Podcast

People First: Creating Impact and Elevating Individuals

Podcast

People First: Creating Impact and Elevating Individuals

Podcast

People First: Creating Impact and Elevating Individuals

Podcast

People First: Creating Impact and Elevating Individuals

Podcast

People First: Creating Impact and Elevating Individuals

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Podcast

People First: Creating Impact and Elevating Individuals

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Podcast

People First: Creating Impact and Elevating Individuals

32
MIN
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About the Episode
Ryan Patel believes businesses can grow exponentially if they just do one simple thing: focus on their people. As a global leader in business who has grown companies like Pinkberry, Panda Express, and Mastercard, Ryan knows what it takes to fuel growth. Although many may think profits should be put first, Ryan shares a different spin that focuses on elevating people and creating social good. In this episode, he shares his insights, strategies, and secrets to building better businesses and scaling people.
Episode Highlights

Impact needs to be measured
Environment, social, and corporate governance (ESG) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) must have metrics to report on.

Individuals can create change

Organizations should listen to—and care about—employees’ thoughts and ideas. 

Feedback is important
A big part of improving is constantly reaching across levels and departments to ask for feedback.

Meet our Guest

Ryan Patel has a LinkedIn following of more than 30,000 for a reason. He’s a world-renowned authority on global business, political economy, and corporate governance. He frequently shares his insights through publications like Forbes and The New York Times and is a contributor on top news stations such as BBC and CNN. From Vice President of Global Development at Pinkberry to Senior Fellow with the Drucker School of Management, his wide range of professional experiences have provided him ample expertise in building teams, expanding businesses, and infusing social good into growth strategies.

Episode Transcript

Chris Byers: If we can make an impact at an individual level, we can certainly make an impact on a global level. This quote from Ryan Patel was featured on the Nasdaq billboard in Times Square in 2020. Ryan is no stranger to the big stage and bright lights as a go-to authority on scaling businesses. He's a frequent guest on CNN, the Davos World Economic Forum and in boardrooms of big businesses like HP, MasterCard and Lego. When he's not contributing to quarter acre sized billboards, he shares his expertise at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University as a board and faculty member. What led Ryan to this now infamous billboard quote and his people first mentality? Let's find out. Ryan, welcome to the show. We're excited to have you.

Ryan Patel: Thanks, Chris. I really appreciate being here. 

Chris Byers: Anything in that intro you'd like to add 

Ryan Patel: that I always feel really shy and embarrassed when you hear that intro. I think for me, though, there is and I think it just provides a background that scaling comes across looking at different types of departments and people and industries. And I think when I hear that intro, I think it reminds me of that message of no matter who you are, that you can really do simple things and make an impact. And at least that's what I hear when you make that intro because my background is not a typical path. And I think part of every experience or every career experience you have, you get to add a little more value to it. 

Chris Byers: You're a world renowned authority on global business, political economy and corporate governance. How did you get started? 

Ryan Patel: It's interesting when you think about things that you have passions about, and I've always wanted to help build a brand now that's like kind of notion is where do you start? Usually people go where I want to do X, and I just wanted to be a part of growing something, no matter what it was, and be able to lead leaders and be a part of a team that you can actually win. And I think when I started, I got to see that from the food industry than in retail. Obviously, they're now tech and then going global, right really is where I wanted to be. And sometimes you don't get opportunities right away to the things that you want to do. And I think what I did was the experiences I took away was if I wasn't getting an opportunity, what can I do on the end or at the side that continues to make me better? So my job description, funny enough, was always never the job description. It was always more. And I found that as a pattern, Chris, and you either embrace it or you're disgruntled about it. And I can't. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I wasn't upset at certain points through my career going, Why am I doing all of this? But one day there was a light bulb and the light bulb was, You know what? I'm going to do this and then more that I want to do, because when I am given that opportunity, I'm going to hit running that people are going to know and think that I've done this before and I know what I'm talking about. And I think for me, that was the aha moment that, Hey, you know what? I'm good. Put me in a room with experts and I could have a conversation not only get their respect, but also add value to that. And I think that was for me where it started to turn a little bit to go, OK, just because my experience or I may not look like that typical person that may be in the boardroom or with that typical path. That's OK. I'm OK with that now. I am not meant for everybody, but I think those who want to be innovative, those who want to push and scale across different perspectives and different industries because again, retail, food, tech, health care, you name it, are, you name it, they're all interconnected at one point or not. I think I can add value to that. And finally, I think we are seeing 

Chris Byers: What drew you to this kind of career path overall. 

Ryan Patel: It's definitely not my plan because I wish it was by design. Looking back at it goes, Oh, this all kind of makes sense that this adds value here that you do cause you do global. You do all these things now you're teaching and global leadership, the class that I teach. We touch seven different modules from sustainability, the economy to personal branding and marketing. And it all makes sense in class because the students can see that it all does match. But in the beginning, it was really more of the opportunity that was given at hand and that those that who are really interested in knowing who I was and think it was bought more matches about people. And I think it is still to this day, Chris, the brands and the companies that come who want a partner having lead campaigns or sit on board or advisory boards, it's the people who believe in and know me. They get to know the individual what you're about, and I think that's the difference. 

Chris Byers: Yeah, maybe just to start with left for you to expound just a little bit on ESG, what it is and maybe even why people are talking about it right now. 

Ryan Patel: So ESG environment, social and corporate governance is obviously a very popular term that people are now referring to of big factors in measuring sustainability and sales impacts. So what that really means is that there are different ways to make that impact and that there going to be benchmarking metrics that people are not focusing on. Corporate social responsibility is really big. Now there's really turns on where you can actually make an overall impact and you've got to work on all of those things right now. One of them, that's what's considered ESG, not just your governance or to that degree. And I think it's calling out of where you're making the most impact behind it. So to me, ESG is something that I feel like every company will be working toward. It is a term that is a buzzword. But for me, I think it really needs metrics. It will have benchmarks to see what kind of impact you have. Year over year, and you're going to start to see that with many of these corporations being measured in the future of how are you getting better to actually create that score when there is that score? And Wall Street is obviously going to be leading behind that because ESG has been very popular. 

Chris Byers: Well, Ryan, if if you're in an organization who really hasn't thought about impact, what do you think are some ways that people, as individuals can begin to get that started and maybe from more of a groundswell version of it versus maybe the C-level chairman yet doing it? 

Ryan Patel: One define what impact is what does success look like because you can make an impact on the individual. But if you don't see what that is or what you're looking for, you may not deem that a success. And what does it mean for individual level and what kind of resources do you have to make that impact? What is it that you're doing so then then you can have a real I don't want to say a process, but something in both your hands that you can hand say, Here's what we want to do x. Here's what we want from Y. And I think part of that impact is that you're actually measuring to see that what you're doing is actually right and actually doing something because part of making that impact either at an individual level or even from a sea level perspective, is that six months from now, you could be, oh, that didn't touch base on that. Where are we? You could have figured that out in the first two months to say this wasn't working, and you got to course correct that this is not like an annual check and this is making real impact and getting real time feedback is really important in that last thing I just said, the real time feedback loop is important because the way that you may have thought that you were doing something that is more positive may not. There could be other ways to do it better to keep this in a macro conversation, even to the sea level. It's if you take in new products and services, they measure everything on, like where are we at this week or next week or next month and you're over a year? That's no different, that maybe you should do that to individuals and people to actually create some kind of cadence. That's very similar to that. 

Chris Byers: This topic of ESG has come up a lot lately and of course, encompasses a lot environment, social governance. I'm curious, is that part of how you think about things is designing things from a holistic perspective in that way? 

Ryan Patel: Here's the funny part being in retail in the beginning of my career and being a part of the community that's always been there, like what you do for the community. And I didn't come from big budgets in marketing or anything like that. It's about grassroots movement, word of mouth. How do you do that? It's becoming genuine. Right? Genuine conversations listening to local communities. Not to say that I was leader, but you can look me up five, sixty seven plus years ago. I've been talking about it. That doesn't mean that everyone catches on. You're right, everyone now saying ESG is the buzzword. What I'm saying now and now, since everyone's caught up, what's the benchmarks like? How are you making that impact? It's not just about checks, it's about actual impact and moving forward, changing businesses and doing that. I think for me, that is the systemic thing. If you look at consumers and clients, it's great that you can say that you're responsible. The question is what kind of impact are you doing? What kind of change are you doing? And workers and employees are wanting to see that too. And I think the genuineness of that is the difference now. Like you said, people are talking about ESG now. You probably can find everyone having some kind of ESG strategy or social responsibility, but then it goes back to does the employees believe that's really the mission? Are you seeing the CEO in the community? Do you believe that the company will do the right thing and continue to do the right thing? And we've seen that's not always been the case. And I think the genuineness by the consumer will call people out now because of social media, because of marketing. And I think that's where I think the future is going, that people are we're going to have more benchmarks. So we can say, Hey, you said you were going to do X. Where are you at five years later? 


Chris Byers: Absolutely. You know, one of your most notable achievements is how you turn Pinkberry into one of the fastest growing retail brands of all time. What's the learning from that experience? 

Ryan Patel: Oh, I think sometimes that was the smallest company I had ever worked for. You considered it was a startup and it was a lot bigger outside than it was inside. And I think when you have a lot of success that fast, you also have to change some of the models. And I think part of that, what I learned through there was what do you compromise? What do you not compromise and what is the brand? What is not the brand? How do you then adapt that concept to different markets, to different entrepreneurs who you pick, who you partner? And I think that was a very interesting aspect because you had to make decisions fast, you had to make it with quality and then you had the challenge of this, what led us here? And I think when you have a low barrier enter concept and you're going to other places where you're trying to localize different things, you learn real quickly how OK, for me, being in the community and partnering with people, they're not just makes the difference, but I took more so the learnings from international trying to bring it out back to the U.S. and using the US markets goes out. Right, two international markets. And I think what I realize, like there's a huge opportunity to take global learnings to come in, and I still think that there is a lot to do do that with awareness and those different aspects as the U.S. continues to be more diversified and to be stronger in that aspect as leaders and building multicultural teams across different ports. But I think that was an underpinning of what I think. Fast forward to today, this conversation is more relevant than ever that you to work remotely or partnering with different people, and now it's not such a barrier. Maybe it used to be. 

Chris Byers: Absolutely. And I'm curious, you have this idea that says that really scaling a business is about learning how to scale the people. What was that kind of discovery and what does that mean? 

Ryan Patel: You can have the best thing if people don't believe in it, including the people around it, you're not going anywhere. And I think it one more step further, like you don't want people going through the motions, either. You can tell a direct employee say, Hey, do this, please do this. And they may not believe it, but because it came from you, they go do it. But that's not, in my opinion, it's not. I don't think that's what you should do. You should want the person to understand why they're doing it, or, more importantly, pushed back to say, I don't think this is the right way of doing it. You don't want a yes person. You want someone who's around the rally cry because then work environment moves so fast so that person can catch something in between meetings and other meetings to bring it back to you. Go, Oh, by the way, this is changing. We shouldn't do this. And I think that's the difference, right? To me, that's the difference in building people because people will change the way you scale, because scale. Unfortunately, I never had a cookie cutter. I think there's always adaptions of how you adapt to grow, and that's always done with different brands and that you do have to adapt. And that includes the people having to help you get to where you want with the same mission. 

Chris Byers: If somebody is listening right now, what are some suggestions that you have for learning how to build people better? Because I think at some of the skill set that we probably don't have as much as we think we do. 

Ryan Patel: I think we're always learning. I mean, I'm always learning, and I think that's probably one the mindset is really just learning. I know people do a lot of different readings. I would get outside of your industry and talk to other people perspectives. What challenges? What happens is people just ask, Hey, so what do you do? Ryan Mack Yeah, that's great. I can share that. But to ask what hasn't worked? What didn't work? How do you get the younger generation or the older generations into a conversation? Those are the nitty gritty things that I think you think about, even small things. You can try to look for a macro like a home run silver bullet, because let's be honest, it could be a silver bullet. It's hard to implement like one. A good example that I always think of when there's 10 teams in different time zones and people always go. One team always has to wake up early and the other team always has to stay in their normal time. It's funny, as anyone even thought about flipping it just a couple of times. So that way the other team feels like the other team cares about the same thing. They don't have to. But I've seen it work. Something that's small goes a long way into team bonding into those aspects, and I think that's when I say, ask other people outside your network of how they do things. But for me, that's been really fascinating to see what other individuals, not just companies, I think companies have their own thing, but individuals do a lot of different things that can be more of an impact. It's a small things. It's the little things that do make a difference. 

Chris Byers: You mentioned youth in that, and you've obviously gotten to spend a lot of time with students who are growing up and trying to learn how to learn the business world. What are some of the things that are on their minds right now that you're bringing to us so that we know what's coming and questions that they want answered? 

Ryan Patel: Students that I come across, which is across public health, business, engineering, they're a lot more savvier than people give credit to. It's not. They're not just thinking about jobs. Their first priority is how do I make an impact? Like, where can I find my passion? Where do I go? Learn those things, which is very, very different. It's that I how do I make the most money is not what is not an answer is that comes up to the aspect. The challenge really is I want to go to a place where I am valued and that I have a little bit of a voice. They don't need a huge voice, but I want to be a place that I can make an impact. And I think that's very interesting to me because if you can grab that person early on in their career and be able to do those things and keep them happy, I believe you have them. You have a potential leader right there to lead people regardless. If you think that they're going to stay two years or five years, whatever you have someone who is fully committed into the work and into the mission. And also that they want to keep learning. And I think that's one thing that I think most leaders do, even with directors and VIPs above and manager level people talk about what do you want to do outside of work? These group of leaders and students already are asking that question, so you can ask them now, like what personally do you want to achieve? And you can help them with. If it's volunteering on a couple of hours off, that does go a long way. And I think that necessarily hasn't been that culture. 

Chris Byers: What do you think, businesses? What do you wish they were thinking about right now that they don't, that that you're like, why? Every time I run across businesses, they're not thinking about this kind of thing. And if they would, it make a huge difference? 

Ryan Patel: I think part of the reason is that there are some businesses are keeping their heads above water and there is a lot of competition going on. So they keep looking at their shoulder at start ups or whomever acquisitions versus trying and keeping your face forward and seeing what's in front of you and seeing what opportunities that you have. Because when I think of the word innovation, which obviously is another buzz word to me, is that innovating just hey, let's go grab a new thing you could be innovating internally within that core aspect that you already have that included people. Those are low-hanging fruit. What happens is sometimes a companies panic and they go, I got to do some brand new. Yeah, that's great if you had all the money, but maybe you only have one chance at that versus being able to do something that you have right in front of you that you didn't think about something and question like, we've always done this, how do we do it differently? And funny enough, that typically is the hardest. And because there's a lot of people maybe not wanting to do it and that has a high ROI and a higher success rate. And so I think that's an important aspect that I think most companies can look when they do look internally, they got to dig a little deeper and bring up the things that what is your core and really question it? 

Chris Byers: Yeah, you mentioned being genuine, and I'm curious if you had ways that you thought about or encourage people to think about. I can't get my head around this broader it, SGA or DTI or diversity or whatever. But there are things I care about. How do you like weave that metal to figure out? Yeah, it's OK to maybe give a little bit more focus to one area or not, because it sounds like that getting to your genuine moment is where you're actually going to get some real impact. 

Ryan Patel: What you just said when you said diversity, inclusion, equity, like there is an issue, we don't have gender equity. Let's just start there first, besides also the amount of ethnicities and races. So if we don't have that, why don't we have that? That is something that's okay to talk about. That's something that I think younger generations are more comfortable talking about saying, why is this not right? We talk about grade school kids. Our town are saying, Wait a minute, why are we not equal? And I use as an example, because how can you find where your core is when this question is still lingering in the places that you want to go or work for who you want to work for in your personal life, how you purchase items, does that match with who you work with? Now, some people say that doesn't matter for some careers. Some people say it does. And so when you're trying to figure out that out, there's a lot of soul searching, actually. I think we all are right to a certain degree, and I think it's not easy. What your core is and what you want to focus on, more importantly, is something I think is a revisit. You are who you are, but what you want to keep focusing on adding is to revisit every six months or three months or a year on where you want to make your impact or your personal impact.


Chris Byers: As you think about giving back or paying it forward, what are some examples of some ways you've been able to do that? 

Ryan Patel: It's funny because if this doesn't go, doesn't it just get noticed except for the people who get to this? But you always try to make time for someone response to you. Even a 15 minute call on something along the lines, especially with students like office hours and just they want to pick your brain. I think that's the easiest thing, not ignoring people, just being responsive. The giving back portion is a lot besides just the students and within the peers of people talking to people and speaking at schools. And I would say the give back portion. You don't need to get caught up on what your impact is. It's what you can do in your impact, what you take. I think I got more out of the give back and probably be giving back because I was fully aware of what is going on and some of these other issues. So there's some great NGOs that I think it's really fun to be a part of. We're just listening to what they're doing because it inspires a whole new generation of paid for it. And then finally, when you say paid for it, it's a little different mindset. But if you came through the ranks and you didn't like certain things that you were treated, don't do it to others. If you felt like you never like to go grab coffee for your boss, why would you then do that for your subordinates? Be the person to stop it. And when I say paid for that, you're staying, you're stopping it and you're paying it forward to the next place to say, Hey, let's see what we can do better. 

Chris Byers: How can leaders infuse their desire to give back to their communities and to their? What are some ways they think they can do that? 

Ryan Patel: I'm a big believer. You can make money, give back. I think there is there and there's a couple of ways. I think one, you can infuse it in the mission, right? If it is closely aligned with what you're doing, that makes sense. And that's pretty genuine if you're trying to. Make an impact if it's clean water or whatever your food like food sustainability or if you're in retail or tech. All those things. I think the other thing too, it also comes on the individual eye. The good, the guy. I always feel like this is a little unique, but take the temperature of the company just because that the company has a certain things that they want to give back. What is the employee's care about? And go ahead and include that into the conversation, even though it may not be tying it back to the business. I think that's so impactful, especially if it boys and girls club or kids anything related that you when you have a workforce that does have that kind of demographic that is there, it's amazing that we don't see that more often. And I think usually people are afraid to do that or have give options where people can raise their hand and add places and organizations. Because I think part of too of that, Chris, is that we lack awareness. We lack the awareness of what's out there, who's doing what, who's doing good. And I think sometimes you need people around you to tell you, Hey, do you know so-and-so did X, Y and Z? Oh, I didn't know that existed. Didn't know that was a problem. I want to learn more. 

Chris Byers: I know you've in particular have some impact in the API community. I'm curious if you could tell some people who probably hear that. Maybe I'm not totally sure what that is. Would look for you, maybe to talk just a little bit about that and the way you've tried to contribute. 

Ryan Patel: Obviously, the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is meh, and it's very interesting because I think the whole point of employee resource groups when there are all kinds of ethnicities, there eventually is to be continued to be equal. Technically, they shouldn't exist because that means we're all equal. These ones exist because it's trying to give awareness of not just the struggle of generations before us, and currently just it's just a gift in a safe place. So here's what culture looks like from those countries. My message in months like this when I get asked, especially with the AAPI community in general, is that it's not just about our community, it's our community. Joining with another community, all communities that we share similar values. So then we can get rid of that bias. And that's where I come from, is that how do we really solve this or we can get rid of that? I know why there's barriers right now because there's not enough equality. But if we can work together and not feel like in silos, then we can really do that change. This is why companies keep making statements because their statements are not actionable items. And I think for me, I'm trying my best to create conversations around actionable things, why we have not got there and also understand the differences and the cultural differences that can be positives that people typically in the past put a mystery 

Chris Byers: as each conversation we have ends up highlighting innovative ideas, fresh perspectives, and Ryan's an expert on scaling businesses while focusing on people first. If you could give advice to our listeners, how can they unlock their genius to build their own people? 

Ryan Patel: Start with yourself. You really do. You really get on a pen and a piece of paper and write down what you're good at and not good at? And be honest, be brutally honest, and see where you can get better. That's by the simplest exercise you do, but sometimes you don't want to write it down. You don't want to write down what you're trying to work on, because if you can't, if you can't help yourself, you can't help others. If you're if there's something flawed in certain things that you're doing, it will come out when you're giving advice to others around your team. If you don't really get yourself accordingly set, you're not in there for the long term. You're just putting Band-Aids on yourself. And so my advice is help yourself to get better. Ask people around you who can help you make better, and that doesn't mean it's just your peers. It could be across a lot of different levels that you can learn from. And you'll be surprised and shocked to hear what kind of criticism but feedback you'll get from different people that are outside your role. So why should you do it this way and natural reaction? Maybe you're defensive and say this is the way it always is done, as you see here, that you know that there's a there's something there. Go figure it out. 

Chris Byers: What do you think people using the idea of listening? And maybe it sounds like listening and understanding yourself. They're doing the same thing with other people. What are some ways that people can think about doing that in their day to create a more positive impact for other people 

Ryan Patel: is active listening, right? So it's engaged, listening to asking them questions that you might not have or you may not want to ask and that you want to ask, but something that you just wanted to know why certain things get done, or, more importantly, be humble enough to know someone else's background and journey in. There's just like in your journey and my journey is different. Getting to know each other journey does make an impact. Last year, we used the word empathy. Mr. I don't know what came up and every other word out of everyone's mouth. And yeah, it's important. But this word empathy hasn't just it's been around for a very long time and it's coming up. Now, because maybe there was lack of empathy that was not in the leadership suite. And so empathy is a part of listening, unfortunately. So that means people aren't listening at the same time when they're trying to solve these problems and sometimes just creating a safe place to listen. That's a part of your job. If you're going to actively listen to allow the other person to have the microphone, you have to make sure that person feels safe. That person knows that you're listening, not just going through the motions. 

Chris Byers: So there's a discussion that I think is bubbling up quite a bit, which is this idea of creating a safe environment for people to have what is for genuine conversations. I think we're sharing what's actually going on in their lives or challenges they may face, especially in the workplace. How do you think people can actually create that environment? What are the practical steps? Because maybe a lot of people listening or thinking, I have a safe environment, but there's something missing there. How do you think about that? 

Ryan Patel: Yeah. I mean, safe environment means not just physical, right? Typically, in the past, it means physical place that you're not. You won't get hurt. But a safe environment now means a lot different mentally, too, of what's going on in the world, in society that that could be questions that people don't have answers to. So how do you create when I say this safe place, what does that mean? So how do you create a safe place? If you got to define that as a culture, an organization and a little bit of a feedback loop to where people can go and ask somebody like, actually create a process to go? If you have something of concern that you don't know how it relates to your job or there's obviously there's ways that they talk when there's issues like there's ways that way, but this is a different issue. This is about opening up a conversation where maybe it is the employee resource groups. If your companies big enough to bring this up, is it due to the executives? We see a lot of, let's just be honest, Asian hate. And in this last couple of weeks. So I bring that up because there was a lot of maybe not awareness of what was going on about people and the elderly getting attacked. You may feel safe, but somebody else may feel like this is a family member or something's going on. How do you talk about those things and be able to address it? And I think good leaders and you've seen it, they're not just making statements, but they're doubling down on. This is the behavior that our company does not represent. We are not just it's always about the money, but we're going to rally a group of people going, I want to be a part of this fun. I want to be a part of these things. And the only way that gets there, Chris, is that you're listening and you're creating this environment for people to get feedback because that doesn't just come from the top. We like to think it all does. If you're a leader, you want to feel confident to write. You want to feel that you're getting backed by your employees, that you're doing the things that you're doing for the best as well. And I think these types of conversations right now, when you think of all the movements of equality, we are more global that there are sometimes miscommunications out there. It's harder to say that an unbiased place to have a real conversation. But you do have a set parameters too, though I think that's what we're seeing in what we're seeing. So is it a big group that we're talking about? Are we talking about a small group or are we talking about one on one conversations that needs to be defined by the culture? Right? That's not a one size fits all for everybody. If you had town hall meetings for every company, I'm not sure that would be very successful for some of these companies. But to get to the town hall, there's steps to that. And so I think these conversations are important because there's always extreme there's biases in those things. What I like to see is that people who just don't know it's OK if some people don't watch TV with them, watch the news. They may not know what's going on. And this is an extra step to to let people and educate is the word of what is happening in the manner within the workforce and workplace and to that degree. 

Chris Byers: As we wrap up the conversation, I've got a handful of questions the first one. Anyways, you're looking to create impact in the future 

Ryan Patel: at all levels, right? That's what kind of what has led me to teaching at the university there, but also in the boardroom. I want to make more of an impact to the traditional governance right has been typically average age has been north of in the 60s and usually it's not very diverse. I want to make more of an impact, not just for myself, but there are a lot of people like me that are existing and that are coming to challenge the governance aspect. And why I think that's important is because we all say innovation is so great for innovation and holding accountability comes from different perspectives. So I'm hoping in the future I can make more of an impact. I know that's probably a big goal that maybe not will happen as fast as I think I would like to, but that's something that I want to continue to try to push. And I think in and even mid-sized companies in small communities, that's really important. And I think the other aspect, too, is how we interact with communities just as businesses, because I think the role of business governments and individuals we all together can make change. So leaving just one silo to figuring it out, unfortunately, is probably the best way to make change quickly and in an effective way, and I think I want to hopefully bring all those sectors and all those people together and say, What's the future? Let's try to know where we want to going and actually go there versus just saying, we're going to do this and hope for the best. 

Chris Byers: One of the things that we love to hear from people is we've all experienced failure. And so one of the things we'd like to talk about is just how do you view failure and how that's a part of your journey? 

Ryan Patel: I feel like I hear a lot of quotes about you got to fail so you can learn, and there's some great ones like that. Failing stinks, like it hurts in the moment. Nobody wants to talk about it because yes, there's all this plus size that once you fail, you know how to course correct. But when you actually do fail that moment, you feel very disappointed. You feel like something is in the hole in your heart. Or at least that's how I felt. And I think the you use the word resilience or whatever you want to use, you need to build your confidence back up very quickly. And I think the more you fail, you tend to do that. But also you don't want to forget that, right? That feeling isn't supposed to be feared. It's supposed to be a learning aspect. So you still want to feel that sting, because I think some people like myself feel like I still have that chip on my shoulder on multiple times, but I don't show it. But it's also a way to go. What if I didn't try it? I would not note. And I think you try to do the best that you can with the information that you have. You feel like you're prepared the most that you can be, and you put yourself in the best position to succeed if you don't do that. You obviously feel even worse. And I think you learn that you're going to fail, put your best foot forward so you know that you're almost there to course correct it. 


Chris Byers: To learn more about how people are reimagining their world of work. Head over to practicallygenius.com. Thanks for joining us on this episode of Ripple Effect.

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People First: Creating Impact and Elevating Individuals

Podcast

People First: Creating Impact and Elevating Individuals

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People First: Creating Impact and Elevating Individuals

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Chris Byers: If we can make an impact at an individual level, we can certainly make an impact on a global level. This quote from Ryan Patel was featured on the Nasdaq billboard in Times Square in 2020. Ryan is no stranger to the big stage and bright lights as a go-to authority on scaling businesses. He's a frequent guest on CNN, the Davos World Economic Forum and in boardrooms of big businesses like HP, MasterCard and Lego. When he's not contributing to quarter acre sized billboards, he shares his expertise at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University as a board and faculty member. What led Ryan to this now infamous billboard quote and his people first mentality? Let's find out. Ryan, welcome to the show. We're excited to have you.

Ryan Patel: Thanks, Chris. I really appreciate being here. 

Chris Byers: Anything in that intro you'd like to add 

Ryan Patel: that I always feel really shy and embarrassed when you hear that intro. I think for me, though, there is and I think it just provides a background that scaling comes across looking at different types of departments and people and industries. And I think when I hear that intro, I think it reminds me of that message of no matter who you are, that you can really do simple things and make an impact. And at least that's what I hear when you make that intro because my background is not a typical path. And I think part of every experience or every career experience you have, you get to add a little more value to it. 

Chris Byers: You're a world renowned authority on global business, political economy and corporate governance. How did you get started? 

