They say you learn more from your mistakes than your successes.
For Christina Dyer, Founder of Noble Adventures, this has proven true.
We’re back for the second part of our special two-part episode. Do you remember the vision you had when you started your job or founded your company? Do you remember the many mistakes you made? In this episode, Dyer recalls the start of Noble Adventures, the pitfalls it fell into in the beginning, and what she learned from it that has translated into helping others in the same situation.
1. Learn common mistakes young entrepreneurs make and how, if left unchecked, can cause issues down the road.
2. How principles people learn on their Noble Adventures stick with them and why they keep investing year after year, even as costs have risen and people are cutting back.
Did you miss the first episode? Be sure to catch here!
We jumped into so much rich material that we had to bring Christina Dyer back for part two. Actually, we split up her first episode into two parts. So Christina is a leadership consultant, executive coach, an Adventure Retreat leader. And yes, in this episode you’re gonna see Mark Quinn’s emotions running high
The those Marco Show with Christina Dyer is back for part two and it starts right now.
Mark Kinsley: We’re talking with Christina Dyer. She’s a leadership consultant executive. Adventure Retreat Leader, which we’re gonna get to. She has a master’s in counseling and psychology, and as you can see, she’s really good at figuring out how to help leaders and organizations move themselves and their businesses and their cultures forward.
So Christina, I love where we’ve gotten into some real detail around, uh, vulnerability. Our good friend Doug Stewart always says, people connect with your vulnerabilities, not your victor. . And that’s right. Even even those who have been to our dream camp, uh, retreats, uh, they know that there’s a few rules about Dream camp.
And one of the rules is, uh, be vulnerable because we know that’s gonna lead to deeper connections. And since we started down the path here, just a little bit about talking about executive retreats, we gotta know more about your business. Noble Adventures. Mm-hmm. . And then after that, I want to get to your book because I want to know the Savvy Leadership Strategies for women because early in my career I got a front row seat and I was coached and trained and nurtured by female leaders.
And so I’m interested to see if any of that kind of bubbles up. Tell us first though, about Noble Adventures. and what you do because you’re taking trips all around the world and you’re taking people on these trips and it sounds super fun, but I think that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Christina Dyer: It’s the tip of the iceberg.
And thank you for saying that. So, noble Adventures was born when I was on a service, uh, trip in Rwanda. Um, I was, uh, there with a group that was helping survivors of the 1994 genocide. and um, there was an executive from Caterpillar with me, and he and I were talking as we were going out to do a one day safari during this whole week long project.
And there were a lot of hardships, there were a lot of mishaps, travel. Nothing teaches you about yourself better than travel and all the little frustrations because kind of it rises to the top right. Um, and we were laughing about bringing. Folks from Caterpillar to this place. And what kind of learning could you learn about your team when you were breaking down on the side of the road and the showers didn’t work, so you hadn’t showered for a couple of days?
All the different things that we experienced and we laughed, but I remember looking out the window and going, Hmm. And that was in 2006, so it. Kind of manifested in me. It took a long time to come to fruition because it was really too early in 2006 to start thinking that companies would pay for their teams to go to a developing country and do a service project.
And so that’s really what a noble adventures is. Is we take a team or we take a group of leaders, they don’t have to know each other because we’re really great at bringing team cohesion quickly, like the art of teaming. And we bring them to a place and we start with the basics. We start with who are you?
Where did, what are your values? We assess values. How do they fit into the culture that you are living and working in? And then where do you wanna go? So the whole week is kind. Starting with who you are and where you’ve been. And we do this thing very powerful, um, life maps where you plot out the highs and lows of your life and you really see where your values and your principles were formed, and you tell this to the group.
So that’s that first very vulnerable step that people are very cautious about, but it is transformational. .
Mark Quinn: Um, so when, when, when they come out of that, Christina, like, what, what are some of the things that you hear from those people? Like, they go on those adventures and then they’re learning about themselves and it’s through service and, but there’s a company in a corporate spin to that.
Like when they get done with that, like what are some of the, the, the outcomes from it? What are the, the people that go on these trips, what are they saying to you?
Christina Dyer: So one, um, one of the people that went was so vocal about. He is an entrepreneur and he runs his own insurance company. and he’s trying to get a second location, so his whole life is building, building, building business.
