3 Episode results for "Mark Helprin"
Mark Helprin (Encore)
"Is podcast is a production of the salem. Podcast network for more podcast. Like this from courageous of conservative reason. Visit salem podcast network dot com Folks listening to a special edition of the eric metaxas show. This is a socrates in the city event. I did with the great novelist. Mark halperin. welcome. I am so excited to be here tonight. And it's going to this is gonna freak me out because i haven't been out here before now. I'm looking out in the audience. I'm seeing people that i know some dear dear old friends and a number of former friends. I don't want to be here. Thank you for coming i. There are a number of a special guests in the audience. This is kind of funny. I told my friend. Martha linder is here from lakeland florida. And she told me that colonel sussing ham is going to be there. And i thought who the heck's colonel sussing ham and then mark halperin introduce me to him. He was a a test pilot for the f. Sixteen is that right. The chief test pilot for the f. Sixteens defining the envelope not like those other test pilots. They hang way way back. He actually was pushing the envelope of what it could do. So a real a real test pilot but he dropped the first smart bomb. The i j dam and i thought that is so cool and i wanted to call him out and embarrass him in front of the group so please applaud this man. If you get a chance not now. If you get a chance later on you can applaud him and then also you know since i'm i'm calling out people who have done great things in the in the air. Some of you remember eight or ten months ago. A southwest plane lost an engine. A person was killed And heroic woman landed that plane. Her name is tammy jo scholtz and she's with us in the room. Where are you tammy jo. Don't be embarrassed. Where'd she go where she she's right here. She's right here. She's all embarrassed. I love it. I love embarrassing people. They can't squirm away. They have to take the applause. It's wonderful it's wonderful and tammy joe was was one of the first women fighter pilots ever. Okay she pushed a different kind of below. So you just you just watch it there pal. But it's incredible any any other aeronautic people in the room here. Anybody who's really done anything. Spectacular at above. Say thirty thousand feet. I'm just curious anybody. I didn't think so. Well this brings me to the subject of the evening. there are very few people In in whose presence i am genuinely humbled And odd and That that's true. I first encountered the fiction of mark. Halperin low these thirty five years ago. I was an undergraduate at yale and We had a writing course. Somebody handed out after stapled short stories that we had to read the first one was called the the shredder spitzer. I thought it was destroyed. A spits up its verse reuter spitzer and it's a story. Unlike any i had ever read. It's the sort of thing that if you are a fiction writer or a writer as i am who values great writing and poetry and true literature when you read most of what mark halperin is. Read you you understand your in the presence of a rare genius. That's a simple fact. I don't heap praise on people lightly because there are a lot of wonderful writers of fiction but there are very few that are genuinely great artistic talents and geniuses and there are so many sentences in his writing and so many sentences in that short story alone. That make you understand. You're dealing with a maniac. A a person who does not think the way you do an either. He's crazy or he's a genius or he's crazy genius and i think that genius and insanity are closely linked but i really mean that a that when you read his stuff. You understand that this is somebody who He's in the in the highest rank of of writers in our time. And i want to give you some basics of of who he is just so that we can relieve the tension here. He was born in one thousand nine forty seven but oddly enough is only sixty two years old now. I don't know how the heck do that. That's wild that's wild. I'll ask you about that. Now whenever you if you know anything about mark helping you read these bios and they all say the same thing they say. Mark halperin was raised on the hudson and in the british west indies which is nothing if not at least pretentious. Who are we kidding. It says after receiving degrees from harvard college and harvard graduate school of arts and sciences. He did postgraduate work at the university of oxford comma princeton comma and columbia. I like the oxford comma. Thank you he has served. In the british merchant navy the israeli infantry and the israeli air force now his stories were published in the new yorker for a long time almost about twenty five years. And as i said earlier they are widely recognized as some of the best short stories ever written the english language and hate to say that with him in the room. Because it's embarrassing. But i'm just telling you straight up. It's a fact He's right up there with the best of the best and if you've ever read for example a collection of faulkner's short stories. He pretty much stinks at writing short stories and novels. If you really want to take the time to talk about it with me a lot of the people that have been lauded as the greats are not really that great at least not consistently great. Maybe updike cheever leap into my head as people who have written great of fiction in in our time and of course they're both gone so it's just important that i say those things It wasn't until nineteen eighty. Six that i got to see a mark halperin in person i was at jato which is a writer's colony in saratoga springs and somebody said omar culpa speaking at the albany someplace. We went in heard mark there and he was like a standup comedian was sheer lunacy. Which is why. He's not giving a speech tonight. I'm going to interview him. Because we need to tamp down we need. We need to get somewhere in the conversation but an extremely funny and joy to listen to sometime in the early nineties. I was in an tuck. It and i was bored. And i walk into a bookstore. Picked up the paris review which they've had those interviews stretching back to you. Know hemingway in in the fifties and it was an interview with mark helping whose fiction i had loved and i started reading it and what struck me about. The interview mostly was that i had by that time swung politically conservative. I guess and had become very serious about my christian faith and as i read the interview with mark halperin. It stunned me That he seemed to take the concept of god seriously and seemed to be politically conservative. And if you know anything about the world of arts and letters in america at this point you realize that those things really never go together that that the world of of literature if you hang out with writers. They tend to be rather monolithically extremely a politically liberal. There's nothing wrong with that but but if you're not of that ilk it becomes uncomfortable so it was kind of stunned really to read this about mark. Halperin i thought how has he survived In that world and the answer is he's a hermit. He never talks to those people. But i was just impressed then and so it. It renewed a fresh my interest in reading him. And i remember reading winter's tale on the soldier of the great war around that time and these are again These are works of fiction of the absolute highest order. He has routinely. He's crack jokes about it. Been compared to you. Know tolstoy their socrates in the city. Obviously so it really is a very very great honor for me to have lived long enough to get to a point where i get to talk to mark. Just like. he's a regular person. Believe me he's not but as you'll soon see but it really is a great joy and it so it's my honor to welcome you. Mark halperin to socrates in the city. Please join me on this stage. Alan yes i gotta tell you something what. There are people who love my pillow as much as we do yes and they go to mypillow dot com and they order all kinds of stuff as they should shorts some of them. I just wanna be clear. Some of them are forgetting that they must use the arctic. Discount code. eric. Yes yet are huge discount. I want everybody to get it. I mean this is just amazing. If you don't use that discount you don't get our discount folks. Don't forget use the code eric. Iran syrup felt was absolutely spectacular. Thank you. And i just want to say that how many people come up here and make a joke about socrates drinking hemlock. How many crack jokes. i actually. i'm not gonna do that. But i'm gonna say is that Macaulay macauley was the nineteenth century. Historians historian he was the chuck schumer of his deck. He every word that came out of his mouth was a was ally and including and blah. Yeah means if and in blah blah he said the more i read socrates and this is say it that way but i'm sure that nobody living can imitate macauley. The more i read socrates the more understand why he was poisoned and of course no one ever read socrates because we know him on through plato so macauley was just a terrible fraud by the way if there are any relatives of chuck schumer in the audience. Get get out well. Mark the point of socrates in the city is not merely to Interview interesting people. It's typically to dig deeper about the big the big questions but my first question to you is what is the meaning of life you serious. Fortunately very serious you see this tie. This see how long it is. Yeah i did an interview in chicago. And i looked at the at the television recording it and it was even long. Look how long it is and i just don't understand that i'm not that short but it comes way down. I have to stop in. The length of the thai really aren't necessarily related. Well i don't know. But i'm going to stop buying my ties at the giraffe tie shop all right but what is the meaning of life. I i don't know. I know you don't know but it strikes me that you've thought about it very very much over the course of your life and wondering what you think it might be. Fiction is not devoid of these kinds of ruminations. So i don't think. I don't ask this most people at socrates and city but you strike me as somebody whom i might ask that question by the way just did it's a very challenging question obviously is kind of in the new yorker cartoon with the guy and sitting on a mountain top and people come with knapsacks and ice axes and they asked him what the meaning of life is an unusually cracks. A joke. but. I've never been asked that question. I'm not surprised but let me let me struggle. I let me start by saying that. I knew ray carver. Otherwise known people. Raymond carver one of the founders of the minimalists and i didn't like carbon for various reasons. He's dead now. So i don't like to speak ill of the dead but i didn't like what he did to his family. How was around when that happened. And i ended. His writing is writing to accept that. I chose one of his stories which was actually a very beautiful story for best american short stories of nineteen eighty eight because i was the first one to ask for them to be submitted to me blind not even with the typeface of the new yorker etc so that there would be no backscratching in no favors and i just read it. I didn't know who wrote it and i. It was a beautiful story about check off and it was written with ray knowing about his own death so that was anyway one. Good thing that he wrote but he was ill at at the time he was ill at the time he had cancer but to paraphrase him. He said who. I would say what we talk about when we talk about Dying well is living well because you can't. You can't do anything when you're dead. So what you have to do in order to die well well and one should be able to die while i've thought about that ever since i was a small child because it will come faster than you can possibly imagine when it does happen. You look back and it says if life past that fast so given that there will be eternity on that side and we have come from maternity on this side. winston churchill said. It's like coming up from the ocean to raft for a few moments and then going back into the ocean. What you want to do really what i would like to do is to live so that you do justice to the short time you have and so that you are comfortable returning to that eternity to do so. In my opinion you have to have some knowledge of the eternity on either side. When i was a an infant. I felt that i did. I felt that i had existed before. Not in another life