Embracing The Dark Side Of You

What does it take to lead?

To lead others we have to be able to tap into something in them. We have to have the empathy and sensitivity to see how what we do impacts them. We have to have the self awareness to adapt and adjust what we do, based on the feedback we get.

Our ability to lead others comes from our awareness of who we are.

There are lots of personality tests and tools to find strengths and values. But every strength also has a shadow. A context in which it becomes a limitation.

If all we have is a basic set of tools, we will only succeed while the environment fits those tools.

Mastery is being able to operate in any environment. That means deeply knowing our self. Even more than knowing who we are, is where that self is limiting.

Many entrepreneurs build success through chaos, but destroy it when it needs order.

None of us are perfect. We are all flawed. We just need to know and accept our own flaws.

Clark Ray, Tony Walmsley and I discussed the importance of knowing yourself.

And especially the quirks and flaws you don’t want to admit.



Tony: [00:00:00] One of the tags that I use is originality as a trait, it’s connected to openness to experience in the five factor model. So in terms of originality, if I start to think about how that plays out through the world I was in before I knew this stuff, I can reel off a number of things.

Tony: Doing reality TV in Vietnam setting up an football academy in India, running a government back programming in a Mongolia going to Australia at 20 years old as a player coach. I’m high on that scale, like I’m high on openness to experience, high on originality.

Tony: It’s a creative pursuit. It’s a world of possibility and curiosity comes with, its because I’m that those stories, like they just hit me in the face. I thought, okay, this is why. That makes sense, why it makes sense that a, that’s how I score on the scale and that’s how my life play.

Tony: When I’m in those cycles or modes, I am comfortable, excited, fascinated, curious. I’m lit up, whereas if I’m in the grind a routine process for any more than 10 minutes, I’m nearly in tears, it’s bonkers. There’s a [00:01:00] huge energy drain. So as I’m doing this, so I’ve built the tool, built the platform, it’s just about ready to go.

Tony: To write about it and also bring anecdotes into it that actually count. I can play back. I can play this system methodology back through, through life and talk about the good, the bad, and the indifferent of what it means to be somewhere along this These scales, it’s quite fascinating. It’s 

Clark: I don’t know how long you guys have been on LinkedIn. I went on onto it, I think, a few years ago, I don’t know, maybe five years ago, without really any interest in what it was about.

Clark: It seemed like a fairly boring business platform. And in the year or so, just over a year that I’ve been active on LinkedIn. It seems to have changed to me. There seems to be much more of a a trend towards creativity in the last year or so that I’ve seen even amongst the business types. You hear about storytelling and this sort of thing that it seems that even stayed corporate organizations [00:02:00] seem to be leaning towards a creative mindset or how to bring out the creativity in the people that they work with.

Clark: And what you’ve just been saying there as a coach working in football, you might not immediately think of that as a creative role, but it certainly is. And the way you’ve just described it, it definitely is that, it’s a creative enterprise where you’re trying to encourage the best in people.

Clark: And that seems to be the way it’s going in general. Unless I’m missing something, but it seems to be. 

Tony: Yeah, you’re right. I definitely see that trend. Rob, you’re a great example. Your product, your writing is prolific and, very well received. Just going back to the point About that creativity, you think about in game action and in game thinking processes and I think it’s easy to assume that everybody’s always analyzing and responding to data and making really strategic, strategically well thought out plans.

Tony: Of course that’s sometimes the case, but for somebody like me, for all of us, [00:03:00] whether you like me or you not like me. You’re trying to predict the future. If you make a tactical adjustment in game or you make a substitution, it’s because you think that something better is going to happen than he’s happening right now.

Tony: And of course that’s, it’s rubbish, but none of us can actually do that. None of us can predict the future. But, and I would say that my approach to that was largely an intuitive one, not a methodically structured one. To the degree where sometimes I would struggle with additional voices when I’m in that moment where I have to feel something.

Tony: I’m in this world where I’m predicting future, and I’m an optimist. So I’m always looking to make a positive change. And I recognize that not everybody sees that, not everybody’s comfortable with that.

Tony: I had a great assistant manager and bought another coach. He was an Argentinian guy, Claudio Canosa, redhead, tough as nails as a player. Imagine a fiery Argentinian redhead anyway, he was he added so much to the team, but on a game [00:04:00] day, he added so much second guessing into my head that it was never gonna last. And as soon as he was no longer there, I was much more back in where I needed to be in those types of situations. So it’s a fascinating thing because people don’t understand the decisions you’ve made.

Tony: If you haven’t thought it through with them, it’s just boom, I’m doing it, you warm up, we’re doing this off you go. 

Tony: I now understand the psychology behind that and I now understand why it’s important to know it because when you know what’s behind it, you can make the adjustments a little bit more readily, you can be a little bit more strategic or thoughtful about stuff, especially if you’re in a state of perpetual delusion about your ideas being great.

Tony: Yeah, we got beat, but it can still happen. We can still do it. And the belief in everyone else is diminishing by the second, and you stay firm on it. That’s one of the downsides of being like me. 

Clark: I’m just going to put a marker there because I, you said something there that’s really fascinating to me.

Clark: You said something there about [00:05:00] listening to somebody else’s input that may not necessarily be helpful, and I find that fascinating because I’ve always been, I’m a little bit anti tribe, the tribe doesn’t know you or me, so how can they tell us how we should be.

Rob: When you look at analysis and creativity, they’re different polarities, but actually intuition comes from having pattern recognition because you’ve seen so many different patterns subconsciously, it’s all there.

Rob: Enables you to have that intuition. Writing is quite natural for me, but I can’t write something if I don’t feel it.

 I focus in on a detail, I’ll argue a point and then another, a week or two later I can then be talking about the same topic. But because I’m feeling different, I’ll argue exactly the opposite point and to me both are true.

Rob: My point is that you have analysis from years of pattern recognition.

