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IAM1295- CEO Coaches Leaders to Create a Strategy with Purpose

Podcast Interview with Richard Medcalf

Richard Medcalf describes himself as “what you get if you were to put a McKinsey consultant, a slightly unorthodox pastor and an entrepreneur into a blender”. He's an executive coach & leadership consultant to some of the top CEOs on the planet and their leadership teams. Richard is bi-national English/French, lives near Paris, and is happily married and the proud father of two.

  • CEO Story: Grew up in the UK. Went into strategy consulting and in a large corporation working on the executive level. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the story Richard wanna be telling to his grandchildren, but of helping impressive leaders to make a bigger impact in their organization and the world. That’s why Xquadrant was born.
  • Business Service: Working with executive leaders. Four things to work on: 1. Extract yourself from low-level tasks. 2. Think and act more strategically even when there is complexity and ambiguity. 3. How do you get your leadership team to be more cohesive and create more value. 4. Inspiring your organization – grow your influence
  • Secret Sauce: Impact Multiplier Method: 1. Constraint to commitment ( is the goal clear and compelling?) 2. Attention (is our attention on strategic things?) 3. Action (do we have the skills needed?) 4. Influence (are we bringing people on that journey?)
  • CEO Hack: App Brainfm: it plays computer-generated music that hacks your brainwaves and brings you into a certain zone. Makes you relax and focus.
  • CEO Nugget: “Two ways to increase impact, you can go faster or you can change gear, but you can’t change gear when your foot is on the accelerator” How are you going to create space so that you can invest time in changing gear and playing it at a higher level?
  • CEO Defined: Taking the ultimate ownership for the success and impact of a business. In terms of its purpose, profit, and its people.

Website: xquadrant.com

Linkedin: richardmedcalf

Twitter: rmedcalf
Offer: Exponential Leadership Series
xquadrant.com/iamceo
xquadrant.com/podcast


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Transcription

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Richard Medcalf 00:00

There are two ways to increase impact. You can go faster or you can change gear. But you can't change gear when your foot's on the accelerator. So you do have to slow down to speed up. It's a bit of a cliche, but, when you try to go faster, you just hit the ceiling of complexity and you max out.

Intro 00:26

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, start ups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:46

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO Podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today, I have Richard Medcalf of Xquadrant. Richard, it's great to have you on the show.

Richard Medcalf 00:55

Hi, Gresh. Hey. Looking forward to this. Thank you for having me.

Gresham Harkless 00:58

Yes. I'm very excited about having you on as well too and about all the awesome things that you're doing. Before we jump into the interview, I want to read a little bit more about Richard so you can hear about some of those awesome things. Richard describes himself as what you get if you were to put a McKinsey consultant and a slightly unorthodox pastor and an entrepreneur into a blender.

He's an executive coach and leadership consultant to some of the top CEOs on the planet and their leadership teams. Richard is bi-national English and French, lives near Paris and is happily married and proud father of two. Richard, super excited to have you on the show again and about the work that you do. Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO Community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Richard Medcalf 01:34

Absolutely. Let's do this.

Gresham Harkless 01:35

Let's make it happen then. So to kick everything off, I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit, hear a little bit more on how you guys started, what I call your CEO Story.

Richard Medcalf 01:43

Yeah, sure. My life story is obviously my most interesting topic for me. It's my favorite subject, so I'll try to keep it short. In a nutshell, I grew up in the UK. I studied at Oxford University. I went into strategy consulting in the Tech, Media, and Telecom sector. I rapidly became partner at a pretty young age. I was headhunted by Cisco, Cisco Systems. I went into tech industry, in a huge company for about 10 years. I got to a stage where it was great. I was in a role set up by the CEO of Cisco, working with their very top fortune 100 customers and partners on really catalyzing strategic projects.

So really, really fascinating stuff from working at an executive level. I realized that it wasn't the story I wanted to be telling my grandchildren when I was 90 or whatever, right? It was fine, but it was, I wanted to say a bit more than all the financial impact I was able to make in different telecoms operators or whatever around the globe.

I realized that what excited me and what my sense of purpose was, helping already impressive leaders get past their own fears and their own success formula that's gotten to where they are and helping them really make an even bigger impact on their organization, on their profit, on their people, and also on the world and make a dent in the world.