but in another form somehow in a in a body lists Form of say just at independent soul. The dante idea that you're that you're with god. You had that sense as an infant an infant in the crib. I knew i came from someplace. You remember that yes. I remember that. And i loved that place and i felt very comforted by the place from which you'd come not the crib place from which i had come. Yeah not to crude very uncomfortable crib. It had spikes but so here listen to this. When i was born at the beginning of the seventh month in nineteen forty seven and not expected survive. The hospital told my parents kids gonna die gonna die and my parents were through so upset that they left for two weeks. I'm not kidding. Wait a minute yeah. They did hold on. You're in the hospital. Yep and your parents left for two weeks. Yes they went out. They went to easthampton which hospital doctors hospital. Which has since been torn down. They found out that. I was born there and they tore it down used to overlook gracie mansion. Yeah okay so you were there for two weeks and your parents left and they left because they well. I was born by accident Evidently my godfather was robert. Capa the photographer. My mother always said that. I was his son but i know that i'm not his son. My father's son. Because i look like my father and my many traits of my father. There's no question. And i was my father son but she evidently was having an affair with him and my parents were about to break up. There was a very sad story and then she was in a taxi accident. Which is one reason why i was born so prematurely but anyway i was not wanted and they left and then when i came home i was sick for a year. Really really sick. I had born with spina bifida and also with no sicilia. Bronco that fans the phlegm up. So i i in my childhood. I had ammonia twelve times and many times. I was put an ice baths and everything. They thought that i've been catholic. That would have called. They thought i was a goner and very very close to death and it never bothered me because each time i really ice told. Where's the area's high. Each time i felt tremendous comfort as if an angel had come down and protected me. And i was not disturbed by the idea of dying came very very close and once when i was on mount rainier climb mount rainier and on the way back i was running across an icefield and it was a it was all kind of flat and i was jumping over crevasses and so i jumped over a crevasse onto what was just a piece of white looked like solid ground but it was a crust over crevasse and i fallen crevasse and i put out my head. I had Ski poles at that point. I put out the ski poles and the the the snow went up in the air. I saw absorbing sparkling in the sunlight. I felt the greatest kind of joy. So i've never been afraid of dying and i've always felt that when i do i will be going back to the place that i feel that i knew i was an infant. Okay so what do you do the time in between when your conscious and you are active and you can do what you can do. I think the best thing you can do is to is to embody the virtues the classical virtues in other words if you if you were honorable if you have courage if you if you if you treat people correctly and you and you and you also seek god in in whatever way you can If you suk got while you are alive and you become give thought to what came before and what will come after and you behave correctly. And charitable and brave etc etc. Then than you are. That's that's the meaning. As far as i can tell but let me. Just add something here. I was in massachusetts doing it. And another event and part of it. I was explaining it was purely literary supposed to be purely literary and this. I don't like this time as part of it. I was explaining that That the what. I call my conditions precedent for ben's saying what the book which paris in the present tense was about and one of them was the resurrection of virtue which is not popular because people mock virtue is if you're if you've talked about virtue you're just an old fashioned fuddy-duddy etcetera etcetera but of course that's absolute garbage and we need it to survive both as a country and as individuals etc. And i and i said look Heroism these days has been devalued along with so much else and courage. Heroin is supposed to be a hero. If you bring cupcakes to school and i gave various levels of what. I think harry was amiss. I said i it's doing something that is noble. And just of course have to define noble too but as we carry on sort of see the second level in the in the escalation on the escalation ladder is something which is noble unjust and contrary to your immediate interests that third level is doing something noble unjust and contrary to your immediate interest which leads to your death and you have a real hero and i would ask the audience i always do. That's not the top. What's the top anyone. Because that's not. The highest level of heroism the highest level is doing something noble and just contrary your immediate interest which leads to your own death and nobody knows which is another interpretation of the what you see on the tombs of the unknown soldier throughout the world known to got. That's what real heroism is. I have to tell you that. Afterwards i was signing books and a guy came up to this last night this last night and this was massachusetts. Keep that in mind. He comes up to me and he says. Do you think that the people who tried to kill. Hitler were heroes. I said yes and he said. Would you think. I was a hero. If i tried to kill our hitler. What does angela merkel have to do with any of this. It was massachusetts so i knew what he meant. And that's something. Which if you think about it. We have lost. Lincoln garfield mckinley and kennedy and there have been attempts in modern times just in modern times on roosevelt. Truman ford and rig. This is serious topic and people do talk about that. I remember when reagan was elected. I lived in new york that nine hundred eighty and i saw on. All these buildings kill reagan. Kill reagan's with graffiti all over the place. It's tempting to do an impression of william buckley's sitting up here satellite. Yes tell me more question. How does the what i want to ask you is that you're making a number of assumptions. You talk about god. You talk about morality your fiction and the reason i've asked you this question because you're fiction is filled with muscular virtue morality. It's all there. Your heroes are real heroes. There's a sense of justice injustice in most of what you right. It's very strong. So i guess i i really wanna ask you. Where does that come from. Because it's one thing to say. I believe we should be virtuous. I agree but how do you come to that. Were you raised in a home. Where those things were stressed. You raised in a home where god was part of your upbringing. How did you come to think that way to one. My father was the most extraordinary man he was a well. It's a long story. But i'll try to compress it He was a student at columbia. i in his class and his father had a food processing business. Follow the dairy part and they combined with a cousin and they had a meat processing to so my father was sent to north africa to buy cheap innards for sausage casings. This is in the twenties. And i have a picture of him in petits. Going throughout north africa he bargained with the tribes and he went through north africa up through the levant turkey into soviet central asia and bargaining with these nomads and they would send caravans with sheep innards to ports and then it'll be shipped back to the united states and it took a very long time and when he got back he was debriefed by the army intelligence and that started a relationship with intelligence that deep carried on for most of the rest of his life his lawyer in business was bill while bill donovan founded the s s so my father went to camp x during the war and was trained at camp x and canada by the sas. The the his final exercise was to be dropped blindfolded. A plane took off in a s uniform dropped by parachute into the woods of ontario. And they said you have to be in new york within two weeks and if you're caught do not fifty percent of the people camp x died during the war there. They were in cells. They couldn't talk to one another. They were taught all the weapons. My father had a photographic memory so he his job would have been and it was. He was set to do this to be parachuted into germany and be captured near where heidrick was deliberately to be imprisoned and then with his photographic memory to remember the count the steps where the doors are to read upside down and backwards the german on people's desks and on bulletin boards. Whatever then to escape then to recount that to get intelligence about hydrate beat us to but anyway and killing heidrick and killing a hundred but he so he two weeks later he. He can't shave and a haircut in salvadro suit. He walked into the place where he was supposed to have eaten at the oyster bar. I don't know how he did it but he could also Smoke even when he was very old He would be smoking a cigar and stand on the diving board and then jump into the pool. Swim underwater the length of the pool. Come out and the scar would be still turn it upside down back. Hold it in his mouth and his teeth and do that. He was quite miraculous. But anyway when when i was little the a lot of bullies of course boys are bully and now i suppose i would cues people bullying me and try to keep them off the supreme court but they did beat the crap out of me so my father said well. I'll teach you how to defend yourself. I i can't because there's so much bigger that's what bullies that really much much bigger there three or four grades higher and they let me show you how to do it and he did and there were a bunch of bullies who would frequently bullying me and i just i just practically killed them and that brought up in me the desire always to be able to fight and that in turn made me not afraid of being bullied so for the rest of my life. I figured why not do what i think is right no matter what the consequences and that has led me to all kinds of armed roles in various armies police forces intelligence places etc. Which just to be clear your packing now. They think joking. No no no everybody laughs. It'll take you out second. No but you are you take. I don't wanna. I don't wanna go there yet. Because there's so many rabbits just to make sure that we're in the principles under federal privilege and legally totally. Yeah that that goes without saying what are we gonna do. I was on obama's protection detail three times. I had to decide whether i take a bullet for them. And i decided that i would which is a lot different from the guy who came up to me in the in the last night and was talking about assassinating the president. I i did not think to put it mildly. That obama was the kind of person that i would want to protect. But he was the president of the united states it's the office cetera and by the way massachusetts that guy is considered a moderate through. Quite sure he's not kidding. I lived in massachusetts for ten years and almost killed me. Well you still haven't really given me an understanding of how you come to. Maybe you haven't thought so much about it because you know it's right but when you talk about i mean anyone who has read your fiction and i'm sure most of these people have it's why they're here. There's a fierce moral quality to it. And i guess so. I want to ask you this kind of silly question. How do you know what's right is right. How do you know what's good is good. You mentioned god in certain ways and your fiction you you have. These moments of transcendence was there any. I know that you're ethnically jewish. You raised with any faith as a kid or was it mostly kind of stuff. You were not no. I was not came to it on my own. When of i suppose Well i mean. I came to a recognition and a An experience of the divine presence. When i was from the beginning so from when you were an infant i was an infant and then in terms of i don't really practice judaism it's not. I don't see it as a somebody so good. You don't need to practice. Well oh wait a minute. Wait a minute. Hold it in judaism There is a the many branches. Of course there's the conservative. The reform who are democrats and their conservatives who are democrats and then the orthodox who are republicans and among the orthodox there the hussy dean those guys with the black cats the diamond merchants