We had the good fortune of connecting with Larry Broughton Award-Winning Entrepreneur & Leadership Mentor and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Larry Broughton, what do you attribute your success to?
There is no single MOST important factor, but success will always remain elusive if you lack courage. It’s courage that provides the wisdom to be humble. With courage, we dare to take risk. Like it or not, RISK is a key ingredient to success. It’s courage that fuels the tenacity that helps us drive-on in the face of lingering doubt and bad economic conditions. It sustains us on our journey towards our dreams and visions; and allows us to love more deeply and communicate more effectively. At its root, integrity is based on courage.
Many of life’s problems…many of our country’s problems that we face each day are due to the lack of courage. The pain and resentment that comes from missed expectations could have been avoided had we mustered the courage to speak up. Though we’ve heard it all before, it’s good to remind ourselves that courage is not the lack of fear, but moving forward in spite of it. It’s not easy, but a “leader” without courage is impotent and does not deserve the honor of an executive leadership position in any organization.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Whether we’re talking about my hotel company, my coaching & mentoring business, or my writing career, the common thread that weaves through all my endeavors seems to be about recognizing unmet potential where others might see fallow fields. Perhaps this is why when others see a rundown hotel or motel, I see a diamond in the rough that just needs some polishing, rebranding and repositioning. Maybe that’s why I’m attracted to folks who might be the black sheep of the entrepreneurial or business world, and invest in them to help them stretch, grow and blossom beyond what they, themselves, thought possible.
Years ago my martial arts instructor shared a poem written by a fellow student that described martial artists as mounds of clay, and the black belt instructor as the potter. That’s how I feel being a leader and mentor. It feels good to know that I’m helping entrepreneurs, leaders and high-achievers do great things by becoming great people.
I suppose, after watching my kids grow into amazing humans, the thing I am most proud of is the time I served in the US Army’s elite Green Berets. Every day I carry my Special Forces challenge coin to remind me where I came from, my past, my heritage and my eternal tribe. It grounds me. I also carry a small pewter globe to remind me of my future, what I want my legacy to be, and the global impact that I can make and am meant to make on the world.
My friend, singer-song writer, Michael Petersen says, “One step in the right direction’s worth a wasted mile behind.” As a CEO, entrepreneur and mentor I get to point folks in the right direction. I get to be the voice of encouragement, saying, “Yes, you can do this.” I’m the voice of experience saying, “Yeah, I know this sucks right now,” because I’ve been down the entrepreneur’s path so many times.
We all need someone on the journey with us, reminding us that failure and pain and struggle are all part of success; but as one of my spiritual mentors, reminded me some time ago, our journey does not need to include the desperate pushing and shoving that most “success gurus” ascribe. We need someone urging us not to quit a few feet from striking gold, but who can also be the voice of reality and remind us when “enough is enough.” It’s always a privilege to see someone come through the pain and uncertainty and taking steps towards success.
I strive to live a life of integrity. Anyone who knows me, has been on my team, or has been mentored by me knows that I do everything I can these days to walk the walk. Sometimes it’s exhausting and feels like I’m putting one dusty, bloody boot in front of the other, but I strive every day to live my life in integrity.
It hasn’t always been that way — as the ups and downs of my past demonstrate — and I bring all of that, all of those lessons learned along the way, to every role in which I serve. Whether it’s being a dad or a commentator on a TV news program or running my hotel company, I’m the same me everywhere, all the time. That’s been one of the hardest and most valuable lessons to learn as a human.
Some days it’s easier than others to practice what I preach. On my best days I bound out of bed because I get to get up, I get to to go into the office and work with people; I get to make breakfast for my kids; I get to speak to this group; I get to serve. Not the “I have to do this or that” that so many people wake up with.
And honestly, on other mornings what motivates me to get out of bed is an overwhelming fear of blending into the oblivion of gray mediocrity.
Whatever the motivation, I know that every day when my feet hit the floor I have another chance to go do something significant.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We’re blessed to live in coastal southern California! There is something powerful about locations where the mountains meet the ocean. The beaches along LA and Orange County are amazing because they offer respites from the hustle and bustle that waits just a hundred yards away, where foods from every region of the world can be found.
Of course, sunsets on the Pacific sand of Laguna Beach or Santa Monica are an absolute must. Hikes Runyon Canyon Park above the city or along the coastal cliffs are always awe inspiring for anyone who takes the time to get grounded in nature.
Touring the dozens of street murals in L.A.’s Art District offers an authentic city vibe, while experiencing a Wine Safari at Saddlerock Ranch in an open-air Safari vehicle always impresses friends when they can taste local wines, and get up close and personal with zebras, water buffalo, alpacas, bison, giraffe.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
To the men of 10th & 12th Special Forces Group who taught me the power of love, tenacity and honor. These are some of the most courageous and badass warriors to walk the earth, yet some of the most loving and caring men you’ll ever meet.
My business partner in all things coaching and mentoring, Dave Braun, deserves a shoutout, as he builds framework and systems around my wild and lofty tendencies.
My children inspire me everyday to see the world through a fresh set of eyes. My daughter is a champion for the underdog, and has a caring heart and old soul. My son is tenacious and strong-willed, traits that will serve him well as he grows to manhood. They both deserve a hearty shoutout.
And Richard Bach and his book, “Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah,” for opening my eyes to the possibility that reality is merely an illusion we create for learning and enjoyment.