As effectively, if they enjoy the journey, if we are leading the journey together, then we'll enjoy it. We can learn to fall in love with the process.
There's also something very important that is not value-based. More let's say a behavior, which is mastering the art of being patient in life, generally. As I find a lot of people in the coaching and consulting industry, they expect you within one hour of your time, you’ll fix all their problems. I wish. It takes time. It takes time, first of all, to understand the length of your programming – the problem in the first place. If you, that you spend enough time with yourself every day. You couldn't figure out what your problem is. How can you expect one hour of my time would solve yours? Very hard.
[00:48:37] Cristina: Miracles. Miracles.
[00:48:40] Mirko: Empathy, people first, transparency. I'm trying to build something which freely follows honesty and transparency. Because honesty and transparency, they make us vulnerable. Because if you are, yeah, if you're transparent, if you say, “Look. Yes, these are my struggles, okay.” There is no point that I'm going to spend my time hiding my struggles. I rather embrace my struggles. A couple of years back, I was so ashamed to always talk about my family, always talk about my past. When I started being a bit more vulnerable and slowly embracing failures, embracing rejection, I've seen the worst so many people out there ready to cheer, ready to say, “Yes, I'm there and I wish I would have, let's say, the courage you're having right now.”
The thing is, I used to be the person to write to the people that were putting themselves out there to say, “I wish one day, I'll have the courage.” The poor thing, day after day and seeing their struggles and seeing my struggles, I actually took a stand and said, “You know what? I rather embrace transparency and vulnerability and I embrace it completely.”
Then, the last one is impact. For me, life is really all about making an impact, not merely making an income. Making an income is important. Because otherwise, I couldn’t sustain my life, my family. I always see, if you look back at all the biggest billionaires, or successful people, money will become meaningless. People that’s so rich, they always look for an impact. Because once you got to that number of millions and millions of dollars, what is it you’re going to do? You're looking for an impact.
I see so many people that don't have a million dollars, they don't even have hundreds of dollars, but it's still waking up every morning to make an impact, to serve and help others. These are the four defining bodies of the business. It took a long time to get there, even though it looks so easy. It's a back and forth of an emotional ping pong, of understanding, what am I going? Is this right? Is this representing me? I think the investigation will save you years of your life.
[00:51:00] Cristina: Oh, yes.
[00:51:00] Miko: Years.
[00:51:01] Cristina: Excellent. Well, thank you for that.
[00:51:04] Alex: There's a lot to unpack in what Mirko said. One thing I just want to highlight is that idea that it does take years to do it. You mentioned earlier talking about the social media life that people have out there. We believe we know some portion of our life, but it either has taken a long time to get there, that may not be the full representation. One cool thing is that we get to talk to you. You're now living this vision where you are – you're being a little bit more vulnerable with the world, but it took years to get there.
For us, we've found out about you a few months ago. It's really interesting just to get to talk to you. We are a sample audience here of finding you in a time when you've already found your values. It's an interesting thing to remember that it takes time to develop these things and it always changes. We're developing and evolving these as we go. It's cool to be able to talk to people who are in a good place with it and it's wonderful to talk to people who are working through this. I just wanted to highlight that, because I think it's such a fun part of it.
It actually goes back into my values, which go more towards two main pillars, which come down to authenticity and curiosity. Authenticity, being the comfort of being yourself, being able to let other people be comfortable and having this moving more inflow in your day-to-day life, because you are aligned with your values. Because you can feel you're making the impact you want to make, you get to work with the people you want to work with. I mean that not just the corporate work sense. Just in the work of life sense, more what we're doing and how we interact. That comes back to your curiosity, which is the main pillar of the long iterative process it is to develop these things, which I think is just important to continue to think about life, to get it wrong, to get it right, so that you can continue to experiment, continue to be ready to just change, move and learn and share that.
I think those really are the two pillars that I go back to and sharing that the connection has always been a through line, when I look back at the various jobs between being a tutor, a consultant, an actor and comedian. All these different pieces were just fun ways to share understanding with people. That ended up being some of the most interactive and fulfilling work that I get to do is being able to explore my own curiosity and share that with others.
