Every business is in some way a “people business”. Success or failure often comes down to how leaders manage the people dynamics of their organization. People Business is a weekly podcast focused on what it takes to build and lead a successful, profitable business by navigating the human element. The host, O’Brien McMahon, is a Senior Vice President in Lockton’s Total Rewards Group where he works with companies to build and manage their benefits, compensation, and retirement programs. Having met with 300+ companies in the last decade, he’s seen all manner of industries, business models, and leadership styles. He’s fascinated by what makes people tick and how they work together (or don’t).
Getting Into StoryMode w/ Jill Pollack & Beth Nyland
Jill Pollack and Beth Nyland are the founders of StoryMode, where they help business professionals spice up their communications, connect with others, and drive results. With Beth's career in corporate communication and Jill's background in creative writing, they are the perfect team to help individuals tap into their creative confidence and craft messages that inspire the audience to action.
Mentioned in this Episode:
Why Inspiring Stories Make Us React: The Neuroscience of Narrative by Dr. Paul Zak How to Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark Time Codes:
(3:33) - What is StoryMode?
(5:01) - What makes a good story?
(7:49) - What is it about a story that makes us connect emotionally?
(13:15) - What place does storytelling have in business?
(16:10) - What are the misconceptions from the business community around the value of story?
(19:50) - What is C.R.A.P.?
(23:00) - How do you help clients cut the C.R.A.P.?
(31:01) - How can people begin to use story?
(35:18) - What are the best ways to practice building a story into a business setting?
(39:05) - Workshopping & Peer Editing
(46:01) - How do you use stories in data-heavy presentations?
(50:57) - The importance of note-taking, first drafts, and peer feedback.
(57:41) - Do clients have to change their workflows to better understand story?
(59:25) - The power of word choice.
(1:05:59) - What are you sick of talking about when it comes to storytelling?
(1:09:16) - What are you most excited to be talking about?
(1:10:56) - What is the purpose of business?
(1:15:00) - Where can people learn more?
The Sales Drummer w/ Tony Lenhart
Tony Lenhart is a partner at Sales Empowerment Group (SEG). With a degree in Selling & Sales Management, he has worked on honing the art and science of sales through direct sales, sales leadership, and entrepreneurship. He spent the first decade of his career in various sales and leadership roles and the last ten years scaling a successful sales consulting and staffing organization. Since founding SEG, Tony has worked alongside over 200 small and mid-sized organizations and 1,000+ salespeople to help build or rebuild their sales cultures. He maintains a monthly newsletter, Sales Drummer, which lays out his learnings over the years.
Mentioned in this Episode:
Margaret Heffernan: Forget the Pecking Order at Work7 Habits of highly effective people by Stephen CoveyThe 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman Drive by Daniel PinkDan Price on LinkedInGong Call Recording Software Timecodes:
(2:48) - What is Sales Empowerment Group?
(4:00) - Tony’s origin story.
(4:51) - What makes a good salesperson?
(6:15) - Is there a difference in traits based on industry or type of sales?
(7:22) - How would someone know whether to hire one sales style over another in their company?
(9:15) - Do you see companies looking for the wrong traits in their salespeople?
(11:28) - What are good leaders doing to get the most out of their entire sales team?
(14:41) - Onboarding rookies vs. seasoned salespeople.
(20:32) - Why veteran salespeople struggle at new jobs.
(23:01) - When the client’s team turns over.
(24:46) - Is it the salesperson's responsibility to be organized & structured or the company’s?
(27:25) - How should companies deal with different personalities when it comes to basic organization requirements?
(29:45) - Do you see companies managing the wrong metrics?
(34:17) - Collaborative sales environments.
(39:20) - Accountability vs. Micromanagement: what is proper sales accountability?
(41:47) - What are the first things a new sales leader should do when taking over a team?
(43:40) - Where do sales leaders go wrong?
(48:47) - Why do companies change sales compensation so much?
(50:59) - What really motivates salespeople?
(56:22) - O’Brien’s origin story at Lockton.
(59:19) - What are you sick of talking about?
(59:46) - What are you most excited to be talking about?
(1:00:19) - Thoughts on automated sales cadence.
(1:02:11) - What is the purpose of business?
The Retention Expert w/ Lynn Thomas
Lynn Thomas is a tax-attorney-turned-consultant who finds innovative and novel ways to create fiercely loyal clients and employees. She is an expert in client and employee retention and helping companies thrill the people they work with. Consequently, these businesses achieve higher levels of profits, growth, and retention.
Mentioned in this Episode:
Thomas ConsultingExtreme Humanism by Tom PetersEpisode: Preventing Burnout w/ Kaitlyn Lyons Time Codes
(2:21) - How does a tax attorney become a client and employee retention specialist?
(9:48) - Redefining what it means to "win".
(14:11) - What are the shared principles between customer and employee retention?
(17:43) - Examples of companies delighting their employees and clients.
(24:25) - What does it mean to be a good leader?
(28:31) - What are companies getting wrong regarding employee retention?
(31:50) - Q-TIP: Quit Taking it Personally
(33:51) - How do you break down the walls when a client or customer won’t tell you the problem?
