World Leading Mindset Expert: How To Reach Your Full Potential - Matthew Syed | E84 | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "World Leading Mindset Expert: How To Reach Your Full Potential - Matthew Syed | E84".
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In a fixed mindset, people think that success is all about talent, having the gift. A growth mindset is saying, "Okay, talent obviously matters, it's a factor, but it's not enough, it's what we do with our talents." I wasn't the best table tennis player in the world, I never got into the top 20 of the world rankings, but with that attitude I maximise my own potential. Think leadership counts when it comes to innovation. I mean, the way Amazon conduct meetings, and then when they start talking, the most senior person always speaks last. You'll get an unvarnished access to the insights of your brilliant team, rather than speaking first in everyone basically converging on what you as the leader has just said. There are a lot of people with truly brilliant ideas, huge potential, who never act on their dreams. But having the idea doesn't mean a thing. You've actually got to act on that idea. Honestly, I think we shouldn't underestimate how damaging it can be. Matthew Syed. He's written some of the most important, challenging, thought-provoking books in the self-development, self-improvement, team development, team building, company building, leadership space. His ideas are original, they are challenging, they are fresh, they are important. He was an elite-level sportsman. And his ideas come from the world of sport, but also the world of business, from politics, from writing, from culture, from society. He evangelises about diverse thinking, about including more ideas, about challenging leadership, about challenging yourself, about what it takes to start.
Personal Development And Innovation
How do you define success (01:42)
And why most people spend their life sitting on ideas that could potentially change their life, but are seemingly imprisoned, trapped and blocked by their own mindset. He talks about how some of the most talented people in the world can fall short of their potential, and how some people with seemingly no talent at all can achieve miraculous things. If you apply the learnings from this conversation, I have no doubt that it will make you a better person. It will make your teams more innovative, and it will lead you to living a more fulfilled life. So without further ado, I'm Stephen Bartlett, and this is the Diaries CEO. I hope nobody's listening, but if you are, then please keep this to yourself. With you, everyone wants to be successful. Every body. I don't know one person that doesn't want to be successful. So I think it's probably quite important to define what that word means under your own definition of that word. Hellistic definition, not just a professional definition, but how would you define that? Well, look, it's great to be here, Steve. I think that's quite a deep question, quite a philosophical one. Really just started. I know one kind of an opening question is this. I obviously, as a former sports person, I was a table tennis professional for a number of years. Success was defined in terms of winning matches and achieving very clear, tangible objectives, like winning the national championships or the Commonwealth. And so I think when it comes to life beyond sport, it's so objective in something like the 100 metre sprint. You want to beat your PB. And you can see it on a digital readout at the end of a race, how close you've come or whether you've achieved that objective. In the life beyond sport, I have to say one of the things that is quite difficult, I think, for sports people to transition is it's more elusive, more subjective, more ephemeral. And I think it is a really difficult thing to define what you personally mean by success. I'm not 100% sure that I've defined it for myself yet. But I'm getting closer in a professional sense. What I would, how I'd answer that question is, I'd say, I think I'm successful in my professional life. If I am striving, if I'm taking on a worthwhile challenge with people I love. So the key terms there are worthwhile, subjective, defined, how you like challenge, which I think is integral to being motivated and getting up in the morning and all the emotions you need to be entirely fulfilled and motivated. And then with people I love, which I think is just a really, which speaks to community and human interaction, which I think is part of our human. Yeah. And that, yeah, look, that makes a lot of sense to me. I have to say, one thing that given what you've just said, you'll probably agree with. I think the narrow way that success has sometimes been defined in Western capitalist societies has been deeply mistaken. That it's all about how much money you have in your bank account. And I think we all know, although, you know, it's a bit of a cliché to say that it doesn't provide happiness, I mean, not of a sustained nature. I think that that thing about social interaction, the thing that makes me happiest for sure is putting one's heart and soul into a project, like, for example, writing a book, and then getting a letter from somebody who explains in their own way how it has positively impacted their life. And there is no feeling like that for me as a writer. And that really is a powerful engine to motivate you to come up with a new idea for a new book. The fact that, you know, it's having, it has meaning for other people, not that they've paid money to buy it. And that money has been transferred via a publisher into my bank account. That is much less significant. I mean, it's great. If you do get money for it, you know, you can look after your kids or you can do something with it. But it's that feedback, that sense of making some kind of a difference. I mean, in a funny kind of a way that that's why for a long time, as I came towards the end of my television, I said, I want to go to politics. I thought that is the place where you can make the most difference, right? You've got the levers to do something interesting. And then I realized it was not quite as fun a avenue, perhaps, as as writing. Why is it that human beings seem to get so much intrinsic joy from helping others? I think this is a great and deep significance. And, you know, just to put a historical lens on this, after the enlightenment, the idea was of human beings as individuals. Individualism was a great goal of political life. And I think we conceived of people as deciding to perhaps interact with other people, deciding to have families. And you might remember Margaret Thatcher once said, there's no such thing as society. There are just individual men and women and families. I mean, she had more to say after that. It wouldn't be fair to say that as her entire philosophy by any means. I think she was a great prime minister in many ways. But but if you actually go back deeper in human history, when we, our ancestors lived at the same time as the Neanderthals, the Neanderthals had probably bigger brains than us. They may have been individually smarter, but humans lived in tighter, more socially connected groups. What does that mean? It means if somebody learns something useful, they can share it with one of their kin. And therefore they can also share it with their children. They can get a cross pollination of ideas. They can bring ideas together. And then it gets passed down the generations. And it was that sociality that conferred a competitive advantage on our ancestors above Neanderthals. It is, I think, our distinctive quality. We are social beings to an extent greater, I think, than any others, except the insects like Ants who for slightly different evolutionary reasons, cooperate at scale. And there's an element of virtue signaling social media that sort of seems to have exacerbated this amongst my generation in particular, who all seem to want to change the world, but can't necessarily tell you what they want to change. They just want to be a person that's changed the world. That's interesting. That's interesting, because about a decade ago, I started looking at now, I believe it a lot 50. You look great. Well, I was going to say, if you have to remember Euler, you lay. No, that's probably the slightly older people will remember. I don't use that, by the way, but I started looking at how aspirations have changed since I was in my church. So when I was at university, everyone wanted to work for the UN. Yeah. That was kind of considered the great sort of panacea of life. But 10 years ago, a lot of people were saying in surveys of young people, what do you want to do in life? What do you want to be in life? And the answer was famous, yeah, famous, you know, not not to have a body of work that gives you fame. You know, to walk, you know, you want to walk down the red carpet, having created an amazing film, but no, they just wanted the red carpet. And I thought that was that was a dangerous thing. And I'm sure there's been a correction since then, but I think the obsession. There's been no correction. And I think maybe in some respects, it's got worse. I've just it's a real phenomenon I've noticed in my generation where after I'll come off stage doing a public speech, whatever, kids will come up to me and say, I want to be a public speaker too. And I never wanted to be. I pursued my desire to start a business and a byproduct of that was they pay me to speak on stage now. And fame also, in my view, should be a byproduct of the pursuit of something that's intrinsically important to you, right? Absolutely 100% correct. And that's why the obsession with fame is a massive danger, I think, to a culture. The thing about speaking, so a completely unintended side effect of writing my first book. So so I'm finishing table tennis. And I'm like, you know, what am I going to do with the rest of my life? You know, how am I going to define success? And I decide to write this book in 2000. When did it come out? 2010 called bounce. Yes. And an unintended side effect was being invited to give a speech at a big corporation, an investment bank, an American investment bank. And obviously, you know, as an ex-ping-pong player, I'm thinking, what is going on here? You know, how am I supposed to put you know, imposter syndrome? And also, you know, I went to a school, I went to a comp, you know, like we didn't do any, almost no public speaking. You know, we learned stuff, we learned things in the classroom, but the idea of getting up and speaking in front of an audience was kind of very alien. So I wasn't that good, right? Because I hadn't practiced that. I'd never done it before. And I came off the stage and I thought, you know what, I'm just not cut out for this. If I'm invited again to give a talk to a company, I'll just politely decline. Then I thought, it took me about, I don't know, 48 hours to think, what a ridiculous way to hijack my own development. If you actually had the right attitude, if you had the right mindset, you can probably learn these skills and take advantage of these brilliant opportunities because you always learn, don't you, when you go and speak in an organ? So I googled public speaking practice. And the first hit was called Toastmasters. And this is like a global network of just public speaking clubs where other normal people go to the club to develop social confidence. And the one nearest me and Richmond was in Twickenham, just over the bridge. And there was Franco worked at Lloyd's on the High Street and just the group of all, and you give a speech, they'd give you feedback. And the mentoring was a really important part of it because you need a bit of feedback and what you could have done better. And then about two thirds of the way through, there's something called table topics where somebody writes a list of topics on cards, but no one else in the room knows what they are. So you have to go to the front, you pick it up and then turn around and spontaneously talk for a minute on whatever topic. The first one I ever did was a natural history museum. You know, that's terrifying, right? You're not used to it. But you learn and you develop that skill. So learning how to speak publicly, it took me three or four years. And I'm not saying I'm brilliant at it now by any means, but my goodness, how much better when you have a can do attitude towards it. And that brings us to the topic of mindset, right nicely.
