Episode 48: Achieve Your Goals Using the Success Formula, with Executive Coach Andy Fell

Achieve Your Goals Using the Success Formula with Executive Coach, Andy Fell

Jenn DeWall:

Hi everyone, it is Jenn DeWall. Thank you so much for tuning into The Leadership Habit podcast. This week, I sat down with Andy Fell, and what a great inspiring conversation it was. Andy is the founder of GiFT631, a virtual and face-to-face coaching and development business that helps people become the best version of themselves! Who doesn’t need that? He also works with executives and senior leaders to create high performing teams and build winning cultures. Other projects include his #whatwinnersdo events brand and FutureYou membership site. Prior to GiFT631, Andy spent almost 30 years in financial services in both the UK and Australia. His passion is empowering people to aim high and think big, and have fun. Well, it’s making a massive difference to customers, communities and the organization. Andy led teams of 2000 people and delivered an annual revenue target in excess of 2 billion AUD! Wow, Holy cow! That is a lot of responsibility and a lot of success. This is absolutely someone I want to learn from. Andy is married to Leona and has four amazing children. He loves to run, read, journal, travel, and meditate. His motto is to do what you love and love what you do. Enjoy our inspiring conversation about how we can up-level our performance and become more inspired and motivated every single day.

Meet Andy Fell, Founder of GiFT631

Jenn DeWall:

Welcome! On this week’s episode of The Leadership Habit podcast, I am talking with Andy Fell, who is actually joining us from across the pond. So I am here in Denver, Colorado, but he is in Australia. And Andy is the founder of an organization called GiFT631, which, Oh my gosh, I don’t even want to try to take away what the meaning of this organization is. And I think it’s so much better if you hear it from Andy himself. So Andy, could you just go ahead and introduce yourself to our audience and talk a little bit about the origin and what you do every single day to help make everyone live a better life, live a more confident life, be better leaders because you’re making waves. So yes, please go ahead and introduce yourself to our audience.

Andy Fell:

Well, thanks, Jenn! It is absolutely amazing to be joining you today. And like I say, I founded a business called GiFT631about three years ago, and I spent 30 years in financial services. Before that, I spent 20 years in the United Kingdom working for the Royal bank, Scotland, the National Westminster Bank. And I just had this love of running big people-centric divisions of the bank. So, you know, branch networks, contact centers. And that was my real passion. My passion was helping every single person in my organization become a better version of themselves on a continual basis. And then the GFC came along, and I was made redundant along with many, many other thousands of people, but I’m a huge believer that there’s an opportunity in absolutely everything. And on the back of that, I relocated about 11 years ago down here to Australia, initially only planning to come here for two years to work for a bank and then go to Singapore for a couple of years and then go back to the UK.

Anyway, 11 years later, we’re still here. We’re citizens. It’s the most beautiful, amazing part of the world and very, very happy. And, but I turned 50, and I was out in Bali with myself, my amazing wife, Fiona, our three girls, and our best friends and their three boys. And, and I’ve been thinking about, you know, how I wanted to spend the rest of my life. And I worked on my 50th birthday, and this was the day that changed my life and actually where it GiFT631 was first founded, which I’ll come to. And my wife and I had gone for a walk down the beach and watched we were out my eldest daughter, Emma had done one of the most beautiful things that anyone had ever done for me. When we got back, she had put 50 photos from 50 different moments in my life around the living area, and between each one was a speech card, and each speech card was written by somebody who was there.

The Richard Branson Test

Andy Fell:

So everyone had written a few, and they all started. I love Andy because, and I’m going around and I’m, and I’m reading the speech cards, and I’m looking at these photos, and I’ve got tears in my eyes. This was just an absolutely amazing thing to do. And I made a couple of decisions. The first decision I decided I’d achieve more in the next 25 years of my life than in the previous 50. The second decision I made was I took what I call this a Richard Branson test. And Branson says, you’re 90 years old. You’re sitting outside your house. You’re looking back on your life. What do you want to be saying to yourself? Do you want to be saying to yourself, well, I could do this. I should do this. I wish I’d done that. If only I’ve done the other, or do you want me to say to yourself, well, I didn’t get everything right, but at least I gave everything my best shot.

