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John lives in Bristol with his ukulele wielding wife, two rumbustious children and an ill-tempered cat.
He’s an experienced executive coach and agile consultant, helping leaders think clearly and organisations to become more effective, productive and enjoyable to work in.
He likes to explore, is a keen ultralight hiker and occasional jogger. If no one is looking he’s prone to grabbing a rucksack and disappearing into the wilds of Dartmoor.
Sometimes all these elements combine into insightful, muddy, thoroughly useful outdoor coaching conversations.
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[00:00:00] Scott: Hi, I'm Scott Fulton, the host of the Rebel Diaries podcast. This show will help you learn how to make work better for you, your colleagues and the organization you work for. I believe the modern workplace is broken for too many people with leaders and their teams, drowning in corporate complexity, information overload, and unnecessary levels of stress.
[00:00:18] Scott: Having spent over 20 years leading disruptive high-performing teams who have won international awards for their impact. I've now dedicated my career to helping coach and train leaders and teams to deliver more value and impact at work whilst reducing the risk of burnout, overload, and wasted effort.
[00:00:34] Scott: This podcast is dedicated to you and thousands like you who know work can and should be better.
[00:00:39] Scott: You'll get tips and insights from me as well as the amazing guests I invite to be the show, many of them have disrupted their industries and are thought leaders, speakers, and authors who have fascinating stories and advice to share.
[00:00:50] Scott: Thank you for listening. I'm Scott Fulton and welcome to the Rebel Diaries show. "
[00:00:55] John: And one of them particularly was saying things like here's the thing I want to talk about, blah, blah, blah. Oh, and I know what you're gonna say next. And so my response to that is, and then they say, yeah, but then what you'll say, and I'm just like, do I need to be here anymore? Is my job actually just booking a meeting for 90 minutes and giving you time to think?
[00:01:13] John: Yeah, indeed. And that's particularly the thing where there's sort of high level vision. Which is super important. But it also needs to be personalized and interpreted in all the various spheres that are expected to contribute to it, right? And that's often the thing that I see falling down.
[00:01:29] John: And in a simple terms, if someone gives you three options, push for another one. Ask what else? To think that there could be more than three options, and in the next session, let's say, they automatically come up with four.
[00:01:39] John: So we ask for another one. And so what we're slowly doing over time together, it's not a machiavellian thing that happens in the background, but there is definitely a thinking habits that emerge over multiple sessions that have some level of consistency.
[00:01:53] Scott: Welcome to this week's show. On this episode, I'm speaking to John who is an executive coach and agile consultant. He helps leaders think clearly and organizations to become more effective, productive, and enjoyable to work in. He specializes in something called solution focused coaching which is one of the things we cover in this one.
[00:02:12] Scott: Hi John. Welcome to the Rebel Diaries podcast.
[00:02:16] John: Hey Scott. Thanks for inviting me along. Really excited to be here
[00:02:19] Scott: How did you get to be who you are now in terms of your career? What was the journey like?
[00:02:24] John: It took a lot of living, a lot of decades of living in terms of my career journey I left school 16 and started out at BT and then it was all about hardware and electronics, which I was exceptionally poor at. But then just at the right moment along came programming so I was a software engineer for quite a long time. And that was great. That was like before internet and before emails and all of those things. So I watched all of that grow up and then after a while I noticed I was the person that was being asked to go and talk to that businessy person or go and talk to that marketing person. So the software teams would push me to the front, which seemed odd. Seemed odd cuz I wasn't particularly confident. But it seemed that I was reasonably adept at telling things how they were and representing what the software engineers wanted and what we wanted to do, our jobs well.
[00:03:12] John: And so that led me into a bit of leadership of teams and groups. I wasn't really enjoying what I was being taught at the time, frankly, a lot of old school management. And then just at the right moment, the very first Scrum book dropped on my door and Agile started, was starting. And so this looks like great, this looks like a way that I can work with my colleagues as a as a participant, but still hold the leadership role and help draw together all of our efforts. So I slowly moved away from software engineering and then discovered coaching as a management style, which I just found ridiculously effective and the best way to get things done because essentially you're trying to enhance what people are doing and make the best of their potential and contribution.
