#535 – Reframing Coaching With Michael Bungay Stanier/
- December 3, 2019
Michael Bungay Stanier – Author & thought leader
Michael is the world’s number one thought leader in coaching, regularly delivering keynotes at Leadership, HR and Learning & Development conferences around the world.
Michael is also the author of several books, including The Coaching Habit and Do More Great Work, and his work has been featured in Business Insider, Forbes and The Huffington Post.
Michael’s coaching philosophy focuses on being less advice-driven and being more curiosity led.
On today’s episode of The Daily Talk Show, we discuss:
– Michael’s tattoos
– The different approaches to coaching
– Coaching in a sales capacity
– Live coaching with Harry
– The publishing process
– Detaching yourself from the outcome
– Translating ideas into tools
– What makes a great conversation
– Space and stillness
– Pizza innovation
Michael’s new book: https://www.theadvicetrap.com
Box of Crayons: https://boxofcrayons.com
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Send us mail: PO BOX 400, Abbotsford VIC 3067
The Daily Talk Show is an Australian talk show and daily podcast by Tommy Jackett and Josh Janssen. Tommy and Josh chat about life, creativity, business, and relationships — big questions and banter. Regularly visited by guests and gronks! If you watch the show or listen to the podcast, you’re part of the Gronk Squad.
This podcast is produced by BIG MEDIA COMPANY. Find out more at https://bigmediacompany.com/
It's the daily Talk Show Episode 535 special guests in the studio, Michael bungay stanier you know what I have 535 tattooed on my chest. My lucky number forever. So what are the odds? Is that you like bananas on that's a lucky shirt. I like anything with a fruit thing. You I love you get up. And I did and you've just reviewed your tattoo that I didn't see when we spent a day doing a workshop with you. I like that. What is the title of it? It is it's meant to be the Australian country. So I live in Canada. And I love Australia. I miss it when I'm there. So as I kind of totemic piece, I got a Gumtree I spent four years trying to find a tattoo artist who would design this I had this vision for what it would be and I keep going into studios and they go I don't get what you're talking about mate. So they are all Canadian. Yeah, I finally went to this one where this guy went Look, I'm going to colour overnight for it. I could give the signal
I like it. I like a adventure. I'm like, fantastic. So we do the first three hour session and he does the black outline. And I'm like, that's good that he spent three months going back and forth on a design that we finally got one I liked. And then on the second session, I'm kind of lying there on his tattoo couch, kind of staring up at the ceiling and trying to ignore the pain. At a certain point, I looked down and he's completely ignoring the design that we spent three or four months doing and it's just free endings off. I don't like
like a paragraph where you're like, Can you just delete that and start again on my own? So
I committed now did you bring it up? No, cuz I was just like, Okay. Well, I said to myself is whatever happens I'm committed to loving this tattoo.
You got it's like it's on my head. So I'm gonna I'm gonna love this tattoo. No matter what happens and it turns out where he went with it was better than actually a design so I love it now. Perfect. You said a eucalyptus tree.
tree like a snow gum. If you
Listening it's a Gumtree if you're looking at it on psychedelics because it is California so it's a great I love the take on a Gumtree. Yeah, in its colour. Well, I mean gum trees I see some gum trees will have this kind of strange and a little kind of subtle colour to it, but it was like it's bumped it up a little bit. I feel like it's quite on brand because when we when I met you for the first time at your workshop, I love to get up. I love the vibe. And I loved your the your way of presenting even more so yeah. I said to you, as we were leaving, I said I don't know what you did, but I've got more energy now after a full day workshop. Then when I got really high during Yeah,
actually psychedelics we put psychedelics on the water that also helps with that your first tattoo. I know my first my first tattoo was actually that little Southern Cross in there. I got that done 30 years ago when I first left Australia, kind of before it became a symbol for the right wing hate groups. Okay, that's awkward. Which I party white poly wave
Gumtree is there as it kind of hides the Southern Cross. But I have a, you know, I love seeing the actual constellation when I come back to the southern hemisphere. And then I live in Canada and I'm married to a Canadian there's an issue with snow geese. And so so geese and geese in general they make for life. So it's a kind of Canadian shout out to my wife when I first moved to Canada 20 years ago got that tattooed on. That's not 535 in
of this episode, I mean, it's still a little tender going to go to die like an hour and a half ago. So I'm like,
I'm hunched a bit. Michael, you're an author? Yes, coach, how do you describe who you are, what you do for a cross because it's not who you are and what you do in this world.
I try to avoid that topic. And I'm not very articulate about it. But I founded a company called Box of Crayons Box of Crayons is a learning and development company. And our mission is to help organisations be less advice driven and more curiosity LED, and the thing we're best known for is helping
People be more coach like ask better questions as that kind of driver for coaching is that consultancy? So I wouldn't call it consultancy. I've been a consultant and a consultant, you've cone shopping, you're like, Look, I'm x hundred dollars a day. And I'm going to come in and we're going to fix something for you. And you try to wrestle with the client around what the problem is, and you help come up with solutions and you execute. Learning and Development is like we need our people to elevate, change, be different, learn something new. And that's what we are taught Box of Crayons cells. Now,
four months ago, I gave up being CEO a box of crayons to a colleague. So I'm now men without portfolio. I'm trying to figure out what I do for across now. But I'm a writer, so I've got a new book coming out. February the 29th. I speak so people pay me to come and stroll around on the stage and teach and share.
But mostly I don't do it for Christ. I do it for the impact. I'm going to
Miss life now well definitely shows that you love what you do. I think I had a kind of one dimensional view of coaching before your workshop because I, I did a I attempted to do a degree at the Coaching Institute, which are very much about how can we help people with their problems and it's
hopefully you understand what I mean, your the way you put a spin on the coaching staff is utilising coaching. we seen a greater span than just kinda like a mindset coach, it could be within a business as an HR leader. Yeah. And so one of my heroes in this space of how organisations work is a guy called Peter block. I love his work. He says, he's now like, 75 he's grumpy. He's got edgy, spiky but I love his thinking. He comes when you turn 75
I'm almost there. And he wrote a blurb for the first book ever wrote, which was a big highlight for me. It's like, you know, Beethoven going nice pizza.
MUSIC I'm like, paid a block likes my book. And he said in this book, he said, Look, coaching isn't a profession, it's a way of being with each other. And that's a big part of what I'm about because because the word coaching comes with a lot of baggage for a lot of people, their life coaches, yeah, I've met them. There are, you know, life coaches, or there's executive coaches, and they've all got their agendas and their ways of doing things. And they don't have their place. I mean, there's a place for all of that. For me, I'm like, how do I help everybody be more coach like, and that's a shift from being able to kind of a label and a profession. And it's a way of showing up in the world. And it's a and this is the definition we have for be more coach, like, Can you stay curious a little bit longer? Can you rush to action and advice giving a little bit more slowly? Because my take on it? And this is part of what you guys experience in the workshop? Is your advice giving maineiacs? Right, you get into a conversation. You're like, I think I know what I need to tell you. I don't know. I don't know who you're involved. I don't know what's going on. I don't know the context. I don't know the situation. Yeah. And I've got an opinion and we're like, you know what, it's
There's nothing wrong with advice per se. What's wrong is when you have just a default way of working or default way of kind of responding which is my job is to always have the answer. And that's what I'm looking to shift within the consultancy space. Yeah. Is there a extra level of need or feeling that people need to give advice based on that's what they're charging for are totally. So you get into that cycle where I hire a consultant, cuz I can't come up with the answers myself and I'm outsourcing that hard work. The consultant Guys, look, my only job here is to have an answer. So and so you're colluding in this process where and again, there's a place in a time where advice is exactly the right thing to do. And sometimes as a consultant you Your job is to come back with the answer.
