3 Life Lessons With Lee Houghton

Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service. On the podcast today, we have Lee Houghton. Lee, welcome.

Thanks very much Thomas. How are you?

Brilliant. What about yourself?

You know, really good. Really good. Thank you. And I’m really looking forward to this conversation with you today. So yeah, so thank you.

Thank you for the opportunity.


My pleasure. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a little bit about yourself and what you do?

Yeah. I think the only challenge with that is just to take a moment. So because myself is my favourite subject, sometimes I’ll try to keep this as short as possible. So the last 15, 16 years I’ve been working in the business improvement spare. So as an internal and an external improvement consultant helping individuals teams and businesses get better at what they do. And I always remember actually the when I told my best minute it’s on a Wednesday night when I went into the poor, but that I’ve just been, I’ve just got this type of job they said to me, well one of them are, yeah, I said what do you mean? One of them, one of them, you’re going to boil people work and tell them how to do their job better if you came into where I work and tell me how to do my job better.

I’ll tell you to go away or words to that effect. and really for the last 15 or 16 years I’ve been trying to understand how to navigate change if my best mayor wouldn’t allow me to help him get better, then how can random strangers. So yes, that’s what I do. 2.5 years ago me, I’m a business partner set up our own business because we think there’s a more people centric where to deliver change. So we did that 2.5 years ago called Get Knowledge. And from then we’ve been in the middle of a pandemic but coming out a bit far stronger and onwards and upwards. So yeah, business improvement is what I do. Just but with the people with the people lens really, I think people, people are amazing and so different and varied. So yeah, that’s me and hopefully that was the moment. That was great. Thank you for your introduction. Although I do have to ask you mentioned where you started, which was, you know, this is what I’m doing, but and then you said you got to learn more about being able to help people.

What did you learn in terms of, you know, how do you help people now? Okay. I know what your strategies. Yeah. Okay, so this, so what business changes allowed me to. So I think my job is the best and worst job I’ve ever had and it’s change and leadership I think can be the loneliest role in the world if you’re the only person, it’s like pushing a boulder uphill and you’re trying to get people to recognise that things can be better and people don’t want to change. Then it’s the best and worst thing. So I’ve been on quite a reflective period of the last of the last 42 years where I’ve tried to unpick and understand what is what is successful change. And for me it comes down to the first thing is change starts with you as a person. So if you’re a leader and you kind of go in and go okay, we need to be better. We need to make more money, then then I think the leadership team needs to do something different, not just expect everybody else to change. So for me, change that’s with you.

I think we all need to recognise that our thoughts drive our areas as well and how we react to certain circumstances has a casts a shadow across other people. so there’s the people that’s the people centric stuff, but ultimately business changes about organised teamwork. And I think if you ask everybody there also that they’re part of a team, but are you truly part of a team? And that’s that, that’s got organised team with high trust, You can conflict is a healthy thing and an unhealthy thing. and you have the right conversations to help you solve the right problems. A lot of consultants go in and try to teach people how to solve problems. I think what we try to do is try to create the right conversations so that you can solve the right problems. So yeah, so that’s why I think the secret of it all is people comes back to people but creating the right environment, creating the right conversations and working together to solve those challenges that your first, well I do want to ask you about your story but from a selfish point of view you mentioned about resolving conflict, it’s not something that I’m particularly good at.

So you know what can you share on, you know the ability to overcome conflict in terms of it’s a positive thing, not a negative thing. So I think it comes from the place of what is causing the conflict. So do you have a situation that you’re thinking about at this moment in time Thomas, and have you ever heard of the term conflict of us? Just elaborate a little bit for me. So it’s kind of like the person who will rather than it’s basically being agreeable, too agreeable. So there are some people who don’t mind, you know, they’ll be disagreeable and they won’t, you know, they won’t think about how you’re going to feel about pretty much anything. and then there’s basically people who are too agreeable where they’ll just I would like to go with anything that you want to go with until the point where you know I can’t actually when I say I won can’t actually disagree properly without fearing a break in a relationship in some fashion never learned how to do it essentially.

