Dr. Paul G. Stolz was born to work a room. He does it naturally at universities like Cal Poly, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, and Princeton. (Where his lectures on Entrepreneurship and Adversity training are standing-room-only.) And he does it in the TED format, where his January 2020 talk on Adversity and Grit broke most records for viewership in his sector.) But the rooms Paul really works best are the small ones. Why? Because conversation and ideation are his passions. As a justly celebrated professor and coach, his personal gift to most interactions is almost ironic: he listens better than you do. Having Paul lead Sabatigo's Wonder-Walks all over the streets of Paris and Berlin--as he guides our Sabatigoers in Adversity and Grit training while using real examples of history and culture to make his points--will be amazing for all of who who are there for the experience.
The Mission Mindset
Paul's biggest reach as a thinker has been through his best-selling books. Almost nobody in his interdisciplinary space of leadership and innovation has published even two major books. (Usually one book get sufficient notoriety built.) But Paul has written five and seen them translated into 16 languages. All the while he has been on a nearly indefatigable mission to help leaders understand where excuses end and solutions start. Along the way, he has wracked up a celebrity-status in the leadership development world that's put him in a chair next to Oprah and made him the "go-to" expert on what resilience means to the leadership health of individuals and their organizations.
Harvard Business Review named Paul to their elect Board of Business Mentors. Not to be outdone, Harvard Business School adopted his research and assessment tools on adversity for their MBA and Executive Education program. As his reputation for amazing chops as a business educator has grown, so has the success of his own business, PEAK Learning. Now with clients on six continents and physical locations in nine countries, Paul's consultancy is literally changing the world. Accolades have naturally followed:
HR Magazine has called him "one of the top-ten global thinkers today"
Executive Excellence designated him one of the "greatest thinkers of our time"
In Hong Kong, he has been named "thought leader of the year"
He has been feted as the "millennial thinker for Singapore"
Harnessing What's Hard
Paul's greatest contribution to business leadership can be boiled down to a question that's both simple and highly complex. Namely, can human beings learn to convert brutally hard challenges into super-powerful fuel? Paul's groundbreaking research says yes, and the world agrees. But if this plainly stated and much-tested thesis has found global resonance, the proverbial devil is in the details. And that's where Paul's mega-success as an executive coach has dotted i's and crossed t's for some of the most powerful executive leadership teams in the world. Why? Because grit and resilience may be present in all of us. But they require a complicated training and efficacy-climb to be "naturalized" as responses to deep adversity. Paul has trained his powerful clients to slow down, dig-in deeply, and build the solutions they need right there on the foundational fortitude of their own grit.
The Great Questioner
It isn't really impressive that when Paul gets a call from Oprah, he takes it. (Wouldn't we all?) What's impressive is that Paul treats people who don't have power and prestige yet as the epicenter of his world, always. Because Paul unfailingly returns passion with passion, he is unmatched as a co-creator and brainstorming genius. As a natural-born teacher whose intellect is never sated, Paul knows what he has said well a thousand times. He inherently cares more about what he doesn't know and hasn't heard yet. Ever the cultivator of his own curiosity, he has a nearly unbounded interest in exploring what might succeed. He habitually follows a practice that most of his clients adopt, because it's so much about the future. He always asks:
What is the best possible outcome you want now. What. can you identify as the high-five success we can both yield from this exchange?
Then with his uncanny ability to make whomever he is listening to feel like they're Bill Gates with a new idea to chew on, Paul helps guide each Zoom he does toward what the loftiest goals were for the session. You may have talked about your board of directors thwarting every good idea you have. Or that your went to a weak college that gives no gilding to your LinkedIn profile. Or that you've suffered a hard bereavement you can't get past. When you talk to Paul, you don't overcome those things. You do believe that you will, though. And that matters in the reboot of mindset that Paul believes we all need in our toolkits.
Grit and Sabatigo
At Sabatigo, we are exulted to have Paul joining us as a Disruptor for Grit and Innovation. He is thrilled, too:
I can't wait to lead grit sessions with Sabtigo's Culture Disruptors all over Paris and Berlin. We can teach leadership and resilience in those nooks and crannies of urban space and honor those heroes and martyrs from the past, whose lives unfolded exactly where we will walk and learn. Amazing. There's nothing I think emerging leaders need more than this kind of gut-punch point of view.
As Sabatigo Director Doug Mackaman says, "Paul's approachability and affability will put our travelers at ease right away. You meet this guy whose clients are so big that he can't even say who they are, and you think that celebrity will come with attitude, right? Until you see that you matter more to Paul than he does. That's rare."
We're especially excited to see Paul unleashed on the entrepreneurial ecosystems of Paris and Berlin. Just as we can't wait for him to help us all dive into the interconnectedness of Sabatigo;'s core questions: what is a purpose-driven life? What does balance really look like in a busy world? How do we hold space for what's hardest in life, so that we convert it into our food, our fuel? What are the terms of a practice--a discipline, even, that constitute a training regimen for being better at the remarkable walk of life.