"Brian’s insightful and direct style has made him a helpful guide and coach for me and members of my team. His book is classic Brian: he reveals his personal story and, in the process, gets you to think of your own. The approach to leadership and personal growth he describes in The Business of Wanting More is practical and simple, yet transformational."
—Andrew M. Miller President and Chief Executive Officer, Polycom Corporation
"The Business of Wanting More is for anyone who has worked hard and made sacrifices to achieve their career ambitions only to discover that what they were seeking left them empty, unfulfilled, and lost. In writing this deeply personal book, Brian Gast is writing for an audience—the successfully unhappy—that has been largely ignored and not talked about in business and management publishing. Interview the many commuters on the trains, planes, and busses into and out of any big city, and you’ll find that Brian’s story will resonate with them. As a former coaching client, I can attest to the profound personal and professional impact of being led by Brian through the transformative steps described in this book."
—BrianWatson, Ph.D. Former Global Head, Operational Excellence and Capability Development, Credit Suisse
"Brian is an exceptional executive coach, and The Business of Wanting More brings to life the foundation and framework for all the work we’ve done together. He has a gift for breaking through the clutter of assumptions, misperceptions, and seemingly logical but incorrect belief systems that so many of us live with. The resulting clarity creates an opportunity for success and fulfillment at a new and higher plane than I ever thought possible."
—Bill Hughson President, Healthcare Group, DeVry Inc.
"The message and specific direction delivered in The Business of Wanting More couldn’t be more timely or appropriate for today’s business climate. Business leaders are facing increased stresses as they work tirelessly to achieve ongoing success. I firmly believe that leaders who read and implement the tactics outlined in this book will live more satisfying lives and be more effective leaders, regardless of inevitable fluctuations in their financial achievements."
—Tom Filippini Co-Founder, Exclusive Resorts, Inc.
"The Business of Wanting More begins where so many other books end because it charts the path beyond success. For this reason, it is priceless."
—Mark Gerzon Author, Leading Through Conflict: How Successful Leaders Transform Differences into Opportunities
"There is a religious way of saying wise things—and there is a way of saying wise things that is more broadly effective. Brian Gast has found that way! This excellent book will speak to any person of sincerity, search, and struggle. It will speak deeply to people who might never read a theologian or a “spiritual” writer, as well as to those who will."
—Fr. Richard Rohr, O.F.M. Founder, Center for Action and Contemplation
"Gast has a unique ability to offer a different perspective on critical life issues that allows you to break through deep-seated beliefs and clearly see paths to true happiness. In The Business of Wanting More, he takes very complex subject matter and presents it in a way that’s easy to understand and practical to implement. This book is for people who really want more out of life."
—Randall Mays Vice Chairman, Clear Channel Communications, Inc.
"Brian Gast is probably the most grounded, humble, and authentic man I know. Brian has a gift for coaching and teaching business leaders about what’s really important. I know this firsthand, as Brian made a tremendous impact on my life when he served as a board member of a company when I was its CEO. The Business of Wanting More will not only become a bestseller, it will become a game-changer in the lives of many."
—Tommy Spaulding Author, New York Times bestseller of It’s Not Just Who You Know: Transform Your Life (and Your Organization) by Turning Colleagues and Contacts into Lasting, Genuine Relationships
"Brian’s Q7 coaching process helps us understand our core and thus helps us be independent of the short-term conditions we face. I recommend The Business of Wanting More to any CEO or other senior leader with broad responsibility who wants to grow his business success, his happiness, and himself in parallel."
—Georg Wiebecke Former Head, Global Chemical Manufacturing, F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Ltd.
"The journey of high achievers can be far more complex than we think. In The Business of Wanting More, Brian Gast shines a clear bright light on the mysterious struggles that can plague our soul. His exceptional insight comes not from theory or speculation, but from his own extraordinary life experiences. Having ridden the rollercoaster to many of its highest and lowest points, Brian is uniquely qualified to share the subtle and somewhat surprising insights he has discovered along the way."Success in the business world is often hard to achieve, and there are those who feel they must sacrifice everything to attain it. "The Business of Wanting More: Why Some Executives Move from Success to Fulfillment and Others Don't" is an inspirational read of being in business and life from Brian Gast, as he shares his own business journey of success and failure, and realizing what he ultimately wanted out of his career, and how he achieved it. "The Business of Wanting More" is a must for inspirational business management collections, highly recommended.
—Zane Robertson President and Co-Founder, Active Minds; Young Presidents’ Organization International Forum Committee member
Midwest Book Review October 2012
In his book, The Business of Wanting More, Brian Gast tells of his transformation from CEO of a major telecommunications company who felt as if there was a hole in his soul to a man finally satisfied with the business and life he had created for himself. Now he coaches other CEOs who feel that their lives lack meaning to build their businesses around their unique purpose.
In a telling example, Gast recounts the story of creating a telecommunications company with five colleagues and an investment of $150,000. When the company went public, his shares alone were worth $50 million. At this point, his belief that money equaled happiness was weakening, and he worried that he had sold his employees short by allowing in a new CEO who lacked the nurturing qualities this corporate culture had always imbibed. The move proved to be not only a personal failure for finding soul sustenance, but also resulted in total financial failure.
The heart of the book is a system called Q7, short for seven steps and four quadrants. The steps are meant to summarize his program into an accessible format. The quadrants represent the 4 archetypes within us (King/Queen, Magician, Lover, and Warrior) and the reader’s task is to identify which of these is useful in a given situation. The basic program revolves around working through the steps and learning how to use each character in the reader’s quadrant.
BlueInk August 2012.