And at that moment, I decided I was going to pass the Sir Richard Branson test. It was time to leave financial services, and it was time to set up my business. So one of the things I believe, Jenn, is every single day I have an appointment with Mozart and the story goes, I don’t even know if this is, this is a true story, but I heard this story a long, long time ago. And I was like, wow, I’m doing this. And the story goes like this, that Mozart used to suffer apparently from composers cramp. And the way he used to overcome this composer’s cramp is he’d go out on his own, away from everybody and away from everything. And he’d go out into this beautiful forest in the middle of these middle European estates. And when he was on his own, isolated from the world smelling the trees and watching the deers and the squirrels and listening to the birds. That’s when he started to compose his music again in his mind.

And I was like, wow, I was a really young manager at the time. I was, I was struggling a little bit. I could never get any time to myself. And I just put an appointment in my diary with Mozart time for myself, by myself, with myself, no interruption, no disruption, no technology, just me, my journal, and my thoughts. And I’ve carried that through my whole life and career. So on the back of, you know, the decision I made on my 50th birthday, I sat there with my journal, and I started to think about my business. And the first person that came to my mind was my grandfather. He was my first-grade teacher, and he was a servant in a big country house in England. And he left school at 12. He actually started by living in the stables with the horses.

He was a stable boy, and then he got promoted to be the butler’s assistant. And he lived in this big, big country house. And when my grandmother passed away, he used to come to this house that I lived in, which was called 631 Kenworth road. And so, GiFT631. So he would come to 631, and like I said, he was my first-grade teacher. He taught me to live life with gratitude, to live life with a servant’s heart, to always put good out into the universe. Never worry if you get it back. He says, always do people a good turn, always be very respectful. And he taught me relationships are the foundation of everything. I believe we absolutely need to be very, you know, across technology and embrace and use technology. But I’m also a fundamental believer in the power of relationships.

The only practical thing he ever taught me never to make a decision when you’re tired. He used to say things will always look better in the morning. And you know, for my clients, I would extend that to emails, never send an email when you’re tired, you know, stick it in your draft box, have a look at it in the morning when you’re feeling fresh. And it’s amazing how much work that will, that will save you. I’ve seen so many people who send it a tired email, just trying to clean up their inbox at the end of the day, and it’s misunderstood. And it just creates this huge amount of extra work.

So I’m there. I’m thinking about my business, and I’m thinking about my granddad and my parents, and I just thought I want my parents, my grandfather’s legacy to live on in the name of, in the name of my business in terms of GiFT631- Well, really those are four things that I really stand for in terms of my business. The “G” stands for growth- personal team and business. The “I” stands for inspiration, helping people get out of their comfort zone. Life begins at the edge of our comfort zone and stretches further than they think they’re capable of stretching in the direction of their true potential. The F stands for the fulfillment, you know, at the end of the day, are we doing what we’re doing? You know, we, we need, we need happiness. We need fulfillment. We need true wealth in every sense. And then T for Transformation, personal team, and business transformation. Hence you get, GiFT631.

You Can Change Your Goals at Any Age

Jenn DeWall:

That is such a powerful business name in just knowing that the work that you do around helping organizations or individual leaders achieve that growth, inspiration, fulfillment, transformation are all things that we all need. The world could be a better place, but I want to back up, you made a career pivot at the age of 50. And I think that there might be some people that think, I don’t know, I’m 50, I guess I better stick with this now because I committed X amount of years. How were you able to do that? I just think that’s— I want to bring that forward because there could be someone listening to this that might be contemplating the exact same thing, like making that shift into something, you know, that it’s kind of new land to some extent it wasn’t, it’s outside of financial services directly. How did you do that?

Andy Fell:

Yeah, I mean, that’s a great question, Jenn. To me, what holds most people back is a lack of belief, a lack of confidence, sometimes a lack of self-esteem. And I believe that once you have an unshakeable level of self-belief, then you realize that anything is possible, and each and every day, each and every one of us will have this conversation going on between that inner critic, and in a coach, our inner critic is driven by our doubts, by our fears. And that’s our negative self-talk. But our inner coach is driven by our dreams, our goals, our aspirations, and what I’ve recognized is the gap between me and future me. There’s this river of self-doubt, and that feeds the inner critic. And some days it flows gently, and some days it flows like a torrent.