Okay, I got, you know, it makes perfect sense because I’ve been on this very similar journey and I think when I realised that actually my priorities are just as important as everybody else’s then and I am, I’m naturally a helper and I like to just to help bend over backwards and help people, but you can’t always help people. So I think it depends on the relationship that you’ve got with those with those people and how trusting a relationship that you’ve got. I do an exercise or Stephen Covey wrote a book called the speed of trust and in that articulates is 13 high trust behaviours and I’ve got, I’ve got this score sheet, it’s got 13 high trust behaviours and a description for each of them, like talking straight and listening first and confronting reality and then you score 1 to 10 and about how high you believe you are at these things and I encourage people to then go the person that you want to have a better and more stronger relationship with, Get them to score you on the same contact in the same context that you’ve scored yourself, whether it be a relationship between that person or whether it be a situation and then have a conversation with that person because I think the level of relationship that you have with the people with people will help that conflict be overcome easier.

So in fact actually just to die address a little bit, I went on a, on a stand-up comedy course. I’ve been on to stand-up comedy courses now it doesn’t come across and anything that I’m saying apologies for that, but I am a work in progress. And the first stand-up comedy course I went on in august last year we started and the guy delivering the course, he said, what’s the most important thing in comedy and the seven of us on the course, we all shouted back jokes and he was like, no, no jokes is like the material. he said that’s the third most important thing in comedy. He said the most important thing in comedy is connection, connection with the audience and then its performance. So in accommodate as two lines is a set up in a punchline and he says, what comedians do, their differentiate their attitude between the setup and the punchline to make it easier for the origins to pick out when they need to laugh. So they don’t need to think about it. And he said, think about connection for a minute. So you’ve got, you’ve got a young child and I’ve got a five-year-old and an eight-year-old and they’ve started doing like nativity players at school and things. And I remember being in nativity players when I was at school, and if I think about nativity players, they are filled with children who were in various quality of outfits.

It’s arguably terrible singing. They forget the words, they’re standing the wrong players, they all dance out of sync. it’s not an award-winning performance by any stretch of the imagination, but at the end of it, they will get a stand in a version where everybody in the audience will be really tearful, but it’s the worst performance that anybody has ever seen for those people in the audience. They’ve got that level of emotion and it’s because the level of connection with the people that’s on stage is so strong that so if connection is the most important thing in comedy performance is the second most of materials. A third in this example, performances, shocking material is dodger, but the level of connection is so strong. So to answer the question that you actually answered, asked me Thomas, I would say that build if the relationship is really, is strong enough with the person and the connection is there, whether it’s a trusting relationship and you’ve had those conversations and it’s far easier to have that positive conflict cause you both know where you’re coming from and you can overcome that it’s if you don’t have a strong relationship and connection with the people that are asking you to do things and that’s when the self-doubt and the conversations start in your head and I think it’s about then understanding what that voice and you’re ready saying to you and how you can reframe some of the things and create, create a more positively framed voice to allow you to navigate through it.

I mean we can turn this into a coaching session if you like Thomas and we’ll gladly go through those stages and steps, but that’s what I would suggest. First, it depends on the person that and how much of a strong relationship you have or want with that person. And then if you don’t want a strong relationship with that person, then I would then it’s the strength of relationship with yourself and the narrative that you’re telling yourself about those things that with that we need to overcome. There’s a great answer just to elaborate on something you touched upon the issue, I think the issue sometimes is that like the other person in that relationship sometimes doesn’t quite know where they stand because that are the like me in this particular instance is too agreeable. So you’re not being for lack of a better term your authentic self. If you were being completely transparent about what you wanted, then the other person would know where they stood because you’re so agreeable.

They actually don’t. No, that’s to them, you’re just not, there’s no issues for you because you’re just doing it. So why would they stop asking, And I think that’s why it’s a relation, it’s understanding the relationship with that person, but then also your relationship with yourself and actually you do count you do have priorities and what are you staying? Nor too, because for yourself that you’re saying that you’re saying yes to for the other people, if that makes sense what you put Yeah, but you’re important as well Thomas. Well, I could quite easily just keep continuing the conversation as it is, but I do want to ask you about your story because you know, I think I think it would be beneficial to the audience. So how does it begin? Yeah. How does this stop Once upon a Time? So, I think I’ve had a pivotal moment in my life that has that has been there’s been this this this catalyst that has before, that I didn’t have my business. and I think the last three years, my journey has been far more progress than it had been for the previous years whilst I’ve been here.

