Dr. Ruth Gotian

Dr. Ruth Gotian is the Chief Learning Officer and Assistant Professor of Education in Anesthesiology and former Assistant Dean of Mentoring and Executive Director of the Mentoring Academy at Weill Cornell Medicine. She was hailed by the journal Nature and Columbia University as an expert in mentoring and leadership development and is currently a contributor to Forbes where she writes about ‘optimizing success’.

​During her extensive career, she has personally coached and mentored thousands of people ranging from undergraduates to faculty members. As Assistant Dean for Mentoring, she oversaw the success of nearly 1,800 faculty members at Weill Cornell Medicine.

Dr. Gotian received her B.S. and M.S. in Business Management from the University at Stony Brook in New York and certificates in Executive Leadership and Managing for Execution from Cornell University. She earned her doctorate at Teachers College Columbia University where she studied Adult Learning and Leadership and focused her research on optimizing success.

​Dr. Gotian publishes in both medical education and lay journals on topics ranging from networking, mentoring, leadership development, and optimizing success and has given talks on the topic all over the globe. She regularly publishes in such journals as Nature, Scientific American, Academic Medicine, Forbes, and Harvard Business Review. She is the co-editor of a book on medical education, won numerous mentoring awards, and is currently working on a book on the 35 best places to find a mentor.

Website: https://www.ruthgotian.com/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTG7Bo7f5QZ3aaxOxAX5_3Q

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ruthgotian/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rgotian/

Twitter:https://twitter.com/RuthGotian

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Dr. Ruth Gotian Shares Her Deep Secrets of Success 

Pamela Bardhi
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the underdog. Today I am honored to have this amazing guest here with me today. Dr. Ruth, how are you?

Ruth Gotian
I am doing so well. It’s so exciting to be here. And it’s so interesting that you call me Dr. Ruth because I love the original Dr. Ruth.

Pamela Bardhi
You told me a fun fact about her that I nearly fell out of my chair. I was so, she’s a sniper?

Ruth Gotian
Well, I always say we have a lot of similarities. So Dr. Ruth and I, both got our doctorates from the same institution, which is Teachers College, Columbia University. We were both in our 40s when we got it, we’re both bilingual in the same two languages, but only one of us is a trained sniper.

Pamela Bardhi
Whoa, like, see, I was gonna guess you and then you’re like, No, no, it’s not me.

Ruth Gotian
I always tell people to Google it and they’re always shocked.

Pamela Bardhi
And I see the picture of her too and it’s just so funny. I’m like, she’s a trained sniper. This is crazy.

Ruth Gotian
And she wears red glasses just like you.

Pamela Bardhi
On top of that, your maiden name is…

Ruth Gotian
Like the judge.

Pamela Bardhi
Total rock star, a total rock star in the name and the energy and everything. So I just want to thank you so much for being here today. And I just can’t wait to get into your story. And for those of you who don’t know Dr. Ruth, she is an absolute Rockstar in this world working on a bunch of amazing things. Speaker, author, coach, I mean, Rockstar all around. She’s got a new book coming out a million things. So I guess my first opening question to you Dr. Ruth is what inspired your journey tip for you to get to where you are today?

Ruth Gotian
So it was a long journey. So, everyone, My full name is Ruth Gotian. I figured there are other people with the other names so I had to let that go. It was quite the journey that started out with a Bachelor’s and Master’s in business and led me to the role I have now where I work at an Ivy League academic medical center. As a chief learning officer in anesthesiology. Though I have that background in business and I worked in finance for a couple of years, It was really working in academia, which I loved, and working with students and now faculty. It’s an absolute joy. It’s getting people who are at the top of their game to get even further up to another peak that they didn’t even know existed.

So at the age of 43, I decided I was going back to school, I did and I got my doctorate in Adult Learning and Leadership while working full time and raising a family. And now I study elite high achievers. These are the people who really got to the top of whatever their field is. So it’s Nobel laureates and Olympic champions and astronauts and fortune 500 CEOs, people of that caliber. Those are the people who I hang around with.

