This is an interview with John Zimmer, one of the leadership communications coaches who joins me regularly at IESE Business School for various programs. This week we are teaching the Executive MBA program.

John has a wonderful blog: Manner of Speaking. Four of the top posts at his blog are:

About IESE Business School

IESE Business School

IESE Business School is a global business school offering MBA and Executive Education programs. Ranked #1 in world by FT, four years in a row (2014-2018). IESE has locations in Barcelona, Madrid, New York, Munich and Sao Paulo.

The Mission of IESE Business School

The mission of IESE is to develop and inspire business leaders who strive to make a deep, positive and lasting impact on the people, companies and society they serve.

“We want to educate leaders to whom we can entrust the future of business and society. For this reason, we develop the integrity, spirit of service, professional excellence and sense of responsibility of all those who take part in one of our programs.”

IESE Business School

IESE Business School activities are centered around three management axes:

  • global mindset
  • general management approach
  • people-centered vision, with the ethics and social responsibility that entails. We believe that companies are, above all, communities of people who work better in atmospheres of respect and trust.

This is a 36 minute conversation with Bill Gallagher, a business coach and speaker who is beginning to work with Vistage Groups.

In this conversation we discuss how a speaker can build their relationship with Vistage leading to invitations to deliver workshops to Vistage groups in their area or region. We also discuss what is expected by Vistage group members during the expert speaker session during their montly group meeting.

Overview of the Vistage Speaking Opportunity

Speaking to the Vistage community is your opportunity to share your insights with small- and midsize-business leaders in an intimate group setting. Our members, more than 23,000 worldwide, meet on a monthly basis in groups of 12 to 16. Each member is the top decision maker in their organisation or region.

Vistage, the world’s leading CEO organisation

Vistage members expect to learn something of value – new skills, information, tools and techniques that they can take away from the meeting and implement immediately in their personal or professional lives. Members expect your presentation be highly interactive. They will interupt and ask questions. They will expect that you have real-life examples and experiences that demonstrate the ideas and concepts you present to Vistage. Members will need the presentation to be engaging and well paced.

Qualifications of Vistage Speakers

  1. You have a specialized skill or capability in which you are considered an expert in the field.
  2. You know the C-suite and how your expertise can help them make better decisions.
  3. A dynamic speaker and workshop facilitator who can connect with an executive audience.
  4. Comfortable challenging and being challenged by CEOs and senior executives.
  5. Excited to forge relationships with our global community of 23,000 members.

Apply to Become a Vistage Speaker

About Bill Gallagher and Scaling Up

Connect to Bill https://www.linkedin.com/in/billgall/ and on twitter https://twitter.com/billgall

Game of Thrones is back for its final season this week. This video comes from the beautiful city walls of Ávila, about 100kms to the west of Madrid in Spain.

I used to think that it was enough to be good at your job, and to be nice to people… and money, success and power would come. How wrong I was. The Game of Thrones makes it clear: if you have something of value, someone stronger will take it from you. You must be strong or be protected.

Are you Strong or are you Protected?

How to improve your life: make better decisions.

If you take better decisions, you improve your life.  How to take better decisions:

  1. Improve your data
  2. Focus on what is Important (with Frameworks)
  3. Get other brains involved

Improve your Data

Feelings are not a good guide in complex decisions. Only evidence and the perspectives of people who have gone through similar decisions is good data for your decisions. Everyone has an opinion, not all opinions have value.

What data are you putting in front of you as you begin the process of deciding?

Focus on what is Important

The famed Eisenhower prioritization matrix has two axis:

  • level of importance,
  • level of urgency.

This gives 4 states:

  1. important & urgent
  2. Important & not urgent
  3. Not important & not urgent
  4. Not important & urgent

Zone 4 is deadly.

Stay out of Zone 4. Zone 2 requires the greatest discipline, and has the greatest long term payback.

You have to know where you are going. If you don’t have goals, you’ll drift into shit you don’t enjoy doing.  You’ll not build anything.  You’re headed down a dead end.

What are your lifetime goals?  Do you have them written down? Who do you want to be when you are older?