That really led me to set up my own business, Xquadrant. Where me and some of some of my colleagues will work with high level leaders, CEOs, founders, C-suite leaders, really at that intersection of strategy and leadership and purpose. That's really kind of what got me going was that just desire to make a difference in people's lives.

Gresham Harkless 03:31

Nice. I absolutely love that. I really love that kind of I don't know if you would consider it to be an exercise but just one of those legacy asking questions, what I wanna tell my grandchildren. I love how that seems to translate into the conversations and the work that you do with your clients. I'm sure they're probably wondering the same things and trying to make sure they set their organizations up to be able to do that.

Richard Medcalf 03:55

Yeah. I ask the same questions. You know, I say that I tend to draw a diagram like a Venn diagram of strategy, leadership, and purpose. Draw a big circle around it and write tech and digital and fast moving industries. But for me, it's at the intersection of all of those things where the magic happens. I love, so I often ask my customer like what gets you out of bed? You can't move others until you moved yourself. What inspires you? What's the impact you wanna make? What's your new North Star? Often people haven't thought about those questions quite enough. They're not quite clear.

Gresham Harkless 04:31

Yeah, absolutely. I often forget, and I'm sure you have those conversations all the time that when we talk about leadership impact, making a ding in the universe and all those things that we've been talking about, it often starts with ourselves. And we often think about, like, what do we have to do, but we sometimes forget about ourselves when we're trying to make that impact and start to lead.

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. I love that. I wanted to drill down a little bit more, hear a little bit more on how you're working with your clients. I know we touched on a little bit, but can you take us through a little bit more on what that process looks like?

Richard Medcalf 04:59

Yeah. I'll give you the go to the big picture and then a couple of bits about the process. But, so imagine, you're a CEO, you're a founder, or you're another senior leader in a complex business. There's all sorts of moving parts. There's people. There's technology is changing, and you've probably got big ambitions. Perhaps you're in your biggest ever leadership role, right? Perhaps you've just taken on a new team or new organization or something's changed and the stakes are high.

There's a lot of complexity, a lot of change, and you know that you need to get to your next level to lead at a new level. You're clearly doing well because you're already at this level, but there's more. For me, there's normally about four things to work on. The first is extract yourself from low level tasks so you can focus on what truly matters. Second one is think and act more strategically even when there's complexity and ambiguity. So where do you actually put your focus. Third one is, how do you get your leadership team to become more cohesive and and and create more value.

Often leadership teams in companies, they're great sets of functional leaders, functional managers, if you like. Everyone's their expert in their own area, they haven't always come together into a cohesive, strategic, aligned, team that's really got each other's backs. Then the fourth part is inspiring your organization and perhaps even your industry. Growing your influence across various circles of influence to be able to create the change that you want.

It's really this idea of changing gear, right, moving up and leading at a higher level, leaving the comfort zone behind a little bit to play at a bigger game, and that's really what I do, right? I'll work with leaders individually one-on-one. That might be some CEOs I meet with every month or every couple of weeks to be a sounding board or it might be leaders who are coming up and we work for more defined period of time perhaps to get them to their next level.

It might be with a leadership team as a group. Sometimes I might consult at a higher level when you've got a whole organizational shift to make perhaps, and that's gonna require working in multiple levels. But generally, I say it's you can't scale until you've transformed and incubated so I tend to say start with the leader then work on their team, and then help that team scale the change to their organization.

Gresham Harkless 07:26

I love that and I definitely wanna put that on a bumper sticker or something. You can't scale until you transform and incubate it. I think so many times we try to skip steps to the scaling part and forget about those foundational pieces. I almost think each of those four aspects are almost like legs of a stool, so to speak, where they're so important to make sure you try to work on those things.

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I imagine as a leader that wants to go to the next level, it's probably, a challenge to try to figure out how to do that. So I love that you've been able to break that down so that I think leaders at the end of the day could focus on those high priority things.

Richard Medcalf 07:58

Yeah. There's a framework I have called the Impact Multiplier Method, it's the four constraints that any leader is gonna encounter in themselves, in their team, in their organization, right? The first one is a Constraint of commitment. We actually committed to this goal, right? Is it clear? Is it compelling? Do we get? Are we excited about it? Are we actually owning that? Second one is Attention. Where are we actually putting our limited attention? Is it on the right things? Is it on the most strategic things?

