Podcast 928: It’s Not Always Right to Be Right: And Other Hard-Won Leadership Lessons with Hamish Thomson

Joining me for this podcast is a CEO, board and start up adviser, consultant, speaker and investor, Hamish Thomson.Truly competent in his 30-year career, he has been a successful Regional President and Global Brand head for Mars Incorporated (UK, Australia and Chicago), a senior marketing and sales lead for Reebok International (England and the Netherlands) and a fresh-faced account executive in the London advertising scene.

In this interview, we mainly discussed his book entitled It’s Not Always Right to Be Right: And Other Hard-Won Leadership Lessons. The book is an autobiographical account of business and personal insight from 30 years of corporate experience which also includes commentary and critique from 17 leading international business experts – leaders of global industry, diplomacy and advocacy.

Hamish also gives a flavour of his writing by including the book’s opening pages along with a quick excerpt from the first two chapters. If you want to read it, you may check his website by clicking here.

You may also check more about Hamish and his works in his website.

I hope you enjoy this engaging interview with Hamish Thomson. Happy listening!

THE BOOK

An autobiographical account of business and personal insight from 30 years of corporate experience. Also included is commentary and critique from 17 leading international business experts (refer below) – leaders of global industry, diplomacy and advocacy. It contains diversity of thoughts and these contributors provide value added perspective that you can certainly learn something from it.

THE AUTHOR

A New Zealander from birth, Hamish Thomson is a seasoned global leadership executive. In a 30-year career, he has been a successful CEO/Regional President and Global Brand head for Mars Incorporated (UK, Australia and Chicago), a senior marketing and sales lead for Reebok International (England and the Netherlands) and a fresh-faced account executive in the London advertising scene.

A board director, leadership author and keynote speaker, start-up adviser and consultant, he currently resides in Sydney, Australia with his wife and three children.


You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transcription (not edited) of the interview.

Greg Voisen
Well welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen and a host of Inside Personal Growth. And I have Hamish Thompson on the line from Sydney, Australia long way away 6am His time currently one o'clock our time here in good old sunny San Diego today we are going to be speaking about his new book. It's not always right to be right. Another hard one leadership lessons. Good. Dania Hamish, how are you? Hello, Greg, delighted to be with you. I'm glad you're awake enough to do this podcast.

Hamish Thomson
I'm quite lucky, actually, normally the side of the world and I do a lot with the US and Europe. Normally I get stung in the middle of the night. So thank you very much for you and your audience. I appreciate you for being on and I appreciate who you are, and what you are all the effort you went to, to get the critiques at the back of this and each of these chapters from all of these people, plus the lessons that you articulated in the book for all my leaders who listened because most of them are leaders, CEOs, CFOs

Greg Voisen
HR directors, middle management, you will want to and will have a wink, not only get the book, but go to his website, and his website is pretty easy. It's Hamish h-a-m-i-s-h. Don't forget the t-h-o-m-s-o-n, don’t forget the H because most people want to put an h in that. And I'm gonna let him know a little bit about you. He's a New Zealander from birth. He's a seasoned global leader, executive and 30-year career. It's been a successful CEO and regional president and regional brand head for Mars. So but mars pet food I found out, not those big Mars candy bars you guys like to eat from UK, Australia and Chicago, a Senior Marketing and Sales Lead for Reebok International, England and Netherlands and fresh faced account executive in the London advertising scene, border director and leader, author, keynote speaker, startup advisor and consultant. And He currently resides as he said in Sydney, but he will be traveling to the states here quite a bit. And he resides there with his wife and three children. And he's got a beautiful website, go there to learn more about him the models consultation. What Hamish can do for you? Well, look, you would think that the book just by itself is a pretty good indicator of what the books is about. But let's face it, we all run into leaders. We had one year ago, Donald Trump, there wouldn't have been one president ever in a country that he was always right. No one was ever wrong. It was always the Donald way or the highway. We currently have leaders in Russia, who he thinks he's right, everything that he does. And then we have an example of a leaders Alinsky in Ukraine right now, who really is a trusted and inspired leader, not a command and control leader. And you know, unfortunately, I'm glad where it's going to see the breakdown of all these systems that have been revolving around command and control and move into what I would call an enlightened air of leaders. And as you mentioned in the introduction, that life is damn hard at the best of times, particularly in the cut and thrust of the corporate world, right. And that's pretty good description of it. Whether you're just starting out or you're battle hardened, global leader, the demands of business are relentless, I get it. Tell us a little about you, and what you've learned, generally, from all the contributing authors who critiqued you, at the end of each of these chapters in your book, because it's fascinating how you went about it. You told these great stories, you put it all together, then you asked all these people to critique you. And then they write a critique at the end. I've never actually read a book like that.