Ryan Patel: It's interesting when you think about things that you have passions about, and I've always wanted to help build a brand now that's like kind of notion is where do you start? Usually people go where I want to do X, and I just wanted to be a part of growing something, no matter what it was, and be able to lead leaders and be a part of a team that you can actually win. And I think when I started, I got to see that from the food industry than in retail. Obviously, they're now tech and then going global, right really is where I wanted to be. And sometimes you don't get opportunities right away to the things that you want to do. And I think what I did was the experiences I took away was if I wasn't getting an opportunity, what can I do on the end or at the side that continues to make me better? So my job description, funny enough, was always never the job description. It was always more. And I found that as a pattern, Chris, and you either embrace it or you're disgruntled about it. And I can't. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I wasn't upset at certain points through my career going, Why am I doing all of this? But one day there was a light bulb and the light bulb was, You know what? I'm going to do this and then more that I want to do, because when I am given that opportunity, I'm going to hit running that people are going to know and think that I've done this before and I know what I'm talking about. And I think for me, that was the aha moment that, Hey, you know what? I'm good. Put me in a room with experts and I could have a conversation not only get their respect, but also add value to that. And I think that was for me where it started to turn a little bit to go, OK, just because my experience or I may not look like that typical person that may be in the boardroom or with that typical path. That's OK. I'm OK with that now. I am not meant for everybody, but I think those who want to be innovative, those who want to push and scale across different perspectives and different industries because again, retail, food, tech, health care, you name it, are, you name it, they're all interconnected at one point or not. I think I can add value to that. And finally, I think we are seeing 

Chris Byers: What drew you to this kind of career path overall. 

Ryan Patel: It's definitely not my plan because I wish it was by design. Looking back at it goes, Oh, this all kind of makes sense that this adds value here that you do cause you do global. You do all these things now you're teaching and global leadership, the class that I teach. We touch seven different modules from sustainability, the economy to personal branding and marketing. And it all makes sense in class because the students can see that it all does match. But in the beginning, it was really more of the opportunity that was given at hand and that those that who are really interested in knowing who I was and think it was bought more matches about people. And I think it is still to this day, Chris, the brands and the companies that come who want a partner having lead campaigns or sit on board or advisory boards, it's the people who believe in and know me. They get to know the individual what you're about, and I think that's the difference. 

Chris Byers: Yeah, maybe just to start with left for you to expound just a little bit on ESG, what it is and maybe even why people are talking about it right now. 

Ryan Patel: So ESG environment, social and corporate governance is obviously a very popular term that people are now referring to of big factors in measuring sustainability and sales impacts. So what that really means is that there are different ways to make that impact and that there going to be benchmarking metrics that people are not focusing on. Corporate social responsibility is really big. Now there's really turns on where you can actually make an overall impact and you've got to work on all of those things right now. One of them, that's what's considered ESG, not just your governance or to that degree. And I think it's calling out of where you're making the most impact behind it. So to me, ESG is something that I feel like every company will be working toward. It is a term that is a buzzword. But for me, I think it really needs metrics. It will have benchmarks to see what kind of impact you have. Year over year, and you're going to start to see that with many of these corporations being measured in the future of how are you getting better to actually create that score when there is that score? And Wall Street is obviously going to be leading behind that because ESG has been very popular. 

Chris Byers: Well, Ryan, if if you're in an organization who really hasn't thought about impact, what do you think are some ways that people, as individuals can begin to get that started and maybe from more of a groundswell version of it versus maybe the C-level chairman yet doing it? 

Ryan Patel: One define what impact is what does success look like because you can make an impact on the individual. But if you don't see what that is or what you're looking for, you may not deem that a success. And what does it mean for individual level and what kind of resources do you have to make that impact? What is it that you're doing so then then you can have a real I don't want to say a process, but something in both your hands that you can hand say, Here's what we want to do x. Here's what we want from Y. And I think part of that impact is that you're actually measuring to see that what you're doing is actually right and actually doing something because part of making that impact either at an individual level or even from a sea level perspective, is that six months from now, you could be, oh, that didn't touch base on that. Where are we? You could have figured that out in the first two months to say this wasn't working, and you got to course correct that this is not like an annual check and this is making real impact and getting real time feedback is really important in that last thing I just said, the real time feedback loop is important because the way that you may have thought that you were doing something that is more positive may not. There could be other ways to do it better to keep this in a macro conversation, even to the sea level. It's if you take in new products and services, they measure everything on, like where are we at this week or next week or next month and you're over a year? That's no different, that maybe you should do that to individuals and people to actually create some kind of cadence. That's very similar to that. 

Chris Byers: This topic of ESG has come up a lot lately and of course, encompasses a lot environment, social governance. I'm curious, is that part of how you think about things is designing things from a holistic perspective in that way? 

Ryan Patel: Here's the funny part being in retail in the beginning of my career and being a part of the community that's always been there, like what you do for the community. And I didn't come from big budgets in marketing or anything like that. It's about grassroots movement, word of mouth. How do you do that? It's becoming genuine. Right? Genuine conversations listening to local communities. Not to say that I was leader, but you can look me up five, sixty seven plus years ago. I've been talking about it. That doesn't mean that everyone catches on. You're right, everyone now saying ESG is the buzzword. What I'm saying now and now, since everyone's caught up, what's the benchmarks like? How are you making that impact? It's not just about checks, it's about actual impact and moving forward, changing businesses and doing that. I think for me, that is the systemic thing. If you look at consumers and clients, it's great that you can say that you're responsible. The question is what kind of impact are you doing? What kind of change are you doing? And workers and employees are wanting to see that too. And I think the genuineness of that is the difference now. Like you said, people are talking about ESG now. You probably can find everyone having some kind of ESG strategy or social responsibility, but then it goes back to does the employees believe that's really the mission? Are you seeing the CEO in the community? Do you believe that the company will do the right thing and continue to do the right thing? And we've seen that's not always been the case. And I think the genuineness by the consumer will call people out now because of social media, because of marketing. And I think that's where I think the future is going, that people are we're going to have more benchmarks. So we can say, Hey, you said you were going to do X. Where are you at five years later? 


Chris Byers: Absolutely. You know, one of your most notable achievements is how you turn Pinkberry into one of the fastest growing retail brands of all time. What's the learning from that experience? 

Ryan Patel: Oh, I think sometimes that was the smallest company I had ever worked for. You considered it was a startup and it was a lot bigger outside than it was inside. And I think when you have a lot of success that fast, you also have to change some of the models. And I think part of that, what I learned through there was what do you compromise? What do you not compromise and what is the brand? What is not the brand? How do you then adapt that concept to different markets, to different entrepreneurs who you pick, who you partner? And I think that was a very interesting aspect because you had to make decisions fast, you had to make it with quality and then you had the challenge of this, what led us here? And I think when you have a low barrier enter concept and you're going to other places where you're trying to localize different things, you learn real quickly how OK, for me, being in the community and partnering with people, they're not just makes the difference, but I took more so the learnings from international trying to bring it out back to the U.S. and using the US markets goes out. Right, two international markets. And I think what I realize, like there's a huge opportunity to take global learnings to come in, and I still think that there is a lot to do do that with awareness and those different aspects as the U.S. continues to be more diversified and to be stronger in that aspect as leaders and building multicultural teams across different ports. But I think that was an underpinning of what I think. Fast forward to today, this conversation is more relevant than ever that you to work remotely or partnering with different people, and now it's not such a barrier. Maybe it used to be. 

Chris Byers: Absolutely. And I'm curious, you have this idea that says that really scaling a business is about learning how to scale the people. What was that kind of discovery and what does that mean? 

Ryan Patel: You can have the best thing if people don't believe in it, including the people around it, you're not going anywhere. And I think it one more step further, like you don't want people going through the motions, either. You can tell a direct employee say, Hey, do this, please do this. And they may not believe it, but because it came from you, they go do it. But that's not, in my opinion, it's not. I don't think that's what you should do. You should want the person to understand why they're doing it, or, more importantly, pushed back to say, I don't think this is the right way of doing it. You don't want a yes person. You want someone who's around the rally cry because then work environment moves so fast so that person can catch something in between meetings and other meetings to bring it back to you. Go, Oh, by the way, this is changing. We shouldn't do this. And I think that's the difference, right? To me, that's the difference in building people because people will change the way you scale, because scale. Unfortunately, I never had a cookie cutter. I think there's always adaptions of how you adapt to grow, and that's always done with different brands and that you do have to adapt. And that includes the people having to help you get to where you want with the same mission. 

Chris Byers: If somebody is listening right now, what are some suggestions that you have for learning how to build people better? Because I think at some of the skill set that we probably don't have as much as we think we do. 

Ryan Patel: I think we're always learning. I mean, I'm always learning, and I think that's probably one the mindset is really just learning. I know people do a lot of different readings. I would get outside of your industry and talk to other people perspectives. What challenges? What happens is people just ask, Hey, so what do you do? Ryan Mack Yeah, that's great. I can share that. But to ask what hasn't worked? What didn't work? How do you get the younger generation or the older generations into a conversation? Those are the nitty gritty things that I think you think about, even small things. You can try to look for a macro like a home run silver bullet, because let's be honest, it could be a silver bullet. It's hard to implement like one. A good example that I always think of when there's 10 teams in different time zones and people always go. One team always has to wake up early and the other team always has to stay in their normal time. It's funny, as anyone even thought about flipping it just a couple of times. So that way the other team feels like the other team cares about the same thing. They don't have to. But I've seen it work. Something that's small goes a long way into team bonding into those aspects, and I think that's when I say, ask other people outside your network of how they do things. But for me, that's been really fascinating to see what other individuals, not just companies, I think companies have their own thing, but individuals do a lot of different things that can be more of an impact. It's a small things. It's the little things that do make a difference. 

Chris Byers: You mentioned youth in that, and you've obviously gotten to spend a lot of time with students who are growing up and trying to learn how to learn the business world. What are some of the things that are on their minds right now that you're bringing to us so that we know what's coming and questions that they want answered? 

Ryan Patel: Students that I come across, which is across public health, business, engineering, they're a lot more savvier than people give credit to. It's not. They're not just thinking about jobs. Their first priority is how do I make an impact? Like, where can I find my passion? Where do I go? Learn those things, which is very, very different. It's that I how do I make the most money is not what is not an answer is that comes up to the aspect. The challenge really is I want to go to a place where I am valued and that I have a little bit of a voice. They don't need a huge voice, but I want to be a place that I can make an impact. And I think that's very interesting to me because if you can grab that person early on in their career and be able to do those things and keep them happy, I believe you have them. You have a potential leader right there to lead people regardless. If you think that they're going to stay two years or five years, whatever you have someone who is fully committed into the work and into the mission. And also that they want to keep learning. And I think that's one thing that I think most leaders do, even with directors and VIPs above and manager level people talk about what do you want to do outside of work? These group of leaders and students already are asking that question, so you can ask them now, like what personally do you want to achieve? And you can help them with. If it's volunteering on a couple of hours off, that does go a long way. And I think that necessarily hasn't been that culture. 

Chris Byers: What do you think, businesses? What do you wish they were thinking about right now that they don't, that that you're like, why? Every time I run across businesses, they're not thinking about this kind of thing. And if they would, it make a huge difference? 

Ryan Patel: I think part of the reason is that there are some businesses are keeping their heads above water and there is a lot of competition going on. So they keep looking at their shoulder at start ups or whomever acquisitions versus trying and keeping your face forward and seeing what's in front of you and seeing what opportunities that you have. Because when I think of the word innovation, which obviously is another buzz word to me, is that innovating just hey, let's go grab a new thing you could be innovating internally within that core aspect that you already have that included people. Those are low-hanging fruit. What happens is sometimes a companies panic and they go, I got to do some brand new. Yeah, that's great if you had all the money, but maybe you only have one chance at that versus being able to do something that you have right in front of you that you didn't think about something and question like, we've always done this, how do we do it differently? And funny enough, that typically is the hardest. And because there's a lot of people maybe not wanting to do it and that has a high ROI and a higher success rate. And so I think that's an important aspect that I think most companies can look when they do look internally, they got to dig a little deeper and bring up the things that what is your core and really question it? 

Chris Byers: Yeah, you mentioned being genuine, and I'm curious if you had ways that you thought about or encourage people to think about. I can't get my head around this broader it, SGA or DTI or diversity or whatever. But there are things I care about. How do you like weave that metal to figure out? Yeah, it's OK to maybe give a little bit more focus to one area or not, because it sounds like that getting to your genuine moment is where you're actually going to get some real impact. 

Ryan Patel: What you just said when you said diversity, inclusion, equity, like there is an issue, we don't have gender equity. Let's just start there first, besides also the amount of ethnicities and races. So if we don't have that, why don't we have that? That is something that's okay to talk about. That's something that I think younger generations are more comfortable talking about saying, why is this not right? We talk about grade school kids. Our town are saying, Wait a minute, why are we not equal? And I use as an example, because how can you find where your core is when this question is still lingering in the places that you want to go or work for who you want to work for in your personal life, how you purchase items, does that match with who you work with? Now, some people say that doesn't matter for some careers. Some people say it does. And so when you're trying to figure out that out, there's a lot of soul searching, actually. I think we all are right to a certain degree, and I think it's not easy. What your core is and what you want to focus on, more importantly, is something I think is a revisit. You are who you are, but what you want to keep focusing on adding is to revisit every six months or three months or a year on where you want to make your impact or your personal impact.


Chris Byers: As you think about giving back or paying it forward, what are some examples of some ways you've been able to do that? 

Ryan Patel: It's funny because if this doesn't go, doesn't it just get noticed except for the people who get to this? But you always try to make time for someone response to you. Even a 15 minute call on something along the lines, especially with students like office hours and just they want to pick your brain. I think that's the easiest thing, not ignoring people, just being responsive. The giving back portion is a lot besides just the students and within the peers of people talking to people and speaking at schools. And I would say the give back portion. You don't need to get caught up on what your impact is. It's what you can do in your impact, what you take. I think I got more out of the give back and probably be giving back because I was fully aware of what is going on and some of these other issues. So there's some great NGOs that I think it's really fun to be a part of. We're just listening to what they're doing because it inspires a whole new generation of paid for it. And then finally, when you say paid for it, it's a little different mindset. But if you came through the ranks and you didn't like certain things that you were treated, don't do it to others. If you felt like you never like to go grab coffee for your boss, why would you then do that for your subordinates? Be the person to stop it. And when I say paid for that, you're staying, you're stopping it and you're paying it forward to the next place to say, Hey, let's see what we can do better. 

Chris Byers: How can leaders infuse their desire to give back to their communities and to their? What are some ways they think they can do that? 

Ryan Patel: I'm a big believer. You can make money, give back. I think there is there and there's a couple of ways. I think one, you can infuse it in the mission, right? If it is closely aligned with what you're doing, that makes sense. And that's pretty genuine if you're trying to. Make an impact if it's clean water or whatever your food like food sustainability or if you're in retail or tech. All those things. I think the other thing too, it also comes on the individual eye. The good, the guy. I always feel like this is a little unique, but take the temperature of the company just because that the company has a certain things that they want to give back. What is the employee's care about? And go ahead and include that into the conversation, even though it may not be tying it back to the business. I think that's so impactful, especially if it boys and girls club or kids anything related that you when you have a workforce that does have that kind of demographic that is there, it's amazing that we don't see that more often. And I think usually people are afraid to do that or have give options where people can raise their hand and add places and organizations. Because I think part of too of that, Chris, is that we lack awareness. We lack the awareness of what's out there, who's doing what, who's doing good. And I think sometimes you need people around you to tell you, Hey, do you know so-and-so did X, Y and Z? Oh, I didn't know that existed. Didn't know that was a problem. I want to learn more. 

Chris Byers: I know you've in particular have some impact in the API community. I'm curious if you could tell some people who probably hear that. Maybe I'm not totally sure what that is. Would look for you, maybe to talk just a little bit about that and the way you've tried to contribute. 

Ryan Patel: Obviously, the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is meh, and it's very interesting because I think the whole point of employee resource groups when there are all kinds of ethnicities, there eventually is to be continued to be equal. Technically, they shouldn't exist because that means we're all equal. These ones exist because it's trying to give awareness of not just the struggle of generations before us, and currently just it's just a gift in a safe place. So here's what culture looks like from those countries. My message in months like this when I get asked, especially with the AAPI community in general, is that it's not just about our community, it's our community. Joining with another community, all communities that we share similar values. So then we can get rid of that bias. And that's where I come from, is that how do we really solve this or we can get rid of that? I know why there's barriers right now because there's not enough equality. But if we can work together and not feel like in silos, then we can really do that change. This is why companies keep making statements because their statements are not actionable items. And I think for me, I'm trying my best to create conversations around actionable things, why we have not got there and also understand the differences and the cultural differences that can be positives that people typically in the past put a mystery 

Chris Byers: as each conversation we have ends up highlighting innovative ideas, fresh perspectives, and Ryan's an expert on scaling businesses while focusing on people first. If you could give advice to our listeners, how can they unlock their genius to build their own people? 

Ryan Patel: Start with yourself. You really do. You really get on a pen and a piece of paper and write down what you're good at and not good at? And be honest, be brutally honest, and see where you can get better. That's by the simplest exercise you do, but sometimes you don't want to write it down. You don't want to write down what you're trying to work on, because if you can't, if you can't help yourself, you can't help others. If you're if there's something flawed in certain things that you're doing, it will come out when you're giving advice to others around your team. If you don't really get yourself accordingly set, you're not in there for the long term. You're just putting Band-Aids on yourself. And so my advice is help yourself to get better. Ask people around you who can help you make better, and that doesn't mean it's just your peers. It could be across a lot of different levels that you can learn from. And you'll be surprised and shocked to hear what kind of criticism but feedback you'll get from different people that are outside your role. So why should you do it this way and natural reaction? Maybe you're defensive and say this is the way it always is done, as you see here, that you know that there's a there's something there. Go figure it out. 

Chris Byers: What do you think people using the idea of listening? And maybe it sounds like listening and understanding yourself. They're doing the same thing with other people. What are some ways that people can think about doing that in their day to create a more positive impact for other people 

Ryan Patel: is active listening, right? So it's engaged, listening to asking them questions that you might not have or you may not want to ask and that you want to ask, but something that you just wanted to know why certain things get done, or, more importantly, be humble enough to know someone else's background and journey in. There's just like in your journey and my journey is different. Getting to know each other journey does make an impact. Last year, we used the word empathy. Mr. I don't know what came up and every other word out of everyone's mouth. And yeah, it's important. But this word empathy hasn't just it's been around for a very long time and it's coming up. Now, because maybe there was lack of empathy that was not in the leadership suite. And so empathy is a part of listening, unfortunately. So that means people aren't listening at the same time when they're trying to solve these problems and sometimes just creating a safe place to listen. That's a part of your job. If you're going to actively listen to allow the other person to have the microphone, you have to make sure that person feels safe. That person knows that you're listening, not just going through the motions. 

Chris Byers: So there's a discussion that I think is bubbling up quite a bit, which is this idea of creating a safe environment for people to have what is for genuine conversations. I think we're sharing what's actually going on in their lives or challenges they may face, especially in the workplace. How do you think people can actually create that environment? What are the practical steps? Because maybe a lot of people listening or thinking, I have a safe environment, but there's something missing there. How do you think about that? 

Ryan Patel: Yeah. I mean, safe environment means not just physical, right? Typically, in the past, it means physical place that you're not. You won't get hurt. But a safe environment now means a lot different mentally, too, of what's going on in the world, in society that that could be questions that people don't have answers to. So how do you create when I say this safe place, what does that mean? So how do you create a safe place? If you got to define that as a culture, an organization and a little bit of a feedback loop to where people can go and ask somebody like, actually create a process to go? If you have something of concern that you don't know how it relates to your job or there's obviously there's ways that they talk when there's issues like there's ways that way, but this is a different issue. This is about opening up a conversation where maybe it is the employee resource groups. If your companies big enough to bring this up, is it due to the executives? We see a lot of, let's just be honest, Asian hate. And in this last couple of weeks. So I bring that up because there was a lot of maybe not awareness of what was going on about people and the elderly getting attacked. You may feel safe, but somebody else may feel like this is a family member or something's going on. How do you talk about those things and be able to address it? And I think good leaders and you've seen it, they're not just making statements, but they're doubling down on. This is the behavior that our company does not represent. We are not just it's always about the money, but we're going to rally a group of people going, I want to be a part of this fun. I want to be a part of these things. And the only way that gets there, Chris, is that you're listening and you're creating this environment for people to get feedback because that doesn't just come from the top. We like to think it all does. If you're a leader, you want to feel confident to write. You want to feel that you're getting backed by your employees, that you're doing the things that you're doing for the best as well. And I think these types of conversations right now, when you think of all the movements of equality, we are more global that there are sometimes miscommunications out there. It's harder to say that an unbiased place to have a real conversation. But you do have a set parameters too, though I think that's what we're seeing in what we're seeing. So is it a big group that we're talking about? Are we talking about a small group or are we talking about one on one conversations that needs to be defined by the culture? Right? That's not a one size fits all for everybody. If you had town hall meetings for every company, I'm not sure that would be very successful for some of these companies. But to get to the town hall, there's steps to that. And so I think these conversations are important because there's always extreme there's biases in those things. What I like to see is that people who just don't know it's OK if some people don't watch TV with them, watch the news. They may not know what's going on. And this is an extra step to to let people and educate is the word of what is happening in the manner within the workforce and workplace and to that degree. 

Chris Byers: As we wrap up the conversation, I've got a handful of questions the first one. Anyways, you're looking to create impact in the future 

Ryan Patel: at all levels, right? That's what kind of what has led me to teaching at the university there, but also in the boardroom. I want to make more of an impact to the traditional governance right has been typically average age has been north of in the 60s and usually it's not very diverse. I want to make more of an impact, not just for myself, but there are a lot of people like me that are existing and that are coming to challenge the governance aspect. And why I think that's important is because we all say innovation is so great for innovation and holding accountability comes from different perspectives. So I'm hoping in the future I can make more of an impact. I know that's probably a big goal that maybe not will happen as fast as I think I would like to, but that's something that I want to continue to try to push. And I think in and even mid-sized companies in small communities, that's really important. And I think the other aspect, too, is how we interact with communities just as businesses, because I think the role of business governments and individuals we all together can make change. So leaving just one silo to figuring it out, unfortunately, is probably the best way to make change quickly and in an effective way, and I think I want to hopefully bring all those sectors and all those people together and say, What's the future? Let's try to know where we want to going and actually go there versus just saying, we're going to do this and hope for the best. 

Chris Byers: One of the things that we love to hear from people is we've all experienced failure. And so one of the things we'd like to talk about is just how do you view failure and how that's a part of your journey? 

Ryan Patel: I feel like I hear a lot of quotes about you got to fail so you can learn, and there's some great ones like that. Failing stinks, like it hurts in the moment. Nobody wants to talk about it because yes, there's all this plus size that once you fail, you know how to course correct. But when you actually do fail that moment, you feel very disappointed. You feel like something is in the hole in your heart. Or at least that's how I felt. And I think the you use the word resilience or whatever you want to use, you need to build your confidence back up very quickly. And I think the more you fail, you tend to do that. But also you don't want to forget that, right? That feeling isn't supposed to be feared. It's supposed to be a learning aspect. So you still want to feel that sting, because I think some people like myself feel like I still have that chip on my shoulder on multiple times, but I don't show it. But it's also a way to go. What if I didn't try it? I would not note. And I think you try to do the best that you can with the information that you have. You feel like you're prepared the most that you can be, and you put yourself in the best position to succeed if you don't do that. You obviously feel even worse. And I think you learn that you're going to fail, put your best foot forward so you know that you're almost there to course correct it. 


Chris Byers: To learn more about how people are reimagining their world of work. Head over to practicallygenius.com. Thanks for joining us on this episode of Ripple Effect.

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People First: Creating Impact and Elevating Individuals

Ryan Patel, a world-renowned authority on global business, shares his secrets to successfully growing organizations. It all starts with putting people first.
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Chris Byers: If we can make an impact at an individual level, we can certainly make an impact on a global level. This quote from Ryan Patel was featured on the Nasdaq billboard in Times Square in 2020. Ryan is no stranger to the big stage and bright lights as a go-to authority on scaling businesses. He's a frequent guest on CNN, the Davos World Economic Forum and in boardrooms of big businesses like HP, MasterCard and Lego. When he's not contributing to quarter acre sized billboards, he shares his expertise at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University as a board and faculty member. What led Ryan to this now infamous billboard quote and his people first mentality? Let's find out. Ryan, welcome to the show. We're excited to have you.

Ryan Patel: Thanks, Chris. I really appreciate being here. 

Chris Byers: Anything in that intro you'd like to add 

Ryan Patel: that I always feel really shy and embarrassed when you hear that intro. I think for me, though, there is and I think it just provides a background that scaling comes across looking at different types of departments and people and industries. And I think when I hear that intro, I think it reminds me of that message of no matter who you are, that you can really do simple things and make an impact. And at least that's what I hear when you make that intro because my background is not a typical path. And I think part of every experience or every career experience you have, you get to add a little more value to it. 

Chris Byers: You're a world renowned authority on global business, political economy and corporate governance. How did you get started? 

Ryan Patel: It's interesting when you think about things that you have passions about, and I've always wanted to help build a brand now that's like kind of notion is where do you start? Usually people go where I want to do X, and I just wanted to be a part of growing something, no matter what it was, and be able to lead leaders and be a part of a team that you can actually win. And I think when I started, I got to see that from the food industry than in retail. Obviously, they're now tech and then going global, right really is where I wanted to be. And sometimes you don't get opportunities right away to the things that you want to do. And I think what I did was the experiences I took away was if I wasn't getting an opportunity, what can I do on the end or at the side that continues to make me better? So my job description, funny enough, was always never the job description. It was always more. And I found that as a pattern, Chris, and you either embrace it or you're disgruntled about it. And I can't. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I wasn't upset at certain points through my career going, Why am I doing all of this? But one day there was a light bulb and the light bulb was, You know what? I'm going to do this and then more that I want to do, because when I am given that opportunity, I'm going to hit running that people are going to know and think that I've done this before and I know what I'm talking about. And I think for me, that was the aha moment that, Hey, you know what? I'm good. Put me in a room with experts and I could have a conversation not only get their respect, but also add value to that. And I think that was for me where it started to turn a little bit to go, OK, just because my experience or I may not look like that typical person that may be in the boardroom or with that typical path. That's OK. I'm OK with that now. I am not meant for everybody, but I think those who want to be innovative, those who want to push and scale across different perspectives and different industries because again, retail, food, tech, health care, you name it, are, you name it, they're all interconnected at one point or not. I think I can add value to that. And finally, I think we are seeing 

Chris Byers: What drew you to this kind of career path overall. 

Ryan Patel: It's definitely not my plan because I wish it was by design. Looking back at it goes, Oh, this all kind of makes sense that this adds value here that you do cause you do global. You do all these things now you're teaching and global leadership, the class that I teach. We touch seven different modules from sustainability, the economy to personal branding and marketing. And it all makes sense in class because the students can see that it all does match. But in the beginning, it was really more of the opportunity that was given at hand and that those that who are really interested in knowing who I was and think it was bought more matches about people. And I think it is still to this day, Chris, the brands and the companies that come who want a partner having lead campaigns or sit on board or advisory boards, it's the people who believe in and know me. They get to know the individual what you're about, and I think that's the difference. 

Chris Byers: Yeah, maybe just to start with left for you to expound just a little bit on ESG, what it is and maybe even why people are talking about it right now. 

Ryan Patel: So ESG environment, social and corporate governance is obviously a very popular term that people are now referring to of big factors in measuring sustainability and sales impacts. So what that really means is that there are different ways to make that impact and that there going to be benchmarking metrics that people are not focusing on. Corporate social responsibility is really big. Now there's really turns on where you can actually make an overall impact and you've got to work on all of those things right now. One of them, that's what's considered ESG, not just your governance or to that degree. And I think it's calling out of where you're making the most impact behind it. So to me, ESG is something that I feel like every company will be working toward. It is a term that is a buzzword. But for me, I think it really needs metrics. It will have benchmarks to see what kind of impact you have. Year over year, and you're going to start to see that with many of these corporations being measured in the future of how are you getting better to actually create that score when there is that score? And Wall Street is obviously going to be leading behind that because ESG has been very popular. 

Chris Byers: Well, Ryan, if if you're in an organization who really hasn't thought about impact, what do you think are some ways that people, as individuals can begin to get that started and maybe from more of a groundswell version of it versus maybe the C-level chairman yet doing it? 

