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Pharmacy Residency Podcast

Feb 9, 2018

Finding satisfaction in the right residency or job involves more looking in than out, so I brought in Don Hutcheson, a prior service member, now a lifelong entrepreneur, inventor, author and coach who hosts the podcast: “Discover Your Talent—Do What You Love,” three days a week, which he created to help you find your true talents and use them to build a career of success, satisfaction and freedom. He’s never had a “boss” and has created 6 innovative companies in advertising, publishing, coaching and career planning—and now on the Internet—over the last 40 years. You can find him here:

Full Transcript:


Welcome to the Pharmacy Leaders Podcast with your host Tony Guerra. The Pharmacy Leaders Podcast is a member of the Pharmacy Podcast Network with interviews and advice on building your professional network brand and a purposeful second income from students, residents and innovative professionals.

Okay, welcome to the Pharmacy Leaders Podcast. Today we have special guest Don Hutcheson. Don Hutcheson is a lifelong entrepreneur, inventor, author and coach. He hosts a podcast, discover your talent, do what you love, three days a week, which he created to help you find your true talents and use them to build a career of success, satisfaction and freedom. He's never had a boss and he's created six innovative companies in advertising, publishing, coaching and career planning and now on the internet over the last 40 years.

Don welcome to the Pharmacy Leaders Podcast.

Tony thank you so much. It's a pleasure to connect with you here.

Well, what I like to do every once in a while is bring in an expert just like you do you're very consistent in bringing them in once a week. But pharmacists often tend to stay within their group just as nurses stay within their group and physicians in their group and often outside perspectives are really helpful and I'm especially excited that you are a humanities undergraduate major, I'm an English major. I remember you're I think a Russian language's major, is that right?

Yeah language and literature, yes.

Yeah, so we're getting kind of this thought process that well let's create this curriculum, let's put them into stem and that's going to solve things but I find the humanities background actually tends to work really well for the kind of things that people come into now which is a lot of uncertainty. So can you first tell us a little bit about where you've been and how you've gotten here but also make sure to include the humanities as it kind of relates to your journey?

It's funny because you talk about the humanities being an advantage it's a huge advantage. I was just reading in I don't know, IT magazine I guess a month or so ago that even in Silicon Valley where, you know, you'd think that the technicians or the scientist and the software people would be, would dominate the people that run those organizations say that more and more people with the humanities background are vital because if they have a dozen it exchanges as there what do I call it? Unloading or on boarding a new client 9 or 10 of those meetings over a period of a couple of months are all, they're not about the technology, they're about the collaboration and creativity and relationships. And humanities people do that better than technical people.

Yeah, no I absolutely agree. I just heard someone talk about the ring of guy gees which I can't remember the philosopher but basically the story was that if someone was invisible would they do bad things and then we think about trolling and the internet and, you know, this is from Aristotle maybe, you know, thousands of years ago and here how pertinent these kinds of things are today. Well what I want to get from you because you have this wealth of experience especially with leading people to or helping people get to where they want and engage with their talents. Tell me a little bit about what it is to look at oneself holistically.

Well yeah of course, it's my pleasure. I had, you asked me a minute ago and I got off on that humanities thing. I, after the tour duty for three years in the military in the army I've graduated from Emory with this degree in Russian language and literature and I was going to be a teacher. So I got this great job and I loved literature and art and three months before I started a friend had this idea for a magazine that was about hiking, biking, canoeing culture in the environment. It was underfunded, he worked at Delta smart guy and I just thought about it and thought no I don't want to jump into the matrix right now I just want to explore this. I don't, can't tell you why I did it and so, you know, over the course of seven years this guy who majored in literature and wasn't interested in business learned everything they wish to learn about business from the ground up because I had to. Not just about publishing but about marketing and how it all works and that led me into eight years later I saw my interest there and it got me into the advertising business which I was in for about 10 years and that turned out to be very fruitful because I had some really brilliant partners. And then I got into this space that we're talking about right now serendipitously like a lot of things happen. One of our superstars at my firm Hutcheson Shutsy was talking to me at a cookout we were having about how she moved from a private school in Atlanta to Brown University and then to Hutcheson Shutsy. And I was just, I've always been curious about what makes people successful and so I said well, okay so what did you do? Did you talk to a coach or a counselor? And she said well, I went through this assessment that told me how I was hardwired and I said oh like Myers Bridge or like strong or campbell or drinks binders and she said no, no this was about how you're innately hardwired to communicate, problem-solve, learn, make decisions, etc. And at that time Tony, this was way back, this was in nineteen I was talking to her in 1988 so I'm really ageing myself here. But this was a 7-hour assessment over two days.

