Daniel Goleman is a psychologist, former science journalist for the New York Times, and the author of 13 books including the #1 bestseller Emotional Intelligence.  He has worked with organizations around the globe, examining the way social and emotional competencies impact the bottom-line. Ranked one of the 10 most influential business thinkers by the Wall Street Journal, Daniel has won several awards including the HBR McKinsey Award for the best article of the year and the Centennial Medallion awarded to him by Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.  His latest book which is titled: Optimal: How to Sustain Personal and Organizational Excellence Every Day shows how emotional intelligence can help us have rewarding and productive days every day.

 

Some interesting insights from this episode:

  • There are four parts to emotional intelligence: Self-awareness, self-management, empathy, and relationship management. The latter builds on the first three parts.
  • There are three kinds of empathy – cognitive empathy, emotional empathy, and empathic concern.
  • When you’re in an optimal state, you’re highly productive, highly engaged, you care about others, you feel connected to your work, and connected to others.
  • The ability to focus is one of the pathways into the optimal state.
  • People who have a sense of purpose and feel inspired in their work, do it better.
  • It’s never too late to increase your level of emotional intelligence.
  • In emotionally intelligent organizations, it’s not just about hitting your targets but how you went about it. Did you get them by inspiring people to give their best or was it by fear and pressure?
  • Team EI is how people on a team relate to one another. And teams with highest team EI are often the most productive.

 

Notes:

Optimal: How to Sustain Personal and Organizational Excellence Every Day

Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ

Daniel Goleman website

Emotional Intelligence Courses

Chris Voss is one of the preeminent practitioners and professors of negotiation skills in the world. He was formerly the lead international kidnapping negotiator for the FBI as well as the FBI’s hostage negotiation representative for the National Security Council’s Hostage Working Group.  He is the founder of The Black Swan Group, a consulting firm that provides training and advises Fortune 500 companies through complex negotiations.  He has taught business negotiation in MBA programs at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business and Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. He also taught business negotiation at Harvard and guest lectured at other leading universities including the MIT Sloan School of Management and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.  His book is titled: Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It.

 

Some interesting insights from this episode:

  • Working the crisis hotline was where Chris first learned the power of empathy. Showing someone that they feel heard is often enough to get them to change their behavior.
  • Empathy is about the transmission of information whereas compassion is about the reaction to that transmission.
  • Any time you relax into stress, you’ll handle it far better. The act of relaxation increases your body’s ability to handle its stress demands.
  • Labeling is a verbal observation of an emotion or a dynamic. It’s a way of demonstrating that you’re listening and understanding the other side.
  • Meeting someone halfway (i.e. splitting the difference) rarely works since it never feels like it’s really halfway. You feel the transaction was unfair.  Reason being, based on the economist Daniel Kahneman, people tend to fear a loss twice as much as they are likely to welcome an equivalent gain.
  • “Excellence is a delight with learning and growing. It is not the pursuit of perfection which is a fool’s errand.”

 

Notes:

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if your Life Depended on It

Black Swan Group

Fireside Black Swan Group Coaching Program

Jason Belmonte is an Australian pro bowler. He has won 31 PBA titles including a record 15 major championships.  He is one of two bowlers in PBA history to have won the Super Slam, winning all five PBA major titles. He has been named PBA Player of the Year seven times.  He is widely considered one of the greatest bowlers of all time.

 

Some interesting insights from this episode:

  • When he was just 10 he told his mother he planned to one day bowl 100 perfect games which he actually accomplished a couple years ago.
  • He chose to pursue bowling over the more popular sports like rugby and cricket given his love for the game despite the fact that it would never be as lucrative.
  • He was often teased and mocked for his two handed style of bowling but he let his impressive scores shut the naysayers down.
  • His unique two handed technique allowed him to spin the ball twice as fast as most other bowlers which allowed him to strike with much greater frequency.
  • He has never had a coach and has always been self-taught, learning from his own mistakes and continually improving his game.
  • A turning point that allowed him to begin dominating the sport is when he shifted his mindset from being worried about failure when everything was on the line to just being in the moment and enjoying himself.
  • “Excellence is working and striving toward a better version of yourself every single day.”

 

Show Notes:

Jason Belmonte website

YouTube videos:

Jason Belmonte YouTube Channel

Nascar bowling: fastest strike ever recorded

Bowling trick shots with Dude Perfect

Bubba Watson is a professional golfer. He has won two major PGA championships, both victories at the Masters.  He has a total of 12 PGA tournament wins and reached a world ranking of 2nd in 2015.  He has played in the LIV Golf league since 2022.

 

Some interesting insights from this episode:

  • Bubba never had formal lessons. He was entirely self-taught. He would just go by feel and practice over and over until he understood how to position himself and swing to achieve a certain shot.
  • In college his drive to be better at golf was due to immaturity – he was mad at people. These days his drive to be better is so he can help people.  Paying it forward is much more important than trying to be the best in the world.
  • He built a distinguishable brand as Bubba – the new age redneck country boy, despite not hunting or dipping or smoking or country music.
  • He was kind and considerate off the golf course but had a hot temper on the course. Pride and ego was eating him alive.  He got caught up in the rankings and allowed that to dictate how he felt about himself.
  • His first Masters victory was on the heels of adopting their first baby so allowing his mind to focus on something outside of golf removed him from the excessive pressure which allowed him to play the match of his life.
  • Joining LIV Golf wasn’t about the money but an opportunity to play golf in a team format which he misses and the entrepreneurial opportunity to own a franchise in an emerging league.
  • “Excellence is touching others in a way that makes their lives better. It’s giving people an opportunity to be successful.”