Hamish Thomson
I suppose Greg, some people would say I'm a little bit lazy actually getting others to do that contribution. I'm a, I'm a type of individual I love challenge. And I love to think of different directions and different thought processes and thought leadership versus my own. And I've always sort of thought great leaders, they value the opinions of others ahead of themselves. So I love that idea. I think there's about 17 chapters within it. I'm your typical sort of ego centric CEO. I did actually look after the conviction side on a on the Mars front as well. So I'm a little bit guilty of that.

Greg Voisen
Oh, well, you talked about the pet food division. So I was getting I

Hamish Thomson
covered capital, I'd say. So I do have very sort of firm opinions and views on things. But I decided I got experts within different fields. So from different sort of CEOs and global presidents, consultants, lawyers, advocate groups, etc. And I just got on to challenge my thoughts and my views on each of these leadership topics. I think it adds value to the book that definitely adds perspective from insanely curious on that front. And again, I think it just challenges some of that sort of thought process as well. I remember once I was told by a chap called Samson Susan, who's an Asia Pacific boss that I had many years ago. And he said, Hamish, your mind works like a parachute based when open. And I just thought that was really sort of apt that it opened up sort of that whole new perspective. So I'm actually a New Zealander, Greg, most my law sort of working life crossing Europe, fair bit within the US. And I think you have an insatiable curiosity, when you're within a smaller town, and sort of looking out like breath and everything in my career to date. It wasn't planned. But it's all been fun. It's been different. You know, even this world of PE and a lot of the startups I'm dealing with at the moment. It's just opened my eyes. So it has been a good journey. And I'm sure it will continue.

Greg Voisen
And look, what's best for us lies in front of us. Now you tell a story about getting hired by Mars Petcare division, you actually even described the office as being pretty fallacious, because you didn't ever think that the offices in your part of the world would be that fallacious. But how big they were, you know, all that kind of stuff. And you correlate the story about wall logic and relationship with Ivan Pavlov, it's Pavlov's dog ringing the bell, bing, bang, come over, get your you know, your treat. Can you tell us the story and some of the steps in mastering relationships, because, hey, look, we've all trained animals. And a lot of people get trained the same way. You know, you get a reward if you do these things. And I know this from the best of the best, because I was always a sales leader, and then went into business entrepreneur. And it was always about your ego drive. If we can satisfy that ego drive, we'll give you another trip to Australia, we'll give you a trip here, we'll send you to Disney World will give you a bonus, we'll do all these external things, which never were intrinsically what I wanted. But, and I was never satisfied afterwards. Right. So I'd love to speak to you about that Pavlok concept and mastering relationships.