But if you want me to nerd out here, another another writer, edge shine another huge figure kind of him Peter blocker, the Colossus, strategy stride above the ocean here and add shine, wrote a book called
Process consulting. It's a little bit academic because he's a former professor from MIT in the States. And he says, There are three types of consulting relationships. There is the, what does he call it? The
kind of the straight transactional piece, which is like I come to you and I want an answer. And your job is to give me an answer. And there's a really nice way that that's a crisp, clean, fast relationship. But the problem is I'm like, I'm relying on you to have an answer. And you're going look
that they say in advertising the problem with advertising, you go to an advert advertising agency, go, here's my challenge, they go, I think I know what your answer is. You need some advertising, right? If you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail and in that relationship, there's often somebody who's a hammer going, I think you should use a nail or I think I should bang the nail and that's one relationship. The second type of relationship the doctor patient relationship. So you know what that's like. You come to the doctor and you go, Wow, here my symptoms and the doctor goes, Okay, okay. I suggest
This. But that's a complicated and flawed relationship as well. Because you come to the doctor and you're like, well, I'm going to tell you some of my symptoms, but not all of the symptoms, because it honestly, this rash is a little awkward. I don't want to mention that. And I've kind of done a little research myself on Dr. Google. So I kind of made up what I think the answer already is. And the doctor doesn't have enough time. And they're like, okay, we'll just try and get them out the door and have this medication, and then they give you the medication, and then you don't use the medication because you go, Oh, I took the pills for three days, and my symptoms kind of went away, so I won't take the rest of the pills. So that's a flawed model as well. And the third type of consulting that that Ed shine talks about, is process consulting. Not a great name. But it's really where you lead with curiosity. You lead with the thought that Look, my experience and my wisdom and my knowledge will help ask better questions, and potentially share a better answer down the path. But I'm trying to keep ownership of the problem with you so that you're more likely to have insight into what the problem
is generate your own answer and then own and act on your own answer. So there's different approaches to consulting as well. And so if someone is that consultant, the idea of asking more questions, just ask more questions. I mean, really, I mean, it was, this is my other tattoo, they're still kind of healing. So I just get asked more questions because we, in this new book, I talk about the advice monster. And, you know, as soon as somebody starts talking, the advice monster comes up, battle the doc and go, all I'm going to add some value to this conversation right away. Yes, I am. Here comes the value. And I'm like, Look, I guess to advice. But what if you just waited two more minutes and just asked a few more questions before you gave your advice? You're going to find that you need to give it less than you think that when you do give it it's better, smarter, more specific, that they probably come up with a bunch of the answers themselves, which actually they make you that makes them think you're smarter because they figured it out themselves. There's all sorts of benefits to staying key.
A little bit longer. Is there a fine line between asking the questions? And the questions are all good to answer Yes.
Which I think is I think Tommy's always picking up on that. It's like I pick up what
should you? What about this is actually not technically a question.
Advice with a question.
nothing more annoying that you go. Let me ask the question again, a little slower and a little louder. And hopefully, you'll get the answers I need you to get here like, honestly, at that point you like to give them
because it's just annoying everybody. Everybody's now annoyed by this conversation. So these kind of fake questions, you know, or rhetorical questions, example of one with a question. Have you thought of, did you try Have you considered what about the they're all they're all just kind of, I'm trying to solve this under the pretence. I'm asking you a question. Let's drop the
pretence it's advice. Yeah. Yeah. I mean,
I think that that's the the heart. And so we're flip it on its head. What is the approach? And how do you? How do you squash that down? Even if you think you're not being an advice monster at that point? Yeah. So
there's a couple of levels to this. The first is to go look, what are some of the good questions that you can ask that you can rely on that can be effective. So you both took the workshop. And it was months ago, like maybe three months ago. So I don't expect you to remember anything from the workshop other than it was a good time. But he said one or two questions that stick with you from that workshop, whatever. What else? What else? Yes, the biggest challenge fear effect. So two great questions. And what else? So I talked about that as the best coaching question in the world, because he could almost always answer it. And he's white, so effective. Whatever their answer is to the first question. It's not their only answer. There's almost never their best answer. So you go when you're ready. When they give you an answer, you go great. What else could you do? Well,
What else? Is there? Anything else here? And they're like, Oh, well, actually there is and you're like, perfect. You're working it. I love that. And what's the real challenge here for you? This is what I call the in the first book, the coaching habit. I call this the focus question. Because so much of our lives, we're busy trying to solve the wrong problems. And we think the first thing that gets mentioned is the real thing. It almost never is. So that discipline to go, Okay, I get what's going on. What's the real challenge here for you, is a way of quickly deepening the conversation so that you actually start actually solving the real problem. So when you mentioned something, and you go, what have you thought of? Okay, now you're like, Okay, now you're annoying. Right? Now you're giving me advice and pretending to coach me. So instead, you go Oh, here so what do you think the real challenges here for you?
Now you're like, Oh, I you get to work less hard. Yeah. So you're like I think the part of it is like
Tommy will sometimes say what I've just given you what I think the answer is, I think that obviously there's something else because you're asking again. Yeah. So how do you? How do you deal with that? Which is like when people feel like the first or second thought is their final thought. So I always go, what's the lazy way of doing this? So I stopped trying to be tricky. Okay, we're playing. We're in a mind game now. And I'm going to try and play mental chess with you to play figure this out. So I would just go if you feel Tommy's going, Okay. He's going to be annoyed with me asking that question, because he's already told me what he thinks the real challenges go.
Right? This may be a little annoying, but I just because I'm curious. So I just want to make sure we've got the real challenge here. What do you think the real challenges here for you? Just addressing? You know, he's like, yeah, that is annoying, but actually, it's a good question. What is the real challenge? The funny thing on being on the opposite side to that getting asked that and feeling someone prodding you like that. There's a level of
committing to this week. It's almost a game like I'm not like I get there with the second thing I enter into this. I can't see what you're doing
this ad lib Yeah, yeah. What behaves like a bit meta? Yeah. Because it because we because we both did the workshop. Yeah, we have this framework. And so you know what's happening? Yeah. And sometimes and so sometimes it actually means that, like I've said, like, we are using this for like, this is the framework, like let's be clear on it. So it's not like, I'm just asking these if you think about I'm just asking the water actually, that and so there's no judgement if we're just using the framework. There isn't really any judgement. Yeah, it's like, just check out
collections. Can we use that coaching framework? Would it be useful if we just ask some questions around this? Yeah, you know what, I'm just going to ask you some of these group coaching questions, it may not work and if it does, bonus, yeah. So you just take the, the drama out of it, and that the fact that we're all pretending that this is
is a natural conversation where you both know it's not a natural conversation because you both know exactly what's going on, which makes it a more effective conversation. I mean, you mentioned how people who work with me feel
like every morning I'm like, okay, Chloe, fantastic. Here's our regular meeting around programme development and design. So Chloe, what's on your mind? No. So the first time I have asked me that she's like, you are a genius manager. Then she discovers it. It's the question in the book that I say start every conversation with so the next two weeks, she's like rolling her eyes. Every time I talk, I'm
gonna say what's on your mind. And I'm like, You're right. I am what is on your mind. Now you mentioned on and now we're just like, it's an understood pattern run it, in fact, will normally start a call and she goes, Hey, let me tell you what's on my mind. I'm like, perfect, because I have helped her be a good cocci that's why you're redundant now from see
and who doesn't want to be redundant?
I am serious, because you like, the best thing you can do is become redundant about part of your work because then you go to watch my next big challenge. Yeah, it's very true. I mean, literally, two months ago, maybe three months ago now, I was in Las Vegas
and working with Microsoft. And they've had thousands of people go through an online version of our of our programme, including this the head of sales, right? So he reports to such an hour, who's this new legend and who's redoing the whole culture at Microsoft from a nodal culture to a learned old culture. And I get asked to come up on stage. I mean, I knew this was happening, but I'm pulled out on stage and I'm going to coach him in front of 4000 people. So it's live Kochi rest of July because you live coach to me. Yeah. And it was Tommy said I saw you were grabbing your neck and you went a bit red
you know the tix
The person I'm coaching, he's old school. He's been in Microsoft for 20 years. And he's been part of the old culture and Steve Ballmer, which was not a particularly healthy or helpful culture. And we sit down and there's a tiny bit of banter. He's French. So I try not to put on a bad French accent because I'm mocking, so I don't do that. But I literally go, so he goes, he goes, you're probably going to ask me what's on your mind? And I'm like, you're absolutely right.
So JP, what is on your mind? His Aha, well, actually.
So people know that. It's it's not only okay that people know what's happening. It's fantastic. Because you're like, there's a there's a, an unspoken agreement that we know what we're doing here, which makes it for a more effective conversation. And so working with someone in a sales capacity, yeah. And using a framework like this
is it advantageous
Is it a softer approach to sell? How do you utilise this best in?
combination? Yeah, so not just trying to find out what is on Michaels mind the challenges you're facing internally in the business, but outwardly? Well, let me ask you this, from what you know about sales. Where do most sales conversations go wrong?
