Dr. Mollie Marti has been a lawyer, a psychologist, a university professor, an author, and is now the director of a nonprofit organization. One of her mentors growing up was a judge. Judge Max Rosenn, he’s since passed away, but she wrote a book about his experience. He was one of those extremely influential people who made a difference. One of the things that made him so influential was his ability of being present for other people. Everybody thought very highly of the man and he made a huge difference.
Dr. Mollie Marti is the author of Walking with Justice and co-author of The 12 Factors of Business Success. After years of active partnership with nonprofit organizations, she recently accepted a position as CEO of the nonprofit Community Resiliency Project, dedicated to empowering communities to grow resilient youth and create an environment in which no life is lost to suicide.
Zeb’s Take – Being Present with People and Making an Impact
Dr. Mollie Marti had a lot of really interesting things to say about success and life in general. I really loved the sentiment she expressed about her mentor, the judge, Judge Max Rosenn and what he was able to do, not just for her, but for his community and the people around him. What struck me was when I asked what about him made him so memorable and made so many people think so highly of him, and it was his ability of being present in the conversation when talking with people. He would drop the things he was doing and he would be present and try to address the needs and concerns of the people that came to him.
That’s a very admirable skill to have, and not just admirable. It’s a trait that a lot of success people possess. We’re in a smart phone age with social media and constantly being connected to the internet, and trying to be social in that context, but we can miss out on genuine face-to-face human interaction. It’s a skill that is diminishing. The more that you can acquire that skill, being present for other people when they come to you with questions, the better you will be.
I know I’m guilty of this myself. Your mind wanders to different topics during a conversation. Those things happen but the more you can avoid doing that, the more you can actually listen and pay attention and be present for the people there the more beneficial and helpful you can be to the person. Those people are going to think much more highly of you. Usually if someone is telling you a story or something about their lives they are looking for feedback and for your genuine responses. The more you are being present for that the more people will feel that respect from you.
That’s something I really struggle with. I make a conscious effort to try and be present when people are talking with me. This podcast is actually a way to help me with that. I know sometimes I lose track, and maybe you listeners have noticed a time or two when my mind might wander into a different direction, but this podcast has really helped me stay focused and at being present for other people.
Now go out there and find your success!
Find out more about Dr. Mollie Marti her books and the Community Resiliency Project
- “It is really our service, especially to our communities, that enriches us and defines the quality of our life.”
- “We need to be very intentional about being present with others and making those connections that nurture others, and that nurture ourselves as well.”
- “Our mission is to empower communities to grow stronger youth and create an environment in which no life is lost to suicide.”
- “It is just following your own heartbreak, and my heart was broken by these losses and how they happened and the impact that they made.”
- “Success is a big word. Passion is a big word. Vision is a big word. We work with these big words and sometimes people just get stuck thinking about them.”
- “What breaks your heart and you just think there’s got to be a better way. Ask those type of questions and then what’s one step you can take to just make things a little bit better in your corner of the world.”
- “It’s about coming through whatever challenge more wise and stronger and with a deeper sense of your mission and why you are here. That all will equate to a more rich and meaningful life.”
- “I look at people and I just see the extraordinary potential that they have. I’m passionate about helping them tap more and more of that.”
- “Thrive and serve. I’m about living vibrantly, using that potential, and living in a way that is meaningful to yourself. Loving your life while you’re serving others and making that impact.”
- “No matter what the world says of you or to you, with your accolades and your accomplishments, if you don’t live in a way that the people you love the most know that they’re loved and feel that love and you haven’t made those deposits that love lives on long after you’re gone, I don’t think you’re successful.”
More From the Interview
By training, Dr. Mollie is a lawyer and a social psychologist. She did the law first and she went to clerk with a judge. A very wise judge who changed Dr. Mollie’s life in many ways, one of them was a perspective on how we interact with our communities and how service really defines the value of our life. That came as a young lawyer. She practiced law, went back got her PhD, worked in performance psychology with a lot of athletes and corporate. Then she wrote a couple business books.
She says the thing that connects all of her past occupations is her utter fascination with human beings and their potential, and her really strong pursuit of justice. She says, “Even as a kid if I thought something wasn’t fair I would get really riled up about it.” I was always studying people and what made them tick. Psychology was a great fit for me and a higher use of my potential than law. I always had my hand in law, but when I’m working in the area of performance psychology, positive psyche, human potentiality, resiliency, all of those things I get lit up pretty quickly.
When she was young her family’s business what on the cutting edge of antibodies vs antibiotics. The work they did was a threat to the established drug companies. When she was 14-years-old she remembers going with family members and seeing the lawyers and all of this stuff through the courts. At the end of it they got an extension on a patent. The family was celebrating when they got a phone call saying the bill had disappeared of the presidents desk. At the age of 14 she wondered how these drug companies could be so powerful to take this bill of the president of the united state’s desk. It inspired her to go into law.
