#28 Go Higher Together | Keith Ferrazzi

July 20, 2021

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After his own life-changing experiences, he shifted his priorities to dedicate 30% of his time to psychedelic companies. Keith’s mission is to elevate businesses while navigating how to create a world that integrates psychedelics. Keith joins Ronan to discuss his experience as a business coach, the problem of business communities who continue to stigmatize psychedelics, his own journey with psychedelics, coming out as a gay Republican man, and how he’s finally discovered happiness.


[00:00:00] Keith: Look for somebody who can be your sherpa, your guide, your journey leader, not specifically through the journey, but I mean, your advisor. Look for somebody whose ethos is somebody that you believe the work has been done on and with them successfully. Find the people who walk in this world with a smoother step, who are the kind of people that you want to be, and trust those individuals to be your guide to where to go.

Ronan: [00:00:47] Hello, everyone. Welcome to Field Tripping. I am totally stoked because today we have an incredibly special guest with us: Keith Ferrazzi, American entrepreneur, New York Times best-selling author and an [00:01:00] absolute guru in relational and collaborative sciences. And we’ll chat with him to find out why he’s dedicated 30% of his time to help psychedelic companies grow, and much more. So stay tuned. But first let’s get into some news to trip over

First, Harvard, a university with a complex and controversial history involving psychedelics, including our friend Dr. Andrew Weil, is now launching a policy center dubbed The Project On Psychedelics Law and Regulation, or POPLAR for short. The Harvard center will explore five central topics: ethics in research and therapeutics, challenges at the intersection of psychedelics and intellectual property law, opportunities for federal support of psychedelic research, access to psychedelic therapies and equity in emerging psychedelic industries, and the role of psychedelics in healing trauma. And if you want to see my thoughts about having lawyers trying to effectively think through these issues, check out my now [00:02:00] reposted tweet on lawyers predicting the future of psychedelics. As a lawyer, I’m allowed to say things like this.

Secondly, California’s bill to decriminalize psychedelics, known as SB-519, has made it one step farther, passing through the Assembly Public Safety Committee. Scott Wiener, the Senator who pushed the bill forward, sees this as a step towards decriminalizing all illegal drugs. Notably however, ketamine has been removed from a list of psychedelics covered by the bill because of its potential use as a date rape drug.

Former police officer and current drug counselor, Marty Ribera said “hallucinogens can help in some cases, but they can hurt in so many more.” I still find it odd that police feel the need to continue to perpetrate these fallacious ideas, which does a disservice to the good they could potentially bring to the world. One day, common sense may in fact rule. 

Speaking of common sense, if you are thinking about exploring psychedelics on your own, which I would never advise, but know that people have their own path to explore, [00:03:00] and you haven’t checked out our app Trip, there’s no better time to do so. Trip equips you with knowledge and tools about how to make the most of your consciousness-expanding experiences. So please check it out. 

Also excitingly, we have a unique privilege and pleasure to offer exclusive access to East Forest’s next album, In, through Trip right now. You can download it at www.tripapp.co. 

Now onto our conversation with Keith. As mentioned, Keith is an American entrepreneur and recognized global thought leader in relational and collaborative sciences. His books include ‘Who’s Got Your Back’ and ‘Never Eat Alone,’ and most recently ‘Leading Without Authority,’ which came out last year. As chairman of “Ferrazzi Greenlight,” he works to identify behaviors that block global organizations from reaching their goals. After his own life-changing experiences, he shifted his priorities to dedicate 30% of his time to psychedelic companies. Keith’s mission is to elevate businesses while navigating how to create a world that integrates psychedelics. Keith, thank you so much for joining us today and [00:04:00] welcome to Field Tripping.

Keith: [00:04:02] Ronan, thanks a lot. I was excited to be here and I can’t wait to see where this conversation goes. 

Ronan: [00:04:07] Oh, cool. I’ve got a- I spent a lot of time thinking about this last night so hopefully it’s going to go in a very interesting direction and frankly I have absolutely no doubt it will. So to begin, I wanted to say that much like your presentation at Genesys, you should feel welcome to use whatever language you want on this podcast. In fact, the more provocative, the better. 

Keith: [00:04:26] Ok, great. I promise. 

Ronan: [00:04:28] Secondly, I wanted to flag that in your presentation you gave, actually at that conference, you outed yourself as a Pittsburgh boy. No word of a lie, when I tell the story of what motivated me to help start Field Trip, I used the archetype of a 28-year old Pittsburgh bro. And I said to myself that if psychedelics can be the platform that gets a 28-year old Pittsburgh bro who truthfully would rather be caught dead than in a therapist’s office to open up about his emotions and his spirituality, then there’s nothing more impactful that [00:05:00] I can be doing in this world. And from that impetus Field Trip was born. So-

Keith: [00:05:04] Wow. That’s powerful because I- you know- being a Pittsburgh steel-working immigrant family roots, I know all of those folks you were talking about and I still look forward- I still have a place back in Pittsburgh, and I always look forward to going back and hanging out with my buddies at the Rathskeller in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. So I will, uh, I’ll keep that in mind as we talk. 

Ronan: [00:05:29] Excellent. Are things evolving there? I mean, Pittsburgh has evolved. I grew up in Hamilton, which is, you know, just across the lake, so to speak and also a steel town. And it’s been amazing watching Hamilton evolve as a city. Do you see Pittsburgh evolving in a conscientious way? 

Keith: [00:05:43] I think there’s a misnomer about all of this. I mean, certainly CMU and the self-driving cars and the technology and all of the, all of the things. Pittsburgh as a city has certainly flourished, but that doesn’t mean that the unemployed families along the [00:06:00] Monongahela aren’t still there, and the old people who were, you know, prior, uh, hardcore Democrats, and, you know, blue collar Democrats, who then shifted to being Trump-supporters in the last, uh, election before last. It, there’s a, there’s a huge disassociation to the city that it is today because there was an entire population of people left behind.

Ronan: [00:06:28] Right. 

Keith: [00:06:28] Um, and that has unfortunately not changed. 

Ronan: [00:06:30] Yeah. I mean, that seems to be a pretty significant, at least Western, if not global problem, that the, the disparity between wealthy and self-aware so to speak- and this is a gross generalization- and the people who are more blue collar and are aren’t as able, or aren’t as willing or aren’t as desirous to kind of keep up with the evolution that’s happening is certainly becoming more stark. And it’s one of the bigger problems I see as, as we continue to evolve as a society. 

Keith: [00:06:59] Hmm. [00:07:00] Yeah. And I actually, I, the way you phrased it is interesting. And I would, you know what I love about the core roots of the, of the blue collar society is the lack of bullshit. 

Ronan: [00:07:12] Yeah. 

Keith: [00:07:12] Just love that. And, and that’s when you know, my language and some of the things that I say my blue, my blue collar roots will certainly show, um, as you’ve known, when I’ve been coaching, you know, your team and some of the folks that I’ve worked with at Field Trip.

Ronan: [00:07:28] Yeah.

Keith: [00:07:28] Um, you know, the, one of the challenges, they don’t have access to say the same information. And, and they’re, unfortunately it’s a, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy in terms of what they’re, what they’re fed with, in terms of the digestion of information that you and I might have, um, more available to us and more open consumers of, and curious seekers in a sense of, uh, of information. So I think that’s the big difference. I wish- I wish both of the communities could get a [00:08:00] little bit of a merger. And that’s presumably what we’re maybe here to talk about a little bit. 