Ryan Patel: One define what impact is what does success look like because you can make an impact on the individual. But if you don't see what that is or what you're looking for, you may not deem that a success. And what does it mean for individual level and what kind of resources do you have to make that impact? What is it that you're doing so then then you can have a real I don't want to say a process, but something in both your hands that you can hand say, Here's what we want to do x. Here's what we want from Y. And I think part of that impact is that you're actually measuring to see that what you're doing is actually right and actually doing something because part of making that impact either at an individual level or even from a sea level perspective, is that six months from now, you could be, oh, that didn't touch base on that. Where are we? You could have figured that out in the first two months to say this wasn't working, and you got to course correct that this is not like an annual check and this is making real impact and getting real time feedback is really important in that last thing I just said, the real time feedback loop is important because the way that you may have thought that you were doing something that is more positive may not. There could be other ways to do it better to keep this in a macro conversation, even to the sea level. It's if you take in new products and services, they measure everything on, like where are we at this week or next week or next month and you're over a year? That's no different, that maybe you should do that to individuals and people to actually create some kind of cadence. That's very similar to that. 

Chris Byers: This topic of ESG has come up a lot lately and of course, encompasses a lot environment, social governance. I'm curious, is that part of how you think about things is designing things from a holistic perspective in that way? 

Ryan Patel: Here's the funny part being in retail in the beginning of my career and being a part of the community that's always been there, like what you do for the community. And I didn't come from big budgets in marketing or anything like that. It's about grassroots movement, word of mouth. How do you do that? It's becoming genuine. Right? Genuine conversations listening to local communities. Not to say that I was leader, but you can look me up five, sixty seven plus years ago. I've been talking about it. That doesn't mean that everyone catches on. You're right, everyone now saying ESG is the buzzword. What I'm saying now and now, since everyone's caught up, what's the benchmarks like? How are you making that impact? It's not just about checks, it's about actual impact and moving forward, changing businesses and doing that. I think for me, that is the systemic thing. If you look at consumers and clients, it's great that you can say that you're responsible. The question is what kind of impact are you doing? What kind of change are you doing? And workers and employees are wanting to see that too. And I think the genuineness of that is the difference now. Like you said, people are talking about ESG now. You probably can find everyone having some kind of ESG strategy or social responsibility, but then it goes back to does the employees believe that's really the mission? Are you seeing the CEO in the community? Do you believe that the company will do the right thing and continue to do the right thing? And we've seen that's not always been the case. And I think the genuineness by the consumer will call people out now because of social media, because of marketing. And I think that's where I think the future is going, that people are we're going to have more benchmarks. So we can say, Hey, you said you were going to do X. Where are you at five years later? 


Chris Byers: Absolutely. You know, one of your most notable achievements is how you turn Pinkberry into one of the fastest growing retail brands of all time. What's the learning from that experience? 

Ryan Patel: Oh, I think sometimes that was the smallest company I had ever worked for. You considered it was a startup and it was a lot bigger outside than it was inside. And I think when you have a lot of success that fast, you also have to change some of the models. And I think part of that, what I learned through there was what do you compromise? What do you not compromise and what is the brand? What is not the brand? How do you then adapt that concept to different markets, to different entrepreneurs who you pick, who you partner? And I think that was a very interesting aspect because you had to make decisions fast, you had to make it with quality and then you had the challenge of this, what led us here? And I think when you have a low barrier enter concept and you're going to other places where you're trying to localize different things, you learn real quickly how OK, for me, being in the community and partnering with people, they're not just makes the difference, but I took more so the learnings from international trying to bring it out back to the U.S. and using the US markets goes out. Right, two international markets. And I think what I realize, like there's a huge opportunity to take global learnings to come in, and I still think that there is a lot to do do that with awareness and those different aspects as the U.S. continues to be more diversified and to be stronger in that aspect as leaders and building multicultural teams across different ports. But I think that was an underpinning of what I think. Fast forward to today, this conversation is more relevant than ever that you to work remotely or partnering with different people, and now it's not such a barrier. Maybe it used to be. 

Chris Byers: Absolutely. And I'm curious, you have this idea that says that really scaling a business is about learning how to scale the people. What was that kind of discovery and what does that mean? 

Ryan Patel: You can have the best thing if people don't believe in it, including the people around it, you're not going anywhere. And I think it one more step further, like you don't want people going through the motions, either. You can tell a direct employee say, Hey, do this, please do this. And they may not believe it, but because it came from you, they go do it. But that's not, in my opinion, it's not. I don't think that's what you should do. You should want the person to understand why they're doing it, or, more importantly, pushed back to say, I don't think this is the right way of doing it. You don't want a yes person. You want someone who's around the rally cry because then work environment moves so fast so that person can catch something in between meetings and other meetings to bring it back to you. Go, Oh, by the way, this is changing. We shouldn't do this. And I think that's the difference, right? To me, that's the difference in building people because people will change the way you scale, because scale. Unfortunately, I never had a cookie cutter. I think there's always adaptions of how you adapt to grow, and that's always done with different brands and that you do have to adapt. And that includes the people having to help you get to where you want with the same mission. 

Chris Byers: If somebody is listening right now, what are some suggestions that you have for learning how to build people better? Because I think at some of the skill set that we probably don't have as much as we think we do. 

Ryan Patel: I think we're always learning. I mean, I'm always learning, and I think that's probably one the mindset is really just learning. I know people do a lot of different readings. I would get outside of your industry and talk to other people perspectives. What challenges? What happens is people just ask, Hey, so what do you do? Ryan Mack Yeah, that's great. I can share that. But to ask what hasn't worked? What didn't work? How do you get the younger generation or the older generations into a conversation? Those are the nitty gritty things that I think you think about, even small things. You can try to look for a macro like a home run silver bullet, because let's be honest, it could be a silver bullet. It's hard to implement like one. A good example that I always think of when there's 10 teams in different time zones and people always go. One team always has to wake up early and the other team always has to stay in their normal time. It's funny, as anyone even thought about flipping it just a couple of times. So that way the other team feels like the other team cares about the same thing. They don't have to. But I've seen it work. Something that's small goes a long way into team bonding into those aspects, and I think that's when I say, ask other people outside your network of how they do things. But for me, that's been really fascinating to see what other individuals, not just companies, I think companies have their own thing, but individuals do a lot of different things that can be more of an impact. It's a small things. It's the little things that do make a difference. 

Chris Byers: You mentioned youth in that, and you've obviously gotten to spend a lot of time with students who are growing up and trying to learn how to learn the business world. What are some of the things that are on their minds right now that you're bringing to us so that we know what's coming and questions that they want answered? 

Ryan Patel: Students that I come across, which is across public health, business, engineering, they're a lot more savvier than people give credit to. It's not. They're not just thinking about jobs. Their first priority is how do I make an impact? Like, where can I find my passion? Where do I go? Learn those things, which is very, very different. It's that I how do I make the most money is not what is not an answer is that comes up to the aspect. The challenge really is I want to go to a place where I am valued and that I have a little bit of a voice. They don't need a huge voice, but I want to be a place that I can make an impact. And I think that's very interesting to me because if you can grab that person early on in their career and be able to do those things and keep them happy, I believe you have them. You have a potential leader right there to lead people regardless. If you think that they're going to stay two years or five years, whatever you have someone who is fully committed into the work and into the mission. And also that they want to keep learning. And I think that's one thing that I think most leaders do, even with directors and VIPs above and manager level people talk about what do you want to do outside of work? These group of leaders and students already are asking that question, so you can ask them now, like what personally do you want to achieve? And you can help them with. If it's volunteering on a couple of hours off, that does go a long way. And I think that necessarily hasn't been that culture. 

Chris Byers: What do you think, businesses? What do you wish they were thinking about right now that they don't, that that you're like, why? Every time I run across businesses, they're not thinking about this kind of thing. And if they would, it make a huge difference? 

Ryan Patel: I think part of the reason is that there are some businesses are keeping their heads above water and there is a lot of competition going on. So they keep looking at their shoulder at start ups or whomever acquisitions versus trying and keeping your face forward and seeing what's in front of you and seeing what opportunities that you have. Because when I think of the word innovation, which obviously is another buzz word to me, is that innovating just hey, let's go grab a new thing you could be innovating internally within that core aspect that you already have that included people. Those are low-hanging fruit. What happens is sometimes a companies panic and they go, I got to do some brand new. Yeah, that's great if you had all the money, but maybe you only have one chance at that versus being able to do something that you have right in front of you that you didn't think about something and question like, we've always done this, how do we do it differently? And funny enough, that typically is the hardest. And because there's a lot of people maybe not wanting to do it and that has a high ROI and a higher success rate. And so I think that's an important aspect that I think most companies can look when they do look internally, they got to dig a little deeper and bring up the things that what is your core and really question it? 

Chris Byers: Yeah, you mentioned being genuine, and I'm curious if you had ways that you thought about or encourage people to think about. I can't get my head around this broader it, SGA or DTI or diversity or whatever. But there are things I care about. How do you like weave that metal to figure out? Yeah, it's OK to maybe give a little bit more focus to one area or not, because it sounds like that getting to your genuine moment is where you're actually going to get some real impact. 

Ryan Patel: What you just said when you said diversity, inclusion, equity, like there is an issue, we don't have gender equity. Let's just start there first, besides also the amount of ethnicities and races. So if we don't have that, why don't we have that? That is something that's okay to talk about. That's something that I think younger generations are more comfortable talking about saying, why is this not right? We talk about grade school kids. Our town are saying, Wait a minute, why are we not equal? And I use as an example, because how can you find where your core is when this question is still lingering in the places that you want to go or work for who you want to work for in your personal life, how you purchase items, does that match with who you work with? Now, some people say that doesn't matter for some careers. Some people say it does. And so when you're trying to figure out that out, there's a lot of soul searching, actually. I think we all are right to a certain degree, and I think it's not easy. What your core is and what you want to focus on, more importantly, is something I think is a revisit. You are who you are, but what you want to keep focusing on adding is to revisit every six months or three months or a year on where you want to make your impact or your personal impact.


Chris Byers: As you think about giving back or paying it forward, what are some examples of some ways you've been able to do that? 

Ryan Patel: It's funny because if this doesn't go, doesn't it just get noticed except for the people who get to this? But you always try to make time for someone response to you. Even a 15 minute call on something along the lines, especially with students like office hours and just they want to pick your brain. I think that's the easiest thing, not ignoring people, just being responsive. The giving back portion is a lot besides just the students and within the peers of people talking to people and speaking at schools. And I would say the give back portion. You don't need to get caught up on what your impact is. It's what you can do in your impact, what you take. I think I got more out of the give back and probably be giving back because I was fully aware of what is going on and some of these other issues. So there's some great NGOs that I think it's really fun to be a part of. We're just listening to what they're doing because it inspires a whole new generation of paid for it. And then finally, when you say paid for it, it's a little different mindset. But if you came through the ranks and you didn't like certain things that you were treated, don't do it to others. If you felt like you never like to go grab coffee for your boss, why would you then do that for your subordinates? Be the person to stop it. And when I say paid for that, you're staying, you're stopping it and you're paying it forward to the next place to say, Hey, let's see what we can do better. 

Chris Byers: How can leaders infuse their desire to give back to their communities and to their? What are some ways they think they can do that? 

Ryan Patel: I'm a big believer. You can make money, give back. I think there is there and there's a couple of ways. I think one, you can infuse it in the mission, right? If it is closely aligned with what you're doing, that makes sense. And that's pretty genuine if you're trying to. Make an impact if it's clean water or whatever your food like food sustainability or if you're in retail or tech. All those things. I think the other thing too, it also comes on the individual eye. The good, the guy. I always feel like this is a little unique, but take the temperature of the company just because that the company has a certain things that they want to give back. What is the employee's care about? And go ahead and include that into the conversation, even though it may not be tying it back to the business. I think that's so impactful, especially if it boys and girls club or kids anything related that you when you have a workforce that does have that kind of demographic that is there, it's amazing that we don't see that more often. And I think usually people are afraid to do that or have give options where people can raise their hand and add places and organizations. Because I think part of too of that, Chris, is that we lack awareness. We lack the awareness of what's out there, who's doing what, who's doing good. And I think sometimes you need people around you to tell you, Hey, do you know so-and-so did X, Y and Z? Oh, I didn't know that existed. Didn't know that was a problem. I want to learn more. 

Chris Byers: I know you've in particular have some impact in the API community. I'm curious if you could tell some people who probably hear that. Maybe I'm not totally sure what that is. Would look for you, maybe to talk just a little bit about that and the way you've tried to contribute. 

Ryan Patel: Obviously, the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is meh, and it's very interesting because I think the whole point of employee resource groups when there are all kinds of ethnicities, there eventually is to be continued to be equal. Technically, they shouldn't exist because that means we're all equal. These ones exist because it's trying to give awareness of not just the struggle of generations before us, and currently just it's just a gift in a safe place. So here's what culture looks like from those countries. My message in months like this when I get asked, especially with the AAPI community in general, is that it's not just about our community, it's our community. Joining with another community, all communities that we share similar values. So then we can get rid of that bias. And that's where I come from, is that how do we really solve this or we can get rid of that? I know why there's barriers right now because there's not enough equality. But if we can work together and not feel like in silos, then we can really do that change. This is why companies keep making statements because their statements are not actionable items. And I think for me, I'm trying my best to create conversations around actionable things, why we have not got there and also understand the differences and the cultural differences that can be positives that people typically in the past put a mystery 

Chris Byers: as each conversation we have ends up highlighting innovative ideas, fresh perspectives, and Ryan's an expert on scaling businesses while focusing on people first. If you could give advice to our listeners, how can they unlock their genius to build their own people? 

Ryan Patel: Start with yourself. You really do. You really get on a pen and a piece of paper and write down what you're good at and not good at? And be honest, be brutally honest, and see where you can get better. That's by the simplest exercise you do, but sometimes you don't want to write it down. You don't want to write down what you're trying to work on, because if you can't, if you can't help yourself, you can't help others. If you're if there's something flawed in certain things that you're doing, it will come out when you're giving advice to others around your team. If you don't really get yourself accordingly set, you're not in there for the long term. You're just putting Band-Aids on yourself. And so my advice is help yourself to get better. Ask people around you who can help you make better, and that doesn't mean it's just your peers. It could be across a lot of different levels that you can learn from. And you'll be surprised and shocked to hear what kind of criticism but feedback you'll get from different people that are outside your role. So why should you do it this way and natural reaction? Maybe you're defensive and say this is the way it always is done, as you see here, that you know that there's a there's something there. Go figure it out. 

Chris Byers: What do you think people using the idea of listening? And maybe it sounds like listening and understanding yourself. They're doing the same thing with other people. What are some ways that people can think about doing that in their day to create a more positive impact for other people 

Ryan Patel: is active listening, right? So it's engaged, listening to asking them questions that you might not have or you may not want to ask and that you want to ask, but something that you just wanted to know why certain things get done, or, more importantly, be humble enough to know someone else's background and journey in. There's just like in your journey and my journey is different. Getting to know each other journey does make an impact. Last year, we used the word empathy. Mr. I don't know what came up and every other word out of everyone's mouth. And yeah, it's important. But this word empathy hasn't just it's been around for a very long time and it's coming up. Now, because maybe there was lack of empathy that was not in the leadership suite. And so empathy is a part of listening, unfortunately. So that means people aren't listening at the same time when they're trying to solve these problems and sometimes just creating a safe place to listen. That's a part of your job. If you're going to actively listen to allow the other person to have the microphone, you have to make sure that person feels safe. That person knows that you're listening, not just going through the motions. 

Chris Byers: So there's a discussion that I think is bubbling up quite a bit, which is this idea of creating a safe environment for people to have what is for genuine conversations. I think we're sharing what's actually going on in their lives or challenges they may face, especially in the workplace. How do you think people can actually create that environment? What are the practical steps? Because maybe a lot of people listening or thinking, I have a safe environment, but there's something missing there. How do you think about that? 

Ryan Patel: Yeah. I mean, safe environment means not just physical, right? Typically, in the past, it means physical place that you're not. You won't get hurt. But a safe environment now means a lot different mentally, too, of what's going on in the world, in society that that could be questions that people don't have answers to. So how do you create when I say this safe place, what does that mean? So how do you create a safe place? If you got to define that as a culture, an organization and a little bit of a feedback loop to where people can go and ask somebody like, actually create a process to go? If you have something of concern that you don't know how it relates to your job or there's obviously there's ways that they talk when there's issues like there's ways that way, but this is a different issue. This is about opening up a conversation where maybe it is the employee resource groups. If your companies big enough to bring this up, is it due to the executives? We see a lot of, let's just be honest, Asian hate. And in this last couple of weeks. So I bring that up because there was a lot of maybe not awareness of what was going on about people and the elderly getting attacked. You may feel safe, but somebody else may feel like this is a family member or something's going on. How do you talk about those things and be able to address it? And I think good leaders and you've seen it, they're not just making statements, but they're doubling down on. This is the behavior that our company does not represent. We are not just it's always about the money, but we're going to rally a group of people going, I want to be a part of this fun. I want to be a part of these things. And the only way that gets there, Chris, is that you're listening and you're creating this environment for people to get feedback because that doesn't just come from the top. We like to think it all does. If you're a leader, you want to feel confident to write. You want to feel that you're getting backed by your employees, that you're doing the things that you're doing for the best as well. And I think these types of conversations right now, when you think of all the movements of equality, we are more global that there are sometimes miscommunications out there. It's harder to say that an unbiased place to have a real conversation. But you do have a set parameters too, though I think that's what we're seeing in what we're seeing. So is it a big group that we're talking about? Are we talking about a small group or are we talking about one on one conversations that needs to be defined by the culture? Right? That's not a one size fits all for everybody. If you had town hall meetings for every company, I'm not sure that would be very successful for some of these companies. But to get to the town hall, there's steps to that. And so I think these conversations are important because there's always extreme there's biases in those things. What I like to see is that people who just don't know it's OK if some people don't watch TV with them, watch the news. They may not know what's going on. And this is an extra step to to let people and educate is the word of what is happening in the manner within the workforce and workplace and to that degree. 

Chris Byers: As we wrap up the conversation, I've got a handful of questions the first one. Anyways, you're looking to create impact in the future 

Ryan Patel: at all levels, right? That's what kind of what has led me to teaching at the university there, but also in the boardroom. I want to make more of an impact to the traditional governance right has been typically average age has been north of in the 60s and usually it's not very diverse. I want to make more of an impact, not just for myself, but there are a lot of people like me that are existing and that are coming to challenge the governance aspect. And why I think that's important is because we all say innovation is so great for innovation and holding accountability comes from different perspectives. So I'm hoping in the future I can make more of an impact. I know that's probably a big goal that maybe not will happen as fast as I think I would like to, but that's something that I want to continue to try to push. And I think in and even mid-sized companies in small communities, that's really important. And I think the other aspect, too, is how we interact with communities just as businesses, because I think the role of business governments and individuals we all together can make change. So leaving just one silo to figuring it out, unfortunately, is probably the best way to make change quickly and in an effective way, and I think I want to hopefully bring all those sectors and all those people together and say, What's the future? Let's try to know where we want to going and actually go there versus just saying, we're going to do this and hope for the best. 

Chris Byers: One of the things that we love to hear from people is we've all experienced failure. And so one of the things we'd like to talk about is just how do you view failure and how that's a part of your journey? 

Ryan Patel: I feel like I hear a lot of quotes about you got to fail so you can learn, and there's some great ones like that. Failing stinks, like it hurts in the moment. Nobody wants to talk about it because yes, there's all this plus size that once you fail, you know how to course correct. But when you actually do fail that moment, you feel very disappointed. You feel like something is in the hole in your heart. Or at least that's how I felt. And I think the you use the word resilience or whatever you want to use, you need to build your confidence back up very quickly. And I think the more you fail, you tend to do that. But also you don't want to forget that, right? That feeling isn't supposed to be feared. It's supposed to be a learning aspect. So you still want to feel that sting, because I think some people like myself feel like I still have that chip on my shoulder on multiple times, but I don't show it. But it's also a way to go. What if I didn't try it? I would not note. And I think you try to do the best that you can with the information that you have. You feel like you're prepared the most that you can be, and you put yourself in the best position to succeed if you don't do that. You obviously feel even worse. And I think you learn that you're going to fail, put your best foot forward so you know that you're almost there to course correct it. 


Chris Byers: To learn more about how people are reimagining their world of work. Head over to practicallygenius.com. Thanks for joining us on this episode of Ripple Effect.

Chris Byers: If we can make an impact at an individual level, we can certainly make an impact on a global level. This quote from Ryan Patel was featured on the Nasdaq billboard in Times Square in 2020. Ryan is no stranger to the big stage and bright lights as a go-to authority on scaling businesses. He's a frequent guest on CNN, the Davos World Economic Forum and in boardrooms of big businesses like HP, MasterCard and Lego. When he's not contributing to quarter acre sized billboards, he shares his expertise at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University as a board and faculty member. What led Ryan to this now infamous billboard quote and his people first mentality? Let's find out. Ryan, welcome to the show. We're excited to have you.

Ryan Patel: Thanks, Chris. I really appreciate being here. 

Chris Byers: Anything in that intro you'd like to add 

Ryan Patel: that I always feel really shy and embarrassed when you hear that intro. I think for me, though, there is and I think it just provides a background that scaling comes across looking at different types of departments and people and industries. And I think when I hear that intro, I think it reminds me of that message of no matter who you are, that you can really do simple things and make an impact. And at least that's what I hear when you make that intro because my background is not a typical path. And I think part of every experience or every career experience you have, you get to add a little more value to it. 

Chris Byers: You're a world renowned authority on global business, political economy and corporate governance. How did you get started? 

Ryan Patel: It's interesting when you think about things that you have passions about, and I've always wanted to help build a brand now that's like kind of notion is where do you start? Usually people go where I want to do X, and I just wanted to be a part of growing something, no matter what it was, and be able to lead leaders and be a part of a team that you can actually win. And I think when I started, I got to see that from the food industry than in retail. Obviously, they're now tech and then going global, right really is where I wanted to be. And sometimes you don't get opportunities right away to the things that you want to do. And I think what I did was the experiences I took away was if I wasn't getting an opportunity, what can I do on the end or at the side that continues to make me better? So my job description, funny enough, was always never the job description. It was always more. And I found that as a pattern, Chris, and you either embrace it or you're disgruntled about it. And I can't. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I wasn't upset at certain points through my career going, Why am I doing all of this? But one day there was a light bulb and the light bulb was, You know what? I'm going to do this and then more that I want to do, because when I am given that opportunity, I'm going to hit running that people are going to know and think that I've done this before and I know what I'm talking about. And I think for me, that was the aha moment that, Hey, you know what? I'm good. Put me in a room with experts and I could have a conversation not only get their respect, but also add value to that. And I think that was for me where it started to turn a little bit to go, OK, just because my experience or I may not look like that typical person that may be in the boardroom or with that typical path. That's OK. I'm OK with that now. I am not meant for everybody, but I think those who want to be innovative, those who want to push and scale across different perspectives and different industries because again, retail, food, tech, health care, you name it, are, you name it, they're all interconnected at one point or not. I think I can add value to that. And finally, I think we are seeing 

Chris Byers: What drew you to this kind of career path overall. 

Ryan Patel: It's definitely not my plan because I wish it was by design. Looking back at it goes, Oh, this all kind of makes sense that this adds value here that you do cause you do global. You do all these things now you're teaching and global leadership, the class that I teach. We touch seven different modules from sustainability, the economy to personal branding and marketing. And it all makes sense in class because the students can see that it all does match. But in the beginning, it was really more of the opportunity that was given at hand and that those that who are really interested in knowing who I was and think it was bought more matches about people. And I think it is still to this day, Chris, the brands and the companies that come who want a partner having lead campaigns or sit on board or advisory boards, it's the people who believe in and know me. They get to know the individual what you're about, and I think that's the difference. 

Chris Byers: Yeah, maybe just to start with left for you to expound just a little bit on ESG, what it is and maybe even why people are talking about it right now. 

Ryan Patel: So ESG environment, social and corporate governance is obviously a very popular term that people are now referring to of big factors in measuring sustainability and sales impacts. So what that really means is that there are different ways to make that impact and that there going to be benchmarking metrics that people are not focusing on. Corporate social responsibility is really big. Now there's really turns on where you can actually make an overall impact and you've got to work on all of those things right now. One of them, that's what's considered ESG, not just your governance or to that degree. And I think it's calling out of where you're making the most impact behind it. So to me, ESG is something that I feel like every company will be working toward. It is a term that is a buzzword. But for me, I think it really needs metrics. It will have benchmarks to see what kind of impact you have. Year over year, and you're going to start to see that with many of these corporations being measured in the future of how are you getting better to actually create that score when there is that score? And Wall Street is obviously going to be leading behind that because ESG has been very popular. 

Chris Byers: Well, Ryan, if if you're in an organization who really hasn't thought about impact, what do you think are some ways that people, as individuals can begin to get that started and maybe from more of a groundswell version of it versus maybe the C-level chairman yet doing it? 

Ryan Patel: One define what impact is what does success look like because you can make an impact on the individual. But if you don't see what that is or what you're looking for, you may not deem that a success. And what does it mean for individual level and what kind of resources do you have to make that impact? What is it that you're doing so then then you can have a real I don't want to say a process, but something in both your hands that you can hand say, Here's what we want to do x. Here's what we want from Y. And I think part of that impact is that you're actually measuring to see that what you're doing is actually right and actually doing something because part of making that impact either at an individual level or even from a sea level perspective, is that six months from now, you could be, oh, that didn't touch base on that. Where are we? You could have figured that out in the first two months to say this wasn't working, and you got to course correct that this is not like an annual check and this is making real impact and getting real time feedback is really important in that last thing I just said, the real time feedback loop is important because the way that you may have thought that you were doing something that is more positive may not. There could be other ways to do it better to keep this in a macro conversation, even to the sea level. It's if you take in new products and services, they measure everything on, like where are we at this week or next week or next month and you're over a year? That's no different, that maybe you should do that to individuals and people to actually create some kind of cadence. That's very similar to that. 

Chris Byers: This topic of ESG has come up a lot lately and of course, encompasses a lot environment, social governance. I'm curious, is that part of how you think about things is designing things from a holistic perspective in that way? 

Ryan Patel: Here's the funny part being in retail in the beginning of my career and being a part of the community that's always been there, like what you do for the community. And I didn't come from big budgets in marketing or anything like that. It's about grassroots movement, word of mouth. How do you do that? It's becoming genuine. Right? Genuine conversations listening to local communities. Not to say that I was leader, but you can look me up five, sixty seven plus years ago. I've been talking about it. That doesn't mean that everyone catches on. You're right, everyone now saying ESG is the buzzword. What I'm saying now and now, since everyone's caught up, what's the benchmarks like? How are you making that impact? It's not just about checks, it's about actual impact and moving forward, changing businesses and doing that. I think for me, that is the systemic thing. If you look at consumers and clients, it's great that you can say that you're responsible. The question is what kind of impact are you doing? What kind of change are you doing? And workers and employees are wanting to see that too. And I think the genuineness of that is the difference now. Like you said, people are talking about ESG now. You probably can find everyone having some kind of ESG strategy or social responsibility, but then it goes back to does the employees believe that's really the mission? Are you seeing the CEO in the community? Do you believe that the company will do the right thing and continue to do the right thing? And we've seen that's not always been the case. And I think the genuineness by the consumer will call people out now because of social media, because of marketing. And I think that's where I think the future is going, that people are we're going to have more benchmarks. So we can say, Hey, you said you were going to do X. Where are you at five years later? 


Chris Byers: Absolutely. You know, one of your most notable achievements is how you turn Pinkberry into one of the fastest growing retail brands of all time. What's the learning from that experience? 

Ryan Patel: Oh, I think sometimes that was the smallest company I had ever worked for. You considered it was a startup and it was a lot bigger outside than it was inside. And I think when you have a lot of success that fast, you also have to change some of the models. And I think part of that, what I learned through there was what do you compromise? What do you not compromise and what is the brand? What is not the brand? How do you then adapt that concept to different markets, to different entrepreneurs who you pick, who you partner? And I think that was a very interesting aspect because you had to make decisions fast, you had to make it with quality and then you had the challenge of this, what led us here? And I think when you have a low barrier enter concept and you're going to other places where you're trying to localize different things, you learn real quickly how OK, for me, being in the community and partnering with people, they're not just makes the difference, but I took more so the learnings from international trying to bring it out back to the U.S. and using the US markets goes out. Right, two international markets. And I think what I realize, like there's a huge opportunity to take global learnings to come in, and I still think that there is a lot to do do that with awareness and those different aspects as the U.S. continues to be more diversified and to be stronger in that aspect as leaders and building multicultural teams across different ports. But I think that was an underpinning of what I think. Fast forward to today, this conversation is more relevant than ever that you to work remotely or partnering with different people, and now it's not such a barrier. Maybe it used to be. 

