Having launched the careers of some of the worlds most respected thought leaders, Julie Masters delves into the minds of some of the brightest and most influential players in their space. From CEO’s to FBI hostage negotiators, Julie explores what it takes to build trust and authority in your space, so that you can effectively lead a conversation, an industry or a global movement.
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Michael Grinder: Charisma, Power and The School of Unlearning
Here’s a question – how do you feel about the word charisma?
Does it inspire you? Make you think about world leaders or industry icons – those who are able to inspire others with their words and actions. Does it make you cringe? Feel somehow kind of hollow – like a veneer or side show designed to hide something? Or does it just feel like a super power you either do or do not have.
The honest answer for me – is somehow all of those things. I’ve seen charisma – that illusive magnetic quality – move mountains, raise millions of dollars and build entire organisations from nothing but an idea.
I’ve also seen the traditional definition of charisma – one of flamboyance, volume and a willingness to put on a show - be responsible for keeping some of the most incredible people, ideas and companies on the side lines. Resigned before they begin - by the mistaken belief that they don’t have what it takes to achieve that level of influence.
So much power – for one very little word.
Today’s guest takes that word charisma – and turns it inside out. Rather than an attribute that’s externally referenced – what people think of me, the end result I achieve – he believes it to be something that starts from within.
He also believes that charisma – and influence – has very little to do with the words that we say – but rather in the space between the words – or non-verbal cues as he calls them.
In other words – he’s someone I had to talk to.
Michael Grinder has over 40 years of experience training thousands of groups. Known as the pioneer of nonverbal communication, Michael helps executives and educators assess people accurately, connect with others deeply, and build their charisma.
He’s written 14 books, which have been translated into seven languages. He’s a sought-after speaker across seven continents. He was also Teacher of the year on three different occasions and a recipient of the 2019 DACH “Mediator of the Year.”
In this conversation we dive into:
How to avoid being shot as the messenger of bad news – especially if you’re in a leadership position that involves naming the unpopular elephant in the room.How to use your breath as a tool to immediately move your body from fight or flight – into a zone of powerful influence.Why the cracks in works of great art, hold the key to understanding the two spaces we need to occupy when lifting our charismaThe role of ‘planting’ when it comes to diffusing conflict – or igniting possibility. GAME CHANGERAnd finally, why there should be a school of unlearning, when it comes to the stories we tell ourselves about our own ability to influence – and the tools we are given (or in many cases not given) to make the leaps in impact we want to make.
If you’re interested in even more tools from Michaels arsenal. Can only cover so many in an audio format – if you want to learn more – I can’t recommend highly enough that you check out Michaels newsletter ( http://michaelgrinder.com/free-charisma ). It’s packed full of tools, videos, resources on every area of this topic.
In this episode, what I’d love you to reflect on – or keep at the back of your mind - is this line that you’ll hear us discuss: ‘If you can’t give solutions, give sanity’.
I think all too often, as leaders, parents – salespeople – we fall into the solution trap. The idea that our role is to have all the answers. To have a clever strategy, or winning smile, that will make all the uncertainty disappear.
The irony is that – more often than not – the people who look to you – or look up to you – they aren’t even listening. They’re measuring how you hold yourself. They’re reading your body language, your voice, your pauses and the strength and certainty of your presence.
That’s charisma. That’s influence. And those are tools you can learn.
Oberon Sinclair: How Kale became famous: How one woman created the world's most infamous vegetable
I’m going to start today’s introduction with a quote from The Times: “If the vegetable kingdom had a supermodel it would be Kale.”
You know Kale - the green leafy vegetable that seems to be in everything? Steamed kale, baked kale, kale smoothies, dehydrated kale chips and my personal favourite – kale ice-cream.
For those of you that have been living under a rock – kale has to be the world’s most talked about super food of the past few years.
In 2014, Whole Foods went from barely stocking Kale to selling 22k bunches per day, and small-time kale chip producers became multi-millionaires practically overnight.
From food to fashion - even Beyoncé sported a Kale sweatshirt in one of her popular music videos.
So, like all things that seemingly come out of nowhere and suddenly become viral – it’s interesting to ask the question – what exactly happened?
Who started these wheels in motion – how do they feel about what happened next - and more importantly – how on earth did they do it?
So this episode started nearly a year ago – when I hadn’t yet asked myself any of those questions about my morning smoothie. It began with an email from someone call Captain Jack. The rough gist of the email was ‘I love your podcast and – if you haven’t already – you have to talk to a lady called Oberon Sinclair. She made Kale famous’. Full stop.
Now we get a handful of these emails every week – some are interesting – some are down right strange - but there was something about Captain Jack – and the words ‘made Kale famous’ – that I think pretty understandably got me hooked. Pardon the pun.
