Chip Wilson Transcript

Clint Betts

Chip, thank you so much for coming on. You are a legend in consumer products and consumer brands, and building a brand and building a company and building a culture, and in particular around athletic apparel. I'm wondering, just to start is, did you always, growing up, think that you would be an entrepreneur or get into the athletic apparel space or what led you to accomplish what you've accomplished so far?

Chip Wilson

I think these things happen incrementally. I mean, I'm maybe 12 years old and maybe started importing swimsuits from the United States into Canada for competitive swimming, and maybe had an experience there as an athlete. My mom was a sower, my dad was a Phys Ed teacher. I was a big guy, clothing didn't fit me so there was a desire to make clothing. I think it was probably genetic inside of me, and so I think it's a confluence of a bunch of things that had me have, I guess, the foundation or the basis to get into this.

Clint Betts

Was there somebody you looked up to or thought of, I'm thinking Phil Knight, maybe. Is he a hero of yours or somebody you were looking at, or you were just in a silo thinking all of this and going, as you said, just as it goes?

Chip Wilson

Funny enough, when I sold my surf, skate, snowboard company in 1997, I think the number one job for me would've been CEO of Nike. But I didn't have a Master's degree. I wasn't a finance guy. I was purely a brand product athlete, and I actually would've been perfect for it, but boards at that time, especially public, wouldn't have accepted a CEO without financial qualifications.

I had nobody. I think, because I had a genetic demeanor that almost stopped me from asking people for help, but I was a reader and even at the age of 18 and 19, I'd read the top 100 books of all time, and I think that gave me a massive foundation. And as far as Lululemon goes, or even any of my businesses, I think it was Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand about how to make a great product, how to treat people in your company really well, how to grow a business, how to handle setbacks. I think the teachings of Ayn Rand were probably fundamental to me, but I didn't realize that. I mean, I'm reading it as an 18-year-old, but not really till I reread the book when I was 52, did I see where it had such an effect on me.

Clint Betts

Oh, that's really interesting, Atlas Shrugged. And so I bet you're getting these questions all the time, every interview you do and all that kind of stuff. And I do want to talk about the future and what you're working on now because I find it fascinating. But what led you in 2018 to found Lululemon, create this entirely new category of technical apparel, athleisure, maybe it would be a word for it as well, which is now a $400 billion industry annually. And by the way, that's quick. 2018 was like yesterday.

Chip Wilson

Well, I think you're talking about maybe 1998.

Clint Betts

Oh, yeah.

Chip Wilson

That's when I started.

Clint Betts

Yeah.

Chip Wilson

That's 20 years ago. Anyway, your assistant really didn't give you the right numbers there.

Clint Betts

Oh, yeah. They actually did say “founded it in 2018,” but then it says,” went public in 2007,” so that doesn't make any sense. So my apologies.

Chip Wilson

Yeah, no problem. Well, what is the foundation for it? I mean, I say that at the time there was Nike and Adidas in 1998, but they were shoe people and they were very male dominated. And I'd come through the surf, skate, snowboard business starting in 1979, the ups and downs of that. And then snowboarding was really the first time that women got into, I'd say sports. I mean, it's hard to believe, but even when I was in high school, I mean, the cool girls would skip Phys Ed to go smoke cigarettes, and there's a big shift in education for women.

And in 1997, I read a statistic where 60% of the graduates at a university are women. I knew there was going to be a big change. As I said, I went through the surf, skate, snowboard up and downs of that, and then I saw yoga, and I was in a yoga class and I saw it grow from six people to 30 people in one month.

And then I extrapolated from the circumstances of surf, skate, snow and went, this is going to be at least as big as those, and so I bet the farm. But let's say that the other big foundation is that Nike and Adidas being so male oriented, they didn't even really think about the woman's market on any level, even from a shoe point of view. And from the manufacturing of apparel, very Mid-America points of view on style and design, which with a few pieces they did make, didn't really work for a woman.

And then I'd say generally they were excellent at making shoes, but when it came to apparel where were seams, for example, in between legs, these open seams, and you'd go run a 10K or Lord knows if you went and run a marathon, the chafing was unbelievably bad, so they weren't making apparel like they were making shoes. So that created a big opening, especially when you see that women are probably 70% of the purchasers of athletic apparel and shoes.

Clint Betts

And so you start this thing, I'm super interested in the branding. How did you land on your brand, your overall message in the overall, "This is what Lululemon is?" Because I feel like that's captured at least, maybe it's from the beginning it feels more like a movement almost. Does that make sense?