[00:03:54] John: I recognize all of the skills that all of the contributors have, and there's no way that as a lead, I could possibly. Really tell them what to do and make the decisions. The only way is if everyone's involved. Yeah. And so that led me down a route to where I am now, which is essentially a leadership or executive coach with a fair bit of agile consulting in the background.
[00:04:13] John: I. can assure you, I will stop talking in a minute because the answer to this question probably shouldn't be the entire podcast. But I would just say that I draw a distinction between non-directional coaching activities and the Agile consultancy. There's a lot more knowledge transfer with the Agile consultancy and a lot more opinion, which I quite enjoy indulging in occasionally.
[00:04:32] John: The coaching is absolutely not about that. The coaching is far more about what people bring to the room and where they want to.
[00:04:39] Scott: Great. So can you tell us a bit more about your preferred coaching style?
[00:04:43] John: Sure. Yeah. That's always a hard question to ask a coach. So I think it it's situational and it depends on,
[00:04:50] John: Who I'm working with, where I'm working with, individual team or group and what they bring in and what they would like to achieve. And I guess the truest thing about coaching is that the coach is there to facilitate a process that brings. To the person they're with. And that value can be a microscopic shift in mindset that the coach wouldn't even perceive tiny thought thinking slightly differently tomorrow. It could be that you'll never even see, or it could be some massive thing like, oh my goodness, I've just realized.
[00:05:21] John: Say agile is the most amazing thing and I must go and do that. Or, great, now I know how to lead with autonomy. I have some idea. to give up my delegation habit and shouty command and control habits in order to do a different thing. But generally what I find most effective and would tend to go towards is a thing called solution focus coaching.
[00:05:39] John: Now that is I, you've done not to cringe, because the word solution is a very dangerous one to have, particularly if you hang around in sort of IT and product space. It's not about jumping to solutions as in knowing the solution first and then asking people in groups to deliver it. It's much more about the solution to a puzzle.
[00:05:59] John: So if you think about Rubix Cube that has a solution, there's lots of games out there in the world that have multiple solution and multiple ways to be finished. So solution focus I view as much more about focus on direction. So you know where you want working out, where you want to go, and that's always really important, right?
[00:06:19] John: And then figuring out what is useful in your situation, what you already have, what resources, and by that mindset and all the other things you traditionally think about for resources. Uh, how to employ those to go in your direction. And then how to figure out small steps to go towards that. And then there's a particularly fascinating area of it, which is really around helping us to develop the capability and the ability to see things that would be helpful or useful to go where we want to go. So we've got a minute to illustrate that with an example.
[00:06:53] Scott: Go for it.
[00:06:54] John: If you think about entrepreneurs, right?
[00:06:55] John: Successful ones are really good at kind of opportunity scanning wherever they look, that likely to see something and think, yeah, that, that could be something. Maybe I'll invest in that. So the elements that they have successful ones have is great opportunity scanning, and then the ability to capitalize on the opportunities when they see them.
[00:07:13] John: Within the coaching practice, that sort of awareness, that sort of training to see what will take you where you want to go and head in direction is a really crucial part of the solution focus practice. And if you think about our stacks of biases that we have running around in all of our heads, they're often actually trying to do the opposite.
[00:07:34] John: They're trying to keep us safe, keep us where we are to some extent and not necessarily notice the world of possibilities and opportunities around us, right? So part of solution focus, which. Grounded in or related to positive psychology, is the learning to do that?
[00:07:49] Scott: and how does someone learn to do that then? How is it just the coach gives them the tools or just ask powerful questions?
[00:07:56] John: Yeah, that's a good question. So there's a, it's often about repetition. There's a long game, I think in coaching, if you, a lot of people would view coaching as a session with a coach to talk about some topic. There may be multiple sessions that are about the topic that build to a bigger thing.
[00:08:12] John: So if you're preparing for a super important presentation to the board, right? You might do five sessions talk about speaking content impact and handling the questions afterwards confidence, right? But you could view those individual session. Stack up like Lego blocks. So five sessions equals five blocks of value.
[00:08:32] John: But over multiple sessions, and particularly where the coach uses a similar frame and a similar style to the questioning there's a tendency to change kind of thinking habits. So that opportunity scanning, I mentioned, um, if in session one you do a bit. and you just slightly we so Mark Mcco calls it, stretching the world of the client, which I think is brilliant.