You know, I've heard you talk about having a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. What is the difference between the two? So I think for thank you, I thought for what it's worth, I think this contrast is so important. I mean, I can talk about it through my own life, but, you know, in a fixed mindset, people think that success, however defined, is all about talent, having the gift, having the genetic inheritance and or, you know, having the personality trait in order to excel. A growth mindset is saying, okay, talent obviously matters. It's a factor, but it's not enough. It's what we do with our talents. So people in a fixed mindset have two massive risks. One, they think they're so talented. They don't even need to try. So think of a young person who's just been invited to join the Manchester United Academy and they're suddenly getting money into their bank account. They're able to buy the fast car and they think, I'm God's gift. And they and the amount of academy coaches who've come to me and said, we don't understand it. We had this hardworking youngster. We invited them into the academy and then they just went off the rails. It's a fixed mindset. They think their success is assured. So they stop putting in the hard yards and don't transition into the first team. So that's one day. The other danger is people who don't think they're God's gift, but like me at Goldman Sachs, you make one failure and you interpret that as meaning. I obviously don't have talent. Therefore, I'm just going to give up to see what I mean. Yes. That's the negative advantage. Yeah. So you've got the I'm super talented everything and I've got it. So therefore, I don't need to try talented, everything. I don't have it. Therefore, I should give up. They're both terribly damaging, I think, a growth mindset. It doesn't mean that we think we're all going to be the best speaker in the world. I wasn't the best table tennis player in the world. I never got into the top 20 of the world rankings. But with that attitude, I maximise my own potential and going back to your thing about success. That's not a bad definition. Now I think about it, you know, to try and be the best that we can be in our own lives doesn't mean we're going to be the best who ever lived. You know, not everyone can be Muhammad Ali or Serena Williams or or Albert Einstein, but to be the best we can be. I think it's wonderful. And just from my own perspective, I think trying to fill one's own potential, going on a journey that has some meaning. There's something wonderfully uplifting, something satisfying about that, too. I really like the combination of those two ideas, the designer of being the best you can be, but realising that it's a pursuit towards something that you may never get to, right? So the journey and the journey towards being the best you can be at something which has a lot of meaning to you. Maybe that's the definition we were looking for. I think the point you make about the journey is really, really important. What was it? I think it was Robert Louis Stevenson said to travel is a better thing. Than to arrive. Oh, yeah. In a weird kind of work and say, I talked about trying to win the nationals, but first of all, the nationals, I remember winning going home. I was living on my own in the flat in Richmond. I got home and I thought, is that it? You know what I mean? It was that the fun was actually the the training and the the camaraderie with my practice partners and seeing those small improvements through time. I mean, that's consistent with most high performance and business people. And I was reading this piece and I think it was in the telegraph about Olympic depression, where you have the Olympians who train for the Olympics. They and whether they get a gold medal like Michael Phelps, who fell into depression, or whether they lose either way, the outcome is they just lose orientation in their life. And this is why I and also I felt it myself when a company came along when I was 24 and offered to buy my company and I go home, look at right move, look at all the cars I can buy and everything. And I feel this sense of emptiness and like, but then what? What's my life without this? Right. And genuinely, that was like an existential crisis because I was like, I can't sell this thing, but the insecure broke kid in me. Thought he was doing this to sell this thing. Yeah. And it was just this really, you know, it's one I think one of the deep paradoxes of the human mind. I mean, the the sense of anti climax. Gosh, when one achieves a long cherished ambition, I want to be a millionaire. I want to buy an Aston Martin. I want to win the Olympic gold medal. I remember talking to Victoria Pendleton. Oh, yeah, the Olympian. Yeah, because you live the cyclist, the Olympic, you know, you live with this ambition. It's what gets you out of bed in the morning, right? I want to win the Olympic gold. It's what when you're on the track, she was explaining, you know, it's what makes you push harder because you've got this, this goal, this destination that's pulling you, this magnet pulling you towards it. Then when you get it, you wake up the next day and what on earth is getting you out of bed? What's causing you to push yourself? That's one of the reasons I think people who make money very quickly face massive, many, not all. And this is well documented cycle. I mean, you'll know about the people who win lotter is, who marriages can end, who end up in often depression. When that's not a cliche, this is well established. And I think it's because you get something and then it's like, what is left to pursue in life? I do some interviews for the time, sports stars. And I mentioned Victoria Pendleton, Billy Jean King. Yeah. Exactly the same. David Beckham, Ryan Giggs. I mean, I've interviewed, you know, most of the Ronaldo, most of the leading, many of the leading sports people, and it's the same story. And I think what I've noticed is that as you did, that capacity to take a step back and to say, you know what, I'm feeling low, feeling empty. I need to find something else that's going to galvanize me. And that's what gets people back on. And I think the antidote is being aware of that. Yeah. And because then now when I achieve things in my life, I don't come into those achievements with this expectation of exponential joy. And so I can almost enjoy it more. Right. Yeah. Yeah. No, I totally get that. I try to think. You know, I think the look, just one of the things that I've noticed from my own personal lives, the more busy I've got, sometimes you don't take enough time to take a step back and to say, you know, this was a great thing that happened or or to be in the moment when something is happening with one. Do you have kids? No, with one's children or wife or partner or whatever. And I think I'm slowly, you know, I write books on this stuff, but I I'm learning all the time. And that's one of the reasons I want to do the pod card. I read about you. I thought you've had such a different set of experiences to me. I'll learn a lot from you too. We've now had two subscribers come in and watch from behind the scenes. We're going to start picking more. So all you've got to do, if you want that to be you, is hit the subscribe button. Let's talk about failure, then something you talk about at great length.
Failure & moving out of your comfort zone (19:27)
I think I'm tend to believe that a lot of the reason why people don't reach their potential, however, we define that is because they are risk adverse. And failure is something they just can't, their self-esteem just can't bear. I think that's I think that's true. My own sense is that this has been exacerbated by the social media. So you tell me how the social media may have changed a lot since I wrote my first book for young people. But at the time, psychologists had come up with this concept of the curse of perfectionism and their thesis was that young people are obviously now on the social media a lot. And a lot of people, when they're putting together their social media posts, they do it in such a way as to make their lives look really good. You know, this is the holiday I just had on this wonderfully sunny beach. And, you know, there might even airbrush photos to make themselves look better. And this is my wonderful performance on the piano. And the problem is people then start to think that success is about looking and acting in a perfect way. That's massively problematic because why would you want to try anything new, which is inherently a risk? If you're doing something the first time, you're obviously not going to be perfect. And if you do mess up, you draw the things that goes back to the fixed mindset, you draw the conclusion, well, I'm obviously not talented enough because I haven't nailed it the first time around. I think this was also bolstered by in your on reality television. Now, I think reality, the idea of instant success, instant gratification, overnight elevation into into the heavens. And if you know, particularly young people think that success is like that, they don't realize the incremental steps you need to take to fulfill your potential. Because as you know, most businesses succeed because, you know, I don't know whether you're familiar with the American jargon, but you know, you get a minimum viable product, you test the value proposition. Early, you find out the inevitable deficiencies in the prototype or the piece of software and then you make adaptations in Silicon Valley. They call it failing fast. In other words, they're failing fast in order to get to a better answer. If you stop the first time you fail, or if you don't try at all, you're never going to get to an answer. If you think of the history of science, science is a success, the most successful human institution because scientists, by and large, are willing to test their hypotheses. You know, they test it, they look at the empirical evidence and they change it in the light of what the evidence is telling them. That is the basic pattern of science. And I think the problem as you alluded to is that if young people are like, goodness me, I don't want to look anything other than perfect. It destroys their capacity to grow and to have a life of fulfillment. Because JK Rowling put it brilliantly. She said, the only way never to fail is never to try. But then your life is a failure because you've just stayed in your comfort zone the whole time. I see that I resonate with all of that so much and that specifically this idea. I love the science and energy because seeing it as a hypothesis, you write in science, you start with a hypothesis, you're not romantic about it. And then you go and pursue it and you agonostically go and test it. Right. Whereas you're saying is, you know, young people or ambitious people, generally will start with a hypothesis and they will long in need for it to be perfectly correct. And this is also why businesses fail because founders just, they just do everything. And I failed in my first business for many years because of that, because I was obsessed, romantic about my hypothesis being correct, not romantic about the outcome, which was trying to be a successful person. I think that's really, really significant. And I think that's a great way of framing it. Look, by the way, some scientists fall in love with their theories and they can't adapt it. I mean, there's been a few examples during the pandemic. And by the way, I mean, I don't listen to this, but there's a brilliant study by Philip Tettlock, who's an American psychologist. And he looked at forecasters. So people trying to predict next year's GDP or oil price or other things of this kind. And he found a really interesting pattern that the highest reputation forecasters who are on television the most, on average, make the worst predictions. And can you see what what is an era of an era of prediction is an opportunity to adapt the model in order to make it more predictive in the long run. But if you've been on the TV and you're supposed to be the God of forecasting, you start defending your prior assumptions. And so people who have an ego that gets in the way of hypothesis testing, they are brilliant at creative self justification. I think the people who are most dangerous to companies and innovation are intelligent, highly talented people in a fixed mindset. They're just inveterate obstacles to making the changes you need to change in order to get the business to where you want to go to or where you want the economic model to get to and so on. So I think it's the same in meetings. You know, I've, as you know, I'm very interested in how our businesses succeed and the forum in which we take most key decisions on meetings, because no one person has a monopoly on truth. So you want to talk to other people. But these can be really ineffective. If people think that when someone challenges you, they're insulting you. They're not, they're testing your hypothesis. We should think of meetings as mutual hypothesis testing so that we can collectively get to the best strategy or idea. And I think when you frame it in that way, you take the stigma out of challenge and dissent and failure. Let's challenge that then. And so if we've got a meeting, we've got five, 10 people around this table. We've got an intern over there. We've got the CEO there, got managers, directors around the table, one new person, one person has been in for 10 years. You've got all these different sort of dynamics of people trying to get promotions, get a pair of those, oh my God, the CEO is at the table. I don't want to be an idiot. I don't want to say anything dumb, you