And I guess actually to start the story Thomas, do you have a friend that if you’ve not seen for a week or a month or a few months, but when you get back together, it’s like, you’ve not had that gap and that period in between. Yeah, Yeah. And every time I asked that question, people always answer yes and I’ve got a friend like that guy called Chris and it was about three years ago and I just shy three years ago when I received a call I was working as a as an employed consultant and I was working on a on a site in London I got a call to say that Chris had taken a turn for the worst. And in fact actually when we started a conversation today Chris was the person that said to me if you come in and tell me how to do my job I’ll tell you to go away. Anyway, so I just show you three years ago I got this phone call whilst working his client site in London to say that had taken a turn for the west and I needed to come home. So I got on the train at London Euston headed north, got out at Preston and got in a taxi and went over to the hospice where he was and I went into the room and he was there and he was visibly paler.

Then he was just three days previous one had left and in the room was his sister, his act partner and one of our other friends. I agreed to stay the night with him that night and so I set up camp on the couch and everybody else went away. And I dabbed his lips during the night and stuff like that, he was suffering. It was his third bag of cancer age 39 and yeah he was visibly weaker than he was just a few days before. So anyway, 10 to 8 in the morning I sat up after having some really amazing conversations with him through the night about all times and stuff, ten to eight in the morning. I said right Chris, I’m just gonna go to the bathroom because my breakfast is due in a minute. So I went into the bathroom, brush, my teeth, had a wash and came back out and I’m leaving the bathroom. I looked over at him and his chest expanded and that was it, that he didn’t move again. He chose that moment to leave and why I think that’s an important part of this story is because when he was told that medical science could do no more for him and it was just about keeping him comfortable, I was the first person to see him when the consultant left his room and we got shine and he looked over and he said you think I’ll know when the time is, Lee he says, I’ve got no idea Chris and there was another nurse in the room and she went some people believe and some people don’t believe, and he looked over him and he went I’ll let you know lee I’ll let you know.

Right, so I was a nonbeliever before that moment, I was a nonbeliever before his chest expanding and stuff and on reflection, and I’ve joined those two things together, I’m going, Lemonick, I think he was telling me that he knew that he was going, which is crazy for me to say out loud anyway, so after his chest expanding, I made a few phone calls and told everybody that that had happened. And I went into outside, the son was beaten down, and I sat on a sat on the bench and I was thinking to myself that you’re a fraud lee, you tell your kids every single morning that they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up and you’re not being everything you want to be, you don’t have your own business, you’re not living your dreams and stuff. And I then thought about the three lessons that Chris shared with me because and I’m so grateful for this. He was extracting his pension from his employer so he could set up a bigger trust fund for his two boys. And he said to me set out, how much money would you like, because you’ve always wanted to have your own business.

If I can play a part in that, then then I’d love to do it. I was like, no, I don’t, I don’t want that Chris what I would like actually though is three lessons through your eyes when, because your perspective on life has changed and the reason why he’s perspective on life has changed. Do you do you do you follow football Thomas? I used to – okay, so we support Liverpool and there was a Champions League final when liver will play real Madrid and Gareth bale won it. And Chris came around to my house that night, it was ill, but he drove around with his two boys and we’d agreed to watch it and on the way around to that to the house, there’s a roundabout at the bottom of my drive and he came around and he got to my front door and he said, he said, you’ll never guess what happened. I said what? I said a car pulled out on me on the roundabout and said, oh here we go again, what did you do, Chris, you know, I did nothing. What do you mean? You did nothing. He said, yeah, I did nothing. It doesn’t matter, does it? Because Chris was always one of those people that if somebody pulled out in front of him, he’d be like flicking the V is out the window, screaming, shouting, hand on the horn, following him, bumper to bumper all the way back to their house or whatever and then just drive off.

Anyway, I did nothing and that stuck in my mind. So when he, when he offered me money to set up in business and then I was like no, no for something said to me, just like it, his perspective has changed. So asking for three, asking for free lessons. So I did and I’m so grateful that I did because they’ve been life changing and he was like bloody Ellie, I wish you’d just ask for the money, they would be far easier, but I’ll think about him anyway. So a couple of weeks had passed. I went to the hospital to see him at the time and he went rightly, I’ve got the first lesson for you said he said when him and his partner was splitting up, he said, I tried to be somebody that I thought she wanted me to be. I said, he said I tried to be somebody that would, that would maintain the relationship. And he said it didn’t make me up here, it didn’t make her happy and we still ended up splitting up. So he said, no matter what, no matter what in life, just always be yourself. And we’ve touched on this earlier in the conversation about authenticity. Being yourself in the, in the situation, what you spoke about Thomas and the resilient or the, the, the, the, the, the overcoming, I’m just saying, no and yes and some thoughts driving behaviour.

