The art and science of giving and receiving feedback

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Stone + HeenIt’s not everyday you can have a casual chat with two Harvard Law professors…

But that’s just what I did today with Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone, co-authors of the best-selling book Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well.

Feedback. Do you realize how important feedback is? A majority of us aren’t very good at giving it, and honestly, most of us are really bad at receiving it.

And I’m just talking about myself….

Enjoy today’s scintillating conversation!

Discussion topics from today’s show:

1. Managers aren’t the only ones who need to learn about this feedback thing.
2. What is the bigger problem? How feedback is GIVEN? Or how it is RECEIVED? And where is their more opportunity for impact?
3. Why do we take the same advice from different people differently? Why does that happen? And what do we do about it?
4. What are the three critical feedback triggers?
5. Are we hard-wired to not take feedback well?
6. If you aren’t good at taking feedback, is this problem fixable?
7. What are the real business applications of feedback? Both giving and taking?
8. How does your ability to give and take feedback impact your ability as a salesman, your ability to close deals? Can it help?
9. Don’t ask for generic feedback. It is too vague, and not helpful. Instead, ask for “one thing!”
10. Is there an appropriate time to ignore feedback?
11. How is social and digital media media impacting this whole idea around feedback?
12. Who does social/digital media benefit more….the giver or taker of feedback?
13. When one hears feedback, you either take it as coaching or judgement. Which are you?
14. Why do we stink at self-learning? Is part of the answer that we take all feedback as judgment?
15. Both Sheila and Doug share some key steps on how to take feedback better and improve your personal and business life…
16. A big piece of this is lowering your own anxiety and reactiveness to feedback…even if from your own Mother-in-law….
17. For the record: Taking feedback well is a key predictor of successful, stable marriages…
18. Doug share the more surprising discovery from the book’s research…

To learn more about all things Heen + Stone, CLICK HERE! This includes a worksheet on how to improve the giving and taking of feedback in your organization!

To pick up a copy of this wicked cool book, click below (affiliate link):

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To hear from other intrepid souls like Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone, please SUBSCRIBE to my podcast on iTunes. And, leaving a review and customer rating would be appreciated as well!

This is episode 109.

Dana Ardi: The paradigm shift you need to make to thrive

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Dana ArdiOne of my favorite bloggers, Fred Wilson, talked about new book called The Fall of the Alphas, by Dana Ardi. So, I checked it out, really enjoyed it, and added it to my reading list.

A few weeks later, some of her people saw my reading list and contacted me about getting her on my show. I immediately said yes. Today’s show is the result. Enjoy!

Key discussion topics from today:

1. Dana is a corporate anthropologist, and we discuss what that actually means.

2. Who/what are the Alphas? And why is that business model dying?

3. The new Beta business culture/model has emerged. Why? Is it JUST because of the technological revolution? Or is there more to it?

4. Alpha: A General and his army. Beta: A conductor of a symphony orchestra. Dana explains…

5. Core features of the Beta culture: communication, collaboration, empowerment, and self awareness. And why that all matters to your talent management and recruiting.

6. Beta leaders are curators, not commanders. How in the heck does the concept of curation play into this?

7. Will an Alpha organization survive in the long-term?
8. And can an Alpha organization change and evolve into a Beta organization? And if so, how?

You can find Dana’s book here (affiliate link):

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To hear from other intrepid souls like Dana Ardi, please SUBSCRIBE to my podcast on iTunes. And, leaving a review and customer rating would be appreciated as well!

This is episode 108.

Waldschmidt: Forget the skills, do you have the WILL?

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Dan WaldschmidtI believe strongly in the concept that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Which is why I do what I can to spend as much time as possible with today’s guest, Dan Waldschmidt.

Dan joined me on the show today to discuss his recent book, Edgy Conversations.

This book is about how ordinary people can achieve outrageous success, and get beyond the nonsense in their life to do what really matters.

This planned twenty-minute conversation lasted nearly 40 minutes. It is a raw, human dialog which gets right to the guts of what we need to do to achieve a life of meaning and success.

I hope you’ll enjoy it. Dan inspires me every time I speak with him…

You can get a copy of Dan’s book here:

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To hear from other intrepid souls like Dan Waldschmidt, please SUBSCRIBE to my podcast on iTunes. And, leaving a review and customer rating would be appreciated as well!

