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The Art & Science of Success

It’s always been hard to deliver great performance without compromising your health or relationships. The pandemic has added to this challenge leaving many with increased stress and anxiety and left us all with profound leadership challenges. Each Tuesday for the next 12 weeks top leadership coach and business advisor, Jonathan Brown, interviews a world class researcher or practitioner to offer research based ideas and tools to help yousurvive and thrive through whatever happens in the next few months or even years. The series combines interviews with both researchers and practitioners to help you to accelerate the recovery of our businesses and even our communities. The podcast offers ways to inspire our people, do truly great work and be our best more often. There’s tactical advice such as dealing with stress, increasing resilience, recovering faster and improving mental health to more strategic considerations such has how to lead a start-up, and how to have a successful life though leading and winning with integrity and character. So, if you want to gain a deeper level of success to deliver peak performance whilst protecting and even improving what matters most this podcast is for you.

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Episode 12: Cultivating the Art and Science of Success.

Welcome to week 12 of the Art and Science of Success podcast.Thank you for your involvement so far, the aim when we set up the podcast was to offer some free help and support for leaders coming out of the pandemic. Some of the conversations this week have been with friendsand clients with the theme – “Great and what should/can I focus on right now?” so that is what we are going to focus on. In this 30 min podcast, I review some of the main points and share some questions we are helping clients with. There’s a clear recovery/preparation focus in what we are doing. For some clients we are offering health screening and personalised performance plans, for others it’s boosting their resilience work so that their people will be able to tackle what ever comes their way in the next six months. Here’s the key talking points. 00.00     Welcome and what’s your story? 02.30     The Man Who Could Fly. 05.50     Values matter even more and becoming a 3C leader. 07.00     Create a shared positive focus with your people. 10.00     How can you ensure your past is perfect preparation for today’s challenges? 13.00     How can you boost any resilience work in your organisation? 17.00     If in doubt, build relationships and be with people you want to emulate. 19.30     How can you increase courage to do what is necessary? 22.00     We can make Post-traumatic growth more likely than PTSD.23.30     Some questions to consider as you prepare for the next 6 months29.00     The “soft stuff” gets you through hard situations.  30.00 Thank you and Close. I will send out the final summary email at the end of the week. Best wishes, JB


13 Oct 2021

Rank #1

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Episode 11: Practical Advice on Tackling Fear and Anxiety Through the Pandemic with Gavin Andrews.

Hello, well here we are at week 11 the penultimate podcast in this series. And in response to one of the main themes of the catch up calls and (as you’ll find in the podcast) data from the CDC in the USA [the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention- they play the same role as Sir Chris Whitty and colleagues in the USA] showing that fear and anxiety was the second biggest cause of hospitalisation and death when someone fell ill with COVID.In this podcast, we speak with Gavin Andrews, MD of HeartMath UK and Ireland, co-founder of WeAddHeart a now global meditation initiative set up in response to the pandemic and also of Syntropy, a new app that integrates digital art, music and meditation to help people get faster and easier results from their meditation and relaxation efforts.And we also get into the great advice many of you shared in the questionnaire from last week. There were some fantastic contributions showing the care and wisdom in this community. Thank you. I have known and worked with Gavin for over 10 years and we recommend the HeartMath tools, techniques and biofeedback devices to help people perform more effectively for less cost. He’s super smart and a really nice chap! Here’s what we discuss:00.00  Welcome and Introduction02.00   Gavin’s work – Making it easier to live through the heart every day.07.00    The CDC research – fear and anxiety making COVID worse – the comorbidity you can change the quickest. 11.42    The UK Government using fear as a motivator – well intentioned but with side effects.16.00    Noticing, labelling and accepting our negative feelings- fear, anxiety, stress, call it what describes it best for you.21.00    What is fear and anxiety? What happens in the body? (see diagrams)26.00    How our stress affects our brain function. 35.00    Why triggering our recovery response is so important. Clear away the debris.41.00    Using emotional regulation to get us to Plan-B44.00    Start with breathing more effectively – here’s how.50.00    Practice session. Heart Focused Breathing.1.01       Advice from the questionnaire -stunning stuff!1.05       Build capacity skills and connection while we can.1.12       Finding your senses.1.13       Community and how to learn more.We go through two slide. I have included them as images in case there was a problem with an attachment on your company systems.Best wishes JB

1hr 15mins

4 Oct 2021

Rank #2

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Episode 10. John Butler: Christian mystic, organic farmer and YouTube sensation.

