Trust your gut or not – all about executive decision making


In this week’s episode I welcome Dr. Gleb Tsipursky. We recorded it on a Friday night without having had a chance to talk about his topic in great detail before. What attracted me to Gleb’s profile is that he is on a mission to protect leaders from dangerous judgement errors – widely known as cognitive biases. So his expertise is around decision making and gut instinct, and actually not relying on your gut instinct.
 
An interesting episode where Gleb speaks about his life and how he came to the US from Moldovia as a child, a country which seems to be one of the unhappiest in the world. He shares his story how he started being interested in decision making based on his personal story, the dot.com boom and bust as well as his research.
 
He recently published his book Never Go With Your Gut, How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters (Avoid Terrible Advice, Cognitive Biases, and Poor Decisions)  in which he summarises his findings.
 
Gleb argues that our gut feelings haven’t adapted to the modern world, but still have the instincts from our ‘savanna days’. Therefore, if we rely on our gut feelings, we make the wrong decisions as they aren’t good decisions in today’s world anymore. That’s where the cognitive bias comes in too.
 
In order to make better decisions he suggests to follow a basic 5 step process:
  1. What Information didn’t I yet fully consider?
  2. What dangerous judgement errors haven’t I yet addressed? 
  3. What would a trusted advisor suggest I do?
  4. How have I addressed all the ways how it could fail?
  5. What information would you hold to change your mind?
This decision making process should overwrite your gut, particularly for major decisions. His book goes into more details, however listen carefully to his examples in the podcast which are fascinating. It shows how the confidence level changes due to cognitive bias. It goes in line with how the body mind connection is helping you to be more positive and confident for instance; we discuss how Emotional Intelligence (EQ) can or cannot help us to make better decisions too. It’s important to understand our instincts and how to connect them to our behaviour.
 
We conclude on discussing how the CEOs of this world hear from Gleb about not listening to their gut or their instincts, which they probably like, yet it goes against latest trends. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did, as it is a fascinating and insightful. I loved every minute of our discussion!
 
If you want to find out more please please contact Gleb on any of the following channels:
Get a free copy of the Assessment on Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace, by signing up for his free Wise Decision Maker Course.
 
 
This podcast is hosted by Volker Ballueder (Ballueder Partners), a trusted advisor, business consultant and mindfulness trainer. Volker wrote a book on productivity and life improvement #BeBetter. He launched his bestselling book Principles for Success, based on the interviews on this podcast, in 2019. 

If you are interested in working with Volker Ballueder as an advisor, coach or consultant, please reach out to him via email (volker@ballueder.com).

Check out the new episode of Stories Of Success podcast!

Start Being Yourself – Turn fear into confidence


This episode of my podcast was another “cold interview”. I enjoy those conversations, where you meet someone for the first time and record the conversation. This one is with Barbara Vercruysse. Apologies for some audio glimpses which are due to connectivity issues.
 
Barbara is a coach, spiritual mentor, thought leader and public speaker. After facing several challenges in life and surviving stage 4 skin cancer at the age of 32, she decided to live her second life at the fullest. In this episode she shares her story of success. She also wrote a book, founded an online school, gives talks and inspires people to deeply transform their lives. 
 
We are looking at the first life she had prior to cancer and her second life after cancer. She sees her cancer, which she had at 32, as a blessing. A concept some might not understand, but for her it was a eureka moment which made her change her life completely. For her it is all about leaving a legacy, an imprint on someone else’s heart.
 
It was as if she was living someone else’s life until she started being herself, finding herself due to her experience with cancer. She overcame this and openly speaks about the debts she had; she had to close her company and was ready to give it all up. But she persevered and ended up fighting even harder to get to where she is now! She turned that fear into a confidence in life.
 
She learned how to say yes, worked hard and took the opportunities and made it a success. Her online school is called ‘Barbara’s School of Wisdom’. She was published in the Huffington Post and wrote the book: ‘7 Most Powerful Techniques to Release Stress‘. We discuss the power we have inside us to make decisions and how we react in any situation. Whilst we touch on spiritual experience, and how we would define this for ourselves, there is also the Peaceprize which she was selected for. It is a Thought Leaders School founded by Bryant McGill. 
 
A complex episode with loads of input and take aways in order to encourage you to live the life you want to live!
 