Pamela Bardhi
I love it. So you have now pretty much what you primarily focus on is optimizing success. How does one optimize success?

Ruth Gotian
That’s right. So there’s a lot of lessons to be learned from these people. And the people who have gotten to that peak performance, which we see it that tip of the iceberg. I really focus on what’s below the waterline what it took to get there. We all know what the last 100 yards were like. But what was that the years and years and years of work that it took to become an overnight success. So that’s what I really focus on. And what’s so great is that it doesn’t matter what field that you’re in, if it’s in science, or sports, or government or finance.

It really is the same things that they do and how they do it. And that’s what I am talking about all the time and writing about all the time and teaching about all the time is how we us mere mortals can really optimize our own success from these lessons from the people who have reached the top of their game. So I give a lot of talks about it. I write about it for Forbes and psychology today and some of the other journals plus the academic journals really try to get the word out there because I think we really can do it. We just didn’t know what tools we needed.

Pamela Bardhi
So you pretty much study the underdog in a way. Right?

Ruth Gotian
In a way, in a way, absolutely.

Pamela Bardhi
That is amazing. Like what would be the number one thing that you think that everyone who’s successful has in common.

Ruth Gotian
It’s four things and I call them four pillars. But there’s depth to these pillars. I’ll give you the overarching theme of each one. But know that there are all these subcategories, so the first one is they are intrinsically motivated. What does that mean? They are so passionate about it, that they would do it for free if they could. And very often they do. So they have found what they’re good at but they’re not just good at it. They’re passionate about it, you would lose sleep over this because you love it so much you need to see it through. So if you can find that they’re not doing it for the Nobel, they’re not doing it for the Olympic medal.

They’re doing it because they truly, truly love it and can’t see themselves doing anything else. That’s intrinsic motivation. That’s the first one. The second one is they have a level of perseverance and work ethic that I don’t see every day, this is something really, really special. It’s about finding the answer, it’s about getting to that point, getting to that goal, getting a little bit past it. The third one is they’re still doing things like a strong, strong foundation, which they’re constantly reinforcing. Whatever you would see, for example, in an athlete, what you would see in a junior high gym is the same thing that you would see in Olympic trial warm-up in the Olympic Village, the same types of skills you would see them doing. They’re constantly reinforcing it.

The last one is, even if they have all these fancy degrees, that doesn’t mean they stop working. They keep pushing and pushing and pushing. And they’ll learn from anyone. So we all hear about all, Mark Cuban, and Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates that they read 5, 6, 7, 8 hours a day. For those of us that are working and cannot work all those hours a day, it’s not about waking up at 5 am or reading all those hours, it’s about consuming knowledge.

There are so many ways you can consume knowledge, you can talk to somebody, can read and listen to a podcast, such as this one, you can watch YouTube videos, read a book or read an article. I mean, there are so many ways. Now, here’s the thing, those are the four pillars, but you have to do all four of them together. You can’t say today, I’m going to focus on this, and tomorrow, I’m going to focus on that. You have to do all four together and stick with it. And you’ll see I’ve tried it and I saw a big difference. So I know that it works.

Pamela Bardhi
Really? So you’ve got to do all four at once. And it will…

Ruth Gotian
You have to constantly do all four, it has to be part of your mantra, part of your way of doing things becomes muscle memory just do it.

Pamela Bardhi
Interesting, interesting. And how to do that? To put that all together? Like, what would be the first step towards that pillar? Would you think because when anybody’s thinking about Okay, how do I become successful? Do they think about four pillars at once? Or like, where do I start?

Ruth Gotian
All? Right. So first, you have to find out what you are interested in? What are you good at and motivated in? The first thing I tell people to do is to do a passion audit. Find out what it is you’re passionate about. What is it that you’re good at and you enjoy doing? Or that you’re not good at. You need to really filter this out. So I’ve actually created a way for people to do this. And you can in 10 minutes figure out initially, what is your initial passion.