The third one is Action. Do we actually have the skills needed to work the change in different ways? Do we have the ability? Have we got time? Have we got the right habits? The last one is Influence. Are we actually bringing people along with us on that journey? Are we nailing those critical conversations? I always find that when you've got big goals, you're always looking at which of those four areas do I need to tune up? Do I need you know that’s the one where if I can get past that barrier, everything is gonna expand and we get more results.

Gresham Harkless 09:00

Absolutely. I love that and then the ability to be able to break that down into something that's a little bit more, I think tangible and probably understandable and impactful. I think from a leadership standpoint of how to get to that next level. Do you consider that to be the Impact Multiplier Method? You consider that to be what I like to call your Secret Sauce thing you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

Richard Medcalf 09:19

Yeah, to some degree. I mean, it's one of the elements, right? I mean, I would say in ways, a deep level of systems thinking, really understanding, where are the levers that are gonna change things is definitely part of that, and the impact model flow method is definitely one of those, and it's a framework that we'll use, with other clients.

I would say at a high level, you can find a lot of consultants who will come and speak to you about business and strategy. You can find a lot of coaches who will come and help you with your soft skills, as a leader. You can get your life coaches who will help you think about your purpose and your inner game and your fears and confidence and these kind of things.

I think very few people really master the intersections of all those and know where to focus when in that whole picture, the business skills, the internal mindset stuff, the EQ part. I think that's kind of really our secret sauce is to say, we wanna work at that area. I've spent over 25 years in the C-suite, in the corporate world, in the tech sector. So, I understand the industry and we work with leaders from billion dollar companies, CEO of billion dollar companies to tech unicorns, to other kind of really interesting businesses.

I think being able to speak at that business level is really important. Then we bring out these tools, right? It's important to have a language which we can transmit to our clients so that they can benefit from it. Like the Impact Multiplier Method, these four areas, and they can think about that, but they can also pass it on to their teams because I'm not so in much interested in pure personal transformation.

That's important but it's also that multiplication part. I think that's one of the secret sauces. It's transforming yourself is one thing but how do you pass that on to your team and help them pass it on to their team, and so making it simple to do that is another key part.

Gresham Harkless 11:11

Definitely appreciate that. I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO Hack. This could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Richard Medcalf 11:22

I wanted to come up with something a little bit different for this. The one I thought about is an app, which I don't always use but when I use it, I find it really, really helps and it's Brainfm. Don't know whether you've come across it. It's basically an app that you have on your phone and you put your headphones on and it plays computer-generated music that is designed to hack your brainwaves and get you into a certain zone. Whether you're trying to relax or in my case, I tend to use it when I'm writing. I wanna be focused, and it just plays this kind of vaguely inspiring music in the background.

It's been designed to really get your brainwaves into a certain state to allow you to kind of really be in the zone. So I just mentioned it because it's kind of quite out there. It's not what most productivity advice would be, but I find it there is a moment when we need to double down and focus and get some serious work created, right, create and bring things out of us. I find it's a useful way to get rid of the distractions and zoom in.

Gresham Harkless 12:26

Nice. I love that. Probably especially with a lot of the high performers that you work with, it's always trying to figure out those things that they can do to get to that next level. I imagine being able to hear about certain things like this and the impact that music and what we're putting into our body and putting it into our minds and our ears can have such a huge impact on what it is that we're doing.

Richard Medcalf 12:45

Yeah, absolutely.

Gresham Harkless 12:46

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO Nugget. This is a little bit more of a word of wisdom or piece of advice. It might be something you touched on, but I usually say it's something you would tell your favorite client, or if you have to do a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Richard Medcalf 13:00

Yeah. There are two ways to increase impact. You can go faster or you can change gear. But you can't change gear when your foot's on the accelerator. So you do have to slow down to speed up. It's a bit of a cliche, but when you try to go faster, you just hit the ceiling of complexity and you max out. It's always a question of how am I going to create space so that I can invest time in changing gear and playing at a higher level.

