Resilience, Meaning & Control with Graham Ward

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Resilience, Meaning & Control | Graham Ward and Simon Severino | STRATEGY SPRINTS 166

In this episode, Simon welcomes Graham Ward, the adjunct Professor of Organizational Behavior at INSEAD Business School in France. His expertise is in leadership, high performance teams, group dynamics, team dysfunction and change. Formerly, Graham spent over 17 years at Goldman Sachs (GS), a US investment bank, both as a business leader and latterly spearheading an initiative to introduce a Global Leadership Development office that he led for three years. Listen to Graham Ward’s sharing about resilience, meaning and control in personal development.


3 Valuable Insights

  • Busy-ness is not necessarily correlated to productivity
  • The act of creation in business requires moments of reflection
  • The reality is people can't control everything very much, including people and health.


Show Notes

(00:15) -Simon: Welcome back everybody to the Strategy Sprint podcast. I'm your host and my guest today, is consultant, coach and professor of organizational behavior at INSEAD business school. He delivers the leadership development program across the globe. He's an executive coach field level leader for over 15 years. He has an extensive business background, including having co-led a 10 European business for the award meaning investment bank for 10 years. Welcome everybody. Great to have ward.

(00:51) -Graham Ward:

Simon pleasure to be here. Thanks for inviting me

(00:54) -Simon: So excited to have you here. We had the pleasure to work in the real world on some real projects together. I admire the way you do your work, and I wanted so badly to have you here. So I'm excited to have you, and we have some pretty cool topics because we will discuss true connection creation versus creativity and our own limiting beliefs and how to overcome them. So yeah, I have my notepad here and I will be taking notes.

(01:29) -Graham Ward: Let's hope I can live up to your expectations and say something worth hearing.

(01:33) -Simon: I hope so. And now, Graham, what are you currently up to?

(01:41) -Graham Ward: So, in this shift, um, over the last nine months, the scramble has been to put all of the kind of work that I do online as with many people. And, but the work I do is developmental. You know, we're trying to make organizations better. We're trying to make people do better, be better in the world. And to take that from a physical environment, into an online environment, who was, was an immediate adaptive challenge, but it's been fascinating because it leads you into a world of experimentation and from experiments, you get creativity, you get creation. And so what I'm up to is taking, if you like what you might call traditional learning, putting it into online spaces and coming up with some pretty cool stuff that, that allows people to have leadership experiences whilst they're just sitting behind their screen. And I think it's, um, it's been quite a ride and of course it's not over, we're going to keep learning and we're going to keep, keep experimenting in that space for a while.

(02:41) -Simon: Absolutely. What were some, some insights that you had in that exploration?

(02:46) -Graham Ward: So, so there's a few dichotomies that kind of come up and I think one of them is that, um, uh, and, and the dichotomy is between intimacy and connection, which is one of the things I know you wanted to talk about with me and the question is, can you become, and can you create intimacy in an online space? And can you create a real learning environment in an online space? And what, you know, one of the insights is you really can, people have found ways to connect with each other, um, in a way that's different to the physical space, but still means that they feel that sense of humanity. And, uh, and so it's possible if this is the art of the possible and, and, you know, I'm happy to dive into that a little bit because there are big challenges out there with respect to the way that people are now working. And we need to create these venues, uh, much more formally and informally for people to show up and get together. Uh, otherwise we're going to have a mental health crisis that will become even more amplified than it already is.

(03:51) -Simon: It is truly a time of loneliness. And, uh, for, for most part of the world right now, and I also feel it, I was running today in the morning and, uh, and, and was, was connecting to this loneliness and on the other side, because it's just here. Uh, so it was trying to embrace it like the cold that is here. And on the other side, it is technically, and also it's, it's easier to reach out to people like that, that we can have. Now this half an hour would not have been possible before March because you were in South planes, and I were in some planes, and we were never in the same city. And, and these changes right now from, from run perspective, reaching out and having time together over zoom is easier. But what about intimacy and connection is that, is that possible in your perspective?

