Video Transcript

00:09 Ric Elias: Today, I wanna share with you what it was like to be on that plane. And I wanna share with you also something I haven't shared with anybody, which is, "What did it mean to the life of our company?" I had to focus so much energy on my calendar and my to-do list and I had this sense of, there's so many things I wanted to do that I never got to do. There were so many people I wanted to reach out, there were so many hugs I wanted to give, there were fences I wanted to mend. There were things I wanted to experience and I postponed them and now it was too late. Nothing else mattered, not another deal, not another million bucks, not another nothing. I just really wished I could see my kids grow.

00:47 Elias: And I was given a chance with no suffering, no one died. It was the perfect near-death experience to be able to say goodbye to my life, to be able to be very truthful to myself about what mattered and didn't, and then have a chance to come back. And then one day, a question came to my mind which has changed the trajectory of my life as a CEO. That question was, "If I was not afraid of dying, why am I afraid of failing?" Reality is, I was keeping a lot of really talented people pushed down and I was forcing our organization into slower growth by my own constraints.

01:29 Elias: My fear of failure, of letting go that someone could do it as well, or better than me or thinking that I could do everything better than anybody, was driving my behavior. So I decided in a very methodical fashion that I was going to get four people ready to take over the day-to-day of the company and I was gonna give up control. And we did that at the end of 2009, and I tell you, I love my job. They have to deal with a lot of stuff. I have no clue what's happening. And I don't think it's a shocker that we've gone from 350 employees to 1,250 employees. That happened because they're better than me at doing a lot of things that I thought I was better than them at doing. And we, as a by-product of that, are so much healthier as a company.