Right? He’s got two young kids and he said, I never have taken a whole week just to focus on me and myself. He said, I, I almost get. Chills talking about this because he cried like, I wanna be a better father. I wanna be a better husband. I wanna be a better leader for my team because of this experience.
Because we gave back. He saw, I mean it’s, it’s hard to. It’s hard to articulate. It’s like heart to heart, right? You’re heart to heart with almost everyone you meet because you are allowing and setting intention for this is what I’m gonna do this week. So you’re going within, I say, I like to say you go within to help those without.
And, um, that was one success. And he’s just booming because of that. He’s, he’s more engaged. He said he’s happier than ever with his wife and his. Another leader started off, um, working for a company she was not very happy with. She wanted to launch out on her own. She was very scared. She launched, she came back on the second leadership adventure with us.
I wanna hire an employee. She hired an employee. She is now the number one financial advisor in. Area and one of the top in the country, in her, um, in her industry. And she is starting to hire her whole team. And she said, I’ll do an noble adventure every year because it’s that time when she can set time aside.
And our service projects are action-based. So you’re doing leadership through a service project rather than just fake exercises in a hotel conference room. And that that last. Three or four days. I mean, you guys have probably been on leadership development experiences where you’re like, I’m gonna do this.
I’m gonna make this change forever, and then it’s gone. You know, in a short period of time, once you get back home and get into the, the routine of things, it’s gone. And that’s true for Noble Adventures where you get back into your routine. But we follow back up. We check back in out of, um, the next trip that we have coming up to Bali.
Four out of five of the people so far, our previous, um, clients, they just come back. They say, we’ve never experienced anything like this in our life. So, You know, we combine adventure and laughter and fun and camaraderie, little tequila and uh, you know, with that service and that leadership development. So we do amazing things.
You know, it sounds
Mark Kinsley: incredible and I think that’s such a key point, especially now when people, uh, I think are much more conscious of couple things. Number one, where they put their time and who they allow in their. They’re pods. Yes. You know, let’s face it, I mean, the pod became something that, uh, was developed.
Uh, you know, during covid you had your, your little bubble, your world. And I think a lot more people are very intentional about where they’re gonna put their time and the people they’re gonna allow in their lives. And the other one is, you know, as you head into these environments, that could be a little more challenging.
You know, economically, people are, you know, putting budgets under the microscope as well. Mm-hmm. . So that’s a huge testament to actually say, hey, People are putting their time and their money back into Noble adventures because of what it did for them. So let, let’s dig into it a little more though. So, great time, money, going to Noble Adventures.
You got into something that is critical for the outcomes and it’s actual change. How do you go about owning the change making process? because you said you check in with people and, and, and, and you kind of hold them accountable even after they’ve, they’ve gone on this magnificent adventure. But how are you measuring that, that change in a way?
Mark Quinn: And, and I would, I wanna add to what Mark asked you and say, how do you measure it in, in another way of saying it is how do you make it stick?
Christina Dyer: Yeah. Yeah. So that’s a, both of those are great questions. So I would say in this case, with Noble Adventures, there’s no quantitative measurement as of yet, but the qualitative measurement is all there.
We start with, where are you? We do assessments before they leave. We usually do a values-based assessment before anybody leaves on the trip. Um, I’ve also done Myers-Briggs with them so that they understand a little bit better. Their basic personality and how they react to environments and stimulus and make decisions and all those things.
Um, and then we work on what it is they say they wanna work on during the trip, during those meditation and reflective times, we do yoga, we do, um, meditative, we do gratitude exercises. We do all of these things, and then they reflect on those. So there’s time and space around for those things to be worked on.
And. The really heartfelt truths about what they’re struggling with come out. Then when we go back and we follow up with them, I will say, I just. Talked to somebody that went last week and I said this was an issue for you. How are you doing with this? And then they talk through it and they say it’s, I’m glad you’re asking me this because it’s so easy to put it aside and not revisit it, but here’s what I’m doing, and then it’s now coming 2023, this is what I’m gonna work on for the rest of the year.
So I think, um, I make it my responsibility to touch base with people and keep it alive because that’s what really is important to me. And, um, qualitatively I can say that the changes have been pretty amazing. 1, 1, 1 guy was not very happy in his. By the time he left, he had made the decision to move on to ask his partner to marry him.
