Chris Griffiths Show Notes Page
Chris Griffiths sold his company at the age of 26 and thought that he had the knowledge to turn anything into gold. After losing his home and several cars he learned that it’s not knowledge that creates success, but instead it’s the ability to improve your creative thinking skills.
Chris was born in Cleveland OH, and spent the earliest part of his childhood in Birmingham AL. An only child, Chris was adopted by British parents who he moved with to Wales, UK as a kid.
Chris’ parents were explorers and they moved from America to Wales to seek opportunity; they had successful careers with their own businesses.
Showing a natural flair for entrepreneurship at a young age – Chris setup his first shop selling homemade lead figures during school. But ultimately, Chris was not pleased with his negotiating skills with the school taking a 25% cut of his revenue. And that’s not all Chris achieved during his school days, either, at just 16 he sold his first software game – but then failed his computer science A-level exams at the age of 18.
Not to be deterred, Chris setup his first company which he sold at the age of 26. Falling trap to the hubris which so often accompanies early success, he then lost his next company – along with his house and five sports cars!
But, showing the resilience now integral to his own creative message, Chris continued to innovate and had soon built one of the fastest growing tech companies in Europe, which went on to become a PLC.
Despite significant success with this company, Chris ultimately walked away after disagreement with the board who were not open to new, innovative ideas.
After leaving, Chris was determined to bring his vision of tech and creativity to fruition; alas, he setup OpenGenius. Here, he established a highly-commended creativity training network, as well as spending several years developing Mind Mapping and Task Management software which has been used by teams and individuals from Nasa, Disney, McDonalds and Nike – to name a few.
Chris is also the author of The Creative Thinking Handbook: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Problem Solving in Business. This book enables you to develop your creative problem-solving skills to make better decisions with an individualized step-by-step strategy. Based on long-term research and testing of the creative thinking process, it will help you to generate more ideas and find brilliant solutions for any professional challenge.
Chris proudly lives and works in Wales and is married to wife Gaile – with whom he has two amazing children.
Quotes and Mentions
“Technology is impacting on how people think and their ability to create. And it’s not always good.” – Click to Tweet
“The focus in business today seems to be all about speed. But that’s the completely wrong way to look at things.” – Click to Tweet
“You need to be able to spend more time thinking rather than just doing.” – Click to Tweet
“Knowledge used to be power, it’s no longer power. Information is cheap.” – Click to Tweet
“The real power is in the creation of new knowledge.” – Click to Tweet
“We lose the ability to be creative for a whole load of reasons.” – Click to Tweet
“The decision radar allows you to ascertain how you make decisions.” – Click to Tweet
“Human beings are decision making machines.” – Click to Tweet
“When you’re making decisions in business, 99.99% you don’t have to make an instant call. However, most people operate under that mindset.” – Click to Tweet
“You can’t be a leader if you’re always reactive.” – Click to Tweet
“A good leader knows that they have to give themselves good thinking time.” – Click to Tweet
“Sometimes it’s not knowing what to do that makes the difference, it’s knowing what not to do.” – Click to Tweet
“Innovation isn’t an event, it’s a process.” – Click to Tweet
“Unless you solve the right problem, you’re not going to get anywhere.” – Click to Tweet
“Companies come up with a lot of great ideas, they just don’t know how to pick the right ones?” – Click to Tweet
“You can’t be as creative as you might want to be unless you start with the right mindset.” – Click to Tweet
“The difference between a leader and a follower is innovation.” – Click to Tweet
“Any company that wants to survive is going to need creative leadership.” – Click to Tweet
“If you have fear in the creative process it’s never going to work.” – Click to Tweet
“Success and failure are not opposites, they are part of the same process.” – Click to Tweet
“To be innovative you have to constantly change into something new.” – Click to Tweet
“To be a good leader you have to be a good coach.” – Click to Tweet
“When you lose your ability to use your imagination you just destroy your creativity.” – Click to Tweet
Hump to Get Over
Chris Griffiths sold his company at the age of 26 and thought that he had the knowledge to turn anything into gold. After losing his home and several cars he learned that it’s not knowledge that creates success, but instead it’s the ability to improve your creative thinking skills.