Chris Byers: Absolutely. And I'm curious, you have this idea that says that really scaling a business is about learning how to scale the people. What was that kind of discovery and what does that mean? 

Ryan Patel: You can have the best thing if people don't believe in it, including the people around it, you're not going anywhere. And I think it one more step further, like you don't want people going through the motions, either. You can tell a direct employee say, Hey, do this, please do this. And they may not believe it, but because it came from you, they go do it. But that's not, in my opinion, it's not. I don't think that's what you should do. You should want the person to understand why they're doing it, or, more importantly, pushed back to say, I don't think this is the right way of doing it. You don't want a yes person. You want someone who's around the rally cry because then work environment moves so fast so that person can catch something in between meetings and other meetings to bring it back to you. Go, Oh, by the way, this is changing. We shouldn't do this. And I think that's the difference, right? To me, that's the difference in building people because people will change the way you scale, because scale. Unfortunately, I never had a cookie cutter. I think there's always adaptions of how you adapt to grow, and that's always done with different brands and that you do have to adapt. And that includes the people having to help you get to where you want with the same mission. 

Chris Byers: If somebody is listening right now, what are some suggestions that you have for learning how to build people better? Because I think at some of the skill set that we probably don't have as much as we think we do. 

Ryan Patel: I think we're always learning. I mean, I'm always learning, and I think that's probably one the mindset is really just learning. I know people do a lot of different readings. I would get outside of your industry and talk to other people perspectives. What challenges? What happens is people just ask, Hey, so what do you do? Ryan Mack Yeah, that's great. I can share that. But to ask what hasn't worked? What didn't work? How do you get the younger generation or the older generations into a conversation? Those are the nitty gritty things that I think you think about, even small things. You can try to look for a macro like a home run silver bullet, because let's be honest, it could be a silver bullet. It's hard to implement like one. A good example that I always think of when there's 10 teams in different time zones and people always go. One team always has to wake up early and the other team always has to stay in their normal time. It's funny, as anyone even thought about flipping it just a couple of times. So that way the other team feels like the other team cares about the same thing. They don't have to. But I've seen it work. Something that's small goes a long way into team bonding into those aspects, and I think that's when I say, ask other people outside your network of how they do things. But for me, that's been really fascinating to see what other individuals, not just companies, I think companies have their own thing, but individuals do a lot of different things that can be more of an impact. It's a small things. It's the little things that do make a difference. 

Chris Byers: You mentioned youth in that, and you've obviously gotten to spend a lot of time with students who are growing up and trying to learn how to learn the business world. What are some of the things that are on their minds right now that you're bringing to us so that we know what's coming and questions that they want answered? 

Ryan Patel: Students that I come across, which is across public health, business, engineering, they're a lot more savvier than people give credit to. It's not. They're not just thinking about jobs. Their first priority is how do I make an impact? Like, where can I find my passion? Where do I go? Learn those things, which is very, very different. It's that I how do I make the most money is not what is not an answer is that comes up to the aspect. The challenge really is I want to go to a place where I am valued and that I have a little bit of a voice. They don't need a huge voice, but I want to be a place that I can make an impact. And I think that's very interesting to me because if you can grab that person early on in their career and be able to do those things and keep them happy, I believe you have them. You have a potential leader right there to lead people regardless. If you think that they're going to stay two years or five years, whatever you have someone who is fully committed into the work and into the mission. And also that they want to keep learning. And I think that's one thing that I think most leaders do, even with directors and VIPs above and manager level people talk about what do you want to do outside of work? These group of leaders and students already are asking that question, so you can ask them now, like what personally do you want to achieve? And you can help them with. If it's volunteering on a couple of hours off, that does go a long way. And I think that necessarily hasn't been that culture. 

Chris Byers: What do you think, businesses? What do you wish they were thinking about right now that they don't, that that you're like, why? Every time I run across businesses, they're not thinking about this kind of thing. And if they would, it make a huge difference? 

Ryan Patel: I think part of the reason is that there are some businesses are keeping their heads above water and there is a lot of competition going on. So they keep looking at their shoulder at start ups or whomever acquisitions versus trying and keeping your face forward and seeing what's in front of you and seeing what opportunities that you have. Because when I think of the word innovation, which obviously is another buzz word to me, is that innovating just hey, let's go grab a new thing you could be innovating internally within that core aspect that you already have that included people. Those are low-hanging fruit. What happens is sometimes a companies panic and they go, I got to do some brand new. Yeah, that's great if you had all the money, but maybe you only have one chance at that versus being able to do something that you have right in front of you that you didn't think about something and question like, we've always done this, how do we do it differently? And funny enough, that typically is the hardest. And because there's a lot of people maybe not wanting to do it and that has a high ROI and a higher success rate. And so I think that's an important aspect that I think most companies can look when they do look internally, they got to dig a little deeper and bring up the things that what is your core and really question it? 

Chris Byers: Yeah, you mentioned being genuine, and I'm curious if you had ways that you thought about or encourage people to think about. I can't get my head around this broader it, SGA or DTI or diversity or whatever. But there are things I care about. How do you like weave that metal to figure out? Yeah, it's OK to maybe give a little bit more focus to one area or not, because it sounds like that getting to your genuine moment is where you're actually going to get some real impact. 

Ryan Patel: What you just said when you said diversity, inclusion, equity, like there is an issue, we don't have gender equity. Let's just start there first, besides also the amount of ethnicities and races. So if we don't have that, why don't we have that? That is something that's okay to talk about. That's something that I think younger generations are more comfortable talking about saying, why is this not right? We talk about grade school kids. Our town are saying, Wait a minute, why are we not equal? And I use as an example, because how can you find where your core is when this question is still lingering in the places that you want to go or work for who you want to work for in your personal life, how you purchase items, does that match with who you work with? Now, some people say that doesn't matter for some careers. Some people say it does. And so when you're trying to figure out that out, there's a lot of soul searching, actually. I think we all are right to a certain degree, and I think it's not easy. What your core is and what you want to focus on, more importantly, is something I think is a revisit. You are who you are, but what you want to keep focusing on adding is to revisit every six months or three months or a year on where you want to make your impact or your personal impact.


Chris Byers: As you think about giving back or paying it forward, what are some examples of some ways you've been able to do that? 

Ryan Patel: It's funny because if this doesn't go, doesn't it just get noticed except for the people who get to this? But you always try to make time for someone response to you. Even a 15 minute call on something along the lines, especially with students like office hours and just they want to pick your brain. I think that's the easiest thing, not ignoring people, just being responsive. The giving back portion is a lot besides just the students and within the peers of people talking to people and speaking at schools. And I would say the give back portion. You don't need to get caught up on what your impact is. It's what you can do in your impact, what you take. I think I got more out of the give back and probably be giving back because I was fully aware of what is going on and some of these other issues. So there's some great NGOs that I think it's really fun to be a part of. We're just listening to what they're doing because it inspires a whole new generation of paid for it. And then finally, when you say paid for it, it's a little different mindset. But if you came through the ranks and you didn't like certain things that you were treated, don't do it to others. If you felt like you never like to go grab coffee for your boss, why would you then do that for your subordinates? Be the person to stop it. And when I say paid for that, you're staying, you're stopping it and you're paying it forward to the next place to say, Hey, let's see what we can do better. 

Chris Byers: How can leaders infuse their desire to give back to their communities and to their? What are some ways they think they can do that? 

Ryan Patel: I'm a big believer. You can make money, give back. I think there is there and there's a couple of ways. I think one, you can infuse it in the mission, right? If it is closely aligned with what you're doing, that makes sense. And that's pretty genuine if you're trying to. Make an impact if it's clean water or whatever your food like food sustainability or if you're in retail or tech. All those things. I think the other thing too, it also comes on the individual eye. The good, the guy. I always feel like this is a little unique, but take the temperature of the company just because that the company has a certain things that they want to give back. What is the employee's care about? And go ahead and include that into the conversation, even though it may not be tying it back to the business. I think that's so impactful, especially if it boys and girls club or kids anything related that you when you have a workforce that does have that kind of demographic that is there, it's amazing that we don't see that more often. And I think usually people are afraid to do that or have give options where people can raise their hand and add places and organizations. Because I think part of too of that, Chris, is that we lack awareness. We lack the awareness of what's out there, who's doing what, who's doing good. And I think sometimes you need people around you to tell you, Hey, do you know so-and-so did X, Y and Z? Oh, I didn't know that existed. Didn't know that was a problem. I want to learn more. 

Chris Byers: I know you've in particular have some impact in the API community. I'm curious if you could tell some people who probably hear that. Maybe I'm not totally sure what that is. Would look for you, maybe to talk just a little bit about that and the way you've tried to contribute. 

Ryan Patel: Obviously, the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is meh, and it's very interesting because I think the whole point of employee resource groups when there are all kinds of ethnicities, there eventually is to be continued to be equal. Technically, they shouldn't exist because that means we're all equal. These ones exist because it's trying to give awareness of not just the struggle of generations before us, and currently just it's just a gift in a safe place. So here's what culture looks like from those countries. My message in months like this when I get asked, especially with the AAPI community in general, is that it's not just about our community, it's our community. Joining with another community, all communities that we share similar values. So then we can get rid of that bias. And that's where I come from, is that how do we really solve this or we can get rid of that? I know why there's barriers right now because there's not enough equality. But if we can work together and not feel like in silos, then we can really do that change. This is why companies keep making statements because their statements are not actionable items. And I think for me, I'm trying my best to create conversations around actionable things, why we have not got there and also understand the differences and the cultural differences that can be positives that people typically in the past put a mystery 

Chris Byers: as each conversation we have ends up highlighting innovative ideas, fresh perspectives, and Ryan's an expert on scaling businesses while focusing on people first. If you could give advice to our listeners, how can they unlock their genius to build their own people? 

Ryan Patel: Start with yourself. You really do. You really get on a pen and a piece of paper and write down what you're good at and not good at? And be honest, be brutally honest, and see where you can get better. That's by the simplest exercise you do, but sometimes you don't want to write it down. You don't want to write down what you're trying to work on, because if you can't, if you can't help yourself, you can't help others. If you're if there's something flawed in certain things that you're doing, it will come out when you're giving advice to others around your team. If you don't really get yourself accordingly set, you're not in there for the long term. You're just putting Band-Aids on yourself. And so my advice is help yourself to get better. Ask people around you who can help you make better, and that doesn't mean it's just your peers. It could be across a lot of different levels that you can learn from. And you'll be surprised and shocked to hear what kind of criticism but feedback you'll get from different people that are outside your role. So why should you do it this way and natural reaction? Maybe you're defensive and say this is the way it always is done, as you see here, that you know that there's a there's something there. Go figure it out. 

Chris Byers: What do you think people using the idea of listening? And maybe it sounds like listening and understanding yourself. They're doing the same thing with other people. What are some ways that people can think about doing that in their day to create a more positive impact for other people 

Ryan Patel: is active listening, right? So it's engaged, listening to asking them questions that you might not have or you may not want to ask and that you want to ask, but something that you just wanted to know why certain things get done, or, more importantly, be humble enough to know someone else's background and journey in. There's just like in your journey and my journey is different. Getting to know each other journey does make an impact. Last year, we used the word empathy. Mr. I don't know what came up and every other word out of everyone's mouth. And yeah, it's important. But this word empathy hasn't just it's been around for a very long time and it's coming up. Now, because maybe there was lack of empathy that was not in the leadership suite. And so empathy is a part of listening, unfortunately. So that means people aren't listening at the same time when they're trying to solve these problems and sometimes just creating a safe place to listen. That's a part of your job. If you're going to actively listen to allow the other person to have the microphone, you have to make sure that person feels safe. That person knows that you're listening, not just going through the motions. 

Chris Byers: So there's a discussion that I think is bubbling up quite a bit, which is this idea of creating a safe environment for people to have what is for genuine conversations. I think we're sharing what's actually going on in their lives or challenges they may face, especially in the workplace. How do you think people can actually create that environment? What are the practical steps? Because maybe a lot of people listening or thinking, I have a safe environment, but there's something missing there. How do you think about that? 

Ryan Patel: Yeah. I mean, safe environment means not just physical, right? Typically, in the past, it means physical place that you're not. You won't get hurt. But a safe environment now means a lot different mentally, too, of what's going on in the world, in society that that could be questions that people don't have answers to. So how do you create when I say this safe place, what does that mean? So how do you create a safe place? If you got to define that as a culture, an organization and a little bit of a feedback loop to where people can go and ask somebody like, actually create a process to go? If you have something of concern that you don't know how it relates to your job or there's obviously there's ways that they talk when there's issues like there's ways that way, but this is a different issue. This is about opening up a conversation where maybe it is the employee resource groups. If your companies big enough to bring this up, is it due to the executives? We see a lot of, let's just be honest, Asian hate. And in this last couple of weeks. So I bring that up because there was a lot of maybe not awareness of what was going on about people and the elderly getting attacked. You may feel safe, but somebody else may feel like this is a family member or something's going on. How do you talk about those things and be able to address it? And I think good leaders and you've seen it, they're not just making statements, but they're doubling down on. This is the behavior that our company does not represent. We are not just it's always about the money, but we're going to rally a group of people going, I want to be a part of this fun. I want to be a part of these things. And the only way that gets there, Chris, is that you're listening and you're creating this environment for people to get feedback because that doesn't just come from the top. We like to think it all does. If you're a leader, you want to feel confident to write. You want to feel that you're getting backed by your employees, that you're doing the things that you're doing for the best as well. And I think these types of conversations right now, when you think of all the movements of equality, we are more global that there are sometimes miscommunications out there. It's harder to say that an unbiased place to have a real conversation. But you do have a set parameters too, though I think that's what we're seeing in what we're seeing. So is it a big group that we're talking about? Are we talking about a small group or are we talking about one on one conversations that needs to be defined by the culture? Right? That's not a one size fits all for everybody. If you had town hall meetings for every company, I'm not sure that would be very successful for some of these companies. But to get to the town hall, there's steps to that. And so I think these conversations are important because there's always extreme there's biases in those things. What I like to see is that people who just don't know it's OK if some people don't watch TV with them, watch the news. They may not know what's going on. And this is an extra step to to let people and educate is the word of what is happening in the manner within the workforce and workplace and to that degree. 

Chris Byers: As we wrap up the conversation, I've got a handful of questions the first one. Anyways, you're looking to create impact in the future 

Ryan Patel: at all levels, right? That's what kind of what has led me to teaching at the university there, but also in the boardroom. I want to make more of an impact to the traditional governance right has been typically average age has been north of in the 60s and usually it's not very diverse. I want to make more of an impact, not just for myself, but there are a lot of people like me that are existing and that are coming to challenge the governance aspect. And why I think that's important is because we all say innovation is so great for innovation and holding accountability comes from different perspectives. So I'm hoping in the future I can make more of an impact. I know that's probably a big goal that maybe not will happen as fast as I think I would like to, but that's something that I want to continue to try to push. And I think in and even mid-sized companies in small communities, that's really important. And I think the other aspect, too, is how we interact with communities just as businesses, because I think the role of business governments and individuals we all together can make change. So leaving just one silo to figuring it out, unfortunately, is probably the best way to make change quickly and in an effective way, and I think I want to hopefully bring all those sectors and all those people together and say, What's the future? Let's try to know where we want to going and actually go there versus just saying, we're going to do this and hope for the best. 

Chris Byers: One of the things that we love to hear from people is we've all experienced failure. And so one of the things we'd like to talk about is just how do you view failure and how that's a part of your journey? 

Ryan Patel: I feel like I hear a lot of quotes about you got to fail so you can learn, and there's some great ones like that. Failing stinks, like it hurts in the moment. Nobody wants to talk about it because yes, there's all this plus size that once you fail, you know how to course correct. But when you actually do fail that moment, you feel very disappointed. You feel like something is in the hole in your heart. Or at least that's how I felt. And I think the you use the word resilience or whatever you want to use, you need to build your confidence back up very quickly. And I think the more you fail, you tend to do that. But also you don't want to forget that, right? That feeling isn't supposed to be feared. It's supposed to be a learning aspect. So you still want to feel that sting, because I think some people like myself feel like I still have that chip on my shoulder on multiple times, but I don't show it. But it's also a way to go. What if I didn't try it? I would not note. And I think you try to do the best that you can with the information that you have. You feel like you're prepared the most that you can be, and you put yourself in the best position to succeed if you don't do that. You obviously feel even worse. And I think you learn that you're going to fail, put your best foot forward so you know that you're almost there to course correct it. 


Chris Byers: To learn more about how people are reimagining their world of work. Head over to practicallygenius.com. Thanks for joining us on this episode of Ripple Effect.

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Chris Byers: If we can make an impact at an individual level, we can certainly make an impact on a global level. This quote from Ryan Patel was featured on the Nasdaq billboard in Times Square in 2020. Ryan is no stranger to the big stage and bright lights as a go-to authority on scaling businesses. He's a frequent guest on CNN, the Davos World Economic Forum and in boardrooms of big businesses like HP, MasterCard and Lego. When he's not contributing to quarter acre sized billboards, he shares his expertise at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University as a board and faculty member. What led Ryan to this now infamous billboard quote and his people first mentality? Let's find out. Ryan, welcome to the show. We're excited to have you.

Ryan Patel: Thanks, Chris. I really appreciate being here. 

Chris Byers: Anything in that intro you'd like to add 

Ryan Patel: that I always feel really shy and embarrassed when you hear that intro. I think for me, though, there is and I think it just provides a background that scaling comes across looking at different types of departments and people and industries. And I think when I hear that intro, I think it reminds me of that message of no matter who you are, that you can really do simple things and make an impact. And at least that's what I hear when you make that intro because my background is not a typical path. And I think part of every experience or every career experience you have, you get to add a little more value to it. 

Chris Byers: You're a world renowned authority on global business, political economy and corporate governance. How did you get started? 

Ryan Patel: It's interesting when you think about things that you have passions about, and I've always wanted to help build a brand now that's like kind of notion is where do you start? Usually people go where I want to do X, and I just wanted to be a part of growing something, no matter what it was, and be able to lead leaders and be a part of a team that you can actually win. And I think when I started, I got to see that from the food industry than in retail. Obviously, they're now tech and then going global, right really is where I wanted to be. And sometimes you don't get opportunities right away to the things that you want to do. And I think what I did was the experiences I took away was if I wasn't getting an opportunity, what can I do on the end or at the side that continues to make me better? So my job description, funny enough, was always never the job description. It was always more. And I found that as a pattern, Chris, and you either embrace it or you're disgruntled about it. And I can't. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I wasn't upset at certain points through my career going, Why am I doing all of this? But one day there was a light bulb and the light bulb was, You know what? I'm going to do this and then more that I want to do, because when I am given that opportunity, I'm going to hit running that people are going to know and think that I've done this before and I know what I'm talking about. And I think for me, that was the aha moment that, Hey, you know what? I'm good. Put me in a room with experts and I could have a conversation not only get their respect, but also add value to that. And I think that was for me where it started to turn a little bit to go, OK, just because my experience or I may not look like that typical person that may be in the boardroom or with that typical path. That's OK. I'm OK with that now. I am not meant for everybody, but I think those who want to be innovative, those who want to push and scale across different perspectives and different industries because again, retail, food, tech, health care, you name it, are, you name it, they're all interconnected at one point or not. I think I can add value to that. And finally, I think we are seeing 

Chris Byers: What drew you to this kind of career path overall. 

Ryan Patel: It's definitely not my plan because I wish it was by design. Looking back at it goes, Oh, this all kind of makes sense that this adds value here that you do cause you do global. You do all these things now you're teaching and global leadership, the class that I teach. We touch seven different modules from sustainability, the economy to personal branding and marketing. And it all makes sense in class because the students can see that it all does match. But in the beginning, it was really more of the opportunity that was given at hand and that those that who are really interested in knowing who I was and think it was bought more matches about people. And I think it is still to this day, Chris, the brands and the companies that come who want a partner having lead campaigns or sit on board or advisory boards, it's the people who believe in and know me. They get to know the individual what you're about, and I think that's the difference. 

Chris Byers: Yeah, maybe just to start with left for you to expound just a little bit on ESG, what it is and maybe even why people are talking about it right now. 

Ryan Patel: So ESG environment, social and corporate governance is obviously a very popular term that people are now referring to of big factors in measuring sustainability and sales impacts. So what that really means is that there are different ways to make that impact and that there going to be benchmarking metrics that people are not focusing on. Corporate social responsibility is really big. Now there's really turns on where you can actually make an overall impact and you've got to work on all of those things right now. One of them, that's what's considered ESG, not just your governance or to that degree. And I think it's calling out of where you're making the most impact behind it. So to me, ESG is something that I feel like every company will be working toward. It is a term that is a buzzword. But for me, I think it really needs metrics. It will have benchmarks to see what kind of impact you have. Year over year, and you're going to start to see that with many of these corporations being measured in the future of how are you getting better to actually create that score when there is that score? And Wall Street is obviously going to be leading behind that because ESG has been very popular. 

Chris Byers: Well, Ryan, if if you're in an organization who really hasn't thought about impact, what do you think are some ways that people, as individuals can begin to get that started and maybe from more of a groundswell version of it versus maybe the C-level chairman yet doing it? 

Ryan Patel: One define what impact is what does success look like because you can make an impact on the individual. But if you don't see what that is or what you're looking for, you may not deem that a success. And what does it mean for individual level and what kind of resources do you have to make that impact? What is it that you're doing so then then you can have a real I don't want to say a process, but something in both your hands that you can hand say, Here's what we want to do x. Here's what we want from Y. And I think part of that impact is that you're actually measuring to see that what you're doing is actually right and actually doing something because part of making that impact either at an individual level or even from a sea level perspective, is that six months from now, you could be, oh, that didn't touch base on that. Where are we? You could have figured that out in the first two months to say this wasn't working, and you got to course correct that this is not like an annual check and this is making real impact and getting real time feedback is really important in that last thing I just said, the real time feedback loop is important because the way that you may have thought that you were doing something that is more positive may not. There could be other ways to do it better to keep this in a macro conversation, even to the sea level. It's if you take in new products and services, they measure everything on, like where are we at this week or next week or next month and you're over a year? That's no different, that maybe you should do that to individuals and people to actually create some kind of cadence. That's very similar to that. 

Chris Byers: This topic of ESG has come up a lot lately and of course, encompasses a lot environment, social governance. I'm curious, is that part of how you think about things is designing things from a holistic perspective in that way? 

Ryan Patel: Here's the funny part being in retail in the beginning of my career and being a part of the community that's always been there, like what you do for the community. And I didn't come from big budgets in marketing or anything like that. It's about grassroots movement, word of mouth. How do you do that? It's becoming genuine. Right? Genuine conversations listening to local communities. Not to say that I was leader, but you can look me up five, sixty seven plus years ago. I've been talking about it. That doesn't mean that everyone catches on. You're right, everyone now saying ESG is the buzzword. What I'm saying now and now, since everyone's caught up, what's the benchmarks like? How are you making that impact? It's not just about checks, it's about actual impact and moving forward, changing businesses and doing that. I think for me, that is the systemic thing. If you look at consumers and clients, it's great that you can say that you're responsible. The question is what kind of impact are you doing? What kind of change are you doing? And workers and employees are wanting to see that too. And I think the genuineness of that is the difference now. Like you said, people are talking about ESG now. You probably can find everyone having some kind of ESG strategy or social responsibility, but then it goes back to does the employees believe that's really the mission? Are you seeing the CEO in the community? Do you believe that the company will do the right thing and continue to do the right thing? And we've seen that's not always been the case. And I think the genuineness by the consumer will call people out now because of social media, because of marketing. And I think that's where I think the future is going, that people are we're going to have more benchmarks. So we can say, Hey, you said you were going to do X. Where are you at five years later? 


Chris Byers: Absolutely. You know, one of your most notable achievements is how you turn Pinkberry into one of the fastest growing retail brands of all time. What's the learning from that experience? 

Ryan Patel: Oh, I think sometimes that was the smallest company I had ever worked for. You considered it was a startup and it was a lot bigger outside than it was inside. And I think when you have a lot of success that fast, you also have to change some of the models. And I think part of that, what I learned through there was what do you compromise? What do you not compromise and what is the brand? What is not the brand? How do you then adapt that concept to different markets, to different entrepreneurs who you pick, who you partner? And I think that was a very interesting aspect because you had to make decisions fast, you had to make it with quality and then you had the challenge of this, what led us here? And I think when you have a low barrier enter concept and you're going to other places where you're trying to localize different things, you learn real quickly how OK, for me, being in the community and partnering with people, they're not just makes the difference, but I took more so the learnings from international trying to bring it out back to the U.S. and using the US markets goes out. Right, two international markets. And I think what I realize, like there's a huge opportunity to take global learnings to come in, and I still think that there is a lot to do do that with awareness and those different aspects as the U.S. continues to be more diversified and to be stronger in that aspect as leaders and building multicultural teams across different ports. But I think that was an underpinning of what I think. Fast forward to today, this conversation is more relevant than ever that you to work remotely or partnering with different people, and now it's not such a barrier. Maybe it used to be. 

Chris Byers: Absolutely. And I'm curious, you have this idea that says that really scaling a business is about learning how to scale the people. What was that kind of discovery and what does that mean? 

Ryan Patel: You can have the best thing if people don't believe in it, including the people around it, you're not going anywhere. And I think it one more step further, like you don't want people going through the motions, either. You can tell a direct employee say, Hey, do this, please do this. And they may not believe it, but because it came from you, they go do it. But that's not, in my opinion, it's not. I don't think that's what you should do. You should want the person to understand why they're doing it, or, more importantly, pushed back to say, I don't think this is the right way of doing it. You don't want a yes person. You want someone who's around the rally cry because then work environment moves so fast so that person can catch something in between meetings and other meetings to bring it back to you. Go, Oh, by the way, this is changing. We shouldn't do this. And I think that's the difference, right? To me, that's the difference in building people because people will change the way you scale, because scale. Unfortunately, I never had a cookie cutter. I think there's always adaptions of how you adapt to grow, and that's always done with different brands and that you do have to adapt. And that includes the people having to help you get to where you want with the same mission. 

Chris Byers: If somebody is listening right now, what are some suggestions that you have for learning how to build people better? Because I think at some of the skill set that we probably don't have as much as we think we do. 

Ryan Patel: I think we're always learning. I mean, I'm always learning, and I think that's probably one the mindset is really just learning. I know people do a lot of different readings. I would get outside of your industry and talk to other people perspectives. What challenges? What happens is people just ask, Hey, so what do you do? Ryan Mack Yeah, that's great. I can share that. But to ask what hasn't worked? What didn't work? How do you get the younger generation or the older generations into a conversation? Those are the nitty gritty things that I think you think about, even small things. You can try to look for a macro like a home run silver bullet, because let's be honest, it could be a silver bullet. It's hard to implement like one. A good example that I always think of when there's 10 teams in different time zones and people always go. One team always has to wake up early and the other team always has to stay in their normal time. It's funny, as anyone even thought about flipping it just a couple of times. So that way the other team feels like the other team cares about the same thing. They don't have to. But I've seen it work. Something that's small goes a long way into team bonding into those aspects, and I think that's when I say, ask other people outside your network of how they do things. But for me, that's been really fascinating to see what other individuals, not just companies, I think companies have their own thing, but individuals do a lot of different things that can be more of an impact. It's a small things. It's the little things that do make a difference. 

Chris Byers: You mentioned youth in that, and you've obviously gotten to spend a lot of time with students who are growing up and trying to learn how to learn the business world. What are some of the things that are on their minds right now that you're bringing to us so that we know what's coming and questions that they want answered? 

Ryan Patel: Students that I come across, which is across public health, business, engineering, they're a lot more savvier than people give credit to. It's not. They're not just thinking about jobs. Their first priority is how do I make an impact? Like, where can I find my passion? Where do I go? Learn those things, which is very, very different. It's that I how do I make the most money is not what is not an answer is that comes up to the aspect. The challenge really is I want to go to a place where I am valued and that I have a little bit of a voice. They don't need a huge voice, but I want to be a place that I can make an impact. And I think that's very interesting to me because if you can grab that person early on in their career and be able to do those things and keep them happy, I believe you have them. You have a potential leader right there to lead people regardless. If you think that they're going to stay two years or five years, whatever you have someone who is fully committed into the work and into the mission. And also that they want to keep learning. And I think that's one thing that I think most leaders do, even with directors and VIPs above and manager level people talk about what do you want to do outside of work? These group of leaders and students already are asking that question, so you can ask them now, like what personally do you want to achieve? And you can help them with. If it's volunteering on a couple of hours off, that does go a long way. And I think that necessarily hasn't been that culture. 