(04:50) -Graham Ward: So, so I I'd initially make the differentiation between loneliness and being alone. And, and I think there are two things that we've learned by going through this. And the interesting thing of course, is that we've all gone through this. The whole world has gone through this, that we have probably spent quite a lot more time alone than we have previously, but that doesn't necessarily imply or insinuate that we're lonely. Um, but let's come back to what happens because I think what's happening out there is pretty interesting. So if you're alone in your apartment, in your house, you're working, you're typically not with your team. A lot of the time when you switch off, when you switch away from your, the work that you're doing, you end up online. And when you end up online, you're drawn towards certain things. And there's a, there's a whole ecosystem out there that draws you, whether it's Instagram or Facebook, where we're currently streaming, whatever it is, it draws you towards some kind of click, you know, it's called clickbait.

(05:53) -Graham Ward: Cause you know, the problem with that is that we, our attention span is going down our outcomes, our ability to concentrate has dropped. And so it becomes a sort of self-perpetuating system where we're drawn towards things that attract us because they attracted us in the past. And then as a result of all of that, if you extrapolate out, we end up in a, with a sort of dualistic tribal thinking that the algorithm sends us stuff that we're interested in. We're attracted to it. We click on it some more and before, you know, it you've spent an hour or so scrolling through stuff that is self-referential. And that confirms what you already think. And I, what I've discovered by talking to a lot of people is that this is happening everywhere. And this, this contributes to a couple of things that are worrying. One of them is dualism that, that we split into tribes that we have, we get a fixed point of view rather than a learning mindset that we, that we end up adhering to that point of view, rather than debating that point of view.

(07:04) -Graham Ward: And that we think we already know the way the world works before we actually inquire as to how things work. And so this shows up in organizational life, but it also shows up in society and you can see it very clearly in society. And some of the symptoms of that, um, what we need to do of course, is to break some of that stuff down and start to create venues, not only where people can to answer your question, connect intimately, but also to have conversations that actually dismantle some of these edifices that are starting to be built, where people's thinking has become restricted. And I see this happening in organizational life where you see tribal behavior, where marketing is fighting with sales or with finances is arguing with marketing. And it's very difficult to keep people connected so that they're having the real conversation, which ultimately will get them to the truth, which is what we're all searching for in any venue that we inhabit. So the answer to your question is yes, intimacy is available, it's possible, but it takes risk and it takes vulnerability and it takes desire. And the thing that we have to find in people, first of all, is the desire to actually step into these spaces and begin what I would call a real conversation.

(08:31) -Simon: Wow, that's, there's a lot of resonances in me. One is we create our own bubbles and then we have it in, in, in our own bubble. So we are, we are creating our own programming and, uh, and you can choose your five favorite things on YouTube to watch. And then this is what you do every evening. And then you are in that bubble. On the one side, I think it is taking ownership of, of our programming, um, power, because we are programmed, our minds are programmed and we can program them in a certain way. On the other side, there is this bubble effect that if you just watch tremor knowing the evening like I do, and Stephen Corvair and never watch Fox news, you are limiting your, the number of information you are just seeing one side of the coin and that I could intentionally go and say, okay, every time I watched him in court bear afterwards, I watch Fox news to have the whole picture interesting.

(09:42) -Graham Ward: You end up in a very dangerous space. If you do that. And, and, and, and what worries me most is this is this lack of, uh, lack of attention and lack of desire to be really curious. And, and, and I guess in a sense, a part of this has to do with empathy, which is that when someone is saying something that you don't really necessarily agree with, that you don't say, okay, what's it like to stand in their shoes? What you really do is ask the question, what is it really like for them to be them? And we're not doing that enough because we're so busy and we're mistaking. Um, and this this is another sort of interesting thing that's starting to emerge. We are, we are mistaking in this post pandemic world. Busy-ness for productivity. People that I speak to are immensely busy. Everyone is working, you know, maybe even a longer hours as the boundaries between work and home have blurred.

