S7E09: "WWXD?"

An episode of The Impact Multiplier CEO Podcast

S7E09: “WWXD?”

It's not about having better answers but about having better questions. In this season of The Impact Multiplier CEO podcast, Richard Medcalf and co-host Davina Stanley explore some powerful questions that every CEO, entrepreneur or senior business leader should reflect on.   Engage with them fully, and they'll provoke deeper thinking and shift you into a new realm of possibility.

What does it take to move you onto an entirely different trajectory and multiply your impact? And move from incremental improvement to a step change?

In this conversation, you’ll discover:

  • What WWXD stands for, and why it's important
  • Why building your to-be list is so essential
  • The "dinner party technique" for shifting your behaviour patterns
  • The "super leader" technique for increasing your impact

“You don't get what you want, you get what you are."

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Transcript

Davina Stanley
Welcome back to The Impact Multiplier CEO Podcast. I'm Davina Stanley, and as usual, I'm here with Richard Medcalf to continue our season on questions that multiply your impact. These have been really terrific questions and Richard's been holding back on the question for today. It's a fantastic one. I think I'm really excited to get into it. How are you, Richard?

Richard Medcalf
Thank you. Yeah, I'm looking to looking forward to getting into this question, which, as you say, is a bit of a bit of a mystery title. It sounds actually more like some oil that you might put in your car, or something, I think, or something else but the this do it, shall we? The question is, WWXD? WWXD? That's self explanatory, isn't it? We finish there.

Davina Stanley
But on Earth, Richard, what on earth is WWXD?

Richard Medcalf
Well, let me explain. There, there's a, there is a saying I suppose or a phrase right, WWXD, which some Christians use? And they have little bracelets or whatever, with with a don or t shirts with a dog, which is what would Jesus do? And Christians do? It's just a way of getting outside themselves and thinking, Well, you know, rather than having to go and consult their priest, or try to go and study the Bible or something in a instant, where they might need to make a decision, they would kind of ask themselves, well, what would Jesus do? And it would kind of give them a, you know, perhaps a quick read? Or what would be a loving thing to do in a situation, for example, or whatever. So WWXD is this kind of way of getting out of yourself? And thinking, what would Jesus do? And so I think that's a great question, as you know, you know, I'm a Christian. So I, I find that it's a helpful question and for me, but the beauty of your ex, the kind of expands this concept, and anyone can can really apply it and the, the kind of key, I'll get into, what is it? What does it mean to the x, but the key point here is that you don't get what you want, you get who you are and you don't get what you want, you get who you are. This is if you'd like the secret sauce of my work with leaders, often leaders will come with a tactical issue, or even a strategic issue about my team aren't functioning or, you know, how do I align my business? Or how, you know, how do I create alignment and cohesion in or I'm just overwhelmed, you know, or whatever it is, right? I've got to get my team who is who needs to turn around, or I've got something new in a role who wants to kind of really accelerate? How do I do you know, what can we do? And so we kind of start with offset very often with these kind of these kind of questions. but and we get into that, and we start to work on that and we look at their shareholders, their stakeholder environment, and we look at their key behaviors and what the stretch is going to be for them and everything else but at a more fundamental level, the deeper change is going to come through this question of who do you want to be? What's on your to be list? So let me give an example. Imagine you're in sales. So for example, sales reps are so clear what sales people do. If you're in sales, and you might be what's your to do list, right with? Well, we've got to make 510 sales calls today, I'm gonna have to send some proposals, we got to follow up with some clients. I'm going to visit a prospect, whatever trying to do renewal, so you can kind of come up with like an action plan and that's the one level of operating but if you go below that, to the to be list, well, who do you want to be as that sales manager and you pick subcontract words like well, you know, if I come to work, and I'm enthusiastic, I'm curious, I'm rested. I come in with a bit of a servant heart You know, I'm coming with a desire to serve my clients rather than just to kind of screw money out of them. If I'm feeling healthy and passive, I'm in a listening mode. Though if I come as that person then almost the sales will naturally follow because I'm going to be all these other to dues are going to be so much better when I'm enthusiastic, curious, rested and seven hearted and listening unhealthy. So the to be list is actually vastly more important than the to do list. Because Yeah, actually, even if We show up. Even if you make fewer calls. But we show up as this different person, we're probably going to get better results than if we just plow

Davina Stanley
True. So true. So true. And I love the list of adjectives that you've got there to, you know, enthusiastic, curious, rested. How rare is that? And how hard is it to maintain as well?

Richard Medcalf
Yeah. And it's hard. You know, it's hard for me, it's always a it's always a reset, we have to do for ourselves, right? I have to do it as well, right? Go back from my holiday three weeks away in the summer, the first couple of weeks were hired, actually. And I was getting back into it. People were still away. It was taking water get going. And I realized, you know, how am I showing up in those few days? It's important right to work on the inner game?