Hello and welcome to the 10th podcast in our 12 podcast series. It’s been quite a journey so far reconnecting and connecting with the speakers and so many of you. Be sure to get in touch if you haven’t already. This week’s speaker is John Butler and comes courtesy of Shepheard Walwyn publishers, the ethical publisher I support. John Butler is an 84 year old YouTube sensation with his own channel with 200k subscribers. He had his first book published in his 60s but only really came to people’s attention after a YT interview on stillness and spirituality went viral. That video now has an estimated 10m views on all platforms. In this conversation, we explore his life and how he’s found “success” in life. John was one of the first organic farmers in the 1960s and collaborated with people like EF Schumacher, author of Small is beautiful and Lady Balfour, co-founder of the Soil Association. He’s also half Russian (his mum escaped Russia after the original Russian Revolution) and lived there for some years. Whilst this conversation is easily the most spiritually minded of the series, I felt it was a great conversation to include because his ideas on (and experience of) meditation and remaining calm and connected to stillness in challenging situations works at every level. Also, his ideas on consciousness would resonate equally with philosophical idealists such as Bernardo Kastrup and Christian theologians such as Meister Eckhart. His commitment to meditation (almost 60 years of twice daily practice) is staggering and inspirational. Harmonious relationships are at the heart of everything john has done in his life. He demonstrates this in the way he interacts with others. Interviewing him and spending time with him was a real highlight. I spent most of the day with him recording content for ethical publisher Shepheard Walwyn. The first was interview about his book was in the church in Bakewell, Derbyshire. I will post a link on Friday. The interview we have here was in his “first church” as he describes it, which is the hillside overlooking Bakewell. There is some background noise in this interview so apologies in advance. The worst part is around minute 16 but it gets better after that. Here’s a summary of what we discussed. 00.00 Welcome and Introduction03.00 Nature as John’s first Church – seeking space. 07.00 John in Africa – Space, Freedom and Spiritual Connection. 14.00 From organic farming as raising soil consciousness to human consciousness. 16.00 Wanting to be a farmer from before he was born (wind noise worse here). 20.00 Lessons from being a farmer for daily life-The challenge with “helping others.”22.00 To make whole, be whole and finding meditation. 26.00 Inheriting Three Acres at Bicker Fen, Lincolnshire – Can you farm without destruction?32.30 How to align intention and purpose. 36.00 Listening to your environment to know what to do. 38.30 Eating his favourite pig – recycling love. TLC in everything you do. 44.00 From tending to vegetables to tending to people. And making the economics fit your approach. 48.00 “Sinners” and “consumers” - are they the same thing? Connecting with God. 54.00 Taking whole. 57.00 The upside of failure and depression. 1.03 Russia and being with your own people for the first time. 1.10 The funniest “additional information” section ever written on a CV – Don’t fence me in!1.12 Close.

1hr 12mins

28 Sep 2021

Rank #3

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Episode 9: How to succeed in increasingly challenging situations with Chet Richards.

Hello and welcome back to week 9 of the 12-part podcast series. Thanks again for such a positive response. This week we have the second part of the podcast with Chet Richards, author of Certain to Win and long-term friend collaborator with philosopher, John Boyd. We continue reading Boyd backwards as this makes it easier to apply his ideas to normal levels of competition (i.e., non-violent but competitive).So, if you have yet to listen to part one, I suggest you go there first. In this podcast we will be focusing on Organic Design for Command and Control, Patterns of Conflict, Destruction and Creation and we explore how Chet has applied these ideas in his life and we start with one final insight from his Strategic Game of Isolation and Integration.I expect this to be the longest podcast in the series. However, I think it’s worth it – not for situations where you are stressed right now but worth it for a leadership team that is looking ahead and looking to create a more successful future. Next week, we will be back to an hour or so and the guest will blow your mind!So, here’s what we cover in today’s podcast.00.00 Welcome and set up.02.45     Boyd’s Motherhood and Mismatch Strategy – how to attract others to your strategy and move them away from your opponent.05.00     Lessons from Brexit and Dominic Cummings!12.00     Lessons from Covid – how can you seek mismatches in your own ideas about what is actually happening.17.30     Introducing Boyd’s Organic Design for Command and Control. What are the principles for running a successful organisation?21.00     How can you get people to do the right thing for the organisation?31.00     It’s not Command and Control but Appreciation and Leadership that makes the difference in dynamic situations.34.00     How can a leader find out what’s really going on – Does the Queen really think that everywhere in the UK smells of fresh paint and new carpet?47.00     Boyd and Alan Watt’s Tao: The Watercourse Way – how the relational and organic view fit together.51.00     The importance of creating a shared view in your organisation.54.00     Introducing Patterns of Conflict – what does history tell us about succeeding in the very toughest situations.57.00     The Toyota Production System v G.E.’s approach.1.10.00  Boyd’s summary slide for Vitality and Growth. Slide 185. Insight, Orientation, Harmony, Agility and Initiative.1.21        Chuck Spinney’s Evolutionary Epistemology.1.26        Linking new ideas with Destruction and Creation.1.31        In what way has Boyd’s work contributed to your success?1.36        Where were your ideas before working with Boyd?  Yoga and Asian philosophy.1.47        Chet's final advice: Focus on building Snowmobiles.1.48        Close.

