I saw this podcast where Tim Ferriss spoke to Matt Mochary about coaching and all that. I thought it was brilliant and I thought that the wider world must consume these. While I heard the talk, I took notes (as always) and here they are.
Before you read, here are some disclaimers…
- These notes are my attempt to distil learnings into short sentences / lessons
- The transmission loss (in their narrative and my understanding) must be attributed to me
- The notes are coloured by my personal experiences and biases.
- For the unfiltered notes, please see this thread I wrote while I heard the podcast.
- If you like what you read, follow me on Twitter
If you want to see the podcast, here…
Most people operate from fear and anger. And often the root of all fear / anger is your ego.
If you can eliminate fear and anger from your life, you could become more effective. Think of the last time you were not happy (or even ineffective). You can trace back the unhappiness to either fear or anger.
The base of everything we do (love / business / one-time transactions) has to be trust.
Plain old trust.
You will get taken for a ride but think of those instances as the tax you need to pay to build a life of more abundance and more growth.
As you go along, try and make your reputation and word so strong that people dont even think about asking you to sign a paper. Think of how you talk to your spouse or best friend. That!
The beauty is this behaviour compounds. Once you become someone that people can trust, you will attract more people that would want to trust you and most of them will also operate from the lens of trusting you. Collectively, like a spiral goes up (thanks to Gokul from CynLr for this concept of the spiral), everyone collectively becomes better.
As your stature becomes bigger in the public eye, you’d attract a lot of people with a lot of ulterior motives.
Contrast this with lesson 2 and you need to find a middle ground and a filtering system that detects behaviours from the other party
Start to think a lot more in terms of likelihoods (odds / percentages etc). This doesn’t come across as natural to people even though they know about it.
What are the odds that a certain deal will convert?
What are the odds that the next flight you take will crash?
What are the odds that your business partner of today will remain a partner tomorrow?
And then work to maximise these odds
I still do it. But need to amp it up.
Lesson 5. Most Important.
Convert conversations into action items.
Create a bias for action.
And this means you need to write down action items.
And the cost of not doing must be you letting yourself down in the eyes of someone that you dont want to! Your parent, spouse, best friend, team, clients etc.
This is one of those things that MOST entrepreneurs lack. They dont add an action item. At least I dont. This is one change that I will bring in.
Accountability beats elaborate planning all the time. Enough said.
You get angry or you are in pain when some personal boundary gets crossed.
You need to understand those boundaries and then communicate to self first and then to others.
When you talk to yourself, try and unravel – what boundary was crossed. And then when you talk to others, tell them that they’ve crossed a personal boundary.
Will make you more effective.
Work becomes better / easier in the physical presence of others. MM pays people to just sit on a couch and read magazines while he works.
While this talk of remote and async work is great, there are people that may need an office environment.
On a personal level, as someone whose boundaries in terms of work and personal life blur a lot, I can vouch for this. On multiple levels.
a, I <3 offices!
b, I <3 coffee shops to work.
c, I love seeing others around me working on their dreams as I work on mine.
In fact, this works for others as well.
On the writing cohort that I run (#lfwc3), @adisave came up with the idea of #rozwrite where we log in with cameras on, and mics off and do our own writing. The ones that participate get a lot of writing done!
No wonder. We are after all social creatures.
At any company, it’s a human you are optimising your work for!
Think of any business. They are in the end optimising for a human being. Could be customers / investors / employees / even the head of state! Even in your personal life, you are optimising for yourself!
Once this is internalised, decision-making changes. And so does the trajectory of your work!
Lesson 9. Second most important.
Separate decisions from implementation.
Remember how they say that you suffer more in imagination than in reality? That!
MM talks about how you fire someone. You are dreading the decision to fire because the implementation of that (the conversation with who you are going to fire) will be tough. Similarly, when you want to get fit, the decision to get fit is an easy one to take. You delay it because you are dreading those sweaty gym sessions and abstinence from your favourite food!
This coupled with converting conversations into actions should see you getting a lot more done!
People have three pillars in life – the home they live at, their most significant relationship and their job.
If any of these three gets impacted, it creates a big trauma.
As a leader, your job is to help your people prevent these traumas. Often you would be able to control just one of the three. But can you expand your influence in other areas as well?
Lesson 11. Important.
Help people eliminate fear. Especially in a work setting.
Respect is great but fear is not. Your team must NOT be afraid of you.
One way to do this is to showcase to your people by setting an example through your conduct. Each time that team could be scared, you need to show to them that they dont need to. The best way to do this is by doing.
For example, you have to let go of someone. While one person is losing their job, others are also scared about theirs. So while you fire that one person, you tell that person that it’s not them that is the reason. And do whatever it takes to find that person a replacement. Treat that persona as a human and not as a number.
When you fire like that, the ones that are working with you see the humane side. They see that you have been kind and you have actually gone out of your way to get the outgoing person hired, they will not operate from a place of fear.
A good way to reflect could be by asking these questions…
- Last time when you had to fire someone, how did you talk to the person you had to let go?
- Last time when an irate customer yelled at you, how did you handle them?
- When people dont agree with you fundamentally, how do you talk to them?
Antisell the role / company when you are hiring.
This is counter-intuitive but works.
You paint the saddest scenario to the incoming talent. And if they are still willing to work with you, you know that they are aligned with the mission! And they are not in it for free catered food or whatever.
Lesson 13. Very important.
Do energy audits.
After each interaction, try and take note if that left you energized or drained. Over time, find patterns. And then double down on things that energize you. Stop doing things that drain you.
TF talk about how he gets drained (and angry) when he has to do legal paperwork.
What about you? Does a chat with your team energize you? Or drains you? What do people tell you? Do you energise them? Or do you drain them?
Lesson 14. Very important.
Good communication is a marriage of writing and talking.
It’s imperative that each person builds the muscle to write. And then talk.
Oh, and take notes!
So when you write, you get clarity of thought.
When you speak, you can add nuance.
When the two tango, you create magic.
Most great speakers and influential business people run on this secret combination.
Side note. I must offer coaching sessions like note-taking, writing, thinking, building teams, and speaking. To people that want to get more effective. No, I am not an expert on any of these but this is the only way I would learn and get better. Does anyone want to pay me for this?
Must give feedback in a sync mode and in person. As much as possible. Even though you could be the best writer / speaker / manager.
It’s ok to send long emails or texts but if it’s going to be an unpleasant conversation for either of you, please do NOT escape. Ask for a time when the two of you could sit together and chat and then bring it up. Take your notes. Let the other person bring notes as well!
The secret superpower to effectiveness is to get an effective EA / CoS. No, not to get your grunt work done. But to shadow you and do things that only you can do. And give that person the freedom to run operations while you just think and use your brain.
This is similar to what Ali Abdaal calls sparring partners and what we at C4E call a chain of mentors.
That’s about it! Hope this helps.