So over the last 2.5 years, I’ve really got into this, what has always been myself in 10 years ago, I got my first tattoo two inches down the wrist I asked him to start it because, because I was worried about what people would say to me, what would people think of the bald northern block with tattoos. and now, I don’t know, I don’t because I think always being yourself is so much more than it’s everything. That was his first lesson. That was his first reaction. And I think that now on my wrist is a metaphor for that. I didn’t used to be myself and I’m not conscious of trying to be myself in more situations. A few weeks then passed and I went back to see him and he said, I said you come and visit me when you’re not on a client side. One of our other friends rings him at 12 o’clock every single day. He says when we, when we were growing up we could have chosen different paths and different friends and stuff. We were best minutes from the age of one, it was best man at, we went in, it was God forever to my youngest and we went to different schools so we could have could have gone on different paths, but we didn’t he said if we got on different paths, those friends might not have been here now.

So he said the second most important thing in life is to make good friends because you never know when you’re gonna need them or you never know when they’re going to need you. So that was the second one and I think that touches on what we’ve just been talking about that because I and I think that it’s not just friends, it’s connections, it’s relationships, you just make better and stronger relationships and that’s why I think I’ve kind of hooked onto this this stand-up comedy lesson about connection being first because for me it’s just making a stronger connection with as many people as possible because you never know when they might need you where you never know when, when you might need them. That was the second one. And then about two or three weeks before he passed, we had the opportunity to break him out of the Hospice and we went to watch the Foo fighters at the Etihad Stadium. It sounds grander than it was. We didn’t break him out with a new, we were taking him and there was eight of us that won’t work in two cars, Chris and his ex-partner And the two boys 14 and 16 at the time when in one can four of us went in another car and on the way home from that, his boys dropped him off at the hospice.

And on the way there were home, his youngest said, is it too late for my dad to take me to Anfield to go for a tour. So that was on a Thursday and then on the Sunday I’d arrange had arranged the tour, we went me, my boy who was for a time Chris and his two boys and we had an amazing day with the ice cream outside a private to as much time as we want. We all bought kits and stuff. And then on the way on from there he looks over at man, three boys sat behind. He said, uh, how many times could we have done this? So yeah, we could have done it was he said, well, why did we wear it until I was in a wheelchair? Why didn’t we wear it until I was I couldn’t get out of the wheelchair and sit on the same seats that that you did. He said time is limited. So act now. And that was that was the third lesson. And so fast forward then to when I was sat on that bench and I’m going to always be yourself, make good friends And time’s limited doors are what I’ve been trying to understand what they mean to me over the last three years because Chris had his reasons for choosing or three things, which is what I just showed there.

But I’ve been trying to understand those on a far deeper level. And trying to get somebody at 39 years old is reflecting on their life and the thing that we’re moving everything from it. That those are the three most important things. What do they mean to me and how can I internalise them to try to live those three things because I, my biggest regret is losing Chris to start my life and if I can help other people by sharing those three things and maybe just sparking a thought with other people then then that’s success. If I can share Christmas message and help him help other people realise what’s important then yes sir Thomas, that is the story. those are the three lessons and thank you for letting me share that with you. It’s amazing story. I mean it’s a bit 39 is two young isn’t it to be in that position, but the lessons are great. and I, I think I think you’re sharing it.

I mean I don’t know how tough it is for you, but I think you’re sharing it is extremely valuable for people. I think people do struggle to be themselves sometimes. it’s the turn like pleases people sometimes that pleases and I love the tattoo metaphor. How else have you sort of change your life in order to adhere to the rules. Yeah, great question. So I’ve started to share the story. So I used to deal with everything myself and I used to deal with everything in my head and I thought I could deal with everything in my head but losing Chris it told me I couldn’t deal because if that was, that was quite a dark period but what I’ve realised is that is that I can, if I write stuff down, if I get it out of my add that allows me then to, to, to move on and make something positive from that situation. So what I used to do, we just keep everything here.

