Self Sabotage With Stephen Bates

Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service. On the podcast today, we have Stephen Bates. Steven, welcome.

Hey, thanks for having me on. We really appreciate it.

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

Yeah, Well I’m Stephen Bates. My company is called Certain Change because that’s definitely what happens in life. Change happens. I like working with business leaders, entrepreneurs. My two core specialties are, well, it’s really all about human behaviour. if you want different results, you have to change behaviour and most of us know that if we do one particular thing better, we’ll get a better result, better result. But my first passion is to help people understand when they know what they should be doing, but they don’t let themselves. That’s where this all started back when I had my first business as a physio brat. So I’ll tell you the backstory later if you’re interested. But we know that we need to change behaviours, but we either don’t let ourselves change their behaviour or we don’t do it consistently and that impacts results.

So I like helping people solve their problems around their own behaviour. And then the second part of that is then people who have teams getting the best out of people because people are the most complex things pretty much on the planet apart from quantum physics. And if you can understand how to change your behaviour to get better results. And then I love helping mentoring leaders and managers how to do the same with their teams. So basically creating leveraged behaviour change, which gets better results. Ultimately, that’s what I do. Hopefully, I’m on the right podcast. I think, I think that’s a lot of interesting stuff for us to start with. one thing I did want to ask you about because you, your expertise somewhat is in self sabotage, is that right? Yeah, and that’s um, that’s where they started a certain changes have been running. Hey, Well I started in 2000 and two, but I’ve always been a trainer of something.

My first ever time I ever took a class with when my karate instructor threw me into the beginner’s class and said, go and teach this team. So that was back when I was 20. So I’ve always enjoyed helping people learn stuff, but my first business, well I thought it was a business, but it was actually a self-employed job was when I became a physiotherapist. So I went and did the study for many years, filled up a business. But where I got interested almost immediately into how people think and behave was I noticed something very strange. People came in in a lot of real acute physical pain, they limped in, hardly could walk, couldn’t lie down on the couch. I mean we’re talking real intense here and now problem and they asked me to, you know, do stuff to them and I was technically very good and I trained in more than physiotherapy and I was always looking for the best technique to help people.

But what I didn’t know how to handle was a large number of people when I said to them, hey, if you do these simple stretches or these little exercises or will we stop doing this in between sessions, you’ll get better faster, you’ll be out of pain, you’ll solve your problem faster. And a lot of people took my advice, did them got better faster, very happy, they were happy, I was happy got referrals business, it was great, but a sizable amount of people and my number is about 40% over the last 20 years. It’s about 40% of people do this, have a significant enough self-sabotage process, which means that they knew they should be doing something but they won’t do it. So in this case when I first came across it and I was scratching my head and puzzled was they came in and I said, oh did you do the exercises? And the three usual comments were so I did it a bit or I was busy or my favourite one was just and they didn’t know why they haven’t done it.

So they’re still limping around, still in pain, they still had to come pay me more money because they weren’t getting better as far as better as fast as they could, but they still didn’t do the things that would help them. So I was just like scratching my head and then one day my brain just went, well if we do this when we are in such acute physical pain, when do we do this, and where else do we do this in life? And the answer is everywhere, relationships, health, money, Business work, we do everywhere because it’s a common pattern, so that’s the last 20 years I’ve been studying that and then it just flipped over from working with people and I was coaching them more when they’re lying on the couch and I was talking to them, advising them, helping them, talking to them, listening to them, answering and obviously went off and studied this and over many years and it just flipped one day it was like someone just said can I just have a conversation with you and not fly on the couch while you’re bending my toes and then that’s the flip and I just didn’t have been doing more and more than, I don’t have a physiotherapy practice anymore, gave it up many years ago, but now I love working with entrepreneurs and business leaders or entrepreneurial leaders, even if they are in corporate and it’s all about helping them and even, you know, people who are, see I’ve just been on a call with the CEO of a very large organisation and we dealt with her self-sabotage and now we’re working on how to leverage and how to get her management team to turn into real managers, sort of micro managers and actually understand how to develop, you get the best out of the people.

