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Episode 198: Perfection or Momentum? with Dr. Cath Bishop (Part 2)


Dr. Cath Bishop is an experienced speaker and author who draws on her careers as an Olympic rower, a senior diplomat specialising in conflict stabilisation and now a business coach, to bring insights into the mindset, behaviours and culture that underpin high performance and effective leadership.

In the second part of Adam Stott’s interview with Dr. Cath Bishop, they talk about the stark difference between perfection and momentum, as well as Dr. Bishoip answering few questions from you, the listeners. In this episode, Dr. Cath Bishop talks about how sports and business concepts are alike and the importance of our purpose in order to achieve success.

Show Highlights:

  • Prioritizing things that matter needs you to find your purpose
  • Why people feel empty and unfulfilled after they win
  • Perfection is a false race
  • Explorer mentality vs brave warrior mentality
  • How Dr. Cath Bishop starts her day
  • Perfection or Momentum
  • Discovering your “Why’s”

Links Mentioned:

Big Business Events Members Network
Know more about Dr. Cath Bishop at cathbishop.com

Transcript:

Please note this is a verbatim transcription from the original audio and therefore may include some minor grammatical errors.

Adam Stott: 

So I had this question in, this question 01:02 Cath can you tell us those tips for prioritizing a heavy workload. I think this be interesting to hear 01:09 alluding to that.


Dr. Cath Bishop:

Yeah, definitely got we all feel like questions. We all relate to that, connect to that, you know, it’s some of the things you’ve already talked about. First of all, make sure that the things that you’re prioritizing the things that matter. And one of the ways of doing that is to connect to your why and to your purpose so the clearer that is, the easier it is to prioritize things. 


Another way to do that is to kind of do future perspective taking where you actually think you know what, at the end of the month or at the end of the year, which would be things my workload are gonna matter. And suddenly, you kind of go. Well, these things aren’t gonna care about. I’m gonna forgotten about these by the end of the month, let alone the end of the year. So that’s often quite helpful thing when we have that sense of overwhelm you know, take a step back and connect to that deeper piece about why I’m here. What’s really important which of these things connect to the purpose most obviously, those are the things you do first, and then think which of these things here it’s another take on that question really which of these things at the end of the year or the end of six months are going to be the things that are going to help me and look back and think I’m glad I spent time on that, and which things, am I going to think, what the hell was I doing wasting time on that and not on something over here developing relationships or whatever it might be. 


So those are my kind of main tips to think about and you know the other thing is just to make sure we can feel overwhelmed, regardless of how much is going on. So there’s something just about kind of getting stuff down on a piece of paper looking at what it is and then, you know, have it all down somewhere, just offloading it all can be helpful because always carrying it feels more than it is so just get it all down on a piece of paper and then start thinking right you know circling the things that immediately come to mind as being linked to the purpose, and you’ll be filtering it from there. 


Adam Stott: 
Love it. Thanks, great tips. I love what you said there, we got another question that’s come in from Hani. Thank you, Adam. My question is having to deal with its time needed 03:11 I love that. Sometimes it takes longer, which makes you doubt you’re on the right track. I really like that question that’s a brilliant question and well done there Annie, care to answer that one?

Dr. Cath Bishop:
Yeah, really connect with that one as well and that’s why we need to redefine success as not being a one off moment of a result, it actually needs to be the track you’re on. And you know what sort of right wrong track, you know, again that’s in danger of thinking of being quite sort of binary, you’re on the track, you’re on at the moment, you should constantly be reviewing do I want to shift my track this way or that way. And, you know, the point you know if you’re if you’re kind of really sort of looking out learning all the time you’ll realize when you need to sort of shift tracks so again you know we can feel quite frayed I’m on the right track or not.

Well, you know, explore all the time keep learning. If learning is actually a massive part of what success looks like. Then, every day is positive, I’m not just waiting for some result that I can’t control, I don’t know when it’s coming it’s dependent on multiple factors that are determined by all sorts of other factors, then that’s dangerous you’re almost setting yourself up to kind of potentially fail, actually thinking about how you’re improving, you know, your performance as a business owner as a business leader on a daily basis, what are you doing today that’s better than yesterday. Great. Well, I get a lot from that, you know, what I am gaining, you know, aside from the result that’s going to help me for the result after that. 

