In today’s episode, I’m talking with author and investment banker and navigator of the venture capital, Gil Ahrens. While Gil’s resume and career would impress the masses, his greatest strength comes in the lessons he’s overcome through his suffering and ability to discover hope in unlikely places.
Gil is the author of Shaken, Shattered, and Stirred, which is the story of how he and his wife endured a horrific car accident. The experience was life-altering and continues to impact Gil’s life today.
My discussion with Gil was full of insight you might not have considered before. Here is a summary of some of the most impactful ideas from this episode.
Learn to Lean Into Your Gifting
Gil is someone who is deeply inspired by his faith in God. It fuels his decision-making and how he spends his time and resources. But at the same time, Gil has a gift for providing insight in settings where he can make a positive impact and empower teams to reach their financial goals. It may seem like the two might not go together, but they absolutely do, because that is Gil’s strength.
When you pay attention to those things that come naturally to you, you can do things with excellence, and that is certainly one of God’s qualities.
Suffering is Not a Unique Experience
Not all suffering is equal, but suffering in itself is the human experience. We fool ourselves when we think we are entitled to a life without challenge and suffering. As Gil recounted the story of the car accident, moments before the crash, God spoke to Gil. He wouldn’t take away the pain, but He promised he would be present in all of it.
Doctors could not explain Gil’s wife’s recovery as anything else but miraculous. For all purposes, some would say they shouldn’t be alive based on the intensity of the impact they experienced. What Gil wants you to know is that whatever challenge you are facing, you are not alone.
Connecting is Key
This is a very unique season of global suffering. So the question becomes, how are we going to listen? How are we going to embrace people in the places they are hurting? These moments are big opportunities to demonstrate compassion and empathy. It’s time to step into these moments and show up for other people.
This is also the place where leaders can have the most influence. The days of authoritarian leadership are gone. If you’re going to lead well, it’s going to require you to get messy and ready to discover hope in unlikely places.
Gil holds degrees from New York University and Boston University and he also briefly studied music at the New England Conservatory of Music. Early in his business career, he co-founded a consumer electronics start-up, worked in strategic planning, and managed pioneering eCommerce deployment at a Fortune 50 company.
Over the past three decades, Gil has been an investment banker and navigator of the venture capital ecosystem. He currently is Managing Director and Global Head of Venture Capital and Growth Coverage at Deutsche Bank. Throughout his focus has been on helping companies and executives optimize outcomes.
He is also the author of Shattered, Shaken, and Stirred in which he shares his family’s journey of reconnecting with what matters most after loss and adversity. Gil lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is married to his amazing wife, Kim, and is a proud father of one daughter. This book was written to remind people that they are never alone in the hardships they endure.