etc party. They're cheaper they are the spine of of judaism. I serve as a also. I protect them. in the kebab houses consultant to them and i have done protection duty for them because of the massacres in india etcetera. But i can't practice it. I've just not. I don't feel comfortable with that. But i come from my cacique background. My my ancestors were acidic revenues and the division between hussy and the other other jewish denominations. If you call them is that hoc- ism you have a direct connection to god. You have to study to see that i do. I don't know tom torah etc. I can read the bible in hebrew but not very well certainly not fluently. Not as i should. If i were a real. But the whole point of hoc- doesn't is that there is a direct connection without the kind of formal remediation that that intermediation. Excuse me intermediation that you get in other forms of judaism but they study hard. But you don't need to study hard actually you can experience it right at the well. So that's that's what i followed. And what was the question. what's right. Okay what in fact. It's just like religion you. You have many ways of approaching it in judging and of course. We're all foul. You can't be too confident in what is right because you you may be wrong. We've all been wrong. And sometimes seriously god knows. I have but you make it a combination of the logic and reason and experience and drawing upon others considering other opinions and then your gut feeling finally and that's the you make a combination of that and then when you feel that you've arrived at a certain completion. What ready to risk doing what you have to do. In order to protect and sean well. I still think that the reason that it was startling for me to discover that you were rather Politically conservative and fiction writers because most fiction writers don't have that fierce moral quality in their writing their writing The typically as i would say maybe run of the mill utopianism. Who believe that in fact. We're not fallen that. We're evolving from something to higher levels and that we can. I guess it was william if buckley who who talked about it but he was quoting someone else when you talked about imminent -tising eschaton right that if we have enough Taxes and we have enough government. We can fix everything and we can create utopia through social engineering or whatever it is and we know that history especially recent modern history is replete with examples of people trying to achieve that. So when you say something like we're fallible or the morality is a struggle or this or that you you realize that your parting company with most of the people who create art in our time. Well they are afraid of a number of things first of all. They're afraid to be ambitious for they. They sort of imbibed the academic tendency to particularize the american academy is divided between the english approach and the german approach in the nineteenth century. We had to choose. Harvard chose to lean toward the english approach. Which is which value. Good writing graceful and generalization or johns hopkins was the big leader and columbia followed in in valuing german approach which has to be very particular strict and and limited rigorous see. It's a question of rich versus rigor And writers today have inherited the the rigorous approach which means that they limit their ambitions just the way scholars limit their ambitions. You know Penis denial in belgian circus stories. A thesis the fiction cousins of that. Are you get these these novels which are like magazine articles. They deliberately limit them. It's almost like john mcphee. But it's a novel of the and the novel might be called the estonian rug. Merchants baboon or perfect. Then that doesn't really exist. No that sounds like a like a novel at the new yorker would just go crazy of course of course just enough exoticism enough but not too much and it's kind of limited you know i mean if you're talking only about a boon that belonged to estonian rug merging you're you're defining it closely but that's as far into transcendence new yorker type fiction wants to go. That's exactly rug merchant alone. The idea of a rug merchant. He's sort of close to the world somehow. He's he's a. He's a rug merchant that but that's far also in the poetry that's published in the new yorker. It's interesting because it's just part of the zeitgeist and your i mean your explicatives it. But they're afraid they're afraid to take a chance they're afraid to put put a marker down and say. This is what i stand for. This is what i love. This is what i would die for. The some things are good. Some things are not something beautiful. Something's not terribly frightened. They're cowards. i mean i. i can't generalized hamilton. but so many and that is zeitgeist.
Mark Helprin - Part 2 (Encore)
"Is podcast is a production of the salem podcast network for more podcast like this from courageous voices of conservative reason visit salem podcast network dot com Hour on the irc metaxas show a special edition socrates in the city with mark halperin. This is the second part of my interview with him. I've been criticized so often these days. They say he uses such big words. You know and. I don't mainly keep to anglo saxon. An anglo-saxon cavalier but they say is the senses are too long the descriptions to there's too much description people have been trained to to to inhale nihilism is a form form of nihilism like the minimalist. The lead the minimalist gray carver they harbor yet. They don't like rich of language. They don't like metaphor. They don't like a cult meter. There's a there's a reason for that right in other words when you talk about minimalists and neil is. They are in some ways at war with a past right in other words when you think of a past where all the typefaces had sarah ftse and all the Buildings had moldings. And whatever hate that because it somehow be speaks of patriarchal christian western order that inescapably points to god and they are trying to carve their own minimalist path out of that so any hint toward morality or good or evil it. No it's disturbing. And that's why i'm you must be a great writer just to have snuck so much of this past watchful dragons. Well it's it's quite easy to fool a publisher at lunch because they drain he drinks out and also it does pay to have a business sense. Publishers very slow to to to pick up on things and they're not always the brightest bulbs Why don't we just say that. They're stupid stupid. Yeah time if you're not going to be a lawyer you're not going to be a doctor. You're not going to be a physicist. You're not going to be an engineer. You're not going to be a businessman where you have to take risks and actually see what's going to happen in the future and do all kinds of finance and so what do you do you go into publishing. That used a horrifying here. Don't leave for all defend you in five minutes as soon as we but this is. This is your being serious right now. As you're saying that you you were aware of this going into writing fiction that you're bringing something into it that you have to disguise well. No i wasn't aware in the beginning. 'cause i'm old enough so that i started when the terms were different. I started in nineteen sixty four. I went to harper and row and met a woman. There named joan kahn who was great fiction editor and started to submit to her and they you know they would get back to me. You were what seventeen. Okay why well tell you from. My parents didn't read to me. That's why i said earlier that i hadn't read charlotte's web hadn't read many children's books charlotte's web. Yeah yeah and i was completely. I was a. I had a room on central park west. That had a black million floor. There were no toys no books. And that's where i stayed most of the time like a skinner box well solitary confinement and my father lived in england for six months of the year. My mother was an actress. She was always on the road. And i was kept in that room. And that's where. I learned to be for instance. When i go to europe i can sit and watch a fountain for eight hours. Seventeen hours they can do that. I don't mind. I like it but anyway i was i when i got the first grade and it was at the birch wadham school which in those days was on the west side. I was the only kid who didn't know how to read. They all had been pushed by their parents. Who are all jews in the movie business and they wanted the kids now who are tutored to get into fancy kindergarten so they can go to harvard eventually and they were pushed by their parents. And they they came and limousines etc. I didn't know the alphabet. So i remember walked in. Mrs smith was my teacher and she said go to the desk with your name on it. I said i i can't read and she said okay. Well what was he told her she said find the am and i said what's them and all. The kids laughed at me right so i was really pissed. He made a monkey kids. That's exactly. I was really pissed and by second grade. I was reading beyond twelfth grade level and by shear spike out of sheer spice and in third grade. I began dictating stories to my third grade teacher who would write them in longhand then simon and schuster offered me to book contract in third grade to write a biography of abraham lincoln and a children's love to know what a third graders biography neighborhood. I pay for that. They thought it was going to be the golden books and a children's story about a mouse. Which would have been essentially cop from stuart little right right. My father said no because my mother had been a child star and he said look what it did to her. So i'm not gonna let you do that when he did her. Yeah did to her believe me. But so what was the question. What's capital north dakota bismarck. Okay all right well. That's says peer so. Wait a minute so you were. You're leading up actually to question. I wanna ask but you were talking about how you were raised In a in a room with black linoleum. And how you really were. Not you were left to yourself and do you now. You seem very cheerful. It doesn't strike me that that you're thinking of this as neglect or something that you or maybe it was mcglade. But you simply aren't bitter about it but it sounds like neglect no no. It wasn't neglect. What was it was neglect. But in the best sense elect but my my parents. I love my parents and in fact i was crazy because i spent most of my life my young while my father was alive. I can see why they did this because they probably knew what was coming. I spent most of my life telling my father asking him questions about his life. So i feel. I really do as if i were born in one thousand nine four because i have spent tens of thousands of hours listening to every detail of his life and he had a photographic memory. He was famous for it. He could he could. Someone could say to him. For example. when was the last time you on twenty sixth street between third and fourth avenue and and he would say it was in. This would be nineteen fifty. You'd say it was december seventeenth nineteen thirty six and they'd say describe it and he could tell you everything that was in the store windows that the the cracks in everything. He had a complete photographic memory. So i trailed him beginning when i was very little asking him questions about starting from his earliest memories and and and he lived a very adventurous interesting life. So so essentially. That's why probably they put me in the room with the him because they knew that i'd be pestering now right needed to catch a great and that was the only he could get away from you. Well it's interesting that this brings up another quality in your fiction. You don't right. Thank the lord like most contemporary writers. And i think it's like reading someone from a different generation than than you are in the soldier of the great war which is about a seventy four year old man strange so's parents. He saw so separate four. I wrote a soldier of the great war beginning in one thousand nine hundred eighty When i was Let's see a thirty three. And i've always felt like an much older person because i've sort of absorbed my father's age and also i started in a different time. And i am a throwback to a different time and i never succumb to the pressure to conform to this time. And you shouldn't ever do anything that that you would lose sleep over that you'd feel bad about now. Let me ask you know when you you. Obviously you came of age in the sixties. You graduated harvard and sixty nine