So there’s actually a free worksheet on my website where people can download it. It’s www.ruthgotian.com/passionaudit. You can just download it, you get all the steps, all the instructions, it’s a worksheet. You’ll see its three columns and then all of a sudden, you’ll get this aha moment. Oh, I didn’t think of that. And equally as important is you’ll find out that there are things that you’re really good at, but you don’t enjoy doing. And that’s fascinating because when that happens, you’re like, Okay, I need to change things.

So I know how to solve a crisis. Know how to do day-to-day operations. I did it for a quarter of a century and I think I’m really good at it. But I also know after doing this exercise, that it was burning me out, and I needed to try something else. I needed to not do day-to-day operations anymore. And once you do that, it’s like a new beginning. It’s a fresh start. It’s fabulous.

Pamela Bardhi
I love that the first pillar is the passion because that is like root. So, before I even knew your pillars that like anyone who asked me for advice, I’m always like, if you’re not passionate, it’s not gonna work. Yeah, if money is the number one motivation, it’s not gonna work. You got to have passion.

Ruth Gotian
I’ll tell you an interesting story. So what you’re talking about is extrinsic motivation. When people do things for money, a diploma, an award or recognition, a bonus, anything like that. Those are the people who burn out or fail out. I remember when I was getting my doctorate. In one of the classes, I was taking a class with a woman, Dr. Murray Volpi, who turned out to be my advisor, and I love her. And on the first day, she asked everybody, why are you getting a doctorate? Why would you put yourself through this? It’s a lot of work and very isolating. It’s rewarding when you’re done. But it’s a multi-year marathon, why would you do this? Why would you put your family through it? And everyone gave their answers.

I remember what their answers were because I remember thinking, this one’s going to be what we call ABD, all but dissertation. This means you take all your classes, but you never do your dissertation. You never write it, you never defend it, you only did the classwork. And as they’re doing, I’m thinking in my head, this one’s not going to finish, this one’s going to be ABD all the dissertation, this one’s not going to finish. This one’s not going to finish. And what became very evident was that those who were doing it for the recognition, or for promotion, we’re never gonna finish.

But those who were doing because there was this line of inquiry that they had to find out more about, they were intrinsically motivated, not only did they finish they finished in record time. Yeah. So you have to get to the core of your motivation, what really fuels you, the reason you get up in the morning, the reason you want to do what you do, you would do it in a snowstorm, a hailstorm, a pandemic, no electricity, you would still go do what you need to do because this breathes life into you got to find out what that is. It all starts with that.

Pamela Bardhi
Wow. And then all of those individuals who basically said, For those reasons, never made it Hmm.

Ruth Gotian
The ones who said, I’ve been doing it for the recognition, I’m doing it to get a promotion, you know, it’s years later, I think they still didn’t finish. They’re never gonna finish. I’d be very surprised. It was always one excuse after another, it was always somebody else’s fault. Always a reason they couldn’t get something done. They just didn’t have it in them. They were not intrinsically motivated, the day it’ll switch is when they become intrinsically motivated, then they’ll get done and fast.

Pamela Bardhi
I find this so fascinating. Like when you’re mentioning this, I can think of all of the people who were money motivated or like title motivated, and all that stuff. And I remember where they’re at now. I’m like, oh my gosh, it changed for me to in my career. In the very beginning. It was like, I was six figures in debt but from my restaurants. So I was like, I just need real estate because I need to make a lot of money. Then that happened for like a year or two as I got it. Then I’m like, Oh, you know, you almost force yourself like, Hey, what are you doing this for? Yeah, remember, this is about legacy and because of cash. And that’s where the gears shifted for me.

Ruth Gotian
Every time, every time insane. And then you get into this feeling of what’s called flow for time just sort of standstill, you’re not hungry, you’re not tired, you don’t need to go to the bathroom. It’s just you’re in such focus that you will just keep at it. Because you’re so passionate about it. And you have that full focus. So you will just go on and on and on. Because imagine doing what you love and being able to focus. I mean, what a winning combination. That is right.