Rob: The intuition is like when you’re in that moment, you lock into that and you feel a certain thing. And if you. trying to write [00:06:00] or you’re trying to do something that isn’t with in line with that it doesn’t work. 

Tony: Yeah. That’s interesting too. I think I agree with you about that sort of those two polarities. And it’s interesting to hear your internal conjecture, your internal fight and your position, you’ll take the conversation you’ll have with yourself.

Tony: It’s quite interesting for me. If I’m thinking of putting my game fit, of course, I think feedback is really important. To get feedback is fuel for growth and learning. So on reflection. I would take feedback on board. Absolutely. In the moment, my intuition’s tied to a really strong belief in what’s possible.

Tony: I actually maybe believe more in other people than they believe in themselves at times, which is something I’ve always felt quite good about. And I think as a leader, it’s your job to try and help them match that belief in themselves, find that confidence. So my intuition, yes, I agree, it’s honed on pattern recognition and all of that.

Tony: That by doing these things, these types of things can happen. I used to have an [00:07:00] assistant coach, John McClafferty, a great friend of mine, he’s now dead, sadly. He was an amazing guy, amazing man. And every game, John would say to me, would you take a draw?

Tony: And it was like, it’s the antithesis of my where my head was at and we would bet every, I would never take a draw. We would also bet sometimes on, we had one guy who was really struggling to score goals and he would bet me, this is just a small coffee, bet me a coffee that he was not going to score and I would always bet that he was because I’m optimistic.

Tony: But even in a game where we only needed a draw to win the league, I would not accept the bet to take a draw. It’s just the way we were wired so differently. I think some of it’s geared around, do you love to win or do you hate to lose? What’s your predisposition? What’s your start point?

Tony: If you’re more, you just hate to lose, then you’re gonna take a draw. You’ll just do what it takes to get the troops camped in and do what you can on the counterattack or whatever. Whereas if you love to win, then anything’s possible. Let’s go for it, guys. See what can happen. 

Clark: That idea, Tony, of [00:08:00] what your predisposition is to me is actually way more profound than it sounds. I had a conversation yesterday. I’m very fortunate to work around here in Norwich. There’s a quite a big university and a big research center. So there’s a lot of academics just in and around the town, probably like a lot of places Cambridge and so on.

Clark: But I am fortunate to have a really good friend who’s a professor of I can never get it right. She’s a professor of historic economic politics or something like that. It’s history, politics, and economy and all of that stuff. Basically how countries run themselves and get themselves into the trouble that they find themselves in.

Clark: But we have a constant conversation because our political views are very different. I’m not particularly political, but I’m very traditional in my outlook. In as much as, change for its own sake is not necessarily something that I’m a massive fan of, but she’s definitely quite radical in her outlook.

Clark: And we have some brilliant conversations, enormous respect for each other and talking about our worldviews. We was talking yesterday morning about this these polar [00:09:00] opposites that Rob’s just mentioned, because on the one hand, you have the Empirical worldview, which is what I consider myself to be predominantly about, and that is a pragmatic, practical approach to life, what’s sitting in front of me and what does it mean and what am I going to do about it?

Clark: As opposed to a more rational view, which is, how should the world be and how do we want it to be? And obviously the sweet spot is somewhere between the two because you want to meet in of these two extremes. I was saying to her that. It reminded me of, oh, 30 years ago, I read the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which was nothing to do with motorcycle maintenance, nothing to do with Zen, but all about this conflict between chaos and order, between rationalism and empiricism.

Clark: And I remember a talk a long time ago that I wrote a post about recently by John Cleese, who was talking about creativity. He said, how do you encourage creativity? He said, on the one hand, you have to relax. There has to be humor. There has to be no pressure. You have to be able to be free to just say whatever [00:10:00] comes into your mind.

Clark: That’s what creativity is all about. Some people might look at a brainstorming session and think this is chaotic, which is exactly what it should be. That’s how ideas and innovations come about. But then at some point he said, you have to start to channel that creativity and impose order. And that to me, of course, is the empirical worldview.

Clark: So those two extremes are constantly playing. against each other. What I said to her yesterday was that actually, whilst those two things are fairly well known, most people realize that we sort of shuttle between the two extremes from time to time. There’s another thing at play, and that is the predisposition, as you’ve just said, of the person or the entity, the organization, that’s actually doing the thing.

Clark: Because we don’t all get creative in the same way, nor do we all respond to order and processes in the same way. Just after my accident, that, that accident, motorbike accident, completely turned my world upside down for several months. I was in a position of not really [00:11:00] knowing what I was about and what I was going to do.

Clark: And it got me thinking about certain things. And a lot of people said to me this thing that has happened to you happened for a reason, which I was very set against. I really didn’t like that way of, so you’re saying I had no control. This thing was done to me for a reason. And I really didn’t like that.

Clark: It’s a very rationalist view. It’s a very out there, creative minded, what I used to call woo way of thinking. And it was not something that I was very happy about at all. But having been forced to think about it I started to entertain the idea a little bit, and it’s this idea of predisposition, how we approach things.

Clark: Somebody spoke to me who’s on LinkedIn, she’s very much into that world of sort of energy and vibrations and frequency and all that stuff that I am totally unfamiliar with. She asked me to look into something related to how I am I’m not going to go into it too massively, but basically it caused me to realize that I have a certain way of looking at everything, as do you. 

Clark: The way you are [00:12:00] has a massive profound effect on the way you interact with creativity or order. And if you don’t know who you are or how you respond to things, then you have the problem that you just talked about where you, where your assistant coach said, would you take a draw, no, because that’s not me.

Clark: I’m not that sort of person. And when people get into creative pursuits, It’s very useful to know what sort of a person you are. I was talking to somebody this morning that was saying that the biggest problem that they come against in helping people change or organizations change is inertia.