Hamish Thomson
Yeah, it's a, it's an interesting one. And I've been very fortunate to think sort of, particularly within Reebok and Mars. I've always had exceptional leaders around there. And I think they've inspired the right way to do things. And this particular sense, when, when I first joined within Mazda, Inc, it was it was a certain chap, who was the head of research and development. And I went in thinking that would be a very, this is the interview stage, and I was going to be a very scientific and very functional and technical discussion. So being the EGA, sort of young person, I was, I think, was going for the marketing here at the time. I was sort of prepared on that side, we opened up and he said, Hamish, you've spent a fair bit around the world and different parts within, obviously, Asia, Pacific, Europe and the US. He said, give me your ranking between relationships, law and logic, where they sit with each of those markets and those regions. And I must have made it through me and I tried to do the intellectually sort of answer and starts to go into a bit of logic around where it is in regard to the current political leaders or environments or if you're French, it's slightly different from being from Seattle, etc. And his whole point behind us, which great leaders make in regard to the point, it doesn't matter where you are, relationships will always trump logic and law. And it took me a little bit what a while to realize that but the amount of times you see amazing, innovative, creative, technical solutions from brilliant people, they generally a half leveraged, and they generally don't get off the ground and less they develop relationships and integrators and connectors that take it wider. And it was just a it was a really sort of key lesson on that that I take them seriously and I think most young Lee is when you start, you think it's all around technical and functional development. And the very first element, Greg would say, is start believing in the importance of relationships, but dedicate most of your time to leadership development as opposed to functional development. And normally, that only happens when you start to get a little bit more senior. So I think that's very key. The other sort of good tips of everyone that I sort of follow an outline within the book, if you're a leader of others, start placing your best integrators and connectors and your relationship people on key projects, even if functionally, they know bugger all about the topic. That's different from what I used to actually do. But those people who can actually inspire and garner groups and allies and an alignment and cohesion behind things and massively under leveraged and undervalued. And then I think the other one is just for most of us at the moment. I always try and start off my relationships with a thing concept, what I call day one trust. So I give people immediate trust, as opposed to having to earn that trust, there's sometimes you can get stung on there. But intuition generally, will see you actually have those relationships, but the beauty of day one, trust its speed of relationships. And when you have that, that's when your breakthrough can actually take place. The standard stuff like start with personal first business later, I think that's very key. And we all actually get that in our own right. But it is something that took me probably too long to appreciate. Relationships definitely here of law and logic. So true,

Greg Voisen
what you say. And my last podcast, prior to this one was Stephen, Mr. Covey on trust and inspire. And you know, he's the one who's probably written more about trust than anybody. And where it's going now is what a leader has to do to change the culture to a trust inspired culture, versus command and control. And I love what you said, because I'd say probably my whole life. I come from a Jewish mother and a Christian father. But when your mom's Jewish, you're Jewish, and I'm a Maven. And if anybody out there listening, understands what a Maven is, I've probably been the best Maven, my whole life, which MAVEN is a connector. It's a person that connects other people without any restitution. Just I think you ought to do that. And most of my week, is now spent connecting people with other people, and then seeing the blossoming of the relationships, because we're all interconnected. And I think that's so important. You have a chapter that you entitled drains and radiators, and you quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, people do not seem to realize that their opinions of the world is also a confession of their character. You mentioned that you use the drains and radiators story frequently. Can you tell the listeners the story and the lessons that you've learned from the 30% rule?

Hamish Thomson
I think it's a it's a reasonably easy concept to understand. So the story itself, as I'll talk around that, but probably let me step back a little bit and just talk drains and radiators. So the drain is, is essentially what it says. And we all have drain moments that drain frames that could be sort of family members as well. But as people who see things differently in regard to a pessimistic style, they have many limiting beliefs, they, they suck energy from a room, and it's definitely not a can do attitude. And it's okay to have drain moments. We all get that. But I always used to say great, there's nothing worse as a leader by having drains around you within an organization. But I step back on that there is actually a lot worse. It's having a drain within your organization who infects the wider base of employees, and it just spreads like wildfire. irradiator does exactly what it says can do attitude positive, very results oriented and driven. And just in life and energy throughout the room. And the story around different chi red has different claims within the space. It was a large global advertising agency. And essentially the founder and CEO stood at the top of the stairs within his palatial surroundings, pulled everyone together and basically said, Hey, I love radiators. If you're a radiator, you'll go far within the business. If you're a drain, you can bugger off and you can bugger off now out. And he said a little bit more with colorful language. But I think the principles behind it are absolutely true. Now I always used to from a leadership perspective. Again, I would probably hire a lot of very intellectually clever people, typically very sound. But I didn't really think around the impact on the rest of the business. I've now got a higher in philosophy that I call C plus w is greater than II. curiosity and willingness and willingness with passion is greater than experience. And when you get those people who are incredibly curious, incredibly passionate, like out there and fix us right across the business, I now focus on getting the right people when, as opposed to the typically most gifted within there are put hiring radiators and advancing recognizing rewarding radiators way ahead of any engagement survey, Gallup process and everything, even though they're invaluable. They are not as good as getting those right people within the organization. And I think the other one is on that, as I said before, is when you get the right people when really give them key stretching assignments, and they will be the ones that were actually radiate energy throughout that concept, Greg, the 30% rule. Essentially what it is, is, I always take and I do this probably in different divisions or region or a country or a brand. I give them the 30% stretch targets. That's hypothetical number. But it's a target that is so ambitious, that the only way you can achieve it is by doing something completely different normally through external contact. And it's a great way to test who's a radiator and who's a drain those radiators, they thrive on it, they love it, they look for opportunity can do attitude, the drains, they'll put an immediate limiting belief up there. So I think it's probably my number one element in regard to people at the moment. Look for radiators.