Ronan: [00:08:05] Yeah, absolutely. It’s funny that you touched on that. Just the other day, I was walking past my house in Toronto. I was walking my dog, and two people rode by and one guy riding by had a  distinctly Israeli accent. Like I just knew him to be Israeli. And that’s neither here nor there, but he was saying something and he said, they said, blah-blah-blah right? Like, as people often do, when they appoint to an authority that they don’t fully now, like they say that COVID is going to go away. Or they say- right? And I thought about it for a second and I paused. And I’m like in today’s day and age, where information is essentially free and totally democratized in many respects, you can no longer say “they say.” There’s probably once in a- once in a time when there was, you know, standards to media where you could probably trust the content of media coming up, to some degree. To say “they said,” or “they say,” but these days- in this day and [00:09:00] age, you can’t do that anymore. You’ve got to know your source. You’ve got to fact check yourself. You’ve got to of those sources, 

Keith: [00:09:07] You’re holding the world to a standard that doesn’t exist. I just, I love what you said- if I could riff on it again- by the way you’re saying all these things, I’m sure it’s just introductory comments and I’m diving into them and turning them into the conversation, but let’s do it. When you say “they say,” it’s interesting. I don’t know that the world of information has been democratized. I think it’s been ghettoized in that we it’s not, “they say” it’s “we say.” That’s the problem. The problem is that we are walking around quoting ourselves and we’re quoting subsets of individuals and part of the issues that I have with the liberal elite, because I, you know, I was a blue collar Pittsburgh kid that ended up going to Yale University and I became a Republican because it just disgusted me by, you know, what, what, what Democrat was at, um, you know, back in the Reagan era- what Democrat was at Yale, was a bunch of snot-nosed kids that had never worked a day in their lives. And I was like, [00:10:00] this wasn’t, this wasn’t who we were, right? And I was more about pulling yourself up from your bootstraps and making something of yourself and the American dream, and I guess one of the reasons I’m going here is there’s this just this horrible echo chamber. And we live in it, unfortunately, Ronan. You and I do. And it’s so easy for us- if we’re going to make a shift in society, if we’re going to change the way the world thinks and works and mental well-being becomes a thriving space for, for evolution and elevation, then we got to not just talk to each other.

Ronan: [00:10:36] Yeah.

Keith: [00:10:36] Right? We’ve got to find ways to talk to everybody, which is why you started the company you’ve started, and why you use the Pittsburgh bro, or as we would say in Pittsburgh “yuns guys.”  You know, so that’s, that’s the key. I mean, I’ve always wanted to make sure that anything that I do is bridged into places that it would naturally be heard.

Ronan: [00:10:57] That’s awesome. Actually, that, that [00:11:00] perfectly parlays into the first question I had for you. So I’m just going to read this one because I wrote it down because I put some thought into it. Um, so in your presentation at Genesys- and again, I’m just going back to that one. Um, you indicated that as, as people, we are less relational today than we were in the past, you know? And I think you gave the example of who has Sunday night dinners, or if you’re Jewish, a Friday night dinner anymore, the number of hands went down significantly. But, uh, and I’m sure, you know Gary Vaynerchuk, but I saw a post from [inaudible] recently in which he said, “Kids these days are in fact significantly more social than you and I were at the same age because when we were in 12 and had nothing to do, we’d go outside and throw a ball against a wall. As adults, we may not like the way children these days communicate, but that they are the most social generation we’ve ever seen.” In fact, Gary thinks the world any differently- seeing the world any differently will in fact hurt businesses. And I’m curious to know your thoughts on that because I don’t, I’m not sure that it’s actually contradictory to what you were saying and in [00:12:00] terms of relational, but on a high level, it would be seen as being an opposing viewpoint.

Keith: [00:12:05] Yeah, no, [inaudible.] First of all, I love Gary and he’s right. Um, the way that we interact is certainly broader and more connected than ever before. And that’s what I think Gary was speaking to. What I also know, you know, having, uh, a couple of foster children myself and nephews and nieces, is that the world that they play in isn’t as authentic as it once was. Um, they’re not themselves as, as I think we once were. They’re, they’re showing- they’re, they’re presenting, who they want the world to see them as.

Ronan: [00:12:43] Right. 

Keith: [00:12:43] And not that any adolescent doesn’t do that to some extent. But, you know, my fear is the lack of, of real authenticity and a lack of transparency. And one of the things that I’ve tried to bring into the world of [00:13:00] business, as you’ve could comment on again, from some of the work that we’ve done together, um, is vulnerability is a superpower. And you know, it is at the core of- and I’ve said this even before I believed it. You know, and  I’d known it to be true. My research has shown the power of vulnerability and opening up relationships and opening up trust, and therefore opening up productivity, and therefore opening up advancement and offering a network of possibilities to yourself through vulnerability. It’s just extraordinary. Even when I was so damn insecure from being a poor kid in Pittsburgh, you know, and going to rich schools that I wasn’t willing to embrace it myself, I knew it was true. And my, and my worry for kids today is that of vulnerability, you know, and, and I’m starting to see it in some social platforms more than I’ve seen it in the past. There’s many social platforms were organized around, you know, being- showing yourself in your best. And we’re starting to see glimpses of [00:14:00] appreciation, particularly I think the pandemic did this for all of us. It opened up permission to be vulnerable. 

Ronan: [00:14:07] Yeah

Keith: [00:14:07] And it opened up permission for white shoe CEOs of financial services companies to cry in front of their people. Um, you know, and I think that that is a big win for us. And I think it’s a big win, you know, for what we hope the medicine’s going to do for the world as well.

Ronan: [00:14:24] That’s exactly right. Uh, you know, I think in many ways, psychedelics are the antidote to everything that I think social media and the presentation of that I think was the word you just described or, or the presenting- 

Keith: [00:14:36] I’ve never talked to you about this, um, but how are we thinking about the psychedelics as a brand, in terms of the work that we have to do? Um, one of the things you’ll see me do when I talk to people about the work that I’ve done, and by the way it [00:15:00] happens to be authentic, I always speak to people about my use of plant medicine. And that really doesn’t intimidate anybody. It makes them curious. And then I explain to them the types of plant medicine that I’ve had the most experiences with, which is ayahuasca and psilocybin, and what that’s done for me. And I will begin to then introduce them as a segue from that into MDMA and the power of that, and the power of ketamine, and the power of that in a therapeutic setting with the right guidance, et cetera. And all of a sudden I’m in a place with them that I’ve sort of navigated through with them. I always find that when I’m talking to somebody, uh, the adage I used to say is if you’re going to be a great communicator, you’ve got to learn how to speak French. And it just goes back to my era when I was traveling in Europe. And you know, when you were in Paris, if you didn’t try, at least, you were screwed, you were just fucked, if you didn’t try at least to speak their language. [00:16:00] And so one of the things I’m trying to make sure we do in this journey in the world is to make sure that we introduce- and like, don’t be, we shouldn’t- I’m not saying you- we shouldn’t be so arrogant as to accept people to adopt our language, to adopt our tone, to adopt our style. Our job, we owe them the shortest navigational path to them elevating their consciousness. And I feel like I’ve got to adopt a different language for that. And anyway, so I don’t- I don’t generally talk a lot, even though I have a company now called Greenlight Psychedelics, because I am speaking to a community of people like yourself, CEOs of psychedelic companies, so I have no problem using that verbiage. But as we begin to talk to the world, I’m just wondering what you’ve thought about in terms of branding.