Chip Wilson

Yeah. Well, my dad was an assistant gardener at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. And I think I learned from him about meditation and yoga. And then he took the S program which then turned into the Landmark program, which ended up being the basis for the Lululemon culture, one of choice and responsibility, integrity.

And by crossing it with the book, Good to Great, The Psychology of Achievement around goal setting, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. We created a linguistic abstraction at Lululemon of about 30 terms and definitions which then gave us the foundation to be able to grow exponentially when we did.

Clint Betts

And are you shocked by how big the industry is now?

Chip Wilson

No. If I look back at it, I mean, you could say that in the 1960s probably men started coming out of the 18 hole of the golf course, and instead of wearing suits into the bar or the lounge afterwards, they'd just wear their golf shirts which was radical at that time. And then you probably had executives who were going to go golfing Friday night show to work Friday morning, and this would be only the very successful executives because if you weren't a successful executive, you couldn't show up doing that, but the successful ones couldn't get fired. So they would show up and then go to golf, so it was seen as a status symbol.

And then I look forward to that and then I go, well, then the surf thing happened probably in Australia, and then it morphed into California. And you had this thing where executives, or if you're in your own business and you're controlling your own life, you can surfs up.

So then you want to go surfing and you've got to go surfing at that moment, at that time. And you can't be wearing a suit and tie, one, to get out of it, get into your wetsuit, get out there, and then get out, get out of your wetsuit and then you're wet and cold, you're not going to get into a suit, so you're going to get into a t-shirt and hoodie.

And of course, that took itself into the technology world of California, and that's how that end of things got going. So am I surprised by the growth of it? I've seen it happen since 1960, and I would say interestingly enough, at different parts, I didn't know how much bigger it could go. All I know is that on the West Coast, starting in probably 1998, or at least in Vancouver, people stopped wearing suits and ties.

People started wearing stretch clothing to work, things that were more comfortable because Vancouver, you walk or you bike to work because it's a very metropolitan, dense city in the mountains and with lots of rain, lots of sun, that type of thing. So it created an industry like with Arc'teryx for instance, which is another local Vancouver company about just dressing as just part and parcel, dressing for business is the same as dressing for athletics.

Clint Betts

How did you get the manufacturing in the material and all of that stuff right? I mean, Lululemon has a very unique and distinct fit. You know when you're wearing something made by Lululemon. How did you get that perfected? I'm super interested in the early days. How do you manufacture this stuff and be like, "No, that's not good enough. We need this type of fabric," that type of stuff?

Chip Wilson

Well, it really is the core of it, which I believe a lot of people don't understand. And if I go back to myself being in the surf industry, it was Quiksilver and Billabong that came up from Australia that had a whole different fit for apparel, and especially athletic apparel because surfers have big butts and big thighs in a small waist, and they're crouching down.

The need for a higher back rise and a lower front, and then more fabric around the butt and thighs with less around the waist, created a whole different fit which was totally different than taking big data across the global sphere about what is the average size of somebody and of the global population, and then making it for the middle of that bell curve.

So then to actually make clothing that actually fit an athlete and then consequently actually looked really good on them subconsciously became the inspirational look for that represented health, it represented fitness and it was people who were athletes like that usually had rosier cheeks, they have better teeth. They just looked better. And I think that subconsciously drove the demand for athletic clothing.

And then from a fabric point of view, when I had my snowboarding company and women were coming into snowboarding, I made a first layer tight for women to wear under snowboard pants. And then when I sold Westbeach and I started into yoga, I went, "Oh my God, I have the perfect fabric for this."

So well, it wasn't the perfect fabric for it. It was still too warm for yoga, but I worked on it for quite a while and then perfected it, and then increased the Lycra from 3% to 12%. I pre-shrunk it, I put any antimicrobial properties into it, anti stink. And then probably the bigger technical innovations were around flat seaming.

So I bought these machines that had just come out in Japan, that when it sewed, instead of creating an open seam that would you give person a rash, it actually flattened the seam and cut off all the excess fabrics so that I could then use seams as a way of designing a garment because I could take them out from underneath the armpits and underneath the legs and bring them out.

And I always had a love for what I'd call West Coast function with Italian styling where a 20 pound, 30 pound overweight man could suddenly look good because just the tailoring of a jacket or pants was just so well done.