What followed was a six month conversation from various points around the globe, that led me to become more and more fascinated with the phenomenon that is Oberon Sinclair.
In simple answer to the question – yes she did single handedly make Kale famous – but how she did it – and why she did it – is a story you have to hear. So here are a few background details…
Oberon is the CEO and founder of the PR and creative agency, My Young Auntie.
Over the past 20 years, she has collaborated with, consulted for and managed clients including Hermès, Vivienne Westwood, Jack Spade, Converse and Fabergé. On top of all of that she is also widely regarded and known – as the Queen of Kale.
In this conversation we unpack:
How to spot – and create trends - by making and creating space in your life for curiosityWhy deciding to act on that zing – is one of the most powerful decisions you can make in business and in lifeWhy she created the American Kale Association – and why it became the vegetable kingdoms best kept secret How to create a network of influence – including creating natural, unforced connections – no faking it until you make it hereThe keys to putting together effective collaborations – including the three step rule - Connect, create, collaborate
What I’d love you to reflect on when listening to this conversation – is how un-linear her journey has been. I think we can often fall into the trap of taking a a+b=c approach to influence – or to building any kind of business, career or movement from scratch.
From my experience – and from any of the conversations I have had with those that have fire tested the tools – it just doesn’t work that way. It involves trusting your instincts, following the breadcrumbs when they appear, showing up and staying inspired when it feels like you’re on an unexpected detour (aka the whole of 2020). And finally – playing the long game with the people you meet along the way.
If this conversation feels like it walks down many different paths - it’s because that’s what a truly inspired and influential life often feels like. The question is always our commitment to keep walking.
On that note – sit back, pull out the kale chips a
Cody Keenan - Finding your voice: Lessons from Obama in compelling communication
Today’s we’re going to dive into that last word – Nation.
What does it take to write a speech so captivating - so compelling – that it has the ability to stop a Nation in its tracks? Make the planet literally sit up and pay attention – or define an entire moment in history for generations to come. Would it be fair to say that the writing of that speech would take a level of mastery that’s worth knowing?
I’ve worked with speakers and presenters for twenty years. And this bit, the crafting of the story itself – what’s too much – what’s not enough – what’s too simple – what’s too complex – what does justice to the ideas – and what will just get lost amongst the noise. That’s always the most underestimated part. Presentations skills you can learn – an instinct for the unparalleled power of words – that’s a level of mastery that takes years or decades to develop.
Unless… of course… you learn from the best.
My guest today is exactly that. Someone I have admired for years as THE master of the craft. Keenan is a professional speechwriter who, as Director of Speech Writing for President Obama - has written or edited more than 2,000 speeches for his boss. Including the historical March 2015 speech, when Obama spoke in Selma, Alabama, marking 50 years since "Bloody Sunday". More recently he also worked on Obama’s Democratic National Convention speech, which is still being described by many pundits as a ‘historically unprecedented’.
So what does that take? Where do you start? What words do you use when there are no words? Or – in moments when every single word counts so much – that each will be dissected a million times by the media. What you’re about to hear is basically a masterclass in compelling communication.
In this conversation, we dive into…
One of the most powerful questions I have ever heard when it comes to owning your space in a room – or an arena… ‘Why are you the only one who can tell this story?’ The importance of starting and ending a speech on purpose - how to grab the audience’s attention from the first word and send them home with a fire to move forward. Transitions and signposting – basically how to move seamlessly from one point to the next without losing your audience.Why the best speeches are like jazz – a piece of advice that came from President Obama himself – where the pauses and low notes are what allow the high notes to shine. Why you shouldn’t put anything in a speech that you wouldn’t say to a friend in a bar – try thinking about public policy this way and you’ll get what a mind flip that requires. And surprisingly, and reassuringly, that even for the man who writes to a nation, on some of the most pressing issues of our time... self-doubt and imposter syndrome are par for the course. The question is, can you put them to work for you - rather than letting them run the show.
As a heads up – Cody does make a few references to mass shooting events - in the context of moments where it’s hard to find the words. I’ll leave you to decide how best to take care of yourself and your loved ones in those moments.
What I do want you to reflect on here is that – as always - genius leaves footprints. Think of the last speech you witnessed that left you glued to your chair. That left you utterly committed to taking some action. Can you map out its basic structure? What caught your attention straight out of the gate? What were the core 3-5 points? How did they finished in a way that made sure you took action? Pay attention, all the clues are there.
Oh and finally – if you write anything on a post it note and stick it to your desk today – let it be this: “What’s the story I want to tell – and why am I the only person who can tell it?”