This is episode 107.

Simon Sinek: YOUR job may literally be killing you. Do you know why?

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Simon SinekIf you ever ask me why I podcast, I will answer that it affords me the chance to talk to people such as today’s guest. Best-selling author Simon Sinek joined me on today’s show to discuss his latest work, Leaders Eat Last: Why some teams pull together and others don’t.

You get into podcasting to talk with gentlemen like Simon. He is the author of the best-seller Start with Why, and his TED videos are amongst the most watched of the entire mind-blowing portfolio.

Discussion topics with today’s show:

1. We start with what inspires Simon. What is his why? This is, after all, the fellow who wrote the classic book, Start With Why. I ask why he is devoting his life to helping others discover their own mission and purpose.

2. Most organizations will sacrifice people to save the numbers. Shouldn’t the goal be an organization that is willing to sacrifice the numbers to save the people? Why is this rare?

3. But why does this happen? Why does our culture foster negative work environments that are far too common? Why is it accepted that work environments have to be negative places? How did we let this happen? Does this start with our parents?

4. Start With Why discussed the WHY we do what we do. Is the next book the WHAT and the HOW? Or is it the continuation of the journey?

5. Is your job literally killing you? Simon shares some compelling dialog about how our biology significantly impacts how we operate and integrate into the modern world. Trust me, you need to hear this.

6. Are you a true leader? Or are you merely an authority? And if you don’t know the difference…you need to speak with Simon…

7. Does someone have your back? And why does that matter?

8. Leadership is a choice. It is a choice to serve. Not to dictate.

9. Simon shares some practicable counsel on how to take the initial steps towards this new path of modern leadership…

10. Who is responsible here to turn this all around? Is it leadership? Is it the employees? Or is it the responsibility of all of us?

Get Simon’s newest book here:

And get Simon’s classic here:

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To hear from other intrepid souls like Simon Sinek, please SUBSCRIBE to my podcast on iTunes. And, leaving a review and customer rating would be appreciated as well!

This is episode 106.

[You shouldn't miss this presentation:]

Pam Slim: Building your body of work in this crazy, unstable world

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Pam SlimPam Slim is a good friend. Well, we only just met. But she wrote a book JUST FOR ME. And that’s why she was a recent guest on the show…to discuss her latest book, Body of Work.

Pam Slim is a speaker, business coach, and best-selling author of not only this book, but also the popular Escape from Cubicle Nation.

Discussion topics from today’s show:

1. Will there ever be stable career paths again? Pam and I say no. So, should we embrace this new reality? The long traditional corporate path of staying with the same organization for the duration of your career has long passed…

2. Is instability the new way of life? Economic instability. Political instability, etc. Is the only truth path to finding “stability” in your life to acknowledge that the world is an unstable place?

3. In a similar vein, is it wrong to judge people (as I do) who complain about the lack of security, say, in the job market? Can’t we all accept this as a given?

4. An important future skill to learn is to blend all the different things in your life into one, tightknit story: Your job, your freelance work, your volunteer gigs, your passion projects… How do you weave all these into one interesting story to tell the world? And why is that important in this modern age?

5. The book’s subtitle is: Finding the thread that ties your story together. Pam and I discuss how most people don’t know how to tell their own story, let alone even KNOW what their story is. So…how important are storytelling skills in this project-based, digital, and social world we live in?

6. When I suggested to Pam that the ability to continuously reinvent yourself is an important skill, she kind of agreed, but said that the true skill to learn is the ability to create new things to define you and what you stand for. And that this is a never-ending process….

7. Pam gives me some free consulting: I tell her that the question I fear the most is “Todd, what do you do?” Since I have my hands in so many pies, and am involved in so many projects, I am never sure how to answer people when they ask me this question. Pam provides some keen insights on how to deal with this new reality.

You can find Pam’s book here (affiliate link):

[And a quick shout-out to Bill Ramsey who won a free copy of Pam's book! Join the mailing list to be eligible for future book giveaways!]

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To hear from other intrepid souls like Pam Slim, please SUBSCRIBE to my podcast on iTunes. And, leaving a review and customer rating would be appreciated as well!

This is episode 105.

DSC’s Mike Dubin: Stubbornness, frustration, and power of your backside

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Mike DubinA fun show to kick off the holiday week, recorded on a Saturday night! Very pleased to welcome Mike Dubin to the show! Mike is the Founder + CEO of DollarShaveClub.com.

