Last week I had the amazing privilege of being interviewed by Tyler Bayley & Susan Power, hosts of the Inspired Leadership Podcast, on cultivating more adventure in life with a beginner's mindset.
Have a read through some of the questions asked:
1. The theme of this podcast is inspired leadership - to create more of it in our workplaces. Where did you find your mentors and what did you learn from them?
There were four important ones: My dad, Stephen Covey – and by extension, Victor Frankl. “A mental creation precedes a physical creation”. My dad passed on to me 3 out of the 5 core principles that I still deploy in my business. Covey gave me tools to be my own man. But I found the most mentors in books – years ago, my dad said to me to listen to people who made it in life. The fourth mentor was my mom, who told me to look beyond my father as a role model, because I was terrified I could never live up to his example. He was a very charismatic man. I’ve been paying attention to smart people I admire ever since, and found people who I could emulate and learn from. There are a lot of nuggets in good autobiographies out there.
2. What role does nature play in your life, and tell us why it matters for people to get outside?
I need mountains to feed my soul. Can I give you the Shoshin Walks story, as told from the Pixar framework?
“Once upon a time, Pieter Geldenhuys was struggling to figure out life. Everyday, he felt disconnected from traditional religious and social structures, and frustrated with his inability to find true connection. One day, he took a trip to Peru and walked the Inca Trail. Because of that, he experienced a moment of utter peace and connection in the mountains, and that forever shaped his understanding of the world. Because of that, he started to go on regular walks all over the world, each time learning more about himself and taking those lessons home. Until finally, he decided to help others on their own journey by arranging Walks of Intention through Shoshin Walks.”
3. What was your inspiration for starting Shoshin Walks (a beginner’s mindset) in South Africa?
It was incidental really.
Step 1: One of my best friends goes on an epic walk for his birthday. Says we should go back, but use it as an opportunity to do some personal work.
Step 2: Once we anchor (and fill) the first trip, the idea starts to germinate that we could do process work on some of my favourite walks around the world, starting with the Camino in Spain. I start developing the business case as a side project.
Step 3: COVID hits, and our actual businesses grind to a halt for at least 12 months. Sun Tzu said: “In times of war, prepare for peace.” So the side hustle became the primary focus, and we started to develop local product while no-one was flying that would appeal to South Africans. Stay local!
4. Your other business, PG Tops specializes in scaling up coaching and training programs through one-on-one coaching, team facilitation, and virtual team building. How did you get into the coaching space, and what type of clients do you typically work with?
We are entrepreneurs. We see a problem, we need to fix it. I immediately realised teaching and coaching on virtual needs a different flow, especially when it comes to team environments. I am a tour guide by training and nature, so I just reapplied the technique to the virtual space: Facilitate simple but powerful flow of the journey, set clear parameters but allow some time for flexibility. And always remember less is more, and the answer is almost always in the room. I was launched into it through being a trainer for the EO Accelerator Program, but quickly gained a global reputation for expert on Zoom Room flow.
Another side hustle: our original tagline was: “Tourism Professionals and Amateur Coaches.” Then came COVID, and the time and opportunity to upskill into the coaching and training space. Lets go Pandemic cliché one-liners here - I did a HARD PIVOT by LEANING IN to the NEW NORMAL, and by NOT LETTING A GOOD CRISIS GO TO WASTE I started to hold space in virtual as opposed to in person. No-brainer really. I now work with business owners in a rapid growth faze, small teams and kitchen cabinets. I focus on setting long term intention, and then align priority execution on the short term.
My clients want someone to hold space for them to figure out where to focus – and then hold them accountable for being specific and anchoring a time-driven action item. Virtual has been a gift. I really like being the “guide on the side” as opposed to the “sage on the stage”. If you pay attention to the opportunities presented by our brave new world, you can 10x people’s learning, experience and smart use of time.
5. What advice would you have for employees struggling with zoom fatigue going from one Zoom meeting to the next. Many are saying they don’t have time to leave their desk and unplug with back to back Zoom meetings. How can an employee break this vicious cycle, and is there anything the organisation can do to reduce the volume of meetings?
1. 2Ps: Plan and prioritise: there will be consequences if you skip certain meetings – are you OK with those? I plan monthly, weekly and daily.
2. Take Control: Zoom can be awesome. Offer to moderate the meeting. Do it better than the next guy. Involve participants. There is a simple art to it that transforms the meeting utility.
3. Reducing meetings: use Monday.com, MS Teams or some other tool to communicate. Meeting should have OUTCOMES and ACCOUNTABILITIES – always.
6. Tell us about your-10-10-10 Rituals Concept and why it is so important?
This is not mine. Warren Rustand introduced me to this – he is the training god of EO. What I missed in my habits formed in my 20s, was an intentional daily ritual of anchoring the day. I had them – but it was exercise, coffee, etc. This is real good stuff – slow down to speed up, and start early.
Step 1: Stop with the phone first thing in the morning. Ignore the news, go straight to a 10 minute meditation. I use Wim Hof.
Step 2: Read something that inspires you. Tim Ferriss, Stephen Covey, Yuval Harari, Nelson Mandela, hell you could even get into Wayne Gretzky or Bryan Adams’s biography.
Step 3: Journal. Answer the question – WHY am I alive today? Then write down 3 things that you are grateful for. Then just see where the writing takes you. I ended up writing a novel!
7. You describe yourself as an “unfazed adventurer and curious coach”. What recommendations do you have for someone who might crave some more adventure in their life but feel like they are currently stuck in a rut and don't know where to start?
Ever had an adventure, and someone says: “Hey that’s on my bucket list.” Ask them to show you their list. If it's not written down, its not real. WRITE DOWN your travel/adventure to do list. Anchor an intention. And when the opportunity presents itself – grab it with both hands and don’t let go. I made my list 20 years ago – and I am 70% through it. But when the opportunity to tick off an item comes along…well, you know what to do.
8. Where can our listeners go to learn more about you and your upcoming work?
Join my members page on shoshinwalks.com, or join the community on LinkedIn. I will post the details of the upcoming novels, online seminars and walks of gratitude to that community on a regular basis.