I would think potentially not understanding the real need of the person. So it's, I put my name winning Matt cash. Yeah, can do this for you. What you up for it. You're like I've got a rigid whatever you say your problem is I'm going to start selling you a widget. In fact, I'm probably not in care what your problem is it just because I've got to shift a whole bunch of widgets. I'm gonna
remember max had the widget. I feel like they've discontinued that. Remember the dashboard, you'd go in the head widgets and whether anyone was Judy grubs. Yeah. So
So people don't know what the real problem is that you're trying to help them solve. So what's the real challenge here for you is like, let me figure out what your real challenges, because you're only going to get to a point where you go, look, make if that is your real challenge. I've got exactly the right widget for you. And they're like, I'm excited to see this widget, because you've helped me really appreciate where my struggle is. I hadn't even realised it. But now I see it, I see the problem. And I think you might, I'm open to your solution. Is it hard, though, when they know that you only have one widget to sell and the fact that at the end of the conversation, you've managed to solve their issue with the widget? Well, you may not. Because you may get to a point where you're like, you know what sounds like this is your challenge. And honestly, the widget I've got is not the widget you're looking for. So now you're playing a different game. Now you go and do I try and sell them the widget, even though we all know that's not the thing that's actually helpful or do I
Go. Look, I'm being a trusted advisor to you, because I'm not going to say you the thing you don't need. But when you do need it, you'll be the person I come to because we build a relationship of trust around this. So that all comes down to how do you sell? What's your approach to selling? What's your ethics around selling? I think if you've got a widget that doesn't solve the problem that they actually need, you're either going to not sell it to them because it doesn't solve it, or you are going to sell it to them, in which case they get really annoyed because they've just spent x thousand dollars on a useless thing that doesn't actually help them. Yeah. So either way, you get to choose to make a short term sale now and break the relationship or have a better, more relationship based conversation where it might turn into a sale or might turn into a relationship with the sale happens later on.
The live coaching that we're talking about. I think it was like an aha moment for me experiencing it. Would you do live coaching with Harry our work experience? guy to test just to show you
People that. Yeah.
Yeah, I'm happy. Are you sure? Harry? I don't know you do you agree to this before?
he's what I would do. I would read the small print on the work.
so if, if you were coaching Harry Yeah, what is what does that look like? I'm
sorry, let's let's just set this up yet so you don't go What the hell have I just said yesterday?
So it's just this is just a conversation. And it's best if you've got a thing where you're like, here's someone I would like to be better a problem I'd like to solve you based on this conversation is like how can I get out of this work experience gig as fast as possible based on what I'm just seeing here, but it could be something else entirely.
And I'm going to ask questions you've already heard like three or four of the questions I'm probably going to ask you.
You don't have to answer any of them. So you
You get to kind of protect your own privacy and just like be as good as vulnerable as you want. Be as unbelievable as you want. The choice is yours entirely. And sometimes coaching works sometimes it doesn't work as well. So if it doesn't work, it's just the wrong the wrong thing at the wrong time. It's not about me, it's not about you. It's still effort. Yeah, perfect. I feel like he's Mark Whitney.
Do you agree?
Is it is it alright to remember Who Dares Wins? It was a good show. He would go into like shopping centres and he would say now for 50 bucks. Would you scale this later of milk grind on the show?
Sorry to interrupt. There will be no good old scholar. Unless that's where it is. So make Harry, thanks for doing this. The open question is like what's on your mind? So when you think about something that's useful and real for us to talk about what comes up at the moment and obz he embedded with a lot recently he's rebranding my way.
website and my portfolio nice just to because it's getting a bit dated. So that's really what I wanted to focus on lately, something that showcases who I am. Yeah, that's fantastic, big thing.
When you think about that challenge, the rebranding of the website and the portfolio. What's the real challenge here for you? I think finding a design and including the right information. Yeah. Which I want to Yeah, sure. So two things there, the design and the right information. What else is a challenge here for you? I think finding the time and the right tools in order to do it to time and tools. So after for this is great. What else? What else is a challenge in all of this for you?
That's a good question. I'm just having the,
the resources and the how, how, once I've created it, how do I share it nice. So the sharing piece, so five, all of those are real issues that we're going to pick one of them to look at now.
Where would you go
Which one feels out of all of those the real challenge for you? Okay, how do I share it? How do I put myself out there? Fantastic. And let me just hit the pause button for a minute. Yeah, just so we can talk about immediate what's happened there, which is, when I go, what's the real challenge? Like? It's the branding. And it's this, like, cool. Now, I've been building websites and doing branding for 30 years. So do you think I have a little subject matter expertise on that? Of course I do. So there's part of me going Oh, look, mate, let me hook you up with my friend blah, blah. And then Have you seen the new release of of what said, but actually, when we got down to that next layer down, which is so out of all of those, what's the real challenge? It was actually the fifth, the final one that you went to going this is the big thing. This is the real challenge here for me. If I'd been busy solving the first challenge, I'd be offering up square space. Yeah, I'd be afraid that probably not a very good solution to solve the wrong problem. Right? And that is a classic about what normally happens is over
Just here. They don't ask him what else they just hit the first problem and they're like, man, I can help you. I know some stuff. Squarespace. It's amazing. Yeah. So let's so thank you all. I'm press the pause button. This is brilliant. You're doing great.
Excuse me. So how to share your How do you get people to find you know, you get kind of viral? When you think about that? What's the challenge here for you? Ah, it's promoting myself and putting myself out there and being confident enough. Nice to share what I do and what I enjoy. Yeah, chunks a big thing. So putting yourself out there, the confidence piece around there. What else is out around this for you? Um, I'm not sure. I'm Deanna. Sure. Yeah. Sorry. No, no, that's fine. Chris, I'm going to just be curious. I'm going to double click on one. I mean, it's the putting the confidence to put yourself out there and go with me if you want this may go a little
Personal, you may not want to get there. But when you think about that, what's the challenge there for you having that confidence?
like knowing who you should go to, and who I want to discuss, like who I want to target, who might talk on target lack of a target market. Easy that makes it Yeah. Nice. So let me put hit a pause button again. And now let me just check in with you. What what's already been useful about this quick conversation because it's been like, a couple of minutes to three minutes, maybe. I'm just saying, just putting out there what, what I'm having trouble with and acknowledging good I'm having trouble with Yeah, yeah, I like it.
So in my head, I'm kind of talking to you and kind of talking to the audience. When you go down to that level of confidence. Here's what I had in my head as a hypothesis, which is, it just takes a level of confidence to go look, I'm going to be out there. I'm going to produce content. I'm going to be in front of a
Camera, I'm going to be doing all that stuff. So there may be something kind of a deeper level around. How do I how do I just show up with that kind of chutzpah to be in front of the camera and to be putting it out there and I thought we might be going down there that could have been a thing. There might also be that piece around just which is where you at, which is like, Where's my target market? You know, who do Who am I talking to? Your who's my ideal person, my ideal audience? How do I connect and figure that out? Because we all know that if we're trying to make a splash in this world, trying to appeal to everybody is a loser's game that just doesn't work at all. You're going to pick your audience and know exactly who you're trying to connect with.
So we could go a little deeper on that if you wanted to. Or you could say, Stop, Michael. This is just fine. I don't know where this is going. But it's going off the rails fast. So Harry, where do you Where do you want to go with this? I'm not sure if you've got time to go do it. I'm happy to so
I've got two things on the table one is kind of an actual confidence thing. One is about a target market thing, which one of those is the most, the most useful, and it's got it. So
when you think about how you want to show up and the confidence that you want to have, what you want, I just want to believe in myself and know what I'm doing is the right thing to do. Yeah. And being confident that I am. I don't know how to put it
that I can do what I you know what I mean? Picking up what I'm putting out like, yeah.
And just to kind of do the meta commentary around it, honestly, in some ways it even if I didn't get what you're talking about, it kind of wouldn't matter. Someone tell me. I think I got a sense of it. But it's like the power is do you get what you're saying? Do you feel the truth of the DNC
Which is like,
say to me again. I mean, the way you put it was really nice. Say what again, just a restatement of of how you articulated that the challenge for you. So I want to find confidence in knowing that what I do, I can do. Yeah. And that knowing if I promote myself, well enough, I would be able to find somebody. Yeah. Or I'll be in a better position than I would be if I didn't promote myself if that makes Yeah. Because just like, having the confidence to go, I know what I'm doing. I know what I'm trying to talk to them. See how it unfolds.