Seven hours, oh my gosh.

Seven hours, yes so your listeners are now clicking off this podcast, right?

The podcast will be 25 minutes but the assessment is seven hours.

Okay, so I found out how I was hardwired. You get this long feedback and report and everything and it nailed every aspect of me that that I didn't know before and I've been through all the other assessments and thought I knew my personality and my interest and values and all that.

So this was seven hours long. So tell me a little bit about it.

Well it was seven hours. You didn't check boxes like you do on all the other assessments. You were given what are called work samples again this was involved to GE when they were trying to find out who would make a good line worker, who would make a good marketing director, engineer, CEO, human resources person. So you got these almost like games just looking at images or figuring out how you put something together or solve problems and they're timed there're 19 of them and it's fascinating, it was totally fascinating. And so I did that and then came back a week later and found out things about myself that I didn't have any clue about and like I said I'd been a good student and I had a good career really moving along. But because of that experience I ended up all about 18 months later after 12 years in the ad business selling a very successful company to a second largest ad conglomerate in the world. And with a brand psychologist we created a, we got the rights to that assessment and we created a program that helps people figure out not just their hardwiring and talents but how they are overall as an intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical, relational being so that they can develop a strategy and plan or personal vision for their lives and we did that for 11 years before we sold the company and coincidentally as I told you in the pre-interview chat. After that was in 2001 so now we're coming back in 2018 and we're introducing this modality that's been used on tens of thousands of people and the assessment used on over a million people. And we're offering it to people around the world off of our podcast.

So tell me a little bit about what it means to not be conscious about who you are? So you talked about this assessment and tell me maybe a success story or what happens before and after someone takes this assessment?

Yeah that's a fine question. We look at ourselves in far too limited of perspective. So, my partner back then had been a really great student at a private school in Atlanta and he talked to the counselor and he had good scores on all those tests that which I think are fairly meaningless today but regardless, back then they were really looked at. And because he had good test scores and had good grades he went off to Princeton because who can turn down Princeton.

Yeah that would be tough.

Well exactly but he finds out and we got together, you know, 25 years later that he didn't study some things at Princeton that he could've studied because he didn't think he had the innate abilities or aptitudes for it and he finds out 25 years later that he had all of those than the 95th percentile. So he wanted to study higher math and some other things and he was just intimidated by it. So that's just one dimension. My father was a good man and he wanted me to be a dentist because I was a good student and it was shorter than medical school. So you see we're staying along the surface of things here, it sounds fine on the surface I took two years of chemistry and biology in high school and did fine, I wasn't a rocket scientist but I worked hard. By the time I got the freshman chemistry in university I realized in two weeks that my mind doesn't work like that you need a certain, you need several abilities to do higher science in order to get into medical school or dental school or I don't know where on a suitable school physically that matrix but there's a series of problems on things. So I was going to flunk out probably I flunked chemistry because I couldn't do it. So I picked up philosophy and German dropped chemistry the day before the deadline and I made a 4.0 instead of a flunk out. So those are the kinds of things that happen in people's lives they get into the matrix and they look they're so short-term focused and outer directed and wealth power and status oriented or like, you know, like so many people we know that they don't say, well who am I? We talked earlier that people say well you kind of had your why, what's your purpose and what gets you up, fired up in the morning? That's very important but if you don't know if Tony or Don don't know or your listeners don't know who they are, who their, what their innate abilities are, what are the skills they're learning along the way which you can't learn ability because that's how you're hardwired. What are the skills, what are your passions in interest, you know, do you really want to be a pharmacist, do you really want to be a lawyer, have you studied, have you talked to lawyers, have you figured out what they do every day? Your personal style, you know, you're an extrovert introvert, do you do you relate well to people, would you rather work alone, what are your core values? I mean are you humanitarian, are you money driven, are you for the good of society driven and then, you know, different ages as we talked about those agendas change and you look at things differently when you're 18 heading off to college versus when you're, you know, 65 getting rid of your retire. And we don't give ourselves credit for being so multifaceted and we just as we wrote in one of our books the looming conspiracy, we just get caught in the outer directed short-term focused approach. And it's never too late to do this reflection but you've got to go inside and the answers are only in you not anywhere else.

Well I guess where I'm trying to go with this is so let's say, that a pharmacist gets up for work tomorrow they listen to your podcast. On your podcast you always ask are you doing work you love, all of your guests say yes, and then they tell you how they are now doing work they love but they weren't always. So let's say, a pharmacist gets up tomorrow and says are you doing work you love and he's like no, no I'm not. Now what, now what do they do?