[00:53:13] Cristina: Yes. Very good explanation. I see you guys have pillars. I have umbrellas of values. I look at my values and there's just so many things that go into even defining a value in one or two words, that I’m like, okay, that value contains these five other things. I would say, my top one is definitely human connections, shockingly enough.
That's where something that you said earlier, Mirko. It reminds me of those days when I feel down, when I feel drained, when I lose my confidence, I lose motivation, one of the things that does help me is either look at whether there is a connection, that I'm going to make a human connection that day, or look back at the last few days and figure out and actually reflect on like, “Oh, but look at how many connections I've made. I'm okay. I can be alone today.”
I can have a low day, a low-energy day, because I have prospects of connections in the future and I have tons of connections from the past that I can lean on to find the energy. I do add the word human to it, because they do need to include authenticity, trust, empathy, compassion. I don't do well with, I guess, surface connections. We either go deep, or it's a waste of my time. That's a big thing.
Another umbrella value that I've found recently, actually, as I keep defining mine and finding what it really means to me is freedom. For me, freedom includes that ability to be my full self, and ability to create the space for everybody else, to be free to be themselves, to be authentic.
If I look back, especially in my career, one of the common themes is that I cannot stay in the lines. I cannot stay in a box. Any manager or boss that I ever had that has appreciated me is one that lets me just draw and paint outside of the box, because I'm going to. If I can't, I'm going to leave, because I feel way too constrained. I find that that also goes for other people, as a leader, allowing others to not fit in a box and be their true selves, really allows them to shine. I used to think that they would evolve. They're not evolving, they're finding themselves. That's what's beautiful about it. Once you see that they're finding themselves, because the space has been created, it's the ultimate human connection for me.
[00:55:41] Mirko: Wow, that was awesome. Thank you so much, guys. It was really enriching. It was great to see how a lot of our values are connecting to each other, and they're talking to each other. Going back to your point, Cristina, one of my biggest challenges always been defining myself. Not sure if it would make sense for you guys, but what I mean by that is to find the one thing that I will devote my life to. I can't. I love too many things. I always struggle with the fact of people telling you to just focus on that one thing, and do it and only do that. No, I can’t do that.
I know that for so many people that it's critical. I have always been a multi-tasker. I've always been someone who has always been so interested in so many different things. This is why when he came to create my business, the business was actually born as a business consulting, only myself doing communication and leadership. As I was doing that, I said, but what if I could help so many other people in so many other different areas, by simply bringing other consultants, or coaches and consultants across the world along the journey? That was a self-defining moment, because a lot of the people that I spoken to that were, “Mirko, just focus on the thing. You're doing a corporate career. Stick to it. You're going to become a chief marketing officer next couple of months/years. Just do that.”
What if I'm not happy? What if actually, the level of fulfillment doesn't come from what people tell you to, that they can't from inside yourself, from your inner voice? How do you open yourself enough and be vulnerable enough to being able to listen to that voice in the first place? I think that's so powerful. Because as I was trying to define myself, then I said, “You know what? I'm going to stop defining me.” Yes, I'm a marketer. Also, I'm a coach, but also a consultant. I'm selling your things.
As I go on with my life, probably be so many others coming to life, but there would be no one discouraged me to say, “Oh, you do too many things that you'd not be capable of doing nothing.” Because I know that every day I wake up, that I always try to enrich myself with things that – enriching my life along the journey. I know that you guys are in the same place and that's why probably we’re here talking to each other, because I know that Alex has so many different – you are multi-talented, and so is Cristina. For me, this is so powerful.
How do you say? Have you ever find yourself in that challenge of defining yourself with that one specific avatar that people look at you and say, “What are you exactly like? I don't get what you do.” Have you ever been there?
[00:58:38] Cristina: All the time.
[00:58:39] Alex: I would say, that was my main struggle for the first several decades of life.
[00:58:44] Cristina: All the time.
[00:58:44] Alex: I was thining there was one bucket that I was supposed to find, and then being frustrated every time I try one up.