That feels to me like it's, it's the real challenge, or it's close to it. Does it feel like it's a real challenge for you? Correct.
would it be useful at all if we just had some ideas around? How do you find that confidence? How do you figure that out? Yeah. Cool. So my job is to be lazy as a coach. I'm going to get you to work with some of the ideas because I know you've thought about this or
Ready, you've already got some ideas. So what ideas you already have about how do you figure out, tap into practice, express your confidence, whatever what kind of thing works best for you to express my confidence. Yeah, and express who I am. I like to be creative, and communicate as many ideas that I'm passionate about as I can. Whether whatever medium, that's true. Good. So being creative, communicating a bunch of ideas, what else could you do that would help build and establish confidence, networking with people and getting to know other people and sharing like, sharing common ideas with them? Yeah, brilliant. This is great. You're a great role. What else could you do?
Yeah, just put more into that networking in contacting people. I feel that's really learning for you, which is like the get out there. Knowing these guys is a great start because they're well connected. And being here is a great start. If there's one other thing that you could do that you go, this would help strengthen my level of confidence. What would it be? I think just keep doing it. Yeah.
practising what I'm what I'm doing currently? Yep. And if I was going to add one idea, it would probably have been that last one, which is, honestly, the way you build confidence is you do stuff you just ship. Your Seth Godin is a great marketer. He's all about shipping. It's 80%. Good enough ship. But you know, Gary Vaynerchuk, you probably know, he's all about luck, put out the crappy content, put out the good content, put out the crappy content, cuz you only get smart about what works, what doesn't work, from the feedback that you get out there. And if you spend your whole time trying to figure it out in your head going, is it perfect yet? You get stuck around that? That's the message I'm getting from crushing it gets book. Yeah, it's just Just do it. Get it? And then learn from what you've done. Yeah. And how to improve that. Yeah. And the thing for me that I'd add if I if if I can is just to say whether people like it or don't like it isn't actually a reflection on your self worth. Like in this new
book I, I at the start of it, I collected a bunch of reviews from Amazon for the coaching habit book. There's a bunch of ones go, it's the best book I've ever read. And then there's one from a woman whose name I can't remember, but I'm gonna have to remember it. It's like one star literally says, This is the worst book ever written.
Like, is that
the worst book ever written? I mean, I, I get it's like, this is a terrible book. But this is the worst book ever written. Awesome.
feedback. And so for me, I'm like, there's a way that the praise and the feedback you get you like, it's not about me. It's just a reaction to the stuff that's going out there. It's as much about them in their head space and what they like and don't like as it is about me so I'll take what useful I forget the rest. I won't take it personally. Yeah, so I think that insight, which is around, look, network, get stuff out there. Don't take it too, personally. Yeah. is a great day.
process for potentially building confidence. Yeah. So here's what I didn't ask you, which is, so you got an insight.
It's interesting how that insight and this is just for the folks listening, it kind of shifted from, how do I get my website rocking to? How do I get the confidence to show up so moves from a technical external problem to internal self problem? What's more important for yourself? Exactly, you got it. So I'm curious to know what you want to commit to doing by when so what is the action from the inside look like? I think creating as much as I can, perfect, and from that practising what I'm currently doing, so I've pushed you to be a little more specific. So when you say creating as much as you can, as much as you can, I reckon you could create 400 pieces of content a day if you just watch all you did, and that may be excessive. So what do you want to commit to to me? Find a hair on episode
35 What's your commitment got to be Ah, make it and make it
One that you can hit. So play it safer rather than the Boulder. I want to build my Instagram account because I've got it. I've got a theme happening there. Yeah, but I'm just not pursuing, pursuing it. Yeah. And I think that's Instagram is a good medium short environment that you can get discovered. You can show how you can express who you are when you're as good looking as you have
You're already naked. So come on.
So Instagram is your focus, you have any pieces of content, you want to commit to Instagram on a daily basis. Is it one is that half? Is it two per week or two per day? I think a piece of content a week much work, whether that's a big TV, yep. Or story space content. And then from that point, as I'm getting comfortable with that, building on from that. So you're welcome to say Yes, no, maybe to this. Yeah. But what if I doubled that and said, What about two pieces of content per week, Maggie?
so sit with it. And then you and I will connect afterwards. And you'll come up with a final commitment around that. And if you want to, you can use me as a kind of check in buddy or use the guys as kicking buddies, whatever will work for you. Fabulous. Thanks, Harry, feel free to use this as a snippet.
Honestly, you could turn this into like about six weeks work.
So let me check in with you. Yeah, what was useful or valuable from this coaching? It was very much addressing what I feel like I need to do like confessing my flaw, not flaws, but like where I can improve. Does that make sense? Sure. Yeah. Perfect.
Until the folks and thank you that was great, and really helpful for people to listen and see that the folks who are watching and hearing this if you're if you were not getting swept away by Harry story, but kind of watching what I was doing as a coach. In the end I asked what four different question
Maybe five. All of them are from the coach and you haven't bought asked what's on their mind. I asked what's the real challenge here for you? I asked him what else I asked, What do you want? And I asked what was most useful and most valuable here for you now? Are you five questions, which I asked most of them more than once. And within 10 minutes, we had a conversation that went through an arc. Well, one of the biggest assets that we got from the the workshop where the three cars were, what are those three different sections of questions? Yeah, that it sort of falls into. So the three questions and we and Harry let us beautifully through them. The first is around
getting clear on the challenge. So that's what what's the real challenge here for you, and you saw how that shifted quite quickly. Then there was a creating possibilities piece, which is about the types of ideas and you show me do my lazy brainstorming piece, which is like, I've got some ideas but what ideas you have and what else do you have? What else do you have? And you like you had all the ideas, like amazing and then I just added one possible.
At the end, and then we went into sparking action, which is like, Okay, you've got the inside. But let's commit to an action. So that actually, there's a chance that you won't just go, that was amazing. And then forget about it. But we're like, we've got a deal around checking in on that. So we went through the three key coaching moments there. Yeah, yeah, I think the sparking action stuff is super powerful that I think that a lot of a lot of businesses or even business like, especially businesses that I've been into, or been in struggle with, which is the have meetings, you do all that sort of thing you even like write it down. Yeah. But you don't identify like, what is the actual action? What is a specific thing? How do we what is what a successful look like? How do we know what that is? Exactly? And you're right, like so many meetings, try to end in a flurry of almost commitment. We kind of vaguely know what we think should happen. And what you could see me doing there, it's just crisping it up a little bit going specifically what are you going to do by one, okay, so it's either one or two pieces.
Content per week on Instagram. So Harry will be able to go get it or didn't do it. Yeah, yes or no? Do you find that there's any questions that derail people that aren't actually great questions and lead to problems? You know, any question can fail. And what happens when the question fails as the person looks at you blankly and goes, what I don't
or the conversation goes off path and you can feel it getting a bit distracted. What's great about a conversation is you like it, nobody dies, you just rescue it. You go, that was not a great question. Let me ask you another one. What's the real challenge here for you?
Well, they put it like that boom, and they're back into the conversation. So part of
maybe this is about just getting more masterful about being more coach like is to hold it lightly. A it even though it's a conversation that is serious because it's about somebody's life. You don't have to
Be Siri Yes. As you do it. Secondly, go look, the worst that happens is you ask a question that doesn't work. Yeah.
It's like if that's if that's the worst thing that happens during your day. It's an awesome day on the social media stuff you don't have an Instagram account. I do. Are you doing? Yeah, I have. I've just started what is called
the advice trap. They were giving away the way I thought you were going to do the classic trial of how you and then you do
by I tried to find that and then
So yeah, I am the advice trap. Yeah. And how do you view because I'm just giving advice
this. Like, I'm sort of chewing and frying between two ideas, which is getting myself out there, but also sort of Cal newports Digital minimalism and all that sort of that realm. How do you think
Find it being someone who's in the public eye that writes books and things like that to balance being out there and communicating and the deep work.
Yeah, I think like everybody, I find it hard, you know, like I
have, I have periods where I get into a routine of deep work where I will protect mostly I protect my mornings. I'm an early morning person. So I'm up at
sometimes four sometimes 544 I am club. Is there a habit that you're like he getting up to? Right is that? Yeah, I mean, to write the latest book, I would just go Look, my job is to get up at four or five and then write for at least a couple of hours and see if I could get get through the various iterations of somewhat crappy drafts you have to get through to write a good book. And I had a
question coach and you have a came out February 29 2016.
Sounds like I really want this other book to come out February 29 2020. So exactly four years. But on the first birthday of the coaching habit, because you in my genius way, got published 29th of February, it's four years to
see. TJ lavey. Yes, yeah.
I think I think about it. Yeah. Harry loves it.