Chris Byers: What do you think, businesses? What do you wish they were thinking about right now that they don't, that that you're like, why? Every time I run across businesses, they're not thinking about this kind of thing. And if they would, it make a huge difference? 

Ryan Patel: I think part of the reason is that there are some businesses are keeping their heads above water and there is a lot of competition going on. So they keep looking at their shoulder at start ups or whomever acquisitions versus trying and keeping your face forward and seeing what's in front of you and seeing what opportunities that you have. Because when I think of the word innovation, which obviously is another buzz word to me, is that innovating just hey, let's go grab a new thing you could be innovating internally within that core aspect that you already have that included people. Those are low-hanging fruit. What happens is sometimes a companies panic and they go, I got to do some brand new. Yeah, that's great if you had all the money, but maybe you only have one chance at that versus being able to do something that you have right in front of you that you didn't think about something and question like, we've always done this, how do we do it differently? And funny enough, that typically is the hardest. And because there's a lot of people maybe not wanting to do it and that has a high ROI and a higher success rate. And so I think that's an important aspect that I think most companies can look when they do look internally, they got to dig a little deeper and bring up the things that what is your core and really question it? 

Chris Byers: Yeah, you mentioned being genuine, and I'm curious if you had ways that you thought about or encourage people to think about. I can't get my head around this broader it, SGA or DTI or diversity or whatever. But there are things I care about. How do you like weave that metal to figure out? Yeah, it's OK to maybe give a little bit more focus to one area or not, because it sounds like that getting to your genuine moment is where you're actually going to get some real impact. 

Ryan Patel: What you just said when you said diversity, inclusion, equity, like there is an issue, we don't have gender equity. Let's just start there first, besides also the amount of ethnicities and races. So if we don't have that, why don't we have that? That is something that's okay to talk about. That's something that I think younger generations are more comfortable talking about saying, why is this not right? We talk about grade school kids. Our town are saying, Wait a minute, why are we not equal? And I use as an example, because how can you find where your core is when this question is still lingering in the places that you want to go or work for who you want to work for in your personal life, how you purchase items, does that match with who you work with? Now, some people say that doesn't matter for some careers. Some people say it does. And so when you're trying to figure out that out, there's a lot of soul searching, actually. I think we all are right to a certain degree, and I think it's not easy. What your core is and what you want to focus on, more importantly, is something I think is a revisit. You are who you are, but what you want to keep focusing on adding is to revisit every six months or three months or a year on where you want to make your impact or your personal impact.


Chris Byers: As you think about giving back or paying it forward, what are some examples of some ways you've been able to do that? 

Ryan Patel: It's funny because if this doesn't go, doesn't it just get noticed except for the people who get to this? But you always try to make time for someone response to you. Even a 15 minute call on something along the lines, especially with students like office hours and just they want to pick your brain. I think that's the easiest thing, not ignoring people, just being responsive. The giving back portion is a lot besides just the students and within the peers of people talking to people and speaking at schools. And I would say the give back portion. You don't need to get caught up on what your impact is. It's what you can do in your impact, what you take. I think I got more out of the give back and probably be giving back because I was fully aware of what is going on and some of these other issues. So there's some great NGOs that I think it's really fun to be a part of. We're just listening to what they're doing because it inspires a whole new generation of paid for it. And then finally, when you say paid for it, it's a little different mindset. But if you came through the ranks and you didn't like certain things that you were treated, don't do it to others. If you felt like you never like to go grab coffee for your boss, why would you then do that for your subordinates? Be the person to stop it. And when I say paid for that, you're staying, you're stopping it and you're paying it forward to the next place to say, Hey, let's see what we can do better. 

Chris Byers: How can leaders infuse their desire to give back to their communities and to their? What are some ways they think they can do that? 

Ryan Patel: I'm a big believer. You can make money, give back. I think there is there and there's a couple of ways. I think one, you can infuse it in the mission, right? If it is closely aligned with what you're doing, that makes sense. And that's pretty genuine if you're trying to. Make an impact if it's clean water or whatever your food like food sustainability or if you're in retail or tech. All those things. I think the other thing too, it also comes on the individual eye. The good, the guy. I always feel like this is a little unique, but take the temperature of the company just because that the company has a certain things that they want to give back. What is the employee's care about? And go ahead and include that into the conversation, even though it may not be tying it back to the business. I think that's so impactful, especially if it boys and girls club or kids anything related that you when you have a workforce that does have that kind of demographic that is there, it's amazing that we don't see that more often. And I think usually people are afraid to do that or have give options where people can raise their hand and add places and organizations. Because I think part of too of that, Chris, is that we lack awareness. We lack the awareness of what's out there, who's doing what, who's doing good. And I think sometimes you need people around you to tell you, Hey, do you know so-and-so did X, Y and Z? Oh, I didn't know that existed. Didn't know that was a problem. I want to learn more. 

Chris Byers: I know you've in particular have some impact in the API community. I'm curious if you could tell some people who probably hear that. Maybe I'm not totally sure what that is. Would look for you, maybe to talk just a little bit about that and the way you've tried to contribute. 

Ryan Patel: Obviously, the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is meh, and it's very interesting because I think the whole point of employee resource groups when there are all kinds of ethnicities, there eventually is to be continued to be equal. Technically, they shouldn't exist because that means we're all equal. These ones exist because it's trying to give awareness of not just the struggle of generations before us, and currently just it's just a gift in a safe place. So here's what culture looks like from those countries. My message in months like this when I get asked, especially with the AAPI community in general, is that it's not just about our community, it's our community. Joining with another community, all communities that we share similar values. So then we can get rid of that bias. And that's where I come from, is that how do we really solve this or we can get rid of that? I know why there's barriers right now because there's not enough equality. But if we can work together and not feel like in silos, then we can really do that change. This is why companies keep making statements because their statements are not actionable items. And I think for me, I'm trying my best to create conversations around actionable things, why we have not got there and also understand the differences and the cultural differences that can be positives that people typically in the past put a mystery 

Chris Byers: as each conversation we have ends up highlighting innovative ideas, fresh perspectives, and Ryan's an expert on scaling businesses while focusing on people first. If you could give advice to our listeners, how can they unlock their genius to build their own people? 

Ryan Patel: Start with yourself. You really do. You really get on a pen and a piece of paper and write down what you're good at and not good at? And be honest, be brutally honest, and see where you can get better. That's by the simplest exercise you do, but sometimes you don't want to write it down. You don't want to write down what you're trying to work on, because if you can't, if you can't help yourself, you can't help others. If you're if there's something flawed in certain things that you're doing, it will come out when you're giving advice to others around your team. If you don't really get yourself accordingly set, you're not in there for the long term. You're just putting Band-Aids on yourself. And so my advice is help yourself to get better. Ask people around you who can help you make better, and that doesn't mean it's just your peers. It could be across a lot of different levels that you can learn from. And you'll be surprised and shocked to hear what kind of criticism but feedback you'll get from different people that are outside your role. So why should you do it this way and natural reaction? Maybe you're defensive and say this is the way it always is done, as you see here, that you know that there's a there's something there. Go figure it out. 

Chris Byers: What do you think people using the idea of listening? And maybe it sounds like listening and understanding yourself. They're doing the same thing with other people. What are some ways that people can think about doing that in their day to create a more positive impact for other people 

Ryan Patel: is active listening, right? So it's engaged, listening to asking them questions that you might not have or you may not want to ask and that you want to ask, but something that you just wanted to know why certain things get done, or, more importantly, be humble enough to know someone else's background and journey in. There's just like in your journey and my journey is different. Getting to know each other journey does make an impact. Last year, we used the word empathy. Mr. I don't know what came up and every other word out of everyone's mouth. And yeah, it's important. But this word empathy hasn't just it's been around for a very long time and it's coming up. Now, because maybe there was lack of empathy that was not in the leadership suite. And so empathy is a part of listening, unfortunately. So that means people aren't listening at the same time when they're trying to solve these problems and sometimes just creating a safe place to listen. That's a part of your job. If you're going to actively listen to allow the other person to have the microphone, you have to make sure that person feels safe. That person knows that you're listening, not just going through the motions. 

Chris Byers: So there's a discussion that I think is bubbling up quite a bit, which is this idea of creating a safe environment for people to have what is for genuine conversations. I think we're sharing what's actually going on in their lives or challenges they may face, especially in the workplace. How do you think people can actually create that environment? What are the practical steps? Because maybe a lot of people listening or thinking, I have a safe environment, but there's something missing there. How do you think about that? 

Ryan Patel: Yeah. I mean, safe environment means not just physical, right? Typically, in the past, it means physical place that you're not. You won't get hurt. But a safe environment now means a lot different mentally, too, of what's going on in the world, in society that that could be questions that people don't have answers to. So how do you create when I say this safe place, what does that mean? So how do you create a safe place? If you got to define that as a culture, an organization and a little bit of a feedback loop to where people can go and ask somebody like, actually create a process to go? If you have something of concern that you don't know how it relates to your job or there's obviously there's ways that they talk when there's issues like there's ways that way, but this is a different issue. This is about opening up a conversation where maybe it is the employee resource groups. If your companies big enough to bring this up, is it due to the executives? We see a lot of, let's just be honest, Asian hate. And in this last couple of weeks. So I bring that up because there was a lot of maybe not awareness of what was going on about people and the elderly getting attacked. You may feel safe, but somebody else may feel like this is a family member or something's going on. How do you talk about those things and be able to address it? And I think good leaders and you've seen it, they're not just making statements, but they're doubling down on. This is the behavior that our company does not represent. We are not just it's always about the money, but we're going to rally a group of people going, I want to be a part of this fun. I want to be a part of these things. And the only way that gets there, Chris, is that you're listening and you're creating this environment for people to get feedback because that doesn't just come from the top. We like to think it all does. If you're a leader, you want to feel confident to write. You want to feel that you're getting backed by your employees, that you're doing the things that you're doing for the best as well. And I think these types of conversations right now, when you think of all the movements of equality, we are more global that there are sometimes miscommunications out there. It's harder to say that an unbiased place to have a real conversation. But you do have a set parameters too, though I think that's what we're seeing in what we're seeing. So is it a big group that we're talking about? Are we talking about a small group or are we talking about one on one conversations that needs to be defined by the culture? Right? That's not a one size fits all for everybody. If you had town hall meetings for every company, I'm not sure that would be very successful for some of these companies. But to get to the town hall, there's steps to that. And so I think these conversations are important because there's always extreme there's biases in those things. What I like to see is that people who just don't know it's OK if some people don't watch TV with them, watch the news. They may not know what's going on. And this is an extra step to to let people and educate is the word of what is happening in the manner within the workforce and workplace and to that degree. 

Chris Byers: As we wrap up the conversation, I've got a handful of questions the first one. Anyways, you're looking to create impact in the future 

Ryan Patel: at all levels, right? That's what kind of what has led me to teaching at the university there, but also in the boardroom. I want to make more of an impact to the traditional governance right has been typically average age has been north of in the 60s and usually it's not very diverse. I want to make more of an impact, not just for myself, but there are a lot of people like me that are existing and that are coming to challenge the governance aspect. And why I think that's important is because we all say innovation is so great for innovation and holding accountability comes from different perspectives. So I'm hoping in the future I can make more of an impact. I know that's probably a big goal that maybe not will happen as fast as I think I would like to, but that's something that I want to continue to try to push. And I think in and even mid-sized companies in small communities, that's really important. And I think the other aspect, too, is how we interact with communities just as businesses, because I think the role of business governments and individuals we all together can make change. So leaving just one silo to figuring it out, unfortunately, is probably the best way to make change quickly and in an effective way, and I think I want to hopefully bring all those sectors and all those people together and say, What's the future? Let's try to know where we want to going and actually go there versus just saying, we're going to do this and hope for the best. 

Chris Byers: One of the things that we love to hear from people is we've all experienced failure. And so one of the things we'd like to talk about is just how do you view failure and how that's a part of your journey? 

Ryan Patel: I feel like I hear a lot of quotes about you got to fail so you can learn, and there's some great ones like that. Failing stinks, like it hurts in the moment. Nobody wants to talk about it because yes, there's all this plus size that once you fail, you know how to course correct. But when you actually do fail that moment, you feel very disappointed. You feel like something is in the hole in your heart. Or at least that's how I felt. And I think the you use the word resilience or whatever you want to use, you need to build your confidence back up very quickly. And I think the more you fail, you tend to do that. But also you don't want to forget that, right? That feeling isn't supposed to be feared. It's supposed to be a learning aspect. So you still want to feel that sting, because I think some people like myself feel like I still have that chip on my shoulder on multiple times, but I don't show it. But it's also a way to go. What if I didn't try it? I would not note. And I think you try to do the best that you can with the information that you have. You feel like you're prepared the most that you can be, and you put yourself in the best position to succeed if you don't do that. You obviously feel even worse. And I think you learn that you're going to fail, put your best foot forward so you know that you're almost there to course correct it. 


Chris Byers: To learn more about how people are reimagining their world of work. Head over to practicallygenius.com. Thanks for joining us on this episode of Ripple Effect.

Chris Byers: If we can make an impact at an individual level, we can certainly make an impact on a global level. This quote from Ryan Patel was featured on the Nasdaq billboard in Times Square in 2020. Ryan is no stranger to the big stage and bright lights as a go-to authority on scaling businesses. He's a frequent guest on CNN, the Davos World Economic Forum and in boardrooms of big businesses like HP, MasterCard and Lego. When he's not contributing to quarter acre sized billboards, he shares his expertise at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University as a board and faculty member. What led Ryan to this now infamous billboard quote and his people first mentality? Let's find out. Ryan, welcome to the show. We're excited to have you.

Ryan Patel: Thanks, Chris. I really appreciate being here. 

Chris Byers: Anything in that intro you'd like to add 

Ryan Patel: that I always feel really shy and embarrassed when you hear that intro. I think for me, though, there is and I think it just provides a background that scaling comes across looking at different types of departments and people and industries. And I think when I hear that intro, I think it reminds me of that message of no matter who you are, that you can really do simple things and make an impact. And at least that's what I hear when you make that intro because my background is not a typical path. And I think part of every experience or every career experience you have, you get to add a little more value to it. 

Chris Byers: You're a world renowned authority on global business, political economy and corporate governance. How did you get started? 

Ryan Patel: It's interesting when you think about things that you have passions about, and I've always wanted to help build a brand now that's like kind of notion is where do you start? Usually people go where I want to do X, and I just wanted to be a part of growing something, no matter what it was, and be able to lead leaders and be a part of a team that you can actually win. And I think when I started, I got to see that from the food industry than in retail. Obviously, they're now tech and then going global, right really is where I wanted to be. And sometimes you don't get opportunities right away to the things that you want to do. And I think what I did was the experiences I took away was if I wasn't getting an opportunity, what can I do on the end or at the side that continues to make me better? So my job description, funny enough, was always never the job description. It was always more. And I found that as a pattern, Chris, and you either embrace it or you're disgruntled about it. And I can't. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I wasn't upset at certain points through my career going, Why am I doing all of this? But one day there was a light bulb and the light bulb was, You know what? I'm going to do this and then more that I want to do, because when I am given that opportunity, I'm going to hit running that people are going to know and think that I've done this before and I know what I'm talking about. And I think for me, that was the aha moment that, Hey, you know what? I'm good. Put me in a room with experts and I could have a conversation not only get their respect, but also add value to that. And I think that was for me where it started to turn a little bit to go, OK, just because my experience or I may not look like that typical person that may be in the boardroom or with that typical path. That's OK. I'm OK with that now. I am not meant for everybody, but I think those who want to be innovative, those who want to push and scale across different perspectives and different industries because again, retail, food, tech, health care, you name it, are, you name it, they're all interconnected at one point or not. I think I can add value to that. And finally, I think we are seeing 

Chris Byers: What drew you to this kind of career path overall. 

Ryan Patel: It's definitely not my plan because I wish it was by design. Looking back at it goes, Oh, this all kind of makes sense that this adds value here that you do cause you do global. You do all these things now you're teaching and global leadership, the class that I teach. We touch seven different modules from sustainability, the economy to personal branding and marketing. And it all makes sense in class because the students can see that it all does match. But in the beginning, it was really more of the opportunity that was given at hand and that those that who are really interested in knowing who I was and think it was bought more matches about people. And I think it is still to this day, Chris, the brands and the companies that come who want a partner having lead campaigns or sit on board or advisory boards, it's the people who believe in and know me. They get to know the individual what you're about, and I think that's the difference. 

Chris Byers: Yeah, maybe just to start with left for you to expound just a little bit on ESG, what it is and maybe even why people are talking about it right now. 

Ryan Patel: So ESG environment, social and corporate governance is obviously a very popular term that people are now referring to of big factors in measuring sustainability and sales impacts. So what that really means is that there are different ways to make that impact and that there going to be benchmarking metrics that people are not focusing on. Corporate social responsibility is really big. Now there's really turns on where you can actually make an overall impact and you've got to work on all of those things right now. One of them, that's what's considered ESG, not just your governance or to that degree. And I think it's calling out of where you're making the most impact behind it. So to me, ESG is something that I feel like every company will be working toward. It is a term that is a buzzword. But for me, I think it really needs metrics. It will have benchmarks to see what kind of impact you have. Year over year, and you're going to start to see that with many of these corporations being measured in the future of how are you getting better to actually create that score when there is that score? And Wall Street is obviously going to be leading behind that because ESG has been very popular. 

Chris Byers: Well, Ryan, if if you're in an organization who really hasn't thought about impact, what do you think are some ways that people, as individuals can begin to get that started and maybe from more of a groundswell version of it versus maybe the C-level chairman yet doing it? 

Ryan Patel: One define what impact is what does success look like because you can make an impact on the individual. But if you don't see what that is or what you're looking for, you may not deem that a success. And what does it mean for individual level and what kind of resources do you have to make that impact? What is it that you're doing so then then you can have a real I don't want to say a process, but something in both your hands that you can hand say, Here's what we want to do x. Here's what we want from Y. And I think part of that impact is that you're actually measuring to see that what you're doing is actually right and actually doing something because part of making that impact either at an individual level or even from a sea level perspective, is that six months from now, you could be, oh, that didn't touch base on that. Where are we? You could have figured that out in the first two months to say this wasn't working, and you got to course correct that this is not like an annual check and this is making real impact and getting real time feedback is really important in that last thing I just said, the real time feedback loop is important because the way that you may have thought that you were doing something that is more positive may not. There could be other ways to do it better to keep this in a macro conversation, even to the sea level. It's if you take in new products and services, they measure everything on, like where are we at this week or next week or next month and you're over a year? That's no different, that maybe you should do that to individuals and people to actually create some kind of cadence. That's very similar to that. 

Chris Byers: This topic of ESG has come up a lot lately and of course, encompasses a lot environment, social governance. I'm curious, is that part of how you think about things is designing things from a holistic perspective in that way? 

Ryan Patel: Here's the funny part being in retail in the beginning of my career and being a part of the community that's always been there, like what you do for the community. And I didn't come from big budgets in marketing or anything like that. It's about grassroots movement, word of mouth. How do you do that? It's becoming genuine. Right? Genuine conversations listening to local communities. Not to say that I was leader, but you can look me up five, sixty seven plus years ago. I've been talking about it. That doesn't mean that everyone catches on. You're right, everyone now saying ESG is the buzzword. What I'm saying now and now, since everyone's caught up, what's the benchmarks like? How are you making that impact? It's not just about checks, it's about actual impact and moving forward, changing businesses and doing that. I think for me, that is the systemic thing. If you look at consumers and clients, it's great that you can say that you're responsible. The question is what kind of impact are you doing? What kind of change are you doing? And workers and employees are wanting to see that too. And I think the genuineness of that is the difference now. Like you said, people are talking about ESG now. You probably can find everyone having some kind of ESG strategy or social responsibility, but then it goes back to does the employees believe that's really the mission? Are you seeing the CEO in the community? Do you believe that the company will do the right thing and continue to do the right thing? And we've seen that's not always been the case. And I think the genuineness by the consumer will call people out now because of social media, because of marketing. And I think that's where I think the future is going, that people are we're going to have more benchmarks. So we can say, Hey, you said you were going to do X. Where are you at five years later? 


Chris Byers: Absolutely. You know, one of your most notable achievements is how you turn Pinkberry into one of the fastest growing retail brands of all time. What's the learning from that experience? 

Ryan Patel: Oh, I think sometimes that was the smallest company I had ever worked for. You considered it was a startup and it was a lot bigger outside than it was inside. And I think when you have a lot of success that fast, you also have to change some of the models. And I think part of that, what I learned through there was what do you compromise? What do you not compromise and what is the brand? What is not the brand? How do you then adapt that concept to different markets, to different entrepreneurs who you pick, who you partner? And I think that was a very interesting aspect because you had to make decisions fast, you had to make it with quality and then you had the challenge of this, what led us here? And I think when you have a low barrier enter concept and you're going to other places where you're trying to localize different things, you learn real quickly how OK, for me, being in the community and partnering with people, they're not just makes the difference, but I took more so the learnings from international trying to bring it out back to the U.S. and using the US markets goes out. Right, two international markets. And I think what I realize, like there's a huge opportunity to take global learnings to come in, and I still think that there is a lot to do do that with awareness and those different aspects as the U.S. continues to be more diversified and to be stronger in that aspect as leaders and building multicultural teams across different ports. But I think that was an underpinning of what I think. Fast forward to today, this conversation is more relevant than ever that you to work remotely or partnering with different people, and now it's not such a barrier. Maybe it used to be. 

Chris Byers: Absolutely. And I'm curious, you have this idea that says that really scaling a business is about learning how to scale the people. What was that kind of discovery and what does that mean? 

Ryan Patel: You can have the best thing if people don't believe in it, including the people around it, you're not going anywhere. And I think it one more step further, like you don't want people going through the motions, either. You can tell a direct employee say, Hey, do this, please do this. And they may not believe it, but because it came from you, they go do it. But that's not, in my opinion, it's not. I don't think that's what you should do. You should want the person to understand why they're doing it, or, more importantly, pushed back to say, I don't think this is the right way of doing it. You don't want a yes person. You want someone who's around the rally cry because then work environment moves so fast so that person can catch something in between meetings and other meetings to bring it back to you. Go, Oh, by the way, this is changing. We shouldn't do this. And I think that's the difference, right? To me, that's the difference in building people because people will change the way you scale, because scale. Unfortunately, I never had a cookie cutter. I think there's always adaptions of how you adapt to grow, and that's always done with different brands and that you do have to adapt. And that includes the people having to help you get to where you want with the same mission. 

Chris Byers: If somebody is listening right now, what are some suggestions that you have for learning how to build people better? Because I think at some of the skill set that we probably don't have as much as we think we do. 

Ryan Patel: I think we're always learning. I mean, I'm always learning, and I think that's probably one the mindset is really just learning. I know people do a lot of different readings. I would get outside of your industry and talk to other people perspectives. What challenges? What happens is people just ask, Hey, so what do you do? Ryan Mack Yeah, that's great. I can share that. But to ask what hasn't worked? What didn't work? How do you get the younger generation or the older generations into a conversation? Those are the nitty gritty things that I think you think about, even small things. You can try to look for a macro like a home run silver bullet, because let's be honest, it could be a silver bullet. It's hard to implement like one. A good example that I always think of when there's 10 teams in different time zones and people always go. One team always has to wake up early and the other team always has to stay in their normal time. It's funny, as anyone even thought about flipping it just a couple of times. So that way the other team feels like the other team cares about the same thing. They don't have to. But I've seen it work. Something that's small goes a long way into team bonding into those aspects, and I think that's when I say, ask other people outside your network of how they do things. But for me, that's been really fascinating to see what other individuals, not just companies, I think companies have their own thing, but individuals do a lot of different things that can be more of an impact. It's a small things. It's the little things that do make a difference. 

Chris Byers: You mentioned youth in that, and you've obviously gotten to spend a lot of time with students who are growing up and trying to learn how to learn the business world. What are some of the things that are on their minds right now that you're bringing to us so that we know what's coming and questions that they want answered? 

Ryan Patel: Students that I come across, which is across public health, business, engineering, they're a lot more savvier than people give credit to. It's not. They're not just thinking about jobs. Their first priority is how do I make an impact? Like, where can I find my passion? Where do I go? Learn those things, which is very, very different. It's that I how do I make the most money is not what is not an answer is that comes up to the aspect. The challenge really is I want to go to a place where I am valued and that I have a little bit of a voice. They don't need a huge voice, but I want to be a place that I can make an impact. And I think that's very interesting to me because if you can grab that person early on in their career and be able to do those things and keep them happy, I believe you have them. You have a potential leader right there to lead people regardless. If you think that they're going to stay two years or five years, whatever you have someone who is fully committed into the work and into the mission. And also that they want to keep learning. And I think that's one thing that I think most leaders do, even with directors and VIPs above and manager level people talk about what do you want to do outside of work? These group of leaders and students already are asking that question, so you can ask them now, like what personally do you want to achieve? And you can help them with. If it's volunteering on a couple of hours off, that does go a long way. And I think that necessarily hasn't been that culture. 

Chris Byers: What do you think, businesses? What do you wish they were thinking about right now that they don't, that that you're like, why? Every time I run across businesses, they're not thinking about this kind of thing. And if they would, it make a huge difference? 

Ryan Patel: I think part of the reason is that there are some businesses are keeping their heads above water and there is a lot of competition going on. So they keep looking at their shoulder at start ups or whomever acquisitions versus trying and keeping your face forward and seeing what's in front of you and seeing what opportunities that you have. Because when I think of the word innovation, which obviously is another buzz word to me, is that innovating just hey, let's go grab a new thing you could be innovating internally within that core aspect that you already have that included people. Those are low-hanging fruit. What happens is sometimes a companies panic and they go, I got to do some brand new. Yeah, that's great if you had all the money, but maybe you only have one chance at that versus being able to do something that you have right in front of you that you didn't think about something and question like, we've always done this, how do we do it differently? And funny enough, that typically is the hardest. And because there's a lot of people maybe not wanting to do it and that has a high ROI and a higher success rate. And so I think that's an important aspect that I think most companies can look when they do look internally, they got to dig a little deeper and bring up the things that what is your core and really question it? 

Chris Byers: Yeah, you mentioned being genuine, and I'm curious if you had ways that you thought about or encourage people to think about. I can't get my head around this broader it, SGA or DTI or diversity or whatever. But there are things I care about. How do you like weave that metal to figure out? Yeah, it's OK to maybe give a little bit more focus to one area or not, because it sounds like that getting to your genuine moment is where you're actually going to get some real impact. 

Ryan Patel: What you just said when you said diversity, inclusion, equity, like there is an issue, we don't have gender equity. Let's just start there first, besides also the amount of ethnicities and races. So if we don't have that, why don't we have that? That is something that's okay to talk about. That's something that I think younger generations are more comfortable talking about saying, why is this not right? We talk about grade school kids. Our town are saying, Wait a minute, why are we not equal? And I use as an example, because how can you find where your core is when this question is still lingering in the places that you want to go or work for who you want to work for in your personal life, how you purchase items, does that match with who you work with? Now, some people say that doesn't matter for some careers. Some people say it does. And so when you're trying to figure out that out, there's a lot of soul searching, actually. I think we all are right to a certain degree, and I think it's not easy. What your core is and what you want to focus on, more importantly, is something I think is a revisit. You are who you are, but what you want to keep focusing on adding is to revisit every six months or three months or a year on where you want to make your impact or your personal impact.


Chris Byers: As you think about giving back or paying it forward, what are some examples of some ways you've been able to do that? 