[00:58:50] Cristina: As soon as I define myself, or somebody defines me, all my energy goes into breaking that definition and getting out of that box. I cannot. It's that freedom. I just get put in a cage. Literally, I cannot focus on anything else. Nothing else exists, except that I have to get out of the cage.
[00:59:15] Mirko: That awesome spark. Let’s say, I set myself to get to a specific goal. When I achieve that goal, then almost my energy goes below, instead of going up, because it's how can I go there? What's next? If I don't define what's next in a short period of time, then I'm going to start thinking about other challenges in life, and I start getting low. That's why I keep my life busy sometimes. The question, is define busy? Does the busyness go hand in hand with your values? If yes, then you are on the right journey.
[00:59:54] Cristina: Yeah. You've just described our journey, actually, with the company, because both Alex and I are creators. Once we figure something out, like the podcast, it's like, that was a project. We had to get it all working. Now that it's basically on autopilot, it's like, “Okay, what's next?” That's figured out and we haven't done and we know, those hours every week are dedicated. What are we creating next? We get caged in. It's like, our energy lowers, our creativity goes down.
[01:00:26] Mirko: That is a nice thing. Because effectively when you – I'm pretty sure, when you started looking at the podcast, or creating a podcast, it looked like the Great Wall of China. It looked like, “Oh, my God.”
[01:00:38] Cristina: Yes.
[01:00:39] Mirko: Awesome. I actually love to find out, what was your first reaction when you said, “Okay, let's do a podcast.” Then oh, my God. How much work is going to go into it? What was your reaction at first?
[01:00:53] Cristina: We had to postpone the launch date a few times, because it's like, “Oh, wait. There's this. Oh, and that and that. Let's add a few weeks to that launch date than originally anticipated.”
[01:01:06] Alex: I think we had this idea fairly early into quarantine. We didn't launch it until October. Six, seven months later.
[01:01:12] Cristina: Took a while.
[01:01:13] Mirko: I mean, this is a proof to show that. I'm the first person responsible, because I've been thinking about maybe doing one, where I bring all the different people, their followers in one specific area. Always been to say, okay, I got to do this first, and then I'm going to get there. Sometimes, probably the lesson is also a big struggle, because they say, “Oh, my God. The podcast is one project itself.”
Then, now looking at your podcast, and our many great connections you built over the last six months, seven months since you've been live. I mean, that's transformative. It is probably a reminder for all the people listening that when you start something, it always looks like the Great Wall of China. It always looks like it's impossible. Then, if you spend – you don't even have to kill yourself, like Elon Musk, working 80 hours a week. Don't do that, actually, because you're going to be burnt out, then you're going to lose all your perspective in life. Just focus on doing something that you enjoy doing and investing time, because sooner or later, it will grow. It's just a process of planting a seed.
[01:02:23] Cristina: It definitely is.
[01:02:24] Mirko: In a couple of weeks, in a couple of months, it would be beautiful. When you started, it looked like nothing. You couldn’t even see it. It’s that again, that idea of falling in love with the process.
[01:02:37] Alex: I'm pretty sure we could talk for another seven hours on this. I think we should come back and circle back for maybe an episode on what it's like to be actually this is one thing I will plug. There was a TED Talk that Cristina shared with me recently, that was by somebody who coined the term, or at least was using the term multi-potential light, which was to describe people who want to do lots of different things and play more of that. Well, I'm a lot of different people at once. I would definitely recommend checking that out. I will put that in the episode notes. If you're interested, Mirko, we'd love to have you back on to discuss that at some point. This has been an incredible conversation.
[01:03:09] Cristina: Yes. Very rich conversation.
[01:03:11] Mirko: Thank you for having me.
[01:03:11] Cristina: This is why we started a podcast, to have these conversations and then make these connections. I mean, that's the one thing that Alex and I get connected on was we really like to connect with others, so how about a podcast?