In the meantime, settle back and enjoy my conversation with the incredible mi
Valerie Young - Rewrite the script: How to stop playing small and break free from imposter syndrome
Have you ever caught yourself wondering if you’re the right person for the job? I’m talking about that feeling that eventually - everyone is going to figure out that you’re making it up as you go along. That questioning how you even found yourself in the position you are, doing the things that you’re doing? Wondering when (not if) anyones eventually going to ‘find you out’?
And secondly - here’s the biggie - have these thoughts ever stopped you from shooting for something - or asking for something - that really mattered?
Today’s topic is a deeply personal one for me...
I know for me there has been countless times in my life, not just my career, where I’ve thought to myself “”? And now that you’re here, how on earth are you going to pull this off?”
As a mum, a founder, a speaker, my inner voice can sometimes be deafening than the sound of the busy-ness, even louder than the sound of the triumph, can I probably don’t have enough fingers and toes to count how many times my inner voice has been loud enough to stop me at the last minute from taking a dive into something beautiful.
That’s what makes today’s podcast guest and conversation, such a deeply personal one for me, because I know the grips that Imposter Syndrome has had on me in the past, and I’m sure for you as well, and
So - as one of the first in the year - I went on a mission to find the No 1. Voice on the planet on imposter syndrome.
Find we did - and her name is Valerie Young,
Valerie has spoken at some of the world’s largest and most diverse organizations as Apple, Chrysler, Boeing, Microsoft, IBM, Facebook, BP, Google, TED - and the list just keeps going - as well as at over 85 colleges and universities including Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, MIT, and Oxford.
Just exactly how far-reaching the effects of imposter syndrome are - here’s a clue it doesn’t belong to an age group or a gender - in fact - the further up the tree you go - the more likely you are to deal with itWhat it can do, to even the most capable of people - and why it’s vital that we learn to deal with it or miss out on vast amounts of potentialThe tools to re-frame that voice in our heads when it appears - to literally take the ‘freeze effect’ and use it as fuelDeveloping new responses to failure and mistake making - this one has been huge for me this past year. Starting with my conversation with Mark Schulman - drummer for Pink and the phrase ‘Am I free to fail?’Why the belief that we are imposters relies on one fundamentally untrue assumptionAnd what to do when we feel that cycle of self-doubt kick in
This was one of those conversations, that started out for me - and hopefully will continue to gain traction as we start discussing - in more and more places - and certainly on this podcast - the stories that keep us small - in business, in society and in life - and ways to flip that narrative to make the largest contribution we’re capable of making.
And that involves first believing that we deserve to be there.
So grab your favorite biscuits, I’m all in on Tim Tams at the moment - make sure you’ve got your pen and paper handy - and let 2020 be the year you finally let that imposter go.
Enjoy my conversation with - Valerie Young.
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Lessons learned from 100 episodes
So here we are, 2021 has to be one of the most eagerly anticipated years of recent times, and today’s episode marks 100 episodes into the Inside Influence journey.
You know, honestly, I'm a little bit in shock with that last one. Three years ago, Inside Influence started out over dinner with a friend, we were talking about how the tools of influence had changed over the last decade. How we had watched the pyramid of influence completely turn on its head.
These shifts had taken us from an analog to a digital world. From those with a platform having the power and the voice - to those with an iPhone. From brands being the central holder and focus of attention - to human beings. From the information age - to a world of Epic storytelling. From success equating currency in the bank - to success literally now being valued on the currents of attention and engagement you're able to command.
I can still remember the day when we press go on the first episode. Since then we've been on a ride that I could not have imagined. Diving deep into the world of global movements, WWF wrestling (that was a trip), the underbelly of Hollywood, FBI hostage negotiation, Unskippable storytelling and presidential politics. Throughout it all, the single point of focus has not changed – that being trying to decode this new age of influence. Essentially, unpacking exactly what is it that makes the people, movements or ideas of this new age utterly and truly compelling.
So for this episode, in case you've not guessed already, it's just me. I'm flying solo. I wanted to take a moment to just reflect on some of the lessons I've learned over the past hundred episodes. And not only that, but some of the core lessons I've seen play out and take quantum leaps over the past 12 to 24 months.
However, before I do, it feels appropriate and somewhat necessary to me to take a moment just to acknowledge the year that has been.
We started 2020 on a trajectory that changed very quickly. I remember when lockdown first happened, when our businesses, careers, lives and families first underwent this giant shift. In the beginning, all I can remember thinking was - I don't know what to say. I was being asked to speak on podcasts, interviewed for magazines and to be honest I felt like a fraud. The predominant voice in my head just kept saying the same words - I don't know what to say. I felt like I just needed to shut up and listen, because I didn’t have the words to describe this moment. I didn't have the words to be useful. I didn’t have the words to translate this in a way that I felt was helpful.