1hr 49mins

14 Sep 2021

Rank #4

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Episode 8: How to apply the world's most robust success philosophy to your life.

This week (and next) we are speaking with long time friend and mentor, Chet Richards. Chet is the author of four books, the most famous (and relevant) is Certain to Win: The Strategy of John Boyd, Applied to Business. As many of you will know, John Boyd is the military philosopher whose work ranging from how to win a war to how we can win in non-violent competitive situations, has had such an impact on our work and on the results we help people achieve.In this podcast, we look at Boyd’s body of work and, following advice from Chet, we read Boyd backwards. That is, we begin where Boyd finished – looking at how someone can win in life or, in Boyd’s words, how to generate vitality and growth and the essence of winning and losing. We then work our way back to look at how we need to adapt when the situation becomes increasingly challenging or contentious. At first glance, it may not seem to have much to do with succeeding in the non-violent situations most of us face. However, I have found his work to be the most important work I have integrated into my work. Success in stressful situations does not come from bolting on a few extra steps to a philosophy of action designed for peaceful situations. Success comes from figuring out what works in the most stressful situations imaginable and then stripping the ideas back to suit peaceful situations. Then when the contention or conflict increases your philosophy is returning to it’s most natural state. This can give you confidence that your ideas will stand the pressure placed upon them. So I encourage you to give this one a little time to sink in.  Now more than ever, we are going to face tests to our philosophy of action.Chet and I summarise the key ideas in Boyd's presentations and papers. You can find them for free at Chet's website here. Click here to listenHere’s the rough outline of our conversation.00.00     Welcome and Introduction.02.25     Who was john Boyd and and what did you do with him?  (John’s military career, his work figuring what causes someone to win in a dogfight, all the way up to winning in battle.06.00     Who can handle the fastest rate of change survives. 07.30     Fingertip Intuition (fingerspitzengefuhl) How mastery not resilience is the real key to success in challenging situations.11.00     Why the Taliban won so quickly.13.00     The moral (character and relations) is to the physical as three is to one – Napoleon.  15.00     Finding Boyd through Tom Peters – “General, you need to kill more pilots!” Why it’s important to read Boyd backwards.17.00     The Essence of Winning and Losing. Intuition and the importance of orientation – situational awareness.21.00     How can we make our under pressure reactions intuitive?25.50     Boyd and Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow.27.30     The Conceptual Spiral – how to win through novelty and mismatches. A.k.a. how to do new stuff?36.00     Why are mismatches (errors in our understanding or orientation) the most valuable thing to discover?39.00     How does this relate to both sides of the COVID debate ignoring/shutting down the other?41.00     Einheit – why mutual trust is essential in a stressful situation.45.00     Speed and Initiative – what’s the difference and how do they interact?54.45     Revelation – how to “build snowmobiles” that is how to generate new ideas from the parts of your old ones.1.02.00  The Strategic Game of ? and ? (The Strategic Game of Isolation and Interaction)1.06.00  Grand Strategy – how to design a strategy that attracts the neutrals.  And the importance of moral isolation.1.12.00      Thank you and Close.