So that’s the way it came from. But it’s everywhere, and it’s a very common problem. 40% of people do it. We all do it, we all self-sabotage. We all procrastinate, we all do this, and we’re meant to procrastinate. This is what interestingly, I see people how to banish procrastination. Well, actually, we’re designed to procrastinate. There’s a purpose for it. Very good purpose, which we can talk about if you’re interested. But this is just a massive exaggeration of what is a useful process of procrastination, and it becomes then sabotage, which damages massively, results income to everything else. I’m interested to know. I’ve heard an explanation as to why it happens meaning in relation to the comfort zone. So, as soon as you’re outside that what you perceive as normal or how you see yourself, then you were self-sabotage until you get back to that sort of normal or how, how your self-image, if you will. But what I don’t know, and what I’m intrigued to learn about is how do you know, when you’re self-sabotaging versus, for example, being lazy.

So I can see there being self-sabotage in the examples that you’re referring to, but I can also see it being, you know, I don’t feel like doing those exercises today. You know, I’d rather sit on the sofa type stuff. So what do you think about that question? Okay. I never used the word lazy. That’s why I don’t just disregard that word because that is a word that just sort of like tries to encapsulate and we and actually oh, I’m being lazy. Okay, so what you gonna do with that? We will not be lazy, you’ll be lazy. It’s almost an irrelevant word. The better question is why are you choosing to sit on the sofa compared to doing the exercises? You know, be good for you? So it’s all actually about understanding motivation. If you understand motivation, I mean really understand it? Not surface level. I’m setting some goals or I’ve got some pains. I want to get understand the mechanism of motivation and how it works. You understand why you’re choosing to do that behaviour and then get that result.

So you’re choosing to be lazy. There is a reason, and this is the most important thing we do nothing which is to harm ourselves deliberately. It’s always a benefit. So what’s the benefit of staying on the sofa compared to the benefit of doing the exercise? So everything in life is decision making still and sofa do the exercise. So it’s why do we do this? Why do we invest in working with a mentor, a coach compared to not why do we buy that television compared to keeping the money in the bank account? It’s everything we do is decision making. So what people do is they spend a lot of time looking at their behaviours and going, I need to change this behaviour. I want to change this behaviour, I want to do the exercise. I know it’s good for me and the doctor said it’s good for me. I’ve got a heart condition, I should be doing something to help myself. But there’s a bigger and often this is where we get a little bit. It’s seen as being difficult. It’s not actually difficult.

What is the reason while I’m choosing to stay, still sit on the sofa? But there will be a reason, there’s a reason to everything. So once you know how to interrogate your own thinking, if you’re, if you’re sitting on the sofa, it’s not because you’re a lazy person, it’s because you’re choosing to sit on the sofa, someone might call you lazy, you might call yourself lazy. But that’s a complete waste of time. It doesn’t help you in any way, shape or form and it just makes you feel bad because you’re feeling lazy asking why wanting to sit on the sofa is where the answers are, reminds me of pain versus pleasure type philosophy. Is it similar to that? Well if we’re taking the pain versus pleasure and this is this is the two motivation strategies. Everyone knows carrot and the stick. Actually the best thing to do is put the put the two together and credit combined strategy, but 80% of our thinking is about avoidance of pain or problem solving. So there’s a there’s a big thing, Watch your wire, watch your big goals and everything else and people spend all their time creating goals and vision boards and then come the first of second of January, they still haven’t done anything because the human brain is massively biased to problem solving.

It’s only in the last very short period of time in evolution that we actually have a part of our brain that does goals. If you look at pretty much every other animal, every animal is how do I get food today? How do I stay alive today? And this is us as well, we spend most of our time solving problems and if you’re a businessperson you spend more, you become more successful because you solved better and better problems for more and more people now as you are solving better and better problems, you can then get towards your goals. But if you if you look at most people and I’m working with most people, most people’s goals are not true goals. They’re absolutely, I don’t want a disguise and that’s why they don’t hit their goals because they’re not true goals. So this again is about motivation. If you understand your motivation, you can say I have this problem, I need to solve this problem, I get a resolution, but for so something like health, for example, people say health is the number one value, the most important thing is not, But it becomes number one.

When you lose your health, the moment you regain it, it drops back down to about number five or number six on average with most people in their lives. Because working family, doing other things, earning money is actually more important. Health is there to help you do other things. So when people say health is number one important thing, it’s not, it’s rubbish psychobabble mindset, you know, surface level nonsense, but if you’re ill, it becomes the number one thing because I need to recover it. So this is the pain and pleasure thing. You don’t get pleasure from recovering your health, you just fix the problem of not having it. So when everyone says, my goal is to have better health, it’s not, it’s to fix the problem because you’re not healthy. The natural default state of the body is to be healthy, you lose it, you recover it. Fitness is different. If you want to be fit, you can be fit for something that’s a goal. So I can run a marathon. I can feel good because I’ve achieved something. So when people say your health and fitness goals, health is never a goal, its recovery of a problem.