(38:59) - How did you develop the ability to ask questions?
(41:50) - Tragedy’s effect on mindset.
(46:24) - How do you coach people to change their mindset?
(50:32) - Why are people afraid to get fired from jobs they hate?
(51:54) - What are you sick of talking about?
(57:20) - What is the purpose of business?
Inner Excellence w/ Jim Murphy
Jim Murphy is a performance and mental skills coach to Olympic and professional athletes and business leaders around the world. He has coached some of the world’s best golfers including world champions, FedEx Cup champions, and world #1’s. His first book, Dugout Wisdom: Ten Principles of Championship Teams came from his 38 in-person interviews of pro baseball GMs and field managers for his master's degree in Coaching Science. In this episode we talk about his second book, Inner Excellence: Train Your Mind For Extraordinary Performance and the Best Possible Life.
Mentioned in this Episode:
7 Tips for Golfers of a Certain AgeJim Website - https://innerexcellence.com/Jim's Twitter - @innerexcellenceJim's Facebook - @innerexcellenceJim's Instagram - @innerexcellencejimmurphyTime Codes:
(2:41) - Why is the statement “Sports is 90% mental and 10% physical” wrong in your eyes?
(5:24) - How do you define “heart”?
(5:57) - What’s the process when working with your clients?
(8:27) - What are the biggest fears or obstacles people you work with face?
(10:05) - Are these obstacles something every human deals with or just people who are trying to be the best version of themselves?
(12:33) - How does someone get out of self-criticism?
(14:13) - The process of rewiring someone’s inner trauma.
(19:24) - How do you become more selfless when you have selfish goals?
(21:49) - Where's the line between ‘loving your opponent’ and giving yourself an excuse to lose?
(26:42) - Do you find that people are afraid to love?
(32:14) - How do you coach people to become vulnerable?
(35:07) - Are there things average people can do on their own to identify and work through their fears?
(38:32) - How do you define courage and help people become more courageous?
(45:18) - Mental Toughness
(47:06) - How can people find you and engage with your work?
Measure Your Mind w/ Debbie Vyskocil
Debbie Vyskocil is the Founder and President of Optimal Edge Performance, a neuroscience-based, data-driven consulting firm that coaches clients to reach peak levels of achievement. With an electrical engineering background, a psychology degree, and extensive neuroscience training, Debbie's unique combination of scientific and emotional acumen leads her to work with some of the business world’s highest performers.
Mentioned in this Episode:
Daniel Pink’s Guide to the Perfect NapDebbie's Sleep Course Brain PauseOptimal Edge Performance on Social:LinkedInFacebookInstagramTime Codes:
(2:39) - Can you pitch Optimal Edge Performance?
(3:42) - Debbie’s origin story.
(7:23) - What is the autonomic nervous system?
(8:38) - Getting the blood back in your hands.
(10:20) - What is an EEG?
(13:02) - What does the onboarding process look like for new clients?
(18:55) - What does the exercise look like to combat ‘busy brain’? What data are you looking at?
(25:20) - What happens to the brain waves when you’re in a state of mindfulness?
(31:05) - Building resilience through data.
(34:17) - What’s the upkeep on these habits? Is there a lot of ongoing practice needed?
(35:11) - Are there common issues you see with high-performers?
(37:55) - The importance of sleep.
(46:53) - How long does it take to reprogram your brain?
(51:02) - Does trauma come up in your work? How does it affect the coaching?
(52:32) - What surprised you the most about your research into mattresses and pillows?
(58:50) - Wrap Up
Improve Your Headspace w/ Dr. Clare Purvis
Dr. Clare Purvis is the Senior Director of Behavioral Science at Headspace. Bridging science and innovation, Clare is committed to developing and scaling health products that support people in living full and vital lives. Clare leads the company’s Behavioral Science team, which focuses on integrating behavioral science into company operations at scale, ensuring that Headspace inspires, guides, and supports our members in living healthier and happier lives.
Knees Over Toes Guy on InstagramHeadspace TED TalkMegan Jones BellMindfulness in Sesame StreetTime Codes:
(2:59) - What is Headspace?
(4:25) - What is meditation vs. mindfulness?
(6:28) - Why is being present with a curious mind and a kind heart important?
(9:37) - How did you get to Headspace and what’s your role?
(14:01) - What’s surprised you the most from the data?
(21:00) - How does meditation affect mental health and the way one views oneself?
(25:15) - Does mindfulness help develop the prefrontal cortex in youth?
(28:27) - What insights have you gained through the pandemic?
(34:09) - How does Headspace balance keeping people on the platform without developing a social media-like addiction?
(39:02) - Is there anything about behavioral science that people can use to ‘trick’ or nudge themselves into better habits?
(48:48) - What are you most excited about in the intersection of technology and mental health?
(53:20) - BONUS: a short Headspace Meditation
This was one of the best conversations. O’Brien is a great interview. Perfect blend of serious and fun.
O'Brien does an outstanding job extracting insight and tangible, applicable lessons. Great podcast! Keep up the awesome work, O'Brien!
This Guy Knows People
If you want to learn more about the psychology of people, and give yourself some tactical takeaways to drive results - listen to this pod. It’s THAT good.