Monthly Archives: March 2018

Jumpstart your creativity

How to Jumpstart Your Creativity

This week I am joined by humorist, speaker, and author Robert Wilson. Robert shares some really funny stories, and some wonderful advice on how to become a better storyteller and bring more innovation to your life, and to the lives of others.

On today’s podcast:

  • Telling stories that make a point
  • Creativity is not a gift, it’s a lifestyle
  • Want to become a risk-taker? Start with baby risks
  • Keep a journal of your achievements


Telling stories that make a point

Robert tries to tell stories that make a point. He usually writes about achievement, motivation, leadership, creativity, and innovation.

Most often than not, what he writes about is what he was dealing with that month. It may not be specific, but he might write on that topic area. He learns a lot from self-reflection and just putting it on paper helps him learn from it. Other people can learn from it as well.

Creativity is not a gift, it’s a lifestyle

Robert has learned over the years that creativity is not a gift. From when we are small, we are constantly told to conform, and by the time we reach adulthood, many of us have repressed their natural creative abilities. Many of us believe that creativity is a gift, when instead it is a skill that anyone can regenerate at any point in time.

You can learn how to re-stimulate your creativity. In Robert’s opinion, creativity is not just a skill, it’s also a lifestyle.

When you are an innovator, you expose yourself to new things all the time: experiences, ideas. By doing so, you open new areas in your brain that otherwise wouldn’t be open. When that happens, you can make more connections.

Want to become a risk-taker? Start with baby risks

Sometimes people are afraid to bring their creativity forward. Creative thinkers are risk-takers. How do you become a risk-taker? You can start by taking baby steps. Innovators have been taking risks all their lives, so they are comfortable with doing that.

You can start small in a number of different ways. For example, if you read the newspaper every day, and you never read a certain section, read it. If you drink coffee every day, switch to tea for a week. Switch hands when you brush your teeth. Write with your non-dominant hand.

Taking risks means there is something that you can lose. You can start with baby risks, in order to get comfortable with that.

Keep a journal of your achievements

It’s a good idea to keep a journal of our achievements. A lot of the times we forget a lot of these little things that we’ve accomplished, and it’s good to read them through and pat ourselves on the back from time to time.

These little achievements build up and they allow us to start building the confidence to do more and more.

We can also observe other people who are accomplishing what we want to accomplish. If we see these people, we can say “If these people are doing it, surely I can do it too”.

Encouragement from others also helps enormously.

What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

My guest this week is leadership coach and author Lolly Daskal. Lolly shares with us what are the seven archetypes that exist in all of us, why they are important, and how they connect to our best version of ourselves.

On today’s podcast:

  • For each of our strengths, there is a weakness
  • The seven archetypes within all of us
  • Awareness is the first form of learning
  • Listen and coach people, don’t try to fix them
  • How to be the best version of ourselves


For each of our strengths, there is a weakness

Lolly’s book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness, is not just a leadership book, it’s also a life book, because it’s based on psychology and human development. Human development makes us into leaders.

She talks about leadership as the core fundamental of human behavior.

Within all of us, there is a polarity of character. For everything that is great about us, there is a gap. For every strength, there is a weakness. In times of stress, even though we have the qualities of greatness and strength, we always go to the gap.

The seven archetypes within all of us

The book opens up with seven archetypes. These are archetypes that Lolly has seen within not only leaders, but in every person she has ever encountered.

The first archetype is the rebel. The rebel wants to make an impact and a difference. The strength to be able to do that is confidence, and we all want to have confidence so that we can be the rebel. But 99% of us who are high-achieving individuals suffer from the impostor syndrome. The impostor has self-doubt.

We have to know what to do when we bump into our gap. If you bump into the impostor, you have to understand where this comes from. The impostor syndrome comes from comparing ourselves with others.

Awareness is the first form of learning

When we do our job, we can’t just be impulsive, we have to be mindful, intentional. Lolly always has small conversations with herself almost like to keep her in check. That’s how we can grow and become the best versions of ourselves.