Advice for others
Enjoy more of the good times and stop sweating about the bad times.
Holding him back from being an even better leader
I’m not spending enough time on the things a leader should.
Best Leadership Advice
Don’t worry about problems because they are a sign you are pushing the boundaries.
Secret to Success
My ability to use focused daydreaming in order to create and come up with ideas.
Best tools in business or life
Using Aoya to build better and stronger ideas.
Contacting Chris Griffiths
Resources and Show Mentions
Show Transcript:Click to access edited transcript
243: Chris Griffiths: Knowledge is no longer power
Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader podcast where we uncover the leadership life hacks that help you to experience, breakout performance faster and rocket to success and now here’s your host customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.
Call Center coach develops and unites the next generation of call center leaders. Through our e-learning and community individuals gain knowledge and skills and the six core competencies that is the blueprint that develops high-performing call center leaders. Successful supervisors do not just happen. So go to callcentercoach.com to learn more about enrollment and download your copy of the Supervisor Success Path e-book now.
Okay, Fast Leader legion today I’m excited because I have somebody on the show today who’s really going to put some tactical ways, applications and really outcomes for us to be able to do what we need to do today from a competitive landscape perspective. Chris Griffiths was born in Cleveland, Ohio and spent the earliest part of his childhood in Birmingham, Alabama. An only child, Chris was adopted by British parents who he moved with to Wales, UK as a kid. Chris’s parents were explorers and they moved from America to Wales to seek opportunity they had successful careers with their own businesses. Showing a natural flair for entrepreneurship at a young age Chris set up his first shop selling homemade led figures during school. But ultimately, Chris was not pleased with his negotiating skills with the school taking a 25% cut of his revenue. And that’s not all Chris achieved during his school days either, at 16 he sold his first software game but then failed his computer science, A level exams at the age 18. Not to be deterred Chris set up his first company which he sold at the age of 26. Failing trapped to the hubris which so often accompanies early successes then he lost his next company along with his house and five sports cars. But showing the resilience now integral to his own creative message Chris continued to innovate and have soon built one of the fastest growing tech companies in Europe which went on to become a TLC.
Despite significant success with his company Chris ultimately walked away after a disagreement with the board who are not open to new innovative ideas. After leading Chris was determined to bring his vision of tech and creativity to fruition, alas, he set up Open Genius. Here he established a highly commended creativity training network as well as spending several years developing mind mapping and task management software which has been used by teams and individuals from NASA, Disney, McDonald’s and Nike just to name a few. Chris is also the author of—The Creative Thinking Handbook: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Problem-Solving in Business, this book enables you to develop your creative problem-solving skills to make better decisions with an individualized step-by-step strategy.
Based on long-term research and testing of the creative thinking process it will help you to generate more ideas and find brilliant solutions for any professional challenge. Chris proudly lives and works in Wales and is married to his wife Gayle with whom he has two amazing children. Chris Griffiths, are you ready to help us get over the hump?
Chris Griffiths: Absolutely, looking forward to…
Jim Rembach: Well, I’m glad you’re here. Now I’ve given my legion a little bit about you but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we get to know you even better?
Chris Griffiths: I would say my current passion is trying to merge technology with the science that goes behind good thinking skills and creativity. Technology is actually impacting on how people think and their ability to create and it’s not always good and that’s a shame. My passion has always been understanding modern brain based learning theory. Understanding what makes people think in a certain way. But I’ve also loved technology so to be able to combine those two things together and develop technology that helps you think more strategically and objectively is really what we’re all about at this moment in time.
Jim Rembach: Well, this particular dilemma that you solve for is becoming so significantly important to the marketplace and differentiation. When I start looking at the maturation process of how we’ve gone about to become more efficient and more effective it actually has been detrimental to what you’re talking about. So we’ve stripped out a lot of the ability for us to creatively think. We also don’t understand the process like you’re talking about. We’re also not spending and investing the time and effort to be able to do it because we’re just too busy just doing things.
