Lessons from David Grier

David footer

A few days ago, I listened to David Grier giving a speech. David does crazy runs that make my marathons look like a walk around the block. He ran across the entire Great Wall of China (4200km), across Cuba (1800km), and a bunch of other crazy runs.

He is one of the authors of the Real Meal Revolution!

He is a wonderful man with some great advise. Here are some lessons that I learned from him:

  • You need the self-belief to dig deep
  • No man achieves anything on his own
  • I’m the one that has to change
  • The sun will set in the evening, and rise the next morning, regardless of what you do
  • Its usually not the big things that get you down – it’s an accumulation of little things
  • Nearly everything is not impossible…if you want it enough dig deep enough
  • It’s when you say that you can’t that you can
  • You learn the most when you are struggling
  • Have honesty and appreciation, understanding and acceptance
  • Nobody is going to run your life for you
  • If you can find reason for why you are suffering, you are no longer suffering
  • Where do you fit into your dream?
  • Nobody will effect change for you
  • We need to be the change we want to see
  • We cannot change on our own
  • The ability to change on the way is key to finish a journey.

And finally for race fuel, he recommended Cabanossi sausages from Pick n Pay,, and squashed pork belly (put the fat runoff in a ziplock to suck on, and slice the port to eat)!

Hope that helps – it certainly gives me some perspective!

(photo from David’s website)

A freebee from the best

I have listened to Darren LaCroix’s “Get Paid to Speak by Next Week” CD’s several times, and they provide great insight into the business and art of public speaking.

Darren has now gone a step further by offering offering 52 weekly modules (IE 1 year) via email for free. You can signup or find out more here.

Ben Zander – tickets still available for JHB

Yesterday, I saw Ben Zander speaking in Cape Town. He and his wife Ros were here for the launch of the Alive With Possibility DVD, a DVD celebrating the possibility in South Africa. Ben is the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, and one of the most transformational speakers that I have ever heard.

He speaks about downward spiral thinking, and radiating possibility speaking, and leaves us with the challenge of looking for possibility in our thoughts and our actions. This is the third time that I have seen him, and every time is a transformational experience.

If you are in Johannesburg, there are still a few tickets available for Friday’s presentation. Speak to [email protected] about tickets, or visit www.benjaminzander.com to find out more about Ben.

We are alive with Possibility

Ben Zander in Cape Town

If you want to see a brilliant and inspirational speaker, you have to get tickets to see Ben speak. I have been twice, an it is an incredible inspiring presentation! He will be in Cape Town and Johannesburg in Jan 2011. It is worth every cent.

For details, email [email protected], or goto www.symphonia.net.

Benjamin Zander, world renowned conductor and speaker on leadership, captivates and inspires with his unique style.

Benjamin Zander

Benjamin Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, is a world renowned speaker on leadership. He has presented at the World Economic Forum many times, and was the opening keynote speaker at the World Economic Forum at Davos in 2009.

Benjamin Zander’s presentation takes an audience on a journey that offers a startling new perspective on leadership. Through stories, music and concepts it causes a radical shift in perception. This is not a speech, it is an experience!

In this new model of leadership, the conductor sees his job as awakening possibility in others. The orchestra is a group of highly trained individuals poised to coalesce into an effective whole. Passion, creativity and the desire to contribute are basic human instincts to be released.

World famous conductor, Benjamin Zander uses the metaphor of the orchestra and a life-time of experience conducting, coaching and teaching musicians to work his magic to overcome barriers to corporate productivity. This presentation sources fundamental changes in organizations.

For more information see www.benjaminzander.com.


Dates: Tues, 25 January 2011
Registration: 08:30 – 09:00
Time: 09:00 – 13:00
Venue: TBC


Dates: Fri, 28 January 2011
Registration: 08:30 – 09:00
Time: 09:00 – 13:00
Venue: Vodaworld, Midrand

16 Lessons from Dr Ali Backer

Ali Bacher and ,me
Ali Bacher and ,me

Dr Ali Bacher spoke at our Toastmasters conference in May. Here are a few lessons from him.

  1. Return correspondence within 24 hours
  2. Brevity – 2 pages (both speaking and writing)
  3. Workplace structures are meaningless (my version is that titles are meaningless)
  4. Look after quality people that make it happen
  5. If you pay peanuts you get monkeys
  6. Keep your door open
  7. Promote performers
  8. Give responsibility to people you have confidence in
  9. Give small gestures of appreciation
  10. Be honest – never lie
  11. Never break your word
  12. Always settle out of court
  13. Never record your feelings at the time, wait until you have cooled down
  14. To learn respect, set the example
  15. Fly economy class with your staff!
  16. You have a responsibility to transfer your skills
  17. Things don’t just happen; be proactive

A lesson from the marketing dept.

I was called into the office of a marketing manager of a client, and asked what I thought of some ideas they are planning to use for a marketing campaign. When I was happy to assist, I pointed out that my expertise is not in design or marketing. Her response was that I gave her a fresh perspective.

  • Are you giving a fresh perspective to your clients?
  • Are you entrenched in their processes?
  • Are you open to getting a perspective from somewhere different?
  • Are you stuck dong things the same way you always have?
  • How often does your perspective change?

How much effort are you prepared to put into your passion?

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods

I was listening to an interview with Malcolm Gladwell recently on the Radiolab podcast in which he was speaking about the performance of Jamaican athletes when he was growing up. He made a comment that part of the reason for their performance is that they trained harder than anybody else.

When Darren la Croix won the 2001 World Championship of Public Speaking, he said that he did not want any of the other competitors to be more prepared than him – he wanted to out-prepare all of them, and he won.

When I was in school, I studied music as one of my matric subjects. In my final year, I would probably practice about 2-3 hours a day, and I was a far better pianist then than I am now. It was because I was putting in the time to prepare.

Tiger Woods is such a great golfer partly because he puts in approx 6 ½ hours training every single day, as well as about 2 ½ hours in the gym  . I have no doubt that if I put effort into golf every day for a few years, I would be a mighty fine golfer as well. Maybe not as good as Tiger Woods, but a lot better than I currently am.

According to Fortune Magazine,

“The evidence we have surveyed … does not support the [notion that] excelling is a consequence of possessing innate gifts…. that nobody is great without work…There’s no evidence of high-level performance without experience or practice.”

Ok, so the bottom line is that you can be excellent at just about anything that you choose, but you will need to put in the effort to get there.

How much effort are you prepared to put into your passion?

Conversations with the Champs

Here is a six-part conversation by some of the World Champs of Public Speaking. These are the guys that you get to hang out with if you attend the Toastmasters International Convention.

Here is a six-part video – Conversation with the Champs. For many more free educational videos from Darren, check out his YouTube site.

Anyway, here are the videos – enjoy!

Do you need a Competitive Edge in Your Job Interviews?

Then listen to these free mp3’s, in which Patricia Fripp, CSP interviews Al Hops, creator of The Interview Edge.

Al Hops is an award-winning sales professional who has consistently developed innovative ideas leading to success in job interviewing and closing sales.  As part of his consulting practice with President Clinton, Bob Costas and Jim Carrey, Al helped open the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville.

The two 20 minute long MP3’s can be downloaded for free of the World Champions Edge website. Thanks to World Champions Edge for making them available.