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Leadership

Advice and Whiskey with Joe Daues, CEO of Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks

Joe Daues, CEO of Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks, sat down with us to share the nuggets of wisdom he’s gained during this long career—from anchoring the news to running a nonprofit organization.

Interview by Jamie Beckman, edited by Katie Pollock Estes

Jan 2024

Joe Daues, CEO of Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks with Jamie Beckman
Photo by Leah StiefermannJoe Daues talks hockey, meditation and living to 100. Purchase Photo

“We had a saying [when I worked] in timeshare sales: Know all you tell, don’t tell all you know. I don’t adopt that in my current business dealings. I’d rather tell people all I know, so they walk in with eyes wide open. I want everybody to know the good, the bad and the ugly of a situation, so if this doesn’t fit where they are in life or where they want to be, then they can make the decision that they’re out, and there are no hard feelings.”

I’m a hockey goalie, ice hockey, and I love it. The Japanese have this thing called ikigai. It’s essentially that thing that drives you. [Netflix’s series about Blue Zones] says that people in that area live to be over 100 because they have ikigai, and they don’t let it go. If you let it go and are like, ‘I’m too old to do that anymore,’ then you’ve lost your desire to fuel your life. While it might not rise to that level, hockey is my thing.”

“I never really had an idol until I met Steve Hartman, that guy from CBS who threw a dart at a map, then went there to find a story. His motto was ‘everybody has a story.’ I was just so amazed by that guy’s ability to peel the onion—to tell a little bit of the story, then tell a little bit of the story, then all of a sudden say, ‘By the way, this person is the former mayor of Los Angeles’ or something crazy like that.”

“There are a lot of big egos in TV newsrooms. The top of the food chain, the top of the prima donnas, is the anchor. I was the anchor, so I lived it. I understand that, and I probably suffered from that.”

“One of the craziest things I’ve ever done is go on a 10-day silent Buddhist meditation retreat. At the end of the day, it helped me realize that the ego, the thing that you consider is you, is like this very selfish child that needs to be fed all the time. The more you can separate that ego from what you do in life, and why you do it, the better off you’ll be.”

Joe Daues is CEO of Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks.