active CEO Podcast 74 Lucy Bennett Baggs Just Challenge Global Impact

active CEO Podcast #74 Lucy Bennett Baggs Just Challenge Global Impact

active CEO Podcast 74 Lucy Bennett Baggs Just Challenge Global Impact
Lucy Bennett Baggs – Founder Just Challenge

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns speaks with Lucy Bennett Baggs about Just Challenge Global Impact, fundraising over US$1.5 million for charities including WaterAid, partnering with Laureus Sport For Good and Putting on very meaningful events to make a difference in the world. We also delve into working at HSBC, the world of sponsorship and events, taking companies to some of the remote places in the world, and A life creating challenges for people all around the globe.

Lucy Bennett Baggs – Just Challenge Global Impact

Lucy is a young, determined and entrepreneurial leader who knows the true meaning of being comfortable with the uncomfortable, loves taking teams to incredible locations across the globe, and has led fundraising efforts of over US$1.5 Million for charities around the world, including WaterAid and Laureus Sport for Good. A leader who is passionate about philanthropy, sport, entrepreneurship and bringing out the best in people.

She has a 1st Class Honors in a Marketing BSc from the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, and was the winner of Women Leading Change in Asia, in 2018. Her career includes working at HSBC as part of the Undergraduate Management and Executive Schemes, and in Marketing, Sponsorship and Events.  In 2017 she founded Just Challenge an agency designed to use sport and adventure as a platform to respond to business’ objectives – including CSR, employee engagement, client relationships and leadership development.

Lucy talks about:

  • Looking for ways that I could think outside the box & how I could push other people.
  • Being on a great graduate program at HSBC.
  • Knocking on the head of sponsorship & events door desperately begging him for a job.
  • Voluntarily organising two major charity challenges for HSBC, in the Sahara & Gobi Deserts.
  • Differentiating yourself in a corporate culture of the survival of the fittest.
  • Raising $250,000 for WaterAid on the first HSBC expedition.
  • The importance partnerships & collaborations in sponsorship.
  • How HSBC put rugby into schools with the Hong Kong 7’s grass roots sponsorship program.
  • Constantly looking at ways to get corporates to have a voice.
  • Switching from a life with a high level of certainty at HSBC to starting Just Challenge.
  • Just Challenge Global Impact
  • Why Oman, Great Wall of China, Himalayan Mountains, Mongolia & South Africa provide incredible destinations for Just Challenge.
  • Taking people off the beaten track that is somewhere that people would go normally.
  • Creating expeditions that are sustainable & environmentally friendly.
  • Funding & investing in sustainable water pumps for Vietnam villages.
  • Creating global policies to reduce and offset our carbon footprint
  • Scaling Just Challenge.
  • Joining Michael Johnson and Sean Fitzpatrick on the 2020 Just challenge in New Zealand.
  • Pressure to demonstrate health & wellbeing both physically & mentally.
  • Surround yourself with brilliant people & that will take you where you need to be.
  • #inthistogether and going to places that you would never imagine you could get to.

Active CEO Performance Tip

Leaders Speak Last – How often do you go into a meeting and the lead person talks, talks and talks some more? The people in the room begin to switch off and when time comes to action following the meeting, no one really buys into it. High Performing Leaders always speak last. They may open the meeting and provide context, before allowing everyone else in the room to speak. They wait until right at the end of the meeting to wrap up what has been said and identify steps forward. This ensures everyone has an opportunity to speak, new ideas can surface and the team makes the decision. In a 30minute meeting, a high performing leader may only speak for 1-2 minutes.

Tweets

“People want meaningful experiences and there are so many beautiful places around the world that I think that brands can engage their people whether it is clients, employees or leaders.” Lucy Bennett Baggs talking about meaningful experiences, on the active CEO Podcast.

“Conversations we have when your phones are off, you have got no signal, you are having real conversations with people for the first time in a very long time, you are not walking, you are not in the rat race, your meeting new people and asking questions. Its amazing what comes out on these challenges and what they are going through.” Benefits of going off the grid with Lucy Bennett Baggs, on the active CEO Podcast.

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Lucy Bennett-Baggs LinkedIn
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/lucybennettbaggs
Just Challenge www.just-challenge.com
Just Challenge Twitter
NRG2Perform www.nrg2perform.com
Craig Johns craig@nrg2perform.com
Craig Johns LinkedIn

Recommended Reading:

4 Day Week – Andrew Barnes Order Now

Four Basic Fundamentals Of Being A High Performing Leader Read Article
How To Be A High Performing Leader In 2020 Read Article
active CEO Lessons In 2019 Read Article
Four Ways To Overcome CEO Loneliness In 2020 Read Article

Latest active CEO Podcast Episodes

#73 – Four Basic Fundamentals Of Being A High Performing Leader Link
#72 – Azran Osman Rani (Naluri) Power Of The Mind Link
#71 – How To Be A High Performing Leader In 2020 Link
#70 – Miles Stewart (Triathlon Australia) A Lifetime Chasing Results Link
#69 – Deepthi Bopaiah (GoSports Foundation) – India’s Next Olympic Gold Link
#68 – Abraham Kamarck (True Made Foods) – Leadership Lessons From The Sky Link
#67 – Liz Volpe (Ambisie) – Dare to Dream Link
#66 – Bill Coletti (Kith) – Reputational Resilience & Transformation Link
#65 – Todd Greenberg (NRL) More Than A Game Link
#64 – Gabrielle Dow (Green Bay Packers) Green Bay Packers Experience Link