So we’re learning all the time and I remember again the psychologists saying to me that what are you getting from this, you know, if you don’t win that medal, because you don’t know you’re going to be selected, you don’t know if you’re going to be fitting on a chair you don’t know if the competition is happening or not, what else you gain it’s like well I’m. And then I put my attention on these things. Focus on them and they drive that result, and it’s about learning how to manage pressure, how to connect with others, how to work in a team. You know how to kind of really improve my mindset all the time. I can’t work, I can’t just train harder in order to go faster as an athlete, and this is a really kind of great lesson as well. You know we all train basically, you know, three times a day, six hours, but that’s it, if I need to go faster I can’t just do another round the gym and burn out or get injured. 

So then we have to get smarter, and we think about, you know, again that purpose pays the connection with others the relationships, the mindset, the behaviors, the emotions the beliefs. All of these are part of performance as well we can be constantly building and improving. So, make sure that being on the track you’re on in it gives you a sense of, you know, moving forward and learning and success on a daily basis. And when you’re doing that, you’re there maximizing the results that come. 


Adam Stott: 
That’s awesome. And I think what 05:48 is especially what you said I mean that must be so heavy. You know, you got to ask yourself those questions if you’re trying for, you know, years to go and win a medal. You don’t really know how much I feel, you know that must be very challenging, you know, and did you have that? I mean 06:04

Dr. Cath Bishop:
I mean, I definitely did. There are people who win, who feel empty, and unfulfilled, you know, Tyson Fury felt a void. The next morning after he knocked out, Vladimir Klitschko, you know Michael Phelps, the kind of American swimmer; there are all sorts of athletes that actually, they actually get that medal. And they say, is that it because it’s become disconnected from what matters it’s become disconnected from what happens after the medal. 


So that’s not actually a great picture of success, either. This is a real sort of crisis that’s happening in sport where in elite sport, there are a lot of mental health issues because athletes become disconnected from the why, from the meaning why are you on this kind of crazy journey trying to swim faster or go in a boat faster or cycle faster than anyone else. Why does that matter? And if you can’t connect to that, then you become, you know, really you’re at a shallow level so actually win or not win, isn’t what determines how great you feel and how successful you feel. It’s whether you’ve got a meaning around the result you get around the journey you have on the way the experience you have, and what you take into what comes next. And that’s like that’s what the long winner is about, you know, because our lives go on, beyond this next set of results, beyond the race that I’m in. So what am I taking from this with me.

Adam Stott: 
You do, you know, awesome, you know, I’m really enjoying the conversation, it’s really fascinating insight from your connections or sports or business, he’s fascinating and he’s like the business owner that makes all the money and he’s interface with it until  fulfill at the end of it. You know there are times where you know, back in the day, I had big dreams and big goals of where I wanted to get so, and actually achieved a lot quicker than I anticipated I would. When I got there, it was actually a bit like, you know, what I do now, is kind of like can be a strange feeling for people to kind of understand that and I love that concept which is what somebody should put in the comments shallow versus deep purpose, you know, can be challenging because you, know you’ve got a, as an athlete is probably lying to walk. I mean, again, I’m assuming, but I’m assuming there’s a line 08:15 between being connected to the purpose, and enjoying the journey and winning every day. Then actually, if you do lose you know you still want to get on that track you still need to be like, I’m here to win. Right, so you’ve got to imagine half that kind of half that switch. Do you feel that, did you have 08:34 


Dr. Cath Bishop:
I think the mindset is I’ve got to be here to deliver my best performance, because that’s within my control you know if I’m up against you. So, I’m not against an incredible athlete, and I need to be able to enjoy that and respect that and love competing against that person, you know, everybody you compete against that in the Olympics is is unbelievably committed, dedicated has done all of that, incremental learning so you know I think again we can really sort of idolize that tops that, when do you know what to learn wherever you work from whenever you’ve come, and for the life that comes thereafter, it’s not about one moment frozen in time and I think that was the big sort of insight for me to seeing rather all these people have actually won and and don’t really feel that sense of fulfillment, something’s gone wrong and that’s amazing the picture of success is not something you’d want somebody else to go through that’s not something that kind of also helps them in their lives thereafter. 

