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Brain Hacks 4 Leadership

Jan 28, 2020

Roddy Galbraith is a Professional Speaker, Coach and Master Speaker Trainer, having worked 1-to-1 with around 10,000 different speakers from all over the world over the last 13 years.

John C. Maxwell (#1 New York Times bestselling author, coach, and speaker) describes him as the "best speaker trainer he has ever seen, anywhere in the world". Roddy believes that we are all speakers, whether we realize it and accept it or not, because we all interact with other people, all the time. He firmly believes that the best thing any of us can do for our business success, our career success and our life success is to become a better communicator, because it will do more for us than any other skill we can develop. He has spoken around the globe and worked with, shared the stage with and developed programs with some of the very best speakers in the world including Les Brown, Robert Cialdini, Bruce Lipton, Bob Proctor, Wayne Dyer, Bonnie St John, Seth Godin, Nick Vujicic and John C. Maxwell. He has a genuine passion for helping people find their voice so they can stand up and speak out in every different area of their lives. As you’ll tell from his accent, he’s English but now lives in Jupiter Island, Florida with his wife Susan, and their 4 beautiful children. You can connect with Roddy on Instagram @roddygalbraith and find out more at

So Roddy, thank you so much for being with us. You've really made a big impact on me over the last several years and working with you I've been able to apply your teaching not only to myself but to others that I'm coaching as well. So I'm really excited to hear what you're going to share with us today.

I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to talk to you Jill and share a message with you and your listeners. So very excited. I thought today what I'd speak on, I have been thinking about this, I think the key to success and happiness really is growth. I think growth is important to one of those things. I think it's particularly true for leadership or anything really, but one of the problems with this is fear often stops us from engaging in the growth promoting activities that we need to do in order to get in the growth.

And so if we want to be successful, we have to find ways really. We have to find ways to face the fears or any emotions that might hold us back and get in the way of that. So that's why I wanted to share with you today. Simple process for facing fear, stepping forward into growth in spite of the fairs. I love that. I hear that so many times that what stops people, I'm afraid to fail. I'm afraid that something might go wrong. I'm going to look bad and it perfectly right, which means why. Right? And it stops and it's with everything. So it's not just at work, but it happens at home. So I'm really excited to learn a little bit more. So tell us a little bit more about that.

Well, let me start with the words of the German philosopher Johann von Goethe, I'm sure you have heard of many of your readers will have heard of. He said that “if you treat a man as he appears to be, then you make him worse. But if you treat him as if he already were what he potentially could be, then you make him what he should be.”

You know, as a leader, I think our job is to our team, isn't it, amongst other things? So this quote is particularly true for other people, but I think is never more truer than for ourselves. We need to think about this for ourselves and I think it's far easier to put a 10 on the head of everyone in our team or everyone we meet or everyone, everyone else. We can treat them as if they have already fulfilled their potential. But it's much more difficult to do it for ourselves, isn't it? It's so true, isn't it?

I think very often we believe in the potential of other people more than we do for ourselves more than you know, we see our own potential and I think if we think about this Jill, well, I use you as an example. If you imagine someone else taking the actions that they need to take to move forward into growth and to ultimately, that will lead them to being successful.  It doesn't really change the way you feel when you do that, does it? You just kind of consider it intellectually. Maybe you think about it for a moment and that's it. But if you imagine yourself taking the actions that you need to take, you know, to grow in order to lead to being successful. When it's you, then it's very different because that forces you to come up against yourself and all your baggage. And so it's a very different situation, isn't it:

I fully agree with you that it is so true in the work we do, helping other leaders do this and grow and see themselves in that different light.

I don't get the butterflies in my stomach when I'm helping them visualize themselves much further but when I do it for myself, I get those butterflies. Exactly that you've hit on it.

Exactly. I think that's it. So we use speaking as an example now I know you, you enjoy speaking, but the lots of people that don't know, and as a leader, I think this is one of the best ways, the fastest ways that you can define your leadership with within an organization. If you can stand up and speak convincingly and appear comfortable and look very natural and at home, even if it's only for a minute or two, people will see you as a leader and you maybe you only need one or two moments like that a month, a few times a year to really define yourself as a leader within that organization, in the minds of other people because they'll see you as a leader if you can do that. But if speaking is a growth area for you, even though it's a great skill to develop, I think probably the most important skill for a leader or anyone really to develop no matter what you do.