[00:08:54] John: Slightly stretch the world, right? Slightly encourage seeing a different perspective or thinking in a different way. And in a simple terms, if someone gives you three options, push for another one. Ask what else? To think that there could be more than three options, and in the next session, let's say, they automatically come up with four.
[00:09:11] John: So we ask for another one. And so what we're slowly doing over time together, it's not a machiavellian thing that happens in the background, but there is definitely a thinking habits that emerge over multiple sessions that have some level of consistency. So kind of repetition then to answer the question more directly, repetition a safe space to practice the thinking really the things.
[00:09:32] John: Will help towards it and develop those habits.
[00:09:35] John: And then just briefly on the entrepreneurs, there's also the capitalizing on it and if you're able to do that in between the coaching sessions and think, oh yeah, that was worth it. I'm glad I saw that. That also reinforces that sort of sense of possibility.
[00:09:49] Scott: So is it quite involved around trying to break down biases and blinkers that the, I was gonna say patient , that the client or the person you're coaching has, and just as you said, I like that. Was it widening, opening their world slightly?
[00:10:04] John: Yeah. Stretching the world. Yeah.
[00:10:06] Scott: Just like not giving them the solution, obviously, or the answer, but saying, pushing them.
[00:10:10] Scott: Have you thought about this or are you sure you've covered all the options? Is it just trying to nudge them out of that
[00:10:17] John: It totally is and actually this is a great gesture that you've done and that I also do.
[00:10:22] Scott: People, sorry for the people listening. I'm waving my hands forward from my head. Difficult to describe. blinkers. I'm trying to put blinkers up
[00:10:29] Scott: at
[00:10:30] John: So blinkers up. And the other one that I'm doing thanks for the prompt about people listening is a kind of really bad chop, sort of martial arts chopping motion that is intended to signal a direction or a focus to say, look, this is where we're going. There's so in solution focus practice and perhaps there's something that differentiates it from other approaches and particularly coaching processes or that are grounded in therapy while we acknowledge the situation of the person and there's all the biases and whatever else is going on in that world, we tend not to dig into it too much and and actually focus much more on where do you want to go and what is wanted and how do you get there. So an example I often use is imagine a broken down car, right? You're by the side of the motorway, there's a broken down car and you can see people standing beside it looking unhappy, right? So we can think about what is the problem, what is the problem there? And instinctively we would probably say broken engine, right? If we were to delve into the problem there, We would need to learn about being a mechanic, need to learn how to repair engines or at least fill up fuel tanks. Loads are diagnostic. And a lot of the coaching, and to your point about do we work with particular things in folk where they're seen as wrong or need fixing?
[00:11:49] John: We don't, so the solution focus, prac practitioner would tend to walk past the flaming car to the people and say, What's wanted, what are you after here? And then if they say, taking a real example from my life, I'm late for a wedding you might say what can you do about that abandoned car?
[00:12:10] John: Get taxi, for example. Or they might say I'm on one of these classic car challenges where we're trying to get around Britain in 24 hours and it's our responsibility to repair the car. And if we don't repair the car, then we're out of the challenge. So there's two very different frames on what is wanted there,
[00:12:28] John: The obvious thing of the engine being the problem, there are very different solutions in solution focus terms.
[00:12:34] John: So we would always tend to acknowledge the difficulty and the challenge of the situation, but then try and kindly draw attention to what is wanted and where to go next and help the thinker to construct that and have a clear picture.
[00:12:49] Scott: Yeah, I like that. I can see how if you just focus on the actual problem at hand, that can almost become more consuming. And then you're like, wait a minute. If I just take a step back and. What is wanted, as you said, where do I want to get to? Then you're open to, okay, what are my other options here? Rather than just obsessing about this individual problem, there could be then multiple solutions you haven't thought about.
[00:13:11] Scott: And yeah, that's a really good example. I like that. So do you find people get to that quite easily, or is there, is it quite tough to break down the ingrained biases and, you said it takes practice and or repetition. It takes some time to just like reprogram their brain essentially.
[00:13:28] John: I,
[00:13:29] John: it's
[00:13:29] Scott: Maybe you wouldn't describe it as that
[00:13:30] John: I'd like to have an objection, but to some extent that is it, but it's very consensual. It's not as if it's open and honest and I've been in some weird situations where I've coached people for a long time and then, It's almost like the act of being locked in a room with the coach is enough for them.