But now I now try to express insurance. You said about how, how difficult is it to talk about it right at the very start, it was impossible to talk about it. The more that I talk about it, the more it allows me to live with Chris. I do a course actually, I’m called creating confident people leave us and when I created that course, it’s based on the foundation of Chris’s three lessons and when I created that, so the reason for me creating this course is because I want to show Chris’s three lessons, but really on reflection, the reason why I want to share prices three lessons and talk about them as often as I do because I don’t want to lose him for a second time, so I don’t want to, I don’t want to go through that grief period again. But it also allows him to be with me because I know as soon as I press end on this call, there’ll be times and stuff and I get to reflect about some of the stuff that we did together and stuff like that. So this allows me to constantly live with him, I’ve got tattoos on the left and a little ginger kid walking up some steps at 10 to 8 in the morning on the outside of the left and I’ve got the three lessons and what Chris did actually before he, before he passed, he bought me a ring that were on, on the right hand and engraved in the centre of this ring, other three lessons as well.

So I can’t say how much things have changed, but things have changed drastically, like set on me on business, which I’ve never had the balls to do before with my business partner jess and um, I am a skydive from 15,000 ft when, when I was, when I was growing up, I was too nervous to jump off the wall at the back of my mom and dad’s house. I’ve done to stand-up comedy courses and I’ve started to write me on material and try to stand in front of people and tell jokes crazy. So I think there’s, I think I’m trying now to worry less and do more. Um, but it comes down to what we’re saying early one actually about understanding now thoughts, drive behaviour and actually just trying to really so always been itself really is control of this voice in your head. And is it helping me or interrupt me in different situations. And so I think the biggest lesson I’ve had is really understand how I’m helping or hindering myself and what I’m saying to myself and I’m trying to be better at that the Lord has changed Lord has happened and I started living after losing him and that’s my biggest regret as well.

What about making connections? Because I’ve interpreted that those are the ways that you’ve done number one and number three, what about number two? Yeah, so I have got a quite a large network on Lincoln but I don’t know the people that are on linked in, I’ve just got a large network who I don’t really know, I’ve started reaching out to those and having random conversations when I when I send connection requests, I’ll try to, although we have a couple of messages you don’t know where those connections are gonna go. I’ve consciously Try, I’m quite what I’m so the one that the one that I’m weakest in completely honestly is the 2nd 1 because I’ve always been quite a like a, I’ve always been somebody who has been really comfortable like standing on stage and talking. But then in groups of people, I’m not the loudest one.

So I’ve always been like the person that’s like that like just let the conversation go. So the one that I’m I struggle with mosque is making stronger connections. It’s not, it doesn’t come as natural to me, but what I am consciously trying to do is to is to reach out to more people to engage with more people to do things with more people when we’re going to be allowed to and I think this corvette period has been, has probably been a big challenge for me and what it’s showing actually I was in a room for the first time with people last week and I’ve really missed people and I didn’t realise how much I’ve missed people and I didn’t think I would miss people as much as I have. So I think that’s the one I need to work more stone is connecting with people and I can’t wear it to give people a hug next week. But I would never said that before. Never said that before. So I think something has happened where I’m more in touch with my feelings and the more in touch with the emotions and stuff and I’m going to become a hugger.

I’m sorry everybody but I’m gonna become a hooker. And that’s when I need to work on last. Because I think the more connected we are, the better and richer we are as well would you say? Because I mean everything you said about connecting with people pretty much applies to me, would you say that your you look more for less meaningful connections or friendships than you do a high volume of less meaningful ones because that’s me for sure. Yeah. I don’t have a vast network of friends. I don’t know I want to have more meaningful relationships with a few more people. It’s weird, isn’t it? Right? Because I feel like outside of this, like 13,000 connections on LinkedIn and stuff, like people will probably people can see my profile and think I’m quite an outgoing person and I am when it’s when it’s me and when I’m in control of the situation, but when it’s like a group of people, I’m not the most outgoing person at all.

And I think what I need to work on is deeper connections and relationships were very smaller amount of people first and then and then and then grow that because I think what I’m not very good at is is when there’s, well, I’m not very good at is keeping in contact with people keeping in contact with people in a meaningful way. So sometimes I will only reach out to people when I’ve got a question to ask or when there’s something I need to understand and know and what I’m not good at, which I’m, which I’m consciously trying to do is reaching out to people just to say, hello. That’s all right. Rather than waiting until there’s a point in time when I need something. I’m not sure I’ve answered your question there, but that’s probably the that’s where I am with that. I need to have more genuine relationships rather than need relationship built on need as opposed to Jane Anne dropped more genuine honest relationships.