1hr 12mins

7 Sep 2021

Rank #5

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Episode 7: Coaching Pioneer and Olympic Champion, David Whitaker shares his experience of helping others

My guest today is business and sports coach, David Whitaker OBE. I was fortunate to be colleagues with David and Sir John Whitmore when I became a partner in Performance Consultants, one of Europe’s most important pioneers of coaching in business.David began his professional life in education.  He combined that with a successful sporting career in men’s hockey, representing England and Great Britain over 100 times.  On retirement from his playing care, he became England and GB men’s hockey coach from 1980 -1988. In that time his team won Olympic bronze (1984), World and European Silver twice and Olympic gold in 1988.In 1989, David co-founded Performance Consultants with David Hemery and Sir John Whitmore. Together, they pioneered the introduction of coaching to the business world. John’s book, Coaching for Performance detailed the approach the three pioneers took to coaching. This book has since gone on to be the best-selling book on coaching around the world. With his wife, top coach Sue Slocombe, he also established one of the first Coaching and Development MSc programmes at Portsmouth University.He has written extensively coaching and has written three books, his most famous, is the now classic Spirit of Teams.David was our senior partner at Performance Consultants and  I had the pleasure and privilege of working with him and being coached by him. I have had the fortune to work with many great coaches and many thought leaders in the field of coaching. No one before or since has more successfully lived the values of a coach as David does. He is, quite simply, the best coach I have ever met.  So, I am excited to share with you this conversation where we explore his coaching journey and his insights into how we can help our people to achieve sustained high performance. Again, whilst force seems to be increasingly used to "persuade" people, I am more and more convinced that the only way we as leaders can generate the performance we will need to navigate the challenges ahead is through collaborative relationships where everyone wants to give and be their best. Therefore, coaching will be essential.  Here's the conversation markers.0000      Welcome and Introduction03.00     Starting out – how coaching and teaching combined for pupil centred learning.09.00     Setting challenges to teach tactics to children and then to international athletes.14.00     What other skills do you employ as a coach?18.30     Giving your people space to find their own answers.23.00     Helping players (and donkeys!) find a way through new situations.24.00     Career recap, from international hockey coaching to business coaching and a partnership with Sir John Whitmore and David Hemery CBE.31.05     Running a coaching business in a recession is actually a good thing.34.30     What are the differences and similarities between business and sports coaching? How has coaching grown in importance during your career?42.00     What are the principles of coaching? – Awareness.46.00     Second principle of coaching – Responsibility.50.00     Interaction of awareness and responsibility.55.44     Self belief – how it can help and hinder coaching.59.15     How do you choose to be with people as a coach?1.03.34  What advice could you give, helping someone to choose to be more helpful to another?1.07.55  What made you successful as a coach? What contributed to the success your coachees enjoyed whilst they were in a coaching relationship with you?1.14        Close.Hope you enjoy it. JB

1hr 15mins

30 Aug 2021

Rank #6

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Episode 6: Building Better Relationships Through Insights from Evolutionary Biologist, Elisabet Sahtouris

Welcome to Episode 6 of "The Art and Science of Success."Today’s guest is Elizabet Sahtouris, evolutionary biologist and ecological campaigner. Elisabet combines an extraordinarily deep appreciation for the environment with practical ideas for forming a better relationship with it – i.e., one based on respect rather than plunder. This is particularly useful as we come to terms with the recently published IPCC report.She may seem to be a strange addition to talks run by a stress specialist but some challenging ideas aside, she’s extremely relevant as I have found that stress is mostly a relational issue – it’s something that happens between us- it just happens to come through individuals so we blame them instead of looking at how we are all interacting together.  She’s been in the field for over 65 years collaborating with people like James Lovelock and Willis Harmon. She’s also spent many years building links between the different types of science in the world.   She says things that I don’t agree with or rather I don’t know I agree with her. But that’s one of the things I find so rewarding interacting with her work – she makes me think and gives my foundations a shake. AND her work is also immensely practical.  Here’s the summary of the topics we cover. 0000       Introduction and shock warning. Listen only if you want to give your beliefs a shake. 4.50        Nature as a dance with reality and how she developed her ideas on evolutionary biology8.50 -     Importance of agency and co-creation12.00     The different sciences around the world and Elisabet’s keyboard metaphor for describing consciousness. 16.00     Exploring the creative process in consciousness and entrepreneurship (and reincarnation?!!)21.00-   Challenging your perspective: Nature, holarchy, the donkey and the rose.28.00     The role viruses play in our evolution – virus as information. 33.00     What can I do to boost my immune system?37.00     How to focus on contribution – on making a difference. 43.00     How does Elisabet regain her perspective and her optimism when she loses it? 48.00     Imagining an economy where you recycle everything – Anaximander’s wisdom.  54.30     Closing wisdom. Really hope you find it stimulating.


24 Aug 2021

Rank #7

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Episode 5: How to Develop Courageous Leaders, Build your Team, Serve Others, and Attract an Amazing Advisory Board.