If you want to find out more about Barbara, please follow the links below:
 
Linkedin:
Facebook:
Website:
School of Wisdom:
 
This podcast is hosted by Volker Ballueder (Ballueder Partners), a trusted advisor, business consultant and mindfulness trainer. Volker wrote a book on productivity and life improvement #BeBetter. He launched his bestselling book Principles for Success, based on the interviews on this podcast, in 2019. 
If you are interested in working with Volker Ballueder as an advisor, coach or consultant, please reach out to him via email (volker@ballueder.com).

Check out the new episode of Stories Of Success podcast!

Compassionate Leadership


Happy 50th Episode!
 
I sometimes do not believe that it has been a 2 year journey of ‘Stories of Success’ and we arrived at episode 50. I have enjoyed the journey so far, and how my podcast has changed from interviewing ‘successful adtech leaders’ to ‘leaders in personal development’. As my life is pivoting, so is the podcast, and maybe you see a refresh of positioning in 2020. The book I wrote on the back of the podcast has become a best seller and sold close to 10,000 copies by now. I am delighted to be able to bring you the tools and stories of leaders in order to make you a better person, and help you in your self improvement journey, learning about leadership and personal development. It helps me with my consulting and coaching clients, and it is a lot of fun too. Thanks for your ongoing support and loyalty.
 
This anniversary episode is with Manley Hopkinson who has a number of strings to his bow; as an internationally acclaimed and admired inspirational speaker, as a mentor, coach and catalyst for personal, team & organisational transformation, as an accomplished author and as an Executive Board member.
 
His strength lies in creating and developing the transformational leadership behaviours needed for people, organisations and sporting teams to perform at a high level, consistently. Aligning leaders, executive teams and the wider community to the strategic intent enables true delegation, leveraged effort, effective decision making and high performance at all levels.
 
Rather than forcing “compliance”, the focus is on gaining “commitment” by raising levels of self and team awareness, then aligning personal and organisational values & purpose leading to more effective business and personal relationships. It’s a very holistic approach that needs to be taken, which then also leads to more success for companies, e.g. a win/win for the world and the business.
 
He mentions John Adair’s model of leadership too, which I recommend finding out more about.
 
I am delighted to welcome him on my podcast where he tells his story of compassionate leadership, and we discuss not only what success means but also what leadership means, and how we can be better leaders. For him it is about conscious leadership, where leaders get a commitment to follow, and it goes in line with Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Awareness comes first, then taking positive actions.
 
Success for him is about being truly content with oneself; it is about being happy on the inside. The values he lives by are ‘deep sense of what he believes’, ‘courage to be yourself’, ‘confidence to believe in yourself’, ‘joy in the moment’, and ‘compassion’. This contentment leads to him or anyone being a better person, partner and human being.
 
As an Inspirational Speaker Manley understands the impact of stories; tapping into that power of story and metaphor to accelerate reflection, discovery and revelation, creates moments of deep understanding, breaking down barriers and leading to lasting transformational behavioural change.
 
He speaks about his experience as a skipper in the 2000 BT Global Challenge round the world yacht race, leading a team of volunteers, including novices, for 9 months in a 32,000 mile journey, the “wrong way”! Manley continued his adventures as part of the 3-man team that won the inaugural race to the Magnetic North Pole. The team faced polar bear attacks, and sub-zero temperatures, learning huge lessons about both surviving and competing in very difficult circumstances. 
I read his book which he published in 2014, “Compassionate Leadership: How to Create and Maintain Engaged, Committed and High-Performing Teams” , and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The brand-new online Compassionate Leadership Academy (CLA)  is a continuation of all Manley’s work that will transform the way people access leadership development and further spread the impact of compassionate leadership worldwide. 
 
A podcast you don’t want to miss; a high impact leader which an in depth understanding of both leadership, communication and how to achieve goals. I truly enjoyed the conversation with Manley. Every journey changes you, if you take the time to reflect on it afterwards.
 
This podcast is hosted by Volker Ballueder (Ballueder Partners), a trusted advisor, business consultant and mindfulness trainer. Volker wrote a book on productivity and life improvement #BeBetter. He launched his bestselling book Principles for Success, based on the interviews on this podcast, in 2019. 
If you are interested in working with Volker Ballueder as an advisor, coach or consultant, please reach out to him via email (volker@ballueder.com).

Check out the new episode of Stories Of Success podcast!