For example, lots of people around the world, unfortunately losing their jobs. So their river of self-doubt has got wider, but it’s also flowing faster. And in that river, there’s a there are bull sharks. There are piranhas, there are crocodiles, and alligators, depending on where you look around the world. And these are people who’ve given up on their dreams and that people with a negative mindset, you know, poor old me, life’s not fair. They live by excuses, or they’ve got a cynical attitude. You know, it’s easier for them. We’ve tried that before. It won’t work for me. If I see someone achieving great things, they’re either lucky— or if some somehow worked out, maybe they are favored by the boss, or they worked out how to get around the system. And then there’s the majority who are spectators. And these are people who lack courage. They procrastinate. They overthink. I always think about the downside, not the upside. They always think about what’s the worst that can happen. Not what’s the best that can happen. And I knew at 50, I’ve got a choice. I knew where I wanted to be, which is the founder of GiFT631, but I knew there was this river of self-doubt. And I knew there were tons of people who would tell me this is crazy. Why don’t you just hang on? How can you hang on, hang on for ten years until you’re 60, you can retire. That’s an enormous part of my life.

So I can either jump in there and try and swim my way through, or I can build a bridge. And so what I do every single day, I build a bridge of self-belief, and once you’ve built it, you’ve got to sustain it. And now I’ve dismissed my inner critic, and I’m between my inner coach and what LeBron James would call my inner champion. So which, which is because I’ve been able to build this level of self-belief, self-confidence, and self-esteem. And that gave me the courage to take the plunge, to leave the supposed security of financial services and set up my own business on a practical level, Jenn, you know, get very clear on your purpose, get very clear on your business plan, get very clear on the problems that you solve for other people. But then you’ve got to bring the passion, the patience, the perseverance. You’ve got to push negative people as far out of your life as you possibly can.

Trent Shelton—  the ex-NFL guy speaker in the States. I meditate every single day using the format. And there’s a piece of it called the spark. And there’s a nine-minute meditation that Trent does talking about loving people from a distance, which is just brilliant. You’ve got to push- however supposedly close to you they are- push all negative influences as far away from you as possibly can. And surround yourself with a winning circle of people that challenge you and stretch you. They’ll be the wind beneath your wings. They’ll lift you up. They’ll genuinely support you. And that’s how I was able to pivot from serious pivot from 30 years in banking to, you know, founding and setting it my own entrepreneurial world. And it’s an amazing world to be living in.

Fueling Growth with Coaching

Jenn DeWall:

It is! But I don’t know if you got the same thing that I did- and I love your story and how it came to be. Even just reminding ourselves that whatever we do or do not do is a result of our own view of our self-worth or our confidence. But I know when I entered the coaching space, X amount of years ago, people initially looked at me like, you’re going to do, what? What is coaching? Why are you doing that? And it felt like, I think they thought I was trying to paint the world in rainbows, and that’s not what coaching is. You know, that from, you know, working with them. But I’m curious if you got that kind of feedback, like, what are you going to do? Looking at you, a little bit puzzled. Like, I haven’t seen that or heard that before.

Andy Fell:

Yeah, it’s really interesting. I think I was very, very passionate when I got hired for my role in Australia. The guy that hired me, fantastic guy, he said to me, so what are you going to bring? If I’m going to bring you from one side of the world to the other, what are you going to bring to the business that I run? And I said, well, one of the first things I’m going to bring is that we’re going to be world-famous for coaching. And he kind of looked at me, and I said, Jason, the vast majority of corporate leaders that I see, and I’ve worked with, and I’ve worked for, we play at the word coaching. And I say, I’m going to make sure that starting with myself, that every leader in my business has an enhanced level of coaching from their start point. I said, I truly believe if we get that right then, that’s how we’ll fuel business growth.

And it was like, wow, I’ve never heard anyone, anyone thinking or talking or acting like this before. I think it’s always been really ingrained within me. And I believe, you know, great leadership is, is about great communication, which is as much about listening as obviously is about, about talking. So I think, you know, I was always put forward by the organizations that I was working for to represent them at conferences. So I’ve fallen into a load of conference speaking. I’ve always been passionate about people, culture, and coaching. So for me, it was more, you’re going to give up the financial security at this age, you know? I’ve got four kids. I’ve also got a son from my first marriage in England. My wife is self-employed; you’re going to give all that to go and do this. I was like, yeah, absolutely. I am most passionate about this. And I will pass the Sir Richard Branson test, and I need to do it. And I knew if I didn’t do it at 50, if I waited till I was 55, 57, 59, there’s a less and less chance of it actually happening.