Clint Betts

That's super, super interesting. At what point did you feel like you've got the product right, you've got the fabric right, you've got like, "Hey, we're really onto something here?"

Chip Wilson

Well, this is probably the downfall of a creative person. And even as a creative person gets into a board of directors and you've got a bunch of very well-meaning directors, but they're making their decision based on past metrics where a creator is always thinking five years in the future. And I can guarantee you that as a creator, I'm happy never being happy. In other words, the minute I've created something, I'm no longer happy with it because I know there's always something that can be done better.

Clint Betts

In your opinion, what goes into a brand? What makes a great iconic brand?

Chip Wilson

I'd say number one, is knowing who the muse is. And so what do I mean by that? I'm very specific. And so for myself, not only for we Westbeach and then Lululemon, and then for my other businesses that I have now between Arc'teryx and Salomon and Atomic, and Wilson out of Chicago. I'm really focusing in on the 32-year-old single professional who is one, if it's a woman, they're owning their own condo.

They travel a lot, they're making a hundred thousand dollars a year. They're fashionable, they have time. And what do I mean by they have time, they have the time to work out, time to take care of themselves because they're no longer like 22 years old and struggling out of university. And that person is looking at that 32 year old as being iconic.

They're not 42 with two children and up to their eyeballs in a lot of whatever it takes to do that, so that 42 year old looks to that 32 year old. And so that 32 year old for me is exactly the same as saying, "Well, Nike has Michael Jordan," or they had Tiger Woods or whoever they have now. They picked a particular person and paid them a whole bunch of money, or I created the person out of basically thin air.

And again, mostly having to do with that, women were in 1998, 60% of them were the graduates out of university. Higher education leads to fewer children and waiting longer to have children, so a whole new demographic is created.

Clint Betts

Yeah. Even as we're talking here, I'm looking at your whiteboard here, it says, "To provide components for people to live longer, healthier, happier lives."

Chip Wilson

Yeah. That's right.

Clint Betts

Yeah. Is this the purpose, what we're looking at here?

Chip Wilson

Well, that's my life purpose. My business purpose is to elevate the world from mediocrity to greatness for 20 to 40 year olds via transformational development in technical apparel and shoes. So I have that on my board. I make all my decisions based on that. I try not to veer too far from it.

Clint Betts

What do you think the future of athletic apparel is? I mean, you just mentioned a bunch of brands that you're involved in and everything you've done post Lululemon. I mean, you must be thinking about this constantly.

Chip Wilson

Well, and everything I thought about went on steroids with COVID. If I look at people post-COVID, I don't see anybody in leather shoes anymore. I see nobody wearing ties. It's almost like it's an archaic way of being. And so I think that people have finally come to the hierarchy of needs, so to speak, and number one is survival, and number two is reproduction.

And to do any of those two things requires health, and health comes from epigenetics of eating right, working out, getting a great sleep. And I think living a life that has a basis in athletics or at least mindfulness, and so someone can achieve a longer life, which I call survival or more children through reproduction.

Clint Betts

So as you think about the brands and the companies you're working on now, how do you replicate within them what you did with Lululemon because it seems to me, you mentioned those first and second things that are most important. It seems to me like the change has been like, "Hey, we can actually be comfortable all day," right?

Chip Wilson

Yes. I mean, that's part of it. That would be what I'd call athletic posers and it came out of it, which really drives a big part of the financial part of the athletic companies because where maybe 10% of the people buy stuff for actual athletics, there's probably 90% that buy it to just feel comfortable. But I also like it because I think the goal is that when those people ever want to be athletic, they have the apparel to do it, nothing to get in their way.

Clint Betts

Yeah. That makes sense. So how are you spending your time these days?

Chip Wilson

Well, I have real estate business in Vancouver and Seattle, that's quite substantial. But my real love is Amer, which the Amer brand owns Arc'teryx which is here in Vancouver. And I believe it makes the very, very best top quality top of the mountain athletic clothing in the world. I almost call it life and death clothing because they came out of making climbing harnesses, and they took that same technology and put it into jackets, and anyone who's had one of those jackets is going to love it for sure.

The other one is Wilson out of Chicago, which I'm very proud to own, and it has nothing to do with me, it's just a coincidence. But it now has the NBA ball, the NFL ball.

Now, we had the best tennis rackets in the world, and now I'm taking basically everything that I learned through Westbeach with the surf, skate, snowboarding and Lululemon, and now coaching and being a mentor to Wilson, Arc'teryx, Peak performance out of Stockholm, Atomic out of Austria, and Salomon out of France just depart my knowledge.