sixty nine okay. So it graduated me. Who cares the the from harvard. The question is You know you ought to be your the classic boomer. You're supposed to fit into that mold. And you obviously don't you don't strike people as somebody who would have been a hippie at that time or that kind of a person and not only that but then you join the israeli air force army infantry and then air force succumbed to the second to the air force as an infantryman Say in the west indies. Know that so they say yeah. I guess oh okay. Well so my question is why did you do that. Because that seems like exactly the kind of thing. Pot-smoking draft dodgers of your generation would would not do right. It's it's really cultural strikingly well. I was swimming in the harvard c. Which by the way. When i was seventeen i was going through greece and i met a guy whose name was alpert. Who was a an assistant. Maybe it was a graduate student. Then but i think he was an assistant. Professor the lowest rank of fesser and he and i walked across the peloponnesus and we slept in barns and we ate at people's houses in goat's milk and that kind of how old were you seventeen and he turned out to be Robert alpert is known as baba ram dass ramdas or ram. Dass as i call okay for those. Who don't know who that is. This is one of the leading gurus of the new age movement invented new age in america and when he was associated timothy leary and they they develop lsd. So when i was a freshman. I was put in a place called penny packer which was a sort of a modern building wasn't in the yard and it was sort of exiled. That was the worst possible place you could be and alpert lived on harvard street. Which is where penny packer was. Just a couple blocks up. So i ran into him and i and then i went to see him as a department and he said you want to smoke a joint. I didn't know what it was. I mean i. I've never tasted coffee in my life. I don't like things like that. And i said no what we know. What is it he said. Oh it's great is now. I don't want that. He said you want some. Lsd i said what does lsd and he said. Was this new thing that you put it on the sugar. We invented it. Whatever whatever and i ha. I hated the idea of of drugs. And so so. I from that even even then even as as as a freshman. I was a different. But i did swim in the political. See and it was very much against vietnam war. I gave a speech at west point to the corps cadets apologizing for not taking my place because ally was against the war. I don't think that i was my own legislature. And i should have fulfilled my duties as a citizen. So that that speech in the congressional records and printed all over the place The reason that happened was. I was sitting on the grave of william and henry james and the mount auburn cemetery. It faces south so that its sheltered from the northern wind and also the sun shines in the south ride in the first story that i published a new yorker leaving well actually the first one that's actually published was called because of the waters of the flood but the first story that i wrote that they bought was called leaving the church and Henry james there william james's there i was sitting on. Henry's grave leaning against the the family bedstead grave marker and funeral in cambridge cemetery which adjoins mount auburn which is where mary. Baker eddy is buried and a lot of famous people but cambridge cemetery is for the for the proletarians and a funeral came and they buried somebody and then They left and i went to see who is buried and it was a boy my age. Who had been killed in vietnam and that really really struck me and from that point on. I decided that i wanted to do something of that. Nature i had already been four f. But it was fake. I can when i took an e. g. i can make electrical pulses in my body that make the needles. Go what you can do that. I can do that. You teach others how to do that. Maybe but you don't have to worry too old for the draft. And i can also now my wife will have to verify this because no one will believe at t say what i do about horses. Okay so that's what she says she's crazy but so so. Anyway i was i had made myself for f. and i felt very bad about that. So then i went to israel onto the we were fighting russians that we were fighting my cousin. Wait why you do that. In other words you. You're you're obviously ethnically jewish but are not raised home that was religiously jewish. What prompted you at that time. to go to israel and fight two words never again the whole the whole. The holocaust didn't in nineteen sixty seven. Which is when i went i they. The state was threatened with And i just didn't want that to happen so i wanted to do. My my peace. And i did But but anyway. I tried to join the marines too but i already been four f. They wouldn't let me do it Gosh i wanted to ask you about do you think there's something inherent in in jewishness. The and and that's so sloppy even to talk that way. But i guess the moral quality of your fiction even before i knew that you'd fought in the israeli army. Struck me as coming. Out of being a jew because being a jew obviously comes with certain experiences and you often have characters who are. They remind me. I was always sure that that they're autobiographical And it's very romantic. There's a lot of. There's a lot of love it's beautiful of. It's not sexual. That itself is rare but it struck me that somehow. It feels to me like something that i've noticed in other jewish stories usually movies woody allen in some of his best films has this. It's interesting he doesn't come out. Where were you do. But it's interesting to me a very much of a romantic. What has that been something. That you've thought much about who you are as jew. I mean you just said never again so this was something that meant a lot to you. Yeah i mean. My father's family came from a little village near men's called coit. Nf and when we lived in upstate. New york we had a farm in kinder- hook new york huge farm and it was thirty. Two of concept i when we took the kids to school for the first time it was snow on the ground. September first and that that winter was thirty two below. The pool fence was covered by the early october. And we didn't see it again. Until until may i mean it a hell of a winter but anyway at the edge of our far far away was a auto repair shop and in the auto repair shop which was really miserable freezing cold and dirty with oil et cetera. They had people working on cars. But it was a sort of like a very primitive type thing. And i went down there once to talk about our car And i was wearing boots and gray pants and a gray sixty forty and i had a great stats. And and i had my pistol on and i had a giant dog who is a bernese mountain dog named constance and i walked into this place and one of the mechanics reared back almost threw himself against the war because he was terrified because he thought i was state cop and he was frightened of cops why he was a russian. You didn't have teeth. And his name. His name was eager And it turns out. He was a jew from the area. And i said to him. My family came from coordinator Do you know it. He said oh he said it's just a stone he said i said the stone he meant. You know like a gravestone and it turns out that the sets the special group the germans Trucks put people in the trucks and then put the exhaust back into the trucks. Drive to pit where they would just throw all the dead people and they killed every single person in the village and these are all my relatives. We were lucky we. My family escape came here in eighteen. Seventy and that doesn't leave you know in in the second world war We had thirty two people who served one of whom my cousin robert died in his fighter plane and my father volunteered at age. Went into this. The stuff. When he was thirty six he was passed a draft age. So i felt the same way. And i feel the same way about america too. I mean if america were threatened. Now i would volunteer seventy one and not going to take me but i do serve actually now in an arm capacity I'll be retiring in two years. Talk jessica ceremony. They let me know you go to you suzanne plans. They made put an end to walked out. This moan. ano- wrote down this song. I just can't remember the time flies when you're having fun so we we don't have a lot of time left. I wanted to ask you to tell the story of meeting hanging out with john. Cheever as a kid. You have such a story life that it makes your fiction seem almost dull and your fiction is not even close to dole. But it but you really do have. You're aware of that having outrageously storied life and have having met the kind of people when you were already a kid that most people don't get to meet in their life winston churchill churchill. Yeah and that was very little at lake. Annecy in i think it was nineteen fifty one or whatever. My father who had worked for him in the war was we were in an amnesty to my father was taking something to him from. Alexandra korda with my father's business partner. And i wrote on my father's leg and we waited in an anti room with a stone floor with a lot of other men. Most of whom were british in suits and the doors open and winston churchill came out and i was still riding my father standing on shoes holding onto his leg. But one about cheever. I can tell you about cheever. Yeah quickly because i want to ask you about winter's tale this is ridiculous go ahead Actually it turns out that theodore roosevelt invented this thing called straight lining at sagamore hill. He would have his kids go in a straight line no matter what over a wall cross was swamp. Whatever i didn't know this. But i invented it for myself i lived in. Eagle bay is awesome about one thousand two thousand acres a more or less forest and had the idea just independently that i would go in a straight line so one day. You know you're nuts right. Yeah i i was walking to school. I used to walk five miles school five miles back and late weird that it was five miles there. The funny thing that it's amazing. Sometimes it was okay so take a different route but What i meant was that would only walk to school but also right and one day. I was running a little late and john. Cheever came by in his nash. Rambler the color of pepco dismal and he opened the door and said marco. Because my name was marco then he said what are you doing. And i said well. I'm walking to school. He said well you'll be late. I said would you like a rights. I said okay. So i got in the car and we wrote the school because he lived in the garage above the above the garage in the on the school grounds with his family. I did you know at the time that he was a famous writer. Yeah we all knew. His kids went to the same school and people people knew he was deathly poor at the time and my parents do. They were friends with him. So so i. I got in the car and he said. Do you walk. And i was telling and i told him about straight line and next thing i know there was the story called the swimmer about burt. Lancaster who did a straight line. But that's okay. I mean people borrow in all seriousness. Your conversation with cheever influenced him to write the swimmer. Yes for sure and so then hold hold it right there. That's amazing the greatest short stories of the twentieth century. And the fact that you may have had something to do with it. Apart from writing is is really something about. If suzie and benji knew about this they would probably attack me. And say oh. It's not true but it is true well in the story. I remember achiever better than i remember your fiction. He talks about taking a dogleg at some point. I never read the story so you. So you're you're live never know. I've never read any another story about when he wrote. He wrote a book about my family called bullet park. We lived in brighton park. And when martin luther king was killed there were riots in ossining and they were burning down the stores and stuff and peop- attacking people's houses. So my father and i went. We bought munition. And then a mary and john cheever. And howard the guy who played benjamin franklin in seventeen seventy six howard to silva came to brunch and they said this was the time when the riots going on and we said yeah we we bought munition and and cheever said you what we said. We bought munitions why in case people come to try to burn our house down this you would shoot people who would really kill you. Nancy was yeah. And at that. And howard silver. Who was an old communist. My mother was a communist