So, is that really the success that you want? So it’s about broadening that and it’s you know it’s enjoying those kind of performance moments, you know, competing in a race is thrilling it’s absolutely brilliant and it depends on people coming first, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth somebody really good has to come in all of those places and they all play a really important part in an epic race, and we only hear about the winner the media only talks about the winner and I think we lose stories about how we learn. 

And in fact, you know, in business there can be you know more than one business potential in an area. And in fact, you know, the pace of change at the moment often means that that rivals end up collaborating, because things are moving quickly, you know, even at the top end of sort of Microsoft and Apple, you know, these kind of guys realize that we have to be collaborating in order to move with the pace of technology digitalization. 

So, to be thinking much more about collaborating with rather than competing. The actual origin of the word competition comes from a Latin words commentary and it means striving together, not about defeating others crushing them destroying them smashing them together. So we’re all learning, we’re all striving to achieve something has to explore what’s possible. So actually, we’re all doing this literally on that track kind of, you know, pushing challenging supporting each other. 


Adam Stott:
Awesome. And I love that because that’s what our environment does when people were in our environment. We thought that’s what I thought it’s like striving together, you know, everybody’s moving in the same direction or towards their results. Well, I certainly never pick up a copy of your book; caffeine has been fascinating so far. So I think but Lincoln only wants to go through the comments and you know I’m not surprised that this was one of the top 10 business books in 2020 It sounds absolutely awesome. And there’s some great psychology in there, but another question come in this one’s coming from one of our clients and he’s been on the comments saying how much he’s enjoying this evening so it’s actually the question, or the question we’ve got to Cath’s at the top level. Do you focus on perfection or momentum?

Dr. Cath Bishop:
Yeah, it’s an easy one. It’s an easy one, 11:43 perfection is not going to help you in any way. There is no such thing it’s a it’s a fool’s race to be chasing perfection. 11:53 learning is getting momentum. You know it’s absolutely about all the time. What do we take you know beyond each moment? There is no perfect moment that just sort of is setting us up to fail almost that’s miserable to be on that perfection, obsession route. So, momentum 12:12

Adam Stott:
I love that, I love that. You know what, that was an awesome quote there, you want to caption 12:18 perfection is a fool’s right. How many times I say to the people we train for our clients that would have heard that I’m always talking to them about, you know, getting the momentum to keep going to make those daily actions to be pushing forward, because you’ll never achieve perfection and things improve as you improve right?


100% is a false raise is a great quote it’s going to be quite a nightmare without shadow of a doubt. As a couple of just quick fun questions for the people watching tonight, that are opening businesses or starting businesses they’re going through business change. What would you say maybe your top two or three mindset tips for people that are watching? What so couple of that I mean you’ve given loads already in terms of intellect and your why. And we get a couple of different ones out there. What would you pay for mindset tips for business owner starting or growing?


Dr. Cath Bishop:
Something just being really mindful, you know, just having that kind of mindful of who you are and what matters to you, mindful of your values mindful of the world we’re in, you know, we’re all busy doing, and we need to just kind of stop for a moment kind of ground ourselves so actually think about your mind and where it is, you know, quieten it down. Just take those moments, you know, in the day to be mindful, is one of the best ways of starting to develop our mindset.


Adam Stott:
Being mindful is one of the best ways to develop our mindset, awesome stuff. Okay, any other ones that you want to throw out there, apart from being mindful for everyone tonight, you know, in terms of being mindful and someone being mindful and taking that moment to kind of motivate them first. That’s awesome. So, move up or move past the motivation and go into taking action, you know, in terms of you’ve worked with a lot of business leaders, a lot of people you’re teaching a business skills. What do you talk about with people in terms of taking action, how do you get somebody to go and take more action, from your perspective and push forward more regularly?

Dr. Cath Bishop:
Yeah, I mean one of the things that I talk about is kind of having an explorer mentality, rather than a brave warrior mentality, again we get into this sort of battle. We’re winning, we’re winning the fight, we’ve got all this sort of aggressive language, but doesn’t help us to, to learn and explore what’s possible and I say go into an explorer mindset difficult conversations, again if we think we’ve got to battle, they don’t go well. 