But the world has changed, and there's younger people in there. There's a lot of digital going on, omnichannel, that type of thing, which is not something I'm intimate with. So I can depart my knowledge and then people have to take it and work it into the new world, and again, take some of it and maybe reject other parts of it because the world has changed.

Clint Betts

Speaking of the new world, I'm not sure, a lot of people I'm talking to for this show, AI is completely disrupting their whole business, their whole lives. Is it affecting the actual consumer product industry, the athletic apparel industry at all?

Chip Wilson

Well, starting about eight months ago, I definitely introduced the brand product teams to this. And the analog analogy of this was exactly what I said before. The winning formula for my surf, skate, snowboard and yoga brand was to take West Coast functional fabrics and fits and marry them with an Italian fit and styling. So go ahead. Now, I forgot what I was talking about, Clint.

Clint Betts

Oh, no, no. We were just talking about AI, sorry.

Chip Wilson

Oh, yeah. So if I look at it on an analog basis, I connected two disparate things, which is Italian styling with very dumpy, ugly West Coast, 1980s, '90s, 2000s functional apparel. So when you look at AI then, this is essentially what it can do infinitely and so quickly. I mean, we all know what it'll do. You take a bicycle and you marry it with a truck and you ask it to make it a piece of furniture, and it's spectacular what it can do.

And then moving that right from a picture right into a digital 3D scan and doing a fit on a body for an piece of apparel, and then doing the grades from extra small to extra large, and then being able to do it again, not just for North American fit, but for an Asian fit or a Netherlands fit, where they're the tallest people in the world, this is phenomenal.

It's the same, doing a video, I don't even have to do the video anymore. It can do everything for me and give me an animated picture of myself, and I can get something out to my people, but then I can do it in three or four different languages and my lips move perfectly into that language and it makes it feel so real. We're moving really quickly in this and I'm really excited about it.

Clint Betts

It's fascinating, huh? It's scary because I mean, I don't think in our lifetimes we've seen a technology like this. You could argue the internet, but this seems like a hundred times the internet.

Chip Wilson

I would agree. And of course, being a creative person, I love change and I love the disruption. I think everything is on a bell curve again. You have probably 20% of the people on the bell curve that are super secure, don't like change, and you've got the people in the middle, and then you've got the people that are in the creative end on the other side. I can't wait to see how the world changes. It's going to be superb.

Clint Betts

Yeah. It's an exciting time to be alive. I wonder, you built an incredible team, executive team, board all around Lululemon. What did you think about that? What do you think about recruiting talent? What do you think about recruiting an executive team?

Chip Wilson

Well, at Lululemon, I think I did a very, very good job for the first six, seven years when we were in high growth, mostly because our culture was built to bring on executives and have them, I guess, drink the Kool-Aid of our culture, and our culture was very set in integrity and responsibility.

And I also think I read the book, The E- Myth just before I started Lululemon. And a big part of that is an executive has to train and develop people and then get out of their way, and that was my mantra and it worked really well in a high growth company like Lululemon.

So these, I'm going to call them 95%, 22 to 26 year old women, just really took the world by storm. And because our training and development program was so good and people were so responsible, and we could have very, very open discussions about absolutely everything because through the Landmark course, it takes away any personal reaction to what another person may say because it builds on communication.

And our interpretation of what somebody says or does is really rooted in our childhood and what people, our friends think we should be, or family thinks we should be or whatever, even our genetics think we should be. So by having choice in how we listen and how we communicate, created the ability for these executives to be, I call, the best in the world and probably 20 years ahead of their stage, and it really allowed Lululemon to grow at the rate it did.

Clint Betts

How do you think about launching a new product within a brand? I mean, what needs to be checked off in order for you to be like, "All right, we're launching this new shoe or new," whatever it is? How big of a bar is that?

Chip Wilson

Yeah. I think maybe you're talking about... I mean, I left Lululemon in 2013 or heard some saying what happened and they went into skincare products, which was a disaster. And then they bought Mirror in the middle of COVID that was a disaster.

And really it's not checking the box of what is the business sales model that Lululemon has on e-commerce and in the store. And in other words, with apparel we know it exactly. Somebody comes in, they spend six seconds looking at a garment. It takes us a minute and a half to describe that person, what the garment does, what it needs. We get them the piece, they get in the change room, they get in and they get out. Tell me again, Clint, where I was.