So I’ve got an injury at the moment. So I’m not as healthy. So this is understanding motivation. As soon as you understand the difference, you can say this is a problem I need to solve, this is a goal and 80% of most of our day is about solving problems and if you can be really good at solving problems. it would be very, very successful. You have a very good life, which then goes, hey, let’s go have some fun and have some goals because if your health is bad, your money is bad, your relationships are bad. It’s been hard to then generate enthusiasm to go and do something that’s fun, but it’s very easy to go, let’s have a daydream about some goals to distract ourselves from feeling bad. So coming back to the example, just for a moment, um, the person isn’t lazy, What’s an example of someone who doesn’t do the exercises, you advise them to do, what, what’s going on there in their head, what’s the real reason as to why they’re not doing them? Or perhaps an example of everyone’s different, I’ll give you a very common one, which is health, which is weight.

You can use that one for weight. You know, so a lot of people want to be a good healthy weight and they have all sorts of motivations, their unhealthy, they’re not feeling good, they know they should go on a diet, they’ve been on a diet, they’ve lost the weight, but what they won’t do is let themselves to get to a goal, Yeah, or they’ll go on the diet on the first of January and they’ll be off a bit by the second. So they know they want to be slim, they want to be healthy, they want to look good, they want to feel sexy, they want to look good on the beach. They have all their reasons, their motivation. But if that’s the case and all the fitness programs in the world and all the exercise programs and all the gems and everything else, why do people not complete it? That’s because they’re part of their brain that says I don’t want to get to go wait because if I get to go wait, I could then get attention and then I then might feel uncomfortable because I’m getting attention because I now I look good or if I lose the weight, yeah, okay.

By but this is not about losing weight. It’s like they take away the overeating that they’re doing is to take it back a section. Why are they overweight is because they’re overeating. Why are they choosing to overeat when they know they don’t want to be overweight? They don’t want to do this. They know it’s unhealthy for them. They know they don’t look good on the beach, they can’t run around. They know this. So this is when people say just go on a diet and have your wife says no. What’s more important is, and this is a real life example of working with somebody, she was putting on weight. She then went into more binge eating. And so I said, so what you get out of overeating? What’s the benefit of overeating? And she said Steven, you’re an idiot. What? That’s a stupid question. Said, yeah, but you’re choosing to do it and this is the epiphany that we do know behaviour, no matter how damaging is deliberately to damage ourselves, we do accidentally damage ourselves all the time. So what came out was that she’s so stressed at work. She comfort eats. This is one of the most common things people say to make themselves feel better.

In the real world, it’s a placebo, doesn’t ever actually make us feel better, but we think it does. So it worked. I said, so what’s going on at work said, well I’m really stressed and I said so you know what’s going, I’m really anxious, I’ve got loads on. And so what’s the benefit of creating this amount of anxiety to get steven? That’s a stupid question. I don’t like being anxious. That’s why she’s stuffing herself with chocolate to feel better. So logically she knows it doesn’t work. We all logically, no this doesn’t work, but she still has his compulsions which she didn’t understand. Ask the question. So just what is the benefit. She said well if I can if I can be, you know worried about everything that can go wrong, then I can spot it before it goes wrong and make sure it doesn’t go wrong, we’ll fix it quickly and what’s the benefit of that? Well, everything runs smoothly. What’s the benefit of that then we get great results. What’s the benefit of that then I’m not going to get judged, what’s the benefit of that, then I can go home to be a great mom. And this is basically the sequence to her anxiety, it was a mechanism to try and make sure that she spots everything that could go wrong.

But the more anxiety she had, what does she need? She needed more comfort. She made, she wanted to eat more chocolate stuff to make yourself feel better. All the anxiety she was creating. So you go on a diet. She now just feels anxious more. So the food is a solution for the anxiety and the anxiety is a solution for not being judged and failing. And the interesting thing was she actually started this cycle. She already had this process in her head, but it got worse because her boss said, hey, I’m going on maternity leave, can you look after my company for me for six months? So she got a compliment, but then the pressure came on and the solution for that was what could go wrong, let’s make sure I don’t mess up my boss’s company and then she was so stressed out, chocolate pizza, anything to make yourself feel better, wine. So the food is a solution. So if you take the solution away, she then feels worse. But you can’t take away the anxiety because she might mess up her boss’s company, then she might get judged.