(10:38) -Graham Ward: People are working very long hours now, but this busy-ness as I would call it is not necessarily correlated with productivity. And what I've also noticed is it's definitely not correlated with creation as I prefer to call it rather than creativity, because creativity is often mistaken for sort of artistic, poetic endeavors. But the act of creation even in business requires you to be able to step back or requires moments of reflection, maybe coming back to what you were saying, Simon moments of aloneness, where you go for a run in the morning in the cold, and that shape that it gives you that creates and stimulate some thoughts, which are in fact, truly, you know, acts of creation because they lead to something and we're not doing that enough. So people feel as if they're being productive, but actually they're just busy. And I think the, I think the worry here and that the negative trade off that we might experience is that we might survive this pandemic, but we may not be better as a result. And we may not create the circumstances for, for our next big thing. And that's that, that, that I think is something leaders have to get to grips with. I

(11:54) -Simon: Had time to think during March and after the initial shock week, uh, I, I went through all the things that I find frustrating and they were all about connections. So if I think from the other side, cause you are an executive coach, I'm an executive coach, but I also am client of coaches. So I also go to coaches and they're big because it's just helpful. And I'm in before the pandemic, when I would book somebody like I would book you, but then we would wait for one month until Graham comes into our city. Again, people would wait for me, maybe six weeks until Simon is in their city and has a workshop. So one thing that I was trying to do is can we make that real time? Can we create spaces where you can tag Graham? You can tag Simon quickly and say, I have this one question, this one thing to decide. And I one the sounding board right now, and I want your challenging, uh, intervention right now, instead of accumulating all of these, forgetting some of them. And then in one month, having eight hours together, which is amazing, but this decision is gone. So in, in, in, in my case, I could use that to improve the whole thing. And now I don't fly anymore. And there is, there are these spaces because I had time to build these pieces. And I'm curious about your experience and your perspective with this topic.

(13:26) -Graham Ward: So, so if I, if I took this right back to its root, I think the biggest insight for me, and just as a human being, not, not an insight that necessarily is relevant to everybody else out there. But what I was able to do during this period was to deeply reconnect with myself and, and who I am and what I'm about, and actually find some purpose, which is an overused word at the moment. And, you know, but, but, but it's, it's, there's a reason it's overused. I mean, cliches become cliches because, because people are talking about them and the ability to actually sit down, you know, in the garden for an hour and just look at the sky and think for me with the benefit of hindsight has been an extraordinary experience because it was never available to me before, I was always on a plane.

(14:20) -Graham Ward: I was always going from one place to another. Uh, you know, there were times there, there are times when my wife reminded me of where I'd been the week before. And I could barely remember where that I'd been through Qatar because I was on my way to Denver. And, and we started to live. Many of us started to live lives that were frankly ridiculous. And I think the deep reconnection with yourself only shows up in those spaces that you create, which I would call liminal there between places, um, is incredibly useful and very powerful for leaders. And especially your audience, um, your, your entrepreneurial types, who are typically hyperactive, who are generating a hundred ideas a minute. And, and, and people around them are often drinking from a fire hose of ideas and creativity, because that's the kind of animal that we're dealing with here to, to, to discipline themselves, to step back and to reconnect with, why am I doing this?

(15:19) -Graham Ward: What is the real purpose of this? What's the North star or the guiding light what's taking me forward in a sense what's calling me. I think for me, that's the profound insight of actually being forced to stop, which we all were. Everyone hit the buffers. Everyone was told you're not going anywhere and maybe you're not even doing anything. And I think in some ways that's been incredibly frightening and innovating for people. And the flip side of it, the gift of it is it's allowed some creativity to flow and it's allowed people to orientate themselves to something that's a little more longterm

(15:57) -Simon: Time for the award. You can pick one person who is digging when everybody's zagging. And, uh, from your perspective, they're doing the right thing. Who would this person be?

(16:16) -Graham Ward: Okay, Simon, I'm going to cheat, I knew you’re gonna ask me this question. And I thought about it. And I think I want to say two things. I'm going to basically say the strategy award goes to all of the females, all of the women out there that are working right now because they proved to us. And they've been saying, for years, we can work flexibly. We can work from home. We can do a number of different things. And the patriarchy disagreed with that and said, no, no, we're never going to do that. And they were forced because of what happened to actually say, well, okay, everyone can work from home. And the women out there prove to us that this can be done because we're all doing it. Now that's a cheat answer, but I want to say that because, you know, they should win an award for being right all along, which breed probably knew that they were, and now they just proved it to the rest of us.