Pamela Bardhi
Absolutely. Oh my gosh, now I have to ask you because this line of work is just so fascinating and so niched. What did you want to be when you grew up?

Ruth Gotian
Well, originally I was going to be a nurse than a doctor. I sat in one chemistry class, I said, this is not for me. Then I went into business and I went to business school and I tried finance. I thought that’s what you were supposed to do when you finish Business School. And that wasn’t for me. But I always loved working with students always. And now the older I get, now I enjoy working with faculty and now my training as an adult. So adults are anyone from 18 to 120. So I’m doing what I love, I help people succeed.

Pamela Bardhi
I love that and was there like an aha moment that sort of made you shift into like, Okay, this is what I want to do. This is my jam.

Ruth Gotian
Well, I think the critical thing to notice is that your jam changes what I wanted a 26 is not what I want now. I loved working with students, I loved doing day-to-day operations and who knows, maybe one day I’ll go back to that but I needed a break from that and I enjoy doing the professional development. And I love writing. Writing is a new thing. My grandmother always told me I was a good writer, but I never did anything with it. I didn’t enjoy it because every paper I wrote, I was writing for somebody else’s rules. But now when I write between the Forbes and the Harvard Business Review and the book that I’m writing, they’re my rules. It’s my story that I’m telling. And it’s the most liberating experience.

But the reason I enjoyed it so much is going back to that woman, Dr. Murray Volpi. When you are in your 40s, and working on a doctoral dissertation, which is 150 pages long, if not longer, it takes everything out of you. And she taught me how to write succinctly. And then all of a sudden, it became fun. So writing succinctly and not academically all the time, even though I’m on the faculty, so I’m still writing academic papers with our academic jargon, but I get to do this other stuff as well. I really get that balance, which is so fun. So you know, your jam changes all the time, you just have to be willing to pivot, which is why I tell people to do the passion audit as often as you want.

Pamela Bardhi
So brilliant, because that really is step one. It’s truly, truly, and like, I cannot say that enough to everybody, I’m like you guys, you gotta be passionate. Because, honestly, especially if you’re an entrepreneur, right? And you’re ingrained in this, I don’t know, 18, 20, actually 24 hours a day, you’re kind of 24 seven, this startup phase, you need to be passionate, otherwise, you’re gonna lose you why so easily, right?

Ruth Gotian
That’s right. You know, the other thing, and this is not just with entrepreneurs, it’s with everyone, every single high achiever, one without fail, have mentors all around them. Remember, I said they’ll learn from anyone? Constantly all around them. And they said they never would have gotten ahead. If it wasn’t for their mentors, their mentors, encourage them, their mentors push them. And there’s a lot of research to back this up. Those who have mentors outperform, and out-earn those who don’t. So I tell people, don’t just get one, get a whole team of mentors. You need a whole bunch of people around you, and not just in your industry.

You also need to look at other industries, and you want people who are senior to you, you want people who are at your level, and you want people who are junior to you. So you really want a diverse mentoring team. They don’t all need to know each other, they don’t get together. This is not the board of an institution, they don’t even have to know of each other’s existence, you can just reach out to any particular member as you see fit. So you are really in the behind-the-wheel, you are really the one driving this.

But it’s so important to surround yourself with people who will selflessly give of themselves to you who will teach you skills, who will give you perspective who will share their network, you have to really surround yourself with people like that. And I actually have something for your listeners. I have another worksheet I put together if they want to learn how to put together a mentoring team, which will be effective for them. So, it’s on my website, ruthgotioan.com/mentoringteam. There’s a worksheet there are instructions. It’s free, have fun.

Pamela Bardhi
Thank you so much. That’s wonderful passion, and then a mentorship team. And you know, speaking of that, I know you’re involved with the mentor project.

Ruth Gotian
Mm-hmm.

Who Inspired Dr. Ruth on Her Journey?

Pamela Bardhi
Yes. And also to who’s inspired your journey, like, remarkably, so to get you where you are today. And that may have shifted throughout your life, or maybe there’s a couple of them but who has left that imprint on you to do what you do today?