in the thirties two so she knew a lot of communists that's why he was there he. He was just horrified that we would defend ourselves so so so the chiefs and hey folks if you've been listening to the news reading the papers it is no secret. There's a food crisis in central america. It generates headlines every day. I am now partnering on this program with food for the poor to help save the lives of displaced children and their families from venezuela who by the way are now trapped in columbia with nothing to eat. You can't imagine folks. They need our help. We wanna rush lifesaving food and emergency relief to these kids. I just want to say go to metaxas. Talk dot com. Please do something anything you do. We always say just go to metaxas. Talk dot com. Click on the banner and give. Here's the phone number. You can call right now. Please call it eight. Four four eight six three. Hope you'll feel better if you do. Something good doesn't matter what it is. Do something good. You'll feel better and it's the right thing to do. These folks need our help. Eight four four eight six three hope. Eight four four eight six three Sean figured i gotta get to the to the red meat okay. And that is that. When i published my my first book which is called dove the east published by a lot of stories from the new yorker and i was quite young and i came home from new york. After having an editorial conference racial mckenzie who was a new yorker one great new yorker editor. And i was on. The trend is reading a carlos. Baker's of hemingway. I thought that would be my life. You know that it was in the old days. I thought things were going to be different and i got home and i took off my my suit. I think it was this one. And i saw john cheever out by the pool because he they didn't have a pool and had to be nineteen. Seventy eight no. It was nineteen a seventy five some four nine hundred seventy four and he. He was sitting by the pool. So i figured well. Hey i have the same publisher. He knows i published in the new yorker if he reviews it it'll go on the front page of the new york times book review my first book so so i went down to him and i said i said hi john and i mixed this up with when i went down and he he he had written the faulkner faulkner. Yeah which he pronounces faulkner. I called falconer being a pro pro and and he said i'm mark and i said hi and he's and he said right off the bat he said you know faulkner was so and so and so and so something good won the national book award national. No you told him that falkiner. No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no i remember he said something about it and then i said big deal. Faulkner won the nobel prize. That's right yeah. That's right because i thought he was saying faulkner. He's slow this down because pitting maybe missing this is very funny. John cheever who spoke with this plummy north shore south shore sorry south shore. Boston accent pronounced his book falconer folk faulkner so when he said that when he said fall knowing about william faulkner faulkner was made the faulkner. Someone this is no big deal on it. No wagner won the nobel prize. He went like this for a second. You know it was summer. It was before it was june. It was before nobel prize season. But he's still like that thinking it did and that was later in the seventies that was at right fuse them but clay clegg craig claiborne Said to me once a dinner house. He said mock spoke like this he said. Do i'll jong chievo gay. And i said oh no no no no because he understand about homosexual love and i said well i. I've known him since. I was a child. He's not gay. Shows what i knew. I didn't even know a gay was until i was in after college. But so anyway. I go down to the different time and i say i have a book out. Could you review it for the times thinking. You know this is going to be it. And he said well mark he said actually soul. And i are coming out with books this fall and we've pledged not to review any other books and i felt at that moment both a really angry that he wasn't going to do this for me. I had known him. All my life. And i i'd given him the idea for the swimmer which was and also ashamed that i wanted to be in that system of backscratching that i was angry about and i decided right then at that moment i would never write a blurb for anybody i would never ask anybody for a blurb i would never serve on a jury. I would never go to jato or anything like that. I would never have anything to do with any writers whatsoever that is fiction. I do sometimes reviews nonfiction books but for fiction. Which i do and i've kept that promise that you'll never see a blurb from me out of here out of sheer spite no out of shame for for wanting to be in that unfair system where you know somebody whatever and by the way i was riding in the elevator at konov when tony morrison got in the elevator with the director of publicity and this is what before song of solomon came out and i had refiners fire coming out and the same list and the director publicity. Didn't know me from anything. No nothing to recognize me. And she said to tony morrison who was an editor random house at the time she said. I want you to know. Sh i want you to know that we just had the editorial meeting bob. Meaning gottlieb has decided that. We're going to concentrate everything on your book. Your book is going to be so. I'm sitting there. My book is going to be in the same list. And i said okay all right. That's that's life and once we had dinner japanese restaurant in nyack. And we were sitting near tony morrison and choosing recognize me. Just like the elevator. But i knew she was and she was just bitching bitching vicious. She has about three hundred honorary degrees nobel prize etcetera etcetera. And i was saying she doesn't have much to complain about well. I always know. I didn't like bob gottlieb. So thank you for giving me evidence. Bob gottlieb either. I wanted to end on a sour note. And i think we've achieved that mark really. It's so much fun to talk to you. I knew that it would be an outrage to have to limit it to an hour. So we're gonna find a way to haul you back up here. Maybe next time you won't have to dry. There's so much more. Wanna talk to you about and maybe we can do it another time but it has been a magnificent joy and honor for me to do this so socrates and the city crowd. Maybe once again you can thank our special guest. Mark halperin Folks oh we got to remind you out. Been chris. We gotta remind people if you wanna participate february second. The evening of february second. We're doing a facebook. Live thing where. I'm going to be answering twenty questions from twenty people who have signed up to ask me a question. This is going to be a blast. Makes no difference what the question is could be the dumbest question you've ever heard can be true false multiple choice geography or it could have something to do with my life and have something to do with my book that i'm trying to launch called fish at a water search for the meaning of life but the launch date is tuesday february second. This is going to be on the evening. If you want to be one of the people asking the question you have to respond to my newsletter. You can get that at eric. Metaxas dot com. Sign up for that or on twitter or at our website. Metaxas talk dot com. That's going to be a link where you pay money to be one of those twenty people asking the questions. I think we still have slots available. I hope we do But it was one hundred ninety nine dollars. We've reduced it to ninety nine dollars. You get like assigned book and you get to participate in all this different stuff. But i had to mention at because it's just a few days left and we want everybody to participate. And if you do not just by paying we would love you to watch anyway on facebook. Live or wherever it's gonna be. Maybe on youtube. We'll figure it out and we'll tell you and we'll get it out by a my newsletter. Have i mentioned the newsletter. Es you have to sign up. Eric metaxas dot com. He can't get in just e mail us their contact give us. Your email gives us the email of your whole family and friends your neighborhood. We would love to send emails to everybody. Okay also alvin mike. Linda yes sir. Yes sir yes. I just want to say that this cancel culture living in his evil. This is marxist. This is unamerican. If you don't understand that read my book if you can keep it. Read my book. Bon hoffer bond hoffer really tells the story of what it is to be an cancel culture. What that feels like when you can't say this and you can't say that if you say this you get in trouble. He could get in trouble. You could lose your business or you could lose your job. That's what happened in the thirties in germany. So if it happens in america you know woopsie. Were not on a good pass. Mike lindell has taken more grief for his heroic stand on any number of things that he is trying to be there trying to cancel him who well a lot of these corporate cowards. There's something how shall we say. I'm looking for the right word. Horsh about the way. They conduct their businesses. They seem to have no values. They don't care if they throw an american patriot under the bus as long as it kind of gets them away from trouble or potential trouble or getting them can't get cancelled themselves. That's despicable that's despicable and any corporation that behaves that way to the extent that we're able to send them a message if you don't send them a message you become part of the problem so i just wanna say Heb stores mayfair stores bed bath and beyond and kohl's are the two huge ones that have said they're doing this. It's there's nothing lower. This is not communist china. This is not national socialist. Germany this is america and when somebody does something like that it to anybody much less to someone that i love and think is a hero in many ways. He's created this amazing company. Talk about rags to riches if you get his book You can't believe what he has been through all kinds of addictions and horrible things and he's come out of it to to create this beautiful company. He gave away millions of dollars. To cause is that most of us would be so thrilled and yet he's being vilified because oh he he has mentioned that maybe things aren't on the up with the past. Well i've mentioned the same thing to you get canceled for that. Why are they trying to cancel you. Can they not face the truth. So i'm asking you to support him by going to my pillow dot com or my store dot com. You can get all my books at my store. Dot com practically and use the code. Eric tell your friends if you use the code to get on tv or supporting. Whatever network that is. I'm assuming you might not want to if you want to help this program. Use the code. Eric tell your friends mike. Lindell needs are helping our support and all those stores deserve the back of our our hands but We'll just not shop there until they say they're sorry which i hope they will.
What it Means to be a Long-Distance Leader with Wayne Turmel