(17:08) -Graham Ward: And we're all doing it. My strategy of all, it goes to a guy who I think is one of the most incredible thinkers around at the moment. And I think you're going to hear a lot more of him in the future. His name is Daniel Schmack Don Berger. I don't know if you know this guy, Simon, but he's an incredible thinker. And he's thinking at a super high level about not organizational design, but civilization design. And he, he does it through the lens of media. So he's basically saying that unless we get our media, right. And that's what we're doing right here. Now we have a platform with talking to people. We have capacity and capability to influence people. He's saying, unless we sought out, but way that media works in a more general sense, then democracy is doomed and it's quite a controversial position that he takes.

(18:00) -Graham Ward: But if you listen to him, I think he's one of the most incredible thinkers around at the moment. And I think everybody should listen to him. And I think everyone should listen a little bit to [inaudible] who you've definitely heard of. And I think he's brilliant in all the different places that he shows up, whether he's talking about entrepreneurship. So I gave you three answers, I'm sorry, but Daniel Schmack Don burger for me. I mean, he nailed it this year and I think he's going to be one of these people. We're going to hear a lot more about.

(18:26) -Simon: Beautiful and Nevin rabbit. Kant has recently been on the Tim Ferriss show and there is a wonderful interview with him, a very long one. And there is also a book coming out from, from, I think somebody else compiled his work and it's a wonderful book. Wow. Thank you. And then, so connection and the impact that this pandemic had on us and your second topic is about creation versus creativity. It links to what you said, the busy-ness and doing a lot versus really creating something. What's your take on this?

(19:06) -Graham Ward: So, uh, you know, talking to a, a wise friend of mine, a number of years ago, we were sitting overlooking the, a GNC, uh, drinking a glass of Bret Siena, which happily now is much better than it was 30 years ago. It's actually a respectable wine. He said to me, over lunch, he said, you know, I know the meaning of life. I said, well, that's quite a big call at three o'clock in the afternoon, sitting here, looking at the GNC, slightly tipsy. Uh, but I suppose you're going to tell me what it is. And I, he said, well, if you're interested, I'll tell you. And I said, well, of course I'm interested. So tell me. And he said, there are two things. He said that give people meaning in life. So, okay. He said, number one, he said, you have to find your tribe. You said, you have to find the group of people that you want to spend your time with.

(19:52) -Graham Ward: And once you do that, you're going to find a lot of meaning. He said, and the other thing is the act of creation. He said the act of making something and we'll just call it, making loosely, uh, that actually goes beyond and transcends who you are, was not here before you existed and exists as a result of your existence. And when you glue those two things together, when you, when you create something with your tribe, then you find meaning in life. Now what we're doing here is just that, right? You're one of those people I like, we connect mostly together. You're a good person. You're generously giving your time to put stuff out into the world and we're creating something. Do I find meaning in doing this show? This is exactly it. So, so the creative, the act of creation and the finding of people and the venues, people that you can do that with gives you meaning.

(20:48) -Graham Ward: And so for me, as I thought about this, uh, you know, and, and you started with the question, what are you up to right now? That was your opening gambit. And the reason that's such an important question is because what you're trying to get at Simon is what am I creating? What is it that I'm generating? And what is anybody generating that was not here yesterday, that we can incrementally move forward and put into the world? Why is that such a big thing? Because it's contribution. And what we know in the end is that if you're making any kind of a contribution to people around you, to society, to your family, it doesn't matter who then you're going to have meaning. And if you're going to have meaning, then you're going to feel good and let's face it. Everyone just wants to feel good. So you can link it right back and say, if you're not creating anything, you're going to feel like a slave to something you're going to feel like you're down a mine, living in the dark, when you're creating something, you're going to start to feel good about your life and who would not want to do that.

(21:44) -Graham Ward: So I think it's a very important thing. And again, it requires people to step off the treadmill and to get into some spaces where they can actually do that. That takes time.

(21:55) -Simon: That's wonderful. So find your tribe and create stuff. Yeah. Yeah. I can, I can relate a lot to that. And it's true. My first question is what are you currently creating? And sometimes I say, what are you up to? And it is a conscious choice that I ask this as the first question where 90% of podcasters, tell us something about you, which is more of a broader, more historic question. I feel most connected and most intimately, really in a, in relation when I know exactly the essence of the person and the essence is what they are currently creating.