Davina Stanley
Yes, yes. And not to get perhaps a little bit grudging or things aren't quite the way that we want them to be sometimes, and to have that, you know, as you put it cervid hearted approach to things where we're putting other people first and, of course, being healthy. I think that's, that's terrific. 

Richard Medcalf
And so, so, but just to step back, it's those are not necessarily the words that you need. The point is that, as you start to think about this whole question of who don't want to be, then you might come up with other adjectives. But it's really saying, Well, what is your what is that foundation that I want to be building all my activity on? And what I like to say is, well, what's the stretch in that for you? So what's the stretch, and the reason for asking this is, it's really important to get clear, and to write it down, because we all have a default future. Default, setting the behaviors. And then there's a stretch, which is where we need to put our attention. And be intentional. There was a dinner party hosted by a famous businessmen and invited a whole load of people, the great and the good, if you'd like to this restaurant, and the wine is flowing, and everything else we were talking and he just stopped and said, Before we go any further, I just want you to want to say there's only one rule Don't be negative, any negative, you got to put money in like $50, or something in the pot in the middle. Yeah, and it no bitching, no complaining about people, whatever, let's just keep it positive. Everyone's like, that's fine. You know, we're all kind of future focused, you know, people, positive people, that's going to be easy for us, right? So why not? Within about 10 minutes, there was hundreds and hundreds of dollars in the middle of the table. And everybody stuff in probably multiple times, apart from one guy. And it was really interesting, because it was like, well, these intelligent people, successful people that just been told very clearly what was expected, there was an immediate consequence for breaking the rule. And you're getting immediate visual feedback that the people broke the rules and having to put money in. And yet everybody kept doing it. Just because the wind was blowing, people were chattering and bantering and zz just a little bit of cynicism or sarcasm, or whatever, come out, or, you know, make fun of other people, whatever. So this is what was happening. And they tend to the one person who hadn't put any money and they said, how you doing it. It was simple, really, when you when you said what the rule was I I picked up my placemat which had whatever his name on it, I guess. If I turned it around, and I just wrote on the back of it, no negativity exclamation mark and put it down in front of my wineglass. And so every time I picked up my wine, my drink whatever I had, you know it there it is no negativity. So I had this constant visual reminder of who I wanted to be in this moment. And we don't think we need it. We think that's a crutch. We think that's something you know, for beginners. But no, we always need that reminder. Why often at the start of a meeting, I'll say to people who do want to be in this moment in this meeting, write down three adjectives. How are you showing up in the next hour on this call, or in this meeting? It just gets people to stop and put that metaphorical placemat in front of them.

Davina Stanley
Four minutes so simple. These things are often not rocket science or that it's just something simple that you do know and make important by actually taking a small step isn't it?

Richard Medcalf
Exactly. And so let me bring you to the the issue about ww XD they haven't even explained what that is really yet. So, um, so the x really represents what I call super leader. So you can put whoever you might have a name, you might have somebody that comes to mind when you think of who you know who's an incredible leader. Or it might even just be this mythical figure of super leader that you come up with in your mind. So the question I like to ask people is imagine that somebody came in and started to do your job. Especially you left, somebody else came in, and they took your role. And they nailed it. Right, everyone was amazed at what they were doing. They were dead achieve all these goals, they've promoted, whatever it is, right? They really had an amazing 18 months as they came into this role. What does that what is that person doing? How are they showing up? What was their list of adjectives? What were they? What were their behaviors? What are their habits? And so when you can put a name to that person only, so you can you can just call it super leader or something, or, but you might say, Oh, actually, you know, that's the ideal person for the role. I mean, I could imagine on my ex boss doing it, or I could imagine, you know, Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs, or whoever it is that just comes to mind is the person that would be an amazing fit for this role. You just insert them into that phrase, you say, Well, what would they do? What they do right now? And what it does is to be honest, it's not really them, right? It's to you, right? That's the secret, right? It's still using the thinking. So it's, but it gets you out of your own frame of reference a bit, it gets you to step out of the situation. And think about, well, if it wasn't me, what would I do? What would that person do and then that helps us get a new perspective on who we might need to be and what we might need to do in that moment.

Davina Stanley
I love that I love that I learned so much from you during these sessions, too. But just picturing I've got a person in mind. And already thinking about that, that sets a fantastic again, simple but quickly and really powerful strategy. I love that I'm going to reflect on that that's really, really useful.