know, and all of those like dynamics, how do you get those dynamics out of the way and just become focused on letting the best idea win? Right. So this is really well studied. I think the thing to try and really convey is how dangerous the dynamics you've described can be. Because what tends to happen in a very hierarchical organization, where the CEO or the team leader has discretion over pay and promotion is that people don't say what they think. They say what they think the leader wants to hear. That's fine if the leader knows everything there is to know because he would just basically ventriloquize it. But so in a simple environment, you don't need to have a team, right? You just have the leader make a decision and everyone. But when it's a difficult complex decision, in other words, the ones that confer a competitive advantage on a business, the leader needs to hear the different perspectives to make a better judgment. But the extent to which this happens, a good example is in aviation. So I'll describe a classic case in the aviation is a great area to study, by the way, when it comes to team dynamics. So this is United Airlines 173. And it's a flight that took off out of Denver, Colorado in December, 1978, and it's flying to Portland in Oregon. And as a plane's coming in on the final approach, the pilot pulls the lever to lower the landing gear. And you know, when you're in the cabin, you hear it go down and clicks into place. But on this occasion, there's this really loud bang. The plane kind of deviates and a light that should illuminate on the dashboard to show that the wheels are down. It hasn't gone on. So the pilot doesn't have the wheels are down. It's pitch black, so they can't ask air traffic control to look up. So he puts the plane into a holding pad and above suburban Portland, and they try and troubleshoot the issue. So the first thing is the engineer. So in these days, the cockpit had a had a captain, a co-pilot, and an engineer. The engineer goes into the cabin. And on this particular model of aircraft, when the wheels are down, two bolts shoot up above the wings. The bolts are up, but they're still not 100% sure. Right. And you want to know if the wheels are down before you come in. So so the pilot, they radio to the manufacturer and that, you know, they kind of say, explaining what's happened. The manufacturer is like, yeah, we think the wheels are down, but we're not sure. Then the pilot's like, I wonder if the reason that the light didn't go on in the dashboard is because of faulty wiring. So he starts playing around with with the plane still in the holding pad. As they're doing all of these different checks. But at this point, another safety critical issue has come into play. The plane's running out of fuel. Right. And the engineer knows that the plane is running out of fuel because he can see it going down to zero on the dials. Right. He has a big incentive to tell the pilot that the plane is running out of fuel because otherwise he will die. So you have this juxtaposition of objective information and maximum incentive. But in the 1970s, it was a command and control culture. You know, the pilot was, you know, the pilot was deemed to be the boss, the omniscient controller. And the other two were supposed to basically carry out that controller's instructions. And they called the pilot, sir. It was almost always a man. Right. And so imagine if the engineer says to the pilots, now, why do we have a team? We have a team because no one person has all of the information. They're narrow in their perceptual bandwidth. Other things are happening at the same time. But if the engineer says to the pilot, you know what we're running out on fuel, the implication is the pilot didn't know that already. The pilot might get offended, isn't he supposed to know everything? And we know from this and many other incidents that in that situation, we don't speak to each other directly. We don't test hypotheses directly. We code our language. We mitigate our speech. And from the voice recorder, from the black box, we know that the engineer said, instead of we need to land because we're running out of fuel, critical information for the pilot to make the right strategic decision. He said, Oh, we're kind of getting low on fuel here. And the pilot, because of the insinuation, he knows everything, wasn't even listening. So the plane crashes, but not just that plane, a number of incidents in the 1970s of exactly the same kind happened because communication was so skewed by this very steep hierarchy. Happens in surgical operating theatres famously when nurses can't speak up. Because they're worried, if I say something, this is a surgeon. You know, the big cheese. And we know from, you know, for what it's worth, from randomized control trial evidence, Lee Thompson at Northwestern University, meetings are a catastrophe. The vast majority of them. Absolute disaster. Because people are not sharing information. They're basically playing a political game to curry favor with the boss. So what you so that so the short answer is you need what's called psychological safety. It's I hate the jargon. All that means is an environment where everyone feels they can be candid and they can say what they really think and hypotheses are tested when Google did a big data analysis of his most successful software development teams. Psychological safety was the biggest predictor of success because it means you're getting that into play of ideas that's so important. It's interesting because, you know, these big companies, well, big companies by by definition, I guess, have more ideas. Right. But they are often the least innovative. Exactly. And that seems like a bit of a should be the other way round. You would one would think that the biggest companies would be the most innovative because they have more brains, more ideas, but they just that's right. Yeah, yeah, that's interesting point you made there. So bigger. You're right. So so well, let's think about that. What would generate good ideas? It's a number of ideas, not the number of people. If you have an organization with a very homogenous culture, very command and control, a lot of sociological convergence, you might have 10,000 people all think in the same way. I mean, you've seen professional services companies where you see the senior leadership team and they may look a bit different, but they're all absolutely thinking exactly the same way they've been there so long. That's a big danger for companies. See, with cities, you increase the size of cities, they become more innovative. Companies get less innovative because they get so much convergence. They have a lot of people, but they think in the sense, an echo chain, but basically, right? Whereas startups sometimes a startup might be an idea that's completely off the beaten track and then suddenly you've got this opportunity to scale. But even with startups, you know, often when they go public, they start to lose their capacity to innovate. And I think that's why, you know, I've written a book on it. You need a culture of diversity so that you begin to protect and value the diverse ideas that enable an organization to anticipate future disruptions and come up with new innovations. Talk to me about creating a culture of diversity in your business, then.
The importance of creating diversity (32:40)
If you're starting a company, if you're running a company at scale, how would you increase the diversity of ideas? Yes. So, so the most important, for me, the most important thing by far is landing the argument as to why it matters. A lot of people don't think it matters. I mean, I remember going to an HR conference and the, the, the, the speaker was talking about diversity is a wonderful thing. You've all need more of it and it will always help you do better as an organization. And this really awkward customer at the back said, can I ask a question? And like, yeah, okay. Imagine I am the coach of an Olympic sprint relay team. Yeah. And suppose I've got you set who was the fastest person in the world at the time, is Usain Bolt. Suppose I've got Usain Bolt in my team. And suppose hypothetically, I had cloning technology, so I could clone Usain Bolt, have four Usain Bolt in my four by 100 relay team. There's no diversity in that team. But they're all very fast. Right. If you said you need to diversify your team, that would mean hiring slower runners. I don't want to do that as an Olympic coach. And it was like the air in the room. Just it's like it'd been punctured and everyone was like, that's an awful thing to say, but he was right. That question was what, you know, in simple activities, cognitive, you know, diversity of opinion, cognitive diversity doesn't help you. If it's obvious what to do, why would you want diversity? If you've already got a solution, a canned solution, you just need to scale it. You don't need divers. But when there's a complex environment, that logic turns on its head. So if you imagine, for example, you've got five people, each one of whom has one brilliant idea, you might think you have five brilliant ideas. But if they all have the same idea, you've only got one. Yeah. All you need is two different ideas and suddenly you've tripled. 300% increase in the creativity of that group. That's where cognitive diversity matters. And if your mission is to solve complex problems, diversity is the cornerstone of how well you do it. And once you land that argument, people start to, at the moment, people say too many people think diversity is a politically correct box-taking exercise. And when diverse voices come in, they're condescended to, they're not properly included. Once you realize it's a strength, organizations start to harness it, to do the great things that they want to do. I can imagine that organizations don't, typically organizations don't know what they don't know. They don't know what they don't have as well. So do you want to see what I mean? That's like an unknown, I know. So when the board, when these like, let's say we've got six white, six-year-old board members sat around a table of a company that's really successful. And then they go, you know, what's their incentive to hire? They think we've been doing great. We're all very smart. You smart. Yeah, I'm smart. Yeah, you smart. Yeah, I'm smart. Yeah. And like, how would you make the case to them that they need to hire a black woman? And that's going to help when they've just been killing the game with these six white men. Right. Well, it's a bit. So again, you're absolutely right to ask the question. It depends on the context. Yeah. Let's say, for example, the organization is an advertising company. And they've traditionally been selling to white middle aged men who think rather as they do. If they only want to sell to white men, then there may be no advantage in hiring somebody with a different perspective. If they're seeking to broaden their capacity to sell to people from different demographics, then won't have the tacit knowledge that they need in order to do. If you think of the CIA, they hired brilliant analysts in the post-war period and they thought they were the best intelligence agency in the world. But a lot of the information was obviously confidential. It's only now we can see how awful they were because almost every one, almost 100% of their analytical team were white, middle class, west coast, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant, liberal arts graduates. Nothing wrong with that background, right? But if you're trying to assess threats emerging from around the world, the Soviet Union, how would you possibly understand the probability of a conglomeration of different nations falling apart if you've been brought up in a stable middle class family in America? How are you going to understand tribal sectarianism and the risks of radicalization in the Middle East when you come from that background? You know, when we invaded it, when the UK joined the coalition to invade Iraq, you know, there was a genuine view that you impose democratic institutions and it will work effectively. There was no real understanding of the history of Iraq and how those institutions would be hijacked by sectarian interests, because these guys had gone to university. They'd learned all sorts of interesting things, but they had no deep understanding of the dynamics in that country. So if I was talking to the, for example, the director general, the CIA, I would be explaining, you know what you know. But in the complex world, there's stuff that you don't know. There's stuff that people who think like you don't know. Be creative about how you optimize the diverse insights that can help you do the job you want to do. Now, if it was the CIA demographic, diversity is critical. You need to have people from different backgrounds who have had different experiences in order to understand emerging threats. For an advertising team, it would be different. For a team of economic forecasters, I can tell you what it would look like mathematically. You want highly accurate individual forecasters whose models generate diverse predictions, because when you average them, you get an incredibly accurate, it's called the wisdom of the crowds. So there are ways to do it. I mean, there are tools that we use with our clients to make this work. And for what it's worth, the really, you know, obviously, slightly self-serving thing to say. But I think most of the innovative organizations are thinking exactly what you've just said. We need to figure out what it is that we don't know quickly, have some tenuous sense so we can start plugging these blind spots. Right.