Greg Voisen
Well, I know this sounds old fashioned. But they've always said, hire for attitude train for skill, you know. So, I mean, that's how many sounds very simplistic and it is, hang on a second, we'll cut this out. That that is very simple. All right. So I know it sounds very simplistic, but the reality is, is that, you know, you can go back to the day because we're not the same age, but maybe closer than some, you know, Zig Ziglar used to say, famous salespersons fail sales trainer. You know, it's not your aptitude that determines your altitude, it's your attitude. And I can always remember that from Zig. And I would think to myself, Man, it really is your attitude that determines your altitude. And your aptitude comes second. And I think that's exactly what you're saying. And I love it, because it is true. Now you state in so many occasions, our partners or our friends, are the driving force behind our success, and importantly, our own self-awareness. Those who know us tend to notice behavioral changes way before we do if you would speak with us about your coach, Jack Jeffries, you had a coach, I think it was from Atlanta said true. Colorado, Colorado, and how he worked with you to transform you personally. Because he I'm gonna say this, it's my show. He called you out on your shit. And you were hiding behind all kinds of crap. But Jack wouldn't have any of it. So tell us a little bit about that story. I always think it's fun to see how a CEO evolves into a CEO through a good coach, like Jack.

Hamish Thomson
your very best coaches are those ones who can have crucial conversations with you. And it's the same with partners or family or friends. You listen to them more than you listen to anyone else. And I've got those things which are the 98% concept and you get a lot of feedback within a multinational you get so much feedback and 98% of it, just let it go over your shoulder. It's doesn't mean it's wrong, but it's only really the 2% that resonates these good coaches like Jay heck cut through. And I remember having this conversation and Jack used to be at CCO and Colorado, he's out on his own now. And basically the element was Jack, I'm not really enjoying myself, I'm sort of struggling is this leadership material really me as that is a little bit sort of to not high pressure, but am I really enjoying it. And he said to me, Hamish, you can change your attitude in a nanosecond. And in this particular case, you either change what you do, or you change your attitude. And if it's the latter, you do it immediately. And he was so right, it was basically you do have a choice. And you always have a choice. Some people have more privilege opportunities, and it's easier for them to make. But others and in this particular case, it was I do something different, or change the attitude. And I liked this element of the instant, and instantaneous nature of the neighborhood actually changing attitude so quickly. So it's really sort of key. And I think that's, I think that's very pertinent across when you go throughout your career, those people who genuinely care for you and start from a position of care, the other ones you can point out when you're starting to lose your true authentic self. So having those key people to be able to have those conversations with you is absolutely key. And then equally, knowing yourself, what are those key trigger points that set you off? I'm a very impatient person, I'm incredibly results oriented on what big driven what's new and fast. But when I start to find myself losing my authentic self, my first signal that comes out, I'm incredibly impatient with others, as opposed to try and give them more freedom and autonomy. I jump in, and I'll try and do it myself. As opposed to coaching and supporting I'll start directing. So it was a really, it was a good lesson from Jack,

Greg Voisen
not always right to be right. Was so spot on. So Well, look, awareness is 100% of the issue. And as soon as you become awareness, you have aware you have a choice. The other thing is there's this constant dynamic between the ego and the soul, the conscious and the subconscious. And what people don't really realize is when you can bring the two in balance, and you can work with your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind works while you're sleeping, it programs. And it has the ability to manifest anything in your life that you want. Whereas the conscious mind, and the ego is the one that's limiting. It's trying to protect you. And it's saying, hey, Hamish, you know, don't do this, don't do that. Because all I want you to do is survive. Now, the mammalian brain, which we evolved from, understands the ego side greater than it does this, this basically subconscious soul side. So when you get that, and you follow that formula, you literally break open all new avenues and terrain to move to. Now, you state that when you took your new job, that you were way too serious, I can see that, I can still see that. And everyone in your life took a backseat, including the attention to your health. You're saying you gain way you weren't doing what you were originally supposed to do. You tell our listeners about the five step process, to smiling again, that's we're just talking about to smiling again, and what happens to when you become aware of your shortfalls. And here's the other thing, and become aware of how alive you can be and how creative you can be when you realize that you allow that ego to do that to you. Because that's exactly what happens.