Let go of that fear of letting go


I interviewed Sidar Ok, an executive coach and renowned independent management consultant in IT strategy, and founder of IQoach. His clients are Fortune 500 companies. However, despite his success, he had to evacuate his family home to record the podcast from a car, because he couldn’t risk waking up his two young children. So throughout the podcast we were worried he might be picked up by the police 😉
 
His journey is amazing; fleeing Turkey to avoid going to war and likely to die, working for Microsoft, working in the US, then Dublin and settling in Belgium. His motto is ‘struggle is real”, and it reflects in his story, as he taught himself a lot of skills around IT and programming and languages. 
 
What I enjoyed was that we are both doing something similar. We work with companies as a “coachsultant”, offering value as a consultant, then moving on to continue working with companies as a coach. It is about experience first and coaching second. I often use the term ‘trusted advisor’.
 
Success for him is about measurable smart goals, but ultimately about your definition of quality work which you deliver over a period of time to meet the client’s needs. The end in mind, stepping stones and clear goal settings which will be measurable within 2 months of his coaching programmes.
 
Sidar also gives me the best ever compliment of calling me ‘a coaching genius’ which I found very flattering. He always created a necessity, an urge, to get out of bed and make it happen. His motivation is his drive to achieve more, and to create urgency. For him it is like ‘being dead’ if he doesn’t find a necessity inside himself. His drive is phenomenal and he reveals how he motivates himself.
 
It’s about one’s calling and just going for it, particularly if there isn’t a safety net. To let go of that fear of letting go, to go for what you want to do in life. Fear is what moves you forward, because the cost of inaction is much higher. Sidar then reveals his framework how to implement change with clients. His advice is to go for it, make today the day you going to make it happen.
 
Just to let you know, he did survive the recording from the car without any permanent damages 😉
 
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This podcast is hosted by Volker Ballueder (Ballueder Partners), a trusted advisor, business consultant and mindfulness trainer. Volker wrote a book on productivity and life improvement #BeBetter. He launched his bestselling book Principles for Success, based on the interviews on this podcast, in 2019. 
If you are interested in working with Volker Ballueder as an advisor, coach or consultant, please reach out to him via email (volker@ballueder.com).

Check out the new episode of Stories Of Success podcast!

Living with Cancer


Interviewing Andy Nobbs was an honour. Andy and I worked together, and I always enjoyed his management style. Down to earth, a very active person, a family man and full of life. I am not only saying this. He used to go sailing and running, and his whole family was involved. On the other hand we went for long media lunches, had fun in Cannes and at dmexco. He was razor sharp from a business perspective, the prize always in mind. We had so much in common, and we still do, and shared so many experiences.
 
Please note, due to some technical challenges, we had some audio problems in this recording. It gets better as we go along. Please accept my apologies for that, but I don’t think it takes anything away from the actual story.
 

Today, Andy has a life-limiting condition, and recognises that he will die sooner than he should. This is his story, and I am glad he shared it with me, so I can share it with you. It is a powerful story about life, and death. About perspective, personal choice and success. 
 
One day in 2016 I came back to the office after a client meeting and Andy was gone. He collapsed in the office earlier, and everyone thought he’d had a heart attack. He was taken to hospital and the doctors found out that he had a brain tumour. Totally unexpected. It was, as he said, as if ‘someone hit me over the head with a baseball bat’.
 
In this podcast he talks to us about his experience, and how this has changed his life and his outlook on life. The definition of success has changed massively for him. Unfortunately, many people don’t want to talk about cancer, so I am more than grateful for Andy to do so, and share the awareness of what it means to discover one has cancer, and how quickly it can change your life.
 
Andy is both a mentor and a friend of mine. At 53, still young, his life changed. The cancer came back, he had a relapse and got a virus of the brain. He survived all that.  In late October his latest brain scan showed the tumour had not returned.  Another few months till the next check up. What does that mean for someone? 
 
The question is not if he will die, and I suppose we all do, but when.
 
It might be next year, or in 6 months or in a few years time. He was told that the cancer will return, It changes a man, any person, when you think your time might be up tomorrow.
 
Andy was a work-driven person, going to the US a lot on early morning flights, back and forth, and I have known him as very hard working. Goal driven, successful. For him that has changed of course; from a career person to surviving, setting himself shorter term goals. Holidays he enjoyed in the past, like going to Vietnam or sailing, living an active life, are just not possible anymore. Things he does are different now. He doesn’t have to achieve things anymore, so he says.
 