Liza Pavlakos (lizapavlakos.com) – Adversity Transforms Lives

active CEO Podcast #16 Liza Pavlakos Adversity Transforms Lives

Liza Pavalakos – Founder LizaPavlakos.com

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, we are blessed to hear a compelling insight into the incredible life of Liza Pavlakos, from being physically and sexually abused, raped, homeless, kidnapped, tortured and human trafficked, to leading highly successful businesses and becoming an acclaimed international speaker, with limited high school education and no business training. We discuss overcoming and coping with adversity, starting a business with no education or business education, selling the service before the product, treating everyone as human beings, being proud to talk about your adversities, first knowing your ‘why’ before you know your ‘how’, and how she leads an active CEO lifestyle. This is one episode of the active CEO Podcast that you do not want to miss.

Background

Liza Pavlakos is a beautiful lady who has emerged from the depths of misery, frustration of powerlessness, humiliation of sexual and physical abuse, heartache of abduction, loneliness as a homeless teenager, hopelessness of being human trafficked and hardships of poverty, to rise up and lead a highly successful life as a businesswomen and international motivational speaker.

Her grit and determination to turn around her life, overcome adversity, understand life is worth living, be exceptional and become a successful entrepreneur, has led her to inspiring and motivating many people around the world.

She broke through barriers and bounded over obstacles, as a young self-taught entrepreneur and philanthropist, to transform Minibar Piccolo into a popular Melbourne café, successfully grow Finest Alterations from a struggling business to a thriving profitable five-outlet franchise, and at the age of 23, plan and stage the Miss India International Pageant generating $100,000 in ticket sales.

This remarkable woman inspires hope, empowers audiences, energises people and transforms lives with her moving story, beautiful soul, lasting imprint and infectious optimism. She shares her story and message around the globe through the Liza Pavlakos Foundation, www.lizapavlakos.com and with global companies such as CNN, Ritz Carlton, PWC, Qatar Airways, Colonial and ANZ.

Liza talks about:

  • Being exceptional about the way we think about the situations that be fall us and being the best version of yourself that you can be.
  • How we choose to handle adversities, is what defines us.
  • Being physically and sexually abused from the age of six by her uncle and cousin, who she really loved and trusted.
  • Feeling unheard at the age of 15 she developed depression, which led to an addiction to suicide and running away from home at the age of 17.
  • From a very sheltered Malaysian Islamic background, to being homeless and alone on the streets of Melbourne in Australia.
  • Being kidnapped by a stranger while walking home from school, to a destination she did not recognize and tortured for 8 hours till she was a knife edge away from death as she was given her last rights.
  • Feeling the heartbeat of her first child made her feel that she was loved, that she had a sense of purpose and to be the best version of myself.
  • Coming up with her first business idea that resulted in a $100,000 profit, Miss India International beauty pageant, with zero start up and a baby in her hand.
  • Empowering women and girls that have been abused themselves, but who weren’t able to articulate it or come out in the open.
  • Feeling the calmness come over you when tragedy is about to strike you
  • An Uber ride in the Middle East with her cameraman and assistant that led to being held at a prison and the uncovering of a human trafficking ring of over 350 people who had been gagged, murdered and burnt as military intelligence saved their lives.
  • Suffering and coping with Post-traumatic stress syndrome, and now having the courage to make change and talk about it. .
  • Having to ask customers how to make a Latte during her first days at Minibar Piccolo.
  • The product should always be good, but it is always selling the service first before the product.
  • Treating everyone as human beings as everyone has a story.
  • Treating everyone who works with her as family members and they all will have a vested interest in the business.
  • Staying calm, relaxed and focused on the person or people who need you to be strong, during moments of vulnerability.
  • Seeing people from the eyes of love, forgiveness, empathy and understanding that it makes the world of difference.
  • Know your “why” and then you will know your “how”.
  • The purpose of the Liza Pavlakos Foundation.
  • Teaching her children that they don’t need to shy away from anything and they don’t have to worry how people perceive them.
  • Waking up in the morning, preparing food for dinner, going to the gym, doing something for her, listening to music and reading books.
  • When travelling she always ensures that she has arranged a trainer ahead of time.
  • Her soon to be released book – Voiceless No More

Active CEO Wellness Tip

Ben and Craig discuss the importance of getting active in the workplace. Extended periods of time spent sitting can result in chronic back pain, cardiovascular disease, muscle deterioration, decreased productivity and even poor mental health. It supports a sedentary lifestyle that could also lead to weight gain, poor cardiovascular health, weakened muscles, stiff joints, and even diabetes.

Tweets

“The adversities are the very thing that makes them beautiful, that make them unique, that make them resilient, that make them strong.” Overcoming adversity with Liza Pavlakos on the active CEO Podcast.

“I am proof that a person can prevail against seemingly insurmountable circumstances if they have perseverance and the right mindset.” Liza Pavlakos on being consistent in the pursuit of her dream, on the active CEO Podcast.