Ryan Patel: It's funny because if this doesn't go, doesn't it just get noticed except for the people who get to this? But you always try to make time for someone response to you. Even a 15 minute call on something along the lines, especially with students like office hours and just they want to pick your brain. I think that's the easiest thing, not ignoring people, just being responsive. The giving back portion is a lot besides just the students and within the peers of people talking to people and speaking at schools. And I would say the give back portion. You don't need to get caught up on what your impact is. It's what you can do in your impact, what you take. I think I got more out of the give back and probably be giving back because I was fully aware of what is going on and some of these other issues. So there's some great NGOs that I think it's really fun to be a part of. We're just listening to what they're doing because it inspires a whole new generation of paid for it. And then finally, when you say paid for it, it's a little different mindset. But if you came through the ranks and you didn't like certain things that you were treated, don't do it to others. If you felt like you never like to go grab coffee for your boss, why would you then do that for your subordinates? Be the person to stop it. And when I say paid for that, you're staying, you're stopping it and you're paying it forward to the next place to say, Hey, let's see what we can do better. 

Chris Byers: How can leaders infuse their desire to give back to their communities and to their? What are some ways they think they can do that? 

Ryan Patel: I'm a big believer. You can make money, give back. I think there is there and there's a couple of ways. I think one, you can infuse it in the mission, right? If it is closely aligned with what you're doing, that makes sense. And that's pretty genuine if you're trying to. Make an impact if it's clean water or whatever your food like food sustainability or if you're in retail or tech. All those things. I think the other thing too, it also comes on the individual eye. The good, the guy. I always feel like this is a little unique, but take the temperature of the company just because that the company has a certain things that they want to give back. What is the employee's care about? And go ahead and include that into the conversation, even though it may not be tying it back to the business. I think that's so impactful, especially if it boys and girls club or kids anything related that you when you have a workforce that does have that kind of demographic that is there, it's amazing that we don't see that more often. And I think usually people are afraid to do that or have give options where people can raise their hand and add places and organizations. Because I think part of too of that, Chris, is that we lack awareness. We lack the awareness of what's out there, who's doing what, who's doing good. And I think sometimes you need people around you to tell you, Hey, do you know so-and-so did X, Y and Z? Oh, I didn't know that existed. Didn't know that was a problem. I want to learn more. 

Chris Byers: I know you've in particular have some impact in the API community. I'm curious if you could tell some people who probably hear that. Maybe I'm not totally sure what that is. Would look for you, maybe to talk just a little bit about that and the way you've tried to contribute. 

Ryan Patel: Obviously, the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is meh, and it's very interesting because I think the whole point of employee resource groups when there are all kinds of ethnicities, there eventually is to be continued to be equal. Technically, they shouldn't exist because that means we're all equal. These ones exist because it's trying to give awareness of not just the struggle of generations before us, and currently just it's just a gift in a safe place. So here's what culture looks like from those countries. My message in months like this when I get asked, especially with the AAPI community in general, is that it's not just about our community, it's our community. Joining with another community, all communities that we share similar values. So then we can get rid of that bias. And that's where I come from, is that how do we really solve this or we can get rid of that? I know why there's barriers right now because there's not enough equality. But if we can work together and not feel like in silos, then we can really do that change. This is why companies keep making statements because their statements are not actionable items. And I think for me, I'm trying my best to create conversations around actionable things, why we have not got there and also understand the differences and the cultural differences that can be positives that people typically in the past put a mystery 

Chris Byers: as each conversation we have ends up highlighting innovative ideas, fresh perspectives, and Ryan's an expert on scaling businesses while focusing on people first. If you could give advice to our listeners, how can they unlock their genius to build their own people? 

Ryan Patel: Start with yourself. You really do. You really get on a pen and a piece of paper and write down what you're good at and not good at? And be honest, be brutally honest, and see where you can get better. That's by the simplest exercise you do, but sometimes you don't want to write it down. You don't want to write down what you're trying to work on, because if you can't, if you can't help yourself, you can't help others. If you're if there's something flawed in certain things that you're doing, it will come out when you're giving advice to others around your team. If you don't really get yourself accordingly set, you're not in there for the long term. You're just putting Band-Aids on yourself. And so my advice is help yourself to get better. Ask people around you who can help you make better, and that doesn't mean it's just your peers. It could be across a lot of different levels that you can learn from. And you'll be surprised and shocked to hear what kind of criticism but feedback you'll get from different people that are outside your role. So why should you do it this way and natural reaction? Maybe you're defensive and say this is the way it always is done, as you see here, that you know that there's a there's something there. Go figure it out. 

Chris Byers: What do you think people using the idea of listening? And maybe it sounds like listening and understanding yourself. They're doing the same thing with other people. What are some ways that people can think about doing that in their day to create a more positive impact for other people 

Ryan Patel: is active listening, right? So it's engaged, listening to asking them questions that you might not have or you may not want to ask and that you want to ask, but something that you just wanted to know why certain things get done, or, more importantly, be humble enough to know someone else's background and journey in. There's just like in your journey and my journey is different. Getting to know each other journey does make an impact. Last year, we used the word empathy. Mr. I don't know what came up and every other word out of everyone's mouth. And yeah, it's important. But this word empathy hasn't just it's been around for a very long time and it's coming up. Now, because maybe there was lack of empathy that was not in the leadership suite. And so empathy is a part of listening, unfortunately. So that means people aren't listening at the same time when they're trying to solve these problems and sometimes just creating a safe place to listen. That's a part of your job. If you're going to actively listen to allow the other person to have the microphone, you have to make sure that person feels safe. That person knows that you're listening, not just going through the motions. 

Chris Byers: So there's a discussion that I think is bubbling up quite a bit, which is this idea of creating a safe environment for people to have what is for genuine conversations. I think we're sharing what's actually going on in their lives or challenges they may face, especially in the workplace. How do you think people can actually create that environment? What are the practical steps? Because maybe a lot of people listening or thinking, I have a safe environment, but there's something missing there. How do you think about that? 

Ryan Patel: Yeah. I mean, safe environment means not just physical, right? Typically, in the past, it means physical place that you're not. You won't get hurt. But a safe environment now means a lot different mentally, too, of what's going on in the world, in society that that could be questions that people don't have answers to. So how do you create when I say this safe place, what does that mean? So how do you create a safe place? If you got to define that as a culture, an organization and a little bit of a feedback loop to where people can go and ask somebody like, actually create a process to go? If you have something of concern that you don't know how it relates to your job or there's obviously there's ways that they talk when there's issues like there's ways that way, but this is a different issue. This is about opening up a conversation where maybe it is the employee resource groups. If your companies big enough to bring this up, is it due to the executives? We see a lot of, let's just be honest, Asian hate. And in this last couple of weeks. So I bring that up because there was a lot of maybe not awareness of what was going on about people and the elderly getting attacked. You may feel safe, but somebody else may feel like this is a family member or something's going on. How do you talk about those things and be able to address it? And I think good leaders and you've seen it, they're not just making statements, but they're doubling down on. This is the behavior that our company does not represent. We are not just it's always about the money, but we're going to rally a group of people going, I want to be a part of this fun. I want to be a part of these things. And the only way that gets there, Chris, is that you're listening and you're creating this environment for people to get feedback because that doesn't just come from the top. We like to think it all does. If you're a leader, you want to feel confident to write. You want to feel that you're getting backed by your employees, that you're doing the things that you're doing for the best as well. And I think these types of conversations right now, when you think of all the movements of equality, we are more global that there are sometimes miscommunications out there. It's harder to say that an unbiased place to have a real conversation. But you do have a set parameters too, though I think that's what we're seeing in what we're seeing. So is it a big group that we're talking about? Are we talking about a small group or are we talking about one on one conversations that needs to be defined by the culture? Right? That's not a one size fits all for everybody. If you had town hall meetings for every company, I'm not sure that would be very successful for some of these companies. But to get to the town hall, there's steps to that. And so I think these conversations are important because there's always extreme there's biases in those things. What I like to see is that people who just don't know it's OK if some people don't watch TV with them, watch the news. They may not know what's going on. And this is an extra step to to let people and educate is the word of what is happening in the manner within the workforce and workplace and to that degree. 

Chris Byers: As we wrap up the conversation, I've got a handful of questions the first one. Anyways, you're looking to create impact in the future 

Ryan Patel: at all levels, right? That's what kind of what has led me to teaching at the university there, but also in the boardroom. I want to make more of an impact to the traditional governance right has been typically average age has been north of in the 60s and usually it's not very diverse. I want to make more of an impact, not just for myself, but there are a lot of people like me that are existing and that are coming to challenge the governance aspect. And why I think that's important is because we all say innovation is so great for innovation and holding accountability comes from different perspectives. So I'm hoping in the future I can make more of an impact. I know that's probably a big goal that maybe not will happen as fast as I think I would like to, but that's something that I want to continue to try to push. And I think in and even mid-sized companies in small communities, that's really important. And I think the other aspect, too, is how we interact with communities just as businesses, because I think the role of business governments and individuals we all together can make change. So leaving just one silo to figuring it out, unfortunately, is probably the best way to make change quickly and in an effective way, and I think I want to hopefully bring all those sectors and all those people together and say, What's the future? Let's try to know where we want to going and actually go there versus just saying, we're going to do this and hope for the best. 

Chris Byers: One of the things that we love to hear from people is we've all experienced failure. And so one of the things we'd like to talk about is just how do you view failure and how that's a part of your journey? 

Ryan Patel: I feel like I hear a lot of quotes about you got to fail so you can learn, and there's some great ones like that. Failing stinks, like it hurts in the moment. Nobody wants to talk about it because yes, there's all this plus size that once you fail, you know how to course correct. But when you actually do fail that moment, you feel very disappointed. You feel like something is in the hole in your heart. Or at least that's how I felt. And I think the you use the word resilience or whatever you want to use, you need to build your confidence back up very quickly. And I think the more you fail, you tend to do that. But also you don't want to forget that, right? That feeling isn't supposed to be feared. It's supposed to be a learning aspect. So you still want to feel that sting, because I think some people like myself feel like I still have that chip on my shoulder on multiple times, but I don't show it. But it's also a way to go. What if I didn't try it? I would not note. And I think you try to do the best that you can with the information that you have. You feel like you're prepared the most that you can be, and you put yourself in the best position to succeed if you don't do that. You obviously feel even worse. And I think you learn that you're going to fail, put your best foot forward so you know that you're almost there to course correct it. 


Chris Byers: To learn more about how people are reimagining their world of work. Head over to practicallygenius.com. Thanks for joining us on this episode of Ripple Effect.

Chris Byers: If we can make an impact at an individual level, we can certainly make an impact on a global level. This quote from Ryan Patel was featured on the Nasdaq billboard in Times Square in 2020. Ryan is no stranger to the big stage and bright lights as a go-to authority on scaling businesses. He's a frequent guest on CNN, the Davos World Economic Forum and in boardrooms of big businesses like HP, MasterCard and Lego. When he's not contributing to quarter acre sized billboards, he shares his expertise at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University as a board and faculty member. What led Ryan to this now infamous billboard quote and his people first mentality? Let's find out. Ryan, welcome to the show. We're excited to have you.

Ryan Patel: Thanks, Chris. I really appreciate being here. 

Chris Byers: Anything in that intro you'd like to add 

Ryan Patel: that I always feel really shy and embarrassed when you hear that intro. I think for me, though, there is and I think it just provides a background that scaling comes across looking at different types of departments and people and industries. And I think when I hear that intro, I think it reminds me of that message of no matter who you are, that you can really do simple things and make an impact. And at least that's what I hear when you make that intro because my background is not a typical path. And I think part of every experience or every career experience you have, you get to add a little more value to it. 

Chris Byers: You're a world renowned authority on global business, political economy and corporate governance. How did you get started? 

Ryan Patel: It's interesting when you think about things that you have passions about, and I've always wanted to help build a brand now that's like kind of notion is where do you start? Usually people go where I want to do X, and I just wanted to be a part of growing something, no matter what it was, and be able to lead leaders and be a part of a team that you can actually win. And I think when I started, I got to see that from the food industry than in retail. Obviously, they're now tech and then going global, right really is where I wanted to be. And sometimes you don't get opportunities right away to the things that you want to do. And I think what I did was the experiences I took away was if I wasn't getting an opportunity, what can I do on the end or at the side that continues to make me better? So my job description, funny enough, was always never the job description. It was always more. And I found that as a pattern, Chris, and you either embrace it or you're disgruntled about it. And I can't. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I wasn't upset at certain points through my career going, Why am I doing all of this? But one day there was a light bulb and the light bulb was, You know what? I'm going to do this and then more that I want to do, because when I am given that opportunity, I'm going to hit running that people are going to know and think that I've done this before and I know what I'm talking about. And I think for me, that was the aha moment that, Hey, you know what? I'm good. Put me in a room with experts and I could have a conversation not only get their respect, but also add value to that. And I think that was for me where it started to turn a little bit to go, OK, just because my experience or I may not look like that typical person that may be in the boardroom or with that typical path. That's OK. I'm OK with that now. I am not meant for everybody, but I think those who want to be innovative, those who want to push and scale across different perspectives and different industries because again, retail, food, tech, health care, you name it, are, you name it, they're all interconnected at one point or not. I think I can add value to that. And finally, I think we are seeing 

Chris Byers: What drew you to this kind of career path overall. 

Ryan Patel: It's definitely not my plan because I wish it was by design. Looking back at it goes, Oh, this all kind of makes sense that this adds value here that you do cause you do global. You do all these things now you're teaching and global leadership, the class that I teach. We touch seven different modules from sustainability, the economy to personal branding and marketing. And it all makes sense in class because the students can see that it all does match. But in the beginning, it was really more of the opportunity that was given at hand and that those that who are really interested in knowing who I was and think it was bought more matches about people. And I think it is still to this day, Chris, the brands and the companies that come who want a partner having lead campaigns or sit on board or advisory boards, it's the people who believe in and know me. They get to know the individual what you're about, and I think that's the difference. 

Chris Byers: Yeah, maybe just to start with left for you to expound just a little bit on ESG, what it is and maybe even why people are talking about it right now. 

Ryan Patel: So ESG environment, social and corporate governance is obviously a very popular term that people are now referring to of big factors in measuring sustainability and sales impacts. So what that really means is that there are different ways to make that impact and that there going to be benchmarking metrics that people are not focusing on. Corporate social responsibility is really big. Now there's really turns on where you can actually make an overall impact and you've got to work on all of those things right now. One of them, that's what's considered ESG, not just your governance or to that degree. And I think it's calling out of where you're making the most impact behind it. So to me, ESG is something that I feel like every company will be working toward. It is a term that is a buzzword. But for me, I think it really needs metrics. It will have benchmarks to see what kind of impact you have. Year over year, and you're going to start to see that with many of these corporations being measured in the future of how are you getting better to actually create that score when there is that score? And Wall Street is obviously going to be leading behind that because ESG has been very popular. 

Chris Byers: Well, Ryan, if if you're in an organization who really hasn't thought about impact, what do you think are some ways that people, as individuals can begin to get that started and maybe from more of a groundswell version of it versus maybe the C-level chairman yet doing it? 

Ryan Patel: One define what impact is what does success look like because you can make an impact on the individual. But if you don't see what that is or what you're looking for, you may not deem that a success. And what does it mean for individual level and what kind of resources do you have to make that impact? What is it that you're doing so then then you can have a real I don't want to say a process, but something in both your hands that you can hand say, Here's what we want to do x. Here's what we want from Y. And I think part of that impact is that you're actually measuring to see that what you're doing is actually right and actually doing something because part of making that impact either at an individual level or even from a sea level perspective, is that six months from now, you could be, oh, that didn't touch base on that. Where are we? You could have figured that out in the first two months to say this wasn't working, and you got to course correct that this is not like an annual check and this is making real impact and getting real time feedback is really important in that last thing I just said, the real time feedback loop is important because the way that you may have thought that you were doing something that is more positive may not. There could be other ways to do it better to keep this in a macro conversation, even to the sea level. It's if you take in new products and services, they measure everything on, like where are we at this week or next week or next month and you're over a year? That's no different, that maybe you should do that to individuals and people to actually create some kind of cadence. That's very similar to that. 

Chris Byers: This topic of ESG has come up a lot lately and of course, encompasses a lot environment, social governance. I'm curious, is that part of how you think about things is designing things from a holistic perspective in that way? 

Ryan Patel: Here's the funny part being in retail in the beginning of my career and being a part of the community that's always been there, like what you do for the community. And I didn't come from big budgets in marketing or anything like that. It's about grassroots movement, word of mouth. How do you do that? It's becoming genuine. Right? Genuine conversations listening to local communities. Not to say that I was leader, but you can look me up five, sixty seven plus years ago. I've been talking about it. That doesn't mean that everyone catches on. You're right, everyone now saying ESG is the buzzword. What I'm saying now and now, since everyone's caught up, what's the benchmarks like? How are you making that impact? It's not just about checks, it's about actual impact and moving forward, changing businesses and doing that. I think for me, that is the systemic thing. If you look at consumers and clients, it's great that you can say that you're responsible. The question is what kind of impact are you doing? What kind of change are you doing? And workers and employees are wanting to see that too. And I think the genuineness of that is the difference now. Like you said, people are talking about ESG now. You probably can find everyone having some kind of ESG strategy or social responsibility, but then it goes back to does the employees believe that's really the mission? Are you seeing the CEO in the community? Do you believe that the company will do the right thing and continue to do the right thing? And we've seen that's not always been the case. And I think the genuineness by the consumer will call people out now because of social media, because of marketing. And I think that's where I think the future is going, that people are we're going to have more benchmarks. So we can say, Hey, you said you were going to do X. Where are you at five years later? 


Chris Byers: Absolutely. You know, one of your most notable achievements is how you turn Pinkberry into one of the fastest growing retail brands of all time. What's the learning from that experience? 

Ryan Patel: Oh, I think sometimes that was the smallest company I had ever worked for. You considered it was a startup and it was a lot bigger outside than it was inside. And I think when you have a lot of success that fast, you also have to change some of the models. And I think part of that, what I learned through there was what do you compromise? What do you not compromise and what is the brand? What is not the brand? How do you then adapt that concept to different markets, to different entrepreneurs who you pick, who you partner? And I think that was a very interesting aspect because you had to make decisions fast, you had to make it with quality and then you had the challenge of this, what led us here? And I think when you have a low barrier enter concept and you're going to other places where you're trying to localize different things, you learn real quickly how OK, for me, being in the community and partnering with people, they're not just makes the difference, but I took more so the learnings from international trying to bring it out back to the U.S. and using the US markets goes out. Right, two international markets. And I think what I realize, like there's a huge opportunity to take global learnings to come in, and I still think that there is a lot to do do that with awareness and those different aspects as the U.S. continues to be more diversified and to be stronger in that aspect as leaders and building multicultural teams across different ports. But I think that was an underpinning of what I think. Fast forward to today, this conversation is more relevant than ever that you to work remotely or partnering with different people, and now it's not such a barrier. Maybe it used to be. 

Chris Byers: Absolutely. And I'm curious, you have this idea that says that really scaling a business is about learning how to scale the people. What was that kind of discovery and what does that mean? 

Ryan Patel: You can have the best thing if people don't believe in it, including the people around it, you're not going anywhere. And I think it one more step further, like you don't want people going through the motions, either. You can tell a direct employee say, Hey, do this, please do this. And they may not believe it, but because it came from you, they go do it. But that's not, in my opinion, it's not. I don't think that's what you should do. You should want the person to understand why they're doing it, or, more importantly, pushed back to say, I don't think this is the right way of doing it. You don't want a yes person. You want someone who's around the rally cry because then work environment moves so fast so that person can catch something in between meetings and other meetings to bring it back to you. Go, Oh, by the way, this is changing. We shouldn't do this. And I think that's the difference, right? To me, that's the difference in building people because people will change the way you scale, because scale. Unfortunately, I never had a cookie cutter. I think there's always adaptions of how you adapt to grow, and that's always done with different brands and that you do have to adapt. And that includes the people having to help you get to where you want with the same mission. 

Chris Byers: If somebody is listening right now, what are some suggestions that you have for learning how to build people better? Because I think at some of the skill set that we probably don't have as much as we think we do. 

Ryan Patel: I think we're always learning. I mean, I'm always learning, and I think that's probably one the mindset is really just learning. I know people do a lot of different readings. I would get outside of your industry and talk to other people perspectives. What challenges? What happens is people just ask, Hey, so what do you do? Ryan Mack Yeah, that's great. I can share that. But to ask what hasn't worked? What didn't work? How do you get the younger generation or the older generations into a conversation? Those are the nitty gritty things that I think you think about, even small things. You can try to look for a macro like a home run silver bullet, because let's be honest, it could be a silver bullet. It's hard to implement like one. A good example that I always think of when there's 10 teams in different time zones and people always go. One team always has to wake up early and the other team always has to stay in their normal time. It's funny, as anyone even thought about flipping it just a couple of times. So that way the other team feels like the other team cares about the same thing. They don't have to. But I've seen it work. Something that's small goes a long way into team bonding into those aspects, and I think that's when I say, ask other people outside your network of how they do things. But for me, that's been really fascinating to see what other individuals, not just companies, I think companies have their own thing, but individuals do a lot of different things that can be more of an impact. It's a small things. It's the little things that do make a difference. 

Chris Byers: You mentioned youth in that, and you've obviously gotten to spend a lot of time with students who are growing up and trying to learn how to learn the business world. What are some of the things that are on their minds right now that you're bringing to us so that we know what's coming and questions that they want answered? 

Ryan Patel: Students that I come across, which is across public health, business, engineering, they're a lot more savvier than people give credit to. It's not. They're not just thinking about jobs. Their first priority is how do I make an impact? Like, where can I find my passion? Where do I go? Learn those things, which is very, very different. It's that I how do I make the most money is not what is not an answer is that comes up to the aspect. The challenge really is I want to go to a place where I am valued and that I have a little bit of a voice. They don't need a huge voice, but I want to be a place that I can make an impact. And I think that's very interesting to me because if you can grab that person early on in their career and be able to do those things and keep them happy, I believe you have them. You have a potential leader right there to lead people regardless. If you think that they're going to stay two years or five years, whatever you have someone who is fully committed into the work and into the mission. And also that they want to keep learning. And I think that's one thing that I think most leaders do, even with directors and VIPs above and manager level people talk about what do you want to do outside of work? These group of leaders and students already are asking that question, so you can ask them now, like what personally do you want to achieve? And you can help them with. If it's volunteering on a couple of hours off, that does go a long way. And I think that necessarily hasn't been that culture. 

Chris Byers: What do you think, businesses? What do you wish they were thinking about right now that they don't, that that you're like, why? Every time I run across businesses, they're not thinking about this kind of thing. And if they would, it make a huge difference? 

Ryan Patel: I think part of the reason is that there are some businesses are keeping their heads above water and there is a lot of competition going on. So they keep looking at their shoulder at start ups or whomever acquisitions versus trying and keeping your face forward and seeing what's in front of you and seeing what opportunities that you have. Because when I think of the word innovation, which obviously is another buzz word to me, is that innovating just hey, let's go grab a new thing you could be innovating internally within that core aspect that you already have that included people. Those are low-hanging fruit. What happens is sometimes a companies panic and they go, I got to do some brand new. Yeah, that's great if you had all the money, but maybe you only have one chance at that versus being able to do something that you have right in front of you that you didn't think about something and question like, we've always done this, how do we do it differently? And funny enough, that typically is the hardest. And because there's a lot of people maybe not wanting to do it and that has a high ROI and a higher success rate. And so I think that's an important aspect that I think most companies can look when they do look internally, they got to dig a little deeper and bring up the things that what is your core and really question it? 

Chris Byers: Yeah, you mentioned being genuine, and I'm curious if you had ways that you thought about or encourage people to think about. I can't get my head around this broader it, SGA or DTI or diversity or whatever. But there are things I care about. How do you like weave that metal to figure out? Yeah, it's OK to maybe give a little bit more focus to one area or not, because it sounds like that getting to your genuine moment is where you're actually going to get some real impact. 

Ryan Patel: What you just said when you said diversity, inclusion, equity, like there is an issue, we don't have gender equity. Let's just start there first, besides also the amount of ethnicities and races. So if we don't have that, why don't we have that? That is something that's okay to talk about. That's something that I think younger generations are more comfortable talking about saying, why is this not right? We talk about grade school kids. Our town are saying, Wait a minute, why are we not equal? And I use as an example, because how can you find where your core is when this question is still lingering in the places that you want to go or work for who you want to work for in your personal life, how you purchase items, does that match with who you work with? Now, some people say that doesn't matter for some careers. Some people say it does. And so when you're trying to figure out that out, there's a lot of soul searching, actually. I think we all are right to a certain degree, and I think it's not easy. What your core is and what you want to focus on, more importantly, is something I think is a revisit. You are who you are, but what you want to keep focusing on adding is to revisit every six months or three months or a year on where you want to make your impact or your personal impact.


Chris Byers: As you think about giving back or paying it forward, what are some examples of some ways you've been able to do that? 

Ryan Patel: It's funny because if this doesn't go, doesn't it just get noticed except for the people who get to this? But you always try to make time for someone response to you. Even a 15 minute call on something along the lines, especially with students like office hours and just they want to pick your brain. I think that's the easiest thing, not ignoring people, just being responsive. The giving back portion is a lot besides just the students and within the peers of people talking to people and speaking at schools. And I would say the give back portion. You don't need to get caught up on what your impact is. It's what you can do in your impact, what you take. I think I got more out of the give back and probably be giving back because I was fully aware of what is going on and some of these other issues. So there's some great NGOs that I think it's really fun to be a part of. We're just listening to what they're doing because it inspires a whole new generation of paid for it. And then finally, when you say paid for it, it's a little different mindset. But if you came through the ranks and you didn't like certain things that you were treated, don't do it to others. If you felt like you never like to go grab coffee for your boss, why would you then do that for your subordinates? Be the person to stop it. And when I say paid for that, you're staying, you're stopping it and you're paying it forward to the next place to say, Hey, let's see what we can do better. 

Chris Byers: How can leaders infuse their desire to give back to their communities and to their? What are some ways they think they can do that? 

Ryan Patel: I'm a big believer. You can make money, give back. I think there is there and there's a couple of ways. I think one, you can infuse it in the mission, right? If it is closely aligned with what you're doing, that makes sense. And that's pretty genuine if you're trying to. Make an impact if it's clean water or whatever your food like food sustainability or if you're in retail or tech. All those things. I think the other thing too, it also comes on the individual eye. The good, the guy. I always feel like this is a little unique, but take the temperature of the company just because that the company has a certain things that they want to give back. What is the employee's care about? And go ahead and include that into the conversation, even though it may not be tying it back to the business. I think that's so impactful, especially if it boys and girls club or kids anything related that you when you have a workforce that does have that kind of demographic that is there, it's amazing that we don't see that more often. And I think usually people are afraid to do that or have give options where people can raise their hand and add places and organizations. Because I think part of too of that, Chris, is that we lack awareness. We lack the awareness of what's out there, who's doing what, who's doing good. And I think sometimes you need people around you to tell you, Hey, do you know so-and-so did X, Y and Z? Oh, I didn't know that existed. Didn't know that was a problem. I want to learn more. 

Chris Byers: I know you've in particular have some impact in the API community. I'm curious if you could tell some people who probably hear that. Maybe I'm not totally sure what that is. Would look for you, maybe to talk just a little bit about that and the way you've tried to contribute. 

Ryan Patel: Obviously, the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is meh, and it's very interesting because I think the whole point of employee resource groups when there are all kinds of ethnicities, there eventually is to be continued to be equal. Technically, they shouldn't exist because that means we're all equal. These ones exist because it's trying to give awareness of not just the struggle of generations before us, and currently just it's just a gift in a safe place. So here's what culture looks like from those countries. My message in months like this when I get asked, especially with the AAPI community in general, is that it's not just about our community, it's our community. Joining with another community, all communities that we share similar values. So then we can get rid of that bias. And that's where I come from, is that how do we really solve this or we can get rid of that? I know why there's barriers right now because there's not enough equality. But if we can work together and not feel like in silos, then we can really do that change. This is why companies keep making statements because their statements are not actionable items. And I think for me, I'm trying my best to create conversations around actionable things, why we have not got there and also understand the differences and the cultural differences that can be positives that people typically in the past put a mystery 

Chris Byers: as each conversation we have ends up highlighting innovative ideas, fresh perspectives, and Ryan's an expert on scaling businesses while focusing on people first. If you could give advice to our listeners, how can they unlock their genius to build their own people? 