The Formula for Success = G + M + A x D

Jenn DeWall:

Why wait? Well, and you help your clients with what you call the success formula. And I’m so excited to be able to bring that forward to the Crestcom audience because it sounds like you clearly, you know, have that you have the confidence and the belief that why not now, and also knowing that organizations need to put an emphasis on how they’re leading their people, building their people up. So I’m curious, what is the success formula that you use within your organization?

Set Bigger Goals

Andy Fell:

Yeah, sure. So the success formula goes like this success =  G + M + A x D, so the G is goals. And when I was in the bank, most of the training courses I went on, you know, they would teach you about SMART goals, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. I hate that. I love specific. I love measurable, love time-bound, a goal without a deadline is a wish. But I want people to set unachievable, unrealistic goals. And when I was working with an organization in England, I used to call them un-smart goals. Actually, we love the thinking, Andy, but we hate the term. So they renamed it SMUT goals, which is very easy to remember. Because Michael Angelo once said the danger for most of us is not that we set the bar so high and we miss it, it is that we set the bar so low and we hit it.

So I really encourage people to set really big goals. And then Jenn, if you take 631, and you reverse it, you get 136, and this is critical— all my work is simple, practical, actionable, clear, and based on experience space. That’s how I define my work. Simple, practical, actionable, clear. And experience-based, so if you reverse 631, you get 136. So the 1 is the really big SMUT goal. Or, as Jim Collins would say, the BHAG. I then break it down into three milestone or sub-goals and are then break it down again into the six next best actions. And all I need to do is focus on the action level because for you and I and everyone else, the analytical side of our brain, the logical side, if you set a massive goal, the logical side of your brain is going, how do I achieve that? How do I achieve that? And there, you don’t know how you’re going to achieve it.

So it starts to reduce the size of the goal until it’s just outside your comfort zone. And actually, whether you hit it or not, it doesn’t really change your life. So the only way you can keep it out there is almost set and forget the really big goal and come down to the action level because the brain can deal with that. And I know every time I achieve an action or replace the action, every time I achieve the sub-goal, I replace the sub-goal. So I do a lot of work around goals. And then all of the basics of I write my goals down every day, you know, I share my goals publicly, I create two levels of accountability. I create visual representations of visualize. So all of the practical steps around what great goal achievers do is part of the work.

Have the Right Mindest

Andy Fell:

So that’s the G. The M is the bit in the middle. That’s the Mindset. And I think 80 to 90% of the vast success as we’ve been discussing is what is going on between areas, this conversation. It’s what our self-talk is all about. So I bombard my subconscious mind on a daily basis with affirmation, visualization, manifestation, and the people I surround myself with. Like I was saying, you know, pushing the negatives out, creating this incredible winning circle as Jim Rohn would say, we are the sum of the five or six people, but then I have a really well-developed morning routine. And I will share that and not the time to go into all of my winning habits and routines, but I’ll share this. And this is something that your colleague Manny Martinez, he’s a fanatic about the 4M routine. So on my 50th birthday, as well as the amazing experience that Emma did with the pictures and the, and the speech cards Leona, she gave me a couple of books.

One was On Fire by John O’Leary, and I loved it. And yeah, John comes from the same place as my grandfather. She also gave me The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. And Hal’s got a really well-established routine each and every morning called the SAVERS routine: Silence, Affirmation, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, Scribing. I’d all of those things on a daily basis that influenced my mindset, but I don’t do them all in the morning. So I one of my mantras is to look at what successful people do. Success leaves clues. I learn what they do, either copy it, or I adapt it. And then I add my own 10% winning edge. I learn, I copy. I add my 10% winning edge. So I learned from Hal, and I adapted the SAVERS routine into my 4M routine. And it’s now the format, which I’ll give you the full thing.

Jenn DeWall:

Can I just ask, how do you stay disciplined? You know, one of the struggles that I have it’s I think some days are better than others and being able to do it. I’m curious, how do you stay disciplined and motivated? I love the, you know, all the different things that you do every single day that help aid to your success. What’s your trick for discipline and commitment? How do you do it?