Ronan: [00:16:47] That’s a, uh, incredibly fair question. And one I probably haven’t thought about enough. I know very early on, I had a conversation with Bruce Linton about this who’s- was very actively, I think [00:17:00] very actively still involved with MindMed, and he was actively encouraging to move away from the word psychedelics, you know, like marijuana got rebranded as cannabis. Uh, and, and, you know, ultimately his goal is that it gets rebranded as cannabinoid medicine. And he’s like, we should find something else, but instead of psychedelics that we can go from psychedelics to the equivalent of cannabis and then maybe onto some other form, I’ve always stuck with the word psychedelic. In part, because it is provocative and in part, because it, it invites that conversation, right? People know what it is. They know, uh, I think viscerally what it means, uh, when you have a psychedelic experience. Even if they’ve never had one, there’s a enough experience from what’s been documented from the sixties and how that’s been parlayed into certainly a lot of tropes in society, but it gives people a sense of what a psychedelic experience is going to be like, at least on a, on a visual level. And usually that’s enough to open up a [00:18:00] conversation, whether it’s very pro or very anti it’s enough to start a conversation. And then I’m a big believer that stigma can’t live in the face of data. Right? So whatever stigmas you have, data and will eventually overcome it and the data starts to speak for itself. So all we’ve got to do is really engage people- 

Keith: [00:18:16] Yeah. You know that there’s- storytelling and data and storytelling always wins. All the research we’ve ever done in terms of helping organizations be more effective at influencing- I used to be the Chief Marketing Officer of Starwood Hotels. I was the Chief Marketing Officer at Deloitte before that. Storytelling is, is emotional transportation. Data doesn’t. Data- data works for folks, once you’ve made up your mind, now you’re looking for justification of why you have made up your mind. Um, anyway, so it’s an, it’s an interesting question in a story. I, I feel that, um, the word- look, I did this for myself. I wrote a book a number of years ago around [00:19:00] networking. It was called “Never Eat Alone.” It’s been the best-selling book in the last 50 years on the subject- the best-selling book, other than Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” And I tried to change the word because networking had a usury connotation. It had a smarmy passing out business, but, but my version of networking has always been about the deepening of authentic and generous relationships. And how do you build a tribe around you no matter where you walk and, and have that tribe open up opportunities that are mutual, generous, and authentic. Um, and that’s been the core essence of all of my teaching and my leadership work, et cetera. And so I’ve tried to ditch the word “networking.” In fact, give you, look at my book, “Never Eat Alone,” it doesn’t have it on the cover. 

Ronan: [00:19:49] Right.

Keith: [00:19:50] Um, so I just put it out there because I do feel that the community that I’m speaking to, which are the CEOs of the most powerful organizations in the [00:20:00] world, um, or, you know, take a look at what just happened. I was having dinner with Justin Zhu last week. You know, Justin got- lost his job in San Francisco, uh, because the board- he’s a unicorn CEO- lost his job because he publicly came out saying that he had done micro-dosing a year before for a short period of time. And that was the basis by which the board threw him out of the company. Um, so I still think we’re, we’re, we’re facing a social stigma that is going to hold us back with some perspective of the, what the brand had with it, you know, free love, antiwar, liberalism, all of those things- by the way, I’m not suggesting any of those things are inherently bad. I’m just saying they were, they were co-branded. And yet the people that we want to move, I, and I’ll give you another quick, for instance, I’m hosting a, a quorum and I’m inviting you all as well, but I’m hosting a quorum with a group of [00:21:00] CEOs focused on the future of mental wellbeing. And interestingly enough, they never imagined inviting Field Trip into the dialogue, right? And- but now I’m going to make sure that happens, but it’s people like, you know, the CEO of Headspace and CVS, et cetera. And they were really focusing, you know, on a very different perspective. And I want to make sure that we make this as part of the dialogue. Um, anyway, I, I, it doesn’t matter, uh, for this audience, I’m sure our branding is just fine for today.

Ronan: [00:21:32] [laughter] I think it’s just fine. And there’s a couple of questions. First one I want to ask is like, what are your thoughts? Like, how do you think about branding it? You tried to move away from the word “networking.” Um, A: were you successful, uh, even if it’s not on the cover of the book? Or have you kind of said it still fits, it’s still the paradigm people can understand. I just have to revamp how people imagine the word “networking?” Or are you still pretty disciplined on staying away from that word? And how do you see that [00:22:00] parlaying into psychedelics? Just gut instinct right now, because we don’t necessarily have the answers. 

Keith: [00:22:04] I don’t know that the sequitur is. I’m not sure it’s a non-sequitur, but I’m not sure it’s the right kind of a bridge. I’ll tell you- both of the answers. From a networking perspective, I probably did myself a disservice of running away from the brand too far. Because I- I didn’t alienate myself, but I, I lost the core audience. There’s a lot of people out there who are really core, great networkers, and they love the term and they embrace the term and they see the value in it, and, um, by virtue of not having fostered that community and owned that community, I personally lost a platform that not- look, they all know my book, every one of them uses it as their bible, but I never cultivated them. I was never generous to them. I never created a space for them to come together and commune and convene, because I didn’t want to build the networkers community. I wanted to build a community of people who care deeply about authentic and generous relationships. So I never invited the networkers in. And I [00:23:00] think that in the long run, that’s damaged me because I didn’t, um- and also like, that wasn’t my brand. I was- my job and always has been, is I coach the transformation of teams that transform the world. That’s what I do. Whether that’s working with the transformation of the world, through the work that we did at the World Bank, or whether that’s, you know, General Motors or wherever it happens to be. My job is to transform teams that are transforming the world. And that’s why I’m so committed to the space that you’re in and the, in the industry that you’re in, because I do see it as, you know, a opening up a portal for the transformation of a world, politically as well as in many other ways. Uh, wouldn’t it be amazing- and I’m sure everybody always says this but- wouldn’t it be amazing if our politicians had to do an ayahuasca journey before getting, um, getting into office? Um, so on the branding of psychedelics, I do- listen, I’m going to come across maybe to some of your diehard listeners as, a bit of [00:24:00] a, I don’t know if I want to use that word. It sounds- it’s too, um, misogynistic- um a bit of a, just a wuss and I don’t want to come across- I’m going to come across as maybe, milk toasty on this- 

Ronan: [00:24:13] Okay.

Keith: [00:24:14] but I think we go where they are and bring them to us. We don’t have to, we don’t have to assume that they’re gonna speak our language from the beginning. [inaudible] management guy. My job is not to be, I’m not a, I’m not an idealogue. 

Ronan: [00:24:29] Right? 

Keith: [00:24:29] My job is to make shit happen. I go into companies and make shit happen. I help, you know, hundreds of thousands of people adopt a new mindset in order to advance when they have been otherwise stuck for years in a certain way of thinking. I help them bust through their own glass ceilings. Um, that’s what I do for a living. So I can’t, I, I care about results.

Ronan: [00:24:53] Right

Keith: [00:24:53] I’m not an idealogue that’s going to stand on on verbiage. 

Ronan: [00:24:57] Yeah, no, that makes perfect sense. [00:25:00] Um, you know, trying to think about how to, how to respond to that. I think you’re right. I mean, I think, I think the purpose of what I’m trying to do, uh, you know, with this podcast, going back to the conversations we were having a little bit, a little bit ago about, you know, trying to normalize this and create the stories and the narratives. I think, um, a friend of mine who runs MindCure, Kelsey Ramsden talks about how, uh, stories changed society, data changes policy, is kind of the way it goes. And then that’s entirely this platform here. That being said, I also think we need um, and I guess recognize that the way you insert yourself into this conversation is we need the people who are gonna make the maps, you know, create the pathways to enable society and humanity to kind of move forward with this. Um, and I was just curious, I mean, obviously you are a very accomplished, thoughtful, uh, experienced person in this space, so, you know, even though it’s not necessarily your specific area of focus-

Keith: [00:25:59] Branding [00:26:00] is. You know, and, and I don’t know what- cause obviously my use of plant medicine is an easy branding fallback for me, because it happens to be my navigation into the space.

Ronan: [00:26:12] Yeah. 

Keith: [00:26:13] You know, and, and it, and it does have a brand that’s very approachable. You know, I think a plant medicine, I think of, you know, having when I was a kid and going out in the woods with my mom and looking for sassafras to make sassafras tea. And it’s like, these are things plant medicines have always been core to, to society and, you know, generations of, so I love that. Now, now we’re dealing with, you know, laboratory-made psychedelics that have incredible efficacy. And I’m- all I’m saying is, that’s why I was asking, what brands have you heard or thought of used in the space that don’t have the throwback? Because I’d like to begin- I’m, I’m [00:27:00] opening up. By the way, I’m new at this, because I’ve, I’ve come into this space by feeling comfortable with things that I can pick from the ground, whether that’s cannabis or mushrooms or ayahuasca vine. I feel very comfortable navigating into that space. I actually felt much less comfortable personally, with psychedelics that were laboratory-grade and even friends of mine who have said, “Oh my gosh, you know, here’s this great laboratory-grade ayahuasca,” I’ve never tried it and I know it exists and I’ve done 16 ayahuasca sits and I’ve never tried laboratory-grade ayahuasca. So I’ve got a lot of learning and growth to do. I’m probably exposing myself, you know, with some vulnerability here to your community, who’s who are diehard fans, but, you know, this is a growth and evolution for me as well. 