Gresham Harkless 13:27

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. I want to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO, and we're hoping to have different quote, unquote CEOs on this show. Richard, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Richard Medcalf 13:37

It's taking the ultimate ownership for the success and impact of a business in terms of its purpose, its profit, and its people. I've tried to draw a diagram like arrows between these three points, and I can never do it because the arrows flow both ways. If you're delivering on your purpose that inspires your people, which then allows you to create a great profit, right? If you've got good profits flowing that allows you to fund your people and recruit great people, who in turn can deliver on the purpose.

Actually, we know that businesses who have a clear sense of purpose generally are able to create high profits. So the arrows always flow both ways. These are intersections they all go together. One of the things I love to to do is to think about the system. This is a complex interconnected systems. You change one thing over here and something else changes in response completely unpredictably probably, because this is so complex. You need to work on all of these areas in my view.

Gresham Harkless 14:38

Richard, absolutely appreciate that definition. I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do now was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know and how best people can get a hold of you and find out about all the awesome things that you're working on.

Richard Medcalf 14:53

I was thinking about this. I think perhaps the best entry point that people might find helpful is, I've written a series called exponential leadership principles, and it really touches on all these things. What do we do to get past that current level of success. Without just incrementally working a bit harder or just tweaking a couple of things.

How is it that some people are able to have these absolutely incredible trajectories where they leave behind almost completely what they were doing a couple of years back and are making incredible impact on the world. I wanted to really study that and look at that. So I've written, it's like about a seven part email series. It's obviously completely complimentary, first you don't even need to sign up. The first of those is actually on my website. You can just access that at xquadrant.com/iamceo.

If you just type in IAMCEO as one word, you'll find it. That's probably the best place to go to find me in a way that you're on my website. You can also find me that's my podcast as well. I have a podcast. So if you like podcasts, as I'm sure you do, if you're listening to this, it's called the Impact Multiplier CEO, and it's on every platform.

Gresham Harkless 16:08

Yeah, absolutely. I love that. We'll definitely have the links and information in the show notes for everything that you're doing, your podcast, and all the great work that you do. And I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day, my friend.

Richard Medcalf 16:17

Thanks, Gresham. It's been a pleasure.

Outro 16:19

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by CBNation and Blue16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Don't forget to schedule your complimentary digital marketing consultation at Blue16Media.com. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless Junior. Thank you for listening.

Title: Transcript - Wed, 13 Mar 2024 01:36:17 GMT

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Date: Wed, 13 Mar 2024 01:36:17 GMT, Duration: [00:16:50.02]

[00:00:00.00] - Richard Medcalf

There are two ways to increase impact. You can go faster or you can change gear. But you can't change gear when your foot's on the accelerator. So you do have to slow down to to speed up. It's a bit of a cliche, but, when you try to go faster, you just hit the ceiling of

[00:00:26.00] - Intro

entrepreneurs, start ups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Partners values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

[00:00:46.29] - Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Richard Metcalfe of xQuadrant. Richard, it's great to have you on the show.

[00:00:55.39] - Richard Medcalf

Hi, Gresh. Hey. Looking forward to this. Thank you for having me.

[00:00:58.20] - Gresham Harkless

Yes. I'm I'm very excited about having you on as well too and about all the awesome things that you're doing. And before we jump into the interview, I want to read a little bit more about Richard so you can hear about some of those awesome things. And Richard describes himself as what you get if you were to put a McKinsey consultant and a slightly unorthodox pastor in an entrepreneur into a blender. He's an executive coach and leadership consultant to some of the top CEOs on the planet and their leadership teams. And Richard is binational, English and French, lives near Paris, and is happily married and proud father of two, Richard. Super excited to have you on the show again and about the work that you do. Are you ready to speak to the IMCO community?

[00:01:34.40] - Richard Medcalf

Absolutely. Let's do this.

[00:01:35.59] - Gresham Harkless

Let's make it happen then. So to kinda kick everything off, I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit, hear a little bit more on how you guys started, what I call your CEO story.