So this goes all the way up to when she was a kid. So she was a very senior person in a company. But basically it was all when she got judged once I was a kid and she was desperate not to be judged. So this goes back every single CEO business leader found every person I’ve worked with thousands of people over the last 20 years. It’s your brain trying to help you just in a really bad way that will never work and make things worse. So, coming back to the example of people not doing their exercises and maybe lying down on the sofa or something really what they’re trying to do is just make themselves feel better and that’s the reason why they haven’t done the exercise feel better now in some way, shape or form or it could be and this is this is quite a common one and everyone’s different and everyone I have to go into and I can find it in the first hour what exactly is within the first hour guaranteed. It’s not a problem is easy because it’s in there. But it could be something like all right, I get away from work because I’m injured. I don’t have the pressure of everyday work because I can’t go to work now?

The other part of the brain is screaming, but they’re not getting paid, but they get time off. They took time away from the stress. So actually, the brain says unconsciously, this is actually quite nice. You’ve taken the time off. So actually money versus and then it says, you know what, you’re running out of money so much. And it flips back in and that’s when they start working on doing their exercises and getting themselves healthy so they can go back to work. And this is why people you see Yo-Yo behaviour in eating or Yo-Yo in any sort of behaviour. So it could be anything for that individual, but they do know, but they don’t necessarily know it as a logical process that they’re trying to do. Another example of that same thing. Could be that they get cared for because I’m just off the top of my head thinking about what I found with people. They’re injured and all of sudden people are caring for them and they’re looking after their feeling loved. So actually getting their ankle better or their back better means that it will go back to normal where they didn’t feel so cared for.

They might feel lonely. So there’s always a reason. There’s never not been a reason there that causes accidental sabotage. Interesting stuff, Steven. Does this the last sort of answer that you that you gave, does that cover what you touched upon regarding procrastination? Because, I mean, that’s it makes sense. Obviously, if you’re procrastinating, all that stuff makes perfect sense. Is there anything in addition to that that you think is worth mentioning? Yeah, I like I like solving weird problems when people, when people say they’ve got self-esteem problems or procrastination problems, these problems are so universal, There must be a reason. And my brain is the last 20 years with all the surface level mindset stuff and the affirmation stuff and an affirmation sometimes actually makes things worse, because you’re saying, I’ve got to do that, I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do this and this part of the brain is going, no, you’re not. So you actually create a bigger argument by trying to see the affirmations, and this is also going to come back to your question.

This is also about goals. A lot of people don’t set goals, because if you set a goal, then the fear of failure wakes up and goes, I’ll not let you set a goal, I’m not gonna let you do that. So a lot of people won’t let themselves have goals, because setting a goal means you could fail, don’t have a goal, can’t fail. So this happens in loads of different places but coming back to procrastination. Procrastination is a very useful process. It’s when we exaggerate it and procrastination becomes the default process of doing so you do nothing. So you don’t take a risk. If I do nothing, I won’t have to. There’s no risk. There’s no there’s no chance. So we put off, put off making decisions, put off investing. Put off making our putting our prices up. We put off going for the next level job. Yeah. We put off loads of things. If that becomes a default, you’re in trouble. But procrastination is an everyday thing. We all do it all the time. So you’ve got that screen behind you, that tv or monitor screen behind you. If that was an unusual process, probably what you did was you think I need a I need a screen.

What screen do I want? How am I going to buy it? So you went through the first three stages of the decision making a decision. Why do I want it? What do I want the exact thing and how am I going to buy it? Same with a car. Same with anything. Any decision just before you say yes and every salesperson knows this, the person then even if they said, yeah, it looks like the right thing. It’s the right car. It’s the right screen. It makes sense. I can afford it and everything else that you can go, yeah, hang on a second, let me have a think about it. And the salespeople hate this because this is when they’re going to think about it and what they’re doing is saying if I pay this, is it going to get me what I want, or is it not going to get me what I want? It’s when we what if ourselves and that’s what procrastination really is. What if I do this? Well, it’s not good. Let’s not do anything. So we look at the action of procrastination, which is to do nothing. The decision is I’m going to protect myself from failure or making a mistake or bad consequences. So it’s not about the behaviour and it’s certainly not about the emotion that’s irrelevant to work on work on the decision of Is this the right screen for me to buy?