Ronan: [00:27:56] That’s awesome. And thank you for sharing that. I don’t think my, my listeners are necessarily [00:28:00] diehard fans. I, I think the people I’m trying to speak to are the people who are open-minded and curious about this, who want to learn more and, you know, the whole reason for the podcast was to give a platform for people who are successful in quote unquote, normal, who can be held as a model of someone who’s high functioning and has his or her shit together, uh, but also incorporates psychedelics or plant medicine into their lifestyle. Now, I think one of the things that we’re trying to do, what I’m trying to do with Field Trip is- and actually was speaking to Corey, our VPO of our Trip app- you know, our job is to be the bridge, which is plant medicine is not a conversation that I think resonates at least presently with the medical community, but the scientific community. As soon as you drop plant medicine, they kind of tune out and you’ve kind of lost them. 

Keith: [00:28:47] You’re right. Hundred percent.

Ronan: [00:28:49] One of the things we learned from the cannabis industry, and I think we were quite instrumental certainly in Canada, but also I think around the world, in driving adoption of cannabis, whether it’s [00:29:00] therapeutic or purely recreational, forward is we spoke the language of the doctors. We did it in a way that doctors could wrap their heads around, because if you can get the doctors to shift this way and be like, Oh, okay, I’m okay with cannabis. You know, I’m not comfortable with how it’s dosed. It doesn’t quite make sense a whole bunch to me, but listen, I see patients having really positive outcomes and it’s meaningful to them and that’s improving their quality of life. And so even though I don’t have the data to support it necessarily, or the studies that would enable me to dose it properly, I can now get behind it because you spoke my language and I’m on board. So that’s part of the conversation [inaudible]

Keith: [00:29:33] [inaudible] the tipping point there, um, with Sanjay Gupta and his work around CBD. 

Ronan: [00:29:39] Yeah.

Keith: [00:29:40] And I don’t know if I should sort of, you’ve studied this much better than I have, but if I look at the, my instinct, my marketer’s instinct said that the credentializing of Sanjay Gupta with CBD and telling the story of Charlotte’s Web and, you know, epileptic children in [00:30:00] Colorado that were being deprived of a, of a therapeutic resource that was going to save their lives. I mean, it just, it was just so obvious, right? And then that tipping point then on to the other tipping points, you know, and then the cancer patient, you know, mom, who’s trying to hold her family together and doesn’t have access to cannabis as you know, it’s like, that just became so clear. And that told that story. You know, I, I love the story, you know, and I don’t, I don’t have this story personally. My story is, is a powerful and, and I’m looking forward to telling it on this show, but, um, I, you know, I just, the stories of- the one I always use and just consistently use is returning vets and PTSD. 

Ronan: [00:30:47] Right. 

Keith: [00:30:47] And what, what tried and true- and I know you’re Canadian- but what tried and true American doesn’t want to relieve our vets who have given everything, to relieve our vets [00:31:00] from the, from the horrible, horrible, uh, psychological depression and PTSD that they’re facing. And that this is a, a magical cure that’s available to them, that has data that shows it. I mean, it’s just, how can you, how can you not back that up? And to me, that’s the, you know, that, that those are the kinds of stories that I like to tell. 

Ronan: [00:31:22] Absolutely. Similarly, what we’re seeing with that’s really engaging on a social and political level is people facing end of life distress, you know? People who are going to die soon and they know it and have the terrible anxiety associated with it. It’s like, how can you deny these people, um, something that’ll make that suffering a little bit less? But- 

Keith: [00:31:40] Yeah, it’s clear we have these tipping points stories, right? The tipping point stories open up the door and the possibility, because as soon as you’ve got somebody saying, Okay, yes, I agree now. It’s it’s appropriate. And for this use case, then the tide start turned. And if you get enough of society [00:32:00] agreeing in their head, cognating a use case, then the tide has turned, and we’ve, we’ve opened up the possibility. I’m- I’ve gotta be admit, I am shocked by the potential of what’s going on in California. 

Ronan: [00:32:14] Right.

Keith: [00:32:15] Not that I’m not pleased by it, but I’m shocked by it. Um, which is the, the movement, the speed and the ubiquity of it. It’s not in such a narrow case, right? The broad application that you mentioned, and I hadn’t realized- thanks for that update. I knew that the Senate had passed. I didn’t know that it had made a step through the Assembly as well.

Ronan: [00:32:38] Yeah, no, it’s massive. I mean, that was one of the things very early on in 2018, when we started looking into it and I started just like putting the dots together of what was happening, you know, Michael Pollan, and How to Change Your Mind, MAPS being granted breakthrough therapy designation, Peter Thiel investing in Compass, you know? These are all small data points that hadn’t quite connected in my head. [00:33:00] And the thing that actually tipped me over was seeing that there were a number of online stores openly selling mushrooms in Canada, even though they were illegal. And I realized that the zeitgeist had already changed, you know? We were just trying to catch up to it and trying to stay as ahead of it from a business perspective, as much as possible. But that was three years ago now. And everything’s still starting to flow from it, but-

Keith: [00:33:19] Yeah. 

Ronan: [00:33:20] I would love to hear your journey into psychedelics. I’d love to hear your journey, period. How you went from a Pittsburgh kid to Yale, to being a CMO of Starwood Hotels and beyond and into the work you’re doing and elevating teams, what was your journey to get here? And then please insert into that conversation if and how psychedelics played a role in that. And if they didn’t, we’ll get into that conversation too. 

Keith: [00:33:47] No, they certainly did. By the way, the other use case that I just started thinking about based on your conversation about end of life- my mom’s, um, 89 and is [00:34:00] doing great physically, but I think she’s made a decision that she’s surprised she’s lived this long. And I think she’s making a decision that she probably won’t live much longer. Now, there’s no, there’s no medical reason for this. 

Ronan: [00:34:15] Right. 

Keith: [00:34:15] I have a trainer come to her home three times a week. Um, she drives. She has lots of great friends that she goes out and does stuff with, but in her mind, she may not live til 90. There’s nothing medical about it. And I realized the power of- the power of some form of, um, intervention in the medicines we’re talking about- what that might do for her at this stage of her life. I mean, my mom can easily live another 10 years. Easily, maybe more. I mean, I plan to live to 120 without a question. My dear friend, Peter Diamandis, and Tony Robbins have taught me a lot about longevity and where we’re headed with, with the human lifespan. And [00:35:00] there’s no question in my mind that I can live to 120 and still be healthy. 

Ronan: [00:35:03] Okay.

Keith: [00:35:03] Um, and I’d be happy to have that conversation with you. 

Ronan: [00:35:06] I would love to hear that, but let’s get into that later.

Keith: [00:35:08] Um, but yeah, Tony and, and Peter are coming out with a book on longevity right now, and they’ve launched a company which I coach their executive team called Fountain Life. And the real commitment again, is to live well into the hundreds. Um, but my point is, my mother could live that long and, but I don’t think she’ll live that long if there isn’t some form of psychological intervention and it’s not going to be getting my mom to see a therapist, it’s not going to be enough. It’s not going to be enough and it might not even happen. But if I could get my mom to partake in some of the medicines we’re talking about, I think it can make a massive difference. And that’s, you know, straight from Pittsburgh, what you would, what we could do for her life. 

Ronan: [00:35:51] Um, how does that make you feel though? I mean, the thing that comes up for me-

Keith: [00:35:57] Castrated. First of all, I mean, it makes me feel castrated [00:36:00] that- I don’t know what you meant by that but- castrated that I can’t help her. I mean, I’m, I’m trying to, I’m trying to use the same coaching techniques that I use on you and your team. They don’t work with mom. [laughter] I can’t like pound on a table and talk about, Are we going to be high-grade professionals or not here, you know, like, but, yeah. But what was your question? I interrupted when you said, uh, How does it make you feel? What were you referring to? 