And so that's what I did. I listened and it soon became apparent that nobody really knew what to say. And for me, as someone who defines my world through words, that was deeply unsettling. I think it was deeply unsettling for most of us. In particular, those in leadership positions, where you have people or communities looking to you to find the right words.
It felt like we’d been rugby tackled off the road well-travelled and onto a dirt track, where nobody had a map or suitable shoes. Even the boldest amongst us stumbled as much, if not more, than we stood. And so it opened a different conversation. I got to watch a new conversation unravel and unfold, and that was one of bravery.
This conversation became one of showing up - one of pulling close our communities, businesses, competition and communities. And one that, as I started to watch it unfold, began to amplify the speed and importance of the trends that, interestingly enough, we had already been uncovering in this podcast. These are the lessons I want to talk a little bit about in this episode
In essence, it turns out that the right words don't matter as much as consistently showing up. It also turns out that relying on fear as a tool of persuasion can get you a very long way, a very long way, but not all
James Clear - Atomic Habits: How to lock in new habits, lock out distractions and move to the next level
Now, hands up if you have a set routine whilst listening to this podcast. Maybe you listen whilst you’re in the gym or on your commute?
Obviously, if you’re listening to this at the time of publishing – when most of us are in lockdown due to the Covid 19 pandemic - you’re not at the gym and your commute is probably a traffic-free 10 second stroll to the kitchen table. So, in that scenario, it’s likely that your podcast listening habit has shifted or changed. And if that habit has changed, then I imagine, like me, most of your other habits are either completely out the window or drastically re-engineered.
And… I’d take a guess that you’re probably forming new habits for this new landscape; some good (like spending more time with your family and finally reading those books you’ve been meaning to get to), and some, like the daily baking of banana bread and drinking of red wine - potentially bad.
As the saying goes, we are creatures of habit. Habits ground us, they lead us, they calm us. According to researchers at Duke University, they also account for 40 percent of our daily behaviour. So what happens when all our usual habits disappear – or become impossible?
Although unsettling (which is a just a fancy way of saying a cause for being either frozen, frantic or freaking out), it can also present us with a massive opportunity to upgrade. To bed down new habits – atomic habits - that can become the foundations of whatever comes next.
In times of crisis we are either catastrophic or catalytic – The habits we develop during this time – they will become the catalysts to who we become next.
So, all you need to do to improve your habits; is put in some good new ones, remove the bad old ones. Easy, right? Well, it’s easier than you think, and my guest for this episode can help you... 1% at a time.
James Clear is the author of New York Times Best Seller: ‘Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones’. The central question to James’ work both in the book and on his website and (EXCELLENT) newsletter is: how can we live better? And as I’ve said, our habits are the foundation to how we answer that question.
So what is an Atomic Habit? They are small 1% improvements in behavior that, over time, compound into full-blown transformation. And this isn’t just about ‘will power’ and ‘mind over matter’. This is about removing the mental load of intending to get something done every day – and beating yourself up when you don’t – into creating micro habits that you can achieve easily, consistently – and eventually automatically.
In this episode we talk about:
● Forming and enforcing new habits in this new environment - and what four things you need to focus on to cement those new habits.
● How to make the immediate outcome of your habit satisfying – even when the greatest returns may feel in the distant future – i.e. developing killer abs.
● The vital practices of Habit stacking and habit squashing - and how to master both.
● Why identity always trumps motivation when the going gets tough. First asking yourself “Who is the type of person I want to become?” and “What would they do right now”?
And Warren Buffet’s two-list rule; how the most dangerous things on your to-do this are the ‘good’ uses of your time (and also that you're a rose bush and not a tree, but that’ll make a lot more sense later).
I could go on with the sound bytes as this episode is packed with them, but perhaps the most striking insight for me, is that ‘every action you take is a vote for the type of person you want to become’. If you sit with that one sentence for long enough – other than potentially regretting that last bottle of wine – it brings every decision you make from here into blinding clarity.
So, pick a chair, corner
Customer ReviewsSee All
Powerful, impactful and articulate
There is a deliberate, thorough and thoughtfully curated range of guests, each one as articulate as the last.
Inspiring insights and perspectives from Julie
Julie is a curious and intelligent interviewer and her podcast is gold in my ears. Introduces me to key influencers and sends me off like Alice down the rabbit hole searching out more on them. Thank you Julie!
Liz Van Vliet, Being Indispensable
Good show but...
This is a good show with great ideas but this is constructive criticism - the host speaks really slowly and pauses a lot, the episodes could be 30% shorter, feels like we’re waiting for the host to get through a sentence all the time. Work on that and this show would be 5 stars easy.