What's The Big Idea: Jesse Israel - The Art of Keeping it Real to Build Community and Lead People


“A big part of why we don’t want to be real or share vulnerably or be authentic and honest, has to do with the fear of how we will be seen - it’s a perception piece. But what I’ve learned time and time again is that when we share authentically, people are drawn to it…it’s magnetic.”

Today’s guest: Jesse Israel https://www.jesseisrael.com/

His big idea: The Art of Keeping it Real.

Jesse is a social entrepreneur, community builder and meditation teacher on a mission to light up the leader in everyone. As a sophomore at NYU Jesse co-founded Cantora Records, where he signed multi-platinum bands like MGMT, advised The Wu Tang Clan’s GZA and spearheaded the label’s tech investment fund. After experiencing debilitating anxiety and panic attacks, Jesse discovered meditation. The practice was so transformative for him that he went on to found The Big Quiet - a movement that gathers thousands of people for mass meditations at legendary locations like Madison Square Garden and the top of the World Trade Center, and features performances from some of today’s most iconic musicians. Jesse speaks about community building and mindful leadership at organizations like Adidas, Ford, Google and Parson’s School of Design, and teaches meditation to next-generation leaders from around the world. Jesse’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Vice, Vogue, Fast Company, WIRED and the Wall Street Journal.

Listen to the full show below:

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Key insights Shared:

  • The role of being a teacher and the resistance that you may face

  • The value in finding work that lights you up and makes you feel whole

  • Owning our realness and applying it to everything that we do in our lives

  • What does realness mean?

  • What is the resistance in us to speaking up?

  • The areas in which people are falling into the trap of not being real

  • Introducing realness into a community context

  • The exercise and simple practice of “clearing”

  • Simple prompts that are available to go a little bit deeper and open up the conversation

  • Sharing from the scar vs. from the wound

  • The deep craving for human connection in modern times

  • The need for realness to belong and be seen in your community

  • The process of grounding into your internal truth

  • The power of attract vs. promote as an entrepreneur

  • Intentions vs. expectations

  • Eliminating neediness from our practice

  • The fear of rejection holding you back from pursuing your dreams

  • The importance of celebrating the people who are willing to make a change