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  • Thank you very much, Lee.

  • I'm going to talk to you about you,

  • and how you can be brilliant every single day.

  • So, a big ask!

  • I spent the last 15 years working

  • with some of the best CEOs and executives around the world.

  • One of my observations is some of them are absolutely fantastic,

  • but the problem is they can't be fantastic every single day,

  • which reminds me of a story.

  • I was sat on the couch at home, watching the TV about five years ago.

  • Not that I'm a golfer, but I was watching the British Open.

  • A very good golfer, Sergio Garcia was playing,

  • and he'd been brilliant all week, dominating the field.

  • It came to the last round, and he was fantastic.

  • On Sunday morning, in the front nine, he scored 39 shots.

  • The previous day, on the Saturday,

  • he'd scored 29 shots on exactly the same holes.

  • So overnight, he'd lost ten shots on the same hole.

  • What happened was Padraig Harrington came past him and won the British Open,

  • and the Claret Jug.

  • Very interestingly, exactly a year later,

  • Padraig Harrington beat Sergio Garcia.

  • I think it was in the US Masters, Sergio played brilliantly all week.

  • He got to the Sunday, and something went wrong,

  • he was leading the field by six shots,

  • and on the Sunday again, Padraig Harrington came past him.

  • So that was really interesting to me.

  • And Peter Alliss, the famous golf commentator,

  • is watching this, and says, "It's a funny old game, golf."

  • (Laughter)

  • As though, it's a complete mystery why these things happen.

  • As though there's a complete loss of form. So I'm shouting at the television.

  • It's no mystery to me.

  • Actually, I know why that happened, and I know why Sergio Garcia basically

  • between 2007 and 2008 really didn't learn that much,

  • because he made exactly the same mistake in 2008 as he'd made in 2007.

  • So I'm going to share with you the secret about that -

  • some of the things that we've been teaching the executives,

  • bringing in some neuroscience, which is my background;

  • and going to reveal some secrets as to how your system works.

  • When I go through that,

  • and I'm going to break with TED tradition at the end of the talk.

  • We're going to have a bit of live demonstration of something.

  • But I want to just give you model that we work to that starts to explain

  • why Sergio or anybody or why you may lose performance,

  • and what you need to do to maintain your brilliance every single day.

  • If we're all after the same goal,

  • we're after improving our performance in some way,

  • or the results in some way.

  • It doesn't really matter what kind of results we're talking about.

  • Whether they were talking about sporting results,

  • whether we're talking about business results,

  • academic performance,

  • relationship performance, sexual performance.

  • Don't know why I'm looking at Simon when I say that!

  • (Laughter)

  • But whatever we're talking about ...

  • (Laughter)

  • What is going to improve our performance?

  • First and foremost,

  • in order to change the result, you've got to focus on people's behavior.

  • So we've got to do things differently in order to get a different result.

  • Most performance appraisals in industry focus on what you've been doing.

  • You go to see your boss, and he said, "Oh, I've got some 360 data.

  • You've been doing these kind of things, that's really good;

  • these other things; not so good.

  • So a bit less of that please, and a bit more of that,

  • I want you to do that and less of that."

  • Sometimes that actually works, and you get a different result.

  • But an awful lot of times, it doesn't make much difference.

  • It will only make a difference if the leaders stood over that employee

  • cracking the whip and making sure they do this.

  • So it's necessary but insufficient.

  • And the reason being is that even when people know what to do,

  • sometimes they just don't do it.

  • I know I ought to make another thousand calls to a thousand customers,

  • but do you know what? It's Friday afternoon.

  • Mmm, I'm not going to do that.

  • So it's not enough just to focus on what you can see

  • on the surface, on the behaviors.

  • You've got to get to grips with what's on the inside of individuals.

  • Why do people do what they do.

  • If you really want to change performance permanently,

  • and be brilliant every single day,

  • you've got to get to grips with the inside.

  • First and foremost, what's driving behavior is how people think.

  • How you think determines what you do.

  • When I'm coaching a CEO,

  • if he thinks I'm an idiot, he's not going to do what I say.

  • Why would he?

  • Or if he thinks what I'm saying is rubbish,

  • he won't do it.

  • So I've got to get a grip of what he thinks about,

  • in fact, that requires me to ask him some questions,

  • which is a lot more complicated than just observing the behaviour.

  • But our view is if you don't get to grips,

  • and start to ask some more detailed questions,

  • you won't get a sustainable change in the results, it won't last.

  • You'll get this variance in performance, this form loss.

  • So you've got to get to grips with how people think about you,

  • about what you're saying, about the world.

  • But even if you did, it's not enough.

  • Because there's something more fundamental driving how people think.

  • So how you think is really hugely influenced by how you feel.

  • In fact, these two things affect each other -

  • thinking affects feeling, and feeling affects thinking,

  • it goes back and forward in a loop.

  • But the dominant factor really is feeling.

  • So for a whole bunch of neuro-scientific reasons

  • we haven't got time to explain,

  • if you want to change what people do, you've got to change their thinking.

  • If you want to change their thinking, you have to change how they feel.

  • This is a much more significant impact on that than the other way around.

  • So if you feel anxious, for example,

  • it's no good me saying to you, "Don't worry."

  • You all have experienced that doesn't work.

  • "I'm doing this exam." "Don't worry."

  • "Oh, do you know what? I hadn't thought not to worry, that's the answer then."