Clark: They won’t move. They feel what’s the point? Why bother? And the reason for that is they don’t know who they are or how they operate within the world and they’ve tried for years and years to impose other people’s world views on the way they get creative. It’s never worked, so they don’t bother.

Clark: And the key to that is finding out who they are and how they get created. So when you just talk there about your predisposition, to [00:13:00] me, that is the absolute key thing for an organization or a person. Look, 

Tony: I couldn’t agree more. I think you’ve nailed, if I think back to The coach who just used to fill me with noise and was making me second guess, for example, there’s two things going on.

Tony: There’s a lack of self awareness on his part, and I’m very well aware of what’s happening to me in my part. And I think I’ve always had that. So I think when you apply, we talk about this predisposition, you go into a management role or a leadership role. And the classic, we’re there to, influence the social dynamics of this thing that we’re about to try and move forward with.

Tony: We’re trying to meet some complex challenge together, and I need to mobilize these people to do it. Now, if I do that, I think we might have talked about this before, but my way is not the way. It’s just my way. And if I’m not aware of that, then how can I possibly understand each of the people in my team?

Tony: And how can I then possibly maximize my capacity to mobilize them? It just doesn’t make sense. So if I want to get to [00:14:00] influence the culture of the whole organization, if I want to be that guy then you’ve got to wind it all the way back to the self awareness pitch. You’ve got to know who you are in order to grow yourself.

Tony: Getting into the dark side here, that self awareness is what are those things that lurk, that are going to derail you if you don’t get on top of them? There’s all of those sorts of things that are part of this. And that can just be when I’m overly optimistic at a time when most people are stressful, that ain’t going to be a good behavior to be on display.

Tony: It may be counterproductive. It may need you to tone it down or dial it down and. I think there’s you’ve really nailed the whole idea that we’re going to influence socially, we have to have a large degree of self awareness first.

Tony: I think there’s a failure for many to really grasp what that is. That’s a deep dive. That’s not it’s not something to be taken lightly. 

Clark: Tony, I always do lots of weird stuff in my work because I’m always interested in the way people respond to things.

Clark: But [00:15:00] one of the things that I do, and I do it especially with particularly authoritative people. Authoritative people? I asked them what their star sign is. I find it fascinating, not just what they answer, but how they answer because some people look at me as if to say, what the hell are you asking me that for?

Clark: And that’s my point. When you talk about knowing yourself as you go into talk to an organization, I find it just as interesting to know who they are, what’s the culture at that place. I was working with somebody last year, a group of people for a very large, creative organization, very creative.

Clark: They’re in the entertainment industry. And I had never met these people before. And it was an ad hoc meeting. I was just asked to come in because there’s some problems that needed sorted quickly because they were just about to embark on quite an important project. I had to go the next day.

Clark: So I had no information to go on. I had very little time to prepare. I said, can you just find out what everybody’s MBTI score is? What are they on the MBTI thing? The Myers Briggs type in indicator. And part [00:16:00] of the reason I asked for that was to find out how they responded to being asked to find out where their MBTI was.

Clark: And some of them already knew, which tells you a lot already. Some of them were very unwilling to do it. Some of them did it and said it was an absolute load of nonsense. But to me, that was probably the most important thing. And what I did was, when I got to the meeting, from what had been said and what was fed back I made one comment.

Clark: I literally just sat down and I said, Who is The X in this room. ’cause I hadn’t seen any of these people before, but I picked one of the MBTI categories. . And I said, so who’s this person? And this person put their hands up and I made a comment and it nearly turned into a brawl. It kicked off enormously.

Clark: And some people said, I’m not having this. And other people threatened to walk out and it was really interesting to see. And afterwards the boss said. What was that all about? And I said, look, we didn’t have a lot of time. I needed to see who did what and what the dynamic was.

Clark: And so I threw this little sort of stick of dynamite in. But it told me straight away, there was probably eight [00:17:00] people sitting around this table. Who was who? Who was in charge, who thought they were in charge, and what they all thought about each other within minutes. And it was a really productive day, but it started off really quite hairy.

Clark: But it’s important to know who these people are, because very often, they don’t even know who they are. And by that the boss doesn’t even know what their culture is. The boss may think he knows what the culture is, but the people around the table have got a completely different view of what the culture is and how they operate.

Clark: And actually there was something going on in that particular group of people that the boss wasn’t aware of, which we brought out into the open and something that could have took days to sort out took, a day. And it was fascinating for everybody involved. But it’s not just about knowing yourself, is it?

Clark: It’s about knowing who you’re working with. 

Tony: The first step, if you know yourself, then you know what questions to ask other people and then you can get to know them. Especially if you’re prepared to share the bits about yourself that, if you want other people to tell you something, you can tell them something.

Tony: There’s a book called [00:18:00] Radical Candor and the simple measure is how direct and honest you are in your communication is like the horizontal axis and how much empathy, how much genuine empathy you’ve got is the vertical axis. So if you’re, the ideal place to be is really direct and honest and have a lot of high empathy.

Tony: So I can tell you straight what’s going on, but you know that it’s done in a way that I actually care about you. Now, if you’re low in one and high on the other. Things start to get pretty, pretty bad quite quickly. And I worked with a guy who was as blunt as you can imagine and would have people in tears, right? I’ve seen the, I was working with the people who were at the wrong end of that stick, they were the people that had been distressed or I was picking up the pieces sort of thing. Interesting thing was.

Tony: It was the self awareness piece was the bit that was missing because on reflection on understanding the impact of the behavior, the guy’s horrified. He does care. He didn’t mean that to happen. It’s just his [00:19:00] predisposition is to go waded in and cause a riot. So it was amazing to the growth in him is almost instant.

Tony: I can’t do that anymore. This is not a behavior that’s conducive to the modern workplace at all. We can’t have people breaking down because you’ve like completely destroyed them in front of their peers. It’s stop doing it. 