 

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Liza Pavlakos LinkedIn

Liza Pavlakos www.lizapavlakos.com

Liza Pavlakos Facebook

Liza Pavlakos Instagram

Finest Alterations link

www.nrg2perform.com

craig@nrg2perform.com

Craig Johns LinkedIn

Ben Gathercole LinkedIn

Ben Gathercole Performance Coaching www.bengathercole.com.au

Recommended Reading:

Better Than Winning – Ben’s best selling book

Previous active CEO Podcast Episodes:

#15 – Michael Sewards (SkyBus) – All Aboard the SkyBus Link
#14 – Jamin Heppell & Jen Ziegner (Mountains & Marathons) – Leading From the Mountain Tops Link
#13 – Chris Dean (Choice Energy) – Disrupting the Energy Spectrum link
#12 – Kate Palmer (Sport Australia) – Changing the Game link
#11 – Tim Cosulich (Fratelli Cosulich Group) – Navigating the Global Family Business link
#10 – Dr Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien (Rising Tide Africa) – Magic Happens Outside the Comfort Zone link
#9 – Mike DeNoma (KBZ Bank) Part #2 – Creating an Earthquake link
#8 – Mike DeNoma (KBZ Bank) Part #1 – Your Strengths are What Energise You link
#7 – Trina Gordon (Boyden World Corporation) – Recruiting World Leaders link
#6 – Indiran Padayachee (RentCorp) – Winning Only Matters link
#5 – Suzie Hoitink (Clear Complexions) – Enemy of a Great Life is a Good One link
#4 – Rene Zondag (PBI) – People Are Our Greatest Asset link
#3 – Anne Gripper (NSW Office of Sport) – 6 C’s of Leadership link
#2 – active CEO Intro (NRG2Perform) Part 2 link
#1 – active CEO Intro (NRG2Perform) Part 1 link

December NRGizer Newsletter

IMG_8193The NRGizer by NRG2Perform December newsletter is now available – Be the Best Version of Yourself – In this issue we discuss Changing the Game with Kate Palmer of Sport Australia; quietening the mind before going to sleep; parking the ego in a co-CEO environment with Michael Sewards SkyBus, and take a look at whether you are seeing the big picture.

Ben Gathercole and Craig Johns also delve into disrupting the energy sector with Christopher Dean, you can’t stop rotting wood; leading from the mountain tops with Jamin Heppell and Jen Ziegner on Mountains and Marathons; and are you working out with a purpose.

View the Newsletter

You Can’t Stop Rotting Wood

Have you ever felt like the company you are working for is like a ship that has sprung a leak, taking on water and gradually going under?

At first you put a wrong decision, behavior or action down to a mistake or an interesting choice, but after it is replicated many times, it feels like you are on a runaway train with no brakes.

Once a negative culture or behavior becomes ingrained it is like wood in that when rot sets in there is no way to stop its progress.

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Photo by Rubén Bagüés on Unsplash

I have found that a dysfunctional company or team culture starts from the leader or leaders of an organization lacking the necessary skillsets to one, set a positive culture, and two, have the ability to manage the direction of the culture created.

The demise of many teams and companies can be directly related to the environment created by a leader, leadership team or a group of people who are able to use their influencing abilities in a negative manner.

As is often noted in business circles, ‘the fish rots from the head down’, meaning that the when a team or company fails, it is the leadership that is the root cause.

Why is culture so important to a business? Here is a simple way to frame it. The stronger the culture, the less corporate process a company needs. When the culture is strong, you can trust everyone to do the right thing.

BRIAN CHESKY, co-founder and CEO, Airbnb

Deloitte completed a Global Human Capital Trends survey in 2016, which found that 82 percent of respondents believe that culture is a potential competitive advantage as it drives people’s behavior, innovation and customer service. (Kaplan et al. 2016)

Ashworth (2015) noted that, “a company’s culture is the only truly unique identifier. It is like a fingerprint. It may be similar to others, but is uniquely distinct to your business”.

Iannarino (2012) pointed out that, “if leadership doesn’t establish and protect a healthy culture, some unhealthy culture will fill that vacuum… If a pocket of negativity or cynicism exists, it’s because leadership hasn’t cut it out of the organisation – especially when the pocket of negativity comes from the leadership ranks”.

Culture is like the wind. It is invisible; yet its effect can be seen and felt.

BRYAN WALKER, Partner and Managing Director, IDEO

There was this one time when I was working for a start-up company who over-hired during the pre-opening phase due to the ambitious large scale of the operation.

As the company moved into the opening and post-opening phases they had to reduce the size of the team to improve financial and operational efficiency.

The problem was is that the leadership team continued to down-size more than once and the leadership team continually change over a period of three years, which resulted in a lack of trust and the development of an unhealthy culture.

An unhealthy culture then began to spread external to the company into the community, like a plague of locusts, creating negative brand image and consumer distrust that resulted in members leaving.

Today I want to share with you three ways that you can be in more control of your culture and ensure that a positive environment exists in your team or company:

  1. You must live and breath the values, lead by example, be a positive role model, and show your team members what the right or acceptable behavior is.
  2. Communicate regularly with your team members, get to know them in both a formal and informal setting, and be curious by asking questions that allow the team members to feel valued and know that their work matters.
  3. Empower team members, motivate and inspire them to do their best work, and recognize and reward them for positive behaviors that continually strengthen the culture.

It is important that you protect your wood, ensure that it is watered, has adequate nutrients and is protected from the harsh elements.

Resources:

Ashworth, P. (2015). Why Company Culture is So Important to Business Success. BrightCoach LinkedIn Article. link

Iannarino, A. (2012). A Fish Rots from the Head Down (A Note to the Sales Leader). Iannarino Company Website. link

Kaplan, M., Dollar, B., Melian, V., Van Durme, Y., Wong, J. (2016). Shape Culture Drive Strategy. Deloitte Insights. link

Looking for More?