Richard Medcalf
Let me let me let me just put the big picture a bit harder on that. So like, in your business at the moment, what words superly to do simply to came into clarity first right now. You know, you you went on a nice long vacation, and you came back. And they would absolutely transformed the business in many ways, and you couldn't be happier. What would they have been doing? What comes to mind?

Davina Stanley
Well, I like to think that supinate is in the middle of this particular thing right now. But it's certainly on top of my mind, and that's really crystallizing the vision for where we're going. We're at a big point in change in our business. And so that's something that Gali is super lady could nail that for me, I would just think that's incredible. really honing our value proposition and who we're working with and who we're helping. I think that's the key thing at the moment. That's top of mind for me. I don't know if that's quite the answer, you're looking for operational or doing the job thing that's really very much a big picture planning piece, which is just the key thing that I'm certainly, you know, really different.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah. So I suppose I push it because I guess that's something you're thinking about already. And so I kind of think about, well, what would they be doing differently about that planning? You mean civil? Well, yeah, but in what way? Would they be doing that visioning? You know, would they be you know, would they be being very analytical about it? Would they be? Would they be talking to lots of ex customers and doing fucking navel gazing? You know, would they do a quick and dirty and not wait for perfection? What would they do?

Davina Stanley
I like to think super leader would have more history to draw on. I don't know if that's fair at sitting visions, and being practiced. So there perhaps would be faster. And I'd like to think that they would intuitively know that the top things to focus on to make it really work. Whereas to me, I feel like I'm being thorough and going at it deeply. Because it's the first time I've taken such a deep take on it. I like to think that they would have experienced enough to know what are the top three things to focus on in that process?

Richard Medcalf
But you break it, you're breaking the rule, which is great, because you're breaking? This is not what this is not, what would this it's not the VW XCLL what was so and so CV look like, right? It's not it's not their resume. It's not like What experience do they need to have this role? Right? What would they do? Right? What would they be doing? You know, how would their you know, what would their will they do differently tomorrow or next week compared with what you're doing next week? Right?

Davina Stanley
What they'd be more consistent with what they would batch a good amount of time in a block away rather than feeding it in amongst other things. They would also I think, In terms of the visioning work, honestly, I don't know what else they would do in relation to this. I just know they'd probably do it better than I would. 

Richard Medcalf
But I think if you weren't Okay, well, you might want to think about it. It's just been the whole, you know, make it into an hour coaching session, but I would think about it. I would think about it, because, you know, perhaps, yeah, it's as simple as that. Yeah, they would, they would block out a whole day and they'd probably go off, out, they do an away day, and they would really work on this. And that could be a thing that you want to take and say, that's what super leader would do that actually go away for a day. no distractions do it. He might be that tourney making progress.

Davina Stanley
Here we are. So Richard, is there anything else you want to tell us about this super leader? Should I put you let me put you in that position? Oh, no. Oh, no. I know, holiday. But Richard. Come on New Super ladies, you had time to think about this?

Richard Medcalf
I know. I did. I don't but I talked to I never think about it before to get on. Because otherwise it's going to, it's gonna it's not gonna be fair, and comes into your role.

Davina Stanley
Do you have a name for Super later? Just a first name for Super leader?

Richard Medcalf
And no, I just, uh, well, actually, I haven't. I often Yeah, I actually have another name, which is the million dollar coach. And I just kind of had the I just basically, kind of often will say to myself, you know, what would like the million dollar coach do and that's to say, it's not a goal or its work kind of ambition, but it's just saying, if somebody was paying me a million dollars to work, you know, to transform them and their business over the course of a year. Totally cheating. You know, if that was if that was what people were paying me? How would I show up? What would I be doing? Tomorrow, right? How would I change my day? You know, what would I be doing x and y. Right? So I suspect that. Yeah, so one thing that I'm aware that I, one project I have is writing a book. And that's something which I'm, you know, as is typical, when it comes to procrastinating a bit on I'm advancing things, but I think I would have a bit more of a disciplined writing schedule.

Davina Stanley
The million dollar coaches a bit more disciplined.

Richard Medcalf
I think I think you could you probably have, yeah, I would probably carve out more time. For that longer range stuff, you know, I think I can be quite easily get back into the kind of more tactical, and we're going to call up today kind of things, which is just an interested that you've stepped away from humanizing your ex.

Davina Stanley
So million dollar coaches is a concept, isn't it rather than a person? So I'll put it out there. Mike, the name for me is Michael. Okay with my photo, so I can picture Michael. Yeah. Carefully what I think Michael would do in my current situation, which on the fly, I perhaps haven't done a good job yet. It's a good one.

Richard Medcalf
Okay. So it's a good point. So I suppose I amalgamate a couple of people into that billion dollar case. So I can actually, I can think of two. I can't think of two people and sometimes there will substitute one of their names into that. Because they've got slightly different businesses, they're slightly different approaches. So so I have in the past, I would, yeah, somebody will think about what would that you know, think about that one person, what would they do? I do do that. 