How do we create innovation within teams? (39:00)
And on that point of innovation, which we touched on, what are the so running a business, running a global business, as it scaled, I could see that we were getting less innovative. You kind of get complacent. You build teams, you get, you know, your teams get more comfortable with how it's always been done and then just getting them to disrupt themselves becomes increasingly difficult, especially when more people get involved. Things seem to slow down. Someone goes on and you'll leave. And then you say you've got a new innovative idea. You put it on an email thread. It stumbles around the email for thread for four months. Nobody's incentivized to do that because they're all getting paid to do their current job and you don't typically have like an innovation team. So when it's everybody's job, it's nobody's job. These are all probably, you know, and then these are, and then you talk about failure as well. People aren't incentivized to fail in big organizations. What are the parameters or the factors or the dynamics of a team that does innovate? So I think I look, I think that's all right. And I think it's a bandwidth issue. I mean, you talked about a team that's been successful thus far. I mean, take the legal profession, which have, you know, used the billable hour for a very long time, have done a particular and they're busy and they're making money. But I hope that it's not a particularly unique insight to say that many of these legal firms will be out of business in a decade if they don't leverage machine learning, right, and AI in all sorts of different ways and start to disrupt the remember. So you can carry on being busy whilst your equity value is about to disappear. Right. So unless one is able to say, not just, we need to be doing things well for our clients and doing what we've always done effectively, but we need to also be thinking about how we do things differently and better. You may well be busy. You may well have satisfied customers, but it just takes one competitor to innovate and you're out of the game. So I think that that is a good way to focus minds on sparing some bandwidth to that question of innovation, so it doesn't just get dropped. It's tough, right? Because that often means a change in personnel. Yeah. And nobody likes that idea in big organizations. I think this about some of the big advertising groups, like they call them the big six and the big six have been around, some of them, one of them in particular has been around for a hundred years doing advertising. What are the big six like WPP, those kind of, yeah, those big. And I was thinking, you know, in their executive teams, you've got people that have been there for 20, 30 years, then this thing called social media comes along. And they're thinking, Oh my God, so it's not billboards anymore on TV. And where does that leave me? And I'm not going to know what TikTok and Snapchat are. And the threat of having to replace oneself, I think often, and your ego often means that you go down with the Titanic. Yeah. And you know, for what it's worth, you see this in, in, in many different areas. So I think I don't do it. My Amazon is a company. Admire. Yeah. I mean, in some ways, not in others. Yeah. So they should pay more tax. Yeah. And treat that. Yeah. But I mean, what they've done is just staggering. Right. But I mean, I think, so I think leadership counts sometimes when it comes to innovation. I mean, he's obviously no longer CEO. But I think if you read Jeff Bezos's letters to shareholders, they're all about the stuff that we've been talking about. Yeah, experimentation, unbelievable commitment. You know, we talked about the meetings, you know, dissent and then commit. Almost all of the, I mean, the way Amazon conduct meetings, you know, they will, as you know, they'll read the agenda item in silence so that every single person is bringing an independent perspective to bear on what are the risks of this? What might make it? How could it be improved? What might make it fail? And then when they start talking, the most senior person always speaks last. You'll get an unvarnished access to the insights of your brilliant team. Rather than speaking first, and everyone basically converging on what you as a leader has just said. So they have a range of ways of trying to ensure they sustain it. But, you know, Amazon will probably struggle, but they've done well so far. And it's, I think it's a good case study of how to sustain it. But it's not, but I've got to say, honestly, one of the things that I'm most interested in is, you know, I imagine I'm 50.
Social media, how do I keep up? (43:12)
I'm totally bewildered by social media. And you obviously, you inhabit. Right? That world, you know it. You've got a nuanced granular understanding of the whole thing. Yes. Imagine you're me. Right. So now, what do you know, I don't know. I don't have the faintest idea of how to youthfully engage with the social. I came to Twitter late. My tweets are rubbish. I mean, look, if anyone's following me, thank you. But I know I'm not very good at it. But it's an alien world for me. And I'm not, I've never been on Facebook. So we're speaking. Sorry. So we're speaking. Right. So what should I do? How do I learn? How did you learn to speak? Toastmasters. Well, it's a similar thing, but it isn't though, because is it? Yeah. It's when I did my first public talk, I was 14. And I'm, I always say this. I was, I was speaking in front of like parents evening. My, I'm shaking. My hands are sweating so much in this paper shaking so much. I realized I'm not going to be able to read the piece of paper because it's moving too much. So I just made up the speech. And it's a similar thing with Twitter. You just said, I've done my first tweet, awful tweets. And then you're like, it sounds like you quit. Or you start, or you would do some stuff. But I don't do it very much. I've, I've, I actually, I say that I've probably done a few thousand tweets, but I came to it later. I, I still feel that. If you had, OK, let me ask you this. You do. If you had to summarize what you know, yeah, about the social media and how one engages with it, how one, you know, one wants one's articles and be read. You know, how would, is it impossible to encapsulate that in a minute? I would say, so, so what I do professionally, what used to do professionally is I'd go and do these talks, telling people all about social media, all the tips, tricks, techniques, algorithms, all the psychology and really explaining it to them. And then I'd end my talk by telling them that everything I've just told them probably won't be the case in three to six months because it changes so much. And what that therefore means is the only way to know what I know is to play with the toys often as you can. And it's, and so this is why I say to people when they come up to me and say, how do I become a social media expert? I say to them often, like name something you're interested in. They'll go, you know, I don't know, cars. I'll say go make a car Instagram page and run it. Because then it puts you in the trenches and it makes it puts you in a growth moment or a great. Right. So I, and it's just practice and it's that's all it is. So if you want to become a master of this thing, that's constantly changing. And there's 10 updates to the top four social media apps every single week. Then you have to have a reason to be showing up. You've got that life has to be giving you a reason to show up every day and open it up and look at it and perform these iterative tests, which give you this feedback loop. So for me, the real savior for me as a social media CEO and most of the things I went on to sell to clients were learnings that I got from two places. The first is in my company, I create this thing called Ever Changing Landscape. Very, very simple internal group. Everybody shares everything they know every day. Oh my God, I've just seen TikTok have launched this new button goes into the group. We then text it to all of our employees at 9am in the morning, every morning on WhatsApp. So and it's this constant loop of what's new, what's changing. Our mantra as a company became keeping brands at the forefront of what's possible. And what by that slogan appreciates the fact that there's a marketing director shitting themselves because it's changing every day. And they want to be at the forefront of what's possible, but they're shitting. So it feels like two jigsaw pieces. I'm shitting myself because this thing's changing. You're saying you're going to keep me at the forefront of what's possible, which is going to make me look good to the CEO. We're going to help with social change. And the second thing that kept me at the very forefront and made me good at social media is I run my personal brand on social media, which means that on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, every day, I'm either tweeting. I've got a team that helped me now, but I'm tweeting. I'm looking at the numbers, doing a post, looking in the comments. Okay, that didn't go well. Click on the insights button. Loads of people seem to share this one. Why is that? Maybe that's because there's eight posts and getting the subtitles. Oh my God, look at the retention number. When we did subtitles, the retention is so much higher. Click on the insights. Oh my God, look. So when we do that at the start of the video, 80% of people fall off in the first five seconds of all of my videos. So I've got to do something special in the first five seconds. And it's that constant learning over 10 years. Then people call you a second expert. It's not. I'd have been playing with it. Toy longer. Yeah, and that that I mean, it's great to say that because I think that's a pattern of learning in pretty much all fields. Every field in all aspects of life. Yeah, I mean, that's science, right? You're getting the iterative feedback. Exactly. And the more granular the feedback, I mean, if you know that people are switching off the video after five seconds or 10 seconds, it's better than just knowing that 50% dropped off over the total time. So so it's the granularity and speed and objectivity of that feedback. So playing with, do you think that? So you may think this is a cop out, but say you're, you know, it is me now trying to get if you're a writer, yeah, and you obviously got a lot going on in terms of coming out of the new, but do you think it's outsource? I mean, obviously you could outsource it to a brilliant person to do. You could outsource it to a brilliant person to do. Lot of charlatans, a lot of snake or cells. And so it's fine. How do you know what's good when you don't know what's good? Well, that's one of the reasons I like that. But as it happens, I have tried to do that. And I've had a number of proposals that I'll check with you. OK, fine. That's what we'll do next year. So I'll help you find someone that is actually good. That's the quid pro quo, right? You can be a lovely couple of two. There you go. And if you're a cusp, what I would say is you can learn one channel, one or two channels with no matter how busy you are. And if you do learn one or two channels, the impact it will have on your business, your as an author, as a, as a, you know, someone that shares their ideas with the world's and creates blogs is tremendous. You only have to learn one or two channels better than 95% of people. And to do that, you