Ronan: [00:36:30] No, I mean, castrated is a perfect answer, but to me there’s something elegant of a person, you know, we’re I don’t think we’re biologically programmed to live forever. Maybe I’m wrong. I’m not going to sort of take a position on that, but I think there’s something really elegant for someone- and I may piss a lot of people off and, sorry, I’m sorry about this- someone’s saying like, I’ve lived a good life and I’m ready to go, you know? I’ve had my experience, I’ve come here to do what I’ve meant to do, and I’m okay with starting to step off. And, you know, I think there’s something really elegant about it.

Keith: [00:36:59] I [00:37:00] get nauseous hearing that from, you. [laughter]

Ronan: [00:37:04] Please, explain.

Keith: [00:37:05] No, I just, I mean, God put me on this planet longer than everybody else. To me, I’m a maximizer, God put me on this planet to make sure that by the time I left, I made the biggest footprint that I possibly could while I was here. That’s why, that’s why I’m here. And, and that’s what I wake up for every day. And that’s why I know, you know, I, I found a wonderful, wonderful new relationship in this past year, which I think you met, right? You met, uh, you met Kayle. 

Ronan: [00:37:33] Uh, no. Oh yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yep, yep. Yeah. 

Keith: [00:37:36] And I don’t know if you were aware, but you know, Kayle’s is my significant other.

Ronan: [00:37:40] I, I was not aware, actually. I remember [inaudible] connected subsequently, but it didn’t happen in a synchronous way that, yeah, you’re right. I do recall that. 

Keith: [00:37:49] Yeah. And, and that relationship, you know, I wake up every day looking to what I, I created [00:38:00] a word for how all relationships should be, and I call the co-elevating. We should all be in relationship with each other going higher. 

Ronan: [00:38:09] Right. 

Keith: [00:38:10] Some people have joked, I mean, getting higher, but no going- going higher. The idea that we’re all lifting each other up in service of the mission, but at the same time in service of each other. And, you know, and if you’re not in a relationship with the love of your life, and you’re not co-elevating, you need to reassess, and work on that relationship differently. Our job is to lift each other up. And let me take you back, when we take you back to Pittsburgh.

Ronan: [00:38:43] Sure.

Keith: [00:38:43] And I’ll give you a quick chronological, try to be as short as I can, but the long and the short of it is this: born into a, very traditional Midwestern, [00:39:00] dysfunctiona,l immigrant family. And I, and I mean that with all the love and respect for my parents who did an extraordinary job with making the path for me, something that they never had for themselves. And it was beautiful. Um, that said, you know, you had a certain style of parenting, which was, psychologically challenging as I’m sure you know, many of us- by the way, I have come to the conclusion that the purity, the beautiful- you, you have kids Ronan?

Ronan: [00:39:33] I do, I have a five-year-old and a two-year-old. 

Keith: [00:39:35] Yeah. So I mean, the beautiful- so all you’ve been able to do is fuck that up. Like you can’t do- you can’t- it can’t get any better than when that, that beautiful innocence, that perfect bliss that was born into your family’s life. The best thing you could do is just fuck it up less, because at some point the disappointment of humanity sets in and I think no [00:40:00] matter what, every parent will be accused of having fucked up their kids, because there’s no way we could ever meet the purity and perfection of what they’re born into this planet as. And I think for the rest of our lives, we’re just trying to get back to as close to that as is ever possible. That’s the journey. No matter what has been piled on as shit on top of you all your life, your journey now is to just keep uncovering and getting back to the purity that is in you. That’s what I believe. And then, so my journey from Pittsburgh to today is still the journey of, you know, being that beautiful little pony underneath that pile of shit. And I’m still pretty dirty. And I’m working on it every every day. I’m going down to Costa Rica for a one week journey with a, with a group that I had become very enamored by called One Heart. I found them very early on and it’s a group that brings entrepreneurs to [00:41:00] places where ayahuasca is decriminalized. And does amazing journeys with entrepreneurs. And it’s not just the sitting- we’ll be sitting three times with the medicine- but we’ll, we’ll also- I’ve been now working with them to design what I call the wraparound services. And the wraparound services are all the things that I do for your executive team, but now we’re doing it for a group of executives and more because now I have deeper permission and I there’s stuff that I couldn’t get away with doing for your group that I learned from 12 steps in AA and others that are very powerful. And by the way, that’s one of the things I love about psychedelics. People don’t understand that the founders of AA, you know, Bill W and others were big proponents of psychedelics as a cure for alcoholism, but it was so controversial at the time because of the brand of psychedelics that had got stomped down and, and addictions, the cure for addictions through the [00:42:00] path of psychedelics is a massive area that we should be spending more and more time looking at. And I don’t know what kind of research- you probably know the research better than I do- but I would love to be put into touch with that because, you know, I have been, I’ve been rife with addictions in my life. Thank goodness, not ones that have taken me off the rail or debilitated me, but there are things that made me further away from being that pure essence of that beautiful little child that I have inside of me. So going back then to Pittsburgh. You know, like everybody, like every other kid, I, I got fucked up, but at the same time was given a lot of tools mentally and socially by my father, to achieve. And what I really learned as a young kid was that, nepotism was something that I could create if I wasn’t born into it. So I’ll explain that. So I don’t know if you were born into- if you were a rich kid born into a rich family, but if you were, you had [00:43:00] somebody helping you, you had somebody creating a safety net, you had somebody giving you introductions and then opportunities and all those things. I never had any of that, but I realized that I didn’t have to be born into it to build the relationships that would give me all of those things. So it’s the relationship. It’s the strength of the relationship that opens doors in nepotism. It’s the strength of the relationship that opens doors for those of us who weren’t born into that. So I was able to, I was able to strip out of my economic disparity and into a new world through relationships. Those, those were the doors that became open to me. And as a result, I [had] a disproportionate and inordinate amount of success, cause I applied those tools like a motherfucker. And I wrote a book about it and [inaudible] You told me I could swear. So I’m going to-

Ronan: [00:43:48] I love it. It’s all good.

Keith: [00:43:49] Pittsburgh. And so, you know, I, I applied those tools, became the youngest officer in a Fortune 500, I was you know, all these [00:44:00] wonderful things. And somewhere along the way, I realized that I wasn’t happy. Now I fought it because in college I said to myself, you know, I will happy- happiness is for yoga instructors, not for real people. I literally would say that. The worst thing I ever wanted to be was happy cause I was afraid I wouldn’t be successful. I literally would say that. I didn’t want to be happy. I was afraid I wouldn’t be successful. And the journey- but, but in the back of my head, I knew that was a ridiculous thing to say. But all I knew was the peripatetic way in which I drove and ambition and, and, and constancy. I mean, if you read the book, Never Eat Alone, you’d be like, whoa, that’s that takes so much energy, right? And it did, it did, it did take a lot of energy. But it- what caught up to me was I wasn’t happy, [00:45:00] and I was married twice and I’m never, as in love as I felt I should have been, or I felt the world deserves to be. I cheated and I was not congruent with my values that I talked about in the work world and other places, in my life and my personal life. I, um, I was, I wasn’t congruent. I wasn’t aligned. And, and yet, yeah, sure- I had a lot of success. It was my desire to bring congruence into my life that made me. Oh, and by the way, along the way I realized, well, shit, I’m gay. You throw that into the mix. 

Ronan: [00:45:54] Sure. 

Keith: [00:45:55] You know, coming from a poor Catholic Italian [00:46:00] upbringing, going to, you know, uh, in, in the conservative era of the Reagan era, you know, just there- when I grew up, being successful and being homosexual had no alignment. There’s was like, the word wasn’t even used. There were no CEOs, Barney Frank wasn’t even out at the time, there was nothing. You couldn’t be any- there’s nothing. Liberaci was straight. [laughter] So there was no role model and that just compounded even more shame. And, you know, if you wanted to be successful, you lied. 