Okay, it's a great question. We've had 620 interviews, it's a great question. Okay, you're right every guest that's been on the show has gone through those turning points and very few people get in what I call their sweet spot, you know, they're perfectly okay, I'll go to university, I'll go to high school of the university, I'll go to get my own pharmaceutical degree, what's it called?

The doctrine call. So someone who had a PhD might get a pharmaceutical degree where a doctor of pharmacy would be a pharmacist. but either way really the crux of the question or the conflict is, I don't want to go, I'm not doing and using the talents that I have.

Well and so what I would say, well I, we made tens of thousands of people go through this process the first thing I say is stop okay, what do you mean? Well all right, you've got to listen to yourself, what is it that you don't like spend five or ten minutes a day before you leave the office or when, you know, you get up in the morning and just jot down what's happening there. What are you in the flow being a pharmacist, is it doing the research, is it talking to clients, is it managing, is that what, so many facets to every profession what's working for you and what's not working for you. And then doing that reflection in journaling and then learn some more about yourself, you know, get feedback. I get feedback from family and friends about when you are your best self and again we've talked about assessments, assessments are an important part of that. Figure out, so you can figure out your hardwiring on your abilities. That's important but you can also just reflect, be reflected with your journaling and with other things you read about where, what's gone wrong here or how can you enhance what you're doing. Maybe you don't want to get out of pharmacy at all but the pharmaceutical business or the being a pharmacist. Maybe you want to have a hobby that's exciting for you and that could be you name it could be as broad as the world, you could write, you can do art, you could coach, you could do all kinds of things, get back to public service but you don't have to be stuck in that slot that uses only a part of who you are.

Well Tuesday nights are my wife and I's date night and often we'll try to figure out where we want to go and she's someone that doesn't answer in the affirmative. So if I say where would you like to eat she won't tell me but if I say do you want Italian, Chinese or Mexican she'll say, well I don't want Italian or Chinese which leaves the third. So how does someone find what they do want if there are so many possibilities? I think it's almost tougher to be an A student because you're kind of good at math and chemistry and all these things but how do you kind of narrow down what you really want now that you've decided well I don't think this is what I don't want.

Well it's a really good question. We wrote a book about that called, Don't Waste Your Talent and we take people through that or it's a really good primer on that. There's another great classic that's been around longer much longer called, What Color Is Your Parachute? Richard Bolles, he just passed away at 90 this year. And I would dig in because the question is so complex I would dig in and do exercises you just can't sit around and say okay, and I say I'll just reflect on this for a few days, it might take a month, it might take a year and a half. You have to get next to the question of who you are and all the facets of who you are. So if you go through, you know, a program like the one we developed or if you go through this brilliant book by Richard Bolles What Color Is Your Parachute and then there are others, there's lots of others that people have written. Read What Should I Do With My Life by Polk Brunson came out about 10 years ago where he interviewed 900 people. And listened to how other people, listen to our podcast like you did. I mean it's, you know, I knew 20 of those, at least deal with and what they reflect on and they have maybe it's some huge insight they had or maybe it's some big setback or a boss that they can't tolerate or a friend that gives them an insight but you've just got to look at yourself as a whole person not just Chester Bernard said in the 40s we hire people for their skills but the whole person shows up for work and our approach is called the whole person approach. You've got to look at yourself as a multi-faceted being.

Well let's maybe talk about some of these facets. Can we maybe break it out into values, personal style, influences and goals? Can we start with values and kind of see how that takes us?

Well yeah, I mean again their myriad I mean just what we worked on we're just one of this theorem, probably thousands of people who've developed modalities for this. So it's not like we invented it but, you know, the values piece is just what you would guess and what your listeners would guess now I mean, you know, I had a big ad agency and, you know, but we worked with companies that were in sync with what we cared about. We had KinderCare and Sylvan Learning Centers and a temporary help company and a bank and if somebody come along and said hey we've got this fifteen million dollar cigarette account, do you want to work with us? I would have said gosh, that's a big account to make a lot of money, no thank you. I watched my parents destroy their health smoking cigarettes until they hit 50 and finally woke up. No I mean I'm not where I'm today I'd be working with GMOs or genetically my working this into.