His balance is very poor, so he struggles to walk, let alone go skiing. It’s about making the most of your life, seeing your kids more often, and spending quality time with them. The way success is defined in Western culture is bizarre, he thinks. The radical change in his life makes him philosophical, reflective. He became a better person because of it, as the cancer put things into perspective. From every bad comes good. Even with his condition he shows a strong will to survive and achieve things, never giving up! Andy is truly remarkable.
 

He respects what he has and wants to enjoy the time he has left on earth. It is about every moment, bringing quality to every bit of his life. Andy believes his condition is down to life’s lottery. He praises his wife and started to bring his house in order. He has prepared his funeral, transferred his assets, ready to go any minute. Yet Andy still has plans, and enjoys seeing his kids grow up. He worries about them, and what the future holds for mankind. Climate change, politics. 
 
Andy praises the NHS, the doctor for their support and kindness.
 
I can logically understand what Andy said but emotionally I am very detached from what he is talking about. This is his story, but it hits my empathy.  I guess I cannot relate to it, I have never been in the situation before; however, we can only imagine what he and his family are going through. My thoughts are with you, Andy, and of course your wife and kids.
 
If you want to get in touch, please reach out to Andy via Linkedin.
 
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This podcast is hosted by Volker Ballueder (Ballueder Partners), a trusted advisor and business consultant. Volker wrote a book on productivity and life improvement #BeBetter. He launched his new book Principles for Success, based on the interviews on this podcast, in 2019. 
If you are interested in working with Volker Ballueder as an advisor, coach or consultant, please reach out to him via email (volker@ballueder.com).
 
From January, he offers mindfulness courses for the workplace too, so please be in touch!

 

Check out the new episode of Stories Of Success podcast!

Success through Health


This week’s episode is of a different kind, but I am confident that you will enjoy it. I certainly learned a ton about healthcare, personal care and had huge take aways. I am sure you will too.
 
The conversation is with Payal Mehta who was a GP for over 9 years! She has now founded her own business, a health clinic, called Nirmana Life. She is guiding her patients in understanding the root causes of chronic illnesses. This conversation is not all about ‘business success’ but about success and looking at it in a more holistic way of health.
 
Payal is using the soft skills that she developed when dealing with her patients – counselling, communication, advice giving, mentoring, guidance and the ability to equip those same patients with the capability to look after themselves. That’s where she overlaps with the work I do in coaching and mindfulness, as she is also acting as a life coach and looks at the spiritual side of life.
 
Some might call her a healer, but the conversation is about stepping into authenticity, which is one of the key principles of success I defined in my book Principles for Success
 
When looking at holistic health and wellbeing, the three areas to focus on are mental, physical and spiritual health. Traditionally she looked at the physical health, given her ‘Western medicinal background’. That’s where her up-skilling is coming in, as her true purpose is about helping people in all areas of life.
 
We discuss how she got into medicine and what makes her tick; plus the emotional part and empathy for people, which according to Payal might be missing sometimes within the NHS and the pressure they are under. She also explains that more younger people have multiple chronic illnesses, despite us living longer and spending on healthcare has increased. A fascinating discussing about age and longevity.  
 
Whilst Western medicine is treating acute illnesses, and we are very good at that, the long term and chronic illnesses are better treated with traditional medicine like Chinese medicine. And the reason we get more of those illnesses is based on changing lifestyles, e.g. less sleep, less exercise, different food from what we were originally designed to eat – and instead of treating those chronic illnesses with the right medicine, e.g. a holistic approach, we are using the wrong medicine, Western medicine. 
 
This really made me think about how we are treating our bodies and whether we live the right lifestyle for how our bodies are built? Hence, in my opinion, we cannot continue the way we are working and living throughout the 21st century without ruining our bodies, mental health and of course our productivity. Again, this is where the work I do on mindfulness and productivity comes in, looking at the long term effectiveness of teams, helping them to cope with stress and soft skills to perform better under the ‘new pressures’. 
 
How do we stay healthy? Payal suggests it is all about three areas of genetics, lifestyle and environment. We discuss how walking, and particularly walking in nature, is beneficial for all mental health conditions and also works as an anti-inflammatory. Genetics is about 5-10% of influence, whilst 90% is down to lifestyle and environmental factors. That is huge.
 