Hamish Thomson
I liked your talk around that self-awareness, Craig. And I've always sort of had a view that's, you know, these Johari Windows things, everyone's got blind spots, but when people call out a blind spot and you become aware of us, self-awareness is one thing that you have to self-develop, and you have a responsibility to self-develop. This particular instance I was I was probably around 27 I was hitting up a European marketing comms for Reebok. So it was a great job and I was based in Amsterdam. And if you can't enjoy yourself in Amsterdam, where the hell can you enjoy yourself? And I had a friend I was one of You're out at a restaurant or a bar. And a friend came along and he introduced me to his fiancée and he said, Pam, like you to meet Hamish, the manner used to smile. And it was a very simple thing that he said, but it really got to me. And I pulled him aside and said, What the hell do you mean to the man who used to smile. And he said, for the last few months, you've taken on this new role, and you've just become serious, you've lost yourself within that. And I've always been a serious guy, but I'm also reasonably sort of chilled out. And I have a very good balance of things that I've always believed. If you have excellence in life, you have excellence of business. And if I get the first bit wrong, I'm never going to meet my best. And I'm a massive believer in that as well. As you know, there's no point in having two sides for someone, you've got to be 100%, the same as who you are at work as you are at home, it's just brings out the best. But this was a real sort of wake up call on less and it's made me sort of think back and those steps that I won't go through sort of each of them, it is definitely find out who those trusted people are, you know, your own signals or directly and actually have regular check in points along the way to see Have you got that balance. And as if that other one honors, which is really key. Don't try and be somebody else that you're not. And that's particularly important for new starters, and I've got a different approach on this a new graduate and new intern or new starter, a lot of people talk around your first 90 days just sort of sit alone and don't give sort of too much input observe. My view is one, never given approve mode. You've already got the job, you've done the hard work on that. But from day one, give your input and give your thoughts. That's the perspective the fresh eyes come in. And normally, that's the most invaluable perspective and thought that comes in. And I've always had a thing, Greg, that I've, I've written down just before even starting in a new role or country, all my hypotheses are what I would do what I think is right within the business, and eight times out of 10, when you look back, you normally get that first intuition, right? So it was a pretty key lesson, I fall into it a couple of times taking things too seriously. But you never do best when you do.

Greg Voisen
Well, I think the Buddhists have a statement. And because this show covers on philosophies. When you're attached to the outcome of anything, doesn't mean that we don't have goals, doesn't mean we don't have aspirations, doesn't mean we don't have intentions. But the best laid plans don't always work out the way you think they're going to work out. And if you're attached to the way you think the plan is going to work, just see how God brings that together for you. And then you'll see that it's not always that way. And I say that because you know you have to have a degree of flexibility about you. A degree of curiosity, along with that flexibility allows for great outcomes. Now, that aspect, you know, getting attached to that expectation is a mindset that's fixed. Right? But you need to be in flux, not in physics. And if you're in flux, and you know how to handle flux, you literally get the outcome, but not always exactly how you expected to get there. Now, you have a personal hero, Richie McCaw, the legend coach of the All Blacks I saw his picture in your book, I know all about the All Blacks because I was gonna buy a t shirt when I was in New Zealand. And then you know, I looked at the price and I was like, holy Criminy. And what like $100 for a T shirt, you state that humility and spades values through the roof and a lead by example, work ethic that is yet to be matched. Please speak with us about this distinction between I just said it results and awards. You know what he got not to be tied to expectations of the outcome, not to be tied to the outcome. And that's why he was such a damn good coach.