He moved to another state. I’m talking within like three weeks to a month, and he is now out there building this new business for himself. He’s becoming an entrepreneur. He’s moved to Colorado. And he is genuinely happy. Now, he has a lot of struggles because he came into this with a lot of baggage and noble adventures was the first place he was ever vulnerable with anybody about some of the things in his past.
But he kind of became addicted to it at that point where he said, . I wanna keep doing this. I wanna keep talking about this. He actually got sober on the trip. It was pretty amazing. Like some of the changes
Mark Kinsley: you wanna talk about, like, wow, some super stressful life changes. You’re talking about job change, marriage and moving, and you throw in, hopefully there was no death because that rises up to the top of that list.
But why? It’s, it’s, it’s crazy. It almost sounds like there are people, many people. who are just living inauthentically and they need something to massively create a pattern interrupt for them. Yes. And, and this is a way to do it. And I think people start feeling that. And they’re like, where, where do I go?
What do I do? And then, you know, if you’re listening right now and you’re, you’re in that space, you do have to like, really? Yeah. Yank it through the guardrail and get off this highway and do something. To give yourself that time space to evaluate to, to, it doesn’t mean you have to leave the highway of life that you’re on completely, but observe it, uh, from a different vantage point and with different people and with different inputs.
Uh, because otherwise you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re stuck. And I think a lot of people end up feeling stuck. You know,
Mark Quinn: mark, I think that’s so true, and, and I want to hear Christina kind of talk about this, and mostly now you guys, I mean, COVID did some weird things to people. I mean, you know, the last couple years, I mean, I, I find I was sucking to my wife about it yesterday.
I find that I, I look at certain things differently now after all that craziness has happened. I, I value my relationships differently. Different about who? I’ll let into my circles, maybe there’s Vulner Christina. Like what? What’s changed for us hasn’t, have you noticed a change in terms of how people are looking at life and what they’re valuing is, is that, is that, are you seeing that come out in leaders today?
In business? I’m seeing
Christina Dyer: a lot of anxiety. Anxiety. Yeah, anxiety. Yeah.
Mark Quinn: Um, and it’s so hard isn’t, I mean, people get suffocated by that. It’s like they get strapped down and it, and it’s hard for them. They don’t feel like, and to mark, to your point, it’s like you just wanna say to people, and we’ve all been there.
I’ve been in that point where I feel suffic and it’s like, Hey, you just gotta take one step. You don’t have to solve the whole thing right now. Just take one little step. What’s the next, next, next thing. But anyway, go ahead and talk through
Mark Kinsley: that. I, in your and, and just like to, to input one more thing as you talk through this, because I.
You’re a counselor. Um, I have spent time in counseling to work on my shit. Yeah. And one thing that I learned early on that has been incredibly helpful is, for me, anxiety was just a wet blanket holding down real emotions. Mm-hmm. . And so I was not letting sadness Okay. Or fear. Really bubble up to the surface.
And you know, those emotions are information. They’re there for a reason. They’re part of our evolution, our biology. And so I think when people are feeling anxiety, there’s something real underneath there that needs to get out and become volcanic. Hopefully not in a destructive way.
Christina Dyer: Right, right. And anxious people, you know, there’s something, there’s a true diagnosis called gen generalized anxiety disorder, and that’s when you.
The anxiety that you’re feeling and you project it onto every area of your life, right? So now you’re anxious about traffic, you’re anxious about the weather, you’re anxious, and you become so paralyzed. And then you start to analyze yourself and say, what’s wrong with me? And I must be, and all that stuff.
And I think that that is magnified right now. Partly also because of our political environment and how charged that has become, that people are afraid to say what they wanna say or they say anything and everything they wanna say without regard for other people. And so people are just overly reactive and overly sensitive.
So one of the things that I love about being on a Noble adventures with people is I really don’t have to ask to put the phones. They just leave them away in their room and they’ll check on ’em during breaks and that, but they really disconnect and there’s a sense, especially being in nature, we do almost all of our learning.
Um, we did it out on the ocean in Costa Rica, just in August, right. We did our leadership development sitting on our yoga mats on the beach and took a break to just listen to the waves. Connecting back to nature really can transform you into understanding, I just need to breathe. I just need to get back to my center.