Imagination is the greatest human talent. It is vital to use your imagination to visualize your desired future. An architect doesn’t begin to build until the house is finished (on paper).

Get other brains involved

I was with the Arbinger Institute last week.

The biggest problem with human beings: Self Delusion.

We have such a huge need to see ourselves as being right, that we will ignore all evidence to the contrary.

Mastermind groups, peer advisory groups (EO, YPO, Vistage), mentors and coaches are vital to hold a mirror up to you and call out flawed thinking processes.

The person we find it easiest to lie to: ourselves.

Be careful. The question is not whether you are deceiving yourself, the question is where are you deceiving yourself.

How do you take decisions?

What do you do well? What do you not do so well?

Last week I finally got to meet the Arbinger Institute. On Thursday I attended a workshop in Barcelona for one of our Vistage CEO Groups led by Arbinger Institute. On Friday I had the privilege of meeting the CEO of Arbinger Institute and hearing about his personal mission to expand the impact of their work.

The book The Anatomy of Peace made a big impact on me when I first read it back in 2009. Each year I am a little less “in the box” than the previous year.

Arbinger’s 2 Fundamental Mindsets

“So if we are going to find lasting solutions to difficult conflicts or external wars we find ourselves in, we first need to find our way out of the internal wars that are poisoning our thoughts, feelings, and attitudes toward others. If we can’t put an end to the violence within us, there is no hope for putting an end to the violence without.”

The Arbinger Institute

Arbinger distinguish between “in the box” and “out of the box” mindsets.

  • In the box, or what they call the “inward mindset” is a narrow-minded focus on my own goals and objectives. Other people are either “Vehicles” that serve me or “Obstacles” that impede my progress.
  • Out of the box is the “outward mindset” which sees all the people around me as having goals and objectives of their own, and the greater a role I can play in understanding, clarifying and supporting their goals, the more I will find they give back to me.

About The Arbinger Institute

The Arbinger Institute was founded in 1979 by Dr. C. Terry Warner, the scholar who solved the central problem at the heart of the human sciences: the problem of self-deception. That work revealed two distinct mindsets from which people and organizations operate—a self-focused inward mindset and an others-inclusive outward mindset—and the path to sustainably changing mindset and results.

Arbinger Books:

One of my most read & shared posts ever is 11 Differences between Busy People and Productive People. Productivity is clearly a theme which resonates with you, my favorite reader.

Coffee
Another of my Productivity secrets

Robert Pozen and Kevin Downey write about 3 keys to productivity over at Harvard Business Review. They share a summary of their work on personal productivity with over 20,000 professionals: What Makes Some People More Productive Than Others

Here’s what Robert & Kevin learnt about Productive People

If you want to become more productive, you should develop an array of specific habits.

Focus on what’s Important

First, plan your work based on your top priorities, and then act with a definite objective.

  • Revise your daily schedule the night before to emphasize your priorities. Next to each appointment on your calendar, jot down your objectives for it.
  • Send out a detailed agenda to all participants in advance of any meeting.
  • When embarking on large projects, sketch out preliminary conclusions as soon as possible.
  • Before reading any length material, identify your specific purpose for it.
  • Before writing anything of length, compose an outline with a logical order to help you stay on track.

Develop the Ability to Focus

Second, develop effective techniques for managing the overload of information and tasks.

  • Make daily processes, like getting dressed or eating breakfast, into routines so you don’t spend time thinking about them.
  • Leave time in your daily schedule to deal with emergencies and unplanned events.
  • Check the screens on your devices once per hour, instead of every few minutes.
  • Skip over the majority of your messages by looking at the subject and sender.
  • Break large projects into pieces and reward yourself for completing each piece.
  • Delegate to others, if feasible, tasks that do not further your top priorities.

Engage with the People, not just the Tasks

Third, understand the needs of your colleagues for short meetings, responsive communications, and clear directions.

