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.

16 Lessons from Dr Ali Backer

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 department

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?

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!

The GROW model

The GROW model is a coaching model that describes a very simply process that can be followed to help you work towards and to achieve your goals.

GOAL

The first step is to understand what your goal is. Understanding your goal gives you a concrete objective towards which you can work, and the freedom to start doing so.
Make your goals SMART – goals that are Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based. This removes the pie-in-the- sky aspect of goal setting, and turns them into something that you can actually achieve. Having a goal such as ?I would like to lose weight? is difficult to measure and hence difficult to achieve. How about changing it to ?I would like to lose 5 kg by December 2007??

Without goals comes a lack of focus, and with no focus it is very easy to drift through life – just living from day to day, wondering why you are not achieving anything in life. How much harder is it to move forward without understanding where you are going?

REALITY

The next step is to look at the current reality. Where are you in relation to your goal? Have you almost achieved your goal? Are you a long way away? Do you need to break the goal into smaller, more achievable goals?
It may require a detailed and honest analysis of where you are, But having a deep understanding of where you are provides a very solid foundation of understanding what needs to happen.

OPTIONS

Once you understand your goal and your reality, the task is to find out how to start to move the reality towards the goal. At this stage in the process, you examine what options are available to you. This is where the planning takes place.
There may be a single course of action, or there may be multiple options from which to choose. This is a good opportunity to go into some creative brainstorming, or to perform a SWOT analysis on the various options that are available to you.
Remember that at this stage you are not deciding which are the best options – that is for later. You are simply deciding on what the possible options are.

WHAT

At this stage, we have examined the goal, we know where we are in respect to the goal, and we have examined the various options that we can follow to reach the goal.
The final step is to examine the options, and to decide what the best option is to reach your goal. Note that you are not looking at the easiest option, but the best option. IE: which option is going to move you closest towards your goal?

WORKING THE PLAN

Working throught the GROW model provides a very simple yet powerful framework to support you in achieving your goals. However, the work really happens not in the planning, but in the working of your plan.

While working your plan, keep in mind how you are progressing towards your goal. Keeping examining what is and is not working in your plan. What might have seemed as a great option (the WHAT) might not have been the best choice . So try to have the flexibility to make  adjustments when it becomes necessary.

WHERE TO USE GROW

The GROW model can be used in almost any aspect of your personal or business life, including health, wealth, team goals and career aspirations. Basically, GROW will work anywhere in your life that you are working towards a goal.

Good luck, and continue to GROW.

Historical note: There is a lot of uncertainty as to the origins of the GROW model. Several sources cite several different authors. To the best of my knowledge, it was created by Graham Alexander and brought to the fore by Sir John Whitmore.