To have a healthy lifestyle, we need to look at the following 5 areas:
  • Food: how and what we eat
  • Movement: how much we move, and what we do to exercise
  • Sleep: how we sleep and what we do before sleep
  • Stress: how we manage stress and mental health
  • Love: purpose of life and social interaction
Balancing all this and looking after yourself will result in a successful life. And we discuss that on the podcast, on how much of those 5 areas I look after. Am I on track? Are you on track?
 
Payal also explains another principle called Psycho Neuroendo Immunology. The lifestyle medicine is working from one side whilst coaching works from the other side. So by looking at the influence of psychology, e.g. how your thoughts influence your brain and chemistry, you start looking at its influences on your hormone production and changes in your cellular level; this then influences you on a physical health level. Most of the thoughts are on a subconscious level, and research is in its infancy; however, we agree the concept isn’t new, ‘we are who we think’, which is what Buddha said many years ago 😉 Another topic I could have spend a whole podcast on to be honest. I am fascinated by so many things I don’t know yet!
 
We close with her main advice which is to manage stress and hire a coach. I couldn’t agree more on either, offering both coaching and mindfulness or a combination thereof. 
 
This podcast is hosted by Volker Ballueder (Ballueder Partners), a trusted advisor and business consultant. Volker wrote a book on productivity and life improvement #BeBetter. He launched his new book Principles for Success, based on the interviews on this podcast, in 2019.
If you are interested in working with Volker Ballueder as an advisor, coach or consultant, please reach out to him via email (volker@ballueder.com).

Check out the new episode of Stories Of Success podcast!

How to win clients on LinkedIn as a coach


I hardly laughed as much as with Catherine B. Roy in my latest episode of Stories of Success. She is just so much fun, I think I need to have her back for another chat sometime very soon. So we started with a great laugh (literally, if you tune in).
 
We start the conversation around her IQ which is over 156, and she is a MENSA member; I actually did a test on the back of it. My result was less, still within the top 9% of people. She is a personal growth and business growth coach and developed a system for emotional and intellectual development, living from your heart and mind. Catherine describes her talents that she can learn quicker, accept differences easier and has a longer memory; her system is about tapping into 2% of the brain that helps you to raise your game as an individual to become better at what you do.
 
Without controlling her talent, she can get overwhelmed, as she has high attention to detail. Her system looks at Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and IQ at the same time. We are both experienced in EQ and realised that unfortunately a lot of senior and successful people don’t have a high EQ at all. 
 
Catherine differentiates between feelings and emotions which leads us to a conversation about mindset and alignment of mind and real life. Her system is about balancing your mindset and tapping into your inner self, looking at 10 areas of life like relationships, problem-solving, overcoming obstacles, love, etc.; and she goes into detail of her love algorithm. 
 
We then go on and discuss her social media strategies, including how to get traction on LinkedIn; her huge amount of followers came after Bryan McGill, from the Human Potential Leadership community, endorsed her. However, whilst the numbers are big, it is all about the core audience, and maintaining the right message to the right people, and keep engaging on a daily basis.
 
Catherine gives me a great lesson on how to build a social media strategy, and you will find that helpful as well. She loves LinkedIn and that’s where most of her clients are coming from. One of her tips is to make LinkedIn more of a landing page than a CV, which a summary that explains what you are doing and which value you add to your clients. The strategy is to give video content up to 2.5 minutes with value add for your audience.
 
We also discuss the importance of Twitter and whether Instagram is the right channel, and if so, for whom. You can learn a ton from her how to use social media in the right way. 
 
Success for her is not about material success but all about fulfillment in every part of life: reaching the level of joy in life when you are able to live an extraordinary life, within and outside of yourself.
 
Before we finish, Catherine reveals a life-changing experience for her, which lead her to be the person she is today and which gave her so much energy. We are getting philosophical about life, death and the time we have left. A powerful story that shifted her life, and made her create her own life!
 
I am confident you find this episode super useful and find a lot of takeaways for your life; how to live your life fulfilled, and what kind of outlook in life helps you to be successful.
 
If you would like to find out more about Catherine, you can find her homepage here: https://catherinebroy.com/, where you can request a free ebook sample, and also check out her LinkedIn Profile and other social media, feeds you find via her website.
 
The Link to her Book Live from your Heart and Mind: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1687644802/
 
Volker Ballueder is an executive and productivity coach, and works with executives, boards, and leadership teams in order to evaluate strategies and positioning, improving performance and get the most out of their people. For more information please visit Ballueder Partners’ website, or contact him on Linkedin. He hosts this podcast about success and published a best selling book on Principles for Success. Volker is a qualified meditation and mindfulness trainer.