How can we recognize a gap? Awareness is the first form of learning. Once we know that these seven archetypes do exist within us, we can change our mindset.

Each one of us wants to have greatness in their lives. We all want to leave our mark. But we want to do it in a way that makes a difference. The way to do that is to constantly learn who we are on the inside. To lead outwardly, you first must learn to lead from within.

Listen and coach people, don’t try to fix them

Another archetype is the navigator. Most of the people listening to this podcast are very smart, practical, pragmatic, and successful. But when someone comes to them with a problem, they tell people what to do. Instead of being navigators, they become fixers.

When we should up as a fixer, most of the people think of us as being arrogant. When someone comes to you with a problem, be the navigator: listen and coach them, don’t try to fix them. This is a game-changer.

We are not one archetype or another, we are all of them. These archetypes are based on virtues, and they give you an inner core GPS. They give you the opportunity to find out in each situation which person you need to be in order to be great. If you don’t pick an archetype, you will end up leading from your gaps.

How to be the best version of ourselves

The book is like a blueprint on how to be the best version of ourselves. Because it’s based on virtues, it’s about confidence, loyalty, trust, integrity. If you become these archetypes and you are always conscious of leading from your greatness instead of leading from your gaps, you will be known as an individual who is trustworthy, reliable, and responsible.

The next time you bump into someone who isn’t living up to their potential, offer them help. The next time someone comes to you with a problem, listen to them. The next time someone says “This is how you need to do it”, become the explorer.

The book teaches you what to do in every situation. Greatness is not something reserved for just a few. It can be achieved by every single person. You just have to choose it.

How to Write the Right Book

How to Write the Right Book

My guest this week is a best-selling author and coach Henry DeVries.

Henry is here to teach you all you need to know if you’ve decided to put your thoughts down on paper and finally write your book.

On today’s podcast:

  • The who, what, when, where, why, and how to write the right book
  • How to get started
  • The eight great stories
  • The benefits of independent publishing


The who, what, when, where, why, and how to write the right book

Henry’s mission is to give people the who, what, when, where, why and how of writing the right book that will make a difference for them.

Everyone has a book inside that needs to get out. Nobody really wants to leave this world without getting their book out there. However, a lot of these books won’t serve their authors, they will not help them with their company cause or career. So Henry chooses to be the myth-buster: authors are not promoted by books, instead authors promote the books. That’s the key.

A book is a tool to help you get what you want. Henry thinks that a book is the number 1 marketing tool. Speaking as a result of a book is the number 1 marketing strategy.

How to get started

If you already have a title and an idea about the book, the first step is to create a blueprint for the book. There are some starting elements for the blueprint:

  • A book needs a working title. Henry likes trifecta titles:
    • They work as speech titles
    • They work as book titles
    • You can get the .com URL (the domain name) so that you can start to create a little fence around your intellectual property
  • The book also needs a working subtitle about the promise, the outcome that people want.

How do you figure out if the title is right? You start with a working title. Henry calls it “The North Star”. You should always go for clarity when choosing your title. And then try to be congruent with your audience: they need to know what your book is about by looking at its cover.

The eight great stories

After you have a working title and a URL, you have to understand the eight great stories. There are eight great stories that humans are hardwired to hear:

  1. The overcoming the monster story
  2. The underdog story
  3. The story about a comedy
  4. The story about a tragedy
  5. The story about a mystery
  6. The story about a quest
  7. The story about a rebirth
  8. The story about an escape

The story you choose dictates its table of contents. There is a different table of contents for an overcoming the monster story (it’s a problem-solution table of contents) and a different one for a quest story (it’s about a call to this quest).

You need three parts in a book. The biggest mistake new authors make is the fact that they want to launch into part two of their book, without having written part one. Part one is the why, part two is the how, and part three is the what’s next.

