{Podcast Episode} Erick Slabaugh on “Paper Napkin Wisdom”

“We all come with baggage, the challenge is to find people to help us unpack.”

I felt deeply privileged to have been invited onto the amazing “Paper Napkin Wisdom” podcast. Aside from being a close friend and someone I deeply respect, Govindh Jayaraman was a wonderful host. I genuinely enjoyed our exchange.

When Govindh asked me what bit of wisdom, brief and clear enough to be scribbled onto a napkin, that has been particularly influential on my personal and professional life, I knew my answer.

It was the quote above.

A simple but simultaneously complex phrase I learned from my mother, a founding member of our company who remains our Executive Assistant still today. I can still remember the moment: a few years back, my mother had pinned up a poster outside my office with that very quote on it. She barely explained what she meant by it – but I thought deeply about it. It’s remained with me ever since.

From my view, the quote encapsulates so much in so few words: leadership, humility, compassion, mercy, love, trust, and the relationships and bonds we form (as leaders, as business partners, as parents, as life partners, as sons and daughters, as community leaders).

Finding the right people who will help us “unpack” – or rather, who will give us a safe space to allow us to “unpack” who we are at our most vulnerable and authentic core – is, in many ways, the fundamental human experience.

I mention this in the podcast episode, but the quote reminds me of a concept put forward by Warren Rustand, a friend and colleague who I’ve long admired.

Warren talks about how as entrepreneurs, leaders in our businesses and communities, and as parents, we are perpetually in a process of “always becoming.” From my view, finding others to help “unpack” our baggage is a key part of “always becoming.”Listen to the full podcast episode here – and be sure to share it with an entrepreneur or leader you know.

Erick Slabaugh is a Serial Entrepreneur, Board Member, Advisor. He serves as the CEO of Absco Solutions, a 40+ year market veteran in the facility security and fire-life safety industry, as well as CEO of FCP Insight, a cloud-based enterprise software solution for electrical contracting businesses. A former member of the Global Board of Directors, Erick is a long-standing member of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Seattle chapter.

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