Clark: Can I just ask Rob, when we were talking about, because I was fascinated before we had this conversation about when you mentioned That we were going to talk about the dark side and I had assumed when you talked about this the, by the dark side, you mean covert use of certain tactics to get a result that might not necessarily be seen as particularly honest, let’s say. Is that what you’re talking about by the dark side? 

Rob: For me, when I think about the dark side, what I really think about is I think we’ve got the Myers Briggs and we’ve got the genetic type of temperaments, and someone has those temperaments. But what, that’s like broad categories of [00:20:00] people.

Rob: But what makes it more unique is our own experiences shape us. And I think people have a theme. I think people have a dominant currency that they’re looking for. Something that has happened throughout their life and it’s usually something dark. Yeah, that’s what I look at from the dark side.

Rob: I think the best people, the most the people that you would say are the kindest, most magnanimous, all those people, they’re driven by darkness. And it’s driven, for me, the way I envisage.

Rob: I think all emotions originate our degrees of fear. So I think there’s a life force, which is like our energy. And then fear is so if you imagine like the life force of the energy of life is like a white torch and then fear is the darkness that creates color. And the degree of fear determines the negativity of the emotion.

Rob: Absence of fear is happiness, is love, is all of those highest emotions. 

Clark: So what I was thinking [00:21:00] Rob, that’s why I was I’m pleased that you clarified that because I didn’t know what it was one of two things in my mind. First of all, either it was, sometimes people use things like the MBTI.

Clark: And to me, they’re just very basic tools. There are really only a starting point, a template perhaps that you can use to get A little bit of an insight into the direction in which you might wanna go, but that’s, there’s not much more to it than that, I don’t think. However, some people use it much more deeply than that.

Clark: Some people got more stuck in it than that. There are psychometric tests that you can do. There are all sorts of ways of cold reading and other ways of understanding people. To me, when you mentioned the dark side, I thought it was the misuse of such tools to gain an advantage. So people, for instance, 

Clark: I’ve never been a big believer in the idea of hypnosis. I know that trance exists. I know that suggestion exists, but the idea of hypnosis people, stripping off and acting like chickens and all that sort of stuff. I’m just okay, there’s some suggestion going on there, maybe but all of those things, people can use them either for good to help [00:22:00] with trauma and so on, or for their own ends.

Clark: And when you said the dark side, I thought maybe that’s what you’re And to a degree, for instance, that thing that I just said I went into the meeting and dropped a little bombshell that was leaning in towards the dark side, because I was basically using some information that I had to just poke this thing with a stick and see what happens. But it was my intent was good. And so that’s how I justify myself messing with people a bit. But then there’s the other side, when you talk about the dark side, and that’s, we all have this shadow, right? As Jung would say and the more we can incorporate the shadow into who we really are and into our persona, then obviously the more rounded out we are as people.

Clark: When you talk about the dark side from that point of view of course, we all have that and the extent to which we understand that about ourselves is probably the most important thing to find out when you’re talking to anybody. So when you’re talking to a person who is clearly quite narcissistic in there, it’s all about me.

Clark: If they’re not aware of that. That’s something that [00:23:00] needs to be taken into account when you’re dealing with them, because as Tony said earlier, that the constant input from people you may not necessarily agree with, that can cause enormous problems. The fact that you’re quite a balanced person, Tony, helps you to at least take on board and assimilate that view, even though you perhaps may not have ultimately used that advice.

Clark: But some that cause enormous friction as well. This this input from outside and if you’re not aware of your own dark side or, maybe it’s all fear related. I don’t know. 

Tony (2): Yeah. It’s interesting, isn’t it? If you like it’s in all of us, however, it’s manifested where it came from.

Tony (2): I’m not sure whether how much of it’s innate. And how much of it is situational as we develop into it through our experiences, for example, I’m not sure what that split might be. But if you’re, for example, charismatic and charming, and you can use that to really good use. I think the dark side is understanding the choice you have to use that wisely and to use that, and that’s a [00:24:00] choice.

Tony (2): I’ve had to make, that’s not me patting myself on the back for being the charismatic guy, but when you have the ability to convince people of an idea, then there’s a line between. when that’s healthy and when it’s unhealthy. And so that, that’s got, we all have the potential to use our makeup to its best possible utility and not.

Tony (2): If you’re incredibly friendly and that’s a nice thing to be most of the time. The question is, when is it not, and when does being friendly start to have a different undertone, how could it be that friends can do that to each other, for example what, what is going on? 

Rob: It’s strongly driven by, by the context we’re in.

Rob: It’s contextual. When you were talking Clark about chaos and order. I was thinking that’s situational. So for me I like to put things I like to so that I can stop thinking about things, cause I tend to be [00:25:00] obsessive about if there’s an open loop.

Rob: I like to make a model and okay, this is it. That’s and that’s it for now. But then when I have that, I want to break it apart. So there’s a, when there’s order, I want to be chaotic. And when there’s order and when there’s chaos, I want to bring order to it. So I, I think when we look at these dimensions where they change depending on the context.

Clark: And as Tony has just said, there’s every virtue can and wrong context and circumstance become a vice, right? So the friendly person can become suffocating or manipulative. And this is why it’s important to know yourself and the people you’re talking to because if if you speak to somebody who is, for instance, extremely friendly.

Clark: And you know that the dark side of that can be a manipulative approach to dealing with people. Straight away, if you’re so inclined, you can start to prod that person a little bit to see where that might eventually go. For instance, [00:26:00] myself, that thing that I was saying about where I was encouraged to look at my own predispositions a little bit.

Clark: It became quite clear that my abilities are around speaking, crystallizing ideas, presenting them in a way for people to understand, which is great, unless I’m so hell bent on getting an idea across that I make them listen. batter their arguments into submission so that nothing that anybody else says ever gets through.