So, you know, to be thinking that’s what tomorrow, what are you going to explore? So this is about pushing boundaries. This is not soft at all but again the brave warrior can often you know just defend ourselves and we’re blocking ourselves for moving forward. So get into an explorer mindset, what can I find out from this difficult conversation, what can I find out from someone else’s perspective today that I didn’t know yesterday. So the explorer piece helps us to learn and to keep pushing, what am I not seeing yet? What do I not learn yet? What else could I be doing at the same time that’s gonna add value or kind of in some way give me, you know, another avenue to what I’m doing. So, you know that I think what’s it like to be you know in your kind of discovering somewhere new if you go on holiday or, you know, if you’re Christopher Columbus and you’re arriving in the Americas that sort of what’s possible here I think is a question that I use a lot, you know, to help us think, where’s that next boundary that we can push through, what’s possible for you today, tomorrow in this conversation, you know, we’ll micro level.


Adam Stott:
Awesome questions, we are asking yourself, I’ll ask the audience you know they’re watching tonight. Okay, so first business book that you’ve read, obviously we’re going to go over your book. Authors as the number one dimension that again if you want to. And why do you think that’s the best book that I should go and read now. One of the questions I asked people come on is I share a business book. So I’ll ask you to share to tonight.

Dr. Cath Bishop:
One of the reasons why I think this has caught on and hit so much last year is because of the times we’re in, whereas I was pressuring people for before to reevaluate what matters now because of this bizarre situation I’ve been in for the last year because of the pandemic. People are reevaluating what matters. So it is a great natural time for all of us to be thinking about what do I really want, what is really important and I think that’s why it’s landed so well at the moment. 


In terms of business but beyond that I’m a big fan of Matthew science writing who, you know, writes in the times and writes business books, and particularly the second one is called black box thinking, which is all about how we need to learn more, learn through failure, learn through mistakes you know innovate and have that as part of what we do if we want to succeed.

Adam Stott:
Small world, I actually had dinner with him a few years ago, the business lounge actually, when he was just launching that book was quite a few years ago now that one wasn’t there but oh, yeah you got a 17:05 upstairs yeah good guy, really different actually.

Dr. Cath Bishop:
His 17:09 is mine so it’s the same.


Adam Stott:
Awesome. Nice stuff. Okay, let’s have a look at the book again. 17:16 Okay, definitely pick that up everybody I think it sounds like an amazing book. Some of this is super interesting. You know, and I look forward to reading it myself. Okay, let’s go grab a couple other quick questions before we finish up. are you more of a reader or podcast listener?

Dr. Cath Bishop:
I do both. I actually doing, but actually, because I’m not driving at the moment my podcast time is going down a bit. I do love to read, but I like both. 

Adam Stott:
Yeah. Okay. How do you motivate yourself on a daily basis give a motivation tip for you that you use on a daily basis.

Dr. Cath Bishop:
So every morning I’ve done this since I was madly I kind of think one of the things I’m looking forward to today one of the things, what makes it worthwhile getting up today, and it can be really small things just connecting with somebody I’ve got phone calls. 18:06 

Adam Stott:
It’s good to hear. So that’s a great thing. So just what is the I’m looking forward to today that’s your 18:19 

Dr. Cath Bishop:
18:23 superficial things actually what’s gonna make today, yeah it’s gonna make it good that’s happening,

Adam Stott:
And even during lockdown, you’ve asked yourself that question every single day. And that’s every single day yeah.

Dr. Cath Bishop:
Yeah and create something, it can be just going for a run or doing some exercise or going for a walk or I’m gonna make some time to read or listen to a podcast, you know. yeah, just connect with people I mean I’ve had great conversations around the book like this so that’s something, you know, I’m gonna meet some different people, they can ask you some different questions, and that’s gives me a buzz.

Adam Stott:
You know what you have an aura of happiness. I would say that the thing that rubbed off on other people in a big way. I think it’s really important if you are in a space where you’re generally happy. Most of the time that rubs off on other people and it really does change the landscape for a lot of people it’s probably by the way that you manage your mindset, you know with that channel and that really interesting stuff there. 