But if speaking is a growth area for you and you just think about speaking, then you're probably going to experience some doubt, or the butterflies that you were just talking about maybe you're going to experience strong emotions of fear and anxiety and unworthiness and you don't get those feelings when you imagine someone else doing it. But you do get them in it yourself. And, and actually we, you know, we can look at other people and we think, yeah, you should do it. I know you can do it. And if you do it and you keep going, you keep doing it - I know you're going to get better and better and better. So you should do it. But it's very different when it's us. It's very different with us. And then when we experienced the fear, so the fear is a problem. And I think probably the biggest problem with the fear is not the experiencing it in itself - is because it tends to lead to avoidance tends to lead to us kind of running away, doesn't it?

Well, I mean, what do you do when you experienced those butterflies often you kind of think of ways that you can avoid doing whatever it is. Is there any way any kind of outlet, any way to escape? So now avoidance, it's really worth thinking about because it's avoiding the thing, like let's say speaking in this case, but actually it's really the feeling that is the issue. It's the feeling you want to avoid. We think it's the thing, but it's not. It's how we feel about it. And so we want to avoid anything that means that the feeling will stop. And I think most people miss this Jill, the importance of it. The feeling is not the facts that we fear. It's not the information that we fear, its the feeling. And this does take a little bit of thinking about, but what's something that you fear like flying or dogs or spiders or snakes or is there anything that you fear?

Oh, spiders! I will scream!  Spiders is a great example.  Would spiders for you be worse than speaking? Oh yes, yes. Isn’t that interesting.

Now commercial flight I think is, uh, is a great example. So spiders, I'll come back to in just a moment, but I've got an interesting statistic for you. I suppose commercial flying is the safest way to travel on a commercial flight because it's so regulated is very, very safe. If you look at the U S census data, then it puts the odds of a dying as a plane passenger about one in over 200,000. There's some, depending on the statistics and how it's interpreted, they come out slightly differently. But for these purposes, one in 200,000 the chances of dying as a cyclist, they say about one in 4,000 so I look at the difference between those two. Cycling is like 50 times the risk, but people aren’t scared of bicycles are they?

People are scared of a bomb going off five miles up in the air and being hurled into the screaming darkness to their death because it's much more emotive. The fear of drowning is one in a thousand, chances of dying in a car crash are around one in a hundred according to this, one in 24 for stroke, one in five for heart disease. But we're scared of the emotive things. We're scared of the scary things, irrespective of the logic - we're scared of speaking and what the chances of dying when you're speaking?  Very slim, very slim. We're scared of bears. We're scared of alligators. We're scared of sharks. About one person a year in American dies from sharks, about one person dies in America. It's about one person that dies from bears.  About 58 people die from hornets. More people are scared of hornets, admittedly, more than bees and wasps.

But the biggest number of deaths from animals is deer in America. 120 people die from deer in America, whereas one from sharks. But people are scared of deer, they are scared of sharks.  So we're scared of spiders and its about 0.24 I think in America people die a year. But your scared of them.  Terrified, terrified!   I run out of the room screaming, I can't take it. Yeah. This lesson is for you then actually by the time we get to the end!

So it doesn't matter what the fear is, it's not logical, the fear is not logical, but that doesn't matter. The body isn't reasonable like that. Emotions aren't reasonable, its kind of learned programs and so they're lying to us.  Basically, what I'm saying is we can't trust those emotions. They lying to us. It's easy to say that they're wrong, but still we put total faith in them.

We trust them anyway. And every time we turn away and allow them to control the behavior, we're reinforcing their validity. So then they become a self fulfilling prophecy and then they create our reality. So we start number one, let's say we're usually speaking of spiders, spiders, I'm scared of spiders and I'm scared that it's going to be dangerous so I don't go anywhere near them. And so I can't go anywhere near them and so I am right all along. It just kind of repeats the same kind of process over and over. Same with speaking, I'm scared I might not be able to speak in front of other people, so I avoid it. I don't do it, so I can't do it. So see, I was right all along. So it creates, the reality - its not based on logic or reason or facts or anything actually that holds up to reason.  It's just that learned process.