(22:41) -Graham Ward: It's true. It's what you're currently doing. It's in this moment, right? I mean, I could tell you a story about something I did 10 years ago. It's baked into my story, but actually if you trace what that story was 10 years ago, back to today, that's the reason I'm creating what I'm creating today. And it's just like that. That would just be like looking at a, still from a movie, but why would we not just actually consider what's happening right here right now? That's the important stuff

(23:08) -Simon: I have. I have recently added to my, to my scheduling thing. So if somebody wants to have a call with me, there is this scheduler that they can pick, pick their best time. And in there I have the chance to ask questions. So the usual questions standard question was how can I prepare for our meeting? And now I added another one, which says, when we meet in one year with a bottle of champagne, what we'll be celebrating and this question changed everything. And we it's much more heart to heart connection. Whatever talk about, we are much more directly. I feel it in the heart, chakra the heart space. We are much more connected because we are talking about what matters to us and what we want to move forward.

(24:01) -Graham Ward: I, I never heard the question before, but it's a great question. Uh, because it, orientates people also a little bit to the horizon and says, okay, so what comes from this? And, and the way that you frame it, which is in the frame of a celebration, um, you know, it's something that gives hope and it's something that gives light. And I think that's a, that's a, it's a fabulous question. And I, I, I'm going to unashamedly steal it from you.

Simon (24:25):

Do it, do it. So thinking of asking, uh, for a glass when we meet with a glass of champagne, but I wrote when we meet with a bottle of champagne, just to maybe to make it even more ridiculous and big.

(24:46) -Graham Ward: Yes, absolutely. The third of course, You know, I mean, this all sounds hopeful and upbeat, but, but you know, one of the things that you, that you and I said, we might talk about, cause it's a bit of the dark side of this and we won't end on a dark note, but less it be said. Um, I think it's, I think it's important to understand why people don't do this stuff. And, and, and, you know, so I looked at the flip side of it and said, but it's all very well to talk about creation. It's all very well to talk about connection. And this is the tribe and the, you know, the creation piece, but what stops people doing it? And, and, and I think there are three things that we've sort of clearly identified that getting people's way. And, and, and those are the following number one is our need to please others.

(25:33) -Graham Ward: And, and maybe you don't find this so much with entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs tend to be lone wolves. They, they tend to sort of act on their own a lot. They tend to want to ran through the things that they want to do. And, and thank God they do, because that's why we live in the world that we live in right now, without them, we wouldn't live in the world. We'd still be living in caves. But that the fact is, is that there's a lot of people out there that, that live their lives to please others. And this is a very limiting, uh, reactive mindset that we need to find ways to lose. The second one is the need to control. And we do see this with entrepreneurs a lot more, and this need to control everything around control outcomes, control people is, is limiting because the reality is you can't control very much.

(26:23) -Graham Ward: If you, if you go back to what Epictetus said, he said, there are literally only three things that we control. Number one, we can control our values, what we stand for and the, what comes from that, or the judgments that we make around those values. So we have set of values. We can then make judgments about the world and we can control that. We can control the judgments that we make. And as a result of the judgments that we make, we can control how we act. So you said three things. He said, and pretty much everything else is outside of our control. And when you start to argue and debate this, it actually turns out to be true. You can't control another person unless you believe in a deterministic view of the universe. People are not controllable. You can't control your health. You can go for a run every morning.

Graham Ward (27:13):

Simon, I can go for a swim every morning, but the bottom line is if I'm going to get cancer, I'm just going to get it. We can't control that. All we can do is mediate it a little bit. So don't focus on control because you don't control very much. And so you might want to step out of that mindset. And the third one is self protection, keeping away from people. And this goes right back in a circle to what we talked about just now, which is connection. People have this need to distance themselves from others to keep their, keep their distance, to stay aloof, to disconnect rather than connect. It's a way of protecting ourselves. If you inhabit any one of those three mindsets and many of us in habit, all three we're in deep trouble, those things will limit your ability to be a really great leader, to be a really great business owner and to generate a creative enterprise that will move forward and be sustainable. And that's very coachable. That's one of that. Those are three things that we can help people to overcome. And I want to put it out there because people might just sit there thinking we're doing a kumbaya, but actually you've got to get over yourself in order to sing that song. And those are the three things that I think are very important for people to consider.