Hamish Thomson
So there's an element on he's us probably one of the best he's a captain in the All Blacks two World Cup winning elements and he is a CFC superstar and there's a great Maori proverb. Within there this is the Coomer which is the sweet potato doesn't have to say how sweet it is, and I I love that because he's a person that just steps back and has that humility. very charismatic, but is respected. And he's also liked as a leader. And I think that's a key difference on that. And I was lost to sort of told very clearly that when you respected people follow you, but when you respected the light that walk over coals for you, and an exceptional leader, will walk over coals for their people. And there's a little bit of a difference on that. And that's sort of key to the awards and, and results from an island that was in London advertising creative head took me out over a boozy lunch. And the seventh bit of tongue in cheek said your results are nice, but awards matter. And, you know, for any of those in traditional blue chip companies, you know, it's sacrilegious to actually say, but I started thinking around us and, you know, I've been very lucky and fortunate regard to my career of having some great results, results, revenue, profit, cash sort of targets and things, people get excited behind them. But it's only really meaningful rewards that you get a euphoric nature. And if I start thinking around that even small things like an associate of the year, a Sustainability Award a number one customer a gold lion statue from the Cannes advertising awards, people take those, and it actually means something, those are the things you talk around the dinner party in a barbecue with the family, you don't talk around meeting a 3%. Net Sales Revenue target every year. And I just really sort of liked that concept. And the more senior you go, you try and convince yourself that no at all results and awards don't matter. Now, don't get me wrong, they're not mutually exclusive. I know that. But those leading indicators will lead to results. And having that balance in there, I think is absolutely key, and Richie McCaw just always had that he always said, I don't worry about the end result. It's around the training and what I do every single day and those leading indicators that will lead to the end result. And as a result, he pulled off some amazing awards as well. So yeah, I have a little bit of that typical men crush with a met. But I think my wife's got the same one normal.

Greg Voisen
Well, you know, intrinsic is sustainable. Extrinsic is not sustainable. So anything that evolves as a result of a value, that you uphold something you're going for a purpose, and intention, regardless of the award. The award is the feeling that you're receiving inside as a result of doing something good for other people, whether it's philanthropic, or it's helping an old lady across the street, it doesn't matter what it is, it's doing good for other people, period, you started this show off with relationships, relationships are just the people that you make connections with. And in your chapter, it's not always right to be right, your book, it's not always right to be right. You quote, Gore Vidal, who said, I told you so. And there was a longer statement than that. But it basically said, I told you so. And how many people have said, I told you so after the fact. We've all known leaders like that to be right. And they're not very good listeners. Speak with us about the framework of a compromise and hope and inclusion. You know, as a leader at Mars, I'm sure Mars wanted their leaders to look for compromise, and they wanted to provide you wanted to provide the rest of the people that work with you with hope, and you wanted to hear them, you wanted to include them. You know, and I think today, it gets brushed over way too easily. That people you know, look, I'm a podcaster 900 podcasts, you can't do this many podcasts and not become a good listener. Okay, but so many people are waiting to respond and are not truly listening deeply with heart centered listening, where's the pain? How can I help them through the pain? So what would you say about that?

Hamish Thomson
And I would say it's very much a cliché, but that sort of statement just thinking around. seek to understand before being understood. It is key Beyond that, and from a leaders perspective of outline this a little bit, but you step back, you're the last one to actually speak within a meeting. And if you don't have to speak, you don't have to speak if it's not your idea or your concept, your breakthrough transformation, it doesn't matter at all. If you've unlocked potential with another's, it's a really cool feeling. But you have to have enough confidence to actually do that. And this, I love that Gore Vidal statement, he said, what was it, they said, are the four most important words in the world, I told you so and it's the arrogance, sort of all that, that's typical sort of ego centric sort of CEO. And I sort of outline Greg, my experience, and I think this is probably quite similar. You're almost ingrained from day one to believing to be an effective leader, you have to be right. And I used to every dialogue, discussion debate I'd have with someone, they'd always be a winner and a loser. I was actually okay at it, I generally came out on top, but it was very one off and transactional in nature. And when you started to sort of sit back, you started to reflect was very limiting one, your perspective. And your diversity of thought was incredibly silo and narrow minded. Because if you already knew you're not listening, as you said, you're not opening up your mind to others. Secondly, I started to notice that my biggest breakthroughs and transformation and results came from not one off relationships with people, but stage two and stage three, when there was a dip and a real quality of relationship. Now, when you're always right, you're not going to have a stage two and stage three relationship. You know, that wasn't partnerships at home, if you're consistently right, you're not going to be able to have those deep and meaningful conversations that lead to break through. And then probably the last one that really jumped out to me, you