just need to use it every other day. And if I was you, I'd be thinking Twitter. I'd be thinking turns it medium is an interesting one. I'm going to give you three Twitter, LinkedIn and medium. I wouldn't bother with Instagram if I was you. If you're a writer and you're you're you're you're the audience that you speak to with the ideas you convey, LinkedIn, Twitter, super easy to learn. And I know that sounds like really, of course, I'll say that because I'm sorry. Like, but those two platforms, I think, will have a exponential impact on your business. Interesting. So it's funny. I, so somebody in my office handles the LinkedIn and Instagram, but I've not really been on them enough and learn. So look, this is really, really, really helps. Do you think that social media has been a force for good in the world? Because it's difficult. I mean, I don't know if you've been following the news on that. The last one you probably have the last 48 hours, but I see, you know, we talked a bit earlier about how we can converge with people who think the same as us. And we've obviously seen that on certain types of social media, where you get these echo chambers, Trump, the filter bubble, other things of that kind. But at the same time, you have access. If you want it to lots of different voices and people in certain types of societies can blow whistles or things are going wrong. You know, I think that the political consequences of the social media are among the most important of my lifetime. Yeah. I obviously am not a native and I have a particular analysis. What's your take on that? So the great things to come from social media, the first things that spring to mind are important ideas being shared at scale and change happening faster than it ever possibly could have. So you think about key movements around LGBTQ rights. You think about certain causes. You think about atrocities happening in certain parts of the world, having a window into those things and those ideas spreading very quickly. And the consensus being arrived at quickly therefore action been taken quickly, therefore change and political change happenings at light speed, I think is amazing. I think one could say being able to make some type of connection with people in faraway lands. However, on the adverse consequences of social media, the biggest ones for me are the things like Instagram, which will ultimately lead you to believing that you're a piece of shit and not enough. And how does it do that? Because everyone's life looks so good. Everyone's amazing. So that does happen on Instagram. Of course. Yeah. I mean, the algorithm will show you the prettiest people typically, typically the prettiest people that have the best lives. And then obviously there's this almost like black mirror-esque ranking where if I post a selfie and I'm not looking on my A game, I'll get less likes. So that's like the world going, right. Five out of ten Steve today. And then I come back with the filter and I'm posing and I've done a little Photoshop here in the face tune here and I come back looking my fake stuff and it's well done. And then it's incentivizing me. It's, you know, positively reinforcing me to live a more fake, more shallow, more materialistic life. That's so interesting. And people do, you know, they change their sense to look better. I read about this in my book, the CEO of an app called FaceTune said that FaceTune is basically an app that allows you to very easily without any editing skills change completely how you look. You can change your skin color that make you make your face have no spots on it. You can suck your face in your hips in and it's so easy to do. And on top of, and so the CEO of that company said that he hit a goldmine and he says openly, he says, I, it was just a goldmine. The amount of downloads that app has had from young people who want to change how they look is staggering. Then you have this other thing now with, with these face filters where I could put a filter on and it will just clear my skin up and suck my face in just a little bit. And now people, you know, people can't operate without them. I think I'm probably guilty of it too. If I can just press this button and it's going to increase my prospects of dating. And I'm going to get better. Don't tell me I have problems getting it. They date you. I mean, that I can't. Well, well, actually they can't. People can't see. But you know, there's a handsome guy here. Yeah. That is, and that's the other way. That's the other way. Young people who also muscularly, they're not going to ask about no one was interested in, in kind of having, if you met Ben Francis, I have, yeah, yeah, because we interviewed him on the podcast. You've been on it. He's been on here. Oh, has it? He's a great guy. But he was like, I'm like, all these, like, the two sort of iconic young entrepreneurs. But this thing about Instagram is really, really interesting, really interesting. So you think it is actually incentivizing people constructing. There is no way it isn't. So let me give you some more information on this. So when, when they did the stack, this vast report on which social platforms having the most adverse impact on young people's mental health, Instagram was stand out. It's a visual platform, which is ranking you on how you look. And the algorithm will show you the richest, the richest, most beautiful, most successful people. You've got the Kardashians on there with 150 million followers who are literally have been in the last couple of months, been like a paparazzi person took the photo of them on the beach. And then you got to see what they posted and it's, they don't look the same. And you've got 100 million girls following this person who is lying about the fact that they don't have cellulite and they they're not a normal, you know, because this is, these are normal things. We will have, you know, cellulite and this and this and the Russia and spots here. But that, and you think about how we attribute the value of anything in our lives through contrast and in which the context in which we see it. So if you put, I talk about this in my book as well, if you put three TVs on a wall in an electronic shop, people will think the most expensive TV is too expensive and too bougie. They'll think the cheapest TV is probably going to break and not very good. So typically they go for the middle one. Whereas if you remove them, the two in which you, the two next to it, then they make different decisions and you've seen this with like ashes paradigm and you sit on menus and the way that we attribute the value. Like I would be the prettiest, richest, most successful person on planet Earth, if there was nobody else on Earth, because it's all a measure of comparison. And Instagram is a billion people measure of comparison. Where do I rank? You've written about this, isn't it? Yeah. I'll give you my book after. Yeah. I'm going to read it. Yeah. That's the first thing I'll be fantastic. What was it? How to be a happy millionaire? No, it's the title is happy, sexy millionaire. And I'm kind of trying to Instagram people, Instagram bait people into buying the book, right? Right. Right. Because much of buying books is virtue signaling. Yeah. You're right. Right. Right. So the other thing that intrigued me on the way here today was listening to the podcast where you say, this is my podcast, you know, I'm slightly embarrassed about don't tell anyone about whatever you do. Yeah. You know, I would never have, I would never have thought of that as a way of having a hand a lot of time. I love that. Absolutely loves it. And it's in a funny kind of way.
Human psychology (56:22)
It's kind of like as a parent, it's a bit like reverse psychology. Vegetables. So I'm getting your kid to eat vegetables. Yeah. But, but you know, I think the truth, the truth of human psychology, probably, you know, I mean, you mentioned ash. By the way, you know, on psychology and on the global reach of Twitter, you talked about Ash's conformity experiment. That's that very systematically around the world. So so in Western countries, more individualistic countries, people deviate more from the herd. And explain what that is because. Yeah. So if I if you're thinking of the same experiment lines, yeah. Yeah. So so Solomon Ash, one of the most famous experiments in modern psychology, he drew a number of vertical lines. Which were of the same length. And then a fifth line that was significantly different in length to the other four. And then he got people to answer the question. Do you think these I think I've got this broadly right? Do you think all of these lines are of the same length? And if you have people answering that on their own, like 99% say the fifth line is of a different length to the other four. But what Ash did is he got, you know, 10 confederates to come in and say, oh, they're the same. And then all they're the same. And then the third person, oh, yeah, they're the same length and the fourth person, they're the same name. Then when it gets to the actual subject of the experiment, they're like, oh, my goodness, all these people think that it must be the same. And so they say, yeah, they're all the same. So they're effectively disbelieving the evidence of their own eyes in order to fit in with the crowd. Now, that conformity bias, which surprises a lot of people is stronger in other parts of the world than it is in Western. Can I just add as well on these lines? When you see these lines, there is no possible way that that small line is anywhere near the size of the other lines. But as you say, because of conformity, these stu-- these participants just go along with it. And it just-- it's just beggars belief that that's how human psychology works. But there is a good reason for it, if you think about it. I mean, every now-- well, is there a good-- I mean, there's a number of different theories about why it happens. But one of them is that occasionally one can get things wrong that seem obvious. And if there's a lot of people who are independently saying the same thing, that's very good evidence of what they're saying is true. And so humans, I think that bias evolved probably to enable us to take advantage of the wisdom of the crowd. The crowds, if they-- I mean, crowds can converge on things incorrectly, but not independently of it. So if you imagine a stock market bubble. That's one person buying, another one seeing that person buying, and then another person seeing those two buying. And they get a bandwagon effect. Whereas if 10 people independently say that these two lines are different and you have no reason to believe that they're lying, that's a good reason to start doubting. So I think there-- but the reason I mentioned it is there is this global systematic variation in psychology. So you may have heard of something called the fundamental attribution error where we tend to blame people for things that have-- things have gone wrong because of the situation. That's much stronger in the West than it is in the rest of the world. Cognitive dissonance varies fundamentally. Even visual illusions vary around the world. And the reason I mention that is I think it's helpful for businesses to understand it. But I think it actually reaches into our deep history and how human societies evolve, which is a topic of my next bubble. I thought you might be interested in that. 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Back to the podcast.