Well, there’s a, especially if you’re, you know, competent and independent, you know, if you if you only reach out when you’re, when you need something that means you don’t reach out very often. but I feel like that there might be a how to in that, in the sense that if it was if you had somehow to knowledge or some examples of how you do, that might be a bit easier because I mean I’m the same, you know, I don’t tend to I don’t tend to reach out. Well, you know, it’s like how you doing? Yeah, so there is to it, but I’ve got a tough one for you, I think so, I’m hoping that you haven’t been asked this before and yeah, let’s see how you get on with it, okay. If the tables were turned and it was you in the bed and Chris was the one that was going on and you had to give him three lessons, what would you have said? That’s a bloody amazing question and I’m not I’ve never been asked that question before.

The easy answer to give is I would give the same three things, but I’m always I’m biased now by my last 2.5 to 3 years understanding the importance of those three things. So I’ve asked me that I’ve asked my dad the same question, he’s not ill or out, but I was just curious if my dad’s up more years here and his answers. And as deep as Chris is that well I mean and he’s only come up with one thing so far and it’s in what my dad said is just do to others as you would want to do to yourself to whatever the whatever this saying is. And so you treat others so you want to be treated yourself type of finger is what is what my dad said, but what I like about Chris is because my dad didn’t have any specific reason or answer for that. It’s just he’s not he’s not had any there’s no story that he attached to that to that particular lesson.

But what Chris did is he reflected on his life and he thought about the things that happened to him and he came over and saw I would like what’s that there has to be. I’m kind of contradicting the previous answer. So it’s the importance of people. So people are the most important thing in the world. I would say I’ve only got one thing at the minute. and that would be is something along the lines of the importance of people because the secret of successful change is not people look at I. T. And stuff as a silver bullet but it’s not it’s engaged people and highly engaged people and trusting people in relationships and stuff. So I would say something to you Thomas around the importance of don’t play down the value of people.

Which I am doing and I’m guilty of doing and I’m kicking myself under the table now for giving that is one of me one of the lessons but it’s one that I’m not living as a is honestly and truly as I need to. So you’ve only got one for you in a minute. I’ll come back to with that. I will ever think about that because I’ve never I’ve never asked myself that question. Thank you for having to go at it anyway. Yeah. No thank you Thomas thank you for the question. I genuinely mean that as well because I’m busy spoke increases free because I’m fully I’m all in on him and genuinely believe and want to understand themselves deeply. But but I’ve never really thought about what was what based on my experience in life what would be the lessons for me. Yeah something about people the importance of people don’t play down that, yeah good. You are if you wanted to I mean I don’t have them prepared but if you wanted to you could turn the table around on me now if you wanted to. But so Thomas if you had to choose three life lessons what would it be and why?

Well like in the in the same way that you have I think one comes to mind, which I think is particularly I would call it perhaps profound. Everyone’s or a lot of people tend to say, you know that they want to be happy. Like I just want to be happy. I’m looking for happiness, But what I learned from somewhere, I’m not 100% sure, where but I think it’s like Nietzsche or something like that and he would say don’t search for happiness because you can’t always have that. Like there’s going to be instances where it’s not possible to be happy. Like a funeral is an example of that. So don’t search for happiness. Search for meaning because meaning will keep you going. So I mean it’s a good example. Your lessons are a good example of that. So they’re highly meaningful and if you can share them with other people, I mean, you know, Yeah, meaning, I like that one. Yeah, I love that.

I love that. It’s a great one, It’s a great one. And what in fact I say, you just, you just sparked a thought for my second one could be is I think in Jack Canfield Chicken Soup for the Soul. I think he introduces an equation that E plus R equals our events plus reaction equals outcome. And there’s an argument to say that all events in this world are neutral. And I think, well I believe that it’s just a reaction that determines whether it’s a positive and negative outcome. So because all events have happened. so I think there’s something around, you can’t change what just happened, You can only change your reaction to what’s happened to make it more positive things or Chris is the thing that happened to Chris horrific, horrendous, worst time I’m alive. But hopefully my reaction to that now is a positive one and hopefully I’m helping people with it. So I think that’s, that would be another one for me. What, what would your second one? B well I can, you’ve given me inspiration for the second one. So it’s a Jim Rohn quote and Jim would say the same wind blows on us all, but it’s not the wind which determines where you go in life. It’s the set of the sale. Oh, I love that. Yeah, I love that. Quite deep. Quite deep. This isn’t it? I mean, we have to take it off in a less meaningful. All right. I need to talk about Instagram or something. Yeah, wow, thank you. Thank you for sharing them. I think that’s really, that’s really powerful, really good like them. So in a less meaningful I don’t know direction, let’s say someone inquires with you. What, what does that look like? What do they say typically and what’s the process? So is this inquires in terms of working if somebody wants to work with me, he’s out there. Yeah. So I mean there’s a couple of couple of ways that people that people typically reach out for help and support. It’s so like I said I’ve got a couple of courses which is creating confident people leaders and creating confident change leaders which our group coaching programs because people I think in business you can only really talk to the people that you work with and I want to try to create networks were actually that people recognise that the problem that I’ve got in company air is the same challenge that somebody’s got in company B.

