46 minutes | Mar 15, 2019

Chip Conley - Modern Elder Academy Founder

Today's guest is Chip Conley, the founder of Modern Elder Academy. Rebel hospitality entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author, Chip Conley disrupted his favorite industry... twice. At age 26 he founded Joie de Vivre Hospitality (JdV), transforming an inner-city motel into the second largest boutique hotel brand in America. He sold JdV after running it as CEO for 24 years, and soon the young founders of Airbnb asked him to help transform their promising start-up into the world’s leading hospitality brand. Chip served as Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy for four years and today acts as the company’s Strategic Advisor for Hospitality and Leadership. His five books have made him a leading authority at the intersection of psychology and business. Chip was awarded “Most Innovative CEO” by the San Francisco Business Times, is the recipient of hospitality’s highest honor, the Pioneer Award, and holds a BA and MBA from Stanford University. In today's episode, Brian & Chip Discuss: - What it's like to have your birthday fall on Halloween - Choosing to go to a high school where Chip knew he would be in the minority - Having a very engaged, passionate father who wanted nothing more than for Chip to become a better version of his dad - Starting a hotel brand in one of the worst neighborhoods in San Francisco - How Maslow's Hierarchy has influenced Chip's Leadership & Business Philosophy - Meeting AirBNB Founders & joining the company as both a mentor & an intern - Why today's workforce must embrace the wisdom of our Modern Elders Connect with Chip: Website | LinkedIn Check out Modern Elder Academy: Website Connect with Brian Mohr: Website | LinkedIn We Help Leaders Hire on Purpose: YScouts.com   Chip Conley Podcast Interview   Brian Mohr: [00:07:43] Well ladies and gentlemen welcome to another edition of the Built on Purpose podcast.   Brian Mohr: [00:07:49] I am incredibly excited to have with me today hotelier, author, social alchemist, disruptor, student, sage, and modern Elder the one and only Chip Conley... Chip:   Chip Conley: [00:08:08] What is up man.   Chip Conley: [00:08:10] I am wearing way too many name tags... All different.   Chip Conley: [00:08:17] You know I dig it.   Brian Mohr: [00:08:19] It's a good thing. I guess you've been constantly reinventing yourself or should I say continuing to learn more about who you are and what you're capable of.   Chip Conley: [00:08:29] Thank you. Thank you very much.   Brian Mohr: [00:08:31] Absolutely great to have you. So I want to start off.   Brian Mohr: [00:08:34] You were born on Halloween and I am just so curious. As a guy born on Halloween as a youngster was having your birthday on the same day as Halloween. An exciting thing? Or did it just piss you off that Halloween was robbing you of your special day?   Chip Conley: [00:08:52] I think it meant it meant that my special day meant that I was just a weird kid, you know, everybody and you got dressed up really strangely on this, like "what was all that about" No, I - you know - I have lots and lots of photos of birthdays with people dressed funny and I still have those because every five years I do have a birthday somewhere in the world starting at age 30.   Chip Conley: [00:09:17] And now I'm 58 so I've got the sixtieth coming up soon. But it's been everywhere from Bali to Marrakech and I promise you we do have a master party one night.   Brian Mohr: [00:09:27] I love it. I love it.   Brian Mohr: [00:09:28] So as you as you think back on all of these Halloweens is there any one particular costume of yours that just really brings back me or the most vivid memories as the costume itself.   Chip Conley: [00:09:44] Interesting question.   Chip Conley: [00:09:48] No not quite. I mean I you know. I did show up at one point in what looked like a birthday suit. Like....   Chip Conley: [00:09:55] Nothing. But it wasn't I actually; it was a body double... Gave me a suit, like showed me how to actually create in essence what looks like...   Chip Conley: [00:10:06] A naked body, but it's not my naked body. And I did show up at a birthday party like that once. And the shock factor was enormous. You realize:   Chip Conley: [00:10:16] Oh! Chips wearing something!   Brian Mohr: [00:10:19] I'm sure the looks on people's faces were were pretty priceless.   Chip Conley: [00:10:24] The good times good times.   Brian Mohr: [00:10:25] Thanks for indulging me on that. I'm always curious there's you know you always meet folks who have their birthdays coincide with that with a big holiday and you were the first person I met who was born on Halloween social super curious about that.   