I’m safe. Everything’s okay. And then when you get back to the noise, you can kind of go back to that space and say, I’m okay. Mindfulness is a big. Help for all of the anxiety that people are feeling nowadays. I’m not sure that that answered your question. Yeah, it absolutely
Mark Kinsley: did. I, I think
Christina Dyer: you’re, but I do wanna comment what you said is that it is a wet blanket for the underlying fears that people have.
It’s like O c D, you know, when people start counting and tapping things, it’s the underlying anxiety. Fear of what the, what might happen, right? Would either love where we’re safe or fear where we’re not safe. And that’s really what a lot of those things boil down to. And learning to trust the world. Trust is foundational to everything for me.
Mark Kinsley: Yeah. And I think that, you know, I would go into like this constant fight or flight mm-hmm. , and I’m like, this is not like this. Whiplash is just exhausting. And so yes, getting to the core of those things and finding the space and finding the people and. Actual trained people like yourself. Yeah. Instead of wacky coachy guy on the internet, I think is is key and, and I’m telling you, you know, from my own personal experience, being confronted with another human being face-to-face Yes.
Really is a massive change maker because you can’t run from it and you have to, you have. Spend time in those emotions, which are really uncomfortable sometimes, but to tie it all back to leadership. I mean, those are moments when you’re having to be vulnerable with yourself. And if you can practice that vulnerability, you’re gonna be able to be more present and open with your team and it’s gonna in influence your culture and it’s gonna have all these, these trickle down effects.
Christina Dyer: Yeah, because part of what the struggle, it’s like in any industry, especially the retail industry, like everybody’s hurting right now for labor shortages, right? And so attrition and retention are two big things that everybody has to focus on. Well, imagine the loyalty you would get from your people if you said, We have some shit to work on as a team.
We are gonna take this trip. We are gonna go, we are gonna be in nature. We’re gonna do some good in the world with real people that has real impact. We’re gonna focus on some of our issues. We’re gonna do assessments, we’re gonna do all of that stuff, and we’re gonna have fun and we’re gonna laugh together and we’re gonna sing together and we’re gonna do ride horses.
We rode horses up to our water volcano on our trip. All these kinds of things create intent, you know, incredible at, uh, retention and loyalty. You could spend, you know, our trips are like seven to 10,000. You could spend $7,000 in a raise that the person has to pay taxes for. It just, they just pay their bills with it.
Right? Or in some kind of a program, in a ballroom, some. Nothing is gonna bring the team cohesion, the transformational self-awareness and the impact of each person on one another. Like when you’re saying working face-to-face with another human being. That opening exercise where everyone shows like their highs and lows of their life.
One woman came to me and she had a pretty rough. She had a parent that was murdered and um, she came to me and she said, I thought I had tough problems. She said, some of these people, oh my God, I need to stop and support them. And that’s one of the biggest things that I learned. in grad school is that when you are so self-absorbed into your own stuff, the best thing to do is to get outside yourself and go help someone else, because there’s always somebody that’s worse off than you.
Mark Kinsley: Easy on that microphone,
Mark Quinn: sir. No, I know. I, I got so excited. Emma, like, had to raise my hand. . Um, so Christina, what I wanted to say was like, can I, can I, Jump next. I’m so excited. No, I, I just think about this and I get so fired up about it. It makes me so frustrated because I hate it when leaders of companies, they get upset with their people because they leave them and then I wanna go wake the hell.
Up. People don’t leave jobs. They leave people. And so stopping. So self-absorbed, and then you can check me on this. If I’m like overstepping or I’m not, I don’t have it framed right, but get, get your head out of your ass and pay attention to the people around you. Ask for feedback. Become vulnerable. Make an effort to really have empathy for what’s going on around you, because you’ll be amazed at what can, what can come from that.
And so, It’s a, a leader that is self-absorbed and worried about their image. They’re worried about how people see them. They’re worried. The performance when they have to go into the boardroom and like stop it. Like stop thinking about it that way. Start thinking about your people and how you can help them and serve them and, and bring the business along, because I’m gonna tell you like it’s not gonna happen unless you have the people in your life, the people in your company, not just.
on board, but enthusiastic because you’re such a good leader. They wanna serve you. They wanna do, they’ll go through a wall with you. So if you’re listening to this right now and you’re a manager of people and you have a team that will not go through a wall for you, I’m gonna tell you, you need to go see Christina and get some, uh, get some leadership experience or go on one of these trips and look inward.