[00:13:45] John: And one of them particularly was saying things like here's the thing I want to talk about, blah, blah, blah. Oh, and I know what you're gonna say next. And so my response to that is, and then they say, yeah, but then what you'll say, and I'm just like, do I need to be here anymore? Is my job actually just booking a meeting for 90 minutes and giving you time to think
[00:14:03] Scott: but that's good then, isn't it? Cuz then they're almost got your voice in their head all the time, even outside of the sessions. or their own voice? Their own voice
[00:14:10] John: It's their own voice. Yes. Yes. Exactly. And again, that's the stretching the world thing. That's the long the long game of coaching where now we've helped someone develop a habit of thinking in ways that really is useful to them.
[00:14:24] Scott: Yeah. I think one of the, I can't remember where I picked it up, but it's really good to almost always ask yourself when you've got a thought, it's like, how could I be wrong?
[00:14:33] John: Yes. So refuting yourself.
[00:14:35] Scott: Yeah don't the first thought, is there a way I can be wrong? And being open to that
[00:14:40] John: Yeah. I did that for a conference talk though. I was writing. I, I. in a rare moment of clarity, I'd finished it in time for the conference rather than the night before. So I thought I'll go through and I'll start trying to refute some of this stuff, and it just wrecked it. And particularly in the world of psychology, right?
[00:14:54] John: Everyone's arguing about exactly what this term means, and that's the thing that happens. But actually this is the cause, not what everyone else says. But yeah, that whole kind of refuting yourself stuff is a really valuable and humbling.
[00:15:07] Scott: Yeah. And empowering, isn't it? Cuz suddenly your world becomes, it's you. It's, I think it's good leadership as well to be vulnerable in saying, I don't have the answers. My job title doesn't mean I've got all the answers. How come? How can we find them out? How can we. Test and learn and get evidence and all that stuff.
[00:15:24] John: And then by
[00:15:25] John: why not lead with that? Why not, go straight to that collaborative stance.
[00:15:29] Scott: yeah. So you, you also do work with teams
[00:15:33] John: Mm-hmm.
[00:15:34] Scott: as well as one-to-one. So how does this play out in a team environment? Is it a bit harder or do they like, vibe off each other? How does it, how does.
[00:15:42] John: huh? Yes to both. Yes, to all of the above. It it's harder because you have to concentrate and sense more, and that's particularly hard when you're remote as well.
[00:15:52] John: There's clearly some energy stuff that goes on that we can't quite explain. When you're in a room with people that you don't sense so much remotely.
[00:16:00] John: It works in a very similar way, and that's why I love solution focus because it is a very simple process. And so with a team or a group, as long as we can find agreement on what is wanted or work together to shape that, then generally we. Find value for each person and for the group.
[00:16:21] John: I think where it would look different to other people if they were observing sessions is the if people lead with the problem, I will often ask them quite promptly and occasionally very bluntly to reframe that in what's wanted.
[00:16:34] John: Worked with leaders who've. given me a huge list of what their teams are not doing, quite understandably in saying they're not doing X they're not doing Y, and that list is potentially infinite. Because we're all and to your earlier point, a lot of us have been trained throughout our careers to find problems, and particularly to find ways that people around us or situations around us can improve.
[00:16:59] John: And they were, they absolutely wanted the best of their team, but they were. used to looking for problems. They're used to framing things in terms of what they're not doing.
[00:17:07] John: And so the typical approach then is say, look what is wanted here. And so in, in that situation, I did two things.
[00:17:13] John: I worked on what is wanted and what do you actually want, what would be the signs of it working for you and how would you describe that to them? And also in your big list of nots, have you given the team a fair warning that those are the things you want and that you require. And pretty much once that list was presented by this leader to the team to say, I think we need, we could do better at this.
[00:17:39] John: These are the things I'm looking for and this is what I'd like to go towards. That gives the team something to work on that gives the team something to bring their talents to. They can see it, it's. It can be measures, it can be proper formal measures, but at least, or it can be just something vague oh, what is wanted is this thing to occur occasionally, and I'd like to see signs of that over the next couple of weeks.