You need to start with the why and tell the reader why this is important. In chapter two you ask the question: “If this is important, how do we fix it?” It’s the how, the guts of the book. Afterwards, there needs to be an aftermath.  

The benefits of independent publishing

You can record your thoughts, and take notes for each chapter. You can find a service to do the transcription for you. You can also hire an editor or a ghostwriter to help you.

There are many technologies and techniques to get the thoughts out of your head and down on paper so that others can read them.

Traditional publishing can be an ordeal. You have to make a proposal, it can take months for them to decide whether they will publish your book or not, then it might take a year to get the book out there. That’s the old way of doing things.

Henry helps authors be independently published. This is not the same as self-published. Independently published means that you hire experts in the field who know editing, art design, book production. For most people it’s a zero net sum investment: if you sell 1000-2000 books, which is doable if you really market your books, you can earn all the money you invested in the publishing back.

If you choose independent publishing, you retain control of the project and of the intellectual property.

The real money is in getting hired as a speaker or as a consultant or coach. Experts with a book can speak in the $5.000-$10.000 range.

Shepherding: A New Model of Leadership

Shepherding: A New Model of Leadership

My guest this week is Holly Culhane, founder, and CEO of Presence Point, a non-profit organization that supports leaders in their journey of becoming shepherds to their people.

On today’s podcast:

  • Shepherding: servant leadership in action
  • Shepard leaders genuinely care about their people
  • Key elements of shepherding
  • How to bring shepherding to your company
  • How to be a good servant leader
  • How do we measure our success as servant leaders?


Shepherding: servant leadership in action

Shepherding is a tweak of servant leadership. Servant leadership allows us to take our workforce into consideration. If we want to be successful as leaders, we have to serve our employees more than they serve us.

What is the true measurement of leadership success? Good employee engagement, satisfaction, productivity, and how the employees treat the customer. We’ve got to treat our employees like they’re our customers.

When you put other people first, you have more success in your own life.

Shepherd leaders genuinely care about their people

In today’s workforce, 50% of employees are millennials. They are also starting to take leadership roles, along with boomers and Xers.

Shepherding emphasizes presence. Presence requires you to be fully engaged, and millennials expect full engagement.

We might think that millennials are unengaged, as they are often texting or emailing. In reality, they want engagement and they resonate with people who care for them genuinely and deeply. And that’s what servant leadership represents.

A shepherd is the ultimate example of a servant because he lays down his life for his sheep. This changes the whole approach on how people work and accomplish their goals.

Pivotal elements for shepherding

There are three key elements for shepherding.

The first one is provision. Provision is to care of or to furnish or supply the need of another. Leaders should ask themselves: “Are we providing equipment, hardware, software, ergonomically correct chairs, and the information our employees need to do their job well?”

The second element is protection, the act of safeguarding. How do we shield our employees from harm? If there is a conflict, we need to step up. Sometimes we even need to protect them from themselves.

The third element is presence. Presence is being at hand, even if you are not there physically.

Bringing shepherding to your own workforce

Every responsibility of a leader falls under one of these three categories.

So how do you bring shepherding into your own organization? First, you need to figure out how it applies to you.

You can start by looking at how you were led in the past. You should look at the effects of good or bad leadership styles.

How to be a good servant leader

We need to have the vulnerability of being honest and open enough to say “I blew it, let me fix it”. Just because we’re in a leadership position, it doesn’t mean that we’re free from mistakes or from failure.

Many leaders think they shouldn’t be too vulnerable because they would give people too much information and they won’t be respected.

A servant leader is willing to say “We need to work on this, I’m struggling here”. The difficulty with servant leadership is not just our pride, it’s also our fear. We have to move from pride and fear to humility and confidence.

How do we measure that we are successful as servant leaders?

If you want to know whether you are doing a good job as a servant leader, you just need to ask. Do a monthly or quarterly check-in. Ask your employees:

  • Am I giving you what you need?
  • What do you need to be more effective in your role?
  • Do you have all you need to serve the customer?