Davina Stanley
Definitely. But I also have this kind of slightly more, you know, conceptual version, but it's still quite clear in my mind what this kind of person you know, is like, right, because bill Campbell, it sounds like you're you're channeling.

Richard Medcalf
Okay. It could be Yeah, it could be bill Campbell could be coach. Yes. Well, yeah, it's like different. I believe. He didn't charge people a billion dollars.

Davina Stanley
No, he did not. That helps them achieve that. Yeah, exactly. No, I think that's, that's a fabulous concept. So I like that. So you've got three ways of looking at that, in a sense, then, haven't you? You've got the conceptual idea of the million dollar coach. And then you've got two particular people that you've blended into a singular avatar, if you like of your character. And is it that with those two characters, you're picking a situation and thinking, Oh, Fred's really strong in this area. So I want to pick the best of Fred's, let's say, in this particular area, and then in another area, recognizing that Mary might be strong In this series emulating marry in that area. Is that how you're splitting the two?

Richard Medcalf
Probably, I think, yeah, we can even be a bit of a panel, right? So as you can kind of think about, you know, would they would they both be doing the same thing? Would they be doing different things? Again, it's, it's the idea of opening up options, right? It's getting your out your own one track of what I need to do today and think, well, what would somebody else do today? And it's super easy to do. And often I do with clicker customers that often say, Oh, you know, yeah, there'll be spending less time on these operational tasks. They'd be talking to the stakeholders more, you know, they'd be getting out and meeting people they'd be strategizing, that'd be, you know, communicating more and vision or whatever it is, right? If it helps them kind of go Oh, yeah, actually, I could do that. What I did that? Yes. And you possibilities emerge?

Davina Stanley
No, I love that. And in my head, I'm picturing the debate between you're just calling them Fred and Mary, your two characters, instead of us sitting there having a debate between the two of them about a particular a particular thing. But that's perhaps me playing head games with myself. I think that's that's a really, really clever, clever ideas. So is there anything else you wanted to add to wrap that particular session up? Or that concept are too tight? Now?

Richard Medcalf
I know, I think we've kind of come to the end of the seat, the series, so I can give a couple of thoughts, the very end. But yeah, why don't we kind of wrap up this series, and we can look forward to the next one.

Davina Stanley
Perhaps a really good point, just to remind everybody of what the topics are of these other questions that Richards asked us all, during this season, in case some of you've missed one or two of them, you may like to go back, I think it's been a particularly interesting series, actually. So I'll just run through those nine questions quickly. And then, you know, Richard can recap. But the first one is, what do you stand for? And I remember Richard, you asking me what I stood for, which really put me on the spot, as do the next one, which was what's your 25 year vision? So two really great, sort of bigger picture questions. And then we've got some others sitting under the what's the single biggest contribution you can make? What's an eight or less, which is a lovely one to help you think about? What really is a nine or a 10? How no question five. How can we make friends with volatility? Six? Where are we playing it safe? Where we dithering? Seven, where's the dissonance? And who's speaking the unwelcome truth? I think that's again, a really uncomfortable one sometimes, but important. Number eight, what kind of leader leaders are growing? And also this last one, ww x day? What would your super leader do? So, Richard, what a great series. Any final thoughts to wrap it up?

Richard Medcalf
Yeah, I guess final thought is really what I started with today, which is you don't get what you want, you get who you are. This is the heart of transformation. There's, you know, we often think about the tips and the tricks on the on the task activity on the task level and then underneath that, you know, there's behaviors and habits and underneath that there's kind of insights and assumptions and beliefs, we need to work on all of those three levels, when you want to multiply your impact and that's what I do right with, with CEOs with other members of their C suite and with other kind of ambitious, purposeful leaders and so I guess it's probably worth taking 30 seconds to say, if this is you, if you're somebody who is ready to uplevel, your impact, is ready to have somebody who can see perhaps what you can't see and who can say what other people are not daring to say to you. Yeah, then get in touch, go to the website. You can go to xquadrant.com/speak, is the quickest way to get in touch. Let's have a conversation. This is what I do and I'm always interested in meeting people who are going places and trying to make a difference and so let's start a conversation.

Davina Stanley
Sounds wonderful. Sounds really great. So as ever, and you can get the details of all of the episodes including the nine there that I just mentioned that for this series at xquadrant.com/podcast. So thanks so much for being with us. We look forward to seeing you again soon. Bye for now.

Richard Medcalf
Goodbye.

**Note: This transcript is automatically generated.
Please excuse any errors.

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