[00:17:59] John: So turning that in a group and team settings is often about working quickly to turn the problem into what is wanted, and then establishing that direction and then saying how do we go in that direction? And then the other important part is what resources do we have I often use the kind of hiking metaphors for that because if you think about a team at the bottom of a hill who've got to walk up a hill, that's our direction.
[00:18:23] John: Now we need to think because of the unique situation and people in the team, what do we need to do that they'll all have different preferences, different pace, the weather and situation, level of challenge, motivation, and I know some of your previous talks have been about things like burnout and.
[00:18:40] John: The mindset of the people and their mental state is so significant. So look at all that before deciding how we are gonna go in the direction. And again, that emphasizes the importance of knowing what the direction is because there's a big difference between climbing Brandon Hill in Bristol, which is barely a lump and climbing Scafell Pike, right?
[00:19:01] John: So we need to know which one of those we are doing to determine just what we're taking with us, just what resources we need..
[00:19:08] Scott: Yeah. And what are the team's capabilities and unique skills that will help get up that mountain? Yeah I've always said, leader's job is to set the direction of travel and help the team understand where they're going and. It's interesting. It sounds like that doesn't happen that often or certainly in the teams that you're coming across.
[00:19:26] Scott: It's no wonder they're bumping around annoying the leader or frustrating the leader. If the leader hasn't actually laid out where they're going to, what are we doing? And without a clear direction, they're gonna struggle, aren't they? So it sounds so obvious, but clearly it doesn't always happen.
[00:19:42] John: Yeah, indeed. And that's particularly the thing where there's sort of high level vision. Which is super important. But it also needs to be personalized and interpreted in all the various spheres that are expected to contribute to it, right? And that's often the thing that I see falling down.
[00:19:58] John: A level of conversation up here understands what strategy means to them, and they explain it very clearly and
[00:20:04] John: Except it's almost like a different language and particularly it's a different timescale to the people that are working in delivery teams or with customers. So they get it at a logical level, but it doesn't mean, it doesn't tell them what changes are needed and how to behave to go towards it.
[00:20:20] John: So I think that's personalizing of that is really important. But there's also a difference between. A vision, climb a mountain and a direction, climb that specific mountain.
[00:20:32] John: One of those enables us to prepare and and the other one is exciting, but not quite enough.
[00:20:39] Scott: Yeah. Yeah. What if they're not, they also need to be bought into the vision to be motivated, don't they as well? And actually say, on a selfish level, what's in it for me?
[00:20:49] John: Yeah, Absolut.
[00:20:51] Scott: and that again, if it's just a dictation from the top of the organization and they're not bought into it, then there's gonna be resistance, there's gonna be avoiding doing it do you think that's tied into just translating it into a way that works for them? Or is it more than that in terms of getting alignment to it?
[00:21:08] John: Yeah, I mean it's interesting. Translation is a good word for the sort of model we're discussing, but obviously it's a lot more than that. It's you might not agree with the vision at all, but you may well agree that this vision is great for paying off the mortgage, for example.
[00:21:21] John: So the thing that is motivating and helps people go towards things is not necessarily obvious or sometimes even possible for a leader to work on with that person. And again, that's what, that's where coaching is pretty useful because it helps certainly in my in my case, it's a performance coach, work performance, right?
[00:21:38] John: I'm not a life coach who tries to change anyone. It's not about that at all. The coaching can help bring out a motivation and the things to do that will help in work performance and applying the best of yourself to work as much as is available. And sorry, long think I've slightly lost your question there but it
[00:21:56] Scott: I don't think it was a great question, to be
[00:21:58] John: It was a very good question, which is why I've had to think more deeply about it, So yeah, I think it's it is about that translation then from having a process or something in place that enables everyone to understand what to go towards and the direction at their, it's quite personal and sometimes, Team coaching and personalization is enough, sometimes a one-to-one coaching.
[00:22:21] John: Particularly there's times when leaders are asked to support changes that aren't good for them. If your job is to slim down a department and make it more in air quotes efficient, and what you can see is at the end of that, someone's gonna have that conversation with you about your role disappearing. That's incredibly difficult. The conversation might lead to at least getting behind it enough to perform well,
[00:22:48] Scott: And have you come across teams or individuals or both that are fundamentally uncoachable
[00:22:54] Scott: Without naming any names?