So I think really what I want to share today, Jill, is that the answer to all of this is pretty straight forward. How do we do what we know we need to do, even though we really, really, really don't feel like it? And then also linked to that, how do we not do what we know we shouldn't do? Because it's the same thing, isn't it? Even though we really, really, really do feel like doing it. So it's acting in defiance of the emotions that stop us from growing. And so I got a simple process for that. But why I'd probably like to do, first of all, if it's okay with you, is just give them a little bit of the science and background into emotions because then it makes it easier to follow the three steps.

So I think the first step or the foundation is you've gotta be convinced of the fallibility of emotions because the mistake people make is they assume it's the reflection of reality and then it really isn't.

And so this comes from Dr. Albert Ellis’s work, who for those of you who don't know, he was a towering figure of psychology for many years. He, um, he was working, I think he'd died 94 when he died. And he was working into his nineties 16 hours a day, really, really very well respected doctor and his work was REBT - Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy work and he came up with this model called the ABC model that makes emotions very simple to understand. So imagine I'm your boss Jill, and I tell you that you have to speak to the shareholders at the AGM next week. Okay? So this is something that you're going to do and I know you enjoy speaking, but let's imagine you don’t, you're filling in for somebody and kind of like sprung on you. You're going to experience fear because it's like, Oh my goodness, you weren't experiencing fear before we had this meeting and I told you you're speaking, but now you very definitely are.

So you think to yourself, I made you scared because you weren't scared before I told you you needed to speak at the AGM. And so now you're scared. You're experiencing the fear. And so the “A” at the beginning, and you might want to write this across the page, if you're the sort of person that takes notes as you listen to this, the “A” is the activating event. So the activating event is you've been told you got to speak. Now the “C” on the other side of the page on the right, that’s the consequence. This is the feeling that you experience. So you, the activating event, you need to speak at the AGM and then the consequences is the fear. So the consequences can be an emotion. It can also be thoughts, it can be actions, it can even be symptoms if the feelings are repressed and then come out in your body and symptoms.

So here we're saying fear. So there's an emotion, the consequence is fear. The activating event is, I told you you need to speak - so it appears that A causes C so we can draw an arrow across the top from A to C, A causes C.   You know when people's like ‘he made me so angry, she made me so cross’. It's the same kind of thing. They did something. We're experiencing emotion and so it appears that they are causing the emotion, but they're really not. They're really not. So a simple way to dig into this, into the fallibility of emotions to, to reveal itself and say, well, I know you're feeling fearful in this situation, Jill, but imagine a number of people in the same situation. Would they all feel the same way as you? And you say, ”well, I don’t know. What did you mean?”

I say, well, is it possible that some of them might be even more terrified than you? And when you ask that, most people will agree. Yeah, I think, yeah, they probably, you know, not that bad. I'm a little bit apprehensive. I'm fearful, but I'm not terrified. I'm sure some people could be terrified in this situation. Okay, well, could some people be looking forward to it? Well, I suppose, you know, if you're like that, then maybe yes, some people could, could enjoy it. Some people could be angry that they're forced into this situation. Some people could be apathetic, you know, whatever. It's pretty easy for us to agree that there's a whole range of different emotions that are possible in this situation. Most people will agree to that. Would you agree with that? That sounds useful to you? That does. Yeah.

So if that's the case and you agree that a range of consequences as possible, it can't be the event that's creating the consequence.

If, because if it was, it would always be the same. So something else, it's not the activating event that's causing the emotion – it is something else. It must be something that is specific to each particular individual. That's how we get these different emotions, these different consequences. And that's the B in the middle. It's the beliefs that these people hold that are responsible for the emotions. So its not the A that causes the C. It's not the activating event that causes the emotion. It's what you believe about the activating event and yourself and you know, whatever, whatever is relevant to this situation. It is what you believe about the activating event, which causes the emotion. So it's the B about the A that causes the C, that's the way to remember it. So we can see now that beliefs and emotions and really counterparts, they work together. What we've learned about the world is the meaning that we apply and creates the emotions that we then experience.

And the important thing to realize here as we've kind of seen with emotions already, but now will apply directly to beliefs. Beliefs are the result of a learning process, not a reflection of reality. I'm sure you've heard that many times, but it's really worth thinking about with regard to fears. Beliefs are the result of the learning process, not the reflection of reality. Same with the emotions because we can use them interchangeably.