Clark: That’s not beneficial to them or me. And for me to be aware of that in myself, or for you, Tony, to be aware that, you really don’t want other people’s input because your way is the only way and the best way then there’s a tendency to stop listening to people, even when they’re saying, look, we’re all running over a cliff here.

Clark: So that this goes back a little bit to our, the 10th man idea that I’ve spoken about lots of times before, because in all of those circumstances, he’s the person that says, when might this become a problem? When might this virtue that we [00:27:00] have start to bite us in the arse? And if that is potentially if there is potential for a problem from that particular thing, whatever it might be then we can keep our eye open for this or certainly as part of an organizational, as part of a team, if, everybody’s looking up to this one person who is, for instance, like a football manager, they are the person at the moment in Aston Villa.

Clark: Unai Emery can do no wrong. That’s dangerous and I’m sure that as clever as he is, he must be aware of this fact, all leaders must be aware that sycophancy is not good to the organization. And dark side of every virtue, it can be a deadly vice. I would never have guessed, Rob, that you could be obsessive, for instance.

Clark: It doesn’t come across at all,

Clark: which of course is a good thing, until it’s not a good thing. And it’s the same for all of us, right? 

Tony (2): Yeah, and I think Jung talks about the shadow, doesn’t he, which is related to this, and it’s almost they’re the blind spots, so you go into a [00:28:00] situation not knowing that you’re causing havoc for people, because they don’t tell you, especially if you’re in a position of assumed power you’ve people give you power, you’re in a position of authority, given authority you’re given a managerial role.

Tony (2): And you’ve got blind spots that when your back’s turned, everybody’s talking about, but they don’t tell you it’s like that’s needs to be revealed. The only way to do it is go deep and understand it and ask people. How am I doing? 

Clark: But we’re talking about this as if it’s common knowledge and to a degree it is.

Clark: Constantly having little experiments with myself with my work, with the way I interact with people. I put a post up yesterday didn’t get as much pushback as I expected, actually because it was talking about how, The problems that we see around us, the things that we dislike around us.

Clark: And again I’m not a big fan of pseudo psychology, pop psychology. It’s It is an irritant to me. So when people talk about the fact that are projecting your feelings onto somebody else, I always think, ah, maybe, or maybe they’re just a dick, maybe you’re projecting that, but maybe they actually are not very [00:29:00] nice people.

Clark: So I put this post up yesterday, which was talking about the fact that it was something I saw on Instagram where a guy had an accident a couple years before. A quite a flamboyant gay character, very nice guy, very well dressed. But he’d had this accident that left him paralysed and he was in a wheelchair.

Clark: And he 

Tony: told us this story last, on the last 

Clark: call. Did I tell you 

Tony: that? Yeah, just so you don’t tell us again. He, on the last call, the guy in the wheelchair. Yes. He said it, it’s you, yeah. 

Clark: The post actually was just about this idea that, you’re, I am not who you say I am, you are projecting those feelings onto me.

Clark: And whenever I put posts up, I often get DMs telling me how I should have done the post or what I shouldn’t have said or how I should have said it. And that happens fairly regularly. with me, not many, but just a couple. I did get some with this one. And this idea that, projection is something that’s much more profound than I made it out to be.

Clark: And I said, look, it’s just tongue in cheek, relax, chill out. But this idea that we We find [00:30:00] fault with the things around us that we actually don’t like about ourselves. And when we do, when we know ourselves and when we understand ourselves, we can start to see that happening. When we start criticizing the things in others that we see in ourselves, it becomes obvious if we know ourselves.

Clark: But the problem that most people have, we were just talking as if this was common knowledge, but it’s not. Most people don’t know themselves particularly well. 

Tony (2): Yeah, definitely. It surprises me that when there is such a vast amount of knowledge available to us all and we know that all the statistics that say business is a 80 percent passively disengaged at best.

Tony (2): And that managers a 50 percent the reason why. performance is down. And we can go and look as far into it as we want to understand ourselves. Yet it doesn’t happen, because people are just doing stuff. They’re just going to work, getting paid and going back. So there’s not enough connection to what it means to be doing the job that they’re doing, I think, is where it, comes down to.

Tony (2): I’m just going to ask a question though on [00:31:00] that post on the, and this is for both of you. You’ve posted on an open forum, right? So you’ve exposed yourself to feed, public feedback, which is what you want. So you’re doing, you provoke, you’re provoking a response and yet people will come back privately with some feedback.

Tony (2): Okay, which is okay. Maybe it’s okay, but, or is it, and this is the question, would you prefer that they posted that publicly and create that public discourse and that dialogue? Are they fearful of doing what you did, which is put your thoughts out front and center? What’s your perspectives, both of you on, on, on your, on that feed, on the mechanism that they’ve used to feedback?

Tony (2): Why haven’t they gone public? Why have they come directly? Are they being nice? Are they being, protecting you? It could be obviously a number of things, but what’s your take on it? 

Clark: I’ve, my own point of view on that is that I personally adhere to a set of rules when it comes to engaging publicly.

Clark: Okay. And I always try to be respectful and polite, and I try to [00:32:00] maintain a certain level of humor, because, nothing is that important. We are not going to stop the war in Ukraine, or gender bias, or, prejudice or anything like that by commenting on a post. So they’re really just opinions, so I try to keep it as light as I can.

Clark: However, there are times when people, I’ve had people publicly say things such as shame on you. I tend to go stick their opinion of their ass publicly. If they’ve said that to me publicly, then I’ll say the same up them. , and then they’ve deleted the whole thing. So if you’re prepared to give it, then you must also be prepared to, to get it back.

Clark: At the same time, I’m also. I’m quite happy to be corrected if I’m wrong, because very often I am, I’m just putting an opinion out there and I’ve been told before that, that’s really not the, your premise is incorrect. So the confusion you’ve drawn isn’t right. And that’s led to some really interesting conversations.