Dr. Mollie wrote a book called Walking with Justice about her greatest life mentor Judge Max Rosenn. She says he’s hard to describe and quantify, his colleagues referred to him as a Judge’s Judge. He was a prominent federal judge on the 3rd circuit court of appeals and, to this day, he is still one of the most cited jurists in American history. While by his side she saw portraits, law libraries, even a whole federal building dedicated to him. While he was still alive they renamed the building that he went to work to everyday. He had a great deal of impact.
She went to learn the law from him, but what she didn’t expect to learn was that “it is really our service, especially to our communities, that enriches us and defines the quality of our life.” He was a servant of the people. A humble and very wise man.
Six years ago Dr. Mollie became very ill with a life threatening heart condition. Her regrets surfaced up. She was surprised that one of her regrets was that she never put Judge’s lessons in a book for others to learn from him. Judge had died and if she died all of that information would die with her. Dr. Mollie decided that when she got better that would be her priority. She says, “It actually helped me heal. As I returned to Judge’s life wisdom and love and lessons and put that in a story for others, I found it very healing for myself.”
She shared some of her 25 Uncommon Leadership Lessons from Judge Max Rosenn
- Your value lies not in status or title but in the ruts of your character and depth of your compassion.
- With every choice you create the life you live. With every decision you design it.
- Helping others in need is not only a responsibility of life, it is what gives meaning to life.
- Our power lies in our small daily choices one after another to create eternal ripples of a life well lived.
She says while she was watching and learning from him when he didn’t even know, when the endless traffic of people from his community come to his door and what he did to help them and try to find ways to help and refer them to other people, were what made him so memorable. “Watching how he served day-in and day-out and helped people and how he shared his presence both with others, but with us. You walk into the presence of judge and you would literally feel like you were the only one in the world.”
She was a young lawyer who was on fire to change the world. She saw that he got a tremendous amount done but he did it by being very centered and very mindful and creating this presence. He carried this stillness with him. He gifted his presence to others.
She says it’s challenging In the world we live in now. We can get caught up in our computer our smartphone even when the most important people in our world are there.
“We need to be very intentional about being present with others and making those connections that nurture others, and that nurture ourselves as well. They nurture us at a very deep level.”
Dr. Mollie’s nonprofit, Community Resiliency Project, started when her small town in Iowa lost three teens to suicide within 6 months time. She had three teens of her own in the same school. It deeply affected the community. She had taken a hiatus from working on her book, Walking with Justice, she came back to it and was affected by the text she had previously written. She realized she was a psychologist, a resiliency researcher, a member of this community, a mother of teens, well connected in the mental health field, she thoughtt I need to do something. “I am being called right here and right now to do something.” She started that day, making phone calls and organizing meetings to put something together so that not only something good could come out of these tragic and heartbreaking losses but that something must.
That was 3 years ago, since then the work has continued and they’ve spread information to many other communities.
“Our mission is to empower communities to grow stronger youth and create an environment in which no life is lost to suicide.”
Her book sales and personal contributions were what funded the work, now they’ve become a nonprofit and are starting to get more support from foundations and writing grants and things like that. The work continues on a more national level and she has stepped in as CEO and she continues to direct this work.
She found a need and then addressed that need in her community. She stepped up to the plate.
It’s not so much as finding a need. “It is just following your own heartbreak, and my heart was broken by these losses and how they happened and the impact that they made.”
“Success is a big word. Passion is a big word. Vision is a big word. We work with these big words and sometimes people just get stuck thinking about them. And so I think it can be really helpful […] what breaks your heart and you just think there’s got to be a better way. Ask those type of questions and then what’s one step you can take to just make things a little bit better in your corner of the world.”
This connect to another interview Zeb had with Angela Meyers, Choose to Matter listen to it next.
Resiliency is the ability to respond to, cope with and grow through adversity. Resiliency is not about bouncing back it’s about growing through adversity.
On resiliency: “It’s about coming through whatever challenge more wise and stronger and with a deeper sense of your mission and why you are here. That all will equate to a more rich and meaningful life.”
Another book she worked on, The 12 Factors of Business Success, she wrote with Wiley. The chapters talk about self-discipline, having a game plan, taking directive action, decision making, living from passion, having confidence, mastering criticism (a popular chapter), self-control, resilience, wealth building, putting support structures in place, and the mindset for success.
They asked over 10,000 people their questions and challenges for success. They loaded as much coaching into the book as they could.
“I look at people and I just see the extraordinary potential that they have. I’m passionate about helping them tap more and more of that.”
On Success: “To live true to yourself, to live vibrantly, and live in service to others in a way that people you love the most will say that you showered them with love.”
“Thrive and serve. I’m about living vibrantly, using that potential, and living in a way that is meaningful to yourself. Loving your life while you’re serving others and making that impact.”
“No matter what the world says of you or to you, with your accolades and your accomplishments, if you don’t live in a way that the people you love the most know that they’re loved and feel that love and you haven’t made those deposits that love lives on long after you’re gone, I don’t think you’re successful.”