And so you mentioned spiders. I had some experience with our children growing up with dog. Do you have kids Jill? I do, yeah.  Are they scared of spiders?  No, not too bad. Now he'll take care of it for me when I scream sometimes. Yes.

Well we um, growing up we had dogs when our kids were growing up. We had dogs from right from the very beginning. You know, we've got four kids and they've all grown up around dogs all the time. And what they know about dogs is that dogs are fun. In fact, dogs are great fun. They've all been kind of crawling in the dog basket with them their whole lives. Now let's imagine somebody, let's pick two kind of fictitious people. Mary, who's similar to my kids, grew up around dogs all their lives. So she believes dogs are fun, all dogs are fun. But then hundreds of miles away, Mike grow up in a home where he never met any dogs until he was about six years old. He's walking down the road, turned a corner, disturbed a stray German shepherd dog spooked it, jumped up and uh, and attacked him and bit him and uh, mauled his face and he had a scar on his cheek because of this kind of experience with the dog.

Unfortunate, horrible experience. So Mike understandably is now terrified of dogs. I think we could all understand that, we feel like it is a reasonable response. So Mike believes that all dogs are dangerous. Mary believes all dogs are fun. Now, years later in their twenties Mike and Mary get together and then now we're kind of walking down the road together and here they are. They just started dating together. They're walking down the road together, holding hands, and then they meet a dog unexpectedly. They are both going to have completely different emotional responses in their body, aren't they? To the same activating event, but totally different responses in their body.  Mary’s instinct is just to go and play with the dog and Mike's instinct is get away from him as quickly as we can because all dogs are dangerous and this is a dog and this is potentially gonna, gonna be a threatening situation for us.

So what's Mike thinking? He's thinking escape.  And what is Mary thinking - oh, how cute. Let's go play with and pat the dog. Who's right, which one is right? Which one is a reflection of reality. It's interesting, isn't it, when you're thinking about it like that, but obviously we don't know. We don't know because it depends on this particular dog, doesn't it? We don't know anything about this dog.

So looking on, we can see that you've got these two scenarios, but we can't say because we don't know anything about this dog. What each of them really needs to know is what is this dog actually like? But the response in their body is based on dogs that they met years ago, dogs that died years ago, and that's driving their experiences with this particular dog. Neither of them is thinking about this. They're just experiencing the emotion of course, and that emotion as a result of a previous learning process, not a reflection of the reality that they're now facing.

So the ABC model is, I think it's really powerful to expose beliefs for what they are -  expose emotions for what they are. Because the consequences can be emotion of course, as we've just said, but it can be thinking, it can be behavior, it can be acting as well. So if the beliefs are a result of a learning process our thinking or feeling or acting is also the result of a learning process. Mike isn't thinking objectively he's thinking emotionally. He's thinking scared. He's thinking, how do I get out of here? How do I escape? He's not thinking objectively. So am I articulating the fallibility of beliefs here Jill? Exposing the weakness or the potential weakness?

You are spot on. I loved the way you explained that as well because I'll tell you as you were telling that story, I just met with an executive earlier today and we were doing some coaching and one of the things he said is, I hate speaking public speaking. I don't understand the value in it. Um, I don't want to deal with it at all! And so that example really came up to me and we had some other conversations about -here's some actual facts and this is how it is. And um, I started to share the beliefs a little bit with him, but I love this model because we all know that we are beliefs and you've taught me definitely that we're all combination of things that we've had experience to us and we don't really recognize that or realize that. And it stops us. And I wonder if you could share, one of the fears that tends to come up a lot is the fear of having a conflicting discussion, managing conflict. Giving feedback to an employee, a feedback that the employee might not like. How did that show up here?

Okay, so it's the same thing. Really any fear, any emotion is based on our interpretation or meaning. What have we learned about this? What we anticipate. So the activating event, it could be it's actually seeing a dog, but it could be real or imagined. It could be just you imagining what's going to happen. So the same process is at work. I think the thing with beliefs is they kind of lurk in the subconscious.