Reach Your Goals with the 4 Ms

Andy Fell:

Yeah, that’s, that’s a brilliant question what I realized without actually knowing it until I listened to-, so I do some self-development every day. Normally when I’m, when I’m exercising on my treadmill, and I was listening to Atomic Habits by James Clear, and what I realized is what I’ve been doing is habit stacking. And my morning routine gets me into that ideal performance state, and one activity leads to the next. And it’s just become an ingrained habit. Or then have a 60-second state change that I use during the day. And then I’ll have a debrief process at the end of the day. But I’ll give you the morning routine because I’ve achieved so much by the time I actually— I don’t touch my inbox, by the way. Until I’ve done this morning routine, I don’t get caught up in meetings.

And it goes like this. I start every day with some movement, and a healthy body is a healthy mind. Stimulate the body, stimulate the mind. Many of my clients will say to me I’m not a swimmer. I’m not a runner. I’m not a cyclist. I’m not a gym junkie. I’ll say, that’s cool. Just move, move the body, stimulate the mind, you know, go for a walk. It’s great. If you’ve got a dog, even if you’ve got young kids, put them in the buggy and push them out to the park, you know, 20 minutes, 20 minutes of movement. Fantastic. Then I do what I call a mind, cleanse our brainstorming, hold four thoughts at any one time. So I literally dump everything. That’s in my brain down into my journal, the critical thing. It’s not a things-to-do list because your things-to-do list will have a ton of low-value activity.

So I get everything done; it’s not just to do with business. It’s just life— dentists, restaurants when we can, holidays, whatever it might be. But I start at things that are most important. And my commitment to myself, my discipline is around the things that I’ve starred. I have to do those each day. Then I meditate. That’s my third M, so I Move, I Mind-cleanse, I Meditate. I can’t meditate unless I mind-cleanse because I sit there doing this meditation thinking I’ve got to do this, but I’ve got to do this because I’ve got to do this today. Because I’ve captured everything, my mind is clear, and meditation, transformational practice. You know, it’s really helped me. The more pressure I’m under, the more I exercise, the more I meditate. And then I have my appointment with Mozart. That’s my four M’s.

Don’t Forget to Say Thank You

Andy Fell:

And it’s a combination of practical, but most of the time gives me time to think, how do I become a better leader? How do I become a better coach? How do I build a better business? How do I create more relationships? How do I become a better father? How do I become a better husband? Whatever it might be, how do I achieve my goals? How do I set more goals, whatever it might be? So it gets me upper level, and then I’ve added on an A, and a T. So the A is appreciation- when I was in corporate 15 minutes a day, Jenn, every single day in my diary, 15 minutes a day to say, thank you. And you know, an early boss I worked for, it was one of his mantras. He used to say to me, Andy, every leader can spend 15 minutes a day saying, thank you. And I know what gets in my diary gets done. So I, I, when I was in the back, I saw no appointments before 10, o’clock doing all this routine.

Andy Fell:

And now, but I ended it with 15 minutes of praise, recognition, and celebration. I wrote more handwritten cards than I believe the other 79 general managers of the Westpac group put together. So now I do a quick appreciation of somebody. And then the other book I absolutely love and recommend is Gary Keller’s One Thing., Man, I’ve listened to that four or five times, you know. And I then I’ve done my 4 M’s, and then I added an act of appreciation or gratitude. Then I lock in my diary, my one thing time. And that’s where I complete either the things I’ve starred- or the most important activity I have to do that day. You know, because we all need free space in our diary. And I see way too many times when I start working with them. They’re just doing all that. They’re not thinking as a Mozart time, and they’re not focused on the things that matter most. So that’s my morning routine. That’s what, that’s a discipline, that’s a habit. And one just leads to the other, and it just flows. You know,

Jenn DeWall:

I love the four blessed that I’m just thinking about how we can offer. I love the tip of like the last 15 minutes of your day. Think about how much better your commute would be. I know right now it’s remote, but if we ended our workdays with just thinking about who made our day better or did something great and thanked them, I feel like I would have a much better conversation with, you know, my husband when I get home or my friend on the phone, if I was giving them a call on my way back, I love that piece of just really protecting that, that final 15 minutes to give thanks. That’s a beautiful thing. Yeah.