Greg Voisen
know, what I started for interrupting, but trying to remember the guy that wrote the book, men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. He was on the show. But he said, and you love this statement, you probably heard it, would you rather be right? Or would you rather be in love? It's nice as well, it's nice, because whether you're female, or you're male, or however you're working, you know, in a relationship, or you're on your lesbians, or you're, you know, you're gay. That statement goes across the board with whoever is your lover, you know, and it for people who are always trying to be right, it's a constant challenge, versus giving that up. And you really find that it's not that important to be right. It really isn't. Especially if you want to have love because all you create in a relationship, when you try and always be right,

Hamish Thomson
is fear. You know, it's interesting all night, I think within lockdown, I've probably been told more than a dozen years of being a CEO, about dad or Hamish, it's not always right to me, right. So it is just as personal within there. I think the other thing is, Greg, that when you are right, you limit Unlocking Potential with others. So if your teams or those around you, that don't challenge you that I provoke you, they won't have a debate or a dialogue with you. Because they know they'll always lose. And then they sit back. And it's just inertia. And they don't put in their input, which is, you know, great leaders, and I think exceptional partners and parents, you don't want to nurture within that you want people to actually shine and develop as well. So I think it is, it is really sort of you know, it's key on that. And as a leaders’ job is definitely seek to understand and give your input last. Stop thinking around what are those battles that are just not worth going in, if it is going to compromise a relationship, and a lot of people think compromising is limited. But if you think around the longer term gain the depths and trust of a relationship that you can build, you're actually measure the results of a transaction one on one a lot differently. You're looking at on a longer term basis, that depth where it actually leads to break through as well. The only time that I always think it's appropriate to say yes, definitively I am going to be right within this. If a topic actually crosses your value line, then I think it can actually be compromise. And you have to sort of always the no debate, no excuse mentality. But apart from that, I think everything is open. And that's where Mars and can which I think is still amazing company. They have this concept about a principle called mutuality. And its long term enduring Win with partnerships and suppliers. And a lot of companies do that. But those who live us every day, I think those ones who are generationally relevant as well.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, gentleman on the show the other day, and he has his own company now. But he used to work directly underneath Steve Jobs, and he's bald. And he said to me, and I don't think jokingly, he said, The reason I'm bald is because I work directly for Steve Jobs, I don't have this hair. And he said, three years I worked underneath him, and the expectations were so high, and the stress was so high, you know. And Steve Jobs used to say, when you entered the room, the development room with the developers, a lot of people didn't know this, but they knew he had a big ego. And they knew he was very tough to work for it, right. So everything's been written about him. But when he got behind closed doors, he said, everybody dropped your egos. Because we need the collective power of the fought from everybody in this room to solve this problem. It's not just me, I'm not going to be the only one solving the problem. And I think that's an interesting thing on the outside, when you weren't in those think tanks, he was pretty tough. Inside the think tanks, he was able to let go of that ego and let everybody express themselves and come alive. Now you state that you've always marveled at outstanding marketing, the ability of brands to consistently reinvent themselves and remain generationally relevant is an art form to the hold. You speak with our listeners about the three steps to becoming exceptional. Now this brand can be self-brand, if he Greg Voisen and inside personal growth, that's a brand, right? Also speak with us about our own personal leadership brand.