So if you draw a circle and draw a horizontal line across the middle, then put a like a  B underneath for what you believe about dogs, what you believe about your ability to interact with other people, your worthiness, you name it. I mean it's endless. We've got all of these different beliefs here, but they're silent until they're activated. The belief isn't shouting at Mike saying, be careful of dogs around this corner. There might be a dog, there's dogs here that doesn't happen. It takes the activating event for it to be tripped for, for then it to influence our feelings and our actions and our thinking. So if there's a fear of giving, well fear of anything really, it's kind of how we're thinking about it based on what we've learned, previous experiences. So the approach is still the same.

And I think if you take that particular interaction, so let's say your, you're giving a performance review, you're interacting with some people on your team, you need to challenge some inappropriate behavior or you know, whatever it may be that you're a little apprehensive about. The key is the same that I'm going to come onto - the steps. What you want to do is dilute that fear through repetition and exposure and think about the different steps that you're going to go through.

And I would recommend, you know, speaking, is a good example of this, but so is appraisals. Practice going through what you're gonna do.  Same with job interviews. They're all performances and so you can treat them all in the same way. So if you think about being assertive or challenging inappropriate behavior or something that you feel the other person is not going to take, well practice it. Role playing is another great example that, that helps with this because you're moving through the process and you end up systematically desensitizing the triggers to the emotions, the more you do it. So a seasoned manager that's used to speaking to people, a great deal is going to have moved on from those kinds of feelings.  They gained skills, knowledge and experience over the years. But initially they probably felt apprehensive. So you either wait for the experience or you fabricate the experience kind of laboratory  side of your life.

So you create that experience. Speaking is such a great example of this because if you and I went on a, no, I won't use you, I will use one of your listeners. I'm sure there's someone called Mike listening. If me and Mike went on a speaking tour and he was gonna speak at the beginning every day, five days a week for 10 weeks, he would be a significantly better speaker at the end than he was in the beginning. And we all can laugh and say, yeah, that's true. But if he just had one or two speaking events coming up and he still was starting out with the same kind of feelings, we could manufacture a lot of the lessons from that 10 week speaking tour with a video camera and training program and the confidence would build in the same way and the anxiety would dissipate in the same way.

So it's the same process. We need to understand that the feelings are something that we've learned. They may or may not be helpful. They may or may not be realistic. They may or may not be logical. They may or may not be something that we need to challenge and that is holding us back from what we want to get. Then, um, we probably do want to challenge them. But just because it's uncomfortable, it doesn't mean that they're necessarily wrong. It might just be that it's something that we've not done before and is trying to stop us maybe from appearing foolish or, or making mistakes or maybe just stop us from making effort to prepare or effort to do something. So the process I would recommend is the same.

First of all, understanding and really buying into the fallibility of the emotions we've just been talking about. And then taking responsibility for the change.

It's a funny thing. I don't know. Are you scared of heights or, or anything Jill? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm not great with highs and so this is another, you know, personal experience example for me. If you take someone who's scared of heights and put them in a position where they would not be at all comfortable, you know, i.e. up high somewhere, but they say because it's not logical, the emotion, so it doesn't mean they need to be safe so that you could, you'd do it. But if you do that, you're still going to feel the emotional response, but it doesn't last forever. It's kind of brutal. But if you're immersed in that situation, you'll be fearful and panicking and Oh my goodness, Oh my goodness, and the fear kind of runs itself out.

And you're still concerned that you're not experiencing the fear to the same degree. If you went back up there the next day, same thing. And so exposure to whatever it is, we're forced to acknowledge and to recognize the belief you saying, you know, “we're gonna die, we're gonna die.” And the body is responding appropriately for that as if we're going about to being by a lion or whatever. But if you stay there and you don't, you're forced to acknowledge that actually you can do it. You have to because it's happening. That that's the evidence. And so as I say, it's a brutal way to desensitize yourself to the triggers, but it works. A much more gentle approach is systematic desensitization, first of all in your mind and then in real life, but still baby steps, which, um, you know, is a, is a great, great way to deal with facing the fears and learning what you're really capable of.

So it's challenging, but it's not too much. And I've been using this process for years with speakers and it works fantastically well. And if it works with speaking, it will work with anything because so many people are fearful of speaking. Well I'll, I'll run through the three steps now and really quickly if, if that suits you.