"Onto the remarkable leadership podcast. We are here each week. To help you lead more confidently and make a bigger difference both professionally and personally. This episode is sponsored by kevin's free weekly e newsletter. Unleashing your remarkable potential which is full of articles and resources to help you become a more confident and successful leader. Sign up by going to remarkable. Podcasts dot com forward slash newsletter and. Now here's your host kevin. Welcome everybody to another episode of the remarkable leadership. Podcast the live version today. You know the world of work today is for many of us virtual as leaders if you're leading virtual team your also virtual teammate. Today we're gonna want you to wear both hats. The leader hat and the teammate hat for this timely conversation and as i said this is another live episode of remarkable leadership. Podcast if you're watching later in your normal podcast approach you can get all future live episodes. You can get ahead of the game and interact with us and see them sooner by joining our facebook. Arlington groups just go to remarkable podcasts dot com slash facebook or remarkable podcasts dot com slash linked in. And if you are here with us live feel free to ask questions and enjoying the conversation just as if just like you think about doing. When you're here on the podcast. I wish i could ask that question. Well now you can if you're was us live Today's episode is brought to you by the long distance teammate. Our new book. If you work remotely you want to be more effective or productive. More engaged in more connected. This book will help you get there. Because there's a big difference between working from home and being engaged ineffective remote teammate. You can learn more in preorder your copy today. Starting at long distance teammate. Dot com today is a special episode because If you're watching you can see that. My guest here is weighing trial. He's the co author of that book and Wayne i. I've been working together for a number of years. I believe i was on his podcast way back in the day three times or something like that and i believe this is the third time that he's been on with me once a couple of years ago once at the start of the pandemic when everyone was freaking out with all of the remote work stuff and now today to talk about this new book of ours long distance teammate. So wayne is a longtime expert in remote work in remote leadership. Row communication He's written a number of books. We'll talk about some of those as we go. He's not only written a number of business. Titles co written some of those with me. He's also written a number of novels. And maybe we'll get into talk a little bit of that about that as well. He is my friend. He is my colleague. I write his paycheck but more than that. I'm happy to have him here today with me. Again welcome wayne back to the remarkable leadership podcast. Thank you and. I have to tell you of all the things that you have written. My paycheck is my favorite. Well that's good. That is excellent for your work. So i didn't do the formal introduction. Here's where wayne is from india and all that stuff but you do have an interesting journey an often. These shows Wayne by asking people details about their journey. But i want to ask you a little more specifically so you didn't wake up. You know as an eight year old saying i want to be an expert in remote work in remote communication But tell us a little bit about your during. But mostly i really wanna hear about. How did you end up in this whole remote space long. Most anyone else was thinking about it. Oh wow okay. Well a lot of people watching this. I'm sure are familiar with some of my work in the past. So i'll give you the a truncated version. I actually was in the entertainment business for a long time. I was a standup comic. I was a would be screenwriter. That's what brought me from canada to los angeles. At some point. The wife and child insisted on eating and get a big boy. Joe as i like to call it running away from the circus and so i- flailed around for a while trying to figure out. What could i do with a almost twenty year hole in my resume and realized i only had one marketable skill at the time. Which was i stand there and talk so corporate training seemed like a reasonable place to go and so i kind of took all the courses and stuff that i could take a short of actually going to school like a regular person and got a job with a training company turned into a bunch of stuff i was the head of training for a company called respond which was big in the presentation skills space and i realized pretty early on this is two thousand and three two thousand four. Somebody said to me in class one time presentation skills are great but i only talk to real people like four times a year and i said what do you mean say. Well you know. I work remotely from everybody else. And there's this new thing called webex that we're using a lot and that's mostly how i talk to people and i realized that nobody was going to be a critical tool in people's lives this ability to communicate that way and nobody was teaching people how to do that. And so when on yourself wayne. When i started inside the company i was working in trying to get them to pay some attention to this as this was going to be a trend and then when as all good things do you know i find myself in the parking lot with my stuff in a cardboard box which is how most consultancies get started. I thought there's something here. And that's when i started great web meetings dot com. I was doing Cranky middle manager podcast. And that's about the time that we cross trails then jumping forward You really didn't become the expert on remote communication wrote presentation skills and and then and then it's like the old commercials for the victor kiam. I liked it so much. I bought the company right. So that's kind of how that that's how all happen so so enough about sort of the past. I really want us to talk about the future but it does help people get a sense of your of your background when it does end. I think it's really important for this conversation. Is that you know one of the things by working remotely as people. Can you build real relationships. Can you do stuff. I mean you. And i knew each other for several years before we ever met in person and even once we decided to work together we actually physically were together two three times a year so we have been much more than natch right. We have been living this relationship-building collaboration thing not just as kind of experts or consultants. But this has been. It's been my life for over fifteen years and together we worked now. What six or more you're seven years. Yeah something like that. And i've had at least part of my our team be a remote for almost a decade so the title of this episode is what it takes to me to be what it takes to be a long distance. Teammate and we consciously picked the word. Teammate wayne talk about the difference between team member or teammate. Why is what's why were we conscious about that in is important. Well i think one of the challenges that teams people were facing is a lot of people working from home working remotely. Anybody who answers to the same boss is a member of the team. And that's fine. You can individually do your thing but most of us aspire to more than just being an individual cog in the machine work as a social aspect and the psychological aspect and You know work for most people involves working with other people and that can be a transactional experience or it can be a pleasing fulfilling energizing experience and the word teammate had that psychological too it that team member being a member of the team is kind of the floor. That's the bare minimum. Well say hey around the team okay. But what does that mean right like that next level of now i'm part of something it's a part of me I care all those things right. Well it talks to how much you know if i really care. I'm going to give you some discretionary effort right if a member of the team is struggling. I'm going to jump into help if the team is hitting its goals. I'm going to be excited and energized by that. There's a step above just ourselves and at the same time. There's a very self driven piece of being a teammate. That a lot of people don't pay attention to you. There's this notion that being a teammate is a selfless act and you're constantly giving just as the whole idea of servant leadership can kind of have a dark side where you're doing all the giving and not getting what you need from it. Being a teammate doesn't always mean while it frequently does mean taking one for the team or doing some discretionary effort or whatever. It doesn't mean you're constantly sacrificing yourself on the altar of the team. Yeah i'm reaching around here for a copy of the book in here. It is the a keyword in this title afterward teammate. The next were down here is engaged. And so i wanna talk about that for a second. Because i think when we first started thinking about this book or we had a title of oriented and we were first conversation with our publisher about it. We talked about this word engagement. And you know i like to call it. The myth of engagement which says engagement belongs to the leaders and this is the remarkable leadership podcast. And so what is what is your take. What is our take on. What engagement means but more importantly who does it belong to well. It's funny and i don't think i've ever told you this. I had this conversation when i was still doing. The cranky middle managers show with an extremely well known human being. So i won't out him but once the the conversation stopped and we were just chatting and we were talking about what he was doing next and he was doing a book on engagement and he says. I don't wanna do this book. And i said why not. He said most of the talk about engagement is s. and he didn't say bs and i went hotel me more and he said something that i believed for a long time and that you and i certainly had plenty of conversations about which is for somebody to truly engage the company can have all the pizza parties and mission statements and good work and everything that they want and make it easy for people to engage with them but at the end of the day whether or not you engages totally up to you. It's a decision that you make now. Companies and some of them do a superb job of making it really easy to disengage pay to make that happen that we can do as leaders to support or or take away from that choice right but ultimately it's that choice and i think the reason i want to say thurs you were heading there with the whole idea of team mate right like fair or not if i really see myself as truly a teammate. I'm much more likely to choose to be engaged. Absolutely you know. If if i'm a team member and all i'm concerned about or my metrics and doing my thing. There is a level of productivity and discretionary effort. How hard people are willing to work how much they're willing to invest in solving problems. How much they're willing to help. Their teammates comes from how much we care and at the end of the day engagement is how much do you care. It's really that simple. We we use all these lovely. Hr consultant words. Sometimes but at the end of the day engagement is how much do you care. Do you care about your work. do you like your work. Do you like the people you work with. Are you energized by it. Then you're engaged. I couldn't agree more. And i guess since we wrote a book together. That's probably a good thing. I am talking with wayne terminal that my co author the author of the long distance teammate. Stay engaged in connected while working anywhere and wayne. I'm i'm certainly let it have you and again for those of you know this. We are live. Well if you're listening to this later you know we're not live to you but if you're here live and have a question or comment feel free to share it. I'll see them in will include those in the conversation. So this is a leadership podcast. It's in the title wayne. And i said at the beginning that i wanted people to wear both hats. Certainly everything that we've had of the leader in. Hey i'm also a team member because you are a teammate. Your team member as a leader of at least two teams the one you lead in the one of your peers. But let's let's explicitly put the leader hat on for second. I mean nets many ways. Why people come here to this particular podcast. So really quickly. What's the leader's role. When they have a remote team give us two or three things that will help people think about that. Maybe how they need to think about it differently than when everyone was together well of course when we were talking about the long distance teammate. The first things that we said is the role hasn't actually changed all that much. I mean the leader needs to do what the leader needs to do whether you are all located or not right. All the stuff the Setting the vision and managing performance and coaching. And all of that stuff. That leaders have to do still has happened right. So you've got the leadership role. I think there is an additional role for the leader. Which is that of facilitator. and just. So you know that has never been wayne's favorite word feels like a consultant to him as well but go interesting because if you wouldn't concept go ahead if you look at facilitator as you gets dropped in these circles right instructor leader whatever but the word fussily is latin for to make easier and that's the role of the leader is to make communication easier to make work easier to make hitting goals easier if we think about it in the true sense of the word right if we think about the verb facilitate. That's where on a remote team. The leader has some very specific different things to do because a lot of the things that make teamwork easy being close together Passing each other in the hallway. You know having to face somebody in a meeting when you missed