And if your brain says, I don’t think it is, the salesman goes and then offers you a discount to try and force you over. Yeah, this is the perfect time to get the salesman and give you a discount. But your brain says, this is not going to fulfil my plan. It’s not going to be the right thing for me, it’s the wrong size or it’s too expensive compared to the benefit I’ll get. So procrastination is when you are meant to doubt your decisions and you’re meant to stop and go, hang on a second, let’s get out of the emotion, we’re about to sign on the dotted line? Should I? And we’re meant to do this because it makes it’s the final part that helps us make a better decision because we can get carried away with the enthusiasm if you ever been to the big motivational seminars when there’s people in the room, they’re jumping up and down there, having a great time. They’re pumped up with the endorphins and adrenaline and everything else and then they sell you silly, silly and then people run to the front and everyone and then later you go, why did I do that?

Because you got caught up in the emotion, You know, I always say to people, if you’re gonna go to those, have a great time, but give your friends the credit cards, credit cards that you can’t, you can’t get caught up in that because how many people have buyer’s remorse because they got caught up in the emotion of the, and that’s the sales process. It’s superbly done. Or more commonly, the fear. I’ve got a big problem, I’ve got a big problem, I’ve got a big problem. You have an idea about what they think the problem is you jump into to take some action and then you don’t go, hang on a second, is this the right problem? Am I solving the right problem? Is this the right process to solve it? You jump in and make a mistake and we’re meant to stop and take a step back and go, I’m just going for a cup of coffee for 20 minutes or give me two or three days to think about this or give me a week or send me some more information so we’re meant to calm down and look at it more logically and asked does this get me what I want? So procrastination and self-doubt and losing confidence. It’s all part of making better decisions.

So when people say have bulletproof confidence, you know, have no self-doubts. That’s nonsense. That’s dangerous. A friend who just double checks whether you’re making a good decision or not. Exactly. But when we have a part of our brain that over does the fear, you know, we’re so fearful of making a mistake because we made a mistake when we’re at school, we got laughed at, we got embarrassed or we lost some money with a big decision. So I work with people who I have had those human experiences and 20 years later something happened to him at school at the age of 11 is now running their sales strategy or their or their product marketing strategy or their product development strategy because they’re saying I stood up on stage, I presented, I got laughed at because I made a fluff of my words. Therefore, I can’t ever go and present to this level of people and so therefore they miss out on their skill set and the opportunities and their results because a 10-year-old’s brain is trying to protect them from that cute embarrassment.

Hey, I know this because I realised I was doing it as well. and it’s running their business and marketing and life and relationship strategy, but it’s trying to help them, but it doesn’t work. It just stops them from doing something by the person who if I get slim, I might then get attention from somebody who might have a relationship, then I might get dumped again in a horrible way and I’m not going through that again, guess what? I’m going to sabotage and I’ll never get to go away. It doesn’t matter what it is. It’s the same process because we’re human beings. It’s quite easy to fix interesting stuff steven, very good stuff. I checked out the YouTube channel before our, for our conversation. Lots of good stuff in there as well. And I purposefully didn’t watch this one. So I could ask you about it. And, and there was one on how admitting that you’re not a good leader is not a bad thing. I have. I have used these words previously about, you know, you kind of by default, if you start a business, you’re kind of, you’re the leader and I prior to starting a business.

I hadn’t given any thought to whether or not I was a good leader. Um, and I haven’t used the words as, I wonder whether I’m the right person to be like a leader. So would you like to share what is in that video and perhaps any additional thoughts that come up there. Yeah, I did a poll, one of these LinkedIn polls that everyone’s moment about this week. And it was interesting because I asked what’s the most common, what’s most useful business skill, leadership, sales, marketing, and managing? Obviously there’re loads of others, but it’s only something you can put on. Leadership came out as the top 50% of people said leadership. Interesting one was 20% said managing, which tells me two things. People want to be leaders, don’t want to be managers and they also don’t understand the difference between leading and managing because it’s so closely they are different but it’s so closely there. So what often happens is we want to be leaders of our life, we want to feel in control? We’re creating the direction, that’s what leaders do. But not everyone actually thinks like a leader.