  • Limit the time for any meeting to 90 minutes at most, but preferably less. End every meeting by delineating the next steps and responsibility for those steps.
  • Respond right away to messages from people who are important to you.
  • To capture an audience’s attention, speak from a few notes, rather than reading a prepared text.
  • Establish clear objectives and success metrics for any team efforts.
  • To improve your team’s performance, institute procedures to prevent future mistakes, instead of playing the blame game.

How’s your Productivity?

How do you rate yourself on these 3 areas? What is your Achilles Heel when it comes to productivity?

More Productivity

If you liked this post you will also like How to have a Productive Dayand How to take Better Decisions.

Last night I drove home from the Costa Brava. This is a 90 minute drive. I spent 89 minutes looking at the road ahead and about 1 minute using the mirrors to see what was behind me, and what was in the lanes next to me.

Driving while looking mostly in the rear view mirror is dangerous.

Do you know where many people spend their time looking while driving their life?

Looking in the Rear View Mirror

Income statements, balance sheets, project status reviews, current account balance, kilos overweight… These are all backwards looking indicators. They describe the past and the effect of past action.

These are useful indicators for Levels 1 to 3 on Jim Collin’s 5 Levels of Leadership. They are terrible indicators for a leader that aspires to Level 5 Leadership.

What are the forward looking indicators in your business and in your life?

Driving while Looking Forwards

Gratuitous photo of me & Jim Collins at Vistage Chairworld

As we drove yesterday, we were listening to a conversation between Jim Collins and Tim Ferriss (it is excellent: I highly recommend that you find 2 hours to listen to their conversation about life, disciplines, purpose and the essence of a well lived life).

Jim Collins’ Important Concepts for Life & Business

Jim Collins shared many of the concepts that he has been working on for the last 30 years:

Three things struck me from this conversation:

  1. Clarity of speaking comes from consistently writing your ideas down
  2. Excellence is the fruit of a conscious decision and commitment to long term disciplines (that are not easy for anybody)
  3. Evidence matters (especially in living our own lives)

Clarity of speaking comes from consistently writing your ideas down

How to Speak Clearly?

I love Tim’s podcast. He is interested in exactly the same range of questions that I find myself interested in. He asks good questions and pushes his guests to be specific, to give examples, to be clear. He doesn’t invite people who are not experts, and he doesn’t let them away with generic, vague concepts… he pushes them to get clear.

Both Jim and Tim have spent a lot of time writing.

As I develop the next iteration of my programs at IESE Business School, I realise that the biggest growth step that I can develop for my participants is to push them to think clearly. I believe that the only way to check whether you can think clearly is to learn to write clearly… and great writers know that great writing is the result of multiple processes of editing.

The big gap between most people becoming great speakers, is to first become clear thinkers.

Social media and rapid meetings and political correctness has allowed lazy thinking to become normal.

Excellence is the fruit of a conscious decision and commitment to long term disciplines (that are not easy for anybody)

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Aristotle

Jim’s first question to Tim (I love how Jim immediately took control of the conversation, rather than just react to Tim’s questions): “What was the topic of your senior thesis at Princeton?”

It turns out that Tim has been studying, investigating and writing about the same general concepts for years. How do humans learn? and the more specific: How do the most effective human learners actually approach learning?

Tim is no overnight success. He’s been committed to learning in the same general themes for over 20 years. Jim is no overnight success. He’s spent the last 30 years committed to learning in the same few general themes.

Evidence matters (especially in living our own lives)

Poor data leads to poor decisions.

The person that each of us is most capable of manipulating is ourself. In their conversations, Tim and Jim reiterate the importance of evidence.

Very often, an accepted truth is the barrier to your next step of growth. One small, well intentioned, bad habit is costing you more than all the good habits you have invested in.

Often the members of a Vistage group play an interesting challenge role in calling out “The Elephant in the Room” – where they see you reliving a repetitive delusion that is damaging your progress in work, relationships and life.

We can fool ourselves better than anyone. Often the delusion is blatantly obvious to everyone, except me.

More Jim Collins…

I’ll leave you with one of the few video recordings of Jim Collins that are available publically:

Not for all my readers, but for anyone who uses Final Cut Pro to edit videos, this 90 minute masterclass is excellent. John Williams is excellent in explaining the end to end process from idea through to fully edited film.