Ryan Patel: Start with yourself. You really do. You really get on a pen and a piece of paper and write down what you're good at and not good at? And be honest, be brutally honest, and see where you can get better. That's by the simplest exercise you do, but sometimes you don't want to write it down. You don't want to write down what you're trying to work on, because if you can't, if you can't help yourself, you can't help others. If you're if there's something flawed in certain things that you're doing, it will come out when you're giving advice to others around your team. If you don't really get yourself accordingly set, you're not in there for the long term. You're just putting Band-Aids on yourself. And so my advice is help yourself to get better. Ask people around you who can help you make better, and that doesn't mean it's just your peers. It could be across a lot of different levels that you can learn from. And you'll be surprised and shocked to hear what kind of criticism but feedback you'll get from different people that are outside your role. So why should you do it this way and natural reaction? Maybe you're defensive and say this is the way it always is done, as you see here, that you know that there's a there's something there. Go figure it out. 

Chris Byers: What do you think people using the idea of listening? And maybe it sounds like listening and understanding yourself. They're doing the same thing with other people. What are some ways that people can think about doing that in their day to create a more positive impact for other people 

Ryan Patel: is active listening, right? So it's engaged, listening to asking them questions that you might not have or you may not want to ask and that you want to ask, but something that you just wanted to know why certain things get done, or, more importantly, be humble enough to know someone else's background and journey in. There's just like in your journey and my journey is different. Getting to know each other journey does make an impact. Last year, we used the word empathy. Mr. I don't know what came up and every other word out of everyone's mouth. And yeah, it's important. But this word empathy hasn't just it's been around for a very long time and it's coming up. Now, because maybe there was lack of empathy that was not in the leadership suite. And so empathy is a part of listening, unfortunately. So that means people aren't listening at the same time when they're trying to solve these problems and sometimes just creating a safe place to listen. That's a part of your job. If you're going to actively listen to allow the other person to have the microphone, you have to make sure that person feels safe. That person knows that you're listening, not just going through the motions. 

Chris Byers: So there's a discussion that I think is bubbling up quite a bit, which is this idea of creating a safe environment for people to have what is for genuine conversations. I think we're sharing what's actually going on in their lives or challenges they may face, especially in the workplace. How do you think people can actually create that environment? What are the practical steps? Because maybe a lot of people listening or thinking, I have a safe environment, but there's something missing there. How do you think about that? 

Ryan Patel: Yeah. I mean, safe environment means not just physical, right? Typically, in the past, it means physical place that you're not. You won't get hurt. But a safe environment now means a lot different mentally, too, of what's going on in the world, in society that that could be questions that people don't have answers to. So how do you create when I say this safe place, what does that mean? So how do you create a safe place? If you got to define that as a culture, an organization and a little bit of a feedback loop to where people can go and ask somebody like, actually create a process to go? If you have something of concern that you don't know how it relates to your job or there's obviously there's ways that they talk when there's issues like there's ways that way, but this is a different issue. This is about opening up a conversation where maybe it is the employee resource groups. If your companies big enough to bring this up, is it due to the executives? We see a lot of, let's just be honest, Asian hate. And in this last couple of weeks. So I bring that up because there was a lot of maybe not awareness of what was going on about people and the elderly getting attacked. You may feel safe, but somebody else may feel like this is a family member or something's going on. How do you talk about those things and be able to address it? And I think good leaders and you've seen it, they're not just making statements, but they're doubling down on. This is the behavior that our company does not represent. We are not just it's always about the money, but we're going to rally a group of people going, I want to be a part of this fun. I want to be a part of these things. And the only way that gets there, Chris, is that you're listening and you're creating this environment for people to get feedback because that doesn't just come from the top. We like to think it all does. If you're a leader, you want to feel confident to write. You want to feel that you're getting backed by your employees, that you're doing the things that you're doing for the best as well. And I think these types of conversations right now, when you think of all the movements of equality, we are more global that there are sometimes miscommunications out there. It's harder to say that an unbiased place to have a real conversation. But you do have a set parameters too, though I think that's what we're seeing in what we're seeing. So is it a big group that we're talking about? Are we talking about a small group or are we talking about one on one conversations that needs to be defined by the culture? Right? That's not a one size fits all for everybody. If you had town hall meetings for every company, I'm not sure that would be very successful for some of these companies. But to get to the town hall, there's steps to that. And so I think these conversations are important because there's always extreme there's biases in those things. What I like to see is that people who just don't know it's OK if some people don't watch TV with them, watch the news. They may not know what's going on. And this is an extra step to to let people and educate is the word of what is happening in the manner within the workforce and workplace and to that degree. 

Chris Byers: As we wrap up the conversation, I've got a handful of questions the first one. Anyways, you're looking to create impact in the future 

Ryan Patel: at all levels, right? That's what kind of what has led me to teaching at the university there, but also in the boardroom. I want to make more of an impact to the traditional governance right has been typically average age has been north of in the 60s and usually it's not very diverse. I want to make more of an impact, not just for myself, but there are a lot of people like me that are existing and that are coming to challenge the governance aspect. And why I think that's important is because we all say innovation is so great for innovation and holding accountability comes from different perspectives. So I'm hoping in the future I can make more of an impact. I know that's probably a big goal that maybe not will happen as fast as I think I would like to, but that's something that I want to continue to try to push. And I think in and even mid-sized companies in small communities, that's really important. And I think the other aspect, too, is how we interact with communities just as businesses, because I think the role of business governments and individuals we all together can make change. So leaving just one silo to figuring it out, unfortunately, is probably the best way to make change quickly and in an effective way, and I think I want to hopefully bring all those sectors and all those people together and say, What's the future? Let's try to know where we want to going and actually go there versus just saying, we're going to do this and hope for the best. 

Chris Byers: One of the things that we love to hear from people is we've all experienced failure. And so one of the things we'd like to talk about is just how do you view failure and how that's a part of your journey? 

Ryan Patel: I feel like I hear a lot of quotes about you got to fail so you can learn, and there's some great ones like that. Failing stinks, like it hurts in the moment. Nobody wants to talk about it because yes, there's all this plus size that once you fail, you know how to course correct. But when you actually do fail that moment, you feel very disappointed. You feel like something is in the hole in your heart. Or at least that's how I felt. And I think the you use the word resilience or whatever you want to use, you need to build your confidence back up very quickly. And I think the more you fail, you tend to do that. But also you don't want to forget that, right? That feeling isn't supposed to be feared. It's supposed to be a learning aspect. So you still want to feel that sting, because I think some people like myself feel like I still have that chip on my shoulder on multiple times, but I don't show it. But it's also a way to go. What if I didn't try it? I would not note. And I think you try to do the best that you can with the information that you have. You feel like you're prepared the most that you can be, and you put yourself in the best position to succeed if you don't do that. You obviously feel even worse. And I think you learn that you're going to fail, put your best foot forward so you know that you're almost there to course correct it. 


Chris Byers: To learn more about how people are reimagining their world of work. Head over to practicallygenius.com. Thanks for joining us on this episode of Ripple Effect.

Chris Byers: If we can make an impact at an individual level, we can certainly make an impact on a global level. This quote from Ryan Patel was featured on the Nasdaq billboard in Times Square in 2020. Ryan is no stranger to the big stage and bright lights as a go-to authority on scaling businesses. He's a frequent guest on CNN, the Davos World Economic Forum and in boardrooms of big businesses like HP, MasterCard and Lego. When he's not contributing to quarter acre sized billboards, he shares his expertise at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University as a board and faculty member. What led Ryan to this now infamous billboard quote and his people first mentality? Let's find out. Ryan, welcome to the show. We're excited to have you.

Ryan Patel: Thanks, Chris. I really appreciate being here. 

Chris Byers: Anything in that intro you'd like to add 

Ryan Patel: that I always feel really shy and embarrassed when you hear that intro. I think for me, though, there is and I think it just provides a background that scaling comes across looking at different types of departments and people and industries. And I think when I hear that intro, I think it reminds me of that message of no matter who you are, that you can really do simple things and make an impact. And at least that's what I hear when you make that intro because my background is not a typical path. And I think part of every experience or every career experience you have, you get to add a little more value to it. 

Chris Byers: You're a world renowned authority on global business, political economy and corporate governance. How did you get started? 

Ryan Patel: It's interesting when you think about things that you have passions about, and I've always wanted to help build a brand now that's like kind of notion is where do you start? Usually people go where I want to do X, and I just wanted to be a part of growing something, no matter what it was, and be able to lead leaders and be a part of a team that you can actually win. And I think when I started, I got to see that from the food industry than in retail. Obviously, they're now tech and then going global, right really is where I wanted to be. And sometimes you don't get opportunities right away to the things that you want to do. And I think what I did was the experiences I took away was if I wasn't getting an opportunity, what can I do on the end or at the side that continues to make me better? So my job description, funny enough, was always never the job description. It was always more. And I found that as a pattern, Chris, and you either embrace it or you're disgruntled about it. And I can't. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I wasn't upset at certain points through my career going, Why am I doing all of this? But one day there was a light bulb and the light bulb was, You know what? I'm going to do this and then more that I want to do, because when I am given that opportunity, I'm going to hit running that people are going to know and think that I've done this before and I know what I'm talking about. And I think for me, that was the aha moment that, Hey, you know what? I'm good. Put me in a room with experts and I could have a conversation not only get their respect, but also add value to that. And I think that was for me where it started to turn a little bit to go, OK, just because my experience or I may not look like that typical person that may be in the boardroom or with that typical path. That's OK. I'm OK with that now. I am not meant for everybody, but I think those who want to be innovative, those who want to push and scale across different perspectives and different industries because again, retail, food, tech, health care, you name it, are, you name it, they're all interconnected at one point or not. I think I can add value to that. And finally, I think we are seeing 

Chris Byers: What drew you to this kind of career path overall. 

Ryan Patel: It's definitely not my plan because I wish it was by design. Looking back at it goes, Oh, this all kind of makes sense that this adds value here that you do cause you do global. You do all these things now you're teaching and global leadership, the class that I teach. We touch seven different modules from sustainability, the economy to personal branding and marketing. And it all makes sense in class because the students can see that it all does match. But in the beginning, it was really more of the opportunity that was given at hand and that those that who are really interested in knowing who I was and think it was bought more matches about people. And I think it is still to this day, Chris, the brands and the companies that come who want a partner having lead campaigns or sit on board or advisory boards, it's the people who believe in and know me. They get to know the individual what you're about, and I think that's the difference. 

Chris Byers: Yeah, maybe just to start with left for you to expound just a little bit on ESG, what it is and maybe even why people are talking about it right now. 

Ryan Patel: So ESG environment, social and corporate governance is obviously a very popular term that people are now referring to of big factors in measuring sustainability and sales impacts. So what that really means is that there are different ways to make that impact and that there going to be benchmarking metrics that people are not focusing on. Corporate social responsibility is really big. Now there's really turns on where you can actually make an overall impact and you've got to work on all of those things right now. One of them, that's what's considered ESG, not just your governance or to that degree. And I think it's calling out of where you're making the most impact behind it. So to me, ESG is something that I feel like every company will be working toward. It is a term that is a buzzword. But for me, I think it really needs metrics. It will have benchmarks to see what kind of impact you have. Year over year, and you're going to start to see that with many of these corporations being measured in the future of how are you getting better to actually create that score when there is that score? And Wall Street is obviously going to be leading behind that because ESG has been very popular. 

Chris Byers: Well, Ryan, if if you're in an organization who really hasn't thought about impact, what do you think are some ways that people, as individuals can begin to get that started and maybe from more of a groundswell version of it versus maybe the C-level chairman yet doing it? 

Ryan Patel: One define what impact is what does success look like because you can make an impact on the individual. But if you don't see what that is or what you're looking for, you may not deem that a success. And what does it mean for individual level and what kind of resources do you have to make that impact? What is it that you're doing so then then you can have a real I don't want to say a process, but something in both your hands that you can hand say, Here's what we want to do x. Here's what we want from Y. And I think part of that impact is that you're actually measuring to see that what you're doing is actually right and actually doing something because part of making that impact either at an individual level or even from a sea level perspective, is that six months from now, you could be, oh, that didn't touch base on that. Where are we? You could have figured that out in the first two months to say this wasn't working, and you got to course correct that this is not like an annual check and this is making real impact and getting real time feedback is really important in that last thing I just said, the real time feedback loop is important because the way that you may have thought that you were doing something that is more positive may not. There could be other ways to do it better to keep this in a macro conversation, even to the sea level. It's if you take in new products and services, they measure everything on, like where are we at this week or next week or next month and you're over a year? That's no different, that maybe you should do that to individuals and people to actually create some kind of cadence. That's very similar to that. 

Chris Byers: This topic of ESG has come up a lot lately and of course, encompasses a lot environment, social governance. I'm curious, is that part of how you think about things is designing things from a holistic perspective in that way? 

Ryan Patel: Here's the funny part being in retail in the beginning of my career and being a part of the community that's always been there, like what you do for the community. And I didn't come from big budgets in marketing or anything like that. It's about grassroots movement, word of mouth. How do you do that? It's becoming genuine. Right? Genuine conversations listening to local communities. Not to say that I was leader, but you can look me up five, sixty seven plus years ago. I've been talking about it. That doesn't mean that everyone catches on. You're right, everyone now saying ESG is the buzzword. What I'm saying now and now, since everyone's caught up, what's the benchmarks like? How are you making that impact? It's not just about checks, it's about actual impact and moving forward, changing businesses and doing that. I think for me, that is the systemic thing. If you look at consumers and clients, it's great that you can say that you're responsible. The question is what kind of impact are you doing? What kind of change are you doing? And workers and employees are wanting to see that too. And I think the genuineness of that is the difference now. Like you said, people are talking about ESG now. You probably can find everyone having some kind of ESG strategy or social responsibility, but then it goes back to does the employees believe that's really the mission? Are you seeing the CEO in the community? Do you believe that the company will do the right thing and continue to do the right thing? And we've seen that's not always been the case. And I think the genuineness by the consumer will call people out now because of social media, because of marketing. And I think that's where I think the future is going, that people are we're going to have more benchmarks. So we can say, Hey, you said you were going to do X. Where are you at five years later? 


Chris Byers: Absolutely. You know, one of your most notable achievements is how you turn Pinkberry into one of the fastest growing retail brands of all time. What's the learning from that experience? 

Ryan Patel: Oh, I think sometimes that was the smallest company I had ever worked for. You considered it was a startup and it was a lot bigger outside than it was inside. And I think when you have a lot of success that fast, you also have to change some of the models. And I think part of that, what I learned through there was what do you compromise? What do you not compromise and what is the brand? What is not the brand? How do you then adapt that concept to different markets, to different entrepreneurs who you pick, who you partner? And I think that was a very interesting aspect because you had to make decisions fast, you had to make it with quality and then you had the challenge of this, what led us here? And I think when you have a low barrier enter concept and you're going to other places where you're trying to localize different things, you learn real quickly how OK, for me, being in the community and partnering with people, they're not just makes the difference, but I took more so the learnings from international trying to bring it out back to the U.S. and using the US markets goes out. Right, two international markets. And I think what I realize, like there's a huge opportunity to take global learnings to come in, and I still think that there is a lot to do do that with awareness and those different aspects as the U.S. continues to be more diversified and to be stronger in that aspect as leaders and building multicultural teams across different ports. But I think that was an underpinning of what I think. Fast forward to today, this conversation is more relevant than ever that you to work remotely or partnering with different people, and now it's not such a barrier. Maybe it used to be. 

Chris Byers: Absolutely. And I'm curious, you have this idea that says that really scaling a business is about learning how to scale the people. What was that kind of discovery and what does that mean? 

Ryan Patel: You can have the best thing if people don't believe in it, including the people around it, you're not going anywhere. And I think it one more step further, like you don't want people going through the motions, either. You can tell a direct employee say, Hey, do this, please do this. And they may not believe it, but because it came from you, they go do it. But that's not, in my opinion, it's not. I don't think that's what you should do. You should want the person to understand why they're doing it, or, more importantly, pushed back to say, I don't think this is the right way of doing it. You don't want a yes person. You want someone who's around the rally cry because then work environment moves so fast so that person can catch something in between meetings and other meetings to bring it back to you. Go, Oh, by the way, this is changing. We shouldn't do this. And I think that's the difference, right? To me, that's the difference in building people because people will change the way you scale, because scale. Unfortunately, I never had a cookie cutter. I think there's always adaptions of how you adapt to grow, and that's always done with different brands and that you do have to adapt. And that includes the people having to help you get to where you want with the same mission. 

Chris Byers: If somebody is listening right now, what are some suggestions that you have for learning how to build people better? Because I think at some of the skill set that we probably don't have as much as we think we do. 

Ryan Patel: I think we're always learning. I mean, I'm always learning, and I think that's probably one the mindset is really just learning. I know people do a lot of different readings. I would get outside of your industry and talk to other people perspectives. What challenges? What happens is people just ask, Hey, so what do you do? Ryan Mack Yeah, that's great. I can share that. But to ask what hasn't worked? What didn't work? How do you get the younger generation or the older generations into a conversation? Those are the nitty gritty things that I think you think about, even small things. You can try to look for a macro like a home run silver bullet, because let's be honest, it could be a silver bullet. It's hard to implement like one. A good example that I always think of when there's 10 teams in different time zones and people always go. One team always has to wake up early and the other team always has to stay in their normal time. It's funny, as anyone even thought about flipping it just a couple of times. So that way the other team feels like the other team cares about the same thing. They don't have to. But I've seen it work. Something that's small goes a long way into team bonding into those aspects, and I think that's when I say, ask other people outside your network of how they do things. But for me, that's been really fascinating to see what other individuals, not just companies, I think companies have their own thing, but individuals do a lot of different things that can be more of an impact. It's a small things. It's the little things that do make a difference. 

Chris Byers: You mentioned youth in that, and you've obviously gotten to spend a lot of time with students who are growing up and trying to learn how to learn the business world. What are some of the things that are on their minds right now that you're bringing to us so that we know what's coming and questions that they want answered? 

Ryan Patel: Students that I come across, which is across public health, business, engineering, they're a lot more savvier than people give credit to. It's not. They're not just thinking about jobs. Their first priority is how do I make an impact? Like, where can I find my passion? Where do I go? Learn those things, which is very, very different. It's that I how do I make the most money is not what is not an answer is that comes up to the aspect. The challenge really is I want to go to a place where I am valued and that I have a little bit of a voice. They don't need a huge voice, but I want to be a place that I can make an impact. And I think that's very interesting to me because if you can grab that person early on in their career and be able to do those things and keep them happy, I believe you have them. You have a potential leader right there to lead people regardless. If you think that they're going to stay two years or five years, whatever you have someone who is fully committed into the work and into the mission. And also that they want to keep learning. And I think that's one thing that I think most leaders do, even with directors and VIPs above and manager level people talk about what do you want to do outside of work? These group of leaders and students already are asking that question, so you can ask them now, like what personally do you want to achieve? And you can help them with. If it's volunteering on a couple of hours off, that does go a long way. And I think that necessarily hasn't been that culture. 

Chris Byers: What do you think, businesses? What do you wish they were thinking about right now that they don't, that that you're like, why? Every time I run across businesses, they're not thinking about this kind of thing. And if they would, it make a huge difference? 

Ryan Patel: I think part of the reason is that there are some businesses are keeping their heads above water and there is a lot of competition going on. So they keep looking at their shoulder at start ups or whomever acquisitions versus trying and keeping your face forward and seeing what's in front of you and seeing what opportunities that you have. Because when I think of the word innovation, which obviously is another buzz word to me, is that innovating just hey, let's go grab a new thing you could be innovating internally within that core aspect that you already have that included people. Those are low-hanging fruit. What happens is sometimes a companies panic and they go, I got to do some brand new. Yeah, that's great if you had all the money, but maybe you only have one chance at that versus being able to do something that you have right in front of you that you didn't think about something and question like, we've always done this, how do we do it differently? And funny enough, that typically is the hardest. And because there's a lot of people maybe not wanting to do it and that has a high ROI and a higher success rate. And so I think that's an important aspect that I think most companies can look when they do look internally, they got to dig a little deeper and bring up the things that what is your core and really question it? 

Chris Byers: Yeah, you mentioned being genuine, and I'm curious if you had ways that you thought about or encourage people to think about. I can't get my head around this broader it, SGA or DTI or diversity or whatever. But there are things I care about. How do you like weave that metal to figure out? Yeah, it's OK to maybe give a little bit more focus to one area or not, because it sounds like that getting to your genuine moment is where you're actually going to get some real impact. 

Ryan Patel: What you just said when you said diversity, inclusion, equity, like there is an issue, we don't have gender equity. Let's just start there first, besides also the amount of ethnicities and races. So if we don't have that, why don't we have that? That is something that's okay to talk about. That's something that I think younger generations are more comfortable talking about saying, why is this not right? We talk about grade school kids. Our town are saying, Wait a minute, why are we not equal? And I use as an example, because how can you find where your core is when this question is still lingering in the places that you want to go or work for who you want to work for in your personal life, how you purchase items, does that match with who you work with? Now, some people say that doesn't matter for some careers. Some people say it does. And so when you're trying to figure out that out, there's a lot of soul searching, actually. I think we all are right to a certain degree, and I think it's not easy. What your core is and what you want to focus on, more importantly, is something I think is a revisit. You are who you are, but what you want to keep focusing on adding is to revisit every six months or three months or a year on where you want to make your impact or your personal impact.


Chris Byers: As you think about giving back or paying it forward, what are some examples of some ways you've been able to do that? 

Ryan Patel: It's funny because if this doesn't go, doesn't it just get noticed except for the people who get to this? But you always try to make time for someone response to you. Even a 15 minute call on something along the lines, especially with students like office hours and just they want to pick your brain. I think that's the easiest thing, not ignoring people, just being responsive. The giving back portion is a lot besides just the students and within the peers of people talking to people and speaking at schools. And I would say the give back portion. You don't need to get caught up on what your impact is. It's what you can do in your impact, what you take. I think I got more out of the give back and probably be giving back because I was fully aware of what is going on and some of these other issues. So there's some great NGOs that I think it's really fun to be a part of. We're just listening to what they're doing because it inspires a whole new generation of paid for it. And then finally, when you say paid for it, it's a little different mindset. But if you came through the ranks and you didn't like certain things that you were treated, don't do it to others. If you felt like you never like to go grab coffee for your boss, why would you then do that for your subordinates? Be the person to stop it. And when I say paid for that, you're staying, you're stopping it and you're paying it forward to the next place to say, Hey, let's see what we can do better. 

Chris Byers: How can leaders infuse their desire to give back to their communities and to their? What are some ways they think they can do that? 

Ryan Patel: I'm a big believer. You can make money, give back. I think there is there and there's a couple of ways. I think one, you can infuse it in the mission, right? If it is closely aligned with what you're doing, that makes sense. And that's pretty genuine if you're trying to. Make an impact if it's clean water or whatever your food like food sustainability or if you're in retail or tech. All those things. I think the other thing too, it also comes on the individual eye. The good, the guy. I always feel like this is a little unique, but take the temperature of the company just because that the company has a certain things that they want to give back. What is the employee's care about? And go ahead and include that into the conversation, even though it may not be tying it back to the business. I think that's so impactful, especially if it boys and girls club or kids anything related that you when you have a workforce that does have that kind of demographic that is there, it's amazing that we don't see that more often. And I think usually people are afraid to do that or have give options where people can raise their hand and add places and organizations. Because I think part of too of that, Chris, is that we lack awareness. We lack the awareness of what's out there, who's doing what, who's doing good. And I think sometimes you need people around you to tell you, Hey, do you know so-and-so did X, Y and Z? Oh, I didn't know that existed. Didn't know that was a problem. I want to learn more. 

Chris Byers: I know you've in particular have some impact in the API community. I'm curious if you could tell some people who probably hear that. Maybe I'm not totally sure what that is. Would look for you, maybe to talk just a little bit about that and the way you've tried to contribute. 

Ryan Patel: Obviously, the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is meh, and it's very interesting because I think the whole point of employee resource groups when there are all kinds of ethnicities, there eventually is to be continued to be equal. Technically, they shouldn't exist because that means we're all equal. These ones exist because it's trying to give awareness of not just the struggle of generations before us, and currently just it's just a gift in a safe place. So here's what culture looks like from those countries. My message in months like this when I get asked, especially with the AAPI community in general, is that it's not just about our community, it's our community. Joining with another community, all communities that we share similar values. So then we can get rid of that bias. And that's where I come from, is that how do we really solve this or we can get rid of that? I know why there's barriers right now because there's not enough equality. But if we can work together and not feel like in silos, then we can really do that change. This is why companies keep making statements because their statements are not actionable items. And I think for me, I'm trying my best to create conversations around actionable things, why we have not got there and also understand the differences and the cultural differences that can be positives that people typically in the past put a mystery 

Chris Byers: as each conversation we have ends up highlighting innovative ideas, fresh perspectives, and Ryan's an expert on scaling businesses while focusing on people first. If you could give advice to our listeners, how can they unlock their genius to build their own people? 

Ryan Patel: Start with yourself. You really do. You really get on a pen and a piece of paper and write down what you're good at and not good at? And be honest, be brutally honest, and see where you can get better. That's by the simplest exercise you do, but sometimes you don't want to write it down. You don't want to write down what you're trying to work on, because if you can't, if you can't help yourself, you can't help others. If you're if there's something flawed in certain things that you're doing, it will come out when you're giving advice to others around your team. If you don't really get yourself accordingly set, you're not in there for the long term. You're just putting Band-Aids on yourself. And so my advice is help yourself to get better. Ask people around you who can help you make better, and that doesn't mean it's just your peers. It could be across a lot of different levels that you can learn from. And you'll be surprised and shocked to hear what kind of criticism but feedback you'll get from different people that are outside your role. So why should you do it this way and natural reaction? Maybe you're defensive and say this is the way it always is done, as you see here, that you know that there's a there's something there. Go figure it out. 

Chris Byers: What do you think people using the idea of listening? And maybe it sounds like listening and understanding yourself. They're doing the same thing with other people. What are some ways that people can think about doing that in their day to create a more positive impact for other people 

Ryan Patel: is active listening, right? So it's engaged, listening to asking them questions that you might not have or you may not want to ask and that you want to ask, but something that you just wanted to know why certain things get done, or, more importantly, be humble enough to know someone else's background and journey in. There's just like in your journey and my journey is different. Getting to know each other journey does make an impact. Last year, we used the word empathy. Mr. I don't know what came up and every other word out of everyone's mouth. And yeah, it's important. But this word empathy hasn't just it's been around for a very long time and it's coming up. Now, because maybe there was lack of empathy that was not in the leadership suite. And so empathy is a part of listening, unfortunately. So that means people aren't listening at the same time when they're trying to solve these problems and sometimes just creating a safe place to listen. That's a part of your job. If you're going to actively listen to allow the other person to have the microphone, you have to make sure that person feels safe. That person knows that you're listening, not just going through the motions. 

Chris Byers: So there's a discussion that I think is bubbling up quite a bit, which is this idea of creating a safe environment for people to have what is for genuine conversations. I think we're sharing what's actually going on in their lives or challenges they may face, especially in the workplace. How do you think people can actually create that environment? What are the practical steps? Because maybe a lot of people listening or thinking, I have a safe environment, but there's something missing there. How do you think about that? 

Ryan Patel: Yeah. I mean, safe environment means not just physical, right? Typically, in the past, it means physical place that you're not. You won't get hurt. But a safe environment now means a lot different mentally, too, of what's going on in the world, in society that that could be questions that people don't have answers to. So how do you create when I say this safe place, what does that mean? So how do you create a safe place? If you got to define that as a culture, an organization and a little bit of a feedback loop to where people can go and ask somebody like, actually create a process to go? If you have something of concern that you don't know how it relates to your job or there's obviously there's ways that they talk when there's issues like there's ways that way, but this is a different issue. This is about opening up a conversation where maybe it is the employee resource groups. If your companies big enough to bring this up, is it due to the executives? We see a lot of, let's just be honest, Asian hate. And in this last couple of weeks. So I bring that up because there was a lot of maybe not awareness of what was going on about people and the elderly getting attacked. You may feel safe, but somebody else may feel like this is a family member or something's going on. How do you talk about those things and be able to address it? And I think good leaders and you've seen it, they're not just making statements, but they're doubling down on. This is the behavior that our company does not represent. We are not just it's always about the money, but we're going to rally a group of people going, I want to be a part of this fun. I want to be a part of these things. And the only way that gets there, Chris, is that you're listening and you're creating this environment for people to get feedback because that doesn't just come from the top. We like to think it all does. If you're a leader, you want to feel confident to write. You want to feel that you're getting backed by your employees, that you're doing the things that you're doing for the best as well. And I think these types of conversations right now, when you think of all the movements of equality, we are more global that there are sometimes miscommunications out there. It's harder to say that an unbiased place to have a real conversation. But you do have a set parameters too, though I think that's what we're seeing in what we're seeing. So is it a big group that we're talking about? Are we talking about a small group or are we talking about one on one conversations that needs to be defined by the culture? Right? That's not a one size fits all for everybody. If you had town hall meetings for every company, I'm not sure that would be very successful for some of these companies. But to get to the town hall, there's steps to that. And so I think these conversations are important because there's always extreme there's biases in those things. What I like to see is that people who just don't know it's OK if some people don't watch TV with them, watch the news. They may not know what's going on. And this is an extra step to to let people and educate is the word of what is happening in the manner within the workforce and workplace and to that degree. 