Clint Betts

No. I was just wondering how high is the bar to launch something new?

Chip Wilson

Oh, yeah. Thanks for that. So in other words, if it doesn't fit within the system, then it's disruptive to the model. You need different types of salespeople, you need different types of floor space, and then it takes away from the ability to actually sell more apparel.

So as opposed to moving into technology or moving into skincare products it says, what are ancillary apparel projects which you can move into that need technology to them? And for an example, you'll see the company Figs that took the Lululemon model and basically put it into hospital scrubs. Very ugly, very unfunctional, no stretch, no antimicrobial, very dumpy, and then put fashion towards it and technology. So that is something that Lululemon should have gone into as an ancillary business, something that they can leverage all their backend of fabrics and manufacturing, and presentation, merchandising, design, et cetera.

Clint Betts

Not to say anything controversial here, but how do you think acquisitions like Mirror happen? Is it just like, "Hey, money's going to be unlimited. The dollar's always going to be zero?" I mean, because at the time, particularly during COVID, I imagine Lululemon like so many companies were exploding like, maybe this is how it's always going to be. How does something like that happen though because that really is a completely different business to hop into?

Chip Wilson

I would suspect one of the private equity directors inside of Lululemon had an interest in it and probably proposed it, and then recused themselves on the vote. I think Lululemon is such a money machine and it always has a billion dollars in the bank. And quite frankly, it doesn't have a board of directors that can see the future and doesn't understand like I was talking about the sales process. So there's an incentive for the private equity firms to make money inside of the board of directors, which I'd say is a conflict of interest.

It has too much money sitting in the bank. It doesn't want to give dividends because the minute it gives dividends and it's signaling to the market that it doesn't know where to put its money anymore, and it doesn't have the knowledge inside of the company to actually leverage the money to put it into something that would exponentially grow the company.

Clint Betts

What's it like watching something you created from the outside? That must be fascinating.

Chip Wilson

Yeah. It is. It is really no different than having a child. It grows up, it becomes a teenager, it has its own points of view and it gets out of the house. It has lots of arguments with the parent, and if it's a male anyway—males take a long time to mature—and it probably from 20s to 30s is trying to be its own person and divorce itself from its parent to prove itself. And I think that's the stage it's in and that's the way for me to look at it. It's a natural process.

Clint Betts

Was it cathartic to write your book about the founding and creating of Lululemon?

Chip Wilson

Yeah. It definitely was and I quite enjoyed it. I went through lots of renditions of it and it was my way of, I never had the chance when I left Lululemon to leave the foundation which it needed to grow in the way that I thought it needed to grow.

So my desire was to really provide information for the management and the directors to be introspective and go like, "How do we need to operate within integrity and responsibility? Where'd the market come from? Where's it going? Who is the customer and what has made us successful, and can we keep it that route?"

And instead of maybe going the way of the Gap, which it has been led by as a chairman of the board, Glenn Murphy, in that realm. And I feel it's now merchant led as opposed to design led and is heading down the same route as the Gap. And my goal then with the book was to open the eyes of the directors to see, "Is this actually happening and how do we need to change so that Lululemon can continue to be a great company?"

Clint Betts

I'm sure you've talked about this at length in other places too, but just for our viewers, what led you to leave Lululemon?

Chip Wilson

Well, it was a confluence of things. One was in 2012, I was very unhappy with the way that the business was being run. The board of directors was very happy with the CEO and the stock kept climbing, but the stock kept climbing because the CEO was putting less money into quality control and raising the prices, and so a disaster was going to happen.

So my wife and I moved to Australia with her family, and we hadn't been there for nine, 10 months. And sure enough, Lululemon had a massive quality control issue with transparency in the pants. So we came back, we fixed that, and inside a board meeting they asked me what needed to be done and I said, "Well, you really need to get rid of the CEO."

And then again, we just clashed. And I think the CEO at the time had her tentacles deep in Machiavellian principles, and had a different agenda in the background with the directors. Somehow, even though the quality control disaster had happened, the stock still continued to do well. And I think they were unwilling to admit they didn't have a successor for the CEO and they didn't know what to do, and they didn't want to put me in.

And then maybe about eight months later, I was doing an interview on Bloomberg and I had a misstep I guess, in the way that I said things, and I was probably one of the first people to get canceled. And that gave the CEO the ability to again, further push me off of being chairman.