the deadline and you don't really want to do that so you better get that work. Done those types of things. Don't happen organically on a remote team every communication on a remote team whether from the leader to the teammates or the teammates to each other is intentional. You don't do it by accident. that's very true. That's very right. Yeah so we need to be more intentional about how we make it easier for people to work together. And some of that is creating connections or allowing connections to happen or intentionally creating connections. That wouldn't otherwise happen. And and you know a really simple example is if we're working in the workplace and i hand you a project and i go find somebody to do this with find somebody that help it kind of happens organically if i am working remotely as the leader. I might want to pair somebody who works remotely with somebody in the office to make sure sure that people are connecting and maintaining connections that might fade away. Otherwise if you've got somebody who's an old hand at this you may want to intentionally pair them with the new hire. Yep so that they are ramping up and becoming part of the team. Faster rather than letting. Bob work with alice because they've always worked together and they work really. Well maybe we need to create a different connection and that is designed to ultimately facilitate the work. So a couple things that you say. They're they're thinking we're talking a little bit more. One is that that you didn't quite say. But i think it's also true that it's it's harder if via as the boss say. Hey wayne go find some help with this. That's a harder request from your perspective. Likely when you're not again not down the hall from people right so it it. You said it may happen more automatically when we're together but it's just it's just a beer lift like i don't even know. Where do i start. Who should i pick. That's the first part. The second thing that you said. I think super important and the longer we're living in this world of remote work the more likely it will be true for you. Is that as a leader and as a teammate. You're going to have people on the team that were never in the location with other people before so talk a little bit about that for us as a leader as you're bringing on people that never were in office with each other. Well the trick when we're on boarding new team members right is you've got two things that need to happen number one. Is you want that person to start doing productive. Work as quickly as possible and having them on the payroll while they fill out paperwork isn't doing productive work but the other thing is you want to facilitate the team forming and coming together as a team as quickly as possible and that means people need to get to know each other. They need to start to develop trust and they need to start to develop the personal connections one of the biggest problems on remote teams. And it's it's hard to know when it's happening until it's too late is exclusion. It's not that. I am intentionally not bringing the new person in. It's just if i have a question. I'm going to go to the person. I have an existing relationship with. I'm going to go to the person that i know knows the answer. I'm to go to the person. I enjoy talking. And then i already know and already know and it's not that i hate the new person it's the either i don't know what they know. And so maybe. If i need a quick answer that's not the most productive use of my time but it's also i literally don't think about them because they're not sitting right there at the next desk staring at me. It's out of sight out of mind and while it's corrosive and a problem ninety nine times out of one hundred. It's not intentional. it's just. I literally didn't think about that person when i needed to do this task absolutely absolutely right so i wanna get at a couple of very sort of specific areas for us as teammates But before we've sort of fully leave the leader space. I want you to put on your future hat for a second. I mean you are an author of a book about this after all wayne so the question is what do you see as we're having this conversation on the first day of the year. And if people are subscribe to the podcast. They're getting it before the middle of the month in january. What are the challenges that you think remote leaders long distance leaders are going to be facing that that that the ones that you can say with certainty will need to be thinking about today. Yeah i think there's a to the come immediately to mind. One is that. And i've been calling this and this horribly consultancy. I've been calling it the new abnormal. Which is this notion of. A lot of people have been waiting for this disease to go away and then we can go back to the way things work and it ain't going to happen and not only is not going to happen. It's not going to happen at different times in different ways depending on where you are young people. It's not only country to country jurisdiction to jurisdiction if you've got a office building with twenty companies in it. Every one of them is going to be working on a different time schedule. Different amounts of people in the office at the same time all of that and so starting with the team level and going out to the organization. You're going to have to be really really aware. How are we going to do this. How are we going to get work done. And then over the year. That is likely to change. But we need to be very aware and we can't wait for somebody else to make those decisions. We need to do that. An leaders are going to step up and say we can't wait for this to go away. We need to figure this out. That's one thing that's going to happen. It's going to get more for one sec. Hold what that is as a leader. You don't have to have the answers to all that either. You can get your team in fact we would strongly encourage you to get your team involved in that. Okay here's where we're at. What are you all think. Here's the thing don't ask if you don't want their health over one and if you're the person sitting there saying i can't wait to get everybody back in the office that's a whole nother issue. Because it probably isn't what you're going to get or even what your or what your team members all want right well and then leads us to the second thing right. Look look at us bouncing off each other That leads us to the second thing. Which is the one thing we do know is going to happen as offices reopened and we reconfigure. The work is the balance of people in the office. Full-time versus people working remotely fulltime is going to change from whatever it was The hybrid team is going to become more and more the nor even if organizations decide. Hey two days a week. We're going to have everybody in the office for meetings in collaboration and good stuff and then let people work from home when they want. And there's going to be a lot of that that's going to change the dynamics of how teams work and it's we don't even that's going to be a huge change you'd think about it from a personal perspective now for two days. I'm gonna go in. And i'm going to be in full on interaction mode. I'm gonna probably be more meetings than i can even imagine. And that's and. How do i prioritize. The rest of the work still has to happen and then. How does that shift. When i'm home some people are going to like one of those things more than the other. There's a hundred things that we need unpacked. We don't have time for here. But you're exactly right and it's gonna affect multiple things right the genie's out of the bottle in terms of working from home. There are a lot of jobs that people didn't think could be done remotely that are getting done. Just fine thank you and by the way a lot of those people are really good with not spending three hours a day in the car to make that happen now. It's not that they're saying. I don't wanna go back to work but i could work from home some of the time my wife. My wife she said is loves working from home. And laurie says you know in a perfect world. I'd like to go in about one day a week and we're going to get a lot of that but that's going to fundamentally change the way we operate it's going to change the way we organize our workweek. Hey wednesday is go to the office day. Which means wednesday. I'm in meetings all day. And that's fine because that has to happen and by the way i like the people i work with and seeing other human beings is a beautiful thing But it's going to change the way we organize our workweek and our lives and a lot of things and it repercussions. We literally have not begun to calculate how much that's going to change things and you know there's a put. Another wrinkle in there is that there are some organizations that have grown during the pandemic situation. Being one example. Where even if you wanted everybody at the same time you couldn't or some people are gonna say not. Everyone wants to be there because they even after some of the copen stuff is is calming. People aren't gonna want to have that many people space so we're going to have some people everyone's come in two days a week. Same two days some places where everyone's coming two days not necessarily the same to whole other set of repercussions right and as leaders. He says remembering what this is all about. That's leaders weenie. to think about. How are we going to organize our time. Are we going to facilitate those meetings in those conversations. That need to happen. Really simple example. One of the things we hear about or heard about before march was oh. These hybrid meetings are a nightmare. You've got five people in the conference room around the conference table and you've got a couple of people dialing in and you know there's all kinds of inequity in frustration and there's all kinds of things well one of the things that's going to happen is result of everybody having learned how to use a webcam and you know we have been bludgeoned into zoom land to the point where it's no longer a big deal is they're going to be fewer of those meetings and more meetings that are completely online even when some people are in the office at their desk because it levels the playing field and makes it easy for everybody to contribute equally. And and do all of that. That's a really simple but it's going to be a massive change in function. Good news is it won't be for us because that's the way we've been doing it for a long time. So that's just not a hypothetical suggestion that really does work and there have been many times although not in the last several months when there were two or three people in this building with me where i'm at right now who didn't come in here or we didn't go to a conference table for everyone else. Like wayne and others to join us but rather everyone sat in their in at their computers. Doors closed so we didn't have river bend echo and stuff. And that's how done it. And i strongly recommend that so i wanna i wanna talk about a couple of things in the book book. We are talking with wayne term. L. about the brand new book the long distance teammate. Stay engaged connected while working anywhere. There's a couple things in the well. I'm going to say talking about one thing that we get asked about all the time that we address in the book and one thing that we sort of brought we believe we're bringing to the fore in the book and the first of those is the one we could ask what all the time and that's promote productivity so now leaders as teammates and leaders thinking about their teammates all the same like what what gives us a couple of pieces of advice wayne about what we can do to be more productive when we're working alone by ourselves at home or wherever. Yeah well the first thing is make sure you understand the term productivity because it's really really easy to be kind of buried alive in your task list and work really really hard and not be productive at the end of the day and i'm a big fan of simplifying consultant terms right so prominent figure that out today. We'll all give. It is doing the right work at the right time in the right way. That's what being productive The caveat there is what do we mean by right now. Work that first of all. Our productivity is dependent on two things. It's our work. Our tasks are k. B is the work that we're being measured on. We have to do the stuff were being paid to do. And as a member of a team and as a good teammate there is team productivity that has to be met and so you can be really really good at knock