Ronan: [00:46:38] Right.

Keith: [00:46:39] You just lied about who you were. My first husband and partner, Roelle- amazing guy I met at Harvard. He was from the graduate school of arts and sciences and I was from the business school. When, when I was at Deloitte early on, he became Renee. I would speak about my fiance Renee, and I would just lie [00:47:00] and you can’t live your life lying and have that not impact you. So now you got the, you know, you know how they say, you know, there’s a, there’s a, there’s a pony somewhere in that pile of shit? Somewhere way underneath that there was a pony, and there’s a lot of shit. And I kept succeeding using the tools that I had learned, but none of those tools aligned to happiness, but then I, then I found therapy. Actually, the first thing I went to was my priest. It was an Anglican priest actually at Yale. And, um, where I first realized that being gay, wasn’t an abomination, because he didn’t believe it was and he taught me that. And that was a starting point. And then- so my spirituality, my Christianity was the first place that I found a pursuit of happiness and a pursuit of the kind of things that I- and I’m so lucky that I found the right spot at the right time, because there were a lot of religions, of [00:48:00] course, that would not have been so comforting to me at the time. And then I started looking at meditation and I went to a wonderful thing called Vipassana meditation, which yeah, if your listeners haven’t gone, it’s the most extraordinary way. It’s the way that the Buddha taught to meditation. It’s 10 days of silence, 10 hours of meditation a day. And it’s free. When you’re done, you’re told how much it costs. And if you have the funds, you pay for the next person to go, because somebody has already paid for you, and it’s all over the world and you should go. If anybody hasn’t done a 10 day sit, I would highly recommend it as a part of your healing journey. And I found other things like Tony Robbins when I was a younger man, now he’s a friend- it’s, always pinch myself. Some of my early icons became friends, Deepak Chopra, and others. And, uh, you know, Landmark Forum, the work, the early work of EST with Warner Earhart, who became a mentor of mine, [00:49:00] uh, and studying under, under him with Landmark is also an amazing- I’m giving you a list of things that I’ve used in my life to awaken, to elevate. And no question along the way, there was a calling that this thing was out there, which was a journey led by a shaman, called ayahuasca that somebody said had brought them a lot of, congruence in their life, and started to help them truly unpack. I mean, I’ve done tons of therapy, but I was really looking at the one that, that last, you know, connecting the cable- and that I knew what to do- connecting the line to the, to the front doorstep to turn the lights on. My lights still weren’t on, I knew it all. But it just hadn’t sunk in as much. I mean, I was acting as if 12 step programs. Al-Anon is one of the greatest awakenings. The Dalai Lama said of the 12 step programs, it’s God’s [00:50:00] gift to mankind in the last 200 years, greatest gift to mankind in the last 200 years, according to the Dalai Lama is the 12 step programs. And Al-Anon is one where if you’re, if you’re, addicted to control, which so many of us are, it’s the right 12 step program for you. You don’t have to have a bonafide addiction. I used to say that anybody with a bonafide addiction was better off than everybody else. Cause at least they had a place to go to work on it and the 12 steps are extraordinary. That’s why I wrote, Who’s Got Your Back. I call it 12 steps for the rest of us. Okay. But still having heard about this thing called ayahuasca and wanting to go experience that. And when I did for the first time at- and by the way, just to go back- drugs for me had always been anathema. I grew up in the Reagan era. I was a young Republican. I wanted to be president of the United States. I was going to be groomed to be president the United States. And again, [00:51:00] albeit except for that gay thing that came along and derailed it, I would have been on my way, you know, without a question to be governor of Pennsylvania and then going on. I had the Republican party embracing me to run at the time. And so I didn’t even smoke marijuana when I was at Yale. Like I would not do drugs, cause back in those days, you didn’t if you wanted to be in politics. 

Ronan: [00:51:23] Yup.

Keith: [00:51:23] So I, in the back of my head, I had this tape, the drugs was not something you would do, so I never experienced it. So the idea of drugs just never went there. So I never had my psychedelic fun in college, et cetera, as an opening or a gateway to this stuff. I found it purely as a therapeutic desire to become the man that I wished I could get back to that I never even knew because it was too young that shit started getting piled in my mental psyche. 

Ronan: [00:51:53] Right. 

Keith: [00:51:53] So 16 sits later, um, maybe 20, [00:52:00] some psilocybin journeys later, only one ketamine journey. Although I just signed up for a therapeutic session, again once I come back from sometime in the later summer, and I think you all had helped influence my desire to experience that medicine. 

Ronan: [00:52:21] I hope you’re doing that at Field Trip. Actually. I don’t even know where you’re based if we’re close to you, but-

Keith: [00:52:26] I’m in [inaudible] 

Ronan: [00:52:27] We got to Santa Monica location. So we’ll-

Keith: [00:52:31] And what I can say is that I am- I’m for the first time in love in a way that I’m proud of. 

Ronan: [00:52:37] That’s beautiful.

Keith: [00:52:39] I can say that I’m a better leader than I’ve ever hoped that I would be and I still got a long way to go. I can say that I’m more in my grounded feet when I coach and there’s less of me in the room and there’s really just a focus on others and other ness and what they’re trying to achieve and their mission. Um, [00:53:00] and I, and I’m, and I’m happy. And don’t say that very often. Um-

Ronan: [00:53:11] Thank you for sharing that. 

Keith: [00:53:13] Yeah.

Ronan: [00:53:17] How long has it taken you to get to the point where you could say I’m, I’m happy? 

Keith: [00:53:22] Not long. I mean, all my life, I’m 55 next week. Um, and the- but my journey in psychedelics started less than, less than five years ago. 

Ronan: [00:53:41] Wow. That’s amazing. Thank you. 

Keith: [00:53:47] Less than five years, I have- like I said, I’m not a sparkle pony yet. There’s a lot of, a lot of stuff on me that I’m still looking to work through, [00:54:00] workout, work off. Tons, tons, still tons of shame, but not as much as- I mean, my last journey in Costa Rica, I physiologically and emotionally shook off so much shame in my life that I think is one of the core burdens of any of us being our true and our best representations of God on this planet is, is getting rid of shame, which is something that we were born with. We, we, we adopted that.

Ronan: [00:54:33] Thank you for sharing, to start. Thank you for the vulnerability, you know? I felt it. I’m not going to say I heard it. I felt it when you said “I’m happy.” And, and the resonance of that deeply touched me. So thank you for sharing that, that comment about shame is, is one that, um, it’s interesting. So your book, Who’s Got Your [00:55:00] Back- my first awareness with shame, my experience with psychedelics- so, I mean, if you’re worried about my listeners being offended by your relative openness to it, and not necessarily committed to an existing paradigm, I I’m even less experienced than you. So don’t worry about that. But my introduction to the concept of shame actually came- I did a guided  meditation through a non-physical entity, named Lazaris, who gets channeled by this game, a guy named Jack, uh, and it’s, it’s a meditation, or it takes you into a dark house, a scary house. And, um, you go and you experience a moment of trauma from your childhood, right? And just at the moment that the thing is supposed to happen, someone comes in, a friend or somebody comes in, pulls you out, reminds you that you’re no longer that child, uh, and that you no longer have to accept that shame or that event. And they put you back in that space and then whatever happens [00:56:00] happens. And you put your hand up, say if it was, you know, parent hitting you and you say, no, I’m not going to accept that. And by virtue of doing that, you break that cycle of shame, on a sort of emotional, spiritual level. And after I completed that meditation, one of the things that became conscious to me was how up until that moment in my life, I was probably 35 at the time. I had never felt like anyone had ever gotten my back, ever had my back at all. Like that moment that someone pulled me out and I even recognized who it was, which is the sense of like someone looking out for me and pulling me out, was such an awareness of like, oh my God, I’ve never actually felt what it’s like to have someone have my back. It didn’t mean that people didn’t have my back, which was an important realization. People did, but I, I couldn’t feel it. And so the fact that your book was called, Who’s Got Your Back, touched me. Like it’s, it’s speaks deeply because I think that’s for many people, [00:57:00] the first realization of you’ve got the shame. Like if you can’t realize that someone’s got your back, cause I would bet most people, there is someone who has your back, right? Whether it’s a parent or a sibling or a spouse- 

Keith: [00:57:11] Well, do you know- 50% of Americans claim that no one has their back. 