So I created this group coaching programs to help leaders whether it’s people and change come together and normalise some of those situations. So they would say I want to be a more confident leader, I want to be able to yeah, I want to be more confident leader for the group coaching stuff. But the main core of the business of what we do is typical or operational excellence, business improvement type things, if somebody has got a cost challenge, an engagement challenge, customer satisfaction challenge then we can and what we do is we work with the team, our teams and department to align them to a common purpose and then working towards achieving a better today than yesterday. So those are typically the outcomes that we try to achieve, although we do achieve but were people coming from its target, an individual on the group coaching stuff or a business and a team on the on the kind of introducing your costs, improving your productivity, that type of that type of stuff, but about three people and using Chris’s three lessons as there is the kind of the foundation for it, but it all really, so if someone was that someone had a team and they came to you because they’re like, you know, likely, and I’ve got a team, what’s your go to, what would you think to go to first for improving a team?

So I would want to understand how that team works together. So I would process is we start by just, I mean we can’t get knowledge so and it’s not us getting knowledge, it’s well, we need to first understand the challenge that the people who prefers and see whether we’re right and were matched, but then ultimately we, we work with them, ask them questions to allow them to get knowledge about themselves so that they can then solve the problems themselves. So, so typically what we would do is understand how they currently communicate what the what the current challenges are and we would have a conversation about those and then about how creative and get more trusting environment. So there’s a lot of businesses that roll out things like I’m daily meetings, why boards standard all like typical operational excellence elements, but we do it from the lens of getting the team to solve their own problems. So we have a conversation first Thomas, I think ultimately, and just understand where they are and whether they’ve actually, whether they truly genuinely want to improve or whether they just improving because they were saying that that’s what they should be doing, I’m quite comfortable to say, I don’t want to work with a business as well if I don’t, if we don’t believe collectively through the conversations that the environment is right and actually they just expecting everybody else to improve.

Um and like, like I said earlier on, right at the very start, actually, change starts with you, whether that’s the most senior person in the organisation or an operator, everybody’s got to understand, understand that, and it’s actually using Chris’s three lessons that we start those conversations in any engagements. We are, we we’ve got a course that we deliver that try to lay the foundations for that, that that successful improvement activity, but it finishes with Chris’s three lessons and getting people to think that actually, are you creating an environment that allows people to be themselves, Are you building, are you making good friends across departments, within the team, within the different levels of hierarchy? And are you empowering and enabling everybody to recognise that actually they can make a difference now because time is limited and so that’s how we use Chris’s free lessons, but in a business context, um, as well, what’s your take on a corporate away day, I would imagine there’s not too many of them at the moment, but on the one hand, I can see it as being a an exercise which might be valuable for friendships.

And on the other hand I can see it as like a complete waste of time, but I’d like to get your thoughts on how effective you think that is. Yeah, if you’re so I’ve been to two different types of aware does and if it’s done to, if it’s just an away day where you were presented at, presented to and just spoken at, then it nothing nothing’s going to change. If it’s an away day where you are creating stronger connections and relationships and working together, then hopefully that those relationships will then continue. so I think it depends on what problem you’re trying to solve from the aware day itself and having clarity of that before you go into it and then and then ultimately just trying to remove the work processes bringing the people relationship stuff and make those things stronger together. So yeah, I’ve been to some shockers, but I’ve also been to some are right ones as well, so it might be an idea that if you were planning that get feedback from the people who are actually going to attend it.

Yes, yeah, and have clarity of the reason for its like there’s a lot of things that happen in business that only happened because they think that it should happen to like some places all survey their employees because they know that they need to have an employee engagement measure, but they’ll only survey them after they’ve given them the bonus. So they have an annual bonus and an annual survey and they will come really close together. And you think, uh, not no shock there that the everybody’s engaged, you just paid them a few grams for their for their artwork. So it comes, it comes down to what is the actual reason for doing it? Not just a, not just a middle figures and make yourself feel better and massage your ego. So genuinely curve for the people that you’re working with. so yeah, I think what you just said there Thomas around asking everybody first I think is a great first step in understanding where you want to get to collectively as a team as well. Is there anything that you would like to share that I haven’t asked you about today?

