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

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:

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:

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.

Here’s a growing list of some of the best specific podcast episodes (I will keep updating this blog post). Some are my favourites and some have been recommended by readers and friends.

What are some of the best podcast episodes that you have heard? (looking for specific episodes rather than the whole podcast…) . Thanks!

I’d love your recommendations of channels or specific podcasts in the comments below.

Tim Ferriss

(link to his podcast https://tim.blog/podcast/) (itunes)

Dan Sullivan

(itunes)

Dan has several podcasts and often appears on others’ podcasts…

Leading Voices in Real Estate

(itunes)


Brian Buffini

(itunes)

Kevin Rose

(itunes)

Malcolm Gladwell

(itunes)

Matt Brown

(itunes)

James Altucher

(itunes)

Evolution 2.0

(itunes)

What Episodes Do You Love?

Google started asking team members to answer the following questions, using a 1 (strongly agree) to 5 (strongly disagree) scale.

  1. My manager gives me actionable feedback that helps me improve my performance.
  2. My manager does not “micromanage” (get involved in details that should be handled at other levels).
  3. My manager shows consideration for me as a person.
  4. The actions of my manager show that he/she values the perspective I bring to the team, even if it is different from his/her own.
  5. My manager keeps the team focused on our priority results/deliverables.
  6. My manager regularly shares relevant information from his/her manager and senior leaders.
  7. My manager has had a meaningful discussion with me about career development in the past six months.
  8. My manager communicates clear goals for our team.
  9. My manager has the technical expertise (e.g., coding in Tech, selling in Global Business, accounting in Finance) required to effectively manage me.
  10. I would recommend my manager to other Googlers.
  11. I am satisfied with my manager’s overall performance as a manager.

And then a couple of fill-in-the-blank questions:

  • 12. What would you recommend your manager keep doing?
  • 13. What would you have your manager change?

The Google Manager Feedback Form

Here’s a link to the survey as a Google Form: Google Leadership Evaluation survey.

Soft Skills Matter Most

Only one question refers to technical skills.  Every other question focuses on soft skills: communication, feedback, coaching, teamwork, respect, and consideration. Google have seen that it is not what you know, but how you act that shapes your impact as a leader.

You can listen to the full podcast on soundcloud, or subscribe on iTunes (itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/radeo/id1250841955

I had a wonderful conversation with EO South Africa member and RadEO Podcast host Ross Drakes (along with the great Rich Mulholland) a few weeks back after the EO Global Leadership Academy in Washington.

About this Episode: In this episode of RadEO, Ross talks to Conor Neill, the president of Vistage Spain. They talk about how you are a vehicle for a project and one should realise your own potential and purpose. Finding meaning in suffering can help in not losing sight of your full strength. Conor gives his 3 top ways to communicating effectively and understanding others around you by asking them what fulfilment looks like. We are all encouraged by enthusiasm, and Conor suggests putting enthusiasm into everything we do.

Podcast Show Summary of our Conversation

  • 00:44 – Conor’s elevator pitch
  • 09:38 – Unlocking your own potential and realising your purpose
  • 13:20 – Finding meaning in suffering
  • 20:21 – Not losing sight of your full strength and potential
  • 22:05 – Communicating effectively
  • 26:05 – We are encouraged by other’s enthusiasm
  • 32:50 – Nothing worthwhile is within your comfort zone
  • 35:00 – When your core is clear you’re not seeking after the opinions of others
  • 37:13 – Ask people around who want they need to be fulfilled
  • 40:20 – Sometimes it’s easy for us to give to others, what’s easy for us to give
  • 43:40 – Allow your intuition to tell you what are the things that are important to you
  • 44:37 – Write down your purpose

You can listen to the full podcast here on soundcloud, or subscribe on iTunes (itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/radeo/id1250841955

Running thru Washington with Ross and Friends

Ross is the one with the beard in these photos…

Nothing brings more opportunity into your life than speaking well in public.

I have been teaching for 16 years on many leadership programs at IESE Business School. Today I’m sharing a playlist of a series of videos that we put together as an introduction for participants of future courses.

There are 10 videos in the full playlist with a total duration of about 60 minutes.

There are 4 steps to speaking with impact:

  1. Have something to say
  2. Say it well
  3. Say it with Intensity
  4. Connect with the people in the audience

Here’s the link to the Leadership Communications video playlist

 

I’ve had a few people asking me for specific details on the kit I use to make videos for my YouTube Channel.  The most basic videos, I make with my iPhone 7.  Enter photo app, selfie mode, hit video and talk.  My friend Seb Lora has over 220K youtube subscribers and does most of his non-studio videos with his iphone.

Camera: My main camera is the Canon G7X Mark II.  There is a big vlogging decision to make between DSLR or “Mirrorless” camera.  DSLR are bigger, heavier but get a better image (especially depth of field – those crisp foreground images with blurrer background).  “Mirrorless” such as the G7X are lighter and easier to carry around with you.  My decision was to go with the camera that is easier to carry.

Audio: For YouTube vlogging, I was surprised to discover early on that poor sound is more damaging to your video content than poor image quality.  People can cope with low quality video, but they really hate low quality sound.  

Video Editing Software: I use Final Cut Pro on the Mac to do my video editing.  I used iMovie before, but found myself quite restricted in terms of what I could do with multiple cameras and audio tracks.

Conor’s Vlogging Kit in Detail

Here’s a full list of all the bits and pieces that make up my vlogging kit.  Here’s the full list as an Amazon.com wish list: Conor’s Vlogging Kit.

Video: Canon G7X Mark II

Gorrilla Pod tripod for Canon G7X
Optional: improves sound quality (especially outdoors) from Canon G7X

Audio: Zoom H1 audio & lavalier microphone

Super portable, long battery life and great audio quality
lavalier mike – get better voice quality
necessary adaptor for Rode lavalier to Zoom H1

Video Editing Software: Final Cut Pro

I use Final Cut Pro, but Adobe Premiere is also powerful. 

Iphone Extras: tripod & clamp

flexible tripod and clamp to get good video shots with smartphone

Video Extra: Go Pro Hero 5

Gives an extra camera angle. Adds interest to your video image – allows switching between “headshot” and “scene” image.

Audio Extra: Remote Microphone

This is only useful if you speak at conferences and want to film yourself.  I can be on stage and leave the camera & audio gear at the back of the room.

Spares (Batteries, Memory cards)

It’s a “first world problem”.  Flight delays.  When air travel works, I love travelling as a speaker and teacher.  When there are delays… I start to reconsider how much it should be worth to leave my comfortable home city of Barcelona.

What to do when your flight is delayed? 

  1. Step 1: be grateful that I am travelling alone, and not with my kids. 
  2. Step 2: buy some food before the shops in the airport close and I am left starving. 
  3. Step 3: hope that the connection in Madrid waits for us.  
  4. Step 4: start writing…

Here’s one ugly looking departures screen at Barcelona airport this evening. There’s some storm hitting Portugal at the moment.

What I do when I am waiting?  I write blog posts, I update my IESE technical notes, I add thoughts and ideas to my journal.  

I’m sitting here for the next 2 hours… so hit me with your comments and let me know how you handle flight delays?