Video Transcript

00:09 Ted Leonsis: Right here in the front.

00:12 Audience Member: ...to teach them and have them make their own?

00:20 Leonsis: The question is, role modeling for your children. And I have to say that's what I'm most proud of. I have a son who just graduated from University of Pennsylvania, and just a beautiful young man. And the thing I'm most proud of is that he's a self-starter. He volunteers and gives back. He was at that playground at 6:15 the other morning, and I got this wonderful email from one of the volunteers who said, "Hey, I was sawing wood with this young man and then serving lunch with this young man and we worked all day, and I knew him as Zach, and I just now found out that he's your son." And that honestly made me feel great, and I give all the credit to my wife, but you role model that.

01:24 Leonsis: And my daughter is very, very active in my film making and and filmanthropy and studying at Georgetown and is volunteering because they've seen friends that stay in by themselves, they're always online, they're always playing video games, no offense to the previous speaker, that those are the cynical, skeptic people, the whiners and the complainers. And that if you manage your time, and you have that North Star, that I'm going to be happy, I'm going to be integrated into multiple communities of interest. And guess what? They got great grades, they're well-liked, they're well-adjusted, they're already happy on this road to self-actualization. So, most of the emails that I get after people read my book are young people who basically say, my mother and father, just like your mother and father, never talked to me about being happy. They always talked to me about being successful as if it was a given that success would lead to happiness. And the message of the book is that if you're happy, you're more likely to be successful. So, next? Yes, sir.

02:52 Audience Member: Hi, good afternoon, I really enjoyed that. My business, we own private schools for autistic children, and whenever we asked our staff to volunteer, we get a very low return rate on that. And my question goes to, if they're giving all of themselves all day, is it unreasonable to ask them to give more?

03:12 Leonsis: Well, autism is a cause that... You were echoing, but I think you were talking about autism?

03:18 Audience Member: Yeah, correct.

03:19 Leonsis: Autism is a cause that we have a deep connection to. For many years our goal-tender, Olie Kolzig, was the leading advocate for autism. His beautiful, kind, healthy, perfect, beautiful wife, and his son Carson's autistic. And Olie made it a goal and mission to publicly talk about what was important to families and to celebrate these children that are autistic. And so I've seen how his celebrity, and our work, then funding, help. Now, I got up this... I was in California yesterday. I got in at 1 o'clock in the morning last night.

04:07 Leonsis: I was up at five, I've already done my blog posts. We're having a charitable event tonight, and I had exchanged a bunch of emails on it. I drove here, I'm hopefully doing a public service by speaking, and I believe that you can role model and manage your time to do the right things the right way. And I think you can find lots of examples and show people that volunteering and giving back is a selfish act, not a selfless act. It feels really good that the returns that you get from doing it, from both a business standpoint and a personal development standpoint, far outweigh the units of work that you put into it. Okay, one last one, and then I will finish on time.

05:04 Audience Member: … why industry is dedicated to the prolongation of life and the betterment of lives. Why are they so blind, and if you were to run the most successful pharmaceutical company, what would you do differently?

05:25 Leonsis: Question was on pharmaceutical companies, and why is the healthcare system and most of the companies viewed negatively in public perception, and why is the delivery system so broken. If I knew that, I would probably be President of the United States. But I will say that they've lost what their higher calling is. The public facing of pharmaceuticals, I think, is not helping the industry as a whole. That the industry is about erectile dysfunction and restless legs syndrome and so I think we've lost the higher calling, although I can see how erectile dysfunction could be a higher calling for some, but I do think that our system and I live in Washington and I am involved in some things has just ground to a halt and that we need a bolt from the blue to fix this.

06:38 Leonsis: Tom Friedman just wrote this unbelievable new book called 'That Used to be Us'. And it's breathtaking 'cause it really models what happened to us, how did we go from being this city on the hill, this wonderful beacon of democracy and pro-action and entrepreneurs and being respected around the world, and how did we lose that. And a lot of it comes from where like a fifty-year-old company that's getting its ass kicked by the young attacking companies of the world.

07:20 Leonsis: I mean that's literally what's happening to us. Every company that I ever created, they got scale, attacked a dumb old company with old technology, and I urge you to read the book, but his belief is that what we need is somebody to come and say "I'm running for President. These are the five things I'm gonna fix. I'm not gonna run for re-election. Follow me and let's fix it." And I think all those industries need something like that and that they need to articulate that higher calling and maybe given, maybe we talk about erectile dysfunction or high blood pressure at the very end, it says if you're poor and can't afford it, we might have something for you. Maybe that should be the ad that you're in it together and you are in public service and the community would embrace you more. Thank you. Appreciate it.