That’s why you have loads of people who are workers and they get a satisfaction out of doing a great job as a worker and that’s they should be proud of that and you should be employing people who really like to be good at that job. Some people are what I call natural managers, they think as managers think because managers are good at being in control of things. Systems processes, People not in a bad way, they create efficiency, they create scalability, they create all this, but a lot of people who are entrepreneurial, usually 75% of them are workers who say I can make my own business, I can make this happen. So they could be really, really good leaders because they say this is the direction, this is where we’re going and they are great at creating that direction of product development or it could be marketing, it could be leading anything, creating anything, I call them more innovators, how can we move forward? But they could be terrible managers and a lot of leaders are not natural managers, they are better at being leaders.

The only trouble is they create scalability and I work with my clients a lot, they start the business, they scaled it up and everyone’s in there and then you get three people, then it’s four people, then it’s six people and all of a sudden they can’t manage everybody. There’re new functions that appear functions become robust, accounts really need to be done. Ops needs to be done and all of a sudden it all falls apart because they’re great leaders. They move forward but there is absolute chaos and it doesn’t scale and they lose a lot of people in efficiency. That’s when they need really good managers, but they are often the worst person because they are really good entrepreneurial leaders. That is their value. So I don’t call it strengths and weaknesses. I go, that’s where your most valuable in this company, but can they manage people can, they do, they have people who can manage their organisation as it grows. So this is my specialty and the second specialty and we flip it on the other way around. Sometimes. What you have is that you are an incredibly good at what you do person, your skill set as a worker is incredibly good and you say I want to create my own business or you know the recession happens and you have to create your own business, but actually you’re not good at leading because you’re actually better at controlling as a manager or working as a person.

So what happens is your skill set that you’ve learned over many, many years and most people with Western education is you learn something regurgitated for exams. Yeah, It’s the people who learn something and then there are two and two together and end up with seven, create the new stuff. But if you can, if you turn around and say, you know what I I’m really good at my job and perhaps my second preference is that I’m really good at controlling systems and building systems. You can be good at job and controlling and makes its systems happen. And this is where solo preneurs run into trouble because they run out of time. They can only work for so many hours. I’m not a good leader because I’ve never left the team. I don’t know how to lead people or get people to want to follow me more accurately because most people nowadays have never had leadership or management development mentoring. So if you turn around and say actually I’m not a good leader, why I’ve never done it before, I’m a great innovator.

I’m a brilliant innovator of my core skill, my professional skill and my topic I’ve studied for years and I can be a great innovator, so I’ve created my new company, but actually I’m useless, are taking people with me or I’m brilliant at that as a leader, but I’m terrible operating systems and a lot of people, maybe one or the other or they’re terrible at both. So if you look at some of the big icons, they are brilliant leaders in innovating products or something like that, they’re terrible people leaders or people managers. I think that that definition, I think I’m awful at management and I think leadership and innovation, personally, I think I’ll be fine with, so it’s a good distinction to make. What about you? Oh, I switched my study through my 30s and 40s, was being a worker, even I have my own company.

So my skill set and this is what often happens comes because you have a passionate thing about how do I make this really good, how do I help my client now? Remember, I started off as a physio and I said already I trained in lots of other things more than just physio. How can that be good at my job? This is worker mentality. I was an innovative worker. So I was always exploring how to be better at it, which made me then the leader almost like so I when I was a worker innovator, worker leader, then I swapped it around so like anything you can change your mind because it’s just changing your values. You know, like the health thing we talked about health becomes number one when you’re ill, when you are healthy, it drops back down to on average about the number five or number six or number seven for most people on average. So you can do that with, I am now a leader. So when I was working, I was working with one company and we ask the question, hands up, who in here is a leader. Now these are all senior people on the technical developed product development of a very big company. Out of the 8, 10 people in there, one person put his hand and said I’m a leader, I am a leader, identified everybody else.

And I said, hands up, who’s the manager? He like you when I’m a terrible manager because he doesn’t you don’t think like a natural manager. Yeah, and that’s good. It’s good to know that it’s really good to know that. And he said I’m here because I need to be better at managing, but I’m a leader, but I’m a terrible manager, everybody else that I’m a manager. Now they were all actually product development directors. Director directing, they’re all in leadership roles. The interesting thing is most of them, 90% of them didn’t identify with them being leaders. So one person actually said until you actually challenged me with that word and never even considered it. But his decisions were influencing the product development of 30% of that company’s products and millions and millions of dollars. But he never even had the concept of it because he was a worker who was so innovative, became a leader. I didn’t even realise it. And the thing he hated to do, it was all the day-to-day management. So a lot of the time we don’t know who we are. We don’t know why we sort of naturally better leaders, but perhaps we don’t even know we are leading.