Keep up-to-date on the latest membership information, research and ideas by signing up the the NRGizer Newsletter. SIGN UP NOW

Are you looking for more insights and ideas? Then read the following inspiring and thought-provoking articles and podcasts:

Michael Sewards (SkyBus) – All Aboard the SkyBus

active CEO Podcast #15 Michael Sewards All Aboard the SkyBus

Michael Sewards – CEO SkyBus

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, we discuss how Michael’s team are elevating the experience of the SkyBus Passengers, coping with passengers varying stress levels, expanding both nationally and internationally, and solving the congestion problems at airports. We delve into Michael’s leadership style, parking the ego in a co-CEO environment, the growing pains when expanding quickly from 140 to 600 team members, and leading through transparency, energy and purpose, in a practical manner.

Background

Michael Sewards is a CEO that is always on the move, ensuring that customers are placed first and the passenger experience is of the highest quality. His leadership style is a charismatic, but humble, approach that suits being at the heart of a world-class transport service that caters for over 4 million passengers per year. He became Co-CEO of SkyBus in 2014, the company services airport passengers across Australia and New Zealand in Melbourne, Gold Coast, Auckland and Hobart, at no cost to the tax payers.

His efficient nature shines through in his ability to manage multiple site locations, volunteering at various sport organisations, supporting charities, spending time with his family and finding time to ride his bike. Michael is known for his generosity and caring nature, he spends a lot of time with his wife supporting and making a difference with those less fortunate such as starving children and women dealing with Breast Cancer.

Michael talks about:

  • Growing up and dreaming of being a Professional soccer player, and the harsh realities of trialling for Queens Park Rangers and realising that you don’t have enough talent to succeed.
  • The importance of preparation and understanding the environment you are about to enter.
  • How having part-time roles during High School and University allowed him to develop the fundamental skills required to be successful in business.
  • The first 100 days as the new CEO of SkyBus and being handed the keys.
  • Underestimating the strength of the culture in a family business that had been developed over 36 years.
  • Having a co-CEO and the relationship that has been developed for over 20 years.
  • SkyBus being proud to showcase and love the passenger’s destination, and making sure that their first impression is truly amazing.
  • Coping with passengers differing levels of stress, feelings, experience and approach to travelling.
  • Why it is important for the CEO to be clipping tickets at the curb or driving the bus.
  • Understanding the pinch points and degrees of stress in the business because of an event or certain time of the year, and deploying the management team to the curb.
  • The expansion strategy of SkyBus and the most important components for making it successful.
  • Understanding what the market knew and felt about SkyBus. Is there sense of brand equity and passenger ownership of the brand?
  • The greatest limitation to growth at airports is congestion in the forecourt terminal.
  • Partnerships are becoming very important in the growth and development of both business and most importantly the community.
  • SkyBus powered by Vodafone.
  • Wrapping the bus in promoting White Ribbon and Breast Cancer Network, and getting the bus drivers to sign the bus and commit to stopping any violence towards women.
  • The importance of turning off from work, having interests outside of work, riding a bike before work and reading a book per week.
  • Doing something new, every day, for the last four years.

Active CEO Wellness Tip

Ben and Craig talk about giving it a rest. It is amazing how many people disregard the most important technique for stress management, productivity, mental health, physical health and performance, GET A GOODS NIGHT SLEEP! People who get less than 6hrs sleep double the likelihood of weight gain and diabetes because of raised cortisol levels and the affects it has on insulin metabolism and blood-sugar control. Getting 8 or more hours sleep a night has a positive affect on your biochemical balance, predisposition to chronic diseases, performance, mood, energy levels, helping you to lose weight, controlling your stress response and vigour. Prioritise the time you go to bed.

Tweets

“The most important thing our team members need to know, is that somebody is there to help.” Gaining an insight into Michael Sewards, CEO of SkyBus, on the active CEO Podcast.

“It is challenging to apply the learning’s from Australia and to pivot and mold in New Zealand. It is just such an incredibly dynamic market because everything that happens in New Zealand is really done for the rest of the world.” Michael Sewards on expanding SkyBus into New Zealand, on the active CEO Podcast.

 

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Michael Sewards LinkedIn

SkyBus www.skybus.com.au

www.nrg2perform.com

craig@nrg2perform.com

Craig Johns LinkedIn

Ben Gathercole LinkedIn

Ben Gathercole Performance Coaching www.bengathercole.com.au

Recommended Reading:

Better Than Winning – Ben’s best selling book link

Previous active CEO Podcast Episodes:

#14 – Jamin Heppell & Jen Ziegner (Mountains & Marathons) – Leading From the Mountain Tops Link
#13 
– Chris Dean (Choice Energy) – Disrupting the Energy Spectrum link
#12 – Kate Palmer (Sport Australia) – Changing the Game link
#11 – Tim Cosulich (Fratelli Cosulich Group) – Navigating the Global Family Business link
#10
– Dr Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien (Rising Tide Africa) – Magic Happens Outside the Comfort Zone link
#9 – Mike DeNoma (KBZ Bank) Part #2 – Creating an Earthquake link
#8 – Mike DeNoma (KBZ Bank) Part #1 – Your Strengths are What Energise You link
#7 –
Trina Gordon (Boyden World Corporation) – Recruiting World Leaders link
#6 – Indiran Padayachee (RentCorp) – Winning Only Matters link
#5 – Suzie Hoitink (Clear Complexions) – Enemy of a Great Life is a Good One link
#4 – Rene Zondag (PBI) – People Are Our Greatest Asset link
#3 – Anne Gripper (NSW Office of Sport) – 6 C’s of Leadership link 
#2 – active CEO Intro (NRG2Perform) Part 2 link
#1 – active CEO Intro (NRG2Perform) Part 1 link

Jamin Heppell & Jen Ziegner (Mountains & Marathons) – Leading From the Mountain Tops

active CEO Podcast #14 Jamin Heppell & Jen Ziegner Leading From the Mountain Tops

Jamin Heppell & Jen Ziegner – Founders Mountains and Marathons

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns and Ben Gathercole speak with Jamin Heppell and Jen Ziegner about how they are transforming not only their clients, but also their own lives; being the best version of yourself; connecting with the community; purpose driven businesses; aligning personal and business values; and the catalyst for Mountains & Marathons.