 

Notes:

Book: Up and Down: Victories and Struggles in the Course of Life

Personal Website: Bubba Watson

LIV site: Bubba Watson and the RangeGoats

Frans Lanting has been hailed as one of the great photographers of our time. For more than three decades he has documented wildlife from the Amazon to Antarctica to promote understanding about the Earth and its natural history through images that convey a passion for nature and a sense of wonder about our living planet.  He has received many honors including Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the Lennart Nilsson Award, The Netherlands’ highest conservation honor – the Royal Order of the Golden Ark, the Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography, and the Lifetime Achievement Award in nature photography. His latest book is titled: Bay of Life: From Wind to Whales.

 

Some interesting insights from this episode:

  • Not knowing the rules will make you experiment with anything and everything. Be aware of the rules but then put them to the side and do things your own way.
  • His empathy toward animals allows him to capture their personalities which are as distinct as our own personalities.
  • Unlike the prevailing methods of photographing the animals from a distance, Frans likes to get up close and personal and take his pictures at eye level to create a more intimate interaction.
  • Too many people are overly fixated with technology but what’s most important is knowing what’s interesting to you and your connection with the subject in front of you.
  • Unlike painting where you start with a blank canvas, with photography you go in the opposite direction and have to delete as much as possible until there is clarity.
  • His photography evolved from capturing a single species to capturing the essence of nature as a network of relationships amongst many species.

 

Notes:

Books:

Bay of Life: From Wind to Whales

Into Africa

Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape

Other books by Frans

Exhibitions:

LIFE: A Journey Through Time

Bay of Life

Website:

Frans Lanting

Carol Tomé is the Chief Executive Officer of UPS.  Previously she served as Chief Financial Officer for The Home Depot.  Carol serves as board member for Verizon Communications, Inc., board of councilors for the Carter Center and is a board trustee for Grady Memorial Hospital Corporation and the Atlanta Botanical Garden.  Carol has been named twice to the Forbes list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women and was listed second on The Wall Street Journal’s list of best Chief Financial Officers, and among the top 50 most powerful women in business by Fortune magazine.

 

Some interesting insights from this episode:

  • She was a competitive downhill ski racer growing up which taught her the importance of advanced preparation. To this day she goes into every meeting well prepared.
  • When she first joined Home Depot, she wasn’t getting through and winning people over so she went to work in the stores to learn the business so she could speak their language.
  • She had a transformative moment at Home Depot when she realized that she was working too hard and didn’t have a purpose and dedicated herself from that day forward to making a difference. This changed how she interacted with the people around her.
  • Much of her success was learning to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, faster than you, and better than you. They lift you up and give you wings.
  • One of her ingredients to success has been to be well networked. Always first look to make deposits with people so down the road you’re in a position to ask for a withdrawal.
  • “Excellence is about thinking all the way around the problem. Go slow to go fast. Or in the language of home improvement, measure twice, cut once.”

Bob Waldinger is a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He is also the director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development and director of the program in Psychodynamic Therapy at Massachusetts General Hospital.  He is a practicing psychiatrist and a Zen master who teaches meditation around the world.  His latest book is titled: The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness.

 

Some interesting insights from this episode:

  • His TEDx talk in 2015 is still one of the most popular TED talks ever with over 44 million views and growing.
  • When trying to optimize happiness, most of us try to strike a balance between eudaimonia, which refers to a state of wellbeing in which a person feels that their life has meaning and purpose, and hedonia, which is more about fleeting happiness.
  • The essence of the findings from the study boils down to relationships. That relationships are more important to long term health and happiness than diet or exercise or anything else in our lives.
  • Contrary to stereotypes, women are not any more likely to form relationships than men. They just have a different means of engaging with one another.
  • About 50% of our wellbeing set point is determined by genetics, 10% is based on our current life circumstance, and 40% is within our control.
  • “Excellence is being as fully and deeply engaged in something as I can be in something I care about.”

 

Notes:

Book: The Good Life: Lessons from the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness

Ted Talks:

What Makes a Good Life?

The Secret to a Happy Life

John Mather is a Senior Astrophysicist in the Observational Cosmology Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. He is also the Senior Project Scientist on the James Webb Space Telescope. His research centers on infrared astronomy and cosmology. He was the chief scientist for the Cosmic Background Explorer and received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2006 for his precise measurements of the cosmic microwave background radiation.  He has served on advisory and working groups for the National Academy of Sciences, NASA, and the National Science Foundation.

 

Some interesting insights from this episode:

  • The James Webb Space Telescope uses infrared technology which allows us to see through the dust clouds to see stars being born.
  • “Maybe the formation of life doesn’t require a rare and exotic coincidence but maybe it’s something that always happens when given the chance.”
  • Like Neil deGrasse Tyson, John visited the Hayden Planetarium as a kid which ignited his early passion for astronomy.
  • He didn’t have his entire career mapped out but rather followed his curiosity and said yes when opportunity would present itself.
  • While society holds the theorists in higher regard than the experimentalists like John, that never deterred him.
  • Stephen Hawking called his discovery of hot and cold spots in the cosmic background radiation “The most significant scientific discovery of this century if not of all time.”
  • COBE took 15 years from inception to launch and the James Webb 27 years but John was able to stay the course on both, keeping himself and his teams motivated along the way.
  • His secret to success isn’t being the smartest one in the room and always knowing the answer but rather not being afraid to ask others.