(28:29) -Simon: Beautiful. And I was thinking about my own journey, which was very, very long to finding my pride. And I, I guess I am the type that you're describing this entrepreneur that has so many ideas and just create some creates. But, you know, it took me 40 years to be, to have to have the clarity, to see it. Maybe the clarity came in my thirties, but then the courage to act aligned with that clarity took me another 10 years because there are tribes that we feel are our track record because they come natural. They come effortless. That's, that's our friends, that's our family, et cetera, but that's all a program. And to find also the, the inner, the inner security, the inner confidence and the courage to act on what you see being your tribe right now. And that might be something completely different and it's usually will be something completely different and to, and that's, and that's a big leap that, that is risky. So, uh, I guess, I guess you, you see many, many people going through that journey and what's, what's your perspective.

(29:55) -Graham Ward: So, so there's two things. I mean, you're absolutely right, Simon, what you say it takes time, but, and this is going to sound like the ultimate paradox, but very often in order for people to make that leap in order for them to find the courage, to do what they were really purposed to do in life, it requires a rupture. It requires a fault line to emerge in their life. And that fault line very often is something that's caused by tragic. It can be a divorce, it can be your parents or parents dying. It can be an illness, uh, but very often those co those big ruptures give people pause to reflect and to think, and to understand that time is the one thing it's our most precious commodity. We will not get it back. And so therefore they make, they change course. Um, if we're unlucky strangely and paradoxically, that won't happen.

(30:52) -Graham Ward: And so we're going to have to find our way into it. And the sad thing is many people don't. We know that as many as 38% of adults never actually get to the point where they ever stopped doing those three things, uh, what Bob Keegan called self-authoring. So they're always enthralled to the ex external world rather than actually having an internal locus of control. Um, so it requires very often a punch. And one of the things that coaching does, which is one of the things that I do is actually sometimes to give you that punch because that punch can come in the form of a very powerful question. And if it's well timed, that if it's a good question, people can, you know, you're holding up the mirror. People may step back and go, wow, he might, or she might be onto something that, and, and that was a great question. That's given me a pause to think about how I might live the rest of my life. So it does take courage and very often it takes something a bit unpleasant to happen for you to actually stand back and reflect and think, okay, change of direction.

(31:54) -Simon: In terms of limiting beliefs, uh, I found myself in the belief, if I step out of this tribe, uh, I am going to start.

(32:07) -Graham Ward: Absolutely.

(32:08) -Simon: It’s really this primal, which is I am going to die. Basically. I am going to die. If I do this, I am going to die. And, uh, it was really, really, um, uh, primordial, primal, primal, deep anxiety that, that lasted for days and for weeks. And then after I stepped out of it, I was like, Hmm, that was, that was all the risks. It was much less than I expected, but it was really primal and intense during this transition,

(32:44) -Graham Ward: You know, to do that. I mean, I was a banker for 22 years and they were my tribe. And I stepped out of that and felt exactly like you did. It's like if I step out of this and I was working for Goldman Sachs, which was a great bank, like if I step out of this, people told me I was crazy. When I started to talk about it. You, you, are you not, you know, what are you thinking? And, and in my step out of here, these are my people for 22 years, there'll be nothing. And the reality is that step is never as big as you think it is, but it requires resilience. And, and you know, we're not born resilient, no one is born resilient, but we can generate it. And how do we generate it? We generate it by challenging ourselves to do things that are, you know, to put it in popular parlance, beyond our comfort zone.

(33:29) -Graham Ward: But there are, there are, there are five things that kind of comprise resilience. In fact, I'm beginning to believe there are six. One of them is having a purpose. That's easy. You've got a North star something to go for that will actually create some resilience for you, but you can continue to live. You need some self-awareness. You need to know what you, you know, how you're feeling about doing all of those things or what it is you propose to do. You need to feel good about yourself. It's called positive self regard. You need to feel like I'm okay, I'm a decent human being. I can get past this. You need to have the capacity to solve the problem that's in front of you. If I step into this new world, what's that going to mean? Am I going to have the facilities in my brain or around me, the people around me to actually solve this problem to do something new. And the final one is, is around communication. You have to connect, you have to be able to talk about it with people, and that's this getting away from self-protection, or if you like, sort of, you know, just self-protection, you've got to connect with people. You've got to test this stuff. I think there's a final one and it's courage, but that's not in the kind of roadmap for all of this, but I think you need to be courageous. And, and, and so this is the risk that you take that you spoke of.