What stops people reaching their full potential? (01:01:45)
One thing I certainly do want to talk to you about as well is how as an individual, because we've talked a lot about companies and teams. How as an individual, one is to reach that this is a super broad question and I hate asking broad questions because you tend to get broad answers, but how as an individual, one could reach their potential or what are some of the fundamental things that block people from reaching their potential. We've talked about a fear of failure. We've also touched on the idea that people don't start because of that fear of failure and they don't get the feedback loops. What are the other common sort of threads that you see in the reason why people never get near their potential in life? So in addition to those things, so fixed mindset, fear of failure, risk of adversity, all the things we've addressed. The other thing I think is I've become more interested in. It's related to what we've said, but I think it's different is what you might call initiative or agency or proactivity. I remember having an idea. This is in the 1970s, early 1980s. I was going to table tennis competitions and carrying this very heavy bag, blue, hold all, ascot, hold all and thinking, my goodness, this is really doing my back in. And it was just retrospectively obvious that the solution to a problem that many people had who were traveling a lot is to put wheels on luggage, right? Wheel suitcases, which we all have now. But having the idea doesn't mean a thing. You've actually got to act on that idea, right? You've got to say, right, I'm going to try and design something. I'm going to try and sell it to a department store. I'm going to try and market it. I'm going to try and buy a shop. I'm going to have to pay rent. I'm going to have to go to the bank and get some debt. That is a there is a massive difference between a dormant passive idea and one that you act upon. Another example, I lived on Richmond on a road in Richmond. When I first moved there in my mid 20s and it had no off street parking, what I didn't realize is that in Richmond parking is a nightmare. Because all the houses have less parking spaces than there are. Sorry, there are more. There are less parking spaces than there are houses. And so people park on the street and then they get taken up and you're going to have to have a park 10 minutes away. Few doors down. I noticed at the top of the road, there's a house with a parking space that is always empty. I thought to myself, yeah, I should knock on the door. Or I should write them a note and so I'm willing to pay rent or to buy it from me. But I never got around to doing it in a few years later, I was at a house party. In this person's eyes live on Montague. I was like, really, that's interesting. I lived there too. So I had the house at the top. Well, with the parking space, he said, yeah, what I never understood is that no one ever came and asked whether they could rent it out. And I thought that idea was in my head. I never acted on it. Why? Because there is a there's a fundamental inertia in a lot of us between, you know, it's easy to have an idea. It takes a bit of, you know, I remember when I was injured in table tennis and, you know, I wasn't practicing. I wasn't doing anything. I sat at home, you know, just posting the letter felt like an unbelievably tough thing to do. Have to go all the way to the post office. What's the idea of a stamp? Yeah, man, it was like, I'm struggling. Yeah, this this psychologist I've got interested in recently is a guy called Michael Fraser. He's a German really interesting guy. And he looked at the unification of Germany, right? After the fall of the Berlin Wall. And the West German business is fantastic. We're going to have this pool of really keen workers. And it just didn't work out because the East German generalizing a little, but the East German workers had worked and worked in a communist system. Where all the decisions are taken by the party bosses. And so if a machine broke down, instead of taking action to fix it, they would just wait for the boss person to come along and fix it for them. If they needed the telephone number, they would wait and they wouldn't act on it. And I think that being able to Richard Branson, you probably know, I mean, I got to know little. Yeah, he talked about how I think this is probably slight. Well, he this is the way he tells it. You know, Virgin Atlantic, he was flying to the British Virgin Islands to meet his girlfriend. He has a stop over in Miami. They're bumped off the flight, they're delayed to the next day and everyone sat the guy and this is a disaster. Then he thought, well, I'm a second. I could charter a private plane, which were which we were in the airport. So, you know, took the initiative. Probably a few people had that idea. What about chartering a private plane? But he actually picked up the phone and said, right, how much would it cost the charter a plane, you know, $10,000? He then went round to all the people with a blackboard saying, version, you know, flights, this is the amount per ticket. Some people bought it, they managed to take the flight. And then when he got home, he rented a Boeing and went from there. And I think that proactivity is absolutely critical. You go to school for all those years, you get to 16. But what about going out there? And you're about to take a decision about what your future career will be. You know, in my day, when you came out university, some people would be in the same career for life. And you take that decision without going in asking people, what was it like in this job? Could I perhaps work for a day in this job? A lot of people I went to university with took jobs without any of that proactive analysis of what it would be like. Now you as an entrepreneur have this in spades. I want more entrepreneurship in schools. I want proactivity instead of learning business studies concepts. This is another experiment by Michael Fraser. Instead of people doing an MBA, he gave them a short course on converting ideas into action because of the action cycle. Those entrepreneurs compared to a control group, you know, had had 25, I can't remember the exact amount, but five times more successful businesses or 20% higher profits. It was published in science magazine. So, you know, I think that's a really, really big deal. That's a mindset. I mean, I can't get over this idea that you saw that car parking space and you know, you didn't knock on or send a letter. And I'm trying to understand links also to what you then talked about with Richard Branson at that airport with the, with the Blackboard going around and trying to sell this airline that he'd can just come up with. What is the mental, like cultural, mental, psychological difference? Between the people that sat there and thought, I'm just going to accept this situation as he is like you did with the driveway or like the other passengers who had just been canceled did and the person that takes the initiative. What is it about them and what is blocking? I guess a better question is what is blocking those that are sat there on the airport floor thinking, fuck, my life is over or I can't find a car parking space. What is blocking them? And is it this is my hypothesis. There's some kind of mental equation we're all doing very, very quickly. That's weighing up the effort it would take. And also our perceived outcome of success, a perceived chance of success in endeavour and coming to the conclusion that it's just not worth it or possible. I don't think that's what's happening. I would reject that hypothesis. I don't think people make a rational calculation. I think it's more habit. Once you're used to doing things, once if you've been at a school where and some people are lucky enough to go to school where you are encouraged to make things happen, to, you know, some schools, you know, they are actually asked to start a business, to pick up the phone, to to to engage with other people as they seek to do something. You begin to, it becomes a habit. The idea of writing a letter and dropping it's like no big deal. That isn't a barrier for me. It becomes a it becomes second nature. I can tell you from this parking space, I was just, you know, I was just in a just pure inertia. I hadn't learned that entrepreneurial mindset. I mean, that took me a long time to learn as well. And you think I'm just thinking about how I would teach someone to be proactive. I so thought I thought a lot about this too. And I think you get people to do it. So what Fraser does in his courses, he keeps linking ideas to action and not allowed to have an idea without acting upon it. He calls it the the active ingredient. So you get into a habit of so, so one, one of the entrepreneurs. So he's done these experiments in Europe and in Africa. But in one of, I mean, he tells great stories about it, but it's such a long time since I read the papers. So I think habit doing it again and again and again, you begin to get into the routine of linking ideas to action. Honestly, I think we shouldn't underestimate how damaging it can be if we just continue to go with the flow and we're not prepared to break it from time to time. Then you're kind of just a puppet to the course of life, I guess, in some respects. Right. And I think, yeah, I think there are a lot of people with truly brilliant ideas, huge potential who never act on their dreams. You had the dream, but think about your dream. That would remain dormant in your head. Had you not acted? These are distinct phenomena, the idea and the action. You can have ideas and dreams without acting on them. I just, my, yeah. So I get a lot of DMs from people. You can imagine the DMs are, I've got a great idea. And you know that 99% of people you speak to, I'm never going to do anything about it. Because the hardest part is doing, it's just day one. It's like, think of the name of the company, but they just, well, I call them sofa panazz. They have the idea on the sofa. It never makes it a part of the sofa. And that's like 99% of people. And I wonder what the barrier is between like starting. I sometimes hypothesize that it's because of this culture of perfectionism and this culture of needing to start at a perfect point with all the resources, all the knowledge, all the contacts, the right team, which is not the case. I mean, if you look at how Ben Francis started his business, where I started, mine, it's googling on a computer, how do you build a website and doing that for three months. But I always wonder, I think we could, we would unlock so much potential if we were able to get people just to the starting blocks. And we can't, right? They're all in their sofas. Yeah. And yeah, I, yeah, you describe it brilliantly. A couple of things that might be worth throwing in. There's a guy called Mike Barton. He was the chief constable of Durham police. And he kept getting rated the highest by the independent inspector of the constabulary. And I remember I was really intrigued by this. So I talked to him and met him. And he said that if he could, he would ask every one of the police officer to take one year off to start a business and for it to fail or to succeed, just so they started learning using their own initiative. Because that is what great policing is about. Stanley McChrystal. Stanley McChrystal was the head of the task force in Iraq after the invasion that we're trying to quell the insurgency of Al-Qaeda. And at the time it was a real, you know, it was a top down model. People at the bottom were passive. If they wanted to get anything done, they had to go up the chain of command, get signed off and it would go back down. So lacking agility and not really using their brains. And he pushed authority down the chain of command. People could, they could, as it were, initiate action against Al-Qaeda targets if they thought it was sensible to do so. And it had a big, big effect on the success of the army, the number of operations, but also the percentage of successful operations. So I think that, you know, I think there's a lot of different people who are, who are working along the lines that we're talking about right now. But for me, education is a key. And I'd like to see more work done in schools to really equip young people with this active ingredient. You've written, I think we said six books, right?
Whats the biggest things you're a contradiction on (01:14:10)
Six books now. They, they sent around topics like high performance and mindset and, and the like. What's the biggest thing that you're a contradiction on in terms of what you can write about and know and, and profess to the world, but then you struggle with in your personal life to implement? That's a great question. That's a great question. I've never been asked that before. So one of the things I'm thinking, so, so I, I, you know, right newspaper columns, all right, sports column for the times and a political column for the Sunday times, right? And, and, and I think one thing that I try to do is, is read other people who, who disagree with me. Because that's a really useful thing, because either you really understand why you think they're wrong or you realize there's a weakness in your own argument. But now I think about, I think the last fortnight, I haven't, I haven't been doing that enough. So I must remember that as a discipline to, to constantly read those sources that I know are going to be different. I've got a question for you, by the way. So this is another one that I'm thinking about a lot. What do you, what's your view of the word woke?