Which are destroying our arable lands and our health. No, I'm not going to have, I'm not going to work with the agrochemical cartel for example. So no, I wouldn't work with you but, you know, the plenty of other things that I would do. So, you know, it's just again paying attention to what your core essence is and what really drives you. People, we just had a wonderful fellow on the show and just wrote a fine book that I hope you're its called Clean Money Revolution. And this man's been an entrepreneur he is in early 60s. He's been an entrepreneur for 40 years and he and the people that he has worked with invest in companies. They only invest in companies that make the world a better place, you know, if somebody came to them, you know, like I said with a new cigarette or some new company that was based on the, you know, the, you know, the big oil business which is going down fast they'd say no, we're not in, we want sustainable energy, we want healthy foods, we want. So that's what he's done and he talks about it in this great book The Clean Money Revolution and so he early on figured out that his dad was a brilliant businessman and he was in a certain industry that was a really good industry but as a young man he realized that it was just making money and doing something that wasn't sustainable from his perspective. So he made this route I call decision to go in another direction and he didn't inherit this empire and do what he, you know, make all this money but doing something that it was not, it was an honorable business don't misunderstand but it wasn't anything that drove his core values. So he didn't do it and it changed everything. I got out of the agency business because it was really a good honest business, we had a great team but I wanted to get into a business means selling more products and services with creativity and good marketing was a really good thing to do to use some of your talents. But it wasn't as powerful as getting into an enterprise that helped people find out who they are so they can build a life of success, satisfaction and freedom which is what I ended up doing.

Yeah, yeah well tell me a little bit about personal style. We keep hearing branding as something that people should do but I feel like that's kind of amorphous. Can you maybe speak to personal style or branding and how that kind of comes from when somebody really understands what they're hardwired to do?

Well yeah, a branding it's part of the hardwired but the other I mean everybody is listening to this call is it's heard about, you know, personality assessments like the Myers Briggs and that's been around for a long long time it is very effective. They've also heard about this concept that Daniel Goleman introduced in 1995 called emotional intelligence and it turns out that well your innate hardwiring and abilities are vital for you understanding how you engage the world and problem solve and learn best, your personal style is also vital because that's how you engage humanity. So the emotional intelligence side is as, you know, is how you understand yourself and are you reflective and a lot of people aren't. They're smart, they're good people but they really don't know from moment to moment how they're feeling. I know that sounds crazy but it's true they're pretty unconscious even though they might be good hearted people. They're thinking and problem-solving and learning and engaging the world and everything but they're not in the flow. So you can find that out, you can find that out the emotional intelligence side is another side of that where you do understand more about how you come across to people and are you in fact engaging them and in the moment and looking in their eyes and taking in what they're saying or are you trying to see where the conversation is going and figure out what you can say next based on where you think they're going. That's not being present that's a, you know, it's a problem-solving ability and it's, you know, it works on some level but you're not going to have any heart connection with your clients or your family or your friends if you're always in that analytical mode.

No that makes a lot of sense. Well we've talked a little bit about the internal maybe we can talk a little bit about the external influences that we have. I'm certainly influenced by my family, my parents, a first-generation college student so there were certain expectations of me with college and how things are and maybe they were true back in the early 70s, 80s but things have really changed. So that kind of get a professional degree, get satisfaction from your life seems to have crumbled a little bit in terms of, you know, satisfaction especially in the gig economy in this generation. Can we talk a little bit about external influences and how malleable is that? Can we work with those external influences, do we avoid them embrace them? How does that work?

Well, I love that question because one of the six, we just told you we just sort of an already introduced this talent team we've got and one of the six reasons people get stuck in their career that from our experience over several decades is, we have too much advice from well-meaning people and again it's like my father suggesting I'd be a dentist. Well if, you know, that advice that people give you whether it's the best friend or a coach or, you know, somebody in the company, you know, that's good stuff, that's  good feedback. It tells you how they respond to you and how they relate and maybe can show some weak areas that you can improve or some strengths that you were hidden that you didn't know about. But again, at the end of the day you do only you when you wake up in the morning and think about how you're going to engage the day or go to sleep at night thinking, let's see how did it go today. Only you know you, it's so obvious in like a cliché but most people don't know themselves very well. And so like Peter Drucker said about talents in a 1990 Harvard Business Review article most people think they know what they're good at, they're usually wrong and further more there was a great article called Managing Oneself.


That anyone understands, you know, Drucker was the father of modern management.


He and Scott but he went on to say right; moreover they're not even good at knowing what they're not good at. So I used those quotes because they're seminal to your listeners' right now I think. Okay well, okay wait a minute, maybe there's some parts of myself that they're are unexplored. So about the outer directed side or the other influences, you know, what is one of those motivational guys say you're the other direct end result of the five people you're closest to?