[00:22:55] Scott: Not a reflection on you. It's
[00:22:56] John: Let me try
[00:22:56] Scott: on you as a coach, by the way, just to be clear, but just
[00:22:59] John: Yeah. And funnily enough, I have a list of them all. If you look on my LinkedIn, I've got a list of people who are uncoachable. No. So I don't think that, I don't believe that's a thing.
[00:23:07] John: Uh, e everyone, everyone is capable and willing to listen and.
[00:23:12] John: And be coached. And that's just part of us. And the interesting thing is we talk a lot about professional coaching and that's often a stranger to stranger arrangement. Almost everyone has had or has like friends who essentially coached them.
[00:23:25] John: It there's many parallels, right?
[00:23:27] John: There's safe space being out to be authentic, just talking from the heart. And if that person is good at listening and occasionally just drops in an insightful comment that's coaching. And I don't care what certifications your grand has for that. You know it, if it works. There are definitely times when folk are not ready to be coached or for the coaching conversation that has been prepared for them? So in organizational coaching, if I go into an arrangement where I'm coaching a number of teams and essentially I've been asked to have conversations with 10 individuals, let's say. You can always guarantee statistically at least one of those is not gonna be interested.
[00:24:11] John: They're gonna be too busy, they're gonna not want to perform in the area that they've been asked to do. Particularly where it's tied to organizational goals. So it's more about not being ready to be coached or not ready to be coached. I have conversations about that subject.
[00:24:28] Scott: And do you think there's also sometimes people they almost don't want to admit that they might be wrong or that they're so blinkered and hardwired that, I dunno, I don't wanna say arrogance, but this, or naivety, but almost like unwilling to explore
[00:24:45] John: Yeah, absolutely.
[00:24:46] Scott: fact that they could be wrong or other opportunities cuz this is how I've always done it and I'm not gonna change.
[00:24:50] John: Yes, I do. Am we encounter that and it's really good in a coaching session to ask early on. something to test people's willingness to invest in it.
[00:24:59] Scott: Okay.
[00:24:59] Scott: How'd you do that? What sort of questions?
[00:25:02] John: I would say something like, so we're gonna talk about topic X and by the end of the session we may well have, and then depending on language of the thinker, we may well have some actions or initiatives, but we'll have some things, some goals. Are you willing, are you committed? Are you going to, again, depend.
[00:25:20] John: What's on the mind of the thinker and the style, but basically are you prepared to do something towards these between now and our next session?
[00:25:28] Scott: Okay, so it's almost like forming a bit of a contract
[00:25:30] John: It is exactly like that. It's also priming people for success in it, but also alerting them to the fact it's gonna take effort. I nearly always get a yes. But I can also often tell how sincere that yes is. Even if nothing happens between session one and session two, there's a useful conversation if things haven't happened right?
[00:25:50] John: And we can learn what's going on there. Where things get tricky is if we are at six sessions and we still haven't moved on, right?
[00:25:57] John: The rate at which people. Can and will achieve goals is very different depending on particularly where the motivation for change is coming from and what they're being measured against.
[00:26:10] John: Anyone who, I guess if you coach someone who is doing things for themselves because they want to, it's very different to someone who has. had a situation forced on themselves and like moving department or being made redundant is often to start with quite a shock. And if there's coaching offered as a result of that, it's a different style cuz the first thing is to prepare to think and be willing and ready to think before even thinking about changing anything difficult.
[00:26:42] Scott: Yeah. And that'll depend where they are on the change curve, aren't they? If they're in denial or. I can't remember all the other ones.
[00:26:47] John: Yes. All the many stages. And, there's so many change models. They're all true and they're all not true, right? But the main thing is to, the thing I find very valuable about those is they tell us that every people will be in different places. You can't necessarily sense where they are and change your style accordingly.
[00:27:05] Scott: Brilliant. So just a couple of bits to wrap up. So one of the things that we were gonna talk about was like behaviors in that determine success within teams and leadership. Have you got
[00:27:17] John: Oh yeah.
[00:27:18] Scott: key observations there that you think some teams are lacking or your advice to people that wanna make sure they're more likely to be successful?