Oh, so really good. Quite. Where’d you get your questions from? There are a few that one in particular where I think maybe I haven’t done everything I could have in terms of like value for the audience. So I do often ask that one because some people are like, you know, I’m happy with the value I’ve given and some people are like, you know, I wish, I wish you didn’t ask me about this because I really want to share this particular thing. So I’m basically if there is anything that you can think that you know I’ve learned this lesson and I really want to share that, then that’s the reason I asked that question. I think it’s a really, really good question and I think I think no I don’t have anything at the minute because I think we spoke about I mean we’ve gone on all sorts of different paths and tangents and stuff. I think the importance of people for me is just hopefully that’s come across strong enough and that change the importance of people and change starts review those are the two key things really and we’re in conjunction with Tracy’s three lessons so there’s nothing else to Thomas but thank you for the question as well in terms of changing yourself.

Like I think I think some people have good intentions around that particular topic but we all have our habits that we go into. Have you got any thoughts on something that you can apply where you can actually change yourself because I like the be yourself side of things but I can as much as I like it, I can see myself going exactly back to the way it was before. So have you got any thoughts on that? Yeah, so the only thing I think it’s got a bit staying troops or staying true to yourself to change itself but within the context of who you are, from a view of just getting to know yourself better to allow yourself to change because some people change themselves, so like Chris changed himself to try to be somebody to make somebody else happy. And I don’t think that’s the right way to change yourself. So it’s got to be true and genuine to who you are, what you value. So I think it’s understanding your values, understanding what’s important to you, and then it comes back down to what I mentioned a few times is truly understanding what that voice in your head is saying to you in different situations.

And if you can get a grip of what am I on the confident courses, we go through a bit of a process. That’s where I ask, I ask people to go away and do a bit of homework and the identifies situation that they want to improve on and I get them to consider going through this process if they’re going to so it might be like public speaking or something, or jumping out of an hour playing or whatever. and before the about it, so if they were to then put themselves in a place where there’s no need to speak, what’s the voice in the red centre and just before they go and speak, what’s that doubt saying to them in the mind and write it down, and whilst they’re speaking, write down what that voice and you’re ready saying to you, and then after you finished write down what the voice in your head is saying to you? Because what you find is that what we think our thoughts are the areas that we focus on our behalf areas and try to change the world, but it’s actually the thoughts that we need to change because it’s cyclical. So I think by understanding truly what that voice and already saying to you before, during and after the situation you want to become more improved in, that’s the first step.

But then I think the second step is asking yourself, what’s the genuine reason why you want to improve? Because you’ve got to have an emotional motivation to do it. And if you’ve not got the emotional motivation to do it, then the situation that you’re in is not that bad. so really why do you want to change? Because sometimes that you can’t just think stuff and better stuff will happen, you’ve got to be consistent consistently thinking it consistently doing it and over time you will be better at whatever it is, you’re no better. So in times it’s difficult to do that. So, and that’s why your reason, there’s got to be big enough to do it. And the reason the only way to, I think the only way to do that is to consider pleasure and pain? And is the pleasure that your chest in massive, are you trying to overcome some pen? And if you look at your reason and just question from a pleasure, pain perspective, not from a just because you want to do a good job perspective, then I think that that helps as well.

So quite a long answer Thomas, apologies. That’s a good one. So would you like to share your goals?

Yep, my goals are pure away too. I’ve got a couple, but the main one is to get Chris’s message and three lessons to outlive me because like you identified earlier on taking far too soon, I want his three lessons to outlive me that’s my main goal.

Lee Houghton, where is the best place for people to find you?

Thomas Green, thank you very much. The best place is LinkedIn, that’s where I am a majority of the time, I’ll have a little green background on my little picture See Arlington is the place or we’ve got a website, our website is gettingknowledge.co.uk. That’s where we put all the stuff about the business stuff. But yeah, I’m on LinkedIn the majority of the time, so yeah, so thank you Thomas, thank you had a great conversation, I thought yeah, no, honestly, thank you so much for that.

It was an absolute pleasure to chat with you. It was my pleasure, speak to you soon.

Cheers Thomas.