Okay great stuff. Another question for you the importance of coaching. So you know this is, it’s very rare, you know, as you probably saw when we first connected with a lot of different people and I’ve interviewed some top level athletes and other people and myself included being an Olympian and World Champion in terms of coaching, how that comes in from an athletes level to a business level because a lot of people. If you’re gonna be an athlete would almost be unheard of, that you want to have a coach right who wants to say we ever meet anyone that succeeded as an athlete but now on a coach ever.

Dr. Cath Bishop:
No, but it’s like anything in life. I don’t think I’ve succeeded, you know, at school; you need a teacher, you know, how we can possibly learn on our own. We’d live ourselves if we only have our own lens so real valuing of learning means you need other people to be learning with you to be challenging your thinking to be stretching it, to be showing you different perspectives. So, you know, you can’t possibly learn and have this constant learning mindset I’ve talked about, if you’re somehow in isolation as a coach is one of the best ways of developing the learning muscle. If you like to be to be better so that you can learn more. Take it in. So yeah, I mean, how else can we 20:43 

Adam Stott:
You know I love about the way you answer that question is you almost shot you like 20:52 approach. Why did you know seriously I mean, as I’m sure you do. A lot of people don’t think like that. They do not think like that. They don’t think, they think that you will figure out on their own, they think they got to do the heavy lifting. They don’t think that there’s a shortcut, or a lens a different lens when they look for, and they don’t invest in themselves. And that sometimes really can be a big contributor towards their downfall because they don’t invest in themselves, and they don’t invest in coaching and they don’t invest in training or motivation, motivating themselves. It’s incredible really, you know, and you see that when you actually work with somebody and they start to get back coaching. I mean for me is incredible. Right. 

You know, I spent many years trying to figure out everything, I mean many years trying to figure out everything by myself, you know, my first five years in business I grew a business I did quite well. I grew a business to the point where I grew to 6.3 million a year without any country, figuring out myself, and I was definitely a warrior not an explorer. I was literally ran to work every day with an axe and a shield and literally. It’s only when I actually did invest in the first coach I had Richard that had many years of experience running businesses and the type of business over time. 

And when I brought him in, it was just, oh my god, what have I been doing for the last four years, I’ve been doing it wrong. And it was just eye opening. But then what I found from working with like 10, 20, different coaches. Since then, is that there’s a different bit of knowledge and information. And it makes you a smarter person, it makes you a sharper person, makes you a better person. And it all contributes towards a massive growth. And as soon as you are totally switched on that, is that you’re, you know, 22:40 

Dr. Cath Bishop:
Totally amazing interesting is part of the book I also looked at education and how we get very obsessed with passing exams, which actually isn’t anything to do with learning really, it’s a very narrow memory test often. And, you know, actually, a lot of the ways in which we learn best is what’s called cooperative learning, learning from your peers, not being competitive, you know more against your peers, what they’re doing, you know, in the Nordic countries or Sweden is they have much more of this sort of group learning and again in America, there’s a big body of research that shows the best way to learn is to learn with others, but we again sometimes in our schools, thinking, Well, you know, it’s cheating to do that, literally, you’re not allowed to, to kind of learn with others look at what they’ve got which is madness because we don’t work like that. 


So we get set in this sort of Victorian way of learning school that stops us thinking like this and it is madness it literally holds us back from growing. I mean, the world is complex, that you know we don’t create a vaccine without massive scale of collaboration within those labs across companies, you know, private, public sector, so to think that we can run a business and have all the answers by ourselves is massively limiting.

Adam Stott:
Massively limited, absolutely 100% really good, really good point there. 24:03 CCTV there’s a year ago, I ran to a martial arts team. I struggle with the confidence to walk into business and drop my business cards in. I’m not sure if car drop work anymore any tips, 24:16 you want to chip in on that and then I will as well.