  • (Laughter)

  • "I'll not worry! Oh, good! How much was that?"

  • "There's the check."

  • It doesn't work like that.

  • You've all experienced if you feel anxious, you feel anxious,

  • and no amount of, "Don't worry," is going to help.

  • Often makes it worse.

  • You'd say, "It's OK for you to say, 'Don't worry,' I'm worried."

  • So the real active ingredient is you've got to change this.

  • It's still not enough.

  • There's something more fundamental driving how you feel,

  • and that is your raw emotion.

  • So you've got to change the emotion

  • in order to change the feeling in order to change the thinking.

  • You may be sat there wondering,

  • "Wait a minute. Feelings - emotions are the same stuff, isn't it?"

  • It is not, right?

  • So many people don't realize,

  • in particular, many of my own friends in science and medicine

  • don't realize that feelings emotions are not the same thing.

  • Many people don't even realize feelings and thinking are not the same thing.

  • Particularly men, right?

  • (Laughter)

  • So you ask many men to tell you how they feel,

  • and they tell you how they think,

  • because they don't understand the question, right?

  • You can see most of the women in the room nodding.

  • "That's true. That's been my experience."

  • Most of the men sat there going, "What, what's he talking about?"

  • (Laughter)

  • These are not the same phenomenon:

  • thinking and feelings, feelings and emotions are not the same thing.

  • If you want to change the result by changing the behaviour,

  • there are multiple levels ...

  • Even if you've got to grips with the emotion, still not enough.

  • There is something even more fundamental down in the basement of the human system

  • is your physiology.

  • So the reason you get variance like Sergio did in his performance

  • is there are multiple levels

  • that Sergio Garcia hasn't got control over.

  • He's just concentrating on his technical putting performance

  • or the way that he drives the ball.

  • He hasn't got a grip of any of this other stuff.

  • Even if he's telling himself and rehearsing mentally,

  • "I'm a good golfer ... " It's not enough.

  • Because there's still three levels that he hasn't got a grip off.

  • So if you want to be brilliant every single day,

  • you've got to get a grip of every single level.

  • And that's how you crank out your A-game every single day.

  • Let's just work from the back to the top.

  • If we start with physiology, what is that?

  • That are just simply streams of data.

  • That's all physiology is. It's data streams.

  • So as I'm talking to you right now,

  • most of you are getting streams of data coming into your brain

  • about what's going on in your body.

  • So some of you had the cupcake at the break,

  • and you'll be getting a signal from your gut saying,

  • "Oh, sugar. We got sugar."

  • It's coming into your brain

  • tell your brain what's going on in your gut, right?

  • Some of you are getting contractions around that cupcake,

  • so you've got pressure waves being created,

  • telling your brain about what's going on in your gut.

  • These are just bits of physiology. They're just data streams.

  • As some of you might write or type,

  • you've got joint position sense going up the nerve channels into your brain

  • telling your brain about where your fingers are.

  • They're just bits of physiology, just streams of data, if you will

  • So what's an emotion?

  • If you take all the streams of data whether it's coming from your gut,

  • or your joints, or your heart, or your lungs.

  • If you take the data from all the streams,

  • all the bodily systems and it comes into your brain

  • is are electrical signals, electromagnetic signals;

  • chemical waves, pressure waves,

  • take all of those signals, all of those systems,

  • that's what an emotion is.

  • It's simply energy - "E" - in motion.

  • That's all emotion is.

  • So we all have that, even us fellas.

  • We've all got emotions every second of every day.

  • There is an energetic state going through us.

  • Because we're constantly digesting, breathing in and out,

  • our hearts constantly beating.

  • It's happening all the time.

  • So we've got energy in motion every single second of every single day.

  • But we may not all have feelings.

  • Feelings are the awareness in our mind of that energy.

  • That's where the problem is.

  • The energy may be there, but we just don't feel it.

  • For example, if you take a very common experience of most people,

  • if we look at what is the energetic signature,

  • if you will, of something like anxiety?

  • So what goes on physiologically when we're in a state of anxiety?

  • We look at the heart rate, it's fast. The heart is going boom, boom, boom.

  • What else is happening?

  • What's happening in the mouth? The mouth's dry.

  • You're talking as though you've got cotton wool and can't ...

  • That's happening.

  • What's happening the palms of your hand? They're sweaty.

  • What's happening the gut? It's churning.

  • These are the specific physiological constituents of that thing

  • that you would know as 'anxiety.'

  • And then I ask you, "How did you feel?" and you say, "Alright."

  • So all that data is there, you're just not feeling it.

  • If you're not feeling it,

  • it's altering what you're thinking and how well you're thinking it,

  • which is changing what you're doing.

  • But you don't realize that because you feel alright.

  • You're not noticing any of that.

  • You're just thinking what you're thinking and doing what you're doing.

  • So what we're saying is that the brilliance every day

  • requires not only to tune in to what's happening down here

  • at a physiological and the emotional level,

  • and not only become aware of that, but get control over it.

  • Because most of you do not have the control at that level.

  • In fact, very few people have got control of any of this stuff on the inside.

  • Even when people have been highly trained on regulating their behavior,

  • even then got that much control over this,

  • so that's the source of your brilliance.

  • If you can get control over the whole thing,

  • you can crank out your A-game every single day.

  • So how do you get control?

  • To start, which bit of the physiology?

  • Given so many different