Ruth Gotian
There are so many people, there are so many people who have influenced me, some of them it was subconscious. I didn’t even realize that they were doing it. So my grandmother was a pharmacist, there were 13 women and 300 men in her class. And I learned from that experience, you want it, you go for it. And I have my aunt who is a foot shorter and a generation older than me and I realized I was always sitting across from her. Because I was trying to just memorize her movements and the way she interjects in conversations and graciously switches the topic because she was in a field that was dominated by men and she needed to and she’s a petite thing and she needed to get her voice heard.

So I needed to know how to do that. So I was constantly watching her but then there’s other people. There are people who are my academic idols, who are my teachers. There are people who guided me. There’s Dr. Bert Shapiro, he gave me one sentence that completely changed the way I look at problems. When I was talking to him, Dr. Bert Shapiro was the head of all MD Ph.D. programs at the NIH before he retired. I told him I was getting my doctorate. And we were talking about, I knew the population, I was going to research physician-scientists, but I didn’t know which angle to take. And he really talked me through it.

He said, You know, you’re looking at it from an angle that nobody has ever looked at. So think bigger than what you’re thinking. Don’t just do something interesting, do something important, which is fascinating advice. Because years later, I spoke to Dr. Tony Fauci, who’s one of the people who will be featured in the book. And I said, Well, how did you decide what to focus on? He said it’s very easy. If it’s interesting, it’s a hobby, if it’ll have an impact on other people, it’s important.

Pamela Bardhi
Interesting.

Ruth Gotian
Isn’t that fascinating? So the goal is to have an impact in your unique way. I cannot be you, you cannot be me. But there are certain things that I can do to impact other people. So yes, I am one of the volunteer mentors with the mentor project, there are 70 of us. These are people who are leaders in their field, who are volunteering their time to help other people. And one of the things I have is a show on Monday nights called Optimising Your Success.

Where I bring in a bunch of high achievers, including several of the elite high achievers from the book. And we discuss different topics, everything from productivity hacks to imposter syndrome. We’ve really discussed everything, and you never know who’s gonna come on the show, because I’ve invited people from the book. So we’ve had astronauts, we’ve had Olympians, all kinds of people. And then they’re also turning it into a podcast now. So, it’s fun stuff.

Pamela Bardhi
Wow, that’s incredible. That’s incredible. 70 mentors and everyone’s just sort of giving their time and just willing to mentor which…

Ruth Gotian
We have every different industry imaginable.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s fantastic. And you know, and I tell a lot of people all the time, I’m like, Listen, there are so many resources out there, you just have to ask. Like Andy Lopata. I’m gonna shout him out in his book right now. Just Ask.

Ruth Gotian
That’s right.

Pamela Bardhi
It’s it. Simple.

Ruth Gotian
You have to ask. My father’s lesson memory. He always said to me, you don’t ask you don’t get. And he said, what’s the worst that will happen? They’ll say no. So why would you say no to yourself before giving them the chance to do it? So ask.

Pamela Bardhi
Absolutely. And so many people are afraid to ask, that’s the crazy part.

Ruth Gotian
They discount themselves, they don’t need anyone else to discount them. And the original doctor Ruth said to me, I’m not going to let anyone put me down. I’m short enough of myself. So she doesn’t let people put her down. If you look at the most successful people when someone tells them no, they don’t hear now. They hear I haven’t convinced you yet. We haven’t found a way yet. We need to refocus, re-strategize, we will get it through. No means not yet.

Pamela Bardhi
I love that. I thought I was the only crazy person that believed in them. They’re like, Pam. It’s hilarious because my friends whenever they want something to get done, like if they wanted to get in somewhere or something, if I was in the group, magically, I made it happen.

Ruth Gotian
That’s right.

Pamela Bardhi
Like, just bring Pam and she’ll still take care of him. And they’re like, how do you get people to Yes, I don’t get it!