Check out the new episode of Stories Of Success podcast!

I am a hard working executive coach – lessons for CEOs


Stephen Gribben joined me in this podcast episode to discuss his career of over 30 years as an executive coach. He has coached numerous C-Level executives and explains how, as a new coach, you can win new clients; how do you position yourself and of course, how do you become more successful as a person and C-Level executive. He has a background in psychology and Emotional Intelligence. His two main fascinations are people and business. One of his revelations was that when coaching, he got paid for doing something he enjoyed, which made him passionate about executive coaching. 
 
Stephen defines success as being who you are, and doing what you want. He says that’s the stage when you do things on purpose and you find a drive and motivation that he describes as success. He uses an analogy that there are weddings and marriages. Weddings are events, but the long term goal are the marriages. We discuss whether money means success, and he says that money is never enough for people who earn more and more, and it is a by-product of achievement.
 
Whenever coaching someone, you must find out how their client is defining their success, from a coaching session or in life. He describes how clients light up, and I have to agree, when speaking to C-Level executives, and their eyes light up and you can see their passion, you know you are doing a good job. 
 
As a bestselling author of Key Coaching Principles, over 24,000 hours of professional coaching, Stephen doesn’t define himself as an author but a hard working coach who also is an author. He discusses his struggles to write the book until he defined the right reasons, the right why, and he then finished it very quickly. This is a story of success in itself.
 
Talking about his upbringing from a broken home, he describes one of his many models he developed over the years: You have return on investment (ROI) on the vertical axis and self-confidence on the horizontal one; denial is the bottom box, then moving into fight; the third box is the ‘use’ box, where he started believing that he will be successful because of what happened to him in the past. So instead of resisting experience, you are channeling it, reframing it and using it for success. This in itself is a free coaching session for executive, non executives and CEOs, so listen in how he explains that transition. It is a great model, defining a positive purpose.
 
Emotional Intelligence, EQ, for Stephen is a constant, something that is always there. Right emotions, right situation, towards the desired outcome. We discuss Conversational Intelligence, and again, it is all about connecting to your C-Level first, before you can influence. I enjoyed Stephen being very practical and down to earth in terms of the basics of coaching. The conversation leads to us discussing a lot of tools we can use with our executive clients.
 
We then discuss how to build a coaching business with the challenge that nowadays there are many people who are qualified to be coaches, yet they don’t have the experience to do it well. People are buying and committing to you being their coach, when you inspire them and listen to them; that decision is made face to face, not face too many. On the back of my recent videos we speak about the best practise for marketing for coaches, and it is all about meeting with the right people, and discussing the ‘end in mind’, defining the goal!
 
I also ask Stephen how to motivate a football team of 10 year olds. His advice was brilliant, and it did work! He defines being an expert means to consistently producing good results, researching your topic, being a role model; you approach things from a coaching perspective and you live and breathe it. And making a living from coaching leads it to be a profession.
 
I absolutely enjoyed the conversation with Stephen which was super great, and I am confident you will enjoy the chat too; but also the advice on becoming a coach. He is launching his own academy soon, and you can find out more about him on his website or email him at coach@stephengribben.com 
 
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Volker Ballueder is an executive and productivity coach, and works with executives, C-Level, boards, and leadership teams in order to evaluate strategies, improve performance and get the most out of their people. For more information please visit Ballueder Partners’ website, or contact him on Linkedin. He hosts this podcast about success and published a best selling book on Principles for Success. Volker is a also qualified meditation and mindfulness trainer.

Check out the new episode of Stories Of Success podcast!

If you can’t fully recover, you cannot fully adapt.


Claire Higgins joined me over the summer for a discussion on coaching and consulting, and looking at her work on positive psychology as well as martial arts. At time of recording, she was studying for a Masters in Exercise and Sport Psychology. She was raised in the UAE and worked across the Middle East in the humanitarian sector for 12 years, focusing on the protection of people affected by armed conflict.
 
Influenced by Jean Claude Van Damme, watching his videos as a 12-year old in the 80’s, she took up karate and twenty five years later, started teaching self-defence. Concerning for her and me is that there is an increased interest in how to defend oneself from knife attacks. 
 
Claire’s definition about success is about being able to build a life that brings her closer to her family and being healthy; she believes that the rat race of going up and up and up a career ladder, will eventually lead to burnout if it lacks meaning, and things might suddenly change; we discuss her view on the classic career and how subjective the view on success really is.
 