You can be that like everyone can be, that your labor shortages could be much differently. Your bottom line performance could be much better, but they just, they’re so self-absorbed, they don’t see that opportunity. Am I off base?
Christina Dyer: You’re a hundred percent right. And the foundation. under that self-absorption is fear.
Yeah. It’s, again, back to fear. I’m afraid what they’re gonna think, I’m afraid, what I’m gonna feel. I’m afraid that there’s gonna be losses or bottom line, you know, all of these things. It’s all based on fear, so it’s giving yourself permission to say to people, how can I improve? But not just paying lip service to it either.
Right? You’ve got to take action based on what they’re telling you. Otherwise, that trust is doubly harmed. Because people are gonna be terrified to tell you the truth, cuz they could lose their job. That’s a great point. Think out And they don’t do anything with it. Then everyone is going, well, I told them this and nothing has happened.
Nothing has changed. Oh my God, I’m gonna lose my job. What do you think’s gonna happen? Like you gotta check in, you gotta be, it’s just such, it’s such important, important work and when it’s done right, it is just so transformational. It’s it really the ripple. Of leaders at the top down to all these um people is um, exponential.
Mark Quinn: before we, before we close this out, Christina, I just wanna share a thought with you and I’ll let Mark or wrap us up, but I, I just wanna tell you, like, I feel you mm-hmm. and, and what you’re doing, and I think with, uh, people today, they need it. Yeah. More than ever. And it’s not just a bottom line thing, it’s a personal thing.
It’s for them. Uh, I love that you’re, you have such a command of the topic and of people in humanity and, um, there’s such a, it’s a business thing, but it’s really a personal. Thing and it’s a, a growth thing and serve yourself because I, I, I, weird I heard on an Oprah Winfrey show like 50 years ago or however long, but if you don’t take care of you, you cannot possibly take care of your family.
You cannot possibly take care of your business. So look at yourself and, and be vulnerable and just say it’s cool, it’s fine. Like it’s okay to not be. .
Christina Dyer: Yeah, it’s okay not to have all the answers, but Yep. Also from Oprah, who got it from Maya Angelou is when we know better, we do better. Yep. And most people just need to know and have permission and feel safe enough to do it, and then they’ll do better.
Mark Kinsley: yes ma’am. Mm-hmm. and I’ll, I’ll add to that and say, you know, from somebody who doesn’t care for themselves the way that I’ve always needed to care for myself. Mm-hmm. , I would get stuck just not knowing what to do, not even knowing what I needed. And so in that situation, my default these days is Action reveals answers.
Yeah. Who cares what it is? If you’re listening to this and you’re like, okay, what do I do? Just say, screw it. Pay the money, do the thing, go right now, like that action is going to reveal the an, the answers you. And the questions you didn’t even know to ask, and it’s gonna give you access to parts of yourself that you didn’t know existed.
You’re gonna come back, uh, able to care for yourself in a new way. So if you’re feeling stuck, action, you, you gotta do something to break out of that pattern. And
Christina Dyer: when you are part of a team, there’s somebody coming to Bali with us in May from Advanced Helicopter, and it’s not just her coming now. She’s the, the one who’s getting rewarded with this epic.
you know, um, reward slash leadership development opportunity. But her whole team, the whole company’s like, are you getting excited? Where are you going? What are you doing? Have you heard? Are you talking, the whole place is becoming unified and engaged around this one thing. And the minute there’s like, oh, should I, should I, should I, and then once the yes comes, the incitement rushes in and people are like, I’m going to Bali.
You know, I’m going to Africa. All these really cool. And they’re working on themselves. So
Mark Kinsley: it’s a beautiful, I love that. Christina, I, I can’t leave the audience without circling back to one thing that we said we were gonna get to. You wrote a book called Savvy Leadership Strategies for Women. Give us a couple.
You know, we are in an industry that tends to be male dominated, and there are some incredible female leaders and leaders of diverse backgrounds that are starting to emerge. we’re, we’re I think as an industry, um, championing that, uh, but it’s still highly underrepresented. Give us a couple things that you would, you would tell, uh, savvy women if they’re gonna be in those leadership positions based on your book.