Background

Jamin Heppell and Jen Ziegner are a dynamic duo, who combine their passions and purpose in life with other people all around the world. They maybe young, but are very wise when it comes to human development. Their lives involve finding some amazing physical challenges and combining it with helping people improve their mental, emotional and leadership performance.

As Founders of Mountains & Marathons, they have had quite different careers. Jamin was a strength & conditioning coach at Essendon Football Club and is a serial entrepreneur founding 5 companies in the last ten years. Jen is passionate about personal development, having spent time with Tony Robbins and the Robbins-Madanes Training as a strategic intervention coach. She loves consulting, coaching and advising people on how to unlock and optimise their potential.

Mountains & Marathons, the most adventurous leadership program, is a 6-month leadership program that develops courage, clarity and confidence. Every program finishes with an epic physical challenge: Running a marathon or climbing a mountain in one of the world’s most extraordinary locations, such as Patagonia, Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Blanc, San Francisco and the Everest Basecamp.

Jamin & Jen talks about:

  • Getting off the hamster wheel of the entrepreneurial game
  • If I could be doing anything in the world right now, what could I be doing?
  • Running marathons and climbing mountains all around the world
  • We are in control of the choices we make.
  • Taking on challenges that put me out of my comfort zone.
  • Having a deeper sense of connectedness with people and recognising the value of bringing community, bringing people together had on ones greater sense of health and wellbeing.
  • Leveraging the power of sport to be a greater transformative agent in grass-root communities.
  • The passion for entrepreneurship and purpose driven businesses.
  • Being agile, coping with a life of uncertainty and being a risk-taker.
  • How an Impact Investment Australia event at Street Coffee led to Jamin and Jen meeting for the first time.
  • Taking the bold move and “doing it my way”.
  • The catalyst to Mountains & Marathons.
  • Supporting people to gain greater clarity, courage and confidence through taking on a 6-month leadership program that centres around an epic physical challenge such as running a marathon or climbing a mountain.
  • How do you level up in all areas of life that are important to you, including health, family life, mental and emotional wellbeing and ultimately developing the whole person.
  • How the more you give leads to the more you get.
  • Their core values of courage, adventure, integrity and contribution.
  • The power of serving people to transform their lives.
  • How can you leverage an epic physical challenge and doing something that you didn’t think you could do, to transform other aspects of your life.
  • Some of the incredible transformational stories from the Mountains and Marathons program, including bouncing back from divorce, taking the brave step to change careers in the pursuit of happiness and weight loss through rising to the roof of Africa.
  • Showing up every day in alignment with what we are asking our clients to do in their programs.
  • Being along on stage with two left feet when doing the Bachata Latin dance in front of highly experienced dancers.

Tweets

“Feeling trapped inside, thinking I have to keep doing this, my community needs me, what will people say if I stop.” Jamin Heppell on the active CEO Podcast.

Active CEO Wellness Tip

Ben and Craig talk about how to deal with limited time and changing up your commute to and from work. They discuss walking, riding or running to work, rather than getting frustrated while sitting in traffic or waiting for public transport. They unveil the fitness commute as a great way for CEO’s and leaders to fit exercise into their busy schedule. They mention that your training can be completed by the time your walk into the office and the value of de-cluttering and clearing your mind before your step inside the house.

 

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Jen Zeigner LinkedIn

Jamin Heppell LinkedIn

Mountains & Marathons website

Robbins –Madanes Training Centre Link

Game Changers Australia Link

Impact Investing Australia Link

www.nrg2perform.com

craig@nrg2perform.com

Craig Johns LinkedIn

Ben Gathercole LinkedIn

Ben Gathercole Performance Coaching www.bengathercole.com.au

Recommended Reading:

Better Than Winning – Ben’s best selling book

www.nrg2perform.com/portfolio/book

Previous active CEO Podcast Episodes:

#13 – Chris Dean (Choice Energy) – Disrupting the Energy Spectrum link
#12 – Kate Palmer (Sport Australia) – Changing the Game link
#11 – Tim Cosulich (Fratelli Cosulich Group) – Navigating the Global Family Business link
#10
– Dr Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien (Rising Tide Africa) – Magic Happens Outside the Comfort Zone link
#9 – Mike DeNoma (KBZ Bank) Part #2 – Creating an Earthquake link
#8 – Mike DeNoma (KBZ Bank) Part #1 – Your Strengths are What Energise You link
#7 –
Trina Gordon (Boyden World Corporation) – Recruiting World Leaders link
#6 – Indiran Padayachee (RentCorp) – Winning Only Matters link
#5 – Suzie Hoitink (Clear Complexions) – Enemy of a Great Life is a Good One link
#4 – Rene Zondag (PBI) – People Are Our Greatest Asset link
#3 – Anne Gripper (NSW Office of Sport) – 6 C’s of Leadership link 
#2 – active CEO Intro (NRG2Perform) Part 2 link
#1 – active CEO Intro (NRG2Perform) Part 1 link

Walking the Talk

It is amazing at how often aspects of life come around in cycles. The walking meeting, which is now starting to make more traction in the business world, is no different.