Chris Griffiths: You’re 100 % right there. You see the focus within business today seems to be all about speed it’s about getting things done quickly. But that’s the completely wrong way to look at things because—let’s use technology as an example, if you use task management software and task management software helps you get things done quickly have you considered what if you’re doing the wrong thing? So you need to be able to spend more time thinking rather than just doing well.
Jim Rembach: And one of the things that you have mentioned in the book to me is—we’ve always heard, I think it’s one of those things that’s just so socially shared we think it’s galvanized. In fact, you throw a whole issue with it and it’s really that knowledge is power but it’s not power, you say it’s not power, why is knowledge not power?
Chris Griffiths: Yeah, this is so important. It used to be knowledge used to be power but it’s no longer power in information is cheap we can find out what we need to know when, we need to know, because of the Internet we all have access to the same information. That’s dangerous because it’s resulting in sameness people are coming up with the same ideas. Maybe they do it in a different way but it’s just the same thing. You see where the real power lies now is not even in the use of knowledge the real power is in the creation of new knowledge. And this is what we’re all about this is why Melina Costi and I wrote the Creative Thinking Handbook and why we’re developing AO at the technology app to make sure that people know and have tools in terms of how to think more objectively.
Jim Rembach: And what we’ll do is we will put a link to that on your show notes page and we’ll get to that in a second. I think it’s critically important to really talk about that new thinking and it kind of flush that out. We’re not talking about with things that have just never been created before. In fact, when you start looking at innovation and the creative process it’s about taking elements and components and variables and then putting them into your environment and that’s when we start getting into that whole divergent and convergent thinking process. You even cite in your book a video that I’d done about Dr. George Lan’s work at NASA, how we essentially get stripped of that ability and skill to be creative in our thinking. By the time we get to the workplace we’re just doing stuff.
Chris Griffiths: Yeah, you’re right. And it really upsets me because quite often you’ll hear people say—I’m not the creative type—but they’re saying that more as an excuse because of any genetic failing. There’s no such thing as a creative type. Have you ever seen a five-year-old that’s not creative? The fact is that we lose the ability to be creative for a whole load of reason. So what we do at Open Genius is help people get that creativity. We take that further because creativity is only part of innovation of course so it’s pulling it all together into systems and processes that give people a really good chance of making the right decisions.
Jim Rembach: And I think that’s the important part is we’re not talking about freeform, chasing smoke scenario we’re talking about having structures and having methods and roadmaps and all that. One of the important things that you talk about is decision radar. Tell us a little about what the decision radar.
Chris Griffiths: Well, it was something that we wanted to do in our own research, in our own studies, but it’s actually become a great motivator for people. The decision radar is an instrument that allows you to do a test with 40 questions and those questions will ascertain how you make decisions. Now making decisions is made up of lots of different areas. It’s your ability to evaluate. It’s your ability to innovate. It’s your ability to overcome fear. It’s your ability to direct other people and bring them along on the journey. There’s so many things that make up good decision-making. And what the radar allows you to do is test yourself to see where your strengths and weaknesses are. So it gives you a starting point to see what you need to do next to give yourself a good chance of success.
And I say success because if you were to look at this at the simplest level human beings are decision-making machines. We wake up in the morning and we start making decisions, some are big some are small. If we give ourselves the best percentage chance of making the right decision on the bigger ones then all of those combined is going to help us be become a success.
Jim Rembach: Well, one of the things that I think’s important is I was looking through the decision radar and then getting into the whole thinking errors, and we’ll talk about that in a second, is that lot of research has been given to as well as a lot of people talked about this whole reptilian brain and the fact is that we decide based on emotion first and then we start looking at the whole rational side. So how does the decision radar actually accommodate for the whole fear-based, quite like freeze, appease—how does it accommodate problem?
Chris Griffiths: Yeah, that’s a really good question. When you’re making decisions in business, yes, there are going to be times where you need to make an instant call but 99.9% of the time you will not need to do that. However, most people operate under that mindset. They get their emails they want to clear their inbox they make decisions that could be quite large and they’re making them based on instinct and emotion. The great thing with the decision radar is it gives you a overall view of all of the different skills that you need to encompass in your decision making to have the best chance of making the right decision.