Wherever you are—Be “All In”

Andy Fell:

Yeah. And it’s so important. And you’ve hit on a really, really important thing. Now, whether people are remote working or whether people start to get back to office working, you need to have that transition from work to home. And for me, it’s, it’s debriefing on the best things that have happened that day. When I was at the bank, I mean, I was living in Sydney at the time, living in the most beautiful, there’s different. If you’re in San Fran, you might say, well, actually, we’ve got the most— or Vancouver. You might argue, we’ve got the most amazing oceanfront, but Sydney is pretty special. Right. And I used to get the ferry. I used to get off the ferry, and I had a 15 minute walk time. So, you know, I’ve done my, my, my praise, my recognition, my celebration. And in those 15 minutes, I’ll be thinking about the best things that happened that day.

If there was anything I needed to complete, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t go into the house until I’ve done it. So if there was one last call I had to make, or if there was one last email I had to send, I would stand outside the house until I’ve done it. So when I went in the house, I was ready for the next phase of my life, you know, to meet the owner, to meet the kids, to sell out to the dog, rather than I see too many people who they go through the door and they’re still trying to deal with calls. They’re still trying to send emails. They don’t do that very well, but also, the personal side of it isn’t anywhere near as good as it should be. And it’s about creating that almost that point of completion. And it’s the same, whether you’re working at home is to have something that signifies switching off work mode, switching a hundred percent into the other parts of life. And I would say, one of my mantras, Jenn, is “all in.” So if it’s home time, I’m all in. I’m all in with family. If it’s work time, I’m all in, you know, I’m completely present with whatever I’m doing. And I see people who jumble it up all of the time.

Jenn DeWall:

Yeah. And they think that, Oh, I’m totally here. As I’m looking at my, my cell phone or trying to check an email, I, you know,

Prioritize High-Value Activity

Andy Fell:

Yeah. I just, I just wanted to make sure I complete the success 4Ms. A’s action. No surprise, you know, Arnold Schwarzenegger, love him. You know – no one got muscles watching me work out. Another, you cannot climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pocket. But what I would say to everyone who watches this is divide it up. There’s high-value activity, and there’s low-value activity. I work really hard with my clients to reduce the amount of low-value activity that they get caught up in.

Jenn DeWall:

What’s an example that you see of low-value activity- I’m sorry to interrupt you.

Andy Fell:

So I have people that go to meetings with no purpose, no agenda, and not sure the value that they’re going to get and not sure the value they’re going to give. People who just spent hours and hours working on their inbox. People who go to steering committees with three or four of their colleagues. So all of this like salespeople who spend more time doing administration, doing sales reporting, just getting caught up in bureaucracy, as opposed to the things that really matter, setting up appointments to see clients, seeing clients, following up with the clients. It’s amazing how many salespeople spend less than 50% of their time selling or setting up appointments or following up appointments. And if you can switch that focus. So high-value action is anything that is directly related to the achievement of my SMUT goal. And then the D, and this is the biggest accelerator. Winners debrief more than the average. And every single thing I do of any significance, I debrief at the moment straight after I’ve done it.

And if you do a significant activity repeatedly, imagine if you can just find the one or two percenters consistently over a three, six, nine, 12 month period, your growth and your performance is the compound effect of that is just phenomenal. Most people just “do” all day long. They’re on that hamster wheel, just running, running, running, running, running, running, running. And at the time I’ve got, I’ve only got two speeds in life. You know, I’m still, or I’m fast. There’s nothing in between. So when I go, I absolutely go. But you’ve got to have times when, when you, it’s not just the Mozart time. It’s the ability to be still and just reflect on what you’ve just done, what went well, what didn’t go so well, what questions resonated? What should I do differently? Even if it’s just stop, start, continue. And if you build in that deep debrief on all of your significant action, you will accelerate and accelerate really, really quickly. So that is the successful formula.

Goals + Mindset + (High-Value) Action

Jenn DeWall:

I love the success formula. So goals-

Andy Fell:

Plus mindset plus action, but it’s high-value action that directly links to the achievement of the goals, times the debrief

Jenn DeWall:

And the debrief. I love that you bring that up because I was talking to a group of consultants. And one of the things that they had talked about is they didn’t really do lessons learned until the ultimate end of the project, which by that point in time, they’ve already started on the next project and everyone’s already going on the hamster wheel. And so I like the importance of adding in additional debriefs that we have to somehow trigger it. Hey, you’re taking action every day. Do we want to do it, you know, informed with your mistakes or data from yesterday? Are we just going to keep going until two months have passed? I think that’s such a great important point.

