Text LEARNERS to 44222 for more…

Full show notes at www.LearningLeader.com

Twitter/IG: @RyanHawk12  https://twitter.com/RyanHawk12

Dr. Ron Friedman is an award-winning psychologist who has served on the faculty of the University of Rochester and has consulted for political leaders, nonprofits, and many of the world’s most recognized brands. His first book, The Best Place to Work, was selected as an Inc. Magazine Best Business Book of the Year. His most recent book is called, Decoding Greatness: How the Best in the World Reverse Engineer Succes.



  • When Michael Dell was 16 years old, his parents bought him an Apple Computer. And they were horrified by what he did next… He took it apart to learn how to build it. He was curious. Excellent performers don’t passively observe. They take action.
  • When you encounter an awesome memo or speech, try to identify why it was remarkable… And then see how you can implement what you’ve learned to do the same.
  • Nature vs. Nurture? “It’s both.”
  • The stories we’ve been told are wrong: That it takes talent + practice. That’s only part of the story.
    • It’s thinking in formulas and becoming a collector.
  • “Identify what works and turn it into a template for yourself.”
  • A presidential speechwriter like Jon Favreau (President Obama’s speechwriter) would study the greatest presidential speeches in history as he wrote…
    • Reverse outlining – Take a finished product and reduce it to small paragraphs. Read the transcript and identify the emotion.
  • There are six main narratives for main characters…
  • The analysis comes after collection. Identify what’s extraordinary… And then create a template. Create metrics and rate your work.
    • “Measurement begets improvement.”
  • This requires a mindset of curiosity (like Michael Dell)
  • Think in “blueprints.”
    • How does this work?
    • How do I recreate it?
  • President Obama initially was not a good politician… He observed pastors at churches. He started using repetition and pausing for effect to improve his ability to give compelling speeches.
  • How are Chipotle and Starbucks similar?
    • “They think in blueprints.” The creators of Chipotle knew that people love burritos, but there wasn’t a fast way to get great ones. They created a blueprint. The leaders at Starbucks modeled their buildings after Italian coffee bars. It’s “pattern-thinking.”
  • Tom Petty didn’t watch Bruce Springsteen because he felt they were too similar. He didn’t want to outright copy him.
  • Ron reads fiction to help him become a better storyteller and use cliffhangers in his non-fiction writing.
  • Visualization – Why does it not work? “It can give you temporary satisfaction and lead to you not working as hard for the goal. You feel as if you already achieved it.” “Visualize the process instead of the outcome.”
  • The UCLA Study:
    • Visualize the process
    • Practice in the past – Be reflective, use a journal, look back at previous entries
    • Deliberate practice – It needs to be hard and you need feedback from an expert. Practice in different locations. Novelty is important.
  • This allows you to be more present in the moment…
  • Sign up for improv classes
  • Find a hobby that has an overlap with what you do (if you’re a manager, join toastmasters to become a better public speaker)
  • Tinder algorithms – They predict who you’ll find attractive. It looks for commonalities… The takeaway?
    • Start a collection intake engine. Curate what that contains and what you exclude.
  • Ritz Carlton obsesses over metrics. They understand that what gets measured gets managed. They optimize for their net promoter score (NPS).
  • The links that are drivers to outcomes… For Ron, he needs to do cardio to get into creative mode. To do great cardio, he needs great sleep. To get great sleep, he needs regular massages. It’s a chain of events to get the optimal outcome. Figure out what that is for you.
  • How to give a great Ted Talk? Ron reverse engineered the most watched talk… Here is what he found:
    • Ken Robinson used one fact
    • He had lots of anecdotes
    • There were LOTS of jokes (and they were funny)
    • The storytelling drives the whole talk
  • Taking risks — Ron learned this from his grandmother and dedicates his work to her. He was born in Israel and moved to New York when he was 7. His grandmother would go door to door selling the services of her husband (he was a dentist).
  • “The more risks we take, the more likely we are to succeed.”
  • Life/Career advice:
    • Take more risks
    • Optimize for your relationships… And your spouse is the most important relationship
  • Apply to be part of my Leadership Circle

Leave A Comment