Jim Rembach: Well, and I think as you were saying that I also started thinking about the types of decisions that we must make. Some of those are quick in nature as such being able to build our skills to know that, oh, this is not something that should not take a quick response. We need to step back go through the matrix.
Chris Griffiths: It’s really difficult because if I look at which mode of thinking people spend most of their time when they’re in work it’s a reactive mode of thinking, which means they’re allowing external influences whether it’s colleagues, whether it’s emails, whether it’s social media, dictate what they do and what actions they take. Now a good leader knows that you can’t be reactive in fact you can’t be a leader if you’re always reactive because you naturally become a follower to external things. A good leader knows that they have to give themselves thinking time. And it’s really difficult. Henry Ford said, there’s nothing more difficult than thinking, the reason he said that is because people just don’t do it.
Jim Rembach: I think that also is an important point when you start talking about dissecting what it is that the most highest achievers do who people who are the top influencers of the world, the wealthiest of the world every single one of them. If you look at it across the board dedicate time to the thinking process.
Chris Griffiths: Yes, absolutely. You can go all the way back to the great inventors and they would have a scheduled time out for what they would call thought experiments. It’s just giving your brain time to connect the dots and do so in a way that they’ve never been connected before. That’s where you come up with a personal, original, thoughts.
Jim Rembach: Okay, so that kind of leads into the whole thinking errors issue. Get us understanding what you mean by thinking errors.
Chris Griffiths: A lot of people talk about thinking outside of the box. It’s very easy to say it but what does that mean? What is the box? It’s probably the starting point. And that’s what we do at Open Genius we try and make people aware what the box is and help them to remove it. So, the box is all of your experiences, it’s your fears, it’s your beliefs, it’s your assumptions, it’s a combination of who you are. Now if you can remove those, which are essentially thinking errors, so their cognitive biases that might stop you doing things if you can remove them you instantly become more creative. It’s fascinating because sometimes it’s not knowing what to do that makes the difference it’s knowing what not to do. Now with creativity because we know study after study with the exception of a study that we did with 5,000 people shows that creativity diminishes with age. The study that we did show that you actually see a slight increase in creativity when people get towards their 40s and mid-40s. We don’t know why we can assume it’s because they have more time to think and be free perhaps they’re more financially secure. But what essentially you need to do is change that situation around the way you’ve lost your creativity through your sort of educational life you need to unlearn all of the bad habits the thinking errors that actually stop you from being creative today.
Jim Rembach: You can argue that if you were to maybe bump up some of those statistics associated with when people kind of hit the ceiling so that happens about at that same timeframe. What I mean by ceiling is that it’s your technical skills will enable you to advance to a certain level but then you have to actually flip and you have to become somebody who is actually skilled at the whole people leading component. If you hit that glass ceiling and you’re not going anywhere and you’re trying to figure out why you’re going to have to be more creative.
Chris Griffiths: Absolutely, that’s a good point.
Jim Rembach: So we talked about the thinking errors but then that actually gets it to the point where we need to have some solutions and you have a solution finder steps. Tell us a little bit about them.
Chris Griffiths: We always knew that innovation wasn’t an event it’s a process. Everyone talks about creativity and innovation but people don’t really know what it means. How do I do it? Is it just sticking post-it notes up in a boardroom or having colorful beanbags around the office? Actually it’s a process. If you can go through in a systematic way you’re going to give yourself such a better chance of being more creative and coming up with better solutions. It’s very simple. Most things that are good are—it’s a common sense approach which is no longer common. But essentially the solution finder breaks a problem into a few areas so the first area. The first area would be the stage that no one does. The stage that everyone misses when they’re trying to come up with a solution to their challenge would be defining what the challenge really is. Einstein said if he has sixty minutes to save the planet he’d spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem and only five minutes solving the issue. And that is true because you see unless you solve the right problem you’re not going to get anywhere. Most people just solve the obvious problems and not the ones that really make the biggest difference or they’re the ones that are easiest to solve.
Stage one in the solution finder is to go through a series of techniques and tools. The very simple where you actually look at your problem in lots of different ways, you reframe it and you analyze it from different angles you use different tools so that you can just see, is this the right thing to be spending all our time and energy or is there something deeper?