In a recent active CEO Podcast interview with Sport Australia CEO, Kate Palmer, we talked about how she utilises walking meetings and the importance of encouraging her staff to do the same. Kate takes incorporating movement with meetings a step further by sitting on an exercise bike, which she recently placed in her office, and riding while on conference calls. She is also considering putting a second bike in her office, to encourage visitors to join her for a ride when having a face-to-face meeting.

amazon
http://www.amazon.com

Some of the world’s most influential people, such as Aristotle, Beethoven and Queen Elizabeth I, have used the tool to great effect. Now it is common for CEO’s and leaders of some of the world’s most high profile companies such as LinkedIn and Facebook to make walking meetings a daily habit.

Studies are demonstrating that exercise, including walking, alters our brain by stimulating the growth of new brain cells, improving its plasticity and even protecting the brain from cognitive impairment.

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Your mind is no different to the muscles in your body. If you stress a muscle, it will become fatigued and therefore lead to a reduction in performance. You then rest or deploy recovery strategies, the muscle recovers and physiological processes occur which allow your performance to improve to a new level. The brain works in the same way when it is stimulated, with new brain cells forming and an increase in cognitive function occurring when you give it a rest, allowing you to think clearer and open up more creative ideas and solutions to come to fruition.

There are the health benefits of fresh air (depending on what location you are in), getting the body moving, and the mental relaxation that tends to occur when we are surrounded by nature and a change in scenery. Walking allows the brain to reduce lingering doubt and procrastination that tends to occur when remaining in a single location while completing work.

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Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

It has also been shown that positive influences on our mental function and cognitive ability occur when our bodies are moving. Going for a walk has been noted to release beneficial hormones such as endorphins so we feel better and more alert, while also encouraging creativity and inspiration.

A 2017 Stanford University study found that walking encouraged divergent thinking. The increase in divergent thinking occurred no matter whether the exercise occurred prior to or during thinking through a question, problem or puzzle they faced. The activity of walking or other exercise triggers greater creativity, and therefore patterns of ideas that come to mind.

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Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash

Anecdotal evidence has found that honest exchanges between people are more productive when walking than when people are sitting. It is believed that walking enables barriers are reduced between supervisors and subordinates, enhancing employee engagement. It is thought that walking side-by-side relates more to peer-to-peer, therefore removing some of the hierarchical barriers than can occur when sitting across from each other, when having discussions.

If you want to enhance the effectiveness of your walking meetings, try incorporating some fun and choosing a change in scenery, stick to small groups of two to four people, avoid going near cafes or food stands, and reduce the element of surprise by giving your colleagues some lead time on having a walking meeting.

Resources:

Clayton, R., Thomas, C., & Smothers, J. (2015). How to do Walking Meetings Right. Harvard Business Review, August 2015. link

Malleret, T., Maxwell, C. (2018). Enhance Decision Making and Problem Solving by Walking. Wharton Business School, Sep 2018. link

Oppezzo, M., & Schwartz, D. L. (2014). Give your ideas some legs: The positive effect of walking on creative thinking. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 40(4), 1142-1152.

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How Curious Are You?

Every CEO and leader faces a period of time where the company is moving along smoothly, but the team feel is a bit flat and lacking enthusiasm. It is important that you create an environment where there are constant sparks of energy in the workplace and that is where curiosity becomes invaluable.

Before we delve into ways you can enhance curiosity, here are some example questions that you can ask yourself or your team every day:

  • What is the one service, product, project, idea or topic you are curious about today?
  • What is the one thing you thought about today that you want to know more about?
  • How does that work?
  • Why do we keep finding ourselves in the same position?
  • What would happen if we changed one thing?
  • How can we make it simpler?
  • If I were the end consumer, would I find it easy to use?

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Photo by Jonas Verstuyft on Unsplash

How Curious Are You?

The easiest way to influence your employees and team members, is to model the behaviours you desire. If you are always quick to answer or lack asking questions, you are showcasing a leader who lacks curiosity. For you to succeed as a leader you need to showcase your inner curiosity, as we all know we don’t have all the answers and solutions, as good questions will lead to even more questions.

People tend to shy away from asking questions due to a fear of being judged unintelligent, indecisive and somewhat incompetent. Many leaders fall into the trap of thinking they are supposed to know and provide all the answers. Recognising what we don’t know and cant do, sends a powerful message to those around us and may even motivate them to explore and learn more. Remember, there is always time for questions, as you may ask the one question that prevents the company or team from failing.

Try asking your employees and team members questions such as:

  • How can I make your job easier?
  • If you were leading the company, what is the one thing you would change?
  • Tell me one thing that will allow our consumers and clients to enjoy a greater experience?

The answers to these types of questions will inform you how to approach what changes are required and how to prioritise them. We need to find solutions to the gaps in our knowledge and also continue to identify what other questions still require answers.

Employees will be quick to read between the lines when you don’t know the answer. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge when you don’t know the answer, as this emphasizes the value of continuing to learn and explore.