Chip Conley: [00:10:41] You know I will say one thing that's interesting Brian is that you know, I live in Mexico for more than half the time. And I was in San Miguel de Ndadaye which is not too far from Mexico City a couple of years ago. And going to the day of the dead which is actually after Halloween. It's in early November and doing the day of the dead experience in Mexico that is how they do their Halloween. Or their post Halloween, right? I mean it's really quite an experience. And I think probably of all the places in the world, there's no place that does that - That period around Halloween day. The dead are better than men in Mexico.   Brian Mohr: [00:11:24] That's awesome. That's awesome. Well that sounds like a whole 'nother conversation we could probably hear.   Brian Mohr: [00:11:30] And I'm really curious, and I want to kind of rewind the clock here, and this may be super interesting or maybe absolutely not an interesting topic but I'm curious when you attended Long Beach Polytechnic... You're enrolled in the PACE program which stands for the program of additional curricular experiences. And having not attended Long Beach Polytechnic or having not been a part of any kind of a program like that: Is there any impact? I'm curious as you think back on the impact that program had on who you are and the experiences that you pursued after you left Long Beach Polytechnic.   Chip Conley: [00:12:12] Oh my gosh wow! Well I appreciate you doing the homework. I've rarely been asked that question or anything close to that. So Long Beach Poly is a famous high school. It's actually where Snoop Dogg went to high school. And Cameron Diaz. And it's pretty famous because it's the number one school in the country for being a feeder school for the NBA and the NFL. So it's a big inner city high school public school. But it's also the number one feeder school for the UC. System in the state of California for the public state universities system. So it's an academically relatively strong place. PACE, my program, was the first graduating class. PACE Was meant to be a way an alternative to bussing. So I'm 58 - this is back in the 1970s. There was a strong desire in us to integrate high schools. And one alternative was to create a bussing program and there are just all kinds of protests around bussing from school. So what long beach did was different. It actually took all of the best programs academically in the school district where there were five high schools and they put them all in the inner city high school. And they said if you want to do college prep programs, you can do it. And we've got great programs but they're all in inner city school. And what that was meant to do was, to sort of - Instead of forcing people to be bussed it was giving choice to say I want to go to school in a neighborhood that is generally not integrated.   Chip Conley: [00:14:00] So I was known as curious white boy is my older nickname.   Chip Conley: [00:14:06] And I would say that's the combination. To answer your question.   Chip Conley: [00:14:08] The two elements to it. Number one is going to high school in an inner city school where I was a minority as a white guy was a great experience because I think all of us in our life need to live in a place for some extended period of time...   Chip Conley: [00:14:23] Where we are the "other." And when I say the other I put that in quotes. The "other" being the person who is not in the majority because it helps students understand and have empathy for what that means. To be in the minority whether it's a woman in a boardroom or a person of color. In most companies or me at AirBNB as an old guy. So I was the "other" by being a white person in a predominately non-white school. And then the PACE program was a really intense college prep program that prepared me well for going to Stanford. And so, you know, you wouldn't expect an inner city high school to have had five or 10 grads be accepted into Stanford but that's exactly what happened because the program was strong enough that this. The Inner city public school system allowed that. So I think it really helped me also get really connected to purpose. My own sense of like... How do I give back? Because I was able to see in an inner city community how so much of society wasn't really giving back to that community. And so for me, one of my chief things I did with my foundation is to have it give money as well as project support to inner city youth programs because of my experience growing up there.   Brian Mohr: [00:15:51] That's awesome. I appreciate you sharing that.   Brian Mohr: [00:15:54] As you finished Stanford, and if my research is accurate, you spent a couple and a half years in the real estate business and from what I gathered it sounds like you realized pretty quickly that that was not where you were going to spend your career and after a couple and a half years you got out of it. Was there anything in particular about the industry or any incidents that you encountered where, you know, that sense of purpose you talk about where you just knew that that wasn't where you were going to dedicate your life's work?   Chip Conley: [00:16:42] You know, I went directly to Stanford undergrad bus
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