I’ve been a loyal customer of DSC almost from the beginning. I love their approach to business and marketing, and it has been a lot of fun to watch the company grow and evolve.

Here some notes (and critical questions) from today’s conversation:

1. How important is the entrepreneur’s “own frustration” with the state of things to launching critical business ventures?

2. Is “stubbornness” a critical temperament of a successful entrepreneur?

3. Mike has an extensive background in media, digital marketing, and video. Is experience there critical to success in modern business?

4. “Improv” seems to be a more and more common background amongst today’s marketers and entrepreneurs. Is studying improv now required training for today’s executives?

5. Creative instincts are mission critical for modern business. And if you don’t have them, you need to incorporate those skills in the form of partners and hired talent.

6. Are entrepreneurs more focused on building out their current gig? Or are they always moving on to the new thing?

7. Can you launch a successful startup on the back of a viral video? Mike and I discuss the video that helped launch DSC, and whether that video (seen below) or the real value this brings men is the real reason for its growth.

8. The third product offering from Dollar Shave Club is butt wipes. Really. Why that matters, what that particular product really stands for, and how product development is the future of the company.

Here is the video that started it all, and hooked me as a new customer:

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To hear from other intrepid souls like Mike Dubin, please SUBSCRIBE to my podcast on iTunes. And, leaving a review and customer rating would be appreciated as well!

This is episode 104.

Scoble says we aren’t operating in context

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Robert ScobleWow, what a whirlwind conversation, not your usual fare on Intrepid Radio! I was out of breath when this one wrapped. 30 minutes was simply not enough time to cover what needed to be covered with today’s guest.

Joined today by Robert Scoble. Robert is a renowned blogger, technical evangelist, and best-selling author. He joined me today to discuss his latest work, Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data, and the future of Privacy, co-authored with Shel Israel. Learn more about Scoble here.

The key questions raised during today’s conversation with Scoble:

1. What exactly is the age of context? And why does context matter?

2. How does the age of context impact business: from the Fortune 500 to the home-based solopreneur?

3. Is the average consumer on the street even really aware of this new age? Are they effectively tapping into the technology around them? Are they paying enough to this impactful change?

4. Explain the five forcing the age of context: mobile, big data, sensors, location-based technology, and social media. “If your organization isn’t thinking mobile, you are already way behind…”

5. Is one of these five forces? Is one less mature, and thus, more apt to see dramatic short-term change?

6. Why (and how) are wearable technologies changing everything?

7. What’s the more important question here: Are businesses taking full advantage of the age of context? Or are consumers prepared to accept what the new age means to them and how they go through life?

8. For the age of context to thrive, do we have to surrender our privacy and embrace transparency? Is the average consumer ready and willing to do this? The general public loves how technology can improve their life, but they hate the personal data taken to make it possible…so, are we hypocrites?

9. Trust will become the new currency; so what are the conditions with which Scoble will feel that an organization has earned the necessary trust to survive in the modern age?

10. Help me understand how cutting-edge companies like Uber are leveraging the age of context? And help me understand how major international brands like Ritz-Carlton are NOT?

11. Finally, can the modern day business organization survive long-term without adopting and adapting into the age of context?

You can find Scoble’s book here (affiliate link):

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To hear from other intrepid souls like Robert Scoble, please SUBSCRIBE to my podcast on iTunes. And, leaving a review and customer rating would be appreciated as well!

This is episode 103.

If you aren’t growth hacking, you are dead

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Ryan HolidayPleased to welcome Ryan Holiday back to the show. Ryan joined me to discuss his recent book, Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising.

Ryan is an author, writer, and marketer. He is best known as the media strategist behind bestselling authors Tucker Max and Robert Greene, and as the Director of Marketing for American Apparel. You can learn more about him here.

He joined me a while back to talk about his first best-selling book, Trust Me, I’m Lying.

Here are some notes from our conversation:

1. How do new companies become BILLION dollar companies…without doing ANY marketing (at least traditional marketing)?

2. Traditional marketing is dead. Or at least dying quickly.

3. The definition of growth hacker marketing: a growth hacker doesn’t do “marketing,” their job is to bring in customers. “Old school marketers get in the New York Times because it looks good on the resume, growth hackers get in the New York Times because they know it will bring in 10,000 new customers.”

