DiscoverWin Monday with Paul EpsteinPurpose and Petri Dishes (ft. Garry Ridge, CEO of WD-40)
Purpose and Petri Dishes  (ft. Garry Ridge, CEO of WD-40)

Purpose and Petri Dishes (ft. Garry Ridge, CEO of WD-40)

Update: 2022-08-10


Purpose and Petri Dishes (ft. Garry Ridge)

On humility in leadership and growing a culture


“Ask yourself this question. Why do I believe what I believe? Are you really scared of something, or is it because you are making up the story in your own mind?”

- Garry Ridge


Garry Ridge is CEO of WD-40, having joined in Australia in 1987. He became head of the company’s Asia and Australia efforts in 1994 and CEO in 1997. Since joining the company, he’s expanded the company globally and broadened the product range— all while building an organization that is still true to its founding values. Additionally, he’s written several books on leadership and is Adjunct Professor of Leadership at San Diego University and an executive coach.

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[2:38 ] - The Three Most Powerful Words

On the role of humility in leadership

Garry often says that the three most powerful words a CEO can say are “I don’t know.” Why? “We just have to be authentic in our heart, be tough minded but tenderhearted. Heart of gold, backbone of steel.” Being a leader doesn’t mean having all the answers. It means acknowledging when you don’t, and empowering the people around you to help find them.

[14:33 ] - What to Look for in an Organization

You escaped a bad job. Now what?

Garry has advice for anyone who has joined the Great Resignation (or, as he calls it, the Great Escape) and is seeking their next organization. “Number one, does the leadership openly admit that people matter? Can you feel that? Number two, is there a clearly defined purpose in the organization that actually attracts you? Number three, is there a set of values that are clearly defined? Number four, is there an atmosphere of not failure, but learning? Finally…is there a command and control atmosphere, or a coaching atmosphere?”

[20:07 ] - The Person I Want to Be

What’s on your list?

Garry keeps a note taped to his computer that reads, “Am I being the person I want to be right now?” The question is, who is that person? Make a list of the traits you want to possess and live out in your day to day life. Grateful? Caring? Whatever they are, make sure you know them consciously. Then spend each day living those traits.

[31:26 ] - Creating Culture…in Science Class

Culture is as much about what’s not there as what’s there

As a child, Garry grew bacteria cultures in a petri dish. When toxins appeared, they had to be removed quickly or they would make the cultures go bad and fail to grow. In company culture, the goal is the same. You have to enhance what’s in there that you want to remain, and take out what shouldn’t be there as quickly and effectively as possible.


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Paul Epstein may not be a hard charging running back on the actual football field, but his list of high-profile wins in the world of sports will have you thinking that he could be.

Paul has spent nearly 15 years as a pro sports executive for multiple NFL and NBA teams, a global sports agency, and the NFL league office. He’s transformed numerous NBA teams from the absolute bottom in league revenue to top-two in financial performance. He’s broken every premium revenue metric in Super Bowl history as the NFL’s sales leader. He opened a billion-dollar stadium, helped save the New Orleans NBA franchise, and founded the San Francisco 49ers Talent Academy.

He's since installed his leadership and high-performance playbook with Fortune 500 leaders, Founders and CEOs, MBAs, and professional athletes.

Now, as a global keynote speaker, #1 bestselling author, personal transformation expert, turned senior leader and advisor to PurposePoint and the Why Institute, and host of the Playmakers: On Purpose podcast, Paul explores how living and working with a focus on leadership, culture, and purpose can transform organizations and individuals anywhere to unleash their full potential.

Learn more about Paul at


The Playmakers: On Purpose podcast is an all-access pass to a purpose-centered tribe of leaders in business, sports, and life who are on a mission of meaning and impact. The show takes purpose from an out of reach North Star to a practical and tactical exploration of how we can step into each day, ON PURPOSE, where life no longer happens “to us”, it begins to happen “for us”. 

From the Why Coach of the San Francisco 49ers to your coach, take a seat at the table with sports industry executive, #1 bestselling author, personal transformation expert, turned senior leader and advisor to PurposePoint and the Why Institute, Paul Epstein, in this inspiring, yet immediately actionable podcast. 

From formative stories pre-purpose to personal and professional transformation’s post-purpose, each show will share a high-energy, prescriptive blueprint to ignite impact and drive inner success, fulfillment, and purpose no matter your starting point. It’s time to meet Paul at the 50 and get ready to live and lead ON PURPOSE.

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In Detroit, history was made when Barry Gordy opened Motown Records back in 1960. More than just discovering great talent, Gordy built a systematic approach to launching superstars. His rigorous processes, technology, and development methods were the secret sauce behind legendary acts such as The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.

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With over 75 combined years of experience in content development, audio production, music scoring, storytelling, and digital marketing, Detroit Podcast Studios provides full-service development, training, and production capabilities to take podcasts from messy ideas to finely tuned hits. Here’s to making (podcast) history together.

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Purpose and Petri Dishes  (ft. Garry Ridge, CEO of WD-40)

Purpose and Petri Dishes (ft. Garry Ridge, CEO of WD-40)

Connor Trombley, Paul Epstein, Garry Ridge, Detroit Podcast Studios