Leading from positive change, we discuss hedonic well being and the pursuit of a meaningful life as we are getting older; and, as life gets more complex, we aren’t able to control our environment, which means we are forced to look inwards to re-arrange the pieces. What’s driving us on? 
 
I enjoyed the conversation with Claire, and her take on life and success. Claire developed Inner Athletics as a research lab and consultancy for performance, stress and recovery. This evolved from her executive coaching practice in Dubai which she ran for 4 years, focusing on performance, communications, leadership, conflict resolution and resilience. 
 
Before registering it in the UK, she studied for a diploma in Positive Organisational Psychology and began researching strengths, motivation, leadership, teamwork and positive emotions. From there, she began building bridges between Positive Psychology and coaching through her Inner Strength program.
 
We move on to discuss difference of coaching vs. consulting, and how the relationship changes pending on client expectations; the better you know the client, one could fall into the trap to help them with some shortcuts. It is all about destiny and faith, as well as being at the right time, environment and having the right motivation.
 
She recommends to read Martin Seligman’s book Flourish and her mantra is “If you can’t fully recover, you cannot fully adapt”; if you would like to reach out to her, please contact her via LinkedIn.
 
Your host, Volker Ballueder, is a trusted advisor to businesses, boards as well as an executive coach, and works with leadership teams in order to evaluate strategies, improve performance and get the most out of their people. Delivering happiness, ROI and winning strategies for your business and life.
 
For more information please visit Ballueder Partners’ website, or contact him on Linkedin. He hosts a podcast about success and published a best selling book  Principles for Success. Volker is a qualified meditation and mindfulness trainer.

Check out the new episode of Stories Of Success podcast!

Find your why in life, and laugh along the way!


I have known James Briscoe for many years, and I am delighted he joined me for this episode. We recorded this episode at the height of summer, and it turned into an amazing fun chat with a friend; which I am certain brings value and joy to you as you listen along.
 
At time of recording, James is sitting in a cafe at the seaside, so apologies for the occasional dog bark and some wind noises. He manages to split his time between London and Dorset with focus on work or the family respectively. After studying tropical medicine, he ended up in media, predominately on the agency side; he later was a founding member of Unique Digital which was sold to Syzygy and Syzygy was sold to WPP, at that time at a size of several hundred people. 
 
Since then he has focused on investing in a few companies. Having a portfolio career, he tries to keep both a helicopter view and a hands on approach at the same time; he follows the rule to only work with people who are the best in their field,  and he enjoys working with. It’s thinking about the opportunity rather than the money.
 
James defines success as being a balance between long days working in London and then being able to connect with nature, exercise and spending time with family and friends. 
 
One of his ambitions is to do more deep work, and being able to take time to think, reflect and decompress. We discuss how a 4 day week is good for people, and work being result driven, rather than measured by time spent in the office. The workplace and how you communicate with people has changed, and I mention my example of having had most of my recent discussions and interviews via the phone and internet rather than face to face.
 
Similar to other guests, James speaks about visualising the outcome of meetings, incantation (the word I couldn’t pronounce 🙂 ), and actually preparing properly for meetings which makes them more successful. He also suggests that meeting people is still key to business, particularly in, but not exclusive, the digital and media industry.
 
We further discuss remote team working, common purpose of teams, selling techniques, trust, Emotional Intelligence (EQ), changing dynamics for media lunches and industry culture; further we discuss the increased use of technology, virtual reality, productivity principles, emails, meditation, sleep and exercise. Also, the amount of information we produce and how we filter through them, which takes time to digest. In summary a great discussion about the industry, life and beyond.
 
His biggest life learning is to have fun and laugh along the way; it is about supporting people and be kind, without any expectations of any benefits for oneself. Look after yourself, your mental, emotional and physical health. Find your why in life!
 
If you would like to get in touch with James please feel free to reach out to him via LinkedIn.
 
 
This podcast is hosted by Volker Ballueder (Ballueder Partners), an executive and productivity coach and growth consultant. Volker also wrote a book on productivity and life improvement #BeBetter. He just launched his new book Principles for Success, based on the interviews on this podcast.
If you are interested in being coached by Volker Ballueder or you are interested in discussing mindfulness trainings or consulting work, please reach out to him via email (volker@ballueder.com).

Check out the new episode of Stories Of Success podcast!