So I was like, I really want to get it out in February 29. And so the people that I work with company in Vancouver called page two who are our kind of backstage publishers, they're like, Okay, well, here's, here's the work back schedule. I'm like, good. I've got to get a really good manuscript done by October. And because you're the coaching habit, you've sold 600,000 copies of semi close to 7000. Yeah, a lot of books. Yeah. It's an amazing amount of books. I self published it, so it's even sweeter. This was curious about because you were told that you had that sort of backstage publishing or whatever. Can you explain that industry?
Who's it for? And
I guess they read that school of thought that self publishing is this is vanity publishing or at this star that's not actually meant to get out at the scale that Yeah, you've done it.
the starting point is to say, almost every book fails. You know, the statistic I heard was 93% of books sell less than 1000 copies. And that was, that's it's an old statistic. I think it's lower than you know, it's a higher percentage now, because there are so many books out there, right? It's just sorry to enter a Kindle. Get it up. There is nothing what's the state of writing the worst book ever written?
Besides people, that's mine. So, you know, I get asked all the time, hey, should I write a book? And I'm like, probably not. Because writing a book takes forever. It's it's hard, you know?
Your first draft and you're like, that's a terrible first draft. And then you write the second draft, you know, like, it's even worse than the first draft. And then you write the third draft, you're like, I'm going to kill myself feeling about this kind of idea. And I kind of get it on paper. And then by the time it turns around, you're on your fifth draft, I would try and the book is a little bit better, but you hate yourself, and you hate yourself committing to doing this.
And it just takes a long time to write a good book because you got to work it and work it and work it. You got to get beyond the the obvious the cliches you got to find your own voice where to find your own ideas. And then you put it out in the world and it's odds are nobody's gonna read it, and it cost you money, or charging somebody money to put it out there. So there are other what I think is really useful is to go create IP, create content, do a podcast, yeah, do an Instagram account, you know, run a dude, put put your stuff out in the world and other ways, because you know, this is a commitment. Awesome camera. Great mics, awesome lighting.
actors to replace the actual guys who are pretty ugly.
You know, so there's a real way protamine Josh in a cage yet.
There's a real commitment to making this work. But anybody can get a camera and start going, I can do some filming. So question them on June write a book, your answer is maybe, but don't think don't go to what is your default, this is the best way to get work and what then you go publishing or self publishing.
Publishing is a really mostly broken model from the 18th century. You know, and the way most publishers do it these days is they're like they're looking for somebody who has a social following. So they've got an audience. They don't really pay that much of an advantage. probably less than 1500 dollars. Definitely less than dollars. Yeah, the advance Yeah, because I remember because I remember hearing I think maybe Tim Ferriss to
About take a lower advance because then you make the money back for the publisher quicker. So then it's a perceived success, and then you get another deal. But most than a majority, I would say majority of books don't make their work their money back. So publishers already say do if they're like a 1500 dollar advantage, because you have to sell that many. Yeah. So what they're doing is they're like, they're literally just going to put you through our mill and pump stuff out into the world and hope something catches fire. Yeah. Because if one or two catch fire out of 100, they make enough money to keep the machine going. The odds are, your book won't be one of those one or two that catches fire. And so what was your conversation with yourself at that book? At the time you were thinking about writing the book? So I wrote a book 10 years ago or thereabouts, called do more great work, which was originally self published, but got picked up by a New York publisher called workman, and they published it and it's pretty exciting. And it's done. All right. You know, it's sold about 100,000 copies over the over 10 years, which is excellent. I mean, it's a really solid performance.
spent three years pitching the coaching habit to workman. And they just didn't like it. I didn't get it. I like oh, we, we like it, but we don't love it.
What's the real problem? Yeah.
So it finally got to a point where I was like, Okay, this is killing me because I'd literally written five versions of this book, to try and find a way to make them like the book and I just couldn't get it. And I was like, what was what was shifting each time? And I was five version things. I mean, I
know, I know, I say literally redesigning and restructuring the whole thing. This is the agony of book writing, which is like, you write some sucky versions of your book before you write a good version. and it finally got to a point with the work when people I just went Look, I've got a vision for this book is this is it? You want to publish this or not? And they're like, No, we don't. Did you think that they were we playing hardball? We thinking that they were going to go with it. I just got dropped
I'm like, I don't mind. I don't mind how this ends up because I want to ultra over two weeks of action. Either they do it or I do it. Because I know this is a good book. I've got it. Now I know what this book is going to be. And what was your perception of self publishing? Obviously, you had the one that was picked up by workmen. Yeah. What what's the mental game? Well, then you get into self publishing. And for me,
I set a very clear intention, which was if I'm going to self publish this, I have to publish it as self publish it as a professional, not as an amateur. Because it's really easy to do as an amateur you like if you can, if you can put something into a PDF, you can publish it as an amateur, put it into a PDF, upload it to Amazon's publishing thing, and boom, you've got a book or our last intend three day deal roadies memoir and sells it on Amazon back amazing. Yeah. So it's easy to do that and there is a place for that. It wasn't my place. I was like, I need this book to be professional as part of connected to my trading company box of crayons and needs to show up in the world.
I've got visions of it being in airports, I don't want it to be picked up at an airport and somebody go, self published book, real book, or take the real book, I needed it to be indistinguishable from a from a high quality book.
So, I hired an editor, I hired a designer, the designer introduced me to this company page to me like a white label publishing company. So they are sought out distribution, I SPN numbers, how to get stuff up on Amazon, all the bits and pieces stuff that you can figure out for yourself. But it takes time, and making sure that everything had a quality to it and a feel to it. So I've literally had people who run publishing companies not know that the book was self published because of the look and the feel of it, which is fantastic. Now, the deal with working with somebody like a page two is it's money up front. So you need to have a degree of liquidity.
Go, I put cash out up front. But you know the numbers, when you're royalty for a published book, if you even get it published for some of you to an agent and this blah, blah, blah, it's about 10%. With a self published book, if you're doing entirely by yourself, it's, you know, about 70%. After you take out all the expenses, if you're going through a company, like page two, it's about 30%. So I wake up, I go, look, it's roughly three times the royalties, I get to control everything about it, the look, the feel, decisions around distribution, all of that sort of stuff. It happens faster. I get to him, I get to control 100% my own IP, so I can cut it, reuse it, you know, play around with it.
I like the control that self publishing gives me but I'm more so I'm good at it. I write good books. I've got a business model that supports it. So I know that the books like I can point to
literally millions of dollars of training that we've sold from people who've picked up the book and then called us up and going, I like your book. Was there a tipping point within the 700,000 that you sold? Is there a point where you see it, gain traction, like you see online, it's very tangible. You see where the YouTube video started getting a bit more intimate than the YouTube channel started gaining followers. How do you see that? As someone who's written a book in it, and there's some success there? Yeah, I'm not sure I know enough to know how the patterns of that work. And what I did with the coaching habit, as I said, Look, I'm gonna launch it. I'm not going to get too hung up on the launch window, which is for most people about two weeks, and then I'm just trying to shift as many units as I can in that first couple of weeks. Because that would just be my shoes getting delivered. Harry, if you can sign for that place, just the Korea that mine is perfect. The way you're barefoot
Well, you've got comfy shoes. I appreciate that. I'm hoping you're getting a pair of trousers delivered as well.
It's funny you say that because the ongoing joke I normally wear running shorts, right? And I spoke to her. And I decided to put on fancy pants. Yeah, I'm not even wearing a hat. But people who are saying the visuals.
And so there's the two week sprint, people are doing most people try and sell as many as they can. Most people get to the launch date and they're exhausted. They're like, I don't care anymore. And actually writing the book is miserable and difficult and the easy bit compared to marketing the book, because now you're going to make people notice it. And it's like cooking with Harry, you're like, Okay, how do I do this? How do I just get out there and bang on doors and
show up on podcasts in the life and my commitment was to give it a year's really good
Good marketing. So as I'm two to three podcasts per year, or per week, or for a year and actually turned into two years, I'm like, I can't control the outcome. I don't know how many books I'm going to sell. Publishers don't know how many books again, so So how would I know? I would be disappointed if it was below a certain number. But I'm just going to work the process, no fully committed way. I do all I can to be creative and smart about getting the book into the world. And either it does or doesn't. That's all I can do. It's like this is a life lesson because you commit to the process, you let go, the outcome would be very specific on I'm giving it 12 months like you have to be very, that was my that was my initial commitment because like, I am going to bang the drum for 12 months are sharp on podcasts or write articles. I'll do whatever I can to see if I can get a flywheel spinning. In an outcome focus world how do you detach from the outcome? I just practice you know, I'm like, like at the moment. New Book. I
part of me is going to rise above the outcome, Michael, just commit to the process. That's your other Teto is
part of me is going okay, so what if I sell 60,000 copies of the book? That would be amazing that would make it a best seller on all sorts of levels and way above the predicted performance. And then part of me goes, but that's like 10% of what the coaching habit. What's wrong with you, you loser.