Ruth Gotian
Talk to them, like humans. You have to figure out what it is that they truly need, and truly want and talk to them human to human.

Pamela Bardhi
Right. Everyone wants to be seen. Everyone wants to be heard. They want to be understood, to be respected with dignity. It’s as simple as that. And I tell people, like your tone of voice and what you speak to people really affects them. You know, you just go in, and this is one of my biggest goals is like everyone’s going through some sort of struggle and challenge, right? Everybody. You don’t know what’s going through. So at least just be a light that they see that day and say, Hey, how about you, even though you look like a crazy person sometimes.

Ruth Gotian
But you know, it’s interesting, because there’s research. Remember the acronym PIE. Your success is based, and I might be off by 10% on some of these steps, but it’s 10% on your performance. 30% on your image, what are you known for. and 60% on your exposure, what are you known for? How do other people see you? How do other people know about you? So only 10% is based on the work you’re actually doing. 90% is what other people think of you.

Pamela Bardhi
Interesting, reputation.

Ruth Gotian
It’s all reputation.

Pamela Bardhi
It’s almost like your stage presence, in a way. Exactly. And the world is your platform and especially now with social media exactly on stage.

Ruth Gotian
I know right? You make your own stages, right? Your own audience.

Pamela Bardhi
Absolutely. And I mean, you’ve studied success and I’ve done all these things. Dr. Ruth, what challenges have you personally been through? And how did you overcome them throughout your journey? I know it wasn’t easy for sure.

Ruth Gotian
No, it definitely wasn’t easy. I had an incredible support system. Getting your doctorate is hard enough. Doing it while you’re working full time and raising a family means it’s extraordinarily expensive. Sleep just was nonexistent. There was no downtime at all. So I took classes full spring and both summer sessions because I wanted to get done. So it was this constant marathon. There are challenges every single day, but you know what I learned from the high achievers?

Success is one chapter in their lives. It’s not the only chapter. So the challenge is one chapter. And I asked all of them, I asked the CEO of Bill to bear, I ask the former chairman of the Security Exchange Commission, I said, “Did you have any failures or challenges?” and they said, I’m sure I did, I just can’t think of right now. Because it’s not what they project outwards. It’s not what they let them bring them down. There’s something we call an adult development, there’s a balance of Velcro or Teflon.

Velcro is every negative thing that sticks to you and then it weighs you down . And you don’t need other people to put you down. You’ve already put yourself down with how you internalize everything. If you have a balance of Teflon, everything glides off you and if it glides off you it’s liberating. Yeah, something bad happened. But if nobody died, we’ll get over it. You lost the money, you lost the job, but we’re alive. We’re healthy, we’ll rebuild and this happens over and over and over again. So anything negative is one chapter. Anything positive, it’s one chapter. It’s not the only chapter. So I always ask people, and when I give talks I always ended with, what’s your next chapter?

Pamela Bardhi
Do you decide? You’re the author, right?

Ruth Gotian
Exactly.

Pamela Bardhi
So that analogy kind of ties in with one of my favorite quotes ever. A ship only sinks, if water gets into it. It is one of the most beautiful, yet most simple things I’ve ever read. But like that is so…

Ruth Gotian
That’s it.

Pamela Bardhi
You can navigate any water, the worst of storms? You can a lot of water on what you do. That’s when you sink. And that’s exactly what you just mentioned.

Ruth Gotian
You don’t want that cognitive load, you have enough things, you have to get somewhere on time, you have all these things you need to do. You have this craziness of trying to stay sterile and disinfect everything around. I mean, we have enough to worry about. So if you ask the high achievers, what they worry about they only worry about things that are in their control. They don’t worry about things that are out of their control.

I spoke to Devin Harris, who was one of the original Jamaican bobsledders in the Olympics. They’re in Jamaica, they haven’t seen snow or ice. And yet they got to the Olympics and met each other at the airport. That’s where they first met each other. They didn’t have a bobsled and they had rented one that’s worth worrying about. But they said we’ll make it happen. We’ll make do and they may do.