Brian Gast claims that fulfillment is our natural state. He talks about responding to our heart’s deeper yearnings and using that as the compass for our lives. If you are like me and you value these things and want solid ways to live these values, buy The Business of Wanting More, read it, and work the process.
Dr. Robert Wright Ed.D. Coauthor
Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living
Executive Coach, Team Alignment Expert, Speaker and Author
summary written by
“….realize who you are beyond the stories you tell yourself and others – and thus experience your true nature.” (Click to Tweet!)
The Business of Wanting More, page 20
We’ve heard the tales. Decent guy works his way up, hits a couple out of the park and gets cocky. He takes one too many big risks with his own and other people’s money, treats a few people badly and suddenly finds himself out of a job. In this case the author, who co-founded and raised funding for three companies, also made and lost $50 million along the way – he did everything big or he didn’t do it at all. He ran at a frenetic, adrenalin-fueled pace with almost total disregard for others and so when he finally crashed, he was really out of gas. And, as is often the case, it’s in extraordinarily adverse circumstances that people learn the lessons necessary to put their life on the right track.
The Business of Wanting More chronicles Brian Gast’s journey from the fast, high-flying and flashy existence of an outwardly successful but inwardly miserable telecom entrepreneur to a life focused on sharing what he learned about achieving self-awareness and happiness. His focus is on the high achiever and the reasons behind failure when and with whom it seems most illogical, and he not only speaks from his own experience but shares the stories of a number of his now clients. Along the way Mr. Gast skims through a number of fairly major therapeutic and human development concepts, tools and principles, putting his own spin on many and consolidating everything into his own model and seven step path to redemption.
Our Bubble Resists Our Growth
”…our bubble is a lens distorting what’s real.” (Click to Tweet!)
The Business of Wanting More, page 23 Imagine yourself encased in a bubble constructed of all of your limiting beliefs, gathered from childhood onward. The bubble ensures we present the image we want to present to the world, and equally ensures we are seeing the world only as we choose to see it. Unfortunately, while the bubble helps us create an identity that we believe will be accepted and loved by others (particularly in the case of high achievers), it prevents us from progressing in our development of useful coping strategies and hence restricts our personal growth and maturity. It’s only when we realize that the bubble exists that we are in a position to burst it – a necessary step toward changing patterns that limit us. Gast offers three cues that the bubble is causing trouble – if you’re experiencing upset, if you’re absolutely certain you’re right, or if you’re feeling that something is vitally important – you’re about to be tripped up by a limiting belief. Changing beliefs is hard, takes time and is virtually impossible to do alone, but recognition is the critical first step.
Create a Vision for Your Life
“…consciously or not, we’re always creating a vision for our life.” (Click to Tweet!)
The Business of Wanting More, page 68
Creating a vision statement is not a new idea, particularly for high achievers. What’s different here is that the author suggests crafting vision statements for each critical area of your life: business, relationship, leisure activities, family, etc. He accurately distinguishes between a vision (a desired future state of the world, not yet true and lofty but attainable), and a goal (a specific, measurable objective), and offers personal and client examples of how crafting a vision, which might be perceived as New Age fluff by some in the book’s target group, is actually a powerful tool for creating an aligned, fulfilling life. He also suggests aligning personal vision statements with your needs, which can make them that much more motivating. As an example, if you have a need for acceptance, then your vision statement might be something like “I have a deep and natural belief in my inherent value as a person.”
The missed opportunity in this section of the book is that there’s no process for gauging alignment and conflict between the visions statements for the respective life areas. So it’s entirely possible to craft several lovely distinct statements, only to find that they couldn’t possibly co-exist. That said, the author does suggest ways to test the vision statements for authenticity and to gauge barriers to achieving the desired outcomes, so his process is stronger than most. In particular he suggests listing your “vulnerabilities” – the possible negative outcomes or changes that would have to occur should the vision become real. As an example, related to the vision statement shown above, a “vulnerability” might be if you don’t feel the need to prove yourself you might not be motivated at all. Once the potential pitfalls of the vision statements are clearly articulated you can formulate a plan to ensure you address the things that could possibly get in the way.
Build Your Court of Support
“It wasn’t until I faced challenges I couldn’t fix with my intellect, wallet or will that I realized that going it alone was limiting.”
The Business of Wanting More, page 117
By acknowledging that he used to be a “go it alone” achiever, the author creates a connection that many of the readers of this book will relate to instantly. From that empathetic starting point he builds a strong case for creating a roster of relationships designed to support and serve across all key life areas. Helpfully, he also provides selection criteria and interview questions for several of the roles he recommends such as professional coach, mentor and accountability partner, as well as process suggestions for working with the individuals once they’ve been appointed to the team. The process suggestions include things like criteria around meeting frequency and modality (face to face preferred versus telephone) and questions designed to determine that the individual can differentiate between a friendship and a professionally objective role. Perhaps not coincidentally the chapter dedicates some significant portion of its attention to the process of choosing a coach – the author’s new profession – but he does a good job of it and, in my own biased opinion, there is still room in the marketplace for better understanding of who and how to hire when choosing a coach. In this case the author suggests inquiring about the coach’s philosophy (transactional or transformational?), the structure and duration of a typical engagement, the coach’s ability to relate to the client’s situation and whether the process includes a goal-setting component. I don’t necessarily agree with the author’s point of view on each suggestion, but asking more questions is always good.
The Business of Wanting More attempts to cover a huge amount of ground and is a little tough to follow in places. That said, it provides a model and process that will no doubt prove helpful to those who find themselves at that confusing point of “success without significance” that was the author’s jumping off point.