[00:27:26] John: Yeah, that's a good one. So awareness is huge. I think. Self-awareness that's massive. In terms of using that to calibrate and to work out what you might work on personally and as a team. And you mentioned arrogance as a proxy for that earlier, because often that things that look like that, traits that look like that are developed because of success. But then the personal development conversation happens because that is no longer working or working as well as the individual or the people around them would like. And so that awareness that it's time to change, time to pivot, is really important. I feel like the direction is just ridiculously important.
[00:28:07] John: Having an idea of where you want to go or where the team wants to go eventually. And you might never get there. But at least knowing it's there. That's like the one question that avoids a thousand questions. And I'm sure you've met people who are incredibly driven and know exactly what they want to do, and very often they are more likely to find success as assume they do a bunch of other things.
[00:28:27] John: Compared to someone who. It's constantly switching directions. And if I should note that it's not about fixating on a single thing. So if you identify in yourself that what you like is a lot of variation, a lot of novelty, and to be doing different things, then to some extent that shapes your direction.
[00:28:45] John: I, I want a vocation that enables, that reflects my amount of energy and enables me to zip around and do loads of things. That's fine too, but it's still a direction of you and. It's important to acknowledge that I think, and then work out what it is. And I don't even mean that in a career sense. I mean that in a or other, I don't mean that in a climbing the ladder sense.
[00:29:07] John: I mean that in a what do you wanna go towards? Who do you want to hang out with both professionally and otherwise? Cuz knowing that really helps with awareness and looking for opportunities to do the. And we're all gonna be adrift in our lives at various occasions, and it's often coming quickly out of that, using a sense direction to start going towards something.
[00:29:29] John: And then of course we can change that. But the point is we will, even if we just take two or three steps towards it, we are likely to learn something. But if we just stay still thinking, I'm not enjoying my situation, spent too long, looking around.
[00:29:45] John: I think that's where a bit of malaise sets in.
[00:29:49] Scott: Yeah. It's the whole just take a tiny step. Just take a step and
[00:29:52] John: Yeah, try.
[00:29:53] Scott: To move. Yeah.
[00:29:54] John: try something that might help you learn something.
[00:29:56] Scott: yeah. Brilliant. Thank you. So one of the questions I ask all my guests is, if you could take one book with you to a desert island is stranded for the rest of your life, what would it be?
[00:30:05] John: Crikey. Is this a book that I'm burning in order to start a fire? Or am I ? Am
[00:30:10] Scott: Up to you, but then you'll be really bored.
[00:30:11] John: Let's think. So I'm currently reading Brett Anderson from Sue's autobiography, and that's brilliant. That's astonishingly well written. So that, that would be on the list. In a business frame and sort of professional stuff. So I really like team of Teams by Arthur McChrystal. That's got a lot in it. Cal Newport's time to Cal Newport's. Deep work is very good and I've read that a nu, that's one of the few books I've read, three or four times and always find something. But the thought of reading that on a desert island and presumably you'll, you're putting me there for 20 years or something.
[00:30:45] John: I can't really see myself
[00:30:46] Scott: You won't better use it.
[00:30:47] John: Yeah, exactly. So that would be quite frustrating. Oh, sapiens probably. Sapiens actually, cuz that's really works the brain and also wouldn't Yeah. Really works the brain. And there's lots of stuff to think about for professional and other lives.
[00:31:02] Scott: great, thank you. So if anyone wants your help and to work with you, how do they get hold of?
[00:31:07] John: I'd like to think I'm fairly findable on LinkedIn or. My business is round coaching, so you can look me up on that. I'm not a prolific social media user yeah, probably LinkedIn look for John Clap and you'll find me somewhere. I talk at a few conferences too, so yeah, that's how to get me.
[00:31:26] Scott: Great, and I'll get those linked in the show notes.
[00:31:28] Scott: John, It's been great chatting to you. Thanks for being on the show,
[00:31:31] John: Hey. No pleasure. Good to talk to you, Scott. Thanks all your insightful questions. It's certainly got me thinking
[00:31:36] Scott: No worries. Thanks.
[00:31:37] John: Cheers.
[00:31:42] Scott: A big, thank you for listening to the Rebel Diaries show your time is precious, so it is appreciated. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to hit that subscribe button in your podcast app of choice so you don't miss the next one. There's a new episode every Monday morning, ideal for your commute to work or early morning walk.
[00:31:59] Scott: Until next time, take care be a rebel and deliver work with impact.