[01:03:26] Mirko: That’s so awesome. Imagine now how much energy you’ll have as you start your day, and how much energy you’ll have as I finish mine. I was on another podcast and the hosts were the same. Every time I walk into a podcast, I start a conversation. Then, the level of energy starts to grow and grow and grow, that by the end of the podcast, they feel they have learned, I feel they have applied and I feel that I'm so energized. It's been a real pleasure, because I feel I’ve checked all the boxes by having the opportunity to be here with you today.
[01:03:58] Cristina: Thank you for joining us. We do have two questions before we leave. One is, what does authenticity mean to you?
[01:04:06] Mirko: That's a beautiful question. I think authenticity is being aligned with who you are as a person and being fully connected with your values. Because by being authentic, means doing what you think is right for yourself and what you think is right for the people around you as well. Because effectively, by only being right for yourself, sometimes you can lose yourself along the way. You need to have the sense of being conscious to wear yourself first and the people around you. That's probably what will be for me.
[01:04:42] Cristina: Beautiful. The next one is where can people find you and The Mastery Hub?
[01:04:46] Mirko: Everywhere. That’s pretty much everywhere. You can find me. You can find me on themasteryhub.com. That's a website. You can find me directly email@example.com. Or on LinkedIn, that will be Mirko Maccarrone. It's a bit longer. M-A-C-C-A-R-R-O-N-E. That will be LinkedIn. Or The Mastery Hub on all the channels, including Facebook and Instagram and LinkedIn.
[01:05:25] Cristina: Perfect. We will include all this in the show notes, so everybody can read them as well. Well, thank you again, Mirko. I will be dreaming of all the food and wine that you're about to have.
[01:05:38] Mirko: Thanks so much for having me.
[01:05:40] Cristina: I'm super jealous.
[01:05:40] Alex: Thanks, Mirko.
[01:05:42] Mirko: Why, you should be. It’s 25 degrees today.
[01:05:49] Cristina: It's 12 Celsius gray in London, in Colorado today.
[01:05:54] Mirko: Well, thanks so much guys. Much love to you and your audience. Really appreciate you investing your time and for this great conversation. Much love to you guys.
[01:06:04] Cristina: Thank you. I'm sure we'll be in touch.
[01:06:06] Alex: Thanks so much, Mirko. Great luck with everything.
[01:06:09] Cristina: Yes, good luck with everything. Bye-bye.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[01:06:13] Cristina: Thank you for listening to Uncover the Human, a Siamo Podcast.
[01:06:18] Alex: Special thanks to our podcast operations wizard, Jake Laura, and our score creator, Rachel Sherwood.
[01:06:23] Cristina: If you have enjoyed this episode, please share, review and subscribe. You can find our episodes wherever you listen to podcasts.
[01:06:31] Alex: We would love to hear from you with feedback, topic ideas, or questions. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on our website, wearesiamo.com, LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook. WeAreSiamo is spelled W-E-A-R-E-S-I-A-M-O.
[01:06:49] Cristina: Until next time, listen to yourself, listen to others and always uncover the human.
© 2021 Uncover the Human
CEO @The Mastery Hub | Global Marketing Leader | Coachsultant
My name is Mirko Maccarrone, founder and CEO of The Mastery Hub, award-winning Marketer, Leadership & communication Coachsultant. My why is to inspire and empower people with the ultimate aim to elevate human potential with The Mastery Hub, the world's first digital coachsulting platform.
Over the last 10 years, I managed marketing and communications for fortune 100 companies including Huawei, Bvlgari, Vodafone, Toyota and Expedia while working at Saatchi & Saatchi.
In 2018, I was responsible for the launch of Storysign in Australia. A revolutionary free app powered by Huawei ai which takes words from selected books and turns them into sign language, helping thousands of deaf children and their parents around the globe to read and sign together | 1.5b global reach and 7 Lions won at the festival of creativity.
In 2021, I quit the corporate world to pursue my why! I'm now on a mission to revolutionize the coaching & consulting industry with the launch of The Mastery Hub | the world's 1st digital Coachsulting platform. At The Mastery Hub, we help individuals and organizations master the most important aspects of life by transforming their communication, performance, leadership, well-being and relationships with cutting-edge Coachsulting programs.