Topics Covered in this Film Making Masterclass

Louise Laws provided a great run down of the contents of this masterclass in her comment that you can find just below the video on YouTube: Film Making Masterclass

0:00 Mike Roberts, Head of Guildhall School Electronic Music Dept
1:25 John Williams, Multi-Award Winner, Soho Master Editor and Film Director
2:00 90 seconds short film titled Just in Time
4:11 Tutorial begins
4:35 Equipment used
5:22 Shooting in raw
6:18 Concept and location
7:38 Shot list of over 20 scenes
8:10 Behind the scenes

FCPX – IMPORTING AND ORGANISING MEDIA

10:00 Managing media
12:39 Key wording

14:55 Smart collections
16:36 Rejecting and favouring
20:17 Recap

FCPX – EDITING THE IMAGE

21:37 Creating a project timeline
22:00 Appending and trimming clips
25:50 Inserting Clips
28:33 Connecting Clips
29:40 Synchronising picture with external audio
37:26 Recap

FCPX – ENHANCING THE PICTURE

38:10 Adding effects
41:05 Keying and replacing the sky
44:00 Compound Clips
47:04 Re-timing to slow motion
49:55 Colour Correction
58:36 Recap

FCPX – WORKING WITH SOUND

59:32 Adding Atmos
1:01:22 Exporting
1:02:14 Importing Music Stems
1:03:15 Using Roles
1:05:00 Mixing Audio
1:07:55 Recap

1:08:42 Live edit using multiple cameras (Behind the music)
1:24:00 Recap

Here’s a quick analysis (not scientific nor complete) of poor ways of listening. I am guilty of #1 and #2, I can enjoy #3… but I really hate #4. (#2 is my Achilles Heel).

The 4 Categories of Poor Listening

  1. Knows it Already
  2. One Upper
  3. Gossiper
  4. Black Hole

Knows it Already

As you get half-way through your sentence, the Knows it Already already knows what they think you are going to say. They are now preparing their response rather than listening to the rest of your words.

One Upper

Whatever you have done, they have done it… but twice as well, or twice as big or twice as impressive. You share that you went on safari last year and saw 2 elephants. They went on safari 2 years ago and saw 4 elephants, 10 lions and millions of other animals.

  • I give thanks to Florian Mueck for helping me recognise and reduce my tendency towards “One Upping”

Gossiper

Whatever you share, they will share something negative or comparative about other people who are not in the room.

Black Hole

Life is shit.

“All my daughter really wants from me is a few minutes of my undivided attention… the richer people get the more money they spend trying to “

Dorothée Loorbach

I am bad with money

It has taken me many years to admit this to myself. It was only by admitting it that I have been able to take the steps to put my family on a path to financial freedom.

I have a long standing belief that if I am a good person and do good work, the “money thing” will sort itself out. This has proven to be a poor approach to a well balanced life.

I still have had a lot to learn about my relationship to money. Many of the lessons shared in this video resonate with my own (poor) relationship to money. I am so optimistic that the future will be better that I don’t hold myself to the discipline of saving and investing my money. It has taken several business failures and a clear objective reflection on my poor money decisions to start to accumulate money over the last few years.

10 lessons about money from Dorothée Loorbach

Dorothée was “successful” in her job and made a lot of money… and then she spent it all… until she was broke, unable even to bake her little daughter a birthday cake. She had to face her own flawed beliefs about money and how they were damaging her ability to live a life that matters.

The 10 Lessons on Money from the Video

  • 4:49 #1 Money is important
  • 5:55 #2 Money equals time
  • 7:00 #3 Money equals value
  • 8:03 #4 What people say doesn’t matter
  • 9:49 #5 What people say matters
  • 10:58 #6 It’s really simple
  • 11:33 #7 It’s not that easy
  • 13:05 #8 Being broke sucks
  • 14:35 #9 Stay Broke
  • 15:54 #10 Money is not important

What are you beliefs about money? Are they having a positive impact on your approach to life?