Interview with Peter Bregman
What fascinates you about leadership?
Leadership is about our willingness to step outside of the norm, to do something differently than the people around us. That takes tremendous courage and I love that. I believe that we all have the capacity to develop that courage and, when we do, anything is possible – individually and organizationally.
Can you provide three basic tips from your program to stop counter-productive habits?
I can actually offer a process. We need three things to stop a counter-productive habit:
- A moment of awareness.
- The ability to resist urges.
- A replacement behavior for the counter-productive habit (in other words, a more productive habit).
I teach all three in the book and in my speeches. The idea is simple, but it really helps to get some practice at doing all three (which I guide in my speech about it).
How can leaders effectively overcome the challenge of emotional courage?
This, it turns out, is one of the most important skills to develop. When you have emotional courage, you are willing to feel everything – and when you are willing to feel everything, you can do anything (for example, if you are willing to feel failure, you can take risks). Again, this takes practice. If you are willing to tolerate unpleasant feelings, you will be free to take ambitious actions toward your own goals and the goals of your organization.
What results can clients expect from your talks?
They can expect to understand what it takes to move from idea to action and they can expect to get a taste of that movement. Once they get that taste, they are unstoppable.
How do you prepare for your speaking engagements?
I listen to the client to understand the particular issues of the audience so I can integrate them into my speech. Then, right before the speech, I meditate to get myself in the right state of mind and keep myself focused on delivering a talk that resonates with the audience. Having some quiet time before the speech makes a huge difference.