Plan it, Do it, Review it

Andy Fell:

Yes, you’re so right. I mean, so at an individual level, at a team level, at a business level, if it gets done at all, it tends to get done way too late in the process. Yeah. One of my friends—a  guy called Richard Weston, and he worked in Formula 1 motor racing for it for a long time in his career. And he said in the Formula 1 motor racing teams that a very, very simple three-step process plan, what you’re going to do, do it and review it. And as a business consultant, he says, I get more and more concerned about the level of planning because people are just on the hamster wheel doing, doing, doing, but he says, I just don’t see anywhere near enough reviewing. And to your point, Jenn, when they do, it’s like way too late. Kind of we’ve launched. And the project is either delivering, or it’s not delivering. We need to have all of these little check-ins through the process

Jenn DeWall:

And take a cue from a Formula 1 racer. They have seconds to be able to execute that. And they’re going, I mean, I don’t know, they’re their top speed, but that’s what it’s like as an organization. We’re also just flying through trying to put out fires. And you can quickly go in the wrong direction!

Andy Fell:

I’m glad you picked up on that point because Richard said, yeah, he’s, he’s worked with many, many, many Formula 1 greats, and one of which was Michael Schumacher. And he said Michael Schumacher used to spend more time in the Ferrari garage with the engineers after a race that they’d won, rather than a race that they’d lost. Because he wanted to analyze the root cause of success, and that’s a really important point as well. When I do see people reviewing their activism behaviors, it’s when things have been a spectacular disaster. So they analyze the root cause of failure. So few people analyze, why was it so successful? What was it that we did that we can do more of next time? So analyzing the root cause of success is, in many senses, as important as are analyzing the root cause of failure.

Jenn DeWall:

Well, and I think that comes back to your mindset too. It’s I mean if we said, and look at our goals, like, well, during the debrief, “Well, you really missed the mark on that one, Jenn! You really failed.” How are you going to be able to find your confidence or find that energy to say, Hey, I want to set another unattainable goal if we don’t have that. And that’s also another thing I love your take on goals, but not smart goals, because I think that people are a little fatigued from, you know, smart goals is a great practice. It’s a great template, but I think in some way, yeah, it doesn’t necessarily encourage people to play big. And I just love your whole success formula because I think it’s, it’s really important for us to think beyond what a basic easy goal is that we could do. We have to think bigger.

Is Fear of Judgement Holding You Back?

Andy Fell:

Yeah, that’s absolutely right. And what I realized over the years was early in my career. I was all about external validation. I needed other people to tell me I was massively competitive in the early part of my career in Scotland. I was a sales leader, you know we won sales trophy after sales trophy, after sales trophy. And I needed that external validation from people that almost reinforced how good that I was because my level of self-confidence wasn’t like it is today. And you see it on social media. People are just desperate for likes and shares and comments. It’s external validation. And when that crosses over with internal validation, that’s when the magic can really happen. When you realize that the only person who can truly judge you in life is you, that’s when you’re willing and comfortable to go for massive goals, because what holds most people back in my view, Jenn, is not the fear of failure—

It’s the fear of being judged. But when you realize the other person who can really judge you as you, then actually, what other people think about doesn’t matter, you know? And if they say, Oh, you failed, but that’s their perspective. You know? And I see so many people that, you know, they can both achieve a hundred of something. What sets a goal of 110 and extended by a crazy cause they get to 115, the other starting point is the same. They set a thousand, and they get to 600. I mean, that’s like nowhere near a thousand, but it’s way beyond if you’d set a smart goal of 110, and what would you rather have? Now I would live very, very comfortably in the fact I’ve achieved 600. And if people around me want to tell me that’s a failure, well, that’s cool. That’s their perspective. To be honest, I don’t really care.

You know, they’re probably in that river of self-doubt. They’ve given up on their dreams, and they want to try and not me not be down for, you know, going where I know I’m surely capable of going. And I honestly believe that I’m at the start of my journey, and I’m, I’m 54. I believe anything is possible. The jersey on the wall behind me is a Shepherd Steelers ice hockey jersey. I’m not quite as successful as you know, the avalanche and the Canucks and all that, all those amazing NHL teams. The reason it’s on that wall. And I look at it every single day is because that was the first professional sports sponsorship that the Royal Bank of Scotland did. And that was my deal. And everyone in the organization said you will never get a deal done. We don’t do sports sponsorships. It won’t happen. Blah, blah, blah. I got the deal done. We made it happen. And I keep it on the wall to remind me that anything is possible. As long as you have a big goal, a powerful mindset, you take massive action, and you debrief to drive continuous learning and improvement.