your metrics out of the park and getting your tasks done and going. Yep done but if bob is struggling right or if bob is can't do his work until he gets that report from me and i'm getting to him at the last possible moment thereby i've got my check mark but i've slowed him down right. I am not helping the team be productive in so when we think about the right work. It's really balancing the work we have to get done. That is the right word at the right time. Whatever and the team's work and that's what being a good teammate is. Is you find that balance. I think that's exactly right now. I had one thing that. I think that i'm hearing all the time. Well everyone's still getting their stuff done so they're being productive. No right because i mean on top of what you're saying and that is that i i always say that. Productivity has a numerator and denominator so just because people are getting working hard working longer brute force getting it all done doesn't mean productive that just means that means getting it done but it should be getting done in in a timely manner to your point but in an amount of time that makes sense. Most people have just sucked up all that commute time and got it and use it to work. But if they're not getting any more work done they're not being more productive being. Yeah it's give and this is actually as much as all the people who advocate for remote work and all of that are kind of doing the happy touchdown dance because see. We told you this would work. There is a very real downside and dark side which is most of us. Were never trained to manage our time or Guardrails around when are we working in winter. We not and so you know. Some of us are answering e mail literally before we're out of bed in the morning because the electronic umbilical cord is ever present and we're still answering them after dinner and were at the kid's soccer game and we're head down over our phone and all of those things at least when there was a structure you as much as we hated it. There was a structure. Your day began and ended. And when you were in the car work was over. Were now having to learn how to work very differently and so Even though as you say the numerator and the denominator and nobody told me there would be mass today. But i didn't give you any numbers. That's but the amount of work in the amount of time right. Yeah that's exactly right and by the way leaders. You're impacting nat. And i've been. I've been i've been a i i've been a a a culprit of this and i think better than it used to be Send emails whenever worked for me and sending the message everyone else. Oh i guess. I should still be working Or i don't wanna be the last one to respond to that email that's slack messages. Instant message whatever. It is teams message. Whatever and so. We've gotta be really careful about that. I got one more thing wayne. I i knew that this would be engaging in this would probably go longer than it probably needed to. But i've got one thing that we talked about in the book. That is new. I believe that. I'd like you to talk about just a second into phrases that we call ethical visibility. This book is about. How do i be an effective team member and it's about how do i be productive and all those things but there's a career component to the book because the longer were working at a distance the more we've got to think about okay. How do i advance my career so talk a little bit about ethical. Well this goes all the way back to engagement right. Which is one of the fundamental problems with way we usually think about engagement is. We're giving were giving were giving. We're taking one for the team. We're being proactive. We're helping our team mates. Were doing all that stuff. But in order to stay engaged over the long term. We need to be getting stuff. We need to get recognized for our work. We need to have people building relationships with us in creating relationships that keep us engaged. We need to know for example. Just because we're working remotely we haven't been bumped off the career track or that. The manager is going to give all the chances to brown noses in the office or man. Joe works in the office on the same day as the boss. I'm not i mean. There's my hybrid few trait in sunday's literally. This goes back to something we said. Earlier about how out of sight out of mind is not malignant or badly intentioned. It's just a thing and so if you're going to stay engaged over the long belong hall if you want to be thought of as a great member of the team if you want your work to be recognized if you want to stay on the career track you need to be visible to your teammates and your manager and a lot of us have had that bread out of us. We've been taught that is self serving and weasley and it's office politics and it's all of these things but if we don't have a healthy dose of self interest right right. Yeah and the thing is i. It's a healthy balance and door some things that you can use to guide that right when you were making suggestions is it we language. Is it for the team or is it. nieminen me me right. Are you kind of using brute force to get your way rather than an engaging you know. Are you taking part in meetings. Because you like the sound of your own voice or because if i sit on five meetings and nobody hears from me why would they think of me one more face on the brady bunch gallery screen exactly and so the two words are really important. You need to be visible. And it needs to be done in an ethical positive way and that means it's okay to do certain things you know when you're ever your coaching conversations with your manager and leaders if you're having the coaching conversations we know that it's easy to forget the career development stuff because you're busy doing tasks part of ethical visibility. Is i own the right to say. Hey kevin you know a couple of months ago. We talked about this. I'd still like to to take part in that project or do that task or take that class or whatever. I own that and if i don't raise it onto the radar there's a good chance it's not going to happen and it's not evil and it's not malignant and it's thing it's nobody's fault and if i'm going to stay engaged if i don't see a future right if i'm not getting the reward and recognition that i need for my work if i'm not having fun with the people that i work with and building positive relations. I'll just go work somewhere else. That's where disengagement happens and look at this at all circle back ultimately we own that without beating ethically visible it is almost impossible over the longtime to stay engaged right if we don't see a future for us even if we don't want another job right having seeing a future for ourselves does not necessarily mean boss's boss's boss job might mean that the next net right so i love how you brought that all back so a couple of things wayne before we finish You know all work and no play makes wayne adult boy What is wayne. Do for fun. Oh man Wayne does a bunch of stuff. I live in las vegas live with a fun city after all. Yeah although for the last nine months you know. I could be in muncie indiana for all the difference. It makes i do a of stuff for fun. But mostly i i am not just you know doing the consultantcy writer thing. I also write fiction in. That is a whole lot of fun. Both short stories and novels might You know i've done four novels now. that are out in the world and the reason that's is not only as the writing fund but most of my social life is with other writers. My writers group. Different people that i've met in the community who do the same thing and so the because i have worked from home for fifteen years or so right. I need to make sure that. I have fun outside of the house. And so that's where a lot of my social interaction and other things come as well people. If people wanna learn more about those books that were working they go to the easiest thing is if you go to amazon type in wayne drew. Now you'll see all kinds of things including the long distance teammate and long distance leader but also my novels and stuff that i've written in the deep dark asked kind of all. Is there for the world to see. And there is a wing term l. dot com which is specifically about my fiction. Non business stuff if you wanna know what we're doing around this remote leadership institute dot com is the place to go so i have never met a highly effective leader. That wasn't a reader. I've never met a highly a good writer who wasn't a reader so the question i ask every single guest wayne is. What are you reading these days. Tell people one thing or a couple of things you're reading didn't matter is over the holidays. I made a very intentional effort to just kind of chill. And so i read. There is a writer who tortures me. His name is mark halperin and he wrote a winter's tale and paris in the present tense. And i just finished reading a soldier of the great war and the reason he tortures me is that his prose is so beautiful that it makes just want to hang it up. I could never do that. But it's just wonderful. Wonderful lyrical stuff and i wish i loved anything in the world as much as he loves new york city when he describes new york city. It's amazing and i've been to new york. I mean it takes some work to make me love new york. But he does it. We just got a comment. And i'm gonna put it up here before we wrap up. I think it's it's helpful and we've had. We've had three or four campuses. When i happen to know tracy as it turns out. Hi tracy a having been a work from home team member teammate. for over a decade. I truly appreciate this conversation looking forward to new world of work where. The flexibility stigma diminishes in diversity is embraced as women. Strive to achieve work life effectiveness. So i think that's an excellent point with some other great comments come in from folks about the thoughts about productivity and clarify in clarifying how we think about that as well which i think is great but but what crazy said though about. The flexibility stigma is really true it relates to women certainly right traditionally. A kid gets sick. Somebody needs to work from home. Mom's the one that goes right and that bears on how people view her career track A lot of hr departments have kind of said okay. You can work from home. That's a perk. But you have basically taken yourself off the career track. We have assumed that you are choosing lifestyle over your career as the stigma starts to go away. it's going to create opportunities. Not only for women. But for people in small towns for people with disabilities All kinds of new opportunities are going to go there. And there's a whole conversation about the flexibility stigma that i'm totally stealing that phrase. There's been stolen there. You have it for sure because we've had that conversation but we haven't had the phrase and thanks to tracy we now have it speaking of those of you who are in the audience. Whether it's live or later. I have a question for you before we wrap up in the question is now what. What are you going to do with this whether you have your leader hat on and you're thinking about how you can support your team members or whether you're thinking about it as a member of the team and as a teammate. What are the ideas that you're going to take from this and take action on because until you take action. It's hard to think about. This have been of much value. And while wayne is pretty darn entertaining. Hopefully you got more from this than just a little entertainment time. So wayne Any last chance any final final thought before we wrap this up not really a except to say that this all again comes down to engagement if you get nothing from this. It's it's this. That engagement does come from within. And so if you are not getting what you need. Maybe it's because you're not giving out what you need to give out as a and so ask yourself. Are you just a member of a team or are you really a teammate. It's the right question and we'll leave it at that. This episode has been brought to you by our brand new book. The long distance teammate. We are so glad that you've been with us. We're here every week. Not here live every week. It's not always for podcast but you know if you're if you're listening to this podcast or watching it from wherever you get your podcast you know we we back next week because we always are and back again next week with another episode of the remarkable leadership podcast. Thanks everybody and thank you wayne. We'll see you next week.