Clark: But when people do it privately, it’s usually to spare either themselves [00:33:00] or me. A certain level of embarrassment, so I actually had that conversation a couple of days ago where somebody engaged with one of my posts and started to get quite argumentative. to me they were enjoying their argument and to them it was a little bit backwards or forwards but I thought it was getting a little bit too close so I told them to go sling their hook and they messaged me privately and said, what’s going on?

Clark: We usually have some really good conversations and I said actually my apologies then, I didn’t realize That you were just enjoying the banter. I thought you were being a smartass and I told you to sling your up. But for me, I think, we’re all adults. However, is, you can imagine in a meeting room, for instance, where there’s a dozen people talking, a little bit of friction might occur.

Clark: And then later you’re going to have that conversation outside where other people can’t hear just in case it gets a little bit. Touchy. 

Tony: Yeah. 

Clark: And I’m happy to engage. However I have never had a private conversation that I’ve then made public because I’m offended. Oh, yeah. It’s all about [00:34:00] probably the rule that I would always follow if I can is how do we get to the truth?

Clark: How do we find an answer? If I’m wrong and you’re right. My goal is to get to the truth. And if you’re wrong, I’m going to flip and keep telling you until you’ve realized. But that’s to me, it’s a Socratic point of view, isn’t it? We backwards and forwards until we get to an answer. But I always try and give people the benefit of the doubt.

Clark: Rob’s probably got a little bit more insight into the reasoning behind why people adopt certain approaches. But I just try and keep it light if I can.

Rob: Yeah I think that comes down to the core of it is getting to the truth. Sometimes it genuinely I’ve made a mistake, I’ve done research or sometimes it’s just typos or the grammar is wrong or you should have structured it better. Sometimes it’s because they want to sell you something.

Rob: Yeah, I had one of them recently. Someone wanted to tell me they’d help me get traction with my content because it wasn’t it was this like 19 year old kid, he sent me this preview to his community, which was basic nothing of interest and he’d connected with me and [00:35:00] whatever.

Rob: And I hadn’t seen any of his content. I looked at his content and I said basically you’re so you’re messaging me telling me that you’ll help me get leads from my content. Yeah, that’s my job. I said why are you messaging me? Why am I not coming through your content?

Rob: And I just got this big diatribe of you big shiny head and you keep shining on them all this stuff. It’s obviously hit a nerve. So there’s sometimes because people, you get the stuff of your YouTube of someone’s running through TubeBuddy, which is just some software that I could get.

Rob: And it’s how you should do this and you should do this. And we’ll do this for you. So sometimes it’s because they have a motive publicly. Sometimes I always engage to try and understand. So often I like to upset people in challenge. I’m I think Clark and I are quite similar in.

Rob: We are both about the person and we’re both about, with the 10th man and my idea of the Consigliere is we do the same thing. I think you’re more directly challenging than me. But when I, you was [00:36:00] coaching, I think the nature of one to one is that you have to be more challenging.

Rob: I’ve tended to moderate that more now probably because of the work I’m doing in conflict in, in reconciling and unifying coming to an agreed belief. But so sometimes, so often I’ve deliberately been provocative in the content Because I want to make people think, but then I want to come to an agreement.

Rob: And so if it’s genuine, you can have a conversation and then sometimes someone’s just got a point and they’re just got some reason and there’s no point in engaging with them any further. And then I’ve never had it on LinkedIn, but in Facebook, you would get deliberately trolled. Just I remember this was Facebook, it was like relationships and dating. And why would you take dating advice from someone with such bad teeth? 

Rob: And I was like, okay how’s that relevant? And she just went on and on. And so I just moderated it and all these other people just came in and attacked her and and it, so sometimes it, often it’s just someone is, I don’t know, they’re bitter about something, they want attention, they just want to [00:37:00] provoke someone, I think it comes from a place of deep sadness

Rob: and powerlessness. But it goes back to what was the point earlier? It’s similar to this. Oh yeah, the dark side. When you were talking, Clark, about hypnosis and things like that. Now I touched on training the hypnosis and I never really saw any value in it. But then partly that’s my construct. 

Rob: Milton Erickson was a genius. I couldn’t do that. I’m very direct. I have to do everything in your face. I don’t have the maturity to sit and let someone puzzle it out. I’m just like, this is it. 

Rob: For me, there’s all these things that people are saying, you are, we’ll say you this, and the line that they all use in their selling webinars is this is so powerful that you have to promise that you’re going to use it for good.

Rob: It’s bullshit. I think that people can have an effect in if you look at football, I think Mourinho has specialised in that, in upsetting people. Like his whole, that’s why he didn’t get a Barcelona job, him and Guardiola went for it. And it was because of the, he said he would directly use press conferences to create, to upset people, [00:38:00] to destabilise and his whole when he was at Madrid, his whole thing was to upset and destabilise Guardiola and to get under his skin.

Rob: So there are people that can do that, but I think it has limited effect because I think as soon as you bring it out into the open and you make clear what someone’s doing it no longer has any basis. So yeah, for me it’s engage, it’s getting near to the intent. Does it get you nearer to the truth or not?

Rob: Cause one of the things I’ve. I’ve learned about myself is I don’t argue very often, but when I do argue, I’ll have everything worked out and I’ll go to people and I’ve, I completely decimate all their argument. Cause I won’t get into it until I know I’m going to win. And then. I’ll make a note of that, hold on.

Rob: But what I’ll do is I’ll leave no room and it doesn’t open any conversation. So if you want to deal with a conflict, you have to open the conversation and grow together. But I’ll just break it down and there’s nothing anyone can say. And that’s something I’ve learned to not react. so much. 

Clark: That’s interesting.

Clark: Not necessarily just with [00:39:00] arguing you can just have a conversation with somebody completely annihilate any points that they might want to make. And I was just thinking that the conversation I had last night with the with John in the States about my book, the thing that I’m writing, because we were talking about how You know, there’s a story, but then there’s a story underneath the story.