That was a smart idea, Jim Rohn I think. That's a smart concept, so yeah if you've got a, you know, people surrounding you that, you know, have one point of view, you got to listen to that but you've got to get another perspective too.

Well what about goals. So it's now or into the New Year some people have already broken their resolutions. I've heard many fewer people make them in the first place. So what does maybe a concrete first step towards getting these pieces into a goal that would have a lasting change?

Yeah there's a, I was just looking here, I post things on this bulletin board in front of me. There's I'm sure most of your listeners have heard about this, I don't see them in front of me, not right now. Yeah there's a protocol that's been around for decades that, you know, you've got to have your goals be, you know, they have to be reflective, they have to be achievable, they have to be measurable, there's an acronym for that.

Yeah the smart goal, yeah.

Yeah, exactly, exactly, so yeah, I mean I think those kinds of tools are really important so that you are reflective and you use your own self-awareness and discipline to chisel down to goals that are meaningful and aren't just pipe dreams. So I think using those kinds of modalities is real smart.

Okay well Don, is there anything else you want to talk about that I haven't touched on?

Well, let's see here. I think that on balance if I had to sum it up I would say that the more your listeners can look at themselves ballistically the more, I say to anybody I don't care what age you are, you are literally I think we're here to use the best of who we are and to make a difference on the planet and I think that anybody is capable of that. And as we know from the Gallup statistics 86% of people around the world don't use their talents and almost 70% of people in this country don't use their talents according to Gallup statistics 2017 American Workplace Study. This is hard empirical data so, I'd say to your listeners whether you're in bliss doing the work you're doing now whether you don't like it a lot or hate it you can get what you want if you'll deploy some of these principles that have been around for really thousands of years and are put into modalities like we have done and other smart people have done. This not just our point of view there are other modalities but reach out to those modalities whether it's books or, you know, lectures or courses.


Podcasts are great that's what our whole show, I mean that's why we did the show on this because that was my background and yeah exactly what you're doing right here for your profession is highly needed. It's not just how do you market your pharmacy or your practice or your profession but how do you get the most out of who you are. I like what Raymond Carver said, supposedly wrote on his deathbed the great writer, I've gotten when I set out to get in my life, can you say the same? I've done when I was put here to do, can you say the same? And that's, you know, that's what I'd say, you don't have to settle it's, you know, regrets of dying by the palliative nurse Bonnie Wear, another five but the first one is, I wish I had, I wish I had reached out to that hobby me or I wish I had had the guts to do something different in my life that I could have done had I known that there were processes to help me do that.

Well, I was just reading Gretchen Rubin and she came up with this book four tendencies in one of these tendencies is to be an obligor that is that we would put other people's needs, our works needs, the rest of our families needs before our own and that accountability is really one of the only ways to handle this and many health professionals are obligors. They recognize, they put others before themselves what's a way that someone could get in touch with you or get this accountability?

Well, they can, thanks. They can go to and in that bar there's contact and they can just write us an email. The fact is I mentioned to you that after all these years, you know, since 2001 when we sold the company we are doing this thing called the talent team which is people I've worked with for decades and using the modalities I've shared and we're going to offer that through this consortium and membership sites and all kinds of very interesting modalities to help people to dig into these issues and if your listeners want to, you know, get on a mailing list it'll be coming out the first half of this year as soon as possible. And then that will let them know how to access that and then take a look at the offerings that we have and, you know, we can go from there. We have access to that assessment I was telling you about which is pretty seminal and so we can now we can move ahead if they're based on their interest level and what they want to achieve.

Sounds good, well Don Hutcheson thanks for being on the Pharmacy Leaders Podcast.

Great pleasure, great pleasure I enjoyed chatting so much, Tony thank you.

Hey, this is Don Hutcheson. I hope you enjoyed the interview that Tony and I just had. It was great fun and hope you gained some insights and perspectives. If you want to listen to interviews with successful people from around the world who we're going through issues like you're going through right now, many of them just go over to and you can find the show notes of six hundred plus interviews and dig in and reach out to us and tell us what you think and tell us how we can serve you best.

Support for this episode comes from the audio book Memorizing Pharmacology. A relaxed approach with over 9,000 sales in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, it's the go-to resource to ease the pharmacology challenge. Available on Audible, iTunes and in print eBook and audio book. Thank you for listening to the Pharmacy Leaders Podcast with your host Tony Guerra. Be sure to share the show with the hash tag hash pharmacy leaders.