Chip Conley – Wisdom At Work

Our guest today is Chip Conley, the American hotelier and New York Times bestselling author who helped grow AirBNB into the world’s leading hospitality brand.

In 2008 Chip collapsed while giving a speech – technically dying 9 times on the way to hospital – which led him to drastically reshape his life and sell the business that he founded at 26-years-old.

A few years later he became the Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy at Airbnb, tasked with growing the business to more than one million hosts in 191 countries.

Today Chip promotes the concept of the “Modern Elder”, with his latest book “Wisdom at Work” teaching people how to become indispensable employees in the second half of their working life.


00:00 Trailer.

02:25 Brian’s thoughts on the episode.

03:32 Brian’s introduction.

04:16 Why Chip loves London

05:43 How dying taught him how to live.

09:07 What he saw on the other side each time he died

11:04 Request to become a mentor for Airbnb leads to the realisation that led to his book Wisdom at Work.

20:05 How a modern elder in the company can be really helpful in a company of younger people.

22:19 Companies need to have mutual mentorship across generations.

25:24 Being interested not interesting.

29:29 Mentorship can be a beneficial mutual relationship.

41:25 The mid-life edit opportunity.

1:01:05 Looking towards a time when people live to 120 or 150 years.

1:02:55 The purpose for creating the Modern Elder Academy.

1:09:08 Burning Man, what it is.

1:13:33 Chip’s daily practice.

1:15:42 What it was like to learn he had prostate cancer.

1:23:15 Why Chip moved from San Francisco to Austin, Texas.

1:27:44 What is Chip’s superpower.

1:29:44 The worst and best days of his life.

1:36:45 What scares Chip.

1:46:44 What we would be surprised to learn about him.

1:50:48 What keeps him awake at night.

1:51:49 Success secrets.

1:53:18 Brian’s summing up.

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slastin692StephenJenijojazzi60 Recent comment authors
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What a wonderful conversation! Thank you to both of you! I am really intrigued and ready to become a wise elder 😉


He spins too many abstract nouns around the simple concept of mentoring. His mode of speech becomes a barrier, frankly. But interesting nonetheless.


Great conversation for those of us that are in this age range. Love the idea of being a Men/tern. Got me thinking of some great ways to be useful yet be a student. Love it!!!