Ronan: [00:57:15] Right. 

Keith: [00:57:16] And of those who claim that no one has their back. 60% of them are married.

Ronan: [00:57:22] Yeah.

Keith: [00:57:23] So that’s unfortunately the data that we’re dealing with. 

Ronan: [00:57:26] Yep. Would be interesting to know how much of that is, Do people actually not have your back, or can you just not let that in, right? Because I think very often- 

Keith: [00:57:35] It’s the latter, of course it’s the latter. There’s so, I mean, I, I have been dealing with- as I’ve been out there talking to people about relationships, I’ve been dealing with wrong headedness around victimization of relationships, which most people have, which is, you know, the world is, is not going to give me what you say that they’re going to give me. And my point is, perhaps not [00:58:00] until you shift your consciousness and what you give the world and what you give yourself, you know? And of course, we’ve got to get to the stage where we can have our own backs, not to suggest that we’re living in a world where we only have our own backs. There’s a difference between self-preservation, um, and, and, and, and self-care. I mean, it’s like, I’m just saying, we’ve got to have our own backs. We’ve gotta be able to- and I’m still working on that one, right? What I can now trust is that other people can have my back. Um, I’m seeing it in my relationship. I’m seeing it in friendships, you know, simple things, just like this birthday party I’m having next week. I’m having a birthday party on Saturday and my birthday is on the 14th. I’m having a birthday party on the 10th. And I, my- COVID is throwing a bunch of different challenges in the world relative to how I live my social life. And I it’s been a year since I’ve really [00:59:00] activated my social community in physical ways. This will be- I’ve had small gatherings, but I used to do, I used to do 15, 20 people dinners every Friday night in my home, and I’d have a staff, and have a wonderful house manager who took care of building this community with me and for me. And I would just show up. I wouldn’t have to think about anything. And now I’m activating for the first time in a year and a half. And my house manager is working somewhere else. Wasn’t available because I haven’t been activating him. And so I’ve been scared of how do I pull this off? I’ve got a business to run. I’ve got a new chief of staff that’s never done an event before, and I’ve got to pull together 70 people in a space that has never been activated, um, at a different location. Anyway, the long and short of it is I just woke up this past week after having stressed for two weeks about this and realized, wait a second, I’ve got friends that if [01:00:00] I ask them will go to, to the ends to help make this extraordinary time. And while we’re doing it, it will be fun. But I would never think of asking that, right? That’s I just don’t- I wouldn’t think of asking for help. Particularly on something that my brand is supposedly associated with being one of the best in the world around. Um, and, um, that’s the big awakening for me, you know, when you can, you can awaken to that. And then, and so that’s, like I said, I still have work to do. I didn’t, that wasn’t obvious to me at the beginning. 

Ronan: [01:00:33] Right. Yeah. Also, you know, the fact that you could probably have 70 people in three cases of beer and an empty space and, you know, they’re there for you and they’re there because they like and love you and each other, presumably, and all of those accoutrements aren’t necessary for a great time, right? If I get- it’s just, they’re just cherry on top, but they’re, they’re not, not the ice cream sundae that you’re [01:01:00] actually eating. So, um- 

Keith: [01:01:01] Amen to that.

Ronan: [01:01:01] Thank you for sharing that. It’s always nice to hear about how people are continuing to do the work and where their growth lies. And, you know, a lot of, I think what you’re working through is stuff that touches me and stuff that I’m working through as well, which is I’ve got similar kind of things that I deal with and um- 

Keith: [01:01:21] Well listen, the work we’re about- the work we’re about to go do together. Um, will let us get to know each other a lot better. Um, but I, you know, and, and I do hope that it won’t be too long until we’ll be breaking bread together in one location. And you know, and extending that even more. Although I do have to say that people use as an excuse, the virtual world that we’re living in today as an excuse not to go deep, but really all one needs to do is be more intentional. We just went pretty deep today. We didn’t do it mutually. And I, and I feel that I would love to hear your story, your arc, you’re like, you know- I get [01:02:00] that, but I know that my job today is to do a certain thing for you and your audience. But the idea of, of grooming and growing, together- I’m looking forward to what I’m going to be learning from you as well. I really do. I mean, you’ve, I’ve watched you and for your viewers, you don’t get to see this- as a leader, you’re a very special man. I’ve watched your humility, I’ve watched your vulnerability, I’ve watched your presence and how, and, and how heartfelt you are. And it really is extraordinary. And by the way, in Kayle, echoes that when he first met you and suggested that we connect. So anyway, um, 

Ronan: [01:02:42] Thank you.

Keith: [01:02:42] You’re a special dude and you’re, you know, you’re doing, you’re doing God’s work on this planet. 

Ronan: [01:02:50] Thank you. Thank you for saying that. It really means a lot. The timing of that statement also is particularly profound because just yesterday, and even on Twitter’s [01:03:00] terrible form to be sharing it, you know, I’m doing a podcast called The Real Leaders Podcast and when Conrad, the producer of this podcast, sent it to me, cause he’s been coordinating it, I stopped and I realized I’m like, I’ve never considered myself an effective leader. I’ve never considered myself a leader. It’s such a foreign concept to me that I don’t even recognize it. And so for you to say that is, is really touching. So, so thank you very much. 

Keith: [01:03:26] Yeah. And by the way, you should, you should share that in our next group meeting, um, because part of the opportunity of leadership and part of the opportunity of relationships and part of the opportunity for all of us as we show up in the world is can we get to the stage where we can ask others what they think of us and co-create who we want to be from their input. There’s a lot of unpacking to do around that cause I remember I did that at my last big birthday. So I’m [01:04:00] 55. So I guess I did it when I was 50, I threw a big party and I asked, I said, nobody’s allowed to bring gifts. The only thing I want you to bring is a note in your birthday card on what you think I could do to be a happier me 10 years from now. And most of them said, “Lighten the fuck up. Why in the hell are you asking a question? I think you’re great.” Which is by the way, some of the best answers I got, you know? Um, and so I’m always looking to co-create. The key will be when you do that, to have also done the work, to make sure that you know, that whatever you get back, you’re also enough. So while you invite your team to invite you to say, how can you be a better leader? I want you to also know that you’re enough at the same time. Those two things are really important. But it doesn’t mean that we can’t- this day and age, leadership, I don’t think- any leader worth their salt must feel that they have to get at least [01:05:00] 30% better than they are. The world is too tumultuous. The markets are too tumultuous. The things you’re facing are too challenging. If you don’t think you need to be at least 30% better than you are as a leader, you’re not a good leader. 

Ronan: [01:05:15] Right. It’s entirely true. And it’s also entirely true that it’s hard to think that you’re enough at the same time. I mean there, the latter, thinking you’re an alpha, at least for me is an incredibly hard thing to accept. To counterbalance that or oppose- opposition-wise that against you still gotta be 30% better, you know, it’s one of those things that- I think you, I think you’ve met. I know, I know you’ve met because I spoke to him this morning. My friend, Jason Gaignard, who runs MastermindTalks, uh, cause he was talking about the interaction you had, you know, and finding that balance between being good enough and still [01:06:00] wanting to be better. And how do you actually balance those two? And I think it’s fundamentally motivated by what’s driving it, which is, are you good enough? Yes. Do you want to be better? That’s fine. Do you feel you need to be better? That’s where it gets a little bit more challenging. 

Keith: [01:06:19] Did he say anything that would be valuable to me and my journey?