Set Bigger Goals

Jenn DeWall:

Oh my gosh, that what an inspiring close to this. And I love that you touched on external validation. I mean, I do want to ask you out of a personal thing. Where, you know what I see with external validation as we just pick that up during childhood, think that we need to continue it into adulthood and then it just drives the car for us, but there’s got to be the point that people recognize that it starts from, with it that you know, that mindset that you talk about, like what, how we see ourselves, how we see the value or even reframing how you look at your failures. If you did set that goal and got to 600, I’m curious, where do you see that starting with people? Because I think everyone probably has it. And they might be like, I, I do rely a lot on external validation, but I thought you had to because my boss needs to care or to like me.

Andy Fell:

Yeah. And I think it comes down to continuous self-development because it’s not just about the knowledge. It’s actually what it does, be it, you know, your mindset, your self-belief, your self-esteem. It comes down to that, that company that you keep—surrounding yourself with that winning circle. And look for aspirational people, people that will lift you up, people that will take you to their level. And that’s what I believe has been one of the great successes of my life. I looked for those amazing role models. One of my great mentors and friends is a guy who I first saw when he was coaching the Shepard sharks basketball team. Now it’s back in Florida, and a guy called Jim Brandon was originally drafted by the Utah jazz going way, way, way back, and then ended up playing and coaching in Europe.

And I watched him when I was sitting in the stands, and he was coaching the Shepard Sharks, the professional basketball team there. And I’m like, I’m going to get to know that man. And everyone around me is like, how are you going to get to know him? I said I have no idea. I’m going to get to know that man. And 15-20 years later, you know, he’s been, my mentor. He’s a great friend. We do amazing stuff together. You know, so seek those, those people are at a high level, you know, traditional way of thinking about high levels. But those people that you know are going to add tremendous value to your life, go and seek them out and get to know them. Find a way. There’s always a way,

What is Your Leadership Habit for Success?

Jenn DeWall:

Oh my gosh, what an inspiring close and thinking. I love that. I’m going to get to know him and just that call to action. What are you going to, what unattainable goal are you going to set and give yourself the permission to pursue? I have to ask one final closing question. I think you’re probably going to. I think I might know what you’re going to say, but what is your leadership habit for success?

Andy Fell:

Yeah, I’m going to give you two, so have a definition of success. I can’t define success for you, but I can give— I’ve given you that winning formula, but then have a morning routine that works for you. So I’ll give you the format routine, but adapt it, mold it. You have a short-form version of it. Something that gets you into the ideal performance state on a daily basis. It fires the engine, and it gets you motivated to make the best of every single day that you have.

Jenn DeWall:

Well, Andy, how can people connect with you after this podcast? If they want to know more, where can, where can we them to?

Andy Fell:

Yeah, please. I mean, please connect with me through LinkedIn. You can go to my YouTube channel. Andy Fell GiFT631. There’s a ton of content on there. That’s free and available to absolutely everyone. If Facebook, your desired, you know, Andy Fell @GiFT631. So connect through LinkedIn, connect through Facebook, check out the YouTube channel, or just email me. I love connection rather than sending people to websites. To me, it’s all about relationships and sort of that connection. So AndyFell@gift631.com. Love to hear from you, and can I say, Jenn phenomenal, just talking with you. I feel fired up myself. So thank you.

Jenn DeWall:

I’m fired up. Thank you. I’m like, what am I going to do tomorrow to incorporate your process? I was like, I really want to do this. No. So thank you. Thank you so much for sharing that with our audience, Andy!

Andy Fell:

My Pleasure

Jenn DeWall:

Thank you so much for tuning in to this week’s episode of The Leadership Habit. I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Andy Fell as much as I did. If you want to connect with them, Andy actually wants you to drop him a line on LinkedIn. So jump on over to LinkedIn, connect, share a message, email him. I know that he’ll take any level of conversation because he just wants to make a difference. And of course, if you liked this, if you were inspired, if you are going to change your behavior, share this on your social media platform, email it to a friend, and don’t forget to write us a review on your favorite podcast, streaming service. Thank you so much for listening. Have a great day.