The next stage is the point where you have to come up with your ideas. Everyone thinks that’s easy. It’s not because I can tell you that most organizations that I’ve worked with and coached, and I’ve coached Nobel Laureates, royal families, European courts and parliaments, I’ve coached CEOs, I can tell you now they don’t know how to brainstorm. People think brainstorming is getting a group of people in a room and coming up with ideas that’s actually the next stage which is the evaluation stage. There are certain things that you can do to give yourself and your team the best chance of coming up with great ideas so that would be the next stage we help people do that.
The next stage would be the more analytical and evaluative stage. There are companies that can come up with lots of ideas but don’t know how to pick the right ones and so again we use tools that do that, and these are basic tools they’re just canvases. With the book you can download the canvases and you can just actually write in the canvases or just put post-it notes in them, don’t think this is complex. I guess the final part is really important and it is often overlooked is that if you want to take an idea from inception to action you’ve got to understand how to do that. So it’s all about the direction that you take in making an idea happen and that is very, very important. Now, you can jump in and out of any of those stages at any time but I would say by far the most important one and if I only have a short time to spend with somebody I won’t even spend the time thinking up ideas with them I’ll just define what their challenge really is.
Jim Rembach: Well, as you started talking about—having the canvas having the access to the system the frameworks understanding the roadmap and the process that’s all great but one of the things that you talk about in the book is really committing to thinking differently. And so what do you really mean by that?
Chris Griffiths: Well, you can’t be as creative as you might want to be unless you start with the right mindset you have to start with the—everything is possible mindset. That’s very, very difficult for people because they put their assumptions and beliefs into the mix way too soon. This is why we have tools and processes that make sure that doesn’t happen. I’ll give you an example, if I was to look at a normal brainstorming session when people are putting ideas out there it always follows a normal progression. The first stage would be people would come up with lots of sensible ideas. These are ideas that they feel comfortable with they don’t seem stupid they know they can make them happen but these are the obvious ideas these are the ideas everyone comes up with. And then all of a sudden the ideas will start getting a little bit strange and people will slow down because they think—I’m going to look a fool if I say what this idea is and they stop they just stop. Well, they’ve actually missed the two most important phases of ideation which the second stage is to actually push through to the completely weird and wacky ideas, literally anything goes. The reason being is the third stage is where you find new and novel ways to follow because what you do is you combine the weird and whacky ideas with the obvious ideas from stage one. And I can guarantee you you’ll always be able to find a way to connect those dots together. It doesn’t matter how wacky the idea is when you say how could we link it with this sensible idea you will always find a route to do it. And that’s where you end up with true creativity.
Jim Rembach: You and I had the opportunity to talk about customer experience and impacting the customer experience. I talked about customer-centric leadership and human-centric leadership and you talk about creative leadership, what is that?
Chris Griffiths: The difference between a leader and a follower is innovation. It’s the ability to innovate in so many different ways and bring people with you. If you want to be a leader that’s really going to be a market driver rather than be market driven you’ve got to be a creative leader. Also you’ve got to look at where we are in today’s fast-moving economy. Anything that can be automated is going to be automated. The world is becoming a very flat place in terms of you’re going to have so many competitors trying to win on price is never going to work anymore. So you have to be creative. Any company that wants to survive is going to need creative leadership. You can’t argue that any futurist in technology will tell you that it’s the ability to innovate and create that will be the most valued people especially the tech community but ever every industry.
Jim Rembach: It’s one of those things you and I had talked about this. This isn’t a futuristic thing this is today. Dr. H Kim wrote the book called, The Creativity Challenge and she was on the Fast Leader show and we’ll make sure that we link to her episode as well. She talks about the really issue behind and those multiple reasons why we have this degradation in creative thinking and where we are today and the impacts of what it’s causing. It is not a situation where industry verticals heck societies for that matter is exempt everybody is included in this issue.
Chris Griffiths: It is. It’s good as artificial intelligence may get it’s not going to take over the intellectual capital that we have as human beings to be creative, not for a very long time.