Wokery & cancel culture (01:15:23)
So if you're my age, you know, people, what, you know, cancel culture. Yeah. Is that a good thing or, or, or that, which, which part? So I mean, I was actually, funnily enough, I was listening to a Pierce Morgan talk about the word woke last night. Yeah. Well, listen to it. Why you listening to it? It was 60 minutes Australia interview. And I don't know why it just came up in my, I watched 60 minutes, Australia, because I'm in the algorithm. So I'm in the echo chamber, so it's serving it to me every day. And he's done an interview in the last 24 hours regarding Meghan Markle and explaining, you know, he's being a bit of a crusade and I was saying, I was cancelled for standing up for my opinions. He's like really going for it now. And so I don't want to even get in the definitions because then people are just going to, but so cancel culture, I think, is a bad thing because I think, well, I mean, we saw in yesterday where the cricket player who said some very, you know, racist things 10 years ago when he was a teenager has now been suspended from the England cricket team 10 years later. He said a couple of things about, you know, he said something. I don't want to repeat that because someone's going to clip it. That's my column. So is that what you're writing about? Yeah. I mean, I, it's racist. I'm a person of color and I think it's ridiculous that he was cancelled. Yeah, he said some stupid jokes, some stupid, slightly racist jokes 10 years ago. Are we really going to create a culture where we're going to rid him of his livelihood for some stupid tweets when he was a teenager? Because I tell you what, I don't know a single human being that's not cracked up to slightly inappropriate either slash partly racist joke in their lifetime. And this idea that publicly we're all angels, perfect angels who are here to judge others to the same standard of false perfection that we portray is just like deeply toxic. And then also we're now on the, on the idea of like free speech, we're now stopping the best ideas because we're judging them based on whether they fit or not. And this is, again, we talked about divergent thinking and thinking, having more diverse thoughts and accepting them and welcoming them and interrogating them for their merit, not whether they fit, I think is, is awful. And my last point again is, um, there's been a couple of moments, Black Lives Matter, some other issues where I've, my opinion has been in neither camp. And I, you, it's just, you know, totally unacceptable because I would so Black Lives Matter issue. I did a post, you know, the narrative was if you don't speak out, then you're a racist, silence is violence, blah, blah, blah, blah. And after, um, George Floyd was, was tragically murdered, I did a post saying, listen, people process traumatic events in various different ways. So going to social media and posting about it isn't actually a very human way to process trauma. So if someone isn't speaking, it doesn't make them a racist. And also, you know, and, and, and the problem with the thinking there is people will look at your opinion and say he's not wearing our football kit. He must be one of them. And because he's not wearing our football kit, the socks, the shoes, the shorts, the shirt, he must therefore believe all of the things that the right believe. And they put you and it's so binary. There's no appreciation or space for nuance. It's not the way to get to the best ideas, right? I couldn't. I look, I, I'm really glad to hear you say all that. I agree with everything you said. And I'll add one other thing so I can curl with all of those three points. I think they're, they're very powerful. Um, the other thing, I'm from a half Pakistani, half-walls background, you know, so I've had the P word a lot in the 70s and 80s and I'm sensitive to, to, to racial discrimination. Now I saw my father not get from it. Brilliantly talented person, not get promoted because of his color. Um, and that, you know, it leaves a real scar on someone growing up. The other thing is I think it's a complete absence of an analysis of how to improve the lives of people from ethnic minorities. Um, canceling somebody who sent a tweet nine years ago in their formative years. It is almost like a fig leaf for true action. Civil rights movement is a great thing in America, in my opinion, Martin Luther King, the civil rights act, the voting rights act. But I think we have to acknowledge that it hasn't achieved many of its most basic objectives. If you look at the number of black people in prison, the education gap, the income and wealth gaps, I think there's a real empirical question about what we do. And it's not going to help those massively important demographic statistics. Yeah. The council, somebody, and it's, it's almost like it's a, it's a, it's a, it's a surrender when we should be doing things that can have a tangible effect. This is what my, my post said it was nine slides long or nine tweet threads. And the conclusive point was I'm going to be black forever. So if you want to help me and my, my future kids and my kids, kids, a black towel on Instagram or a hashtag doesn't actually address the problem. Cancelling someone telling organizations they need to donate doesn't actually help the problem. If you really cared, if your care was genuine and not a survival or entitled virtue signaling orientated, you'd probably be thinking about systemic issues and you can't capture or, you know, or you'd be reading or educating yourself, which are all things that won't take place in the public forum. So go at the systemic stuff or, you know, educate yourself. That, that to me, that feels like a more genuine way to change things. Hashtags, black tiles, canceling. Does it just seems like you, you, you, the femur, you care more about yourself, right? It's kind of not, it's a kind of, it's a kind of narcissism, I think. But it's worse. It can be that. Yeah. The people react to that post. Do you know what? On that particular one, everyone agreed. And that's crazy because no one was saying it. And it's like it, it, because I'm a black guy, it was like I gave them space to disagree. So it was actually on Instagram, it did 600,000 likes. Wow. Which is a lot of likes, right? It did hundreds and hundreds of thousands of years ago. I thought it was probably one of my best, I think one of my best performing post ever. And it was funny because you had like, I don't know, three black people in my, in the comments section being like, yeah, you're meant to be one of like angry at me. But then when I'd asked them, I'd say, which one of the slides do you disagree with and tell me the sentence you disagree with? You can't find something you disagree with in the post. It's the sentiment that this is not the party line. Yeah. By the way, one other thing, the wisdom, the cricket's magazine, wisdom.com, have managed to find a post from an England player that was controversial, I think racist or misogynistic. But before they were 16 years of age, so I haven't published the name yet. But can you imagine if that person was suspended for something they said when they were effectively a child? Because we talked about failure. If anyone who aspires to the England cricket team never says anything publicly, never writes a school essay that might come back to haunt them. You know, you never, the way we learn is by saying things and then being challenged. You don't lose all of that. If you basically just either toe the party line or say nothing at all, that's that would be catastrophe for a dynamic liberal society. Imagine that all the progress that would have been lost, right? Had people not have stepped outside of the party line and instead of, you know, still on top of podiums and made speeches that people disagreed with and got them stoned and shot. And I mean, that's where most progress seems to come from. It seems to come from an outlier than I think. Well, that's right. And, you know, I mean, it might sound old fashioned to say this, but, you know, John Stuart Mill, Locke, the founding fathers in the United States, what used to be called the Western miracle. You know, the fact that economic growth was very close to zero percent for the first two million years of the species to which we belong. Right. I mean, it was very, very tiny throughout our history. You know, somebody who was born in 2000 years ago and somebody was born 1500 years ago, it has seen very little change in society. And then economic growth started taking off in the 18th century. And now obviously it's doubled and troubled and quadrupled and we expect growth to be two to three percent a year. And if it's we have two consecutive quarters of negative growth, we call it a recession. One of the reasons that happened is because of exactly what you say. People were freed from the constraints of the party line. You could say something that, for example, the religious authorities didn't approve off, that the sun is the center of the solar system, not the earth. You can test hypotheses. You can say the world is older than 6,000 years. You start to adapt your understanding of the world. That's science. That's technology. And I think the more constr... You know, now free speech doesn't seem fashionable these days, but those ideas, in addition, by the way, to things like due process, the thing that has made me trend, the only time I think I've ever trended on Twitter is when I defended due pro... So the idea that in order to be punished for something, you have to have had some kind of an independent process, some independent tribunal to establish, having listened to different sides of the argument, whether the crime had taken place. Now, that, again, is something that takes societies a long time to create an independent rule of law, a judiciary that's... And people were like, that's outrageous, because I was defending somebody who had been accused of a racist remark. And I said, "Yeah, racism's wrong, but let's wait for the process before this person is sacked." The implication was, "I was defending racism itself." But that is not the same thing, but I worry a bit that we're losing that distinction. I think there's certain people fighting back. Yeah, yeah. And that'll be maybe it'll swing back the other way. Yeah, I hope so. I would hope so too. Self-belief. I'm very intrigued as to certain people in our society are more self-believing than others. You see differences in genders and races and backgrounds. And I think a lot of people in my DMs, this is where the question comes from. I have so many young kids in my DMs that are struggling with confidence or lacking self-belief.
How does one find confidence and self-belief? (01:26:03)
And I wondered if you had any words of wisdom for those in my DMs that can't find confidence and self-belief. I think for what it's worth, that self-belief, self-esteem, other things of that kind are overrated. And the reason goes back to something we said earlier. I mean, there was a movement in the 70s and 80s in Western education to build self-esteem in young people. And the way to do it was to let them succeed all the time. Right? So you won't remember this, but you give them easy tests, get them to pass and give them lots of time and then praise them for how super talented they were. They get all this self-esteem and they can change the world. People were so worried about undermining self-esteem that there were no losers in sports days at some schools. I don't know if you've heard of this. I've heard of everyone as a winner. Yeah, and we get to stick here in a minute. And that was all about building. It was called the self-esteem movement, but it failed. And the reason it failed is because people would keep succeeding and they'd get all this self-esteem. And then they'd be given a difficult test, right? Or they would leave school and they'd actually hit the real world where they would fail. And what happened, all the walls of their world would come crumbling down. Oh, my goodness. I've never failed before. Right. Self-esteem that is frat and people would protect their self-esteem by not trying new things, right? And that's a disaster. Self-esteem can be very fragile. I like to talk much more about resilience. We want people, I want my children to be resilient, to try new things, to mess up, but not to be devastated by it. And that I think is a much better course. Now, it may be that when people are talking about confidence, what they really mean is resilience. I want to be able to walk into a room, give it my best shot. Things don't go slightly wrong. I'm going to carry on regardless. Every person who's a success has had some really tough, difficult moments. And I just think that's an inevitable part of learning. How do we build resilience in ourselves? Both mindsets, very strongly related to it. So instead of, you know, for parents out, you'll probably have a very young audio, I'm showing my image, but the parents out there, it's very easy to praise young people for their talent. You're super tech, they've just drawn a picture. You're super talented. You're the next Picasso. You think they're going to develop all this self-esteem. The problem, as I've said, is that, you know, the moment they draw something that isn't Picasso, as soon as they get negative criticism, oh, my goodness, I'm no Picasso after all. Much better thing to do is to praise them for the effort or the process. Well, I love the way that picture that the colours fit together. They think, oh, right, if I want to develop as a painter, I have to make the colours fit together in a more sophisticated way. You're aligning their mind and motivation with the journey they need to take to fulfill their potential. So it's good experiments, praising for effort, praising for process is a much more positive thing than praising for talent and fixed attributes. It's interesting because in my company, I came to learn that the most effective way to get my teams to innovate was to praise them for the effort and the process as opposed to the outcome, because if it became about the outcome, the successful failure of the experiment, then, which is largely actually outside of their control, right? When you're doing, so if I say to my team, right, we're going to build this website and we think it's going to do this, whether it does that or not, whether this product market fit, whether it's a success or a failure, isn't actually in their control. The bit they can control is starting doing it and the process of getting to the point where we press, go live. And so what I learned in the last year of my business was we would celebrate the conducting the experiment, not the outcome of the experiment. Exactly right. I see that is exactly the same thing. And it's interesting that if you look at our index, you know, have you heard six sigma? Yes. Yeah. So one of the things, I mean, one of the big mistake, I mean, six sigma is a great process, you know, like lean manufacturing or your toilet pro things of that kind, it's basically squeezing out variation, isn't it? So if you imagine making a car, you know, manufacturing car, all it takes is one component in the engine to be of the wrong size or specification and the whole thing won't work. So six sigma is about delivering and executing with no variation. But when you're innovating, you need variation. You need to try new things. If you're trying to create a new computer program, a new website or a new drug, and you don't know which combination of ingredients they're going to create, you need to try lots of combinations. If you penalize people for failure, and you're only judging them on the outcome and it fails and then they're like stigmatized, they will never try. You need, you know, that's where fail fast. It's yeah, you've nailed it. That's exactly the insight that I think is is important. And I guess the last thing I want to talk to you about is leadership and how to how one can become a better leader in whatever fat field of life you're in, whether it's sports or whether it's business like me.