Pamela Bardhi
Wow.

Ruth Gotian
And they compete in the Olympics. Now Jamaica has a women’s bobsledding team too.

Pamela Bardhi
You just make it happen.

Ruth Gotian
You make it happen. And if it’s not today, it’ll be next week, next month next year.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s fascinating. And throughout your challenges, and also individuals that you’ve spoken with, you know, throughout the years, which has been an array of amazing people, what has been kind of like the top-secret to overcoming these challenges or getting past them or anything like that any anything that they’ve shared that was really fascinating?

Ruth Gotian
So they really shared that they know, whenever they hit a challenge that it’s not forever. It’s not insurmountable. They just haven’t figured out the answer yet. So they dig their heels in and buckle down, and they work to figure out the answer. They just didn’t figure it out yet. That’s why they don’t give up and we need people like that, right? That’s the only way we’re going to get treatments and cures for the things that we need treatments and cures for if people don’t give up.

Pamela Bardhi
Right. It’s part of it. And just for life in general. I mean, when you’re going through it, you know, knowing that it’s not forever. And one of my quotes is, you know, when there’s a thunderstorm and you see the rainbow, right after the storm, there’s always a rainbow.

Ruth Gotian
That’s right.

Pamela Bardhi
But I think that nature speaks a lot to who we are. You know, in a strange fashion. Science correlates with nature all the time too. So it’s just amazing how it’s all connected. And now through your experience Dr. Ruth, you know, what has been like your biggest piece of advice and biggest like moments in your studies and the most amazing people that you’ve interviewed throughout the years.

Ruth Gotian
One thing I found out is that high achievers perform at a rate of 400% more than the average employee. So what if we try to be high achievers. So what I have learned from all of these people, is so doable. We just didn’t know how to do it. But all of these people, or the astronauts I interviewed, were not accepted the first time they applied. They applied multiple times for years before they got accepted. The athletes did not make the Olympics, their first time.

I mean, one of the people I talked about was cut, and then afterward, because someone else didn’t perform, they invited her back to try out again, she like two weeks to get it together. So these are stories of people who don’t give up, they keep doing it. And I am really convinced that we can level up our own game, our own performance, our own achievements if we are intrinsically motivated to do so. So people are intrinsically motivated to make those changes to improve, but not just improve, Excel. And I can tell them how to do that. They got to do the work. I can tell you how to do that.

Pamela Bardhi
I knew this already go and get to it. But it’s just so much sense. And it’s just fascinating to know like this is the pattern between every successful human being. This is what culminates everybody sorts of in one nutshell, it’s just so so cool. Wow. And what has been your favorite story to hear throughout the years?

Ruth Gotian
Well, it’s interesting. I always ask the Olympic champions, where do you keep your medals? Which is your favorite. So for those who have multiple medals, very often the gold is not their favorite. It’s one of the others, which is interesting because there’s always a story behind it. But when I asked them, none of them have their medals on display. There was one that was it. None of the others had it on display. And I asked them where they keep it. And this one has it in the box under the bed. This one has it in a safe This one has in a brown paper bag in the sock drawer.

One of them gave it all the way to the Hall of Fame for his sport. And I’m always shocked by that. I said well, why? And they said it’s suffocating. Because it’s something you always have to measure yourself against. Now, remember, athletes, are usually getting it in their 20s. Some of the younger got that peak performance in their 20s. So they need to pivot and do some other things. They use their medals for their platform. All of the high achievers now give back their mentors. That’s why mentoring is taking two chapters in the book. All of them didn’t just receive mentoring but also they’re giving mentoring. They’re changing policy using their medals as a way to lift their platform. So they use it to be able to get to meet with politicians and meet with lobbyists and meet with congressional committees.