People tend to like leaders more when they ask questions. It helps build trust, develops more meaningful relationships and leads to more creative outcomes. Asking questions about ideas leads to people thinking more deeply, approach it from another viewpoint and continue striving for an answer to the challenge puzzles we are faced with.

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Photo by Raj Eiamworakul on Unsplash

Explore, Broaden and Learn

Do you provide your employees and team members the time and opportunities to explore their interests, other roles or just play? Allowing them to broaden their horizons and perspectives can lead to greater productivity, efficiency and performance. As Gail Jackson once said, “It’s better to train and have them leave than not to train and have them stay.”

When a company faces challenging circumstances, they tend to focus on KPI’s, results and the dreaded HR restructure. They shrink the capacity and capability of the company to identify what the root of the cause is and what solutions will allow them to re-right the ship.

Stimulating a mindset where learning leads to performance outcomes, allows employees to be better problem-solvers, acquire more diverse skillsets and produce better work. Redefine your work environment by focusing on goals that improve competence, acquire new skills and develop mastery. Those who focus on learning versus performance goals tend to be more successful and have greater levels of motivation.

Questioning is only as beneficial as the support and reward that are provided. Develop intervention’s that stimulate and accelerate curiosity, such as invention sessions, creativity walls, internal TEDx type workshops or question of the day. Seeking diverse solutions and answers will allow your employees to interact and communicate more effectively. Be curious about your employees work and the way teams do their business.

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Hire the Curious Ones

Look for people who possess the intellectual curiosity to explore, collaborate with others and ask great questions. The curious ones tend to perform better than specialists who stick to themselves and block out the noise. If you want to unearth a real gem then hire people who possess both the empathy to listen thoughtfully and challenge themselves by looking at approaches, decisions or puzzles from a different persons perspective.

When interviewing potential employees it is valuable to discover whether they talk about the success and support of other people when discussing projects, whether successful or not. It is important to understand whether they enjoy collaborating and do they see the benefits of partnering with people, teams or other companies with projects in the future.

Does the potential employee:

  • ask questions about other areas of the company?
  • show fascination in learning news ideas, identifying what they don’t know and going beyond their comfort zone?
  • listen, read and watch topics and interests outside of their specialisation and industry?
  • seem a bit quirky, on another planet, awkward or different from the rest of the pack?

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Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash

Start With Why

Each day ask a few ‘why’s’ about the work you and your team are doing. Think about how you will utilise the answers to enhance your work and challenge the status quo.

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Are you looking for more insights and ideas? Then read the following inspiring and thought-provoking articles and podcasts:

Why Curiosity is so Important

Curiosity leads to breakthrough discoveries and remarkable inventions. So why do we see companies stifling curiosity in the workplace?

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It is normal for humans to seek new information and experiences. By cultivating curiosity and the promotion of exploring novel possibilities throughout a company, employees will think deeper and more rationally about decisions.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. 

ALBERT EINSTEIN

If we step back in time, when we were a child, we had an insatiable need to explore and understand the world around us. We were not afraid to challenge the status quo by asking lots of questions, tasting things we probably shouldn’t or doing something for the first time, without the worry of whether we were wrong or offending anyone.

As we grew older we become more self-conscious, try to appear more confident and show that we know what we are doing. By the time we arrive as adults, our curiosity is quite suppressed as fear of being judged and not living up to other people’s expectations creeps in.

The future belongs to the curious. The ones who are not afraid to try it, explore it, poke at it, question it and turn it inside out.”

UNKNOWN

Curiosity leads to creativity and innovation, which is important for you and your company to adapt to uncertain market conditions and external pressures. It creates an environment that inspires employees to improve their collaborative relationships, trust and more respect of their leader.

Leaders can fall into the trap of thinking that curiosity will increase risk and inefficiency. They stumble with the conundrum faced between the now and the future. How do we meet budget, sales targets, membership numbers and deadlines, when we know that we need to allow time where employees have the freedom to create new products, services, processes and business lines?

“Curiosity, especially intellectual inquisitiveness, is what separates the truly alive with those who are merely going through the motions. 

TOM ROBBINS

Finding the balance of exploration versus efficiency is an important component of a leader. Employees, who are under pressure to complete tasks quickly, tend to avoid asking questions about how they can improve their output and enhance the possible outcomes. When we question the status quo, we may not always produce useful information or solutions, but we also may prevent a decision being made that is catastrophic for your role and your company.

We perform better when we are curious because we view the tough situations more creatively. High performing employees, who are curious, seek more information from their colleagues, which helps improve the work that they do. They perform better because information is openly shared and they listen more carefully. New ideas are created, job satisfaction is improved, motivation increases and innovation flourishes as curiosity leads to a high performance environment.

“Around here, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward opening up new doors and doing new things, because we are curious and curiosity leads us down new paths. 

WALT DISNEY

The power of solving problems together and looking at suitable alternatives, brings teams closer together. It allows employees to step into another employees shoes, look at it from another perspective and allows them to work together in a more effective manner.

In the next active CEO article we will look at ways in which leaders can enhance curiosity in their workplace.