Clark: And that’s the story that people are really interested in. Not the thing that’s actually happening. Boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy fights bad guy, but it’s the stuff underneath. And we were talking because I was saying, the thing is, I need to make the main character somebody that you can empathize with.

Clark: And in doing that, the key to doing that, from what I can tell, is to give them a flaw. Now, in storytelling, they talk about, giving a character a fatal flaw. But I wanted it to be something that people can really engage with. And this guy has an argument with his girlfriend and you don’t actually see the argument.

Clark: But at the end of it he feels so ashamed of his involvement in the argument. There’s a plate broken [00:40:00] on the floor and that’s clearly his girlfriend has broken this plate. And he’s cleaning this, he’s had a couple of drinks and he’s cleaning these plates up because he feels a level of shame that he was drawn into this conversation that got out of hand and became an argument.

Clark: It relates to his his feelings of inadequacy. Because he can’t handle situations like this. He feels a certain level of shame for being involved in them. And that, when you talk about the dark side, I often have these conversations. People say, oh yeah, I have some serious flaws, I’m far too punctual, and I work far too hard, and I care too much.

Clark: No. They’re not the dark side. The dark side is the weird stuff that you don’t tell anybody about. It’s the weird stuff. The weird shit that, you think would freak people out if you told them. And that’s the sort of stuff that we all have. Which we, and we want to change those things.

Clark: But we don’t know how because I would just say to somebody, I have this weird problem where, I do whatever. So for instance with myself I’ve got all sorts of weird quirks that I will often not [00:41:00] notice are right in front of me. I can see all the details of every argument that’s going on around me, but not see the obvious.

Clark: And, that can be a little bit embarrassing at times when, everybody else in the room sees the obvious thing and you don’t. Those are the things that if you start to know yourself, and, this is why I talk about the 10th man a lot, because a lot of my posts are designed specifically to help people and to encourage people, myself included to look at that dark side.

Clark: That’s my point is to. Let’s get it out on the table. Let’s see, because it’s not as weird as you think it is. We all do stuff like that. And the idea of the 10th man is the person that says, Oh, hold on a minute, that thing that you just did. Oh, where’s that come from? Why is that there?

Clark: Why didn’t you just listen to your assistant coach? He made a valid point and you nodded and all that, but actually you weren’t listening. You know that you’re going to go ahead and do what you said you were going to do in the first place. Where’s that come from? And, because it might come across as arrogant or whatever.

Clark: Nobody would want to admit [00:42:00] to being arrogant, surely. or vein or whatever else it might be. But those are the things that the 10th man says, hold on a minute, let’s get this out. Let’s have a look at this, where this is coming from, because we all have it. And when we talk about the dark side or incorporating the shadow, that’s the stuff that I find is most fascinating because, you can look at a person and you can see all of their great qualities, but sometimes those great qualities can turn into Major millstones around their neck and at the same time they can be a liability to everybody else around So I just think it’s really important to when we’re talking to people on things like LinkedIn, where are we going with this?

Clark: What’s the point of this conversation? Why are we talking about this in the first place if we’re trying to get to the truth? And you’re really not bothered about dragging your flippin dirty laundry out, then I will quite happily go there. Because that’s how we learn stuff. But if we’re going to pretend that you don’t have any faults, and that actually you’re on the moral high ground, and there’s only people like me that are no good, then I’m going to rip you to shreds.

Clark: Because , you’re operating from a point of [00:43:00] weakness there. Because as long as you’re willing to tell people your faults. Nobody can have, nobody can gain any traction with you. It’s only when you’re trying to hide this stuff that you have problems. 

Tony: I I agree with that. I think, I’ve started to respond more to other people’s posts than write my own, just purely from a time perspective.

Tony: If I’m going to write something, I need to have given myself time to I can do it spontaneously, which has often been my best post, but if I haven’t had time, I’ll usually find something of interest and respond. Now, I take the position that if you’ve put a question, if you’ve posed a question in your post, I’ll respond to it.

Tony: then I can answer based on what I really think. And what I’ve found is I’ve had differences in how the author of the original post have responded to that. Some have gone really cold and some have embraced the dialogue, which is interesting. If you ask, if you finish your post with a question, do you agree or what do you think about that?

Tony: But you don’t really want to know what people think. You just want the clicks. Then I have a [00:44:00] problem with that and I’m probably not going to re engage anyway, but. It does that comes across as being a little bit, could come across as being a bit arrogant too, but it’s not, it’s let’s have a dialogue.

Tony: I’m responding because it’s a topic that I’ve got a deep interest in and I’m happy to engage on, I appreciate the comment. I appreciate the post. I’ll invest some time in hopefully adding some value. I guess it’s not for me to decide whether my comments add value to somebody else.

Clark: It’s a conversation, so you can’t dictate to people, when you say something to them, what they say back. Otherwise it’s not a conversation, it’s some sort of totalitarian state. I think there’s an unspoken agreement, or maybe it’s actually a spoken agreement, I don’t know, that if somebody comments on a post, You don’t try and sell your own products.

Clark: You don’t answer a comment on a post by saying, Oh, yes, actually, I have this program that helps with people with that particular, because that’s considered bad form. However, what a lot of people do is that they answer in such a way as to make themselves appear to be a [00:45:00] little bit of an authority on that particular question or subject and sometimes I find that in a little bit bad taste as well because you’re not Contributing you’re really basically just blowing your own trumpet and that’s where I tend to have a little bit of a problem sometimes because my first, i’ve been involved in problem solving my entire work in life So when somebody comes to me and says i’ve got a problem The first thing i’m thinking is why are you telling me?

Clark: What are you hoping to get by telling me you’ve got a problem because surely if you’ve got a problem, you already know the answer and you just should be coming to me saying I have a problem. This is a solution. I want to implement it. Are you okay with that? If you’re just trying to give the monkey off your own back onto my back, while I’m not having it.

