CFD 426 – Relationship Secrets and the Becoming a Better Leader

Scott Kriens, one of the founding fathers of the modern internet, reveals why the quality of your relationships determines the quality of your life.

Scott Kriens is the Chairman and former CEO of Juniper Networks. In 2010, Kriens and his wife Joanie founded 1440 Foundation and are now building 1440 Multiversity, a state-of-the-art immersive learning destination opening in May 2017 in Santa Cruz County, CA. The 75-acre campus will offer weekend and 5-day courses taught by world-class faculty, house up to 375 guests and support individuals in leading more integrated lives.  

Podcast Highlights

  • Who is Scott Kriens?

Scott started out as simply curious about the way things worked. You can learn a lot more by listening than you can by talking.

Scott’s path to the CEO of Juniper Networks started with learning early on that he should rely on his own judgment. After his experience in the computer industry of the 1980’s Scott was part of a company that went public. This, later on, put him into a position to get in on the ground floor of Juniper Networks, the company responsible for creating much of the infrastructure that the internet runs on today.

  • An Exercise In Leadership

In the case of developing computer technology, it can take up to a year and a half before you know whether or not your product works at all. Luckily enough for Scott, Juniper Networks was successful creating a working chipset more often than not.

  • What do entrepreneurs need to be aware of to be prepared in times of uncertainty?

The most important thing for a leader to do is, to tell the truth about their uncertainty and doubt. If you pretend there is no storm, you will be seen as not credible or that you think your team can’t be trusted.

Give yourself permission to say “I don’t know.”

  • What need do you see that make 1440 Multiversity required?

Scott believes that strong relationships are what is needed within the world of leadership. The most critical tonic for leading a healthy and rich life is strong relationships and how to excel at them.

“Relationship” should be a verb, not a noun. It’s an action, not just a thing.

  • Why did you take the risk on this?

Scott and his wife Joanie were thinking about the power of relationships and the impact on their own lives and that inspired the creation of their foundation. They discovered that being well being is about developing the skills that allow you to connect with people around you.

  • What is the 1440 Multiversity?

1440 is the number of minutes in a day, Scott’s wife chose the number as a reminder to be present. Be mindful is the only great use of your time.

The Multiversity is built in the redwood forest of the Santa Cruz mountains as a learning destination where students can come and relax and improve their relationships in the areas of life they want most.

Finding other people who are interested in the same things is a great way to learn.

  • Why did it need to be a physical place?

If growth and change are really important to you, there is some dedication that is necessary. Being surrounded by the things you are trying to change can make it pretty difficult to do it.

The time spent at the Multiversity is 10x more effective than piecing your learning together whenever you have a chance.

  • What are some of the best-received programs so far?

There are a number of teachers across a variety of disciplines that are coming to teach at the Multiversity. The majority of the programs are geared towards more than just adults, there are classes for everyone.

  • Where do you see the Multiversity going?

Scott hopes that the Multiversity and the teachings about relationships eventually become obsolete and unnecessary. In many parts of the world, relationships are as important if not more than reading, writing, and arithmetic. Scott believes that building good relationships is the best education you can get.


  • Scott’s Takeaway

Look courageously and authentically at who you are and what you wish you were but aren’t. Be willing to stare at that, and then the most critical part is to admit it to somebody else and ask for help.


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