Leadership Skills And Improvement
How to become a better leader (01:31:07)
What are the attributes of successful leaders? Well, I think I think it's a very difficult job. Leadership. Yeah. Of course, extremely difficult. I don't know if you'd agree with this, but I do think even in a psychologically safe, you know, where people can speak up, a leader still needs to make the decision. I think it can often lead to confusion over who's in charge. If it's a completely democratic organization, you need leadership. So I believe my own view based on evidence is that you need social hierarchies in order for organizations, institutions and societies to succeed. But you want those hierarchies to work. So leadership, I don't think you can outsource it. You need to make judgments, you need to take ownership of those judgments. But I think if I had to say one thing, OK, I'll give you my. And this is based on knowing a lot of like, you know, many, many leaders in lots of different contexts over a long period of time. I think the best leaders have a hybrid approach to leadership. OK. And what I mean by that is when you're evaluating what we should do next, you need to be humble. Mm. You need to encourage different ideas and you need not to be threatened. When people dissent. Because that encourages people to speak up. But when you've made a decision and you've found the destination and you're going for it, I think you need to then have confidence and you need to galvanize. That's where charisma comes to the fore when you articulate the mission. Because at that point, having different ideas, you know, you're already on the way. That can often be quite disturbing. I mean, obviously you do need to change this trajectory if you know something. But I think that in front of you enough, in sport, you see it. So it's a humility and evaluation, confidence and execution. It's the same in sport. So if you imagine you're a surgeon or or in or in surgery, if you're humble at the time you will, the scalpel, or this might go wrong, I don't know everything, you know, your hands going to be, if your tiger woods in the 80, you want to be absolutely confident when you take the part, execution. But then if the surgeon says, I'm a genius, I'm brilliant, you know, I'm confident. I don't need to learn. They'll never evaluate what happened and therefore won't improve. I'll tell you, made me think I want some ghosted, David, a fixed mindset, right? Complacency creeps in and you talk about the surgeon. That's sure they're right. And it's the fixed mindset analogy you made. Right. And then complacency creeps in. It's a disaster because what you want to do after a surgical procedure is review it in a completely honest way so you can find out things that you did wrong and could improve. But if you have utter self confidence, I don't need to improve. That's exactly as you say, a fixed mindset response you don't improve through. Beckham, I ghosted his autobiography a few years ago and he told me about when he took the free kick against Greece. How old are you, by the way? 28. So you won't even you won't remember. I remember. I never forget. OK. To all it was the world cup qualifiers and he ran to the left corner. I'll never forget. That's right. That's right. So it's extra time. He needed a score to get through and Teddy sharing them, tried to take the ball. And you see on the video Beckham snuck on the flip and he said, when I took that free kick, I was 100 percent. I was going to make it. That's a useful thing to have, right? But you meet Beckham away on the training pitch, the humility. I need to improve the way I take free kicks. I need to look at the things that went wrong in the previous game. I need to just see that. So leaders need to be both humble and confident. Depending on where they are on the performance side, when they're out there executing confidence, when they're evaluating, reviewing. Humility. I think most of the best leaders have it. You know, it's such in a Delaware Microsoft is a great example of that. Humble, you know, their market cap has grown over a trillion dollars since he took over. You know, very humble person. I've met him a number of times. Great, great person. But there is confidence when he's galvanizing his team towards a decision that they've debated and discussed. I think that's so true. I was just running through all the great leaders that I know. And those, um, those attributes seem to be there. Even, you know, a good example is Sir Alex Ferguson. Rhea Ferdinand sat in the chair and he told me that Sir Alex Ferguson is obviously known for the hairdryer and being very clear on what he wants. But then if so, Rhea went to Sir Alex Ferguson after the game and said, you know, you didn't support my brother and Tom got racially abused and then Rhea wore a shirt in protest of it. Alex Sir Alex, folks was really angry. Rhea went to him after the game and had a chat with him and Alex or Alex admitted he was wrong and held his hands up and somehow managed to make it up to Rhea within a couple of words. But you know, that's that's right. That's exactly right. That's, but it goes with with Ferguson. He always hired constantly, you know, assistant managers who challenged his perspective, you know, Carlos Quiros, like Feline, Moulenstein, McLaren. He also would often do competitions for his players to guess who would be in the opposition team. He would go to other clubs and watch the way they trained. Now, Ferguson came from, from govern, from a very working class background. He never lost his capacity to learn, never. And he was always had a certain level of humility. But once they were out there and performing, he was incredibly self-confident. And I don't think that's a contradiction. Interesting. It makes me kind of reflecting then on how important it is to be curious throughout your life, even when New Sec technology, like social media pops up and you, you're a little bit disorientated by it. And I see that in really great, successful leaders that I know in my life, business owners, CEOs, the ones that are the most curious tend to have the best long-term outcomes and longevity. And I think it's hard to teach curiosity. I do, I do wonder myself, because obviously I made my money off social media. And even now I'm getting too old for certain things. You're still working in the business. No, I'm not working in the business anymore. Now I resigned at the end of last year. So now I'm free agent working on a new business, but in a similar industry, slightly different, much bigger. Ambition, I guess. And I'm working across multiple industries. So I'm like working in a psychedelics biotech firm. That's about to list for, you know, several billion dollars. I'm working on a heel. I'm on the board there and work with that team. I'm working in a variety of different companies all around the world that are in mental health, consumer goods, social media, you know. And I think I've done that as well, because I, as I talk about my book, I want to like resist my labels. I want to stay curious. I want to stay emerged in worlds that I don't know. I'm working on a blockchain company at the moment, which is web 3.0 using Ethereum and smart contracts. And it's my, I like being diverse in my thinking because I actually think that's where creativity comes from in a weird way. And the one of the things that enables me to have this podcast is I have a very diverse view of the world and a very diverse view of organizations and people. And that will make me good at. It sounds like a crazy thing to say. Like we're putting on a theatrical show in Manchester sold out. It's like this, it's called the Diabeseo Live. There's a big choir, all these really amazing things. And when I look at that show, what it is, it's a culmination. It's a very, very different show, but it's a culmination of all these random experiences I had in my life going to the theatre for the first time, listening to a choir, watching Kanye West, a light show I saw and all of these little things. And so I think you could, you know, mean you talk about it. You talk about diversity of ideas. I'll tell you, I'll do you. I'm going to send you a copy. So my latest book, well, a couple of years ago now was called The Power of Dark Rebel Ideas, a power of diverse thinking, I'm going to send you a copy. I want to have a copy of your book. I'm going to read it. I'm going to read it this week. Oh, wow, that's fast. Well, I have many words. Is it very long? No, like the. 17,000 at no, 70, no, no, 75,000 words. It's not very long. Get through that. Yeah. OK. It's interesting. You'll be particularly intrigued by the first couple of chapters, which focus on social media, the world we're living in, keeping up with Kardashian's generation, et cetera, et cetera. Well, I've got to say, you know, I know we come into an end. Yeah. You are you're exceptionally articulate. Oh, that's a huge compliment. So I kind of, you know, I I'm interested in that because I think, you know, I definitely didn't have that when I was at school. I wasn't able really to put sentences together. You should do a podcast. You just have the most amazing voice. I'll tell you, my brother found an old tape of me being interviewed as a 15 year old when I got selected for a national team. I just really start. I think we need more of that learning how to, you know, communication is so important, getting our ideas across so that somebody can understand not just what we say, but what we need. Yeah. And I think that's a lot I think that's a radically learnable skill. You know, a lot of the top speakers have practiced it. YouTube aside, it's one that's in decline because of screens typing. Well, yeah, that's true. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You don't have to talk to each other anymore. Yeah. Zoom. Anyway, listen, thank you so much for your time. It's been such a pleasure to meet you. You're, you're, I mean, you're an individual that's had such a tremendous impact on the thinking, especially of people in the professional, but also self development model. I remember reading your book a long time ago on a plane bounce and how intrigued I was by the emphasis you put on this growth mindset and practice and being teachable and your, your, your way you are in life, not being set in stone if you're willing to put in the work and practice and, um, yeah, I mean, my team here are also huge fans of yours. Matt over there's read all your books and he'll read them in 24 hours. This is all he, this guy's a monster. So Matt, thank you. Love. No, that's been great. It's a tremendous honor. Thank you so much for me too. And good luck with it. I'm going to follow you with huge interest from now on and you're about to hit the mainstream. Aren't you? Dragon said hasn't been brought. Yeah, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Dragon read time. So, yeah. Good luck. Thank you.