For his book “The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die,” Dr. John Izzo interviewed more than 200 of the wisest people he could find.
He came away with an abundance of life experiences and wisdom about finding happiness and meaning, both professionally and personally. Izzo channels that wisdom into his corporate speaking engagements, hoping to give people a wakeup call.
Izzo—who will address the America’s Credit Union Conference in San Diego June 17-20—explains what the five secrets are all about and how they relate to business.
CU Mag: How does personal wisdom relate to the business world?
Izzo: The things that make a person successful in life are the same things that make a person successful in business. [What makes] for a rewarding life makes for a rewarding career.
Many of the people I interviewed had very successful careers, whether they were a town barber or the CEO/founder of a company.
CU Mag: Why should businesses foster meaning and happiness for their employees at work?
Izzo: Study after study show that highly engaged employees translate into significant outcomes in customer loyalty, productivity, and profitability.
Every manager has room for improvement. I have gotten to work with some of the best companies in the world, and one thing I’ve found is that these companies never get arrogant. They are always asking what they need to do to engage their employees and grow as leaders.
This lack of arrogance is one of the hallmarks of successful companies and successful leaders. People in successful organizations are always in learning mode. They never think that they have it licked.
CU Mag: How did you develop the five secrets?
Izzo: I have always been fascinated with why some people are able to find more happiness and success than others. I also had an incredible experience a couple of years ago in Tanzania, where I was working with some tribal elders.
They talked about having a council of elders. When you achieve a certain age and experience you go into this council and people come to you for advice. They asked about how it worked where I came from and, of course, I had to tell them that in our society we don’t really revere the elderly.
They were so shocked by this that they told me I should go back and form a council of elders. I didn’t think I could do that, but I thought maybe I could tap into the wisdom of older people and channel it. That is really where it began for me.
CU Mag: What should attendees take away from your presentation?
Izzo: People leave [the presentation] thinking about their lives in a different way. They leave thinking about what really matters. They ask, ‘Am I living my life the way I want to be living it?’
Almost everybody leaves the session with one thing that really gets them, [where they think] “I need to pay attention to that.” It’s a wakeup call.
People will find that this will impact their business and career, as well as their personal life.
Dr. John Izzo is a consultant and author of five books, including “The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die." It was named the best self-help book of 2008 by the Independent Book Publishers Association. Izzo will bring his insights about life to the America’s Credit Union Conference in San Diego, June 17-20.