4. It must be scalable and trackable.

5. Marketing is no longer a task. It is now a mindset, “it is a way of approaching the world.”

6. Does the modern marketer need to be an engineer?

7. Can a large organization, marketing traditionally, make the shift into growth hacking?

8. A solution to slow sales may not always “more” marketing. You may need to pivot and go another direction.

9. Growth hacking is actually designed to make your products better.

10. What is product market fit? “Make stuff people actually want…”

11. The necessity of continuous improvement. Even when you have succeeded to market.

12. The importance of going viral…but not in the way you think about the concept. Why “viral lift” matters…

You can find Ryan’s book here (affiliate link):

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To hear from other intrepid souls like Ryan Holiday, please SUBSCRIBE to my podcast on iTunes. And, leaving a review and customer rating would be appreciated as well!

This is episode 102.

Jeff Shore: Boldly kill your comfort addictions!

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Jeff ShoreA real pleasure to welcome my friend Jeff Shore to the show!

Jeff is a highly sought-after sales expert, speaker, author and executive coach whose innovative BE BOLD methodology teaches you how to change your mindset and change your world.

His latest book, Be Bold and Win the Sale: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone and Boost Your Performance, is forthcoming from McGraw-Hill in January 2014.

Here are some personal notes from our conversation:

1. Can just anyone be in sales?

2. Is a sales process too rigid? Or is a sales framework more relevant? An important debate had on this very interview…

3. How do sales people deal with discomfort?

4. Problem is, most of us suffer with comfort addictions.

5. So, what are comfort addictions, and how do we remove them from our life?

6. We discuss the concept of extreme introverts and extroverts in sales. And can they succeed…

7. We talk about mastery: mastery of sales technique, mastery of your product or service, and mastery of human interaction; and of those, which is most important.

8. A big theme in Jeff’s book is acting bold: so we discuss the ramifications of living the bold life. Are people afraid of success?

9. Learn more about Jeff at www.JeffShore.com!

You can find Jeff’s book here (affiliate link):

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To hear from other intrepid souls like Jeff Shore, please SUBSCRIBE to my podcast on iTunes. And, leaving a review and customer rating would be appreciated as well!

This is episode 101.

Tom Rath: Eat, move, and sleep your way to better business and life

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Tom RathSeveral years ago, Mrs. Schnick got me Tom Rath’s Strengthsfinder 2.0, and I became a fan. So, I was very pleased when Tom joined me for today’s show to discuss his latest, Eat Move Sleep.

Tom Rath is a New York Times best-selling author, researcher with Gallup, and speaker.

This is a little different than the usual fare on this show, but my fellow hard-working entrepreneurs, I wanted to share Tom Rath with you so that we can all be better at life and business. Here are some key discussion notes from today’s conversation:

1. Tom shares his very personal health struggles and the steps he takes to live long enough to spend quality time with his children.

2. The long-held sex appeal of the entrepreneurial 80-hour work week and pulling all-nighters is actually killing us. Is our culture changing?

3. People have endless knowledge available for free online to live healthy lives. They just aren’t reading and doing anything about it. Can we change?

4. Our life story depends on small, seemingly insignificant daily decisions and habits. Are you making the right ones?

5. Focusing on better eating, frequent movement, and eight hours of good sleep make you more creative, better at relationships, a better manager, a better parent, and well….better at life. Period.

6. Tom shares two VERY SIMPLE changes you can make RIGHT NOW to turn the corner to a life of wellness.

7. And Tom also shares some VERY COUNTERINTUITIVE notions that will blow your mind.

8. Tom talks about the notion that you cannot focus on eating, and neglect everything else. Working better eating, frequent movement, and eight hours of sleep into your life works wonders when they happen in concert together. And honestly, focusing on all three IS EASIER TO EXECUTE, believe it or not.

9. Finally, Tom talks about the simple mindset shifts one must take, and making simple decisions, that can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

10. Find a critical health assessment and other online tools at www.eatmovesleep.org/.

You can find Tom’s book here (affiliate link):

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To hear from other intrepid souls like Tom Rath, please SUBSCRIBE to my podcast on iTunes. And, leaving a review and customer rating would be appreciated as well!

This is episode 100.