That would be great. Yeah. We all have this fear and what can we get better here to help us and then help us help the people that we lead? Exactly. Yeah.

So the first of all is that, you know, agreeing that the emotions are fallible and they're not a good gauge. We shouldn't be looking to our, in fact, emotions are terrible guide to our potential, terrible. They try and keep us where they are, try and convince us to stay where we are. So that's the foundations that we have to accept that and the responsibility for change. No one's going to change it for us and we have to do that.

But then when you've done that, lets use speaking as an example, who do you need to become to do what it is that is going to help you grow? Think about that. And here it's useful to think about role models may be people you admire, people you see who are doing what you need to do or know that you should be doing, but you're kind of shying away from. If you can get like real people, that's very helpful so you can see what it is that done what you want to do. So step one, who do you need to become to do the things that you need to do?

And then step two, this is like, you know, the first kind of baby steps towards the desensitization. Visualize yourself being the person that you need to be.  So visualize yourself living that way. I'm sure you probably had people talking about visualization already. If you haven't, I'm sure you found them coming up so I won't go into too much. But it's interesting that the unconscious doesn't know the difference between what's real and what's imagined. So the body responds to the images we accept on the screen of our mind in the same way. A simple example going back to Mike, which makes it kind of self evident in Mike's walking down the road with Mary and he sees a dog and his body responds with the fight or flight response. Mike's body will respond that way whether he actually sees the dog or whether he just thinks he sees the dog. Remember the activating event can be imagined. In fact, he might just sit down, close his eyes and imagine this dogs, and he is going to have that same response, isn't he? So this is a great way for us to get experience in a safe way. So step two, imagine yourself, visualize yourself being that person.

And then step three, now we're out of the mind and into the real world. Take action steps in increasing ambitiousness. Baby steps, start small, but going up escalating in the direction that we need to go. So actually do those things. If it's speaking, start just saying your talk out loud or your ideas for a talk unattached to doing it perfectly. In fact unattached to the outcome completely. The only thing you're attached to is that you're engaging in the activity. It doesn't matter what comes out. So just start speaking out loud and use notes if you want. And then when you're ready, audio record yourself and then maybe do it in the mirror and then maybe video yourself and then watch it back.

And then when you're ready, maybe get a couple of your friends together and say, I'd love your feedback on something that me. Let me share this with you. And then onto real audiences, always videoing yourself and always reviewing, cause this is the evidence you need to see what you're really capable of achieving. And so each time you're watching unattached to the outcome, you know you'd like to do a good job, but don't get hung up on that - and don’t let perfectionism stop you from even starting this.

Many people that are scared of speaking. Do you know what they're actually, I'm convinced of this, I've asked so many people discussed it with so many people, I'm convinced of this. Do you know what they're actually afraid of? They're not afraid of making a terrible mess of it. They're afraid of not doing it perfectly.

When you think about it, but we don't think about it. That's the beliefs that are kind of lurking and creating this thinking. So you know you gain the insight, your beliefs change as you proved yourself what you can do. You have to, you're, you're faced with the evidence, your confidence builds, the anxiety dissipates, the emotions will change. But you have to start with the emotions you have. You have to start with the anxiety and then eventually the confidence will come.

So powerful Jill, honestly it really is. If it works for speaking, as I said, it will work for anything. I've seen so many people who they would never believe, would able to develop their speaking and being in front of people and then going on to, you know, to speak in front of thousands of people. And actually I know I've spoken way too much, but just one kind of final point here.

If you follow this process of something like speaking, which I recommend all leaders though because it's a great, great skill to develop. Yes. Once you prove to yourself what you can do, you know the process works and then you can help the people in your team to develop this particular skill or any other growth area where they're being held back. You can help them with the process of you like going through this process yourself and facing fears and overcoming fears. Then you're able to help everyone else in your team and help them grow as well.

Yeah, you gave us so much great stuff. I just, one thing was really sticking out for me, and I know you hit it a couple of times, but I think it's just important to reiterate that you said don't get attached to the outcome. Just the activity.

Yeah, that's it. We're responsible for the effort and not the result. That is one of the spiritual groups say that all the time and I think that's a great way of putting it. You just got to do it. You're responsible for the effort. Not the result.