Christina Dyer: So one of the things that I wrote about, And it was during the time in my life, right? So I was trying to, noble adventures was alive and well in my brain, but I hadn’t quite launched it. But I was still building my business and I had, um, three boys under five and I was doing it from home just trying to do so much.
And that is not a situation that a lot of men experience, but it’s a situation that. A lot of, if not most women experience is trying to balance that. And we hear it, but we just pay lip service to it. But it, it’s a real situation. Right? So one of the things that I write about is how you. You measure your days by doing so many things for other people, and when you drop into bed at night exhausted, you know that at least you’ve done A, B, and C for the people that you love in your life, and you are gonna have to come second.
And then being able to find chunks of time to focus on that and given yourself the permission. Women need to give themselves permission to. Strong to be tough to make mistakes because the rules have changed and we don’t, don’t really know how to be in the workplace with. Some of the comments that might get thrown at us, we, we don’t know what to do.
Same thing I’ll say with men. They don’t know what to do with women in the workplace because of they’re afraid. I have three sons, right? They’re all like, I don’t approach anybody. They have to come to me cuz I’m scared to death to do anything wrong. Right? So I think that, uh, for women leaders today, there’s a lot.
giving yourself permission to make mistakes, to be scared, but to get out there and stand in your own power and know what you are there to do. Like, you know, there’s, I don’t know if you’ve heard of the book, um, I don’t know what it’s called, but she just starfish, right? It’s standing in your own power, like arms up, legs out, like I am powerful and, and marching into a place and just, um, standing in your own strength.
And then the, the first, the first principle of. Leading where you are, which is what I talk about, no matter where you are, be the leader that you wanna be is self-mastery and self-awareness. Like figure your shit out. Do what you can to work it through, and then step out into the world and be brave. I think that’s probably a good summation of that.
Mark Kinsley: Yeah. Wow. This is, uh, this is like a go back with your notebook type episode. Christina, thank you so much for being on the show. I’m so thankful for her Nanny for introducing us. If you wanna find out more about Noble Adventures and Christina, go to Christina Dyer, d y e r, so Christina Dyer international.com.
We’ll put that in the show. Okay, so this episode obviously is gonna be email@example.com. You can just go over there and search for Christina’s name. Hey, Christina, did we not ask you anything that you would like to share as a final thought or maybe, uh, something else that, that people could, you know, have as a takeaway?
Christina Dyer: One thing is that I have two websites. Christina Dyer International is my coaching and consulting as, and then Noble Adventures has its own website that goes through all of the trips and all that information that we, we have as well. But I think it’s just that, um, we’ve been through a lot in the last few years with the pandemic and that just be gentle with each other and give each other grace because we’re all doing our best for the most part.
And, um, Go to work, grow the business, do all of that. But see people, my son says Saana, which is Swahili for I C U, like see people for who they are. Take away the titles and the positions and the authority, and just connect with people heart to heart. I think that’s what’s gonna save the world.
Mark Quinn: I love that.
That’s so good. Empathy is everything, right? Mm-hmm. . So like, I just wanna say one final thing. If you’re listening to the show, um, either on iTunes or Spotify, uh, go in and, and give us a review. We’d appreciate that, but way more importantly, You’re listening to this show and there’s someone in your mind or in your heart that needs to hear it.
Uh, they need to hear Christina’s message. Uh, they need to maybe, um, become a better leader or potentially go on a trip with her. So please share it with them. Uh, make sure we, we share this and, and we get everyone around the campfire that we can because there’s great messages inside of it. And Christina, we’re so grateful for you and hopefully, uh, you enjoyed the last, uh, 45.
An hour in of your time and you felt like, uh, it was a good use of your time as well.
Christina Dyer: A hundred percent. You guys are wonderful for bringing this out into the world. I really, I really, really appreciate you and what you’re doing. I mean, it’s pretty amazing and I appreciate your vulnerability and honesty too.
Mark Kinsley: Sure. It’s great to be here with you, Christina, and we can’t wait to, uh, hopefully have some adventures with you in person at some point and then meet and probably raise a glass of tequila. That’s right, .
Christina Dyer: Cheers. Thank you. Cheers.