So, what's helpful is I'm just aware of that tension. And I'm like, okay, just be with it, watch it. Don't get hooked up on it. Commit to the process. Just go your numbers are just made up numbers that random so it's either going to see me wanting to sell a certain number doesn't help it sell or not me committing to a process is how it works. So it's just a short it is just old and I've been around enough to kind of
Go home Lego. And it's something like so if you haven't seen the video, Josh has three cards in front of him which we've spoken about red, blue, green, how long does it take you to? Like how much time is spent putting into taking something that's in your head and actually form it, formulating it into a programme or something like that? Yeah, cards. Title property is right, like Yeah.
So, for me anyway, it's like minutes of a lifetime. Yeah. So I got commissioned by a by Nestle Canada
14 years ago to design my first ever coaching programme. And there were an early version of cards like that, in that programme, and they were blue and they were red and they were green. And I spent three months designing this programme.
I spent 10 years learning how to design programmes and practising and designing other programmes. But I spent three months designing the programme as a two day programme.
And over 14 years, this programme is going through assorted iterations to try and make it more specific, more useful, more elegant, more practical.
So it takes time I'm one of the things that turns out that I'm good at is creating intellectual property, creating ways of translating complex ideas into tools that feel simple and practical and useful. So even though people look at this and go, well, it's a green card coaching, what is this? How hard is it to come up with a few questions? It's like, it's not hard to come up with a few questions. But what this is, is a distillation and a processing of it when this is a tip of an iceberg. Like you see the iceberg but there's a vast amount of just life and experience and reading an academic understanding that feeds part of that. And if we're speaking to
Harry in a more he identified Yeah, as a thing he wants to focus on. I feel like that's something I've experienced. And I know Josh, for you, Michael, is there a time where you've questioned your confidence or you're feeling move into a project? I,
I have a I have a pretty robust self esteem. So what I am weirdly wired for and who knows where this comes from, because my parents look at me and go, you're a bit of an alien we don't get it
is I'm pretty relaxed around
space failing. When I set things up. I either explicitly or intuitively have a sense of what is at risk. I'm pretty conservative about risking money. I'm not one to kind of go, I'm going all in and it's my life savings on this. I hope it works. I'm less conservative about reputation. I'm like, let me give it a go. If it fails,
It'll just suck. And I'll feel sad. And we'll move on from that. So I, I like the edge. I like trying stuff out. I don't get too attached by the outcome, I'm actually really engaged by the process. So, and I know that I, I don't want to risk the important thing so I'm just clear about what's what, what am I actually risking here? And almost always it's never that much. I mean, the first book I published, which I self published, I inherited $30,000 when my grandfather died, and you know, my wife and I, we don't we don't have kids. We don't want to buy a house. We don't own fridges or cars. Don't like, Okay, I'm going to keep your food cold. Yeah, I do it. I bet because I'm based
in the place I
I phrase it like Joe Rogan he he phrases is out. Yeah. So even if you were hunting, you probably would want a phrase, I'm
not buying my kids. I'm bought, I'm renting at least. Yeah.
So I was like, You know what, I'm going to publish this book. I'm going to make a list of 2000 people. This book is, it was 15 years ago, before the real rise of self publishing. And it's a complicated book. So I'm like a question. We all have $30,000 to get 5000 copies made.
And if I lose it all, I don't care. I'm up for it. This is going to be an adventure. The worst that happens. I'm going to be making furniture out of boxes of books for the next 20 years, and giving them to everybody for Christmas. Again, how much preparation was that? Like a to that to get to that point of I'm going to spend the 30 grand Yeah. Is it a lot of conversations. In this case, it wasn't we've had my wife and I've had other conversations where it's like it's a but it's an ongoing trying to
Figure it out and untie the knot. Is she wary of you coaching her? COACH me, she's like, if I coach you, if I find you coaching me, I will kill you.
She's really clear about it. She is not gonna say What else? So, honestly, I think there's so I just named the little bit of a boast. I've just named the number one thought leader in coaching in the world. Yeah, which is cool. And I'm like, mostly This is due to the fact that my seller would let me coach her. So I have to be really brilliant at coaching her when it doesn't look like I'm coaching. So I'm pretty sure she's completely shaped the direction of my career. You How do you hide being a coach? Yeah, it's like it's all about slipping into question. So the uneven sound like questions, like, you start off with like, would you like a cocktail? And that's,
that's a question. It gets the Curiosity thing going and then it kind of goes from there. Yeah. So the 30 grand you decide to spend it. Yeah, we just went all in on it going. It's
It's made up money anyway. It, we found it. So if we lose it, and the book sold enough, and we got the money back, and it was fine, but but with all of the books are published, I got to a point going, I'm okay with the risk of this being a failure because I'm proud of the book. I'm proud of the process. I think this is a great book. It deserves to make some way into the world. So I'm up for it. And if it doesn't work,
it just was it just it was it doesn't work, spending two or three times a week doing podcasts with people. What have you learned about podcasting and regards to what makes a good host?
He's taking a sip of water he's really is about to break the news to us.
it's easier to articulate what makes a bad host. Kill a bad host is like, Okay, I'm just rattling through my list of questions. There's no continuity, there's no conversation. There's not even actually the
interested, they're just like, I'm just trying to back some content here. So I've got five questions. You asked why you give me an answer, then you will ask you a completely unrelated question to follow that, and you're like, Oh, I call it my Fast Five.
I had, this isn't quite the same. But when another book of mine came out, I was being interviewed on a radio station in the States.
The book is called do more great work. So it's like, how do you find work that's meaningful and lights you up? And the radio host clearly not read not only had not read the book, but had not been briefed on it. So he's like, So Michael, what are your thoughts on the economic situation here in America?
Well, as a Canadian
that was that was not a great interview. So it's the rattling off of the questions and anything else like the list sort of? Well, I think
to me, the
I mean, what you're getting is just my own biases around what I like your podcast, but I love I love what you have a sense of the host.
I love it when the host of the host. So in the moment with the person they're talking to, and it feels like a dialogue in a conversation rather than just let me ask you questions. I'm like, I want it to be a shared story. And then I wanted to have a, I wanted to have an age, I wanted to have a point of view.
You know, I, I ran a podcast for some years called the great work podcast, and we did not 535 episodes, but like 400 episodes. And it was It actually started before podcasting was a thing. But it was a classic Michael interviewing somebody for 20 to 30 minutes. You know, it is the most obvious, most repeatable podcast form in the world at the moment. And as I think about what my next podcast will be about,
been kind of plotting and planning and thinking of a few. I just don't want it to be predictable going. Does the world need another short form? One guy asking one other white guy? obvious question. I'm like, No, it doesn't need that, that we're already full of that. So what's the interesting what's the angle? What's the age? What's the point of view that makes it makes it different and richer and more interesting? Like a filmmaker, they you know, watch back videos or an editor that spends time just watching how you do everything. You're doing it? And then you watch a movie back and you're like, I had that was it? You can't watch it without that lens or do you have the same watching? Or, you know, listening conversations where people have an opportunity to ask good question hills me with Yeah, it's like, it's like, ask this question.
Kind of they lose the moment. So it's a little bit. You know, when we started this conversation, you're like, You liked how I ran the session.
So, in a full day workshop, there's an arc that I'm going to take everybody through. And I roughly know what their kind of four main points of the arc are and where we finish breakfast, lunch, pretty much, just pretty much breakfast, lunch, dinner and like, three, three cards that we're going to, we're going to share. And that's it. That's the structure. three cards, three, three meals.
Part of what I'm trying to do is go how much freedom Can I give the group? How much autonomy? How much sense of building a tribe and building experience? And how much do I control that so they get what I want them to get out of it. And finding that that dumps which is how much structure and how much freedom, I think is where it's interesting around that. And I don't I'm going to hypothesise that most podcast guests Don't think too much about trying to find that trying to find their age trying to find their voice. They're just a bit pedestrian. I think the other interesting thing that we're trying to uncover or understand is conversations have been
natural flow. But normally the first 20 minutes out of an hour is a bit of a waste of time. And how the first 4570 minutes 70 minutes? It's like a casino in
a bit. How'd you like? Is there? Are there techniques to get people into that zone quicker? Or do you need the uncomfortable bullshit to get to get to the gold? That's a good question. And
let me ask you this because I read some thoughts on this, but I want to hear what you got for how do you accelerate into a fast conversation?