[00:01:43.20] - Richard Medcalf

Yeah. Sure. So my life story is my life story is obviously my most interesting topic for me. It's my favorite subject, so I'll try to keep it short. In a nutshell, I grew up in the UK. I went to I studied at Oxford University. I went into strategy consulting in the tech, media and telecom sector, where I rapidly became, partner, there at a pretty young age. And then I was headhunted by Cisco, Cisco Systems. So I went into tech industry, you know, in a huge company for about ten years. And I got to a stage where, it it was great. I was in a role set up by the as a team set up by the CEO of Cisco, working with their very top, Fortune one hundred customers and partners on really catalyzing strategic projects. So really, really fascinating stuff from working at an executive level. But I realized that it wasn't the story I wanted to be telling my grandchildren when I was ninety or whatever. Right? It was it was fine, but it was, I wanted a bit I wanted to say a bit more than all the financial impact I was able to make in different tel telecoms operators or whatever around the globe. And so I realized that what excited me, what and what my sense of purpose was, you know, helping already impressive leaders get past their own, fears and and and and their own success formula that's gotten to where they are and helping them really make an even bigger impact on their organization, on their profit, on their people, and also on the world, right, and make it make a dent in the world. And so that really led me to set up my own business, X quadrant, where, me and some of some of my my colleagues will, work with, high level leaders, CEOs, founders, c suite leaders, really at that intersection of strategy and leadership and purpose. And that's really kind of what got me going was that just desire to make a difference in people's lives.

[00:03:31.90] - Gresham Harkless

Nice. I absolutely love that. And I really love that kind of I don't know if you would consider it to be an and I love how that seems to kinda translate into the conversations and the work that you do with your clients. I'm sure they're probably wondering the same things and trying to make sure they set their organizations up to be able to do that.

[00:03:55.40] - Richard Medcalf

Yeah. I ask the same questions. You know, I say that I I tend to draw a diagram like a, a Venn diagram of strategy, leadership, and purpose, draw kind of a big circle around it and write kind of tech and digital and fast moving industries. But for me, it's at the intersection of all of those things where the magic happens. And I love, so I often ask my customer, you know, like what's, what gets you out of bed? You know what? You can't ins you can't move others until you moved yourself. What inspires you? What's the impact you wanna make? What's your new North Star? And often people haven't thought about those questions quite enough. They're not quite clear.

[00:04:31.19] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And I and I often forget, and I'm sure you have those conversations all the time that, you know, when we talk about, you know, leadership impact, you know, making a ding in the universe and and all those things that we've been kinda talking about, it often starts with ourselves. And we often think about, like, what do we have to do, but we sometimes forget about ourselves when we're trying to make that impact and start to lead. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. I love that. So I wanted to drill down a little bit more, hear a little bit more on how you're working with your clients. I know we touched on a little bit, but can you take us through a little bit more on what that process looks like?

[00:04:59.89] - Richard Medcalf

Yeah. So I'll give you the go to the big picture and then a couple of bits about the process. But, so imagine, you know, you're a CEO, you're a founder, or you're another senior leader in a complex business. There's all sorts of moving parts. There's people. There's technology is changing, and you you've probably got big ambitions. And, perhaps you've got perhaps you're in your biggest ever leadership role. Right? Perhaps you've just taken on a new team or new organization or something's changed and the stakes are high. There's a lot of complexity, a lot of change, and you know that you need to get to your next level to lead at a new level. You know, you've clearly you're clearly doing well because you're already at this level, but you know there's more. And, for me, there's normally about four things to work on. The first is extract yourself from low level tasks so you can focus on what truly matters. Second one is think and act more strategically even when there's complexity and ambiguity. So where do you actually put your focus? Third one is, how do you get your leadership team to become more cohesive and and and create more value? Often leaders you know, leadership teams in companies, they're great sets of functional leaders, functional managers, if you like. Everyone's their expert in their own area. They haven't always come together with a into a cohesive, strategic, aligned, team that's really got each other's backs. And then the and then the fourth part is inspiring your organization and perhaps even your industry. So kind of growing your influence across various circles of influence to be able to create the change that you want. And so it's really this idea of changing gear, right, moving up and leading at a higher level, leaving the comfort zone of what you know behind a little bit to kind of play at a bigger bigger game. And, and that's really what I do. Right? So I'll work with leaders individually one on one. That might be some CEOs I meet with every month or every couple of weeks to be a sounding board, or it might be leaders who are coming up and we work for more defined period of time perhaps to get them to their next level. Or it might be with a leadership team as a group. And then sometimes I might consult at a higher level when you've got a whole organization organizational shift to make perhaps, and that's gonna require working in multiple levels. But generally I say it's you can't scale until you've transformed and incubated so I tend to say start with the leader then work on their team, and then help that team scale the change to their organization.