Chris Byers: As we wrap up the conversation, I've got a handful of questions the first one. Anyways, you're looking to create impact in the future 

Ryan Patel: at all levels, right? That's what kind of what has led me to teaching at the university there, but also in the boardroom. I want to make more of an impact to the traditional governance right has been typically average age has been north of in the 60s and usually it's not very diverse. I want to make more of an impact, not just for myself, but there are a lot of people like me that are existing and that are coming to challenge the governance aspect. And why I think that's important is because we all say innovation is so great for innovation and holding accountability comes from different perspectives. So I'm hoping in the future I can make more of an impact. I know that's probably a big goal that maybe not will happen as fast as I think I would like to, but that's something that I want to continue to try to push. And I think in and even mid-sized companies in small communities, that's really important. And I think the other aspect, too, is how we interact with communities just as businesses, because I think the role of business governments and individuals we all together can make change. So leaving just one silo to figuring it out, unfortunately, is probably the best way to make change quickly and in an effective way, and I think I want to hopefully bring all those sectors and all those people together and say, What's the future? Let's try to know where we want to going and actually go there versus just saying, we're going to do this and hope for the best. 

Chris Byers: One of the things that we love to hear from people is we've all experienced failure. And so one of the things we'd like to talk about is just how do you view failure and how that's a part of your journey? 

Ryan Patel: I feel like I hear a lot of quotes about you got to fail so you can learn, and there's some great ones like that. Failing stinks, like it hurts in the moment. Nobody wants to talk about it because yes, there's all this plus size that once you fail, you know how to course correct. But when you actually do fail that moment, you feel very disappointed. You feel like something is in the hole in your heart. Or at least that's how I felt. And I think the you use the word resilience or whatever you want to use, you need to build your confidence back up very quickly. And I think the more you fail, you tend to do that. But also you don't want to forget that, right? That feeling isn't supposed to be feared. It's supposed to be a learning aspect. So you still want to feel that sting, because I think some people like myself feel like I still have that chip on my shoulder on multiple times, but I don't show it. But it's also a way to go. What if I didn't try it? I would not note. And I think you try to do the best that you can with the information that you have. You feel like you're prepared the most that you can be, and you put yourself in the best position to succeed if you don't do that. You obviously feel even worse. And I think you learn that you're going to fail, put your best foot forward so you know that you're almost there to course correct it. 


Chris Byers: To learn more about how people are reimagining their world of work. Head over to practicallygenius.com. Thanks for joining us on this episode of Ripple Effect.

Chris Byers: If we can make an impact at an individual level, we can certainly make an impact on a global level. This quote from Ryan Patel was featured on the Nasdaq billboard in Times Square in 2020. Ryan is no stranger to the big stage and bright lights as a go-to authority on scaling businesses. He's a frequent guest on CNN, the Davos World Economic Forum and in boardrooms of big businesses like HP, MasterCard and Lego. When he's not contributing to quarter acre sized billboards, he shares his expertise at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University as a board and faculty member. What led Ryan to this now infamous billboard quote and his people first mentality? Let's find out. Ryan, welcome to the show. We're excited to have you.

Ryan Patel: Thanks, Chris. I really appreciate being here. 

Chris Byers: Anything in that intro you'd like to add 

Ryan Patel: that I always feel really shy and embarrassed when you hear that intro. I think for me, though, there is and I think it just provides a background that scaling comes across looking at different types of departments and people and industries. And I think when I hear that intro, I think it reminds me of that message of no matter who you are, that you can really do simple things and make an impact. And at least that's what I hear when you make that intro because my background is not a typical path. And I think part of every experience or every career experience you have, you get to add a little more value to it. 

Chris Byers: You're a world renowned authority on global business, political economy and corporate governance. How did you get started? 

Ryan Patel: It's interesting when you think about things that you have passions about, and I've always wanted to help build a brand now that's like kind of notion is where do you start? Usually people go where I want to do X, and I just wanted to be a part of growing something, no matter what it was, and be able to lead leaders and be a part of a team that you can actually win. And I think when I started, I got to see that from the food industry than in retail. Obviously, they're now tech and then going global, right really is where I wanted to be. And sometimes you don't get opportunities right away to the things that you want to do. And I think what I did was the experiences I took away was if I wasn't getting an opportunity, what can I do on the end or at the side that continues to make me better? So my job description, funny enough, was always never the job description. It was always more. And I found that as a pattern, Chris, and you either embrace it or you're disgruntled about it. And I can't. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I wasn't upset at certain points through my career going, Why am I doing all of this? But one day there was a light bulb and the light bulb was, You know what? I'm going to do this and then more that I want to do, because when I am given that opportunity, I'm going to hit running that people are going to know and think that I've done this before and I know what I'm talking about. And I think for me, that was the aha moment that, Hey, you know what? I'm good. Put me in a room with experts and I could have a conversation not only get their respect, but also add value to that. And I think that was for me where it started to turn a little bit to go, OK, just because my experience or I may not look like that typical person that may be in the boardroom or with that typical path. That's OK. I'm OK with that now. I am not meant for everybody, but I think those who want to be innovative, those who want to push and scale across different perspectives and different industries because again, retail, food, tech, health care, you name it, are, you name it, they're all interconnected at one point or not. I think I can add value to that. And finally, I think we are seeing 

Chris Byers: What drew you to this kind of career path overall. 

Ryan Patel: It's definitely not my plan because I wish it was by design. Looking back at it goes, Oh, this all kind of makes sense that this adds value here that you do cause you do global. You do all these things now you're teaching and global leadership, the class that I teach. We touch seven different modules from sustainability, the economy to personal branding and marketing. And it all makes sense in class because the students can see that it all does match. But in the beginning, it was really more of the opportunity that was given at hand and that those that who are really interested in knowing who I was and think it was bought more matches about people. And I think it is still to this day, Chris, the brands and the companies that come who want a partner having lead campaigns or sit on board or advisory boards, it's the people who believe in and know me. They get to know the individual what you're about, and I think that's the difference. 

Chris Byers: Yeah, maybe just to start with left for you to expound just a little bit on ESG, what it is and maybe even why people are talking about it right now. 

Ryan Patel: So ESG environment, social and corporate governance is obviously a very popular term that people are now referring to of big factors in measuring sustainability and sales impacts. So what that really means is that there are different ways to make that impact and that there going to be benchmarking metrics that people are not focusing on. Corporate social responsibility is really big. Now there's really turns on where you can actually make an overall impact and you've got to work on all of those things right now. One of them, that's what's considered ESG, not just your governance or to that degree. And I think it's calling out of where you're making the most impact behind it. So to me, ESG is something that I feel like every company will be working toward. It is a term that is a buzzword. But for me, I think it really needs metrics. It will have benchmarks to see what kind of impact you have. Year over year, and you're going to start to see that with many of these corporations being measured in the future of how are you getting better to actually create that score when there is that score? And Wall Street is obviously going to be leading behind that because ESG has been very popular. 

Chris Byers: Well, Ryan, if if you're in an organization who really hasn't thought about impact, what do you think are some ways that people, as individuals can begin to get that started and maybe from more of a groundswell version of it versus maybe the C-level chairman yet doing it? 

Ryan Patel: One define what impact is what does success look like because you can make an impact on the individual. But if you don't see what that is or what you're looking for, you may not deem that a success. And what does it mean for individual level and what kind of resources do you have to make that impact? What is it that you're doing so then then you can have a real I don't want to say a process, but something in both your hands that you can hand say, Here's what we want to do x. Here's what we want from Y. And I think part of that impact is that you're actually measuring to see that what you're doing is actually right and actually doing something because part of making that impact either at an individual level or even from a sea level perspective, is that six months from now, you could be, oh, that didn't touch base on that. Where are we? You could have figured that out in the first two months to say this wasn't working, and you got to course correct that this is not like an annual check and this is making real impact and getting real time feedback is really important in that last thing I just said, the real time feedback loop is important because the way that you may have thought that you were doing something that is more positive may not. There could be other ways to do it better to keep this in a macro conversation, even to the sea level. It's if you take in new products and services, they measure everything on, like where are we at this week or next week or next month and you're over a year? That's no different, that maybe you should do that to individuals and people to actually create some kind of cadence. That's very similar to that. 

Chris Byers: This topic of ESG has come up a lot lately and of course, encompasses a lot environment, social governance. I'm curious, is that part of how you think about things is designing things from a holistic perspective in that way? 

Ryan Patel: Here's the funny part being in retail in the beginning of my career and being a part of the community that's always been there, like what you do for the community. And I didn't come from big budgets in marketing or anything like that. It's about grassroots movement, word of mouth. How do you do that? It's becoming genuine. Right? Genuine conversations listening to local communities. Not to say that I was leader, but you can look me up five, sixty seven plus years ago. I've been talking about it. That doesn't mean that everyone catches on. You're right, everyone now saying ESG is the buzzword. What I'm saying now and now, since everyone's caught up, what's the benchmarks like? How are you making that impact? It's not just about checks, it's about actual impact and moving forward, changing businesses and doing that. I think for me, that is the systemic thing. If you look at consumers and clients, it's great that you can say that you're responsible. The question is what kind of impact are you doing? What kind of change are you doing? And workers and employees are wanting to see that too. And I think the genuineness of that is the difference now. Like you said, people are talking about ESG now. You probably can find everyone having some kind of ESG strategy or social responsibility, but then it goes back to does the employees believe that's really the mission? Are you seeing the CEO in the community? Do you believe that the company will do the right thing and continue to do the right thing? And we've seen that's not always been the case. And I think the genuineness by the consumer will call people out now because of social media, because of marketing. And I think that's where I think the future is going, that people are we're going to have more benchmarks. So we can say, Hey, you said you were going to do X. Where are you at five years later? 


Chris Byers: Absolutely. You know, one of your most notable achievements is how you turn Pinkberry into one of the fastest growing retail brands of all time. What's the learning from that experience? 

Ryan Patel: Oh, I think sometimes that was the smallest company I had ever worked for. You considered it was a startup and it was a lot bigger outside than it was inside. And I think when you have a lot of success that fast, you also have to change some of the models. And I think part of that, what I learned through there was what do you compromise? What do you not compromise and what is the brand? What is not the brand? How do you then adapt that concept to different markets, to different entrepreneurs who you pick, who you partner? And I think that was a very interesting aspect because you had to make decisions fast, you had to make it with quality and then you had the challenge of this, what led us here? And I think when you have a low barrier enter concept and you're going to other places where you're trying to localize different things, you learn real quickly how OK, for me, being in the community and partnering with people, they're not just makes the difference, but I took more so the learnings from international trying to bring it out back to the U.S. and using the US markets goes out. Right, two international markets. And I think what I realize, like there's a huge opportunity to take global learnings to come in, and I still think that there is a lot to do do that with awareness and those different aspects as the U.S. continues to be more diversified and to be stronger in that aspect as leaders and building multicultural teams across different ports. But I think that was an underpinning of what I think. Fast forward to today, this conversation is more relevant than ever that you to work remotely or partnering with different people, and now it's not such a barrier. Maybe it used to be. 

Chris Byers: Absolutely. And I'm curious, you have this idea that says that really scaling a business is about learning how to scale the people. What was that kind of discovery and what does that mean? 

Ryan Patel: You can have the best thing if people don't believe in it, including the people around it, you're not going anywhere. And I think it one more step further, like you don't want people going through the motions, either. You can tell a direct employee say, Hey, do this, please do this. And they may not believe it, but because it came from you, they go do it. But that's not, in my opinion, it's not. I don't think that's what you should do. You should want the person to understand why they're doing it, or, more importantly, pushed back to say, I don't think this is the right way of doing it. You don't want a yes person. You want someone who's around the rally cry because then work environment moves so fast so that person can catch something in between meetings and other meetings to bring it back to you. Go, Oh, by the way, this is changing. We shouldn't do this. And I think that's the difference, right? To me, that's the difference in building people because people will change the way you scale, because scale. Unfortunately, I never had a cookie cutter. I think there's always adaptions of how you adapt to grow, and that's always done with different brands and that you do have to adapt. And that includes the people having to help you get to where you want with the same mission. 

Chris Byers: If somebody is listening right now, what are some suggestions that you have for learning how to build people better? Because I think at some of the skill set that we probably don't have as much as we think we do. 

Ryan Patel: I think we're always learning. I mean, I'm always learning, and I think that's probably one the mindset is really just learning. I know people do a lot of different readings. I would get outside of your industry and talk to other people perspectives. What challenges? What happens is people just ask, Hey, so what do you do? Ryan Mack Yeah, that's great. I can share that. But to ask what hasn't worked? What didn't work? How do you get the younger generation or the older generations into a conversation? Those are the nitty gritty things that I think you think about, even small things. You can try to look for a macro like a home run silver bullet, because let's be honest, it could be a silver bullet. It's hard to implement like one. A good example that I always think of when there's 10 teams in different time zones and people always go. One team always has to wake up early and the other team always has to stay in their normal time. It's funny, as anyone even thought about flipping it just a couple of times. So that way the other team feels like the other team cares about the same thing. They don't have to. But I've seen it work. Something that's small goes a long way into team bonding into those aspects, and I think that's when I say, ask other people outside your network of how they do things. But for me, that's been really fascinating to see what other individuals, not just companies, I think companies have their own thing, but individuals do a lot of different things that can be more of an impact. It's a small things. It's the little things that do make a difference. 

Chris Byers: You mentioned youth in that, and you've obviously gotten to spend a lot of time with students who are growing up and trying to learn how to learn the business world. What are some of the things that are on their minds right now that you're bringing to us so that we know what's coming and questions that they want answered? 

Ryan Patel: Students that I come across, which is across public health, business, engineering, they're a lot more savvier than people give credit to. It's not. They're not just thinking about jobs. Their first priority is how do I make an impact? Like, where can I find my passion? Where do I go? Learn those things, which is very, very different. It's that I how do I make the most money is not what is not an answer is that comes up to the aspect. The challenge really is I want to go to a place where I am valued and that I have a little bit of a voice. They don't need a huge voice, but I want to be a place that I can make an impact. And I think that's very interesting to me because if you can grab that person early on in their career and be able to do those things and keep them happy, I believe you have them. You have a potential leader right there to lead people regardless. If you think that they're going to stay two years or five years, whatever you have someone who is fully committed into the work and into the mission. And also that they want to keep learning. And I think that's one thing that I think most leaders do, even with directors and VIPs above and manager level people talk about what do you want to do outside of work? These group of leaders and students already are asking that question, so you can ask them now, like what personally do you want to achieve? And you can help them with. If it's volunteering on a couple of hours off, that does go a long way. And I think that necessarily hasn't been that culture. 

Chris Byers: What do you think, businesses? What do you wish they were thinking about right now that they don't, that that you're like, why? Every time I run across businesses, they're not thinking about this kind of thing. And if they would, it make a huge difference? 

Ryan Patel: I think part of the reason is that there are some businesses are keeping their heads above water and there is a lot of competition going on. So they keep looking at their shoulder at start ups or whomever acquisitions versus trying and keeping your face forward and seeing what's in front of you and seeing what opportunities that you have. Because when I think of the word innovation, which obviously is another buzz word to me, is that innovating just hey, let's go grab a new thing you could be innovating internally within that core aspect that you already have that included people. Those are low-hanging fruit. What happens is sometimes a companies panic and they go, I got to do some brand new. Yeah, that's great if you had all the money, but maybe you only have one chance at that versus being able to do something that you have right in front of you that you didn't think about something and question like, we've always done this, how do we do it differently? And funny enough, that typically is the hardest. And because there's a lot of people maybe not wanting to do it and that has a high ROI and a higher success rate. And so I think that's an important aspect that I think most companies can look when they do look internally, they got to dig a little deeper and bring up the things that what is your core and really question it? 

Chris Byers: Yeah, you mentioned being genuine, and I'm curious if you had ways that you thought about or encourage people to think about. I can't get my head around this broader it, SGA or DTI or diversity or whatever. But there are things I care about. How do you like weave that metal to figure out? Yeah, it's OK to maybe give a little bit more focus to one area or not, because it sounds like that getting to your genuine moment is where you're actually going to get some real impact. 

Ryan Patel: What you just said when you said diversity, inclusion, equity, like there is an issue, we don't have gender equity. Let's just start there first, besides also the amount of ethnicities and races. So if we don't have that, why don't we have that? That is something that's okay to talk about. That's something that I think younger generations are more comfortable talking about saying, why is this not right? We talk about grade school kids. Our town are saying, Wait a minute, why are we not equal? And I use as an example, because how can you find where your core is when this question is still lingering in the places that you want to go or work for who you want to work for in your personal life, how you purchase items, does that match with who you work with? Now, some people say that doesn't matter for some careers. Some people say it does. And so when you're trying to figure out that out, there's a lot of soul searching, actually. I think we all are right to a certain degree, and I think it's not easy. What your core is and what you want to focus on, more importantly, is something I think is a revisit. You are who you are, but what you want to keep focusing on adding is to revisit every six months or three months or a year on where you want to make your impact or your personal impact.


Chris Byers: As you think about giving back or paying it forward, what are some examples of some ways you've been able to do that? 

Ryan Patel: It's funny because if this doesn't go, doesn't it just get noticed except for the people who get to this? But you always try to make time for someone response to you. Even a 15 minute call on something along the lines, especially with students like office hours and just they want to pick your brain. I think that's the easiest thing, not ignoring people, just being responsive. The giving back portion is a lot besides just the students and within the peers of people talking to people and speaking at schools. And I would say the give back portion. You don't need to get caught up on what your impact is. It's what you can do in your impact, what you take. I think I got more out of the give back and probably be giving back because I was fully aware of what is going on and some of these other issues. So there's some great NGOs that I think it's really fun to be a part of. We're just listening to what they're doing because it inspires a whole new generation of paid for it. And then finally, when you say paid for it, it's a little different mindset. But if you came through the ranks and you didn't like certain things that you were treated, don't do it to others. If you felt like you never like to go grab coffee for your boss, why would you then do that for your subordinates? Be the person to stop it. And when I say paid for that, you're staying, you're stopping it and you're paying it forward to the next place to say, Hey, let's see what we can do better. 

Chris Byers: How can leaders infuse their desire to give back to their communities and to their? What are some ways they think they can do that? 

Ryan Patel: I'm a big believer. You can make money, give back. I think there is there and there's a couple of ways. I think one, you can infuse it in the mission, right? If it is closely aligned with what you're doing, that makes sense. And that's pretty genuine if you're trying to. Make an impact if it's clean water or whatever your food like food sustainability or if you're in retail or tech. All those things. I think the other thing too, it also comes on the individual eye. The good, the guy. I always feel like this is a little unique, but take the temperature of the company just because that the company has a certain things that they want to give back. What is the employee's care about? And go ahead and include that into the conversation, even though it may not be tying it back to the business. I think that's so impactful, especially if it boys and girls club or kids anything related that you when you have a workforce that does have that kind of demographic that is there, it's amazing that we don't see that more often. And I think usually people are afraid to do that or have give options where people can raise their hand and add places and organizations. Because I think part of too of that, Chris, is that we lack awareness. We lack the awareness of what's out there, who's doing what, who's doing good. And I think sometimes you need people around you to tell you, Hey, do you know so-and-so did X, Y and Z? Oh, I didn't know that existed. Didn't know that was a problem. I want to learn more. 

Chris Byers: I know you've in particular have some impact in the API community. I'm curious if you could tell some people who probably hear that. Maybe I'm not totally sure what that is. Would look for you, maybe to talk just a little bit about that and the way you've tried to contribute. 

Ryan Patel: Obviously, the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is meh, and it's very interesting because I think the whole point of employee resource groups when there are all kinds of ethnicities, there eventually is to be continued to be equal. Technically, they shouldn't exist because that means we're all equal. These ones exist because it's trying to give awareness of not just the struggle of generations before us, and currently just it's just a gift in a safe place. So here's what culture looks like from those countries. My message in months like this when I get asked, especially with the AAPI community in general, is that it's not just about our community, it's our community. Joining with another community, all communities that we share similar values. So then we can get rid of that bias. And that's where I come from, is that how do we really solve this or we can get rid of that? I know why there's barriers right now because there's not enough equality. But if we can work together and not feel like in silos, then we can really do that change. This is why companies keep making statements because their statements are not actionable items. And I think for me, I'm trying my best to create conversations around actionable things, why we have not got there and also understand the differences and the cultural differences that can be positives that people typically in the past put a mystery 

Chris Byers: as each conversation we have ends up highlighting innovative ideas, fresh perspectives, and Ryan's an expert on scaling businesses while focusing on people first. If you could give advice to our listeners, how can they unlock their genius to build their own people? 

Ryan Patel: Start with yourself. You really do. You really get on a pen and a piece of paper and write down what you're good at and not good at? And be honest, be brutally honest, and see where you can get better. That's by the simplest exercise you do, but sometimes you don't want to write it down. You don't want to write down what you're trying to work on, because if you can't, if you can't help yourself, you can't help others. If you're if there's something flawed in certain things that you're doing, it will come out when you're giving advice to others around your team. If you don't really get yourself accordingly set, you're not in there for the long term. You're just putting Band-Aids on yourself. And so my advice is help yourself to get better. Ask people around you who can help you make better, and that doesn't mean it's just your peers. It could be across a lot of different levels that you can learn from. And you'll be surprised and shocked to hear what kind of criticism but feedback you'll get from different people that are outside your role. So why should you do it this way and natural reaction? Maybe you're defensive and say this is the way it always is done, as you see here, that you know that there's a there's something there. Go figure it out. 

Chris Byers: What do you think people using the idea of listening? And maybe it sounds like listening and understanding yourself. They're doing the same thing with other people. What are some ways that people can think about doing that in their day to create a more positive impact for other people 

Ryan Patel: is active listening, right? So it's engaged, listening to asking them questions that you might not have or you may not want to ask and that you want to ask, but something that you just wanted to know why certain things get done, or, more importantly, be humble enough to know someone else's background and journey in. There's just like in your journey and my journey is different. Getting to know each other journey does make an impact. Last year, we used the word empathy. Mr. I don't know what came up and every other word out of everyone's mouth. And yeah, it's important. But this word empathy hasn't just it's been around for a very long time and it's coming up. Now, because maybe there was lack of empathy that was not in the leadership suite. And so empathy is a part of listening, unfortunately. So that means people aren't listening at the same time when they're trying to solve these problems and sometimes just creating a safe place to listen. That's a part of your job. If you're going to actively listen to allow the other person to have the microphone, you have to make sure that person feels safe. That person knows that you're listening, not just going through the motions. 

Chris Byers: So there's a discussion that I think is bubbling up quite a bit, which is this idea of creating a safe environment for people to have what is for genuine conversations. I think we're sharing what's actually going on in their lives or challenges they may face, especially in the workplace. How do you think people can actually create that environment? What are the practical steps? Because maybe a lot of people listening or thinking, I have a safe environment, but there's something missing there. How do you think about that? 

Ryan Patel: Yeah. I mean, safe environment means not just physical, right? Typically, in the past, it means physical place that you're not. You won't get hurt. But a safe environment now means a lot different mentally, too, of what's going on in the world, in society that that could be questions that people don't have answers to. So how do you create when I say this safe place, what does that mean? So how do you create a safe place? If you got to define that as a culture, an organization and a little bit of a feedback loop to where people can go and ask somebody like, actually create a process to go? If you have something of concern that you don't know how it relates to your job or there's obviously there's ways that they talk when there's issues like there's ways that way, but this is a different issue. This is about opening up a conversation where maybe it is the employee resource groups. If your companies big enough to bring this up, is it due to the executives? We see a lot of, let's just be honest, Asian hate. And in this last couple of weeks. So I bring that up because there was a lot of maybe not awareness of what was going on about people and the elderly getting attacked. You may feel safe, but somebody else may feel like this is a family member or something's going on. How do you talk about those things and be able to address it? And I think good leaders and you've seen it, they're not just making statements, but they're doubling down on. This is the behavior that our company does not represent. We are not just it's always about the money, but we're going to rally a group of people going, I want to be a part of this fun. I want to be a part of these things. And the only way that gets there, Chris, is that you're listening and you're creating this environment for people to get feedback because that doesn't just come from the top. We like to think it all does. If you're a leader, you want to feel confident to write. You want to feel that you're getting backed by your employees, that you're doing the things that you're doing for the best as well. And I think these types of conversations right now, when you think of all the movements of equality, we are more global that there are sometimes miscommunications out there. It's harder to say that an unbiased place to have a real conversation. But you do have a set parameters too, though I think that's what we're seeing in what we're seeing. So is it a big group that we're talking about? Are we talking about a small group or are we talking about one on one conversations that needs to be defined by the culture? Right? That's not a one size fits all for everybody. If you had town hall meetings for every company, I'm not sure that would be very successful for some of these companies. But to get to the town hall, there's steps to that. And so I think these conversations are important because there's always extreme there's biases in those things. What I like to see is that people who just don't know it's OK if some people don't watch TV with them, watch the news. They may not know what's going on. And this is an extra step to to let people and educate is the word of what is happening in the manner within the workforce and workplace and to that degree. 

Chris Byers: As we wrap up the conversation, I've got a handful of questions the first one. Anyways, you're looking to create impact in the future 

Ryan Patel: at all levels, right? That's what kind of what has led me to teaching at the university there, but also in the boardroom. I want to make more of an impact to the traditional governance right has been typically average age has been north of in the 60s and usually it's not very diverse. I want to make more of an impact, not just for myself, but there are a lot of people like me that are existing and that are coming to challenge the governance aspect. And why I think that's important is because we all say innovation is so great for innovation and holding accountability comes from different perspectives. So I'm hoping in the future I can make more of an impact. I know that's probably a big goal that maybe not will happen as fast as I think I would like to, but that's something that I want to continue to try to push. And I think in and even mid-sized companies in small communities, that's really important. And I think the other aspect, too, is how we interact with communities just as businesses, because I think the role of business governments and individuals we all together can make change. So leaving just one silo to figuring it out, unfortunately, is probably the best way to make change quickly and in an effective way, and I think I want to hopefully bring all those sectors and all those people together and say, What's the future? Let's try to know where we want to going and actually go there versus just saying, we're going to do this and hope for the best. 

Chris Byers: One of the things that we love to hear from people is we've all experienced failure. And so one of the things we'd like to talk about is just how do you view failure and how that's a part of your journey? 

Ryan Patel: I feel like I hear a lot of quotes about you got to fail so you can learn, and there's some great ones like that. Failing stinks, like it hurts in the moment. Nobody wants to talk about it because yes, there's all this plus size that once you fail, you know how to course correct. But when you actually do fail that moment, you feel very disappointed. You feel like something is in the hole in your heart. Or at least that's how I felt. And I think the you use the word resilience or whatever you want to use, you need to build your confidence back up very quickly. And I think the more you fail, you tend to do that. But also you don't want to forget that, right? That feeling isn't supposed to be feared. It's supposed to be a learning aspect. So you still want to feel that sting, because I think some people like myself feel like I still have that chip on my shoulder on multiple times, but I don't show it. But it's also a way to go. What if I didn't try it? I would not note. And I think you try to do the best that you can with the information that you have. You feel like you're prepared the most that you can be, and you put yourself in the best position to succeed if you don't do that. You obviously feel even worse. And I think you learn that you're going to fail, put your best foot forward so you know that you're almost there to course correct it. 


Chris Byers: To learn more about how people are reimagining their world of work. Head over to practicallygenius.com. Thanks for joining us on this episode of Ripple Effect.

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Lindsay is a writer with a background in journalism and loves getting to flex her interview skills as host of Practically Genius. She manages Formstack's blog and long-form reports, like the 2022 State of Digital Maturity: Advancing Workflow Automation.