We don’t know why we hate management. And I’m a now leader worker but I still have my company and my team to manage. But it’s my least favourite thing. So it’s not about skill set. Can I manage people? Yes. Can I manage systems? Yes, but it’s my least valuable thing because it’s the thing I like to do least to grow your company with a team? You would need someone who is a natural manager and hopefully trained as a manager. And are they a systems manager? Are they a people manager? What sort of manager? You need a manager who will innovate processes for you or control processes for you. So this is the diagnostic do with all my clients. What sort of persons you need at that level of the team now on where you’re going and what you need, it’s actually pretty easy to map out once, you know. But most people, you know, I’m 54 now and I remember being trained in leadership and management back by John Doris 35 years ago. And but most of that leadership management training has stopped, but we don’t understand that it’s okay for you to be not a good manager, but can you manage the people of managing your processes for you?

So I call it light touch management because you should be the leader, probably the worker, your specialist thing that you’re good at your second preference, same as me. I like working with people to manage a company and not actually work with people with, you know, bore me to death. So therefore the company would fail. So I have people who are really good at systems and control things and manage things while I can do the stuff that I’m most valuable. Where, which funny enough is usually what you enjoy most. So, you know, you’re not a natural manager, but if you’re building a team, I would work with you on improving your leadership so you can inspire and move people in the direction you want to go. But also enough management for you to manage the people who like managing. So you stay in control as a leader, but they do the controlling the organisation and everything for you. So you can do the stuff that you’re most valuable and that’s, that’s the whole thing. So this is why I saw my monologue in a bit here, but um, this is why it’s all about understanding behaviour, what behaviour do you need to get that result and then the sabotage stuff and understanding people, which is the core of everything, You can understand people, you can influence them as a leader, as a manager to change the behaviour to get the result.

It’s all about decisions, it’s about motivation, lots of good stuff here, Stephen. Thank you for all the value. You don’t have to worry about monologue ng, but I did want to ask you about your goals, what have you got in mind? Or if you even use that language, I do use goals because goals are nice girls are fun. So I, I like solving problems. As I said, more problems you can solve, You get to feel good. So when people say we don’t, we don’t, we banned the word problem in this organisation. I just go, oh, that’s not how your brain works. So you’re solving problems. But so goals for me, my goals are to work as I do with people all over the world. I like working from my house in Cyprus. I like mentoring people from walking around. Um, the pool. So it’s a very nice way of working. So I’ve got goals for my lifestyle. But my legacy goal, my big legacy goal, is to teach people this, so it’s easy for them to be sitting in a meeting or with a client and just understand people and how they’re behaving.

So they can then do what’s needed to create better results because better results for the company, the person individually, but actually better service and less stressed, less mental stress, life’s easier. So my big goal is, and I’m working on a big project at the moment with this is to take, can I be very, I’m gonna be blunt if that’s okay to take all the Bs, surface level mindset crap that is out there and actually show people there’s a depth you need to understand. But once you understand it’s applicable and everything and it’s easy, it’s so much platitude, um, and surface level stuff that is taught that just drives me crazy and to teach people if you know how to answer that question, you’ll get the answer therefore you understand it. And then you can make a choice and that’s what I love doing more than anything.

That’s my legacy goal. Well, as having personal goals, financial goals. Okay. It can be more motivating to, let’s say work against something than for something. So I guess if that if that’s what drives you, then I mean, that could be most, most progress is made by saying, I can do better than that. There’s the problem. So when people think, you know, you know, Elon musk is sending um, you know, rockets to into space and wants to go to Mars, it’s because he’s solving a problem. He was almost gonna say we’re highly problem and biased. So when you’re saying we’re working against something as opposed to for something, actually you’re doing both if you make sure you have the gold at the end. But most innovation, 95% plus of all innovation, comes from people going, that’s not good enough.

We can do better. That’s an away from that’s a problem solved. So all this nonsense of it, it’s all gonna be about goals and what’s your motivation to hit your goals? If that actually worked, you wouldn’t need to try and reinforce and have affirmations. It’s actually why am I not allowing myself to do something? I know I should be doing why is this this, you know, if you’re going back 30 40 years that someone solved a problem with that screen because someone wanted a screen that’s bigger. They didn’t say, hey, I want a nice big screen. I said, I can’t see what’s on the board. So most things start with problems. It’s not negative. It says that we built and I think when we embrace the problem, you have fun solving problems and then you solve better problems. You have then fun hitting your goals because you hit your financial goals because you solved many problems for many people, is there anything I should have asked you today, if you had to sum it up actually is why do we get in our own way?