[00:07:26.19] - Gresham Harkless

It's not I I love that, and I definitely wanna put that on a bumper sticker or something. You can't scale until you you transform and incubate it. And I think so many times we try to skip steps to the scaling part and forget about, you know, those foundational pieces. And I almost think each of those four aspects are almost like legs of a stool, you know, so to speak, where they're so important to make sure you try to to work on those things. And I imagine as a leader that wants to go to the next level, it's probably, a challenge to try to figure out how to do that. So I love that you've been able to kinda break that down so that I think leaders at the end of the day could focus on those high priority things.

[00:07:58.30] - Richard Medcalf

Yeah. There's, a framework I have called the impact multiplier method, and it's it's really four the four constraints that any leader is gonna encounter in themselves, in their team, in their organization. Right? The first one is is a constraint of commitment. You know? Are we actually committed to this goal? Right? Is it clear? Is it compelling? Do we get are we excited about it? Are we actually owning that? Second one is attention. You know, where are we actually putting our limited attention? Is it on the right things? Is it on the most strategic things? The the, the third one is action. Like, do we actually have the skills needed to work the change in different ways? Do we have the ability? Have we got time? Have we got the right habits? And and and the last one is is influence. Are we actually bringing people along with us on that journey? Right? Are we nailing those critical conversations? And I always find that in any when you've got big goals, you're always looking at which of those four areas do I need to tune up? Do I need you know, what what's the one where if I can get past that barrier, everything is gonna expand and we get more results.

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[00:09:00.79] - Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. I I love that and then the ability to be able to break that down into something that's a little bit more, I think tangible and probably understandable and impactful, I think, from a leadership standpoint of how to get to that next level. Do you consider that to be, like, the the impact multiplier method? You consider that to be what I like to call your secret sauce thing you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

[00:09:19.50] - Richard Medcalf

Yeah. To some degree. I mean, it's one of the it's one of the elements. Right? I mean, I would say in ways, a deep level of systems thinking, really understanding, you know, where are the levers that are gonna change things is definitely part of that, and the impact model flow method is definitely one of those, and it's a framework that we'll use, with other clients. I mean, I would say at a high level, you you can find a lot of consultants who will come and speak to you about business and strategy. You can find a lot of coaches who will kinda come and help you with your soft skills, as a leader. You can get your, you know, life coaches who will help you think about your purpose and your inner game and your fears and confidence and these kind of things. But I think very few people really master the intersections of all those and know where to focus when in that whole picture, the business skills, the internal mindset stuff, the the EQ, part. And so I think that's kind of really our secret sauce is to say, we wanna work at that area. You know, I've spent over twenty five years, you know, in in the c suite, in in the corporate world, in the tech sector. So I understand the industry. And, you know, we work with leaders from billion dollar companies, CEO of billion dollar companies to tech unicorns, to, you know, other other kind of really interesting businesses. And, I think being able to speak at that business level is really important. And then we bring out these tools. Right? It's important to have a language which we can transmit to our clients so that they can benefit from it. Like the impact multiplier method, you know, these four areas, and they can think about that, but they can also pass it on to their teams because I'm not so in much interested in pure personal transformation. That's important, but it's also that multiplication part. And I think that's one of the secret sources. It's it's, transforming yourself is one thing, but how do you pass that on to your team and help them pass it on to their team? And so making it simple to do that is another key part.

[00:11:11.70] - Gresham Harkless

Definitely appreciate that. And I wanted to, switch gears a little bit, and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient? Yeah.