Jim Rembach: When we start talking about all of this—and even in the book you have several inspirational quotes, we look to quotes to help us focus, what’s one of your favorites that you can share?
Chris Griffiths: I think my favorite is that, winners fail more times than losers even try. It’s one of the things with creativity if you have fear in the creative process it’s never going to work. Also if one can realize that success and failure they’re not opposites they’re actually part of the same process then you become comfortable with it. You have to fail the unless you’re extremely lucky you’re going to have lots of failures before you get to a big success it’s just that we hear a lot about the big successes that happen just naturally but you don’t hear about a lot of the failures that those sort of founding company directors would have had to go through to get there.
Jim Rembach: Well, most definitely. That’s one of the reasons why we talk about those on the Fast Leader show we talk about humps that we have to get over. Do you have one of your humps stories?
Chris Griffiths: Yeah. I’ve had two big humps in my business journey. Once I sold my business at 26, as you quite rightly said I allowed the hubris to set in, when you’re very young and you have a great deal of success you think everything that you touch will turn into gold but that clearly wasn’t the case. Everything I made from selling my company I invested into computer telecommunications and I created some absolutely beautiful technology that no one wanted to buy but it was a great learning experience I wouldn’t change it for anything. Yes, I lost my house and my cars but wow what a lesson I learned from that and it made me who I am. And also you pointed out that I then went on to grow Burchfield into a PLC and a Tech Track 100 company. I could see at Burchfield that it had lost its creativity whilst we were a PLC and we had amazing people on the board it was no longer innovative so that was a painful hump for me to think I’m going to step down from the company that I’ve taken from nothing to seven years of straight growth to a PLC because I’m going to do what I believe is right. What I believed was right was this focus on using technology to help people become more creative. To start again was painful it was difficult and it took a long time but again I’m really glad I did it.
Jim Rembach: As you’re talking Chris I start thinking about some things that kind of run through my head at times and maybe this is a little bit TMI or too much information but sometimes I get very frustrated with the rate at which the velocity at which things move and so I lose patience and I’m like, you know what? I just have to jettison that and just move on because it’s a boat anchor it’s holding me down.
Chris Griffiths: Yes. And you’ve got to have the confidence to do that. Again you’ve got to overcome fear because you can get trapped in a situation where you’re very comfortable. Going back to the quote we’d all started from that quote, winners fail more times than losers even try, you have to be willing to break the status quo and when you break a status quo it could go either way.
Jim Rembach: Well, it can go either way. But for me it’s one of those things where you start talking about—I had somebody on the show that talked about your core four as far as the things are important to you, for me I think one of my core is breaking the status quo. I’m like—just because you’re doing it that way does not really mean that it’s the right way.
Chris Griffiths: Yeah, absolutely. If you have a realization, let’s just say things don’t go the way that you hope they do so you break the status quo and you end up in a situation you don’t like the great thing is you can’t lose because you have to change the status quo again. So you can keep changing things until you get to the place you want to be. You see innovation itself the word, the meaning, comes from the Latin innavatus so that means to change into something new. So to be innovative you have to constantly change into to something new. The best example of innovation on the planet is Mother Nature and even she doesn’t get it right all the time.
Jim Rembach: When I start looking at what you’re doing where you’re going the things that you’ve learned along the path really a global society we need to move, I’m really excited about the work that you’re doing but, I’m sure you start looking at all of these different things that you could do and you really have to step back and start focusing in order for you to be able to make impact. So if I start looking at that I start thinking about your goals, what is one of them that you have that you can share?
Chris Griffiths: My goal is to change the complete way that technology is utilized. The issue with where we are at the moment is it’s the first time in human history that human beings do a lot of their thinking in front of a black box. People don’t stop to think about the impact of that and how computers are actually dictating the way that we think. I’ve made it my purpose and my mission to develop technology that actually helps. Technology itself enhance human thinking and turn that thinking and turn that thinking into action. So it’s not about just doing things quicker it’s not about just tasks lists it’s about well how can you use technology to enhance thinking skills, innovation and creativity.
Jim Rembach: And the Fast Leader Legion wishes you their very best. Now before we move on let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.