(34:46) -Simon: Absolutely. Because in that moment, it feels really, really risky afterwards. It will be milder when you look back, but in that moment, you need this, uh, lower chakra, uh, energy to jump out of it, which is, yeah. Wow. This is powerful. Graham. Some, some books or audio books or podcasts that recently touched you.

(35:12) -Graham Ward: Uh, yeah, absolutely. So I'm, um, I'm a big fan of, uh, I listened to Sam Harris because I think he, he spends a lot of time thinking about society and the societal divide. And I think he's just an interesting thinker. Um, uh, if you listen to someone like, uh, I see what I think we miss is eclecticism nowadays. So if you listen to Brett Weinstein, who's a, um, an evolutionary biologist. He thinks about leadership and he thinks about society and he thinks about business from an evolutionary perspective. And I think we need to begin to reintroduce these ideas, these eclectic ideas back into, into our thinking, not just reading business books. And I guess the final one for me, I mean, what I've been really inspired by this year is, is, uh, in other Stoics and, and going back to classical ancient wisdom, um, I think has been super powerful and, and exploring those spaces.

(36:15) -Graham Ward: And if you want to do it from a modern lens, you'd just read Ryan holiday, someone like Ryan Olivae. He talks about this stuff a lot, but otherwise just going back to a podcast and I spelled it a base one, I think it's called philosophy today. And there's like 150 of them. And just start at the beginning is like, how did philosophy even start? How did we learn to think? And, and just working my way through that has been fascinating. Um, and, and that's been a real ride. And I think if people could re-engage with some of that basic thinking again, I think we would write society. We would write business and we'd be on a better path because I feel at the moment we're in trouble. And, uh, but I'm hopeful. I'm always

(36:57) -Simon: Powerful. And then, is there anything that I forgot to ask you for him? Uh,

(37:06) -Graham Ward: I don't think so, Simon, I mean, maybe like all of these things, it's like, okay, well, let's leave something for that bubble of champagne in a year's time, because then you'll ask me that question. Then

(37:18) -Simon: Now you are a very hard to reach in say an elite coach, where can people get in touch with you, read your stuff.

Graham Ward (37:29):

So, uh, I put stuff on LinkedIn fairly regularly. I post stuff. I mean, I'm an avid reader, and as you can tell, so I'm always trolling stuff and posting it, and I'm very happy for anybody to connect with me on LinkedIn. Uh, I'm working on some stuff like you, I'm going to start thinking about how to create a digital channel to put some of this stuff out there. I think, uh, I think what's occurred to me as a result of this year. It's time for me to create my own stuff and stop talking about other people's stuff. Uh, I've read enough, make something happen myself. I'm doing a lot of teaching. And so I think I'm going to take some of that teaching and put it into a channel that everyone can access, but initially connect with me on LinkedIn and then you're going to see more

(38:09) -Simon: Beautiful. I will be the first follower and who should be my next guest? Uh, well, I mean,

(38:17) -Graham Ward: I already said his name. I would, I would absolutely have have, uh, Daniel on your, on your show, Daniel smack the bourbon. You're going to have such a fascinating conversation with him. I think he's an amazing guy. Um, and so I'm going to give you that name one more time. I just, uh, the other person, if you want it to go in a different direction, I think is really interesting as a guy called Rupert spirit S P I R right. And you know, he goes right down into the heart of the matter. So if you want to really connect with yourself and think about who you are, Rupert Spira is a very interesting thinker. And then if you want to zoom right out and think about civilization and how are we going to get through the next thousand years that Daniel's UMass. So, I mean, I'll give you the whole spectrum there.

(39:04) -Simon: Beautiful. Thank you, Graham. Come back soon. My friend.

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