They’re able to open doors because of their metals. It was very interesting. There are so many good stories. I mean, I spoke to a member of the 1969 World Champion Men’s Chomsky and the World Series champ and I spoke to Scott Hamilton a figure skater, and Apollo Oh, no the speedskater and a bunch of Paralympians, because I don’t think they’re getting enough spotlight because we don’t see the Paralympics on television, we only see the Olympics. So I spoke to Chris Waddell, who is a Paralympic ski champion. He’s paraplegic, and he also climbed as a paraplegic climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Yes, and Nobel laureates and Tony Fauci. I mean, there’s, there are just great people who share their stories so willingly and beautifully. And you know what, they put their sweat pants on one leg at a time, just like the rest of us.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s amazing. And I’m blown away by the metals situation because you would think that you know, you work so hard for these…

Ruth Gotian
I was also shocked by that.

Pamela Bardhi
Now you work so hard for these medals and you want to you mentioned one of them has an in a sock drawer

Ruth Gotian
In the brown paper bag. But you know, it’s fascinating because last year there was somebody who won the Nobel Prize and that same day, that same day, he was submitting a grant. So he’s at his computer, there was another one who at his institution, the press conference had to be delayed because he had a class to teach and he was not willing to give up teaching that class. Even though he got a call a few hours earlier that he won the Nobel. He’s like I got a class to teach. They still have that Scott Hamilton was an Olympic champion.

It was the first gold medal in men’s figure skating and about a quarter of a century. And he said I’m not done yet. I still want to beat this guy in the world championship, so he completed the following year like most people stop after they get the goal. Anton Ohno wanted to try everything he possibly could after he retired. So he did everything from minerals to he won the mirrorball trophy on Dancing with the Stars.

Pamela Bardhi
Oh, my goodness, wow.

Ruth Gotian
It’s wild. It’s incredible.

Pamela Bardhi
That is incredible. Oh, my gosh. So that leads me to sort of my question of what’s the biggest piece of advice your older self would tell your younger self based on what you know now.

Ruth Gotian
So the biggest piece of advice I now know is when someone tells you No, that means not yet. When someone tells you, people might be envious and threatened by your success but know that the real pillars of society, the real mentors, want the mentee to outshine them. They measured their success by the success of their mentees, go find mentors like that.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s amazing. And now, with all this amazing work that you’re doing, what is next, in your world,

Ruth Gotian
I am writing this book, which we just approved, the title an hour ago is going to be called the Best Success Factor. I am literally, the first people to know it’s called the Best Success Factor, developing the mindset and skillset for peak performance. your listeners and literally the first to hear it, it’ll be out next winter 2022 I’m writing it now. It’s how I spend my nights and weekends. So you know, with the pandemic, there’s nowhere to go. So I just sit in front of my computer for endless hours.

That’s what I’m doing the out next winter. I’ll have to come back and share more detailed stories with you on the book next year. But I’m so excited because I’m an avid reader. So writing a book being on the other side of writing instead of reading, it’s different. I consume that knowledge, right? I read 70 to 100 books a year. So all of a sudden being on the flip side. Now I’m telling the story, not reading the story.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s incredible. Oh my goodness. Thanks for the sneak peek. I’m honored that we are the first to hear about it. Oh my gosh, I’m pumped for that.

Ruth Gotian
I cannot wait. You know, there’s something really special and really humbling about these high achievers. I looked for people who not just reached these incredible heights, but also made a point of giving back. And that is part of who they are. That is embedded in their fabric. And it’s either one on one, or it’s in groups, its foundations, whatever way that they turn it out, but it’s not about them all the time. Those are the kind of people I like to be around.

Pamela Bardhi
I cannot wait for it to cover up. So in the meantime, while we’re all anxiously awaiting your new book, where can everybody find you, doctor?

Ruth Gotian
So my website is ruthgotian.com. For those who wanted the passion audit, it’s ruthgotian.com/passionaudit. For those who want the mentoring team. It’s ruthgotian.com/mentoringteam and all the social media Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, it’s just my name ruthgotian.

Pamela Bardhi
Thank you so much Dr. Ruth for being here. Today. You are such a rockstar and I’m so pumped to see you.

Ruth Gotian
Thank you.

Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my incredible interview with the amazing Ruth Gotian