And then we were disenfranchised with the board and the CEO, and my wife and son went and started a new company and the board thought it was a conflict of interest that my wife and son were doing it, so they set up a different committee within the board. So I was part of the board, but two minutes after the board meeting, they created another distinct committee that actually then ran the company. So then I was excluded and then I just went, well, "I need to move on with my life," and I left.

Clint Betts

How did you take all of that? I mean, that seems like just from a mental health perspective, that must have rocked your world to have to go through all that.

Chip Wilson

Yeah. I made my mistakes. I mean, I was the one responsible to get myself into that. I lost control of the board and so I'm responsible, I get it. But at the end of the day, I sat there and I went, "I've got a great family. I'd like to spend a lot of time with them, and do I really want to spend my time with the board of directors who I don't think are the right people for Lululemon?"

It'd be a life of frustration and conversation. And I think it was nine against one and I wasn't going to win, and it wasn't a life I wanted to live. I mean, from that point of view, it's all turned out perfectly.

Clint Betts

What led you to Vancouver? I'm fascinated by that.

Chip Wilson

Well, I guess, my dad was from Calgary. He went down to BYU and went to school and married my mom. We were in San Diego and LA, then we moved back to Canada. And when I was five at the Calgary and after I had started Westbeach, my surf, skate, snowboard company, I formed a partnership with two other guys and they were in the sailing business, and they wanted to sell my Westbeach clothing through their sail business.

And we ended up partnering up because they knew sales and they knew banking, and they knew accounts receivable and payable of which I knew nothing. It seemed to be a great way to learn all that type of business and to especially expand at a time. Instead of being seven years ahead in the surfing business, now every company and every athletic store in the world was going to carry surf clothing, so I did that.

And part of that then was moving to Vancouver where the sailing business was, and if you've ever been here, it's very tough to move anywhere else, but maybe Sydney, Australia.

Clint Betts

That's incredible. Your dad went to BYU. We're 10 minutes away from BYU campus right now, so there's an interesting connection. Did you guys ever live in Utah?

Chip Wilson

Well, maybe my joke is my dad went there to play football and my mom went there because of communist infiltration to California universities according to my grandpa. And so I was born April 25th, so they didn't know each other very long before my mom was pregnant, and then shotgun marriage in San Diego and never went back to Utah.

Clint Betts

That's awesome. That's incredible. Well, by the way, I can't thank you enough for coming on here. I like to end every interview with the same question and I'm super excited to hear yours.

At CEO.com, we talk a lot about chances that are given are just as important and equal to chances that we take. So chances we take on ourselves are incredible and that's the whole, like you mentioned the Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, that's the whole thing. Being able to take a chance on yourself and putting yourself out there, that's what entrepreneurship and leadership is. But there's this whole other side of that, which is chances we give or chances that were given to us.

And I just wonder if there's anyone in your life who gave you a chance that made an impact on where you are today and who you are today?

Chip Wilson

Well, it's two people in the same story. And one of them was, I was maybe 17 years old after halfway through my second year at university. And I met a woman in the airport who was a friend of a friend, so to speak, and talked to her for about an hour. And she said she was going to Alaska because her husband was running one of the five sections on the Alaska Oil pipeline, which was one of, I think, the largest free enterprise project in the world at the time. And she offered me a job, so I don't know if she saw anything in me, but that changed the trajectory of my life because I made so much money there.

But the second part of that is I had been there for about a year and I was a hard worker, and I would do anything for anyone, anytime. And it was like a union mentality and that wasn't very well received, and so there was a job that I had, that I was a laborer in the labor union. The Teamsters wanted the job and they arranged to have me moved out of my job so they could take it. So I'm out of a job and I'm sitting there in the middle of Alaska with nothing to do. But this other gentleman came up to me, he said, "I've been watching you over the last three or four months, and I understand you're out of a job. You're a hard worker and I need someone like you."

And I think at that age, so I must have been 18, maybe early 19, that really cemented in my life that there's a direct correlation between hard work, integrity, responsibility for the job, not lowering myself to the union mentality, but raising myself above it, and I think I can't say enough for that particular moment.

Clint Betts

Chip, I can't thank you enough for spending the time that you spent with us. I highly recommend everybody read your book. I think it's super fascinating. I'm going to keep following you now on all of these various ventures you're in, and I'm excited to see where it goes. I appreciate it.

Weekly Newsletter

For Leaders

Subscribe to the weekly newsletter read by the world's most influential CEOs.