Ronan: [01:06:23] He, he just said, um, you know, I, cause I actually, I’ve made a note here. I’m like, if you haven’t met Jason Gaignard, I think you should meet him because I think you guys would just hit it off [and see] the world in a way. And you know, in your [book], a lot of the things you’ve written about and said, and the way Jason thinks and speaks and, you know, trying to create value and create relationships, you know, I like to be a connector. I really like to connect people. 

Keith: [01:06:46] Yeah.

Ronan: [01:06:47] And so I was like, I’m going to connect Keith with Jason, but of course, you know, messaging him, you guys had already met. So I kind of left it at that but he just kind of offered some insights about the interaction where I [01:07:00] think you’ve mentioned that the statistics about, you know, 50% of people thinking, no, no one’s got their back, 60% of them are married. 

Keith: [01:07:12] So how do we- what have we done for your community today? And then the little bit of time we have left, is there anything more we need to do? For the next five minutes or so. 

Ronan: [01:07:23] So I was going to ask, which is, to make- to provide some tangible takeaways, because for me the biggest takeaway is for people to come on here and open up about things that are hard to open up about, because at the end of the day that’s what psychedelics is about in my mind, is like creating that vulnerability. And so there’s a number of paths to do it. And just listening to these conversations is a big way. But the other thing I wanted to do is like takeaways, you know, what are some tangible takeaways? So, uh, I had one question I’m gonna ask two questions. One was: someone who I have a lot of respect for is Cameron Harold. I don’t know if you’ve ever met Cameron, but I’ll tell you, you probably crossed [01:08:00] paths at some point. He’s the COO for what 1-800-GOT-JUNK, and I remember one of the times I saw him speak, he was talking about his new book, which was Double Double, and he said, “You don’t have to read the whole thing. You only have to read, you know, here are the two takeaways, the three takeaways you need from the book. And if you want to go a little bit further read chapter eight and chapter 12, but you don’t need to read the rest of it.” So I would pose that to you, which is, you know, from Leading Without Authority from Who’s Got Your Back and Never Eat Alone. What are the key couple of points that if someone’s not going to actually read it, but wants to be- wants to take something away from your work and what you do, what would be the kind of key bullet points? 

Keith: [01:08:38] Yeah. Every time you think of a goal you have, always ask the question “who?” We get so much time focused on the strategy that the objectives, the, you know, how am I going to get there? What do I have to do, ask the question, “who?” Who do I need to build relationships with to achieve whatever [01:09:00] that goal is from love to changing the world in human consciousness. Then figure out a systematic way to build those relationships with those people. And you’re going to do it through service of them. And if you get all that, and then while you’re, while you’re doing all of that show up authentically, so that it further solidifies the loyalty in that relationship. That’s kind of it. I mean, there’s a lot of tactics in every loan and how you build that broad set of relationships. 

Ronan: [01:09:44] Yeah. 

Keith: [01:09:45] There’s a lot of tactics in Who’s Got Your Back and how you build a team that won’t let you fail. There’s a lot of tactics in Leading Without Authority, and how do you work inside of an organization to get things done in networks that don’t report to you. In my new book, [01:10:00] that’s going to be coming out, Competing in the New Work World, again- a lot of tactics, but it really, you know, I think the biggest gift I can give everybody is the word of co-elevation. If you imagine that everybody you’re in relationship with, your desire and your objective is to find ways to co-elevate, go higher together, you’ll be a winner. 

Ronan: [01:10:21] That’s beautiful. Thank you. And one last question, even though I want to stop on that because that’s a good place to stop. 

Keith: [01:10:28] Your editors are so good. I’m sure you can swap them, so-

Ronan: [01:10:31] Yeah, there you go. For anyone who’s just starting to think about psychedelics, or is starting- you know, having had early experiences or even someone who’s advanced, you know, is there any takeaway, any piece of advice that you’d give to them as, as they embark on their journey within psychedelics specifically?

Keith: [01:10:53] So many ways I can answer that question, um, with directive advice, but here’s what I would say: look [01:11:00] for somebody who can be your sherpa, your guide, your journey leader, not specifically through the journey, but I mean, your advisor. Look for somebody whose ethos is somebody that you believe the work has been done on and with them successfully. Find the people who walk in this world with a smoother step, who are the kind of people that you want to be, and trust those individuals to be your guide, to where to go. And then the other thing I would say is on a personal basis, there is now enough professional support in this industry and in this spac, that I wouldn’t go with, um, I wouldn’t go with, [01:12:00] uh, people who don’t have professional cred in, in their guidance. I would wait for the guidance of professionals in this process.

Ronan: [01:12:12] That is great advice. And with that, I will extend my sincerest gratitude, Keith, for making your time available to us. You know, I know you’re a very busy, busy person. I know you’ve got a lot of important things to do, and it really means a lot that you joined me today to share this wisdom and advice, which I think is going to be powerful for everybody who listens. So thank you. 

Keith: [01:12:37] It’s uh, I guarantee it’ll be the- it’ll be the highlight of my day, for sure. Thank you. Thank you.

Ronan: [01:12:49] It’s been said that in times of widespread chaos and confusion, it has been the duty of more advanced human beings- artists, scientists, clowns, and philosophers- to create [01:13:00] order. In times such as ours, however, when there’s too much order, too much management, too much programming and control, it becomes the duty of superior men and women to fling their favorite monkey wrenches into the machinery. To relieve their oppression of the human spirit, they must sow doubt and disruption. To me, that’s always been the opportunity of leadership, but based on my conversation with Keith, I’m going to be updating that perspective. Maybe the goal of leadership should not be to change the status quo, but simply to change and elevate those around us, and in so doing change and elevate ourselves. The challenged there, however, lies in helping people recognize their innate leadership capacity- something I struggle with to this day. I don’t- I never have seen myself as a leader. It makes me deeply uncomfortable to refer to myself as a leader. Instead, I prefer to see myself as an artist, though my drawing and painting skills leave much to be desired. For the purpose of an artist in an over-technologized, over-masculinized society, is to call the old [01:14:00] magic back to life. My guess is that he sees himself more as an artist too. 

To wrap up today’s episode, we wanted to hit on some questions from our listeners in a section we’re calling Questions To Trip On. This week, we got an email question from Jolly roger, who asked, “Who are you dying to have on the podcast, and why?” [And that] is a, an answer I can give quite quickly and hopefully one day I will actually have something more to say about it, but if you listen to this at any point along the way, you’ve known that Tom Robbins is certainly been an inspirational voice in how I view the world and how I think about a lot of those conversations. So, uh, certainly having Tom Robbins on the podcast would be a delight because I’d love to understand his perspectives and world view in a little bit more depth other than through his writing. That being said, thank you to Michael Kid, our [01:15:00] government relations advisor here at Field Trip, actually managed to coordinate a conversation between me and Tom, and he and I have been going back and forth through email and he promised to answer a list of questions for me, which once we have those questions answered, I’m going to read them out and maybe we’ll find an actor to play Tom Robbins, because he didn’t feel comfortable going on to speak about this, but he’s happy to give written answers, so looking forward to providing that. As a quick reminder, you can now record a question for us and we’ll play it on the show. It’s a great way for us to feel connected to you- our amazing listeners. To record your question, go to speakpipe.com/fieldtripping, or you can send us questions, comments, or any episode ideas by email to [email protected], that’s Kast with a “K.” Thanks for listening to Field Tripping, a podcast that’s dedicated to exploring psychedelic experiences and their ability to affect our lives. I’m your host Ronan Levy. Until next time, stay curious, read properly, [01:16:00] and remember, every day is a field trip if you let it be one. Field Tripping is created by Ronan Levy. Our producers are Conrad Page and John Cvack, and associate producers are Sharon Bhella, Alec Sherman, and Macy Wilson. Special thanks to Kast media and of course, many thanks to Keith Ferrazzi for joining me today. To learn more, check out keithferrazzi.com or find him on Instagram under the same name. Finally- please rate, review, and subscribe to our podcast and sign up for a newsletter at fieldtripping.fm or wherever you get your podcasts.