Welcome to the fifth episode of "The Art and Science of Success." This is part two of our interview with retired Brig General Tom Kolditz, executive director of the Anne and John Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice U in Houston, Texas.In this episode, Tom continues with his advice and experience for leading people out of lockdown. We start with Tom’s research on perhaps the biggest issue in leadership today - cowardice - caused by excessive self interest. He gets into how he developed a truly amazing team and has an extraordinarily simply policy for increasing the likelihood of a successful hire. He also talk about psychological safety and how he creates it (and sometimes fails to). And how he has created a mentoring network for himself and the institute.  Hope you enjoy it.Here’s the detail of the interview.2.10 – The number one leadership problem? Cowardice (defined as excessive self interest) instead of courage– why leaders do bad things and what we can do about it.  5.30 – How Tom applies service to others in his role developing leaders.8.56 – Arizona Airspeed parachute team – from the best individuals to the best team7.16 – How can you get your people to commit to serving/helping the organisation first?10.00- What qualities should you look for when recruiting people?15.30 – Perhaps the funniest and most useful test for recruiting top team players to your team!16.40 – Psychological Safety – how to create it (and how not to).23.20 – Addressing bullying and harassment – fulfilling the leader’s duty.27.15 – how Tom’s Institute is turning “competitors” into collaborators. More and better leaders- everywhere.30.30 – The Extraordinary Board of the Institute including Klaus Schwab, Jim Collins, Colin Powell, Al Gore, and Wendy Kopp.35.00 – Creating a demand for your services – how students are now coming to Rice for the leadership.38.00 – Why are you optimistic about the future?42.00 - What advice do you have for people working in an unsupportive or toxic environment?44.00 - Focus on contribution as seen through the people you impact.  Hope you enjoy it.


17 Aug 2021

Rank #8

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Episode 4: How to Use Military Grade Research to Develop Leaders in Your Organisation.

Welcome to the fourth episode of “The Art and Science of Success”My guest today is Tom Kolditz, one of the world’s top leader and coach developers. In his current role as Executive Director at the Anne and John Doerr institute for New Leaders, he now leads the world’s biggest coaching program.Before this Tom had a decorated career in the US Army beginning as a psychology Phd artilliary man eventually making it to US Military Academy, Westpoint where he led the biggest research project into in extremis leadership since the second world war.His book, “In Extremis Leadership – Leading as if your life depended on it” introduced this research (and other work) to the world in 2007.In 2012, he became the Director of Yale’s Leadership Development Program. And in 2015, he was persuaded by legendary investor duo John and Anne Doerr to transform student leadership standards at Rice University in such a way that it could be scaled around the world. In Tom, we have a fantastic mix of research and results obsessed psychologist, army general, start up entrepreneur and all-round fantastic leader. In this episode we get into his leadership lessons growing up and in his time in the Army. all with the focus on what business leaders need to focus on in the next 12 months as we come out of lockdown. He has some very interesting, research proven ideas on leadership programs and how most of them are making critical mistakes. And typical of Tom, he suggests some very simple solutions. It’s also inspiring as his work shows that you can develop leaders from any position -something that will be crucial to deal with the leadership crisis we face currently. If you are interested in or responsible for any area of leadership or young leader development this is a must listen.


9 Aug 2021

Rank #9

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Episode 3: What do leaders in extreme situations need to succeed? (Part 2)

Welcome to the third episode of “The Art and Science of Success”This is the part 2 of our interview with Professor Mike Matthews of the US Military Academy West Point. He is the most published military psychologist in the world, having written literally hundreds of academic papers. Collectively, his research interests center on Soldier performance in combat and other dangerous contexts.In this episode, we continue our discussion into character-based leadership. We look into what the research shows about character, and what you can do to improve leadership using it. We also look at why people succeed and fail and what do leaders in extreme situations to succeed.Listen to the entire episode to learn about Professor Mike Matthews and how to succeed in extreme situations. Let us know how much you are enjoying the show. Rate and review before the next episode!Contact infoJonathan BrownWebsite: www.alppartners.comtwitter @jonasanbrownLinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathanscottbrown/Notable Work.Mike’s written over 200 academic papers. The most famous is “The Grit Paper” with Angela Duckworth, Chris Peterson and Dennis Kelly.https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6290064_Grit_Perseverance_and_Passion_for_Long-Term_GoalsHere’s Mike’s Amazon page (UK) -https://www.amazon.co.uk/Michael-D-Matthews/e/B001K8IE86?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3&qid=1627229876&sr=8-3And for US based listeners -https://www.amazon.com/Michael-D-Matthews/e/B001K8IE86?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3&qid=1627229876&sr=8-3


3 Aug 2021

Rank #10