Chip Conley on Wisdom, Midlife, and Peak Experience

July 22, 2020

Today it’s great to have Chip Conley on the podcast. Chip is a New York Times best-selling author who helped Airbnb’s founders turn their fast-growing tech start-up into a global hospitality brand. In his book Wisdom at Work: The Making of a Modern Elder, he shares his unexpected journey at midlife, from CEO to intern, learning about technology as Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy, while also mentoring CEO Brian Chesky. This experience inspired the creation of The Modern Elder Academy, where a new roadmap for midlife is offered to help students unlock their wisdom and expand their potential at a beautiful ocean-front campus in Baja California Sur, Mexico. His other books include Emotional Equations, Peak, Marketing that Matters, and The Rebel Rules: Daring to Be Yourself in Business.

Time Stamps

[02:42] Integrity and authenticity

[04:55] How Chip came to work with Airbnb in midlife

[08:58] How writing is like being pregnant

[11:01] How we don’t have a culture of cultivating wisdom

[12:08] What is wisdom?

[14:35] How wisdom relates to implicit learning and intuition

[17:05] Purpose, community, and wellness

[21:11] The Modern Elder Academy and its mission

[27:35] Your relationship with money and how it can affect you

[31:08] Chip’s book on wisdom, and how it has benefited him

[32:14] Why Chip wrote his best-selling book “Peak”

[36:45] How Chip applies Maslow’s principles to business

[37:12] The Employee Pyramid – money, recognition, and meaning

[42:32] The Customer Pyramid – expectations, desires, and unrecognised needs

[49:39] The Investor Pyramid – transactional alignment, relationship alignment, and mission alignment

[53:47] Why peak leaders need a positive perspective on human nature

[55:22] The importance of meaning in creating employee engagement

[57:16] Maslow’s “Theory Z” and self-transcendence

[1:00:16] Maslow’s “Plateau Experience” – seeing the miraculous in the everyday

[1:03:17] Common misconceptions about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

[1:06:00] Chip’s existential questions to ask yourself during a downturn

Hope you enjoyed this episode! I’m curious to hear what you think – do you have any tips on cultivating wisdom? Where does your place of work (or your own business) sit on Chip’s three pyramids? And lastly, any other Maslow nerds listening?!

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