22 — Michael Brody-Waite — Great Leaders Live Like Drug Addicts


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"The people through the door change the world, change their lives, and change the lives of others but they get bloodied in the process." - Michael Brody-Waite

  • Why do great leaders live like drug addicts?
  • What are the four “masks” holding back every individual, leader, and organization?
  • Why did Michael Brody-Waite put his mom-turned-employee on a performance improvement plan?
  • How can entrepreneurs overcome imposter syndrome?

Why Your Team Needs to Behave Like Addicts

Michael Brody-Waite has had an unusual journey to success. As a recovering drug addict turned TEDx speaker and 3xs CEO, he's formed a unique approach to business and life through three key recovery principles: rigorous authenticity, surrendering the outcome, and doing uncomfortable work.

In this episode, Michael explains how these simple-to-say, tricky-to-execute principles led him to great success in corporate America — and why being an addict created a competitive advantage.

Rigorous Authenticity: How to Drop the Mask

According to Michael's research, 70% of employees are avoiding a difficult conversation with their boss, coworkers, or someone that they manage. This avoidant behavior is one of the four masks that are holding back every individual, leader, and organization.

Self-deception is intrinsic to mankind's tribe mentality, so changing your behavior takes courage and determination. Michael lets us in on what it takes to really tear down that wall and what you stand to gain by getting comfortable with the uncomfortable.

Why Leaders Should Share the Things That Scare Them to Death

As the youngest manager in his department in a Fortune 500 company, Michael Brody-Waite was no stranger to imposter syndrome. He learned the hard way that trying to control perceptions only holds back personal growth.

Michael explains why owning your weaknesses and aggressively sharing them not only lets you live your authentic life and makes you more productive, but ultimately gives you more clout as a leader.

Key takeaways:

  • Create an intentional feedback loop. In a world where everyone's got an opinion and a platform, it's key to identify your trusted allies. Find a tribe that is fully aligned with your belief system, and you'll gain advice that truly adds value.
  • Make peace with haters. We're trained to follow, and a fear of rejection holds us back from achieving our potential. Authenticity is difficult but vital: make peace with the fact that you'll have haters and fans, and learn to embrace your unique perspective.
  • The world needs real leaders. Fulfilment comes from living a life that's true to yourself and leading by example. Michael says that most of us are thirsting for real leaders — and real leaders show you how they lead themselves.

Links And Resources

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