Clark: When people leave certain comments and you look at that and think, Oh, hold on a minute. You’re trying to make yourself look good here at my expense. I’ll find that in particularly bad form. I was part of a conversation this morning where somebody said, and this is the thing that I’m trying to address in my, I think if a person looked at my posts, I don’t think they could tell what I do for a job.

Clark: [00:46:00] I yeah, 

Tony (2): I would agree with that. I would agree with that. They think you might think you’re a writer, which is credit to your quality of posts. Yeah. But I’m constantly 

Clark: trying to dodge the raindrops. It’s a funny thing, I will never tell people what I do, because I just, my answer is what do you want?

Clark: The conversation I had this morning was where somebody was saying that the overarching feeling that they find in society at the moment is a feeling of futility. People are apathetic. People are feeling nihilistic. Not everybody, obviously, but there is an overarching theme at the moment in society that, the world’s all going to hell in a handcart and, there’s going to be a nuclear war and Armageddon’s coming and, the seven horses of the apocalypse or whatever it is, they’re all just around the corner.

Clark: And there’s that general feeling. And what I was saying was that having worked in manufacturing and now recently in coaching, this inertia that I mentioned earlier comes from this feeling of futility. What’s the point? That’s the thinking. What’s the point of trying? It’s not going to work anyway.

Clark: It’s this, it’s the exact opposite of your [00:47:00] viewpoint. Tony, you’re an optimist. A lot of people, when it comes to this sort of thing, are feeling quite pessimistic at the moment. And I was saying, I think that’s an attitude that’s been engineered. It’s not something that’s just arising automatically out of a feeling of the world being bad.

Clark: I think it’s been engineered by a society or a system in which advertising, for instance, says, you need this, you should be doing this is what you ought to be doing if you want to be this. And basically people have been spent the last 50 years being told what washing powder to use, what soap to buy, what clothes to wear, how to look, how to dress, how to act.

Clark: And now all of a sudden, there are some things on the horizon that are looking a little bit scary, Ukraine and that sort of thing. And people go, alright, so what do we do? And there’s no answers. And all of a sudden people are starting to think, oh no, nobody knows the answer. And I just get this was the conversation we had this morning, but I just get this feeling, that if people knew themselves a little bit better, instead of being told what soap powder to use or clothes to wear, [00:48:00] what soap to use and so on, if they knew themselves more and weren’t guided so much by outside forces, such as advertising or politics, then a lot of the stuff that’s going on in the world at the moment would happen and people would be just, yeah, it’s all right, we’re okay.

Clark: But they’re not. They’re not at the moment. There’s this feeling of futility because It goes back to this and I’m sure this is something you talk about a lot, Tony, and the locus of control, where is your locus of control? Most people, it’s so flipping far away that it’s gone over the horizon.

Clark: Whereas, you want it to be as close in as possible so that you feel that you have some agency. Agency, yeah. I understand. And that’s the point of my posts. Why do you do this? Why do you say that? Why do you do this in this way? What’s the little thing that you’re hiding, you weirdo?

Clark: Come on, let’s talk about it. Because once it’s out You know yourself and nobody can hurt you anymore. And so that’s why I do get a little bit challenging, a little bit direct and Occasionally, I you know, I can insult people and I just like it as [00:49:00] well. 

Rob: Yeah, I’m not sure that’s anything new though. I think that’s the way Society’s been built that we’ve gone from basically being tribes of individuals to nations, to where we’ve had whole political structures we’ve had and with that came stories.

Rob: We started creating narratives that supported and even, I think even religions are part of making people into a certain way, a certain uniform of, and I think if you analyze it back, it really probably comes from the religious idea of good and bad. And ever since then, we’ve laid on different things, but I remember growing up, everyone saying the world’s going to, to hell in the basket and there was the cold war, or there was always the threat of the nuclear bomb and you’re going to have a four minute warning with the adverts.

Rob: I think maybe we’re coming to the end of that. Thomas said the end point of the economic thing where, I think what the internet has done is where we’ve gone from mass produced, like it was mass media, [00:50:00] TV news. And now it’s becoming more individual that you can pick what you want.

Rob: And what’s happening is you’ve got the polarization between, particularly like in America, between the Republicans and the Democrats is very polarized. And it reinforces whatever viewpoint you have. You take your information from that source. It reinforces. And I think. The next stage is about developing our own set of values, rather than following the tribes or following the nations, it is about developing our own.

Rob: So I think it probably is about, we need a greater level of self awareness and knowing our own dark side and all of that stuff, what drives us. 

Tony (2): Yeah, I think once you know your dark side and you can deal with it, you become stronger. 

Clark: It becomes the man you want to be or the 

Tony (2): woman you want to be.

Clark: Isn’t that sort of thing that you just mentioned there, Rob? Doesn’t it go in cycles? It reminds me a lot of the stock market that I remember somebody saying once is, does the stock market crash [00:51:00] because everybody’s on a downer or is everybody on a downer because the stock market’s crashed? And, it’s six or one and a half a dozen at the other.

Clark: I think sometimes. The mood, they say apparently that the stock market goes up and down with the hemlines of skirts, because that reflects people’s optimism or pessimism in the market. So clearly, we are, again, this goes back to the 10th man, we are herd animals. We will often run in a direction because everybody else is running in that direction.

Clark: And hopefully as you say, Rob, if we are getting to a point where people think for themselves, people will start stopping and saying, Oh, hold on a minute. Why are we all running that way? If they all want to run that way, that’s fine. But actually, I know myself, this is not what I’m about.

Clark: And that’s really I’ve always said that in coaching, in training, your goal is to do yourself out of a job, to get people to the point where they don’t need you anymore. And I would love to get to that point because I’ll just go and mess with another bunch of people. 

Rob: Because then there’s a new level, isn’t there?

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