Yeah, that’s the big question. Why do we get in our own way and when we don’t need to? Because we accidentally do, here’s the question, we accidentally get in our own way. And I suppose the on from that is the question you asked me the question where do emotions attached sit with all this stuff? Ask me that question, where do our emotions sit with all this stuff then? Okay, this is the biggest red herring in mindset stuff because I’ve, I trained in it and everyone, everyone comes because they’ve got physical problems in real-world problems, they’ve got the money, they’ve got this, they’ve got relationship problems. But actually what drives people is they feel bad. So human beings want to feel better, comfort, eating, avoiding staff, procrastination going on holiday to avoid work or you know, stay sick and you don’t have to go back in or we want to feel better. So most mindset stuff is focusing on feeling better, but actually we feel better instantly, the moment we change our thinking for, I have no idea, you know why there’s a leprechaun bouncing around behind you of your shoulder, but as soon as you think of something differently, your brain thinks something differently, you smile and you go, you know, it’s not there, but you can change your emotions in a heartbeat.

We don’t get stuck in emotions. Then there’s no such thing as a negative emotion. Because if they’re negative, why are all human beings apart from a few people you really don’t want to spend time with? Why do we all have anger, sadness and fear? The three big ones that people get caught up in, they’re all useful. They’re not pleasant. But actually when you understand them and use them right, they can help you achieve things. But here’s the big difference. Most of the times people try like my lady with the comfort eating and you know overeating and everything else. They’re trying to make themselves feel better rather than make their real world better. So you make yourself feel better by being lazy. But if you make yourself real well better by being fitter, you get to feel really good. Not just a temporary cessation of feeling bad and this is the difference between goals, problems and goals and most of our brain is biased in saying let’s solve a problem. What do you want to solve a problem in your emotions or you want to solve a problem in the real world?

Do you want to if you’ve got a debt? Do you want that debt to be gone? So then you can go and do something nice with the money you now have or do you want to ignore the credit card bill? Stick it in the drawer, go and watch Netflix and give yourself a temporary feeling of feeling better because you’re ignoring the bill when you work hard and go, what am I doing here? I am not getting paid enough for my skills because I am embarrassed about asking for the right amount of money. You do that. Then you pay your credit card off and then you go, do you know what? I’m a high level of income and I paid my credit card off. That feels really good. Back to your comfort zone. That’s the real comfort zone. That’s a real comfort zone is when you go, yes, I feel comfortable. I feel great not. Am I avoiding feeling bad? So the biggest red herring in mindset staff is actually dealing with emotions because we only have the emotions that attached the thoughts. We have changed the thought or don’t think about it. You don’t have the emotion. We don’t get trapped in emotions.

We don’t get stuck in the motions. It’s not how they worked. A bunch of chemicals in our body. We have the thought they come in and we burn them off. You get distracted, thinks something else. Your motion changes immediately is when we are repetitive. We think about things that are making us angry, sad or fearful that we feel bad, but sometimes we’re meant to be fearful. Imagine the world without fear. You wouldn’t survive crossing the road if you didn’t have sadness, you wouldn’t know the value of something if in case you lost it. Well, I better have that conversation with my spouse because I’ve just made a mistake, and she’s gonna be really upset with me. I might lose it. It’s going to apologise. See, we need an anger, it’s about understanding what’s right and wrong. Three very, very youthful emotions, but we spent so much time trying to make ourselves emotionally feel better. But we’ve got to do and we know this guy and have a drink of wine. You know the scotch or something. You have enough of it. You change your emotions. It’s actually better to change it what you’re thinking by actually doing some real the right behaviours and then you really solve the problem when you really hit the goal.

Not a placebo or the coping mechanism or comfort eating. That’s my legacy. That’s what I want to teach. So what I’ll do is I’ll snip that out, so it looks like I asked you the question. Cool. I was the one who came up with that. But yeah, thank you because you’ve given a lot of great information today. If people want to learn more, where do they find you? Pop over to the website Find me on LinkedIn. I am on Facebook as well. But yeah, find me on LinkedIn. Stephen Bates Certain Change. I’m easy to find. Come and have a chat, solve some problems and hit some goals. I believe you can do that. That’s for sure.

Steven, thank you very much.

My pleasure. Thank you for inviting me on.