Hamish Thomson
Yeah, that's, that's alive. As I said, I started out London as a as a very average and pretty crappy copywriter. And fortunately for the British public and viewing public has moved on to count management pretty quickly. But I learned very quickly through a number of years and global sort of marketing heads that are roles. The best form of advertising comes in three words, you've noticed, remembered and understood. And it's in those three elements there in that order, actually, one you got to be noticed you have to actually break through to begin with, and digital format is obviously critical now. So your 30 seconds turns into two or three, you have to instantly recognize recognition, all that, remember does obviously getting associated with your brand, your distinctive assets, a signature processes, and understood just your consistency. So fairly basic format. But what I've actually lacked over the years, is how do you take that brand format and place it within a leadership, leadership development or leadership brand? And there are back row formats and templates to actually do that. So I've probably done this for the last maybe 15 years, use the same branding format that Craig leadership templates for people to actually follow. So what is your leadership capabilities and competencies? What are you incredibly gifted at? Functionally? What is that? Where do you derive your energy from, likewise, what sets you dry within your energy? And the overall premise behind it, Greg is when you are working on something that you're incredibly talented that that equally you're incredibly passionate at, and that meets your values. It's a marriage made in heaven. And over time, when you can be a little bit more selfish. You want to be working on all those things you're passionate around and you're talented at, and how do you surround yourself with other people who can pick up that slack? Nobody can be good at anything, even a general manager and a generalist. But it's a really key way of actually putting your brand in strength across and it is quite liberating. Because you're actually passionate around what you do. And it's quite easy to actually do that. So that's the concept behind it. I'm yet to see even from the Baines McKinsey's BCGs of the world. I'm yet to see a leadership brand template that actually works and as of as effective people.
Greg Voisen
you know, we live in a world that seems to be very sped up, sped up meaning fast. You even mentioned you have to have it within the first two seconds, not the first two minutes. And now I'm going to put a plug in for a gal who works on personal brands. He's been on the show several times. Dorie Clark, Dorie Clark is exceptional, because you know, when you look at how our world is today, and how we are using the internet, to interface with other individuals, and the speed at which this is being done, and the interconnectivity amongst all our relationships, we, we literally have to get that right. And hopefully, we get it right the first time. And I would say to anybody out there, you know, go look at people who work with people who use the internet as their mechanism to connect. And that's everybody, where we're all doing that today. And if there is a strategy and a tactic to it, don't get so tied into that, get tied into being the best you can be. And then let somebody help you do all the rest of the stuff. Now, this book, we you and I could probably talk forever here. But I'm going to tell my listeners, though out, we're going to put a link. It's not always right to be right, go to his website, we'll put a link to the website as well. And I'm going to wrap our interview up with this. The book is loaded with valuable advice from being humble, to learning from your experience. What three takeaways would you like to leave the listeners with from it's not always right to be right, that they could apply in their life as a leader as an individual, just walking away from this podcast and saying, Hey, Hamish, it was great. This is a great book. And I learned three things.

Hamish Thomson
And how, how revolutionary they are, I don't know. But I think the very practical ones are probably the best. So the first one, I'd say just consciously put leadership development to hit a functional development and do it in early stage, you can't do one without the other. But really try and do that, I think as early as possible. The second one, and I think this is within the lesson within life, just put others ahead of yourself, value them their opinions, it'll come back to you it always does in regard to the benefits, benefits on that side. And then the third one, which is probably what we just talked around, Greg, do what you love, right? It's so much easier, life becomes more enjoyable, and your results will actually flow on us. And then even though you haven't asked for it, I'll give you my one famous quote, which I absolutely love at all times. Little cheesy from Mario Andretti. But it's if you're in control, you're not driving fast enough. And I love that there's enough clever cookies around you to put you back on the track at all, but give it a nudge. Life's too short otherwise,

Greg Voisen
so true. I'm doing a book now with mountain climbers climbed all the highest Seven Summits. And I have the blessing the interview, these gentlemen who have climbed Everest 15 times or done the face of El Capitan without ropes, and every extreme athlete will tell you and I found out from this interview, you say well, what's the recurring theme? And exactly what Mario Andretti just said in your comment was, you're not living, you're not living unless you're facing death. And the interesting thing there is, is that many of them are extremely alive on the mountain. And the reason they get so addicted to doing more and more mountain climbs, extreme mountain climbs is because that's what fulfills them is to really push that limit. And like you just said, Mario Andretti said push the limit because someone else will put you in back into control. So do what Thomas said. Push the limit a little bit. Hamish wonderful having you on inside personal growth. taking a minute to speak with my listeners. I so value you the work you're doing. go to his website again. I will repeat it is Hamish h-a-m-i-s-h-t-h-o-m-s-o-n.com. We'll have a link to Amazon to get the book. This is a wildly book. It's wonderfully done. Wonderfully laid out wonderfully designed easy read, not hard. Got a lot of great kind of I want to say charts in it. You know things that you can just pick up on the pages and you can see a whole concept visually on there. So wonderful job in the design. I'm loud I'm your book I know what it takes to create a book I've done a couple of myself so I know it's challenging but you did an excellent job again go get this book. Thank you.

Hamish Thomson
Thank you Greg. Great to be here.

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