Yeah, and that is, that's really powerful to think of, especially when your experienced, your a leader, you don't want to fail at anything and it's just trying it, just trying to stick to learning and trying it and I think that really stuck out for me that I think is important.

Can I make one more point on the leader because I think people, when they're in charge of people, they put this pressure on top of themselves that they're supposed to be good at everything. They're supposed to be better than everyone else in the team at everything including speaking or leading or whatever. And so you don't want to risk speaking, using that as an example, because you don't want your team to maybe say you're weak or you can't do it or, and I think there's a danger in that thinking because when we shy away from something that we feel we ought to do or when we know actually we're scared and we don't do it, our self-esteem takes a hit.

Our self-esteem is impacted. Even if you think you're saving yourself from the possibility of making a mistake, the self-esteem suffers. But when you take an action and you do it, even if it doesn't work out as you wanted, your self-esteem goes up. And so that kind of resilience comes from taking action. And in fact, many people don't like speaking and so they respect you for having a go as well. So I think that that's a very healthy way of looking at it as a new leader or an existing leader, that people are going to respect you for stepping forward into growth much more than they are from hiding away and trying to pretend you're perfect.

Yeah, I love that. That's so true. We feel like we're supposed to be the perfect model when we actually embrace it when we see some, some people actually not doing everything perfectly, it makes us feel like they're human.

Yeah, humanness is a great way to connect with your team isn’t it? You're gonna end up being connected because you have this humanness about you and pretending you're perfect is a great way to kind of create a gap between you and your team. So everything to be gained from being just stepping forward into growth.

Well, Roddy, I'm curious, how have you applied this to yourself? Yeah, I mean I've used this, I used to struggle with panic attacks years ago or so, I kind of fell into speaking as like an antidote to that. So I've, I've studied this in great detail, great detail and applied it to myself and gone from being terrified to speak in front of people, to speaking in front of, you know, thousands and thousands of people and completely changing my life as a consequence. I've also, as my kind of key role with the John Maxwell team, worked one on one with about 10,000 different speakers over the last 10 plus years and I've seen many of them bloom and go from like terrified into like, Oh my goodness, I've tasted blood now and I, I can't go back. I just love this. I just love it.

And sometimes it's just little things. I remember working with one lady and it was as simple as getting her feet right, and her stance right and her hands right. She saw herself on video. She was terrified. She still has her cell phone video, cause I always video everyone when I'm working with them, so you know, so you can see (A) what we're working on and (B) you can see you can do it. And she said, yeah, you're right. I do look kind of graceful. And she still felt uncomfortable but she was, basically, she came to me cause she had to give a presentation at work. But she still felt uncomfortable. But she looked like a speaker because her hands were, yeah, she he good neutral hand position and feet. She was standing up straight and feet close together. She looked very elegant and that changed everything for her.

Somebody else I was working with who um, there was like a merger of departments and she had this opportunity to stand up. She had a small team and she needed to talk to the people of the combined team. And so all of the managers were going to do this and she was really worried about it. I worked with her for about an hour and a half, that was it, on this like five minute presentation and I used her phone and videoed her from the beginning and she was cringing. Like I said, right, if you have to do it now, what would you do? And she was like, I don't know, we haven't, then we videoed. And she's like, Oh, that was awful. But she like, she got over the fact that I was going to be videoing her and making her doing it quite quickly. Two or three times of doing this kind of two or three minute videos, watching it back. Okay. This time, what do you think you would change? Okay. Yeah, that's great. Right? So we went and we did this for 90 minutes, pretty much constantly. We would talk about it, we'd have some ideas. She said, I need to introduce my team. We'd do it. We'd watch it back. And I'd say, you know that, that that's a little dull, the way you're doing that, is there any stories that you have or anything you could, you know about each of them? And we talked about it and she came up with a couple of little anecdotes that she could use, have another go, watch it back and by the time we'd done this for 90 minutes and she went home to practice afterwards and the next morning I got a call after the thing and she said, you will not believe how well it went. She said everyone else like stood at the lectern and was gripping the lectern and talking down into their notes and I stood up and I didn't need notes, I was walking around, I knew it inside out and I was making them laugh and they were clapping and people came up to me afterwards and said, Oh, you are such a natural leader. You look so comfortable in front of the audience. And it was just because we spent 90 minutes working on a five minute presentation that she was going to give.