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Are you looking for more insights and ideas? Then read the following inspiring and thought-provoking articles and podcasts:

Dr Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien (Rising Tide Africa) – Magic Happens Outside the Comfort Zone

active CEO Podcast #10 Ndidi Nnoli Edozien Magic Happens Outside the Comfort Zone

PCB Vol 10- Dr. Ndidi Nnoli
Dr. Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien – Founder & President Growing Businesses Foundation

On this episode of the active CEO Podcast, Craig Johns and Ben Gathercole speak with Dr. Ndidi Nnoli Edozien, a remarkable lady who has provided direction, hope, inspiration and a gift to thousands of female and youth entrepreneurs, from rural areas in Nigeria and across Africa. Ndidi has worked with many of the world’s largest multinationals such as Shell, ExxonMobil and Unilever. We discuss her journey from lending to leading, why it is important to invest in the poor, the magic of vulnerability, how every moment is enough, connecting with your inner gut, embracing failure, understanding people who are unhappy, and embracing failure.

Dr. Ndidi Nnoli Edozien

Dr. Ndidi Nnoli Edozien is the founder and President of Growing Businesses Foundation, since 1999, and the President of Rising Tide Africa. Born in Karlsruhe, Germany to a Nigerian father and German mother. She found her purpose in life to be a catalyst for social change through focusing on social entrepreneurship, corporate sustainability and responsibility (CSR), and is a leading advocate on Bottom of the Pyramid empowerment.

Her education includes attending the United World College and a PhD from Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in the area of “ownership and management structures”. She is an Alumnus of Wharton Business School, and has also completed executive programmes at INSEAD and Cambridge Judge Business School.

She speaks with passion, pride and humility as she delivers powerful, inspiring and emotionally connecting words of wisdom to encourage the next generation to be bold and make a difference in their life and the community around them.

 

Ndidi talks about:

  • The contrast between Germany and Nigeria and how that influenced her upbringing.
  • How one can harness the huge potential in Lagos, and how the world sees the huge potential and economic power.
  • United World College’s focus on transforming the world, transforming the space with which you live, and being an ambassador for your country and your people.
  • Considering the other side and how much richer that makes your perspective
  • What inspired Ndidi to start Growing Businesses Foundation.
  • Building sustainable economies around big businesses.
  • How Growing Businesses Foundation program contributed 4% of Unilever’s revenues.
  • Providing a paradigm shift in the way that big business looks at their social responsibility.
  • The incredible ripple effect of micro-financing women and youth
  • Rural telephone project
  • Less than 20% of the Nigerian population are formally employed.
  • The purpose of Rising Tide Africa.
  • Guiding businesses to succeed and even to exit at the appropriate time.
  • Learning to be satisfied with little victories.
  • Why successful people tend to have a humble and quiet confidence that keeps them going.
  • Embracing failure and what happens when you don’t deal with it.
  • “You must never be willing to die for anything. You must be willing to give it your best shot. If it fails, you must walk away from it like you never even cared.”
  • How she responded to a potential investor saying “I think you have made a bad career move”.
  • How the Wharton Business School Advanced Management Program opened up peoples vulnerabilities so intensely, allowing them to grow from their ability to be humble and honest.
  • The discipline of creating time for you is one of the things we neglect the most and need the most.
  • How she responds to people who are unhappy and not all right.
  • There is no job or anything that is more important than our personal wellbeing.
  • Her love of working with interns.
  • Why her two daughters have had the greatest impact on her career.

Tweets

“It taught me that poverty wasn’t so much the lack of financial capital, but was the lack of dignity and self-confidence”. Listen to Ndidi Nnoli Edozien on the active CEO Podcast

“Don’t give charity to the poor, the poorest people who need ‘help’, look at them as potential, economic potential and socioeconomic potential, and invest.” Listen to the active CEO Podcast as Ndidi Nnoli Edozien explains how she empowers 100,000’s of women.

“Create a movement where everyone decides to do their little bit, that’s where transformation really happens.” Learn more amazing business tips with Ndidi Nnoli Edozien on the active CEO Podcast

“Love what you do. When you are able and willing to do it even when no one is looking or no one will pay you for it, you gain an inner strength and momentum to sustain and it gives you the ability to tap into that inner intuitive knowing. To be great at business its actually not the thinking or the feeling, it is the knowing.” On being an entrepreneur with Ndidi Nnoli Edozien on the active CEO Podcast

 

Resources Mentioned in this show:

Growing Businesses Foundation link

Rising Tide Africa link

Ndidi LinkedIn link

Ndidi Wikipedia link

Ndidi Interview Wharton Business School video

Wharton Business School www.wharton.upenn.edu/

INSEAD link

Johann Wolfgang Goethe University link

Cambridge Judge Business School link

Unilever www.unilever.com

Shell www.shell.com

Exxon Mobil www.exxonmobil.com

www.nrg2perform.com

craig@nrg2perform.com

www.linkedin.com/in/ceo-corporate-wellness-perform

Recommended Reading:

Better Than Winning – Ben’s best selling book

www.nrg2perform.com/portfolio/book

Previous active CEO Podcast Episodes:

#9 – Mike DeNoma (KBZ Bank) Part #2 – Creating an Earthquake link
#8 – Mike DeNoma (KBZ Bank) Part #1 – Your Strengths are What Energise You link
#7 –
Trina Gordon (Boyden World Corporation) – Recruiting World Leaders link
#6 – Indiran Padayachee (RentCorp) – Winning Only Matters link
#5 – Suzie Hoitink (Clear Complexions) – Enemy of a Great Life is a Good One link
#4 – Rene Zondag (PBI) – People Are Our Greatest Asset link
#3 – Anne Gripper (NSW Office of Sport) – 6 C’s of Leadership link 
#2 – active CEO Intro (NRG2Perform) Part 2 link
#1 – active CEO Intro (NRG2Perform) Part 1 link