Sean Costello is an entrepreneurial leader who values the right balance of culture and execution. He has founded multiple companies on the principles of patience and curiosity, and works hard to maintain a supportive atmosphere for his clines and employees. This has lead Sean to his contribution to Paper Napkin Wisdom: People all around you want to help, they just don’t yet know how.
In Sean’s experience, real connections become possible when you share with people how they can help you. We are all here to help unlock each other’s people and help each other succeed. In so doing, we ourselves will succeed by realizing our strength. Thinking of this another way, how effective would a sports team be if each player was wearing blinders and was unable to locate their teammates? The metaphor of the team can thus relate to family, an organization, a corporation, or any community of people that is reliant on one another.
The requirement or exercise within this philosophy, as Sean explains, is quite simple. It is about actively asking for feedback while simultaneously making it safe for sharing. Sharing, in this case, can mean everything from concerns to feedback to dreams. This creates an environment of possibilities.
Sean exploration as a microcosm for business - it cannot succeed without the appropriate amount of process, planning, preparation, and simulation. This has driven his fascination with the space program, while also helping him meet and develop a co-mentorship with someone he calls “Young Astronaut Abby”. Abby shared with him, in their first meeting, her dream of being the first astronaut to Mars. Sean challenged Abby to continue with and develop that dream, rather than dismissing it as childish whimsy. She has since spoken on a Ted X stage about acting and dreaming big, and leveraged her dream into other examples of success. This was able to occur because she shared her dream with Sean and gave him the awareness on how she could be helped.
Another example is quite personal for Sean. When his grandfather was about to turn 100, his family was flying into a remote town to celebrate. Sean wanted to offer him something unique to help him with that celebration, so on the flight there, he shared with the pilot the location of his grandfather’s farm. The farm happened to be near the airport, so Sean simply asked for a fly by. The pilot, of course, was more than happy to oblige and Sean was able to take photos of the farmhouse as they flew over to share with his grandfather and elevate his birthday celebration.
This is all to say that Sean enters every transaction, regardless of the situation, by sharing how he defines success with the other participants. For example, he was able to convince a customer to pay up front for a full year by offering a reduced price, all the while that up front cash was also helping Sean to succeed by providing him with financing.
In Sean’s experience, the best approach to relationships is to start by thinking “what do I need to do for them” rather than thinking “what do I need to demand”. The result will be more fulfilling for both parties.