Well, I think that I don't based on it's, it's like the paradox or whatever. Like there's, there's by trying to get there. Closer. Yeah, you become attached to the outcome. Yeah. Which means you're trying to steer a ship that you actually
Yeah, yes, the and so for me it's like being detached listening. And, and so part of it, I guess is people don't necessarily know what when they come in here we've set an expectation of like, very little like it freaks a lot of guests out like we get emails of like, just to be clear, like what are we talking about, right? Where we sort of like we spent zero minutes zero seconds
where we're going with this, but it's fine. And so that's
that's like the like for us where we're different is podcast is, it seems a lot of them go into the optimization like, right how do we squeeze every little bit of how do we turn what Mike was done in a book and present it into a podcast, right? Whereas I guess we're trying to go for new ones. So the long answer the short answer to
answer is, you can't, it won't accelerating too great conversation or whatever that sort of specific one. I don't think it's possible.
I don't know. You know, if I, if I was like, how, how do we meet a little bit like coaching, you know, the coaching pieces, one of our philosophies about coaching is if you can't coach in 10 minutes or less, you don't have time to coach. So part of the power of the opening question What's on your mind? And then what's the real challenge here for you, as you accelerate into a richer, deeper, more personal conversation fast? I mean, with Harry and I were like, three or four minutes, we're like, I've got this confidence and stopping we putting stuff out into the world. And I'm like, okay, that got personal fast. There's part of the power of that pattern of questions. So I'd be going How do I accelerate into a fast topic, personal topic, quickly and you do it by through experimenting
here's a, here's a, here's an interesting question, which I, you heard me use actually in the in the workshop? What Crossroads Are you currently at?
Now, if you sit your guests down and go, alright, so what Crossroads Are you currently at? Suddenly I'm like, Okay, so here's the thing, I've just given up being the CEO at box of crayons. And it's it. I'm just trying to figure out how I give up power in control, and status from the thing that I've been doing for 20 years because in 20 years or so, I've been the head of bonzer crayons. How do I hand that over to Shannon? And then what does that mean for Who am I becoming now if I remove the label of the guy who did Box of Crayons? Now what?
And now we're into a conversation where we're like, and you're like, well, that's juicy. Let's plug in where do you how do you get the permission to like it?
Turn up it in that posture. How would you do it? Yeah, I think it's, I think like part of the way is for us, we don't do much context. So we think that there's a lot of wasted time in people like doing introductions and they want to know stuff. They can look at
Google. And so that's part of it. Yes. Getting into this probably not that much on your tattoos potentially. Yeah. And then I guess the other pet peeve around it is podcasters. Who will hear you tell a story somewhere. Yeah. And then they're like, retell that story. Yeah. We're, it's like the absolute opposite of what we want. We don't want to hear any of the shit that you've already said. Yeah. Like for the most part, yeah. Well, much of what I've said, I've told other people in other situations, but it hasn't. But it's not my what you have. I haven't done as do my step. Yeah. We were talking about the radio national podcast. That was me just hitting my key messages key message.
Just like I was just like, bang, this definition of coaching and bang, this is what Box of Crayons is and bang here the seven questions in the book and it was absolutely a key message performance. It's the media trying thing, which I think that will what we identified straightaway when people are doing it. Yeah. And try and derail as quickly as possible. So that's great. So part of its like, so you've got a general piece, which is we're going to find interesting
nooks and crannies and then kind of dig into them. But it'd be interesting to know if you can accelerate into a conversation more quickly that becomes more personal.
The what crossroad Are you at is a high risk question. Some guests like I would love that question. Yeah, I'm like, Oh, yeah, let's go there because that's messy and juicy and hard and other guests I know you've had he would love that. And there's there's some Guess who would have a deer in the headlight look like? What I thought
Janna talking about my book.
Yeah. So that's where you get to kind of play the risk piece. And that, then that sense of vulnerability, not just for the guest but for the risk that you're taking as the interviewers, is potentially another way of pulling in an audience like, Yeah, sometimes their injuries are fantastic. Sometimes you have a guest freaking out, like, I don't know, what do you mean Crossroads?
When when you're doing the workshop, you talked about pizza innovation, which point I applauded, got this. Yes. I didn't realise that it wasn't to be applauded. Can you tell that sir, is that is that is that confidential? No, no.
So when I finally staggered out of university, I did an arts law degree here in Australia at a new I wonder road scholarship. I went to Oxford, did a master's degree in literature for two years and Oxford. So now I'm like, is amazing. I've been in university for eight years.
is too long. So what do you learn like it? Because from a couple of gronk, surgeon to uni, like what like literature know why I'm talking?
What's the deal? What do you do what you need you read? I mean, what are you reading in my in my input in English degree you read books and you read literature, and then you write essays going is where I think this book is about. So you're learning to read thoughtfully. You're learning to create an argument. You're learning about different frameworks through which you can see the world is like,
what happens if you read this text and you come from a perspective around a feminist perspective as informed about a certain way that women have talked about and women's language shows up or what if you're a, you're a Marxist, and you think that the framework you see the world is about the evils of capitalism and and exploiting the working class using that example of like the Marxist stuff
like because you
You also need to know what Marxists are and what the like saying where do you learn that bit? So
for my English degree, that's part of the things that you learn because like, here are different ways of seeing the world. And here's how people bring that into how they understand literature, so brings it to life when, when you're at high school, and you're reading boxing, you're doing English at high school, it's pretty, it's a little more basic quizzes, like, what's this book about? And one of the key themes coming out of this book and what's happening to the characters after the next level of thinking up, which is what are the framework through which you see the world? Was there any realisation of the framework you had, when you were researching and understanding? Yeah, I mean, it was as much a these are the frameworks that I am attracted to. So I have as I both for my law degree and my English degrees. I had two frameworks that showed up a lot. One is feminism, and the other is what I call post colonialism, which is just to say
there's a there's a
How do I describe post colonialism? Particularly when it's like I haven't thought up as well, but I haven't thought about it for 30 years as well. So what is post colonialism? I think it's like this, when we're thinking early history is written by the winners.
So the end there the colonisers, so what about the people who aren't necessarily the winners? How did they see the world? So there's a there's a way of thinking about literature written in Australia, where you like, how do you find a voice about what it means to be an Australian, when Australia was colonised by the British and their way of seeing the world from their way of showing up? So for me, I mean, this is getting philosophical all of a sudden, but
both feminism and post colonialism are about how do we challenge the dominant power structure. The dominant power structure is colonialism and capitalism and patriarchy and had
You dismantle some of that. And in a, I do think that part of what coaching does is it dismantle is a power structure. Because the normal power structure is the boss tells the subordinate what to do
with coaching, the boss says, Let me ask you a question and give you the power to figure this out yourself. So it actually disrupts usual hierarchy. So there is a kind of a through line between stuff I learned at university. And what I do now less about the what happened in the book and more about the How do I think about the world and our mutual mate, Dr. Jason Fox, he talks about meta modernism, does that fit? Like, is that something that's new? Or is that like, is that always been my you know, honestly, whenever I'm talking with Jay, should I get hypnotised by his beard?
I stopped hearing what he's saying. goes like this Horan waving kind of see we
I don't know, like Jason is smarter and better grounded in philosophy and younger than I am. So I'm not entirely sure what what he honestly there's sometimes I'm like, I'm barely grasping what you're wrestling with as a thought.
But But you know, at the heart of what he does is he keeps stepping back and going. Look, there's no such thing as natural. Everything is constructed. So do you see the power and the constructions and dependencies that are in the system? And are you happy about that? Yeah. And and what are the
the the stories about how life works? That we buy into without thinking, how do we start thinking about them and deciding whether we want to be part of that or not not overthinking. A you do you prescribe to overthinking? It seems like everyone's talking about I i over
Think on my anxieties based around overthinking?
Well, that's a that's a big phrase. And I think the people were using it in different different ways.