An even better place to work is an easy to use solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone. Using this award-winning solution is guaranteed to create motivated, productive and loyal employees who have great work relationships with their colleagues and your customers. To learn more about an even better place to work visit beyondmorale.com/better.
Alright, here we go Fast Leader legion it’s time for the Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Chris, the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us a robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Chris Griffiths, are you ready to hoedown?
Chris Griffiths: I am ready to hoedown.
Jim Rembach: Alright. What is holding you back from being an even better leader today?
Chris Griffiths: I guess the thing that’s holding me back is that there are so many opportunities for us as an organization. Even though I study this and I write about it you have to focus at certain stages. We’ve just got so many things going on which are positive from our consulting side from our technology side from the books as a leader I know that I’m not spending enough time doing what a leader should. If you were to ask any of my team that same question they would say well we probably don’t see enough of Chris because he’s so busy doing these other things. I know that and I’m working on it. To be a good leader you have to be a good coach and at the moment I’m probably not the best coach to my own team that I should be.
Jim Rembach: What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?
Chris Griffiths: The best leadership advice I’ve ever received, I guess the issue for that one is I’ve had so much good leadership advice over the years. I think what that really stuck in my mind was don’t worry about problems because problems are a great sign that you’re pushing the boundaries. If you’ve got no problems you’re stuck and you’re comfortable in your status quo. A lot of people when they come to me and say I’ve just got so many problems I say are well done at least I know you’re stretching yourself.
Jim Rembach: What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?
Chris Griffiths: My ability to use to focus daydreaming. It’s the best skill that we’ve got in order to create and come up with ideas and yet people don’t think about the power of daydreaming. It is the one time that you will have where you’ll be using all of your brain’s resources to help connect all those blocks of information that you have inside. People don’t have the confidence to just sit back and put their feet up and just think for an hour or two. That’s what I do and I do it constantly and I tell my team to do it too.
Jim Rembach: What is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?
Chris Griffiths: Well, you might say I’m promoting my own product but I definitely would say Aoya which is the technology tool that we’ve been building for over 14 years. We’ve only just released it. We’ve had other product but we released it very recently. Using a tool that helps me use technology to capture my ideas and build better and stronger ideas to share them with my team and turn them into action has made all the difference to me. I can tell you one thing, I would not be involved in anything unless I wanted it and A Aoya was something I always needed or wanted personally because there just wasn’t anything out there that could do it.
Jim Rembach: What would be one book that you’d recommend to our legion, it could be from any genre. Of course, we’re going to put a link to—The Creative Thinking Handbook as well.
Chris Griffiths: Thank you. The Creative Thinking Handbook is a great book I would say that but actually it’s doesn’t even come close to the book that I would recommend which is on a different level altogether. It’s a business book that should be read by all business people and it’s read by very, very few. It’s a book that sells over a hundred million copies a year it’s the best-selling French book in history and it’s called, The Little Prince. It’s actually a children’s book but just Google the Little Prince, it’s a small book buy it read it to your children if you haven’t got children read it to yourself. The essence of the book is how as adults we lose our ability to imagine. And when you lose your ability to use your imagination you just destroy your creativity.
Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader legion, you can find links to that and other bonus information including a link to a Aoya on Chris’s show notes page which you will find at fastleader.net/Chris
Griffiths. Okay, Chris this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question. Imagine you were given the opportunity go back to the age of 25. And you can take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take it all you can only choose one. What skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?
Chris Griffiths: I think I would take back that advice that I was given about not sweating the problems. Because when you’re young and you’re pushing hard to be inventive where the commercial world is your playground, which it was for me, you worry too much about things. I know perseverance will always get you through that but I guess I would have enjoyed more of the good times and stopped worrying or sweating about some of the bad times. If I had realized that problems are an indicator that you should be proud that you’re pushing and striving for something new I would have looked at things in a different way.
Jim Rembach: Chris, I had a good time with you. How do folks get in touch with you?
Chris Griffiths: You could get in touch with me on Twitter it’s@Griffithsthinks, I love to hear from anyone that’s listening.
Jim Rembach: Chris Griffiths, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot!
Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over a fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.
END OF AUDIO