I've worked in organizations for a big global organizations in the finance industry for many years, and I've seen the difference it makes when people stand up and they can, even if it's just a one minute like leaving speech or a, you know, a new joiner. If you take those opportunities, you can, you can stand out as a leader if you, if you do it and you don't if you don't. So I think speaking is a great way to define your leadership. It's something I've worked hard at and made significant progress from where I was and I've seen much, much greater progress in, in other people that I've worked with.

I love that story.  Yes, it works with everything, not just speaking. Yeah, thank you. And you made another great point where they come up and say, Oh, you must be a natural. You're so good at this. Yeah. Assume that you were born with this gift.

It's so true. We don't think about the process. Even if we know they've been through the process, we don't think about it. You just kind of see the end result and think, Oh, well you're lucky you're that. I mean, and it's not, I think the natural comes from when we, when we're doing something habitually and it looks like we're doing it without thinking about it. People assume, oh well they're not thinking about it, therefore they must be born this way. You know, different genes. We might as well use it to our advantage. Exactly. I love it.

So fear, fear is really getting in the way of us growing to our full potential. And yeah, you said two things. (1) We need to understand fallibility of emotions and (2) take ownership of the change. Yeah.

And then you gave us three steps that we need to take.

You said (1), identify who we need to become and look around us and see who's around us that maybe mentors or models. So we can do the thing we know we need to do. Step (2), you said visualize ourselves being that person that we need to be doing that. You know, actually seeing ourselves doing it, visualization because we can do this in a safe way and step (3) was take actions but take those small steps, small and slow steps towards where we want to go. Did I get that right?

You go that right, but I'll give you the super hack for those people who have got no patience for the process. The super hack is go straight to step three but be prepared to be uncomfortable. Be prepared to be uncomfortable. Just start doing it and videoing yourself and watching it back or you know, video is great not just for speaking actually cause the video is great for everything cause you can see yourself as other people see you – posture, everything, interviews, Q and A. Anything, anything that you're involved in - golf, swimming. If you can see yourself, it gives you a different perspective. It really helps you learn and grow martial arts, dance, everything. But yeah, if you want the super hack, just do it. Jump straight into step three and as long as you, you know, you don't get overwhelmed and give up, then you'll make rapid progress that way.

I love this. I love this. I got to think about how I'm gonna apply this to spiders, but maybe later. Yeah. Its something that it's been proven time and same as snakes, systematic desensitization is a very, very popular approach with phobias like that. Well I better get used to it. I just moved to a big farm so yeah. That's okay. Increased exposure. Yeah, I'm getting, I'm getting increased exposure right now. Yep.

Well Roddy, is there anything else you wanted to share or anything that you're working on right now that you want to share with us?

So we have, uh, my business partner, Paul Martinelli, who maybe some of your listeners will know. We have a business called Living Empowered and so we have free content that we give out in different formats. Every week we do a show on Saturdays, we have a lesson in the week and it's all free. Some of it goes off to become paid at some point in the future, but every week there's free stuff that you can dive into. So if you're interested in finding out more from me and my business partner and other people within the community, then you can go to and see how you can jump into those. We have a free program coming out starting on the 16th called the science and getting rich, which is based on an old book. It's got lots of great stuff in it with Paul and I discussing that for about 15 hours, all in all, we just finished the filming and you can find out more about that if that interests you.

If you're interested in developing your speaking, I'd highly recommend the John Maxwell team. If you want some more hands on help, then you can email me and if I can help you then I'd love to.

I love it. I can't advocate for that enough either. I met you through the John Maxwell team. I've really engaged in the Empowerment Mentoring. I'm bringing more friends through the book study Science of Getting Rich, we already did your other study around As A Man Thinketh.  Hmm, I love that. I will continue to share everything that you do because you just help people grow and I really appreciate what you shared with us today as well.  It was my pleasure. Thank you for having me.  Bye everybody. It's great to chat with you. You're welcome. It's great to chat with you too. Thank you so much.

Yeah, you're welcome. Bye. Bye. God Bless.


You can reach Roddy at and check out his free content at

You can reach me, Jill Windelspecht at and my website is  I work with leaders and help them through coaching, organization consulting and leadership development.