I, I'm I'm one of the things that I admire about Jason Fox or Cal Newport. And the deep work, which you asked me about before, is actually creating space to sit and think and figure stuff out. Whereas so much of us are bouncing around from commitments and social media and this that we don't actually do get very deep at all We or we say bits surface. So I think actually, a little space is a way of often reducing anxiety. So I meditation can be so helpful, because when you're being pulled this way, and that you're getting anxious because of it. Your problem isn't overthinking it. It's overreacting. What's, what's your space? Where do you find spot
Well, part of it is waking up early. You know, part of it is the fact that I, our company is a distributed virtual company. So I have my I just walk up the stairs to the apartment that I rent above the apartment we rent to live in. And that's it. There's an office space there for me to do then
I try and do yoga,
three or four times a week. So that's also a space for me to what sort of yoga do you do? You know, my theory is any yoga class that I attend is better than a yoga class I don't attend. So I try not to over I have a yoga studio I go to, and I'm like, this is the class I can make. Today going to be good or not good. It's going to be on playing a weird. It's a now where I'm trying to like I did a yoga class this morning and it was yin yoga, which I never done before. But yoga unlike all the other ones where you're like, get up, hands up, downward dog salute to the sun. This is you hold a post
for five minutes, so I'm like, okay, and I'm like, wow, that really hurts.
So it was like new, but I'm like, it's interesting. And it's different and, and it's a, it's an hour where I'm in my body. I'm not looking at the screen, and I'm better for it. What about content? That might be a bit of an escapism, action films?
You want me to go? Yes. No. Just if there's Is there something that you go to that you love? Like, what was the kind of stuff you consume that isn't highly related to the stuff you do for work? You know?
I mean, I love a good action film to get me wrong. I've seen the
Jason Statham guy, you
Well, I love the fact that he was a professional diver. Really? Yeah, I didn't know that.
This is big. He he died.
He dove Britain and the commerce games before he before he became an action star, he does appear to only have one character that he plays on the top speaking English. Not like that.
But you know he's really stick and he does it pretty well.
So what do I do but I'm so impressed by that.
Yeah, going back detail
it's my guilty pleasures films. Yeah. What have you analysed?
Like I play ukulele. Oh, I played I played game. Is it literally a small guitar? It is not literally a small guitar. It has the body that is the same shape as a guitar got four strings instead of six. guitars are actually tricky to play because you got the first four strings of sound pretty good and then the top two that sound a bit kind of weird if you just strama you get a discord and strum what's awesome about the ukulele
is even if you're mostly deficient of musical talent, yeah, like me, you can make a ukulele sound pretty good. And it's like Easy, easy to play honestly one finger on one string, and you got one or the chords, two fingers on two strings, your two chords and with two chords, you can play 80% of all songs. So ukulele is like just fantastic, be good instrument. And so how often like did you? How'd you learn the Twilight and how often he pulling it out? So I
when I was at uni, they knew I lived in a house with three of three other guys, all of whom are great musicians. So they were instruments laying around the house all the time, guitar, trombone, drums, saxophone, bass guitar and electric guitar and acoustic guitar. So I picked up the guitar and just learned to play some basics on that just
out of the fence as much as it started. It gets hot like it's less inspiring to be
honest because I
learned on the hard one you could do. I was hoping this was a timely story.
I never played a musical instrument before I picked up the ukulele for the first.
You could do a little bit with that. So I could do a little bit with the guitar because I had a few chords. My wife and I went to a ukulele thing together for the first time. She'd never picked up a guitar or ukulele before origami. Okay, good. So she started learning it. And she really got the ukulele bug. So there's
something called you as you as stands for ukulele acquisition syndrome, which is like one ukulele is never enough. Unless I'm missing it seven. Were you thinking Josh is going to get
picky about it? Yes. So we have probably a few ukuleles No.
Smaller Yeah, yeah.
How do you put them on the wall? Yeah, we have we have a stand which rehang three or four of them off. And then we have, it's kind of like a, like a cottage car seat. So you can kind of rack them up like that. Right? Yeah. And to finish off of the, the fashion is literally on a high
note this pizza story, okay. I said eight years, eight years, you know, this university. I find I finished university. I don't know what I wanted to do with my life. I stumbled into this company that is an innovation and creativity company kind of before innovation became a cool thing that what year was at, this is 1994.
And they were just starting up two guys from Unilever, one of the big producers of consumer goods. And we got hired by Pizza Hut to try and invent new pieces. And
we were well meaning but honestly a bit amateurish, as I look at it
So basically hiring pitches like okay, we're going to get bring in some chefs. And we're just going to come up with combinations of stuff and try and make stuff work. You remember some of them. I mostly I've tried to block that out in my mind. We were sending it for KFC. And honestly, I ate a lot of really bad pizza and really bad chicken. So we'd have to come up with ideas, can a chef to make them test them out? And then if we thought they were okay, we didn't take them into focus groups, we would have people sit around the table and eat the pizza and go, I like it. I don't like is it a bullshit job? Or is it legit? Like, that's a huge legit job. I mean, it's like, where do all the ideas of all the stuff that ends up in your supermarket come from? Well, it's often from agency pumping up ideas and running them past people and trying to get feedback and trying to figure it out. Is there a purpose they don't go directly as a food guys? Why don't they show me the chef's can be creative guys, the problem solvers Yeah, they see you and so how
What you're trying to connect to is what do people really want? And what will they actually buy? Because if you're a technical chef in the kitchen, and you're like, I like these flavours, and you put it out there and you're like, oh, turns out that the regular family living in power matter, hates that stuff. So part of what you do is you go, who's your target market? What else do they do? How do we put them in a situation where we can get a real sense of what they'll actually do? You take your your best guess? Because it's super expensive for a company to invest in the factory and the factory set up and the distribution and negotiating with a supermarket to get the SKU and get that thing listed. If it's going to be a flop, so they really want to try and test it as best they can. And so you opened this workshop that you're doing about some of the ship that you weren't necessarily doing that was Yeah, so writing fulfilment Yeah. Which is like more
That stuff because it was actually interesting. We talked about process and outcome before. I loved the process of inventing stuff because you'd run brainstorms. You'd be cool things you'd send people out and adventures you come up with great ideas and I love coming up with ideas. But there was a moment where as I you know what I'm what I'm doing, is I'm just finding ways to create more stuff in the world. And is the world is my life and other people's lives going to be that much better by helping the Heinz produce their next line of soup?
Do I want that to be boasting about what I'm an old man? The answer is, no.
I really don't the pizza thing. celebrated I love I played I played a minor role in helping come up with stuffed crust pizza. Pizza stuffed realised pizza. I know
that Yeah, but I've never had it. I've never heard of it really. Exactly. So
there's a whole generation of people
I don't know. That's that that's so 1998 was 98 Yeah, cuz it was it was it was radical for pizza at the time because they're like, they did something to the crust amazing. And now they're like
stuffed with cheese originally, but then they
had they stuffed chicken with feeling actually there's a whole technology around how do you get cheese on the outside rim of the crust? That's what what what the insight was when you watch people eat pizza, they'll eat they'll eat the middle part of the triangle, and then they'll leave the dry crust. So they're like how do we make that a value add space so you put cheese in it? And then of course, there's put more cheese and a triple cheese stuffed crust pizza and then they're like, hot dog stuff.
Did you ever did you ever see because we see these films now like fed up which is on Netflix, which is all about like the food industries and how government and how they like it. Yeah, we need to sell more dairy anyway that like, you know, organisation
are incentivized to use more of these products? Did you see any of that within the innovation space? I didn't, you know, we were really a kind of a bridge between that world.
There's kind of like a bridge, which is like the consumer, the marketing team in the big companies, and we're a bridge between the marketing company team and the consumer. And then there's the marketing team, we go back to the r&d people, and then the r&d people connected to the CEOs and the CEOs are getting bribed by the dairy industry, allegedly talking about any CEO in particular, you know, they kind of make all that stuff work. Yeah. So we were that was way above our pay grade. And so February 29, you've got your new book, device trap. And so we're How do you want people to buy it? You want them to go on Amazon? What's the best best way? Yeah, you know, the, there's one way of doing it, which is go to the advice trap.com and you can get
Some downloads and there'll be some pre order bonuses and kind of giveaways and the like.
It great if people pre order the book because it means that all the all the books people order before the launch date, or get counted on the week of the launch date. So while on one hand I'm not trying to put too much attention on the launch was just a week or two. the other hand if it does well on the launch week, that's great. So yeah, go to the advice trap calm. And that will point you to different places where you can buy it and follow up with it. If you like our organising well may Thank you. Thank you so much for spending your time with us. My pleasure is a great rambling conversation unlike any podcast I've ever done before I hit none of my key message.
Hi, the daily talk show.com is the email address. If you want to send us an email also if you need video work done for your brand also hit us up. Big media company. com You guys have done some amazing stuff with Jason Fox. Yeah. Yeah. Really nice job. I thoroughly endorse that. Thank you.
And otherwise we say tomorrow guys say guys