Dr. Cath Bishop:
I’m almost not gonna give you an answer but I’m gonna say, you know, if this is a question that you’ve got, I presume you’re asking it of like doing a little survey on everyone you meet to gather, everyone’s tips on these things about and actually with the guy who asked about or the person who asked about prioritizing workload, whenever there are issues like that, then I think, Well, okay, I’m going to start gathering tips and when I have a meeting at the end of that meeting I also asked them, What are your best tips for you know connecting building a network, you know, short, definitely you know to only rely on business cards again in this complex world seems, you know, it’s you’re clearly limiting yourself to one route, when we can network in a ton of ways you know, social media has gone in itself, tons of different ways. So, you know, start gathering tips about, you know, watch your competitors, how do they do it you know who the people in other in other sectors, what are they doing so, you know, get curious as you was saying earlier 25:15 start gathering other tips from others beyond what you could give.

Adam Stott:
And I think the key to this question here is that I struggle with confidence. Right. You know, because one of the fastest ways now you can go and have conversations with people using video now looks and I, you know, Cath’s come on, and obviously I’ve seen tons of you coming on this evening. And I know and I know well, and now you’re getting to know Cath, you know, and Cath now you’re she’s hearing about your books she’s getting that exposure to lots and lots of different people. And she’s use video to do that. I mean you’re watching on YouTube, you know, and one of the fastest ways to get your message out right now is to use video, you know, and you can start having conversations, even if it starts off in 10, 20, 30. As soon rolls into the 1000s and it’s going to be much more effective than if you’re using, walking into businesses because right now most of the business you walk in to, 26:05


So you know pretty simple stuff that we could answer there. Gather the tips absolutely. Martin saying Good evening, Levina’s saying that used to be me Adam before was introduced to big business events. Hannah is saying, God, I wish more this teacher was brought to the curriculum school, I think we should really touch on this right, I really do champion worship in a much bigger age and so from a much younger age. 


My perspective on it is clear that I was a school system failure in every single way shape or form you can think I didn’t even finish my exams. You know I don’t want to just tell me I was never going to achieve anything never going to go in we’re never gonna do anything. And, you know, I never let it bother me because I had my own kind of internal values of my own direction of where I wanted to go, but there really isn’t anything. and you’re doing some teaching in business school. So you’ve actually got an opportunity there to make a difference there. What do you do when you go into these schools and what’s your opinion on this about being more entrepreneurial and are open to learning process?

Dr. Cath Bishop:

Yeah, I mean, it seems that there’s almost a sense of, there’s conventional learning or education and then there’s entrepreneurial thinking over here. Why is there a gap between the two? But you know we absolutely need that entrepreneurial thinking to be part of, you know, the kids at school now, they didn’t want job they’re gonna be doing they haven’t been invented yet so why we do stuff that we taught 50 years ago, you know, stuff that they can just google kind of knowledge, why are we making them learn that off by heart because you don’t ever have to do that when you’re working so in my mind I’m really frustrated with how kind of behind we are lots of other countries are really shifting how they are teaching kids. I mean it’s like this next turn now. There’s all this sense of we’ve got to shuffle things in that kids are behind and then we haven’t we should just be letting them build relationships get active, do sports, have fun, that will give them a much better mental health basis for the future, and it will enable them to learn better at the same time, rather than sort of shoveling in quite antiquated things so I’m horrified by how narrow our education system is the only good thing is, as you show it doesn’t matter, there is more and more opportunity if you fail in that conventional way to actually be entrepreneurial and create your own business and that again is going to be an ever growing part of our economy that is so important, but it makes our education system that increasingly kind of obsolete almost, yeah I’m so disappointed in the slowness of change in the education world.

Adam Stott:
28:34 And you look at probably like 70% of successful business people had a terrible score. It’s just; it’s just a different, different word. Absolutely. I interviewed someone last week, Wilfred, and it was really interesting to be a great guy. And really, he came on and then gave his perspectives on that world which was amazing. We were encouraging for going pick up a copy of 28:59 because it sounds phenomenal I’m sure you’re gonna really enjoy reading that sure it’d be a great process. Thank you for kind of coming on and sharing that. Any last words that you want to add to that tonight Cath? Can you talk some phenomenal information there?

Dr. Cath Bishop:
Yeah, it’s been brilliant. I love the questions, I love all that thinking, I think, and you know, the explorer of 29:19. So let’s all go and make sure we’re exploring tomorrow.

 

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