Kale Flagg is a longtime developer and businessman in Nevada, where he currently is a General Partner in the American Redevelopment Fund, LP. A graduate of Yale University, Kale Flagg gained experience in sales and business ownership early in his career. Recently Kale Flagg gave the staff at Interviewing Experts his thoughts on the value of believing in oneself.

Interviewing Experts: You use the analogy of a famous tightrope walker in the 1800s.

Kale Flagg: Yes, Charles Blondin. He wasn’t just a tightrope walker, though.

Interviewing Experts: He crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope, didn’t he?

Kale Flagg: In 1859, he crossed Niagara Falls—1,100 feet across—not just once but several times in a row.

Interviewing Experts: And there was a crowd watching?

Kale Flagg: He’d put an ad in the New York Times that managed to draw a crowd in the thousands.

Interviewing Experts: Each time before he crossed, he asked the crowd if they thought he could do it.

Kale Flagg: Yes, and each time he amazed them! He crossed pushing a wheelbarrow, he crossed blindfolded, and he crossed on stilts. Each time, the audience cheered and by the time he crossed on stilts, they seemed to be convinced. But then…

Interviewing Experts: But then…?

Kale Flagg: He asked the big question. He asked for one volunteer from the crowd to cross the tightrope on his back. None of the onlookers who came because of the ad stepped forward.

Interviewing Experts: But they’d just watched him cross on stilts.

Kale Flagg: They believed he could do it. But they didn’t believe enough to put themselves at personal risk. That would have been true belief.

Interviewing Experts: How does true belief translate into everyday life?

Kale Flagg: With true belief, you not only say you believe but your actions show it.

Interviewing Experts: For the people at Niagara Falls, though, it was a huge risk, even though they saw that the tightrope walker was capable.

Kale Flagg: Yes, but they’d seen him attempt the impossible not once, not twice, but three times. Each time when he asked the crowd if they thought he could do it, they applauded. But when it came down to proving they thought he could do it, nobody was willing. None of the onlookers had true belief.

Interviewing Experts: So, exactly how does this translate to the business world?

Kale Flagg: When I make major business decisions, I do it based on true belief. That blind faith that doesn’t say that I think I’ll succeed…it says I know I will succeed.

Interviewing Experts: You also ask your clients and colleagues to have the same belief, correct?

Kale Flagg: Absolutely. I strive for my clients to have the same belief in me…so that we can cross that tightrope together.

Kale Flagg is a respected entrepreneur who holds business seminars throughout the country. After beginning his career on Wall Street, Kale Flagg built a succession of accomplishments that led him to his current position with the American Redevelopment Fund.

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