[00:11:22.50] - Richard Medcalf

I wanted to come up with something a little bit different for this. And and the one I thought about is an app, which, which I I don't always use, but when I use it, I find it really, really helps, and it's Brain FM. Don't know whether you've come across it. It's, it's, it's basically an app that you have on your phone and you put you put your headphones on, and it plays music kinda computer generated music that is designed to kinda hack your brainwaves and get you into a certain zone. So whether you're trying to relax or in my case, I tend to use it when I'm writing. I wanna be focused, and it kinda just plays this kind of vaguely inspiring music in the background. But it's been designed to really get your brainwaves into a certain state to allow you to kind of really be in the zone. So I just mentioned it because it's kind of quite out there. Right? It's not what most productivity advice would be, but I find it, you know, there is a moment when we need to kind of double down and focus and get some serious work created, right, create and bring things out of us. And I find it's it's a useful way to get rid of the distractions and zoom and zoom in.

[00:12:26.50] - Gresham Harkless

Nice. I I love that. And and probably especially with a lot of the high performers that you work with, it's always trying to figure out, you know, those things that they can do to kinda get to that next level. I imagine being able to kinda hear about certain things like this and the impact that music and what we're putting into our body and putting it into our minds and our ears can have such a huge impact on what it is that we're doing.

[00:12:45.10] - Richard Medcalf

Yeah. Absolutely.

[00:12:46.20] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So this is a little bit more of a word of wisdom or piece of advice. It might be something you touched on, but I usually say it's something you would tell your favorite client, or if you have to do a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

[00:13:00.10] - Richard Medcalf

Yeah. So there are two ways to increase impact. You can go faster or you can change gear. But you can't change gear when your foot's on the accelerator. So you do have to slow down to to speed up. It's a bit of a cliche, but, when you try to go faster, you just hit the ceiling of complexity and you max out. And so it's always a question of how am I going to create space so that I can invest time in changing gear and playing at a higher level.

[00:13:27.50] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I want to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO, and we're hoping to have different quote, unquote CEOs on this show. So, Richard, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:13:37.89] - Richard Medcalf

It's taking the ultimate ownership for the success and impact of a business in terms of its purpose, its profit, and its people. I've tried to draw a diagram like arrows between these three points, and I can never do it because the arrows flow both ways. Right. You know, if, you know, if you're delivering on your purpose that inspires your people, which then allows you to create a great profit. Right? You know, if you've got, good profits flowing, that allows you to fund your people, right, and recruit great people, who in turn can deliver on the purpose. And, actually, we know that businesses who have a clear sense of purpose generally are able to create high profits. So the arrows always flow both ways. These these are intersections, you know, it's, they all go together. One of the things I love to to do is to think about the system. You know, this is a complex interconnected systems. You change one thing over here and something else changes in response completely unpredictably probably, because this is so complex. So you need to work on all of these areas in my view.

[00:14:38.60] - Gresham Harkless

Richard, absolutely appreciate that definition. Of course, I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do now was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know and, of course, how best people can get a hold of you and find out about all the awesome things that you're working on. Yeah.

[00:14:53.79] - Richard Medcalf

I was thinking about this. I think perhaps the best, the best, entry point that people might find helpful is, I've written a series called exponential leadership principles, and it really touches on all these things. Right? How what do we do to get, to get past that current level of success? And, you know, without just incrementally working a bit harder or just tweaking a couple of things. Yeah. How is it that some people are able to have these absolutely incredible trajectories where they leave behind almost completely what they were doing a couple of years back and are making incredible impact on the world? I wanted to really study that and look at that. So I've written, it's like a about a seven part email series. It's obviously completely complimentary. And, and the first you don't even need to sign up. The first the first of those is actually on my website. You can just access that at x quadrant dot com slash I am CEO. So if you just type in I am CEO as one word, you'll you'll you'll you'll find it. And, that's probably the best place to go to find me in a way that you're on my website. You can also find me that's my podcast as well. I have a podcast. So if you like podcasts, as I'm sure you do, if you're, if you're listening to this, it's called the Impact Multiplier CEO, and it's on every platform.

[00:16:08.50] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. I I love that. And we'll definitely have the links and information in the show notes for everything that you're doing, your podcast, and all the great work that you do. And I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day, my friend.

[00:16:17.60] - Richard Medcalf

Thanks, Christian. It's been a pleasure.

[00:16:19.20] - Intro

Thank you for listening to the I am CEO podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue sixteen Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I m c e o dot co. I am CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Don't forget to schedule your complimentary digital marketing consultation at Blue sixteen Media dot com. This has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless Junior. Thank you for listening.

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Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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